Monday, December 27, 2010

12 Months of FUN

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday! Now that Christmas is over, it's time to face 2011. What better way than by taking stock of the past year.

In the past year, I've tried to put the fun in unemployment, as much as my finances would allow:

1. Learned to surf
2. Drank absinthe
3. Went to a red carpet movie premiere
4. Saw advanced screenings of various movie and TV pilots and TV show tapings (Conan's last week on The Tonight Show!)
5. Visited Santa Barbara for the first time, revisited NYC and Palm Springs twice
6. Learned how to blog, write a non-fiction book proposal and am figuring out how to write a book
7. Went on countless disastrous, yet entertaining, dates ("Mr. What Are Your Views on Anal Sex"anyone?)
8. Learned to cook healthy meals that aren't carb-driven
9. Become a yogi (sorta)
10. Was an extra in a movie
11. Irritated the actor that plays Stefan on The Vampire Diaries twice in one week (and various other celeb encounters)
12. Tried dog walking. Quit dog walking
13. Discovered that I deeply despise spinning. May have something to do with not knowing how to ride a bike
14. Explored parts of LA that I never knew about
15. Expressed my creativity by volunteering with the Art of Elysium
16. Lost weight and greatly improved my posture
17. Made 100 new Facebook friends
18. Took an aerial fitness/circus arts class (and failed!)
19. Ran Runyon Canyon
20. Had a kneepocalyse (see #19)
21. Tried hypnotherapy
22. Quit smoking for good
23. Made $4,000 selling my stuff on eBay
24. Joined a pyrtamid scheme. Trying to extract myself from said scheme.
25. Thought about trying standup...

The overachiever in me would like to say that I tried standup or that I toured Europe or visited New Orleans or sky dived. But I think I've accomplished quite a bit in a year. And the fun isn't always in the activity; it's who you're with. And in being healthy. It may not seem like so much fun, but you're more likely to feel like having fun if you feel good.

So here's to feeling good to you, your family and loved ones as we approach 2011!

Monday, December 20, 2010

How do you know?

I don't. Except that it's the stupidest movie title in a long time. But that's not what this is about.

I live my life thinking everything through. But sometimes, the gut tells you right away it's happening. Or it will happen. Or it's just stirring (and not from bad chicken).

I was informed about a job from a recruiter. Interviews are not happening until January. For some reason or another, I think it's going to work out for me. I have zero reason to believe that it should. I don't know anyone there, or the culture, or their style. But I just feel that it will be my next job.

Recently, I met a man and like a camera click, I felt a connection. I think he has a situation (translation a lady) but I think that it will all be okay. Maybe not for a while, but I just think it will. I don't know what it will be or when but somehow, someway, I think it will all come together (note: not from anything that I do).

So, the central question is: How do you know? A: I don't. I just have an intuition. Which may be a whole lot of malarkey. But my gut is telling me it's not. Here's hoping my gut is one the mark.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

False Starts

The momentum has stalled. I was seeing a lot of jobs being posted and was applying like a maniac. I was getting calls for phone interviews. Despite companies saying that they wanted to hire before the holidays, everything has stalled.

But I'm not stalling. I'm recuperating in Palm Springs.

A Facebook friend posted that she had a free hotel room in Palm Springs this week and for anyone to let her know if they want it. Well, I was nervous about saying yes because of the job search but I figured that I can always cut the trip short. So, I'm chilling in cold, barren and absolutely perfect PS.

I'm sleeping as late as I want. I'm not beholden to my DVR. I have no plans. I don't have friends to meet or FUNemployed activities. And it's wonderful.

I've started to write the FUNemployed book. Forget about publishers or agents. I will try to e-publish it. I'm shifting this ride into drive.

More positives: I've been called "young lady" more times than I can count and one older gentleman gave me a discounted coupon for dinner by saying, "You look like you should eat a good meal." So, basically, I'm young and thin here. I love snow birds!

I had sincerely hoped to have a job before the holidays so that I could rest a little bit easier. But it wasn't meant to be. I just keep telling myself that there is something around the corner. And while the job market celebrates the holidays, I'm going to get ready for the new year by rejuvenating, revitalizing and resting. In between book writing that is.

Monday, December 13, 2010


Counting today, I will have gone to 3 press events in the past 5 days: Jane Fonda's Workout DVD series launch (which I've already blogged about), a special advanced screening of Country Strong and tonight the red carpet premiere of How Do You Know (movie with Reese Witherspoon and Owen Wilson).

Not sure how I got on this circuit, but it's free. And sometimes you get gifts. I kinda like this life. Maybe this is the universe's way of telling me that I need to become a reporter. Or I'm just lucky and super deserving of free stuff!

The Workout launch had free food and drinks, samples of antioxidant drinks (they both made my stomach extremely unhappy. Perhaps I'm anti-anti-oxidant?). There was an awesome massage lady who stressed the importance of improving my posture (my right shoulder and hip are 4 degrees higher than the left. Ugh.) And of course the gift bag.

I got in to see Country Strong courtesy of Twitter. Since I love me some GP (I read GOOP after all) I couldn't resist. The movie was surprisingly a huge downer. And, the main character isn't GP but a guy named Beau. He's cute and a good actor but in the end it wasn't what I was expecting. Also, the young ingenue, Blair from GG, was the the object of desire for all the men in the movie. As a lady much closer to GP's age, it pained me to see the aging beauty being shunned. As I'm dating, I'm finding men really like the shiny new 20 somethings instead of the wise, worldly 30 somethings like me. But GP's character is also a self-destructive alcoholic. That may have had a lot to do with it.

As an aside and an inside scoop, a reporter sitting next to me was talking shop with another reporter and they were raving about Emma Stone. How she is truly a pleasure to interview and that celebs were clamoring to give quotes that sang her praises which is apparently a rarity. So, she's likely to have a big career.

Ok, back to the topic at hand. Event #3. I really have no desire to see How Do You Know. But, again, it's free. And it's a red carpet premiere. So, I'm going. If anything good happens, I'll be sure to let you know.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Hanoi Jane is Skinny Jane

Yesterday, I attended the launch party for Jane Fonda's WORKOUT. It's a reboot of her fitness empire with 4 new instructors who each specialize in yoga, boot camp and strengthening (or something). And let me tell you, Jane looks good. Really good.

I found out about this party because I follow the yoga instructor, Tara Stiles, on Twitter. Despite being NYC-based, she travels periodically to LA and teaches free yoga classes at the Hollywood Standard. And boy do I love a free class.

I had thought there would be a yoga class offered so my friend and I arrived in workout clothes with our mats. Instead it was a launch party filled with press. The upside is that there was free massage, gift bags, food and the opportunity to get up close and personal with Jane Fonda.

She arrived about an hour into the event and whisked her way to the front to give a speech. I was very close to the podium so I was stunned when my eyes landed on Jane. She is skinny, svelte and looks amazing. Her body is banging. She is twice my age and half my weight. (Kidding. Well not really).

Instead of feeling bummed, I decided that it is inspirational. If she can look as good as she does at her age then I can certainly keep up the improvements that I've made and keep going. Because I really want people to say "Damn girl! Oh, excuse me....umm, Ma'am" when I'm her age.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Beware the group coupon

One of the recent innovations in the down economy is sites that offer you the opportunity to buy discounted services. Through Groupon, Living Social, Buy With Me, Tippr, et al. you can buy exercise classes (yoga, circus arts), beauty services (haircut, highlights, brazilian blowout), dinner ($30 of dinner for $15) and lessons (surfing, skydiving).

When I first learned of these companies earlier this year, I signed up to receive emails from every one of them. I mean, my mantra is to get out and do things and since I'm not working, it needs to be cheap.

So far, I've done the following: aerial fitness/circus arts class, surfing lesson, haircut, spinning classes (5 for $30), hypnotherapy and speed dating (bought, not yet used). I'm happy with the prices that I paid and the experience of purchasing through with Groupon, et al. Unfortunately, the companies that provide the services themselves are the ones to be wary of.

Here are some tips:

1. Wait, but not too long: I don't think that the service providers actually realize the uptick in business they'll receive and they get bombarded. So, if you can wait a bit it may make sense. But on the other hand, the service providers offering the discounts may be having some financial trouble. So don't wait too long.

2. Carefully read the offer and the fine print: Remember that Groupon, et al are marketing tools and the service providers want to put their best foot forward. On more than one occasion, I missed something in the writeup or the fine print. The hypnotherapy appointment? It was a group session. If you've never done it before, trust me being in a group is not the way to do it. The aerial fitness class was actually a circus arts class. I expected aerobics with bands hanging from the ceiling. Instead, I was learning the trapeze and how to climb a curtain. Which would be fine except that I'm deathly afraid of hanging upside down. Oopsies.

3. Mapquest the location: My spinning class studio has an address in Burbank but it turns out it is really far away. I had thought it'd be easy to get to and didn't bother to Mapquest the address before hitting purchase. It ends up taking me 30 minutes each way, so I've only used 2 out of the 5 classes. I have 3 weeks before the classes expire so  I'd better get in gear (bad pun.)

You may be a lot wiser than me and already use these tips automatically. In which case this post was useless for you. But if you're like me and get blinded by the idea of a sale (70% off!!!) then learn from my mistakes and pause before you purchase.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Please President Prioritize

What's wrong with the heading of this post? It's out of order. Which is precisely my point: President, Please Prioritize.

Obama has a lot going on. I don't envy him. But, I think that the most important issue that this country is facing today is unemployment. Millions of Americans are unemployed and many are facing losing their unemployment benefits. I know that Congress and the President are discussing this issue and will hopefully find some relief for our fellow Americans. I'm lucky that I'm not in this pool of people but I can empathize with their plight. It could easily be me.

I think the larger issue at hand is getting jobs created. As I'm hitting the job trail hard, it seems as though there are more jobs being posted and more companies actually calling candidates. I'm not sure if it will result in hiring (for me or anyone) but I'm hopeful. However, I have heard from several recruiters that there are so many candidates it's like nothing they've ever experienced. Too many candidates, too few jobs.

Just to be clear: I'm all for universal health care, repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and diplomacy with North Korea. But finding a solution for the economy needs to be first and foremost. It's not a fast or easy fix. It needs focus and attention. NOW. Everything else can follow. So, Obama, call me. I'm really great at creating status sheets.

(Ouch. That's from me nailing my shin on the way down from the soapbox. I'll stick to fun in the future.)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Let's Have Some (Food) Fun

Admittedly, I haven't been the best FUNemployed spokeswoman as of late. So, let's turn this around shall  we?

A girl has got to eat. And as I've been rehabbing my eating habits, I've been cooking a lot. I've made kale chips (kinda like potato chips but healthy) and a lentil and potato stew. These were tasty, but my real motivation for eating this way is so that I can allow myself to eat like a fat kid. Specifically, burgers and chicken tenders.

I have been on a mission to find the best burgers LA has to offer. This was a subconscious mission until I was speaking with a gentleman at The Counter in Hollywood. We started talking about burgers around the city and I surprisingly had a lot more to say than he did. He even took my suggestions for his next burger journey (and my phone number).

Right now, I'm obsessed with 8oz Burger Bar and their eponymous burger. They have a happy hour deal that gets you a burger, side and a drink (I think beer) for $15. Steeper than a lot of places but believe me, it's worth it. The rest of my top 4 are: Bowery Burger, 25 Degrees, In 'N Out. But if you have a good suggestion, throw it my way. I'm the Burger Queen. And I must taste.

Chicken tenders is a much lonelier category. I've sampled, dabbled, dipped and swallowed. By far, hands down, the best tenders are at the Tropicana Bar (pool) at the Hollywood Roosevelt. Just the right texture...crispy, not greasy and not stringy. The tenders are delicious when dipped in ranch or by themselves. I wish I had more to offer you in terms of a good tender in LA but, alas, it seems to be an underappreciated menu item. So, hit me up if you've got something. Again, I must taste.

I firmly believe in cooking to be healthy and frugal. But, every now and again, everyone deserves a splurge. What's your food obsession?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Die Ole Habits!

1. Stop swearing
2. Be classy
3. Fall in love
4. Don't drink too much
5. Eat healthy

Over the course of my year of FUNemployment, I've made great strides in being healthier and improving my life. Or so I thought. The 5 items listed above are items that are close-ish to what would be on my present self-improvement list. Except I wrote this one when I was 17.

I was going through a drawer with lots of old pictures at my parent's house and found the list above. Today, I don't care about swearing as much and "be classy" would be phrased differently but the other three are spot on. 

At first I found the list amusing. And then alarming. I have been making lists like this for half my life. And yet the list never seems to change. I've been listing out improvements or really things that I believe are faults and defects. 4 out of 5 of these items are reminders to be better. Because my behavior or habits aren't deemed good enough. And the judge is me. Maybe, you're saying, I never seem to heed my own list. Well, maybe a leopard can't always change her spots to be something she's not.

Before I left for Thanksgiving, I was pretty sure that I had forgotten to take my trash out. Granted, I was picked up by the shuttle at 3am so it would have been understandable if I had made a mistake of leaving it behind. All vacation I was thinking about the trash and how disgusting the apartment would smell upon my return.

When I got home, there was no smell of decay at the door. No rats or roaches assaulting my kitchen. The trash was empty. There was even a new bag in the can. Of course I had taken care of it. I always do. 

So, what's my point? I don't give myself enough credit. I am who I am. There is always room for improvement but not constant improvement. And who I am is a reliable, responsible person who takes the trash out when necessary, tries to eat her vegetables, sometimes curses like a sailor and occasionally overimbibes. The love part is great to aspire to, but as we all know, it takes two to tango. It's not an item on a list that can necessarily be crossed off. I need to keep this top of mind as I'm moving forward full throttle on my job search.

So, die old habit of making lists of improvements/defects. Onward and upward job search (and if you know of any marketing or advertising opportunities in Los Angeles, let me know!)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Giving Thanks

Today is a day to be thankful for what you have and to focus on the positive side of life. Even my horoscope told me to concentrate on the upside.

Admittedly, I've been feeling anything other than FUNemployed. For the past two weeks, I've been feeling really low. I've been feeling like a 36-year old chronically single, financially strapped, jobless loser with no plan. I think it started with seeing The Company Men and continued with repeated rejections from potential employers (the form rejection email is truly disheartening) and literary agents regarding my book proposal. Add an appalling date to the mix and it's a perfect recipe for mudsliding quickly to the bottom.

I sing the praises of FUNemployment and believe me, I really love having my own time to do as I please. And I think I've done pretty well keeping my spirits up over the course of my unemployment. But the financial reality is that I need a job. Unemployment isn't enough to sustain my existence and I'm running out of things to sell on eBay. I've been applying to jobs (probably more than 100) since September. The little feedback that I've received has been negative.

Last week, I actually looked up to the sky and asked God/The Universe for help (despite being agnostic for 20 years). I whispered, "I give up. I'm clearly not able to figure this out on my own. So help me. Because I need it. And since you live in the super large sky, you must be doing something right. Or more right than I am."

It's with this frame of mind that I traveled back to the east coast to see my parents and friends. It is through the support and love of a very good friend (that's you, Susan) and my mom that I am finally making a turn for the better. I have a lot of wonderful people in my life and a lot of things going for me. I just have to believe in me. Because there are a lot of other people who do, so the least I can do is join them.

So I give thanks for all that I have and all that will come. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and focus on all of the amazing things in your life.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

"The Company Men" is an EPIC FAIL

Last night, I saw "The Company of Men" at the AFI Fest at Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood. I was especially excited to see this movie because it's the story of three men who were laid off and the aftermath.

I was hoping for an inspirational story that showed how life doesn't have to end after layoff. I was hoping to shore up my funemployed philosophy and gain some much needed inspiration. Instead, I got the exact opposite and am still reeling from it today.

The movie begins with a happy go lucky Ben Affleck getting blindsided by his company and laid off. It was uncomfortable for me to watch since it brought back all of the feelings and anger from the day that I was laid off. Even though I knew it was coming (my bank client was seized by the FDIC resulting on our LA office closure) anxiety and rage are the only appropriate responses.

What followed upset me even more. To see the desperation, the lack of confidence, the worthlessness and the devastation of the three men who were let go ripped my heart out. None of them found any inspiration in their time off, or any positivity. I could completely identify with what they were feeling. I just choose to approach it differently and I fight these feelings every day. Granted I don't have a family to support or a mortgage to pay but I have bills and financial stress. Thank God that my family is able to help me. So maybe I'm luckier than the characters are, but maybe I've also made some of my good luck with my positive attitude.

My message has always been the same: life doesn't end for you at your layoff. This is time that you've never had before. So, what would you do with it? Yes, look for work. But spend more time with your family. Learn to cook. Get in shape. Take up photography. Develop or nurture your personality outside of your job. When you return to work, you'll be a better employee because you're a better person.

Or, you can follow the movie's story and drink excessively, have an affair with the HR whore who fired you, commit suicide or learn to hang drywall badly with Kevin Costner. Ok, so the last one isn't too bad. But you get the point.

I feel like this movie is a corporate shill--made to show the employed how lucky they are. For them to forget about how they're doing 2-3 jobs for the same or less pay than 2 years ago. Maybe to generate pity for the unemployed? We don't need pity, we need jobs. We don't need to relive the pain, misery and lack of inspiration.

EPIC FAIL. So, 2 thumbs down.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Shine on you crazy diamond

Everything can change in a day. Or even less.

One day, I had a job, the next I didn’t.

On Wednesday, I was in rapture at the anticipation of trying a red velvet hot chocolate from the Coffee Bean and dreading volunteering with kids at Children’s Hospital LA. By the end of the day, I was loving my volunteer time and truly despising the sugary-soapy taste of the drink.

On Thursday, I was on top of the dating world. On Monday, I could be back to the drawing board.

So, what I decided is that today is the day that I make my future. I have a lot of creativity, ingenuity and imagination that’s been lying dormant (excluding this blog and Facebook posts).

Instead of waiting for someone to decide my future, I need to come up with my own plan. Think outside of the box.

Step 1: Sit outside. Actually, I’m at Intelligentsia in Silver Lake enjoying a latte. It’s windy and cold for Los Angeles, so the only seat I could find was outside. That’s ok, the cold will cause shivering which will cause me to shake some ideas loose.

Step 2: Write about needing ingenuity. Nothing like writing about what you’re going to do…positive reinforcement I say!

Step 3: Waiting for the magic to happen….and waiting...just going to keep on shining, like a crazy diamond.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The varying degrees of availability

Being FUNemployed, people naturally assume that I have nothing going on. That I'm free whenever. But I've found that I have less available time than when I was working. However, I'm now more open emotionally which got me thinking about the varying degrees of availability.

In its simplest form, availability means when you're free to get together, to make a plan, to meet up. When I was employed, I was not terribly social since I was worn out from work. Now, I'm dating, seeing friends, entertaining visiting friends, volunteering and exercising in addition to the standard household errands. But I'm also overscheduling myself and need to be better about having time to myself. I'm not doing anyone any service by being cranky. And I'm not doing myself any service by distracting myself from where my attention really needs to be: figuring out the next step in my working life and writing.

In terms of emotional availability, I've been very closed in past dating situations. I was afraid to open myself up for fear of rejection and not wanting to open my life to someone else.

Most recently, I've hung out with a man a few times that I've enjoyed spending time with. The upside is that we have a lot of chemistry. The downside is that I think he's closed off. He's guarded and won't answer many of my questions. I have a soft spot for this guy since he's the type to whom I've always been drawn. Two emotionally unavailable people make for one unchallenging relationship.

The difference this time is that I'm not emotionally unavailable. I've allowed myself to be vulnerable and to let him see who I really am. I've grown a lot in the past few months. And, one available person and one who's unavailable make for a very challenging relationship.

I feel sad but life is too short. And, as they say, there are plenty of fish in the sea. What I'm taking away from this situation is that I have not been my usual closed off self of which I'm very proud.

Besides, who needs to spend my precious availability on someone who doesn't deserve it? Not this lady. Not anymore.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Playing Pretend

I hate Halloween for a couple of reasons. The superficial one is that I hate being in some kind of contraption (makeup, hat, crown, uncomfortable costume) and end up always taking it off. You also never know who you're really talking to at parties. You can walk by the guy you had an in depth conversation with and not know. Because he's not in his predator costume.

Halloween is all about dressing up as or even being something that you're not. For one night, you live out a fantasy. The next day, you go back to being yourself. I don't really need to wear an additional mask...I already wear a few 365 days of the the year.

Let's see...there's the "I'm a happy single girl and I love it!" mask. Then there's, "oh yes I have it all figured out" mask. Don't forget the "I know what's next for me career-wise" mask.  Lastly, "I'm FUNemployed and couldn't be happier" mask. Well, this last one is mostly not a mask but some's not so easy. I crave a purpose and am having a hard time finding one.

Actually, that's not true. I've been going through the exercise of actually feeling my feelings and expressing them, instead of hiding them. I feel raw, vulnerable and at times deeply insecure. I'm scared that those I share my feelings with will dislike, reject or be angry with me for my honesty. So far, this is mostly unfounded. But the fear is real.

So I don't need to be scared by ghouls and goblins. But, just for the record, I was a sexy detective (trench coat, fedora and peep toe heels) and a Teen Mom (side pony tail, balloon in my shirt so I could eat A LOT.) And I went on a haunted hayride at Griffith Park which was AWESOME. I screamed like an 11-year old girl who's just been thrown in a vat of tarantulas.


Friday, October 29, 2010

A Typical Wednesday in LA

Some days I almost never leave my building (I have a pool, gym, sun deck) and some days I'm barely home. This past Wednesday was one of those days.

I went to grab a quick lunch in Silverlake, then I went to Intelligentsia to get some delicious coffee and work on some writing. While there, I saw Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Tyler Ferguson (the red head from Modern Family). Then I went to West LA for a meeting and then off to Venice for a date.

I met my date at The Other Room a bar on Abbott Kinney. We were just hanging out and laughing when I realized that Stefan from The Vampire Diaries was standing next to me. Drinking cabernet. He is super skinny and pale and it was priceless to see him drinking what looked like blood.

Anyway, I told him that I loved his show and promised not to bother him. He said "Thank you," rather snidely. I was on Team Damon anyway.

As I was telling my stories, my date told me that I have to do standup. Because I'm not only just funny but ridiculously funny. He also told me that I sell myself short...that I'm a cute girl that is hilarious. Which is a bonus in his eyes. So we started plotting out my stand up routine.

It scares me to think of trying it...but I guess I'm generally scared of most new things. Especially now. FUNemployment is great fun but it's also made me more fragile than I've ever been. Vulnerability feels like I'm wearing a purple and yellow poncho. But I guess it just may be the most fashionable look that I can wear right now. Especially on a Wednesday in LA.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Money Tree

"How about I pay your rent for a month while you write your book?" He asked.

"Ummmm, what?" I said incredulously.

To a struggling writer hoping to sell a book, the question asked by that gentleman would seem like a good deal, or at least progress. But not if you're on a date.

The promo director contacted me on OKCupid and we started an email exchange. He is from New Jersey (which he apologized for) and seemed a bit obnoxious when he slammed my LA neighborhood (Hollywood Hills). I was a little reluctant to meet him but gave him the benefit of the doubt.

When I met him, the date started off rocky. He criticized the venue that I picked. I was ready to leave, but thought that I should try to connect with him before writing him off. We started to talk and while it was no love connection (on my part), it was progress. He was starting to touch my arm and my hair which was making me feel a little uncomfortable. And then, he asked me about my book. After explaining the topic, he made the offer. He said that he thought it was a good investment, I'd write the book and then I'd pay him back when it sold.

I tried to take it as a positive vote of confidence but it didn't sit well with me. I feel that it's inappropriate to offer someone money that you've just met...much less on a date. He also offered to pay for a standup comedy class, which I had told him that I didn't even really want to take. Shortly after this exchange, he grabbed my face and slobbered on my closed lips.

I think he was trying to buy a connection to me. Maybe that works on naive girls in LA but I certainly don't want to feel like I was bought and paid for. Or maybe it was about him...he was overweight and in his mid-40s. Maybe he feels like he has nothing else to offer a woman.

I just try to take these dates with a grain of salt. It's nice that they're attracted to me. It's good that I'm getting practice. But for godsakes, when will I meet someone decent? And by decent, I mean a man who doesn't offer me money (with strings of course) and who doesn't ask me about my views on anal sex (Mr. Wasp Jaw). At least not on the first date (kidding!).

I guess it's always darkest before the dawn. Here's hoping it's 4:55am in my dating land.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sitting on top of opportunity

Reflecting is good. So good in fact, it lets you realize when you've been an a$$hole.

I sent out my non-ficton book proposal to 9 agents in July. I'm awaiting word from 5. As I looked back at the emails, I realized that I sent queries to 2 agents not accepting submissions. So, I'm really awaiting word from 3. I took a look at my initial list of agents...and I have at least 30 more agents to whom I can submit.

I really can't explain why I stalled. I think it was fear to put myself out there. Maybe feeling overwhelmed.Well, I guess it's understandable but incredibly stupid. I've been sitting on this proposal for 3 months when I could've made a lot of headway. I feel like as a$$hole.

I'm not going to dwell on it. That would take time away from sending. So, I'm transmitting. Like a maniac. So far, I sent to 15 agents last night. I'm aiming for another 15 today.

I'm on fire. FINALLY.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Lady in the Mirror

As I approach the one-year anniversary of my layoff, I've realized that I’m light years ahead of the old me.

A year ago, I was an angry workaholic. I threw myself into work to avoid other areas of my life that needed much attention. I let the demanding, dysfunctional world of advertising agencies rule my life. I was overweight, exhausted and miserable.

As of today, I can honestly say that I’m in a much better place. Since my re-birthday (10/23/09), I’ve (started) to learn to surf, do a mean vinyasa, written a 46-page non-fiction book proposal and go on dates at least twice a week. I’m working on a standup act, blogging and selling designer shoes, clothes and handbags on eBay that I never should’ve bought in the first place. I’ve been a movie extra, gone to countless TV show tapings and have met some really interesting characters. I had a hat project (I “borrowed” cute gentleman’s hats for photo shoots), learned to love quinoa and was enamored by Mad Men and MI-5 on DVD. I even gave my number to Scott Speedman.

Most of all, I’ve learned that I need to do a better job expressing myself, that spinning and running provide a means to process my anger and frustration, what my real strengths and weaknesses are and what I really want in the man that will be my husband. I've lost 15-20 lbs. and no longer have chronic dark circles under my eyes.

Make no mistake…losing one’s job can be a blow to self-esteem and I’m no different. I’ve had to learn to like myself for achievements and activities that are outside of work. In fact, I’ve learned that I need to like myself even if I achieve nothing. Since I’m an overachiever, it's been hard but I finally feel a little bit of peace. I'm not running to out do myself.

So what's up for the next year? I'm living the question. But I'm hopeful, much more so than when I was working. Every once and a while, I see the ghost of my old self in the mirror and I barely recognize her. She fades, but is not forgotten. I'll never let myself slip that low again.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Doggone it!

Ohhh, best laid plans. My big entrepreneurial idea was to launch a dogwalking business. I figured that I'd make money walking and bonding with dogs while having a flexible schedule to write the book. Sounds good, right? 

Well, it turns out dogwalking is super competitive. And dealing with pet parents is frustrating. Not because they are overly informative…it’s actually the opposite. I also had a kneepocolyse, which precluded me from, well, walking.

All of these issues were minor obstacles. Actually, the knee issue was a huge obstacle. Regardless, there was one, unforeseen issue that I never remotely anticipated. 


While my mom and brother are severely allergic to dogs, I was always ok. I thought I had my dad’s nose. Nope.

Being a Benadryled zombie is not good for business. And, really, who has a business servicing only hypoallergenic dogs? I guess the whole business is torpedoed...or gone to the dogs...evaporated faster than steam on a dog day afternoon...doggone it!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


When you find yourself dancing around in a motorcycle helmut with painted flames at 2am, you may need to reevaluate your situation. I know this first hand.

Last Thursday, I went out. Typical night. A drink, a few chats with gentlemen, some food, a little flirting and a shoulder shimmy or two.

Then Pabst Blue Ribbon happened.

I’ve avoided this particular beverage like it were rat poison. But when you’re FUNemployed and others are kind enough to buy you drinks, you roll with it.

I was displaying my best dance moves, helping a man with his pool game by knocking his striped balls into the side pockets and making friends left and right.

As I was heading for the door, my eyes landed on a motorcycle helmut. A festive one, resting all by it’s lonesome, engulfed in painted flames. I did what came naturally: put it on my head, started dancing and shaking my index fingers like they were wands and screamed “Hurry! Take a picture! Did you get it?! It’s sweaty in here!!”

Sweet Jesus lord, with every adult beverage, my age decreases by 4 years, which must be why I was acting like a 12-year old. Just call me Benjamin Button.

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Forget about wine. Skip chocolate cake. To get a buzz, just exercise.

Until last year, I'd define fitness as how well you're clothes are tailored. I'd say "Whatever" to anyone who told me that exercise had any benefits other than having a firm body.

Last year, after losing my job, I decided to actually get my body in order and was pleasantly surprised by the impact of endorphins. My body looked good, the FUNdorphins improved my mood and I was able to process my anger and frustration.

So, when I had my knee-pocalypse earlier this summer, I had to take 3 months off from exercising. It was hell. I missed sweating and, most of all, the FUNdorphins.

After 4 weeks of riding the stationary bike (lame), I'm finally back to running, hiking and power yoga. Spinning is on deck for next week.

It's great to feel strong again. But I can't hype FUNdorphins enough. They're at the heart of keeping your FUNemployed spirit (and ass!) high.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Twiddle Dee Dee, Twitterly FREE

Contrary to popular belief, I don’t twiddle my thumbs all day long. But I am on Twitter quite a few times a day. Sometimes I tweet (“Realizing I’m 2 years older than Justin Bieber’s mom is the Advil for my Bieber fever.” And “I really love Feta cheese.”) But most times I just lurk.  

I follow the requisite celebrities (Lindsanity Lohan, Nicole Richie, Diddy), their dogs (Chunk Handler, dog of Chelsea and Oprah Winfrey, dog of 50 Cent) and a few newspapers (well, just the NY Post). I have found Twitter to be most useful tool for free events and activities.

I follow LA Scene, 365 cheap dates and various hotels. They post information about free or very cheap activities throughout the city. For example, the Hollywood Standard has free yoga classes with Tara Stiles, author of the number 1 selling yoga book on Amazon. How else would I work out with a renowned yoga teacher for free? That’s right. Twitter.

I learn about free parties (blogger prom post-party!), guest chefs at LA’s Test Kitchen (just missed Michael Voltaggio) and performances by various musicians for free or a nominal charge (Passion Pit acoustic performance this past Saturday!). Twitter is the secret to my FUNemployed fabulosity.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Existentially Yours

It's not so much that we're afraid of change or so in love with the old ways, but it'sthat place in between that we fear… It's like being between trapezes.” ~ Marilyn Ferguson

I began my journey with this blog in January, started working on the non-fiction proposal in April, sent it out in July and am sitting on my ass in September.

The non-fiction book proposal has been sent to 9 agents. Here is the tally: 2 rejections, 1 agent shopping it around to publishers (if he can sell it, I will have an agent and a deal all on the same day), 6 agents from whom I am awaiting word.

I’m an impatient person by nature. As one of my favorite MI-5 characters, Harry Pearce, once said, “Patience is just procrastination without the anxiety.” I fully agree.

Everyone is telling me to be positive, that all signs point to good things ahead. Ivory, the tarot card reader, told me that I’d get 2 offers/deals. One from someone to whom I have been speaking with in Massachusetts. Well, the guy shopping my proposal is in Connecticut (same difference.) She also told me that I need to relax, all of my income will come from writing.

So, what’s the problem? I need income. It is hard to relax when you have bills and unemployment doesn’t cover them. So, do I believe that I will get a deal or some kind of income from writing? I hope so. I’m not really sure how to begin if the book doesn’t pan out. What I do know is that I dislike the life of a poor, struggling artist.

As I sit in Intelligentsia at Sunset Junction (so far, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Maebe from Arrested Development and the girl that played Hoyt’s gf on Trueblood have all cycled through), I wonder, do I aim to get a job in marketing (not so easy in this economy)? Or do I want to try to write? I have no idea. Maybe the answer will come to me. Or Maebe not.

Existentially Yours,
Super Confused but Well Dressed
Hollywood, CA

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Blood Suckers

Last week, I was fortunate enough to volunteer in a hospital and bring some smiles to little girls' faces. This week, I've had to fight off my own medical providers and my resulting fury.

I know the economy is bad (hello, I'm FUNemployed) and that people need to hustle to get business. I expect that from any and all business owners. For some reason, I think of health care professionals and doctors differently. There is a business aspect, of course, but as they are promoting health and wellness it seems unseemly to be so blatantly for profit.

I have generated quite a bit of income for my dentist, physical therapist and former acupuncturist. And in the past few weeks, they've all come back for more.

Last year, my dentist replaced all of my fillings. I am due for a cleaning and received a reminder postcard. I haven't called to schedule my appointment, so they called me. I don't have dental insurance right now and want to wait. Never in my lifetime have I received phone calls from a provider about coming in for a visit. What if I want my teeth to rot? It's my right. Don't push me.

When I hurt my knee, I went to physical therapy. Now that my knee is better, I've stopped going. Guess who called? Yep, my therapist wanting to know if I'm coming back. If I haven't called to make an appointment, you can assume that I'm not. I can do the exercises at home. I'm able to run again, so I guess I'm all healed, right? No need to pay for unnecessary therapy.

Lastly, and the worst of all, is my former acupuncturist. I stopped going to him in March 2010 because he left needles in me and slurred his speech on 3 of my 6 visits, and then tried double billing my insurance company. I recently found out that he TRIPLE billed my insurance company and has so far gotten away with it. While they are investigating, I just got a bill from my acupuncturist for an additional $61 for one visit. I can assume that the other bills are in the mail. He has already successfully gotten paid $370 for the date of the bill so why the hell is he billing me? What acupuncturist on earth thinks he deserves more than $400 for his services? I already feel violated and now am furious that he has the balls to send me a bill. Apparently he owes a lot of money to a lot of people. But that is not an excuse to (allegedly) commit insurance fraud and then come after me.

I apologize for this post becoming more of a rant than a fun tale. Watch your insurance claims and be wary of shady characters. Trusting someone under the health and wellness banner shouldn't be automatic anymore. This is a big money business. Which is just plain sad.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Sick kids. Arts and crafts. Me, teaching it to them. That was my yesterday.

FUNemployment has allowed me the time and the energy to try lots of new activities. They've all been about me and what I wanted to do. I decided that I should use some of my free time to give back a little bit.

The Art of Elysium is an organization that conducts arts programs in hospitals in Los Angeles (and NY, too.) Musicians play and teach music, dancers teach dancing and actors put on little plays. My lone relevant talent is writing which is not so conducive to a workshop. I fall into the more general group which teaches arts and crafts.

So, yesterday I went to the Children's Hospital of LA and made magazine bowls with 2 sick little girls. The goal is to make them smile, have some fun and hopefully help them make something of which they'll be proud.

I wasn't nervous per se but I had a little bit of anxiety about my session. It wasn't the kids that made me worry or that they're ill--I was a lifeguard and saw a lot of gross injuries. I'd keep the injured person calm not revealing the extent of their injuries with my "stoic" face.

What made me anxious was teaching crafts. I haven't completed a craft project in a long time let alone teaching little kids. I asked the coordinator to take the lead so that I could absorb and observe as I assisted. And I realized that my anxiety was for nothing. The kids liked making the bowls but they really enjoyed having something to do other than lying in bed.

It was more rewarding than the typical fun I find myself having. And whatever worries that I have about generating income all seem so minimal in comparison to these kids' realities of  surgeries, chemotherapy and dialysis.

I'll be volFUNteering again soon.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Prophecies of Ivory

"You're a writer."
"You need to stop worrying about income. It will come from writing. Stop coming up with hair-brained schemes."
"You will get 2 offers, but go with the one from Massachusetts."
"You need to chill out."
"You will start dating someone in 4 months...but you have something unresolved with a guy that will be worked out."

These are all things said to me on Friday evening by Ivory, a tarot card reader. Ordinarily, I take these things with a grain of salt. But she was surprisingly right.

I encountered Ivory at an event for Fashion's Night Out. It wasn't happenstance...I knew about it and made sure that I got there 5 minutes early to be first in line.

I had a sinking feeling in my stomach when I saw Ivory. A small, brown skinned, long haired blonde, she was wearing a sheet black top with black bra underneath and harem pants. Fashionable, yes. But she didn't seem like the real deal. As soon as I sat down, I realized her talent.

I don't identify myself as a writer. But, this is the second seer/psychic who has said this to me right away. Many people have assumed that I'm a writer over the years. I just never really thought that I was good enough. As soon as she told me that I was a writer, she also told me that I need to stop doubting it.

Next up, was the comment about income and it coming from MA. I am awaiting word on my non-fiction book proposal and have had communications with someone in Connecticut. Pretty damn close. I don't expect seers to be awesome at geography.

Ohhhh, and to chill out. She's right. I feel like I need to keep moving to stay positive and to feel like I'm living. I guess it's in reaction to all that I missed out on while working so much. But the schedules and hair-brained schemes are over the top.

And then there's love. She said I just need to keep trying and relax. But there's also a guy from my past that keeps popping up and it needs to be resolved. Well, I thought that I was done with it so it took me a little bit to realize who she was talking about. Who knows. This is where a line formed and she got a little distracted.

I have a lot of question marks hanging over my head regarding work and love. It felt calming to be in the Ivory Tower of Good Fortune. I feel like I may know what's in front of me. Hopefully, Ivory will be proved right soon enough.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

An Ode

A special post for a special day...

To the first responders that raced to the one place I couldn't get away from fast enough... 

To the absurd friend who got up late, raced outside to get a cab the airport and asked himself why the hell there was a parade on Fifth Avenue on a Tuesday...

To those who had emptied their refrigerators and handed out food and water to the weary, dusty, shell shocked "parade"...

To the national guard who protected the ghostly, empty streets that felt more like a soundstage than a city...

To the guy that made me Philly cheesesteak burritos at 7pm when everything else was closed...

To the good friends and family that gathered and banded together...

Eternal, deep gratitude hardly covers it. It seems like such a hollow description. I don't know that there are words to express what I feel. But words are all I've got. So I'll keep it simple: Thank you. 

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Stand Up!

On your feet. Stand up. Think fast.

I feel like I've been doing this quite a bit lately. Learning to surf...dealing with socially awkward men on first dates...working on my stand up routine.

I have been told by people for years that I should do stand up comedy. It had honestly never crossed my mind. My typical response was, "Absolutely not!"

Well, things have changed. I am not longer in a working rut and am ready to try anything. I have plenty of material and think I could make people laugh.

I went to the Hollywood Improv last night (got free tix due to Twitter. Seriously, Twitter is awesome for learning about events and free activities). I studied the rhythm of the routines and have some things to think about while I practice. It was a blast watching, so I can only imagine how terrifying and fun it could be.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Slave to the Wave

I finally had my surfing lesson yesterday. I was beyond thankful that the waves were normal-sized, or as my instructor Chad described them, "Lake California." Clearly he grew up surfing on the Pacific, and I clearly grew up on LI Sound, which makes distilled water in a glass look wavy in comparison.

The Chad's approach was one of speed. We had a 3-minute instruction on the sand and then it was water time. I think he realized that he had a winner on his hands when I said, "What!!?? Already??!!"

Actually, he probably realized my winning status when he had to carry my board for me from the parking lot to the beach. I tried to carry it under my arm and on my head. I made it about a third of the way, but my arms were on fire from Monday's Power Flow Yoga. He graciously carried my board for me but not before saying, "So, I have a little one on my hands, huh?"

Anyway, I got in the water, paddled out, and dutifully caught a wave as The Chad ordered. I kinda boogey boarded for the first few rides. The Chad was displeased. I tried harder.

Next, I was able to bring my knees up onto the board. After that, both feet. I was kinda crouching more than standing but I think it counts. I rode a few waves for awhile and then lost my balance and fell off.

The Chad asked, "What happened there?" Like I wasn't giving it my all. Like I was wasting his time.

I quietly told him, "Look, I'm a neurotic New Yorker. At this moment, I am no longer afraid of the waves or of dying here today. I got both feet on the board without screaming. I haven't voluntarily jumped off. I'm doing AWESOME."

The Chad looked at me oddly and said, "Ok, little one. I mean Kerry."

After that, we were sympatico. I rode some waves. I got "worked" (The Chad's term) or bitchslapped  (my term) by the Pacific. I rode some more waves. Then it was time to go. And The Chad automatically carried my board to the parking lot.

On my drive home from Malibu, I was exhausted but at peace. I had let go of my control freakisms, became a slave to the waves and was happy.  I just kept replaying The Chad's parting words to me, "Yeah, I can tell you're a surfer. You've got a big smile on your face."

Monday, August 30, 2010

Miss Make a Deal

Yesterday, I went on Let's Make a Deal. I wasn't a fan of the show nor was I terribly familiar with it. I  did it to make money. I mean deals!

The ticket said to dress in costume, so I got out an old bridesmaid's dress, made a crown out of tin foil and a sash from a pillowcase. I was Miss Congeniality. Maybe if I had been Miss Make a Deal it would've gotten me picked.

Sadly, I didn't wow the producers so I wasn't one of the 6 people selected to play. But, I was seated in the second row and apparently got some good camera time. I take it as a good sign that they keep seating me in the front. After all, I was Miss Congeniality!

I'll have to wait until episode 2044 airs to see how silly I look. One girl won a car, a guy dressed as a flower won $4,121 and a couple won a big deal of the day which was a tour of Italy and a car. The lady next to me got a Zonk so maybe our zone had bad energy.

Next time, I'll be a little smarter and go as Miss Make a Deal!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The I of the tiger

My spirit guide is a tiger. A silent tiger that imparts no information.

Yesterday, I decided to get my Groupon/Living Social/Tippr on and take advantage of a surfing lesson and hypnotherapy session. Believe it or not, both would lead me to the same goal: overcome my control issues. And if you know me, you certainly know I have them.

I'm great when I have a plan. I know what to do and I will execute flawlessly. When I'm in control, I'm in my comfort zone. Surfing is about letting go and enjoying the experience, which is a perfect challenge for me. But the waves were Bodie-style-at-the-end-of-Point-Break-ginormous and so we decided to reschedule for next week.

Onto hypnotherapy! I think my control issues are preventing me from exploring new career and romantic options. My rational self keeps saying, "Won't work" or "I won't be good at that." I need to break through this barrier. 

Well, the session was for a group which was a little weird. We had to lie down on yoga mats, visualize a beautiful place and listen to our instructor creating crazy vibration sounds with bowls. I had a hard time lady got up to move, one lady started snoring and my brain kept wandering to think about errands. The instruction was general to account for everyone's issues (pregnancy anxiety, migraines). My issue is about control and fear of the unknown. Obtuse in comparison. 

Halfway through, we were asked to visualize a guide, which was supposed to be an animal. Nothing came to me, so I decided on a tiger. I like tigers. When I shroomed in college, I believed that I had 2 pet tigers sitting beside me. They protected me.

In this session, the tiger stared at me. The instructor told us to listen to the guide. For me, the tiger stared at me placidly. It had nothing for me. Didn't speak or take me anywhere. 

At the end, everyone was relaxed except me. They all had breakthroughs. The hypnotherapist was disappointed in my experience but told me to look up the symbolism of the tiger. They represent power, majesty, energy and wealth. 

My takeaway is that the tiger is within me. I have the power and the energy to create my wealth. Imagine, the control is mine! The problem is, I still have no idea how to get there. If anything, I'm more frustrated than before because I still don't have the answers.

In the immortal words of Tony the Tiger: Grrrrrrrrrrrr-eat! 

Monday, August 23, 2010


I have 2 wards in my care. They're white and have brown eyes. One is male and the other one female.

They both have black noses and 4 paws (for a total of 8). They're two little terrier mixes (I think?). And they've been living with me for a week.

The first night was a little scary for them...there was a lot of stress induced scratching. Not a lot of sleeping, for anyone. Some urination and vomiting on the carpet (luckily, I get a free carpet cleaning for renewing my lease!). There was a lot of barking at people walking in the hall, but after the first 24 hours and lots of "Quiet! It's ok" they got over it.

All in all, we've seemed to bond nicely and they are in a routine with me.

It's like a military operation:
Breakfast: 08:00 and 08:30
Walk and bowel emptying: 08:30 to 09:10
I hit the gym and shower: 09:15-10:15
I leave to run errands, they take the first of many naps: 10:15-18:00
Dinner: 18:00-18:30
Long walk and Bowel emptying #2: 18:30-19:15
Nap number 30/bedtime

Only downside, I'm allergic to them. But cuddles and a healthy dose of Benadryl make it easy to forget. Their stint in my house ends tomorrow and then I'll be a warden of none.

So if you need a pet sitter/dog walker, I'm available!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Jet Blown

I live my life without regret. I'd rather experience something and discover that it's a mistake rather than wonder "What if?!"

Well, I have a regret.

I saw the JetBlue All You Can Fly ticket, considered buying it, felt guilty about spending money and decided to think about it. I then realized that I've never really been able to travel. I could go to Costa Rica, New Orleans, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Chicago and visit NYC (home.) I could crash with friends and in cities that I don't know anyone, crash in cheap hotels or hostels. I'd have my backpacking trip, just 15 years after college graduation.

While waiting for my unemployment check to arrive today, I decided that I'd go for it. While I couldn't necessarily afford it, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity. Who knows what I'll be doing next year when they offer it again?

Well, as soon as I got back from the bank, I jumped on my computer and...dun dun dun: SOLD OUT.

Feeling a little like Steven Slater, I'm Jet Blown.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Rut Busting 101

Some days I feel super positive and that there are a dozen opportunities awaiting me. Other days, I feel like a lump of dirt in the middle of the road getting run over by lowriders driven by kids dressed like the Jersey Shore cast.

For the latter, my solution is Rut Busting 101: Force myself to do something I've never done before. Considering that I'm a creature of habit, this takes some ingenuity, causes anxiety and features a coupla doubts.

When I was almost literally run over by a clown car of guidos, I did not get mad. Instead, I viewed it as the bat signal for some serious rut busting. Time to step up my game.

In the spirit of Julia Roberts in Eat Pray Love, I figured food would be the easiest/cheapest/least time consuming way to bust out. Granted, I am on the "Kerry Quinn Journey to Weight Loss Victory" eating plan and barred from exercise due to my knee, except the stationary bike which does not count, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Food it is!

1. Eat brisket
There is a "NY-style deli" in Hollywood that is pretty good. I typically go "white girl from CT" and have a turkey sandwich. This deli is known for it's #1, which is brisket, horseradish, mozzarella and arugula. I felt like Columbus ordering the #1; Frank Bruni eating it. My review: "Meh." Back to the drawing board.

2. Spanish Latte
I had heard about the elusive Spanish Latte at The Urth Caffe. I always think of Columbians when I think of coffee, so my expectations were low for the Spanish/Castillians/Catalon version. Well, let me tell you, Juan Valdez should be erased from memories, record books, etc and replaced with the guy/lady who created this drink (Rafael Nadal? Penelope Cruz? Javier Bardem!). I'd give up booze for the rest of my life if I could have one of these delivered to my door everyday. I'm Irish in case you don't realize the gravity of that statement. But this lady cannot subsist on lattes alone.

3. Mongolian BBQ/Intelligensia
I have not had Mongolian since 2000 in NYC at The World Cafe located on E. 52nd Street (between 3rd & Lex). Every day I'd have the same meal and every day I'd be happy (chicken, noodles, brocoli, green onions, green beans, soy sauce, lil bit of oyster sauce and hot chili sauce). And then, for some reason, they stopped offering Mongolian BBQ. That is the day that The World Cafe died (for me.)

Anyhoo, I'd gotten some email deals for this restaurant. It's in Silverlake, which is not far but, in the past,  felt like a trek to Mongolia itself. A few friends joined me and we journeyed to the delectable plains of Mongolia. I got my usual from NYC and it was delicious. I felt transported to the hallowed culinary halls of deliciousness, yet hadn't even left LA.

Now time to jump on the stationary bike to work off my food. This is rut busting, not gut busting. Can't make myself a bigger lump and an easier target for those lowriders.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

At least I have hiking shoes

This week, I saw Joan Rivers' documentary A Piece of Work. Joan is fascinating, not as nice as she appears on The Apprentice and is so driven it is awe-inspiring and, for me, unnerving.

Joan says several times in the movie that she was always destined to be on stage. She knew it at a young age and will do it until the day she dies. She has had many low points in her career and, despite being 75 years old, she is desperate to do whatever it takes to get back on top.

Like Joan, I'm in the process of reinventing myself. Unlike Joan, I have no idea what I was destined to be. When I was little, I'd say "When I grow up, I want to be a lawyer, an artist, a doctor and a ballerina." In a word, unfocused. I'll throw in overachieving and overly ambitious.

Until now(ish), I have always done everything "right" and hit every goal. I excelled in school, studied for my SATs faithfully from 7th grade on, got into an excellent university, studied hard to win academic awards and graduated with honors and a 3.75 GPA. As an employee, I worked hard and climbed up the ad agency ladder. All reflected in my transcript and resume.

But in reality, I was simply lost the day after college graduation. I'd mastered the school game and now I needed to embark on a new journey. I had no idea where to go, no idea what to do career wise. For long and involved irrelevant reasons, I fell into advertising. Despite not really caring about this industry, I threw myself in and advanced, just like I did in school.

Now that I'm FUNemployed, I have the opportunity to follow my destiny. But like at the age of 22, I have no idea what I should be doing. Right now it's writing, but I just wish I could be sure.

Like Joan, I'll pick myself up and fight another day. Maybe my journey is to be a hyphenate: writer/face serum seller/dog walker. For some reason, I have this amazingly confident feeling that all will end up ok. Life and fate will give me my path. And a map. Plus some hiking shoes? Ok, I'll take care of the last part.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Watch it!

Watch it! I said that twice last week in completely different contexts. One experience good, the other bad. First, the good.

Watch it #1: Big Brother 12 Live Show Taping

I love going to TV show tapings. It's amazing to see the magic of TV...all of the shots being set up, the PAs running around, the hosts manically preparing and rehearsing their lines. This time it was the live show of Big Brother. My friend and I didn't see any of the house guests but it was awesome to be so close to Julie Chen and all of the action. The best part was that we were seated in the front row and I got some excellent screen time. I was happy that I made a last minute Facebook post so a few people got to see me. ("Watch it!") You never now if you're going to make it in, much less where you're going to sit (no phones are allowed). It was exciting to see myself in so many background shots. Thank God my hair looked good. It was fun and strange at the same time knowing that friends, family and strangers could see me.

Watch it #2: The Stalker
I went on a blind date, which it started out decently. He told me he was a perfect gentleman and gave me a lot of compliments. Then, 5 minutes into the date: Bam! Sex. (as in, "What are some of your favorite things to do? "Sex.") I lost count over the course of the date how many times he worked sex into the conversation. And, honestly, it was a major turn off. I'd generally change the subject and ignore his comments. The point, for me at least, was to get to know him. Until, out of the blue, he asked me about my "flow," as in menstrual cycle (NO I'M NOT MAKING THIS UP. I'M USING KANYE STYLE CAPS BECAUSE IT'S THAT APPALLING). 

I cut the date short and when he got handsy as we were leaving the restaurant, I told him to "Watch it!" He was about to lose a hand. 

So, who calls me and emails me several times the next day? And the day after that? And the next day? Etc? And asks me to go out with him AND PAY FOR THE NEXT DATE? I ignored him but he didn't stop. I finally emailed him and told him that I absolutely didn't want to see him again and to leave me alone. Or else. And then I wished him luck. I didn't mean the last part but I thought it may keep him from hacking me to pieces. So far, success!

So.......where's Scott Speedman when I need him? Especially now that I'm a fellow TV star? :)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Redefining boredom

"Aren't you bored with nothing to do? No purpose?"

Only if boredom's definition has been replaced by the one for inspiration.

I look at each day as a challenge. What will I do today? What will I accomplish?

Last week, I made an artichoke for the first time.

Today, I made a turkey burger (also for the first time), put it in a whole wheat pita with spinach and onions.

Three days ago, I was on a conference call about a new entrepreneurial business opportunity.

This morning, I was having an email exchange with a top 20 literary agent who likes my book proposal.

Tomorrow, I'm going to post old clothes, a printer that I don't use anymore and some scarves on eBay.

By next week, I should be done watching DVDs of every season of MI-5. I won't have any way to fulfill my obsession with Adam Carter so this one is actually a negative. (Can't win 'em all.)

When I was working, I was ridiculously busy but always bored because I wasn't challenged. Now, I am inspired to figure out my next step. And hustling is anything but boring.

So, if learning to cook healthfully, explore ways to make money, selling my book idea, catching up on excellent entertainment and dating up a storm equal boredom, then so be it. Take heed Webster dictionary editors.

Monday, August 2, 2010

I am not my job

Whenever you meet someone, the inevitable ice breakers are "Where do you live?" and "What do you do?" The former provides a window into someone's personality and the latter gets someone talking about themselves. Except they're not really talking about themselves, but their jobs.

Employees spend at least 40 hours a week at work. That's more time than you spend with your family (at least awake). Who really wants to talk about work when you are trying to enjoy your precious free time?

Being FUNemployed, I am not my job. Because then I'd technically be nothing by these standards. So, I'm experimenting with new ice breakers:

"What's your favorite food?" Everyone's gotta eat so this is universal. Except for anorexics.

"What's your favorite color?" This one garners confusion or amusement. And, one-word answers don't provide a jumping off point for more.

"Have you ever done a cleanse?" Surprisingly fruitful. Best reserved for LA only.

"Do you have any pets?" This is a good one, and self serving since I'm looking for dogs to walk.

When all else fails, "Who's the bigger trainwreck: Lindsay, Britney or Courtney Love?" Ironically, consensus is NOT C. Love. Guess they don't read her tweets.

Have any good ice breakers you want me to try? Hit me with your best shot.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

So, what do you do?

It's the dreaded question. My answer typically depends on the audience. But, 8 times out of 10, it's "I'm FUNemployed."

"Ummm, did you say unemployed?"

"No, FUNemployed. You know, putting the fun in unemployment."


The person I'm conversing with generally looks confused at this point, or perhaps even gives me a pitying look. And that's when I drop it.

"You know, it's when you get to do all the things that you never had time to do while working plus you're getting paid for it. By the state."

"Hmm." Pause for processing. "That actually sounds better than working.?!"

Ta da!

Sometimes, though, if I really don't want to talk to someone or if I just don't feeling like explaining, I just say, "Advertising."

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Knee-dless Aggravation

One of the activities that keeps a smile on my funemployed face is exercise. Running, hiking, spinning, yoga and pilates are all favorites. In the face of the cleanse debacle (only 3 lbs lost over three weeks of starvation), I have committed to eating better and exercising so that I can feel good about my body.

A month ago, while in Connecticut visiting my family, I hurt my knee. I rested it for a week and then slowly went back into exercising. I ran 3 miles on Friday and since then, my knee has been on fire. Like, shorty burning on the dance floor fire. Enter orthopedist stage left.

No one at Cedars (my medical rest stop) took my insurance so I ventured out of the BH (Beverly Hills). I went to some shady orthopedic clinic too far from home. I did not like this. The place was like a factory. I couldn't pronounce my doctor's last name, but his first name is ORR. He was talking about how he didn't think I (k)needed (ha, I'm funny) an MRI because it's not like I had knee cancer.  Um, what the hell is knee cancer? Turns out bone cancer which is more likely in kids. Deduct points for the overly dramatic Dr. CreatORR of KNEE-dless Panic.

Anyway, I assured him that there was no knee cancer in my family. He touched the sore spot, I winced and made fists with my hands and informed him that his touch made my knee feel like it was burning. He proclaimed that I have patella tendonitis, aka seriously pissed off knee tendon. No exercise for 2 weeks, physical therapy and topical Advil.

M*therf*ckORR just ruined my Jennifer-Aniston-body-in-30-days-exercise-plan.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Carbs, you complete me

The end of the 21-day cleanse. The end of my apocalypse.

Over the past 21 days, I have lusted after food, dreamed of iced lattes, lost that bloated feeling, been super cranky, suffered dizzy spells from low blood sugar and got terse with the Genius Bar. Twice.

Other cleansers have said that after the first week they've felt great. I was not granted that privilege.

I did learn that I am addicted to carbs and the glucose that they produce. My body wants the sugar highs and considers murder to sate it's cravings. If I continue on my carby diet, I'm a diabetic in training. So all is not lost.

Oh, and speaking of losses, I bet you're wondering how much weight I've dropped. 3 lbs. ONLY 3 LBS. Even Gwyneth Paltrow lost 5 lbs when she did this cleanse and she has nothing to lose. I have noticed that I am fitting into pants several sizes smaller and am a true extra small (I was wearing smalls and mediums just a few weeks ago). I can see the results in the mirror. But that did not stop me from nearly destroying the TWO scales that I stepped on. Oh yeah, I wasn't leaving my weight reading to chance. To ensure there was no faulty wiring I weighed myself on 2 different scales at Bed Bath and Beyond (I'm too ghetto to buy a scale outright). And twice I was assaulted and insulted by the number.

I'm going to incorporate what I've learned into my diet moving forward. But for now, I ate 2 Sprinkles cupcakes (Chocolate Marshmallow and Cherry, a special edition) to mark the end of a long journey. Then I had a steak sandwich. I finally got a good night's sleep for the first time in 3 weeks.

Now I'm ready to give quinoa the time of day. Again.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I Spy The ESPYs

Yesterday, I went to the ESPYs red carpet. I got free tickets to the event so the only thing it cost me was time and sweat. My friend Chris and I lined up early, stocked up on free Gatorade and got set to watch.

We had a great view and saw quite a few athletes and D-list celebs (scroll down to see pix of Zac Efron (ok, he's B-list), T.O. Bobby Brown, Mike Piazza and more).

Best part of the red carpet: yelling at Jalen Rose and telling him we were Michigan Wolverines from the class of '96. He was gave us the thumbs up and got even more excited when he heard '96 (he would've been class of '95 if he'd stayed until graduation.)

Worst part of the red carpet: seeing that dumbass Jeremy Shockey who was with 2 girls. I've despised him since we had a shouting match in NYC. To make a long story short, the argument started when he told me to f*ck myself and f*ck the fans. I told him he needed media training, the fans pay his salary so he should watch his attitude and that he was a motherf$cking a$$hole. I heckled him yesterday on the carpetby telling him that he sucked and that I hated him. And, he heard me.

Super best part of the day: After frying all day in the near 100-degree heat, we decided to head out a little early. I passed by and made eye contact with Scott Speedman (Ben from Felicity). He was looking at me, so I said hello, and then he turned around to watch me walk away. My friend told me that he was checking me out. I figured that he thought I was an ESPN staffer. But, I can be dense in these situations.
In an anxiety-inducing act of desperation, I went back and gave him my card. He smiled at me and said, "Thank you!" I seriously doubt that I'll hear from him but you never know. It was worth a shot. I'll keep you posted.

Anyway, I'm finally putting the fun back in unemployment! I have an awesome tan to boot. And I've only checked my cell phone every 10 minutes for word from Mr. Speedman.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Cirque de No Way

I often get myself in situations that make me say, "Ruh roh." Gripping the trapeze at the Cirque School LA was one of those times.

I learned about this class from a Daily Candy announcement and when I got an offer from Living Social to take a class at 50% off, I jumped at it. I figured that this would be a new class that may make exercising more exciting. I signed up to take Aerial Fitness, which was described as core strengthening with some aerial tricks.

Last summer, I took a Reebok class call Jukamarti (or something like that) which was a cardio and conditioning class using a ring suspended from the ceiling from super elastic bands. There was some aerial aspect to it which ended up being more like jumping with the ring in your hand. I actually liked it and was sad to learn that it was a traveling exposition of sorts and was headed to NYC until its next port of call.

So, this was where my head was at when I signed up for the circus class. I stupidly assumed that this one would be similar to the Reebok class. I realized my mistake when I walked into the school and saw people hanging out doing circus tricks. I wasn't sure if they were carnies, instructors off the clock or what. I had a sinking feeling in my stomach but figured that I would give it a shot and hope for the best.

Well, to make a potentially long entry short, I sucked. I don't like hanging upside down, which I quickly learned. THIS CLASS IS ALL ABOUT BEING UPSIDE DOWN. I actually can't even remember hanging upside down on the monkey bars as a kid. I blame it on my control freakiness, neck injury and lack of padding underneath.

From now on I will only consider exercise classes that keep my head upright. And, I'm crossing carnie off my potential career list.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


I'm still doing my cleanse but now that I don't salivate at the sight of an iced latte or carb, I'm hatching a new scheme. 

Millionaire Matchmaker.

I've seen the show. They are always looking for well educated ladies. I'm in good shape, blonde, not quite as fresh as I was in my 20s but I like to think my personality carries me through to the finish line.

We've established that I'm a serial date killer but I like to think it's the datees. Have you ever been set up with a Christmas Decoration salesman? An newly off the plane Egyptian who thought the waiter was committing a crime by handing me a menu? (Forget about choosing and ordering for myself). An actor/bus boy that started picking his teeth with his knife? But I digress.

Via Patti Stanger, I could meet men who have jobs. She'd probably make me dress slutty, but I can do that. Not so sure about the filming part, but that would be the least of it compared to what I've gone through. 

Application done. Now I need a head shot. I guess that I've made it living in LA for almost 3 years without a head shot makes me an anomaly. I may as well jump on the bandwagon. After all, I'm just a leprechaun seeking a rainbow. If it happens to have a pot of gold, all the more lucky charms for me, right?

Friday, July 2, 2010

Latte Love Affair

Just thinking about it makes me hot and bothered. And sweaty. I shake.

My obsession? The creamy, icy liquid that goes down my throat like silk: an iced latte.

In the spirit of funemployed self-improvement, I'm on a 21-day cleanse which bans me from drinking coffee and pretty much most food. Basically, I've been existing on chicken, leafy green vegetables, fruit, quinoa and green tea. Since my pre-cleanse diet was so unhealthy, my detox has been awful. My muscles ache, I have painful headaches and I'm constantly craving sugar.

So why am I doing this? Primarily, to detox and secondarily, lose some weight. In the long run, I want to learn to eat better. Even though this has been one of the hardest things I've ever done, I'm on track.

I can withstand the detox and exist without the foods that I love with one exception: iced lattes. They dance constantly through my brain and and make me absolutely insane. I now understand how Edward Cullen felt when he wanted to devour Bella. I want to rip the iced latte out of people's hands. I try to hide my rabid eyes behind sunglasses for fear of scaring too many people. I'm a latte vampire.

I never realized the strength of my caffeine addiction until I gave in. After drinking an iced latte on Day 3, I was smiling ear to ear and felt full of hope.  For a drink to have that power over me made me realize how powerless I am to my unhealthy habits. I recommitted to the cleanse 100%. While I can't say that I won't slip in the next 16 days, it should get easier.

Thank God I don't have to go to work in an office because this would be a true case of how to lose friends and alienate people. No one (smart) wants to be associated with a caffeine-deprived, latte-lusting vampire.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Illuminated by Football

Ever since I got back from my trip back east, and returned to FUNemployment, I've been struggling. I really thought that I'd slide back into fun time but it's been harder than I expected. I couldn't put my finger on it, until I watched The Blind Side and saw the USA/Ghana World Cup game. One is a story of hope, the other of disappointment.

In The Blind Side, Michael Oher had the worst childhood imaginable. This kid was lucky if he found food. But in a twist of fate, he met a family that helped him and after a lot of hard work, he went to college and is now in the NFL. If you looked at Michael Oher prior to meeting the Tuohys, you would've hoped that he lived past his 18th birthday. But he beat every odd and became a success.

I met friends to watch the USA/Ghana game and admittedly, I know nothing about soccer. What I quickly learned is that the US exhibited the can-do American attitude. They were constantly working hard, taking shots on goal. If they'd fall down, they'd get back up. I thought for sure that they'd prevail because they were dominating. With that many shots on goal, how could they not win? Well, they can be proud of their hard work but it didn't get them to the next level. They failed.

As I'm trying to navigate launching my dog walking business and finishing up my book proposal to send to publishers, I'm worried about whether I'll be a success or a failure. And this fear has paralyzed me. I'm venturing into 2 new territories and I have no idea what I'm doing. I haven't even done anything with dog walking. In this new territory, I have no idea whether I'll be Oher or Donovan and I'm scared.

Luckily, today's NY Post horoscope is once again in tune with me. And it's right, I need to suck it up and get moving:

Don't sit around thinking about what might have been -- get out into the world and do something special. The next few days are going to be crucial to your emotional and mental well-being. Do whatever it takes to be a success.

Well, NY Post, I will do my best. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Putting the Kerry in Karaoke

Aside from putting the fun in unemployment, I need to put the Kerry in karaoke.

While my singing generally is equated with the vocal stylings of a cat on a fence, I bring showmanship. Especially with anything by Bon Jovi. And I love it. In my head, I sound like Kelly Clarkson.

I haven't grabbed the mike in awhile. But I don't think a one night karaoke excursion will do the trick. I want to go to the national championships.

A few years back, a friend of mine made a documentary about the international air guitar competition. It had little traction in the US but that all changed after my friend went on his air guitar tour of greatness.

So, I figured that there must be a national karaoke competition (I won't delude myself into thinking I can go international).

A few key strokes later and google gave me this:

Just you wait, Laughlin, NV! If I can't win my way there, I can buy my way there -- it's just $375 for 7 days of awesomeness. Ooooooooooooooh yeeeeeaaaaaahhhhhhhh boooooooyy!

In the end, who doesn't need more karaoke in their lives?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Back to My Future

I'm funemployed again! My freelance gig from hell ended almost two weeks ago. In the interim, here's what I've done:

1. Went from LAX to JFK. Visited family and friends (but not everyone...time was  my enemy). Had a great time.

2. Met Zach Galifinakis. He gave me his cab on a street corner in the meatpacking district of Manhattan. He was really nice. We chatted for a few minutes.

3. Touched Usher. When I got back to LA, I was craving a super awesome salad at Cafe Midi. I went on the early side, and then decided to walk into American Rag. I was walking and texting...and then touching Usher. He was confused. Then I saw Emma Roberts and Larry King elsewhere. Paparazzi career back on?

4. Watched MI-5 (or Spooks as it's called in England). SO AWESOME. About the UK's FBI. Way better than Law & Order and a lot more addictive. C'mon Netflix & USPS. I need my next episode!

5. Ate 2 Sprinkles cupcakes in 1 day. I'm gearing up for a 21-day cleanse. I couldn't resist the Milk Chocolate and Chocolate Marshmallow deliciousness before my dreary diet of shakes and supplements.

Here's what's next:

1. Scheduling my events for the week. I'm going to do LA's version of yoga on the lawn at the H'wood Standard (free!). Get a free Kerastase treatment and blow out for Locks of Love. Going to see a free comedy show at 10pm on Tuesday night! Free, free, free.

2. Camping out for iPhone 4G. I can get up before dawn and wait for the new iPhone. I can go back to sleep after.

3. Finishing up my book proposal and launch my dog walking business. Almost there. If you need a dog walker, let me know.

4. Have awesomely fun experiences that will make this blog a lot more interesting than it has been!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Alive and Kicking

I wanted to relieve all of your weary minds. The serial killer has not found me. Not that I've been hiding.

I'm nearing the end of my fake/temporary/freelance job. reFunemployment is in sight!

So, in preparation, I've been plotting my next steps. I'm working on a book proposal on this topic (but different from the blog so that you'll all want to buy it!). And I've been researching dog walking to start my business. I'm so committed that I've ordered the business cards. The design is called "Snazzy Dog Walker." I promise you that the design is better than the name.

So I've been a little remiss with blogging or sticking to my promise of living la vida Funemployed. But I did do the following things this Memorial Day weekend:

1. I saw Jessica Simpson out at a bar. She is a lot slimmer in person and quite pretty. If she is overweight, then I'm obese.
2. Got a mani/pedi with the new Chanel color Nouvelle Vague. It is a turquoise/Tiffany blue color. I hear that it is selling on eBay for $50. Not worth that or the hype.
3. Saw Vaughn (Michael Vartan) from Alias in my Coffee Bean. I'd let him be my handler.
4. Went to the beach in Malibu. Heaven.
5. Was awoken in the middle of the night by an extremely drunk girl screaming, "I want you to party in my caca. Like in my ass." A siren call for anal sex? I don't know, but that was not how I wanted to start my Tuesday.

So forgive this random post. Blame it on the neverending book proposal edits. And that drunk girl. But I can promise that reFUNemployment will be a lot more fun.