Sunday, September 27, 2009

My Apologies

Sorry I have been a terrible blogger lately! There hasn't been anything that important going on, life is pretty normal these days. I guess there is one pretty exciting thing...I made the conservatory at Second City! Classes for Conservatory started September 12th and we have an amazing group. Luckily, they kept the group I've been with for a year all together and we've got a few new guys. The new guys fit in really well and they bring a lot of new energy to the group! I've also been doing a character development workshop on Thursdays. It's three hours of brainstorming new opinions and new characters that we can later use in the theater. It's a lot of fun, but challenging as well! I have 16 partial monologues due this Thursday!


I made a trip home a few weeks ago that was a lot of fun! It was so good to get to see Andrew. He's growing up so fast! I'm sad that I can't be there more often. I'll be going home in November for the arrival of Madilyn! I can't believe Andrew isn't going to be the baby anymore, he'll be a big brother! 


Here's a picture from when I was home with some of my pledge sisters. I sure do miss all of these girls! Well it's about my bedtime...Sunday nights are when some of my favorite shows come on so I feel like all I've done tonight is be a couch potato. I did manage to get some cleaning done because that's what Sundays are for! By the way, if you don't watch Mad Men you definitely should! It's on AMC on Sunday nights. It's fun to watch a show that takes place in 1960. I'll try to be better about blogging...I promise!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Thoughts of the Lone Traveller

There's few things I enjoy more than traveling alone. When everything goes according to plan at least. That being said, I am currently sitting alone at the local Little Rock National Airport Quizno's with twenty minutes to spare and nothing to do but talk to myself. Luckily, I have my laptop and access to LRNA's free Wifi! (LAX take notes, free wifi is the bomb) The only downside to this free wifi is it's snail-like speed. I've been trying to download a movie since I got here and unfortunately I don't think it's gonna make it all the way to the end! 

So out of my boredom, I was going through some of my pictures in iPhoto and came across this little gem:





I stumbled upon this treasure at the Getty Museum when mom came to visit. The artist and name of the painting escapes me, but that's not really relevant here, now is it? In fact, the rest of the painting must've not been relevant because all I could do was zoom in on this fine specimen of a man in the 1600's. How easy would it have been to be a model back in those days? Maybe it was a charity case and he was the artist's cousin. Maybe he was in town visiting and the artist's mom said "Sweetie, just paint him in there somewhere on the side...let him hold a violin. It'll make his day and no one will even notice!" Then I can just see the reluctant artist agreeing to it but begrudging his mom every day. His cousin then goes back to whatever rural town he's from and brags to all his friends that he's a model in his cousin's painting but no one believes him. Then the artist dies and all of a sudden his painting is relevant (because he's dead) and now it hangs in the famous Getty Museum in Los Angeles. All for a childish observer like me to notice this goofy guy and take a picture of him. Completely neglecting the rest of his painting that he worked so hard on. 

I'd guess that none of that was actually the case, but I'm bored and it's fun to make up stories. If anyone actually does know the artist and title of this painting, pass it this way so I can find out what actually happened here.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Some Recent Photos








Sorry I've been slacking lately on my blog...it has been quite a busy few weeks! I have had seven visitors in the past couple of a weeks. It has been so nice to see so many people, but entertaining is a tough job! This past month my mom, my sister Amy and her husband Jason, my cousin Thomas and his wife Jenny, and my friends Margaret, Erin and Nicole all came to visit. Oh wait, that's eight people!! I'm pretty tired tonight but I didn't want to leave you hanging, so here's some recent photos that I love!

Friday, July 17, 2009

A Bittersweet Day


**This picture is of the view from the office I work in....Not bad, huh?!**


Today marks my final day as an intern at The Chasin Agency. When I started this internship in January, Matt (my boss) made it clear that there were no promises for a job at the end of 6 months but that the experience I would get here would be invaluable. He was right! Though the agency doesn't have the resources currently to take on any new hires, I'm leaving here with more than I could've learned about this industry in ten years on my own!

Lately I've been feeling spread too thin. I work at the agency around 15 hours a week, at Cabo at least 30 hours a week, and attending my improv classes 3 and a half hours every Saturday. Though my hours may not be much different from full time, it's hard to work until 3am some nights, get up to be at the agency in the morning, and then go straight from the agency to Cabo again! I usually only have full days off on a random day, such as a Tuesday. I guess you could say I'm ready for things to slow down. I'd like to have more time to get involved in a church in my area, make some new friends, and get in better shape! Not to mention, actually be able to talk to people back home other than through text messages. (Sorry that sounds a little whiny, I'm done I promise!) I thought I would be somewhat excited about this day, but instead I find myself very sad!

Tom Chasin and Matt Gogal were the first people in this city to take a chance on me. When I interviewed here, I had been going on job interviews for months with no luck and was starting to get discouraged. Tom hired me on the spot during my first interview with him. I had no idea at the time how God was blessing my life. Tom and Matt are such good people and have a code of ethics that is extremely hard to come by in this industry. Matt has treated me more like a peer than an intern. (It probably helps that he's only one year older than me--he's the youngest franchised agent in LA!) I never had to get him coffee or run his errands and he was always willing to teach me something new. Since only three of us work here, I've become very close with Matt and Tom...well, mostly Matt because Tom is such a busy man! I know that no matter where I go in this industry I will be ready for it and have a solid, respected reference. In the past 6 months, so much in my life has changed and this internship has been the one constant. I'll miss my few days a week at 8899 Beverly Blvd. but I'm eager to see where life will go from here!!






Tuesday, July 14, 2009

My First Concert at the Hollywood Bowl

Hola Everyone! (I've been working at the Cantina too much apparently...) I finally got a full weekend off of work and it was so fantastic I almost didn't know what to do with myself. The highlight of my weekend was Sunday night. I bought tickets to the Ray LaMontagne/Jenny Lewis/Blitzen Trapper concert several months ago and it was finally time to go on Sunday night! The music was AMAZING. I was really surprised how packed the place was...I didn't know so many people were fans. I'm glad they are though!

Besides the music, it was my first trip to the Hollywood Bowl. What an amazing venue! It is outdoors and is basically a big bowl in the side of a mountain. You can see the Hollywood sign to the left and a huge cross to the right. I'm still having camera issues, so I don't have any pictures unfortunately. We missed the opening group, Blitzen Trapper, because we had to park SO FAR AWAY!! I haven't walked that far that fast in some time! Here's a couple videos of who we did see:





The first video of Jenny Lewis isn't from the concert we were at but this is my favorite song of hers!
The Ray LaMontagne video is a little blurry, but it was actually taken at the Hollywood Bowl on
Sunday night. His voice is so unique. They are two of the few artists I've seen that actually
sound exactly the same in person as on an album. It was an amazing experience!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Gag


These have got to be the most hideous shoes I've ever seen. I am hereby making a public declaration that you will NEVER catch me in white leather boots. If I ever go against what I have just put into writing, you have full permission to slap me in the face.


Oh and TGIF!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Blog Makeover...Sort of!


You may have noticed the title of my blog has changed. The original title, "Life's a Beach," was suggested by my mother and, though I really liked that title, I wanted to change the focus of the blog...requiring a new title! I still will be updating about what's going on in my life, but I'd like to focus on some opinions of current events and life in general as well! (I am also keeping the photo, I'm pretty proud of it and I think it's gorgeous!)

The new blog title was happened upon when I was trying to think of words that possibly rhyme with "Emily." Most blog titles either rhyme or use some form of alliteration and I was drawing a blank. So the only other words I could think of that don't rhyme with anything will be my attempt at a cutesy little blog name...

Coming Soon: Pictures from when Mom was in town! And just because I'm getting tired of seeing so many words..here's a pic I think is humorous...






Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Remembrance

This post is very belated and especially with the media coverage, probably not something you'd like to read any more about, but I just have to say a few words about the passing of Michael Jackson. 

Despite the controversy surrounding him, Michael Jackson is undeniably the greatest entertainer of all time. His combination of Rock and R&B created an unprecedented genre of music. His music appeals to blacks, whites, hispanics, asians, Christians, Bhuddists, Muslims, atheists, men, women, and children. He is the most famous person in the world currently. His music is not boastful or rude, and isn't loaded with curse words. Some found his movements vulgar or offensive...that's reasonable. As for other allegations against him, I believe he was just a confused child. Even into his adulthood, he was child-like. These are psychological issues that I'd rather not delve in to! But to be an artist with as much influence as he had, I am a fan because of the words in his music. His songs speak about healing the world, looking past racial boundaries, and making changes within yourself to be a better person. Who can argue with that?

For me, Michael's music is a part of who I am. Those who know me well know I was a dancer for many years as a young girl. Though I'm not technically a dancer anymore, when you love something as much as I did it never leaves you. All of those hours in the dance studio were spent learning and creating new dances to Michael Jackson's music. Dancing was my life. The people at the studio, my team mates, my teachers...that was it. It consumed my thoughts all the time. His music ran through my veins. I remember when I learned how to moonwalk and I still can today!  Most of my early memories that have defined who I am would not exist if it weren't for his music. I am deeply saddened that I will never get to experience him perform in person and that we will never have a new album from him. Some people are awestruck by the works of Van Gogh or the compositions of Mozart. For me, Michael was like my Mozart and I respect him because of the art he created - his personal life is not a factor in that. If personal lives were relevant to artistic ability...there would be no art! Van Gogh makes Michael Jackson look like John F. Kennedy. (Who, by the way, also had a questionable personal life)

What makes me so passionate about this is not Michael Jackson just as a person. I don't know him. My day to day life isn't going to change because he has passed. My passion is the binding force of music. When you create something like he has, the world sees past the hate, greed and prejudice of their everyday lives and takes a moment to simply listen. Music crosses all borders and speaks all languages. It reminds us that we as people are one. 

Though his reputation was questionable, his positive impacts are undeniable. I wish people could have just given him a break and  let him create and make beautiful art the world could enjoy. I hope that his legacy is his music and  philanthropy and not his controversy. Rest in Peace, Michael.

"In a world filled with hate, we must still dare to hope. In a world filled with anger, we must still dare to comfort. In a world filled with dispair, we must still dare to dream. And in a world filled with distrust, we must still dare to believe." - Michael Jackson



Thursday, June 25, 2009

Belated Fathers' Day

Since I didn't get to be home for Father's Day, I thought I'd write a little blog shout-out to my dad: Gary Ronald Duncan. (Lovingly referred to as "Ronnie" by his family) If it weren't for my dad:

- I wouldn't know the first lines of "I've got Spurs that jingle jangle jingle, as I go ridin' merrily along!" But unfortunately, no lines after that. I've never known the rest of the lines and I probably never will. 

- I wouldn't know the importance of pool maintenance. 

- I would have never been to the Jacksonville Air Force Base and gotten a Military ID that I can use for bragging rights that my dad was in 'Nam.

- I wouldn't know that white cars have the best resale value and are also easiest to keep clean.

- I wouldn't have visited the major southern Civil War battle fields OR gone to the Space Museum in Alabama BEFORE my 5th grade class went as a group.

- I would probably let my gas tank slip below 1/4 of a gallon. (Sorry dad, this happens sometimes! But never my gas light!) Also, I wouldn't know the importance of getting my tires rotated and making sure the pressure is right.

- I wouldn't have any general knowledge of outdoor equipment, hunting gear, guns, and turkey calls. 

- Our house would have no exterior illumination and the blinds would always be left open.

- I wouldn't know how to give a firm handshake and I wouldn't know that "idle hands are the devil's workshop."

- I probably would have gotten more speeding tickets (if that's possible) but dad instilled the fear of God in me. 

Basically, thanks dad for being my dad and teaching me how to be a good person on top of all the little things I've picked up from you through the years! Happy Belated Father's Day!

A Fresh Start and Family Visits

So it all started the other day. I made my regular bowl of Kashi Go Lean Crunch, took a bite, and then looked down to realize that the entire bowl was full of ants!!! I could not run to the sink to spit it out fast enough. GROSS!! Upon further observation, there were a few things in the cabinet full of ants. I threw out those things and hoped that hopefully I'd seen the last of them. Wrong. So finally this week I threw out all of my food, sprayed down the cabinet with Raid, and had to restock the cabinet. Even though it was a little inconvenient, I have to admit that it's a nice feeling to have a new start. I bought lots of new, healthy food! 

Last week, my cousin Thomas called and told me that he and his wife, Jenny, would be in town and had a free weekend! Unfortunately, weekends are probably my busiest part of the week, but we still managed to spend some time together. I picked them up from their hotel on Friday and took them around Santa Monica. We also walked down the Santa Monica Pier because they had never seen it. We got a funnel cake and luckily were able to see dolphins and sea lions! We also went to breakfast on Sunday at my favorite beach restaurant, Patrick's. 

This weekend, my mom is coming in to town! She is coming Friday through Tuesday so it will be a nice trip! I'm trying to plan things out for the visit so we get to see everything. I'm also looking forward to taking off of work for a few days! I haven't had two consecutive days off in as long as I can remember! I'll be sure and post pictures of the trip as soon as I can. Have a great afternoon!

-Emily

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart


Hi Everyone! So the blog title is the title of a book I just started reading this week called "Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart - Thirty True Things You Need to Know Now" by Gordan Livingston. So far, I've only read to the fourth chapter, but it is a really interesting book that I think anyone could enjoy! The chapters are very short and to the point. My favorite chapter thus far is titled We are What we Do and it discusses judging others by their actions and not their words. I believe everyone has probably had someone in their lives who says one thing and does another. It reminds you to quit listening to words that people feed you when all their actions show is that they cause chaos in your life. Not only do you need to quit putting faith in people that break their promises to you, but to quit breaking promises to yourself. Happiness isn't the absence of despair, but a state of being in which our lives have meaning, pleasure, and something to look forward to. (Hellllooo Jesus!) Anyway, it's a great book so far and if you get the chance to read it, you should!
Today has been a good day because I actually have the day off! Whew!! I have been getting things done around the house and running a few errands that have been on my to-do list for quite some time. I shipped the box of Ikea hangers that has been in my room since I moved to Santa Monica to Mom. Finally. That's just one of those things that's been nagging at me but I haven't deemed it important enough to actually do. When I woke up this morning and saw that box I said "Today is the day!" It's amazing how accomplished I feel not having that box staring at me every morning and night when I go to my room! Ha! I'm also FINALLY printing pictures off of my computer. I haven't printed any pictures since last year!! I've got quite a few other things I've been getting done today, but I don't want to bore you with that.
I'm still waiting on the camera charger that mom is shipping me to get here so I can put more pictures on my blog! Until then, here is the last picture on my camera before it died. It's of mom and I in Vegas eating at the Grand Luxe right when we got in to town! May my little Sony Carl Zeiss digital camera rest in peace. 


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Conan

Way to go Conan O'Brian! I love him as the new host of The Tonight Show. Probably because he's got a weird sense of humor just like me! Did you all watch his show last night? I'm looking forward to his next several years as the host!

I especially enjoyed the part with the Universal Studios tour. I'm thinking of applying to be a tour guide there, myself. That would combine my love of two things: history and trams. Wish me luck!

I hope everyone is having a terrific Tuesday! I am so far!

-Emily

Sunday, May 31, 2009

It's Been a While!

Hi everyone! Sorry it's been so long since I've blogged...I have been very very busy! Honestly, I feel like I'm spread a little thin these days, but things should slow down some after June. On top of all of that, my camera is broken, so I don't have any pictures to share! Mom let me use her camera for a while, but I don't have the battery charger so it's dead and therefore useless. 

It's a beautiful Sunday afternoon here, but this morning it wasn't quite the case. We're getting in to what's known as the "June Gloom." The mornings are usually pretty cloudy and then by the afternoon things clear up. I guess since I've been so busy I'm a little glad the weather is bad...then no one else gets to enjoy it either! Haha I'm not really that selfish...but then again it is a little of a consolation. 

Yesterday was spent in Hollywood at the Second City which is the highlight of my week. We are really developing as a group and getting in to more complicated classes. Instead of just having fun, we are working on developing emotions and following rules that we weren't following before. We focus a lot on the first 90 seconds of a scene which is really the hardest part of a scene. In the first 90 seconds, the exposition needs to be completely developed -- the who, what, when, where, why and relationships should all be clearly defined, so then you can spend the rest of the scene having fun! We are also learning how to create the "moment of truth" in a scene. In the middle of a scene, the attitude should completely change...or else there is nothing to watch! It's a lot to learn, but we're all picking up on it! 

I just got home from work and I think Jennifer and I may go to the beach for a little bit. I would love to take a nap, but I think I may just sleep on the beach so I can work on my tan! 

I have a little trick to share for you when life gets really busy. I always hate the feeling at the end of the day when there's still so many things left on my to-do list, so a teacher I had in college taught me to make an "I did" list of 10 accomplishments you made that day instead of focusing on what you didn't do. It can be any little thing! Today hasn't been too busy so I'll do my 10 things list from Friday:

1) I did a load of laundry
2) I did the dishes
3) I made my bed
4) I cleaned my bathroom
5) I returned some DVD's
6) I worked 
7) I cleaned out my car
8) I worked out
9) I lifted weights
10) I picked up my room

So there you have it! Some things may not be a huge accomplishment, but at least you're focusing on the positive things you did that day instead of stressing out about what you didn't do. Have a great afternoon!!

-Emily

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Getting Ready for Swimsuit Season?

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Okay so I'm not really attempting to diet, but I always have my eye out for healthy options and I just have to talk about my love for COOL WHIP FREE! It's fat free and only 15 calories per serving and tastes great. Granted, one of its ingredients is high-fructose corn syrup which many people try to avoid. However, anything else unhealthy you'd eat in its place probably also contains HFCS. If you're looking for a quick snack, just dip some strawberries, pineapple, or any fruit you love into the Cool Whip and instantly you feel like you must be cheating! It also tastes great to put a scoop of it over a sugar-free Jell-O chocolate and vanilla pudding pack. You can even freeze it and eat it like ice cream! Be careful though, a serving size is only 2 tbsp...so don't go nuts!! 

Anywho, I know my blog has nothing to do with food or dieting in general, but I just had to share! Happy snacking!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

My First Show & an Exciting Encounter!

I can't believe I haven't had time to blog about this yet, but two Saturdays ago was my first improv show! It all started out as a kind of joke, I mentioned to our teacher that when I was in dance, we put on a recital at the end of the term...so why could we not do that with improv?! The next week he came back and said that Second City had allowed us 30 minutes on the mainstage! This may not seem like a big deal, but we were the first group of students that aren't in the conservatory to get the opportunity to do this! Needless to say, we felt pretty special. We picked out six games to perform and who all would be in them and ran them like a show would be run with our teacher, George, explaining each game before we did them. The show was free and we were all encouraged to invite our friends and family. Obviously I had no family there, but my friends Jocelyn, Mark, and Natalie came so I was very excited they were there! It went over very well with the audience so there's high hopes for our little improv group. We call ourselves "Hell Toupee"...not for any particular reason! It was a perfect ending to our Level C term. I began Level D this past Saturday and after I complete Level E I will be able to audition for the conservatory and begin doing shows on a weekly basis if I make it!
As for my exciting encounter...most of you know I intern at a talent agency a few days a week. One of our clients is Lorna Luft, Judy Garland's daughter and Liza Minelli's sister. I got a call the other day from her and she said she was going to be in the office in about an hour! I was so excited to meet her, and even a bit nervous! She stayed around and chatted for about two hours and was absolutely hilarious. I could've listened to her talk for another two days. The whole time all that was going through my head was "Oh my gosh..your mom was Judy Garland. Your mom was Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. Oh my gosh!" I bet she thought I looked a little crazy, but she was very friendly and a total diva (But in a good way!). She had just wrapped a show in London that she had been doing since January and was back in America looking for new projects. I thought it was so funny because she has a son who's trying to furnish an apartment and she kept asking if I knew where cheap couches were..she's surprisingly normal for the crazy life she's had! 
I don't have any pictures or video from the show yet, but I do have a short little video of us in the green room waiting for the show to start. For some reason, I can't upload the video right now so I'll try again this evening. Have a great afternoon!
-emily

Monday, May 11, 2009

"The Vegas"

For some reason, 2009 has turned out to be the year of "The Vegas." Since January, I have been to Las Vegas three times. It's a little ridiculous, but there was always justification for going, of course! The first trip I made this year was with my friends Jocelyn, Natalie, and Holly. Jocelyn is from Tulsa, OK and we knew each other through a mutual friend. She got in touch with me via the facebook and it's been really nice to have another southern friend out in LA. Natalie and Holly are also from Tulsa, however, we didn't know Natalie until we got to Los Angeles. Holly currently lives in Tulsa, but lived in LA to go to school at FIDM. 

From left to right: Me, Holly, Jocelyn and Natalie. In total it only cost us $80 to stay there, and then I won $200 at the craps tables...Success!
My second trip to Vegas came about when my room-mate Jennifer had a trip planned to meet her best friends from high school. I wasn't planning on going, but it was going to be Easter weekend and I really didn't want to be alone! We went with her friends Lauren and Amanda. Amanda lives in LA as well, so the three of us drove down on Friday morning and met Lauren who flew in from Washington, D.C. I was the only one who had ever been before so I was the official "tour guide" of the weekend. We stayed at Planet Hollywood and it was really nice! Jennifer and I also met one of our favorite "celebrities!" For any of you who watch Chelsea Lately, we met Chuey, her assistant. They film Chelsea Lately in Santa Monica, so Chuey gave us his card and said to call him any time we want to come to a taping. I'll probably take him up on that!
Okay so the third trip to Vegas was two weeks after this trip, and I went to meet Mom and Dad since they had won a trip there. Jennifer went with me too and we stayed at the Venetian. I had never stayed there before and it was so nice! We didn't get in until late Friday night because Jennifer had an acting class, so Friday wasn't too eventful. On Saturday, we got up and had breakfast, then dad went to the Motorcross races. (Or whatever they were, I'm not really sure!) Jennifer and I went to the pool for about an hour and FRIED! Then mom, Jennifer, and I just went walking around Vegas. We ate at Cut by Wolfgang Puck that night and the meal was amaaazing. You'll have to ask mom about her 3-year-old Japanese cow that she ate. We also went to see David Spade who happens to be one of my favorite comedians. He was hilarious! I would love to write a stand-up show and get to do what he does every night. On Sunday, mom and dad had to leave to catch a flight, so I dragged Jennifer to the Titanic exhibit at the Luxor. I had seen a Titanic exhibit before, but this one was a little different. In the beginning you get a ticket of a passenger and in the end see if you lived or died. I was a woman in first class so I was just sure I would survive, but I didn't. I got a little teary-eyed at one point when they had people's personal belongings and their story of why they were on the ship. Sometimes you forget that those people were real and they were mothers, fathers, children, and friends. 
So the best part of that trip would definitely be the trip home. For some reason, the traffic coming back from Vegas was three lanes, bumper-to-bumper, not moving. I could hardly keep my eyes open, so we pulled over in Primm, Nevada to rest. Since the traffic wasn't going anywhere, Jennifer called to see about how much a hotel room would be. $19.95 a night! Gosh that is CHEAP! We figured we'd just buy a room and wait until about 9pm to start driving again. If you've ever seen Primm, it's like a mini-Vegas. There's three cheesy hotels with casinos and an outlet mall. It's Redneck heaven. We checked in to Buffalo Bill's "resort" only expecting to stay for a few hours. There was a man in the elevator who brought his own cooler to the casino. Another man was walking down the hall carrying a "tallboy" and passing gas very loudly. I hope you have some kind of mental picture of this place. We ended up staying there until the next morning around 5am and drove back to LA. I don't think I've ever been happier to leave a hotel in my life. To go from the Venetian to Buffalo Bill's is quite a culture shock! If you ever get the chance to visit Primm, Nevada...don't. As for Vegas, I think I'm all Vegas'd out for a while!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Weekend Update



Hi Everyone! I've actually already been to sleep tonight, but I woke up and now I can't go back to sleep so I figured I'd blog. I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter weekend! Since I couldn't be home, mom sent me a really cute Easter basket that I've been nibbling on the past few days...



I would update more, but I am exhausted and need to get some sleep! I started training at my new job on Monday, worked at the agency today, and am training again tomorrow during the morning shift. I am really enjoying it so far and can't wait until I am done training and working on my own! Good night!!

-Emily

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

When Things Start to Rock, Be Ready to Roll!!

So the title of my blog is from a sign I read today - you know those signs that they hang on light posts to promote something and they're on about every other one? April is Earthquake preparedness month in Los Angeles and after the tragedy in Italy I am determined to get prepared! I started yesterday by buying a flashlight pack with one big flashlight and another small one to go in my night stand. I also remember Carol advising me to put some shoes under the bed in case an earthquake strikes at night and there's glass on the floor. I've just got a few more things to get so I can be ready for what everyone calls "The Big One!" I'm not too worried, Los Angeles is the most prepared city in the United States for an earthquake when really they could happen anywhere. So maybe everyone reading this should prepare for an earthquake, you know, just in case! :)

I saw that Amy broke the news on her blog that she's expecting!! I wasn't going to say anything until she did. I can't believe there's going to be another baby in the family soon but I'm very excited! Being an aunt is the best because you don't have to go through the hard part of having a child, but you get to enjoy it very much. Sorry Amy that you haven't been able to experience that...and you probably won't for quite a while!! I've got my fingers crossed for a little girl!!

Besides that, today has been a very productive day. I got a new job that I'm very very excited about. It's a serving position at Cabo Cantina on the Venice Beach Boardwalk. It's a very fun environment and the restaurant is very popular so I'll be able to make good money! The beach cafe in Hermosa just isn't going to pay the bills, but I'll continue to work there if they need me to. Obviously I still have my internship at the talent agency as well and I really enjoy it! I couldn't have asked for better bosses. 

I've also been doing some spring cleaning and trying to get our apartment put together. We still are missing a few things that we need for the house, but I got some chairs for our balcony yesterday. We also got cute little rope lights that wrap around the balcony so it's just perfect in time for the warm weather! If we had a hammock, I would sleep out there. It's really peaceful and quiet at night. I don't have a lot of other news...I just got some sushi and a movie from Red Box so that's going to be my night! If you've never used a Red Box, you should...it's great! You rent the movie for $1 plus tax and then return it by 9pm the next day. For every day you don't return it, you get $1 fine, but after 25 days, they quit charging you and the DVD is yours to keep. That's a pretty good deal for people who are bad at returning things *cough* MOM! I remember we could never rent movies from Hastings because we had too many fines! haha! Have a good night!

Monday, April 6, 2009

A Trip Home and Santa Monica in the Spring Time!

Hey everyone! Sorry it's been a while since I've updated, but it's been a busy couple of weeks. This is going to be a long post! I got the chance to go home for a visit the 25th through the 30th and it was a great trip!  I flew out of Los Angeles at 6:00am on Wednesday morning, and for those of you who know me at all, know that I can't get up in the morning even if you set a fire in my bed so I decided the best thing to do would be to stay up until I had to leave for the airport at 4. All was going well, Jennifer and I went out to eat in West Hollywood and went out for a little while, then I came home, showered, packed and we headed to the airport. I made it to Dallas on time but missed my connecting flight because of a delay out of LA. They couldn't get me out of Dallas until 4:45 and at this point, the lack of sleep is starting to get to me. I couldn't possibly get comfortable at the gate, so I ate at Chili's (alone of course) and then found one of those massage chairs that costs $5 for 15 minutes so I could recline and get some silence with their over-sized probably lice covered headphones. I don't care, it was worth it. I finally got home and fell asleep watching DWTS. (or American Idol I can't remember!) The next day I got some things done in Conway. Mere cooked me an amazing lunch of meatballs and mashed potatoes, my FAVORITE! Mere, if you could send me that recipe I would be forever grateful! I also saw Brad and got a cavity filled. :( That night Mom, Sarah Clark, Sharon Clark and I went out to eat at Michaelangelo's. (Disclaimer: I don't know how to rotate pictures yet, so some are crooked...I need some help with this!)
I realize that this picture does no one justice, but it was the only one I had...oh except for the one of Sarah's mess, which is actually pretty impressive...so I'll post that one too!
Sarah - you're 23. That's all I have to say about that. Haha! We definitely ate WAY too much!
On Friday I drove up to Fayetteville in the morning because I had a facial appointment. My skin has been crazy since moving to California and trying to get used to the water here. After that, I went to Amy's house and tried to help out as best as I could because she was getting ready for her Church group to come over and was behind. She mostly just needed someone to keep Andrew under control and I was glad to help because I haven't seen him since Christmas! He has grown up so much! He showed me how much he loves to clean and has gotten very good at calling Allie. (or Awwie as he would say!)
Here he is showing me how he can clean and also drink out of his grown-up sippy cup! (He's also wearing the shirt I got him for Christmas, Yay!)  That night I got to go to dinner with my friends Nicole, Erin and Catherine at Theo's and enjoy a night out in Fayetteville with my friends that I never get to see! Sometimes I really miss Fayetteville, but then I remember that it's not the same town I am used to. My friends have moved elsewhere and my friend Nicole is in law school and is consumed with that! We got to go to my favorite bar, Grub's, and watch my favorite band, Boom Kinetic, which is an 80's cover band! (Formerly Molten Lava) I was so excited they were playing at Grub's that weekend, but it was definitely different from when we used to go in college! Still fun, nonetheless.

I love this picture of Erin and me. I guess because we look so excited...we were!! The next day Erin and I were supposed to go to a wedding in Tulsa for one of my good friends, Katy McClish. We woke up to a snowstorm and were told that there were 8 inches of snow in Tulsa, so we couldn't make the trip. We spent the day being lazy, then went to eat at one of my favorite Fayetteville restaurants - La Huerta. We also got the chance to spend another night having fun in Fayetteville. 
Here's the four of us at Z330, from left to right is Erin, Catherine, me and Nicole! I'm wearing the awesome shirt I bought in the LA airport...it says "The Governator" and has a picture of 'Ahhnold' on it! I love it! The next morning, I drove back to Conway to see Carol and Jenny and also for Thomas' birthday! I was so glad that all of the family got to come by and I got to see everyone again before I left the next morning. I think Thomas had a pretty good birthday, too! On Monday I got up, packed, and dad drove me to the airport for my flight back. I was sad to leave, but I have a lot to do here so it was time to get back! When I arrived it was Spring Time in Santa Monica! I also came home to a steady leak in my tire so I took it to get repaired and while walking home I took some pictures of the scenery.

This is actually someone's grass...Those may be weeds, but they are so cute!
This is the Miles Playhouse which was opened in 1929...it's famous. 

This is the Santa Monica Catholic Church. It's also famous - for Tom Brady's secret wedding to Giselle about a month ago. It's gorgeous!

This guy isn't famous, but I was getting a kick out of watching this squirrel in my neighbor's drain pipe. He was just sitting there keepin' watch! (I took the picture through the window so pardon the screen!) So the final part of this epic blog post: on Sunday, it was warm enough to go lay out on the beach, so Jennifer and I walked down there. She told me about a place called Paradise Cove in Malibu, so we decided to go there for dinner. It was so neat! It was right on the beach and the tables were in the sand. The calamari was amazing but the entrees were nothing to write home about. The highlight of the night was getting to see one of our favorite actors - John Krasinski, who plays Jim on "The Office." He was also there with his girlfriend, Emily Blunt, who is most known for playing Emily on "The Devil Wears Prada." I couldn't stop staring, but luckily I don't think I got caught!
Here's Jennifer being awkward..but you get the idea of the restaurant! I felt like I was on vacation!
I didn't manage to get a pic of myself, so here's my feet in the sand. I know I have ugly feet, but my toes are cool, right? Purple is where it's at. 
So pat yourself on the back because you've made it through the longest blog post of the century, but now you're up to speed. Next time I'll try not to wait so long before I post again! Who knows? Maybe I'll even post tomorrow! 

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Happy Sunday!

Hi Everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend! I did, even though it wasn't much different from the rest! Oddly enough my weekends seem less eventful than my weeks, but I guess I've never been one to be normal. On Saturday I had my improv class and getting there was a nightmare because Hollywood Blvd was blocked off for a protest. I'm sorry, but I would like to get a protest together to protest protesting. I understand the freedom of speech thing, but blocking off a major street in a city that already has traffic issues just so you can not shave your legs and march up and down the street is ANNOYING. Not to mention, they were protesting the war, which is so 2006. Obama has already said he's pulling out of Iraq in 2010, so I don't see what the point is in protesting it anymore. It was obvious that some of the hippies hadn't made new posters in a while because a few said "Make Levies, Not War!" Sweet...throwback to Katrina. Anywho, I'm a little too lazy to upload some pics from the weekend right now because I'm about to make a trip to Target, but I'll leave you with a video that will certainly make you laugh! 



Thursday, March 19, 2009

Improv, A Visitor, and a Holiday



Hi everyone! The past few days have been pretty busy, so I haven't had much time to post. This past weekend was fun -- I spent the majority of my day on Saturday at Second City at the first class of my third term. It was such a fun day! Some people don't know what improv is, and confuse it with stand-up comedy, so to explain to you the best I can, I'll give you an example of one of the games we played:


In one game, we were doing a sort of talk show. Four of us were seated, and one person was the host. The four people who are seated are given an "area of expertise" by the audience. I was an expert in lighting grills! Some of the other players were experts in logging, Pokemon, and spinning class, for example. The talk show host basically leads conversation by possibly bringing up a current event, but there really are no rules as to what they can say. There's really no rules in general, you just form an opinion and watch the scene unfold! So to further the example, when I was "playing," the host brought up Bernie Madoff and we were supposed to give our thoughts. Since my expertise was lighting grills, I said: "There's two ways to light a grill: propane and charcoal. Sure, propane may be more convenient, but charcoal makes the food taste better. So sometimes you just need to put in the extra effort and use the charcoal instead of taking short-cuts." Now I have absolutely no idea if this is true or not, but in improv you know everything! That is what usually makes the scenes so funny, is when people talk about things they have no prior knowledge about. 


On Sunday, one of my best friends, Ben Blakeman, was in town for business. I drove down to Valencia where he was staying along with Jennifer, and we went out to eat and went out for a little while. It was great to see him! He is a promoter for Anhauser-Busch and travels all over the country attending special events.


This picture is actually from the first time Ben was here on business, but I like it because it is on the pier in Santa Monica! Ben is on the left, obviously I am in the center, and Jim is on the right. Jim is one of the guys Ben used to travel with!
St. Patricks Day was pretty crazy here in Santa Monica! I don't know if I just never noticed it before or what, but I felt like people out here went crazy for St. Patricks Day! EVERYONE was decked out in green! I had to work during the day, but that night Jennifer and I went down to the Gas Lite. It was really fun and we sang "Jump" by Kriss Kross...it was a cool song when I was in elementary school! Needless to say, I was a little rusty but the crowd liked it!




Here we are decked out in our green clothes! (And green eyeliner if you can tell!)

Today I worked at the agency again. It was a pretty normal day until after work. I went to the Starbucks across the street just like I normally do, and all of a sudden there was a swarm of paparazzi. Apparently it was Kim Kardashian shopping at the store next door! I'm not really a fan of hers, she is famous for nothing basically except for her reality show on the E! network. I also saw Queen Latifah when I was walking into the office. I really liked her in Chicago, but I didn't see much of her, she just drove by in her Rolls Royce convertible and waved at a passing tour bus. 

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That's about it for my weekend and week so far! Have a wonderful afternoon!

-Emily

Friday, March 13, 2009

For Your Consideration...

After the post I made previously, I was watching 20/20, an episode called "Bailouts and Bull." One woman on the show struck a chord with me, and not a good one. Here name is Barbara Ehrenreich and she is the author of a book called "Nickled and Dimed." According to Babs, you can not survive on an entry-level job. She worked as a nursing home assistant, and a sales associate at Wal-Mart. She claims that there was a ceiling placed on how much she was "allowed" to earn. Then the question was brought up. "If you worked hard, couldn't you be promoted?" and she goes on to say "Well..I guess, but only if you're the exception!" So you are encouraging others to not strive to be the exception because it isn't easy to attain? This woman is speaking at commencements all over the country!!


A recent college graduate who was assigned her book, Adam Shepard, wrote a book called "Scratch Beginnings" to dispute her argument. He claims she "tried to fail!" He drew a random city out of a hat which turned out to be Charleston, SC. He went with $25 and nothing else. No exceptions. He moved into a homeless shelter and began working for a moving company making $8 an hour. He eventually worked up enough money to buy a used truck for $1,100. She made no sacrifices, while he did. He said she bought a $40 pair of pants while he bought his at Goodwill. She also stayed in motels instead of finding a roommate, which is what he did after working for a few months and saving for an apartment.

The middle class income has increased in real dollars, adjusted for inflation, from $29k to $75k since the 1950's. Not to mention we have endured worse recessions in that time. 20/20 interviewed people who were young "back then" who have thousands upon thousand invested in toys such as boats and custom ATV's. Their jobs? Landscape contractors, law enforcement, and gardeners. 10 million Americans take cruises every year. This isn't a question of having less money. It's having higher expectations. Have we set ourselves up for failure by making excuses? I think so. 

What do you think about all of this? I thought it was interesting to say the least.

Welcome to My Blog!

Okay so I've been talking about starting a blog for some time, so I figured it was time to getting around to it! My sister, Amy, has a great blog that I love keeping up with, and since I can't talk to everyone as much as I'd like, I decided to follow suit! 
For those of you who don't know, I recently moved to Santa Monica. I absolutely love it here! The streets are lined with palm trees, the people are friendly, and there are 325 days of sunshine a year! I currently have two jobs -- I am an intern at a talent agency in Beverly Hills and I also am a waitress at a cute little beach cafe. I spend the rest of my time focusing on my improv comedy classes and spending time walking on the beach!
 I began taking improv at Second City the second week I moved out here. I was completely unaware of what I was getting into...but I was bored, lonely, and unemployed at the time so I was pretty open to anything! The first class was absolutely terrifying. The teacher would call out your name and you were expected to make the craziest noise and movement you could think of...in front of a bunch of total strangers! In the first ten minutes! Now, I am beginning my third term and have gotten so close to my classmates. It is the highlight of my week and I look forward to every Saturday that I am fortunate enough to spend at Second City with some of the funniest and most intelligent people I have ever met. 
Anyway, that's enough background! Today, I didn't have to work or go to class, so Jennifer (my roommate) and I walked down the beach to a great restaurant called Patrick's Roadhouse for breakfast. They had a book there about the history of Santa Monica and the bay area that I thought was so interesting. I love to learn about the history of every place that I live, so I went to Barnes and Noble and bought the book that I saw. I also got two other books which are both autobiographies of comedians. One is "Thirty-Nine Years of Short-Term Memory Loss" by Tom Davis who was one of the SNL originals and a Second City alum! The second is "My Booky Wook" by Russel Brand. A lot of people don't think he is funny, but I do, and I would like to know more about him. I'll keep you updated! 

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Since you've made it this far through this crazy long post, I'll leave you with a video snack. This is of a man that frequents the karaoke bar Jennifer and I love to go to in our neighborhood. I would tell you about it, but there is no explanation necessary...just watch for yourself!!
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