Part of all spiritual quests require cleaning - for the mind can only ever be as clear as the environment it lives in ... etc. etc. I'm already a minimalist having given up everything I owned in 2010 - but even minimalists accumulate more shit and have to keep themselves in check to make sure all of the clutter is gone.
Yesterday, I cleaned the beejepers out of my room.
I wanted to go through everything and anything to clear it out, toss it, or donate it. Nothing was safe!!!
I've had this group of CDs for YEARS and never even thought about going through them. Yesterday, however, being so fearless in my inventory search - I decided that I was going to figure out what the hell was on those discs anyway.
To my GREAT surprise, it was some pretty old shit (dating back to even high school!).
See, in 2007 I lost everything I owned in a massive cockroach infestation. I very literally don't HAVE anything old or ANYTHING in my life that predates the summer of 2007. The inspector told me I couldn't remove anything with a crack, hole, or crevice - but I could keep things that were sealed tightly in containers and what not ... these CDs fell into that category.
I started going through the albums ... first up were pics from when I was an extra in an Avril Lavigne music video ...
I've always been the weird friend that consistently took pictures of everything and everyone at events - but pre 2005 I had no place to put things. Sure, I had a picturetrail account, and a few others - but I didn't get onto Facebook until 2007, and my Myspace account I created in 2005 ... and there was no way in HELL any of these pics were going to go on my Myspace page.
Then I kept digging ... and kept digging ...
Whoops. How did that get in there?
This was the townhouse I lived in in Culver city (before I moved in with Noah), and that's the curio cabinet I won on The Price is Right!
Spank you very much Bob! Every 20 year old needs a curio cabinet in their apartment!
Then I kept going through CD after CD and somewhere around 2004, I found these ...
These were taken at the Spiderman 2 Premiere party on the Santa Monica Pier. How did I get these pictures you may ask? Oh, because my roomie and I crashed it.
Gather round ... I'll tell you all a story ...
First up, here's the song that goes with this post ...
I'm sure as most of you know from reading this site - the word "no" is NOT in my vocabulary. Part of what makes me a nerd is being HELLA good at breaking situations down SUPER fast, on my feet, and figuring out ways to execute. I'm CRAAZZZYYYYYYYYY good at it, and in times like this - it comes in VERY handy.
So, in April of 2004 I moved to LA. I drove cross country for three days with my dad in my white Cavalier convertible ...
... and landed in an apartment I found on Craiglist sharing a bedroom for $400 a month, with only $300 to my name.
The best thing about being young is that you have no concept of failure. Looking back now, even going that at 19 was INCREDIBLY bold, but I very literally was only looking at the fact that my entire life I wanted to live in California, so why the hell not go and do it!!
I got here, bonded with the chickadee that I shared the room with (a nice plus since you're living LITERALLY on top of each other), and one night when she came home from work, she said why not go to Santa Monica!! Have you ever been to the pier?
The pier? I asked. What's that?
Let's go! she said then grabbing her keys and wallet.
We piled into her little car and headed over to Santa Monica (which is only about a 15 minute drive on the 10 from Culver City).
The second we got to Santa Monica I felt like I was transported into another world. Culver City (at that time) was kinda dumpy ... I was happy because hey, that was my dump!! ... but Santa Monica is just. plain. beautiful.
We then park the car, and head over to the pier.
Everything was lit up, and there were a TON of people taking pictures of people walking in.
Having never been to the pier before, nor even being in LA longer than a few weeks - I had no idea that anything was out of the ordinary ... but my roomie piped up and said, I wonder what's going on?
As we got closer we could see the banners, and they were the Spiderman 2 posters.
OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG!! I scream!!
This MUST be for the Spiderman 2 premiere. It's coming out soon!!
As we got closer and the signs became more clear, it had appeared that I was right.
How cool, said my roommate ready to turn around and head back home since it was obvious that the pier was closed for a private event.
We should try to go in, I say!
What are you nuts? You can't go into these things ... you need passes.
I've crashed things before though, I say referring back to when I was 17 and crashed the SNL afterparty in an effort to meet Michael Schur.
Yeah, but Jen, you were lucky she said. You told me that story, and that woman just happened to be walking in ... you can't do it again; luck doesn't strike twice.
YES IT DOES!! I screamed back!! You MAKE your on luck. Luck is opportunity meeting preparation - not a one off, or a blue light special.
She rolled her eyes, and I then said - fine! Gimme 10 minutes. If I can't do this in 10 minutes, we can go.
How could anyone argue with that, she thought, FINE JEN!!! 10 minutes.
We then bypassed the entrance area, where all the press was, and clearly a SHIT TON of security.
I might have been able to literally walk into the front door of the SNL after party, but after analyzing the door, and realizing the fact that everyone had this fancy pants Spiderman 2 pass - the odds this time of that working out did not look good.
<tangent> You also never ... EVER want to make a scene when you're about to crash something. You have to fall FREAKISHLY below the radar and move with PURPOSE!! Guards are looking for people like you and the more they see you "hanging around" or "wandering" the less likely you are going to be able to crash. </tangent>
We continued walking down the pier and found a security guard near the back entrance standing ... looking all alone.
Hi new friend, I say running up to him. (No, like literally - that is what I said.)
My name is Jen Friel, and this is my roomie. We were wondering if we could get a pass to get into the premiere? Do you have any extras or know someone we can get one from?
The guard then stared back at me sincerely wondering if I was that dumb. Who marches RIGHT UP TO SOMEONE asking for a pass to one of the most EXCLUSIVE premiere parties of that summer.
Are you affiliated with the film, he asks?
No, I say. We're just fans, and I just moved here and would LOVE more than anything to get into the party.
He smiles back at me thinking this chick is either 1) completely nuts or 2) completely honest.
I continue to bat my blue eyes and smile ....
You girls are cute, he said. Come back in a half hour. Let the press line die down, and come back and find me.
DONE!!! I said shaking his hand, and thanking him.
LET'S GO!! I screamed back to my roommate - we have to get changed and get back here.
We FLLEEWWWWW back to Culver city, popped on some fresh threads, and then got BACK in the car to go back to the pier.
Looking spiffier than a penny, I rocked a sheer black top, and red plaid skirt with my highest of heels. It definitely didn't scream "LA" - it without a doubt screamed "fresh off the boat" but I didn't care ... I WAS fresh off the boat.
As we approached the pier though, my heart started to sink a little at the reality of the situation. OMG! I thought, what if he's not there. People go on breaks, switch shifts ... things HAPPEN. How do I know he wasn't just brushing me off and this is all BS.
I hid my fear from my roommate and I kept reassuring her that we were doing the right thing, and that this was TOTALLY going to work out.
Did I know that for sure?? ABSOFREAKINGLUTELY not - but again, being so young and dumb ... why WOULDN'T things work out?
We walk past the press line, and down the pier by where our security guard friend was standing.
My heart raced .... please be there .... please be there ... please be there ... this has the potential to be the GREATEST night of my life ... please let this happen ....
We walk up ... I do see someone standing there, but can't make him out just yet.
Then the lights from the premiere hit his face, and I see that YES YES YES!! IT'S HIM!!!!!! OUR GUY!!!
Hi ladies, he says handing us passes and opening the gate for us.
I look back and smile saying, thank you so much for this. This is ABSOLUTELY making my life right now.
Well done, he said. Being that honest, you deserve it.
<tangent> It was interesting, I don't know what POSSESSED me to be honest and not just try to sneak in myself - but there was something about the guard. I could tell he was either a father or big brother ... and I know if ANYONE had gone up to my dad or my older brother and said that, he prolly would have caved. Again, you have to stay in the moment of situations like that and analyze them. I KNEEWWWW there was no going through the front door, but when I saw him - and sized him up, everything else just came naturally. </tangent>
Well done, he said. Being that honest, you deserve it.
We walk into the premiere party and I can barely contain myself JUMPING up and down with the roomie.
OMG OMG OMG!! We did it!! We did it!! We did it!! Luck really IS opportunity meeting preparation. WOW WOW WOW!!!
We then had the absolute TIME.OF.OUR.LIVES.
The entire pier (which is filled with games, and rides) was shut down and all free - so we got to chuck beanie babies at people in the bumper cars with Maroon 5, and I even got to meet Jamie Foxx (who btw was not the nicest person).
I grew up a MASSIVE In Living Color fan ... so I ran right up to him going OMG OMG OMG OMG!! It's Jamie FOXX from IN LIVING COLOR!!
I begged for a picture, and this was that moment.
He was kind of an ass about it, and no one really paid a lot of attention to him that night.
Who knew a few months later he would star in this little movie called Ray ...
I'm pretty sure that did more than okay at the box office.
But there ya have it nerds! I had the TIME OF MY LIFE that night, and it was all because I decided to show up for life, and recognize that luck TRULY IS opportunity meeting preparation. Had I listened to my roomie we would have just turned around and gone home. Things don't just "happen" to you - you have to GO AND GET THEM!!!! Life will only ever meet your expectations of it.
It's hilarious though how much all of this would become the major theme to my life all these years later. Had I not crashed this AND the SNL party, who knows if I would have been that confident in crashing the 2010 Grammys - where I had to go through SIX checkpoints.
THAT SHIT CRAY!!
Now excuse please, but I have to get ready to go and try on some fancy pants dresses for the Oscar shiznat I am doing this week. I'm so happy I get invited places now ... it makes everything SO much easier.