Sunday, June 22, 2008

Secret Lives

I moved back to Los Angeles this week. I'm living in the same house, working a few streets away from my old job, and doing pretty much the same thing, too. Even though I ended up hating all of this the last time I was here, I'm actually kind of optimistic this time around. I felt really bad when I was leaving San Diego- like I was abandoning this fantasy low-key surf lifestyle that I'd been chasing after, but I guess LA is a pretty good place to be for building new fantasies.

My first day on my new job, I meet up with Bob, the assistant editor for the documentary I'm gonna be working on. He's excited to show me all of the footage he's been fooling around with lately, and he starts going through the sequences. They're obviously rough cuts, but I'm still pretty impressed by our interview footage- we've managed to get a lot of big name subjects, plus there are some amazing soundbytes in there. We get through most of the footage early on, so Bob spends the rest of the day playing clips he's grabbed off of Youtube- there's a lot of silly stuff relating to our subject, and it's looking like we might actually use a bunch of it for the final cut.

I know this all sounds vague, but I guess it has to be because I was barely in the office for an hour before they had me sign a big confidentiality agreement. And even though this blog has a readership of approximately zero, I'm still not wild about writing anything that could get me fired. Even though I'm not getting paid anything and I'm sort of a peon in the company, I still strangely enjoy being a part of this project. Everyone else at the office is pretty easygoing, and I actually feel like people are willing to listen to what I have to say, even though I'm an intern. Plus, the office is full of free food- mostly vegetarian entrees- and I can usually milk this for 3-4 reasonably sized snacks/meals per day (I like to eat a lot). Plus I can pat myself on the back for getting all the vegetables I'm not putting on my plate at home.

Probably the coolest part about this secret documentary that I'm working on is that I'm lined up to go on some stake-outs in the future. I get sent to various undisclosed locations all over the country to watch certain people (hopefully) do certain things while I spy on them with video cameras from behind tinted windows. Bob tells me that this is actually pretty boring- he's done it before, and he's always ended up spending hours in his car, only to have nothing actually happen. Still, I'm pretty amped for when it's gonna be my turn to be behind the darkened glass.

On Saturday, I went to a block party in Venice with Jenny, my roommate, and one of her friends. Right away, one of Jenny's friends hands us these crazy drinks full of fruit that had been soaking all night in various kinds of alcohol. The drink is pretty good, but the fruit is among the more disgusting things I've ever put in my mouth. While we're standing outside, some random guy calls me over and starts telling me about how the house we're standing next to is the ugliest he's ever seen. I think it actually kind of works in a funky ugly LA kind of way, but I don't think I'd want to pay the $2.9 million that the realtor is asking.

Jenny gets drunk and adventurous, and she starts wandering all over the little street where the party is happening. Somehow, she ends up on a third floor balcony, and we climb the stairs to meet her in this cozy little beach apartment where people are listening to remixes and watching surf movies and smoking pot. There's a pretty neat fish tank, too.

We go up on the roof and watch planes landing at LAX and in the night sky they look like UFO's. I meet the guy who owns the apartment with the fish tank. He had a copy of Some Like It Hot sitting in front of his TV, and there are magnets on his refrigerator with 50's era caricatures of Tony Curtis, Jack Lemon, and Marilyn Monroe. I ask him about these and he seems super excited that someone actually recognized them. We start talking, and some girl I met earlier breaks into our conversation to ask this guy if he's gay too, and he immediately disappears into another conversation and we don't see him again. I take this as a very closted yes.

Eventually, two police officers show up and try to break up the party, but there's at least 300 people around, and they don't have much luck. I eat Mexican food with Jenny and her friends, and then she falls asleep in the car on the way home. I have a really good conversation with Christina, Jenny's friend, on the way home, and I wonder why I often wait so long to come out of my shell when I meet new people. I hope I'm not the same way with Los Angeles this time around.

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