Welcome Gentle Readers

This blog tends to wander from its main purpose -- updates on my fiction. I do have updates and excerpts of my work. But I also write about my obsessions -- food, friends and pop culture and my weird life in Los Angeles. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Crazy Busy, Crazy Face Thingies and More Food Fun

I didn't realize how busy this past week was until I began to sketch out this blog. Yes, I do deliberately plan these things! Let's see, in the creative column, there was editing 60 pages of Manga, putting out some fires connected the the blog we'd just finished, drawing up an actor schedule for a film without benefit of the very helpful software (it involves converting a lot of fractions – yes, little Joey, you DO use fractions in real life – then, piling the breakdown pages by scene, then by day shoot and night shoot and then by characters), writing a clever and insightful (at least, I hope it was) 2500 word essay on public transit in Los Angeles and editing 20 minutes of messy footage into a 4 minute video with trembling hands. The tremors in my hands come when I get too little sleep and too much stress. It's a lingering side effect from the chemo I was on. There is a wide array of opinions on whether or not the tremors and the numbness in my feet will fade away completely. The tasks I accomplished on the personal side will be detailed throughout the blog.

Here is the video. I did a tutorial for ex-pats in Japan on how they can make a Philly steak sandwich with ingredients from the local market. I did it for relatives of my in-laws and some ex-pat friends. The sound editing is not as smooth as I'd like. That was from the shaky hands. I could have re-edited everything, but I was tired and ready to move on.

Month of Fun – Indulgences Galore!

The indulgences during the Month of Fun aren't just about having fun. It's also about taking the time to do things for oneself that it is often hard to make time for. I don't mean eating right or exercising. I consider that part of what Jon calls my primary job of getting back to what passes for normal. I mean finding time for girly things. I haven't had a manicure or pedicure for a couple of years. I can't remember when I last had a facial. I'm not ready to go have these things at a spa. Since my immune system was compromised, I have to avoid places where there is a chance for infection. Yes, that is on the list. So are salad bars and buffets. Think about that. For now and the foreseeable future, I am doing home beauty treatments. That means a lot of research on places like google and youtube. I was aghast at how many videos and web pages are dedicated to these procedures. Since I haven't done these in a long, long while, I am slow. Everything is an ordeal and seems to require a great many substances and all kinds of equipment.

But of course, I find humor in all of this. There was an intriguing recipe for a very inexpensive and easy facial that promised to remove whiteheads and blackheads and leave skin very soft. It involved egg whites and strips of toilet paper. The idea was to mimic products like Biore facial strips. I gave it a whirl after doing my involved, deep cleansing regimen. The most difficult stage was trying to smooth all the paper strips on my problem areas before the egg whites dried too much. Somehow, that stage was accomplished and I looked like a Hammer studios mummy wearing a tee shirt and Capri pants. I sat in the living room next to Jon, who was on his computer, for a half an hour waiting for the strips to dry and harden. He never noticed. I'll take a photo next time. The facial worked! My skin looks and felt great.

Once I had my face, nails and hair in order, I turned my attention to cosmetics. I haven't worn those much in the last few years. And from what I'm finding on youtube, I am very much behind the times. When did false eyelashes come back??!! And what's with the sparkly eyeshadow? The regimens I found on line involved primers (like in paint?) and bases and primary coats and contouring and highlighting and blending. I didn't know I had a lash line and a water line around my eyes. And I thought eyeshadow beneath the lower lashes was considered a mistake. I live in a climate where most make-up melts off. That's a constant problem on any of my sets. How am I going to wear all of these layers without a make-up artist following me with a blotter. If I use a spray to set my make-up, will it ever come off? I spent a long time staring at things in confusion at the local drug store. According to the videos, I man eight brushes (at a cost of $120) shy of what I need to correctly apply makeup. And I don't have nearly enough products. Do I really need a palette of 120 eye shadows? How many different shades of brown does a gal need, for goodness sake? I updated some products that had dried up or clumped and called it a day.

I used my new make up and updated application skills to make myself presentable for a very special lunch. Marie honored me with a special double treat. One was lunch at the very trendy and popular Bottega Louie's. The other was sharing her time with her wonderful Mom. She is an accomplished cook whose brain I'd wanted to pick for years. She is also very witty with a wicked sense of humor. I see where Marie gets those wonderful traits. The food was incredible. I had a small plate of perfectly cooked diver scallops (I can never get them quite right). That kind of beautifully prepared seafood makes me want to dance in my seat. And it was so rich and dense that between that and the panzanella salad, I had no room for the decadent desserts. We wisely took them home. I had such a blast. Still, I missed farmer's market Tuesday and martinis with Marie. We will be sure to do that this week.

The last big fun for the week was a trip to Surfas restaurant supply in Culver City. It is a fantasy land for cooks. I had a very modest list of items that turned out to be in one small section of the store. We managed to explore all of it as I always do. This time, I was after vanilla mean paste, a substance that is far cheaper than the beans but has the same intense flavor and lasts forever on the pantry shelf. I also got some new pastry brushes, and another dough scraper. However, I made a list of many, many more items that I would love to have, including a chef's coat! Hinting for Christmas!

No updates from last week. Haven't I been busy enough?! I have production meetings of all sorts this week.

Stay tuned.

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