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June 2009

Emerging From The Hot Dog Induced Haze

Last Saturday was the big event I'd been working on for the last 1-2 months: Hot Dog Death March

It was a rip-roaring success and I'm pleased to hear people asking me and Lucinda what next year's March will be. Whew, thank goodness I don't to think about that right away (though I am making notes for next time...)

Thanks to Lucinda we got some GREAT press! Check us out on page 1 of the LA Times weekly supplement Brand X:


Lucinda and I laughed ourselves silly taking those photos a week before the blessed event. Check out the flickr group site here to see TONS of great photos. Thanks to everyone who came along or even those who were there in spirit! On Sunday I was WIPED OUT. I forget how tiring it is to be ON for hours at a time. The turn out was about 50 people at our peak time. The only downside was I only had one hot dog. One simple, ketchup and relish hot dog all day. I had two bites of a chili dog, and a few of Mykal's french fries at Skooby's (which are so delicious!). I'll just have to go back!

The same weekend, my mom was at her 50th high school reunion on Oahu. She had a great time and I'm so glad she stayed longer than planned. I can't imagine my class at Seabury after 50 years, would we actually get together? So small and all...

Sunday morning for breakfast I went off the Engine 2 program some more with french toast, scrambled eggs and bacon for breakfast at our favorite diner, Norm's. Mmmmm. But I did feel a bit gross after, which is such a good thing since I don't much eat that way any more. (Hot dog events not withstanding.) On the table at the restaurant was this sign: 

Um, ew! Baja shrimp cocktail and an eclair. Just the kind of combo to make you lose your lunch.

And my love for Keyboard Cat continues with this most recent edition:

Work is almost done and I'm looking forward to being able to focus more on my creative writing, blogging, social networking and other food events. Being social is my thing and I love putting people together. The internets are really great for meeting people and arranging events that would have been so much harder to do just a few short years ago...

This blog post is sort of all over the place. Oh well. The hot dog haze will clear soon!

On Hard Days And Being Strong

I took one of those silly Facebook quizzes recently and one of the questions was "how do you see yourself" and the answers were Strong, Playful, Loyal, Giving, etc etc. I answered "Strong." The next question was "how do others see you" with the same list of answers. I thought a bit and answered "Strong" again. 

The amount of emotional pressure one person can take without breaking is amazing. And I'm one of those people, but some days I want to just run away. Yesterday was one of those days. The morning started out with tough, intense conversations with my brother-in-law and then later my niece. I had to close my office door and use up a bunch of kleenex. Those conversations weighed heavy on me all day, and they still do. I'm a problem solver and I have no idea how to solve those problems. I also have to remember that it's not really up to me to solve these problems. Of course the biggest problem is that my sister is dead. That one is unsolvable. Fack.

Last night we went to a party at a friend's house who's husband just got his PhD. We have not been in that group of friends and acquaintances in at least three or four years. So it didn't dawn on me until we were getting ready to go to their house that there was the possibility of having to talk about my sister having died. Luckily no one asked about her specifically but everyone I saw did ask "It's been so long since I've seen you, what have you been doing these past few years?" Uuuhhhhhhh. "Just working, doing some blogging, writing, working in FX." Never was there a more heavy unspoken sentence. The party was fine, it was just very very very heavy on my heart. Still is. I don't even know if the friend who invited us knows about my sister. And they had met many times.

So, I'm strong. Great. 

I have to remember to take care of myself as best I can. One way I'll have to be doing that is to get a night guard from my dentist. I can tell I've been grinding my teeth A LOT lately. My jaw is sore in the mornings and I find I have to consciously relax it during the days at work. 

Another way to take care of myself is to have a lot of fun and to keep doing the things I love to do. And today is going to be full of fun at Hot Dog Death March

Weigh In Wednesday

Penguinonscale Scale read 187, same as last week, though I did hit 186 a few times during the week. I don't believe I'll hit my goal of 183 by Saturday, but I'm still very pleased at the progress I've made. More than anything, the quality of food I'm eating has gotten so much better, tons of greens and veggies and good fiber.

Clothes fit or are loose now, that is always encouraging as well!

When Hot Dog Death March is over this weekend, I will set a new goal!

Seeing "Up" While Grieving


**Please don't read this blog post if you haven't seen the movie and don't want any bit spoiled for you.**

It was tough. 

The movie itself is great, funny and gorgeous to look at. 

But I highly recommend if you are in mourning of some kind to know that (spoiler alert) it is about death and grief and working your way up from those things.

The first 15 minutes had me silently sobbing behind my 3d glasses. Then the more typical Pixar movie took off and there was much fun and laughter. Then toward the end when the old man reads through the adventure book I was totally losing it again. We got home and I was doing the dishes and thinking about that part and the message that Ellie left for him about how much she loved her adventure and for him to go on a new one. It's wonderful but still so brutally sad because whatever adventure you go on next, you want to share it with that person more than anything.

My sister didn't like to travel much, but she seemed interested in all the places I went or was planning to go. And I always knew she would like to get postcards from me. There are still so many adventures I have yet to go on and it's hard to think about not sharing that with her. And that just makes me so sad.

Go see Up. Just be prepared if you are grieving. 

Loving Green Day

Here's a funny, unexpected thing about marriage: I listen to a lot less music than I used to. When I was single, I would buy and listen to music on weekends and in the evenings. Now we go and do more stuff or we watch movies or, you know, talk. Somehow music fell by the way side. I've worked at home a lot these past 8 years or have had a very short commute to wherever the work was. And since I don't read newspapers, I usually listen to NPR in the mornings while getting ready or in the car to get news. And when I write, I can't have music playing, or if I do, it's classical for a soothing background.

But something about Green Day has really turned me on. I bought American Idiot when it came out but haven't listened to it thoroughly (yet). Last week I bought the new one, 21st Century Breakdown and am LOVING it.

It might also help that I have a car now where I can play and actually HEAR music. The Acura had a CD player and it got stolen out of the car a few years ago so I just put the old radio/cassette player back in and only listened to the radio. Then I've been driving the Honda and it only has a cassette player and radio, AND only about 1 1/2 speakers. You have to turn it up all the way to even hear at a normal volume. 
Now we have the GTI with 10 (TEN!!!) speakers and an iPod adapter. Dude. I feel like I'm about 20 again, driving with loud music playing. But it's not just the car. Green Day makes some good tunes and I love to sing along and play air drums as I drive. LOVE IT.

And one more thing? I'm going to buy tickets to see their concert in LA in August. I can't even tell you the last music concert I went to. Seriously. I've seen Eddie Izzard in concert 3 times in the last ten years, but music? Hmmmm. Oh, we've seen the Dan Band. Does that count? Last actual band seen? Uh.... Um....seriously, can't remember.

So why not jump start it with Green Day? Don't want to be an American Idiot.

Weigh In Wednesday

Toadonscale Good morning! Things are moving forward and, most of the time, things are looking up. The scale said 187 this morning, which is good. I have two more weeks to meet my goal of 183. Once I get to 183 I will set a new goal.

I've been hovering around 185 for the last three years and I'm really looking forward to the 170s. I know I've been this same weight because in Mexico City there was a scale in my bathroom and I used it every day. I didn't think I would lose any weight while working there, but I was determined not to gain any weight and I didn't. My stated goal was to never eat out of a silver tray on set. What that meant was, I would eat breakfast (fruit, yogurt, sometimes cereal) and lunch (many amazing yummy choices) via catering, as you do on a movie set. But during the day, the caterers would make sandwiches or some other kind of snacky food item and walk around on set with silver trays filled with food. I think I did have something twice in two months. For a comfort eater like me, in a really weird situation that summer, I am quite pleased that I merely maintained.

Now I'm quite pleased to be losing weight and probably improving my cholesterol and heart health with all the plant based foods I'm eating.

Oh and I was thinking about how people have said, "I'm worried you are not getting enough protein." Funny how people worry when you start to lose weight but when I wasn't losing weight no one ever said "I'm worried you aren't getting enough fiber" or "I'm concerned you are getting enough folic acid." Funny that.

Feeling good...I'm on the right track.

Many Plans Have Been Made

The project I'm working on ends in three weeks and I'm looking forward to moving on. Many nice people here have asked if I'll stay. Uh no. Thanks for asking though! I told someone today that I prefer the production side of FX life and he said "Oh yeah, it's so much easier cuz all you do is ask for stuff [from the vendor]." 

Um. Yeah. Thanks for reducing what is a very demanding job into something any 4 year old could do. I'm not normally so defensive about this job, but that comment took the cake today. (Happy Monday!)

Only three more weeks and then I'm free to focus on more creative pursuits -- updating the script, working on two non-fiction book proposals and of course continuing on with Classic Eats events throughout the summer. 

July will have some travel and lots of fun. First we are going to Vegas for two days to help my niece celebrate her 21st birthday. She's not a big party-er so it will just be a lot of fun and teaching her how to play blackjack. 

At the end of July will be a week long visit to Seattle. We are taking Kurt's mom on the Coast Starlight for a visit with Kurt's brother and sister in law. We will also go and see many of my good friends who are living in the greater SeaTac area -- friends from high school, friends from college, friends from Seattle when I lived there in 92/93, friend from LA who lives there now, parents of friends who live in LA! It's going to be a fun trip. And Seattle in mid-summer? Fabulous. Sun doesn't go down for ages.

So much to look forward to!