In Solitary

Because this picture is funnier than some stock image or ClipArt of a guy in solitary confinement, that's why.

Sunday’s update may have given you a somewhat warped perspective of the life I lead here in Los Angeles. Yes, someone who read that update and only that update would assume that my fast paced Hollywood (rather, Culver City) lifestyle consists entirely of going to clubs, becoming nervous, being Finned* out of a lot of money for crappy booze, and then getting lost trying to walk home. Alas, the reality is not nearly that glamorous.

*Apparently, saying ‘I was gypped out of a lot of money’ is racist against gypsies. This has been brought to my attention repeatedly by various white, politically correct non-gypsies in my life. Anyway, I don’t want to offend any gypsies on the off chance that I ever meet one, so henceforth the word ‘gypped’ in my vocabulary will be replaced with ‘Finned’, which I, as a half Finnish person, am comfortable with. (Nobody else say it, though. It’s kind of ‘our word.’)

No, most of my days here in beautiful Southern California are dominated entirely by me sitting in front of my computer, sending emails to people who will, in all likelihood, not respond to me. Sometimes I take a break and eat some peanut butter, but I tend to hurry back – after all, I can’t not get responses if I’m not constantly sending out emails, right?

The bulk of this is thanks to my job hunt. Every day, I check a website called, where production companies post available jobs and internships and invite interested applicants to email them a resume and a cover letter.

So that’s exactly what I do – I work my way down the list of available jobs, identify the ones I think I might be interested in, and dash off a quick email with my cover letter and resume. Sending a cover letter and resume to a potential employer is a lot like falling in love: As you click ‘send’, your heart swells as you imagine the bright future you and this job might have together, until it’s two weeks later and you haven’t heard anything back, so you tell yourself that the job was probably a lesbian to preserve your self esteem and move on to the next one.

This is what my days are like. I wake up, apply for a bunch of jobs, get lonely and angry, watch an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 to center myself, and then get back on that horse in hopes that it’ll crap out a job or an internship somewhere along the way.

The Internet has made the job search so much more convenient – I’ve applied to around 30 jobs and internships in the past five days, and I don’t mind telling you that I did most of that lying in bed in my underwear without having showered.* For all that convenience, though, it’s also sort of lowered my quality of life.

*I’m in your head, ladies.

I live in Los Angeles, for God’s sake – or Culver City if you’re a stickler, but chances are I live closer to Los Angeles than most of my readers, so I’ll take some creative license here – and I’m spending my days shut up in my room in front of my computer? What is this, the previous 21 years, seven months, and three weeks of my life? Sure, it’s great that I don’t have to go out and knock on doors to get my resume out in the world, but on the other hand it’d be nice to get out and see some of the town.

Yes, I know – I could very easily go out and see the sights once I’ve sent out my applications for the day. The problem is that I’m living on a cushion of saved up (and inherited!) cash until I get a paying job, and virtually all the positions I’ve applied for are unpaid internships which, ideally, will lead to jobs in a few months. Point is, my cash flow probably won’t be positive for some time, which means that unless I find a way to start shitting $20 bills (and believe me, I’m trying really hard), I shouldn’t be spending money on anything short of rent and the occasional ten pound sack of white rice. That automatically disqualifies the sights that cost money, and also the sights that would require me to drive my car, which burns costly gasoline (another substance I wish that I could produce with my body but, so far, cannot).

So for entertainment, this leaves me with whatever is in biking distance of Culver City – which is not much, aside from Venice Beach, a location I won’t say anything more about right now because it’s very much deserving of its own blog update. There isn’t necessarily a lot going on in Culver City at 2:30 PM on a Wednesday unless you want to visit a Spanish language video store, either of our gun shops, or the local mosque.

There are a couple of parks within walking distance, though, which I make a point of going to once I’ve been inside for most of the day. My roommates work, you see, and when they come home from a hard day at work and ask what you did that day it’s very humiliating to look them in the eye and say that the closest you got to going outside was looking out the kitchen window while eating a piece of bread with some Western Family peanut butter on it.

So that’s my Hollywood life so far – wake up early, send some emails, eat peanut butter, send more emails, and then force myself to go to the park, where inevitably the only free bench is the one closest to the playground. So there I sit, alone, on a park bench facing the children, wearing Ray Bans, eyes glued to my copy of Dune out of fear that if I look up for even a second I’ll wind up having a very awkward conversation with the LAPD.

Truman Capps glossed over the fact that he’s actually got a couple of interviews coming up because it’s way funnier when he’s miserable, wouldn’t you agree?