I am so fortunate that I get to go to a lot of shows in LA. Most of them are with my season tickets to Pantages, but there are a few random shows I buy tickets for. But it’s a rare treat when I get to see a show that a friend is in. Even though I have a ton of actor friends, most of us work in film and tv. I watch them on tv or see them when I go to the movies, but it’s not the same as seeing someone in a live show. But this past weekend, I had the treat of getting to see some friends in a show!
The show was “Gospel According To First Squad” and the hosts of the podcast I work for, Trevor and AJ, were in it. This was a reading of the play, but I had seen this play performed previously. When I saw it before, it was actually the first time that I had met Trevor and AJ in person. I had been listening to the podcast (before I worked for it) and they mentioned doing the show. I got tickets, loved the show, finally met the guys, and soon after that they brought me on as the production coordinator! So it was pretty fun to get to see the show again.
The reading was held at the Kirk Douglas Theater which is pretty close to my house. Since it was a reading with general seating, I got there early because I wasn’t sure what the seating situation would be like. But it ended up being held in the rehearsal space in the theater so it was a nice intimate venue. I found some of the other people who work for the podcast and we all decided to sit together. And since it was a small venue, Trevor and AJ were able to see us all there supporting them right before the show started.
“Gospel According To First Squad” is about the war in Iraq and it’s a pretty serious play. But even though it’s a serious show, there are some fun comedic moments. Some of the cast from when I saw the show years ago were in this reading and some of the cast were new. But it was still such a powerful performance even with all the actors just standing and reading instead of acting it out fully like I had seen before.
Of the group that I was sitting with, I think I was the only one who had seen the show before. Since it had been years since I had seen the show, it felt new to me too. But I do enjoy getting to revisit shows (or books or movies) that I’ve seen before. I always seem to pick up on new things or view it a new way when I’m experiencing it again. There were some moments that shocked me the first time I saw it that didn’t shock me this time, but it was still powerful and I’m so glad that I was able to see the show again. And since it was a reading, it was recorded so others will be able to enjoy it in the future!
After the show was done, there was time to hang out with everyone. I’ve had the chance to see AJ a bit recently because he has been at a few SAG-AFTRA events with me. But it had been a while since I had seen Trevor so it was great to get to catch up in person. If you listen to Inside Acting, you hear them call me out from time to time. It’s usually when they aren’t sure about something and they figure I will know. I’m known for texting them when I’m listening to the podcast (I’m not there when they record the bookends to our interviews) with corrections and stuff. I think they get a bit of a kick out of me doing that and it’s almost a joke between us all now.
I joke online that these guys cause me so much trouble and frustration, but the truth is I love them both so much. Because of them and the podcast, I’ve gotten to do great things and be a part of something that I truly feel passionate about. I’m so grateful that I’ve been the production coordinator for as long as I have been and I can’t wait to see what the future of the podcast brings for us. We’ve got some really great things in the works (including our 300th episode this fall!) and being able to support Trevor and AJ in any way I can makes me so happy. It’s nice that I got the watch them perform because I know it’s something they both love and I hope that I get more opportunities to do so in the future.
Recently I wrote about going to the Gilmore Girls panel that Netflix had put on. That was an awesome night and I had so much fun there. I knew that Netflix was doing an entire series of events, but I figured that going to that one was the one chance I was going to have. But last week, I got an email from the SAG-AFTRA Film Society letting me know that I could RSVP for another one!
This time, I was invited to a panel of comedy shows on Netflix. This panel included Alan Yang from “Master of None”, Bill Burr from “F Is For Family”, Chelsea Handler from “Chelsea”, Judd Apatow from “Love”, Marta Kauffman from “Grace and Frankie”, and Victor Fresco from “Santa Clarita Diet”. Even though I don’t watch all these shows (although they have been on my list for a while), I was so excited to go and hear what they had to say!
I had the option to bring a guest with me, but unfortunately none of my friends could make it. I used to attend events like this alone all the time, but I’ve gotten used to having someone with me. But I was solo for the night and that was ok. I was able to get in line pretty early so I figured I’d be able to get a great seat. I wasn’t worried about seeing all the Netflix stuff in the space since I had seen it the time before, so once I got inside I immediately headed to the panel area.
So many of the seats were reserved so it was pretty limited seating. But I found what seemed to be a pretty great seat and was happy to just sit and wait for the panel to start.
Since I was alone, I spent the time waiting for the panel reading and working on my phone. They did have food and drinks like last time, but I wasn’t hungry so I didn’t get anything. But it seemed like the snacks were different and they had some sort of fried chicken thing instead of the hamburgers they had at the other panel.
When it was closer to the time that the panel was going to start, people started to come sit down. I’m lucky I got a seat because it felt like about half the room ended up standing in the back the entire time. But because I was sitting and the seats were on a flat surface, I ended up not really having a view of the stage. The guy in front of me was pretty tall and most of the time I was just staring at the back of his head.
But it’s ok that I couldn’t see anything since I just wanted to listen to the stories that the panel had to share. It’s always so inspiring to hear people talk about projects that they have worked on and what the challenges were that they had to overcome. It makes me feel that I’m doing the right stuff when I hear others who have had the same struggles that I have had too. And I love hearing about how working on a streaming network like Netflix is different from a broadcast or cable network. Streaming is still a newish thing but it’s nice to learn about the common things most shows on streaming networks face.
The entire panel was about an hour-long, but I wished it could have been longer. There were so many people up there and I wished they could have had more time to speak. But it was a nice sample of learning more about each of them and it got me feeling like I need to watch more of those shows on Netflix soon. I’m behind on Netflix shows, but since summer is usually quiet for most tv shows I follow I know that I will be catching up soon enough.
Once the panel was done, I decided to wander around the various setups for the Netflix shows to see if anything was different. Most of the stuff was the same, but some were moved around to different areas of the space so it felt new. And of course, I had to stop by my favorite thing from last time: the bubble wall!
It was a different color this time (last time was more blue) so of course I did a mini-photo shoot in there! I don’t know why I love that bubble wall so much, but it just makes me happy!
It was feeling a bit crowded in the space and it was a bit awkward hanging out in there so I decided to head back home. I know that I should be ok at events like that alone, but it’s not as fun when I don’t have someone enjoying all the cool stuff with me. Hopefully if I get invited to more Netflix events I’ll be able to bring another plus one with me.
But even with not really doing much else beyond sitting and listening to the panel, I have to say that this was another amazing night. I love getting to be a part of events like this and it motivates me more and more each time I get to see people who have had success like I dream of having one day.
Last week I wrote about how I’m trying to figure out what is next in my fitness journey. I’ve hit more goals than I ever could have imagined and that has encouraged me to set my goals bigger and better. So many things I’ve done this year were not even an idea in my head a year or two ago. I never imagined a year ago that my running would be where it is now. So while I really do want to have more goals in my workouts, it’s hard to know what to set them at because I don’t know what I can do. But I decided to try this past week to see what I could do to try to get some new goal ideas.
Monday’s workout wasn’t one of my better ones. I’m still having nausea issues now that I have my period again. It’s much better than when I was a teenager (before I went on the pill), but I can get some days where it’s pretty horrible. Fortunately, my OB/GYN prescribed me some anti-nausea meds and those help so much. And I am now packing them in my purse with me for emergencies. But having them in my purse is a new thing and I didn’t think about it on Monday.
My workout on the treadmill started out ok. It was a strength day which meant running on hills. I started running at a lower incline when my nausea hit me hard. It almost took my breath away it was so bad at first. I immediately stopped running and started to walk. I did my inclines as usual, but the nausea was making me need to jump the rails of the treadmill pretty often to catch my breath. And when we were about 27 minutes into the 30 minutes on the treadmill, I remembered that I have my anti-nausea medication in my purse which was in my locker in the lobby. I ran out of class (probably the fastest I’ve ever run), got my purse, took my meds, and hoped the medication would take effect quickly. Most of the time, I feel relief within about 10 minutes and I knew I’d be on the floor then. It’s unfortunate that my treadmill workout had to suffer so much, but hopefully if this happens again to me I’ll remember that I pack my medication.
Once I got to the floor, I was waiting for the medication to kick in but I got to work on the first block right away. It was squats, tricep work, and knee tucks using the ab dolly. I’ve been testing out using the ab dolly on my toes and not my knees and was able to do about half of the knee tucks that way. I still need to work on strengthening my hips to be able to do all the work on my toes, but I’m getting there. On the second block we had lunges, roll outs on the ab dolly, and hip bridges followed by a 300 meter row. I’ve PRed on my 300 meter row recently and figured that feeling the way I felt I probably couldn’t PR again that day. But I still wanted to be under 1 minute (I’m so stubborn!). I worked so hard and felt like I was going to make it, but I did my row in 1:00.0 exactly. It’s a bit frustrating to know how close I was to hitting that goal even when I felt as bad as I did.
Wednesday’s workout went better for me. It was a mix of endurance, strength, and power and I was doing some pretty good running. I was fine with the longer push paces on the endurance block which included a 3 minute and 2 minute push. When we got to the strength block, I was able to run at 2% but after that I decided to walk. And in the power block it was push and all outs and I was able to run them all.
The floor was one long block that had a good mix of things to do. We had squats, hip swings, rowing on the straps, push ups, plank jacks, and ab work. But then there was a rowing component that started with a 1200 meter row. 1200 meters is a pretty long row and I remember back when I couldn’t row that much without taking a break. Back then, my goal was just to try to do it without stopping. Now that I know I can do that I’m working on what time goals I want to have. It used to be that I would do 100 meters every 30 seconds. My power on the rower has been increasing a lot, so I decided I wanted to see how close I could get to 5 minutes for the 1200 meter row. That would have been an average of 25 seconds for each 100 meters and that’s pretty fast for me when I’m doing more than 300 or 400 meters. But to my surprise, I was able to do it in 5:06.2! That’s a lot closer to 5 minutes than I thought I could be!
Friday’s workout was another strength one and I knew going into the workout that I wasn’t going to be able to do a lot of hill running. Fortunately, this workout has some decent flat road work and there was a walking segment built in. Each of the treadmill blocks started with 90 seconds of a push on a flat incline so I could run that. Then there was a 3 part hill climb where runners were supposed to run at 4%, 8%, and then power walk at 12%. I did that as a walk (6%, 8%, and 12%). And each block finished with an all out pace at 4%. 4% was a bit tough for me that day, but I’m glad I challenged myself and did it.
The floor work was 2 blocks and the first block was all work on the bench. We had chest fly, triceps, plank rows using the bench for balance, and hop overs. My hop overs are getting more like hops and less like steps, but there is still a lot of work to do to get those better. I’m not sure what work I need to do to make my hips move better for hopping (or if that just isn’t possible), but it’s something to think about. And the second block on the floor was lunges with bicep curls, strap work, ab work, and then rowing after. My first row was 350 meters and I did it in 1:14.4. That’s pretty good and I’m still thinking of a goal idea for 350 meters. And my second row was 250 meters which I knew I wanted to try to get it under 45 seconds. I did it in 47.4 which is pretty close to my goal!
Saturday’s workout was a power day and it was 3G so I was only at each section of the room for about 15 minutes. I started on the treadmill where we had 3 short blocks. Each block has a longer push followed by a shorter push and an all out. I ran everything except the base paces but I didn’t really do much speed work like I should have done for a power day. I think having this be my 4th workout of the week was making my running a bit slower than normal, but at least I was running.
Next I was on the rowers. The rows were all 200 meter rows followed by a lot of squats (seriously, my butt has been so sore lately from all the squat work!). I know that when I’m going really fast I can do 100 meters in about 17 seconds. So I was thinking and decided that I wanted to set a new goal for my 200 meter row and one day be able to do it in 35 seconds. Usually, I think my 200 meter row takes me about 40 seconds when I’m going fast, but for some reason I felt like I could do much better on Saturday. On my first attempt, I got my row done in 38.7 seconds. My coach was super impressed with me and said she wanted me to try for 38 seconds flat. I told her my 35 second long-term goal and said that I would be beyond excited if I could get it done in 37 seconds in that workout. And for my last row before switching to the floor, I beat my own goal for the day.
36.7 seconds is so close to the goal I have right now for that row! And being able to do that has made me think that I might need to start tracking my rowing and running goals a different way. Right now, I have each time or distance written down in Evernote with a log of how fast I have done it. I put the fastest one on top (with the date) and then move them around as I get faster. But I might want to set something up to help me track what my long-term goals are for those as well. It’s a work in progress and I’m sure that eventually I’ll figure out the best way to work on my new fitness goals.
After the rowing, I was ready for class to be done but I still had the floor work to do. This time it was a mix of lunges, squats, pop jacks, plank work, and sit ups. I was grateful for the sit ups because that gave me some time to lay on the floor and catch my breath a bit. The rowing really took it out of me but I made it through the entire set of floor work just as time was called to end class.
I think considering I had some setbacks this week, I did pretty awesome. I gained some extra motivation for goals in my workouts and really started to think more about my workouts as training with goals than just a workout. I want to start tracking things better than I am right now. This blog is great because I can go back and remember what I did, but I might need to take things to the next level now. I have so much more than I can do, but I won’t know what I can do until I start tracking and pushing myself more.
After my past few dentistappointments, I’ve tried to schedule a Disneyland afternoon. This helps me stay calm at the dentist since I’ve got something good to focus on. It’s a nice tradition that I’ve started and I’m glad that it seems to help to keep me calm. So when I found out that I had a dentist appointment this week, my first thought was to call my friend Michelle to see if she wanted to go to Disneyland. And ironically, she had a dentist appointment that day too so we decided to go after we were both done at the dentist.
I didn’t have the best dentist appointment. This was the big appointment where I meet with the dentist and get x-rays. And one of the fillings that was done 14 years ago is now chipped and I will need some work done to fix it. Hopefully that will only be another filling, but there is always the possibility that it will be a crown. This isn’t fun, but I have to do it. Hopefully since I’ve had so many more needles lately I won’t react as badly to the numbing shot. But I won’t know until I have my dental work appointment.
My dentist is a block away from Michelle’s house, so I had parked my car at her house and walked to the dentist. When I was done, I walked back over to her place and we got into her car and headed to Disneyland!
Because I had my big dentist appointment, it was a bit later than I usually have dentist appointments. So we were driving down to Disneyland in the start of rush hour traffic. There are some carpool lanes on the freeways that we take, but it still was a bit of a longer drive than we are used to. But since we were both feeling pretty chill about this Disney adventure, we didn’t mind things taking longer for us. And once we got parked, we were able to get onto a tram to the park really quickly!
The only ride we really wanted to ride was Hyperspace Mountain since that will be closing and the ride will be the normal ride again next week. But we also both needed something to eat (I don’t usually eat much before dentist appointments and I was so hungry). We thought about trying to see if we could get into Blue Bayou, but they weren’t doing any walk ups at that time. They told us we could come back later, but we were both pretty hungry so we headed over to Plaza Inn for some pot roast.
I usually don’t get this to eat, but it was pretty good and filling! And it’s always nice to sit down to eat and not feel too rushed. The park was pretty crowded between people being there after work and people celebrating graduations, so to be away from the crowds was good.
After that, we headed over to California Adventure to wait until our time to ride Hyperspace Mountain. The new Guardians of The Galaxy ride will be opening this weekend and the entire park is going to be doing a summer of heroes event. I don’t think anything has started yet, but the signs were up as we walked into the park.
I know I’ll be in the park at least once before I’m blacked out for the summer, so I’m excited to get to see what offerings will be in the park. They’ve already promoted a fun menu and I think that it will be nice to see what else is happening.
Once we got to California Adventure, we did a bit of window shopping and then headed over to the Animation Academy. My biggest issue with drawing is drawing circles. And of course, the character we were drawing was Mickey Mouse, which is all circles! But I think in the end both of our drawing look pretty decent!
We headed back to Disneyland after that to ride our ride, and I got a moment to admire how much my new key chain matches the park!
We had a good ride on Hyperspace Mountain. Our photo didn’t really come out, so I don’t have a ride photo to share (sorry!). But we were both just taking in the ride and enjoying all the fun things they added for the Hyperspace overlay. I don’t know if this overlay will come back, but I hope it will eventually. But I think I agree with Michelle when she said it will be nice to have the regular ride back. It’s had this overlay for quite some time and I think the normal ride is going to feel special again.
Our last ride that day was Buzz Lightyear since Michelle and I have our year-long competition happening with that ride. I guess I’m really lucky that one time I scored a really high score on that ride, because Michelle is always beating me! And this time was no exception. But in our year-long battle, I’m still ahead!
With the park being as crowded as it was and both Michelle and I tired from our dentist appointments, we were ready to head home. And we realized that the parade was going to start so we wanted to rush out before it started and it became difficult to leave. But even with rushing out of the park, I took a brief moment to get a photo of how pretty Main Street looks at nighttime.
It’s always magical at Disneyland, and at nighttime it seems even more magical. After getting out of the park, we made one more stop at World of Disney in Downtown Disney. There were a few things that I had been debating about getting and I wanted to look in the store to see prices and to think carefully about what I wanted to spend my money on.
I’ve been wanting the Disney ice cube tray since I had seen it months ago, and I finally decided to get it. And right next to it was a really cute votive holder that I couldn’t resist getting. And I’ve been looking casually for a new mug (the ones I have are all chipping and are pretty old) and had never found a Disney mug that I loved. But this time, there was a really cool mug that didn’t scream Disney that I had to get!
It’s a bit of a splurge to get stuff at Disneyland, but I rarely do it. And it wasn’t too expensive even with all 3 items so I figured I could find other places I could cut back this week to make it work with my budget.
Michelle and I were only at Disneyland for about 4 hours and we really didn’t do much, but it was a perfect post-dentist outing. I know I won’t be able to go after my big dental appointment since that is so late in the afternoon, but I’ve already got a Disney day planned for June. And there’s always a chance I’ll have another random Disney day before I’m blacked out for the summer!
Earlier this month, I was talking to a friend of mine about my running adventures at Orangetheory and in my 5Kraces. In some ways, it seems like I’ve been doing my running for a long time. In other ways, it seems like I just started last month. And when my friend asked me how long I had been running, I had to think about it. I figured it was close to a year but wasn’t too sure. Fortunately, one of the benefits of this blog is being able to go back and look at when I posted certain things. And by going back to looking at that original running post, I realized my 1 year running anniversary is today!
I still remember that first class when I tried running. Running for 30 seconds seemed like it would be impossible, but I am so stubborn and when I was told to try it I knew I had to go for it. And it shocked me how easy those 30 seconds were for me. I was terrified that it would be painful to run since I was told that it could be with my hip issues. I think maybe I in disbelief about how easy those 30 second running spurts were. And that just got me into making some big plans with my running.
When I started running, things were coming very easily for me. Going from 30 seconds to 45 seconds or to a minute were pretty easy. I was able to get my speed up often without issues. I was on such a high about running and had some great ideas of what I wanted to be able to do. I hadn’t really run since I was a kid, so I had no idea how my body would react to anything and only based my ideas on how easy it was in the beginning.
After a little bit, I definitely hit a wall with my running progress. But I’m very lucky that I have so many running friends and I was able to turn to them for tips and advice. I worked on different stretching, increased my weights at Orangetheory to make me stronger, and planned out some interval training. I started to do my own interval work at Orangetheory instead of just following the coaches. But since all my coaches knew I was working on running, they were all very supportive and didn’t mind that I wasn’t following the standard workout.
Then I started to hit some huge milestones. I was able to run a 1/4 mile. I was able to run on inclines. I took a running class. I was able to run for 5 minutes without stopping. I ran for 10 minutes without stopping. I ran for a mile without stopping! I think running a mile without stopping is still something that shocks me and I’m so proud I hit that milestone.
I also started doing running on my own outside of my workouts. I got a running watch and did my own interval training work. I met up with friends to do running interval training and didn’t let me bug me that they were doing so much more than I could do. I focused on my own training and my own path and didn’t compare myself to others.
Even though I did all this work, I still questioned how my first attempt at a run/walk 5K would go. I had never done run/walk intervals for that long and I wasn’t sure my body would be able to take it. But I think between being stubborn and the adrenaline I get on race days, I was not only able to do it but I beat my big goal I had for how fast I wanted to do a 5K!
Then when I got to my second 5K as a run/walk, I was increasing my intervals and had hills to deal with. I hadn’t done as much running training as I had the first time (due to all my medical stuff) so I tried to not set any goals for myself. I knew the combination of all those differences meant that I might not be able to do better than my last time even though I was running more. That race was more of a struggle than the first one, mainly because of the hills. But I had to be flexible and willing to change my running plan. And by doing that (and probably again because I’m stubborn), I was able to PR at my race!
Now, I’m feeling more and more comfortable with my running. I’ve hit a few walls lately, but I think a lot of that has to do with other health issues. I’m running for pretty decent stretches at Orangetheory and I’m trying to plan what my goals are going to be coming up. I also may be meeting with a running coach soon to discuss a training plan and what may be possible for me in the long run (no pun intended). I’m also toying with the idea of trying to do a 10K for the first time, but that won’t be happening too soon since I need to do some training for that.
To think that I’ve come this far in just one year of running is insane to me! I never thought I’d be able to do most of what I’m doing now. And sometimes I do wish that I had tried running sooner because I’d be farther along now. But I can’t look back and wish I had done things differently. I can only work on moving forward and continuing to improve myself.
So here’s to my first full year of running! I never knew I’d get here, so I can’t even imagine where I’ll be when I’m celebrating my 2nd running anniversary!
Because of this blog, I’ve been very fortunate to be able to do some really cool stuff. And this past weekend, I got to do one of those cool things! Through a friend who I know through Orangetheory, I was able to attend the soft opening of a brand new restaurant in Santa Monica! And I’m so excited to share with you all about the amazing experience I had at Air Food!
Air Food was started by Marc and Thierry who both come from Paris. They started with doing pop-up restaurants there wanting to create gastronomic food with a variety of foods. They became very popular and decided to open a restaurant in LA, which is how Air Food was born!
I haven’t had many opportunities to try French food, so I was beyond excited to attend this dinner! I had a feeling that I was in for an amazing night of food, and fortunately one of the new dresses I bought recently was the perfect thing to wear since it wasn’t too body conscious and I would be able to enjoy all the food there.
When I arrived at Air Food, I was the first soft opening customer there. I was a bit nervous about that and was wondering if maybe I should have waited to arrive, but Marc immediately came over to greet me and I think being there first was a total blessing. Marc introduced me to Thierry who was busy cooking and then he introduced me to the space and the food that they have there.
I loved the space. It’s a pretty small restaurant, but that makes it great! It’s not too crowded and there is a mix of seating at tables and at the bar for people to choose from. And Marc let me know that being at the bar was best because then I would have a view of the kitchen and could watch all the cooking going on. And for the customers at the tables, they would be able to watch all the excitement of the cooking through a camera that is in the kitchen that will be played on a large tv.
Marc also showed me their full water menu. For me, going to a place that has different types of water is perfect. I don’t drink soda and I’m not really drinking alcohol right now, so knowing that I have a choice beyond plain tap water makes me so happy.
Marc showed me the water wall and told me about all the different bottles and where they came from. I’ve never gotten to experience meeting someone so knowledgeable about water, but it made me want to learn more about water options for my house beyond just drinking filtered tap water. I told Marc about how I like sparkling water, especially with orange flavor, and he suggested that with my food I try a new tangerine/lemongrass water from Voss. I agreed that it sounded perfect and took my seat at the bar to get ready to have some delicious food!
To start, Thierry prepared some foie gras for me. I’ve never had foie gras before and was intrigued to try it. I’m not too adventurous of an eater, but I’m glad I tried it and I have so many friends who are so excited to find out that there is a new restaurant in LA that serves their favorite treat!
I was then presented with the menu for the soft opening. Everything on the menu that night will be available when they open, but there are some things that will be on the regular menu that weren’t an option for me. But even with fewer options, there was plenty for me to choose from and I was torn on what I wanted to eat!
What pleased me the most seeing the menu was seeing how reasonable the prices were for the food. I know that when I think French food (and sometimes when I think of Santa Monica restaurants) I think of expensive prices that I usually can’t afford. But everything on the menu is affordable even for me! After going back and forth on a few things that sounded delicious (and with a little input from Marc), I decided on the artichoke gratin and the rib eye steak.
The gratin was so creamy and I loved that it had truffles in it! And artichokes are one of my favorites so I was so happy that there were giant pieces of artichokes in the gratin and the pieces weren’t hidden in there. And the steak was so perfectly cooked! It was tender and flavorful and I wasn’t able to stop eating it!
But I probably should have paced myself a bit because then there was also dessert to order.
I was so full, but after thinking about it I decided to order the apple tart for dessert. I love apple tart and recently had a great one at Wood & Vine. So I wanted to see how awesome this one would be since I knew it would be incredible. And when it arrived I wasn’t disappointed.
Not only was it beautiful (and it was so beautiful that I didn’t want to cut into it), but it was so good! It was light and the pastry wasn’t too much. It was a refreshing dessert that seemed like the perfect way to end the meal.
There is no question that I will be returning to Air Food. And even though the event I went to was a soft opening, you are all in luck! Because Air Food is having their grand opening today! So if you are in Santa Monica, you need to make sure you stop by for lunch or dinner. And make sure you say hi to Marc and Thierry! They have created such an amazing restaurant and I’m so excited for everyone else to get to experience the food to see how lucky we all are that we now have this food in Santa Monica!
It’s been over a month since I was supposed to have surgery. By now, pretty much everyone in my life knows that my surgery was cancelled and the situation around that. I tried to email and text most of my friends as soon as I knew and many other people found out though here or social media. But every so often, I’ll run into someone who had no clue that I didn’t have surgery. Sometimes they are surprised to see that I’m looking so good or out and about and sometimes they are just assuming everything went fine and I forgot to tell them about it.
Each time I run into someone who didn’t know (or I meet someone new who is finding out about the situation), I feel like I have to explain the entire thing. I have tumors, they aren’t supposed to shrink, somehow they did shrink, we don’t know how it happened because I didn’t change anything in my life, I don’t know what’s next for me. And so often people tell me that I sound disappointed that I didn’t have surgery and I should be grateful that somehow I beat the odds.
It’s not easy to explain that I am grateful. I didn’t want surgery. I was stressing about surgery from the day I found out I would be having it. But at the same time, I spent 6 months knowing that I have tumors inside of my body and was excited to get them out of me. Now I only have 2 tumors so at least there aren’t 3, but I still have to be ok with the idea that there are 2 tumors just hanging out in my liver.
But even though I’m grateful, I’m still a bit skittish about this all. I am supposed to have my next MRI in about 4 months to see what’s going on (as long as there’s nothing that causes me to need a MRI sooner). Once that happens, I’ll meet with the surgery to make a new game plan. We have already discussed a bit of a plan where if the tumors are bigger I’m having surgery and if they are smaller we are going to keep waiting. But if they stay the same size as they are now, it’s a bit of a gray area.
My tumors are small enough and in a position in my liver that they aren’t as risky for me to keep as they were before. But there are still potential risks for me later in life if they stay in there. So there is this great unknown of what the next step will be or if I will be having surgery in the future. One thing I love about my OB/GYN and my liver surgeon is that neither of them are afraid to tell me that they don’t know the answer to something. But it’s a bit frustrating when neither of them know what the long-term plan for me will be.
And if I do sound disappointed about any of this, it’s because I had a plan in place. I was going to have surgery, the tumors were going to come out, and that was going to be that. Now I’m in another situation where I don’t know what my future will be and I don’t like that. I don’t know if in the fall we will have to plan for surgery and then I’ll need to do a lot of the same prep work that I had just done. Or maybe I’ll continue to be a miracle, the tumors will be smaller, and they will be small enough that there are pretty much no risks for me anymore.
The other weird feeling I’ve been dealing with is wondering at times if I totally imagined this all. Maybe I needed the surgery to make it feel real? I’ve had this feeling with some pretty intense news in the past. When I found out my mom had cancer or my grandpa died, I was almost wondering if I dreamt it and it wasn’t real. I was almost scared to talk to a friend to get support because I wondered if somehow I’d find out that it wasn’t true and would feel silly. And that’s a bit of what I’ve been feeling about my tumors. I made a huge deal about them and then it became almost nothing. I feel like I shouldn’t have made such a fuss about them (even though there was no way for me to know they would shrink). But nobody has been making me feel bad about things, only myself.
I know that most of you reading this understand my feelings. I’ve had several friends who have dealt with medical issues totally get what I’m talking about. It’s a weird feeling to want to be grateful but be worried at the same time. And hopefully as time goes by this feeling will be less intense and less often. It’s gotten so much better over the past month and hopefully the next month will make it less of an issue. And eventually, this will maybe just be a weird story that I can share from time to time without having any feelings attached to it.
You may have noticed in my past few fitnessposts that I’ve been hitting some amazing goals lately. I don’t know why things have been going so well for me, but I think it might be that the weight of thinking I need surgery is off of my mind now. I’m able to focus on me again and doing what I want to do and I don’t have to stress about a setback that would potentially set me back months.
With this positive flow going in my workouts, I’ve started to question if I’m doing enough. I’m not in a plateau or anything, but I wonder if I could do more or better. And I also have to figure out what that more or better means to me. I want to do so much, but figuring out the steps to get there are tough for me. So this past week of workouts, I focused on just doing my best and seeing what I could do so I could start planning some ideas for new fitness goals.
Monday’s workout was a power based one and we switched between each block of work. Not only did we switch between blocks, every block was only 4.5 minutes long which isn’t that much. I knew I would need to focus on doing as much as I could in those 4.5 minutes each time to maximize the time I had in that section of the room. The treadmill work started with push to all out paces and I was running everything. I kept my speeds where I’m comfortable with my push at 4.5 mph and my all out at 5.5 mph, but in the end we were just doing all out runs with very short walking recoveries. I wasn’t able to recover that much in those short walks so I had to bring my running speed for those all outs down to my normal push speed.
On the floor, we had 3 blocks with 2 moves in each block. It was a good variety of work with squats, weighted arm work, sit ups, hop overs, and single leg deadlifts (which I was able to do as single leg deadlifts with one hand on the bench for support). With the blocks being so short, I never got to do too much of each exercise so I didn’t really get too tired at all. And the last floor block was actually a rowing block that had the same pattern as the treadmill (45 second all out rows with 30 seconds of recovery in between).
Wednesday’s workout was an endurance day and it was the perfect day to test out some new fitness goal ideas. I’ve mentioned in the past that I’m wondering what I should do as far as training for my next 5K. I’m torn between increasing my run time (like I did with my last 5K) or decreasing my walk time. I don’t know what would be best for me and I haven’t really had a lot of opportunities to test each out. That is until this past workout.
Pretty much the entire treadmill time was 90 second push paces followed by either 30 second or 45 second base paces. I ran all my pushes and walked all my bases. While 90 seconds is less running time than I did in my last race, the walking time was decreased too. It was an interesting test for me to see how my body would take it and I think that it’s still something that I need to try out more often. I was feeling a bit more tired than usual during the workout because of the reduced walking time, but I wasn’t feeling like I couldn’t keep doing it. And it make it happy to see that even with the shorter running time, I was still able to do more than 2 miles in class.
The floor had another day of a good variety of floor work. There were squats, hamstring work, ab work, and shoulders. We also had a 1 minute timed row. My best 1 minute timed row was 313 meters, but that was a while ago. I know that I can do 300 meter in a minute since I finally got that back down, but this time I was so tired at the end of the workout that I knew I wouldn’t be able to get that far. But even with the tiredness, I was able to do 285 meters on the first round and 288 meters on the second. Not too shabby for me.
Friday was a power day which meant a ton of running for me! There were 3 treadmill blocks that all had the same pattern. It was push to all out paces where the all outs in block 1 were a minute, block 2 were 45 seconds, and block 3 were 30 seconds. Since there were no base paces except during the warm-up, I pretty much ran everything that was supposed to be a run. I wanted to work on increasing my all out pace and was able to bump it up a bit each block, but I finished that workout knowing that I probably could have done more than I did. I hate that feeling, but sometimes I don’t know how far I can push myself until I’m done.
The floor had 3 blocks this time. The first block had skater lunges, plank work, weighted swing work, and rows with the straps. There was also a 250 meter row in that block. I only made it to the rower once and that was a bit annoying to me. The next block was all core work with mountain climbers, planks, and sit ups. It was so tiring working my core that much, but I’m glad I got through it. And the last block was on the rower with decreasing rows with frog squats.
Saturday’s workout was a strength day and it was also a 3G workout. The very beginning of class was a mini tornado workout. We were on each part of the room for 2 minutes and switched. The treadmill was 2 minutes on a hill, the rower was a 2 minute row, and the floor was a mix of push ups and squats. After those 6 minutes, I felt like we had done half a class! But then it was time to get the class really started.
I started on the treadmill but I knew as soon as I got to class that I’d be walking the entire time. I had worked pretty hard the rest of the week and taking one easy day is helpful to make sure I don’t exhaust my body too much. I think I’m finally finding the good balance that will allow me to make 4 workout weeks the norm and not something I do only sometimes. The treadmill work was some pretty high inclines. In fact, even for the people who run they were instructed to walk so I didn’t feel as bad about having to walk for that class. It was only 15 minutes on the treadmill, but we were pretty much at an incline the entire time. I was usually between 6-10% but there were a few times we were up at 12% and that was starting to get a bit too much for me.
Next I was over on the floor where we had one long block with lunges, shoulder work, arm work, and abs. Even though it was just one block, it felt pretty quick unlike some of the other times that one long block feels endless. And after 15 minutes it was time for me to head to the rower. On the rower, we had 500 meter rows with lunges in between each row set. I didn’t really have that much of a goal in mind with my rowing because I couldn’t remember what I had done in the past and I wasn’t going to look it up on my phone. I decided that maybe under 2 minutes would be nice. And for both of the rows, I was able to do just that! And it turns out that my second row was actually a new PR for me!
I’m glad that I did some new PRs and tested some new things this past week. I’m still working on what I want some new fitness goals to be but at least I have a much clearer picture in my head on what my body is able to do now!
It’s been several years since I’ve blogged about online dating. After my first post about it, I stepped away from online dating for a while. I wanted to focus on me and dating wasn’t really a priority anymore. Then I was going to get back online when I found out about my tumors. I got my profile set up on a few different sites, but wasn’t really doing much about it. I didn’t want to start dating someone and have to explain that I was going to have a major surgery. And then when I had my miracle, I decided to jump back into online dating and try to be a bit more serious about it.
I’m technically on 4 different dating sites/apps right now, but I only really use 3 of them. But 3 is still a lot! And in the past, I haven’t really had a lot of luck with meeting guys online. Sometimes I would meet someone for coffee or something, but more often than not I would start talking to a guy online and either the conversation would die completely really quickly or he would turn out to be a total creeper and say something disgusting to me and I would never want to meet them. And I’m still having those same issues, but I’m also still having a ton of luck with online dating for the first time ever!
From the 3 sites that I’m using, I’ve met at least one guy from each of the sites. Sometimes I go on a date and realize pretty quickly that there is no way that we could work out. I had a date with one guy who chewed with his mouth open and asked me about how much money I made and how much I paid for various things in my life. That’s not ok with me and I was glad when that date was over. I also had a date with someone who was really awesome and I had a great time meeting them, but they were only in LA for work and I’m not looking for anything long distance.
And then there have been some really great guys that I’ve met and from some reason or another we just didn’t do a second date. It’s never easy to deal with rejection no matter how old you are, but I’m doing better with it now than I have in the past. And unlike most other times I’ve ventured into online dating, none of my rejections have been because of my weight. I do have some full body photos on my various profiles so I’m honest about how I look. But even though I did that before, I had guys years ago say horrible things about my size on the date as a way to reject me. I don’t know if I’m meeting better quality guys or if guys are just more mature in their 30’s than in their 20’s. But either way I’m glad that I’m not dealing with the fat shaming that I had in the past with guys that I’m choosing to meet.
I’ve been joking to my friends that I’ve never had this much luck before in the past with online dating and it’s surprising me how well it’s been going. I don’t know what has changed with me, but maybe I’m just a better version of myself than I have been in the past. And a friend suggested to me that maybe my tumors were taking up all my good luck for so long (since I never had to deal with any of the horrible complications those tumors can cause) and now that I’m getting them under control my good luck can move to other parts of my life. I kind of wish the good luck was with my acting and not my dating, but beggars can’t be choosers and I’m happy that I’m experiencing some good luck in my life!
I haven’t met anyone that I’ve gone out with for more than 2 dates yet, but that’s ok with me. I’m working on being busy with my life again now and I don’t want to give up my time to someone who I don’t see as really amazing. My life is still a priority to me and I just want to meet a guy who fits into that or adds to my life and doesn’t take away from that. But I’m so glad that at least this adventure into online dating has been the most successful one I’ve had yet and I’m hopeful that I will meet someone who really does add to my life and not take away from everything else that I’m trying to do.
It’s so difficult to stay positive with dating, especially in LA where it seems impossible to meet guys who are single, straight, and quality men. But I feel like my experience recently has given me more hope than I ever have had that there is someone out there for me. I just have to keep working on finding him and need to be patient because it might not happen right away.
As I’ve said the past few weeks, I’ve been making a big effort to be more involved with the actingcommunity. I feel a new motivation to do so and I’m so glad that there have been several opportunities for me to do so. The past few weeks have had at least one event a week for me to attend. I know that this won’t be like this forever, but I’m taking advantage of it right now. And this week, I had the chance to attend my first Union Working meeting.
Union Working is a group that was organized to help strengthen unions, both entertainment based and other, because right now it seems like unions are being attacked. In the current political climate, there are people who want to weaken unions and feel like unions aren’t benefitting workers. I disagree with that because I know that being a member of SAG-AFTRA benefits me as an actor and protects me against so many things. I think that some people have forgotten that unions are the reason we have minimum wage, overtime pay, unemployment insurance, and time off like weekends. So I want to help the effort to remind people that unions are great and that we need to support them.
This meeting was a mix of a panel and information. First was the panel where there were two session directors (who help run auditions for actors) talking about their experience with union versus non-union work. They had some great information from the other side of the table about how sometimes commercials can be turned union when originally they were non-union. And they said some examples of things that we as actors can do to help them and to help bring more commercials back to being union.
Going off of the idea about turning commercials union, we had someone else discuss the SAG-AFTRA Best in the Biz effort. This was all about why union commercials benefit actors and why actors should think twice about working non-union. Some union actors will work off the card hoping that nobody will catch them working non-union, but we learned that people are getting caught and are going in front of a disciplinary panel where they face penalties or expulsion from the union. I knew that it was wrong to work off the card (and I never would do that), but I didn’t realize how often people are caught doing so and how harsh the penalties for doing so are.
There was also discussion about the commercial contract and the negotiation that will be happening in a few years. It seems far off, but negotiations will be here before we know it and the members of Union Working want us to all be as educated as possible about the current contract and the changes that we’d like to see in the next contract. They actually had copies of the contract (and most recent changes from the last negotiation) and I was able to grab a copy to bring home with me. This will be my reading for a while because I do want to understand this contract and hopefully in the future will have the opportunity to do the same with the theatrical contract.
There were other things discussed in the meeting that I don’t think can be made public just yet, but a lot of it was how to help keep the union strong to benefit us all. There was also some discussion about the upcoming election and the deadlines that have been set for each step to be a part of the election. The first step, which is to file a petition to run, is coming up soon. The petitions are available next week and they are due in June. So nothing has to happen super fast, but I will probably be filing as soon as I can get it done just so I don’t forget or miss the deadline. I know some of the people who were at the meeting also are running, but maybe more people were inspired after hearing more about it.
While this wasn’t an official union event (we met at the union, but we are not affiliated with SAG-AFTRA directly), it was filled with amazing union actors who are so educated on multiple issues that are affecting us as union members and actors. As I have gone to each event lately I’ve been more and more inspired to be like those I’m meeting. I want to get more educated, I want to be more involved, and I want to make sure that the benefits that I’m getting now as a union member are still available to others in the future. I think that attending this Union Working meeting was a great step for me to take to continue my involvement as an actor and I am already looking forward to attending the next meeting!