Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Check out this blog!  We need to start thinking about going Green!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Weigh In

Weighing one self is a tricky thing to (want to) do.  I use too never get on a scale, because who enjoys that minute of fun (and day of fretting over said poundage)?  I even wrote a little part in a short film that I have coming out this year about getting on that dreadful thing.  However, the reality we face is you need to know your weight if you’re going to LOSE weight.  How else can you judge if you’re actually doing what is needed.  Sure a few belt buckles can give you a clue, however the bottom-line is that could have been water weight. 

I read a long time ago that those who get on the scale 2 to 3 times a week actually lose weight better.  They are able to see the ups and down.  So for the last three (painful) weeks I’ve gotten on the (Devil) scale almost every single (hellish) day.  Sometimes several times a day at different times just so I’ve grasped the best time to weigh in, which seems to be the morning time for me (this might vary depending on your sleep and work schedule).  I’m sure this isn’t news to most of you, but knowing is half the battle (G.I. Joe!).

My weight usually varies about 5 pounds going up or down.  So don’t freak out if you get on one day and the next you’re above, there are a lot of factors that weigh in (ha ha) into it.   I know how hard it is to get on the (monster) scale, but it does help me think about the things I’m doing, if they are working or not.  Right now I’ve been stable, I’ve lost about 4 pounds, which is another point.  Don’t give up!  It’s so easy to get frustrated with how slowly things go, but to really fully overall the way you do things it will take time (whole lotta precious time, according to George Harrison, to do it right child).   This is why we give up, because we live in a NOW society.  Everything must be instant texts, im’s, emails, meals, and workouts…. That is how it is for us compared to 20 years ago.  We’ve lost the art of slowing down and fully appreciating how we work, eat, our body and mind.  I’ve learned a lot about my mind, now it’s time to get the body to sync correctly with it.  You can too!

So here are some new tips of mine to keep in mind:

Portion Control – Not sure how to measure the right amount of spaghetti for yourself?  Before tossing it in the pot (with some kosher salt, this will actually CUT down on your salt intake if you salt things properly), take your pointing finger and thumb and make a circle (about the size of a nickel), place the spaghetti between there and now you have the correct portion size.  If you’re REALLY hungry, a quarter size is roughly 2 servings. 

If you live by yourself work on using measurements too only cook a serving size meal for 2.  This way you can box half of it for lunch tomorrow and stay within the goal you want.

Roast your veggies is a great wait to try something different.  Plus, you can cut up the rest for veggies during the week to taste in pasta salad or for a side dish.  Put your oven to 400 degrees.  Use kosher salt and pepper and a little bit of olive oil (I use extra virgin).   Cut up your veggies (I normally just slice them in half) and put salt and pepper on it along with a little bit of oil.  Put in the oven for about 5-10 minutes and then turn.  The less time you let them cook, the firmer they will be.  


Hulu Plus does have some nice work outs too offer and are also very challenging, however so does youtube.  Try out, who are also on youtube as well.  They really do some interesting workouts (even in a chair), but they do focus for working out at home.   Plus, she doesn’t have an annoying voice like some of the others do; she really wants you to find your rhythm, which is very important.

If you need to get some energy going, there is a good yoga work out from Hulu by Gaiam in their yoga section.  It’s called Energize and I do this as my warm up.  To be warned though you may experience some dizziness with the first few routines, but it gets better after you learn the breathing. 

Well those are the tips for this week.   Stay positive!

Till Another,

Saturday, February 11, 2012

In the land of Fruits and Veggies…

I am not sure when we became such a grain and meat society, but I feel that this is something that has been sorely lacking in my life.   I recently read an article (well two) about how eating canned food can raise weight due the BPA levels.  I have always eaten canned veggies, every since we were kids.  I think, and this is slightly tied into another article I read: 

Now, my parents always made sure that we ate well, however we did eat canned veggies more than we ate fresh veggies or frozen, it just never tasted right.  And yes it’s been proven that eating fresh or frozen food is more healthy than canned food due to the salt in take (though several cans now have no salt added to them).   This is what makes losing weight a struggle, all the things out there that say ‘do this or wait no do that,’ it can be overwhelming.   However, I’ve decided to try and stay away from canned vegetables and see if that helps.  So this month, I’m clearing out the canned food (expect for tomatoes, I hate, hate cutting tomatoes) and making room for fresh and frozen veggies. 

This will be a challenge since the cost goes up more, but if it helps with weight lose and eating better, I’m down for it.  Thankfully I live in Cali where they may have a million burger joints but have lots of farmers markets and cool places to get stuff that’s fresh. 

As I mentioned before I’m working on portion control, trying to at least.  I’ve been doing a little bit of research on it and found this very interesting:

There tons more out there like this and once I’ve complied a list that makes sense, I’ll make sure to send the websites your way.  But it’s a good way to start getting your head into the game in how to cut back.   Smaller plates and eating at the dinner table has been a huge thing offered, but I feel kind of silly eating at my table by myself.   I can’t watch the Daily Show that far away!  So, maybe it’s time to start looking at my dishes and find the ones that are super big and maybe put those on a higher shelf and bring the smaller plates down instead. 

On the rant note of this… this serious overhaul of how I eat, and what I eat wasn’t nearly that big of an issue when I was a kid.  I do believe a lot of it steamed from the fact my father was the cook in the family and he made sure we ate right.  Plus, I did sports as a kid.  I know, I know hard to imagine but I was very talented in volleyball and basketball, but due to our schools rules, I was not allowed to play after grade school.  I should have kept it going and fought more for it, but when you’re a kid it’s hard to stand up to adults who seem to take a pleasure out of beating your spirit out of you.   It goes to show you, never give up at any age. 

As for the work out, I’m cooling slightly on the Yoga (I can only do so many poses before it becomes a clown show) and starting to focus a little more on cardio.   Cardio seems to work well with some of the Pilates as well so I’ll be mixing those up.  

If you’re looking for a decent warm up I am digging her stuff: 

She talks way too much for my taste, but some of those moves are good for someone whose body is a little bigger.   

Next time will be about weighing in, something we all look so forward too!

Till Another,
Ne in Hollywood

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Working it out in the land of Eternal Sunshine...

I realize I haven’t written in a while (to my handful of friends who follow this) and decided I needed to.  I use to write on a daily base in a diary, but sometimes my life becomes work, sleep, work, sleep, repeat and rinse that I often lose sight of it.

However, as I’m in a little down time from the insanity that is working in the ‘biz,’ I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting about myself.  The last three years (it’s almost been 6!) out here has been nothing short but reexamining my life, the direction it’s going, and the person I want to become.  You would think, after going and getting a masters degree, a person would have an idea and direction they are going.  Yeah, I did, and then I made a film that pretty much made me see that while I was doing everything that I wanted to for the ‘planned’ type life, I was emotionally unprepared for all of it because I had not dealt with some personal matters in my life. 

So, why the sudden surge to write again?  Because now that emotionally I’m getting where a normal person should be (only took 20 some years), physically I’m not happy with the outer appearance.  I had spent a whole year back before I dated the ‘big ex’ and lost about 75 pounds.  Guess what I got back, not the ex.  I’m tired of this yo-yoing of weight and the only person who has that control is me!  Plus, I live in the land of skinny girls; I won’t get a job, sadly, if the outer appearance is not up to code.  It sucks to say, but true out here. 

The day after my birthday (with some rest for recovery), I sent out some new goals for myself.  I had already been working towards some of them already, but I’m going to put the list out there for all to read (yes all 3 of you). 

1.     Get sugars under control. 
2.     When eating out, eat better food (this is helpful due to Cali now showing you the calorie count on the menus for a lot of things).
3.     Cut back on caffeine (this will be tough when working on set)
4.     Cook more (Very easy to do when your poor!)
5.     Portion/Serving size control. 
6.     Workout.
7.     Cut back on soda (this one isn’t hard since I drink maybe 2 or 3 glasses a month, and I prefer to the taste of water over soda).  
8.     Go the doctor more to help monitor this all.

I’m sure there are more, but those are the ones I’m focusing on at the current moment.  And since I’m poor, I’m seeing if the web can truly help in this area of learning how to lose weight (hey if it can help people watch porn, it’s got to help people lose weight right?). 

Now, here is what I’ve been working on so far.  I’ve replaced my blood sugar monitor and have been using that to get control of the sugars.  I’ve only spiked a few times, but have dropped too low more than once.  It’s still a learning game for me with the insulin and the sugars, but I’ll figure it out.  I’m getting better at taking my meds BEFORE I eat.   This is KEY of course to controlling ones sugars.  In truth, if I can get it under control, I won’t need them (per my doctor), so that’s what I want, I want OFF the meds. 

Working out, I’ve started doing yoga and Pilates, badly, but I’ve been doing them almost every day.  Each day I try and add another 5 minutes (or work harder in the time I’ve carved out) to my routine and will hopefully build by the end of this month to a full hour of working out.  I’ll be changing it up and this weekend going to buy some weights since Pilates really like to use them for their routines.   As I mentioned before I said I wanted to use the web and for this I’ve found a ton of yoga and Pilates websites on, I have the plus and use my Sony streaming device so I can watch it on my TV.  So far I’ve done about a 7-8 minute warm up with about 10-15 minutes of doing the yoga or Pilate moves with a 5 minute cool down.  The kitties are quite freaked out by watching me do this, but I work up a sweat and can feel my heart going and I think that’s the point.  I’m going to be doing walking next week since I live so close to a bike path (this will not happen as often depending on job and hours). 

As of today, this is what I’ve been tackling.  I’m currently working on figuring out serving/portion control sizes and will be marking those websites out for anyone who wishes to learn with me.  The important part is having the support and as my cousin Sarah informed me the other day ‘if you don’t do it one day, do it the next day.  It’s really a day by day process.”  I couldn’t agree more with her!

Till Another,
Ne in Hollywood…

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The aging (and possible death) of a good friend: Film

We are moving into a very digital era in our time. I remember the buzz when Lucas announced he was going to only “film” on digital because he felt film would be obsolete in ten years. While that was over 14 years ago this statement came out, it seems to be ringing true when a good friend told me that our local place we see films at (AMC Burbank) has gotten rid of all of their film projectors and have now been replaced with digital ones. In a way this made me want to cry, because while digital is a nice feature it still is in no way touch the beauty and depth that is film. I think this is one of the reason why I don’t like watching movies on TV’s (no matter the size, or dpi, or HD quality which I’m sorry I still don’t find is great for films, fine for sports though) because it’s on film and I don’t think a TV can capture what a filmmaker was trying to convey when it’s on a movie screen then a little TV. You loose so much. I know many disagree with me on this, that’s fine. I grew up in theaters. My father and I would always go see two films together and honestly it was because of him and my grandma Eilene who taught me the love of film.

And yet as I write this I’m sitting here staring at a script and thinking to myself how in the world can I afford to put this on film. Film is expensive and while it was nice having the school pay for some of it (with my tuition money) I simply do not have those means anymore. So do I go digital? Ugh.


This past weekend I was a 1st AD for a short film a friend of mine was directing and they used the 7D by Canon (if you recall this camera was used to shoot the last episode in the Fox show House), which of course was cheaper (just need a hard drive to transfer your footage). So while I sit here and figure out the balance I need (cuz you need a figure in mind when you want to start fundraising) it comes down to money. As much as I don’t want to shoot on digital, the hard fact is to make this film I want to make I may have too. Unless there is some magical fairy out there who can grant me unlimited amount of film and processing?

Yeah didn’t think so.

So I will leave you with a quote I’m stealing from a friend’s facebook that I think rings very true to those who get to play with film (because they have studio backing or a benefactor or well you get the idea).

‎"Every digital camera is trying hard to emulate 35mm film, and there's a reason for that.-Wally Pfister, ASC

So, so true.

Till Another,
Ne in Hollywood.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Wait a minute, it's July already?

This blog doesn’t have a lot to do with the film industry (or a story that relates to something I’ve done recently, well maybe) more on a personal note for myself.   I was walking out of my work last night (I work the late shift at my job) and thought holy cow it’s July, where did the last six months go?  Hell the last year?  I thought about this as I was walking to my car that I feel like I’ve only really been paying attention to my life since April which makes sense because that is when I got rid of some bad energy in my life.  It’s strange how we sometimes latch onto something potentially toxic to us and either a) don’t want to realize it or b) just have no clue how bad that relationship is for you.  Doesn’t matter if your friends or family are throwing down the red flag and calling stop!  It just happens, even if you are thinking to yourself that you’ve never been there, trust me I’m sure you have, we just like to pretend we were not like that.

The thing with reflecting on this is remembering that a little over a year ago I gradated and got my MFA, big accomplishment that suddenly made me feel like I dropped to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and it was flooded so badly that the tides swept me from here to there, got knocked around a little bit by the rocks and swallowed enough water (bullshit) to last me a lifetime.   I can’t say it won’t happen again, life has it’s ups and downs but as a recent film I worked on said – ‘choose your destiny’ and that I am.  I sat on the sidelines far to long for my taste and feel myself getting back into the game.  This could potentially have something to do with my drive for wanting to direct again.  Directing is a beast in itself, it’s like having a child and giving birth and then watching it grow up and either fail in life (festivals) or thrived (winning awards or getting noticed in festivals).  After thesis I felt I had just paid for a giant therapy session of my life, I didn’t take the risks that I normally do because frankly I’m a risk taker.  Yes there are consequences to taking risks but if you succeed you get so much more reward for it… think Michael Douglas in Wall Street only minus the jail time.  Go big or go home. 

With that said I’ve decided it’s time to go big.  I’m writing a feature and learning about raising money, grants, and all that jazz about it.  I’ll blog about it soon but currently elbow deep in research, writing and of course working my normal 9-5 job that actually pays my bills.  I hope that because of the subject matter I can raise money and maybe, maybe finally make my first feature.  This of course terrifies me greatly, I’ve made shorts nothing more.    But at the same time it enthralls me, makes me excited when I get out of bed and my head is bursting with ideas that my friends from all over want to get involved because they believe in me.  I think that is what saved me from the depths of the Grand Canyon of despair and made me start climbing back to the surface, my friends and family who have always given me so much support.  I tuned that radio out for a while and maybe got a little selfish in my thinking but now I’m back (or I’m working on being back, might still have a bit to climb).  Always remember to utilize who is around you, the people you think that might support you and don’t, move on, figure out who they are.  Who is your sounding board?  That has been one of my biggest struggles but I believe I understand that now and will be sounding a lot more off their boards!

Till Another,
Ne in Hollywood

Monday, June 21, 2010

Making the short film versus the feature film.

I have a dilemma. It’s one that I think a lot of people struggle with when they’ve graduated film school, or maybe it’s just me. The issue is this: Do I write a feature or write the short? Which one will get me where I need it to be? Can I raise the money for a feature or would the short be a better way to go? Can I tell my story effectively enough through a short or will it be too confusing and ergo must do the feature?

These are things that I think about when it comes to writing a script. Currently I’m just seeing where it takes me, feature or short but sometimes it’s a real dilemma because I’m a ‘starting out’ director who is trying to get my foot in the door for that bigger (paid) project. If you watch the Oscars (especially this last year) they did a small segment on the past directors who went on to director features from their shorts, but that’s just five films in the span of how many shorts made over a year? So, while that would be ideal to get in that short program it’s also very unrealistic at times to think you’re film can get in there. I’m not saying I don’t have the ability or the skill or the talent to get there, someday.

But that all begins with the script, it starts with an idea that you shape into that script. I was explaining my issue with another fellow director who said it is a struggle as well to know which direction to take your story. Feature or short. What is considered a ‘legal’ feature would be a film that is over 80 minutes in length (i.e. or you could just do what Jonah Hex did and draw out your credits very slowly to make it the legal limit). But for features in festivals it can range from 59 minutes up to 80 minutes to be considered a feature, so the question is when page count starts to really matter, what’s the right number? That, I wish I knew.

But as I stated before I’m seeing where the story takes me. I have not written a script in over a year at least and so I’m a little rusty in some of the formats but I’m whittling through it. I think I’ve found a story that I enjoy telling: current social issues that threaten what this country is founded on. It takes you a bit to really know what kind of stories you want to tell, sometimes you don’t see it until you start to notice what you drift towards. I collect a lot of newspaper articles, seeing great stories in them and wanting to make them into films. I do this with books as well but I think from my undergrad days taking a class on how to find ideas for stories we focused a lot on newspaper articles, plus they are shorter reads and by the time I’m done reading a book it’s already in production to be made into a movie (not all though thankfully). It is also a question that is asked of you a lot in this business, what kinda story do you want to tell. What kind of movie do you want to make. Or as my master’s program I just finished last year ‘what’s your story’. It all will boil down to that and once you figure out what that is, go with it.

As for me the debate will end when I’m finished telling my character’s story, her journey that she is currently on and then from there I’ll see – feature or short.

Till Another,
Ne in Hollywood.