This past week was time for another show in my Pantages season! And this time, we were seeing “Finding Neverland”. I was looking forward to the show for a couple of reasons. First, our season picks up now and we have a show almost every month now! Also, our group just decided to renew our season tickets for the 2018 season, so I know that we have so many musicals in our future. Going to the shows make me so happy, and I’m just glad I have an awesome group of friends to go with me.
Originally our tickets were for this past Sunday. But since it was Oscar Sunday, none of us wanted to drive to the theater (close to so many road closures) and we all had plans that day. We tried to find a date that we could switch our tickets to that worked for all 4 of us, but we weren’t able to make that work. So 3 of us went together this time (the 4th person went the day before the rest of us did). None of us knew what to expect for the show. I think the most that we all knew was the show is about JM Barrie, the writer of Peter Pan.
Since we didn’t go on the night our tickets were originally for, we had slightly different seats. We were still off to the side, but we were much farther back than normal. This might have been the furthest back I’ve sat since getting season tickets, but it was still a good view and I think we didn’t miss anything by sitting in the back.
We were talking about how much our friend had liked “Finding Neverland” the night before, but we were all pretty curious if we would enjoy the show as much and what would happen. And once the lights went down, I know all of us were excited to see how we would feel about it.
I have a connection to Peter Pan that made me extra excited about the show. When I was in high school, I was in the show (although I don’t think we did a musical version of it). I really wanted to play something awesome in the show, and I ended up being cast as the dog and crocodile. It was an interesting experience having to act while in giant mascot suits and not being able to say anything. I had some really fun memories of doing that show, and because of that Peter Pan has always felt special to me.
Seriously, this show was incredible! It was so magical and I was not expecting it be enjoying it nearly as much as I did. I’m probably a bit spoiled when it comes to musicals. I’ve gotten to see so many shows and have so many experiences. So to impress me takes a lot. And this show impressed me beyond anything I could have expected! There isn’t as much about the show Peter Pan as I thought there would be, but that is part of what made it great. There wasn’t much that I knew about before so it was all new to me!
During intermission, all of us turned to each other and I think we were all pretty speechless with how much we were loving “Finding Neverland”. I always hope that I will love a show I’m seeing, especially if I don’t know the show or what it’s all about, but it’s not always like that. But this show was just breathtaking and the cast was doing an amazing job. And we were all so excited to see the second act and couldn’t wait to see what else would happen.
And the second act didn’t disappoint at all. It was so emotional and it was a perfect ending for the show. We were all crying at the end and didn’t care that we might all have mascara running down our faces. It was the perfect musical to see and I’m sad that it’s only in LA for a short time because I would love to go see it again! There’s a chance I might make it to the show again, but I have to double-check the schedule and my budget to see if I can make it work.
I’m so glad that I got to see “Finding Neverland” and was so surprised by it. Many of the shows this season and next at Pantages are shows that I don’t know well so I’m hoping that I’ll have more pleasant surprises coming up. I know that not all shows can affect me the way that this one did, but I’m so glad that I had such a reaction to this show. I’ve loved so many shows in the past, but this one moved me more than possibly any show I’ve seen and I really appreciate that I got to experience it.
This past week at Orangetheory was a pretty amazing and intense week for me. It was a a tough week because it was a 4 workout week, but I also think the workouts this week were exceptionally good and they were different compared to what I’m used to. Having things be different is good since I know you need to mix things up. And having things mixed up in class led to some great opportunities for me to test myself on a bunch of different things and I think in the end I really benefitted from that.
Monday’s class was a 3 group class because of the holiday (they tend to only have morning classes on holidays so they are all 3 group classes) and it was a strength day. But instead of the standard 3G classes that we have, this was very different and I really had to work hard on focusing what to do. With 3G classes you have a group on the treadmill, a group on the rower, and a group on the floor. And we technically did have that, but we didn’t stay that way. We had 6 blocks in the workout and they were all 6 minutes each. We all started on one part of the room, but as we did the workout we moved from station to station within the block. We didn’t have to stick with the same number on the floor, rower, and treadmill. We just had to go over to any place that was free.
It was tough with us all moving around all the time, but I think we managed ok as a class. On the treadmill, it was the same thing each time. It was supposed to be a .25 miles run, but if you run under 5mph you were supposed to do half the distance and at 4% incline (because you needed to be done with the treadmill fast enough to make it to all 3 stations). So each of the 6 treadmill times for me, I was doing .125 miles at 4% incline and I ran all of it. Running at 4% incline is tougher than a flat treadmill, but 4% is something I’m slightly more comfortable with. It was a good challenge to do, and since it was done pretty quickly it wasn’t too overwhelming. On the rower, we always had a 400 meter row. And on the floor, it was mixed up but we always had 2 different things to do.
We were supposed to see if we could complete and entire lap around the room plus possibly more. I struggled to make it through all the stations for many of the blocks. But somehow with the blocks were I started on the floor I was able to get through it all, so I did make the entire lap twice in class. But even though I didn’t do everything every single round, I know I got an incredible workout done and felt amazing for knowing I pushed myself and succeeded.
Wednesday’s workout was a strength day that was also a run/row, so I was pretty excited for that. But it was a run/row like we’ve never had before. Usually with run/row days, we don’t switch between blocks and we work on the run/row for about 20 minutes before moving on to the floor. I’m used to that and comfortable with that. But this time, there were 4 run/row blocks and 4 floor blocks and we switched each time. The blocks were all about 4.5 minutes long so we were switching a lot and often. The run/row was between .25-.1 miles at 3% to start. 3% feels pretty comfortable with me, but doing .25 miles at that incline felt so long and much steeper than it was. After doing the run, we did 100-250 meters of rowing and then went back to the treadmill to do the same distance again but at 6%. I only completed the second round on the 4th block (when the treadmill and rower distance was the shortest), but I was usually able to make it back to the treadmill each block.
On the floor, we had 3 blocks that each had 2 things. It was good that we only had 2 things to do each block because 4.5 minutes goes by pretty quickly. We had a lot of variety in the floor work with lunges, bicep curls, front raises, and mountain climbers. And with our 4th block, we had timed work (usually for 30 seconds) that was mainly on the straps. When we have timed work, I try to not take breaks. But sometimes 30 seconds straight doing something feels so difficult and you just have to rest.
This workout was one of the harder ones I think I’ve done. It was a combination of how fast we were switching, the running on inclines, and the feeling like I wanted to get through everything so I was rushing a bit. I was so tired after this workout (and not necessarily in the good tired way), but even though I was exhausted I was proud of myself for getting through the workout. On tough days like this one, I have to think back to where I was when I started. My very first Orangetheory workout was so tough that I was struggling to walk the next day. This workout would have killed me back then. I know that I’m so much stronger than I was before and knowing that helps me get through days that get to me.
After that crazy workout on Wednesday, I’m glad that Friday’s workout was a bit easier. It was a power day and we switched between blocks. I was grateful that we wouldn’t have hills during the workout and I was excited to get to focus on my running a bit more. Our blocks were between 5-7 minutes and since I knew we’d be switching I did push myself a bit more on the treadmill than I would have if we weren’t going to switch. Each of the treadmill blocks started with a 90 second push and then we had a bunch of push to all out paces (with walking recovery between one all out to another). A lot of the push to all outs were pretty fast, but we did have one that was 2 1/2 minutes total. Running faster than normal for that long is tough, but since I’ve been working hard on my endurance it was nice to get to work on my speed. My only regret with the treadmill time on this workout is that now that I know my endurance is pretty decent I want to start doing a bit of running during the base paces. This workout could have been ideal to test that out, but I didn’t do it.
Between each of the treadmill blocks, we had floor and rowing work. All of the rows were timed rows, which were a nice change from distance rows. We had 30 second, 45 second, and 1 minute rows and I was pushing myself like crazy for each of them. It’s a bit easier for me to push myself on a timed row because I can count down how much longer I have to work (unlike distance rows where I’m not totally sure how long it will take me). I think that my wattage on each row was higher than I ever had thanks to some work I’ve been doing on my rowing technique. I’m going a bit slower with my pulls on the rower, but I can get my wattage up higher when I have a good rhythm. After the timed rows, we had floor work which included weighted squats, plank work, and burpees.
And I got my 4th workout in this week (no blackout to deal with this time!) on Saturday. I’ve switched the time I go on Saturdays recently because I realized that I can go to a class a bit earlier than I thought I could after work. And now that I’m going a bit earlier, I’m usually in a 3G workout on Saturdays. And this Saturday was no different. I like the 3G format because it gives me time to work on my rowing (which isn’t in every workout) plus it’s a bit less treadmill time which is a nice break. I don’t care as much about having less treadmill time now that I’m working on running (somehow running on the treadmill is less stressful on my hips than walking), but I’m still happy to have a change from the norm.
This class was a switch day and also a strength day. So more hills for me on the treadmill and I knew it would be a tough day with hills. On the first block, I did most of the hills running. I was able to do a minute at 3%, a minute at 5%, and about 30 seconds at 7%. I couldn’t do more than that at 7% so I did some walking after that. We also had shorter bursts on the hills that I was able to do as a run as well. But when I got back to the treadmill for the second block, I just couldn’t run anymore. I really wanted to try, but I also knew that I had a big week of workouts and it was ok to take it a bit easy at the end.
When I was on the rower, the first block was rowing plus lunges and the second block was rowing plus squats. My rowing wasn’t as strong as it was earlier in the week, but again I took into consideration that I was probably a bit tired from all my workouts. And on the floor, we had a pretty good all over workout with arms, back, and core work. The floor was probably my strongest part of the workout because there were a couple of things that were either laying on the weight bench or laying on the floor to do core work. That felt like a nice break.
I’m really trying to do more 4 workout weeks now. I know that I have a workout goal for the year, and since I will need to take time off after surgery I want to get in extra workouts while I can. Doing that will help to keep my total number of workouts for the year near where it should be. I’m hoping I’ll only need a few weeks off from working out, but I also know there is a chance I might need a few months off (I’m really hoping that won’t happen). I’m also looking at right now as my time to train for surgery, so all the workouts I can do are working toward that goal. This week was only a 4 workout week, but with all the work I did it felt a lot tougher than that!
I’ve written about the traditions that my birthday twin, Joanna, and I have been doing for a while. It’s tradition to go to Truxton’s for our birthday and then we started doing Cheesecake Factory around the holidays. But lately, we’ve changed our Cheesecake Factory dinner to be more of a half birthday thing. And since it was just our half birthday, we made an effort to do our dinner close to the right time.
We ended up going this past Monday after I had my screening. Joanna was actually at the screening the week before at my film festival, so she didn’t have to go to this screening. But the timing worked out really well between us to go to dinner after my screening so I was excited to get to discuss the screening with her. I was so nervous going into the screening and still feeling a little bit anxious after, so it was nice to know I would be able to talk it through with a friend to calm me down.
So many times when we go to Cheesecake Factory, it’s so crowded that we have to wait forever for a table. This time, I got there just before Joanna did and our table was ready a few minutes after she got there. For some reason, we always get seated outside on the patio (thank goodness they have heating lamps), and we were seated out there again!
I knew what I was going to order right away. I always get the same salad because it’s delicious! It also isn’t too massive (like many of the items there are) and the calorie count isn’t too bad since it’s on the skinny menu. But it is so good and a nice balance to getting cheesecake so it’s the perfect thing to order. I know that there are recipes to make this at home, but I like having this as something special that I get when I go to Cheesecake Factory.
Over dinner, Joanna and I did a bit of catching up. I had just seen her the week before so there weren’t a ton of new updates in our lives. We did discuss my surgery and Joanna was telling me about some awesome trips that she’s got coming up this year. And we also started to plan what we wanted to do for our birthday this year. We said we should do a combined birthday party since then we don’t have to worry about having parties at the same time. And we have a couple of ideas for what that party could be.
And of course, because politics and current events are unavoidable right now, we did discuss some of that. We pretty much are on the same side with everything, but there are a few things that we aren’t 100% together on. But we are able to have some really amazing and respectful debates and I know that I learn a lot from those. Most of the time, we do agree on everything. But when we get to play devil’s advocate regarding something we disagree on, it’s always interesting.
But as always in our Cheesecake Factory outings, the highlight for us wasn’t necessarily getting to hang out but getting cheesecake! I love getting to hang out with Joanna, but I know we both are thinking about what types of cheesecake we are going to get as soon as we plan our dinner. I learned recently that you can ask your server to cut the slice in half before bringing it to the table, so that made things so much easier for us. We each had a half slice of the red velvet cheesecake and a half slice of tiramisu cheesecake. It’s a lot of cheesecake, but it’s so good and worth being a big splurge!
Neither of us could finish our slices, but we enjoyed every single bite. It’s a treat for both of us and I know we both look forward to our cheesecake outing each year. It’s a good thing that we only do this once a year because it is such a splurge and we both probably go a bit overboard with the food. But it’s something nice that we do and great way for us to celebrate our half birthday!
6 more months to go before my next tradition with my birthday twin when we go out for our free birthday dinner!
I just had the film festival that I run, and the film that I did last year was part of the comedy programing. It was cool to have us in the festival and to get to share our film with more people. It wasn’t the first time we screened publicly, but it was our first film festival. And while it did feel a bit odd to have the film in a festival I run (I have nothing to do with programming so it’s fine), I was still so proud to have a film festival laurel on our movie poster.
We have been busy submitting our film to multiple festivals, but many of them won’t let us know if we got in or not for a while. But we did hear back from another festival besides the Beverly Hills Shorts Festival and we found out that we got in! We got into the Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival and we screened there this week!
This screening was held at Regal Cinemas at LA Live, so it was going to be another screening on a big screen. And we were going to be in a block with other short films, so I was happy to see what other films were in our programming block and to support other filmmakers.
There was a pretty decent turnout for the screening. We were worried because it was on a weekday afternoon, but the theater was over half full and everyone was so excited to see the films. We were toward the end of the program, so I tried to relax and enjoy the other films that were screening.
I’m not sure if we were a block of short films or comedy short films, but it was an interesting mix of films. Some of them were a bit more out there than our film is (ours is pretty down to earth and realistic), but there were things that I really enjoyed with each of the films that were in the hour long program with us. When our film played, I couldn’t focus too much since I still don’t love to watch myself act. But I was very happy that we got a lot of laughs and some of those were in spots that we hadn’t gotten laughs in before.
Once the program was done, we headed out of the theater quickly since the next screening was going to start right after ours ended. There wasn’t a Q&A or anything, but most of the filmmakers were gathering right outside the theater. There was a step and repeat set up so of course I had to get photos with my writer/co-star and my director!
When we were taking our photos, we had some people coming up to us to tell us that they enjoyed our film. That was really nice and I wasn’t expecting it. I am really proud of our film and would be happy even if it was just for us and nobody else got to see it. But to know that other people are enjoying the film is amazing and really made my day!
I wish that I could have stayed at the festival longer and seen more films, but my schedule did not allow for that. I know there were so many short films to see and I really wanted to support my fellow filmmakers. I know it isn’t easy to get people to see short films and I wanted to see as many movies as I could. Hopefully if we get into another festival I can attend more programs and see all the films. It just wasn’t mean to be this time.
I still can’t believe that the film that we made is getting recognition. It started out as such a small project and it has continued to grow and grow. I am so proud of the work that we all did and I’m really hopeful that we can continue to get into film festivals so more people can see it. We are already discussing working on another film together because we had so much fun with “Single Parent Date Night”. But until we do, I’m just going to enjoy having a great film out there and being able to look back at the hard work that we did.
This past weekend was a bit of a weird one for me. I ended up being in a bad mood on Sunday (for reasons I’m not sure about) and was planning on spending most of the day moping around and feeling a bit sorry for myself. But my plans changed when my friend Michelle texted me to see if I wanted to go to Disneyland for a few hours that evening!
I’m always down to go to Disneyland and even if we could only spend a few hours there I knew it would make my day amazing! I got my stuff together and got into the car to drive to Michelle’s house. But on the drive to her house, she called me to let me know that our passes were blacked out because of the holiday weekend (since we both have Mondays off we sometimes forget about 3 day weekends). We thought about going to Universal Studios instead, but we were blacked out there too.
I got to Michelle’s house and we were trying to figure out what to do. We both wanted to go do something and were torn on figuring out what to do. Finally, we decided that we should go to Disneyland anyway but instead of going to the parks we would get some dinner at Downtown Disney and try to watch the fireworks from between the parks (so we don’t have to pay to get in). And since there is 4 hours free parking at Downtown Disney (a long as you get dinner), we wouldn’t have to pay to park!
We headed down and got to Downtown Disney pretty quickly. We headed over to Tortilla Joe’s (which I love!) and put our names on the list. It was going to be over an hour for a table, but we had time to kill before the fireworks and were happy to walk around Downtown Disney do shop. There are so many things that I would love to buy, I just don’t have the money for it. But it’s always fun to look and there are some ideas of things I want to put on my wish list for the future and maybe to put on a list for my birthday.
We were done window shopping and it was finally time for us to get dinner. As much as I want to drink alcohol right now (and my surgeon said I could as long as I didn’t drink too much), I’m trying to be good and not drink. I really wanted a margarita, but I had to settle for a virgin strawberry one.
It wasn’t as good as a real margarita, but it was a nice change from just drinking water and made dinner feel a bit more special. And as always, the food there was awesome. Michelle and I might have eaten too many chips because we were both so hungry for dinner, but the chips were really good! And I had a tostada salad that I’ve had before there and it was the perfect dinner for me.
And besides just having a good dinner, it was so nice to get out of the house. I’m usually such a planner and having a spur of the moment adventure was a great way to get out of a rut. Plus, Michelle and I wanted to work on planning our next Disney day (which will be in a few weeks) so hanging out at dinner was nice.
After we were done with dinner, we walked over to the esplanade between Disneyland and California Adventure so we could watch the fireworks. I’ve watched the fireworks from there before so I knew while it was a slightly obstructed view it would still be fun. It was a bit weird to be at Disneyland but not to be at Disneyland, but it was still nice to feel like we there that night. We thought about taking a funny photo at the gates of the park trying to reach through, but we ended up just doing a selfie by the gates and were very happy with how our photo turned out (not bad for the selfie camera on my iPhone!).
We were waiting around and knew it was about the time that fireworks were going to start, but nothing was happening. We checked the website to see if we got the fireworks time wrong, but then we just thought that maybe they were a bit delayed. Since we weren’t in the park and couldn’t hear the announcements, we weren’t exactly sure what was happening. But about 10 minutes after the fireworks should have started, someone who was just inside the park walked by and said that the fireworks were cancelled that night.
It’s a bit sad when the fireworks were cancelled, but I understand why they have to do it. Sometimes it’s super windy higher up where the fireworks go and they can’t have the show happening with the wind like that. Or the clouds are too low and they know that nobody will be able to see much. I’m glad that someone told us all because we probably would have waited out there a bit longer to see what was going to happen.
So after that, we walked back to the car and made the drive back to LA. Even though we didn’t get to go into the park or see the fireworks, it was still a fun Disney adventure. It was the perfect thing to do when I needed something to boost my mood. I felt so much better being out at Downtown Disney than I would have if I stayed home. I got a nice dinner with an awesome friend, and I got a lot of walking in that I probably wouldn’t have done.
It really helped to make my Sunday a great day and I’m so glad that Michelle texted me to go on yet another adventure with her!
A little bit ago, I wrote about my friend Erin and her “Once Upon A Time: The Rock Opera”. Even though I don’t watch the show the spoof is based on, I had so much fun and it was really great! It’s not easy for a spoof show to be something for fans of the show and newbies alike, but that’s exactly what Erin did with the rock opera. So when Erin told me that she was a part of a new spoof show, I said I wanted to see it even before I knew what the show it was based on was!
This time, she was a part of “Game of Thrones: The Musical”. I’ve never really seen “Game of Thrones”, but that didn’t stop me from being so excited to see the show! Erin was so generous and gave me a ticket plus an extra ticket to bring a friend. And I ended up bringing my friend Camber who is familiar with the show. I figured that she could help explain anything to me that I wasn’t able to understand.
The show is at the Macha Theatre in West Hollywood so it was pretty easy for me to get to (plus they have a parking structure right across the street). The theater had a nice bar (I can’t drink right now but Camber was able to get a great drink) and when the doors opened we were able to get some great seats in the second row where we had a perfect view of the stage.
And just like with the rock opera, this musical was designed very nicely for fans of the show and people who didn’t know the show. There were plenty of jokes that I didn’t get but everyone around me seemed to think were hysterical. But more often than not I felt like I understood everything and was able to follow the storyline of the show.
There were 12 original songs for the show and they were all so funny and I was laughing so hard during almost all of them. Again, the songs had some inside jokes that I missed but I never really felt like I was excluded or lost while watching. That is such a hard balance to find because they didn’t want to dumb down the show for newbies like me to understand everything.
When intermission happened, Camber was able to explain some things to me that I didn’t understand and also explained some of the jokes. I was telling her how my friend Erin was in this and my friend Ace (Erin’s husband) was in the show as well. I was showing Camber the photos from when I saw Ace in “Aladdin” at Disneyland and she thought that was pretty funny. Ace’s character in this show is nothing like Aladdin.
The second half of the show, was just as good as the first. And when it was done I was a little disappointment because I was enjoying myself so much! I never really cared to watch “Game of Thrones” before, but now I really want to! The show is based on a lot of the first season, so I’m thinking about watching the first season and then going back to see the musical again. Then I will be able to get so many more of the jokes!
After the show was done, the cast came out to take photos with everyone. Of course, Camber and I had to take advantage of that!
I got to talk to Erin and Ace after the show to tell them how much I liked it (they both knew I don’t watch the tv show and were pleased to know that I didn’t feel too lost watching it). I really wanted to talk to them more and tell them more about my favorite parts of the show, but there were so many people who wanted to talk to them and I didn’t want to take up more of their time. But hopefully I can tell them later (or they will see this post and know!).
If you are in Los Angeles or will be out here between now and March 12th, I highly recommend checking out the show! The tickets are cheaper if you buy them online (and you can use the promo code “king” for an extra discount!), plus then you don’t have to take the risk that the show will be sold out at the door! And if you aren’t in LA, you can download the soundtrack to the musical. The lyrics are so funny and I think that any fan of the show will love the songs. But I really do think everyone should go to see this show. It’s tough to find great theater that is affordable, and this is one of the better shows I’ve seen. I could see this being on a tour and being a big hit soon. So if you go now, you can say that you knew it before the world knew about it!
Thank you again Erin, Ace, and the entire cast of “Game of Thrones The Musical” for inviting me to see the show this past weekend! I had an amazing time and I really am hoping that I can come back to see the show again before you close!
This past week of workouts was not how I had planned things to be. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. I know I’m very set in my ways and that having something change up is good for me. But fortunately, even with things not going as planned, I still had a good week of workouts.
Monday was a no switch day and we did endurance, strength, and power work. The treadmill was one long block without much of a break between things. We started by doing a 3 minute push at 2% incline, 2 minute push at 3% incline, 1 minute push at 4% incline, 45 second push at 5% incline, and then finally an all out on a flat incline. We did have base paces between everything (which I walked), but I ran everything else. Inclines are interesting for me since I’m used to working at 4% so that doesn’t feel too bad for me. But the higher inclines are tough and I’m proud of myself to trying them out.
The second half of the treadmill block was push to all out paces at 4%, 3%, and then 2% inclines. It was nice getting the inclines to go down and since they were lower inclines they weren’t as bad as the first half of the treadmill block. I’m curious what the inclines will be on my next 5K because I would love to try to train a bit more for those specific hills.
On the floor, we had 3 blocks that each had 2 moves and then a rowing segment. The rowing was 300 meters, 150 meters, and 600 meters which aren’t horrible but felt long after doing the treadmill and floor work. On the floor we had a mix of upper and lower body work with hip swings, shoulder work with the straps, and hammer curls. But my best thing was when we were supposed to do pikes on the ab dolly. Normally, I would just do knee tucks since pikes are very difficult for me and I don’t do ab dolly work on my toes. But I decided to keep testing out doing ab dolly work and was pleasantly surprised to see that I could do the pikes! They were mini-pikes, but they were more than I had done before!
Wednesday’s workout was a power day which was a nice break from doing treadmill inclines. A lot of the work was 90 second push paces and push to all outs. I ran for all the push and all outs (I say that pretty much all the time now, don’t I?) and was happy that my endurance is really improving. And since it was a power day, I wanted to do one really awesome speed segment. So I did the last 45 second all out pace at 6.5 mph. Between all that work I did and the awesome speeds, I managed to do more than 2 miles on the treadmill during class!
The floor was a tough day. We had 2 blocks that both started with a similar patterned. We had a 250 meter row, a lower body move, a 150 meter row, a lower body move, and then arm focused floor work. The first block was squats between the rowing and then tricep work with the straps and tricep push ups. The second block was lunges between the rowing and the bicep work with the straps, weights, and push ups. I thought it was very tough to have all the tricep work in one block and bicep in the other (instead of mixing them up), but I think it was designed to be tough that way.
I was booked for Friday’s workout, but in case you aren’t in LA and didn’t hear, we had a huge storm that day. Before my Friday workout, the power went out in the building where Orangetheory is located. So classes were canceled since there was no estimate for when the power would be back plus it was starting to get a bit dangerous to drive. I guess it was good that it happened because right when I would have been in class, my power went out. If I had been in class, I would have gotten home to a totally dark house, needing to search for my flashlights, and would have to take a cold shower in a very dark bathroom. But I was very glad I was already booked for Saturday’s class so I could still get 3 workouts in for the week.
Saturday’s class was a bit odd since my body was feeling weird from the power outage. When it got dark, my body felt like it was time for bed even though it was only 6pm. So I slept pretty weird the night before and was still feeling that when I got to my workout. But I perked up pretty quickly because in the lobby was Whitney, who used to be one of my regular coaches but hadn’t seen in over a year! Whitney was teaching at another studio for a while and when she came back to my studio, she was always teaching when I was working so I hadn’t seen her. But to see her again was amazing and I was instantly in a good mood!
It was a 3G style class so I wasn’t stuck on anything for longer than about 15 minutes. But since it was an endurance, strength, and power day those 15 minutes felt like 30! I started on the treadmill and we had 2 small blocks on the treadmill. The first block was like a normal strength block so we had inclines. We had pushes at lower inclines and finished with an all out at 6% incline. I ran for all of those inclines, but I kept my pace slow with the all out since the incline was so high. The second half was more like a power day with push to all outs. The combined time ranged from 2 1/2 minutes to 1 minute and I was able to run for all of them. I increased my speed each time the combined time was slower and ended with 30 seconds at 6.5 mph. And even though we had a shorter treadmill block than I’m used to, I got a lot of distance done. When I started at Orangetheory, it could take me 20 minutes to do a mile. Now I can do 1 1/3 miles in that time!
The rowing block was probably the toughest for me. We had rowing plus squats for 15 minutes without a break. The rowing was 700, 500, and 250 meters and by the end the 250 meters felt like 700. The squats between the rowing was tough too. My legs were feeling a bit shaky so I had to take my time doing everything and took breaks in the middle of each set. But even with my slow work and breaks, I managed to get all the rowing done and got into the bonus round (which was just repeating the final round again).
And when I finally got to the floor, I was so glad there was a lot of work that was on the mat or on the Bosu so I could rest a bit. We used the Bosu to do chest presses (using the Bosu as a rest for our heads) and to kneel on for tricep work. We also had plank work where we were supposed to reach our hips to the other side, but I wasn’t quite able to do that so I did something more like mountain climbers. We also had shoulder strap work and abs (which was done laying on the floor so I took advantage of that to catch my breath). When class was done, it felt so long but I was so glad I had signed up for it. I would have been sad if I only got 2 classes done because of the storm.
Even though I set out to do a 4 workout week, I’m glad I still got my 3 classes in and that I pushed myself hard in each of those classes. I’m slowly seeming more and more progress in class and that helps to keep pushing me along. I’ve got 2 months to go before surgery and I’m considering this training to get ready for it!
When I found out I needed liver surgery, I knew I would be waiting a little bit before having surgery. First, I want my parents to come take care of me when I have surgery and waiting until at least April was best for their schedules (this isn’t an urgent surgery so there is no rush for them to get here). Also, waiting does give my body a bit of time to hopefully shrink the tumors. And finally, I am hoping to lose a bit more weight before having surgery.
I had things set on being the middle to the end of April (I have a 5K in the beginning of April that I don’t want to miss), but when I saw my surgeon the last time the April schedule wasn’t open yet. So I was waiting on the surgery schedule to have April up so that my surgeon could pick the best day for it. He knew that I was looking at the week after Easter and had my permission to just give me whatever date he could that week as soon as the schedule was up. My surgery is possibly going to be an all day thing, so I might be the only patient he operates on that day.
I had been waiting and waiting for the schedule to open up and finally at the end of last week I got a phone call from the surgery scheduling assistant. My surgery has been booked and I’ve got just over 2 months to go before the tumor (or tumors) will be out!
Even though I’ve known about this for a while, having an actual surgery date makes everything seem real now. I have almost all my doctor appointments leading up to surgery booked (I just need to have my final MRI scheduled) and I know the timeline of when everything will be happening. I’ve let my agents know I will be unable to audition or work then and I’ve figured out exactly how much longer I have to bank hours at my box office job. I’m hoping I can still work while I’m recovering, especially in the hospital when I’m scared I’ll be bored, but I am banking enough hours to cover me if I cannot work the week and a half I’ll be recovering with my parents.
During my pre-op appointments, I know that someone will go over with me some of the things I’ll need to bring with me for surgery and my hospital stay. I’ve never had inpatient surgery before, so I am a bit nervous about staying at the hospital. I’m a bit set in my ways and in my routine, and I know this will throw me off. I’m looking online at things that people recommend to have for overnight hospital stays or abdominal surgery recovery. If any of you have been through either, I would love some suggestions.
This have been moving pretty quickly after I got my surgery date. I have several appointments scheduled now, my parents have planned their trip down here, they have found a place to stay, and I’ve got a ticking clock in my head of how much longer I have. I’m sure that since I’ve got about 2 months to go that soon I won’t think about it as each day counts down. Eventually I’ll just have it in the back of my mind instead of the front of my mind.
The only downside with having some time to get ready is that I have time to get ready. I have the time think about what I want to do before surgery or to have with me in the hospital. I have time to do a lot of research and read the good recovery stories along with the bad ones. I have time to think about what this will mean for the rest of my life. Since they are taking out my gallbladder, my diet will need to change a bit. And for the time that my liver regenerates, I’m sure I’ll have a restricted diet too. And after surgery, I will have scars on my stomach for the rest of my life. The scars on my hip have faded to the point you can’t see them anymore, so maybe the ones on my stomach will do the same. But I will always know that they will be there.
I’m going to try to limit the number of posts I do about the upcoming surgery. I’ll do posts when I have updates or appointments so you all know what is happening with me. But this surgery is just a minor roadblock in my life. Once I get through it, things will be different but I will be fine. This is just another crazy story that I will be able to tell one day at a party (I’m sure saying I had a tumor the size of a baby’s head taken out of my liver will be a good cocktail party story one day).
I’ve got about 2 months to go before this is all pretty much behind me and I can just focus on recovering from surgery, getting back to my normal life, and moving forward.
This past Monday I was originally going to go to Disneyland. That didn’t end up happening (and I’m glad I did change my plans), but since I had my afternoon free I decided to make some other plans. I thought about it for a minute and realized that it has been a while since I went to UniversalStudios. I’ve got about 2 months left on my pass and wanted to make sure I went at least one more time before it expired. So I called my friend Robert and he was free too so we decided to go to the park to hang out!
Since I was coming after my workout and Robert had to go to work at 4pm, we didn’t have a ton of time at the park. But since we both have passes and didn’t really care too much about what rides we went on, this worked out perfectly. We made plans to meet up at the gate at noon and I rushed to get ready to drive over to meet Robert. We ended up having pretty perfect timing and got to the front gate within minutes of each other.
As soon as we went inside, we went to get some lunch. Robert has been working his way through the menu at the Three Broomsticks restaurant in the Harry Potter section of the park, so I was happy to go there so I could help him get a few more things knocked off the list. Plus, the food is pretty good there and isn’t like traditional theme park food. I was pretty hungry after my workout (and it was lunchtime), so I got the bangers and mash for my lunch. It was a bit more food than I normally would eat, but it was perfect!
It wasn’t too crowded at the restaurant so Robert and I had a nice time just relaxing and catching up. He works for the Oscars so he’s about to get really busy with helping out at the show. So I wanted to take advantage of the time we had to hang out before he gets too busy with work. We had just seen each other recently (he came over to watch the SAG Awards at my house), but we both have had a lot of things happening in our lives lately. So it was nice to catch up.
After our lunch, we were debating about if we were going to go on a ride or just walk around the park. We ended up deciding to go on the tram tour since that’s always fun to do and it was a pretty nice day out. I had told Robert a while ago about how it was interesting to sit in the very front of the tram because of the way some of the theme park elements of the tour work, and it was awesome to find out that we were going to sit in the first row of the front car!
We had a nice time going through the tour. It is silly and gimmicky, but it’s always fun. I like to see what the backlot looks like when they are filming different shows, and I really do love the theme park elements and how cheesy they can be sometimes. When we were getting close to the Jaws part of the tour, the guide told us that Jaws was under refurbishment and we could not go through it. I could see that it was all torn up, but the guide told us not to be sad because we were in for a special treat. And as we got closer to the ride, we saw that one the animatronic Jaws was off to the side getting ready to be used!
I don’t know if I’ve ever seen one of the Jaws out of the water so that was a really awesome thing! I do love the Jaws part of the tour so I’m glad they are working on keeping it looking nice so it will be around for a while to come.
One of the last things on the tour that we always see is my old workplace. I love going past the Bates Motel or Bates house. Even though I had some unpleasant experiences with working Halloween there (specifically with guests who decided to hit or attack me or other employees), I do still look back at that time with happy memories and I miss working there. So getting to see where I worked does make me happy.
After the tram tour, Robert had to head home so he could get ready for work. I thought about staying at the park to walk around a bit more, but I decided to head home so I could avoid the worst of the rush hour traffic. We were in the park for a little more than 2 hours, but even though it was a fast visit it was the perfect thing to do that day!
I don’t know if I’ll be back to the park before my pass expires. I am looking at getting another pass for next year if I can find a good deal like I did this time. But if I don’t make it back for a while, I’m glad that I have had a couple of great days at Universal and really got my money’s worth with the pass.
This past weekend was the Beverly Hills Shorts Festival. In the past, we’ve had the festival happen over multiple days, but this time we only had it on one day. This ended up being a good thing for me because this year’s festival was quite the stressful thing. I love working this festival and at least the love and happiness I have overrides the stress I get. But that doesn’t mean that the stress doesn’t affect me sometimes.
As I mentioned before, we had a last minute venue change with the festival. It was an unfortunate situation where our previous contact was no longer with the venue, but they never told us that in their email correspondence. So even though we had emails from them saying that we were all confirmed for the date, there was no record of us since they didn’t work for the venue and had no authority to book events. I’m glad that the venue felt bad for what happened to us and was able to put us in a new venue, but it was still stressful knowing that it was a venue that I hadn’t held a festival in before and wasn’t sure how it would all work.
I had gone to the new venue to see the setup and try to plan out how I wanted things to happen, but still the day of I was stressed more than I would have liked. I wanted to be able to relax and enjoy the festival, but I knew that until I knew that everyone had a good time that I would be worried about things. But the staff at the new venue was amazing and really did everything they could to make sure that the festival ran as smoothly as possible. Things weren’t perfect, but without the awesome staff and management I knew the festival wouldn’t have happened at all. I’ve thanked them so many times already, but I can’t thank them enough. I wasn’t the easiest person to deal with when I’m that stressed out and there were lots of little things that I wanted to make sure were right. But they understood my need to try to make things perfect and really worked with me.
It’s still weird to me to be in charge of everything. When I started with the festival, I was a volunteer. I worked my way up the ranks over the years (I’ve been with the festival for 9 of the 10 years it’s happened) but I still feel like I’m at the bottom of the totem pole. I need to build confidence with being in charge, but for now I have to fake it until I make it.
Since we had a reduced timeframe for the festival (which was because the other venue was supposedly only available for that limited time), we only had 2 screening programs: comedy and drama. And this year, one of my films was submitted and accepted into the festival! I know it sounds like I had something to do with it, but I do not program the films and the programmers don’t all know who I am. So it was exciting to have “Single Parent Date Night” make its festival debut at the Beverly Hills Shorts Festival!
The only downside to having the film in the festival was the way that the venue was set up, our lobby/reception area had about 8 TVs which all were playing what was playing in the screening room. So when our film started, I was surrounded by me. Not the best thing for someone who doesn’t love to watch themselves on the screen, but it was pretty funny to not be able to escape from it.
This wasn’t the most successful year, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t a great festival. Everyone who was there seemed to have a great time and many filmmakers came up to me after the screenings to say how much fun they had. I’m glad that everyone had a good time since that’s all I really wanted to get out of the festival.
I know that we are going to take a bit of a break before the next festival. My co-director and I really want to bring it back to the glory days it had in the beginning. We want to be back in a great venue and have the filmmakers be excited to be screening there. We know we have a great event, we just have to make sure that others know it as well.