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Amanda

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i suppose i should mention... [Jul. 6th, 2007|01:13 pm]
Amanda
i have a new blog. it's designed to be more about my tv writing career aspirations than day-to-day personal crises, but it's still...you know, me.
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jetsetting [Jun. 2nd, 2007|01:54 am]
Amanda
[music |the fray]

i had better make this quick; who knows how long my stolen wireless internet will last. i once again have my mom's laptop, which is able to be pointed at the window (held open by STORY by robert mckee) and therefore cling onto random wireless networks with very low and unreliable (thieves can't be complainers) service. 

i am in ithaca for the next two months as i try to make money at hollywood video (woo minimum wage and free rentals) before moving to LA. i think it's pretty safe to say i am doing it for sure. moving to LA, that is. i think i just have to. it will be difficult to be so far away from josh for 2 years, but this coming spring he will be in london anyway so settling for a job i don't want in NYC wouldn't really be worth it. i had an interview on wednesday at the international adacemy of television arts & sciences, but i think the interviewer and i both kind of knew it wasn't what i wanted. oh well...the interview practice and visiting with josh in ct were definitely worth it. 

so now i am going to forget about the whole job thing for a while, as hard as that is, and just be in ithaca for the next two months. walking into second floor and moonies and only recognizing a few people. enjoying the gorges and waterfalls sans icicles. standing in the darkness in my driveway and smelling the grass and the trees and whatever else is in that fragrant green ithaca scent. 

i have a degree. i am an adult. i am smarter in some ways and equally clueless in others. perhaps i can say more when it doesn't say a blurry digital red 2:03 am through the glass of water i have placed on my bedside table to combat tomorrow's hangover.
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end of college. yep. [May. 2nd, 2007|03:11 pm]
Amanda
[music |killers!]

I have three classes left in my entire college career? Wowza. Insert cliche about how fast it goes here. I'm feeling okay. I'm feeling good, actually. I'm downright excited for the rest of my life. I have a feeling that I might get all sad and nostalgic in about 2 months, but I know that I am ultimately moving to LA, and there will be lots of IC kids there...so it's not like I'll never see anyone again.

More about LA... sooo remember how I applied for 3 things? Well, I got an official rejection from the ABC Production Associates program. LESS THAN TWO DAYS after the application deadline. I mean, it's good to know, but methinks they didn't actually read all the essays and recommendation letters. It makes me feel better to think so, anyway. The Action program at Working Title films in London doesn't notify unsuccessful candidates, but it said that interviews are in "late April and early May," and now that it's May I think it's safe to say I'm not getting one. That leaves the Emmy internship program, which I should find out about next week. I am hopeful but  not expectant. Last week I started to freak out so I applied for some things online, and also joined my old Rogue boss David's job board. I haven't heard anything, but that doesn't surprise me. There was a TV writer's assistant job on the UTA list, which would be amazing. Mostly though I figure that none of these will pan out and I will be back to my first Plan B (if that makes sense, haha). I am going to stay in Ithaca through some of July since my lease runs until July 31 and then move out to LA with some money from Hollywood video in my bank account, as well as some polished scripts. My screenplay is due tomorrow and I have 10 pages left to write. My pilot is more or less in shambles but I figure I will just write some crap to turn in for class and then deal with breaking it down and writing a decent draft after graduation.

What else? I just started getting sick but I am ignoring it. I am taking airborne and pseudophedrine and my nasal allergy spray and going on with life and it seems to be working so far. I went to the gym and ran a mile and a half at 6.2 (9:40 mile), something I haven't done yet. The key is to starting drinking a caffeinated beverage (mine is Enivga, as I've previously talked about) exactly one hour before you are going to start running. By the time you get to the gym you will be totally pumped!

This past weekend Josh and I saw the Killers at a sold-out Madison Square Garden. It was AMAZING! I had never been to the garden, much less a sold-out crowd jumping up and down and screaming. Really intense and energetic. (They also had a Japanese Beatles cover band open, which I found highly entertaining as I sipped my $7.25 plastic cup of Bud Light.) I was wary of Sam's Town at first but now I totally love it. My current favorites are "Reason's Unknown" and "Read My Mind." It's all good to run to, also, minus my left headphone not currently functioning.

Also any shoppers will appreciate that I walked around Manhattan, nearly giving up on finding a graduation dress (Banana, Loehmann's J Crew, Anthropologie and a few others all proved to be useless) until my first trip to Bloomingdale's. Of course, I couldn't afford most of the dresses there; I gave myself a $200 limit and even that is too much. But a lot of things were 40% already reduced prices, which led me to a $430 Vera Wang dress. It's tea-length, flowy and turquoise with a bright purple sash and purple embroidery. Very feminine. And after all the discounts, it cost me just $200. I guess I don't need to wait to get nominated for an Best Original Screenplay Oscar (or similar Emmy, which I would be totally fine with) to wear Vera Wang. :)
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(no subject) [Apr. 19th, 2007|01:47 pm]
Amanda
At this point I've stopped marveling at how quickly this semester - and senior year - and college - are all slipping away from me. Even that has passed me by. After tomorrow there will be 2 weeks left of classes. 2 WEEKS! It is insane. I still need to write 35 pages of my screenplay, write 3 more acts (and basically rewrite the first 3 acts) of my pilot, write a 10-14 feminist paper, write 2 asian american lit papers, pull together IC scriptwriters in some sort of meaningful way and finish the gerontology institute megaphone project. it will all get done, I am sure, but I'm not sure I will be conscious or coherent at all in the process. I'm also trying to work about 18 hours a week and sometimes I find myself going to bed and still alphabetizing and locking DVD cases in my mind. Hollywood Video is fine...I actually just watched The Queen and it isn't even out until Tuesday...but I probably should have been trying to do some of the million things I just mentioned instead.

Still no word on any of the jobs...I'm trying not to worry about it, as there is still time to be informed (the deadline for the ABC production associates was yesterday, so I'm sure they haven't made calls yet). I just hope I will be informed of something at some point.

The exercise/weight loss thing is going ok. The hardest part continues to be free food. Sometimes people bring donuts into work..and yesterday I had a piece leftover from Josh's birthday cake. But they didn't seem to sabotage anything...I've lost 12 pounds since the post-spring break monstrosity (literally), and with 2 more I would be back down to pre-spring break. I would love to be at high school graduation weight by college graduation, but that would take 13 pounds so unless I go south beach phase 1 and get my body into ketosis (which I don't really want to do), that is pretty unlikely. I think I would be happy with 7 or 8 more pounds...I'm telling myself that I weigh more than I used to because my arms and legs are just so jacked from all the weights I've been lifting. Maybe there's some truth to it? ha ha. Either way I think I am going to get a graduation dress when I am in New York for the Killers concert next weekend so let's hope that goes well.

Meantime, I think the blizzards are over now after Sunday's ridiculousness. I think the northeast wanted to make sure I had a good dose of winter (in mid-April) before I move to the west coast. I. Am moving. To the west coast. In a year if I do the working title program in London, and in July otherwise. Crazy. But I am excited. I've already been sending craigslist postings of (surprisingly reasonable) apartments with pools to Joette, instructing her to apply for LA jobs so we can be roommates. Shopping at the Beverly Center (on credit) and relaxing at the pool on Saturday, beach on Sunday...sounds good to me.

Tonight I'm going to Kilpatrick's for a PRSSA (I think) Make a Wish event...drinking for charity, that is pretty much the best idea EVER.



 
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life [Apr. 4th, 2007|09:32 pm]
Amanda
so here's the deal. the last day of classes is exactly one month from today. one month! nuts. there is a ridiculous amount of things i need to get done between now and then. mostly i just need to start writing writing writing. i am kind of disappointed with both my pilot and my screenplay at this point, and of course i have thought of a million "better" ideas, but this always happens and i just need to keep writing, even if they are bad. IC is getting a new tv writing prof, so i have been sitting in on sessions and lunches with the candidates. the first one was a middle-aged woman with a weird brown shiny scarf she kept fluffing over her shoulders, but the second was a younger woman who wrote for felicity! she showed us a scene from the first episode she ever got to write and i remembered seeing it back in high school. i liked her a lot, and asked her about her career and such. the bottom line is you need perseverance and you have to keep writing. it sounds like IC will be lucky to get her if she would be okay with living in the middle of upstate new york (an understandable concern).

post-graduation:

i have applied or am in the process of applying to the following programs:

working title films: action! (London) - a yearlong "paid" (i use the term loosely since it says "bursaries of up to 14,000 pounds are available" so i don't know if they pay everyone or how much they decide to pay you) internship in development & production.

ABC production associates program (LA) - a yearlong paid ($26,000 plus health insurance which is actually pretty awesome in this industry) program that is mostly clerical work but the category i'm applying to, production management, also involves script coverage and breakdowns.

academy of television arts & sciences internship program (LA) - a summer program open only to college students and recent grads with a $3,000 stipend. i applied in the television writing category, which would actually place me in the writer's room of a TV show (but not let me write since that is against writer's guild rules). i met an IC grad student who worked for viacom for 25 years and is very involved with the academy and he said he would see what he could do. i am keeping my fingers crossed but a CNN money article says it's "harder to get into than harvard."

i am considering applying to the NBC page program in LA but kinda holding off to see if i hear about any of these first. the page program is a yearlong paid program where you serve as a tour guide for a while and then apply for "assignments" in different areas (but as far as i know, none of them are in writing...there might be ones in development or production management). currently amanda horning is in the LA page program and matt millson is in the NY one.

if none of these pan out, i am going to stay in ithaca and make money at hollywood video until my lease is up in july and also make sure i have my arsenal of writing for when i move to LA: one drama feature, one comedy feature, my partners pilot, my office spec, and (i hope) a drama tv spec. once in LA, i'll get a development assistant or agent assistant job (i think i could find one with a little searching and the promises of my old red wagon and rogue bosses) to pay the bills and keep my industry connections fresh, while trying to get an agent and start making money from writing. i think ideally i would like to join the staff of a tv show because it is slightly more like a regular job than writing screenplays, but who knows at this point.

i feel a little better than i did a month or two ago because i have at least cast out a few nets. none of the programs will tell me anything (if at all) until late april or may, so i still have reason to be hopeful...but i guess we'll see.

meanwhile, ic scriptwriters association has been kind of difficult but i think after some reorganization we will be headed in a good direction. i am glad i started it, even as just a reason to keep me reading the trades (i post articles that i find relevant to writers on our blog, http://icscriptwriters.blogspot.com). in my mind, the blog serves as a bridge between writing in college and writing in the industry, and i hope others find it as such.
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(no subject) [Mar. 31st, 2007|01:05 am]
Amanda
oh livejournal, how I have neglected you. at first I was just busy, and then my internet was down (damn the people at the front of the house moving away so I couldn't steal their wireless). And then I debated over whether I should bother to keep writing. there are a few reasons against it: 1. it is narcisisstic, 2. no one cares, 3. it takes away from "real" writing like screenplays. But here I am anyway. Perhaps it is because I had my beer and Stephanie's beer that she pushed in my face until I took it from her and also a speedbump that Lindsey Knox bought me (oh the joys of having a low alcohol tolerance). But I feel inspired to write again.

So.... life. Yes. I went to Aruba a few weeks ago. It was warm and fabulous and I loved that my decisions were things like which book should I read while lying by the pool? Should I go in the lazy river or down the waterslide? Should I have a frozen or rocks drink at happy hour in the swim-up pool? I had never been to a tropical location at all so it was all new and amazing to me. The pictures have been on facebook for a while so I'm sure you can see that we did a lot of drinking and drinking and more drinking. by the way, we came up with a theory about natalee holloway: she got fed up with the world and escaped to venezuela (only a few miles from aruba). kudos to natalee.

Life back at Ithaca has been less than relaxing. I have sooo much work to do before graduation in less than 2 months (oh man). I have to finish the bulk of my screenplay ,black summer (a neo-noir so-cal murder mystery about a 13 year old boy) and also my pilot, partners (grey's anatomy but with law interns). plus, i am also taking two literature classes that require tons of reading and long papers. it is weird to think i won't be registering for classes in a week or two, but in a way it's a relief. i need a break from homework. i will be glad when it's all over. i think i am ready to move onto the next phase of my life. today i went to a seminar by steve ginsberg (my screenwriting professor from LA whom i love) about hollywood and it got me inspired again. honestly he is the best dressed professor i have ever had...how i missed his little ben sherman sneakers. anyway, now i want to jump in and get writing and working and talking about all that stuff again. i do miss LA often. it has been very sunny here lately which makes me think of LA.

the most important thing i should be writing about right now is that april 1(really march 31-april 2 since it is nebulous) is my 1 year anniversary with josh. this is a big deal! i am still every bit in love with him as i have been this whole year. he is doing the 50 hour marathon right now so we have to postpone celebrations til monday but that is ok since our anniversary is nebulous anyway.

i think i had more things to say but now i can't remember. maybe i will try to write more. i don't really know.
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I am going to ramble a little bit, just to warn you. [Mar. 1st, 2007|11:43 pm]
Amanda
So again I go to hear a speaker, and again I am impressed and entertained and outraged and inspired and humbled and discouraged into doing exactly what I always do: nothing. I kind of wish I aspired to things like changing the world, but I don't know if I honestly believe one person can, and I don't know that I really want to. I aspire to being happy in the world we currently have, and that already seems like such a challenge that I can't quite take the initiative to go bigger. Leaving the Robert Fisk speech, I am confronted with a reception of brownies and fruit kabobs and chicken fingers and all of those lovely Ithaca College catering foods we have come to know and love. Twice this has happened today, the first being at an art opening at the Handwerker that my Asian American Lit teacher brought us to. And twice I ate a few things and left the events thinking not of Indian art or the state of journalism coverage of the middle east, but of my inability to resist free food. Driving my car - which now has intact windshield wiper blades but no gas - down Hudson, I thought, There are people who don't live like this. There are people - and not just those skinny ones I hate - that don't live their lives feeling guilty about eating or missing a day at the gym. There are people who aren't perfect or at least perfectly thin and still get on with their lives. And I wasn't even thinking that much about weight when I started to write this. Anyway. There are people who go listen to speakers and get inspired and do things. There are people who make differences. And yet I come home and find that my room has, in less than 48 hours, thrown itself into disarray. How do people have time to do the dishes and put on makeup and read feminist literature and lose 20 pounds and write screenplays and get gas and find out what Meredith is whining about this week and do the laundry and get drunk at the bar and read awful American journalism and get a haircut and change the world? I don't have time to do half these things. I don't even know where my time goes. Reading away messages of people I don't actually talk to? Probably. I think I used to have so many more friends... or maybe I had the same amount, but I actually talked to them. Or they talked to me. I had to ask someone tonight, "Is anyone sitting here?" And it dawned on me that now instead of going places with people, saying let's sit here, or save me a seat, or I'll save you a seat, I'll be lurking around alone, forever asking, is anyone sitting here? Of course I'm being dramatic. Of course I have a wonderful boyfriend I have now been dating for 11 months. Of course it is not the end of the world if I eat some free food or go without makeup. But I seem to live under this illusion that there is this perfect me out there and if I just try a little harder I can be her and achieve some kind of astounding bliss. But in the back of my mind I know I will always be trying and falling short. I know some people who are under the impression that if they can help enough people, they will be happy. I have always been more of the mentality that if I could just get myself together, then I'll be able to help other people. I think that both sides are wrong. But the others are at least helping people, and I'm just sitting here drowning in my inadequacy.
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life [Feb. 26th, 2007|11:10 am]
Amanda
reasons for my distress:

1. unexplainable chronic sickness. it seems to be under control for the moment, now that i've popped some pseudophedrine, ibuprofen, caffeine and breakfast. but i have been sick basically for a month and a half. i have an appointment with an allergist on friday, which i expect will result in me finding out that i'm allergic to snow or movies or clothing.

2. faulty DVR. last night we DVRed the oscars and then began to watch them later since we were a) at the 2007 hours til graduation party and b) figured they would be better without commercials. however, we did not DVR jimmy kimmel live, which came on after the oscars. and since the oscars ran over by like 45 minutes, we missed everything that ran over = BEST ACTOR, BEST ACTRESS, BEST DIRECTOR AND BEST FILM. THE ONES WE ACTUALLY CARED ABOUT. i was upset, especially since I was pulling for martin. the DVR menu should have listed the academy awards as going later, since they ALWAYS do. grrrrrr. i guess i will have to wait for speeches to appear on youtube.

overall oscar comments:
yay martin!
anne hathaway, you are annoying.
jerry seinfeld, this is not your standup show (and way to pick your nose in your seat).
will smith's son with the long name: good thing you're cute, cause you're not the brightest bulb in the box.
abigail breslin, i love you, you are adorable.
yay for michael arndt and his little miss sunshine script. 
ellen, you are so awkward but overall i liked you.
gwenyth, your dress is ugly and putting half of your hair forward is what you do in a 4th grade class picture in the mid 90s.
jennifer hudson, thank you for actually showing emotion and caring that you got an ocsar.
clint eastwood, please bring your glasses next time so you can read the teleprompter.
kate winslet, you are gorgeous but that color was hideous and so is your brassy blond hair

3. the amount of work involved in two literature and two screenwriting classes. we're talking hundreds and hundreds of pages. it doesn't mix well with senioritis.

4. very slow diet results. i know this is how it works, but i am impatient. it seems that if i count calories and never eat things that taste good for about 2 years maybe i will be happy.

5. my stupid, falling-apart windshield wiper that is resistant to being removed.

reasons for my guarded optimisim:

1. spring break in two weeks! did you know that aruba is technically a commonwealth of the netherlands? guess i'll have to pack my wooden shoes.

2. finally starting work at hollywood video tonight. monaaaaay.

3. garnier nutritioniste skin renew daily regenerating moisture lotion. it makes my face very soft and i don't have to moisturize like 5 times the way i must with neutrogena.


all right, i guess i'm done.
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snowy ithaca [Feb. 13th, 2007|11:56 pm]
Amanda
[Current Location |322 pleasant]
[music |"snow day" - matt pond PA (i felt it appropriate)]

it is beautiful outside. the snow is falling gracefully, silvery white specks floating to the ground. i just walked up to columbia and delivered valentines to chrissy and then the 215 residents in case i don't see them tomorrow. i love living in the south hill neighborhood. many of the houses are weathered from time, with peeling shingles and crooked sidewalks (mine is probably one of the worst). but still, all of them have character. they're not cookie cutter suburbia houses like i'm used to in clarence. they have tall windows and rising towers, peaks and arches and personal quirks. and now they're all nestled in a fresh layer of snow.

i admit my description is a bit romantic; the roads are actually quite a mess and it took me a while to cross south aurora simply because the cars were chugging so slowly up the hill, blinking and sliding and skidding. i smiled, thinking that walking is probably the most effective form of transportation right now. away from aurora, the streets remain uncharted by cars, quiet and still. on my way back around columbia and down hudson i spotted a group of college kids "sledding" with shovels and pizza boxes. they invited me to come but i laughed and said no thanks. maybe tomorrow?

tomorrow. my first valentine's day with a valentine. i guess it's cheesy, but i'm excited. i feel like i deserve it, and i hope the snow doesn't make it impossible for us to do anything.

meantime, we had rush night for the ic scriptwriters association tonight. it started off a bit haphazardly, as the room we thought we reserved was taken and we couldn't find anyone else. as prospective members showed up, we became a confused mob wandering the hallways of park. we ended up sitting in a deserted hallway of professor's offices. not quite what i had hoped for, but we had a good turnout and there seems to be a fair amount of enthusiasm about the group.

as for my previous entry, it always kind of amuses me that posts about weight loss get the most comments, but i suppose it's because everyone has tried it and everyone has an opinion or tip. anyway, thanks for the thoughts. it's going pretty well; i've lost 4 pounds since saturday so i think the south beach goal of losing 8-13 pounds in the first two weeks is within reach. (and yes i know that's a lot in a short amount of time, but that's why you only do phase one for two weeks.) by the way, i'm really into a new nestle product called enviga. it's a sparkling green tea with 100mg caffeine (a bit less than a cup of coffee) and 100 mg EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate), the antioxidant that supposedly boosts metabolism. We'll see if it actually does anything, but a) I like it and b) it's sold in convenient six-packs c) it has more ECGC than snapple and d) it is cheaper than snapple.
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full of healthy food [Feb. 11th, 2007|07:39 pm]
Amanda
So, if you've ever met me, you've probably heard me complaining about my metabolism, seen me in gym clothes, eaten one of my famous sugar free jello shots or all of the above. Regardless, over the past year, I have been slowly gaining weight. I've still been working out and resisting carbs and things, but I haven't done it consistently enough. Throw in some cross country road trips, occasional In and Out burgers, Starbucks Green Tea Frappucinos (57 carbs!!! never again!) and dates with my fellow food lover boyfriend, and now, much of my extensive clothing collection doesn't fit. Suddenly I'm standing in front of the diet pills at Tops wondering if buying them will cause me to: A) lose weight, B) waste $30 or C) end up like Anna Nicole Smith. Luckily, I muster up some rationality and walk out with Pria bars and no diet pills.
Still, I know I need a new approach, and the one thing I haven't done to lose weight is count calories. It seems like the worst thing ever or something, as magazines will shout, "Don't count calories! Just avoid carbs! Just don't eat saturated fat! Just guzzle 16 cups of green tea! Just watch portions!" etc etc ad nauseam (literally). But when I tried to do all those things, I still wouldn't lose weight. Then I got a little red notebook and planned out my meals, writing down their calories. And I realized that on those days when I'd buckle down and eat "healthy," I'd consume about 900 calories. Total. All day. And it wasn't that I was starving. I just kinda got used to it. Unfortunately, I lost almost no weight. It's counter-intuitive, but it's true. Eating too little will not help you lose weight. ("But what about eating disorders!"  you say. "Those totally work!")

Yes, eating disorders are certainly effective, but they involve eating like 50 calories a day and also ruin all your organs. Eating about 900 calories like I was isn't quite as extreme, but it causes your body to shut down and hold onto your extra fat for dear life in case the world has ended and you're out of food forever.  So now I'm going for 1400 a day. It's low but not crazy low - it should be enough to maintain a 140-lb person. If I find myself really hungry once I beat this supercold and work out a lot again, I'll raise it to 1600 or something.

It's only day two of my calorie counting epiphany, but I'm feeling optimistic about it. Counting calories isn't really so terrible. I find it kind of empowering to know what's in what I've eaten and what I need to eat by the end of the day - and for math it only involves basic addition.  It also shifts the focus from NOT eating to making sure I DO eat enough, so it feels less like policing myself and more like just being healthy (and full). I'm probably never going to wear a bikini, but maybe I won't need to pack my sweatpants for spring break after all.
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