Sunday, November 28, 2010

Shannon and I make LA Weekly.Shannon and I saw The Black Angels on Wednesday, the night before Thanksgiving at the El Rey Theatre in Hollywood where we were snapped by a cool photographer for the LA Weekly. The photographer was covering the show for a slide show piece in the paper, of which we became a part of. The show was sold out and freakin' phenomenal, with the band's psych rock amplifying over our heads, through our bodies and throughout the venue in deep thick, rolling waves. The singer's voice floated on top of it all in melodic, wanting tones bathed in wandering wisdom. The Black Angels have an awesome sound that translates incredibly live. It was a great way to kick off my almost four day weekend. You can see the entire slide show from the event here, with our slide in its original size, here.

We've been having actual November-ish weather here, with the nighttime temps dipping down into the 20s accompanied by gusty wind. It made for a perfect holiday. Today, the gusts are even more fierce, so it actually sounds like November. It was a cold and windy night, as dusk descended into darkness...

I had yet another Thanksgiving with Shannon's family who were kind enough to have me. I've spent several T-days at his sister's or mom's house. I brought a bottle of Prosecco and his sister cooked up a delicious meal. His little nephews, sons of his brother and wife, who were also there, said the blessing. So cute. I think one of the boys is in kindergarten and the other in second grade. They were full of energy, sweet-natured and fun. I'd met them before a couple of times, once at Shannon's grandmother's birthday.

I also saw on Wednesday that I had an invite from Cathy and Reese via Facebook, and had a quick temptation to do both. However, I realized that everything would be too rushed. I went to their house last year and it was great fun. It's funny how I didn't grow up here, but I have made wonderful friends who are always making sure that when I don't travel or have guests for Thanksgiving, that I have a place to go. When my mom and Jack have come here for Christmas, we've eaten at The Peninsula Hotel and The Four Seasons Hotel for Christmas dinner. Both were excellent, unique experiences. The Four Seasons had a desert area that looked like Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory.

I'm up to 21 pounds with my weight loss which puts me almost at my goal. I feel awesome. I'm finishing this post on a Monday night, and due to my ever increasing difficulty in waking up in the morning, I'm going to make sure that I'm in bed no later than 11:30 this entire week and see if that helps. It seems obvious, but my night nature is so good at convincing me that staying up just a little later won't hurt. Now that I have a new audio book, that at least is an added temptation to slip under the covers.

There's a lot more to write, but it's already 11:11 PM. Just enough time to leisurely brush my teeth and wash my face.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Finally, a chance to sit down and write a post. There has been a ton going on. From the fantastically fun to the life changing, to the downright scary.

We'll start with the fantastically fun, and that would be the billionaire's Halloween party where I met Jodie Foster, Sly Stallone, Paul Reiser and more. I can't elaborate too much because of confidentiality issues, but what a freakin' trip. I ended up there when Brian, who had taken us whale watching and whom Shannon and I had helped at the Paramount gig, asked me to help him out at another photo booth. After that gig, Brian told Shannon how impressed he was with my natural people skills and ability to be thrown in a situation and just roll with it. So he asked me out of the blue to help him with this one. Without knowing what it was, I accepted. He also asked Shannon to work it, but he couldn't because he had another gig. Shannon had told me that it was a rich guy who throws a Halloween party at his house every year. So, I was imagining a McMansion in Beverly Hills. Let's just say, that the party itself probably cost what a McMansion would cost. This place, in a gated exclusive neighborhood in Beverly Hills, was indescribable. I've seen a lot, but have never seen anything like this property. Holy palatial 80-million-dollar estate, Batman.

The party was fun, extravagant and full of people dressed in wonderful costumes. I loved seeing the families all dressed up and having fun. As I've said, Halloween brings out the wonderful imaginations in people. The kids were adorable and in heaven, with rides, activity stations, a haunted house, entertainment and more. I had a wonderful time, as did the guests and the photo booth went really well. And, Jodie Foster was really cool, down to earth and had a sense of humor. She was dressed as Trinity from The Matrix. A fine choice of costume, if I may say so myself.

On actual Halloween, Shannon and I went to Aroma cafe and had a fab dinner and a great time. It was a perfect Fall night, and we ate on the covered patio as excited kids in costumes walked past us on the sidewalk. Dusk was turning into night and the trick-or-treaters were on their candy safari. After that, we went to Nolan's and enjoyed more costumes. And, we had a nice conversation with Presidents Reagan and Kennedy. They were awesome, replete with awesome masks, suits and firearms. Yes, they were dressed as "The Dead Presidents" from Point Break.

Now for the life changing. I'm not sure if I mentioned on here that I've been on a health and weight loss program for the last three months or so. For those that know me, they've been shocked when I tell them that I went on a program, and even more so at the amount of weight that has come off my body. This is because I hid it well. I prided myself at being the master at hiding disaster, made easier because I've always had thin hips and legs. However, over the years I'd become uncomfortable with the way my clothes were fitting and the way that I was eating. Or in my case, not eating as much and as often as I should. My weight gain had mostly occurred around my middle and was easy to hide, especially when you have no hips! However, as someone who had been an athlete growing up and active for most my life, it finally reached the point of becoming uncomfortable for me. The last straw happened at Neiman Marcus when I could feel my extras crunching like an accordion while I bent over to fasten a strap on a shoe that I was trying on. I was sitting and on a higher bench, but please.

I also knew that I have certain traits that were not helping. I abhor cooking, going grocery shopping and washing dishes. As a result, I'd eat little during the day, my blood sugar would drop and I'd be ravenous at night, where I'd get takeout. Because of this, the weight had crept up over the years. I knew it wasn't healthy for someone my age to be eating like a teenager and had remembered that two of my good friends had successfully done a program, having gone in to be taught how to eat again. Both of them were not fat, but had just gained that extra that they felt they needed help getting rid of. So, I walked into a Jenny Craig that had opened across from my Starbucks. I was skeptical, but had well...was going to say nothing to lose, but that's not true! Anyway, it ended up being the perfect solution for me and I've lost almost 20 pounds.

At first, my coworkers were amazed that I'd lost so much weight, literally in front of them because I started the program while at Disney. That's because as I said, I am the MAHD. However, when I finally bought pants that weren't practically falling off, they clearly saw the difference. Amazing what a well-fitting pair of jeggings can reveal. Thanks to the saleswoman at Armani Exchange, I tried a pair on and have bought another pair from them since. And, my skinny jeans are now loose. I won't lie. That feels good. I have a waist again and my neighbors all comment on my thinness. I find that funny, because I feel I'm almost back to my normal weight. I sleep better, feel better, have more energy and see me again when looking into the mirror. And, I did it by eating more than I ever have, with zero exercise.

When I walk into Jenny for my weekly meeting/weigh-in, some of the other clients look at me oddly. In fact, during an open house there, I happened to have an appointment and heard two women who were pretty overweight whispering to each other, "She's thin. Why is she here?" I wanted to say, "Same reason you are." I've had other customers ask me the same thing directly and I'm happy to explain. We all have different "enough" points. There are many people just like me who wanted a course correction. And, it is one that I've been extremely patient, realistic and positive. I have no fear of gaining it back, because of what I've learned through them and continued practice at taking care of myself nutritionally. And, what really rocks is that my success has inspired my coworkers, friends and Facebook friends, some who have embarked on their own course corrections and are seeing results. That feels freaking awesome.

Unfortunately, I can't discuss the details of the scary on this blog except to say that it happened, and that someone caused me and some others unbelievable stress. However, we're all okay. It was taken care of promptly, sensitively and professionally. The hard part now is that no one knows what happened except for we who endured and witnessed it. And, we can't talk about it. The rest only know the end result, but not what the person did that caused that end result. Because of that, rumors and speculation are abound. I know I'm being vague but I have to be. And, I'm now moving out of the fear stage and into the anger stage. It's all part of the process and I know it's just something we'll all have to work through. Luckily, we have the support of the right people and each other.

Lastly, my contract was extended. Yay me.