April 30, 2014

I Want it All (And I Want it Now)

"Don't aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally." -- David Frost

There's an episode of The Simpsons in which Homer buys a burrito at the Kwik-E-Mart and Apu tells him it will be ready after 60 seconds in the microwave. "But I want it now," Homer whines.

Yep. I'm Homer.

Why is it so hard to wait for my burrito?

Cuz I'm hungry.

And the only satiation for my hunger is a film career burrito with philanthropic salsa and a side of refried social activism. Of course, I wouldn't mind washing it all down with a financial security margarita.

Here's the thing. If I really want the burrito, I'm going to make it myself. The homemade version may take longer than its microwave counterpart, but it's bound to taste a whole lot better.

I've been working on the recipe for more than 15 years and I think I've finally concocted the right mixture of blood, sweat, and tears. And beef. As in beefcake. Cuz I work out and stuff.


Aside from my weekly self-loathsome breakdowns -- my most recent one was triggered by reading this earlier blog entry (five years later and I still haven't achieved the goal I set forth there) -- I'm more motivated and optimistic than ever before. That burrito is cooking and soon I will devour it.

But for now, I'll do my best to follow David Frost's suggestion of just doing what I love and believe in and allowing success to come to me naturally. After all, I wouldn't want to be stuck with a Monsanto burrito, right? You know, unnatural. Cuz I want success to come naturally.

At least I have a future in running metaphors into the ground.

And the future of this blog will refocus on more specific experiences in this non-cullinary journey of mine from Minnesota to Hollywood. There will still be salsa. There will always be salsa. Especially when the chips are down.

April 24, 2014

Awed Odds

"If you play the odds, there's no reason to ever attempt a career in show business. If you live your dreams, there's no reason not to." -- Bonnie Gillespie

Twenty scratch-offs and six multi-chance match-the-numbers stubs. My wife won $120 worth of Minnesota lottery tickets at a charity event last month. We were both shocked because we never win anything. That's not an exaggeration. We never winAnything. Even our cribbage games end with us both losing somehow...

So when she came home with two gas tanks worth of lottery tickets, we couldn't wait to get scratching. Don't get me wrong... we knew we weren't going to hit any jackpots, but even if we came out fifty cents on the dollar, we'd be treating ourselves to large sundaes at Culver's... maybe without a coupon even!

We won $3.00.

And really, I'm surprised we won that. Ya know... I haven't actually cashed the one winning ticket yet, so I suppose there's a chance we misread the ridiculously complicated game... or maybe we possess one of the rarest of lottery tickets that actually requires the scratchee to pay the winning amount.

Needless to say, I'm not a lottery player. As someone who regularly defies odds in all ways non-beneficial, I figure, "why bother?"

It stands to reason, then, that I should give up this ridiculous Hollywood dream. Anyone who can manage to come out netting a 1/40 return on investment in lottery tickets isn't exactly walking around with four leaf clovers in his hair and a horseshoe in his pocket.

Luck plays such a huge role in penetrating the bubble with which Hollywood surrounds itself. One can't help but be awed by the odds stacked against a nobody from flyover land.

And yet I keep scratching.

Maybe I'll get there. Maybe I won't. I'm already embarrassed to be 37 years old and continuing to chase something a non-idiot would have given up long ago. Pride is out the window. All that's left is stubbornness. And desire.

If only I could find a little luck...