Random Ramblings

The One with a Break, a Budget and a Bird

02-05-2014
Well friends, I can’t believe it (and by “it”, I mean several things).I can’t believe it’s February, or 2014 for that matter. I can’t believe I have lived in California for 9 months. And I can’t believe it’s been one whole month since my last blog post.

Lots of things have been happening during my blog-break for the past month, both in my so-called “work” life and also in my personal life. As I have mentioned in previous posts I am a temporary assistant at a studio here in LA. And while I love this opportunity and have been very blessed to have any source of income out here, it has not been without its challenges.

Upon returning from my New Years getaway to AZ for the Baylor bowl game, I started temping almost immediately. First for a few days with a familiar group in the marketing department and then a long 2 and a half week gig with the business affairs crowd in the television department. Now people, though my background is in television it is NOT in business affairs. I have never taken a business class in my life, heck I don’t even know how to do taxes yet! So these weeks of people throwing around legal jargon as casually as some teenybopper speaking in abbrevs (…abbreviations) was no easy feat. Within the first hour of my boss arriving to work that first Monday morning, he had already ordered me to create and distribute 3 contracts and 4 deal memos… Y’all I didn’t have a single clue what they were supposed to look like much less what I was actually supposed to say in them. And obviously it was too much to ask of my boss to explain anything or give me the slightest nudge in the right direction. It was a nightmare. The worst part was, there was no end in sight. On most terrifying temp jobs, I can reassure myself by remembering I only have a few days left before I can be relaxing at home with a marathon of Bones instead of having multiple panic attacks every time my bosses phone rings.

But somehow, I made it through. By the end of the 13 days I could create, edit and distribute contracts, welcome packets, executive letters and deal memos in the blink of an eye (though I still have absolutely no idea what they actually say). As it is the start of pilot season I got to see the process from a side most people never see. I  learned about casting and test options, the amount of time and money it takes to hire casting directors, crew, producers, etc. and read a lot about certain pilots that are getting picked up (and let me just say, I am very excited for next fall!) I accidentally got in the background of a loooooot of peoples photos who were on studio tours, enjoyed walking around the backlot everyday on my lunch break and desperately tried to keep my cool when I saw famous people though I was not always successful (I’m talking to you Uncle Jesse). Though the work was tough, I learned an immeasurable amount about business, pilot season, studio life and also myself. It’s been less than a week since I worked there and I already miss talking football with the security girl every night, laughing about how pathetic Justin Bieber is with the other assistants, and walking into the lobby on Fridays to hear the security man playing the saxophone, and when asked why he was playing he’d respond with a smile, “Because it’s smoooooooth jazz Friday Miss Brown, that’s why”.
On the weekends and my days off I have spent the majority of my time at home. And while normally I would not complain as I LOVE my apartment and am definitely a homebody, I have been spending the days at home not by choice, but rather out of necessity. Because folks, that’s what you do when you are broke. Yes, temping does pay, and I am very thankful for that! But as any remotely responsible post grad will tell you, life after college comes with rent, bills and the ever so timely student-loans. So essentially every dime of my paycheck goes into savings, which gives me limited funds to enjoy this amazing city (and the amazing time I have off). This has presented a problem in my life. Though I love my “me” time at home, I am an explorer at heart. I love to try new things and experience new places. This is one of the reasons I moved to LA! Los Angeles is basically like a hundred little different cities packed into one. Every neighborhood offers something different and I love that.
But its hard to experience new places when you don’t have $7 to spend on a cup of coffee in Los Feliz or $5 to spare just to walk around in a flea market or the luxury of wasting precious gas money looking for street parking in virtually any and every neighborhood in LA. So adventures for this girl have come to a very unhappy halt. Granted, there are many many great and free things to do in LA. There are tons of great hiking trails and beaches, but what people often forget is that it does cost gas money to get to these places and often times you have to pay for parking once you get there. The most unfortunate problem is that I need money to be able to experience new things, but I need to work more to make more, and if I am working more I won’t have the time to explore that I have now. It’s a vicious, vicious circle people. SO WHAT’S AN ADVENTURER TO DO?! Explore on a budget. Really plan out my adventures and stretch my dollars to get the biggest experience out of them possible. This has meant listing and prioritizing new things I want to try here in LA. Granted, it takes a lot of the fun of spontaneity out of it. But with this new technique comes the fun and excitement you get when planning a vacation! Which, after all, is basically what I’m doing: planning in-expensive activities to do on my “stay-cation” in LA. So stay tuned for posts about new LA adventures on a budget!
And one quick last update on my life lately. My roommate and I recently welcomed a new addition to our home! After kitty-sitting for a week we realized we were responsibly ready for a pet. And even though neither of us particularly like cats, we felt the strongest need to fill the void when she left. However we did not have the time or finances for most pets. Then my roommate mentioned how she has grown up with parakeets most of her life. After 3 entire days discussing every possible scenario a parakeet could present (noise, smell, finances, what we would do if friends came over or visitors stayed the night) we ultimately found a solution to every problem. Then we decided to leave it up to fate, if we were meant to have a bird there would be signs obviously. AND THERE WERE.
On our way home from Target one day we decided to stop at a pet store just for fun! We stopped at the first one we saw and WHAT DO YA KNOW, it’s not just a pet store… IT’S A BIRD STORE. Literally there were 3 turtles, 2 snakes, 4 lizards and hundreds of birds. We, however, were not going to be impulse buyers about this big of a decision, so after a lot of window bird shopping we went home. The next day our neighbors across the street were having a garage sale. We saw a cube storage system (like the ones from Ikea) that would be the perfect place for a bird and her cage and would fit perfectly in our apartment. Knowing how much they go for at Ikea, we decided we probably wouldn’t get it and that our max budget for a bird stand was about $15. We walked across the street, did a casual lap through their things and finally asked how much the cube was. FIVE. DOLLARS. Unbelievable! Without even hesitating we got it and spent a whopping $2.50 each for a bird stand.So after a few days we finally got our bird. She is perfect. She is pretty, not very loud and fits perfectly in our home. Because of our love of How I Met Your Mother and our bird’s love of singing, we decided to name her Robin Sparkles. However, she is also yellow with a lot of green on her belly, so we call her Baylor for short. She’s our little Baylor Bird and we love her 🙂

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