Monthly Archives: September 2013

Another Spa Adventure (or A Belated Birthday Celebration)

I mentioned back in June that my friend Kate turned 30. For her birthday, I told her that I would take her to Burke Williams. Somehow, time got away from us and the summer went by without us going to the spa. But now with me unemployed again my schedule was nice and open and we finally went to the spa this past Friday!

We went to the Burke Williams in West Hollywood, which is where I went to the Spa Night Out event earlier this year. And I finally got to get the anti-aging facial that I won at the event!

As soon as we entered these doors, we were in spa paradise.


I had learned from when I went to the Burke Williams in San Francisco that you want to get to the spa nice and early so you can enjoy all the amenities. Kate and I got to the spa about an hour and a half before our treatments. We first had a tour of the spa (I only saw parts of it at the event and Kate had never been there before). Then it was time for relaxation!

First we went into the hot tub. They had aromatherapy wash cloths next to the hot tub so we both grabbed those and sat back and relaxed. We also spent some time just chatting and catching up (fortunately there weren’t a bunch of people there so we didn’t feel bad talking). After the hot tub we went into the cold mist room. I hated the cold mist room in San Francisco, but in West Hollywood is was exactly what you would expect. There were chairs in there and you just sat back and let the cold mist fall on you. Next we tried the sauna, but I’m not a huge fan of dry heat. We were only in there for a few minutes. And then we went to the steam room. That was nice until the steam machine turned on and it was so loud! We decided to head out of there after that.

We still have plenty of time before our appointments so we did another cycle of the hot tub and cold mist room before walking out to the lounge area to wait to be called.

I’ve had facials before, but never an anti-aging facial (I still think I’m a little young to have to worry about that). But it was really fun. There were the traditional facial things (cleansing, facial massage, extractions, masque, moisturizing), but there were also two different peels. The first peel was very tingling. But I guess that’s how you know it’s working! The second peel didn’t tingle or burn at all. When it was all done, I did look a little red, but nothing too bad (I just looked like I had had a little sun).

It has been a few days and my skin looks amazing! I don’t know if this is something I will do on a regular basis (it’s a little out of my price range right now while I’m working on paying down my credit card debit), but it was a very nice treat!

Thank you Burke Williams for another amazing day! I’m so tempted to get the monthly membership just so I can enjoy the amenities there more often!

Busting Out Of A Funk (or Controlling My Happiness)

For some reason on Wednesday evening, I was in a very bad mood. It didn’t have anything to do with the game show, but I’m wondering if that triggered something in me. It was such high energy at the taping and then I came home to an empty house. And I was very hungry because my last meal was before leaving in the morning for the taping (there were snacks for sale there, but it was all junk food).

I ended up eating a dinner that I know that I should not have had. It was not within my calorie goal for the day and it was extremely high in sodium. I regretted it immediately, but what was done was done.

On Thursday morning, I weighed myself to own up to my mistake. My scale was up 8 pounds. Now I know that there is no way I gained 8 pounds with that meal (that would mean my meal was 28,000 calories). But even though I knew that with my head, my heart said something different.

So I spent Thursday morning in a bit of a funk as well. I stayed in bed late reading but I couldn’t get myself into a better mood.

Finally, I decided that I couldn’t wallow all day long. I thought about ways to make myself feel better, but nothing was making the memory of my scale go away.

I was playing with some of the new features on my phone when I thought of something. I had not taken measurements of myself since March. First of all, as an actor it is extremely important to always have updated measurements of yourself. You never know when you will be at Disneyland enjoying the rides when you get a text message from your agents asking for your exact hip measurements (true story). So I have my measurements on my phone in a note app.

But those measurements were done so long ago that I thought maybe they would have changed. So I got my tape measure out and did my measurements again.

And they all have changed! Since March I’ve lost half an inch off of my arms and legs, 1 inch off of my bustline, 1.5 inches off of the largest part of my stomach, and 2.5 inches off of my waist and hips! I know I’ve got a way to go, but it’s something! And while I feel like my scale might lie to me all the time, measurements are pretty accurate!

I will not be giving up on weighing myself. It’s something that I need to do to feel like I’m in control. But I will be trying to do measurements more often. Perhaps once a month. I need to do it for my acting career to give to potential jobs, but more importantly I need to do it to keep things in perspective. While I’m not getting smaller as quickly as I have in the past (or would like to), I am getting smaller!

Game Show Time (or Hoping To Make A Deal)

On Tuesday, a friend of mine posted that they needed some more girls to be in the audience for the game show “Let’s Make A Deal” on Wednesday. I didn’t have anything else to do, so I decided to try it out!

First though, a little game show background about me. I’ve appeared on two games shows. The first was called “On The Cover” in 2003 or 2004. I don’t think the show ever aired, and I don’t mind. I was horrible on it. I think I only answered one question correctly. Then in 2006 or 2007 I was on a show called “Camouflage”. I think I got second place on that show. And over the years, I’ve also worked for game show run-throughs (when they are practicing the show before they bring in real contestants). So I’m pretty educated when it comes to game shows.

Anyway, so yesterday I headed over to the studio for “Let’s Make A Deal” in the morning. I had to be there by 11am, but I got there around 10:30am and decided to line up. If you aren’t too familiar with the show, one of the things about it is that all of the audience wears costumes.

I went as Cupid.


I thought I looked pretty cute.

We all also had to wear nametags. We had to go by our legal names, so for the first time in forever, I was called Jennie instead of Jen.


We had to turn in our phones so I have no photos from inside the taping. I can tell you that I was not chosen for anything, so don’t worry about trying to watch the episode I was on. But I did have a lot of fun and was told that I could come back and hope to get on another show (I think I might just do that).

Overall, this was a really fun and exciting way to spend a day that I would have probably spent reading and being on my computer. Hopefully if I go back another time I will have a much more interesting story to tell!

Letting Go (or Technology Really Is Important In My Life)

I’ve had my iPhone 4 since Verizon got the iPhone (so just over 2 1/2 years). I love my phone. I’m a total Apple nerd. I’ve never owned a computer other than a Mac and I hated when I had my Blackberry (it never synced nicely with my computer). So the day that Verizon got the iPhone was the best day ever!

Lately, my phone has been very sluggish. And not just a little, a lot. For example, to go from reading an email to texting, it would sometimes like 2-3 minutes for the apps to switch. That’s not good. And the home button didn’t work most of the time either. So I’ve been waiting for the release of the newest iPhone before I upgraded.

With the release of the iPhone 5S, I knew it was time to upgrade. And yesterday, I finally did it.

I don’t have the easiest time letting go of certain things in my life. I wrote about my alarm clock not working perfectly months ago and I still use it! But I sucked it up this time.

I did have some minor panic attacks at the store. I was worried that something would get lost (even though I had just backed up my phone onto my computer). I thought maybe there would be a problem with upgrading my plan (there was, but only because I didn’t know the last 4 digits of my dad’s social security number). And I was worried that I would hate this change.

Fortunately, having a phone that works properly really has made some of the panic go away. I’m so happy that I can send a text or an email without it taking several minutes to go through. And I have a working home button on my phone again!

Sometimes, I do need the push to change my ways. I don’t know if it’s stubbornness, panic, or a mix of both. But when I do get pushed into change, it always seems to be for the better.

I only wish I could rationalize that it would be for the better while the panic attacks are going on.

Audition Friends (or The Kindness Of My Competition)

I had my commercial audition yesterday. It was pretty basic (I said my name and had to walk across the room). With these types of auditions it’s tough to know if you did a good job or not, but I left the audition happy which is the most I could hope for.

Before going to my audition and doing the last-minute shopping for the outfit I needed, I called my friend, Shey. Shey and I have been auditioning against each other for years. We became good friends when she and I both booked a music video. We are a pretty similar type so we jokingly call each other our evil twin. We still go in for a lot of the same parts, but I love having a friend in the waiting room.

I had called Shey first of all to see if she was also going to this audition (she wasn’t). I also wanted to see if she had any of the clothing or accessories this particular audition was asking for. She didn’t, but said that if she did she would have let me borrow any of it.

I love that someone who is technically my competition wants to see me succeed! And it goes both ways. I remember one audition where Shey’s agents had left the room number off of the directions they gave her. She texted me and of course I texted her right back to give her the information.

I figure that if a part is right for me, I’m going to get it even if I help my fellow actors.

So at yesterday’s audition, I was locking up my car when an actress wearing a very similar outfit to mine came up to me and asked me if I was going to the audition. I said yes, and she gave me the scoop on what to expect in the room.

That was so nice of her (and I hate that I forgot her name!)!

And while I was in the waiting room, one of the other actors had forgotten sunglasses (one of the accessories that the audition had asked for). I had a spare pair in my purse so I let her borrow one of mine.

I have to say that all the kindness in the audition really made my day. I don’t always meet such nice and kind people at auditions. I wish I did because I don’t see any reason to be catty or mean.

I sincerely hope that all of the people who were nice to me are the ones that I will see if I get a callback. I know that people say “it’s show business not show friends”, but I still think that kindness matters above all.

First Weekend Of Freedom (or Looking Back Before Moving Forward)

I’ve officially had my first days of unemployment, and I really am keeping busy!

On Friday, as soon as my work shift was done, I raced home to file for unemployment online. The sooner I get it in, the sooner it can be accepted (and I can stress a little less about paying my bills).

After that, I headed over to my friend Kate’s house for dinner. She’s dating a guy who lives in Colorado and had a couple of people over to have dinner and meet him. It was a fun group of people and we stayed pretty late chatting about lots of random things.

On Saturday, I helped out my friend Jennifer with some computer stuff for a couple of hours. Then I headed to Hollywood and the Directors Guild of America for a SAG-AFTRA Film Society screening. The film that was showing that evening was “Rush”. It was a pretty good movie. I have no interest in race cars so the beginning was a bit slow for me, but I really enjoyed the second half.

That evening, I relaxed at home catching up on my DVR (it’s fall tv season after all!). I was up pretty late and at 12:44am, I got a text message from my agents that I had an audition for Monday! Yay! I love that I’m starting unemployment with an audition! I also love the fact that my agents work so incredibly hard for their actors even if it’s late or a weekend!

Sunday was another busy day. I started out going to the LMU Alumni BBQ. I’ve been going to this for the past few years and it’s always been fun. I don’t really have any friends from college that live in the LA area anymore, so I was solo for the event. But it didn’t stop me from having fun!


It was a perfect day! With your admission you get food and drink tickets. I got a hot dog and a frozen margarita with a couple of my tickets. After eating, I decided to do a little walk around LMU.

This is my freshman dorm, Doheny. This was officially my first home when I moved to LA. When I lived there, it was all girls. Now it’s co-ed. My room was the last room on the left on the second floor, so I had an amazing view of the fountain from my room.


I also stopped by Foley, the theater arts building. Most of the theater classes I took were in this building, so it was like a second home to me.


I also stopped by the bookstore and got a hat that I wanted (no photo yet).

I left the BBQ a bit on the early side because I had to do a last-minute shopping trip for an outfit for my audition. The audition specifically requested a pink dress, and that’s something I don’t own. Fortunately, I was able to find something for about $20. It’s not something I’d wear normally, but it will be a good audition outfit for the future.

And finally on Sunday, I watched and live-tweeted the Emmys. There were several surprise winners which was nice to see. Overall, I didn’t love this particular awards show. There is such an expectation with Neil Patrick Harris hosting and I don’t think this lived up to any of the times he hosted the Tonys.

For a weekend, I sure got a lot of stuff done! And I have a lot of stuff planned for this week as well!

Unemployed Again (or Trying To Not Make It Feel Like Summer Break)

It’s only been a week since I got back from my trip, but I’m now unemployed again for about 4 weeks (the return date is a little up in the air but it should be around October 21st).

This is my second time of unemployment with this job, but I’m going to try to treat it differently than I did the first time. Last time, we ended because the campaign that we were working on had ended. This time, we are taking a mid-campaign break.

Last time, it felt like summer break in school. It was the end of the year and I knew I would be coming back for the next year. This time, I’m hoping to not make it feel that way.

While I will be doing some fun things over my unemployment like going home to see my parents (and dog) and seeing my friends, I want to use this time to reevaluate some things in my life.

I’ve mentioned that the schedule of my current job is tough on me. I miss out on a lot of opportunities that I want to take advantage of. My job is my job, but it’s not my career. I spend so many hours outside my job trying to work on my career (imagine someone working as a lawyer but trying to go to medical school at the same time). I want to find a job that fits in better with my life, but I don’t know if one exists out there. I might have to create my own job, and that can take time to get established.

While I will be job hunting during my month off, I want to start the process of creating my own job. I highly doubt that I could get enough work going for me in a month to not have to return to my old job, but at least it would be a start. And if I happen to find a better job, I can work there while trying to establish my own job.

I know that a bunch of other actors create their own jobs and work for themselves, but it’s a scary thing. At least right now, I know that I will have money coming in and can pay my bills. If I only worked for myself, there are no more guarantees.

But if I don’t start working on my own job now, it’s just going to take me that much longer to get it to a point where I can support myself. I’m going to spend part of this weekend writing up a business plan and trying to take the first few steps on it. I have no idea what the timeline will be for me, but I know that if I have to go back to my old job in a month, I will feel better about it if I have already started my plan.

The New Normal (or Worrying From Far Away)

Yesterday was my mom’s first day of chemo. She did awesome, I had a weird day.

I was at work for the day (only a few more days left before unemployment). And my whole shift I was wondering what was happening with my mom. I know that my dad was with her so she wasn’t alone. And I helped her get her laptop set up for Netflix so she could watch tv shows while getting the treatment (she picked out “Orange Is The New Black” and “How I Met Your Mother” as the shows she’ll watch during chemo). But I had the weirdest thoughts in my head.

I was curious if she made any friends in the chemo room. I wanted her to have a good time while there (or as good of a time as you could while getting chemo). I wanted the nurses to be super nice to her (turns out, my mom gave them all triple-layer brownies so they love her even more than they already did).

A friend joked to me that I’m almost worrying about her like a parent worries about their kid on the first day of school.

My mom texted me as soon as she was done yesterday and I also talked to her on the phone, so I know that she’s ok. And I really have no question that she will be ok.

But it’s weird not being there for her and my dad. I’m planning on flying up there sometime next month to hangout and do some more cleaning on my old bedroom (which was turned into a gym about 10 years ago). But somehow I feel like I should be there 24/7.

I know that that isn’t a reality, nor do my parents want me there all the time. But I feel kind of helpless in LA. When I talked to my mom yesterday after her chemo, she was talking about how she was making dinner for the next night so she didn’t have to worry about it then. She shouldn’t have to be making dinners (but she does love to cook so it isn’t a total chore for her). I should be. And yes, I’ve looked into the cost of me making food and shipping it to her and it is beyond ridiculous. Maybe if I win the lottery or something I could do it, but it won’t be happening otherwise.

So for now, I’m just at my house waiting and worrying. I know that eventually, all of this will feel normal to me. I’m just hoping that that eventually comes soon.

Back To Real Life (or One Week Of Normalcy)

I’ve been back from Maui for a couple of days now. The first day was spent being pretty jet-lagged and sunburnt (even though I had sunscreen on my back, I got burnt while snorkeling).

I spent Sunday doing my usual chores and preparation for my work week. And then I found out on Monday that Friday will be my last day of work for a while. We will have another month of unemployment, which will be nice.

I haven’t quite figured out what I will do with the unemployment. I’d really like to see if I could find a new day job that fits in better with my life. Ideally I would find something that is work from home, but even something with more flexible hours would be nice (at my current job, I can only work scheduled hours not off hours). But I’ve found that many jobs that allow for that either don’t pay well or pay in a weird way (like transcription work that paid a couple of cents per line typed).

I put it out on Facebook and twitter that I’m looking for a new job and I’ve already gotten some offers of babysitting and organizing work, but those won’t be enough to be my only jobs if I decide to leave my current one.

If I can’t find something new and better, in late October, I can go back to my old job. I know it will be there waiting for me.

This is the same scenario I was in with the last unemployment month I had with this job. But I didn’t work as hard as I should have to find a new job. This time, I’m much more motivated. I’m starting to look at jobs now.

I think it’s pretty funny that I just had a week of relatively unscheduled time and was looking forward to getting back to a schedule only to find out that my scheduled time will only be for a week.

But I’m making the most of my last week of work. On Monday I had a really good sales day (I need it since it will be my last “real” paycheck for a month). And when I did my Sunday errands, I got everything I needed to make lunches for each workday (I’m excited to not have to go pick up a last-minute lunch this week).

And on Friday at 1pm, my last shift for a while will be done and I’ll be celebrating my freedom for a while. Until I freak out about how I’m going to pay my bills for October.

Getting In The Ocean (or My Final Day In Maui)

My fear of oceans started in 2000.

I was in the Galapagos for a family trip and we went snorkeling. In the Galapagos, the animals there do not know that they should be fearful of humans. So they will come up to you all a lot. Well, when I went snorkeling, I was in the water and a sea-lion came up to me. I’m sure most people would think that is cool, but when it was in my face, it blew bubbles and me and completely freaked me out. I didn’t go back into the ocean for that trip or for any other trip for the next 13 years.

I tried to get over my fear, but it just didn’t happen. I wanted to try surfing lessons (confront my fear head-on), but every time I scheduled a lesson, the day before there would be a shark sighting very close to where I was supposed to be.

I took it as a sign.

Well, in Maui, I declared that I would make it into the ocean. And on the last day of the trip, I finally had a chance.

We drove over to the hotel my Aunt Cindy and Uncle Steve were staying at. My Aunt Cindy had told me that there was a reef right off the beach at their hotel and it was very easy snorkeling and perfect for a beginner.

It was a very nice beach day, although a little windy and the water was a little choppy.

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Fortunately, the rental house came with snorkel gear, so I didn’t have to worry about renting any. My mom decided to stay at the beach with our stuff (and be the official photographer), so it was me, my dad, and my Aunt Cindy heading out into the water.

My mom got one before shot of us all.


And then we went into the ocean. I had to get some instructions from my dad about how to get all the snorkel gear on the easiest way, so I sat down in the shallow part to get my fins, mask, and snorkel on to my liking.

I put my face into the water and immediately had a panic attack. I started to hyperventilate a bit and was tearing up. But I was able to get my breath under control and tried again.

For the first part of the snorkeling adventure, I would get panicky if my ears went underwater (because then I could hear my breathing and it freaked me out). But I got much calmer as we went.


And it was totally worth it! There were a ton of beautiful colorful fish right there! I didn’t like when the fish got close to me, so I tried to stay where it was a bit deeper. I have no idea what the names of any of the fish were, but pretty much all of them were super bright colors. We also saw a school of something like 100 fish right below us (which made my aunt wonder what they were swimming away from).

I thought (and I think everyone else thought) that I would be the first one ready to go back to the beach, but after a while, my dad announced that he was getting a bit tired. So the three of us went back to the shore. Turns out, we were out there for about an hour! Not too bad for my first time in an ocean in 13 years!

After snorkeling we rinsed off at the outdoor showers and met up with my Uncle Steve and Aunt Nancy (who went scuba diving that morning) for lunch. And after lunch, it was time to head back to our place to start packing up!

Of course, we enjoyed out last Maui sunset.

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And finally decided that we should light the tiki torches that were in the backyard.

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I had a really wonderful trip. I got to see so much of the island when we were there. And I felt like I finally got a real vacation! As sad as it was to say goodbye to Maui and the amazing place we stayed in, I was ready to come home.

I hope that you all have enjoyed reading my Maui adventures! I promise to get back to my usual types of blog posts!