A Summer That Won’t Suck

When I was working at the grocery store, there were a few things I lacked.

First, dignity. There was a time when working such a job was a rather respectable thing to do with people spending a good portion of their lives there, making decent money and having plenty in their pension.

But it’s not like that anymore. New people get nowhere near the same benefits as those who were working before the big strike about a decade ago. It’s just cheap labor for little money, and it’s a completely miserable existence that I wouldn’t wish on anybody.

That said, the other thing I lacked was an income that would allow us to do, well, anything. My paychecks were so microscopic that once the bills were paid, we couldn’t do much of anything besides sit at home. That also meant doing what we had to do in order to stay afloat. Again, a miserable experience.

But of course, things have changed since then.

My new job continues to be a rewarding experience and now that I’m a regular employee (since last February), I get a handful of extra benefits.

One of those benefits is three Summer Days every calendar year. They are paid days off – we still get personal and sick days – that we can use anywhere between the beginning of May to the end of September. It’s probably one of the coolest little perks I’ve had at any job.

So with my paychecks now being, oh, a little more than they used to be, I’ve decided that this will be the year I treat the family to A Summer That Won’t Suck.

I’ve been looking into a lot of different things for us to do this summer, most of which are road trips around the state: San Francisco, San Diego, or just a trip to Los Angeles to see things we might have missed. We’ll gas up the car and see where we end up and I’m sure it’ll be a good time.

Plus, we’re now AAA members!

For preparation, I’ve been searching for destinations on Google Maps and saving them for future reference.

File Jun 05, 9 00 28 PM

That way when we’re out somewhere, we can also see what else is in the area and get directions to it. Killing multiple birds with one stone.

I’ve also been doing this for my eventual trip to Japan. This is only Osaka but trust me, there’s much more I’ve saved.

File Jun 05, 9 35 08 PM

While a bunch of places are eateries we’ve been wanting to try, there are local attractions that I haven’t been to in decades like the Hollywood Forever Cemetery which is the final resting place of legends such as Rudolph Valentino, Douglas Fairbanks, and even two of The Ramones.

And I’ve never really taken the family on a walk of Hollywood Boulevard to be tourists so that might be an option as well.

Either way, the fun begins in a few weeks when I’m using one of my Summer Days to extend the Father’s Day weekend, and this year Father’s Day just happens to fall on the same day as our 23rd anniversary. We’ll be heading down the 5 – we don’t say “Interstate 5” in California, just “The 5/405/605” etc. – to do some outlet shopping and lunch one day, hitting World Famous Farmer’s Market the next, then most likely going for lunch on Sunday for Father’s Day and our anniversary.

This is in addition to the the concerts we will be attending for which I’ve already bought tickets:

  • Strangelove, a Depeche Mode tribute band performing at the OC Fair in July
  • Perfume in August
  • Pet Shop Boys in October (not quite summer but oh well)

Oh yes, the OC Fair will definitely be visited as well. Concert tickets include admission to the fair.

And even if I don’t use a Summer Day, the weekends are still open for any adventure we might want to take on.

Plus with all the overtime I’ve been working lately, it’s practically guaranteed that this summer won’t suck.

I’m ready. We’re ready. Bring it on!

My Fellow Parents

Perhaps you’re feeling the same way.

Summer is almost over and our son is driving us nuts. Seriously crazy. Practically insane. To top it off, it’s been a rather cool summer up to this point when the temperatures finally began to reach the 90s.

Combine that heat with being home with him all day with little money to do much else and you get the idea. He’s gonna drive me to the Loony Bin.

Which is why I offer you, my fellow parents, this classic Staples commercial from a few years back that subtly sums up how Ann and I are feeling at this very moment.

I hope that makes you feel better or at least gets a laugh from you. Because Lord knows we all need one right now.

Oh, and I was booked for my 5th show tomorrow. I will be playing the role of a teacher for No Ordinary Family, which is filmed at Disney Studios so this might be interesting. And unfortunately, I had to cancel my gig for The Middle on Monday due to a sour stomach. Believe me, I didn’t want to do it but I was having trouble keeping food down and heading to the bathroom often. Not a good situation to be in when filming a TV show.

Speaking of which, I’ve since added all of the shows I’ve worked on to my Local Filming/Background page. I will update as needed.

Gotta go get my wardrobe ready for tomorrow then get to bed. It might be an early morning tomorrow but we were told our call times may be changing when we wake up. So either way, I have to wake up early to see when I need to be at the studios.

Ah, the life of a part-time background actor… 🙂

A Cool Summer

Summers in southern California usually mean one thing: freaking hot. We’re talking drive-with-your-AC-on-all-day, better-get-out-the-Slip-N-Slide, I’m-gonna-die-because-it’s-so-hot hot.

Then there was the Summer of Aught-8.

I think we may have turned on the house AC maybe twice in a single week if we’re lucky. For the most part, the ceiling fans in each room have produced enough cool air to keep our house comfortable. And as for driving, I only turn it on once I get to the truck so that it’ll blow the hot, trapped air out. Other than that I just haven’t driven with it on this summer.

In fact, we went to a Concert in the Park tonight and it was cool enough to wear a sweater. This is also the case when I wait for my ride at train station in the morning.

But taking all that into consideration, when I think about those past summer nights when it was nearly 90 degrees in the evening and I was tossing and turning in bed with the AC and ceiling fan on, I’ll take these cool summers more often.

What’s Wrong with this Picture?

The picture you see above is of my neighbor’s house. The picture on the inset is the face of my watch.

As you can see, on this, the 22nd day of June, it was 93 degrees.

June. “Happy Birthday Jesus.”

What’s wrong with this picture?

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