Saturday, August 24, 2019

Adulting, Part the Third (Now with Pictures Added!)

Cocoa says "hi"
I beg your pardon, is that your colon or a rose garden?

Purty, innit?

Smokey says "whut?"

yes, I know I'm cute and sassy, but...
It's So Short!

Adulting, Part the Second

Yeah, this is sort of a continuation – maybe I’ll get through the whole week of adulting! Monday was, of course, the MEDICAL adulting – the dreaded colonoscopy.

On Tuesday, I was booked for work! #WooToTheHoo! I drove deep into the heart of The Valley (fer shure, not “of Death”) to park in a church parking lot and then get shuttled to a grocery store where I’d previously worked on an episode of Barry.

They had asked for lots of BRIGHT clothing options, but hadn’t indicated a season, so most of us were dressed for the current season – HOT weather. When the wardrobe gal looked through my stuff, she was really only happy with my maroon jeans and hot pink sweater. I should also have grabbed my denim jacket out of my car, but I forgot (because it’s not quite “bright”). Oh, well.

I’d cooked some bacon the night before, because it was an early call time a decent distance away, and having just come off my colonoscopy, I wanted to be sure to eat keto again, once I started eating again. Not that I needed my bacon – there was definitely something appropriate at catering, but I did eat my bacon, so I’d have an empty to-go container for lunchtime! #TheyThrowAwayTheLeftoversSoImHelpingByTakingItHome

We were working inside the grocery store, so I was glad to have my thermal mugs of tea and my hot pink sweater. The work was easy, and I’ll just say this here: Peyton Manning is as sweet and funny in real life as he appears to be in the plethora of commercials he’s currently starring in.

Tuesday was a longish day (ten hours), and they didn’t break us for lunch right away, so we got five meal penalties. Which means it’ll be a nice fat paycheck. YAY! #IAmAMoneyMagnetThankYouThankYouThankYou

On Wednesday, I was home, shopping the Ikea website for a specific sleeper sofa we’d agreed was #TheOne. I’d tried to order it online over the weekend, but the website had indicated it was out of stock. So, back at it on Wednesday, there it was, waiting for me, with a $20 savings on shipping from the website vs. at the store, BUT we’d have to wait until the 29th to get it! ... and was I interested in applying for a rewards credit card with an instant rebate, or possibly the Ikea Projekt card, with 6 months at 0% interest? Decisions, decisions! What a quandary!

So, I found where Stephen had stashed his credit card that we’d agreed we’d use (just to keep the account active), and I drove to the store. I marched my ass straight to the help desk at sleeper sofas, placed my “order”, and then marched my ass straight back down to the cashiers. None of my normal “getting steps whilst meandering the lovely large warehouse” for me that day! I was on a mission!

My adulting for Wednesday was buying a couch, y’all. And making sure that if I got booked for work, Stephen would definitely be home in the 1 – 5 window The Next Day to accept delivery. And then later, Wednesday evening, I went to the SAG-AFTRA Foundation to volunteer for a screening of John Travolta’s new movie. It was horrible, y’all. It was BORING. And for some reason, this audience full of actors kept laughing at JT’s autistic character’s faux pas(es? No, I don’t know how to pluralize a French word)! I left before the Q&A, to discover a large group of people staking out the only entrance to the parking garage, hoping to get JT to sign their paraphernalia. It was very meta. Obviously, none of them had seen the film I just watched. #UGH #IGotThis #AdultingMightSuckButSometimesWeJustGottaDoIt

On Thursday morning, I gave myself a haircut and touched up my color. I wasn’t the last one to use the Wahl trimmer, though, so when I looked for the two guards that were paired in the case, I didn’t look closely. I cut my hair too short, y’all! Yes, it’s cute and sassy and I still look good, but I no longer look like my headshots because I cut my hair too short, y’all! I normally use the 1” guard around my back and sides, and the 1.5” guard on top. Because Stephen used the trimmer set last, he’d paired the ½” with the 1”. And because I didn’t look closely, we are #BothToBlame for me cutting my hair too short, y’all! #AdultingIsHardSometimes

On Thursday afternoon, The Sofa Arrived! So, over the course of 3 hours, we both perused the pictorial Ikea build instructions, and then we built a lovely sleeper sofa. The last time we bought any real #Adult furniture, Smokey immediately peed on it to mark it as his and also to help de-gas the #NewFurnitureSmell, a.k.a. formaldehyde. To prevent that happening this time, we saved all of the big plastic wrap that the big pieces were packed in, and we kept the old futon mattress after carrying the futon frame downstairs to the alley.

So I’m sitting on a new couch that’s wrapped in plastic and has an additional big cushion that still smells like us and the cats. It’s quite stylish, yo. No, but seriously, #SometimesAdultingIsThinkingAhead

On Friday, I unfolded the couch and set the loose cushions on chairs just outside the front door to help them de-gas some more. They’re supposed to air out (and fluff up from their vacuum-sealed bags) over the course of 72 hours. I figure, better to do that in actual air, rather than in the storage cubby in the sofa. Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention. #TheSleeperSofaHasStorage #W00tW00t!

Then, before I left to volunteer at the SAG-AFTRA Foundation Emmy-Nominated Stunt Panel (a much better night than Wednesday!), I tossed ONE cushion, all three covers, a wet towel, and a bunch of dryer sheets into the dryer and allowed it to run on “no heat – air dry – fluff” while I was out, put the other two cushions back in the storage, re-folded the couch, and put the chairs back under the table. Stephen won’t know all of what I did yesterday until YOU do! #ImSneakyYesIAmButTheCatsKnow

And That, My Friends, is why I won’t do two shows a night, I just won’t. No, that’s not what I wanted to say here. And That, My Friends, is my week of Adulting. What #FunNotFun things have YOU been up to?

I know you want 'em, so pictures will follow, in Part the Third!

Adulting, Part the First

I want to talk about the stuff you deal with as you grow older. On my birthday this year, I received notification in the mail that I was once again eligible for SAG-AFTRA health insurance. It has/d been a decade since I last had SAG health insurance, and in that ten years, I haven’t been unwell or unhealthy, but I have missed having the fantastic coverage that my union provides. When I was first deemed ineligible, it was because we still had two actors’ unions, so I was dividing my work time between them, and not earning enough money or days on set with either one to be eligible. In the last ten years, we’ve merged not only the two unions, but also, recently, the health plans. YAY.

So I got my eligibility notification on my birthday in June. #HappyBirthdayToMe! I completed my paperwork as soon as I could and paid my first quarter’s premium so I could start using the insurance in July. I’m not unwell or unhealthy, I remind you. But when you finally have good health insurance again after so long, you make an appointment for a wellness exam. For a woman over 40, that means a PAP smear, labwork, and mammogram. For Stephen, it means... what? I don’t even know. Vitals? A prostate exam? Anything else? I doubt it.

Also, for everyone over 50, it means a colonoscopy.

Back in 2017, I had insurance through Kaiser. It wasn’t bad coverage, by any stretch of the imagination. But for whatever reason, I lost my eligibility for that as well, and when they “prescribed” a colonoscopy back then, I got as far as picking up my Rx for Gavilyte and scheduling the procedure ... but then I cancelled the procedure, and just stored that big ol’ bottle of powder for... awhile.

Fast-forward to July of this year. I had my PAP and all my bloodwork. I got referrals for dermatology (per my new Primary Care Physician, I “have a lot of moles”. Yes, I do. So what?), mammography, and that dreaded colonoscopy. I’m supposed to follow up with each doc to schedule the necessary whatnot.

The colon doc’s office didn’t wait. They called ME. They tricked me into a consultation, saying there was a “chance” I might not even need one, if I wasn’t in any of the risk groups. Guess what? I’m over 50. That’s a risk group. So they scheduled me for the dreaded procedure for Monday of this past week, and sent me home from the consultation with a plethora of “pre-op” instructions. Stop taking all NSAIDS five days before; eat low-fiber foods (meaning NO nuts or seeds) 3 days before; go on a clear liquid diet plus colon prep 1 day before. Stay hydrated. Dress warmly for the procedure. Buy the new Rx for colon prep. Etc.

I followed “the rules” pretty closely. My original appointment was set for 1 p.m., but that got pulled in earlier to 12:15 before I was completely aware of the change, so my “day before” wasn’t quite a 24-hour period. It was close, though. I went to buy the new Rx, just in case it was “easier” than the Gavilyte I already had, and also just in case the pharmacy would buy the Gavilyte back (it had another year or two before it “expired””, since I hadn’t mixed it yet). No dice. CVS Pharmacy hadn’t filled the original Rx, so any return would have to happen at Kaiser. Also, my insurance wasn’t covering enough of the cost of the new prep, and it would have cost me a hundred bux. For a yucky prep for a procedure I didn’t even want to have! No thanks!

I did verify that the insurance was definitely covering the procedure 100%, though. If my co-pay had been, say, enough to meet my deductible, I’d have cancelled that thing AGAIN. I’m telling ya. I’m healthy! Much to my chagrin, the procedure is covered 100%. #Dammit

So now it’s the weekend before (stick with me, it's currently the weekend following, but in this tale, it's the weekend leading up to it), and I’ve altered my diet, I’ve arranged for a ride, I’ve confirmed the appointment, and I’ve mixed the Gavilyte. On Sunday, just under 24 hours before my procedure, I start drinking the Gavilyte.

Here’s what everyone tells you about colon prep: it’s a lot, and you WILL spend that day before in the bathroom. It’s a laxative, you see. A prescription-strength laxative. The idea is to CLEANSE your colon before they stick the tiny tube up there. They do tell you that it tastes yucky, but that’s all they’ll tell you.

Here’s what no one ever tells you about Gavilyte: it doesn’t take effect until you’re a few glasses in. Once it takes effect, it works almost like clockwork, depending on how quickly you can down it. It tastes like... badly mixed Country Time lemonade... thick and syrupy and vaguely lemony and vaguely artificially sweet... even though it LOOKS like water in that gallon jug! As you drink it, the gallon jug has miraculous refilling properties. I like-to-never finished that damn thing!

Well, actually, I didn’t. I got more than ¾ through, past the point where I was “pooping” brown liquid, then thick yellow bile, then clear yellow liquid. There was NOTHING solid left to poop. I mean, towards the end, the pressure to poop LIQUID meant I became a human soda stream. I kinda decided that after the procedure, I never wanted to poop again. Ennyhoo. Enough toilet talk.

On Monday, my friend Cheyanne gave me a ride in, and sat in the lobby area, working on her screenplay or whatever whilst I was whisked into the medical areas to undress down to a gown, verify that I was who the paperwork said I was, and receive my IV for the sedative. Not too long after that, the doc showed up to ask me the same shit, and then they wheeled me into the OR. I was introduced to yet another nurse, whose job it was to monitor my vitals. Before they administered the “Twilight” sedative (I’d be awake for most of the procedure and could inform them if I was feeling any PAIN), the first nurse noticed that my heartbeat was irregular. Say, what? The doc asked her if it was a “regular” irregularity or an “irregular” one. I joked that it was because I’m a musician – saying it was my percussionist soul taking over. No one got the joke, so I remarked that maybe it was due to this being my first procedure of this type (i.e. nervousness)? The doc either concurred with that sentiment, or overrode the nurse’s concerns, because he had her administer the sedative. Shortly after its administration, I was feeling the effects, and my heartbeat regulated, so... good call, doc!

I watched them weave the camera through a very foldy rosefield, and when they discovered the one polyp, they removed it before I even saw what it looked like! I did see the four clips they used to seal the wound they created by tearing out the polyp. Shortly after they installed the four clips, they were pulling the tiny tube out and unhooking my IV and wheeling me into the recovery area, where they offered me a juicebox.

Yes, I’m pretty strict about my keto, but I hadn’t eaten anything (solid) in close to 48 hours, so I was willing to consume a few carbs. Also, I was probably dehydrated, so I sucked that bad boy down. 

Then they sent Cheyanne in to sit with me for a few, and then they sent her to get the car while they transferred me from the bed to a wheelchair, and rolled me to another waiting area to receive her phone call (we had parked in a free shopping center lot, about a block away - NOT paying for parking on top of it all!). While I waited, I had another juicebox and a few packets of graham crackers – yum!

Cheyanne had gotten my postop instructions, so when she called to say the car was there, they wheeled me down and put me into her care. Next stop, Poquito Más! They had instructed “nothing too greasy or spicy”, so I got the grilled ahi on a small bed of white rice (yes, more carbs!) and felt much better.

That's some adulting, y'all. Have you had the dreaded colonoscopy? Were your experiences similar to mine? Better? Worse? Did you get pictures of the inside of your colon? Do your pics, if viewed quickly and out of focus, look like a field of roses?

Part the Second coming soon!

Thursday, August 15, 2019

ManOhMan, has it been AWHILE!

I last checked in with y'all at the End Of May. Which means we didn't chat at all about my birthday in June (and I am usually #VeryPersistent in reminding people that my birthday is coming up, and asking everyone #HowDoYouPlanToCelebrateMe?)... we missed the review of my Hollywood Fringe Festival experience (just no audiences to speak of, and a lackadaisical cast)... we missed my re-acquaintance with my old friend Stephanie... we missed the two earthquakes we had on-or-about Independence Day... we missed me replacing my laptop-that-became-a-desktop-when-I-killed-the-screen... we missed my full weekend of bemoaning the loss of a decade or more of emails, some of which were probably #ImportantShit... we missed Daddy moving from Florida to Colorado (with my sister)... we missed Max's severe car accident that she is still recovering from... we missed my building of a new-for-me website (I think, maybe?)!

Currently, we have a weekend houseguest sleeping on our futon and attending acting classes with me. She still has employment #WayFarAway from "the industry" (showbiz), so mostly, she's only here on weekends. She's looking for more industry opportunities, so this couch-surfing could become #SlightlyMoreSemiPermanent, at which point she'll contribute to groceries or utilities or rent or something. We've learned from our previous houseguest leech not to become doormats!

So, because of the futon being a bed more often than it used to be, Stephen and I are looking at replacing it. He'd been researching mattresses for it, because there's honestly nothing wrong with the frame. But he's having no luck with that, so we're considering dropping about 500 on a new sleeper sofa from Ikea. We like the size; we like the "sit"; we like the "lay/lie down" (YES, I'll nitpik your grammar, but even if I look this one up, I'm not going to remember which one means "recline" so STFU!); we especially like the color! ... HOWEVER...

Stephen's laptop just crashed one too many times, and he's replaced it. But we were unable to rescue his novel, among other things, from his hard drive, which means it's currently being diagnosed by professionals. We have no doubt that they'll be able to rescue all of the files he needs, but in the meantime, we get to wait to see what that's going to cost us. It's not that we can't "afford" the 500 for the couch... but we do have to be responsible, don't we? Budget for shit that's nonessential? Right?

Speaking of diagnoses, I HAVE SAG-AFTRA HEALTH INSURANCE AGAIN! I got the notification in the mail on my birthday, which was the absofuckinglute best happy birthday celebratory dance at a mailbox I have ever had. (Hashtag AbsoFuckingLute)... so I had my general wellness exam for zero dollars and zero cents in July, and because I am #AWomanOfACertainAge, I also have to have some follow-up testing. Pray for me this weekend, when I will be fasting with tea and other clear liquids, to be put under on Monday with "Twilight" anesthesia whilst the doc pushes a tiny tube up my rectum so he can shine a tiny light on my innards, watching on a tiny camera to see if there are any polyps, and then grabbing them with a tiny grabby thingy for testing. The chance of there being at least one polyp is 50% (or did he say 1 in 50, a.k.a. 2%?). The chance of any polyps being pre-cancerous is 25% (or, again, was that 1 in 25? or 4% of the 2%? OOF. I'm good at numbers, but now I don'r remember what he said a week ago). Ennyhoo. I'll come out of the "Twilight" sleep a bit loopy, so I have to have a ride home. They will NOT release me to drive or take a Lyft or a bus or anything on my own recognizance! Luckily, my friend Max works just down the street, so she can probably let me hang out in her office or break room for the hour or so it takes me to truly recover. If that Dx is "clear", then I won't have to undergo that procedure again for ten years. And in the meantime, it doesn't cost me a dime, because I HAVE SAG-AFTRA HEALTH INSURANCE AGAIN!

Still have to get my skin checked out by a dermatologist and the girls squished by a mammographer. Yay. :-/

Also. Since beginning my Ketogenic Lifestyle (TM), I have lost twenty pounds (I was only shooting for ten), 3" off my waist, nearly 3" off my hips, and ~1" off each thigh. I've been very hit-or-miss with the daily yoga, but I know that when I was doing it more regularly, my arms and core were gaining strength. I've also been very hit-or-miss with my swimming at the Y, but when I go, I do up to :30 of laps, with just a skosh of treading water (the ol' gang isn't there anymore, so I don't have a social hour, it's just swimming). I did replace my waistband-wearable non-Fitbit thingy with a wrist wearable Disney Princesses (kid's) one, also NON-Fitbit, because I am anti-brand, for the most part. I like it. It counts my steps (10k per day IS a regular thing for me) and tracks my sleep, and lets me know if I've been still for too long (although it counts puttering around in the kitchen as stillness), and then if I have a total of one hour or more of activity in the day, it takes me on an adventure with Ariel and Flounder. It's cute.

So I'm currently catching you up while I make chocolate gelato, Keto-style. It's soooooo gooooood!

What have you been up to, since last we ... spoke (?) ?

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Just checkin' in

I don't really have anything new to say (I don't think - we'll see if this manages to be a real post or not), but I happened to check in to my blog stats page, and noticed that This Page had been recently viewed by at least three people. So I went there to see what I'd said, way back when.

I remember the incident but not the action. Facebook has never been my choice of social media hangout, ya know? Yes, I did used to use it a lot to look for work (not that I ever really found work there), and yes, I used to link new blog posts there for the folks who weren't subscribing. Nowadays, anything I tweet over in the Twitterverse gets linked to my Facebook page for anyone not following me in the aviary. But I really don't hang out on Facebook.
(I really like this pic)

So that incident with the Troll has had very little effect on my actual life. #Blessed


In other news, I'm sixteen days away from our first performance of our YOU Project at the Hollywood Fringe Festival. We've been rehearsing up a storm, and this upcoming Sunday will be an intense rehearsal followed by a group birthday party, since two of our members will celebrate ON the 2nd, then my birthday is Monday, another member's is Tuesday, and then one more person's is the following Sunday... That's a lot of birthdays in a clump, out of twelve people! Then we have our "tech" rehearsal that following Sunday, and really start to let the panic* creep in! We open on the 14th!

*Just kidding about the panic. We got this. We're totally ready. We're actors! This is what we DO!

I had the month of May "off" from the Conservatory, but June is back on the schedule. So, attending some classes, volunteering at some classes, TEACHING/Leading a session (mostly just tech support at this point, but it's still not nothing)... volunteering at the Foundation... rehearsing... submitting for PAID work and hopefully getting to audition and book some stuff... and continuing to record audiobooks for the niblings, and maybe get a commercial and/or VO agent along the way?

So, yeah, I guess this post was longer than I anticipated. 'Sall Good.

If you're local-ish to Los Angeles, wouldn't you LOVE to come see some good live theatre? The Hollywood Fringe Festival is the largest LA theatre festival of the year, which means there'll be plenty of (hopefully) amazing stuff to see on a stage nearish to you! You can get tickets to MY shows by scanning the QR code or clicking here (I'm in You too, not You again). Thank you in advance for supporting live theatre (and me!)

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

The Depression of an Aging Family Member

A lot of my IRL and Twitter friends know that I call Daddy every day. He lives in Central Florida, in a townhouse he and Mommy bought just a few weeks before she died, in 2006. It's on a golf course, in a gated community, in the middle of no-fucking-where. In the past few (five-ish?) years, they built a Publix just outside his closest gate, and since he's got a golf cart, he'll do his twice- or thrice-weekly grocery shopping pretty conveniently. There's also a CVS Pharmacy in that lot, and everyone who works at Publix or CVS there knows him. He has friends. There's also a liquor store in that complex, so of course, he's popular there as well.

So he's getting older, as we all do, if we're lucky. He no longer golfs or even hits balls at the driving range. He doesn't walk any distance greater than the end of his driveway, most days. He doesn't eat well unless I remind him to. He drinks. He's an alcoholic, and at 3/4 century years old, that's not changing. He's had plenty of strokes and mini-strokes, so he has one of those "call an ambulance if I fall" necklaces. I have to remind him to wear that, too.

I call him every day at 1 o'clock (or 4 p.m., his time). I ask him if he's done any stretching exercises. I ask if he's been upstairs. I ask if he's checked his mail, or taken his trash & recycle bins out (or brought them back in), or walked to the gate, or walked around the grocery store. I ask if he's done any word or number puzzles. I ask what he's eaten. I ask whether he's wearing the necklace.

Most days, in addition to getting good answers to those questions, we'll also have an interesting conversation about other human contact he's had, or upcoming visits he's looking forward to. Yesterday and the day before, he was so drunk by the time I called that I barely got answers to my questions. And then before his bedtime at 8, he'd called and left me messages, wondering why I hadn't called, and whether I was dead in a ditch or something.

*Lemme tell ya. Getting a voicemail asking if you're dead because you neglected to call is disconcerting once. TWICE, it's upsetting.*

Yesterday's voicemail came through while I was out getting my steps... buying a bottle of dark rum to replenish my homemade vanilla extract... so I called him back when I got home. I yelled at him for almost five minutes, reminding him to check his call history when he wonders if I've called; reminding him that I'm eating well and exercising and therefore strong and healthy and less likely to be unexpectedly dead than he; reminding him that when he's drunk when I call, we're unable to have good conversations.

I love my Daddy. I know he's an alcoholic, and nothing I say will change that, so I don't try to change that. Yesterday, after topping off my vanilla extract jar, I stuck the remaining rum in the freezer, because by the end of my day, I needed a drink!

Daddy is moving to Colorado in a month. He's had the last visit with his baby brother that he'll ever have; his best friends have moved to Panama; his youngest son (my baby brother) will be filling his house with small children for a few days before he moves; my sister will arrive in all that bedlam to help him pack up, and that'll be it. I'm blessed to be so busy in my career right now, but I don't have time to squeeze in one last visit. And now I'm crying.

#AgingSucks, y'all. I know, I know, it's better than the alternative.

... my phone is charging, and even though it's only 9 a.m., I think I'll call Daddy early today. I need to talk to him while he's still lucid.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

A Spoiler-Free Movie Review, and other catching up

#AvengersEndgame was released in theaters on Thursday night. Our local theater had not sold out for opening night, when Stephen got off work and checked. But it's a three-hour movie, and we'd have gotten home close to midnight, and he still had to work Friday morning. So on Thursday DAY, I bought our tickets for today's first showing, at 12:30.

We didn't see it at a multi-plex, per se. We saw it at a Laemmle Theater, which is half arthouse and half blockbuster. They host themed #ThrowbackThursdays, as in, for the month of May, they'll be honoring Diane Keaton's career every Thursday. Because of the nature of their business, we weren't sure what to expect at today's matinee. We planned to get to the theater before noon, so we could (hopefully) just walk right in with our tickets, plant in our favorite center seats just behind the rail, and then get Stephen's popcorn combo just prior to the trailers at 12:30.

So we left the apartment at 11:30 and walked down the block the slightly-less-than-a-mile... and discovered a queue that nearly went around the adjacent building. Nearly. The sign at the front of it asked patrons to have printed out their e-tickets (No, not like the old Disney "E" tickets) before approaching the box office, which meant, yeah, most of the folks in line would have already paid for their tickets, like us. No cutting for us! Dangit!

But the queue began moving right around 12, and it wasn't long before we were finding our second-best seats, which were slightly-left-of-center, just behind the rail. I got myself a complimentary cup of soda water, and when Stephen trekked out to hit the can, he made it through the concessions line pretty quickly, too. I mean, kudos to Laemmle NoHo, for having their act together today. I imagine that they'll have the most business this weekend that they've had in quite some time.

And now for your spoiler-free review. No, wait. Before I tell you MY experience, let me pause for a short rant. *** There are entirely too many people (trolls) out there in the media and social media and the internets and the YouTubes who are posting VITAL information about this movie. EVERYWHERE you turn, there are articles and videos about "what you missed the first time you saw Endgame" or "3000 Easter Eggs you didn't notice", etc. STOP IT, "news" sources and other "fans". Everyone who wants to see this film wants to take it in for themselves. No one wants to know who lives or who dies by the end, before getting to see it happen on that giant screen. *** End rant.

So, here's what happens: um, NO. IF you saw #AvengersInfinityWar, then you know some very important information about what you're expecting or hoping will happen in #AvengersEndgame. If you DIDN'T see Infinity War, then do you seriously have interest in Endgame? What are you even doing? Move along, little dogies, move along.

Okay, back to what I was saying. Infinity War was a rough watch. It was violent and brutal and so many people that we fans of the MCU have come to know and love DIE in it. After watching it on the big screen, I walked away ANGRY (and sad). I did NOT want to hear what any pundits thought might happen next. I did not want to watch it again. That said, over the course of this last week, Stephen and I have been binge-watching (in order) every Marvel movie that had #InfinityStones plotlines, so that we'd be caught up by today. We did watch Infinity War a second time, and while I still hated the outcome, at least I wasn't angry this time around.

Endgame starts pretty much where Infinity War leaves off, and then we jump forward five years to see how the survivors are doing. When Scott Lang finds them (which you've seen in the trailers), they form a plan to attempt to unravel all the bad stuff created by that douchecanoe twatjuice dickwhistle Thanos. So the bulk of this film is coming up with a viable plan and then acting on it. There's some fighting. There's some remorse. There's some really funny shit.

We laughed a lot. We cried a lot. There are successes and obstacles. And we (the audience) stick with the heroes, hoping and wondering and wishing and cheering through all the trials. And there are still sacrifices to make, and we the audience mourn those choices as well. There are a ton of cameos by people we haven't seen for some time (they do time-travel, as you know from the trailers). So the end credits sequence is stunning, giving credit for all of the cameos, including a couple that may have ended up in cut scenes (so look for them in the DVD/Blu-Ray editions, like we'll be doing, kids). There is no mid-credit scene. There is no end-credit scene. There is only the movie.

We liked it. All of the MCU films have led to this one, and while it feels like "closure", I can't imagine that the stories are all wrapped up. I do hope to see more of my Marvel heroes going forward.

As for my other catching up, I've been keeping busy with classes at the Conservatory, and classes that will culminate in five live performances at the Hollywood Fringe Festival, and volunteering at both the SAG Foundation and at the Conservatory,

Father Ted cast and Director
(I played Mrs. Doyle, the housekeeper)
Deuterostomes Director and Gloria + Gloria's voice
AND shooting both a multi-cam sitcom scene for a USC student and the voice of Gloria, the most intelligent being in the galaxy, who also happens to be a worm in a jar, for an AFI student film. Both of those were great fun to do, and I think I made some pretty good connections. We'll see.

I created a professional actor's website, and I've been recording kid lit audiobooks for the nieces and nephews. Then, after a great VO class, I re-recorded them, and I've been going crazy with those recordings. They're not sweetened with music or sound effects, but they are "clean" recordings of me reading to littles. You can take a listen here, if you like.

I need to get back to Jo-Ann Fabric for more yarn. I sent the Easter baskets out to the two families of young children in my family, and then while I was on the sci-fi set, I built myself a craft bag. I quite enjoyed that, so I think I may make more of those.

Oh, and yes, I'm still eating Keto, as well as doing daily yoga. I haven't yet shed a lot of weight, but five pounds did budge within the first two weeks of those practices, so I'm confident that I'll shed another five to ten pounds, and get pretty strong again. Doesn't hurt that I'm also trying to hit 10,000 steps most days, also. The Achilles tendonitis is gone/healed/cured. I feel pretty good!

So what about you? Have you seen all of the MCU films? What did you think? Any other catching up in YOUR life you'd like to chat about?

Friday, April 5, 2019

Keto and The Movies

I've been *trying* to "do" Keto, which means I'm nearly eliminating carbs from my diet whilst also eating A Lot more fat, and a reasonable amount of protein.
In order to *try* to "do" Keto, I've been reading every nutrition label, for fat/protein/carb grams, not necessarily ingredients lists... oh, who am I kidding? I have been reading ingredients lists forever. That ain't stoppin'. I've also been watching a ton of YouTube videos. My favorite Keto channels are Keto Connect and Dr. Ken Berry. There are a few others, but those would be one-offs, for me, at least.

The more videos I watch, the easier I find the Keto lifestyle to adopt. Some of the Keto Connect videos are "shopping at ______" (places like Costco and Trader Joe's, and others where you might shop), as well as reviews of pre-made Keto products (which don't matter to me at all) and recipes for fat bombs. MMMMMM, #FatBombs.

So I've been shopping. I recently discovered the Costco Business Center, as you know, and I was able to make a trek there yesterday for EVERYTHING I needed, without facing a #WalkingSamplingLunch at either the Costco Warehouse or Trader Joe's. Aaaaand I arrived home with my groceries just as Stephen was arriving home from work, which meant #BONUS, I wouldn't have to carry his ten pounds of carrots or the ten pounds of ground beef upstairs, alone. (I bought more than that, but those were the two "heavy" items).

Once everything was in the apartment, I set to combining the ten pounds of ground beef with the four pounds of ground pork, so I'd have plenty of high fat ground meat... balls. Lemme tell you, combining two high-fat meats that are also very cold from the refrigerator is #NotFun. There were multiple times when I had to use my fingers as spatulas to scrape the fat off my hands. YUCK! I don't mind eating that fat. At all. But having it coat my hands and fingers like gloves was just #Gross.

In the end, because it was so gross, and not easy work, and I'd been standing relatively still for so long in the kitchen (which gave me a back twinge), I only made 32 slightly-under-4-ounce meatballs. The other half of the ground meat got moved into freezer bags and are now living in the chest freezer.

My work, complete (well, almost)

Still 2#s of pork!

Thassalotta meatballs! 

Still 5#s of boooof!

Yes, I used all of these bowls for mixing and shaping
🎶Clean up, clean up,
everybody clean up!🎶
Then I took a little break, rewatched some of the #FatBombs videos, and set to making too many of those. I had already made chocolate-peanut-butter bombs, and I wanted some savory bombs, but also maybe cheesecake?

So I made four "everything bagel on a pepperoni slice" stars, seventeen "pizza" balls, and then enough peanut-butter-cheesecake bombs to mold in my silicone tray plus a few extra balls coated in almond flour (the "crust"). I dig them all. And I've now watched enough videos and tried enough variations that I ought to be able to create my own, original bombs. #GoodTimes!


Sweeeeet! (But not tooo)


Today, Stephen and I went to see Shazam! (It's great - really fun - our favorite in the recent DCEU, or possibly sharing that spot with Wonder Woman)... and I dunno how you feel about seeing films in a theater without eating popcorn, but I was torn. Popcorn, no matter how much #RealButter you have them douse it in, is really not Keto.

But last week, we went to see Dumbo, which is really very good and hit us in all of the feels, including being too scary for young kids, probably. We recommend 8 as the minimum age. But also, we went ahead and got the full large combo, as we've always done, which comes with one free refill of corn and each of the beverages. We never get the beverage refills, but we always get the corn refill. And we'd discovered (when we saw Captain Marvel) that you can get your refill immediately, before you even get your seat. So Stephen had his large popcorn without butter, and I had mine with lots. Aaaaand a large root beer.

Possibly because of changing my diet to "only eating when hungry/eating until full/intermittent fasting" (without even taking fat:protein:carb macros into account), last weekend's large corn and soda affected me physically. Badly. I felt bloated for hours. I may have been constipated. I'm pretty sure I was sluggish. It wasn't pretty, and I didn't like it. Loved the movie; hated my physical person.

So today, before we even left the apartment, I made sure to eat a coupla #FatBombs, finish my tea, and brush my teeth. Then, when we got to the concession stand, enough time had passed for me to feel satiated. I asked if they had unsweetened soda. The dude wasn't sure that I was asking for soda water, but when he confirmed that they did, in fact, have that, he offered me the complimentary cup. Perfect. SMALL, but enough. So Stephen got a medium combo for himself, and we went in and enjoyed the hell outta the movie. Shazam! (in case you forgot)

I never once felt like stealing a kernel! And when the movie was over, I'd sipped more of my soda water than I ever really drink of my root beer, so I needed to empty my bladder before walking home. By the time we arrived here, I was ready to eat again, so YAY! Coupla slices of bacon, a crumbled meatball, some garlic spread, some ricotta, a little yellow squash and baby bell pepper, a lot of fresh spinach and basil, a handfull of black olives, some turmeric and paprika. Amazing.
I ate half of what I prepared. This is for the next time I'm hungry, I 'spose

I feel good, and I'm learning. Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks?

Have YOU tried a new-for-you lifestyle change that you struggled with for awhile but eventually got the hang of? /struggled with long enough to give up? /are struggling with NOW? Hit me up in the comments below! Let's chat about it!

Monday, April 1, 2019

I am the April Fool

Ya know how, when you're really working on #SelfImprovement and #PersonalGrowth and all that other newfangly shit, and you #SetIntentions for your day, and then #AprilFoolsDay shows up and throws everything outta whack? You DON'T? Well, aren't you #Blessed, you #HoityToityLittleAssWipe? Kidding. I kid. I have just had a day today, so I'm a bit #Frustrated.

Here's your backstory:

  • I've been getting out of bed fairly earlyish for the past coupla weeks to do yoga or stretching or squats or other highish intensity but low impact workouts
  • I've been eating a Ketogenic diet, which improves (recipes and intermittent fasting get easier) after every three or four YouTube videos I watch as education
  • I've been reading #SelfImprovement and #PersonalGrowth books, just for FUN!
  • I've been attending an acting/business class on alternating Sundays, and we're working towards performances at the Hollywood Fringe Festival in June
  • I've been attending film festivals, just for FUN (and "networking", which honestly sucks ass at places like film festivals, mostly)
  • I've been cast in a USC production of a multi-cam sitcom, as part of a class
  • I've been volunteering at both the SAG-AFTRA Foundation and Conservatory, in addition to attending classes/events at both
  • I've been walking more, aiming for at least 5k steps per day, and not saying "no" to 10k
So now, onto TODAY!

Over the weekend, the student who is directing our multi-cam comedy scenes emailed us all, asking for availability for one last rehearsal. Having not heard a concrete confirmation of our timeslot, I drove over to USC today, to discover a different group of people in our space, and none of my people present at all. I rechecked the email half a dozen times. MONDAY, until 2 p.m. Another student walked out of that room, and I asked her how long they were in there for - Three-Thirty P.M.! So I bailed. We hadn't gotten the slot we wanted, and no one informed us, and I was the only idiot who drove out there anyway. In costume. With props. And fat bombs (it's a #KetoThing).

No big... it's close to where my friends live, so I'll just pop in to see them.

NOT. He's at work, and she's in Santa Monica. Shit. Guess I'll drive home. Oh, wait, here's a Trader Joe's; lemme pick up some groceries... squash, berries... wait, no, they're more expensive here than at my TJ's, so I guess I'll just have my yogurt with coconut. Still Keto; no big deal... coconut, yogurt, bag of apples and 3 smallish, not-quite-ripe bananas. Perfect. Also, I'm feeling a bit peckish right about now, so I'll just eat those fat bombs, which didn't really survive the (hot) underground parking. Messy! But tasty, and enough to cut the edge of my hunger from my 17+ hour fast. But oh, so messy!

Get it all home and only carry up the crap I'd taken to USC. Second trip up from the car to discover Stephen's got apples out the ass. Welp. Whatevs; now he's got more. Eat those apples, Stephen! FORGOT to carry up more cans of sparkling water, and I definitely need some! (Brought 'em up after taking the shopping bags back down, yo.)

But I also need to get some steps in, and walk off this funk I'm in, and plug in my phone, which no longer wants to connect to the portable charger (it's probably just the cord, but still)... so I attempt to change one last watch battery, so I can at least have a concept of the time while I'm out. The one battery that "took" is in a watch that is slowly-but-surely losing its band. Possibly quickly-and-surely. I don't want to risk wearing the one watch that works and then losing it to gravity! The other two watches that I have replacement batteries for... just don't want to work, #FFS. So I gently gather up the last watch, for which I still need to buy a fresh battery, and decide to walk to the watch battery store!

But a handful of times on my walk, my left knee decides to remind me of my ol' football injury (it actually happened on the set of Teen Wolf, a tearing of meniscus on a weekend so I never followed up or filed a claim, waaaaaaaay back in the day!)... and I almost bail on the walk at all, multiple times. The reason I don't bail, of course, is because CVS! They'll have the battery I need! 

But they don't. And I discover that I've already checked their battery stand for the one I need. I've been over it with a fine-tooth comb, as it were. That doesn't stop me from whippin' out my comb again today! I've just limped 3k steps to not find what I need!

Dude who works there offers to help me find it, but he knows, as I do, that there's no joy to be found today at CVS. He does offer a paltry solution: Sears. They fix watches, as well as carry the obscure batteries. Sears? Are you fucking kidding me? Aren't they completely out of business yet? Should I just check at a K-Mart jewelry counter? Or Wal-Mart? Or Tarzhay?

Ennyhoo. No rehearsal. No hangin' with friends. No watch battery. Pain in my knee. But my walk home takes me by an amazing ice cream shop, where I can indulge in an almost-Keto malted shake.

Except that the ice cream shop isn't open before 3, and despite it being after 3, I still can't get in. So fuck them. At least I'm volunteering at the Conservatory tonight! I will have gotten my minimum of 5k steps, and it's a class I won't have to pay too much attention to, so I can prop my leg up and finish the Easter baskets I crocheted for the niblings, or work on my lines for my part, or something. 

And then of course the class tonight got cancelled, and no one told me. But I did find out before I drove all that way! And I got the follow-up email in my fully-charged phone (once home) about the rehearsal, which is NEXT Monday (which it did say in the original email but somehow I missed in forty-seven readings). 

It's now 6:00 in the evening on April Fools' Day, and while not one soul pranked me, I think maybe the Universe did. What a day.

How was YOUR April Fools' Day? Did you survive it intact?

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Walking to Costco

Yes, I got my bespoke orthotic insoles. Yes, I got not one but TWO new pairs of New Balance walking shoes, with the removable insoles and the untwistable heelcups (unless you're a serious weightlifter or something and not an "average" joe, like I am). Yes, my Achilles Tendonitis has officially healed, and I'm back to walking at least 5,000 steps a day, at a fairly quick pace (3 - 3.5 mph, if I'm alone).

Way back when, when we used to live in Burbank, I would occasionally (to somewhat frequently?) decide to walk to my nearby Costco Warehouse. It wasn't a huge great distance, but it was far enough that if I were going to shop (and not just attend my #WalkingSamplingLunch), I would plan to buy one thing at most, since I'd have to carry it home in my arms. So, ya know, a box of granola bars or maybe a coupla loaves of bread). Once we moved back to North Hollywood, that Costco Warehouse became a driving destination.

One day a week or more ago, I had no events or obligations on my day, and I discovered that the Costco Business Center is within walking distance (~5k steps in each direction). I knew that my favorite cases of V-8 that I used to get at the Burbank Costco Warehouse was supposedly still available at the Business Center, but I'd never looked into it, #BecauseLazy. But on this particular day, I figured I'd check it out, and get some steps in, besides. I did not know before setting out exactly how far away it was, and if I couldn't visibly see it by the time I hit 4500 steps, I had every intention of just turning around and going home. #BecauseLazy

So I walked up the one major street to the other major street, having to walk down a hill and then up again because of a railroad "tunnel"... deciding to choose a different route home due to that downhill/uphill dealio (#BecauseLazy)... and when I hit 4500 steps, I opened the Waze app in my phone, which told me I was .2 miles away, even though I couldn't yet see the warehouse. I continued on that coupla blocks, and found wonder and joy inside.

* I know that there are plenty of people for whom Costco shopping is an anxiety trigger. I am not one of those people, as you probably understand if you've read me much. I love shopping at Costco. At the Warehouse, I always do one lap of #WalkingSamplingLunch before I even bother getting a shopping cart! So I really didn't know what to expect at the Business Center. It did not disappoint. *

I came home that day to inform Stephen that we really needed to start shopping at both the Business Center and the Warehouse. The Warehouse has a Pharmacy, and Optical center, a Tire Center and gas station, and things that people need or want for themselves, like dog beds and cat trees, pillows and mattresses, clothing and books, jewelry and furniture, seafood and booze, and a #WalkingSamplingLunch. The Business Center is like a GIANT OfficeAndRestaurant Supply store. Yes, stuff is in bulk, or at least LARGER. Like, I own an immersion blender. It's a stick that fits into a cup. The immersion blender they sell at the Business Center is the size of a jackhammer. It fits into a cauldron. This is one example of the equipment they carry.

I was unable to truly impress Stephen with the wonder and joy of the Business Center until today, however. After we'd completed some standard-for-us morning stuff, like breakfast and yoga and internetting, he asked me, ever so casually, whether I had anywhere in particular I wanted to walk today. My response was no, just that I did want to get a walk in. As he had nowhere in particular to head, either, he agreed to give the long 10k round-trip a shot.

I showed him the immersion blender right away. At that point, he had an idea of what he'd be seeing. We walked through most of the store, not actually shopping, but making mental shopping lists. As we were leaving, he stopped to get the buck-fiddy hot dog and soda combo, and the nonfat yogurt fruit parfait. I did not eat, because I'm currently doing #Keto4Real, which is to say, I'm paying closer attention to what I eat and when, and frankly, having fasted yesterday because I wasn't hungry all day, it was very easy to rely on my breakfast this morning for the fuel to get me home, rather than just eating because it was "meal time" and there was food available. I'm honestly loving the intermittent fasting part of Keto. I only eat when I'm hungry, and I eat until I'm nearly full. It's great. Stephen, however, possibly due to the lack of a #WalkingSamplingLunch, and possibly due to not having had anything but coffee for breakfast, and possibly due to the energy expended getting there, ate the hot dog so quickly that I jokingly said, "I thought you ordered a hot dog" - to which he replied "nope, just sugarwater and sugarcream".

That was enough fuel to get him home; we actually walked quicker home than we had out. And I think we both felt satisfied or proud, maybe? that the walk to the Costco Business Center is worthwhile, especially if we just plan ahead of time to buy one small thing that we can't get elsewhere. If I ever have need for a jackhammer-sized immersion blender, I promise you that I won't walk to pick it up!

Do YOU have a favorite store that you love walking to? Do you have to limit your shopping when you're on foot, or do you take bags or a cart with you so you can stock up?

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Unexpected benefits of volunteering

So I've mentioned I volunteer for the SAG Foundation. I've also mentioned that I've been actively taking classes at the SAG Conservatory. Recently, I signed up for a class at the Conservatory to orientate (?) new volunteers there, and ended up getting added to the roster of volunteers as soon as that class session ended.

Just before March began, the schedule of all classes that needed volunteers was emailed out, and because I responded immediately, I was booked for 4 classes, two on the same day but with a long break between them, and then the other two later in the month. Then on the 1st of March, I got added to another class (which is actually tonight).

I was booked for work on set last week, on the day that I was scheduled to volunteer twice. So I had to "call out" and get a replacement. I know they replaced me for the evening class (I honestly knew beforehand that they would, because that instructor is my favorite, and that's probably a consensus amongst students there). I hope they found a replacement for the morning class. I was bummed that I had to miss both of those, because I'm nervous about my first time. I have to set up the camera and record all the sessions and then play those back and give people copies on their cards or drives, and although I took copious notes in the training sessions, technical stuff is not necessarily in my immediate wheelhouse, and I haven't had a chance to "practice". So wish me luck that I don't completely #FuckItAllUp tonight!

*** Also, #ICYMI (because I neglected to actually STATE it), #AnyDayOnSetIsAGoodDay and I'm #Blessed to have missed my volunteerism for work. #SetLife #WorkBegetsWork #WorkIsAGoodThing

Ennyhoo, let's get to the really good stuff - the title of this post!

At our very first orientation class (there were two, actually), we were shown upon arrival where all the goodies were kept. Snacks. Beverages. Folders and tins of mints and plastic luggage tags and notebooks with nice pens and phone chargers. SWAG (Stuff We All Get). Good, cool, free stuff, just for saying "yeah, you can have my time". I ended up with a few of those phone chargers. They're great when you're on a set that has limited electrical outlets. They work for both my phone and my tablet. It's awesome. #Grateful #GreatFull

Near the end of last week, an email went out to ALL of the volunteers looking for participants in an AFI student film "loop group". I have taken a few looping classes at the Don LaFontaine VoiceOver Lab at the SAG Foundation, so I (of course) immediately signed up to participate.

*Looping is the recording of voices for a film or show, done after principal photography, to either replace onscreen dialogue or fill in dialogue that wasn't shot on-the-day. It can be the background conversations of random people on the street or in the restaurant, or it can be PA announcements in a train station or hospital, or it can even be grunts, moans, and breathing. It can be a lot of things. It's all recorded at full volume, and then edited in very quietly. It adds to the scene we see, without overtaking it.*

At any rate, the six of us who replied most quickly were picked, and we showed up to a home studio in the middle of nowhere to record all of ^that^ kind of stuff for about an hour/hour and a half. The home studio was amazing. It made me a bit jealous (#TotesJelly), because it was so well constructed, and it exists in someone's house. Because it's a student film, none of us will be paid for our work. But we will all receive credit, and I'm going to find out whether that "day" "on set" counts towards my health eligibility. Because I think it might!

... And I wouldn't even have known about that opportunity (to practice looping, to network with other loopers, to network with up-and-coming filmmakers), had I not signed up to volunteer.

Now I just have to survive tonight.

What about you? Do you currently volunteer for anyone? What unexpected blessings have you received from it? Let's chat!

Friday, March 1, 2019

A back-pedal catch-up

I hate winter. I think y'all may already know that. I grew up in Miami, at a time when the Great Outdoors was just as good at watching your kids as the boob tube was. Maybe better. I dunno. Mommy didn't let us watch television, as a general rule (we had to ask to watch a specific show and could turn the set on as that show was starting), but boy howdy were we allowed to go outside and play. So, in Miami, it's always hot. ALWAYS. If you're a kid, you get used to that. If you get thirsty, you drink from the hose. You learn pretty early that on the hottest of days, you have to let the water run a little so you don't drink HOT water from the hose. But seriously, there's no such thing as winter in Miami.

After childhood, we lived in North Carolina. Where winter happens. And since it's East Coast, you still get high humidity, which means hot weather feels hotter, and cold weather feels colder. Did I mention that I hate winter? I think I did. In case you missed it, I hate winter. #ICYMI #IHateWinter

Now I live in "sunny" California. This is the view outside our front door, today, March 1st, at 3:30-ish p.m.:
It's not sunny today. It's cold (-ish). It's overcast. It's gloomy. It's #IHateWinter.

My POINT being (yeah, I know, get to the point already! Sheesh!) that when the weather begins cooling in the Fall, my body reacts like that of any warm-blooded mammal: I gain weight. I put on extra body fat, as if I'm going to hibernate. Part of my hatred of winter is a hatred of having to wear extra layers of clothing. Having to find clothing that still fits well, over the new layer of fat. Not being as active, because hibernation is a real thing.

So the real point is (I know, I know, this has all been a big tease. Shut up.) - at some point in late January, I decide to start walking more. I'll replace the battery in my nonFitbit thingy. I'll see if it'll talk to the app in my phone (it won't, but I still hold out hope). I start walking more.

In February, I made a concerted effort to add 1000 steps per day to my previous day's step count. It was hard, at first, because going from sedentary to a lot of steps in a week or so is hard, ya know? So I walked to the Y, figuring maybe I'd use the treadmill. I did. But the treadmill I tried out was non-traditional. It had a slope to it. It was self-propelled, rather than electric. I ended up walking only about 1000 steps on it. I'd find the sweet spot of where to walk, and it would somehow speed up. I'd lose my balance, grab the handlebars and step outta the sweet spot, and it would slow down (a lot). I gave up.

Also, I think I injured myself because it was so difficult.

A couple days after that trip to the Y, I was on set and developed a limp. My right Achilles tendon hurt, but only while walking. So I tried to walk as little as possible. But our holding space was uphill from the street level. The set was a different uphill from the street level. Craft Services was downhill from street level. The portajohns were a little hike down the street. Catering was a long hike down the street. I couldn't NOT walk.

It was a good day on set, overall, considering. But not what I was expecting. And then basecamp and crew parking were on an ungraded dirt lot. By the end of my day, I was in serious pain. Got home and found every remedy I could, and over the course of the rest of that week, I had applied them all. Heat. Ice. Elevation. Ace wraps. Epsom salt baths. Epsom salt foot soaks. Ibuprofen, of course. Topical analgesics. I bought a compression sleeve, Dr. Scholl's insoles, and a sturdy(-ish) OTC ankle brace. I tried a lot of things in conjunction with each other. The only thing that seemed to help with any regularity was the compression sleeve. I had a couple of days where I would try to walk, but my normal 3-3.5mph speed was drastically slowed to 2 mph. This is misery.

So I started walking by jogging on just the balls of my feet. I looked and felt silly, and also uncomfortable. No way I'm going to "jog" a couple of miles at 2mph! So I shifted. Left foot, step normally. Right foot pointed, land on toes first and gradually adjust the step to incorporate more of the foot. In fewer than 100 steps, I was back up to speed! Hallelujah!

But I didn't want to reinjure myself, so I popped in at a local Foot Doc. Made an appointment for a free consultation. Continued carefully taking longer and longer walks. At the consultation, I was advised to

  1. get rid of the insoles and brace. They were doing no good, and possibly harm
  2. keep wearing the compression sleeve, but for no more than 12 hours at a stretch. It's helping
  3. do specific stretches before getting out of bed and then throughout the day. (I gave up on these after about a day, because they're not easy, especially if you have to pee immediately upon waking and then the cats want belly rubs)
  4. ICE potentially throughout the day, but especially at bedtime (and then Don't Get Back Up). (This was hard at first because the ice pack leaked that first night. It's been easier with a re-freezeable gel pack in its own soft sleeve). No More HEAT!
  5. buy New Balance walking shoes, or at least something with a) removable insoles AND b) firm, unwavering, untwistable heel/ankle support. I love my cheap Filas that I got at Costco (#WalkingSamplingLunch, baby!), but they're completely wrong for a power walker, which I apparently am
  6. get orthotic insoles. He gave me a link to get GOOD ones off the rack, as it were, or suggested I come in to get fitted for bespoke. I now have an appointment for the bespoke
Basically, what he told me is yes, I may have injured myself on that weird treadmill. Also, I have very high arches. And scoliosis. And a longer right leg than left. And good posture for someone with scoliosis, high arches, one longer leg, and tendonitis. So I need to not exacerbate my condition. Walking is good for me. Powerwalking is fine. But not if I keep using the tools I had tried. So I'm gonna get custom orthotics, and probably some new sneakers. Sheesh.

And OH, I just remembered... in the month of February, I DID hit 20,000 steps one day. But I also stepped in a crack in the sidewalk instead of on it, and took a header. I'm grateful I didn't get a concussion or bite my tongue or break my teeth or jaw when my chin hit the sidewalk. It sure did hurt, though.
The evening of the day it happened. A slight scrape under my lip, but this lovely contusion just past the bone of the jaw

Today. There's still a little knot of flesh right at the front, but the bruise seems to have moved down to my neck?

... so that's just some of the catching up I wanted to give ya. Specifically in relation to "how many steps I took this month", wanting to work my way back into my beach-ready body, hurting my ankle, and hurting my chin, and all the ways those things relate to each other.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

I've been busy - how 'bout YOU?

I got sleepy in the middle of the day today, so I took a nap (read: snuggled the furbabies in a reclined position in the bed), and whilst there, I made BIG PLANS for a blog post today.

But I have too much to say. Too much to catch you up on. Too many feels!

So I'll just leave these little morsels here:

  • I'm happy and grateful that I get to make my living on set. My goal is to also make pension and health insurance every year, starting with this quarter. So, yeah! Three days of work per week! Let's do it!
  • I'm happy and grateful to be walking my body back to lookin' and feelin' great! Beach body before winter ends! Yeah! 5000 steps or more per day, please and thank you! Let's do it!
  • I'm happy and grateful to be in an acting class that covers not only acting or auditioning technique, but also technical stuff like websites. I HAVE A NEW WEBSITE! Check me out! Yeah! Self-promotion like a boss! Let's do it!
  • I'm happy and grateful that I'm actually reading for pleasure and growth. I recently checked out from my public library "Big Magic" by Elizabeth Gilbert and "The Slight Edge" by Jeff Olson, and I liked both of these books well enough to purchase copies for myself. Yeah! Read at least 10 pages of a good book each day! Let's do it!
  • I'm happy and grateful to be recording audiobooks (kid lit), so far just for the listening enjoyment of the niblings. Could it lead to a contract with a major publisher? Why not? So, yeah! Keep reading to the kiddos! Let's do it!
  • I'm happy and grateful to be on the roster of volunteers at the SAG-AFTRA Conservatory. This (school) year is the first time I've taken advantage of the tens of thousands of dollars' worth of acting/business education offered to union members at the low, LOW price of $45/year, and I've gotten so much out of it so far, I'm ready to "give back". Yeah! Help a sistah (or brotha) OUT! Let's do it!
There's still too much to tell you, and maybe I'll get to it tomorrow or the next day. I might be back on set tomorrow, so we'll see. But THIS post needs to be published before I head out to this evening's class, so... YEAH! WRITING MORE BLOG POSTS TO STAY IN TOUCH! LET'S DO IT!

How can it POSSIBLY get even better than this?

Wednesday, January 23, 2019


Last night, I had a “Princess and the Pea” moment. Typically, when I go to bed, I’ll pull the top pillow down to the foot(-ish) of the bed, and get in, lying on my back. Typically, I have to shoo Smokey and/or Cocoa off the covers and top sheet so that I CAN get in bed. The reason I lie on my back (at first recline) is for feline belly rubs.
Smokey comes up my right side, crossing or perching on my chest and ribcage 3 or four times before finally settling into my right armpit. I’ll start his belly rubs, while he rests his head on my diaphragm, watching Cocoa attempt to settle in on my left side. She wants to walk all the way up to my face, and if I reach for her At All (to scratch her head or whatever), she’ll back away toward my feet. She does this three or four times as well, sniffing or licking Smokey’s head in the process, and then she’ll eventually plop down (very ungracefully) against my left ribcage, throwing her back leg over my hand for optimal belly rubs.
Cocoa would honestly rather have me to herself, so she typically hounds me for her personal belly rubs throughout the day, or she’ll wake me (too) early for one-on-one snuggles. This means that she also tends to depart the bedtime belly rubs pretty quickly; within five minutes, Smokey has me to himself.
After ten or twenty minutes (just about when I’ve fallen asleep), Smokey will depart, as well. I don’t blame him; what’s the point of perfect belly rub positioning if you’re not actually getting your belly rubbed? Once I am sans feline, I’ll roll over to one side and curl up, semi-fetal position, and go to sleep for the night (until Cocoa decides to wake me {too} early).
Last Night, when I curled up, I felt a pain in my ankle. It wasn’t a sharp pain, but it did feel like, if I didn’t do something about it, I would end up with a stone bruise. On My ANKLE. So I lifted the pillow I use as weight on my feet, and discovered a mouse.

No, it wasn’t a live mouse. Nor was it a dead mouse. It was a stuffed catnip mouse. When the mouse was new, it was vibrantly colored and had a purple felt tail. It still has the bell or rattle or whatever it is inside it that makes it an appealing toy (the catnip doesn’t hurt its appeal). It no longer has its tail. The ears are frayed. One eye is frayed. Most of its surface is frayed. It seems to be leaking stuffing through its muted-in-color, no-longer-vibrant pelt. Stephen often calls it a FISH (because the ears look like fins, and it has no tail).
Smokey is ALLOWING me to photograph FishMouse
But it’s well-loved, and the bed is honestly the best place for us to store the most-well-loved toys belonging to the cats, so they don’t go “hunting” in the middle of the night, while we’re sleeping. They can “hunt” all they want during the day, as long as we remember to bring the toys to bed with us.
*note to self: don't forget to return FishMouse to the bed, when this is posted
At Any Rate… the bell or rattle or whatever’s inside that damn mouse felt like a stone. It wasn’t a pea at the bottom of the stack of mattresses, it was atop the covers but under a pillow. And it was bugging me, y’all.
#ImAPrincess #ImaFuckingPrincessYall #ImaFuckingPrincessAndDontYouEverForgetIt