When one door closes and the window’s stuck

This just screams "I'm desperate," so I figured it's a good fit for this post.

I don’t know about you, but for some reason, my major life stages occur around this theme: FAILURE.


In 2007, I competed for a spot that would have sent me to Australia on a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship. Result: I made it to the next round! But then I FAILED the round after that and someone else got it.

I really, really, really wanted to go abroad, so I applied to several international cruise ship companies and ended up working on cruise ships and traveling to 20 countries in 2008 and meeting some pretty cool people along the way. Life stage!

In 2009, two FAILURES happened: my travel plans to Costa Rica fell through and I didn’t make it to the next level of the U.S. Foreign Service Test, although I had passed the first round.

So instead of going to Costa Rica, I decided to visit L.A. for two weeks, mainly to  explore the notion of moving there since the entertainment industry has always been a draw for me. When I was 11 years old, I bought Disney Adventures magazine  and bored my family to tears with factoids about “The Lion King.”

los angeles, L.A.

I don't lie about these things, people.

For example, did you know Jonathan Taylor Thomas (or “JTT,” for girls in the know) bounced on his heels while yelling to achieve the right sound for Simba as he slides down the skeleton in the elephant graveyard? You don’t care? I have a feeling my family didn’t, either, but that’s my earliest memory of wanting to delve deeper into the movies.

los angeles, l.a.

So that’s how I ended up in L.A. in my latest career incarnation. Life stage!

And lastly, just this week, I FAILED to land a plum temp job that would have likely turned into something permanent. I’d grown complacent in my current (and unlikeable) temp job, but the news that I hadn’t gotten the job spurred me into action. Yesterday, I contacted all my industry friends asking if they knew of any jobs in TV production (hi, guys) and this morning, sent out 87 resumes to TV shows and movies in pre-production. Before lunch.

I have a feeling I know where this is going.

Posted in catching a break | 2 Comments

I am going to die.

Okay, not literally. Just figuratively. Though I guess eventually literally?

Here is reason #345 why I am in temp hell: Today I couldn’t take a bathroom break for three and a half hours. Every day I am technically supposed to get a break at the reception desk at the three-hour mark, which is bad enough, but today they forgot about me. And didn’t pick up their desk phones. And didn’t pick up their cell phones. And I felt like I was going to die.

Someone pleeeeeeease let me go on break!

God help us if anyone dangerous ever figures out this type of torture.

I have been doing this for eight months, so if I seem a little crazy… blame it on the desk phones.

Posted in help meeeeeeeee!, jobs, temp hell | 5 Comments

Where to live in Los Angeles

I figured if anyone was thinking about moving to L.A. and wondering where to live, this thread would be extraaaaaaordinarily helpful. Everyone’s got an opinion and everyone’s right.

L.A. is absolutely gigantic. According to Wikipedia (i.e. where I get all my “facts” from), it’s almost 500 square miles, with 3.8 million people yelling angrily at each other on the freeway.

moving to los angeles, moving to L.A., where to live in L.A.

He probably deserved it.

I live on the border between Los Feliz and Silver Lake. (It’s two words, people. Not Silverlake. It was named after Herman Silver, who was a member of  L.A.’s first Board of Water commissioners. Do your research.) While it’s true the hipster sightings are high (and so are the coffee prices), overall it’s a cute little neighborhood and a quiet place to live. Both Trader Joe’s and my gym are a 5-minute walk and there’s a slew of cafes, restaurants, coffee shops (I found out ten seconds ago we just got a new one!!), and two libraries (not that they’re ever open, thanks to budget cuts) a mere 5-minute drive away. Many of the earliest movies were filmed in Silver Lake, from the Keystone Kops to Abbott and Costello. Plus it’s relatively close to Disney, NBC, Nickelodeon, and Warner Bros., if and when I ever get a job. (Though it would be nice if the beach were anywhere near here…)

That said, Miracle Mile also sounds like a fun place to live because really, who doesn’t love the La Brea Tar Pits?


Posted in Googling adds credibility to my posts, hipsters, i like coffee, i'm good at researching and other life skills, living in L.A., Los Feliz and Silver Lake, Moving to L.A. | Leave a comment

A Tale of Two Los Angeles…es

Anyone who moves to L.A. is crazypants. I am allowed to say this because I’m guilty. L.A. sucks and yet manages to be awesome at the same time, thoroughly confusing new-ish residents like myself. Am I supposed to love it or hate it? Somebody tell me.

Yesterday is a great example of what’s become kind of normal in my life.

8am-1pm: Perform part-time temp receptionist duties. Passive-aggressive? Frustrated STILL no full-time job in eight months! Cry on car ride home and repeatedly sniffle, “I don’t wanna do this anymore.” Listen to Beach Boys in car. Sing lyrics, “Don’t worry, baby. Everything’s going to be allllll right” through clenched teeth. Unconvincing.

3:06pm-3:44pm: Go on terrible first date. Six minutes late. Upon arrival, guy has already gone THROUGH coffee line without me and gotten coffee… for himself. Gets back in line to wait with me, but only until table opens up and leaves to “save” the table while I am stuck paying for my own coffee. It’s okay, guy! It’s not like I make $345 a week! OH, WAIT.

Los Angeles, living in L.A., moving to L.A., typical day in L.A.

Another one of my masterpieces, courtesy of my journal

4pm-5:30pm: See tweet from Foo Fighters, best band ever. They are performing secret show tonight. Where are tickets?! Wild goose chase all over east side. Found the line! Sold… out…? Sad.

5:30pm-9:30pm: Wallow in self-pity. Nothing going right. Boohoo. Decide to watch COMMUNITY episodes until brain falls out. It’s script research, so don’t feel guilty.

9:30pm-wee hours: Go to low-key West Hollywood bar to meet up with cool friends. Cool friends may have connections to talent agencies, where am advised I should work so career can START ALREADY, DAMMIT. Am told later on I was sitting at same table as Oscar-winning screenwriter because he is friends with my friends.


Hence, Los Angeles is an awful and wonderful place. Where else can you feel despair in the morning and elation in the evening?


Just found this on Rainn Wilson’s Twitter under “Why I hate L.A.”
Parking is definitely a good reason to hate L.A.

Figure this one out. I couldn’t and it cost me 63$. (it’s a saturday)

LOS ANGELES parking l.a.

Posted in catching a break, help meeeeeeeee!, i like coffee, i'd like a job please, jobs, living in L.A., temp hell | 9 Comments

Filming in my backyard…

filming, movie filming, hollywood, los feliz, silverlake, silver lake, L.A., los angeles

Just another day in the neighborhood

Before I came out to L.A. eight months ago, I thought I was going to do production (for the uninitiated: helping out with filming, like production assistant work). During my first three weeks, I sent my resume to production companies around town. (Note: most of them only take FAXED resumes. Also, it’s actually 1987 in L.A.) Let us remember that I did not have any production experience; rather, I had “useless” experience in corporate communications that would have been helpful in every other industry except this one.

After three weeks, I got a long-term, part-time temp receptionist gig that I’ve been doing ever since. A steady paycheck (though a measly one) let me breathe easier than if I were embroiled in the uncertainty of production work. Lord only knows when I would have gotten hired since I didn’t have any experience.

But I still get excited whenever I see filming around town. Here’s a secret: whenever you see a yellow sign with cryptic black lettering, it means there’s filming nearby. It’s meant to let the crew know where to go. The name on the signs is almost never the name of the movie.  I know for a fact that one of these movies in the signs below is called “We Bought a Zoo.” Is it to detract nosy onlookers like myself? WELL, IT’S NOT GOING TO WORK, FILM INDUSTRY. I am going to keep stalking you as long as my work schedule allows.

filming, filming signs, yellow signs, hollywood, los feliz, silverlake, silver lake, L.A., los angeles

I see you

There was filming in my neighborhood the other day. Sometimes I wish I could throw caution to the wind and really do whatever I wanted in terms of a job, but it’s costly to live out here, so I stick with the awful temp job because I have bills to pay.

filming, restaurant filming, movie filming, Los Feliz, L.A., los angeles

Actual name of the restaurant: Mexican Village

I wouldn’t want to make my career in production; I just think it would be fun to try out a couple times. For now, it’s temping every day of my life. Side note: One night – not at the office – I literally told someone to their face to “Hold, please” while I checked on something. This instead of “Wait a moment.” This job is messing with my head.

Posted in catching a break, i'd like a job please, Los Feliz and Silver Lake, movies, temp hell | 1 Comment

Hollywood’s Garden of Oz

Come on in

Honestly, you couldn’t keep me from exploring a new city if you tried. That’s the way it’s always been on my world travels, and that’s the continuing trend here in my new home. My latest find? The Garden of Oz, hidden in the hills in the old Hollywoodland neighborhood development.

Yellow Brick Road

Are you in fairytale mode yet? As the story goes, in the ’90s, the woman who owns this house enlisted the help of many artists and friends to create this magical place chock-a-block with tile and glass mosaics. The gate is locked (these photos were taken through the gate)(though you’re not supposed to)(sorry), but the woman sent out keys to the neighborhood children so they could come and go as they pleased.

The Dalai Lama also sent 15 of his monks to bless the garden.

The Wall of Toys

Pretty amazing.

Posted in living in L.A. | 8 Comments

The Echo Park Time Travel Mart

This store’s name is so awesome, I don’t even need a clever post title. BEHOLD! The Echo Park Time Travel Mart.

Back to the future... and also the past?

From Dodo Chow to Evil Robot Memory Eraser, here is some of the stuff they sell.


For all your robot needs.

My favoritest favorite of all. I totally have a Donner party reference in my Modern Family spec script.

Why the Echo Park Time Travel Mart? Whether you buy dinosaur eggs or Post-It notes (aka “paper tweets”), all proceeds go toward the terrific organization next door, 826LA, a writing and tutoring center for underprivileged kids.

826 is a national organization and there are similar non-profit stores dotting America, including the Pirate Store, Greenwood Space Travel Supply Company, The Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co., The Boring Store, Liberty Street Robot Supply & Repair, The Bigfoot Research Institute, and The Museum of Unnatural History (includes Unicorn Tears and Confused Wood {from the makers of Petrified Wood}).

If you ever find yourself on the east side of town, make a trip to the Time Travel Mart! And if you’re busy today? Yesterday’s your next best bet!

Posted in living in L.A., time travel | Leave a comment

Hee-Hee! A post about Michael Jackson. And Victorian houses.

I went to the house where they filmed Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”


They'll get you.

I have to be honest. I only took the second picture. The first one is from Google. Also, now I’m undead. Hope that’s okay with everyone.

The Thriller house (1345 Carroll Ave.) and the house from Charmed (1329 Carroll Ave.) are both in a weird, magical neighborhood called Angelino Heights.

The "Charmed" house

Carroll Ave. is home to the highest population of Victorian houses in L.A. They are huge and ornate and darling. The weirdest part is it’s just a handful of miles from downtown, so you get juxtapositions like this:

I call this Victorian Mod

Those houses are on Edgeware, Carroll Ave.’s cross-street, so they’re less ornate.

Angelino Heights: Put it on your to-do list! But not at night. Because of the zombies. And gangs.

Note: Screengrabs and other fun images purloined from the web. All rights belong to other people.

Posted in celebrities, Googling adds credibility to my posts, living in L.A., old stuff | 3 Comments

Mickey was here.

Happy New Year! I’m mostly blogging because when else could I make a 1.1.11 entry? I made stops in NYC and home (D.C.) over the holidays:

How Christmas-y

FUN NEIGHBORHOOD TRIVIA! So, I live in the Los Feliz/Silver Lake area of Los Angeles and recently learned the first Disney animation studio was a three-minute walk from my apartment… in 1925. Here’s a fun little walk-through.

That's just swell.

And Disney himself used to live in Los Feliz, about a 10-minute walk from my apartment. He and his brother Roy lived next to each other in identical houses. He first drew Mickey Mouse in his garage (note to self: schedule pilgrimage). SAD GOOGLE ALERT: In Googling this bit of history, I learned Disney created Mickey when he was 27. Well, shit. I am way behind on creating a legacy that will endure for generations.

(EDIT – 1/3/11 – I was wrong. Disney’s house is TWO STREETS OVER and it’s awesome. Yes, I made the pilgrimage.)

They made Snow White at the Hyperion Ave. studio in 1937. Animators stayed at a little cluster of Tudor cottages, which were also supposedly the inspiration behind the dwarfs’ house. This article has a neat look inside.

Hi ho, hi ho.

Those cottages are still there, right around the corner from the old studio location. You know what’s not there? The studio. Know what’s there now? A SUPERMARKET. A GELSON’S SUPERMARKET. ALSO A STRIP MALL WITH A NAIL PLACE AND A WEIGHT WATCHERS.


If there’s one thing Hollywood’s good at, it’s NOT preserving the past. Bang-up job, fellas!


Posted in Googling adds credibility to my posts, living in L.A., Los Feliz and Silver Lake | 2 Comments


Please excuse Last Train to Tinseltown as we take a mental health hiatus.

I’m sure Christmas/birthday presents will make me feel better! Holy crap, just two years to thirty. Aiiiiieeeeee.

| 1 Comment