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

The Sensitivity of Children

Life has been a whirlwind for me. I’m sure I’m not the only one, so maybe you can commiserate? I mean, damn, if things aren’t getting a little crazy up in the world. Most of it, for good reason… (the brilliance of the protests (yes!) but that is for another post…)

After a first-in-your-lifetime shutdown, are you coming out a bit different?

I know I am, that’s for sure.

I’m about to return to work as a server, but in a way that I haven’t done before now that COVID caused new rules, so I am struggling with if I can still do it. I have long wanted to stay in the restaurant business as I make my films and write my stories both for my love of food and wine and also for the tangible aspect of seeing people enjoying themselves and knowing I am part of the reason why.

For those who don’t know, in the past, I’ve worked entertainment jobs, such as assistant to Scott Rudin on the Paramount lot and assistant editor on season four of American Idol, both of which I chose to leave, because when I was working those jobs and similar ones, I felt empty. Like I was a cog in the entertainment machine, but not really making any difference, though it’s definitely worth noting Scott Rudin is a genius in producing original storytellers and I wish I could have learned more from him when I was his LA assistant, but, that’s for another story and sadly, I can’t go there. I signed an NDA.

Anywho, back to now. I’ve been going through a lot and I’m starting to feel empty again in my employment. Returning to a restaurant job where the industry has done a 180*, while also ending homeschooling my nephew two days a week, (BTW teachers everywhere, YOU ARE AMAZING AND SHOULD BE PAID WAY MORE,) coping with the death of my husband’s sister, polishing my first novel for agent submission, enjoying the visit of my sister and niece, all the while trying to make sense of the insanity we’ve allowed our government to become, has left me spent.

Yet somehow, today, when I hung out with my three year old niece, life felt special. It felt good. 

And that was all her.

It was like she picked up on my feeling down a bit and for the first time, came to me without me having to ask. She comforted me and all around enjoyed my company, when before she was a bit hesitant. And when I put her to sleep, having a three year old, caress your hand while she falls peacefully asleep in your arms, I felt true serenity.

And I thought:

Children know way more than most give them credit for. And they truly are the future. 

 

 

 

 

A Yes In a Sea of No’s

Any writer can tell you part of the process of being a writer is seeing and hearing the words “thanks but no thanks” over and over and over again.

And damn, it can be painful. Over time, I’ve become rather numb to it, instead focusing on and believing in the work that I do, though also assessing feedback – compliments and constructive critique – and acting accordingly. Notes from generous editors have at times made my work all the better. The hard part is figuring out which notes to take… but I digress.

While splashing around in this sea of no’s, when a YES comes your way and a piece of your writing – in this case, my flash fiction – gets published, it can be one of the most meaningful experiences, especially when the publisher gets what you’re trying to do.

My YES came from a fellow WordPress site – 100wordsofsolitude.

100 Words of Solitude is a project started by writers and professors in an effort to capture individual perspectives on what the world is currently experiencing. They’re selecting 100 pieces of 100 words each from writers all over the world and they have generously accepted one of mine and published it yesterday.

It’s a micro piece of fiction where I attempt to explore the disconnect in the age of Coronavirus. I would love to hear your thoughts!

And a big thank you to the curators at 100 Words of Solitude for finding meaning in my work and sharing it with others.

Please forgive me

I suck.

I haven’t written a post in over two months.

In my defense, I’ve been hard at work finishing my novel and booking writing clients for paid writing work but I know… that’s no excuse. And my post before this said something similar…

Here’s the thing. I’m in transition. I am a filmmaker but God help me, that’s the hardest damn thing to crack through, as you need a ton of money to make one. Writing, however, is something I’ve always loved and since I’ve been told I have a gift with it (no one has told me that about filmmaking…) I thought I’d focus on that right now.

But please, allow me to ask you, my readers, for forgiveness… I hadn’t realized how long it had been since I wrote until I logged on to write this and I’m sorry.

I’ll be straight with you. I’m trying to establish my writing career so I can finally retire from waiting tables but that’s very difficult since waiting tables pays triple (if not more) than many writing assignments. (Never let anyone tell you waiting tables is easy. IT’S NOT. PERIOD. A restaurant manager told me they know servers make more but they don’t do it because of what it entails and think it says about them, but that’s another story…)

Anywho, my diet coke addiction is at an all time high BUT I am going dry for at least five weeks (no alcohol!) to shave off all this holiday weight I gained. Yeah… not only did I gain everything back that I lost but I gained more on top of that! Stay tuned… loss is coming…

So, as I send my book to my trusted readers to read over the next two months and research which fiction agents to target, I will return to my blog and hope my readers forgive me and continue to come along on my journey of life.

Stay tuned…. I’ll be detailing my continuing weight loss battle but also my career twist as a writer….

Happy 2019!

I had a Diet Coke

I admit it. I had a Diet Coke.

But please! Allow me a story before you make judgement…

My husband and I went on a little getaway this past weekend after we both had some big deadlines to hit for our careers. He’s finishing producing/mixing an EP album and I just finished Part 2 of the book I’m writing, which was the big one of it!

Anyway, we went south east to lounge in natural hot springs (nature’s jacuzzi) in the middle of Palm Desert, CA. It was awesome. We got to know each other even better than we do while getting out with nature and just breathing.

BUT

Something I like to do on vacay is have a Diet Coke.

I know, I know. It’s not ideal but I like to splurge while vacaying and well, DC is part of that so….

I allowed myself a few. I have not, however, had one since we’ve been back (Sat) and I’m okay without any.

SO……..

I was thinking. Can I be a limited DC drinker?

Now, I get it. I sound like an alcoholic asking if they can have the occasional drink…

But here’s the thing. What if I can? Is it so bad to have a few DC’s throughout the YEAR?

I quit the daily disgusting habit but a handful throughout the year…. well….

I know it will come down to if this opened the gateway for me to DC destruction. I do not plan to allow it but I will write again about this in a month to either assure you I haven’t touched Diet Coke or to admit I was woefully wrong.

Stay tuned…

Computer bag update*

A few months back, I wrote a blog post about my worn computer bag. It’s something that’s been with me for nearly seventeen years, from my first job in the entertainment industry, and it’s very special to me BUT, and this is a big BUT, it’s worn to the bone.

The leather (faux likely) is peeling off to the point that it leaves a trail behind me wherever I go and every time I’m in public with it, I see pitiful glances thrown its way and mine. The lining is nearly gone and it can no longer withstand any natural elements outside of sunshine but it’s like a member of my family.

It’s been with me through every single film/writing job I’ve had since I graduated college and that was almost two decades ago (not quite, but almost…)

I decided, however, not to treat myself to a new one until I get my first book published, which I’m in the process of… (For those following that situation, I just finished part 2 of 3, and am on page 260 of it now, with likely completing the whole book by the end of summer, with plans to submit to agents by the first of the new year…)

But I’m a tad far away from that publishing goal so a new bag had been no where in sight until…

One day, after seeing my sorry-looking computer bag, my brother mentioned he had a computer bag he was no longer using and offered it to me. He had no idea I was waiting to buy one… And when I saw his was basic black leather, my fav type, I couldn’t believe it.

The universe took care of my bag on its own, along with a little help from my brother.

Not only could I stay within my plan of not buying a new one until I published my book, but I scored a nice bag to use in the meantime allowing me to put my original baby to rest (and boy did she need it!)

Life.

“Expect the best, prepare for the worst and don’t be surprised when you get what you deserve.” – Lionel Goulet

Thank you, brother. Little did you know that bag will get me through the transition to the next phase of my life and I appreciate it.

And thank YOU readers for all your continued support.

 

Stay tuned for more info on my book and new bag :)

#soldbooknewbag

Restaurant server humor

As most of you know, I wait tables a few nights a week at a restaurant to add to my writing income. I’ve been serving for much longer than I care to admit but I’ll put it this way – I started serving before having a cell phone was a popular thing…. yup! (And I’m not talking a smartphone, but any cell phone.)

Anyhoo, one of my favorite subjects to write about is restaurant humor – in particular, servers. There is so much material, I feel I could endlessly write about it… haha!

But I write today because I want to share my last three Blasting News restaurant server articles with my readers here. One of these articles even went viral and has been clicked on almost 100k times. (Can you guess which one?) I’ve begun to learn about the power behind social media and sharing…damn, it’s huge!

Personally, I think it’s a good thing. The gatekeepers of information are no longer able to thrive and transparency has never been so widespread. The future is globally connected and news journalists no longer have to be on a popular payroll to spread a story. In fact, the Internet has helped us see who is actually telling the truth and who isn’t… but that’s a post for another day.

Please find my latest restaurant server humor articles below and PLEASE add your own comments here for any of the articles. I’d love to hear your thoughts on these, funny or not! And if you do like any, please share!

Seven things servers wish guests wouldn’t do when dining out…

You might be a restaurant server if you…

10 Things restaurant servers know more about than most people…

Thanks for reading!

 

(Photo via Pexels.com)

 

My computer bag is falling apart

I’ve had it since I was fresh out of college, working in a well-known film producer’s office on the Paramount lot, ideal to the point I thought I knew it all.

This bag has been through my film development jobs, my production jobs, my assistant editing jobs, my script/book reading jobs and as of now, my writing jobs.

But damn, it’s falling apart as it nears its seventeen-year birthday. The mostly faux leather is peeling, the strap is fraying and it has more wrinkles than the entire cast of Golden Girls.

You can see this beauty above.

I can’t part with it though. I’ve become rather superstitious about it as I write my first novel. I’m about 150 pages in and have this belief I need to keep this bag until I get this book published. Then and only then will I buy myself a new computer bag.

I’m reeeeeeeally hoping this happens soon. Talk about motivation. I can’t have my laptop falling out…

I invite you to follow me along on this journey of mine I’m calling #soldbooknewbag

40 Years of Wisdom

In five days, I will be forty years old.

The twenty-one year old Christina would probably be in awe of a few things, like the fact I’m not a size 0 anymore and I quit smoking cigarettes and my husband is in the other room…

As I was driving home from work last tonight, I was thinking of the coming of this new era for me and some things I’ve learned along the way, like when I was six and I backed my little legs (both of them) up against the exhaust of a newly parked 1970s motorcycle muffler.

You can see #6 below for the lesson learned on that one because I decided to list my “words of wisdom” in order of age, taking some creative license with the first couple seeing as I’m not quite sure I remember being two.

Each of these lessons have remained important to me to this day so I thought I’d pass them on in honor of turning forty. I hope you enjoy them… and the little stories I included along the way.

40 Years Of Wisdom

1. Breathing is a most important thing.

2. My mother makes me more at ease than anyone in the world.

3. I love my family but my brother and I are very different.

4. Playing outdoors is a really fun way to spend your time.

5. School is interesting. But I question if all rules need to be followed…

6. Engines are very hot and second degree burns are no joke. The scars have lasted to this day so point being – Be Aware Of Your Surroundings.

7. We all make bad judgements. Such as being in second grade and pooping your pants and not doing anything about it until you get home… (TMI?)

8. Teachers can be very effective. Thank you Mrs. Riordan. We all hoped to get your class!

9. I love my family, with props to my father who works very hard for his family and my Aunt J. who speaks her mind bluntly but has a heart of gold.

10. Life can suck and be beyond your control.

11. I am different from many other people I come across.

12. Fight for what you want. A big thank you goes to my parents for allowing me to make the choice to go to public school rather than private Catholic school for seventh and eighth grade.

13. This monthly interruption of your body is a thing all women must go through. Men do not. (Which begs the question, would men want to if it meant they could experience childbirth? Talk amongst yourselves…)

14. Boys are fascinating and the dark-haired, tall ones seem extra appealing to me… I am one of those with a type, considering all three of my long-term boyfriends (with one becoming my husband,) were dark-skinned with dark hair and had a height of 6’0 or above.

15. My parents and I will not always agree on things.

16. Driving = freedom with responsibility

17. I am much better writing essays than I am solving math problems.

18. College = freedom with responsibility

19. Friends can be your family too.

20. Whenever I try to fit in, I end up sticking out even more. Faking things just isn’t in my blood. (Sorority life was not for me, though I did meet some amazing girls when I lived in for the year, and one of whom has become a best friend for life.)

21. Drinking Alcohol = freedom with responsibility. (Bonus lesson learned – no matter how much you win, you will lose to the house overall when playing video poker in casinos in Vegas BUT you will likely have a lot of fun doing it while drinking free watered down cocktails at one in the afternoon so it’s important to question first if you’re okay with that.)

22. Difficult choices bring lots of pain. Make them anyways.

23. The road of post-college life is not straight. Not. At. All. And you are the driver so don’t let anyone else take the wheel.

24.  Servers make a lot of money in Los Angeles. But you earn every penny by directly dealing with people who are hungry and been sitting in traffic for two hours to go ten miles.

25. Age creeps up on you. But question, what’s really in the number?

26. Making films is the main thing I want to do in life, though I adore the hell out of writing and should do something about that.

27. Fulfilling a life goal is one of the most rewarding experiences a person can go through. I made my first short film after working odd film jobs for years and just talking about it without doing it. (I have now made seven, played at festivals around the world, write about filmmaking and have a feature script getting some nice attention, which hopefully will lead to making it as my feature film directorial debut… stay tuned!)

28. The years of life go by fast. (Oddly, 28 was a hard year for me. I was tested plenty by the universe and did not pass them all…)

29. My father is my biggest fan. And I am so very lucky to have him as a father. (This is around the time I finally realized it.)

30. I am not always as in control as I think. It’s important to see things as they are, not as I wish them or want them to be.

31. I am not perfect. And neither are all my choices. And I do not have all the answers like I thought I did at 21.

32. My parents are my true best friends.

33. Love comes in all forms. (My nephews taught me how to break down the wall I built, not wanting others to get too close… that is until they entered my life.)

34. I can be the change I want.

35. I must try. I must earn what I want. I must be honest with myself. The rewards will come. (They honestly do!)

36. True love does indeed exist. And holding out for it was one of the best choices I ever made.

37. Relationships take work and are not one-sided. Being in one means thinking beyond oneself. (Ask my husband, as this is not always easy for me but he shows me how through his own actions Every Single Day.)

38. Positive energy begets positive energy. Period. Just try it. You get what you put in. Yin and Yang. Cause and effect.

39. Marriage is a journey, not a destination. And when two people support each other, the sky is the limit.

40. Breathing is a most important thing. (And aging is inevitable.)