Monthly Archives: February 2014

Segueing Into Transitions

The era of Ariel is about to come to a close. Though we signed a year lease, Ariel has chosen to seize an opening on the miles-long waiting list for one of the hot new apartment buildings downtown and abandon our rules and regulations. I can’t imagine why anyone would want to leave a decaying house occupied by two other women and two cats, to live a very chic life alone in a loft with a spiral staircase. It’s beyond me but her choices are hers alone so all I can do is adapt. I use my snark to hide my jealousy. Obvi.

Goodbye, Ariel!

Goodbye, Ariel!

The scramble to find a sub-leaser who was both capable of moving in two weeks’ time and not completely psychotic was indeed a scramble. We started first with those we knew. That quickly fizzled as the three of us realized if we wanted to live with any of our friends, we probably would have done that and not met each other via Craigslist 7 months ago. So we put our faith in the glory of Craigslist once again and hoped for a miraculous repeat. I crafted a delightful ad that showcased the awesomeness of us remaining two and waited for the responses to trickle in.

As it turns out, the amount of people desperate for a sub-leasing situation is extremely high. I was inundated with emails and texts (and phone calls, even though my ad expressly forbid them) from every possible type of human. There was the 40-something divorced man who needed a place to stay as he worked through this new and depressing chapter of his life. There was the girl who assured me she was looking for a mature and drama-less situation even though I checked with a fortuitous mutual Facebook friend and learned the opposite was true. There was the 30-something single father who wanted to move himself and his 9-year old son into a house of two single women. There were countless 18-20 year olds who were super jazzed about living near downtown and who were really looking forward to putting their tips from serving coffee to good use. There was nobody, really. A ton of nobody. Until there was somebody.

Legions of Teens...No Thanks!

Legions of Teens…No Thanks!

We were lucky enough to hear from a woman who had a moving-out timeline that fit our schedule exactly, and who was able to survive a conversation with Jasmine and myself for at least two hours. We touched on all the major topics: religion, the possibility of doing Pinterest projects, thoughts on Brunch, ability to withstand the filthy and sometimes shocking sentences that come out of Jasmine’s mouth. It was a fit. We pulled the trigger and this sub-leaser (who has yet to pick her pseudonym) is moving in this weekend. Unfortunately, not everything in this world goes as smoothly as I’d prefer, so instead of having Ariel move out, and me into her (giant) bedroom before new girl comes into our lives, we’re all going to exist together until Ariel’s new apartment is ready, sometime in the next ten days or so.

We’ll see how it goes. New girl will have the opportunity to see the shoes she has to fill as Ariel sets up shop on the couch. She’ll see the true void that will be left in the wake of Ariel, who regularly ad libs loudly to power ballads when she thinks nobody else is home. Ariel, who is genuinely excited to see us when we get home, like a well-makeuped puppy. Ariel, who can’t tread lightly or close a cupboard to save her life, but whose energy and willingness to day-drink with me will be missed. New girl has some high heels to fill, but I think we’ll get along just fine if we fine-tune our dynamic a bit.

Googled "Sad Old Divorced Man"...

Googled “Sad Old Divorced Man”…

If it doesn’t work out, I could always give the divorcee a call. I’m sure a predatory yet depressed male figure would be exactly what young Jasmine needs around the house. I assume I’d be safe.

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So Hollywood

Hot on the heels of my last movie-related disappointment, came a stumbled-upon letter left on my front porch. It was stamped with the header of a local production company and asked residents of my neighborhood to please not park anywhere near our homes between the hours of 5 am and 10 pm the following day. At first I was irritated. Parking has been a nightmare all winter with odd/even days and the sheer lack of road space due to snow banks. Now this? After a deep breath and a near death slip-and-fall I read on to see that the production was seemingly legit, as it starred Jason Segel and Jesse Eisenberg. I’m a sucker for big names. Especially when one of those names belong to someone I recently dreamed I was*.

Marshall Ericson needs me to marry him. He told me in a dream.

Marshall Ericson needs me to marry him. He told me in a dream.

I went to work that day with stars in my eyes and of course, scenarios of grandeur coursing through my pop culture-obsessed mind. I love when movies film in Grand Rapids. I especially love it when those movies star people other than 50 Cent and Chris Klein. Over them! Granted, we’ve seen Jesse Eisenberg here before. He was in 30 Minutes or Less with my little boo, Aziz Ansari (who is in no real way, “my boo”). Yes, the movie was sort of terrible, but it was cool to see familiar GR landmarks while scoffing through it. I have a feeling this movie, which is called “The End of the Tour” and also stars Joan Cusack (bet you didn’t know that!) is not going to suck. It’s going to be great. And even if it isn’t, I’ll pretend that it is so I can save face. Obvi.

She definitely needs me to be her best friend.

She definitely needs me to be her best friend.

My boss was kind enough to give me the afternoon off on the day of filming. I had no real reason to be at home other than the hope that I would catch a glimpse of something or someone fantastic. My sister told me that she’d come over, though I don’t actually remember asking her to, and met me shortly after noon so that we could both casually pretend to be doing a series of things that required us to be outside. She smoked a cigarette, I finally took down the hanging bat from Halloween, she examined the mailbox, I brought in the empty recycling bin. We were pretty covert. The filming took place mostly inside the apartment building directly across the street so we didn’t see much other than Jesse Eisenberg skulking past quickly, on his way back to set from his trailer. He’s a very small man. Smaller than you’d think. Think of a really small dude right now. Got it? Smaller than that. We heard the echo of “ACTION!” and soon after, “CUT!” and that was all we needed to feel a part of the crazy business of show.

Uh. How small is Ellen Page?!

Uh. How small is Ellen Page?!

My roommate, Jasmine, knows the Location/Production Manager (cannot remember his actual title) of the film and he came over to chat with us last night. I had gone to watch Netflix in bed and was of course pantsless and makeupless when she texted me that he was coming over. I casually replied, “Oh, well I guess I should put pants on.” But what I meant was that I would rush downstairs, straighten my hair, put on full makeup in a way that looked like I was just naturally full-lashed and rosy-cheeked, pick out a PJ “outfit” that looked both casual and hip and position myself on the couch with a Chai Latte in hand. He’s in charge of stuff. I’m not sure what exactly, but some stuff. And if he needs help with stuff, I don’t want to be the girl who had no makeup and a grungy t-shirt on while I was stuffing my face with instant noodles. I wanted to be the classy/casual roommate who made him laugh and dazzled him with my myriad movie-related skills. You know, just in case.

We all chatted and laughed for about an hour until he basically said he either had to leave or fall asleep immediately. We once again mentioned for him to let us know if he (or Jason…) needed anything and bid him farewell.

For now, there are only more delusions of grandeur in my head, but if I keep up this “I’m Cool” charade, maybe it’ll be more. I bet Joan Cusack needs a wise-cracking best friend. Until my rise to fame and fortune, I’ll continue updating you all with my little scraps of “industry”. (Some of which include that Jason requested a Stella’s burger immediately upon arriving in GR, and that he’s newly sober after a breakup with Michelle Williams). You’re welcome.

*A few weeks ago I had a dream that I was Jason Segel. I had conversations as him, I ate hotdogs as him and I even had body image issues as him. It was really strange. But I feel as if we’re close now. I think that’s fair.

Disappointment and Delusions of Grandeur

My company has an empty warehouse building with office space, laboratory space and loads of just creepy, dusty space. It has been available to rent for the past few years but not surprisingly, a large factory space that doubles as a ghost playground isn’t exactly in demand.

We had all but forgotten about the “For Lease” sign out front when my boss got a call from a colleague who dabbles in the financial end of films and had suggested our property to a production company scouting for a major project. He came into our office with the news and an air of simultaneous smugness and excitement. The production company was bringing their lawyer and a rep from LA the next day to see the space and talk details. They said the space was perfect and that they would need to rent it for at least 6 months, set up makeup and hair stations and have access to phones and restrooms. It sounded legit.

My mind immediately began wandering and I jumped on the interweb to find out what was in talks or in process in Michigan. The only name I recognized was of course Superman/Batman. That production has Ben Affleck and Jesse Eisenberg. It was settled. Ben Affleck was going to be spending the next six months sharing a workspace with me. It had to be it. I was convinced.

He's a gentle lover.

He’s a gentle lover.

I went home (after emailing a few close friends about the potential amazingness) and talked Jasmine’s ear off about how I was going to be over there every day, standing coyly near directors and actors spouting off clever witticisms until somebody inevitably exclaimed that I was brilliantly hilarious and whisked me off to LA to become an overnight success. A success in what? Anything. Everything. I would be the hot new in-demand makeup artist. The screenwriter who shoots to fame and fortune immediately. The quirky best friend in the next five Rom-Coms. Whatever. All I knew was that I was going to stumble into the opportunity of a lifetime without doing any real work for it.

I went on to describe a scenario in which I find myself in a selfie-sandwich between Ben and Jesse. It would explode off the screens of everyone’s Instagram account and I’d be flooded with jealous messages until I had to roll my eyes at my new best friend, Ben and laugh off the “haters”. We’d crack jokes, bang out a quick screenplay that has “Oscar” written all over it (literally, that’s all it says) and slowly fall in love over some Boston lager. We’d have a whirlwind romance that ends in a small beach ceremony. We wouldn’t want to make a big deal about it. Fame is overrated (when you’re famous). We’d have twin baby girls and the pregnancy would change my metabolism so that I can’t help but maintain an amazing physique while diving face first into piles of french fries.

When I came up for air, Jasmine was staring at me, mouth agape. I had a fantasy-blackout. The mere suggestion of the movie industry peeking into my mundane life had me married with children in a matter of minutes. To Ben Affleck. I don’t even particularly like Ben Affleck. I just assumed I would learn to love him over time, since we shared all that talent, fame and fortune. That’s why celebrities always inter-marry. We can’t communicate with civilians.

In reality, as it turns out, my life has no chance of changing overnight.

The production that is interested in renting our facility is not an A-list movie. It’s not a documentary, a Lifetime original or even a fetish-based porn. It’s a daytime television show of the worst kind. It’s Divorce Court. Divorce. Court. This is the lamest possible outcome for my last few days of fantasizing. It’s so lame that even as I was trying to convince myself to keep my hopes down, I never came close to considering the possibility of this level of lameness.

I sense a rise in sass.

I sense a rise in sass.

At the very least, it’ll be interesting in a Jerry Springer kind of way. I look forward to many a Tammy or Wanda screaming about child support and infidelity. And I’m sure you do too.