ronni

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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in review: the year 2014.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! ???????? #christmas

Was 2014 a good year for you?
I certainly cannot complain. I got to do a LOT of neat stuff. I didn’t get severely sick. I made amazing new friends and got to bond with old friends. I traveled a lot, and got to visit Disney World. I met celebrities and skilled actors. I won neat prizes. I pushed myself in new ways. I learned even more about myself…but I’m still learning. Always learning.

What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before?
– was an extra on more than one TV show, in a commercial, and in an indie film
– was a core extra on the show SIRENS (starts Jan 27, 2015)
– attended Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Disney World
– attended Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival at Disney World
– attended Anderson’s YA Literature Conference
– attended Wanderlust in the City
– rode the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Disney World
– saw Fantasmic at Disney World
– saw the Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney World
– flew out to Los Angeles to meet celebrities at a charity event
– participated in a spin class (Flywheel)
– participated in a barre class (The Dailey Method, The Bar Method)
– spend a weekend at Stonehouse Farm
– slept in a yurt
– made lavender incense
– ate honey right off a honeycomb
– wore a bee suit and hung out around honeybees
– traveled to Jekyll Island
– tried raw oyster
– saw dolphins in the wild
– took acting workshops
– took acting classes at Second City
– visited New Orleans
– visited Malibu
– put my toes in the Pacific Ocean
– tried a po’boy sandwich
– played Cards Against Humanity
– visited The Field Museum
– ate at Girl & The Goat
– visited Michael Jackson’s childhood home

Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes.

Did anyone close to you die?
No, but a good friend of mine lost her son. It was heartbreaking.

What countries did you visit?
Still none. Will 2015 be the year? Let’s hope!

What date(s) from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
March 17, 2014 – got to meet a bunch of celebrities from the movie Divergent
November 7-15, 2014 – long Disney World trip!

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Finally taking those acting classes I’d been dreaming about.

What was your biggest failure?
I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.

Did you suffer illness or injury?
Colds, migraines, stomach issues, etc. Nothing too serious, thank goodness.

Where did most of your money go?
travel, books, gifts, bills, my car

What song(s) will always remind you of 2014?
Shining Star – The Householders
Tu – Camila
Hanging On – Ellie Goulding
Some Day They’ll Know (Odesza remix) – Pretty Lights
Feel Flows – Slow Magic
anything at all by Odesza

What do you wish you’d done more of?
– writing
– yoga
– barre classes
– long walks
– retreats at Stonehouse
– moving my body in general
– learning
– traveling
– acting
– interpersonal interaction
– personal reflection and spiritual work
– journaling
– taking more photos

What do you wish you’d done less of?
– being afraid
– hiding
– wasting time on social media (tumblr and facebook especially)
– messing around on the computer/ipad/iphone

What was your greatest musical discovery?
– Odesza
– Philter
– Feel Flows

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 40. (Seriously, how am I 40?). I slept late, went to my friend Jen’s for a photoshoot, ate macarons, had an early prime rib dinner, ate key lime pie for dessert, shopped at Michaels, talked to Aidan on the phone, rode around looking at Christmas lights, hung out with Ashley from upstairs a bit, watched Christmas Vacation, and wrapped Christmas gifts. I got a Tiffany necklace from Adam. :) It was a good birthday.

How did you spend Christmas?
I went to Ohio to spend Christmas with my mommy! It was good. I was sick, so for the first two days I couldn’t smell or taste anything. That was weird. On Christmas Day, my a bunch of people came over to see us and that was fun. I also slept really late. My mom and I stayed up all night talking. Literally. We didn’t get to sleep until after 8am. I loved that. We ate good food and watched movies and visited and had a good time. The day after, I went to my friend Andy’s and saw him and his doggies. Then we came home and opened presents.

How will you be spending New Year’s Eve?
Most likely at home with Aidan and Adam.

What did you want and get?
– a trip to New Orleans
– a trip to Disney World
– a chance to meet Stephanie Perkins and other amazing authors
– a Frederick the Literate blanket

What did you want and not get?
– MORE AIDAN TIME (there is never enough)
– a flat stomach
– a trip out of the country
– to meet Theo James
– to see the Statue of Liberty, the Cloisters, and the High Line in NYC
– to be done writing my novel

What kept you sane?
– books, books, books
– yoga
– as much sleep as possible
– regular massages
– lots of blankets to keep me warm

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Theo James

What political issue stirred you the most?
Ferguson and too many fucking similar incidents.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014.
Whenever I feel down about myself and/or my life, to look back at my Flickr account at all the neat things I’ve gotten to see and do, and all the neat people I know. That always cheers me up.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?
– Yoga pants and long tee-shirts or tank tops.
– Skinny jeans and boots.
– my pink North Face fleece.

What did you get really, really, really excited about?
– New Orleans
– Disney World
– Jekyll Island
– the prospect of meeting Theo James (even though it didn’t come to fruition because he bailed on the event)
– meeting Stephanie Perkins!!!

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Meeting Theo James. That cheeky bastard.

Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder?
Happier. Last year I was fighting depression big time.
ii. thinner or fatter? Meh, about the same I think.
iii. richer or poorer? Poorer. Not struggling, but nowhere near as carefree as last year.

In 2015, I am looking forward to:
– braking out my new Life Planner
– taking Aidan to Disney World in June!
– finally finishing my novel and getting it ready for submissions (eeeee!)
– starting a new novel
– reading new books by Sarah Dessen, Huntley Fitzpatrick, and loads more authors
– discovering new music (thank you, Spotify!)
– making new friends
– more barre classes
– getting back into my yoga practice
– taking more acting classes (eek!)

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

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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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taking stock part 2

The last time I did this, it was more than a year ago. Time really does fly.

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kinda how i’m feeling right now

cooking: nothing right now but i may make myself a bit of spaghetti because i’m hungry and spaghetti is yummy.

drinking: water

reading: living violet by jaime reed. again. i really love that series of books.

wanting: an ipod touch. i’m scared someone will steal my ipod classic and try to sell it for thousands of dollars so i won’t go anywhere with it anymore.

looking: at my computer screen.

playing: a million match 3 games, and also criminal case. all facebook/ipad/iphone games.

wasting: time. always time.

wishing: i didn’t feel like such a loser. that i was super duper wealthy. that i could finish writing this book and be done with it.

enjoying: the christmas tree.

waiting: for packages to arrive.

liking: that criminal case game on facebook. which surprises me. i resisted playing it for a long time.

loving: the dailey method and how it makes me feel.

hoping: i can get my flat tire fixed soon.

smelling: old taco wrappings because adam did not throw away his dinner trash.

wearing: mickey mouse pajamas. with feet! and a hood with mickey ears!

noticing: christmas trees, decorations, lights…i love them.

thinking: about all the work i have to do to get my hair to look presentable tomorrow.

feeling: tired and a little cranky.

Meh. This was depressing. Sorry.

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moving right along.

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…and it’s already December 10. Only 15 days until Christmas. Who’s excited? Not prepared? Already going crazy?

A few weeks ago, I’d said I wasn’t going to decorate. That didn’t actually happen. I did decorate, although a LOT less than I have in the past. Aidan and I did the heavy lifting while he was here for Thanksgiving. I did all the heavy cleaning BEFORE Thanksgiving.

I’d wanted to hire a cleaning service, but the company I wanted didn’t have availability until December 1. We were having guests for Thanksgiving. So yeah, that wasn’t going to work. I cleaned so much that I was sore for three days. But the place is sooo much better. The bathroom is no longer frightening. Things are gleaming. It’s nice. Now it’s just dealing with clutter (like the big pile of unwrapped gifts I am looking at) and day-to-day living. No place I live will ever be a showcase unless I can get a big enough dwelling that part of it will be the “showplace” and the rest will be the “living place.” I also am not great a decorating unless it is for Christmas so there’s that.

Random things that have happened since I last updated:

Aidan came for Thanksgiving and we went to WGN to hang out with Patti Vasquez on her Pretty Late radio show. I love going there. It’s just a cool atmosphere, Patti is the COOLEST, and she even lets me get on the air sometimes. :)

Hanging at the WGN radio station again with @thepattivasquez and @adamselzer #doingcoolshit #chicago #wgn ???? Aidan is cool.  ????
hanging out at wgn

We didn’t shop on Black Friday–instead we went to see Big Hero 6. Such a cute but heartbreaking movie! I saw Baymax at Hollywood Studios when I was there but I had no idea who or what he was, and when Lola saw him she did four-year-old equivalent of “oh hell no” and get away from him fast! I wish I’d have met him but it’s OK that I didn’t. He’s adorable, though.

Aidan and I did go down to State Street to shop on Saturday and it was a MAD HOUSE. I knew it would be because the weather was beautiful–mid-50s! And there were a lot of tourists in town. It was crazy. So crowded. But Aidan and I got to see the Great Tree like we do whenever we can:

The Great Tree
the great tree and aidan

My Christmas shopping is finally winding down. I went crazy this year like I always do even though I say I won’t EVERY SINGLE YEAR. I have a big pile of stuff to wrap. Some people will be spoiled and I am OK with that. I’d wanted to have the Selzer stuffed mailed out by um…today? But yeah, that’s probably not going to happen. So shooting for Friday. My absolute deadline is Monday, the 15.

I lose an entire planning day Thursday–I got booked to play a coffee shop patron on Chicago PD. Should be fun! I hope the day is not too long but it’ll probably be 12-13 hours as usual. Then Friday I have a workshop at Moksha with Tias Little. Very much looking forward to that. If I can find time, I might squeeze in a Dailey Method class.

I started going back to The Dailey Method on Sunday and it’s so great to be back. I got my butt sufficiently kicked on Sunday but Tuesday’s class was so so so good. Now I just need to get back to my yoga practice as well and maybe by summer I will be lean and toned!

The challenge is going to be January and February, when we’re in the deep freeze. I will NOT want to leave the house if I don’t have to, and I just realized that my Dailey Method class credits are good for a YEAR (not just the month like I’d thought) so I will probably only venture there to watch the kids in the kid’s room to earn my class credits until it warms up.

Ugh, winter.

I bought a sweater from Old Navy and didn’t even blink when it didn’t have a tag. Now I know better. I got it home, took it out of the bag and sniffed it. It smelled like Chinese food and BO. So amazingly gross. I was really worried they wouldn’t take it back because it didn’t have tags, but I had my receipt and they were totally cool about it. I exchanged it for a clean one!

Someone hacked into my Spotify account and ruined my music algorithms for the year. They listened to nothing but Turkish music and now Spotify thinks I like Turkish music? I knew something was weird when I’d be listening to it on my phone or iPad in my room and then the song would stop and a message would come up saying “your account is being used on another device.” I thought it was just bugging out–I do have it on an iPhone, two computers, and an iPad. But then I realized that a bunch of new playlists were being added, so I changed my password. Someone told me to check my authorized devices and sure enough, there was a Android device using my account. I don’t have Android devices. I use iOS, or Windows (on Aidan’s computer), or OSX (my computer). I signed out of all devices and haven’t had any problems since.

Except everyone who follows me now probably thinks I have some fascination with Turkish music. What I don’t get…Spotify is FREE as long as you want to deal with the ads. I do get premium, but still.

Ugh, so annoying. Buy your own shit.

Work for clients is winding down for the season, I think. Last week I had so many deadlines, and I had a deadline for today that I just uploaded. So now, I wait. To hear from clients. For checks to arrive. For call info. You know.

The Container Store had this amazing paper. It was this candy striped prismatic paper. Sold out. Some guy bought ten rolls of it in the store the other day. TEN ROLLS. WHO needs that much wrapping paper? Well, I went to a store and found a reasonable knock off today and it was 60% cheaper. So there, Container Store and your beautiful prismatic candy striped paper. Hmph.

Ugh. It’s time to go. One of the cats is expelling stuff from both ends and it’s about to get nasty up in here. Lucky me.

Here’s a photo of me from BEFORE all that nastiness. Good times.

Just me on a Tuesday night. ???? #selfie
i woke up like this

Till next time…

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