Tag Archives: happy hour

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.


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.

A Happy Hour Mixer (or Being A NextGen Performer)

As much as I’ve wanted to get involved more with SAG-AFTRA, it seems like it just hasn’t been working out well with my schedule. I’ve wanted to attend various gatherings and meetings, but they seem to always be when I’m working. So when I do see an event that I can attend, I try to do whatever I can to make sure my schedule stays clear so I can go.

The NextGen Performers Committee is a committee within SAG-AFTRA to help unify those in the union between 18-35 and to help them get more involved. It’s a great committee and I have several friends who are a part of the leadership of that committee. They do a lot of great work especially since many younger union members don’t realize how important the union is. They haven’t known any other time and sometimes don’t realize when something is something that the union had to fight hard to get. It’s one of the committees that I’ve wanted to get involved with but hadn’t had a chance just yet.

But when they announced a mixer this past week at Rush Street, I knew I had to go! I had that evening free (except needing to pick up a friend at LAX at 11pm) and Rush Street is so close to my house that it wouldn’t take me long at all to get there. So I RSVPed and was excited about getting to spend some time with my fellow union members. I had ever intention of walking over there since it’s so close to my house, but I decided to dress up and wear heels. I don’t have to wear anything other than workout clothes normally, so I took advantage of this mixer. And since I was wearing heels, I didn’t want to walk over. So I drove over and found a free parking space!

The mixer was upstairs at Rush Street where we had a private space. I’ve been upstairs at Rush Street before for dinner, but never on the back patio where we were this time. And there was some free food (which always gets actors excited) and postcards promoting the upcoming Los Angeles meeting for SAG-AFTRA right when I walked in.

By the way, if you are a member of SAG-AFTRA and are free on Sunday, I highly recommend coming to the meeting. It should be a really educational afternoon and you will get to meet many leaders in the union. I’m excited to get to be there to see some people who I haven’t seen since either the holiday party or convention.

I wasn’t sure how many people I would know at the mixer, and there were a ton of people I didn’t know. But I did keep running into friends there including the friends who are a part of the committee. Some of them I had seen within the past month and some of them I hadn’t seen in over a year. Either way, it was awesome to get to catch up with everyone. And while everyone was busy saying hi to everyone who was there, I felt like I did get some great quality time with the people who I wanted to see while I was there.

And since this committee is focused on millennials (and those of us a bit older than that), they had a challenge for us for social media. They had different signs and if we could take a photo and post it on Instagram, we would get a free water bottle. I’m never one to turn down a free water bottle, so I took a photo with 2 friends to post online.

Since this mixer was a casual event, there was no agenda or timeline of anything. It was just a good time to get to hang out with other union members and talk shop. And that’s exactly what I got to do. It was perfect and again made me feel the pull to want to be more involved in the union. I know there isn’t a ton that I can do right now, but with elections happening this year I know that I want to do more than I have in the past.

I would have loved to have stayed at the mixer for a while (even though it was supposed to end at 9 it was still going strong at 9:30), but I did need to get home to get stuff done before my late night run to get my friend at LAX. I was trying to leave quickly, but of course it was taking forever to say goodbye to everyone that I wanted to say goodbye to. But I eventually made it out of there and was on my way back to my car.

With this mixer this week and the meeting coming up this weekend, I’m just feeling so excited about everything happening with the union. There have been some really exciting announcements lately (including the official union app and that residuals can be direct deposits now) and I can’t wait to hear what might be announced next!


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!

Happy Hour Birthday Dinner (or Just Having A Nice Catch Up Chat)

My friend Rayshell’s birthday just passed. Instead of doing another big birthday party, she decided that she wanted to do a couple of one-on-one dinners with her friends. Since Rayshell and I do fairly regular happy hours, we combined our happy hour gathering with a birthday dinner!

We usually alternate meeting on my side of town and Rayshell’s side of town. But since I had to be on my side of town pretty late in the afternoon, Rayshell was awesome and agreed to stay on the westside.

We met up at Bossa Nova. It’s a Brazilian place that I’ve passed a million times but have never gone to. I thought at first it was a Brazilian steakhouse, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was more sandwiches, salads, and pastas.

We started off with some yummy cheesy bread (that we ate so fast that I didn’t get a photo of it) and we each got a sandwich.

Bossa Nova

It was a nice chill hangout. Of course, we talked a lot about her wedding planning. I really loved hearing about what she’s got set for her wedding so far. I already know that it’s going to be an amazing event and I’ve been trying to plan what I want to wear even though it’s months away!

Beyond the wedding discussion, we really had what most people would consider a boring conversation. We discussed our day jobs (we both have had a slower summer at work). We talked about random acting stuff like new headshots and a film that Rayshell just booked (that wasn’t boring to hear about!). And we talked about random stuff that is happening in our lives.

While it is fun to go out and do adventures with my friends (I’m going on one with Rayshell this weekend), it’s also so nice to just have a simple dinner and chat with a friend as well. I feel like these chats are what help keep my friendships grounded and strong. We all live such crazy lives and it’s easy to either let a ton of time pass without connecting or forget that we haven’t had a catch up chat in a while.

I know that I need to make this effort with more of my friends (especially my LA based friends). There are some friends who I feel like I’ve seen lately because we are connected on social media but when I look back at my calendar I haven’t seen them in months or even close to a year! I know that this isn’t their fault or my fault, it just happens. But now that I’m aware of it I’m going to work on fixing that.

A Happy Hour Celebration (or Looking Forward To Another Wedding)

A couple of weeks ago, I got a text message from my friend Rayshell that her boyfriend proposed! I was so excited to hear this news from her because she and her boyfriend (now fiancée) had been together for a while and I knew that they had been discussion marriage for a bit.

A little later I got a text with a picture of the ring.

Rayshell's Ring

It’s such a gorgeous ring and the photo doesn’t do it justice! Rayshell had shown me this ring in a photo before she got engaged and the moment I saw the picture I knew that this was the perfect ring for her. It’s really classic and unique at the same time. And I love that it’s in rose gold since most people have white gold rings nowadays. Even though I know Rayshell told Paul that this was the ring she loved, I think he did a great job following instructions and getting such a great ring (and I think he did it without any help).

So of course, Rayshell and I had to do a happy hour outing to celebrate her engagement. It took a few weeks to get together because I ordered engagement presents online and it took some time getting it to me. But we were finally able to meet up this past week.

Rayshell got to pick the happy hour place and she chose her favorite, El Torito Grill.

Happy Hour

I got there first (I gave myself a ton of time in case there was horrible traffic) but Rayshell got there shortly after me and we got to have some really quality catch-up time.

It was so nice to be able to congratulate her on the engagement in person. And I love giving presents to my friends. I got her a wedding planning notebook and a personalized garter (I get those gifts for all my bride-to-be friends). And I think Rayshell really liked both gifts.

Our happy hour hangout was really fun. Technically, we didn’t order anything off the happy hour menu, but I always have fun with getting a dinner out.

Rayshell shared with me the details for the wedding that they have figured out already. They have a really amazing venue on the beach in Santa Barbara picked out and the wedding will be next year in the spring.

I’m super excited for this wedding. I know it will be fabulous and I’m so excited to celebrate Rayshell and Paul with all their friends and family.

I know that some single people dread weddings (I guess it reminds them that they are still single), but I’m not like that at all. I have so much fun at weddings and all the weddings I’ve been to have been so unique and perfect for the couple that is getting married. So I’m just excited to see how their wedding will reflect them as a couple.

And of course I’m already thinking about what I want to wear to the wedding and hoping I might be able to lose more weight before then. But I don’t want to set a really big weight loss goal again. I feel like when I don’t reach my goal it’s really tough on me and I don’t want to have to deal with that disappointment.

But I’m really going to work hard on my exercise and diet and see where I can be by next spring. No matter what, I’m excited to have another big event to look forward to.

Happy Hour Inspiration (or Just Having Fun After Work)

It’s been a while since I had a happy hour outing with my friend Rayshell, so I’m glad that we got to do one this week. We met at Westside Tavern which is pretty close to my house. The last time I was there was with my parents, so I was happy to go back.

As always, it was fun to catch up with Rayshell. We’ve both had some big things happening in our lives and sometimes just seeing news on social media isn’t enough.

We talked about my grandpa some as well as my workouts and new medication. And she talked about some stuff going on in her life like her acting career.

While we were talking about our acting careers, Rayshell said something to me that really inspired me. There’s something that we are hoping to do. And while I can’t share much now, I think that we are getting some really great people interested in this and hopefully our idea will become a reality soon.

I love that just hanging out with a friend and talking about life can inspire something so big in my head. The rest of the dinner, we just talked about this idea and it kind of revitalized me after a kind of crazy day at my day job (it was a day where all the customers were asking questions that either I didn’t know the answers to or could only be answered by the producers at each location).

It was also nice to have something fun in my day when things have been stressful for about 2 weeks. Besides everything with my grandpa, I’m still worried about my grandma and that hasn’t been resolved yet (and probably won’t be for another month or two). Even though it’s important to focus on family and make sure that everyone is taken care of, I need to remember to take time out for myself so I don’t lose myself in worrying about everyone else.

Dinner itself was nice and relaxing. I had been careful what I ate earlier in the day so I could enjoy my meal. And I did make a decent choice (there were definitely much worse entrees I could have chosen) and I enjoyed what I ate. Having meals like this make my boring meals most of the time totally worth it. And those boring meals are necessary if I want to be able to go out for meals and not worry too much about it (although in my head I was still feeling a little guilty because I could have chosen something healthier).

Since Rayshell had to a farther drive home than I did, we didn’t stay at dinner too long. But it really was a perfect hangout to help get me out of the house and back to feeling more normal than I have been.

Having Water At A Wine Bar (or Getting A Temporary Job)

Continuing my attempts to not become a hermit during the cleanse, I went out to Bottle Rock, one of my favorite wine bars this week.

While everything on the menu is amazing (I love their mac and cheese), because of my limitations on the cleanse, all I could have was water. While staring at the menu drinking my water, I did decide that Bottle Rock will be a place I go to for happy hour soon after my cleanse ends.


My reason for going to Bottle Rock was a good one (not just to drink water). I was meeting my old boss from my last telesales job. He is now working at a new theater company and had something to discuss with me.

It turns out, they need someone to work for a few weeks to help sell tickets for their gala this year. It’s a similar job to what I did for this boss before, but instead of selling show tickets, it would be gala tickets. And I would be the only person doing this, so all the commissions would be mine!

Of course, I said I’d take the job! It should start in a week or two and the job will probably only last a few weeks, but anything for extra money is great right now! And since it’s another commission job, there’s no limit to how much I can make in those few weeks.

And if I do a good job selling gala tickets (which I think I will) there might be another opportunity for me toward the end of spring to work for that theater company again and help them work on their renewals for their ticket holders.

The best thing about this new job is that since I am the only person working and it’s my old boss running things, he’s super cool about my current schedule. I’m probably going to work for him in the evening when I don’t work my current box office job and only on evenings when I don’t go to Orangetheory.

This is exactly what I need right now. While I wish that it was a longer job than a few weeks, anything that I can get right now will help. I feel so grateful that of all the telesales staff that worked at that old job with me, my boss chose me to come and work with him on this campaign. It proves to me that I am a good salesperson and that I will always be able to use this boss as a job reference if needed.

Since it doesn’t start for a few weeks, I’m still looking for other jobs that I can do either while I’m working my box office job or outside of my work and workout hours. I’m going to meet someone who is a friend of a friend who needs some organizing work done in their house. That might turn into something, but they are about an hour drive away from my house, so I have to see if I can devote enough time to it to make a 2 hour commute each time worth it.

I don’t want to get too optimistic and think that my job situation is getting to where I need it to be, because it isn’t. But these are all steps in the right direction and gives me hope that it won’t be long until it all works out.

Happy Hour and Happiness (or I’m On Another Blog Now)

After working my at-home job yesterday, I headed over to the valley to meet my friend Rayshell for Happy Hour. I hadn’t seen Rayshell since my birthday party and we both had a lot of catching up to do.

It was a super fun happy hour. We were able to get drinks and food for $5 each. And of course, I had a Dirty Shirley.


Sometimes the stress of working and trying to find more work makes me forget to go out and have fun with my friends. And this was the perfect chance to have a relaxing Happy Hour with an awesome friend.

We were catching up on my new job and Rayshell’s current job when my phone alerted me that someone @replied me on twitter. I glanced at my phone and saw that casting director Marci Liroff had included me in a tweet.

A little backstory.

Last month, Marci sent me an email asking about my tips and tricks for preparing for the fall tv season. I was more than happy to share my advice as well and send her the links to all the posts that I’ve written about the subject.

Marci thanked me and told me that she was working on an article for Backstage on the topic and asked what she could share of my advice. I told her that she could share everything that she wanted to. I feel like sharing my knowledge won’t hurt my career, so why not?

The article hadn’t gone up by the time the fall tv season started, so I thought maybe she changed her mind on the article. But at Happy Hour yesterday, that tweet was Marci sharing that the article had gone live and that it included advice (or as she put it “golden nuggets”) from me!

Of course, as soon as I saw that, I had to look at the article on my phone (Rayshell wanted to see it to).

And it’s awesome.

A lot of my advice in the article is stuff that I’ve shared on here before. But by having it in Backstage, the advice is reaching much bigger audience than I get here.

I was so excited to be a part of this article and honored and a little surprised that I was the only actor who Marci used for advice. I really feel like this means that I am doing the right things when it comes to research. And all this research will eventually lead to a great acting job for me.

I just have to be patient and be grateful that my advice is respected in this industry.

Happy Hour Party (or Getting To See Co-Workers Again)

This week was the end of the year party for the theater I work at. We had a party last year at the end of the season, but that was when I was still working in telesales and I was working 6 days a week.

Now that I’m in the box office, I’m lucky if I’m there 1 day a week. And even though I’ve been back for a while, some people didn’t know that I was back until a staff meeting that we had last month. Everyone works in an office building across the street from the theater except for the box office staff. We, obviously, work in the box office that is attached to the theater. So unless someone is coming over to the box office for some reason, they never see us.

I’m still getting used to being back. It’s weird to work in a job that is so similar yet so different from what I’m used to doing. While I do know some things, there are so many things that in telesales we couldn’t do. So I’m still learning a lot every day.

Also, I’m used to this time being the busiest (and most profitable for me) time of the year. But in the box office, we maybe get 1 phone call over a 3 hour shift. We don’t have tickets on sale yet to the public, so we don’t have a ton of work we have to do.

Anyway, back to the party.

Before the party, there was a staff meeting and then we all headed over to Bodega (yes, where my 30th birthday party was last year). Bodega is only about 3 blocks from the theater, so it’s super convenient. I used to go to Bodega all the time. But that was also when I worked in telesales until 5:30 on Wednesdays and wanted to wait out rush hour traffic. Since being laid off from telesales, I haven’t been back.

It was free food and drinks for everyone, which made it pretty fun. I only had 1 cocktail since it was only 2pm and I knew I had work to do at my house later.

We played some random games like get-to-know-you BINGO where it turns out I’m the only person who works at the theater who has been to Africa. But honestly, it was just a nice time to get to chat with people who I don’t really get to see at work. Again, some people forgot that I had been brought back to work in the box office. I’m the only person from the telesales team who is back.

After 3 hours of hanging out with everyone, I headed back home. It’s nice to be social with co-workers and I feel like the fact that I was social before is one of the reasons that I was asked to come back to work. Building relationships with people always helps and I’m glad that when I was let go I had left a positive enough impression for them to want me back.