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Video: Working Honey Bee – End of the Day for October 9, 2014

October 9th, 2014 Comments off
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Blueberries and Raspberries – End of the Day for October 7, 2014

October 7th, 2014 Comments off

Back to a quiet week of work – End of the Day for October 5, 2014

October 5th, 2014 Comments off

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It is rare for us when a weekend is so busy it makes us look forward to getting back to a quiet week of work, but that is exactly how it has been for us this weekend. We finished up our social calendar with a small get-together to celebrate 2 books that were recently published — Hollywood Digs by our friend, Ken LaZebnik and Expecting: A Novel by Ann Lewis Hamilton — a friend of Ken’s. At one point I described it as a very “Dick Van Dyke Show” type of evening with drinks, nibbles and then readings from each book in front of the piano. I expected Morey Amsterdam and Rose Marie to do a short number afterwards. (LAUGH)

I love little events like this as you get a chance to really talk with people and get to know them instead of trying to shout over thumping music. We wen,t we noshed, we listened and had a great time for a couple of hours and then headed home to prepare for the week.

With 3 very busy calendars to coordinate we have taken to holding a quick family meeting to make sure we are all on the right page for the next 7 days. This week Rosanne is giving her 3rd talk on Doctor Who at the Cal Poly Pomona University Library, so as part of my PR, new media and marketing support (she has written for 2 Doctor Who anthology books now) I will be spending my day recording, editing and posting this video. The topic is Feminism in the WHOniverse: The Doctor’s Female Companions. I should get the video up a few days afterwards for all your viewing enjoyment. To see the previous 2 talks, both in their entirety and as a series of clips, you can visit Rosanne’s YouTube Channel.

 


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Another night on the town – End of the Day for October 3, 2014

October 3rd, 2014 Comments off

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Another night out in the big town of — Burbank! That’s right, tonight ti was off to Providence High for the combined Drama and Choir Concert. Joseph in both dramatic scenes and also as part of one of the chorus groups. Here is a short from him doing Seize The Day from Newsies.

Sieze the day

This was a dinner theater outing and we volunteered to serve before the show, but this made for a long night and I am about to crash, so the photo will have to do for this evening.


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Hustle while you wait – End of the Day for October 2, 2014

October 2nd, 2014 Comments off

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Thomas Edison is quoted as saying, “Good things come to those who hustle while they wait,” and I feel like I am doing a lot of that lately. I am talking with folks, keeping my options open, investigating opportunities and trying something new every single day. It odd re-inventing yourself and it is filled with fits and starts, indecision, wrong decisions, waffling, worrying and more. All you can do is keep moving forward and keep looking for opportunities can match your needs, but also you wants and desires.

One strange thing that we are always reminded of during times like this is how slowly other people can move. When Rosanne and I decide to do something, we move forward on it almost immediately. With others, we might want wait weeks, months or even years to hear back on a book proposal. speaking engagement, business ideas, whatever. It drives us made that others don’t, won’t or can’t move things along a but faster sometimes.

Image from page 103 of "114 proved plans to save a busy man time; tested plans for making every minute count-ways to keep work free from interruption-how to put your office and desk in effective time-saving trim-methods that help to speed up routine" (191

Now, as the opening line states, we don’t just sit around waiting for those things to happen. Who could? We hustle along to the next project, the next blog, the next speaking engagement, the next script, whatever. It is the only way i know to deal with the long wait times imposed by others and by the larger bureaucracies of the world. 

Let me suggest something to you, though. Something that has served us well. if you want to start something new, start it, today. Don’t wait for others. Don’t wait for the perfect moment. Once you commit to an idea, start hustling. If you’re faced with a delay, pick the next project of the stack and start that one, too. Sure, eventually some projects might become active at the same time, but the typical reality is, due to all the waiting, projects spread themselves out over time. If you simply wait while you are waiting of others to act you end up being unproductive for long periods. Why not put that time to work for you instead of constantly waiting for others?


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Change happens whether you want it to or not – End of the Day for October 1, 2014

October 2nd, 2014 Comments off

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I’m going to cheat a little bit today as I’m writing this end of the day article  the morning after. The fact is, September has been really busy and really crazy with lots of old stuff and lots of new stuff.

Looking back over previous Septembers, it seems that this is normally the case. Maybe it’s the fact of everyone being back at school or just the fact that everyone’s back to work after summer vacations and other time off. NOt really sure, but it seems a yearly occurrence. September just ends up being very, very busy.

For whatever reason, things get in the way our day-to-day life and work. We’ve actually been going out in the evenings a lot more this last month, which is unusual for us. This wasn’t due to any great effort on our part, but rather opportunities that simply appeared. In my other work as a career blogger, Life coach, podcaster I often remind people that you can’t ignore the opportunity to just shows up in your life. These are often the most important opportunities you’ll get. It can be difficult to allow the space for the opportunities, but it is so important. So, even though it leaves us a bit tired and her schedules a bit frazzled, it is important to dive into those things it just happen to appear.

Now, in this new month of October, we begin the run up to the grand holiday season with even more events, more commitments, and more energy required. For the last few years, it’s been tough for me during the holidays. Due to all the hustle and bustle, I often have trouble getting into the spirit of the season. There is simply too much to do in too little time. That said, I recently made a commitment to myself, to get out and about more. Working from home makes one more likely to stay at home even during those times when you should be out and about and having fun. There are some activities that we used to do every year but these have fallen by the wayside one by one as the years passed.  This year, I’m making a major effort to visit some of our old favorite places and do some of our old favorite things again.

Life changes, and we must change with it, but I think over the last two years I’ve been trying to hold on to something that no longer exists. My life has changed dramatically, but I don’t think my thoughts and feelings have adapted to the new reality that surrounds me. This sets up all sorts of conflict in my mind and this is something I really need to work through in order to move forward in this new life. Change is a never ending process but also unstoppable and if you try to ignore change you’ll still face it whether you want to or not. That’s simply the way life works. You can fight it or you can roll with the punches, float on the waves, move in the breeze or go down with the ship. Right now I’m paddling as hard as I can to stay afloat on top of the waves hoping that I’ll end up somewhere better eventually.


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Kiss Me, Kate at the Pasadena Playhouse – End of the Day for September 30, 2014

September 30th, 2014 Comments off

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Late night out tonight, so an abbreviated entry. We spent the evening in Pasadena first having dinner at Settebello Pizzeria Napoletana and then off to see Kiss Me, Kate starring Wayne Brady at the Pasadena Playhouse. The pizza was good and very Italian, using Peitro Forno/Legno fuoco (Stone Oven/Wood Fired) just as they do in Sicily. A simple Pizza Margherita is always a good test of any pizzeria and this one one was pretty darn good. I love the slightly burnt, crunchy crust that the high heat of a wood over gives the pizza while the center crust is so think it almost disappears. The crust was lightly dressed with sauce, cheese and basil, just as it would have been in Sicily. I’m getting hungry just talking about it. (LAUGH) We also had a Caprese Salad and an order of arancini, one of Rosanne’s favorite dishes which I don’t/can’t make at home. They must have been good, as I didn’t get a chance to taste even the smallest morsel. Hrrmph!

Pizza margherita

Arancini

 Kiss Me, Kate Photo

The show was an excellent way to spend an evening. The acting was great and the voices — oh my, the voices! Strong, clear, bright and gorgeous, especially the female roles. There is a fun an playfulness (and a bit of bawdiness) in the show that makes it spritely and fun with a lot of catchy (if sometimes forgotten) tunes to send you out of the theater humming. The show plays through October 12, 2014.

The shows was especially fun to see after having seen the Independent Shakespeare Company’s production of Taming of the Shrew in Griffith Park earlier this sumer. Seeing them in such close proximity allowed us to enjoy this show even more. That, and the fact that we are all theater people, of course, and can relate a lot to the backstage (and sometimes, onstage) antics of the cast and crew.

More information on Kiss Me, Kate


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The uniforms we wear – End of the Day for September 29. 2014

September 29th, 2014 Comments off

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There are uniforms we wear on the outside and there are those uniforms we where on the inside. With external uniforms, though, we can easily strip them off and replace them with thoughts appropriate for home and life. Interior uniforms are much more difficult to discard after a long day at work. Having been there myself, i know how easy it is to bring work home with you, no matter what your job might be. Even after a long drive home — and maybe because of it — you can walk in the the front door feeling like you are facing the same challenges, the same arguments, the same disrespect, the same bureaucracy you face at work and treat everyone at home the same way you treat people at work.

Image from page 219 of "The photographic history of the Civil War : in ten volumes" (1911)

Now, that’s not to say you treat people badly at work, but the rigors of the office do require a certain amount of command, control and manipulation, no matter how great the job or workplace. Family members, though, can see through the uniform to the person below and — in many cases — won’t like it much. Family members have seen us at our best and our worst so they can easily tell when the uniform is still firmly in place in a loved one’s mind. Further, they probably don’t like it much. They want their father, brother, spouse, whatever back from the battle without all the uniform trappings and disguises. They want to be treated as a family member, not another co-worker, or even worse, an employee.

I have suffered from this inability to decompress and undress myself at the end of the work day and I see others who struggle with it, too. I have also seen the troubles it can cause first hand, which is a big reason I am addressing it now. You can’t expect to treat your work peers like your family or your family like your work peers or employees. Neither one will accept it. They will both rebel and call you on your folly. It can’t be done and you will suffer all the more for trying. Work is work and home is home and each requires a different uniform, both on your body and in you mind. Forget this at your peril.


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…and it all comes tumbling down – End of the Day for September 28, 2014

September 28th, 2014 Comments off

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There are days when the world seems to be ganging up on you. Sometimes there are small problems, sometimes large and sometimes unknown. We came home this afternoon to find our front yard hose and decided to burst. It was brand new only a couple of months ago, but it is my guess that the high-heat of the last few weeks and extra pressure created by the heat caused it to give up the ghost. Tomorrow will mean gathering some repair supplies and an hour or so putting things back to rights. Also on the small scale was a hole the popped up in the backyard soaker hose. That will need patched or repaired, too. Nothing too major, but an inconvenience.

The next couple of problems are a bit more serious, though. First, one of my big 3TB drives decided to get all flakey, so I have been spending the evening copying large hundreds of gigabytes of photos and video off to a new drive.. It looks like most everything important is still intact, but no one needs to be spending hours babysitting file copying. Blah! I have some really large folders to copy overnight, but hopefully by morning things will be back on track. Good thing, too, as MOnday arrives with work to do and I really don’t need to be spending any more time in recovery mode.

Finally, a a lot more concerning, just a few minutes ago the neighbor across the street — and next to a house that is being stripped to the frame for remodeling — rang our bell — at 1030pm — to let us know he will be visiting his doctor tomorrow as he believes the contractors have done nothing to mitigate the asbestos and/or lead that was in the home they were demolishing. Hmmm…I hadn’t even been thinking about such things, but I think he is probably right. I didn’t notice any of the usual protections or notices during demolition. I’m probably going to make a call to the AQMD or other appropriate department to see what can be done to, at least, check if the neighborhood was exposed and how much that exposure was. I don’t want to worry about such things too much, but it is probably worth checking out.

All in all, not a great day on several fronts, but I guess that means that tomorrow can only really get better, right?


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A Reading Day — Her Royal Spyness solves her first case (and more) – End of the Day for September 27, 2014

September 27th, 2014 Comments off

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Her Royal Spyness

I am a sucker for mysteries, especially those set in Britain. I saw mention of the latest book in a mystery series that was previously unknown to me, Rhys Bowen’s Royal Spyness Mysteries. Set in 1930’s Scotland and England, the series stars Lady Georgiana — 34th in line to the throne, single, without any allowance from her brother and utterly broke. She bolts to London in an effort to start life anew, but murder, intrigue and villainy dog her steps.

It is The Great Depression and life is tough for many people, including young nobles with no family money and no prospects and “Georgie” find herself among old friends in similar circumstances. She puts on her sleuthing hat, though, when her brother, the Duke (or Binky, as they call him) is arrested for the murder of a shady character who threatened to take their family home from them. Georgie’s mother is a flighty actress, jumping from relationship to relationship and someone NOCD (Not of our class, dear) for Georgie’s  family and friends, but her aged, Cockney grandfather, a former constable can offer help when no on else can.

A great sign for any mystery book is the ability to dive in and lose yourself in the writing. I picked up this book from the library this afternoon and just finished as I write. What a great way to spend and evening! I am always looking for good fun reads to divert myself when my other, weightier, reading gets a bit stifling and this book — and I hope this entire series — should be a great selection to keep on hand. I look forward to reading my way through the series, although I expect I will do it much too quickly and end up waiting, impatiently for the next installation. I love the characters, the setting, the period and the refreshing take on stories that might otherwise seem dated and cliche.

The flyleaf of this book mention 2 other series by Bowen, both that I will be looking into in the coming weeks — The Molly Murphy Mysteries, set in turn of the 20th Century New York City and the Constable Evans series set in the Welsh countryside. 

Read all the books in the Royal Spyness mystery series

Other books and series by Rhys Bowen


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