Lunes, Hunyo 4, 2012

No Prize for Consolation

The year's halfway done, and things have changed. It's still that time of the year, and I can't believe of noticing this just now, wherein I do some sort of clean up. Around June this time last year, I became single, I had feelings for a particular girl that I ended up not going for, I started doing the TV stuff and a bunch of other miscellaneous shit. The year before that, around June, I believe I just started working a new job, hung out with a bunch of new people, I was living in the Big Man's house and all that other shit.

This time around, it's no different. Here I am, just a month or so in as a TV comedy writer, working on a second (and hopefully less shitty) movie, and looking for the possibilities of a new day job. The past week didn't really show great strides in that last thing, but here's hoping. I gots to get paid, and I gots to get paid soon. Somewhere else that is.

Getting Creative.

As I mentioned before, I'm not the kind of guy that gets starstruck normally. Hell, I have a big TV in my room and I don't use it, so I'm not up to date on who the supposed stars are for me to be struck in the first place. As I also have mentioned, my short (and possibly temporary) stint in the TV network had me in awe of the comedic talent that has graced the creative meetings so far. Last week, I finally got the chance to be in the same creative meeting as the man himself: Michael V. To those who may be living in a rock that's filters out more information than the one I usually inhabit, this guy is perhaps the premier name in local mainstream comedy, and there he was, reacting to a sketch I wrote in a somehow positive manner. Boom. I metaphorically jizzed in my pants out of sheer pride.

I was in high spirits after that, despite the looming poverty and unemployment. (One can argue that yes, the TV writing thing is employment, but I don't necessarily see something I enjoy as a job. I don't know, I think it's important that there is one aspect in one's life one can constantly bitch about, and for most people, it's the job. So I really need one. That, and a steady paycheck would be sweet.) It was a temporary high, but if there's someone who appreciates a temporary high, it's me.

Another good thing about the meeting is that they finally want me to sign a contract thingy. It's either my supposed two month stint is to be extended, or they just need the paperwork so they can pay me for the work I've done so far and wish me well on my future endeavors. Either way, it's awesome.

The Job Hunt.

The fact that I need a job and that I keep bitching about a having a job may be a bit misleading. I still am technically employed. I spoke last week to the new HR person at the Think Tank, who has always been one of my top five non-Breakfast Club people in the office, about my intention to quit. As of right now, she's still helping me with options, but I've been advised to keep doing my thing as long as I'm employed. It's going to be hard to do my job though when I mentally have one foot out of the door.

I had a couple of promising leads on jobs for companies that would still allow me to work in Alabang while being a completely fresh breath of air. One was for web content writing, which happens to be the longest day job I've had (two years or so, I think, back when Ortigas was synonymous to home) so the transition wouldn't be that hard. Plus, given my credentials and experience, I was in line for an attractive financial package. The other was a writing gig that would have me double as the GM's point person in meetings with clients. Also in Alabang, also was supposed to pay well.

I decided not to go for either of the jobs. And for the life of me, I can't really pinpoint why.
Oh, there were several factors. The music they played in the lobby wasn't cool. The HR person who called me about my application sounded rude, and worse, boring. There was also this nagging image in my mind wherein I would be walking around in a suit and carrying a tablet and being all corporate-y and professional. Normal people like to refer to it as "grown up". Sensible people, you know, the ones who don't jump at the opportunity to sell their souls for money, refer to it as lame. It's shallow, yes, and grossly impractical and idealistic. But, I am impractical and idealistic, and I think everyone deserves to be shallow once in a while.

The thing is, almost all of the jobs I've had, I jumped into because they were there. Hence, the early exits. While I regret nothing, I'd like to hold out for something I can really settle into. I don't want to turn into a mass produced douche-bag who severely lacks identity, like some of the people I know who are clearly on the wrong path. I like looking at the mirror, seeing my ugly mug and accepting that ugly mug with a smile.   

A Fitting End.

With a week full of unremarkable highs and lows, what better way to end it with two of the most unremarkable people I know: the Tapa King and The Critic. The Big Man was not able to join us because of some network marketing cult activity. (I'm not slamming the guy's choice for a livelihood, all I'm saying is, if you join an organization that presents an ideal lifestyle and mindset while encouraging you to recruit other people to embrace that paradigm in exchange for some form of reward… you're in a cult.)

Anyhoo, the three of us, all unemployed or soon to be unemployed, all broke and still coming from three extremely separate paths and schools of thought, yet finding ourselves agreeing to some pretty strong concepts, drank as the rain poured down. In fact, that particular section of the Tapa King's house, the disarrayed third floor that substitutes as a work place, is perhaps the ideal place to drink in, especially with the typhoon teasing its arrival. The place reminded the Critic and I of the Gadgeteer's house back when we were in college.

It was an ordinary night, something that, much like the previous weekend, exactly what we needed to end the week. I really see the value of these two chuckleheads now. The Critic, despite being emasculated and pretty much had the majority of his brain cells fried beyond any point of salvation, is one of those rare guys who will always try to see the best in people. After everything that he's been through, the Critic has become an insecure guy, which sucks, but he's the right kind of insecure guy. He's not the kind who would silently compete with his friends, or talk shit about them behind their back just to make them look good, or be extra loud about his or her meager accomplishments. There's one in every group, and it's usually the least attract, least intelligent, least accomplished, and least interesting. Thankfully, the Critic is not that guy. Right now, he's just a guy who's waiting for his turn. I, for one, am rooting for him.

The Tapa King, on the other hand, is someone I just figured out. Not entirely, but I have a better idea of who he is, especially after we shot the shitty movie where he hands down was the MVP on that particular team. He's a working class dude who takes pride in being a working class dude. I admire that. He's uncomplicated. He lives, he works, he drinks, and he's happy as long as he manages to do all of that shit. And the guy's legit too. You know how some broken, low self esteem dudes go to strip clubs and get duped by the girls there to drop huge amounts of hard earned money? The Tapa King's broke as fuck and he has all these women of ill repute going to his house to do the nasty. That shit is game, people. Respect. I guess those stripper mind games only work if the guy has mind. (BAZINGA.) Seriously speaking though, I'm impressed. Not just with the whole ladies' man thing, but how he somehow managed to find what makes him happy, albeit not completely. I don't impress easily. Of all the people that I personally know, there have only been four persons that have impressed me. Marvi and her husband Kokoy (they count as one), Ol' Football Head, The Therapist, and Shelly. Now I'm counting The Tapa King among those people.

Again, pleasant night, surprisingly insightful conversation, a little gossip thrown in and I had me a good night. I just wonder if next weekend yields the same results.

Inspiration Strikes.

With all the uncertainty in the air, I found the best way to ease my mind. Sitting in my room on a Sunday night, I intended to wrap up the treatment for the next movie, but hanging out with the two idiots woke something up inside of me that I haven't had access to in a while. I flipped open the laptop, and banged out a couple of scripts for short films under the Coffeehouse banner. And since I have access to a camera and an editing device, I think it's the perfect time to live out some Coffeehouse Dreams. I just need to assemble the right crew and cast. 
Let the changes come. I've proven I always stick the landing, anyways.

"All stuck in the middle
between what is and what might be
a great sensation
has swept the nation
everybody wants the image you’ve got for sale" - Motion City Soundtrack, "Boombox Generation"

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