Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Pain, the Silence, the Muppets

Today’s post will be illustrated by Muppets , because nobody expresses abject fear, disgust, despair, or just plain psychotic-ness better than the Muppets. And plus I also finally figured out how to use my DVD Capture program that’s been sitting on my computer for three years now. Yep, that’s me. Amy the Technological Genius.

So walking with my Savior (or as I like to call it “Being the Chickie In The Basket and God’s The Swedish Chef Who Just Dribbled Me Into the Basketball Hoop And Scored Two Points Off My Life.”) has led to a few bumps in the road. I was probably due, things had been far too complacent for far too long. Life wise, I mean. Spirituality, well that’s a constant struggle. “This is the song that never ends! Yes, it goes on and on my friend!” No, wait, that’s Lamb Chop. Whatever.

I have been rejected for the TV Track that Act One offers through its Writing Program. They did say from the beginning that they discriminate on age, and that something like 22 people were applying for something like 11 spots, so I wasn’t the only one rejected. But it smarts something FIERCE when you suspect (I didn’t confirm, it’s kinda pathetic, “Please tell me why I wasn’t good enough? Pretty please?”) that your age overruled your writing skills, your experience in the industry, and your MONSTER sense of discipline. I’m seven, and already over the hill. Blegh. (UPDATE! Apparently, my age had nothing to do with it, but more people were more PASSIONATE about TV than I was. Hmmm. Huh. Okay, I'll give 'em that.)

But no, no, it’s all for the best! It’s God’s will! God doesn’t want you to write for TV! Or if you really think you’re supposed to write for TV, find another opportunity if it kills you so bad! But if not, don’t worry, God’s got something better planned! Yep, He sure does! Don’t you fret your pretty little head. Cheer up, lil’ camper, things’ll get better.

And then I get home and get the email from my boss saying I have lost my job.


It’s not personal. They’re shutting my whole division down. Movie Studio That I Will Still Not Name Because Maybe They’ll Reassign Me doesn’t have much foresight when it comes to the future, and rather than let my division demonstrate its viability since our product hasn’t been released yet, and every single other movie studio has a division like us that’s profitable, but WHATEVER, LET’S SHUT ‘EM DOWN! WHY NOT? IT’S NOT LIKE PEOPLE NEED DAY JOBS OR ANYTHING, has decided to kick us to the curb.

To be honest, it wasn’t like this came out of left field. There had been rumors and murmurs for a good four months now, but I decided that I was NOT going to worry about it, as our good Lord commands us not to (see below post) and if it was indeed true, there wasn’t anything I could do to stop or change it, so I’m just gonna do my thing over here, I’m gonna apply for Act One, Jesus Take The Wheel, blah blah blah.

But it still doesn’t stop the feeling of being sucker punched. Ask any boxer. Being hit still hurts, no matter how many times you get hit, no matter how many times you anticipate it.

So I do what any self-respecting boxer who’s been sucker punched would do. I sink down to the ground and bawl my eyes out. (What? They don’t do that? Oh, they do it on the inside, mister. Trust me.)

I’m SCARED! I yell out to God in the empty house because Roomies Heckle and Jekyll have those things called jobs that I don’t have anymore. I’m SCARED! HELP ME! WHAT DO I DO!? WHAT DO I DO FOR F’S SAKE!?

Knock it off. This is not God talking, this is the Bitchily Pragmatic Side O’Amy, the one who doesn’t put up with anything. Not procrastination, not tears, not abject despair, not refusing to go to the gym, not ignoring phone calls or emails because I just want to sleep. She’s psychotic in a bad way (not like Crazy Harry psychotic in a funny way) and she never goes away. I hate her. I want God to answer me, I get her instead. Get off the floor, Bitchy Prago says, You know exactly what you have to do. Same thing you’ve been doing for a week. You’re enrolled in Act One, and you’ll do that for the next month. You’re much better off being in Act One and not having a job, than not having a job and not being in Act One. So stop with the crying like a damn baby and get off the floor.

But what do I do about severance? Health Insurance? Holy crap, I’m on an unpaid leave of absence. They could technically screw me out of EVERYTHING. Could they? Could they? Crank up the Paranoid Fantasies, crank up the Fluttering From Mom, The 4’11 Phone Harpy Who Anticipates The Worst Of Every Situation And Probably Where Bitchy Prago Got Her Start. I’m HOSED! HOSED, I TELL YOU!

You don’t know jack right now because you haven’t talked to Human Resources, sniffs Bitchy Prago, Things could be fine, there could be an option for reassignment someplace else in the company or something. You’ve got five years there. You just got a stellar performance review. This is HOLLYWOOD we’re talking about! There is no such thing as TENURE! I’m HOSED! Shut the fuck up. (Sorry, you made me say it.) Ahem. As I said, you don’t know anything right now because you haven’t talked to Human Resources. So get up off the fing floor and stop this nonsense. Besides, aren’t you supposed to do something like trust God?

Yes, yes, I’m supposed to trust God. itrustGoditrustGoditrustGod. What DOES THAT LOOK LIKE NOW!? I’m looking through my bedroom doorway down the hall like the Almighty is gonna come strolling down. “You rang?”

God? God? Anybody up there? Out there? Anywhere? Hello? Please silence the Bitch In My Head? Send Mr. Holy Spirit Of Reassurance? Please? Please?

Can you at least just put one foot on the floor, ya big non-trusting baby? Put one foot on the floor. Then push up. You can stand up. You’ve done it all your life, save for the newborn months. Hey! There’s alcohol in the kitchen! BOOZE! Go get the BOOZE!

Now, I get up. Told ya you could stand up, you moron. I drink a few White Russians, which instantly stop the tears, but more importantly Silences The Bitch In My Head. Which God chose not to do, for some reason. Settle back down in front of the computer. I’ve got homework for Act One, after all. I’m a writer. A writer writes.

But this is what I don’t get. I called out to Him in my time of distress. I cast all my cares upon Him, I begged, I cried, there was no reason in the world that He wouldn’t have answered me. I’m not asking for an angel to materialize in the kitchen, and rest a wing on my brow. Just that still small voice in my soul. And when I listen, all I hear is the Bitch.

Unless…unless the Bitch IS God. Oh fuck that. That CAN’T be right, it just CAN’T be. Our God is a loving God, right? Our God wants to give us good things? Our God does not act like a militant uncaring Bitch? Our God does not tell us to go get White Russians in the kitchen, right?

Is it half God, half the Devil (or “the enemy” as modern day Christians like to refer to him)? Why wouldn’t God be louder? When His child needs Him?

That is what this blog is all about. Because I haven’t a clue why He wouldn’t be louder. I did everything allegedly right (the booze was probably not recommended) Why is there still silence?

Oh, I’m fine now. NOW. Life goes on, and the punch fades and there’s more homework to distract me. There might be even be potentially good news from a completely different quadrant tomorrow. But maybe not (now that I've jinxed myself by mentioning it.) And on we go. Because we have to. Because that’s the way life works.

This is the song that never ends. Yes, it goes on and on my friend…

What a bummer. I need something cheerful to end this post with.! Here's a shot from my favorite Muppet sketch of all time. "The Cat Came Back." If you all have never seen this sketch (on the Linda Ronstadt episode in season 5) you have no idea what true Muppet hilarity is. This is Gaffer the Cat, and her owner Benny (not in this shot, and not Rowf, who's playing a banjo behind Gaffer) keeps trying to give her away, shoot her out a canon, blow her up, but all to no avail, as the song goes, because "The Cat Came Back. She couldn't stay away. She was sittin' on the porch the very next day. The cat came back, she didn't wanna roam. The very next day she was home sweet home."

Maybe God's Gaffer the Cat. But I'm pretty sure I'd trip over Her, if that was the case.


Midlife Virgin said...

Sucks. But sometimes, yes, God is the bitch in your head. Something got you off the floor and writing. If you didn't get off the floor and write, then God wouldn't have reached you. Sometimes, faith is just getting off the floor and trusting that tomorrow you won't end up on the floor again. This spoken by a woman who has an illustration of a very high ledge with feet teetering on the edge of it and the words "Susan and Zadra were here" as my computer wallpaper. Mine is usually a ledge, not the floor, but it's the same thing. Getting up is having faith. Because if you don't have faith that something is going to happen, that you're on the path, you're not going to get up. Glad you did.

RichardT said...

Yup--sucks, sucks, suck. And it seems to be something in the air now. I have about a half dozen friends who are doing the dance of "I just lost_______" fill in JOB, SIGNIFICANT OTHER, PARENT, or HOUSE. All with ampersands for multiple concurrent losses. What's up with that?!?

But. I also know that you are Amy, the Girlie-but-Tough. And yes--this is in fact Hollywood, home of the stupid corportate decision that is re-decided in a week. But that said, you deserve better and I know you'll find it because you *can* find it. And Act One? Puh-lease. Hardly the only Kidz On the Block in this town. And if they are going to fall into the current moronic H'wd abyss of "we want writers with no life experience know...'cuz they're hip!", then really who needs 'em. Not you. Really, not any of us.

And c'mon: when was the last time you had a really good cry? You got some toxins out fer once. Now go ye forth and kick some bootie.

Anonymous said...

Amy, I worked at this one Movie studio, boring dept for 10 years. They layed me off and I was crushed!! But it was the best thing that ever happened to me. Now I am back at that studio temping but working for more money, in better interesting departments, benefits and I have more freedom to do what I "really" want to do. Trust me. This too shall past.

You will know it was meant to be. You were meant to take another path to make it as a writer. Keep up your faith... even if that means having a drunken stuper night here and there.

Hang in there sweatie. LA Thomas