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Couples Yoga.

18 Aug

thisislalaland-couplesyoga-03I’m a decent person. I’m into fitness and health (shh, fridge pizza, shhhhh). I like when people are happy and in love…

But y’know… what really gets me jazzed about livin’… COUPLES ACRO YOGA. Mmmmmmm…. fuckin love it. Continue reading

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Quitter.

23 Apr

 

richard-simmonsI took a hike this morning to clear my head. It was foggy and overcast, but the quiet was calming. I mean — other than the police helicopters flying just above my head, and my heart kind of racing wondering if they’re searching for me, or – more likely – for a murderer who is right next to me, hiding in the bushes. There was that “Head in Beachwood Canyon” thing last year.

Atop the hill, my reward was a view of downtown. And some girly oversized graffiti on the rocks that read “Welcome to Hevian!” I couldn’t have been more lucky. I was in Hevian.

Afterwards, I got my favorite Cruciferous Cleanse juice (Yes and I did not learn my lesson about drinking it!), and realized I was waiting in line with Zach de la Rocha, lead singer for Rage Against The Machine, a band I love long time. And now I finally understand we’re raging against the wheatgrass machine. Because — people, it makes the line like super crazy long…

But what I’ve been thinking about lately is streamlining my efforts here in LA. Working smarter. A few people told me I would never work so hard in my life, before I moved here. HELL YES! I am up for a mindblowing amount of acting work!  I ain’t afraid o no ghost! 

Really, what the work has been is an onslaught of hustling for rent money, and taking jobs when they come around. The kind of jobs that are rarely acting related. And doing an inordinate amount of “stuff I can do good”.

So, I had to let go of a couple things I can do good. One of them, was my job as a Turbo Kickboxing Instructor for 24 Hr Fitness.

“Hold on” — you say, “What the what?” I know. To be honest, I never even taught a class. But since I’ve been in LA, I got really good at punching and kicking the air, paid for my certification training in Costa Mesa, CA, then auditioned and got hired at 24 Hr Fitness. Success! …Right?

I then spent weeks trying to learn the choreography to teach an actual class. I spent the hours at my delivery job, playing the songs in my car and trying to cue moves, while navigating rush hour traffic and looking up addresses. WHY CAN’T I F****** LEARN THIS S***!!!!!! — I gently encouraged myself.

I had fantasies of teaching a class-full of people, and of one of my students coming up to me and saying “I’ve been taking your class the past year and I am a Casting Director for CSI:NCIS:FBI:MURDERSHEWROTE and we want you on the show. TELL ME you’re an actress and that you’ll quit this life and join us for a million dollars!”

I’d learned plenty of scripts in less time than this was taking. I’d memorized full on stories that weren’t mine! I’d taken ballet! I know most of the moves to Thriller! WHAT was the g****** problem!

“I don’t want to do this.” I said.

“You get a free gym membership though!” I said to myself.

“Yeah, but I don’t want to be a fitness instructor.”

“But everyone wants you to do it!”

“I know it seems like that.”

“Come on. It’s easy.”

“It’s literally eating my brain and keeping me from doing things I want to do more and I want to murder everyone.”

“Stop being an idiot.”

“YOU stop being an idiot.”

“…………..Ok. Maybe you should quit.” I finally agreed with me.

“I know. Maybe I should.” We hugged ourself.

I’m saying it’s ok to say no. And to quit what I thought was a good idea at first. I think, around these parts, a girl can get all caught up in something that looks like a quick way out of a tough spot. Something where you might just have at least one person saying “HEY! You’re awesome at that!” instead of feeling like you’re not good enough.

But all these extra things are like flowering vines on a growing tree. They look all pretty and bright green and new, but they’re really sucking the life out of it.

I apologize to all of you who had hoped I’d post a bunch of sweaty pics of my Instructing career on here. Believe me when I say, I am no pretty lady when I work out. My hair gets all frizz, my face flushes, my mustache sweats first. No one wants to see that.

But I’m feeling good about this. My 24 Hr Fitness early retirement.

I got shit to do.

XX,

L

Richard

Violet, The Gibbon That Makes Me Feel Like Gibbons Are Like Us But More Smarter.

13 Jul

Welcome to the jungle desert. Where the morning sun is a million degrees and dust is to you, like white is to rice.

This was the day we were saving the Gibbons from potential brush fire, at The Gibbon Conservation Center with UCB Corps! My friend Amy Berrian came along with me (she’s up for EVERY adventure!). We left on Saturday at 7am. Ervin: “So… there’s no fire coming?” Me: “No.” Ervin: “Ok. Why are you up so early?” Me: “…I just have to be there at 9.” Ervin: “With no fire?” Me: “I think we would burn up in the bushes if there were one right now.” We knocked out some serious raking and hoeing (and ho-iiing!)! Even though we were all sweating our asses off, everyone was in good spirits. Our 25-person group cleared a huge area of dry brush. It felt good, even though I got a blister after the first hour and then more blisters from trying to hold the rake differently. We also were lucky enough to take a tour of the Gibbon habitat. They really are STUPID cute. Even though our guide tried to instill the fear of God in us, about them. They have long arms that do things. Like steal your sunglasses. (Aww). Or hold you helpless against the cage so they can bite your face. (…) But the furry babies!! OMG. And the hooting and barking at each other? It made us all laugh. It’s SUPER loud and startling, even when you think you’ve heard monkeys before.

There were these rescued Moscow Circus Gibbons who did the cutest little coo and then kind of an E.T. voice as they locked eyes on you in this way that says “Now is the time that I pee on you.”THEN, we met Violet. This is she:(*The part of Violet will be played by not-Violet, because I didn’t have any good photos of her.)

Violet has a pole in her cage that she kind of swung around like a sad stripper on a bad night with no tips.

Her story is that she’s learning how to be a Gibbon again. She had some surgery and rehab and ended up falling in love with her vet. Howard. So much so, that she would injure herself on purpose in order to see Howard. This was all discovered when she was placed with her “mate” and instead of doin it, she farted in his face. Thus, insulting the mate, who then didn’t want anything to do with her. Since the mates are selected in a pretty rigorous process, it’s important she not do the farting thing.

Meanwhile, Violet couldn’t stop thinking about Howard. Night and day, she pined for him. She thought about cutting her wrists so he would come to her rescue. Bandage her. Hold her. Wipe her furry forehead and kiss her on the mouth. With tongue – the other throbbing member.

(…maybe I could write inter-species romance novels…)

ANYWAY, Violet kind of captured my heart. I felt like I could understand her! Life’s flippin complicated!

It’s ok, Girl. Things will get better. Someday you’ll forget all about Howard… and you and your new guy will have sex 5 times a day just for fun. (Gibbon fun fact! And in the monkey world, that sex drive is LOW.)

Then it was time to head back into LA. Amy and I both agreed the best thing ever would be a nap that afternoon. When I got back to my place, I took one… Dreaming of Violet and Howard getting married and living happily ever after.

…No.

XX,

L

Flying trapeze.

28 Nov

{That’s not me. She’s a lady from my class. And she was really good.}

My friend Jack offered to take me to a free trapeze class on Santa Monica Pier with TSNY/Los Angeles. And of course I said yes. YES. Um, holy crap YESSS. I was super looking forward to doing something that I’ve never done before, am not supposed to be good at, and that has nothing to do with acting careers and the like.

I wanted to fly through the air “with the greatest of ease”. And the air would smell like awesome fried boardwalk churros.
The moment I thought maybe I hadn’t really thought this through.
Our ripped instructor buckles us into our harnesses which feel like 18th-century corsets. It helps curb the “acting like a big baby weenie” nerves, when I meet my fearless 6 year old classmate.

My turn!
It just looks pretty! (No it doesn’t). Also, the first few jumps off the platform feel unlike daily life body movements. Which is simultaneously blissfully freeing and also barfy.
I learned a trick! Stuff you’ve done on monkey bars finally pays off!

After 4 turns at flying, we each get to try a catch with one of the instructors. Like real trapeze artists! But with less carnies.

Here’s my photo diary to best express my thoughts:
If ever you get the chance to take even one whirl on the trapeze, do it. If you’re like me, you’ll scream like a little girl. And then like an adult. Because it is So. Much. Fun.
XX,

L

Photos of me by Jack Wells.

Shmeals on Wheels.

7 Nov

(I’m Nick Nolte. The dirty bum.)

I’ve spent 3 nights on the job with Why Cook? and I really like it. I wish I made like a billion times more cash, but I love being out on the town and meeting new people. I’m becoming besties with the finest hosts, bartenders and valet services in town. AND, there is guaranteed to be at least one amazing story every night.

My first delivery was actually pizza. Three small pizzas and a salad for $90. I arrived with the order, outside the gates of a home in the hills, hoping that my clothes would absorb the smell of the food and I could pretend like I had also eaten at Il Fico, Beverly Hills.

Me: (Buzz gate buzzer).

Man: “Hello!”

Me: “Hi! It’s Lauren from Why Cook? with your pizza!”

Man: “Did you drive or walk?”

Me: (Confused and holding pizza) “I drove here, and now I’m standing.” (Eh?)

Man: “Ok! Come on in!”

The solid wood gate slowly swings open to reveal the equivalent of The Emerald City. My mouth dropped open briefly until I remembered my job was to hold any and all pizza horizontally. A long pebbled driveway wound its way through a massive lawn with a large pond, lush greenery, giant old Oak trees and several other buildings on the property. The house – enormous and kind of German/Switzerland-y. A gorgeous brick and thoughtfully appointed patio. Ginormo carriage house. Maserati.

Me: (Ding dong).

Man: “Hi there!” He’s very friendly. He looks like “someone”. A lot of wealthier older men in LA look like “someone” to me…

He invites me in. I look around. Billions of tiny portraits sit atop counters, pianos, buffets and side tables. There are a few dogs running around. A woman lounges in a dark TV room, dappled in flickering blue light. They are in their jammies.

I’m too preoccupied with the workings of the credit card receipt, signing, and acting like I know what I’m doing, that when he explains to me how to get back OUT of the gate, I can only recollect “Light, tiny button, left side, bushes.”

I thank him for the generous tip and strike out on my ridiculous walk back down the long driveway. I’m feeling good. I just made my first delivery!

I reach the gate and see the “light”. Check. Then I think “left side…bushes” and am greeted by a GIANT WALL OF IVY where the button should be.

Cut to the couple, watching their security cameras, as I feel around the brick wall, covered in hundreds of years of ivy, like a person haphazardly looking for their contacts. I am determined to find that button. I will NOT walk all the way back to the house, interrupt jammies pizza TV time, and make a fool of myself. I’d rather do that alone in the ivy, on the security tape.

Finally, my fingers find a box the size of a Triscuit and a button smaller than a baby tooth. I press it. Sweet Lord in Heaven. The gate creeks open.

I enjoy driving around town and seeing the sights. Looking at “money” is pretty fun. The traffic’s like Mario Kart, but with Porsches and Bentleys. Catching glances from the clientele on Rodeo – fun. Getting really good at harmonizing with Adele on the radio – also fun. It’s almost like bastardized going-out-to-eat. I get to experience the atmosphere of an upscale restaurant and then smell its aromas in my car for a good 30 minutes.

I gotta tell you. I have thought about whether someone would notice a few rolls of sushi missing from their $300 Sushi Roku order. Or a couple less fries with their Jar Prime rib-eye. Sometimes I talk to the food, wafting warm and comforting through my economy car “YOU ARE KILLING ME”.

Then I crank up the radio, plug the address into my GPS, and go buzz another beautiful mansion in the hills. I got a job to do.

XX,

L

Movie  poster

New job.

2 Nov

I’m starting a new job tonite. Restaurant food delivery in the Beverly Hills-ish area…

I’m glad for my future cashflow. But I’m still nervous somehow I’ll mess something up. My GPS better be playing for my team.

If you’re nearby, order from here and we’ll hang out! I’ll watch you eat your dinner! It’ll be grand!

XX,

L

Megan Mullally in Party Down by Starz

 

Fridays In LaLa Land.

8 Jul

A letter to the City of Angels…

Dear Los Angeles,

I need a job. I’m running out of money. And also enthusiasm. (And hope, a little bit). I’ve ‘shown up’ every day, kept my focus, applied to everything from “associate editor” to “server at Cuban Mom n Pop” to “promotional girl” for Sparkle’s Angels. (We both know, in my heart, I really didn’t want to be that kind of angel…)

The thing is, if I can’t find work here — even day job work, while I’m trying to build my acting career — we are going to have to break up. And I really like you. A lot. I wanna stay for a while. I think you’d really like me if we got to know each other better. And I’d feel that all I’ve sacrificed wasn’t for nothing. (A partial list: my cello, my dog, my cat, my savings, my furniture, my friends, my boyfriend, my day job, my acting career in Portland.)  

I’m asking you to meet me half way. Asking really hard.

I feel like I’m trying to jump into double-dutch jump rope and I can’t get the rhythm right. 

Let’s see what we can figure out together, ok?

XX, L

Image of 1960’s Brooklyn chewing gum factory workers.

 

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