Monday, August 4, 2008

I missed my Airplane

Gotta tell you, today has sucked more than your usual moving-to-another-country stress out.

I've already got some major emotional issues with leaving behind everything I know and love here in Orlando, and had to say goodbye to a really awesome job and some fantastic people over the last few days, leaving me drained and a tinge of depression over the whole affair, which I really wasn't expecting at all.

Also, it's been a nightmare trying to lock down a flat in England, as Gina and I had decided to move in with a friend of a friend of hers, and he's proving to be unreliable and overpriced, so, this morning, on three hours of sleep, still underpacked and hoping to do a few last minute things before leaving, when I got a phone call from her, it was the beginning of a giant unwind that would leave me stranded and even more uncertain about this whole thing than I've been at the very lowest of points.

Gina told me that, though she'd been planning to move into our new flat this evening, it wasn't happening now.  At the earliest, she'd been told (from the estate agent, whom she'd had to call directly, not the guy renting the place out), she could move in tomorrow afternoon, but only if x-amount of paperwork went through perfectly.

Since none of that paperwork belongs to either of us, it's still not really a certainty that we'd have a place to sleep tomorrow night.  So, I vomited, then I called my mom, who was on her way over, to let her know that things were going in the crapper and I was sort of having an emotional melt down.

In retrospect, if I'd slept properly or was more well-prepared, packing wise, in the days prior, I might have sat myself down, weighed my options, and come up with something else to do.  But I didn't, and my mom's reaction wasn't the best in the world.

Lots of family arguing, sub-par packing, and travel drama later, I was late to the airport (my fault), and begging the agency to move me to a later flight for an affordable penance.  $130 was the best they could do.

Hopefully, I still have enough to activate my visa now, as I lost my apron with all my earnings from Saturday night in it, and that leaves me a little short of bliss.

Anyway, the plan now is to leave tomorrow, August 5th, at 6:30pm.  I'll be in England a day late and several dollars short.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Ghost Boy

I have a mystery for you, dear friends.  

My new roommate, Jessica, is putting together a slide show for her sister-in-law's upcoming wedding, and was sent a large pile of digital photos to sort through.  I'm going to help her out a bit with the slideshow, and we were looking through photos last night, and found this one (click to enlarge): 

Now, what the hell is going on in this photo?  Is that boy transparent?  

My first assumption was that this was a film photo, and it was just a case of double exposure, but it turns out that it was definitely taken on a digital camera.  It's not a case of the shutter being open for too long, because the image on the television is quite sharp and stationary.

I also can't make him out in the reflections in the fireplace panel.  The child does belong to the family in the photo, but unless he's got some astral projection abilities, I can't sort this one out.  Any theories?

And, furthermore, is this as good as the ghost I caught on camera on spring break?

Just behind the brick thing, on the left - I've even got it zoomed a little.  Totally a face.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Grass on the Other Side Keeps Changing Colors

So, as steadfast as I generally am, something's going on with me here lately, where none of the decisions I'm making are coming along with that pre-packaged feeling of "this is absolutely the right choice!" 

That's normal, I know, but I'm used to that feeling.

I know I want to live in England, but I'm starting to get really nervous about it, and found myself today even looking at barmaid jobs there, because I guess I'd decided that finding film work wasn't going to happen.  Now, even if I do find film work, it might not be a bad idea to do a few nights a week at a pub.  The hours are decent, and I have bar experience, so I don't know why this is freaking me out so much.

I even had a moment of panic during the first day of my move in with Jess.  I think that's just because I stupidly didn't go look at her house before the move, so I didn't mentally prepare myself for it.  I'm okay now (because I had a few days of mental prep), and we're finishing up the move tonight and tomorrow.  At least I learned something about myself, yeah?

So, right now there's this line between Orlando and London for me, and while no matter how my mood may swing, I know deep in my heart that staying here would be the worst thing ever, there are these moments at work, or with my friends, or staring at the hot guitar player, that I start to become concerned that I don't have enough time left here to wrap things up in a perfect little parting package. 

I think this may be due to the fact that, in the past, I've been completely miserable when it's time to move on - thus the reason why leaving Arcadia forever, and graduating UCF didn't make me all melancholy.  So, in theory, I should be pleased that I'm not leaving Orlando at a rapid pace to flee a giant mess of unpleasant, but I guess I'm just not used to walking away from things that aren't broken.

I really hope that this reflection won't bring down a flurry of negative self-fulfilled prophecy, since that's not what I want, or what I'm saying at all.  I just needed to get it out.  I think big life changes are scary, and as my manager said last night, in reference to me up and leaving for London for no other reason than because I want to, "who does that?"

Sunday, June 15, 2008


So, over the past few weeks, the plan has officially been revised.  

Next week, I'm moving in with my friend Jess, who is allowing me to live with her, rent-free, until the move. This is going to save me piles of cash, and, I feel, improve my living situation, even though Jessica has a hubby and two kids.

While this might sound strange, anything is a step up from Queen Hick, her ghetto thug Prince Regent, and the dog(s).  Also, I won't have to worry about mice, giant roaches, or haunted happenings.  Hopefully.  

I also booked my plane ticket! (yay!)  So, I will officially be leaving on July 21st, which is Monday, at around 5 in the afternoon.  I have a few hours layover in Washington DC, and then a straight shot to London.

I wasn't able to get my Prior Entry Clearance, unfortunately, so if I'm going to see any of Europe for my first six months in London, I'll need to do it before September 30th.  This is kind of a drag, but it's hard to be bummed about specifics when I'm moving to London.  Plus, I'll be able to travel within the UK at my leisure, and there's more than enough there to keep me occupied for six months.

So, for now, I'm keeping my eyes peeled for potential job and flat postings that I can reserve ahead of time (though I have a feeling that won't be an option until much closer to my move date), and am trying to make the most out of what time I have left at my job, which I've definitely come to love :)

Monday, June 2, 2008

Worst. Night. Ever.

Maybe not - no one died or anything, but the night itself was hellacious in a way only comparable to that night before Thanksgiving thing, last year.

Orlando is presently hosting a hair stylist's convention, and while these ladies tip well individually, in large groups, they seem to move around a lot and get too drunk to remember that they bought six rounds, each paid to the dollar in cash.  I got stiffed out of tips so many times last night that I lost count, which just never happens, even when I've got tables full of Europeans.  

So I worked my ass off on the level of around a $200 night, and ended up making around $70.

To top that off, the mood amongst the staff of Rising Star was also pretty sour.  We don't have the band on Sundays, so that already adds a layer of suck to the festivities, but we had an unfortunate combination of bartenders that get off on feeling superior because ... I'm not really sure why.  Because they mix drinks?  I dunno, but they seem to think they're meant to teach the servers lessons and talk down to us.  I suppose when your only career step in life is to make drinks, you need a means to validate yourself, but honestly - at one point, they made a server dig in the trash for a ticket she accidentally tossed, and at another point, decided to give change to a server who needed it $20 in one dollar bills.  "To make a point."  

What's the point the bartender was trying to make?  That menopause can happen at 25?  I'm not sure, and I don't think we'll ever find out.

Anyway, negative emotions continued to spike as the evening progressed, ending in a grand finale of the new girl getting a walk out on a $140 tab.  In most cases, I'd say it was her own fault for giving back the credit card before having closing funds, but I wasn't there and apparently she was bum rushed in a deliberate con.  That sucks, but it was difficult to sympathize for her when the laziest worker at the club told me and my dear friend Jess that it was our fault for not sticking downstairs to help.  As though we'd say anything to leaving guests other than "have a good night!"

They don't turn blue if they haven't paid.  There's no way to know that!

Anyway, so finally escaping out into the moist night air, we made it almost to the escalators before a man burst out of the Latin Quarter, projectile vomiting.  We were able to avoid him, just barely, but at this point, it's been seven hours of hell, and we all looked like war veterans, worn and haggard and just needed to get home.

So, we make it to the moving walkways and lo and behold, spot the man who stiffed poor Sylvia out of her giant tab.  As Sylvia is still stuck at the restaurant figuring out how to fix this debacle, and security is no where to be found, Jess and I figure we might as well approach him and let him know what happened on the off chance that it was an accident.

So, we round the corner, (and once again let me emphasize how haggard we looked), only to spot Guitar Guy standing near the garage escalators talking to a few of his friends, apparently just casually out for the night, and looking absolutely perfect.  I'm pretty sure I muttered, "Oh, my God," a little louder than was strictly appropriate.

If you don't know who Guitar Guy is, and we're friends, you don't talk to me enough.

So, he spotted us, and said, "Ladies!" looking happy to see us and all, and we told him to hold on for just a sec while we approached the Walkout Man.  The Walkout was very flamboyant, clearly a liar, and obviously deliberately skipped the check.  He kept saying he had never even been in the restaurant, which was absurd, because he was wearing a bright red and white button down cowboy shirt, and we'd all seen him.  He'd ask his friends, "Did we go into Rising Star?" and they'd all vehemently deny it.  If they hadn't, they probably wouldn't have been quite so high pitched or determined.

He then called us a slew of objectifying female-specific adjectives and we backed away before he could get physical.  My limit on being badgered by asshole male clients is one per month.  I've still got bruises from last time.

Guitar Guy was sympathetic, but I really just wanted to escape before he had any more time to see me looking the way I did.  He was also possibly with a girlfriend, which I knew there was a possibility of, and really doesn't bother me as much as you'd think, but I don't want to have to see her.

So, after a few minutes of standing, drained, in the parking garage, attempting some sort of recovery, Jess hugged me and pushed me in the direction of my car, which I climbed into and put into drive.

I was completely out of gas, so I drove past the I4 turnoff to try to find a gas station, ended up driving about ten miles in some unknown direction, and pulling into the only 7/11 on the planet with no gas pumps outside of it.  Seriously, what the hell?

Another two miles down the road was an overpriced Chevron, so I filled up there, and attempted to find a way to get back on the interstate.  That's a saga that can only be explained in stretches of road, so let's just jump ahead 20 minutes to my pull off onto the 408 ramp, where they'd closed off the side that leads in the direction I need to go.  Why wouldn't there be a warning sign on something like that?  

I ended up on Orange Blossom Trail, or the infamous redlight district known as OBT, if you're an Orlando local.  I sat at a literal red light for twelve minutes and was actively accosted by three (3) working prostitutes, one of whom was no older than 13.  They yelled through my rolled up window that I should give some spare cash to my fellow woman, and that the li'l sister should be home studyin' for algebra and not walking the streets.  Mercifully, a cop drove by and they vanished into the brush.  

Then, I stopped by Taco Bell to get some food, just to comfort myself, and they totally screwed up my order, charged me too much, and when I did get the thing I ordered, it was gross for the very first time in around six years of ordering this product.  

Upon reaching my door, the lock jammed up again, which I've only ever had to deal with outside of daylight hours, so I spent a few minutes apparently breaking into my own home, surprised that I hadn't been bitten by some tropical spider and died by this point.

This all following the previous evening where I received a text message from my idiot roommate accosting me for accidentally locking her boyfriend out of the house.  When I responded that he shouldn't be there without her anyway, she said it was rude.  I told her it was rude to move someone in against the lease, and she responded that I'm messy, and that's worse.  It was a very logical flow of events.

Someone hug me.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Blogging Brilliance

So,  I've had this really evocative idea for a while, involving a blog I'd write under a pen name where I'd be perfectly comfortable disclosing intimate details about my life and my thoughts on matters because everyone would be under a pseudonym and there would be relatively little danger of anyone ever finding out it was me.

It could be sexy and risque and totally frank and entertaining, and I'd be drama free.  

I've been having trouble sleeping tonight, and this idea has been rolling around in my insomniac mind for a few hours.  Thing is, the more I think about it, the more a shame I realize it is that I feel like I need to hide behind an alias to write about the interesting stuff; and to be completely honest, I feel like I need to edit out a lot of the good stuff for this blog upon the chance that someone involved in my neuroses might stumble upon it and be alienated.

Plus, the whole reason I love writing so much is because I love peddling my stuff around to my friends and demanding feedback on it.  I like to entertain those I know, moreso than faceless strangers in a cyber void.  However, the problem still remains that if I'm to really rant about what's on my  mind, some poor guy I might be trying to woo could always find out about this page, see how obsessive I really am, and be completely freaked out.

I need an outlet, and I want to share the fun stuff with my friends, but I'm at a loss on the solution to this particular quagmire.  Suggestions are welcome, as ever.

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Plan, Pt. 2 - Expenses

So, I think I might need to pick up a second, or possibly third job.  In fact, if I can just stop sleeping all together, I might stand a better chance of making it to England in the near future.

The more I think through how much I need to save, and the reality of the expenses here, the more disheartened I become.  However, I may come into a surprise windfall of luck, which I found out yesterday.  We'll see what happens.  Below, I choose to share with you, fair reader, the intimacies of my financial woe.

Check it out:

The set of costs here are what I need to leave in July, granting that everything in my bank account right now will be gone come Monday to other people I owe, so starting from scratch  - 

Expense: Cost:
Housing (2 months) $1,000
Cable/Internet (2 months) $90
Plane Ticket $500
BUNAC fund requirement $2000
Add-on Visa $130
Owed to UCF $130
Living Expenses (2 months) $800

Total $4650

Right, so obviously, I'm not making 5 grand in the next two months the way I'm moving right now.  Rent is probably the biggest hinderance here, so, maybe getting out a little earlier would save me a few hundred, but then again, maybe not.

So, right now, I'm doing some fiscal planning, trying to figure out how exactly to push these funds into my bank account in time to get the hell out of here.  Also, I've had the nasty shock today of finding out that most British employers pay monthly, not weekly or biweekly like here.

Oh well, we'll see what happens.

I'll use the above list as a checklist and keep the blog abreast of my success, granted I have any.

In other news, I have some new eHow stuff coming soon.  Perhaps supplementing my income with a few new freelancing gigs wouldn't be a bad idea, considering.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Plan, Pt. 1 - My New Job

Around two months ago, I started working at City Walk's newest club, Rising Star.  The goal here was to find a money-making job, that I would enjoy, and could rely on after graduation to save for London.

So far, most of the time, these criteria are working out just fine.  In fact, I insist that everyone who reads my blog come visit me at work.  I'll get you onto the stage and you, too, can do karaoke with a live band and back-up singers.  Check out the video.

Anyway, aside from the fact that the same ten songs will be stuck in my head for the rest of my life, and that sometimes the repetition grows tedious, it's a lot of fun. Hopefully this week will be a bit more lucrative than last week, which was awful beyond my abilities to express.

Please, please, please come visit me.  And tip well.  I need to get to England ASAP.

Monday, May 5, 2008

I Graduated!

So, Saturday morning, I did the commencement thing and am officially finished with college (that's me on the far left).  

It's been a hell of a semester, and honestly, I'm not sure that I've accepted that college is over.  Though it hasn't been a perfect run, it's been a great experience, and an indisputable cornerstone in my life.  

This week, I'll be wrapping up some loose ends on campus, finishing up our Capstone DVD's, and officially moving into active mode for saving up for London, which is looking like a July move right now.  

I have a feeling it's actually going to be a really good summer. 

On the writing end, CollegeTips finally put up an article I wrote for them months and months ago.  They didn't do a great job with the formatting or coming up with a good title, but here it is:

PT Job Vs. Joining an Organization

I'm actually talking with them about working on some podcast episodes for them.  I need to get some video software onto my computer first.

Friday, April 4, 2008

A few updates

Okay kids, I'm still on the laze-train in the blogging world, trying to deal with the playpen of horrors that is my schedule. Thought I would share two quick things - my new favorite web-stop, and the only write up I've had the gumption to get done over the past week or so.

Enjoy both.

Overheard in New York

More justified ranting about McSpaced/Granada, but this time, I actually published it instead of doing it verbally over dinner at Bangkok Square.

Monday, March 24, 2008

I'm still alive

My computer got sick. It had to go away for a while, and I was uncomfortable blogging from school. So, computer came back, symbolically very near Easter, and we're back in business.

Here's what's gone down in my blogging absence.

I'm back working for TvEnvy and FilmCrunch. I probably won't post every article I do for them individually, but there will be occasional favorites and reminders to check the sites. There should be a good one going up soon, which I will feature.

Still blogging for Weight Reduction Coach, and Cruise Ships Site when I can, though my numbers have dwindled in the absence of my computer.

I'm also doing some guest blogging for Billie Doux, which is very exciting for me, as I'm a big fan. I'm just doing summaries of the Lost Missing Pieces, but still exciting. And, I may have a new gig at the local newspaper doing community profiles, which will be good experience, since I've never really done newspapers, and it's a different type of tone.

And I'm working on some new stuff that I will inform you guys about as it becomes available.

In my personal life, I've also gotten my British Work Visa (woo!), and the job hunt hath begun. I went on Spring Break in the Carolinas and got some kick ass photos that I'll post in good time. And, I've started waitressing at the new live-band karaoke bar in CityWalk.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


I just wanted to share the music video I finally finished for local artist Chris Burns, on his single Focus.

Written, Directed, and Edited by yours truly.
Performed by Chris Burns, Joanna Eliza Stevens, and Johnny Sawyer.
Cinematography by Marco Cordero.
Assistant Direction by Jesse Chapman and Priscilla McEver.
Makeup and Costumes by Janine Godfrey.

I will have a list of the extras up here soon, but the band The Fling is also featured in the video, during the beach scene. Enjoy, and please tell me what you think!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Hello, fans and admirers. I have officially finished an assembly of my Capstone film - Edgar's Last Donut.


Sunday, January 20, 2008

Some Inspiration

I've been mulling over something I read last night. Occasionally I stumble across something that I read, something true, that strikes me as so deeply sad that it's ingrained in my memory forever.

Last night, after revisiting A Hard Day's Night, I was reading an interview Paul McCartney did for Playboy in 1984, where he was asked about his response to John Lennon's death, which he'd never really talked about. Not surprisingly, he said he still hadn't really let it process, because it was just too much to take in.

But this story really, really got to me:

PLAYBOY: Once you began to understand Yoko, Paul, did you two talk about

PAUL: Yes. We did. In fact, after he died, the thing that helped me the
most, really, was talking to Yoko about it. She volunteered the
information that he had . . . really liked me. She said that once or
twice, they had sat down to listen to my records and he had said, "There
you are." So an awful lot went on in the privacy of their own place. So,
yes, it was very important.


Anyway, I guess there's really no need to explain why that hooked inside of me so firmly. It's horribly tragic, isn't it? They had this incredible bond, and it never really got to be completely repaired. The rest of the interview can be read here.

So, like I said, that piece of information has been tugging at me all day. And then, to top it off, I found this amazing photograph by David Bailey that is now my desktop image -

It's possibly the jump I needed to get my brain working again. I've been in a creative slump for the past few weeks, with school and all. I'm very intrigued by this whole relationship and story. I don't know if anything will come of it, but since it affected me so, and sort of got the gears running again, I felt it necessary to share.

Thursday, January 3, 2008


So, apparently we had snow flurries in the Central Florida area this morning; a capper for the coldest day in years.

And I missed it. I missed it, and I've never once, in my whole life, witnessed snow. Sigh.

Snow Falls in Central Florida

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

New Year's News

I don't even know where to start. I suppose first, and foremost, let's talk about what happened on New Year's Eve, and then we'll move on to other stuff.


To the left of the screen, you'll see a picture that looks kind of like a crater in the middle of a street.

It looks like that because it is a crater in the middle of a street.

Last night at approximately half past one in the AM, a bomb was detonated about four houses away from where my family lives in Tampa. That's right, a bomb. In a suburban area. Mere feet away from my mom and brothers. WTF.

My family is all right, and according to the news, there were no serious injuries, because the bomb was placed mid-street instead of near a house or vehicle, where it would've caused, obviously, quite a bit more damage and possibly fatalities. The windows in most of the houses down the street have been blown out, and from the photos it looks like there's some minor charring.

If you don't believe me, (though if you've known me for any significant amount of time, you've learned not to question stories like this by now) check out the very brief news coverage here.

Hopefully, this was just kids screwing around with Internet how-to's and not practice for taking out an abortion clinic or some such nonsense. I'll keep press coverage up here if any develops, though, judging from that article, Tampa news isn't much for thrilling readers.


I've decided to move to London.

I'll probably talk more about this, and in much greater detail over the next few months while I'm finishing up with school, but I've made the final decision, and will probably move sometime this summer. It will initially be for six months, through what's similar to an internship program, but hopefully, while I'm there, I will be able to secure permanent employment and get a work visa.

If the visa through employment thing doesn't happen, and I still want to stay for longer, there's a special visa meant for recent grads that allows two years of occupancy and an additional year of employment. It's all a bit complicated, but I'm working through it.

Putting my resume and CV together is presently giving me more stress than the legal stuff. I think I'm going to attend one of those campus workshops.

3. I'm really, really, really sick. I think I have the flu, and it's my own fault for not getting that damned shot before I started shooting my Capstone.

Gifts and pop-up sympathy cards are welcome.


I finished the Gemma Doyle trilogy. Being sick, I've had lots of time to read. I'm going to go ahead and recommend this one, even though it's technically YA reading. I've been following this thing since I was a YA, and the final book came out the day after Christmas.

Oh, I feel weepy.

5. My 2008 Resolution

Okay, so, how do I phrase this? I know that the next year is going to, without question, change everything in my life. Chances are, the jolt from the schoolroom to the workforce, leaving the country, etc. is going to be jarring and I know that I'll want to have lots of crying fits.

I'm not going to say no crying fits. Sometimes they're justified. But, dealing with life in an optimistic manner has always been important to me, and I think an unwavering employment of that this year will be crucial to the life that follows.

So, here's to keeping my chin up, and good luck to you all on doing the same.