Thursday, August 12, 2010

I Told You So...

These are the four little words I have been dying to say when it comes to one thing in particular: The Boxer Rebellion. For five years now, I have stuck their songs on mixes, posted links to videos on Twitter and Facebook, blogged about them on this here digital soapbox of mine, and generally begged friends to JUST LISTEN TO THEM. JUST ONCE. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD. I've had limited success, convincing a few people (including at least one stranger on Twitter) to buy Union while it was cheap last year, but all in all, I have been a failure as their self-appointed U.S. Ambassador.

Starting next month, I may not have to beg and plead any more. Why? Because they are finally getting some major exposure that can't be ignored, thanks to the new Drew Barrymore/Justin Long flick, Going the Distance. Not only are The Boxer Rebellion in the trailer and on the soundtrack, they are in the movie. And not only are they in the movie, they are a major part of the storyline. They perform parts of three songs, all with their name hanging gloriously behind them, just screaming at people to look them up when they get home from the theater. Justin Long's character, who works for a music label, rants about how the band worked hard for three years to make their latest album, all while unsigned (all of this is true of their 2nd album, Union). He wishes aloud that great bands like this got recognition instead of *generic Jonas Bros rip-off band*.

How do I know all of this? Well, I attended a screening earlier this week, though the actual film doesn't come out until the end of August (no, no, scratch I'm writing this, I am finding out that it was pushed back to September 3). The director, Nannette Burstein, was also there for a post-screening Q&A. Someone asked her how The Boxer Rebellion were chosen to be THE band in the film. No, it wasn't me, surprisingly. I can't remember exactly what she said, because as she was discussing the fact that Warner Brothers loved them so much and just knew that she would think they were perfect for the part, my inner monologue was going something like this: "But, but...but...if Warner Brothers loves them so much, WHY DON'T THEY SIGN THEM?"

But really, who am I to know? They may be in talks. They may have an offer. They may not be interested. The band has done pretty well for themselves without a label, so do they really need one? I don't know. The music industry as we know it is changing so much these days. The Charlatans are on yet another label in the U.S. for their forthcoming album. I think this makes four so far? I'm beginning to think that the way things are going, true talent and building a solid, loyal fan base may be more important than having industry backing in the future of the music business. Hey, a girl can dream, right? Oh, look, here's an article about the band to highlight this very point.

So how was the freaking movie, Alissa? Phew, I got a little sidetracked there. Sorry. The movie was good. It was described to us beforehand as being one of the filthiest rom-coms in recent years. While I don't know if it quite lived up to that bold proclamation, it had its moments of edginess and filth. If you know anything about me as a person, you know I hate the term rom-com and I generally avoid any film that is billed as one. It wasn't sappy, though. I didn't want to strangle the couple in it and I was even sort of pulling for them.

As I'm sure you know, YOU GOSSIPERS, you...Drew Barrymore and Justin Long were a couple during the filming of Going the Distance, which is pretty obvious. They have real chemistry. They make out a lot. The supporting cast is brilliant. Two words: Jim Gaffigan. Would I recommend it to friends? Yes. Is it a good date movie? Yes. Is it a good movie to see "with the girls" on the weekend? Sure! In short, I am saying I enjoyed the time that the film was all up in my face.

Perhaps my favorite part of the experience, though, happened as the movie was ending and the credits began to roll. The two friends I was sitting with turned to me and said, "That band was really good."

I squealed a little inside.

I. Told. You. So.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Like a Rolling Stone

Since being unemployed is a brand new experience for me and hopefully something I’ll never have to go through again, I’ve decided to try and keep a semi-thorough record of my forthcoming days of laze. This is something I’m doing to keep myself on track and sane during this process. After all, writing truly is the best therapy that I can afford at the moment and the easiest way to keep the creative and inspirational juices flowing while my career is in limbo.

Day 1

Jobs Applied For: Zero, but I did apply for unemployment. It’s a start.

To Do List: 6 of 7 items done. Not bad.

Mope Time: Zero

I know Friday was officially Day One of my journey into the world of unemployment, but since it felt like nothing more than a part of the long weekend, I’m not counting it. And let’s face it, I was still in denial. Today, it’s all starting to sink in, but I’m surprisingly upbeat about things. Sure, I feel completely useless and unwanted at times, but I have flashes of hope here and there where I realize that my life is completely open to endless new possibilities. Before last Thursday, I never had to think too hard about what else was out there. Now that unknown seems almost comforting, as if I’m free to dream of doing meaningful things with my life again. There are highs and lows from one hour to the next, but the denial is helping me stay positive and keeping busy doesn’t hurt either.

I went to pick up my new glasses today. Ordered and paid for just days before being laid off, they were a reminder of how drastically things have changed in such a short amount of time. I like them so far, but they hold far less importance to me than they did a week ago. Things have to take a backseat right now. Instead of taking pride in the amount of money I’m saving or what I can afford to buy, I’m focused on seeing the value in what I already have (including my wonderful, supportive boyfriend, family and friends) and figuring out a way to make it all work under the circumstances. I’m also finding that there are a million things to do for free in this great big city of ours, if only you have the time to do them. In other words, I don’t think I’ll have a problem with boredom.

Day 2

Jobs Applied For: Two, which was my goal for the day.

To Do List: 5 ½ of 7 items done. Meh.

Mope Time: Minimal

I blame the constant construction noise that goes from 9am to 5pm for my inability to complete 1 ½ of the tasks I set for myself. I know it sounds like an excuse, but it’s really loud construction. And I mean REALLY loud. If this continues, I may have to head to the library in order to do my writing and applying. I do have a laptop, after all. I also met Jon after work and went shoe shopping with him. He managed to find what he was looking for, and I managed to avoid being too jealous of everyone who can actually afford to shop. It’s called restraint and I am going to be the queen of it. I’ve managed to quit a lot of things in my life that I loved. Some of these things were just for a short amount of time, like quitting alcohol for a month or quitting coffee for three months, but some of those things have stuck, like no meat FOREVER. In other words: “I CAN quit you.”

Day 3

Jobs Applied For: Only one. I know. I stink.

To Do List: 4 of 4 items completed. SUCCESS!

Mope Time: Some

My challenge, once again, was trying to work through the construction noise. Just watch my video if you think I’m being a giant wuss. I promise I’m not. I did leave the apartment today, however, for about an hour and a half. I talked with a friend who was laid off a while ago and I have to admit, it did make me feel better. She’s been making ends meet by walking dogs (which is why she was in the area) and doing some freelance stuff since she lost her job. It gave me some hope and helped reinforce the notion that this THING may be good for me when all is said and done. It gives me the time to look for something that I really love, or at the very least, something that borders on a possible career path. It is slightly disheartening to think about how many talented, creative, brilliant people are out there looking for work, though.

The thing that has really helped me this week has been all of the excellent advice I’ve gotten from those aforementioned brilliant people that I happen to know. I haven’t cried since last Thursday, the day I was actually laid off. I haven’t felt the need to. Writing about this experience has helped me work through my initial angry/sad/frustrated thoughts on the matter; making to do lists filled with small, reachable goals for each day has given me a sense of accomplishment and forced me to hold myself accountable for what I do and what I don’t do with my time; waking up at a decent hour and not sleeping through the morning has provided a sense of normalcy, despite abnormal circumstances; and forcing myself to go outside for a period of time every afternoon reminds me that there is much more to life than what’s going on in my world right now.