What the heck does that mean?

All about working as a waiter, pursuing my dream, eating vegetarian, and loving where I live!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Healthy Food and Houseplants

The LP is back from visiting family for Thanksgiving. I picked him up from LAX late Saturday night/ early Sunday morning. It's almost silly how much I missed him. It was only a week, but LP vowed that we would never again spend our holidays apart. Time with the family is nice, but we're a family too, so no matter where we go to celebrate a holiday, we should spend that time together. 

I had to work yesterday lunch, but I got out at a decent time and we went out for pizza, beer, and gelato for one last splurge before we spend the rest of the month eating healthy and frugal. I don't really get the idea behind pigging out all through December, only to beat yourself up after the New Year. Now is the time for better eating. Although... I may make some exceptions for cupcakes. :-)

No work today, so I slept in. Here's today's healthy lunch:

Homemade hummus with rice/nut crackers and a Spinach and Radicchio Salad. I tossed in some dried cranberries, toasted pecans, and bleu cheese. It's very similar to what I made for Thanksgiving, except that I didn't have any Asian pears. I sauteed some red onions in olive oil before adding them to the salad to help wilt the spinach a little bit. The dressing is my own concoction of apple cider vinegar, oil, and pepper. So good!

As I took pictures of my lunch by the window, I couldn't help myself and took some of our houseplants, too! We don't have the greenest thumbs, but we try.  We've got a couple of avocado trees growing that we started ourselves from pits. LP has been trying this for years and there's been some losses along the way. But these current guys seem to be doing pretty well. My pride and joy is my Philodendron. These are about the easiest plants to grow because they are nearly impossible to kill. I've had this one (middle) for about 3 or 4 years and it's just exploded recently. Philly sits on top of a speaker and its tendrils nearly reach the floor! The last plant... I call it a Polka Dot plant. It used to be a lot taller, but it got sort of weedy looking and couldn't support itself. After some research, I discovered that these plants have to be cut back. So I chopped the whole thing down to little nubs and it's really thriving now! I'm just glad I didn't kill it!

I realize that plant talk may be about the most boring subject in the world for some people, so I apologize. But we don't have any pets aside from my sad little goldfish, so we really obsess over our plants instead. We really need a dog.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Elephants in my Life

Recently, Billy the Elephant at the L.A. Zoo got to move in to a completed section of his new exhibit. The beautiful elephant enclosure is due to open on December 16th and Billy will be joined by two female elephants (rescued from a private owner) on loan from San Diego.

Check out this video and tell me if that isn't the happiest elephant you've ever seen!

I have a very special place in my heart for elephants. Besides being beautiful, fascinating creatures, they always remind me of my Grandma G who has been collecting elephant objects for years. I once tried to count them all (excluding jewelry and clothing items) when I was a little girl. The number, I believe, was over 75 items.

My collection pales in comparison. Only four items! The bag was given to me by my friend Brittany. She bought it for me while she was in Thailand on her honeymoon as a thank you for being a bridesmaid in her wedding. 

The big gorgeous elephant statement necklace was a gift from LP. He was filming a designer, Leslie Homan, for her Kitsch 'n' Kouture line. He happened to mention me and after talking a bit, she let him pick something out! Small perks. :-) It's now one of my favorite pieces of jewelry.

The other two items, the pin and the bracelet (many tiny elephants in a row) belonged to my grandma. She gave them to me several years ago. She's still alive and kicking (fiercely, I might add) and I'm sure these aren't the last elephant items I'll receive from her!

LP and I have a very special connection to Billy the Elephant, in particular. We're members of the L.A. Zoo and go there as often as we can. When we were both unemployed and exceedingly broke, we were there about once a week. For over a year, the zoo has been working on a state-of-the-art enclosure for Billy and the friends that will join him. But there's been controversy. There were a lot of attempts to halt construction by animal activists and celebrities. There was even a City Council meeting on the matter, and the zoo invited members to come and speak. I wasn't able to make it, but LP went, spoke, and got to meet Betty White who said that he was a "very nice, well-spoken young man." (HE'S MINE, BETTY! BACK OFF!)  ;-)

But the L.A. Zoo won and Billy's new home will be unveiled to the public on December 16th. Eventually, as many as 11 elephants could live there and it will be the largest elephant habitat in North America! We're very excited for Billy, and we're pretty sure he's happy, too!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Few Thanksgiving Photos

Since I didn't end up taking any pictures on Thanksgiving, I had to steal these from my baby niece's blog. Thanks SIL for taking the initiative! We had a really nice crowd gathered. You can see me in the back next to my two brothers and the baby. Everyone else is a friend of my oldest brother and sister-in-law. 

It was a really great Thanksgiving and one that I'll always remember. First one in the new house, first one with Baby Z... It was really wonderful. That first photo is the most you'll get of my soup! Everyone really liked it, though!

Even Baby Z, who has just started eating real food. She normally rejects everything, but she really liked my squash soup. Just goes to show that she has a sophisticated palate! All she wanted was seasoning, DUH!

Even though I'm not religious in any way, I really do love the holiday season! It's so joyful! :-) It's about time to put up those twinkle lights, I think!!!!

Friday, November 26, 2010


Stuffed. To. The. Brim. 

I rarely eat until I'm full. I usually save something for later or eat multiple little meals throughout the day. Today, I am crammed. This morning I just nibbled on little bits of this or that while I was cooking. From the moment I reached my brother's place at 2:30 PM until 12:30 AM it was non-stop eating. I'm so uncomfortable right now and all of the wine didn't help either. I don't think I drank any water today. Just wine, coffee, and Bailey's. 

I have to say that I am fairly embarrassed because I FORGOT TO TAKE PICTURES! All of that work... undocumented. *sigh* When I got to my brother's, I immediately started setting up the food I brought, then kept my niece entertained, and then started to help serve food. It would have been pretty rude to stop and take photos. So... :-( Lots of other people took pictures though, so maybe my food is hiding in some of them. I hope.

The soup was a major hit. I roasted the squash for 35 minutes along with two peeled and sliced Granny Smiths. Then I caramelized two sliced leeks (white parts only) in olive oil in a big Dutch Oven, then added two cloves of garlic and a 1/2 cup of white wine. After I cooked that down, I added the squash flesh and cooked apples, 6 cups veggie broth, and 1 bay leaf. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 20 minutes. Then I let the soup cool overnight and blended it in the morning, then cooked it for 15 more minutes in the slow cooker on low. We served the soup with Creme Fraiche (whipped with apple cider) and sliced leeks. EVERYONE loved it. Well, except for one lonely squash hater in the group, but there's no pleasing everyone. This was waaaaaaaaay better than when I made it the last time with butternut squash. Too sweet.

I also made a Wilted Spinach Salad tossed with frisée, radicchio, toasted pecans, thinly sliced Asian pear, cranberries, and bleu cheese. I also finely chopped one shallot, blanched it for 20 seconds, then mixed it with 2 Tbs of apple cider vinegar for a dressing. Then, right before serving, I heated up some olive oil and poured it over the salad. That went over really well, too, but since it was just salad, no one seemed to go crazy over it.

The Autumn Rice Rissoles were just OK. I felt like they were a little dry and a bit too herb-y for my liking. I felt like all I could taste was the sage. Next time I would probably cut that down a tad and maybe use hot cooked rice instead of room temperature. Maybe that would add a bit more moisture. I also felt like the recipe's suggestion of serving it with cranberry sauce was just too sweet. I would make a vegetarian gravy instead. I'm a bit bummed that I forgot to grab those leftovers to take home because I know the bro and SIL won't eat them. 

I have to be at work early tomorrow. Is it wrong that I'm kind of frightened of that Black Friday shopping crowd? I'm going to be sluggish. Wish me luck!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

3 AM Thanksgiving Prep

Last year, I was training for my current job. I spent the entire holiday following another server around, getting bread, water, and drinks for his tables. Since we have a completely different menu for Thanksgiving day, this training was almost completely pointless. I was stuck at the restaurant for the entire day and didn't get out until 10:30 PM. I missed it. "Upset" doesn't begin to describe how I felt. I called my brother as I was getting out of work, and everyone was already packing up and going to bed. I cried. It was thoroughly depressing.

But not this year!!!
My usual grocery bill for two weeks! Eek!
My restaurant demands that employees work 5 out of 7 mandatory holiday shifts. This year, my big pick to get off was Thanksgiving. Although I miss LP (visiting fam in Michigan), I'm still really excited for the holiday. We have a 5 year strong tradition of my oldest brother and his wife hosting the dinner for the siblings and their L.A. friends who don't have family nearby.

Since I had to close tonight, I didn't get home until after 11 PM and immediately got to work. I am the SLOWEST cook in the world, so prep is very important for me. I'm the only vegetarian in the family, so I usually bring a little extra to make sure it still feels like a feast to me. Never know if the person responsible for the green bean casserole is going to throw in some bacon grease. 

Autumn Rice Rissoles
Wilted Spinach Salad
Winter Squash Soup

After much debate, I settled on these three after pouring over a year's subscription of Vegetarian Times. Tonight, I formed the Rissoles patties (currently chilling in the fridge) and got started on the soup.  The "Autumn Rice Rissoles" are just fancy veggie patties. I'm not cooking them up until tomorrow, so we'll see how they turn out. I don't often have luck with this kind of thing. 

The recipe calls for 1 cup each of cooked wild rice and brown/basmati rice. Thank goodness for Trader Joe's! These fully cooked packages cost the same or less than their raw counterparts! I'm so glad I didn't have to waste 45 minutes ruining rice this evening. And no, I don't have a rice cooker! Some day we'll have the extra cabinet space, and THEN I'll get one!

If the Rissoles turn out, I think the secret will have been to chilling them for several hours AND... uniformity!

I used our beloved Alton Brown measuring plunger to dole out the prescribed 1/4 cup and then smooshed the rice mixture on to a parchment lined baking sheet while still in the plunger. Definitely easier than trying to make them with my bare hands, anyway! The real test will be when I try to cook them on the skillet! I love the flavor combination, so even if they fall apart, it could still be a tasty casserole! They have Wild and Brown rice, toasted pecans, cranberries, marinated artichoke hearts, fresh sage, rosemary, and thyme, and red onion. My one twist on the recipe was using Pecan Rice Crackers instead of plain or saltines.
This is what Red Kuri squash looks like!!!

The Winter Squash soup features Granny Smith apples and leeks. I actually found the recommended squash, red kuri, at Whole Foods! Last time, I made this with butternut. It was OK, but a tiny bit bland. I also bought actual Creme Fraiche this time to use as a garnish.

My big problem with squash is its de-assemblage. This time, like last time, I cooked it for too long. The flesh and the skin just fell apart and while the rind was soft enough to eat, it probably would have added bitterness to the soup. But even taking out the stringy bits and seeds is difficult.

My recommendation? See item #17, on the left. It's a grapefruit spoon. I'm sure you can find them at any kitchy kitchen store. However, I received my pair from my grandma. Not only are they extremely useful for eating grapefruit, they are the IDEAL tool for scooping out squash goo.

Roommates will also use them to eat cereal when no regular spoons are left clean. It baffles the mind, people. Right now, I'm letting the soup cool for several hours so I can put it in the blender (WHY didn't I buy an immersion one, WHY?!) before reheating it in the slow cooker.

TIME FOR BED! I'll let you know how it all turns out


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Too Much Caffeine

Anyone ever experience this?

You've had so much caffeine that you feel like you're going to crawl out of your skin...

Like you're short of breath.

Like you need a shower.

Like you will never sleep again.

You are totally PARANOID and ANXIOUS.

This is me. Right now.

It started with home-brewed coffee around 9 AM. Then a grande non-fat cappuccino from Starbucks. And then finishing up the evening with another double non-fat capp AND a gingerbread latte from Aroma, along with a GINORMOUS piece of chocolate mocha cake. (I didn't eat all of it, by the way! Even with my friend, Amy, helping me, I still brought half of it home!) Everything was delicious, but I definitely overdid it.

It's all catching up with me now and I think I'm going to have a panic attack.

Commence freak out NOW.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Illegal Audition

OK, well... I barely got my foot in the door today, but I knew that was coming. The print campaign was for a casino and was required by law to hire people who were 25+ years old. I turn 25 in January. Hoping that the print campaign wouldn't post until January or later, I went to the audition anyway. Well, they checked IDs at sign-in and I was promptly turned away. Oh, well. It doesn't hurt to try!

I did, however, look very editorial today. Wish a better photo was possible. I love the zipper details that were on my skirt. And anything with skulls on it is always awesome.

And to comfort myself, I visited Pure Luck and got a faux Caesar salad with tofu and avocado and a 3 Philosophers draft beer. That thing was either really strong or my tummy was really empty, because I am still buzzing from it.

Better luck at the next audition! And... not lying about my age would be helpful!

Time to enjoy a chocolate coconut cupcake from Lark! I'm saving its buddy, the carrot cake one, for LP! Until he gets home, I'm just going to veg out, re-read Harry Potter #5 and eat a cupcake. Bliss.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Audition tomorrow!

This morning I got a call from a casting director. I have an interview/audition tomorrow. For a real job. Not some student thing, but an actual bona fide audition for a Vegas casino. It's just for print/internet use, but it pays pretty decently. I don't have high hopes for snagging it, but I'm happy just to get called in.

I'm supposed to wear a "casual short skirt and top." I only own three skirts, two of them are almost knee length and the other wouldn't really be considered short or casual since it's grey wool. Cute... but definitely not "Vegas." I may have to hit up the Forever 21 if I have time tomorrow. I'm really glad that I just happened to have the day off.

No matter what, though, I'm going to have to wear leggings! Look at the gnarly bruise I've got on my shin.  I bruise really easily, so I'm never quite positive where they come from, but I'm pretty sure this is the result of moving chairs around at work.

I'll never be a leg model.

In other news. Can I just share the most delicious meal in the world with you? In an ideal situation, this would be paired with red quinoa and some caramelized red onions , but since I didn't feel like dirtying many dishes and wanted dinner in less than ten minutes... I left them out. But still...

Brussels Sprouts, walnuts, veggie bacon, and Feta with fresh lemon juice and lots of sea salt and pepper. We already had the sprouts prepped in the fridge, so I just steamed them for a few minutes before throwing them into the iron skillet with the nuts and veggie bacon.

I eat this meal with random variations (different cheese, nuts, grain) with an absurd frequency whenever sprouts are available on the stalk. I'd never eaten sprouts until I watched an episode of Good Eats on it. I love Alton Brown.  So, so much.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Back to Work, Absurd Customers and Sunday Funday

Sometimes time flies and sometimes it crawls. It's hard to believe that I only went back to Iowa for 6 days, two of those being travel days. Then, when I was back in LA, I had two more days off of work. So I went one solid week without waiting on a single damn table. It felt like I'd been gone for a month.

The first day back is always the hardest. Of course, I desperately need the money, but having had the time off made me incredibly lazy. But now Thanksgiving is approaching and with it, the holiday shopping season. The restaurant will be packed. It's hard to believe that I've been working at this place for a year now. Last year on Thanksgiving I was shadowing another server, so I didn't make any money and the entire holiday was ruined. Blech. I made sure to get it off this year. Epic cooking will ensue, just you wait.

I'm looking forward to the busy season because the money will be most appreciated. But last year I ended up working 6 shifts a week, doubles almost every day.   

I lost 15 lbs in a month and a half.  

And I was already pretty thin to start. By January last year, I was completely emaciated and weak and every shift wore me out. I felt sick all of the time. I honestly believed I had cancer or something. I'm not allowing that to happen this year. It took me several months to gain back five very necessary pounds. Clif bars are coming with me to every shift

The holiday season makes some people more joyous and generous, while others turn NASTY. Last year on Christmas Eve, a lady told me she was ready to kill herself or her family, she was so annoyed with them. They spent the entire dinner bickering and getting drunk. I thought someone was going to throw a punch. And then, because she asked me to hurry the kids' food, they ended up with RAW chicken fingers. The restaurant poisoned her children. It was bad. 

Yesterday, on Sunday Funday, I had to make 10 trips to box up all the leftover food this family had because they got unnecessary refills on all of their Family Style items. Then they had the audacity to ask if we could hold it for them while they went shopping. No. We can't. Sanitation laws forbid it. And while I'm in the middle of trying to clear this epic feast of theirs, one of the guys asks me if we have toothpicks. You haven't even had dessert yet, can this wait? "We have toothpicks, they are right up at the host stand!" I say brightly. Two minutes later after I box up MORE of their food, he asks if I had gotten him a toothpick yet. Is it really so damn important? Sure, I'll just run up to the very front of this gigantic restaurant and get toothpicks for you. Everyone else can wait for me to take care of their needs. I'll just leave these dirty plates in front of your family while I get you some toothpicks. OK. Great. 

So I did.

It begins.

Friday, November 12, 2010

I'm such a LUSH

It is unfair that night owls like me lose an hour of our precious evening during daylight savings time. I depend on that extra hour of daylight to make me feel like I'm still being productive during the DAY, instead of waiting to do anything until sunset. Meanwhile, the sun is rising before 7 AM, filling our bedroom with light and making me panic that LP has overslept. Moving on. Just saying. Stupid Daylight Savings Time... grumble grumble...

On a lighter note, I just wanted to say how much I adore LUSH. No, I'm not talking about ladies who drink too much. I'm talking about the most amazing body/cosmetics shop in existence. Everything is handmade and fresh, with natural ingredients. A majority of their products are vegan and they NEVER test on animals. They also try to use environmentally friendly ingredients and reduce excess packaging. Plus they smell awesome and work great.

I discovered them waaaaaay back in high school when my family went on vacation to Toronto and bought mail order products from them whenever I felt like spoiling myself. So imagine my delight when I moved out to California and discovered that they were setting up shop all over the place! Less than 10 years ago, they didn't even have stores in America, but now they're all over southern California. Since a lot of the products they make are solid, they're really good for taking on vacation if you don't want to check luggage. I used my recent trip home as an excuse to buy some Lush goodies.

Now, these have been used, so they don't look as pretty as when I first purchased them... But you can tell what a fanatic I am because I have the reusable tins. This past trip I got the seasonal facial cleanser/scrub called Buche de Noel. It has cranberry bits, almond, and brandy. It smells AMAZING and is really good on my very dry, sensitive skin. I also picked up a solid shampoo called Trichomania. You just rub the bar into your hair and it gets super sudsy. This one smells AMAZING, but then, I'm a sucker for anything coconut. I wish it was just a little more conditioning, because I still need a conditioner after it to de-tangle. But it can't work miracles!

Clockwise from top left: Porridge, Buche de Noel, Trichomania

Finally, I got one of my favorite soaps, Porridge. It smells like breakfast: vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, orange juice, oats... Yum. It lathers really well, exfoliates, and is sort of toning. Makes my skin look really good. The only downfall of porridge is that the little exfoliating bits get EVERYWHERE and it doesn't last as long as I'd like (but that's almost everything that's a Lush solid). I also wish it were a bit more moisturizing. This bar is perfect for me in the summer, but my skin gets SO dry in winter, I probably will try something else when this runs out.

I promise that LUSH did not send me these products... I just love them that much. Adore.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Trip to Iowa!!! Weddings and Family

My cousin got married in Iowa this weekend, and since I can't go home for Thanksgiving or Christmas (and probably won't be able to visit again until MAY), it was the perfect opportunity to see family I haven't seen in ages. Highs of 98 in LA, Lows of 22 in Iowa. I had to borrow a coat.  BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!

On Thursday, I flew to Cedar Rapids, where my friend Keri picked me up. We've been friends since Kindergarten-- great to see her. We went out for drinks in Iowa City that night with her boyfriend (also known since high school) and I spent the night at her place. We got incredibly trashed on cheap booze ($3.50 martinis, WHAT?!) and watched a horrible movie at her house called "The Room"... a long standing tradition of ours. When we were broke in high school, we would rent bad movies for 50 cents at Family Video and make fun of them in classic MST3K style (before we even knew what that was). The next morning she drove me to Davenport.

Friday night, my parents, Keri, and I went to my old high school to see a performance of "Seussical." It wasn't as horrific as it could have been...it's a pretty easy show to put on. And the girl they had playing the Kangaroo was actually better than the girl who played that part at my University! So props to that young lady, she had an incredible voice and lots of sass. Mostly, I was glad to say hi to my old band, drama, and choir teachers!

Saturday was the wedding in Indianola (near Des Moines) at 4 PM. They had it at the local nature center, and even though it was breezy and bit chilly, the ceremony was outside. But the view was really gorgeous and they kept it short, so we all survived. Super cute was when my other cousin's 4 year started shouting "YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!" when the couple was pronounced husband and wife.

 One my favorite elements of the wedding was the couple's personal logo. The husband is a graphic designer and he created this cute little cartoon of them. They had it on everything! It was on their invitations, the RSVP, the couple's wine glasses... but my favorite was their boxy wedding cake topper and their Yahtzee score card! Apparently, my cousin is obsessed with Yahtzee, so she had these and a bunch of dice at every table. My family played (mom won), and since there wasn't dancing, I thought this was good alternate entertainment.

The cake was cute, too. My uncle (her dad) made it for her. I guess it was a childhood tradition for my uncle to make them angel food cake each year with his special "7 Minute Icing," which the girls could have in whatever color they wanted on their birthday. It was tasty! They also had angel food in cupcake form, as well. I think I ate five. It's my favorite!

I was also extremely pleased to discover that my cousin is now a vegetarian, and while everyone else got pulled pork sandwiches (it's Iowa, this is very common at weddings), we ate black bean, sweet potato, and barley patties that were very tasty. They also had veggie meatballs. YUM! One of the first weddings I've ever been to where I got something besides vegetables and salad! She also made sure all of the table runners were reusable (muslin, for the groom's canvas art projects) with bio-degradable plates and napkins and silverware! The centerpieces featured bamboo (that people could take home) and Christmas lights (obviously reusable). Some people had gripes, as will always happen at weddings, but I thought it was lovely and personal and very thoughtful. At least it reflected the couple! I'm really happy for them!

After the wedding, the younger part of the crowd went out to a German Beer Bar in Des Moines and I stayed the night at my other cousin's apartment... Thanks Chelsea! We're 51 weeks apart in age (she's older, I'm the baby on both sides of the family) and we were shocked to see each other sporting the exact same haircut/color! We look so much alike, it's freaky. Except that I'm practically a foot taller...but other than that. Super short blond hair. Is it genetic to have a hairstyle preference? :-)

We drove home this afternoon and I was surprised by a big family dinner at Grandma's! I didn't know that my grandma and grandpa were hosting dinner at their house and had invited my cousins and aunts and uncles! I was so glad because I don't get to see them all very often.

Random thought: does everyone else refer to their uncles and aunts' spouses as their uncles and aunts? I always say "my aunt Jackie" because that's what I called her growing up. She's not blood related, but of course she's my aunt! I didn't really think about it until my one uncle got divorced and re-married. His wife Pam is lovely and so thoughtful and friendly. I like her a lot. In fact, I like her much better than my cousins' mother, the ex-wife. But that's who I grew up calling Aunt. And I don't automatically refer to Pam as my aunt. I would say, "my uncle's wife." But that's not fair when I would introduce my other uncle's wife as "Aunt." Confusing? Yes.

I've only got Monday left, and then I fly back home to L.A. on Tuesday. Short, but sweet!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Cooking and Voting and LACMA-- oh my! EPIC POST

Okay. So I'm a slacker. It's Saturday and I'm going to write about Monday through Wednesday. It's been a busy week. So sue me. But it's been a great week and I feel like I've had the perfect blend of productive and fun. I've also been submitting for roles on LA Casting and Actors Access every day. I even booked an audition, but the director changed her dates and I couldn't go at the new time. C'est la vie... but it's nice to be considered, at least.

Monday was spent cleaning the apartment and researching for the Tuesday election. I posted to my other blog, as I wrote about last time, and got tons of hits. It was really a shock. But I felt good about making a conscientious effort towards my voting and made myself a tasty veggie medley to nibble on while I researched. Look at the color! Roasted potatoes, carrots, and red onion with just a little EVOO, fresh thyme and basil, salt, pepper, and fresh sauteed spinach. It was soooo tasty and satisfying! I also made a homemade vegetable stock (LP helped, thanks!) to use for a soup recipe the next day. I hadn't been able to cook as much lately, so I felt great about this. I did all this and worked the dinner shift!

Tuesday was just fantastic. I slept in a little, made myself a healthy berry-banana smoothie and an egg on a bed of spinach, then walked to our polling place with my current and former roommate. Yay for voting! I felt really informed and prepared with my little sample ballot filled out and ready to go.

After voting, I took our five full bins of recycling to the center--a herculean task, I assure you! Turns out we actually had $17 worth of stuff! WOW! There was about 72 lbs of glass alone. And I hauled that around by myself! It makes me glad that we don't throw all of that away. (Random side note: when driving back I was listening to Market Place on NPR and even that reporter commented that on Project Runway, MONDO was robbed. Completely unrelated to the topic at hand, and I totally agree. It just had to be said.)

After that, my friend Amy and I got fancy coffee and shared a crepe at Solar de Cahuenga in Hollywood. Nutella and Strawberries....mmm. Amy swears that she saw Josh Radnor of "How I Met Your Mother" out on the patio where we were sitting. I was completely oblivious, but she was probably right.

We waited until 5 PM, which is the magic hour for me in LA, because after that the LACMA is free to local residents. That leaves 3 whole hours for leisurely browsing before they close. The museum has a great collection for being as small as it is and I've been there quite a bit. And I always have to take a peek at my favorite painting of all. I geeked out the first time I realized it was there!

But we especially wanted to see their newest building and the latest exhibit on the History of Fashion. The clothes were GUH-OR-geous. Amy and I had an interesting conversation about feminism and fashion. She regrets not getting to dress so outstandingly today, but I feel like you can dress however you want... hoop skirts and corset? SURE! But if I felt restricted in my clothing options, you can sure as hell bet that I would rebel against whatever it was I was expected to wear. Even as recently as my mother's generation, girls could get sent home from school for wearing pants. PANTS, ladies! I can't imagine not getting to wear jeans, and I love that I have the option of wearing a skirt if I feel like it, men's clothes if I feel like it. Punk one day and feminine the next. Isn't it FANTASTIC that we have choices? I feel privileged.

I love the outside "sculpture" at the LACMA... its iconic light posts. One of my favorite LA image.

After a couple hours at the museum, I took Amy home and then went home to cook! I used my homemade stock in a Butternut Squash, Green Apple, and Leek soup! I took the recipe from the November/December issue of Vegetarian Times. My brother got me a subscription for Christmas and I definitely want to renew. They have a lot of great ideas and are a major source of inspiration for me. I wanted to test-drive the soup before Thanksgiving. It's one of my favorite holidays and I asked off for it this year so I can really make a feast! My oldest brother hosts, but I always bring something vegetarian. The soup was definitely a winner!

Tuesday was a great day, and I was so eager to make Wednesday great, too. LP got me up early when he forgot his keys, but I thanked him for it because that gave me the time to make Vegan Buckwheat Pancakes for breakfast! From a technical and taste standpoint, these were the best pancakes I've ever made. I even had leftovers that I ate the next morning for breakfast, spread with a little peanut butter (to go!). I spent the rest of Wednesday running errands before going to work at night.

And the rest of this week? Well, I doubt I'll have much time to update, but right now I'm in IOWA for my cousin's wedding! I'm so excited to see family that I haven't seen in two years or more, but I'm not so excited about the chilly weather. Going from 98 to 27 degrees is freaking brutal. But more on that to come!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Election Day! And other news

It helps if you fill this out before you go!
It's Election Day in America and I hope everyone is going out to vote. My other blog has been getting a lot more attention than usual because I did a post on Judicial Elections in California and it had 300 hits in one day! I wish I had gotten around to it sooner! Voters are starved for information and there's so little out there for them! This also led to my first experience with negative comments. Oh, well. You can't please everybody! It was really just for us, but if other people find it helpful, I'm very pleased about that. By the way, if you read this blog, but happen to be a religious conservative, you won't like my other one. Fair warning!

In other news, I've been making good strides towards furthering my career. I've joined both L.A. Casting and Actors Access and have my photos and resume uploaded. I've been submitting every day as long as there's something appropriate for me and I've already had an audition! It was for a student film at Chapman, and I read for the role of a cancer survivor. See, I knew the short hair would come in handy! It was just a cold read, but I was stupidly a little nervous, so I don't know that it went that well. I think they might have been looking for someone a little more emotional, but I just don't believe in forcing anything. You can only go with what you've got. Otherwise, it will just read as a lie.

Thank goodness for online profiles, though, because the day before my audition is when my computer died! Like an idiot, I didn't have anything backed up, so I had to re-write my resume. Luckily, all that info was right on my profile! All I had to do was copy and paste. It didn't look as good as what I had saved on my computer, but it got the job done.

My next step is getting my IMDb Pro account set up, build/edit my reel, get a website started, get business cards, print about 5 million headshots/resumes, and then submit like crazy to agents! Hopefully, I can work on a few more projects during that plan's execution. I also need some new headshots, because I keep my hair shorter now than I did when I got the last ones taken. *sigh* It's not drastic, so I'm not in a rush to do it. LP has a fantastic camera, so I just might have him take a few shots for me.

Tomorrow/Today is looking like it's going to be a great day! So much planned, I hope I can get everything done!