Sunday, January 31, 2016

Good Riddance, January! UPDATED (yeah, I know, already?)

What with all the celebrity deaths and the worry and whatnot about family members and work and households running properly and much ado about nothing, I say

Welcome, February!

Today was not a great day for tours. Rain and wind and no sunshine make it incredibly difficult for the Most Optimistic and Generally Outwardly Happy Person You Know to find "three positive things that happened today" to report about work. I had to shorten my first tour; I had no time to find rain gear, and ended up completely drenched through many layers, and then... nothing. No positive, no negative. Once you're soaked to the bone, I guess the positive is that "it can't get any worse". I suppose I should have listed that. Whatevs.

I'm going to bed now. I sure hope February is better.

The UPDATE: I had begun this as a draft last night, and then forgot it, so here it is: Welcome BACK, Ireland!


It's been a year and a quarter (or so) since you first arrived, and when you did, you came in force. Then someone from your country tried to spam comment me, but blogger.com blocked it, so that was cool. Now you're back, again in force. Maybe you're the same group; maybe you're a new group. I guess I'll know if blogger.com blocks some more spam comments from ya. In the meantime, welcome back! Don't stay gone so long!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Some newsworthy news? Maybe. Also, Welcome, Belarus!

Stephen and I are dancing again tonight, and it looks like we'll have some company from my friends from Arthur Murray, so that'll be fun.

Also, while at work today at the Bros., I got to Give My First Tour to a real-life Someone More Famous than I am. He had given a personal tour of the stuff he had access to (soundstages) to his mother, who was visiting for however long, YESTERDAY. Today, I guess she wanted "the real thing", so there they were, climbing into my tour cart. I was the only one (other than his mom) who watches the show he's on, so while I talked about it a little on the tour (only when it was appropriate), the tour was pretty much like any other tour I give. He played it pretty cool and casual, and I didn't point him out to the other guests, because, um, AWKWARD, anyone? His mom did take a couple of photos of me with him, at the end of the tour, after the other guests had departed, but I can't post them, because reasons. I shared those photos with my compatriots, but discovered, when sharing them with my boss-man, that it's actually against the rules (or some such nonsense) for tour guides, while working, to ask for photos with talent... even if that talent has just spent two hours with us! Boss-man was nice enough to break it down for me in a non-boss-man way, gently reminding me of this "rule" that I had apparently been told but forgotten, because how many actors ever just show up to take your tour? ZERO. Also, Boss-man kept saying how "cool" and "awesome" and "fantastic" it was, both that he'd been on my tour and that he'd taken the pics... but not to be done again, and not to be posted, not now or ever. Oh, well. Sorry I can't share them; they're super-cute! ;)

And lastly, Welcome, Belarus! I have no idea what brought you here, but I do hope you find something of interest to bring you back. As always, please check out my archives, and bring friends when you return! And welcome BACK, Romania! Nearly a YEAR has passed since you first crossed my virtual threshold!

Friday, January 29, 2016

You're afraid it's all been wasted time...

RIP, Glenn Frey (yeah, I know I'm late, but January's been a bitch). Really, I wasn't thinking so much about Wasted Time as I was Wasting Time.

I tend to fart around on my computer all day, if I've nothing good to do. Sometimes the farting around is essentially productive. Like today, I killed a lot of time putting numbers together in a spreadsheet and my TurboTax software. I bought a
new car
 last year, so I'm having to calculate what percentage of the old one was used per business (we have a few businesses between us), as well as what percentage of the new one has been used per business. The spreadsheet makes the calculations easy, and the tax software is really just plugging those numbers in (I don't have to do the calculations). I did spend all day farting around there, though. Without all the w-2's, 1099's, and whatever other forms we're probably waiting for, I can't finish. I'm looking forward to finishing. We're expecting decent refunds, which is good.

I've also discovered another bit of money magnetism, lately. I got paid twice this week by Warner Bros. Apparently, everyone got a raise in mid-December, and they didn't bother to tell us. They just processed a retroactive pay increase check with the regular check yesterday. Score!

What'll we spend all the money on? Good question. We could just apply it to our credit card debt and get closer to "financial freedom", or we could maybe take up dance lessons for a little bit. That's what I spent my insurance settlement on when Mommy died in 2006, and I don't feel the least bit unhappy with that choice at that time. Not that our latest "windfalls" will go as far as that; but maybe Stephen would enjoy some private instruction, since he did get a little bit of one-on-one with a real instructor when we went dancing two weeks ago. Which reminds me! We're going dancing again tomorrow night! If you're a local reader, wouldn't you like to join us?

Not that I think dancing is necessarily a time-waster (to get myself back on track here). It's great exercise, and is also a great social environment for both generating and releasing energy. TIME-WASTERS tend to suck the life outta us. Farting around on the computer, or on the phone, or the game console, all tend to leave us feeling bad about ourselves, I think, in the long run. It's so easy to lose oneself in a game or in the internets and return feeling less than accomplished. But when Stephen loses himself in a book, or I try to solve a new crochet puzzle, we're both working out our brains instead of just zoning out. Yeah, they can be considered "time-wasters", but they're at least a little bit productive.

I dunno. Do you often feel it's all been wasted time? How do you like to waste your time? Do we need some new time-wasters? Do you have a favorite that hasn't even occurred to me?

Thursday, January 28, 2016

EV-'rybuddy wants Me! (duh-nana, duh-nana, duh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nana)

I got called at 7-ungodly-something-o'clock this morning. The tour department at Warner Bros. wanted to know if I was available and interested in picking up a six-hour shift today. Sure! So I got booked for 10:15 - 4:15. Yay! Back to sleep, maybe?

Nope. That phone call was immediately followed by the Customer Service department of a company to whom I'd returned a product, informing me at 7-ungodly-something-o'clock that my return had been processed, and I should see my refund on the appropriate credit card in the next business week. Fine; thank you; WHY THE EFF are you calling me at 7-ungodly-something-o'clock? I didn't say all that, but before we'd gotten into the point of the call, the woman asked how I was, and I did inform her that she'd awakened me. She apologized and seemed a bit surprised, but I think that's because she was calling From India. Whatever. I'm getting a refund, as expected. Yay. Back to sleep, maybe?

Sorta, maybe. Not so much. Just shy of 9 a.m., as I'm planning to get up and get moving anyway, I get a call from Central Casting, asking if I am available and interested in rushing out to Burbank in the next 30 minutes? Oh, dear sweet Baby Jesus, yes, I would love to... but I'm already rushing out to Burbank to be on the lot by 10:15, so I have to say, no, I'm sorry. Interested but no longer available. Damn. I have a feeling it was for the show Mom, which I've been hoping to get to play on, for several reasons:

  1. It shoots at Warner Bros. and I already know my way around the lot (plus I live close enough to easily get there for a half-hour rush call)
  2. Allison Janney is The Bomb dot Com, and I am desperate to see her in person, possibly with a chance to "meet" her, and if the moment reveals itself, tell her my little tour guide anecdote that relates to her days on The West Wing.
  3. Okay, actually, my "several" reasons only break down into TWO. So sue me. No, don't. It's my blog, I'll use whatever vernacular I choose.
I also have been making myself available for tours on only a weekend schedule, so that I can leave weekdays available for being on set, as that is my preferred gig and makes me more money in the course of any regular day. But being "available" for work means that I'm still reachable by phone, and I'm pretty much a stick-to-my-commitments, first-come-first-served kinda gal. And it was a good day on the lot, but one of my tours did venture into the soundstage where they were holding the Mom background actors, so that was a personal bittersweet moment for me. Not that Allison was holding in that stage - are you insane?

At the end of my six, I stopped by Trader Joe's, because we were out of wine and chocolate. Had my usual brief banter with the Captain (manager), where I asked him if he was "Ready?" (to hire/interview me) to which he replied "Almost! Are you?" and I indicated "Gettin' there!" ... so, any day now, I'm going to be faced with a plethora of employment options.

Dear God, please help me to make the best impression on the best potential employer and give me wisdom, insight, and the freedom to choose my best opportunity. Amen.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

I made some more things...

... like one of two wrist "gauntlets" that I'm sorta figuring out, what with only knowing one basic crochet stitch so far, and not having access to patterns yet, or ludicrous amounts of yarn or even various sizes of hooks yet. So I'm kinda making a pair of fingerless gloves; maybe I'll figure out the thumbhole by the time I'm done with the experiment, and they'll end up pretty cool. I'm using the leftover yarn from my sister's Moebius Scarflet, so she's probably going to "claim" them by the time she receives the first package and figures out her best way to wear it.

... and a crock pot of an improvised "shit on a shingle" but without the shingle, and actually incorporating veggies, too. Pulled pork, smashed taters, a tub of cheddar-n-horseradish pub cheese, a can of diced tomatoes, and a bunch of broccoli florets. Tasty, but really not sure how I should have served this up, sans toast?

... and a dent in the filing of taxes. So far, getting a decent refund, based on four w-2's. Haven't yet calculated business deductions (actor/writer/Scripty) or received all of the w-2's and 1099's we'll receive yet this year. Gotta do a little spreadsheet math. Probably tomorrow.

... and a frustrating pile o' mess trying to create a damn iTunes account so I can watch the last friggin' screener! I'll try again tomorrow, maybe. I may just have to vote based on the movies I've been able to watch. Have I mentioned how much I HATE streaming video? What about how ANTI-"i" I am? No? Yeah, I have. I know I have.

So ennyhoo; Stephen and the houseguest have both retired for the night.
I am soon to follow.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

I HATE streaming video.

Have I mentioned how much I HATE streaming video? All this season of SAG Awards, I've been trying to watch screeners so I can vote before Saturday, for Best Performances for the SAG Awards, which will air on Sunday (unless I mean Friday for Saturday and Saturday for Sunday; I forget). I'm just trying to get through all of these movies.

I promised you kids at least one more review today. Unfortunately, my review of Carol will be tainted by the fact that it only streams properly on my cell phone, and there is No. Fucking. Way. In. Hell. I'm going to watch a two-hour movie on that teeny-tiny screen! NO. FUCKING. WAY.

So maybe you can explain to me why it works this way, because it doesn't make a damn bit of sense to me. I go to the website, on the television, and the video never loads. I go to the website, on my computer, and the video streams almost immediately, but I only get to see about four frames per second, rather than the standard twenty-four (I'm just guessing that the video loads only one out of every six frames). The audio streams just fine. But the video? Not so much. Still, connecting the laptop to the television via an HDMI cable allows me to watch it on a larger screen, jumpy though it is. Checked it out on the phone, just to see. To see if maybe, I could stream it via the phone through the computer into the big tv and therefore get to see all I'm hearing. Because on the phone, you see, using the same internet connection I've got in my laptop and the PlayStation4 into the tv, for whatever unknown ridonkulous reason, it streams PERFECTLY. Streams Perfectly into my tiny 4" screen, using the Same. Damn. Internet. Connection. What the ever-lovin' Eff, People? Why can't I watch this (allegedly) beautiful film on more than 4"? I can, as long as I resign myself to seeing approximately 1/6th of the originally shot visuals. (Honestly, I probably got to watch significantly LESS than 1/6th of the visuals. Just sayin')

So here's my review: Carol is about a forbidden love affair. It's forbidden because the time period is the 1950's and the location is Anywhere, America. The two parties of the love affair are both female; thus the forbidden aspect. Galadriel the Ageless Elf woos the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Apparently, one or both of them are nominated for Best Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role. I couldn't tell ya. Sorry.

In case you can't really wrap your brain around my frustration, imagine this: A Sweeping, Historic Battle Epic with Brilliant Landscapes and Cinematography that you have to watch as a slideshow, all the while hearing every stinkin' bit of dialogue and swordplay in "real" time. Imagine The Best Ensemble Cast in the Most Quotable Romantic Comedy of All Time, performing their hearts out while you quote along with them, but only getting to watch it like a filmstrip in elementary school. I'm very unhappy. You should be, too. If I had received the physical screener they'd promised me, you'd have gotten a much better review much sooner than this. But what are you left with? This. Pathetic. Blog. Post. And now I have nothing left to look forward to but Trumbo, streamed in iTunes, which I'll have to fight with because Stupid Apple. Yay.

Go ahead. Yell at me. You deserve better than this.
video
A sample of what I endured.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, the weather changed to super-fantastic yesterday. I drove around, doing my errands, with my window open and my shirt sleeves pushed up to my elbows. And then my congestion returned last night, disallowing anyone in this household to sleep until well after midnight. So I feel great today. Peachy.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Welcome Backs.

Readers from Sweden, and South Africa, and Singapore, and Ukraine, and Mexico, and Thailand, and Vietnam have rejoined the rest of you here in the last week! Some visited for the first time about six months ago, and some as long ago as a year and a half ago. So, to all of you who've been away, Welcome BACK!

Today, I've been "productive", as it were, but I have nothing interesting to tell you. I sent out Cheryl's Moebius Scarflet; I shopped for some groceries; I ran the dishwasher; I ... ordered pizza for dinner? We did eat pizza for dinner, which I ordered online, but how exciting is that for you?

Sorry, everyone. Maybe tomorrow I'll actually screen another movie, and then I can review it for you. Right now, we're enjoying wine and chocolate with our viewing of the latest Downton Abbey. Yay for British television!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Room and Mad Max

No, this is not a "new" idea for a spin-off show or anything. It's two movie reviews.

I can't tell you anything about the plot of Room. It would spoil it for you. I didn't know anything about the plot before I started watching it, except something that made zero sense. But we put it in tonight so I could review it and vote before the weekend hits.

OMG, y'all. This movie made me weep. So good. So very good. We honestly didn't know what we were watching, until it finally started making some sense, and then we were riveted. The performances are outstanding. I dunno if the kid is nominated, but if he is, I'm going to have to weigh my vote very carefully. I may have to give it to him instead of Eddie Redmayne. And if the lead actress is nominated, well, I'm going to have to weigh that against Saoirse Ronan. Dang.

Also a couple of very fine performances by Joan Allen and William H. Macy. And Wendy Crewson showed up; I recognized her without knowing exactly who I recognized. If you like any of these performers, then go ahead and admire their performances, but pay attention to the principles. Really good flick (about which I can divulge NOTHING other than accolades).

Mad Max: this thing is nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture? Are you FUCKING kidding me? Sure, it's holding our attention, in bits, but seriously, Stephen has been looking over something in his phone from time to time, and I, of course, am BLOGGING while we watch. This movie will not change the world; Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy (yes, more grunting Tom Hardy) are doing a fine job; the story is a bit silly while trying to tell us something. I don't feel the least bit unhappy that I missed this one in theaters; I'm grateful that one of Stephen's co-workers lent him his Blu-Ray (still sealed -  what does that tell you, kids?).

Yes, there are "epic landscapes", and for a post-apocalyptic action flick, there's plenty of fighting, driving, and explosions. But Best Picture? I think not. At least we've had wine and chocolate tonight! And tomorrow, if I'm not working? I hope to figure out how to stream the last two, Trumbo and Carol. I think I have to watch them both in my laptop, rather than on the tv screen, but I'm hoping that the stories don't make me hate that option. We'll see!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

I finished Cheryl's Moebius Scarflet!

I called her to get some measurements, stitched it together, put it on my own body, and took some pictures to teach her "how" to wear it (because she had indicated to me that she was excited to receive it, but really had no real idea "how" it is to be worn). So it should go out in Monday's mail, unless I book some work for Monday, in which case, I'll send it as soon as I can get to a post office. I estimated these would take me a week to do; I think I have officially beat that deadline, even with my fourteen-and-a-half hour day on set yesterday.

Speaking of which, I LOVE working on the muppets. This is such a great show. It's well written, it's well performed, it's well directed, and the crew are all pretty amazing people. To everyone's knowledge, there are only two episodes left to shoot this season. In those two episodes, there's probably only one day of work for me, as long they do decide to ask me back. There's no reason they shouldn't ask me back, but there are no guarantees where this industry's concerned, so I'm hopeful I'll get to work one more day before something else picks me up for a long run. I did give my contact information to the Assistant Director, so the "something else" that picks me up for a long run could easily be a crew position rather than a background role.

Just in case you're waiting for another movie review, I only have three left to watch for the SAG Awards voting. Unfortunately, only one of the three is an actual, physical disc. The other two must be streamed, and neither of the streamable ones are willing to work through the PS4 so we can watch them on the tv screen. Which means, I'm going to have to watch them on my laptop. I really hate that. And I don't really have time tonight to watch the last remaining physical disc. So no review tonight.

Short enough day of tours today; another short day of tours tomorrow. Stephen will be home all day watching football, so I don't know if I'll have time to watch another screener tomorrow. I'm looking forward to hearing from another member of my family, so I can go pick up some more yarn and start another Moebius Scarflet! (... aaand, we're back to where we started!)

Friday, January 22, 2016

Welcome BACK, Japan!

Like Thailand, you were originally welcomed a year and a half ago. Thanks for returning. Please check out the archives to see all the everything you've missed!

In other news, I was on set all day. It was a good, long day. I got plenty of camera time, AND I managed to both "learn something new" and "teach something new" quite a lot, all day. Maybe when I get home from the Bros. tomorrow, I'll say more about today. I'm just ready to get this posted while it's still today so I can stick with my goal.

Be sure to stop back by tomorrow, possibly earlier in the evening than almost-tomorrow time. G'nite! :)

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Welcome BACK, Thailand!

It's been about a year and a half since your first "welcome", so it's good to see you back on the map. Please spend some time perusing the archives; a lot has happened in that year and a half!

In other news, yes, I've made progress on the crochet front. No, I'm not finished yet.

In OTHER other news, I was planning to spend some "free" movie "cash" to sit in a theater and watch Trumbo this afternoon, so I could vote appropriately (and review the flick for you). Turns out that THE ONLY theater left that's in a reasonable distance charges MORE than the voucher is worth, so I'd have to pay to "screen" the movie, and even with validation, there's also the paying for parking, and having to drive over the Hollywood Hill to get there. Ain't nobody wanna do that! (At least, I certainly didn't have that in mind for myself). So I stayed home to stream Revenant. Here's my review:

Brutal. Violent. In Your Face (as in, the camera is Too Damn Close to all the Brutal Violence). I don't think they ever tell you WHERE you are or what the time period is; you sorta have to guess.* My guess is Alaska, or at the very least, Northern Oregon or Washington (Pacific Northwest, judging by the snow and the mountains and the grizzly bears), and "Old West" timeframe. There's not a lot of "civilization" or technology, and all of the dialogue in English is spoken with a rugged Appalachian or other non-modern dialect and vernacular. There were subtitles for the French and Native American language that was spoken, but it was often difficult to discern what the English words were, especially when being grunted. The weapons were single-shot rifles and pistols that had to be individually loaded, bows and arrows, hatchets and knives. We're talkin' Cowboys and Indians, except that the Cowboys were wilderness/military (without the recognizable uniforms) dudes. The three (?) women that we saw were all Native American, and they only ever interacted with Leo.

Speaking of Leo - I wish I could give him a "Best Performance" award for Gilbert Grape or The Aviator. His performance in this was really top-notch, but it was really hard to watch the grizzly attack. By the way, there's a Really Brutally Violent grizzly attack. It's not immediate, but it is nearish to the beginning, and afterwards, we get to admire some really Outstanding (Best nominee, anyone?) Makeup Effects. I would also probably nominate this flick for Best Score, if I were able to make that nomination. But other than that, unless you're into Really Incredibly Brutal In-Your-Face Violence, or possibly a Beautiful Epic Landscape, I don't think I can recommend this film.

omg... I just discovered Tom Hardy was in this film, as I was linking the IMDb links. Who did he even play? Was it "the bad guy"? That would make the most sense... let's see. Yup. John Fitzgerald, the "bad guy" >>sorry if that's a SPOILER, but seriously, this dude is NOT redeemable in any way, shape, or form. I guess that was a "Best" Performance, since I didn't even know it was Tom Hardy. :/

In OTHER other Other news: I'm back on the muppets tomorrow! Yay! First day on set in 2016... PLEASE get me some more days, and Thank You, Brandi, for keeping me on this show! Yay!

... so now, time for wine-n-chocolate and some mindless television before I have to go to bed so I can be on set at 7 in the a.m. Yay!

*I found out after I'd already typed all this up but before I published that it's supposed to be the 1820's in the Dakotas. Whatevs.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Welcome Back, Vietnam!

Last time I welcomed you (back?) was in July, so I guess it's been awhile. Thanks for the visits; please stick around, and peruse the archives to see if I've said anything new or interesting in the last six months.

In other news, I worked on my sister's Moebius Scarflet again today, on and off, while also puttering around in the kitchen AND calling ten thousand phone lines to submit for work AND watching two more of my SAG Award (TM) screeners. The "chili" (more of a meat stew) will be ready for consumption tomorrow; I'll work some more on the scarflet tonight and tomorrow; here for your reading pleasure (?) NOW are more reviews.

99 Homes - let me just start with Andrew Garfield (who I honestly DID NOT recognize on the movie posters) as a working-class construction dude in Florida, and Laura Dern as his working-class mother. That's a good start. Fine performances from each, totally believable that he could be a single dad (?!?!?!) and she could be his mom (what the WHAT?!?!? Okay, yeah, while linking their pages, I just looked at their ages. SHIT). Early on, we see a realtor schmuck evicting people from their homes, so we know that the general topic is very similar to The Big Short. But I can't fathom why this one is up for any awards. The subject matter is dullsville, presented from the POV of the "victims" so we'll feel a tug on our heartstrings, etc. The pace is sssssssllllooooooooooooooooooooooooooowww, and anytime we should really understand what's going on, they kind of rush through the explanations. If you have to watch a film about the housing market's economic collapse in 2010-ish, I suggest you skip this one and watch The Big Short.

Black Mass - South Boston dialects meet the true story events of the crimes and collaborations that lead to the eventual arrest of James "Whitey" Bulger. BORING topic; fine performances; FOCUS, people, or you will MISS something (not that you'll miss having missed it, but you'll wonder if you did, and then you'll have to back the damn thing up - AGAIN - because you'll think what you've missed is pivotal). I was paying attention, but I was also making phone calls (you really don't have to listen to busy signals, but you do, every once in awhile, have to look to see that the auto-redial is working), AND the houseguest walked in, AND I was puttering around in the kitchen. So I would hit "pause", only to discover that I'd NOT hit "pause" but had, instead, reset to an earlier frame. I REALLY don't like trying to watch streaming video! But what do you care? You wanna know how I liked the movie, so you can decide whether to watch it. I didn't. But if you have interest in "Whitey" Bulger's eventual arrest and the events that led to it, OR you love Johnny Depp (FINALLY, they made him unattractive!), OR you just want to occasionally hear Benedict Cumberbatch or Kevin Bacon speak "Southie", then by all means. Knock yourself out.

Two for two tonight! Two LOSERS, that is. I've reached the point where I just want to be done watching screeners, so I can vote, already. Tomorrow, if I'm not working, I'm going to try to use my SINGLE ticket for a screening of Trumbo. Another "based on true events", but it looks at least like they Maybe tried to make it the lighthearted POV. Maybe it'll be worth the drive over the hill into Hollywood. Maybe it'll be different to see something on the big screen (it's been awhile for me). Please, Dear Baby Jesus, let it be fun.

Before I was finished puttering AND before I was ready to post this, I WAS able to get submitted for some possible work tomorrow AND put myself on the rush-call list, Just In Case. Let's hope someone calls or emails or texts me, so that my post tomorrow can be a new case of "And now, for something completely different!"

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

I'm making another thing

Inner Hippie was the first family member to "place an order" for my Moebius Scarflet, so I got some new yarn today to get started.

Sneak peak, this is all you get:

Monday, January 18, 2016

Welcome Back, Denmark and Singapore!

The first time Denmark showed up was more than a year ago. Singapore arrived last August. Don't really remember how long either of you hung around, but it would appear you're back. Stick around! Chime in, on occasion! Thanks for stopping by.

In other news, in case you happen to participate in Friday Fictioneers (by reading or writing or commenting on reading or whatever), then you may be interested in this post I found over at Wil Wheaton's blog.

In OTHER other news, I followed Yoda's command today. I did not TRY to antagonize or aggravate my husband today, but boy, howdy, did I manage to DO it! We're all better now, and he's predicting that he'll be sick in a week or so. Apparently, a week prior to him coming down with something, he'll have a really bad day where he stays in a foul mood, and just about anything that seems to not be going his way, he'll take more personally than on any other day. I blame the weather for his bad day today. I'm predicting no sickness! We all have bad days; I recognize when mine are precursors to Depression. I fight days like today (where it was basically cold and gloomy, you know, normal for January 18th if you live anywhere other than LA) with vitamins C and D, and I try to remember that the Universe is NOT conspiring against me, and no matter how much Stephen or anyone else treads on my last nerve, they are probably just following Yoda's command equally well!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

What. The. Eff, SAG Awards?

Why you gonna send me (and all the other SAG-AFTRA voters) this Gi-Normous Waste of Ink, Paper, and Postage (which didn't fit well in my mailbox, btw), and NOT send me a physical screener? I haven't yet seen this movie, because you're forcing me to STREAM it (which, I've decided, I really kinda HATE doing). I'm sure your boy Leo deserves an award or two; he's been a favorite of mine ever since What's Eating Gilbert Grape, and I truly loved everything about Inception. But for you to ask me for my vote without sending me a real screener is low, SAG Awards. I may vote for everyone else just out of spite. And of course, I'll be encouraging all of my co-voters to do the same.*

*Probably not going to do this, but what if others who received this feel the same, and DO do it? Huh? Were you thinking of the possible repercussions, SAG Awards?

Saturday, January 16, 2016

We (yes, I said WE) are going dancing tonight!

It's a regular event at a ballroom that's just outta the way. One of the recent times I visited the webpage, there was dancing every Friday night, hosted by a couple, not necessarily the ballroom. That event seems to have gone missing. I'm hoping it will return, because I'm hoping that Stephen will enjoy himself enough tonight to want to try it again, on a semi-regular basis.

At any rate, we're in "prep" stage.
So. Glamorous. Who knew my hair was long enough for rollers? Not quite long enough for an "up-do", though.
I hope to update this post with pretty pictures of us both pretty, and dancing, and having fun being pretty. We'll see.

If you're a reader who is in the area and you see this post soon enough, hey! Why don't you join us over there? There's a single class starting at 7:30, followed by general dancing for as long as you can stand it (or, until they stop, if you're just a Dancing Freak).

UPDATE: We danced a little. Well, we went to the class first, which was on Foxtrot. It started out easy and got progressively harder, and Stephen ended up sitting out most of it because it was just frustrating for him. When the general dancing started, we looked at the playlist and chose songs that we could dance together, and when I returned from dancing with someone else, we checked in a lot to be sure that we were both having fun.

He took photos of me dancing with others. Most of the photos, because they were taken in my phone, and it's DANCING, are not great. At the very end, he got some video of my hustle with Dale. Here's what we managed to bring home in the phone:
selfie to start. I have already begun dancing, which means
I've started to sweat, and my hair has decided it's "done".

I took this of the room full of dancers.

Salsa or swing with Russian Frank. He liked spinning me.

More swing, I think, with Russian Frank.

Dale mostly danced smooth dances with me, but I requested this hustle.

Same hustle with Dale.
 Stephen got the photo-taking figured out.
video
Somewhere along the lines, I danced with a couple of instructors, and one of them took an interest in getting Stephen on the dance floor more. So he came over and gave him some one-on-one instruction in cha-cha, with me as the "body" that Stephen would lead. It was less than five minutes of individualized attention, in language that Stephen could understand, and we both felt some real progress was made. Stephen danced more in public tonight than he has ever done before. Probably more than the sum total of all of his "dancing in public" experiences. We're planning to go back in two weeks (Saturday the 30th), because the man who took individual interest in us will be teaching the group class before the general dancing that night. Should be fun.
Twas a Good Night, and so, Good Night to you.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Ho. Lee. Shit.

When one of the countries that reads me disappears from the map, it makes me a little sad. When that country reappears, I do a little happy dance.

Immediately after posting today's post, I looked back at my stats ('cuz I do that), and I saw that TODAY's post had already had three "hits" (in the less-than-a-minute that it took me to click on the stats button after sending the post into the Twittersphere).

When a country reappears with a vengeance, I say "Ho. Lee. Shit."
Hey, there, Russia. I'm sad for you that all you have is Internet Explorer, but thanks for coming back and bringing friends!

I made a thing.

The thing I made is now and forever to be known as a "Moebius Scarflet" (until someone comes up with a better name for this thing).

Mommy always used to knit and crochet when we were little (insert "missing" photo of sisters dressed in handmade crocheted Easter dresses). I've recently decided it was time for me to learn, for reals. I had been given this particular skein of yarn and a "knitting loom" for Christmas, from my Secret Santa at work (because I had indicated an interest in learning, and my fave color is purple). Took the loom to my local fabric store, because a "knitting loom" is not going to teach me to knit. Returned it for store credit and then wandered the yarn aisle, looking at needles and hooks. Another customer quickly advised that crochet was the easier skill to learn FIRST, and then she gave me and Stephanie a brief lesson using available yarn and one of the hooks she was buying anyway. I had Stephanie run out to the car to check the weight of the yarn I had, and I ended up buying a set of four rather large hooks (the yarn is considered "bulky", which translates to bigger needles or hooks, bigger stitches, and a really soft and warm end result). With the discounts that Jo-Ann offers automatically, I was able to pay a grand total of $.53 (after the store credit) to make this thing!

Stephanie tells me that it is The. Law. that I now make these for all of my nieces and nephews. It took me four days, with stops and starts and do-overs, to make this thing for myself. I can see being able to crank out one a week for nieces and nephews. You'll have to clue me in on how long/wide you'd like them to be (this one would likely swallow whole any of the children we have in mind), as well as preferred colors. I don't think The. Law. specifically excludes adult family members, and there's probably no distinction between "nieces and nephews" and "GREAT nieces and nephews". So let me know your deets! There's a world of yarn out there, waiting to be turned into Moebius Scarflets!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

I need to post SOMETHING, but...

I really wanted to watch at least one more screener today. I really wanted to post at least one more review today. I really wanted to keep up with my goal for the year of keeping up with posting once daily on my blog.

While, technically, this qualifies as a blog post, I really don't think it is.

I went to Central Casting this morning to do the twice-monthly visit-with-the-casting-directors thing, in the hopes that my work in the background of the film industry would pick <the fuck> up. I learned of Alan Rickman's passing while waiting in line. I think the thing that distracted me was that the person directly behind me in line had No. Fucking. Clue. who Alan Rickman was. GEEZ! You work in this industry, you should watch a fucking movie!

So my morning passed, and then my day passed, and I did some boring shit, like shop for groceries and filters for the kitties' water fountain, and attempt to get a better hands-on education regarding my new crochet hobby (more on that later).

... and then I got home. I ate, and I pulled all of the stitches out of my new scarf (no, it was only 1/6th what it will end up being) and restarted that, and then I. Turned. On. My. Computer. EVERYWHERE I looked, there were Alan Rickman posts! and Tweets! and Links! ... and in between the deluge of tears, I got to watch funny short videos, and recover, and crochet, and then I'd see another thing that would make my eyeballs hurt. I mean, seriously, right now, my eyeballs and eyelids HURT.

I honestly have no idea how to "end" this post without crying some more. Hope to see you on the "other side". In the meantime, as you've probably guessed, I'm drinking wine. I'll likely have chocolate soon, too, and then head to bed. Maybe. It's still early yet (not quite 8:00, my time).

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Wow.

Stephen and I have a couple more screeners to catch in the world of "streaming"; Carol (not yet received) and Room are available for us to watch on DVD in a night or two.

TONIGHT, we had wine and chocolate while watching one of our last DVD screeners I'd received in the mail, The Big Short.

We knew ahead of time that it stars Steve Carell, Brad Pitt, Christian Bale, and Ryan Gosling, and that the primary subject matter is the huge economic collapse of 2007/2008. We knew that it was another "based on true events" movie, so we were expecting... I dunno what we were expecting. Not what we watched, that is certain.

They manage to make the most boring movie topic of all time not only interesting, but FUN. They constantly have the actors look right "down the pipe" (it feels like the audience is being looked at directly) to tell us which of these points are being presented exactly as the truth happened in reality, or if a particular character really was the way he's being presented in reality. Or, even better, when they explain some particularly boring aspect of the banking industry by way of some famous person who is completely not known for their knowledge of the boring aspects of the banking industry.

Needless to say (I hope, which will not stop me from saying it, though), we enjoyed it. We laughed AND we learned some shit. Unfortunately, I don't see myself casting a vote for any of the actors. I mean, seriously, when did Marisa Tomei get so old? Yes, there are women in the cast, but this film doesn't pass any Bechdel tests (I don't think); the men do very well with the characters they are asked to portray; none of them stand out, and frankly, this movie seems to be full of Bad Haircuts. Seriously. The Worst hairstyles I have EVER seen on men who usually portray "attractive". The Worst Hair I've ever seen on Steve, Brad, Christian, or Ryan.

So where are we? Straight Outta Compton for Best Ensemble; Eddie Redmayne for Best Lead by a Male; Saoirse Ronan for Best Lead by a Female; Best Supporting by a Male or Female? No Idea. But go ahead and watch these flicks, folks! So far, so good!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Welcome, Brazil and Palau!

I HAVE to believe that my one visit(or) from Palau found my blog by way of Eli McCann, who spent a year in Palau "working". Dunno what brought my one visit(or) from Brazil. No matter, I welcome you both, and I hope you have found a little something of interest here, and that you will return.

No movie reviews tonight. Stephen and I are working our way through some of the tv shows we've got in our regular DVR queue. But I WILL be back with more, I promise.

Monday, January 11, 2016

More Reviews

Okay, so here in OUR household (not counting the houseguest, because he wasn't here while Stephen and I watched it last night), we have come to a unanimous decision that, of the screeners that we have received and watched so far this season, our Hands Down Favorite is Brooklyn. It's a purely fictional (not "based on real events", Thank The Lord Above) Love Story, about a girl who leaves everything she knows in Ireland in 1952 to Get A Life in Brooklyn, NY, USA. She falls in love with an Italian boy but then has to return to Ireland for other Family Shit.

Who amongst us doesn't know of Family Shit? Who amongst us hasn't attempted to escape "current circumstances" in order to Get A Life somewhere else? That sounds an awful lot like BOTH of my "escapes" from North Carolina, USA to Los Angeles, CA, USA, the "home" that I have created for myself.

Finally, a "Best" Performance by a Female in a Leading Role. Finally, something I can just fall into to enjoy the story without worrying about a fact-checker. Finally, a movie that so engrosses me, I can Talk. Back. To. The. TV. Screen. as if the characters will PAY FUCKING ATTENTION and Do What's Right! This movie was glorious. Saoirse Ronan was glorious. The story was glorious. I laughed. I cried. I shouted obscenities at the screen. I will definitely (at this point, at least) be giving my Best vote to Saoirse.

So, ennyhoo, tonight, we were maybe going to go to a SCREENING of Spotlight because I received an e-invite to one at the Directors' Guild, followed by a Q&A with Mark Ruffalo and Liev Schrieber and the director, but of course, I didn't RSVP soon enough, and it filled up. So we stayed in and watched Straight Outta Compton instead.

Kids, I don't really remember that period of time as it related to LA. I was still in North Carolina, in high school and college, and really not a fan of rap music. So everything in this "based on true events" movie spoke to me for the first time. I had heard of  Eazy-E and Dr. Dre and Ice Cube (and Jerry Heller and Snoop Dogg and Tupac) but really knew nothing of their struggles or rise(s) to fame or any of that, mainly, because I was never a fan of rap music, AND I didn't live near Compton, CA.

I think Spotlight is still my fave screener that I've received so far for the "true story" films, and Brooklyn is my fave piece of fiction (one out of one; how do you beat that?), but Straight Outta Compton is going to win my vote for Best Ensemble Cast. I sure hope it's up for that category. Really. Good. Film. And I know that I was never the "target" audience. Doesn't matter. I'll probably watch it again, once I'm finished with all these screeners.

On a side note, Poland has revisited us (since September, I think, so it's been awhile) - WELCOME BACK. On another side note, my allergies have decided to Kick. My. Butt. this evening. I had a few moments of throat-clearings today, during the day, but tonight, for most of the screener viewing (and still, right now), I'm trying to cough up enough phlegm to Quit. FUCKING. Coughing. I was on the rebound, or so I thought. Dammit.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Winning

Yesterday, the Powerball lottery jackpot was $ .9 BILLION. That is A Lot of money, and you can't win if you don't play. So I played, and I didn't win. Nothin'. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Zero. There was a cop checking his tickets when I checked mine, and he won five bucks. Good for him - that's two and a half more Powerball or MegaMillions tickets, or five Superlotto tickets. Or five bucks in his pocket. I was happy to verbally celebrate his win with him. We all already knew that nobody won the jackpot.

And that's okay, because now the "big" jackpot is up to $ 1.3 BILLION for the drawing on Wednesday. Did I go ahead and buy a ticket today, while I was getting tickets for the Superlotto and Fantasy Five? You betcha. Because you can't win if you don't play. I play Superlotto and Fantasy Five every week.

I don't gamble in Vegas; I don't bet on horses or sports or other things you can bet on. I don't bet on facts, even if I know that "my" answer is verifiably "right" and I'm just dealing with an idiot who seriously wants to pay me for the fact that I am right and he/she is so utterly and completely wrong. I'm not competitive, and I don't "gamble". I play the lottery, because it's cheap, and I sometimes win a little something, and it's fun to win a little something, and I know that I can't win a big something if I don't play. I don't spend money I can't afford to lose. I don't like to "spend". I'm on track to get out of my own personal debt by mid-next year. If I stay on track, Stephen's personal debt (other than his student loans) will be wiped out by then as well. This is a great feeling, and I love it.

But wouldn't I love to wipe everything out in one swell foop? You betcha. So I play the lottery.

Here's the deal, though. I don't intend to keep my winnings to myself. When I manage to win any jackpot of $1M or more, I intend to share. I'll be contacting family, and then friends, to say, "Hey. I won some money in a lottery, and it's too much for me to keep to myself. So if you want to share in my major award (wink), then you need to send me a nickel or a dime and a deposit slip for your bank account. I plan on collecting this major award as if the ticket had been purchased in a pool. Once I have enough nickels or dimes to equal the purchase price, then sometime thereafter, you can expect a sizeable deposit into your account, from the Lottery Board of the State of California (or whatever they like to call it). After that, you will be free to do what you will with it; you'll be obligated to whatever tax you'll have to pay, but I won't be telling you how to spend it. Would you like to share in my major award?"

And then, we'll all live happily ever after. Won't that be great?

Do you gamble? In what ways, and what is your limit? What do you do with your winnings? Do you ever see yourself following this kind of plan, or is the money "mine, mine, MINE"? (No judgment from me; I'm curious how others see my plan).

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Dinner and a Movie

So, today, I worked an early shift at Warner Bros. and Stephen worked a late shift at Centinela. We'd done a lot of grocery shopping yesterday, so told him this morning as I was leaving, that if he wanted to start a chili in the crockpot (just meats and enough moisture to keep it from burning to the crock), that I would finish it when I got home, so that we'd both have chili for dinner. Mommy always made a great chili, but I don't have her recipe - I only know her "secret ingredient", and I know that she never made chili with chicken, which is what we're making ours with, so the "secret ingredient" may or may not apply. Plus, I'm not sure if I have any on hand, so I didn't think to add it.

Chili with rice - YUM (yes, Daddy, I DID eat right tonight).
All in all, it turned out better than I could have expected, and I went ahead and made some rice as a side dish. I expect him (Stephen) to walk in the door any minute.

When I first got home, after adding all the stuff to the crock that I needed to add, I was heading out to buy a Powerball ticket (jackpot's just one hundred million shy of One. Billion. Dollars, so, ya know), when I ran into our houseguest. He'd never bought a lottery ticket before, ever, so ya know, what the hell? He went with me.

We returned with our tickets and set to our internetting, when we realized we'd both seen only half of Bridge of Spies. So I turned it back on, found a good starting place approximately halfway through, and while I ate my chili with rice, we watched the rest of the movie. I won't give you his critique, but here's what I thought of it.

Meh. If it weren't surrounded by "based on true events" movies this season, I might have liked it better. The story was fine. The performances were fine. Not a lot of drama; not enough humor; not a single subtitle or caption, even though a good chunk of it takes place in Germany (East Berlin), so there is a good chunk of Russian and German dialogue* - not translated. I don't know if, because the SAG website allows us to stream it, there were captions available, because I'm not really very good at operating the PS4 with the game controller, and the reason I lost track of it yesterday had entirely to do with the PS4 telling me it was about to go into "rest" mode. #FirstWorldProblems, I know. Still. Why didn't SAG send me a stupid disk? It's not like they cost so much to produce and mail. #IHateStreaming #FirstWorldProblems #IGetScreenersButIAmSpoiledInHowIWantToWatchThem #IThinkIMayNotUnderstandHowHashtagsWork #IHadMyWineAndChocolateButNowWhat? #IMayHaveAProblemHereThatIsDefinitelyAnotherFirstWorldProblem #WhatHappensWhenIHaveSoManyWordsToStringTogetherThatTheyDoNotAllFitOnOneLineAndTheComputerHasToDoAnAutomaticLineBreak? #IThinkIJustAnsweredThatLastOne #FirstWorldProblems

Ennyhoo. I figured I needed to inject a little humor here. Hope you all enjoyed it.

This laptop ran out of juice just after Stephen walked in the door at 9:15 or so (*not quite to the "not translated" bit), so I'm just now finishing the post. I hope you've enjoyed this foray into my evening. Please feel free to comment on any part of it that speaks to you.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Welcome, Pakistan!

please visit again and again...

aaaaannnnnnd now, some reviews!

Galavant: OMG, if you didn't watch this last season, you need to catch up and then start watching this season. Just good ol' fun television. Find the older episodes, watch 'em, and then watch the current ones. We just (last night) watched the first couple (they do 'em back-to-back) of this new "season" and were howling.

Spotlight: You remember Erin Brockovich? It had little humor and didn't move very quickly, but the subject matter and characters were riveting, and you couldn't stop watching until you were crying through the resolution? That's Spotlight. Absolutely GREAT film. I watched it while Stephen was at work, and after he reads this review, he'll probably want me to watch it again. I'm down with that. If "The pen is mightier than the sword" and Beasts of No Nation was "the sword" then Spotlight is without a doubt "The Pen". Just sayin'. Only downside I saw is that Mark Ruffalo is not singled out for a Best Performance. Rachel McAdams did a fine job, but I don't see myself voting for her individually. I will vote for the Ensemble Cast, unless something else overrules my current vote. But I want to be able to vote "yea" for Mark Ruffalo. His performance absolutely stood out for me. And the subject matter is a toughie. Fair warning.

Started watching Black Mass. We'll see. OMG - Benedict Cumberbatch with a Boston accent!!! WHAT??? ... I was unable to continue watching this, as I was distracted by all the other crap I was trying to do, and there were no subtitles I could find, and I couldn't focus my attention on Boston accents for two movies in a row (Spotlight had captions, and I was definitely engrossed in that one).

So, I started streaming Bridge of Spies. ANOTHER "based on true events" flick, but this one set in NY during the Cold War. What is it with all of these "based on true events" films this screener season? Weren't there any memorable, nominated performances in any works of complete and utter fiction this year? Sheesh. That said, I got somewhere to the halfway mark before the PS4 told me it was about to go into "Rest" Mode, and I didn't know how to tell it not to, and I lost my place in the movie. I hate streaming video, if it's housed on the interwebs.

That said, I was enjoying and engrossed in Bridge of Spies. Some fine performances, and a different take on that particular era of American history. I look forward to watching the rest. I think I'm still sticking with my Eddie Redmayne vote, though, for now.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

All She Wants to Do is

DANCE, DANCE, DANCE!
This pic was posted on the Facebook wall of a friend I'd made while working at Arthur Murray, a year ago. It was part of a collage, celebrating her Danciversary, and I loved it on So. Many. Levels.

Did you know that I love ballroom dancing? Do you know when I fell in love with ballroom dancing?

MANY years ago, I was married to a dude who'd been a good husband and good father to his daughter from his previous marriage. He let the little girl slip away in a custody NON-battle, "in her best interests", but which led to her biological mother beating her, and when custody was granted to us, we had no clue how to raise a completely broken child, and so the ex-wife killed our marriage.

While we were drifting apart, I was working in a very corporate environment, and there was a corporate Christmas party that my spouse had no plans to attend. So I invited my baby brother to be my date, because I knew he'd had ballroom dance lessons and would often participate in his own neighborhood dance events. He was, basically, the best dancer I knew, and if he wanted to attend, I knew I'd have a good time in spite of my marital woes.

Boy, howdy, did he EVER want to attend! Free dinner? Free drinks (even if it was a two-drink maximum)? DANCING? You betcha! So he drove the distance from his home a state away, and we went to my company party.

I was inappropriately dressed. I had the wrong shoes, and my skirt was either too tight or too short or both. Didn't matter. Baby bro led me as if I knew how to follow. We didn't dance EVERY dance together (he danced with whomever he did/I danced as much as I was able), but we both had a good time, and he planted the "ballroom dance fever" seed in my brain.

Fast-forward almost a decade, and Mommy has just died in a horrible car accident. I'm in Los Angeles, making my film life work for me, and while I have some debt, none of it is particularly unmanageable. What's the one thing I could do with my portion of the small insurance settlement we've received? Who is the One Person who would love to see me dance? Who is the One Person my brother had danced with more often than any other, up until she died? What would She want me to spend that insurance money on?

You guessed it, kids. I paid for an intro package at Arthur Murray, because Mommy made it possible. After the intro package, I paid for more lessons. I took lessons at Arthur Murray for almost three years, advancing through the skill levels, figuring out which were my fave dances (TANGO, waltz, foxtrot...) and which were my not-so-faves (salsa and East Coast swing, primarily because of lazy partners who just spin you 'til you puke). I competed ONCE, after which I realized that I'm just not competitive.

Last year, I got that job as an admin at Arthur Murray. It was a good gig, and I got to dance with the students quite a bit. Prior to that gig, I'd shifted to group classes at the Y, when I had a membership. Then we moved across the country a couple of times, and before I got the gig at Arthur Murray, I was trying to figure out how/when/where to dance.

Now that it's 2016, I think Stephen and I are going to check out a dance hall a couple times per month. We gotta get him comfortable enough to let someone other than me back-lead him occasionally, and if we get friends to join us, that should do. It's not exactly a short drive from here, but really, what is? Do I wanna DANCE? Or not?

go ahead and play this in the background - there's no actual video here, just THE SONG

What is "All YOU Want to Do" for 2016?

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Rainy Days and Mondays

always get me down. It's raining today, as it did yesterday. We need the rain, but I personally don't like it. I stepped out long enough to check the mail. Still waiting for a paycheck, but I did get more SAG screeners, so that's nice. I do appreciate receiving screeners in the mail. And there are more we'll be able to stream digitally, once we set that up. We tried to watch "Black Mass" but the rain is probably having an effect on our ability to stream (or else everyone was trying to stream it at the same time). I will vote for Best Actors and Actresses, once I've watched 'em all.

received so far. Still waiting for "Carol", "Room", and "Spotlight".
Just finished watching "The Danish Girl" screener that I'd received earlier. The other day, we watched "Steve Jobs" with high hopes.

So here are my reviews, so far.

Steve Jobs: confusing film. Great performances by Michael Fassbender and Kate Winslet. Not quite worth the two hours lost, though, I'm afraid. And certainly not a positive advert for Apple. You may disagree with me; that is your right.

The Danish Girl: made me cry. Eddie Redmayne may very well be this generation's Meryl Streep, if he wins again this year. I have to get through the rest of the screeners to see if he's my pick, but he is, at the moment, my front-runner for Best Actor. Haven't yet seen a Best Actress or Best Supporting. Again, I have a few to watch still.

Currently watching "Beasts of No Nation" - will review in a couple hours (and then update).

UPDATE - Beasts of No Nation: HEAVY film. A few funny moments, but more than anything, HEAVY/SERIOUS. Performances were good, but nothing/no one I'll be voting for. And besides all the HEAVY, we could not help but notice that Idris Elba's head looks funny. Seriously. Looks great in a beret; not so much sans chapeau.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

What did YOU do today?

I went to bed at a "reasonable" hour last night (11-ish). This is what my TODAY looked like:


  • 2:00 or 3:00 a.m. (I mean, really, without actually opening your eyes and focusing on the clock, who the fuck knows what time it really was?) - I pound three times on the bedroom wall and shout "SHUT THE FUCK UP!" at the neighbors, who are having another fight in their bedroom, and have awakened me again. Yeah, I'm sure the pounding on the wall may have done the trick, but I was asleep, so are you going to hold the obscenities against me? Possibly the other occupants of this particular apartment may hold it against me; after all, I didn't check to see if the screaming awakened anyone other than me. Sorry, kids.
  • 6:29 a.m. - my "preliminary" alarm goes off. I shut it down, which really only snoozes it, which means I know the real thing's happening in a minute.
  • 6:30 a.m. - the first real alarm goes off, and I awaken enough to shut it down for good. I have nowhere to be today, so my plan is to sleep in long enough to see if they need me at Warner Bros.
  • 6:30 - 9:30 a.m. - it RAINS in Los Angeles, kids. Enough to get me sleepin' in but good.
  • 10:45-ish a.m. - Stephen heads into the bedroom to let me know he's heading out for work (because of the rain), so I make him wait five minutes to see if I can't schedule a recall appointment for my car at the dealership, and thus have a reason to drive him in. They don't have the needed part in stock, so he leaves, and I go back to doing whatever online crap my phone will allow while I linger in the comfy bed. The cats are keeping me company, so my life so far this morning is pretty good, other than the noisy-neighbors incident.
  • 1:00 p.m. - I finally drag my ass outta bed to stuff cereal down my gullet and re-load the dishwasher. Stephen's already told me that it's ready to run, but that he wasn't running it because I "like to reload it". No, honey, I'm sorry, I do NOT "like" to reload it. I'm just better at loading it the first time than you are. I eat my cereal, run the dishwasher, and open my laptop (while my phone is charging in the other room).
  • 2:00-ish p.m. - laptop's about outta juice, so I turn on the t.v. and look in the dvr. Oooh - there's Spiderman 2; I can watch that without doing "anything else". After that was over, I checked the mail (nothing good), and came back to two episodes of "Telenovela". It's so silly stupid and looks like so much fun, and I would really love to book a day or twelve on set. So I sent a quick email to my service to see if they can't get me on at any point. There are one or two blondes I could stand in for, or I could easily be a blonde Miami tourist in one of the peripheral scenes. Whatevs. 
  • 6:30-ish p.m. - laptop's got juice again, but I'm not quite ready to give up just chillin' on the couch, so I watch "Horrible Bosses 2". I know it'll probably still be on by the time Stephen gets home, but I'll keep it in the queue for when he's ready (as I do all of the stuff I watch without him, JIC), and I discover that it's actually Pretty. Damn. Funny. (whether you actually remember the finer details of the first film or not - I don't).
  • 8:55 p.m. - Stephen walks in the door, on the phone, and since my movie's still on, he heads into the bedroom to finish his convo while I finish my movie. He notices when I turn mine off and pokes his head out, JIC, to make sure that mine is actually over and I haven't turned it off on his account. Thanks, honey. His phone call ends shortly thereafter, and we settle down to watch another episode of Gilmore Girls. Unfortunately, I'm now in the middle of blogging, which means I can't devote any attention to it, even though he's saying things like "Oh, My." and "Wow." and "Uh-oh".
  • 9:45 p.m. - wrappin' this up so I can watch season 7 in peace. Did you know that Netflix is bringing us Four. More. 90. Minute. Episodes. this spring? I'm so excited. I never watched this show before I started at Warner Bros., and it is my current "favorite". Back in the day, I had no interest. Who knew?
...so I'm finishing up My day, and asking you What have you done that was of any interest today, or are you still (like me) in something of a "holiday" mode?

Monday, January 4, 2016

When should I go grocery shopping?

Not on the first Sunday evening of a New Year, THAT'S for sure!

I had a few things to pick up yesterday evening after work. Of Course, I went to Trader Joe's! I ALWAYS go to Trader Joe's! I LOVE Trader Joe's! (You knew all this already).

It was a madhouse.

I enjoyed it, because what good does it do to complain about a reality, whether expected or not? The reality is that everyone who travels out of town for a holiday period is going to return to an empty refrigerator and freezer. Sure, there may be some food in the pantry, but there's not going to be fresh cream for your coffee, or eggs or bacon or anything else that's going to help get you out the door for work on Monday morning.  So you go to Trader Joe's, because they've got everything! You don't go to pick up just the eggs, bacon, and cream, though. You gotta pick up EVERYTHING you're out of.

Which means you're going to stand in a line that wraps around the entire produce section, or freezer section, or extends all the way to the demo stand! Yowza!

Good thing I wasn't there to pick up MEAT (or milk or eggs or bread, since those shelves were equally depleted). Take me to wine-n-chocolate!

I was able to get the wine. Today, my (dark) chocolate (peanut butter cups) were back on the shelf, and the crowds had thinned a bit. Hallelujah!

When did YOU shop last, and have you found this situation to be true in YOUR fave store?

Sunday, January 3, 2016

NOT a Resolution

Just a goal, sorta.

Got off the phone with Daddy last night and realized while I was helping him set a goal for this year, that I had already set a goal for myself.

I'm not much of a "goals oriented" person. I've always hated when motivational speakers tell you that you have to create an action plan before you can take action; that you have to have goals to achieve before you can really achieve anything.

I'm one of those "the road to Hell is paved with good intentions" people, meaning, I'm not letting my good intentions get in the way of me doing stuff.

But I did realize that I had already set a goal for myself, for the year 2016. I want to post something here, on my blog, Every. Day. I want my post list to number 366 on the 31st of December. I know that some of those posts will likely be written ahead of time (as this one is actually being written "last night", since I already posted "yesterday"). I know that some of these posts may even stack up, so that I write more than one post in a day, so I can "get ahead" in my goal achievement. I'm okay with that.

The goal is to POST something worth reading Every. Single. Day. of 2016.

Whether I succeed or fail is immaterial. If I succeed, then I imagine I will have accomplished something worlds beyond writing 100,000 words (or however many words that results in). I will have accomplished something worlds beyond a monthly (or more frequent) Friday Fictioneers or Photo Phriday or a completely green map in my stats. I will have disciplined myself to carry out a goal. That will be an amazing accomplishment.

If I fail, but I keep this goal in a little pocket in a corner of my brain, then I will still succeed. If I fail outright, without keeping the goal in mind, then I will have succeeded in weeding out a stupid goal. No matter what, I WIN.

So, do you have resolutions or goals of any kind for 2016? Are you willing to share them in the comments below? Do you feel the way I do, in that, whether you succeed or fail, you will still WIN? Can we keep each other accountable here?

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Hop-n-John for a Happy New Year!

Stephen's first attempt EVAH.

Mommy always made Hop-n-John for New Year's Day dinner (or whatever meal it was). I've always loved Hop-n-John, but my hubby never seemed to care for it (or never really had it), primarily because, as far as he knew, he never liked black-eye peas. He figured enough time had passed since the last time he'd tried black-eye peas, that he would give 'em a second chance. So he threw all the parts into the crockpot, baked a great cornbread, and when I got home from some personal assisting/bookkeeping, we ate.

It was great. Even Stephen liked it!

Happy New Year!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Welcome, South Korea and Finland!

Today is a good day for a first visit. Thanks for dropping by. I blogged about half as much in 2015 as I did in 2014, so you ought to be able to drift through the archives fairly quickly to get "caught up" if you so desire.

Happy New Year, and Welcome to the Ideas I'm Kickin' Around! Feel free to comment any time.