Bar Karma

In case you aren't aware the last project that I worked on before leaving the firm where I spent the past few years was the permanent set for a new TV show called "Bar Karma." It's on the Current TV network, and they have described it as "Cheers" meets "Twilight Zone."

The basic concept is that if you're fate, or karma, is about to put you into direct conflict with the time stream... if some act you are about to make puts the future in harm's way... you might get pulled out of time and into Bar Karma, where you'll be helped to understand the choice you are about to make, and possibly dissuaded from it. Part of Current's format is that they pull a lot of content from the internet, current news, etc. so in keeping with that Bar Karma is being written by crowd sourcing the scripts. The idea is put up on the internet and the community at large gets the opportunity to not only critique it and suggest ideas... but to actually write the script. An interesting concept, no?

And... all the scenes shot in the bar? (about 80% of each episode.) Well... I designed that. Technically I, and Scott Tedmon-Jones, under the direction of Michael Hotopp designed it... but, whatever... that's my name on the credit scroll, damnit!!! Look at that! My first national level project!

Tonight, Your Weight Is...

So... I'm kinda chunky. I'll admit it. 8 years ago when I left grad school I was topping out at my heaviest weight ever: 215. In the grand scheme of America, not as bad as it could be, especially considering that I'm from the South... so... you know... fried. Yum.

I've never really had an exercise routine, unless you count PE, which I don't, for various reasons. I've had one of those sort of blessed metabolisms that meant that even though I didn't exercise, and I ate like crap... it didn't really matter. That was of course until I turned 30-ish, and like most people with that blessed metabolism my body threw on the brakes and I started taking on the pounds.

Grad school was a bit of a nightmare. Crappy hours, stress, and for some reason not a vegetable to be had. (Seriously, as an aside here to parents who have or are considering sending a child to UConn... have a look at the dining halls, the healthy options are fairly non-existent, and the local eateries are worse.) By the time I left I was fairly large.

New York City, by dent of being New York City helped me lose some of that. Just the massive increase in walking that was added to my daily routine meant that I I was back down to 200ish within the first year, and I sort of hovered there for the past few years. I've always sworn that I'd never let my waist size exceed my inseam (34) but for a while now I've been suffering from Dunlap's Disease.

In September I decided to do something about that. As I've mentioned Kid Flash is a runner. I've sworn, forever, that I'm not a runner. I've always said that the only way I would ever run was if something was chasing me, and even then it would depend on how big it was. I even warned Kid Flash about that when we first started dating, that he shouldn't ever expect me to run with him.

Turns out I'm a liar.

I've slowly been creeping up in weight again, owing to domestic bliss, or whatever... and something had to change. So I started the Couch to 5K program. The idea there is that anyone, no matter the basic fitness level, can do the program and within 9 weeks run a 5K. It took me about 12 weeks, owing to various events, but in December I ran a 4 miler (slightly more than the 3.1 mile 5K.) And you know what... I kind of like it.

The weather's turned bitter, and I hate the winter, which means that other arrangements had to be made... so last week I did something else I thought I'd never do. I joined a gym.

The good news though, is that my metabolism is up, and my weight is down. As of yesterday I weigh 193. A far better cry that the 210 I was at in September. And the morning gym trip has been great at "normalizing" my day now that I'm back to freelancing and setting my own hours. I went 4 days out of 5 last week.

If nothing else being unemployed a freelancer is doing good things for my waist line.

The Freelance Life

And thus ends week one of unemployment.

Wait... my first week of returning to freelancing. Yeah. That's better.

It's been an interesting week. I've cleaned more than I have in months, which probably makes Kid Flash happy. Besides the basic household stuff like laundry and dishes I emptied all of my shelves of supplies and then put it all back on again. I completely rebuilt my work table, etc. etc. but it was really a defense mechanism/way to procrastinate, and I know that.

One unexpected thing I've discovered is that I need a social outlet. Other than a trip to the comic shop, and a production meeting at the Children's Theatre, I haven't been south of 145th street all week. And frankly if a friend hadn't given me a guest pass to a gym and taken me there twice... I probably wouldn't have gone out as much as I did. If I really am going to continue in the vein of freelancer, I'm going to need to figure out some reasons to get out of the house.

I have a standing bi-weekly movie date with Mark. And presumably once things get rolling I'll have meetings and things again, but... yeah. I need to get out more.

365.1: 002

303 Days Later

Nope. I don't know what happened.

Nope. I can't promise it won't happen again.

Yep. I'm back.

So what have I been up to?
  • I learned to snorkel, and actually enjoyed the beach for the first time... ever.
  • I completely redid a year and a half worth of a work in 8 weeks to rescue a project.
  • I designed a couple shows.
  • I was offered a teaching position, which I turned down.
  • I assisted on the set for a television series.
  • I started running and completed a 4 mile race.
  • I've had four months of running (roughly) 2 to 4 times a week.
  • I lost about 10 pounds.
  • And last week... I was laid off.
Yeah... that last one probably deserves a bit more of an in-depth look. After 4 or so years of working for the firm, they've hit a few financial snags, and... I was laid off. I had been considering going back to freelancing for a while, to get back to my own work again, but of course I probably would have gone about it in a different way.

So... today is the beginning of my return to freelancing. For now at least. Which means, a redesigned website, a return to paying attention to the job listings... a lot of things.

I also have a few other interesting projects up my sleeve, a potential Etsy store, and some returns to a few past, currently ignored, projects. We'll see how it goes.

I'll keep you up to date.

365.1: 001

Coming Soon

You Have The Ability To Overcome Great Fear

Yesterday I did something that I haven't done in over 2 decades. Something that I have listed as being my greatest fear in life for nearly that long. I placed my head entirely under water.

I know that doesn't seem like much to most people. But for me this has been a deep seated fear for as long as I can remember. I've mentioned it here before, but I have a pretty complex relationship with water. I don't particularly like it, I can be comfortable in a pool as long as I feel in complete control but the presence of a stranger, a strong wind... just about anything that I can't control puts me off that and I get nervous about being in the water.

This of course means that I can't swim, I'm not particularly comfortable on boats, and all of this has led me to hate the beach.

Well... flash forward to this month when some friends invited Kid Flash and I to join them on a trip to Culebra, Puerto Rico. A tiny island in the middle of the Atlantic, that you have to take a ferry to get to... as you can imagine there isn't much to do there except... well... the things I hate to do or am afraid of. After some lengthy discussion with Animal (the friend, who invited us, I didn't choose the knickname she did, it's her derby name) we came to the conclusion that maybe with some effort I could snorkle. She suggested getting a float to lay on, and simply putting a snorkel mask into the water, I wouldn't have to even actually be all the way IN the water to get some enjoyment out of it.

This weekend we coincidentally were planning to spend the night in a hotel suite as part of a birthday celebration, so we made sure to get a room where there was a pool (on the roof of a 45 story building with a fabulous view of Central Park even!!) so that we could test my ability to faux snorkel.

It turned out much better than that. Animal gave me some very kind and patient lessons, starting with simply blowing air across the water, then going in up to my mouth, then blowing air under water, etc. etc. step by step... until I was actually able to place my entire head under water, without even wearing the mask!! It was amazing! By the end of two hours I was floating face down, with my mask on and essentially snorkeling!

The biggest and best piece of advice from Animal? Humming. As simple as that. Animal pointed out to me that as long as I could hum, I would know that I was moving air. Plus the act of humming is naturally very comforting to us, the sounds, and the vibration in the chest. And that very small act really did calm me down and help me keep my head from freaking out.

I'll admit that I still had to pinch my nose, even through the mask (we didn't have a nose clip) in order to feel comfortable, and I still mentally freak out a little bit after going under in the mask and have to force the first breath... but with the right equipment I think I can actually do some snorkeling in Culebra! (maybe, being in the ocean may be a far different experience, but I'm looking forward to it.)

So after 20 years... maybe I'm NOT afraid of water? I dunno. Maybe I should try a banana tomorrow? Maybe I secretly like those too after all the years...