wanna write, wanna write, wanna write…

…but come up short when presented with a blank screen. Gah!

Much as I love Sondheim, I can no longer agree with his sentiment of, “White. A blank page or canvas. His favorite – so many possibilities.” (The last line in my favorite musical of all time, Sunday in the Park with George.)

This is, of course, why I’ve been such a crappy blogger the last few years. And I miss looking forward to the blank page and/or screen. But what’s a permanently blocked girl to do? Seems like I’ve written about my tendencies for blocks ad nauseum, so obviously writing about it isn’t knocking anything loose. Blech.

Anywho, it’s a new year (says Mistress Pays-Attention-To-Calendars) and I’m starting it off in a pretty stellar way: living with HotScienceGuy.

I moved in at the beginning of December and, as of today, most of my stuff is still in the garage because the condo is small and we have no idea where anything is going. Some of it is going to be gotten rid of via Craigslist and some of it will be permanently stored in the garage. Thankfully it’s a two car garage, so I can park my car in there – he doesn’t have a car by choice and we live within walking distance of his workplace, so we’ll probably be a one car household for the foreseeable future.

We’re still doing the, “What’s the best way to live together without wanting to commit homicide?” dance that two stubborn people set in their ways tend to do, but for the most part it’s going well and I’m very happy I made the move and am living with my man. And it’s soooo nice to be living closer to JPL – I can be there in about fifteen minutes or less. Yay!

Christmas Day was spent with his father, step-mother and about fifteen of his extended family members at his father’s place near San Jose, with Boxing Day at his mom’s place with his mom, step-father and half-siblings (they’re about twenty years younger) about forty-five minutes away from his dad’s place. Though I was a tad bit overwhelmed at times and had to dash to the restroom for a moment alone, I really had a good time. His family all seem to pretty cool and, from what I could tell, I executed no horrific faux pas that would make them hiss at the sight of me, so I count that as a win.

Unfortunately, the schedules of my own family precluded us from heading to Fresno, so I’ll have to find a way to see them this year before the holidays roll around again.

A serious ankle sprain in November put me out of commission for awhile, right as I was starting to move things from my old East Hollywood apartment to HSG’s condo, so that delayed things a bit, but I was up and around enough by Thanksgiving to invite Sarriah and CuteFilmNerd to join HSG and me for T-Day dinner at Doomie’s Home Cookin’ and dessert/drinks back at the apartment, which was very nice.

Of course more things happened in 2012 – things I never got around to writing about – but I figure that’ll do for now. The writing joints are creaky and the muscles are stiff, so I’ll ease back into it so I don’t snap off a limb in the process.

Hope y’all have an amazing 2013!

the unholy experiment…

Due to a heat wave, very little walking was done this weekend. I walked to CuteFilmNerd’s place Saturday morning (he lives a little over a mile from me), with the intent of us walking to a nearish-by bagel place we’ve walked to before, but the heat did me in during that initial short walk, so we ended up driving to a little vegetarian-friendly cafe for lunch (which I love and he just likes – it’s mostly vegetarian except for the use of tuna and are very vegan friendly). Halfway through our meal an attractive, tallish gentleman walked in and set up within my line of sight. There was something very familiar about him, though it was awhile before I saw his face, which confirmed my initial impression: the lovely and talented John Fugelsang had entered the cafe. Which was very interesting because, not only am I a fan of him from his Friday stints on The Stephanie Miller Show, but CuteFilmNerd and I were scheduled to attend an evening of comedy and spoken word that he was hosting that night. I thought about saying hi, but by that time he was obviously on the phone and I didn’t want to disturb him, though I did sneak a photo:

So off we went, me to my place and CFN to his. Upon checking my Facebook page, I noticed that the evening’s event venue had changed…to my neighborhood. Yay! Although I wondered aloud (aka on the Facebook event page) if Mr. Fugelsang were staking me. His response? A private message asking why I hadn’t said hi in the cafe. Aaawww! I explained my not wanting to disturb his phone conversation and me being a little on the shy side, but promised to say hi that evening. And I did. A very nice, intelligent and way too pretty and funny for one person is John Fugelsang. And I managed to sneak a few photos of the very fun event with the myTouch rather than either of my cameras as I didn’t want to disturb the performers:

The host with the most, John Fugelsang.
The host with the most, John Fugelsang.

Comedian/writer Richard Chassler.
Comedian/writer Richard Chassler.

Kelly Carlin, daughter of the inestimable George Carlin and an excellent writer/performer in her own right.
Kelly Carlin, daughter of the inestimable George Carlin and an excellent writer/performer in her own right.

John Fugelsang and Emmy Award Winner Voice Deity Jim Ward (whom I'm familiar with from Stephanie Miller Show).
John Fugelsang and Emmy Award Winner Voice Deity Jim Ward (whom I'm familiar with from Stephanie Miller Show).

Spoken Word Artist Lisa Thayer.
Spoken Word Artist Lisa Thayer.

(These were the best photos. Pictures of all of the performers can be found here.)

However, Saturday night’s event wasn’t the only unholy experiment happening in the World of Carol. Early Monday morning I was invited to a sooper sekrit vegan tasting event put on by the amazing Doomie’s Home Cookin’, which was a first for me, as I’m never invited to sooper sekrit tasting events of any kind.

I’ve been a fan of Doomie’s food for quite a while and, like most of their fans, was very sad when an electrical fire in the kitchen shuttered the restaurant for a little over two months. They’ve been working hard to get it up and running again and many in the vegan community stepped up to help them out, including yours truly. I wasn’t able to do a ton of work, but I was able to help out a couple of times with cleaning and curtains and such and, to reward those who helped out, the fine proprietors invited us to partake their yummy comfort food. They were actually training the new staff on the plating of the food, with the intent of going through the entire menu, but after several hours and many courses of family style service, we cried uncle, as our tummies could hold no more. It was another fun evening of good food and good company, with many of us officially meeting for the first time, though we’d seen each other in passing throughout the cleaning. I’m so glad I didn’t have to do overtime last night after all.

Amazing food and amazing company. And too full tummies.
Amazing food and amazing company. And too full tummies.

How was that an unholy experiment, you ask? Because trying to stuff that much food into the human stomach, no matter how elastic or how few bites per course taken, must surely be the work of Satan. I think I’m still full.

other pursuits…

…were engaged this past weekend. Three movies were seen, all with CuteFilmNerd. (Yes, considering we’re no longer a couple, we do still spend a lot of time together. We’re still very close friends and he doesn’t live far from me, so, yeah, we still enjoy hanging out a lot. But unless certain things change – and I have no idea how likely that will be – I seriously doubt we’ll get back together.)

Friday evening I insisted on seeing Fright Night. I was going through some serious David Tennant jonesing and had to have my fix. So off to the Arclight we went. I was experiencing some trepidation once I found out that Marti Noxon had written it, seeing as she had written some of my least favorite Buffy episodes (“Bad Eggs.” “Beauty and the Beasts,”, though to be fair, she also wrote “The Wish”, which was excellent) and oversaw the series during its worst seasons. Despite my many reservations, the movie was actually fun. It kept the bare bones of the original, but was successfully updated for the 21st century.

Anton Yelchin was fine as Charlie and, while I vastly prefer the suavity of Chris Sarandon as Jerry, Colin Farrell’s more animalistic bad boy Jerry hit all the right notes. Also, Toni Collette should be in pretty much every movie. I just really like her.

And yes, my beloved David Tennant was marvelous. It took awhile before his character popped up and stayed (though there were little hints of Peter Vincent sprinkled all over, starting with the very beginning), but once he stuck around, the movie – in my not so humble and not at all biased opinion – really took off. My G-d, that man would have chemistry with a doorknob. If only he were a little less skinny. I’d be afraid to hug him for fear of breaking him in half (not that I foresee that happening any time soon). But he’s a skinny framed guy and still nicely toned (hello, lovely shirtless scenes!), so it works for him. *sigh*

[…]

Um, sorry, I had to have a little bunk time there. Now, where was I? Oh yeah.

The next day – after Sarriah and I went for our long walk – I met up with a youngish man (okay, he’s actually 60, but has a youthfulness about him) in Hollywood for a coffee date. Yep, my first date since the break up. It went well enough. He was very nice, intelligent and complimentary to me (said I looked even more attractive in person) and we spoke very easily, having several things in common. But I just wasn’t drawn to him physically, though he’s a nice looking gentleman. He expressed an interest in another date, which I kind of backed away from, citing my recent breakup (cowardly, I know, but I didn’t want to be mean). Now, I wouldn’t mind being friends with him. I’d actually like to be friends with him. But that physical connection that I need just wasn’t there for me and I don’t want to lead him on. I’ll probably email him and let him know that, if he’d like to be friends, I’m open to that.

Saturday night was another movie with CuteFilmNerd, this time seeing The Help through the SAG Film Society. Parts of it were excellent and parts were formulaic – I think I’m getting jaded in my old age, as I know this has gotten excellent reviews. But while the acting was uniformly excellent (oh, Allison Janney and Sissy Spacek, you must also be in nearly every movie as far as I’m concerned), the stand out was Octavia Spencer. Damn, that woman can act!

Sunday morning saw me going on another walk, this time with CuteFilmNerd to get bagels from a bagel shop that’s about a mile and a half from his place, so we got in about three miles. And while this walk didn’t provide the lovely sights of Lake Hollywood, there were a few things that caught my photographic eye:

Paramount Studios - Homage to Star Trek IV
Paramount Studios - Homage to Star Trek IV

I love this mural!
I love this mural!

Newly fallen flower.
Newly fallen flower.

An unusual sight in the age of smart phones.
An unusual sight in the age of smart phones.

We also went shopping for various apartment related things. And that night was another SAG Film Society offering: Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Much was good about it (again, why is John Lithgow not in every movie ever? Though I may be biased after my 3rd Rock from the Sun days…), but after a while I just get very, very tired of long action sequences, no matter how well done. However, count me in amongst those calling for an Oscar for Andy Serkis. Oh. My. G-d. He is amazing. See this movie for his portrayal of Caesar, if for nothing else (though you should also see it for John Lithgow – just saying).

There were a few things I had to push off until the next weekend because I was just exhausting myself. I’ll be ready for them in a few days!

Say “I Do”…

Though I’m not much into religion, I can appreciate the beauty of a church. Especially one that is donated for the cause of civil rights.

On Saturday I found myself inside a lovely little church in West Hollywood. One that I had driven/walked past many times over the last twenty years:


What brought me into a church on a lovely Saturday afternoon? Shooting a PSA in support of marriage equality. A couple of weeks ago CuteFilmNerd worked as an extra on a television show. One of his fellow extras mentioned a project that a friend of hers was putting together and that she was working on and would he like to participate? He couldn’t, but he just happened to know someone with strong feelings on the subject (your humble blogger, of course).

And so there I was today for five and a half hours, in a dress and rarely worn heels, lending my talents as background actress. It was on a purely volunteer basis, but it’s for a cause I deeply believe in and I enjoyed myself, meeting new people, so that’s pretty good in my book.

BTW, the creators of Say “I DO” still need additional funding to get this PSA off the ground. They’ve got a fundraising page that will only be up for a little longer (it goes dark at midnight on Monday) and could use all the help they could get. If you could swing by and donate a little, I know it would be very appreciated.

(A few photos from the day are below. More can be found in my Picasa album.)








walking: fun sights and looty goodness, part 3…

(Continued from Parts One and Two.)

Sunday was somewhat less adventurous (and lacking in Sunday obtained looty goodness), but I still went out on a nice walk, this time with CuteFilmNerd. Just a simple walk to and from a cafe for dinner (six miles round trip), with some stereotypical Hollywood sights on the way that caught my eye:

Then home to sleep the sleep of the weary. Though not before having an overwhelming urge for a peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwich, with the luscious homemade strawberry jam provided by the talented Janiece, courtesy of her Free Shit Friday giveaways (this is the second time I’ve won – the first time was for oh-so-yummy raspberry jam):

dear fans of actors/writers/famous-type people…

…don’t do this:

When we walked out of the SyFy party on Saturday night, a pack of people — probably 12 or 15, I’d guess — appeared out of nowhere, and surrounded me. They shoved pictures into my face, thrust pens at me, and made it so that I couldn’t even move. They separated me from my friends and my son, and, quite frankly, terrified me.

I know my friends are too intelligent and awesome to be this douchey, but I saw this sort of behavior all too often when I would go to various events where CuteFilmNerd was an event photographer. Most celebrities of the non-asshat variety are fine with signing autographs and posing for photos when in the appropriate venue. But, like most of us, they also just want to hang with their friends and family, especially after a long day.

If you’re a mega fan of an actor/writer/famous-type person, learn when it is appropriate to politely ask for a photo or autograph. If the celeb of your fandom isn’t up to it or is just trying to get home because he/she has spent all frakking day on his/her feet (conventions are exhausting, even if you haven’t worked the entire time), respect that and move on. Your life will not end if you don’t get that which you desire. And the chances are that Favorite Celebrity won’t remember you unfavorably. If there’s one thing you don’t want to do, it’s doing anything that could cause another human being (newsflash: celebrities are human beings!) to consider slapping a restraining order on your ass.

In other words: Don’t Be A Dick.

almost at home…

I’ve lived in my new place for just over three months now. I have to say that I’m so glad I moved.

I loved my old place and neighborhood in Toluca Lake/NoHo Arts District, but I moved because, after being in the same neighborhood for thirteen years and the same apartment for ten years, I felt that parts of my life had grown stagnant (especially the romantic part of life). I needed a change of scene.

My move to Burbank certainly provided that. Within a few months of moving, I ended up at JPL and in a relationship with HSTeacher. After that broke up, I found myself in a new one with CuteFilmNerd within weeks (that relationship lasted until a few days before my most recent move). However, I never felt at home in Burbank, even though it was only a few miles from my previous neighborhood. Something about the vibe never sat right with me. It didn’t take long before I realized that, for whatever reason, I was not built for the Foothill communities.

Five years later – after obtaining treatment for my depression/anxiety, getting a car, working on getting on a better financial footing, etc. – I found myself living on the south side of the Hollywood Hills. A place familiar to me from my outings, but very different from many of the places where I’d previously lived. An area that might be a tad less safe than San Fernando Valley suburbia, but is much more vibrant. More in line with who I feel myself to be.

It doesn’t quite feel like home (certainly not as much as San Francisco or Washington, D.C.), but I definitely feel comfortable here. It’s a good start.

damn that fitness bug…

…that’s crawled up my ass.

A couple of weeks ago I thought it might be nice to start exercising a little. I mean, there’s a gym in the basement of my work building and I don’t have to pay anything to use it. I’ve used it before. It’s not like it’s an unknown quantity. Sure, it has bested me in the past, but I haven’t developed a gym phobia as a result of my unsuccessful battles. It’s just that I was either constantly forgetting my gym clothes or lazy (or both). Finally I remembered my stuff, found something resembling energy, thereby heading down to the gym to use the treadmill after work. How I slogged through the thirty minute walk I’ll never know. But I made it. And did crunches when I got home. And strained my back, which put me off of exercising again.

But wait! It was not for months and months on end this time. For a week later I once again had an overwhelming desire to use the treadmill! Which I did again the following day and the day after that!

And so an exerciser was born.

There has only been one day in the last week where I haven’t had at least thirty minutes of exercise and on that day I spent in my new apartment (isn’t it pretty? And now it’s got furniture in it!) making lists and sketching and doing general “What do I need to make my apartment Home?” kind of things.

Now I’m eagerly waiting for my payday tomorrow so I can pick up a fitbit and a new pair of athletic shoes (because my older pairs are not providing the support that I need). These are the things that are keeping me motivated, as is keeping my Runkeeper profile updated.

A big thank you goes out to CuteNerdBoy for his help, recommendations and support. (If you click on that link, be prepared for much angst and emo-ness. But things have smoothed out between us and we’re still good friends, even if we don’t hang out as much as we’d like to.) Thanks also go out to CuteFilmNerd, with whom I’ve retained a close friendship, for his encouragement. I’ve also gotten him on Runkeeper and he’s used it pretty much every day – it seems to be keeping him motivated too.

(Also, there is a chance that I may be re-befriending HSTeacher. We’ve gotten back in contact and have discussed getting together for dinner – if our schedules ever mesh. But he hasn’t been instrumental in the whole fitness thing. Movin’ along…)

*************************
One might ask, “So, Carol, why do you have a fitness bug up your ample yet shapely butt that has infected your brain with a possibly incurable Corpus sanus bacteria?”

Good question, anonymous reader! And unlike many good questions, I actually have an answer for this one.

I’m tired. Tired of my loss of flexibility (though I’m still more flexible than one might think when looking at me). Tired of a certain loss of mobility. And very tired of so much lost stamina. I lose my wind so very easily and I am sick of it.

While I’m not completely happy with my current weight (the heaviest I’ve ever been), the actual existence of the weight doesn’t psychologically bother me. My contrary nature almost wants to keep it on so that I can show people that a person doesn’t have to be thin to be healthy (my vitals are still amazingly good – better than many people my age, despite their size) and sexy.

But.

My various injuries and ailments have taken their toll and that, combined with the added weight, makes me more uncomfortable in my skin than I’d like. And I’m just sick of being uncomfortable.

Thus the exercising.

Losing weight isn’t my primary goal, but I’m fully aware that it will be a very noticeable side-effect of my efforts. I have no problem with that, as some of my clothes have gotten a little too tight and I just don’t have the money for an all new wardrobe. And I have some very cute clothes that I haven’t been able to wear in a while, so it would be nice to fit in them again.

“But Carol,” my hypothetical reader may ask, “while being comfortable in your skin is a very good reason to start exercising again, could there possibly be an external reason for this flurry of activity?”

Oh, you saw right through me, Clever Hypothetical Reader. Yes, being comfortable again is a very good (and still primary) reason for my single-mindedness of late. But yes, there is another reason why I want to build up my lost stamina: The Secret Stairs of Los Angeles.

I love hidden stairs that connect neighborhoods. And there are a fair amount of these hidden staircases not far from my new place. I’ve long wished to attend these walks, but the desire has grown keener over the past month, accompanied by a disappointment that I cannot hope to participate at this time.

So I’m getting myself stronger. I will be able hike up Los Angeles’ secret staircases and enjoy the sights that these hikes have to offer.

Ooh, I’m getting all excited again! Is it 5:30pm yet? Can I leave work and get on the treadmill again? Pretty please?

2011 can bite my shiny, metal ass…

It’s Day 2 of The Break-Up.

I’m at the point where spending time amongst humans is unbearable, but staying at home offers no distraction. Nothing but alternating pain and numbness. Especially since it turns out that he forgot a lot of his stuff (he had been staying with my roommate and me since the end of January, due to a foreclosure at the place that he had been renting).

I won’t go into details here. Too involved. But the upshot is that he screwed up, I found out and I kicked him out.

(Yes, there’s more to it. There’s always more to it – relationship issues and events leading to his screw-up and my fury. But it all ends with me being in pain and him being out on the streets.)

Of course, that causes even more whirling emotions and thoughts: Where did he sleep last night? Did crash on a friend’s sofa? Gawd, I hope he didn’t sleep in his car. And while a large part of me knows it would be best to not ask him back, even if it’s just to sleep on the couch, there is still a bit of me that wants to make sure he’s safe and sound and warm. Because I can be furious with him and still love him.

So I sit at home, wallowing, knowing I shouldn’t do so but finding it difficult to motivate myself out of bed to even eat, let alone get stuff done around the apartment that really needs to be done. Or to leave the apartment, where I run the risk of people seeing me break into tears.

Yeah, this is the part that really sucks.

We’ve exchanged emails so that we can get some practical items hammered out. Definitely needed, but I recognize it in part as an attempt to keep in touch with him. Yesterday he was cordial and apologetic. Today: very terse. And yes, that hurts.

But, hey, everything hurts today. It’s part of the process.

So I’m writing here, trying to help out the process. Tired of sending my friends and family texts and emails. Not up to talking on the phone. Tired of stupid little Facebook statuses and tweets on Twitter. Needing to fill this annoying, way-too-big hole somehow.

(As an aside, how the hell did we manage to get through breakups before the advent of cell phones and the internet? These wondrous machines have turned into a lifeline for me.)

At least I have the new apartment to look forward to. Someplace that’s all mine, with little residue from past relationships. (He saw the place with me and has helped me moved things, so there is some residual imprint of him.) I look forward to the time alone, but also fear it.

I know things will get better. I’ve been through this dance before, know the steps all too well.

Doesn’t mean the steps don’t bite, though.

gratitudinal december – cutefilmnerd…

I am grateful for CuteFilmNerd.

News alert: I am a mushy romantic. While I’ve never felt that I’m incomplete unless I have a man in my life (which is good, considering I went for nine years without a relationship), I do admit that I like having a companion. A lot.

I’m a very physical person. I love having someone to cuddle with, to hold hands with, to kiss and hug and have lovely, lovely sex with. But it’s not enough to have a warm male body next to me. I need the owner of that warm body to challenge me intellectually even while he shares my general outlook on life. Someone who makes me laugh by being witty and silly and who likes the fact that I’m super silly myself. Someone with compassion, who will hold me when I’m sad and understands my grief at the passing of a beloved pet. A generous man whose tastes in entertainment are fairly similar to mine, but who introduces me to fun and interesting things I’d never experienced and for whom I can do the same.

Luckily enough, I have found a man who pretty much hits all of those notes: CuteFilmNerd. We’ve been together almost three years, which is close to an eternity in my romantic life (I’ve been with only one man longer – that lasted three and a half years). A huge bonus for me? He’s mostly vegan and has helped to get me back on the vegan wagon after several years of consuming eggs and dairy. Which I had wanted to do, but couldn’t find the willpower to do so.

Is our relationship perfect? Of course not. No relationship is. But it’s so chock full of lovely, fabulous things that we’re willing to work on the things that aren’t so fabulous.

At the end of the day, isn’t that what a great relationship is about? No wonder I’m grateful.