Thursday, October 30, 2003

Publishing Error in My Favor

yay! it's out -- my first big cover story for NoHo>LA. Click on the cover to go to the story, which is about a very funny play called jewtopia. i immensely enjoyed watching the show (highly recommend, if you're local to LA) and meeting the two crazy jewish dudes responsible for it. if you're truly a fan and a friend, you can find the rag in LA's more eastside locales -- NoHo, Hollywood, Burbank, Larchmont, etc -- at coffeeshops, indy video stores, clothes shops and the like. it'll be out for the next two weeks.

truthfully, i'm sure my editor assigned the story to me because of my surname (goldenberg), which is synonymous with "superjew." maybe she figured i could never be accused of being insensitive to the jewish plight and all that, especially since the play is humorously self-depracating. i can certainly understand her concern, as a gentile might have handled the assignment like a hot potato (i think i treated it more like a chicken soft taco), but in any case, i hope she gives me more shit to write about. like i said before, i'm all about them bylines nowadays. i'm sitting on a few other publishing eggs; let's hope a few more of them hatch soon.

Sunday, October 26, 2003

Stuff and Things

i'm going to try to get into the habit of updating every sunday night, and more often than that hopefully. sunday is the funday. no, actually, sundays are worse than mondays because they remind of not only how much shit you need to take care of in the week ahead, but of the shit you never took care of in the week before. so the old shit compounds the new shit to give you a whole lotta shit on your plate. well, my plate.

that's what it feels like sometimes -- that i'm just going through the motions clearing shit off my plate to make room for the new stuff. i'm pretty eager to graduate already, senioritis is setting in. the classes i've chosen for next semester seem like the easiest ones offered. it's not that i hate what i'm doing, i fucking love it and know that i will miss it terribly once my graduate schooling is all done. i just feel like i should dedicate more of this school year to writing papers for publication, not for professors. i need more friggin clips, some bylines that prove that other people believed in me enough to print my ramblings, so you -- new editor -- should too. with this in mind, i'm going to refocus my energies on picking up more assignments for NoHo>LA and be on the hunt for other writing jobs as well. if you know of any, e-mail my ass at

anyhow, the weekend was fairly pleasant. i saw an interesting play on friday night with zahra bizarra and then had a midnight meal with my sugar mcman. saturday saw a day of running a few errands and enduring an ass-kicking flow yoga class. last night i went out a bunch of high school peeps whom i hadn't seen in forever and we caught up on all our new and old times. then i met up with pabs and some of his b-school peeps at an after-hours party in venice. we didn't know too many people there and given that this is hell-lay, no one (us especially) seemed interested in making small talk with strangers, so we bailed at an early 3 am, hit up the always open del taco, and fell into bed near 4.

today i've felt like a complete waste of space.

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Nothing in Particular

not sure where i'm going with this one, not that i have anywhere i need to go with any of them. just procrastinating really. i should be working on my website instead, as i have the evening free to do so, but the thought of firing up dreamweaver always makes me uneasy cus i know it will frustrate me somehow. it's not really a hard program, not nearly as bad as photoshop, but it'll still get me somehow. just when i think i've semi-mastered the fucker, it suddenly won't let me add a return or resize a box -- something lame will trip me up.

anyhow, writing in this blog is also good preparation for writing the captions that will accompany the summer's photos. it always helps lube my brain, writing here. after an entry, i can sometimes just fart out my assignments with ease. it helps turn off that internal editor. but with each sip of this boozy wine, it looks less likely that i'll be doing anything that requires too much brain tonight. i might just slide instead into movie-watching mode. or perhaps music-listening mode.

i rented the matrix reloaded the other night and just didn't dig it much. i heard it was horrible and i expected to hate it fully, but it wasn't that bad, but it wasn't that good either. just like watching a video game -- way too much CGI. and keanu reeves is just a terrible actor. he has no range. neither does drew barrymore. i can't handle seeing either one of them in a movie -- they always play the same character. i also rented the entire second season of the osbournes on dvd and that was fabulous. they crack me up, that family. they kinda remind me of my family, minus all that money and cursing. actually, if you cross the osbournes with a woody allen movie, you may have something resembling my family: slightly dim dad who needs things constantly repeated and re-explained, a busybody Jewish mother who's quick to give out praise, insults and guilt trips. then there's my sister and i -- we don't really bicker too much nowadays, but we used to. my family is also pretty loud. it's really shocking how much noise three people can make, but get my sister, my mom and i together in a room and it's nonstop yap and kvetch, kvetch and yap.

yeah, there's no way i'm working on that website tonight. i wonder if i should have joined pablo and his b-school peeps in their post-finals bash. (his school is actually on a quarter system, so he just finished exams and will begin another term monday.) but i figured they would need to commiserate and celebrate amongst themselves.

i'm also still trying to nail down my master's thesis topic. but before that, i need to find an advisor. i've gone through two faculty members already, both of whom seem too busy to help me out, so i'm onto a third, whom i will ask next week to give me a hand with this thing. i have three ideas in mind -- focus on either high-schoolers, immigrants or porn stars. hmm... which do you think i'll choose?

Sunday, October 12, 2003

Friday at the Journalism Job Fair

i should have trusted my instincts and not gone at all, as it was a complete wash for me. i talked to maybe three or four recruiters, all of whom i reluctantly (and rather unsuccessfully) tried to sell myself to. i just can't play the i'm-great-and-this-is-why game that job fairs require. but it's really more than that. it's the fact that i just don't want to do daily news, and the fair featured folks from the fresno bee and bakersfield californian and a bunch of other no-name dailies from podunk towns.

i did visit the LA Times booth and that was a complete disaster. the chick actually handed me back my resume. fuck, lady, couldn't ya just humor me? i've never had my resume handed back to me at a job fair. she was nice about it, though, saying i should keep my resume and clips and apply for the times' summer internship for next year, as if i would forget to include them then. i asked whether that would ultimately help get me a job at the times. she said it was unlikely. if i really wanted to work at the times, i would have to go to those podunk towns and write kick-ass stories for those no-name dailies while earning a slew of awards in the process. after several years of this, i could apply at the times and we could talk.

now, i'm not sure that i believe in an afterlife, so the thought of suffering for years as a general assignment reporter writing obituaries and covering city council meetings and fires in some backwoods shithole for the chance to possibly, maybe, perhaps write for the los angeles times one day (which i've already done, by the way) just doesn't sound appealing. call me crazy. the lady gently reminded me that journalists end their careers at the times, not begin them, and that we all have to pay our dues.

yes, granted. i never expected to walk into a cushy job as a features reporter at the times straight out of graduate school, and if it were worth it to me, i might sit in that shithole writing obituaries, but that's just not my bag, and if this job fair did nothing else, it helped me to realize that. i don't want to work for a daily. that's the bottom line. i don't like working in a pressure cooker, having to crank out story after story under daily deadline pressure. i wouldn't want to have to compete with my peers for the big "get." i'd much rather have the time to set aside a piece and come back to it a little later. i don't want to have to start everything i write with the inverted pyramid, answering the who, what, when, where, how and why in the first graph. maybe i'd rather begin with a quote or an anecdote or some imagery. daily news is great to read, but it sucks to write, and i don't have it in me to try. i wish i did. no, on second thought, i guess i really don't.

i sometimes wonder whether i should have taken the opportunity to study magazine journalism at NYU when i had the chance. USC's program is really geared toward newspaper reporting, and it really tries to convince you that you should be too (undoubtedly so you can go out a win a pulitzer to honor the school). but i like magazines -- they're like little illustrated books, self-contained and portable, and the ink doesn't rub off on your fingers. that's way more my bag. radio's not bad either. but a newspaperwoman i shall never be. and that's just fine with me.

now, i don't expect to walk into a cushy job as a features writer for Newsweek either, but for that opportunity, i just might spend years slaving away at smaller publications until i got the chance. and i wouldn't have to move to fresno to do it. i'm already writing for NoHo LA and will have a cover story coming out for them in the coming weeks. it's a small start to what will hopefully become a very long and fruitful love affair with the magazine world. it's still journalism and it's a much better fit for me. ok, now i know that. case closed.

Saturday, October 04, 2003

Home Alone

home alone with a glass of wine on a friday night; it's nearly 1 a.m. i would feel pretty pathetic if this situation weren't by choice, but luckily, i had options that i passed up to spend some QT with M, M & I (me, myself & I). well, the evening didn't exactly begin in solitude. i went to see a surprisingly good play tonight with ms. zahra the great. it was called "the shore," and i'm to review it for NoHo>LA. then zahra and i went out for an always satisfying girlie chat at a coffeeshop before retiring to our respective abodes. there was a raging '80s party going on, sponsored by pablo's business school, but after checking in with him via cell phone, i quickly realized that i was far too sober and unenergized to attend. so i mozied on home, found rock-star parking (which means within a block of my building) and fired up the iMac. hang on, lemme refill my glass.

back. so, what did i want to talk about? i don't know, i was thinking about delving into politics, an area i've deliberately avoided so far. and not because i'm apolitical -- i'm as opinionated as they come -- i've just realized that waxing realpolitik does little to further my understanding of the wacky world of politics. instead it gets me into heated debates with good friends, and ultimately never ends up in anyone's mind being changed. it only reinforces beliefs and sometimes sours friendships, at least in the short term. not that all my friends need to share my political beliefs (though it never hurts), they just need to respect them. and i know i need to work on respecting people who hold beliefs that differ radically from my own -- but to a point, cus if you hate homos or think i'm a murderer for the abortion i had when i was 19, then you can go fuck yourself.

but i'm digressing. i wanted to talk about ahnold. and not about his womanizing or nazi ties -- that all speaks for itself. i'm just curious why he's ahead in the polls when i don't know a single person who'll admit to planning to vote for him come election day. maybe it's cus, yes, i tend to surround myself with left-leaning folk (though no knee-jerkers, please), but where are these terminator fans coming from? are they too (rightfully) ashamed to come forward? i just don't see it.

i, for one, am still unsure of whom i will vote for. maybe i'll just vote no on the recall, period. or maybe i should throw my support to busterman, the only viable democrat, though i don't see him being too different from davis. i was all over the arianna campaign, but when that whole income tax thing blew up i just lost faith, and she's out now anyway. i do like camejo, but he hasn't got a true shot at it. i just don't know, i'll likely make up my mind at the last moment, and it'll probably go to bust-a-move-man, since i don't want to waste my vote. but i will say that i promise to give the benefit of the doubt to whomever is ultimately elected, ahnald included, though i don't see that happening anymore with all the bad press. god bless the LA Times.

in other news, juice has recently been diagnosed with hip dysplasia, which has upset me greatly. we're still investigating our options and might get a second opinion, but she's been limping in recent weeks. now she's on glucosamine and painkillers, and that seems to have made a slight difference, but i want to ensure that she enjoys a high quality of life, so i'm looking at the surgeries available to her (and the pet insurance available to me). and i still intend to start her on frisbee lessons in the park as planned, though she'll have to take it easy on those hind legs. it pisses me off, and i've resolved to do whatever it takes to help her. it might sound silly to anyone who doesn't understand the singular bond a pet can offer, but juice is like my kid, and i adore her with my whole heart. it's certainly been a distressing time. hearing the hip dysplasia news is like finding out your kid is retarded and will require special ed for his whole life. it sucks and you feel helpless -- yet determined.