Wednesday, April 4, 2012

my year

2012 is going to be your year, Jenny. Your year.
I was told this on a flight to San Francisco this past December. I was feeling flustered and anxious (as I often do) about the trip, my New Years plans, returning to a very busy SAG Awards office, and the impending year. Lucky for me, I was sat next to two lovely fellow ex-Arizonans whom I quickly made friends with. We shared our love for desert skies and wide open car lanes over our complimentary beverages. I told them about my plans and goals and they told me about their early years together and family in Oakland. They were a lovely couple. We even waited for our luggage at baggage claim together and they saw me off to BART. They hugged me goodbye, looked into my eyes and assured me that this was going to be my year. MY year. They just knew it.

They may have been my guardian angels. Or they may have been two nice strangers who believed in me. Either way---if they're right, I better get moving--- It's already April. HOW DID THAT HAPPEN!?

Last I left you, I was preparing for an obstacle course for an adult musical chairs game show. Well. That happened.

I woke up far too early last Sunday to drive Johnny and I to a nearby college campus. It was the rainiest, coldest LA day I have seen yet. We parked the car and watched as other people approached the check-in tent in the rain.

Johnny and I were completely out of place and everyone knew it. For one-- I had unfortunately left my eight-pack abs and breast implants at home. Secondly I was the only woman without makeup on and I clearly hadn't given my 'outfits' enough thought. They told us to dress athletically--- which to me meant something I could move in comfortably--- a pair of dance capris I've had since I was twelve, an oversized white t-shirt with a bike and flowers on it, and a two-piece Nike bathing suit underneath. Apparently I should have been wearing a matching velour Victoria's Secret sweatsuit and a string bikini for the pre-swim segment and spandex booty shorts and a sports bra for the post-swim. Silly Jenny only had one athletic look. Johnny... well... here's what Johnny was wearing:

He's on the far right in the plaid. I should also point out that he left that jacket there--- never to be seen again. A moment of silence for the vintage shirt/jacket.  (          )  Johnny and I were certainly feeling like the awkward runts. We both thought about leaving but neither of us wanted to be 'the quitter'. So we did what any self-respecting-funemployed-adult-who-loves-a-good-story would do--- we did that darn obstacle course.

We signed in, got our numbers, and stripped down to our bathing suits. Yes, it was still raining. They then had us wait in line to race each other three at a time across the pool. Oh the wonderful things we heard in that line. Sometimes when you are watching reality television you think to yourself--- this must be scripted, nobody would say that. Oh no--- somehow it's real. Here are two of Johnny and my favorites:
Huge-ripped-man-with-cauliflower-ears-from-obvious-boxing: "Man I have to get in line first. I do NOT want to get in the warm pool after everyone else has gone in! I mean... warm water... cold air. You know!! (huge guffaw as he elbowed those around him) The pool is going to be YELLOW!! (more guffawing) (awkward chuckles around him from like-minded knobs)
I seem to recall this conversation... from my eighth birthday party.
Cross-eyed-huge-boobs-girl-with-dangly-belly-button-ring: "Oh my gosh it is freezing out here! I do not want to take off my pants yet. I mean, my nipples are already shrinking, I can't imagine what would happen if I take my pants off!!"
...Disturbing... and completely confusing.

Johnny and I were endlessly walking the thin line between entertained and irritated. Mostly entertained. After we sprinted across the pool (it was only one lap-- they really hyped that up!) we changed back into our clothes and headed towards the obstacle course. They set everything up inside which was nice. Johnny and I put on our elbow and knee pads and shared our naked person stories with each other. Of course, these people with their perfect bodies had no shame in walking around in the nude conversing with us in the locker rooms. Go figure. My birthday-suited girl schooled me in the proper way to dry out your bikini. Apparently wringing it out while naked does the trick.

Back to the obstacle course. Here was the sequence of events:
Run a suicide-- then sprint-- tires--- sprint--- leap over large mats-- sprint-- 25 sit ups-- 15 push ups-- sprint-- army crawl-- sprint-- sprint again-- hurdle over three massive mats-- sprint.
Doable. Right? Definitely. The problem was everyone there was a sexy triathlete. That and we were being timed. I ended up being in the last group and therefore the very last person to go through it (with plenty of "Go girl! You got this! Keep going honey!" hollered through the awkward gym silence) and Johnny may or may not have been beaten by a muscular girl. (Sorry Johnny. I'm digging this hole for two). It was crazy. We walked out laughing and panting all the while. Johnny assured me that if they were looking for two crotchety wet blankets we would definitely get on the show.

Actually, silly poses aside, I did get a call from them. I didn't follow through and send a video of my supporter (Nikolai) like they had instructed me to do, thinking that I didn't stand a chance to get on the show. Well... apparently they liked me. That or they got me mixed up with the naked bathroom girl. They thought I was funny and 'very likable'. Hmm. I still need to send in my video... More on that later. Maybe.

And now for a brief exciting Jenny news moment: I got a job! A great job! Hooray!

My flexible work schedule days have come to an end. I'm thrilled to have a full-time job--- and one that I love, too! And the best part--- it's an actual year round job, not a little freelance stint. Phew!

Just like when I started at SAG Awards it's best for me to err on the side of safety when writing on here... so for now I can say that I will be an Executive Assistant and I will be working with all of my favorite people from SAG Awards! I just love that office and everyone there. I'm so happy to be back. (And in my own office, too! Fancy!) 

I start there in just a couple weeks. My free time is ticking away slowly... I spent all of yesterday at the beach relaxing and I have quite the sunburn to show for it. Now I just have to get my life in order so when the time comes I'll be set for a busy schedule. Until then I have one last trip coming up for Bravo-- Tucson, Phoenix, and Las Vegas! A lovely last hurrah before my busy work-life begins.

My days have been filled to the brim with Camp Bravo promotional activities. I spent last weekend at the California Thespian Festival, sitting at a little booth, contemplating life in my solitude and watching the kids outside play "Ride that Pony" like I had played so many times.

I just love theatre kids. They're all so eager and brave and independent (and geeky). It was so great seeing former campers and reminiscing.

Speaking of reminiscing-- I just had the best weekend ever. Camp Bravo also owns a company called Bravo Student Travel and yours truly led her very first high school tour through Hollywood! I have a very soft spot in my heart for these trips as I used to go on them with my own drama class. So you can imagine my excitement as my first tour was with Sabino high school and one of my very best friends, Mr. Kissel, my drama teacher.

(sigh). Kissel has been one of the most influential people in my life, and I'm sure anyone else who has been his student would say the same. I spent four solid years-- and several of them up to six hours a day-- with Kissel in that Little Theatre.

Time for a little Kissel PSA: Sometimes people let you down, disappoint you, and frankly just end up being... not awesome. Kissel is the exact opposite of that. He taught me the art of living drama-free and the importance of creating your own family. Spending this past weekend with him and his students was just the recharge I needed.

I met them at their hotel, we stowed their luggage away, and headed out on the town. Our first stop was at Miceli's for italian food and singing waiters. Kissel of course was targeted:

Then we headed to see the musical, American Idiot at the Ahmanson Theatre. The musical is based off of Green Day's album by the same name and it was quite graphic and vulgar... to the point where a few older couples left. But you know what that means--- just perfect for entertaining high schoolers! They loved it. And so did I, despite my usual dislike of overplayed Green Day music on the radio. The music was actually my favorite part of the show. Well, that and the fact that CRAIG from DEGRASSI was in it!

I, being the old lady that I am compared to the kids, was all giddy like a middle-aged woman seeing Davy Jones. I used to be--- who am I kidding, I still am--- a huge fan of the Canadian teen re-make drama from the 2000s and Craig was always my favorite. Well, him and Jimmy, and we all know that he's doing well for himself:

Loveeee that Degrassi! Note to self--- must get DVD box set.

The kids had workshops the next day followed by a visit to Hollywood Boulevard, dinner at Hard Rock Cafe in Universal City, and an improv show at Comedy Sportz. We also had a behind-the-scenes tour through Warner Bros... which was incredibly thrilling as it seems all I watch these days are reruns of Gilmore Girls and Friends

Isn't that magical?

One of Kissel's students ended up not being able to come on the trip meaning that they also had one extra ticket to Universal Studios! (Have I mentioned I love my job?) Here I was taking a picture of Kissel with the Mystery Machine to send to his wife and kids who are big Scooby Doo fans. I missed the moment here, Kissel posing at the same time the little girl with a huge cotton candy was. Drat. You get the idea though. It was funny.

So yes, I had a lovely weekend reliving the glory days of the Sabino Players! Kissel and I laughed and retold all of the old jokes that we had forgotten about. Who knew I would miss high school? The memory-filled weekend has set me up perfectly to head back to my hometown on Saturday. I can't wait to visit Tucson, the U of A, and catch up with all of my family and friends.

On my to do list: 
  • Visit my favorite Tucson bars-- The Buffet and Auld Dubliner. Perhaps make a karaoke appearance or two-- bust out the ol' Carly Simon perhaps.
  • Movies with Alison and plenty of popcorn. They just don't know how to make movie popcorn in LA!
  • Dinner with family. I'm thinking La Parilla Suiza or something Mexican and delicious...
  • THE CHARLES DARWIN EXPERIENCE! My first alumni show with the amazing improv group I was a part of at the University of Arizona--- complete with all of my hilarious friends that I have been missing.
  • Eegee's... of course!

Mmm. Tucson! I can't wait. 

Well, if this is my year I'd say I'm off to a decent start. Here's to nine more glorious months of awkward stories, hapless romance, and bizarre adventures!

Here's a sweet Green Day song for the road, When It's Time.

Feel free to say hi, okay everyone? I like comments.


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