Thursday, October 12, 2017

Welcome Back, (me)!

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah. I know. I'm certainly not a blogger lately. And not really because I haven't had stuff to say. Just laziness, I guess. Or busy-ness. Or lazy business. #HashtagWTF?

So let's go back a teensy bit. Upon our return from Idaho, I mentioned I was applying at the pet supply retail chain. You've been sitting on pins and needles, haven't you? #DidSheGetTheJob or #IsSheNowJustTooFamousToBlogAnymore? Right?

I got the job!

I work Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. I mostly work eight-hour shifts, which is not normal for part-timers, at least at this particular company. I am great on the register, I am great with cat people, I am pretty good with dog people, and I'm really proud of the fact that, on a case-by-case basis, I seem to no longer fear dogs.

Wait, what? You were afraid of dogs up until the point you started working in pet supply retail?

Yes, kids, I have had a lifelong FEAR of dogs, in general. Growing up, at some point, Inner Hippie adopted a smallish (catlike) dog named Muffin. I wasn't afraid of Muffin, per se. But we had something of an understanding. We were not each other's Chosen One.

what a beauty, eh?
I've always been a Cat Person. When my roommate moved back to Minnesota without rehoming her cat, Miles, I kept him. We got along okay, but again, we were not each other's Chosen One. So when Cocoa and Smokey barged into my life, I found Miles another human to Choose. He DID, and now all parties are living better lives for it.

Chosen Ones



But I digress. I was always a Cat Person with a fear of DOGS. I got hired for my part-time pet supply gig, and I interact with Just About Every dog that comes into the store. And I love them all, even the ones that really couldn't care less about me. I do not love all of their people. Some people, even pet people, really suck.


Ennyhoo. I've been working weekends, and I'm approaching my 60-day review. WOW. And I've also booked a day or two of on-set work each week, except for the occasional week with zero days, in that time, and I've done some volunteering and been to a workshop or screening or two.

So hopefully, soonish, I'll review some things I've seen in the past coupla, and I'll get caught up on the blogs I read, and I'll stay caught up on blogging, too.

Didja miss me? What have YOU been up to? *If your blog is listed HERE>>>
then you don't gotta tell me \/ HERE \/ (so tell me that you missed me, instead) #wink*

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Did you think I'd forgotten you?

I haven't. I've been #Blessed with #Busy. My weekend is set, but I may get a chance to catch you up by Monday. Let's hope I'm too busy to do so!

Friday, August 11, 2017

No Work This Week

... and I'm heading back to bummed out.

Let's recap:

  • Four days on set in January
  • Zero days in February
  • Two days in March
  • One day in April
  • Zero days in May (out of town for three weeks because of it, or vice-versa?)
  • Two days, mid-June
  • In July, I volunteered all those days because I needed to fight Depression by being on set. It was great, but I wasn't filling our coffers while doing it. Then, in mid-July, I booked one day... and then three days...
  • and then three more, the first week of August
So, starting with those two mid-June days, rolling into the volunteer days and the rest of July, it felt like maybe #JustMaybe the industry might be turning a kinder eye to me. I'd started doing stuff at the SAG-AFTRA Foundation, working with the Voiceover Lab and volunteering some time for screenings, too. Getting out of the apartment is always a good thing.

Which is why I'm getting bummed out again. I have booked no work this week in the industry (altho I did have a main booth VO session and a screening to donate my time to yesterday).

Most of my week has been spent seeking employment at the pet supply chain where Stephen works.

You read that right, kids. He's been transferred again, back to Burbank, leaving his last boss more severely short-staffed than she'd ever have chosen to be. She needs help out there, in Encino. She already likes me, and my schedule is wide-open (although she's willing to "work around" my acting schedule, which means I'm willing to work a heavy weekend kind of rotation for her, which is a win-win).

So on Monday, I fulfilled the background check requirement, and picked up the application. On Tuesday, I turned in the application and had a little chat with the Boss. My background cleared on Wednesday, so I went to a private lab to pee in a cup for my pre-employment drug screen. At this point, the Boss is just waiting for those results (anywhere from 24-72 hours later, depending on the workload of the lab), so she can offer me a minimum wage part-time position and start date.

Which means I will be employed again, soon. And I'll end up learning almost as much as Stephen has, about the care of your pets. And I'll be working for a woman who completely "gets" that I'm likely to be a fantastic asset, as long as everyone treats me like a temp. I may end up "temping" there, part-time, for the rest of my life, or at least until they try to transfer Stephen back to her. It remains to be seen, obviously. Maybe my VO career will become a "thing", and I'll have access to a good recording studio, and that'll be my "industry" gig, and the pet supply company will become my career! For now, though...

I just need to Book. Some. Work.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Stupid Shit We Fight About

Stephen and I just had a fight. Then, because it was over stupid shit, we resolved it. Yay, team!

As you may know, if you've been reading here for any time, Stephen works for a local pet-supply retail chain. He was first employed as a part-time retail dude, working in the Burbank branch, because that was the job opening, and it was convenient for him to get to work.

He then earned a "promotion" to full-time hours, at the same Burbank branch. Kewl.

His next promotion to Floor Supervisor also included a transfer. The new branch is in Encino. Not quite as convenient a commute, and definitely a different "vibe" from Burbank, but still the same company. We moved from Burbank to North Hollywood around the same time he got transferred, so while the commute wasn't as convenient, it still wasn't horrible.

He gets paid every two weeks, with Direct Deposit. This is very convenient. His pay stubs get delivered to the store, so in most circumstances, I have it in my hands so I can enter the details into Quicken within a day or so of the money being in the bank.

Two weeks ago, Stephen was transferred back to Burbank. Kewl! Better commute again! Buy another bike to replace the one that had been stolen! Get some exercise and sunshine! Don't spend more than an hour waiting for buses in either direction! Kewl!

... except ... the pay stub from two weeks ago was delivered to Encino, instead of Burbank. We'd immediately brainstormed ways to get it into our hands, but none of the ideas we had had been followed up on.

Flash forward to today: I had paychecks for myself in today's mail, and I was trying to tidy up my filing by doing the Quicken data entry, etc. I had Stephen's most recent pay stub to work with, but I still don't know the details from two weeks ago.

So I suggested that someone in Encino throw a stamp on it, and have it delivered to our mailbox. <^<^THIS is the stupid shit we fought about today. My POV was, surely someone in the office at Encino has seen this envelope addressed to Stephen and would like to not see it anymore? Why has no one else thought to either inter-office or mail or fax or something to get it out of their office? What I said was, they can just mail that paystub to you here. Stephen's response was, "I'll take care of it", and then we were suddenly both repeating ourselves until it got out of hand.

What Stephen heard was, emelle has to be in charge and this needs to be done her way. When I stopped contributing to the argument and he calmed down enough to ask if I didn't understand his POV, the fight moved off the high heat flame and went to a back burner to simmer. I wasn't able to answer that question, because if I said that I did understand his POV, then clearly, I did want this thing done my way. That wasn't true. But also, to say I did not understand his POV would mean he would attempt to rephrase whatever I wasn't getting, and frankly, I just needed to process what I thought I understood.

It was an apples vs. oranges argument. My frustration was that no one other than me seemed to care enough to do anything about this stupid-but-important document. He'd said he'd take care of it (two weeks ago), but he hadn't. It had fallen through the cracks, and now his frustration was with me, because it was obviously more vital than he'd first known it to be. No.
Grr. Argh.
Once I'd figured out exactly what my frustration was, I tried to calmly explain it. Then I explained what I thought his frustration was, got corrected, re-explained it, and we both Got It.

Then Stephen got on the phone, spoke to the Assistant Manager, and requested that a coworker pick it up when he was in that store for training, so he could bring it over to Burbank. Yay! Taken care of!

... unless the action falls through the cracks. That'll be a fight for another day, I guess. ;)

What Stupid Shit Do YOU fight about?

Monday, July 31, 2017

Travel, Part the Fourth (of Four Parts)

Kelli had to zip outta the house early today for work, and she knew she'd not be back before we left, so those goodbyes were said last night,

This morning, it was just me de-testosteroning the house. I was supremely unsuccessful. But Stephen made coffee, and I ate cereal, and we pretty much all just hung out. I did a funky dance move, asking all the boys in da hous to send out their "send auntie emelle to work" positive vibes. They made me do the move multiple times. I was happy to, if it meant we'd all be thinking about booking me on set!

Then Bill had to go run a work errand, so he took the ruggest of the rats with him, and YN and I took a little walk over to Target to "window shop" a new swimsuit for me and any potential toys for him. Stephen and ON stayed in, doing #GodKnowsWhat. *Who's Who, ICYMI

Bill and the ruggest were home by the time YN and I returned, and we really weren't gone all that long, ya know? So we all hung out some more. More Paracord Bracelets were made, some movie trailers were watched, laundry and dishes were begun (I think), and we repacked our bags. Also, I discovered I was on hold for work for tomorrow! Yay! #FunkyDanceMovesWork

'Round 4:00-ish, Stephen and I hugged YN and ON goodbye. These were some serious goodbye hugs. Them are good boys, Brent. Bill packed us and the ruggest of the rats into his truck and off we went to the airport, to arrive in plenty of time to board our 6:20 flight out to Oakland.

Unfortunately for us, just about every Southwest flight arriving in Boise was delayed, which meant just about every Southwest flight leaving Boise was delayed. Ours definitely was, by roughly half an hour. Which meant that our layover in Oakland was not going to be a leisurely stroll through the terminal to board the next leg.

Oh, no. We had 8 whole minutes to run the half mile (ish?) to the other gate to come back in to Burbank. Thankfully, we made it. Then we had time to wonder if our bags had also made it, since we'd checked them (knowing that the first leg was full and we were boarding near the end of everything; no overhead storage meant, um, let's check those bad boys). I also had time to get the details for my gig tomorrow and confirm it. Whew! #SetLife #MyLife #ILoveWorking

Oakland to Burbank is a truly short hop. We deplaned out the back, found the restrooms, found our baggage carousel. Yes, our bags had made it. Yes, for whatever reason, the TSA had decided that our two little rolling carryon bags needed inspecting. No, there doesn't seem to be anything missing. No, they don't appear to have broken my laptop. #GoodThing!

Found our way over to the Lyft pickup area, and Stephen requested a pickup. Unfortunately, the app was being seriously wonky, and would not allow him to add our home address, which meant that frustration was building, and we didn't know if we'd even get a ride at all. He spoke on the phone with the first driver, who said "I'm here" but was not, in fact, at the airport. Huh? Eventually located the driver Lyft sent in her place, who was a little frustrated himself, not knowing where he needed to take us.

He was patient, though, and he got it sorted enough to be able to add our address in his app. Which meant we'd get home, and Stephen knows what he needs to say in any communications with the folks who run the app. Also, he got five stars and a five dollar tip, because who knows what we'd have had to do, if Arman had given up on us?

So, we're home. The furbabies are very happy to see us. We've plugged in our phones; I'm blogging (#DUH); Stephen's already checked into a video game and back out of it, working towards bedtime. We both get to go to work tomorrow. It was a good visit, and now we only have to plan the next one (with any family, in any "home town")!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Part the Third: Floatin' Down the River

So, just in case you couldn't tell from the title, we did some river rafting today. There were six of us (youngest, a.k.a. "ruggest of the rats", at least as I like to call him, had been left at MIL's house for the day). The menfolk yesterday had purchased 6 cheapo inner tubes, so we could each just floatfloatfloat down the river, separately but together.

Our adventures outside the house began with taking two vehicles in the direction of the parking at the bottom end of the river... by way of dropping off the ruggest of the rats at Gramma's house, and lunch for the rest of us at the taco place... and then transporting all of us with our tubes from the end-result parking lot in one vehicle to the jump-into-the-river parking lot.

Shopping at the dollah store for cheap sunglasses, cords to hold said specs on faces, flip-flops, and backpack-style nylon bags to transport stuffs down the river. Lunch. Parking lot. Collect. Second parking lot. Gather. Coordinate. Venture into the river, which. was. COOOOOOOOOOOLLLLD.

My "buddy" was older child. Stephen's "buddy" was younger child. Bill and Kelli were each other's "buddies". Originally, Kelli wanted the kids to "buddy" with the parents, leaving Auntie and Uncle to "buddy" together. But, ya know (or maybe you don't, in which case, I shall inform you), nephews see the parents all the time, so they'd rather buddy with the visiting relatives. So Kelli acquiesced.

Older nephew (henceforth to be known as ON) and I created our system pretty quickly. I had my little backpack bag slung over a shoulder, and he was wearing a life vest. So, to stay "connected", either I'd hold a shoulder of his vest, or he'd hold a fistful of my bag. We worked together to stay facing downriver as much as possible, or to paddle (with our arms) or kick away from either shoreline, carefully traversing any rapids together.

One of the first rapids we hit, ON tipped out of his tube. But he held onto it, and he held onto the bottle of water in his hand, and I had a good grip on his life vest, so once we were over it, we were able to get him back up on his tube. He was soaked and cold, but he'd survived that tipping, and our lives were pretty good.

Kelli and Bill kept unbuddying, and over the course of the entire river, they managed to lose just about every "extra" thing they had on their persons. Kelli had a kayak paddle that broke on her, and for a short time, even lost her tube!

ON and I unsuccessfully attempted a maneuver around a very small island. I ended up getting caught going quickly downstream to the left of the island, and ON got beached on some rocks to the right of it. I grabbed hold of low-lying tree branches, holding on for dear life, shouting his name, which he couldn't hear over the rapids. He was no more than 10 feet upstream of me, and he couldn't hear me calling his name. #ResponsiblePanicSetsIn

But he'd managed to stand up, carrying his tube across some not-as-fast shallow water, and when I found a place to beach myself, we reacquired each other. Whew! On the opposite side, he'd been passed by Stephen and YN (younger nephew, #duh), who'd indicated the loss of Kelli's tube, but were also at least a bit concerned at our separation. Once we'd taken a little breather on the rapid/deep side, ON and I reseated ourselves and let the current drift us back downstream.

Once we were back in the center of that part of the river, we passed Stephen and YN, who'd intentionally beached themselves on a small (actual) beach. They both seemed in good spirits, and relieved that ON and I were back together, so we waved as we passed, and then we focused on whether Kelli would have somehow made her way past us, or if we'd be the first to "land" and get to gather the rest of the group. We'd traveled a pretty good distance, but we had no real concept of exactly what that distance was. According to Stephen, our two beaching incidents happened about five miles downstream of the entry point, leaving only about a mile to the exit.

For Stephen, that was #TheLongestMile. The beach where he and YN had chosen to stop and worry had taken a feat of strength that sapped his energy. Just getting beached drained him. The water was very cold, and very rough, and worry about any lost members of the party were just too much. And then, getting back into it was just too awkward, and he ended up with most of his body submerged in the cold water, with only his arms and head (through the hole in the tube) out in the sunshine. He had on cheap flip flops, of course, so his only hope of getting properly reseated was to encounter a shallows that wasn't fast. That didn't happen. The shallows he went over were too fast to stand up, which meant his poor body got dragged that remaining mile.

Kelli had at least regained her tube from some other rafters who'd collected it once they saw it floating riderless. Yay. Bill kept solo floating. The "lone" buddy, on purpose.

So ON and I made it to the off-ramp. Other tubers lent a hand to help us escape the current and beach at the beach. So once we were secure, we did the same. We helped others land, by grabbing hands, feet, or paddles that were outstretched. We got to be heroes. It was cool.

So we pulled Kelli in. And other rafters.

Then Bill. And more rafters.

And more. And more. And more. Where the heck were Stephen and YN? Some of the other rafters indicated that, if we were waiting for the two inner tubes (yes), that they were, in fact, on their way, but they weren't doing too well.

Stephen was essentially hypothermic by the time we pulled him and YN out of the water. He lacked the strength to stand, so I plopped him down onto his tube up a few feet on the beach. He was shaking from the cold, so we removed his t-shirt, and even though I wasn't particularly warm, I tried to share my body heat with him by straddle/hugging him. His hands were completely numb, and had somehow turned yellow. Both nephews accompanied the 'rents up to the vehicle to bring back towels, and then the 'rents went back to the first parking lot to bring back the other car.

Everyone was gone long enough for Stephen and I to try to get him warm. Other rafters offered assistance. We had him drink some water, honestly not knowing if that would help or hinder. I kept blowing on his cupped hands, and trying to hug him warm. Eventually, he got the strength to stand, so we walked up to where all the inner tubes had been collected, as the nephews returned with towels.

We moved all the tubes into a patch of sunshine, and we waited. Stephen propped himself against a lamppost, like a bear scratching against a tree, because it was some warm-but-not-too-hot metal for his skin. We waited. We saw Bill and Kelli drive up. We waited. We waited. We waited. Finally, they walked up, and everyone was as recovered as we were going to be, so we headed up to the cars and came back to the house. Three in each vehicle, rehashing the events of the event, and coming to a few conclusions.

Future reference:

  1. Groups of six who choose to "float the river" in inner tubes should divvy up as three-n-three rather than 2x2x2. Had one parent and one child and one non-parent grouped, we'd have all felt more secure in the safety of each other.
  2. Waterproof walkie-talkies, if divvied up. If one group has any issues, they can radio to the other group the situation, let 'em know to keep going and we'll meet up at the end, and also indicate "rapids ahead" (hang onto yer butts!), "shallows ahead" (don't drag yer butts!), or "you suck, we rock" (you suck, we rock!) types of lively banter
  3. WATER SHOES. Flip flops or other sandals Just. Will. Not. Do. You need shoes that will immediately drain but also have amazing traction, to help you get in and out of the water on slippery rocks.
In spite of what may seem like a buncha negatives, a Good Time Was Had By One And All. I've got a cut on the top of my foot and a rubber burn near my right elbow (from frantic paddling). Stephen's got a scrape or cut on his ankle, a cut on his knee, and probably more cuts and/or bruises all over that I'm unaware of. Bill Zonked Out when we got home, and even though everyone is officially in bed or headed there already, he's had like three naps since we got in. The boys have been making Paracord Bracelets for me and Stephen. Kelli's been working on some Continuing Education credits for her job, and the ruggest of the rats has been, well, a two-year-old. He had a good time with Gramma.

Have you had this sort of adventure whilst vacationing on a long weekend with family? Tell me about it.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Part the Second

We went to bed in the 11-ish hour last night, expecting to still get something like 7 - 7.5 hours of sleep, and also expecting the house to be noisy, pretty early, because we're sleeping on the "living" level of the house, so, ya know, kitchen stuff and boys. As it happened, I didn't drag my full bladder to the bathroom until EIGHT a.m. in the dang morning! 8.5 - 9 hours of sleep! #WhatTheWhat?

So... after all the coffee and smoothies had been made, poured, and consumed, SIL Kelli decided we needed to hit the park. Between the moments of deciding to leave and actually leaving, I got cold in this house, so I sat my butt out on the back deck, in the lovely sunshine. Then we went to the park, with snacks for the boys, and two blankets for the ground, and camp chairs for up to five people.

At some point in the day in the park, Kelli was urged to go visit Whole Paycheck again for some important things that had been missed earlier, so I went with her, and we left all the testosterone at the park! #EstrogenPower #YeahBaby So we had not a Costco #WalkingSamplingLunch, but it was a #WalkingSamplingLunch, nonetheless.

When we'd killed plenty of time, the navigator took us around both of our asses to get back to BIL (Bill)'s elbow in the park, because frankly, there were road closures and detours the navigator was unaware of, so we essentially got lost. Da Boyz was gettin' hangry... talkin' about takin' an Uber home (even though WE had the carseat in our vehicle for the youngest, so no, not really).

Got back to the park; everyone munched on the newly-brought munchies, and we chilled out until it got too hot to do so. Came back to the house; Kelli cooked up a fab dinner after many peoples napped; we walked around a local trail after dinner.

The boys are all in bed; the adults are hangin' out in the living room; we had time to watch & discuss Fragile Storm; we're off to bed at a reasonableish hour again tonight. Tomorrow's a new day, kids!

Friday, July 28, 2017

Travel Travel Travel, Part The First

We flew outta Burbank this morning at 8:30, after a lovely Lyft ride with our driver, Aspet. The hop over to Oakland was just short enough to disallow any kind of napping. The layover was just long enough to make hopping off the plane for a short stroll through the airport a necessity.

Here's the thing: the temperature in Burbank, upon leaving, was probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 70º - 75º. In Oakland an hour or so later, it was 55º. I SHIT YOU NOT. We lost 20º in an hour! The reason it's hard for me to fathom this is two-fold.

  1. The other day, in an hour driving towards the set I was on, my external temperature went up 10º.
  2. My BIL, Bill, had informed us we'd be arriving in Boise to #HotAsHell temperatures, much like those we'd be leaving in Burbank.
55º is fucking COLD, y'all.

So we were happy to continue on to Boise. Our second leg of the trip was full; we had someone aboard with a peanut allergy, so no peanuts served. Since I hadn't napped on the first short leg, I opted for coffee on the second leg. We arrived in Boise at Gate B-17, which gave me a good earworm to take me to the welcome party. (Almost no one I encounter anymore is even remotely familiar with the tune; those who did recognize it when I was singing it "remembered" it being sung originally by a man, like BJ Thomas, maybe?)

Bill brought the two older nephews who knew and remembered me and were my primary reason for this visit; we stood in the terminal and #HUGGEDhuggedHUGGED. SIL Kelli was at home with the youngest nephew who'd met Uncle Stephen but hadn't yet met me. I rode in the Suicide Seat for the drive to lunch and "home", between the nephews, in the back seat. We had a good time, catching up and stuff.

When we got to the house, the boys and I came inside; Stephen and Bill went to visit with their mom, who doesn't do well with too many people. Kelli was putting youngest son down for a nap, so I basically explained the entire film industry to the older two. #AspiringAuteurs #InquiringMindsWantToKnow #IfOnlyTheyWereOldEnoughToReadMyBlog! #ArchivePerusalAnyone?

Kelli came downstairs, and about the time that the menfolk returned, youngest child was awaking. So we discussed "activity" options, and all of us came to the conclusion that investigating the new local ice cream shop was the best option... and because my entire life mantra is "if dessert is worth eating, it's worth eating first", we did exactly that... making ME a #Hero, and leaving us not particularly hungry for "dinner", even after a nice little walk nearish to the zoo, and next to the river-on-which-we-will-likely-be-floating in the next day or so.

So we came back to the house after a not-so-quick stop at Whole Paycheck, and Bill made popcorn, and anyone who was hungry for more than popcorn fended for him/herself. There's been so much visiting and catching up going on, I'm cool with "activities", but I'm also cool with "jus' chillin' with the fam"...

The youngest took a little while to warm up to me, the only stranger in the house. He just now came looking for me and Stephen to say good night to, and although he's not quite ready for hugs and kisses, my logic that "good night needs at least a high-five" seemed reasonable to him.

So. Day One. Successful in-law visit Day One. G'nite high fives for everyone!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

I AM a Money Magnet!

ThankYouThankYouThankYou!

I've been blessed to book three days of work this week! #ThreeGoodThings:

  1. Tuesday night, I worked on a popular (?) television show, booked as a rush call replacement for someone who called out. All I can really say is, 8 hours of pay for 5 hours of work, excellent treatment by a great crew and cast, fun shoot that I was able to WALK to (Yes, I got my steps in that day)! #Fun
  2. Yesterday, I worked on the US unit of a feature film that had completed its filming in Ireland. It was waaaaaaaay far away, and the producers/ADs/PAs really didn't seem to know the normal workflow processes for wrangling background, so there were some miscommunications. Nothing major, though, and even though I sustained an injury, there was a set medic hired, who treated me immediately with ice, ibuprofen, and respect. We did the appropriate paperwork to add to the production report, and in spite of it all, I was able to work through the eight hours and got recalled for today! #Fat$
  3. Today, I get to return to the same disorganized set, but since my character is "matching" yesterday's work, I don't have to lug any excess stuff (clothing, props, distractions). We're shooting in a remote facility that has no wi-fi, so my downtime will be spent chilling with the others who've been recalled, free of electronics. I've got some penpals who deserve a letter; maybe I'll take some of that with me. #Fulfilling
And Then TOMORROW, Stephen and I are travelling to Boise, Idaho, to hang with his brother, SIL, and the nephews. There will likely be one visit to his mom; that will be sad for whomever does that (she's not got Alzheimer's, but she really doesn't seem to remember anyone anymore).

It's only a four-day trip, so it'll be very different from my three weeks with Daddy. I intend to blog it anyway. I've missed you kids. Have you missed me? ;)

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Binge-Fests

Okay, it's been a little while since I've written any reviews for you kids, and I've come to realize that I/we've been binge-watching quite a bit of television lately, and y'all deserve to know both WHAT we're watching, and WHY.

So in no particular order (maybe), here goes:

Supergirl/Flash/Arrow: these are three CW (Warner Bros.) shows that co-exist in a few DC superhero universes.

  • Supergirl's universe is pretty self-contained; she (Kara Zor-El) followed her infant cousin (Kal-El) to Earth moments after he escaped Krypton, but as his pod broke through the Phantom Zone (releasing Zod and his associates), her pod got knocked off course, long enough for him to grow up on Earth and "rescue" her. So she grows up separately, and sort of "follows" in his footsteps, becoming a reporter at CatCo Worldwide Media in National City while Clark is over at the Daily Planet in Metropolis. Her adopted sister works for a secret government agency (DEO) that monitors alien life on Earth. We watch Supergirl for the "superhero" aspects, the "comic book" aspects, and probably also because I used to be a tour guide at Warner Bros. and was able to walk my guests through the DEO and CatCo sets, before the show moved to Vancouver to film alongside the other two^. We continued watching because the show is well-written, well-run, and it really strikes a lovely feminist chord without being too "in your face" about it. Also, Calista Flockhart!
  • Flash exists in a multiverse. Barry Allen is a "victim" of a huge explosion, causing him to be the "Fastest Man Alive". Other "victims" of the incident gain specific special "skills", like the ability to disorient you, or freeze you in your tracks, or meld into any reflective surface. All "victims" of the incident are called "meta-humans". Barry is a CSI with the Central City Police Department, and he also works with a group of humans and meta-humans to track the activities (usually criminal/villainous) of other meta-humans that appear on the public radar (usually because of a crime). We watch Flash because it's a comic book show. We continue to watch because Barry has a fairly bad habit of running so fast he alters his current timeline, trying to right wrongs or whatever, and the characters he interacts with have to either suffer the consequences or help him "un-right" the "wrongs" so he can "re-re-right" them. And he gets the help he needs by reaching out to different Earths and locating doppelgangers to bring back to Earth Prime. It gets confusing and convoluted, and we can't not watch them resolve that stuff. Plus the supporting characters are pretty damn cool.
  • Arrow is actually more of a Batman knockoff. Oliver Queen is a spoiled little rich boy who ends up castaway/stranded on a remote tropical island. His heroism doesn't really start until he gets back to Starling City, on a mission to right his father's wrongs. He's definitely only a great archer because of his time away, but he's still very flawed when he first returns. He doesn't really know how to channel his vigilantism for good. He gains a "team", of course, so we get to fall in love with people who will challenge him to stay on a "straight and narrow" path. Most of the criminals in Star City, as it comes to be known, are not "superpowered", but they do have access to cool tech. Oliver has access, too. And his team ends up including at least one "enhanced" crimefighter at a time. We started watching because Barry and Oliver live in the same universe, in the same way that Supergirl and Superman live in different cities but the same universe. When I first revamped my wardrobe, it was Moira Queen (Oliver's mom) that I attempted to emulate. We keep watching because there are often crossover episodes between Arrow and Flash, but also sometimes crossing over into Supergirl's world. We're "hooked", as it were. Also, John Barrowman. ;)
We have, at this point, finished ALL of the current Supergirl/Flash/Arrow timelines. We needed something else to binge!

  • GLOW: this show is So. Much. Fun. It's created by women, about women, mostly directed by women, and the stories are not "chick flick" -ish. It tells the story, primarily through the POV of one woman in particular, of the creation of the 1980's television show "Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling". There are very 1980's visual cues; I thought I caught a couple of anachronisms, but Stephen rebutted my concerns, and the show is too good overall to let the little things I thought were bothersome be bothersome. We started watching; Netflix just kept advancing to the next episode; after two or three "Are you still watching?" pauses, we discovered we'd watched the entire first season in one "sitting" (Friday). It's that good. You should definitely watch it. No, I don't care if you don't care about wrestling (neither do I) or female empowerment (well, I do care about that). If you don't care about either of those things, then you'll probably enjoy the costumes, makeup, and big hair. I mean, c'mon - hot girls in leotards and legwarmers? What's not to like? Watch it.
  • Spies of Warsaw: this show is heavy. Much heavier than the CW shows. Waaaaaaay heavier than GLOW. But it was episodic, and we'd had it in the queue for awhile, because David Tennant. I mean, wouldn't you, for that reason? C'mon. We made it through. It's set in Poland (obviously), among other places, just before WWII. It's a BBC show, so most, if not all, of the cast are Brits. There are a lot of familiar faces. The Nazis all sound German, whether speaking German or English (yes, most of the dialogue is in English, probably just as a convenience for us, the audience). The Poles all sound Polish. Most of the French we encounter sound French. Except for David Tennant. He's a French Lieutenant Colonel SPY who speaks all of the appropriate languages (as far as we know), but he sounds like... the 10th Doctor. Well, maybe not quite the 10th Doctor, but ... close. It's a bit disappointing, because the rest of the performances (including his) are fine. Perfectly believable. But c'mon! Sound French! So... it's a well-written, well-produced, well-performed heavy reenactment of that period of time in that part of Europe. But you do have to suspend your disbelief that DT is French. There are only four episodes, so we knocked this one out in two days.
  • ... and then we needed something new to watch, so I opted for something a bit "lighter": iZombie. Y'all, this show is intelligent and fun, and utilizes comic book segues, even though it's not related to any comics (to my knowledge, at least). And it's about the undead, of course. So it's not quite as "gross" as Santa Clarita Diet, and it doesn't have Drew Barrymore, but still. It's good, and we'll continue bingeing this one, probably.
What have YOU been watching?

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Roles I played "today"

Wednesday was Day Four of our shoot, and while getting my 10,000 steps, I also got to:
  • drive an actor to a place (Teamster's Union, please?)
  • get a piece of artwork re-framed (Locations, I think)
  • assist in the placement of specialty contacts AND the removal of blood (SFX makeup)
  • hang/remove some duvetyne (Key Grip)
  • pick up another camera lens and then assist the DP in its use, just barely (1st/2nd AC)
  • make coffee / replenish snacks / dispose of trash/recyclables (Craft Services)
  • keep the shoot moving / sign in/out SAG actors (2nd AD, Baby!)

Thursday was Day Five, and I got to:
  • ACT (hello, yes, I'm SAG-AFTRA, so duh)
  • keep the shoot moving / sign in/out SAG actors (2nd AD, Baby!)
  • lend my thumb ring to another actress as her wedding band (wardrobe?)
  • make coffee / replenish snacks / dispose of trash/recyclables (Craft Services)
  • work on bloodstain removal from carpeting (locations)
  • return some window blinds for credit (Art Dept/Set Dec{orating})
  • I also left a tad early from set so I could attend a Volunteer Orientation at the SAG-AFTRA Foundation... since I'm discovering that Volunteerism is an excellent way to get out of the apartment, and fight off any unemployment-induced Depression. It was a good meeting, and I'm sure they'll approve my "application" in the next few days.

Friday was Day Six, and I got to:
  • make coffee / replenish snacks / dispose of trash/recyclables (Craft Services)
  • keep the shoot moving / sign in/out SAG actors (2nd AD, Baby!)
  • stay the fuck outta the way (locations? not really, but #WhaddyaGonnaDo?)
  • wrap up early (because seriously, once the above stuff is "complete"...)

Saturday was Day Seven, and I got to:
  • repeat Day Five, honestly... we were shooting in a pretty small space, and even our "skeleton" crew was too many people. So after picking up pizzas from Costco for our "lunch", I was one of three or more people to be wrapped early. A word of advice... Costco pizzas are probably well worth the cost (they're #SoooooooperCheeeeep), but it is not a good idea to have a pizza party at a reasonable dining hour on a Saturday #NinthCircleOfHell #ClusterfuckCity #GladIHadCompany #WhatANightmare #DoYouGetThePicture?
So. It's Sunday, and the film is "dark" (i.e. everyone has the day off), and when they gear back up tomorrow, it'll be an even smaller crew, because they're going on location, and what with the budget being "Ultra Low", they can only afford the absolute essentials, since they're going to have to house and feed everyone for three or four days. #HaveFunStorminTheCastle!

Which means that I get to devote the next few days to Really Finding Employment. Like, can someone please just hire me already? I know I need to go back to Central to update my registration, and since I've gotten as skinny and fit as I can on my juice cleanse, it probably means I'll also update a bunch of my photos. So if I can get good photos in my phone, I'll be able to use them to update registrations at other casting companies. Then, it'll be #PhoneCallCity for me, reaching out to the connections I have and trying to #GetWork! #GetPaid!

... honestly, now that minimum wage has gone up, I should just suck it up and get a part-time "nothing" job at a place that I can walk to... we'll see.

In case you're curious, my juice cleanse is coming to a close. Tuesday will be Day 30, but over the course of the last week or so, I've been juicing while also eating healthy solids here and there. Like, my Craft Services noshing has been pretty much only crudite, possibly dipped in hummus. So I'll continue to pay attention to what I'm eating, and try to stay on the healthy end of the spectrum, but if I really really want cheese one day, I may have it. I did not have any of the Costco pizza (which is why I said that they are "probably" well worth the cost). Not that you care if I eat well or cheat. Just thought you might be curious.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

(You might think) my career is weird, but I love it

I'm on set again (not today, though. DUH). My friend Tina is #BusyBusyBusy with producing stuff (she is working TODAY while the rest of 'Murica sets off fireworks). She showed me her calendar for the last two months, and there are ZERO days off. I'm seriously impressed with her, especially since she essentially mainlines coffee, sleeps and eats very little, and has still managed to stay alive and sane while being #BusyBusyBusy like Mel Brooks in Blazing Saddles.

I had contacted her about a month ago about volunteering on one or more of her projects, because I knew she was always #BusyBusyBusy. She asked me if I'd be able to volunteer my services as a Script Supervisor on a feature. Frankly, I just can't, especially for any shoot longer than a weekend. There's just too much brainpower expended, and I always want to do a good job to help the project be the best it can be, and as a Scripty, it's just too much to ask. And she gets that. But I did want to get out of the apartment and on set, to work with her again in any other capacity, to help her project reach its goals.

So I volunteered to participate as a PA over the weekend. This is a feature covered by an Ultra Low-Budget SAG New Media contract, which essentially means there's "enough" money to pay for daily costs, like any necessary permits, insurance, expendables, and food, but not enough to cover locations or equipment or cast or crew. We're all participating out of the joy we get from participating, and frankly, it's a good group of people. The locations have been donated, the ARRI film equipment has been donated (or is being "rented" for zero dollahs), and our time is being donated. Which means, Tina gets to work a little extra-hard to make sure that we make our scheduled shoot days without incident. She has to keep the volunteers "happy" enough that she doesn't lose her already-skeleton crew over any little stupid shit. This is only a 15 day shoot, and I haven't read the script, but being around for the shooting lets me see how weird or funny or gross or all of the above this thing will be. We're making good progress, from what I can tell, and if I'm available, there's only about a week left for me (part of the shoot will be happening outside of LA, and because of the costs involved, they'll be using "local" crew for that part). Tina's makin' it happen, Yo!

I've personally, in three days, been credited (already, on IMDb) as 2nd AD, which is definitely a promotion from PA; run errands and locked up the set (as a PA would do); assisted the 1st AD with various not-on-paper Scripty/Continuity items; acted as Key Grip in helping the Gaffer block the light from some windows; acted as an SFX makeup assistant (helping a couple of actresses put special contacts "in"); acted as Set Medic when Tina suffered a (hopefully minor) knee injury; acted as Crafty (maintaining Tina's and others' coffee/water/snackage needs); and even almost ACTED in the film! I'm SAG, it's SAG, even if it's a "deferred" payment dealio, it'll be whatever it is, if they need me to ACT in this thing.

I love my job(s). I love my life, when I'm not home and Depressed (i.e. when I'm on set). I have an early call time tomorrow, so I'll be heading off to bed shortly after I publish this post. Hopefully all the loud banging will abate soon, so I can sleep. "Gunfire or Fireworks?" One never knows, in this town, at least... although tonight, it does mostly sound like the latter.

Don't neglect to click on that link above ("money") - it's a pretty funny video that'll give you some insight into this crazy world we call Show Business. And if you feel like contributing in any way, you're certainly welcome to share it on social media, with the hashtags #PhilophobiaFilm, #ARRI, and #TunnelLightPictures. If you don't feel like contributing in any way, that's cool, too. Enjoy the short. Watch it over and over. It makes me giggle, at least!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Still Cleansing, After All These Years (well, days)

Yup, kids. It's the first of July, I only posted six times last month, and I've been juice fasting/cleansing since time began. Or, well, since THEN. And I haven't been "documenting" my progress, as it were, at least #NotSoMuch in vlog form, and really not that much in blog form. #SorryNotSorry.

What I've discovered is, #MyPersonalCleansingJourney isn't terribly interesting.

I fire up the juicer for a fruity breakfast blend. I pour said blend into a vessel or two, and then I make my Mean Green variant. That either lives in the little pitcher that came with the juicer, in the fridge, or it lives in a large "to-go" bottle. Then I clean the juicer parts, and store them in the dishwasher to drain. Wipe down the counters, and consume breakfast.

... Aaaaaaand then, I live the rest of my day, doing #FuckAll around the apartment or in the 'hood.

I've shed some pounds. I gave myself another enema this morning, because my system still seems a bit backed up, and it's been like a week, so I think I'm not in any danger of overdosing on laxatives. I shed four more pounds, just this morning, from pre- to post-enema! YOWZA!

Also, I'm On Set Again Today! My fabulous friend Tina is producing her first feature film, "Philophobia: Or the Fear of Falling in Love", and she's brought me on as an AD (2nd AD, to be exact), working with a super-fun cast and crew. So when it came time for her to collect lunch orders, I of course had to remind her multiple times that "I'm juicing, Yo!"

Which means ... I'm not really following anyone else's eat schedule, just drinking my juice as I go, watching other people eat chewables from Crafty, and still

Feelin' Good, Yo.

I know I normally don't tell you the name of the project I'm working on, but the producers have said, PLEASE post #PhilophobiaFilm. So, there it is. Knock yourselves out, if you feel inclined! I will do the same, once I have more to actually say, ya know? It's Day One. Let's see where this takes us!

What shall I tell you about in JULY?

Saturday, June 24, 2017

This town needs an enema! Or, well, This apartment does. Same diff.


Thank you, Joker. You speak the truth.

Y'all remember when I told you a few days ago that I'd reached a point in my juice cleanse where, if I sucked in my gut, it really only pulled in my ribcage-adjacent abs, and not my belly? No? Hmm... Maybe I only told Stephen.

Ennyhoo. I'm actually enjoying this fast, for the most part. Sometimes the juice extractor will get away from whichever of us is running it, and we'll have a Carrotastrophe or a Beetaggeddon (#CleanUpCleanUpEverybodyCleanUp), but the juices are tasty and filling (for a few hours, at least). And we seem to be using the terlet more.

However, I was really hoping to shed some belly fat, and with it, maybe a dozen pounds? My efforts in the terlet were strained, as it were, and I wasn't really shedding any weight, and I could still only see my toes over my little pot belly, instead of straight down my legs. This was making me a bit unhappy, as was only working the two days I'd had the week before last. #PutMeToWork #CabinFeverSetsIn

Whatever. That's not what this post is even about, #StupidDepression!

Back to the straining to shed weight. Stephen did a little research, and discovered that wheatgrass juice is supposed to be an excellent natural laxative. Then he also discovered that juicing wheatgrass is a complicated process.  So he researched some more, and discovered the brilliance of enemas.

Yup, I said it. Brilliance of enemas. Now, I know that #BackInTheDay, enemas were used on a fairly regular basis by your average Jo(e/anne), anytime constipation was an issue, or before childbirth, or possibly for other reasons. Neither of us has ever had/used one, so more research into the "how" was done. And then yesterday, we went for a walk, that included shopping for better brushes to clean the juice extractor, wheatgrass juice, and possibly enema kits.

We purchased all of the things. The juice was only available at Jamba, not in any grocery coolers, and the dude at the counter offered orange wedges, as a chaser. #RedFlagsFlying Wheatgrass Juice Is Nasty. There are people who order it on a regular basis, whenever they pick up a fruit smoothie at Jamba. Those People Are Insane Or Else They Have No Tastebuds.

So, we won't be returning to Jamba anytime soon. Not only because of the horrible #WheatgrassFailureOf2017, but also because all of the juices sold at Jamba cost too much. I can do what I want for less with fresh produce from the grocery store!

... got home, farted around (literally? Very possibly - juicing does increase flatulence, and if you're unknowingly "backed up", you can't really trust farting around.) Eventually read the instructions on all three panels of the box, and decided to give it a "go". Stripped down, lying nekkid on the bathroom floor, worked the dealio, and BOOM! Within mebbe a minute or two, I was up on the terlet, evacuating. Brilliance, I tell ya. (BTW, Mr. "Most Interesting Man In The World", I DO always sit down to pee, unless circumstances prevent that. So you don't actually speak for ME <=>)
And in the shower that followed, I looked down my body, tightened my abs, and saw my thighs, knees, and feet. Yay!

Have you ever had an enema? Aren't they brilliant?

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Apparently, I'm getting ADHD

... at least, according to the dude teaching last night's VO (voiceover) workshop.

As you may or may not be aware, I'm currently in the middle of mainlining VO training, so I can start seeking auditions and/or representation that will do the seeking for me. I've already done an animation (character) workout, and Voice-To-Picture, and a couple of commercial workouts.

Workouts are set up to record stuff in the booth, with feedback from the other actors and the person running the board (the engineer). Workshops still get you in the booth, but you don't get feedback from anyone other than the "teacher", for the most part. Unless the copy you're reading is restricted, like in the VTP workshop, you usually get to take your recordings home on a flash drive.

So, last night's workshop was all about narration, which covers documentaries, PSAs, museum guide (recordings, of course), and corporate/industrial, but not audiobooks! It was being led by a man who's a staple in that arena, without necessarily being famous. The voices you know you've heard in this arena include Peter Coyote and Morgan Freeman. They are not going to teach a workshop to get you more work in this particular playing field. The guy last night basically told us that there is a ton of work out there, if we're interested in focusing on Narration.

Which leads me to my title. He asked us to introduce ourselves, with a little backstory into our experience to date, and why we wanted to take that particular class. His response to mine was to tell me/us that I'm/we're "probably getting" ADHD, as there are So. Many. Worlds. to choose from in VO, and if I/we've not yet "chosen" which world I/we want to "live" in, it can get overwhelming.

Yes, that. The overwhelm is strong in *this* one.

HOWEVER, I'm loving attending these workshops. Now I just need someone who "knows" me (or at least my voice/range/acting abilities) to give me a nudge in one direction. Which is why I want an agent. But it's also why I need to fine-tune the demos I already have and/or record fresh, new demos. But for which specific worlds?

Dammit.

*****

Also, in case you're wondering how my juice cleanse/fast is going, Stephen informed me today that his leg cramps and my back pain are probably related to the detox, and that we should both be consuming electrolytes in addition to our juices. I can do that. I'm loving the juices, for the most part, and I think I have my ingredients list narrowed down (after doing a couple of massive shops), for next week, at least, when Stephen returns to chewing again and I'm still juicing. I've got access to electrolytes to add to clear water, between "meals", too. So we're good.

If you're wondering what the fuck I'm talking about, you obviously haven't been following along. You needn't go far into the archives to get caught up, unless you feel like it, just for your own sense of accomplishment. So, please. Peruse my archives. They're right there ==>

What fun things are happening in YOUR life these days? #TellMeAllAboutEm

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Day Four, or That Time I Tried Cleansing While On Set

I got to go to work today! First day on set in two months (granted, I did visit Daddy for three weeks, so if you somehow didn't know that, I recommend you rifle through my archives. I think last month-ish just about covers it). NDAs in mind, I'll just say that the work that I did was easy and enjoyable, and I hope to return to that particular show.

But it was Day Four of Thirty for my juice fast/cleanse, so I had to go in prepared. I juiced a lot of veggies and some fruit yesterday, poured it into two large drink bottles (I shan't call them "water" bottles, as I don't ever drink "water" from them), and put those bottles in the freezer overnight. I juiced again this morning, and put my "remainder" in the fridge for my return from set.

Our "holding" area was adjacent to Catering. I managed to plant myself far enough away to not smell the smells, and when the official lunch "break" happened, I stayed put so as not to create any waftiness by walking by all of the delicious delectable chewable wondrousnesses (I'm assuming all of those adjectives). I never even saw what was in those chafing dishes! I'm sure there were beef, chicken, and fish selections, as well as two or three hot veggie choices, in addition to the salads and other cold items, like desserts. Standard studio catering. A lovely, daily smorgasbord.

... and you wondered why I love working on set! HA! It's the FOOD!

... but none for me today. Any time I felt hunger pangs, I drank some juice. It got me through the day. Good stuff.

But now that I'm home, I've finished all of the juice I'd prepared yesterday, and my back and neck are starting to hurt (probably from all of the sitting I did yesterday), and I'm hungry again, but I really don't feel like juicing tonight.

Think I'll just eat a pear or a nectarine (or both), and call it a night. Wake up super-early, feeling like I'm starving, and get up and juice enough to get me through the day I'll be spending at the SAG-AFTRA Don LaFontaine Voiceover Labs. That's right. Tomorrow, I have another booth session and workshop.

So, what are YOU doing tomorrow? Primarily, with what delicious delectables will you be stuffing your face? ;)

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Food Documentary Reviews

A day or two ago, I watched Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead and Hungry for Change

Tonight, I watched Food, Inc. and Super Size Me

I still have Fed Up, Forks Over Knives, Sugar Coated, and Cowspiracy to view. I have a feeling I'll drop that last one without watching it, but I may get to the other final 3, because I feel like I'm learning a lot without becoming too PETA-fied.

I could, if push came to shove, give up beef, poultry, and possibly even pork forever. Well, maybe not pork. I know for a fact that no matter what push ever reached my shove, I would not give up fish or dairy. I ain't ever gettin' that PETA-fied. Sorry if that offends your reasons for veganism. I am an omnivore, as are you. My mouth is built for eating all the things.

However, I do understand that my food supply may be killing me, or at least depressing the hell outta me...

*****

Okay, so those day counts are off. I started watching food docs more than a week ago, and I just never published any reviews. So here they are:

Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead: This is a road-trip, life-lessons, personal growth documentary about the reasons to fast, or cleanse by juicing, and the experiences of the filmmaker in his particular journey, as well as a couple other journeys of folks he encounters in his travels. It is EXCELLENT. Highly Recommended, particularly if you've thought about the whole "juicing" trend, and wondered why anyone does it, or HOW anyone does it, or what anyone gets from it. This documentary is the primary reason I am on a juice fast right now, and also why Stephen will be starting one when he has 3 days off to get started (the first 3 days are touted as being the worst part).

Hungry For Change: talks primarily about the food industry from a consumer's point of view. It's not life-shattering, but it's pretty good as a follow-up to F,S, &ND. Plus-or-minus Zero (watch it or don't).

Food, Inc. and Super Size Me are both pretty high on the "gross" factor. Food, Inc., as you may suspect, talks about the horrors of the food industry, particularly on the "where our meat comes from" and the disgusting ways the industry treats both the animals and the workers. Super-Size Me is another road-trip, life-lessons, personal growth doc but from the opposite direction from F,S, &ND. This dude is actually trying to support a legal argument about a specific case where a teen's family is suing McDonald's for her health issues. He does in 30 days what the kid spent her lifetime achieving. It's not pretty. Watch either of these if you feel a need to ignite your "activist" persona.

Fed Up and Sugar Coated both attack the sugar realms of the food industry. I already had all of the information both of these films threw at me, so if anything, they "solidified" my desire to cleanse. I've already completely cut high fructose corn syrup out of my diet, and I really don't consume "that much" other refined sugars. But the cleanse will help my system reboot from any stored sugars, I'm hoping. If you don't know why you're getting "fat", watch these. If you care to ignite your "sugar-activist" persona, these should do the trick. If you're not that interested, these probably won't spark your interest.

Stephen and I (re-)watched Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead to reach an agreement on juicing. Then we watched Forks Over Knives, which was honestly the best companion to F, S, &ND. While I'm already into my cleanse, he's reducing his own intake of animal fats, so he'll be ready for the cleanse when he starts. He's also tasted some of the juices, so he can get an idea of what he's in for. Forks Over Knives promotes a vegan lifestyle without getting too #PETAActivismish. The two primary doctors it documents grew up on farms with dairy cows, and came to their conclusions separately. I've never really wanted to "go vegan" because of all the teeth I have, and because of my love of bacon and cheese and carnitas and ice cream... so we'll see how well the cleanse works for me, and we'll see if I can continue to consume micronutrients (whole, plant-based foods) once I'm done, and if I manage to get weaned from macronutrients (everything the food industry pushes) for good! Highly Recommended

We have, in fact, taken Cowspiracy out of the queue, unwatched. I just really don't want to watch another gross, horrific, painful, #PETAActivismish food doc. I'll probably re-watch F, S, &ND and F/K another coupla times before my fast completes.

And here's a short video from this morning!

video
... and now I'm hungry, only two hours later. Time for another juice! (Had it - it was great; waited to publish for that video ^ to load).

So. You know where this puts ME. Where does it put you? Will you be watching any/all of these films?

Monday, June 12, 2017

Diet and exercise? Part One of a sporadic Many?

I've been away for a bit. Managed to catch up on the blogs I read, and had started a new post the other day, but haven't (at this moment) gone back to finish it and post it. I will, I promise, soonish. In the meantime, when I came to my site this evening, I noticed that two people had hit this post, so I went back to re-read it (and the comments, of course). It's apropos.

video
But what I wanted to post here is a vlog I haven't yet shot. Dammit. I keep forgetting which camera Blogger allows me to post from. ^This one was shot using my webcam (although not from within Blogger, because that would make too much sense!) v For this one, I'm using my DSLR camera. Let's see which one Blogger lets us see, shall we?

FILE TOO BIG!!!!

So there it is... webcam, not DSLR, even compressed. Then again, you may not be able to view even the first one. #ShitFuckPissDammitToHell. Oh, well.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Bow-now-now-now-now-now-na-nuh. (Yes)terday was my birthday!

Thank you, The Beatles, for my earworm yesterday. Thank you, Patrick, for singing it into my voicemail. Thank you, Twitter and Facebook, for reminding everyone who knows me online, to send electronic wishes. Thank you, family and friends in real life, who remembered & said something or decided to celebrate a moment for yourselves, as that is really all I ever really wish, on my annual trek 'round the sun, that those who know me will do something fun or celebratory, for just a moment, remembering that I've made it another lap.

So, yeah. Made it another lap. Go, me!

I've been unemployed too long. Stephen thinks I'm Depressed. But I don't feel the same that I usually do when I'm Depressed, which someone else's therapist actually described better as "COMpressed", meaning, All of the Feelings that we might experience in a given day or week are mashed up together so tightly that we don't feel them at all. I've been feeling all the feels and just living, unemployed. So another friend linked an article about High Functioning Depression, which actually sounded a lot like I feel lately. Since I couldn't easily locate that article (it was in a long Twitter conversation/thread, and if you know Twitter at all, you know that important stuff gets easily lost in those threads), I just Googled it:
There are a lot of articles about it. My doc has referred me to the KP "Depression Team" to see if there's any help for me. His referral happened on Friday the 26th of May, after he used the "quick-and-easy" diagnostic tool for depression, a questionnaire that included things like "to what degree do you ever think about being dead or harming yourself?". I didn't hear from the DT Manager (by phone) until Thursday the 1st of June. HE asked me right away to expound on that question in particular (I often, when "feeling" depressed, think about being dead; I never have any impulses toward self-harm or suicide), and after some in-depth conversation, he told me I'd hear from my assigned social worker either that day or the next.

It's now Sunday the 4th, and it's a really damn good thing I don't have intentions or impulses of self-harm or suicide, because if I did, Kaiser Permanente could be (possibly) held liable for anything I may have done before my social worker finally calls me to talk me off a ledge and see me in person!

Fortunately for KP, I really think my diagnosis is going to be one of dysthymia (the clinical name for High Functioning Depression). What I know about my own Depression is that I've had it for awhile, never been diagnosed, and have always just kept calm and carried on. That's exhausting. I want some help. I'll be happy to get any diagnosis, at this point. I'm tired of being deeply angry or even just a little irate over stupid shit, like the "church" around the corner (appropriating my symbolism) or not booking work (feeling unwanted) or coughing/clearing my throat for no reason (wtf is wrong with my breathing?) or or or or....

Ennyhoo. I have penpals to write to, and pages to color, and laundry to wash, and blogs to read, and VO to record as practice, and furbabies to feed, and lotteries to win (it's My Turn, dammit!), and wine-n-chocolate to consume, and and and and...

video
... and I get to have a colonoscopy on the 12th! Whee! But for now, continuing my birthday in fine form, this will be me for the next day or two
until the cake runs out, that is...

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Crying Jags

Wow. It's been six days since my last post. Where the hell have I been?

Crying, that's where.

So, yeah, apparently, I'm in a bit of a Depression. It's unlike my normal ones, in that I'm not feeling "nothing" or "dead inside"... I actually have noticed a moment or two of joy, where television or a movie will make me smile or laugh, and I've also been crying... well, maybe a lot... um, yeah, that sounds at least a little like Depression.

So what has set me off, you ask? Oh, you name it. Stupid little shit. Or clever little shit. Adverts. Twitter threads about Mister Rogers. YouTube videos. Television. Movies. Life.

Yeah, I've been having crying jags. I guess I'm Depressed.

Yes, of course, I would love to be working, and I wonder whythehell I'm not working. Yes, of course, I feel like I'm doing allthethings to get me back on set, and yet, somehow, I'm not back on set. So that contributes.

But I'm also trying to stay on top of Daddy's health and well-being, and being in California versus Florida means he'll tell me that his outing to the golf course resulted in him finishing four holes before exhaustion (YAY! Almost half of the nine they'd paid for!), and finding out later from his bffs that their squatter reported two holes as the "success" mark... meaning, if I were still in Florida, I'd have known the actual truth on-the-day and not worried over what is likely an exaggeration. I can't really call him out for exaggerating, and maybe the truth is that he was tired after two holes but did, in fact, press on for four? He is a Tough Guy, after all. But is that why he expresses a different truth from what others express? Are both "angles" true? Does it matter?

I dunno. It makes/helps me cry, though.

Last night, Stephen and I didn't know what to watch together, so I looked at our wall-o-blu-rays. I was looking at films that were turned sideways, rather than just filed in their appropriate spaces, because "sideways" is our cue that we haven't yet watched that specific disk, to know whether it's even a "good" copy or has any special features on it.

We landed on
License to Wed, which may or may not be one of Robin Williams' last films. I was a tour guide for Warner Bros. through a Christmas season, and as an employee, I was given access to the video vault on a specific day. This was one of the freebies I was allowed to walk away with. It's probably not a movie you've seen or even heard of, but it stars, among others, Robin Williams, John Krasinski, and Mandy Moore. It's essentially pre-marital counseling BootCamp for this couple, and RW is the generic, non-denominational priest/reverend who wears a Catholic collar but is clearly not Catholic.

So, a romp. I don't agree with most of "Reverend Frank"'s tactics, but that didn't keep me from laughing. Or crying. Yup. I shed enough tears last night that I couldn't breathe at bedtime because of clogged sinuses. FUN!

And today, Daddy indicated that he's fininshed Season 7(02) of Doctor Who, so I sent him an urgent email to make sure that he watches The Day of The Doctor and The Time of The Doctor before he continues on to Season 8 (*** let me just say here that Amazon Prime does NOT  make it easy for you to binge-watch a show like Doctor Who in order, as the Day is called Season 50, episode 8, and Time is called... Christmas Specials Season 2, episode 2... and you Do Not Need To Watch ANY of the rest of Season 50 or Christmas Specials Season 2 to keep up!) #WTFAmazonPrime? Seriously! Why you gotta make it so hard to binge-watch In Order?

Ennyhoo, yeah, I watched both of those episodes, so I can start Season 8. And yeah, I cried during each of them, at various "appropriate" moments.

Now, I don't mind crying. I really don't. Growing up, #InnerHippie was the emotional child. Somewhere along the lines, I gained some empathy, and now I'll cry at the drop of a ... bowtie. And I'm okay with all of that, as long as it doesn't clog up my sinuses and prevent me from sleeping, because That Was A Bitch.

What about you? Do televised/filmed/nonsense things get you crying? Ever? I mean, we went to see GotGV.2 and we both cried (probably me more than he, but still)... Do YOU express emotions for anyone else to witness, or are you pretty much bottling up that shit? Because that's probably not healthy, either. Just' sayin'.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

REVIEWS! ... eventually, this post. Bear with me.

So, I managed to get fully unpacked and all my laundry put away (thanks, unnamed upstairs neighbor friend, until you give me permission to post your name and likeness!), and I'm somewhat back in A "swing of things".

I was on the waitlist for the VO workshop I really wanted to attend, and had booked a solo booth session following it. Twice I received email notifications that there were seats available, and Twice, I didn't act quickly enough. I have the dude listed as a "priority sender" so that I'll GET notifications in my phone, but I ... just didn't ... in a timely manner, at least. #Dammit #TechnologyIsABitch

So I shopped at Trader Joe's instead, and then went to my solo booth session and recorded some audiobook copy, and cancelled the spot I actually had reserved for the evening VO "talk"... jetlag or something else, I was just too tired to stay on that side of the hill into darkness. #IGottaGetHome. But, I did do some solo work, so that's good.

The rest of this week has been an attempt to reacclimate. Yes, I'm calling Daddy daily, to make sure he's doing something. Most days, he does at least make it to hit a few balls. The day he went to the chipping green (?), he told me he hit 15 happy balls. Yay! He's been feeling a bit puny for the past two days, so he hasn't really gotten "out", beyond a Publix run or similar. But the dude who's staying in bff neighbors' house while they're back in Canada, Tom, is a nice fella who has invited Daddy to join him on the front nine tomorrow at 4. The weather should be cooperative, so if Daddy's feeling well enough, it'll be good for him to go. I'm looking forward to that update.

He hasn't been to the pool lately (his weather turned rainy/cold, so I don't blame him), nor has he yet made it to the gym for light weight-lifting. But it's on his agenda! As well as taking apart the porch swing that essentially rusted out on his back "lanai" from the sprinkler over-spray. He's got plenty of time (no deadline, seriously) to make that happen, unless he orders some kind of replacement furniture online and it gets delivered before he's scrapped the rusted swing.

He's mostly kept up in his binge-watch of Doctor Who, but the fact that Amazon did not include any of Matt Smith's Christmas Specials in his seasons made it a little difficult to watch them in order. He finished Season 6 with me, and then finished Season 701 alone, and then watched "Season 1" of the "Doctor Who Christmas Specials", which were three episodes that should have been placed between S5-6, S6-701, and S701-702. Those are three pretty depressing episodes, and when viewed piggybacked on "Angels Take Manhattan", I can see why Daddy wanted at least a day's reprieve from any DW at all. Thankfully, I watched ahead after catching up, because YES, we are "bingeing" this "together", so I was able to recommend S702 E1 (The Bells of St. John) as being not depressing at all, and pretty "actiony", as we've come to expect. So he's now watched that one and the one that follows it, and now I'm behind. It's okay, I'll catch up tomorrow.

And Now For Those Reviews!

Stephen and I re-watched Guardians of the Galaxy, knowing we'd be seeing the second installment in a theater today. GotG (1) is/was? my favorite installment in the entire MCU. I am only a "fringe" comic reader, having acquired all of my knowledge of the best comic superheroes 20+ years ago, when we were dating in college and Stephen was a weekly collector/reader. I do love a good comic/superhero tale, though, and I ain't afraid to spend good money to watch a good flick. I adore Iron Man and Thor, and all of the rest of the SHIELD gang are pretty cool, too, but Guardians (1) just hit ALL of my buttons. So the rewatch was worth our time, and we were both immensely pleased with what we were shown in the Laemmle Theater today (Guardians 2).

IF you are a fan of superheroes/comics/humour/action/aliens/Stan Lee, then you will probably enjoy GotG2. Even though Kurt Russell plays the long-lost father-figure with all the flaws you would get in a "long-lost" character, this is still a fulfillingly funny, fighty, bittersweet tale of ... well, just people who happen to exist in a world where they can "jump" from one world to another without too much damage. It's sci-fi! It's good guys and bad guys! It's a comic book! It's fun!

We ate buttered popcorn for the first (in a long time) and last (probably, yeah, more than likely last) time, and we laughed our asses off. I sang along with the soundtrack, except for those two songs I just didn't recognize (I know, SHOCKING, right?). We each cried a little bit (or maybe a lot, I'm not sayin'). It was an enjoyable experience, all around.

Oh. And for my birthday coming up, I have asked for a completely non-useful item, something that can be just mine, just because... I want a "Baby Groot". Daddy's got a stuffed Minion, why shouldn't I have a Baby Groot? I dunno if it's gonna be one of those little "dancing flower" deals (which seem overpriced on Amazon) or possibly a 6-10" stuffed doll or what, but every time... Every Time... someone onscreen held Baby Groot or perched him on their shoulder or strapped him into a seat or whatever, my heart just melted. He is SO KEWT... and So Fierce... and my absolute favorite Guardian, I need a Baby Groot of my own.

Ennyhoo. Guardians of the Galaxy (both 1 and 2): Highly Recommended

We came home from that and didn't really know what to watch yet. I'd started Kimmy Schmidt (3 episodes) once I'd wrapped up watching Grace and Frankie, and I had Stephen take KS outta our personal "queue"... it just didn't grab me. Whatever. But what should we watch together? What hadn't we touched yet in that queue?

Santa Clarita Diet. OMG, y'all. This show is Too Damn Funny. Just be sure to not watch at dinnertime. There are only ten episodes in the first season, so we're likely to watch the whole thing in five days or less. But seriously. So funny. Just don't be eating while you watch.

And then, we'd also saved The Secret Life of Pets. For tonight? Eh, what the hell. We'd seen the trailers; we're not afraid of animated animals, as long as they are cartoony enough (and not cgi but speaking English real-looking domesticated pets); this will either be really cute or really stupid. If we hate it, we'll likely hate it right away, and we'll shut it off.

We did not shut it off. There was one bizarre acid-trip sequence in a sausage factory that had us looking at each other and asking #WTF?, but beyond that, overall cute and bittersweet and funny and notATallREALISTIC, which was good enough for us. So, if you're in the mood for #JustStupidEnoughToBeGood, this one also comes Highly Recommended.

So there ya have it. Three Good Things to add to your own watchlist (or four, if you haven't seen GotG1), in case you're looking for things to add to your watchlist. Stephen's gone to bed, and while I have no real deadlines for tomorrow (on another VO waitlist in the evening), I'm probably not up too much longer. I've been clearing-my-throat coughing All Damn Day. It sucks.
I am not planning to continue blogging daily, now that I'm back in California, but somehow I feel like maybe I still have "catch-up" stuff to post? Huh. We'll see.

  • Late arrival
  • Stephen picked me up, thank you
  • Furbabies missed me a lot
  • Read the mail I'd received while I was gone
  • Daddy is still golfing and swimming and binge-watching Doctor Who
  • Uncle Leroy is home; everyone's happy to still be alive but hating aging. (And I'm certainly including myself in "everyone")
  • Caught up with upstairs neighbor over French Pressed Mocha
  • Unpacked one bag
  • Did laundry (haven't put it away yet)
  • Ate some Double-Chocolate gelato, and later some chili, both provided by Stephen
  • I have an alarm set to call Daddy daily at 5 his time to check on his golf/swim/bingeing
  • I watched the same DW episode, but also 2/3 Matt Smith Christmas Specials to be sure Daddy needs to (he does)
  • I'm now back to bingeing Grace and Frankie while still snuggling with Cocoa
Tomorrow, I'll reply to at least one letter, either work or workshop, depending on if I book work, call Daddy at the appropriate time, and binge-watch whichever episodes he did. Unless something/anything "different" happens tomorrow, I probably won't be blogging!

This is the second time I've attempted to post today. I'm ...

Revisiting this a week later. Posting, only because it pretty succinctly wrapped up my trip. This should have been posted on the 11th. #TooBadSoSad

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Traveling is REALLY fun!

Bathed and packed last night, but still didn't get to bed until after midnight. Awake to pee at 6 this morning, which means AWAKE. Dammit.

Daddy was moving around by 7-ish, though, so I went downstairs to begin our final half-day together. Normal. Coffee, Boost (TM), hash brown breakfasts, internetting.

More normal. Bob Mann video, driving range. Actually, slightly better than normal: 15/18 happy balls with the 5 iron and 4/6 happy balls with the driver, from the third tier down. Slight rest climbing back up to the golf cart. A nice, hot shower for him upon our return.

Not-so-normal: key lime pie for lunch and early Doctor Who binge. We have one episode left in S6. It's a doozy, and we'll have to cross-country binge it "together". We hopped in the rental together to fill the tank of the rental, all of Ten Bux in that economy car! #W00tW00t!

Started crying as I slowly but surely packed the bags into the car. Had a helluva time getting outta his driveway. I was a hot mess, and once I made it to the airport boarding line, I tweeted so. #NotSureWhyImStillTearingUpOverThis #NotSureWhyThisDepartureIsHittingMeSoHard #WhatTheFuckAmISoAfraidOf #WhatTheFuckIsItIfNotFear #HotMessTimesInfinity

*****

TSA in the MCO (Orlando) airport was incredibly taxing/vexing/trying/FUCKED UP. Leaving LAX was a breeze in comparison. I arrived at my boarding line AS they were boarding the group before me. So I tweeted, made friends with the woman in the boarding position behind mine, and we ended up sitting together... by choice. Four hours later, she was prepping to meet her hubby's smiling face and hugging her new penpal goodbye. #GoodTimes!

*****

My second leg flight was originally scheduled with about an hour layover, which has been extended by about an additional hour, which means:

  1. I Am Exhausted
  2. I Am Blogging, because free airport wifi
  3. I Am Drinking Coffee with a shot of Bailey's, because I want to be awake enough to board, but not wired by the time I'm feet on the ground again.
This is a significantly shorter leg. I may or may not catnap on the plane. I may or may not chat with my seatmate. Pretty sure I won't be coloring or fidgeting on any of my devices. My server just informed me that it's "Last Call for Alcohol" (because they typically close up by 9-ish!), so I'm paying my bill and heading to my gate (right next door). Well, ya know... soon as I hit "publish"... and then tweet the link... and shut down... and repack the laptop in the carryon.
This is not the Face of Boe. This is the Face of So. Tired.

Traveling is REALLY fun, isn't it?