Thursday, September 28, 2006

Very superstitious

We're superstitious. Maybe not VERY superstitious, but still. We knock on wood or touch wood after talking about something bad happening. Or something good happening too. Lily made me a bracelet with wood beads, which she reaches over and taps from time to time for no apparent reason. Now if I forget to wear my bracelet I get the feeling that I'm gonna die that day. Great. Thanks for the cool wood bracelet, Lily.

Our last apartment was #7. Good number. Lucky number 7. Now we live in apartment #4, and we don't feel very good about that. Number 4 means "death" in some eastern languages. That's why there was never a D4 tape machine. Went from D1 to D2 to D3 to D5. No D4. No Sony exec is gonna make the tape machine of death.

The Seahawks are 6 & 2 since Judah was born. They're 3-0 this season. Which happens to correspond to Judah wearing his Seahawks onesie on game day (and Seahawks bib when he's eating). Undefeated this season thanks to Judah, not counting preseason. Unfortunately, now that I've mentioned it, they'll probably lose. Damn superstition.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

I might like you better if we slept together

Well it's the end of the line for my career as a freelance editor. No, I'm not changing careers. I've taken a staff gig! (This is not news to at least 7 of the 10 people who read this blog. Sorry.) No more invoicing or going to the post office to send my reel. No more 1st and 2nd holds and releases and bookings. No more "challenging". Not directly for me anyway.

In the past 6 years I've learned a thing or two about how to manage a freelance life. Guidelines, not tricks of the trade:

- Never take a hold without getting something in writing. E-mails are your best friend here. My favorite way to get it in writing was always "Can you send me an e-mail with the dates? I don't have my calendar in front of me."

- Not that I ever did this, but a fellow freelancer told me: Never give somebody the first hold. You always have a first hold on your calendar - your own free time. The people calling get a 2nd hold until you decide what you want to do. You're a freelancer after all. Free as a bird. Sometimes that bird is a dirty pigeon eating scraps out of a garbage can, but you're free to do what you want until somebody decides to hire your sorry ass.

- NEVER NEVER NEVER EVER take a gig from a startup without getting some money before you start. I got burned. You will too. If they're serious, they'll give you some money to get going. If not, let the next chump get burned. Unless you like working for free. Which leads me to...

- Everybody has a great film that will definitely get bought and of course a killer distribution deal, and they have no money but they need some of your time to make it happen. Read the script. If you like it, then by all means work on it! Unless you're a kid out of school and need some work for your reel, you might be wasting your time. But if you're building client relationships, that's different and you should work with them because you wanna work with them.

- I didn't have the balls to do it, but you're free to ask what the budget is for the position they're calling you for. People always ask what your rate is, and then they freak when you tell them what you want to get paid. Why not cut to the chase and find out how much money they have to offer and then you can decide to take the gig or not?

- Make friends with people in your field. I got so many random recommendations from people I worked with for short periods of time. And don't buy into the competition bullshit. Editors recommended me for edit gigs more often than anybody else in the field.

- Don't freak out over time between gigs. Something will come up and you'll find yourself missing all that free time you wish you'd done something with.

- And lastly, never say never.

It's your business so do what you want with it. If you wanna build a steady stream of clientele, then treat it that way. If you wanna work as little as possible, then go ahead and do that. But don't ever think that somebody will always hire you, because there's plenty of kids coming out of school every year to fill your shoes who are faster and more hungry.
Oh yeah, and don't listen to anybody who gives you advice through a blog. Doy. Like I needed to tell you that.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The New Style

We recently went to a restaurant called Meditrina Cafe, and their menu had "Famous Hamburgers" on it. This place isn't famous for anything, certainly not a burger. After eating there (and having a salad) I don't think they'll be famous for anything but being the fastest place to close its doors on Abbot-Kinney.

Every stooge on the planet has a "famous" hamburger. Especially in Los Angeles. It's the official food of Angelinos. You can't throw a rock around here without hitting a burger joint. (I just threw a rock and hit a Hummer, but a dude was eating a burger in it, so that sorta counts.)
So where do all these places get the cred to call their burgers "famous"?

If your burger is famous, wouldn't there be a line out the door? Pink's Hot Dogs is the only famous hot dog I know of and there's one hell of a line there at all hours of the day and night. That probably qualifies as famous. Because only a famous hot dog would make you stand in a line like that for a hot dog.

Tommy's Burgers are supposed to be famous, but has anybody heard of them outside SoCal? Maybe they're famous for having chili on them, but it's not like the burger is that good. Probably the best tasting, least cowschwitz-y burger in San Francisco is at the Metro Caffe on Fillmore and Haight. But they don't call their burgers famous. I guess "Famous" doesn't necessarily mean good. But nobody wants to eat a Notorious Burger.

White Castle is mentioned in a Beastie Boys song, as is Fatburger . That probably qualifies as being famous, but neither of them use that word in their slogans.

In-n-Out Burger is probably the most famous burger of all, but they don't call their burgers famous either. I knew a vegetarian who was broken of her vegetarianism by In-n-Out Burger. That's worthy of fame.

Every time I drive by a sign that says "Famous Hamburgers" I think to myself "I gotta stop in one of these days to give it a try". Like I'm the decider of whether a burger is deserving of the word Famous or not. Now I'm wondering: Why the fuck would you need a sign to advertise your burger if your burger was famous? IT'S FAMOUS!!! IT DOESN'T NEED ADVERTISING.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Like a Prayer


Thank you for the wonderful day.
Please bless all the nice people you've put into my life to help me along the way.

Please make that horrible parking ticket lady get nightmares every night of somebody going road rage on her until she decides to start a new career.

Please give Stephanie and AJ at the Apple Store on the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica the worst customer service imaginable from their cell phone companies. And any other terrible customer service that you can think of so they might reconsider the meaning of customer service. And please give Nick at Apple Phone Support a personality so he might stop responding with no human emotion whatsoever. Bless John at Apple Phone Support though.

Please make every idiotic Harley and crotch-rocket rider who unnecessarily revs their engine go deaf so they might not hear that bus that hits them and doesn't necessarily kill them, but prevents them from riding motorcycles and revving engines anymore.

Please let every person who drives while talking on their phone realize the error of their ways and stop doing that shit.

Bless Lily and Judah and our families and friends. And make sure Judah stays a good person.

And please let the Seahawks win the superbowl this year.

Amen. G'night.