Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Year in Review

I better hurry up and get this posted, before it's 2016!

Without reviewing my entire sidebar, because, yeah, I can get distracted by it, I'll tell you what I remember I did this year.

Blogged. Not nearly enough. Read other blogs, and commented where appropriate. Wrote some short fiction. Not nearly enough.

Worked as an admin at a dance studio, and danced a little. Not nearly enough.

Swam in a heated pool for the bulk of the summer, and then the management ceased to heat the pool, so Swimming = Not. Nearly. Enough.

Worked as a background actor, here and there. Not nearly enough.

Encouraged Stephen to expand his kitchen repertoire and then harassed him about the cleanliness of the kitchen. Ate a lot of really good food, lovingly prepared and beautifully arranged. Complimented the chef Not Nearly Enough.

Script Supervised an amazing short film in 2014, and this year, got to attend some premieres. Script Supervised a single day of shooting for a youtube series, in which we shot 26 5/8 pages in that single day. Both of these Scripty gigs were amazing accomplishments, for very different reasons, but I Scripty'd Not. Nearly. Enough. this year.

Hung out with friends. Not nearly enough.

Got hired on at Warner Bros. as a tour guide and had good days and bad days, and This Week seems to have turned things around from, say, that last post where I thought I was losing it. Don't think I can make a "not nearly enough" statement about the Bros. There's definitely a good balance between the Bros. and the rest of the things I do.

Consumed my ever-expanding weight in wine and chocolate. Worked out to keep that weight under control not nearly enough.

Missed Mommy. Missed Daddy and my siblings. Missed the nieces and nephews (and great-nieces). Skyped and emailed and phoned. Said "I love you". Cried a lot; laughed a lot. Coughed a lot.

Not that I ever make "resolutions", but I think if our return from North Carolina was supposed to make 2015 the year of "saying yes", then I have just decided, for myself, at least, that 2016 shall be the year of "enough". Obviously, in the best way possible. I managed to strike a good balance between the Bros. and all the other fun since May, so that's the only one that reached "enough", and in a good way. For 2016, I shall attempt to strike good balances between each of the other fun stuff AND all the other fun, so that everything can be "enough".

Has "enough" ever been a goal worthy of setting for you? How did you manage to get "enough"? And oh, Happy New Year. See you in 2016!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Me: -1 or 2. The Universe: + eleventy-billion? a.k.a. FORE!!!!!!!!

"I'm an excellent driver. My dad lets me drive in the driveway sometimes." Raymond 'Rain Man' Babbitt

I really AM an excellent driver. You can ask anyone who's ever ridden with me in a vehicle I was driving. But lately, something is conspiring against me.

Today is Mommy's birthday. She'd have been 72 years old today, had she not been killed in that car accident in October of 2006. I love my Mommy. She was an excellent driver (she was absolutely, in no way possible, at fault for the car accident that killed her).

We're having a pretty cold winter, for California. Our highs are in the low 60's, which, I know, is not what's considered "cold" by most of the rest of the world. But when you drive a long golf cart full of tourists guests through the Warner Bros. lot, even going no faster than the 8 mph speed limit, it sure feels cold. I wear double layers of long sleeves, plus a jacket, plus a beanie, scarf, and gloves, and I keep Hot Hands (TM) in my pockets, and for the first and last tour of the day, I feel cold.

I think I've mentioned a possible lapse into depression lately. It would appear that all of the above factors are contributing to some shtuff that's going on at work.

One week ago, I had a guest on one of my tours who didn't make it to the restroom in time, and had a medically-diagnosed bowel disruption in the middle of a tour. That was a weird-ass shitstorm, and news travels fast, so my entire day was filled with "shit hitting the fan" types of jokes amongst my co-workers. The rest of the tour, while delayed, was actually a pretty good tour. The other guests on the cart were incredibly gracious, and management allowed us to make up for lost time together, so really, everything worked out. But you do have to report that shit at the end of the day. So -1/+1. that day was a wash.

Yesterday, I was offered a little overtime, if I was willing to stay for a fourth tour. Sure, why not? Most of my tours throughout the day had been good-to-uneventful, and I'm fairly certain that one of my guests offered me a small gratuity at the end of the tour. So that's a +1, right? Maybe. As I was returning the cart to its overnight parking space, I broke off a guard gate arm as it descended into the path of my oncoming cart. No one was hurt or anything, but Broken Guard Gate Arm = -1. So yesterday: +1/-1, another wash.

Today, I was again offered a little overtime with another fourth tour. You all remember that I LOVE giving tours, right? So of course, I said "yeah. Gimme some o' dat!" My second tour ended on foot, essentially, when I walked the group up to the final attraction, having left the cart behind near the soundstage. This is a new thing we've started doing (some of us), when the best soundstage to walk a group through happens to be located very close to that final attraction. So I'd dropped the group off and was bringing my cart back to the attraction so I could pick up whatever random guests needed a lift back to parking, when I snagged a portable staircase attached to the platform on the back of a production trailer, pulling it off the platform. This is incredibly easy to do, if you happen to take too tight of a turn (check) and are not even in the traffic lane (check) and are in a tiny bit of a hurry (check) to get back to where you belong so you can eat free cold pizza that management has brought in to say "Thank You for being such great tour guides!" (gulp). Another +1/-1.

Then I had my last tour of the day, leaving at 4:30. Ten people on the cart, which is not a bad group (+1). Lots of enthusiasm for lots of cool shows. Great (+1). Strap-on wheelchair, which means slight delays in getting on and off the cart (-1), and limited stages to visit (making sure to miss all of the ones with stairs, -1). SUNSET at 5:00, which means any backlot visits have to happen in that first half-hour, simply because they aren't generally lit (-1). Certain attractions closing by 6 p.m., and having to REALLY watch the time in the last half-hour, to make it to the final attraction by 6:30 (-1 or 2). Did as many backlots as we could see and then headed to the Batcave (Picture Car Vault). Planned to go into the Prop House and the nearest soundstage, because they were both wheelchair accessible and close, meaning the next get-back-on-then-get-back-off would be the Archive, and the remaining time would be spent doing whatever. From within the Prop House, I heard the notification that the Archive was closing in ten minutes, and to "call Field" if I hadn't made it there yet. So I inform my people that we've got to move a little quicker, and gather ourselves to get over there, and in the meantime, I call Field to inform them of my situation. We arrive at the Archive at 5:59 and are informed that they're supposed to be closed "right now", so now I have to call a manager to get permission to keep the Archive staff there (-1). Get permission to stay about ten minutes, so I keep an eye on my people, letting them know when we need to wrap it up, and they're all pretty gracious about it (+1). By the time we get back on the cart to get back off the cart, the guests who are helping the wheelchair-bound woman are really hitting their stride in making that a quick transaction (+1). So we head over to the soundstage that is immediately adjacent to the final attraction, and we all go in, Can't seem to get the houselights triggered enough by our movements, so we see a lot of the perimeter of the set (not even remotely interesting to look at, -1). Finally get inside, and the guests have plenty of great questions that I'm able to answer. Make it out the door and across the way to the final attraction only three or fewer minutes "late" (+1). {End result, -1 or 2. Poop.}

End the day following up with the manager who'd followed up with the production guys re: the trailer steps I'd hit. Will probably have a follow-up conversation with the big boss (0). Could easily be the end of my Warner Bros. career (-1). It's been a good run, and I'll certainly miss it. The only "positive" override I can see here is that I'm likely going to immediately recover from Whatever. The. Hell. Is. Conspiring. Against. Me. Lately. Blergh.

I'd really like to spin this with a positive outlook. I'd really like to walk into work tomorrow with the Universe working with me rather than against me. I'd really like to not wallow in a season of Sadiversaries, or let any of this shitstorm throw me up against any fans. I'd love for my allergies to clear up, and the weather to warm up (even a little bit would be fantastic). I'd love for this all to turn out Just. Fine. I'd love to book a bunch more industry work in the coming week, as well as receive my paycheck for that commercial I shot a few weeks ago. I'd love to not put any negative energy into any of this, so that no matter what happens, I can leave each day feeling good about myself and my life. Did typing out all that stuff just shift things in my favor? I really hope so. I do so enjoy feeling good about myself and my life, and living in the NOW, and considering myself (and being considered by others) to be an "excellent driver".

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

I'm sitting here crying, y'all.

My brother just posted a "Family Only" video to Facebook, a selfie-type video, which he has been fond of shooting for, oh, well, longer than the term "selfie" has existed. This particular video has him and his daughter, my niece (mostly the niece), singing "Jingle Bells". She didn't make it all the way through the song without his help; actually, he may have only taught her the first part of it (up to "HEY!"). Doesn't matter. I love it, and I'm bawling my eyes out.

I may or may not have ever clued you in to my occasional bouts of depression, or the fact that I am absolutely affected by "Seasonal Affect(ive?/ed? {whatever}) Disorder", a.k.a. "SAD". I hate winter. I hate the cold. I hate the darkness. I hate that, no matter what, I'm getting up early, and probably staying up fairly late, and it's DARK for too long in the winter months.

It has nothing to do with me being a night owl or a lark. It has nothing to do with the hours I am productive. It has everything to do with SUNSHINE, and my opportunities to be out in it.

I am incredibly grateful to have been called in for tours every day this week (so far). I am incredibly grateful that I will deserve the two days off I'm about to get. Do I care that those two days off are Christmas Eve and Christmas Day? Not really. Frankly, I wish they were not holidays, because then maybe I'd book additional work on set. Yes, I love all of the different jobs that I get to do. Also, I love the opportunities to be out in the SUNSHINE.

If I have no place to be, I can easily spend all day inside. I hate that about myself. But it is what it is, and I am who I am. If I can have a reason to get out in the SUNSHINE every. single. day. then maybe I wouldn't be affected by SAD.

I don't think it's the SAD that makes me cry about the video, though. I think it's because I know, in my heart, that I am a Great Auntie. But I live too far away from any of my nieces or nephews to get to demonstrate it. And I am Missing. Out.

But what's to be done? I guess I'll watch the video some more, and cry some more. And drink wine, and eat chocolate, and binge-watch some television, and go to bed when I damn well feel like it.

Are you close (emotionally) to the younger generations in your family but distant (geographically)? What do you do about it?

Monday, December 21, 2015

Welcome, Chile!

I wasn't scheduled for any work today, but the Bros. called me in to do two tours, so that was a pleasant addition to an otherwise likely-to-be-boring/unproductive day (I had ZERO plans for the day, which would have equated to just web-surfing and playing games). And my two tours were both interesting ones. On the first one, I was able to take my guests through FIVE soundstages (a personal record)!

In other news, Chile has joined us here. Welcome! Please, come take my tour at Warner Bros., or at least peruse my archives and come visit again! Bring friends! Thank you!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Stuff we find on Facebook, without even "looking"

I watched THIS video and was going to share it on my Facebook "wall", but I thought I'd link it HERE instead, so we can maybe have a little "chat" about it.

I do not have "hundreds of pounds" to lose, but when am I going to take that first step to lose a fraction of that, knowing that I'll feel better about myself if I succeed? When am I going to take that first step to lose a fraction of that, knowing that I'll STILL feel better about myself, even if I "fail"?

I have always hated "exercise for the sake of exercise". But I do want to be fit. I do want to be healthy. I love ballroom dance. I love swimming, in a heated pool. I hated yoga the first time I tried it, but years later, I didn't hate it.

I want to feel young again. I want to feel alive again. I don't want to head into a depression just because it's winter. I don't want to feel "old" just because my joints ache when the weather changes. Is yoga the thing for me? Can I do it in the comfort of my own home, so that no one will laugh at my non-yoga attire or body? (I know, no one in a studio will laugh at my attire or body, but you get it. Right?)

Have you felt the way I feel? What works or has worked for you? Do you have any insights for me? Let me know in the comments below.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Growin' Stuff

So, yeah, it's officially winter. Yeah, we've had some bitter, biting cold winds, and really dark mornings. Well, I have, at least. I was up at 4:45 this morning, after a not-great six hour sleep, so that I could be on set at 6:30. Dawn's Tramp Stamp. Yeah.

Ennyhoo, I love celery, but I hate having to buy it so often (because I love it). So I decided to plant some, to grow indoors, to see how it would do. Lemme tell ya, "Croot" grows like crazy! But am I supposed to tie it so it'll grow straight up? Saw a video on youtube or Facebook or somewhere that showed a buncha plants getting started in water, but no one said what to do next. Planting in dirt seemed the next logical step, but now it seems like tying it is what we're gonna have to do, and since this is our first experience planting and growing something you can eat, we just need a little "how to".

We started in October. The first photo is after only a day or maybe two in water in the windowsill.

This second batch of photos are Croot (the First) transplanted into dirt, to start Croot (the Second)

So, gang. What do we need to do at this point to further the growth of Croot the First? Any help is appreciated.

Oh, and speaking of "help" - if you are someone who is struggling to provide Christmas joy for your family (particularly in the form of toys for your young'uns), then please read Jenny the Bloggess' latest post about her Annual Saint James Garfield Christmas Miracle. If you are someone looking for a way to lend a helping hand to someone who's struggling, then please also read Jenny's latest post, and be sure to peruse the comments section. This is an annual event, and if you're not careful, you'll find that you've let in a pack of wild onion-cutting ninjas, or better, your cold Grinch heart will grow ten sizes too large!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

WHAT did I eat, and WHEN?

So, Sunday, I went to the book signing.
That's me, on the right, on my knees on the floor, in the purple sweater and the Santa hat.
I had been SITTING for the duration of the reading, so when Gabi started singing, I got up on my knees.
Even though Jenny had indicated that there were "so many" of us,
this looks like one of the smaller gatherings from her tour.
Felt fine, maybe a bit anxious, although anxiety is not one of my "issues". Sat next to Anne Wheaton, as you know. My "fangirl"-ism of both her and Jenny are probably why I was "maybe a bit anxious". Finished that evening with another lovely, significantly-lower anxiety-inciting "event" in the home of a friend, where the wine was plentiful. Got home safely and went to bed.

Monday morning had an early call time, but I was a bit peckish, so I had a bowl of cereal, and took my vitamins with me to set. Got there and consumed grits with bacon, and Earl Grey hot tea (but without benefit of a mint tea blend, which is how I normally drink my tea). Throughout the morning, I noshed at Craft Services as one is wont to do, although I don't spend my life there or graze as much as others might. At some point in the day, my stomach felt a bit "sour", but I chalked that up to not having mint in my Earl Grey. When we wrapped at lunchtime, they allowed us to stay for the catered meal, as long as we waited for the crew who were still going back to work. Of course, we'll wait.

Got myself a to-go box of some lovely brisket, salmon, mashed potatoes, pintos, and green beans. Started with dessert, of course, as I am wont to do, when dessert is worth having (it's worth having first). Tasted everything in the to-go box and then took it home to the fridge. Remarked, at the time, that the green beans did not taste fully-cooked. That's okay; when I nuke 'em later, they will be.

Yesterday, I was NOT HUNGRY upon waking, so I waited to eat. When hunger finally did hit, I finished off some soup I'd made in the crockpot the other day. There were a lot of onions in the soup, and I hadn't planned to eat them when I added them ('cuz I just don't like 'em), but I was emptying the crockpot, so I went ahead and ate 'em. Later, I made another crockpot of soup to battle my latest round of weather-changing sinus allergic attacks, but consumed none of it. Ran some errands, and had a bite of the parmesan pastry pups they were sampling at Trader Joe's, along with a teensy cuppa joe. By the time Stephen made it home from work, I had cranked the heat and was wrapped in blankets on the futon. This was after I had had to race to the bathroom to vomit out the little bit of soup in my stomach.

Stephen tried to take care of me. He took my temperature (100ºF exactly, which for me, is not really a "fever"). He brought me electrolyte water. I ate a banana. I took antacids and aspirin. We watched some television. We went to bed. In the middle of the night, I threw up the electrolytes. Later, I threw up the banana. We took my temp again, and it was higher. Stephen brought me a bottle of sparkling water to keep at the bedside, and he cranked a space heater on my side of the bed, as well as adding more knitted afghans to my side. (I was so cold!)

Got up this morning weak but a bit better. Have had a bowl of cereal, a nap, and a banana, and a little bit of sparkling water. Have determined that no one else who wrapped at lunchtime but stayed for lunch on Monday got sick, so I can't call this "food poisoning", per se, unless it was just all those damn ONIONS I ate in my soup! When I get around to eating this next batch, I will not eat the onions!

And so now, we're going to take a walk to our closest (not that close, but walking distance) shopping center, to do a little window shopping and look for some Reid's Extra Ginger Brew and saltines (neither of which did we have on hand when I needed 'em). We might swing by Costco for the walking/sampling lunch, if I feel up to it.

Does it sound like food poisoning to you? Maybe something else? It came on so suddenly, I can only expect it to relate to something I ate. But WHAT? and WHEN?

Monday, December 7, 2015


Monday the 30th of November, I followed up with the docs regarding my heat rash. Tuesday the 1st of December, I was on set (booked as a "camerawoman" but changed over {just via different prop-itude} to "Script Supervisor") and got to network as a REAL Scripty. Wednesday, Stephen made chili. Friday, I attended Central Casting's 90th anniversary celebration. Saturday, I followed-up on some personal assisting I'd started earlier in the week.

Yesterday, I did something I've never done before. I attended the LA portion of Jenny Lawson's book tour. I had bought her book over the phone, and in that phone conversation, I also asked how early I should arrive for the reading/signing event. The person on the phone indicated half an hour would suffice; she knew that they'd probably "sell out" the event, but that would give me time to pick up my book and find a seat, etc. Um, no. I got there about 45 minutes before the start time and it was already SRO in the reading room, even before I spent entirely too long in the "Will Call" line. I found my way to the front of the room and sat on the floor next to the front row of seats, which was reserved for Jenny's sister and ... ANNE WHEATON. Okay, maybe you don't yet know who Jenny Lawson is (The Bloggess, DUH). Maybe you don't yet know who Anne Wheaton is (she's Wil Wheaton's wife). That's okay. I was excited to be there, and in the fangirl moment I had with Anne, she focused on what Wil was doing that day, and told me that HE had instructed her to be there in his stead. Made sense. I knew that Wil was across the country, and I had mentioned to Stephen before I even left for the reading that I might get to see Anne, since the Wheatons are her friends, and they live in Pasadena!

^J's nephew's knee   ^ Jenny ^      AW's knee^
So Jenny arrived, remarking about
How. Many. People.

were there, and thanking us all, and being very gracious, as she is. She gave us all a little backstory into her life (in case we had somehow missed learning it), and then she read the first two chapters of the book. Then there was a Q&A, during which I was reminded of Mommy's struggles, back in the day, which of course made me cry while sitting there on the floor of the front row.

The adorable niece singing the sweet love song
That was followed by a musical interlude by her niece, who will be famous soon enough. She sang us a great little love song she'd written, while accompanying herself on ukulele.
Then the lines for getting things signed were organized, and since I'd been sitting on the front row floor all along, I added myself into that front row line. I'm sure I pissed off a buncha people who'd actually gotten there early enough for seats, but whatevs. I didn't take up nearly as much time with Jenny as I know some of them would, considering I was alone in that crowd, and Jenny is very gracious, and she spent however much time it took with each guest (and their guests). Plus, I had another event to attend, and I'm sorry I'm human, but I just had to "cut". My butt was sore. Sue me. No, please don't sue me. How 'bout you forgive me? I promise, I'll never cut in the book-signing line ever again.

I had printed out one of Jenny's doodles, because it reminded me of Mommy, so when I spoke with her, it seemed right for her to sign the doodle, but "For Lois. You raised a good one." (her words, not mine - I only gave her the name). This, of course, made me cry some more, so that the photo of the two of us together looks like we're both drunk (she said that seemed about right, didn't it?). What a beautiful person she is. I know Mommy would have loved her, and I told her so.

printed in the bubbles at the waterline:


Drunk? or Punch-drunk? You decide.

A screenshot from last week's episode, not shot today!

Today, I'm back on the muppets. I am LOVING working on this show, and even though it would be nice to have as many days of work as the "crew" for Miss Piggy's show, I don't believe there is another person in the background who gets as much camera time as I do, just working one day per episode. Not that I'm in it for the camera time. Background actors, like myself, are to be seen in the background, meaning not really "seen" in the scene. We're there to lend a bit of realism; on the muppets, it's making a smoky bar look like a real, working, smoky bar. Speaking of smoke, at 7:30 in the morning on a Monday (when I began writing this post), we JUST got back from a fire drill (or whatever). Arrive ready to work after a great breakfast only to have to evacuate the building because it detected "smoke". Good times!

Got to work; shot a few scenes; I dropped my tray of drinks and ended up getting sent to the Principal's Office (i.e. the props table), so we could figure out how I can Not. Spill. Liquids. on set. Easy: Don't. Carry. Liquids. :P

Got back to work; finished shooting; wrapped at lunchtime! Swung by Centinela to get food for the furbabies, and to potentially make plans for Wednesday.

I love my job. I love my life. I am blessed! :D

So. Whassup witchoo? ;)

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

When does Chili Season begin?

Oh, yeah, that's right. TODAY.

Stephen kicked it off with his very first chili EVER. He made it in the crock pot. We ate it for dinner. We each had two servings. It was good.