Sunday, January 17, 2021

A decade!

Pic of the Week


I went paddle boarding yesterday because it was 80 degrees and, though you can't see him very well, I ran into a giant bull harbor seal.  I didn't want to get much closer because I'm all about not disturbing animals and what not.  

What's going on?

Can't believe I forgot to write about this last week, but I have now officially been in Los Angeles for 10 years!  10!!!  That is bananas to me.  I don't know what I imagined long-term when moving to LA, but the last 10 years has certainly been an adventure.  😂 I have never lived anywhere longer.  Consecutively, at least.  Technically I lived in Salt Lake for 11 years, but that was split between two very different times in my life. And what a decade it's been.  In the last ten years I:

Lived in 4 different apartments with 7 different roommates.
Bought a scooter.
Put nearly 70,000 miles on that scooter.
Was on 3 TV shows.
Was in 14 commercials, that I remember.
Worked 14 part-time jobs, that I remember.
Auditioned for hundreds of projects.
Had 4 different primary care physicians.
Crashed my scooter twice.
Broke one bone.
Worked with a Goonie.
Lost my mom.
Learned to paddle board.
Discovered SO MANY places to get a good cookie.
Gained 25 pounds.
Stopped going to church.
Visited 9 countries outside the US.
Rode the world's largest rope swing.
Rode a boat on the Nile.
Rode a camel around the pyramids.
Watched flamenco dancers in Spain.
Pet a tiger.
Swam in the Indian Ocean.
Saw the sun rise over Machu Picchu.
Lived through a pandemic.
Landed and shortly thereafter lost the job of my dreams.
Toured to 9 states with Story Pirates.
Built furniture.
Voted in 3 presidential elections.
Created and performed a show with the Utah Symphony.
Watched Elton John in a private concert in a random back yard in Beverly Hills.
Bought a Movie Pass and milked it for all it was worth before the company went belly-up.
Volunteered with 6 different non-profit organizations.
Got SO MANY gray hairs.
Grew a handle-bar mustache.
Discovered that I do not like coffee.
Slept in a hammock for 5 years.
Had 8 birthday beach bonfires (I think).
Had my first root canal.
Ran a half marathon.
Got into house plants.
Had three sets of head shots.
Got two celebrity phone numbers (Elizabeth Berkeley, and Don Swayze).
Sold my condo.
Established some new traditions.
Pretty much continuously had an annual pass to Disneyland.
Performed in 5 plays.
Joined the Screen Actors Guild.
Entered my 30s.
Got into podcasts.
Made a bunch of friends.
Built a life.
And oh so very much more.  

Only other event of note this week is that I got vaccinated!  I technically work for the UCLA medical school (in one of those numerous part-time jobs I have) and somehow that got me in line, and who am I to say no?

What I'm watching


This was VERY good, but not for the faint of heart.  There's a twist ending, and the film doesn't go in the direction you think it will, and they don't pull any punches, but I think it's going to start some important conversations.  

What I'm listening to


Jameela Jamil is a POWERHOUSE and I cannot get enough of her.  Even though I hate her just a little bit because she's one of those people who just sort of feel into a successful acting career with essentially no pavement pounding.  She decided to move to US from London for a change of scenery and her very first audition in LA was for The Good Place.  Regardless, she is changing the world.  I highly recommend following her on Instagram if you're not already.  Anyway, her podcast deals with body image issues, diet culture, societal expectations etc.  This week's episode is with Celeste Barber who has one of the funniest Instagram accounts around.  She parodies photos and videos of models.  Language warning for this one.  Regardless, it's worth a listen.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Emerging like a butterfly

Pic of the Week


Discovered this little guy while out for a walk.  Nature's pretty cool.

What's going on?

Honestly?  Nothing.  I currently have one tutoring student, and the kid I nanny and that's about it for work. Outside of that, I'm reading, watching TV, exercising, and trying to stay away from people as much as possible because Southern California is apparently THE COVID hot spot at the moment.  They say 1 in 10 Angelenos has now tested positive for COVID. What a dream. 

And how about that unrest in the capitol, eh?  If only we could have seen that coming. What a time to be alive.  

What I'm watching


This was entertaining, but not very good.  

What I'm reading


This is like, mystery, crime, and a little sci-fi all rolled into one.  Intriguing premise that I don't want to spoil because of how it unfolds in the story.  But if you're into crime novels or podcasts or TV shows, check it out!

Sunday, January 3, 2021

And a happy new year!

Pic of the Week


Just a little trip to the beach.  That means something entirely different in the winter in Oregon.  😂

Quote of the Week

GREG IS AWESOME!
-Parent of a kid who was attending the New Year's Eve camp I was teaching with Story Pirates.  Always nice to get positive feedback.  :)

What's going on?

We did it! We survived 2020!  Let's all take a collective breath.

I spent the week in Oregon playing games, reading, enjoying the view, watching movies, and eating WAY too much.  It was perfect. 

I'm back in LA where COVID is running RAMPANT, so I will be spending almost all of my time at home.  Hopefully I can find some good shows to watch.  Any suggestions?

No goals or resolutions for the new year, really.  Partly because so much is still up in the air, so it's hard to plan anything, ya know?  I wanna eat a little healthier, and maybe get serious about picking up guitar, do more hiking, but we'll see.  


What I'm watching


Honestly, the British just know what they're doing when it comes to TV.  Aunt Melissa turned me on to this one and I'm hooked.  In the season I watched, that blue-eyed ginger up there had a mustache and I think I prefer it.  

What I'm reading


Aunt Melissa also turned me on to this one, though a couple of other people have recommended it as well.  It's BEAUTIFUL.  Had me in tears several times.  Tender, magical, hopeful, funny, a true delight.  Now I guess I'll have to dive in to all of his other books.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Merry Christmas!

Pic of the Week


Against the advice of every civic and medical expert, I traveled for the holiday.  My plane row was empty!  I learned from the screen at my gate that there were 64 available seats on the plane, but only 40 of them were occupied.  So there ya go.

What's going on?

A very Merry Christmas to one and all.  I hope your holiday was filled with joy and cheer, even if it was a totally weird holiday. 

I traveled to Portland to spend Christmas and New Year's with my aunt and uncle and it's been a delight so far.  Lots of time spent reading and doing puzzles and playing games.  

The week leading up to Christmas was spent preparing to leave and soaking up as much holiday cheer as possible. I went for a walk around the neighborhood by my apartment and was disappointed to see that there was VERY little Christmas spirit.  Only about 1 in every 10 houses had any lights at all, and half of the houses that did have lights only had a string or two up.  

What I'm watching


The Great Conjunction!  Did everyone get a chance to see it?  I went down to the beach after work to get a good view only to get home and realize I could see it from my driveway.  Them's the breaks, I guess.  It was still cool to see.  Can't miss an opportunity to check out a once-in-a-century event.

What I'm reading


I finished the Mistborn Trilogy!  Honestly?  Despite it's somewhat dated nature, I'd still recommend it.  Ol' Mr. Sanderson wrapped it up really well.  
On to the next!  Less.  Not something I'd recommend to everyone, but it's a funny, delightful read about an author avoiding a wedding by accepting a bunch of invitations for conferences and teaching positions and such around the world.  And a Pulitzer Prize winner to boot!

Sunday, December 20, 2020

5 more sleeps til Christmas

Pic of the Week


How cute is this festive cactus I got at Trader Joe's?!

What's going on?

Christmastime!  It's only a week away, y'all!

My roommates left town last weekend, so I've had the apartment to myself all week.  It's been dreamy.  :)  I love my roommates, but I harbor a secret wish that someday I'll be able to live alone again.  Until then, I'll enjoy my delightfully empty apartment. 

Not a lot going on around here otherwise.  Pandemic, and all, is keeping things pretty low-key.

I went for a nice, long hike today.  I haven't been out hiking in a while and it was nice to be outside in the fresh air.  The parking was exceptionally busy, but I took a less-traveled trail and there weren't too many people, which was nice.

What I'm watching


I think I recommended this one last year, but honestly, it's so cute.  I pulled it up while working on some Christmas projects and enjoyed it just as much as last time.  Check it out if you haven't seen it yet.

What I'm reading


You guessed it! Book 3!  Despite the fact that this cover makes it look like a romance novel, and the fact that there is pull-quote from the Romantic Times on this cover, this is not, in fact, a romance novel.  It is squarely in the fantasy genre.  Though, to be fair, the two main characters are romantically involved.  Married, even. The system of magic that this particular story uses is called "allomancy" and is basically based on different metals giving people special powers like strength, or emotional manipulation.  For a project, I had my genius kid come up with merit badge requirements for allomancy since he's working toward getting his eagle scout. He did a pretty good job.  I was impressed!

What I'm listening to

Christmas Cocktail Jazz on Spotify.  This is a great playlist to have playing in the background.  Festive, but not intrusive. 

Sunday, December 13, 2020

I don't want a lot for Christmas...

Pic of the Week


Happened to glance down and catch my scooter at 66,666.6 miles, but wasn't able to pull over for another .2 miles to take a pic. Last time I took him into the mechanic, he said he didn't think Phin would last until the next oil change - which will be at 67,000 miles.  I'm now sitting at just over 66,700 miles.  Just for some reference, when I bought my scooter, the salespeople said scooters normally get about 40,000 before they're done.  But I take really good care of Phin. Once he gets going, he still runs pretty well, but he's having trouble starting lately.  January will mark 10 years that I've been toodling around town on ol' Phineas.  I'm kind of hoping he makes it til then.  *fingers crossed*

What's going on?

Pretty low-key week around these parts. Just enjoying time cozying up to Christmas lights and Christmas movies and Christmas treats.  I decided after our project of painting all of the kitchen cabinets that I wanted to give my bathroom a little face lift, so I spent this weekend painting the cabinets in there as well.  I'm very happy happy with the results.  :)


I also got this shower curtain:


So, that was fun. 

Andrew helped a friend move down to LA this weekend, so I got to have lunch with him and his friends yesterday.  We got some killer deep-dish pizza and ate it in a park.  It was lovely. 

There are a couple of airfares that I keep tabs on just to see if anything especially cheap pops up.  Buenos Aires is one of those because I haven't been back since I got home from my mission.  Round-trip airfare down there generally sits between $800-1000.  Right now it's at $440.  I am SO tempted to buy a ticket for sometime in the fall.  I think chances are good that the pandemic will be controlled enough to allow for the travel, but WHO KNOWS?!?!?!  If nothing else, I'll have airfare to Buenos Aires that I can use at some point as airlines are being super lenient about changing dates and if things aren't under control enough to travel there in September, I'd imagine the airline would be forgiving about that.  Thanks for talking through that with me.

What I'm watching


Stop whatever you're doing and watch this immediately.  It was so delightful and heartwarming and hopeful and joyful and GOOD.  If this film doesn't win every costuming award available, it will be a travesty.  A TRAVESTY, I TELL YOU. The costumes, the music, the dancing, this delightful girl child saving Christmas.  It's everything you want and need in a holiday film.  Watch it.

What I'm reading


Book two!  Genius boy is already on book 3.  In fact, he's probably done with book 3.  I gotta catch up.  But there are cabinets to be painted!!!

What I'm listening to


via GIPHY

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Cookies galore!

Pic of the Week



Friday was national cookie day.  This was just the first purchase of the day.

Quotes of the week

"This is Greg.  He's very handsome and very nice."
-The kid I nanny introducing me to his friend at the park.

"I accidentally read the whole thing."
-A kid I tutor referring to the 500-page book I'd told him to start reading 3 days earlier.

What's going on?

December is upon us!  Bring on the Christmas Season!  I just bought some egg nog and I am in heaven.  

Got a negative COVID test result this week, which was great.  Gonna get another test tomorrow just to be sure Thanksgiving didn't give me more than a couple of extra pounds. 

We spent a good portion of the week repainting our cabinets.  My roommates started the project over the Thanksgiving break, and we finally got it done.  Took a full week, but it looks great.  We now have a beautiful, clean, sleek, white kitchen. 

What I'm watching


This was really cute and has a rockin' soundtrack. Heads up that the main couple is a gay couple, so if that makes you uncomfortable, I guess steer clear of this one?  Or maybe get some therapy?

What I'm reading


This is the 500-page book I had my student read.  It's good!  It's a fantasy series with magic and whatnot.  I'm enjoying it so far.  I, unlike the genius boy, have not finished it.  I should soon, though, because I told him to start reading the second book in the series...

What I'm listening to

The latest episode of The Mormon Mental Podcast - number 214 - is called "Nuance in considering Late Term Abortion".  The guest is a nurse and midwife who brings some much-needed context to questions around abortion and I found it uplifting and informative.