Thursday, October 4, 2018

So I Moved to Los Angeles

If you follow me at all on social media, you probably already know this. I've been a bit obnoxious about it. But for a good reason! This move is the biggest and most ridiculous change I've made in my life up to this point. I moved from New Orleans, where I've lived for the past five years, all the way to Los Angeles, California.
At this point I've been here for four months. Everything's going good. I'm finally settled. I'd wanted to move here for a few years, but I didn't expect it to happen so soon. It should have taken at least four years to save enough money.
In December of 2017 I found myself having to find a new apartment. At first, I intended to get a studio in the uptown area around where I already lived. Then something occured to me; I could move in with my mom, where I could live rent-free, and save enough money to move to LA within SIX MONTHS. Moving back in with my mother at the age of thirty definitely wasn't something I was super excited about, but it meant moving to the city of my dreams in less than a year. So, of course, I did it. And it worked!
The Why
I've been writing nerdy stuff since childhood. I love video games, comics, and novels, but my biggest influences have always been TV and film. Of course I wanted to write those, too, but I knew that if I really wanted a career in those industries, I would have to live in Los Angeles. Moving across the country to push my way into one of the most competetive industries in the world just always seemed impossible. But over time I started learning more about screenwriting. And the more I learned about it, the more obsessed with it I became. Writing for a TV show sounded like my dream job. Then I started researching Los Angeles itself, which made me even more excited. Eventually, my urge to move to LA and pursue screenwriting became irresistible. 
Hermosa Beach

The How
Like I mentioned before, I moved in with my mom for six months. This allowed me to save a good chunk of money. But I also had several other things in my favor. I worked at a public school, so I would have the summer off while still getting full paychecks. That meant I could move to Los Angeles in June and still have THREE MONTHS of paychecks coming to me while not working. On top of that, I would get a bonus check at the start of the summer. And on top of THAT, I filed to have my retirement contributions refunded. It's a questionable move, but the retirement plan wasn't great, and I'm using a chunk of it to open a new, much better, retirement account. All of this meant that I had enough money to survive in LA for about five months without a full time job. It also helped that my mom came along on my road trip over here. Since it was a bit of a vacation for her, she paid for the hotels on the way. I still can't believe this worked. I expected something to go horribly wrong at some point, but nothing has. It's stupid how lucky I've been.
My First Four Months
I subleased a room from a college student for the first two months. I spent most of that time exploring the city and meeting people. It didn't take as long as I feared to make some cool friends.
Here are some highlights:
- Saw Solo: A Star Wars Story in Grauman's Chinese Theater.
- Attended E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo), the biggest event in the video game world.
- Went on a road trip to Las Vegas for a weekend.
- Went on another road trip (less than a week later) up the Pacific Coastal Highway to San Francisco.
- Went to live tapings for two different TV shows.
- Worked as an assistant on the sets of two film productions.
- Saw my name in the credits of a short film on a big movie screen in a theater in downtown LA.

The Electronic Entertainment Expo in Downtown LA

I love it here even more than I expected. The city is full of interesting architecture and vivid street art. The drivers here are much better than those in New Orleans, which I didn't expect. People in general are just more decent and polite. There are definitely cons (traffic, parking, cost of living), but they're greatly outweighed by the pros. I enjoy it here more than any other place I've ever lived. I might just live in this city forever.
What's Next??
I get down to business. The past four months have been amazing, but not the most productive time of my life. I came here for a reason, so it's time that I focus on my goals. Getting here was just the beginning. I'm ready to take this city by storm.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Technology (and Relationship) Goals

"Damn. Another's broken."
"You're shitting me. Where?"
"Down here." Ethan stood and waved his hand high so she could see over the rows of solar panels. She jogged over and saw the support bracket cracked nearly all the way through. It was the third damaged one they'd found, but in the worst shape so far.
Ara groaned. "Fuck me in half and set me on fire."
"Is that necessary?"
"I don't need your language policing shit right now. This is serious. All the broken brackets are from the last print. If our new blueprint has some fatal flaw, it means all motherfucking thirty-three supports from that run are fucking fucked!"
Ethan crossed his arms in front of his chest. "Calm down. We're getting that new shipment of alloy beads tomorrow. We'll print a new run and replace them."
"But that'll use up over half the shipment." Ara kicked gravel, sending rocks pinging off the surrounding solar panels. "Shit!"
"Ara, stop it. You’re seriously acting like a child. These panels provide power to the whole stead. What could be more important than using those beads to maintain them?"
Ara rounded on him. "Maybe you, asshole!"
"Instead of spending all day tomorrow—YOUR BIRTHDAY—replacing shitty panel struts, I was planning on using those beads to print a new shed for you that we could make TOGETHER and turn into that game room you've always wanted."
Ethan's arms dropped to his sides. "Oh."
"I spent the last three weeks secretly making a custom arcade cabinet for you. It's loaded with all your favorite games. Starfox 64, Diddy Kong Racing—stupid crap like that."
"Wow. I had no idea."
"Yeah, that was kinda the idea, Shit Lord."
"Fucking hell, Ara, I'm sorry."
She scrunched up her face and made a whiney voice. "Is that language necessary, Ethan?" Then she turned and walked off.
"I love you, honey," Ethan called after her.
"Love you too." She held up her middle finger.