Sunday, July 25, 2021

I'm getting through so many audiobooks...

Pic of the Week


Haven't seen one of these beauties since my basement apartment in college.  This guy was hanging out in my driveway last night.  Fun times.

What's going on?

Have I expressed how much I love a fresh, farmer's market peach?  Cuz seriously, they're incredible.

Chill week around here.  A little bit of work, a date or two, putting in some time on this whole audiobook journey, an audition, and a trip to the Hollywood Bowl.  It was so nice to get back to the Bowl.  They do a series of concerts during the summer, many of them with the LA Philharmonic.  They had a sale a few weeks ago and I got a couple of tickets - including last night's - for only $1!  So, I went with some friends and we had a lovely time.  Last night's concert was an artist named Ledisi (sounds kind of like legacy) who sang the music of Nina Simone and put on a VERY good show. Definitely recommend looking her up.

Oh, in a very adult moment, I also bought a rubber broom - you know those kind that you sometimes see on late-night infomercials that are for pet hair?  Anyway, turns out, they are incredible and really do get pet hair out of everything.  I used it on our living room rug AFTER I thoroughly vacuumed and it pulled up so much hair.  It was both impressive and disgusting - much like watching me eat my fill of donuts. 

 What I'm listening to


Fun little crime thriller mystery.  Award winning narration by Robert Bathurst.

What I'm recording


I'm volunteer recording this for an organization that helps kids with learning disabilities get better at reading. This is a fun, pretty funny little Irish tale about a kid detective solving crimes in the land of the faeries. It was a bit of a mixup getting this project, but it's been fun!  The whole thing is in an Irish accent, which has been challenging, but I'm still enjoying it. :)

What I'm watching


This is a continuation of the series from the 80s and so far it's really well done.  The whole vibe of the show is pretty true to the original and it's so much fun.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Back back back again

Pic of the Week


So...I'm getting into audiobooks.  It's something I've though about looking into for a while, and a good friend of mine is essentially a narrator as her career, and she basically said to me, "Absolutely you should be a narrator.  I got you." So, she's helping me out and step one was building a little sound-dampening booth in my room for recording.  So here we go.

What's going on?

Oof!  Been away for a minute.  I had a friend in town for a couple of days doing Disney things and then I was out of town without internet and then I just forgot.   But we're back.  What a whirlwind of a few weeks it's been.

I got to back to Disneyland for the first time in over a year.  It almost felt like I hadn't ever been away.  They're still at limited capacity, so it didn't feel too busy.  I don't think we waited more than about a half an hour for any ride, and most were far shorter.  I got a churro and some chicken fusili pasta and all was right with the world.  The new Avengers Campus is open in California Adventure and it was pretty cool.  The new Spider-man ride was fine.  It's like Toy Story Mania 2.0 in a lot of ways, but cool to check out.  And a lot of the new food they have was delicious.  Also, in our time on the campus, I think we saw 16 Avengers characters walking around.  

I went home to Utah over the fourth of July.  It was my 20-year high school reunion, and I decided to bit the bullet and attend.  I hadn't been to any of my other reunions, and this seemed like the big one.  It was fun to catch up with people and see where everyone has ended up.  Quite a few from my graduation class are still in Richfield, or back in Richfield.  And I think almost everyone is still in Utah - but I think that's pretty standard.  I ended up winning the trivia game they'd set up for us - one of the questions was "Which musical did we do our senior year?"  And I was like..."Oh, you mean the one where I played the title role?" πŸ˜‚Anyway, 4th of July in Richfield is always a good time.  It was also fun, as always, to spend some time with friends and family in Utah.  I think I ate more ice cream in the week I was in Utah than in the entire year beforehand combined.  And I'm not mad about it.

I've had my apartment to myself for the last few days which has been so wonderful.  One of my roommates is house sitting across town, and the other one is home with family recovering from surgery, so it's just been me and the cat.  

Oh also, after a year and a half without being sick at all, I came down with strep throat.  *eye roll*.  Thank heaven for quick telemedicine, and antibiotics. Feeling much better.

 What I'm listening to


Turns out I get through books much more quickly when I listen to them.  This is kind of a fun, dystopian series - narrated by my friend who's showing me the audibook narrator ropes.  It's a little like Red Rising meets the Hunger Games.  Class divisions, super powers, North America in several hundred years, a brave unwilling girl sparking a revolution.  I enjoyed the whole series.

What I'm reading


A little small-town, slice-of-life, Americana action.  A cute little story so far.

What I'm watching


This was pretty great.  I'll agree with the internet and say that it's honestly long overdue.  Also, Florence Pugh in this movie is my new celebrity crush.  She's so funny.

Sunday, June 20, 2021

"Shopping is our greatest skill!" *facepalm*

Pic of the Week


  
My friend Rob and I took advantage of this gorgeous weather we've been having and took a walk up to the observatory.  It's not open, but the grounds still are, and it's one of the best views in the entire city.


What's going on?

I survived my week of 2 working hours!  I also got an audition in there, that I did not book, but felt very good about regardless.  It's always nice when the person running the audition says, "I don't have any specific direction for you because you got everything we needed on the first take, so just do something different." *hair toss*

Recently a friend and I had a discussion about getting into audiobook narrating.  It's something she's been doing for years now, and something I've looked into before, but I think I'm gonna really give it a go.  I think it's something I'd enjoy and be good at.  So, I spent some time this week doing some work on that - learning some recording and editing software, getting some samples together, etc.  It feels like a good direction to take.  Plus it's a VERY portable job - which is a nice thing to have in the long run.

Now.  How about this heat wave we're having?!  It actually hasn't been too bad in Culver City as we're close enough to the ocean to mitigate the worst of it, but I've still had to run my fan the last few nights.  

What I'm listening to



One of the things everyone in the audiobook industry tells you if you want to be a narrator is that you should be listening to audiobooks.  So, I'm shifting away from my podcasts a bit in favor of audibooks.  This one was narrated by none other that Utah's favorite son - Kirby Heyborne.  I knew that he narrated audiobooks, but what I didn't realize is that he's an award-winning narrator, and justifiably so.  He's very good.  Heads up that this particular title has some language, and is about people digging up graves, so it gets dark.  But it is a YA novel, so not too dark.


What I'm reading


Got a little curious after watching Cruella recently, so decided to check out the book.  It's...not great.  I mean, it was written in the 50's, so it was a different time, I guess, but it's just got me wondering why ol' Walt picked this particular, probably pretty obscure story to turn into a film.  However, I will say it's kind of interesting to read and see how it compares to the movie adaptation.  For example, the half-black, half-white hairdo IS in the book!  BUT! Perdita is not Pongo's wife!  Pongo is married to a dog named Missis, and Perdy is another dog that they bring in to help feed the 15 original puppies.  WILD!

What I'm puzzling


Television History.  1,000 pieces by White Mountain. I love puzzles like this.  There's so much going on and it's great.  There are a lot of things happening in this puzzle, though, that I have no reference for!  Some old TV shows that I've never seen, or moments I never witnessed.  It's kind of fun.

What I'm watching


What a delightful romp, that does not hold up well. πŸ˜‚ My friend Rob up in that picture at the top has a
pretty big collection of movies and a podcast where he's reviewing them all.  This was one of them, and since I'd never seen it, he brought it over.  Shelly Long is actually pretty great, and there are some genuinely funny moments, but overall it's a pretty out-dated movie.  Still had a good time watching it.

What I'm playing


Azul.  In this game you own a Portuguese tile factory and draw tiles from the showroom floor to build up your display and earn points.  As my friend, who introduced me to the game, says, "If you're getting discouraged, or having a bad game, just remember - you own a Portuguese tile factory!"

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Why do I have earrings though?

Pic of the Week


A portrait of me from the kid I nanny.  Complete with bags under my eyes, "Because you don't get enough sleep."  

What's going on?

Not a lot, honestly.  Since basically everything I do to earn money is related to either entertainment or education, things slow WAY down in the summer.  In fact, in the next 10 days or so, I think I have 2 hours of work on the books.  Luckily, we have some GORGEOUS weather coming up as well, so I'll be spending quite a bit of time outdoors - hiking, cycling, paddle boarding - it's gonna be great. 

I have a new friend here in LA that does audiobook narration for a living, which is something I've been interested in looking into for a while, and she basically told me, "You'd be perfect for this, you should absolutely do it!" so I'm gonna spend some time getting together some samples and starting on that journey.  Should be fun!


What I'm reading


What If It's Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera.  Just a little adorable YA LGBT romance situation.  Missed connections and young love.  A little bit of language and tastefully dealt-with teenage sex to watch out for, but overall pretty wholesome.

What I'm watching


This is a post-apocalyptic, dystopian situation with some light fantasy elements.  It's kind of gritty and quirky and thought-provoking and beautiful.  Language warning here as well.  Also, the premise of the show revolves around a world-wide viral pandemic, so if you're not ready for that, maybe steer clear.

What I'm cooking


Some good old caramel brownies.  My aunt Lisa sent me a little care package with all of the ingredients.  I'm not even sure she knows that these are my absolute favorite brownies. I used this recipe because I can't remember where I put the one my mom used to use.  They taste the same, but I don't recall eggs being part of the recipe I grew up on, so this batch was a bit cakier than the brownies I'm used to.  Still.  SUPER rich and indulgent and delicious.  Highly recommend giving them a try, but I'm pretty sure you shouldn't use eggs.

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Hello friends, my old friends.

Pic of the Week


Mom loved her some carrot cake, so I got some of the best in town to celebrate her birthday.  If you're ever in LA and need a good slice of cake - carrot or otherwise - can't recommend Susiecakes enough.

What's going on?

Happy Birthday Mom!  I probably celebrated too much in her honor cuz I ate WAY too many treats.  But whatever.  You only live once, and as we say - Go big, or go home!

Also, Happy Pride month 🌈🌈🌈!!!  It's lovely to have family and friends and community that all say, "Hey!  We love you!" and don't have any caveats or asterisks or pre-requisites.  Thanks for being my people.  :)

This week it feels like the end of the pandemic has finally arrived - at least socially.  I went to four different social gatherings in the last 7 days.  Memorial Day BBQ, movie night, birthday party, and a back yard get-together.  I'm thrilled to be seeing all of the people I love and hugging them and sharing food and laughter again, but after 4 different events, I'm a bit exhausted.  πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ Turns out socializing a lot after you haven't really socialized in a while takes a toll on you.  Happy to be getting back in the groove though.

Also I bought a BUNCH of tickets to concerts at the Hollywood Bowl this summer.  Bring on the events!


What I'm reading


Reading this one with one of my tutoring students.  It's a cute story.  My student thought it should have ended differently, so I assigned him to write the ending he would have liked to see.  Like the evil genius I am.

What I'm puzzling


1,000 Colours.  This is easier than it looks.   And also it's beautiful.

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Peach season is back!

Pic of the Week


This is one of my favorite things about spring in LA.  These are jasmine hedges and these little white blossoms are so fragrant.  This stuff pops up all over the city in the spring and makes everything smell so fresh and nice.  This particular hedge is at a park where I do a little class for some toddlers once a week.

What's going on?

Another busy week, but a tad more chill than last week.  Plenty of work to keep me occupied.  Had that lovely LA experience a couple of times where it took me an hour to get to work and 20 minutes to get home driving the same freeways.  I went to the movies today and apparently a bunch of US theater chains - including AMC, where I see most of my movies - aren't requiring vaccinated folks to wear masks, though LA still has an indoor mask mandate in place until June 15.  But after that, I won't really have to wear a mask anywhere!  Yay science!

What I'm watching


This was really fun, and BEAUTIFULLY designed. It was a tad long, and maybe not the best for younger kids, but definitely an enjoyable couple of hours. 

What I'm reading


Great read so far on what masculinity is and should be.  He also gives a great TED talk on the subject that every man should watch.

What I'm listening to

Found a new podcast called Body Stuff and the first episode debunks some myths around how much water we should be consuming every day.  Made me feel much better about my water intake habits.  

Monday, May 24, 2021

Is it a paper airplane?

Pic of the Week



Came to Utah for the weekend and built a fort with the kids.  We also got McDonald's, cookies, watched a movie, and had a freeze dance party.

What's going on?

This was a BUSY week.  First truly busy week I've had in a while.  Did a Story Pirates show, a couple of ultrasound workshops, tutoring, nannying, pelvic exams, 2 auditions and a callback, got an eye exam, and even snuck in a date. Also bought myself a fancy new blender because I was wearing down my roommate's. 😬

It was nice to be out and about and busy with things all week.  Almost felt like normal life!

There's a new airline in town and they've got airfare between Burbank and Ogden for super cheap, so I snagged a ticket a couple of weeks ago ($38 round-trip!) and came to Salt Lake for the weekend.  My flight was only about half full, which was even better!  I've spent the weekend seeing a couple of friends, hanging with Brianna's little nuggets and eating FAR too many cookies.  I'm hoping these tickets prices stay low for a while.  Might persuade me to spend some more time in Utah. 

What I'm watching


New Amazon Prime series.  Each episode is one person's story, and they all involve only that one person.  I watched the first three episodes with a friend.  Seems they are all separate stories, but may all be connected further into the season.  It's really well done, and I'm excited to see the rest of the season!

What I'm listening to

During the ultrasound workshops this week, I basically just lay on a bed while people looked at my insides, so I listened to a LOT of podcasts.  A couple of recommendations from this week:

On the Media: Trans* Formations - fascinating episode about the trans community.  Regardless of your feelings about what kinds of policies should, or should not, be in place, this offers a dose of science-centered, fact-based information that I found fascinating.

Worklife by Adam Grant: S04 E13, How To Bust Bias at Work - Adam Grant studies organizational psychology, so even though this is geared toward a work setting, I think a lot of these thoughts apply more broadly.

Mormon Sex Info: Family Acceptance Project - I tend to be a pretty resilient, stable, well-balanced individual despite some risk factors present in my upbringing.  (Fun fact: those who grow up in communities that are not affirming of LGBT identities, like Mormonism, are at 8 times higher risk of suicide). But I sometimes wonder where I'd be mentally and emotionally if those risk factors had been further mitigated.  The information in this episode is vitally important for the mental, emotional, social, spiritual, and physical well-being of LGBT youth, especially in communities like the Mormon faith that don't always have the best track record when it comes to LGBT issues.