Being a Graceful Klutz (or Why I’m Black and Blue)

For my entire life, I’ve been a klutz and I’ve bruised easily. Not necessarily the best combination.

If someone hugs me too hard, I might have bruises on my back. If I sleep with my hand under my face, I will normally wake up with a bruise on my check.

Because of how easily I bruise (and because clothing can’t cover everything), I’ve gotten used to using tattoo coverup makeup to cover any bruises that will draw attention. I used to use makeup from Urban Decay, but I’m out of that so I’m thinking of trying this concealer from Sephora next.

The accidental bruises are a little funny. Sometimes I’ll see a bruise and be so confused on how I got them.

But lately, I’ve gotten some bruises that I can pinpoint to the exact minute I got them.

When I was at Disneyland, one of the rides we went on was the Matterhorn. The bobsleds had been redone since my last visit, plus my mom really wanted to go on it. So we tried it out. The new seats are not comfortable and have no padding at all! My butt hurt so much, but to keep myself steady during the ride, I gripped the seat in front of me with my knees. So now the insides of my knees have funny bruises on them.

And then yesterday when I was leaving work, I had a pretty bad spill. The steps outside of the trailer I work in were slick because of all the fog. I didn’t notice that and even holding on to the handrail couldn’t save me. I fell down 4 stairs.

I give myself 10 points for the fall. It was pretty awesome. My boss saw it happen and came running over to me. I said I was in a bit of pain but ok, but once I got home and evaluated my injuries a bit more, I noticed how badly I fell.

My right arm is scraped up from the metal steps. It looks like an animal scratched me. I also hit my head at some point so I have a bruise on the back of my head near my ear. And worst of all is my right hip. Of course most of the impact would be there (this is the hip that was operated on). I have a big bruise on both my leg and back around my hip. Fortunately, all of those injuries will be covered up by clothes (maybe not my arm when I go to spin class, but that’s ok).

I try to be a graceful person, but my klutziness just comes out at times. Maybe my gracefulness doesn’t come from not being a klutz, but how I handle myself after a klutzy incident.

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Going to The Happiest Place on Earth (or How Recycling Ink Got Me an Annual Pass)

Yesterday was the last day that my mom and aunt were in LA. And we had our grand finale adventure then as well.

We went to Disneyland!!!

I’ve previously expressed my love for Disneyland (and how I couldn’t quite afford it), but I found a way to get my pass. At Thanksgiving, my mom gave me about 70 or 80 ink cartridges that she wanted to recycle. And since I could use the $2 for each ink, she decided to let me recycle them and enjoy the extra money. You can only recycle 10 at a time, but I had gotten about $50 in coupons since I also purchased some items at the store. And you are able to use your coupons for gift cards online (but not in the store). So I got a $50 gift card, and I ended up using that yesterday to put towards my pass (it was $269 so I only really paid $219).

Disneyland was amazing. I hadn’t been in about 2 years, so there was a lot of new stuff for me to see!

We totally lucked out by going on a gorgeous day.

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(that last picture is from the StoryBook Canal Boats)

One of the highlights of the day was going to Cars Land. We rode both the tires and the racing ride. We ended up doing the racing ride twice, once in the daytime and once at night.

I highly recommend going at night. It is gorgeous there!

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For our main meal yesterday, we had another linner but this time it was at the Blue Bayou. We had a waterfront table, so we got to see all the boats for Pirates of the Caribbean going right by our table. I had never eaten there before (maybe once when I was 3 but my mom can’t remember).

I decided to splurge on my calories a bit and had the short ribs.

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It was so delicious that I forgot to take a photo of my food!

We rode almost everything that we wanted to go on (except Space Mountain which was broken) and spent almost equal time between Disneyland and California Adventure.

We ended our day with seeing the World of Color show at California Adventure. None of us had ever seen the show, so we weren’t sure what to expect. But we were all pleasantly surprised by how amazing the show was!

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We ended up spending about 10 hours in the parks. Not my all time record, but after the past few days I’m exhausted!

Today I go back to “real” life and work. I hope I’ll be able to focus.

Mom and Aunt Cindy, thank you so much for coming to visit me and indulging me on these adventures! Thank you for paying for meals and driving around so I didn’t have to! I think we should make this girl’s week a new tradition!

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A Burbank Day (or Spending Some Time At Warner Bros.)

Yesterday, my adventure with my mom and aunt mainly took place in Burbank.

We started out by going from their hotel near Brentwood and we took the “scenic route” to go past Griffith Park to go to Burbank (if you aren’t familiar with LA, this is a very roundabout way to go).

We just walked around and looked at the view from the Observatory, but I could see the hiking trail that I conquered last year. The views were pretty nice, but I was so distracted I forgot to take any pictures!

Next we headed over to Burbank to walk around the WB lot. I worked at WB as a tour guide back in 2005, and a friend of mine got us walk on passes so we could explore and do some DVD shopping. After a little issue with getting our passes, we finally made it on the lot.

We walked around the backlot area where all the facades are and enjoyed the gorgeous day that we were having.

We took a couple of pictures.

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And then we left the lot to head to The Smokehouse for linner (which is lunch/dinner).

The Smokehouse is a restaurant that my mom went to a lot growing up. She hadn’t been there in forever, but feels like the inside still looks the same.

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We all ordered the prime rib sandwich (seemed to be their specialty), and I enjoyed everything except the bread (I had a taste of their famous garlic bread instead).

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And then it was time to head back over to WB because the 3 of us had tickets to a taping of one of our favorite shows!

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I love “2 Broke Girls”! It’s one of the shows that I dream of being on one day!

We got great seats in the audience, right in the second row and between the apartment and diner sets.

I’ve been to a couple of tapings before so I knew what to expect, but neither my mom nor aunt had been to one (at least as adults).

We were there for about 5 hours. It was a lot of fun getting to watch everyone work. And the director for this particular episode was Fred Savage (of “Wonder Years” fame)! As much as I loved watching, I couldn’t help feel like that was not a place that I belonged. I should have been on stage.

I think my mom and aunt had a pretty fun time at the taping, and now they understand what I do even more now. And my mom won a t-shirt!

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This taping might have given me a little kick in the butt to work even harder as moving my acting career forward!

After 12 hours away from home, I got home yesterday exhausted. But we still have 1 more day adventure to go today!

Family Time (or A Culver City Type of Day)

My mom and Aunt Cindy got here yesterday in the afternoon, so I spent the morning doing errands and cleaning up and the afternoon with them.

My mom and dad normally come to visit me together (my dad’s first solo visit was for the Pat Metheny show), but my mom has been here a few times alone. My aunt has never visited me while I’ve lived at my current house, but now that I think about it, I don’t know if she’s ever visited me in LA before.

The first stop when after they both had gotten in (my mom was driving from the Bay Area and my aunt was coming in from Sacramento), was my house. It was nice and clean (I hope), and my aunt finally got to see my cute little house. I gave her the grand tour, which took all of 2 minutes, and then we were off for an adventure.

My aunt grew up in Culver City (my mom and her siblings grew up in the LA area too, but in the valley), and had not been back in years. I was always telling her about different areas, but she couldn’t quite picture it. So we did a little driving tour of Culver City.

We went to check out my aunt’s old house. My aunt wasn’t sure she wanted to go inside, but my mom has an awesome track record of getting to see the inside of houses she grew up in, so she tried. And we did get to go inside and see my aunt’s old house.

I had never seen it before, but according to my aunt, a lot of the place was exactly the same as how it was when she lived there with her parents. Even the tiles in the kitchen were the exact same! She’s going to find some old photos so I could see what it looked like when she lived there.

After that, we drove around to see her old school, which is one of the schools that I used to substitute teach at!

Finally we had a nice early dinner at Ugo.

We ended the night early since both my mom and aunt had long drives earlier today. We have more adventures planned for today, and I’ll be writing about those tomorrow!

Maintenance Time (or Busy Busy Weekend)

I sure kept myself busy this past weekend.

On Saturday, I was at work for 4 hours. Since it was the end of the pay period for us, I had a lot of little jobs to do to finish out everything and make sure my time cards and commissions were in order. Also, I’m not going to be in work the day that everything is checked (before it’s sent to the accountant to make out our checks), so I had to make sure everything is perfect. More on why I won’t be in work in a minute.

After work, I headed over to my friend’s house. The original plan was for me to have my hair cut and colored and then I was going to babysit my friend’s kids so she and her husband could go out. But my friend and her husband decided to spend the evening in, so it was just a fun hangout and hair session with my friend.

There are certain beauty routines that are luxuries like manicures, expensive makeup, blowouts, and pedicures in the winter. But things like cutting and coloring my hair and having my eyebrows done are maintenance work for me. I have to look good (even if I look this weird while my hair is being dyed).

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After my hair was done, I spent some time just hanging out with my friend, her husband, and their kids. It was a low-key Saturday night, but it was exactly what was needed.

With Sundays being my only day off in a typical week, that day is always filled with doing my house chores. I spend a decent chunk of the day doing sweeping, vacuuming, laundry, and any other random tasks that need to be done around the house.

And I made sure to get all of my chores done yesterday because today I have family coming to town to visit me!

My mom and Aunt Cindy are coming in town for a couple of days! I’m super excited and we have some really great things planned. My Aunt Cindy and I have had this casually planned out for 6 years or so, but things like my hip surgery or other family events kept popping up and postponing our plans. My mom was saying how we were just letting her tag along, but she was always included in our plans.

I’m excited to share with you over the next few days the adventures that the 3 of us have ahead!

Spending the Day Living My Dream (or A Taste Of What I Hope Is To Come)

So Wednesday was my big exciting day.

I went off to the valley to audition for the pilot just after lunchtime. I worked on all of my lines previously, but I got to the location about an hour early so I would have time to relax and work on the lines some more.

Once it was about 15 minutes before my audition time, I headed upstairs to the office where the audition took place. And I have to say, this post from Marci Liroff really came in handy! While there weren’t too many people waiting in the room (and I was going to be the first person to read), there were plenty of things that could have psyched me out.

Instead of hearing another actor brag about auditions, it was hearing the receptionist in the office call agencies to get quotes for actors that they wanted to test for the pilot I was auditioning for. They could have already chosen the actor they wanted for the part and were just auditioning us as back-ups. But I tried not to listen to her and just focused on the scene that we had to do (we all prepared 3 but only 1 was required).

Also, instead of spending all the time in the waiting room sitting down, I stood up and walked around a little (always still in earshot of the room so I could hear my name called). I think that helped my energy in the room a lot.

I don’t know when/if I’ll hear about a callback for this part. It’s just an honor for me to get to audition for something this awesome! And to me, it’s more important to book the office and not the part. That way the casting director will know that I’m good and will keep bringing me back. Eventually I will book the part that I am meant to book.

Right after my audition was done, I headed straight to the location for the music video. I don’t know if I can say who the artist was or what song was for the video, so until it’s released in about a month, I’m going to stay quiet. I will say that I bought the artist’s album before going so that’s what I listened to on repeat the whole drive (I heard the song about 9 or 10 times).

When I got to the set, I was immediately taking to wardrobe to have my outfit selected and makeup to get pretty (which is still really fun for me).

After getting ready, we headed over to the exact location where we were filming. We ended up using my car, so it was nice to have all my stuff nearby. The first set up required me to cry a lot. I’m lucky that crying on cue isn’t too tough for me, so we only had to do 2 takes of that. Then there were a couple of close up shots of me walking, and we had to do those about 3 takes each (there was some technical difficulties as well as me not doing exactly what they wanted).

The final shot (for me and for the shoot), was a zoom out from a close up on my face to a full body shot. They had a pose for me in mind, and while I was waiting for the lighting to be set up, I joked with the director that I wanted to try the Superman pose. He asked me what that was, and I explained that it was something that I saw done on an episode of “How I Met Your Mother”. Although the pose in the episode was done naked, I just liked the idea of the pose.

After he saw me demonstrate it, he decided that he liked it and we did a couple of takes with that pose. I was totally kidding when I suggested it (and felt like it was the type of set where I could joke), but I’ll be super excited if that makes the final cut.

I was scheduled to be on set for up to 8 hours, but managed to be done in 1.5. It helped that I was the last set up for the day and that we only did a few takes of each set up.

I’m really excited to see the final cut of the music video and can’t wait to share it with you all! And I hope that I have more days like this (without the congestion) in the near future!

Taking Care of Me (or Making Sure I’m First in My Life)

I will write about my audition and music video shoot. First, I want to tell you about my day before all that happened.

I woke up with a stuffy nose. I wasn’t sick (because the rest of me didn’t feel sick), but I must have been having an allergy attack. I took my allergy meds and a decongestant and headed off to work.

I had to open at work yesterday because my boss had somewhere else he had to be in the morning. I got there at 9am, but really didn’t feel like I should be at work.

I wanted to make sure I felt as close to 100% before both my audition and shoot, so I ended up texting my boss after 2 hours and asked if I could leave. Since there were other people there, he said ok.

I went home, and focused on me. I wanted to work on my lines for my audition. Between all my crazy work days, I didn’t have as much time to prepare as I would have liked. This audition has the potential to change my life, and I wanted to take it as seriously as it deserved.

Also, I knew that I’d be spending a late night filming at the shoot and wanted to make sure I was rested for that.

So after I texted my boss to let him know I was leaving early, I texted him to say that I might take Thursday off.

It seemed like a risky thing to do, but I know my boss would understand. I really need to focus putting me ahead of other people/things when I start to feel run down.

I’m not too good at doing that, so I’m proud that I did it this time.

As soon as I got home from work yesterday, I spent 3 hours doing research on the team working on the pilot as well as working on my lines.

I was able to leave for the audition feeling prepared and positive, which I know would not have happened if I left straight from work.

Yes, I’m losing money at my day job because of this, but to me, this is worth it.