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Hang in there, Netflix

Let me start off by saying I lerves me dem Netflix and was pretty concerned about it’s problems last year. My take on that was I was a DVD renter who wanted to be left alone from all that combo subscription, name changing for DVD “section,” streaming drama. Netflix was created and built on DVD rentals, let streamers deal with different netflix name & accounts.

When they offered the combined streaming package, I was able to enjoy it for a bit until we gave up dls for cheaper dial up after I left my last job. I didn’t like streaming because I was a fan of the extras and they offered no such options, just the main movie/ show.

I have online access as a necessity for news and job searching. I designate a limited block of time I allow myself to go on, which is tough for someone who’s home so much to discipline. Netflix, my 3rd bill, is the only entertainment I allow myself. I don’t have drinking, drugs or even fast food money. I have the 2 movie option, so I’m watching a movie while the other is in the mail any day (except of course Sunday).

The schedule I pick is a “3 rotation.” The “A” show is Vegas CSI. I’m in 7th season right now. It gets me thru the week just to see the timely transitions. CSI started when I did in Vegas. And even in establishing shots, I can see the Stardust eventually black out, the Wynn being built, Palazzo, etc. I love the timely copter shots, as well as picking out the Clarita inconsistencies (when they film in Santa Clarita). It reminds me of what Vegas has that California and other places don’t. I hope Netflix and/ or USPS lasts this year for me to continue getting DVDs.

The “A” show I have for mostly hour shows with more than 4 seasons. It takes me awhile to plow thru them, so I have to like the show, each main character and learn something from it. I plan on rotating original Twilight zones after. I can view an entire series in order, something I couldn’t do by any other means, really. Not red box, not the library, not Blockbuster. No more Tower.

The “B” show I pick are usually ½ hour shows and a lot of shows I wonder about that last mostly less than 4 seasons. I have discovered Conchords, the IT Crowd and other gems of shows this way. Most of them I have heard of before because they have a lot of improv comedians in them. Someday I may wind up in Southern California for an education in the dozen or so comedy groups that fill most 1 camera shows.

I force a “C” movie in the rotation, basically movies I haven’t been able to find or check out form the library. I haven’t gotten to movie series yet, mostly I’ll rent theme movies in a row, like movies from Judd Apatow, Wes Anderson, etc. When I’m done w/ CSI, I’l get a jonsing for Vegas movies and I have a slew of them on my cue, since I’m now relegated to appreciate Vegas as a fan from afar.

Also, I’ll want to do celeb streaks, of movies I haven’t seen them in but heard of. John Cusack movies, Vince Vaughn, John Malkovich, Christopher Walken, etc.

The library allows me to check out more movies than I can watch in a week. Movies are random, occasionally I’ll see a season of a show that I’ll take a chance on and have no idea what the quality is. I allowed myself about 5 DVDs I really wanted to see and a couple experimental ones. Maybe movies. There’s a good actor, but I haven’t heard anything about this.

Movies have a subplot that is never explained on the cover. I’m not so much into all those parent movies, or even dating movies. Will they won’t they is so worn out, I root for them to not hook up. I was actually happy when Nick only gave Norah a fingering. She should have at least blown him.

I look for inspirational movies about where I am in my life right now. Dealing with unemployment, dealing with being on my own. Dealing with an existence where I feel stuck. I even rented eat Pray, Love and saw parallels of how I saw Vegas. It was the best decade of eating in my life. And bar hopping. And single livin.

I allow myself a DVD a day, it keeps me from watching idiot tv or “too much” news, which I just get bent out of shape from. No matter what I rent, it will NOT be an idiot movie. It takes consistent discipline to not rent something to “see how bad it is,” even if it’s free from the library. I slipped once and endured hack cliched Burlesque. Lesson learned.


2012/01/30 Posted by | Single malts | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

You got Dick Sucking Lips?

I don’t have a net phone, which will be a whole other blog. And I haven’t used/ borrowed anyone else’s, I usually have to leave when people stick their head in their phone for 20 minutes when we’re supposed to be hanging out.

I think I scored a major achievement since I got my library card last summer. I managed to get high-speed internet at home for $18/ mo & a trial price for $10/ mo for the next 6 months on top of it, absorbing the installation/ hardware fee.

So last night I whored all the streaming I missed in the past couple of years since I last had it and over twice the price. I made a new bookmark folder w/ all the movie sites I could think of.

Let me just say, I know people are making money from you tube videos. I have a camcorder, I want to do this. The sad part is, my talent pool of friends are 600 miles away. So that leaves me. I don’t mind being in front of the camera, but honestly, people want a cute girl hosting. They get the access to interview most celebs and blogs that promise to show their almost exposed nipple.

So I need to save for a home green screen kit and amp up production value that way. I have a lot of ideas from my biggest inspirations. Action, location, lust and a couple of other things is the formula I see working.

Viral videos used to flood the net for tv exposure. Last night I realized that most tv shows try to do that one 5 minute bit that will get viral as a “free” commercial. It’s strange reverse engineering like fast food chains pushing their way into the food truck scene. It’s like people thinking Charlie Sheen had a meltdown instead of realizing Hollywood enablers made him the most paid man based on his lifestyle and got pissed when he used the money to take his work home & on some porn star junkets.

I got caught up on some tv bits I don’t get reception for, like Craig Ferguson. I’m now listening to Adam Carolla’s pod cast. I was on you tube for 3 hours easily, backtracking my subscriptions and adding a handful more I could think of.

And porn. Yes, porn. Gotta say, Brazzers is my favorite company since the AVN AEE conventions. I think porn stars are marketing geniuses. If I had a vagina I could put on a coozie, I’d do it. Hilarious and practical and there’s a pun in there.

I got caught on other sites that clogged up my old dial-up, like MySpace, that old site everyone left for facebook. I will go every week to support it, just as I’d go to K-Mart & Sears if I had the money. I’m for the old school struggling that was a bigger part of our lives before robbing the vendors and customers became the practice.

I think I’m going to binge on this internet buffet until Saturday. Sunday, I dust off my eBay selling account and trying selling @ Amazon. I see on the news how Craigslist has become the new portal of robbing people in their homes, forget that. I’m going to sell things I can stuff into the USPS all you can fit boxes since people seemed to be buying again according to last xmas.

While I have been finding advantages in my situation, compared to the working drones, I need to make money. Last year, I looked for work 4-5 days/ week. This year, I’m scaling down that time vampire down to 3 days. 3-4 days to make money online and if it works, I’ll go 5-6 days. We’ll see how long that lasts. I hope it’ll get me on my way to machete-ing my one damn credit card.

It’s great to have DSL again, it’s like the universe opened up a little possibility for me again.

I planned on doing Netflix next time. Or should I go with web phones?

2012/01/25 Posted by | Single malts | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Amazonian warrior

I try to look at amazon.com as a tool. It can be a lot like taking a magician’s class. You start to learn tricks. Sometimes I feel guilty about this, sometimes I feel better informed, like I’m on an inside advantage.

To be honest, last x-mas I stumbled onto a lot of articles starting from huffing ton I believe about sweatshop warehouses. Amazon doesn’t need to lease and keep up a retail space. What they can do is hire people “part time” and put them thru unbearable working conditions in heat with the promise of fuill time work that doesn’t come. It’s seen as “paying your dues” the way some jobs pressure you into putting up with them.

So, I at least buy from used and not amazon “itself.” the descriptions are too brief, but if you believe them there are a lot of used book stores and liquidators that sell. Also, there are a lot of thrift shops that have gotten involved. It’s interesting because I have still found some good reads there, dirt cheap.

One of the reasons I’m hesitant to get a web phone is that I don’t want to be one of those people at a location, doing nothing but looking things up on the net about that location. When I’m at a book store, I want to be there if that makes sense. If I’m in the front of a restaurant I’ve never heard from, I’ll judge by the ambiance, not look it up before trying it.

When I’m at home, I have already looked up restaurants and stores I want to go to, books I want to read. And this is all very limited without an income. I’m lucky to eat out or buy something at a store besides groceries once every 2-3 weeks. Last year I made a lot of lists of things I want to try that sat undone.

I do have to spend a lot of time in stores and restaurants to listen to the employees and look at their working conditions to research job opps. Also, I go to to the library every week, even with the cutbacks they’re still open 4 days/ week.

For some reason, with a return deadline, I read library books faster than books I have owned for years. Strange phonomena. It actually helps me clear it out. I want to sell on amazon myself, but I need a faster, more reliable connection than dial up. And I need it at home to access 24/7. I usually go to the library to watch online video bits.

The reviews on amazon, I probably read as much as books. I have to stop myself sometimes, like limit myself a day every other week to do that, or I could go over them all day.

Of course, reviews have to be taken with a handful of salt. If the low reviews were about kindle service or “translation,“ cool doesn’t affect me and doesn’t make me want to buy one. I don’t want to drop something that has all my books “stored” in it, just like I see people lose their whole music library by dropping their ipod.

Also the reviews have to meet certain criteria. A couple of sentences of typos, and just opinion don’t carry much weight. But a detailed dissertaion on how the author was one sided, out of date, etc. holds a lot more credibility. However, if they mention 1 other book that’s better, that automatically raises suspicion, as people sneak promoting their book that way. And that’s wrong.

It actually helps me to write reading these reviews, especially about what not to do. Editing and grammar are critical of course. The author’s tone, also important. I adapted my writing to shorter attention spans (I hope). Smaller paragraphs, most questions answered on the same page, etc. Most of my books are reference books or books I can skip around. The worst thing I can do is get caught up in a long novel to not be satisfied at the end.

With amazon, if there’s a book I really want, I wait until it’s a dollar or less. With shipping every book I get is around $5. It works when the book was originally priced over $20.

2012/01/16 Posted by | Single malts | , , , , | Leave a comment

Drunk, high or laid happiness?

The first week of January, I took a pause and tried to break all my weekly patterns. I put it all aside to kick 2010 to the curb like some bad shrimp. I also took some blank paper, like I do. Last year, I made a similar list of things that would make things better. They all involved working harder to find a job than I could working one.

I keep hearing trite advice about liking where you are and do what you love for work and all these things. They’re foreign concepts to me and I spent some time trying to figure them out.

For over half my life I lived in South San Jose, trying to get out of the condo where I live. Without dredging up another distraction, what you need to know is that it’s basically free to me- at a highly emotionally abusive cost. And it’s not just me, most of the people I’ve gone to school with got the hell out of here as soon as they graduated. Same for people I worked with.

The people who I realized stayed the past decade, the only thing I can think to call them is “townies.” the guys sit home, play video games, watch sports. The married off don’t go out, well, where I’m going with that could best be seen in How I met your mother. It’s a brilliant show because the major sub plots are about growing older and coupling off and having kids. Or…. How you can not.

As for the “dream job,” I have applied for many of these and got no reply. The 2 best jobs I have ever had, I felt phony for 40 hours/ week and I sucked it up and blew it aside in my free time because it was Vegas. You literally could go for a walk in any direction and in 20 minutes you’d be smiling again in a casino or a free attraction or come across some crazy shit in any other town that’s common place off strip.

Now, the only place that brings me joy (that doesn’t cost anything) and has possibilities is the library. And that is in constant threat of closing with the yearly budget circling the drain.

For over a year and a half I’ve been unemployed and it’s given me a lot to think about, the former lives I had. The opportunities I had and the money people squander that conveniently is just above what they make.

Now, I’m in a phase where I’ve… seen the light. I know the most efficient way to spend and on things that aren’t so disposable (unless they’re meant to be like groceries).

I have seen that life is about power. You have things others don’t and they have things you don’t. And now the net is used so people can go on their profile to go on and on about that.

Life is also about attitude. I wallowed, got depressed and was difficult, out of frustration for basic survival. It’s funny no one gives a shit about you when you’re down, but if you die a CEO those exact same behaviors get you labelled a visionary icon.

When I had a car in college, it broke down so much, I sidetracked the film classes I wanted to take to take auto. I took enough classes to Macgyver every vehicle I’ve owned at least to a garage or home to fix, since. That guiding the tow truck to the front of the house just became a humiliating exercise I couldn’t do anymore.

So when my depression started rising to a level where I had to stand on my toes to breathe, I read psych books instead of self-help books from the library. I also read bios of stand up comedians, satirists. I made much headway, broke all kinds of barriers, turned my thinking on it’s ass over a dozen times from a hundred different angles. It’s far more than anyone else could ever do to understand me.

I saw the movie Red Dawn and the last time I saw it I rented it on VHS from the local video store. And I learned that I survived in the unemployment wilderness- hell, I have to get ready to apply. I’ll have to continue next time

2012/01/10 Posted by | Single malts | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Resolutions on it’s ass

So, resolutions. For some reason a couple of days after x-mas to the end of January, people are happier, friendlier, starting up gym memberships and doing all kinds of things to try and redeem themselves.

There are a lot of things I want to do. Last year I listed most of them and kept it in an “action binder” that I refer to. I’ve been working on such a binder that kinda reminds me of the binders they used in Falcon and the Snowman for some reason. They are my codes.

If they are in this binder, they’re not in the pile of scrap papers I also have to go thru. I try to stop or dam of scrap papers and use, consolidate or eliminate then someday shred the discarded. I have written a bunch of things stored on computer, also. When I got a computer, it was supposed to be a big informational hub where I didn’t need to write things on papers and in blank notebooks and journals anymore. I actually did manage to get rid of what I remembered to be a laundry basket filled with pages of notes. It’s down to a good work boot sized shoe box I’d say. In a binder, they’d be readily available, not buried in a computer I’d have to turn on, find the file, open it up, etc.

There is a gauge, like on a dashboard that I imagine, with me my most productive at the far right. On the far left are the things I cannot do, I have to stop doing, I have to quit. And in the low middle is idle existence. It’s status quo. It’s also enabling, it’s the space that I curse for being gullible. It’s a gauge I try to organize and prioritize. Sometimes I push to the right to get bounced back to the left. Some days it’s maintaining a good rhytm in 4th gear. Sometimes I can’t get out of first and I try to force things. Sometimes I let things go and like a gas tank shit accumulates and escalates to the left until things are fucked and I have more to do to get me back on the positive side.

One of the things I wanted to do was maintain a blog again. I have written about how Myspace and facebook screwed me. How can I start up on another web page that I have to assume won’t be around in 10 years. Buying my own domain is right up there on the things to do when I get work, but I’ve been unemployed for 19 months, now. Even domain owners get bought out, changed or deleted. I honestly have to make plans on the assumption that I’m not just broke but actually poor, or my expectations build my frustration. Unemployment is being David Banner.

I’ve been reading Zen Buddhist books that tell me I have to be happy with who I am, where I am. It’s hard advice to take. I spent half my life trying to escape the bay area. I know people would love the tourist side of things and I am happy with a lot of political aspects, surprisingly, at least compared to most other states. But Vegas is place I was happiest, even without money.

I have a ton of resolutions I spouted on twitter, but when I look back at them it just looks like my weekly goals. It’s a lot about thinking I have to maintain. Happiness is always a puzzle to me. I think too many people overdo it, to be honest. People take drugs and it backfires on them. I look at people and all they do is entertain themselves all day, fun clothes, play games on their phone, see the fun movie, watch tons of tv. Nobody wants to work for anything. Everyone wants the cubicle and surround themselves with their cable and season tickets and lets have a kid, in the bay area anyway. It’s totally foreign to me. I don’t want to be a working stiff, but I want to be proud of making the money to get what I need and save.

I see certain areas of happiness as distractions. I feel like, I don’t know how to say it, vegetables. It’s what’s good, but most people think it’s boring and would rather eat society’s junk food. When I have no money, I get back to basics. In fact, I saw a book the other day on how Amish people have the most impressive self-sustaining habits as far as a group goes. No one wants to give up plugging into the network in silicon valley. I see it as a hive or cattle I have to smile and nod while I find the means to leave.

In 2012 I’ve had to do a lot of thinking about what would make me happy that doesn’t involve money, for now. I still have my “to buy” list from last year, I don’t think anything above groceries and cat food got done. I run out of things and eventually go without them.

My goal here is to write at least 52 essays, one a week. Most likely, this will be about my leftover thoughts, too big for twitter. Some may be about my work search. Some may appear random, but I outline a lot, so they lead to something.

2012/01/03 Posted by | Single malts | , , , , , | Leave a comment