Happy Thanksgiving. : ) I hope each of you enjoy a good day with those you care about.
So now I’m done with my class I’m suddenly very un-busy (whatever that word is). In short, I have nothing going on at the moment, my mind is free to wander, but I find I’m fixating on a gaffe I made a few months back.
Now, I say and do inappropriate things with regularity, some more embarrassing than others, and this particular incident is really no more consequential than any other faux paux I’ve commited, but for some reason I can’t seem to take my mind off it. Its there when I wake up in the morning and haunts me all day.
I think because the gaffe was sleep related (I got caught taking a cat nap and was fired from my job) I associate it with sleep, and now whenever I get the least bit drowsy, all the embarrassment and shame I felt about getting fired comes back to the surface.
This started a couple weeks ago when I wasn’t getting a lot of sleep because of the end of semester crunch. I had hoped it would go away once things returned to normal but it hasn’t.
Anybody have any advice on this matter?
I saw this posted on facebook. Its a parody of millenial work habits and is meant to be funny, but cuts a little close to home for me, especially the last regular office gig I had (which I wanted to quit as soon as I realized it wasn’t what I expected) and ultimately got fired from.
Although I think this stereotype is very true, down to the meaningless titles and emphasis on work life balance, I think the comedy misses the mark because the underlying reason millenials are difficult employees is because so many of us are overqualified and undervalued in our work situations…
I suppose thats where the sense of entitlement comes in ”I have a masters degree, waah waah wah, I should be making more than minimum wage, waah waah waah.” I get it, I just don’t find it funny.
So many moons ago I started writing a novel, well a series of novels about commercial real estate in Cleveland…http://thephantomtenant.tumblr.com/
Maybe Its just a personal bias because this stuff interests me, but it seems like real estate development is a major pastime in Cleveland. There is no shortage of material to draw from, practically every day there is a new story in the PD about some back room deal/political insider/entrenched special interest who is sticking it to the taxpayer in pursuit of some Quixotic ideal of what the city should be like.
Anyway, It seems like fertile ground for a mystery novel, and I had a couple good story ideas lined up (plot-wise), but because we aren’t talking about a traditional hard boiled detective, I had some trouble finding an adequate through line for the main character. Basically, I couldn’t explain what would motivate an independent broker to keep digging, bite the hand that feeds him, and put his career in jeopardy in search of the truth.
The answer came, from all places, on a Entertainment Tonight broadcast about Alec Baldwin’s alleged stalker. Their really wasn’t much in the way of news to report, so instead they described the characteristics of a obsessed person. Notably that they are lonely, feel wronged, and seek vindication. This was the key to unlocking my characters back story
These traits perfectly describe the character I had in mind (and myself, I’m ashamed to admit)… but more importantly it plays in perfectly to the power dynamics of Real Estate that I find so alluring. Its really about the abuse of power, of a small community of insiders who are toying with the lives and livelihoods of the many.
Despite his convictions, my hero isn’t really party to the shocking truth, but he suspects the worst. He is a deeply cynical man(Cleveland Incarnate) chiefly as a result of his inability to manage his own life. Thus as a coping mechanism he’s invented a conspiracy, a problem that is within his power to solve, and he projects his own insecurities onto the imaginary cabal of money grubbing jews who make the city their plaything.
Thus he’s an antihero, because even though he does good, he does it for the wrong reasons and ultimately the only way for him to get any satisfaction is to confront his personal demons, reconcile with his ex and find something productive to focus his energy on… thus a larger multi novel narrative which reflects the cities own long term struggles.
*** Post Script, having gone back and read those sample chapters I wrote two years ago; I realize what a shitty writer I am. Not to worry, I was just trying to establish plot points. Subsequent drafts will be less on the nose.
So I turned 30 last week… and as a present to myself I’ve spent the past few months building and outfitting a home gym. Its got all the bells and whistles. I’ve got a new bench, squat/press racks, a 5-50lb dumbbell rack, some plate mates, a 28mm bar, treadmill, pull up bar, padded floor, mirror, flat screen tv. I even bought some white towels and a bottle of sanitizer to complete the room.
You may have noticed over the past year I’ve made several similar posts showing off new gadgets, frying pans, cameras and the like so I think its important to spend some time discussing the rationale behind all these recent acquisitions so you don’t think I’m just showing off.
A long running theme on this blog has been my struggle to get ahead of the 8 ball. As a self employed, now thirty something, who still lives at home… I don’t have a lot to show for myself.
One of the root causes of this deficit is my adhd, which basically makes it hard for me to stay on task and thus difficult to work a regular 9-5. The best ways I’ve found to combat my organizational problems are basically to exercise regularly, and eat right (hence the weight room and the frying pans).
Now its important to point out that I had access to food and exercise without spending a few hundred dollars on stainless steel cookware, or a a shiny new barbell. The reason I went out and bought a bunch of stuff anyway is because environmental ques, aesthetics, perceived quality, a sense of ownership are often just as important to improving your state of mind as the actual act of cooking or exercising.
Beyond the dopamine kick that then comes with exercise, I also feel a small sense of achievement and validation everytime I walk in the room.
Living at home isn’t easy on the ego, I get a lot of snarky comments of the “oh you have it made” variety, and its true I am pretty lucky that my parents haven’t given up on me yet… but still its nice to walk into the nicest room in the house and know you bought everything in there. Its basically my way of paying rent, only instead of sending a check to a landlord every month, I am improving the value of my parents condo by upgrading their furnishings.
I am building equity, not just in my home, but more importantly in myself. All the money I spent on my weight room was money I had earned as an actor. I had been saving up for a SAG card, but I’m not a huge fan of Unions and I decided this was a better investment… Yes I can claim it as a tax write off, but the only way to see a dividend in terms of my health and physical appearance is to put in the time and energy which requires me to set a schedule and stick to it.
My hope is that once I have my daily routine down, I’ll start to see improvements in other aspects of my life. Basically I’ve spent the past year working on the fundamentals. Although In some regards I am still no better off than I was a year ago, as I move into my 30’s I finally feel like I’m getting control of my life and positioning myself for future success.
…See, I can write an upbeat post every once and a while.
I kid you not, I thought up this theory after seeing it as a joke on the forums. I can’t find the thread now, but it was about guessing the identity of Ashara’s baby daddy, and all the usual suspects were there. Brandon, Ned, Robert…pretty much every man at Harrenhal. Then someone tossed out a name as a joke, and the conversation pretty much skipped over it. But I think it bears further attention. The name?
This is the kind of insanely detailed, and yet completely plausible tinfoil theory that generates so much interest in ASOIAF. I don’t know if the speculation is a simply a function of bored fans waiting for the next book or the wait for the next book is a function of the level of plotting required by the author.
It seems about this time last year I wrote a post bitching about how I was fed up pimping myself for others for $10 an hour and I wanted to go off and do my own thing…
well I’ve spent the past year taking steps toward the goal of being self employed, and more importantly self sufficient… the only problem is I’ve bitten off a bit more than I can chew(as is always the case) and I’ve stalled out a bit.
The problem is I was unsure I’d have enough income to pay my bills each month so I took a part time job cleaning office buildings at night for minimum wage.
I was also feeling self conscious about being an unemployed bum and so I signed up to take a class at the local community college, and because I’m ADHD, I end up spending most of my week preparing for lab and trying to finish online homework assignments before they are due.
Meanwhile I’ve got a backlog of drafting assignments (several hundred dollars in potential work) that I haven’t been able to get to because I’m wasting my time mopping floors for $8 an hour.
In other words I’m regressing, I didn’t think it possible, but apparently I’ve good will hunted myself to the level of a high school drop out when I should be focused on building my consulting business, putting deals together and operating at the level of a highly skilled professional.
I can’t quit my class (retaking O-Chem), because I’ve got to much capital tied up and if I don’t do well, then I’ve basically blown my exit strategy. Nor do I want to quit my job because I’ve liquidated my savings and drafting work has been irregular lately; but I can’t afford to keep it either. Basically its sink or swim time.
Well it looks like I should have followed my gut a little sooner. I failed my O-chem Midterm today 36/60.
This should concern me, but honestly I knew I was unprepared so I kinda saw this coming, and unlike Ohio State where it was common to score a 82% on an exam and end up with a low C (if the class average was 85%) at Tri-C (the local community college) it is common practice to curve to the highest grade in the class, so if the high grade in my class (of 8 people) is a 42, I’m still in the C range.
In any case I’ve got a lot of catching up to do and I’m probably going to need that extra 15 hours a week.
I’ve begun a new ritual with my agent. Everytime I get called in to audition, I’ve made a point of telling him a story off the top of my head. Sometimes these are ad libbed, sometimes an old standby, sometimes true, sometimes embellished.
I figure its a good habit to get into because acting is basically storytelling and this kind of improv is a good warm up for a cold read. It also forces you to be more aware of your daily life, to take better notes about people and situations because I could get called in to audition at a moments notice and I always want to have a story ready to go.
Today I went back to work on a film that I have been working off and on over the past few years as an unpaid PA with the hope of gaining some experience and making some contacts in the film industry. How successful I’ve been remains to be seen because I have met a lot of good people but none of those relationships has yet led to paying work.
Our location was a mostly vacant downtown office building owned by one of the producers, who also has a small role in the film… A couple things bother me about this.
During principle photography the producer had a small role as a cop investigating the events of the main story, but as we are now in the third round of pickups, it seems each time we revisit the story the detectives arc has grown in importance to the overall narrative…A little suspect, but at least we know where the bread is buttered, no harm in shooting a little extra coverage and leaving it on the cutting room floor.
then today I meet the producers 20 something trophy wife (also a producer) who could be a miley cyrus clone but for the duckface lip enhancement, and she is accompanied on set by a toy dog as well as a personal assistant/security guard who looks like a personal trainer (built but not that tall)… now I’m really starting to wonder what this producer does for a living because its obvious he’s in a different tax bracket than the rest of us.
Next, as I am doing a lockup in the lobby, they send the regular security guard home from the night, meaning not only am I not getting paid, but the producer is saving money by not paying his regular guard to watch the store.
Then while I’m bored, I start to read the directory… I realize that apart from an CPA and a law firm, all of the tenants in the building are headquartered on the second floor…. the very floor we’re using so they are obviously shell companies
This in itself isn’t strange, By this point I know the guys a real estate investor and its common in the industry to set up a new llc for each property… but some of the businesses don’t fit…. there is a film production company, surely a side venture, but there is also some weird stuff like a motivational speaking company.
Now I get home and find out his “motivational speaking” company is one of these late night real estate investment seminars. His website talks about his rags to riches story and how he became a multimillionaire without any formal training in real estate and so can you!
Silly me, I actually took out loans and got a masters degree in planning and did a certificate (mini MBA) in real estate finance so I can get into development the right way. Apparently what I should have been doing is conning every person I know into handing over their life savings so I can go drop it all on the black jack table.