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."