Sunday, December 27, 2015

wintertime hibernation

As people cooler than me sometimes say (pushing up my glasses), this is my jam.

I know wintertime hibernation is settling into my bones when I find myself hovering above a mug of tea, savoring the scalding sting of aromatic steam, while listening to the baritone voice of frontman Matt Berninger from The National.  The National is my official wintertime band.  I love these guys, but you just can't swing them during summer, because there is something undeniably grey-skies-scandinavian about their somber songs.  BUT STOP BUT tonight my intention is to focus on another team of creative white men:  Matt, Casey (or "The Better Affleck" as I call him in my head), and Gus.

This is how Gerry opens, and for the rest of this movie
the desert landscape remains one of the primary characters.
I got myself a holiday gift:  the indie drama Gerry - by Gus Van Sant starring Matt Damon and Casey Affleck.  I first watched Gerry ten years ago, and I saw it only once in its entirety.  I never forgot this film, and I'd often watch its opening on YouTube.  So many reasons I appreciate it:  I'm a sucker for films about friends traveling together, and these friends travel through breathtaking landscapes. Also - I enjoy suspense as a genre, and there are ultra tense moments in this movie.  I don't have the word water tattooed to my wrist for no reason!  I'm aware of my reliance on drinkable water to stay alive so, when the boys in this film barely survive in the hot desert without any H2O, it's harrowing to watch. ... Anyway, here's a summary of my Christmas wknd:  Returning to Gerry one decade later felt like reuniting with a friend.  In the past twenty-four hours, I've watched this movie three times. It's so fucking hilarious and simultaneously heartrending.  A mesmerizing and meditative movie, I know why I've never forgotten Gerry.  I had a good Christmas wknd, and I hope you did too. (wink)

"And Sajak was like ... 'NOOOOOO.'"  That line gets me; so funny!

OK - money.  Some expenses loom large from now through the month of January.  With $37 total in my bank accounts, I'm not sure I'll be able to pay off this score over the next five wks.  But the transparency of this blog forced me to be accountable before - maybe it can fiscally inspirit me again:

RENT - This week I owe my landlord $348 for Jan rent. The direct deposit I get on Wednesday will be much less than $348 - because I work an hourly rate, and I was out sick last week.  I'm gonna give my landlord a check and ask that he wait to deposit it until the first week of January.  This might set me back the whole month, and I gotta mentally prep for that, but tomorrow I'll ask if I can work remotely to make up the time I was sick.

EGGS - While my housemate was away this wknd, I fried her last three eggs because I haven't been very good about food shopping...  This should cost me about $5.

ILLUSTRATOR - This score I feel guiltiest about.  Regular readers may've intuited from the chest-beating and heartfelt apologies to my talented illustrator, my favoritest english muffin, that I still owe her for the Depressed Dentist image, and I've sworn to send her payment by the end of January. Next month I will be sending a few hundred pounds across the pond to the British Isles.

In total, this score adds up to an average $750.  If I make these expenses my top priority, not spending on anything else except for food and beverages, then I should be able to pay these dues.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

In 2016, I will glare at you.

Meet my cell phone.

For about the past five years, I haven't had a phone bill.  I think it was 2010 when I was having my taxes done at a local community center, the City of Somerville found out how poor I am, and I was put into their SafeLink Wireless Program, which provides a free phone with free monthly minutes.

I'm pretty ashamed of my phone, because it isn't fancy like other people's mobiles.  It has really crappy reception.  When I try to chat with friends while lounging in my bedroom, calls usu cut out. Then I have to call back - apologizing and hoping with all my might that I don't lose reception a second time.  When someone says "Okay - I sent you a text so you should have my phone number now," I think "Nope - because it can take up to five minutes for texts to get through to my phone," which is a long delay in 2015 tech time.  The worst is when someone just points and starts laughing.

SO why am I sharing this, and why am I choosing to share it now?

I started A Broke Bridget last May and, in a way, our blog's been for me what AA is for alchies.  I come to this electronic space.  Stand up.  Say "My name's Bishop, and I survive everyday in poverty." Smile. Wave. Then sit down.  Over these past seven months, I've come to own this part of my life more completely and peacefully than ever before.  I'm openly poor, which is rather anti-American.  And in this vein, as 2015 ends, I wanna move into 2016 without shame surrounding my cell phone.

SO starting in 2016 I will phone my friends from my apartment's reliable landline.
In 2016 I will stop apologizing about my free cell phone.  I'm grateful to have it!
If someone laughs at my phone, I'll glare at them til they stop.  (A Kaitlyn Greenidge glare.)
In 2016 I will not awkwardly text while simultaneously trying to hide my phone in my bag.
In 2016 I'll explain that, as I am low-income, the City of Somerville gives me a free phone.
And all of this will be me continuing to accept, embrace, and enjoy my life for what it is.

Recently we haven't had much focus on my chronically meager finances, so the purist within me thought it was high time we reviewed just how broke your Bridget remains...  However, tomorrow Christmas officially commences, so let us quickly conclude with some lighter and brighter tidings:

#3  -  As I proceed to produce my movie, the filmmaking process is becoming mine.  I set out to complete a business plan by the end of this month...  womp womp, that's not gonna happen.  Not because I'm not working away at it.  I am working a lot.  I am exhausted.  It will be a glorious day when I connect with an associate producer.  But there are endless websites that advise this and advise that.  They are great starting points - for me to ignore.  Something I didn't read about, but something I plan to do regardless is include the compensation of paid cast and crew in the budget before I begin raising capital, so that their piddly payments are part of the fundraising drive.  This means assembling a skeleton cast/crew now.  I've continued to contact folks.  What I am discovering - and it's more amazing than I can articulate artfully - is that this isn't a project to hold back on.  When I haven't held back; when I've flailed my arms and passionately yelped "AS AN ARTIST, YOU'RE STUNNING BECAUSE YOU CAN EXPERTLY EXPRESS X Y AND Z.  OR YOU CAN EDIT LIKE NO OTHER HUMAN BEING!  I APPRECIATE YOUR WORK SOOOOO MUCH," the surprising response is affirmative. (stunned expression)  Sometimes I overwhelm others.  Or they think I'm a mouthy showboat.  Or my friendliness is confused for subtle flirting.  (I don't flirt subtly, as regular readers know...)  In short, I am no longer surprised by crossed wires!  And I am constantly measuring how to appropriately interact or respond in a circumstance.  BUT there was someone I approached, and I wasn't really sure about their place in this film project.  Even as I contacted their agent, I was aware that my approach was politely tentative, and they passed; said no thanks...  In my everyday life, tentative works. With filmmaking, hesitancy sinks my ship.  During this filmmaking process my strong personality actually helps me, and I want to believe that I'm gonna connect with equally high-energy collaborators who thrive through creating.  Who want to pour passionate carebear love into something super special.

Oh crap!  It got late.  Let's skip #2.  Here's #1:

merry christmas to YOU, whom i heart.  sending a huge hug.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

an ISTJ on a sleepy sea

Hi babyhead.  
I miss yooou!

To begin with an Agent-Cooper-esque update: It is Thursday morning, Diane.  11:30am.  I'm in a booth at work, and I'm sleepy.  As I'm tired, the energy level of this blog may be lower than other posts, and Satie's GymnopĂ©dies aren't doing much to rouse me, but only because the smartest move is to submit to today's unshakable fatigue.  And as this is the hour I typically dedicate to exercising in the gym for employees, my job isn't in danger.  But my brain's dead.  I need a break from work and, like I honestly emoted, I miss our electronic rendezvousing.

So no elliptical trainer today.  Instead, an overdue wuv letter to YOU.

The job continues to go well.  I continue to be grateful.  Over these past two years, I've morphed from an ENFJ, which is an insatiably social butterfly, into a workaholic ISTJ.  Basically, I turned inside out!  ISTJ's work first and perhaps (but probably not) play later.  We are extremely serious.  Great employees but party poopers.  It's a drastic transformation, yet observably irrefutable.  Accordingly, as I learn my new work responsibilities more thoroughly, I'm becoming obsessive about doing my job right.  About making sure all the details line up in the straightest line possible.  And I hate to own this - because I absolutely 300% adore ever person on my content team and don't wanna come off as an antisocial Grinch - but I work in a private booth area because socializing during work disturbs my zone of OCDness.  So in short, still the best employer I have ever had:  I listen to music all day while I type away.  There is an endless supply of free orange juice for me to sip on all day.  And I suspect my employer might be feminist.  There are free pads and tampons in the loo, which really made me respect this company - to womanist me, that is a huge acknowledgement of us female worker bees.

I've got to get back on the clock, but quick film update:  Euphorically unfolding, like for realz.  I love this process.  I never expected my writing life to expand in this direction, but it certainly is, and for that I will always look back on 2015 as a significant turning point in my entire life - not just my creative life, but my entire life.  I sorta got the cinematographer that I want.  He's huge.  He's a big fucking deal.  I constantly appreciate his visuals.  I talked with his agents and they were like (paraphrasing), "ok.  we need the start date and other logistics."  And I was like (paraphrasing and more reserved than I felt inside), "cool.  i'm writing the business plan this month.  raising capital during 2016.  let's have another meeting next december."  Then they gave thumbs up, in a sense.  Holy shit!

I don't believe I can comprehend how special 2015 has been for me.  I just need to keep my feet grounded.  Need to stick to my to-do lists.  Deeply breathe, and keep chugging away.  On that note, I really need to get back to work.  The next blog will be more of an electronic holiday card - coming soon.  Now go find some mistletoe and hug someone/something cute, and that includes family pets.

High five, babe.
Yours true, xB

Friday, December 4, 2015

employer of my dreams

this is how i feel:  like a happy cat
I love my job! For so many reasons.  I couldn't even begin to list them all.

FIRST - It's a worksite set up like a liberal arts college or small university.  Everyone has their desk but, around the lobby of each level, there are booths, couches and modern swivel chairs. These work areas are open to everyone.  I like my desk, which is a tamed understatement, as the wall to my left is a floor to ceiling window.  But it was my second day claiming a booth and working there.  I suspect I'll rarely sit at my ultra deluxe desk.  To return to the thesis observation, this layout feels collegiate in that management is not breathing down employers' necks.  We can work anywhere we want within the office building, trusted we are going to complete our assignments.

SECOND - There are snack rooms on each floor with more tasty nibbles than I could every crave. Herbal teas.  Fruity teas - even blueberry tea.  Black teas.  Green teas.  A Keurig Coffeemaker, plus a Starbucks and Peet's coffeemaker.  Cashews.  Oreas.  Bananas.  Endless options.  All of them free and constantly restocked - like Santa does not have an off season, and your Mama never sleeps.

I could easily list at least twenty more reasons for why I am soul-deep grateful for this professional opportunity, and at the top of my list would my sensational coworkers.  I really really really really REEEEEALLY needed to work with fellow writers.  This past week I had a sincere conversation about Henry Miller, which bordered on a heartfelt homage to one of the most skilled American authors.  I and three amazing women, who are shaping up to be my core group of work cronies, are going to form a writing group.  Not to mention the meetings where we endlessly yet earnestly kvetch about comma placement, awkward sentence structure, capitalization error, and other wordy-nerdy issues.

this goals list is taped to my bedroom window
< See that list to over there? There are 3 overarching objectives I have from my 30s.  We know I love where I live, and I plan to live here for at least the next eight years.  We also know that Broke Bridget yearns for financial stability! I hope that I have found it with this exceptional employer. In my experience, attachment is an illusion / elusion, but I wouldn't mind being attached to this company for the next several years.

Tonight's shoutouts go to Notorious P.A.M. and Baldvins the Viking - two close gal pals who patiently waited with me, always emotionally present, as I winded my way to this employer of my dreams.

Postscript:  Happiest 46th Birthday to Jay Z, my favorite rapper and a super savvy entrepreneur!!!