Tag Archives: hangout

Tweetup Time (or Back To Acting)

I took a bit of a break from acting recently. This wasn’t by choice, however. When I thought I needed surgery, I had to book out with my agents. I knew there would be time that I wouldn’t be able to work which also meant I couldn’t audition for projects. I hate having to book out time, but it was necessary. And as soon as I knew surgery was cancelled, I booked back in but there was still going to be a bit of time before I knew I could get an audition. I don’t get a ton of auditions, plus now is a bit of a slow time for the entertainment industry.

So I am working on getting back into the game whatever way I can. Even though my parents were in town, I knew that they usually don’t want to be busy too late in the evenings. So when I remembered that the LA Actors Tweetup was going to be while my parents were here, I realized the timing was pretty perfect! I could spend the day with my family and then go to the Tweetup at night.

It’s been a while since I’ve been to a Tweetup, so I was glad that I could finally make it to one. A lot of the people who I used to see at the Tweetups either don’t usually go anymore or they aren’t in LA or actors so they don’t attend. But I know that there are always great people at the Tweetup and was excited to get to meet new people. So after hanging out with my parents for the day I drove to the Tweetup and was ready to get back into the Tweetup world!

One of the newer things that the Tweetup has been doing is having guest speakers. It’s nice that it’s not just a hangout at a bar anymore and that it’s a more educational evening. This time, it was a casting session director who was speaking and we were encouraged to bring our commercial headshots with us for a game. I forgot to bring my headshots in with me from the car, but I had my business cards on me so I put that in the pile.

The idea of the game was to have someone who doesn’t know us look at our photos and see if we really look like our headshot. It’s so important to look like your photo so they aren’t surprised or disappointed when you walk into the audition. I’ve lost some weight since my last photos and know I need to take some new ones, but I was still hoping to get some good feedback.

At first, I got amazing feedback. The guest thought my photos were great and had a lot of personality. But later he told me that once he looked at me in better light he didn’t think I looked like one of my photos anymore. He felt like my headshot made me look ethnic when I’m not. That’s not the best thing and it’s something that I’m going to think about when I do my photos the next time. But at least he liked the other photo on my card and felt that it looked like me.

After the speaker, it was time to chat with everyone at the Tweetup. I think that I only knew about 4 people who were there, so it was nice to get to meet a lot of new people. And the people who I already knew were excited to see me because none of them had seen me in person since I got my good medical news. It makes me so happy that everyone is so happy for me. And any time I get to celebrate something good in my life is a plus for me! I sometimes feel like I don’t have as much to celebrate, so I’m taking advantage of this.

As with most events I go to, I had every intention of trying to leave at a decent hour so I could get home and go to bed. But I kept getting sucked into really great conversations and before I knew it a few hours had passed since I originally said I was going to leave. But the time I spent there was so worth it. I’ve felt a bit disconnected in the past week or so from my acting life and this was a great way to jump right back into it.

Hopefully the momentum I felt from attending the Tweetup will continue and will help me get back into the normal swing of things quickly. With the tv season being over and a potential writers strike happening I know that acting opportunities are going to be limited. But I need to do whatever I can on my own to get back into whatever I can and to be as prepared as possible for all opportunities that may come my way.

Overdue Happy Hour (or Trying A Neighborhood Restaurant)

I remember when I was little and hearing how adults felt like time went by so fast. I never understood it then since it seemed like each day would take forever (especially when it was a standardized testing day at school). But now it totally makes sense to me. Sometimes it feels like something wasn’t that long ago when it really was a few months ago. That’s what happened with my hangouts with my friend Rayshell.

We have been making an effort for a while to try to get together for happy hour every month every other month. We both have busy lives that seem to be on opposite schedules, so if we don’t make an effort to hang out a lot of time can slip by. Rayshell was recently on a trip and I had told her than when she got back we had to do a happy hour. But I didn’t realize then that the last time I had seen Rayshell was back in November! So much has changed in both of our lives since then so we quickly got to scheduling a time to meet for dinner.

We try to alternate if we meet on her side of town or my side of town, and Rayshell decided that it was her turn to come to my neighborhood (plus, her job is kind of toward where I live). I was trying to figure out a good place for us to meet that had a fun happy hour menu and I thought of Public School 310. I’ve been to Public School before, but only to the location in the valley. It’s weird that I hadn’t been to the one near me before since it’s walking distance from my house. But somehow it just never happened. So this happy hour seemed like the perfect time to check it out!

Rayshell and I love a good happy hour menu, and this one seemed pretty amazing to us! The drinks were super cheap, but since I can’t drink right now I had to skip that. But Rayshell got a $5 beer that was huge! And we decided to each get one of the little plates and then split something too. I got the meatballs and we split the hummus.

The food was really good and it was all a great deal! Between the beer and the 3 plates, our dinner was under $25! That’s really cheap, even for happy hour! And with this being so close to my house I feel silly that I hadn’t been there before. It’s totally going on my list of great places in my neighborhood.

Besides having great food, it was great conversation. Like I said, it had been a while since I had seen Rayshell. We see each other’s posts on Facebook and text from time to time, so we were a bit caught up on each other’s lives. But it’s very different to catch up in person than it is online. And as we caught up, we both realized how much stuff had happened since we saw each other back in November!

Rayshell was telling me all about her trip, but she has also been working out at Orangetheory! She doesn’t work out at the same location as me since there is a location walking distance from her house (I’m jealous since I have to drive almost an hour home in rush hour traffic from the studio I go to). But she’s been going twice a week for a while so we wanted to talk workout stuff. I love that I have so many friends who work out so we can all talk about our workout wins and totally understand what the other person is talking about.

And even though Rayshell knows about my surgery next month, she wanted to hear about what was happening and what the plan is. I’m sure that hearing that I have a big tumor that will be taken out can be overwhelming for my friends. I don’t feel too worried about it because I’m not in pain and I feel very confident in my surgeon. But since nobody else knows that I’m not in pain and nobody else has met my surgeon, I can see why other people are worried about me. But I do want to make sure all of my friends know that I’m totally ok with everything that is happening so I’m more than happy to explain it all to them.

I also had to update Rayshell about getting a new car! It’s still a bit weird to me that I have a new car, but it is feeling more and more like mine and not like a rental or a temporary car. It helped a lot that I now have my personalized plates on it. I’ve had those plates on every car I’ve ever had and it makes it feel more like mine and not someone else’s. And it is really nice having a car that doesn’t have a bunch of things that I need to fix or that doesn’t want to play my podcasts from my phone. My old car was fine, but this one feels like such an upgrade. And while I wasn’t actively looking for a new car before, I know Rayshell knew all the issues I had with the old car so I think she’s pretty happy for me that I have something that works and doesn’t need thousands of dollars in repairs.

Our happy hour was pretty short because Rayshell had to deal with traffic to get home, but it was the perfect quick catchup for us. I know that she is hoping to come visit me when I’m in the hospital or when I’m recovering with my parents, so I’ll be seeing her again soon. And even though I might be in pain when we hang out then, I know that Rayshell is going to do what she can to make that still a fun hangout and feel like one of our regular happy hour adventures.

Podcast Hangout (or A Quick Coffee Meeting)

I’ve been busy working with Inside Acting Podcast for a while now. We’ve got a lot of really great things coming up, including my planning for our 300th episode this year! It’s going to be tough to top our 200th episode celebration, but I’m trying to do it and there are some really big ideas that we are debating about doing right now.

But while I’m working a lot with the podcast with getting guests, scheduling things, and helping to manage everything; I haven’t gotten to do a lot of events with our listeners. We had our vocal class and headshot sessions last year, but this year we are hoping to have more gatherings so that we don’t always feel like we are putting out the podcast into a void.

Our community manager and I have been working really hard at ideas for events and we have some things that should be able to happen. But because we don’t want to keep putting things off while we schedule fun stuff, we scheduled a casual coffee hangout this past Sunday. We found a coffee shop that is pretty centrally located (since we know everyone is coming from all over LA) and put it out to the listeners that we were organizing a meetup.

We didn’t know how many people would be showing up since we didn’t do any RSVP system. But we hoped it would have a good turnout and figured that if it was a low turnout that at least we would get to know a couple of our listeners a lot better.

When I showed up, a few listeners got there before me which was great since they were able to get a table for the group. And pretty quickly after I got there we had more and more members arriving. And before I knew it, we had more people than our big table could fill and we started to take over the coffee shop with all of us hanging out and meeting each other!

There were so many amazing conversations happening there! A lot of us are members of the podcast (if you aren’t and want to become one, you can sign up for it!), and we are in week 5 of “The Artist’s Way”. Even though we are pretty active in the membership discussing our thoughts about what we are doing and if we are having any victories or setbacks, it’s really nice to discuss it in person. And I think a few people who weren’t doing “The Artist’s Way” with us will be starting it now so we will have more people to discuss this with soon!

We also were talking about some of the events that we are hoping to be doing for the membership and listeners soon. We want to do another headshot day, there are a few classes we are bringing in for everyone, and we have a few fitness classes that will be happening. It’s fun getting everyone else excited about the events because it makes us more excited too!

And some people wanted to know about some of the upcoming guests that we have planned. I wish I could tell people about guests we are working on, but because it takes a long time sometimes to get everything set up and scheduled (there are some guests I’ve been working on for over a year), we don’t usually share too much. But I did mention a few people that we are hoping to get on the show soon and that again gets everyone super excited about what is happening!

I wanted to stay at the hangout as long as possible so I could see as many people as I could, but I was having friends over that evening and needed to get home to clean and get things ready. But I was able to be there for about an hour and a half so I think that wasn’t too short. But it was tough to leave when there were so many people there that I wanted to talk to and so many conversations that I wanted to keep being a part of. Hopefully we can pick up the conversations at the next hangout that we schedule and that this in person momentum keeps going!

Lunch And Shopping (or Proof My Work Is Paying Off)

I’ve been trying to keep up with staying social with my friends when I have free time. It is one of the things I’m focusing on this year so I don’t go too long without seeing friends (which can happen pretty easily). I used to see my friend Lindsay all the time because we would go to the same classes at Orangetheory. But since her schedule changed, we have to make more of an effort to see each other. We did run into each other at Orangetheory when she was taking a class after mine, but that’s not really enough time to catch up. So when she asked if I wanted to get some lunch this past weekend, I said yes right away!

We ended up meeting at 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica, which I usually avoid since it’s so touristy. But for a nice Saturday afternoon, it ended up being not too bad. We met up in front of a store and immediately walked to figure out where we wanted to get some lunch. We went to Steak ‘n Shake since it was a place that neither of us had been to before. Sadly, it ended up being a bad choice (we waited over 20 minutes for our burgers to be brought to our table and the food was cold when we did get it), but since the focus of our hangout was catching up and not the food, it was fine.

After eating, Lindsay had some shopping she wanted to do and I’m always happy to join a friend for shopping. I’ve gotten so used to not being able to try things on at the stores that my friends shop at, so I’m just happy to be the person who shares her opinion on the stuff others try on. Lindsay was on the hunt for some shoes and we checked out a couple of stores. She wasn’t able to find what she wanted, but it was fun checking out a bunch of different stores since so many places were having sales.

Toward the end of 3rd Street, there is an Athleta store. I’ve never shopped there before, but I’ve gotten their catalog before and knew that their clothes wouldn’t fit me based on their size guide. They do sell some plus size clothes, but I don’t believe they carry those in the store (so many companies only carry the plus size section on the website). But I do love shopping for workout clothes so I was happy just to see what they had and maybe I would find things that I would want to get when I was able to fit in them.

When we went into the store, someone greeted us immediately and told us that all sale things were discounted even further, and we decided to see what there was since you can’t do much better than sale items being on sale. The sale section was organized by size and I was looking at the XL stuff to see if there was anything that looked big enough to fit me. I found a zip up shirt that looked cute and realized that it might be something perfect to wear when I have liver surgery (I’ve read online that since my stomach will be very sore, it might be tough to lift my arms up to pull shirts on). I decided to try it on over my shirt to see how it fit and it was a little baggy on me.

I found the same shirt in L and tried it on. It was a bit snug, but Lindsay had me try both the XL and L on and she agreed that the L was the way to go. I was so shocked to fit into a L! I know that there is vanity sizing and all that, but Athleta is owned by the same parent company as Old Navy (where I have been getting all my workout stuff) and I’ve been wearing XXL in those. I’ve been wearing those shirts for a while and I started to think that maybe I could fit into smaller clothes than I’ve been wearing.

I looked through the rest of the sale stuff in L (the non-sale stuff is out of my budget for now) and found a cute sweater that I wanted to try on. And I was shocked to see that it fit too! It’s a little tighter than it shows on the model online, but it fits and I feel really cute in it!

I know that I shouldn’t buy stuff just because I like what the size on the table says, but it was pretty amazing to know that I was buying 2 shirts that are not a plus size but just a regular L. I’ve plateaued lately with my weight loss and even though I’m still down quite a bit from even a few months ago, it can feel like I haven’t changed at all in the last year. So getting shirts that prove me otherwise is a really nice thing!

After that shopping stop, it was time for Lindsay and I to each head back to our cars to head home. I’m so glad that she and I were able to get together. Obviously I love getting to catch up with friends, especially friends that I was so used to seeing twice a week before. But I’m also so happy that she convinced me to try on some clothes when I was so sure that there was no way they could fit me. She pushed me out of my comfort zone and it ended up being a great thing for me!

A Friend Party (or A Casual Hangout And Catchup)

Even though I’ve had a lot of awesome friend adventures lately, a lot of them have been with the same group of friends. And I realized that I hadn’t seen some of my other friends lately. So when my friend Rayshell sent me an invite to a last minute party that she and her husband were throwing, I knew I had to be there! I was a bit tired from my day, but I knew that even if I could only be there for an hour or two it would be worth it!

I got to their party a little after it started (there was some filming on their street so parking was difficult to find) and I’m glad I got there then. Normally at the beginning of their parties there aren’t a ton of people there yet. So I’m able to focus on the few people who were there and fortunately the people there at the beginning were the people I wanted to see!

Rayshell has been working out at Orangetheory lately, so it was great to catch up with her and hear what has been happening lately in her life. We haven’t been able to work out together yet, but I’m hoping that will happen soon. And we keep saying that we are due for another happy hour hangout, but both of us have been really crazy with our schedules.

Rayshell also was curious to get an update on me with my health situation. I know it can sound scary to hear that someone has a tumor in their liver, but I’m in no pain or discomfort and if I didn’t know I had the tumor nothing would be different in my life. I think letting her know that I’m totally fine reassured her that I really am ok. And I updated her on when I’d have updates so she could know when to expect them.

I also got to see my friend Sarah at the party. Again, we hadn’t seen each other in a while so it was so much fun to catch up! Since both of our last names are Levin, we figured that we must be somewhat related (there is a story that all people named Levin are at least 35th cousins or something). So we were reviewing our family trees to see if we could figure out any overlap. So far, we haven’t figured out where our family trees overlap, but I have a feeling that eventually we will figure it out.

Most of the time I was at the party, I was just catching up on life with my friends. We did discuss other things (mainly politics and the craziness going on right now), but it did feel like everyone wanted this party to be a catch up party. It did make me feel a little less guilty about not seeing my friends lately since it seemed like everyone was feeling the same way. Knowing that a bunch of us felt like this made me so grateful that Rayshell and Paul threw this party so we could all hang out.

I got to see a few other friends at the party, but when it was about 10pm, I needed to head home. I had been up since 6 that morning and I knew I needed to be up at 7 the next morning. As much as I wish I could have stayed later and seen my other friends who I knew were showing up later that night, my sleep has to be a priority for me now (I’m totally turning into an old person!). But before I left, Sarah and I had to get a photo with Rayshell in the middle. It’s a photo we’ve done a bunch of times so it’s become a tradition for us now!

levin-sandwich

Hopefully either Rayshell will have another party soon or I can organize a hangout with my friends soon so I can see them again! I don’t want to go a few months without getting to catch up again!

Happy Birthday Rayshell (or I Love Casual Hangouts!)

This past weekend was pretty busy for me, but that was fun for me! I love when I have a bunch of awesome things to go to and being able to be social with my friends. I can get pretty isolated with just working at home and then going to the gym, so whenever a friend throws a party I really do try to go! It’s good motivation to get out and do things when someone is having a party and I know I need to be more social so this helps.

Rayshell had her birthday recently and she had a casual get-together at her house on Saturday. While I do love big event birthday parties, it’s nice when you have something smaller and more relaxed at times (especially when you are in the middle of a crazy weekend). Rayshell (and her husband Paul) are pretty amazing at having parties at their place so I was pretty excited to get to spend time with them and the rest of my friends. I had a bit of a busy day on Saturday with work and some other things, but I still ended up being at their party pretty much right when it started (I have a reputation for usually being the first guest at their parties).

The party was pretty chill and that is what I feel makes it awesome. There was no pressure to dress up fancy or to have to impress everyone there. It was just a fun hangout with a bunch of friends most of whom I haven’t seen since Rayshell’s wedding. I’m so glad Rayshell does a couple of parties a year because they are great times for me to get to see a bunch of people who live all over LA and it’s not easy to get to see them all the time. Also, Rayshell and Paul’s apartment really is set up well for parties so I think they like hosting them there.

I spent most of my evening talking with my friends on updates on their lives (we all also discussed what we bought or wanted to buy on Amazon Prime Day) and it was just nice to relax around Rayshell and Paul’s apartment and getting to find out what people are up to without it being an update on Facebook. We all feel like we see each other more often because of social media, but then when we get together we realize how it has been a while since we were in person together!

And of course, since this was a birthday party there was cake. And when we were all singing to Rayshell I got this super adorable picture of Rayshell and Paul (seriously, they are the cutest couple!).

Rayshell and Paul

I really wanted to stay later at the party, but my body was getting ready to shut down around 11pm so I had to leave shortly after the cake. Fortunately, most of us aren’t night owls so I think most of the people I knew would be at the party got there on the earlier side so I didn’t miss them by leaving by 11pm. I really was having a great time at the party and talking with everyone, but since I had a 20 minute drive home I really knew I had to leave when I was feeling tired.

So I said goodbye to Rayshell, Paul, and all of my friends there and headed back to my car to head home. It really was a fun hangout with everyone and I think we all appreciated Rayshell and Paul for hosting another great party and giving us all an excuse to hang out again. I think the next hangout opportunity is going to be my birthday! I still need to figure out what to do, but I can’t wait to see everyone again in a few weeks!

A Dinner Hangout (or Seeing My Sister-In-Law in LA)

Even though my schedule the past week was crazy (I haven’t even covered the craziness of my past weekend), I still tried to have fun when I could. So when my sister-in-law Krystle sent me a text saying that she was going to me in LA on Friday, I knew I had to hang out with her! Since she and my brother moved to Santa Barbara, she and I haven’t really hung out in LA too much. She’s come over to my house for a quick visit, but it’s usually just a stop on their drive back from San Diego.

While I couldn’t hang out with Krystle and Ross while they were exploring LA (I was working then), I was able to join Krystle for dinner after she dropped my brother off at a friend’s house and before she and a friend went to a concert.

Since she was dropping my brother off in Brentwood, it worked out really well for me. I was working out at Orangetheory at 4pm, so we made plans to get dinner around 5:30/6. As soon as my workout was done, I showered and changed there (they have really nice shower facilities but I usually go home to shower after class). We were meeting for dinner at a burger place across the street from Orangetheory. But because Orangetheory is valet parking (we get 90 minutes for free), I moved my car across the street to cheaper parking.

I had never been to Barneys Hamburgers before, but I usually don’t hang out in Brentwood. I just go there for my workout and then go home. But this place seemed really cute and the menu seemed awesome when I looked online, so I was excited to check it out.

Krystle and her friend had gotten a table before I arrived, but they only beat me by a few minutes. Of course, she and I tried to catch up right away. But since they had a concert to go to, we knew we needed to order food first so they could leave on time.

I was a bit overwhelmed by the menu at first, and I didn’t want to eat anything too crazy since I had just worked out. But then I realized that it was ok to splurge a bit and found a couple of burgers that looked pretty awesome to me. I figured I’d have to go back another time soon to try another burger, so I chose one that looked good but not too crazy. It had cheese, bacon, and BBQ sauce on it. It wasn’t the healthiest thing on the menu, but it was far from the worst. We also ordered truffle fries for the table (even though Krystle doesn’t like truffle fries, her friend and I do so I’m grateful that she let us get something to share even if it isn’t her favorite).

Post Workout Burger

The burger was really great! I don’t eat burgers like most people do. I tend to take the top off of it and then cut into it with a fork and knife. It’s a weird habit that I’ve had for a while, but it works for me and it keeps me from getting hamburger from falling out of the bun and onto my clothes.

While we were eating, Krystle was telling me about some upcoming trips that she and my brother are taking and how her wedding planning business is going. I’ll be seeing her in Santa Barbara next month when I’m there for Rayshell’s wedding, so we also talked about what we want to do while I’m there (my parents are going to be in Santa Barbara then too so it will be lots of family time).

We also got to talk a bit about the next trip that she and I take together. We though it would be a fun weekend in Las Vegas, but life got in the way and if we are going to do that it will have to wait until the fall or winter because we don’t want to be there in the heat of the summer. But this coming winter is when we also thought we’d go back to New York, so we have to decide which trip we want to take. Either one will be awesome and I’m super excited to get to spend more time with Krystle soon on an adventure.

We only got to hang out at dinner for about an hour before Krystle and her friend had to leave to get to the concert. Even though it was a fast hangout, it was seriously so much fun! I hope that Krystle can come down to LA every so often so she and I can do stuff here. There’s so much fun stuff in LA that she hasn’t done, so I’m hoping she can join me when I find out about a cool event.

After I said goodbye to Krystle and her friend, I headed home to get ready for my crazy weekend. But more on that in tomorrow’s post…

Seeing Friends In Random Places (or Unscheduled Hangouts)

I haven’t been so great with scheduling friend hang outs lately. I’m seeing my friends at the gym, at events, or at pre-scheduled things a bunch. But I’ve been slacking on the random get-togethers recently. I know a part of it is due to my crazy schedule (which seems to only get crazier through this month), but there is still plenty of time that I could see my friends and I don’t.

I was feeling a bit down about this over the weekend when I had 2 very random friend run-ins that really made my day! And both of the random run-ins were with women I’m in my mentoring group with. We just scheduled our next mentee meeting to be later this month, but to see people out and about was really great.

First, on Saturday I made a trip to Trader Joes (which I usually don’t do on Saturdays due to everyone else being there that day). I was getting my reusable bag from the backseat of my car when I looked up and saw fellow mentee Janice! I was totally in shock! I knew that she lived near me (she loves that the meetings are at my house because it’s super easy for her to get to), but we’ve never run into each other in the neighborhood.

I rolled down my window and found out she just arrived at the store too, so we said we’d try to do our shopping together. Of course, with all the people inside and us getting distracted by our conversation we didn’t do too well with our shopping. So we stood off to the side and did some quick catch up chatting and then split up since she had a short list and I had a ton of groceries to get. But it was still so awesome to get to see her even for those few minutes.

Then on Sunday I had to work. It was interesting working at a theater show when everyone else would be watching football (or the commercials), but we actually had close to a sold-out crowd and I think everyone with a ticket showed up! Plenty of people made jokes about how we should have the game going in the lobby, but nobody seemed upset to have to watch the game recorded so they could be at the show.

While I was busy doing my will-call work, I heard my name called and thought maybe it was someone I was working with needing me to help with something. But then I saw my friend and fellow mentee Jane at my will-call table! A friend of hers had gotten tickets for the show and she at forgotten that I told her before that sometimes I work there at the shows.

Again, it was awesome to get to see her and we had a bit more time to catch up since by the time she got to my work I was almost done passing out all the will-call tickets. We also had some time to chat during intermission and after the show was done. Since I had seen Jane more recently, we didn’t have as much to catch up on as I did with Janice. But there was still plenty to talk about. I know I’ll see her when we have our next group meeting, but I’m hoping she and I can make plans before then too.

It’s so funny how down I was feeling about not seeing a bunch of friends before the weekend started and then I saw 2 of my friends so randomly. It really did make me feel better about myself and make me realize that even if I don’t see people that often, it doesn’t mean that we aren’t friends or don’t want to be friends. Everyone is so busy these days and it’s really easy to go weeks or months without seeing someone (or you feel like you’ve seen them recently because you connect on social media and not in person). But it’s ok if that happens because if you are true friends with someone, you can go a while without seeing them and then just pick things up where you left off the last time you saw them.

Last Happy Hour Of 2015 (or A Speedy Catch Up)

My friend Rayshell and I have been trying to do monthly happy hours, but our schedules lately have been so busy and conflicting. We wanted to make sure we got in one more happy hour before the end of the year, and we both happened to have Monday evening free! So we scheduled a happy hour hangout immediately before either of us ended up booking something else we had to do on Monday!

We met on her side of town (which sadly took me forever to drive to due to rush hour, holiday traffic, and the rain), but all that driving stress was gone when I got there. We met at El Torito Grill (we go there a lot) and while I was a little bit late, Rayshell didn’t seem to care too much since I drove to her side of town.

I had brought her holiday card with me to happy hour (it saved me a stamp) and Rayshell gave me a bottle of wine! I was totally not expecting a holiday gift, so that was a pleasant surprise!

As soon as we ordered our food, I got to hear all about the trip that Rayshell and her fiancée just went on! It sounded like she had an awesome time and it made me start thinking that I should plan another trip soon. We also discussed her wedding and the upcoming bridal shower and bachelorette party. She’s got so much about her wedding already figured out and under control, so I know that it’s going to be an amazing party! There’s only a few more months before her wedding, so I’m getting really excited for all the festivities and to be celebrating Rayshell and Paul (her fiancée).

When Rayshell asked me about what was going on in my life, I had some things I could tell her about Thanksgiving and work. But I really didn’t have a ton of fun updates to talk about. I really wished that there was more going on in my life right now, but my days are pretty full and I’m not focusing on the fun things as much. I’m working on fixing that and I’m thinking that next year will be filled with more fun adventures.

We didn’t stay at happy hour too late. It was raining and while the patio we were eating on had space heaters, it’s was pretty cold. And I had told a friend of mine that I could get them at LAX and take them home after they returned from a trip.

I’m so glad that even though Rayshell and I didn’t manage to do happy hour every month, we did do a pretty decent number of them this year. Both of us are busy with our lives and since we live on opposite sides of town (a big deal in LA), we don’t always get to see each other unless we make the effort. I know that we will continue our happy hour tradition next year as well (the next happy hour will be on my side of town) and I’m looking forward to having more exciting things than work to update Rayshell on!

Evil Twin Brunch (or Catching Up On Life)

With being super busy with the Convention, being sick, and just trying to catch up on my day jobs; I feel like my fun time has been limited. I’ve been working on scheduling more fun things (adding them to my calendar is helping me remember to actually do the fun things and just not plan to do them). Going to the screenings helps me relax and have fun. But I also need to be social (going to the movie with a friend isn’t exactly social).

I knew my Evil Twin had the same pilot audition that I did, but we weren’t there on the same day. So I suggested that we get together for brunch to discuss our auditions and just have a fun day out.

We decided to meet up on Sunday at Luna Park (I’ve been there for dinner, but never for brunch) since it was between where we each live. We got there pretty much when they opened (we weren’t sure if it would be really crowded or not) and ordered some drinks right away.

While they have bottomless drinks for brunch, I knew I only needed one mimosa with brunch. We ordered pretty quickly so we could start with our catchup chat.

While I had a pretty good audition for the pilot, my Evil Twin didn’t have as great of a time. There were issues with the office running behind (it happens), parking difficulty, and construction blocking how you would normally walk to the office where casting was located. I was so grateful that she warned me about all of that after her audition so when I had mine the next day I gave myself extra time to deal with all of that. These issues with auditions happen from time to time, but they can throw you off your game if you aren’t expecting them.

She also told me about another audition she had this past week (I wasn’t asked to audition for that one, so it was cool to hear about it) and then we moved on to our usual random catch up.

Of course there was talk about Disneyland (she’s going when I can’t go but hopefully we can do another Disneyland day soon), family, and her cat who happened to get out the other day and seemed traumatized by whatever he saw on the other side of the door.

Eventually, our food came and I might have ordered too much because I took a really long nap at home that afternoon. But their brunch was just as delicious as their dinner and the mimosa I ordered was so strong that I couldn’t even finish half of it!

Evil Twin Brunch

After hanging out for a couple of hours, we both had to head out to do our Sunday errands. Even though it was a somewhat short visit, getting one on one time with my Evil Twin really did boost my spirits and help me feel back into the normal swing of things. It’s always good to spend time with someone who completely relates to a crazy and sometimes unknown schedule. We are lucky that we both were able to schedule our brunch easily and didn’t have to reschedule a time or two.

My schedule is still a bit crazy, but it’s starting to normalize and should be relatively normal (unless I get a ton of auditions) until Thanksgiving week. It will be nice to have some normalcy and expected things in my schedule before things get crazy again with time off at Thanksgiving (and going to spend time with my family) and the craziness that my day job experiences around the holiday. It’s so weird that I’m already thinking about the holidays, but they will be here before you know it!