where i make myself even poorer

Horde. Spend. Horde. Spend.

I have very little money. Enough to live on. Enough to pay my thankfully low rent. Enough to eat. I have credit card debt, but not much. I even have a little savings.

And in a week I’m spending it all.

I got a small inheritance a couple years ago from a dead relative, god love her. Low low 5 digits, but it was still very cool. I spent most of it, yes, but not on dumb things. Well, not entirely. I paid the credit card debt I had at the time, I paid taxes, I got health and car insurance, I fixed my car, I gave some to my sister, I took a small trip, I lost some in Vegas, I lost some in Tahoe. So now I have maybe a third of it left, and it’s all going bye-bye.

The first half of the remainder I have wrapped up in my first, and perhaps only, go at the stock market. I won’t go into it much now but suffice it to say that the disdain the financial community has for recent investors coming from the Internet and having no real knowledge about the way the market works and throwing the whole thing off with mad speculation applies directly to me. I know nothing, and it’s showing. It’s sad. I’m very ashamed. That’s it on that for now.

The rest is going to a short film I wrote, am directing, financing, producing, and starring in. We start shooting in a bit over a week. I’m very excited. (In a small attempt at self-improvement, I’ve been trying to allow myself to admit my own excitement about things, rather than adopt my usual reserved, cynical, disdainful view of things which I probably just employ in a pre-emptive strike against disappointment.) Yesterday my co-director Frank, Cameraman Kida, and I went to the rental house to look over the camera we’ve reserved. It’s very cool.

I have very little idea what I’m doing. Well, that’s not entirely true. I know exactly how I want this thing to turn out, what it should look like, etc. I just know little about the technical aspects of cameras, lighting, sound, coverage, continuity, etc. I’m leaving that to my crew. Hopefully I’ll learn a lot. I love the script, I love my cast, I love my crew, I have a fantastic editor waiting in the wings (just no editing equipment right now). But in financial terms, I’m not really sure what I’m doing.

The best case scenario would obviously make this small investment incredibly worthwhile. That would be this: I make the film, it comes out great. It gets into a few festivals and wins some awards. It makes the Hollywood rounds. People tape it for their friends because it’s so damn funny. I get tons of meetings. Then tons of offers. The piece gets picked up to play on the Independent Film Channel and I can pay my cast and crew. I get a big acting agent. I get a big Literary Agent. My full length screenplay (everyone in LA has a screenplay – EVERYONE) garners interest, a huge bidding war starts and it sells for a million dollars. They offer me a directing/acting/writing gig on Entrapment 2 but I turn down the huge money and instead sign a deal with a small company to direct and act in my 1 million dollar-selling screenplay. (I do however take the role in Entrapment as Sean Connery’s long-lost wisecracking grandson.) I pitch a few TV ideas, all of which get made, and move into a gorgeous house in the Hollywood Hills, get a bunch of dogs and spend time with them in my big yard overlooking the city. I also buy a cabin on a lake in Northern California somewhere very rustic and a gorgeous loft in Manhattan – maybe in Soho or Chelsea or a brownstone in the West Village (East Village is too hip for me). Meanwhile, all my friends who worked on the film also gather heat and many careers are launched.

Worst case (sure, we could all get killed while shooting the thing but c’mon…): we make the film, learn a lot, have a few laughs, it comes out fine, but nothing really comes of it.

So I suppose it’s a good investment.

I’m very strange about money. I trip on the cost of some little thing, and I’ll deny myself food even sometimes if I’ve been spending a lot lately, and then I’ll spend whatever on presents for people, and not even think twice. It’s guilt, obviously about spending money on myself. Maybe it comes from growing up relatively poor.

I’m not sure. I can’t afford a therapist.

This is where I let Larry King take over my body for a few minutes.

The lead singer of Dinosaur Jr. is one of the worst singers ever committed to tape, but for some reason it works…I’m drinking red wine right now…I wish shoe companies would make more sized 14 extra wide shoes. It would make my life a lot easier…I’m reading Richard Ford’s The Sportswriter. Goddamn is it boring…I found a new barber today…