Thursday, December 31, 2009

So long, farewell, auf wiedersehn, goodnight 2009

Between breakups, breakdowns, old jobs, new jobs, road trips, broken bones, broken hearts, meditations, revelations, friends gained, friends lost, new babies and more, 2009 might have been the most eventful one of my life. I can't say I'm sorry to see it go, but I do think I'll look back on this one as a watershed year, and I think that as painful as it was, I learned lessons and took steps that will make me stronger and happier than ever.

Here's to 2010 - may it be happy, healthy, and prosperous for everyone.

Posted via web from Jane Donuts is Starting Over

Friday, December 11, 2009

Decisions, decisions and the frittering away of time

Things I've done while procrastinating writing this post:

  • Read a blog post by David Byrne on the ramifications of digitization and computer networking (interesting and scary)
  • Tried to find online evidence of David Byrne's sexuality (indeterminate, as far as I can tell)
  • Listened to the Police song "Miss Gradenko", which was in my head when I woke up this morning (decent little song that I haven't heard or thought of in 20 years or so)
  • Read the NY Times review for "Up in the Air", which I saw at the Arclight this afternoon (I give it a B+/A-)
  • Read a bunch of crap on Twitter, including a story about penniless brothers who were living in a cave in Hungary and who have just inherited a billion dollars from their long lost granddaughter (!!!)
  • Listened to Ode to Joy (uplifting)
  • Read a bunch of "best of 2009" music roundups (a colossal waste of time once you've read a few, as the indie music media/blogosphere is mostly a big echo chamber)
  • Sought out the MySpace page of local LA band Warpaint, based on recommendation from aforementioned lists (decent)

All told today, I've probably spent five hours meandering aimlessly online, and, truth be told, that is probably less time than usual. It's the result of a combination of a surfeit of time, chronic laziness and plain old fear. Time because I'm not working right now. Laziness because I'm not being disciplined about the use of my time - because I have so much of it, I squander it, whereas if it were more limited, I would probably be more efficient and not, say, spend hours reading blogs that give advice to writers (ha.) Fear because, let's face it, I'm terrified of this whole business of being a writer.

I have known that writing is a calling for me since I was pretty young - probably since second grade, when I "published" my first story, a mystery revolving around an international jewel thief. (My aunt, a lawyer, had her secretary type it up and bind copies for my family.) In the years since, I've stumbled in and out of writing - I've taken classes in creative writing, screenwriting, memoir and "writing from a spiritual perspective"; I've had at least four blogs that have never really taken off; I've written freelance articles for a few publications here and there; and I've entered (and lost) short story writing contests. But I've never been able to commit to a regular writing practice, and that is my biggest struggle of all.

And now here I am, having completely burned out on my career in public relations (which is a story in its own right, but for another time,) and feeling like the only thing I'm sure of is that I want to focus on the craft of writing. Great, right? Right. But then there's the problem of making a living. And here's where it gets tricky. I know for a fact that I need a full time job so that I stay out among the living and so that my time is structured, so this is no lament that I don't want to work. Rather, my dilemma is deciding exactly how - do I try to get paid to write in some way? Or do I go for a job that pays the bills, is not too mentally taxing, and allows me to write whatever I want in my free time?

More to come.

Posted via web from Jane Donuts is Starting Over

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Job posting of the day

Check out this website I found at

"taking care of udders"???

Must be the weed.

Posted via web from Jane Donuts is Starting Over

Wine is not vegan, for fuck's sake. What, you didn't know that?

So, I've been volunteering at a literacy organization in Echo Park, and they regularly host drop in drinking nights, during which they invite volunteers to meet up for drinks at a bar of interest. Since this week's bar was just down the road and since I would have otherwise spent the night watching Pride and Prejudice for the 47th time, I decided to check it out.

I knew within two minutes of walking in that I was doomed. First of all, most of the attendees were in their early 20s, which would have been fine, but they were also the kind of socially awkward, aspiring hipster twenty-somethings that used to wreak havoc on my self-esteem, and hence my social life. I immediately had a (very unpleasant) flashback to being 22 and having a vague sense that something I was wearing was hopelessly uncool in ways I could never even imagine. What's funny is that I have spent the last ten years living in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and LA, epicenters of hipster attitude, and I have long since learned how to not let it bother me. It is, after all, a manifestation of profound insecurity on the part of the perpetrator, and over the years I've found it's easiest to deal with it by keeping in mind the fact that deep down these people are absolutely terrified that someone will discover that 311 was their favorite band until well into college.

But man, there is something about these early 20s hipsters that still kills me. They're especially vicious -- it's as though they're testing out how badly they can behave without making other hipsters think they're total assholes. (That can be pretty bad.) And although, to be fair, there were only a couple of these types present tonight, they were enough to make the whole affair insufferable. The general disinterest each person displayed during introductions was annoying, but things didn't get really bad until the table talk turned to beers. One girl mentions that not all beer is vegan - did we know that? Fortunately we were at a German bar, however, and they had centuries old quality standards to ensure that our brews would remain untainted by animal products of any kind. Nods around the table. So I'll drink beer, this same girl continues, but not wine. Wine is not vegan, because some winemakers use a filter during processing that is made out of fish parts. It's very sad.

Mind you, this was all stated in the most supercilious way possible, and accompanied by looks around the table to make sure that we were all aware of this unfortunate fact. If I had had a taser available to me at this point, I would have straight tased this bitch. WINE IS NOT VEGAN! You pretentious loser! You pompous, humorless dreg of humanity! Oh, to think of all the fish that have suffered for all the wine we humans have been consuming for the past several millennia. So heartless, so tragic.

And in this way, I was undone. No, I didn't laugh and ask her to repeat herself to make sure I heard it correctly. No, I didn't look down my nose at her and make a snide remark about how I felt sorry for her and all that she was missing. Instead, I went into a fugue state for a full five minutes. The world went black. I had a vague sense that I should say something to make it clear that I was not complicit in this nonsense, but the enormity of the reality that some people actually hold this view stunned me silly. Stupefied me. I'm still processing it.

As soon as I recovered my senses, I laid down a ten and fled the scene. And thus ended this week's (and possibly this entire month's) attempt at networking with like-minded people. I got home, poured a glass of cab and set about hoping 2010 would bring more wine and less assholes.