Monday, March 19, 2012

musical chairs

For a while I was concerned that I might be running out of interesting things to discuss. My life had become rather monotonous--- work, food, friends, yoga--- solid life features but not very intriguing to read about. Then this week happened.

First of all, let me just say that having an unconventional work schedule is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I love having free time during the day. I finally signed up for a 24-Hour Fitness membership (which is a lovely one third of what I had been paying for yoga... yikes). I have been cycling, Zumba-ing, running, elliptical-ing, and turbo-kicking every day and it feels great. I missed the gym. I needed a break from my zen yoga routine. Hopefully my body responds accordingly--- once this ridiculous cold spell on the West coast stops I would like to enjoy some proud bikini trips to the beach. Keyword proud.

Last week I had two intense training days for LUSH--- Monday: skin care and Wednesday: hair care. Seriously guys, if any of you need advice on your hygiene, look no further. I am an encyclopedia of natural skin and hair care. I was a selling fiend the couple of days I worked at LUSH last week with all of my refreshed body care knowledge.

During my Thursday shift I was a part of a rather interesting occurrence. I was bouncing around the store singing along with Beyoncé with my recently wed co-worker/friend, Miriam, when two women walked in. I greeted them in my upbeat customer service voice, high off of a recent discussion of forbidden romance with Miri and a new Korean customer/friend I made.

I started talking to the two women, explaining the store and pointing out some different areas when one of them stopped me.
"Sorry, excuse me. ...Do you act?"
"Uh... Yes...? I dabble."
"Great. I like you. You have an amazing energy. I'm a casting director for <major television network>. We're about to start filming for an adult musical chairs reality show."
I wish I could tell you guys the name of it. It's hilarious. Anyways...
"Are you relatively athletic?"
"Well, I'm athletic enough to compete and awkward enough to make good television...?"
"Perfect! (scrounging around in huge purse). We'd love to come see you audition on Monday. Let's set you up for an appointment... (Taking down my information)."

And that's what I did today. I went and auditioned for a musical chairs game show at a major studio's production office, sitting on a stool in front of a camera in workout clothes, disclosing my helmet size and what kind of music I would like to play when I enter the 'stadium'.

Sometimes when I think I want to be elsewhere in the world, I have days like these in LA that remind me that I am clearly right where I'm supposed to be right now.

(By the way, I haven't decided on a song yet--- I'm thinking some sort of female-power ballad such as Chaka Khan's I'm Every Woman or the classic Spice Girls' song, Spice Up Your Life. Let me know what you think.)

I managed to wrangle Johnny into an audition, too. Lucky guy. During my interview today they asked, "When was the last time you played musical chairs, and what kind of player do you think you'd be?"

And then it all came back to me. I certainly do remember the last time I played musical chairs.

I was in high school at a birthday party. The host had two tickets to the U of A's upcoming basketball game that weekend and it was decided that we would play musical chairs to see who would win. I wanted those tickets. There was a bunch of us, girls and guys alike. The game began and thanks to my strategy and quick maneuvers, it was down to two of us--- me and a girl who we all knew disliked me... for the simple reason that she liked my boyfriend. (High school).

The moment came. One chair. Her and I. The music stopped--- and we both sat down, at the same time.  We evenly split the chair. My brain started thinking out scenarios. There was no way we were going  to the game together, so that wasn't an option. I thought to myself, "I'll be the bigger person here. It isn't a big deal. She can have the tickets, I have the guy... and a personality. Whatever."

(This, by the way, is not simply a convenient story recollection for me).

So I got up. She got the tickets. And as a side note she also stole my boyfriend several months later.

...Which of course you are probably thinking, "Uhh Jenny she got the tickets AND the guy. What are you trying to say? You were clearly the loser in this scenario". To which I would like to say, "YOU'RE a loser."

Yes, she got the tickets. And don't worry--- she was welcome to the guy--- talk about a disaster. But still.


But just think! Now I had something interesting to say in the interview! They loved it. And if I get on the show, you bet your bottom that I will fight for that last seat. Just for all of the nice girls out there. I learned my lesson once: don't give in to people less fortunate than you because they just might one day be a hussy.

I have been busy filing through facebook photos of myself--- looking for examples of me being 'athletic'.

Welp. Looks like I've got to put all my eggs into the "I'm-the-nice-unassuming-mildly-humorous-girl" basket, as I may not have any other option. These are the photos I sent along... 

Athletic? By the looks of these pictures, I doubt it.

Active? Maybe. Or maybe she's just good at posing?

Look! She can sit on a bike. That's good!
Hmm... She's wearing a rash guard. So clearly she must have been up to something relatively physical, and something that compromised the safety of her belly skin. Clearly a daredevil.
And she's a bowler? Look at that form. I bet she bowls a solid 100.

Not everyone can remain vertical on ice. Impressive.

Oh, here we can see a little bit of motion, with the swinging of the jacket tassels. And it looks like the lovely lady behind her is relatively impressed. 

Yup. It's a double Bert stare day. 

Honestly, where am I supposed to get pictures of myself being active, anyways?
Hey friend, thanks for going on this hike with me. Take a picture of me jumping over this small puddle, would ya? 
Oh hi there neighbor, I'm headed out for a mild jog. Would you mind following along and getting some action shots of my arms swinging?
Hmm, I think I'll get my lazy butt out of bed today and go to Zumba. Hopefully I can sneak in a pic of me shaking my thang! 
This isn't high school. You don't get pictures taken to prove that you are, in fact, capable of small athletic feats.  I don't run marathons, or half marathons for that matter (yet--- that's a touchy subject), I don't have workout buddies who post pics on facebook of us sweating in Boot Camp class.

So they are just going to have to live with those pictures. The pictures won't matter too much at this point. I've already got through the second round of casting... woo! The next time I go in is on Sunday... for... THE OBSTACLE COURSE.


I'm picturing in my head a combination of the course on Wipeout and Ninja Warrior. Not good.

Now that I think about it, the last time I was wearing a helmet and competing... was my senior year in high school. (Apparently it's high-school-story-day!) It was our senior carnival after school. Me and my friend Katie decided to wait in the long line to don costumes and sumo wrestle each other. Long story short, my helmet (complete with fake sumo wrestler hair) wasn't strapped on right, and it slid down and gave me a bloody nose. I, of course, didn't realize, and kept struggling and wrestling away, turning the mat into quite a nasty scene.

The monitors brought the match to an immediate embarrassing halt. For us and for everyone else. The people in line behind us then had to wait until they could properly clean up the bloody mess I left on the mat and wipe down the fat suit I had on.

Too bad no one took a picture of that.

Anyways, I'll keep you filled in. I have about 100 pages of forms left to work on... and obstacle courses to prepare for. Mentally and physically.

In other news, I had a lovely St. Patrick's Day. I visited Henry's Hat in North Hollywood, enjoyed a rousing myriad of bagpipe playing, drank an obligatory Guinness, nibbled some Lucky Charms, played a couple rounds of Yahtzee, and ended the night with a big green bowl of homemade asparagus soup while watching Gilmore Girls. Yum.

Much more mellow than my last St. Patrick's Day-- where I started at the bars at 6:30 am and ended up tending to my sweaty, drunk, crying friend and escorting said friend home by the time it hit 2:00 pm. Yes, 2:00 pm. I needed a bit of a break from St. Patty's Day. Lucky Charms and Gilmore Girls were all the excitement I could handle.

I'm going on a little road trip tomorrow to Carlsbad to talk about Camp Bravo with some high schools. Have I mentioned I love my job? I'm hoping the cold weather will let up a little bit so I can stop by some of the San Diego beaches. I also just found out that I will be headed to Las Vegas in a couple weeks as well as a stop in Tucson and Phoenix to talk about Bravo! I can't wait to go home and see all my friends and family.

Unfortunately, because I'll be working, I'll be in Las Vegas by myself. Which must be the most awkward city in the world to be on your own. Unless you're a rich business/familyman in desperate need of a vacation. Then it might be the place. Eh, I guess I'll make friends.

Okay. Time to go. I've got forms to fill out and Seinfeld to watch. Hey, have a good week, everyone.


Sunday, March 11, 2012

no kissing zone

Freaking daylight savings time. Honestly. The first time around I thought it was pretty awesome... another hour at my disposal! How fabulous! It felt very glamorous for this little Arizona girl to get a bonus hour to myself. Very California.

This morning I didn't love DST quite so much. I went to bed far too late, having spent the evening salsa dancing at my lovely friend Miriam's wedding. My body was far too filled with spice to go to bed at a reasonable hour. Leftover cookie dough and three episodes of Friends later, I went to bed... and woke up on a Sunday morning with the Universe owing me an hour. Hmph.

My best friend Nikolai and I went out for breakfast this morning at our favorite local coffee/pie shop, Republic of Pie in North Hollywood for quiche and tea. Yum.

Nikolai had to run off to go to his soccer game (I'm not allowed to go cheer him on yet... it's only his first game with his new soccer club and he wanted to be a cool kid) so I sipped my white coconut creme tea and listened to the jazz band play a little early morning ditty. Nothing quite like a lazy Sunday morning. I've spent the day going to Trader Joe's, cleaning my apartment, walking (which was supposed to be a run but I conveniently forgot to change into a sports bra), and catching up on movies. A Sunday well-spent.

I finally watched Sleepless in Seattle. I cannot believe I've never seen that movie until today. You guys, if you know me, you know how hopeless I am when it comes to honest love. I'm realistic, circumspect, and incredibly wary in real life... but when it comes to romance I simply disintegrate into a puddle. I also finally saw Overboard last Monday with Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell. Another Alec-Mack-capri-sun-pool of Jenny on the floor.  

Don't worry. I'm not all mush yet. I'm currently watching Friday with Ice Cube and Chris Tucker to balance it all out.


Speaking of romance--- Miriam's wedding last night was just beautiful. 

I met Miriam last June when I started working at LUSH. We clicked instantly. I can honestly say she is the sweetest person I have ever met in my life. It was an honor being a part of her special day. I got to help her into her dress and everything. All of us LUSHies sat together and tried to keep our happy sniffling down to a minimum. It was a very sweet evening. Miriam is Costa Rican and her and her family are fantastic salsa dancers. We danced all night, faking our way through all of the steps. We got the hang of it by the end of the evening. Mannnnn do I love to dance! This is the best picture I had of the dancing... all the rest are even more blurry. This is Ricky, Hilda, and I doing our thang.

The last two months have been a very lovely casual blast. I have not been quite as fun-employed as I thought I might be after the SAG Awards ended. I've actually been quite busy! I've been touring various high schools promoting Camp Bravo, where I am the assistant director. I have loved going to the different schools and talking with students. It makes me want to be a teacher so badly. I just love high school kids--- they're at this amazing age where they're smart, sassy, and so willing to grow and learn and change. Bravo was an incredibly transformative part of my life and it has been such an honor to share that with kids. That and I get to see things like this:

Poor high school kids can't catch a break! They just want to kiss, gosh!

I actually just got back from my very first Bravo business trip to NorCal! (sigh)... my favorite.

I just realized I didn't take any pictures. The whole time. Well, except some pictures of food and a cat, but that's not very interesting. I flew into San Francisco and was lucky enough to stay in the city with my handsome friend Spencer. My Bravo bosses rented me a car for the week and I was busy driving all over the place--- Walnut Creek, San Jose, Palo Alto, Fremont, etc talking to a ton of middle and high schools. I love driving as it is--- then you put me in a fancy car in my favorite place in the world... I was a happy girl.

That's my sweet ride. I managed to hit all of the schools and classes on my schedule, despite small time crunches here and there. I am so lucky that I got to go on this little trip, really. Bravo + San Francisco = happy Jenny. I woke up every morning pinching myself. I even had some free time, too. Spencer and I snuck ourselves into the botanical gardens to nap in the sun with some beer, we had burgers, seafood, watched some of my favorite videos from the Found Footage Festival, and even made it to Golden Gate Fields for the horse races. Spencer sprang this on me and my first thought was... "But... but... I didn't bring my hat or a dress!" 

He assured me it wouldn't be necessary. You see, I am used to going to opening day at the horse races in Del Mar, where everyone looks like this. 

...It was a good thing I wasn't wearing a dress and heels. This was more of a "throw-on-your-Raiders-shirt-and-tuck-it-into-your-Wranglers" kind of place. Just my style. It was Dollar Day... where everything--- entrance, beer, hotdogs, you name it, were a dollar. 'Twas a lovely day.

All in all a great week... besides the case of my precious rental car ALMOST BEING TOWED. Not funny. I stopped by Spencer's work to see his new office, scrounged together about $2 worth of coins (which equates to about 25 San-Francisco-meter-minutes) and headed in to to see the place. I came out a couple minutes early just in case, only to find my poor little car being loaded onto a tow truck. I sprinted up the ridiculously steep hill to be met with a $85 ticket and an incredibly kind parking lady. She didn't tow me. I was parked on a one-way street--- where the left side was no parking from 4 pm on and the other was 3 pm on. I of course, saw the sign on the left and erroneously assumed that both were the same, and parked on the right side.

I was not a happy camper. But I was a lucky camper. Apparently it would have been a couple hundred dollars if it had been towed. Hmph.

Awful parking aside... I love the bay. Really. Six days out there felt good. It felt homey. Let me know if anyone hears of a production job for me out there. 

Until then... LA has been busy speaking to me recently. It's a bittersweet sort of love/hate relationship--- the kind I'm very good at. The last month has been a whirlwind of lasertagging, bar trivia-ing, Oscar-watching, beach-laying, and simple friend-partying. 

Why yes, those are homemade carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. And yes, those are my handsome man friends. This was taken pre-laser-tagging for Johnny's birthday. We were savagely beaten by a handful of nerdy high school boys. We had to pull out all the stops-- I used my female allure for evil, looking vulnerable and pouty and confused before Johnny, Jimmy, and Nikolai snuck up behind them while I shot their compadres. A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. $15 for unlimited laser tag for the night is money well-spent in my book.

On Valentine's evening Daniel, Nikolai and I went to my favorite LA burger place, UMAMI Burger for a little romantic dinner. Yummm. We realized how odd it looked... the three of us on a little trio-date together. We talked about our lives of circumstantial singledom and toasted to good food and friends. Here's Daniel and I successfully looking awkward:

They were sweet enough to get me a couple little trinkets, too--- ice cream, a teddy bear, popcorn :), and this:

Silly boys. We had a lovely night, though. A Valentines well-spent!

Johnny and Jimmy and I have also been having fun filming little video shorts dreamt up by our friend, Bennett. Bennett is full of great ideas. I've been helping Bennett craft sales agent letters for his feature-length film, "I Am a Knife with Legs". The two of us went to this very strange night about a month ago to do some networking for his movie. Bennett graduated from Carnegie Mellon and is therefore invited to a lot of alumni events in the LA area. We ended up going to this robotics convention hosted by CMU and it was very... interesting... 


The hour-long presentation consisted of several frighteningly intelligent robots introduced by stilted mechanical engineering professionals with a distinct underlying plea for funding. 

Here's what I took away from the night--- a very disturbing YouTube video to share with friends. Totally worth it. It's called Big Dog and it has haunted me ever since. Especially when it's walking on the ice and the person kicks it... (Shudder). 

After their casually expensive presentation I took advantage of the free hors d'oeuvres and 'networked' while Bennett had far too many glasses of wine and followed around the pretty waitstaff. That's what I get for being the designated driver/wing man. Oh well.

So... what's next for Jenny? I've got some plans. For one, I think I am taking a week long break from the internet and television starting tomorrow. (...Except for the season finale of the Bachelor... Of course, that's imperative and I simply need closure on that horrific anti-fairytale story.) 

I am looking forward to a week of reading, writing, running and sleeping; (Finally finishing Committed and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, writing down some life goals and dreams and writing an article or two for my friend's website, running because I had to unfortunately cut myself off from the extravagant $100-a-month yoga lifestyle I had been living, and finally making sleep a priority over late night re-runs of Seinfeld). I just downloaded an app on my iPhone that monitors my sleep every night (thanks Spencer), and it has forced me to own up to my irresponsible sleeping patterns. 

I've got lots to straighten out at the moment. Well, all of this and securing a solid job between now and camp this summer. Hmm... Hey Universe!

It's good to be back.