Monday, June 2, 2008

Al Green, the definitive hits.

I am sleeping on the couch tonight because Jesse is a prick-but-I-love-him, and I'll take this opportunity to write a long update on the goings ons in my Los Angeles over the past few weeks.

Two big events happened one right after another: Carrie and I broke up and then we went and filmed a documentary. This made the first two days of the documentary living hell. 60 mile an hour winds, no direction with the story, and nothing to do but sit and have time to think. The rest of the week was thoroughly exhausting; Wednesday we found our story and focused in on that for the rest of the days. We were up before dawn every day wed-sun, running at minimum 14 hour days and at maximum 17 hour days. It was good fun, with bouts of Ryan, Jesse and I arguing like a married triple. Every night, though, I was consistently very sad.

This continued onto the ride home, with nothing to do but sit in my car and cry, and has ridden my back this entire week. Everything's been very manic. I literally broke down and cried all the way to the El Rey, then watched Elvis Costello play a free secret show, then returned home equally unhappy. The show offered minor bright spots.

Music, much more than film, has kept me the most stable. Ryan, Jesse and I are all honing more and more on Bonny Prince Billy, and the focus has been cathartic, if sometimes intensely emotional.



The new Sigur Ros has also been on repeat, along with the new Animal Collective EP. Other helps include Iron + Wine, No Age, and The Books Lost And Safe.

I have been working diligently and half heartedly at my animation final. Taking an incomplete in the class was a solid option for a while, but I decided to go through with it and make the final product. Every once in a while (this has happened twice today) my heart races and I don't know why. It isn't a physical thing, it's an emotional thing.

Tonight I hung out with Max and saw Redbelt, and yesterday Jesse and I saw Mister Lonely. More on these later.

I also hung out with Rogerio tonight. He is a fantastic human being and I'm glad to have him around. He's a phenomenally good guy. We drove around and talked, and afterwards he gave me vegetables from his garden. I've always admired his upside down tomato plant, and he made me one and gave it to me as a gift tonight. The most touching part of the evening was Rogerio's final gesture of friendship. He literally gave me the shoes off his feet. I'll wear them proudly whether they fit or not (and...what do you know, they fit pretty well).

Had I been alone, I would have given myself over to Mister Lonely. Nonetheless, it is a fantastic movie. I did love it quite a bit, and it left me still bubbling around. I enjoyed the movie more 10 hours after I saw it than I did 10 minutes after, and it continues to hang around.

Redbelt, funny enough, reminded me of a lot of important things I have forgotten these past two years. My time at UCLA has been very manic depressive. Often I'm incredibly happy and incredibly sad at the same time. I've come very close to stopping a number of times. School is something I'm just not good at. Saddleback was a constant bore, struggle, pit. I can't shit on it as much as I'd like to. That's about the best I can say for it. UCLA has been a combination of directionless, impossibly frantic movement and incredible myopic focus on one goal. This is not a good combination emotionally or physically. Classes are so busy that I can't properly focus on a single one, and they are sometimes totally beneficial and sometimes a huge block to anything productive. I've lost friends because I'm too myopic, I've lost friends because I'm too frantic. It is difficult.

I also don't feel like I have a home. This is both liberating and incredibly chaining. Orange County is definitively not my home. I have no attachment or sentiment towards it, save for isolated people or social places, and these are rare and increasingly dispersed throughout the country. Los Angeles, on the other hand, doesn't feel like my home either. I do not enjoy it here beyond the incredible wonder of movie heaven. It is my closest friends that I am so attached to. They are my home moreso than any actual place. This is scary. Will I be able to go anywhere they aren't? I don't have roots. This isn't a new feelings. I was always the kid in class who was never able to answer in grade school what origin his family was (Irish? Italian? Whenever I asked, I always got the same answer: "Mut." I've never felt a deeper culture than what I've made for myself).

I came out of Redbelt and realized two things: how much I want Carrie back, and how much I regret quitting Karate. The former sucks, obviously, because I thought I was done with that stage of this bullshit. I am, apparently, not. The latter is something that has eaten away at me over the past two years, and something I need to fix. Karate was always a great place for me to go and "leave the outside outside" and even before I moved to LA that was increasingly replaced by fear, anxiety, frantic movement. I felt it necessary to cut off Orange County as much as possible when I moved up here, and Karate got kind of mixed up in that I think.

A few years ago I was able to say I didn't have any regrets. I've racked them up over the past couple years, though, and I hate that feeling. Karate would be one of them, fucking up my visit to Rogerio in Brazil would be another. I'd like to erase these as much as I am able.

The work for Bogdanovich has been really fulfilling thus far. It constantly brings a smile to my face. We all went to Senor Fish for Ryan's birthday, and it was entertaining. John G is a very good guy and I'm glad to know him. Support from my friends, especially in unexpected places, reminds me that I should put more time toward important things. Gubs has been invaluable. And having Masaki around makes me want to be a better person.

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