Saturday, March 30, 2002

In Honor of Rob Gordon

Top 5 Dream Jobs of Marty Stark
5. Staff writer on Aaron Sorkin's short lived dramedy Sports Night.
4. Music coordinator for Alias.
3. Sunday night DJ at the Eighteenth Street Lounge in D.C.
2. Cinematographer on Terrence Malick's Thin Red Line.
and . . .
1. Music coordinator for Smallville (c'mon, they played two Zero 7 songs!).

Wednesday, March 27, 2002

Signal to Noise

I had my call back at the L.A. office of Big Law Firm That Shall Remain Unnamed (BLFTSRU) on Monday, and the strange coincidences kept piling up. Monday morning, I walked almost straight into the filming of a new TV show as I stepped off the hotel elevator into the lobby. As soon as I left the BLFTSRU (interviewed with six attorneys - lasted well over three hours), the cops stopped traffic in the intersection outside the building just as I was about to cross the street to the hotel -- a driving scene was being filmed with Jet Li as the driver. Janet Reno was on my flight back to Silicon Valley. In fact, I was right behind her in the line of the security pat down during pre-boarding.

So to some up all the synchonicities/improbable events surrounding my interview at BLFTSRU:
1. Seeing the only L.A. partner I worked with at my former BLFTSRU coming into the building just as I was leaving the screening interview with new BLFTSRU.
2. The woman standing in for the recruiting coordinator of new BLTSRU having the almost the identical name as LA Chick.
3. Walking almost straight into the filming of a new TV show the morning of my call back.
4. Seeing Jet Li just as I was walking out of the call back - (Jet Li ain't a round eye, and neither am I).
5. Standing behind Janet Reno during the pre-boarding pat down - (for the slower ones out there, she's a lawyer and so am I).

Five one in a million (well, at least several hundred thousand) events occuring on or around my interviews with BFLTSRU. One of these events, fine, chalk it up to coinicedence. Two, you gotta admit you start saying "Hmmmmm." FIVE OF THESE? I think life might be giving me a message, but what it is I'm still not sure. Glimpses of the future? Successful Asian guy and successful attorney - that wouldn't be too bad. Hey, just as my limo - paid by BFLTSRU - pulled into the hotel on Sunday, a wedding was spilling out onto the hotel entrance. So does this mean I get the job (synchronicity 1), get the girl (synchronicity 2), get married (the wedding), begin a new life (synchronicity 3), become a successful Asian guy (synchronicity 4) and end up being successful law type guy (synchronicity 5)? Or are all these events just random?

'Course, it would be a pisser if I don't end up getting the job.

Wednesday, March 20, 2002

Beware the Rabbit

So here's another strange coincidence. I was feeling pretty confident about Monday's call back, and I decided to splurge on a couple of DVDs. I was in the mood for quirky movies, flicks that had quickly passed through (if they were shown at all) the Peninsula. My top four choices were Sexy Beast, The Princess and The Warrior, In The Mood For Love, and Donnie Darko. After traversing to Border's (Record Chick wasn't there - think I scared her away) and Tower Records, I decided on Sexy Beast and Donnie Darko.

I heard a lot about Ben Kingsley's anti-Gandhi performance as Don Logan, spaz gangster extraordinaire, and I'm a sucker for Brit crime flicks. And as for Donnie Darko, it's been a while since I've seen a genuine mind fuck of a movie that leaves you scratching your head afterwards (yeah, I have seen Memento, but that didn't have me searching for meaning afterwards whereas I dreamed about Donnie Darko and I didn't even drink). So you have a Brit heist flick that Guy Ritchie wishes he wrote and directed, and an American Beauty meets a meditation on time-travel and fate vs. free will. What can these two flicks, released on DVD the same day, have in common?

I watched Sexy Beast first. About ten minutes into Donnie Darko, it hit me what the two movies had in common: a big ass disturbing bunny.

In Sexy Beast, the big ass disturbing bunny haunts the dreams of Gal, the retired gangster. It walks slowly to Gal while he's dining and raises a gun aimed at his head before he wakes. In Donnie Darko, the big ass disturbing bunny tells Donnie that the world will end in 28 days, and instructs Donnie to (among other things) flood the school and burn down the house of a motivational speaker (who happens to run a kiddie porn ring).

Rather strange that I decide to buy two DVDs with plots that can't be any more different from each other, and yet share a big ass disturbing bunny. Not sure what the message is here, but if I see any bunny-related paraphenalia on Monday, I'm gonna run like hell.

Monday, March 18, 2002

Instant Karma

So the firm with which I have a call back (for next Monday, Wednesday turned out to be no good) - I've had TWO freaky one in a million synchronicity moments in dealing with them. One synchronicity moment, maybe you can just chalk it up to coincidence. Two synchronicity moments? Well, it makes you pause.

The first one took place almost immediately after the screening interview. The screening interview firm is in the same big ass downtown LA building as my former firm's head office. As I was walking into the garage to leave, I ran into the only partner in the L.A. office with whom I worked at my former firm. There are thousands of people working in this building, and 11am isn't the usual time for people to arrive at work, it was rather an odd coincidence I should meet this partner. If there is a meaning to this coincidence, I haven't figured it out.

The second one took place just today. I called the recruiting coordinator of the sceening interview firm to arrange a call back. I hadn't heard from her all day, and if we were still going to go ahead with the call back on Wednesday, I needed to make travel arrangements pronto. Turns out Wednesday isn't a good day. So we set it up for Monday. The recruiting coordinator then informed me that she will be on vacation starting Wednesday, and that (Jenny Kerr) will be filling in for her (Jenny Kerr isn't her real name - c'mon, I'm a lawyer). Well, L.A. Chick's name is (Jennifer Kerr)!!! (Again, not using real names, but if I just used [] to denote the name, loses a bit of the impact). I know it's not the same person (L.A. Chick doesn't work in downtown L.A.), but it is freaky that the person I'll be meeting with only because her boss is out of town shares the same name with L.A. Chick.

I have no idea what the message karma is trying to give me, but I am a little freaked.

Friday, March 15, 2002

Where Do I Begin

So I have a call back for next Wednesday, and I should be unconditionally giddy right now. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great news for me, and I’m rather sure that I can do well. But I still can’t shake this sad bastard mode, and my friends are beginning to let me know that they’re getting sick of it. Can’t say that I blame them.

During both college and law school, I was a magnet for some of the more unstable students. I guess I have a kind face (which is inversely proportional to the amount of pull you get with the ladies – but that’s a different rant). I was socially inept in middle school (dork, nerd – stereotypical booksmart immigrant kid whose parents told him school was for learning, not for socialization) but somehow learned to put on a face and at least get by as normal by the time I graduated from high school. So I could empathize with the spazzes I met after high school. Since they saw me hanging out with folks who could dress themselves and didn’t begin conversations with “my therapists says,” it’s no wonder I had many a phone session listening to the reason why she’ll never get back on prozac again, how life is cruel, and many a sundry of topics that are more suited to badly written poetry by fourteen-year-old Goth chicks.

As I said, part of me understood where they were coming from. If I took two steps back, I’d be back in misery as well. But after a while, I got fucking sick of them. My attitude was I changed without any help, so you guys should just deal and leave me alone.

Karmic payback is a bitch.

For the past two months, I’ve been frustrated with my life and not a little depressed. I thought I was going to have life sorted by now – figured out what I wanted to do with my life, have a girlfriend, and be, if not happy, at least content. But instead I’m actually hoping to get back into a career that I hate, the night I thought was magical and gave me a brief bit of hope everyone else thinks was nothing – just a woman being friendly and me typically blowing things out of proportion, and I go to sleep wondering where the hell I’m going with my life.

So now I’m the miserable sod on the phone or on the e-mail moping, and my pals are giving off the just deal with it tude. Of course they’re right.

Time to put on my game face, and get Step 1 of The Action Plan done.

Wednesday, March 13, 2002

Audio Prozac

So today's interview? Meh. But I've had enough "meh" moments for now. I found an another album that makes me smile. Mint Royale's music had me groovin' and glad to be alive driving along the 110 and the 10. Sometimes it's the simple things that count.

Tuesday, March 12, 2002

I should be freaking about the interview I have tomorrow morning. Instead, I have the following running through my head:

Well, there's more women out there.
Get over already.
You have to stop looking for Ms. Perfect, and go out with more women. Who knows?

And yes, the analytical part of my brain that's hashed out countless number of motions and got a major witness to admit he's full of shit on the record realizes my friends are right. I mean, in all likelihood, she's moved on with her life and hasn't given me a second thought. Probably very practical minded, she said "He lives over three hundred miles away, I'm attractive, single and living in the land o' beautiful people. Right, like I'm going to start a relationship with him."

But, here's the thing. I've had years of watching John Cusack flicks, and reading books by Nick Hornby and Michael Marshall Smith. Years being exposed to the quirky guy finally getting the happy ending. And not the saccharine John Hughes forcing nice guy to end up with nice girl type ending. I mean years of quirky guys with weaknesses and hangups and not at all nice ending up with the right one after a difficult pursuit.

And do you really want to live in a world in which the quirky guy ends up living with fifty cats, eating government cheese and waiting to die? Or how about a world where there is no "the one," just a variety of options?

Friday, March 08, 2002

The Future of the Future Will Still Contain the Past / Time Goes Slow and Time Goes Fast

In the past week, I found out that three people I knew from my former firm are engaged. In two days, it will be four years since Massive Attack released Mezzanine. Five years ago, I didn't have a job lined up and was pining after a blonde blue-eyed woman. Today, I don't have a job lined up and I'm pining after a blonde blue-eyed woman. Next week, I have two interviews in Los Angeles. In a month and a half, it will be a year since I left my former firm. In two months, I hope to be back in Los Angeles. Do you see those roads, these sights?

Wednesday, March 06, 2002

Lloyd Dobbler vs. Willy Loman

I should be happy. Hey, a firm is interested in interviewing me, which is great in this market. I'll probably have a couple of more firms interested in the next couple of months. I should be as giddy as an A.D.D. kid on a pixie stick bender. And yet I still can't shake this feeling of malaise.

Don't get me wrong. A steady paycheck again would be wonderful. In fact, if I don't want to live in a cardboard box after June, a steady paycheck would be necessary. But I have this fear - a fear that if I go back to the law, I'll be one of those men who live in quiet desperation. That I'll end up with a chunky well-meaning but utterly clueless wife, and saying things to my kids like "after fifty, I stopped dreaming." That I'll be an example of a man who tried to followed his bliss and failed.

Ugh. Maybe I should stop eating Taco Bell.

Monday, March 04, 2002

Quote I Wish I Wrote of the Day: "I changed my mind about the meaning of life again . . . . You look for meaning. You find it, and at that moment, your meaning changes, and you have to start all over again." Ai Imajo from Number9Dream by David Mitchell.

Sunday, March 03, 2002

Perfect Job

I'm already working on a vodka headache only after my second screwdriver (ahh, the decrepitude of age--what am I going to be like when I actually turn thirty), surfing the web and only half-paying attention to the mediocre X-Files episode out of the corner of my eye. Suddenly, I hear The Chemical Brother's "Galaxy Bounce." Friggin' Nissan is using The Chemical Brothers to hawk cars. I've always thought being the guy who chooses the music (as opposed to getting the legal clearance to use it - that involves boring licensing issues, no thanks) would be a cool gig. The latest Nissan commercial adds further support that choosing music for commercials and TV shows would be the perfect job for me. I either own or have owned over 70% of albums containing music heard in the more hip commercials. Plus, I've heard songs from my favorite band du jour, Zero 7, played on two of my fave shows, Smallville and West Wing (both shows have also played "Evolution Revolution Love" by Tricky). I wonder how you get a gig like that? (Certainly not by staying in Silicon Valley, whoo boy.)

On A Random Tangent

Speaking of background music accompanying snarky banter, after replaying my flirtation with LA Chick for the (let's see, think about this at least twice an hour for the last month and a half, subtract time sleeping, that would be, ahhh hell) umpteenth hundred time, I realize why I'm doomed. So here's the scene: Late twenty-something guy in a black sweater, khakis, and a rather flash black overcoat on the second floor of a bar in Westwood. He's been talking to an attractive blonde woman with blue eyes about music. He quit law to write. She quit acting / singing to enter the law. They've been talking for a while, and suddenly Coldplay's "Shiver" starts playing.

I'm doomed I tells ya! Doomed!

Which Trainspotting Character Are You?

Friday, March 01, 2002

Some More Spooky Ass Personality Shit

Per my colorgenics profile

"At this particular time you are feeling the results of extreme stress and you are seeking a "way out"...but you are pushing too hard.. Obviously you need peace, tranquillity and contentment. Your temperament is such that you are hoping ,unrealistically perhaps, that your desires will shortly be fulfilled (even if at this time you are not quite sure what those true aspirations may be!).

You don't really give in. You follow your beliefs and ideals to the bitter end. You are the personification of stubbornness and whatever may transpire, right or wrong, you refuse to compromise or make concessions.

It is hard for you to accept that your needs and desires are misunderstood by almost everyone within your sphere of influence ... and there is no one to rely on. Your pent-up emotions and inherent egocentricity make you quick to take offence, but as matters stand you realise that you'll have to make the best of things as they are.

You are pretending that the situation around you doesn't matter, but the effort of trying to conceal your emotions and anxieties is resulting in untold stress. The existing situation is disagreeable. You feel unwanted and lonely and you would really like to associate with someone whose ideals are as high as your own. You want to be above the standard of mediocrity... and this need to be needed and that need to need has almost become an obsession. You are trying to magnify the need into a compelling urge. You would really like to tell the world how great you are.. but no.. you are holding back because you feel that your peers may treat you with contempt. This is a great pity because you have in fact a unique quality of character but the continual restraint that you impose on yourself make you suppress this need for others and you pretend you don't really care. You treat those who criticise you with contempt. However, to be honest ... beneath this assumption of indifference you really long for the approval and esteem of others.

You would like to be respected and valued for yourself and this can only be achieved from a close and harmonious relationship."

Just to make sure this isn't one of those "Aww, you tell that to all the creative lovesick men in a funk" things, I messed around with the test choosing a different sequence of colors and it came up with a different profile. Ooooooh, spooooooooky!