Saturday, February 28, 2009

Getting’ ready to ride…

I took a 21 ½ mile ride today, from home to the Pond (I know it’s not called that anymore), up to Savi Ranch, and back. It was great.

And now, I’m sore.

Used to be, 60 or so miles was a treat. Now, I’m so out of shape, 20 or so hurts.

Ugh. Time to get back in shape, Ken.

It was nice, though, to be back out there again. The sun was warm. I got a bit of a tan. The air was so clear, you could even catch just the hint of salt coming up from the sea. The mountains looked great with a little snow and everything felt right.

But, here’s the thing. There’s a chance my friend, and the hardest working actor in the OC, Bob, and I may begin riding together next month. This guy has done centuries… I’ve done a few weeks… I have this terrible feeling, he’ll start out with, “So, what do you say to 90 miles… as a warm-up?”


March is coming quick… I better get ready.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Things I regret… these days…

Vicky will never understand why I got so drunk.

It was last Saturday night, Trish’s 40th birthday party. I had been warned about two things that don’t go well together but I had no idea how much. First, there would be a lot of booze. Second, there might be someone there I didn’t like.

His name was Ricky and he was a figure from high school. Like all high school stories, it’s a silly one but, basically, he shared a little intimacy with my first love, Teresa, and that’s enough for even the least macho guy to go a bit nuts.

But after a quarter of a century?


So, of course, as it turned out, Ricky was at the party, being a friend of Trish’s, and the booze was there, too.

Standing by them, Ricky said to his brother, “Do you have any idea who this is?” He was referring to me. “This is Ken La Salle!” Now, here’s something you may not know about me but when someone recognizes me by name, I get two impulses. I think either “He must have seen one of my shows” (which is growing increasingly unlikely the longer I’m away from the theater) or “Someone from high school is about to find out that I never succeeded in life. I must kill him.”

Another high school story. Sorry. The short version goes like this: I was expected, by teachers and other students, to either win a Pulitzer Prize or an Oscar after high school. Other people’s expectations of me were so high that failure has always been painfully bitter. I’ve grown to loath those expectations and, peripherally, anyone related to high school.

And so, here was a guy who – if you picked one guy out of high school and asked Pacifist Ken if I’d like to kick his ass – here’s the guy. Only, Vicky was there. And her reaction to Ricky’s blood on my hands – and believe me, I could have taken him – might not have been too nice.

Instead, I did the next best thing and started beating the hell out of myself… with booze. I pounded so many drinks, I actually blacked out. Don’t remember a thing. And that’s honestly not something I do… ever…

I woke up at about 3am… on the couch. I was downstairs, resting between episodes of running to the bathroom just in case I was going to barf. It was cold and I was weak. Still dressed. A mess. Very, very disappointed in myself. I thought, “Ken, maybe it’s time you let a few things go. Maybe not everything. Maybe not your divorce. Maybe not the things you’ve done wrong in your adult life. But… seriously? Ricky? It’s time to let that one go.”

Vicky may never understand why I got so drunk but I am very glad I do.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Just wondering…

I just noticed that our “bathroom tissue” (call it what you will) is embossed.

Embossed: (adj.) adorned, decorated.

And I’m wondering, when did this become a selling point?

“Honey, our toilet paper has chunks of wood and I’m getting what I think are splinters… and perhaps rust… in fact, this isn’t wood, it’s iron spikes I’m shoving up my ass. Are you aware of this?”

“Sure… but it’s embossed.”

Reading Murielle…

Stephanie Schulz is my favorite actress right now. Hands down, she’s the tops. And as a person, she’s just about as wonderful as you can possibly be.

Here’s the thing. We got together at this week’s OCPA (Orange County Playwright’s Alliance) meeting with the intent of reading my new play, Murielle’s Big Date. Steph was reading Murielle and I was in there with comic relief. She’s been working on so many shows lately, she didn’t really have a chance to prepare – but she totally nailed it. Totally! She made my little comedy pop like something from the Marx Brothers (Karl, Emile, Franklin, and Zeek).

Meanwhile, the members of OCPA mostly looked at us with all the excitement we would have elicited from a bunch of Masons. If we’d read it for a crowd of cloaked and hooded Illuminati, we would have received more enthusiasm.

The problem? Apparently, laughs aren’t as important in a comedy as I’d figured. While non-members (and a few members, I have to say) were laughing fiercely (and, yes, even Vicky laughed!), members complained, “It just goes from one laugh to another.” Heaven forbid.

I don’t mind. To me, the most important thing in a comedy is that people are laughing and having a good time, which counts for the audience, too. That happened.

Now, it’s time to start sending it to folks. (Wish me luck.)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Just how is that job hunt going…

I was asked this the other day and replied that jobs seem to be an endangered species.

It’s not going well.

There are few jobs posted these days and I’ve been checking Monster, CareerBuilder, Hotjobs, Craigslist – the lot. It’s slim pickings. (Not Slim Pickins.) Worse still, after my first interview – nothing.

Now, I know. It’s only been a few weeks. But way to discourage me from the start, you know?

Meanwhile, I’ve been keeping busy studying, doing chores around the house, and mailing out more submissions for books I wrote years ago. (Seriously, Vicky’s gotta get to proofing my more recent stuff!) (HINT!)

I also finished my new play, “Meaning.”. It’s my first drama, the basic premise of which is that this guy visits his brother after being gone for many years and says “Tell me the meaning of life or I’ll kill myself.”

Overall, though, I guess I’d classify things as being very slow. Painfully.

Anyone out there got a job?

Friday, February 13, 2009

To My Only Valentine…

Marriages are strange things.

If you don’t know what I mean, you’ve probably never been in one and, given my batting average, I’m no one to suggest one way or another. Either way you go, count yourself lucky if you find yourself with someone who backs you up when times are tough.

Vicky and I do not have the perfect marriage, if such an animal exists. And I’m willing to bet most of that is my fault.

When things were better, financially – when I had a job – when I didn’t have to worry about losing the house or not, I think I sometimes went out of my way to pick a fight here or there, trying to improve things, trying to make it a more perfect marriage. I’d stir up trouble and I’d make a mess of things.

This isn’t to say Vicky’s perfect, either, which is probably not the right thing to say on Valentine’s Day. But, then, she’s employed.

This is the third job I’ve lost, I think, in three years. Sure, these things were probably not my fault, directly. I didn’t fuck things up. But if my luck is my luck then I should own up to it. Face it. My luck has SUCKED when it comes to holding a job.

But here’s the thing. Vicky has stood right by me. She has my back.

When my last marriage broke up, something my ex said to me was that she didn’t want to have to pay for my education. I had just helped her get her bachelor’s degree and now it was my turn and she decided she didn’t like the shoe on the other foot.

Vicky has done that and then some. She’s helped me pay for school when she could easily talk about her own goals. And now that I’m out of work… again… she’s standing by me.

This is a very long way for me to say, “Thank, Vic. You give me more than you know. I’m not only grateful. I’m inspired. You make me believe things will be okay so long as we’re together. I can only hope that someday I can be there for you as well the way you are always there for me. Thank you for being my Valentine.”

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The most depressing place in the world…

If you want to know how bad the economy is, visit your local unemployment office. It’s like the freaking Great Depression in there. I probably got my questions answered but there were over a dozen others scrambling for any opportunity that came by – and there weren’t any.

Driving to the unemployment office is SO 20th century…

But thanks to a nonexistent budget, I can only surmise, no one is answering their phones. So, I guess I’m waiting in line.

This all started because, after filing for unemployment, they put me down for four weeks of benefits… which sounds like a bit short to me.

Wish me luck…

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A bit sketchy…

Vicky has a thing about sketch comedy… she doesn’t like it.

Chappelle Show
Kids in the Hall
Monty Python
Mr. Show

… and now, The Whitest Kids U'Know. One of the funniest up-and-coming groups by far – Vicky cannot stand them!

… which makes convincing her to watch a real bitch… I’m just saying…

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Where did I go?...

I know. It’s been a while.

I’m still here.

The thing is being unemployed leaves you not so much feeling like talking about yourself… cause you’re a loser… a big, fat one… with self-esteem issues… a bit…

So, what have I been up to?

Well, I had my first interview with a placement agency. This went exceptionally well but has not resulted in employment. Then, how could it have gone exceptionally well, you ask? Because this guy, Andy, and I had a terrific conversation in which I learned that I am fully qualified to move into a Marketing Coordinator or Marketing Rep position. Not only that but they seem like better fits that looking for another job as a writer, even! So, that helps me expand my search a bit and move on.

… mind you, there hasn’t been a hell of a lot posted out there… god dammit.

What else? I’ve come up with some wonderfully looney play ideas. I’d love to write them but this drain on my self-respect also puts a drain on my energy. I just can’t get the energy up to write!

And maybe it’s all the studying I’m doing, too. In my course on Kant this semester, it seems all I do is study and write essays – over and over and over – and we’re only in our second week! Oy!

On top of that, I have to admit I haven’t been the nicest person to Vicky, and I feel rather badly about that. She’s been very supportive but I keep snapping at her, mostly because I feel so awful about myself. But I’m working on getting past that and being a nicer guy… you know, before she throws my ass out or anything.