1.02.2009

I Should Probably Write It Down: 2008 In Review

2008 was a year of big ups and downs for me.

School:
I had my own studio apartment, about a 10 minute drive northeast of campus, in a spectacularly bad part of the neighborhood. It was nice to have my own place, but stressful to commute, too far away and too scary of an area for people to visit. Parking was awful. My neighbor had a roach problem, so half-dead roaches would sometimes drunkenly stumble into my apartment, where I would drown them in Raid and flush them down the toilet. The dust from the city coated every surface of my apartment daily, so I had to wear slippers a lot and do a lot of dusting. Pricey internet, and a gas leak that I couldn't smell upped my gas bill. (Before that, my gas had been shut off because a previous tenant had not paid his bill of over $400. How does that even happen?! I had no hot water for over a week until I could prove to the gas company that I was not the previous tenant.)

Mostly I survived off of Trader Joe's frozen foods and late night calls to my regular Thai delivery place. I only got a couch and coffee table halfway through the semester thanks to Kevin. I also purchased my first big appliance: a refrigerator.

Spring 2008 was a time where my depression and acedia got the most of me, and my two closest friends often had to deal with my moods and crabbiness. They were incredibly gracious. They bought me a teddy bear. I owe them a lot. My schoolwork suffered and I was unreliable at work. My apartment never recovered from the mess until we cleaned it as we were moving out.

My purse was stolen. A stranger's kindness made me feel incredibly lucky.

My car was totaled. For the last few weeks of school I walked down 7 blocks of scary neighborhood to the bus stop, and took the bus down to school. I got my first traffic violation ever... I was on foot. Again, a stranger's kindness surprised me.

I made some fun viral videos.

I went on some fun dates with a really nice guy. First time I went out since my break up the year before.

It was also the semester I got familiar with Panavision and 35mm. It was when I knew for sure that I wanted to be a cinematographer.

I had a panic attack the night before graduation (for various reasons I'd rather not write about) and I had to talk to my mom for an hour over the phone to be able to fall asleep. I graduated cum laude sitting inbetween friends. Freddie was practicing tying boating knots with his honors tassels to my left. The guy who runs Walt Disney spoke. My hand did not burst into flames when I shook Dean Daley's hand. I did not trip on my heels.

I realized that after 4 years, the bonds my friends and I all made our freshman year (and the new bonds created along the way) are still strong. I find that incredible. And right now we're all separated, be it from work or distance, but we're all going through the same thing and we all still find the time and effort to connect. I don't know what the future will bring. Whenever I hear my parents talk about their "old college friends" it is always a distant memory. But we've never been your run-of-the-mill college friends. Those who saw us our freshman year thought we were an anomaly. I consider these people family. I honestly hope we get to see each other get married, meet each other's kids, meet each other's new friends, celebrate and commiserate our successes and failures, and continue to grow up into real life together. I don't know how realistic that is. But all I know is I love these people.

Missed Opportunities
I met with the CEO of a large production company and was offered a spot working for free on their next picture as a camera PA, starting in fall 2008. It was a movie I was already excited about, so to work on the film was a wild dream come true, especially since I liked the cinematographer. In order to save money, after I graduated I sublet my apartment and moved back home to Colorado. It would save me a couple months rent and I could spend some time at home before jetting out of the country for several months to film.

But then filming was pushed back to January. Then it was pushed back to the summer. Then it was canceled. Then it was back on, with no filming date set, nor a script that fit their new budget. I didn't find a job fast enough and my money eventually went away. I decided to move back to LA. But the money to do so did not exist, and the hopes I had for car I was going to buy were dashed when the owner could no longer sell it.

The summer was gone. My money was gone. I got a job at a fabric and crafts store, making a few cents above minimum wage. I was stuck in Colorado, house-bound, no car, and getting no replies from anybody trying to hire for film.

Fortunately I have good friends here, too. Weird, strange, dirty-minded nerdy boys. And a couple of awesome girls.

Friends
My friends here, excluding the few lovely exceptions that are the other women in my life, are all boys about one or two years younger than me. I love them to death... but sometimes, I really just need to hang out with girls. Which does not happen often enough.

I got to see Highschool Musical 3 with Tinny, and Mamma Mia with Erin.

This year I also got to meet Director Chuck and his wife, both whom I totally love. I became friends with Bret and his girlfriend over the summer, which was awesome, since I only sort of knew them in high school. Dave, Kyle, Japan-Dan, Director J and I are all just weird. But we have fun. They're my midnight showing, park-hopping, sushi-eating buddies.

Opportunities Found
I got to shoot a movie with aforementioned nerdy friends and new friends. On a Panavision camera.

I got a teaching position at the film school here as adjunct faculty.

We're planning on making more movies. :)

Mental and Physical Health
I kept myself in mostly high spirits for the entire summer. A feat that I thought was impossible, as the summer before I nearly suffered a breakdown.
But fall came and went, and now it's winter. It's going to be a new year and I am still in Colorado, away from home and the life I had before. I am at the heaviest I've ever been, and I've been trying to fight off depression and acedia and often failing.

Other Things of Importance
Our country elected the world's most awesome President. (Oh, and also the first black president). Election morning was fun. Went to the voting booth with my parents at the local middle school.

My loyal companion for almost 4 years now, my digital camera, broke. It was like losing a limb.

I got to visit LA.

The Dark Knight midnight showing was awesome.

Got my wisdom teeth out. Learned how amazing vicodin is for migraines.

I started writing music, mostly for a songwriting class. Then I got to jam with Bret and James, forming the band The Former Weapons of the Finnish Army. We have yet to finish a song. But we wrote a bunch of them!

I got to visit my friend Erin in Lubbock, Texas for a week. We got to go to the Cadillac Graveyard and Roswell, New Mexico! And we also watched a lot of Colin Firth movies, and Erin made me read Twilight.

2008, you've been a shitty year, but thanks for all the nice stuff in between. Here's hoping for more of the good, the hopeful, and the fun.

1 comment :

Doug said...

i appreciate your ability to be honest not only with a largely public audience as dictated by the interwebs medium, but more importantly your ability to be honest with yourself. to see the good in dark situations.

this is a cool retrospective, and your writing style not only enlightens me to who you are as a person, but also helps me look back on myself and my 2008.

you'll get back to LA soon and become wildly successful. I can sense it. :D