Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I signed up for personal training at the gym and today finished my fourth session. These are extra on top of the membership, as they have a personal training subsidiary that works out of the gym with actual certified personal trainers. I decided to do it because the only thing that you have in this world is your health. Once that fails, or you don't take care of it, nothing else matters. I'm not going to become a fitness nut or overdo it. This isn't about getting ripped. That's gross anyway. I'm sorry ladies, but it is and as I've said before, makes you look ten years older and angry. This is about doing what's right for my body and getting stronger. Increasing bone and muscle strength, endurance, energy and the coveted better sleep that exercise brings. And yes, of course I'd like to tone up and keep things from going south. But, I have realistic expectations.

I decided to go the personal trainer route because I knew that if I didn't have someone to be accountable to, I wouldn't go. So, I walked in and signed up for a year's worth of training at three times a week. It's my health and I look at it as the most important investment I need to make right now. And, because I know myself too well, I chose to do it to ensure that I get exercise. I also don't want to get injured and this lessens that chance.

The first three times, I was weak beyond belief but this time I felt a difference. I didn't get as deathly, near-collapse fatigued this time. Muscles do remember, and though I'm wholly out of shape, I could feel them saying, "Oh yeah, this does seem familiar," today.

What's nice this time around is that I'm totally chill about it. I'm not making drastic changes to my diet or lifestyle. I have a feeling that will come when my body demands it. If I force it, I'll rebel. And plus, I'd like to keep some sort of normalcy in that category as far as enjoying myself. This way, it can unfold naturally.

I will say it does feel weird to be working out again. It's a good weird, but I guess it's weird because this time I have nothing to prove. I'm not trying to achieve some look or anything. Just be healthier. So, right now I don't know where that puts me. But, with this mindset it's amazing how everyone else around me becomes invisible. And, that's a good thing. It feels...secure in a way that I'm entirely focused on what I should be.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

I hate it when I literally have to give the cold shoulder to someone, but that's just what I did. Literally. Turned my shoulder and pointed it at The Sallow Man's face. This just after I had nice, short conversations with others in the coffee shop. I came here because I wasn't quite ready to let go of the day yet. And, settling in, putting the chain on the door and committing myself to a night of being at home would be letting go and accepting that today was finished. Now, as I start typing this, I'm feeling okay about finally calling it a day.

That was Wednesday night, when I went to my regular coffee shop and got accosted once again by one of the annoying talkers. When I saw him come in, I got frustrated and tried to be invisible at my table. No such luck. He sat down at the table across from me, faced me and stared right at my face. I accidentally looked up mid-thought and made eye contact for a fraction of a second. Realizing my error, I quickly put my head down only to hear, "How are you?" Anger swelling in my stomach, I ignored him. Again, "How are you?" At that, I looked up, feigning surprise that he was talking to me. I answered in one word sentences and he started off on a tangent, of course taking a negative stance on it. I looked up to J, one of the employees whom I've befriended who was there but not working. However, used to The Sallow Man's prattle, he was deaf to it and therefore blind to my predicament. After about five minutes of him staring and talking, and not picking up my very obvious clues, I turned my shoulder toward his face and answered him with nods and "um hmms." Still, he didn't get it. Finally, my real out came when J moved to leave and I called him over to my table. The Sallow Man kept talking until J leaned down to talk to me, then watched the both of us as I tried to communicate that I needed him to break the fucking tractor beam. I kept J there long enough, then when he left, buried my face in my laptop and didn't look up. Five minutes later, The Sallow Man stood up and left. However, I was so annoyed by then I couldn't concentrate, and went home myself.

Lots has happened and I've been thankfully very busy at work, but not over busy, if that makes sense. There was one day that I don't think I looked up from my computer the whole day there, but it's all work that I enjoy doing. And, there's no Sallow Man to distract me. I still love my new job and have been there for a month. One day, I had a meeting at Sony Studios and on my way out saw what I thought were two grips play fighting during a break. Then, I noticed that they were moving very professionally and precisely, which piqued my interest. As I passed by them, I saw it was Robert Downey Jr. and an attractive stuntman practicing a fight scene for Iron Man 2, which was filming near the stage where we were having our event. Totally unexpected and cool. Since I didn't want to get thrown off the lot, once I was far enough down the way, I turned and snapped a photo of them. The funny thing, is before I realized who it was, I was going to snap a much closer photo of what I thought was just a fun slice of life shot at Sony. Thankfully, I didn't.

On a not so fun note, I've had EIGHT palmetto bugs in my apartment over the last ten days. One crawled over my bare foot during an epic battle with a can of Raid, Atticus and Oliver at my side, fighting to get to the cat toy with a mind of its own. I'd been watching television when a large black dot moving across the ceiling caught my eye. I looked up and saw it was a huge Palmetto cockroach, and slowly moved into the kitchen so as not to alert it. I grabbed the Raid, sprayed it and it launched itself into a death spiral toward the floor.

It was on.

The cats flew off the couch as if shot from two cannons. Barefoot, Raid in hand, I chased it while fighting them off as they fought each other to get to the still fast two-inch freak crawling toward my bed. I cringed as it crawled up my comforter across my bed, and then sensed movement from behind me. Without taking my eyes off the roach, I dropped the can of Raid, stuck my hands out to my sides, palms backward and blocked two furry faces in mid-air. Oliver and Atticus landed on each side of me, and upset at getting face-palmed, gave me a level of stink eye that only cats who were just denied a most righteous flying leap pounce on escaping prey can give. Not deterred, they raced around me because like me, they could hear it making its way toward the other side of my bed. I raced toward them block them again, just as the big bastard jumped off the bed, landed next to where I'd just stepped, ran across my bare foot and attempted to go up my pant leg.

Oh HELL to the no.

I screamed, kicked and sent the cockroach flying, body blocked the cats who sprang after it and grabbed the Raid. The fat bastard righted itself but was succumbing to the spray. It hobbled next to the mirrored sliding doors of my closet, then flipped on its back. I blasted its underside, then keeping the cats away, got a large piece of paper and threw it in the toilet.

Not half an hour later, I heard Oliver meowing and looked his way. He was planted at the door, looking up. I followed his line of sight to big fat freak number two climbing up my front door. That one went down with much less drama, until it ran behind my bookcase and I lost sight of it. I imagined having to just deal with the fact that a roach carcass was somewhere in my house until I saw it on its back all the way across the room. That one went in the trash, which immediately went into the bin outside.

I sent several hysterical all caps texts to the landlord, and they sprayed on Friday. I hadn't seen a roach since.

Until tonight.

I was watching TV and heard the cats up to something. I walked into the kitchen and saw them side by side, both standing on their hind legs on the plastic bin where I keep their food. Their paws were draped Kilroy style over the counter and they concentrated on a spot near the sink. I was lost in the moment of how adorably cute they looked, then felt my stomach sink I realized what had probably grabbed their interest. I moved a bowl, and there it was. Big, brown, fat and ugly, antennae twitching at me. The Raid was right under the sink, which meant that I had to reach down close to where the roach was on the counter. Luckily, I've become quite a pro at this and after blasting it, let it run around until it died. I had already scared the cats away when I dropped the bowl in the sink upon seeing the unwelcome guest.

I texted the landlord again. All caps. F-bomb included. He's sending his brother to patch up a hole under my kitchen faucet. It's been there since I moved in, but I think the fat fuckers are finding a way into that crawl space and coming in that way. Especially because I've sprinkled Borax by my front door. That hole was made when they re-piped the building with copper piping and never patched up.

I sent a text to the landlord and thanked him, and said that if we join forces, together we will defeat the mutants.

Lots more, just not tonight.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

The Michael Jackson hoopla has come and gone. Tuesday morning, I counted twelve helicopters buzzing around my apartment before I went to work. And, they shut down freeways for it. All during the day, the helicopters would return for news updates. In the early morning as I still laid in bed, I heard a bunch of French speaking people pass by my bedroom window. I have no idea if the two were related, but there were people from all over the world who had come to "be there" and a lot of them were French. And, we have several hotels around due to the studios being so near. Luckily, it didn't affect our area the way that it could have. I think people took the hint to stay away. Same with the downtown memorial.

I finally, finally got my refund checks. On top of that, I got a freelance check along with them so I had a total of five nice checks to deposit into my account. God, did that feel awesome. I couldn't believe it when I saw them there. Of course, they come when my finances are vastly improved and back to normal, but I'm not complaining. In fact, I'm glad they came now.

Yesterday, I was on standby to possibly go to the 90210 set where they were using some of our products for a scene, but I never got the call. Apparently, they knew or figured out how to set it up. I wouldn't have known how yet, but I had some people on standby who did. I would have just been the person to put both together and be there to accommodate extra requests and make sure everything went smoothly. So far, the job continues to be great and challenging in all the right ways. I also got a really nice compliment from my freelance job at the network regarding the work I did for them. I'll miss them, as I enjoyed that work and they too were awesome to work with.

So, that's it. I'm settling into this new routine and every day get my bearings a little better. Now, to start exercising again. I went for a swim in the pool yesterday and my body relished at the movement and use of it. It's been too long, but I'm almost at the point of not being able to stand it any longer. Luckily, I respond really well to exercise and see results quickly. It's the motivation I need to work on, but luckily the company supports healthy living and will pay part of a gym membership. I already belong to one, but am considering going with a trainer for a couple days a week and that helps with the entire cost. I don't look at that as a luxury, but a necessity and as prevention. Plus, better, quicker results. My swim had me feeling wonderfully tired at a decent time of night, which was a first in a very long time.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy Fourth of July to my fellow Americans.

This past couple of weeks has really kicked me in the behind. One, because I'm on a learning curve with the new job, and second, because I'm finishing out the work I've been assigned for the television recaps. I'm shocked that so many of you have stayed with me and keep checking back. I'm always surprised by the amount of hits I have on this blog by the end of the day even when my updates have slowed down. Again, I'm going to try to fix that.

On Wednesday I learned that my new company gives us TWO paid days off for the Fourth of July. Awesome for me, who needed the extra time off to make this transition easier. And, to clean my wreck of a cluttered apartment and partly, my wreck of a self. I got my "hair did" on Thursday by the awesome person who always makes me look fabulous. I told him he had his work cut out for him. He's so cool and gives me a rock and roll beachy style that is perfect for my massive amount of hair. Now, I just need to sprout an extra arm so I can style it the way that he does. It's always fun to go to that salon.

The job so far is fabulous. In the first week, I was having a meeting poolside on top of a swank hotel and then on another day, on a photo shoot as the "marketing connect" for a product in a downtown live/work loft for one of our products. Fun to see these creative, smart people collaborate well and produce such high quality results. We had a model as well, and he was great. Also interesting, was we were on video meeting with another art director in Quebec, who also had a direct connection to us. They would hold up the laptop, with a live shot of him on screen, and bring him around like a disembodied head to look at the shot set ups. There were a few instances of crackups because of that. I took a few pictures of everything going on. While still on my learning curve, I wrote the copy for the packaging. I've really enjoyed the challenge and my ability to step things up while still retaining my "space." I'm excited about the challenges that are ahead, and even more so when I get more settled in and "one" with the multitude of products and the workings with the company. So, all is good on the work front, and while of course I have my moments of self doubt and nerves, I understand that they will pass. When that happens, I sort of just relax my body and let them blow over me like a sudden strong wind. If I don't try to fight it, and just let it push my body where it wants until it's over, I haven't expended valuable energy nor given into their desire to disrupt me.

Oh, and within fifteen minutes of being on my new job, I was complimented on my shoes.

A few blocks from me, the King of Pop lies in state awaiting burial at the same place. During that meeting by the rooftop pool, my boss received a news blip on his iPhone that Michael Jackson had been rushed to the hospital. Thirty minutes later, on my way home from the meeting, news broke on the radio that he had died. I texted my boss the news in case he hadn't heard. I have mixed feelings about his death because of the allegations that we all know too well. I have no idea whether he was guilty or not, but the mixed feelings come from the fact that I like so many people enjoyed his music and magic, if you will. He was a talented, fantastic entertainer who had an almost supernatural control over his body in his dance moves. I don't know one person who didn't enjoy his music during their lifetime or can't link one of his songs to a poignant moment in their lives. I myself can remember the elation I felt when I finally mastered the moonwalk when growing up. However, the sad part is that Michael Jackson was never comfortable in his own skin, literally. Because his parents were more focused on building his music career rather than a solid emotional foundation, as an adult he didn't have the tools to deal with well, just about everything. It's no excuse if he hurt children. I have no tolerance for those who hurt children. However, seedy opportunistic parents with their eyes on the big payoff were all too eager to feed their children to Michael Jackson. And, they are just as guilty if not more if the worst indeed happened. Jackson was a vulnerable person who was reckless in making himself the perfect target for those who wanted to exploit him. Like I said, if he indeed hurt children, that changes everything I just said. But, it doesn't make things any less tragic for everyone involved.

Last night on my way home I passed the funeral home. Already, several news vans, trucks, cars, huge mobile units were parked outside, claiming their spots like greedy kids on the rushing out to recess calling first through third swing. Most of them weren't occupied, but there as place holders to their turf once the focus turns there. I think it will all happen on Tuesday, and that will be weird.

Anyway, enough about that. It's just been so "in your face" here. And on Tuesday, it's going to be in my face.

So, back to enjoying my weekend. I have no big plans tonight except to enjoy the multitude of fireworks displays around. I didn't go out of my way to plan anything, unlike other Fourth's where I make plans with friends. Sometimes, there are times to be mellow and this feels like one of them for me. Shannon and I went to Nolan's last night and hung out. We had planned to go over to Hollywood but reeled in our plans for fear of it being crazy out because of the holiday weekend.

Now, time to get back to enjoying said weekend...