I kind of underestimated

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what actually went in to running a half marathon.

I mean, I definitely understood the 13.1 mile part, and the 11 week training program. What I didn’t consider was the additional cost on race day, the element that running so many miles in the training process would amp my appetite so much that I’d start eating as much as a 300 lb man, and that the day of the race I would have to wake up at 3:30am. And then, you know run 13.1 miles at 7. But guess what? I survived!

I actually impressed myself with my time, 2 hours 38 minutes. It wasn’t speedy by any means, but you know what it wasn’t? Last place. I was seriously concerned that I was going to be in dead last of 20,000 people, and that an ambulance would be picking me up at mile 9. Instead I ran 8.5 miles without stopping, made a pit stop at the porta pottie because I had to pee and I decided that I earned it, and then I believe I walked a collective 12-15 minutes in 3 or 4 chunks. I was committed to trying to run the whole thing but then my knees starting acting like a 95-year-old lady and I knew that for the sake of the rest of my week, I needed to slow it down for a second. Still I’m happy to have finished and that my time was not embarrassing.

My brother managed to kick butt and finish in less than 2 hours – amazing. Maybe he’ll do this again. Me? Absolutely not. I am interested in a 10K this fall though, so invite me to join you!

On the other avenues of my life, I have interview #2 tomorrow for the Radio Shopping Show in Aurora. Wish me luck on being on time and getting the job.

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Raisin Bran

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Is actually really yummy. I always forget about it until, you know, I’m at a crappy hotel in the middle of New Mexico’s continental breakfast. Give those hearty flakes and fruit a revisit.

In other news, driving across country with my dad is like working the walkie talkie room on set. There’s no sleeping allowed, the days are long, with each day I get closer and closer to wearing my pajamas, glasses with no makeup, I have to wait awhile in between bathroom breaks and, thanks to new prospect roomie Eva, there’s craft services much too close to my seat! 😊

Justine, I feel you and your dirty ponytail, though I’ve also been rocking my red bedazzled cross LA hat for the last two days.

After an extensive Thursday filled with waiting, waiting and more waiting for the moving truck to arrive, we got a whole two hours out of LA. The positive of this was that it was 10pm, so we didn’t have to sit in any traffic. The negative is that I’m seriously concerned about my stuff arriving in 23 pieces.

We stayed in Barstow California at a Quality Inn, which I thought was pretty adorable, even though we only stayed there for 6 hours. The free breakfast was cool because it was at a restaurant. Then we spent the day through mountains and desert and only had one crabby incident.

Last night we stayed in tucumcari New Mexico at a Days Inn. The highlight was the orange I just ate.

We left at 6:40am and are debating the length of today. We have 16 hours of driving til home. Since we are all decked out in Chicago gear -dad in his Blackhawks polo (in case todays there last game of the season) and me in my cute auntie roe shirt (Chicago girls never out of the loop) and my everyday bears sweatshirt- I vote for going all the way.

Now entering Texas. See ya later y’all.

Secrets Can Be Fun

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I haven’t written all week because I’ve been lying to my mom. Man, I’ve been lying more than I mean to lately, at least this time it was for a good reason.

After going to an awesome Valentine’s Improv show last night with Cynthia, I went to sleep for 4 hours and flew home this morning to surprise my mom for her birthday. Her actual bday isn’t until next week but she was planning on celebrating it with our family this weekend and was super sad that I told her I wasn’t coming.

Because originally I wasn’t coming. Until I didn’t get two jobs I had interviews for, realized my bootcamp ended yesterday and also realized that I’m a lucky person that can fly for next to nothing and I want to see my family, so I should.

I think I was trying not to come home because when I was in college I spent too many weekends here and not there, but that’s different. Back then I was missing silly dorm opportunities to make friends, plus I had money. Now, I’m missing seeing my family and also get free food for a week! Win-win.

I managed to completely surprise her by flying in today and having Danielle pick me up from the airport. I was waiting at home when she got home from her doctor appointment with my dad. Success, and she said it’s the best birthday present she could get. Which is great, because it’s free.

So now I’m tired but happy to be here for a while, even if it’s dingy and cold. Plus I get to make a cake.

Clifnotes: OA, knomes, being 90+ and dumb Julie.

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Oops. I just had too much fun this weekend to write about it.

Which I do not apologize for. In fact, I hope every single weekend that comes my way is just as fun. Maybe a little more sleep, and a little less driving but other wise fantastic.

My mom and my cousin came to visit me Friday early afternoon, and since I left work early to meet them, we began our OA weekend that night. Bar hopping from our hotel – the Four Points Sheraton LAX – to the nearby Marriott. We ventured next door because our Happy Hour was kind of crappy, but we were happy when we left, the food, drinks and ambiance at the Marriott were fantastic. A meal complete with martini, strawberry mixed drinks, enormous and tiny salads, humus and vegetable, AMAZING and warm bread and butter AND olive oil. And free desserts. Unfortunately for me they were strawberries dipped in chocolate and peanuts, but the others enjoyed.

Back to our hotel and ready for crazy day Saturday.

We woke up to rain, which allowed me to use the fitness room before we headed out to a super yummy breakfast in Santa Monica. The Omelette Parlor was so good, inventive and adorable. It’s on Main street in SM and was so worth it. I would go back everyday. Then we walked around the area and Chrissy played stylist for me – something I will pay her to do someday!. We took a pit stop at the beach so she could flutter in the Pacific and then had to run for our tour of the Hollywood sign!

After that we had dinner at Obika, the mozzarella bar at the Century City mall. Amazing food — I had the grilled eggplant covered in sauce and melty mozzarella — crappy service. I was irritated about that. But we made up for it with whoa-baby-moist cake pops for the Vanilla bakery – famous from Food Network.

I know, this sounds like a food review post, but it’s because we ate a lot of amazingness. And it was OA weekend after all.

We headed back to the bar at our hotel that night and cocktailed the rest of the night. Chrissy was pretending she was in the Caribbean or something with her sunset cali drinks.

Sunday was my mom’s TWENTIETH time seeing Wicked. Have you seen anything 20 times? Maybe The Little Mermaid. Maybe.

She loved it, of course, and we went with her cousin, Diane and her two daughters. I saw the daughter from Desperate Housewives in the lobby and she looked snotty. Also I’m mad that my first casual celeb sighting was an 8-year old. Boo.

After the show we ventured to Long Beach to Parker’s Lighthouse to meet with my mom’s Aunt Lee – almost 92! — and her other cousin and his wife.

If you’ve never had a conversation with a 90-year-old. Find one. Do it.

She asked me where I was working. I said, “American Idol.” She said, “You’re a physical therapist?”

When I got loud enough for her to hear, she responded with “You’re the director?”

“No, an assistant.”

Love her and her plastic jewels.

I know that was over 500 words (because there’s a word count on WordPress) but that really is the clifnotes.

I laughed more at OA-ing, lying about food diseases, my husband the strawberry margarita gnome, which I keep spelling knome, and Julie/Cheryl malfunctioning than most people laugh in a month. Great weekend, can’t wait for my next guests!

Flipping the Switch

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Does that title intrigue you? Did you think this might be a dramatic entry. It’s not, but that was my goal.

I tried “flipping the switch” today and I think it’s working so far. Yesterday I woke up exhausted, went to bootcamp and felt like a yuckfest. Because of this I didn’t do my hair – i.e., lion mane unruly and frizzy curls – wore jeans – you know how I feel about them – a slouchy shirt, and spent the day feeding my exhaustion with mini Hershey bars and pretzel M&Ms, and feeling bored and sorry for myself cuz poor Michelle had nothing to do but sit. And get paid $125 to do nothing. After realizing how much I hate “poor Michelle,” and that I was whiney and that I AM grateful for this position even if I get a little bored sometimes, I decided that I would be totally clichĂ© and go forth with “tomorrow is another day.”

So today, I’m heading to the clichĂ© cafe, with my switch flipping. And cuz my mom is visiting and she’s the Emperess of that cafe.

In spite of my less than perfect night of sleeping and my mom butt dialing me at 5:25, which resulted in me screaming “Who the hell is calling me!!!” while The Temptations sang “Can’t Get Next to You”, I still made it to my bootcamp, actually had a lot of fun there, washed, dried, straightened and glossed my hair, put on makeup and an actual outfit and made my way to work where I decided to catch up on Grey’s Anatomy and Last Man Standing while I wait for assignments. I also clichĂ©d my way through, “what’s the worst that can happen,” by asking my supervisor if there was nothing left to do, if I could leave at 4 to avoid traffic and have dinner with my mom and Chrissy.

Wish granted. Clichés fulfilled and I am currently typing happily and eating lunch at a normal time, like 12 today instead of getting bored at 11 and walking to the kitchen. Yay me, happy Friday and enjoy your weekend!

I lied this morning

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you would have too.

Irma, yes she sounds like a super butch woman or a giant German in charge of prisoners, but she’s not. She’s a super fit little woman who runs the bootcamp I go to. Anyway, Irma tries to make sure she knows everyone’s names, which is very nice of her. She does this by walking up to all of us and asking small talk-ish questions. So this morning she asks me, “Michelle! How was your weekend???!?!” (She’s very cheerful but also super intense – hence the punctuation.)

“It was good,” I replied. Totally the truth.

Then she said, “good – what did you do?”

I feel like I waited the longest pause ever. Was I really going to tell the bootcamp woman that I spent the weekend staying out until 3 am, eating chips (which I hate, right Linda?), drinking wine, tequila and Linda’s vodka/soda, eating more chips, a baked potato slathered in cheese sauce and bacon – and broccoli – mixed with Cynthia’s leftover french fries and chicken nuggets, macaroni & cheese from 7-11, an unknown amount of cheese balls – unless they really all did just end up on the floor – a few Pringle’s, cinnamon rolls, a Hershey’s kiss the size of a small child, ice cream, every sample possible at Costco, flaky biscuits, and some stale M&M’s, while watching endless hours of movies and TV on our temporary line of couch?

No.

I mean, first of all, that would be a lot of information, even for me, to give to a semi-stranger. And also, I’m not gonna own up to all that to her. She can think I really do live on chicken and apples and bust my butt being the sweatiest girl in her class. Which, by the way, there was actual steam coming from my head this morning. That may have been the weirdest thing ever.

So I told her I went shopping.

After the aforementioned super pause, she gave me a weird look, probably because it took me so long to “remember” I went shopping, and said something like, “shopping – fun!” and walked away. When she walked a way I burst into Michelle laughter because what compelled me to say I went shopping?

I have no idea. And that is the only time it’s ok to lie.

(By the way – the weekend was fun. Santa Monica dancing Friday night, 90’s party Saturday night and Golden Globe watching Sunday. If repeated, I’m sure there would be a little less consuming, and hopefully for my roommates, less cheese ball throwing – but hey, I was a really irritating little sister for most of the 90’s, that’s my excuse).

Whoa.

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Whoa in the very best way.

I was actually 100% too busy to sit at my computer last week, which was phenomenal. I know my computer is my best friend, but guess what? I didn’t even miss it. Thank God I still know how to interact with real people. (That’s a joke by the way, not a very good one though).

Anyway, it was an awesome week. I worked on the set of American Idol for 5 days of the crazy Hollywood Week. I basically baby-sat the contestants in the holding room for four days, which was awesome and terrible at the same time. Each morning I was in charge of making sure they were quiet so that the cameras doing interviews around the room wouldn’t pick up the noise. That was the terrible part. One on hand I felt bad for all of the contestants, they were full of nerves and excitement. I mean this is their DREAM, and they were in a room with so many other people feeling the same way and I had to walk around carrying a “quiet” sign shushing them. On the other hand, they aren’t 7 years old. After one time of being told not to talk you’d think they would realize I was just going to continue to tell them. Plus they had no idea they were dealing with Super Ears Michelle. I could hear a whisper in a gym full of people and pick out the culprit. Even the guardian parents wouldn’t shut up.

Plus sleep deprived Michelle turns to Mean Michelle, she came out on the last day. I went up to one of the guys, sat next to him and said, “Listen, by now you know you have a deep voice. And it carries.” Then I got up and walked away. He apologized later.

That was the terrible part, the amazing part was everything else. How lucky was I to be in the same room with all of these kids (some actual kids, some probably older than me) that were on their way to living out their dream, which is a sense was why I was there too. Granted, being a PA on American Idol is not even close to my dream, it is way closer than I was 5 months ago, so that gives me hope that 5 months from now I can say the same thing. They were all so excited and ready to take on the world, plus amazingly talented. How many times is it your job to sit in a room where 60 amazing singers were crowded around a piano singing “Lean on Me.” And, I was in the room with whomever the winner will be, totally cool. It made me pretty excited to watch the season now that I met these guys, and also since I’m an editor nerd at heart I can’t wait to see how the editors create the stories from the days of footage.

Let’s be honest though, the best part is that when I get back from my Christmas stay here in IL there’s going to be a real paycheck in my mailbox. One that will cover my rent and most of my car payment for January, which was very necessary timing.

I also have an interview for an awesome position on January 4th and I’m hoping that I may be asked to come back to Idol when the show resumes next year.

And Steven Tyler smiled at me.

More to come from home the next two weeks – Ahh Christmas. yay!

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