Friday, December 29, 2017

WTF did I/we just watch?

Honestly, I'm a bit flabbergasted by this year's Awards Season Screeners. Most of what I've watched, whether alone or with Stephen, has garnered ^THAT^ reaction (the title of this post, um, duh... keep up, kids!)

Here's a short review of stuff I've seen recently (either alone or with Stephen):
the website from whence we stream... no, you may NOT have the url!
the big sick: IMDb says "Pakistan-born comedian Kumail Nanjiani and grad student Emily Gardner fall in love but struggle as their cultures clash. When Emily contracts a mysterious illness, Kumail finds himself forced to face her feisty parents, his family's expectations, and his true feelings." We saw this film at the DGA (maybe?) a couple(-ish?) months ago. We both liked it; we'll probably go ahead and watch it again when we receive our physical screener, or possibly from the website ^. It's good. It's worth your time. Holly Hunter is pretty damn phenomenal. I don't believe the film will be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. It does tell a pretty good race-relations/healthcare story. It's not about standup comedy, though. See it, if you get a chance.

Call Me By Your Name: IMDb says "In Northern Italy in 1983, seventeen year-old Elio begins a relationship with visiting Oliver, his father's research assistant, with whom he bonds over his emerging sexuality, their Jewish heritage, and the beguiling Italian landscape." I watched this alone. WTF did I watch? Why is it set in Italy? Why in 1983? Why must Elio be a minor, or Jewish, or half-Italian? I didn't understand; maybe you will, if what IMDb tells you (or any trailers, maybe) interest(s) you enough to give it a viewing. I almost stopped watching multiple times, because I was, frankly, bored.

Darkest Hour: IMDb says "During the early days of World War II, the fate of Western Europe hangs on the newly-appointed British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who must decide whether to negotiate with Hitler, or fight on against incredible odds." I saw this in a theater and then really wanted to see it again with captions, because Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill mumbles probably as much as Winston really did in real life. It's good. It's a Winston Churchill biopic! Do you like Winston Churchill? Do you have an interest in World War II? See it. I recommend subtitles/captions, if possible (like I had access to on the ^website^)

Disaster: IMDb says "When Greg Sestero, an aspiring film actor, meets the weird and mysterious Tommy Wiseau in an acting class, they form a unique friendship and travel to Hollywood to make their dreams come true." I've already reviewed this fucking thing for you! #WhatTheAbsoluteFUCKDidIJustWatch?

Downsizing: IMDb says "A social satire in which a man realizes he would have a better life if he were to shrink himself to five inches tall, allowing him to live in wealth and splendor." I've already reviewed this fun thing for you! #SeeItAlready

The Florida Project: IMDb says "Set over one summer, the film follows precocious six-year-old Moonee as she courts mischief and adventure with her ragtag playmates and bonds with her rebellious but caring mother, all while living in the shadows of Disney World." Oh. Is THAT what it was "about"? No, seriously. You can tell me. #WhatTheFuckDidIJustWatch? Some boring-ass shit, with a fine performance by Willem Defoe. But, um, yeah. NO.

Lady Bird: IMDb says "In the early 2000s, an artistically-inclined seventeen year-old comes of age in Sacramento, California." I haven't seen this one yet, but based on this IMDb pitch, I am not looking forward to it. Don't worry; I WILL watch it. I'm really hoping I don't hate it as much as I hated some of these on this list.

Roman J. Israel, Esq.: IMDb says "Roman J. Israel, Esq., a driven, idealistic defense attorney, finds himself in a tumultuous series of events that lead to a crisis and the necessity for extreme action." I watched this one alone, the other day. It was really wordy. REALLY wordy. Denzel is great, playing a savant, I guess. He has an immense legal vocabulary; and an immense propensity to speak it. It's sometimes hard to keep up with him, frankly. And since I don't have an immense legal vocabulary, it was a bit ... much? to watch. If you like legal dramas, or Denzel Washington, or social activism, then go ahead and bother to see it. #NotMyCuppa

The Shape of Water: IMDb says "In a 1960s research facility, Elisa, a mute janitor, forms a relationship with a mysterious aquatic creature." We watched this one just the other night, and we both wondered #WhatTheFuckDidWeJustWatch? It's been explained to me by a mutual friend that it's actually a social commentary. The primary "heroic" characters are a WOC, a "disabled" woman, a gay man, a myth, and a Communist. The hero "of the day" (the straight, white, powerful man in charge) is actually a sick, twisted FUCK. All of these things may be true, but they didn't make us enjoy the (nonexistent) "story". If you have interest in these role "reversals", then maybe you'll enjoy the film, so, go ahead and see it.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri: IMDb says "A mother personally challenges the local authorities to solve her daughter's murder when they fail to catch the culprit." THIS IS OUR PICK FOR BEST PICTURE! Seriously, kids. We just watched it, before I started this particular blog post. You've seen the trailers, and you're pretty interested in seeing it. You should DEFINITELY see it. We only knew, from the trailers, that we're meant to sympathize/empathize with Frances McDormand's character. We have no idea what her angst is, but we know there's some kind of big trauma. We didn't know that we would also really like Woody Harrelson. Or just about any of the other characters. We didn't know that Sam Rockwell's character would go through so much. There were numerous twists throughout, and we were fairly #EdgeOfOurSeats watching it. We laughed A LOT. We cringed quite a bit. We were shocked at least a couple of times. I refuse to tell you anything else. Just Go See This Film.

There you have it. ^THAT^ is WTF I/we just watched. Any questions or rebuttals?

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Mommy's Birthday

I went adventuring with my boss/friend again yesterday, and I *had* to buy these
new bowls
, because reasons. Since #NewGearIsDirtyGear, Stephen loaded them into the dishwasher today and ran it. Once everything was clean and dry, my task was to find space in our cabinets for them.
I managed.
They're going to be great. We're both looking forward to eating cereal, soup, and salad from them.

But all day, I've been reminded that it's Mommy's Birthday, and I have things to do to distract me from my grief, and also things to do BECAUSE it happens to be the 28th. Ya see, I cracked my laptop screen... I tried to get the Geek Squad to fix it for me, because #WarrantyMaybe? but they would've had my system for at least a week before they'd even know if HP would cover any part of it, and then another 2-3 weeks to fix it.

*A Month Is A Long Time Without A Computer, Yo*

So I've been using the monitor from my old desktop, and it's worked not too badly. But today is Mommy's Birthday. It's also the last day of any warranty coverage on my HP laptop. So I have to go to Fry's to see if I can purchase and install a new LCD Display (screen?), or else take it to the Geek Squad at Best Buy and be without for a month, in the hopes that HP will, in fact, cover some of the repair/replace.

It's already almost 5 o'clock. I gotta get outta here!

UPDATE: Fry's can't sell me the part I need. Dude estimated it'd cost anywhere from 100 - 800 bux online! #WhatTheWhat? So I'll continue using HDMI cables.
Too meta? Or just too big? Blogging via tv?

Happy Mommy's Birthday, everyone who remembers Mommy and commemorates it.

Friday, December 22, 2017

The things I'll do for you... sheesh

I sincerely hope that you're supremely #Grateful to me. I just saved you two hours of your life (or 4, if you were planning on seeing The Room before you see The Disaster Artist). I just streamed the latter. It was gawd-awful. I've heard The Room is worse. I'm not going to watch it to find out. The Disaster Artist is essentially a biopic about Tommy Wiseau, the producer/director/writer/"star" of The Room. James Franco portrays him pretty closely to the real deal. He was very annoying for me to watch and listen to, and multiple times in my screening, I was ready to turn it all off and opt for Three Billboards or The Shape of Water instead.

But I know Stephen wants to watch both of those, and that he does NOT want to watch The Disaster. So I watched it alone. For him. For YOU. You're welcome.

Save your money or spend it on a movie you WANT to see. Spend it on something that won't drain two hours of your valuable life away. Really. I'm not kidding.

*I did watch the credits, to wonder why so many big names wanted to participate in this shlock. There were a lot of big names attached. Tommy Wiseau was also given a part, but I didn't see him. I let the credits roll and came over to this page, only returning when I heard his actual voice. He's in an Easter Egg scene at the very end of the movie. He's really horrible, but I guess Franco is a fan, and offered him the part. He's playing a character, while Franco plays him.

The end credits and that closing scene are NOT WORTH sitting through the entire movie for! Don't do it! I'm not kidding!

Or did you already see it, and love it, somehow? I don't care. If you want to write a five-star review, go ahead and do it on your own blog. This is my blog, and I give this film five poop emojis.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

I made some new friends today!

Because I was On Set, yay!

I had an issue with my service two weeks ago. They neglected to inform me of a booking, and so I missed a day on set because I just didn't know. Y'all KNOW my feelings about my "job". Any Day On Set Is A Good Day. I love working in film and television! So I was a bit miffed about missing that day of work, and also a teensy bit anxious that my standing at Central Casting may have slipped. After that missed day, I needed to get booked again. Kinda like that day I drove 8 hours (round trip) in North Carolina to work in one scene of a show (Sleepy Hollow), a scene that was edited in such a way that none of us were seen, up in that choir loft. Didn't matter; I was grateful for the work. Even at minimum wage, paid essentially for my drive so I could work the 3 or 4 hours for FREE.

So, two days ago, there was another phone-in casting call that I was appropriate for, so I set my two phones to redialing. After ~200-250 calls, I made it through! The casting director was happy to book me, but since it was two days later, I was technically only "on hold", until I got the info from another casting director yesterday.

I got the info! I was to be parked downtown at 7:30 this morning! Woo Hoo! I love those early calls! I love location calls! No traffic, and breakfast, to boot! Score! #Blessed

It was cooooooooooooooooold this morning! We were all dressed for spring! One young lady, for whom it was her First Day Ever, was dressed in the cutest sandals you could want, but her poor tootsies were turning blue whilst we ate! Thankfully, the lovely wardrobe gal opted for new chick's short booties. She was also wearing a cute sundress, but this is LA, and there are numerous opportunities to wear conflicting weather clothing simultaneously.

We ate our breakfasts. We got checked in. We got approved by wardrobe. We sat in holding. They described our short (yay!) day for us, and when some folks went to work the first bit, the rest of us stayed behind to talk biz. In addition to #FirstDayEvahGirl, there was also a #ThirdDayEvahGuy. I and another vet were doing our best to give FDEG and TDEG our best advice on survival as a background artiste. We had plenty of time.

When they called us to set, we still had plenty of time to continue our tutelage. It was a very informative day. I recalled my early days, back when I insulted the color green with all my greenliness. I recalled tips I'd picked up along the way. TDEG kept complimenting me, telling me I should write a book; this was a Master Class, and he was #Grateful for the instruction. #SorryNotSorry, but I don't want to write a book. I write a BLOG. You're here, reading it now. Yes, TDEG, even YOU are reading it! #winkyface

Ennyhoo, it felt good to be back in the instructor seat, considering how much I long to just be working. I gave the other vet a ride home, and we discussed a lot about a lot. I have three new friends that I met on set today! I sure hope we meet on set again, real soon. I'm interested to find out what new things they'll have picked up by the time we meet again, since it will surely be next year before that even happens!

Since so many of the friends I have anymore are online only, it felt good to make new friends in real life. When's the last time you made a real connection, either irl or online? How easy has it been to maintain that connection?

Wednesday, December 20, 2017


is something that we all do, from time to time, at critical points in our lives. Breaking points, maybe? Growth spurts?

When I escaped North Carolina the FIRST time, I moved ALL of my possessions out of the house I co-owned with my first husband. I'd already sold my motorcycle, so I left behind the house, the boats, and "his" stuff. I only downsized my life at that point by cutting my possessions in half, essentially. But with Mommy's and Cheryl's help, I packed that half into a U-Haul and toted it to Florida, and then re-packed and toted it across the country to California when the time came. That growth spurt spanned several months. It wasn't really a downsize, though.

Mommy and I ended up sharing a studio apartment for the next 6 months, with a household's worth of stuff filling it. Moving out of the studio into a two-bedroom shared with a roommate was just a transfer of the stuff. Moving out of the two-bedroom into my one-bedroom duplex was still just a transfer of stuff. Combining households with Stephen into a two-bedroom wasn't exactly a downsize, either. We managed to find a space that would accommodate all the stuff we had, and ADD living room furniture!

Then his dad got The Cancers, and what with all of my industry being so wonky and his gig as a waiter being completely unfulfilling, we moved across the country. Since we thought we were moving for good, the only stuff that didn't make it across was whatever just wouldn't fit into that overpacked PackRat moving container and my Honda Civic. A smallish downsize - things like a bicycle or an end table; little awkward shapes.

Once in North Carolina again, we of course accumulated replacement stuff. But we realized fairly quickly that we'd misread the industry signs and miscommunicated with family, etc. We had to get home. So we downsized for reals this time. Multiple trips to the flea market, local ads, Amazon and Ebay got rid of stuff we didn't need and filled our moving fund. We did it!

Once we got back into a one-bedroom apartment, we quickly acquired new replacement stuff. So we're not hurting for stuff. We could use a downsize, if only to declutter. But we're not at any critical breaking point or growth spurt, so we'll probably just keep accumulating.

So would you like a review of the movie downsizing? We got our list of screeners to stream, and that was one we've both been looking forward to. We figured out how to stream on the television last night (connect the computer via HDMI, duh), and watched it first!

We loved this movie. However, the trailers you've seen don't really set up your expectations properly. I'm not going to spoil it, though. The story is funny and poignant and hits quite a few political buttons (not party, just issues). The actors are great. Hong Chau is a delight. The effects are seamless, and the film is full of little "easter eggs" that remind you of where you are ("big" world or "small"). I'm talking dollar bill artwork. Don't worry, that's just my own little tease; not a spoiler.

I stated at the beginning of our viewing that I'd like to downsize (in the scale of the film) if that technology ever becomes a thing. Stephen countered with caution; let's see what happens. Yeah, I'd still like to do it, if it ever becomes a thing. The movie can be our "life instruction manual"! So should you see it? Are you just stupid, or did you take lessons? DUH. See This Film.

Monday, December 18, 2017


Since I read a bunch of other blogs, I have an account with WordPress. I never created a blog there, because, back in the day when I was an admin at the Arthur Murray Dance Studio, I had to maintain the business blog on a weekly/semi-weekly basis, and since it's a WordPress account, I had to learn my way around. I hated it. Like, that was one of my dreaded tasks. I managed to do it, but it never was any fun. So here we are, in blogspot, which is part of the Google realm.

But after my multiple vlog-attempt failures and my uploading of just audio failure the other day, I thought, "what if WordPress will 'host' my media, and I could just link it here?"... so I created a free WordPress site to host my media.

... except WordPress won't host audio or video for free. It's eight bucks a month for me to have a page to hold all of that crap. I'm not at the point where I'm ready to pay a monthly fee just to make my crap accessible to the world. Once I've figured out how to get a VO agent and/or a home studio and/or self-promote (#RunAwayRunAway), then I'm sure I'll be forking over a reasonable monthly fee to do just that.

For now, it'll just have to be the written word on the page.

Unless you have another suggestion for me?

Friday, December 15, 2017

A new test ... of my patience, among other things

{It didn't fucking work.  DAMMIT!}

Yesterday, I went to the Don LaFontaine VoiceOver Lab at the SAG-AFTRA building. This is one of the many benefits I gain from the SAG-AFTRA Foundation, a separate non-profit entity from my union. I don't have to pay anything for the benefits I receive from the Foundation, and once I'm in a place to be philanthropic, I shall most definitely make charitable donations to them. In the meantime, I volunteer my time for the screenings, which I am currently able to afford (my time).

So yesterday at the DLF VO Lab, I was participating in a Commercial Workout. I've done these a few times over the past year or so, and they're usually a fun way to practice technique. QUALIFIERS to participate are spelled out very clearly in the event details: bring in 2 pieces of commercial copy, have worked in the solo booth > 0 times, have taken the pre-requisite "intro" bundle, cancel by midnight the night before. Usually, there's only one poor sap who didn't read the rules correctly, if at all, so that one poor sap gets a good public berating. My first Commercial Workout, I was that poor sap. I didn't read the requirements, so I had no copy. To offset my public berating, though, there was another participant who had plenty of copy to share. Thank you, kind voice actor whose name I've long since forgotten.

But yesterday, there were only 6 of us signed up, versus the usual 8-12 voice actors we get in there. We'll get in the booth, read thru the copy once, get feedback from the group, read it again, get feedback, and read it a third time. One person at a time, through the whole group. Take a break and then start up again on the second piece of copy. With 8-12 people in the group, it takes roughly 2 hours to get in a good workout. But yesterday, there were only 6 people on the list. So we shoulda flown through our copy, and maybe even had a chance at a third piece, right?

Remember I mentioned QUALIFIERS, though? Of the six of us, I was the Only Qualified Participant. Two dudes didn't even show up, nor had they canceled or called or emailed or begged forgiveness for running super late or whatever. STRIKE! Two chicks hadn't done any time in the solo booth at all, nor had they taken the prerequisite intro class. STRIKE! But at least they brought copy. The last dude didn't even read the confirmation email or any of the details, so he'd done zero time in a booth, hadn't taken the intro, and brought no copy. STRIKE THREE! YER OUTTA THERE! ... or, well, if it'd been up to me, I guess. Sadly, no, all three strikes were allowed to walk the bases.

We spent the bulk of the two hours discussing home studio setup and getting an agent and using the software and practicing at home or in the solo booth, rather than "working out". We did the "workout", but being the only qualified member of the participant pool meant I was also the only one who knew #WhatTheAbsoluteFuck I was doing, both at the mic and in giving feedback. Had I not also booked an hour in the main booth with an engineer that day, I would have left feeling like I'd completely wasted my time. I was not a happy camper, kids. Nor was the dude who runs the show. We commiserated. If you don't follow written directions, how is one to expect you to take direction when you book a gig? Unh Unh Unh... nopity nope nope nope.

BUT, I also booked time in the main booth! I spent the first half-hour or so reading the first chapter of Stephen's WIP* book. Then the engineer gave me some feedback, and I read the second chapter, trying to follow the direction she'd given. As we were listening to the recordings, she was speed-editing room tone in over my breaths, as well as removing my flubs, so the two chapters "sound" like they flow, for the most part. I was in awe of her skilz, and asked how long it took her to get so fast. She was, like, eh... it's just muscle-memory. So, cool. She asked if I'm also a writer, and I indicated #NoHellNoButIDoBlog. She wanted to "hear" my blog, so I read the last entry for her. She enjoyed it, I think? and said "You NEED to have that. Recorded. I don't know what you'll ever use it for, but let's DO that. Let's record it. Now."

So she threw the site up on the big screen in the main booth, set up the mic that faces the screen, and we recorded it! It's my blog, in my voice! Saved to a flash drive so I can hear it again and again, and If Blogspot Will Allow It, for you to hear it, too! So that is the test of my patience... before I typed a single word in this space today, I told blogspot to upload a ... video. Because there's no option to upload only audio. So I'm trying to upload it, and it's saying that it's doing it, but I have no idea whether anything at all will load. If it does, it'll be the first thing on this page. If you want to listen and read along, then you'll have to open the whole site (as opposed to just this post), click "play", and then scroll down to the post before this one.

It's a test. A survey, of sorts. Would you rather A) READ me, in YOUR voice, B) LISTEN to MY voice, or C) READ me whilst LISTENING? If you're here, reading me already, then I know the answer is not D) None of the Above. Thank you for that. ... so now, do I wait the unknowable interminable epoch for the "video" to load? or just hit "publish", and try a second time, to see if somehow an "update" will be quicker than the first upload? Seriously. It's taking forever. Wah. I've decided to do the latter, having already waited a millenia for the former. Here's the post; hopefully, there will be an update, soonish, with the link!
* work in progress

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

FREEEEEE Movie Screenings!


I have no idea if YOU need to repeat this mantra ad infinitum, but I most certainly do. When I "live in the now" and center myself in a feeling of abundance, then I most assuredly attract abundance. When I worry about what things cost, or use the phrase "I can't afford that", I end up missing out on a ton of fun shit, because I can't afford to do ... whatever.

I've been attending movie screenings. You know this; I've said so; I've begun reviewing things for you. I attended a screening tonight, in a swanky theater in Beverly Hills. I'd never been to this particular theater before, and frankly, I didn't really give myself enough time to find it and park. But whatever. Waze got me there just fine, only I didn't read the fine print in the email confirmation. The part that talked about the free parking. I didn't read that part, so I didn't program Waze to find the free parking; I programmed it to find the theater, which it did.

HUGE-ass line down the street, as I approached. I followed the signs for parking, or so I thought, but no, not really, as that entrance was actually just a drive-through that took me back around the block. I asked some folks in line where I was supposed to park, and they indicated some tennis center ... down the street ... and ... #MumbleMumbleCough um, what? ... so I did what any normal LA driver would do, and I found the correct driveway to the parking lot for that theater, parked, and got in line with another chick who was running as late as I was. (We were merely on time, which in LA is late)

We discussed our hope that our parking would be validated, or that parking wouldn't cost more than a movie ticket. snicker snicker, surely it will be FREE? Someone ahead of us in line announced the news regarding the Alabama Senate race, and there was much rejoicing. (The PEDOPHILE LOST). We got to the front of the line, and I asked the woman checking us in whether parking was validated. She said no, but she had an upbeat attitude about it, so I assumed she knew I was asking about the theater parking and not the tennis club parking, and I was reassured that it was free. Then I made my way into the theater and found a decent seat.

The Producers Guild was hosting tonight, not SAG. The woman who introduced the film with the "silence your phones" speech was awfully proud of the fact that the producers of this particular film had given themselves PGA credits for it, and that was why the PGA was hosting tonight (Producers Guild of America, not the Professional Golf A_____). The movie started late, but it started, so ... okay.

Hostiles is set in 1892. Christian Bale is an Army Captain who has killed him a bunch of nasty Injuns on behalf of the United States Gubmint, just for being on our land before we got there. Wes Studi is an Indian Chief who's spent many years in an Army prison for all the Whites he and his people have killed, just for wanting to evict him and his people from Their Land. The Captain is nearing retirement, and the Chief is dying of The Cancer, so the Gubmint has decided that the Chief should get to go home to Montana with his family (who've been locked up with him all these years), and the Captain gets to escort them all! Yay!

This trip takes a long time on horseback, especially when the prisoners-to-be-freed have to ride still shackled. It takes even longer when the group has to rescue Rosamund Pike from her burnt-out homestead AND bury her family AND fight off bad Comanches AND deliver some random Army deserter to his justice AND keep a handful of fur traders from stealin' and rapin' the womens AND bury the Chief once he reaches Montana AND fight the Whites that own the ranch on which we just buried the Chief. In my humble opinion, the script could have used some trimming. Not that we didn't want to see 'Murica in all its unspoilt beauty. But did we really need to tell all of these additional tales? Um, no.

Things I Hated About Hostiles:
  • the length of the film
  • the pace of the film
  • the captioning
  • the number of stories it tried to tell
  • the fact that everyone finds redemption (YOU get a redemption! YOU get a redemption! and YOU! and YOU!)
  • the audience clapping and cheering at the closing scene
  • the end credits font
Things I Didn't Hate About Hostiles:
  • the acting, despite the script
  • the scenery
  • the fact that almost everybody dies

Should you see it? Do I even have to Boldly Tell You? Wait for it to come to your big-screen tv.

... but now you're wondering, right? Was the screening, in fact, FREEEEE?


Are YOU a Money Magnet? Do you say Thank You when you notice?

Monday, December 11, 2017

Last week, today

I've been seeing a lot of movies and television shows lately. I'm a paid-up member of my actors' union, SAG-AFTRA, as well as being a member and volunteer for the SAG-AFTRA Foundation. Every year I pay my dues in a timely manner, I begin receiving screener DVD's in the mail around January. These are films that the SAG Awards Nominating Committee believes deserve acting awards. The SAG Awards happen about a month or so (?) before the Oscars.

Prior to the arrival of screeners, I get invitations to see stuff on a big screen. If I'm not gainfully employed, I either volunteer to work those screenings, or RSVP to attend. Sometimes, I get to take a guest. Sometimes, Stephen gets to see big movies for free with me.

Last year, I screened Lion (my pick for Best Picture, had I been able to vote), Hacksaw Ridge, This Is Us (a television show you should definitely be watching), The Crown (another amazing TV show), and a plethora of other stuff that I can't remember well enough to name right now. I did review Every Single Thing I screened last year, so dip into my archives to find those (I think "review" is a decent search term, and then just look for stuff in the winter of last year). Stephen attended La La Land with me (he loved it, I did NOT), and Arrival (both of us were blown away).

This year, I've already seen a lot to tell you about. I've been amiss from reviewing anything for you, and I may have to do a little research to review exactly everything that I've seen, but for now, I'll just say this: I haven't yet seen my pick for Best Picture. I will tell you a little about four of the flicks I've seen recently, and you can go from there.

On Friday, I saw Phantom Thread. I was volunteering to work this event, since it was screening in the worst screening room in town. That way, I got to see it, choose my own seat, and not wait in a line to check in (yes, there is a method to my madness). It stars Daniel Day Lewis, and the bulk of the questions from the audience for the LEAD actor in the film, Vicky Krieps (she got top billing, not DDL), pertained to "what did you learn from the Master, THE GOD OF ACTING, DDL?"
    * lemme tell ya; if you're ever in a q&a audience with the top-billed actor in a show, it's just RUDE to ask this type of question. It's essentially gaslighting, kids. You're saying she didn't deserve the role until after she got to work with the person who isn't here for your questions. She did a fine job, on her own, by the way.*
I did not care for this film. I'm afraid it's going to get lots of critical attention, though, because of DDL, who is, in my opinion, the only actor who could take on the role of Reynolds Woodcock so convincingly. However, Reynolds Woodcock, as written, performed, and directed in this piece, is a complete and utter shitbag. I couldn't figure out what the audience was laughing about. This film is not funny. It takes a hard subject matter and makes it even harder. Woodcock is completely unsympathetic. He's a talented egomaniac. A narcissist. Abusive and evasive, and in a rather strange relationship with his sister, who is only vaguely likeable. Alma, the role inhabited by Krieps, is a naive girl who grows into a bit of strength, but we don't really root for her. We pity her. We want her to escape.
I wanted to escape. I wanted the film to be over, so I could get away from my discomfort. When it finally was, I felt pity for Ms. Krieps, but I did not stay to see if the DDL questions got addressed. My ranking: only see this film if you are completely infatuated with DDL and want to see him play an irredeemable narcissist. OH, also, the score was entirely too strong throughout. Why?

On Thursday, I was volunteering for the screening of Pirates of Somalia. If you saw Captain Phillips, then you're already familiar with Pirates, sort of. The entirety of CP takes place as a "moment" in PoS. Also, one of the lead pirates in CP is portrayed by an actor who plays the lead translator in PoS. Confused yet? Sorry. Follow the links ^.
Ennyhoo, this film is based on the book that tells the true story of the actual events in the life of Jay Bahadur, played with great bravado by Evan Peters, who you may remember from American Horror Story, or possibly as the X-Men recruit Quicksilver. It's a slice of life, and very funny, and also a little edge-of-your-seat. I don't know that it'll win any awards (it's possible), but it's Worth Your Time to See.

My only problem with that screening on Thursday is that I was booked to work on my "recall" show, but I didn't know it. I'd gotten a "checking your availability" text message from Central on Wednesday, applied in the affirmative, and received the "we got your 'yes' but you're Not Yet Booked" response. Then I never got an email, text, or phone call from my service. Then, while I was working the door at 1:30, I noticed I'd missed a call from Central at 1:17, asking where I was, and was I going to make it? My call time was 12:30. WHAT? I could have been WORKING today? On Set? For Money and Fame and Glory? #ShitFuckShitDamnFuckityFuckFuckFuck!!! I called Central back to let them know where I was, and that I was more than willing to head to set if they needed me. I called my service to ask what the fuck had happened, and to let them know where I was, and that I was more than willing to head to set if they needed me. I sent an email to the specific casting director to let him know that I hadn't gotten the details, but also where I was, and that I was more than willing to head to set if they needed me. Then I went back to volunteering, until I heard anything further. Got a reply from the casting director, saying he was trying to work it out with my service, but that they didn't need me. Got a phone call, vibrating, during the film, from an unknown-to-me number, which I ignored. Got another immediate phone call from that same number, so I left the screening room to take the call. It was my service, on a mobile phone, away from the office, trying to place all the blame on me ("it's on your calendar! I sent the notices! It doesn't post to the calendar until we hit 'send'! It's on your calendar!" etc.). Meanwhile, I'm trying to explain that Just Because You Sent It Doesn't Mean I Received It, and When You Didn't Get A Confirmation From Me, #WhyTheFuckDidn'tYouCallToConfirmLikeYouALWAYSFuckingDo? /end rant

Ennyhoo, what I got to see of Pirates of Somalia (the bulk of the film, minus about ten minutes), was totally worth it. And the Q&A was with the lead Somali translator, Barkhad Abdi, and the director. Even though the film was not shot in Somalia, for #reasons, it was cast with a very large number of Somalian refugees, who were all credited for their roles, even background roles, with "refugee since (year)" included to the right of their names. #CallMeImpressed

Thursday night, I went to a screening of Last Flag Flying. Bryan Cranston did the Q&A that followed, and he was very "there". He knew that the audience was mostly composed of actors, so he talked a lot of actor-to-actor. I enjoyed him more than the movie he was promoting. Not that there's anything inherently wrong with the film. It was just a "chick flick" disguised as a macho-man film. What I mean by that is that there were almost zero women even in the film, but it spent the bulk of the 2 hours talking about feelings. Cranston and Fishburne are Vietnam Vet Marines, retired into their old-guy lives; Carell is their Navy Corpsman, whose Marine son has died in Baghdad. Carell collects his old vet buddies in the hopes that they'll help him collect his son's remains. So the film is a road-trip flick. Buddy-buddy, but for old guys. There's no action here. There's no gunplay. There might be one good pyro scene, maybe? but I don't really remember, because I was bored. They all have different baggage to lug around and cart out and talk about. Cranston's still a wild man, to a degree, a #RebelINSearchOfACause. Carell's the mourning dad. Fishburne is REFORMED; he's a preacher who just wants to get back to his flock, but of course, he gets to continue doing his job on Carell's behalf. It's just all Very Boring. Again, I'm afraid it's going to get some critical attention, but I wouldn't waste my time, if I were you.

On MONDAY (of last week, yes, I know!), I saw I, Tonya. Kids, if you want to #LaughYourAssOff, you need to see this film. I have no idea whether it will gain any critical attention. I seriously doubt it will be up for Best Picture. But, OMG, the performances! The characters (real people from a real moment in our recent history)! The direction and the script! OMG!

Stephen and I had seen a trailer for this at something we'd gone to a theater and paid to see (I honestly have seen too many movies lately to remember what I've paid for). We laughed during the trailer. If you click the link above, you can watch a trailer, and maybe laugh during it, too. All I know is that the events of the day were news. Weird news, sure. But it's just not a fun period of time, or at least there's no fun in the specific event of bashing the knee(s?) of a competitive figure skater, Nancy Kerrigan. So, how is this movie so awesome? Well, I learned at the Q&A with the top four cast, writer, and director, there is actual "documentary" footage of the four major players in the events, and the script was based pretty closely on that footage. NONE of the major players tells the same story! So, of course, the film follows EVERY point of view, to allow the audience to make their own decisions about any particular character's "truth". And did I mention? This shit is FUNNY. Seriously, if you are even remotely familiar with the events, or even remotely a fan of Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan, or #OMGTheBest Allison Janney, then THIS FILM IS A MUST-SEE.

I think that's enough for now, right? I've got plenty more that I really need to review for ya. I also desperately need to find myself some work, trim nails on the furbabies, jump back into crocheting, buy Christmas gifts for the nieces and nephews, jump back into letter-writing and/or sending out some Christmas cards in general, and, ya know, shop/cook/launder etc. to keep running my half of the household, at least.

How was your week?

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

I went away again, didn't I?

Sorry about that.

I was busy with work, and volunteering, and going to movie screenings, and I managed to blog pretty regularly then.

Then I "celebrated" my First Annual Skippage of Gluttony Day Parade (?)...

Then I only worked at the pet supply store, and had more Adventuretime and screenings and volunteerism but no WORK ON SET, and somehow I was ... away?

I think my brain weasels (someone else's TM) have been lying to me. My winter funk has been a descending cloud, visible to me, but not yet engulfing me. I'm booked for work tomorrow, which is why I somehow have the energy to blog again tonight.

... but I have to keep hoping that I'll book more than just tomorrow, this week. I listened to the info line, and what I heard was not "if you worked on Monday, 11/27, then wear your Day Two outfit again tomorrow" (which is honestly what they said). Rather, my brain heard "everyone else worked last week, and YOU DIDN'T, and also, they all wore more than one outfit, so it was probably a long and lucrative day that YOU DIDN'T work".

My brain weasels suck, y'all. Why can't I just be happy that I'm recalled at all? Since any day on set is a good day, and I totally know what I'm doing tomorrow, because it is a recall, essentially, I should just be doing my fucking
instead of mentally kicking myself over last Monday (which was, and always will be, completely out of my control).

I don't really know what I wanted to say when I started this post. I guess I wanted to talk about Depression again. Sorry.

Last year, for the first time since Mommy died, I put up and decorated the Christmas tree. This year, I've done nothing. Stephen's done a good bit of decorating, and he's not finished yet, and I'm okay with it, in all of its stages. I've been sporadically wearing my Santa hat and jingle ball and holiday earrings, but my "holiday spirit" is 100% outward. I got nothin'.

Been attempting to convert the cats to a raw diet. So far, Cocoa has only really cared for the one flavor in the one brand that our pet supply store doesn't keep in stock. Meaning, it's a special order. Meaning, we won't get it at a discount. Meaning, our next step is to see if she likes that flavor in a different brand, so we can get it straight from the freezers at work. We'll see.

Been wanting to pick up my crochet projects again but Just. Haven't. Done. It. Yet. Why not? No idea. Possibly the lack of work has equaled lack of self-worth, which has equaled lack of motivation.

Been wanting to send holiday cards (or Any Mail At All) out to my people that I only know online. Last year, I sent/received something like 20 cards? And then started mailing normal mail to/from another group of 10-15? I think it's very possible that the last (or one of the last) pieces of mail I received here was a simple postcard from Cheo, who died of a brain hemorrhage last week. He was too young, and it was totally unexpected, and it's not like I'm thinking I'm next or anything, but I've definitely been bummed out since learning of his passing. Yesterday was his birthday, so our group did "random" acts of kindness, and involved donuts where appropriate, tweeting our acts so his widow would see them. Hashtags #FuckPants and #Donuts4Cheo abounded. There's a 2018 calendar of our group's craziness for sale in one member's Zazzle store, with the proceeds going to benefit Cheo's widow. It's mostly pretty tame, but there are pages that are NSFW, in case you're the sorta person to use a wall calendar.

So, yeah. Now you're caught up, and I'm depressed, I guess, but not because you're caught up now, because while brain weasels would follow that line of logic, that wasn't what I was trying to say, exactly. Dammit, Karen! (Not YOU, Karen. No, that other "fictitious" Karen that everyone on the interwebs is always yelling at).

Um, ennyhoo. I'm depressed. You're caught up. Two separate points. Maybe after I work tomorrow, I'll come back to finally start reviewing some of the great stuff I've seen lately! (Been wanting to review the great stuff I've been screening lately, but just... haven't. Again, dunno why not.)

It is now Tuesday. I get to go to work today! I started this post early (enough) on Monday to have posted it yesterday, but I was busy (drinking wine and figuring out what I wanted to say and link, and finding the dancing baby gif), so now it's Tuesday. Are ya happy now?

I am. Yes, I'm still depressed. I can be both happy and depressed, at the same time, even. If you didn't know that, then please, consider yourself #Blessed. For all my complaining, I do at least still know that I am #Blessed. I'm goin' to bed now. If you're reading this immediately upon my posting and you live in the Western Hemisphere, you should do the same.

What shall we talk about tomorrow?

Saturday, November 25, 2017

My First Annual Skippage of Gluttony Day Parade (?)

Yeah, I realize it's Saturday night and I should have created this post on Thursday. Next year, maybe I'll land on the actual "holiday". Ya know, when it's my SECOND Annual SoGDP.

If you've been reading me for awhile at all, you probably realize that I bitch about plenty of shit, but that I also express Gratitude in sufficient quantities, as well. Here are a few examples, in no particular order:


Amazingly, I have only one #depression hashtag but multiple #gratitude "types" of positive hashtags, without an actual #GRATITUDE one (before today's post). Ennyhoo, I may not blog my gratitude daily, but I express gratitude just about daily, so I really don't feel a need to spend the American average of SIXTY-FOUR dollars on one meal that takes HOURS to prepare and then you sit down to stuff your belly long past full, just to have to spend even more hours cleaning up, just to say out loud what I'm grateful for.

So this year, I rebelled. In my responses to texts, emails, and Twitter/Facebook posts wishing me a "Happy Thanksgiving", I indicated that I would be skipping Gluttony Day. I hope that I didn't offend any of my true friends or family. I didn't mean to be judgmental about your plans for the holiday that I'm boycotting. If you like the meal and the camaraderie, etc., then please accept my apology. I know there are plenty of people out there, including my own siblings, who love and look forward to the annual feast. I just don't, and frankly, I never really have.

I Never Really Have loved or looked forward to Turkey Day. Growing up, it was always agonizing to wait for the big meal. Once I had a house and potential guests, I decided to be the hostess for both sides of the family, and it was still just an awful lot of work that wasn't really worth the time or expense. I'll eat leftovers like anybody who likes leftovers, but I Just. Don't. Want. Turkey / Stuffing / Mashed Potatoes / Cranberry Sauce leftovers for a full week. I just don't.

So this year, I rebelled. For reals. I started a crock pot of wonton soup a day or two beforehand. As I consumed my soup, I also continued tweaking it. So I've been eating homemade wonton soup for several days. Stephen had some, too. Wonton's not his favorite, but he still had more than one serving. My boss at the pet supply store had some, too. She'd forgotten to pack a lunch yesterday, and I forced her to have some... but she didn't have "some", she had almost all of my leftovers from my lunch break!

I'm #GRATEFUL to have not spent the time or money to "celebrate" this day that I've always wanted to rebel against. After we got back from our movie screening (we saw "Molly's Game" at the DGA, and yes, I plan to review it for you) and we ate wonton soup, Stephen suggested we take a walk. So that was our First Annual Skippage of Gluttony Day Parade (?)... to Ralph's (grocery chain), where we picked up a couple of quarts of ice cream, which we ate plenty of, without eating ALL of.

I still have some to eat tomorrow, and Stephen only finished his tonight. I think our First Annual Skippage of Gluttony Day Parade (?) was successful, and I intend to potentially repeat it next year, and for years to come.

Will you join me, next year?

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Wasted days and wasted nights

I haven't booked any work at all this week (on set), and I know that's probably 100% due to the upcoming Gluttony Day "holiday", but I really waste a lot of time with nothingness when I'm not booked or scheduled or working or moving forward with productivity.

I was scheduled to go to a screening of "Grace and Frankie", followed by a Q&A with the actresses, Monday night. But I never left the apartment, beyond the mailbox. And then it got dark. And then I said fuck it. It was probably a good episode and Q&A, but it's not a show I'm devoted to, like Stranger Things or GLOW or This Is Us.

*I was pretty bummed that I didn't make it to the Stranger Things episode/Q&A on Friday night, because I am devoted to that show. But I was working on set that day, so I probably should have canceled my reservation anyway. I was early for the screening, but not early enough, since they always overbook these things. Oh well. C'est la vie. "Lah vee." (say the French phrase out loud and you'll get it - Good night, Gracie)

Ennyhoo. No work on Monday. No leaving for the screening. No work Tuesday. No leaving the apartment except to check mail. No work Wednesday. What'm I gonna do?

I'm hoping that the chick I bookkeep for will be expecting me, and I'll get to visit her. If not, I'll visit her bills. Working weekends at the pet supply store has thrown a tiny wrench into our previously-perfect schedule of keeping her books.

If I do get outta the house, I'll probably also swing by the store to snag my paystub and the official schedule for post Gluttony Day. Then I might decide to do a small Costco run. Or not. A lot depends on if my friend is expecting me to keep her books.

Stephen went to a screening of "Darkest Hour" tonight (Tuesday night - I realize it's already Wednesday while I'm typing this). His friend's girlfriend opted out, so Stephen was the +1. He found the movie to be in line with what he already knew from other movies/shows, like The King's Speech, The Crown, and Dunkirk. He says I should see it. I'll probably get to; I've certainly seen enough invitations for screenings.

I reserved us a coupla seats at the Gluttony Day screening of Molly's Game. We're looking forward to that. I unloaded/reloaded the dishwasher, and I made a crock pot of wonton soup; it turned out okay. Needs something. Probably less rice. Oh, well. And I also discovered that a favorite teacher had died last month, so I wept a good bit. Then, before Stephen went to bed, I placed an online order for some cleaning supplies.

Here's the thing: even when I'm not particularly "productive", I still get some shit done. I just don't go to bed at a reasonable hour anymore. I mean, I had no idea it was already today, by the time Stephen was going to bed. Last night and the night before, I think I've made it to bed by 1? 1:30? It's already 1:10 as I'm typing, and yeah, I'd like to publish before I shut down, so...

My sleep schedule is fucked because my work schedule is so wonky. I love my industry, but I really need to find a way to maintain a stable (-ish) schedule. Or else, I just stay wasted... wasting time... wasting away into a depressive spiral that only work repairs. Oy.

I guess I should just #BeGrateful that I have downtime at all, huh? What do you think?

Monday, November 20, 2017

There is DEFINITELY sumthin' goin' on...

I dunno what, tho. Here's a pictorial view of my blog:
 Slow news day in Ukraine and Poland?
 More hits from Ukraine than from Canada! BIG news week/month in Canada?

I mean, wow. Just wow. What could it possibly mean?

Friday, November 17, 2017


Yup, I'ma goin' on a rant. You been warned.

I'm on set again today (YAY!)... on the show that I've been trying to be a "regular" (recurring) "hipster tech employee" (what? HIPSTER? me?) in the background, ever since before the first day of shooting, when they told us they'd be looking for a "core group" (i.e. recurring).

I can't talk about the show yet. It hasn't aired yet; I don't have any idea what the promos do or will look like. Suffice it to say that the cast are recognizable and generally very friendly people; the writing seems strong; the concept looks good; the set is awesome; the crew are, for the most part, easy to work with (once you {I} know what their expectations are).

But I'm here, on a Friday. For the past several weeks, I've been getting text messages from Casting regarding my Friday availability, and for the past several weeks, I've been scheduled at the pet supply retail store on Fridays. When I went adventuring the other day, I let my boss know that I need to adjust my schedule to just Saturdays and Sundays, with maybe the possibility of "on call" for one day after that weekend, each week? She IMMEDIATELY put that into effect, as of this week! And I thankfully booked work for this first Friday off the retail schedule! YAY!

So here I am. In "background holding", waiting to get used on set. We've been seen by the vanities, that is the hair/makeup and wardrobe departments. We're all ready to go to work. But we all also know that this business is a lot of "hurry up and wait", so we're in holding.

They've got us sitting fairly close together in a large open space. We're pretty quiet, as a rule, but it's not a library. If anyone wanted to have a conversation, there would be conversation. Everyone in the room can hear everything in the room, as well as everything just outside in the hall.

So while we wait, we all look at the casting notifications. If there's something appropriate that requires a phone call, someone will start calling. There was a fairly big notice that was appropriate for just about everyone in the room, so three of us (that I'm aware of) were all dialing.

*Smartphones are smart, for a reason. If we still had to manually "dial" phone numbers, we'd probably all hear the busy signal significantly less than we do. Manually "dialing" numbers takes TIME.*

So, dude down the way hits "send" and "hang up" repeatedly, because he's used auto-redialers in the past that would constantly hang up on him. Girly next to him is doing the same, probably for similar reasons. I'm using an auto-redialer in one phone and doing it "by hand" on my other, because I have two phones. NONE of us are getting anything other than busy signals.

Unfortunately, the busy signal I'm getting in the auto-redialing phone is a set volume. Nothing I try will affect the volume of the busy signal. Not that it's particularly loud, mind you. It's just loud enough for everyone in the room to know that I'm trying to get through.

#PettyAF #RudeChick sitting behind me turns around to say, "what is that?" (like she doesn't know) "can you turn that down?" (like I haven't noticed) "you adjust the volume while you're hearing it" (my first experience ever, using a smartphone, #TYVM)...

Everyone in the room could hear the busy signal. Everyone in the room knows that the worst part of this job is LOOKING for work. Almost everyone in the room was probably also looking for work. My phone wasn't disturbing anyone else in the room. Nor was it any louder than any of the noises that have come from the table where #PettyAF #RudeChick is sitting (including from her, specifically).

We'd just had a conversation about "treating people like people", so one of the primary participants in that convo decided he needed some coffee. I went with him to refresh my tea, which removed my offending noisemaker from the room. Of course, while we were outside, he confirmed that yes, we're all looking for work, so maybe she could have been a little less rude about it? Or just ignored it, like everyone else? Ya know, acknowledge that I'm a people too?

Ennyhoo. #EndRant. That's enough. I'm chill now. Transpo's been broken for lunch; possibly some other crew is eating, too. We'll "break" for lunch in the next half-hour or so, and then hopefully, they'll need us on set shortly after that ends (it's possible they haven't yet finished what they were doing without us, though, so...).

I'm looking forward to getting to work! And then, when we wrap here, I'm RSVP'd to attend a screening and Q&A of Stranger Things 2 tonight, if we don't wrap too late. Wanna be my +1?

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

RT if you ... :(

The news these days SUX. The headlines SUCK. We're being bombarded by a fucking moron in the White House, whose tweets are absolutely ridonkulous, and to call that man-child a toddler is an insult to toddlers. We've got "mentally unstable" "lone wolf" White Male Terrorists committing mass murders in malls, clubs, houses of worship, and schools.

And we've got Powerful Men In Hollywood and Government being "accused" of Rape, Sexual Assault, and Sexual Harassment. We've got accusers stepping forward after long silences, and not being believed in their accusations because of the length of their silences. For the record, #MeToo and #I BelieveYou.

I'm news-phobic. I can't live in all the negativity that is being proclaimed in the news. I spend almost no time on Facebook anymore, because I just don't have much interest in it, although it's hanging on to me with the promise that I will somehow book work through it. So I kinda live in Twitter these days. I have a large group of people I'm friends with there, even though I've never met any of them #IRL (in real life). I try not to click on articles associated with bad news headlines, but I'm human, and sometimes I will. I was on set yesterday, which was actually a lovely respite from all the negativity, although there was another mass shooting in an elementary school yesterday, in Northern California.

*My #ThoughtsAndPrayers for the victims and their families won't help get the guns out of the hands of the #ExtremeRightwingCrazyMen. I do hope they'll find some peace, but I know they'll never find justice.*

This post was supposed to focus on the rape culture we've been living in, not the gun culture. But the title still applies. I'm tired of retweeting my experiences.

  • RT if you've seen one or more penises you didn't ask to see - walking to kindergarten
  • RT if you've ever been groped without consent - on the junior high school bus
  • RT if, as a child, an adult male harassed you in a sexual manner - Grandpa
  • RT if you're a gun owner who has never shot another human - military/police folk get a "pass"
  • RT if you've ever had your field of expertise mansplained to you - probably? I mean, I think I blow it off, but yeah, probably... something numbers or entertainment related
  • RT if you've ever worked in a hostile environment - mostly temp jobs, thankfully, that I could just fucking quit
  • RT if you ... :(
To keep my own Twitter feed positive, I do a lot of retweeting of cute animal photos and videos. I won't retweet articles, if I can help it. I find them all to be clickbait, even if the message is about cute animals. So I think I want to start some new Twitter chains. I think I may need your help. I'll start here, but please comment below (HERE, in my blog, not in Twitter) with your ideas. If you like this idea (RT if you ... :D ), and we follow each other on Twitter, you can totally just start your own chains, and I'll retweet them there, so you'll get the "credit" as the creator of the chain.

so. hmm. where to begin?
  • RT if you've ever paid a compliment to a stranger - all the time. This is one of my faves
  • RT if you've ever received unsolicited praise - of course, because I'm not alone in ^
  • RT if you got to name your childhood pet - Kitty. Shut up, I was a child.
  • RT if you've ever passed a difficult test on your first attempt - probably
  • RT if you're learned how to be really good at a thing you used to fail doing - managing money
  • RT if any of your loved ones are still alive - most of them
  • RT if you're happy with at least one part of your body - yes, but I'm not telling you which
  • RT if you've had a relaxing weekend - I relax by working
  • RT if your work is both challenging and satisfying - yesterday was absolutely both
  • RT if you've ever recovered from a major illness or injury - I'm grateful to have missed both, so far
  • RT if you woke up this morning - I did! And if you're reading this, so did YOU!
What else? Will you play this game with me? RT to spread positivity! (Please comment below)

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Adventure Time!

A little backstory: my boss at the pet supply store was my friend before she was my boss. She lives a good drive away from the hustle and bustle of Hollyweird, so I typically only see her at work, on weekends. But we've decided that we should still be able to "hang out" on days off, if possible, so maybe a month ago (?), she picked me up from my apartment and we went to Costco together for the #WalkingSamplingLunch. It was fun. She wasn't planning to buy anything that day. She didn't want a membership. She just needed to hang out.

I HATE shopping for things like clothing. I don't really mind shopping for groceries, because ... well, I dunno why I don't mind it. I just don't mind it. I know there are folks out there who don't do well in the big-box warehouse environments of IKEA or Costco, because #crowds or #SensoryOverload or whatever. I respect that. I also kinda LOVE the big-box warehouse environments of IKEA or Costco because #inspiration or #WalkingSamplingLunch or whatever.

Apparently, my boss enjoys those environments too, as long as she's there with a guide. On our first Costco Adventure, we took our #SweetDamnTime, ya know? She was a kid in a candy store! Literally! Well, literally a candy-electronics-clothing-grocery-vitamins-liquor-housewares-automotive-pet-books-and-movies store, at least. Every aisle was perused. Prices were compared. Foods were sampled. She made a little mental shopping list, and by the time we'd finished our first pass (I always make two passes at Costco: first one unencumbered to sample, second with a shopping cart to load whilst sampling), she'd decided to get a membership, if it wouldn't take too long.

The process of signing up included an upsell to applying for the store credit card. She opted for the Executive Membership, which includes rebates, and was approved for a decent credit line, which also includes rebates. Sweet! So we made our second pass, and I taught her how to load the cart so that the cashier can scan all the barcodes & you don't hafta unload anything onto the conveyor (*that is one of at least a few Costco "secret" tricks). Successful first adventure!

Like I said earlier, we don't often get to hang out. So when we do, we include at least a Costco trip, and then if there's time, we also do some other fun shit. Like today. I needed to get gas anyway, so we took my car. I drive a 6-speed manual transmission TARDIS. On the way home, we started talking about driving manual versus automatics, and she "outed" herself as not knowing how to drive a stick. So after we got the groceries sorted, we headed back out... for a driving lesson!

I wanted to find a big parking lot, so I originally thought of the mall parking garages. Then I thought of the lot at the new IKEA! Since it's the largest US IKEA in existence and has both a garage and a lot, the lot would probably be perfect! But before we even got there, I found a side street in a neighborhood that had nice long straight stretches with occasional stop signs and very little traffic. Since I wasn't teaching her how to drive, per se, it didn't matter if there were cars parked at the curbs. She just needed space to travel forward and learn to shift.

So I parked at the "beginning" and we swapped seats. She adjusted her seat and the mirrors, and I walked her through the gears while still parked. I used my hands to show her the "timing" of what the feet should be doing. She put the car in 1st gear and proceeded to bounce it a few feet before fully engaging (as one does on one's first time driving a stick). She kept apologizing for "killing my car"; I kept reassuring her, and telling her when to shift (up or down). We'd get to a good "stopping" point and switch seats again so she didn't have to reverse (to turn around), and then we'd switch seats again, and she drove back up the stretch she'd just been down.

She became very adept at the higher gears pretty quickly. I advised her to speed up to catch that green light, and now we were on a new stretch. Speed up to catch that green light, and again, new stretch. First gear is the hard part. So, just enough stop signs in that neighborhood to stay ~35 mph, or top out at 4th gear, and constantly practice the rolling from a dead stop.

For most of the lesson, we kept the hazard lights on, so if other traffic pulled up behind us, they'd know to pass. We let a bunch of drivers take the right-of-way at four-way stops. We weren't in a hurry, and I wasn't going to let anyone stress us out. We had one asshole behind us, who thankfully turned away before we had stressed HIM too much. We passed a school that was letting out, so once she got through that, I took us around and up the block to make one last return trip, but starting well beyond all of that foot-and-vehicular traffic.

On her last long stretch, I turned the hazards off. She stopped at all of the stop signs, as well as one traffic light (all the other lights had been green). She saw a busy street ahead that didn't have a signal, so she parked before we reached it and said "that's enough training for today". I didn't blame her; she was right. She did great!

Next time, maybe IKEA. For both the store and the parking lot. ;)

What adventures have YOU been up to lately?

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Busy Bizzy Boozy buzzy

Yeah, I've been a *wee bit* busy of late. I Am NOT Complaining! In the month of October, I had SIX days of "nothing productive". Of the remaining 25 days, only 3 days were "productive" but not "lucrative". That's a lot of lucrative productivity, y'all! #IAmA$Magnet

Also, I've blogged a little bit more this month than the last, and I feel good about that. I also feel good about having Caught Up on my READING! I haven't picked up any new blogs other than these I've linked here ==>,   but I did manage to backtrack to where I'd left off on all of those I follow, including leaving commentary when I've felt it's appropriate. FYI, if you read blogs but don't have a blog of your own, in my experience, the bloggers that you read appreciate it when you comment on the posts that move you to do so. If you respond out loud, as you do to shows on television, the blogger will never know what you needed to say, much like the writers of the shows on tv will never know when you're telling their characters to Don't Do It! Don't Do That Thing I KNOW You're About To Do!  #crosstalk  #HesYellingAtTheBoobTubeAgainShirley #StopYellingAtTheTVHarry #WhenWillMyFavoriteCharactersStopBeingDumbasses?

So, yeah. If I ever say anything that you respond to viscerally, won't you please also comment below? I really love interacting with my readers!

... and back to my busy life. I've been sitting in audiences at talk shows and game shows, volunteering at union foundation events, taking workshops, working my retail gig at the pet supply store, and working On Set. After attending my first ComiCon this weekend, I worked another day at the pet supply store, one day in an audience, and THREE DAYS on set on the new tv show coming soon to an NBC channel near you (I'll let you know when the show starts airing, where to look for me). I also recorded a "dummy" podcast with a friend. We'll probably try to make time to record "for real" in the nearish future, once I figure out the SAG-AFTRA Signatory paperwork we need to file.

Halloween has come and gone, and since we got no trick-or-treaters last year, we bought no candy this year. Also, I was on set anyway. Stephen was home, though, and our lack of candy was not an issue in any way. The World Series happened, and Stephen and I watched all of the second game and part of the final game. I'm okay with the Astros taking it. I like baseball, but there's no way I'm enough of a fan of any team to want to pay the steep ticket price of even a single game of the Series.

Today: I've checked in with the DGA Trainee and the lovely wardrobe chick so far today, and it looks like I'll have time to complete this post looooong before they need me on set. At 3:30, the Transpo Dept. (Teamsters) had broken for lunch, but the rest of the cast and crew who've been here since 9:30 this morning have just done so (4-ish), so we've got awhile to go before we work. If I were as exhausted from staying up late to finish bingeing Stranger Things 2 as I was the other day, when we did just that, I would take a little nap. Gonna finish this blog post, read the most recent posts listed here ==>, and get to work when they ask for me. Maybe I'll even try to complete some Signatory paperwork. #LifeIsGood #IAmBlessed #MakinFriendsAndMoney #UnionProud #SAGAFTRA

Have I mentioned I'm blessed? ;)

Sunday, October 29, 2017


So, apparently, I got too busy to remember my Sadiversary

... which is actually a Good Thing, if you think about it. Mommy died in a horrible car wreck eleven years ago yesterday. In many months, the 28th is a bit of a trigger. Usually, the week or two approaching October 28th, I start remembering that my Sadiversary is approaching, and I get a bit melancholy.

I mean, I grieve all the time, still. Not that I'm in a constant state of mourning, no. But most memories I have of Mommy bring both smiles and tears. I even talked about my Roots piece the other day, with a friend who may have remembered it, because we were talking about a mutual friend and all the shit she's been going through in the last few years, what with chemo and stuff. I remembered the voicemail that mutual friend had left me right after Mommy died, and in that recent conversation, I cried a little. But I didn't remember that the Sadiversary was this weekend. Wow.

InnerHippie posted a note in her Facebook page for the family to read, about how she commemorated the Sadiversary yesterday/today (I think she did the thing yesterday but posted it today). Quite a healing for her, a Good Thing. I'm very glad for her. Also, it raised a discussion amongst the family about our own steps we might take. So if any of the family do follow up, I think the healing will also take place for them.

This would be a Good Thing.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Convention Musings, UPDATED

I'm... getting older, now, so I guess I'm starting to think about "Bucket Lists". Not that I've ever had a Bucket List or anything, and I've done plenty of pretty cool things in my life to not really have a need of a Bucket List. But one thing I'd never done in my Entire Life was attend a fan convention. Sure, I've attended weekend seminars for shit, and work-related conventions, like that Admin Con back in '01, right after 9/11 happened and my life was falling apart anyway, and I was praying on the flight from Charlotte to San Francisco for a terrorist takeover (no, really, I really was praying to die in a plane crash so I wouldn't have to face my failing marriage)... or ShowBiz Expos from time to time, here in LaLa Land, which have moved my showbiz career forward, um, an inch?

But a FAN Convention. Never. I'm a fan of Star Trek (TNG, mostly), and the BSG reboot, and the JJ Abrams Trek reboot, and the Doctor Who reboot (and Torchwood), and the DC and Marvel universe superhero movies, and Firefly, and Buffy, and general fantasy and comics genres. I'd just never bothered to attend a Con. Probably primarily because they can be costly, and possibly also because I was intimidated by the idea of cosplay. Sure, I like to wear costumes. I don't (necessarily) want to build said costumes, or walk around a convention hall in something that isn't comfy enough to wear all day at home (i.e. heels, a corset, or wigs/heavy makeup).

So, knowing this about me, when Stephen got wind that LA was hosting #StanLeeComiCon17 at the convention center today, he ran "the idea" by me, and I agreed that we should spend the money, and book ourselves off work. That is precisely what we did.

Today, I attended my first Con. It was lovely. It was pleasant. It was fun. I was not intimidated by the crowds (the LA Convention Center is NOT the San Diego venue by a long shot). I did not feel "less than" for not cosplaying (I wore my dangling skeleton earrings because Halloween is almost upon us; that is "all"). I did not feel obligated to purchase anything. We took the subway to the train to a block or two away, and walked in with our e-tickets in Stephen's phone. I took photos. Here ya go:
first cosplayers we met on the first train

have badge, will Con!

just tryin' to get in the place

dude on stilts. character from star wars, mebbe?

the convention floor, upon first entry

the other side of the world

no caption necessary, methinks

sit yer butt in the cap'n's chair! get a pic! for some moneys!
when supervillains unite

Stephen's writing partner, exhibiting

the "real" Zack, rated Z for zerryone

a Mad Hatter

Thor and her sister Hermione
or are they cousins? friends? dunno...

I liked this dude's Groot

I liked this dude's sign

Peter Parker attends the Academic Decathlon
this Weeping Angel wasn't scary when not weeping

Aquaman Emma in her specially-designed wheelchair

the smallest Captain America we saw

perfect 1st gen Wolverine

A pretty good 1st gen Captain America

most, but not all, of the Guardians of the Galaxy

a student makeup artist hard at work

whoops! I forgot to ask before I took this pic! :|

Harley Quinn colored my hair

a hot Darth Vader

WALL-E was moving

... as was the turtle closest to the Predator

Katee Sackhoff on the Main Stage

the 12th Doctor

Leia, did you ever find the buff nearly-nekkid black dude?


this is where we STARTED

iZombie panel

the 5th Doctor

Gabriel Luna joins Chloe Bennet on the Main Stage

Kevin Smith hosts the Adam West tribute

Burt Ward, boyish wonder, yo

my friend the fabulous Lee Merriwether. ROWR!

Burt and Lee

Don Bellisario and Scott Bakula (Quantum Leap rebinge soon?)

Charlie Brown and Lucy Van Pelt!

Bob Ross lacking a canvas, paints his friend

Lt. Uhura still gorgeous

the Bride of Beetlejuice

Ol' Doc Brown, checking the TIME

the 11th Doctor

some dude WORKIN his violin on the train home

I'm off to bed now, so I can return to the pet supply store for an early meeting in the a.m. Maybe I'll update this tomorrow night (or maybe I won't). I had fun stormin' the castle - ask me anything ya wanna about all these pics!