Monthly Archives: October 2013

Back Into The Groove (or Staying On The Right Path While At Work)

I’ve been back at my day job for a week now. And it feels like I never left (not necessarily in a good way). I’m back to being on the phone for 8 hours trying to sell memberships and tickets. So far, it hasn’t been the most productive time, but that’s typical for this part of the year (plus we don’t have any shows going on for another week and a half).

Yes, I’m missing my free time. I haven’t been going to spin class as often as I want because I have to work around my work schedule. I’m still trying to figure out a better way to go before work and have enough time to get ready. Right now I’m cutting it very close.

The one thing that is going my way right now is food. I’m doing so much better this time at work with my meal planning. I’m not sure why it’s gotten easier, but maybe I’ve finally gotten used to it.

I’m pretty boring when it comes to my breakfast. I’m either eating eggs and toast or peanut butter on toast. And for dinners I’m either getting a veggie sandwich from Subway or my latest dinner obsession is heating up some of the frozen pre-cooked chicken breast strips from Trader Joes and then putting that on top of either brown rice or veggies (I’m using the cooked frozen brown rice that cooks in 3 minutes and the Organic Foursome frozen veggies, both from Trader Joes). I’m not sure why I’m obsessed with this meal, but it’s healthy so I’m going to keep eating it.

Lunches have always been tough. Last week, there was a day that I forgot the lunch I made, so I had to go get something. It’s tough when you only have 30 minutes to eat, but I was able to go over to 7-11 down the street and pick up a yogurt and a banana. That held me until I had my dinner at 9pm. But most days I’m remembering my lunch. I typically bring either a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or a pre-made salad from Trader Joes (can’t you tell what my favorite grocery store is?) and some fruit. While I’m getting pretty hungry toward the end of my work shift, I’m staying in my calorie range pretty much every day.

I’m hoping I finally turned a corner in my meal planning. The next step would be to stop relying on so many pre-made things and cooking more from scratch, but that’s going to be a slow process. I don’t want to be cooking at 9pm when I get home if I have to be at work the next day at 9am. So most of my cooking will have to be done on either one of my half shift days or on my one day off.

Mom Update (or Two Steps Done, Two More To Go)

Today is an exciting day (at least for me) in my mom’s ass-kicking of cancer. Today she will be getting the last chemo infusion of this particular chemo drug.

My mom has essentially 4 steps to go through with all of this. First was the mastectomy, and we all know she kicked ass at that! I’m still amazed how fast she recovered.

The second step was this first chemo drug. She got it 4 times over 2 months (one infusion every other week). She’s again kicking ass at this. While she’s gotten a bit achy and maybe has to rest a bit more than normal, she hasn’t gotten sick once! And she continues to win almost all of her tennis matches (and I know her tennis friends aren’t going easy on her).

In two weeks, she will be starting step 3. It’s another chemo drug. This time it will be every week for 3 months. This drug is supposed to be easier than the first one, but everyone reacts differently.

After all the chemo will be radiation.

It seems like a lot, but when you think about it, she’s finished half of the steps that she has to do. I think that is awesome!

I won’t be seeing my mom until she’s gone through several weeks of the new chemo. I’m planning on going home around Christmas (I have a couple of days off of work then) and it can’t come soon enough. I’m still feeling a bit guilty for being in LA living my life while my mom is going through all this. She’s got my dad there and she can go to San Francisco to see my brother (or he can drive down to my parents), but I’m here. I know that it’s what my mom wants me to do (she wants everyone to keep going on like everything is normal, which I think is helping her stay healthy through all of this). But I wish that December would get here sooner so I can be there and help out doing whatever my parents need me to do.

I honestly think that I’m always going to feel a little guilty that I didn’t drop everything to be there for my mom for these months (the entire length of treatment is supposed to be about 9 months), but I have to think back to when I had my hip surgery (not that I’m comparing cancer with my hip issues, but it’s all I’ve got in personal experience). While I did want my parents to come to LA when I had my surgery to help me come home from surgery and drive me around while I recovered, I was happy to be independent again when they left. And the main reason that I needed them there for a lot of things was that I lived alone and wasn’t dating anyone. So there was nobody to take care of me. My mom has my dad there, and since he’s a retired doctor, I think he’s a pretty great choice as a caretaker.

I’m excited to see my mom doing so well with everything that she’s taken on, and that makes some of the guilt go away. She doesn’t need me there because she isn’t allowing herself to be sick. She’s doing pretty much everything that she did before her diagnosis now and that’s the example that I should be living by.

LA Cancer Challenge 5K (or The Foggiest 5K I’ve Ever Done)

This past Sunday was the LA Cancer Challenge 5K. It was 5K #6 for me this year.

This was one of the random 5Ks I signed up for so I could do as many 5Ks as I could this year. I didn’t pick it for any particular reason. This one happened to benefit pancreatic cancer research.

On Saturday after my half shift at work, I headed over to Westwood to the VA (where the 5K was held) so I could pick up my number and t-shirt. I got a bit of a preview of where I’d be walking, and I realized that it was pretty hilly. After doing a little investigating of what I thought the course would be, I parked my car, went to the tents, and got my number.


On Saturday night, as I wrote yesterday, I stayed home so I could get a good night sleep before the 5K.

On Sunday morning, I took a pain pill before leaving the house. I wanted to try to prevent as much pain from the hills as I could (it worked pretty well). I drove back to Westwood only to see that it was insanely foggy!


That picture was taken during one of the clearer moments before the 5K started.

While I waited for the start, I took a before picture.


You can see the fog getting worse! While waiting, my hair got very damp from all the mist. But if I had to choose from it being too cold or too hot during a 5K, I’d choose too cold any day (I just wish I remembered to bring my sweatshirt that day!).

This was considered a Halloween race and there was a costume contest after the 5K was over. I didn’t want to race in a costume, so I just wore my race shirt that I got when I picked up my number. But there were some pretty amazing costumes that day. This might be my favorite group.


The mom is a banana, the dad is a gorilla, and the baby in the carrier is a little monkey. I also saw lots of Disney characters and several groups of Minions from “Despicable Me”.

The 5K went ok. The hills seemed endless and I heard many other people saying the same thing or groaning when they saw the uphill ahead. I realized that I was not going to have an amazing time so I just focused on finishing.

I finished this race about 90 seconds slower than my last 5K. But considering all the hills, I’m pretty happy about that.

Of course I had to take an after picture celebrating my 6th 5K!


My next 5K is on Saturday. I’m getting a little nervous about it. I’ve never done 2 competitive 5Ks in the same week. And I didn’t know when I signed up for the next one that it has a time limit. And typically, I’m about 10 minutes slower than that time limit. The only thing I can hope for is that either they are very lenient on that time limit or that there is someone who starts the race about 10 minutes after me (they start the time limit after the last person starts the race).

I know that I can’t get 10 minutes faster in a couple of days so there isn’t much I can do about it. I just hope that my 5K on Saturday isn’t the first one where I get picked up by the sweeper van and am not allowed to finish.

There’s no point worrying since it is what is it. For now, I’m celebrating finishing 5K #6!

Acting Like A Grownup (or Missing Out On Fun)

I love Halloween. Besides my birthday, it’s probably my favorite holiday of the year. I’m not sure why I love it so much, but I do. And I have no idea if I loved Halloween as much as a kid as I do now. If my mom is reading today, maybe she’ll let me know.

There is one Halloween party that I go to pretty much every single year since I moved to LA. It’s the party that Marie and Chris throw. They go all out with their costumes and really are amazing party hosts. I try to do great costumes every year, but I seem to never be able to compete with how amazing all my friends’ costumes are. But I think that I’ve had some cute costumes the past few years.


Little Red Riding Hood (with wolf head in the basket)


Swine Flu (this was a last-minute costume)


Where’s Waldo?

This is one of the few parties that I look forward to all year-long. The only years I’ve missed it in the past were the couple of years I worked at Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios and worked until 3am. So of course, I’ve been trying to plan what my costume would be for this year. I had it down to a couple of options (I was leaning toward using my “Let’s Make A Deal” pig in a blanket one again) but I knew it was going to be something simple because I had a 5K early the next morning.

On Friday, I was feeling a bit off. I overslept and barely made it to my 9am work shift (I’m lucky that I live close to work). I just figured it was my body getting adjusted to work again. And on Saturday, I was starting to have the sniffles.

I wanted to go out, but I couldn’t risk getting sick. Not only did I have the 5K on Sunday, I needed to work because I’m missing so many days in the next month.

So I made the adult choice: I missed the Halloween party. It wasn’t the fun choice, but I know that it was the right one. I’m sad, but I’ve been enjoying looking at the photos that everyone from the party has been posting on Facebook.

I still have Halloween to dress up (and I’ll be going to a happy hour after work so I might do some sort of costume). And of course, now I’ve got a year to plan the best costume ever for next year!

It’s Always Unexpected (or Sending Positive Energy To A Co-Worker)

So we’ve been back at work since Tuesday, and while not everyone has been at every shift, there’s been one co-worker who hasn’t been back yet. I knew he just had some dental work, and we all thought that he was recovering from that.

But yesterday, he came into work to talk to our boss about something. Then he came out and told us the news: he has liver cancer.

I’m not sharing who this is to protect his privacy (I didn’t ask him if I could blog about him). But even with this person being anonymous, I’m hoping that we can all share some positive energy his way.

When he told me the news, the next thing he wanted to talk about was my mom. He knew that my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer before we all went on unemployment. And he was always asking about her and hoping for the best.

My mom is extremely lucky to have a lot of amazing people in her life. Everyone I know is sending her positive energy and healing thoughts every day. My friend Erin (who does my hair) made a donation to breast cancer research in my mom’s name this week. And my birthday twin Joanna dedicated her yoga practice one day to my mom. I know that every bit of this is helping. I’m not the sort of person to believe in prayer (I was raised very very reform Jewish and we never really went to temple), but I believe in positive thoughts and energy. And I know that it works. My mom is the proof.

I can only hope that my co-worker has the same type of people in his life. Of course I’m going to be thinking about him everyday and sending positive thoughts his way, but I know that the more people who do it the more power it has. This particular co-worker doesn’t really use the internet so I don’t really have a way to connect with him while he’s getting treatment. But I’m still going to send him positive energy even if he doesn’t know about it.

And what I’m asking of all of you is one simple thing. If you are sending positive thoughts, healing energy, or prayers to my mom; can you just add my co-worker to your thoughts? I know that you all don’t know him, but I know that he would appreciate it.

Thanks everyone.

Busy Work (or It’s All Coming Together)

Once things start to get busy it all gets busy! Isn’t that the way it always is? When you have nothing to do, there is nothing to can go to do. And when you are scheduled like crazy, you have to add more things to your day.

Work is work. I had some good sales yesterday which made me happy. And I’ve got full shifts for the rest of the week before the weeks of not being able to work everyday start.

I’m also doing some work for here. I’m hoping to make my blog better than ever. It takes time, but I have some things in motion that I hope will come through in the near future.

And the Beverly Hills Shorts Festival is coming together! I had a call with the other two co-directors the other night and we’ve started to plan out how things will work this year. I’m surprisingly not nervous about running the festival for the first time. I’ve been a part of it for so long that I’m excited to add on some responsibilities (although I’m very sad that I won’t be seeing the other co-directors this year). I’ve been making lists of things I need to do and I’ve started to contact past volunteers to see who would like to be part of the festival this year.

By the way, if you are local to LA and want to volunteer for the film festival, leave a comment and let me know! I know I’ll need volunteers and I’d love to have some blog readers there!

Finally, I’ve been sitting down and figuring out my next job move. Obviously right now I can’t leave my job. I still have debt to pay off, but I’m making a list of what I want in my next job. I can look while I’m employed and not have the pressure to have to take a job that isn’t right for me. But unless I list out what I want, I’ll never know if a job has everything I need.

I’m loving being busy with things that I enjoy. This is all I want in life. Even though I’m still at my day job, at least I have a lot of time filled up with fun things. And you never know when those fun things can result in a new day job!

Back To Busy (or It Comes Back So Easily)

Yesterday was my first day back. And man did I fall back into my work pattern quickly.

Not all of my co-workers were there, but it was enough of us to feel like a normal work day. And we really got back to work as if we had never left.

There were some changes we all had to note, but those happen all the time so it wasn’t something that made it feel like we were returning from a break.

And while the day did seem to take forever (it doesn’t help that the sun keeps setting earlier), I did make it through the day. I think the fact that this will be a short week will help me.

Most weeks until after Thanksgiving will be short weeks for me. This week we skipped Monday. Next week, I’m missing Saturday because I have a 5K. The week after that should be a normal week unless something comes up. The week of the 15th my dad is coming to town for a show (and he’s going to check out spin class with me too!). After that I have the film festival. And then it’s Thanksgiving. So that’s only one full 6 day week until Thanksgiving is over.

That will definitely help me feel like I have more time. Even though my days off will be packed with other things, they are all things I chose to do and love (well, maybe I don’t love the 5K but I tolerate it).

I’ve already let my boss know about my crazy schedule, and since I told him in advance he’s cool with it. I just have to make sure I make my work days as productive as possible so I can make enough money to pay for everything.

I know that the next few weeks are going to fly by, but the day-to-day life at work can be a bit slow. So I just need to focus on the big picture and I know that I can make my time at work as efficient and profitable as possible!

False Start (or My Real Last Day of Unemployment)

So I was supposed to start back at work yesterday. I was all set to go back until Friday evening.

I was working the show shift at work and once the show started, I checked my phone. There was a text message from my agent letting me know that I had an audition for a recurring role on a tv show on Monday. The audition time was at 3pm, kind of in the middle of my shift at work. So I let my boss know that I would try to come in, but since the audition was in the valley and I work in Santa Monica it could be tough with traffic.

My audition went great. It’s hard to tell when you only have a few lines to say, but the people in the room smiled after my read and genuinely seemed to enjoy it. I was done and ready to deal with all the crazy traffic to get back to Santa Monica when my boss called.

I guess nobody else was able to work yesterday either. 2 of my co-workers had to work at another job, one had a doctor’s appointment, and the other showed up but he had to go home sick. So my boss let me know not to come in since he was leaving. And our first official day back was moved to today.

It was a relief not to have to rush back to the other side of town. I was able to take my time driving and run a few errands that I forgot to do over the weekend. I spent last night catching up on my reading and getting to bed at a decent hour so I would be nice and rested for work.

It was a nice surprise to have an extra day off. Even though I was prepared to go back to work, having the audition really made yesterday a more stressful day than I would have liked.

So now I’m off to work today. Of course, I could have another last-minute audition come in or something that prevents me from working the entire shift, but that’s how my life is.

I expect the unexpected.

Paintball (or I’m Not Sure If I Want To Do That Again)

On Saturday, I played paintball for the very first time. My friend Emily had gotten a deal for it and had invited me to come along.

I’ve shot a gun before when I was in summer camp as a kid, but that was a long time ago. And I had been warned by some people who have played paintball in the past that I should be very careful. It can be painful and the guns can be heavy.

The paintball place was out in Santa Clarita, which is just under an hour drive from my house with no traffic. I got there and was immediately intimidated.

There were some serious looking people there! Some were in army clothes and had all their own gear. I just showed up in a long-sleeved shirt and pants to cover as much skin as possible.

Our deal included the rental of the gun and protective gear. I have to say that I looked pretty awesome and tough in the outfit.


By the way, the army pants that I’m wearing were rented from the paintball place. I didn’t want to ruin my own pants and they gave me another layer of protection.

We went to go play a game. What we didn’t realize was that we were going to be placed on teams with other people. So our group of 4 got split up into 2 and 2. And the other people on both teams all looked very very serious and like they were ready to shoot me right away.

And that’s what happened to me in the first game. I was shot within the first few seconds. And not only was I shot, it hit me in the neck right below where the protective mask was. So it was right on my skin! It hurt so badly! Once you are hit, you are supposed to hold your gun up and walk off the course. And as I was, people kept shooting at me! Fortunately, the other times I was hit was where my skin was covered by clothing so that wasn’t as painful.

In the second game, I did a lot better. I was really good at hiding, so I never got hit. I also never hit anyone else, but I did take a bunch of shots!

Our group got moved to another course area for the next game, but it took so long for that game to get started that I had to leave (the other 3 girls ended up playing 2 more games).

When I got home, I checked out where I was hit for bruises. There’s a pretty nice looking bruise on my neck where I was hit (that I was expecting), but it’s not too bad on my arms or legs.

Overall, I consider my first paintball adventure to be a success. I don’t know if I want to go again, but maybe after my bruise fades I’ll feel differently.

The End Again (or Back To The Real World)

My unemployment is ending again. I technically still have this weekend, but I’m working a show shift tonight and am going to a show for fun on Saturday. So it’s kind of going to feel like a work weekend.

Looking back on this time of unemployment, I’m proud that I got a lot more done than I did last time. I did focus on looking for new work, but there was nothing out there right for me right now. I also worked on seeing if I could be self-employed, and while I think it is possible, I think to be fully self-employed is at least a year or two away.

I also focused on seeing friends and doing fun things. I made it to a bunch of screenings that I wanted to go to.

The big thing that I didn’t get done was start improv class. I really wanted to do that during my time off, but it didn’t fit into my schedule. I was looking at doing one of the intensive classes (where you go through an entire level in 2 weeks instead of 8), but the intensive class was when I thought I might be going home for a visit (that trip ended up being moved to December).

While I didn’t do everything I wanted to do, I was so much more productive with my time this time. It’s a good step for me. I wanted to prove to myself that I could stay motivated even without a set schedule. And while there were some lazy days, a majority of them weren’t. This makes me think that being self-employed is really an option for my future.

I’m making the most of my last weekend of freedom. Besides working and going to the show this weekend, I’ve got a WIF mentor meeting today and a paintball adventure on Saturday (I’m scared how bruised I might be after that).

While I’m not excited to go back to work, I’m excited to start making some money again (I still haven’t gotten anything from the unemployment office). And I’m excited to keep pushing myself to find a new and better job.