High Class Problems

It’s late, but I’ve got The Insomnia, so here I am, writing another entry. Will the wine work, or will the writing work? One of these things should get me sleepy. I’ve got work in the morning.

Um. So.

I ran into my friend Alex at the store last night. We went to college in Austin together, and he is now my neighbor, living just across the major street in our neighborhood. I think that’s the coolest thing. I get home late from work and run to the store, and who’s in line? Alex. It really made it feel like Eagle Rock is becoming an actual neighborhood, and not this place far away off The 2, where nobody ventures out unless they want to visit me or get some of the best Mexican food in Los Angeles.

Or, if you’re Dan, where you come to do all of your work, then search for a single restaurant open in the area. Attention Eagle Rock: you need more shit open on a Tuesday night. Why is everything closed?

Alex was grocery shopping, as a boy does at eleven at night. He asked me how my show was going. I responded by holding up a bottle of wine, my only purchase. “Awesome!”

We caught up on friends, and then he asked me how my roses were doing. When Alex moved into his place, he inherited a laughable amount of rose bushes. He stopped counting somewhere around fifty. His parents helped him dig some of them up last fall, and I drove over and picked up about ten. I planted them in my backyard and named it the Alex Staggs Memorial Rose Garden. His parents then made me change the name to the Alex Staggs Honorary Rose Garden, as their son isn’t dead. I understand. It’s just not as funny of a name. But the best thing is? Alex is the one man who actually, literally, promised me a rose garden. And he delivered.

But the roses are sad. All of my lawn is sad. I haven’t been around to attend to it. stee waters it faithfully, but there are so many other things that should be done. I planted some bulbs that came up as the ugliest things I’ve ever seen. All the other flowers have died. The herb garden has become a neighborhood cat box, and has become overgrown with clover. There are giant patches of brown grass, and some of the flower pots have overturned. It is a sad state, my yard. But I get so little free time I cannot bring myself to devote four hours to pruning, raking, planting and mulching.

See, I get very little satisfaction from gardening. It’s nice to say I take care of my lawn, and that we don’t hire people to come out here and do it, but other than that my entire reason for planting things and taking care of them was to have a brilliant excuse to procrastinate from working. I could take a three-hour break from writing to go outside and dig around and nobody could say I was slacking. Ask me about the three weeks we had tulips. I couldn’t have been prouder. But now I want people to come over only when it’s dark, because I’ve made some terrible gardening decisions.

I dug up a chunk of the lawn and planted something that has grown up ugly. And then I was dumb and moved some parsley over there because the parsley had taken over the herb garden. It is now the stupidest square of ugly leaves and three-foot high sprigs of parsley, a plant we never use. I haven’t cooked a meal in at least two months. That is a low estimation.


I’m not going to do that. I’m way too cool to talk about my lawn. Moving on.

Shit. I’ve got nothing. My day was spent rewriting a script we rewrote yesterday. This means I have nothing of interest to tell you about. Oh, I’ll tell you about my couch.

No, I swear, it’s really cool. It’s cool to me. Okay, it’s probably not that cool, in the grand scheme of things. My office has a couch. I have an office with a couch and a chair and a floor lamp and a bookcase. And an L-shaped desk! This is the most grown-up office I’ve ever seen, and my name is on a little sign outside the door. A sign someone made. And when the phone rings, it’s someone transferring a call to me. And they say, “On line one.” Come on! That’s awesome. And sometimes I get to go, “I’ll take it in my office.” And then I go in my office, and sometimes I sit in the upholstered chair, by the floor lamp, and I talk on the phone. Like a real grown-up. When will someone figure out they’ve accidentally hired me?

I think this every time I get in one of those carts when they drive me over to the stage. Today we passed a crew hauling a set into a building, and I turned to my co-worker and geeked, “We’re putting on a show!” And then I blushed, because sometimes I’m such a child. But he looked at me and said, “I know! This is my favorite lot in Hollywood. It really feels like the movies.” And it does. There’s a sign outside our stage that tells you all the other movies that filmed in the stage we’re working on.Arsenic and Old LaceRebel Without A CauseThe Maltese Falcon. And then it tells you all the television shows that used our stage. Night CourtThe Paul Lynde ShowHanging With Mr. Cooper. Are you impressed yet? I’m hanging where Mr. Cooper partook the exact same verb! I keep wanting to take a picture of it, but I try not to look too green all the time. It’s bad enough I ask questions that show how much I don’t know. Like “What’s ‘Reset To’ mean?” All the time. I do it all the time.

I have my own parking spot! Right in front of the building! I’m number 38!

See? I do it all the time.

Still not sleepy. This is troublesome. I finished the latest draft of the manuscript and turned it in, which means I have three thousand or so words in my fingers itching to be typed that have no real focus right now. I can only send so many emails in one day before it’s considered stalking. Now that AB doesn’t need to keep a constant IM window open for my whining and complaining, I’ve had to move it to this public forum. Didn’t you miss all my whining and complaining?

Wah! I need to do laundry! Wah! My lawn is sad. Wah! I don’t have any more roses.

When Dan and I were in Palm Springs, we had a running joke called “Rich People’s Problems.” It started when we were treated to a free dinner due to a room reservation malfunction. We swore to order the most expensive things on the menu. This is when I turned to Dan and said, quite honestly, “But I had Filet Mignon last night!”

And so it began.

You would say a sentence, and then realize you sounded like the richest asshole on the planet. My next one was in the morning, on our way to the spa. I turned to Dan and said, “I don’t know where to put my diamonds.” And he said, “Darling, why don’t you put them in the safe on the private jet?”

I believe some of Dan’s rich people problems were, “I can’t find a place by the pool with enough shade.” And: “I don’t want to carry my cell phone and wallet, so would you mind holding all this money for me?”

My favorite was, “Oh, I do wish nobody else knew where this private pool was so we could stay here all night.”

I miss having those rich people problems. They were good problems to have. Around here they call them “High-class problems,” because people don’t like saying the word “Rich.” This may be because most of them are, in fact, rich.

This week I had my first, official, high-class problem. And I got to talk to agents on the phone and say things like, “You guys should hold a meeting to discuss what you want to do about it, because I am in a meeting and cannot talk to you about it at length. I’m wanted in the writer’s room.”

Come on! That’s awesome!

My office has a couch!

This entry is a good example of what it sounds like to be my brain for about fifteen minutes. Aren’t you glad you don’t have to live with it?

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