Monday, February 29, 2016

If it's Leap Day, then I must be trying something new in the crock pot!

Loaded (not baked) Potato Soup, to be exact. I went to Trader Joe's to pick up potatoes and to get a little guidance on how best to prepare it, having never made it before, and not wanting to follow a Martha Stewart (or any other published) recipe. I wanted to Try Something New. I had insufficient time for this to be edible by the time Stephen got home, oh well. He walked in, stating that he assumed it wasn't ready, and fended for himself. Yay!

Here's my pictorial "recipe":
three slices of bacon, "cubed"
crock pot on high to cook that bacon!

small bag (1.5 lbs) of baby red
potatoes, rinsed and drained
cut in half and then sixths seems to be
the right size; no idea if this theory will hold

about a pound of two sharp cheeses
sliced "thinly"

and then subsequently "cubed"
for easier melting, of course! 
one "spoonful" each of fresh (prepared)
garlic and horseradish, per our tastes
there's the garlic
plus the horseradish
probably better to add broth and milk
AFTER the potatoes and cheese
(to avoid "splashback"), but I did
my liquids first. My Bad.
a good stir, and the garlic and horseradish float to the surface

spooning in potatoes (to avoid splash)
spooning in cheeses (to avoid splash)

ya gotta add your "herbs and spices",
amiright? ;)

a "thick" layer of seasoning
stirred occasionally
I think I'll turn it down to low and let it cook overnight, or maybe I'll turn it off just before bedtime so I can refrigerate it and then set it back to low in the morning. About an hour before I'd like to begin consuming it, I'll add frozen broccoli. I may or may not decide to thaw the broccoli enough to "cube" it. I don't ever buy fresh broccoli; I know that we'll never eat it before it goes bad. We keep a good variety of frozen veggies in stock for that reason. Anything that works well in a salad, though, we'll buy fresh. Stephen is a salad eater; I'm a fan of soups (year-round). We'll see how this one works out; even he is planning to help me consume it!

Any new recipes you're dying to share? Please share (if you've got your own blog, then just share the link)!

Sunday, February 28, 2016

So, hey, did the Oscars go the way YOU wanted?

I had no plans to watch the awards, but we did, because they were on. I watched a lot of the nominated performances and films, and I agreed with a lot of the outcomes, and there were some that I Just. Could. Not. Believe.

I tweeted a little, during the broadcast, and I responded to a few tweets while I was at it. Apparently, I struck a nerve with one of my friends, with whom I'd worked on my first feature film as a Script Supervisor. That friend works in costuming.

Mad Max was up for a shit-ton of awards tonight. When they included it in the costume design category, I was sure - SURE - that something "more deserving" like Cinderella would win. How does "nearly naked" compare to ball gowns? I was wrong.

And then the Costume Designer, walked up to receive her award. She was wearing black pants, a black shirt (untucked), and a black leather motorcycle jacket that had had some bedazzling done on the back. Oh, and a scarf with some color to it. She looked to me like she hadn't expected to win, or she hadn't realized she'd been nominated, or she didn't know what one wears to the Academy Awards.

I tweeted: I'm upset with ‪#‎Oscar‬ for costume design. Mad Max? & winner accepts dressed for a honkytonk bar? She held him like a beer! No Respect.

My friend defended her: Wait, are you talking about Jenny Beavan? She is amazing and accepted that award like a champ!

I replied: She looked like she snuck in. Not dressed "up", no makeup, hair barely brushed. The president of the Academy, who nobody knows, dressed for the event. She may very well be amazing, but that movie should not have won for costumes. "No Respect" is what she showed to the event and the Academy holding the event. Had YOU won for costumes (or should I say, when?), I know you would've/WILL represent your department/peers/the industry.

She still defended her: She won at our awards too. With very similar competition, if the costume designers guild gives it to mad max over fluff like Cinderella, that's because it's better. She dressed very similar at our awards too and no one made a comment. Our event is black tie as well. She is one of the best Costume Designers out there and she can wear and look however the hell she wants. She has been nominated 10 time and this is her 2nd win

I balked at "fluff" because she's talking content, not costumes, but I replied again: If I worked in costuming, I would want the winner (representing the work that I did) to REPRESENT. No one else is saying anything, possibly because they want to work with her. I don't work in costuming, so I don't have to kiss up to her. Look at your own profile pic! You know the value of a great dress! (her FB pic has her in an amazing hand-made and personally designed gown)

 and then we continued the conversation, neither of us really making a dent in the other's point of view. I'm sorry that my incredibly-talented and beautiful friend feels she has to defend this woman, who, in my opinion, could have made a better decision about how to appear on camera. I know that this is the year of #talkingaboutdiversity and #askinghermore rather than asking #whoareyouwearing, but it IS the biggest dress-up night of the year. Some people will never see the nominated films or performances, but they'll watch the awards show to hear the acceptance speeches and see what people are wearing. I think that designer did herself and her peers a disservice by showing up the way she did. I don't care how talented you are, you remember that you're going to be seen by millions of people, and you step up to reach the bar!

In other Oscar news, I thought Mad Max did deserve a lot of the technical awards it received, even though, as a film, it was FLUFF. I was okay with Iñárritu winning for Best Director, but I was ELATED that Spotlight one for Best Picture. Eddie should have won for Best Actor; Leo should have won for one of his previous six nominations. Oh, well. They don't let me vote.

What did you think? Did you watch? Did you hate Cate Blanchett's dress? Did you love Chris Rock's tux? And how 'bout that In Memoriam? Huh?

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Shave and (two) Haircut(s), No Bits!

I cut myself today.
This happened while I was cutting Stephen's hair. I do the back and sides with electric trimmers (1" guard), and then the top gets taken to with scissors. I've been cutting my own hair for years, now, and in all the time I've cut mine OR Stephen's, I have never cut myself. That damn knuckle just wanted a trim, I guess! Plus, it hurt so good. NOT.

Stephen doesn't really do "selfies", so I had to tell him where to look and have him push the webcam button so I could be doing my best (off-camera) Vanna White impression. After his haircut, he shaved his face while I trimmed my own hair (just a little). I'm mentally and emotionally ready for my summer buzz-cut, but I'm not sure if the industry is ready for it, so I'm still waiting. Also, it is still February, and since the weather could go back to cold (it's been known to happen), I'd like to still have my layer of warm atop my head. Quit Rushing Me! ;)

In other news, we wandered Big Lots today (nothing worth standing in line to pay for, altho I think a buck fifty is probably a good price for a thingy on which to drain my bathtub bar soap), and then we walked around our old 'hood. We like the apartment we're in, but if you've been reading my blog since we got back, you know that there are some issues here. We love our old North Hollyweird (NoHo, if you're hip) neighborhood, so when an apartment in our price range opens up, we'll probably figure out how to move One. More. Time. No, I don't relish the thought of packing up to move, especially since this time, we probably won't have any kind of "warm market" of friends to sucker into bribe with pizza and beer for helping us, and we'll likely have to rent a truck for the big shit. ... Unless the Credit Karma and Credit Sesame websites aren't just fucking with me, and we can actually buy some property, like in Van Nuys or something (because no one can afford to buy in NoHo), in which case we'll have more time than just the weekend preceding the first of a month to get it done! We'll have a whole week, right?

I'm kidding. I kid. I know that moving is a pain in the ass. I also know that we're not in our forever home just yet. We are back in the right range of zip codes. We're back in the right area code. These are not small things, people. Hopefully, finding our forever home will feel like a small thing, because the doors of the Universe will just open for us, and present us with that perfect place that perfectly fits our budget and creditworthiness.

While we're at it, Stephen's got a few things brewing, so we've individually and together taken a step or two in the right direction to stir that particular pot. I'm sure he wouldn't want me to divulge any secrets, so I shan't. Just know that between the two of us, we are gettin' our shit together. 2016 is lookin' good, so far!

How's your weekend shaping up? Any haircuts? And knuckle cuts? Any moving in the works?

Friday, February 26, 2016

Trying not to be Judgey

Yeah, yeah, Yoda, I know.

Still, it's hard, now that I'm officially unemployed. YES, I am still a Money Magnet (Thank You, Thank You, Thank You). But when Stephen leaves for work on a day I'm not scheduled for anything, he says (in a completely non-judgey way), "try to get outside for a little bit". I know if I find a reason to get out in the world, that while I'm out there, at least, my breathing will be clear, and I'll probably be productive. But there was no reason for me to get out, past the mailboxes, either yesterday or today.

I was expecting to receive my paychecks for those days on set last week. That would have gotten me to the credit union, and then I probably would've swung by Trader Joe's while I was out, because that's part of what makes me, ME. The mail came early enough, both days, but there were no "get out in the world" notifications in the box, so I just came back upstairs.

I haven't washed the dishes or loaded the dishwasher today, and I was planning to try to do that. I didn't work on my crochet project today, and I wanted to try to do that, too. I haven't caught up on all the blogs I read, and there are quite a few, even though I've been trying to do that ever since I left the Bros. I didn't do the tax research I mentioned yesterday. I haven't prepared a lovely dinner for Stephen like I did yesterday (I'm thinking sandwiches, or some other fend-for-yourself).

I checked the Central Casting Facebook notifications, and submitted for appropriate work as it came through. I played a lot of games on my computer and my phone. I read several chapters of Furiously Happy, which I bought oh-so-long-ago and even got signed! ... which has actually led to me trying not to be judgey. The last chapter I read (before posting) was "The Big Quiz". Jenny talks about having imposter syndrome and feeling like she fails at life, even when, to the outside observer, she is SO Winning! I completely related to the chapter, because, duh, I'm unemployed, and I still can't even get myself to load the dishwasher! But I realized that I was being judgey with myself, and that's not fun. So Thank You, Jenny Lawson, a.k.a. @TheBloggess, for reminding me that Today still has
Three Good Things:
  1. Submitting for gigs
  2. Putting myself on avail for rush calls
  3. Reading
  4. Staying awake all day
  5. Exercising my brain muscles with the games I play
  6. Exercising my legs by traversing the stairs to check the mail
  7. Cleaning the litter box gets me points, according to Jenny's quiz!
  8. I didn't die today (also points in the quiz)
  9. I only ever say "liberry" ironically, but I never say "supposeably" or "flustrated", so I'm still taking the quiz points for that one.
Oy. Spell-check knows that "flustrated" is not a word, but it recognizes "liberry" and "supposeably". And now my heart hurts. Not really. But my brain does. Or maybe not. Wait! Do I get points for not punching the assholes at Spell-Check in the neck for approving those non-words? Yay! That's me, WINNING!

So tell me, are you your own worst enemy? Are you actually winning, but for the self-judgment? Or are you MY worst enemy, and you're sitting there judging me RIGHT NOW? ;)

Thursday, February 25, 2016

I AM a Money Magnet, I think?

It's hard to feel like (and notice being) a Money Magnet when you stay home all day and watch the apartment management reallocate your rent into painting... the concrete walkways. Seriously. They painted all the handrails along the walkways and in the stairwells about a month or so ago. Yesterday and today, they've been painting... concrete walkways. WHY? Why won't they stop spending rent money on cosmetic worthless shit and put it into heating the pool? Are there actually tenants here who have said anything about the concrete walkways being too "concrete" looking? Whatevs.

But I did work on our taxes again today, and the outcome is not as dreary as it looked like it was going to be (I found a credit or two that we're eligible for). I'm unable to completely complete them, though, because after the software asks me all the questions about my TARDIS purchase last year, and the trade-in of the Civic, it still shows up with forms that are incomplete, asking for things like "depreciation". I hate that I'm going to have to actually do some research to figure out what numbers are appropriate for me to fill those damn forms out. I like numbers. I really do. But this is daunting.

And I've only booked one day on set this week. I'm on avail for work tomorrow, so maybe I'll get rush called. It's not like that one day was anything to sneeze at. It was a fourteen-hour day! And that equates to a 30-hour week at the Bros. ;)

And when I checked the mail, I discovered I'd received a "cash back" reward from my Costco credit card. Ca-ching! That oughtta cover... one trip on foot (so there's not much to carry back). Still, I AM a Money Magnet, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.

Three Good Things:

  1. Read a little
  2. Worked on Emily's Moebius Scarflet (hoping to finish before Spring hits Kentucky!)
  3. Made a decent dinner
  4. Coughing is sporadic, at best
  5. I AM a Money Magnet, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.
Are YOU a Money Magnet? Do ya WANNA be?

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Happy Birthday, Veronckacka!

Yes, Facebook reminded me about my niece's birthday. No, I did not wish her a Happy Birthday on Facebook. Yes, I did call her. Apparently, she's had a bit of a crappy week, so she took the day off to eat all day. Hopefully, she decided to also eat all night (for a big, delicious dessert 'round midnight or so). She's probably already fast asleep by now, though, since she will have to return to work tomorrow. So, Good Night, Sweet Girl, and Pleasant Dreams!

I was so beat from my long day yesterday that I spent most of today in bed. When I finally did drag my ass outta it, I did nothing productive. What a life! I did watch a coupla movies from the queue, so here are my reviews:

American Sniper: Intense, heavy-duty, sometimes smile-inducing but oft tear-inducing Oscar-winning picture about the real story of a real hero in the Iraq war epic. I didn't know, going into it, that it was another "based on true events" flick. I wondered, without that knowledge, whether Bradley Cooper is truly from Texas, because his portrayal seemed 100% legit. He really bulked up for the role, and once I knew it was about a real person (at the very end), it all came together. Fine performances; brutal story; not particularly gratuitous depictions of the real violence of war. Pretty great story-telling, but it did seem to run on for a little too long (I knew it was Clint Eastwood produced, but I don't think it was CE-directed; still, I think it could have used maybe a 15- to 20-minute short-ening). Recommended, if you're looking for a war movie. Not recommended if you want a happy ending.

The Fault in Our Stars: Thankfully, this is not a Nicholas Sparks flick (I mean, seriously, why do the studios keep buying his dreck and then producing it?). That said, this movie does induce ugly crying, but not like when I watched Room. The ugly crying for Room was deep sobbing of relief and joy; not so much for this one. This is just flat-out a weeper, but not until you get to that point. Until that point, it feels like a realistic portrayal of a teenage girl who is going to die of her cancer, and until she does, she just lives the life she's got. A better performance by Laura Dern as her mother (versus the one in 99 Homes), as well as really enjoyable storytelling all around. I wished the dad had had a larger part, honestly. Nice "both sides of the coin" cameo by Willem DaFoe. Recommended, if you need a good weep. Not recommended if you want a traditional "rom-com".

Three Good Things:

  1. Caught up on my sleep
  2. Submitted for some work
  3. Watched a coupla movies!
  4. Talked/Sang to Veronica (it's been quite a long while)
  5. Coughed my fool head off but I'm breathing okay right now
  6. Will likely make it to bed at a reasonable hour tonight
And you?

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Great Day on Set.

I got to re-visit Warner Bros. today, but in civilian clothes. I checked in Waaaaay earlier than any of my former co-workers, in the parking lot (base camp) adjacent to the "new" attraction on the lot. I also checked out Waaaaay later than any of those former co-workers, having been on the lot from 6:30 a.m. until nearly 9:30 p.m. Yeah, minus our hour-long "walk-away" lunch, that was nearly a fourteen-hour workday. But I always told my tour guests about hour-long dramatic television shows working long days, twelve to fourteen hours being perfectly "normal".

So all we "townspeople" got checked in, looked over, and touched up by "the vanities" (wardrobe, hair, and makeup), walked over to Midwest Street (which is geographically located immediately behind the "new" attraction on the lot), and settled into the church building as our "holding" area for our long day ahead. Those of us who were fans of the show were pretty excited to be there; the rest were just "happy" for the work.

When we officially broke for our "walk-away" lunch, I walked away to the credit union, just off the lot, to deposit a check I'd received yesterday for another show. I love being able to walk to my bank. Walking back onto the lot, I made sure to wave at all of the tours that passed me, and finished my exercise loop with a visit to the "new" attraction so I could actually talk to a couple of my former co-workers. It was awesome, being there in civvies, and actually talking about life on the other side of the fence.

Got back to work and made a bunch of new friends. I sure hope I get recalled!

Three Good Things

  1. Great Day on Set
  2. Lots of new friends
  3. Lee reminded me that he still reads my blog, and that I need to list that as a Good Thing (it totally is)
  4. Staying in touch with "old" friends
  5. Doing a good job and feeling fantastic all day
  6. BREATHING freely all day
  7. Knowing that there are plenty of other readers out there (like Lee) who may not comment every day but continue to read my blog
  8. Fat paychecks, like the one I earned today
  9. Open Unemployment claims that could last a long, long time because I just keep Magnet-ing Money, so collecting against it is infrequent
  10. Rush-call work OR my attendance at a SAG-AFTRA workshop tomorrow (both Good Things)
Whatcha got? C'mon - are you quietly listing Three Good Things? Or possibly BOLDLY listing them (like on your own blogs) and I just haven't caught up yet?

Monday, February 22, 2016

Woo Hoo, I'm Working Tomorrow!

No, I did not work today. I slept in as late as I possibly could, considering there were some workmen doing something with some incredibly loud generator or pressure-washer or Some Whatnat Noisy-Ass Piece of Equipment that made a shit-ton of grinding sound. Hey, did I mention I was unable to sleep due to noise? Not that it wasn't late enough to get up; I was just super-tired. Probably had crazy-busy dreams or something. Besides the fact that my breathing was horrible last night.

  1. So when I finally got my ass moving today, I deposited my final Warner Bros. check :/
  2. did a little more grocery shopping (being out of cereal, and all) :)
  3. helped God get my hair color back to its appropriate all-over blonde :)
  4. noticed I got booked for work tomorrow :D
I'm really actually excited about tomorrow, even though my call time is 6:30 in the morning, which means I have to hurry up and post this so I can get to bed and get some sleep. But I am excited, and I'll tell you all about it (well, I'll tell you a little bit about it) TOMORROW.

What about you? You got anything exciting up this week?

Sunday, February 21, 2016

I have no title for tonight's post. Bloody Hell.

First day off after nine consecutive days of work, and I Slept. In. I had cancelled my alarm so I wouldn't have to snooze it, and when Stephen got up, he was very quiet, and I never heard him. I'd had a rough go of it when I went to bed last night, because my sinuses were just so damned congested; it took a long time for me to finally fall asleep.

Getting up, the congestion and/or coughing did start back up, and since I had no breakfast foods in the house, I just started with two cups of hot tea, cough drops, and a roll of toilet paper to catch my running nose. Fun!

We eventually built ourselves a grocery list and headed out to Costco for the walking, sampling lunch, and then continued our shopping at Smart-n-Final. Got home, filled the fridge and freezer, and while my breathing had improved while we were out in the world, the congestion returned in the apartment. I must be allergic to this place, which is actually pretty weird, considering we've got no carpeting harboring anyone's old yuckinesses.

Watched some episodic television from the queue (Dead Like Me, Agent Carter, Grimm, and Mom) to get us to the next-to-last episode of Downton Abbey. All that other stuff was just our holding viewing for the big event. Seriously, Downton Abbey is such a great show, but tonight's episode was just phenomenal all the way around. And only one episode left, forever! Bloody Hell!

I did put myself on the Rush Call Availability list over the weekend, so I'll leave my alarm set for 7:30, just in case there's a post for something first thing that I can run out for. Which means I've just got to wind myself down enough to get to bed soon. Sure hope it doesn't take as long as last night!

How was your weekend?

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Just. Can't. Breathe.

Had a GOOD last day at the Bros today.

First tour full of estrogen (I feel so sorry for Ray from Chile, the lone testosterone on the cart full of women), having a great time seeing all the great stuff I got to show them. Throughout the tour, there was one lady who took so many photos of everything, that I know she ended up with a handful of just me, or me with one of her friends. Thanked them at the end for being the first tour of my Last Day, and they were bittersweet happy/sad for me, as I was feeling bittersweet when I first clocked in (as I posted on Facebook).

Second tour a good mix of families from all over the US, plus one lone guy from South Korea. Again with the "having a great time seeing all the great stuff I got to show them". Lots of really good participation and feedback throughout. Helen, a local actress who was touring with her visiting parents from Washington, has an audition for Gilmore Girls on Monday! Break a leg, Helen! Thanked them all at the end for being my next-to-last tour ("ever"), and had some of the same bittersweet happy/sad.

Third tour I traded, so that my absolute "final" tour would be the absolute final tour of the day. Had Davy and Laura from France, and Maria from Japan (really? Maria? from Japan?) who spoke and understood English better than her local friends, Isao and Erika (who often had Maria translating into Japanese for them). That was it. Had a blast seeing all the great stuff I got to show them. Asked lots of clarifying questions; participated freely in what I was asking them to do. Arrived at the final attraction a teensy bit late, and they didn't want to leave me without Group Pictures, which we had to ask the attendant to take for us. She's a good sort, and I felt badly about putting her out, but what could I do? She took the pictures, and my guests finally separated themselves from me.

I got back to my origination point in time to clock out and return all of my Warner Bros. uniforms, keys, badges, and whatnots (it's a lot of stuff). Got my final paycheck (which I'm sure I'm going to have to research and possibly contest) before hugging the last two managers "so long". No one else around to hug, so I came home. We all walked over to Taco Bell to try their latest potential "guilty pleasure" and stuck with our faves; came back home to watch Kingsman, which was in our "free HBO/Cinemax weekend". Fun flick; very bloody and stylistically intense, what with all the "bullet-time" fight scenes. Also, great turn by this man. Check out his filmography. In his early days, mostly likeable but somewhat victimized characters. Then he starts playing a bit more despicable. He's got a long list, particularly of late, but he's such a "great" that I was very pleasantly surprised to discover him here.

But now that the movie's over and things are winding down and I don't have to get up to an alarm tomorrow morning (what?), I would really like to be able to breathe freely again before bedtime. Damn freakin' weather changes. Great breathing during last week's heat wave. Got cold enough again to need layers of long sleeves, and because I've been working every day, I haven't necessarily paid attention to dressing for the end of the day (especially today, when I had to turn in my jacket, and hadn't brought an additional layer to wear home). So I'm sitting here with my head held over a cup of warm tea, alternatively with tissue just shoved up my nose to catch the drips. Of course, I'll feel Much Better tomorrow morning!

Here are the Three Good Things I listed on my (final) tour report today:

  1. Good Tours
  2. Good Day
  3. Good Gig
And now, to kickstart my next adventure!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Happy Birthday, Inner Hippie!

Yeah, I probably should have blogged this This Morning, but I was a little busy, what with trying to get to the Bros early enough to work out my scheduling issue, do tours, and then get to set on time for my "double shift". Cheryl probably doesn't mind, since she got plenty of Facebook love and in-person accolades from co-workers, plus emails and phone calls and probably Instagrams, Snapchats, and Tweets she's completely unaware of. I called her; we had a nice chat. She's my big sister, and I love her. I hope she had a great birthday, since they only come once a year.

In other news, It Is Official. I had my "exit interview", which went pretty well. I'll have three tours tomorrow, and then I'll collect my pay for my final week, once I drop off all my uniforms, badges, and keys (lotsa stuff to return). It has definitely been a good run, and I will definitely miss my peeps. I'm grateful for the training, the job, the experience, the friendships, and the pay. It was very much a Good Thing, right when I really needed it. And because I'm leaving on Good Terms, I can always reapply when the industry slows enough for me to need another full-time gig, even if it's just for a "season". Next go 'round, though, I'll probably claim Single Zero on my tax forms to make sure they take enough out of both Federal and State. For whatever reason, we're just not getting back as much refund as we'd hoped, and we'll actually owe a ten-spot or so to California. What the what?

Ennyhoo. On to the Next Chapter!

Three Good Things:

  1. Warner Bros.
  2. Central Casting
  3. Inner Hippie
  4. Stephen
  5. Family
  6. Friends
  7. Work, in general
  8. Nice weather
  9. Time to watch movies
  10. Knitting and crochet
  11. Sleeping in
  12. Hot baths
  13. Hot tea
  14. Waking up breathing
I think that's enough, don't you? What did I miss?

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Irony? I think so, maybe. I have trouble with it. (So do you, ya know!)

When I first started working for the Bros, I was very happy to work forty hours a week, or more, when possible. All throughout the summer, forty, forty-eight, even more hours, talking about the industry, having a great time and making a good living. Good Times!

Then things in the industry start to pick up, and I need more time away from the Bros. They figure out a new thing, and I get to slow down my schedule there so I can increase my schedule out in the rest of the world. ... and then the holidays arrive, and the schedule reverses again ... and then after the holidays, I slow down my Bros schedule but the industry doesn't pick up. What the what?

Fast forward to approximately this week. I think I've already told you that my temp "assignment" is coming to an end, this Saturday. As of Sunday, I will no longer have any kind of regular work schedule at the Bros. Probably, tomorrow or Saturday, they'll find time for me to get an "exit interview". Really not sure when that's supposed to happen, but it doesn't matter.

Here's the ironic part, if there is irony in this story. This week, my "final" week as a Warner Bros. Studio Tour Guide (Hollywood) (TM), I was scheduled for five eight-hour shifts. On Monday afternoon, I got word that I'd been requested for a late call time on Tuesday, so I made arrangements with management to do both a tour shift and my "requested" gig. I was scheduled off for yesterday and today, so when I called in, I picked up an extra 5.5 hours yesterday. Today I was on set again. I'm scheduled for eight hours of tours tomorrow, but I also got recalled for today's gig tomorrow, which means that once again, I get to try to make those arrangements with management. Then I'll work my "final" eight hours on Saturday and turn in all my uniforms at the end of the day.

When I've been very very busy, I've had to juggle many things in order to make it all work out to stay very very busy doing everything I love doing. Once I've got the schedule worked out to not be very very busy, it's been incredibly slow, and I've been very very not busy. Is that irony?

Three Good Things:

  1. Very Very Busy this week
  2. Being requested or recalled on set this week
  3. Makin' the big bucks (ca-ching!)
  4. Knowing that no matter what I do, it will all work out. I just gotta keep showin' up!
On the other hand, the weather has definitely changed, and my breathing sucks again. Can't have everything, can I? ;) Whassup witchoo?

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Three Good Things (Day Eleven)

I had stopped counting, but after publishing with the title "(Day Whatever)", I decided to do a quick perusal of recent posts to get the number right. My tenure at the Bros is winding down, and it would appear that things on the other side of the industry are picking up. Good Things.

  1. I called in today to see if I was needed for tours. I got called back for a 5 1/2 hour shift, all at overtime pay, because it's my sixth consecutive tour shift. Overtime pay is a lovely thing.
  2. First tour was part of a group of high school students who happen to be studying film. Great interactions with them, and I definitely got to contribute to their education. Yay, me!
  3. Second tour had a family from Argentina who happen to currently reside in Atlanta, Georgia. They had lots of questions about getting started in the film industry there, and while I didn't have any definitive answers for them, I'm fairly certain I was able to steer them in the right direction. Everyone else on the tour had a good time, too, and seemed to enjoy learning about one family's interest in the industry (and what I could contribute from my own experiences). Another success!
  4. I got booked for more background work tomorrow, on another show I've never heard of. Having heard of a project before you show up for your first booking is never really important. If it is something I've heard of and I have time to watch an episode or two, that's great. This one I didn't even bother Googling. The info on the line didn't indicate that it would be too difficult to choose appropriate wardrobe, so I'm not too concerned I've never heard of it. If tomorrow is a roaring success and there's even remotely a chance of any kind of recall situation, I'll take some time to look it up. If not, no big.
  5. I had had an unemployment insurance claim open, but the last weeks I filed never made it into the system, so I reopened my claim. If they backdate my filing to the last weeks I should have filed, then they'll end up (eventually) paying me a little in UI benefits up to this point. If the reopening starts me over with this week, well, then, my "bank" will just last a little longer. I'm grateful to be eligible to collect unemployment benefits; I'm also grateful to have enough work to be ineligible to collect in some weeks. It's ALL good.
  6. The latest heat wave broke, and we had some rain today, which also brought my coughing fits. I don't necessarily love the rain, and I certainly prefer heat to the cooler temps we're in for in the coming week, but I know Southern California can definitely do for a little unexpected rain. While I'm not loving these coughing fits, they were "productive" awhile ago, and I'm currently breathing all right. Also, my tours were not negatively impacted, so. Good.
It's not even 11 yet tonight, and I'm done for the night. Once I hit "publish" on this post, I can go to bed. That's a pretty good feeling, right there. I may have some time tomorrow to catch up on some of the blogs I read, as well, and I'm grateful for that, too.

Any Good Things going on in your life?

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

I think? it was a good day today

Unable to find anyone to take my shift today, I worked with the guys in scheduling to make sure I could be done with my tour shift in time to make it to my second "shift" on set. Got in this morning and made sure again (because what got done yesterday somehow didn't "stick" this morning), so I was all set. Last tour was supposed to leave right at 1:30, so my half-hour lunch that ended right at 1:30 would cover the more than six hour shift I'd end up working so there'd be no "meal penalty", AND that last tour would be done with time to spare for me to get to set.

Except that, during my second tour, I missed a phone call. At lunch, I listened to the message. My call time was "pulled" half an hour, which meant that the 1:30 tour would return Just In Time for me to get to set. Okay, no worries.

Except that, during lunch, I got another call. This one was to tell me that my new call time was actually... TWO p.m. Rut-roh. There was No. Way. I'd be able to take a 1:30 tour at all and make it to set in time. I told the person on the phone I was actually at my other job and would have to try to finagle something, so if I wasn't going to make it by 2, I'd be calling them back. She seemed okay with that answer, considering it was already after 1 when I got that call.

So I had to talk to a manager. Sucks to have to talk to a manager, when you've gone to such lengths to make a situation work for all parties. She looked into the system, saw that there were unsold tickets that she could just "cancel", and that would essentially just take ONE tour guide out of the system for ONE tour. She appreciated that I'd gone to such lengths to make it work, so she made it work for me, too.

I clocked back in from lunch and then clocked out for the day (just so the timecard wouldn't reflect that I had never returned from lunch when I return to the Bros. on Friday, forgoodnesssake!). Then I changed my clothes and zipped over to Crew Parking. Arrived with ten minutes to spare, and when I checked in, ran into my friend the bartender, who had also been requested by the 2nd AD. When we eventually made it through the initial wardrobe approval process and were shuttled over to set, we discovered a rather large handful of crew from the show where we knew the 2nd AD. In fact, we found out that it was actually the 1st AD who had requested us, so if we ever have any more "dive bar" scenes for this particular show, at least two of us will likely return with some regularity. I love being requested. And again, I was complimented for my work on set by both the 1st and 2nd AD's, so I'm definitely being noticed. Very cool.

Three Good Things:

  1. Two good tours
  2. Management making it work for me to shorten my day
  3. Short but productive, fun, friendly, lucrative shoot day with a great catered meal and the possibility of return
So, yeah, I guess it was a very good day today. How was yours?

Monday, February 15, 2016

I almost forgot to blog today!

I went to work, and I kept looking for someone with whom to trade a shift, since I'll be on set tomorrow, at the behest of the 2nd A.D. The individual tour guide I kept expecting I would offer tomorrow's shift to has called out (sick, presumably) for the past two days. That's no bueno. Finding no one with whom to trade sent me upstairs to scheduling, to see if somehow I could get rescheduled for a six-hour shift rather than my eight. It would mean two tours rather than three, but would give me time to come home before going to set, rather than having to change in the locker room after faking being sick and "needing" to leave. Three Good Things?

  1. Gentleman at the desk "pre-scheduled" all three of my tours tomorrow, so they're more back-to-back than they have been, so that I can be "taillights to the wind" by 3:45, which is plenty of time to get to set. They even know why I want a shortened shift, and since I can still do three tours, they are okay with it. The dudes in scheduling understand, man.
  2. Had two decent tours today and then "singled out" of my third tour. Rather than send home all the guides who were suddenly singling out after a rather crazy-busy, overbooked day, they sent everyone over to the attraction that exists at the end of the tour. I had been proactive about the possibility of singling out, and volunteered to shuttle for the rest of my shift. Shuttling is a pretty easy gig for a tour guide. You're just picking up guests from the attraction and taking them back across the lot to where they started. You can interact with them or not; entirely up to the driver. The reason some guides dislike shuttling is that it can be sweaty, especially at the end of a longish, hot day, which is what we've had lately. I didn't care. I wanted it. I welcomed it.
  3. Because I had volunteered to end my shift with shuttling, I got a little overtime as well. Which is really a blessing, since tomorrow my shift will be cut short. I am So Blessed.
  4. Got home and soaked in a nice hot bath, and my bag is packed for set tomorrow, and my lunch is ready to pack for my tour shift. I am ahead of the ballgame! W00T!
Now I just gotta get to sleep before 11 so I can get 7 1/2 hours in before the alarm (reset for 6:30 again, just for tomorrow) goes off. Doubt I'll be waking before it! Doesn't matter. I'm psyched for tomorrow.

How 'bout you? Did you "celebrate" President's Day today, or do you live/work in a place where it doesn't even mean a postal/bank holiday?

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Happy VD, everyone!

You may or may not know this about me, but I really loathe "Hallmark Holidays". Five years ago yesterday, I posted on Facebook how Stephen and I had wandered the greeting card section of Big Lots after taking a "nice weather" stroll in North Hollywood. What we did in the greeting card section of Big Lots was present each other with Valentine's Day cards so we wouldn't have to waste money actually buying "just the right one" to give each other on just another Hallmark Holiday.

Today, Stephen had the day off, so he did some laundry, wrote a bit, and puttered around the apartment a bit. I did not have the day off, so I went to work. Here's my Three Good Things for today, in no particular order:

  1. First tour - two different "sets" of guests refused to let me "politely decline" their offers of gratuity. Honestly, it had been so long since I'd gotten tipped that I'd almost forgotten it's even a possibility. So, I am a Money Magnet, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.
  2. During my lunch break after my second tour, I discovered that one of my guests on that one had taken the arbitrary points I assign (everyone who takes my tour gets arbitrary points; it's just my way of getting my guests involved in the tour) and tried to use them as a discount in the gift shop. "My tour guide emelle told me I had 'x' number of points I could 'spend' in the gift shop". I have a pretty good feeling I know which guest it was; there was one guest who never interacted in the tour at all, so I wasn't sure if she was paying attention at all or why she had even bothered to take the Warner Bros. tour in the first place. Apparently, she was paying attention when it came time to figure out if she personally had any points (which only came at the end, when I awarded the bonus points). What makes all this a Good Thing is when management asked me about my "promise of a retail discount" to a guest, my explanation was accepted as this one person who could actually take that clearly joking sentiment and try to turn it into some tangible reward. It was funny. It's Good. I've stopped suggesting that the points I award in any way have any possible meaning or value. Some people; sheesh.
  3. After I left work, I stopped at the convenience store where I buy my lottery tickets, to do just that, but also to check last week's tickets. I won thirteen bux! I am a Money Magnet, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You. Sweet!
  4. My muscles were so sore today (after all the dancing yesterday), that my plan for my arrival at home was to have a long soak in a nice, hot bath. Stephen was watching the Star Trek reboot when I got home, though. No way was I not going to sit and watch it with him. Then we watched the Wrath of Khan reboot. I am grateful that JJ Abrams wanted to reboot tOS. I really like the new Kirk, Spock, et al. I'm happy to live in a multiverse where I can be a Trekkie who likes both tNG and tOS(redux). Yes, I am a Trekkie, not quite at the level of geek to call myself a Trekker. I never could handle the Original tOS. I like Shatner so much better, now that he's not Kirk.
  5. I temporarily gave up wine (and chocolate) more than a week ago. My "plan" is to see if I can abstain from all alcohol for a month, and then decide if I want to abstain longer. I bought a bottle of our favorite red table blend wine today, just in case Stephen wanted a glass because of today's date. Also, I bought some coconut macaroons instead of our regular dark chocolate peanut butter cups. So we had "dessert" without having to open the bottle. He hasn't opened it, and neither have I. This is a Good Thing.
All in all, a Good Day. And I am enjoying posting these, even as I enjoy not celebrating Hallmark Holidays. What about you? Do my Three Good Things posts inspire you to write down your own Three Good Things, or at least be aware of Good Stuff in you life? And how do you feel about Hallmark Holidays? Did you "celebrate" VD?

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Three Good Things (Week One)

Yeah, I'm not really trying to recap the week. I'm just surprised that I managed to post at least three good things, every day, for a whole week now. Here's Day Seven's Three:

  1. Awoke early enough to give two good tours and work a six-hour shift. Also dropped Stephen off at work, with plans to pick him up at the end of the day so we could stay out for what has become our bi-weekly habit,
  2. Ballroom dancing at the Granada Pavilion. Sure, the entry fee covers a dance lesson, semi-okay food, boxed (or Two-Buck Chuck) wine, and bad coffee, and then the general dancing hosts a crowd for whom the median age is 70-73, but it's pretty fun, especially if there are plenty of dance partners who realize you'll dance with 'em. The lesson tonight was okay, at first, but got pretty complicated right away, and so even though Stephen had a good handle on the first part and I had a good handle on the latter part, we just couldn't put the two parts together. So when we waltzed together later, during the general dancing bit, we went back to the center of the room and did the basic box that we both knew we knew. I, of course, danced as much as possible, with as many partners as I could, so now my feet hurt, but good.
  3. Not listed chronologically nor ranked, I received my w-2 (finally) from the Bros. We've been curious all along why Stephen's employer has been taking so little in State taxes, but with this particular w-2, I realized that my employer had taken out very little in both State and Federal taxes, which means that our refund is not going to pay for more dance lessons. The good part of this "Good Thing" is that moving back to California has definitely, without a doubt, been a good decision, in that we both made a big chunk of change last year. Also, we don't owe any taxes. But we do need to make sure our employers take out enough throughout the year so we don't end up owing any taxes next year. Really all I can say about this is Thank God for Central Casting.
We. Are. Blessed. Also, I'm tired. I gotta get this proofed and published in the next fifteen minutes so it counts as "today", and then Git my Butt to Bed. G'Nite!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Three Good Things (Day Six)

  1. Called in to the Bros. and they gave me an eight-hour shift. I was not expecting to be awake early enough to call in, but having changed the alarm from 6:30 to 7:30 has somehow made a huge difference in my ability to get up early and feel awake. So far, for two consecutive mornings, I have awakened prior to the alarm. What a lovely feeling.
  2. Had three pretty good tours today, and informed a few new people about the end of my temp assignment. As part of the last two tours, I was able to drive by Midwest Street, which has been redressed as Stars Hollow, Connecticut. This is really only a big deal for someone who's a fan of Gilmore Girls. They had originally told us, once the four new Netflix episodes started shooting (this week), that we would have zero access to Midwest Street until they had completed shooting. As of today, we have minimal access, which means we are allowed to drive through without stopping, and NO ONE is allowed to take a single photograph of a single thing. The new four episodes take place in present day, so it's almost a decade since the original show ended. What that means is SPOILERS, so absolutely no photos (and also, I cannot speak a word of what I got to see today). I'm excited. I really hope I will have an opportunity to work the show, as either a background actor in town or possibly Paris' stand-in.
  3. I'm booked for forty hours of tours with the possibility of overtime next week, and I'm booked for some background work on a show for which the 2nd Assistant Director requested me. This is by no means a "ranking" of Three Good Things, because if I were to "rank" today's Three Good Things, I would definitely rank this particular Good Thing as Number One. Typically, I list them chronologically as they happen in my day. I wonder if it would be better to rank them. I think not, simply because sometimes, they are all equally good. So just forget that idea. I'm not doin' it. I'm going to continue listing them chronologically. Done.
  4. Not currently coughing. This is definitely a Good Thing. Going to go to bed at a reasonable hour again, and probably drink some more tea before I do that, with the cough drops at the ready and the aromatherapy on the wrists.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Three Good Things (Day Five)

It's a little tougher today, because RIGHT NOW, I am in the middle of a major coughing fit, and all I can really think about is making it "productive" so everyone in the household will be able to sleep tonight. But let's give it a go, shall we?

  1. Reset my alarm last night from 6:30, which I've been in the habit of snoozing until it goes away and then sleeping until about 8 (when I've had nowhere to be) to 7:30. I awoke at 7 this morning and was able to cancel the alarm at 7:30 because I was already up and "doing" stuff. Feels good to wake up before the alarm, and feel rested enough to not need to continue "lounging". This led to me
  2. Getting ready and heading out the door to visit the Union Casting Directors at Central Casting by 9 today. The first two Thursdays of every month, they gather three or four Casting Directors to meet with the Union Background Actors. If I'm not working, I go. (The second two Thursdays, they meet with the Non-Union BG). It's always somewhat fun, and usually there's at least something new to be learned. I got there early enough to get a good seat, which meant that while I waited in line (for the doors to open),
  3. I worked on Emily's Moebius Scarflet. It is definitely taking longer to build, but when it's done, it's going to be gorgeous. I love that it's so incredibly portable, and that I can work on it from any position, be that standing, seated, or reclined.
... now if only this dang cough would go away! I know it's because the weather's been (and continues to be) So. Nice.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Three Good Things (Day Four)

Let's just jump right in, shall we?

  1. I did, in fact, get called in to work my friend's shift at the Bros. His shift was originally scheduled to last 5.75 hours, which was 5.75 hours more than I had been scheduled for (through no fault of the Bros., mind you; I had not made myself available for any weekday shifts). I got to work, found a great parking space, clocked in, and went out on tour. After the first tour, I had time to eat a little something and work on Emily's Moebius Scarflet. Then my second tour didn't happen (insufficient ticket sales). This meant I had to either go home or find somewhere that my help was needed. Immediately found the Boss Man, who checked in with another Boss Man to let me know they could use me on another part of the lot, and that I could probably extend my shift to a full 8 hours. Sweet! While I was having my first little nosh, I received a phone call from Human Resources: my temporary "assignment" was scheduled to end on the 20th, which is a week from Saturday. I'm just a little sad to hear that; Warner Bros. has been very good to and for me. The ending of a temp assignment isn't like being "fired", though. There's always the possibility that they can and will recall me for another "assignment" in the future. I'm leaving it in God's hands, which is not to say that I won't still be an exemplary employee while they have me.
  2. I got to work on Emily's Moebius Scarflet while I was on break at work! Because this yarn is significantly smaller/thinner/finer (I really don't know what the correct terminology is that means "less bulky") than the two I've worked with so far, I had to buy some new hooks. But also, it means that there are more stitches to get an equivalent "distance" of scarf or other crocheted item created. Which means this one might take me longer than four days. Hopefully, it doesn't use the whole skein! We'll see.
  3. I had time through the course of the day to submit myself for some more background work, including one tango gig at the end of the month and another tomorrow (that it doesn't appear at this point in time that I've booked) for women "familiar" with knitting. Since I am currently working a crochet project, I didn't consider it a lie in any way to say that I am "familiar" with knitting. But just in case I still manage to book this gig (or get rush-called for it late tonight), I needed a crash course in knitting. Luckily for me, in addition to the plethora of YouTube videos that exist, I have a neighbor (with needles that would match the gauge of my Emily yarn) who was more than happy to both instruct me and lend me her needles, just in case.
  4. Got my schedule for next week at the Bros. Even though I'm pretty sure I told 'em the same thing I've been saying for the last month ("I'm available Sunday and Saturday, and if anything opens up during the week, I'll call in"), I got a 40-hour schedule. For the final week of my temp assignment. Who knows what that means, really?
I think I'll head to bed early tonight. Yeah, I know, it's already after 11 here, but considering I'm not yet booked for any kind of work tomorrow, 11 qualifies as both early and late. As Mommy used to say, I'll have to "Sleep Fast!"

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Welcome, Syria! (plus, Three Good Things, Day Three)

A new reader from Syria joined us today! Yay! Welcome! Please peruse the archives at your leisure when you return, and if you like what you're reading, bring friends on over!

And now for the Three Good Things for today:

  1. I had a long, luxurious soak in the tub today. I'd cleaned the tub the other day, and yesterday, when I did my laundry, I also washed the shower curtain. Not that I needed the shower curtain for a bath, but it was so nice to be able to get a clean curtain out of my way. You would think that shower curtains would never get dirty or slimy or whatever it is that they get. Why aren't showers self-cleaning? That's what I wanna know. Whatevs. I had a lovely long aromatherapy soak today.
  2. I made myself a salmon melt for lunch. It's kinda like a tuna melt, but I used canned salmon instead. It's been a long time since I've had a tuna melt. Longer since I made one for myself. It tasted pretty darn good, and I have enough salmon "salad" left in the fridge for another one tomorrow. I love fish. I love easy-to-prepare, healthy food. I love being able to "toast" a salmon melt in my George Forman grill (because it's already too warm out to turn on the oven).
  3. I went to Jo-Ann today to either exchange the yarn I had or to get a new set of crochet hooks, because the hooks I had been using were too large for the most recent yarn. While at Jo-Ann, I was able to sit on the floor with the appropriate sized hooks and demonstrate my new crochet skills for another customer who only knits. We had a good time, and I ended up getting the new hooks, so I could
  4. get started on Emily's Moebius Scarflet. I had bought enough yarn to be able to make a matched pair for her and my niece, Natalie, but the hooks I had were just too big to work with it. So I was really happy to get it going. It's about an inch long at this point. It's super-cute, so far. Funny how I still even have any desire to crochet these days, considering
  5. 80+º days we're having. OMG, I love being barefoot and wearing tank tops or camisoles! Sorry if you're still stuck in the frozen wasteland of wherever you're stuck. Also, this weather is really and truly awesome in the daytime, but as soon as the sun goes down, I still get congested and start coughing like (there'll be) no tomorrow. Allergies suck. But I'd rather have them with this weather than with the cold and damp, for sure.
  6. I might get to go to work tomorrow. I'm still on the availability list for background gig rush calls, but I've already text-chatted with a Warner Bros. friend who was checking to see if I wanted his shift. So if I don't get rush-called to set, I'll call in to the Bros. to see if they need me.
I realize I posted SIX positive things about my day today. So what? Three's just the minimum. What Three Good Things happened to YOU today?

Monday, February 8, 2016

Three Good Things (Day Two)

  1. Arose from bed at a leisurely 8 a.m. this morning. Stephen had arrived at work on time but there was no keyholder there to open the store, so he called me to make sure he was supposed to be there, and to find out which manager was supposed to open. His call did not awaken me; I had slept sufficiently through the night and had just not gotten out of the cozy yet.
  2. Got my laundry done pretty early, as well. My favorite washer and dryer were not in use, and I had enough quarters to also strip the bed of its linens and wash the cat hair and cat litter (that gets tracked on all of our paws!) away.
  3. Opened up the house to let in the 88º day. Glorious, sunny, breezy, beautiful! Everyone I encountered (neighbors and the mail lady and folks at the bank, etc.) had to comment something to the effect of "it's so hot today!" Wah. Boo Hoo. Get over it, ya sissies! I love the warm days. Yeah, it's probably Global Warming comin' ta git me, but I really don't care. And yes, I am all congested, coughy, and sniffly, now that the sun's gone down. It's still warm out, but my allergies love to kick in for overnight fundom.
This was an easy three today. I would like to post gratitude for a day on set one of these days. That'd be awesome.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Three Good Things (Day One)

  1. My credit (FICO) score is climbing. Apparently, since getting my first credit card in college, auto loans along the way, bankruptcy with the ex-husband, and Mommy & Daddy listing me as an "authorized user" on one of their older cards back in the day, I've gained an education in managing my finances over the years. I am happy to report that I currently have a healthy relationship with money and my creditors.
  2. Glorious, sunny, windy Eight-Zero Degrees (80ºF!) at 5:45 p.m. W00t! What this means, really and truly, is probably that my allergies are going to come back, with a vengeance, just as I was getting over them, again. Seriously, I would love to last through a solid week without any residual coughing or congestion. Honestly don't see that happening until our early Spring. I don't care. I will deal with my stupid allergies for as long as I have to, if I get more glorious, sunny, windy 80º days.
  3. Stephen's soup is delicious. He really has gotten great with the crockpot cooking. What this means is that I am blessed to get to eat good food that's well made. Yay!

4. Had a couple of tours today that could have been less-than-ideal. Both times, before the scheduled tour times, I was informed of the less-than-ideal conditions, and then, just as the tours were supposed to go, I was informed of the "change in plans". I love it when I don't have to make arrangements to improve less-than-ideal conditions. Both tours were pretty good, so I had a lovely (glorious, sunny, 80+º) day on tour. It wasn't windy until I got home.

Yeah, I know I said I would try posting THREE good things daily. It's my blog; I'll post more than three if I feel like it!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Is it better to Burn Out than to Fade Away?

I'm not exactly planning to do either, but what I really wanted to title this blog post was "I got nothin' to say"... which immediately transposed itself to Clancy Brown's gravelly voice quoting the Def Leppard line in the original Highlander movie.

So maybe this is a free-association post. I had a thought; I was on a particular train of thought; my train got derailed; the wheels of the bus go round-and-round; Magic Bus; take you on a magic carpet ride

Hey, Mister Tambourine-Man, play a song for me...

no, I really don't know where any of that came from just now.

We have a "Challenge of the Week" at Warner Bros., and since I typically work on weekends only (of late), I get to learn about the new challenge on Sundays and then forget all about it until I return to work on Saturday, having not really "implemented" it into my tours in any particular way, because I wasn't there to do so. For the month of February, our Challenge is to list three positive things that happened today. Yes, it's a Challenge for the whole month. I don't know if we'll get a new, additional challenge tomorrow; I'll find out when I get there.

Here's the thing. I tend to be the first person in the room to Count my Blessings. I'm just typically the most optimistic person I know, even when I'm in the throes of a depression. But last Sunday was a truly horrible day of giving tours, because it was in the wind and rain, and I was soaked to the bone almost immediately, and I have no galoshes or any other water-repellant footwear that I could have worn for giving tours, so my feet were also incredibly uncomfortable all day, no matter how much relief I was able to find for the rest of my body. Last Sunday was the start of that "Challenge of the Week" which is becoming a Challenge of the Month.

Here is a recap of my Blessings for last Sunday:

  1. God is washing my car for me. Thanks, God!
  2. I'm too "petite" for any of the available raingear.
  3. My misery makes people laugh.
.., and so forth. I was somehow able to list a total of SEVEN "good things" that happened last Sunday, but not one of them was really a good thing. So when I got in to my morning meeting today, I was handed a small sheet of paper to write down three good things that had happened to me, either today or yesterday, and I had a hard time thinking of anything better than "getting enough sleep", "blogging daily", and "hubby made good soup". Found out after I'd written my three things that we weren't expected to hand in those pieces of paper, we were just being reminded to count our blessings.

Frankly, I'm a bit put off by this exercise. I understand that it's meant to contribute to all-day positivity, which will of course spread joy into our tours, especially if we're interacting with other like-minded individuals. But I'm really feeling like this is something that Management may not have a right to "force" onto Labor. I'm not sure about it. To take it out of that workplace context, it still feels wrong. How does it make you feel, when you're having a totally shit day, for people around you to remind you that, no matter how bad things get, you're still blessed and that you should be grateful and mindful of those blessings? I'll tell you how it makes me feel. It makes me feel like you've somehow never had a shitty day like I'm having, and if you keep telling me to smile, I might just have to punch you in your damn teeth. Argh.

This is not at all where I intended to go tonight. But, as I said, maybe this particular post is going to be an experiment in free association. Magic Bus. Free Love. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. Oh, yeah... every time I open my browser (on my imdb page, of course), I'm lately seeing an ad for Chi-Raq, and that ad sends me back to the hippy-dippy 60's (in my mind, at least). It's starting to come into focus. Hmm.

Maybe I'll attempt to list three good things each day for the next week (starting tomorrow, of course). Maybe we'll see if the goal they've set at the Bros. can be obtained in the real world. They're calling it the Tetris Effect. Wish me luck!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Another movie review, outta the blue!

Over Christmas, the Bros. opened up the DVD/Blu-Ray vaults and allowed employees to go upstairs and snag some free discs. It was a pretty cool day, getting to snag some free discs that we did not already have on the shelf. It was quite an eclectic group of discs I was able to snag that day.

Included in the bunch was the movie we watched tonight. We knew nothing about it, going into our viewing, other than who was starring in it, and that it was a baseball flick.

I love baseball. Of all the sports I could ever be "subjected" to sitting through, baseball gets me going, revs my engine, piques my interest. This movie was more about the scouting side of things, rather than Love of the Game, per se. That's okay. It was a relationship movie, delving into the father/daughter relationship, the romantic relationships we have or witness, the employer/employee relationship, as well as the celebrity/fan relationship. Interesting, to me, that a baseball film could cover so many relationship bases, but this one definitely did. And did it pretty well, too.

Don't get me wrong. There was baseball to be watched in this movie. And the chance to hate the rising-star, soon-to-be-a-celebrity for the way he interacted with fans and others, and then the rejoicing when he gets his well-deserved comeuppance. And the baseball was good, although there isn't a complete game to watch. But really, all the baseball was more about the relationship with baseball that both players and fans have.

I've just come to realize, while typing all this up, that while we enjoyed this baseball movie, there was actually insufficient baseball in this movie to call it a baseball movie. Now I'm sad. I mean, maybe not really, because we did enjoy the movie, but I guess because it was smartly written and well performed and not badly directed. But it's not a baseball movie, and now I'm sad. Who knew this would be a sad review? Certainly not me, when I started.

Wow. Great movie, just not a baseball movie. Lots of great relationship stuff, while not a "chick flick" in its relationshippiness. There were plenty of manly men in it, and not the kind of manly men that attract women to a movie. Hmmm... what exactly was this movie about? I guess you'll need to watch it, and weigh in. It's a good flick, and you'll enjoy it. But will you please tell me what it was about? Thanks.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Not sure how this one ended up in the queue

but we watched it last night, and we both loved it. Somewhere along the way, we must have seen a trailer for it, and so Stephen probably did a search. Or maybe DirecTV gave us another free weekend for one of the premium channels, and it was in the guide over the weekend, and the blurb sounded interesting. I really don't know how it made its way into the queue. But I'm glad it did.

We both had yesterday off, and I didn't feel like going anywhere. Stephen left for a little bit to do some in-person browsing at Barnes & Noble and Ikea. When he got back, I think he did a little more writing, and then we had plenty of evening ahead of us for television and/or movie watching.

So we watched this little sleeper of a film from 2014. Tragedy strikes just past the opening, so we pretty much knew that things had to get better, and there'd be conflict along the way. Watching it, you immediately know which characters you like, and which you don't like, and for whom you'll be cheering, and who will have major growth arcs, and for whom you'll shout "Good Riddance!" when they leave. It's not like this particular flick leaves you guessing.

Still, it's a completely enjoyable journey. We learned a little, along the way. We laughed a lot, along the way. We both gave it thumbs up at the end of the viewing. It probably didn't get much attention when it was in theaters due to both a poorly-run ad campaign and its lack of earth-shatteringness. It's no The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, but then again, how many movies out there are? Even the Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel isn't. ;)

We like our little Brit-flicks. We like a little slice of India, here and there. I don't think we'll be expanding the Bollywood section of our Blu-Ray collection anytime soon, but we do like the ones we've seen, including all three of these.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Welcome, Trinidad and Tobago!

Your countries are so geographically small on my map that I can't see your greenness, but I am glad to see new readership. So welcome. Please check out past posts to see if you have interest in my topics, and join the conversation if you feel inclined! Bring lots of friends on you next visit, and then the greenness will show up on my map! I'm always open for a new geography lesson.


In other news, I bet you believed, your whole life, that if you were falling in a dream, you would wake yourself before you landed, because if you didn't, you'd die. Well, I'm here to tell you that It Ain't So. Last night, in the middle of the night, I fell from a great height in my dream. I landed s*p*l*a*t on some concrete surface, and I died upon impact. And then my spirit walked around, trying to reconnect with my survivors. My spirit didn't float or drift, it walked. I mean, I walked. It was me, with the full knowledge that I was dead. And no one could see me or interact with me. And it wasn't sad. It was just different. I eventually awoke because my bladder was full, and I realized that I had had the falling dream and had died in the dream. And I wasn't sad; I just felt weird.

So for all you dream interpreters out there - what the heck was that all about?

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Did the rodent see his shadow?

I wasn't paying attention to news or weather or anything like that today. I did what I always do on February 2nd, if I'm not working.

I spent the day watching Bill Murray grow in his character of Phil Connors and then start back at one to do it again. Seriously. Every Year, I marathon Groundhog Day all day...

So what happened in your/the world today? Anything fun?

Monday, February 1, 2016

Hello, February!

Yesterday, our weather in Los Angeles was Miserable. Not "Les" Miserable, just Downright Miserable. Yes, of course, we need the rain. We're grateful for the rain. But we don't need it during tours at Warner Bros., we don't need it during the taping of the "Grease Live" event, we don't need all the wind that accompanied it (seriously, one or the other, pretty please), and we certainly don't need the temperatures to drop back into, I dunno, winter?

I survived. Got up today, and had no reason to leave the house until I had a reason to leave the house. Stephen was off today, so after we'd both accomplished all the productivity we were likely to accomplish inside, we decided to walk over to Costco with a short list and a few empty grocery bags. We did the walking, sampling lunch, purchased about thirty pounds of foodstuffs, and walked home with our stuff.

We were both dressed for the cold temperatures and the biting winds. We got back in, and I was downright HOT. (Yeah, I know, "quit braggin'".) I changed into a tank top to cool off... a little later, I went back downstairs to check the mail. Big mistake. I didn't dress for that quick trip into the cold winds, and now I've spent the last several hours trying to cough up a lung and keep my nose from running away.

Seasonal allergies, man. They suck.

Tomorrow, if I'm not booked for work, I intend to watch Bill Murray re-live February 2nd Eleventy Million times.