Chapter 11: July 2009 More Changes Than I Can Shake A Pair of Pants At

That’s right; I just used the famous “L Word.”  Not THAT one.  The other one.

I’m lying slightly.  I knew very well I was going to fall in love with @alliecine if I started dating her.  The process was already in motion before I asked her out.

I’m very in tune with my feelings, which you already know because, if I wasn’t, I wouldn’t be writing this book.  Or the book would be really boring, like:

“I tweeted from the grocery store.  Then I went to the bathroom and tweeted some more.  Twitter is a good thing, because it helps you meet new people. The End. P.S. @cartermason made me write that he is a cool dude.”

I started dating @alliecine with the realization that a) I wasn’t in this if it was going to be short term, and b) if I was going to date her, I had to be willing to open up and let her in, with the risk that I could get my heart broken again if it didn’t work out.

It’s always worth it (to me) to take the risk that comes with falling in love.  Everyone gets their heart broken at some point in their life.  If you close yourself off to future opportunities, sure, you’re minimizing the risk of ever getting hurt again.  But you’re also missing out on all the good stuff that comes with falling in love.

If you ask @kimberlyprendez, I was heading down the L-shaped path before our first date.

Me: Hello?

Kim: Hey. I’ve decided I don’t want you to write shit about me in the book.

Me: Why not?

Kim: Because you’re bound to slip up and talk about how I was in jail for dog house arson, or how I never wear clothes to the supermarket, or how I used to be a man…

Me: Don’t worry; I’d never give any of that stuff away.

Kim: Good. Why’d you call?

Me: I didn’t. You called me. Are you still drunk?  It’s 9am.

Kim: No, this is a new drunk. I started at 7:30 this morning.

Me: Is there something you wanted? (glances at book readers) They’re getting impatient.

Kim: Oh, yeah. I think you’re in love with Allison.

Me: That’s drunk talk.

Kim:

Me: Kim?

Kim: Sorry, I was busy throwing up in the sink. Do you think I should wash those dishes again? It rinses right off.

Me: I don’t care; I don’t eat at your house. You’re wrong. I’m not in love yet.

Kim: Fine. But don’t text me in the middle of the night, telling me I’m right. Not because I won’t listen, because I’ll be passed out from all this rum.

Me: Don’t worry, I won’t.

Later that night:

Kim: Hullllo?

Me: Dammit.

Kim: Toldja so. (hangs up)

All the L talk came to a head at therapy one day.

I had an epiphany.  I hadn’t been able to figure out what was different about dating @alliecine, but there definitely was something that made her stand out.  It took therapy (and a lot of tacos. Why tacos?  Because I’m never not eating tacos.) to realize that it was her strength.  I’d never dated someone so “strong” before.  And I don’t mean that in a “closed off impenetrable fortress” kind of way, but in a “know what she wants and won’t stop ‘til she gets it” kind of way.  I think of myself that way.

I spent a lot of time sidetracked from my goals because sometimes life takes you in a different direction for awhile, but I saw a pattern that had formed when I wasn’t paying attention.

@alliecine had been the “break” in the pattern.

Telling Her

I knew I was going to drop the L Bomb weeks before I did it.  But I waited. I wanted it to come at the right time, and not freak her out.  So I had a conversation with one of her best friends, @ekfomo.

Me: Yo.

Erin: I told you to stop calling here.

Me: I’ve got a question.

Erin: You keep thinking I’m your friend, but I really don’t like you.

Me: I want to tell Allie I love her, but I’m not sure when to do it.

Erin: I’m calling the cops on the other line and telling them that you’re harassing me. I’m sure it’s not the first time they’ve been there.

Me: I need some advice.

Erin: Don’t say it during sex. (hangs up)

@ekfomo and I have become good friends.  She can hold her own against me, occasionally bests me (but don’t tell her) and she makes me laugh.  Also, she likes to screengrab my Twitter feed when I talk smack about Facebook, and then post it on my Facebook wall for all to see.  She’s a crafty one.  She’s an incredible single mom who puts her kid above everything. She’s also annoying and a pain in the ass.

I told @alliecine I was in love with her on July 5th. She didn’t throw up on me, so I assumed it went well.

I thought June was a busy month, but it didn’t hold a candle to July.  Holy crap.  Remember all the work I didn’t have in the spring because everything was on hold?  It all rained down on me in July.  I was working on 2 features, 2 shorts and 2 webseries all at the same time.  I was juggling more balls than @bekemeyer on a Friday night in Vegas at the all-male review.  It was a good kind of busy though, and of those 6 projects, 4 of them were from Twitter.  It still fascinates me how much the workload was like an avalanche.  I’d been yodeling at the mountain for months, and suddenly it was bearing down on me 200 mph.

I was also driving all the time.  There was 40 miles between @alliecine‘s place and mine, and then there were meetings all over Southern California.  I didn’t mind.  I felt more alive than I ever had in my life, and constantly being on the move was a big part of it.  I found that I liked being around lots of people, I had far more fun than being cooped up at home.  It also made me more appreciative of the time I did get to spend at home.

It’s a good thing too, because @alliecine came built in with her own gang.  Where I had just a handful of close friends I hung out with, Allie had 2 dozen of them.  Within the first 2 weeks of dating her, I’d systematically met all of them.  And survived.  Fortunately, she spread them out instead of making me meet everyone in one lump.  It was interesting to me to see the dynamic of the group, these people who had spent college together and were still hanging out regularly five plus years later.  It was something I’d never experienced before, and really enjoyed being part of the “group.”

A big part of the relationship required me to just “let go” and “run with it,” no matter what we were doing.  Although I’m impulsive, I also tend to over-think everything to the point of nausea.  This was the first time in my life that I didn’t over-analyze everything.  I didn’t think I’d like living my life this way, because I’d never done it before.  It’s freeing.

It also gets you a lot more work when you’re social.  I’d never had trouble finding work before, but being outgoing caused me to hit the motherload in the summer of ’09.

We were going to film festivals like mad; @alliecine produced a film called “Rooftop” (@rooftopmovie) that was getting into every festival under the sun.  That summer, in Los Angeles alone, we went to 5 festivals that were screening the short film.

That’s when I kept running into @MrRaphe, who went to school with @alliecine and is a Director of Photography and photographer.  Raphe is funny, over the top, and we think alike on quite a few topics.  I didn’t realize it, but his photographing skilz would come in handy for something I’d had an idea for a few weeks prior, and been percolating in my busy brain.

This book.

The Book

Just before the influx of work had started, I came up with the idea for a book.  If it had been a few weeks later, literally, the book wouldn’t have happened because I was so busy with film scoring.

I was driving one afternoon on the freeway in LA, which is more like “parking,” and I thought that it would be interesting to write a book about my marketing style on Twitter, because I spent all my time doing it.  But there were already books like that on the market; I needed it to have my “stamp” on it.  So I called my friend @brianspaeth for advice.

Brian is an author and filmmaker.  He’s written two books and produced a feature film called “Who Shot Mamba?”  He also does actoring, which is similar to writering, but much different.  I conference called Brian one morning on my way across town to get his opinion.

Brian: Hello?

Me: Hey, it’s Rob.

Brian: Hold on. (holds phone away from face) How much, baby? (pauses) What do I get for that? (pauses) That’s it? Never mind. Have a good day. (pauses) Sir. (rolls up window)

Me: You there?

Brian: Yeah, I was trying to buy, umm, oranges on the freeway offramp.

Me: Uh huh.

Brian: I’m a busy man. I’ve got writering to do, a basketeyball game to play, and a meeting with Brad Radby at 6. What can I do for you?

Me: I want to write a book.

Brian: About me? Cool.

Me: No, about me.

Brian: No one’s written a book about me before. Will there be drawings?

Me: The book is about me, it’s about my experience on Twitter.

Brian: What’s a “Twitter?”

Me: You know, the website.

Brian: You want to write a book about my website? (turns to readers) http://www.brian23.com, new readers welcome.  It’s more interesting that this crap. (turns back) I thought the book was about me.

Me: It’s about me.

Brian: That’s what I said.

Me: (silence)

Brian: I think it’s a good idea.

Me: Really? You think people will buy it?

Brian: As long as you don’t talk about yourself.  You’re not going to talk about the whole “pantsless” thing are you? That’ll be death for your book.

Me: I don’t know.

Brian: I don’t get that anyway. How do you function without pants?

Me: It’s just a “thing,” I’m not really always pantsless.

Brian: Whatever, man. Make sure you talk about my acting career.

Me: But the book is about-

Brian: And my athleticism.  And my hair.  You need to talk about my cool-guy haircut.  I can send you pictures.

Me: Thanks, but-

Brian: Hey, this conversation isn’t going to be in the book, is it?

Me: No.

Brian: Good. I’ve gotta go.  Good luck.

And so the book was born.  And it only took a month to write.

OK, maybe a little longer than a month.

Like the book? Want to own a signed copy, or give one to a loved one as a gift? You can purchase it here!