Thursday, March 31, 2016

(More) Mailbox Money Magnetism, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!

I heard the mail come early (again) today. I'm hoping that this is not just a substitute carrier, but that our route has been re-routed to someone "permanent" who will always bring the mail before noon. I like getting the mail before noon, because if I'm home all day anyway, and there's something in the mailbox that is worth leaving the apartment to attend to, then there's plenty of time to attend to that something during business hours. Win!

Today's "something to attend to" is mailbox money. I LOVE that!
Don't spend it all in one place, amiright? ;)
So I'm gonna take this enormous residuals check to the credit union and deposit that fat sucker. Then I'm gonna walk over to Trader Joe's and see if there's anything awesome that needs to come home with me. Then I'll probably walk around the old 'hood and see if there are any new houses or apartments up with realtor/rental signs. That should make the non-FitBit thingy happy.
I know this is Wayne Brady, and not a FitBit.
However, as NOT a FitBit, I guess he qualifies as a "non-FitBit thingy"
(although he may object to being classified as a "thingy"; I actually doubt that he would object)
And it's all because the mail came early (again) today. There's also something nice for Stephen in the mailbox, but I'll leave it for him. (Maybe I'll update this post later regarding that).

Do YOU do a Happy Dance like that of Wayne Brady when YOU receive Mailbox Money? I don't necessarily do a Happy Dance, but I definitely DO say "I Am a Money Magnet, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!

UPDATE: as of now-ish, I have walked 20128 steps. The non-FitBit thingy was, in fact, ecstatic.

um, NO. But I will share it on my blog, and then Twitter/Facebook from there.
It didn't update the steps just now, and the day's not really over, per se.
But I'm tired.
And Stephen got one of his two new pairs of glasses in the mailbox:
Lookin' Gooooood!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Welcome, Northern Mariana Islands!

I spent a looooooong time "following" a buncha new people on Twitter yesterday (The Bloggess Tribe), so if you've found me via her, then THANK YOU for your visit, please come again, peruse the archives for something that piques your interest, and tell your friends! Or, if you found me somehow without any Jenny-assistance, well, then, all of the above still applies! My map, unfortunately, makes it very difficult to see islands, because, well, ISLANDS. So, bring friends when you visit again, and maybe I'll be able to find you by way of a dark green dot. Alternatively, you could comment here with a geography lesson. I ain't afraid to admit that my geography education matches that of most of the US of A - sorely lacking!

*****

In other news,
Three Good Things:

  1. I have missed my steps for a couple of days this week, and somehow, I have been able to ignore the chastisement I've been receiving from the non-FitBit thingy. TODAY, I got my 10,000 steps in! Yay, me!
  2. I was up until 1:30 this morning (I was about to type "last night" but I realized that it was actually This-God-Forsaken-Morning), trying to figure out/configure my Android phone and the Twitter app on said phone so that I would NOT receive noisy notifications, not even vibration notifications during the night. I did not want any of that noise to wake me or Stephen. I did eventually figure it out (by 1:30) and went to bed. I didn't quite get my minimum 7 1/2 hours of sleep, so of course the non-FitBit thingy fussed at me over that, but tonight I shall get to bed EARLY! Yay, me!
  3. While I was out walking, the sky turned weird. I got a few cool pics, which I'm sharing for you here.


    While walking in the SUNNY part of the sky (like, I could totally feel the sun shining on my face), I got rained on (a little bit, like just a few sprinkles). I've had that happen plenty in Florida (they call that "liquid sunshine"), but never here. Rain is ALWAYS a Good Thing in SoCal.
  4. Once Stephen got home, he ate some leftovers, so I threw some ingredients into a pan on the stove. I'm calling it Nongarian Goulash. I have no idea if it actually looks like Goulash, but it was pretty tasty, and it all fit into one pan. Yay!
"Nongarian Goulash"

Whatcha got that's good, friends?

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

I have never been quite so validated as I was today.

I didn't get my steps in today. Sue me, non-FitBit thingy! You're not the boss of me!
*****

WARNING: NOT SAFE FOR THE WEAK-STOMACHED, OR FOR ANYONE WHO IS (BLISSFULLY) UNAWARE OF "GIRLY" THINGS, i.e. WOMEN'S ISSUES


I had made an appointment to see a nurse practitioner about some *abnormal* menstrual bleeding. I had been told that I needed to be seen sooner, rather than later regarding this issue. I received a call this morning informing me that my appointment had been cancelled due to the NP calling out sick. Did I want to reschedule for same time next week?

Are you fucking kidding me? I've been told By Your People that I need to be seen SOONER rather than Later. Who can see me TODAY?

Spoke with several different appointment-takers. Regaled them all with my tale of symptoms, issues, and history. FINALLY got an appointment for a phone consultation with an OB-Gyn MD, because *abnormal* menstrual bleeding needed a Doctor, not a Nurse Practitioner. Whatever. I'm not the one who determined who I should have seen today. I'm a new patient in your system. I don't exist in your system yet. Get me an appointment. Whatever.

The doc called three minutes before the hour "window" I was given to expect her call. She asked all of the right questions, listened to all of my answers, and informed me that, if she didn't have hospital hours today, she wanted to see me. She was going to have someone call me to make that appointment. FOR TODAY.

An hour later, I called the last number, and spoke with yet another appointment-taker. Regaled him with this morning's history; he put me on hold, and then came back to inform me that the specified person was just about to call me back. Okay, um?

Five minutes later, Angela calls me, and after clarifying with the doc all the things we were hoping to accomplish today, came back to give me a few options for appointments today. I'll take Door #1, Monty. 2:20 today. Get me in. SOONER rather than Later.

fast-forward: now that I have Affordable Health Care in Los Angeles, the "system" has to find a way to get more money out of me. My doc's office only has incredibly expensive parking options. I take the first space I can find, get checked in, go move my car out of the "first 15 minutes free" space to pull into the correct parking deck, only to discover the price-gouging is a common theme. With the assistance of a pedestrian, I find an unlimited free parking space designed for my TARDIS (bigger on the inside means small on the outside). Yay!

Make my way back into the office, and everyone with whom I interact is pleasant, efficient, professional, etc. The doc is a lovely woman who feels like she knows me before she even shakes my hand. She talks to me and listens, as if I know what I'm talking about regarding my own body, and I get the distinct impression that if I didn't understand anything she was saying, she'd rephrase indefinitely until she was sure I did.

Most comfortable Pap Smear I've ever had. She does an ultrasound to check the thickness of my uterine walls (to make sure that *abnormal* bleeding wasn't fibroids or tumors or pre-cancerous cells or anything bad). She shows me everything on the ultrasound. I act like I know what the fuck she's showing me, partly because I'm at a not-so-great angle and because I'm nearsighted, and partly because I get the impression that if I don't understand what she's showing me, she'll take additional time to explain it, and I'm in an awkward position, lying there with an ultrasound wand up my cootch. She's very pleased to tell me:
      1. My cervix is "beautiful". That's right, that is the word my Gyno used.
      2. My uterine lining is "perfect". Again, she really used that word.
So she sent me out to get my Depo shot, my labwork, and a mammogram. Because I'm there; might as well treat this day like One Stop Medical Shopping.

The nurse who gives me my shot doesn't say anything specifically validating, but she seems pleased that I know exactly how to get ready for this, and also that I'm not going to pass out (like some of her patients do - WHAT?)

The phlebotomist for the labwork seems pleased that I want to know what each of the vials of blood is testing. Also,
      3. My vein is "juicy". In fact, it's one of the "juiciest" veins she's seen all day.

We have a very pleasant conversation, and I wish her "all the juicy veins" to fill up her Tuesday.
Then the mammogram. This is NOT a "comfortable" procedure. I don't care who you are. But the technician is an artist, like a photographer of still life, arranging apples and bananas and raisins. I compliment her on her technique, and she tells me
     4. My breasts are "great".

Seriously. I've received compliments on my appearance before, but usually not for these particular body parts, and NEVER in these circumstances. I almost want to go back on a semi-regular basis, just for the mental boost!

What's the weirdest way YOU have ever received validation?

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Scrapin' off the rust (Post #500! What the What?!?!)

It took close to TWO hours for me to fall asleep last night, between my continuous coughing and the neighbors celebrating a birthday in the atrium after midnight. I mean, there were CHILDREN up and noisy (with the noisy adults) out there, voices echoing off the pool. Had I not been coughing continuously like a madwoman, I'da stepped out my front door and yelled at them all, for fucks' sake, people are tryin' to sleep, you shitheads, take your damn noise INSIDE! But it seemed pretty pointless, what with not being able to stifle my cough. Oh, well. Eventually, after a cup of sleepy tea, a melatonin, a cup of ginger-n-honey, and three cough drops (neither simultaneously nor consecutive), I finally fell asleep.

No idea what finally allowed Stephen to sleep, altho he did initially go to bed before me.

Slept about eight hours. Had cereal and informed Stephen that my plan for the day included vacuuming everything, including the bed, as well as getting laundry (including bedding) done. I knew he would be writing, so I just needed to know when he'd be writing, so I could work my schedule without disturbing him (like, do the laundry while he was writing). Only other thing I hoped to accomplish was more Rock Band Drums, but it wasn't necessarily a goal for the day.

So that's what we did. He wrote; I did laundry. He finished writing, and we both started with the Spring Cleaning. No coughing all day (also, I bothered to take all my vitamins and claritin). Then we played some Rock Band. I ended up having to calibrate the drum set again and again, because apparently, the wireless signal doesn't communicate properly through the coffee table, so in order to not "miss" a bunch of notes, you gotta give the signal a straight line of "sight", calibrate, and then play. Also, the futon is lower than our old couch, so I found myself sitting too low, and had to prop myself up on an additional pillow. Hrm... :/

Still, we found our groove and earned some stars and trophies. Scraped off a bit of the rust. Then he quit for awhile, to make dinner; he was a bit wiped out, so I created a new band for myself, so I can play when I'm alone without affecting our band scores. Got done creating my all-girl band, the Jaded Bridesmaids from Reykjavik. Got all the girls dressed and made-up, and then "we" played our first couple of gigs. When I was finally ready to quit, we ate dinner.

Now that I'm blogging, Stephen decided to create his "own" band, so that he can practice when I'm not around without affecting "our" band's progress. He's currently playing as a member of the Blazin' Blue Banshees, out of Dublin. He's also playing his THIRD gig, because he's not ready to quit for the night. I'm afraid Rock Band is going to take over our lives. No, I'm not. If it does, there's no fear. ;)

What I didn't do today was get my steps in. Yesterday will be the last day of my "streak". It's already cold and dark, and while I've logged all the "workouts" I did today (laundry and Spring Cleaning), the thingy doesn't really "recognize" them as anything other than "Other". So it's probably going to fuss at me while I'm on set tomorrow. And since I'm booked with my car, I dunno whether I'll get my steps in while I'm on set. Okay, I'm ready. Let it fuss. It's not the boss of me, dammit!

Stephen's just spent some of the moola his new band has earned so that he can be a cool hepcat in whichever band he's playing with. It remains to be seen whether my new "version" of me will carryover when I play as a member of the Delta Butlers again.

So now, I need to prepare some shit for tomorrow, and get to bed at a reasonable hour. Have coughed a little bit tonight, now that the sun has gone down, but hopefully, I'll sleep a little sooner and more soundly than last night.

What are YOU scrapin' the rust off of?

Saturday, March 26, 2016

A Message For Lee (well, and anybody else, too, for whom the circumstances may apply)

ATTN: Lee

The Strangers are missing you. I finally got caught up yesterday and today on reading all of the blogs that are linked here in my sidebar, and what I noticed in the comments of more than one Stranger post was this question: "Where is Lee?"

So. If you (Lee, not Lee, whomever you are, Dear Reader) are a regular reader/commenter on any blog, I encourage you to revisit the blog(s) you used to frequent, and comment on one or more posts, just so the other people who frequent that blog won't worry about you. Thank you.

<End of PSA>

*****

In other news, I drove to the old 'hood today so I could get some steps in and complete a coupla tasks. In between tasks, I stopped at the car to drop off/grab whatever stuff I was carrying/needed to carry for the next task. When I locked up the car the last time, someone pulled up and parked behind me. I paid no attention to this other driver; we were both just parked. I walked away to complete more tasks.

Approaching my car on my return, the other car was no longer there, but there was a note under my wiper:
I laughed when I read it, because it did make me feel good in the moment. I already felt like I looked good today; I'd already been complimented on my appearance by people who know me. But this was a brave stranger who put himself "out there" and hadn't been rude with catcalls or whistles.

I have no intention of calling or texting this dude. I had suggested to Stephen that he send a text message to the effect of "thank you for complimenting my wife; she was very flattered" or something. No dice; he laughed when he read it, too, but he doesn't want his number in the dude's phone either!

Managed to get my steps in, some work done, some necessary tasks completed, and now I'm catching YOU up. In a bit, we'll be watching some Jessica Jones and other tv. Tomorrow, Rock Band 4!

What's going on in YOUR weekend?

Friday, March 25, 2016

I'm a bit rusty

'cuz I'm outta practice. TWO YEARS outta practice! But I did already earn 4 trophies, in addition to setting up a new PS4 user account and playing a coupla "gigs" with my "band", the Delta Butlers.

No, I did not choose or get to participate in the choosing of the name of the band. No, it is not a "real" band. It is a virtual band, with four virtual members, all of whom have been created by Stephen. Yes, "I" am one of the bandmembers. Yes, so is "Stephen". No, we do not look like ourselves.

But Boy, Howdy, am I RUSTY! Then again, it's been more than two years since I've played.

Three Good Things:

  1. Lunch date was awesome. Good food, good conversation, good catching up, good insights/leads into where we may find ourselves headed with the whole "forever home" issue.
  2. Following the lunch date, we walked over to Best Buy, to check out the RB4 deal. Stopped in at Costco first to see if there were Best Buy gift cards available for cheaper than face value. Apparently, there is quite a selection of gift cards at Costco, for which you pay less than FMV and then redeem as if you had purchased them for full price. Apparently, this is a thing. Apparently, there are people in this world who regularly purchase these and then redeem them for cash, because the law (?) states that a retailer must, if requested, give you the full balance of a gift card in cash, so long as the card is legit. Not that that was how we intended to transact our transaction, but had Costco sold Best Buy gift cards, then we'd have saved that additional amount on our purchase!
  3. Speaking of which: Best Buy had the Band in a Box for XBox and PS4 On. The. Shelf. I had been told that if there were none on the shelf, we could still get the sale price and have it shipped for no additional fee, right to our door on the second floor! Stephen had checked to see if we'd get the additional discount for that Gamer's Club thing I mentioned, and according to the FAQs, the answer was no, you just pay the lower price of the GC discount or the sale price. Still, there was something about "rewards points", so we checked in at the customer service desk first to see how it would all hypothetically turn out. Well, hypothetically, you can save $90 off the regular price of the Band in a Box if you also have a two-year membership in the GC and buy it on sale! That's more than 1/3 off regular retail! So I walked back home while Stephen continued "shopping" (to make sure no one else bought our BiaB), and when I returned with the car, we converted hypothesis into reality. Yay!
  4. Walking home to pick up the car allowed me to get all my steps in before 3:30 today. The thingy is still hoping I'll add another thousand steps or so, to keep my averages up, but screw that noise. MY goal is 10,000 steps. I don't care that I've mucked up the curve with my 14 and 18 thousand step (anomalous) days. I hit the goal, and I'm still streaking! Yay!
  5. I did get enough sleep last night, by going to bed early enough to contribute to the general health of the household. Unfortunately, the last thing we watched on tv was an edge-of-your-seat episode of Jessica Jones, and I was afraid I wouldn't sleep at all. As it turns out, just past 11:20, I Zonked Out, but without telling the thingy that I was in bed now. So when I awoke at 12:50 in the a.m., somewhat refreshed but also panicked (dreams, maybe?), I told it I was in bed. No way to tell it I had been sleeping, rather soundly. I then lay awake for at least half an hour, but because I was mostly lying still, it thought I was sleeping. Stupid technology thingy. Still, it managed to log that I reached my goal of 7.5 hours, so I'm still streaking on that front, as well. Yay! ? :/
Here are some pics of today:
Stephen's Guitar Solo tutorial, earned right away
Stephen also calibrated the system with the guitar
here he is, playing (although it looks like he's not)

The Box for The Band, with Cocoa looking on

My trophy for getting five stars on a song
My trophy for doing ten drum fills
I earned "Impressive stage presence" during a band show
And of course, I calibrated the system using the drum kit

Thursday, March 24, 2016

NOT a "Nothing" Day!

No, I didn't get to go to work today, which means I'm probably not going to get to go to work at all this week, since tomorrow is a SAG holiday. grumble mutter grumble fratz

HOWEVER, I did accomplish a few things, which I'm reporting to you here and now.

Three Good Things, I hope, once I get them outta my brain here for ya:

  1. I heard back from the dude at the credit union who deals with mortgage financing. According to the data I was able to provide him, we are really unlikely to qualify for a mortgage through the credit union. This doesn't mean we're definitely not in the market; it just means we have to find a lender who will take our circumstances, both good and bad, into account, and offer us a loan we can afford. Both of the realtors I spoke with seemed to think it's a possibility. It's just not one through the credit union. That's okay. This is still a Good Thing, because it's movement; it's answers.
  2. I walked over to Costco for the walking, sampling lunch, and then over to the other shopping center to do a bit of browsing again, just for the sake of "getting my steps in". While I was sitting in "The Most Comfortable Office Chair in the World" (not), I got fussed at by my non-FitBit thingy because of my "slower start"... after I'd already made it almost halfway to my goal for the day! So I fussed back. If you give a "thumbs up" to any coaching, then the thing is supposed to learn how to coach you, based on what you've already said you "like". If you give a "thumbs down" to it, it asks you to expound. Boy, Howdy, did I expound. "You don't know me, non-FitBit thingy! You don't know what I have to go through to get up in the morning, or find someplace decent to walk, just to please you. You don't know how much I wish I could make you happy by walking everywhere I go, with purpose and feeling. Etc." or something to that effect. Thingy was all like, yeah okay, we'll coach you better next time. We okay? And I was all like, yeah, okay, I guess. And then thingy was all like, cool. But I digress. I got my friggin' steps in before 6 p.m. - Yay, Me!
  3. While out in the world, I found something I want. I know, I know, I was all "Declutter, bitches! Get rid of all the Things, and Live a Simpler Life, full of Experiences, instead of Stuff!" But Best Buy is having a brief sale on Rock Band 4, Band in a Box, and if we get it, then I'll have drums to play again! It's 20% off, and if Stephen joins the "Gamer's Club", it'll be discounted again (as will all of the games that he'll buy anyway, whether he joins or not; he IS a gamer)! Not that the sale price makes it cheap, but it is the best price we've seen since before Christmas.
  4. Also while at Costco, I got attacked by the skin cream sampling ladies. I'm debating that "investment". It does have a 30-day "love it or return it" policy (as all Costco items do), so if I don't love it after buying it, I do NOT have a problem returning it. It's just kinda expensive. But has my sample done me a world of good? I dunno; you may vote amongst yourselves.
    I think it may take a few days, if not a week. I had no idea I look so ragged today!
    Then again, I did just get in from 11,000 steps. :/
  5. I'm booked for Monday! Yay, ME!
  6. Apparently, we have a lunch date tomorrow, with a friend who works at Disney. Not that the lunch date is at Disney, but it's still a nice thing to get together with a friend in the industry, in the middle of the day.
  7. I'm blogging early today. Maybe this will mean we watch tv early and get to bed early and start improving the general health of this household. (I've coughed very little in the past few days, yay me)
Do you wish you could declutter? Do you wish you were awesome on Rock Band drums, like I am? Do you love your skin cream? Do you wanna join us for lunch tomorrow?

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Another "I Got Nothin'" kinda day

I went to bed early last night (yes, midnight is early); I got up around 8:30 this morning.

I periodically checked emails; I frequently checked for gigs to submit myself for; I periodically submitted for stuff.

I occasionally consumed food; I evacuated my waste as needed. I made a couple of phone calls; I made an appointment; I hope to somehow book some work tomorrow.

I took one fast walk for about an hour; I consumed a goodly amount of sparkling water following that workout; I took another walk a bit later to get my remaining steps in and consumed nothing for the rest of the day until now.

I caught up on Holly's blog; I commented occasionally; I played some solitaire; I rubbed Cocoa's belly as oft as she requested it.

Stephen got in from work and ate some leftovers; he then offered me a macaroon, which I ate.

I'm posting this so I can maintain my blogging streak. I apologize for having nothing fun to report. It was just that kinda day. I'm gonna get to bed early (yes, midnight is early) and hope to somehow book some work tomorrow.

What do you do to turn around I Got Nothin' days, if anything?


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Got my steps in Early-ISH today!

Three Good Things?:

  1. Went to bed before midnight last night, and managed to fall asleep pretty much around midnight (not quite as early as the non-FitBit thingy claims, but Really. How Does It Know?)
  2. Let the alarm ring at 7:30, then 7:35, then 7:40, then 7:45. Managed to get out of bed between 8 and 8:30. Not bad, for a day with no plans. *** Stephen and I tried to see a matinee of Deadpool today. Did you know that the AMC theater chain in the Valley only offers matinee pricing for showtimes before noon, and if there is no showtime before noon of a particular movie, then you are just S.O.L. for saving any money? This is the reason we did not see Deadpool today. Stupid movie theater chain. ***
  3. Drove over to the old 'hood instead, to walk to the credit union and then Trader Joe's and then back to the car with a few essentials, and then drove over to Costco for the walking, sampling lunch and a few more essentials.
  4. Got home, put groceries away, and then I walked around a big block to finish my 10,000 steps well before 5 p.m. Also stopped in one last grocery store and picked up a one-pound box (that felt significantly heavier) of coconut macaroons from the bakery. Had a cuppa joe and a macaroon with Stephen when I got home from that, to make up for the "day not going as planned" from earlier.
  5. Am slowly but surely making my way through the backlog of blog-reading I have on my plate. Am blogging now so I can call it a day, watch a little boob tube, and get to bed before midnight again (I hope).
Have you anything Good to report?


Monday, March 21, 2016

Catching up on catching up, or "Stuff"

I'm so far behind on my blog reading. Probably because I've been so focused on getting steps in, and fighting these allergies, and getting sufficient sleep, and finding work, and procrastinating with everything else that puts itself into my path.

So today, while I was out walking, I listened to a few podcasts from one of the blogs I read. YAY! I'm caught up on "A Life Less Frantic"! (for now, at least)... THIS really hit home for me. If you've ever felt yourself living in a cluttered space and wanting to get inspired to declutter, give it a listen.

Here's the thing. When we moved across the country the first time, the only shit we downscaled from our lives was whatever shit just wouldn't fit into the shipping container. Meaning, we didn't really bother to declutter before that move. That was mistake number 1348 out of an unlimited supply of mistakes made at that point in our lives. Hindsight.

When we moved back across the country, we got rid of everything we knew we'd be unable to ship. We knew that "stuff" is easily replaced. But we still shipped a lot of crap that we shouldn't have, and we lost/left behind some things that had meaning for us, because we didn't deliberately declutter. We're seriously considering moving One. Last. Time. I honestly don't care if we never buy property, but we're in the planning stages of checking to see if there's even a remote possibility of us being eligible to be homeowners. If we discover that we are, in fact, good candidates for home ownership, then that is a path we will continue down. If we discover that we are not, in fact, remotely eligible to pursue that course, then we will look for our forever home in the form of rental property. I honestly do not care which path we end up on, as long as we're in our forever home by the end of summer.

Which means I need to begin decluttering now. I need to take an objective look at my wardrobe, and just Get Rid of Shit there. I need to take an objective look into all the bins that we have Never Unpacked from the first move in 2009, when we combined our Stuff into one household. I need to downsize my kitchen, probably. I need to NOT transport anything else that has NO meaning or significance ANYMORE.

Maybe I'll feel differently, once I know where the forever home is. But for right now, I'm tired of knowing that I still "own" all this damn baggage that I've carried with me, everywhere I've ever gone. I want to start acquiring memories and experiences, and stop acquiring stuff.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

It had a late start, but it's become a productive day

Had a nice soak in the tub last night, to see if that would help me sleep right away (and sideline any coughing fits). Yes and no; I got into bed just shy of midnight, but I could tell that if I lay there long enough to try to sleep, the coughing would start, so I got up to lay on the couch and keep the coughing at bay (Stephen had gone to bed before my soak, because he had to be at work fairly early this morning). So I didn't make it to bed until 12:40, and then I didn't fall asleep right away, as the cats joined me to settle down, which meant Cocoa snuggled at my feet and Smokey walked over my "lap" several times. According to the non-FitBit thingy, I fell asleep by 12:45, and was sleeping soundly by 12:50. Not that I looked at a clock, but I don't buy it. Still, I think maybe by 1 a.m.

But my hair was wet, so I woke up mostly rested but with amazing bedhead. No, I did not get a photo, because I was unable to take the pic I really wanted to, which would have been on the webcam, here in the blog, taken by my big toe, so you could all be witness to my morning. Even before I was awake enough to eat, I had a furbaby on either side of my lap here on the couch, snuggled in for belly rubs. And me in the middle, sitting upright but really just still sleeping. Spent most of my day in that position.

Three Good Things:

  1. Have coughed very little today, even with all the dander I'm sure I've kicked up, what with all the furbaby lovin'. Here's a video (not my own) of some fun furbabies:

  2. My plan this weekend is to move just enough so that nobody thinks I'm dead
    Posted by ViralSlot on Friday, March 18, 2016
  3. Just before Stephen was to get off work, I decided to attempt getting my steps in to continue my streak, so I headed in his general direction, and then we walked home via some shoe stores to pre-shop replacing his pair for work. Ended all of that at ~8800 steps.
  4. Prepared dinner, a lovely seafood dish that the last houseguest had made for us once and then left the recipe for upon his exit from our abode. It was easy, tasty, and there were plenty of leftovers without it being too much. Also emptied the dishwasher and re-loaded it, so the kitchen would be mostly clean by the time we were ready to eat. An empty sink is a beautiful sight.
  5. Got our 2015 taxes filed! Yay!
  6. Wrapped up dinner and walked the remaining 1200 steps I needed. That's a very short trip!
  7. Am blogging pretty early for me (lately), because Stephen has gone to bed early again. If we can both manage to hit the hay earlier than was our previous norm, that should do wonders for the general health of the household.
I'm still hopeful that the rush call availability line will be effective again, someday soon (like tomorrow), and that work in my chosen industry will come rushing at me with such force that I shall have to choose among all my opportunities. Also, that my allergies will subside so much that in reading through my archives, I'll wonder what the hell I've been talking about for so damn long!

How was YOUR weekend? Do anything fun or productive?

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Still streakin'

... and no, kids, I am not running nude through a park!

I did the walking, sampling lunch at Costco to pick up some cereal for Stephen. If there is breakfast available for him, he eats. If not, then he doesn't. He's been eating yogurt every morning because we have yogurt of late. I'd occasionally like to have yogurt, too, because yum, so I picked up some cereal, in the hopes that the gallon of milk won't expire before it gets consumed, and also so the yogurt won't fly off the refrigerator shelf. I do want the man to eat, but we gotta plan this shit, ya know?

After my walking, sampling lunch, I continued walking through another shopping center, and went inside a handful of stores so that I could browse the perimeters. We've been in the habit of going directly to whatever items we needed, and since I didn't need anything (or want to carry anything home), I figured I'd "window-shop" the stuff in the perimeters. I found a couple of pairs of amazing 5" heels I may end up purchasing in the future, if I start booking stand-in work. At only 5'3", I need to wear heels for this kind of work, so I can be as tall as the principals!

As I left each store, I checked in with my non-FitBit app in my phone to see how I was doing on my 10,000 step goal. When I reached a major intersection heading home, the app told me I'd hit 100% for the day! Yay! Right now, I'm at 11,319 for the day. Not likely to walk even 100 more steps tonight before I get into bed, but that's okay.

I'm still streakin'! (*Five consecutive days with the steps goal, and 79 consecutive days of blogging, ICYMI; go, ME!)

Have YOU set any goals for yourself this year, that you're keeping on track with? In what way are YOU streakin'?

Friday, March 18, 2016

The end of a very long, pretty short day

I got to work on set today. Here's what I look like NOW, at the end of a very long day that was actually a pretty short work day:
the hair's teasing got combed out upon my arrival at home
I arrived on set, as I mentioned yesterday, with hair in rollers, because there is No Way I would have been able to create THIS:


without help from a professional. Turns out, the professional was someone for whom I'd rolled my hair many a day, back when I worked on Mad Men. Today's work was on a sitcom that's set in the 1980's, thus the need for the claw bangs. I don't own the hairband nor the sweater. Everything else I'm wearing is part of my wardrobe, even today. What can I say? I like florals.

I was watching the monitors at some point in my short work day, and I discovered that we, the background performers, while technically appearing on camera, are not really remotely visible. So these three BTS pics of me are not in any way spoilers. I also won't attach a show link, so there's no reason for you to try to watch "my" episode. The vanities dressed and coiffed and painted us all to look authentic, and really, all you'll see is blurs. I didn't really act today.

But I did get up super early, and having only covered about half my steps by the time I got home, took a longish walk with Stephen to make up the difference. And now it's late, and I'm coughing a bit, but I'm really quite tired, so I shall retire, once I quell the cough.

And tomorrow, I think I'll dismantle my laptop so I can clean the keyboard. Throughout the creation of this post, I've had to go back and re-type the "e"s, because it keps missing them. Except in the last three sentences, where it only missed ONE. Go figure.

What are YOU doing this weekend?

Thursday, March 17, 2016

I'm on a streak!

No, I'm not streaking... I was informed by my non-FitBit thingy app in my phone that I've "worked out" or "reached my step goal" (of 10,000 daily steps) for three consecutive days! And that my "daily average" was now 14,000! All this before I actually reached 14,000 steps today. (and yes, I did take 14,000 steps today)

Could not wake from my dream this morning. Not that I wanted to wake from my dream this morning. I was filling out a contract while on set; there was a check for 6 grand included in all the paperwork, "for my work today", according to the producer. Pretty sure I'd been booked as background for the day and upgraded to a principal role without an audition. Would YOU have wanted to wake from that dream?

When I did eventually get up, I got caught in about an hour-long coughing fit. That sucked. Once that was over, I took yesterday's mailbox money to the bank and got my steps in.

I get to be on set tomorrow; yay! I know I'll get plenty of steps in while on set, but I have no idea how many I'll get, or how many days I'll continue my "streak".

But for now, I've packed my bag, I've set up my makeup and hair accoutrements, I've taken my melatonin, brushed my teeth, set the morning alarms and mapped out my route. I get to travel over the hill at Dawn's Tramp Stamp to be checked in and ready by 6:48 a.m. By "ready", I mean "hair and makeup camera-ready" and with timecard in hand by 6:48 in the edge of the crack of Dawn. Oh, and "having had" breakfast. I have to be out my door by 5:30 or so in the freaking morning. No Way am I eating breakfast at that hour!

I'll be arriving on set with my hair in rollers, and no face other than pre-makeup moisturizing. I'll have my hairbrush and hairspray ready. I'll have my makeup ready to paint, but I cannot arrive on set ready to shoot at 6:48 in the morning, and I KNOW that the production doesn't really expect me to be camera-ready at that hour.

But I get to be on set tomorrow; yay! And once I've posted this, I should really get to bed. But I'm not even remotely sleepy. Whadd'rya gonna do?

Are YOU on a streak? What exactly are YOU streaking about/into/over? ;)

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Got my steps in EARLY today!

Got the car back from the shop yesterday, good as new. Was dog tired when I got back from my 18 thousand steps, so I ended up soaking for a very long time in the tub, with some essential oils thrown in for aromatherapy. Didn't feel like descending and then ascending the stairs to have to check the mail, so Stephen did it.

Received in yesterday's mail a postcard from the car dealership, letting me know that I'd won something. They used to send me these notices all the time, saying that they were ready to buy my car back from me, if I'd only like to test-drive something new, and what if I won something like a new car, or a vacation at Disneyland? I always only ever won the $10 Target Gift Card, but you know, that's like Mailbox Money, too. It had been a long time since I'd received one of these, since we'd moved across the country twice since the last one, and I had traded the 2008 Civic for my 2015 Fit a year ago. But there was the postcard in the mail yesterday, asking me to trade my 2008 Civic again.

So today, I walked over to the dealership to trade in my postcard for my Target Gift Card. I knew, before I even looked at the winning numbers for all the prizes, that my card had won the TGC. Every postcard I have received from them has had the same five-digit "winning" number on it. I know that, legally, they have to send the big prize winning numbered postcards out, but I imagine they know that the recipient of that particular piece of mail is never going to stop in to check to see if they've won. I don't know how they know to whom to send the winning prize cards, but they always send me the TGC one. 'Sokay; again, it's Mailbox Money.

So I ate a little, filled a water bottle, and had Morgan Freeman talk me through the route. I already knew the route, frankly, but I wanted to hear Morgan Freeman tell me. Two miles away from home, I passed a recording studio. Discovered that it's a voiceover recording studio, so I picked up a business card and chatted briefly with a receptionist-type chick that worked there. Now I know where to go, when I book VO work that's typically recorded in a home studio. I just have to make sure that the gig pays more than enough to cover the rental. Still, it's there, and it's only two miles from home. Easy.

After walking "moderately" for an hour and a half, I arrived. I traded my postcard for my TGC. I crossed the street to the service area to wait for the shuttle home. I just didn't feel like walking 25 thousand steps today, and that's what it would have been, if I'd had to walk all the way home. But the dealership has a shuttle that will take customers one-way, away from the service department, and even though technically, I was a service customer yesterday rather than today, I was already halfway home by the time the driver asked, so Pbbbbbbbththththththth. Technically, I am a regular customer of the dealership, and this will be the first shuttle I've ever taken.

So ennyhoo. I walked 12.5 thousand steps today, and I got home in time to discover Mailbox Money. Well, really, it was a paycheck for the other day, but I had forgotten already that I hadn't yet been paid for that day, so it was like Mailbox Money, in that it was unexpected.

Three Good Things:

  1. Got my steps in EARLY today!
  2. Got Mailbox Money, TWICE.
  3. I'm blogging early, so maybe (just maybe) I'll get to bed earlier tonight than I've been
I was going to review High Fidelity for you, having had time to watch it this afternoon, but I won't. It was good; lots of unexpected guests; felt like a Cameron Crowe movie, but that's probably because John and Joan Cusack were both in it. I enjoyed it; that is enough.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

My Ides of March

Three Good Things:

  1. Got the recall work on my car finished. It took all day, but it is DONE.
  2. Walked around the old 'hood again (while the car was in the shop). Walked in excess of 18,000 steps today. I'm tired, but it's a good tired.
  3. Checked out a few potential "forever" homes for us while I was walkin' the 'hood. Some apartments, some houses; got some more insight about the possibility of buying a place, as opposed to renting.
    no, it's not necessarily our "forever" home... but it's in the 'hood, and it is available.
  4. Started my summer tan. Seriously, I got baked while I was out walkin' the 'hood.
  5. Houseguest moved out into his other digs in Santa Monica. Good for him; and his presence here was definitely good for us. He left as a FRIEND. We'll see him again before he returns to New York, because on his way out, he inadvertently swiped my earbuds but left his leather jacket, so Stephen sent him a text message letting him know, and his response was "We'll do the hostage exchange tomorrow. Come alone. Bring the cops, and the buds get it." LOVE IT!
Unfortunately, I got word that another too-young furbaby had passed today. That's two for two, kids, and I'm not sure if I can handle all of this fur-loss. Their humans are coping, but this makes me just entirely too sad.

How was YOUR Ides of March?

Monday, March 14, 2016

I made a new friend today

I was taking a walk. I had the walking, sampling lunch at Costco (because it's a good way to get steps in), with the intention of stopping at Harry's Family Restaurant for Pi(e) on Rounded Pi Day (3.1416). On my way back from Costco, I had to cross a couple of streets "with" this dude who lived walking distance to the shop where his car was getting some work done, so at each intersection, we chatted briefly about the beautiful day we were walking in. Then I crossed a particular street against the pedestrian light but with the traffic light, and left ol' Mitch in my dust. I only know his name because he answered his phone at one intersection with "This is Mitch". We both continued in the same direction but no longer kept pace with each other.

I ended up at Harry's. I asked the chick at the host station (who ended up being my server) whether they had any specials for Pi Day. She was lost; didn't know about Pi Day. She came over to wait on me, and I told her I wanted pie. Brought me my choice (banana cream) and went to let another lone diner get seated. I could tell that the new diner was also there for just pie (because she was ordering the cherry as she was sitting), so I invited her to join me at my table.

Sarah has been in town for 21 years. She's worked in the industry for 12. She started way-the-hell outta town, like I did when I first arrived, knowing nothing about the industry she was trying to break into, like I did, and somehow found her way to her present situation, like I did. She had worked as a page, giving walking tours at NBC, as well as doing the scripted backlot tours at the Universal Studios Theme Park. I, as you know, have been a tour guide at Warner Bros.

She has dabbled in background acting and PA work, and is currently a Story Producer for reality television. She has had some family issues back home in Wisconsin that she occasionally gets to travel for. It's not the kind of travel she has in mind (she's hoping to go somewhere she's never been), but she works gig to gig to be able to save up for that kind of travel. We have common themes in our lives, Sarah and I, and our pie-for-lunch was really a great time of conversation. I was initially on my phone, planning to post a Facebook status for Pi Day. She took a picture of her pie with her phone to post later on Instagram. We both put our phones down, face down, and enjoyed our getting-to-know-you time.

As we were leaving, she realized she hadn't ordered the minimum required for credit card use, so she got another slice of pie to go. I paid cash for mine, and we walked out together, continuing our talk. She took my name, number, and email down on the back of a business card, letting me know that if she hears of anything for which I would be suited, she would refer me. I'm hoping that she'll look me up on IMDb and possibly Google me to find this blog if she feels as good about our interaction as I do.

I can definitely see us becoming friends. In person friends. How many of those do we have anymore? How many do YOU have?

***** at this point in the day, I have logged ~7600 steps. I'm not seeing needing to take another 2300 steps today, but I'm not dissatisfied with 7600. I'll just keep on truckin'!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

This Post Has No Title

Three Good Things:

  1. I sidled forwards (no "springing" for me), because I didn't have anywhere to be today, so I got up after a good night's sleep (for the most part, save for a 3/4 a.m. coughing fit).
  2. I got Smokey's claws trimmed. What a fuss he puts up! But boy, howdy, did those claws need trimming! Now he'll (hopefully) quit scratching the flip-flops by the door (I dunno what it is about flip-flops), and he'll no longer get caught up in the bedding.
  3. I got my steps in! Yesterday I walked an incredible ... 596 steps. Yup, that's right, kids, I barely moved from the bed to the couch or anywhere other than the kitchen or bathroom yesterday. But today, lemme tell ya ...  Stephen and I went to do the walking, sampling lunch at Costco, and then we followed that with browsing at the Empire Center, which included looking at desks at Staples and Hepa air cleaners at Lowe's, Target, and Best Buy, with a return to Costco and another appliance store we'd never ventured into before to look at appliances for our forever home. We're starting to dream, kids.
  4. I helped the houseguest prepare an amazing shrimp-and-scallops dish. I've not ever prepared scallops before, and these were simply fantastic. We're planning to do it again before he moves out, so I can do the work and he can supervise. Yummers!
  5. I'm going to get this blog posted before midnight and then go to bed, once I finish my cider vinegar "tea". Yes, this is a Good Thing.
I haven't posted TGT in awhile; have you missed my lists? Do you have any TGT you've been saving up for me? Lemme have 'em. Post 'em in the comments, wontcha?

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Move along, kids. Nothin' to see here.

Seriously. I got up too early today, so I took a nap. Stephen went to work. Houseguest went out exploring the area. I got up from my nap and decided to watch X-Men: Days of Future Past, the Rogue Cut. It was in the queue, so I watched it. It was good. I liked the theatrical cut; I liked this one as well.

Houseguest came home and watched part of it with me. I looked up the availability of apple fritters in Burbank (73 possibilities!), and we headed out for a sugar buzz. Picked up Stephen on our way, and came home with our sugar buzz.

I've done NOTHING else today. I have a thing or two I'll go do tomorrow, and I'll report back.

But for now, there's nothin' to see here. Did YOU do anything reportable?

Friday, March 11, 2016

Anybody Know What THIS is?

I had to snap this photo on my walk this evening, because I just haven't seen one in for-frickin'-ever. I know it's not a TARDIS, and Clark Kent can't change into Superman in it, but I think you can call a person not standing next to you with it if you somehow don't have a cell phone. You gotta have coinage in your pocket, though, and I'm not sure how much coinage you gotta have, and how long you get to talk to that person who's not standing next to you. But WOW.

*****

In other news, WELCOME BACK, Hong Kong! It's been a year since you first arrived, and I didn't see any other mentions, so I'm assuming you've been gone all this time. Hopefully, you've had a good rest, and you're ready to re-visit the archives and catch up on all the things here.

*****

In other other news, my allergies are kickin' my ass lately. And seriously, it's something in this apartment. I get out in the world, and the most I do is clear my throat. I'm here in the space, and I cough up a lung (or feel like it, and frankly, wish the lung would just cough up already). So I take my claritin-esque allergy medicine, and I use my Flonase steroidal nasal spray, and at night I consume some cider vinegar/honey/lemon "tea", and I suck on cough drops. And for the last two nights, I have taken some Nyquil-esque OTC meds to help me sleep.

Two nights ago, I really needed to get to sleep, and the OTC didn't help. Last night, I was just dog-tired. I took the meds, and I slept, and I didn't get up today until after 10 a.m. All day, I felt like I was in a Nyquil fog. I won't be taking any tonight. I spent most of the day in that Nyquil fog. I remember how Mommy would always talk about living her life in a fog. I don't wanna do that, if I can help it. If I need something in the daytime, I may take some Dayquil-esque OTC meds tomorrow, as long as I don't wake in the fog.

What really cleared me today, was getting out of the apartment and taking a walk. Stephen went with me, and we were only just trying to get enough "steps" in (as I spent a lot of today in bed) and clear my throat. During our walk, I saw that phone. Couldn't believe it. Had to snap a pic. That thing exists in Burbank.

When's the last time YOU saw a pay phone in person?

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Think I might be too tired to blog tonight!

Spent the bulk of the day with the new houseguest. I must say that this experience is what I had expected of the last one. This friend has goals, drive, ambition, and little time to get all the shit done that needs doing. So he's not pussy-footing around here, telling us half-truths or making half-promises.

We went shopping together (did the walking sampling lunch at Costco) for both groceries and a few small items he needed. Stephen went to work. I navigated him through parts of Burbank, Toluca Lake, and North Hollyweird. Some of it was familiar, some not-so-much. He was able to make a couple of important phone calls, get wheels turning for his next couple of days, and make plans for when he moves off our futon next week to conclude his whirlwind tour in someone else's spare bedroom.

We had dinner together and made plans to pick up Stephen from work, early enough to also refill the kitty litter bucket. We talked all day about our lives up to this point, and what's in the works for our next phases, and other stuff like that. And we got our daily "steps" in! Yay!

So now we're just sitting here, digesting dinner and our conversations, getting ready to fetch the hubster. And before I head to bed, I'll probably consume some honey/ginger/cider vinegar "tea", and hope to sleep right away. I'm tired!

But in a good way. Do you ever have that kind of really satisfying bone-tiredness?

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Um... stuff? to report? ... or not. No, yeah, I do have stuff.

I got to "work" today. It was for a 1960's television show, so of course, the women were instructed to arrive in curlers. I had to be on set seriously frickin' early (well, 7 a.m., which meant giving myself an hour to get there), so I bathed last night to allow myself some "sleep in" time. Packed the "potential wardrobe" last night and rolled the hair this morning.

Got to set in plenty of time, checked in with the PA and then stepped over to the wardrobe trailer to see if they'd like any of my "potential"s. When the ladies popped their heads out and saw only two of the women with hair in rollers (WTF? Only two of us followed the instructions?), they immediately squealed that they hoped that the hair ladies would leave us alone! Once they checked us in with the hair folks and got approval, they put the two of us in housedresses.




This is how I looked today... all day... and then, after lunch, they wrapped everyone but me and the other curlers chick and two dudes with vintage cars on set... and then they wrapped me and the other curlers chick, and only kept the two dudes. Got a little bit of overtime, had a good meal, will get paid for a day of work... and NEVER worked!

*****

In other news, the new houseguest has arrived, and he's awesome, so far. After hearing my cough, he's forced us both to consume a ginger / apple cider vinegar / honey / lemon / hot water "tea". I am physically unable to chew up the fresh ginger, but I did drink the tea, and while I was drinking it, my cough abated. It's back, but according to the pharmacist I spoke with today, any of my treatments need to be done consistently, so I'll likely be adding this tea to my repertoire. Yum (eh, not really, but not yuck). Maybe I'll reach a point where I am able to chew the ginger.

What stuff do YOU have to report?

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Welcome, Latvia!

I looked through my archives to see if I'd ever welcomed you before, and I found that I hadn't, so I'm assuming this is your first visit. WELCOME! Hopefully, you found a post or two that interested you, and you'll return frequently, maybe bringing along some friends, and you'll feel free to comment when it floats your boat to do so.

*****

In other news, I'm working tomorrow (on a show for which I cannot yet comment), and Stephen is working tomorrow, and we have a new houseguest arriving! What the what?

The previous houseguest evicted himself at the beginning of the month, so the futon is available once again. The new houseguest was looking for anyone who could offer advice or suggestions, so we've gotten a solid offer of lots of cooking for a week or so of crashing here. We'll see where this takes us.

WHEE!!!!!

Have you ever had houseguests? Did you make verbal agreements with them, or did you just fly by the seat of your pants through it all? How did it all work out for you?

Monday, March 7, 2016

Mailbox Money Magnetism

Last year, I did some background acting and got "upgraded" to a principal contract with a handful of other bg artists. It doesn't happen all the time, but it does happen. It was a sweet paycheck, on the day, and even though there was no screen credit, my episode is out there, and because it has played in foreign markets, I got my first residuals check today.

The show plays on premium cable. That means they have my episode in perpetuity, and there's probably some "forever" to the ability to access that episode, which means that anyone who worked it on a principal contract will likely receive residuals "forever". Each check gets progressively smaller, probably because of the law of diminishing returns (aptly named, right?). I know some actors who get upset when the value of the check is less than the postage it took to mail it, and yeah, they have a point. Still. Mailbox Money. :D
No, I'm not showing you the check, nor divulging the amount.
That would be crass. And also, probably not a "safe" thing to share on the interwebs.
This is not retirement income, kids. It's just going to always be mailbox money. It would be great to be able to work enough union background gigs that I can start qualifying for health and pension credits, so that I can eventually retire from this industry that I love. Eventually.

It would also be really great if, along the way, I get upgraded to principal contracts from time to time, so that my mailbox can be as much of a Money Magnet (Thank You, Thank You, Thank You) as I am, in general, and as it was today. I forgot to put myself on the rush call list, so I know I have at least one errand I gotta do tomorrow. If the weather stays dry, maybe I'll walk it. Gotta get those steps in!

Don't you love Mailbox Money? What sorts of things do you do to get it? What sorts of things do you do to celebrate its arrival?

***** actually, the mailbox was full of treats for me today. The "other" errand I have for tomorrow is to apply this sticker to the TARDIS' license plate. Yay!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Are the Blu-Rays available yet?

We just watched the Series Finale, so now I'm ready to own the whole series on Blu-Ray. There have been quite a few BTS snippets we've seen along the way, as well as some British Christmas fund-raising campaigns and other stuff that have allowed us to keep our love of this show and this cast going, particularly after heart-wrenching season finales. So let's get the whole thing out on Blu-Ray, so that we will always have brilliant television to watch between seasons of other brilliant television that we still love!

With all of my breathing issues of late, I've kept a roll of toilet paper next to the bed, in case I have a night of overwhelming congestion. I'm not one to waste money on boxes of tissues; TP works just as well to catch my snot, thankyouverymuch! Right as we were beginning to watch tonight's episode, I had Stephen go fetch that roll, as I had been warned on Facebook by other friends that they'd be watching, prepared for waterworks. I knew that if this finale got me crying, it would also congest the hell outta my sinuses, so I wanted to be prepared.

NO TEARS! Yay! Happy Happy Joy Joy all around! And not predictable in the happy moments, but certainly not entirely unexpected. We're both quite pleased with tonight's episode. And now I just want to own it all so I can watch it all again, at our leisure.

Were you a fan? Did you make sure to catch the finale tonight, or are you risking spoilers? Or is there some other show you've allowed yourself to get sucked into, rather than the "Upstairs/Downstairs" world of Victorian Era to Roaring Twenties Estate England?

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Just watched...

Far From the Madding Crowd, the 2015 remake of the 1967 Julie Christie pic. It was in the queue, so I watched it, sort of not-really-paying attention. It had a few funny moments, and it wasn't poorly acted or ugly on the screen, so I kept watching it. It looks like it was made for television, though. There are scene fade-outs that look like perfect commercial breaks. And it absolutely telegraphs when there's about to be a "big moment". The first "big moment" arrived, and I was talking to the dude and his dog, telling them what was about to happen. They didn't listen, but it happened as I said it would.

Stephen got home from work and, after feeding himself, he sat down to watch it with me. That made two of us, telling Carey Mulligan what was about to happen (or at least, what we felt would be best). Carey didn't listen to us, either, but the things we were predicting or wishing for did, in fact, happen, shortly after we had proclaimed them.

So it's predictable. It's based on Thomas Hardy's book, and I'm not a reader. It's almost an hour shorter than the 1967 version, so I'm glad I never watched that one. I'm not sure I can agree with the one IMDb reviewer who gave it ten out of ten stars, who claimed that "The film does exactly what it says on the tin in a wonderful and sumptuous and breathtaking way and it's one of those films that will stick with me for a long, long time", but I enjoyed her review at least as much as I enjoyed this movie.

I think if it shows up in your DVR queue, you could easily watch something worse, or that is more of a waste of your time. You could also easily watch something better, too, though.

And that's all I have to say about that.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Progress? or Congress?

We've got stuff "in the works", as it were. I finished Emily's Moebius Scarflet, just in time for t-shirt weather where she lives, so I will either send it out to her when I damn well feel like it, or maybe my brother will have a reason and time to pack up his little family unit to come visit us in North Hollyweird, once we get ourselves moved out of Burbank. Again, we haven't yet found our forever home, but it's one of the things that is "in the works". We like our current apartment, but not enough to continue past this summer. That's the rough timeline, at this point (in my mind, at least). No particular date to move out; just spending internets browsing time looking at housing options. Waiting for the Universe to present us with our forever home while looking to see what's out there now.

We both had the day off, and nowhere to "be", per se, so we spent most of it sitting on our asses on the couch surfing the 'nets, playing games, reading, writing, and whatever else we did. I ate breakfast and lunch; Stephen consumed three carrots. Eventually, we decided we needed to get out of the house, and to prompt my new fitness thingy into counting steps, we walked over to Lowe's. While there, we looked at floor lamps, kitchens, refrigerators, and flooring. Not because we need any of those things, and certainly not with the intention of walking home carrying any of those things. Just doing a little dreaming for our forever home.

On the way home, we stopped in at Target and Best Buy to look at "cutting the cable" options. We currently have DirecTV, and we're not unhappy with them as a company or a television service provider. But we're finding that the shows we watch may be cheaper for us to access via one of those Roku/Chromecast/AppleTV (no, we'll never get an AppleTV) box thingies. A bit more dreaming, probably for the forever home, but possibly for sooner, as it'll be something very easy to transport from this location to the next. While we were in Best Buy, I noticed that they had the Rock Band 4, Band in a Box for PS4 on the shelf. Every Other Time I have been in Best Buy since last Christmas, when the system came out, they've only had it available for something other than PS4, so I haven't had to "pine" over not being able to play my drums. But today, there it was. Which means I'm going to start paying attention to that again. What follows here is a not-terribly-interesting video of me:

It's the only "videogame" I play, kids. All of my other electronic games are brain-powered. But back in the day, when I picked up the drumsticks and started playing Rock Band 1, I suddenly had a reason to sit and face the television screen for hours at a stretch. And I found that somehow, it was a good workout. No Idea Why.

So anyway, once home, Stephen made us some stir-fry dinner, and we ate it, and I've been trying to finish this post before we watch some pre-bedtime teevee. The cats have enjoyed some belly rubs and head skritches, and my allergies have kicked back up. Don't believe me?
this allows me to type with both hands, duh.
Three Good Things?
  1. Blogging these days is pretty easy. Even without much to say before I start typing, I manage to say a lot. Thanks for sticking it out with me, even on "slow" days.
  2. Stephen is enjoying cooking these days. And he's a good cook. I'm grateful for that.
  3. Cocoa is super-affectionate, especially when I'm trying to finish something (i.e. make Progress in my Productivity). And she doesn't judge me when I make Congress in my Productivity. Yay!
What about you? Progress or Congress? ;)

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Clever Naming Devices are not exclusive to the Bros.!

While I was a tour guide at Warner Bros., I always loved to get my guests thinking about how shows are named.

"In Three Words, what is the show '2 Broke Girls' about?" "In as few words as possible, what was the show 'Full House' about?" "Did you know that 'Full House' has a sequel, about DJ Tanner, all grown up and married to (now widowed by) a man with the last name of Fuller?"

Once my guests figured out my game, they totally played along with me for the full two hours. But I've always been a "Clever Namerer".

My first cat's name was Kitty. My current furbabies are named Cocoa and Smokey.
Smokey, you've probably guessed, is the grey one. Cocoa looks like a black cat, but in sunlight, you can see that she's actually a luscious, deep, dark brown, like cocoa. I've talked about them both extensively here (in my blog).

My first car that I loved was a yellow Geo Storm (do you remember those?). I called it an Easter Egg, because:
(not mine, but a close replica, while they were still egg-shaped)
My second car that I loved was a yellow Volkswagen New Beetle. I used to sing "You Are My Sunshine" to it, because seeing it in the driveway or in a parking lot always made me Happy, even if Skies were Grey.
My current car that I love is a yellow Honda Fit. I call it the TARDIS, because

So back in the day, when I was getting my SAG card, I had to decide whether to use my legal name or a stage name as my screen name. Back in the day, Grandma was still alive, and to expose our family secrets by way of making our name famous would have been an unkind thing to do. Also, there's a whole issue of stalkers or whatnot. If Jim Carrey needs to have constant (or at least daily) contact with his beefed-out-Kevin-James-of-a-bodyguard, then do I really want the world in this industry to know me by my legal name? Then there's the fact that I have an ex-husband whose last name I never unloaded because it was such a pain in the ass to change it the first time and why should I go through all that again but why should he get any credit for my acting (or other entertainment) career? I asked the folks at SAG if I had to have a last name. They said "nope". I said I wanted my screen name to be "emelle" (as it had been my stage name in high school and college anyway). They said "okey dokey". I asked if I could keep my name all lowercase (for shits and giggles). They were like, "suuuuure". So it's only recently been first-letter capitalized by the ID department at SAG-AFTRA, and probably, I'll go over there someday to see if I can't get it back to all lowercase (because it has become the name I associate with my professional life).

But I have no last name, professionally, so yeah, Lee. I'm like Cher, or Madonna, except that they were both one-name singers before they were ever one-name actors. And even though I am a singer (and have been longer than I've been an actor), it is not a career I've ever gone for. And now you know.

I have no Three Good Things today. I have plenty of Okay things, but whatevs. I don't have to live up to your expectations. This is MY blog! Hopefully, I'll get to work on set tomorrow. Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Workin' on Workin'

Three Good Things:

  1. I acquired for myself a cheapo version of a FitBit, because I wanted to see how many steps I walk in a day. I'm workin' on gettin' in 10K steps a day. It's hard to accomplish if you have nowhere to be. Now that I'm not working at the Bros, I really don't get out of the house much. Yesterday, Stephen and I exceeded 21K steps each, but that's because the car was at the dealership, and we had a lot of things we could do while we were out in the old 'hood. Today, I walked over to IKEA to look at some furniture, and then when I got mailbox money for my gig last week, I drove over to the credit union (just to be sure I'd get there before they closed, not because I wanted to drive), and then walked over to Trader Joe's (just for the steps, not because I needed any groceries). Today I'm somewhere in the neighborhood of 6800. Not bad, but not great.
  2. Also spending time workin' on Emily's Moebius Scarflet. Sitting still for long periods of time means that I make progress on one goal while completely and utterly defeating the step goal. Oh, well. Whadd'rya gonna do?
  3. Also submitting myself for set work as often as an appropriate gig comes across my network. That means all appropriate gigs, no matter what form the "network". Including "networking" with actual people.

You guys know me. I just wanna be working.

Who among you wants to be my manager, so I can always be working? Jump on that, wouldja?

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

My Loaded (Not-Baked) Potato Soup was a COMPLETE Success!

... in that, it taught me EXACTLY what I need to do RIGHT next time!

It was an experiment. I had high hopes, but no exact knowledge or experience. I got a little guidance from the folks I encountered at Trader Joe's while I was shopping for ingredients, but Not. One. Person. indicated a key step or two.

So take yesterday's "recipe" but alter it in these tiny-but-oh-so-important ways:
  1. Pre-cook the bacon elsewhere (not in the crockpot). Good and crispy, or just buy pre-cooked bacon bits (not Baco's; use REAL food, please, kids) and then add them when you add your veggies
  2. Cube the potatoes into smaller chunks. I was afraid they would shrink down or break away into non-existence after cooking, so I made the chunks too big. "Bite size" is too big, at 1/12th of a small potato.
  3. Add the broth and milk after the potatoes, but before the cheeses. Add a couple handfuls (seriously, that was how I measured it when I added it today, after the fact) of flour, as both a soup-base thickener, and ALSO to prevent the milkfats from separating out of the cheeses. Because of steps one and three here NOT being part of my original experimental recipe, I had to allow my soup to cool a lot and spoon off a rather thick layer of grease/fat/oil from the top. It never just mixed in, so I had to get rid of it AND add more milk. But also the flour. Next time, it'll be done in the right order.
  4. Use more seasonings. I can't really taste the garlic or horseradish, so I may add more tomorrow, when I first set the crock back into the heater element. It tastes good, but not necessarily like a loaded baked potato. I want it to taste better.
*****
In other news, Stephen and I took the car in to get some recalls serviced this morning. Then we walked over to the credit union, somewhat by way of our old neighborhood, to look at apartment vacancies. In placing a call for a house that had a "For Lease" sign out front (but by way of a realtor), it was suggested to us that we also consider home ownership. In Los Angeles County. Yep. I know, right? (Oh, I forgot that maybe you weren't thinking "What? Are you CRAZY? No One can afford to BUY a house in LA! That's insane!" or something along those lines)

So when we got to the credit union, we inquired about all the things we could take care of there. One-Stop-Shopping, if you will. I love being a member of a credit union. So much better than banks. Then we walked back to the car dealership, but by way of a nice sit-down Mexican meal and a lot more wandering through desirable neighborhoods to compare apartments and houses and really let the ideas stew. We knew we had plenty of time to kill; the dealership had given us a first "completion" estimate of 5 p.m. By the time we got back to the dealership (just shy of 4 p.m.), we'd each walked 21000 steps (yes, Twenty-One Thousand!), and our feet and legs were screaming, and our backs were whining a little like petulant backup singers. The car was finished not too long after our arrival, and we returned to the credit union to sign some paperwork that wasn't ready when we left it this morning, and got home to fix yesterday's experiment.

Three Good Things:
  1. Incredibly productive day
  2. Incredible education gained, covering a lot of different issues
  3. An awareness that my cough is most definitely an allergy of some kind, as I haven't had a fit for the last 48 hours, my last one waking me (two nights ago), feeling like I'd inhaled a cat hair in my sleep. For all I know, the trigger two nights ago was me inhaling a cat hair in my sleep. We walked past a Kaiser Permanente office (where my medical insurance is set up) TWICE today, and I thought about being a walk-in patient to be seen for this cough, but then I felt like you do when you take your car in and can't duplicate the issue for the mechanic. I feel FINE right now. If I wake in the night coughing, then I will start vacuuming my bed each morning before I make it up. It's gotta be the furbabies.
  4. Got home in time to submit for some specific gigs as well as put myself on the avail list for rush calls. I gotta get back on set!
What did YOU do today? Anything Good?