Monthly Archives: March 2014

The New Gig (or Going From Vacation Mode To Work Mode)

After taking such a crazy trip, I’m super lucky that I didn’t have to start at my new day job the next day. In fact, the day after getting back from the trip was spent recovering from it.

I had some pretty crazy jet lag (taking a 5 hour nap when I finally got home really didn’t help) and for the first time ever, my feet and ankles swelled up like crazy after being on the plane. Maybe it’s because the guy in the middle seat was a big basketball player and I spent the flight squished in my seat (I balanced one foot on top of the other on the side of the plane because that’s the only room I had). So my Monday was spent with my feet up so the swelling would go down (which it did in about a day).

Tuesday was my first day at the new day job. I’m working as a recruiting assistant for lawyers. Basically, my boss tells me about a job opening that we need to fill and I cold call lawyers to see if any of them meet the requirements and if they do, try to get them to go for an interview. Basically, I’m a headhunter (or at least an assistant headhunter).

My first day was pretty much spent learning about the business and going over legal terms and how law firms work. It’s a lot of totally new information for me to learn about, and I’m still working on feeling confident using legal terms.

All my legal knowledge that I’ve had before has come from film and tv (like watching “Legally Blonde” and “Drop Dead Diva”). Fortunately, it turns out that legal shows are a bit more accurate than medical shows, so my film/tv legal knowledge was actually pretty useful.

My second day was similar to the first except I got to listen in to some phone calls and hear what I’m supposed to do. The company that I’m working for is a husband and wife team (and now me, I guess) so I’m learning from the boss. At the end of my shift that day, I made a few calls on my own.

The third day was all phone calls at their home office. I got more comfortable on the phone and started to get some good information out of people. I’m shocked how easily people will tell you how much they make on a first phone call.

Finally, on Friday this past week, I got to work from home. This is what I was told I would be doing once I was trained, and my new boss decided that we should test it out and see how it goes. While I was nervous to not have the support of the boss sitting right next to me, it was also nice to not have the pressure of having the boss right next to me as well.

Since pretty much my entire shift is spent on the phone, I got my iPhone headphones out and tried to make as many phone calls as I could in my four hour shift.

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I think it went really well. I checked in by phone with my boss after I was done, and he was very impressed with what I got done. I’m going to be working from home again this week. We aren’t sure when I will have to go in to work in their home office, but I know that if the search changes, I’ll have to go in to learn about the new search parameters.

I’ve worked from home a bit before, but for some reason this time it was different. I made an effort to make it seem as much like a workplace as possible. I did get dressed (no working in pjs for me) so that helped me feel less casual. Although I did skip shoes, doing my hair, or putting on makeup.

So far, I’m really happy with the progress I’ve made with the new job. I feel like it has the possibility to be a great day job, and my boss and his wife love the idea that I’m an actor.

It’s funny. For a while, even before I was laid off, I put it out in the universe that all I wanted was a job that worked from home, had very flexible hours, and had bosses that were excited that I was an actor not annoyed by it. While I did get exactly what I wanted, I probably should have specified that I wanted to only have to have 1 day job. I’m still going to also have to work part-time at my old workplace (working in the box office), but I think that between my 2 new jobs, I should be ok soon.

Back To LA (or Reflections On The NYC Trip)

On Sunday last week, Krystle and I headed to the airport to get flights back to LA (for me) and San Francisco (for her). We had pretty early flights, so we were up at 5am that day. I was exhausted, but still didn’t sleep much on the flight.

I still can’t believe that this trip is over! Even though we only planned it for a few months, it seemed like we had been looking forward to it for forever!

On our last day in NYC, Krystle and I chatted about what we were able to check off our NYC checklists and what we need to do the next time we go (and we’ve already decided that this trip will be a somewhat regular adventure).

I’m so happy that we got to see as many shows as we did. We thought at first that 4 shows in 4 days was a bit ambitious, but it ended up being perfect! And we saw a good variety of shows (2 family friendly and 2 adult only).


There were other shows that I would love to have seen, but I also just got a season at The Pantages (the Los Angeles theater that does Broadway tours) and most of the other shows I would have wanted to see are those that are in my season. But I’ve already said that if “Heathers” moves to Broadway, I will be back to see it again.

We didn’t really get to go into Central Park, and I don’t know if I’ve ever done that before (I don’t remember doing it, but maybe when I was little we went). Also, there are so many more museums that I want to see, but those are expensive and time-consuming. And money and time were a bit tight on this trip.

And there are also a lot of restaurants that were on my wish list that we didn’t make it to. But again, we can only go to so many dinners.

But we did manage to take the subway system for most of the trip, and we didn’t really get too lost. Sometimes we were confused what direction we needed to walk once we got out of the station, but that’s not too bad. Fortunately, we had both phone apps and a good paper map to use that helped us so much in our navigation. I also successfully hailed several cabs (I think that’s kind of awesome).

And finally, something that my mom said before we went on the trip was that she hoped that this trip would bring Krystle and I closer together. We’ve only seen each other a handful of times, and pretty much never just the two of us. So this was a real bonding experience. We got along super well (even in our really tiny hotel room that we shared) and we have planned to do more trips in the future. So I think it’s pretty safe to say that Krystle is not just my sister-in-law, but also a good friend of mine as well now.

It was tough to get back to life after this trip. It really felt like something magical with all the shows and seeing several friends. But I did have to get back to reality quickly because this past week, I started a new day job! But more on that next week.

Frozen Hot Chocolate and Heathers (or The Last Full Day In NYC)

Our last full day in New York was this past Saturday. We started by taking the subway to our brunch location. We had reservations, but we got there before the restaurant opened! So to kill some time, we went to a little coffee house so Krystle could get a coffee.

While walking across the street to get coffee, a familiar logo was in front of me.


I found a NYC SoulCycle! SoulCycle started in New York and they have a bunch of studios there, but we didn’t see one until the last day. We went inside to see what clothing they sold there (if they had a NY SoulCycle shirt I probably would have bought it) and because all SoulCycles use the same brand of candles, it really smelled like being home (who would have thought a workout place would be considered home to me). I gave my brother and Krystle gift cards to SoulCycle for Hanukkah this past year, and they haven’t had a chance to go yet. But hopefully since Krystle saw what one looks like inside, they’ll be more motivated to go soon!

After the SoulCycle and coffee detour, it was finally time for brunch. Krystle and I both got mimosas to celebrate our last breakfast on the trip.


It was sad to think our trip was coming to an end, but we still had a full day to do. After brunch, we got onto the subway and checked out Central Park.


We didn’t really get to walk around (next trip we will) because we had a mission to go to Bergdorf Goodman. Krystle is a buyer for the department store Gumps, and Bergdorf is the east coast equivalent to Gumps. So we went inside to see what they had for sale.

After looking at lots of expensive things, we continued our “out of our price range” shopping on Fifth Ave. and a stop at one of the biggest jewelry stores I’ve ever been to.


This particular Tiffany is 6 floors! We only explored 2 floors before we headed back out to the next part of our day.

We were meeting one of Krystle’s college friends at Serendipity, which is famous for their frozen hot chocolate. They don’t take reservations unless you are getting lunch or dinner, so we had a little over an hour wait outside waiting for our name to be called.


But at least Saturday was a much warmer day so it wasn’t too bad waiting outside. And the wait was totally worth it!


I got the peanut butter frozen hot chocolate, Krystle got the salted caramel frozen hot chocolate, and her friend got the original frozen hot chocolate. They were so delicious and I figured all the walking around and stairs going in and out of the subway would work off the calories of the treat (side note, even with all the crazy eating on this trip, I managed to lose a pound).

After our treat, we said goodbye to Krystle’s friend and headed back into the subway to go back to the hotel to get ready for dinner and the show that evening.

I was beyond excited for the show that night. It was our only off-Broadway show, but it was perfect because my friend AJ was in it! We saw “Heathers”. Technically it was still in previews, but that’s ok. AJ lived in LA until recently. He moved to NYC to be in the show (he was also in the LA version of the show).

As soon as we got to the theater, I was so giddy to see a dear friend doing what he loves to do.


And seeing a familiar face in my Playbill was one of the coolest things of the entire trip!


“Heathers” was incredible! I think it was the best show that we saw this entire trip! The set and costumes weren’t as grand as the Broadway shows that we saw, but the music and story was so much better. I think that if this show moves to Broadway (which it totally should), it will be a serious contender for the Tonys!

After the show, we met up with AJ near the stage door, where he was busy signing autographs.


While we were waiting for AJ to finish up with his fans, my phone rang. I saw that it was my friend Alex, who we saw the night before. When I answered the phone, nobody was there, so Krystle and I figured it must have been a butt dial. But just then, Alex came around the corner! She was walking past the theater and figured that we would probably be there. It was so cool to get to see her again really quickly, and to introduce her to AJ. It was one of those really cool moments that made the trip so perfect.

After AJ was done with autographs, we went around to the other side of the theater to get a picture together in front of the poster for the show.


And no, AJ doesn’t have a giant hand. I didn’t notice that particular optical illusion in the photo until someone else pointed it out to me.

After the photo, a group of us which included AJ’s girlfriend and a listener of the podcast I work for (and AJ co-hosts) headed a few blocks away for a drink at a bar.

There was nothing super special about the bar. It was just a good hangout with friends. It was so normal (and not touristy) and the perfect way to end the evening.

Before we knew it, it was midnight and Krystle and I had to get up around 5am the next morning to catch our flights. It sucked to say goodbye to AJ, because if “Heathers” is as successful as I think it will be, it could be a long time before I get to see him again. But it gives me motivation to visit New York again (and to see Alex again as well).

As Krystle and I headed back to the hotel in a cab, she and I both said how this evening really was the perfect ending to the trip. It sucked that it ended so quickly, but I don’t think we could have asked for a better NYC adventure.

Non Stop NYC (or More Adventures On My Trip)

I know, it seems like I’ve been writing about my NYC trip for forever! But that’s because each day has to be its own post (or two like the past two posts have been) because Krystle and I did so much while on our trip!

This trip was not a relaxing vacation, but that’s exactly how we wanted it! So after going to a super late night dinner the night before, we tried to sleep in a bit on Saturday (which for me meant getting up at 8am instead of 7am). We then headed to a brunch place that got some awesome reviews on Yelp. They didn’t take reservations, but we figured since it was a weekday that we should be ok.

Turns out, it’s crazy crowded there on weekdays too! We were told it would be about an hour for a table (we ended up waiting about 40 minutes) and the only place to wait was outside. So we tried to kill time in the cold by checking out the menu and figuring out what we wanted to eat so we could order right away.

Once we got a table, we really enjoyed being inside in the warm restaurant.


We ordered a quick breakfast, and then we were on to our adventures for the day. We started by going back to Canal St. and doing a bit more shopping (I don’t have any photos from that because I was pretty sure that the store owners didn’t want people taking photos of the knockoffs they were selling).

Our next stop was back to Times Square where we went to the Discovery Museum. Before going on this trip, I had heard about a Lego exhibit there. I had totally forgotten about it until I saw a poster advertising it at a subway stop. So we went off to The Art Of The Brick exhibit where there were both replicas and originals pieces of art made entirely out of Lego.


The replicas were amazing!

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And the original pieces were pretty incredible as well.

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I think one of my favorite pieces was the dinosaur. It was huge and I was so amazed that something like that could be made out of Lego and look so real!

At the end of the exhibit, you got a Lego piece to sign your name on.


You then added it to a wall of signed Legos. When the artist creates his next work, all the signed pieces will be used (but you won’t be able to see the signatures then). There were a ton of signed Legos on the wall when we added ours.


After the museum, we headed back to the hotel to get dressed for dinner and our show that night. We saw “Matilda”. I wish I could show you a picture of the set, but they were super strict about no pictures being taken in the theater. But I can tell you that the stage looked like Scrabble pieces exploded everywhere (in a good way) and that the set was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen in my life! I highly recommend the show!

Our last activity that day was something that I had been looking forward to for so long. I had met my friend Alex in 2008 when she and I both worked at Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios. We were instant friends and had tons of great adventures together. But about 3 years ago, she moved to NYC to pursue more theater work. I hadn’t seen her since she left, but this past Friday I got to see her again!

She met us at Jekyll and Hyde, which is a bar where she works sometimes. It was right across the street from the theater, so that was perfect for us! It’s a really fun bar, lots of horror related things and all the artwork in there was interactive. But I just enjoyed getting to sit down and chat with a dear friend who I hadn’t seen in forever!


Before we knew it, it was time to head back to the hotel and get some sleep before our last full day in NYC. It was tough to say goodbye to Alex, but I know that I’ll see her again soon.

Tomorrow’s post is all about frozen hot chocolates and seeing my friend in his off-Broadway debut!

Blowouts, The Book Of Mormon, and Buddakan (or The End Of Day 2)

FTC Disclosure: I was giving a complimentary blowout in exchange for my review. All opinions are of my own and were not influenced by the free service.

After checking out the Empire State Building, Krystle and I got back on our hop on hop off bus. Our plan was to take the rest of the loop back to our hotel, then take the subway one stop so we could get to Drybar for our 5pm blowout appointments. I had mentioned to Drybar before the trip that I was going to be in NYC with my sister-in-law and they offered to treat me to a blowout while I was there. Of course I also booked an appointment for Krystle so we could have a fun beauty adventure.

It seemed like the perfect plan. Until it the bus seemed to be taking forever to make the loop. We finally ended getting off the bus with only 15 minutes to make it across town. We weren’t near a subway so we tried to hail a cab. Only we didn’t realize that it is very difficult to catch a cab between 3-5pm because that is when the shift change happens. We got turned down by several cabs and I started to panic that we were going to miss our appointments. I called Drybar to let them know that we were running late, and finally we caught a cab.

We made it to the Parker Meridien hotel about 10 minutes late. Before the appointment, I was a little worried about how my sister-in-law would like going to Drybar. My first experience with them (on my birthday) wasn’t the best. But I was trying to go into this with an open mind.

As soon as we walked in, we were both very happy. The place was gorgeous and as soon as we walked in, we were offered our choice of coffee, tea, water, or champagne (we both chose champagne).


I was very happy to be offered a drink as soon as we walked in. That wasn’t not what happened at my last experience at the Drybar in Marina Del Rey (I was actually never offered a drink that time).

Krystle and I took a quick before picture. Our hair was totally windblown after being on top of the Empire State Building.


We were taking back to have our hair washed. The warm water was so nice after being so cold on the bus. And the scalp massage was heaven. We got to sit in chairs next to each other, but we didn’t chat too much during the blowout because it was a bit loud with all the blowdryers.


I chose the Straight Up hairstyle, which is a straight style with body at the ends. I can’t remember what Krystle chose, but it was a style with curls. We looked pretty amazing afterwards.


It was so perfect that we got blowouts that day because we had an exciting evening planned that night. We started by going to “The Book Of Mormon”. We had seats in the very last row in the theater, but we were very centered.


The show was great and Krystle enjoyed it as well. After the show, we got a cab and went down to Chelsea for dinner at Buddakan. My quick review of the restaurant was that the food was amazing, but the service was awful. Even though we had a reservation, we still waited over 25 minutes for our table. But if you go, I highly recommend the appetizer sampler and the mushroom noodles.


I also recommend the Charm cocktail. It was delicious.


By the time we were done with dinner, it was after midnight. We were exhausted.

But this was such a wonderful day of the trip.

Thank you so much to Drybar for providing me with a blowout that day. And now that Krystle has experienced the blowout experience, she’s hooked on it (as am I after seeing how great the experience can be). I know that blowouts are now going to be a regular outing on the trips that Krystle and I take in the future. And I know now that the Drybar experience is not what I experienced on my birthday, I will be going more often in LA, especially when I have special events.

Day 2 Part 1 Of NYC (or Trying To Get Used To The Cold)

Krystle and I had decided that the first part of our second day in New York was going to be our touristy day. We had purchased tickets for one of those hop on hop off buses and figured that we could combine that plus using the subway to get around the city and maximize the day.

We started by heading by subway to Union Square to have breakfast at Chocolate By The Bald Man (yes, they have breakfast there and not just desserts).


I had an egg scramble and it came with a sugar biscuit and a dish of melted chocolate on the side. I used the biscuit to dip in the chocolate and it was amazing!

After breakfast we crossed the street where the hop on hop off bus had a stop. We only waited a minute or two before we saw the bus headed our way. While it was a pretty sunny day, it was in the low 40’s and very windy, so we were pretty cold.

But despite the cold, we got seats on the top of the bus so we could have the best views.


We were in awe over all the amazing architecture around the city. While Los Angeles and San Francisco (where Krystle and my brother live) have good-looking buildings, the ones in New York are very different. We spent a lot of the time on the bus just enjoying the view.

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We got off the bus near where the 9/11 Memorial and the new Freedom Tower are located. We didn’t know that you needed tickets to see the 9/11 Memorial, but we were lucky enough that they still had same day tickets (and that the ticket time was only about an hour later). We waited around for our time at the memorial at a nearby store and once we could go in, we got through all the security checkpoints pretty quickly (it’s similar to what you go through at the airport).

The last time I was in New York, it was August of 2000. I went to visit the World Trade Centers (somewhere I have a picture of me standing between the two buildings). This was the first time I was in the city with the towers being gone. It was different. But I think that the memorial is beautiful and that it was done so well and tastefully.


And the new Freedom Tower looks amazing as well.


We walked around the memorial for a little bit and then headed over the subway. We got the subway over to the Empire State Building, where we got tickets to go up to the 86th floor observation deck (there’s a higher observation deck but it was almost $20 more per person to go up there).

Up at the observation deck, we took lots of pictures. I got a picture of the view of each side of the building.


And of course we took selfies at each side as well.


Since it was such a nice day, we also had an amazing view of the Statue of Liberty.


After the Empire State Building, we hopped back on the bus to go on some more of the tour. We planned to take it back to the hotel, where we would get the subway to our next adventure of the day: getting blowouts at DryBar.

But that story is going to have to wait until tomorrow’s post.

First Day In New York (or How To Do The Most You Can On Less Than 3 Hours Of Sleep)

Right after my flight landed at JFK, I had to go from one terminal to another to meet up with Krystle, my sister-in-law. It was only one terminal over, and being used to LAX I figured it couldn’t be that hard to walk over.

While it wasn’t too far (maybe about 1/4 a mile), it was freezing out! And I mean literally freezing! It was about 30 degrees outside, so I definitely woke up from that walk over. On the plus side, I got to see the amazing sunrise.


Once I made it over to the other terminal, we got a cab and headed into the city. We had let the Waldorf Astoria know that we wanted a very early check in, but there was no guarantee that they would have a room ready for us. But when we got to the hotel around 8am, we were lucky enough to be able to check in then and go to our room. We got changed and got our purses together and headed out for the day.

Our first stop was going to be breakfast. We found a place that we wanted to check out, and we consulted our map on how to get there. But we mixed up what were subway lines and what were bus lines and weren’t able to figure out how to get there. We eventually found the subway and took it to Times Square because we figured we could find something there.

We ended up finding a random breakfast place that made custom omelets for about $6, and that sounded perfect! And those omelets were super delicious!


After getting some breakfast in our stomachs, we headed down to Canal St. where  we did some cheap shopping. Krystle got 2 fake Louis Vuitton wallets and some jewelry. I got 2 rings (there were selling them for $15 each and I got them down to $25 for both).


For fake rings, I think they look pretty good.

After doing some shopping, it started to rain and it was getting close to the time that the show we were going to was starting, so we headed back to Times Square on the subway. We hung out in a Starbucks for a bit to warm up (it was still close to freezing temperatures) and then headed down the street to the Broadway Theater to see “Cinderella”.

Right now, Fran Drescher plays the stepmother and Carly Rae Jepsen plays Cinderella, but Carly Rae Jepsen doesn’t perform on Wednesday matinees, so we saw the understudy (who was fantastic!).

We had gotten some really great seats in the mezzanine, and they weren’t too expensive either (we bought them online before going on the trip).


And the theater was really gorgeous with some amazing chandeliers.


The show was so great! The cast was amazing and it was a fun and upbeat show. Before I came on the trip, I had mentioned on Facebook that I was going to be seeing this show. My friend (and previous boss) Laura had mentioned that her friend was one of the cast members. So after the show, we found him and I got a picture with him to show Laura that we met each other.


After the show, it was still raining and we had about an hour and a half before our dinner reservations. As we were walking to the theater, I realized that I bar that I had been wanting to go to was around the corner from the theater. So after the show, that’s where we headed.

We went to McGee’s, which is the inspiration for the bar McLaren’s on the tv show “How I Met Your Mother”. Not only do I love the show, my friend Woody has been playing the bartender on it for the past few seasons!


I didn’t really get any pictures that made McGee’s look like McLaren’s, but you can tell being inside there that there are some similar things and how the creators used the bar to inspire the one on the show. Of course, I texted my friend Woody to tell him I was sad that he wasn’t behind the bar.

Besides the bar being the inspiration for the show, I have to say that it really is a great bar. We both ordered a drink there and honestly they were the strongest drinks either of us has ever had.


Finally, it was time to head back onto the subway to get to our dinner. We had reservations at Rubirosa, which is known for their pizza. We ordered some rice balls as an appetizer and got a pizza to share.


The pizza seemed huge, but since the slices are super thin crust, it wasn’t as crazy as it seemed. Plus, it had been about 10 hours since we had breakfast so both of us were pretty hungry. It was delicious and a perfect dinner for our first day in NYC.

After dinner, the jet lag and lack of sleep started to kick in. My hips were also starting to get a bit sore from all the walking (and all the stairs up and down for the subway). So we got back on to the subway and headed back to the hotel. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I went to bed pretty early and I really needed it. I had a lot of sleep to catch up on, and I needed a lot of energy for the rest of the trip!

Adventures On The Red-Eye (or Surviving On Almost No Sleep)

Well, I made it to NYC! It’s my first time being back since August 2000 (yes, a lot of things have changed here since then) and I couldn’t be more excited!

Since I was leaving from Los Angeles and my sister-in-law was leaving from San Francisco, we did our best to try to get flights around the same time. We got it to where she got in about 90 minutes before me, so that’s not too bad.

I haven’t taken a red-eye flight since January 2005 and that flight was a long one so there was plenty of time to sleep (that was Chicago to Paris). Since this flight was going to be just over 5 hours and I have my issues with flying, I really was hoping for the best this time.

I took my panic meds on my usual schedule for flying days and right before I left for LAX I took an Advil PM. I thought that would help me in 2 ways. First of all, it would help me fall asleep a bit easier. Also, it would help me from getting too sore since I was going to be sleeping in an economy class seat (upgrading to first class was an extra $300 and I just can’t afford that).

I had a friend take me to LAX (thank you Lupe!) and right before she came to pick me up, I did some more prep work for being ready to sleep on a plane. I got changed into comfortable travel clothes (leggings, t-shirt, and a sweatshirt/sweater hybrid), brushed my teeth, and took out my contact lenses and put on my glasses.

Once I got on the plane, I tried to get settled very quickly. I got as comfortable as I could in my seat (thank goodness I had a window seat so I could lean on the side) and got my neck pillow out and ready to be used. I also took a quick picture because the mood lighting on Virgin America was pretty awesome.

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I tried to close my eyes as soon as the plane took off, but I still wasn’t too comfortable in my seat. Finally, once we were allowed to put our seats back, I did and was able to feel a bit more relaxed.

But I have to say, my mission to sleep on the plane was a failure. I took a couple of naps on the flight, but each of those was under an hour and I was probably awake for a half hour in between each nap. I guessed that over the entire flight, I maybe slept 2.5 hours. That’s not too good for what was supposed to be my entire night’s sleep!

About 30 minutes before we landed, I woke up from one of my naps and I realized that I had to give up on trying to sleep. So I turned on my tv on the seat in front of me and watched our progress into JFK.

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The sun was starting to rise as we were close to landing, so I got a cool view of the sky.

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After the flight, I was able to meet up with my sister-in-law (who landed in a different terminal than I did) and we got a cab to take us to Midtown Manhattan to the Waldorf Astoria (where we are staying for this trip).

We had a pretty full first day in New York, but that will have to wait until the next blog post. I’m actually writing this on Wednesday evening (so technically less than 24 hours after I left LAX). It’s currently 8:17pm here in NY, and I’m going to bed! I seriously need to catch up on some sleep!

Trip Prep (or How The Earthquake Made Me Super Productive)

On Monday and Tuesday this week, I knew I had to do all of my prep work for my NYC trip. I was leaving on the red-eye on Tuesday so I knew I had most of that day to get things done, but I didn’t want to leave everything to the last-minute.

My plan was to wake up on Monday and do most of my trip packing. On a daily basis, my alarm is set for 7am (yes, even while I’m unemployed). On Monday, I woke up at 6:24am (I know the exact time because I looked at my phone) and was mad because I wanted to go back to sleep and get in that last half hour. But a minute after I woke up, a 4.4 earthquake hit Los Angeles.

While a 4.4 isn’t too big of an earthquake, when it starts, you have no idea how big it will get. The first jolt was pretty big and the rumbling was very loud. Turns out, the epicenter was pretty close to me.

As soon as the shaking stopped, I got out of bed and went over to my living room to watch the news. I also got on my computer and sent a quick email to my parents to let them know that I was ok (I didn’t want them to see it on their news and not have heard from me). Since it was a smaller quake, there really wasn’t a lot of damage. In my house, one wineglass broke. That’s it.

After watching the news for a bit to see that it wasn’t a big quake somewhere and that everything was ok, I decided to start my day (I forgot to turn off my alarm and it went off a few minutes after I turned off the news).

I got all my packing done. It was tough because I’m only bringing a carry on and the weather is supposed to be highs in the mid 50’s and lows in the 20’s. That’s a lot of variety. But fortunately, I got some travel storage bags so I could make my sweaters and bulky jacket take up less room in my suitcase. I managed to get everything in there that I needed to bring.


On Tuesday, I kept my schedule pretty open so I could try to prevent some stress about flying. All I really did was go over to my friend Erin’s house because she was going to blow out and style my hair for me.

Other than that, I tried to stay calm and get ready for my red-eye flight that night.

I’ll admit that I’m writing this post before my flight, so I’ll have to share my experience with that on another post.

Next time, I’ll be writing from NYC!

The End, Kind Of (or My Mom Is Seriously A Rockstar!)

Yesterday was my mom’s last radiation appointment. Technically, she is officially done with all the treatments that her doctor prescribed to her to beat breast cancer. I say technically because she is in a drug trial right now and still has to finish that, but it wasn’t part of the original treatment plan.

I can’t believe that my mom is done. It seems like it’s been forever and super quick at the same time. Since July, she’s gone through a mastectomy, 2 different types of chemo, and a full course of radiation. And through it all, she’s kicked so much butt.

She never let any of her treatments get her down or set her back in any way. She’s gone through having our beloved dog get cancer (and having to put him down), getting a new puppy (who passed away suddenly), and raising another puppy. That’s more than most people could handle, even without cancer. But she has really been the rock of the family through all of that.

This has been long journey for our family, and there are still some things that are a bit uncertain. We haven’t gone through the genetic testing yet, so I’m not sure what my future looks like in terms of my chances of getting breast or ovarian cancer. We are going to do this, we just having had the chance yet (although my mom and I have both taken an online class required by my mom’s hospital to start the testing).

Also, I’ve learned that there’s no way to know if someone is completely cancer free after breast cancer. There’s not really a test for it. All they can do it be extra vigilant with monitoring my mom. But I really thought before all of this that there was some blood work or something that you could do to prove you don’t have cancer anymore. You can’t do that with breast cancer.

I really do wish that there was some way to guarantee that my mom beat this. Although there really isn’t a question in my mind that she did, I still want some proof and not just a gut feeling. It sucks that that isn’t possible.

But instead of focusing on that, we are going to focus on how awesome my mom is. Yesterday after her final radiation, she went out to lunch with friends. I don’t know what other celebrations she has scheduled soon, but in month I know how I will be celebrating with her.

My mom, my dad, and I are going to be going to Disneyland for 2 days (and staying overnight in one of the Disneyland hotels) to celebrate the end of her treatments. My mom is a Disneyland person like me, but I don’t think my dad has gone to the theme park for maybe 15 years. He has no idea what he is getting himself into by going to the parks with me and my mom. But in my opinion, going to the happiest place on earth seems like the perfect place to celebrate. That’s coming up in a month.

I also wanted to say thank you to all of you reading this. Throughout this journey, many of you have shared your own journeys with me. You’ve said prayers for my family and kept us in your thoughts. There’s no question in my mind that your thoughts and prayers helped my mom do so well in all of her treatments. I know that some of you know me in real life, but for those of you who don’t, I’m so touched that you took time out of your life to think about my mom. It means the world to me that you did that (and I’m sure my mom would thank you too).

This isn’t exactly the end of the journey for breast cancer in my family, but it’s the end of a major part of it. As more things happen, I’ll update you all. If I have to go through genetic testing, I will share all of that with you (and be completely open and honest).

Here’s to my mom: the ultimate cancer ass-kicking rockstar!