ENTRY #177
YouTube and Feedback link added 02.11.09
11:34 PM, Sunday, February 17th, 2002:
Holy shit has this month kicked my ASS. This is gonna be a HUGE entry. It may challenge for the biggest of all time. LOL. If that thought makes you sigh - go back to your porn pages, 'cause I can't compete. But if you'd like to get insight into life in Los Angeles, and more specifically what fuels me - keep reading. It's quite a story.
I'll first say that the locked February 9th entry is absolutely gut wrenching. I don't ever want anyone to read it. What's happening to me right now is wretched. The depression is unprecedented. Palaur's depression was fleeting, this just doesn't go away. It's absolute hatred of my situation without any real control to make a difference. All I can say is that something really, really, really good needs to happen soon. Not even something big mind you. Just something positive. I really hope that when that happens, the "locked" entries will cease, and "The Journey" can continue uninterrupted. Please note that the last entry was not locked because of my embarrassment at my own feelings. I would NEVER lock an entry because of that. The entry simply makes NO sense without reading the first three entries of this month which unfortunately will not budge.
Enter a minor subplot, that on face-value is VERY minor. What makes it worthy of an entry is the impact it has on what life in LA is really about. As well, it's another one of those stories that has to make you shake your head and think I'm lying. As is the case with the DVD incident a year ago, and the Comedy Story Saga that continues, I paint another picture of myself as "completely in the right", whereas the other person is ENTIRELY in the wrong. (sigh). I am well aware that these stories have to be read suspiciously by anyone with half a BRAIN, but I swear to EVERYTHING I HOLD DEAR IN MY LIFE, that I am not putting a bias or spin on the events. I have searched my mind for fault on my part and damnit to hell I can't find any. So here goes.
A fellow actor man out here that I have hung out with on a handful of occasions was putting together a party for Ross the Super-Stud who is going into the military on Tuesday. I call him Lieutenant Dan 'cause get this: His uncle, father and grandfather all joined the military on THE DAY a major strike happened against the US. I'm not sure what they all were - but it was that day. He always felt that it would never happen to him, but lo and behold 9/11. That day he joined up. Amazing. His family also lives in New York adding to the pressure. He's a bit apprehensive, but excited nonetheless. Anyway, it's usually customary for those attending to throw in $5 to cover food costs and beer. So two weeks before the party I'm asked by the "soiree-thrower" if Jess and I can throw in $10 each to pay for the keg. More than a reaction to the money, it was simply too early for Jess and I to commit to the party as her schedule is week to week. He understood and asked me again about 3-4 days later. At this point I knew I had a meeting that night, AND if it were to end early - Jess and I wanted to go out to dinner for Valentine's Day. We've had ONE nice dinner alone since we moved out here - quite looking forward to it. He seemed to understand.
About 3 days before the party he knocks on my door, and comes in and asks for donations for the keg. I looked at him with a little confusion, as I thought he understood that I wasn't going to be able to make it to the party... "We're not coming..." Full of attitude he jets out and says fine. Before he could close the door I said: "Didn't we talk about this last week?" "Hey man, if you can't give a couple bucks for Ross, who is going out to fight for our country, that's your choice..." and SLAMMED my door. Holy shit was I pissed. Besides his attitude being WAY out of line...you don't slam my door. You don't go into someone else's home, insult them, and then SLAM their door over ABSOLUTELY nothing. I was in shock. I then looked down at the flyer for the party and noticed that it was a potluck. LOL. With the following line at the bottom:
"Please contact (the apartment manager) to coordinate your dish, and we'll provide the beer, Thanks!"
?!?!?! Yeah, you got me. I'm befuddled at this point. But here's where the story gets interesting. What's my next move? Do I go out and get him and try to get to the bottom of this? Try to make ammends? Try to salvage the relationship? Do I wait for him to come to his senses and apologize? Well my first instinct when he slammed the door was: "You better damn well NEVER open that door again. You've slammed my door for good." And even after my anger subsided, this is still how I felt. His actions were completely uncalled for and out of line, and I'm not gonna act like everything's rosy. It really boils down to this gut - VALUE SYSTEM - that I have for my life:
You have to be responsible for your actions. You also have to hold others responsible for their actions too. If I were to forgive and forget here, what would that say for who I am? On the other hand, he didn't shoot my cat - it's not a big deal that he lost his temper, is it? I decided to just let it lie, and usually time shows the way. I wasn't above making ammends, but the ball was certainly in his court. I would accept an apology, but I couldn't just act like nothing had happened. Seemed like a good plan of action. I was quite wrong...
So the night of the party as Jess and I are walking to the car to go out to dinner, we stop in the rec room to say goodbye to Ross. "Soiree-thrower" comes up to me and says:
"Hey you could make it after all..."
"No, I'm not 'making it' - I'm just saying goodbye."
Sensing my frustration: "You're not mad are you..."
"You came into my house, insulted me and slammed my door. I'm not really happy"
"Dude, you're gonna hold a grudge?!? Come on..."


He then puts his hand out for me to shake it. Huge judgement call on my part here - I could've just acted like everything was cool, instead...
"Man, I'm not really comfortable with this. That wasn't cool what you did."
"You're gonna treat me like that here?!?!"


This is the moment I realize just how drunk he was. I figured he was a little bit since the party was 2 hours old, but he LOST it. All because I wouldn't shake his hand?!?!? Again, if I were in his shoes - I'd at least take that as a sign that maybe an apology is in order. It was an extremely PASSIVE gesture on my fault. As well, NO ONE was watching us, so it wasn't like I was "showing him up" but not shaking his hand in front of people. I really thought he was about to punch me. I just stood there waiting, assuming I was about to get slammed. He instead chose to storm off, but not before he was able to SCREAM in front of the 20-25 people at the party:
"Fuckin' dick, oh you're gonna make it REAL far in this town with your fuckin' attitude...(obscenity, obscenity)" ...out the door.


(sigh). Embarrasing to say the least. Especially because everyone of course looks at me and I'm just standing there watching him. Now I know that most of you feel that "picking out the asshole" in this scenerio would be easy as a party bystander. It really isn't the case. Yeah, it's obvious he was out of line - but since Jess and I left, he got to tell each and every person what I had done. I found out later he said that I promised him money and wouldn't pay up!!! How blatantly shitty is that? And if I were at that party...I'd completely believe him. I'd think to myself: "Yeah, he shouldn't have screamed all that shit, that wasn't cool...but Adam shouldn't have promised to pay and then renigged." It's human nature to try and see both sides of an issue and rationalize it as such.
It nonetheless ruined my dinner with Jess. Damnit. Couldn't stop thinking about it. The whole thing was just absurd. When we got back, I went back to the party to see if I could find out any of the aftermath. I was told what he said by a few people, and "soiree-thrower" walked passed me:  "My fucking favorite person" he growled. I assumed by this point he was ever-so drunk. Then Gary came to the party. It wasn't long before "soiree-thrower" is explaining the story to him and another group of people. Great. Spread the love buddy. Oddly enough he and Gary shook hands after the story. Take that as you will. Another fine anecdote is that every person I asked (who has a cup of beer in their hand) said: "I was never asked to donate money..." (sigh).
So the resolution, what to do. Well first thing I did was write a letter to him, and gave a copy to the apartment manager to keep in a file. I just wanted record of the events, and as well I felt she needed an explanation as she was there when he screamed at me during the party. The letter is basically exactly what I just wrote:

Wanted to get this in writing, as it's very simple and there's no need for miscommunication.

You asked for $10 from both Jess and I over 2 weeks before Ross's party, before the invitations even went out. I explained I didn't even know if we could attend yet.
You asked again a few days later if I could donate for the keg and I said I would not be able to attend. I had a very important meeting that night at 6:30, and wasn't sure when it'd be over. I thought everything was understood.
A few days before the party you knocked on my door and again asked for a donation. I was quite taken aback. I again stated that I wasn't attending the party and you stormed out. As you were about to close the door, I asked: "Didn't we talk about this a few weeks back?" You then said "Hey if you can't give a couple of bucks to support Ross who is going out to fight for our country I understand…" and SLAMMED my door.
That's completely unacceptable (soiree-thrower). Every aspect of how you've handled this has been completely out of line. To hound someone to chip in for a keg, for a party they AREN'T attending just doesn't make sense. Especially when your flyer says quite plainly: "Please contact (the apartment manager) to coordinate your dish, and we'll provide the beer, Thanks!" And to top it off by coming into my apartment with that attitude and then slam my door? Are you kidding? This isn't college, and you're not in a dorm. You need to have a little more respect for your surroundings.
And finally your actions at the party speak for themselves. I simply didn't want to shake your hand without some sort've apology. I constantly allow people to run all over me and then act like everything's alright, and I'm sick of it. At some point I need to stick up for myself and say "No, everything's not alright." That's all I did, and you completely lost it. Then when I left, you proceeded to tell everyone that I backed out on paying you!??! What are you trying to accomplish? (sigh) - I don't want to argue these points. I simply wrote this to explain my position, and to have some record of the events that happened. If you don't do it right away, things tend to get exaggerated.
If you'd like to respond, please do so with a letter. I will NOT open my door to you.
I have seen him since and there hasn't been a word. I fully expect that he'll never contact me and will speak badly of me to all who will listen. Which brings us to the real dilemma of this entire long-ass freakin' entry. My decisions and value system, and where it will lead me.
I now have 3 unnecessary enemies in this city. I say unnecessary because I could easily have looked the other way, kept up a front - and would still consider these people my friends. Instead, I decided to hold them responsible for their actions or in other words "hold a grudge". My reasoning for this is always the future. Everyday minor events with friends and acquaintances are insights to them as people. Take the DVD incident last year. DUDE LOST IT. Screaming at the top of his lungs about how ungrateful I was in asking for compensation for my DVD that he damaged. If you haven't read this entry, you must. Entry #126 - Only In LA... I could justify breaking off my ties, because I saw a side of this guy that was incredible - and I felt lucky to get the hell out while I could. What stressed me out about this guy was a mutual friend we had. She only saw the nicest, tamest, most kind person on the planet in him - AS I HAD just hours before the event - and everyone who ever meets him will only see that side too. I think I was one of the rare few to see him snap - so if it ever came down to "who's right" - I'd lose in a heartbeat. No one would believe my story at ALL. But no matter - this "enemy" was by all means MANDATORY in my life. Dude scared me.
Soiree-thrower as well was not the most stable of people in the very very few times I spent with him before all of this. In fact the first 3 times I talked to him he was a blithering drunk. His roomate was apparently the cause of this and once he left - the soiree -thrower seemed much cooler. We went jogging together and he was much more mellow. But it all came back with a vengeance in the past few days. So I guess I'm seeing a side of him that I probably don't want to be associated with - so I should chalk this up as a victory right? Not exactly.
I don't want enemies. There's NO NEED for enemies. I treat everyone with respect, I'm overly polite and helpful to a FAULT. Gladly edit video for people, or try to help them - it's my nature. I love the "potential" in people - and hope everyone does their best. I've ALWAYS felt that way. It's what I loved about this complex. So many great hard working, talented people. And we all root for each other. But the only way I could avoid this "enemy" was to completely allow him to walk all over me and say nothing. Act like everything was cool. Is this what I need to do to keep contacts in this city?
And that's where this all comes into focus. I'm not in Columbus, Ohio - where a story like this would be brushed off in a matter of seconds. I assume most of you are thinking this is the stupidest entry I've ever written. But I'm in LA. I now have 2 people in my complex alone who are happy to talk shit about me. Nevermind the 20-25 people at the party who even if 2 of them believed "soriee-thrower" - it still paints a mysteriously negative picture on me. It could very well lead to me losing opportunities.
Now what makes this a "life-changing" event in my mind is what's also whisked me out of depression, albeit temporarily: Belief. Faith. What had made me so depressed before is an absolute lack of belief in myself or the path I'm on. I believed in November, I just don't believe in ANYTHING right now. That really hasn't changed. I need some sort of positive event to do that. But what has changed is that I DO believe in my values, and I will not change them. I know that my reactions to "soiree-thrower" are dead-on. I have every right to be upset with how I was treated, and as well - I have every right to look at the stiuation as "him burning a bridge TO ME" and not the other way around. I am holding him responsible for his actions - JUST AS I EXPECT TO BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR MINE!!!
Can you imagine if I DID THIS?!! Went into someone's house, insulted them, and then slammed their door 'cause they wouldn't pay me for something? Something they told me TWICE BEFORE they wouldn't be attending, so there was no need to even ask them again!??! Then be UBER-PISSED that this person wouldn't shake my hand a few days later when I made NO ATTEMPT at an apology? Of course not. That's why this whole thing is absolutely STUPID. Of course I never speak to this guy again. Hell even if he apologizes to me - I would still proceed with MUCHO CAUTION. (I'm gettin' all spanish up in this mofo). I guess I just hate to know there are people out there who are slamming my name, and that the old addage "people will consider the source" won't necessarily ring true. This will tarnish my reputation to a degree.
But what a debate huh? Is this practice experiences for when I get famous, or what will my actions keep me from ever being famous. Wow...time will tell. It really is an LA thing though. I  imagine this shit back in Columbus and well...it's just easier to stick to your guns back east. Your neighbors aren't your future bosses and partners. And that may be the biggest part of all of this: I don't treat my neighbors as future bosses and parnters, I treat them as anybody else. The moment I start backing down because I'm worried about my own ass, it's the moment I need to re-evaluate things. If I let that dude yell at me and slam my door - and then act like everything was alright...I would HATE myself. It'll be interesting to see how many times I go through this before that starts to change...
And now for the lighter news: Michael Jordan's 39th birthday today. It was 10 months ago that I wrote Entry #119 asking him to stay in retirement. LOL. Now I'm more rabid about following the Wizards than the Bulls last 3 Championship runs combined. Hell those were "givens" back then...what's happening now with The Wizards is absolutely astonishing. Fighting for 3rd place in the East and Jordan leading the way. It's UNTHINKABLE. It's one of the most incredible sports stories ever told. Jim Gray actually said the word "championship" to Jordan at the All-Star break. No shit. It's really a "no-win" situation in that sense for MJ. At the start of the season, most people said getting that wretched team to the playoffs would be a bigger accomplishment than winning a championship. Yes, they were THAT bad (19-63 - WITH Juwon Howard who they traded). Now not only are they expected to get into the playoffs, they are expected to get past the first round. And if they take over the 3rd seed?!!? Man, it's just amazing. Soooooo inspirational.
And so far, 3 game winning shots for MJ. This one was Friday Night. Dude is THIRTY FREAKIN' NINE. Damn. If he doesn't win MVP this year it's a travesty. MVP is for most valuable player to any team in the league, and he should win the lifetime MVP award. He makes EVERYONE around him better. EVERYONE.
Alright, so it's over now. Incredibly long, but it was quite necessary. The saga continues, and I pray that there will be some good news to report soon. My depression, though semi-subsided, still lingers. Need some positive light NOW.
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