Chapter 4: December 2008 Loosening My Pants & Wetting My Feet

December in California is more like summer in Colorado.  There’s not even rain in December.  It’s the perfect place for me; you can go pantsless like 350 days a year.  It makes it harder to market me, ask @PlymouthAgency.  She’s not getting paid nearly enough money to have to deal with my shenanigans.

December was a slow month.  I wasn’t scoring anything, I wasn’t looking for new work (film production generally is a ghost town from Thanksgiving to January 5th, if a project isn’t already underway it’s not going to happen) but things were fine at home.  Which reminds me…

…I suppose that some relationship background is in order.

What It’s Like To Be In A Relationship With Me

I got married right out of high school. In hindsight it was not the best decision in the world, for very obvious reasons.  It worked for my parents, who have been together for like 200 years and still hold hands in public.  Gross.  But I got two amazing kids out of the deal, so I would go through it all over again just for that.  Although I would have married @jamiefishback instead, and I could have carried the kids in MY uterus.

I didn’t have a girlfriend or kiss a girl for the first time until I was 15. And by 15 I mean 16. It’s not that I wasn’t interested, I was just insanely awkward. Awkward like @aaronkaiser at a “Holiday Carol” festival with a T-Shirt that says “Take the Christ Out of Christmas & I’ll Kick the Crap Out Of You.” That was also the year I first had sex. We covered that train wreck earlier. Don’t worry; I’m much better at it now.

I have a problem with people who cheat, in that I think castration is the best solution.  Or spackle.  I’m not going to badmouth anyone specifically in this book; it’s not really fair when other people aren’t able to defend themselves.  Especially when there’s cheating involved, and not by the person writing this book.  But I will say that it took a lot for me to trust again after my marriage ended.  I finally realized that the only way I was going to fall completely and hopelessly in love with someone was to give someone 100% trust right out of the starting gate, and take the chance of getting hurt.  It’s a good way to live, in my opinion, because every person is different, and you can’t “categorize” a gender by the actions of one.  Trust me when I say I know what the pain of being cheated on feels like, and I’d be happy if I never went through that again.  But love is worth the risk.

I can count the number of people I’ve dated my whole life on both hands. I’ve never dated around, if I’m going to date someone I’ve got to be able to see that there’s potential for it to go the distance.  If I don’t, then I’m out.  It’s the only way I can give all of me to someone, and I don’t want to open up like that if I suspect I’m going to get hurt.

My current relationship was 4 years long at this point.  We got along really well, she was my best friend, and there was no sign that anything was wrong.  We met when I was in college, and we worked together, finally moving back to California together in January of 2005.  There was nothing that ever made me think it wasn’t going to work, and it had been working for a long time.  At the point when things fell apart, it came on suddenly and without provocation.  Little did I know that introducing her to Twitter would be instrumental in our undoing.

Meanwhile, back in December…

I was invited to the casting session for “11:11” this month, and I was excited.  The composer almost never gets invited to anything related to the pre-production process, or even production, and for this film I got to do both.  I showed up ready to tweet. We were casting for the role of a drug-addicted young woman who’s begging for drugs.  I got to sit on the casting couch with the producers.  Director Rocky Costanzo decided that I would be the line of sight for the actresses, which I thought was cool.

Until they started auditioning.

Woman after woman stared at me, begging for a fix, screaming at me to give them drugs.  And I couldn’t turn away, because I didn’t want to throw them off during their audition.  It was emotionally draining.  If I had found some crack in my pocket at that moment, I would have thrown it at them.  Don’t invite me to an intervention, I’ll be the guy trying to score more drugs in the parking lot for the person being intervened, except that I don’t know how to buy drugs, so I’d undoubtedly screw it up and get arrested and thrown in jail next to @wzzy, who was arrested for stealing rain boots from a small child outside the elementary school.  Three times.

During the audition process, I was tweeting.  I was also being ridiculed for tweeting, because this was the first time any of the producers had heard of Twitter.  They were definitely social media deficient.  I gave them a Twitter primer, although I was still new myself, and they seem less judgmental and more understanding.  Yes, they still made fun of me.

You Can Tweet From Your Phone?

This is a great opportunity to talk briefly about tweeting by phone.  When you’re busy, whether you’re an actor (@JonathanNail), a Producer (@alliecine) or dress up like a clown and sell sex toys from a dilapidated ice cream truck to housewives (@brianspaeth), you can’t (in most cases) sit by the computer all day long, tweeting or checking your Twitter page for replies and messages.  Fortunately, Twitter has some nifty mobile applications designed to let you tweet on the go.  This goes a long way in showing your followers what we talked about earlier: your “human” side.  If you’re waiting in line at the post office and a dog runs through the lobby, tweeting about it will elicit responses in a way that tweeting about work won’t.  Unless said dog is running loose at your office.  If people think you’re genuine, and like you, then they’re more likely to respond to you positively and in turn look at who you are and what you do with more detail and interest.  If, for you, this means tweeting from the bathroom, please don’t tell the rest of us.  I keep trying to explain this to @iamboney, but he doesn’t seem to get it.  Once you’re on Twitter, there’s a section for setting up your mobile phone in the “Settings” area (you can tweet by texting).  If you’ve got a smart phone, there are lots of applications that will let you tweet from your phone, check out the “Downloads” section on Twitter’s website.  My favorite?  UberTwitter for the Blackberry.  It’s an amazing application that integrates itself into your Blackberry OS beautifully.

SO, I was being made fun of for tweeting.  Mind you, this was before Oprah decided to devote a show to Twitter and crashed the server, so there were fewer users than there are now, and less publicity.  Rocky and Roy, the “11:11” production team, were giving me a rash of shit, and making me feel very geek-like, which is fine because I am a geek.  The next day, Rocky called me.  He wanted to know if I’d tweet from the set as the official Twitterer for the film.  I accepted, despite the fact that it paid no more than I was already getting to compose the score, which was 3 chickens, a cardboard box (flattened) and 16 sunflower seeds, ranch-flavored.  I had to negotiate for the seeds.  Suckers.

I ended 2008 more Twitter-savvy than I was going in, by about 1000%.  And the best was yet to come in 2009.

And the worst.  Keep reading, you’ll see.

Except you, @lisamurray.  You’ve read far enough, I think you should be writing more of your own stuff instead of wasting all this time reading about stuff you read about the first time around, because you’ve been following me a long time.

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