Corporate America

Hell on Earth



Roland Michel Tremblay






14 October 2005


News of Departure for Los Angeles


You may know me for my published books and my work in television and films, not under the name Mycroft Holmes of course, but this is the only way I can actually write in English about my experiences in Los Angeles without getting into any trouble at work.


Up until now I mostly wrote in French and thankfully none of you appear to understand French. However writing in French has never got me anywhere despite my many published books, since there is no market. So I had to find a new name, as it is anyway the fashion for any aspiring actor in Hollywood, though I am more like an aspiring scriptwriter.


A bit more than just aspiring, since I have written many books and already worked on several series and films. It does not matter in L.A., it is always like a first time, until the next big project. They are rare, so when they come by, you need to be ready to drop everything and follow it through. It is always a new beginning since you are only as good as your next project, and even then.


So I will land in L.A. at the end of this month. Hoping to restart this career from the very beginning, as if nothing came before me, as if I had never written any book or film script before.


Knowing my real name would not change anything to you, I never got credited for anything I worked on, though I was paid on all produced projects. I guess it compensates for all those long nights I spent writing when I had to go to work the next day. I have no doubt that if you are good at searching on the Internet, I will probably leave you enough clues as to who I am, and probably you would find me out easy. What is important, really, is that no one searching on my name or the projects I worked on should find this blog, it is the only way for me to be truly honest and have all the freedom to say what I want, what needs to be said.


I donít intend to be that negative, unless it turns out that I will go through hell whilst in L.A. Most of what I have written has been very dark up until now, very depressing. Some people said they wanted to commit suicide after reading certain of my books. I wish to change that, I wish to become a positive force in this world, to create the universe people would love to live in. It is about time too, I turn 33 tomorrow.


If I had to continue being so unhappy and miserable, there is really no point in continuing this boring existence. If nothing great happens to me in L.A., enough to make this blog any worthwhile or even interesting, then I will simply give up. Because if it does not happen in L.A., where the hell could it happen? Nowhere, even though I feel I have already achieved quite a lot being outside the Promised Land.


So I have high expectations for my moving into L.A. Of course I intend to work like crazy. However I have learnt that it is useless to work without a contract, without the guarantee that it will go somewhere, or even in the big hope that it will happen.


I have learnt that much, that wasting time is very easy. Any project could gobble up six months of your life and you would have nothing to show for it afterwards since even the rights are not yours. This is over, never again. And to arrive in Hollywood having learnt that much is promising, I wonít waste a few years hoping to get somewhere, I have done enough now to hope to work on real projects, not theory and conjecture.


God, two more weeks, and I will land in California. Iím not even sure if this is what I want, after wanting it so badly for so long. Iím just afraid nothing will work, that I will not go anywhere, that it will all be waste and disappointment. I have become realistic in time, too much I guess. Dreams and miracles do happen, I have experienced it too many times to deny it.


Without too much expectation, you cannot be too disappointed. And at the very least I will have this blog at the end of it. If it is just to complain that nothing happens, I will eventually just delete it and never give it another thought. So letís see what destiny has in store for me. Letís move to L.A. and start building this dream.


Blog Ė 20 October 2005


Changing my future, hoping for success, one week before departure to LA

Iím in such a mess, and it is all psychological. Counting the minutes before my departure for L.A., thinking I wonít have the time to do anything. I am now thinking I will just wake up that morning, throw a few things in a suitcase and go. Instead of this impossible task I have set myself, to go through all my stuff, page by page, until I can find and bring with me all my single last remaining important papers, the ones which have followed me in all the five countries I have lived in my life.


Perhaps it is time that I truly break with my past, and leave everything behind but the essential. I have lost so many things in my life, because of these airplane regulations which oblige you to have only two suitcases every time you move country. I know people who will ship dozens of crates, even their cars, must cost a fortune, I canít afford it.


Every time I need to move out of a country, everyone and everything turn into a nightmare, a place which in the end, I am happy to leave behind. It happened in Ottawa, in Paris, in Brussels and now London. Is it that I have changed my perspective about these cities and I now see everything that annoys me terribly and I feel I wonít have to put with that any longer in a week? Or is it destiny which makes it easier for me to want to leave?


At work we enter agreements nightmare which could lead to court. Two more agreements need to be negotiated, another thing which could take a few months of torment. I could not even do anything about my last conference which was supposed to be finished by the time I leave. As it stands, I have not even started. The new cat we bought shits and pees everywhere every day, it seems the five other cats decided that it was now permissible to do the same, so we live in a shit hole. I canít wait to get out.


I have no more time to think about philosophy of life, and anyway, I was going to try to avoid talking about this here. Why? Well, people think I am already crazy, no need to confirm it so they can act upon it and put me into a mental institution.

I was recently contacted by someone who said he could change the future just by concentrating a lot and convincing himself that what he wished for would definitely happen. I came to the realization five years ago that I could do the same, and out of it I got contracts to work in cinema and television when there was nothing really to suggest I was ever going to end up working for that medium.


At the time I had written only one film script, it was 10 years ago and it was an adaptation from a book. I had forgotten about trying to change my future for the better, but I tried again two months ago and my life went wild. My conferences which were flops suddenly became successful overnight. My partner who was in deep trouble and was going to lose his driving license and his job won in court. And I am now leaving for Los Angeles to pursue my dreams. That is what I call results.


However I am not certain if I was ready for such a roller coaster, like, on the very next day that I would try to change my destiny. I had more in mind something simple, just to make me happy, and now it is happening on a massive scale. I am only talking about this now because I donít want to forget that once in L.A., I will need to continue to try changing my future. Because moving there is only the first step, it could easily be all there is to it, waking up in L.A., but working in conferences instead of films.


Iím not afraid of hard work, even though I feel like a zombie right now, but hard work is not enough in Hollywood. Talent is also required, and luck is essential. At least I know the three main ingredients, hard work, talent and luck. Well, luck I can take care of it, I will wish myself a great destiny once Iím there. Hard work, I have a great capacity to write 50 pages in virtually one night. Only talent is still puzzling. I feel I am good, however it is a question of taste and opinion. In the final analysis, however, it does appear that with great luck, you donít necessarily need talent in L.A.. So one way or another, I might still make it big.


I know success is not an ingredient for happiness. In fact, people who are driven as much as me, who dedicate their life to succeeding, and spend all their energy, sacrificing everything and everyone along the way to become famous, are the worldís worst sufferers. Because these things take time, it is heartless, and you are left with a feeling of having missed something quite huge once you succeed, or even worse, once you accept that you will never succeed.


As a consequence, most people who succeed on a massive scale are not happy and are unable to enjoy their success. So they either need to succeed again and again, or somehow they realize that and work now at becoming happier people, even if sometimes it means getting away from it all.


This is not exactly encouraging to be thinking about this stuff right now, I should get back to my big idea that I will rock the boat in a spectacular way once I land in California. Talent is not required, and with a bit of luck, hard work might also not be necessary. It might just fall from the sky, like this moving to L.A. appears to be, effortless. I did not even have to try, it happened. So, what if I donít even need luck? I will then definitely succeed.


Thatís what logic does to you, it makes you say stupid things that one day will prove without a doubt that youíre worth nothing, that you were just crazy to begin with.


Blog - 22 October 2005


Surviving management and change at work, how to live an exciting destiny good enough to write a book


It is Saturday, exactly one week before I leave London for a long time, I hope. Since the only thing that could keep me away from London, is if I succeed in Hollywood and work in films, or if I realize my big dream of moving in the South of France, on the Canal du Midi, isolated from my fellow human beings. Otherwise, it is back to London, the only other bearable city that exists on this planet, after perhaps Los Angeles.


However, I was truly disappointed with Paris, it is quite probable that Los Angeles will be a nightmare for me. Letís assume I donít succeed in films, which is quite probable, will I be happy in this conference job? No conference job ever brought me happiness, it has always been hell from the start. I donít quite see right now how this job could be different.


Unless I was truly good at it, which I believe after one year in London in my actual job, I have reached that point. They truly feel like they cannot lose me, even though I have felt for a long time to be quite inadequate. I believe I now understand that perhaps anyone else in that position might have done a much worse job than I did. It is also a factor of being appreciated and recognized for your capacities and abilities. It took a year in my last job, this is a frightening thought.


So I have to wish that within weeks I can reach that same point with my new employers, and if they are as disorganized as a company as I was led to believe in the interview, I may actually be the expert who will save their company. I have ten years of experience on the subject, surely I have something of interest to communicate to them?


The only remaining problem is that change takes a long time. Nothing can happen overnight. Dissatisfied employees will definitely leave, even though they might have been the best. They are always the first ones to go, they know they can succeed elsewhere without having to complicate their lives with new processes which suddenly make their life a living hell, by preventing them from doing what they are good at, producing, selling.


It has been one year and a half in my last job since change has started, you could easily say that nothing has really changed yet. Another frightening thought. How long does it take for results to finally appear? Well, it took me a year to achieve my goal. Now I need to put this knowledge to good work, whatever it is that I am going to do, we need to see tangible results within six months. Who am I kidding? It cannot take less than a year.


The worst part is that I donít even know yet what it is that I have been hired for. At the beginning I was told they were looking for a simple Conference Producer. Their website was claiming to be looking for a Conference Manager, and my immigration papers are stating that I was hired as a Management Consultant to turn around their business and open new offices worldwide. Was it just for immigration purposes, or am I to become this management figure finally controlling a few bugs that I will be at a liberty to crush whenever I feel like it?


Iím joking. My idea of management is moral and ethical, much more than everything I have observed up until now in my short career. I am mister new management, compassionate but at the same time looking for results. A mix of what a male Director or Manager could be, compared with a Female Director or Manager. Being gay, I have the best of both worlds. I am balanced. And I wonít freak out anyone, either the monsters in higher management or the bugs under me.


I could not even see myself taking out the ďkill-flyĒ to wipe one of these bugs. Perhaps I am too much like women, I should keep perspective here, I might need to squash a few of these bugs if it becomes necessary, if I feel I am justified, if I feel there is no other solution in sight. I would hate it, but I am prepared and ready for it.


Thankfully nobody can bullshit me in this business, I have done everything for so many years, every single position, I will know if someone is playing with me and I will lose all respect. I will have to crush a few bugs, hopefully I will always act in a moral and ethical manner, and for the right reasons.


Personal clash of personalities is not good enough, no pettiness can get between me and the bugs. Like I hope management wonít act like that with the bug that I will be in their eyes. Otherwise this is when and where I will be thinking seriously about the mistake it was to move to L.A. Oh God, I hope for so much, for so much which I have never witnessed in my short life, a job that I would actually love, with people I can actually bear!


Incidentally, today I have met both my old bosses from one of my previous jobs. We met at the Pets at Home center, so they could give me the last reference letter I needed for immigration. God she was lovely, she looked great. A real American woman living some sort of great destiny, but stuck with a stubborn British husband who started a conference company in London.


He looked frozen, could not say a thing apart from that they were now planning conferences in China. But he is OK, he was a fine boss I have to say. His Director was the problem, being rude for no good reason, making our lives impossible, for the German girl and me. One bad apple was enough to make us both fly away, and probably the others who came after us, from what I have heard.


Luckily the ones who came after me were all incompetent, which is why today they appreciate me, and were kind enough to write that great reference letter for me. Theyíre leaving for Budapest in two days time, gosh, that reminds me the terrible trip I had there with them less than a week after I started. Still Budapest brings me great memories, even if I remember writing the darkest entry in my diary ever after the first day.


I believe I talked lengthily about suicide, I had problems with the employees. The very next day I stayed home and almost told them I was resigning. I came back the day after and we found a solution. The solution was simple, I was their boss, of the two bugs in sales who were the problem. I tell them what to do, they do not tell me what to do. It was an arrangement I could live with. And of all of us, they came out as the bad guys, they felt bad about it, and I never had any trouble with them afterwards.


That I was ready to sacrifice my career over this at the time, is probably something they never thought I would do. It caused maximum impact, they were reprimanded and probably threatened with their jobs. At the time I thought it was not very ethical for me to do this, to bring it all to such an extreme, but I have lived enough in this life that I am not going to put up with any kind of shit, especially for a job. And they quickly got back in line. Great management skills! This is exactly what I need to avoid in L.A.


When I left my two previous bosses today, I told them that we never know what the future is preparing for us. And the man said: exactly. We were on the same wavelength, he thought and I thought, that one day I will be working for them again. I would love that, I would love to open their Chinese office, or whatever else they may have in their plans. But it is over now, it is old history. I need to move on.


However her son lives in L.A., and he will be in contact with me. He is a policeman. And I was trying to convince Stephen, my partner, that L.A. had nothing to do with these cop programs he watches all the time. Everyone believes that I am going to L.A. to be shot by some immigrant, as my family back in Canada believes I am in London now just waiting to be blown up by a terrorist bomb, when this is so unlikely. Well, letís see what the future reserves for me. Every possibility is still open, anything can happen. Letís just not destroy any bridge behind us.


Bush will become my President, something I never ever considered before. While this madman was actually deciding for people I had nothing to do with, it was ok, whatever the power he has over this world. But now it is an entirely different story. This crazy man, religious, fanatic, openly anti-gay, who believes he answers to God, and that God speaks to him, will actually have quite a strong influence over my life. Especially that California is crowned with one of his cronies, Arnold Schwarzenegger. I sincerely hope I wonít have to become political. So far I succeeded in avoiding it, even if my last book is very much about British politics. But then again I had no choice, I worked in Parliament Square.


So far so good, my partner can come to the U.S., on the basis that we are lovers, even if he will not be allowed to work, our main obstacle. So far it does not look like the U.S. is a backward country like Egypt, when it comes to this domain. I would hate to have to confirm afterwards that I was wrong, especially that my new employer did not even flinch when I announced to her: what about my boyfriend? Weíre getting there, slowly, but weíre getting there.


My actual Manager, who I called Master Bitch of Westminster in my last book, says that I am so right for L.A., it is a match made in heaven. Why? Because I am vegetarian, I am gay, I am particular about everything, I want to go on the Atkins diet as soon as I set foot there, and what elseÖ I had already assessed L.A. as the best ever city for me, for these reasons and others, she was quite right.


I have fears that perhaps this will not turn out to be true. I fear rejection, like what I have experienced in Richmond upon Thames. A town filled with overbearing bastards who feel they have reached the top of the world because they played a small part in the cinema industry in England. Big deal, makes me want to puke all over the place. Especially that I must have already reached better heights, my work is passing on NBC, Fox Kids, Channel 4, ITV and all around the world, so fuck off!


They are so insignificant compared to what I hope to achieve, and I would never act like they do no matter the degree of success or failure I achieve. A small part of me wish to succeed so I can go back to that fucking pub called Richmondís Arms, and tell them all to get lost!


It is more important to me than I would like to admit. They certainly played a big part in my decision to move out to L.A. to see what destiny has in store for me. I know I will never go back there and be able to gloat, however internally, psychologically, this is one more motivation I have to succeed in L.A.


And I need all the motivation possible, since there is not much else left to motivate me in succeeding in L.A. Not fame, success or money can convince me that this is worth it. Not even the feeling that I was the main part in a big film being made. I had that feeling before, I have seen on TV what I thought of, what I said, what I created. I have achieved that, so it is certainly not a strong motivation, it has changed nothing to my core being. Revenge is a nice concept. Even though I have a hard time believing what I am saying here.


What are my motivations? What is it that I wish to accomplish in L.A.? If it is not fame, success or money, what is it then? Certainly not sex. Gosh, I donít know, and this is worrying. What are my goals? Is it just freedom? The freedom to finally do whatever I want whenever I want? Being able to work from anywhere as a writer, isolated from the rest of the planet, and still being able to move around and go anywhere as I feel?


Surely there must be other ways for me to achieve that freedom? I have been searching all my life, and I have assessed that perhaps succeeding as a writer must be my best shot at reaching freedom. Which is certainly odd, since the probabilities that I will ever succeed as a writer are so slim. I might as well wish to win a million at the lottery. However, this is all that I have left. I will live out of writing and I will earn enough to do whatever I want whenever I want. Do my job anywhere on this planet at any given time.


And then I hope to be happy. Giving me the chance to study and write more important stuff, like philosophy and theoretical physics. I guess that is my ultimate goal. My only goal. Anything could give me that chance, I only need money falling from the sky.


Why do I feel that my only way out is to succeed in Hollywood? It is a mystery to me. I must be quite desperate for any kind of solution. Must be destiny. Then I will definitely succeed. But not quite. I am way ahead of you. It is quite possible that I will never succeed in L.A. as a scriptwriter. It is quite possible that what destiny had in mind for me, was to write what you are reading now. That all my fortune will come one day from writing this long diary of mine which has now become a blog. A word I have learned to respect, even though it means that I am no better than any other blogger out there.


My life has to be more exciting and interesting than the average block, if I wish to stand any chance to be read. I would not be talking like this if I had not written already more than 20 books, you can rest assured. I stand some chance to be remembered, at least in Quťbec, where I come from. Though they are barely aware of my last two published books, since distribution has mainly been in France, Belgium, Switzerland, Africa and Middle East, donít ask me why.


I feel my destiny so far has been distinctly different from any of my colleague writers. And I feel I am about to experience the ultimate life in Hollywood. With that experience I can finally die, I would have done enough. Or live for a long time from the money this unique experience might bring me.


So my success in L.A. is not that important from a destiny point of view, it could all be about my diary, my books, and nothing to do with my success in films. And I am quite prepared to accept that, no problem.


As long as I live through enough bullshit to write about it, either in French or in English, nothing else is important. It can all come from the famous conference world as far as I am concerned, whether it is in China, Denver, London or Toronto.


Oh dear, I have now mentioned the word Toronto. Iíll be back. I just vomited a large bucket worth of whatever was in my insides. If I ever end up in Toronto, please shoot me. I would not survive it anyway. Donít mention Canada to me, it is the last place I will ever want to live. I feel most of the people working in Hollywood feel the same, even though so many productions are now moved to Canada in order to save money. Not me, not the writers, they usually never leave L.A. Or do they?


The fact is, I have no idea where I will end up doing in my life. Is there a reason for me being shipped to L.A. right now in my life? Anyone with any bit of intelligence would put 2 and 2 together and assume that he or she must follow some sort of destiny. For two years I did not work in conferences, I worked at writing film scripts and synopses. I built a very promising website containing all these ideas and scripts, and then my lack of money made me go back into conferences for a year. And then, this experience got me the dream job in L.A., of all places. If this is not destiny, what is?


I have not work at all on my scripts in the last year, not even one line. My websites were not updated at all, even if I wrote two books in that year. Letís see, what can one surmise from this? Well, assuming that none of the two books I have written will ever go anywhere, which is what is most probable since I wonít bother sending them to publishers from a lack of time and money, and they are not in the field or language of what my actual publishers publish, then there must be a more logical reason to all this.


Working in conferences is a mean for me to achieve some sort of ultimate goal, which must be accomplished in Los Angeles since this is where I am being shipped. And since I dedicated two years of my life at bankrupting myself whilst writing film scripts and building that website, it must necessarily be related.


How could I not now believe in destiny? In some sort of higher power, be it God or deterministic laws of nature, leading me somewhere? Could it not be related to the film industry? Could it be something entirely different? Am I to believe that I am sent to L.A. to write about how I wish to succeed and then fail spectacularly, just to write about it and discourage a whole generation of people to not abandon everything, sacrificing their life in the process, in order to avoid the only town in this world which could make their dreams come true, but would ultimately destroy them completely to the point where only suicide remains? Better that than going back home, wherever home is.


No, I feel I am destined to something much larger, with a much higher purpose. And I am reading right now what it is that would qualify as what it is that I wish to achieve with my life. It is called Rama. Four books written by Arthur C. Clarke and Gentry Lee (but keep the first one for the end, since it is the least interesting books of the four). If I can write something like that before I die, then I feel all will be ok. However, if I do not feel I can reach out like Arthur C. Clarke can, then it will be a failure.


I do not write for a few thousand people, not even a million. I want to write for the masses. I want to have a deep impact. I want to change the ways of a whole nation, of a whole country, how they think. I have no small ambition, otherwise I am ready to die right here right now. It does not matter whether I live or die.


However, in the 20 books or so I have written until now, I do not feel I have reached my goals. I have not yet written my Rama series. And would it be sufficient anyway? Rama is not considered like the best work of Arthur C. Clarke, we barely hear about it. But God, there could not be a better series in science fiction to help you understand what this world is all about. What we, as human beings, are actually doing which will definitely lead to our ultimate destruction. Reading that series, I am ashamed of being a human being, I really am. I feel powerless to change this world. Do I have to do something to change it for the better, changing peopleís mind, activating something in their brain? What a goal.


Perhaps I should be killed now, before I have to think too much about how I will ever achieve that impossible task. I wouldnít mind, death has always been welcomed in my lair. Ultimate freedom, liberty, even if it is just about turning the machine off. I would love it more than you will ever understand.


What possesses me to continue and have these weird passions about achieving something grand and universal, is beyond my comprehension. Perhaps we all have a role to play in this existence, in the destiny of human kind. And even though it is not simple, we still have to play the game. And I will play it, to a certain extent, but it better happen soon or else I will lose patience.


I am tired, I am fed up, I better get myself somewhere quickly, I better see that big scheme in action, which I suspect, or else I will lose faith, abandon everything and never look back. Or can I? Perhaps not. Must be in my genes, in my nature.


There is no escape, and that is what this higher power or these laws of nature know, that I donít. I donít even have the freedom to kill myself or retire somewhere alone in a forest. I just canít. I am moving to L.A., living my destiny all planned out for me. It better be good, motivating and rewarding. At the very least. Can I even hope it will bring me happiness, or is it too much to ask?


All that I have said in the last paragraph assumed that I believe in some sort of higher power or some sort of deterministic laws of physics. It would not be completely true to say that these are my beliefs. I do think I had a strong part to play in everything that is happening to me right now. I wished for it and then it happened. No mater if somehow it happened completely out of my conscious control.


I did not apply for a job in L.A., I got one. It is possible that unconsciously I made this happen. Like if somehow I thought this was necessary to my development, like if I had some sort of power over my destiny. Like if, for example, in this reality there was only me and no one else, like if I dreamt up everyone else and they only existed for me, from my own point of view, my own frame of reference. (And I wrote about that and it was published way before The Matrix came out, so stop thinking what youíre thinking. This goes for anything I might say in the future which goes along the path of The Matrix. These ideas are not new.)


In that case I would have certainly planned for myself a few interesting experiences in L.A., especially in the film industry, enough at least to learn something from it and spit it back in my books.


Sometimes I think that I think too much about the significance of everything in oneís life. At this time I feel justified, because it is too weird, too impossible. I have beaten the odds, it must be significant, it must mean something. It could lead to an understanding of what the mechanisms of existence are all about. Is there a structure regulating what one must live?


Nothing has ever been enough for me, I always needed more, it is beyond comprehension. If I donít succeed at anything, changing irrevocably what we are as a race, then my life is just not worth it. It makes no sense, I donít understand where this comes from. Could it come from the fact that I feel everything is wrong in this world? That everything could be much better and that somehow I can contribute to this massive shift in thinking and behavior? Can I?


Through fantasy perhaps, science fiction, like Arthur C. Clarke? How could we measure the impact of that one man on humanís destiny? Quite high, he has inspired Nasa and everyone working there. He has inspired every single sci-fi movie I have seen so far. He has changed lives, he has given us some sort of background information for us to act and react. It is possible to have a large impact via fiction, via science fiction. He is a big influence on this world. If everyone were to read his books, they would think completely differently and think twice before going to war and changing this world irremediably.


So I could at least reach that level, it is within my powers to change something on a massive scale, even via fiction. I have an empire to build then, as big as the one of Arthur C. Clarke. And I feel I have the right disposition mentally and philosophically to lead us all to a better and happier place.


That is also quite important, since I am no stranger to wild ideas like perhaps the destruction or annihilation of the whole human race is the best solution, before we destroy the whole universe by inadvertence. Got to get back on earth, think in simpler terms. How can I best achieve my goals? Got to forget all my extreme ideas, got to think some more. I have a mission, I have to accomplish it somehow. No small mission.


It is sad that it is only in a few decades that I will be able to assess if I have succeeded in my mission. I might even be dead by the time I have any impact. And it does not matter, as long as I stop talking and start acting. And L.A., the strongest sphere of influence on this planet, might just be the platform I need. A mean to reach the masses, through fiction. Most of my books in French are not fictional. Most of my fictional work has been written in English, when I was writing film scripts and synopses for possible films.


So there I am, fiction, science fiction, is to be my life, to make the world understand that we need to find peace and happiness somehow, whatever the costs. No small destiny, Iím certainly pretentious enough to succeed. How could you anyway achieve great things if you did not even believe you could achieve them in the first place? This is why I am going to L.A.


Who am I kidding? I must be drunk again. Do I believe any of that stuff? It would be nice if it was true, in any way. Or perhaps I am just building myself a great destiny where I am somehow a prince and another prince will save me from my misery. Could be true, and it might never happen, however the coincidence is too impressive to ignore. I am going to L.A., and anything can happen.


Mycroft Holmes in L.A. blog 24 October 2005


Four last days of work in London, six days before my departure.


I have been playing so hard recently at reorganizing my life, using my pseudo-technique of changing my future, and convincing myself that what I wanted was actually already a reality, that every time I walk on Westminster bridge to go to the pub on my lunch hour, I am questioning what is real and what is not. I fear that I dreamt up this whole business of moving to L.A. and that any day now I will wake up in a different timeline where I might have never heard of this job in Los Angeles.


It seems a bit too convenient to wish something and get it almost right away, no matter how huge is the dream. I have problems to adapt to the fact that I can actually achieve what I want just by wishing it and believing it without any doubt. It really puts a twist on this reality, it feels much more like I am in some sort of Matrix, and any day now I will be contacted by Morpheus.


I am also worried that I might just be completely mad and ready for the asylum. I feel this is not real, none of it, nothing in this life. It is just like a dream, a real one, and I am in control. However it would be easy to start doubting and lose it all. Get back to something I donít particularly want.


Thatís how I feel, I am questioning reality, and at the same time I feel like I am reaching a new understanding of the mechanisms of existence, which have nothing to do with how I interpreted existence for the first 30 years of my life.


There are a set of values and reasons to exist that I had built up in my mind which was my personal philosophy of life, which is now due to be rethought completely in light of the facts that I can change my future and make it the exact way I want.


What does this say about my role and the role of each human being in this universe? How can I now picture this world we live in? Am I just making the best of some natural laws of physics, am I tapping into some sort of ESP power that many mediums on this planet have been exploiting for centuries without being able to express and identify what was exactly happening, since just about every scientific mind just reject whatever it is that they can actually achieve?


Is this why I donít consider these possibilities, because it is just crazy and impossible in the first place? How can I doubt it now? When everything I wished for in the last few months became a reality? Except perhaps winning at the lottery, however I admit that I was unable to believe that I would win, since the probabilities seemed too impossible for my poor mind. So I do have limits, I truly need to believe that whatever I want can actually happen. And if it is that easy to believe, it is also very easy to doubt at the last minute and lose it all.


So I have to believe that this reality is very much a virtual one, that matter and energy can be interchanged at will, that I have enough brain power to change the configuration of this world, or at the very least, I can switch between parallel universes or realities at will. And whatever I can think of, whatever I can dream up, can easily become the reality I will be evolving in.


Do I still have things to learn then? Obstacles to overcome just so I can acquire some sort of experience I would perhaps have set myself at a subconscious level? I am not sure anymore. What about karma, and what you do comes around? Not so sure anymore. You could still be a bad person and be happy and succeed beyond any hope. There would not be any punishment. The consequences are after all just virtual and ultimately affect only one person, myself.


No one else is actually real, I can switch it all, change it all, in one day. It could only truly affect me if I believed in some sort of moral and ethical code and I was actually adhering to it. Because then, doing something bad would make me depressed, when in fact there is no need to and I could get away with murder without even giving it a second thought. Not that I intend anyway to change my way of thinking morally and ethically, on the contrary. However I do not believe anymore in a system of punishment, or should I?


Perhaps this is all bullocks and it does not change anything if suddenly I can change my future or not. Perhaps it was always there, I just never believed it in the first place, and my success rate was near to zero, when now it is at 90%. I cannot ignore this anymore, it took me five years to get back at working at changing my future, I cannot stop again. I have to get somewhere, and then I will see what I can do, what I should do. Because this also escapes me.


Maybe I should think in terms of what it is that I want to do, and then do it, instead of these terms of what I am supposed to be doing and trying to figure that out. Perhaps nothing is planned after all, perhaps the only destiny that exists, is the one we build for ourselves.


Is life just a game? Or has it got some sort of higher purpose? I have absolutely no answer, not even a clue. I had the time to build myself a philosophy of life using bits and pieces found everywhere, from every philosophy and religion, and now I guess it is time to throw all that away.


Only simple observations of where I am and what my potential is, need to be considered. Take it one day at a time, and reassess every day what is going on, what this life could all be about or could lead me. Perhaps my existence has more in store for me, to surprise me and excite me. I certainly need any kind of motivation, just to remain alive and continue to work for no apparent good reason. Will L.A. bring me all the answers, or at least a bit more of the answers I am looking for?


Mycroft Holmes in L.A. blog 27 October 2005


Last day in London, conferences, LA expectations, freedom


This is my last day working in Westminster. How do I feel? Like a zombie, even though I went to bed early the last two nights. I have this strange feeling that I am leaving into a space ship to go across the solar system and even perhaps outside of it, maybe in the direction of Tau Ceti.


I have said before that I was ready for such a destiny, that I was waiting to get out of the solar system as quickly as the technology would permit, and that I would invent it if necessary. Well, going to L.A. is probably the closest I will ever get to such a voyage.


It is certainly on the other side of the planet as far as London is concerned, it is also the heaviest place psychologically where someone can land. The archetype over that city is simply huge, out of proportion. Probably because in itself it is a city which has been built mostly on ideas, like a virtual city.


Iím sure L.A. is completely different from what these films and books have brought us. Reality will be hard to accept once I discover that my life there will be as miserable as it has been in Paris, London or Brussels. I just hope it wonít reach the bottom level I felt in Toronto. However it is unlikely.


I can no longer deny that my life has been to produce conferences. It has now been ten full years in London, doing just that. This is how I have been able to survive, to buy all my gadgets, and it is now the reason why I am leaving for L.A. Was it just a mean to get somewhere else, to finally escape the event horizon?


This hate-love affair is far from being over, since I just signed a contract with a company who want a career man. And it is not excluded in my mind that this is it. My very last career move might be this company I will be with for the next 10 years, instead of the usual 1 to 2 years. It would mean that I finally found the right job, management, where apart from thinking and writing reports, I wonít have to actually produce conferences. Oh irony.


My last day! This is the last time I am in Putney, on my way to London Waterloo. Tonight it will be Waterloo to Putney to Isleworth, for perhaps the last time, at the very least for a long time. I have seen it enough in the last decade to not feel sad about it.


I feel so weird this morning, and weíre going to the pub at lunch time for a farewell drink, I hope I wonít do anything stupid. I certainly feel right now like climbing on the roof of the train to sing and dance all the energy contained in my little body. It would be my luck to just faint and fall on the track two days before my liberation, my escape, my revolution. As it is how I perceive this move to L.A.


Clapham Junction, for the very last time. If Canada were my destination on Saturday, I would feel devastated for losing this feeling of reaching that busiest station in Europe. As it stands, Iíll be glad to forget all the transfers I did here on my way to Victoria in my first two years in London. Now I really feel like dancing and shouting at the top of my lungs: L.A. here I come! No matter the costs, no matter the consequences.


I fear I will very much look like an alien in L.A. I have nothing like the starsí look. My clothes are more like the ones of a poor poet who never actually connected with reality in the first place. I have no clue about society, certainly not the high society of Hollywood. Even English for me is a problem, and I miss the meaning of most expressions. Anyway, I would be lucky to even meet this sort of society, I never did in Paris or in London, what can I hope for in L.A.?


I must trust that destiny is leading me somewhere and that I will get there eventually. But it has to move fast, I need to move fast, everything needs to happen within weeks, not months and years. I need my way out of conferences, I need my freedom, and unfortunately this means success and money. I canít think of anything else which could bring me the sort of freedom that I wish for.


29 October 2005


Over the Atlantic, emotions, US customs, visa


That is it, I am now flying over the Atlantic, on my way to Los Angeles via Toronto. Apparently there is no more difference between the U.S. and Canadian customs, and therefore I will actually enter both Canada and the U.S. once in Toronto, all at the same time.


I was not sure what to think, to rejoice that one major step will now be eliminated, and I will only have to suffer the pain of being frightened at the customs only once, or if I should start to worry that perhaps my dear Mr. Bush has decided to take over the Canadian borders and, Canadians being so nice for no good reason, being in their nature, have let Bush take over. My only hope is that it will make it much simpler for me to get my visa.


Although everything is completely legal, you never know what will happen, when the law is still in the hands of people who enjoy wrecking entire lives just to prove to themselves they have a little power in this world. Their doubts is all they need to stop you right there from accomplishing your destiny. However, after years of experience dealing with European democracy and immigration, I am not afraid anymore.


Twice in the plane I had a panic attack, finally having a glimpse of what it is that I have done. It seems to me that I never had the chance to think this through, to understand the implications. Hell, I had not even started to pack last night at 9 pm. As a result I did not sleep last night and at the moment I am like suspended in time, since we are going back in time at the right speed for time to stop.


So God knows how I will survive the day until we reach Los Angeles. I have become so emotional, this morning before we left I picked up the Myrmicat, squeezed her and could not stop crying. It was so embarrassing, because of the taxi driver. Stephen appeared quite pleased at my reaction, it was like a proof that I actually love them, and was not just abandoning them without caring.


You work and work without ever stopping, five days a week, three hours of travel a day. And on the weekend you are rushing all these things you feel you need to do to make this life worthwhile, otherwise there would only be work and sleep, and then, in these conditions, death would be most welcomed. So at the end of your seven days, you realize that you never even took one minute to think about what you were actually doing. You just went over all the obstacles as if they were just little hurdles, and everything would be better afterwards. But then I woke up yesterday and realized I had to abandon my life after 10 years, the person I love and my cats, to go and live somewhere alone, in a place I know nothing about!


Is it a mistake? I just canít believe it, it was so easy, it really fell from the sky. And if in a few hours I get my visa, then really it was so effortless, you wonder what happened to the concept of adventure.


And I want it to be painless, in the end it makes no difference to what you learn in life if you are just confronted by walls, after walls. There are other things that need to be learned, some other goals which need to be reached. Useless to spend your life worrying about immigration, writing about it as if it was your whole life and nothing else ever existed. You might as well go home then, since it would definitely not be worth it.


There are other things I can learn in L.A., and I hope I will learn them without it being too painful. After all, I am there to write and reach out. Perhaps I am the one who has an experience to communicate, and L.A., as I was saying before, will give me that chance.


Though at the moment it does look hopeless, stuck working for a conference company. It is at any rate much better than being a waiter. Or is it? I could not even be a waiter if I wanted to now. Only high profile and high paying jobs can keep me in the United States, since it is the only way for me to get a visa.


31 October, 5 am


My first day in LA


I made it! I am right now at the dawn of something, not sure what yet, and it is a bit frightening. I would not say that I am scared, but close to it. I am on my balcony right now, it is 5 am, I am right in the Valley, though I have no idea which valley this is or where I am exactly. The stars offer quite a sight, even if I know that only a few can be seen in a city as large as Los Angeles. My first day at work in a few hours, I am ready to explode!


If I was afraid of rejection, my first day has been quite successful. Already in the lobby of the hotel-apartment complex where I live, a woman came to me and told me her life story in no less than two hours. Offering me dreams and opportunities like moving to France with her and start a business, anything, and then offering me to build a glass house on her land in the north of California so I could write all day without having to worry about a job.


Now, how likely is it that any of that would actually happen? Close to zero. Some people would offer you anything just to have friendship, and I know that these friendships are too demanding for any human being. Somehow she got from me my room number and the address where I will work. Iím sure I have not heard the last of her, and Stephen is freaking out about it.


And then I went to Ralphs to buy some food. Everyone was over nice, talking to me like if a huge earthquake just happened and they were suddenly so desperate to talk to someone about it, that even strangers would do. Well, it is what would be required for anyone in England to even talk to you, they donít even say sorry when they cut you in the grocery store, like they do here.


I donít know what is wrong with these Americans, they are so opened, so willing to meet new people, it is madness. I feel a strong sense of community, I suddenly feel part of something larger than just my small person. I am no longer this individual lost amongst millions, but a component of some greater family called the human race.


Somehow I feel this is only temporary, that it is a false sort of feeling that usually happens when you first move somewhere. Every time I moved into a new country, I always met helpful people ready to do anything for me, without anything in return, and in time this subsides and it is life as normal. As if destiny knew I needed help, and all these possibilities were suddenly falling on my doorstep.


I have to be careful though, not to fall into any trap or friendship I donít want. Not to believe anything anyone says, because it is likely that they wonít deliver even on their friendship. It could easily become a nightmare. At the same time, I need to have some wisdom, and be able to understand when people are genuine and have a lot to offer. Obviously I feel I have a lot to offer, however I know certain friendships are doomed from the start. I need to give myself some time to let anything else happen, and take it from there.


I am now more worried about my first day at work. Can I deliver on all the promises I have made? Am I this genius guy who will sort them out through my past experience? I have met yesterday at the Airport one of the girls I will be working with, along with her wonderful and peaceful new husband of two weeks. God she is nice, strong personality, these are people I would love to have as friends. Her husband works in the music industry, in the licensing I believe, and probably about the use of music in films. I see no opportunity there except for good friendship, and this is good.


Perhaps all my dreams and expectations about succeeding in the movie industry have also subsided since my arrival. I am not sure if it is because I feel that being here or in London makes no difference to my success. And I just have to continue slowly to work on my projects in my little corner, and hope for other extraordinary events in my life to happen, which most likely would come from my inbox by emails than meeting the right people.


Or perhaps it is that I have other worries right now, like this new job and finding a new apartment. Both are huge tasks to accomplish, and I am hopeful that I will succeed in being happy. I am not certain if my budget will allow me something nice close to where I will be working. And I know I will need a car, because just walking to the grocery store took me 30 minutes, and I had to come back in a taxi. However the taxi driver was a Canadian woman from Toronto and she was, as expected, very talkative and helpful.


I just donít know what to expect next. I have to get ready to go to work.


2 November 2005


One bastard identified at work, inexistent public transport, prison type apartments


Do I deserve so much attention? So much niceties? A company going the next 100 extra miles to help me and even my boyfriend to move to L.A. forever and ever? I feel guilty, so much effort put into my happiness here. I have not exactly been used to that with any of my previous employers, I was more treated like shit in any of the jobs I ever had. What is it that they think they will get in return? Am I worth it? That is the frightening thought, the idea that I might not be worth all the effort.


So far so good, I think they think theyíre getting their moneyís worth. It is not exactly what their number one employee thought though, and yesterday I lost patience with him. He crossed the line with me, and I was ready to go back to London without even giving it a second thought. Los Angeles is not the end of the world as far as I am concerned, and I have not one single idea about how and why my career in cinema and television could go any further now that I am here.


Anyway, he was freaking out because I knew nothing about the financial world, especially in America. And he was panicking more and more, and went into some sort of crisis every time he understood that I did not have a clue about what was a private equity, a venture capitalist or project management financial plan. I almost shouted at him back that: ďno, I donít know anything about that American capitalist crap, and I have no desire to learn it either!Ē.


So, what he did after his lunch break, is exactly what I expected he would do. He went back to all the bosses, trying very hard to convince them that I was not only ignorant of everything, but on top of it, I was quite insubordinate. It must have thrown him into a spin, this office is filled with Yes Sir/Yes Madam type of employees. The anarchist ones like me must have left a long time ago, I thought.


So he tried, he then kind of disappeared for the rest of the afternoon, and I was expecting at any time to be put on the side by one of my bosses to let me know I had been out of line and that it was not acceptable. And I was ready to tell them that once again a damn employer had hired an employee without giving him any clue about what he would actually be doing. And that is simply not acceptable. And that if they felt they had made a mistake with me, I would gladly go back to London. And all it would have cost them is a plane ticket, one month accommodation and an immigration lawyer.


The very next morning I had a new best friend, who came back to me sheepishly talking to me with a big smile. In fact I had a two hour meeting with him where he could only speak while laughing. Must have been difficult to appear as appreciative as that, when I know for a fact that an old tree like him must have hated every second of it. He was defeated, I had won. Somehow I doubt this is the end of the problem. Why, oh why, is there always a fucking bastard in every single job I ever had? The one who will work very hard at destroying me at every corner? Why canít it be simple for once?


Well, he came back saying jokingly that I must be the one person in the world who has worked for every single big conference company in the world, and that I must be unique, that no one else must have that much experience. Could he truly suddenly believe this? Or was he trying to dig again, saying that I simply cannot keep a job? Try to keep a job in conferences for years, in this industry filled with bastards and backstabbers. Oh yeah, I had the extraordinary opportunity to have known them all, to the point where suicide was my only way out. Not counting that a job in conferences is so stressful, rare are the new employees who will remain after six months. They are either sacked because of a lack of results, or they leave because they canít stand it anymore.


He had finally been told who I was and why it is that I had been imported from the UK to work here. I just hope that his sudden change of heart is sincere, that he now understands the potential that his bosses see in me, and why they are bending over to help me like crazy. Oh god, I hope he is not hopeless and will not play these mind games with me. I am quite prepared to forget this and appreciate him for the man that he appears to be. A good man at heart, with whom I feel I could work with. Somehow, they never change, it can only get worse.


The only other possible bitch, and somehow there is always one in every company, is the woman in charge of admin, payroll and HR. She could easily turn into a monster, she is also in charge of finding out whoís late and whoís sick, and whoís leaving early (30 minutes after the normal hour is considered too early). So far she has been very nice to me, over nice in fact, I could almost believe that she will not turn out to be a bitch. I know better.


I will have to break my back for them, I know that much, and thankfully I do intend to break my back for them. It pays off when you are working for a family instead of a corporation who does not even know who you are and what you do for them, even after years of success. So it might just work.


We went for a perfect lunch with my bosses, Stephen and I. It was to present them my baby, and they were impressed. They want to employ him, perhaps because he made it clear that he would not come to L.A. if he could not work.


He told them that he was quite traumatized by the US custom guy in Toronto. I had to balance that. I said that I could not believe that, despite the hell of the questioning, never in my life of living in all these weird countries and dealing with their immigration bureaucracy, had I got a visa within 20 minutes. I felt it was almost too easy. Of course, this was so only for two reasons: first I did not care if I did not get the visa, I was happy to go back. Second, I knew my case was too perfect despite what he was saying, he would have had no choice but to let me go in the end. He did not frighten me with is directness, lack of respect, patronizing tone, treating me like scum.


I knew the game. It is the game of the prisoner or the patient with a psychologist, who needs to convince the authority that he is a changed man in order to gain his freedom, when in fact he is probably worst for it, for having gone through that process from hell. And if he was not ready before to annihilate the world, he certainly is now, disgusted as he must be for so much crap.


So I was quite calm while the custom officer was getting excited. I had the perfect answer every time. So I got the visa. End of story. However it seems to have convinced Stephen that he will never get his own visa, so he almost decided to not even try.


The true reason however is his six cats, his three tortoises, his 30 fish and crabs, and his two snakes. Add to this his flat that he will need to rent to some lodger, and that is just too much for him.


Also that he is not impressed by Los Angeles, there is nothing here apart from me to motivate him to sacrifice everything at home. He is also convinced that both his parents could die within the next six months. That certainly does not help my case.


I think he will never make the jump. He did not appear that overwhelmed when I told him today that his sort of job interview at lunch time with my bosses had been successful. That they saw him as the new head of the future telemarketing department. God, we are so not ambitious, it is ridiculous, almost a shame in the society we are living in.


So what do I think of Los Angeles so far? Nothing. I have been stuck in my little block in the Valley for five days now, it might as well have been anywhere else on the planet, it would have made no difference.


No car means that we cannot go anywhere. The bus system sucks so much, one passes every hour, if it passes at all, and it never goes anywhere. There are not even cabs in sight, you need to call them, they take 30 minutes to arrive.


Los Angeles must be the only large city in the world without a proper public transport system, and somehow they even got rid of the cabs by preventing the companies from getting licenses. As a consequence everyone bought a car, must be a way to get the economy running.


Finding an apartment is not easy either. The place is either like a fortress and costs a fortune, or it is filled with foreigners and there is so much violence, like random shooting on the streets, that only a desperate person would ever rent a flat there.


Well, I am not that desperate, I have a $60,000 a year salary for godís sake, I am not about to be shot for no good reason, even though there would be a nice poetic justice to this, considering my state of mind in the last few years.


I would not mind dying on the streets of Los Angeles. However, with my luck it would probably be beatings and robberies, and they would leave me there for dead when I would still be alive and depressed.


So I guess I will have to live in one of these prisons where they charge a fortune for an unfurnished little living room with a bed coming down from the wall.


10 November 2005


Problems with my Manager/Director and other management issues


I have destroyed it now. A second argument, in that many weeks. How many more can we have before I give up and decide to go back to London? What are my options? What are his options? It is clear that by now he has identified me as a real problem, and he told my bosses. Another damn Manager with whom I simply just cannot work with. And it is my entire fault. Though he can probably also take some of the blame.


What went wrong? What is it that does not click between us? He said so himself, he is easy going, everyone loves working with him, he looks like a nice guy. Is it just me? Am I unable to accept any kind of authority and criticism?


I am certain that if I were to do a search on the Internet under statistics, survey and Managers, I would discover that it is the same story for a large portion of the population, when it comes to their wonderful relationship with their direct line Manager. However there are ways to deal with this, and I am just unable to deal with this kind of shit.


It was clear on my face that I was disgusted, ready to pack my bags and get out. Only $5,000 down the drain, but I would feel justified, personality conflict with my manager. I just donít like him, his deep cavernous voice in the background makes all my body hair stand.


Is there something that I donít know? Something eating him and I am just suffering the consequences as a by-product? Or have I succeeded in alienating him completely with my own behavior? Letís review this, so I can understand it better.


Last weekÖ I canít remember what it was last week. It was so stupid, so unimportant, that I have already forgotten. However I am very much living with the consequences now. I basically spotted the problem on the very first day, if I remember correctly. Even if I still have no idea what the problem was, but there was something. He was annoyed with me from the first minute I walked into that office. Iím sure it was not his decision to hire me, as it was not the one of my boss either. It was his wife.


Last week I thought it was my lack of knowledge in the topic of their conferences and his impatience with me. This week, it is that I appear to have been doing everything else except what he asked me to do. I also take forever to do anything, because I have so many other things on the side to sort out. He wants me 150% right away, it is just impossible, not after what I have just been through. For Godís sake, I have been here less than two weeks and I am far from being sorted out.


Feeling somehow guilty because my bosses appear to see so much potential in me, whilst they are perhaps completely mistaken, I worked so fucking hard writing them four more long reports about my past experience. And these reports, they did not specifically ask for them, but they did indirectly, with their questions and their desire to know more.


I thought they would have been over the moon by now. I have not heard a single word about my six reports of an average of twelve pages each (I have written them a book!). It is like if I had never written them. Perhaps I have freaked them out by giving them sensitive files from the competitors, even if Telecoms is not related at all with what they are doing, and these files are between 5 to 10 years old. Maybe they feel I will eventually do the same with their files, who knows. I did not give them a competitorís database, I would never. Too late now to go back. They certainly asked for such files in my first reports, and it was a direct request.


So I spent Monday and Tuesday writing these reports, because I did not have enough of the weekend to do so. I had already spent 6 hours this weekend finishing the work that the Manager asked of me. This also went over their heads. It seems that they can believe this can be done in two hours, when it took me days. I am sorry, either they had exemplary employees and they worked very hard and very quickly, which I doubt, or they have careless employees who are quite happy to do a half job at every turn.


So now it looks as if I am wasting time, when in fact I am just being thorough. It is in my nature, but I am learning right now to forgo my nature and become a careless employee as well, as long as I can finish the job within two hours instead of two days. The secret must be to give them just enough to be able to pretend I have done a thorough job when in fact I would certainly not base any business decisions on that botched work.


When I told the Manager that in the last two days I was writing reports for my bosses, he checked, and unfortunately my bosses did not support me. They told him that they had not asked me to write these reports. So twice now he tried to tell me that I was bullshitting him. Of course, I was hoping my reports would be well received and that they would defend me. It has not happen, I think they felt my reports were useless.


I also think that it was a ridiculous thought that I could have believed for one second that a company hiring a Management Consultant would change anything of how they are conducting their business. If it works, why would you change anything? In fact, why would you even hire a Management Consultant with a high salary? It is so puzzling, I am losing sleep over this. I cannot make head or tail of my situation.


My Manager, who is in fact a Director, has no experience whatsoever about the type of events I am working on. In fact, the only person who has any sort of experience about this is my good friend sitting next to me, the one who welcomed me at LAX airport (my valley girl). She is just a Manager but was recently told that she was the Director of her events, because of what I wrote in one of my early reports.


This perhaps has killed the faith of my Line Director. He was one of two Directors before, now he is afraid that they will all soon be called Directors, and it is my fault. He told me today to not listen to her, to not even discuss my event with her, since he may want to do everything differently. Except, he has no clue about how to go about it, and she does. It is a big dilemma for me, since I will have to do that damn event which will take me six months to do, just that. This is how complicated they are.


He is an old tree, and he fights back any kind of change whatsoever. Only my first two reports had an impact so far, slight changes, and it might already be too much for him. He must be dreading the new decisions which could be made because of my reports, so he is certainly not happy that I concentrate on that instead of his ridiculous lists I need to research on the Internet all day.


Everything I have done so far should have been done by an assistant they could have paid almost nothing. Especially that this company is based on people who have assistants, half the company has the word Assistant in their job title. Something I have always suggested they change for Executives, since it would help them in their job.


It is sad when someone has so much potential, so many good ideas, and the experience to back it up, but is prevented in doing anything because change is a frightening thought. So their Management Consultant will actually be a Conference Producer instead, and just an assistant at that. Which is fine by me, with that kind of salary, in a country where the standard of living goes through the roof. However I would have liked to have been told that I would only be an assistant, I wish I could be told now so I would know where I stand.


I can adapt to that, no problems. I feel there is a conflict at the moment in the management lair, and I am powerless to do anything about it. I just suffer the wrath of their Director and, since I cannot just let it go down my back like water on a duck, the situation might just explode.


I certainly have no experience as a Management Consultant. The only thing I know now, is that the second job title of a Management Consultant should be Executive Director, so he or she would have the power to crush the little people who cannot accept any change.


I am sure it also fries him that despite my young age compared to him, I have perhaps as much experience if not more than him in the world of conferences. And not only that, it is an experience from just about every large competitor they have. So my bosses appear to have told him that the little moron that I am has more experience than the old tree that he is, since he came to me once shouting: so you think you have more experience than me!? That statement alone tells it all.


Of course, he can only see me as someone without any experience whatsoever, called upon to make all the wrong decisions when he knows it all himself, and he is probably the one who should have changed his title to Management Consultant. However, his experience is limited to the one company he has worked for, for perhaps 10 years, and Iím not even sure if it has been that long.


So you can understand my problem, and I am starting to understand it better myself. Perhaps I had just no realized that I would be perceived as a threat. And now that I have realized that, I will be more amused by his little panic attacks. I just wished that I was certain that my own analysis of the situation was right.


At the moment I can only see that this week I have taken the piss, working on reports to satisfy my bosses, when I should have been trying to please my Line Director. I did assess that situation at the beginning of this week, I quickly surmised that it was more important for me to show my bosses I was indispensable, instead of searching the Internet all day for the Director.


And somehow something tells me that it will pay off. The mitigated reaction of my bosses must have been to calm him down, to keep the right balance. Secretly I am sure they are reading every single word I have written and that soon they will not only appreciate me, they will change everything.


Oh, I feel so much better now! I just hope I am right. And if I am right, I am glad that I am learning so quickly. Something which would not have been possible if I had not written it all down tonight, after drinking three beers in a row.


I feel like I have acquired some sort of wisdom now. What was on my mind when I walked back from work was more like: I am unmanageable, a crisis will develop, I am useless, I just canít work with anyone, etc.


I need to start my own business or else I will just be going from job to job, suffering with my line Manager for six months to a year, before I leave right after the whole thing crumbles to dust behind me. Now, instead of panicking back at my panicking Director, I can just sit back, relax, and look at him destroy himself.


Donít get me wrong, I would like it to be different, I am certain he is the best employee they ever had and will ever have. It is important that he stays. His reaction can only be explained by the fact that they did not include him in any of the real management discussions. As a result he now feels as if all this change is not necessary and superfluous. And to be honest, I feel that he is right.


However I have been hired to tell my own experience, analyze it and propose solutions. So I am doing what I am being paid for. It is their decisions to apply my suggestions or not. And the old tree is completely right if he states: what the fuck does he know about this business? Completely right, I am sure he knows more than I will ever do. But I donít care, I have to fulfill my role and somehow I feel I will appreciate that role, even if heads will have to roll over.


No one gives me shit, or else I am leaving. I donít care if it is after two hours on the job. But now it is not as simple. I am asking for trouble with a title like Management Consultant. I represent a real danger. So I have to adapt my attitude and behavior. Ultimately the other employees should always lose over me. Otherwise, why hire a Management Consultant, if not to implement changes?


And old trees, if they cannot accept the changes, it is written in the book, they will need to go. Letís try to save them, by all means, but if they become unmanageable, recalcitrant, what can we do? Here is the door my friend. Start your own business if you feel that you have all the knowledge in the world to do so.


And this is exactly how I feel right now. I feel I know so much about the conference world, especially after writing so many reports in the last year, that it is a waste that I should tell people what to do. I should do it myself. However, letís not forget that I just declared bankruptcy. For whatever the reasons. But who cares? Getting money to finance projects, is what all our conferences are about right now. And all these people have no money, just a promising product or service which cannot fail (though in most cases it fails miserably).


And my company could not fail either, because I know what failed and what succeeded all over the damn place, all over the world, in virtually all the main conference companies there are. Just a shame that I could not care less about the conference world and I am still trying very hard to free myself from it. Somehow I thought L.A. would help me achieve that dream, so letís not destroy everything before it actually happens.


What is also funny, is that if it was my own business, I would not follow most of my suggestions, I would do everything differently. This is something I have recently realized, it is never the same when it is not your own company. If it was your own, you would act and behave differently. Because then, you would actually care. Something no employee ever has been able to do. We just donít give a shit, weíre just employees trying to survive our day, to get a pay check, and somehow try to still have a life outside of work, if possible.


And this is something most employers cannot understand and Iím not certain if there is a solution to that problem. Unless the employees somehow also could own parts of the company and it was actually worth it for them to work harder. Otherwise, good old generous bonus schemes might do the trick.


11 November 2005


Backstabbing and mind games at work


I came in the office this morning and it was the hardest thing I had done in quite a while, harder than passing through customs. I was so afraid and worried, I felt I really did not belong there. Or that no one really wanted me there. I have tried hard to succeed, to impress them in my first two weeks, and perhaps I have just failed somehow (isn't that amazing after all that I have written?).


I worked on my director's stuff last weekend, I will also work on it this weekend. It might not be enough. This time I will not escape my fate, something will happen. My boss just asked me to come into his office, however I have to wait until another guy leaves it. What is it that he wants to talk about? Is it related to the director's impatience with me? Can I be blamed for all this somehow?


What's the worse that he could tell me? That I am quite insubordinate, unresponsive, working on other things that I should not be working on? I think it will also be about my general attitude, being incapable of being a Yes Sir type of guy, when someone accuses me of incompetence.


It is going to require all my restraints not to tell him that I quit, in a minute, if he goes into attack mode. Because then, I would have nothing to lose, it would be clear that I would have alienated both the director and the boss. What chance do I stand to survive in such a company?


It was already so difficult to survive the first two weeks, I did not even dare go to the toilet or go get a coffee unless I was desperate. Today I can't even talk anymore, I want to disappear at my desk. What will it be today and next week after my conversation with the boss?


I really need my weekend now, three days off would be even better. Stephen did it today, but I can't do that after only two weeks. I have so many things to sort out, it was a crazy idea to start working almost the very next day I arrived in a new country. I never had the time to breathe, I have barely took my stuff out of my suitcases.


Just had my meeting. The director told my boss that I said that I was only here to be a consultant, and not do anything else. I told my boss that I made it clear to the director that I was quite happy to work on anything that I was asked to do (and in fact, I certainly don't mind even if they ask me to clean the toilets). So that was his angle. My boss told me that I was also hired to do menial things way below my skills, and I should accept it. So I reassured him, that I did not mind about that at all and the director misunderstood me (yeah, what a backstabber!).


And now I will have something else to do. The director will contact me from his home (he works from home on Friday) so I can contact a few companies for another event, which will prevent me from doing the other stuff I need to do, so I will have to work on this over the weekend.


I seem to have survived the second round, though this time I was called into the office. I am pretty certain that I won't survive a third round, so I really have to disappear and work hard like crazy. And I think it is clear now that my reports had no impact on them, they are not pleased I worked on this for two days this week. So it is important I prove to them that I can be the best conference assistant there is.


I went to the toilet, and then I went to buy some chips, but then I bought my first egg sandwich downstairs. The girl was very nice, however I went through such a panic state because I was away from my desk for over 12 minutes, I bitterly regretted having decided to go to the toilet. And now I am in desperate need to go again, but I can't, I am under observation.


I think I have been identified already as a bad employee since my director has been working very hard, as I thought he would, at reporting back as much negative stuff about me as he could to my boss. I'm pretty sure by now they regret having hired me, and I feel bad about all this.


You should only allow a company to import you if you are completely convinced that you can truly help that company and that you are the best. Well, I may have thought that, and at the time I feel it was all justified to come, but I also have to realize now that finally the company might not require my skills.


If I could go back in time, I would have decided to stay in London instead. Then, I would not have learned these new experiences, which basically are that this world is still filled with a bunch of bastards who are ready to spend all their energy to destroy you for no apparent good reason. Great, this is just perfect.


These people have no credibility whatsoever, and probably no social life either outside of work. Or else, why would they spend their days trying to prove that a total stranger and new employee, who has done nothing so far, is just not right for this company or capable to do anything worthwhile? As it stands, I never had the chance yet to prove anything about my capacities and my potential. I was judged the very first minute I arrived.


I just received a call from the director, about what I need to do next for him. And I have been told that it needs to be done in five minutes, when in fact, again, it should take hours if not days. He spent more time telling me what to do than it would have taken him to do it himself. I think it is a game, to see how low I am willing to sink before exploding. What he does not know is that I don't mind doing it and I will work hard to do it as fast as I can.


He acted as if he had not backstabbed me to the boss, as if now I was back in the rank and all ready to listen to him and obey his orders. I am far from that point, and I guess we will just have to wait until the third round, probably next week. I am pretty sure now that it is unavoidable.


13 November 2005


What to do on a Sunday when in Los Angeles (barricade yourself indoors)


I have been freaked out all weekend. Moreover, I was unable to explain why. It is a familiar feeling however, I felt it when I just arrived in Paris, in London, in Brussels, in Toronto and New York.


In most places however I had friends or other people to relate to and to make me forget this weird state of mind. Even though I still had Stephen when I moved out of his apartment to go and live in a hotel room in Victoria (at the very beginning of our relationship), I could not stop feeling this sense of lost and perhaps even depression.


Usually it would subside, though I am certain it would never have subsided in Victoria, my room was too sad. I could not do anything, like at the moment. I become some sort of vegetable and creativity abandons me.


Yesterday, Saturday, I was in some sort of panic because I thought I needed to work on the files of my director, do research and find the companiesí websites, CEOs, CFOs and contact details. I worked 8 hours straight on it and I still feel I have not done enough.


He will again think that I am not very efficient, as I seem to be taking forever to do anything, and he expects it done instantly. I canít do more than that anyway, so he will and I will have to live with it. I finally decided that today I would not do any more research. Work will be done at work from now on, I will just have to not waste my time and be as efficient as I can be.


My main other worry was to find an apartment, as it has become clear that I wonít have one next door, since no one has given their 30 day notice yet. So I took the time to go to reception of my apartment building to find out information about remaining here. Though it is quite expensive, it is also not as expensive as I thought, once you decide to rent unfurnished. It is also most practical. It is the closest I could be from my work, so I would not need a car immediately.


Electricity, water, phone, Internet and Cable are all included, otherwise I would have to contact all these utility companies and they would want to do credit checks. Unfortunately, Canada being another American State, they could find out that I am no longer paying for my studies and credit card, and that I entered this sort of bankruptcy plan.


There is also that Stephen might or might not join me, and I need a lease of maximum four months, which is possible here. Unfurnished also means that I keep the stove, fridge, bed, sofa, chairs and lamps. All I could have hoped for anywhere else was perhaps a fridge. Though next door I would have had the same, but with the utilities to be added, the price would have been similar.


So the apartment is kind of sorted, and I worked on my research yesterday, and I now have a mobile phone. I found a way to unlock it today on the Internet, my special Mobile Pocket PC phone works here, thank god, pay as you go as well, even better.


Now, all I have to do is to write that letter to my finance advisors, and hope my plans will be acceptable to them, since they are controlling my life from afar. I donít have to pay my due for the next three months, and that was not easy, because they freaked out completely when they found out that I was in Los Angeles, but now they have calmed down and I have faith it will be fine.


So why am I still feeling so bad and lost? It is Sunday after all, and tomorrow is back to nightmare time with my director. I can already hear him say my name, and again it gives me the shiver.


When I started my other job in London a year ago, I needed something to make me forget this reality. I need a similar escape now. I donít have to take the train to go to work, so I cannot read Sherlock Holmes on my way there. I cannot either disappear in the toilets to read for 15 minutes like I used to in London. There is no escape, my mind is completely focused at all time on that director, my bosses, the uncomfortable situation that I am in and my apparent lack of abilities.


I am also very much alone, despite being in the best place on Earth. You should have seen the sunshine this afternoon, the palm trees and the atmosphere. I should be inspired like hell, am I driven to despair instead.


There is this great out there outside of my apartment, but I am stuck in my studio all day, unable to decide to go anywhere on my own. There is a Disney World in town, can you believe. This is the last place I would go from fears that seeing all the Disney characters walking around, might be all that I need to tip me over the edge and convince me to kill myself right there on the spot.


I still wish to go to the observatory, Universal City and Paramount Studios. I might even wish to visit the zoo eventually. At the moment it seems impossible, without a car. And I lack the motivation.


I could go to the beach, Venice Beach, Laguna Beach, but until I decide to go there once, it is like it does not exist yet in my mind. And what would I do once I would be there? Look at all these great bodies and feel even more inadequate, alone and depressed? There is a pool here, I should go, canít even get myself to do that.


It reminds me when I was going to all these great European cities for conferences, and remaining in my room instead of visiting, while I had the chance. Cannes, Barcelona, Prague, Budapest, Paris, Rome, Amsterdam, etc. If I wanted to live between four walls all my life, I could have remained in Canada. In winter we donít do anything else anyway, and the great thing is that we donít feel guilty about it. Itís cold outside, you stay where it is warm.


Still, I might change my mind and my disposition, it has been only two weeks after all. Change is never easy, especially on that kind of scale. It is not everyday that you move to the United States, to Los Angeles, right in the middle of it all.


You need a lot of imagination however to convince yourself that you are in the middle of it all, when you are not part of any of it. I am like an observer observing the low life forms of Los Angeles, and the misery of an office job. Nothing more.


17 November 2005


Performing miracles at work and succeeding in Hollywood without getting into debts


One more day and it is the weekend. I can hardly wait. Thanks to thanksgiving, next week I only work three days. I will have four days to get out of here and visit L.A. again. Not sure yet what I will do, perhaps nothing. I intend to write, to start writing anything, just to feel that I am still alive and that moving here was not all wasted.


My director is not back at work tomorrow, Friday he works from home. Nothing happened this week, only kind words have been exchanged. My bosses made sure of it, I worked on some other research instead. I think everyone knew that a third time in a third week would have been the end of my employment there.


I still feel quite pressured though, I think my boss is trying to assess how quickly I can come up with a whole competitive research in the markets, and he is awaiting reports within hours instead of days. Iím pretty sure they are wondering if I am slow, and unfortunately I am. I cannot within one day and a half do a whole search of all competitive events, learn everything there is to know about business partnerships between the public and the private sectors in construction and transportation, and come back with the perfect idea for a congress which will not flop, but will make a few thousand dollars instead.


I thought I was quick and clever, I guess they had other expectations. They thought I would be some sort of magician capable of performing miracles. It is clear my knowledge and experience is simply not required, only my abilities to produce an event in two days, when it takes months.


This is a sad story and I am not very proud of myself. I could work at night, but I am so tired and I have so many other things to do, it is just impossible. I donít like the idea either to be working all Saturday just so they feel I am capable. I would actually prefer to have a life.


Everyone here wish one thing, to make it in the film industry. And many people are working within it, it must be their biggest industry. The girl who welcomed me at LAX, who was a new Director but has reverted back to her title of Manager (and she told me lies about it, as if I would believe that she feels she does not deserve the title so she decided to abandon it), she was in commercials when she was young. She claims she hated it, I believe she tried everything to move into movies or television and it never came true.


Her husband worked in documentaries, and wasted two years of his life trying to succeed, he was never paid. He now has $20,000 in debts. Sounds very familiar, it is perhaps what I have added to my debt in my two years of working full time in television and cinema. He finally decided to move into the music licensing field, where it actually pays. He used to be responsible for the marketing at the Universal Studios. Impressive. I wonder why he is no longer working there.


Another of my colleagues, the one I suspect is gay, lives in Hollywood. He came here hoping to live out of his writing, in 10 years he has gone nowhere. This is not exactly encouraging.


But perhaps no one has any great talent, I just donít know. My colleague said that it is all about who you know, so I guess I will have to eventually meet the right people. Maybe those untalented colleagues have the contacts, and these contacts have written them off because of a lack of talent. Who knows? They appeared impressed by what I have achieved so far, I donít really know why, especially that I canít do it again, well, not yet anyway.


20 November 2005


Got to start writing that film script


I am in some sort of existential crisis. Woken up on this Sunday morning at 4 am, and wondering why it is that I exist and if it is worth it. I have no more motivation for anything, I donít want to do anything, and I spend most of my time worrying about that research I need to do at work. In an ideal world, I would be spending most of the day working on it. I have some sort of report to write, and if I donít do it, my boss will definitely think I was not worth bringing over from England.


I miss London as well, very much. I miss my babies (my cats) and Stephen. He may drive me crazy most of the time, but when he is not around, I suffer. Probably because being alone is not exactly wonderful.


This is mad, being in L.A., where all that is on offer in the world is probably just a few miles away from me, my destiny and all, and yet, I spend most of my time writing reports, doing research, and not leaving my apartment from a lack of energy and motivation.


What could I do? Where could I go? Who could be my new friend or friends? I will have lunch sometimes next week with my colleague from West Hollywood whoís been trying to succeed as a writer without success. I am hoping he could become a friend, show me the way, motivate me to write some more, encourage me about what I have already written, tell me that he knows how to sell these ideas and that they are great ideas. Iíd rather spend my life writing fiction for films than researching conferences. Especially if you already live in Los Angeles and that Hollywood is around the corner, at the end of my road actually.


So far nothing happened, I have not written one line, I have not modified my website, I have not tried to meet the right people. I have done nothing. When will I get into gear? Should destiny happen on its own and I should just be patient? Will it again just fall from the sky, without me having to work hard to make it happen?


I can see I am not going to work hard and that I donít have what it takes to storm into the studios asking for work. Perhaps I need to meet new people, I have no clue about where I could meet them. Maybe I should go to the Alcoholic Anonymous meeting, or the Drug Addicts meeting, I guess this is where most important people spend their days these days, especially in Hollywood.


I feel that I am building a hole for myself at work. Iím not sure if they appreciate my personality. Especially that valley girl next to me. I donít think she likes me and I should not worry too much about it. God, I am already thinking about my way out of this company, when my whole life at the moment depends on this job. Without it, it is time for radical changes on a massive scale, return to England without a job, and I have payments to make every month.


I donít like this situation. Before anything, what should be falling from the sky, is enough money to give me the freedom I need to write all day. And I am in the one place on the planet where this could be possible, but only if I can prove myself first. Which means working a lot without being paid. Something I refuse to do.


I think I will just go back to bed. Tomorrow is another day where nothing will happen, just work on this report. Great way to spend a Sunday in California!


22 November 2005


I failed big time at work with my last report, my days are numbered


I worked like crazy all weekend on my report and research about this conference I am working on. I was motivated by the impression I have that my bosses are not very impressed with anything I have done so far in my three weeks in L.A. I never thought I would say such a thing, but sometimes any kind of encouragement would go a long way to make me feel better. I am in a constant state of flux, thinking they will turn around any minute to tell me that I need to go back to England because I am inadequate.


I felt great last night once I sent my research and report, I thought I would go to work the next day happy for once, with my head high. I knew I would not come back as some sort of miracle worker, but at least I might have shaken this bad taste they have so far of my performance.


However I entered the office as a ghost, and when my boss called me in his office an hour later, he sounded as if he was very disappointed with me and almost ready to tell me that I needed to get into gear and get him some results about all this.


I understood then that he never actually opened his emails this morning and did not know I worked hard all weekend. No wonder why I felt like a ghost for the first hour. And the main problem is that even after he reads all that, I will still feel like a ghost, because it will not have made him happy or he won't show any kind of reaction or emotion. So I will never know if he truly appreciates my work or not, and in doubt, of course I will feel like I am totally incompetent.


I really feel bad, I feel embarrassed to look at any of my bosses and my director. I have no idea what they think of me, and despite all my efforts, I don't seem to be getting myself anywhere. Is it going to be another one of these jobs where you work like crazy seven days a week while still being incapable to satisfy anyone, whilst feeling under-appreciated? I had the perfect job once where I was considered a miracle worker and fully appreciated. I guess it could not last.


They are discussing something in their office right now, I have no idea what it is about, but I'm paranoid enough to think that it is about me. I have three days to survive this week, and then four days off. Let's try to survive this, and then we will reassess the situation after Thanksgiving.


I just spoke with the Mexican girl in the kitchen. She works in telemarketing but hates it, and says so openly. She even said she did not like the term telemarketing, I suggested telesales then, she almost puked.


She was happy today, I asked her why. She was happy that God gave her the chance to have this job, that he somehow motivated her to do it so she could have the money to pay her bills. Gosh, we sure come from a different planet.


She needs that job to survive and is content to even earn any money. I'm more sort of fed up and cannot appreciate what I have. I could not stay in a job where I knew I was not adequate, they would sack me anyway. She is obviously not very successful at her job and has not confirmed one single delegate in three weeks. I'm surprised that she is still here to be honest and I am sorry for her, for what is to come. Not sure if she will be thanking God soon. Still, I have learnt quite a lesson talking to her this morning, even though I am not quite sure what it is, and I am not sure if I wish to know.


There is also here a Black guy that the bosses appear to hold in high esteem. I'm pretty sure it is well deserved and that he is very competent. He has been with them a long time and will have his own office once we get the larger offices next month.


His job is to watch over us, to make sure we don't steal any files, whatever, things like that. He also works on the website and other IT stuff. I would not be surprised if he was reading what I am writing now, and reporting it back to my bosses. I understand they need to take precautions, they after all had someone in the past stealing their database and starting his own company.


They don't need to be worried about me, I don't intend to steal anything from their organization, no files or database whatsoever. I would not know what to do with it and I have enough files from all my previous jobs to last me a lifetime. I don't even have the time to go through them. I have databases from previous jobs, but I never gave them to anyone and of course I would/could never use them. So what is the point?


If ever I start my own conference company, it will have to be about subjects for which I have a passion, so I will be motivated to get up in the morning to work: literature, theoretical physics, science fiction, space science and paranormal stuff.


I'm pretty sure conferences are where people meet to go on to accomplish great things. I believe that this company in L.A. had a great impact on so many start up companies in the U.S., this is something to be proud of (even if it was achieved in the name of profit). So conferences might help get things moving in the world, I just wished I could convince myself of that.


That's it, I'm fried. I did not have my meeting yet with my boss, but a new file has appeared on the network with two dozen more events, which I have missed in my hurried research, since last week he was insisting that I finish this on the same afternoon that he asked me. I would expect now to be told that my research was not very good, and that perhaps I was wasting my time.


The truth is that if two persons had done the same research independently and in parallel, they would both have come up with a different list of events. So hopefully they won't draw big conclusions out of this, or put me on the spot about these events I appear to have missed. Of course it does not make me feel any better. It is going to be a long three days!


It was horrible! The meeting went like this: thank you for your preliminary report that was indeed preliminary, it is all wrong since we found many similar events in the U.S. Well, perhaps he should not have asked me an instant report last week then! I have been able to elongate the timeline to Monday, so I would have the weekend to invent something, anything.


Unfortunately they donít trust me (thankfully for them), so his wife did the same research in parallel. And now they both know I am incompetent. Though I can justify myself quite easily, ask anyone to write a report instantly without knowing anything about the subject, and ask him this report without any proper research, and this is what you get.


And the events she found, I found them all myself. I just did not include them from a lack of time, or they were in Europe or Africa, or they were workshops or training courses. I was told by the director to not include any of these in my last research. I did not even have the courage to tell him that. I took the shovel on my head like a good boy, I did not say anything, I was thinking of my survival. Surviving my three days before thanksgiving, thatís it.


Anyway, most of the conferences she found were completely off topic. That made me feel better, but I am apparently the only one who realizes that, because I am the only one who read them all.


Still, how could have I been so wrong? In just about all my conclusions? Is it possible that all that I have written, all those reports, are also completely wrong and based solely on what I think instead of facts? This is worrying. I failed like I never did before in my entire career in conferences.


If they had doubts about me before, now they have the full confirmation. I was the wrong guy, and it is more difficult to get rid of me now since I came all the way from London at their expense.


Perhaps I should make it easy for them. If I fail again, I will tell them that Iím going back. In the meantime, I will retain my check for the apartment until the very last day of the month, which is, unfortunately, next week. I have until then to make a complete fool of myself again, the sooner the better.


I would leave without regrets. This whole enterprise has been paved with mistakes from the start. I just simply cannot keep up with what they are asking. I need time, and time is not in abundance. I will again make a mistake. And I feel I have already past the point of no return.


Oh well, my month in L.A. has been very nice, now itís time to seriously consider going home. And I wonít hesitate one second. If I lose one month on my lodging to break the contract, I will just have to lose it. And perhaps remain another month here writing full time, instead of working night and days in conferences.


And I swear, I will endeavor to never have another boss again. No more social hierarchy, Iím just not cut up for this. I will somehow have to find a way to be my own boss. Another impossible idea.


22 November 2005


Los Angeles, Film Industry, Depeche Mode Concert


It seems like a lifetime has passed since yesterday. I plugged myself onto the new Depeche Mode album this morning, on my phone, and I have been listening to it all day whenever I was not sitting at my desk.


I desperately needed some sort of escape to fight being alienated by this reality. And while I was walking in the sun in the Valley, looking at all the mountains around and listening to Nothingís Impossible over and over again, I thought this is perfect, it could not be better.


I spent the rest of the night after work trying to figure out a way to go see Depeche Mode in concert at the Staples Center. Could not find a ticket on craigslist under $100, which was well located for me to go get it. I contacted a few people, they have not contacted me back. I finally decided to take the bus and buy a ticket from a tout.


After being unable to figure out how to use the transport system in Los Angeles (have I really lost that many brain cells since my arrival in L.A. that I canít even conceptualize how to take a damn bus?), and after understanding that I would arrive an hour and a half late at the concert, I had to abandon the idea. It would have been so nice.


So I spent the night watching Depeche Mode videos and debating with an Indian in India why I think the speed of light is relative and not constant, and why I believe we could go faster than the speed of light. One of my most un-famous reports about theoretical physics, still one of my most visited page though. I wasted my time explaining that there are no real barriers and that many things are already going faster than the speed of light from our point of view. How geeky and sad can you get?


And considering how wrong I had been two days ago with my report, I was suddenly convinced that all my theories were off the mark. His questions were hard, but ultimately I spent the time to think about why I thought these things, and thankfully I still think the same.


It has been ten years now, with over 300 correspondents and perhaps 3,000 emails, all designed to convince me that I was wrong, and I am still convinced that I am right. At least no one was able to do a little research on the Internet, find a few more events I had missed, and destroy all my findings and conclusions in less than five minutes. Maybe it was an isolated incident and I should not think about it anymore.


I did tell my boyfriend though that I was ready to come back, and that before paying my rent, I will be talking to the woman who hired me. In an instant in his mind I was already back in England. I know I will go over these hurdles and things will eventually stabilize. I hope anyway, thatís the plan.


However again today I found a way to not shine so much. I took the whole day to print over 2,000 pages of all these events found on the Internet. My boss did say to print only the relevant ones, but which ones are they? I donít know! They all looked very relevant to me. So I printed them all and wasted the whole day. We were supposed to have our meeting at 7 am this morning (well 8 am since that is the time I arrive in the office, unlike everyone else there). Iím sure tomorrow will be as bad.


At the end of the day my boss was peeing in the public toilet, in one of those awkward moments, and I was splashing water over my faceÖ I left without saying a word. Gosh, right there you had the perfect picture to describe my life since I arrived in Los Angeles.


And now, after watching all those Depeche Mode videos, I feel like writing a whole successful and inspired album. But hey, I am a writer, and writing film scripts or novels or blogs, does not seem to me to be so adequate.


I will not be transporting anyone anywhere else, I will not touch them in an emotional way. I cannot have any impact on anyone whatsoever, not even myself when I read my things. And this is becoming more than frustrating. I wish I could take a life off and learn music and do something for a change.


The closest I have been to music is with my poetry, which I have been told by some grand-ma that it has caused a few suicides. Oh, so I can reach people emotionally then, great news! I should get back to what I can do, poetry.


Iím not so motivated now, but I would have certainly written a few dark pages tonight, the darkest ones in a long time. On my way back from work, walking around the Valley, I wanted to scream out what had been contained under pressure inside of me for the last few days and weeks. I thought I was going to split and that a nuclear bomb was about to explode. I would have loved Los Angeles then, I tell you.


I have not started my usual fictional book that I am always writing in parallel to my journal/blog. Iím getting tired, I have written so many now, and still only one of them has been published, and the worst thing is that it was quite a success. No other publishers can see that, I have not told anyone, not sent any other books to publishers. Never had the time, the money, the energy.


No more of these books published, means no motivation to write another one. I should at least put my last one online, it is still too soon after my last job, many people could recognize themselves.


Still, I wonder what I would have written tonight if I had started another one of those dark poetry books. I should start thinking about a title, it is always a great help. The last one was great, if I may say so myself. Working in Westminster, Intelligence not Required. No one has ever read it yet, I finished it less than a week before I moved out of Westminster and London, less than a month ago.


I investigated tonight where I could put this blog, found Wil Wheatonís blog and LA Blog. They donít recruit. I cannot use any of my other websites, I could be too easily retraced. Not that I am saying much anyway, but I could hurt the people around me and change my working relationship with them beyond saving. I canít afford it, everything at the moment depends on these relationships, which are going down the toilet anyway on their own.


I will have to investigate free websites. Which reminds me, someone wishes to buy my main website, not sure if he wants the content as well or just the URL. Fascinating how quickly I was happy to sell it. I would accept peanuts for it, I want to get rid of it. I can no longer be associated with anarchists, I never was anyway except via the title of my website. You understand now why I wish to remain anonymous. I do reach out, unfortunately.


Any search with a French word in it leads straight to my website, as many of my previous managers found out in time. Funny, their names never highlighted any web page. Itís like none of them ever existed. Someone one day in a thousand years will look at all the crap published on the Internet, and would not find one single reference to any of the people I worked with in my whole life. I guess we cannot all be filled with vanity and have an Ego the size of a small planet. Fortunately.


So finally a lot happened today. What else? A woman called, from where I live, she is part of the management. I thought she was calling to let me know that I could not rent this studio, that my name was blacklisted by an obscure bank lost in the North of Canada (practically in North Pole). And since Canada is just another American State, as I said before, they had access to it.


Thankfully she just wanted to convince me to rent my studio for much longer, to which I answered that I had already signed the papers to do so. Great communication. I should have known that in the U.S., when they call, it is to sell you something, even the very thing you just bought. That could revolutionize capitalism actually, great concept. It could save America.


My publisher contacted me, to tell me I was his hero because I was in L.A. Nice how powerful the imagination can be, when in fact I am just about to die of boredom in between my four walls.


I did go see a movie yesterday though, and not any movie, a preview for free, so we can tell them itís crap just before they release it anyway. It is true that last time I went to see such a movie in London, a few years ago, we destroyed it so badly, they never released it. Rosanna Arquette as Marylyn Monroe, no wonder it was never released.


Yesterday it was Juliet Lewis and the actress from Alias, a boring story, but I was in the right frame of mind for it, I was desperate for anything that could change my mind from my recent nightmare. So I said it was excellent, they did not keep me after the film so I could destroy it better, like they did in London. Anyway, I had nothing to say.


I wonder how many movies are never released every year. Maybe actors work harder than I initially thought. Must be frustrating to have worked a few months on a film which will never see the light of day. I guess you then have no right to say you appeared in that movie, since it actually never existed.


Many people who worked on the film were there in the cinema, including directors, producers, etc. One of them was fat and annoying, he looked like a bastard, and reminded me a bit of my actual boss, though my boss comes across as a nice guy.


It drove me insane that this could be the type of people I would work with in the movie industry. People with no imagination, permanently in a bad mood. We should call them life and creativity destroyers. And why would these people have anything to do with films? It is a mystery to me. I admit that I could be wrong, maybe he is a teddy bear and he is responsible for most great movies I have seen recently. I doubt it.


One of the actors was also in the room, but I donít know his name. I remember his face though from other films. Here in L.A., everyone know the name of every actor, they have seen every single film on the market and every television series. You can talk about all these things as if they had a life of their own. It is after all their main industry, perhaps their only one. So this is serious business.


They all seem to be or have been involved in that industry, except my two bosses. They are an anomaly. I donít understand why they have started a business in L.A. which was not related to cinema or television. I guess the odd one will always exist. They must be the only conference company in town, in the whole state of California in fact. Still, Iím here because of them.


Perhaps I dreamt them up in my wish to move here and they did not exist before my arrival. It would explain the mystery. I wished to move here, I created that company and it became reality. However, why would have I created so many problems and less than ideal conditions? Because then, I would not have anything to blog about, I guess. It was certainly done on a subconscious level, thatís for sure.


I forgot to tell you something quite interesting about the idea that I might have created this whole reality in order to move here. And how my creation could be as limited as a film. It is like in the movie Thirteenth Floor (if you live in L.A., I know you have seen this film), when the guy reaches the end of his world at the end of a road, and suddenly the walls are electronics, like on a holodeck in Star Trek. He suddenly realizes that his reality is not real, it is a virtual world.


Well, when I rented that car and decided to follow Sherman Way all the way to the end, something strange happened, something so unexpected, I thought I was actually in a bad movie. One where people are in a car and the background image is a loop, and the same things come back over and over again.


Every block had the same shops and restaurants, and I could never tell if I was going anywhere or if somehow I was stuck in a time loop, covering the same block over and over again. It was astonishing.


I had never experienced such a thing, it must be the most boring street in the world, except for a part where there are palm trees on each side of the road. But then again, it goes on forever and the apartments at the back all look similar from one block to another. There was no personality, interesting architecture or character anywhere on that street which seemed to go on forever.


Iím sorry if I insult a few people here, but come on, I lived in Paris and London for far too long to not be stunned by such an artificial way of building a city. These straight roads forming a perfect battleship grid, are heartless and sad. Especially when there is no character, no architecture, nothing to make it different from the next block or other area of the city. All right, perhaps this is the suburb after all, you canít expect too much from the suburbs, but my, even the suburbs in Prague donít look so clinical, aseptic and devoid of life.


I really reached a point in my mind of a deep sense of disorientation, wondering if this was life, existence, the same shops and restaurants and gas stations over and over again, multiplied to the infinity to satisfy our needs. Funny how I donít need much these days to go into a spin and reach complete existential crisis mode. I must be more fragile than I thought.


Then the whole concept of art and design made so much sense in my mind, and this idea of regeneration of areas which appear to have lost their will to live and to be distinctive and different.


We should bomb Sherman Way, and build something else which would go in all directions, like this blog, like my brain. Of course, you donít have to do that right now, it is just a suggestion, you can dismiss it, I will just have to avoid Sherman Way. Iíll take the 101 instead in the future, if I want to reach North Hollywood.


I think Los Angeles needs a bit more anarchy in its town planning and architecture. Funny, Iím working on a conference about PPP, something which probably is meaningless to you. It is however something Bush has talked about many times, guess you only listen to him when he talks about wars or elections.


PPP means Public-Private Partnership. It is a way for governments to let the private sector build everything which would normally be paid for by the people. In return, the private investors get millions and billions in the long term via rent, tolls, other financial benefits.


They always get much more than what it would have actually cost if the government had put the money to build it in the first place. However the government does not need money to get the program or project going, and since Bush has no money for that, then PPP is very popular.


It should have one great advantage though, hopefully the private sector will finally build some interesting infrastructures, something we might actually want to look at, instead of making us feel like running away to Europe whenever we wish to see anything worth looking at.


Sorry for saying it, but I think London is a much better city to live in than Los Angeles. However, donít worry, Los Angeles is a much better city to live in than any city in Canada.


Of course, I did not have the time to start living in L.A. yet, Iíve been stuck in the Valley for a month now. And my failure to get out of it tonight to go to a Depeche Mode concert makes it even worse. In time, maybe I will get to appreciate L.A. as most others do, I hope I get the chance.


23 November 2005


Last day in the office before thanksgiving and my chance to visit L.A.


I am back at work for my third day before thanksgiving. I thought I would not have survived it, however so far so good. It is 9h14, my boss has not jumped on me yet, has not told me that everything I had done took forever and was all wrong, and he has not asked me to do something else within an unrealistic time frame.


I am pretty sure he is brewing at the moment and any second now all of what I was hoping was not going to happen today will suddenly happen and ruin my last day in the office before the holiday.


I found a way at work to write in English without being detected. I usually pick an Excel file I always use, save it under the same name but with mh at the end for Mycroft Holmes, and I write in the column DZ, row 500. I don't even make the column or the row wider, I mainly write at the top where we should be inserting equations.


If ever they were to look at my files, there is no way they would be able to spot the few words they could see in column DZ row 500. And then I move the file to a floppy disk, so the file is never being deleted on my system. There is a copy however in my History, and I need to delete it as soon as I finish working on the file. I also need to remember to close the file whilst the cursor is back at A1, since these Excel files remember where you were last time you saved them.


At 9h I went downstairs to the Cafť to buy a toasted egg sandwich from the little Chinese woman. The sandwiches are not as good as in London where I used to work, however it reminds me of my old daily routine in London every morning for the past year. The sandwich is also three times more expensive, but I don't mind. She is nice and we need to support her and her shop.


I never took the time in the last 4 weeks to go and buy a sandwich, only three times in fact I did so. Because I was so on edge at work, or working so hard in total panic mode to try to do something as quickly as humanly possible... I am always frightened that either the director or my boss will come around and ask me to go in their office. No one should live like that and I wonder if this will change or not in time.


It is weird that he has not called me in the office yet, I am starting to feel guilty. I might go and see him in 20 minutes to ask if I should start calling people, maybe I should go now. It would not surprise me if he were to say at some point today: what, you have not started to call all these people yet? What have you done all day?


In fact, what I have done this morning is to read about the Trans-Texas Corridor, and what that is goes something like this: "The Trans-Texas Corridor (TTC) is a proposed multi-use, statewide network of transportation routes in Texas that will incorporate existing and new highways, railways and utility right-of-ways."


And as if that was not boring enough, I went on to read the 824 pages document of SAFETEA-LU, which means: "Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users." It is the Public Law 109Ė59, 109th Congress, to authorize funds for Federal-aid highways, highway safety programs, and transit programs, and for other purposes.


If I did not feel like shooting myself before, I certainly do now!


Last night I was in such a mood, I drank myself to death and could not sleep until 4 am. I was feeling bad for having abandoned Stephen and the cats, and how they appear to suffer terribly now that I am gone. I also cried, and I have to stop myself right now. I sincerely hope he will be able to work here and that we will be happy in this company, or else eventually I will have to go back to London, and I hope that it won't be too late then.


I truly feel like I love him, even after 10 years together, which is quite amazing. I really miss him and suffer more from his sufferings than my own. It is not the first time I do this to him, I left for Brussels a long time ago. History definitely repeats itself in my case, however maybe this time around it will actually lead me somewhere interesting, with happiness at the end of the tunnel.


This morning I thought that if anything was going to happen to me in this lifetime, it will be in L.A. Not only that, I thought that I could not possibly have lived this life without having lived in Los Angeles for a while. I need to integrate this in my experience, use it in my books. Even if this is just for my own satisfaction that I led an interesting life, beyond anything I was even dreaming of when I was just a teenager.


Now, what I don't understand is why I still have the same feeling of wishing to be hit by a car? I think it is all down to the people I have to deal with on a daily basis. Since forever I have always been unlucky and had to survive quite a huge bunch of horrible people making my life a misery.


Not sure if there is something I need to learn about this repeating pattern, to love the devil perhaps, learn to not be frightened of the dark side, but I sure failed at every level and I will again. Meaning that I will be stuck repeating this pattern over and over again until I die. At least the scenery changes after each five to ten years, now I am in L.A. How nice to suffer like hell in so nice a city! It makes it almost bearable.


24 November 2005


Racism and homophobia at work or just personality conflict?


It has been hard this week. I am on holiday for four days, I miss my baby very much. We could go around town together, at the moment I donít feel like going on my own. Iím sorry Iím responsible for making him suffer, I suffer too, and I wish we could be together. I would love to take him in my arms. I hope he will find ways to forget suffering about me being here.


It is ridiculous, it has been only three weeks, but it seems like forever when he is not around, and that I am all alone. Maybe Isabella will become my friend, I would like that. She is very funny.


I went to McDonald with Isabella and her son yesterday after work, the girl from San Salvador, the one who baby sits my bossesí children. Apparently everyone is given too much work and are questioned when it is not done. It appears to be a management trick to get people to work harder. I suspected that much, I feel better now that it has been confirmed.


It means that they only pretend to be disappointed and to be expecting more in order to throw us into panic mode so we work harder and harder, even at home. I also believe that even if they were impressed or happy with my work, they would not say so, so you never really feel like that now you can relax, you worked well.


I felt right into their trap, letting it get to me and allowing it to emotionally kill me. Unfortunately these mind games, even though they are as old as capitalism, are still working fine, and I canít just cure myself from this stress. I still feel like I am not good enough for them.


If I knew that my reports were appreciated (except the last one), it would make me feel better. I need to read that last report again, maybe it was not that far from the truth after all. I just hope in time they will agree.


I think I can continue with this job, not sure if I will have a talk with my bosses on Monday before signing for and paying my apartment and hence confirming that I will be staying in L.A. for at least four more months.


Isabellaís brother studied cinema, the whole thing. He can direct, produce, edit, author DVD, etc. What a surprise, another one. Iím sorry he was sacked, and I know now that it was a conflict with my valley girl who just could not stand him. Iíve got to be careful, or the same thing will happen to me.


Isabella said that when her brother started to work there, no one liked him, contrarily to the other Mexican which everyone loves, including my famous director. The fact that they like the other Mexican guy can be justified by his great personality, I like him very much myself. There is nothing in him that is threatening, and he is a great ďYes SirĒ type of person.


Isabella said that it was typical of this director to either like you or loath you, and he was rude to her brother, as he is rude to me. She said that she could feel how patronizing he was with me, so it was not in my imagination.


She blames it on the fact that we are foreigners, so I guess to be French-Canadian, as far as my director is concerned, is like being a Mexican or someone from Central America. Great, racism, and perhaps also homophobia, which certainly does not help my case.


I never suffered discrimination for being French, it is the first time I would suffer from racism that I am aware of. Well, there have been a couple of instances in the past where I did suffer from racism, but I wonít get into that now.


I guess when you are flooded with Mexicans (when in fact I feel that this town belongs to Mexicans and it is the Americans who are flooding it), French-Canadians can be put in the same bag. Mix it all up together, add some onions and make a nice salad with it that you can eat at lunch time.


I donít know if it is racism or homophobia, or the threat that I represent for being young, having that much experience, with a title like Management Consultant. It must be difficult in court to justify racism, unless some specific events happened, and in this case he never mentioned anything that could suppose racism or homophobia.


So I am not ready to say Isabella is right, and the first impression I had of her brother was not that he could become a great friend, I have to admit. But at the time he had been under intense pressure for over two months, and he was sacked within two days of my arrival.


I think it is simpler than that with the director. Our personalities just donít match, he just did not like me from the start. And I think he would not have even if he had known nothing about me. One good look was enough for him to judge me, before I even spoke.


And Isabella confirmed it, he either like you or he doesnít. Unfortunately he had the time to do a lot of damage, he has succeeded in destroying my credibility to my bosses, just as the valley girl did with Isabellaís brother. And I did not help myself afterwards either, with my string of mistakes.


Dear me, I was unaware that this place would be so cut throat and that my head would no longer stand on my shoulder within one day of my arrival. Not sure how I will survive this, but with Isabella on my side, I may stand a chance.


25 November 2005


Finding happiness and being a positive force of nature


I would like to apologize to my readers, I have been obsessed with this directorís business and it seems that it is all Iíve been able to talk about. It is also a problem I had in certain of my books. Thankfully my fictional stuff is not about me.


My father, my biggest fan, told me that sometimes he could not bear it anymore, my long speeches about how terrible people can be at work and how none of them appears to have read the right books about great management skills.


And the other half of these books is about my inner misery which is a direct consequence of the first problem, which makes my sister not want to read me anymore, as she says death comes back at every page.


I wanted to become positive, happy people, but I guess that if I am not happy in my professional life, I cannot pretend that life is some sort of utopia where living is just breathtaking.


I think I donít know how to have fun anymore, Iím not sure I ever did. I read some other blogs about how these people used to go out all the time, take drugs with their friends from college, and have the best time in the world.


I donít remember any of the parties I have been to, not sure if I have gone to any parties. Well, I suffered a lot at some parties anyway and I could not wait to get out. And I certainly never took drug. No wonder Iíve become an old maid before my time.


I should have just jumped on coke or heroine, just like everyone else around here. Though it is in their past for most of them, I guess it was a necessary rite of passage before reaching adulthood and happiness.


I would imagine there are a lot of these cocaine parties in Hollywood every night. Or other soirťes filled with actors and directors and producers. I know some people who would be willing to kill to go to such parties. I donít, Iím actually afraid I may be asked one day to attend one. Worst, I could be obliged to go.


It would look too much like a conference where you need to be on your best behavior, and that, when you are the producer, is the most boring place on earth. Hell, I even refused to go on tour or speak at conferences to promote my books, though right now I would welcome that if I did not have a full time job in parallel.


Which brings me to the great existential question which is: what is it that could actually make me happy? I sometimes play this game of asking myself: if you could choose right now anywhere in the world where you would like to be, and the perfect and ideal circumstances you would like, what would it be? I asked myself these questions many times, and the odd and only answer is that I would not want to be anywhere else with any ideal circumstances.


I must have lost the will to live. And no success or being famous could change that, Iím afraid. I had a taste of it with my published books, even if none of them made it to the bestsellers lists. I still have many fans around the world and receive emails from them. I just now take it for granted and it has no impact on my happiness.


Dear me, I have done so much already, I am published, I have been produced, Iíve lived in Europe for eleven years, I have a great boyfriend of ten years (even if we donít have as much sex as I would like), I am now in L.A. with a good salary, what the hell is missing? What is it that will make me happy?


To isolate myself alone on a mountain somewhere, I thought it would be the solution. However it would not make me happy, it will just stop me from having to put up with all these people every day that I just cannot stand. It would be more like a relief. So it is not really a solution to happiness.


Now, how could someone who thinks like that ever write positive and wonderful things? How could I free myself from this negativity and start being impressed with nature and everything surrounding me? How could I ever make other people happy when I am myself ready to pull the plug? I will never, I am doomed.


I wish I could identify why it is that I feel this way. Is it because I am gay, different, marginal? Have I suffered most of my years in high school, being bullied, to the point that it destroyed my will to be alive? Is it because I have started to write like a machine when I was ten years old and it took nearly fifteen years before I was finally published (of course, existential crisis is not your usual topic for a bestseller)? Is it because my parents separated many times and eventually divorced? Is it a mix of all of that?


I feel I was born this way. Like being gay. I was destined to live an unhappy life, in deep existential crisis. And it is more philosophical than anything else. I donít understand who we are, what is our place in this world. I cannot comprehend this universe weíre living in, or if there is a purpose to our existence.


I had long a time to think about it, to write about it, to talk about it, to read about it, and Iím still nowhere near an answer. Just as I predicted, Los Angeles will not be my salvation.


28 November 2005


Should I stay or should I go? Can such a question be asked about L.A.?


I'm back at work after thanksgiving. I feel better than last week, but I still need to somehow speak with my bosses about if they feel I should continue or if I should just go back to London before it becomes too complicated for me to do so. At the moment Stephen is still there in London, the flat is still there, my old job is still there as it was confirmed this morning by my ex-Manager.


I did not contact my old employer to find out if my job was still available, they contacted me. A message about a speaker on my conference, the Minister tried to get out of speaking at the event and pretended I never confirmed her. I had a letter signed by her own hand that she was glad to speak at this event. If I wanted a proof that politicians cannot be trusted, here it is.


My ex-Manager was asking at the end how it was here in L.A., so I told her I was not too sure if it had been the right decision. I did not mention my mistakes, my personality conflict, and that perhaps they would be happy to see me go back to England.


I was walking to work this morning thinking, I could lose all that. I was wondering however what it is that I would lose, but again I did not have the chance to visit too much and in fact, I don't know what it is that I would lose by leaving now. On the opposite side, I was thinking about being back in London, taking the train every morning with the same people. Going to Westminster and work in Parliament Square, and you know what, it did not feel like it would be so bad. And not only that, I would appreciate it fully now, because before I had no idea how somewhere else it could be worse. But yeah, it is the lesser of two evils.


Despite all that, going back to London would not be right. I cannot see from my destiny's point of view what I would have gained by coming here for a month. It is obvious that what it is that I need to experience has not yet happened, unless what I had to learn was here where I am working, and that I have already learned it. This could have been learned anywhere in the world including London, so why L.A.? There is something else I need to experience, other people I need to meet, something will happen soon, I just have to be patient.


And now, I still need to have a conversation with my bosses to find out if they wish me to stay, because of course it is not only my decision. They would probably be surprised to hear that I was considering going back. I'm sure for them my month has just been business as usual, while for me it was quite an eye opener. Then again, every time I tried to understand what was going on here and what was to be expected of me, I have been wrong. So I should not presume to know best.


It is 8h53, I know my boss is working on my file, so I don't have to worry too much if he does not come to tell me what to do yet. He will soon. I will have to call the industry and get some feedback from them. I also need to record them on tapes and transcribe everything that is being said. I just hope I can do that fast enough, sounds like another task which could take me forever. I think I will go and buy myself an egg sandwich in a minute, since I have to wait anyway. I will have to be quick though.


This weekend I went to Universal Studios, only because it was actually the closest tourist attraction. I just had to jump on the Orange Line, and at North Hollywood I had one more Metro station to go. The whole thing took me one hour, it would probably have taken me 20 minutes with a car. I think it could have been worse, without the Orange Line.


This surface metro line has opened on the exact day that I have arrived in Los Angeles and barely just reaches me. It is quite a coincidence. Without it, getting to downtown Los Angeles would take me two full hours if not more, instead of one hour and thirty minutes. So they are getting there, they are trying to sort themselves out. Distances are simply considerable compared to a place like London or Paris where everything is concentrated in the same area.


Well, I got an annual pass at Universal since it was the same price as a normal ticket. Without it I would not have gone in, because I was too late and it would not have been worth paying that much. I did the usual stuff, Terminator, Waterworld, Back to the Future, Van Helsing, Shriek. The most interesting stuff, and new stuff in my case, would have been below, but it was too cold and windy for me to go anywhere, especially visit the back lot. I ran from attraction to attraction and I left quickly, I was freezing.


On my way back in the shuttle there was a family from around here who came to visit L.A. during Thanksgiving. They said they spent three days at Disney Land and one day at Universal Studios. I could not believe it. What do you do for three days in a row at Disney Land? You queue for hours everywhere and end up doing nothing of your day? They have so many attraction parks here, I don't know if I feel like visiting them all. We'll see.


I'm not sure how I will succeed in speaking about my situation in this office with my bosses. The wife's boss is definitely avoiding me, it is embarrassing. Why? Why would she avoid me? I can understand, considering what happened last week, however I have no clue about what is going on in her mind.


Is she avoiding me because she feels she did a research and contradicted my findings, and now she thinks I could feel bad about it and she does not wish to speak about that? Or that she would hope I would go back to England and does not know how to say so? In which case, I really have to speak to her soon, before I pay for my apartment. I just don't know how to approach this and who to speak to exactly, her or her husband?


I am also falling asleep at my desk, and really there is no reason to, I went to bed at 10 pm last night, I had 9 hours sleep. I find it frustrating that even after drinking a whole pot of coffee, I just cannot wake up! I feel like hitting myself in the face until I get out of my dream state.


A door just slammed, I am not sure who did it and why. There could be other things going on that I am unaware. The second most senior conference manager did not look very happy today in the kitchen. I admired him for his nice personality where nothing appears to be able to reach him.


Well, he admitted today that he perhaps did some mistakes and he will have to deal with it today. I said he would survive, he said he would one way or another. I wonder what he meant by that and I wonder how serious the situations he created, as he puts it, are serious. Maybe here anything can be used against you and any report you write can become the biggest blunder of your life, when in fact it is not that serious. Another management trick?


I went to get the key for the toilet, and there she was in front of me, my boss, she froze as if she did not know what to do or where to go. We have not said good morning or anything. I hate it, having to go in her office every time I want the key for the toilets. One day at lunch time I will go and get a double of that key made, so I don't have to advertise it so much when I go for a pee.


Stephen is so much better than me in these awkward situations. He would have told everyone good morning and would not be afraid of confronting any of these people, no matter what. I wish I was more like that. But looking at them, embarrassed as they are, I am probably normal, and Stephen is the exception.


I have not done anything this morning apart from preparing that letter requesting a meeting. I feel bad about it. I could not go and see my boss, I know he is working on that file. He will come to me once he finishes and we can move on with this.


Now I understand she was busy, she had to go and collect the kids in school, and they have other worries like the renovations of the second office, etc. So I should not read too much into the fact that we will only meet tomorrow morning. However I wonder if she simply wishes to talk about this further with her husband tonight? It is quite possible. They had a one hour meeting together immediately after I sent my email to her, however they could have been talking about anything else.


I am wondering, is there any way they could turn around and tell me: thank you for your reports and services, and have a nice life back in London? It seems so improbable, that I really wonder why I requested this meeting. As Stephen suggested, he thought I wanted out, and it was my way to announce it to them. Which is not the case either.


So what is it? Just reassurance? Why? Because I feel a bit uncomfortable, because I am in the dark, I don't know what they are expecting of me? The problems with the director, has it developed into a massive mountain or is it forgotten?


I guess the meeting is still a good idea. And you never know, maybe they think they have made a mistake with me and will be thankful for me to give them the chance to stop it all before it goes any further. It would be surprising, but it is possible. Tomorrow could be my last day not only in the office, but also in Los Angeles.


I just went to get myself a coffee in the kitchen. The Black guy kind of asked me weirdly if I was OK, the same thing the wife's boss asked me before she left. I had something in my eye when she came to me and I hope she does not think I was sort of emotional about all this. It would look very bad indeed. It would also mean that all emails I send to my bosses are being read by that guy, and he is also being told about everything that is happening in this office.


I would not be surprised either if the woman in charge of HR, payroll, etc., also has access to all exchanged e-mails. I might never know about that for quite a while. It would make sense, since if both bosses are out of the office, someone would need to answer urgent messages. So not only it is not possible to speak in this office because we are all sitting over each other, but on top of it sending an e-mail to anyone is like copying half the company. So Iíve got to be careful, no secret can be kept here.


29 November 2005


Destiny is re-organizing my life out of my control, for the best


Once again I feel quite weird in the office this morning. I know I will meet my boss and I don't know how the meeting will turn out. She might have decided certain things after speaking with my director and her husband. I'm sure the director would not have told her that they should keep me. And her husband could have decided just like that, that it was perhaps preferable that I leave. Ultimately she does not need their word, apparently she is quite the business woman and could decide on her own that it was a mistake.


The director was not here yesterday, he's back today with his deep voice. I'm glad I'm not working with him right now, I know I will work with him in the future, I know he will be patronizing and there will be conflict, that alone convinces me that it would not be a bad idea if I were to go back to London.


And then, right after saying that, he followed me in the kitchen and tried to be nice. I was a bit ashamed to tell him that I went to Universal Studios during Thanksgiving, and he made it clear he disapproved of it. He appears to be kind of anti-tourist or commercial himself, and wrote books about the old history of Los Angeles. I think he mentioned that before, but I had the time to forget. As if I am so freaked out, I am unable to retain anything anyone tells me.


So we discussed Vincent Van Gogh, which really could not have been better since I really feel a special connection with this painter. I went to St. Remy de Provence in France twice in my life since I have a friend there, and this is where he was interned in a mental institution and painted most of his great paintings. He also lived in my town in England, Isleworth, and there is a blue plate to remind us. He was not painting yet at that time however. Not sure if talking about Vincent might have changed his opinion about me.


I thought he had a discussion with my boss today about the meeting, and that he was doing an extra effort today to be nice since I am after all considering going back to London. And I would certainly do so if in any way my boss tells me she feels she has made a mistake. However I have not seen her this morning. I thought I had heard her voice but I must have been dreaming.


Today I am having lunch with my valley girl. Tomorrow it will be the West Hollywood guy. I might learn more right there that I have ever learned in my one month alone in my corner.


We are under such surveillance here, we cannot exchange one word without having our nice black guy following up within seconds to make sure nothing negative is said. A way to feel like a Big Brother state, without the need for cameras and monitoring devices. He checks our computers, as mine had been left on all Thanksgiving when I arrived yesterday, which means someone checked out my files. I would prefer cameras because then you can at least forget that they exist and take a bit more freedom. With a human overlooking you at all time, it is more difficult.


Anyway, I will meet with my colleagues and I would expect them to tell me how they feel. They will probably tell me they feel like me and then I will understand that what I have gone through this last month is completely normal and I was not an isolated case. And then it will make me feel better and I will be happy to continue working here for at least four more months. Once my rent ends, I will reconsider my situation.


It is also possible that they are quite happy and have not experienced any of what I have gone through. Especially the West Hollywood guy, he seems to be the perfect employee, always smiling and happy, never in any trouble. I look forward to hearing his story. Might come late though to have an impact on my staying here or not, as I might get my check for the rent this lunch time, and even if I were to wait until tomorrow, we will go to lunch after I got the check.


I am in some sort of dilemma, go and see my boss to ask him for something to do, instead of wasting my time searching the Internet to learn more about Texas and transportation, or wait until his wife arrive and have my meeting with her. It would be sensible, especially that today could be my last day after all.


So I am going to wait, and write, even if it makes me feel quite guilty.


Merde! I'm trying to reach Stephen, but he appears to be on the Internet, he does not answer his mobile phone or read his SMS messages, and he does not appear to be reading his e-mails either. In this day and age, I just cannot reach him!


I have ten minutes before going to lunch with the valley girl. I need to talk to him about my meeting with my boss (his wife was not in today so he invited me in for a chat). So I cannot go to the bank, I could not speak to him! And I am in a terrible mood about it. I'm so annoyed with him! What the fuck is he doing online on the Internet, in the last ten years the guy never even spent two minutes online. It is killing me. The most urgent moment of all, to sort myself out!


There is no more time, in 6 minutes I have to go to lunch. I could not even speak with him if he were to call. I cannot go to the bank, I'll have to wait until tomorrow. And it complicates things so much!


First of all I need to assess if I should continue to write this blog as I have been, meaning for myself and not caring too much about any eventual reader, or if now that I have put it online and received already a few comments about it, I should try to adapt it to make it more interesting, meaning changing the topics as often as possible. I don't think I want to write this for anyone else but me, and if it interests anyone else, then fine. If it bores them, they can go and read another blog, of the exact type they wish to read. As simple as that.


Now that I have that out of the way, there are three things I need to discuss which ultimately brings me to one main question. The question is, should I get out of Los Angeles while I can, or should I stay for another four months and see how it goes? At the risk of destroying my relationship, losing my job in Parliament Square, losing the apartment in London if Stephen comes over, etc.


There are many risks, and neither my conversation with my boss, my colleague the valley girl or my phone call to Stephen helped me establish the answer to my question. On the contrary, everything is telling me: get out of here while you can, before everything crumbles in front of your eyes while you are powerless to save it!


So my boss repeated to me that he was not impressed with my report and the fact that perhaps he cannot trust my judgment. I had to defend myself and tell him that I read that report again today, and I feel I was quite correct and his conclusions were perhaps biased. It was not really the place to try to save my neck, so I did not insist, the damage has been done anyway. The important is that they don't think it was a mistake to hire me, that they hope to eventually see my potential in action, hence, they want me to stay and discover where our working relationship could lead.


So this is encouraging, even though it is not really. I have confirmed that he did not have much time to look at my reports. He feels they will be interesting to read once he has more time or develop something more specific about what they are about. So of course all this hard work was not exactly appreciated. They sacked too many people recently and he now has to do everything himself, especially marketing.


So he apologized for having left me alone in my corner for the last two days, and to be honest I don't really mind. However now I need to come up with the names and contact details of people I will need to contact to gather intelligence. He gave me that to do since he does not have the time to work on this.


He did not speak about my problems with my director, and perhaps I should have. It was impossible since he spoke mainly about that conference we were working on. It was difficult to bring him back to the subject at hand, which was what he expects of me and Stephen in the future.


Well, me being a conference manager with some report writing when it is the right time, is what is still on the table, as I expected it to be. For Stephen though it is not as we thought. He was supposed to be responsible for their new telemarketing department, but of course, only once they decide to hire more people.


So for quite a while, god knows for how long, what he will be doing is basically telesales, cold calling people all day to convince them to attend conferences. I would not do that myself, how can I expect Stephen to do it? However he did not react when I told him, he was too busy complaining about the whole thing in general, reminding me it was a crazy idea and that he would only come for me, and he would sacrifice everything and the cats, and his mother does not speak to him anymore, etc.


This whole business has turn sour indeed. And yet, I have to remain here, I have to continue, I need to find out where it may lead me. I was not exactly encouraged by my valley girl, who told me, after a while, and only after I had compromised myself enough by telling her everything I really thought, she finally told me what her experience is.


It took her forever but she finally thought I was on her side and she told me exactly what I thought myself, about the director, with whom she too had a lot of trouble with at the beginning. With the bosses as well, who make her feel terrible, incompetent and never encourage her whatsoever. She said she was on their black list.


She did not want to tell me about all these people who appear to have left quickly, some of them lying (one said he had to go back to South Africa, but he was spotted in the Valley twice, so he lied to get out of here) and the numerous people who seem to have been sacked. I would like to know why, so I could at least be reassured that it was justified and it won't happen to me by inadvertence. But no one will speak about it, and I know my boss is lying when he tells me why they left.


So I am pretty much at the same point I was. I have confirmation that my reports were half read because of a lack of time, so I know they did not help establish my potential. I know I won't be able to impress them, they will not admit to work well done. I can only achieve what is expected if I work very hard. As long as they don't call me in the office to spit on me and my work, then I can assume I am in the clear. So it is not going to be easy, I never thought it would be, I just did not expect it to be so bad so soon. My honeymoon was over after 5 minutes.


Now, I am not a wimp, despite what someone could think reading my complaints, and I can go through this, I will survive it. I just have to get on with the job, and perhaps it would be a good idea to stop blogging at work. There are still three hours before the end of the day, God knows how I will survive it.


It has been hard again this week, even though it was more emotional and psychological. Hard decisions to make, depending on certain events requiring full analysis on my part, etc. I just want to go home and relax, especially that yesterday I did not, having to buy that bicycle for $80, which was supposed to be new, but I don't think it is and I had to spend another $46 in tools and lock for it, which means I shopped until 9 pm yesterday. I should have perhaps bought a new bicycle, it would have cost me the same and at least it would have worked fine.


The wife of my boss is here this afternoon. I wonder if she stayed at home this morning in order to avoid meeting me today. Is she still embarrassed somehow, avoiding me? In which case I am not out of the woods yet. Something my valley girl said, she hopes to learn to speak to the bosses, as if somehow communications was a bit like a train wreck.


I think we are very similar, we both worry a lot about nothing, we are both highly sensitive and we take everything very personal. As a consequence we almost become dysfunctional people. And she said it, we are the perfect employees, because one word is sufficient to hurt us, bring us into a higher gear and work all night. They just need to say: have you done this yet? And then we work like crazy and then when we come back to them with the results, they are happy indeed that it worked fine, but never say so.


My Spanish friend, the one in telesales, is actually from El Salvador, from the main city San Salvador. She is however not related to Isabella also from that city. Apparently there are many of them out here, and she said that not everyone was as Patriotic as some people from El Salvador.


I don't know what she meant by that, but I suspect that her country is a place where the revolution has been going on for many years, and probably a tyrant has been at the head of that country for years, and America must have supported him because somehow they had some commercial advantages to all that, and what else. It must be the typical story. I do intend to do some research and find out more about it though. I could be completely wrong.


Something was a bit weird this morning in the meeting. Though I know my boss is intelligent, sometimes I wonder. He said to me I had to answer all the questions he put on a sheet, there were about 40 questions altogether. I had to answer all these questions for all the most relevant events. And that was at a time when none of us had established yet a list of all events, and certainly not established which ones were the relevant ones. And of course, only he would have known which events were relevant, since only he had in his mind what he wanted to do with this event.


For example, he wishes to keep it very specific, to one particular project. This is something I learned quite late, after I gave him my report. So today again he accused me of not having answered his questions, and he acts very stunned and surprised that I could go away like that, work two days trying to achieve this research, and come back with not having answered his questions. And he again mentioned that he could not believe that I did not do a thorough research, enough to find all the (irrelevant) events his wife found.


Now, I'm sorry to say, but the guy perhaps is not that intelligent. First he would know I did not have enough time at the time to first do an exhaustive research of the market, two, not enough time to write the report, and three, that my report was actually trying to answer the questions on his guide. Now, why would he decide to be so blind and not see what is evident? I told him today but his answer was that in which case I need to be clearer and to the point, he does not have the time to find my answers in my 4 page report. Fair enough.


At the same time, he wanted me to answer all these questions for all relevant events. In the end he identified ten. What he really was asking was actually more like a report of 100 pages, and he wanted that in two days. This is so unrealistic. I understand now that these are management tricks, however you still need to be logical in what you are asking, and reasonable, otherwise we will just disconnect and learn to not take it personally as my valley girl said and does.


Poor her, actually she was not responsible for one person being sacked, but two. Her two assistants, whom she convinced everyone were incapable of doing anything. At the same time she was told she was incompetent and tells me she is on their black list, especially after this wedding of hers which took forever to prepare and was taking most of her time. The wedding cost so much, if they had decided to forgo it, they could have bought a house instead. And now she regrets not having bought one instead.


I don't think I have mentioned yet the guy responsible for sales. Probably because he is such a nice guy, until I guess he finds out I'm gay. I'm pretty sure it won't sit well with him, he is so much into sports and pushing his kids into football and baseball, etc.


Just saw photos, very nice family. Somehow I feel he could be gay, or is it just that he reminds me so much of my first boyfriend, with his manners and expressions. Quite possible, and yet he is so tactile, especially with the girls around here, he needs to touch them all the time.


He used to drop me home on his way back home at 5 pm, but now I have a bicycle, so it won't happen again. I feel he will eventually invite me to some sport event or ask me to actually take part in sports, but he has not done so yet in the last month. He mentioned that we should go for a bicycle ride, I'm not sure yet if I will accept. He has two nice sons, and perhaps his second wife has daughters, or I don't quite understand who are all these people in the photos he showed me.


And now I feel terribly guilty that I have been writing all day instead of working. Even though it is clear my boss just gave me anything to do until he finishes what he is doing and can again concentrate on our project. He said: take a few days to identify the main persons we need to contact. Something for once that I actually could do in two hours! So I guess the question would be, what I would be doing if I was not writing right now, wondering how long the last hour and forty minutes would actually seem to last, five hours more like it.


I would like to go and buy myself a toasted egg sandwich, but she only sells them in the morning, and I'm not sure why. This is ridiculous, what we eat for breakfast these days is so heavy and diversified, especially in the U.S., that we should no longer make any distinction between what we are supposed to eat for breakfast or for lunch. And she is losing business, because I am not going to buy one of her three layers sandwich which cannot fit into my mouth, with chips on the side which are not barbecue, my favorite.


Merde, I have just sent another e-mail again with a spelling mistake. I am so terrible at this now, I don't read myself again and I used to depend on Word as my editor for the emails I send. However at the moment I am a bit stuck, because I cannot use Word as my editor, my version of Word is too old. I cannot either set the spelling check, and hyperlinks just don't work.


So in essence this whole computer is basically completely out of date and I can't even download anything because I don't have administrator's privilege. As a consequence the whole thing is bugged, because I have applications requesting updates, which will no longer work unless I download these updates, and ultimately my computer is broken and I am powerless to change anything since I am locked out of it.


It is like teasing me. Here is a computer, but don't dream of using it, this is a privilege for the administrator, whoever that is. I don't know who came up with this great idea of creating user accounts and an administrator, but we should shoot the guy. Thank you for locking us all out of our computers and render them completely useless. At this rate, I might consider an Apple, as long as it is impossible to lock us out!


You can tell this is the end of the day, and that I am forcing myself to write just so the last 20 minutes might pass faster. I'm so bored and tired, I need to get out of here. All my bosses are still here, usually the director and the wife leave at 3 pm and my main boss would still be here by the time I leave at 5 pm.


They must be struggling for real with the marketing of that conference. I bet I could help them a lot, however they are not asking for my help and my success rate recently has not been that great, as he reminded me today in our meeting. So I guess I should let them play with the database, and stand far from anything that they are doing. I should soon enough start working like crazy again, you'll see.


Now that I have a bicycle, and that I will be home almost instantly, perhaps I should stop at Taco Time or McDonalds. Especially since I know I will get my check tomorrow and that I will have access to the money instantly. Now I am not so poor, and I will be able to use my pay check to pay for my apartment, instead of using my debit card from England, which was complicating things.


In fact, being unable to reach Stephen at lunch time is the reason why I will now deal with this cashier check for my rent tomorrow instead of today. And I only realized later today that this was great since I will receive my pay check tomorrow anyway and I would have had to go to the bank a second time, and complicate my life to get the money via London today. Well, there must be some destiny involved, it will not even allow me to make a mistake, it will force the events to make sure everything is maximized in my life.


My only mistake was to lose patience over this impossibility to reach Stephen when it was supposed to be like that. Where does this leave free will? God knows, and I don't care, time to go home.


30 November 2005


Shut up! Don't be a wimp, you are here now, for quite a while, just accept it and move on with your life


C'est ťtrange. It is strange what happened yesterday after my meeting. I thought it was the end of it, my boss told me what he had to say. He basically told me hang in there and I will find you something to do, let's forget the past mistakes. And I kind of went through a second honeymoon which lasted since yesterday and will probably finish today.


They paid me for the Thanksgiving holiday, when I should not have for the first month, and now my boss smiles to me again and she talked to me about paying her to get her car, some sort of huge SUV Lincoln, that my ex-boyfriend in Ottawa told me on the phone yesterday to forget about it.


And the woman in HR is nice again. I can usually tell what the weather is by how her good morning sounds like. If she smiles, then the bosses like me, and if she barely says hi, I know something is wrong. And she has been dark lately, but since yesterday 3 pm, she is nice again. So it is nice to be in their good grace again, even though I have not done anything to deserve this.


It is more that perhaps they realized yesterday that I was ready to go back to London and that, until I had paid for my apartment, for me it was relatively risk free to leave now. I must have frightened them, it must have looked like a threat, which was not my intention. I only wanted to offer them the chance to correct their mistake if they had thought for one second that it was one.


I wonder now if requesting this meeting was necessary or just a waste of time, and god knows the consequences of frightening them like that. I think they thought I was so committed already that their aggressive management style would work fine on me. I'm stuck here after all from their point of view.


I think they suddenly realized that I could leave and go back to London at any time, even, I was kind of considering it right now. It was a wake up call, and they moved from putting pressure on me to work harder, to being nice again and wanting to help me get a car without having to go through a credit check and all that stuff. They will probably feel safe again once I have paid for my studio apartment, but once again they should realize that I don't mind losing $2,000, and that if it becomes necessary to move back to London, I will at any time.


I am also a bit worried about paying a certain amount of money every month just for a car, when I could spend $2,000 right now for an old one and not have to worry about it except perhaps getting it fixed once it breaks down, which will be soon I suppose. You get what you pay for and I should have learnt my lesson with the bicycle, I should have bought a new one. Well, my salesman here at work told me that at $80, I could not go wrong. So perhaps it was worth it.


I kind of again feel uncomfortable at work, I'm not sure why. This feeling that I don't have something clear to do. Well, I should be identifying the right people to call, but I have trouble doing that, it is difficult for me to start. I'm just afraid that suddenly something will happen, I don't know. It is weird.


I hope I will get into gear and forget to worry about everything. It would be nice for a change. It is all a state of mind. And this morning when I cycled here, suddenly that question of if I really wanted to live here came back to me, if it was a mistake and all, and I told myself quite firmly: shut up, don't be a wimp, you are here now, for quite a while, just accept it and move on with your life. And that second voice at the back of my mind was so powerful, that I think I will listen to it right now and get back to work.


I'm afraid that my ingenious plan to hide what I am writing might not be adequate. I just re-opened the Excel sheet and it opened right where I was writing, Column DZ, Row 503. Not only that, if the Black guys knows about this, from the beginning, then I am definitely giving away everything I am writing. And I have had very vague hints that it may be so.


I am also worried that when I delete certain files from my history, it might be going into the Recycle Bin. And I don't have access to the Recycle Bin, so I cannot delete them for real. However I'm sure the Administrator has access to that bin and can quickly see what are these files that I am deleting, which are obviously the files I don't want them to have access to. At the same time, it is possible that I am really attracting attention to them by deleting them.


I am becoming obsessed with these Big Brothers measures (I used to write in French in my files, and it was less worrying), and I now really hate Microsoft for having made it so easy to spy on us like that. I am going to do a huge research on the Internet, I want to know everything there is to know about how employers can spy on their employees and how I can go around it. So for now I will also hide the columns. He might not think of that one and not realize that some columns have disappeared.


No matter how much you are trying to plan your day, as soon as it depends on other people, it can all change. I almost walked here this morning instead of taking my bicycle, thinking I would be dropped home by one of my colleagues after seeing the preview film with Jodie Foster tonight. She is sick, so now I'm not so sure if I want to go alone. I was supposed to have lunch with the West Hollywood guy, but I just had to mention having to go to the bank and he reported everything to tomorrow. I wonder if he too will have a lot to say about management, like my valley girl. Especially that he is right under the director, and also has meeting with the boss.


He does not look affected by anything, he looks all right and happy. And for once I would like it if he were to tell me that everything is fine and that he loves it here. However he always says that he is very busy and he has no time to do anything, and this is why he has reported lunch many times already. So he must be under pressure, that he does not even go to lunch. I look forward hearing his story, I wished I would have heard it today, but I guess it will have to wait until tomorrow.


3 December 2005


I am in a free fall! God Bless America!


I woke up this Saturday morning, and once again I acted like I did not know where I was. After a while, after realizing where I was and what I had done by coming here to Los Angeles, I still felt freaked out. It took me a while to understand why, but I think it might have something to do with the fact that I spent over $800 in the last two days to furnish my studio-apartment and I have not even bought the car or the TV yet. I am in a free fall!


Oh, and I donít have an iron board, but I have the iron. I bought everything in Sears because it was the closest shop. I found everything, I bought the cheapest of all appliances, towels and bed linen. I never realized that you could buy a coffee maker, an electric can opener, utensils and dishes, all for 10 dollars each. I never thought I would say this but, God bless America! Pure capitalism has brought us choice and cheap prices. Never mind that everything will have broken down before the new year, at least at the moment I am all set up.


Everything I did not buy in Sears, I bought from this lovely Indian couple living in the building next door. They are going back to Canada after a short time in L.A., they donít like it here. Their children have been screaming to go back to Ottawa, but there must be something wrong them, perhaps they have forgotten that Ottawa in December is like a freezer. I have to admit that Ottawa, where I lived four years of my life, is a very nice city. Underrated. They should film movies there.


Anyway, I bought most of the stuff they themselves bought in Sears. Everyone at work told me that Sears was a big no-no, to not buy anything there. My parents always shopped in Sears in the 70s and 80s, everyone in Canada did. They were the only shops of that kind with Woolco/Woolcrest/Woolworth.


And if Sears is a big no-no, I guess Woolworth cannot even reach the scale for being judged as a proper place to shop. And if I had not gone to Sears, where else should have I gone? Wal-Mart perhaps? Targets, which I have been told is an up-market Wal-Mart?


Well, I guess they will need to open even more Targets and Wal-Marts in America, because one mile away from me is too far without a car. We need a Wal-Mart in every square half mile, I would reckon. What do you think? (I hope you can read that I am being ironic here, I better remind you, some of my readers have been total spaz in the last few years. Most of what I say goes right over their head.)


The problem with Sears in Canada in the last 50 years, has been that everyone in the country bought the same stuff. You went to your worst enemyís house, and discovered they had the same fridge and oven as you, that you had the same lifestyle. I bet everyone in my building has bought the same dishes as me, and when asked, they will tell you they bought that in some up-market Wal-Mart. Wonderful!


I called Stephen this morning, it had been a few days since I spoke to him and I was starting to wonder if he still existed or if the last ten years with him were just a figment of my imagination. I found a nice picture of him of when we were in Arkansas. He is standing in shorts with his skinny legs, pointing at a metallic crocodile on the floor. God he is cute! I missed him, until at least I gave him a call.


He went on and on about what I should do about buying a car and the questions I needed to ask. In the end I know I wonít do any of this, and probably just get taken for a ride by the seller. Anyway, he brought me back to reality, it is his way to make me forget to worry about my problems, filling my head with unimportant comments about what I should be doing.


Some days I wish I was a bit more gay, Iím sure I would be clued up about what to do and where to buy. How are these extremely gay people, who know everything, cope with switching countries? I guess they link up with people of their kind and do a data transfer about all this stuff I donít know about and that by being gay I should have been born with.


Not sure if extremely gay people would have been able to plug two computers together, bought some cheap speakers, and concoct a television with a DVD player on one portable computer, while the other one is free to write on and get emails.


Iím sure most gay people would never have bought towels for $2.38 each in Sears, and now I bitterly regret having done so. They had something like 10 different sorts of white towels, all identical, but with price tags ranging from $2 to $20 each. Whatís the difference I thought?


Well, my whole studio is full of fluffy white thingies, and my clothes that were washed with them, and myself. Just great! I guess this is how most gay people learn, through experience. Somehow I feel they would have known better right from the start. Buy expensive things, and you will never have to worry about fluff thingies.


So I better speak about my lunch with the West Hollywood guy. He is officially gay, as if I could have doubted it. I bet he knows what kind of towels to buy, though Iím not sure he can afford them. My salary is probably three times his, even though I feel I have been his assistant for the last month, finding the contact details of the potential speakers he is now contacting daily.


He wrote some musical recently which is produced somewhere, and it is now going unto a DVD. However it is not connected with any big studio or distributor, and hence they will sell 20 copies at most. Maybe 40, if the three guys who wrote that stuff have a big family able to afford a DVD. Maybe 20, family and friends usually donít buy your books or DVDs.


Still, I only had to speak about my own projects, throw in NBC and PBS, and that was it, shallow people are so predictable. He is some sort of an artificial person. He has a radio phonic voice and speaks like a machine. I told him, he agreed. I feel the poor guy is smiling at all time, but inside it is crumbling and shaking, and he just wants to get out and scream!


I have a hard time describing him, apart from the fact that I thought I was fat (when Iím not that bad really), and three of me would fit in his clothes. He seems young, even though all his hair is of a bright white. How old is he then? 40 something I would venture to say. I could never kiss him, I would die first.


As a friend however, you could not hope for better. I believe he will be my ally in this office, with the valley girl, now that I had lunch with them and told them that I had a small problem with the management. Iím on their side, and that is important.


However, he is so perfect at work, like a robot, he loves the director. Iím glad someone enjoys that job, that makes one. It is in a way reassuring to find out that it is possible to be happy there. If one employee is fine, then perhaps two can be. And this is how I felt this week.


I actually had an intelligent conversation with my boss on Friday. We spoke like equals, passionately, about the most boring subject you could ever find on this planet. Finance and politics. For once, there was not even a hint that he was my boss. We looked like two kids planning a new event, which could be very successful.


And then, oh surprise, the more we research the subject, the more all my wild guesses got verified. It turns out that I was right all along! So ten years in conferences has not scrambled my brain. My report done instantly, was actually right! And that is what we are going to do. God, give me the energy and motivation!


8 December 2005


Weird days in Los Angeles


Today was a weird day. My first weird one since Iíve been in L.A. Some days, everything goes wrong. And I mean every single detail. And today of all days was it.


I am no longer under my boss, Iím back under the director. Now he has to get back to speed on everything I have done so far to figure out what it is that I am doing. He hopes to do that tonight. Good luck!


I have also learned that the research period was over, weíre moving on with the event. Iím going to start doing this thing, and I feel quite confident about it since I have never researched an event that much in my life. I know more about the topic than I do about my own life, that says it all.


But then I got home, I got drunk, I dropped my beer on my new General Electric phone and now it is broken. Iíll bring it back to Best Buy tomorrow or the next day, pretending I donít know why this phone does not work.


And then I dropped my beer and my glass of water on my computers. Donít ask me how I managed that, it was a weird day. Almost destroyed both my computers in one night (destroyed one actually), and both my phones. I hate it when it happens, it would not have been the first time. I was so enraged, I almost destroyed everything there was in my studio.


Losing my phone prompted me to call somewhere. But then, having a stupid T-Mobile phone, none of my cards from any of the three countries they are from, could add stupid credits on it either online or on the phone. So I went out, completely drunk, to try to buy credits for that mobile phone.


My Seven Eleven was shut! At 9h43 pm! For godís sake! Most Seven Eleven are now 24h! Not mine apparently, they close before 11h pm. So I had to go two miles away, to another Seven Eleven.


Over there, an Indian guy. But this one is not your average Indian guy, heís from Hounslow in England. The very place I come from. He also has a T-Mobile phone from the UK and heís not happy about it. I knew there was a reason why I had to go four miles return, to go to that lost Seven Eleven on the other side of the 101.


So we talked, I asked him what he was doing here, he appeared lost, so in the end I said: big mistake coming here, wasnít it? He said yes. Just what I needed to hear, on this weird day! Thank god there was that Californian woman in the queue. She asked me how long I had been here. I said one month, and still wondering if it was a mistake. And she said: Los Angeles is a great city, you will love it here. And now I wonder if you need to be born in the valley to affirm something like that.


Everyone else I meet whoís not from here, truly wonder why they are here and regret coming here in the first place. And that Indian guy, probably does not have any dream to succeed in Hollywood in the film industry. So why did he come here in the first place? Just because he watched too many movies and he thought he would find some sort of freedom here? Working in a Seven Eleven? What a misery.


And then I thought, gosh, I wish I was working in a Seven Eleven alone at night. Reminds me of my long days at Heathrow Airport working at WHSmith. They have so little stock, and sell so little, I would fill all these shelves in a minute. And then just watch the clock until I can find my new found freedom again. No need to think, just count the minutes. It would be great!


These days are over. Now I am dealing with bureaucracy and social hierarchy. The psychology of it anyway. No time to think about work, thatís for sure. Just the misery of having to answer to bosses and justify myself at every single second of the day.


And I must be very drunk to talk like this in my blog. But hey, are you reading blogs to get the truth or what? Otherwise watch the news, itís filled with all the lies you will ever need, to feel comfy in your little home filled with stuff bought in Sears. Just donít admit to any of it. Especially the channel you watch the news from. In America, I hear, it means a lot. Are you watching Fox? Then this is not the news, I hear, it is fiction. Oh well, who cares? Not me, thatís for sure.


Iím so drunk now! Iím sure it would not sit well with the DMV of California. The whatever Motor Vehicle thingy. For which I have to pass the test tomorrow, and I have not revised for the test. I donít care to fail again, a seventh time, over three countries, over a 20 year period.


I have three driving licenses! Which one do you need? Which insurance policy? Whatever else? I donít care anymore. Iím fed up with all this and your zero tolerance for just about everything that is worth it in this miserable existence. Get a life! And leave me alone!


Apparently the UK passed a new law this week, I can now marry Stephen legally. Shame it came too late. Shame that it will now cause a lot of trouble. Unless we are married, they will not give us any of the rights we have been used to without being married. Shame. Itís too late anyway, I pressed the self destruct button a long time ago. Was it not inevitable? The minute I decided to move here in L.A.? Thatís what I think anyway. I hope to still be wrong.


I just finished my White Zinfadel huge bottle of rosť wine from California. It is almost midnight. I guess I should go to bed. But I donít feel like it. It is one of these nights where, if I had a gun (and it is legal here so I might just buy one) I would not see the sunshine the next day.


What a shame it would be not to see the sunshine the next day, since the South Californian sunshine is so nice, even on a 8th of December. The thing is, you can only fully appreciate it if you are a lost cause and donít need to work for a living, for whatever reason. It is not my case, so to hell the Californian sunshine! It wonít help me with my conference which is not going anywhere anytime soon. Dear meÖ


Theyíve hired a real Management Consultant at work this week, he starts next Monday. I guess this is a clear message to me: Iím the fake one. Iím only a Management Consultant by title, by law, for immigration purposes. Not a real one, silly me. How could have I thought otherwise? Was it not evident from the start? I guess these things need to be spelt out. Canít believe Iím thinking about that now, thatís just too much. Iím going to bedÖ


God Iím lost. Not only because I am in a strange country, in a strange cityÖ Iím just completely lost. What I am doing here? Why I am still here on this planet? I wish I could end it all tonight. Iím so tired. Iím so tired. Iím so tiredÖ


10 December 2005


Nothingís Impossible in L.A.


That song Nothingís Impossible on the new Depeche Mode album, it depresses me. As it used to do, their albums, when I was 12. I only realized that when my valley girl at work said that her parents were freaking out because she was listening to Depeche Mode, and that was the kind of music they thought would make her commit suicide.


It is true that I have been very much inspired in writing my best work listening to Depeche Mode and The Cure, and now I understand that it is very depressing music. It is also very addictive, it brings you somewhere else altogether, perhaps what drugs would do to someone, however I donít have much experience in that domain.


How could Martin Gore still be depressed after all these millions and success, enough to write a song like Nothingís Impossible? Apparently he is in the middle of a divorce. His wife, as it the oldest fashion of all times, is bringing him to the cleaners, and will probably keep the money and the kids and everything. Worth making millions and getting married, just to see it all crumble to dust when it is divorce time! And that time always come.


At the beginning I listened to it while walking to work, looking at the palm trees and big mountains in the background, and it was breathtaking. I was listening to it with my own interpretation, as I did most of my life in the case of Depeche Mode, since I barely understood English all the early years I was listening to their albums. And it was much better that way. It left everything to my imagination.


Some lines were applicable to me being lost alone in L.A. with the problems with my bosses:


Just give me a reason, some kind of sign

I'll need a miracle to help me this time

I heard what you said, and I feel the same

I know in my heart that I'll have to change


That was so perfect. And this was me and Stephen lost in London while Iím in Los Angeles:


How did we get to be this far apart?

How did we get to be this far apart?

I want to be with you, something to share

I want to be near you, sometimes I care


And at some place he says ďHow did we get to be so far goneĒ, and he repeats it twice, and the second time the voice is like cavernous, as if he was about to lose consciousness. This really gets to me.


I see the stars every night on my balcony, and Iím trying to convince myself that Nothingís impossible, that I can go through this, that it may be my dreams coming reality though I cannot see that right now:


Even the stars look brighter tonight

Nothing's impossible


How you can connect so much with a song is a mystery. And as I said before, I wish I could achieve that in literature. Seems impossible. But nothingís impossible, Dave Gahan said it, and he is well placed to know.


Dear me! Just read an interview about the new album ďPlaying the AngelĒ, and Martin Gore states as a joke, that the album was taking a direction like:


Anything that appealed to dysfunctional people!


And thatís it, Iím just dysfunctional and I have always been. Terrible thing to say. Iím a freak! As long as I enjoy it, I donít mind being dysfunctional. Better that than having a normal life, no nervosa, no problems, and of course, no personality and nothing to say. You might just enjoy not existing then. I feel the pain, ďthe pain that Iím used toĒ.


I just had a flash, listening to Nothingís Impossible. The building where I work right now, the walk with the mountains in the San Fernando Valley, the cleanliness of it all, my apartment, the building, the car park of the shopping center, everything.


This is the kind of flash I get years later, once I have left the place and listen to the music I was listening to then. And it was a nice flash, great memories which will last me a lifetime. I think I will get to like the place.


Which brings the question, you know, what place will this book I am writing right now will have in all the stuff I have written in my life? Because, you know, I have few of these books already published and they were sort of popular. And since Iím not going to stop writing any time soon, eventually they might get known in Quťbec and finally be appreciated.


Thatís the plan anyway. And a book about the youngster arriving in L.A., I would think, just by the sheer concept of it, might erase my books about my arrival in Paris and London, or at the very least put all of that in the shadow.


This could be my most important book ever. The one I could be remember for if ever I get more known and break that barrier and finally sell more copies. I had not thought about this up until now. Even though, of course, it has always been at the back of my mind. The only reason Iím here, is because of this book Iím writing now and perhaps the fictional one I will write in parallel (and of course, the film scripts).


It just occurs to me now that it was perhaps more than just moving into a new city, a new life, writing a couple of books, and get out. It could be it, it could be the most important thing. And I am babbling like crazy about the most stupid details and emotions I am experiencing. Nothing grandiose, as grand as the new DepMod album.


But thatís it, this is what Iím known for, this is what I do. It is the only content I can get in here. I even made the decision earlier on, that this would be written for me, and not for anyone else. Otherwise I would not speak of my emotions, my fears, how a wimp I can be sometimes.


I would describe to you some sort of paradise filled with actors and actresses and the whole L.A. experience we have been told existed somewhere around here. I would just have to buy a few magazines, talk about what it says, and it would get you the vibe. The Beach Boy vibe. Iím not going to do that. It is perhaps a mistake, I understand now.


For my most important book, which would be in any case, whatever the content or what I might say. Because what sells, it is the concept, the marketing, the idea. Not the content or the style. I know that now.


The young writer leaving everything behind, London no less, to go and succeed in Hollywood. I donít even need to succeed, a major flop, career wise, would still make a great book. Because one sentence will make people buy it, will make them dream that nothingís impossible. When we all know that when it comes to our lives, everythingís impossible and is just the worst nightmare. Even though you could be rich and famous with palm trees all around and a bright sun and summer on 10 December, makes no difference.


Am I making history here with these few babblings without realizing it? Am I putting the last nail on my coffin as a writer? Nothing after that will top this book? Another irony, is that it is the first one I actually write in English. None of my fans so far appears to be able to read English. So unless it is translated (and I wonít translate it, you can be certain of that), this will be the one book they will never read, but wish they could.


So I guess they will do like I did for so many years listening to Depeche Mode, they will imagine for themselves what it is that Iím talking about here. And it might be just as well. The mystery will remain, and they will imagine something greater than what it is. A boring blog from just another blogger in L.A.


And now, I certainly will go to bed and forget I just said that. Tomorrow, one way or another, Iím buying a convertible Mustang. It is not my style, it is not my personality, but I have to do it. I have to get the ceiling down and go to Santa Barbara by the beach, and experience that thing we always see in the movies.


And if that does not do it, then I might as well just pack my bags and go back to London. Somehow I have the feeling that it might just work. Because humans are so imbeciles and it is all so psychological. Feel like you are living a dream, and who knows, you might actually live that dream.


13 December 2005


Driving in a convertible Mustang under an L.A. Sun


For the last two days I have been in bed with the flu. Missed two days of work so far, not sure about tomorrow, the day Iím supposed to pass my behind the wheel driving test since I passed my written one on Friday with only one wrong answer. I donít think I could do the test, which means I donít think I can go to work.


How is this going to sit with my bosses? God knows. Iíve seen people in there dragging themselves to work even when they were sick, one even puked on his desk and yet continued to work. It would probably be the first time in their 19 years history that an employee is sick three days in a row.


However, I have no energy, I just fall in my bed and sleep all day. And at the moment they are doing asphalt outside and they are making so much noise! And now I have started to cough. I feel bad about all this and Iím sure there will be great consequences with my boss, who could not even let me go to a driving test too far away if it meant two more hours away from work.


I did not buy the Mustang, I went to a retailer, the guy was not very nice, and the car appeared to be older than what they stated. I was so disgusted by all this that I will not buy a Mustang anymore. It is a Ford after all, it would probably cost me a fortune in repairs. And this one sounded like it needed a lot of repairs, even with only 60,000 miles on the counter. So now Iíll be looking for a convertible that I can buy cash, and I will wait until I get paid at the end of the month.


Stephen just called from London. As usual our phone call was a nightmare. He just got back from Scotland driving a car for his work, he was arrested again by the police for doing 92 miles an hour and zigzagging on the motorway, the very same reason that almost lost him his driving license three months ago, and this time he got away with it.


The cats in the background were causing havoc, he was speaking very fast about unimportant things, and suddenly, right after he finished speaking, it was time to finish the phone call because he was afraid of the phone bill.


I wonder if he realizes that this is building a canyon between us, that I cannot even find support and reassurance talking with him. The ocean separating us is now both physical and psychological. It does not make me feel like I miss him or London anymore.


And I admit it could all be part of the design, my destiny, to help me accept my life here. If everything back home sounded like a brilliant Christmas celebration around a tree, I would feel bad now for being here.


Neither of us knows yet if he will come or if I will go back for Christmas. Christmas falling on a Saturday, none of us has much holiday this year. He has a lot compared with me, but does not have the money. I could buy his ticket, and this would be taken from the money for the carÖ weíll see.


14 December 2005


Wonderful Corporate America


I feel guilty today for not going to work again. I feel OK this morning, but I did the last two days just before falling into a coma for the rest of the day. I just donít know if today will be different and if I will be able to survive the whole day without being sick again, or if I will require another 24 hours sleep like in the last two days. If I need more sleep, I would know I did not need to go to work and then I will feel less guilty. If I donít need sleep then I am fine and I should have gone to work.


Tomorrow I have to go back, and it will be very difficult indeed to face the people and my bosses. I hope they will not think for one second that I was faking it. It did happen conveniently, just when I was put back under the Director. Hopefully they will not draw any conclusions.


I would love to go back home for Christmas, but how can I now negotiate the extra days off I would need to do so, after being sick for three days? Oh dear, I just read my contract sent to me long ago. I have 7.5 days paid holidays the first year, and only three sick days the first year. This must be the worst contract I have ever signed. Surely this is illegal? Wonderful Corporate America.


I guess my pay check will be cut this month, and I can forget going to London. My first two months will not be enough to give me one day holiday. I just have to hope that I could still go to London if I were to not be paid for my holiday. And I will have to wait next week before asking.


15 December 2005


Passing my third driving license test in California, after my Canada and UK onesÖ should be a piece of cake?


I am at work right now. Strangely I would have thought my Director would have had the time to read all about my conference by now and would have thanked me to have given him the time to do so by being sick for three days. He pretty much seems to have put everything on hold and now Iím not sure what to do until he has the time to read it all.


I could continue to make phone calls, but this is dangerous. Iím not sure how much more I would learn. Every new person contradicts the last one, and it could take me three days and some overtime at home to transcribe one hour conversation in a file. So I guess I will wait and soon enough my Director will get back to me.


I understand why he did not feel like reading anything. Both my boss and I dropped over five thousand sheets on his desk and virtually told him: there, read all that in a day. So today I took it all back under his advisement and came back with three small folders to read, with the third one not being particularly important.


I suppose I could now write a new report about this event and how I feel we should go about it, however I find myself in the situation that I would rewrite the same report I did before, which was qualified as completely off the mark. So I guess I will stand far from writing reports from now on, you never know how it could turn out.


I just asked the whole office if someone could come with me to do my behind the wheel driving test. Hopefully one will say yes. Otherwise I am not certain what I will do. I will have to rent a car and get my new writer friend to come with me. Unless I buy a car this weekend, and then I would still need him to come since I am not technically allowed to drive in California right now.


Who would have thought it was so complicated to pass a driving test. Already that I was supposed to do it yesterday in Simi Valley, which I now understand is too far from here. 45 minutes drive. But I could pass it tomorrow in Simi Valley instead of Monday in Winnetka. That would be a result.


Dear me, I just spoke with my boss and she sorted me out. I will use her husbandís car for the test, she will order Isabella to come with me, and I will be insured to pass the test tomorrow in Simi Valley. It is better tomorrow since early next week the bosses wonít be here. Wonderful! This is so nice and unexpected.


And still part of my idea that from now on everything will be great at work, I will work hard and projects will move on. Of course, now I only need my Director to get back to me to let me know when and where we start. He is about to leave for the day, so not sure what I will do for the last hour and a half. Read probably about the topic of my conference.


I have to call the daughter of my boss tonight to ask her about what the test will be about. Thatís nice. She ordered me something though, she said I needed to pass the first time around. And she added: so no pressure! Of course, this was as a joke, however I do understand that it would be extremely inconvenient not to pass the first time.


I am being judged on so many insignificant details, I could easily fail, even with my 18 years experience as a driver and my already two confirmed driving licenses from two different countries, where they donít even drive on the same right of the road. So I have to be careful here to pass, and I am not certain how I will manage that. Better start thinking positive and convince myself that I will pass. I wonít get a second chance.


What is also exciting, is that the wall between our actual office and the one next door goes down this weekend. So sometimes next week perhaps we will have a much larger office and we will no longer be sitting over each other listening to each other phone calls.


And I will no longer hopefully be right in front of my boss where he can at every single second see what it is that I am doing. This is not nice to feel over watched like this, because I canít even turn around to check if he is in his office or not, he would see me. So I have to assume he is always in there looking at me and my computer screen.


They have also hired a few more people, and this is always good to shift the attention towards them instead of me. Especially if they are not too competent, since suddenly they can see that I am.


I remember my third job in conferences, they really thought I was bad and they were overlooking everything I did, until they suddenly had to hire four new producers without any experience. Overnight I had them off my back forever. It was amazing.


I am at work right now, strangely I would have thought my Director would have had the time to read all about my conference by now and would have thanked me to have given him the time to do so by being sick for three days. He pretty much seems to have put everything on hold and now Iím not sure what to do until he has the time to read it all. I could continue to make phone calls, but this is dangerous. Iím not sure how much more I would learn, every new person contradicts the last one, and it could take me three days and overtime at home to transcribe one hour conversation in a file. So I guess I will wait and soon enough my Director will get back to me. I understand why he did not feel like reading anything. Both my boss and I dropped over five thousand sheets on his desk and virtually told him: there, read all that in a day. So today I took it all back under his advisement and came back with three small folders to read, with the third one not being particularly important. I suppose I could now write a new report about this event and how I feel we should go about it, however I find myself in the situation that I would rewrite the same report I did before, which was qualified as completely off the mark. So I guess I will stand far from reports from now, you never know how it could turn out. I just asked the whole office if someone could come with me to do my behind the wheel driving test. Hopefully one will say yes. Otherwise I am not certain what I will do. I will have to rent a car and get my new writer friend to come with me. Unless I buy a car this weekend, and then I would still need him to come since I am not technically allowed to drive in California right now. Who would have thought it was so complicated to pass a driving test. Already that I was supposed to do it yesterday in Simi Valley, which I now understand is too far from here. 45 minutes drive. But I could pass it tomorrow instead of Monday. That would be a result.


Ici ici problem Ė repeat of the same paragraph, see page 90


Dear me, I just spoke with my boss and she sorted me out. I will use her husbandís car for the test, she will order Isabella to come with me, and I will be insured to pass the test tomorrow in Simi Valley. It is better tomorrow since early next week they wonít be here. Wonderful! This is so nice and unexpected. And still part of my idea that from now on everything will be great at work, I will work hard and projects will move on. Of course, now I only need my Director to get back to me to let me know when and where we start. He is about to leave for the day, so not sure what I will do for the last hour and a half. Read probably about the topic of my conference. I have to call her daughter tonight to ask her about what the test will be about. Thatís nice. She order me something though, she said I needed to pass the first time around. And she added: so no pressure! Of course, this was as a joke, however I do understand that it would be extremely inconvenient not to pass the first time. And I am being judged on so many insignificant details, I could easily fail, even with my 18 years experience as a driver and my already two confirmed driving licenses from two different countries where they donít even drive on the same right of the road. So I have to be careful here to pass, and I am not certain how I will manage that. Better start thinking positive and convince myself that I will pass. I wonít get a second chance.


What is also exciting, is that the wall between our actual office and the one next door goes down this weekend. So sometimes next week perhaps we will have a much larger office and we will no longer be sitting over each other listening to each other phone call. And I will no longer hopefully be right in front of my boss where he can at every single second see what it is that I am doing. This is not nice to feel over watched like this, because I canít even turn around to check if he is in his office or not, he would see me. So I have to assume he is always in there looking at me and my computer screen. They have also hired a few more people, and this is always good to shift to attention towards them instead of me. Especially if they are not too competent, since suddenly they can see that I am.


I remember my third job in conferences, they really thought I was bad and they were overlooking everything I did, until they suddenly had to hire four new producers without any experience. Overnight I had them off my back forever. It was wonderful.


16 December 2005


Pyramidal Schemes. God damned America!


I failed my behind the wheel driving test. I did not fail it once, but at least 6 times, since I have made that many mistakes. Well, two definitely that would have got me a total failure as a result. And a few others which might have led to failure, if the two serious ones did not put them in the shadow. I am now wondering if I will pass it the second time around, since it seems so simple to make a mistake, when I would have thought myself that I did none.


Then my boss offered me to go to a car place this weekend with her to look at cars, since she needs to sell hers and I don't want it. But then she changed her mine and said it would not be convenient. Then she offered that I keep her husband's car this weekend, to help me shop for cars. But then again, she kind of changed her mind, on the spot.


Perhaps these helpful ideas are coming to her too quickly and she realizes afterwards that maybe her husband might not like the idea that much, because it is a bit inconvenient. All of this has been a bit embarrassing today and on top of it, I failed that damn exam, and I am a bit discouraged now about it all.


I finally just got the key for the toilet (and also of the front door so I can come and work over the weekend, like if I would!). It took me only a month and a half to get that famous key, and I think it is more because they got tired of seeing me go to their office and get the key. Also that all the new temps are males, and so probably want the key the second I myself go to the toilet. As in these matters, luck is always against you and we all need to go to the toilet at the same time.


That is a result, I now have full access to the toilet, which is just astonishing. I don't need to advertise it when I need a pee. And also, when I leave for lunch or go buy a sandwich, it will be less obvious since I could be going to the toilet instead. At the moment, they know I am not going to the toilet if I don't go and get the key first.


The new guys who started are the weirdest looking thing ever, and if I had to judge them on look alone, I would never have hired them. So perhaps they have a brain after all, I'm just not sure.


The first guy has many earrings, in both ears and a few in the nose. He is very short and is the splitting image of Jack Osbourne. Poor kid, I feel pity for him. He sits there without saying a word, I almost wonder if he has any personality. He started two days ago or something, so I can understand that he is in a frozen state and might like to disappear in the floor.


It made me appreciate the other people in the office who have a lot of personality and intelligence, and perhaps even style. Though Iím not sure yet if I would venture that far as to say so. They think they have style, I just need to compare with the rest of L.A.


The other new guy looks very weird, almost like a fish. Well his mouth definitely is in the shape of a fish's mouth. He is from South Korea, but when I asked, he said Korea. So I asked him if it was from the North or the South. He said from the South, since the ones in the North are completely locked in, none of them would ever go out of their country except if they were diplomats. So I wondered out loud if they actually existed, how would we know if they are still alive? I don't think he thought I was being very funny. Another boring day at workÖ


He has two jobs, another miserable one. I think he washes dishes in a restaurant, well, he definitely also works in a restaurant, on top of his 30 hours here. He says that when he is not here, he is at the restaurant, and he did not mention sleeping at all.


Funny enough, you would have guessed, he is an actor. Not even an aspiring actor, a real actor as he states. Even though he only appeared in two commercials and he is a South Korean guy who looks like a fish. Please someone tell me, how in hell is this guy ever going to succeed at being an actor here in Hollywood?


And I bet you it will take him a few years to let go of his dreams, perhaps he will never let go. It is very sad. He decided also to turn writer. He worked as an accountant on a popular show and wrote a part for himself for the show that he sent to the producer/writer.


He keeps calling the guy but the guy is not answering. I wonder why, and I wonder how many of those lunatics are trying to contact him on a daily basis with their own writings and uninteresting written parts.


Come on, who would want in his popular series, a South Korean who had a prostitute for a mother who eventually died, and now tries to find his father somewhere in the U.S.? Is that not already the topic of a popular musical anyway?


And if you thought you had heard everything, check that next one. My wonderful and nice colleague in Sales, who sits next to me, the nice guy, frightened me today. He tried not to assault me sexually, no, that I would have been able to deal with (I would have jumped in his half opened shirt right there on the spot (yeah, Iím getting desperate!)). He tried to recruit me in some sort of secret society or cult.


Well, that was what it sounded like from the very first minute that he told me about his business venture on which he has been working on for almost two years, and will eventually leave his job to be working full time on it.


The way he presented this to me was just too much. And paranoid as I am, I thought there was something beyond the coincidence that was actually frightening. I will tell you all from the beginning, since I have plenty of time to kill this afternoon, since my director did not get back to me with anything to do and I am running out of ideas about what I should be doing nextÖ


Well, I am now writing this at 2h32 am. I did not have the chance to tell you that story at work. As if they were reading what I was writing, almost instantly, my boss put me on a third conference to research. Great, never mind, I much prefer to do many half jobs on different topics than actually doing anything concrete.


So now I can tell you how sad my colleague is, and brainwashed into some sort of pyramidal scheme which is doomed to failure. And he knows it, he told me that there was a lot of negative stuff on the net about what he was about to jump in. But he chooses to ignore it, convinced somehow that he is making the right decision.


If you do a quick search on Google under the name of the company ďWorld Financial Group ScamĒ, you will completely understand what he is getting into. Otherwise, just do a search on ďHerbal LifeĒ without the word ďscamĒ, and it will lead you to the same result. Scam, no money in there for sure, how to mortgage your life instantly, make the biggest mistake of your life, etc.


And I felt so powerless! He is such a nice guy! Who struggled in court with his first wife who liquidated him as most wives do (it is in their title, nature, etc.). And he has two wonderful sons, and a new wife, and everything is fine, and he is about to destroy it all again, to leave his paying job in conferences, for that scam thing which will lead to disaster!


I understood right there that he was beyond saving. He is just not intelligent enough, and he is already completely brainwashed. It was like a religion to him. Simple minded folks, beyond hope, beyond saving. While I was trying to convince him to not abandon his family and sons for that scam, he was actually trying to sell me insurances, and insisting upon it. It was beyond hope.


For a second there, I thought the only way I could save him, was to help destroy that scam company which should be judged illegal anyway. Where would I find the time? It is a destiny thing, and my destiny is somewhat reserved for some higher purpose. Succeeding as a scriptwriter in L.A., not annihilating a scam company when, anyway, it is so obvious what it is, that you would have to have no brain at all not to see it. How it hurts when it gets to people you care about!


Poor guy. There is nothing I can do. He told me not to tell the bosses about his business venture. I asked him, sincerely, why would he tell me then? Iím the new guy? How could he ever trust me? Simple, the will to sell me insurance was stronger than the will to make sure the bosses wonít learn about this. And he already told half the office about it, hoping to sell them insurances the day he actually becomes allowed to sell them, as he still needs to follow some courses and get a license or something.


I told him, look, when you are gay, you only need to tell one person in the office before all six floors of the office and even the sub-offices all around town, know all about it the very next day. It is not possible to keep a secret at work, even if you tell only one person. As soon as you did that mistake, and I know it, everyone knows.


So the bosses know all about his stupid scheme by now, and they also understand it will be the mistake of his life. But canít do anything about it since it would be admitting that they are spying on us, which they do! Even this could not get into his brain. But who cares at this point, he is too far gone.


The worrying thing was how this whole thing was presented to me by him. It sorts of told me that these people would actually use methods that go far beyond the call of duty to recruit new people they thought would be great salesmen, as my colleague is, despite his shortcomings.


He had a friend, he came home to do a presentation, his wife was so impressed, she said: you need to get into this, you need to become one of them! And then they forgot all about it. Until a 27 year old girl bought a house next door for 750,000 dollars. When he went to meet her, he found out she was working for the World Financial Group, the same company his friend had supposedly created with another guy.


Then there was a party at the girlís house. There, he met the partner of his friend, who conveniently arrived in a black limousine. That partner immediately knew who my colleague was, and affirmed that his friend was talking about him everywhere all the time (which is so unlikely!).


And since then, my colleague has been working for them for a year and a half without making a penny. He attends these big meetings twice a week, recruiting new people for the bottom of the pyramid, the ones actually doing selling, and now there are probably too many, working for a company with a mortgaged name, as it is getting known now that it is a scam.


I am amazed by all this, and frightened by the extent of what they have done to get to him. And I completely understand why he has been so charmed by all of this, I would have as well. And not only that, he would be their best salesman, and probably would make them a lot of money, and perhaps do some in the process. And we are not talking about herbal life, these deals bring a lot of money in. No wonder he is blind, he thinks he can make a lot of money.


In the end, it is a pyramidal scheme, it is doomed to failure. The days of that company are numbered, not counting that their reputation has already gone down the drain. Bad mistake, bad judgment, unacceptable for a father of two sons who has already done so many mistakes. You need security, stability, not more life mistakes!


It is now my mission to make him understand that, to make sure he keeps his job where I work. Not sure how I will do this. Perhaps it was the whole reason for me being in L.A. after all, and it had nothing to do with anything else.


I will save that poor guy who does not have enough intelligence to see through the greed of others. And it will be damn difficult, because in the process I will have to lose a friend, and will have to suffer being sold insurance that I donít need on a daily basis.


God damned America!


19 December 2005


Breakthrough with my Director! And changing this world on a massive scale


I could not believe it! Twice today I got compliments from my Director, and hopefully this will mark the end of his non-respect towards me and my aptitudes.


Today he finally took the time to read all the interviews I did on the phone in the past few weeks. And when we discussed it, I said that some of them did not know what they were talking about.


He was so impressed by that simple sentence, he commended me for realizing so quickly that many of these people we call know even less than us on the subjects we are trying to find answers about. He mentioned that other researchers in the company before were misled in believing everything they hear.


And then, less than an hour later, he stopped to tell me that what I had done so far was excellent and that I was very good with the interviews in order to find out the exact information we needed.


In fact, though my bosses will never admit to this, I believe they suddenly thought that I could be an asset to this organization. This is probably why they have changed their perception of me, are much nicer now and I got the car of my boss for almost a full week to go around town and pass my driving license.


Hopefully I will have that damn license tomorrow. I have to go for a second time for the behind the wheel test, in Winnetka this time. With my luck, Iíll probably run over an old woman, or even better, a woman with her kid.


Other news, I wonít be going back to London at Christmas and my baby is not coming here either. Which brings the question, should I take two days off and go see my parents, my sister and her daughter whom I have never seen yet for the New Year?


I feel I should, I asked Stephen what he thought about this. It would be nice to see them even for five days, I have not seen them in five years. So they donít forget about me and that I am no stranger to my new niece who is now two years old and already speaks! Usually no one remembers anything before the age of three, so at this time it makes no difference if I see her now or next year.


However it is my sisterís baby and I remember that I felt bad a few years ago about my two new cousins not knowing me very much. We have a small family on my motherís side, it is important to keep contact. And on my fatherís side, the family is so large, that it does not matter if I donít see any of them for the rest of my lifetime.


I just spoke with my mom, and because they are sending me 500 dollars that I should receive tomorrow, they feel it would be criminal to come and see them over Christmas, since this money is to help me set myself up in Los Angeles. So that is now also sorted. I will be spending Christmas alone.


Someone asked me if I talk as much as I write. Yes I do. Though I have learned in time to speak less and listen more. If I'm drunk, it would be advisable to stay away from me. I have a tendency to say all that I think. I could be even more open and honest in this blog, I have to say. But I'm afraid, here, this is all you will get.


I can at least tell you that Stephen is in the process of getting a visa to come and live with me here in Los Angeles. That is why going back to London for me right now is not the most obvious option. He will be working with me in that company. He will also bring with him our two baby cats that I love so much. After that, perhaps there will be nothing calling me back to London for quite a while.


I have been very much alone since I have arrived in Los Angeles. I have only one friend, and I have seen him only twice. He is also the friend who might open me all the doors to Hollywood for me to write full time on big budget films, as he has very interesting contacts and should present me to these friends in the near future. That part of my blog is 20 more pages so far. It is nice to let you all know that on that side, things are happening faster than I was expecting.


Stephen does not offer me much at the moment in terms of emotional support, unfortunately. He is also very good at driving me crazy. He has a hard drug addiction, not counting that he is an alcoholic, and sex has become a stranger in our relationship. Which is very unfortunate. But I'm willing to continue this relationship at this time. We have decided today to remain where we are this Christmas, to save money for when, and if, he makes the big jump and joins me here in Los Angeles.


He was here though, he arrived with me almost two months ago and remained here for one week. At the end of that one week, before I brought him to LAX airport, we had sex. He was so cute naked on my bed with, and it was so nice to be in his arms one last time, I will cherish this memory for quite a while.


I have not yet explored the gay life in California. I have heard there were about four bars on Santa Monica Boulevard. I have not even taken the time to go there and I have no plans at the moment to explore this side of L.A. I must be getting old indeed!


I am back with my own thoughts. Wondering where I am, where I am heading, whatís happening, etc. It is Christmas in less than five days. I will be very much alone, and I actually prefer that anyway. Iíll just drink myself to death and probably write an interesting few pages for my blog. I will probably be depressed, as I always am around Christmas every year. I might meet a friend, though somehow I think it wonít materialize.


Sometimes it is nice to be alone, like tonight. As someone said, I do juggle with a lot at the moment. No wonder I wrote nearly 100 pages in the last two months, and from experience, this is over 200 pages of a normal book once published.


And yet, nothing significant happened. This is just the introduction. My God, this blog will have 1000 pages by the end of my first ten months in L.A. Surely this means something? Or will everything just calm down and routine will take over?


I have important meetings soon, if they come true, and I might start to work in films in science-fiction, even if at the beginning it will solely be as a science consultant or technical adviser. Eventually my own film scripts and synopses could attract attention, and they already did somehow. Nothing and everything could happen any day. To make this whole pilgrim to L.A. worthwhile.


Iím sure that from the point of view of my destiny, something huge must happen soon. No such amount of energy should or could have been spent otherwise. Everything has a meaning, or in other words, it is not possible to accomplish such a radical change in oneís life without experiencing a string of consequences that eventually will make it all worthwhile.


I am saying this from experience. It may not look like it, from reading this blog, and poor souls or lucky souls reading this right now, have no idea of everything else I have written in my life, of all my different moves in the last 15 years in five different countries.


It is not the first time I listen to the cry of adventure, and decides to leave everything behind. It is not even the first time that I abandon my boyfriend of many years to change country to pursue my dreams.


I left my first boyfriend to go and study in Paris in La Sorbonne 12 years ago. He joined me in the end, and together we moved to London. However he was not faithful, I suffered terribly and ultimately it brought about our destruction.


I have gone through so much in my life, that I can assure you that the eight or nine autobiographical books I have written so far, and they are big bricks I can tell you, are quite filled with all of this that I have experienced and all that happened to me in the last 12 years.


It is perhaps a shame to have written so much about my own little person, when I could have been spending my time writing fiction instead, or even better, about how to change this world for the better.


I understand now that it is perhaps more important from the point of view of a credible author, or from the point of view of contribution to the literary world. I canít really complain though, my last two published books were autobiographical and have been a good success in the French speaking countries, relatively speaking of course, for what an average book could expect to sell, from an author who is not writing bestsellers.


Maybe all this will change soon. Maybe I will be writing fictional bestsellers soon. If my film scripts donít go anywhere, I will turn them into short stories. And I have spent so much time imagining the perfect stories, that this book of short stories could be impressive indeed. From a point of view of the paranormal, that is. So this is untouched ground really, not much is about the paranormal world these days. Love and infidelity is what they bang us on the head with. And half funny comedies which almost become dramas, since they are so boring and insignificant.


I might never get the chance to write full time, I might never finally break that barrier of having serious journalists speaking about my work. I am just invisible to them, despite all there is to say about my career and my books so far.


Stupid, I got more publicity out of the bombings in London that I ever did in my lifetime as an author. I finally appeared on the French television all over Canada and everyone saw it, and many articles in important newspapers as well.


The French-Canadian author living in London, avoiding the bombs on his way to work to Parliament Square in Westminster, and who saw the blood and the human being pieces being blown out everywhere on the street of Russell Square.


This is how it was presented to the people, and my mom crying over me for all Canada to see. I was nowhere near any bomb. And I have never said the things that they made me say after a crafty editing job. You would have thought I saw it all, I saw nothing. You would have thought it was one of the most terrible moments in human history, and it certainly was not.


This is the wonderful world of journalism, they lie through their teeth, to make it look much worse then it is. And they serve the purpose of terrorism very well, my own interviews certainly frightened me out of my wits. Until I stopped to think and remembered what it is that I actually stated on there.


And yet, after all that, Iím sure there was no surge of visitors on my websites. And yet, I have more than one million of them visiting my pages every year. And yet, I am still nowhere.


It is because I am ambitious, I am pretentious, it is one billion people I want to reach every year. I need to change this world on a massive scale. I had about five Indians from India contacting me in the last two weeks, about my theories of the universe and relativity, a link to my website must have appeared somewhere on the Net. It is millions of Indians that I need to reach, and Hollywood is the only medium that could give me the chance to do just that.


Reading this blog, you might wonder what it is that I could actually say to change this world on a massive scale. It does not look like I could, and I agree, nothing of what you have read so far could convince you that I am worth it. But I feel I am somehow, and you could agree with me if you were to read some of my French non-autobiographical books.


And if everything goes according to plans, you will read them one day in your own language. And the world will be a better place, or perhaps a worst one, since you might also understand from my books that this is an ugly world.


It could make you feel better though, to understand that you are not alone thinking about all that. Unless of course you are living the perfect love affair, and donít see anything wrong with this world. As most people do anyway.


This world is not going anywhere anytime soon. I talk a lot about my own destiny, what about the destiny of this world? Does it not have a great destiny? Radical changes in sight? Some revolutions coming, in just about every single domain of society?


Is it not the time for a full revolution of how we think and manage this world? Is it not time for a great revolution in Physics which would irremediably change all our technology and greatness?


Is it not time to change our whole political system worldwide and especially legal system to the point of non-recognition? Is there not something better than socialism or capitalism that we have not yet explored?


Is it not time for the paranormal to make a comeback with some proofs from science to make it accessible to everyone? Is it not time to understand this afterlife phenomenon, get some real answers, and change our way to picture this universe? Is it not time to take this U.F.O. and alien phenomenon a bit more seriously and understand the consequences of it?


Is there not a way in this world to actually find happiness instead of this misery of the terrible corporate world? What are the problems, what are the solutions, and can we apply them globally and change this world forever?


Is it too much to ask to desire happiness? Is this an impossibility on this world? Are we incapable to make this place livable? Are we only capable of destruction and annihilation of the human race? Is this where we are leading humanity?


I think that if I believe that I have a great destiny, the world must have one too. We will overcome all these questions, all these problems, and radical changes will be required around here.


And I will work very hard to make it all happen, to be an element of this global change. And I wonít tell you to recycle, I havenít since I have arrived in L.A., and I find it liberating.


The changes I am talking about are on a much larger scale. And my God, we are ready for that radical change, and we are seriously overdue!


21 December 2005


Decisions, decisions, decisions. Work, Christmas and Car


I feel weird today, but what is new. It could be Christmas, the fact that I am not going back to London, the idea of not sacrificing $1,500 for this, even though every fiber in my body tells me it is worth it.


I can sort my car at lunch time, then that settles it, I can't go since I won't have the money. I'm trying to buy a silver Mustang convertible for $12,000. I had to get back to the idea of a Mustang since they are the cheapest convertibles you can buy in L.A.


Of course, I have spotted the car I would like, the new Nissan 350Z Roadster convertible, only because they look like the Smart Cars Roadsters that Mercedes sell only in Europe. However at $35,000 I don't think I could afford the payments.


I can't believe I am talking so much about cars, I have zero interest in these machines. It took me 28 years to have my first car despite my three driving licenses.


I first had the oldest car on the road, a Volvo, then a Renault 5, and now it could be a Mustang. If I can't get the finance, since I have no credit history here, then I'll have either an old banger in the New Year once I get paid, or I might just accept this offer of the Lincoln of my boss.


It is a SUV, the car everyone is disgusted about, and this SUV is probably the largest one of all. It is also a Ford. I dare not imagine how much it would cost to fix it once it breaks down. Like my friend's Dodge, probably $9,000.


However it is kind of luxurious, it is not very old, it works fine even if finding a parking space large enough for it is kind of difficult, and no need for credit history. I could also have it instantly, almost. Not sure if I would only get it in the New Year.


You know, when life throws at you something like a car, and it looks too easy, and you wonder why you should take it, if it is still $20,000 and you never really wanted a huge Ford SUV, still, you should take it. It is obvious that this is all that destiny was able to throw in your way, as it was before with my Renault 5. I practically inherited it as a result of a trade-in where Stephen works.


And I fought it, and I wasted many months without a car, and in the end, since I won't be able to get credit and that I don't want to end up with a very old banger which will need repair almost instantly, I will just take the offer. I should have seen before-hand that I would eventually own a Lincoln. However I checked the Kelly Blue Book, and it is still worth $30,000. At that price, I would prefer my Nissan 350Z. Weíll have to see.


I had a chance yesterday to speak for the first time to the real Management Consultant. The poor guy might have a lot of experience doing what he does, and he might have worked as he said for the three biggest companies around, doing what he intends to do here, but he has no clue about the conference world, which I am sure has nothing to do with any kind of company he laid his teeth into. So in the end I am not certain how he will be able to have such an input into making things better here, and prepare us for the big expansion that we were told would happen soon.


However I am sure that somehow he has learned a way to just gobble everything everyone has to say and propose solutions which I'm sure will make sense. Somehow he will succeed in presenting something, anything, and as a result, things might change. He must know what he is doing, I'm sure he costs a lot of money to the company.


The thing is, he is a very nice old man and he is obviously highly interested in everything I have to say, because I'm pretty sure he has no clue about how the main conference companies have evolved in time.


I told him I wrote many reports, of course he was highly interested. I told him he would need to ask my boss before I can give them to him, since perhaps they wanted a totally independent analysis from him, and see what he would come up with on his own.


So finally yesterday we sent him all my reports, and this is when I discovered that my main report about their main competitor, never reached the inbox of my boss. And the other main report I wrote which is about their second biggest competitor, she had received it but never opened it.


They were not joking when they said they never had the time to go over them, and no wonder I never got any feedback. And no wonder the Director freaked out completely, since the first two days that I was supposed to work with him, from his perspective, I was writing reports which never reached my bosses.


So of course they never said to him to bear with me, since in my eyes I was working on something quite important, but they did not know about it. Important enough anyway that they are willing to hire an expensive professional to look into this.


I hope for the Management Consultant that he does not intend to do like me, write reports and send them to my bosses. Because then, he might never get any feedback, they might never read them, and the whole thing would have been expensive indeed.


So now I understand why my reports never had any impact. And I was so proud of myself for having written so much and to have been able to actually do it. And all I succeeded in doing at that time was to alienate them all.


Now I actually have the perfect person to be highly interested in all my reports, the real Management Consultant. Who must have been reading all this since yesterday, and hopefully realizes now, how much easier all of this will make his job.


With a bit of luck, he'll tell my bosses what an amazing amount of work that was, and how helpful it was to him. In the final analysis, whether someone tells your boss that you are worth something, or whether he or she finds out on his or her own, makes no difference. So all this work might finally pay off in the end, in the New Year.


If somehow I have a car at Christmas or the New Year, and that I am about to pass it alone for my three days off on each occasion, I will definitely just go and explore California at the very least.


Maybe it is time I went to visit that Grand Canyon. Or I won't plan anything, I'll just go and get lost in California. Find a desert somewhere, perhaps reach Nevada and Texas. I should be working on this conference now, I don't feel like it, but I will, as soon as I run out of inspiration here.


This morning I woke up and I thought, another one of these days. Sounded very much like, for the first time, I felt this whole thing was becoming routine. You know, when you reach a point when every day is so much the same that you cannot remember if something happened that Monday, Wednesday or last week. All those days look the same anyway and you are stuck in a time loop, repeating it over and over again.


However this is crazy that I could feel this is routine, so many things everyday are happening, I got my boss' car, yesterday I got my driving license, today I might buy a car, I never work on the same conference each week, and now the Management Consultant has brought a new dimension to all my work.


So I think that, what I really meant to say this morning when I woke up, was, oh no, not another one of these days from hell where I will be rushing around to accomplish huge tasks about setting myself up in L.A. Like buying a car, or finally buying a TV and DVD Recorder, etc. These things take time, require a lot of energy, and I am running out of steam.


I am pretty sure now that the Black guy is reading this. I am not certain how he can figure out all my tricks about hiding this from him, or if he can just see the files that I delete or save at odd places, or if he only knows that I am writing but does not know what.


He asked me how I felt today, and you don't normally ask that kind of question unless you think something might be going wrong. And as far as he can tell, there is nothing that could be going wrong with me.


I'm not worried with the new Management Consultant, I look forward working with him and together perhaps we will get somewhere. He could have thought this could have affected me, however I don't think so. I had heated discussions with the Director this week, but only a sort of passion about work, getting somewhere with this event, we did not have any problem.


Remains only that he might have saw that I was writing (he certainly does watch over us), or does he knows for certain and reads this? Difficult to know.


If he reads what I am writing, I might as well, just in case, let him know something that obviously he could not know about all this. There is nothing to worry about me writing my thoughts down here.


People think all the time and I guess it is unfortunate for bosses to be unable yet to spy on our thoughts. What I think at the moment I write it, and I usually forget all about it five minutes later, and may even think something different not long after.


And despite everything I wrote that could be considered like complaints or worries about this new job, I have to say that what I have written in the past about my other jobs was much darker, and then I was not very nice in my description of who they were and what they were doing.


So at the moment everything here is pretty positive, I know so, compared with my previous jobs. And so, there is no need to worry about my babblings.


22 December 2005


Christmas? What Christmas? Iíll be working!


Of course, my successful track record at work could not last very long. I was called in the office after my lunch break, and my boss really went into it. I had to go to the toilets afterwards, and there and then I was convinced that coming to L.A. was a huge mistake.


This obsession of people to want commitments on apartments, cars, jobs, etc., is the only reason I cannot go back to London right now. I would have, definitely. And Iím still thinking about my earliest way out without it being too costly.


I was at work all week, I did work on the other project I was assigned to, and as I understood it, the new one was only until the director had finished reading my stuff and so we could continue on that first project. Wrong! I was supposed to work overtime every night of the week, to make sure that both projects went somewhere.


And of course, my director backstabbed me again, saying that I had not spent that much time on our project, and I should have had the chance to get the other one somewhere.


So the conversation was quite horrid, in which my boss said that I had already been sick three days the previous week, and this week it had been four days and I still had nothing to show about that damn conference. And that was another $1000 for him down the drain. I now understand that he appears to be counting how much it costs him by the day, if not the hour.


I had to point out that my three sick days at the very least did not cost him anything since I was not going to be paid, as I was told by the woman in HR. He was under the impression that it was another $1000 he lost on me. He did not like to be reminded.


So I proposed to work on that huge research of his, which will take me forever, all over the Christmas holiday. And he said yes, that I had to, as it was not acceptable for him to lose $1000 like that. So now, not only I will be spending Christmas alone, I will also be working like crazy. And that is just the thing that makes it all not worthwhile.


This is the decisive argument that convinced me that this job is not for me, that I needed a way out as quickly as possible. I am not going to mortgage my life for any company or for anyone.


If he asks me to work over Christmas, then thatís it, itís over. Simple. And I wonít regret letting them down eventually when I will announce to them that I am leaving, despite all that they supposedly did for me.


There are mind games, management tricks, and there is crossing the line. He came back from wherever he was for the last few days, and he called everyone in his office one by one to destroy them psychologically one day before Christmas.


Everyone was in hyper drive today, everyone was freaked out. My valley girl did not go to lunch, and she spent at least 30 minutes with the Chinese girl in the kitchen repeating how unfair the boss was. She spent the day calling over 100 companies and sending them e-mails to boost them to act. And she was not happy about it.


This morning it was the sales guy, he too got a bollocking by the boss and came out quite shaken, and also had to speak with the valley girl to calm down. And there is the environmentalist guy, who spent his day calling people, when I am pretty certain that, one day before his holiday started, was the last thing he wanted to do. Even his comments over the phone were telling that he called these people very reluctantly.


I could not tell anyone about my nightmare, but they could tell by my sudden seriousness. I was not speaking anymore, I left exactly at 5 pm on the dot, I did not say goodbye.


The cool Spanish guy tried to get something out of me, he even wanted me to write it in French since he can understand that language. I could not tell him anything, my boss is watching me every second of the day, he can see me all the time. Speaking with colleagues is just not allowed, or would be too obvious.


Iím afraid to admit, despite all the jobs from hell that I ever had, these kinds of meetings are so difficult to bear, and it throws you into such a state afterwards...


And though the direct consequence is that I will be working the whole holiday, to be honest, the direct consequence in my mind is that Iíll find my way out. It could have been instant without that stupid rent I have to pay until March. And it destroys something valuable in the mind of the employees, loyalty.


I cannot be loyal to someone who holds a meeting to tell me that kind of thing. Because for me it is like turning on a switch in my brain and it reaches a point of no return. It is telling me basically that it was a mistake to hire me, and if this is so, letís just go our own ways. I donít need that crap, I donít need that job, I donít need you. If you donít need me, then I wonít stay, why should I?


Of course for him it is just a trick, or is it? When I said that he crossed the magic line, it means in my mind that perhaps in my case it was going beyond the mind games. It was clearly telling me that he was just paying me too much for what I was capable of doing during normal office hours. He is result driven, yes, but results take time, especially when you are juggling with three different projects at once.


This said, yes, I have wasted my time this week. Not a lot, but a bit. I admit that. I was not motivated by the sheer size of that research I need to do, which will require on my part something like a full week of work, including overtime. I also cannot find any information, I can only find bits and pieces here and there, and that is why the size of the research has no boundary, it is infinite.


So I did deviate from my hard work, I thought working on the previous project would save me. There is no such thing as an excuse. I was caught, I was reprimanded quite harshly, now I need to work over Christmas and I better bring him results soon.


The only results I could bring him now, is by calling the industry, which means days of transcribing all that from tapes to files. And of course, everyone else is on holiday, I cannot reach anyone now, or even next week (I will be working four days between Christmas and the New Year).


So I am already destined to fail, I will not bring him any result before the New Year. I might as well give up, since obviously this will not be a good excuse, since there is no valid excuse for anything in that job.


Iíd rather be dead than continue in that job full time with overtime. Iíd rather go back to London and resume my previous job, now that I have proven how great I was at it, and they have the proof now. They can also recognize good work, for a change.


Though I have to say, at the end of the meeting, he said something positive. He admitted, and something tells me that it was difficult for him to do so, that the director had also admitted that he was impressed with my work on the other project. Must have been difficult for the director to tell my boss such a thing. But he did, and so there is hope for him, he is not completely out to get me.


So there could be better days on the horizon, days where I will not be called in the office for a bollocking. However these better days can only last for as long as I work 80 hours a week.


This is something I am not prepared to do, unless it was for something that I actually enjoy doing, like writing film scripts. So we will have to part company very soon. And I will now actively look for my way out. Obviously it means going back to London.


I just need the time to meet some people here. Make some contact, people I can work with in films. I have not done anything so far to meet anyone. This has to change. I need to work all the holiday in trying to meet them. But how could I, now that I will have to work on that massive research? I canít!


Iím desperate, and this means that Iím ready for desperate measures. Somehow I need to make this work. Somehow I need to make this whole thing worthwhile. I cannot go back to London empty handed. It is not acceptable from the point of view of my destiny.


And if all I have to show at the end of this, is that stupid blog, then it is not enough. It will be classified as my worst failure ever, my missed opportunity of a lifetime. I could not live with that.


Something has got to happen, and somehow I need to be the instigator of these events. I can no longer wait until it falls from the sky, there is a sense of urgency. I will have to take risks, I will have to act, I will have to do something, anything, to make things happen.


Which means, Iím afraid to say, that we are the ones who make the life we have. There is no destiny all planned out that we are following. We build our own destiny. And I sure will build mine.


That research of is will be on the back burner over the Christmas holiday. I have some more pressing duties awaiting me. And it starts tonight. And I donít care what time Iíll go to bed, I wonít sleep if necessary. Just like in the old days.


Maybe I became too comfortable as I grew older in these jobs that I am not destined to do. It is easy to forget that we have dreams to pursue and to actually spend the time pursuing them. Let it be a lesson to me, I have been reminded that everyday counts, that every hour of work is important and could lead somewhere.


There is no rest for the driven people, sleeping or watching TV is just no acceptable, they have to work all the possible hours of the day in trying to reach their goals. And I will reach my goals, I have not gone that far to get comfy in a stupid conference job. Iím so close to it all, it is now up to me to get somewhere real fast.


I still donít have a car, I canít get the loan I have learned today. I still donít have a TV and DVD recorder. Who cares? I donít need these things, those ties to this job I donít want.


Iím finished spending my money or committing myself to spending even more every month. I have goals, and I need to reach them by any means at my disposal. I have been reminded, there is no going back.


24 December 2005


Being depressed on Christmas dayÖ


I feel great today! I just opened a beer, I just finished watching (again) the story of that 33 year old spinster (like me) called Bridget Jones (The Edge of Reason). And now I somehow feel electrified.


I feel like one of those nights when I would drink myself to death and write all night long. And often, writing the best things I ever did. Iím not in the mood today to write, except this blog, howeverÖ


Actually, the buzz of that film is now over, and my second beer seems to be killing me instead.


Oh God Iím depressedÖ I need a lot of Sherlock Holmes now with Jeremy Brett to get back to some sort of normality.


For one full minute there I thought I would actually be happy on Christmas day, well Christmas Eve anyway. I am alone today, so far, by choice. A friend wanted to see me, I donít think so. I donít feel like it.


And my baby in London feels the same. He told me that since I left, he has become so depressed, he is not doing anything anymore. The cats are left to themselves, the fish are dying, the letters and bills remain unopened on the counter and he does not eat anymore. God it hurts to hear this.


My baby is a hard worker, and every one of his bosses in time learned to appreciate it. However there is a big turn over of staff where he works and he never has the same boss for more than six months. And every time he has to start all over again. They hate him at the beginning and then he has to gain their trust by working hard.


This time he has a new Manager and he just wonít see it. He is trying very hard to get my baby fired or to leave, and unfortunately for him, upper management said no, that Stephen was the best employee they ever had. The Manager is not happy about this and now he makes the life of my baby a misery.


So I guess it is universal, Corporate America gone wild has now spread everywhere, like a disease. And whole nations live unhappily and stressed out to the point that pharmaceutical companies never had it better.


I told Stephen of my episode at work this week, and how, if I could have, I would have been back in London the very next day. And I told him that it was impossible for me to work for that company even for a year. That I am basically giving myself three more months before returning to London, the time it will take for my contract for my rent to be over.


By then, if nothing happened on the writing side, if I am still not working in films or at least met interesting people, then Iím leaving. I also told him that the idea of him coming here to work for that company, and his visa they are trying to get him, might be something we should forget about.


I would not want both of us working for a bastard. We are still going through getting the visa, it will take time, but letís say that now we are observing the events and we have made no decision. So either he comes over here eventually or Iím going back. Three months is the limit for us to be reunited.


All this cheered him up. He was complaining that he was alone for Christmas, like me, and that many people invited him over, but that he had lost the will to live and could not do anything. So he is simply depressed while everything crumbles around him. I almost cried, again.


I was reading today some stuff I wrote while in my last job, how I was unhappy there and how I wrote reports that were completely wrong, how I wanted a way out and that anything would have done the trick. And then I realized that this blog is almost identical to the book I wrote about it in French last year.


Do you want more proof that I am stuck in a time loop and that I just cannot get out of it? Whether it is in London or Los Angeles, it is the same thing, and I am writing the same thing about it. What is it that I need to learn that I am not? Where is it that I am failing to understand, to change all that and break out of that loop?


All I got out of this are a few books that are just the most depressing things ever, and as a consequence probably will never be published. So Iíve got nothing out of these nightmares. Maybe there is just no meaning to all of this. I am starting to believe that I do not have any destiny at all and there is no destination that I am trying to reach at the end of the road.


Iím like on a small boat in the middle of the ocean with rows, fighting to get somewhere when I should have realized a long time ago that even with rows, I could never reach the shore. So I am going over these huge waves for nothing, because in the end I will most certainly die and all my efforts simply could never have helped me escape this fate.


27 December 2005


A sign of genius lurking aheadÖ


I was not expecting both my bosses to be at work today. I would have thought, after such a fright, that it was to make sure we would work while they were not there between Christmas and the New Year. They are dedicated, Iíll give them that.


I had a miserable Christmas because of our conversation just before Christmas. When I walked out of the apartment, finally, to see if I could buy a TV and a DVD recorder on Boxing Day, I could barely breath because of the stress. I was worried because I still had not done any research by then.


I bought a TV and a DVD Recorder with a hard drive, and I felt so guilty for spending $500, I almost brought them back to Circuit City. I saved $100 altogether, thatís why I bought them. I now realize that I probably paid the normal price. Well, I bought an opened box Panasonic DVD recorder, so right there I saved $80, and so far it works fine. I donít regret buying it now, not sure if it will work in the UK when I go back, but it is leaving with me.


Unfortunately, the damn machine, which states that it can play every sort of DVD, cannot play any of the thousand I brought with me from the UK. Iím not happy about that, I will have to buy another DVD player somehow at some point.


At the moment I can still watch them on my computers, so it is not so bad. I did not think though that I would still be watching my computer instead of the TV and DVD after spending so much moneyÖ not sure when I will get around to using them, since I have no time to myself.


So, last night at 9 pm I finally decided to get on with the research for my conference. I worked 4 hours on it. And I thought, dear me, my boss will again bite my head off. However he waited until 5 pm today, the time I was supposed to leave, to ask me what was happening with my research. Typical, so I left 30 minutes later than I was supposed to, and I certainly would have left on time, as I canít stand the office at the moment.


When he asked me a feedback, I said quite rudely: give me a minute. I regret now, but it had the advantage to set the tone of the meeting. He was nice, I think he gathered that I was about to explode at anything he might have said. Because I sincerely think he exaggerated. And the first thing I told him was that I worked all over the Christmas period. And sure enough, in my day of work and 4 hours yesterday, I was able to bring him something quite tangible.


He is convinced I worked hard all weekend. Thank god! I have been lucky, I tell you. It is almost a miracle. The thing is, he never actually saw everything I had already done, he just assumed I had not done anything. So it looked quite impressive today, when I gave him my usual pile of sheets, 1000 at least.


And now he tells me we will not be doing this conference. Someone told him that it would be a flop. Great! I can stop doing that damn research. And get back to the previous project, or the one before, or the new one he already told me everything about today in his office.


Something about semi-conductors, and billions of dollars of investment needed from capital investors, and private equity. He still explains all that bollocks to me as if I did not understand anything. I did my research, I know a lot about it now, I understand what he is talking about. Gosh, I even know what Shale Gas is, I learned that today, so I would not look like a fool ever again before him.


So there is hope for me. With a minimum of effort, I managed to convince him that I worked hard, and he thanked me for it. So now he thinks he did not waste a thousand dollars on me last week.


But I am train wrecked now, and I feel very bad. A truck passed on the street, the whole building was shaking, and that was it, I was frozen on my seat, completely freaked out. I donít know exactly what it is that I was expecting, something terrible I supposed. And that would have been nice at any rate.


And my valley girl, lucky her, got a temp today who was supposed to come back the next two days, but she assessed that he did not know Excel and was not very good, so she called the agency and told them to send another one tomorrow.


When she told him at the end of the day, he was so gutted, he exploded in the office, unfortunately in front of my bossí wife. He said he knew Excel and that he was not happy. I was again frozen on my seat, panicked at any sort of crisis going on around me. God, they turned me into such a wimp.


If that had happened to me, if I had freaked out a temp like she did, tonight I would be drinking beers to forget all about it, because it would have shaken me a lot. For her, as she stated many times afterwards, it was just another day in the office.


I know tonight she will be freaking out about it, I know her, sheís like me. She just hides it very well. Something I havenít learnt to do just yet, and not sure if I will ever learn.


Oh well, just another day in the office, I guess.


Iím very pleased with my cheap TV, a Polaroid actually. I did not even know Polaroid decided to make TVs at some point. The image is certainly terrible, TVs here have twice less pixels than in Europe. Even my portable VAIO computer has got a better definition than that. I canít believe that Americans and Canadians have put up with such a bad standard for so long.


They have just discovered HDTV, supposed to finally correct that. The only problem is that the high definition TV must cost a fortune, and only a few channels are HDTV, which I think I donít get here.


Whatever. Morrissey still looks good on my Polaroid bad definition TV, go figure, that DVD works on my DVD recorder. The first one in 10 that I have tried. Perhaps because originally that DVD was an import from the US, I donít know.


I feel guilty again, I should be working on my conference. I am already too drunk, and I donít care anymore. I feel like writing. But of course, I feel like writing something inspired, not that blog.


However I would have needed to start a new book in order to write something inspired tonight. Perhaps I should start writing a new fictional book tonight.


Oh dear, now the big questions. What book? Which style? What about? In French or in English? That is not a bad idea, perhaps I should start writing a new book tonight. You know, this is how it always starts. One night you are inspired, and thatís it, you write a few pages, and you continue day after day. I really should. What about then? What style? Which language? Can I answer these questions and start it?


It would have to be completely wild. Out of this world. Something new that has never been done before. And I am very good at doing just that, and all those books are not the ones published right now. But who cares?


I should only write for myself, especially from now on. Inspired literature cannot be ordered, it does not work like that. It comes from the heart, from deep down, on a subconscious level. And listening to The Smiths tonight certainly helps a great deal. I might just start a new book tonight.


If my life was empty, and if I was still living in Quťbec City, I might dream up a story about a kid moving from Quťbec to Los Angeles, and imagine a great destiny. However, I am already living that dream, and that dream is a nightmare.


I will have to think something much better, much higher. Esoteric then, mystic. Out of this world. Cos thereís nothing real or worth it outside of L.A. anyway. So, what can be better?


I just opened my seventh beer, Iím ready to listen to Duran Duran now, The Chauffeur. I better start writing before I lose all inspiration and fall asleep.


Not another one of those complicated books that no one understands? I hear my fans say. True, none of my fans appear to have appreciated my most obscure books. I guess I never met the right fans. The right ones would probably never contact me in the first place, I guess. They just get inspired and create on their own, in their corner.


And I know I have inspired great people, the greatest in the French world, both in literature and films. I have all the proof I need and I can prove it. They donít hide their inspiration very well. Perhaps they never intended to. They ignore my messages all the same, probably from fears of being sued, stupid of themÖ I feel so honored, I would never sue in a million years.


Itís not that I feel like being pretentious tonight, not here, not now. Here I am honest with myself. I did inspire great people, and it makes me feel good inside, you know. That I could have reached out so much, even underground, on an individual basis.


It is one good thing, for having sacrificed everything for my literature, that everyone around me thought was the biggest waste of time ever. I even agree with them, I just could not help it. I have to write, not for a living, but to survive. To also understand myself, but mostly to survive.


It is my most basic need, to write. I can go without eating or drinking for days, as long as I can write. I can be in prison and suffer the worst fate, as long as I can write, I will be all right.


And this statement alone, does not make any sense, I know. And perhaps alcohol and cigarettes would be a plus, and music, in my venture. But I can do without.


If I was given carte blanche to do my own indie films, my god, it would be weird. It would be incomprehensible. But I think it would be art. And we all know that art can only exist as long as it is independent. And thatís ok, Iíll be independent soon enough, as soon as I succeed in the mainstream. If ever I succeed in the mainstream, thatís the problem.


I am already very much underground, Iím afraid to say, to admit. Iím like The Smiths and Depeche Mode, and yet, they do reach out and have the most loyal fans ever, who makes it all worthwhile. I may have reached that point myself, with my pseudo-fans. Iím just not sure. And I just donít care to be honest.


Fans are not on my mind when I write. How quickly we forget that they do exist and have needs and demands. Iím ignoring them completely. Otherwise, I could not do anything, or I would write something completely against my nature.


You are supposed to write what you can, what you are supposed to write. You cannot let yourself being dictated by a fan, a publisher or a producer. You do what you feel is right, and thatís it. Never mind if it means the end of your career or those relationships.


That is how I can only see my art. And I tell you, I never referred to it as art until tonight. I see it more as my own existential crisis, my answer to life and this universe we cannot understand. Philosophy perhaps, something beyond all that crap, anyway.


I donít mind sacrificing everything, even my existence. That is what I have been good at, all my life. Sacrificing everything for a land which appeared greener. And never mind that no land has ever been greener, I still got all my inspiration from it.


I am still writing, I am still producing something, creating. That is a result. I cannot deny it, hell brings inspiration. Happiness might just shut me up. Though Iím not sure, I never found happiness. Not sure if it is possible to find happiness.


The pursuit of happiness, good titleÖ maybe Iím ready to write that new book after all. Other nice title: Something impossible, like finding happiness. But what if I were to say instead: I have finally found happiness? And write accordingly? I would lie, but maybe it would be a good start. God knows.


Iím brain dead, thatís what I have been, since I have arrived in Los Angeles. I cannot write anything, I could not even think of starting a new book. Let alone a film script which probably would not go anywhere and would be a waste of time. You donít get inspired here, you get depressed.


Maybe if I were to find a rich and old boyfriend, ready to accept me in his home with one command only: write all day long! Then maybe I would get somewhere. At the moment I am just completely out of it.


It is not in Los Angeles that I will write my best work, Iím afraid. I can only wait and hope to be shipped somewhere else, with nothing else to do but write all day long. I cannot see how it could happen.


Maybe writing is not that important. Living is. How I wish I could at least live in Los Angeles. It could inspire me later on, once Iím gone. Iíve seen it now, I lived it now. Thereís nothing more to say.


God, am I already ready to move on? Have I learned everything I was supposed to learn here? I donít feel like I have lived or learned anything. Then again, it is maybe afterwards, in my literature, that it will all come out. And yes, you donít know everything that has happened to me since I am in Los Angeles. I have a separate blog, and it is not here for you to read. Thatís all I will say for now.


Apparently this year the time worldwide will change by one second. We will gain one second. A woman newsreader in Los Angeles suggested we use that second to drink some more alcohol. I was astonished.


I thought I was the only one drinking in L.A., since everybody else seems to be so perfect, that drinking does not appear in their vocabulary. I guess I lived in England for too long, as drinking myself to death on a regular basis is quite normal to me.


So, your woman newsreader invited us all to do so. So I guess, this is exactly what I will do next weekend. On that extra second we will gain, Iíll be drinking myself to death. And maybe write one more word to this blog. Which word should it be? Sex? Good idea. Perfect word. Maybe Iíll have sex then on that extra second we will gain on the New Year. I doubt it, but it would be nice.


And now you know, by how down the drain this blog has gone, that I have drank ten beers tonight. Sorry, Iíve been in London 10 years, what do you expect? At least IĎll be going to bed early, and I would not have eaten anything, so I will still lose weight tonight.


I have lost weight since I am here. I did not want to, it just happened. Stress, hell, feeling of being lost, whatever. Eating is the last thing on mind at the moment. And I look much better for it, so I canít complain.


It seems that I am determined to meet another mister right, here in Los Angeles, despite my lover being in London and being very depressed about it. I might as well try harder, and meet that mister right for real. Maybe it is just a fantasy of mine, but it is a nice one, one I can live with.


Especially at the turning of my 33rd year. I am getting oldÖ one step closer to death. Realizing that we are mortal, is, I think, a wonderful thing. Unfortunately, I donít have any disease that will speed up the process, and I am not willing to get one either. So again, death will have to fall from the sky. Cheer up, I might get run over by a car tomorrow morning on my way to work.


Merde, I should have worked on my conference tonight. Tomorrow I will pay the price. I am a prisoner of that job. I should try to find a way out, and still remain in L.A. somehow.


That would be the first step to my freedom. And it is ultimately what I am looking for. The freedom to write all day, whatever I want and feel like writing. That day will never come. Being in Hollywood does not change that fact.


There is no solution to my problem. Maybe if I stop eating all together for another few weeks, I will be good looking enough to attract a sugar daddy. I had many of them turning around me when I was younger, and I was too stupid then to accept their offers. I know better nowÖ where is my sugar daddy? Iím ready!!! And beware, Iíll be wild in bed, because Iím so desperate anyway, that I could sleep with a dog.


I am listening right now to the song How soon is now, by The Smiths. And the video. There was never a better song written on this planet, and a better video to go with it. It is killing me that someone was able to reach what I consider to be perfection.


And what I still donít understand is that none of the songs or the videos from that particular album where the song came from, sound or look like that song and video.


It is a fluke. Out of working hard, out of genius, suddenly something divine came out, something that no one ever will be able to top. Not even Depeche Mode was able to reach that point, I guess they were just not depressed enough.


I wish I had lived such a moment of genius in my life, that in three minutes I could make you listen and see something so perfect, that it would live and survive forever as perfection. God I wish I was capable of doing just that. I could die happily after that, all would be accomplished.


When I listen to How soon is now, I forget everything. I live somewhere, beyond my daily job, and my miserable existence. I reach some sort of new world where I am beyond all that.


It is the ultimate song and the ultimate video. Now, how could I ever write the ultimate book? Tell me? Or the ultimate short story, lasting three minutes, where I could have the same impact worldwide on everyone? It is just not possible.


I am wasting my time in the wrong medium. I donít need to write books, I need to write songs! I need to learn music, I need time, I need to achieve that perfection! I am wasting my time. It is frustrating, it is killing me.


Somehow, I should be able to reach the same result through my books. I have to, that is all I have to make any sort of impact. And I think I have reached that point before, in my unpublished books, but I guess it had no impact whatsoever.


So I have to do it again, and this time, revolutionize literature in the process. Which means going beyond everything I have written so far, being even more extreme.


I have been so extreme, I donít think I could go any further. I also think that I am beyond that now. So I guess I will have to live in the hope that one day some people will get back to these extreme books that I wrote, and see them for what they are.


And they are all my earlier work, my first books ever. After that I got lost, I tried to write to be published, and I was. What a mistake that was. I hope I have learned my lesson, and that from now on I will write what my heart tells me to write.


My best work must be ahead of me, Iím sure of it. Just give me the chance, and I will lay that perfect egg, the one which has been dying to get out for years, but never had the chance.


And it better come soon, before I shoot myself, because life is pretty depressing at the moment, and I just donít know what to do to cling to it. I need another salvation, another savior, or anything, to save me from this hellÖ that conference job, those people.


Oh dearÖ is there a way out? I sincerely hope so.


30 December 2005


Dreaming or York and England. When will I be famous?


I was so tired tonight, I went to bed as soon as I arrived from work. I woke up at 1 in the morning, and now I donít know what to do. Tomorrow is my last day before the New Year, but considering that it means only three days off, it is not exactly the most exciting thing ever. Iím not sure what I will do, however I am determined to do something at least on one of the days.


My baby went to Yorkshire this week, and it was snowing heavily apparently. He brought with him our baby cat, Mr. Weber, even though it is a female. She is called like that in memory of my old boss when I was working in WHSmith at Heathrow Airport 10 years ago. This is where I met Stephen.


This is where I started in London, at the very bottom, when I could not even understand what the customers wanted. You could say I went on to become successful in my jobs, in less than 10 years I quadrupled my salary. However it was directly proportional to my unhappiness and lack of freedom.


I cherish these old days when I did not have to worry about anything, and could barely survive. Strange enough, I am still at the same point financially, I can barely survive. So money does not change anything.


England did, and I learned to appreciate it even more as the time passed. It is hard to conceptualize when you are living there for many years. It is when you leave the U.K. that you can fully understand what you left behind and how wonderful a place it is.


These little villages by the sea side, filled with little cottages with roofs made of straw, and a few shops somewhere in the middle, with all the country side all around of a beauty to help poets no end, this is all true. It does exist. And it becomes normal to you until you move back to America.


Yorkshire for me, it is York, the most beautiful larger town in the world, I would venture to say. And it does look a lot like Quťbec City with their medieval type of walls all around, and ruins here in there.


I have met a very nice shop owner there, of a bookstore called the Worm Hole, and it was magical. It inspired me a film script, and gosh I would die to film that there. It is also one of the most haunted town in England, ghosts there are just normal. You see them and hear them everyday, and they do exploit it with all those tours. They have an infinite amount of stories to tell about it.


And the most interesting one is at the heart of my film. A story about a little girl who lost the keys to the city, of the main door of the town. Her dad lost his job as the main guardian, and now her ghost goes around searching for those keys that she will never find.


When you add to this that this is the town that gave its name to New York, and just about all the York towns there are around the world, you get a sense of the power and energy that could emanate from this small place in the north of England.


Today I was outside at work, looking at the huge mountain in the background, and the palm trees all over in front of it. I was going through some sort of dilemma, would I like to be going to York right now, have the chance to go at any time like I did one day after a fight with Stephen?


I just got into my Renault 5 and left for York. Stayed in a haunted hotel for the night, filmed interesting stuff, and then came back home the next day after visiting the old castle, the haunted places like the main gate and the museum. Came back with the loveliest story for a film. Perfect weekend.


Would I like to go there again? Or do I prefer now, after ten years, to experience something new, something equally huge psychologically, like Los Angeles? Was it not time for a change, to get to know America better, to learn to appreciate Los Angeles?


The real question I asked myself today, is that I would miss Los Angeles terribly. I just cannot see it right now. I have to give it a chance, and a good one. I would need to live here for years, get to know all there is to know, visit all the places around. And first, reach that mountain as soon as I have a car. I need to explore.


We donít live very long, not sure how many more decades I have in front of me, and if I will be able to still make huge life decisions like going back to England if I stay here too long. I fear I might lose it, even though it would always be there I would imagine.


I cannot limit myself to one place, I still have to experience adventure, leave just like I did, get to know new people and new places. Live in my memories for the rest, for my nostalgia.


I donít miss Paris, I donít miss the South of France that I truly enjoyed, I can go back on holiday and that is acceptable. I truly miss England, as if I belong there. At work they talk to me as if I was British, I translate to them their weird British expressions, I understand that language, they donít.


I feel more British than French-Canadian. And anyway, whoís interested in a French-Canadian in Los Angeles? No one. The odd province who is just as Americanized as the rest, except that they speak French and could give you a sense of France in America. Iím sure it has its appeal, but not to me, and not to the people I have met so far.


I am more British than French-Canadian, even with my thick French accent which would not fool anyone. When I leave Los Angeles one day, Iím going back to England, it is my home.


I would hope to be in L.A. for a few years, get to know it, get to love it, as equally as I love England. And I wonder if it is possible, and that is what I was wondering about today.


I have to give it a chance. Especially if one day I work full time in films, I will then have to be here a lot, it is a place I will be connected to one way or another. And this is what I am building here, the relationships that will connect me to Hollywood for years to come. There is nothing like being in the place and meeting the people, a website or an e-mail from a stranger on the other side of the planet just wonít do.


Most successful British now live in Los Angeles or New York. A lot of successful Americans now live in London, or at least have a second or third house there. There is a special connection between Los Angeles and London, they are always the two main town you would mention with New York, when you wish to convey some sense of what this world we live in is all about.


And just as French-Canadian are popular in France at the moment, British also earned a soft spot in all American souls. Iím afraid to admit that it is because of those terrorists, and how America and the United Kingdom confronted the rest of the world to clean up some countries, where unfortunately the U.N. failed miserably and shows no signs of ever being able to sort out this world.


A major reform of the U.N. would be necessary first, and a change of mandate. It should be stronger at the very least and its measures more far reaching. And then, the U.N. could become another danger to our civilization, so you can never have it both ways.


I am more philosophical tonight that I thought I would be. It is the end of the year after all. Time to reflect on the past year, to assess where I am, where the world is, and what is to come and if it is worth continuing on the same path.


I lack too much data to even think about assessing my own situation, let alone the one of the world. The truth is, I donít know what is going to happen next in my life, and I donít know where this world of ours is going.


Iíd like to think that it is not annihilation as my friend in L.A. likes to repeat, Iím not such an extremist in my thoughts. There is hope for this world, even annihilation would leave a few survivors and that would be enough, and perhaps better, even if my lovely England would have disappeared in the process.


So there must be some sort of future for me too, even if I cannot imagine any of it. At least it is not at the past that I am looking, I have assumed my decisions, I have accepted my new life, and now I am sitting here hoping for the best, for the future.


This is exactly where America and England should be now. We have done things we may regret, we can debate it for years to come, ultimately it is to the future that we need to look now.


What is that big destiny we are living? Where is it that we are going? What is the future has in store for us? Will we be happier or more miserable? Will we be hit again by terrorists or Corporate America, can we make anyone happy by our actions, or can only alienate everyone crossing our path?


Will York still stand at the end of this war? York is very close to Scotland, it has been conquered and destroyed many times by the Scottish. Despite it all, it still stands proudly, full of its history and ruins. It is a great example to us all, that today it lives in peace and another war with Scotland is almost unthinkable.


Almost, since we never know what to expect of the future. Nothing is carved in stone, especially our rights and liberties which have been rewritten recently. And these new terror laws are about to become permanent. And I have heard no one scream about this. I tried to scream, of course, I was not heard. We will just have to live with it, I guess.


America as we knew it no longer exists, until at least we get a new President, and then, with all this playing with the votersí ballots, Iím not sure if we can. Democracy has also gone out the window. Something else we will need to learn to live with.


We might as well have an actor from Austria as Governor, at least it makes politics more interesting, as it is so boooring, it could send anyone to sleep instantly.


At the moment I am more worried about the fact that it is 3 am, that I am on my third beer, and that I still have one day to go before the long weekend. Iím just hoping to be able to survive it without another call in the office to let me know how incompetent I am in my new job.


I was again given two projects to do at the same time, and of course, not enough time to do any of them. So I have done one, and I tell you, I had to be highly creative to get results in less then four hours, when I was given half an hour, and it would have taken me three days normally.


And tomorrow somehow I need to accomplish another miracle. I need to get in contact with the Governor of Alaska, no less, one day before the New Year. I wish to discuss gas pipelines please, dear me. I might just as well try to contact an alien species somewhere in the Delta quadrant, and ask them about weird rock formations on some lost planet. I could do that easy in a script.


In the sixty channels I have between my TV and my DVD Recorder, somehow my TV got stuck on the channel C-Span2 for the last few days. No wonder my brain is no longer working properly. Yesterday a woman told the whole of America that she was particularly interested in how we could kick out a senator from the senate. I regret now not having listened to the answer, I gather it is probably near impossible to do so. Whatever.


They have a senate in this country? Is more likely the question I would be asking if I were to call C-Span2. No, I havenít learned how the political American system works, well I did, but I had the time to forget in time you see.


America is not the center of the world you know, we donít know all there is to know about it. And sometimes, against our will, we get to know more about it than most Americans who just appear to love to bury their head under the sand, like an Ostrich would do.


Ignorance is a privilege these days, and the more ignorant I can remain, the better I feel. Filling my head with all that crap, brings me to the brink of insanity. Because so many people are just insane in America. Nowhere else in the world would you find so many people stating things that defy logic and reason, and find many supporters to state the same thing.


Maybe this kind of madness happens when your country has 300 million people, you will always find a few to support any crazy idea, and a few rich ones willing to spend millions and stake their life on it. I guess I am more idealistic than I would like to admit.


Should I get more local then? We have a powerful mayor in the Valley, who from what I have read so far, seems to approach despotism. He is definitely on some sort of power trip that went to his head, even though all I have read so far is on the front page of the newspaper of the valley.


I read it when I eat my toasted egg sandwich in the morning. I donít know, maybe he is cleaning up the corruption around here, though this is not the impression I got.


The impression I got was that he has the newspaper on his side and if he farts, they report it on the first page the next day. Now, that cannot be healthy, surelyÖ to control the media like that. I would imagine he does most of his politics in the newspaper office. That says it all. One step closer to propaganda.


I did not want to become political, especially that I am so ignorant about it (thank god!). So letís talk about something else. Music. On my SD card right now I have some Depeche Mode, Gorillaz, Charlatans UK, Goldfrapp, Sinead OíConnor (no wonder I feel all screwed up) and some Suzanne Vega.


Iím afraid, once it is on my SD card in my phone, that is all I listen to for weeks and months. Because it takes me forever to decide to change the MP3s on my player. Suzanne Vega is the only artist I have seen in concert more than once, apart from Depeche Mode. I saw her in London in Shepherds Bush, and once in my region in the North of Quťbec years ago.


It is so special when someone so big comes to such a remote place as my region in the North of Canada. I loved every second of it, I felt in love right there with her. She is also a proof that somehow both my region and London are connected, as she must be the only person in this world who like me went to both these places in her lifetime.


I have to try hard to remember anything that happened to me whilst I was living in the North of Quťbec, it is like another lifetime to me, a past life. I can barely remember anything after Ottawa, Paris, Brussels, Toronto, New York, London and now Los Angeles.


It is like I would love to forget where I come from, as if it had never existed. However this is difficult, since all my family still live there. I am being brought back there all the time, even if I did not show up once in the last 5 years, and on my last visit, it had been five years since I put my foot there.


I hate it. I hate Quťbec, Canada, everything about it. Sure, better be from there than Africa or some weird Eastern European country, but this is not how I imagined I would live this life.


Would it not be better to say that I was born in the desert of Nevada? Or somewhere in Texas where they are building their huge Trans-Texas Corridor superhighway? Should I not have been born in the Los Angeles Valley? Or in York, England? Even the Canal du Midi in France or Paris would have done the trick. Then I would have been a nobody, who might have succeeded at some point, with nothing else to say about it.


Being a French-Canadian, you cannot exist outside of Quťbec. You can have some success in France, be recognized for it in Quťbec, pass on TV, and then thatís it. I donít want that, I donít want to be limited to one lost province of a lost country.


I want to be from everywhere, I want to live everywhere, I want to speak for the whole world, I want to be universal. It is just as well that so far I had more success everywhere else in the world than in Quťbec, who still donít know who I am. I could not bare it anyway, I hate small minded people. And they certainly are.


I was born with the idea that I could never achieve anything in life. That I would be lucky to even get heard in Montreal. And such a great achievement would be necessary in order to do so, that it was more in the realm of the dreams than reality to reach that stage.


I am glad I skipped that step altogether and was recognized in France before anything remotely related to Quťbec. I am even glad that I connected to Hollywood and worked for the NBC before, and in England for Channel 4 (and the PBS).


I am from my time. I could have been born in the Nevada desert as far as anyone is concerned. I donít have any background in Quťbec, I just donít exist there. And if my family was living somewhere else, I would not talk about it, I would not go there anymore.


And yet, after all is done, it is probably the only place on the planet where they will not forget me, my books, my life. Because I belong there, I belong to them. There is no denying it. At least they are proud of their peers succeeding outside of the province, the country. It makes them dream that they could too reach out like this.


If ever all I have written in my life will help me survive, as some sort of pension, it will be because all the students in Quťbec will have to buy my books every year to read them and analyze them. I cannot say I donít like this idea. It would be consecration. As Iím sure, this would never happened in France in my case. But then, what do I know about my future life as an author? Nothing, I cannot conceptualize it. Good, there is no limit then.


And that is the problem. Limits. Hard for someone to create anything, and for it to go beyond the borders of where he was born. Why is this so? I was born with the idea that I could never reach out to the world, that no one would ever read me outside of my province.


So little authors made it to France from Quťbec, it was not possible to think I could do it. But I did! Without even being recognized in Quťbec. And I love it. This is how small minded you become when you are born in a small and insignificant place which means nothing to anyone else on this planet.


Iím afraid to admit, once again, it does mean something to me. Iím dying to be recognized in Quťbec. They are 8 million of them after all, almost as big as Belgium. I have skip a step, and like many other authors before, I was recognized first in France, and then usually they get recognized even more so in Quťbec.


It has not happened yet, but I know it will one day. It should, though it might never happened. Maybe I am the odd one, who will never be recognized in his own land. And just about every article about me so far in my home land has been about that, that no one is a prophet in his own country, or something like that anyway.


They do know me though, a lot have heard of me. I am known there, I know that. But it is not enough. Again, I am ambitious, I need to conquer places, I need to be heard without any doubt. I want to become the most important author that ever lived in Quťbec. That is secretly what I want, and now openly, since I am drunk enough to say so in my blog. Then again, this is in English, none of them will read this, so I feel safe talking like this here.


And the thing is, I have written enough already that I could become that now, or in time, without writing another word. It is great when at 33 you feel like you have done everything, written anything that you feel needed to be written. That whatever else you might do would be just a waste of time and unnecessary.


You can also decide that all that was a waste of time and that everything great and wonderful, your best work, is still ahead of you. It gives you a second chance at life, the hope to get somewhere, a drive to start that great destiny. And I chose that view. That everything great was ahead of me, not in the past.


So I have a lot of work to do. I donít even know where to start. I need to break up with my past, with everything I have done so far. It is not a continuation, it is starting from nothing. I am in Los Angeles now, in a different medium, everything is to be built. Better get started soon, even if my motivation is at zero right now.


Meeting the right people might change all that. Letís keep the hope, letís keep dreaming, letís see what will happen next. Letís just go over the end of this year, and start anew.


The New Year should be my most promising year ever, and sure enough, every year in the last ten years has been better than the previous one. And I am at the right place, at the right time, to make that New Year my best ever.


I will get somewhere.


10 January 2006


I feel sick today, I do not feel very motivated. I am also tired. I worked hard on that film script, but now really in the last two days. I think I am just permanently tired and I don't know what to do to get out of my lethargy. Sleep I guess, a luxury I have not known for the past 33 years.


I am also, and I don't care if he is reading this right now, I am also exceedingly tired of feeling observed and watched and spied upon by the Black guy at work. I am tired that when I go downstairs to buy a sandwich, he comes out of the lift. That every times I am not working or that I am talking, here he goes in the background. That every time I go to the kitchen, he comes in the kitchen too. For god's sake!


Just leave me alone! And when I am late, that's it, he is just to not be sitting on my chair to find out at the time I will be arriving. And you just know that all these he records somewhere and reports back to my bosses. I am the only one who is paranoid about him, since no one else were told by Isabella (the San Salvadorian girl), that the Black guy was watching over us. So as soon as the bosses disappear, everyone starts talking to each other, even if the Black guy is there. He must be reporting a lot of misbehavior then... my valley girl is certainly an expert at going around the office and gossiping for hours.


My boss' wife is going back to Canada for a while, meaning Montreal. That's nice, so she still has family there. I wish I could go to Canada myself, or London, even though at the moment working on that film script is the most important thing, even though I know this is a big waste of time and will never go anywhere.


12 January 2006


Desperate for a way outÖ of conferences


It is fitting that just at the end of last year, a few days ago, I was saying that this New Year would be my best ever. I was of course talking about my potential success in Hollywood. However, the single first idea that seems to have taken shape in my mind on the first day of the year had nothing to do with Hollywood.


What has been on my mind is that I am ready. I am ready to start my own business. And funny enough, it is that I have worked in L.A., and learned about how they do things here, also in my last job where I learned everything about what I will need for my business plan, that I am now ready to start my own conference business.


It is perfect, this is what I need to free myself from any obligations at any time. And in time I will be able to hire someone to do what I am supposed to do in that conference business, and if it becomes necessary for me to work on a film script for a month, it should not be a problem.


It is also after researching a whole conference about venture capital and private equity at work, that I realized that many people out there have more money than they know what to do with it, and are dying to invest in just about any crazy idea out there. And the beauty of it is, that to start a company, you donít need any money. You just need a good idea and a good business plan.


So I have downloaded the perfect application to help me do just that, and it has been brewing in my mind for quite a while now, even if it has only been a few days. The fact that I have to start working on my first conference at work, and that I would do anything not to start working on that conference, has fueled me into working on my own business plan.


Of course, I think I am as intelligent as my bosses, so why should I be a slave to them, when they made something like a million dollar last year, when I can do the same and have my own slaves?


Obviously I am not taken the easy route. I wonít be doing business or corporate conferences, which would ensure a lot of revenue. I am heading towards the mass market, the paranormal, the new age stuff, psychics and theoretical physics. I could seriously fail in my venture. But being my own boss of a company I care nothing about is not my idea of fun.


I have to contribute to something I believe in, that motivates me. I donít want to fall asleep in the conference rooms of my own events. I want to be passionate about what it is all about. This has nothing to do with making money, it is about having the freedom I want and make enough to survive whilst still doing what I want to do in life.


I will not be able to charge $3,000 per delegate, like most companies I worked for. And many times, we barely broke even and get back our investment. I will need to charge as little as possible, and still manage to make a profit. I feel that I might then get more people than just the magic 100 delegates we have always been reaching for, to cover our cost. I will need at least 200 delegates to get back my money, but then I am counting on exhibitors and sponsors to make a profit.


I need to start slowly, only Stephen and I will work on this at the beginning so it does not cost me $60,000 per conference. And eventually, as we get more money, I will hire telesales and sponsorship people. I can take care of everything else with Stephen.


And this means that this business will be based in England, though I am dying to host an event in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Even Paris. That will be my playing field, which is quite large actually, considering that I will start with no database whatsoever.


I will need a good marketing budget, £12,000 at least per event. I am even considering not printing anything and not posting any flyers. I wonder if everything can be done electronically, and advertisement with associationsí members and magazines.


To be safe, I need a budget of £40,000 per conference, and I need enough money to do three conferences in the first year. All sensibly related to the same subject, so I donít have to triple my costs in all areas. Working on one event will be like working on all three at the same time.


One conference, the big one, will take place in London. The second, more ghosts oriented, will be in York, and the third one, I donít know yet. Maybe Manchester or Brighton. Maybe even in Dublin or Wales. Oh, thatís it, Edinburgh! Yes, Edinburgh in Scotland. And I will arrange for a visit to the catacombs for all my delegates. Like in London I will plan a night out in some haunted place, preferably in the unused tunnels of the Underground. And York, simply a visit of all the haunted place, tours are already in place.


I am so excited about all this, I can barely wait to write the conference programs. And this is a first for me, because in the last ten years, I always did everything else but write my conference agenda. And the thing is, it would have made my life so much easier to forget everything else and concentrate on the program from the start. Human nature, I hate writing conference programs on subjects I care nothing about, when the profit goes to someone else.


So I need £200,000 to start my business. And within a year I need to have gotten back that money with my three conferences. Seems unrealistic, I will have to cut corners. If I donít provide food, and I should not be expected to do so when charging so little to attend, I might get away with costs of £30,000 per conference.


I could do it all for £120,000, the extra £30,000 would be to pay the rent, cars, our own food and bills. But I want to be on the safe side, so I will need £200,000 just in case. And keep the extra money for the fourth event.


Once again my blog (and writing my books) helps me to figure out important stuff. Sounds like a plan. And now I am dying to write that business plan and go back to England to start working on this project.


It would be reassuring to know that I can count on my credit rate in the U.K., but it is zero. It would also reassure me to know that I could count on family, but either they donít have the money or they have rated me as some crazy person a long time ago and would certainly not trust any of my decisions.


Even Stephen at the beginning will not even leave his job, I will be all alone to work on this. I feel that somehow I will make it come true and make a nice profit. Thatís the difference between being a slave, or your own boss with the need to survive.


I will tell the bank that I need three years to make my first profit, so it will give me some time to get this company somewhere without too much stress. It is well known that it is in the second and third year running for any event to become huge. And that is what I plan to build in time. The most important conferences on any of the subjects that I will take on.


And I donít care about competition, I have produced too many conferences in my lifetime which had sensibly the same program and speakers than a dozen other conferences in the same town, and yet, we made a good profit. Perhaps we did not have the same delegates, but we certainly had the same sponsors and exhibitors, and those want as many conferences on the subjects they are interested in as can be.


So, in retrospect, my ten years working in conferences might not be wasted after all. I am 33 years old, still quite young. It is very much worth diving into the unknown of having my own business. I could be working another 37 years for others if I donít do something and if I have to retire at 70, as it seems very likely now. And if my great topics for conferences donít work very well, I can change instantly to better and more profitable areas, even if I dislike the topics, and then I will insure my future.


The only thing that could stop me now, is the film script I am working on. If somehow that gets sold, it would certainly change my life and I can forget about conferences forever. I am in Hollywood, and I am connected, so it could get sold. But at the moment I cannot wait to find out, I need to plan my way out, I need to build my future.


And I already have the name of my future company: The Marginal Conferences. It has a nice ring to it, donít you think? And I will film the conferences and publish books about what will be said at the events. So the ultimate name will be The Marginal Productions, and there will be The Marginal Films and The Marginal Publishing. And eventually, perhaps, who knows, The Marginal Grocery Store and the Marginal Bank, but these will be non-profit organizations to help the planet. One can dream!


If I was a bit more adventurous, my company would be called The Marginal Productions Company, and The Marginal Conferences. But somehow too many squeamish people would be stopped by that. So I canít afford it for my business. Oh well, who cares anyway? It might never see the light of day.


21 January 2006


Going back to work on Monday, makes you wish for an earthquake


Now I think I am going to bed. Iím going to try to forget this day. And tomorrow I wonít do anything, so perhaps the day will seem long, and going back to work on Monday will not come so fast. Another week there might be just what I need to tip me over the edge. When the valley girl will open her mouth to shout with her nasal voice, as she always does, I will have to contain myself to prevent me from hitting her in the face. Because I am reaching my limit of annoyance.


The same with the Chinese girl who has the most annoying and loud voice, while thinking the world of herself, and being so condescending about everyone else. She needs to get back on earth. I donít know what she has to prove, what she has gone through in her life to reach that point, but she seems blind to the fact that she has turned into a monster and I just canít bear it anymore.


I will also have to work with the Senior Conference Producer, who is becoming more patronizing by the day with me, when I have as much experience as him, and my conference programs have always looked ten times more elaborate than his, and I worked on them alone.


And yet I am helping him to produce that crap event. And not only that, he also has another Chinese girl working for him on this. What the heck has he done on that conference apart from writing two miserable and meaningless pages that I canít even understand? It makes no sense, and yet it will bring a hundred delegates becauseÖ whatever, the subject is of interest to the people who will attend. Even if they will have to go to Utah for this.


Right, I will need at least one full day to prepare myself mentally to go back there for a whole week. Makes you wish that an earthquake, a hurricane or even bird flu will hit Los Angeles next week, to prevent me from doing soÖ knowing my boss though, it would not stop him from expecting that conference to be finished within two days instead of a month.


22 January 2006


Could my baby have met someone else in London?


Funny, I woke up today and I tried to reach Stephen. Yesterday he was not there, and today it seems that he is somewhere else again. I was wondering if what I thought would never happen, could have actually happened. Could he have met someone in London?


It would only be fair, considering what I did in L.A., even if it has been a disaster. And now I am ready to be faithful again, even if that means no sex for three months. First because I owe it to him, and also because I understand now that I love him more than I could love anyone else. And I know now that we will get back together one day, whilst when I moved here I considered that this might mark the end of our relationship.


For the last two days he has not been home, and he had a few gay people buzzing around him at work, even though he would never say anymore than that to me. Is it possible that he found someone else? He might have gone to these gay bars, talk with a few people, god knows, it is certainly possible.


Well, good luck for the guy who will end up with him: heroine addiction, crazy behaviors, virtually no sex for weeks if not months without first begging, suffering someone with a verbal diarrhea problem, with more debts than England. Have I covered everything? You can only love someone like that after spending ten years with them and found out about all these little trifles along the way.


At the same time, I have to admit, that if he was to tell me that he has met someone, it would in a way force the issue. It would liberate me from the return to England option. I would not go back there to start a new life, I already have one in Los Angeles. I would feel as lost there than here. And suddenly that great huge house in the Malibu or Santa Monica State Park would not appear so crazy after all. My whole life could change forever and I could be determined to succeed here in Hollywood.


You will note that I am no longer in crisis this morning, I keep a great memory of my little trip of yesterday around town, Iím back to normal. Even if I am still a bit freaked out and that I am not certain what I will do today.


I slept 12 hours. Again I had those weird dreams about my father and my sister. Itís been three days in a row now, never mind the phone bill, I think I will call them both today, something might be going on over there in the North of Canada, and of course if I donít call, Iíll be the last one to know in six months time when they decide to call.


23 January 2006


I can be sacked at one minuteís notice


George is finally gone, just like that. He is supposed to come back to help a bit with sales, but he is no longer working here. I have to say, it is one thing to have contracts that can be terminated at one minuteís notice, it is another to leave someone in the hole like that, especially when they have a family and children.


This impossibility to plan your life ahead at least one month in advance, is quite disturbing. Moreover that the guy has been working here for at least 6 years. Unbelievable that after all that, he had no security whatsoever, because apparently he was working on a contract basis.


Well, I have to say that I don't find that very inspiring and I should be prepared any day to be told that I have been sacked. And at that point I am not certain what I will be able to do to pay my apartment and plane ticket, I would just hope that it would come at a time right after I get paid or close to being paid. I have absolutely no motivation today after what I just heard. I feel I will be sacked as well any day now.


However I think that in his case there was more than what we have been told, obviously. I won't be the one to hear about the gossip, that's for sure. I guess the bosses did not know after all that he was developing his business plan for the last two years about that pyramidal scheme of insurance selling. I guess they did not see clearly through his game, they would have realized that he would never have made it in that scheme. Never made any money and probably would never have made the jump.


According to my valley girl, this had nothing to do with him being laid off. And apparently he will get unemployment insurance. And apparently any employer can sack any of their employees at 5 minutes notice without giving real good explanation or justifying it. The employees can do the same.


So I guess that if as an employer you prefer to make sure you can get rid of your employees fast, and don't really care if you lose any of your best employees fast as well, than America is the perfect place for business. I presume it is quite convenient for employers, and I should have known that there would be some sort of capitalist way of doing business here which would be more logical than what Canadians and Europeans have been used to in their cozy little safe jobs.


In those countries, employers often have a damn hard time getting rid of people they don't want or who are useless. And that is why they play this hard game with the personal department where they eventually find a way to make your life so impossible, that you will either leave or they will eventually be able to get rid of you on a stupidity or something.


In a way the American system, even if it leaves you in the shit and does not give you the time to find another job, it certainly spare you the psychological nightmare of going through the long process of being sacked via 3 warnings and multiple hard meetings, etc.


America does not really care about its people, that much is obvious. They would not provide adequate health system, social securities, any sort of security at work or in life, and yet it does collect a high percentage of taxes, and employees still have to pay for their health and dental insurance every month, quite a lot of money actually.


America only cares for what can make money, to make it more successful, the key successful point to be profitable as a whole. They have pushed the ideals of capitalism to the limits, where only companies now have any rights and liberties. And that way they produced a very successful and rich country, with more rich people than anywhere else in the world. They also created a comfortable middle class which profits from all this richness, but are most likely to be slaves to their jobs and living near the depression.


And finally, America has left a lot of people living in such poverty, that there are probably as many people in this country who are hungry right now than what you would find in Africa.


I think it is interesting from the point of view of history to have at least one country that has pushed the idea of capitalism to its limits, and I would not have seen this for myself if I had not come here in the first place. Let's see where all of this will lead them to. Who knows who is right in the end?


Phew, now I can I speak. Before I was at work, so I had to sound nice just in case the Black guy could read. I am so disgusted that he was sacked like that, such a nice guy. I hope he was ready for his new job in that pyramidal thing, even if it is temporary. Hopefully he will make some money there. If he is that successful, perhaps they will give him great potential contracts. Of course, this is if they still believe in his potential, considering that he was sacked.


Bof, I donít feel like talking anymore. Stephen just called. I was worried for no reason this weekend. He still loves me very much and he is still faithful. And I believe him, at least thatís one person who does not lie to me, so I hope. One person I can actually trust for a change.


Who should have been sacked, it is those two girls, the valley girl and the Chinese one. Who have cost the jobs of so many before through their own incompetence. They successfully blamed their inadequacy on the ones under them. I had quite a conversation with Isabella about them today, she canít stand them. They sound nice, but they stab her all the time, especially the valley girl.


There is always a bitch in any conference office that will always keep track of everyoneís movement, and will love to make a big deal of if you disappear for five minutes when you were not supposed to. The valley girl is like that. If you go to lunch for too long, she will find a reason to be looking for you and will go and ask everyone in the company where you are and why you are not at your desk, and that you were gone for two hours, etc. I have met them all my life, there is always one like that. And of course, when they are late, no problems, no one is there to do the same to them.


And my valley girl is always late at the moment, she seems to have problems getting to work. And every time, being so perfect, she calls the office to let them know she will be one hour late. And every time we receive an email saying she will be late. I must have 30 of them by now, so she should worry about her own schedule instead of trying to denounce everyone else for the little freedom they try to take back from the company.


I did not have to tell Isabella that I found their voice annoying, thatís the first thing she said. And she even does a great imitation of the valley girl. Isabella did say that the valley girl could be helpful at times, and very nice, and this is also true, I have to admit. She just appears to be incapable of thinking before she speaks, it comes out naturally automatically, and sometimes she can be very rude or insulting. Iím glad Iím not under her, I would have been sacked by now.


One more thing, the lost of our salesman had a horrific effect on all of us. We have all been promoted to salesmen as well. Now I will have to sell sponsorship deals and exhibitorís space. Something I am certainly not enjoying. Cold calling, asking for money, being hung up on the phone. Not counting how long that will take, considering what we already have to do to finish these conferences in no time.


The one positive thing about this is that I will finally learn the only thing I had not learned in my 10 years in conferences. Sales of SPEX. After that I would guess that I will not be afraid to pick up the phone and ask for money. I might learn a thing or two that will be useful for my future company.


And obviously, all that news today made me want to go home and work on my own business. The only thing that stopped me is Stephen, saying that neither of us will be able to get the money to start that business. Me because of my so-called bankruptcy, and him because, if he puts the apartment for collateral, his parents will never forgive him and will disinherit him. Not counting that his mother had enough of me, and would probably hope by now that I will remain here and Stephen in London.


I have been there before, my first boyfriend and his mother, freaking out when I left for Paris and brought along her son to Paris and London. Her wish was realized, our relationship was over before we came back. But she regretted, me no longer being here. Sebastian slept with something like 50 people and was still depressed, and then met a drug addict that made is life a misery for two years, before finally getting back to normal with someone who looked just like me.


What Stephenís mother does not know, is that if our relationship ends, Stephen will die of an overdose. And without me in his life for the past 11 years, he would certainly be dead by now. I should have told her that before I left. As it stands, I was hiding in the toilets when she last visited, I could not confront her. I wanted to say goodbye, but she left too quickly. And Stephen was not pleased about that.


I will still do my business plan, you never know.


29 January 2006 (2)


One cousin in prison, the other in hospital


My mom just called, my cousin is in prison and my other cousin is in hospital, she almost died. One of the other passengers who were in the car accident has many broken things, and the other one, as my cousin who is now in prison, have nothing.


Apparently there was ice on the road. It is so common these car accidents in my region in the North of Quťbec, it is amazing that we are still all alive today. I myself had quite an accident once, and I thought I was going to die.


What is less usual, well not exactly, but my cousin was three or four times over the alcohol limit, and everyone else in the car were also completely drunk and were only 15 years old.


I then called my sister, who will have her new baby in less than 11 days. She was so hyperactive, in the end she hung up the phone on me, despite the fact that I was quite laid back. I could not believe it. I then called my father, but he was not there. I spoke with his wife, and she said that with pregnant women, it was normal to be freaked out for no reason. She said to call my sister one week after she had her baby to congratulate her, and everything will be forgotten.


Perhaps, but I call my sister once every six months, if she is lucky. I must have called her less than 10 times in the last 15 years. I can assure you that it will be a very long time before I call her again. Even if we love each other very much and are usually very close.


All of this was quite a shock, but I am watching Ship in a Bottle now, Star Trek the Next Generation, the episode about Sherlock Holmes and James Moriarty. I thought how great an actor Daniel Davis is, and how perfect he would be in the film script I am working on. And then I did a little bit of research and realized that he was in the TV series The Nanny. I wonder if he could still be the right actor now, if he is going to be recognized as that butler. I would certainly hire him if I could, and if this film is ever made.


So sad that my cousin is in prison now, and the other one is dying in the hospital. My mom was saying that a lot can happen in one day, even in one hour. She is certainly right there. And yet, nothing has happened in my life in the last three months. It is just as well, the only big life changing events that happen overnight, are usually the most destructive ones. The productive events in your life seem to take months if not years to come to any conclusion.


30 January 2006 (2)


The Cool Spanish Guy I am working with, a Metrosexual?


And after all this, which was just an appetizer, let me talk about that little Hispanic guy at work. The cool Spanish guy, as described before. I think I have been flirting a bit too much with him, only because he let it happen. So how straight is he then? Today I had to fight Isabella twice, she was suggesting out loud that I was interested in him. I had to hit her a bit and call her some names out loud. Hopefully she will calm down.


Well, at least now the cool Spanish guy knows I am interested. It is most probably a tired long running joke in my back at work that I fancy him. I even think that the Director is involved, as at one point some days ago he said that he needed some sunlight, and he went to the Spanish guy and acted weird. As if the Spanish guy was some sort of illumination or positive force. And somehow, I feel this is all down to the fact that I feel it could be that way, and everyone knows.


I certainly like to look at him, he is the only thing that makes this whole job bearable. He usually wears sandals, he has big feet, and a nice face. He seems so pure and innocent, and childish, despite his 28 years. As I said before, there is nothing threatening in his eyes, he is totally genuine. And intelligent and quick. He comes to me to correct his English, can you believe, when his English must be twice better than mine.


I can just imagine what it would be like to be in his arms for one long big night. The Earth will stop turning, thatís for sure. Love would be written all over this special event. But before I get carried away, he is most probably straight, even if I have my doubts.


First he is too comfortable with my flirting, he had girlfriends before, and apparently he had a date last week with one of them. That does not look like someone incapable of accepting his homosexuality, it sounds more like a Metrosexual. Someone who is comfortable with the thought that men could be attracted to them, but ultimately would never go any further than flirting on the edge.


So I donít know what to do about it. I donít want either to become the clown of the office, by going for a lunch with him, whilst the only purpose would be to get back to the office to tell everyone whatever I might have implied.


He took two photos of me today, why? What was the purpose of this? Again, I am reading too much into this. It means nothing. But his interest in me seems to have gone higher since I started to wear my black jeans, and black polo shirts, and especially my black shoes. He seemed to think that I can be cool as well. And what he does not know, is that I am light years more cool than he is, so I think anyway.


He is 28 years old, he has nothing to show for it. He is definitely two dimensional. I think I have lived enough on this earth, and in so many countries, and written so much, that I am living in at least 10 dimensions.


Which means that I will have much more to give to him than he will ever have to give back in return. It would most likely be a one way relationship, I will give, he will take. This is how empty I see him. I could be wrong, but I doubt it. A man whoís only friends are the three insignificant girls surrounding me, cannot be that cool. Unless somehow these girls were more specials than I first assessed. Which I doubt very much.


The truth is that he could enjoy this flirtation for months, when I would actually act upon it. That makes a big difference. It means that he is someone whoís not mature enough, despite his 28 years. Nothing will ever happen between us, I know that. It is a game for him. And I play it because Iím so bored in that office.


The difference is, that if he is gay at all, heís lost. He will definitely fall in love with me as if he had never lived before, a bit like Leonardo, even though Leonardo is much more complex and had some sort of background. And it would not be certain that I will fall in love with him. Though he is so charming and cute, it would be very difficult to resist.


But one thing that being older and mature bring, is that I can stop myself from loving someone. I can understand that it will lead to disaster before it even begins. The head is controlling the body, not the other way around. It may be sad, but this is where I am at in my life.


I have a life, I have a destiny. It spawns many lifetimes, many relationships, many countries. I am going somewhere and nothing will get in the way of that destiny. I might not know where I am going, but I donít care. I know what I want, I know whatís good for me. I know where I will be in five years time, because it will be exactly where I want to be.


Heís got no clue of who he is and what he represents. He does not even believe he has any kind of potential. I donít even think he has any dream or goals in life. I asked him if he could write conference programs, for a report I was writing, suggesting that he should, instead of being the slave of that Chinese girl. He interpreted it as if I did not believe he could. He felt the need to prove to me that he was capable, saying that I doubted he was even intelligent. How cool is that, I ask you?


I had to tell him that I sincerely thought he could be responsible for his own conferences, and get rid of being a slave, an assistant. I donít think it registered in his brain what I was talking about. He has no idea that I am writing reports for the bosses, on how this whole company should be. I canít tell them either. The bosses have hired these expensive consultants to change it all, and in the end they will all agree that my suggestions are the way to go. Because I have seen the perfect way to achieve what they are trying to achieve, in many companies I worked for before.


They are not asking for my reports, I write them on my spare time. They obviously did not trust my judgment, my experience. They need to pay big money to have it confirmed to them. I donít mind, I am beyond caring, since my single idea is to get out of this job. And yet, everything I have written in my reports so far, seems to have been observed. Even before I started. I am only realizing now that they have changed a lot before I arrived, based on my reports.


And now they are addicted, they want more from professional sources. Without understanding that it could only come from someone with the specific experience that they are in. They were not crazy when they decided to get me there in the first place. They knew I could help them change, the way they wanted. They are just incapable of admitting great work when it is there, something echoed by my Valley Girl.


Sad that I will have left them by the time they realize what they had. Sad that they will be powerless to prevent me from leaving when I do, as at that point they would want to say how helpful I have been, and how all my reports were on the dot and will lead to happiness and success. It will be too late then. I did not feel appreciated, I was pressured, I was pushed out. I am leaving with a smile on my face, feeling liberated from that nightmare.


I donít even think that in the next two months they will be able to change my mind, that place is not a nice place to work. If people maintained themselves for so long, it must be out of necessity, good paying jobs they could not so easily abandon from fears of looking like useless people to the people theyíre living with. And a lack of guts to get out there and find a better job.


These small minded people make me sick. I would have thought to meet them in Arkansas or Oklahoma, not in Los Angeles.


1 February 2006


Like a young actor who has not made it yet in Hollywood


Oh, what a day. Nothing of any significance happened, and yet I am dead. I spent last night helping Leonardo, my new friend in L.A., figuring out his piano (for godís sake, he has that piano since 1997, and he still knows nothing about it). After that I helped him sending me the film script we are working on, even though he does that almost every day, 24 hours is enough for him to forget how to do this. And then I tried to help him sort out his antivirus. By the time we had finished, it was past 1 am.


I took two hours for lunch, but I still managed to work 30 minutes more tonight, to send many emails that should have been sent days ago. So it looks good.


I also got the chance to ask the Spanish guy, who has been flirting with me for weeks now, if he was gay or not. He said that he is as straight as they come. I find that hard to believe, however I believe it. So that is at least sorted.


The last two days he came at work dressing like some sort of young actor who has not made it yet. Funky, shorts, bubble hat, whatever. I asked him if he had a date or if it was for us that he decided to dress like that. For us apparently. And the Valley Girl had another one of her comments to make, she asked: what have you decided to wear today? Ah, youíre wearing everything!


He knows he is kind of cute, and he will take any flirting from anyone, even men. At the same time, the guy is fatter than me, so he canít brag too much! Well, Iím not that fat, and he is not either, so he still has his sex appeal.


Today he referred again to the fact that he knew everything about me, that everyone knew. As if somehow they were aware of my blog and were all reading it. It made me freak out. I probed him, and he mentioned the word blog, about other of my readers having blogs