Putting my wand away

Since I decided to step away from my 80+ hour a week production job, I’ve had to spend a lot of time figuring out how to market myself and my skills. It’s actually incredibly difficult to translate what working as a Production Manager has really meant, though I gave a good swing at it in my previous posting, Whats it like working in reality tv. One thing that is a little bit easier to disseminate is the skills I picked up along the way. By far, I think my greatest skill lies in the thing that I see so often lacking in professions I encounter on a daily basis, and that is foresight.

The beauty/curse of working in an industry where people can toss around literally any idea in the world – “We need to figure out how to get cell service on that mountain in the middle of nowhere” or “We picture them on a deep sea diving date looking for actual pirate treasure, so let’s find a place like that and figure out how to shoot it,” is that I am usually the one in charge of the actual figuring. And boy, did I get good at it. I like to say that I can become an expert on just about anything in less than a day. The key element to making this magic happen is having no shame. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tracked people and businesses down from Google and said “I know this sounds a little bit crazy but I have no clue how to do this so can you help me or do you know somebody who can?” I was always incredibly surprised how helpful perfect strangers can be.

Of course, there were many times when due to the workload and limited access to the idea makers, you are only given pieces of instruction, usually in the form of a an incredibly ambiguous email. These are the moments when you feel like you have fallen off a cruise ship and despite standing right next to the rescue tubes, people keep throwing down pieces of wood, expecting you to be able to build your own boat. Early on in my career, I would flail – doing exactly what was being asked of me, even when I knew something about it seemed really off. Later on in my career, I figured out that the best way to stay ahead of these things was to set up shop on the nearest life raft the second I stepped foot onto the cruise ship.  I began to insert myself early on into matters that didn’t necessarily concern me yet, but this is where I would learn about who these idea makers were, what they hoped to accomplish, their timetables and their style of getting things done. That way, not only could I think inside and outside the box, I could see the whole piece of paper the box was drawn on. I loved being a few steps ahead, and just for a small amount of effort, it was a total win-win for everyone.

I once hired a woman who ran her own live event business to be my coordinator for a few weeks on a show. She told me she didn’t know how I managed to keep it all together because there was so much more going on then she would have ever anticipated. I was sort of shocked and delighted to hear this compliment coming from someone who has headed up large scale parades. I really thought that once I left LA, I would have a world of opportunity, I would be able to test the waters in a few different fields until I found something I liked.

One cross-country move and thousands of resume submissions later, I can tell you -this has not been the case. Only once I dulled my resume down to a more cookie cutter look and downplayed my television past did I even get a few calls. It’s sort of sad, but now I know that I must hide my wand – my ability to make magic and the thing I spent 10 grueling years working tirelessly to perfect. It feels like the death of an era for me. But hopefully, one day down the road I just might find the right reason to dust that wand off again.

What’s it like working in Reality TV?

I get asked this question a lot – many people have told me that they want to do my job, so I thought I would open a window to let those folks peek into what it’s really like to work on a reality TV show.

First thing to know is that every single reality show is different. Speak to any crew member and there will be three classifications to which a show can fall: Good, It’s ok and it’s a NIGHTMARE.  And the worst part is that much like life and a box of chocolates, you absolutely never know what you are going to get. You see, there is a myriad of elements that play out behind the scenes on a reality show that can make or break your experience. A few examples include; how diva or professional the cast can be – do they show up on time or 90 minutes late everyday, how dickish or cool are your coworkers – are they your drinking buddies at the hotel bar after work or do they hold a grudge against you b/c on shoot day 5 someone forgot to order a side of ranch with their lunch – Also, how many days straight have you been working (10, 20, 30 – yes, an American human can be required to work 30 days straight and in reality world if you are “salaried,” or exempt from overtime pay, you most certainly will) and finally, have you had the opportunity to sleep more than 5 hours a night because budget constraints have created a grueling schedule? You see, this is why it’s difficult to tell you what it’s like, I would do between 3-6 shows per year and each had their pros and cons. More often than not, I’d tell someone who asks – It’s fun, but exhausting. And that’s true.

I can’t stress enough how much the exhaustion part takes a toll on reality staff members. A long work week for most people is having to stay late a night or two during the week, or heaven forbid – coming into an office on a Saturday.  40-hour workweek for us is considered a part time job. I figured out there are exactly three kinds of days I’ve had during my 10 year career working on reality shows:

THE EASY DAY – 4% occurrence 

Typically, this type of day only applies to the first and last few days on a show. You wake up at 7:30am, in the office by 9:00am. Check three things off your to-do list, attend a few meetings and be physically present just in case anyone needs anything. You actually get to take a lunch. Leave office at 6:30pm. Take calls until 9pm.  Total work hours: 9

THE TYPICAL DAY – 63% occurrence 

Wake up at 5:30am, buy coffee and bagels on the way into the office and wait for the rest of the crew to arrive for their 7am call. Run around town all day supporting your crew through 12 hours of filming, return to the office for wrap out and prepare for the next day. 50% of the time you have time to eat your lunch while working. Leave the office at 9:00pm. Total work hours: 15

THE WORST DAY(S) OF YOUR LIFE – 33% occurrence

Wake up at 5am – not that you actually slept thanks to crippling anxiety. There is a major event coming up in the next 48 hours and everything has to be booked by the end of business that day.  You’ve sent a dozen emails and texts to department heads hoping people will make decisions – WHY O WHY in the world is everyone ignoring you like you’re patient zero?!? It’s 6am, you are in the office alone, might as well use this time to restock the copier and crafty tables. 7am, you get the crew out the door, you will be chained to your desk, so they nominate the assistant coordinator to go in your place on set for the day. You wait at your desk – wonder when the decision makers will arrive while acid in your stomach tears a slow hole. 9am, still not here, but it’s a perfectly fine hour to take all those above-mentioned emails and replay all with one word, “bump” and a smiley face. 8 minutes later, the power-people walk through the door. You try to act casual with a bunch of “good mornings and coffee is extra delicious today,” and then you immediately drop your real agenda, “did you see my email yet? Oh, no? Well just a reminder we only have until x o’clock and it’s just me to do it all, so the sooner the better.” They assure you will be the first to know. And then you wait. You skip lunch, convinced the moment you step out of the office they will pull the trigger. It’s 2pm, you start calling vendors put on your sexiest damsel in distress voice and plead – please.. please, if we place the order at closing time can you have someone stay late to work on it? This works somehow. It’s 4 o’clock, boss man emerges from the office – “Do it!” he tells you and you hit the phones like a 1940’s switchboard operator. You lock vendors until 8pm when the crew returns, then you wrap them out and do timecards. It’s 9:00pm, the creative teams email you something they need 1000 color copies of, also, they want to know  if you can have a banner made and ready for on-screen at 9am. You spend the next 45 minutes making calls – the person at the nearest 24 hour Kinkos laughs at you, however, you find another Kinkos 39 miles away that can do it, and your Line Producer approves the cost of a banner twice the size requested because “it should pop” but won’t let you order the copies from Kinkos because there is a “perfectly good one-sheet color printer at the the office that the show already sunk $58 dollars into.” So, you send the one person who was helping you make the 1000 copies off to middle-earth to await the banner. After beating up the printer a dozen times for jamming, you run out of color ink and make a trip at midnight to Walgreens – you will do a dance like you’ve just won the Superbowl when you find out they do have the correct ink in stock. It’s 1:30am, the PA finally returns with the banner, you close down the office and count on one hand the hours until you have to be awake again. You go to your hotel, pat yourself on the back for saving the entire show and do a fully-clothed belly flop onto your bed.  Total work hours: 19.5

As you can see, being this kind of productive is one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences. I’d say that if you can hang in those types of situations, you will be able to work with some of the most ambitious people on the planet. I never understood why it takes three years to build an overpass, if I put my art guys on it, we’d have it up in three weeks.  Bottom line, in reality tv, you are making magic happen every day.

Memory Lane: That time I hung out with John Mayer and that guy from Heroes

One thing I always loved about living in LA is that even on a supposedly mundane night, the most unbelievable events can unfold around you. Whether it’s Tara Reid puking on your shoes at the Henson lot’s private Halloween extravaganza, or constantly turning around to see Travis Barker  trailing you in so many different locations that you start to believe perhaps he’s stalking you. But one of my most favorite stories I love to regale when I am entertaining a group of people is of the night I went to hang out with my friend and his band at the Three Clubs in Hollywood.

It was right before the banks nearly broke America, around 2007, and I was working as a Coordinator for a tiny production company that had one well-known show. There was an attempt to do a spin-off and as usual, I was recruited midway through when things weren’t going as smooth as they should. I’m happy to say the people I was working with were fantastic humans and it was probably one of only a few shows I’ve ever worked on where I felt truly needed and in turn, greatly appreciated. You’d be surprised how understaffed reality shows are compared to scripted, each person has to take on 4-5 full time jobs, and you are often run into the ground working 7 days a week, 16-hour days. The worst thing for me was never the schedule, though now that I am older I will not allow a job to consume my life, but in these scenarios, a lot of superiors who are never physically present tend to harp on the one or two things that didn’t go well and completely ignore the fact you sacrificed months of food and sleep to manifest thousands of positive and perfectly executed tasks. The silver lining in this unrelenting, intense pressure/sleep-deprivation/isolation type of situation, is that you tend to become very close with that small group of people with you in the field and often for the duration of the run of a show, these people become your closest friends. And that is how I became a fleeting friend of former Bachelor, Bob Guiney.

Unlike some other semi-celebs I’ve known, Bob is one cool dude. He’s endlessly positive, super down-to-earth and best of all, from my home state of Michigan.  I didn’t really know much about him at the time because I had been sucked in by the reality tv production vortex for a few years already, and rarely had a moment to myself to catch up on trivial things like current events. One day, after the show was in the can, Bob invited a bunch of the crew out to see him perform with his band. Since I had a friend in town and was looking for fun stuff to do, this seemed like the perfect LA experience to show to an out-of-towner.

We showed up fashionably late, partially on purpose and partially because I spent 30 minutes looking for parking. Since I was in my early 20’s and extremely underpaid, I adamantly refused to pay $10 to park anywhere ever. I have no idea how many songs deep the band was before we arrived, but the performance space they were in was tiny, it looked like a banquet area in the back of restaurant with a small stage only a foot or so off of the ground. The crowd was light, so it didn’t take long for me to scan the room and see that nobody else I knew came. My focus shifted to the band, who actually sounded pretty awesome, and I was a little shocked when I began to realize that everyone up there was famous. James Denton from Desperate Housewives on bass, Greg Grunberg from Heroes played the drums and that House guy from House MD strummed his guitar. Holy crap, my semi-famous friend is in a band with his super famous friends – how cool is that? My girlfriend suggested we move to the front and in-between songs, and we did just that. Not one second after seizing our new spots, Bob saw me, shouted hi and gave me a high five – it was such a rock star moment.

A few songs later, a special guest took to the mini-stage and wailed on the guitar while crooning with the voice of a much older man. It was none other than John Mayer. Though, I knew of John and his music I wasn’t really a fan until that night. The handful of pop song that streamed the airwaves during the previous few years gave no hint at the profound talent and deep emotional connection Mayer has with music itself. He stayed for about 3 or 4 songs and I believe he only played one of his own, it was an awesome sight.  Shortly after, the gig was over, the lights came up and everyone was getting kicked out. Bob told us we could stick around and like the good little production solider I was, I volunteered me and my friend to help Greg pack up his drum kit and load it into his SUV. He didn’t drink, so he wasn’t going to stick around, but he was grateful for the help, so my friend ended up getting a picture with him (o-o-towners, am i right?!).

When we got back in I made a beeline for the bathroom but some angry looking bouncer told me if I crossed over this invisible line he was guarding, I wouldn’t be able to come back. I whined about having to pee but he just shrugged his shoulders. I was just about to turn around when a man emerged from the packed crowd on the other side of the invisible line and was physically stopped by another protector of the line. It was John Mayer, he was just performing and needed to get back there, he explained politely. “You’re not getting through” the a-hole bouncer/UTI proponent quipped while holding out his meaty arms. I couldn’t believe what was going on and in that moment of intoxication I decided to step in, “hey guys, you do know that is John Mayer, right?” I asked to blank stares. I could see they weren’t getting it, so I started to croak out a few lines from some of his greatest hits, Your Body is a Wonderland, and Daughters – I even scrunched up my face to look like his when he sings, all while failing miserably to actually know the words to his songs. Eventually, when I opened up my squinted eyes, John seemed to be holding back a laugh and brought his hands together in front of his chest and told me “Please… it’s ok, just go get someone from the band.” Did John Mayer just beg me to stop singing his songs out loud? Um, yep – ’cause I’m a f*cking rockstar.

John made his way back with the help of the spitfire female in the band and me and my friend spent the next hour hanging out with these guys doing shots of whiskey and trying to act like rubbing elbows with celebs happens to us all of the time. Eventually, even we all got kicked out, said our goodbyes, and made the half mile trek back to where I had parked the car. Luckily, my girlfriend didn’t drink much so I slid into the passenger seat, clunked the seat back to chillax mode and asked”Did that all really just happen?”

“Hell yeah, it did!” she confirmed.

Better than TV: my obsession with the Serial podcast and the case against Adnan Syed

One thing that I have learned as a result of launching this website is that aside from a recent reference link snafu that got me a ton of hits from Brazil, I am pretty much just talking to myself here most of the time. In that dancing-with-myself kind of spirit, I am going to post my thoughts on some podcasts I recently listened to. Besides sharing with the world how I get my nerd on, you will come to see that I probably have way too much time on my hands. Now, I know I am coming into this particular podcast party way late in the game, but since this story continues to develop and there is still a large divide of opinion among the internet world, I think it’s all still relevant.

For those who many not know, Serial season 1 featured a thrilling look at the convoluted conviction of Baltimore resident Adnan Syed in the 1999 murder of 17-year-old ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee. Show producer and host Sarah Koenig takes you on a journey that unfolds so slowly and skilled, you will feel like you are in the grasp of a fine Fincher film. Everything you thought you would think turns around on itself and you’ll find your inner dialogue splitting into halves and arguing over what to believe. If you have not yet listened to Serial – STOP – and download it now on iTunes for free. My particular theory will be best digested by those who are familiar with the case. I’d hate to use the word spoiler, because this is a real life murder of a real person and I don’t want to cheapen the loss of life, but for a lack of a better word I don’t want to spoil your Serial experience.

Beyond listening to the full Serial series, I also took in most of the Undisclosed podcast, which I would not recommend because besides being painfully biased and funded by the Free Adnan Trust, it’s defense lawyer perspective narration frequently turns into sloppy ramblings that are hard to follow and often contradicts it’s own points without being able to see the irony. Undisclosed does uncover a few really interesting and important facts that were discovered after the conclusion of Serial, but overall these didn’t really sway my opinion and working theory – as a matter of fact, I think they helped solidify it. So, if you can stomach a drawn-out everyone is out to get us type conspiracy theory drivel, then by all means, check Undisclosed out.

One last super important thing that I will reference is the only interview that Jay Wilds, the star witness and conviction linchpin, did since the trial ended and the Serial obsession began. This three part interview can be found on The Intercept’s website.

*Here we go*

I fully believe that the states timeline of the murder can be easily disproven, but despite this Adnan is 100% guilty. I must say that I was a little bit disappointed in the final episode because Koenig took the easy way out by not giving a more definitive conclusion than – I think he is wrongfully convicted but, I can’t say he is innocent.

Just say the guy is  G U I L T Y.

I was really on the fence about what I thought until the episode where Koenig went to visit Jay and there was something about the way she described her interaction with him and the types of things he said. Jay was surprised at the visit – not something I would think would be typical of a person who had completely fabricated a story about seeing his friend bury a body – I tend to think if that were the case you’d spend the rest of your life waiting for the other shoe to drop because you’d know there’s someone behind bars with nothing but time on their hands. Secondly, Jay made a comment about Adnan still not being able to admit committing the murder to himself.  All of a sudden, things began to click in my head and I realized Adnan likely suffers from some sort of Borderline Personality Disorder or Narcissism, which would explain why people close to him were in disbelief that such a good, upbeat and popular guy could commit such an act. This would also explain why a theoretically guilty Adnan would think he was smarter than the cops, Jay would just do whatever he told him to do, and possibly be the motive for killing Hae (ie. you think someone lame like you can break up with someone awesome like me? I’ll show you how little you are).

The again, I doubt we will ever know the full motive for exactly why Adnan killed Hae. One motive I think we can put together that kept coming up and creating doubt was why Jay would lie so much. I think there are a myriad of valid reasons, many of which Jay points out in the Intercept interview (which I totally buy as the closest a real recount we will ever get to know). But here are my 4 top assessments:

  1. He was afraid of being pinned for the murder – I have to think that the first reaction when being taken in by the police for questioning of a murder is to make sure you don’t say anything that can get you in trouble or make you a suspect. I think for some people it’s like a physical defense mechanism to lie and misdirect to try to save themselves and much of the conflicting information provided by Jenn and Jay in the initial recordings could be explained by this.
  2. He will say anything to make sure the crazy guy he knows KILLS people is taken behind bars as fast as possible – I don’t doubt for one second that there was fear every time Jay saw Adnan after January 13th. However, we know that Jay is a drug dealer and his image comes off as more gangster-like than it actually is. I imagine this was a serious crux in his life where we was leaning between two worlds, one where he is all in and murder becomes apart of his life and the other where his own morality takes over and he knows he will lose his lifestyle, the drugs, money, etc. If you topple into the latter and spill it all, you may be worried about sharing the streets with someone who could kill you. This in no way excuses the lazy policework done in Baltimore and I do believe there was a lot of coaching thrown at Jay, I am just saying that this explains WHY he would be willing to mold his story to match any other evidence.
  3. He wanted to protect his family / didn’t want to go down for selling drugs during the 90’s war on drugs era / he was afraid of drug partner retaliation for being a snitch – refer to the Intercept interview.
  4. He was a total POTHEAD – I haven’t really seen anyone talking about the fact we know in ’99 Jay is the kind of guy who smokes multiple blunts per day and seems to always be high. If you’ve ever known a person who chronically uses copious amounts of marijuana, then you know their memory can be completely useless at times.

Ok, so now we can all stop saying “well why is he lying!”

One of the more useful things that Undisclosed brought up is that there was no wrestling match the day Hae was killed. We have the last two people who saw Hae both explaining that she was going to be back at school later for a wrestling match,  I think the best way to explain this is by using something Undisclosed tries to lean on heavily to help prove Adnan’s innocence – memory is bad. I think both people are mistaken about the which day they are recalling – there was no french fry stop, there was no chat about scoring a match on January 13th – and if that’s the case, it actually makes it easier to point a finger in Adnan’s direction because the lady running the concession stand can no longer claim there was nobody else in Hae’s car after school. This also widens the gap of time between 2:15pm when school let out and 3:15pm when Hae was a no show picking up her cousin. Maybe it’s that incoming call at 3:15pm that is the Adnan come pick me up from Best Buy and not at 2:36pm. Maybe Asia was totally mistaken about what day she saw Adnan after school.

If we take Jay’s Intercept interview as truth and we know it’s after midnight when Jay sees Hae’s body at the trunk pop, then that would explain why the blood settled before burial and why Jay was so dodgy about what kind of tools they used and where they came from (his grandmother’s house). Also, let’s throw out the cell phone records and tower data just like the defense wants and even then it seems to make a stronger case against Adnan.

I don’t claim to know exactly how it all went down and I haven’t taken the time myself to review every single piece of evidence (because, I sometimes have a life), but I am pretty confident in my personal thoughts on this. I think it’s a downright shame that the Baltimore Police Department didn’t put enough effort into this case. Being a believer in Adnan’s guilt, I wish they would have done something more so there would be no room for debate. I can’t help but feel bad for those who have put forth a tremendous amount of effort and money trying to free a murderer.

Just my 2¢: Comedy Central straps in for a rough ride

It was recently announced that Trevor Noah will be taking Jon Stewart’s spot as host of “The Daily Show” later this year. Trevor is a 31-year-old comedian from South Africa and has been a correspondent on the show three times. I can remember one of them specifically and I recalled feeling at the end of the segment that Trevor came off a bit haughty. Something about his takeover rubs me the wrong way and I wanted to figure out the root of that emotion. Unlike others, I wasn’t bothered by any of the tweets he came under fire for, because I think as a whole we have become unfairly hypersensitive about every little thing, and I’m also a big defender of comedy not having limits. Perhaps it is that in the episode I saw, Trevor’s delivery was at times a poor, stammering mess and yet he opted to wear a pristine three-piece suit that costs more than any item of clothing I will ever own, it was so inauthentic.  It was one of the few times the whole thing felt like someone just playing a smart guy role – and doing a bad job at it.  And, even though Trevor’s South African accent is truly beautiful, when used to deliver words that were bashing the American currency system, it came off totally condescending. All in, I think this guy couldn’t be any less relatable to the average Joe if he tried.

In all fairness, anyone coming into the seat has some huge shoes to fill. Jon Stewart has become the voice of the Everyman who has been able to break down his vast knowledge of the political underbelly in a way just about anyone can understand. He is unafraid to call it like he see’s it, and has become such a force that media outlets and Politician’s alike feel the need to respond to him. You know you are doing something right when the big dogs take up network airtime to address the rantings of some guy from New Jersey and his cable show.

Trevor Noah has no known political background and isn’t even from this country and yet he is now the one who will be calling out not only us Americans, but the entire system and all the corrupt players. Given the lack of credentials, I can’t imagine anyone of important merit is going to feel compelled to respond to him, and that will be a regrettable and possibly tanking loss for the show to take.

At the end of the day, if Comedy Central was going to hire a comedian to read the cue cards, I think they’ve made a big mistake by not hiring from the internal pool of established talent already on the show; Jason Jones, Samantha Bee, Aasif Mandvi, Al Madrigal. Any one of those familiar faces could get the job done and they already have the viewers trust.

Making such a risky move the same year that Comedy Central lost “The Colbert Report” has left me scratching my head. I have loved “The Daily Show” for years and I really do hope there is some secret sauce to this whole thing and I’m proven wrong. I guess that only time will tell.

Just my 2¢


What do you think? Are you excited to see Trevor take over The Daily Show? Who would have been your top pick to replace Jon Stewart? Be sure to let me know in the comments section.

Current Events: I was Amanda Knox

I was really excited when the announcement was made on Friday that Amanda Knox was once again exonerated by the Italian courts for the murder of one of her college housemates, Meredith Kercher. The story was buried behind an endless looping of coverage of the Germanwings airline crash in France so it didn’t get much play and I thought I would write a little about it now.

In 2007, brutally murdered college student, Meredith Kercher was found inside her house by one of her three roommates, Amanda Knox and her boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito. Quickly and without any physical evidence, the italian prosecutor pointed a finger and Knox and her boyfriend. With the help of the media, Amanda Knox was condemned for a series of seemingly callous actions like taking a few pecks from her boyfriend while police searched her house and doing a cartwheel at the police station. Back in 2007, I was 22, and didn’t care about the news too much. Don’t get me wrong, I gobbled up the occasional news headline for conversational pieces, but couldn’t stay focused enough to actually digest a story. I, like the rest of the world looked at the Amanda Knox story and thought to myself that she must have done it and I hope she fried. About the time I outgrew my 20’s selfish phase (or did I ever? Still figuring that out), I began to find crime drama stories fascinating. Perhaps it was the mask of invincibility that faded off of me that lead me to indulging in a genre that is actually quite terrifying.

Even though I had paid attention to this story over several mediums, it was a 2013 episode of 20/20 that broke down the entire Amanda Knox story that left me jaw dropped. Seeing the big picture of the entire case there was no way this girl could have committed this murder. To start, there’s startling proof that the prosecutor, who looks like he rose from the grave specifically to take on this case, fluffed up a sexy headline grabbing story of a satanic sex party gone wrong just to advance his legacy. Secondly, there is photographic evidence of sloppy police work, unlogged police evidence and a strong case for tampering. Third, they have DNA and a confession of the actual person who killed Meredith but decided to cut him a sweetheart deal to serve just 16 years IF he confessed that Amanda and her BF were involved as well. And with that, Amanda was convicted of murder and served a long and painful 2 years inside an Italian prison until one of her appeals finally overturned the corrupt conviction. The girl got hosed and yet the hate directed at her on the streets of Italy was thick enough to cut with a knife.

Sure, it seems hard to explain the strange and emotionally distant behaviors of Knox at the time of the murder, but when I began to take into account the actual circumstances of her life at that moment, the picture made total sense. Amanda was a 20 years old kid from Seattle going to school abroad. It was by all accounts, her first taste of freedom and she was lucky enough to be living it in a country that offered her a range of experiences she would have never been able to find back home. Amanda had only known Meredith and moved into the house five weeks prior to her death and it seems with their busy schedules, they didn’t know each other all that well except for some friendly banter and the occasional bickering about matters such as cleanliness that roommates so often have. Meredith was a cute girl, I’d say far cuter than Amanda and so it’s not hard for me to relate to my inner 20 year old and think, gee I get a lot more attention when I am out solo over being on the prowl with a cuter and more outgoing girl my own age, so that makes it seem totally plausible that in 5 weeks neither took the time to develop any strong bonds. In addition, Amanda was in a brand new relationship with a boy and they were in that obsessed with each other phase, so I doubt she has much time to throw around at things like making girlfriends when her world was dominated by overwhelming first love.

Could I see 20 year old me smooching my love while he comforts me during a time of need? Yes. Could I see myself after a 18 hour day stretching my body and acting in a careless manner inside a police station? Yeah, especially if I had nothing to do with the murder and didn’t really know or care too much about the girl in question. After all, I am 20, I am selfish, my number one priority is to get back to drinking legally, making out with my boyfriend and learning Italian. Not to say that it isn’t a tragedy, it is. But we were all 20 once and being selfish and stupid goes along with the territory. For a lot of people, especially those who grew up in a household without it, empathy is something that grows and improves over a long period of time. And for the simple reason that she was lacking it, Amanda Knox lost her innocence and the best years of her life. It’s scary to think how quickly a good person’s life can derail.

It was actually considered a long shot for the Italian High Court to reach a final decision in Amanda’s favor, and after all she has been thorough by being wrongfully convicted twice, it’s nice to think there is always hope, even in situations where injustice has run amuck. I know she will breathe a little easier each night and day, just as she should.

What do you think about the Amanda Knox case? Post your thoughts in the comments section.