Back To The Theater

I returned to a movie theater today after what I think was a year and a half away.

First reaction: I MISS THE HELL OUT OF THIS!

I think there will always be moviegoers who want to see films on the big screen. Sure, we have a ton of home and mobile options but nothing is the same as seeing a movie unfold in a movie theater, complete with Dolby surround sound, stadium seating, and a screen the size of a two-story wall.

And the trailers!!!!!

I love this part, HOWEVER, studios, let’s rethink the whole 20 minute-long stretch of them. Too much of a good thing, and literally you’re begging the viewer to be bored BEFORE the film even starts. Hard no, imo.


Anywho…

I arrive at the theater on a Tuesday at 3:40. I have five minutes before showtime and still need to grab a Diet Coke and use the facilities. My job allows for me to do this, yet I feel like a kid playing hooky. That is until I actually see a kid driving by with their head sticking out a car window, and my heart thumps in danger as I realize, no. You are definitely an adult.

I choose to see “A Quiet Place – Part II” and right out of the gate, with filmmaker John Krasinski’s thoughtful intro, I’m thrust into being a fan of his again (after not being impressed when he sold the community-assisted “Some Good News”, but I digress…)


No spoilers but I loved how the gender roles that are often stereotypically assigned were thrown to the wayside and I adored this tale of perseverance, hope, family, and love.

And Los Angeles is so fun. I’m never the only one who stays for the credits. Today, it was half of the dozen of us who had seen the flick.

So, in sum of the experience, seeing a film in a post-pandemic world wasn’t terribly odd, except for having to activate the fountain soda machine WITH YOUR PHONE! When you try it, you’ll see what I mean.


It was a most enjoyable experience, one that I’ve missed tremendously.

And I walked out of theater #15, eyes adjusting from dark to daylight, feeling a natural high.


Oh, yeah. There will always be a reason to go to a movie theater. I don’t care how many streaming options come out.

7 Things Learned While Helping My 3rd Grade Nephew During Distance Learning (AKA Zoom)

Being in Los Angeles, we will likely be one of the last cities to let the kids go back to school, in my opinion, based on the past year. They are going back everywhere around us but not yet for us, says the LAUSD.

Because of my flexible schedule as a furloughed server and freelance writer, I volunteered to help my 9 year old nephew do his Distance Learning. He has a lot of energy and last year, I saw how it was going with being taught in front of a computer screen, so I vowed to do my best to help. I sit with him during the entire zoom two days a week and go through his google classroom with him daily. I check his homework. His teacher knows me well.

My nephew tells me I help all the time, and continually thanks me for it through his words and actions. I’m fortunate he does. Because let’s just say it has not been easy. His love and education are what keep me going. I get a lot in return and have no regrets.

On that note, allow me a brief interruption….

To teachers everywhere who are working around the clock, in chaotic times with unclear directives, I bow to you. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled blog post.

7 Things Learned While Helping My 3rd Grade Nephew During Distance Learning (AKA Zoom)

  1. A child’s love is truly the best gift out there. It’s raw, real and has true purpose.
  2. I am 43 years old and cannot do third grade math. In fact, it makes me rip my hair out.
  3. I thought I was a better speller than I really am.
  4. Does the five-second rule still apply with parents today when a snack is dropped? If not, huh….. well… too late
  5. I’ve seen more boogers to last a lifetime. A few even placed in my hand for observation.
  6. Nine year olds have a weird body movement clock. They can’t stay still for longer than a minute.
  7. And on that note, their attention span is so minimal that I truly wonder how they remember anything at all. Unless it has to do with video games. Then, they can focus for hours on end. Which is equally amazing.

11 Unintended Lessons learned from being home due to COVID

Unless you’re on the front lines of the pandemic, which includes all those deemed essential workers, then you’ve pretty much been in some form of isolation or alteration of your home lifestyle because of COVID. Some are in total isolation, and some are in quarantine, some are saying F U to the rules, and others are in a thousand other potential scenarios.

Point being, we are all dealing with COVID in some form, and it’s on a global scale – GLOBAL! Isn’t that fascinating, in-and-of-itself that it’s a global pandemic, and we are in a time period where global communication is instant?

But I digress…

While dealing with being furloughed from my restaurant job, I’ve had to change my entire lifestyle. And while doing so, I’ve noticed a few lessons learned that I thought I’d share…. please add any of your own in the comments!

11 Unintended Lessons Learned From Being Home Due to COVID

1. It’s important to rotate your couch cushions… or at the very least sit in different spots. Not only for firmness, but no one needs to see where your butt’s been spending a lot of its time.

2. You can actually forget to shower for days.

3. There is an INSANE amount of content to stream. And good shit too!

4. Days of the week can lose their meaning. I’m thinking of creating SunMon, a 48-hour period of easing out of one week and into the next.

5. I should not expect to get a callback when applying for a grocery store job.

6. There is an INSANE amount of content to stream. And good shit too!*

7. I have absolutely no desire to wear a bra. Ever again.

8. Working in pajamas is something we should seriously consider, if not only for the comfort but for the ease of having less laundry to do.

9. Children adapt WAY quicker than adults do. Like incredibly so. We should study it…

10. The absolute best thing about Zoom is that you only have to prepare from the waist up. But of course, connecting us all is cool too.

11. If money stacked up as quickly as dishes did, DAMN – we’d all be bajillionaires!

*(Yes, this was written twice, that’s how much good shit!)

“The Morning Show” A+

So, this past weekend, I started Apple TV’s “The Morning Show.”

And by the end of Monday, I’d binged the ENTIRE SEASON. And these episodes are not your average 41 minute ad-filled telecast. No, these are straight 60-75 minutes of, imo, brilliant television writing and beyond.

After I cheered for it getting itself on air – yes, if anyone could it’s Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, but it’s the fact THEY DID IT – I began to really think about its message.

While the obvious message is the lack of truth in “journalistic news” (and trust me, they’re preaching to the choir on this one,) but what REALLY stood out was the way they embraced the destructive culture of celebrity.

The importance some of the main characters placed on their position in “journalism” was like one who was fighting a war as leader of a third world country. These “news anchors” forgot who and what they were and instead believed themselves to be “above” things or at the very least, so incredibly important they could treat people like shit and be abusive.

And the way Witherspoon and Aniston had the balls to tell their OWN INDUSTRY to take a look within…

Exceptional women, no?

As someone who has had several jobs in the entertainment industry – assistant to Scott Rudin (seriously, look him up…), assistant editor on American Idol, script analyst at Imagine Entertainment for over a decade…. I’ve learned a thing or two about this business.

The entertainment business is a beast.

But to me, this was one show willing to unmask the absurdity and abuse that exists behind celebrity culture.

My take away – Be true to yourself and you will prevail, though you must be patient. Be true to the facade, and you will learn little truth, except that pretense comes with a steep price.

#themorningshow

Socialization is key

In this age of Corona, being around others is something more rare than it is plentiful.

For some, who work in jobs that still exist, they ARE still around others, socializing a ton, like those in food service, delivery, healthcare and ride sharing.

And then there are those you are around because you’ve been around them since day one of the Pandemic and what they have, you have.

And some who don’t give a shit and socialize like it was 1999.

Regardless of what group you fall into (and there are a lot more,) what I don’t see is an end in sight. Even with a vaccine, no one can be forced to take it. And even if it was tried to be implemented by force, a civil war would likely happen and then the virus would dominate.

I’m thinking we have to figure out how to just deal with this new reality before our economy tanks even further.

And while, I’m a believer things will change after the election (like kids back in school, flight routes reopening and the like,) it’s not going to happen overnight.

And I fear for the ones lonely in this process.

I fear for the kids who no longer know where their friends are. Or if they even still have any.

I fear for the communities that need others, like AA, churches and the like.

But what I fear most is that we are becoming a society who fails to understand socialization is part of what makes us human.

After having lunch with a couple girlfriends today, whom I haven’t seen since this whole thing began, I was left thinking 1) how much I need to socialize with others and 2) how humanity is cherry-picking what is okay and what is not.

What say you?

And now I’m dieting..

After doing a month of no alcohol, I was inspired to keep going on my healthy living path.

I knew, however, I’d need some guidance, beyond my healthy, fit husband who helps me stay motivated simply by being himself.

But before I could even ponder my options, the Universe responded to my energy! A research group I’m part of asked me to be in a pilot project for a major weight loss program.

Um, yes please! I wholeheartedly accepted and began this week.

Now, I can’t speak on the actual program, signed a NDA, but I will say it involves a lot of healthy eating, exercising and high moderation of wine and salty snacks – two of my loves.

It’s going… okay. Rough start, I won’t lie but I’m getting the swing of things. Two thoughts have strongly stuck out to me –

  1. I thought I struggled moderating wine… uh, nope. Moderating carbs is not only WAY HARDER but I found a truth about me – I have a true addiction to soft pretzels, kettle chips and sharp cheddar cheese. Well, that and I’m a MAJOR snacker and that stuff adds up QUICKLY.
  2. I drink 64 ounces of water by the afternoon, out of habit and desire, so that part was really easy for me. But what isn’t easy is eating leafy veggies multiple times a day. Damn… that’s where I’m going to struggle….

If you have any helpful hints when it comes to dieting and redesigning your eating/living habits, I’d love to hear yours!

Quitting Alcohol For A Month – I DID IT

First and foremost, I’d like to give BIG THANKS to all of you who came along with me for the past four weeks – supporting me, checking in and sharing your own stories.

I used it all as a crutch as I walked on this path with urges in the shadows.

I know it sounds cliche but this was one of the best things I think I’ve done for my body. And it’s not all in my mind. Here’s an interesting article about the benefits a body gets from going a month without alcohol… pretty dang cool if you ask me, not to mention the other benefits you get as well, like saving money and time.

But it’s not easy. (Like most things worthwhile.) For me, the hardest part was actually starting. The beginning felt really long but by the third week in, my brain began to think differently and that’s when it got really good. Not gonna lie, though. Temptations were a big part of the process so if I can offer any advice it’s to prepare for those with a strong network of support, a fierce mind-over-matter-determination, and a willingness to see your ugly side so you can do something about it.

But what I think can really help anyone considering going dry a month (or more) is if I be incredibly honest about my experience, so here goes. I’m going to do it as a pro/con list. ***Fair warning though, I’m not going to hold back…

PROS

I lost 5.5 pounds, as the scale tells me so consistently.
My sleep has NEVER been better; and by that, I mean I don’t wake as much, it’s more restful and mornings feel way more vibrant.
I pee A LOT less.
I spend more time with my husband doing active activities. Rather than go to a happy hour, we opt for a bike ride.
Mental clarity is way sharper.
My skin is glowing, according to my husband.
My face doesn’t look bloated, according to several people.
My allergies got better. Not sure how, but they did.
According to my app Dry Days (thanks for the recommend Judy!) I have saved almost $250 dollars. (!!!)

CONS

A few days in, you get bloated. Like, really bloated.
Agitation is the name of the game. You will have to allow yourself to feel it.
Sadly, your bowels get way out of whack. Constipation city for the first few weeks.
Depression hits on weekends (and randomly at 2 in the afternoon on a Tuesday.) I binged TV shows that held my interest and made me laugh (Schitt’s Creek & The Golden Girls) and read a shit ton of books. (4 just this month!)
I felt A LOT less social.

That’s pretty much what I’ve come up with. If anymore pop into my head, I will add. But as always, thank YOU for joining me and I’d love to hear about any of your experiences :)

Quitting Alcohol For A Month – Day 24!

If there was a time I was going to cave, it was this past weekend.

Heat wave, Labor Day weekend, pandemic and the anniversary of meeting my husband eight years ago, Sept 3.

But I didn’t.

I stood strong and channeled more self-control than I think I ever have before.

People were drinking everywhere… and my favorite thing to do in a heat wave is enjoy a cold glass of sauvignon blanc with a good book by the Pacific Ocean. I had the book, in fact was finishing it, and the ocean, but I needed to teach myself the wine was not necessary, just a compliment.

And I did.

But what I’m most proud of is the fact I didn’t let the no-booze change my plans. My hubby and I went on a bike ride along the coast and even stopped at a boardwalk bar for snacks. I tried a Heineken 00 – no alcohol beer – and it was quite good!

So, here I am. On week four and feeling good. Down five pounds and my sleep has gotten so much better. I’m sleeping through the night without waking up multiple times and I also don’t feel bloated, like I would after a night of drinks.

Next week, my month dry will be over.

24 days in and it doesn’t seem as long as it had when I started. And while I’m not going to be sober, I know I have changed. My thought process for wine is different and my body is loving the results of being alcohol free.

Thank you for coming along with me. Stay tuned for next week, when I list everything, all the good and the bad, to expect from a month dry, as according to my time doing it.

Quitting Alcohol For A Month – Day 16

I really want a glass of wine, but I’m not gonna do it.

That’s been something I’ve been dealing with lately and this whole going dry thing has really put my self-discipline to the test.

There are so many lovely moments to have a glass of vino, from enjoying it with hearty pasta dishes to sipping a glass by the roar of the Pacific Ocean, from relaxing with a drink after a long day to toasting alongside others after a hard week comes to a close.

But what I’ve realized is that those things don’t NEED wine. Wine just compliments them.

So, I’m resetting my brain essentially to see alcohol for what it is – a most delicious treat that needs to be handled delicately.

Even if one isn’t addicted, it’s very easy to abuse drinking. And the pandemic had made it far too easy for me to indulge…

So, this is where I’m at.

Day 16 dry and feeling pretty damn good… despite the urges.

Thanks for coming along with me!

Quitting Alcohol For A Month – Day 9

Thanks for joining me again, on my month of going dry.

Not gonna lie, it is hard AF. Harder than it should be, yes, but doing it during the pandemic, well, I’m thinking it makes it extra hard.

But I’m not going to whine. Instead, I want to share some things, both positive and maybe not so much, that I’ve been learning on this journey….

Summer is the worst time to do it.
As a friend of mine said when I asked for guidance on my month of sobriety, “Well, first, I don’t do it in the summertime.” And she’s right. Hot weather practically begs for a cold glass of Sauvignon Blanc and forget about BBQs… sparkling water just doesn’t cut it when refreshing cold beer bottles glisten in the rays.

I sleep better.
In all seriousness, my sleep has WAY improved. When I would drink, I would wake up during the night and also, trips to the bathroom were more plentiful. I find myself now sleeping restlessly through the night and waking up more refreshed and focused for the day.

Trips to the grocery store are cheaper.
It is truly surprising how much my receipts at the grocery store have diminished when I don’t add a couple bottles of wine or a six pack of beer to it. Alcohol is far from cheap so this was noticeable right away and my bank account is loving it!

I’ve lost three pounds.
Sure, it might have been water weight but still, the scale is consistently down a few pounds and I’ll take it!

I’m learning new habits.
Rather than head to the fridge for a glass of wine after a long day or with a good meal, I have begun to think outside my norm and get more creative. I pour sparkling water into a wine glass and it’s lovely. I drink way more water, period, and have begun to explore more alcohol-free drinks, such as Sleepytime ice tea for warm summer nights or adding fresh raspberries to my morning water.

And there’s more… stay tuned!