What the heck does that mean?

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

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Photo heavy! A ring, an apartment, and new headshots!

Life is just chugging along, isn't it? I've been auditioning a lot more lately (in fact, I have one tomorrow!), have nice new headshots... have been moving along with the wedding, and am working a little bit each day on moving!

First, my favorites out of the new headshots. Many thanks to David Carlson!

My absolute favorite is the jumping one. I don't care if I can't use it that often. I love it.

Now! On to the new apartment. Yes. We found one. It's fabulous. It costs only a little more than what we're currently paying and it's...
  1. Bigger
  2. Sans Roommates
  3. Did I mention it's just us? Without roommates?????
Yeah. And it still has a view. And a balcony. And we can get a pet. OK, so just a cat.. but someone else in the building has TWO bull terriers and I think the manager looks the other way. Oh, and did I mention it's RENT CONTROLLED? Bwahahahahahahahaha. I'm sorry, was I bragging about my most awesome find of the century? Yeah? TOO BAD! I worked really freaking hard to find the best place possible, and this is a total win. We didn't time our move out too well and will end up paying a little on both places this month in pro-rated rent, but we're enjoying the leisurely move. We're looking forward to officially beginning our living there and painting! :-) Oh! And it's right down the street from our current place and we already love the hood and know the parking situation!

living room with fabulous screened-in balcony!

View from dining area. Wait... we have a dining area now????

HOLY SHIT! Is that a vintage kitchen? YES IT IS!!!

I'm sorry, did you say your new place was RENT CONTROLLED?????

Wow... look at that laminate wood flooring in your ENTRYWAY!

What adorable little French doors and separate oven you have!

I'm sorry, is that a LINEN closet AND a COAT closet?

OK, so I'm still not sure how I feel about the separate tub/bath...

...but will you look at all that counter space? Yes. I don't care how ugly the top is...

Bedroom. Your closet is about two feet longer than our current. What will I do with all your space?

Yeah. I'm positively giddy. Our bedroom has a nice big window, too. I positively can't wait to paint and decorate and get everything moved in. It's just a pile of boxes at the moment and we're still living out of our old space. We have to find a fridge and I thought I found something great on Craigslist, but the seller backed out last minute. GRUMP!

FINALLY.... Jake's ring! He chose to have a thumb ring because of comfort and because it's a reference to Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. He works with his hands/fingers on a daily basis and isn't used to wearing jewelry. I think a thumb ring looks cooler and is an awesome compromise since I didn't think I could talk him into a ring in the first place.

We had it made by the same goldsmith who did mine and I think it looks INCREDIBLE!

It's inspired by a vintage airplane wing and I love the industrial, cobbled together look! And Jake is absolutely in LOVE with it!  The textures vary throughout the ring, and I can't wait to post some more pictures of it, but I had to snag this one while he slept!!!

Oddly enough, some people have objected more to the fact that he's wearing it before the wedding than the fact that it's a thumb ring! My engagement ring and wedding band are one and the same, why can't he enjoy it too?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Life is Beautiful (and crazy)

Wow, I haven't been able to give either of my blogs much thought in the past month. I've said this before, but between apartment hunting, wedding planning, and my career... it's a bit busy. Apartment hunting is like taking on a second job. Every day I'm calling places, walking neighborhoods, and arranging appointments to view places. It doesn't help that the range of what's available for our price range is SO wide. You can never tell what you might get. Our expectations are also really high. We want a walkable neighborhood with at least one parking spot (two is better) and if there's only one spot, there needs to be ample street parking. That combo is so hard to come by. Our current neighborhood has that, but the apartments available are pretty lackluster. To make matters even more complicated, we really want the option of getting a dog when we're ready.

We found one apartment that we thought we loved... but upon a closer inspection, we realized that there was d-CON sprinkled liberally in the kitchen corners. READ: there's clearly a rodent problem. Plus, the place was hot as blazes even on a cool evening and we'd have to install our own window A/C. *sigh* We had already applied and were accepted, but ended up turning the place down. I'm still mourning this apartment, as it was cute, had lots of storage, was spacious, cute, and allowed small dogs.

Then there was the HUMONGOUS apartment in a perfect location that tried to jack up the price when we said there would be two people living there. I'm still not sure that we couldn't talk them down, but that still doesn't take away the fact that it has carpet (it gets disgusting in L.A.) and an awkward kitchen that doesn't really accommodate a fridge and has no garbage disposal. It was a cute as hell older place, but with that charm comes a lot of really bizarre quirks... and only two old retired people to call upon when something goes awry. Still grieving.

washer/dryer. SERIOUSLY?
Then there's the more expensive place that's got a great open kitchen, is a decent size, has a nice balcony with a FABULOUS view, would probably let us rip up the carpet, allows ANY kind of dog, has a second parking spot for only $25 a month, and is located directly across from a puppy park. Downside? What could POSSIBLY be the downside, you ask. Well... it's $100 more a month than we were originally hoping to spend. It also doesn't have the real walkable factor that we like... it's a bit of a hike to anything cool. We can technically afford it, but it doesn't give us as much wiggle room if some tragedy befalls us or allow us to take time for vacations, etc...

Now, we just found a place that seems kind of amazing. Washer/dryer IN the unit, allows dogs up to 60 lbs, parking spot with storage plus decent street parking, hardwood/tile floors throughout. There's going to be a unit available that's getting completely remodeled. New countertops, appliances, bathroom, all new. The FH is just hesitant because we would really lose the walkability we currently have.

There's this funky nook in the corner. That's where the cable hookup is. I guess.... you'd put the TV there if you had one? That cubbyhole under the stairs also has extra storage. Hmmm... perfect place for Christmas decorations, I think.

Yeah, it's a little small. But we also don't need tons of space. Yet, it really lacks that walkable factor that is so attractive to us.

The unit I have photos of isn't the one that's going to be available. The landlord/manager says he has an apartment almost identical to this one that's getting all new upgrades.

What to do? We're having difficulty coming to consensus on the apartment hunt and I'm getting worn out from hunting them all down. There's no deadline because we're in a month-to-month rent right now, so we can take essentially as much or as little time as we want or need. That becomes problematic when it gives you the sense that there's always the possibility of something better out there!

Oh, and this place would be under budget for us. Yeah. So how important is walking to Starbucks or the grocery store?

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Monday, February 21, 2011

Flower Market and Crochet Bombs!

My friend Amy and I took a trip to the Flower District downtown today. Man, now I know where to look for flowers whenever the mood strikes! It's a great place for orchid shopping if you're looking for one. I definitely think I'll hit up this area a few days before the wedding to grab whatever flowers I want. I'm still not sure yet if I want a bouquet or any kind of boutonnieres, but I know LP likes them enough to want them on the tables. I don't find them necessary, especially since we'll be surrounded by plenty of green, but... meh. It was almost overwhelming. So many choices!

photo by my friend Amy!
After our trip downtown, I showed her the crochet graffiti at Griffith Park!

I love this stuff!  Amy had shown me photos of parking meters with little yarn cozies before and I knew she'd flip over this crochet graffiti!

Some people call it yarn bombing.

I call it awesome.

My favorite part was the little bear statue! Someone got him all dressed up for Valentine's Day and he clearly decided that being nekkid was no fun! I hope he gets some new digs for St. Patrick's Day.

Will you be my Valentine, little bear?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Signed and Ready to ROCK

There's so much going on lately that blogging has definitely taken the back burner. One fabulous piece of news is that I've signed with a print agent! They offered to send me out for non-union commercial work, but since I'm SAG eligible, I decided that I would continue my hunt for a union commercial agent.

Helping me in that hunt is the commercial casting director I talked about last time. I called him a few days after we met and he told me to e-mail him my headshot/resume and he'd forward them to some agents he thinks might be interested. I'm also going to be taking his commercial workshop on scholarship in the next couple of months! Oh, and if you're afraid that this guy is some kind of sleaze bucket, don't worry, he's well-known, has an excellent reputation, and several people I know (including the fiance) have met him before and say he's a great person.

On the wedding front, we've decided to book the L.A. Zoo for sure! All we have to do is sign the contract and pay the deposit before the end of March. That means catering and booze is settled, too! Although we still have to pick the menu, but that's the fun part! The Los Angeles Zoo hosts a lot of events, but not many weddings and they were actually extremely well-priced compared to everything else in this city.

We've also got our officiant settled (that was settled a long time ago), because one of our best friends is ordained through the Universal Life Church. The spot we picked in the L.A. Zoo already has some cute orange and green wooden picnic tables and chairs. They're really new and pretty cool looking, so we're sticking with what's already there! I also know which bakery I want to get my cupcakes from, Lark, of course! Between the partner's work peeps, our friends, and my dad, there's so many photographers and people with pro equipment that we should be good to go on that front. We just have to lock in solid commitments.

The only stressful thing left is invites! Everything else should be at least somewhat fun to do and research. Maybe I'm getting myself, but I feel like the hardest part of the planning is over! I even have a good portion of our website ready to go!

The other thing I had been stressing out about was what I would wear. I'm unconventional enough that I felt like I had the entire world of fashion open to me. Was I daring enough to wear something like Janelle Monae?

Or did I just want to wear a gorgeous dress that I loved, in a flattering as hell color, that I could wear again?

Like this absolutely incredible Eva Franco? Which is actually slightly more than I was hoping to spend. 

Or, just maybe, did I want something that actually looked like a wedding dress? Would some kind of white look OK on me? I just tried on this dress today and it was lovely, but it wasn't quite perfect, I'd have to add some kind of straps or jacket as I abhor strapless dresses. It also looked better with a sash at the waist.

Here's my point, however... I decided to not let this stress me out. I will buy whatever I feel like buying that's in my budget. And to hell with what anyone else thinks about it!

Now, I have an extremely ill partner to check on. The poor guy came home, fell asleep, then woke up an hour later puking his guts out and has been doing so for the last three hours. I feel so bad for him. I've already e-mailed his boss, bought some Powerade, some JELL-O, saltines, and some chicken noodle and tomato soup for when he feels up to it. Just because I wouldn't eat half those things doesn't mean I won't buy it for him. Let's hope he gets well soon.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Estelle Harris thinks I'm adorable!

No, seriously, last night I waited on Estelle Harris and she said that I was "just adorable." My response?

The exact scene that popped into my head.
"Ma'am. I think YOU'RE adorable."

She asked if I knew who she was, and I said the minute I heard her voice I was transported to watching Toy Story 2 & 3. We talked about it being nominated and how I thought it was the best movie I'd seen all year. She noticed my ring and asked if I was married and said that my fiance was a lucky guy.

It made my freaking night. To top this all off, an extremely well-known commercial casting director gave me his office number so that he could help give me references to commercial agents. And tipped me twenty bucks on a sixty dollar bill.

Wow. I feel pretty lucky. Now I have the next two days off to get some serious work done.

January has been a pretty busy month for me... obviously, given my lack of updates. I've been..

  1. Working a lot. Of course. But I feel 10x better about January 2011 than January 2010 where I thought I was going to be fired every other day. It seems like business is up and my managers like me. Can't ask for more than that as a server. Busy. Flexible schedule. Awesome.
  2. Helping out with an "Acting for the Camera" class that's now over... My mentor is amazing and I learn a ton from him every time we work together. Plus, that's extra cash in my pocket and the life partner's (he helps film the final scenes and edits them for the students)
  3. Planning a wedding. The success story on this front is that we now have a date set in stone and we think we've decided on a location. We haven't booked it yet, but I'll give you a hint... It's home to our favorite pachyderm.
  4. Editing my dad's novel. He's retired and has a lot of time on his hands. I don't, but I'm helping him anyway.
It's been a good month.

I also turned 25 this month and am now old enough to audition for alcohol commercials! Woohoo! We went snowboarding and ate at Susan Feniger's STREET... Which was slightly disappointing, to be honest. I liked it well enough, but wasn't thrilled enough to go back for the price. Maybe if cost didn't bother me, it would be a different story. The snowboarding, however, was excellent. Conditions were pretty awesome for such warm weather and every time I get better and better. We spent the majority of the day on the intermediate slopes and I was pretty pleased with myself!

I decided to get over my vanity. This is a terrible photo, but it's the only one!
The day after my birthday, I had an interview with a print agent, and while nothing has come of it, I do know feel more confident all future interviews of that sort. The agent was incredibly nice and now I feel like I know what to expect a little bit better.

Overall, January was great, here's to fabulous February!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Practically Productive!

Totally blinded by the light
Hey! I got a new phone today. This is my third Droid 2 since August, and while I like the phone itself, I don't like the random quirks that have made it stop working. Last time the touch screen stopped responding and this recent exchange is because the camera wouldn't work anymore. Now I'm seeing spots because I blinded myself with the flash while trying to do self-portraits.

Despite having a relatively non-productive day, I'm at least pleased with myself for:

1) Getting my hair done.
I'm insanely lucky to have come across the girls at Vidal Sassoon (Beverly Hills) who are going through training and only charge $20. They do an incredibly job and I don't know what I'd do without them. If you're interested in shorter hair (above the shoulder), ask me for the contact!

2) Typing up our "Renters Resume"
We're hoping to move into a new apartment sometime in the next couple of months, so I wanted to get this ready to go. 

3) Making a scrumptious salad
Romaine lettuce, tomato, almonds, and seared tofu cooked in vegan Worcestershire, oil, and garlic. I squeezed a lot of fresh lemon juice on top, ground on some fresh black pepper, and nibbled on some lentil chips from Trader Joe's on the side. All washed down with some cranberry juice.

4) Activating and setting up my new phone.
Now I just have to ship the old one back. Bye Droid 2 #2... I hope this is the last exchange I have to make on this phone.

5) Scheduling an interview for representation with a Print Agent.
I had a legit agency contact me about print representation. I wouldn't be particularly interested except that they also have a commercial and theatrical division and it might be worth it to get in with them for that reason. Not sure what to expect from the interview, but I'll let you know how it goes! (Basically, they invited me to their weekly open call, but better to be called in than go in cold, I think)
 All in all, not a bad day! Especially when I'm feeling a bit lazy. 

It's cool to have no hair!

I just found out this evening that one of my favorite bloggers, Jen of Cakewrecks and Epbot, is going to lose her hair because she's sick. She's asking for all of her girl geeks to find her nifty hats online that she can buy and wear to cover her impending"chrome dome." That's cool. I'm definitely a girl who appreciates a good hat. You take for granted how much hair keep your head warm until you have very little of it.

But, I just want Jen (and any other lady) to know that having very little hair can be cool, too. It's completely liberating... I hate to think that anyone would want to cover up their lack of hair, unless their head/ears are chilly.
I went to the Epbot site looking for something to cheer me up... a video of red panda cubs playing, and the video worked! I feel 100% better. I only hope that Jen's readers can help her feel as good as she helped me feel tonight.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Big Secret: I'M ENGAGED!

Some readers of this blog may already know that because they know me "in real life," but I've been avoiding saying anything about it on the blog until pretty much everyone in my life knew about it and until we started actual planning.

The Life Partner (LP) and I are officially engaged. In fact, we have been since October 9th, when he proposed to me on our anniversary. We've been together for six years and were in no rush to actually get married. We debated the moral/ethical quandaries of marriage in the modern world, including whether it was right to get married when others are denied the right. But, in the end, the decision we came to is obvious.

Now, please indulge me while I share our engagement story. I just can't help myself.

Jake and I had a big day planned for our six year anniversary. I got the entire weekend off of work, and we knew we wanted to spend the morning of October 9th at the Griffith Observatory (which you can see from our apartment window), followed by a Thai Massage, and then dinner at Mozza. I had absolutely no clue that Jake was planning on proposing to me... until we got to the observatory. He started wandering around aimlessly, restlessly, until we got to the roof. I went to the ledge, trying to spot our building.

When I turn around, Jake is kneeling, rummaging through his backpack.

"Oh! Did you bring your camera?"
He pulls a huge fairytale pumpkin out of his bag...
"Will you marry me?"
Jake takes the lid off the pumpkin, which he's carved out, to reveal two cupcakes from my favorite bakery.

I might have said something ridiculous like, "for realsies?" at this point, but when Jake started talking about wanting to get a ring custom-made and how he'd been talking to a goldsmith... that's when I realized that this was actually happening and started smothering him with kisses. And then he asked, "Did you say yes? I kind of blanked out there..."

Oops. "Yes! Yes! Of course, yes!"

And then I devoured the cupcakes... and Jake bought me some flowers.

Then we got a fabulous massage, went home, changed, and went out to dinner. It may have been one of the most perfect days I've ever had. I was so excited the entire time.

We told our families immediately, and I tried to tell as many of my friends in person as possible. Then we began the process of designing the ring with our goldsmith.

He's semi-retired, so I won't share his name, but he came recommended to us by one of Jake's co-workers who had his wedding rings and engagement ring done by him. I'll call him MG (master goldsmith) and he's the most fabulous man. He has a huge, bushy, white handlebar mustache, and lives on a sailboat for about half the year. We met with MG and his wife on the boat to talk about the design together.

I brought some of my favorite jewelry, my personal aesthetic, things that Jake and I like to do together. And after the initial meeting, MG e-mailed us some sketches, and we sent him some photos of things that inspired us and we nailed down some concrete ideas.

After that, MG sent us a wax carving of the ring, along with some ring sizers, so we could OK the final design and take photographs of the wax carving on my finger. Then, on December 23rd, MG was back at his sailboat, with the ring, and we met him there.

We are talking about over two months of waiting for the ring at this point, and the suspense was killing me. "Do you want some wine?" "No, nope. Just... I'm fine." Finally, MG pulled out the box and gave it to Jake. And inside that was another box. And then finally, the ring!

I've had it for over two weeks now and I still can't stop looking at it. What's amazing is how comfortable it is. MG made a curve in the ring to accommodate the webbing between my fourth and middle finger. It's not your typical engagement/wedding ring, but it's exactly what I wanted and very much who I am and I'm thrilled with it. I especially like that the stones are off-center, so it's sort of a surprise when you see them on my finger.

We're going to have MG make Jake's ring sometime in March and I'm even MORE excited about that!

Now, I swear I won't talk about wedding stuff too much. There's definitely a lot of other stuff going on in my life that I need to focus on, as well. 2011 is going to be a busy year!