Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Your Company's Holiday Party


 The holidays are here!  What better way to celebrate than by spending time with all the people you hold near and dear to your heart... and co-workers!

Despite the fact that I'm almost completely socially inept, I do enjoy holiday parties.  But that's mostly because I like Christmas music and open bars.  And wearing sparkly dresses. However, it's difficult to practice restraint in an open bar situation when you're basically poor and could never afford a night out in a fancy establishment with non-stop drinks otherwise.  


I have messed up quite a few times.  I have drank all the wine until I got so drunk and angry that I threw my last glass of wine at the floor.  That's right, AT the floor.  I have done splits in short, sparkly skirts.  I have sang karaoke with a group of girls, ultimately stealing the microphone completely because I was really feeling a Spice Girls song.  I have told people the truth.  The bad, drunk kind of truth.   


So, while I thoroughly believe you should go out and make your own mistakes to hopefully learn from - here are some tips on how to behave at your company's holiday party - and some interesting information on holiday parties in general from the folks over at TinyPrints! (Such as 75% improved office friendships, errybody!) 



Monday, December 8, 2014

Things to Love on a Monday

1. Emma Stone's hair is perfect.

2. This is a tote bag. And the motto of my year. 

3. Perfect media console.

4. don't.


 6. big ol' scarf. i am LOVING free people this season.

  7. Damn right.

 8. oh my god.

 9. CHRISTMAS.

10. sexy sweater, gurl.

HAPPY MONDAY!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

5 Non-Christmas Classics To Watch This Holiday Season


If you've been in my apartment since two weeks before Thanksgiving, if you are the recipient of one of my countdown to Christmas texts (starting in triple digits) or even if you've brushed past me on a sidewalk… you know that I love Christmas time.  I force Christmas cheer on my naturally anxious and depressed self.  I start way before Christmas season and have been known to end in February.   

Every year, I do what I can to get in the spirit and more often than not that involves movies.  However, Netflix's supply of Christmas movies is… bare.  You have some pretty decent options: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, Love Actually, Muppet Christmas Carol, White Christmas, CHRISTMAS WITH THE KRANKS. But those aren't the ones I want to talk about. 

Here are five NON-Christmas classics on Netflix for you to enjoy - and quite possibly cringe during - this Christmas season. 

1. 12 Dates of Christmas.  (Out of all the ABC Family Original Christmas movies, this is actually my favorite.)

The cast: Amy Smart and Zack Morris. 

The plot: Amy Smart wants to get back together with her ex-boyfriend this Christmas.  She calls him, tricks him into coming over because she wants to "see their dog" and oh yeah, she bought him a gift.  She faints in a department store and wakes up in a busted up version of the movie, Groundhog Day.  Her ex-boyfriend is dating someone else, her mother is dead, her father is re-married, the stepmother sets her up on a blind date, his wife is dead, the date goes poorly because Amy Smart is terrible… and she wakes up in the same day every day until she rights all of her wrongs and makes everyone else in her world happy.  Including, but not limited to: befriending an eccentric and lonely neighbor, forcing a random guy in a park to propose to his girlfriend and stalking a runaway orphan until ultimately giving him a puppy that he most likely will not be able to take care of.  

2. The Mistle-Tones! (Yes, exclamation point included.) 

The cast: Tia (or Tamera) (or Taj) Mowry, Tori Spelling.  

The plot: A Mowry Sister desperately wants to join local and popular Christmas singing group, The Snow Belles. (Do those exist?!) Her mother started the group when she was younger (and yes, her mother is now deceased - I'm sensing a theme in ABC Family movies) and Mowry has been waiting FOREVER for an opening so she can join and sing at the mall on Christmas Eve.  Shit happens, she doesn't get in.  Her boss is a dick.  She convinces Santa (the mall version) to make it a competition to see who gets to perform at the mall on Christmas Eve.  She starts her own group with a bunch of misfit co-workers… and everything goes right until it goes wrong until it goes right and she finds out her dick of a boss SINGS LIKE REALLY WELL and he helps the group nail their vocal arrangements and corresponding dance moves. Then he gets a call to move to like Thailand or something, right as he and Mowry #1 were falling in love. They do not win the competition and there's still a happy ending. All in all, Tori Spelling is SERIOUSLY terrible at acting.

Oh, and Carl Winslow is in it. 

3. While You Were Sleeping.  

The cast: Sandra Bullock, Bill Pullman, Sandy Cohen (from The O.C.) and the mother from Mary Poppins… among others. 

The plot: Arguably not a Christmas movie, but it takes place at Christmas time.  Sandra Bullock takes tokens at a train station (what an old timey job that is!) and is in loooove with a guy she sees everyday.  He has large eyebrows.  He is Sandy Cohen.  He falls on a train platform, she saves him, he conveniently slips into a coma.  She pretends she's engaged to him so she can go in the hospital with him… but then his family arrives and she lies to them and says they were engaged.  They all believe her, and fall in love with her - but Bill Pullman doesn't believe her and falls in love with her IN A DIFFERENT WAY.  She spends all her time with his family (so creepy) and hangs out with Bill Pullman every single day despite him constantly trying to catch her in traps while simultaneously flirting with his possible sister-in-law.  Sandy Cohen comes out of his coma, remembers everything else about his life EXCEPT Sandy B.  He agrees to marry her anyway (what?) and she finally admits the truth on the altar.  But she fell in love with the family.  And she cries.  And then, in my favorite movie moment ever, she's back at work, collecting tokens… and an engagement ring comes through the little token window.  It's the entire family.  And Bill Pullman.  Asking her to marry him/them.

It is very icy outside through the entire movie. That constitutes a Christmas movie.  Plus, Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman have great chemistry - even more than Sandra and Keanu. (Go ahead and argue with me, I dare you!)

4. Holiday in Handcuffs

The cast: Melissa Joan Hart, A.C. Slater. 

The plot: What do you think?  Melissa Joan Hart needs to bring a guy home for Christmas because she has NAGGING parents and she's a lonely, single woman.  Instead of asking a nice friend, or admitting the truth to her family, SHE KIDNAPS A HUMAN BEING and FORCES HIM TO VISIT HER FAMILY WITH HER.  It's like she didn't even know he was a wrestling champion!  There's fighting, awkward forced kissing by the family and accidental enjoyment by both parties.  Upon realizing she's in love with him, and that her victim is kind of an okay guy, she lets him go.  But he comes back.  They always do.  And they get married… or just start dating… I don't know, let's face it, the movie is horrible. 

The weirdest part? There is ANOTHER ABC Family movie titled My Fake Fiance that has the same exact plot and also stars Melissa Joan Hart.  Everything is terrible. 

5. Snowglobe

The cast: Christina Milian. 

The plot: Shit goes down in a snow globe.  

Yes, Christina Milian gets transported into a snow globe.  It's everything you want it to be and less.  Snow globe people are WEIRD. 

There you have it.  If you're in the mood, feel free to tear through every single ABC Family Christmas movie… I certainly have!  Or you could turn the Hallmark channel on literally any hour of the day, they play Christmas movies every single hour.  They're all terrible and they all have similar plot lines. But, you know what?  They do the trick.  And some nights, you're just not interested in investing in a top quality classic… you just want a quickie with a second-rate Christmas story. 

That's what I do best. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Things to Love on a Monday

snowy pine cones from Handmade Charlotte.
they're edible. 


oddly obsessed with green fur coats.




gorgeous green wall.

OMG CHRISTMAS.

an assortment of green chairs! what a world.

and a super cute shower curtain

also: 
- I'm going to a Bruin's game tomorrow night.  It's the first game I'm ever attended… and it will be in L.A.  Hilarious.
- I'm doing my first improv show in LA on Friday at iO West and I cannot wait.
- My work's holiday party is next week. 
- I only have 2.5 weeks left of work and then I'll be boarding a flight to BOSTON (for two and a half weeks!) 

YES TO DECEMBER.

happy monday! 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Anything is POSSIBLE!


When I was performing in Boston, we would put up a brand new revue show every few months.  One year in particular, we put up five revue shows - including a Halloween and holiday revue.  That year was stressful and awesome.  

We never had a huge budget (did we even have a budget at all? I don't know) nor did we have a big, professional tech crew - we really only had ourselves.  Some days, that felt a little bit annoying.  We'd brainstorm ways to work outside of the limitations of live theater, but sometimes we couldn't find solutions.  We'd sit around and pout at the lack of a way to shoot a video where we turned ourselves into Muppets.  Actually, a lot of our failed ideas were Muppet-based. 

What I did love about the limitations is the ingenuity we got from it.  When my cast mate/director, Matt, wanted to incorporate props, such as a human centipede pinata, into a show - he'd find a way to do it.  He even turned the entire theater into a haunted house once.  When we wanted to do a big song and dance number, I'd go home and either teach myself existing choreography (the Thriller dance) or choreograph an entire new routine.  Evan would write great songs and taught himself how to play the guitar. Whatever we needed, or whatever we thought would enhance our sketches and take them to the next level - we would teach ourselves.  We'd go home and learn how to use GarageBand or Photoshop.  We'd watch YouTube videos of cheerleading routines so that the quality of our stupid two minute cheerleading sketch was high!  Our musicians would spend hours learning pieces of music that we needed and our tech people would take the extra time to make our transitions between sketches and improv high energy and they'd perfect light cues so the tone of the scene was set before we even got on stage.   

Nobody brought the bare minimum to the table.  We all wanted to be better.  We all wanted our stuff to be more interesting and next-level.  Whatever we dreamt up, we'd make happen by finding a way or just doing it ourselves.  My friend and cast-mate Brian once even said in passing, "We should make a giant card for Mayor Menino."  Within days, it was constructed.  We got the materials, we worked together to build it, paint it, decorate it, etc.  

It's a great quality that I've taken with me to the next phase of my career/life.  Whatever I want to make happen, I can make happen.  There are no skills that I can't learn... or no YouTube video tutorials I can't watch.  Working in a theater where every possible job was our job was a HUGE help for our character.  At least it certainly was for me.  It's helped me realize that I can do anything from learning SEO tricks for a bigger online presence to figuring out how to style my hair in victory rolls.  ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE! 

I know I'm not the only one because I look around at the people who came out of the theater with me and they're all doing awesome stuff and mostly got there on their own. One taught themselves how to use a camera and grew a successful photography career out of it.  Someone else turned their love of sketch writing into a YouTube series and partnership with a huge comedy production company.  One has a full-time job doing social media for a comedy company.  Another started their own theater education program.  It's pretty great. 

Figuring something out - or just plain ol' doing it for yourself - is a really awesome feeling.  It makes you feel strong, awesome and independent… even if (for me) it mostly comes out of lack of funds to pay for any formal training and the lack of social ability to ask anyone for help. But hey, as long as the end result is good, am I right?!  

#positiveaffectsofsocialanxiety

Friday, November 21, 2014

How To Gain (And Lose Friends)

Every morning, I roll into the building that I work inside of around 8:30am.  Usually, it's pretty empty.  Maybe there's a few people there, but if so - they're not there because they want to be there.  I, however, do want to be there that much earlier than everyone else.  

My work has Sonos throughout both of our buildings and each pod gets its own selection of music.  When I show up early, it means I get to set the tone and mood for AT LEAST the first half of our day.  

My typical strategy is this: 

I ease into the workday with something like Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye or Otis Redding. Those stations have a great mix of upbeat songs that put you in a good mood and kind of make you want to dance in your seat.  Later in the day is time for the hip hop stations like Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Notorious B.I.G, Jay-Z, The Roots and sometimes… 2 Chainz.  I vary it up throughout the week with some classic old school 90's jams, maybe some TLC, and random stations we never listen to like The Beach Boys or Sublime or Yellowcard or Creed (that's usually a joke.)  Mid-week is always good for some Beatles or Creedence Clearwater Revival.  On Fridays, I like to close out the week with some Beyonce or T-Swift.   

But that is only a mere strategy, a devised plan… that never ends up happening.  Because everyone in my work hates me.  Or loves me.  Depending on the day and the chosen station. 

Some days, people will come right in and immediately turn it off in favor of their own station (which is usually some unknown-to-me indie band.)  

Some days, people will come in and be like, "Yeah! I love this song!" 

Some days, people will come in and be like, "What the F is this? Why are we listening to this? Michael Jackson sucks, dude. He molested kids and shit." 

Some days everyone emotionally lift me above their heads and parade me around chanting my name.  But some days - arguably most days - they emotionally nail me to a cross and pelt me with rocks.  

Picking the right music for over 20 people is a real tough job and nobody can really do it successfully.  But, when all else fails, just know this - everyone loves The Rolling Stones.  Until The Rolling Stones station accidentally Phil Collins and then everyone hates The Rolling Stones… and you. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

I Want To Take A Nap

It's only Wednesday?  But... but... this week has been so long.  I've already worked a whole bunch of hours and I still have a whole bunch more to work? 

I want to take a nap.  

I cooked pasta last night at the completely unacceptable dinner time of 9:30pm.  I used a stainless steel pot to boil the water.  Once the water boiled, I poured in some shells.  I chopped two cloves of garlic and a quarter of an onion and sautéed them in olive oil.  I thought, "This is the best scent in the world... yet it would BE awful to smell like this all day." I opened a can of Hunt's tomato sauce and poured it in the pan with the onion and garlic and let it simmer while the pasta finished cooking.  Then I picked up the stainless steel pot of water to drain... with both of my unprotected hands.  I dropped the pot back on the burner and screamed bloody murder. 

I want to take a nap.  

Most days, I open Waze when I start driving to see what the best route to take is.  Today, it was taking me towards Washington Blvd and I thought, "Oh, good, I'll take Washington to Fairfax and everything will be great."  Then, without me realizing, Waze tried to put me on the 10.  I got stuck in horrible traffic and almost got my car smashed to bits while switching lines.  It was, admittedly, my own damn fault.  

I want to take a nap. 

This week, I am supporting the schedules of five busy human beings while training someone else on how to do my job.  It's a bit difficult to keep myself together 100% of the time with someone's eyes watching me all day.

I want to take a nap.  

My coffee tastes terrible right now.  It tastes like black coffee and not the least bit like a delicious latte with thousands of espresso shots.  But, of course, I am taking a break from dairy because I think it's slowly killing me. 

I want to take a nap.  

I am a hypochondriac. 

I want to take a nap. 

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