Tuesday, October 30, 2007
A Free Day
please read the previous blog first. The story explains this picture. This is the
the 'GUARD SHACK'.
I walked over to the Transition House where I am sitting at the present time. I was able to get the gentleman who was sitting in the guard shack to vacate it so I could take a picture of it. I was going to upload it to the previous blog but the computer configuration blocked me from editing my own blog so I could upload it.
I wanted to make sure it was up today. The guard shack was my sanctuary. I stayed in it for as much as twelve hours a day, seven days a week. I spent every minute in that shack reading and writing. I spent 100 percent of my time writing in it the last three months. I studied
Broadcast News Handbook, published by the Associated Press in this guard shack. I took highly detailed notes about reporting in this shack. I had to find a comfortable seat in which to sit while I used the shack. I did. Actually a friend of mine found a seat in March and put it in there. It is still there. You can make it out in between the shadows.
I said all of what I said say that those cans I picked up every day gave me encouragement. Each can reinforced in me the fact that I can build. So with that in mind, I am going to launch the
SkidRow Errand Service.
That was the whole purpose of picking up the cans. I knew that everyday I could build up of storage of wealth and cash it in once a week. When the weather was hot I could turn in the bag twice a week. I just had to stay focused.
I wrote in that tiny shack that you see above and I studied. I told you how I studied the Broadcast News Handbook" published by Associated Press. I took detailed notes. I read some of them last night after I returned home. However, no notes are as good as the comment I received from Dgarzila just a few moments ago about the previous blog. I did not have the title correct of the business establishment about which I was writing. I took a chance and guessed. I knew I was wrong but I let it slide because of my damn impatience.
Of course, Dgarzila spotted it and let me have it. I love him for that because he is making sure I am going to exercise total discipline in my craft. All I could do was smile when I saw the comment and curse myself.
I had to leave the Transition House because computer class was going to start.
I left at 1:00PM. I walked back to chrysalis to continue my blog. I am here now, feeling good, writing all day. Feeling good about my new venture as small as it is. I do not care. It is testing the waters. Who knows it may just fly.
I do what I always do. I check websites and see if there are any job categories open. I decided to check into Associated Press. I generally check their website once every two weeks. I cold call the website like I cold called prospective real estate clients. Some time in the spring I looked up there web site and saw that they were on 2nd and Figueroa. I stored it away for future reference. I was far from ready. I checked out the book and studied it. I practiced writing lead copy. I practiced various formatts. Hell, I practiced everything I could. I wrote portions of the day in the style of an anchor on television. That is the reason you here me use the expression "as well". It is a way to avoid saying "also".
I walked into their office on 2nd and Figueroa one day. I saw the reporters. I saw the tv screens. News coming in from all over the world. It was like the ticker tape in the office of Merrill Lynch when I worked there. I was at the nerve center, the pulse of a news information center. I almost had an orgasm.
ne thing about working for Xerox, it taught you how to get as much information as you can. It taught you every aspect of the information process.
Of course being a sales representative taught me how to probe for questions. Knowing when to use open end versus closed in questions, was key. I have never lost that skill. I have used PSS, Professional Selling Skills, all of my life. The best application of them is when you are quiet and just listen.
Anyway, I walked in the office.(dam, I am being bounced again. I am on my way to the library. It is 2:10PM)
It is now 2:40PM. I am sitting in the library downtown. I only have 20 minutes left on this computer but I reserved another one for one hour.
Back to the story.
I probed the secretary about getting a job there. She was not that excited about me standing there in sweats and I was self conscious about my teeth.
"You will have to take a grammar test" she blurted out, hoping to dissuade me.
"Oh, really?" I responded.
"Yes, and it is very difficult." I just looked at her. I was thinking, "Lady, you have never taken a grammar examination until you took one from either Father Grant or Mr Hughes at Harvard School. You name it, it is on the exam.
Direct objects, indirect objects, every type of pronoun you can think of, adverbial clauses, adjectival clauses, infinitives, participles, transitive verbs, linking verbs, subordinate clauses, collective nouns, my god. The list goes on."
This woman was not going to dissuade me. If all I needed was to pass a grammar test then I was in like Flint. I do not exercise all of the principles of proper grammar when I blog. At times, I improvise. I feel it is about creating a style that flows. As it said in "Broadcast News", learn to write the way people want to hear.
I just wanted a name. I finally asked the right question and I had my answer.
Steve Loper. I called him and he returned the call. I am glad I did not answer the phone. I was not ready at the time.
Anyway, I saw on the web site the first job they had open in Los Angeles subce I started monitoring them,
a marketing assistant job. I made a copy of it and it is in my video camera bag.
Another "can". I have several now.
"Businesswire.com" is another. They have a similar position open in west LA.
"Oversee.net" is another. I like them. They are the largest in what they do. They are in downtown LA and there address is 515 Flower. 515 is my birthday. May 15. The CFO, went to Wharton School, my alma mater. That can not hurt.
I figure if I collect enough of them, one of them will hit. I will get lucky. However, I will have to apply for this AP position now. It is downtown and you know how much I love news. There is another reason I want that position.A friend of mine received his first job, reading the wire at Associated Press when he was at Columbia School of Journalism. He graduated in 1970 from Harvard School. Mark Harmon, the actor and star of NCIS, was in the same class. I was two years behind them. My friend's name is Ron Claiborne. Ron is on the on-air talent team of the Weekend edition of Good Morning America, the show that ABC airs. During the week Diane Sawyer is one of the anchors. However, on the weekend my friend Ron Claiborne does the news desk reports.
I have known Ron all of my life. I think he is the smartest person I have ever met, bar none. I have met a lot of smart people in my time but I think he is at the top. I have a funny story about Ron. That will come later.
I will say this. Nobody reads more than he. Nobody.
So you see, this is how my day is shaping up. I have run my mouth all morning. I did this all day every day while sitting in the guard shack. Furthermore, I wrote in long hand.
So as you can see, this is a special day. It is the first day since moving into my residence where I did not have to be anywhere. With all of that, I still blogged.
I would like to think Eric Richardson, of blogdowntown.com for putting me on his blog roll. My next thing to learn is to figure out how to link. I asked Dgarzila but he said he would not teach me. He sort of teaches like Socrates did. Socrates would walk through the streets and ask his students questions. Make them think. It is the technique made famous by the professors at the Harvard Law School, the Socratic Method.
Well, that is Dgarzila. My father would teach me in the same manner.
I can go home and see what I can do to restructure my life.
I can wake up early and get a lot done now. As I said in the previous blog, people on Skid Row wake up early. I will hope that means something soon. I woke up every morning and checked the trash cans for my "cans".
I hope I can develop this Skid Row errand business. It will do alot for me. I can perhaps help some other people earn some money as well.
By the time I left the facility, I did not have to do hardly anything to gather cans. Everybody gave the m to me or put them in my boxes. One was marked cans and the other was marked bottles. People from outside the facility brought me cans. I was known as the "can" man. When I left, I turned it over to someone else. He staill has the boxes. I saw them today. However, I heard he is losing out to competition. He does not have the get up and go spirit it takes to succeed as an entrepreneur. On Skid Row, one must be up very early to get the worm. The can business is highly competitive.
I would imagine the errand business is as well. So if anybody needs someone to pick up grcceries or drop off dry cleaning or walk a dog or research where they can purchase a rare book. Let me know.
Just email me. I need the money. I would like to develop some type of business or several in downtown Los Angeles. I would love to be able to hire people from Skid Row if it grows. If I can get several, I can be the Barry Diller of online businesses in Downtown Los Angeles. It will be good for the people of Skid Row to make money and see that they can make it in business. If my dream takes off, I would give the business away to someone to own and manage it. Keep it going. My email address is email@example.com. Another one is firstname.lastname@example.org. I can be anywhere between the number 10 freeway and the 101 freeway, the LA river and the 110 freeway within 10 minutes tops. I have a bicycle. It would also enable me to hunt out real estate while I am servicing my clients. Moreover, I can train for the triathlon.
As you can see, I want to get some synergy going here.
You ask yourself, why I always quote people when they say they are proud of me, or when they told me to keep it up or when I thank Eric or Don or Ed or Celia and everyone else. It is because those words have carried me through the hard times this past year. Those words of encouragement give me the strength to carry on. They give me the strength to build more strength. they give me the strength to believe.
I must believe because if you do not believe you can not do it. I have always believed in my dreams. They have seemed far away many times. My real estate career seems far away. Today it seems closer. My dream of reporting seems closer.
I feel that in some little way I am communicating to people. When I communicate to them, I communicate to
myself and continue the process of healing.
None of this started yesterday. None of this started when I got out of jail. None of this started in jail. It started years ago when I decided I was going to stop doing drugs and I fought to stop. That is why what happened to me is hard to take. If anyone took the time to look at what I was doing, they could see that the things said were not true. I did alot of work. The one thing that lends creedence to what I say is that I am not using drugs or smoking cigarettes. With this time, I wish I could train again for the triathlon. I can not swim as I do not have access to a pool. However, I can ride a bike and the best way to ride a bike is to do so while making money running errands for people who do not have the time to do things in downtown los Angeles.
So, email me and give me the business. I would love it. I will cherish it. Thank you very much for this day.
Good evening world. I love ya.