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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