Sunday, September 28, 2008


As my wine venture comes to an end in less than 72 hours, I now realize that the lifestyle I thought would be akin to SIDEWAYS meets A GOOD YEAR is much more similar to O BROTHER WHERE ART THOU meets THE SIMPLE LIFE. I came to wine country to be recharged, revitalized, and reinvigorated. I have accomplished all of these goals.

Throughout my college years and my time abroad following graduation from Penn, I felt that I could do anything – change the world, build the world, create a new world. Upon arrival in Hollywood, I quickly saw my optimistic spirit crushed by the realities of the entertainment business and the omnipotence of lifestyles that simply don’t agree with me.

I’ve concluded that being a writer in Hollywood is a great gig. Being a wannabe writer is not, and these people far outnumber the legitimate scribes in Los Angeles. I have concluded that I would rather shovel shit at a winery than work as someone’s assistant, unless working for that “someone” for a fixed amount of time will immediately result in additional opportunities to write.

It’s not that I don’t like the idea of the television/film business anymore, it’s that I don’t like the culture surrounding it, nor do I care for the attitudes of many of the people involved in this business. If I wanted to live out my days in Los Angeles, I guarantee that I’d hit it big eventually. From what I’ve gathered, most of the go-getters with some education (rather than the scrubs who move to LA on a whim to be “actors” or “writers” with little more experience than participating in a high school play) WILL make it. So if you’re ready to sacrifice five, ten, or fifteen years of your life as a nobody in order to be a somebody, than Hollywood is a great place to be.

I’m still itching to find fulfillment on a daily basis. I’ve realized that fulfillment is a large chunk of what’s missing from my life. Yes, I will continue to work on film/television scripts, as I am committed to doing this for the next year to doing so, but will I forever remain in Los Angeles, a city plagued by more evils and less good than one can imagine? I’d like to think that I won’t. Especially in this age where telecommuting is only growing more and more popular, I believe that once foundations are laid in LA, one can work from anywhere. Woody Allen would be my ideal mentor to further expand these thoughts.

In a short amount of time, I’ve learned all there is to know about the wine business. I’ve been blessed with great co-workers who are different than the people I’ve come in contact with for most of my life, but just as interesting. But I’ve concluded that the process of making wine cannot be my career. I lack the passion that is needed for this work. Buying wine on the open market and slapping on my own label to it and selling the wine as my own product is another story, but I’ll leave the art of turning grapes into fermented goodness to others who are more focused and driven to succeed in this part of the business.

In general, I’ve been too tired from working to read for pleausre during the past month. Only this weekend, since we were granted two consecutive days off due to a lack of grape deliveries, have I had the chance to catch up on my reading list.

I picked up John Irving’s The Cider House Rules prior to making this journey, because I knew the film adapted from this novel and its accompanying Oscar-winning script are two of the brilliant works that inspired me to leave urban life and take a chance on committing to a rural adventure. I’m racing through this novel at rapid speed and loving every second of it. If you get a chance, pick up a copy, as the characters are given much more depth than they are in the film.

Gliner Update: I dropped Gliner off at the casino yesterday evening with a hefty chunk of cash (the rent money I owed him). Though he’s still asleep and I didn’t receive any updates in the form of text messages last night, I pray that he hasn’t lost it all. Don’t you just love those signs in casinos that say, “Please let us know if you have a gambling problem!” The underlying message is clearly, “After we take ALL of your money, please let us know if you have a gambling problem!”

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