Friday, November 28, 2014

Whassup, France? UPDATED

In the last twenty-four hours, you've visited my page more than Any. Other. Country. In fact, in the last twenty-four hours, you've probably exceeded page visits in the same amount of time for any one country other than the U.S., and I probably only get this many "hits" from the U.S. in twenty-four hours when I post something "important" (A Difficult Topic or A Sadiversary, for example).

So what's the sitch? I don't think I know anyone who resides in France, and the only Francophile I know personally is my brother, who lives in Kentucky, USA. I appreciate that you're reading me so much, but you can also comment, if there's ever anything you wish to say. Which kinda begs the question (okay, questionS) for everyone out there (not just the Fine French Folk reading me of late):

How many blogs do you read, are they mostly similar or vastly different, and how often do you find yourself interacting with the writer?

UPDATE: since posting this earlier this morning, I've gotten EVEN MORE hits from France, so I wanted to look back at the last month, and give you, my readers, a glimpse into what makes me giggle, so here's the stats for the past thirty days:

Thursday, November 27, 2014


It's been nearly a year since I started blogging, and A LOT has happened in the last year.
THANK YOU for keeping tabs with me.

Today, I do not have to go to work. I gave up my restaurant shift to a coworker early this week. She's grateful for the shift, and I'm grateful to be able to putter around here.

I didn't really sleep in - no, scratch that - I didn't sleep in at all, as I had planned. I was up at 7, trying to catch up on some blogs that I follow while everything was quiet. When Stephen got up, I had a bowl of cereal and one cuppa joe, and then I went back to bed, so that he could write in the quiet as well.

Didn't sleep right away, but I DID sleep. Heard him turn on the television; rubbed Cocoa's belly; got up to shower. Did a little more onlining, found a recipe for "Thanksgiving Dinner Ubiquitous Green Bean Casserole" that I could alter from its already-not-including-mushroom-soup alteration, and gave it a try.  Made a small batch, to test, to see what I'd need to tweak, before making the larger, servable batch for the "Late Afternoon/Early Evening Thanksgiving Dinner and Jello Shots" party we'll be attending 6-ish.  Stephen watched as much of his Cowboys game as he could stand (they're wearing their dark uniforms, even though they're the home team, and that clearly makes a difference in how they play, duh).

Have taste-tested the first batch and know what additional tweaks I need to make to "my" recipe. The biggest problem is that I did not measure anything the first time around. When did my cooking become so adventurous?

Start with a little of the first two
& add the broth as needed
Fire it up, and whisk away!
Add a coupla heapin' Tbsps
Once it's thick (maybe not THIS thick),
create a layer in the bottom of your pan
Tha's right - add BACON
Green beans, duh! (I use frozen)
Covered, in a 350 oven
For TEN minutes!

Mmm, cheesy goodness on top
UNcovered @ 350
For TWENTY minutes!

Top w/fried onion, cover, carry to the party
Watch the hosts cook some more;
put UGBC in Their 350 oven fr

Load Your Plate!
 I am grateful that we were invited to participate in a meal today. I'm grateful that I only had to prepare this ONE dish. I'm grateful that the party guests, few in number as we were, enjoyed the dish I prepared. I'm grateful for leftovers. Don't think I'll be transporting any food with me to the new job tomorrow, as it'll be a "short" day, so there may be no need for a dinner break. Haven't yet investigated the kitchen space there, but it looks (at first glance) to be a nice one. I'm grateful to have a new job with a nice kitchen space where I can bring in my own food, rather than hitting the food court on a daily basis (yes, my new job's in a mall).

Bring home leftovers, of COURSE!

Whether you "celebrate" Thanksgiving or not, what are you grateful for this season?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Quite the successful end to a 20-day run

TODAY, I got up early and went to the restaurant job early and tried to take a little catnap in the car in the parking lot but DID NOT (yeah, I know, I keep harping on Yoda's "Do or Do Not - there is no Try"), eventually working pretty hard and steadily until they said I was done, only to head over to the dance studio for a training/final interview.

"Worked" for 3 hours and change, until the boss lady took me into her office to extend the job offer and schedule my next two days. Filled out most of my "new hire" paperwork and handshook/hugged a buncha folks ("welcome to our family" hugs) and then came home via my fave grocer, Trader Joe's.

Bought cut FLOWERS and a bubbly red Italian wine and a buncha other stuff that we may or may not need, but I was in the mood to CELEBRATE.  So here we are.

btw, did I mention I got the job? I got it. I got it. I GOT THE JOB!!!!!!!!! Sweet! Full time, good pay, decent benefits, swaddled in the luxurious robe of dance.  Tomorrow, sleeping in followed by laundry followed by a Googled recipe for the ubiquitous green bean casserole without mushroom soup (since I hate mushrooms), followed by a "please bring a side dish and your appetite to our Thanksgiving Dinner with Jello Shots" party. Sayin' "yes" feels really good.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Longest Breakfast Ever, in the History of Breakfast... well, probably not. ;)

I live and work in Los Angeles and the film industry. What happened today isn't supposed to affect me!

Ming-Na Wen was having breakfast in the restaurant where I work today. I don't know if she and her friend were seated before or after I clocked in; I didn't see them get seated. I immediately recognized her when I passed her table in my "floating", so I found a reason to alter my traffic pattern to confirm. Then I found another moment to "pass" their table so that I could let her know that "I've admired your work forever, and I really like you on Your. Avengers. Show".

GAAH. Yes, I really did say that. What a dork!

She probably gets that sort of thing all the time, but GAAH! What the eff happened to my brain, in that moment?  It was my own, personal Wil Wheaton Moment. She was very gracious, and I understand from her server that she was also sweet and friendly (and yes, she tipped). Thankfully, my gaff did not unsettle the women, and they occupied their small table (again, graciously taking up only a "two-top") for a good long while. Hours, (it felt like) they were there. It's actually quite comforting (to me) to know that it's possible to be famous enough in this town for a restaurant worker to stick her own foot in her mouth at your table but low-key enough to continue dining, without pressure. *** If you've been reading me AT ALL for any length of time, you know that I really don't care what others may think of me, but if I were in her position, would I be as gracious? Could I be? I also wonder how many others recognized her and followed my lead into their own, personal Wil Wheaton Moments?

Today was Day Seventeen of Twenty-Two, if you look at my current work schedule. I might have off on Thursday (the swap I mentioned yesterday hasn't been approved yet), which would make this Day Seventeen of Twenty. That's a lot of consecutive Days of Earning or Working Towards Earning (interviewing), strung together. If my next official Day Off is Thursday, then I will rest. If it's not until Saturday, then, well, I will rest. I've enjoyed stringing all of these Days together, but it's practically a whole MONTH of work, and I'm at the point where I recognize that it may be too much. Maybe.

After my interview on Tuesday goes well (hired "on the spot", don'tchaknow?), I shall do a "Happy Dance" out of the mall and back to my car. If I've managed to "swap" my Sunday "float" shift for a co-worker's Tuesday cashier shift, then I will also Happy Dance into that shift... and leave my "Thank You For Having Hired Me For Only This Long, but Goodbye" card posted on the wall, next to the schedule. And then maybe, while I'm cashiering, I'll call around to see who wants my Wednesday and Friday shifts, 'cuz I'm nice like that. I may be a spazz, but I'm a nice one.

Just in case I'm too busy to blog again before Thursday, I hope this week finds you rested and blessed with the company of folk you love. Eat turkey or don't; just be happy, ya know?

Keep the positivity comin', kids. It's TOTALLY working!

Well, because I choose to see the positive side of things. I'd picked up a cashiering shift yesterday, which was my first so-f***ing-busy-weekend-day-that-I-don't-know-how-I-kept-up morning cashiering shift on a weekend. In the process of it, I lost twenty bucks in tips that I was owed, because when I finish my shift, I don't pull the tips out of the drawer and allow the drawer to be short. I pulled my tips out of the drawer after the drawer was balanced. According to my personal report, there should have been $20 more in that drawer, which should have been MINE from tipping on credit card orders. BLARGH.

So I left there in a fairly foul mood. But Stephen had prepared a surprise Thanksgiving meal for me, and when I got home, we carried it all over to Woodley, since this will be his first Thanksgiving without Flo. Had a lovely visit; determined to do more of that; went home via Trader Joe's because I was out of cereal AND

I wanted to pick up a nice "Thank You" card for the boss lady who had interviewed me at the dance studio. Didn't need one for the theme park interview(s), because that's a big corporate machine. But the dance studio is an individually-owned franchise, which makes the folks there more of a family. Found the appropriate card, checked out, and drove home.

Had gotten my schedule for this week at work, which only includes one cashiering shift (Monday morning, of course) and then Wednesday/Thursday morning "float" shifts to go with my standard Friday/Sunday morning "floats". Plenty of hours, sure, but probably not a lot of money to compensate all the work. So I'd already found someone to cover my actual Thanksgiving Day shift, just in case my cashier friend wanted to give up his shift for me OR in case I get hired elsewhere prior to it. Worst case scenario: I'm not working on Turkey Day. Boo Hoo.

GOT A PHONE CALL, either while enroute home or just as soon as we walked in the door. Boss lady at the dance studio either weeded through the hundreds of resumes she received or got overwhelmed by them, and seeing my test scores, decided to give up on a majority of the other candidates and start "Round Two" of interviews. They are closed on Sundays and Mondays, and they reopen their doors on Tuesdays at 1 p.m. My Interview 2.0 is at 1:15 p.m. on Tuesday.

I have your positive vibes and prayers to thank for that. And if she hires me on the spot, I'll use the "Thank You" card I bought to say good-bye to the restaurant.

Whaddya think? Sound like a "plan"?

Friday, November 21, 2014

...OR, I could just keep working.

I picked up another shift tomorrow, cashiering, and if my previously "standard" schedule is any indication of what next week brings, that will make today Day Fifteen of Eighteen consecutive Days of income-producing work (including interview days, because you have to act like you actually Have The Job in order to get hired for it {dressing up and taking tests and whatnot}).

On my way home today, I was calling the theme park recruiter, because he said he'd be expecting my call today after 3. I have yet to reach his live voice. I've left one message in his voicemail, and if he doesn't return my call before 5, I'll leave one more for the weekend.  And then, he'll probably call me back on Monday, and get MY voicemail, and we'll start a little game of phone-tag. Love that game. NOT.

And since I AM working tomorrow and Sunday and probably Monday, I've decided I'm not going to decide between the two potential jobs I've interviewed for. I'm going to let go of them (after my 5 o'clock voicemail to the recruiter) and just accept whichever position hires me first.

So there.

How have you worked to replace one not-so-great position with a better one? Did you do anything you'd recommend I add to my tasks? Were you able to "let go" at all while waiting to hear?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Your positive vibes needed, STAT!

Had what amounts to a very long, albeit productive, day. "Questionnaire" and "counselling" were words that I correctly said were misspelled on an admin test I took (both neglected the double-consonant), although when I wrote out the correct spellings, they didn't look any more "right" than the missplelleleings. Yeah.

Ennyhoo, my day. Went to the office of my BG-work "calling service" for a meet-n-greet, visitation/orientation "thing" and got a new profile pic taken. Good. Got some questions I didn't know I had, answered. Good. Reaffirmed my interest in a potential recruiter/admin position, when it gets officially created. Good.

Left there super-early and called to see if I could be seen early for my next appointment, which was "Interview 1.5" for a seasonal position at the local theme park. They let me in the door early, but the interview officially started... a few minutes late. Oh, well. Pros to this possible gig: it'll be very short-term, and will cover any gaps in my income left by the holiday hiati (that's the plural of "hiatus," right?) that happen near Thanksgiving and Christmas; it's very close to home; it could lead to another gig next season. Cons: it's minimum-or-not-much-more wage, and it's part-time, and it doesn't necessarily start until the first week of December, AND, if there's a union member who needs the shift, I have to relinquish it (before I ever get it), so there may not be enough shifts. Kinda like what I'm dealing with at the restaurant, except that there's no union there. Actually, the pros completely outweigh the restaurant, so don't even think that I'm planning on staying there for much longer! Just banish that thought right outta your head!!!

Followed that interview with a hands-on sewing test. I've been sewing for pleasure since childhood, but I've never had to complete a specific set of tasks under a time crunch before. I didn't make it to the "end" but I was told by the proctor that 1. most people don't, anyway, and 2. my work looked good, so I shouldn't worry. Whew!

Went from there to "Interview 1.5" for an admin position (receptionist, really) at a dance studio. On the way, traffic was backed up on the major street I was on, because some film or other was shooting a "driving" scene, complete with heavy-duty camera-rigged car and at least 3, if not 4, motorcycle cop escorts - and I was in the traffic going the other way. Got there ON TIME. Met one of the studio owners. Took an in-house "admin test," which was composed of a typing speed test (not very fast, at 35.4 wpm, but incredibly accurate - didn't check it but I don't think I had any errors), a spelling (correct or incorrect) test, a proofreading test where I was only supposed to circle spelling errors, but I also indicated grammar (punctuation) where necessary, a "make this spreadsheet happen in excel, but include the results of the formulas" test, and a "make this handwritten memo look like a nice word doc" test. I'm sure I blew all of those tests out of the water (well, all but the typing speed). I seemed to have made a good impression on the girl who's leaving. Pros: it's full-time and pays commensurate to skill, with benefits like insurance and 401k; it's an easier drive than I currently have; it's in a DANCE STUDIO, hello! Cons: it may take me completely out of the "industry" for a long while; I may not get to dance as much as I seem to think (unless I work out a deal with my previous studio on my days off); I won't hear anything about "Interview 2.0" (with the studio owners) until after Thanksgiving!

Came home on the back road, which was only congested because of rush hour (if I get the dance studio gig, I'll never have to worry about rush hour or horrible freeways again). Tomorrow, I'm back at the restaurant. At the end of my shift, I call the recruiter regarding "Interview 1" at the theme park ("1.5" was for a slightly different position than I went to "1" for, on Tuesday), to see if I can maybe be hired for BOTH positions, and that way, I could start as early as before Thanksgiving. No matter what comes out of it all, I'm pretty sure I'll be working next Thursday. It just remains to be seen where.

So if you're the kind of person who prays, or focuses on good things on behalf of others, or does anything that could sway one of these new jobs into my world, then please do so. I'm ready to be done with food service, ya know?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Teresa said I looked tired. Do I? Do I, really?

SUCCESS! I found the video that I JUST recorded! (You would think that when you choose "record video from your webcam" from the "upload video" options, it would automatically select it, rather than saving it in some unknown space... I decided to attempt attaching a photo "from this blog" and it gave me every photo I've ever attached, as well as every "test" video I've ever recorded.)


Now, answer the question. :)


okay, fine... here's what I said in the video: I got home from work and another job interview and shopping at Trader Joe's, and rather than walking up the driveway to the front door, I came directly up from the garage, which meant two flights of stairs. Teresa was walking laps, as she is wont to do, and she commented that I looked tired. I was winded, sure, because I had carried groceries up two flights on a bum knee at the end of a fairly long day. But I didn't feel tired. And I've since had a bath, so...


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Day Twelve of Fifteen

Got plenty of sleep this morning and headed over to a job interview... and while I didn't get hired on-the-spot as I had fully expected, I was essentially bumped into the "next round" for a "first round" interview for a better job than the one I was applying for!  That interview is expected to happen on Thursday.

Tomorrow I've picked up a cashiering shift at the restaurant.

Thursday I'll be hired on-the-spot for the better job, and we'll see what day I start.

Friday will be Day Fifteen in a Row of productive, meaningful, income-producing work (yes, I am counting interview days as also being productive, meaningful, income-producing days).

SATURDAY, I will have an official day off, after fifteen consecutive productive, meaningful, income-producing days.

... unless I book some work. ;)

Monday, November 17, 2014


Today, Day Eleven of Eleven consecutive work-for-income days.

Tomorrow, Day One of other employment opportunities follow-up.

Might hit the sack early again, and allow myself to luxuriate in a 9-hour sleep cycle before I move on that follow-up... but I DO have an appointment already! w00t!

Feelin' REAL good. Yup. REAL good.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

... AAAAND then, I went to bed EARLY. ...AAAND THEN, I got 10-ish hours or so? (of sleep)

Just imagine a TODDLER, complete with paci,
dressed this way.

So that I could go "float" again today, and prepare myself mentally for cashiering tomorrow.  Today's shift was fiiine! (quit pestering me already!) but I managed to 
  1. trip a tiny "Mr. Incredible"  :'(
  2. AND card my astrological twin - okay, fiiine! she's only 21, but we share a birth DAY, at least, 
  3. AND I did the "side work" of two people because the dude who was supposed to do the other stuff left promptly at 2, informing us that he had done it and had been "cut" by the server whose job it was to "cut" him.  He hadn't worked as a member of our little host/float "team" all day, he'd just done his own thing, and he lied about having done the sidework. 
Whatever. Just shows you why he doesn't ever get to cashier. Or something. It shows you something. Maybe. Or not. I dunno. Quit pestering me!

Ennyhoo. Today was not a horrible day; we were very busy through most of the shift, which is a very good thing in the restaurant biz. Tomorrow will likely be pretty doggone slow. Joy. At least it starts early enough that I won't have to fight traffic to get there!

This evening, I did some online banking. Got some bills paid. Always a good thing. Gonna chill out with some teevee, I think, and maybe consume my portion of wine and chocolate before Stephen gets home, just so I can hit that sack early again. Maybe.

Oh. And that VO gig I did for my friend? She tells me it came out great. Yay!

Welcome, British Indian Ocean Territory!

I wonder if that's the name that YOU use for your geographic location; it is the name that Blogger posted as a single visit today.  If you decide to return for your welcome message, maybe you'll comment on how you found me and whether Blogger has "named" your geographic location correctly? That'd be swell.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Got to sleep in, AT LAST

if only for a little bit... got up at 7 to turn the heat on & went back to bed, and altho I kept dreaming I was running late for something, I did not get out of bed until 9:15.  Heaven.

Ya see, I've been busy on a daily basis with work for income.  I like it that way.  My current schedule at the restaurant is cashier (in the absolute worst tip-creating shift) on Mondays from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m., then "float" (which is the second worst tip-generating job) on Fridays and Sundays from 9 a.m. until about 3 p.m. I don't dislike either of these jobs, nor do I dislike my co-workers, the clientele, the food, nor the restaurant itself. I dislike the commute, particularly since I'm still the new kid and am going to only be scheduled for this "worst" schedule.  Which is why, when I find industry work, I do what is necessary to swap or give up any shift that needs coverage so I can go make money and be happy.  It's also why I don't see myself working at this place anywhere near as long as my friend Lynly, who mediated my hiring.  If another similarly-waged non-industry gig presents itself in my neighborhood, I'll be jumping all over that opportunity.  Hopefully, it won't feel like I'm abandoning my 'mates!

THIS WEEK, starting on Friday of LAST week, I had three days at the restaurant, followed by three days on set (*squee!*), followed by TWO days at the restaurant, a day of personal assisting/bookkeeping (today), and then I'll have two more days at the restaurant. I'm really hoping that I pick up some more industry work this week, to keep me busy on Tuesday through Thursday. I really like having something to do every day, especially if at the end of the day, I get to say,


Just no more sleepin' in for me. :)

Welcome BACK, Belgium!

You first visited in March. A lot has happened since then. Hopefully, you stopped back in to catch up, and you found my situation to your liking.

... sorry I no longer have any items to sell you up on ebay.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Not quite my shortest day on set, but in the running...

My gig was changed.  I told y'all that. Got in last night after giving a lift across the hill to a fellow (? what's the feminine form of "compatriot"?) BG artist so she could catch a VALLEY-based train or bus instead of from set, and got the details for today's gig.  2:48 p.m. call time meant I could sleep in (not that I ever really do), and the location being the Universal Studios lot meant that I could take my time getting ready, and leave here around 2 to have time to spare (for walking from the parking deck to the soundstage).  So I got up early-ish, as I'm wont to do, felt a bit sniffly from "holding" in an outdoor tent for the previous two days and went back to bed.  Stephen got up and did what he had to do to get to work by 1.  After he left, I did what I had to do to be on set by 2:48.

Got checked in and approved by wardrobe and hair; went to "holding".  Got taken with our small group to get "propped" and went back to holding after a pit stop at Craft Services.  Around 4:30-ish, we were taken to the soundstage.  The actors did a blocking rehearsal, and then our P.A. read us the scene.  Then two BG artists were taken into the set, and the rest of us waited.  Then those two were brought back out, and we could hear them shooting the scene without us.  Then we got "de-propped". Then we heard, "Cut! Print! Wrap!" and clapping, and then they sent us all home.  I love my job. :)
BACK in my nightgown before six o'clock p.m.!

Amazon, yesterday in "holding".
Reclined on the ground behind her is the new friend I gave a lift to.
The three of us had FUN TIMES loading her mountain bike into the trunk
of my Honda Civic at wrap, and then Alison and I had MORE FUN TIMES
unloading it at the Universal Train Station! Yes, we ALL love our jobs.

In other exciting news from the world of a Background Artist, my friend Amazon was given a LINE on the set of the other show I worked yesterday and the day before!  You go, girl!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

"Long" Day today; likely a "short" day tomorrow

Not that "long or short" even matters when we're talking about days on set.  Any day on set is a good day, and so far, I'm having a good week of good days.  Yesterday was an eight-and-a-half-hour day and today was eleven hours on location, in a bar a good distance away, portraying a "lesbian", among 80 or so "lesbians", enjoying a night in "our local bar". Most of the 80 get to enjoy another night in the local bar tomorrow, but apparently I was a bit too "visible" or possibly "recognizable" or whatever, so they found me another gig.  I don't get to return to the gay bar.  Alas, I've had to leave my "lover" behind.  Altho the young lady who was my "lover" appears to have not been recalled tomorrow either, which is fine by her, since her sister's in labor, and she'd like to be present for the birth of her newest niece.  I'll miss her, as I'll miss the rest of the gang.  It's okay, though.  I'll see most of them on some other set, and we'll have fun reunions as "someone else".  I love my job.

TOMORROW, I'm back to my "type", playing an A.D.A. on a much closer set for what is likely to be a much shorter day.  I already know exactly which business suit I'll be wearing, and I know my route, and I know it'll be a great day (because any day on set is at least a good day). I love my job.

Oh, and you remember that "other" job I have, the restaurant gig that I was so stressed about on Sunday when I was trying to find someone to cover my shift for yesterday so I could do the film gig? Today, I got a text message from the guy I covered for last week, asking if I could cover his shift this afternoon. It felt really good to be able to reply "Sorry, nope, can't do it 'cuz I'm on set."  I'm sure he found someone else to cover for him, but I was happy to both be his first option and be in a position to decline.

Currently telling you what today/this week have been while I catch up on the DVR queue (Gotham then maybe Selfie then maybe Once Upon a Time or something else).  Did I mention that I love my job?  I think maybe I love my life.

Hope your job/life is/are as blessed as mine.

Monday, November 10, 2014

New "Lingo" we determined today for the Professional Background Actor (and others, maybe)

When acting in the background of a bar or restaurant (or other semi-crowded environment) scene, you don't actually speak or make vocal noise, EVER... but you do LOOK like you're conversing/having a conversation, meaning your silent lips are moving and forming words.  You're not whispering, you're "nonversing".

When the female server walks over and looks completely wasted, but you have no way to know for sure, you assume that "that chick is totally waitressed".

If, during a take, something makes you laugh so hard that you cry but you're trying to make no noise, you're "craffing" (probably should be spelled "craugh"/"craughter"/"craughing" but we weren't looking to add these words to any official lexicon, as yet).

Good day on set (but then again, any day on set is a good day, in my book).  Tomorrow, I may have more words for ya.  Or maybe a whole "dishing" on the world I live in.  Who knows?  I'm just hoping that tomorrow we manage to weed out the whiners and only the fun kids (like myself) get recalled to work Wednesday!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Today was looking like a TOTAL, Complete & Utter FAILURE. Was.

My schedule for THIS week at work is paltry: 8 hour shift as a cashier tomorrow, 6-ish hour shifts as a "floater" (someone who gets drink orders for newly seated diners) on Friday and Sunday.  And that's IT.  Before that schedule got posted, though, I had requested OFF for tomorrow through Wednesday, because I've been booked on a "possible" THREE-DAY call for some BG work on a film/television shoot.  When I asked for that time off, I indicated that I was fully available in any capacity for any number of hours Thursday through Sunday.  I was told, essentially, I'd get what I got, and any shifts I couldn't work, I'd have to find someone to cover for me.  I'm not being treated unfairly by these "rules" - they apply to ALL.  In fact, the reason I had so many shifts in this past week is because I picked up TWO from a guy who'd let them know he'd be OUT OF TOWN - for a funeral, of all things - but he got scheduled for those days anyway.

Which means, I think, that now that I'm no longer in training, but I'm the most recent hire, I'm going to always be scheduled for Monday morning cashiering and Friday and Sunday floating.  It's a long drive for 20 hours of work, and those are not great "tips" shifts.  Let's hope I manage to either pick up more shifts from my co-workers, or better yet, book more industry stuff.

In the meantime, I'd agreed to do a bit of voiceover for a friend's class assignment, TODAY, after work, and we were going to carpool this morning because it was convenient (this is the friend that helped me get the restaurant gig, Lynly).  Only, I left the apartment this morning without my phone.  And she lives in a big-ass building with a door-buzzer system that only works 1) if you know the apartment number, AND 2) the tenant has a land-line phone hooked into it.  *buzzer sound* thank you for playing, you got ZERO out of two!  I got there, found parking, and then stood outside calling her name... a neighbor across the street, who was washing his driveway and sidewalk, like an idiot, because you know, DROUGHT? let me borrow his cell phone so I could call Stephen to see if he could somehow reach Lynly.  We couldn't quite figure that out, and I could see from the borrowed phone what time it was, so I decided to just book it outta there, and go to work (I assumed that Lynly had either somehow forgotten about me, or, not reaching me by phone, taken off unseen).  Shortly after I left there, Lynly DID text my phone, so Stephen played a little "liaison" for us, and we drove separately.

When I got to work, I knew she'd either have words for me or give me the stink-eye or something, because seriously, WHO leaves their lifeline on the table at home? In Los Angeles? On a day when they KNOW they'll be using that sucker, probably ALL day? This idiot, that's who.  She did give me a bit of a chastising look, and I walked in that door explaining myself to her, but she still handed me the script, which was ironically titled "Over It." Then the restaurant exploded, and I didn't really have a moment to think about the script or anything else until it was time for me to take my :30 "lunch".

But I still hadn't gotten tomorrow's shift covered by that point, and I was getting a little desperate, and Lynly'd been cut early (which actually made the missed carpool a blessing), and she was getting a little desperate about her class, and she made me give back the script in case she needed to replace me, and I had no way to call all the folks I needed to call, and it was looking to be a nightmare :30. So I ordered some tater tots, clocked out, borrowed a cell phone, and started calling the nearest geographic link in the chain.  Eventually, after I ate some tots, I looked again at the phone list for our link, as well as the schedule for the week, and I called Michelle, who answered her phone and was happy to take my shift.  Why I hadn't seen her name or thought of her earlier is beyond me.  Ennyhoo.  Crisis averted.  So I was also able to call Lynly (who was headed home by then) to let her know it would be me, and did she want me to come straightaway or what?  Well, no, because without my cell phone, how would she know to let me in? Erp. Blech. ("You're a loser, but I love you anyway." - No, she did NOT "say" that)

Finished the shift... called Stephen to let him know I'd be coming home to change clothes and grab my phone, but would likely not be eating dinner.  No worries - he'd done something in the crock pot and had already eaten (because he has to be at his job for a two-hour store meeting, after hours).  But wait, before we hang up, did I manage to get the shift covered?  YES.  YAY.  (I initially kinda thought that he might hear the sense of relief in my voice, but I realized that he hadn't been watching me stress out over it all day, so) YES.  YAY.
Lynly, BEHIND the mic stand. FUN!
Did the VO gig, obvi. Tomorrow, I get to be on set again, for day one of a possible three. As a "hip, casual lesbian in a lesbian bar."  I have no idea how to dress for that... 'sall good tho.  Everything's good.  Today was a success!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Friday, November 7, 2014

How do YOU define "success"?

I think, for most of my life, I've been led to believe that "success" was primarily financial.  If that is the case, then the most "successful" folk we know of are the ones stalked by paparazzi, and they may or may not be happy, but "If I had that kind of money, I'd be happy..." yada yada yada blah blah blah BLECH.

Then there are those who have amazing careers, doing what they've always loved, influencing world leaders and the like with their brilliant inventions or theorems or algorithms or whatnot.  Those folk are very likely considered "successes" by us on the outside of their lives, but we have NO CLUE what struggles they went through to get there, and we also don't know if they consider themselves to be successful.

We see our parents, who, if we are lucky, managed to find love early in life and stay in love throughout our lives, and we probably strive to reach the kind of marital success that they've shown us.

But in my season of Sadiversaries, I'm drawn to individuals who find themselves successful on a daily basis, and those are the folk I strive to emulate.  I don't have a long-term definition of "success" for myself, unless it is the sum of my daily successes by the time I reach the end of my life.  I think I developed that game plan for myself when I spoke with Mommy on the phone that day and advised her to make 2006 the "Year of Lois".  At my current age, I may feel like I don't give a rat's ass what others think of me, but I know that outwardly, I need to look like I do, if I'm to succeed on a daily basis.

So I live my daily life, hoping for industry work and cheering when I get it.  I make my long drive to my not-so-bad job in the food service industry, and if I make it safely there and back, earn some tips, and have friendly conversation with my coworkers and the diners, then I count those days as successful.  If I have no work to do on any particular day, I try to accomplish something worthwhile, be it getting some bills paid, reading for enjoyment (just Entertainment Weekly, kids, don't panic), doing a bit of laundry or running the dishwasher, or getting some exercise, either by taking a short walk or getting into the cold swimming pool.  If I don't have to raise my voice or clean up cat messes, then I've probably had a successful day.  Eh, I usually have successful days even if I have to raise my voice or clean up cat messes.  I'm pretty successful.

I'm mostly a happy person.  I think this is primarily because I choose to be so.  I avoid negativity, which includes media-based news and politics, and I seek out positivity.  If I can awake feeling refreshed and go to bed at night without stresses weighing on me, then I've had a successful day.

So how 'bout you?  Do you define success differently?  Am I living a pipe dream?  Are you jealous?  Don't be; just find a way to achieve your goals and be happy.  Live my pipe dream if you want to, but be sure that it's actually YOURS instead.  I think there's room for all of us to feel successful and be happy.  Do you agree?

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Interestinger and Interestinger

Got my schedule all sorted out so I could work five shifts this week, which is a good thing...

Got a request from a co-worker to try to squeeze in some voiceover work on a class project for her, which I am VERY happy to do.  Managed to squeeze it into our Sunday, after work, including a bit of CARPOOLING, which is always a blessing.  Should be fun in numerous ways.

Went to "visitation" at Central Casting this morning, which was pretty much "as expected" - it's always good, if you're not working, to put your name and your face in front of the folks who can hire you, and there were a few good points made (or reiterated, I guess) for some who may have been a teensy bit less "in the know."  As usual, I found myself in a position to help one or two newbies out, and the casting directors got to see me in action, being the "Mother Hen of BG" as I had identified myself.  All good.

Came home to check in with the internets, and discovered a new reader.  Got a phone call telling me I'm booked for the first three days of next week.  Got the email saying the same.  Had to figure out how to "ask off" or be sure to find someone to cover the shifts, if it's too late to get the request in.

... and I've been a little sleepy since I came home from Central, and since I haven't taken a nap yet today, I think that's where you'll find me, if you need me in the next hour.  Like Cocoa and Smokey, altho
NOT in the sunshine on the kitchen table!

Welcome, Denmark!

I can't find you on my map, but blogger tells me you've visited.  Please come again!  Will you bring pastries next time? ;)

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

this is turning into an interesting week

My workweek at the restaurant is Monday - Sunday, so the schedule for the following week tends to be posted on Saturdays.  This is not a big deal for anyone, since we're all required to "be available to work" every weekend and every holiday.  It actually got posted on Friday, and one of my co-workers called while I was driving home to ask if I would trade my Monday morning cashiering shift for his Saturday night cashiering shift.  I said, sure, no problem.  I hadn't seen that Monday morning was my only cashiering shift and that I was only scheduled for two host/floater shifts and that I was unlikely to make much money this week, based on that schedule.

Went to work on Sunday and decided that I wanted my Monday shift back, for a couple of reasons.  One, I had not yet closed, and hadn't really worked that many cashiering shifts alone anyway, so I was hoping to just get one more "training" day (not really, but whatevs).  Two, the morning shift is an eight-hour shift (minus the half-hour meal break), and I'm not sure how long the closing shift is, but I know it's probably closer to seven if you stretch it.  So being scheduled for one cashiering and two host/floats was a severe cut in hours (from my two weeks of training), and I didn't want to give up even one hour on the clock.  Selfish?  Maybe.

But I'd already agreed to the swap, and the company is fair, so we left it as it was, and I was given an additional host/float shift for tomorrow to cover the girl who'd quit without notice (and in a huge huff, with straws and napkins and aprons and glassware and and and being thrown about, and the fires of hell being drawn up through the drainpipes, and all manner of blood and entrails being ripped from the diners who were present, and the ceiling tearing away from its moorings, spinning three times before reattaching itself).  Obviously, the girl who quit will not be missed, and I picked up one of her shifts!  Yay!

This morning, I received a text from the guy I was swapping shifts with (who did cover my cashier shift yesterday), to see if I wanted his evening cashier shift today.  His flight out to wherever it is he's going got changed to slightly earlier than first intended, so his week that had been made of four cashiering shifts has gotten whittled down to one, and my week that had consisted of 20 hours has grown to 30+. Excellent!

... And there may still be industry work for me on Thursday, or at the very least, visitation with the Casting Directors over at Central.  And I was wondering what I'd do with myself this week! :)

Monday, November 3, 2014


marks the two-year anniversary of our arrival in North Carolina.  Stayed in the the big Victorian house with the step-mom(-in law) and tried to wrap brains around what to do next.  Got keys to the apartment and set the furbabies free with food, water, and litter box in the completely empty space (hung out with them a bit on the floor with all the travel blankets and tried to recreate the vehicular tenting, probably unsuccessfully).  Visited with all visitors; reunited with family; began the grieving process.

Over the course of the next few days, we did all the crap you do when a family member dies.  All the physical stuff you have to accomplish, like phone calls with funeral homes and hospitals and whatnot.  And the mental/emotional stuff you do, like laughing and crying and whatnot.  And for us, we had to establish our residency by setting up utilities and whatnot.  Into the dull roar of the hubbub of organizing and arranging things, I received a phone call (or was it an email? I forget)... would I be available later in the month for a Scripty gig?  Could I come into the office in the next week to interview?  IN LOS ANGELES?

Um, no, sorry, (DAMMIT) but I would love to send you samples of my work and maybe give you references to contact, and if you wanted to Skype the interview I'd be happy to do that, and if I book the gig, I'd be on the first available plane...

Nope.  Nada.  Nyet.  Thank you anyway.  Don't call us, we'll call you.

Two. Years. Ago.  Today-ish.

But don't worry, kids!  I managed to make it back, after some new adventures!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Two Years Ago Today,

we were driving toward Lexington, KY to spend a night with my baby brother and his wife, as our last overnight before we reached what we expected to be our "forever home" in Thomasville, NC.  We were accustomed, after four days of driving, to ME driving first, because the furbabies wanted to visit during the first shift (since they'd been spending their nights alone in the car while we slept in hotel rooms or with family).  The weather was pleasant for the entire trip across the country.  I don't recall whether we encountered much in the way of precipitation, so any showers we drove through must have been manageable.  The evenings were cool, if not downright COLD (especially in Colorado, on All Hallows Eve, with Stephen's brother and his family).  The cats were okey-dokey.

We must have completed one driving shift when we crossed a state line that morning, so at the welcome center, we made phone calls to various folk to let them know of our progress. This was how we learned that Stephen's dad had died that morning.  We were ONE DAY late.  We had a lease on an apartment already and were ready to help the man recover, and to assist him in his work, and to learn a new trade and start a new life.  We'd put all of our earthly possessions into a shipping container which wouldn't arrive for at least another week after we did.

Possibly the only foresight we had, though, in packing the car, was including dressy clothing in the garment bag that we hung behind the driver's seat.  God may have told us (in our souls, not our intellects) that Steve, Sr. was not much longer for this earth, and we should at least have something to wear to his funeral.  But we didn't know we were being prescient until two years ago THIS MORNING.

Rest in Peace, Dad.  I hope you met up with Mommy right away, and she made you feel at home in your new Heavenly home.
Bill, Steve Sr., Stephen

p.s. thank you (again) to Brett and Emily for being ready for our arrival that night.  It wasn't a difficult drive for me that day, but it was very comforting to not have to take care of ourselves with grief on our minds.

Welcome, India!

I love getting new readers all over the world!  Thanks for joining my party.  Help yourself to some chips...

NO Milestone or Sadiversary today! YAY!

Well, maybe... after Mommy died, I traveled to Florida on either Wednesday the first or Thursday the  2nd.  It's probably better that I don't actually remember or pay attention to that particular travel date.  Oh, no, wait... wait.  I remember now.  When Mommy died, I was part of a children's show at my local Los Angeles theatre company... we'd had two Saturday matinees and then suddenly, I had to travel to Florida for a memorial service.  I had an understudy for the show, who had seen my rehearsals and performances, and could probably have gone on the following two Saturdays without any input from me.  But I needed to stay busy before I got on the plane, so I went to the theatre on that Wednesday the first to "assist" in the rehearsing of my understudy.

When I left the theatre that day, sure that the "show would go on" without me, at least for two Saturdays, I was ready to travel to Florida on that Thursday the second.  I felt pretty good.  And then, my brain escaped to a fleeting thought of Mommy, and I honestly did not see the red traffic light or the car stopped at it or the open lane to the right where I could both swerve to stop and/or run the light (accidentally, of course) and miss the car.  My mind left my brain, and I rear-ended a car that still had little stickers all over it, as if the car dealership hadn't quite prepped it yet for its new owner.  The occupants of the other car were unharmed, and I had sufficient insurance to cover an at-fault accident.

But my car was TOTALED.  And I was on a plane to Florida for a week the next day.  Crazy, right?

... went to Florida on Thursday.  Participated in memorial services.  Came back to LA the following Thursday.  Watched my understudy perform in my place that Saturday.  Dealt with the insurance company to hopefully cover the remaining payments on my car.  My little sister in the play, THE "Ugly Duckling" (I was the beautiful, fabulous, not even remotely modest or humble Rosie, the big sister {actual} duck), LEANT me (seriously, I did not make car payments for those two months while the insurance company was jerking me around) a five-speed, manual transmission car so that if my mind disappeared from my brain again, at least the car would stall rather than rear-end anyone else.

So today's milestone is actually not such a Sad-iversary.  I am grateful to my understudy for being able to step in under such short notice.  I am grateful to the production for allowing me to "contribute" to her being ready to go.  I am grateful to my little sister, the swan, for LENDING me a car to get me around LA.  I'm even grateful that I'd been given sufficient negotiating skills in my life to cover the remaining loan on my TOTALED vehicle.  I'm grateful that all of Mommy's family and friends who'd written eulogies trusted me to read them if they weren't up for it on the day.

I'm grateful that today, instead of "remembering" that I totaled my car eight years ago (and why), I was given another fabulous opportunity to be on set, doing the job I love and working in the industry I love, particularly with my really good friend the director, and making a handful of new friends.  I am so SO blessed.  Yes, I have milestones and Sadiversaries to commemorate.  I also have a really great life.
Sound guys I think I'll get to work with a lot, now that we've
worked together on TWO Palm Street Films!
Hipster dudes Joey (boom op) and Jake (mixer)
LOVE these hipster dudes!
Dawn Fields, my friend, doing what SHE loves and
helping me to stay on set doing what I love.
Thank you, my friend.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Happy Halloween, or Foto Friday!

First part of the day = Restaurant employees somehow managing to "work" in costume: Renaissance Wench, Creepy Rob Lowe, Calisi (sp?), Han Solo/Princess Leia, and "Haunted T-Shirt" Kat

Final part of the day, a small "party": Sasha the cat wants some good grub, Jen as a witch, Stephen as Phillip Marlowe, Brendan & Dave as rain-soaked pirates, me as a flapper (Jen did a fine job of drawing on my stocking seams, but no pics, alas).  G'nite!