Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Indian food place that wasn't.

Eia and I have this ritualistic routine of going to the exact same Indian food place together when we need to talk, catch up, vent, or just generally practice the art of best-friendness. It's a place near our old house, it's absolutely delicious, and - given the nature of these outings, we tend to not like change.

Unfortunately, there was a Groupon a little while back (confession: I'm an avid Groupon-er) for an Indian food place about ten blocks away with a name so stupidly similar to our place that I have to wonder how restaurant owners aren't a tad bit more creative. So, without thinking twice, I bought it, only to be extremely disappointed later when I discovered my mistake.

Then I was faced with a decision. Use it? Give it away? Try to get my money back? The very fact that I was considering these options only drove home the very specialness of our particular Indian place. It's a restaurant, I told myself. You can try a new restaurant once, I told myself.

So, here we found ourselves on a Wednesday afternoon, craving Indian food and more so the comforts of our best-friend restaurant, with naught but the $22 to spend at the impostor location. Our minds were telling us to suck it up and give it a try; our hearts were telling us no. Finally, with the Groupon print-out tucked purposefully inside my purse, we headed to the faux-location. Because hey. It's almost summer. We're big girls. We could try branching out.

Here's what I learned yesterday, blog readers. Sometimes, it's better to never branch out.

For the two of us, our Indian food place isn't necessary about the food. It's not about the location. It's about the hundreds of conversations we've had about boys, about parents, about moving, about the future - all safely within the walls of that same restaurant. It's about the chai tea drinking battles we had due to an overexcited waitstaff that refills your cup before you've even managed to get halfway to the bottom. It's about the fact that we don't take any of our other friends there with us, keeping it a place shared only between two friends, where we can talk about anything we want and knowing what we say will never leave that restaurant.

Suffice it to say, this new place was average at best, and held none of that same meaning. The food was okay, they never refilled our cups a once, and while they did bring us a complimentary dessert (much like our place that tends to bring us something exorbitant like cheesecake, just to be nice) this place brought us a rice pudding that was best described with less than pleasant onomatopoeias.

Not to mention the chai was gross and the chicken in my Chicken Korma was questionable, and that the lady waiting our table looked very hurt and disappointed that I hardly touched either. She was so visibly upset that I actually felt I had to pretend I liked the rice pudding. I don't want to pretend I like food when I am paying for it! That's a trick I save entirely for when people I care about try new recipes that might not have gone quite right... not random strangers!

It's not like we're spoiled, that we require free refills and extravagant cheesecake. It's not like this new place was bad. It just wasn't our place, and we felt that all around us as we sat there. The menus were different, the food options weren't the same, and honestly (though maybe this was all in my mind) our conversations weren't even to the same caliber as we're used to when we really go out for Indian food.

The moral of the story today is: Read your Groupon offers before you buy them.

Monday, May 21, 2012

On wrapping a season and waiting for summer

It's a strange life I lead when I look forward to Mondays as though they're the start of my own personal relaxing weekend. Whatever errands, odd jobs or deadlines are thrown at me during the week, they're not as much work as a weekend of shooting, that's for damn sure.

This Monday, however, comes with a particularly bittersweet sense about it, since yesterday wrapped principle photography on Season 1 of Job Hunters.

To be fair, we already have a few pickups we need to shoot to really say the season is wrapped, but those scenes are short, they wont require a full crew to finish, and mostly contain individual actors. The giant, weekend-long bonding style shoots are finished for this season, and though the promise of free time on the weekends is sweet, I can't help but feel a pang as I think about not being on set again for months.

I know there are tons of groups out there doing tons of different projects, and oftentimes those projects can feel like something extra-special, a cut above the rest, better than real life. I know this isn't a unique feeling, that Job Hunters didn't invent it, that our bonding has been no more "incredible" than any other group of peoples' time together - but I do love that we as humans can still convince ourselves we're the first persons to feel the way we're feeling about a certain thing we're doing.

Job Hunters really has felt that way. There really is something extra-special about what happens when we're together, what we're able to create, the fun we're able to have -- and maybe it's no more unique than anything else out there, but it feels that way to us. And that's what makes it special.

Last night we insisted everyone go out for drinks at the bar that's slowly becoming "our bar" - the shoot ended around 8:30, and even though people were exhausted, I think it's really important to allow ourselves to unwind together, to remember we're friends first and a production team second. I am so, so proud of the work we've done in this past year, but I am even more proud that we've grown closer  as a group of friends - not letting any sort of creative differences wedge its way in and cause tension. There's none of that with this team, and I hope it stays that way for a long, long time.

I'm not sure what I'll do with my free time yet, now that we're mostly in pre-production. My talents are definitely centered in pre-production and the actual on-set aspects of this project, so now that I have weekends free and am not constantly coordinating extras for this insane last few shoots, maybe I'll have time to read books again. Or start running more regularly. Or start an entirely new project!

Though, we all know it's more likely the Producers will instead jump right into Season 2 planning. We're all dying to do it anyway. :D

Every morning I wake up here in Seattle and am amazed over and over again how much it feels like summer already even though it's only May. I am looking forward to this summer so much. I know I've been nauseatingly radiating positivity for the past 6 months, but it's like I've been waiting for summer deep in my bones, like I've just been itching for the weather to match my mood.

Well it's almost here and I couldn't be happier.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Taking a second to breathe.

This has been such a crazy few weeks. I would apologize for not making time to sit down and document it, but everything has been going by so quickly that it's almost been a blur. I definitely feel like I have been a little detached from the internet (especially with vlogs on my main channel), but from moving to the new house, to getting back into the thick of filming Job Hunters, to spending time with my friend Clint before he moved to Georgia - it's been a whirlwind of a month.

Let me try and backtrack. I am still fresh from having taken a good friend to the airport this morning, but there's a lot more to this story that I've bypassed in the Most Miserable Attempt at BEDA™ 2012(MMAB)

On April 29th, 2012, I moved out of my college home of 3.5 years, Mammoth Caves. In honor of the occasion, we threw what we hoped would be the most epic of epic parties housed there on April 28th. I suppose you never really can top a Halloween party, or a Night Zero party, or even a birthday party -- but we tried our best. It was pretty awesome, all things considered. At the very least, we celebrated one last time in the house we loved with people we love and left it in a state we were proud to pass on to the next set of Mammoth Cavians - well worn and a little stained with booze. The night ended with a laser light dance party and culminated in a bunch of tired, slightly drunk people crashing on the floor of my already-emptied old bedroom.

And then there was House 2: Hypercube.

I've only lived in this new house for 9 days as of 11:11 AM on May 8th, as I sit here writing this long-overdue blog post. It already feels so ridiculously like home though. My bedroom is amazing and perfectly and totally me, the kitchen is modern and fancy and the living room just begs us to have fun times within its walls. And the best part is - everything is so CLEAN. Since having moved in we've already had friends over for a make-your-own-pizza party, as well as hosting both a Game of Thrones night and an Adventure Time afternoon marathon. I love living in a house that so obviously welcomes friends and encourages fun. House 2: Hypercube does not disappoint.

In the grand scheme of things, everything is going really, really well in my life right now. I'm eating healthy, I'm feeling creatively fulfilled and challenged, I constantly feel like I am surrounded by amazing people, I'm living with my best friends. People seem to like my web series. People still comment nice things on my videos.

But. Yesterday we had a going away party for a relatively new friend named Clint. It was one of those situations where an awesome person sort of tornadoes in and out of your life in much too short an amount of time, but I'm glad for it nonetheless. The party was fun - it was simultaneously the first BBQ of the year, the first time pulling out a frisbee since the weather's gotten nice - and - most importantly, the first time I won a game of beer pong. Aw yeah.

It was a great way to unwind and share the nice weather with great friends, if you could ignore the underlying sadness of losing an important member of your social group the next morning. We ended the night with one last Adventure Time Power Marathon, but I can't shake the disappointment I feel at not having been able to finish the show with the person who introduced it to us. Eia and Dave and I (the crew that's been watching it) will have to finish on our own. I guess.

Despite that blip in the positivity (is that a word? I like it, either way) of my life, I am really excited for the new leaf I feel like I am turning over with the move into this house. Nothing big is really changing, but I feel like I am truly adopting the slow adaptations that have been infiltrating my life since last summer, when I decided not to move to LA. Weirdly enough, I feel like that was an even bigger life step for me than moving would have been. I had to make a lot of tough decisions. But I am extremely happy with them, and I can't wait to show off my new house. Expect a house tour video in your sub boxes today or tomorrow. :)