Sunday, August 10, 2008

Crappy apartments

My little corner of Los Angeles is a smattering of various convenience shops (7-11 up the street) and apartment buildings, many with names of foreign places that attempt to draw poor city dwellers away from the reality of our relatively ghetto neighborhood and into far-off places like "Cheviot Hills." A common theme seems to be Mediterranean names like "Palms" and "Capri."

After months of passing this apartment building, its name recently caught my attention:

Look closely.

Haaaa I love it. I almost got in an accident when I saw this. Sooooo many questions do I have for the owners of this place. Accident? Ignorance? Satire? Who's to say....

My apartment building, incidentally, is nameless.

Thursday, February 7, 2008


Last week as I was walking down Santa Monica Boulevard on a mundane errand, I experienced a rather magical moment. A little old lady wearing a wide-brimmed hat was bent over peering into a storefront window. The store itself was sunken half a level below the street, and the entrance is on the side with steps up to the sidewalk. A woman inside the store was leaning out the door speaking up to the woman. She said, "Well it's lucky you've landed in the right spot..."

That's all I heard, but in that moment, what appears totally ordinary struck me as something from a fairy tale, as if the woman was a Mary Poppins figure who floated in on the brim of her large hat and landed right where she needed to be to carry out her magical mission. Like maybe the store was secretly a shop of tricks she needed for her next job...

The moment passed quickly but the image stuck in my mind in a goofy wonderland kind of way. I like when I can float off in my imagination like that. Reality is a little more fun when you're only halfway in it.

Monday, December 3, 2007

"One moment please...connecting you..."

Like any job, mine has its good days and bad days. Usually this depends on the mood of my boss. You know the old saying, "If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." So true. Sometimes when things are going well and I'm really on top of my game, I can tell I'm in her good graces. She always wants to know what's going on in the office, so we give her updates and keep her informed, which sometimes is intimidating. I tiptoe into her office to make sure she's not already on the phone, and usually she's in her big, black leather office chair, her back to the door. Remember Dr. Claw from Inspector Gadget? Righto.

Some days she wants to know everything and I finally start to feel OK approaching her. Other days she does NOT want to be bothered with details and I steer clear. Our office manager, the next in command, reminds me that that's what she's there for. So I should go through her with details before approaching the Boss.

This makes sense in the work world, but it got me thinking. I am SO glad this is not the way my God works. How great is it that we have the Holy Spirit and that because of Jesus we have direct access to the King of Kings? Sure, there's a fear and trembling when approaching the throne room, but not of the I'm-afraid-I'm-about-to-get-smited variety. It's a profound respect for his sovereignty, and yet he welcomes us in without any chain of command, even if it's concerning a seemingly irrelevant detail.

When my boss doesn't want to be disturbed, she closes her door and we know to hold all the calls and leave her alone. I thank God that he doesn't shut the door on us.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

What's happening to me?

Tonight as I walked with my folded clothes up the steps from the laundry room I said a gentle, friendly hello to a cat.

This may seem normal to you, but it's not for me. When did this feline-friendly behavior sneak in? Have I been spending too much time among cat enthusiasts at work? Most likely. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em? Ai yai yai...I'm going to claim instead the "Audrey Hepburn Moment" theory. I am Holly Golightly. The cat is Cat. Still gets me to thinking...geeze Louise.

Oh, guess what! New artist discovery: Ferraby Lionheart. Rainn Wilson (aka Dwight Schrute from The Office) played him while he guest dj'd on my favorite radio station Indie 103.1 last night. Ferraby is kind of folksy, from Nashville. I feel like I've heard of him before, but this is my first listen. Take a little listen yourself.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Looking up

It has been far too long since I've updated the blog. What a crazy-full month! We were threatened by flames (my church burned down in Malibu), I worked like nuts for the American Film Market (one night we left the office at 10:30 PM, no exagerration, and when I actually was home, I was writing script reports for my boss), and I kept up the search for a new vehicle and a buyer for the Saab. *phew!*

Good news, though. The church is stronger than ever without its building. Work has greatly improved (still long hours, but the environment has been better). Aaaand I've found a new car!

This is a great relief to me, as I've been hunting for a more dependable car for a while now, and I think this one has the potential to have as much personality as the Saab (which will get its on tribute soon). It's a 1999 Toyota Rav4, which I believe I am naming Wolfram Tiger Yang (a German first name, of course, but with Japanese to keep it true to its roots).

In other news, for those readers who are removed from the LA area, the writers are on strike out here. That would be me, too, except that I'm not employed as a writer I am finally seeing God's hand in my job situation. If I didn't have this job, I would probably be working in production somewhere, or doing odd jobs while I tried writing and selling scripts...both of which would have me high and dry right now. Can't sell any scripts, and tons of production workers are losing their jobs since shows can't continue without scripts. You will be noticing this soon as re-runs and reality shows take over the airwaves and your favorite shows go dark.

My 2 cents: The situation stinks. I agree with the writers; all they (we) want is to get returns on DVD and internet sales because right now writers get nothing for all the downloads people watch online, while the producers profit. The sad part is that it has come to a strike, which is already affecting tons of jobs (including my own personal good friends'), and will only continue to impact the economy more deeply. Why can't we all just get along? ...I have my speculations.

If you want to read a good article about the strike, check out "Schmucks with Typewriters" by screenwriter William Boyd. He makes the case that Hollywood needs to start giving writers the credit they deserve. After all, without a script, nothing gets made at all.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

It's got its ups and downs.

Let's begin with props to all the adults in the world who have succeeded in setting themselves up to live comfortably and legally. And let's also extend some sympathy to the homeless and illegal aliens who have yet to succeed. Why, you ask? Because growing up is hard to do, and without the help of friends and family, it's even harder.

My job has begun to suck the life out of me. We're really busy getting ready for the American Film Marketplace (AFM) that takes place in Santa Monica in a few weeks, so it's early mornings, late nights, and homework in addition (i.e. I read scripts and write reports about them for my boss). It's exhausting, but recent outbursts from my boss have made it emotionally draining too. So, toss in a few sobbing car rides home. Add to that that the car has been a) illegal because it's not registered, and b) on the verge of falling to pieces. And though I took it to the mechanic last weekend, it failed the smog check, and no one was able to fix it before the work week.

This is just me, you understand, and I have wonderful parents who offer to help and even offer to fly out to my assistance! How do other people cope?? *sigh* It's a mad, mad, mad, mad world, and this is just a glimpse.

On the bright side, weekend evenings have provided me with friendly relief...and culture. A few weekends ago, my friends Ty and Amanda hosted a French night at their lovely apartment. Amanda made ratatouille, steak, and quiche, and the rest of us brought wine, dessert, and bread. Plus, we taste-tested some delicious cheeses and played Apples to Apples, with French music playing in the background, of course.

Carly and Ty

The following weekend we went to Oktoberfest in Torrance's Alpine Village. Do not be misled, as I was, that this village in any way resembles a mountain hideway. It's a restaurant off the freeway amidst smog and industry. BUT there was a huge tent, long tables, and an oompah band a la real Munich style, and the Alpine Village grocery store has authentic (overpriced) German goods. Mmmmm Muesli.

me, Taryn, Amanda, Ty, and Marc

So all in all, though weeks are rough, there are patches of light that make things better. Here's to a better week. Prost!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Sundays in Malibu

Weekends are WONderful things. God wasn't kidding around when he established the Sabbath. I've learned my lesson about that the hard way, and let me tell you: take a day off. You need it.

It is becoming a weekly tradition for me lately to spend my Sundays in Malibu, my old stomping grounds. My home church, Malibu Pres, is there, and a handful of my old friends and Pepperdine acquaintances still attend. The worship is great, and the teaching gets me thinking. Plus I get to spend the rest of the day enjoying Malibu without the former pressures of student-responsibility (i.e. Mass Comm Law reading). My friend Amanda has joined me in reading (for pleasure!) at the beach or in a coffee shop and then taking a hike through Solstice Canyon. This trail follows a creek up to the remains of an old house from the 50's that burned down some thirty years ago. It feels like something out of Swiss Family Robinson... Huge palm trees, the stone foundation and fireplace, a shrine to the Virgin Mary all speak of some life that was there before.

Anyway, the rest of the trail winds in a loop up through the hills, opening up a magnificent view of the bluffs sloping down to the ocean. Each time it reminds me of an Eyvind Earle painting, though I admit, Earle's work is often prettier than the thirsty landscape we have right now. If you haven't heard of this amazing artist, check him out here and here. He did the illustrations for the old Disney Sleeping Beauty, and did a lot of paintings of the West Coast Big Sur area. Gorgeous.

I doubt every Sunday will be like this, but it sure is a blessing when one is. :-)