Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Pics of the new place: semi-decorated

It still needs a lot of decorating but here it is one month in:

Alex can post pictures of the office once he gets it unpacked completely.

Monday, March 29, 2010

A new day, a new....JOB!

You read right, I have a job.  I'm actually quite surprised myself.  I've been in Los Angeles exactly 27 days and have been actively looking for exactly 16 of those days, and today...today I went and landed myself a job. And I realize how incredibly lucky I am to have found a job so quickly in this economy.  I am truly, truly blessed.

To re-cap the events:  My friend Liz gave me a contact at a job recruiting agency.  I contacted her the week before last and had a meeting with her last Monday.  She called me on Wednesday to let me know that she had gotten something in for me.  There was a freelance position with an ad agency here in Los Angeles.  The position was for a Media/Traffic Coordinator and with my background in advertising, I was a good fit.  She said the job would last for at least 90 days, possibly up to 120.  Ok, I thought...I can do this.  I can work for these people for 3-4 months and look for something else in the meantime.  So I told her yes, I was interested, and she sent my resume to them.  I didn't hear from her until Friday, when she called to say that they'd like to meet with me on Monday at 11am.

So, this morning I get up, throw on my best interview attire, and head down to Wilshire for my interview.  I really hate interviews.  There's only so much you can really tell about a person in an interview and I always feel so awkward.  Specifically when they start asking you questions about what you would do in certain situations...I mean, how am I supposed to say exactly what I would do in a hypothetical situation?  Every situation is different and every reaction is different.  But whatever, I survived the in-office interview...and then I survived the phone interview that followed later, and within 20 minutes I had a job offer.  I start on Wednesday, and instead of being freelance, it's actually a temp-to-hire position.  Meaning I'll work there freelance for 90 days and if we all play nice together then they'll hire me full time.  If not, then it's back to square one for me.

I'm actually excited about the opportunity.  It's a very laid back company.  I can wear jeans to work.  It's a very young environment.  And it has amazing views of the Hollywood Hills.  Negatives:  Apparently it's a 45-60 minute drive to work every day but I suppose that's Los Angeles, and I suppose that's what NPR is for.

Now to find Alex a job!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

"As far as I'm concerned, you can drop off the Earth. That's a promise."

 Thanks to the brilliant writing of Tommy Wiseau for the title of this post.  More on that later.

There was a distinct moment earlier this week where for the first time I felt like I actually lived in Los Angeles.  It was, simply enough, the moment I started listening to local radio.

We've had satellite radio for about two years now.  Birmingham has quite possibly some of the worst local radio stations.  After Citadel pulled the plug on The X, I was pretty much done with local radio.  Sure they had the occasional station pop up to replace The X, and after it's 15 minutes of fame were up, whatever company was behind it pulled the plug on it as well.  Because of this, I found myself listening solely to NPR...and then we discovered XM.  I've spent the past two years listening to nothing but satellite radio, because I never had a reason to listen to local radio anymore.  The first couple of weeks we were here I was still listening to XM, and then one day I got in the car with Alex and he was listening to KROQ, and it was...dare I say...GOOD!  So I began to channel surf in my own car, and there it was...the moment I realized I lived in California.  I was driving to the dog park one morning, surfing through channels and listening to local morning talk radio and it hit me:  I actually live here now.  Strange how something so minuscule can be such a defining moment, isn't it?

Before we moved we were warned that people in LA won't drive very far outside of where they live, mostly because of traffic.  So, in other words, if we live in Sherman Oaks and someone else lives in Venice, the odds of them coming over to hang out one night is pretty much slim to none.  I thought this was a pretty insane notion at first.  Four weeks later and I'm finding myself participating in this line of thinking.  In Alabama it's nothing to drive from Hoover to Trussville to see friends or what-not.  And it was nothing for me to drive 30 miles to my mom's house at 6pm after work if she needed me to.  But here...totally different.  I've been taking Raimi to this dog park that LeeAnne introduced me to in Encino.  It's a whopping 8 miles from my house.  It takes me 15 minutes to get there if traffic is good.  At first it wasn't a big deal; however, everyday this week I've found myself thinking "eh...it's so far away and I'll have to deal with traffic...maybe we'll just go on a long walk instead."  Am I serious?  8 miles...15 minutes...and I'm thinking that's too far?

The thing I'm discovering about Los Angeles is that while it's a huge city, it's actually very much small town at the same time.  Maybe not small town in the "everybody knows your name" sense, but small town in the way that every little community has pretty much everything you could ever need, so you never have to leave the area where you live.  For example, we live on the Sherman Oaks/Studio City cusp, and there are 5 groceries stores that I can name off the top of my head within a 2 mile radius of my house.  There are 2 different Starbucks locations within 1 mile. And it's like this everywhere you go.  The farthest we've had to venture for necessities is about 7 miles to Ikea in Burbank.  It's a far cry from Birmingham, I'll tell you that much.

Speaking of venturing out, last night Alex & I went to see a screening of The Room at the Sunset 5 theater in Hollywood.  If you don't know what The Room is, here is a link to the trailer:


The movie is terrible...absolutely horrible, but it's become this strange cult phenomenon.  The director, Tommy Wiseau, apparently rents out this theater on the last Saturday of every month and shows his film in all 5 theaters.  This info is especially important for those of you The Room fans who are talking about visiting us.  Schedule your trip wisely.  It was absolute nuts.  It was a midnight screening and we got there about 11:05 only to be about 200-300 people back in line.  Some comedian Alex recognized was there.  Michael Cera was there.  This was a big deal.  I've never seen Rocky Horror (don't hate), but apparently it's the same kind of thing.  People were throwing spoons at the screen...yelling at the screen...just nuts.  But it was the most enjoyable experience I've ever had at a theater.  Alex filmed the Q&A that Tommy Wiseau did before the film.  If you're interested  in seeing the video, it's here:


You know, this blog was supposed to be for me AND Alex to write about our adventurous new life in California, but since I'm the only one using it, I'm considering going back to my old blog, which I haven't touched since opening this one.  We'll see..

Monday, March 22, 2010

"It's a topsy-turvy world, and maybe the problems of two people don't amount to a hill of beans. But this is our hill. And these are our beans..."

Tonight Alex & I went down to the Aero Theater in Santa Monica to see a double feature of The Naked Gun and The Naked Gun 2 1/2 and to also hear David Zucker do a Q&A about the films. We talked to him for about 60 seconds.  Nice guy...really funny guy...but a little awkward to talk to.


See that little ant on the right?  That's David Zucker. 

I got a little video of the Q&A.  I can't seem to upload video on this blog, so here's a link to it on Facebook. 


By the way, everyone needs to harass Alex about not writing on this blog.  I keep telling him to...he keeps telling me he has nothing to say.  Anyone who knows Alex knows that's a bunch of BS.

Friday, March 19, 2010


Ok so, Alex and I went on a walk this afternoon and I got a picture of the treehouse. Coolest treehouse ever!

Click on the picture to see a larger version.

" Happiness is the feeling you're feeling when you want to keep feeling it. "

Today was a very good day here in Southern California.

People keep asking how things are going and I always respond with "good."  I say "good" because they are good...but also because I don't really know what else to say.  We're still settling in...we don't have jobs yet...so honestly, we're not doing a whole lot that would make things not be good.  But today...today was extra "good."  Today was downright "happy."

The day started with the Best Buy folks showing up at 7:50am to finish the install on our washer & dryer.  We were told 8-10am...they were here at 7:50.  Maybe it's just LA...maybe it's just Best Buy, but the delivery guys here are on point.  15 minutes later our washer & dryer were installed and running smoothly.  I'm so excited by this...Alex was all "eh....."

After that I got a call from this job recruiter aka headhunter who had been referred to me by my friend Liz and she said she received my resume and wanted to set up a meeting for Monday at 2:30pm.  So, this is good news because she's been successful in finding jobs for some of Liz's other friends.  I just need everyone reading this to send positive employment finding vibes my way on Monday.

Then I took the dog for a long walk because he was driving me crazy.  Earlier this week I discovered this little tunnel in the alley behind our building that goes under the freeway and into this quiet little neighborhood on the other side, so today I decided to take him for a nice walk through that neighborhood.  I saw the absolute coolest treehouse there.  I would have taken a picture but I had left my phone at home, but it was the coolest treehouse I've ever seen.  Tomorrow I'm going back and I'm taking a picture, which I will post afterwards.

THEN LeeAnne came over.  THEN Amanda came over.  THEN we all walked down the street to this little Greek deli that serves boarshead meat and we walked back to Amanda's apartment and had some lunch then walked home. 

So, pretty much today has been nothing unusually exciting, but one of those days that's just so pleasant that you want to live it over and over again.

P.S. The weather here is amazing right now.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Remember that time we were going to blog about our move?

I just realized it's been a month and a half since either of us (who are we kidding...me) updated this blog and seeing as how the whole point of it was to chronicle our journey as we uprooted our lives and moved across the country and that we've already made the entire move without chronicling much of any of it, well, it's pretty sad and pathetic.  But alas, here I am.  And here is an update.

I last posted here on February 8 while we were still on the road out to LA the first time to find a place.  Here's the Cliff Notes version of what's happened since:

Got to LA.  Found a house we loved.  Deposit was too expensive.  Found a townhouse we loved.  Debated between the two, ended up with the townhouse.  Hung out in LA for another couple of days then flew back to Birmingham.  Went back to work.  Had a kick ass going away party at Rojo.  Said some sad goodbyes.  Packed up a 22 foot UHaul.  Alex & his dad left in the truck on Saturday, my mom and I left the next day.  Drove cross-country for the second time in a month.  Got to LA on a Tuesday.  Fast forward 2 weeks later and that brings us to the present.

Now, there are other things that have happened in between.  I went to Vegas with my mom last week and thankfully didn't lose all my money.  She hadn't ever been before so it was a must on her list before she went home.  She stayed a full week and a half after we got here so I've pretty much spent these first 2 weeks doing touristy things so I'm just now really beginning to feel like I actually live here.  Our place is slowly but surely getting put together and unpacked.  I really like the place a lot.  I know there are things Alex doesn't like about it, and there are a few things I would've done differently, but overall I really am happy with our choice.

Speaking of our place..our building managers are some piece of work.  It's a husband and wife who manage the building.  We were originally told that the wife was our contact, but every time I've called, which, by the way, is already more than I ever had to call our landlord in Birmingham, I've always had to deal with the husband because the wife is never there.  Not a big deal really, but he sounds stoned as hell every time you get him on the phone so I just get a lot of long pauses and "uh's" and "um's" so I don't really feel confident that we'll ever get everything done that we need.  For example, we only have 1 key to our building.  Meaning if one of us leaves with the key, the other person can't get into the parking garage at all.  Meaning if one of us is gone and the other has to walk out of the building, we're screwed.  We've tried to get a copy but have been told by 2 different people that we need to take it to a locksmith.  So, I call up my good ol' building manager who tells me that they're waiting on more copies to be delivered and it should be Monday at the latest.  It's now 1am on Wednesday morning and we have yet to see a second copy of the key.  We also have an entry system for visitors to get in the building.  I asked about that at the same time I asked about the key and was told that someone would call me back about it.  Have they?  Nope.  Nada.

All this brings me to today.  We bought a washer & dryer last week and had it scheduled to be delivered today.  We had to sell the one we had in Birmingham because there's only room for a stackable unit here, so we had to find one here.  The delivery guys show up this morning (15 minutes earlier than their earliest delivery time, by the way.  First time I've ever had delivery guys be early) and they're busy working away when suddenly they come down to tell us that there wasn't a power outlet.  Um, excuse me?  Yeah...no power outlet.  Just a metal plate with live wires behind it.  Now, in California not all buildings have individual water metering, meaning the meter is for the entire building, not individual units.  Because of this, water is included in our rent; however, if you have a washer & dryer you have to pay a little extra per month to cover the cost of the extra water you're using.  To deter you from getting a w/d and not tell them, they remove the power outlets.  Ok, fine...except someone should've told us this when we told them we'd definitely be wanting to have our own washer/dryer.  So here we are with delivery guys ready to install everything, but no way to install it.  They tell us we need to call an electrician.  Great.  I call the good ol' building manager again.  Mr. Spacey has no idea what I'm talking about or why there's no power outlet but to my amazement manages to get me an appointment for an electrician to come out on Thursday.  So now we have two very heavy, bulky paperweights sitting in our hallway for another 2 days.  I've been told this is pretty normal for the LA rental market though so I guess I just will have to sigh and grit my teeth.

Let's see...what else?  Ah!  We've already been in a car accident.  Thankfully we weren't in either of our cars.  Our friends Amanda and Eric had picked us up to go see a movie in Hollywood and this girl rear-ended us. Alex and I both hit our heads on the head rests and I think we all had a bit of a headache for a while, but the good news is that there was no damage to either car, nobody was really hurt and we still made our movie with 6 minutes to spare.  Welcome to LA, right?

Some things I love so far:  Being able to actually WALK to things.  Alex and I walked over to this little chinese restaurant about a mile away the other night.  It's just so nice to not have to drive everywhere and to be close enough to walk to the store if we needed to.  I mean, Whole Foods is on our same block.  Also, the weather has been pretty fantastic this week.  That alone is reason enough to stay here.

That's really about all I have for now.  We're still looking for jobs so please everyone say some prayers and send good employment finding vibes our way.  We have some leads but nothing concrete yet.  Maybe Alex will actually update this thing now that he's unemployed.  Eh?