no freaking
(NOTE for non-regular readers or readers outside of Livejournal: this week's topic for the writing contest I'm in is "intersubectivity" and it's a intersection meaning that I had a partner/companion piece this week as well written by yachiru)

It started with a conversation.

"This intersubjectivity thing is hard. I don't get it. Wikipedia usually clears things up for me, but this psychological, philosophical crap just muddles in my ADHD brain and then i drift and then I comprehend nothing and it ends up being just a bunch of words like legal or medical jargon."

"Relax. Take a deep breath. Let's look at this part of the wikipedia Proponents of cognitive sociology have argued the presence of intersubjectivity, an intermediate perspective of social cognition, that provides a balanced view between personal and universal views on our social cognition. It suggests that instead of being individual or universal thinkers, human beings subscribe to "thought communities" - communities of differing beliefs that each individual belong to. So look at it as "thought communities" like Team Jen or Team Angelina"

"I'm totally Team Angelina...I never really bought into the whole Friends thing. Like they could afford that apartment in NYC on those salaries. Hell, like there's even an apartment that big in NYC!”

And so I rolled with it.

I started thinking about all the teams that happen within a relationship and the little quirks that happen when you live with someone. There’s no right or wrong really, though the person with their preference probably thinks they are right. You just belong to a different thought community despite your love for each other. Here are some of the fun ones in my relationship.

Toothpaste: This was the first quirk that reared it’s ugly head in our relationship and it was before we even moved in together.

A little fact about me is that I’m borderline OCD crazy about my teeth. After all, about $5000 or so in dental work as a child/teen/young adult will possibly do that to a person. I’m talking extractions, the roof of my mouth widened twice, spacers, braces for almost 3 years, retainers, more retainers. No wisdom teeth extraction. Those were the only 4 to come in straight….so i kept them & the orthodontist, deciding he had tortured me enough from the ages of 7-20ish, made sure I had room to keep them.

Anyway, the routine consists of flossing, whitening pre-rinse, minimum 2 minutes of brushing with a top of the line Sonicare toothbrush & Crest Pro-care toothpaste (yes I have a preferred brand) and, finally, post-rinse anti cavity mouthwash. BTdubs, if you have insomnia & watch tv, you might see my teeth on a GoSmile informercial (I got a free trip to Portland OR with my smile). Therefore, it should come as no major surprise that I like my toothpaste rolled. yes. please roll it as you go. Use a bobby pin to squeeze it all to the top of the tube and roll it. My preferred brand isn’t the cheapest, so i like to get as much out of the tube as I possibly can.

You can only imagine the shock & horror on my face upon starting to use my lover’s toothpaste while staying at his place to find it a squished mess. There are those “thought communities”. I pray for them. I really do. All I have to say is that I roll my toothpaste & I breeze through my dental cleanings. Mr. Messy Tube…well he’s another story. I think it is in direct correlation to rolling or not rolling.

Peanut butter: Oh geez…crunchy (me) vs creamy (him). Ohhhhhh, but it goes FURTHER than that. I like the natural stuff. The stuff you have to stir, the stuff that you sometimes have to put in the fridge after you open it, the stuff that is just peanuts, oil, salt. (Jif Natural crunchy is my top choice, but I’ll take Trader Joe’s crunchy too). Brendan? Creamy and it better have some fake stuff like hydrogenated whatever oil or “it’s not real peanut butter.” Yet, strangely, when his peanut butter is gone, somehow mine mysteriously disappears shortly afterwards. He couldn’t possibly be eating my “fake” peanut butter….He blames the gnomes that we have in our living room (they’re so mischievous)

Milk: What is milk? That is the real question here. I know mine comes from a cow. I know the kind my boyfriend gets comes from a cow. Mine just doesn’t happen to have lactose and in the eyes of my boyfriend….that makes it FAKE MILK!!! Now we both work in the restaurant industry as our “thrival jobs” (aka the night job you work when you are an actor that allows you to “thrive” not “survive” at your art…i really need to start a Hollywood-to-English dictionary) & we’re at a party with some chefs from his restaurant. Somehow, the “milk” topic comes up and this actually became a discussion with these chefs….Team Cow, Team Soy, Team Almond…you get the picture. Meanwhile, I sometimes have as many as FOUR things of milk in my fridge (or 2 milks and 2 “white waters” as the boyfriend calls them): white milk, white lactose free milk, chocolate milk, lactose free chocolate milk. Oh yeah….soy milk is more legit milk that lactose-free milk (at least in his eyes.)

Don’t get me started on our sports team rivalries….that’s probably best saved for another week and thank god we don't really care about toilet paper up/down (those people are just weirdos!)

And if you’re wondering Team Edward or Team Jacob. NEITHER. Vampires don’t fucking sparkle. Team Angel for life!

The Art of the Fart

Indians mickey

the kindling that feeds me

Indians mickey
(NOTE for non-regular readers or readers outside of Livejournal: this week's topic for the writing contest I'm in is "kindling")

how does a passion for something start? what is the spark to the kindling that makes that fire burn? also, what if you have more than one fire burning at the same time?

I knew I wanted to be a model or at least be in front of a camera from the time I was a few days from 11. As I got to high school, modeling also became acting. Then college delivered a D in acting (that's what happens when you are asked to deliver your own interpretation on a scene from a play & you serve up Steel Magnolias as a comedy to an uptight dramatic theater professor who faile as an actress herself). modeling in hold because it's impossible to balance a modeling career, a collegiate sports career, 15 credit hours and a job to pay for things. Change of plan. Broadcast journalism....I'm still on a mic or in front of a camera. Then you find you can't get a job out of college because you didn't do enough internships because sports didn't allow it. Back to modeling it is. I'm not going to be stuck in Ohio all my life. This shit isn't even happening. I'm not giving the bullies the satisfaction of their being right when they told me I "was a loser who would never do anything in life." and that the only thing that I could model was "dog food".

Simultaneously, along the journey, I discovered that life doesn't come with a meal plan of 3 set meals in the cafeterias and food courts every day (and twice on weekends). That would be pretty damn sweet though especially if they served the turkey tetrazzini from The University of Findlay (so good it would make you see Jesus). I should probably learn how to cook something that doesn't involve a freezer, microwave and box entitled Lean Cuisine.

Thus, began my interest in food. I had a couple simple cookbooks & Food Network. By the time, I got done with my second degree at Ohio State in 2000, I could feed myself without (usually) setting my smoke alarm off. I got my first big restaurant job working for Planet Hollywood/All-Star Cafe (the sports themed restaurant they had) & I befriended the chefs. I didn't know how important that would be until a phone call from my mom, who was clinically depressed from my grandmother's mysterious illness that left her practically comatose for almost 9 months before her passing.

"I'm too sick, too depressed & I just can't do it. we are not having Thanksgiving dinner. we'll go out or something"

LIKE HELL WE WILL!!!

What good proper Midwestern family goes out to eat for Thanksgiving?!?! Not this one...that's for damn sure. Impulsively, I told my mom "I'll do thanksgiving. just make me some green beans because no one does them like you. I will do the rest...even pumpkin pie (I hate it...the texture grosses me out. I love pumpkin everything else though)"

what did I just commit to?!? Freak out time. I told the head chef at Planet Hollywood what I signed myself up for and frantically told him "I've never even bought a turkey let alone cook one!!?!? I can't let my family down though. they need this. my mom needs this!" he sat me down after a shift and gave me tons of pointers & short cuts (we call those life hacks now). I cook almost everything, bake almost everything, pack up my car and drive an hour to my parents' house. Everyone lived, no one complained and Thanksgiving was saved. Hey, that was pretty fun. it was like chemistry but without the pesky math. I wonder if this makes up for the time I screwed up Christmas when I was 5 with that whole trip to the ER thing.

I would then discover Rachael Ray (I have a ton of her books, cooking pans, knives, utensils, magazines, etc). She speaks to me, she's my kitchen spirit animal, make it fast & make it yum-o. I work in more restaurants (cuz that's what you do when you're an actor in Los Angeles), different cuisines & I even help open a restaurant or 2 (including 3-weeks paid gig in Aruba for Hard Rock Cafe)

Then I meet my boyfriend...he introduces me to fine dining, Top Chef and celebrity chefs. We cook together & go on culinary adventures. We've even almost "gone to network" for a major food show on Food Network (going to network is when you meet with/audition in front of the network executives/producers/etc. it's usually the last thing between you & the gig and usually only you and couple other people/groups)

anytime someone asks me how I got interested in food and cooking, I always refer back to the kindling that fueled the fire that fed my family that particular Thanksgiving. it's the burning passion of this hobby that keeps me fed without making myself a broke actor both financially and spiritually (all work and no play makes Jack a crazy boy as we all learned in The Shining).

I got let go from my latest weekend restaurant job yesterday (major overhaul of the company. nothing I did wrong). one of the first things I did was clear my mind in the kitchen. I made my own tomatillo salsa and experimented making apple chips without a dehydrator. Maybe now...I can work on replicating that perfect turkey tetrazzini from college.

Some of my culinary creations:
Breakfast: waffle sandwich with fried egg, swiss cheese and leftover brisket


Lunch: green leaf lettuce, turkey bacon, cantalope, yellow bell pepper


Dinner: Thanksgiving dinner to be exact, from 2013....I've come a LONG way from that first Thanksgiving. yes, that is a homemade cranberry mold that we made look store bought by letting it set in a can!
red string
(NOTE for non-regular readers or readers outside of Livejournal: this week's topic for the writing contest I'm in is "disinformation")

Sometimes I wonder how my life would've been different....the friends I would've made, the amount of college debt I have (or wouldn't have), the awards i could have won. Then again, I think about the friends I would've never met...all because of someone's disinformation about me.

I was a pretty decent tennis player in high school....team titles, all-conference, all-county, ranked in the state, stuff like that. The natural progression was that when I hit my senior year, the college coaches would start courting me (pun intended). Yet they weren't. it baffled my already-messed-up teenage mind. They were putting some feelers out during my junior year, so where had they gone....

"why are they now talking to the other girl on my team? Yeah, I get it. She's #1 on the team. i'm #2. I know my role, but come on...there's quite a few of you coaches and only 1 of her...you're not all getting her...at least look at me too. Hey...why are you ignoring me? I mean, i know I had a minor knee injury and didn't do as well as last year by a couple matches, but I'm still worthy of a scholarship...what gives!?!? hello? hello?"

silence. nothing. college recruiting season & signing days came and went. I held out....hoping, praying....this is everything I'd worked for since I got cut from the volleyball team freshman year, walked out of the gym, headed to the tennis courts and said "can I join the team?" (they pretty much took anyone who could hold a racket due to low numbers). Everyone is choosing their colleges...it's April. I still don't know where I'm going & I still don't understand why I'm being overlooked. Schools are filling up their spots & I hastily choose a school that promises me "we don't have tennis scholarships now, but we're getting them in a couple of years. The players who stick it out will have first priority when we do." I jump at this chance despite the fact it's a pricey private school & I'm going to have to pay for all of this on my own with student loans (and a few grants here and there).

It's my junior year of college....I sat out of tennis my freshman year, overwhelmed by everything college, so now i'm on the 5-year athletic plan, but it's okay...those last 2 years are going to be covered by the tennis scholarships that are coming after this year. I'm fine. Until i'm not. My teammates and I start hearing rumors....the scholarships are going to the incoming players from high school to make the program better in their new conference. (it's no secret we suck....I think we've won 1 match, barely, in my 2 years on the team. Of course we suck, we're playing against schools that are full scholarship programs. They have better players. I got my ass smoked in 30 minutes by a girl who eventually turned pro...and I was like the 5th best player on the team which means she was too). Finally, a few of us confront the coach...yep, it's true...and it was the plan the whole time. The scholarships are going to players who will replace us. We won't be cut from the team, but we'll only play like 1 match a season. THEY LIED TO US!!! USED US!! YOU TOLD US THESE SCHOLARSHIPS WOULD BE OURS?!?! YOU BASICALLY TRICKED US INTO GOING TO SCHOOL HERE ON OUR OWN DIME!!!!

"Really? You want me to shell out all the money I pay for a private tennis coach in the offseason in hopes of being competitive (in addition to the money I'm paying to go to this school at like $20K a year), practice like 15-20 hours a week, work my ass off for like ONE damn match a year? This isn't what I signed up for. Fuck this shit. I'm out of here"

I transferred to a smaller school, a program with at least a winning record, a chance for a team title (which is what I so desired like high school) & a chance for me to be the top player on the team. Most importantly....a scholarship. The thing I had desired for so long was now mine. I never won that team title (I think the closest we came was 3rd), but I was all-conference both years I played at my new school. Now somewhere along the way, I had a conversation with a coach...I said I wish I would've gone to the smaller school all 4 (well, 5 years...would've been 4 had I gone there because I don't think i would've sat out a year). That's when I got the shocking statement and answer to the question that had baffled me since my senior year of high school.

"I tried to get you out of high school, but your high school coach told me that you weren't going to college"

Excuse me?!?! Now i'd had run-ins with the tennis coach my senior year of HS to the point my mother had to go to the athletic director and school board. (my awesome HS coach quit after my junior year and the senior coach had beef with me...she was a teacher at the school I'd conflicted with all throughout high school). This woman wouldn't go so far as to sabotage me, would she??! I couldn't believe my ears. I still to this very day think she saw the opportunity to settle her "issues" with me (and my mother for challenging her "authority") & took it. Had I been smart (and not dealing with other things in life at the time), I should've contacted a lawyer and sued. Maybe she could be paying my $60K in college loans from my 3 years that were out of pocket at the bigger private school.

On the other hand....I have 5 wonderful friends that I met while I was at the bigger school. Five wonderful friends, who I still talk to regularly, that I wouldn't have had otherwise....so at least there is that.

As for those coaches who did me wrong....oh trust me....I'm going to make it so you NEVER forget my name. What you did to me (and others), the lies you told, the distrust you created, only fuels me to be successful no matter what I do. Of course, in your eyes, the disinformation is probably what i'm saying.

aaaaaahoooo scare quotes of Hollywood

vip goose
(note: thank you to the actors who spewed some great quotes to me for inspiration. I'm obviously not crediting you to spare you the "wrath" of these "Hollywood big shots")

You're fresh from the midwest & just stepped off the bus (or in my case, spent 3 days driving cross country from Ohio with my ex-bf, my cat & 25% of my life in a car. The other 75% got shipped). You see the big sign on the hill, the stars on the sidewalk and the palm trees that reach to the sky.

Welcome to Hollywood, what's your dream?

And that's when the "agents", "managers", "casting directors", "decision makers", "photographers" are like....great, that's nice. how cute. well guess what? we're here to destroy that dream, tear you apart and send you packing back to wherever you came from with their "scare tactic" scare quotes. Only the strongest will survive & even then, you're bound to fall for some of these scary cliche quotes at least once. I know I have....even as recently as a year ago. Then you realize there's some serious bullshit in this town at times. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice....yeah,(usually) not happening.

Here are some beautiful examples (thank you to some of my actor friends who I asked to give me some of the "words of wisdom" they've heard over the years)

The most famous being: "you'll never work in this town again" (or some variation of it). I've actually fallen for this one a couple times.

First, as a model (which is what I originally came to L.A. to do), I had a portfolio test shoot with a photographer who has shot tons of famous people from all sorts of career fields (sidebar: a test shoot is usually when a photographer is updating his portfolio/testing new equipment & the model works in exchange for photos. no one is getting paid money either way). Now I figured the guy was famous & worked with the top modeling agencies in town, so it wasn't a problem going to his home studio or going by myself since he had an assistant there as well. WRONG. He sends the assistant away, starts rubbing his hand on my leg, asking me if I'm a bad girl. I mention that I'm getting uncomfortable with the situation & he tells me that he's "just getting me in the mood of the shoot". Then he goes so far as to spank me on the ass and asks me if I like things rough. Okay...that was when I'm ready to lose my shit on this guy. I mention that i have boyfriend that plays pro football (yeah it's a lie, but he did ask me earlier if i had a boyfriend to which i said yes thinking it would make him back off a little....it didn't). He then informs me that I "better play along" or he will call my agency along with other agencies in town and tell them that I'm "extremely difficult to work with" (which can get you dropped by your agency...unless you're a supermodel). Thankfully, he kept his hands off of me for the rest of the shoot, but kept saying wildly inappropriate things to me. I learned a few years ago that I wasn't the only one he'd done this too & it's mostly all bark, no bite if you stand up to him. If I ever see him again, I'll probably kick him in the balls and hand him my agent's phone number....please, call them, I'd love for you to tell them.

The next time was last year. Normally, I never do background work (that's the people you see in the background of shows with no lines or anything,) but it was a Disney movie and I wanted to work on a Disney movie as part of my Hollywood bucket list. Wouldn't you know it, the Murphy's Law of Acting states that if you want to get an audition when things are slow book extra work or buy a plane ticket out of town. Sure enough, I got the call for a commercial audition that paid a lot of money. So, I try to cancel the extra work saying that something came up and I can't make it. This guy threatens the crap out of me....threatens to blacklist me with the production company (bullshit), call my agent (she would've laughed at him since the commercial would put money in her pocket) and leaving a note on my profile on this online casting site that only casting directors can see (having worked w/ the casting side of that site, i know it's possible)....so I bend and stick with the extra work. I mention it to the other actors once I'm on set....turns out this guy is totally full of shit. Too bad i don't find out until later in the day when it's too late to make it to my audition.

A while back, some guy who runs a small theater here in L.A. tried to "threaten" me by ending his email to me (in reply where I told politely told someone directing a show at his theater that my agent prefer I not do shows at that theater.) with "(the guy who owns a few theaters and is known and respected by far more people than you realize)". I laughed and saved the email for future reference (just in case) since California has amazing stalking & harassment laws. (He likes to troll read my blog, so I'm sure I'll get another nasty email after writing this....just remember what I said about harassment the last time you contacted me and remember, I didn't mention your name or your theater in this post, so your "secret" is safe. you can keep fooling unsuspecting newbie actors in this town.)

Another one of my favorite "scare quotes" runs along the lines of: "If you haven't made your acting career by 35...you should give up and find something else." (sometimes the age is 30, sometimes 40) but it's almost always from some know-it-all "agent" or "manager" who thinks they are god's gift to the entertainment industry. Really? Well if that was so true...the world would've never known of the beautiful, talented and wise Kathryn Joosten (may she rest in peace having left us 2012). You may have known her from The West Wing or Desperate Housewives (she won 2 Emmys for the latter playing nosy neighbor Karen McCluskey). She didn't even begin acting until she was 42, starting in Chicago-area community theater & didn't even move to Hollywood until she was 56. I was lucky enough to interact with her & get advice from her on some actor-based internet message boards....she was very humble like that despite all of her successes. Also what defines "making it"....are we talking A-list stardom, not having to work a night job, I think everyone's ideal of "making it" differs in their own mind. Here's some other actors who got their start after this "agent's" "magical point of no return" age: Harrison Ford, Ken Jeong (from The Hangover & Community), Samuel L Jackson (are you mother fucking kidding me mother fucker?!?), Alan Rickman (yes he was a stage actor but his breakthrough film role, which is the Hollywood "making it" in Die Hard was when he was 42), Jane Lynch (Glee) was in her 30s before becoming a regular working actor and 40s when she became "known". Morgan Freeman was still doing community theater in Los Angeles and nearing 40 when he became a solid working actor.

There are other comments you hear that aren't scary quotes but they are bullshit. Like "wow that was great" (half the time they are telling that to everyone auditioning or they are saying it to you having not even paid one iota of attention to your audition. just a month ago, i had a casting director with her head stuck in her computer the whole time i was auditioning...only to later see she was tweeting DURING my audition because it showed up in my twitter feed...really!?!?) or some variation of "You're a fantastic actor. Why are you so fat?" (this also applies to models too...".you have a great look, but you're too thick", "you'd work so much more if you were a size 4 or a size 2"....yeah, let me just get right on that by chiseling away my hip bones and snorting some coke so I never eat). They're just downright rude at times.

So you know what my dream is Hollywood? how about a little respect that we're not all idiots just hopped off the Greyhound at Union Station with some stars in our eyes. My dream is not to be "threatened" by someone in so-called "power". Now here's my "scare quote" to all those types: I know how your game is played now. Good luck trying to "scare" me into playing your game.

Sincerely....an over-35 actor who isn't going to risk her health to be a size 0 & will laugh in your face if you tell her that she'll "never work in this town again", because even if it is true, with all the runaway production (sidebar: that's when filming goes to smaller markets like Cleveland, New Orleans, Atlanta, etc), I'll just find a new town to work in and still be successful.

PS: "don't put photos of you with alcohol" funny.....cuz Chelsea Handler has never had a problem with that. Drink up and enjoy my photo with this post.
Indians mickey
20 years ago next week....Seattle Mariners' pitcher Randy Johnson struck out Oakland's Ernie Young at 9:45 p.m. PDT and that was it for the 1994 baseball season. Done. Finished. Over. No playoffs, no World Series (for the first time in 90 years). Baseball went on strike and didn't return for 7 and a half months (even eating into the 1995 season)

When it returned, the game was hurting. People were upset. I know I was. I had planned to go to Jacobs Field in Cleveland to see my beloved Indians play for my 21st bday. My bday is August 19....8 days after the last game of the 1994 season was played. They weren't going to the ballpark, attendance was down. They weren't watching on TV, the ratings were down. They were migrating to other sports like NBA (something to do with this guy named Michael Jordan returning to basketball after he didn't want to be a replacement player in baseball as he had played in the minors during the 1994 season). The NBA found a way to capitalize on this & i personally believe that's why the league is so popular now.

Baseball had to do something to get people back and I think that's how we wound up with what is now know as the steroid era.

What's better than watching sluggers chase Roger Maris' 37-year-old record for most home runs in a season (61)? Not much...I mean, even Nike built an advertising campaign around Mark McGwire's monstrous booming homers and brought "Chicks Dig the Long Ball" into the baseball vernacular. The home run is sexy and the chase of that record by Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa is the highlight of the 1998 season.



“A terrible beauty has been born” and it's known as the Steroid Era.

Baseball benefitted from the drug-induced soaring long balls. Three years after, the chase for 61, Barry Bonds came along and blasted 71 bombs in the 2001 season. Attendance numbers were rising back to pre-strike levels, ratings were coming back. People were excited about the game. My Indians were winning....so I was excited as well (well until my interest waned as I focused on other things and I drifted away from the game from about 2001-2007.)

Then the lies started catching up to MLB and ended up being exposed in 2002. First, recently retired player Ken Caminiti admitted that he had used steroids during his National League MVP-winning 1996 season (he died in 2004 from a heart attack linked to steroid use). Then the BALCO scandal broke taking down Barry Bonds (this is also the same scandal that exposed sprinter Marion Jones). Sammy Sosa failed a drug test & more stories came out from former players saying "hey, I took steroids" or "hey, that guy took steroids" including Jose Canseco's infamous memoir Juiced.

It's just my opinion that commissioner Bud Selig knew about the steroids the whole time, but decided to turn a blind eye because it was a way to get people excited about the game again. He continues to turn a blind eye as recently as last year with the mere slap on the wrists for the players who were busted in the 2013 Bosch steroid scandal. Really?!?! 50 games and if your team made the postseason, you still got to play. Don't even get me started on the whole Alex Rodriguez legal wranglings. I just get beyond furious fired up mad...mostly because of what is in the next paragraph

It wouldn't be the only shady business in Selig's tenure. There have been rumblings for years that he wouldn't award the city of Cincinnati the all-star game because of his supposed personal grudge against Pete Rose & fears that the fans will make it a giant Free Pete Rose protest. (for those not familiar, Pete Rose is serving a lifetime ban from baseball for gambling/betting on baseball. He never bet on his team to lose though. Also, it is rumored that Selig will not review Rose's application for reinstatement because he holds Rose responsible for the death of former commissioner & friend Bart Giamatti who died of a heart attack 8 days after banishing Rose from baseball). Cincinnati will finally get their all-star game next year in 2015....I don't think it is coincidence that it will be the first all-star game following Selig's retirement as commissioner.

A terrible beauty was born in the mid 1990s & I think last year's suspensions were a reminder that it's still alive and well, but I also think the fact that several notable players from the steroid era are coming up short in Hall of Fame votes. Yes, chicks (and other fans) still dig the long ball. I am just grateful that many of the long balls I loved and adored were hit by Jim Thome of the Cleveland Indians. His name has never been linked to BALCO, the Mitchell Report or Bosch. He was just a country strong farm boy from Peoria, IL who once belted a homer 511 feet at Jacobs Field. He hit 612 of them...almost all of them during the steroid era. I'm headed to Cleveland shortly after writing this....one of the first things I will do when I get to the stadium is gaze in awe at the statute that was just unveiled over the weekend to honor one of the "good guys who did it right".

PS. Free Pete Rose....he never cheated on the field like these suckers. Alas, that is another post at another time.

Eulogy for a hairdresser

red string
I went into my salon yesterday to make my appointment to get my roots touched up before I go home to ohio. As I was doing so, the guy helping me informed me that my former stylist, Brent, had passed away earlier this month. Brent had done my hair for like 6 years until one day he just disappeared. He didn't show up to the salon, no one knew where he was. I had his cell phone number, but it had been disconnected.

He had a history of health problems related to his former days as an alcoholic/addict & had a few stints in the hospital as well over the years. So when he disappeared about a year or 2 ago, I sadly had to assume the worst, but hoped for the best.

I can still remember the first time he did my hair. I went to the salon and asked who was the best colorist for red hair (as I was sporting the auburn locks at the time). The person setting the appointments said Brent. I took him this photo of Jennifer Garner



and said "give me that style with my red color" and that's exactly what he did. Then when I realized that bangs are not my friend & make me look like a manly drag queen a few months later, I said "I'm an idiot. what was I thinking?", he fixed it.

When I said, "hey, i have a friend going to cosmetology school & she's going to need a model for a year or so. Plus I'm kinda broke because I lost my job." He didn't take it personal. We just agreed that when she was done with school and I was back on my feet financially that I would find my way back to him....and I did.

Then about a year & half later, he was gone, but the silver lining that I can take away from this is that he lived longer than what some of us originally thought. I hope he is at peace and I am grateful that he was there to make my hair look fabulous & listen to whatever I was ranting & raving about when I sat in his chair.

He loved the user pic I put with this entry. He didn't style my hair in this photo, but he did the color and he loved how great it looked in this photo. RIP, my friend.

vip goose
I have to admit that when the topic "Chekhov's Gun" was announced for the writing contest I'm in (LJIdol Season 9), I was a little stumped. I thought "Oh shit...well this has been a fun ride. Looks like I'm going to be bye-ing out of this competition" (i used my 3 byes like in the first 6 weeks of the competition due to life getting bat shit bonkers) and then I was also thinking that some people might be thinking "Oh, she's an actress, she's going to have an unfair advantage with this one". I'm not that kind of actress. I have no intense theater training. I was just a model in Los Angeles who one day got told "you're funny. read this script" and somehow that morphed into an acting career.

Baffled about the topic, I brought it up to my actor boyfriend (you might remember him as Prince Charming from last week's entry). He is classically trained, studied Meisner, done Shakespeare. We went out to eat on Wednesday to celebrate my signing with a new agent & this topic became part of our conversation. That's when inspiration struck. I thought he was going to drop some acting knowledge bomb on me and instead he basically said that Chekhov's Gun could be applied to food. WHAT?!?!

Simply put, One must not put a loaded rifle on the stage if no one is thinking of firing it.. Well, we hear it time and time again with the food shows that we love to watch (Top Chef, Chopped, Iron Chef, Next Food Network Star) If it's not essential to the dish, it doesn't belong on the plate. For example: if the garnish isn't edible, it doesn't belong on the plate (we've heard that from more than 1 culinary judge, but there is a great example to breaking this rule that I will show later). Not only do my boyfriend and I like to watch a lot of celebrity chef food shows, but we also like to eat at their restaurants when location, time and money permit it.

One of my top 5 chefs is NYC-based Alex Guarnaschelli of Chopped/iron Chef fame (and if you watched Gossip Girl, her restaurant Butter is where some serious drama went down about season 2). Well, on our last trip to NYC, we went to Butter and i had an amazing cocktail called a Calamansi. it is Grey Goose vodka, fresh watermelon ice cubes, torn mint and calamansi lime juice.



This cocktail is a great example of If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on a wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off. If it’s not going to be fired, it shouldn’t be hanging there..

Chapter one: you get the drink shortly after you order it. there are those ice cubes. just hanging out in the glass like the rifle on the wall. You take a sip. this is kinda strong vodka-y. Chapter two: you've let it sit for a couple minutes as your appetizer has arrived & you're enjoying it, but it's time for a sip. you stir it a little. not as vokda-y this time. Chapter 3: The ice cubes are about 1/2 melted. Take a drink now....yes that rifle definitely fired. This drink is incredible and you completely understand why this woman is one of the best chefs in the freaking world (and I might add, the only active female Iron Chef). Everything comes together to form a balanced, tasty cocktail.

Another great example is at Richard Blais' San Diego eatery, Juniper and Ivy. If you're a fan of Top Chef, then you know that Richard was runner-up in season 4 Chicago (only because he let his nerves cause him to choke) and then triumphantly returned to win Top Chef All-Stars about 4 season later.



Pictured is a sweet corn agnolotti with cotija cheese and walnut gelée (that's the brownish-black dollops in the photo). In this case, the gun is the walnut gelée. Chapter one is when it hits your table & the dollops are like little balloons just resting on top of the pasta. However, in Chapter Two (meaning: when you eat it) The gun/balloon must be "fired" (eaten) by popping it and smearing it on the agnolotti. Otherwise, you end up with a dish that is too sweet and unbalanced....as my boyfriend found out when he tried to do so. The nuttiness in the gelée counteracts the sweetness of the corn.

Now Blais is a bit of a rebel in the kitchen at times and does some insane stuff with molecular gastronomy. Remember what I said about "if the garnish isn't edible, it doesn't belong on the plate"? Well here's a case where while the garnish isn't edible, it's actually essential to the plate's concept.



This is raw oysters with a salsa verde and horseradish beads that have been frozen with liquid nitrogen (thus serving as the chilling agent for the oysters rather than ice) served on a solid piece of wood with seaweed garnish draped over them. Now a video would do this much better justice than the photo, but that is actually fog coming from the liquid nitrogen used on the dish. When it is placed on your table, it looks like something that was ripped straight from the cave of Ursula the Sea Witch from The Little Mermaid which is why the seaweed (despite not being edible) is the Chekhov's Gun of the dish. You wouldn't get the same visual effect and emotion response if this dish was just fogging on a simple white plate.

Now that I think of it....fine dining is very much like theater. You have a beginning (appetizer, drinks), middle (your middle courses) that come to a climax (your main entree) and the end/resolution (dessert, coffee, after dinner drinks). The director/writer is the chef, the plot is the coursing of the meal, the set is the restaurant aesthetics, the actors are the ingredients and the props are the plating/garnishes.

Coincidentally, when Chekhov passed away, his body was transported to Moscow in a refrigerated railway car for fresh oysters. (interesting fact I discovered why researching the topic)

Bon Appétit!

And this photo just for good measure because i'm still stoked we met Richard Blais:

bitch a bad thing
I'm so pissed about this whole Ray Rice situation and the bullshit 2-game suspension the NFL gave him for beating his then-fiancee UNCONSCIOUS and dragging her through a hotel. I was pissed when it happened. I was pissed when he and the Baltimore Ravens held a press conference about it....and the now-wife (yes she still married him) was apologizing more than he was. For the record, not ONCE did he apologize to HER during the press conference and she's the one he beat the bejesus out of. Please tell me on what fucking bizarro planet should a battered woman be apologizing for the fact she was beaten? "Oops, I'm so clumsy. I just tripped and my face fell into his fist"

The more sports shows I watch and listen, the madder I get. Basically, the NFL is saying that the price for joining the OJ Simpson Apprenticeship program is TWO games. Two!!! Hell, smoking a joint (legal in 2 states, btw) will get you suspended a whole season. Taking a fertility drug because you're trying to start a family with your wife will get you four games. Terrelle Pryor got FIVE games for getting tattoos....in college before he even played a down of professional football. Hell, Michael Vick got more than 2 games for BEATING, killing and fighting dogs. (as he should have). Good news, Aaron Hernandez....if somehow, you are able to beat the murder rap....you're probably only looking at like a 4-game suspension with the way the NFL is looking these days. Just don't take any Adderall.

Really? Is that the message you are going to send to women? Sure thing....I mean, the NFL has no problem treating their cheerleaders like shit as well. Several teams are being sued by their current and former cheerleaders over wages (less than minimum wage in some cases) & job treatment/working conditions.

Somehow, the NFL thinks this is ok to alienate what is like 50% of their audience/revenue because "hey once a year, we dedicate a whole month to women. Look at our pink cleats, pink towels, pink hats, pink this, pink that. Save the boobies" Yeah let me just get on that and buy a nice pink Ray Rice jersey (yes, you can buy that on the NFL's website, right now! nothing says women empowerment like that!). Meanwhile, the actions the rest of the year say "you are second class citizens. whatever...we already got your money. screw women"

Don't even get me started on the ridiculous woman-unfriendly bag policy they started enforcing last year at NFL stadiums. No purses, ladies. You have to carry something like a see-thru bag and you get to announce to the world (or at least the 40-50thousand at the stadium) that you're having your period if it just so happens to fall when you have tickets to the game.

It baffles my mind. What is the message that you sending out?

Yes, I will still watch my Dolphins. Yes, I will still play fantasy football. Yes, I still hold my belief that if any man ever did that to me....he better find his ass in the witness protection program by the time I regain consciousness because I'll beat his ass right back.

LJ Idol Week 14: Confession from the Chair

no you didn't
She doesn't want to air the dirty laundry. She wants everyone to think it's the fairy tale relationship (we know it's not). After all, everyone was rooting for it, cheering for it, so glad when it finally happened. She had been lonely for years.

The chair sees everything though and knows better.

Sure it was great in the beginning. They laughed, they loved and it was something out of Hollywood rom-com montage. They probably moved in too soon....I mean, it really was still in the honeymoon period...that period before you start to see the quirks, before you start the nitpicking. Then her ailing father took a turn for a worse & he died. That's when the fighting started and it hasn't stopped. I wish he could've let her grieve how she wanted to grieve. I wish she wouldn't have shut him out & pushed him away.

She had a meltdown in the months after her dad's passing. He accused her of making herself sick which only made things worse. It took the ER doctor telling him otherwise to believe her. She still holds regrets and resentment at times for that. He told her she was irresponsible and unreliable because a project close to both of them fell through during this time. How could she focus on anything when she felt like her world was crumbling? Meanwhile, the one person she needed was becoming more resentful of her day after day. He blamed her for things in his life not going right...a career downturn, weight gain, lack of motivation....and he made her pay for it with emotional detachment. He stopped telling her that he loved her saying only his action proved he did. Actions speak louder than words, but that's not always true or the same.

I feel he resents her for sidetracking things in his life to take care of her (she only needed that after her family situation yet he insists he has to hold her hand through life). I feel she resents him for forcing her to go to therapy & projecting his problems onto her.

She thinks he's rigid and too black & white. There's no grey area of an discussion with him. She walks on eggshells in her mind because she doesn't know if a conversation will start an hours-long argument or fight. Of course, then he accuses her of being too defensive. She's an abstract thinking, she rambles at times and she's impulsive when talking. yeah, she sometimes interrupts to get her point across but it's only because of years of her voice not being heard (but in his book that's just an excuse). He accuses her of having a computer addiction, but he doesn't realize that this is the way the game is play in their chosen career fields now. (but it's okay if he spends all day on his iPad reading espn and playing fantasy baseball/football/pick a sport). At least she is working and/or networking. Meetings happen because you hustle online. I think sometimes he is jealous of her successes. She tries to motivate him but then he accuses her of "trying to be his mother" when really she is just trying to look out for his best interest because she cares. Still, he accuses her of being selfish and only caring about herself despite the fact that her friends often comment how she's less "me me me" since she met him.

He's not a bad person. he's just been in a bad place & she tried relentlessly to get him back to that good place even at the sacrifice of herself. Yet she's the one who is selfish. She thinks he's controlling. He thinks she's a bitch at times....and well, she is (but a lot of women are every 28 days). Neither of them are innocent and they both push each other's buttons at times, though she is the one who is always apologizing. They are both to blame. It only took them almost 3 years, but I think they are finally realizing that.

Somehow, they are still together. I'm sure all of their family & friends think they are both nuts. Hell, i think they are nuts but they need to see past all the bullshit and realize their opposites actually compliment each other rather nicely. I think they are getting better though neither of them thinks so at times. He really is the best thing that has happened to her life and well, if they could just trust one another for longer than a day, they would take the world by storm. If they don't kill each other first. Luckily, they don't have a chandelier, so I won't be looking at War of the Roses 2.0 anytime soon. I think Cindrelly and Prince Charming can still work this thing out.

Tags:

flush u away
You know, I was all ready to take advantage of the open topic and write a nice little slice of life piece....you know....here's a week in the life of a Hollywood actress when you're not famous (yet). it's not as glamorous as you might think. Then, the Supreme Court of this fine country decided to put us all in a time-machine to the 1950s this morning with the Hobby Lobby decision.

It got me mad.....really mad & since I haven't found a way to punch a corporation in their fugly face despite their new-found "individual" status, it's probably just better that I vent here. Plus the state of California still considers such violence this little thing called "assault & battery".

It also made me grateful, but we'll get to that later

I'm mad because i feel the highest court in the land has basically implied that women are second-class citizens. I'm mad at the hypocrisy that is Hobby Lobby....denying women birth control yet covering vasectomies for men. They're against birth control, but the company's retirement plan invests in contraception manufacturers. They do business with China (the biggest abortion country in the world). There's also the whole opening a store in a predominantly Jewish neighborhood and then not carrying Jewish holiday items "we don't cater to you people" (hmmmm, isn't Love Thy Neighbor one of those Christian Commandment thingies? I guess it means love thy neighbor....but only if they are Christian. It's so hard to get the fine print right on stone tablets all those years ago.)

Hobby Lobby accused of anti-Semitism over lack of menorahs, Chanukah decorations

God, don't you just love hypocrites? (though I'm sure they have no problem taking money from their female shoppers who are on birth control....ah, the hypocrisy. it's maddening.)

I'm livid because it brings us back to the importance of the #YesAllWomen. I think my friend, Caileigh, said it best when she said: "it's not about contraception, it's about denying women the ownership of their sexuality."

The pill isn't just about birth control either. Personally, it's kept my miniscule fibroids from escalating into a painful debilitating condition and reduced my risk of certain cancers that have run in my bloodline. And there were times I had to go off it because I didn't have insurance or I couldn't pay for it out of pocket (sometimes at $50+ a month) because I didn't have a job or my job paid so little that rent, food and gas in the car had to be more of a priority. (pretty sure that most Hobby Lobby employees make minimum wage).

I'm angry because of the slippery slope that this ruling creates. Again, Caileigh brought up a valid point on twitter: "The danger is that now any company can employ "religious objections" to deny its employees, male or female, basic rights or health care."

What's next? denying kids' vaccinations or someone's cancer treatments because that's "against god's will"?

Of course, i'm trying to be more positive in life (that was my goal for this year. Not to be so bitter, cynical & negative at times)....finding the silver lining, stuff like that, attract positive energy. therefore, i'm grateful.

I'm grateful that my parents did not shove a bible down my throat and allowed me to make my own decisions about my body (both physically & mentally) once I turned 18. They do not always approve, but they respected that I was a responsible adult to make those decisions.

And, after judging by some of the Facebook comments I received about talking about picketing a Hobby Lobby, I'm grateful that the universe allowed me the opportunities to get the hell out of the closed-minded area of Ohio that I grew up in. i don't think that everyone there is closed-minded. It just that some things are ingrained since birth there and they pass from generation to generation to generation. There is no way I could ever live there on a full-time basis again. I'd lose my damn mind. I'm too much a free thinking. Too open-minded. it's not my place to thrust my beliefs on you and vice versa. I find myself often "agreeing to disagree" with a lot of people who I went to high school with. At times, however, I've just had to say "enough" and delete people I went to high school with off my Facebook....especially with some racial comments (thank you for the invite to the KKK-esque rally, but I think I'll take a pass and we're done!). A few more had to say goodbye with (as they call it) the "gay agenda" and gay marriage....I just couldn't be friends even on the social media or associate myself with homophobes considering that I work in the modeling/acting business where I work with homosexual people on almost a daily basis....they're my wardrobe people, makeup artists, photographers, etc. I certainly can't preach the hypocrisy of a corporation and then be a hypocrite myself by associating myself and my "brand" with people basically spewing intolerance.

I'm grateful that not every judge on the SCOTUS wants to rule over my uterus. I have an even greater love and respect for the intelligence of Ruth Bader Ginsburg (just tell me you're an immortal and live forever). She dropped some serious shade in her dissenting statements. I love it.

I guess I should be going now....I mean, what am I even doing writing this? I should probably be in my kitchen preparing dinner & a pie to have it ready when the man of the house comes home from work at 5pm. Have to make sure there is enough ice in the freezer so that I can prepare his martini as he pulls his car into the drive.

Yeah, right.....fuck that shit! I'm going to baseball game tonight & drinking a beer! (and shopping at Michael's for all my crafty needs....oh wait, I already do!)

And I just noticed how political my blog is becoming based on this entry and the previous one. (non-contest entry). I promise I'll step down from my soapbox and get back to being a funny sporty smart ass shortly.
Indians mickey
Once again, the Washington Redskins name has come to the forefront of sports media again this week. Once again, people going on and on about how it's racist & once again, I wonder when it will trickle down to my beloved Cleveland Indians and when the attacks on Chief Wahoo will return.

For the record, my great-grandmother was part Native American (don't ask me what tribe, I don't know. Somewhere in the midwest/Kentucky area is where all the family that far back is from) & this obviously means I'm part native as well (something about that whole DNA thing)....definitely not enough to claim tribal rights or anything. Still, just want to state that for the record. you know, just inn case anyone gets a politically correct burr up their ass and wants to call me a racist, this way you can slow your damn roll and check yourself before you wreck yourself.

The Washington Redskins name...I get it. It could be considered offensive, BUT....there are a LOT bigger fish to fry in the Native American community when you look at the bigger picture than a few sports teams' name and logos. Just to be sure, I did some research. I even found a few websites that were Top 10 list of biggest problems....nowhere 1-10 did it say "the fact there is a sports team named Washington Redskins" Things like poverty, poor education (low high school graduation rates, high dropout rates, low college attendance rates), alcoholism/drug abuse, suicide/depression, health care, teen pregnancy, infant mortality, reservation rape, child neglect/abuse, gang violence, low life expectancy rate, decaying housing conditions on reservations.....but somehow....Washington Redskins and the Indians' Chief Wahoo are the biggest problem. How about spending some of that casino revenue on the REAL problems? It can't be cheap to fund by a tv ad during not 1 but TWO games of the NBA playoffs or to lobby to politicians left and right. I mean, come on! I'm half tempted to go to a nearby Indian-owned casino (there are quite a few of them in Southern California), decked out in Chief Wahoo Indians gear from head to toe and seeing how long they will take my money before kicking me out.

And seriously, where do we draw the line with mascots, political correctness and possibly offending anyone's delicate feelings? (*eye roll* I'm so over politically correct bullshit that gets everyone's vaginas in a twisted whiney knot. Life is hard, buy a fucking helmet and get over it). I addressed this on Twitter on Wednesday night and woke up on Thursday morning to hear The Herd with Colin Cowherd ripping off one of my tweets almost word for word (no, he doesn't follow me on Twitter, so I'd like to think this was purely coincidental, but as it turns out, he has a little history of liberally borrowing *cough*stealing*cough* from blogs, tweets and other sources....or so i've been told. lovely. I've had a run-in with him before but that's for another post and another time)

Anyway, where do we draw the line? Are Indians, Braves and Chiefs next? Notre Dame Fighting Irish?.....how dare you say because I'm Irish that I like to fight (and drink....and yes, I'm part Irish too). New York Yankees....offensive to people from the South. PETA protesting animal mascots (they kind of already do that with teams who have live mascots)? People die in plane crashes, Winnipeg/New York...I'm going to need you to not use Jets anymore. That's offensive to the victims/survivors. Carolina & Univ of Miami Hurricanes....same thing., Phoenix Suns....offensive to people who have had skin cancer or have that disease where they can't be in the sun, Washington Nationals....offensive to immigrants, Minnesota Twins.....offensive to single births or multiples more than 2, Devils.....offensive to Christians and promoting Satanic behavior.

See where I am going with this?

i'll be over here planning my trip to Pechanga and picking out what Chief Wahoo gear to wear while losing my money in the nickel slots.
aruba
“One monkey arouses a great deal of amusement. Two or more then double the interest and amusement. If one were to release a barrel full of monkeys, we must suppose that their antics would become hilariously comical.”
—“2107 Curious Word Origins, Sayings & Expressions from White Elephants to a Song Dance” by Charles Earle Funk (Galahad Books, New York, 1993).


For almost 4 fun-filled, but sometimes stressful angst-ridden years, I worked at the Hard Rock Cafe at Universal Studios in Hollywood, CA. At the beginning of all most every shift, there was a pre-shift meeting. If you've worked in a restaurant, you are familiar with "pre shift". Usually the comically chaos would begin during this meeting....a smart ass comment, a snicker, something ridiculous. it would then stream out of the pre-shift and carry over into the shift and sometimes setting the tone for it. Sometimes, the laughter was the only thing that would get you through a shift....especially during the busy summer tourist season.

We were each others' barrel of monkeys. Kelly was my partner in crime who I got hired so we could work together (which sucks cuz they forced her to work my shift the night they canned me), Jason would make sexually harassing comments or insult the piss out of me and I'd throw it right back. Lisa would offer some sarcastic comment that would bust you up with laughter when you wanted to kill everyone in sight (though she probably would've told me where to hide the bodies and then helped me bury them), John C. would just say "ah fuck it, let's go get a drink and relax", Tina would just talk sports with me to calm me down when someone stressed me out, Adrienne would be all Pollyana hopeful ray of sunshine (sometimes you need that) and John W. would just try to offer some calming perspective.

The cast of characters were varied....you had everything from tattooed, pierced and mohawked to sweet-as-pie all-american girl-next-door along with everything in between (I was one of the rare non-tattooed but I went crazy with the hair & makeup at times. No, the MAC cosmetics counter didn't explode on my face. I spent time doing this to myself.) These barrel of monkeys made working there fun.

It's been about 5 years since i was (in my eyes) unjustly & unfairly relieved of my duties at the Hard Rock. I was crushed and devastated when it happened, but my barrel of monkeys (who had become my circle of friends) rallied around me & proved to me that true friends don't leave you when shit gets bad.....Kelly checked up on me constantly & she also kept me in the loop with the restaurant gossip, helped me pick out outfits for job interviews, etc. Jason talked me out of giving up and moving back to Ohio along with all the other various panic attacks and hypothetical ledges he talked me off of), Lisa....she kept my spirits up, again with the sarcasm...she even took me out to eat a few times when i didn't know where my next meal was coming from because all my unemployment was denied and all my money was going to pay rent/bills. John C & Adrienne (who were dating) would have me meet them for a beer or just encourage me. Tina....she would help me find job opportunities or just come over and watch tv with me (cuz she was also my neighbor). She also eventually helped me land the weekend gig I have now. She was also my ranting rock because she got unfairly canned as well so we would vent together. John W. went so far as to bring me smoothies and water while I waited hours in lines on the hot & sunny sidewalks of Hollywood for open call job interviews in the heat of summer (ugh, the worst! worse than any casting cattle call i've ever been on)

They also stuck around later that year when my modeling agency dropped me, when i found out that my father had terminal cancer, the whole time he was sick & when he passed away & my mental breakdown from grief i had after his passing. Some of them I don't see as much as I'd like & some have moved away (which breaks my heart but I know they are happy where they are), but these monkeys are as loyal as the dog sitting next to me while I'm writing this. Dear monkeys....I love you all and I'm so grateful for the laughter, joy and support that you have brought into my life. You are not just the barrel of monkeys who brought me so much fun at a restaurant job, you are some of my best friends in the world. thank you.

Customer service is deader than chivalry

bitch a bad thing
I know I can't be the only one who has noticed the decline in customer service in this country. From doctors who only give you about 2 minutes of their actual time in an exam room to just flat-out rudeness from someone who isn't happy about their minimum wage job. It has now reached epidemic proportions.

My experiences on Sunday and Monday of this week have just pushed me to my breaking point.

Sunday, Father's Day....you know, I don't have my father in my life anymore. I woke up that morning, made twitter and Facebook posts about how it was just another day & then some comments rolled in that inspired me. The first Father's Day without him, we went out to the rib place he loved to go to when he would come to SoCal on vacation (he loved his ribs). Now, my schedule on Sunday didn't allow me to go to that place, but I suggested to Brendan just to go to any rib place. Did some research, asked around and found this place that I drive past a lot. I get there and that's when the crap begins....first, the server barely says hi to me and tells me they're out of BBQ tips. Now there's a piece of paper that you fill out to let the kitchen know what you want. Brendan calls me because he's having problems finding the place and while on the phone, the server rips the paper out of my hand and crosses out like every other single protein on the list....no ribs (which is what I wanted), no chicken, no brisket, no pulled pork....just hot links....and then when i'm off the phone, snaps at me "I'd hurry up and order or you're not even going to get that, but we'll still have sides for you" (yes, lady....because I came here for basically an overpriced glorified spicy hot dog...let's be honest, that's what a hot link is in my book and some sides). As soon as brendan got there, we walked out. End of story.

I find it unacceptable that a restaurant runs out of proteins about an hour into what is considered "dinner service". Yes, it's a holiday, but you know it's a holiday that comes every year on that particular day. It's called proper ordering and preparation. That's like if a bar ran out of beer on St. Patty's Day or Cinco De Mayo. You know it's coming, you should be prepared.

This pretty much repeats what I just posted but here's my Yelp review of the Bludso's Judging by the looks of it, I wasn't the only pissed off person that day. So I guess I wasn't being a overly-picky foodie in this case.

I struck out with the BBQ that night, but I did manage to still honor my dad last night at a wonderful place called Lucille's at the Culver City mall last night. Dad would've been proud of those ribs....the service was still a little spotty but I honestly suspect that she was a newbie server. (maybe I'm just particular about service because I've worked in the industry).

Next beef: The US Postal Service.

I get it...you're a strapped government agency, but seriously....update your damn website and phone apps to reflect the true hours and locations of your offices. I drove around for like 30 minutes on a wild goose chase for a post office that was actually no longer even in business because the USPS website/app told me there was an open location down the road from the location that I got to just as it was closing (the lady literally waited until I went to grab the door open and locked it! WTF!). So I look up another location that I know is still operating and it tells me the lobby with the self-serve kiosk is open until 7pm. I get there at 6:15 and nope....the hours of operation changed as of 2 months ago (according to the sign on the door) and even the lobby is now closed at 5. Way to update that information.

Final beef: Old Navy

I had a pair of their Pixie pants that basically fell apart at the seams after a mere 2 washings. Now I'm not a fashion designer and my experience in retail was a summer at The Finish Line, 2 months at an Old Navy and the occasional retail shift when I worked at Hard Rock Cafe. I do know enough about clothes, though, as a model to know that a pair of pants should be able to withstand the general care as directed on the label for more than 2 washings.

They're trying to give me shit about it because 1. I wore them (um, am I supposed to just buy the pants and look at them hanging in my closet?) and 2. I washed them (oh, I'm sorry, did i miss where it said somewhere on the tag or in the store that your items are unwashable? Maybe if that is the case there shouldn't be cleaning instructions on the tag). Then, the manager gives me more shit because I won't exchange them for anything else in the store (the only sizes they had left in these pants were 14, 16 & 18....yeah, my size is that minus the 1 at the front, so don't think those are going to fit). She's like "you have to understand where I'm coming from and you should be grateful I'm even ignoring policy to let you exchange them" to which I said "well, you need to understand that a pair of pants shouldn't fall apart at the seams after 2 washings". I got a gift card that I could use to find them online which I did....on sale, with enough left over to get an additional pair of jeans as well. I also hit up the company's twitter. They contacted me in less than 24 hours asking me to call about the problem with the construction of the pants for their quality control....so props for the social media customer service, but the customer unfriendly return/exchange policy makes me want to avoid this store in the future which is sad because i get a lot of my clothes from there.

I will say that if you want to reassure yourself that there is any hope whatsoever for customer service, go to Trader Joe's....they are always friendly, helpful and smiling...maybe it's because the company is so good to their employees.
Indians mickey
Cleveland is known for being a cursed sports city. Most of these you can google....I can't explain them all. It's just too painful to relive and 4 out of 5 therapists agree that it's probably best to never speak of these unthinkable acts ever again. The Catch, The Trade, The Drive, The Fumble, Red-Right 88, The Shot, The Blown Save (still probably need therapy for this one), The Collapse (why.....just why?!?!), The Decision (seriously, i'm still pissed about that one). This leads to a cynical and often bitter fan base. We can't enjoy when our team is doing well either because well....when is the other shoe going to drop? (see: The Blown Save or The Collapse or the 2012 & 2013 Indians...first place most of the season only to get blown out the last 2 month of the season. so heartbreaking)

Lately, though.....things have been changing.....or at least in my mind they have. Holy crap, the Indians have built a team! They made the playoffs last year. it was magical. It was beautiful and sure it was just a one-game wild card game that they lost, but it was awesome. There's a whole group of us who interact on Twitter during games. I'm pretty sure that some of us are not as drunk by the 7th inning like we were in the past (guilty as charged). Things still get dicey sometimes in the 9th inning, but that's because we're all scarred. (see: The Blown Save)

What's that? The Cavaliers got another #1 pick in the NBA draft! What?!?! We only had like a 2% chance of winning the lottery. This can't be right. What's the catch? (This is obviously the universe attempting to right everything that was so fundamentally wrong about that egotist display called The Decision). that's 3 out of the last 4 #1 picks....and the team ALMOST made the playoffs last year. It was a lot more interesting than losing like 27 straight games the season before. That really sucked.

Then there are the Browns....they are seemingly the most cursed and, yet somehow, the most beloved team in the city. Good, bad or just downright ugly....they'll sell out games. Now I can't really speak about Browns stuff, because i'm actually a Dolphins fan (when you're a 10-yr-old girl, Dolphins are pretty and nothing orange/brown is and well....it stuck. I'm loyal to my teams.) However, I have a lot of twitter followers who are Browns fans and well, they seem a little more upbeat lately.....maybe it's the drafting of Johnny Manziel aka Johnny Football. Even if the team isn't good, at least he'll bring the entertainment factor....I mean, come on! there's already a picture of him partying in Vegas on a giant inflatable swan floating around the internet! It's not even football season!

The Cleveland chatter on social media has been a little more upbeat in recent months. Could Cleveland finally be turning its back on this freaking curse that has loomed over its sports teams since like 1964 or is this just recency bias talking and confusing all of us?
vip goose
My 16-yr-old nephew got killed during my senior year of college (1995, so this wasn't recent) and it set me on quite the self-destructive path for the next 6-7 months of my life. (Side note: you know that belief that if your roommate dies, you get instant As on your finals? I don't know if that's myth/legend, but all but 1 of my professors scrapped my finals & calculated my grades without them. The one holdout gave me until halfway through the next semester to take the final as well)

I was already doing some serious partying before he got killed (after all, it was senior year. I had to go out with a bang), so this just magnified it. The 27-nights-in-a-row marathon of going out to bars or parties. The day before he got killed, I welcomed 2 new sisters to my sorority with a fifth of Absolut at a nearby fraternity house.(they drank about 1/8th of the bottle...guess who drank the rest, partied with the fraternity boys until 5am and was massively hungover the next day?)

I was angry at the situation as well. This was some serious bullshit, life. My nephew was awesome. He was a decent student, he was becoming a star athlete, he was active in his church & even a youth leader. Really?!!? This is how life goes?!?! Do everything right, be a good person and die in a car wreck at 16?!?! (At least that is how I saw it at the time). At the same time, I had this perfect plan in place for my life....I was getting better grades than I was at my former school, I was the top tennis player at the school and looking to follow up awesome year I had before (all-conference in both singles & doubles, academic all-american nominee) and I had a great boyfriend (albeit 6 hrs away at another school & before the internet really took off, so lots of letter writing). The plan was be awesome at tennis, get a nice little starter job lined up out of college, get engaged, live happily ever after like a Disney princess.

My anger led to an attitude of "fuck it, you're just going to die anyway". I would go on runs in thunderstorms not caring if I got hit by a car, not caring if I got hurt or struck by lightning. I also decided to experiment with some drugs here and there. (mostly weed, but some harder stuff too)..."fuck it, you're just going to die anyway". I'm pretty sure that my tennis coach knew I was still drunk/high on shrooms when i showed up at a 6am tennis practice convinced that the mascot painted on the wall of the gym was chasing me around it (side note: that was probably the fastest I ever ran laps. I'm not known for my speed now or then)

I'm sure teammates tried to save me ratting me out for partying, getting me suspended from the team for a couple exhibition matches (I almost got completely booted from our spring break trip, but I think I begged my way into going). I'd say to myself at the time "stupid bitch...she only ratted me out because she wants to be the star of the team & she knows this is the only way because she can't really beat me. She got lucky that 1 time she beat me". I think my coach tried to save me by sitting my ass and making me re-earn my #1 spot after losing it (I did, but i didn't train hard enough, got injured and while I still made all-conference again, I missed nationals by 1 hard-fought match played about a mile from where my nephew was killed. talk about heartbreaking). He'd sit me down in his office and ask me how I was or if I wanted to talk about it. I'd convince him I'm fine all the time saying to myself "why the fuck do I want to talk? No one can answer the questions I have about this whole fucking mess? Can you tell me why? no, so leave me the hell alone and get out of my business" My sorority sisters tried to save me (some of them were teammates as well) by telling me to stay away from the guy who I eventually cheated on my boyfriend with "yeah yeah, whatever...at least this guy is paying attention to me. My boyfriend is 6 hours away & he's dealing with his own grief." (he was going through the same thing after losing his 13-yr old sister in a car wreck about 5 months before my nephew's accident)

“If you have come here to help me, you are wasting our time”. I wasn't listening to anyone.

I had to do this on my own & one July 1997 morning....about 2 months after I graduated & 7 months after his accident....I did. I just woke up to this epiphany of "your freaking nephew wouldn't want you living your life this way", but by then....all was lost. College was done, I'd damaged some friendships with some sorority sisters that I don't think will ever be mended, the loving boyfriend gone (though he did forgive me, we were never able to reconcile) & well, my job prospects sucked.

Time to follow dreams like my nephew was never going to get to do....you know, I really don't want to have any regrets about my modeling aspirations I gave up at 17 to play tennis in college...let's see how that goes for a couple years here in Ohio...

it's 2014, I'm in Hollywood and yesterday i was just on set for yet another commercial....and came home to a loving boyfriend (different one, but equally loving).
stay classy
I've been surfing the internet for a while....and by a while, I mean I was hitting the ESPN.com message boards and chat rooms that they used to have like in 1995 when the internet was a baby. I used to have to print my emails up on a communal dot matrix printer in the computer lab of my college.

I've seen memes and viral video come and go....IRC, AIM, Myspace....friendster even!! And this week's LJ Idol topic got me thinking about some of the funniest damn things I've seen.

The first one I remember is the classic "All Your Bases Belong to Us" and it even went so far as to have a hockey version when (I believe) the LA Kings and Detroit Red Wings had an epic playoff battle. I think this was somewhere around 1999-2000.



Then, there is the Badger, Badger, Badger video which....as an Ohio State graduate, gets used every time we play Wisconsin in football because well....it's time to beat up on badgers


Not to be confused with equally annoying Hamster Dance (please don't kill me, the next link will save you if you survive)


Another classic that I think is still capable of garnering laughs day in and day out is the Misheard Lyrics video of Pearl Jam's "Yellow Ledbetter". I'm pretty sure that this song is just Eddie Vedder's stoned ramblings and there aren't actual lyrics, but this interpretation is beyond hilarious. If you don't laugh, check your pulse. This damn video is timeless.



Can you see Dems?!?! MAKE ME FRIES!!!

Then came the Cat video era.....

I feel ya, Burgers & Fries....I feel ya....this is how LA traffic makes me feel sometimes, dude:



And well.....Cheaters isn't just a tv show for humans at 3am when there's nothing but infomercials on....there appears to be a cat version as well:



These are just some of my faves over almost 20 years of surfing the World Wide Web.....I hope you've enjoyed some of these classics as much as I have over the years, but now I must "keep calm and end this meme"....and post
no autographs
Let me take you inside the wonderful world that is non-union cable re-enactment shows. This is also known as most of my television credits at this point and time....actually more like ALL of my television credits on my resume.

The first one was a little show on Spike called 1000 Ways to Die. This basic gist of this show is that it's like a living, breathing version of The Darwin Awards. Re-enactments of the crazy, idiotic ways that people have managed to kill themselves.....like getting decapitated playing drunken mailbox baseball, strangled when tossing one's scarf into a ceiling fan, being blown away in a tent by a wind storm while pleasuring one's self (I actually auditioned for that one and didn't get cast). The one I got cast for.....I played a doctor and my patient liked to stick things up his ass. He died when he shoved some thermometers up his tuckus, they broke off when he sat on them and he got mercury poisoning along with bleeding to death. fun times.

I got all excited when i got cast....wooooooo my first tv role. I'm gonna be famous now. I'm not going to be rich though (those shows only pay about $100-$200 and you don't get residuals for the re-air either...I wish, they were showing this episode like every 5 days at one point. oh there's another text "hey amy, just saw you on Spike again". If I had a dollar for every time....well I could've at least gotten a couple frappacinos by now even without the promo Happy Hour). I kept waiting for my agent to send me my script...where's my script, it's a couple days before the shoot....no script (how am I supposed to learn my lines)....2 days before....no script (getting nervous here)....day before....no script (oh, it's improv-based...IMPROV BASED?!?! I don't have improv training! No Groundlings, No Improv Olympic, No Upright Citizens Brigade, No Second City!! How am I supposed to do this!?!? Sure I took a little workshop at this strip mall theater I performed in for a bit, but that's not formal training.....okay, just remember "YES, AND...." and roll with it). Get to set and yes, I'm a doctor....and....(channel my best Izzy Stevens from Grey's Anatomy) wouldn't you know it....I'm a bit of a natural at this. I must have been pretty good because they called me back for another episode.

About a year or so later, I'd changed my hair color and they called me for another episode....this time, i'm the wife playing mixed doubles with another couple and the other wife is flirting with my husband. Yes....and how would I react....the directors just let me go wild because they knew what I could bring to the table. I wish they had used some of the other stuff I'd said, but....time constraints. Yes....and I'm grateful they used any of my lines at all.

I've also been a nurse on "I Didn't Know I was Pregnant". That's the show where they re-enact the stories of women (and couples) who didn't know they were expecting a child until out comes baby!!!! That's also where I learned that freshly-born babies on tv shows are often 2-4 week old babies. they make them look freshly born by having the set nurse slather the baby with a combination of cream cheese and strawberry jam. The babies love it & keep trying to put it in their mouths. Also, the baby can't be on set for more than like 30-60 minutes, so you have to work fast & get the shot quickly.

Another little secret....not all court shows are real. Some of them are re-enactments of cases. That happens when the person wants to sell their case, but they themselves do not want to appear on camera. I did one of those shows as well. I got the general idea of the case and then had to make up my own lines from there.

Being a so-called natural has served me well in scripted cases as well....for example, I worked on a webseries where the other actor and I were supposed to have a child with a majority of the lines, but once on set, the child was a nightmare case with a really weird stage mom. Eventually the kid had to be sent home and the director just looked at us and said "change of plans, we're going to improv it from here and see where it goes". (just remember rule #1 of improv....yes....and)

Now (like a math equation), I shall show my work.....and maybe consider actually taking some real improv classes as well:

My first 1000 Ways to Die (Mercury in Uranus) at the :29 point



My second 1000 Ways to Die (Her Own Damn Fault): this is the whole segment and well the sound sucks because I had to record it from my iPhone because they never put the episode online:



And then rolling with the punches in Awkward Moments (at the 2:14 mark...though Destini is hilarious in the whole episode and series):

aruba
You're expecting sport superstitions aren't you? I mean, come on...it's "step on a crack"...it's ripe for the picking. It's what I know, it's what i do (yes, those are Cleveland Indians panties) but that's the easy way out. Not going to do it. Sure, it might bite me in the ass, but I'm all up for something more challenging. I mean, after all, that was the whole purpose for me entering this contest in the first place.

When I first moved to LA to pursue modeling (and then acting) and even before I moved while prepping for the career leap, I lived by strict rules. Most of them were set for me by a couple photographers/agents who had been mentors or were helping to facilitate my bigger market move....taking me to NYC, Chicago, etc...obtaining meetings & shoots for me in bigger cities. I took it as gospel because if that's what it was going to take to get the hell out of Ohio and be successful as a model, then I sure as hell was going to do it, live it, eat it (or not eat it), drink it (or not drink it) and breathe it 24/7/365.

*at least 8 glasses of water a day (that's like for everyone)
*no soda, limited sugar
*strict diet (ok, i cheated a little on this one...after all, i work in restaurants for my thrival job), part of it involved nothing but fruit before noon and then, at one point, some weird diet where you don't mix carbs and proteins. I've also done no carbs, no dairy, no meat, no this, no that.
*no drinking the night before a job/shoot
*no salt the day before a job/shoot
*no eating the morning before a job/shoot (you'll look bloated if you do or have a "food baby bump")
*10pm-midnight curfew the night before a job/shoot (depending on what time I had to be at job/shoot the next day)
*gym 1-2 hrs 4-6 times a week.
*crazy bathroom routine....moisturizing, exfoliating, caring for the hair, caring for the skin, caring for the teeth....I'm not kidding when I say that sometimes it would take me 30-60 minutes to get ready for bed night after night after night after night.

Eventually something was going to CRACK and it cracked in the form of me finding a social life & also seeing how (in my mind), my "dedication" cost me a relationship that I held near and dear to my heart (it couldn't have possibly been that we just weren't meant to be together, duh). I stepped on the crack and broke my own back. Something had to give.....a drink here and there on a "school" night at a social event (after all, gotta network), staying out a little too late and being tired at a shoot (makeup and photoshop can cover that up). Blowing off the gym to go to the beach or just shop or have lunch (the gym is open 24 hrs, i'll go later). There's only so many hours in a day and well....what good is having success if you don't have anyone to share it with (i'm sick of sharing my victories with my cat). Of course, then it became a matter of also wanting someone, anyone....of the opposite to share that with. Straying from everything combined with loneliness led me down a Very wrong fork of the road that i already explored months ago ( you can read it if you choose, but it only goes into more complex detail of how bad I CRACKED)

It felt so liberating, but at the same time, I'm sure it hurt me as well. If you're not putting in the work, there are hundreds others who are....they're just as hungry (if not hungrier) than you and they will do whatever it takes to get the job. I've been thinking about this lately. What if I hadn't cracked. What if I were now to pursue things with the same passion, discipline and structure that I had when I first moved to Los Angeles. Only now I have the connections, somewhat of the financial means and the support system as well. Is it even possible at this point. Is it possible to have the same level of ambition that you had in your 20s when you're pushing 40? Hell, even the Queen of Blonde Ambition, Madonna, seemed to tail it off herself. Then again, she made it. she could rest on her laurels a bit. I'm still looking at some college loan debt. right there should be ambition enough. i'm so sick of those asshats.

Is it possible to find the balance between ambition, discipline and having a social life? Can you seal the crack, heal your back and know that others will have your back?

I don't know....but i'm trying to find it. Stick around for the journey. And for the record, I do sometimes offer up sacrifices to Jobu in order to help the Cleveland Indians. (if you have no idea what i'm talking about, I implore you to watch the movie Major League)

(and as always...all those who comment get votes from me as well)
no you didn't
My stomach has been screwy for like 2 days now & I couldn't figure out why until this afternoon when i was making a smoothie for Brendan. He's on a nice liquid/soft food diet from his wisdom teeth removal.

So I make his smoothie and I take little spoonfuls to make sure it's blended perfectly with nothing chunky & to insure it's flavorful. I have also been drinking the leftovers if there's less than a juice cup-worth in the blender. Small problem....his smoothies have "real" milk in them & guess who is slightly lactose-intolerant, but straight up milk is a HUGE trigger????

oh that would be ME!

And he won't let me make them with the lactose free milks that we have (I have regular and chocolate). This also means we have 3 different types of milk in our fridge....though he claims mine isn't "real" milk and calls it "white water" and "brown water"

excuse me....i'll be the one burping uncontrollably in the corner. don't mind me...i'll be fine in a day or so.

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