Busy Time (or Scheduling Again)

I’m really starting to get a hang of having 2 part time jobs. It’s not easy, but it’s starting to make more sense in my life.

The recruiting job is going well. I’m still pretty much working from home all the time, and I’m starting to have more success at it. My boss is pretty happy with my progress, but I’m hoping I get much better at it pretty quickly. The money that I earn from successful calls would be really nice.

The box office job is going pretty well also. I’m still waiting on getting my own login information for the computer systems, but I’m able to borrow another person’s login for now so at least I’m able to do all the work I need to do. It’s still a bit weird to be doing some of the same work I’m used to doing but it’s still pretty different. I’m not pushing ticket sales as hard as I used to and there’s no pitch to join as a member. I’m also not feeling the same motivation to try to get people to buy more (or fancier) ticket because none of the sales in the box office are commissionable. But I’m sure that the box office will feel like normal very very soon.

And finally, my money situation is getting better. After taking my NYC trip, my savings account was pretty much wiped out. My unemployment was ending (because I was still using an old claim and it was almost done) and I didn’t know how much I’d be making at either job. At the beginning of this week, I didn’t know how I was going to manage to pay my rent at the end of the month.

But I got paid from my recruiting job (I missed the cutoff for the mid-month payroll at the box office job so I won’t get my first check there until the end of the month), I got my new unemployment started, and my tax refund came in. This all happened in 2 days. And I finally had my rent money in place (and was able to pay it early which I like to do).

I always say that somehow things fit into place for me. And I’m starting to have more hope that that is really how it will work out. I’m not sure how things will be next month, but maybe I’ll get more successful calls from my recruiting job or more hours in the box office. It’s all a little up in the air but it looking like a much more realistic lifestyle now.

Sorry if this is a somewhat boring post, but that’s where I am in life this week. But to add some excitement, here’s a set of photos my dad just sent to me. The top picture is Tucker when we adopted him and the bottom photo is Tucker yesterday (about 4 months later). He’s getting so big!!

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Passover (or A Family Reunion A Decade Overdue)

Monday evening was the first night of Passover. Even though both of my parents are Jewish and I went to Hebrew school for a few years, I don’t really celebrate any of the Jewish holidays. I went to a Passover Seder a few years ago that a friend did, but she and I were the only Jews there.

A little over a month ago, my mom was talking with her cousin who lives in LA and somehow I came up in conversation. My mom mentioned how I still live in LA and her cousin had no idea. I had seen her years ago, but she just thought that when I finished college I had moved away. So as soon as she realized I was still here, she invited me to Passover dinner.

I was really excited to get to see my second cousin again. The last time I saw her was right after my hip surgery, and I hadn’t seen her siblings (my other second cousins) in possibly over a decade. That’s a little ridiculous when we all live in LA.

I was a little nervous when I got there because I wasn’t sure how it would be with family who were practically strangers to me. But as soon as I walked inside, I was welcomed with open arms. My cousin Wendy, who was hosting the event, was so happy to see me again. She was asking me all about my life and as soon as other guests arrived, she made sure to introduce me to them right away so I didn’t feel left out.

My second cousins Randy and Craig were also there with their families. I had met Craig’s wife before but I don’t know if I had met Randy’s wife in the past. And I had never met any of their kids before, so I got to meet 4 new third cousins that I didn’t know existed!

Dinner was great. I was seated next to cousin Wendy so that was very nice. And I got to catch up with all the other family at the table. Also, pretty much everyone there was either in the entertainment industry or knew a lot about it so that dominated a lot of the conversation.

We did a semi-traditional Seder. We went over the Seder plate and the plagues and said some of the prayers, but we didn’t do a full Seder. But that gave us more time to catch up.

I had also brought the wedding album my mom made of Ross and Krystle’s wedding, so all my second cousins wanted to see that and see other family members (they haven’t seen anyone from my section of the family for a very long time).

Before I knew it, it was time for all of us to go home. I exchanged numbers and email addresses with my second cousins and I’m hoping that I can get to know them even more and make sure that it’s not another decade before I see them again.

But before we all said goodbye, I made sure we all got a picture together so I could show my mom.

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It was really an amazing evening. I feel like I’ve gotten to reconnect with a section of my family that had been lost to me in the past. I know it’s nobody’s fault that we all fell out of touch and hadn’t seen each other in forever. But I’m going to make it my responsibility to make sure that I get together with them more often now.

LA Times Festival Of Books (or Realizing I’m Only A Minor Book Nerd)

This past weekend was the LA Times Festival of Books at USC. I’ve always wanted to go to it each year, but I always seem to be working. A month or so ago, I saw something online about media passes for the festival and I decided to apply for it.

I had totally forgotten about applying for the media pass until last week when I got an email saying that I had been approved for one! I was already scheduled to work on Saturday, but I decided that I would go on Sunday and finally check it out.

I took the light rail there because parking was expensive (and I’m sure not too close to the event). When I sat down, I saw the perfect ad for my trip to the festival.

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The light rail stop was right across the street from the entrance to the festival, so that was very nice. I was able to find the media check in pretty easily and got my fancy media pass.

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I met up with a friend after getting my pass and she showed me around the festival. It was a little overwhelming, so I’m glad I had a friend guide me around. We checked out a bunch of the booths and the books for sale.

My media pass got me into any of the lectures that I wanted to go to, but I ended up not making it to any of them (plus all the ones I wanted to go to were on Saturday). There were also various stages with authors speaking that I didn’t need my pass to get in to.

I went to the young adult stage to see one of my favorite authors, Marissa Meyer, speak along with some other authors who specialize in young adult science fiction/fantasy.

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That was pretty awesome. I didn’t know the other authors but they were all amazing to listen to. I’m not usually a science fiction/fantasy fan, but Marissa Meyer’s series The Lunar Chronicles really got me. The books are science fiction retellings of classic fairy tales in a dystopian society.

After the authors were done speaking, they were all signing books. I got in line so I could meet Marissa Meyer and I noticed how unprepared I was for the signing. Almost everyone in front of me in line had suitcases full of books to be signed. Multiple copies of each book from every author. Since all my books are pretty much on my Kindle, I didn’t have a physical book to have signed (and I didn’t want to get my Kindle signed like some people in front of me in line did). I realized that I was a pretty poor book nerd not having anything to get signed.

But I did have my media pass so when I got to the front of the line I asked Marissa to sign the back of my pass.

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The line for the signing took a little over an hour. And once I got my pass signed I was feeling pretty tired from being out in the sun for so long (and it turns out I got pretty badly sunburnt as well). So I headed back onto the light rail and headed home again.

I had a really good time at the festival even though I wasn’t there for too long. But I will totally be returning next year (and making sure that I don’t have to work that weekend)!

Full Day At The New Job (or Seeing My Old Workplace Abandoned)

On Saturday, I worked a full show shift in the box office. The day before, I only worked a few hours. Saturday was an 8 hour shift (technically 7.5 since I had to take a 30 minute lunch).

This was my first full work day away from home since I was laid off. While it was weird trying to get everything together before I left for the day, since I was going to a place I’ve worked before it wasn’t too bad. I even remembered to pack a lunch (something that I had trouble with when I worked in telesales).

I also got a better idea of what the workday would be like for me in the box office. I’m happy to see that there is downtime because when you work the will call box before a show, it’s a little crazy. Especially when you can’t find the tickets for people.

But again, the people in the box office are being super patient with me and are more than willing to help me with all the weird stuff I’m trying to get used to. I really feel like people there are happy to see that I’m back, and that is really helping with coming back to a place where I was laid off.

During one of those downtime moments, the box office manager and I were chatting about something random and she mentioned how they use magnetic to stick notices to the box office door. I said that I was pretty sure that I left some magnets at my desk in the trailer that I worked telesales in. So the box office manager handed me her keys and sent me over there to see if I could find any.

It was very very weird to go back into the trailer. I had been there one time after being laid off when my boss was still there (I think it was only a week after being laid off). The last time, everything was still there but there were boxes everywhere. This time, it looked like a ghost town inside.

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I actually texted that picture to my ex-boss because it seemed so sad inside. They are tearing down the trailer soon so this was probably the last time I was going to go inside it.

But I did find my magnets still stuck to my whiteboard above where my desk used to be!

I showed everyone in the box office that picture and they all agreed that it looked very sad inside the trailer. But it was a nice closure on the telesales job. I’m actually enjoying working in the box office and being able to interact more with customers and my co-workers. I’m still hoping to get more hours there so I won’t have to worry about finding yet another day job (and when would I have time to fit that in?!?), but that’s being worked on.

Overall, I’d say my first full day shift in the box office was a success! And yes, I dressed properly for the job this time.

2 Jobs 1 Day (or What My New Normal Might Look Like)

On Friday, I had my first shift back at my old job (but in a new job position). I also worked my new job in the morning. It was a lesson in how I need to start managing my time a new way (again).

On Friday, I actually had to go into the office for my first job. I was doing some personal organizing work for the business so I spent my 4 hour shift going through files and throwing out paperwork that was outdated or able to be found online. Not the toughest job to do, but it seemed endless (I got one drawer done in 4 hours and there are 2 more to go still). I was able to start earlier than I usually go in so I would have enough time between my jobs. I wanted to give myself more time than I would usually have because I wasn’t too sure how it was going to work out.

I had about 2 hours to get changed and ready to go to job #2. It was a little weird feeling going back as an employee, but everyone who works in the box office was so happy to see me again. I was greeted with a lot of hugs and people saying how much I was missed.

I didn’t get started on the best foot in the box office. First of all, I was dressed incorrectly. When I used to work at shows, the dress code was dressy. So I guessed the box office was the same. I wore nice black pants and a dark blue top. Turns out, black tops are kind of a requirement. So I was told that it was ok since I didn’t know better, but I needed to dress properly for future shifts (after working on Friday, I ordered a couple of dressy black tops on Old Navy so I would have something appropriate to wear).

While working in the box office is similar to what I did in telesales, it’s pretty different. Orders are taken a different way and things that I was used to doing have to be changed because the box office is the final step in order taking. In telesales, we used to turn in our orders to the box office so I didn’t have to do all the steps. There are also side work things that I’ve never had to do before. I’m trying to remember it all, but fortunately everyone understands that the box office is different from what I’m used to so they are all very patient with me.

I ran the will call window at the show, and I was lucky to start on a slow night. It still seemed pretty fast paced to me, but I will get to ease into the craziness that is working a box office during a show.

I also had the chance to talk with the box office manager about what types of hours I need so I don’t have to look for a third job. She’s going to try to accommodate my schedule, but that won’t happen for at least 2 more weeks since the schedules have already been set (unless someone is sick and I will fill in).

My first shift in the box offices was a short one, so it went by very quickly. And I have to say that it wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected it to be. It can be a bit more low-key than telesales since I don’t have to think about making phone calls every second of my shift. There’s a little downtime between calls from customers or handling will call so that’s nice.

I’m actually pretty optimistic that I will be able to handle the two job days without too much stress. Hopefully that is how it all works out.

I’ve Got Some Follow Through (or I Said I’d Do It So I Did)

Yesterday, I mentioned that I needed to start scheduling things to do after my work day so I would get out of my house. I also mentioned that I needed to get back to SoulCycle.

Want to take a wild guess what my after work thing was yesterday evening?

Yup, I went to an after work spin class.

I’ve actually never taking a spin class after working. I’ve done one in the middle of a split shift once. But other than that, every spin class I’ve gone to was either before work or on a non-work day. And I’ll say, an early evening class is very different from a morning class.

I had to be pretty careful with how I ate during the day. I wanted to have enough energy for class, but I don’t like to work out if I feel full. I thought that I had planned a decent meal day for me, but I learned that I need to eat something a little closer to class time. Yesterday, I had a serving of chocolate milk about 90 minutes before class. That’s what I normally have before going to a morning class as well. But I was starving during the class.

None of the instructors that I usually go to teach at the studio during the times I was looking (I went to a 5:30pm class), so I had to try someone new. This instructor’s name was David, and it really was a great class.

It was super hard, but I’m wondering if part of that was my crazy hunger and my hip pain. I did managed to stand up on the bike for about 90 seconds during a hill section, but besides that I stayed seated for the class. I did also do all the arm work with 2 pound weights. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but trust me, they get heavy! I started with 1 pound weights and doubling the weight has made things tougher (but I think I’m getting stronger too).

The best thing about SoulCycle for me is since it’s only 45 minutes, time seems to fly by (and I’m aware that if you hate working out that sounds crazy but it’s true). And I got a pretty good calorie burn for my workout as well.

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I have a bunch of stuff going on this weekend (including returning to my old job) so I’m not too sure if I’ll make it to spin class this weekend. If I do, it will be another odd time for me. I like my usual Saturday afternoon class with Heather, but this Saturday I’m working during that time.

But at least I have another instructor that I’m comfortable with and if I’m not working evenings back at my old job, I can probably fit this class in more regularly.

New Routine Time (or Time Management At Home)

Now that I’m spending 4 hours each day working from home, I’ve gotten into a bit of a routine. But this routine isn’t necessarily a good thing.

Because I’m still dealing with some hip pain, I’m not out doing a lot of stuff each day. I also haven’t returned to spinning yet. I know that I need to get that back into my schedule soon.

I’m pretty much working from 10-12 and then again from 1-3 each day. After 3, I try to go out and do something, but that’s not always working out. I tried the other day to drive over to Griffith Observatory (not to hike, just to be out and enjoy the view), but traffic was so horrendous that after driving for over an hour and not even being half way there, I just turned around.

Soon, I’ll start working back at my old job again for some evenings and weekends (I’m working this Friday evening and Saturday all day). This will be a sporadic thing, so I’m still looking for job #3.

But the part of my routine that I need to break now is the fact that I’ve found out that if I don’t make an effort, I can spend my entire day at home and not go out at all. This happened yesterday in fact.

I need to start making more plans for my afternoons and evenings. I won’t necessarily be able to have regular plans since my hours at my old job will be random, but I will know my schedule a week in advance so I can try to go out and have some (hopefully free) fun.

I’ve gone through the issue of getting into a good routine a lot in the past, and I just have to do it again. It’s not a horrible thing, but I’m glad that I noticed as soon as I did that the new routine that I’ve gotten myself into isn’t a good one (or at least one that I should be doing on a regular basis).

I’m still hoping to get back into acting classes soon, but money is beyond tight right now. Because of all the unemployment I collected last year, I owed money on my taxes. I had enough to pay it, but after paying a few of my monthly bills, I’m almost out of money. I will get paid from my new job next week, but it won’t be enough for my rent. I’m not sure how I’m going to figure this all out, but just like before, I know that somehow it will.

Maybe before the end of the month I’ll be able to find another new job and then I can add that into my new routine.

In the meantime, if anyone has any fun and free things that they like to do in LA (and hopefully are close to the westside so I don’t have to drive super far), I’d love to hear your suggestions. I need to start booking up my afternoons!

More Hip Problems (or Thinking Out Of Order)

After my 5K, my right hip was pretty wrecked. I could barely walk, and when I did my hip kept locking and I couldn’t put my right foot flat on the ground (I was walking on the outside edge of my foot).

This terrified me. I was taking all my usual painkillers, but by Sunday things had just gotten worse. I could only walk if I was balancing against a wall and not putting much weight on my right side.

All this time, I assumed that the next part of my journey with my hip issues would be to have the surgery on my left hip that has already been done on my right. And then the steps after that would eventually be hip replacements. That’s pretty much the order that things were explained to me. In fact, my surgeon didn’t think I would make it 5 years after my first surgery before I needed the surgery on my left side (this was almost 8 years ago).

So for forever, I’ve been cautious about how my left hip felt. I got nervous with any pain and if things just didn’t feel right.

I never thought that maybe the next step in my surgeries would be on my right side again.

I talked to my parents about it and we all thought that I should wait to see if the pain went away on its own. It’s now Tuesday as I type this and while the pain isn’t gone, it has gotten better. I’m not rushing to make an appointment with my surgeon just yet, but I’m thinking differently now.

I have another 5K coming up this month and I’ll see how I feel after it. Maybe it was just this one 5K with the long time standing still and the elevation changes that made me hurt so bad. Maybe it was because I wasn’t prepared for the hills (like I am with the weSPARK 5K).

It has just thrown me since for so long, I’ve tried to ignore any pain I feel on my right side. I’ve almost considered having some pain normal now. I know that things aren’t exactly how they should be in my body and to me, expecting pain doesn’t seem weird. But now I’m going to pay way more attention to all those twinges of pain.

They could be a sign that I might need my next surgery on my right hip sooner than I hoped (I really didn’t want to have to have a hip replacement before I turn 40 and that’s kind of what my surgeon said to me as well). There’s not much I can do to prevent all of this. I just have to accept it as it is (which I have done) and know what’s best for my body.

Now I’m glad I didn’t make a goal of a certain number of 5Ks for this year so I can focus on low or no impact workouts (like spinning).

Bar Food Hangout (or A Quick Friend Catch Up)

As I mentioned before on here, my friend Kate moved back up to Northern California for an awesome job. It sucked that she moved away, but I understand having to do something for a job that you love.

She finally got a new apartment and she had to come down to LA to get the rest of her stuff. The plan for me originally was to go and help her move things into a van after doing the 5K, but since I was in so much pain (and she had enough help), I decided to just join in for the dinner portion of the day.

I have to say that I totally forgot to take photos of my meal, so I’m sorry. But, as always, I ordered a Dirty Shirley. We also ordered some food for the table and I got some mac and cheese.

But the highlight of the evening wasn’t the good food, it was the good company. Kate’s boyfriend also made the trip down so it was great to get to chat with him some more. And everyone else at the table was someone who I had already met, so that was awesome as well. In fact, two of the girls at the table and I all got season tickets for the Pantages Theater together.

We were at Bar Food for several hours just chatting about everything and nothing at the same time. The food was all great, but I’m sad to say that the service kind of stunk. People who ordered non-alcoholic drinks were charged for alcoholic drinks (and the manager claimed that she put alcohol in them). We also had things we ordered not come to the table until we prompted the waitress and the wrong dessert was brought over to the table as well. And when it came time for the bill, the waitress made it so much more complicated than it needed to be.

I joked that the service was a sign that this was the end of the good times at Bar Food. I’m sure some of the other people will go again (since they live super close to it), but I think unless I’m doing something in that neighborhood I probably won’t be going back.

Now that Kate’s getting settled in her new apartment, I’m getting excited to visit her in the future. I’m not sure when I’ll be going up, but my summer is starting to get filled with fun weekend adventures so I hope I’ll be planning that soon.

Hollywood Half 5K (or Not Starting Off My 2014 5Ks In The Best Way)

My first 5K of the year was this past Saturday. I had been looking forward to this for a while, but it ended up not being so great.

It started out on Thursday when I went to go pick up my bib number. I didn’t get my number for last year’s race because my friend Kate was doing the 5K as well and got both of our packets for us. So I didn’t know quite what to expect at the expo. Well, it was crazy! It took me about an hour to find parking, and once I got inside, there were so many vendor booths. I’m used to just going to a place where you pick up your number and that’s pretty much all that’s there. But this place had a ton of people inside and so many things for sale. I tried to get my number and shirt quickly and head out (I had parked at a meter and didn’t pay for a lot of time). Of course, as soon as I got back in my car, I had to get a selfie with my race number.

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On Friday night, I tried to go to bed early and I set multiple alarms to make sure I would get up in time.

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Fortunately, I woke up about 2 minutes before the first alarm, so that was pretty awesome. I hate waking up to the jarring sound of an alarm clock! I had a little bit of chocolate milk before leaving (I found that that’s easy enough on my stomach and I need to have a little something so I could take my painkillers) and I headed out the door.

Getting to the recommended parking lot wasn’t so great. They actually ended up blocking off the street right before you could turn into the lot. But I followed some other cars, made a couple of legally questionable u-turns, and was finally able to make it into the parking lot (I have no idea why they told us to park there if you couldn’t legally drive into the lot).

I got to the start line at about 5am. The race was set to start at 6 and it was very clear on the website that nobody was allowed to start after 6:15 so I wanted to make sure I was there nice and early.

I hung out around the start line for a bit.

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And then I saw a friend of mine (who is also a blogger) who was going to be a course angel for the 1/2 marathon.

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As a course angel, she raced to mile 9 and they stayed there and cheered on all the runners as they passed her. Then, after the last runner went by, she continued running her race.

After chatting with my friend for a minute, I realized that it was 5:40 and I should head back to my corral. I somehow moved up a couple of corrals compared to last year, but since I figured there might be runners behind me, I made sure I was on the very side (so I would be out of the way).

6am came, and nothing seemed to happen. For the next 20 minutes, my corral never moved forward. We had no idea if the race had even started. All that standing around was starting to hurt me, but I tried not to focus on that.

Finally, we started to move up. At 6:30am, we still hadn’t started yet.

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That was my best attempt of getting a picture of my watch (saying 6:29) and showing how far away we still were from the start line. We finally started around 6:35am and as soon as we got going, I realized that the course had been changed.

Last year the course was out and back (although the start and finish line were not in the same place). According to the website a few days before the race, that’s exactly what the race was supposed to be this year.

But as soon as we started, we turned a corner and walked down a side street (it was a slight downhill incline so we had to do the uphill to go back to Hollywood Blvd.). We ended up doing a couple of those side streets and all of them had at least a little elevation.

I was definitely not happy about this. Right when I started, my right hip (the one that has already had one surgery on it) started to hurt. The elevation changes did not help at all. But I pushed through. It was not a pretty race for me at all. I did enjoy some of the cool costumes, though. This one was the absolute best.

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I crossed the finish line in 1:03.36. That’s about 6 minutes slower than what I was doing toward the end of last year. While I was happy that I finished, I was pretty pissed that I was over the 1 hour mark again.

But I was very happy to get my medal and loved that it was a new color this year.

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After the race, I took the subway back to the start line (so I could get my car) and starting chatting with a few of the other racers. A bunch of people were unhappy about the side streets and their elevation changes. And people thought the race seemed long this year.

I went home and looked to see if the new course had been put on the website, and it had through Map My Run.

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This is almost what we did (except it’s missing 1 of the side streets we had to walk up and back on ). Even with it missing the street, it’s still longer than a 5K. With that missing street added on, I bet it was closer to 3.3 miles. That would help to explain my longer time.

While it wasn’t my best race, I still did it. I’m not doing as many 5Ks this year, so I’m being pretty selective about which races I sign up for. Right now, I’m unsure if I’ll do this one again next year. I’ll probably end up signing up for it because it is a fun event and people there are pretty nice.

My next 5K is a charity walk for the March of Dimes. And today happens to be the 5 year anniversary of Heather and Mike Spohr’s daughter, Maddie, passing away. I’m walking in memory of Maddie for this 5K and I’m hoping to raise some money for this event. If any of you could donate anything, I know that it would go a long way. And if you are in the LA area and want to join us, please feel free to join the team. All that information is on this link.