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Random Blog Journey-2-Peace: May 2006

    Trish Monaco.
    singer. songwriter.
    dog walker.
    human. living.
    loving. laughing.
    in Los Angeles

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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Little Bike That Could

I've been reminded! I live in a great city. I somehow had forgotten all that I loved about living here.

Yesterday we took a bike ride down to the beach. I haven't ridden a bike in years. How many? Let's see, I remember living in my very first Venice apartment, riding on the bikepath, wearing headphones listening to brand new recording artists, Sheryl Crow and Alanis Morissette, on my yellow Sony Sports Walkman ... until my bike was stolen.

I found out yesterday, riding a bike is not so much just like riding a bike. It takes great skill to balance, pedal and watch all angles at the same time. It's quite possible that my swivel seat had something to do with my imbalance. That and the crooked handlebars, heavy basket, warped fender and the fact that every turn of the front tire rubs against a pedaling foot.

No matter. We found the Culver City bike path that supposedly would take us to our desired destination. Instead we somehow ended up on the 90 freeway - about two miles south of our intended goal. This was about the time when we created our own bike path - through the parkinglots of Marina del Rey, onto Stinkin' Lincoln Blvd and finally back to Washington Blvd.

It took us less than an hour to get completely lost and find the beach.

We stopped into Islands for a bite to eat. This is where I remembered all that I loved about living here. It felt like we were on vacation, yet we were only a few miles from home. The ocean breeze. The surfers. The canals. The Cow's End. All of it.

We decided we'd like to find an alternative way to ride home. We were determined to find the best way to/from the beach so we'd be prepared for the summer. Instead, we found the absolute longest route home.

We started on Washington Blvd, went south hoping for more of a bike path along the water where a dead-end led us to lift our bikes over the sand onto the nearest street east. We rode around the alphabet streets of Marina del Rey that brought us full-circle to another dead-end. A mile and a half later, we were back on Washington Blvd where another section of a bike path led us further into the marina.

Here we stopped for groceries. Yes, that's right, groceries to add to the awkward handlebars and heavy basket.

After that, it was back onto Stinkin Lincoln across from the 90 freeway again. We hustled through parkinglots and gas stations and seedy areas of Mar Vista before we hit (you guessed it) Washington Blvd for a third time. We went three whole miles just to get half a mile up the street. Ahh but the view! All worth it.

At this point, the sun was setting, I was cold, my ass was chafing and my wrists were sore from braking. But we were finally on Washington and headed home. A direct shot up the street ... until ... Paula cut across three lanes of the street to make a left-hand turn.

When I yelled, Where are you going? is about the time she realized we weren't at the place she thought. So we took a back street tour of Culver City. Nice homes. Wished one of 'em was ours.

From there it wasn't long before we were actually home. GPS anyone?

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Thursday, May 25, 2006

Going Deeper

It's been far too long since I've written anything of substance. I have a feeling this post should be for the spiral-bound, but I need to write - so here I am.

There's a message for me. I'm not quite sure what it is but it's ringing loud. Work is killer slow. Let me rephrase that, steady work is killer slow. I'm grateful to have a couple of extra pet-sitting gigs this weekend. And a fellow dog walker threw me a bone earlier in the week. Every little bit helps.

The money worries haven't been this intense in a few years. I know, no one needs to hear about this, but like I said, I need to write. I've posted ads, handed out cards, put the word out to the community and I'm out there every day. It usually pays off...sometime down the road. Mostly all at once. So this is again, a lesson in trust.

Meanwhile, I'm still searching for my passion -- that place in me that says, YES, this is what I want to do! I'm hyper-motivated one day and exhausted the next. I'm surrounded by creativity. It sparks my own. It's a great reminder. Then what? There's a disconnect.

Originally I wanted to walk dogs to get out of working in an office. When that built up, I spent my free time concentrating on making music and playing out. That was going really well when I got burnt out. I didn't know how to take it further.

Today as I contemplate my life, I want a chance to "start over" and bring my creativity to fruition - so that it continues year after year.

Even though I've been freelance for ten years, I still live with a paycheck-to-paycheck mentality. Last year at this time I was making enough money to cover things that needed taken care of (teeth, car, moving). Somehow I let myself fall into this feeling of destitution again. Something I haven't felt in a long time. Something I would love to live without.

I am by no means destitute. It's just a feeling. A description. A mentality. Something that needs to be broken and relearned. I'm not a "starving college student" anymore. Nor am I a "starving artist." There should be better, more positive terms for such times. Like "thriving artist." Something that encourages wealth and abundance. Just because I want to express myself through creation, doesn't mean I should suffer for it.

Okay then, back to what do I want to do? My interests vary and change from season to season. I just want to find something I love to do (there are many things) and take it to the maximum potential - for once.

Where does that drive come from? Who are you? All you self-motivated, driven people. How do you do it without spinning your wheels? Are you happy doing what you do? Are you expressing yourself fully? Does your work afford you the lifestyle you wish to lead? By that I mean, do you have the means to care for yourself and your loved ones - plus have enough left over to maybe go out to dinner and a movie?

These are just questions for the cosmos.

Fear got me here. That same fear is also a motivator. I will learn from this experience - like all others. And in a few months (let's hope sooner) I will read back in this entry and remember where I came from.

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Saturday, May 20, 2006

Another Birthday Already?

I remember when it seemed like forever for a year to pass. Not so much anymore. I think most of us can relate, so I won't bore anyone with details - who has time? With a story like that, we could be here till next year.

So it's not officially my birthday till Tuesday but the kick-off has started. I haven't had to do a thing to prepare (except for make a decision on how to celebrate). Today we're going to a Dodgers/Angels game. One of us is a Dodgers fan. One is an Angels fan. The other two could probably care less. But they're such good friends, they're (acting) excited just to be celebrating with me.

I haven't checked the weather yet. It's been gray and humid this month. I heard a thing about rain but not sure when/where.

Okay, I was freaking myself out. I checked the weather. Seems it'll be like every other May day in 2006. Partly cloudy, 70-degrees and 60% humidity. I'll take it!

Gotta go. Just wanted to check in. Have a great day.


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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Film Anxiety Dreams

It's been almost two weeks since finishing that tough film shoot. And still I'm having anxiety dreams about it.

The other night (in my dream) it was a Wednesday and we had been working/filming for three days after the shoot was already finished. Our director had "squeezed in" a "few more shots" before the dailies went to the editor. You know, pick-ups. Some shots that we somehow missed. But wait - these scenes aren't even in the script. These are added shots. And we were supposed to be done already. Why am I here?

Another dream was about my performance as an AD. I walked right into a shot that I didn't even know what in progress. Paula said, "oops, I didn't call fault." So the director said I would've gotten an A+ but because of Paula's mistake, I only got an A. That's laughable. In reality, without Paula's guidance I'd fail.

Here's one for dream analysts: Last night I dreamed that I was in the movie, playing a boy, folding laundry, wearing my 4th grade catholic school girl uniform.

There's more, but I think that's enough...don't you?

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Saturday, May 13, 2006

Today's Thoughts

~*~ I still get bugged by the lies and the deception. I don't mean to. I try not to go there. But every once in a while I get weak. The last of the crazies is gone. I intend to keep that door closed. But again, I get weak. I apologize to only myself - the one I hurt by not listening. It'll sink in...eventually.

~*~ Things are good over here in this life of mine. I mean, in the full scope of things. People, pets, friends, creativity. All good.

~*~ Things are not-so-good on the work front. Business is slow. Very slow. I'm looking for ways to supplement my income. It's been a long time since having to do that. It may even be time for a career change. That's been lingering for a few months. Exciting and scary.

~*~ Just coming up for air from a gruelling production. Beginning to feel human again. Except, I somehow pulled a muscle in my lower back/hip area. Perhaps on a hike the other day. The surrounding muscles are spontaneously spasming. It's difficult to walk, bend, pick things up. But I'm hoping to clean and do some rearranging around here today. So this is my 'resting' time.

~*~ So much needs to be done. I can hardly stand the mess in my car. It's been a production vehicle and a doggie-wagon for too long without cleaning in between. One of my clients insisted I go to her house and hose 'er down! Dust and dried mud cover the outside. Don't get me started on describing the mess inside.

~*~ Then there's the apartment. For weeks it's been basically a storage closet and dumping ground. Just like college all over again.

~*~ Speaking of ... the film I worked on over the winter was screened on Wednesday. It was a huge success. Apparently a bigger turnout than previous years. Paula hosted the reception following. We went through 50+ bottles of wine and five cases of beer - among other things like snacky foods and non-alcoholic drinks. It was a madhouse but I had fun pouring glass after glass to serve a very thirsty crowd of 450.

~*~ I've been asked to work on another film this summer. I really like the script. I've been looking forward to working on this project. I just don't know how much time I can give. If I can get paid, that would help with my decision. We'll see.

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Monday, May 01, 2006

random check-in

I've been in production for over a week. Every single day (with the exception of Friday). It's gruelling. Fun too. But I'm burned out. In between shooting, I've been walking dogs and pet/house sitting. And in between all that, I've lost another client to the backyard. Meaning, they're getting another dog and letting them play in the yard together all day. It's a trial period. They're hoping it'll keep them exercised enough. I'm hoping it'll turn into more business for me.

Because, frankly, I'm looking for alternative forms of work. It hasn't been this slow in three years...when I restarted the business again after a year hiatus. Another client is taking a 6-8 week break because they're remodeling their home. This means Marley (my love) will be living with his grandmother during that time. And he gets plenty of exercise and attention when he's there.

So there's a message here.

It's time for a change. I'm just not sure what that change is. I'm rolling with it.

There are many possibilities. But this 'meantime' needs to be supplemented with income while I transition ... if that's what I am to do. Y'know?

I'm eager to work and learn. Of course it would be much less stressful if I had just two more full-time doggie clients.

Hey, anyone know how to secure access to a wireless router? Our computers are running (walking) so slow, it would be quicker to hand-deliver emails lately. I'm pretty sure it's the wireless router. And it's only happening lately. It wasn't like this all the time with the router. Ours is "unsecured" and I can't figure out how to set a password to it.

What else? Oh yeah, about the production. I'm helping as one of the ADs (assistant director). Similar to what I did on the other production - lots of paperwork and managing departments. Only this time I'm doing a bit of micro-managing. Very unappealing. There's so much work to be done, and not enough hands to do it. On top of that, everyone is so burned out that we're begging folks to show up to help. It's tough when it's unpaid. There's a rotating shift of ADs and producers on set. But no matter. Whatever goes wrong, it's always the ADs fault.

We're shooting 12-hour nights this week. yes, nights. Overnight. Graveyard shift. Oughtta be interesting. I'm looking forward to Friday. When I'm finished walking my dogs, I'll come home, hop into bed and watch one of the DVDs that's been sitting here unopened for three weeks.

I stayed away from set on Saturday, since it was half a day of shooting. Instead, I prepared call sheets for the rest of the shoot and did ten loads of laundry at this cool little place in Culver City. Laundry and internet cafe. I was there for three hours. Not too bad. Great food too. And they have happy hour every morning for two hours. All cafe drinks are 1/2 off. Could become a new hangout for me...especially if I can get all that laundry done so quickly. Plus do work on the computer. Nice.

Still, the call sheets take for-fricken-ever to compile when there's such a rotating crew. The names and crew positions change every day. It's hard to keep things organized. I finally decided to leave every name on the sheet and say "if you're working, great. if not, then don't show up." Better to send it to all than to get a call from folks in a panic because they haven't received the call sheet.

Man it's been a long time since I've written. Can you tell?

Aside from all the mishaps and tough times on set, I have to say, the director and the DP are great. The actors are young up-and-comers. I know we'll see them again. A lot. The film looks HOT. I'm really looking forward to seeing the end result.

Enough outta me. I have to clean this place, walk dogs, nap and get ready for a long night.

See you again, when I come up for air.