Archive for February, 2011

26 Feb 2011

Flawless Saturday Question

22 Comments Flawless Saturday Question

What would you like to rant about?

I can’t stand thoughtless people. Whether it’s in the car, a store or a Starbucks, I think thoughtless people make me angrier than anything else. (I mean, besides useless violence and tyrannical governments.)

I feel like people are getting more and more consciously thoughtless.  I used to frequently think that people were just rude sometimes without meaning to be. Maybe they were just busy, or had something on their minds, or were in the middle of something awful. And I do think that happens sometimes. But I think that, more often than not, people are PURPOSELY thoughtless, self-involved, and just plain rude. And it makes my blood boil.  Here are the main offenders:

People who speed up when you put your blinker on, just so you can’t get over.

People who drive in the bicycle lane so they can pass you on the right when the light turns green.

People who cut in line. Anywhere.

People who walk by others who obviously need help.

People who don’t open doors for others.

People who don’t thank you for letting them in front of you in traffic, holding a door open, or stopping to help.

Last week I was making a left and, as the light was turning yellow, the guy behind me honked so loud it scared the crap out of me. Had I made the left when he honked, I would have been hit by the truck that ran the red light coming toward me. I knew he wasn’t stopping, which is why I didn’t turn. I was angry for at least two hours after that. The guy cared far more about his life than he did about anything else, even the possibility of someone doing something very dangerous. Pure thoughtlessness. When it happened, my heart was pumping so fast, I was sweating, and I screamed at him at the top of my lungs. It took everything in me to not follow him.

I am making it a huge priority to do little niceties for people every day. I am trying to let more people in in traffic, I’m smiling more often at people who look like they need a smile, I’m making sure to hold the door open for people. Yesterday I let someone in front of me in line at the grocery store because he only had a few items. He was so grateful, and it was such an insignificant gesture. He must have thanked me seven times. And I bet he did something nice for someone else. I really do believe that if we can all take the time to be a little kinder, it could make a difference in the world. Maybe I’m stupid. But I’d rather be stupid than thoughtless.

Now it’s YOUR turn! Rant, friends!! I’m all ears.

25 Feb 2011

I’m Not Making Dough, So I Made Cookies Instead

6 Comments Career, Cooking/Baking, Toddler

This is one of those times where I wish I could talk about my career completely openly and honestly and tell you exactly what happened these last couple days.  It’s been very frustrating. Essentially, I was offered a couple weeks of work and then the offer was taken back. The work was un-offered. De-offered? It was ripped away from me.

Now, keep in mind I was just at home minding my own business when I got the call about work. And it’s not like I was jumping up and down and screaming, “YAY!”, but I was looking very forward to it. When it was taken away the following day, I was nothing if not frustrated and confused.

Of course, there’s nothing I can do about work being taken from me, especially when I wasn’t expecting it in the first place, and especially when there’s been no contract signed or formal agreement made.  I think what was angering me most was that I was very happy NOT working until I heard I WOULD be working and then that I WOULDN’T be working… And all of a sudden I was in a terrible mood. I don’t like being unhappy, but it was very difficult to get out of my pissy mood.

So what did I do, you ask? I love how curious you are. I made cookies! That’s right. I made Crispy Oatmeal Cookies. And I loved doing it. And I was making them for people who deserved them who DIDN’T live in this house. BUT, my curious friends, do you know what happened?

Well, as soon as I was done making the batter and I had the first batch in the oven, I gave a beater to Russ and the other to Garrett so they could eat the cookie dough. (I use pasteurized egg whites, so it’s totally safe to eat the batter. I know, I’m no fun.) I watched Garrett loving every last lick of that dough, and it made everything bad go away.

When I was pregnant I dreamed of moments like this. I used to tell Russ how much I hoped our kid would like the way I cooked and would want to eat the cookies and breads I made.  I told him I couldn’t wait to share moments in the kitchen, as well as in other rooms of the house, of course. When all the cookies were made (and I had entered the recipe into my LoseIt program, finding out that each one was 108 calories), I bagged up the ones that were going to other houses and kept 10 for us.

Today when Garrett got home from school he asked for a cookie. Tonight he asked for one for dessert, and then he wanted one more. I’m not big on sweets in the middle of the day, or giving more than one cookie for dessert… But somehow G-Man had three Crispy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies today. It just seemed right.

My goodness, that kid makes me happy.

And here’s the link to the recipe:

So, I just read this over to make sure I didn’t make any huge spelling or grammatical errors, and I realized that you might not know that I also enjoyed watching Russ eat that dough. And that whenever I go through crappy stuff he’s there for me, making it all better and supporting me. And that is why crappy stuff never seems so crappy, and why I always feel incredibly, stupidly lucky. I have an amazing son, and an equally amazing husband. Mushy part over.

24 Feb 2011

She’s Naked

10 Comments Toddler

I got the Victoria’s Secret catalog in the mail yesterday. On the cover is a scantily clad woman (surprise) with blond hair and zero percent body fat.
Garrett picked it up and said,

“She’s beautiful!”

“Yes, she is”, I said.

“She’s naked.”

“No she’s not. She’s in a bra and underwear.”

“Oh. She’s beautiful.”

“I know, bud.”

“Can we go to her house, soon?”

“We can certainly try, G-Man.”

So now I have to find out where she lives. I really try to keep my promises. And I really think she’d think Garrett is super cute. So… No harm, no foul right? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

23 Feb 2011

Big Boy Bed

6 Comments Family, Toddler

Last night while Garrett and I finished our dinner, Russ transformed his crib into a big boy bed. It’s really the same bed, except the front was taken off and replaced with a very low rail so that G doesn’t roll out of the bed, which he would do because he’s incredibly restless.
So, just a quick change and it’s a big boy bed. Garrett was very excited.

Plus: I no longer have to lift him in and out of bed, which is getting hard on my back.
Minus: I no longer get to lift my baby in and out of his crib.
Plus: He can get out of bed by himself.
Minus: He can get out of bed by himself.

This is one of those times where it’s super clear that yet another phase has ended. With each new phase, we take a moment to mourn the passing of time and to celebrate our son growing up. He is becoming such a big boy.

So, last night was his first night in the new digs, and he did great going to sleep. At 12:45 AM, however, he called me in and wanted to come into bed with us. He had a fever yesterday, so I thought maybe this was just him not feeling well. He rarely wants to get into our bed. I brought him in and we all cuddled together. Three hours later we were still trying to get comfortable and fall asleep. No joke. THREE HOURS. He was moving and talking and asking questions. At one point I caught him trying to put one of our pillow cases over his head. There’s nothing like giving a lecture about the dangers of putting things over your head at 2:30 in the morning.

At 3:45, I had had it. I told him he had to go back into his bed. He said he would, but would I please come sleep on his floor for a little bit? I said I would. I woke up, very sore, on his floor at 8:00 this morning. He slept until 8:30, a full two and a half hours later than he usually wakes up.

It was a rough night for all of us. I’m still not sure if it was because of the new bed or because he wasn’t feeling like himself. We’ll have to see how tonight goes.

I kept him home from school again today, just because we were all so sleepy and, well… He’s got a big boy bed now. And I want to spend as much time with him as possible while he still has a little baby left in him. My baby. My big boy. I gotta go play some Iron Man with him now.  Or Iron Boy. Iron Baby? Hmmmm.

22 Feb 2011

Come on… It’s not THAT great here!

10 Comments Family, Toddler

My son does not want to sleep somewhere else. Period. Sorry. Ain’t happening. To be completely honest, he doesn’t even love being home if Russ and I aren’t here. But he does a pretty good job. Sleeping elsewhere however… Nope.

This puts Russ and I in the position of never being able to stay out very late or go away for a night (GOD FORBID) without feeling incredibly guilty OR caving in and bringing Garrett home.

So what do we do?

Saturday night we had a party to go to, so Garrett went to his cousins’ house to SLEEP OVER. He had a blast, ate a huge dinner, played the night away… But would not even entertain the notion of falling asleep at their house. By 10:45, 10:45 people!, he was still nowhere near the big zzzzzz. As a matter of fact, he was trying to get the entire family to do aerobics. Don’t ask.

So, we did what we’ve done once or twice in the past. We picked him up on the way home. Here’s the problem. I don’t want to FORCE him into doing something he’s not comfortable with and I don’t want to force my bro and sis-in-law to be the bad guys who make him sleep over. What, oh what, is the solution?

If you have any past experience with this, I’d love to hear your insight. One of my ideas is to make it way less desirable to sleep at home. You know, play loud 80′s hair band music right outside his door, give him lumpy pillows and take away all his blankets. And send him to bed without dessert. I mean, that’d make ANYWHERE else seem dreamy, right? Right???

Aw, poop.

22 Feb 2011

Tuesday, February 22nd Update

No Comments Career

Okay, just got home from my audition.

Picture me in skin-tight, black jeans, knee-high, high-heeled boots, a funky t-shirt, crazy jewelry and hair in pigtails. And my glasses. They wanted “quirky” so I gave it to them.

Lovely girls in the waiting room. We all looked alike but we each had a different take on the character. Then a gorgeous, blonde actress I know walked in. She looked perfect. Glasses, blue tights, cute dress, hair up. She’s also very talented. She’s beat me out on parts before. But she’s one of those women I’m happy for if she books the job. She’s good people. So it’s okay to root for her.

The session was getting way behind. My appointment was at 11:30 but I wasn’t seen until 12:15. A girl who had just come in from NY and was going in right before me, offered to put money in my meter on her way out. That was lovely. Good Karma points for her!

I went in feeling confident and I did a good job. I got the sense, however, that I’m not going to be called back for this one. I can usually tell by the energy in the room if I’m going to get a call back or not. The worse times are when I don’t do my best and it’s my fault I’m not getting called back. This was one of the times where I felt very good about the work I did, but I think it’s just not meant to be.

I got home just in time to give G a kiss before he went down for his nap. He’s home from school today with a low-grade fever. This is a good day. Good audition, lots of support, tons of love from my boys. I’m a lucky girl. A quirky, lucky girl.

21 Feb 2011

Monday, February 21st Update

8 Comments Career, Family

Good morning!
So, about that Disney audition… Didn’t get it. Got an email that night saying it was between me and another actress. I can’t tell you how often I get that email. Then I found out I didn’t get it the following morning.
Now, before you go feeling all sorry for me… Don’t. This is my job. I audition for work and I book a small percentage of those auditions. That’s how it goes.

Tomorrow I have a pilot audition that I’m really looking forward to. It’s for an hour-long drama and the character is very cool. Now, had I booked that Disney show? I wouldn’t have been able to go to this audition tomorrow because I’d be working. SO… I’m also a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. (Even though sometimes I bitch and moan about it.) Whether or not I book the job I’m auditioning for tomorrow, it’s an important one. I’m meeting casting directors and producers that I’ve never met, and that can be invaluable.

So, that’s my update for today. I’ve got to go do a few errands and get home so I can hang with the little man who’s not in school today! Okay, I’m not gonna lie. Two of my errands are all about looking better for tomorrow. I need my bangs cut, and I’m getting a spray tan. SO weird.

19 Feb 2011

Flawless Saturday Question

10 Comments Flawless Saturday Question

Do you have any memories, good or bad, of being away from your family when you were young?

When I was 11 or 12, my parents dropped me off at Carmel Valley Tennis Camp for two weeks while they went on vacation.

I was miserable for a variety of reasons:
I wasn’t great at tennis.
I was the only Jew there.
I was the only one (seemingly) who didn’t have any established friendships with other girls there.
I hated being away from home.

It was bad. Luckily, I brought a few books, and all I did was read when I had any free time. I remember reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I felt like it saved me. I also became pretty close with one of the counselors, which helped.

But for the most part, I counted the minutes until my parents were going to pick me up. And I ate are least three peanut butter and jelly sandwiches a day.

By the way, I didn’t get any better at tennis in those two weeks.

17 Feb 2011

Here’s what goes on…

20 Comments Career

I’m wondering if I should start posting short blogs about my schedule for those of you interested in what goes on with “the business” (from the perspective of someone who’s “in” it, but not “big-time”).
For instance, today I have an audition for a guest star role on a Disney show. I’m reading for casting directors who have cast me before, (In Hannah Montana and Cory in the House), and it’s for a very fun, physical-comedy-type role.
This morning I’ve been going back and forth with agents and my manager about a deal we’re trying to negotiate.
All while waking up at 6:15, feeding myself and my son, showering, putting on makeup, playing games at PBSkids.org with G-man, getting him ready for school, taking him to school, and working on my audition.
I’ll leave here in 20 minutes, drive down town, audition, come back home, do laundry, clean the kitchen, and pick G up with his play-date from school.
And that, (if all goes as planned) will be my day.

*UPDATE*

So, my audition went very well BUT there were a lot of very funny, talented women (most of whom I recognized) going up for the same role.

I came home to find out I have a session at Vh1 tomorrow to do one of their “list” shows, ie: “40 Greatest Hair Bands”. Yes, I did that one. I also have an audition for a pilot tomorrow. A drama. It’s been a long time since I’ve gone out on one of those.

I have two hours to go over my lines for the audition and some of the research for the Vh1 show before I pick up Garrett and his friend from school. I’ll do the rest of my work after he goes to bed. OH! And I did a load of laundry!! (Patting myself on the back.)

Keep in mind, except for one week in August it’s been DEAD for me for over six months. It’s been a glorious time of me at home with my men. And now, all of a sudden, I’m thrown back in the thick of it. I think telling you all about it will help me see if I’m doing an okay job of balancing everything, or not.

16 Feb 2011

Visiting my youth

7 Comments Personal Crap

I went back to my high school last week to speak to the kids in Play Production. Sixth period. Just like when I went there. It was a bizarre day, driving back through the old ‘hood. It’s a mere 10 miles from my house, but it feels like a whole other world. It feels like my childhood. (With a few added Taco Bells and gas stations.) Driving down the road that lead to the school, I was looking at all the parked cars and thinking, “I used to park there. Then I’d walk the 1/6th of a mile to the school’s front doors, put my shit in my locker and start my day.”

I hated going to school. It makes me worry for my son because if he’s anything like me OR his father, he’s got a long road ahead of him, paved with classes he hates, awkward social behaviors, and a brain full of angry sarcasm just dying to get out.

The D Building was always my haven. I hated everything a little less when I was on that side of the campus. “D” stood for “Drama”, and there was a lot of it. Not just on stage. Imagine an episode of Glee, only there’s no cute cheerleaders. It was just us, the Drama Dorks; our hearts full of creativity and our pants full of hormones.

Walking through the drama room’s door, (now renamed for the woman who was my drama teacher), I laughed. Holy Cow, it was weird to be in that room! And yet, I truly felt like I could just sit down in one of those chairs, be a part of the class, and no one would know I was almost 40 because I could still totally get away with being 17. Right? I mean it really felt like that. I spent a few minutes chatting with the teacher, who is a fantastic girl who graduated the year before me, and was a friend and fellow performer. The fact that she’s the TEACHER now, and has been for TEN YEARS is mind boggling. She said she also feels like she could go right back to that time and place… 22 years ago.

The kids came filing in, each of them looking like an exact replica of someone I was in class with all those years ago. The prototype hasn’t changed. You can see the kid in every one of them., as well as the budding adult. They are at an age where they are brimming with ideas and feelings… Mostly pain and confusion, I’d assume. I wanted to grab every one of them and say, “BE CREATIVE NOW! THIS IS THE TIME WHEN ALL OF YOUR FEELINGS ARE RIGHT AT THE SURFACE! YOU’LL NEVER BE SO IN TOUCH WITH THAT BULLSHIT AND DRAMA AS YOU ARE NOW. SO USE IT!” I said something to that end, but not exactly that.

I also told them how horrible this business is and how they have to be prepared to trudge through endless shit to find one day of glory. But I also told them if they really want it, they can do it. And if they don’t really want it, to find another career. I made them laugh, they made me laugh. I did a couple characters from the Shakespeare monologue I had done as a senior which won me first place at a festival. They understood the importance of that day to me, because they go to the same festivals. I spoke to a few of them after class. Good kids.

I left and decided to drive to the house I grew up in. I turned on my radio and an Adam Ant song blared out of the speakers. Perfect. It felt like the 80′s. I opened my sunroof, because when I was a teenager I never drove with it closed. As I drove past all of the familiar houses, I admired how well most of them are being taken care of. I remembered baby sitting in one of the houses and skating past others. I drove up the hill to my house, made a u-turn and pulled up in front of it.

It isn’t being as well taken care of as some of the other homes, and there’s a for sale sign out front. I called the number to see how much it’s going for, but the code I punched in didn’t work. And… There was the driveway I drove up thousands of times, where I took prom pictures, played basketball, hid from my brother, and cried when my first boyfriend and I broke up. There was the front door I walked through over and over, day after day. The door my mom and dad came through when they got home from work. The door that lead into the home I lived in for all of my youth.

I actually visited it a few years back, and the owner let me look around. Most of it was unchanged, but the kitchen wall had been knocked down and an island put in. I saw the room my parents didn’t furnish until Bob and I both graduated from high school, so we could have a rehearsal space. I saw my room, my brother’s, my parents’. I saw the bathrooms, the den. So many memories.

And here I was again, staring at the bay windows my dad designed and the vines that used to be beautiful, blooming bougainvillea. It was as if the house represented my youth: Still there, but older. I waited for the tears, but none came. I gave it one last look and drove home.

It was an interesting day, to say the least. To visit familiar places, this time as this me. So much has changed, but I am still that girl that lived in that house and went to that school. I’m the girl that grew up to become a wife, a mom, a working actor (sometimes). I’m the girl who roller-skated down the hill behind that house, who walked to the strip mall to buy ice cream, who dreamt of who I would be.

I miss that girl sometimes. But I got a life much better than she ever allowed herself to dream of. It was a good visit. But I like living here. Now.

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