Poignant Panorama

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Location: Fort Collins, Colorado, United States

I have faith and passion in humanity. The world needs a change, I am here to see that happen.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Me Posted by Hello

Parking Tickets and Parasites

I am bitter for sure. I guess I am not used to big city living. My wife and I have paid over 700$ in parking / moving violations in one year here in LA. Are they our fault? I guess. There are signs on either side of our street that tell us that on certain days, 2 hours out of the week, they will ticket for parking due to street cleaning.
My wife and I went on a peaceful walk this morning with our dog. I surprised her by taking her to Griffith Park so we wouldn't have the same view we always do (cars and buildings). We had a lovely time and even saw two roosters. I parked on the street because I knew I had to go to work in 2 hours and the car would be closer. Well, It didn't even cross my mind that I could not park there. Yes the sign is there and I guess it is clearly marked, but I didn't even really know it was Thursday, I hadn't thought about it. That five second lapse of concentration cost me 45 bucks, no questions asked. Take it. What's worse is that I parked there around 9 and got my ticket just about that time, as if parking enforcement was lurking there, just waiting for me to go inside and then run over and cite me.
For 166 other hours a week, I can park there and that becomes habitual. For that reason, I really do believe that those signs are not really that helpful. I think that technology is readily available and cheap. And a reasonable solution would be for the 2 hours that you can't park there a week, at the top of the sign, would be a timer and strobe, thusly shattering my habit and reminding me that the street cleaner is coming (although I've never ever seen it). That 45 bucks cost me my entire days wages. I simply cannot afford that 5 second lapse. I may be bitter, but these types of citations are geared for the poor. Rich people have garages, valet parking, and drivers. Even if they did get a ticket, what's 45 bucks? Nothing to them. But for the rest of us, 45 bucks is groceries or a bill to be paid.
Who are meter maids anyway? People like me who earn tips or minimum wage? Why would anyone do that job? It is like getting paid to tattle. I feel the same about the people who do that secret shopper crap. If that program really helped the employees, I would be all for it, but managers break sweat on their greasy foreheads, paranoid that a secret shopper will give them a bad score; then take it out on the wayward automaton. And there is no room for any other score than 100%. What kind of a parasite would take that job? Not me. I'd rather be a night manager at Taco Bell.

I really do love that blogs exist. I can express my feelings on this situation for all the world to see and people can respond in kind. I feel a little less bad about getting 45 dollars ripped out of my pocket book because I wasn't thinking what day it was.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Under the heel and contrast

My acting "career" is more stagnant than a pond infested with mosquitoes. It is probably my fault; not foraging every opportunity to take acting class or send agencies a post card with all my vitals on it or calling my manager everyday to beg for auditions. Now is officially "pilot season." Hollywood is buzzing with entertainment lawyers battling out peoples' careers, PA's flooding The Coffee Bean to get lattes, just right, for their superiors, agents scrambling around trying to get their souls their shot (so they can then gorge themselves on their client's blood sweat and tears), and the 405 and 101 Freeways jammed even more than usual. People like me, without my SAG (Screen Actor's Guild) card and/or bonafied credits (in film or TV) get pushed to the back burner while other, more profitable/ likely prospects get to audition for all the season's new TV show ideas.
As I was pursuing my career in acting (AKA working as a server in a restaurant) the other day I met with a nice older couple who asked me politely for more bread (and butter, refills, dressing -more of anything that is free to refill) and in talking to them, they had a son who was an editor at a post production facility. Knowing full well that 99.9% of conversations in Hollywood like this are total BS, I entertained them because my wife's dreams and my own depend on that .1% that are not. They got to like me and I neglected a few of my tables to talk to them and the time came for them to leave. The asked me for my information so that we could stay in touch. Not being the savvy Hollywood type, I do not have business cards or my acting on mini CD's or anything I wrote my information down on their receipt. Most people stuff them into their purses or wallets to find them later. Then they might remember and give us a call (riiight). After we exchanged pleasantries, I went back to un-neglect my other tables and they went their merry way. As I gathered up the ticket presenter in order to take payment, I looked inside and there was my information along with the receipt and my tip. I chuckled to myself, took payment and thought huh, at least they left more than 20%, I got mine.

In contrast...

My wife and some new friends (both really pretty women - my wife hates them :)) went out to dinner at a place where your servers sing and dance as entertainment. We like to take our friends from out of town there, but we took our friend Stefani there because she is a budding singer. Stefani has only been in LA for 5 months and we see in her the same sparkle that we had coming here(as if we've even been here a year, LMAO); only she is younger and much more talented that we are. She still thinks extra work could be "fun" and Hollywood is full of producers who want to give her a record deal. Honestly, you have to have that idea and keep it or it will for sure never happen. Stefani is really a good singer, I have her CD in my car. Unfortunately, every other singer here is also really good. Anyway, as we were enjoying dinner, we told our server that Stefani wanted to sing duet with hi. He seemed actually delighted that she'd have the guts to do it. They selected music and there she went, singing in front of the entire busy place. WOW! Not only was she an excellent singer, she did it on the fly and she didn't just sing, she really performed. I was so impressed when she came back to the table. Apparently our server was too. He asked her to do a solo and audition to be a server there. As it turns out, our server will be the person she will be auditioning for...Serendipity baby!
This may not get her a record deal, but the small successes are just enough to keep one holding onto their dreams. Just enough to dodge out from under the heel of...


Friday, March 25, 2005


Do you ever feel like you are going nuts because no one seems to understand what you are saying? I do. Good thing that my wife truly understands me, or I'd be screwed. I have spent the last few days arguing with friends and family over various political, religious and philosophical issues yet I still feel like they have no idea what I really said. Maybe I need to be more clear.

I am what I consider to be a "weak atheist." Here is a good synopsis of that...

A person whose worldview embraces Atheism [noun] [OW]. The natural condition of all humans at birth and prior to indoctrination in or self-invention of Theism. Atheists claim there is no proof for God[s]. "Strong" Atheists claim God does not exist. "Weak" Atheists do not deny the possibility of God[s], or that proof might eventually be discovered. Atheist and atheist are Fundie synonyms of Atheist [SD]. The word Atheism [CE] derives from the Greek atheos, a = without, theos = God.

I am neither "anti-religion" (although sometimes, I admit, I do feel a bias...I am human). Nor am I a nihilist,

a viewpoint that traditional values and beliefs are unfounded and that existence is senseless and useless b : a doctrine that denies any objective ground of truth and especially of moral truths.

The US Constitution is my "bible" and I would like to get to know it much better. I still think it is the best document to date that allows humanity the potential to become all it can. I also do not claim that science has all the answers, but I am glad that science puts its best foot forward, tests and puts theories out there using deductive (deduction - the deriving of a conclusion by reasoning; specifically : inference in which the conclusion about particulars follows necessarily from general or universal premises ) reasoning instead of inductive (induction- inference of a generalized conclusion from particular instances ) reasoning.

I have no other choice other than to put my "faith" in humanity. All that I reasonably believe that I can affect is here on earth. I refuse t believe that where we are in the 21st century is the pinnacle of what humanity is capable. Mutually Assured Destruction, corporation and selfishness are the highlights of this century. NO. Humanity is capable of great things and I intend to help that process along. I don't need religion to do it. *Gasp* I have values without it.

Life may be so much simpler if I just acquiesce to "God" and moved on, but I can't without proof. If a person makes an extraordinary claim , it is his/her burden to provide extraordinary proof, not my duty to disprove them. Until then, I do not worship, I do not concern myself with "God." Much as I do not concern myself with the beginning of the universe. For one, it is too sublime. For all I know there was no beginning. Interesting to say the least.

Too much Info, too little responses...


Sunday, March 20, 2005

Terri Schiavo

Painful. I am so absolutely tired of the 'value voters' sticking their noses in everyone elses buisness. This poor woman is being used by religious fanatics on the right as a puppet for their lame agenda. "What is thier lame agenda?" You may ask. The right is priming the public for judicial nominations to the supreme court. That's why the newest assaults have all been on the 'judicial activist' courts.
Tom Daschle was not removed in South Dakota because he was the senate minority leader. The right wingers would have never spent millions in that state unless there was something in it for them. Tom Daschle was seen as "the chief obstructionist to the supreme court nominations." The public is up in arms about renegade liberal judges making defacto law. Judges usurping power fo the people to give inaliable rights to those who deserve it. How dare they! Out of the 214 nominations, the liberals have only blocked 10, yet they act like the nomination process has shut down. Now the conservs are trying to pass law making the appointment process easier, claiming that it is not a partisan measure. Funny. Why did they not propose this legislation when Clinton was in office?
With Bush's power nearly complete (he removed Powell, his only dissenter, then cleaned out the State Department and placed 'yes men' in) he has but the court to cement absolute power. This scares me. Our system is based on checks and balances and when those break down, our system can fail. Without diussenting opinion and compromise there is no democracy, republic or any neato form of government we claim to have.
Interesting that no one in Congress has the balls to make the right legislation about this poor woman. Euthanization should be legal, in fact it is merciful. Terri Schiavo should have her conscious wishes met and she should be allowed lethal injection, not to starve to death while republicans use her to steamroll their agendas.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Life in the Dreamcrusher

This is my first posting in the blogosphere. I admit, I really don't know much about it, but as information flows so freely, by the end of today I will be a SME (Subject Matter Expert). I've been living with my wife in Hollywood now for going on nine months. It has not caught me off guard, but that does not make anything easier. I have never ever felt more worthless, poor and unimportant as I have here. Hollywood moves like atoms in extreme heat, chaotic and rapid and in a million directions. I know trying to become an actor is a longshot, but my wife and I agreed that we would just buy all of our perverbial lotto tickets all at once instead of spreading them a dollar at a time over the course of our lives. I know I am a performer and so far I have performed less in Hollywood than I have any other place I have lived or worked, including my time in the army.

I feel equally guilty that i have subjected my wife (Lesli) to this place. She is an idealist with the best expectations out of humanity. She attended film school and is a quite creative, intelligent and competent editor. We have a 'contact' out here who edits in the big leauges and still, she has edited nothing except our finances. Worse yet, she got a 'temp' job (it is a permenant job that offers no benefits) working on the even uglier underbelly of this industry; the dirty world of entertainment law. Real time communication and constant availability speeds work beyond the scope of any who let it and her boss is in overdrive most of the day, briefly stopping only to complain that her latest piece of computer hardware simply 'isn't working.'

I've spent over 500$, to date on parking/moving violations here and I am a good driver. I have insurance (which literally tripled when when we moved here from Colorado [an expensive state] *after* we raised our deductables higher than we could ever pay) and normally obey the law. I would like to petition right now that moving violations should affect people perportionally to their wage. The 350$ 'run the red light photo' cost me about 2% of my yearly earnings, I think it should do the same thing to Bill Gates if he ran a red light. Man roads would be great then.

More rants as they evolve. More info as it happens. Hello blogosphere.