pictures

looking ahead.

2015a

The year started off with me staying up until an ungodly hour writing, and then sleeping in until about noon or so. I ate pork and avoided chicken, and I read and relaxed. It’s crazy that it’s 2015, the start of ordinary time, and the start of a brand new year.

As I’ve said in the past, I don’t do resolutions per se. I know myself too well, and to resolve to do things that I will most likely give up on within a couple of weeks gets depressing. But I always make some loose goals for the year, not necessarily resolutions, but things I hope to accomplish or make happen. I looked at last year’s list and was pleasantly surprised at the number of things in the “Need to Happen” section that actually did happen! :)

Things that Need to Happen in 2015
– LESS SODA (And only ginger ale if I *do* have it. I’m talking no more than once or twice a month. I went crazy in December, drinking ALL the ginger ale and pineapple soda, just to get it out of my system.)
– MORE WATER
– more exercise (This includes barre classes at The Dailey Method. I earn eight credits a month working in the kids room, so I need to take advantage. And I will. I love those barre classes so much.)
– more yoga (I say this every year. I haven’t been to a real yoga class in months. That needs to change. I know it won’t any time soon with the winter settling in, but once it warms up, it’s go time.)
– more walking (I want to take more walks around the neighborhood once it gets warmer out. It’s too easy for me to get sucked into the comfort of the bed or the couch, and that’s no good. My life is passing by in a haze of dreams, and not the good kind!)
– more writing (I really want to finish this novel I’m working on and get it ready for submission. I can’t believe that it was ten years ago that I seriously dipped my toes into the publishing pool for the first time. I know now that I was not ready for publication then. I am ready now, and thirsting for success.)
– making more money (I like to buy things. I like to travel. I like to donate to charities, and I like to give lots of gifts. I need money to do those things. So, I need to make more money.)
– pay off at least one of the Visa cards
– less time on social media, more time working toward my goals
– taking more pictures!!

Hopes for 2015
– read at least 75 new books (I have 55 listed in my Goodreads challenge, but I like to go over if I can)
– better job of keeping the place clean and neat-looking
– more driving (My poor car is rotting in this city. I need to use her more.)
– travel to at least one new place, domestic or international
– visiting and spending time with friends who are not local
– more background acting work, but as core rather than a pedestrian
– financial comfort (I really like being able to buy whatever I want–within reason, of course–and also spoiling Aidan and my mom)
– more fresh, whole foods and less meat in my diet
– better physical shape
– making new friends and appreciating the friends I already have even more
– so many work-from-home projects that I am more than comfortable financially
– more self care (massages, positive self talk, spa days, etc.)
– more journaling
– more time at Stonehouse Farm, or in nature in general
– saving money

In My Dreams for 2015
– getting a publishing contract
– meeting a certain actor (if you don’t know by now then whose blog have you been reading all this time?)

Looking Forward To
– my mother-son trip to Disney World with Aidan this summer
– visiting Legoland in Florida with Aidan, and my friends Joey & CeeCee
– acting classes at Chicago Actors Studio (the Saturday classes this time)
– barre classes at The Dailey Method
– summer in general
– new books and music discoveries
– starting a new novel

Here’s hoping that 2015 is filled with love, light, peace, happiness, good health, amazing opportunities, and positivity for all of us. No fear, go for your dreams, leap, and a net will appear. Be willing to let go of what does not serve you to make room for that which does. Sending it to me and all of you.

Happy Monday night. ????????
Let’s do this thing!

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and so this is christmas.

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I always feel a little bit let down the day after Christmas. Part of the magic of the Christmas season is the anticipation of all the parts of the holiday: the food, seeing loved ones, giving and getting presents, watching the A Christmas Story marathon, and so on and so forth.

So now I am dealing with that post holiday let down. One good thing is that I have Aidan with me here and his birthday is coming soon. So we have that celebration to look forward to.

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I had a good Christmas, despite being sick and developing a cold sore. The cold that had been threatening me all week finally came into fruition big time on Sunday. It had started to feel icky on Friday, but Saturday was my birthday so I made myself enjoy it despite just wanting to lie in bed all day.

I had a great birthday! I slept pretty late, as usual, but also because I wasn’t feeling that great. The macaron place in the neighborhood was open for retail, so we went in and Adam got me a bunch of yummy macarons! My friend Jen had me over and took some photos of me. Here’s one of them:

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long hair don’t care!

After Jen’s, we went to the UPS store where we picked up packages and mail and stuff, then we went to a late lunch/early dinner at Longhorn. I had prime rib! It had been years since I’d had prime rib. Then we went to Michael’s, which sounds a lot more fun than it was. It took me AGES to find the Christmas washi, the place was crowded and over warm, and my cashier was kind of a bitch. It wasn’t a great shopping experience, but I really don’t care that much. After that, we went and drove around looking at Christmas lights! Hung out with the upstairs neighbor a bit, then crashed. It was a low key birthday, but it was a lot of fun. Ivy sent me a pack of Staedtler Fineliners (my favorite!), Grandma Bel sent me a scarf that is battery operated and therefore heated! (I have to say I haven’t had to use it yet, and I am grateful. It can stay in the 50s all winter for all I care!) And Adam gave me a beautiful Tiffany necklace. He’s getting really good at picking out gifts! :)

Sunday, I was completely out of commission. I was sick and exhausted. I slept the entire day. I was frustrated because I had so much to do, but no energy. Monday I made myself prepare for traveling, and Tuesday morning I slept a nice, drugged up sleep most of the way to my mom’s. I don’t remember too much of Tuesday, to be honest. We got a Honey Baked Ham, I took some photos, I visited with my mom, set up the gift I got for her and Greggy (a computer!), and was annoyed because I couldn’t smell any of the good things cooking and baking or taste anything!

By Christmas Day, I felt much better, though. Still sniffling and plowing through the Kleenex, but I had more energy and didn’t feel like sleeping the day away. Which was a miracle because my mom and I stayed up talking literally all night. Until after 8am. It was my favorite part of the visit!

Mommys tree. ????????????#christmas #tree #holiday
my mommy’s tree

Christmas Day was great! I slept in, everyone liked their presents, and the food was good. My taste was slowly coming back. Not fully, but enough that I could enjoy my dinner! And the company as well.

Once upon a time I used to write out long lists on my blog of the stuff I got for Christmas. I don’t even know if my readers care, but I like reading my past entries and seeing what I got that year. Let me see if I can remember what I got this year:

From Adam:
– Nintendo wallet
– Frederick the Literate blanket (!!!)
– lenses for my iPhone camera
– a pink lightning cable for my iPhone
– all of my favorite snacks in my stocking
– tons of hair ties (somehow he remembered that I kept breaking all the ones I had!)
– a light box (on its way)
– Mean Girls on Blu-ray
– Epic Mickey 2 for Xbox
– Nag Champa incense

From Aidan:
– Maleficent on DVD

From Chris & Matt:
– Kate Spade bracelet
– Kate Spade pouch
– toe socks
– cute Panda headband/ear warmer
– wax melts
– tote
– a bunch of gift bags (LOVE it, I always gather up the gift bags that people want to toss so I can reuse them–I’m touched that Matty remembered that)

From Mommy & Greggy:
– a bunch of cute sweaters and tops

From Leah:
– a pink lava lamp (aw yeah!)

From the In-Laws:
– awesome polka dot umbrella
– prints with Bob Dylan lyrics on them
– Doctor Who Dalek ornament
– super warm leggings
– Divergent Collector’s Edition
– woven blanket (I’ve been wanting this blanket for four years. SO glad I have it now!)
– canvas print of the family for the whole family
– Selzer family 2015 calendar

From Ivy:
– a cute canvas bag that says “I’m correcting your grammar in my head.”

From Andy:
– the large size Mickey Mouse Tsum Tsum plush!!!!

I’m sure I missed some things. I am so grateful to have the people in my life that I do.

Now, Aidan and I are both sick and kind of loopy from medicine. And I’m fighting the post-holiday melancholy that comes as we transition back to ordinary time and I wonder how we get through the rest of the year without this to look forward to. But I’ll be OK. I go through this every year and I manage.

Wrapped in one of my favorite gifts, a Frederick the Literate blanket. Thank you @adamselzer and thank you @laurendestefanoauthor for introducing me to it!! #christmas #love #cats #books ????????????
wrapped in my blanket :)

So, the weekend is coming and that means a lazy Saturday, a sorta busy Sunday (kid’s room and Pretty Late), and back to normal on Monday. Work for a new freelance client, I need to go to the bank, bills to pay, boring business stuff to do, and so on. So I should enjoy the downtime now, right? :)

Merry Christmas, everyone!!!

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i confess part 4 {disney world edition}

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i confess… the first time i went to disney world, in 2001, i was scared i wouldn’t like it. i’d been wanting to go for so long, i was worried i’d be let down after having built it up in my mind for so many years. but nope, i fell right in love with it!

I Finally Met Mickey!
my first time ever meeting mickey mouse!
august 2001

i confess… i both love and hate the wealth of information out there about how to enhance the park experience. i love it because of all the neat stuff i now know, but i hate it because everyone and their mommas know it too. and somehow that makes it less special because everyone wants to be special. #disneyhipster

i confess… the chocolate covered pineapple i had on my last trip continues to haunt me because it was JUST THAT GOOD.

i confess… i wasn’t sure about all the changes happening at disney and i almost skipped out on going this year because of it. magicbands, fastpass+, all the preplanning one has to do now. but you know what? i went on the trip with all that and still had a wonderful time.

i confess… disney amazes me with how it brings magic to kids of all ages. there are people in forums who say that they never get “magical” moments when they are not with kids, but i find that not to be the case with me. i’ve been given free stuff, gotten hugs from strangers, even been selected to be in a parade, just to name a few of the cool things i’ve had happen to me.

Jammin' Jungle Parade

i confess… i like mickey’s not so scary halloween party just a tiny bit better than mickey’s very merry christmas party.

Us with Witch Minnie

i confess… meeting a princess still gets me all starry-eyed.

Meeting Naveen & Tiana
especially if it’s princess tiana

i confess… every time i go without aidan, i feel guilty. so that’s why i always immediately book a trip with him to happen within the year.

i confess… taking my mommy to disney was one of the best things i’ve ever done. she loved the trip so much and i loved making her so happy. i don’t think i’d ever seen her smile and laugh as much as she did on that trip.

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look at her smile! and this was even before she’d ridden soarin’!

i confess… i have been to disney world 10 times and i still can’t wait to go back!

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all hail mickey mouse.

Disney World 2014 Collage

Guess who recently returned from a really cool Disney vacation? If you guessed ME, you’d be right! :) I didn’t post much about it here because well, it was such a random, sorta last minute thing. See, my brother-in-law Eli and his wife Melissa both work for the Disney company in California, so they get free tickets (four each!) and discounted accommodations for the parks. They also run marathons and crazy things like that. They came to Orlando to do the Wine & Dine Half Marathon and then to vacation a bit. Adam’s family was joining them, along with Melissa’s mom. That left one space for me! I just had to pay for my flight and contribute a bit to the room cost, which was VERY VERY reasonable, what they asked. And of course, buy my own food, etc.

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the gang!

The trip was from November 7-15. I had to be with Eli to get let into the park, and then I could do whatever I want the rest of the day. Sometimes I stuck with Adam’s family (his mom, dad, sister, and niece), sometimes I hung with Melissa, Eli, and Vicky. Sometimes we were ALL together. A lot of times I went off by myself. I took a lot of selfies! Ha.

Back at Epcot!! ???? #Epcot #disneyworld #selfie #disney

The Magic started right away, when I went to check in and the guy at the desk gave me a pile of stickers and coloring books and crayons and buttons! And it just kept continuing, with people doing nice things, my friend Joe getting us into Garden Grill for dinner even though it had been booked for months, big hugs from Mickey Mouse and the gang, and so much more.

Here are the things I’ve learned the times that I was on my own at Disney World:

1. It’s an interesting experience. I loved the freedom of doing what I wanted when I wanted. It was much faster and easier to weasel my way through crowds when I was by myself. I enjoyed just answering to myself. If I wanted to do something, I did it. I didn’t have to get approval or wait for people, I could just go for it. And single rider lines for rides are the best. I pretty much walked right on to Test Track more than once. And there are some really warm and open people at Disney World. I talked to one wonderful woman about ten minutes and by the end of the conversation, she was embracing me. Little girls seemed to love me–so many would just stop and smile and/or say “hi” to me or just start talking to me. Little boys, too! And I got a free churro because I was at the Christmas Party by myself. If I wanted to sit and people watch, it was OK for me to do that. I didn’t feel like I was putting people out when my tiny bladder made its needs known loudly and often. If people in the group were doing something I wasn’t all that into, I liked being able to say “I’m going to do [some other thing] and I’ll catch up with you later.” I loved that.

2. Eating was so cheap when it was just me! Before I left for Disney, I purchased $150 in Disney gift cards from Target (using my RedCard so I’d save 5%), and I didn’t use all of it. Granted, one meal was an expensive one and I paid for that NOT using the gift card, but the rest? Well, I came home with $20 left, and I’d even bought a souvenir with some of the gift card money. This was done with some extra help though: I had granola bars and Pop-Tarts in my room. I bought one bottle of water and kept refilling it, and I also bought a refillable drink mug (with a gift card!) to use when I was at the resort. Seeing as I was there so many nights, it was a good investment, especially on my resort day. I also have a small appetite, so many times, the kid’s meal was adequate for me. I also forgot about my gift cards and got a couple of Food & Wine entries with cash. So, truthfully, I probably spent about $180 to feed myself at Disney World for nine days, including a refillable drink mug, a fancy sit down meal, and novelty snacks. I’d say $20 a day isn’t bad.

3. During a long trip like this, a day in the middle to do NOTHING is a fantastic idea. I never knew the value of it until last week. I realized that I am absolutely capable of melting down like the toddlers at the end of the night (or morning or whenever) who have had ENOUGH. I was like that Monday night after the Christmas party. I was just DONE. Then I dropped my brand new phone INTO the Murphy bed that I was sleeping on (which was very comfortable by the way). I didn’t sleep well. By Tuesday morning, I was a mess. I got on my computer while waiting for maintenance to come and help me get my phone out. I took my medication, and tried to calm down. It worked. Maintenance came and my phone was rescued and unharmed. The meds kicked in. I pulled on my bathing suit and decided to stick around the resort all day. I hung out at the pool and had a drink, and talked to my mom and Aidan on the phone. Then I took a nice, hot bath before heading to the food court for something yummy to eat. (Probably corn dogs, seeing as I can’t seem to get enough of the things lately.) It was a nice, relaxing, much-needed day of downtime and self care. I highly recommend a resort/pool day for all long Disney trips.

Poolside drinksies!!!! #vacation #goodlife #disney #disneyworld #selfie ??????????

I got to spend time at Disney with a little kid, which doesn’t happen often. I mean, there are kids THERE, but they’re not with me, so yeah. Hanging out with Lola was great. To hear that little voice say “I want to sit with RONNI” was soooo fun!

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how cute is this?

And I had to admire how they kept her fed and happy with PB&J, fruit, cheese sticks, popcorn, etc. They didn’t have to spend a lot of money on her nor worry about feeding her since she can be a picky little eater. And because she was in her stroller, they could just feed her just about anywhere. Chris and I didn’t do that with Aidan! Not that he’d have eaten PB&J anyway….

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I got to do some new things this trip. I finally got to see Fantasmic! :) I’d been hearing about this fireworks show for years and years but it always seemed like a pain in a butt to get to. You had to line up a million years before to get a good seat or even a seat at all, blah blah blah. But FastPass+ made it possible for Cassidy and me to get front row center seats (now, we’d have normally never wasted a Fast Pass on a show but that’s about all they had available by the time we made it to Hollywood Studios that evening), so there it was. And I LOVED it! It lived up to the hype for sure!

I sat at the Pinocchio restaurant and waved to people riding it’s a small world. That was fun.

The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is so much fun! Such a cute coaster!

I saw Finding Nemo: The Musical. I liked it, but The Festival of the Lion King wins. I missed the Jammin’ Jungle Parade. So sad it’s gone. I heard it is coming back after all the work is done in Animal Kingdom. I hope so.

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Animal Kingdom in the dark! That was certainly new! It either closes so early or it stays dark so late that I’ve never see it at night. It’s just as pretty.

And there was Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, where I got to meet these guys:

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And see Main Street look like this (complete with fake snow):

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The pictures do not do the castle justice, how pretty it is. It’s incredible, and now they’ve incorporated Elsa and Anna and Olaf (from Frozen) into the castle lighting in a very clever way. I approve! :) Here’s a video of the very ending, complete with a “wooo” from me.

And oh oh oh, I got to see the Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights! It was sooooo cool. Definitely will put you in the holiday spirit, as long as you can handle the crowds!! Here’s a snippet!

Honestly, I cannot even begin to put all the stuff I got to see and do. It was just a nice, long, awesome vacation. If you’d like to see more photos, click here! There’s lots to see! :)

And I leave you with a photo of Mickey and me. Because yes.

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Till next time! :)

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it was a weird week. and month.

It's 75 on October 27. The Sun is out and I am surrounded by trees. It is a good day. ???? #tree #autumn #sun #leaf #lake

I thought Mercury Retrograde ended on October 22, but the way this week went, it felt like it was still going strong for me! It’s been such a weird few weeks.

My Acting 1 class at Second City ended October 14, and I miss my friends and teacher from that class. I wanted to continue, but it just wasn’t in the budget and timing wasn’t right. I plan to go back in the spring and move on to Acting 2. I had fun, though! The teacher was great, really gentle and encouraging, yet honest. And some of our warm-ups was playing tag or red light, green light. My favorite was hug tag.

Adam and I went to the Arboretum for our annual fall trip, and it was a beautiful day. Sunny, temps in the 70s. Brilliant. Then we ate Cheesecake Factory for lunch, which was good. But something in that food exhausted me. We had lunch and I crashed really hard. We went to Target and I just wanted to be in and out so I could go home and sleep. Talk about fatigue!

My iPod decided to die. Like, seriously die over the weekend. Last Thursday it was working fine. I was listening to it in the car as I drove home from a long day on the set of SIRENS. But Saturday morning, when I went to listen to it on the way to a workshop at Moksha, it was dead. I plugged it in and nothing. Somehow, it managed to charge overnight being plugged into the wall. I listened to two songs on the way back to Moksha and the battery was almost drained. And then, it died and never came back. RIP Silver iPod Classic.

Luckily, Adam had an extra that he’d stopped using a long time ago. It’s mine now! :)

My car failed the emissions test, so I have to deal with a bunch of bullcrap with that. $300+ to get it fixed, then ANOTHER emissions test, and I have to hope I don’t get a ticket while waiting for all this to transpire because my registration is about to expire. I hate red tape. I really do.

I got paid from a big client on Monday, that was awesome. I got some work from Loyola last week, when I thought they wouldn’t use me at all this year. So that’s nice. And Berlitz is using me for more work, which is really great. Plus I make some change working on SIRENS. But I have big dreams, so Universe, I am ready to receive abundance and wealth and riches in the form of U.S. currency. Please bring it!

I started Christmas shopping for Aidan. I’m debating if I want to send out Christmas cards or not. I didn’t do the newsletter this year, I’m not sure if I’ll do it this year or not. I guess I’ll see how I feel. I got hit with that deep depression last year and didn’t want to do a THING as far as decorating, etc. I did it all for Aidan. This year is our year to go to my mom’s, so I am not sure if I’ll even bother. Adam hates it, I’m too tired, so what’s the point? But if Aidan asks me to decorate, I will. For him.

The apartment is a fall down mess and I have no motivation to clean it. I want to, in theory, but I just never do it. Adam did my laundry last week and it’s still in laundry baskets. Oops. The bathroom is best not even discussed. I am tempted to hire a cleaning crew to come in and just…deep clean. We need it, with these stinky cats running around.

Helena only uses the litter box about 1/3 of the time. Crookshanks went on a poop rampage and made the place smell so bad I had to open the window even though it was only 39F outside. YES, 39F on Friday when it was 75F on Monday. Mother Nature, you’re drunk.

You guys. This tree!!!!!! #autumn #tree #red
I wonder if she was drunk when she made this gorgeous tree?

Working on SIRENS has been fun and rewarding, as well as exhausting. Last Wednesday was a 7.5 hour day, but Thursday was a 12.5 hour day. Seems like no matter what time my call is, we don’t wrap until 7:30pm. I’m learning a lot about TV and how comedies are made. It’s fascinating. And my fellow extras are CRAY-CRAY. I laugh so hard when I’m in holding. And the food is delicious. It truly is. It’s such an interesting experience, working in the Industry. I’m pretty much a nobody as far as the food chain goes, but it’s still fascinating as hell. And I’ve gotten to see some really great actors at work with this gig. And the crew. You have to love it to do it, that’s all I have to say.

I’ve been watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix. So far I like it a lot. I would love to just…bulldoze my way through it, but Adam’s decided he wants to watch it with me, so I have to wait until he’s ready to watch an episode. And I can watch three episodes at a time (I used to watch four of The O.C. at a time), but he can usually only stand one. Sometimes two, if I am lucky. I just hope Netflix doesn’t take it off before we can make it through all the seasons. The DVD series is on my wish list, though, so if anyone wants to help a sistah out, I’d appreciate it greatly. ;)

I’ve been getting sick on and off. One bad cold/sore throat, random things, and now it’s just allergies. I’m sneezing a lot, anyway. I would say I am in fair health these days. I need to get back into great health. Or at least good.

It snowed today. This is how I looked when I was outside Chicago Diner for brunch today:

How I feel about today's cold and snow. ????#snow #chicago

Blah. Also, IS THAT A GREY HAIR? Jeez. I don’t like this grey hair stuff. It’s salting my game. I like it when people think I look 22 or so. The grey hair might give me away and I’m not OK with that. Hmph.

OH! In September, I filmed for Chicago PD. That was another long, tiring day but the food was excellent and I had fun and the director was funny. Anyway, the episode aired on October 23, and you can see me walking down the stairs near the end of this clip:

I’m a star! Ha ha. Not so much. But it’s fun to see me, and I look pretty good, don’t you think? One fun part was having people I knew contact me and ask “Did I see you on Chicago PD?” :)

Anyway, I’m tired. I’m ready to go read and relax. So, till next time…..

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