I’m sitting in The Novel Café in Santa Monica. Writer Central. It’s been awhile since I took my laptop out and hung out here, but I needed to get out of my house. I got cable TV last week and I can already feel my productivity slipping due to that evil box. It was a big deal for me to order it. I haven’t had cable since I moved to LA and was pretty good at ignoring the fliers that ended up in my mail every other day urging me to sign up for a three month trial period. That is until I got back from the tour, where every hotel room had cable TV and I had gotten a little used to it. Now, back in my apartment with a fuzzy TV and three channels, I felt I was missing out. Football season is here. There’s an election coming up. The World Series. I broke down and ordered the damn thing. Somehow, they talked me into ordering some package that has 250 channels, more than I would ever need, but it’s only twenty five bucks for the trial period. After that, I hope I’ll have the strength to disconnect it.
My brother came down to LA Friday night from Santa Barbara. He was catching a flight the next morning to Belize and needed to stay the night on my couch. My brother and I are reasonably close, but we could not be more different in many ways. He’s an entrepreneur who, despite running a business that manages to barely break even each year, lives the good life. He drives a new Audi and just bought a house with a breathtaking price tag. (I haven’t seen it yet but my parents told me it was “very nice” and then asked me why I don’t move to somewhere nicer. Thanks, mom%21) So he’s off to Belize, a place I know nothing about but sounds good. It’s a hard knock life, dear brother.
My brother has always liked getting the latest toys. Now he has the flat screen TV and the home stereo system and all that crap. Stuff I’d love to have but never think to splurge on, mainly because my 19 inch Toshiba works just fine and Responsible Me should spend my money on things like food and rent. Usually I’m pretty good at ignoring the urge to acquire such petty material possessions, but I can’t help it all the time. I’m an American after all. I too like to consume, once in awhile. And I try not to compare myself with my brother, but I can’t help myself sometimes. He has truly embraced the “live on credit, get in the real estate game, make money money money at any cost” philosophy, while I continue to ignore all those supposedly necessary American-life-assets and hunker down and pursue my dream. I’m not sure which way is the right way to go, but if I’ve made the wrong choice, I hope I’ll still have a chance to correct it before I end up returning home at the age of fifty to live with my parents. If that happens and I have to visit my brother’s mansion for the holidays, the odds of me dying an early, self-inflicted death will be very high.
On a more positive note, I’ve gotten back to writing. That occupation that takes hours and hours of my time and makes me no money. YET. Anyway, I’m working on my latest script, which I hope to get done soon so I can find some cash and make it next spring, somehow. I’ve decided that if the script is good enough and can be done for under $200,000, then I will just have to scrape together the money from somewhere, any way I can, and make it happen. I’d rather have a feature film under my belt than a mortgage any day.