An Amalgam Anniversary

Today marks the fourth year of my [officially] living in Los Angeles. Or it marks the first year anniversary depending on how you view it since my move was on Leap Day, this day, exactly four years ago on Feb 29, 2012.

It’s entirely difficult to know where to begin the story or how to encapsulate all that has happened to and for me since that fateful day. I took all of the money I’d made with all of my gigs for the previous month, stuffed the entirety of my material existence into an overnight bag, and hopped on a plane to make a new life for myself in the land of the palms.

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Life’s a Breeze

Many of you have been following my adventure in attempting to lease a vehicle from a new company called Breeze so that I could use it to drive for the ride share programs and other app services. The following is a timeline of events of how that turned out.

On Mon, Dec 8, I attended a preliminary orientation at the Breeze office in Santa Monica to find out what the service was all about. There were about twenty of us crowded in a small room with a TV that played a video describing all the various app service available in Los Angeles that we could utilize once we got the car. It also took us through the fee breakdown which goes like this:

$250 registration fee = $50 VIN registration + $200 “administrative” costs

$195/week lease for a 2015 Toyota Prius – 1st week due the Friday after leaser takes ownership of vehicle

I took my time to greatly consider and weight my options cross referencing the pros and cons of what the program and vehicle would allow me to do. Though the program is surely expensive, I essentially do not have any other way to lease/obtain a car because of my current credit rating and a number of other factors. Thus, I decided to proceed. Thanks to a successfully funded GoFundMe campaign, I was able to pay the registration costs and sent an email for the company to debit the money from my account. That amount was debited from my account on Fri, Dec 12.

As they do, Breeze negotiated an insurance quote with their partners. I received what they stated was the lowest quote on Sat, Dec 13.

On Wed, Dec 17, I received an email from Jay with Breeze issuing me my official VIN number. With that on hand, I did my own insurance research and, unsurprisingly, was able to find a much lower insurance quote. With my new policy ready, I sent another email and awaited the next steps.

After sending a few more emails and attempting to contact someone at the office multiple times without a reply, I finally received a call from Matthew McSwain on Wed, Dec 24 scheduling me to come in to sign final paperwork and have my car delivered on Mon, Dec 29.

Monday brought an very unusual rain to the usual-sunny Southern CA which made for an interesting Lyft ride to the Breeze office when my driver’s navigation software just wouldn’t work right and ended up taking far longer than it needed to get there. While in transit on the way to the office, I received a voice mail from Matthew informing me that there was something that needed to be amended to my insurance contract before I would be able to take ownership of the car. *Great.* Once I finally arrived, there were several others there also waiting to get their vehicles. We were instructed to wait while the final bit of business was taken care of on their ends. That final bit of business had us waiting well over two hours after which Matthew came in to inform us that we would not be able to pick up our cars because of some sort of issue with “putting together our packages” whatever that meant.

Onto Tue. Once again, I took a Lyft to the Breeze office in Santa Monica. For those of you who are screaming “Why didn’t save money and take the bus?!” Well, that’s because I expected to be there quite a while and it was also raining again. Thus, the bus – not a great idea. Anyway, after once again waiting in the office for over an hour, those of us there were once again told we would not be able to pick up our vehicles because our “packages were still not ready.” As you can imagine, I was extremely frustrated but decided to stay positive – because I was on the precipice of having my very own brand-new Prius – so I just said very politely, “Please call me when all paperwork and vehicle are absolutely ready.”

Then came Wed. Well, I spent all morning and afternoon going back and forth with my insurance guy, Matthew, and the Toyota dealership to make sure every single little thing was absolutely ready to rock. It seemed that it was. But then after I replied to a voice mail Matthew left in regards to the goings on, he told me that there weren’t any vehicle deliveries being scheduled due to it being New Year’s Eve. In other words, I was not only missing out on yet another day of getting my vehicle I had already been scheduled to receive two days prior but I was also going to be missing out on making well over $1k driving on NYE surge prices. Yeah…

At that point I was beyond livid. Out of all I went through to pull this off and all the help I had to pull in and others that contributed to my cause so warm-heartedly, I was still going to have to wait until at least Fri, Jan 2 to get my car so that I could start making real money, thereby not only helping me pay my rent but to get all these freaking people off my back that keep screaming at me to “GET A REAL JOB!!”

In light of everything the company put me through, especially considering their lack of communication and dicking around caused me to loose out on the mountain of money I stood to make on New Years, I very civilly requested that the company wave my first-week’s lease payment. I thought this was exceptionally more than fair with all the ridiculousness.

I was wrong. I received a call on Fri, Jan 2 from Chuck (the CEO of the company I believe) who said the request was unacceptable and that the asking of which made me someone the company does not feel comfortable allowing to represent the company by driving one of their vehicles.

So after all that, this is, unfortunately, where the story ends. No car. No driving opportunity. Right back to square one…again. Thanks Breeze. You ruined what was to be one of the best opportunities to come my way in quite a while. Forgive me if I hope your business fails before the next New Year.

Universal Language

The universe speaks to me. In song, in dreams, in chaos, in wonder. It speaks. I seem to have a direct line to the cosmos. Here are a some recent examples.

The morning of Wed, Aug 7 I was having quite a dream. I was driving down the highway with an overpass in the near distance. My mom was in the passenger seat. The closer I drove, the more ominous the feeling. Then something quite large fell upon the bridge. It was demolished spewing large chunks of cement and mortar toward the car and onto the road. The first thought that entered my head was to make sure mom was okay. I looked to her. She seemed to be alright. Then for some outlandish reason, my next thought was that my asthma would be a major issue very quickly if I did not turn close the air vents to prevent the dust and smoke from coming in. As soon as I closed the vent closest to me, I awoke with a start very much like one you would see in any given sitcom.

Now, of course this has to mean something right? Having had prophetic dreams before, one of which involving the suicide of my uncle some years back, I know to pay attention to these sorts of things. I fumbled for my phone and immediately called my mother to make sure she was alright in the waking world. She was. She was just fine. So then it has to mean something else. The universe has never given me such a dynamic subconscious window without something intriguing on the other side.

So I put my mind to the task. But first, I attempted to continue sleeping. Sleeping is my escape from a world that throttles my every thought and process you see, so having made sure my mother was alright, completing my full-night’s rest was the next logical step. This proved to be a decision that will haunt me for years.

Fast forward to 10am when I was awoken once again after spending countless minutes tossing, turning, and pressuring my eyelids back into a closed position because of my extreme light sensitivity. Once awake (again), I proceeded to check my phone. That’s always my first task of the morning routine. This one was no different…except that is was. When my eyes put on their clothes and became ready to greet what they perceived, I saw that I had a missed call and voice mail from Central Casting. (Read much more about that company and others in further blogs.) It was for a rush call for a “very featured character” in a feature film and one that would be “the only character other than the principles in the scene.” It was also a character with a name.

This meant a number of things. For one, it meant that I had missed out on being handed a paying gig on a silver platter. It also meant that that paying gig was attached to what would have been my very first paid role with a name since moving here to Los Angeles. Being as the character had a name, it further meant that the role would offer a much higher rate than my normal fare not to mention an official rolling credit at the end of the film.

There are many things in this world that disturb me. This sort of occurrence is one of them. It was excruciating. At that moment, everything I’ve worked for, my very career in its entirety was focused into a single moment of guilt, pain, uselessness, denial, anguish, and soul-crushing self loathing. I’ve been through some things and this was nearly more than my poor psyche could take. Now the chance is gone and I have to live with that forever.

Then move to the other day. I was on my way to set and couldn’t help but notice the angelic, breathtaking beauty of a lovely redhead standing next to me while waiting for the train. She was the epitome of a walking goddess. She was tall, had striking green eyes, and cascading fire red locks pouring over her shoulders.

Though I try my best to be social, I am very shy. It is remote and rare for me to see such exploding beauty in front of me as I did with this girl but as I see many amazing-looking women in this city, I wasn’t even going to attempt even bothering to say hello.

Then the universe decided to push me in the right direction. My iPhone, which is almost always set on random play, was playing music set to a tone beckoning me to make myself known. From Kelly Clarkson to Ingrid Michaelson, the songs spoke of saying what you need to say to someone you feel affection for.

As we both boarded and exited not one train car but three, it was apparent that we were not only headed in the same direction but the same final drop off point. Every song that played for over thirty minutes told me to open my mouth. I never did.

As she walked away from my sight, further and further from view, I watched the lava threads draped from her head sway and dip in the wind. Then she was gone. The next song that played was one of love lost that had a very deeply chaotic rhythm. I guess I’ll never know…

There are many more examples but for now there are other blogs to write. The lesson(s) learned, of course, is that I have to listen and be open even more so than I attest to be. My body and soul depend on it.

Intro to Chaos 101

Here it is ladies and gentleman. I have a blog. I sort of had one a million light years ago (also known as 2009) on MySpace but this is my first really, officially official blog.

So what will this thing be like you ask? Well, it will be me. It will speak on my will, my heart, my mind, my body, my soul, my essence. It will be crazy, warm, terrifying, dark, powerful, and sometimes enlightening. It will be what I need it to be when I need to say things. And I always have something to say.

I am honestly a quite excited about writing my first entry as I have a lot share with you and I’m not getting any younger. So for now, please enjoy your stay here at my web-based Fortress of Solitude.