Monday, October 27, 2008

Shoulda just stayed in bed (mostly)

'Cause nobody wants to be the last one there
'Cause everyone wants to feel like someone cares
Someone to love with my life in their hands
There's gotta be somebody for me like that
'Cause nobody wants to do it on their own
And everyone wants to know they're not alone
There's somebody else that feels the same somewhere
There's gotta be somebody for me out there

-"Gotta Be Someone" by Nickelback

I heard that song on the radio at least five times today. And don't get me wrong, I actually really like it - most of the time it hits me as a very hopeful song - but with everything else that happened today, it kind of drove me up a wall.

First off, I wake up a lot later than I had intended to and discover Teddie has made a rather disgusting mess on the bathroom rug, right in front of the toilet and less than a foot from his litter box. (He's mad at me because he's back on a dry food diet - he much prefers tuna.) Get that cleaned up, and check my phone (I've taken to turning it to silent during the night. Mornings are happier that way). Missed call from one of the PCPA numbers. The TD wants me to explain one of the notes from the report this weekend. Why the hell is he calling ME? And on my day off? Do I LOOK like the person who sent the notes out? I'm the employee whose contract is getting cancelled, remember? Grr! (And I'd like to point out, since in all fairness I do proofread the notes before they get sent out, that I TOLD Chrissy that if she called a certain piece that, no one would know what she meant and she decided to leave it because it was cute.)

Deal with that phone call, decide I have enough time to do laundry before my dentist appointment, and haul dirty clothes down to the laundry room, including the soiled bathroom rug, which of course gets all over the shirt I was wearing. Ugh! Toss THAT shirt into the wash, which I had planned on wearing to class since it was my last clean school shirt, and walk back to my apartment in my sweatpants and sports bra, which got a really odd look from the super as she was sweeping the sidewalk. (And it was still more covered up and modest than most of the swimsuits people wear to the pool, so I don't know what her problem was.) Go back down (in a new clean shirt) to put laundry in dryer, and one of the dryers doesn't work. Of course. Put laundry in dryers that do work, and go to dentist appointment because my back teeth have been hurting (You have no idea how much I HATE going to the dentist. I didn't have any weird experiences to turn me off of it, not even a cavity or bracers or anything, it's just the feeling of metal scraping on and between my teeth. It's worse than nails on a chalkboard!)

No cavities (which is what I was afraid of), but not only have my wisdom teeth come in and are smashing up against my molars, my x-rays show that I have at least one extra molar! I tried to argue that too many teeth was better than too few, but the doc says they've all gotta come out, the sooner the better. Fantastic. Now I get to go make an appointment with an oral surgeon (cue creepy shudders of horror) for a consultation on what exactly needs to be done and how much my insurance will cover. (All I can say is they'd better knock me completely out, and it's a good thing that they're literally less than a block away from my apartment.) Oh, and I have a minor gum infection, too, which is also contributing to my teeth hurting, but that should go away on its own soon.

Finally get done at the dentist's (and I didn't even get a plastic dinosaur, I was so disappointed! I did get a new toothbrush, though, and it's purple!) and have enough time to make it up to CalPoly before the admissions office closes. Get up to the school, explain my situation to the initial admissions lady, and find out that CSU schools, including the CalPolys, don't accept students seeking a second bachelor's degree. You have to be a graduate student or have never earned a degree before. The hell?! What's that say? You'd better choose right the first time, because heaven forbid you change your mind in your career? I'm willing to learn, I'm willing to pay, but I can't be a student. Part of my brain says that can't possibly be right, maybe the lady was mistaken or I misunderstood her, so I need to seek further information, but it was incredibly disheartening! No other local universities have an aerospace engineering program (the nearest one is UCLA). Gah!

Two of my friends (Mel and AF Guy) have tried to convince me to join the military (there's my aerospace schooling and career right there, as well as better-than-current paycheck and benefits), and while that is actually really tempting, there are two problems with it. The biggest one being that I would have minimal to no control over where I got stationed, and I really want to stay around here. The second one being that no matter if I enlist or get a commission, I will have to go away for training, and what am I supposed to do with a cat while I'm gone? I am, however, going to go talk to the recruiter's office and see if they have more specific contacts on civilian jobs. Another friend (John) would really love to see me move back to LA. I want to stay here, though. I like it here. My friends are here, my training is here, my kitty is here, and my family loves to visit me here. What more can one ask for from a location? (Okay, a job, yes.)

Finally get to class, which was mostly good. I actually partnered up with Mrs. S tonight in kickboxing and we added a haganah twist to our partner "crunch & punches" that the rest of the class seemed to like. (She'd originally had us doing them with one partner doing the situps/punches and the other just kneeling and holding the pad. In haganah, we do it with both partners doing situps together - one is the target and the other punches. We just used the pad for a target instead of hands, but it worked.) They all started copying us, anyway. Regular class was okay - Sir had the black belts work some grappling stuff tonight, and I got the second technique pretty well. The first one I need to work on a bit more. He only had us go through four forms (white, purple, red, and first degree) in instructor class tonight, and I knew all of them. I made a few technique mistakes, though. Then we did weapons, and I only got a few comments on my form, but I am *really* having trouble with one of the single bahng mahng ee drills. I can do it as an attacker (strike block strike block strike block), but not as a defender (block strike block strike block strike), for some reason, even though it's just the reverse. Definitely will be working on that this week! I also found out that there will be an instructor certification test before the end of the year. I don't know if I will be eligible or not. I don't think I will be - I have the memorization down, but still have some technique problems and am not sure that I have the "eye" yet to really help anyone else. I am pretty sure I'll be mid-terming, though. There's also going to be another women's self-defense seminar on November 15th, so mark your calendars!

Anyway, I've finally gotten tonight's episode of Heroes, so I'm going to curl up with CP2 and watch it. And maybe re-watch an episode of Fringe, too. Tomorrow's gotta be better!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

This amused me

Your result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz...

You Are a Bette!


You are a Bette -- "I must be strong"

Bettes are direct, self-reliant, self-confident, and protective.

How to Get Along with Me
  • * Stand up for yourself... and me.
  • * Be confident, strong, and direct.
  • * Don't gossip about me or betray my trust.
  • * Be vulnerable and share your feelings. See and acknowledge my tender, vulnerable side.
  • * Give me space to be alone.
  • * Acknowledge the contributions I make, but don't flatter me.
  • * I often speak in an assertive way. Don't automatically assume it's a personal attack.
  • * When I scream, curse, and stomp around, try to remember that's just the way I am.

What I Like About Being a Bette
  • * being independent and self-reliant
  • * being able to take charge and meet challenges head on
  • * being courageous, straightforward, and honest
  • * getting all the enjoyment I can out of life
  • * supporting, empowering, and protecting those close to me
  • * upholding just causes

What's Hard About Being a Bette
  • * overwhelming people with my bluntness; scaring them away when I don't intend to
  • * being restless and impatient with others' incompetence
  • * sticking my neck out for people and receiving no appreciation for it
  • * never forgetting injuries or injustices
  • * putting too much pressure on myself
  • * getting high blood pressure when people don't obey the rules or when things don't go right

Bettes as Children Often
  • * are independent; have an inner strength and a fighting spirit
  • * are sometimes loners
  • * seize control so they won't be controlled
  • * figure out others' weaknesses
  • * attack verbally or physically when provoked
  • * take charge in the family because they perceive themselves as the strongest, or grow up in difficult or abusive surroundings

Bettes as Parents
  • * are often loyal, caring, involved, and devoted
  • * are sometimes overprotective
  • * can be demanding, controlling, and rigid

Take Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz

Friday, October 24, 2008

Be careful what you wish for...

So...remember this post? I found an escape. I talked with the Big Boss this afternoon, and my employment contract will now end in January. It ultimately ended up being PCPA's decision - the upcoming season is full of shows that give me a headache just thinking about them, and the Powers That Be know that - and while I would of course have preferred it to have been my decision, it's also the sign I needed. I'm a little nervous, but I'm okay with it.

Unless something really irresistable comes up (and John is calling tomorrow, so we'll see), I'm going to get out of the theater world. I really love working on shows, but frankly, I just can't afford the time, the stress, and the pay. It hasn't gotten any better the five years I've been in the industry, and getting advanced degrees doesn't really help either (Chrissy has a MFA from Yale and is making only slightly more than I make, and I have better health insurance!). I do want to stay on the Central Coast, though. My current plan (and I've already started the balls rolling on this, so we'll see how it pans out) is to try to get an office-type job at Vandenberg AFB (Mr. C from the dojahng works there, and said they are getting ready to start a new project, so they will be hiring lots of officey types soon and he'll send me the webpage of openings) and work that while I go back to school and finish my BS in aerospace engineering at CalPoly. (My friend Matt's reaction to this idea, which I've been throwing around for a while, actually, was "You'd be a total nerd wet dream...Good shape from martial arts. Attractive besides. Engineering degree. You'll have to beat them off with huge sticks," which I thought was hilarious!) It might be a lot of driving, but we'll see. If that doesn't pan out, Ma'am recommended a few of the employment agencies in town (she's a CPA and works with lots of businesses) to at least find some work while I go back to school. My parents also are very supportive, of course (and they love the Central Coast, too, and are okay with me staying here as long as they can continue to come visit).

So, I'm pretty sure life will be okay. Now I actually have a chance to work normal-people hours (with evenings, at least until I can start classes) which include weekends! Maybe even make some money, or save up a little! It will be hard to tell the kids tomorrow - PCPA is going to let me handle this however I want, and I think I'm going to play the "pursuing education" angle - but it's also like I just got a fresh start and I can do whatever I want again, which is kind of an awesome feeling. It was kind of a blow this afternoon, but if there's one thing I've trained to do, it's roll with punches. I did end up bowing out of rehearsal tonight (which was apparently not as disastrous as taking Wednesday night off turned out to be - one of my favorite students/one of our best dancers came out of a lift wrong and I ended up going to the ER after classes to sit with her and her new severely sprained ankle, yikes! - although Chrissy said they had a lot of minor things go crazy tonight), mostly because once I had the idea, I really wanted to talk to Mr. C about it (which was a huge gamble, because he doesn't always come on Fridays, but he ended up joining us for pizza), and I wasn't quite ready to tell people at PCPA at that point. I didn't know if I was emotionally controlled enough for sparring class, but it turned out to be perfect. Kids always are amusing, and just being there always makes me calm down. Plus, since it was Friday, Ma'am, Mr. C, TKD Grandma & grandson, Sir, Mrs. S, Baby S and I all headed down to Klondike's afterward. Having good friends helps fix anything (and boy, did we hear stories tonight!), and pizza and beer don't hurt either!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

It's been a weird weekend (really long and absolutely no knitting whatsoever)

I think not eating (or maybe drinking water) properly on Saturday is what started it. I just wasn't very hungry all day, did a double rehearsal including the first run of Act I, then went running at the gym. I did my normal run (20 minutes at 5 mph, which I know is slow to all you "real" runners out there, but I'm working on it!), but it was really hard that night for some reason. Normally, I go from running to bag work (only about 5-10 minutes, I get bored on the bags fast without a partner) and then go through all of my forms (except weapons, of course) with the rest of the PT alternated in between each form. That night I did the running, skipped the bag work completely because the running was so hard, and only got about 3/4 of the way through my forms without any of the PT when my brain just refused to compute anymore. I got stuck on a form I never get stuck on (Choong Jung 2, the red and recommended black form, which I know inside and out, as I've tested on it twice) and realized I was just done. I wasn't sore or anything, just really tired. I got home, showered, settled in for the night, and just as I was about to fall asleep, my legs started hurting. The front of my legs, just above the ankle, just hurt to the point where I couldn't relax enough to sleep. I rubbed some IcyHot on them and took some ibuprofen, and was finally able to get a little rest.

Sunday was just a loooong day. My legs didn't hurt anymore, but all of my muscles still just felt tired. I decided to forego the gym Sunday in order to give my body a rest for Monday's classes, but I still couldn't fall asleep until almost 4:00a Monday morning. I woke up, wide awake, around 9:30a for no particular reason, had a bowl of cereal, was up for about an hour and a half, and then crashed again. I didn't wake back up until almost 3:45p! Realizing I had class in less than two hours, I had a pb&j (protein, carbs, sugars), a thing of oranges (more sugars), and a glass of milk (calcium) and felt okay, just kind of like I hadn't completely woken up yet, if that makes any sense. I was also very cold - to the point where I didn't want take my sweatshirt off until right before class started (the dojahng is often warm to the point of boiling, which is probably another reason I love it there - the windows steam up quite frequently in the cooler months). I started the class okay, but even though it was one of the relatively easier workouts, like the running on Saturday night, it was just so hard. I just didn't have whatever it was that I needed to get me through the class - Mrs. S came up about 3/4 of the way through and asked me if I'd eaten that day, because I looked "ashy." (She knows about my sometimes struggle to fuel my body correctly.) I assured her I had, but I just felt like I couldn't warm up - temperature-wise or muscle-wise. Even though I was dripping sweat, it felt like I was trying to do everything in a pool of icy water. Normally if I haven't eaten properly, I get shaky and a little dizzy. This wasn't that at all. After class, Mrs. S told me that next time I wasn't allowed to have regular water in class - she wants me to drink Gatorade or something with electrolytes and a little sugar. I normally drink Propel water during the day, but that has a tendency of coating my mouth, so we'll see. Normally between classes, I'll get an organic shake from Healthy Palate just a few shops down, come back, and either chat with Mel or work on forms on the carpet. Yesterday, I got my shake (it was much colder and sweeter than usual), put on my sweatshirt, and laid down on the carpet with my head on my gear bag (honestly, I really felt like I was back at a swimming Invitational - curled up on the comfiest bit of floor you can find, with whatever you have handy as a pillow, wrapped in sweats that get wetter the more you wear them and the liquid on your body is so cold. It was a little comforting, oddly, and made me smile). It wasn't that I was feeling sick or shaky, again, I was just tired and cold. I felt more alert by the time my tkd class started, but it felt more like being on autopilot than anything else. Not dazed or unclear, I knew what I was doing and why and was even helping a few people with self-defenses and forms, but it just felt like my brain had taken a backseat and was letting the body (and mouth, apparently I was very good on kihaps and counting last night) take over. (Oddly, my techniques felt really solid last night. Maybe I normally need to turn my brain off?) I was still cold, though, and actually did keep my sweatshirt on for almost the entire class, which is not something any of us ever do. I was sweaty, but anytime I went to take it off, the air would just feel like ice on my skin. I kept it on for most of instructor class, too, although it did start to get in the way for forms and I ended up asking Sir to close the door to keep some of the air out. Surprisingly, I did pretty well on forms this week overall. I have never felt that way in class before, though, and this will be the start of my third winter at the dojahng. It was just so weird.

Today, I'm still tired (I slept just under eight hours last night), my hamstrings are a little sore (most likely from the millions of crescent kicks we did last night - I think I might be getting better at them, though!), and I have a good chance of getting tomorrow (Wednesday) night off of rehearsal, so I didn't go to the gym tonight. I don't know if I'm simply over-training (I didn't think I was doing that much, though), or if my already-pretty-high metabolism has just kicked itself into a higher gear due to going to the gym regularly and is burning through things faster, or if it was simply not drinking enough water (I've been so good about that, though!), or what it was (maybe I'm allergic to the MMA class I watched on Saturday morning - I hope not, cuz I'd like to get more involved in it!), but I really don't care to repeat it. I'd like my energy back, too, please!

(And no, I am NOT getting sick. I just got done being sick two weeks ago. Possibly anemic - I haven't taken vitamins in a while - but NOT sick!)

Back to catching up on tonight's Fringe and working on CP2!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Not me!

An addition to the previous post, which I swear I typed the first time, and apparently didn't.

I had a huge craving for frozen yogurt on Monday, ending with Ma'am and I going to the very yummy Yogurt Creations after class. (There was a bit of a discussion in which Ma'am offered to let me use a gift card she had recieved from another student, then decided she wanted to go too, so it worked out.) We started talking about the student who had given her the gift card. Apparently, he gave it to her as a thank-you for helping him with his form, which I thought was rather sweet. I don't know him very well, although he often comes in on Fridays for a private lesson as I am finishing up. He's always been very kind, just very quiet and shy. Ma'am agreed with that assessment and added, "Yup. He works hard. He gets nervous because he wants to do every thing perfectly. Remind you of anyone?" She gave me a very direct look. I just grinned at her. "Nope!"

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hearing the pin drop...

Sorry it's been so quiet around here. There just hasn't been much going on. Rehearsal and work continue to suck up the majority of my life and energy right now, although I must admit that this show isn't even close to being the most stressful I've ever worked on, and for the most part, we're keeping our working hours to a minimum on it. Last week, with the Gala, was really long and hard, but this week has been pretty light. We're only planning on working four afternoons - two in the office and two in rehearsal, which is pretty amazing. It may be only a 50+ hour week! The flip side of that is that, for all intents and purposes, I've got three shows to be thinking about right now, plus the two Outreach shows to keep tabs on. Having good interns has helped out a lot, although I still find it a little difficult to delegate work and not try to do all of it myself. Oh, and publicity photos are up, too.

Still going to the gym at night after rehearsal. I think I need to start pushing myself a bit more, though. I got kind of frustrated the other night in class. I've been working on my forms at the gym every night. I was so proud of myself because I was able to actually get through all of them without having to look at any notes, and I'd go through every form every night. Then comes class time on Monday, and I mess up. Little things, but still. Grrrr! So frustrating! Baby step forward, big step back. Sigh. I am getting dojahng time in again on Friday afternoon. The same thing happens there - I'll get through everything fine, and then come class time, I'll screw up again. I just need to work on consistency, I guess. And technique. I still have problems with balance on a few moves, even in the lower belts, so I've been trying to drill those skills as much as possible, too. I've finished learning my weapons form - Sir pretty much left it up to me to figure out the second half, which is the exact same as the first half, only with the bahng mahng ee in the left hand instead of the right. Now, I knife-fight with my left hand quite a bit, mostly because I prefer the stance, but a big stick in your non-dominant hand feels very awkward! I think I'm getting it, though.

CP2 is still coming along, despite the fact that I apparently bought the last skein of the color I need in northern Santa Barbara County. It should be fine, though, the shop swears they're getting another shipment in a few days, and different dyelots shouldn't be too much of a problem. I'm at a pretty mindless point in the knitting, and have been using what free time I have to both knit and catch up on my shows. I'm probably watching way too much tv lately, but I'm hooked on Fringe (I think that the other regular FBI agent is the real traitor, but that remains to be seen), NCIS, Bones, Law & Order: SVU (okay, that's not new), and Pushing Daisies (honestly, can a show really be more fun - it spoofs both crime dramas AND musicals! Mom, I think you'd like this one.). I'm also a few weeks behind on House and Ghost Hunters, and have finally caught up to at least the current season of Heroes (so I'm a little late to the bandwagon on this one, and nothing is particularly original about it - I think I've seen most of the plotlines so far in old X-Men comics of my brother's - but yet, it's somehow addictive. Maybe the hot guys sans shirts have something to do with it? Or maybe it's the idea that a story cannot be told in one episode and you actually do have to watch the whole thing to get the story arc. I like that. At any rate, I'm only about two weeks into the current season, so don't tell me! (Plus, Maya hasn't cried and Caitlyn hasn't shown up for a whole two episodes! Elle is extremely annoying, though, ugh!))

Anyway, long day of meetings tomorrow, so gonna crash.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Excuse me, you must be tall, blond, and fabulous to work here...

...and the positions have been filled.

The 2008-2009 Stage Management department:

They let us out pretty much unsupervised tonight - we had our annual fundraising gala. Chrissy and I actor-wrangled, with the interns' help, but honestly, it would have been just fine with the two of us. I think they had fun, though. I hope so.

I'd also like to point out that the dress is the same dress I wore to the Seussical opening two years ago. It looks a hell of a lot better on me now (you think maybe two years of martial arts and exercise had anything to do with that? nah...), although I've really got to get a pair of nylons that don't roll at the waist! Ugh!

Anyway, kind of a slow week. The weather suddenly decided yesterday that it was fall, and dropped from a comfortable 70 degrees to a rather unfortunate 50 degrees during the day and into the low 40s at night. Whine! I've discovered a hanging bag and a set of mats at the gym, so I've been working on forms and bagwork there this week, which has been nice. We had a double rehearsal yesterday instead of today, due to the Gala, so I went to the dojahng over dinner break and talked to Sir and Mr. R a little bit and watched the first 15 minutes or so of the aikido class. It looks like it's all about joint manipulation, which is actually a little scary. Some of the teenyboppers in the tkd class are taking the aikido as well, but you can tell that they aren't really "into" it and that worries me a little. Sir's already messed up his shoulder in that class, trying not to land on one of them. We'll see. Mr. R is also taking it, as is one of the parents that I know, and Gil is teaching it. I'd trust them.

Knitting is still plugging along, although CP 2 is going a bit slower than I'd like. It's still in a good place, though, so I'm not too worried, yet.

I'm thinking about taking the train home for Christmas. It will be slower, but a lot cheaper, and I think I could handle the trip without a sleeper car. My laptop won't, but maybe I can be near an outlet. Anyone have experience with train travel? I don't...any advice would be appreciated!

Parent as he was coming in the dojahng on Friday: "Dodgers lost."
Me: "Aww! Really?! Poor Dodgers! What a shame?"
Parent (grinning at my sarcasm): "I take it you're a Cub fan?"
Sir: "You can't tell from the hat she wears all the time?!"

Monday, October 06, 2008

It is that time of year now...

The first of the rains. For those who don't live in this part of Cali, it's not all sunshine and warm beaches. Only about six months of the year. The rest of the year...well, it's still often sunny, but it also rains a lot. From October to April-ish. It's not too bad, really. It's still sunny quite a bit, just cooler. And wetter. Ah well.
CP 2 is now going well, although the first part dragged like crazy. I don't get quite as much time to work on it as I'd like, but I did get a nice four-hour music rehearsal this afternoon and got a decent chunk done.
I got a membership at the local Gold's Gym this week. They are right next to our rehearsal building, and open 24/7. I've taken to going in after rehearsals at night and running or cycling for a while, then working abs and doing some light weight work since I can't be in class. I love it so far - it's quiet but not empty at that time of night, and I can get in a workout on MY schedule without having to feel rushed or give up anything. Afterwards, I can just come home, take a warm shower, and crawl into bed. So far this week, I've ran almost 4 miles. My pace is still kind of slow, but I'm mostly working on endurance. I've done two 15-minute nonstop runs (one was a random hill course, which was okay, but hell on the quads!) on Wednesday and Thursday, 5-miles of cycling on Friday, and then 20-minutes of cycling followed by a 20-minute fast walk last night, with almost no soreness at all. I decided not to go tonight, to give my legs a break before classes tomorrow. I still vastly prefer being in class - for one thing, the air conditioning in the gym screws with my perception of how hard I've been working, and few things are as fun as working out at the dojahng - but this is an acceptable alternative. (I did see part of their "kickboxing" class when I was given a tour before I signed up.
Anyway, I am definitely looking foward to class tomorrow, although the Vikings are playing the Saints tomorrow night. Sir is a huge Vikings fan. I am currently a big Saints fan (Drew Brees will always be my QB!). So we'll see how that goes....hmm...