Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Working Man

Matt got a temp job! :) I'm so happy and so r.e.l.e.i.v.e.d. This means we will have extra money coming in during February and be able to send a sizable check to pay off more of that blasted credit card company that keeps sending me bills. He's working at another assignment today, moving boxes, and I couldn't be happier.

I love my sweet, awesome hubby and true, he does write/work from home. He works very hard, and I have come to realize that it's not his fault that he's not making money at writing - it's the industry. The nature of the entertainment industry is to make you send random scripts all over town, and then wait for someone to call you back. Well, he doesn't work that way and so is actively seeking projects with those that are familiar with his work and are willing to compensate him for his time and talent. It's awesome how we celebrate when he gets a temp job/paycheck from a producer...I am so proud of him!

Friday, January 25, 2008

What's the deal?

Issue number one: I want to know why there seems to be an influx of people dying in just these last few weeks, not to mention last year. A old college friend, her mother passed; Schteffi's bf, his grandmother passed away; A's husband's grandmother, not to mention her 3 grandmothers all last year, Heath Ledger...death seems to be on the mind lately. I checked a few other blogs and there were recent posts about beloved ones lost long ago or recently. I found out yesterday that my new co-worker, her mom had passed 4 years ago and our COO's mother had passed this month...all this mourning and yet celebration of memories...I'm really trying to process all of this.

It's never easy, no matter what the circumstances. Expected or unexpected, the loss is hard to fill and we just want them back in our lives...I guess that seems like a pretty selfish statement, but really, isn't that what part of grief is about? Figuring out how to move on without them?

My heart goes out to all of you who have lost loved ones, be it recently or long ago.

Issue Number Two: THE RAIN. I know we need it but come on now. Our old car is making squeaking noises because the brakes and belts are so wet from driving through the standing water. Not to mention, I can't seem to stay dry for very long. This isn't Seattle rain, this is dessert downpour. Please let it stop soon. Cindy needs to take her dogs for a walk, not to mention we want to go on another hike!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Weekend Update

This weekend was really fun, and we spent the majority of it with our friends Cindy, Don, Katy, and Jeremy.

We got off to a very healthy and active start with us girls heading off to the Paramount Ranch in the Santa Monica Mountains for a hike with the doggies. When the dogs got out of the car, the first 10 minutes or so were spent picking up "presents" they left in the parking lot. We headed off to the trail head and came across the set from Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman which was really neat except they had all the windows boarded up, which was a bummer (another bummer is no pictures - I forgot mine and Cindy's batteries died). But we moved on and found a trail head...

...that lead to a bunch of dead trees to walk through. Then Katy tood Max off his leash and he bounded off up in to the hills where we couldn't see him! Katy called him back and instead of going around the fallen dead tree, he decided to climb through all the branches. He was so cute trying to figure out how to get back to "the boss", scuffling around and finally he got a determined look and just dove right under it, I wish we had a video of it, he was so much fun to watch.

During the hike I got quite a few lessons on how to be a doggie mommy, for when Matt and I get a dog someday (We dream of a Corgie named Parva), and got some great tips from them on how to walk a dog the "Dog Whisperer" way, but it didn't quite work. Cordy and Seamus didn't recognize me as a boss so I took the backpack from Cindy and let her walk the doggies, which worked out well for all of us. When I was walking them, it felt like they were walking me!

After the hike, we piled in the car only to discover that Max had ticks! The off-road doggie had picked up a few friends along the way and unfortunately one buried himself near his leg. So we pulled over at a fire station and got some oil and matches...to make a long story short that didn't work and we got the thing out at Don and Cindy's place, only to discover that Cordy had one too! I was really impressed with the level of calmness that Cindy and Katy had while handling Max and Cordy.

Saturday night we got together at Don and Cindy's house for a night of gaming as Cindy wanted to try out Teensy (sp?), her new charater for the campaign. As it turned out, Matt hadn't created his character fully, but that was ok, and we had a great time implementing all these charater's peronalities...tonight the story continues and I'm really looking forward to it.

Sunday I ran errands and we hosted the gang over for the AFC championship, rooting for San Diego (and they lost, of course). Some of us were not interested in football so we played some card games. By halftime, it was obvious that the Patriots would win so we settled for watching some TiVoed episodes of South Park, American Dad, etc. It was really fun to host, especially since Jeremy and Katy hadn't seen our place before. Bean offered additonal entertainment as she has that cone around her neck due to her recent surgery.

This weekend Paige/Stephanie is in town and I can't wait to see her. I'm not sure what we're going to do, but if it's not pouring I think a day trip to the beach will be involved.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Customer Service

I'm not going to reflect on the phone conversation I just had because that means the snoody caller will win. In light of my personality make-over, this is really to find out why I reacted the way I did.

Every once in awhile, we all get a snoody caller or visitor, someone who is agressive and eventually cops an attitude. When I sense this, I immediately get defensive and incredibly nervous, as if they're a bomb about to go off. I revert back to childish ways of handling these situations, and then after it's done, I can't seem to let it go. I feel guilty for not living up the level of customer service I generally have, think of phrases that would have been more useful, etc. And I just have to take a few deep breaths and let it go. But there's this nagging sense that I've failed somehow, and in the grand scheme of things, this isn't really a big deal. AT ALL. So why is it that I react this way? Why do I let the little things get to me? I have some ideas, but they aren't exactly blog-appropriate.

All in all, I think I do a pretty good job here, and need to remember that maybe I didn't help one person today, but think of all the people I do help each day, and the repoire I've generated with so many of our candidates. That's what I need to focus on.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Brain Rumblings

I have been having some thoughts lately, some good, some bad, and I'm not sure what to do with them.

First thought is my resolution to talk less and listen more...I don't know if it's working. Each time I catch myself yapping, I wonder if I'm talking selfishly or about a topic that is of interest to people? Frankly, mostly what I talk about seems to be negative, and I don't want want to be a negative person. It's mostly frustration with some people in my life, and trying to figure out how to best approach them next time I feel frustrated. But most of the things that do urk me tend to be little things, then the little things build and then I just explode. That's not healthy. So it's up to me to find ways to let this out, and I think surrournding myself with positive people, continuing to search for new job opportunities (I have an interview on Tuesday, we'll see what happens), enjoying the moment, and developing a realistic exercise plan will be highly effective in my "personality makeover" for 2008.

Second thought is how much I want my own business. For many of you, this is the first you've heard of it, but Matt has known for years how much I would love to run a bed and breakfast. I love to host, and I've been told I come alive when I have a group of people at my home. For Christmas, Matt got me a couple of books on running a B&B, and so far, it hasn't scared me off. In fact, it's just gotten me more motivated to develop a rough business plan.

There's a phrase that really gets to me - "It's not personal, it's business." To me, business is personal. You don't have to be buddy buddy with everyone but you can be professional and respectful. And that's what I have been missing in my last few jobs. So for the new year, I made a resolution in my current workplace - I have been working on my attitude. Being more friendly but professional, curt but nice, and it seems to be working. People are responding and in a positive way, which makes me want to continue to improve.

I know the kind of person I want to be but still be myself. I am making my way through my grief and I need to remember that this is a day-to-day process.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Tummy Troubles

My recent post on Cooking Kama Sutras:

Since this is a cooking and thus food based blog, I shall spare the details. But be warned that my future recipes, at least for the next month, will be citrus free. This includes no tomatoes, limes, lemons, onions (I can only have them if they are well cooked), and I'm also supposed to avoid chocolate and caffeine...hah! One list at at time folks.

I must say I didn't realize that tomatoes are in practically every pre-cooked fast-food at the grocery store so this will be a challenge. This leaves out most foods where I get my natural vitamin C plus most Mexican and Italian dishes - my favorite kinds! Alas, I will be challenged in my tiny-kitchen to come up with non-tummy-abrasive dishes that are still tasty.

Stay tuned!

Frickin Money

That's the nice way of saying it.

With the writer's strike still going strong and the cost of living skyrocketing, Matt and I are having to get creative on how to save money every month. Now we've had these conversations before and while we can be good for a few weeks or even a few months, something always happens where we fall off the wagon and then scramble to get back on.

Writers Strike = hiring freeze. Golden Globes = loss of $10 million for our city, and that's just one day. Everyone is affected, whether you're in the industry or not. It's not happy. And not. getting. better.

With that, we've decided to cut out some things:

1. (Sorry Jenny) Bikram Yoga. I. love. it. But it's costly and frankly I don't go enough to offset the cost. I will use up the sessions that I have left (and no, I didn't go on Sunday, but plan to go on Friday), and then find free things to do until we have the budget for yoga.

2. Cable. GASP! I know. I'm so excited! But there's hardly any new shows coming up in the next few months, and honestly, all of them are streamed on the web (which we'll do only if the show is a must see) or we can get them from Netflix on DVD. I am thrilled because I am a re-run junkie and this will free up my time to live life and get things done around the home. I have no self-control when it comes to TV, but when it comes to movies, I must make the time to sit for 2 hours. It's weird.

3. Eating out. Once a week, perhaps twice at the most. Though I did hear a report on NPR that the cost of eating in is getting so expensive it's almost the same as eating out. However, there is a certain feeling of satisfaction when cooking a meal for our little family. Of course, my weakness will always be eating out at lunchtime because I absolutely must leave the office. The phones drive me nuts.

With constant communication and support from one another, I know Matt and I can do this! :)

Monday, January 14, 2008

Reflections

The community of Blogs is an interesting one. Through one I find another and another, until I've found a host of internet friends - people that I knew in college or another time in life, and people that I know only through the online world.

So today I visited a site that is always fun to read, and clicked on a blog that is written by an old college friend.

I read that her mom died suddnely on Saturday after a stroke.

The first thing I thought of was "What do I say?" It's a strange feeling, knowing what someone must be feeling, but not exactly. I got the chance to say goodbye, knowing Mom wouldn't make it past the month, whereas her Mom passed away so suddenly. All I could say was that she should grieve her loss and celebrate her Mom's life in her own way, and to rely on those who have rallied around her.

I wish I could say "I can't imagine what you're going through" except that I know, and there have been so many moments in just this new year where it has hit me and I can't make the tears stop. It's just so blasted unfair sometimes that I can hardly stand it. And it's not fair. At all. And while I know that part of getting older is saying goodbye to those who raised you, it just seems so unfair to say goodbye when they are just beginning that second part of their life, where you think you might have kids sooner rather than later, where you can begin to really enjoy your time together. And then they are gone. Whether you're with them and it's expected, or it's sudden, it's never easy, it's never really "expected". I always hoped and wished for a miracle, that she would get better, that her spirit and body would survive and we'd all be ok, life would go back to the way it was. But it never will, and so we must live with this hole that may be patched but never filled.

All in all, I just miss her. I can still hear her voice saying my name, that she loves me, calling me sweetheart, and her laugh. But as my college friend said, "I was lucky to have her for as long as I did."

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Girls Night Out





As I posted earlier, Michelle took me to see Kathy Griffin at the Kodak Theater (couldn't get pictures inside, they took my camera!) and we had so much fun. Below is the two of us just after wolfing down dinner. All the restaurants at Hollywood and Highland were full so we found a little French Dip place that would have tasted better, I'm sure, had we not scarfed it down while practically running to the theater. Above is a shadow of Michelle doing her best post in front of the restaurant where we had dessert after the show. Just below the pepsi sign is the Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency, and thus explains Michelle's fabulous pose.

I miss her already and I hope she comes back soon for another visit!

Our furry friends - aren't they cute?

















From top to bottom:
PJ asking to play, hiding while I'm making cookies;
Quinn sleeping on the tower, playing with the camera;
Bean sleeping after a long day of play.






Thursday, January 10, 2008

Mah-belle

My good friend Michelle is in town from Alaska. Poor thing is all on her own as I am stuck in the office trying to make up the money that I will lose from not having enough vacation days - I hate vacation policies - but nonetheless it's been so fun to have her here! Tuesday night we went to the Grove and had dinner at a Greek Restaurant. Apparently they don't have a greek eatery in Anchorage, so it was a treat for her and we introduced her to Spanikopita. Yum-o, if I do say so myself!

It was then off to Victoria's Secret's semi-annual sale where I found some cute and appropriate every-day undergarmets and then to meet Matt at the lobby of the movie theater. We saw I Am Legend. Has anyone else seen this movie? If so, what did you think? I heard reviews of it's either you love it or you hate it. Well I loved the first part but then after awhile, it seemed as though they switched writers and I was really disappointed. But the first half is totally worth it and I remembered why I don't see movies with zombies - I hate being terrified, especially at the movies.

Wednesday night was gaming night at Don and Cindy's and that was very fun. Michelle had never seen a D&D game before (believe me, I am still a noob) and I always enjoy introducing friends to each other. Cindy made a fantastic chili from Cooking Light and Michelle brought Apricot beer. In addition, we had quite the dramatic night for our characters!

Tonight Michelle is taking me to the Kodak Theater (where the Oscars might just happen, who knows?) to see Kathy Griffin. It's not so much for the comdienne as it is to just sit in those seats that grace the rear-ends of Hollywood stars.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Awake

This happened a few months ago where I had a stomach ache for 2 days. Now I'm awake in the middle of the night after hardly any sleep with another stomach ache. I've taken some Tums and drank some milk, it's not going away. It's quite uncomfortable and all I want to do is to go back to bed, but the pain is quite distracting when trying to fall asleep.

It's going to be a long day.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

New and improved

In the new year there is always talk of what our resolutions will be and these always, almost always, fail for me. I love the start of a new year, the feeling of wiping the slate clean and setting goals for myself. I have some ideas of what I'd like to do this year, some are on my own, some are with Matt, and some deal with relating to other people.
  • Listening more and talking less. I really feel that I'm always talking about "memememe" and to be a better person and friend, I really need to listen to what people are saying.
  • To have a date night with my hubby at least once a week. I miss spending quality time with him.
  • To work out when I have the energy. Every year I say "work out 3x a week" but that almost never happens. So, whether it's yoga or my ballet video, I'm going to shoot for 2-3 times a week and do the best I can. It's also about portion control and drinking more water, which contributes to feeling better about myself, especially when I step on a scale.
  • To take voice lessons. Check! My first voice lesson is with Katy on Sunday and I'm really excited.
  • To find what I do like about my job and focus on that. To take what I have control of and run with it.
  • To develop a draft of a business plan for a bed & breakfast.
  • To find a new job, even if it's later in the year.

I guess my goal is to become a better person, but still be myself and not be afraid to just be who I am, while still learning from my friends and family, and embracing each day as it comes and not panicking about the future.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Matt's New Year's Kiss

My husband the hussy. He'll make out with anyone! Many girls can complain that they have no one to kiss at midnight on new years, and I had no idea Cordy felt so strongly about my husband. Look at her go!'

A minorly disturbing point is that Matt doesn't push her away...
video