All it Takes is One

The thing about first dates is that eventually…one of them is going to be your last first date. That’s what makes each one exciting. The hope. The promise. The potential. Is THIS going to be the night that puts you on the road to all the other things you want in that area of life? A constant willing adventure partner. A road trip companion. A readily available faithful lover. Babies.

Will THIS be the story? The one you tell for as long as you both shall live? Will people ask you how you met, and be met with the magic of this evening?

All it takes is one.
All it takes is one.

Looking for love on the Internet makes sense because we’re all spending more and more time on the Internet. And people find love on the Internet. There are success stories.

I clap my hands because I believe.

I’d love to randomly come across the man I’ll spend the rest of my life with during my daily activities. I am always asking people how they met because there are so many possibilities.

Take, for instance, my parents. My mom was 18 and working at AT&T. My dad was dating one of her coworkers. One day he called the office and my mom answered. He asked for his girlfriend, but she had called in sick to work that day. So he asked my mom what SHE was doing for lunch.

Forty-three years later, they have four kids, seven grandchildren, and quite the story! (If memory serves, my mom reconnected with the original gf on fb and whatever hard feelings there were back then have dissipated.)

I love that story. And maybe one day when my kid asks me, depending on how my own thing plays out, I might just tell the story of how gpa met gma instead.

My malaise for logging on to love is compounded by my need to also currently be seeking employment via the world wide web.

Computers can do incredible things worldwide and basically keep so many parts of the Earth functioning, but they can’t find me a successful relationship or a job? That’s a tough pill to swallow.

But the thing is, I’m going to get another job, just like I’m going to meet new guys.

All it takes is one.

While I’d prefer an offline meet-cute, I can’t deny the benefits of the numbers. You can go on as many or as few dates as you want, and what you learn on those dates is what you do and don’t like.

Bee tee dubs… If he checks his phone, closes out his tab after buying his first drink, and tells you he’s really tired and has an early morning…He’s just not that into you. And that’s ok. Because in a minute you’re going to find out he drives a $150k car. Because he tells you. (Don’t worry he’ll show it to you when he walks you to your car.) And that kind of thing doesn’t rev your engines. (When you laugh at the sight of the car, he’ll ask you to stop laughing and you won’t. Because screw him.) Sure you’ll fight the urge to ask for a quick ride, because you can see that it would probably be fun. But then you remember that this is LA, and you’re standing on a main surface street, and the chance of seeing that baby go faster than 30 mph is a longshot.

At your car, you hug and he says “we should do this again” and it actually sounds hollow. But you can’t blame him, because you’ve said that when you didn’t mean it too.

(Guess who had a date last night?)

It’s hard to not be a little bummed, but I get it. You’re not going to like everyone. And you can’t help who you’re attracted to. Neither can they. Which reminds me of some advice I heard somewhere. I have since googled it, and found it all over the interwebs, but I can’t for the life of me remember where I heard it originally. What’s important is that it changed the way I dated, and made a huge difference. When preparing for a first date, don’t go into it thinking, “I hope he likes me.” Go into it thinking, “I hope *I like *him.” Because ultimately, THAT’S what matters. It seems like such a tiny bit of mind alteration, but it really does change the way you prepare and carry yourself into that first meeting. The thing is, people are people. You’re going to like certain people, and in turn, certain people are going to like you. It’s the timing of finding someone YOU like who also likes you that has proved to be a little tricky for me.

Luckily all it takes is one.

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Posted in Dating, Los Angeles | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Who’s Got Stinky Feet?

I got my first job at Sears Portrait Studio when I was 18. Mostly because I wasn’t a fan of food or folding shirts. I did like kids and photography. At least that’s what I thought until Christmastime came.

If you’ve worked retail during the holidays, you kind of know what I’m talking about, but really you have no idea. The crying. The screaming. And that was just the moms. Sure, there were tears running down the kids faces too. And sometimes snot. “You wanna get that, mom?” Don’t get me started on the puking. But there was that too.

I worked for Sears Portrait on and off through college. I excelled at taking good pictures and customer service. My sales were decent not because I was a good saleswoman (I wasn’t), but because of those other two things. People liked me, and they liked my work. I also made illegal exceptions to rules when it came to packages, and – oh yeah – I acted a FOOL in those rooms. It was a job where my excitability was allowed and encouraged and embraced.

I often credit moving the summer between my junior and senior years in high school for bringing me out of my shell, but it very well could have been this job.

It didn’t matter who was watching…hot dads, hot uncles…I went nuts to get those smiles. Inevitably there would be the occasional mom who would say, “Oh that’s not his real smile. Can you keep trying?” Needless to say, I broke several sweats. On a daily basis. And no matter how bad I wanted to, I never said, “Well that smile is on your kid’s face, so if it’s not HIS smile, then whose is it?” Well not to their faces.

PS Fake smiles are THE WORST. But kids can’t help it. It’s a phase they go through. Like the period between 18-months and 3 years when they want to do anything BUT sit still and stare at a stranger doing weird acrobatics.

This blog’s title, “Who’s got stinky feet?” refers to the question I’m pretty sure I was trained to ask the kids. I’m shocked at how often they laughed when I accused one of their parents of smelling. I said it a million times a day. And that frog! I had a stuffed frog that I danced around and threw at walls and the ceiling. Kids really think it’s funny when you pretend to injure things.

I definitely had my favorite clients. There was a family of five who all arrived in their jammies with a plate of cookies. And one Christmas, there was a family with a set of newborn twins. This was before all of the newborn photography blew up – basically Anne Geddes was all I had to go by. The babies were sleeping and I posed them on a Christmas present, and it was pretty much the cutest thing I had ever seen. I had tears in my eyes. Their mom had tears in her eyes. That family ended up coming to me every time for the next few years. They were one of several regulars. And although we couldn’t accept tips, they would offer drinks or gift cards or kindness during the craziness that was the Christmas season.

While there were harrowing holiday sessions, there was also a lot of fun to be had. On slow days we would take pictures of each other. Or our friends would come in.

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Oh the 90s. We had such a blast with that shoot. (This example is obviously the most proper pose.) We coordinated like three different outfits. Spelled out the word “friends” in baby blocks. Let me tell you, it got crazy! My sisters and I did a session too. I apparently loved that pose – and vignette – a lot. (Truthfully, in both cases we had more entertaining poses, but these two were the easiest to get my hands on today.)

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PS The matching dresses were a throwback to our growing-up years. (Like a joke we were in on.) The plan was to wear them to my older sister’s rehearsal dinner.

PPS My haircut was a combo of Faith Hill in the This Kiss video and Dharma Finkelstein (obsessed!).

PPPS It was the 90s!!

I very much feel like it’s only a matter of time before one of the thousands of pictures I took shows up on awkwardfamilyphotos…because you guys…this world takes all kinds. It’s also fun to think about all the photo albums my work has been in. And the wall frames.

Sears Portrait helped me pay for college, and I think I learned a lot about the way I interact with people from that job. It was an endless supply of short-lived, intense relationships, and the ability to craft those into something mutually beneficial is a skill that hasn’t stopped serving me yet. So thanks, CPI and Sears Portrait Studios, and RIP.

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Unknown Legends

First of all, writing that blog title made me think of one thing and one thing only, one of my most favoritest movie wedding scenes ever:

I don’t care who you are, that’s incredible.

Moving on to the second of all, these may in fact not be unknown legends at all to some…but to others, they will be. So heregoes.

1. Charles Aidikoff. So there’s a screening room here in LA, where industry peeps go to see movies. I was there a month or so ago to see one that stars both Bradley Cooper and Ryan Gosling. In this movie, they both hold babies. That’s pretty much all I needed to know to know that I really wanted to see this movie. By the end of it, Bradley Cooper had earned the top spot on my list. (THAT list.) The boy is fine.

Back to Charles. I’ve been seeing films in this screening room for years, and Charles owns the screening room, so I’ve been seeing Charles for years. In addition to the Red Vines and chocolates he offers, convos with Charles are my favorite part of this particular locale. I’m a sucker for Red Vines, miniature candy bars, and old people.

As we stood around waiting for the screening to start, a few of us were talking to Charles. He told us the next day was his birthday. Then he asked us to guess his age. Eyes darted. The girl across from me looked terrified to suggest a number. I looked right at him and said 93. He eased everyone’s minds, when he said “good guess, go higher.” Everyone gingerly tip-toed until I jumped to 97. He was turning 98 the next day. The guy’s still in there running his business and he’s 98. He said people talk to him about retirement and we acknowledged his NOT retiring is probably what’s kept him around for so long.

He said if he knew he was going to live this long, he would have taken better care of himself. Then he asked to sit by me. And I was like, yeah! Because a- it’s his screening room and 2- more stories please, Mr. Aidikoff!

My friend walked in right when he was in the middle of telling about a couple weeks earlier when he got into work and there was only one person sitting in the screening. He popped in to see who it was and it was Denzel Washington. Sharp as a tack, Charles brought up Denzel’s 1981 film Carbon Copy. (He told me to rent it.) His knowledge impressed Washington, who invited him to watch the movie he was there to see. Charles said that kind of thing has happened more than once.

So my friend sits down and starts teasing me about my new boyfriend, when Charles asks me to help him turn his phone off since the movie’s about to start. It’s a flip phone. And the screensaver is a picture of he and Paris Hilton. I made a comment re the picture and then promptly turn the phone off. Which is right about when he said something about just wanting me to turn the ringer off. Who can work a flip phone these days?

2. Marty & Elayne. Ok, so if you’ve seen Swingers, you know these two. It’s a husband and wife duo who still – after all these years – perform five nights a week at The Dresden, a bar in my neighborhood. It’s exactly how it is in the movie. It’s money.

The night we were there, we had already been to another place, so I was ripe for conversation. I’m really interested in learning how everyone on the planet who is currently involved with someone met that someone. Marty and Elayne are no exception. We were there at closing time, so I took the opportunity to have a heart-to-heart with the couple. My friends sat at a table nearby after encouraging me to go ask them my question…”How did you guys meet?”

It turns out Elayne was a 16 yo lass trying to get a gig at a bar and having issues. Enter Marty. (She met him through a friend.) They started playing together, and Elayne said something that I can’t quite remember, but it reminded me a whole lot of the Emily Bronte quote, “Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.” I’m pretty sure Elayne said her soul knew his soul or something like that. Marty then chimed in, asking why everyone wanted to know how it began, and never how it ended.

The Dresden – and Marty & Elayne – are an LA experience worth checking out. They take requests and although it gets pretty packed, the ambience can be fun.

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House Hunting

I recently went on a golf cart tour of the Universal Lot, thanks to a couple of cool people I know. The Universal lot is a fun place to be, what with Jaws and Norman Bates and all. One minute we were in an old European courtyard and the next we were headed for the 90s, living in the wild, wild west.

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Foot note: Let’s get serious, if you’ve had a look at the dossier nobody has created of all the guys I’ve dated…you would know the gold digger thing is a joke. I’d more likely date an actual pan handler than someone with his sh*t together and a savings account/retirement plan. Hence, why I’m probably still single. But, one can dream, and that’s a story for another day!

Back to the tour de awesomeness. We had a destination. And that destination had a name.

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Unless you’re new here, you know what this means. The Bravermans are the fictitious family from the show Parenthood. Spoiler alert: I’m kind of a fan.

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You guys. I tried all the doors. How could I not? I wanted to crawl inside and never leave until Zeek and Camille came home and made me a PB & J with a tall glass of milk. I DON’T EVEN LIKE MILK.

A couple of things I looked for and didn’t find:

1. Zeek’s Airstream. Hey guess what? I also love Airstreams! Ok, so I knew this would most likely not be there (seeing as how it was only featured on like one episode), but I wanted it to be and that would have been really cool.

2. The table in the garden under the hanging lights. I went to the garden and there was no table. I walked around the entire house. I looked in both side yards. I can only assume that it only comes out of storage when they use it. (They’re not currently filming.)

Something cool. Sarah’s guest house looks to be the working set. Meaning: I looked in the windows and it looks exactly like it looks on the show. I liked this a lot. Next up on the tour was a street of Craftsman houses. Hey, you! Guess what? I LOVE CRAFTSMAN HOUSES. That’s probably another thing that attracts me to the show. I love the homes and set dec. (Here‘s a cool piece I found about all that.)

Ok so we’re on the Craftsman street, and we stop at a house that was in the movie Hancock. I haven’t seen Hancock, but apparently it’s the one Charlize and Will lived in. Any enthusiasm was lost on me until I peered into the windows along the back of the house.

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I saw that red retro kid kitchen and knew exactly what I was looking at. JOEL AND JULIA’S HOUSE. I may have freaked out in a way that probably warranted the reactions on my friends’ faces. But it was just that, I mean, I thought the Parenthood portion of the tour was over…and it wasn’t! The Universal Lot kept on giving me what I wanted!

We also saw the ballpark (from afar, it’s behind a locked gate) and a Parenthood soundstage (just from the outside). There was a guard, and although I tried to make small talk, there was really no good reason we had to get him to think we belonged inside. I bet the Luncheonette is in there tho.

Saved something for next time!

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Parenthood Paleyfest rePort

I’ve been very much looking forward to what happened last night, and it didn’t disappoint.

A little background info:
1. I love the show Parenthood.
2. Love is an understatement.
3. PaleyFest is where the stars/creator of the shows and the fans of the shows come together in the same room.

They handed us Kleenex when we walked in the door. A small package of Parenthood Kleenex featuring the Charles Dickens’ quote: “We need never be ashamed of our tears.” The fact that this show makes you cry on the regular is not lost on these peeps. And we would learn that crying happens in the writers’ room, in the edit bay, and on a stage in front of fans when two actors recollect on a scene from a couple seasons back.

YOU GUYS.

Ok so as part of the experience, you watch an episode of the show. In a theater. As a massive group. The big question is always: what episode are they going to show?? I didn’t want it to be the season finale. Turns out neither did Jason Katims. (By the way, I love his brain.) Instead, he chose “There’s Something I Need To Tell You.” No wonder they gave us the Kleenex. This was seriously one of the most terrific episodes of the season, and it was early on so definitely a treat to see it again in this way. I had tears on my cheeks in the first three minutes.

Here’s the promo for that episode to jar your memory:

PS I just got tears in my eyes watching the promo. I’m a nutters.

Two things…the father/daughter phone call between Adam and Hattie. I can’t. Adam is not my favorite character, but the breast cancer storyline enabled him to have a couple of really great moments. This was definitely the best one. And as far as Monica Potter…as soon as you see her speak in real life you’d understand why she deserves an Emmy so much for her performance this past season. I’m not even sure how it’s the same person. As Cate Blanchett once told me, “It’s called acting.” And Monica Potter has done an incredible job in this case.

Also…I know it doesn’t make sense that Hattie knows they’re at that Chuck E Cheese type place at the end. But you know what? I don’t care because I love that moment so much that I let it go.

Ok so the episode ends, and we’re all crying, and here come all the stars of the show! Except for the kids younger than Max…and Bonnie Bedelia…and Ray Romano.

First things first. There has been no official word on a season five, but apparently ratings were up in season four and everyone is very very hopeful.

They went through each of the story lines, did a poll of the audience as to who we thought Sarah should end up with (I picked Ray Romano’s character) and then we all shared a good laugh about Jason Ritter being cast in a new show where Lauren Graham’s former tv daughter Alexis Bleidel will play his love interest.

Dax Shepard suggested she contact Mia Farrow for advice. Everyone laughed. We laughed at most everything Dax said the whole night. He’s that relative.

We learned Dax isn’t looking forward to working with a newborn next season, which was a weird comment coming from someone who is about to be a dad in real life. Especially because I think he’s going to be an awesome one. Apparently Dax’s onscreen wife Joy Bryant and Craig T (as everyone called him) are the best Baby Norah whisperers.

We learned Miles (who plays Drew) wanted to keep his baby. He went as far as enlisting Lauren to go to Jason Katims and ask him to not go through with the abortion storyline. Re the abortion storyline, Katims said when it comes to different scenarios the writers take a look at how they think those characters/real people might react in those situations. He didn’t want to make it political. And it worked that Miles wasn’t in favor of it because he was able to react honestly and realistically.

Another tidbit: Jason Katims is open to using more Friday Night Lights peeps. Which means if Mae Whitman and the rest of the fanbase gets our way there will be a Riggins sighting more sooner than later.

One of my favorite moments of the night came when Peter Krause brought up a stellar scene from the show’s second season. (They had been asked if they ever took something learned or said on the show and used it in real life.) He brought up this exchange between Zeek and Amber, and he and Mae Whitman (who plays Amber) both teared up just in the retelling.

They told us it happens a lot. They’ve become a real family. They all wear matching chains/necklaces. They’re so close that in those tough scenes real emotions come out because they often feel raw emotion when they see someone they care about expressing emotion. In other words…the Bravermans are for real.

They love those dance parties and family gatherings as much as we do. Although they joked that those scenes are the toughest for the director.

When it came time for audience questions, we met people who were in the middle of a foster-to-adopt situation and a woman who not only battled breast cancer alongside Kristina, but has a son on the spectrum. I know that I’ve never related to a fictional tv character as much as I identified with Julia when the birth mom changed her mind. She nailed that experience so exactly.

We love the Bravermans because we see ourselves in them. We see the families we have or we want to have. So for us last night was a family reunion of sorts. Some people were probably drunk. Craig T was passing out gum. We laughed. We cried.

I’d say that’s one television show success story.

Bee tee dubs, afterward I attempted to make my way to the stage in the hopes of taking a pic with Jason Katims and telling him I planned to put it on my desk one day when we work together. It didn’t happen, but I’m keeping the rest of the dream alive.

In related news, there were lots of Katims fans there. (Duh.) One girl stood up and said something very similar to what I would have said and a little part of me wanted to tell her to stay off my corner. That’s when I realized I’ve been watching The Wire too much lately. But I still feel like we’re in some sort of an unspoken competition now to see who gets to work with him first.

Needless to say, a terrific night. I have the Nashville one tomorrow. I’m hoping some singing is involved.

Here’s the Parenthood PaleyFest chat in full, thanks to Hulu. Enjoy!

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The Little Mermaid

When it comes to me and exercise, I like the idea of it way more than the actuality of it. I get into something and then I stop it before I really see any effects. I’ve been blessed with good genetics, but – like everyone – I have target areas that need toning.

My latest venture? Water aerobics. Aside from the athletic benefits, I have to admit that I really just like old people, and I figured this would be a good way to hang out with them. So I signed up. At the public pool. It’s $5 a session. The sessions are 45 minutes. I can do this!

My first order of business was to get a one-piece bathing suit. I couldn’t be flaunting around in front of grandmas in my Malibu Barbie-esque neon bandeau bikini. Not appropriate. I found a nicely-priced, full-coverage option, and headed to the pool.

By the way, it is an INDOOR pool. Not only have I never been to this pool, I didn’t even realize it was located where it’s located. This city never lets up on the surprises.

I felt like a new kid at a new school. Where do I go? What do I do? The personnel was pretty helpful and I made my way into the locker room. There were two young girls in there who were nice enough to point out the warm shower. To their credit, it was indeed warm-ish. I asked if the pool was warm. I meant “warmer than the shower.” They apparently thought I meant “warmer than the Pacific Ocean” because they said yes.

(The Pacific Ocean – off the coast of California at least – is, according to me, always various degree of frigid.)

When I walked into the pool, there was one old lady in the shallow end, where I had been told the class met. YES! Senior citizen success! She smiled at me as I walked shyly to the edge of the pool and put my foot in only to discover those little girls and I had a very different opinion of proper water temperature. KIDS.

Gerry (or I guess it could be Jerry) told me this was the warmest it’s ever been. Which sounded worse once she told me she’s been coming for over a year. I got in anyway. She was “jogging” the width of the pool, and told me I should join her because A-it was the first thing we’d have to do in class anyway and 2-it was the only way to warm up.

She offered her sharp-tongued bits of wisdom like “That’s not going to make it better” when I did things like shrink completely into the water in an effort to warm up. I immediately introduced myself, excited for the new friendship. Once she found out about my knees, she shared with me the name of the doctor who did her replacement. Because he’s the best in town. YES. (I’m not in need of a knee replacement, but I like having useful information.)

As we were water jogging and talking, we couldn’t ignore the grunts coming from the side of the pool. A guy was lifting weights and – I’m just going to say it – showing off for us. We giggled to each other like schoolgirls. Not enamored schoolgirls. Unimpressed schoolgirls. Loved it.

Then two girls walked in who were closer to my age than Gerry’s. As it would turn out, they live within walking distance of me, and we had a great convo of the various other exercise methods we had tried, what worked best, etc.

When it came time for class to start a young lifeguard came to the edge of the pool, introduced herself, and told us this session would be different. The stereo didn’t work and she couldn’t get to the weights. As Gerry previewed, she started with the lap jogs. Moving next to high knees. She kept telling us to get our knees out of the water. I’m just shy of 5’8″…I was in almost four feet of water. I did my best, which was pretty decent.

We did a few other squatting things and I was all, “when do we get to the arms?” Because despite not exercising on a regular basis, I’m quick to lament the state of my upper arms. I mean, I could be doing something every day to fix them, but ugh! Well then the girl launched into a circuit of arm exercises that I’m pretty sure were a scene cut from the beginning of Zero Dark Thirty.

She tried to get all hard assy and tell us that if we stopped (because there were no breaks during this portion of the show) that we would have to start over. I told her she seemed like the nicest person ever and it was hard to take her effortful-yet-only-semi-threatening tone seriously. Then Gerry (who was standing behind me) barked at me to straighten my arms.

My arms were TIRED. I mean they still hurt like 5 days later. And here was this octogenarian giving me the business. I loved every second of it.

It’s only a 45-minute class. And it goes by pretty fast. There is other workout equipment, and of course the pool if I wanted to extend the workout…

My only complaint is that it’s only offered twice a week – Wednesday and Friday nights. Was Tuesday and Thursday taken? Friday nights is a silly time for water aerobics. That being said, I can’t wait to go back this week. I hope more senior citizens show up this week!

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2013 so far…

Whoa. I’ve recently had a crazy spike in readers. Not sure why, but boy am I so ridiculously behind on here.
So I was planning on sharing this quote at the year’s start. Luckily we still have quite a bit time left, and the sentiment still rings true.

“I hope you will have a wonderful year, that you’ll dream dangerously and outrageously, that you’ll make something that didn’t exist before you made it, that you will be loved and that you will be liked, and that you will have people to love and to like in return. And, most importantly (because I think there should be more kindness and more wisdom in the world right now), that you will, when you need to be, be wise, and that you will always be kind.”  Neil Gaiman

Isn’t that quote just the bee’s knees? I found it in December, marked it, and then never told anyone about it.

Alright…so where’ve I been?

Well I started the new year (as I have the past three) in Austin, Texas. We revisited favorites Opal Divine’s and Trudy’s. And threw a few new spots into the mix as well. Namely, Franklin BBQ and Blackheart. I am pescaterian (pretty much, I mean, I cheat a few times with bacon-wrapped dates because OMG) for 364 days out of the year, but I can’t go to Austin and not eat BBQ. So I’ve begun this tradition of a meat day during our visits. In years previous, I’ve stopped at turkey, but Franklin is famous for its brisket and, well, y’all, I ate some cow. And it was dipped in lard. And it was pretty delicious. Burnt ends happened too. And a couple bites of pork rib. And sausage. And yes, turkey. Thankfully my stomach cooperated unbelievably well.

Blackheart is where we rang in the new year and it’s part of this newish development on Rainey Street wherein they’ve turned most of the houses on (what used to be) a blighted block into bars and restaurants full of character. A friend was DJing and we could see the fireworks from the backyard, and it was all pretty perfect.

I’m referring to 2013 as the year it all comes together, and it’s off to quite a start.

I came back to town knowing it was time to buckle down. I’ve been living on savings for quite a while and – as it turns out – when you do that, your savings runs out. And at the end, it seems to go faster. My friends have been terrific with advice and budgeting tips and networking.

My rent is my biggest expense, so I started looking into roommate options. Even tho I am very anti-roomies at this age and stage in my life. And then the tide started changing. And things started happening. And money started coming in. Bit by bit. Thank the good Lord.

The funny thing is, as with most things, it isn’t the way I expected. First, it was an additional babysitting job. Then a parttime researching gig (from home). Here’s the thing about me: productivity begets productivity. And in the last month, I’ve probably written more than I have in too long. A variety too. Everyone keeps recommending I write an original pilot in order to get attention of the scripted world, so I’m in the process of that. And then I came up with the idea for a collection of essays/short stories that was well-received. Throw in some song lyrics and screenplay tinkering and I’m basically allowing my brain to go in whatever decision it wants to. Notes everywhere. Albeit not on here, so apologies for that!

I’ll try to be better.

 

 

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