Monthly Archives: February 2009

Hope springs anew!

So I was hoping for these three jobs. I got turned down for two of them. The first I didn’t care, the second I was really bummed out about. The third I was starting to give up on. I sent in my application december 23rd, got a reply of we’ll be in touch if we need more info on january 5th, and now at the end of february figured that if they hadn’t interviewed me yet, they never would. But being silly and persistent, I called and asked at what point should I give up hope, and the lovely woman who answered the phone said that that position hadn’t even begun their interviews! Huzzah! They probably won’t for a couple weeks! I mean, I’d really like to know sooner than later, but hey! I’m still in the running! So, that was good to hear.

I went to see Coraline the other night with Tenaya and Alex and a few of their work friends. It was pretty cool. I want to read the book, apparently it’s much more creepy than the movie was, and of course they changed little bits. But I loved the 3d. And they gave real 3d glasses, not the  cardboard ones (though my ticket was 3 bucks more than usual- laame). Occasionally it was a little jerky, particularly for fast stuff with lots going on (the mice!) but i see that happen in other cartoon type things and imax, so it wasn’t a big deal. One complaint other people had was that the color was dulled down by the glasses. I didn’t mind, but then, I didn’t switch back and forth, and didn’t know that I was missing that. I bet they’ll correct for that soon enough. The story was good, though I have questions about things. The intro was great. All in all, a very good evening, replete with burritos and whoppers.

I’ve picked up bits of work here and there and am feeling decent about my survival prospects, so that’s good. I’m starting to feel itchy about tracking down more design work, so that’s good as well.

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Snippet!

So yesterday, the 23rd, was Snippet’s birthday. I do feel a little bad since I don’t know Pidgeon’s exact birthdate, and so didn’t really do anything, but I didn’t let that illusion of favoritism stop me from throwing a party for Snippet. Sort of. I made a cat cake (liverwurst and beef baby food and pounce treats and egg and flour, baked all together) and wrote her name in cheese across it. She liked it, the other cats didn’t. I invited Sterling (Ian’s giant old (really, she’s 20lbs and 12 years old) cat in to the living room, and we sang happy birthday and I cut and crumbled slices for them. Most of it is left, which is a shame, but it was fun to make, and Snippet liked it, so that’s good. After this I’m going to stick to just celebrating the day I got them. For that I’m thinking just upend a can of cat food, cover it in cheese, and put treats around the edge. I think they’ll all like that better.

These are my cats, by the way. I love them completely, and am so glad I got them.Cats

Snippet is bigger than that now, I just haven’t transfered more recent pictures from my phone yet. One of these days.

I dropped my taxes off today, which was fun. Sort of. I really like that I have an accountant, and I can just hand everything to him, all my w2’s and 1099’s and deductions and student loan interest, and multi-state returns, and he’ll make it all pretty and hand it back to me within a week. It’s pretty cool. And it’s in the Empire State Building, so I get to go there. Which is not that exciting since I don’t go to the top or anything, but still. I fully expect to get all my money back again this year. Oh the joys of being poor.

I’m trying to decide about something that may already be decided. There’s a conference every year in my general field that I’ve kind of wanted to go to for a while. It’s in cincinnati this year, in about 3 weeks. Along with all the new toys to look at and people to meet and pass out cards to and all, they also have an interview thing set up, where employers have jobs listed, and your resume gets passed around and you can interview and stuff. Which would be great. Except that it all costs 600, before travel and hotel and food. I have the money to swing it- just barely. But it’s only worth it, really, if I get a job from it. So, do I spend over 1,000 on the chance that I might get a job? Debating. I need to debate quickish. I can afford it, unless something happens like when I went to prague, Snippet gets sick again or something else financially draining. Except in this case, I’ll have already paid for it, and there will be no one to say ‘hey, I’ll pay you back when I can’ to. I think I am too nervous about the money to go, but I feel weird about passing up a networking and interviewing opportunity.  It’s hard to do.

Whoopsie daisy

The other day I was walking through Times Square and saw a surreal scene. Minny Mouse and the Tin Man were waving to people, taking pictures, and had a bit of a crowd around. I looked over across the street to see a panda standing there, watching, with no one around. He (it) turned and sigh dejectedly after a minute.

Today was rocky. I woke up to my roommate filming stuff in the living room. He had emailed Madeline about this, but not me. Fortunately she told me, so I wasn’t creeped out. She and I left around two to take stuff to Beacon’s Closet to sell and donate, and walked past the utter mess that they had rearranged the living room into, replete with smoking. I understand if your scene calls for it, but really. Open a window, turn on the fan, turn on the exhaust vent over the stove for in between takes. Something. They hadn’t done anything. Oh well. We dragged all the stuff out and onto the bus with us. I liked the bus a lot, actually. It let me see how brooklyn connects a little better. We dropped it off and were told to come back in a couple hours when they were done going through it all (not that it would take them two hours, of course, but they had other junk and all. Somehow I feel it necessary to explain this.) so we wandered down 5th avenue, and caught a couple more buses and ended up at Dizzy’s for lunch. It’s a little expensive, but they’re pretty great, and for amaretto pecan french toast, I will pay a little more. We also split a grilled vegetable wrap that was fantastic.

We got back to Beacon’s a little early and browsed. It turned out that they had barely taken anything. I ended up with about 5 bucks of store credit, and Madeline got 15. We donated everything else. I was a little surprised, there was a nice trenchcoat in there that fit in with their aesthetic, but no. Who knows. As madeline was in line to buy a couple skirts, I looked over at the coat rack, which turned out to be a great idea. When we dropped stuff off I noticed a coat I liked slung over another rack, and figured it must belong to someone who was trying on a sweater or something. But no! There it was! It’s beautiful. Black, soft, double breasted. I need to move the buttons over (turns out the previous owner was tiny, and so moved the buttons to make it tighter, I’m just going to move them back), but it was 30 bucks. It’s not quite as warm as my big grey one, but I like it a lot more. And winter is starting to let up anyway. SO that was exciting.

Then we found out that Ian sat on the kitchen table and broke it. Who sits in the middle of a table? Wrong question. But if you could see this table, and this kitchen, it would make sense. I don’t get it. But that meant he did his thing where he mixed up all the new and old mail again. And smashed my aloe cutting that I was going to transplant. And rearranged a cabinet, which is sort of good except that now things are harder reach, unless you want popcorn. There is a massive amount of popcorn there. He’s making me hate it. At least he’s learned how not to burn it to the pots anymore.

Oof. I was fine when I got home, but then I was so angry at him, and made myself exhausted. I’m still irritated. My friend with the rent controlled place will be legally able to sublet again within the year, and then I will have my own studio on the upper west side. I hope that works out. I like Madeline and Rob, but I know them now. So I can move out and we’ll still be friends and such. And then I don’t have to deal with idiots like Ian.

Trap-zes

What a good several days. I worked a lot for two of them. That part wasn’t so great, but the paycheck will be lovely. I believe it was 25 regular hours, 2 overtime, and 3 meal penalties, which are double time. So, 34 hours of pay. Nice. My next check from them should then be for 43 hours of work. Also nice. And it was nice to actually do a bunch of work for Fashion Week. It felt weird to not be busy constantly.

The one thing was that the second show was Issaak Mirzahi. What a jerk. Crazy guy, which generally is fun and stuff. But then, at noon, we ask his assistant if they have enough light backstage, and they say yeah, it looks fine. This is not true. So at 1 30 (the show is at 2) while they’re doing their rehearsal walk, we find out that we need to add lights back there, in the little alley where all the clothes racks are, and all the people. This sucks. As I’m running to bring a cable back there, Issaak himself yells at me about “You need to get light back there Right.This, Second.  This.Second.” Yeah, buddy, you’re making this go faster. There were 4 other people working on the project, and so I left. Apparently after that he yelled about “You people should be fucking ashamed of yourselves for doing this so late”. a) Not our fault, we asked, your assistant clearly knows shit. b) I understand you being frustrated, but we are just the labor. Do not yell at us. Yell at the production manager, or the lighting designer, or your assistant who fucked up. Whatever. He put handbags on peoples heads, so I feel no obligation to listen to anything he says.

But then it got good. John came over that night, we watched Star Trek and slept. He got to try out the new mattress, and approved. The cats got to see him again. They like him better, and had missed him a little. The next day, we went back to his house and made cheese. It was great. Mozzerella and ricotta. The mozzerella was good, but not quite the great that you expect from homemade stuff. We’ll get there. i had a lot of fun stretching it. We made stuffed shells, which were fantastic. The ricotta was great.

Then he made some ridiculous concotion involving chocolate ricotta (used chocolate milk to make it) mixed with this dough stuff, then fried, and rolled it powdered sugar. They’re kind of fantastic. I took some home.

The lame part was when I had to get up in the morning. I signed up for a trapeze class, so we couldn’t do the usual thing of sleeping all day and then driving into the city. I had to haul myself up at 10, which turned into noon(I know, the hardship. But we went to sleep after 2, and I was starting to be in recovery sleep mode) and go straight to the train.

Trapeze class was good. I went with Madeline, and had a lot of fun. A lot of bruises, too. And one rope burn. Good times. I’ve lost some skills, but I’m still decent, and learned a bit. Going to take a class with this other woman, and then kind of bounce back and forth and take as many as I can. I’m excited.

I seem to be attracting a decent bit of attention lately. I’m usually very dense about these things, but I’m getting more perceptive, and there are 3 guys within the past few weeks who seem to be interested. Only one of them would I consider, were I not already happily attached. It’s a little flattering, but one is annoying. Nice guy, but a little invasive. Almost creepy. Invited me to go skiing in a couple weeks. No way, buddy. He’s given me some good tips about finding work, and he’s fun to talk to for short periods of time, but I really don’t like this talking to me often thing. And I don’t know how to get out of it, other than blocking him online. I also feel almost as if I’m using him for his work info, since I have no interest in him, and he’s mostly giving it because he’s interested in me. Awkward. I dunno. I mention John a lot. I’ll figure something out eventually. In the meantime, time for bed.

I hear in my mind all of these words

The show was weird. It went very well, I was proud of my followspot skills. But it was very odd to be back in the armory without having done all of the set up. And it was weird how small it was. I could have stayed longer for the strike, but there were too many people, and I felt awkward. I didn’t know a lot of them, and had no idea what all was going on. I also found out why my company lost that show, and it’s a really stupid reason. Basically, someone was too pissy and decided he didn’t need this. Instead of passing it along to the other people who work under him and who do most of the work on this show anyway, he just tossed the whole thing.  Which means he may have also tossed that production company, which means tossing a whole lot of other contracts. No good. Looks like I may not be working for them anymore. We’ll see.

I’m really bad at keeping secrets from John, and he’s really good at guessing. I told him that though he’s busy this week with school, he should spend the night sometime soon, I had a surprise for him. He tried to guess a bunch of things, and then I opened my big mouth and said something about how it was something he would definitely like, that would make him want to  to stay over in more general. It took about 4 seconds for him to say “You got a new mattress?”. Yep. When I moved here, I had no bed. Luckily enough, a designer friend of mine was getting rid of a futon and frame. Huzzah. Right place, right time and all. And I was mostly fine with it, though I did get a foam topper to make it a little better. John just about cried every time he stayed over, it was so bad. I’m not sure why it was so much worse for him than for me. Then when Rob moved in, he brought two mattresses with him, and Madeline’s futon became redundant. So, I got to trade up. Last night was the first time I slept on it, and aside from the zombie dreams, it was pretty good.

Speaking of zombie dreams, this is the second time I’ve had this one, and it’s starting to seem a little like a video game. I knew what was coming, and so did things a little different, which turned out a little worse. I still won. And woke up before I could do more, which was good. Zombies worry me.

I’ve started listening to music more. It started, sort of, with the Fidelity video against Prop 8 that’s been circulating. I’ll try to figure out how to add video and stuff in here.   But I liked the song. And remembered that Regina Spektor did this other song that I sort of like. And so I looked her up, and listened to more, and that led to this girl who does really nice covers of her and other people, and some of her own writing. Then I went through and started rearranging and cleanning up the titles in my itunes. I like music, but I’m nowhere near as connected with it as most other people I know, so I didn’t really miss not listening to much for several months. It’s nice to be back, though.

Would ride all day in your pocket

So things are looking up a bit. I got hired back on as a follow spot op for mark jobabs. It’s only about 10 hours total, I think, and it’s just for the show, not for any actual work of loadin or strike or anything, but- it means that that company has now hired me. Which means that I will be in their files which means they may call me again. Foot in door. So that’s good.

I went and interviewed for this lighting design position two days ago, the 13th. It would be an interesting project, and something to put on my resume. The thing is, it goes into tech on friday. The 20th. So, he really needed to pick someone quick, and while he said that yesterday was when he would call, he didn’t. At this point, I’m not sure I can do it anymore, time wise. I’m working this evening, tomorrow evening, thursday afternoon and evening. I have some free time, but for designing a rep plot for 27 shorts? I guess it wouldn’t be that hard, though I think I’d be the one who had to hang and focus it. Which I should have asked about. I think I didn’t get it, actually. BUt you never know. But he’s cutting it awfully close, and if I get offers for work in between, if I haven’t heard from him, I’m going to take it. Frustrating. Also, I want to go skiing on friday. Basically, I need this design stuff, and want to do it, but if I don’t, there are a lot of other things that that opens up, so I won’t really be dissapointed.

Yesterday was good. I had work at 6am, which was a little rough. I got up at 4 30 and had none of my usual lying in bed a few more minutes time. But it was good to see everyone that I work with again, and hear about how they’re patchign together some kind of schedule for the week. One girl got all her days back, though not her hours. Rough times. I’m excited for when the economy picks back up.

I came home and took a shower and bath and admired my knee bruises. I rather like bruises. They make it look like I did work. Sore muscles and tiredness are good too, but you can’t really show them to other people. Show them a bruise, and it shows your dedication. In a way. I don’t know. I had a great one that was all purplegreen, but after the bath and resting a bit, it calmed down to dark pink. Oh well.

Visited John for dinner, which was really nice. His dad got me a heart shapped box of chocolates. They’re all gone now (there were only 8 pieces, so it wasn’t total gluttony). Side note- his parents really like me. His dad always has, for some reason. His mom is much qieter about it, but then I hear things about how she spent several hours looking for jobs for me online. Wow. I feel kind of abashed. In any case, dinner was good. We went to the thai place. There were a bunch of generally loud and annoying people there, but we still had a good time. They have been making their drinks much stronger lately. I had a lychee martini and was pretty well done for with that. But then John got a chocolate martini and had us split it. i was kind of resistant, being done with drinking for the evening, and they’re not my favorite. But it grew on me,  and then on the train home I realized that that was probably his concession to it being valentine’s day. He hates the idea, and refuses to take part in it, so I probably should have been more appreciative of that gesture. Who knows. I had a good night anyway, as did he. The bad part about visiting him at work is that I can’t take him home with me afterwards. That would have been nice.

On the train to visit him, the girl behind me was wearing some kind of lotion or perfume or something that was so strong my eyes watered and I had to move. I wish I was able to sneeze on command, so I could have sneezed a bunch and then moved, to get the point across. She noticed when I moved, but probably had no idea why. I have no idea how to tell people stuff like “holy shit that’s way too strong. Anyone within 5 feet of you is going to cry” without them getting offded and yelling at me. If I were able to sneeze, then the point would be gotten across, and she would maybe be embarrassed, and get the idea. Who knows. I’m weird.

My mom put money in my account for valentines day. It’s specifically for me to treat myself with, and I intend to do that. I’m thinking about going to see a movie before work today or tomorrow. Something rather trashy that I would never spend my own money on would be great. Also, I’m thinking wednesday ice skating and taking John out to lunch. That was really nice of her to do, and better than physical stuff.

So all in all, which I am not getting my huge windfall of a paycheck after fashion, I’m doing okay, I think.

I hate when this happens

So, I worked for an architect last spring and into the summer a bit. He was a good guy, funny and a little awkward. I liked him, and the work was interesting, hours were flexible, and it paid well. All around, kind of a great job. One day he took me aside, which always makes me think I’m going to be scolded, but instead told me that he had multiple myeloma, which is bone cancer. He was doing well generally, but had a bone marrow transplant scheduled in a couple months, and so would be in the hospital. I was pretty relieved not to be in trouble, and he was doing well, and the transplant looked like it would go great. He had recovered quickly from whatever they had done before, and so he was very optimistic. He went into the hospital a few weeks before, to get prepped and have them kill off all his bone marrow (which sounds horrible. I can’t imagine) and I sort of headed the project, which was a little overwhelming, since it was drawing everything for building a house. He was good at first, but then the medication started knocking him out more and more, and I had to leave off work, because there were design decisions that he needed to make, and I couldn’t really proceed without him, or at least, without his guidance. I told him and his wife that I would be going to Camp in not too lang, and would be back at the end of august. They both said that sounds great, go have fun, he should be good by then, we may even go on vacation around then.

When i got back to new York, I was a little desperate for work, and called him and left a message. I didn’t hear back, but I figured he was still on vacation, and then I picked up other work and forgot. Every now and then, I would think hey, I should call him, but never did. I think you all know where this story is going. I sent him an email a couple days ago, to say hey, how are you, and are you sending me a 1099 or anything like that. His wife wrote back to me tonight. He died in august, after 11 weeks in the hospital and complications with the transplant. I’m still crying. I mean, I sort of knew. I sort of figured. But it was really easy to just say oh, well, he didn’t need you anymore, must be busy, whatever. I even made little jokes about how I should call and findo ut if he was still alive. But now I know, and I can’t be ignorantly hopeful anymore. He was such a good guy, and hired me based on my drafting, and trusted me with drawings. He was quirky, and a great designer, and I miss him. I already missed working for him, but I got to pretend that that was still a sort of remote possibility for a while. Now it’s not.

I haven’t cried for that many people who I’ve know and who died. I can only think of 3 at the moment, including him. I think it’s that feeling of the rug pulled out from under your feet. His wife is great. The one time I talked to her she was really nice, brusque and funny. Her reply to me tonight sounded like her, but also tired and drained. I can’t imagine. Godamnit. That’s a little of why I didn’t call or email before. I didn’t want to know. I feel a little guilty for not knowing for so long.

In other news, I got a design job, I think. But they want me to bring my portfolio in tomorrow. So I’ve been scrambling to get stuff for that. I’m glad I was up and got her email tonight, and not tomorrow. It’s easier to deal with things when you can go to sleep and have that delay in processing, a bit.

In any case. Michael, I miss you. You were a fun guy to work for, I liked how your glasses fit you. I really wish I’d gotten to know you for longer.

Back up again

Well. It’s not all terrible. Rather, I got all depressed about work, and now I’m back up a bit. And applying for junk. I’m trying to find a job now. Not work, but a job. I also applied for a sleep study, but I guess I’m not quite enough of an insomniac for that. Oh well.

Tomorrow should be good, at any rate. I think I got John to agree to come walk in the park and then go ice skating, and then go to this restaurant place that’s supposed to be good. And pretty cheap, so good all around. I had a lot of fun skaing the other day, even with the foot pain. I taught myself to skate backwards, though I’m still pretty slow and have to think about it a lot.

The rope class was great. I got a bit of a burn under one arm, but that goes with the territory. The teacher was really good, and relaxed. It was nice to not warm up. I know warming up is necessary and all, but it’s an adult class, it’s only an hour long, and we all know what we each need stretching wise. So you show up a little early and do that on your own. Also we weren’t doing anything really stretchy or anything, it was all strength stuff. I learned a really cool new climb that I want to teach at camp. It’s the kind of thing where if that’s all the kid does in the show, it will still look really cool and impressive.

Last night I was at John’s, and he was too tired to drive me home so I stayed. But I couldn’t sleep for a while, and while I was lying there (incredibly sore from rope and skating) I had an idea. A potentially brilliant idea- to teach a trapeze class for kids here. I just need a bar. I know where to rent space, I can advertise fairly cheaply all over. There are some flying trapeze classes, and one that combines heavily with acro stuff, but no static ones, and no rope classes, really. So, it’s an idea. I’ll keep you updated. But I could definitely do it, and it would be fun. I know how to teach kids, I could charge a pretty reasonable rate, and still make a good amount every week. Not enough to live on, but enough to cover rent itself, easily. Excitement.

Ice!

Whee. It’s been a physical few days. The last two days I was working as a rigger at the tents at Bryant Park. It was fun and mindless, and there was a lot of standing around. But then I did have stuff to do, it was all lifting heavy stuff, or holding heavy stuff in place, or cranking down on bolts. Lots of bolts. It was nice to get some extra time on fashion week. I lost a lot of hour because the mark jocabs show was cut back. He said he’d rather scale down his show and cancel the after party than fire any of his people. I appreciate that. But it still sucks. Because I lost hours, I lost a lot of overtime, and so this year it looks like I’ll make about half of what I usually make pretax. Which sucks a lot. I always sort of count on the money, and it’s a little painful that it won’t be there. So it was great to get an extra couple days, even if they were shorter days than normal (about 8 hours each)

*** As I wrote that, i got a call! My company is not doing that show at all anymore! I now only have 14 hours of work in the next week or so! Awesome!***

Well. Anyway. Then today I went to a rope class this morning that was fun and circus-y and I learned some stuff, though I still think trapeze is way better, for me anyway.

Then I went ice skating in Prospect Park,w hich was a lot of fun, and I can now skate backwards, and the park is really pretty.

But now I have to deal with this and find more work, hopefully. What lameness.

Well.

So no summer dance festival for me. I’m not terribly dissapointed yet, but I’m sure I will be once I fully wake up. I’m not that surprised. I was qualified, but barely, and really they wanted someone with a bit more experience. Yeah. I’m dissapointed. But, They asked if i wanted them to forward my information, so that’s good. They never even called me. Why didn’t they even talk to me?

I haven’t been working much and so I’ve been sleeping a lot. Well. i guess I haven’t, it’s just that I stay up really late, so most of my sleeping happens during day time. The depression is starting to creep back in.

I hung out with Naya and Alex last night, which was good. We got burritos that werre actually pretty good. And we watched the very first episode of the original Star Trek. Boy oh boy. William Shatner is young and unrecognizable. At least to me. It was pretty decent, and easy to see how when it started it must have been considered fantastic. We also looked through all the Prague pictures, since they hadn’t seen them yet. We hooked up the computer to their giant tv, and the pictures held up to being blown up that big, so that’s good. All in all, a good time.

I need to clean my room a bit and figure out what to do with the rest of my life, as they say. But first I think I’ll finish watching Project Runway online. My favorites have made it through, so it’s interesting and tense. And much better than real life at the moment.