Thursday, September 30, 2010

Mom and Thunderstorms

Today my mom came to town to visit for a few days and to help me celebrate my birthday, which is Friday. Turning 23 is pretty much a pointless birthday, but I'm happy I get to celebrate it with a member of the family, especially since it doesn't seem like I'll be going home for Thanksgiving or Christmas. She's staying with Gena over in Venice for a few days by the beach, which I'm sure Mom won't mind. Tonight I got a chance to show off my chili cooking skills. I figured that Mom would want some substantial food to refuel after her long flight and what better than chili dogs?

Tonight was also special for another reason, we had a thunderstorm here in the Valley. This is the first true weather we've had in close to 3 months, and this the same week we had the hottest temps EVER recorded. Of course everyone in LA lost their minds. Laural Canyon's stop lights went to flashing reds, and everyone started driving 15 miles an hour. Now I'm sure for denizens of LA rain is a pretty big deal, but as someone who has routinely driven to school in Noreasters I'm not very impressed.

Also on the news front I have signed up for the next session of Groundlings and was able to find a session that I would be able to go to while still working. I'm not entirely sure what I want from these classes, whether I want to be famous or work my great job, but I am happier when I'm doing improv so that's what I'm gonna do. The way I look at it, some people have vices like drinking or drugs that they spend money on, and I have improv. Even if income is slower than I might like, I think for my personal sanity it's worth it.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Working for a living

There's not much to say about my first full week working in LA than to say that everything you have heard about LA traffic is 100% accurate. It may be due to having a job on the always crowded and freeway barren west side, but there's a reason why LA has some of the worst air quality in the country. Other than that though I really like my job. I feel like I'm starting to contribute and the longer I'm there the easier it will get.

On Monday I went to the improv competition that I had to drop out of and was a guest judge. I was happy to go back because it meant I could hang out with some current competitors afterward, which had been a sort of post show tradition while I was still competing. It made me wish that I hadn't dropped out, but I still think I made the right choice. I'll probably be going back this coming Monday as well, an improv show is still an improv show, and from now on I think I can even get in for free. So I got that going for me.

Anyway, my Mom is coming to visit this week for my birthday and to see LA. I'm not sure how much time I'll have to show her around, but given that next week is supposed to be in the 90's and she's staying with a friend on the beach I'm sure she won't mind too much.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Business trip!

I don't think Phoenix is for me. I find myself back in Los Angeles after spending a week in Phoenix training with my new job, learning the computer system and bookings with airlines and hotels. The training was very useful and I'm glad they send us somewhere for intensive work because I think it would take me a very long time just trying to pick things up in the office. What really sticks out in my mind about the whole trip though is how hot and miserable Phoenix is. Phoenix is supposedly the fastest growing city in America and I would say that it meets the definition of urban sprawl. It has nice looking views but everything is so spread out and there are tons of empty lots everywhere. Oh ya, it's also 110 degrees every day. For reference it is hotter in the month of September in Phoenix than it is in Baghdad. As someone who grew up in a part of the country where it was noteworthy to have one day hit 95, steady 110 in the desert is too much. I love my company and met some great people but if they offered me a promotion in Phoenix I would have to seriously consider it.

That said I did have a lot of fun at training. I trained with 5 other people who were all in their 20's and we all got along really well. Actually judging from everyone else I was meeting that the office, they don't appear to hire any jerks in the entire company. They put us up in a nice hotel and paid for our food, I got paid all week, not a bad gig. In fact the worst thing about the whole experience was having to go our separate ways and not hang out with these people any more. I am looking forward to actually contributing to the office back here in LA, but part of me wishes I was still in training.

Anyway, this weekend looks to be pretty lazy since I am absolutely pooped from waking up way too early and going to bed way to late all week. I'll probably hang out with some friends and watch lots of football. The biggest problem will be finding the Patriots on TV. Life is full of small challenges.

Friday, September 10, 2010

First week of work

On Wednesday I started work at STA Travel in Westwood and I really think that I will enjoy working there. My manager Aeron is wonderful and supportive and very laid back, the other agents who work there are all very chill and relaxed and very friendly. The work has some great benefits and perks and I should probably get the chance to travel a little bit after I've worked there for a bit. Aside from oversleeping today, my first few days have gone very well. Heck, the worst thing about the job is having to get to Westwood every day. It takes me about 30 minutes each way there and back, but as is the case with LA traffic, that could go up to an hour every day. UCLA doesn't start for two more weeks so it could get much worse. Needless to say however it does feel good to be working again, though I won't be able to start really putting away much of the money I make to save for a few weeks.

On Sunday I'm flying to Phoenix to do some more training for STA, they're feeding me and putting me up in a hotel so aside from having to stay in Phoenix for a week it's a pretty sweet deal. When I get back I should be a full working member with the branch in Westwood so I can help out the other agents. There have been times these past few days where we've had a backup of customers in the store and I've only been able to go over some packages and tours because I'm unable to look up prices or sell anything, which is frustrating. Besides that though it has thus far been a good experience. The one thing that kind of worries me is that I haven't been able to do stand up for a while, and since I dropped Groundlings classes for a few weeks I've been feeling pretty stuffed up and unaccomplished. I just want to get back to performing so I'm sure I'll miss being in the improv competition Monday night. Given the choice I would obviously much rather be working, but it will be good to get my brain working some more.

Anyway, I'll probably update once I'm in Phoenix, but in the meantime everyone should be watching UNH play Pitt tomorrow (ya that should be a close one...). I know I'll be waiting to see how I do in a family football picking competition my Mom started this week. I'm supremely confident of my picking abilities, so that money should be mine. I'll let you know.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

And so it ends.

Well tonight was my last night in the Improv X-ecution. Since next Monday I will be doing training in Phoenix and I've already missed one night of the competition I knew I would be out anyway. So tonight I met with the organizer before the show started and told him what was up and told him that if I had my way I would rather not have anyway get eliminated tonight since I would be leaving next week anyway. So we had the show like normal and of course I get put on the chopping block. But at the end the host announced that I would be leaving and the other three people left would be in next week. But in true cutthroat fashion, the judges still told everyone who would have been going home, and of course it wasn't me. I found out later that only one person wanted to vote me out in the whole audience. It's really a shame that I have to go out like this because I think I would have been one of the people to beat, but that's life. I'll just have to tryout for the next round of the competition.

Other than that my life has been pretty boring all week. I'm really glad I'm starting work in two days just because it gives me something to do. Last night I met a few friends I knew from UNH at their apartment in Culver City and we hung out and tomorrow I'm meeting some Groundlings friends for coffee, but truly my life has been really boring. Due to this and the ear infection that I finally seem to have beaten I have been sleeping absolutely terribly. I can't seem to fall asleep until four am and since I've got nothing to do I just sleep until noon everyday. That's not particularly healthy. I'm hoping that once I start work it will be easier to get a bit of a routine and I'll start sleeping better.

Anyway, that's life, and it won't get anymore exciting once work starts. Yay adulthood!