Monthly Archives: June 2016

Dinner And Carole King (or The Best Musical Ever!)

This past week was the 3rd musical in the Black Friday deal my friend Dani and I got at Pantages. It was actually the last show Dani can go to (she’s missing our last show but I’m bringing another friend to it) and our season tickets for next season don’t start until the fall. So this may be our last musical together for a while!

This time, we were seeing “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical”. When I saw that this was a part of the Black Friday deal, I knew I wanted to see it. Dani wasn’t totally sure on it, but she trusted me and we got the tickets with our deal back in November.

We drove over to the theater together (we don’t usually take the train for weeknight shows because we get out so late and the train isn’t as fast as the freeway at night), but we got there early enough to grab some dinner before the show. We weren’t sure where we wanted to go, but we saw Greenleaf Chop Shop and it sounded good to both of us.


Greenleaf is mainly a salad place, but when Dani and I sat down at the bar (the line to order at the counter was really long) we saw that they had way more than salads! We ended up ordering some spinach artichoke dip, chicken nachos, and goat cheese pizza to split between us. We also got some dessert because we felt like we needed something sweet too. I think it’s pretty funny that even though we were at a salad place, salad wasn’t part of our meal (technically Dani did order a side salad, but basically our meal was all non-salad foods).

After we were done with dinner, we walked down the street to the theater. It was a bit crowded because it was getting close to showtime, but we were able to get to our seats with time to spare.


We really lucked out with the seats we got for our Black Friday deal. For all of our shows, we are in the center orchestra. I don’t know how we got such great luck, but I love it!

While we were waiting for the show to start, we both were admiring how awesome the Pantages Theater looks. It’s really so beautiful and we were both saying how grateful we feel that we get to experience shows like this so close to where we live.


Once the show got started, I knew that we had made the right choice seeing this show. It was so incredible! It was a jukebox type musical that reminded me of a mix of “Jersey Boys” and “Motown”. It had the storytelling elements from “Jersey Boys” but since Carole King wrote for so many musical acts there were a lot of different musical groups portrayed in the show similar to how “Motown” was.

The songs were all so great and every time a new one started you could hear the moment the audience recognized the song and everyone was excited to hear it. I recognized pretty much every song and I think they were sung so well and the choreography was spot on. Dani and I were both laughing and smiling so much during the show and I was just in awe of what we were getting to see.

Not only were the performers awesome, I loved the sets and costumes. The sets were beautiful and so impressive (especially considering this is a touring show). I loved how they were so simple but so elaborate at the same time. And the quick changes that the actors had to do in the show were almost like magic tricks! There was one quick change that was done on stage in view of all of us and I wish I could watch that part over and over again. And there was another quick change where the performers were wearing one thing when they walked behind a small wall, walked behind the wall to the other side, and emerged with a different outfit! It just made me so happy seeing all the cool creative things that were in this show.

But what I loved the most about this show was how it was the story about not giving up on your dream. It’s about going for what you love and making sure that you know at the end of the day you did everything you could to make that happen. And it was just inspiring to see just a small snippet of someone’s life when they have had a very long career in a creative pursuit.

I’ve had a couple of friends tell me that my favorite musical will be “Hamilton” after I get to see that next year in August, but I really don’t know how something can top “Beautiful”. This was just incredible and I’m even trying to figure out if there is a way I can go to see it again because I want to experience the show at least one more time (and I almost never see a show more than once).

The Little Mermaid, Again (or A 15 Year High School Reunion)

I know I just saw “The Little Mermaid” at the Hollywood Bowl recently, but I just saw it again this past weekend! But this time, instead of it being a screening of the film it was the musical that was created for Broadway! I had never seen the musical before (but we did get to hear some of the songs from it at the Bowl event), so I was pretty excited to check out the show. But even better than seeing a musical, a guy I went to high school with was in it!

Dennis and I were both drama club members (and in the same drama classes) in high school. He was a year behind me, but the last time I saw him was when I graduated high school. So we hadn’t seen each other in 15 years! So when I heard that he was in a show that was touring in Orange County, I knew I had to go!

I had asked around to see who wanted to come with me, and my friend Rayshell was able to make it. We got some seats that were in the back of the balcony but pretty centered and we met up at the theater on Sunday for the show.

We had gotten there pretty early and it was pretty hot out, so we walked across from the theater to a smoothie bar to get something to drink. It was nice to have some time to catch up and to get something cold to drink because the a/c in my car died so I was feeling a bit overheated. We’ve both been pretty busy lately so we haven’t had a chance to do a happy hour catch up when we’ve been wanting too.

After enjoying our treat, we headed back over to the theater. I knew from when we purchased our tickets that the show was almost sold out then. I was guessing it would be sold out by the show date since this was the last show of the run.

The Little Mermaid

Dennis had been touring with this show for 3 years and this was going to be his last show, so it was a pretty big night for him. I didn’t know that when I was buying the tickets (we just bought based on when we could go), but I thought it was pretty cool that we were there to see it.

The show was really great! The only negative thing to me was that there were a ton of kids in the audience talking and singing through the show. I usually go to shows that only have adults there, so it threw me off a bit. There was also a woman in front of us who kept checking her phone in her purse. I think she thought keeping in her purse would hide the light, but it was blinding every time she did it.

Besides the distractions in the audience, I had so much fun watching the show! The choreography was so much fun especially during “Under The Sea”. That number was just so well done with the small cast that they had and the energy was amazing! And all the actors were really talented singers and I think they did a great job taking an animated film and bringing it to life.

After the show was done, Rayshell had to head back home so I said goodbye to her. But I didn’t go home right away because I wanted to see Dennis! I went over to the stage door to wait for him to come out (there were a couple of kids hanging out there asking everyone if they were in the show so they could get autographs). He had warned me it might take a while before he was outside, but he was out pretty quickly.

It was so cool to see him after 15 years! Most of the people who were doing drama in high school have gone on to have “real jobs” like being doctors or teachers. Dennis and I are pretty much the only 2 who have continued to pursue an acting career and I think that’s pretty special. We didn’t get a ton of time to talk because his family was in town to see the show too, but it was nice to get to talk for even just a few minutes.

And of course, we had to get a picture to remember our reunion!

With Dennis

We promised our next reunion wouldn’t take 15 more years (hopefully I’ll see him the next time that I get to NYC), and I headed to my car to head home.

It’s pretty rare that I get to see a big production like this with a friend of mine in it. A majority of my actor friends do film and tv work, so I see them on screen. But getting to see a friend perform live like I did is really special and I felt so lucky that I got to be there for it.

Trying To Help A Friend (or Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People?)

I’ve been very lucky in life. Even when bad things happen to me (like car accidents), they are pretty minor and can be taken care of with very little effort on my part. They are inconveniences, but they aren’t that much more than that. I know that is something to be grateful for and I really am grateful that my life has had a relatively smooth path so far.

Sadly, my friends haven’t all been as lucky. And just this past weekend, a wonderful friend (and casting director who I respect so much) lost almost everything in a house fire.

Dea Vise has been a really big supporter of me and my career. She’s been helping me out with random things and is always up for giving advice to anyone who asks. I respect her so much for how giving she has been to the acting community, so I want to give back how I can.

Dea was out of her house this past Saturday when there was an electrical fire in the wiring under her kitchen. A neighbor called the fire department and then Dea to let her know what was happening. She rushed back home and sadly almost everything in her house was destroyed by the fire. Dea has a couple of things that she was able to salvage from the fire, but pretty much everything is gone.

Dea's Fire

(the photos were taken by Billy DaMota who was there right after the fire was put out)

But worse than the things she lost, her beloved cats didn’t make it. As a pet lover, I can’t imagine the pain of losing a pet this way. I’ve lost many pets (some in sudden accidents), but this is still different. But I also know that if Dea was home when the fire happened, she would have done everything she could to save her cats and she likely wouldn’t have made it either. So I’m just grateful that she’s ok.

She doesn’t deserve for this to have happened to her at all. I know that nobody deserved to lose everything in a fire, but she really doesn’t deserve it. She really should only have the best things to happen to her in her life.

I went by her house yesterday when there was a cleanup happening. About a dozen friends (and friends of friends) were there going through everything that burned to see if there was anything that could be saved. They did find some things, but most of it was not salvageable. I wasn’t able to help with the cleanup effort yesterday (I had 2 hours that were free and it pretty much took me that time to get there and back), but I did go by to bring Dea some things she needed. She told me she needed face lotion and online she mentioned needing socks and her watch collection being destroyed. She somehow left that day without wearing a watch which is very unusual for her.

So besides the face lotion she asked for, I put together a bag of things for her. It wasn’t much and a lot of it was silly stuff. But I was able to give her some nice lotions, nail polish, books to read, a day pass to a spa I got in a swag bag, some socks I bought at Target, and a watch I found at Target. I know the watch isn’t fancy or like anything she lost in the fire, but I wanted her to have something for now. And I know that she is going to need much more than what I was able to bring, but I wanted to help out in whatever way I could. And that includes sharing her story with all of you.

If you want to help my amazing friend Dea, there is a You Caring fundraiser  for her. All the money raised will help her rebuild her life and for any expenses she has in order to get a new home rented. I’m also trying to collect as many Bed Bath and Beyond coupons as I can. I know that the funds that are being raised will be used to help get her new home furnished and set up, and I figured that with the coupons at least the funds being used for things bought there can be stretched 20% further. If you are in the LA area (or if you aren’t but want to mail them to me), please let me know and we can arrange something so you can get your coupons to her.

This is a tragic situation but I know that Dea will come out of this ok eventually. Right now everything is so raw and awful, but she is such a positive person with so much light that she radiates that I know it will be ok one day.

Truly My Peak Performance (or Exceeding My Expectations)

I had been pretty excited going into this past week of workouts. I really do love Peak Performance Week (it’s so much better than Hell Week!). I track a lot of my workout accomplishments on my phone so I do know how I’m doing week to week. But for some reason Peak Performance Week brings out the competitive side of me and I really go for it! I’ve hit some amazing goals and PRs during past Peak Performance Weeks, and I knew that while I wasn’t going to hit that every day I was going to have an awesome week.

I really wanted to go to 4 workouts this past week, but my schedule didn’t allow for me to do that so I only got in 3 workout challenges (the one I was sad to miss was the same day as my therapist appointment). But I think that I really maximized the time that I was at Orangetheory and I really couldn’t be prouder of myself.

Monday was the 500 meter row challenge. We started our workout doing the challenge (so we wouldn’t be tired doing it later) so I was able to get my row done within the first 10 minutes of class. My goal time was to be able to get this done in under 2 minutes, and I really thought I might get there. I was going really fast on the rower and was pushing back really hard with my legs. But even with the effort I was putting in, I came up just a bit short of my goal.

500 Meter Row

I really set the bar high with hoping to be under 2 minutes, so I’m pretty happy with what I was able to get done. Plus, since I know Mondays are usually tough mornings for me, I knew that I might struggle a bit. But I was pretty happy with my endurance during the row and I think my time is a good one that I can work toward beating next time.

After the 500 meter row, our coach split our group up more evenly to do the rest of the workout. I ended up being in the group that had to start on the floor (I really don’t like that). The floor block ended up being very similar to Friday the week before. It was a long block that had a lot of arm and ab work and we also had to do some more rowing during it. For the treadmill, I only ran during the all out segments because I was feeling a bit tired in the second half of class and I didn’t want to overdo things too much (that’s when I hurt more).

Wednesdays class was pretty fun for me. My friend Dani was able to be in class (she’s missed a few weeks because of work) and my friend Amanda surprised me by being there too! That was pretty awesome and made me be in a really great mood for class. The challenge that day was weighted sit to stands on a Bosu ball for 1 minute. Unfortunately for me, I can’t do sit to stands really well. I can do it if I use my hands and flip over to stand up, but my hips don’t really bend that way right now. So I ended up doing weighted squats for that minute and was able to do 32 squats!

The workout was a strength day, so that meant all inclines on the treadmill. I didn’t end up doing any running for the treadmill time. I knew what was coming up on Friday and I wanted to make sure my legs were ready. But I was able to bring my inclines up on the treadmill higher than I have in a while and that’s a pretty great accomplishment for me! My calf hasn’t been hurting at all lately so I’m getting a bit braver with testing my inclines. I’m not ready to try running really at inclines yet, but to know I can walk at them again is pretty nice.

The floor work that day was nice. I was tired after all of the hill work that we had to do, so I was pretty happy to see that there was an entire block of floor work that was on the Bosu! A lot of that was laying on the ground, so my heart rate got to relax for a bit.

Friday was the big day for me! It was the 1 mile challenge and I was feeling super excited and nervous about it. I know that I just had a major PR recently with my mile time, so I wasn’t expecting anything huge to happen this time. But I did know that I was able to run faster and a bit longer than I did when I got that PR, so I figured I would be getting a faster time that day.

My original plan for my mile was to run for 45 seconds and then walk for 1 minute and just keep repeating it. That seems like a good pace idea for me and I was happy with the plan. When I started my mile challenge, I was feeling pretty good with my running so I decided to run for 1 minute and walk for 1 minute until that was tiring me out too much. I figured I could probably do that a couple of times and then I’d go down to running for 45 seconds at a time. But I was actually feeling pretty great. In fact, I was bumping up my speed on both my running and walking segments (running at 4.8 mph and walking at 3.7 mph).

We technically only had 13 minutes to finish the mile, and I knew there was no way I could finish that quickly. So I just figured that I would stay on the treadmill while everyone was walking to recover and hopefully I could keep going into the beginning of the floor block and nobody would need my treadmill (we were switching between blocks this day). At the 12 minute mark, I saw that I was killing it with my time and I decided to just go for it and hope that I could keep going. I started running at 5.0 mph and decided that I wasn’t going to stop until I hit the 1 mile mark. I was bumping my speed up a bit throughout the time and in that last effort I hit 2 big milestones. I ran at my fastest speed yet (5.3 mph) and for the longest time yet (1:50 without stopping). And it totally paid off in my mile time.

1 Mile Challenge

That’s a minute and 40 seconds faster than my mile last month! That’s insane! I pushed myself harder than I ever have and while I know that this speed and intensity could not be done for a 5K race yet, just knowing I can do a mile like this is incredible! I really want to work on my endurance and continuing to run for longer and longer blocks. I had set a goal for June to run for 90 seconds straight, and I ended up beating that by 20 seconds!

After that mile, I was beyond exhausted. I was very out of breath and had to sit down while the rest of the floor work was being explained. I even had to take a bit of time during the floor block to work on getting my heart rate back down and to stop breathing as hard as I was. The first floor block was 13 minutes long (so the other half of class had 13 minutes to do their mile challenges) and it focused a lot on arms and abs. I was really grateful for the ab work because that meant I was laying down on the floor. I’m glad it was a longish block because I was able to take my time and I know I was going pretty slowly.

After the longer floor block, we got back up to the treadmill for the last 2 blocks of cardio. I was walking during all of it and keeping my inclines a bit lower because I really was tired. My legs were a bit sore (not in pain, just sore) and I knew I had pushed myself maybe a bit harder than I should have so I wanted to be easy on myself. And when we were back on the floor, the final block was 2 1/2 minutes of arm work (biceps and triceps) and I was sitting or laying on the weight bench for the entire time.

Overall, I think that this Peak Performance Week went really well. While I didn’t beat old records every time, the records I did beat were pretty amazing. And I was pushing myself harder no matter what I was doing. That competitive feeling was really making me want to do better than ever and I think that I accomplished that.

I’m not sure when the next Peak Performance Week will be, but I know that all this time between now and then will be training to beat these records and to prove that I’m getting stronger, better, and faster every day.

A Busy Summer (or Realizing I Have A Lot To Look Forward Too)

While summer is definitely here now (I’m so grateful for my a/c because it’s been pretty hot here in LA lately!), I haven’t really thought too much about my summer plans. Summer doesn’t really mean as much now as it did as a kid, but I still think of it as the time I want to make some really fun plans and try to get out and do summer things like go to the beach or hang out with my friends at a BBQ.

I’ve been adding things to my calendar as I hear about them (or get tickets to them as it is the case with the Hollywood Bowl), but I haven’t really thought that I had a ton of stuff planned yet. In fact, I was thinking that I needed to look into more things that I want to do. It just didn’t seem like I had a lot planned out and I figured I would have lots of gaps in my calendar that I would want to fill up.

Then I looked at my calendar.

For the next 6 weeks, I don’t have a free weekend. Each weekend is booked with some pretty cool things. Sometimes I’m going to a show. Some days I have a party I’m going to. There are a couple of meals with friends already on my schedule. I’ve got my short film shoot one weekend. I’m going to a blogging conference one weekend (although my time there is going to end up being very limited so I won’t get to experience it all). And I’m going back east for a weekend for a family reunion (some of the family there I haven’t seen in 16 years!). Then of course there are some weekends that are already booked with work (not counting my usual Saturday morning shifts).

It’s a lot of stuff to do and that’s just getting me to August! In August, I’ve got my birthday to figure out and I’ll be going to San Diego to celebrate with my parents for their anniversary and my birthday. But that month is relatively clear for now but I know there are a couple of shows at the Hollywood Bowl that I’m hoping to go to that I haven’t gotten my tickets for yet.

I think I’ve really set myself up for a great summer. I will be extremely busy and I’m sure at times I might get a bit overwhelmed at my schedule, but I’m happy that I’ve got so much to look forward to instead of feeling like the summer weekends are going to drag on.

Of course, after the beginning of September my calendar pretty much only has my work and workouts scheduled (plus my season ticket dates for the upcoming season at Pantages) so I know I’ll need to plan some fun things for the fall too. I’m already working on one trip I’m hoping to take in October (thanks to some airline credits I have to use up before the end of the year) and of course I have Thanksgiving in the fall too.

I feel like this is the first summer that I’ve really been looking forward to in a while. Summers lost some of their specialness after I was out of school and working meant there wasn’t a big chunk of time off (unless I was unemployed). In the past, it was just time that I was going to keep working and I knew I’d have to deal with the heat in creative ways. Now, I’ve set myself up to have as much fun as I can while still working 3-4 day jobs. I don’t think I could have done it any better.

Seeing My Therapist (or Building Habits)

I saw my therapist earlier this week. This was the first time that I had seen him in 6 months because he has been feeling like I’ve been doing a pretty good job lately. So he trusted me to be ok with a 6 month gap between appointments but let me know that if anything changed I could see him sooner if I needed to.

I had been feeling pretty good about this appointment lately. After my interview for the audition recently, I have really realized how much progress has been made and I knew that my appointment would be filled with positive news.

I had brought a couple of things with me to my appointment. Usually, I bring my happiness checklist, but I’m now using an app to track that so I made sure my phone was charged so I could show him if he wanted to see it. I also brought my Spark Planner with me. I’ve been tracking so much stuff in there lately and I wanted it to remind myself of anything as well as proof to show him if he wanted to see it.

The first thing discussed in my appointment was how I was feeling about Vyvanse. I think I’m doing pretty well on it and there was only one minor concern about things. I’ve been taking my larger dose in the morning and smaller dose at lunch, but I feel like maybe those should be switched. There is more time between lunch and bedtime than there is between breakfast and lunch. And since I’m not having sleeping issues with Vyvanse, I’m not worried about a slightly larger dose at lunchtime. My therapist agreed with me completely and my new prescription bottles will reflect that (for now, I just take the afternoon medication in the morning and visa versa until I’m using my refill).

After that check in, we discussed how I’ve been doing with my happiness checklist and other things. I told him how I had been using an app for the checklist since it’s easier and I always have it with me, and I think his biggest surprise is that I’ve continued to keep it up. He wrote down the name of the app (HabitBull) so he can tell other patients as well, so that made me feel pretty awesome.

And then we talked about my Spark Planner. I told him how I had been tracking a lot of stuff in there this year and I was showing off the various sections of it. I showed him where I can track my annual goals, monthly goals, and weekly goals and I think he was impressed that there is such a big focus on goal setting. It’s good for me to have goals to reach toward, so the more I can focus and have to think about my goals the better.

But what my therapist was most impressed with were the monthly challenges that are within the Spark Planner.

30 Day Challenges

I showed him the monthly challenges I’ve been doing and let him know that I’ve basically had 100% success with keeping up each challenge even beyond the month that I set the challenge for (the only one that hasn’t been 100% has been weighing myself in because I can only do that at home and I was in Santa Barbara for Rayshell’s wedding without my scale). And I know that I can’t do 100% perfection with all challenges for the rest of my life, but even if I only keep them up part-time these are all good habits that I’ve been building and that’s just awesome.

And habit building is exactly what my therapist wants me to focus on over these next 6 months. The more I build positive habits in my life, the more likely that recovery from my eating disorder will become a positive habit eventually. While the individual habits are sometimes recovery related, even the non-recovery ones are helping me get into a better space in my life and to build my habit building muscles up so that I can use them for whatever I need to.

I knew when I bought my Spark Planner that it was going to be a good thing for me, but to know that my therapist thinks that this is what will help me get to recovery one day is amazing. I’m still figuring out what recovery really means to me (and that’s something I did discuss with my therapist), but I’m feeling even better that recovery is in my future one day.

At the end of my appointment, I felt incredible and on cloud 9. My therapist even said that in some ways, I’m doing better than he is and he needs to get better and doing some things like I’m doing now. For me, so much of my habit work is having something to remind me to do it. I have so many alarms/reminders set on my phone so I know to do something. If I didn’t have that, I would easily forget and that’s what life was like before. There’s no shame in needing to be reminded to do something, but for some reason I was not willing to do that before.

But now that I’m fine with the dozens of alarms on my phone, I’m making sure I’m getting my new habits done and I’m excited to see how I’ll be doing in 6 months when I see my therapist again.

A Disney Morning (or Dealing With The Heat For One Ride)

My Disneyland pass is about to be blacked out for the summer. I don’t mind that I can’t go during the summer since it’s usually more crowded than plus the heat can be pretty bad. Sometimes I wish I could be there when some of my friends go, but I don’t want to have a more expensive annual pass just for an occasional summer day in the parks.

I had gone last week with my friend June to the parks to ride all of my favorite rides and to say goodbye to Soarin’ Over California. That was a great way to spend one more Disney day before being blacked out for 2 months, but I ended up going back for about an hour this past Sunday.

With Soarin’ Over California closing, Soarin’ Around The World was opening. The opening day was on Friday and I had some free time on Sunday to ride it so I decided to head down for a quick park visit.

Even though I got there around 9am, the heat was already pretty bad. I didn’t think to wear a hat since I was only going to be there for a quick stop, so I was trying to stay in the shade as much as possible. But even with the heat, nothing could take away my excitement to check out the new ride!


The line was pretty short, which I was surprised by. I figured with it being a new ride and it being a Sunday, the lines would have been out of control. But it was only about a 25 minute wait when I got there.

My quick review of the new ride is that I really liked it! I thought I wouldn’t since I loved the original so much. This new version has some elements of the music from the original but I like that they didn’t keep it exactly the same. And while I liked the movie a bit more in the original (and the scents that they have), the movement of the ride is better in the new one and it was a bit more exciting to ride.

I actually enjoyed it so much that I rode it twice back to back! I figured I should maximize the short amount of time I had in the parks and there weren’t any other rides I wanted to go on (or have to walk in the sun to get to). The only other thing that I did at the park was take some time to cool down inside of Starbucks because I needed some air conditioning time. But I got a seat at the window so I could enjoy the cool air with a view.

California Adventure

The park was pretty empty while I was there and I’m guessing people wanted to stay away because of the heat. A lot of people in the park seemed pretty overheated and I think people were surprised at how bad it was that early in the morning.

When I got to the tram to get back to the parking structure, I was the only person in line to get onto it to ride back.

Empty Tram

But after I sat down, I saw tons of people coming over that wanted to leave the park. We ended up being about half full on the ride back and at the parking lot there was almost nobody there to ride the tram to the park. If I had a full day to be there (and had been prepared to be there all day), I would have stayed because all the rides had pretty short wait times and I think I could have gotten a lot done. But that wasn’t in the cards for me that day and I’m just happy that I was able to go for the short time that I did.

My car was parked on the top of the parking structure that day. While it was annoying because I had to let my car cool down before I could try to sit inside of it, I did get a pretty fun view of the Star Wars Land construction that is going on right now.

Disney Construction

The construction changed even between my visit on Monday and my visit on Sunday. I’m excited to see how much things will change by the time I go back to the parks at the end of August or beginning of September. I know that the construction will still be taking a long time, but I find it fun to see the work in progress and seeing how Disneyland changes throughout the years.

Even though my Monday visit was really my goodbye to Disneyland for the summer, I’m glad I had this bonus short trip to say hello to what will surely be one of my new favorite rides.

“BLUE” (or Supporting A Friend’s Film)

This past weekend, I got to attend the premiere of my friend Robert’s film. This was something that I know he had been working really hard on, and I was so excited to see the finished product. So I had been counting down the days to the screening!

Robert worked with Marie and Chris (the epic party throwers) on this project, so a lot of people attending the screening were the same people who I see at lots of parties throughout the year. That made the event even more fun and I think everyone shared my excitement about it!

The film that Robert and Chris did is called “BLUE” and it is a very personal story for Robert. It shows people what it is like living with depression and how it can rule your life even if you are doing something fun or that you love. Depression in the film was represented by Blue, a puppet, and I think it was a really great way to show people what mental illness is like.


Technically, I was diagnosed with depression when I was younger, but the more I’ve learned about mental illness and depression I believe that I was actually misdiagnosed. I think my depression was a side effect of my panic/anxiety disorder. The panic attacks made me sad and I didn’t know how to make things better. That depression is very different from when people are diagnosed with depression, but I can still relate to the concept of the film.

While I don’t deal with my panic/anxiety on a daily basis, I do live in fear for when the next attack will be. Fortunately, they are getting better now so I’m not in as much fear as I was before. But I’m still wondering when the bubble will burst and I’ll have a horrible panic attack that causes me to not be able to do anything for a day or so. That feeling is similar to what some people with depression feels when they wonder when their next down time will hit them.

I loved this movie! It’s short, but the message is very effective and clear. I think it’s a great way to show others what mental illness can feel like and how we can feel crazy when we can’t just forget about it. And I think that everyone else who viewed it felt the same way because everyone was just so touched after the end credits were done.

And because my friends Robert and Chris are so amazing, they have posted the movie on YouTube for everyone to see and share.

(if you can’t see the video above, click on this link:

I hope that you all take a few minutes to watch this movie and to share with everyone you know. Let your friends who have a mental illness know that you are trying to understand them. And let your friends without mental illness know that they should watch this so that they can try to understand their friends who battle this every day.

After the screening, Robert had arranged for a photographer (Adam, who did my last headshots!) to take photos of us with the puppet who was in the movie. I love photo booth set ups and this one was so much fun! And of course, taking photos with a puppet is a pretty awesome thing too.

Me and Blue

Adam also took some fun candid shots before and after the screening. Most of them haven’t been posted yet, but I love this one of a bunch of us in the backyard before the screening started.


After the screening and photos, most of us hung out in the backyard just chatting like normal. But it wasn’t like normal because everyone was more open than I think we’ve ever been before. We were discussing some more serious things than we normally do and there was no shame in what anyone had to say. This movie really did bring us all closer together even though we were already pretty close to begin with. I think anything that helps to remove the shame from any mental illness is such a gift and I’m so glad that Robert and Chris did this so we could feel more open with each other.

If you deal with depression or mental illness, please know that you aren’t alone. There are so many of us out there who know exactly what you are going through and maybe not everyone is ready to share that with the world. By being willing to share, you might inspire others to share and be open too (I experienced that with this blog).

And if you are dealing with mental illness and want help, please get it. There is no shame in needing someone to talk to or medication to make things better in your life. You may find a way to live a fuller life by getting help, and that is something you don’t want to miss out on.

Testing Myself (or Running More)

I’m so happy to share that the knee pain I was dealing with recently finally went away! I have no clue what was causing it or how I made it stop, but it did and I’m so grateful for that. And I needed a good week because I had another 4 workout week this past week and I wasn’t going easy on myself.

Monday wasn’t my best day (I’m starting to wonder if Mondays are too early for me to be good workouts). While I wasn’t having knee pain, I was dealing with some hip stuff. I could feel the clicks in both hips and I was getting the pressure pain I get a lot. But even with that, I was trying to go hard in my workout. It was an endurance day and we didn’t switch between blocks, so I knew I had to pace myself on the treadmill. We had some 2 and 3 minute push paces, and I stuck to walking those. I’d like to try running for the first 30 seconds of them again soon, but I was scared with the hip pain that day. But even though I was walking for the pushes, I was still doing my running for the all outs. That day we also had endurance rows (400 and 500 meters) and I know that those were to get us ready for Peak Performance Week (which is this week!).

Wednesday was a power day without switching, but that was perfect for me to practice my running with! I’ve quickly learned that the best days for me to run are the power days because we have a lot of all outs and walking recoveries (exactly what I need). This time, we had all outs in blocks of 3 and it repeated 3 times. First we did an all out for a minute, then a walking recovery, then an all out for 45 seconds, and a walking recovery, and finishing with an all out for 30 seconds. We were encouraged to bump up the speed on the all outs as they got shorter and for the first time I followed that advice! When we were doing them for a minute, I stuck with 4.5 miles an hour which is what I’ve been doing. For the 45 second all outs, I ran at 4.6 miles an hour. And for the ones that were 30 seconds, I ran at 4.7 miles an hour. I’m pretty happy that I was able to make speed increases and I’ve learned that the additional .1 faster feels much easier as a runner than it does as a walker. So I might have to keep trying to get faster while I’m also trying to build endurance.

That day on the floor, it was a lot of squats which I did with 25 pound weights. I also used that same weight for my tricep work, but when it came time for abs, I’m glad that I didn’t have to use weights because I was exhausted!

Friday was a run/row day. I was excited for this because I knew that I could test my running again during the run/row. All of the rows were 150 meters, so those were pretty easy. But the run part was a bit longer. It started for me at .25 miles, then down to .2, then to .15, and finally to .1. I walked for the first 3 sets (.25-.15 miles) because I knew that I couldn’t run that long and I didn’t want to push it too much. But when it came to the .1 miles part, I decided to see if I could run it. Before, the longest I’ve run is for a minute, and I know that it’s not .1 miles for me in a minute. But I’ve been hoping that at some point this month I could run for 90 seconds, so I figured this was the best time to try something in between. I’m happy that the longer run wasn’t as horrible as I thought it would be and I think that my endurance is really getting better because I wasn’t feeling like I was dying at the end of it. But that day I did run for the longest distance and longest time I’ve done so far.


For my Saturday workout, I did end up using the bike like I’ve said I would on 4 workout weeks. I really did want to try running again, but I also want to pace myself and make sure that whatever that knee pain was doesn’t return. It was a good choice because not only did we not switch between blocks, it was a strength day which means more hills on the treadmill. On the bike, it just meant more resistance. I was trying to go hard on the bike, but my body was just so tired from the week (the heat has been making it tough to sleep) so I just focused on continuing to pedal and not to focus on the resistance levels.

The floor block on Saturday was actually pretty cool. It was a single block for the entire time that started with rowing and then had a bunch of other things we added on. The rowing started easy at 150 meters, but it kept going up and once I was rowing 450 meters I could feel my body being done with it. The highest I had to row was 600 meters and while my time for it was pretty bad, at least I finished. The rest of the stuff on the floor included squats, shoulder presses, and doing arm rows with weights. It was a fun block because I knew I had the time to work through each exercise and I wasn’t worried about when the blocks would switch. But at the end of the class, I was ready to take a nap!

With this week being Peak Performance Week, I’m excited to see what I’ll be able to do. I know that Friday is the mile challenge, which is always the big one for me. But since I recently had the PR on my mile, I’m not going to get too crazy about it. If I beat that time, that will be awesome! But because I know I made some seriously leaps to get that PR, I just want to be close to that time to prove that it wasn’t a fluke.

Organization Time (or Seeing A Bit Of A Mess)

I take a lot of pride in being a super organized person. I have my calendar color coded, I made lists of tasks or errands to do almost every day, and I track my tax stuff throughout the year so I don’t have to do it all at once. I’m pretty set in my organization skills and I’ve taught a couple of friends to do them as well (I think everyone has appreciated the tips!).

My house is pretty small, so I try to keep things uncluttered. When there is a little bit of a mess, it seems to take everything over. At one of my old apartments, I was a much messier (and less organized person), but I’m pretty neat in my current space. But between all the day jobs I’m working now, time is much more limited and I’ve been noticing that things are getting a bit messy and overwhelming.

I’ve been trying to set small goals each day with things that need to be cleaned/organized but I’ve got 2 main projects that I want to work on and they both probably need a day devoted to them.

First, I want to organize my kitchen. I’m lacking in counter space, so I have to be very careful where I store things. I finally just got rid of all my mismatched disposable food storage containers (I got some nice glass ones and only have 6 pieces instead of 20 or more). I’ve got dozens of cookbooks, but I think I only really use maybe 3 of them. So I need to take a day or a couple of days and go through the cookbooks and scan in the recipes I like. Then I can donate the cookbooks that I don’t need and that is a lot more storage space for me in my kitchen cabinet.

I may have gotten rid of a ton of junk storage containers, but I still have so much stuff to go through. I know I donated about 20 water bottles somewhat recently, but I just counted and I have 15 water bottles in my house. I really only use maybe 3 or 4 of them, so I need to weed through them. I also have a giant fruit bowl on my counter that I do use, but I think I could find something smaller that would do just as great of a job.

I don’t want to spend a ton of money organizing my kitchen, but I know that a couple of things will need to be bought and I need to figure out exactly what I’m in need of or what I could use to make the tiny kitchen space more manageable. My main goal is to make my kitchen a place that makes me happy and motivated to keep cooking in there.

The second place that I’m in serious need of organizing is my desk. Most of my desk is technically organized, but there’s so much stuff piled up everywhere that you can’t see the organized areas! Part of the problem is that while I’m working on a project, things get piled on my printer or on my filing cabinet. I try to toss them out when the project is done, but that doesn’t always happen. Fortunately, this project will be more throwing out things than reorganizing, so it should be easier than the kitchen project I want to do.

I’m really working on making my space the best it can be for me. I need things to be functional and motivating at the same time. I need to have a ton of things within reach, but not cluttered on top of each other. I know that this is probably just normal maintenance or “spring cleaning” type work. But until I took a step back and realized how my disorganized spaces were causing issues for me, I didn’t realize how badly I needed to revamp my system.