Category Archives: Fun Stuff

Third Time’s Not The Charm (or Being Ok With An Ok Dri-Tri)

This past Saturday was the Dri-Tri at Orangetheory. This would be my 3rd DriTri, but even though I had done it before I was pretty nervous. I might have been more nervous this time because not only did I know what I was in for but I had high expectation of what I could do. But I also was nervous because I knew I didn’t feel as prepared this year as I had in the past.

My week of workouts leading up to the Dri-Tri seemed pretty good, especially with my running. I was really optimistic that while my rowing might not have been where I wanted it to be that I could make up the time for the overall timing with my running. Ideally, I wanted to beat my time on the rower, on the half 5K, and overall; but I would have been happy with just having a best on 2 of those things.

The morning of the Dri-Tri I was feeling a bit concerned, but I was excited to get there and do it. There were multiple heats for it and I got a space in the first one. It was later than I’m used to working out on a Saturday, but not that much later. When I got there, I got a rower and sat down while trying to calm myself down. I tried to focus on taking deep breaths and getting into a relaxed headspace. I knew that I didn’t want to overdo it on the rower and I was just reminding myself that I didn’t have to race anyone and that I could just focus on me.

Before we got started our coaches went over how the entire event would work. This was pretty familiar to me but the floor work always seems overwhelming when they go over everything that we have to do. Once we got back to the rowers to get started, I just kept reminding myself to take it easy because I knew that the row was going to take a while and I didn’t want to have to take breaks.

Once we got started, I tried to zone out. I didn’t look at the rower computer or really focus on anything. I just tried to keep my breathing and rowing to a pattern and steady. I did start a bit harder than I wanted to, but I quickly got into a comfortable rowing speed and was feeling pretty good. By the time that other people were done with their row, I started to focus a bit more again and see how I was doing. In my last Dri-Tri, my row was completed in under 9 minutes. This time, I was hoping to be done in under 8 1/2 minutes but I realized that it wasn’t going to happen.

I didn’t think I was going that slow, but I think that I wasn’t pushing hard enough with my legs. My wattage was lower than it should have been and that made my rowing distance go by slower. I knew I’d be able to get it done in under 10 minutes for sure, but I really wanted to be as close to my last 2,000 meter row time from the last time I did it. When I was done, I was exhausted and ready to move on. I was the last person to finish on the rower, but that was what I figured would happen. But I took almost 9 1/2 minutes to complete my row. It was pretty disappointing and I started to get down on myself. But I was still hopeful that I could make up some time on the floor and on the treadmill so my overall time was still improving.

On the floor, we had 300 body weight exercises. Those included push-ups, squats, step ups (or for me, lunges), hop overs, and plank jacks. We had a certain number of reps to do for each exercise, but to complete 300 reps we did them all twice. This part has been one of the toughest for me in the Dri-Tri because I’m usually so tired after the rower and it’s not easy to do all these exercises. Plus, I’m so competitive with myself so I don’t take all the breaks that I should. I’m not good at planning my breaks when they aren’t built into the workout so I usually go without breaks for the beginning and then take more breaks than I should toward the end.

The floor work was going fine for me until the first set of burpees. My hip popped out during those and I just figured I’d get it to pop back in and keep going. I pushed it back like I normally do and thought I got it done. But it kept coming out. This does happen from time to time and it’s really annoying when it does because it seems like it takes forever to make better. But I didn’t have forever to work on it so I just had to keep going and stopping when I needed to put pressure on my hip to make it feel better. I tried to count in batches so it didn’t seem so overwhelming when I was trying to count to 30 and that helped a bit. And like with the rower, I was the last person to finish on the floor before moving to the treadmill.

The treadmill part of the Dri-Tri is a 5K. If you are a power walker, you do half of a 5K. I originally thought that I’d try to see how far I could get into a 5K before I had to stop, but my official time would be with the half 5K since that’s what I’ve used every other time. I was going to do my treadmill work as a run/walk and since I had some great running earlier in the week with my workouts I was hopeful that it would go well. My big goal was to do the running as either 2 or 3 minute intervals with 1 minute of walking and see how that felt. But because of my hip, I barely made it 1 minute of running at the start before I had to walk.

I thought that maybe I’d just have to do 1 minute intervals even though I didn’t want to be slower than before, but when I tried to run the second time I knew my body just wasn’t having it. It was tough to accept that I would be walking the entire time, but I knew that I had to do it. I kept my speed steady at 3.5mph which is my standard base pace and I kept my incline at 4% which is also what I use for my base pace. I knew I could do it normally, but this wasn’t normal circumstances. My hip wasn’t happy and I had to take lots of breaks to try to make it feel better.

There were plenty of times I felt like giving up on the treadmill. And there were a few times I was close to tears because I was so mad at myself. I questioned if I did too much in my workouts leading up to this and made things harder on myself. I questioned if doing the Dri-Tri in general was the right decision for me. And I wondered where things went wrong and caused all the issues that I had that day. The other problem was that it takes much longer to do the half 5K walking than it does as a run/walk, so it felt like it was taking forever. But when I got close to the end I decided that I had to push myself and ran for the last minute or so until I got to 1.55 miles. This was not the best time I could have gotten on the treadmill, but it’s what ended up happening.

It’s slower than what half of a 5K would have taken me for the past few races, but again there was almost no running this time. And when I do 5K races I didn’t do 2,000 meters of rowing and 300 body weight exercises before my race, so I guess I can’t really compare it.

The first time I did a Dri-Tri, I wanted to finish in under an hour and I finished in just under 53 minutes. My second Dri-Tri I wanted to just do my rowing in under 10 minutes (which I did) and I did the entire thing in under 44 minutes. This time, I thought maybe I could do the entire thing in under 43 minutes and I could beat my rowing time. I didn’t beat my rowing time and my overall time was just over 50 minutes. I’m not happy with myself at all, but I’m trying to be. I know that not everyone can do this fitness event so just getting through it is an accomplishment. But when you have such high hopes for yourself it’s tough to accept something less than what you wanted.

I’ve spent the past few days trying to think about what I could have done better, but I think that things were just not in my favor that day. I don’t know if I could have changed anything and that’s part of what’s tough for me to deal with. But I keep reminding myself that this was just one time doing the Dri-Tri and I should have plenty of chances in the future to do another one. I can work harder on preparing and see what’s possible. But more than anything, I need to just remember that I did it and that’s the most important thing!

 

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Not Quite Happy Hour (or Making Time For My Friends)

I’ve been busy lately and I know I’ve been neglecting my friendships. While I’ve seen friends at various events a lot lately, those aren’t always conducive to catching up. And even at my birthday party I wasn’t able to catch up properly with most people because I was trying to talk with everyone there.

My friend Rayshell and I have been pretty good about doing happy hour hangouts, but lately we’ve both been bad at trying to schedule them. It had been a while since our last one and we tried several times to schedule one. But finally we both decided we needed to catch up and we figured out when it was a good time for both of us and put it on our calendars. I usually don’t go out after an afternoon workout, but I realized that I need to start doing that in order to make more time for my friends. So after my workout on Wednesday, I went home and showered and got into my car to drive to the valley to meet Rayshell for dinner.

It wasn’t during happy hour since we couldn’t figure out when we could both meet for happy hour, but that’s ok. We met up at MidiCi which is a pizza place that Rayshell had been wanting to try. She said that it was normally crowded when she thought of going, but since we were doing dinner a bit later she thought maybe it wouldn’t be too bad. She got there before I did and got us a table. It wasn’t too crowded, but because you have to go up and order at the counter we wanted to make sure we had a table before ordering.

I had checked out the menu before we met up and everything looked pretty good. And fortunately Rayshell and I like a lot of the same things so it was pretty easy to pick some food for us to share. We ended up ordering some burrata, meatballs, and a truffle pizza to split.

The food all arrived at about the same time which was tough because we had a small table, but we managed. And everything was delicious and I want to go back to try some more of the awesome things they had on their menu.

But obviously, getting good food isn’t the main reason I go out with my friends. It’s a great way to catch up one on one with someone and I know that Rayshell and I were both missing that. We see what each other posts on social media and we text, but it’s never the same as hanging out in person and having a real conversation.

And since it had been about 6 months since our last proper catch up, we both had a lot to share! Rayshell has been working on a lot of different acting projects lately. She’s got a web series that should be coming out in the near future that she’s been working really hard on. I can’t wait to see it because a couple of friends of mine are a part of it and I love having the chance to support their work.

And all of my random online dating adventures happened after the last time Rayshell and I had a hangout so she wanted to know all about that. I wish I had more positive stories to tell her, but at least she found my weird and negative stories funny. I still find it so funny that my friends are getting a kick out of all the craziness I’ve been encountering, but that does help me keep a positive mindset. If I didn’t have a reason to look forward to bad dates, I think I’d be too worried that I was going to have a bad date before even meeting a guy.

We also had general catch up stuff to talk about too. Both of us have been busy with work, acting, and life and it’s always good to talk about that stuff too. And since it had been forever since we had a happy hour hangout, we talked about how we both felt bad that it had been so long since we were able to talk! We know that we are both equally guilty for having busy schedules so we understand how we could have let so many months go by without figuring out when we could go to dinner.

Both of us had busy days the next day and I still had to drive home, so we didn’t stay at dinner too late. But just getting to hang out with Rayshell for an hour or two was awesome. She is such a great friend to me and I want to make my friendships more of a priority. It’s not easy to do that and I’m lucky that my friends understand that it’s not that I don’t want to hang out but I don’t have the time to hang out. But I want to stop using that as an excuse as often as I have and work on building up my friendships with my friends some more.

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Working On My Crafty Side (or Starting Off Halloween Season!)

I love Halloween. I don’t know if it started because of working at Halloween Horror Nights or the amazing Halloween parties that my friends have thrown, but I love Halloween time. I remember when I was growing up that my parents would get the Halloween box out of the garage and we would spend an afternoon decorating the outside of the house. Now that I’m in my house, I really don’t decorate the outside but I’ve tried to be better about decorating the inside. I’m not the most crafty¬†person, but I’m good at shopping and have found some cute decorations that work in my house.

But my friend Anne is probably one of the most crafty¬†people I know and is amazing at decorating! She decorates her house based on the season and changes out things seasonally so that everything reflects what she is decorating for! I met Anne when I went to the blogger event a few years ago about the Hard Rock Cafe 5K and we’ve stayed in touch ever since then. We don’t get to see each other that often, so when she invited me to a crafting party at her house, I immediately RSVPed yes!

The plan was to decorate styrofoam pumpkins and she would have all the crafting supplies for us. I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t know what to do with the pumpkin but I knew there would be so many creative people there that I could learn from and hopefully I would be inspired and could make something cute.

When I got to the party, Anne had all the crafting supplies out by the tables she set up. I was so impressed by everything that she had for us and even more impressed that this was all stuff that she already had in her house!

There were so many things on the table to use to decorate the pumpkins! I honestly didn’t know where to start. The only thing I knew I didn’t want to use was glitter because it gets everywhere and I try to not have glitter things in my house (I guess that proves I’m not into crafts since I don’t like glitter). But there were so many paint options, ribbons, gems, door knobs to use as stems, and other things to choose from so not using glitter wasn’t going to limit me.

Other people started to grab paint, glitter, and other things to decorate and I took a moment to observe and see what everyone else was doing. A lot of people were painting their pumpkins another color and then were going to work on decorating on top of that, but I knew that it wouldn’t be what I would do. So I took a look carefully at the supplies table and got inspired by some gem-type ribbon. Anne got a glue gun out for me so I could glue it down, I grabbed some gems to go with the ribbon, and I started working.

I covered the stem of the fake pumpkin with the ribbon and then wrapped it around and glued it down. Then I took some of the gems and put them randomly around the pumpkin. I was liking how it looked and decided that because I’m such a big Disney nerd that I needed to add a few hidden Mickeys to my pumpkin. And I was so happy with the end result!

It’s the perfect mix of Halloween and Disney and it will look so cute on my dining room table! And it’s simple enough that as I get more decorations that it should still work with everything. And because Anne had so many extra pumpkins, I took another one and took colored gems to create a pumpkin that was just Mickeys.

As expected, everyone else was so creative! The pumpkins looked like things you would buy in a store and we joked that we should create a shop to sell what we made. I wish I could be as creative and crafty as everyone else, but that’s just not a skill I have right now. I probably could be better if I worked on it, but I don’t have a lot of opportunity to do that.

And when everyone was all done, we had to get all the pumpkins together for a photo. That’s what happens when you are in a room of bloggers, social media specialists, and marketers.

I do feel like mine are the least fancy of the bunch, but I am still proud of what I made and that they did turn out cute. I was not competing with others to make the best pumpkin, I just wanted to do something that I could be proud of and that didn’t look ugly. I accomplished both of those goals.

I’m so glad that I went to the pumpkin party because I got to meet so many amazing people and I got to spend an afternoon being creative. Even though my creativity isn’t usually in crafting, any time I get to be creative is a good thing for me. And it helped me kick off Halloween season early so now I can take the rest of my Halloween decorations out and start getting my house into the Halloween spirit!

Revisiting My Past (or Enjoying An Amazing Concert)

I recently did a temp job for my old workplace doing some telesales. This workplace was the theater that I worked at when I started this blog. I hadn’t worked there in a long time, so when they asked me if I could help with a short telesales campaign, I felt flattered that they wanted me to help. It was a bit weird doing that job again since it had been years since I had done it, but things came back to me pretty quickly.

The show that I was campaigning for ended up selling almost all the seats, so that’s good news. I wasn’t able to do the sales that I know I could do, so that wasn’t so great. But I am glad that they sold out and that they were able to get the fundraising done that they needed to.

But even though my sales weren’t what we were hoping for, the theater offered me 2 tickets to go to the concert and I immediately said yes! I hadn’t been back to the theater since I worked there and the concert was a night of Josh Groban. I am a fan of his music and I did a music video for him (although they ended up not using any of the scenes they filmed with any actors in the final music video). And to get to see him perform live and in such a small venue is such a special treat.

Since I hadn’t been back to the theater in years, I wasn’t sure how it would feel to be back. And I’ll admit, it was a bit weird. I did see a few people who I worked with and some of them seemed happy to see me again. Other people didn’t recognize me and I didn’t want to bother them while they were busy working. I felt like I belonged there and I was out-of-place at the same time. Fortunately, I had a friend with me so we were having an awesome time at the pre-show reception and I didn’t stress too much about how odd it felt to be back there.

The pre-show reception was fun and they had some really great food. There was also some free wine, but we both stuck with water. We hung out outside eating and catching up on life. It’s always nice to catch up with a friend and even better when that is distracting me from feeling weird.

When I was told I was getting some free tickets, I assumed they’d be in the back of the balcony. None of the seats in the theater are bad ones, but I figured they’d put us in the back since they were free tickets. But to our surprise we were pretty close to the front and almost in the center!

I was not expecting to have as great of seats as I had so I was even more excited once we were sitting down! And the energy in the theater was so amazing because everyone couldn’t wait to see Josh Groban come out.

The songs were mainly Broadway songs (which I loved!) with a couple of songs from his various albums mixed in. And he was telling stories and jokes in-between each song. He was very entertaining and if anyone in the audience wasn’t a huge fan of him before I know that he won them over by the end of the night. And not only did he sing, but he also played piano and the drums! That seemed to be a surprise to everyone in the audience and he impressed us all!

The show was about an hour and a half without an intermission but I think we all wanted it to last longer. He is so talented and sang some amazing songs. But I know that the event also had a dinner after the show for guests with tickets at a certain level so they couldn’t keep the concert going all night. Even though I think everyone left wanting more, we all left with smiles on our faces.

Even though I felt weird being at an old workplace, I’m so glad that I got to go. I wasn’t deliberately avoiding going there, but I know that I didn’t make an effort to go to any shows there. And it is an amazing venue that isn’t that far from my house. I need to take a look at their schedule for this season (which is their 10th anniversary season) and see if there are any other shows that I can go to. It will be a while before I’m back at the Pantages, so I need to fill my love for theater at other venues. And I have a feeling that I’ll probably be back sometime soon.

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Audition Prep (or Taking My Career Seriously)

I’ve felt a bit out of the acting game lately. Doing all the work with SAGAFTRA does help, but it’s not the same as auditioning and working. Unfortunately, I don’t control when I get auditions or work so I have to just be grateful for when I get those opportunities.

Last week, I got an email from a casting director that I know socially but have never had the chance to audition for. They had a script with a character that they thought I’d be right for and they wanted to know if I was interested in auditioning. This was the first time this happened to me and it was really exciting! I wanted to say yes right away, but I also wanted to make sure I read the script. I did, I loved it, and I told them that I would love to audition! So it was set up through my agents and I got my scene to prepare for the audition.

I’m lucky with the auditions I normally get. They rarely are 1 or 2 line parts that are actually tougher to audition for because you can’t do too much. I get bigger auditions that have pages of dialogue to work with. When I have those bigger auditions, I have started to use an audition coach. As much as I know I can work on the audition on my own, it’s so much better to have some feedback.

But I’ve never used a coach for the smaller auditions. But for this audition, I really wanted to be as prepared as possible and to take things seriously. I need to make sure I maximize each audition chance I get, and this time I felt a little extra pressure because I know this casting director as a friend but he doesn’t really know me as an actor. Plus, since I was asked if I wanted an audition versus just getting an audition made it feel extra special and like I needed to be the best I could be.

I’ve got a few audition coaches that I know and that I’ve worked with before. So I sent out some emails to see who was available and could help me out. And I’m so lucky that Marci Liroff was able to help me! I’ve auditioned for Marci a couple of times in the past and I also took her audition bootcamp class a few years ago. So she knows my abilities as an actor and I know that I work well with her when she’s coaching me and guiding me into working a script.

I went to meet with her this Monday and it was exactly what I needed to do to get ready for my audition. I was apologizing for asking for coaching on such a small part (the audition scene is only about 6 lines), but she reassured me that it is totally fine and actually it is good to get coaching on auditions of any size. That made me feel so much better. I didn’t want to feel like I needed the help, but that I was using the help to improve what I can already do. And that was the sense that I was getting from Marci when I was meeting with her.

We started out with doing the scene simply and built it up from there. I had made a strong character choice but as we worked on it we realized that it wasn’t the right choice. Those are the sort of things you can only find out if you are working with a coach or someone else. You don’t get the same reactions if you are working on your own because you need someone to bounce things off of. We also practiced in what is closer to an audition setting with me walking in so I could get the flow of things down.

I had walked into the coaching session feeling like I had made a strong character choice but wasn’t feeling too certain about things. After working on the script with Marci for less than an hour, I felt super confident about how I was interpreting things and that I could feel that way in the audition room too. It’s amazing how powerful audition coaching can be and how it really does change how I felt before going into the audition.

I really think that I need to do coaching for my auditions from now on no matter how big or small the part is. Getting to work on the script is good, but just spending some time working is even better. The time I was working with Marci felt like being in class (it pretty much is like a private acting class) and it did make me happy getting to do that. It’s not free to get coaching, but it’s not outrageously expensive either. And if this is what I do as an acting class type thing, it’s cheaper for audition coaching than an ongoing class. I would like to be in class again one day, but right now the timing isn’t right.

But besides how getting audition coaching makes me feel, it’s also a sign of looking at my auditions more seriously. I take my career seriously, but if I’m being honest with myself I probably could have been taking it more seriously before. I don’t think that getting coaching before auditions I’ve had in the past would have necessarily changed anything, but I’ll never know. But from now on, I’m going to take each audition as seriously as I would for a series regular during pilot season and hopefully I can do coaching before as many of them as possible.

Let’s Go Dodgers (or A Night Out At The Game)

I didn’t really grow up in a sports family. I did play sports as a kid (I did soccer, softball, gymnastics, and swim team at various times in my childhood), but we really didn’t watch sports. Part of that was because my dad hates watching tv, but we rarely went to live sports. I think for a couple of years we maybe did one baseball game a year. I went to maybe one or two hockey games. The first professional basketball game I went to was not that long ago. And I’ve never been to a professional football game.

Since moving to LA I’ve gone to a couple of baseball games. I went to a Dodgers game once for my birthday and once for a friend’s birthday. And maybe 10 years ago my roommate at the time won VIP tickets for an Angels game and I took my brother. But I rarely go to a game just because I don’t usually think about going. So when a friend of mine asked me if I want to go with her to a Dodgers game this past weekend, I jumped at the chance to go!

It was actually her company picnic, so they had a reserved section before the game where there was food. We got there pretty close to the start time for the picnic and we got some Dodger dogs, chips, and water. It was pretty awesome to not have to spend money on food at the game even if the food isn’t too horribly expensive. Free food is always the best and it was fun getting to meet some of my friend’s co-workers before going over to our seats.

I was worried that we were going to be sitting in the sun, but when we got to our seats we were under an overhang and not facing the sun so we had lots of shade.

Being at a game is really so exciting and it’s fun to be in a crowd like that. It’s a bit overwhelming too, but fortunately our seats were the last row in that section so I didn’t feel like I was in the middle of everyone. It felt a bit more secluded and I was able to relax.

The game was fun. Unfortunately, the Dodgers weren’t playing that great but we did get to see some great plays. And to me, being at the game is more than just watching the game. It’s being around friends and just enjoying being outside. And it was much cooler that night than it had been lately so I was having fun enjoying some outside time. Plus, we had some pretty sunset clouds a little after the game started.

The game was moving pretty quickly, but my friend and I had decided to leave before the game was over. It’s so much easier to leave before everyone else tries to leave and we didn’t want to be stuck in the parking lot for a long time just trying to get out onto the road. Plus, neither of us were super invested in the game. I think if we had paid for our tickets, we would have stayed longer. But when you have free tickets, you don’t feel like you have to get the most for your money. But we did stay until the sun went down because it does look pretty cool being in the dark with the stadium all lit up.

We left after the 5th inning and when we were in the car we had the game on the radio so we could pay attention to what was happening. Nothing ended up happening in the game until I was home and put the game on my tv. There were a few more runs, but I think the most exciting moments were during the beginning of the game when we were there. And the Dodgers continued their losing streak and ended up losing this game as well.

Even though I didn’t stay for the entire game, I really did have a great time at the game. This is something that I was telling myself I needed to do again since it had been years since I was at a game. And this was the perfect chance to get to go and not have to worry about if I should be spending money on it. And it made me realize that I do want to try to get to more baseball games. I don’t know if I’ll go every summer, but maybe every other or every few summers would be fun. It’s a nice treat to do and it’s a great way to hang out with friends.

Hopefully the Dodgers will start winning again and if I get a chance to go to another game soon it will be one where they do win! I have a lot of friends who are big baseball fans and diehard Dodgers followers and I know they really want the team to do better than they are doing now.

Celebrating Some Anniversaries (or Remembering Awesome Family Moments)

This past week had a couple of family anniversaries. I try to remember to celebrate each one when it happens, but things have been a bit crazy lately for me so my mind did slip a bit. But I figure it’s never too late to celebrate.

The first anniversary that happened recently was my grandparent’s anniversary. We don’t necessarily celebrate this anymore since my grandpa died because we don’t want my grandma to be upset. But I still like to remember it because it is a good reminder of how a marriage can last a very long time. I was lucky that I got to celebrate my grandparents’ anniversary with them several times. For their 50th, they took the entire family on an African safari. That still is one of the coolest trips I’ve ever taken. And for their 60th we had a family party up in Portland.

I also got to be there for what would end up being their last anniversary together. It was their 67th anniversary and it was a pretty simple dinner as a family. But even though that anniversary wasn’t a huge celebration, it’s still a good memory because it was such a fun dinner. Obviously at the time we had no way to know that was going to be the last anniversary my grandpa would be alive for, but I’m so grateful that I was there and got to celebrate with them. Also at that anniversary, my grandpa was telling the story of how he met my grandma. We ended up taking a video of that and it’s something that we all are so glad we have forever now.

I think we all wish that my grandparents would have been able to celebrate more anniversaries together. If my grandpa was still alive, this year would have been their 70th anniversary. I’m sure that they would have done something special to celebrate that. It probably wouldn’t have been a trip, but I bet we would have done a family dinner like we did for their 60th. It’s sad that they weren’t able to make it to that milestone, but to know that they made it to 67 years is pretty special. Not everyone has a marriage that lasts that long and it’s proof that you can stay married that long as long as you work at it. And it’s an inspiration for me even though the chances of me getting to 67 years with someone is a long shot (if I got married this year, I’d be 101 during a 67th anniversary).

Also this past weekend was my brother and sister-in-law’s anniversary. This one is awesome because I’m reminded of going to their wedding in Hawaii. I don’t get to take trips that often and going to Hawaii for a week was such a treat. And of course, I love that Krystle is my sister-in-law because she and I have gotten so close. Celebrating their anniversary is cool, but celebrating the day that Krystle officially became my sister is almost more special to me (sorry Ross!).

And they shared a pretty cute photo from their anniversary this past weekend. They both ended up buying each other the same anniversary card. It was not planned at all, but I think it shows how they are meant for each other.

I think that some of my single friends don’t love celebrating other’s anniversaries like I do. Maybe they see it as something that they haven’t achieved yet and they might be jealous. And I can understand that feeling even if I don’t feel it myself. But even with all the craziness I’ve encountered with my online dating, I’m still hopeful that I will find someone one day. So being able to celebrate isn’t something I’m jealous of, it’s something I’m looking forward to having myself in the future.

There are a couple of times a year when family celebrations are bunched up together. My mom’s birthday and my aunt and uncles anniversary are on the same day. My parents’ anniversary, my cousin’s birthday, and my birthday are within a few days of each other. And then there are these two anniversaries only a few days apart. I don’t know if all families have bunches of celebrations like we do, but it’s fun for me. It also makes it a bit easier to remember to celebrate everyone since I’m doing it in batches (except of course this year where I didn’t do things in advance). The next big family celebration will be my grandma’s birthday/Thanksgiving. And it’s crazy to think that November will be here before we know it!

Over-scheduled and Bored (or Why Can’t I Find A Happy Medium)

Lately it has seemed like my schedule has had some serious ups and downs. I’ve had days where I’ve had absolutely nothing planned (or nothing planned beyond having to work that day) and then I’ve had days that were so over-scheduled that I was stressed out about how I would manage to do it all without running late. It’s so crazy to me that one day I could be sitting at home bored out of my mind and the next day I could be gone for almost 16 hours from the time I leave my house for the first thing planned until I get home from the last thing planned.

I do like to be busy. First, that gives me something to blog about. If I just sat at home every day after work, this would become a very boring blog. I’d still have some personal and emotional things to write about (like this post), but there would be no adventures. And I also know that when I’m busy I either don’t have the desire to binge or I don’t have the time to. Sometimes when I’m super busy I do still have a binge eating episode, but those are not as often as they are in my normal life.

I know that I can’t depend on my schedule to get me into recovery or to eliminate binges, but it’s almost like a fantasy in my mind that I would love to have come true. I know that there have been things that have happened in my past that have put me in a temporary state of recovery, but when that ended my eating disorder was back. I know that recovery isn’t just being too busy to have an eating disorder because your eating disorder will find a way to become a priority in your schedule again. But I feel good knowing that at least right now in my life, my eating disorder has to work around my schedule and that I’m not cancelling plans to have being episodes.

In an ideal world, I would be able to handle being busy enough most of the time that bingeing doesn’t happen that often, that would get me to recovery, and it would stick even if my schedule got less busy in the future. But I don’t live in an ideal world and being busy most of the week isn’t good for my mental health. I occasionally have mini-breakdowns where I have gotten too overwhelmed by everything and just need to have a day at home where I do nothing. Of course, those days never happen to fall on days that already had nothing scheduled on them. But I try to be flexible with my schedule to allow myself to have a mental health day when I need it.

And I have been trying to find a good happy medium between having too much and having too little to do. I don’t know what that happy medium looks like yet. I thought I had gotten there a few weeks ago, and then I had a moment where I freaked out because I had so many unread emails and tasks I needed to check off. I’ve been trying to make daily checklists to get things done, but on both busy and lazy days sometimes I’m not able to get those done. And then those things that needed to get done just pile up and continue to overwhelm me.

I think that part of the overwhelming feeling is that only some of my schedule is in my control. Many things have to be done at the time they are scheduled (like work) and I can’t get around that. I have to plan my other things around it and sometimes 2 non-flexible things are up against each other and I either have to prioritize and say no to something to ask someone to move their schedule around. I hate asking others to adjust to my schedule because I don’t want to feel like I’m inconveniencing someone. But sometimes I need to have the courage to do that or to say no to something that I know would be at a time that wouldn’t be best for me.

I’m really working on planning out my days better so that on both over-scheduled and lazy days are productive and as stress-free as possible. I’m trying to take travel time in consideration when planning things so that I feel confident that I can make it from one thing to another. And I’m continuing to try to work on figuring out how much stuff in one week is too much and how little is too little. It’s a weird balancing act to try to figure out, but I know that as long as I’m working on it that I will get there eventually.

 

Representing For My Union On Labor Day (or A Beach Day Fail)

This past Labor Day I didn’t really have any plans. Mondays are my days off anyway so I knew I’d be going to workout in the morning and needing to do errands at some point that day. But since I knew most of my friends had the day off as well I figured I should try to make some plans. But of course, I procrastinated until the last minute and the night before I was trying to figure out what to do.

I texted a few friends to see if anyone was free, and only my friend Dani got back to me. We decided that even though the beach would be really crowded, we should try to go to the beach for a few hours. I hadn’t been to the beach this entire summer and figured it was a perfect thing to do for the day. Plus, it had been so hot and I knew the beach would be a bit cooler than where I live.

We decided to meet up around 1pm at her place because she lives closer to the beach. I was going to pick her up and then we were going to try to find somewhere to park near the beach that wasn’t too expensive. I packed up some magazines, sunscreen, and a towel and got into the car to drive over. And when I got to Dani’s house, she opened the door and had a better suggestion than going to the beach.

Dani recently moved to a new place and she suggested that we just hang out at the pool at her apartment complex. There wasn’t anyone there, we wouldn’t have to deal with the sand, and if one of us had to run to the bathroom there was a clean place to go (and not have to deal with gross dirty beach bathrooms). It sounded like a perfect plan and I happened to find a parking spot right in front of her place.

Once I parked and we got inside, we grabbed some lounge chairs and got ready to have a nice afternoon of relaxing. There were a few other people at the pool once we got there, but it was still pretty peaceful and felt like a nice mini-vacation in a way.

It was a bit overcast and significantly cooler than it had been all weekend, so we just spent time reading on the lounge chairs and didn’t go into the pool. Plus, I didn’t want to have to drive home in a wet bathing suit. But I wasn’t going to go into the ocean either, so relaxing on a towel was exactly how I had been planning on being on the beach too.

Since it was Labor Day and that day is about unions, I decided that I was going to wear my Union Working hat. It seemed perfect to be supportive of my union and other unions that day, plus it is a really great hat too!

We briefly talked about maybe getting some food (all I had packed for the beach was water), but we ended up not really caring too much about getting anything. It was just nice having several hours laying by the pool and not having a care in the world. My only regret was that I didn’t have my Kindle with me. I didn’t pack it because I didn’t want it to get sand it in, but that wasn’t a worry at the pool. Fortunately, I can use the Kindle app on my phone so after I was done reading magazines I started working on some books.

I ended up being at the pool for about 4 hours. Because of it being overcast (and maybe a bit because I was super careful about putting on a ton of sunscreen), I didn’t get sunburnt at all. I was actually a bit surprised by that and was worried that the next morning I would look like a lobster. But I guess that I lucked out and even though I don’t ever tan, I am always worried about burning. It was like it was a sign that us hanging out by the pool instead of going to the beach was the right choice.

I still haven’t made it out to the beach this summer and I really don’t know if I will go. I don’t always go each summer, but I feel like since I live so close it’s silly for me not to take advantage of that. But honestly, hanging out at a pool where I didn’t feel sandy and gross when I left was so much better for me and made my Labor Day a pretty awesome day!

Last Minute Bowl Adventure (or A Very Hot And Humid Night Out)

With summer almost over, I realized that there was a good chance I wasn’t going to make it to the Hollywood Bowl this season. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to go this season, it’s just that I never got around to planning for it. When the season was announced, I had other things on my mind. And then as the summer went on, I just kind of forgot about it. I was a bit sad to think that I wasn’t going to get out there this summer when my friend Dani texted me.

One of Dani’s friends had extra tickets for the John Williams concert. Dani was taking one and she wanted to see if I wanted one too. This was just a few days before the concert, but somehow my schedule was free the night of the show (which wasn’t the case for so many nights this summer) and I said I wanted the ticket. It worked out so well that I probably couldn’t have planned it better myself!

Dani, her friend, and I met up to take the Bowl bus together. It was such a hot and muggy afternoon that we were happy to get inside the air-conditioned bus. I don’t know what happened, but in that very long drive (it was about an hour and a half) it got hot and humid inside the bus too. We were all starting to feel drowsy and ready to get off the bus. But it seemed to take forever for us to get there.

And once we arrived, it wasn’t much better outside. We were hoping that it would cool down once the sun was down, but it was still over 90 degrees out at almost 8pm. We aren’t used to the humidity either so that made things much worse. But we were just happy to be at the Bowl and get to our seats.

Once we were seated (and drank a ton of water and had some food) we were starting to feel better. I think we were probably all dehydrated from sweating so much and we needed to get something into our bodies to get into a better space to watch the show. It was still close to being unbearably hot, but it was better once I didn’t feel sick anymore.

And as always, the concert was amazing! We had some pretty great seats and the people with the seats next to us didn’t show up so we were able to spread out a bit more. That was nice since we didn’t have to be squished in our seats which would have probably made us feel even worse in that weather.

The first half of the concert was with another conductor, but he was great and the music was wonderful. But I think everyone was waiting for after intermission when John Williams was coming out. And he didn’t disappoint! He conducted the philharmonic in all the scores that we wanted to hear like Harry Potter, Superman, and of course Star Wars when everyone got their light sabers out.

But what we weren’t expecting was to have Kobe Bryant come out to read his poem “Dear Basketball” while John Williams conducted the score he created for it. It was very moving and as someone who isn’t a sports person I was surprised by how it ended up being a highlight of the evening. It was something that was special to get to witness and I love that there are always fun surprises whenever I go see this show.

Of the group I was with, I was the only person who had seen John Williams before. So when the evening was coming to a close, I told everyone else to stay seated because there are almost always 2 encores. And the finale song is always the score from ET. And it was exactly what I thought it would be (although the rainbow lighting that they normally put on the Bowl didn’t happen this year).

After the concert was over, it took some time for us to get back to the bus to head back home. It was still so hot and humid outside but fortunately this time the air conditioning in the bus was working. We were able to relax on the bus right home except when we saw the huge fire that was happening in the hills nearby from the freeway. We all knew the fire was happening, but to see it from the freeway and how bright it glowed at night was a little scary. Fortunately, it wasn’t that close to us and now the fire is getting closer to being totally out.

I’m so glad that I was able to make it to the Bowl this summer. I really didn’t think I’d make it and it really helped to make my summer feel more complete by getting to go. There are still a few more shows this summer, but I don’t know if I’ll make it out to another one. But I know I need to prioritize getting tickets next summer when they go on sale.