Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Morning Rituals, Daily Accomplishments

Mornings used to be a real nightmare. The insomnia-induced television marathons until 3 am the first two weeks didn't help, then there's all the crap around the house to keep you busy and in pj's all day long. Add movies or playing with the cat--or the best, seeping until 3pm-- and you'll be destined to fail at joblessness.

A friend on vacation for a week asked, "How do you do anything worthwhile all day when you're at home, where it's so easy to do nothing?"

Well, although my genius is too early to reveal, I'll give you a little something to get you by for now. Here's how I get things done at home, in semi-particular order. See what it can do for you:

1.Get out of the house ASAP. I leave for coffee before I even take a shower to see that life does still exist out there. It's so easy and fun, even if you're half asleep. Do this until necessary.

2.If you've got the stuff, go to the gyms/run/be active in the morning. You can scoff at all the suckers going to work and get a good high first thing in the am for hours of productivity.

3.Have at least one exciting thing to look forward to that wakes you up in the morning. Today, it's the High Heel Drag Race on 17th St, which got me out of bed early so that I could get all my crap done before 6pm to make it to the Fox & Hound for prime seats. Yeah!

4.Have at least one project stress you out so much that it wakes you up in the morning. This is usually an involuntary perk, but it sure as hell works.

5.Calendars and check-lists rule! I have several Google calendars, I use iGoogle ToDo lists and have several widgets stickies on my dashboard. These lists occasionally clear by the end of the day... very satisfying.

6.Pick the most fun and constructive of the list of things you imagined doing even if they may never amount to anything, to keep yourself happy and maybe even support the right path to whatever. Some on my list: Blogging, volunteer in my dream job, painting, more photography, and order the piece missing on my sewing machine. And a few others, big and small. Prioritizing these.

7. Set up meetings. Make them for coffee with a friend in the morning, anything, just commit to being somewhere outside your place at a certain time and keep it. Talk to people, too--don't be a hermit.

8.Nothing improves the spirits like a midday siesta. Nap, walk, eat, (shop) or do a completely selfish and jealousy-generating activity at least once a day. Otherwise, why the hell are you doing this?

Unfinished Business

Maybe it's the three coffee's I had today talking, but I feel like total crap, like I can't get anything done lately. Exhibit A above: The table I was stripping last week until it rained for 40 days. I'm guessing my foul mood has something to do with going into work today, combined with the paradox of a fast approaching state of being broke. When it takes at least two weeks for the work your doing to equate to cash, or of course months or NEVER as with many of my projects, today can seem like a total beast. If I were feeling at all like being positive, I guess I would say I just have to wait out the couple of weeks until I'll be sitting pretty again with a little wad in my pocket and the adventurous twinkle back in my eye. Yeah, well... it sure as hell better be that way.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Hiking in Pennsylvania, Talking Movies, Being Broke

I haven't been out on a hike since The Slog, and although I was feeling a bit hung over from 10 hours of tailgating and some other aches I won't bother to mention here, I am so glad I didn't wimp out and take a nap instead.

Nature, especially on the rare perfect fall day, is so charging. It's kind of like a dip in a cold river, or maybe similar to a cat who's been dumped in a bath--That "I'm awake, okay!" feeling down to the bones. Good days don't like to be ignored.

Anyway, it was a good walk. I also had a chat about "freelancing" with a new friend and the ways to keep from feeling like a complete loser without work or money. She like several others I know also had a great freelance setup after a slow start; but she now has to start over again in a new state. If someone can do this twice, I might have the slightest chance of making it, kids!

Did you know you could send more than one movie back to Netflix at a time in the same envelope??

Penn State Football

I spent the weekend in Pennsylvania, not in D.C., but I'll tell you about it anyway in case you care.

Pictured is my first ever semi-professional football game, at Penn State against Ohio State. I cheered for PSU with my posse: a riot-y crown of alumni. Sorry they lost, guys. Tailgaiting began at 2pm and ended at 12:30am. Check out the crowd.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Coffee Cupping Morning in Adams Morgan

MMMmmm, A perfect day for a coffee tasting! Every Friday morning at 10 am, the new Counter Culture training center in Adams Morgan generously opens up to the public for a lesson in coffee tasting, aka "cupping." This is a complete win-win situation: You finally know what they hell your drinking and they get a little public survey of the coffee they're roasting. What's that aroma you get? Somewhere in the realm of chocolaty, blueberry-y and green peppery? Awesome, we'll write that down.

The session is soul-searching and I'll even say mandatory for anyone who considers themself a coffee drinker. I, in particular, had never paid so much attention to El Salvadorian coffee or the natural roasting processes in Ethiopia. And it was so easy: just taste, write down your notes, repeat taste, talk as a group. Everyone has something to learn here and it is quite a high, caffeine excluded in that exclamation.

Plus, if you don't already know, Counter Culture is top of the line for environmentally and socially responsible artisan coffee. They pay serious attention to the bean, the roasting, the brewing.... translation: Very good coffee. It's like wine tasting in Sonoma.

Although I strolled in half-awake at about 10:20, I recommend you get there at 10am sharp and maybe even call or send Ryan Jensen, the D.C. center customer relations contact, an email ahead of time, especially if you want to come with a group. 202-903-4802, rjensen@counterculturecoffee.com

The training center is at 1836 Columbia Rd NW, next to the big new interior design place with the yellow store front. Go to the undisclosed door on the right and dial them up on the call box.

See you there next week!

Average Day

Some of you wonder what I do in an average day. Well, they are so crazy, days, it's really tough to summarize and treat one like another. Why don't I tell you a bit about today and we'll call it an "average day." Though of course today was completely different from yesterday....








Street art in Dupont

8:30 am
Woke up and put some dishes in the dishwasher.
Picked up a cappuccino.
Rode the bus to a meeting for "work."
Picked out stationary.
Bought fabric for my Halloween costume.
Stopped by the dentist office for an old bill - leftover money day item.
Looked at the movies playing at Dupont and decided, "no."
Browsed through Olsson Books and bought ANOTHER book and ANOTHER movie (Haruki Murakami shorts Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman and Volver.)
Bought a piece of cigar wood with an original charcoal drawing on it, aka street art.
Ate lunch at Kramer books... the squash soup is fantastic.
Read the paper (the Post, actually, if you can believe it.)
Made a couple "work" phone calls.
Strolled Dupont, exclaimed to myself, "I love rainy days!"
Picked up a check at Secondi for consigned clothes, yay!--another leftover money day item.
Walked home, made some tea, uploaded my photo of the day, read through emails.
Made iPod mix, 'Soul Lady' and listened to it for a while.
Replied to some "work" emails, researched two projects, looked through the news of the day.
Flipped through the last Sunday Times magazine.
Had a friend over for beers after work.
Emailed ideas to director of another project.
Sent out house party email.
Watched The Office.
Worked on Halloween costume.
Had some ginger tea.
11pm


That's it! On to tomorrow....

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Dupont Rain



Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I have to apologize for the endless page design changes. Sorry.

Money Day



Today is my self declared Money Day. Money Day is the day Jobless looks into any money she may have hanging out there, unclaimed, as well as any money that could be had by her rightfully. A sell on Ebay? Get rid of some extra blood? The options will likely be creative and unexpected, but no doubt limited.

Also to come: Q&A Session #2 - Josh Brolin: The Dish on the Coens....

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Thank God for the Gym

I seriously worry about the day when I can't work out at the gym anymore, foreseeing a possibly dire financial outcome to this fairy tale. The Gym is like my coffee in the morning, like my bath at night. Creativity would seize to exist because when the body is tired, the mind it tired. Although I used to be a hater, wondering how people could exercise in place like a rat on a wheel, I have since shut it. Because here's the thing: Have you ever heard that the best way to get out of a writing block is to write until the hand moves almost involuntarily, to the point where the mechanics of writing give way to free and pure thought? On the elliptical one time, I came up with the most surreal short film idea about a woman running on a tredmill with her eyes closed, and she was able to almost transport herself into all of her fantasies, they felt so real. Oxygen is so devilish.

The best time of day to work out, I've discovered, is 11 am, when the place is nearly deserted and you have the whole locker room to yourself.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Capital Hill Sunset

Sad to see this day go.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Q&A Sessions: The Schwartz


As promised.

In this segment, Schwartzman talks about brotherly love, between the nefarious Whitmans of Darjeeling but mostly about his brothers in real life. Hear what they thought of the movie....

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Schwartz: A Pretty Cool Guy

Jobless and posse sit two rows from J Schwartzman during Q&A of Darjeeling in GTown

Jason Schwartzman at the Georgetown screening of Darjeeling Limited couldn't gush enough about his new movie, Wes Anderson, and India. He was so cute about it, we ate it up. After a roughly 45 minute talk about everything from his one-man band to his short film Hotel Chevalier, I and my compatriots had to admit, he was pretty damn funny and cool. And totally adorable in person (personal admission).

Schwartzman said he and Wes Anderson began the idea for Darjeeling during dog walks in Paris, his then home during the shooting of Marie Antoinette. Anderson had just finished the press tour for Life Aquatic in Paris and the two shacked up for a time. After a bit, Roman Coppola joined the suaree, they took a trip to India, started writing about 3 brothers who take a long trip and find themselves, and began adding character anecdotes from experiences in their own lives. When asked by the audience, "Which of you checks his ex-girlfriends phone messages?" Schwartzman quickly replied, "Uh, Roman."

Among the tib-bits disclosed to the attentive DC audience: Schwartzman has a CD out under his own label, Coconut Records, and each CD purchased comes with an original piece of artwork... a Polaroid either of him or taken by him; Schwartz says he's a one man band because no one else will play with him; Before Rushmore, pup Schwartz had almost no acting experience whatsoever, but he had written and directed several short films in his youth, one about a cop and a crack addict; Of his preference between alter egos Max Fisher and Jack Whitman, Schwartzman replied kindly with several similarities to each and concluded that he was "his own man"; Short film Hotel Chavalier, co-starring Natalie Portman, may soon screen in theatres before Darjeeling, and is a recommended prelude to the feature; Schwartz said this was his favorite Q&A. That's sweet.

He was then asked by a particularly enterprising young Georgetown student to join her in the GT cafeteria after the screening for a little Coolio concert. He quickly spout out other (and cooler) DC happenings, like British Sea Power at the Black Cat and The Shins to come on the 22nd. Not too bad, J, not too bad.

See Schwartzman talk about his real-life sibling experience (he has 3 brothers and 1 sister) on the VIDEO to post here tomorrow!

Dowload Hotel Chavalier for Free on iTunes
Visit Coconut Records - http://www.myspace.com/coconutrecords

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Truth about Being Jobless

I know being jobless may seem like fun and games but, really, it’s not. It takes hard work and dedication and must absorb one’s every waking moment and many sleepless ones as well. To be a true vagabond and tell the man to kiss it, and to live “fully”—whatever you hope that to be—without lame bosses and office coma… one must make money. What’s that? Make money to stay jobless? Like I said, it’s not easy. It’s complicated.

Let me get very real with you. The first few days of freedom, roaming the untroubled streets at noon, no deadline, no stabbing neck pain you swear the crazy boss has cursed you with, you’ll feel empowered and intelligent and sophisticated. Fearlessness is in the sun-filled air, and you are a tiger, no, a lion in Africa, king of the jungle and ruler of your goddamn territory and your own goddamn time for once!

You feel good. You want to look good. And you have some time on your hands and don’t really know what else to do since you don’t want to start looking for jobs already and ruin this beautiful moment. So maybe you shop. I shopped.

Looking back, I’m shocked with myself for spending like I did—though I love the green wool dress, the long black overcoat with super cute short sleeves, the “power” black bag I need for my next “power” lunch. I’ll be honest with you. I felt a little out of control and it is sooo soothing to shop, you know? I shopped to feel better, and to fill the void that money and security were leaving behind. I shopped because I was running out of money--I know... it’s totally twisted. I have dreams about shopping when I’m stressed, did you know that? I know psychologists will throw out some bullshit about filling voids and the dangers. Forget all that crap and just don’t buy things like I did. And avoid craigslist AT ALL COSTS when you have time and a new apartment. That junk will turn you into a zombie.

Although I joke about never working again, the truth is that I want not one job, but job-SSS. What do I mean? I’m what people in my profession call “freelance.” I work to make money for a couple of weeks, with new people on new projects, maybe learn something new and get a little perspective. I have more control over the terms and of my time. I’m self-employed. (Which is to say I’m jobless most days.)

Since I'm doing these little jobs instead of one big one, I’m finding myself ridiculously busy and still fucking broke. But that's suppose to change. This is what I mean when I’m talking about the complicated part of it.

Everyone has their own path, and some jobless folks are really just looking for the next full-time, everyday job that they’ll be in for the next century or whatever. Part of me wants to say, “That’s easy!” Full-time jobs are everywhere and you just have to get ONE and you’re set for ages without having to go through the resume and interview crap again. But that’s not fair, and probably not true. It’s hard finding the job you really want to stay at for a century, getting the twisted boss not to hate you and actually hire you, and that takes work.

All that said, here’s why I chose this route: To work at cafĂ©’s with good coffee, to take walks during the day because it helps clear the mind, to be more creative, to be more challenged and to keep from having a stress stroke at the age of 30. Most of all, to start doing NOW what I want to do, and know I can do, rather than follow an ancient system in cozy snail pace that might let me do something real in 5 years.

So I’m very busy. Looking for jobs is much more work than having one, I think. In case you want to do the same, I’ll tell you all about it.

Oh Dalai


This is why I had no camera yesterday... It was reserved for the Dalai Lama. One among us met his holiness. Can you guess who it is?

A funny article from the post yesterday: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/17/AR2007101702232.html

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Kickin It

I can't say this is today, but it's an often reoccurring moment, so let's just say it was.

I didn't have a camera today because of the Dalai Lama. You'll see what I mean tomorrow...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I need a new look

I forgot how my style got totally boring when I moved to DC and started working in a grown-up job. I kicked the blond and red streaks and started getting real haircuts to impress my grown-up friends. I don't plan to revert to the street kid look or anything, but I need to feel more me. It'll take some time to "find myself" and probably involve a lot of erratic impulses like the one above.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Everyone needs a break.


Break time at the good 'ol muddhouse, a favorite little place for green tea. When I had a job, you could usually see me here, with one of several acquaintances or associates. It is the perfect place to vent about all the crap your lousy boss dishes. Over the years, sitting at one of the outdoor aluminum tables, almost always inhaling cigarette smoke in some form without a sliver of sunlight on this shady side of the street, the scenario has bordered on depressing. But somehow it never could be--this break to me and many out there is an important ray of hope in a shitty day. Even if I don't work anymore and I can sit in the sun anywhere I want, I love to visit the old girl and remember.

Tea Time


Jealous? Don't be, it spilled 2 seconds later.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Brunch Devil

Friends over for brunch on Sunday after my first trip to the Dupont market since being back in the hood. So hard to think about work and joblessness on a weekend like this. Woke up early both days. Does that mean I can get up early to party but not to earn the green?

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Another weekend at the storage space


In, out, in, out... crap I want and now don't want. It never seems to end.

Friday, October 12, 2007

A person's life in a crate

Moving Day


A thing one does when one doesn't have a job-- Help friends move their crap out of storage. You must always be there for your friends, especially now that you have the time to actually give them a little bit of attention and concern, otherwise you are a complete ass.

This trip was a piece of cake, followed by marg's with a BFF in glover park at noon. That's a good day. But doesn't Storage Warehouse, MD look depressing?

finally...



Thursday, October 11, 2007

You must tell me: What did you pay for Radiohead?

When Radiohead announced to the media that their new album, "In Rainbows," would be available as a digital download to anyone on a "pay-what-you-want" basis, now that they're label-free from EMI, I nearly jumped out of my panties.

Finally, an artist-to-patron system to decide the market worth of music! Slobbering rich labels can kiss it... the future is artists who put faith in the fans and triumph! Music as art is redeemed!

Britney gets $2 dollars from skanks while Radiohead gets $20 from adoring fans who love their killer music and vibes. (Or $80 in this case if you order the deluxe vinyl/disk collection... looks pretty sweet.) That's music utopia. No more empty media campaigns blowing up a big-time flop (or five: Backstreet Boys, anyone?) for top-shelf because they fill the spots on E! or Cribs.

You, you intellectual and very hip cat of the digital age, can pay your price for music because it's good music. And pay more because it's really good music. Or not. Like a painting. The way it used to be. Why not? It's time. That would make sense.

So... the question all should now anticipate: What did you pay?

For any of you who know me, you know this is the unavoidable "philosophical" question of the modern moment. It is the perfect test of contemporary ethos: As the market 'force' deciding--you, yourself, for once--what you will pay, now that you've been asked, for goods received that have quality and worth and contribute regularly to what we know as "culture" and all around good-times, even though you've been spoiled like a rotten brat by a ten-year heyday of free music: ad valorum--What's Radiohead worth to you?

The new horizon is definitely complex. Arguments for where the money could and should generate (LPs, concerts) or not (because music should be for love, not money, yo) can ensue.

Despite your judgments or arguments or cheapness, it is--I think--a chance for all of us to allow the gesture to be more to us than it appears. Perhaps it's all Radiohead would ask.

ARTICLE: Win or lose, the revolution starts here.


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Dig In

I sat at this table imagining a person much like myself, sitting where I sat, wondering what they hell he or she would do with their life, what if any hope was left to be famous and wise and beautiful, wondering what to do about the MONEY problem.... And involuntarily, as the terror of tomorrow and the next day finally subsided, his or her nails finally relented and the table top was at peace once more.

Rainy Afternon


Should I go to the gym or not? My bike is soaked, now that it's rained. That also means more damn mosquitoes. God I hate mosquitoes.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Sidewalk Cafe



A friend sent me a blog site where the host posts two photos a day... and that's it. Here's the link. http://3191.visualblogging.com/

I'm inspired. I'll keep a photo diary each jobless day in D.C. because how better to tell you what's going on in my jobless world than to show you myself. Although you might wonder what's so great or new about this clear theft of blog ingenuity.... Keep in mind that no idea is ever new and my photos are of a particular unstable moment in my life, therefore unparalleled and exclusive. They may change day to day, from gritty and melancholy to hopeful and serene. Today I started with gritty.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Meditating in the Free World

So the meditation protest was cool.

If you've never meditated to protest a government, I recommend you give it a try. The fulfillment that can come with two to three hours of your day devoted to thinking about and praying for (if you will) the good of a people is unbeatable. You see, because it's possible we barely think of anything these days for more than a few moments. And most of the thoughts that pop up in our minds are just what we don't want to think about-- work, relationship problems, money, money, etc.

Almost no time to do good, let alone think good.

So what I can say at the end of my first couple weeks of unemployment, to any fellow unemployed spirits out there, who likewise suffer thoughts of "loser" and "deadbeat" that can creep into an unburdened mind, is: Think of all the good things you can do now and feel damn good about it! This is the meaning of life, no?


Then, after the protest, I went out with some filmmakers in town for a film festival and got drunk. I feel like crap. I haven't left the apartment all day.

Sigh.

I now (yes, now, still, at 7pm at night the next day) have the most wicked mojito-after-red-and-white-wine hangover. We were out until around 4 or 5, it's hard to know for sure.

I just can't help staying out late with cool people. These folks are from all over the place, like every continent, and we just sit and talk and drink it up like only filmmakers do. This was my favorite part of the job (Tidbit: I used to work for said film festival.) And the sweet moment I savored yesterday was knowing I can can the maddening work and still have the romps. Life is precious.

On a side note-- I promise to have real photos and video up soon. I'm in the middle of conspiring a delicious purchase.... the digital camera of my dreams! Don't ask me how I'm going to pay for it. There's just way too much cool stuff happening out there during the day while you're all work and you've got to see it....

I'm off to an another party.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

On My Way to A Rally

NYT- What Makes a Monk Mad?

What I plan to do this afternoon is like nothing I've done before. I'm going to a peace rally in D.C. to protest yet another injustice in the world imposed on the less fortunate. Yes--I've been to a protest for peace. But this will be the first time I've ever MEDITATED for peace.

I'm not the most outgoing person. I often need quit a bit of preparation to actually do something because, well, I'm a bit shy like that and if I did everything I though about doing, I wouldn't have time to eat. This is a bit scary for me--I'm going by myself and will meditate outside of an Embassy for three hours, okay. In fact, I wonder if I'll actually do it?!? So check back in to find out.

But what a better thing to do with my free time...

Meditate for Peace and Democracy in Burma

Thursday, October 4, 2007

5:00-8:00 pm

In Front of the Embassy of Myanmar

2300 S Street, NW, Washington DC 20008

Please wear red/maroon shawl or covering and feel free to bring meditation cushions. We will provide mats, candles, and tea.

MEDITATION FOR PEACE AND DEMOCRACY IN BURMA


PROGRAM

5:00 Gather in front of the Embassy of Myanmar

Lighting of Candles

5:30 Welcome statement

5:45 Meditation—Session I

6:30 Tea Break

6:45 Meditation—Session II

7:30 Closing


Learn more about the situation in Myanmar:
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/30/weekinreview/30mydans.html?_r=1&oref=slogin