“It’s only change. It’s only everything I know. It’s only change and I’m only changing…”

I realized yesterday that this week marked five years since I arrived in Los Angeles.  That fact alone was not as daunting as was the attempt to draw a line between who I was when I got here and who I am now.  Not to suggest that I wouldn’t even recognize myself; but there is certainly no way for me connect with where I was at that time anymore.

Life happens whether we want it to or not.  There was a three month period when I first arrived in L.A. where I was not allowing myself to really dive into the extraordinary experience on which I was embarking: being in a terrifying and completely uncomfortable environment.  An experience like that is a gift.  The reality is that life happened and I got sucked into it.  I could not sit back and be afraid forever.  Now, I look back at five years gone by and then I look at myself today and I am happy to report that, though I didn’t plan any part of the journey that I have gone on, I am grateful for all of it.

I moved to Los Angeles from New York City in January 2008.  I was going to come out here and shift my acting career into the fast lane.  I was leaving behind a city that I loved, friends who had become my family, my actual family (who is in Pennsylvania), and a relationship that was still finding it’s identity.  A recent theory that I have come to think on a lot lately, and which applies to people in almost every scenario, is that no person can predict how they will be effected by or react to a situation until they are staring it in the face.  To make a parallel line to the acting world; a reaction cannot be both planned and authentic. If something truly elicits an organic response in you, then there is no way to orchestrate how that will go without compromising truth.

I don’t know about others, but I am not interested in trading in the real moments in my life (past, present and future) so that I can react the way I decide I’d like to react.  I believe that over the past five years, a lot of things have happened to me based on decisions that I have made that I never would have planned on making.  My life may not be now where I imagined it would be five years after I arrived in L.A., but I am thankful for the past five years.  How cool is it to have had so many experiences, relationships, joys, challenges and heartaches?  I have made decisions that have lead to all these happenings in my life but I never could have or would have predicted or planned any of the choices that I have made.

When I arrived in Los Angeles, I thought I had a lot of answers and I really had no idea what was ahead of me.  Writing this now, I still don’t know what is ahead me in the five years to come.  I could pretend as though I have learned enough in these past five years to know which way I will sway in every argument and which road I will choose in the face of many uncertainties, but the only thing that I know is that I change everyday.  I can only do what is true for me each day and each moment and, from where I sit now, I trust that.  I like knowing that I am smarter now and different now and that I have grown.  It has been a good five years.

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Omigod, that girl is such a betch!

Anyone who knows me knows that I watch THE BACHELOR (and THE BACHELORETTE).  Unfortunately, I am not ashamed of this at all.  I get most of my enjoyment out of restating the comments of both the contestants and the “object of affection” while I’m watching.  It pains me to say that my game is much more fun on THE BACHELOR than on THE BACHELORETTE, but it continues to be true time and time again.  This show is giving my sex a very bad rap (as though it isn’t bad enough).  Whoever casts this show either does a great job or has the easiest job on the planet.  In this moment, I truly believe it is the latter.  If I had written about this 4 or 5 years ago, I may not have said that.  The ugly truth is that it really is not hard to find women who act and behave like the women on this show.

The new season just startears mcgeetedand tonight I am watching the second episode.  The girls this season are SO BAD that it inspired me to start venting immediately.  I have to say, if you are not watching, do yourself a favor.  This season is hilarious.  Usually there is the token bitchy girl and maybe a couple others who compete with her.  This season, there are at least two clinically psychotic women, 3 bitchy “mean girls”, and the rest of the girls are displaying enough naivete and desperation to give the entire female race a bad name.  I can’t believe that not one girl has displayed any confident or head-strong behavior so far.  Perhaps it is my own fault for expecting an over-exposed, successful, network reality show to attract any women who possess self-confidence or tact.

That being said, the commentary alone is providing me with enough comic relief to go on watching.  Am I justifying my viewership? Yes I am.  I am not going to start going into a long conversation about why there are so many women out there who need a man to validate their lives.  Despite the fact that this has been a recent point of contention for me as of late on a very personal level, I am not prepared to make comparisons between any of my friends and the “eligible bachelorettes” featured on this show.  no words

In a general sense, I have always believed that reality TV is an interesting study on the human psyche.  I can’t imagine that most people who have appeared on reality shows can look back and say there were proud of everything they did and everything they said.  On the same token, I know many people who have been on reality shows and not one of them has displayed any regret.  Maybe there is just a large enough percentage of the population who cares more about being on television (for any reason at all) than about their own integrity to cast most of the reality shows in existence.  I have not crunched the numbers but, if that is the case, it does not say much about us as a race (not man or woman specific).

Back to the present moment: The quote that I just heard on the show was “For a 1st date, i already feel like he is my boyfriend.”  That is the least pathetic and/or nasty statement that has been made by any of the girls in the entire episode and I am an hour and 30 minutes along.  I will say that this season’s Bachelor is the first non-deuschbag (seemingly) since I have started watching the show (about 4 years ago).  This doesn’t bode well for men in my opinion but I may be the sole person that feels this way.  Somehow, enough women apply for this show every season that ABC is beating them away with sticks while still managing cast a group of 25 women who create the right blend of desperation, bitchiness, insecurity, mental instability, and camera-obsession.  I'm a nice girl

If you are not watching this show, then you are either missing out on a great opportunity to laugh or you are avoiding looking in the mirror.  If you are the former, you are probably thinking that you do not have 2 hours a week to waste on this.  Worry not!  While watching this show, I managed to write this entire blog, edit another writing project, laugh a lot, walk my dog, and make my to do list for tomorrow morning.  I am not defending the show. There is little to defend. However, I will not apologize for adding to its viewership.  It feeds my creative brain and keeps me from forgetting that being a skeptic is a strength and not a weakness.

Man vs Machine

I am sitting with one of my roommates right now trying to trick Netflix into showing us movies that we actually want to watch.  Our Netflix (which we don’t even pay for) does not allow us to search.  It lists movies and TV shows by genre and/or it suggests movies based on something that you have recently watched.   So now I am sitting here watching a god-awful comedy about ice hockey.  Ultimately, all we are looking to do is prove that we can be smarter than a machine by getting Netflix to provide us access to the good stuff (i.e. WARRIOR and LINCOLN LAWYER).  If this works, I’m sure we will also be granted access to our fair share of some serious crap as well (i.e. ABDUCTION starring Taylor Lautner, NO STRINGS ATTACHED and MORNING GLORY). It’s nice to have options I suppose.

I am now an hour into this effort and still no closer to seeing anything I actually want to watch.   The machine wins today.  Now I am watching a documentary about MMA fighting.  It could be worse.