The Super Post

Do you ever have the day when something big happens and you don’t have the opportunity to reflect on it, but the whole thing keeps playing out in your head…the whole day?

So, I spent the last 24 hours going over and over these same scenes in my mind. I can’t seem to stop thinking about it.

My youngest brother plays the drums. He’s in high school, he’s a good kid, works hard, creates high expectations for himself (doesn’t always see they are significant expectations) and he’s successful at it. So, of course, it really will piss me off when I find out that someone lets him down.

He told me yesterday that his band instruction has been forgetful in regards (thank you Anthony) to turning in registration forms for large band-related events. I know I know…life is full of disappointments. HOWEVER, is it possible to wait on this whole letting kids down thing until they finish high school? Don’t you think that life is already rough enough?

I know this isn’t the norm, and that I had (and Mark has) some wonderful instructors. When he told me that he had Mr. Obrien for not just one class, but TWO classes…I was terribly excited for him. I know that I can still name every teacher I had growing up, but I admit to being one of the weird ones. If I had to rank my teachers, Mr. Obrien is truly in the top 5.

And, now that I think about trying to rank them…I’m stopped dead in my tracks. They were all really good, and I don’t think I realized it until I got to college, and I’d think back saying “oh…that’s what she/he meant….”

So, understand my absolute disappointment when Mark tells me that registration forms for band performances are not submitted before their due date, or that homecoming preparation is last minute or almost an afterthought.

Oh…now I’m totally thinking back to all those silly days. Mark’s so lucky. I’m sitting here staring out the window waiting for a Hawaii client to call me at the end of their business day. But, would I want to do it all again? Um…maybe just a day or two.

Filming stuff
I don’t even know where to start with all of this. I readily admit that I’m not from “The Industry”, and outside of one class in college – I have no filming experience. However, I am concerned about the overall lack of respect by film crews when they are onsite. I don’t mind filming. The only cool part of traveling is that when clients ask me about where I live, I can tell them I’m only four or five blocks away from the Volvo commercials, or Allstate, or the Italian Job…you know.

What bugs me is when street parking is blocked off, for nearly a week…and maybe only two days of filming take place. You can’t tell your Westside friends to meet you are 626 Reserve because you don’t know where to tell them to park. (and no…the bus/subway is not an option…yet….we are working on that)

It bugs me that activities that would not be permissible in our old old neighborhood of Wilshire and Bundy, are readily permissible here at 6th and Main. That explosions, gun shots, staged accidents, stunts of people falling/running/pushed off of building tops seem to be a weekly (and during pilot season, daily…hell…MULTIPLE times a day). There’s a proposed set of police available on the DLANC_Residents list that should start to work with industry and FilmLA to address these issues.

I know that The Industry, and Supporters of The Industry will cry foul. Tough. J Residents live here. Downtown has this great mix of the powerful, powerless, and misguided powerful, unguided powerful, and on and on. However, it’s a dynamic neighborhood. Someone is paying attention. People have lived downtown for at least a century, and in full force for the last 50 years. It’s a growing issue, and there’s a critical mass that would like to work with The Industry to continue making Downtown the cheapest Backlot you’ve got, and at the same time…respect each other’s urban yards.

Last night was interesting because I have been struggling to figure out how I fit into all of this. How can I use what I think I’m good at for good and to move us forward. Um, let’s skip back to all the Green Party days of meeting facilitation.

It’s not that I dislike chaos. I just get frustrated when there are more than 10 really great, admirable, strong, and persistent personalities are in the room, and everyone has this amazing life story. Downtowners…I’ve seen…we’ve got a lot to say. It’s all important, and it all add to the character of the neighborhood.

(This reminds me of the first night of summer camp. That first night everyone is new to you and you want to tell them everything about you, your favorite color, food, where you live, what you’ve faced and feel comfortable sharing. As a camp counselor is was the dreaded first night, because the kids will not go to sleep, and 7:30 is only 5 hours away, and for Gods sake…GIRLS GO TO SLEEP)

Anyway, so last night we had FilmLA visit our group, and it was a great airing. For most of the first half of the meeting I really felt that most people were there to listen, provide feedback, listen, provide more feedback, and interspersed with the hard hitting indisputable concerns.

At the end of the night I felt really good about the meeting – like we had accomplished more in the three hours of discussion, than most complete in years. And, although I unintentionally butchered names, I feel like I made a serious attempt to make sure all of us had an opportunity to raise objections, refine key points, and really dig into the topic of improving the relationship between the film industry and residents. It’s all very exciting.

Wow, this is the long post.

Today’s Online Course
I think this is really what’s on my mind. I lead these hour-long courses were people call in and view the presentation online. Helping to get people over the fear of grants is the best part of my job (winning grant money is a good thing too…but the fear is half the battle). My first course this morning was bright and early at 7, with mostly east coast and Midwest callers. We were trying to get into the course; there was the usual background noise. Until one of the clients found out her brother had just passed away.

It was rough because I was caught between wanting to console the woman who just lost her brother, and the trainer who needed to retain control of the online course. And, to add to the pressure, this course had to end of time, because there were two more back to back. I had three minutes before courses to take a moment for myself to recognize what had happened on the call, take a moment to say a little prayer, and inhale some food.

The sound of her voice immediately took me back to 1994. I can say that I remember, but that sound replays in my mind from time to time. I’m not shy about it, someone took my mother’s life, she was sleeping, they came to rob the house and made a decision not to leave any witnesses. They were easily caught. My mom was forced to leave behind 3 kids that weren’t yet ready to let her go. And, luckily we never will.

So, in the midst of having to lead three sessions of grant writing, I just kept trying to push out of my mind the idea that one more person on this planet having to spend days with this feeling of loss that never goes away.

The Upside
I got to spend the last part of my day with my some really great people. I got to talk to Matt for a bit, Alex for a bit, and he finally comes home in 12 days. And, Apolo Ohno is on Dancing with the Stars tonight.

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