Tagged: Los Angeles

Island Hopping

I’m a terrible adventure blogger! I’ve been having adventures and haven’t said a peep in months! But seeing as it’s the last day of 2015, I felt it was an appropriate time to play catch-up.

Back in October, I took a little vacation from France to where I assumed would be warmer and dryer. Mallorca. I spent about 4 days there, two of which it rained, but I did get to spend some time at a few little (crowded) beaches and wandering around the city. I was surprised to find several vegan places (including a vegan bagel place), though I ended up eating a lot of pizza and Indian food!

mallorca

I would definitely return, although I would love to see some other parts of the island that I couldn’t get to by bus (I tried – and then that day turned out to be a holiday and the bus schedule had changed). The nearby island of Ibiza is also on my list…

My gosh, I just realized how many islands I’ve been to this year. Three! In Panama, Spain, and the US! It’s a record for me! I guess I finally really realized how much I enjoy tropical water…

 

mallorca ocean

In November came the shocking attack on Paris, and since then I’ve wondered if I wanted to say anything here about it, or not. It was definitely a frightening night. I stayed up until 3am texting and calling and pinpointing my friends. Only weeks later, walking around Republique, did I realize that one of the restaurants that was attacked was on the corner of the first street I landed on when I moved to France in 2011. It was jarring to come face to face with the shattered glass , drooping roses tucked into the bullet holes.  So much ignorance, fear, and hate in the world… so many innocent people affected by it.

Paris

In December, I headed back to Los Angeles for the month, and also ended up going to Maui for 5 days. It wasn’t originally on the agenda, but how can you say no when you have the opportunity to go to Hawaii? I hadn’t been since 2005, and was thrilled to seek out the rainbow eucalyptus trees again. It definitely brought back memories of my ex and his kids, but new memories were also made, and… a new ukulele bought.

Mele ukulele
How could I NOT buy a ukulele in Hawaii??

It was a lovely trip. Breakfast at the bnb was amazing every morning. The weather was lovely (only a bummer on the day I went down the road to Hana and wanted to swim in some waterfalls but couldn’t because of a flash flood risk). I saw whales for the first time. I saw rainbows every day. The water wasn’t as warm as I remembered it being, but it’s December, so perhaps that’s why. I’ve been cooking coconut banana pancakes nearly every day since arriving home (thank goodness I don’t really put on weight!).

rainbow

And now I have less than a week left before waking up in France again.

Every time I get on a plane, I think about the blank pages ahead of me. Every trip is like it’s own book, with an airplane as the front and back cover. I read it from cover to cover and then tuck it away on the shelf in it’s own special spot. I’m always sad when I reach the end… Yet I always gain something that gives me joy, too.

Part of me wanted to write something about starting a new year, but… every day is the start of a new year. Every day is ripe with exciting possibility. I haven’t been particularly productive this month, but I have so much I’m itching to do. I’m finishing up a little web series (for children). I have a beautiful new ukulele to play with, so much music to make. I have renewed my excitement for acting and film and have new goals and plans. I have new friends. My YouTube channel (the ASMR one) is growing as I put more serious effort into it. And every day I get closer to knowing what my purpose is. There’s so much more… too much more… too much to even remember, sometimes.

Gosh, I don’t know what else to write, right now! Well… Happy new year!!

Happy New Year from Anna and Elsa!
Happy New Year from Anna and Elsa!

Happy New Year!

OK, sorry for being gone for so long. Sometimes I’m bad at this blogging thing. I just haven’t had much I want to say lately. I haven’t been traveling, I’ve just been here in Los Angeles trying to get a little work and sell a lot of my things. It’s been slow, but I’ve made a couple hundred dollars from the things I’ve sold so far, and I’m really looking forward to just cutting down on things I can do without. I’ve been decluttering my life (that’s a link to Zenhabits.com’s blog post on decluttering, not my own post) for what seems like a long time now, but I haven’t made it easier on myself by being bi-continental. It’s amazing how even though I’ve slowed down with buying things I won’t use regularly, how much there is to go through. I mean, really, it seems like the bulk of it is paper. Books, notebooks, and crap the IRS makes you save. I really want to get rid of all that stuff. I’ve digitized the notes from some notebooks (except the super full ones) and then tossed them. I’ve shredded masses of credit card bills (I figure if I need them again I can get them online. Maybe not without some difficulty but ugggg I hate all these things in my filing cabinet). The key for me seems to be just to keep combing through, keep letting go, and try not to add more to it.

I’ve been trying to declutter my mind as well. After years of hearing about this book, I finally read The Power of Now, which I’ll probably have to re-read every so often to stay focused. It’s not as if the concept is completely new to me, but my thoughts and fears can easily overwhelm me and working on a practice of staying in “the now” seems pretty beneficial. I’ve been really monitoring my thoughts and feelings more, though I haven’t been under a huge stress test lately to see how I deal with it. Not that I want one… lol. I also read (or rather listened to the audio book on YouTube, but then I found the book at Goodwill) The Four Agreements, which really compliment The Power of Now. Highly recommended, both of them.

What else, what else… well, before I read The Power of Now, I was quite a mess in January. The renters in my mobile home had given their one month notice in the middle of December, leaving me to find someone new over Christmas. I found someone new, but couldn’t raise the rent enough to really truly cover all my expenses (there were some surprise raises in the rent this past year), but nobody was interested in it at a higher price. Then to top it off, I had to hire a cleaning lady to help ready the place ($), a handyman to fix some plumbing issues ($$) and then the electricity had problems ($$$) and the heat went out ($$$$). All in all, I could have flown to the Caribbean on what I spent. I found myself one afternoon dragging things out of the backyard and the shed, trying to get an old TV down to the dumpster, freaking out on someone via text because I couldn’t take the stress anymore, and watching teardrops splash on that stupid TV set after dropping it on my toes. I was already bruised and scratched and dirty and really fed up. Just when I thought I was starting to pull things together, I was left with barely anything in my bank account. All while hoping I’d just get enough background work to help put money back in savings, pay down my credit card, and get a plane ticket back to France. That hasn’t happened yet. And I haven’t worked in 2 weeks. Oh, I still work online, and it’s still squeaking by, but not enough to cover everything. I bet the IRS is going to want anything I’m able to set aside by April, too. I hate them. I’ve been looking into other online jobs, and got a very part time gig as a ticket scalper (which makes me feel a bit guilty, but I need some income, even if it’s deferred and morally questionable…). You know how your car likes to eat up savings every time you have some? So does a mobile home. Ah, my car also wants some now, but I just pay 50¢ every week to put it off….

I went in for the casting director meet-and-greet day at Central Casting this morning, since I wasn’t booked for work, which I’ll probably do more often while I’m here, since it does get your name circulated around the office, which may lead to more work. Cross your fingers. The room was crammed full today (nobody else getting work, either?) so there was really no meet-and-greet, just a Q&A. Now I know who casts the background for Mad Men.

And since I wasn’t working, and have gotten a bit tired of going through papers and preparing for tax time, I took the whole afternoon to work on songwriting. And I wrote a song and a half! I would really like to do this more often. Once I get into the groove I can just keep going for a while. I may be able to work on them again tomorrow after I scalp some tickets early in the day. I love being absorbed in creating…. I never want to stop. I don’t want to go to sleep right now. But I have to wake up at 5AM so I should go to bed or I may hit snooze too many times. I just enjoy writing songs, and then I get excited at the thought of performing them. I’m still a ways away from that though. I need to find the perfect match to play piano for me so I’m not alone on stage fudging things up on the guitar or something. But my songs are getting better, and I think if I really take all these days off I have (pfffffff) and focus on writing, I could have a nice handful to work with, and really do it this year. Maybe my musical couchsurfing tour could be a reality in 2014…. 🙂

Oh yeah! I almost forgot. Duh. I started my indiegogo.com campaign for the short documentary film I’m making for the 168 Hour Film Festival this year. Please check it out, and donate or share the campaign. 🙂

What Would Jesus Do… Now? (working title)

So that’s it for now, though I promise I’ll try to be better about blogging again. I’ll find something to talk about. 😉

The Power of Prayer

Wednesday night, I witnessed a man get healing…

But let me back up a little.

The first book I read on prayer and healing was The Power of Divine: A Healer’s Guide – Tapping into the Miracle, back in 2006, but after the death of my almost-step-daughter, thinking about the ability to heal anyone was too painful to consider, since I was sure it wouldn’t bring her back. Oh, I believed in miracles, and believed right up until the funeral that it was still possible for her to experience a miracle. But that didn’t happen.

Years later, I slowly got curious again. Occasionally I would go to a meetup, or a class on energy healing, or something of the sort. Of course I’d read the stories in the Bible of Jesus and his disciples healing people, and knew that he told us we would do greater works than those… but I never saw any in my life. My prayers, my family’s prayers, friend’s prayers… seemed to go unanswered. I knew from a personal experience that energy healing worked, so I started learning about that. But this year I finally got drawn back to the healing power of Jesus. In the past few months I’ve discovered a ton of books on Amazon (I even made a list, here), some of which I either purchased or found as pdfs to read. I decided it was time to meet some people who were healing in Jesus’ name, in person, and learn how to do what they do. Reading is great, but just like learning French… you need practice with other people!

I located a small group of people meeting in L.A. on Thursday nights, through meetup.com, and attended a meeting. After attending one more meeting, I decided to go along with the pastor on a little healing outing, and talk to him about my idea for a short documentary film. We met up on Wednesday night at the Universal City metro station (free parking), along with another girl, and intended to drive into North Hollywood, where he thought perhaps there would be a busy area to set up in. We got a little delayed (like, an hour) because his car battery died and we had to wait for a jump. Once that got resolved, we were on our way.

Unfortunately, the streets of NoHo are not jumping after dark. We finally set up the sign and brought out flyers for the Thursday night meeting outside of the NoHo metro station. Not the greatest place because everyone going there is hoping not to miss their train. One man with crutches and a leg brace hurried past…. that would have been a great one to witness. But one young man with facial piercings and shorts (shorts?! it’s cold!!) stopped to read the sign and accept some healing prayer.

“Got any pain, anything we can pray for?”

“Yeah, my knees, they hurt.”

“Do they hurt right now?”

“Yeah, all the time, every day.”

So Pastor Troy held his hand over the man’s knee, and said a prayer for healing lasting not more than 10 seconds. Then he asked how he felt.

“Umm, the same.”

“Let me do it again.”

He prayed once more, and the man bent his knees to judge the pain.

“Yeah, it’s a little better.”

“Let’s do it again!”

Once more, the pastor prayed over his knees, and this time the man replied that they felt much better.

“Now do something you couldn’t do before.”

“Well,” he said as he bent one leg, then the other, “I couldn’t bend them like this, I could only bend them to here.” He demonstrated the difference.

Success! It may not have been healing broken bones, or blindness, but still, pain is pain. And his was gone.

Shortly after, we decided to call it a night and resolved to set up outside of a mall or a hospital while the sun was still out, next time. And maybe next time…. I’ll lend a hand.

Party like it’s 1999

Do you remember what life was like before cell phones? I got my first cell phone before heading to California in 2000. I don’t remember how often I used it. I mean, it didn’t have internet or any apps. It was a Nokia. I remember buying a pretty pink flowery faceplate for it off of eBay. Oh yeah, that’s the one.

 

Hey, pretty phone!
Hey, pretty phone!

 

Well, a few days before liftoff, I couldn’t seem to find my T-mobile SIM card anywhere. I decided instead of risk leaving it behind and being phoneless, I would call them up and order a new one. A very long phone call and $10 later, they were sending out my new SIM card. Which arrived the day after I did, but nobody was at home to sign for it, so it went back to UPS. And when I tried to pick it up, it wasn’t available until Monday. I landed on Thursday (Halloween), and was phoneless until Monday. My iPhone was basically a glorified notepad. I had a few apps that would still work, like my French flashcards. And I could take pictures. And use it as a flashlight. So for these 4 days I communicated with my friends and family via email, letting them know that “I’m leaving the house in an hour, and then you won’t be able to get in touch with me! Say it now!” I had to take pictures of maps in case I got lost. When I went to get my cat on Saturday, I had both him and the dog in the car, with my gas light blinking because I forgot to get gas, and just prayed “oh PLEASE don’t let me run out of gas now, with animals in the car, in the dark, and no way to call home.” We made it.

It was really interesting being unplugged for the weekend. I’m wondering if it affected the number of times I check email on my phone now, or how often I’ll post photos on Facebook, or any of those things. I’m not sure. And now that I’m relying on my phone for messages about work, I don’t want to repeat the experiment any time soon.

Oh and guess what I found today? Yep. It was in my suitcase all along…. why didn’t I unpack sooner?!

How Do You Burlesque?

You may or may not have been following my burlesque updates that began before I started this blog, so here’s the backstory:

I’ve had a gradual, growing interest in burlesque for the past couple years. I’d been vaguely familiar with it when I got my first Groupon deal in 2010, and found that I enjoyed pushing my boundaries and growing as a performer. So I’ve kept an eye out for other good burlesque deals, and decided to have a mission of actually performing. I’ve taken classes in L.A. and Paris, and learned how to make my own rhinestoned pasties. It’s a continuing journey… among my other journeys!

But wait, there’s more!