Category: Cassandra's Earlier Blogs
I met with my accountant again this morning to do amendments to my 2001 and 2002 tax returns. We met for a couple hours, finished my returns, and I left his office with some fat refunds heading my way. They will go a long way towards replenishing the savings that I depleted after I got laid off last year! So yay!
After I left there, I headed to the mall to return a couple things I'd bought over the weekend, returned them, and made the mistake of going to the Benefit cosmetics counter. Lovely, tantalizing products. I was in a festive mood, the make-up artist was also in a great mood, and so we played with makeup for a half hour or so, and I walked out with some fun stuff. I can't say it was NECESSARY, but given that I have a much harder time looking rested and awake these days than I did when I wasn't working nights, these products DO help counteract that, so there it is. I've been lusting after some of the Benefit products for a LONG time (a couple of years!), so I considered this my treat to myself for having finished up all the work I did on my taxes.
Of course, after the mall, I went home and washed off all the stuff we'd just put on, and slept for over nine hours. Woke up to find messages from both Mike and Anne on my machine, called them both back, and got ready for work. I didn't have time to eat breakfast before heading out to work, but I did boil two eggs while I was on the phone with Mike and getting ready for work, and I also threw together a smoothie, which ended up being my breakfast once I got settled in at my desk.
I've got a lamb chop and an artichoke for lunch later, and the eggs and my trail mix for a snack.
I've got to get back on track with my exercise program - I can really tell a difference in my waist these days, and it isn't good! It's very challenging to find the time to work out while working nights and trying to get auditions and have a social life, too, but I've GOT to do it. I think as soon as I get one of these tax refunds I'll join my favorite gym again and get back into some yoga classes and start taking some spinning classes there, too. I also miss my elliptical machines!
I was supposed to go to a happy hour for work Friday afternoon, but I ran errands Friday morning and by the afternoon had hit the wall. Slept for about 4 hours, and just could not get out of bed and head out to the happy hour when my alarm rang. It just wasn't happening. By the time Mike called a couple hours later and asked me if I wanted to join him and go see a theatre group perform their scenework, I was coherent enough to agree to go. It was mostly well done, but there were a couple of actors whose work I just didn't feel was as high quality as the others. Nonetheless, all the scenes were entertaining, and we both enjoyed the evening.
Saturday I went to the Post Office in the morning, ran a few other errands, and then headed over to a house about 20 minutes from me to film the infomercial for the fitness product. It was a fun afternoon! They did my makeup, and then I had to get into my swimsuit for my 'after' pictures. Nothing like getting into a swimsuit and then having your PICTURE taken by a total stranger. Other than that, the rest of it was fun. I had to workout on the machine while they filmed me, and then do an interview on my results using the machine. All in all pretty painless, and really fun. And the producer told me that in a couple weeks they'll be redoing the video for this product, and she'd be calling about 8-10 people who were involved in the infomercial to film the video AND there will be compensation involved in that. Of course I told her that I would like to take part in the video - the product does work, so I have no ethical issues with working with it on the video, too. And I learned a lot while on set yesterday, too, and would welcome the opportunity to learn more on another set!
After the shoot yesterday, I dashed to the mall to grab something to eat, but didn't find anything that appealed to me, ended up buying a pair of shoes instead, and then Mike called me to see if I wanted to watch a video with him. He'd rented three movies, and we watched "The Majestic" with Jim Carrey, Martin Landau, and others. I enjoyed it, but found it to be a bit predictable. I left his place and started puttering around my apartment. Now that I've got the shelving up I've been trying to organize and clean out and sort through stuff to put in storage. So now I've got 6 boxes of stuff to put in my storage unit downstairs, and things are really coming together. I did quite a bit of moving things around last night, and left a message for Anne to call me if she got home from work at a reasonable hour. She called me at 2am and said she was still at work. I was still up, so I told her to stop by when she got home. I try to stay up late Saturday night so I can sleep late Sunday and then function at work Sunday night. So she called me about 2:40 am and asked if I was still up. Yep, come on by. So she came by and we caught up on the events of the last few days, and ate trail mix and laughed until 4am, by which time we both were nearly out cold.
So she crawled downstairs to her bed, I crawled into my bed, and I slept until she called me about 10 this morning to tell me that she was heading to her mother's for some family function, and not to make any plans for the evening of my birthday. Uh, too late, I have acting class that night, and I'm not skipping it. Oh. Well, when can we celebrate your birthday? The night before works for me, so I told her, and she said she'd see what she could do. From the way it sounded, she'd already made plans for the night of my birthday without checking with me, and now they all had to be changed. I laughed, because that's the second time in two days that's happened. Mike called me the other day and said, "Don't make any plans for the night of May 7th." Too late, I've had plans for that night for about 6 weeks now.
"What?!?!?! Can they be changed, do you HAVE to do them!?!? This is non-refundable!"
I knew that I could change my plans, but I also knew I could have a little fun with this, so I decided to play with it. "Well, if you'd ASKED me if I already had plans that night I would have told you that I did, but given that you went ahead and made plans without informing me...."
"Are you sure they can't be changed?"
"Well, I've been trying to see my friend perform for a few months already now, but I SUPPOSE I can postpone it yet again...." I was chuckling to myself at this point, knowing full well that my colleague's band is playing again in June, and though I'd really rather NOT put it off AGAIN, I have no problem doing so considering that Mike already bought us tickets for .... something to celebrate my birthday. BIG sigh from Mike at that point, like I was doing him a favor. Too funny.
Back to Sunday. I got up and cleaned my apartment most of the day. Got out my little handheld vacuum and vacuumed all the cat hair off my La-Z Boy, got out the real vacuum and vacuumed the carpet, scrubbed walls, etc. It was a lot of work, and my place looks much better. Then I had to jump in the shower so I didn't scare my scene partner when he showed up to work on our scene for class this week. We're doing the same scene we did last week, from "The Big Sleep", a 1946 Bogey and Bacall film. It's a good scene, and we're making even more progress on it. There are always so many layers to a scene. I think you could work a good scene for a year or more and continue to discover new things. So we've taken it to the next level now, and should be in good shape for Thursday's class.
After he left, I ate some turkey and salad for dinner, and climbed in bed for a nap for about 3 hours. Probably only slept about half that, but it was better than nothing. Got up, made some artichokes and lamb chops for lunch at work tonight, and got myself ready for work.
Tomorrow morning will be busy - meet with my accountant again to do amendments for 2001 and 2002, and then head to the mall to return a couple of things. Then home to sleep by around noon or so.
I just saw this article on Yahoo! tonight, and had to post it here. My response follows.
Study Blames Corn Syrup for Rise of Diabetes in US Thu Apr 22, 3:21 PM ET
By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Correspondent
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Corn syrup and other refined foods may be much to blame for the huge increase in type-2 diabetes in the United States over the past few decades, U.S. researchers said on Thursday.
A study of nearly 100 years of data on what Americans eat show a huge increase in processed carbohydrates, especially corn syrup, and a large drop in the amount of fiber from whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
It parallels a spike in the number of cases of type-2 diabetes, caused by the body's increasing inability to properly metabolize sugars.
"We are seeing this big jump in the number of calories," that people are eating, Dr. Lee Gross, a family physician at the Inter-Medic Medical Group in North Port, Florida, who led the study, said in a telephone interview.
"We tried to break down where are these calories coming from? We have heard everyone debating is it because of fat, is it because of carbohydrate and it is not really clear," Gross added.
"This shows the increase in the past 20 years is almost exclusively carbohydrates and certainly corn syrup consumption has increased dramatically."
Gross said he was not "picking on the corn syrup industry," but added, "It is hard to ignore the fact that 20 percent of our carbohydrates are coming from corn syrup -- 10 percent of our total calories."
An estimated 16 million Americans have type-2 diabetes, the sixth leading cause of death overall. And many studies have linked a high intake of refined carbohydrates and other foods with a high "glycemic index" with the development of diabetes.
SPIKES IN INSULIN
Foods with a high glycemic index cause a spike in insulin production. Many experts agree that, over time, repeatedly eating foods in this pattern can cause insulin resistance, which in turn leads to diabetes.
Writing in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (news - web sites), Gross and colleagues said they used data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (news - web sites) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (news - web sites) to show that people have eaten about the same amount of carbohydrates a day on average -- 500 grams -- since 1909.
But instead of whole grains and vegetables, people are getting more and more of those carbs in the form of processed grains and sugars -- most of all, in corn syrup, they said.
Gross, with colleagues at the Harvard School of Public Health and the CDC, found that starting in 1980, people started consuming steadily more calories, with an average increase in total calories of 500 calories a day.
"Specifically, 428 calories (nearly 80 percent of the increase in total energy) came from carbohydrates," they wrote.
Gross said people are probably not eating all those 500 calories. Some could be wasted. "It's an estimate. It's hard to interpret," he said.
But the trend was clear.
"During the same period, the prevalence of type-2 diabetes increased by 47 percent and the prevalence of obesity increased by 80 percent," they wrote.
Audrae Erickson, President of the Corn Refiners Association, called the report misleading.
"Diabetes rates are rising in many countries around the world that use little or no high fructose corn syrup in foods and beverages, which supports findings by the Centers for Disease Control and the American Diabetes Association that the primary causes of diabetes are obesity, advancing age and heredity," she said in a statement.
My initial reaction to this was "Well, duuuuhhhh!" Food manufacturers are feeding humans stuff we weren't meant to be eating, and we're all getting away from REAL food, eating processed JUNK, and performing TONS less physical activity than humans have ever done in the history of the world. No wonder two thirds of Americans are overweight! And the increase in diabetes rates is not surprising at all, either, considering the effect of that crap on the human body.
In other news, I just found out that I did not get the promotion I was up for. I was actually a bit relieved, which surprised me. It would have complicated my schedule to have taken that shift, and I don't know that they would have allowed me to take every Thursday evening off for acting class.... I do, though, still have my appointment tomorrow morning with the recruiter from the Dallas-based company, so we'll see what she has to say and if the position sounds interesting enough for me to consider switching jobs. If it helps me reach my acting goals more quiclkly, I'm THERE!
My scene partner and I did our scene tonight, and other than completely blowing one of my lines, we did a good job. I got some good notes, and it went much better than I expected considering that we hadn't rehearsed it together in about a week and a half, AND I was still learning my lines last night here at work! We have to bring it back again next week, and I want to know these lines inside and out so that no matter WHAT I'm doing I can pull them out of me. My scene partner and I will work on it this Sunday and make some adjustments.
After class I dashed home to grab some food, and didn't have time to prepare anything at all, so I grabbed a trukey breast from the refrigerator, gnawed a few bites off a turkey leg while standing at the sink, and headed to work. So much for Os sitting down whenever we eat something. Even if I'm sitting down when I eat these days, I'm usually wolfing it down. Not good.
As I walked into the office, I heard my name being called loudly and repeatedly. I knew I wasn't late, so I wondered what was going on. Apparently my team lead was doing a monthly drawing, and had just drawn my name out of the bag for a Full Paid Day Off. Cool! I thought the timing was interesting, though, considering that I'd been in the running for the Team Lead position and that I didn't get it. Hhhhmmmmm..... the same day I get a 'prize' of a full paid day off? Could be coincidence, but it sounds like a consolation prize to me! Apparently if we employees don't miss any days, are never late, and fill out all their time cards properly, we're entered into a monthly contest, and this is what I won.
I've got my turkey breast and some salad for lunch today, as well as my famous trail mix (chocolate chips, walnuts, dried cherries, dried cranberries and pumpkin seeds) for snacks. Tomorrow will be another busy day, too, with the phone call with the recruiter in the morning, a quick nap, and errands tomorrow afternoon, as well as a happy hour for work, then a workout with the trainer for the infomercial
Spoke with the recruiter briefly today - she wants to talk with me for 20-30 minutes on Friday to tell me about a position that her company has out here. I'll see what she has to say, and if it is truly a tempting position, I'll apply for it. Otherwise I'm staying put.
As for the potential promotion, I found out yesterday that they haven't made a decision yet, and hope to make one Friday, so I probably won't hear anything until at least Monday, and who knows, the decision could be further delayed.
I went home yesterday before going to the casting place I've been trying to get to, and I just should not have gone home at all, because I got tired and then was NOT moving from my La-Z Boy. Didn't make it out the door, so I'll go Friday, which is when I make myself stay awake most of the day anyway.
Vegetated on the chair for a couple hours, and made myself move to the soon-to-be-replaced bed around 11:30. Attempted to read for a few minutes, and then rolled over and was out cold. Only woke up when the recruiter called around 1pm, and after that conversation I turned off my cell phone and went right back to sleep. Woke up again around dusk, and considered getting up, but closed my eyes again and was out cold until my alarm rang at 11pm.
I went all out on sugar last night - I was really craving sugar and my colleague gave me some organic 'oreo' type cookies. I became the Cookie Monster and ate them all within moments. Yummy! Of course, they were wheat, and I couldn't resist them, but at least they were organic and not as bad or chemical filled as Oreos themselves. Might explain why I had no energy by the time I got home this morning AND why I slept 11 hours! Oh, and why my arthritic ankle is acting up, too.... Hhhhmmmmmm.... maybe there is something to this blood type thing after all! ; )
I brought turkey and salad for lunch tonight, a soy milk smoothie for breakfast, grapefruit and pumpkin seeds and a FEW chocolate chips for snacks. I'll easing off the sugar over the next couple days. And I promise, NO MORE WHEAT!
Today I had a fun morning. After work, I headed home and went to Starbucks on the way. I knew that I had to be up for several more hours, and wanted some caffeine to get me through the morning. When I got home, I called a 'life coach' who I've been considering working with. This was our inital (free) session, and I wanted to see if I thought I would get anything out of working with him, if he was reasonably priced, and if I liked him. The call was supposed to be 30 minutes, and we ended up talking for 50 minutes. I enjoyed talking with him, and the answer to all three of my questions was a resounding YES. So as of April 30th, I will be working with a life coach for at least the next three months. He was very funny, and I knew that we would work well together when I heard a click on the phone, asked if he was still there, and then this:
Life coach: "Yes, I'm here."
Me: "Oh, because I heard a funny click and I wasn't sure."
LC: "I heard it, too."
Me: "Oooh, somebody's listening....."
"LC: "Then we should start talking dirty now!"
I roared with laughter - here's this man with whom I've never had a conversation before in my life, and he's making comments like this scant minutes into our first conversation. He has no idea what I look like, how this type of comment will go over with me, anything. I laughed so hard I nearly hurt myself. There were a few other comments like that during the course of the conversation, all in fun. It was great, and I really look forward to working with him and making some progress in my life.
After that, I made some eggs with onions, soy cream cheese and herbes de provence, and then dashed downstairs to pick up Anne to head out the door to go see a taping of the Wayne Brady show. We were in my car when I realized that I'd forgotten the directions, so I RAN back upstairs to get them, ran back to the car, and we dashed down to the studio. Had no trouble finding it or finding where we were supposed to go, and settled into our seats.
This must have been the day for the HOT guys to be on the show. Wayne Brady is hot enough all by himself, but then there were the guests..... First was Jack Wagner of soap opera shows and the song "All I Need" fromt he 80s. I thought I was going to drool on the floor. Then was a guy from "Queer as Folk", which I have never watched, but he is a straight guy playing a gay guy on the show, and he was hot. Then there was Mark Curry, who Anne knows from the veterinarian's office she works in, and was hilarious and hot, and finally was Doolay Hill (whose name I'm sure I'm misspelling) from The West Wing, and he tap danced! The whole show was filled with incredibly good-looking well built men. Anne and I practically had to be restrained - more me than her, though. : ) It was FUN.
After the show, we were both starving, so we went to this little sushi place on the corner near our apartment building. I ordered the sushi combo #1, paid, and went to find a seat. Anne ordered and joined me. Then my food came, and it wasn't what I ordered, so I told the server that, and she said that they didn't have a Sushi #1. I pointed it out on the menu, where it clearly listed "Combo #1, California Roll, Unagi Sushi, and Shrimp Sushi." She realized she'd misunderstood me, and brought me the correct meal, but then also brought me a receipt and said that I owed her another $3.84. Uh, excuse me? If I had made a mistake in ordering, that would be one thing, but SHE had made a mistake in TAKING my order, and it was her fault if she'd undercharged me. I was hacked off that she had the gall to even ask me to pay the difference. I can go to frickin' McDonald's and if they make a mistake they won't ask me to pay the difference! In a business where repeat customers are the bread and butter of the place, good customer service goes a long way, and this woman clearly didn't understand that. I politely told her that if it had been my mistake that would have been one thing, and I would have been happy to pay, but that since it had been HER mistake, that I didn't think I should have to pay the difference. This clearly ticked her off, but she walked away nonetheless, and Anne and I enjoyed our lunch in spite of her continuing to give me the evil eye during the rest of our meal. Pfffft. It would have been one thing if I'd never been there before, but this place is literally on the corner of my block, and I have been there before and really enjoyed the food.
I have half a mind to go back in there in a few days just to see if she's still irritated by me! This is my mother coming out in me - deliberately going back to a business that treated her poorly and being as nice as pie to see what happens. There is some weird pleasure in doing that! tee hee.... There was a time when I would not have spoken up, but would have paid the difference and stewed about it for a long time, so I was proud of myself for having voiced my opinion AND for getting what I wanted.
My back is feeling better today - I've been stretching and doing most everything my chiropractor told me to do, and it is considerably improved. Will still skip spinning tomorrow night to keep it that way. May go for a walk though if I feel okay in the morning - I can't STAND not exercising anymore! And Friday and over the weekend will be doing more spinning. I think I'll be okay as long as I am in a bending forward position (like on the bike) and not bending backward arching my back (like in Cobra pose in yoga).
Slept from about 3:15 until 11pm today, and slept really WELL, though as always I would have liked to have slept MORE than I did. I really do need my 8 hours every night, and would like to get 9 or 10 hours during the day! Had a pineapple juice smoothie with Harmonia, protein powder, vitamin C and fiber, and forgot to take the rest of my supplements. Got ready for work and did my usual 'flight of the bumblebee, oh, crap, it's 11:50 pm and I should have left for work 5 minutes ago' 70+ mile an hour flight up the 405 Freeway to get to work on time craziness, and, as always, I made it to work perfectly on time. Another day, another small miracle.
I've got turkey breast and salad for lunch tonight, and pumpkin seeds, rye crackers, almond butter, and Ooooohhhh, chocolate chips for snacks. I'm struggling with getting sugar out of my diet altogether, and I NEED to do that, and ASAP.
Tomorrow will be another busy morning, as I FINALLY will go sign up for the casting service I've been trying to get to for about a month now. And a recruiter from a company in Dallas called me today, so I need to try to speak with her in the morning to see what supposedly oh-so-tantalizing job she wants me to apply for, and then I go to bed, probably by 1pm or so, and I plan to sleep until 11pm again if I can. Ten hours would do me good.
I just got my 3 month review at my job - got "GOOD" to "SUPERIOR" and "OUTSTANDING" reviews in every category, so I'm very pleased. This means that I will now be a 'real' employee and will get benefits shortly, which may or may not save me money on my health insurance. I'll get vacation days, too, which is ALWAYS a good thing.
Here's what my team lead commented about my performance: "Cassandra is a great team player! She is always punctual and has great communication skills. Her superior overall performance is definitely a reflection of her work ethic and professionalism."
Cool. At least I play the part of a team player well! lol Get me a good acting gig, though, and I'm GONE! ; )
No word on the promotion, though. They were supposed to have made a decision by Monday, so perhaps the decision has been delayed, or I just plain didn't get it. Dunno.