Just Another Manic Monday

According to scientists, yesterday was the most depressing day of the year.

With the remarkably crappy weather and with just enough time past the holidays, during which New Year's resolutions are thrown out the window, January 22 was the day when it hit us - We have an entire year ahead of us to screw things up, a brand new calendar to fill with unnecessary worries and unexpected mistakes.

I don't make my resolutions known. I've learned to keep them to myself, and I always suggest others do the same. If you're fat, people already know you're going to try to avoid Krispy Kremes for breakfast. If you're a smoker, don't show off the nicotine patches like they're badges of honor. If you keep your resolutions a secret, only you will know when you've broken them. You'll just set yourself up for disappointment when you later reach for that carton of Marlboros or order an Original Glazed. No one else but you will know you're weak.

Maybe this is why Angelina looked so bothered during last week's Golden Globes telecast. Perhaps the gloom hit her early. Either that, or she was wearing a bad thong that was riding up her good shepherd. Reese, on the other hand, certainly didn't look like she just received news that one of her African adoptees had been eaten by a jaguar. She shined in that yellow number, smiling like a woman should after clipping off her equally pretty, albeit less successful husband.

I feel that with every ounce of gloom, there is room for some sunshine to be let in. With that philosophy in mind, I am imagining my life now as an independent film currently being screened at Sundance...

My story is being played on the big screen, shot on Sony HD Cam of course, a second-coming-of-age film worthy of a bidding war between the Weinsteins and the fellows over at Lionsgate. Tickets have been sold out because the buzz is that big. Even stars like Ryan Reynolds and Laura Linney are turned away at the door because the theater had filled to capacity in a mere ten minutes. Notable indie directors and their respective partners/financiers have taken up a middle row, flipping through their programs and reading up on the history of how this masterwork came to be.

My director, reading from a few index cards, spouts a few words about the film before the curtain parts. The weather is bitingly frigid outside, but inside, the venue is hot with anticipation. The lights dim, the reel spins, and everyone is introduced to the characters who populate my life story.

Without being overly post-ironic and pretentious, the film is an honest portrayal of struggling twentysomethings who manage to find light at the end of a long existential tunnel. The tone is sincere, the cinematography rivaling that of any war movie. There are the obligatory tears and inevitable laughter. Flames of inspiration are lit within the heart of every audience member. Someone whispers, "Little Miss Who?"

Once the closing credits scroll, the applause is deafening, the standing ovation overwhelming. A journalist from "Entertainment Weekly" runs over to me and asks for a few words on my experience here in Park City, Utah. I am oblivious to the pats on the back and the hands that shake mine as we're escorted out of the theater and into a black SUV that will drive us a few blocks down Main Street to the afterparty. It is indeed a whirlwind as I hear my name shouted over the exiting crowd. Names I've looked up to and idolized greet me at every turn...


I snap back to reality, interrupted by an incoming e-mail on Outlook. I look at the Sundance program that's open on my desk, one of the little souvenirs my bosses brought back with them. It sits next to the Veronica Mars spec script I have just finished writing and sent off to a friend of a friend who works at Sony Television. This is me: a speck of algae in a vast ocean of scribes who have submitted their work to the same office where, I'm sure, the pile of Passes towers considerably over the stack of Maybes/Yes's.

According to scientists, yesterday was the most depressing day of the year.

I beg to differ; yesterday was just another day to dream and work towards the attainable.

H.P.M.

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