Thursday, January 30, 2014

Being A Seat Filler

My whole week has been thrown off this fact on Tuesday I wished someone a 'happy weekend!' thinking it was Friday.  Yep...I went all day Tuesday thinking the week was coming to an end.  Sigh.

But...there's a reason why and it was SO worth it.


Late last week a friend recommended signing up to be a seat filler in LA.  I had heard of seat fillers...they're the people who sit in all the empty seats so when the camera pans the audience, it always looks full.  Someone goes up to perform/get an award?  A seat filler warms that seat until they come back.  Same thing if someone runs to the bathroom or just decides to leave.

Always up for an adventure, I signed up.  She mentioned that they have tons of people who sign up and you will most likely never get called (it's a lottery), but you never know.

You. Never. Know.

I signed up on Thursday and on Friday night I got an email saying 'Congratulations...'

The event?  The Grammy's Salute to the Beatles.  The in PAUL MACCARTNEY.  I have this thing for him...I've seen him perform 3 times in the last 3 years in 3 different states, but never in my own state because, quite frankly, my Paul MacCartney budget has been depleted.  But there was no way he wouldn't perform at a Beatles tribute, right?

I asked a girlfriend to come with (I could bring one guest and that guy that I like so much had to work) on Monday night.  We drove to LA (an hour away) and got there early with the plan being to figure out where we were going, park, eat dinner and then check in.  They gave us a big window for check in...between 5:00 and 6:45, and we arrived a little early.  People were already gathering so we scoped it out a bit and just happened to hear that they were going to take the first 300 who checked in and then send everyone else home.  So glad we go there early...and so glad the gas station across the street sold candy bars.  The dinner of champions.


You spend a lot of time waiting and the worst part was having to check your cell phone in.  When was the least time you went 5 hours without a cell phone or for me...without taking a picture?

Anyway, there's a lot of hurry up and wait and soon we found ourselves at the LA Convention Center.  Wear comfy shoes if you ever do this...lots and lots of walking.  As we were waiting to go in, I couldn't help but notice how empty the area is.  No cars, no people waiting to go in.  It was deserted.

And then it hits me.  We, all 300 of us, are a big part of this audience.  

In the green room they explain how our 'job' works.  They have 20 seconds to fill seats.  Be prepared to climb over people getting in and out of rows.  You might sit for 10 seconds or 10 minutes or 2 all depends, just be ready to move quickly.

The show is getting ready to begin and we walk into a small auditorium.  The crowd is Hollywood elite...actors, performers, music execs and their guests.  The whole room is the size of a high school gym and it's dark and cold in there.  Lots of cameras and lots of hobnobbing going on.

Throughout the night I sat in a bunch of different seats, sitting by lots that I recognized and lots that I didn't.  Sometimes I'd literally sit down and instantly have to get up again and a few times I'd stay put for a song or two.  John Mayer performed, Katy Perry, Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, Maroon 5, Imagine Dragons...and lots more.  It was a pretty incredible line up.

At first I was nervous, worried about where to go and what to do, but then I realized that that was their job and I was just going to have fun.  My girlfriend and I got separated at the very beginning and didn't see each other until after it was over which they had told us would happen...but was still a bummer because as a seat filler you can't talk to the people around you and there were so many times I wanted to say, 'can you believe this is happening?'

Towards the end, Stevie Wonder came on stage.  I was in a seat towards the back and had a feeling that was where I was going to stay.  Everyone, me included, was dancing and having a great time.  My seat towards the back was probably only 20 rows from the stage...not a seat I could ever afford in my real life.

And then it happened.  Paul McCartney and Ringo started setting up.  And then it happened again.  They came and pulled me and ran me to the very front.  I was a few rows back, center, about 20 feet from the stage.  Like, who would leave those seats now?

Paul and Ringo did like 10 songs between them and it was seriously awesome.  I realized that if the people whose seats I was sitting in came back (there was another seat filler next to me) that I was not moving...I was going to cry, beg, throw my credit card at them but there was no way I was leaving that seat.

I didn't have to.  They never came back.  (They never came back????  They left those seats???)

So now I can say that I saw Paul perform from 20 feet away.  For free.

 Quite seriously, it was one of those 'not much can top this' kind of nights.


And then it ended, my girlfriend and I found each other, giggled like 4th grade school girls, grabbed a burger at In n Out,  and drove home.  The 405 was closed on the way home and I didn't get to bed until 2:30am and had to work at 5:30am that morning...but who cares.

Not me.


The show airs on Feb. 9th.  Look for people wearing black wrist bands and little blue ribbons on the right.  They're seat fillers.  It was so fun and yes, I'd do it again...but pretty sure none will ever be like this one.

So worth being tired this week.


(These pictures have absolutely NOTHING to do with this whole post.  Oh well.)

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Oh What A Week

I had visions today of laying somewhat low.  I have PILES of paperwork to go thru for work, emails to answer, phone calls to return and a work car that needs to be cleaned out.  And then the problems started coming in and I found myself all over the place handling one situation after another.

Here's the deal...and it's a pretty simple deal.  If you are hired to do a job, then do the job. If you find yourself not wanting to do the job anymore, then call someone and quit.'s not rocket science.  Don't just not do the job...especially if you are a grown up and it leaves young children in a dangerous situation. 


You've now had a glimpse into my day today.


Tomorrow is a new day.  I like that.  

If the timing is right, I just might take my coffee break at Disneyland again.  I can park my car, walk in, grab a coffee, ride a ride or two and be back at my car in an hour.

I like that, too.

I had been stressing out over a decision I had made but today that worked itself out, too.  I had thought Brian was going to have to miss a basketball game...a big basketball game but today, out of the blue, the game got changed.  In all our years of playing, we have never missed a game...and now we don't have to.


I cleaned out my pantry today...took everything out and then put everything back in.  The interesting thing is that it looks EXACTLY the same.  It was a mess before and it's a mess now.

I give up.

Anyone want to come organize my pantry?  My house?  My life?


Supper tonight is a strange one.  Leftover stuffing made into waffles and then topped with over easy eggs.  Don't knock it unless you try's a favorite of my boys and while it sounds really strange, it is really, really good.  And easy. 

Try it.  You'll see.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

New Schedule of Ours

 Time to play catch up.  The babe of the family is starting a new sport which means he has to be at school at 5:45am.  The current sport is still in full swing and keeps him at school until 6:30pm.  In between, his mother is exhausted and is trying to find a way to keep awake....and I'm not the one playing.  Or going to school.

I'm just old. 

=0)'s the big things that have been happening.  

First up: our neighbors brought us Turkish olive oil.  There are no words at all.  Just YUM.

That guy that I like so much and I went for a nighttime stroll around our lake.  This place where we have been planted is so incredibly beautiful and we are trying to make time to appreciate it, savor it, enjoy it.

I'll also point out that I was wearing flip flops on this stroll...but also a jacket.  

Welcome to winter in SoCal.

And then there was the evening last week where we turned on the AC for just a bit.

Sick and wrong.  Sick and wrong.

I know it's the rage...and I love it, too, BUT something happens when a show becomes popular.  I'm  not giving up on it yet, but it doesn't pull me in like before.  Hmmm.  Part of it could be that I fall asleep every time I sit down anytime after 5pm...maybe I should watch it in the morning?

I was working near Disneyland and had a few hours in between shifts so I popped in, got a skinny vanilla latte and rode radiator Springs as a single rider.  

Thank you annual passes.

Lunch out by myself one day.  Cafe Rio?  You are my favorite and I dream about you day and night.

Best gift card EVER...and I still have enough for TWO more lunches on there.

My baby.

I know, I know...I can't handle it either.

Good morning, world.

And yep...totally wearing my pj's in the car.

3 day weekends mean a breakfast date with that guy that I like so much.  Snooze ROCKS.  It's an hour away and worth the drive just for the pancake flight.

Amazing breakfast, ocean drive, convertible.  

We needed it.

On the way home we stopped at the outlet mall and scored at the crate barrel outlet store...all this for $25!

Is it Sangria season yet?

Winter formal, 2014.

(And just for the record...Brian took his older brothers girlfriends younger sister. Figure that one out!)

The dance is at Knotts Berry Farm and they have free reign of the park...which means they get all dressed up and ride roller coasters.

No, I don't get it either...but they sure looked nice!

2/3 of my crew.

The tall one on the left?  Might get to go back to work in a few weeks and I'm not sure who is more excited.  He broke his foot on October 30th and the recovery has not been easy, especially for a guy who doesn't do sitting still well at all.

Baby steps, baby steps...literally.  But baby steps are still real steps...and for that I'm thankful.

Ah...balm for my soul.  Bible study started again and on Tuesday mornings for 2 hours, I turn my phone off and give my all to the big guy in the sky.  It's been two weeks and I feel so...I don't know.  Grounded.  Connected.  Cherished. Accountable.

We're studying Gideon...and consequences of our actions.  Whew.

Monday was a holiday and I cooked a full on turkey dinner.  Just because.  The best part?  Sitting down to eat and then calling the neighbors to fill the table because seriously...look at all that food!  

I've decided that every week should have a holiday thrown in...the kind of holiday where all you have to do is cook.  And eat.


I need to find my footing for this new schedule of Brian early, go to the gym and then work?  Drive Brian early, work and then go to the gym?  Drive Brian early, forget everything and go back to bed and dream about things like room service and a housekeeper?


Monday, January 13, 2014

This Weekend

Friday night: basketball.  

We cheer for them all, but especially for red #25.


Late Friday night:

Dinner, consumed standing up at the kitchen counter.  Guacamole from the grocery store, tortilla chips, and  a beer.  

Gourmet? Nope.  Delicious? Yep.


Party prep.  250 meatballs, 100 italian sausage, 4 pots of gravy.


While I cook inside, that guy that I like so much does garden prep.  We've got a good system down...he does the stuff he likes and I do the stuff I like.  

Saturday night:

50 college students packed the house.  

Saturday night:

New this ice cream sundae bar.  I usually do a hot chocolate bar but changed things up this year and I'm glad I did.  I scooped all the ice cream ahead of time and put it back in the freezer and then did TONS of toppings.

Saturday night:

The annual white elephant gift exchange.  Funny...and loud.

Sunday morning:

Not so bad.  Not sure why, but clean up was a breeze this year.  

The rest of Sunday:

Church.  10 loads of laundry.  The Bronco's football game.  A tux rental for the youngest shrub.  Supper picked up from Urban Plates. The Golden Globes, followed by some ice skating that we had taped yesterday.  

The coffee is ground and the alarm is set.  Brian has to be in the weight room at 6:00am and I have to head to a town about 30 miles away for work. 

How was your weekend?

Friday, January 10, 2014

We Were Photo Bombed

Thursday, in a moment of what would best be called a near breakdown, I pulled over and breathed in. And out.  And in again.  And out again.  My phone was ringing off the hook with one crisis after another and it just became too, too much.

And then I realized I hadn't eaten.  That guy that I like so much?  He stocks my car with treats.

He's a keeper.


Being silly is one thing...the guy photo bombing us?


Sooo funny! We had no clue!

Supper?  Risotto with leftover chicken, peas and a few spoonfuls of pesto.  It would've been good eaten while sitting at the kitchen table, but eaten while sitting on the couch in pj's and watching The Bachelor?


It's the little things that make me happy.


This weekend is a biggie...we've got 50 college students coming for supper and I haven't done a thing yet.  Gotta make some meatballs!


Wednesday, January 8, 2014


The up side to my job is that I see very interesting things every time I go out...I kind of feel like I'm on Mulberry Street with Dr Seuss.  


Lunched with a girlfriend and loaded up on my favorite veggies...and a teeny bit of mac n cheese.  Can't be good all the time, right?

The weather here?  Brutal.


Last night, following a somewhat far away basketball game, there was chicken cacciatore, a loaf of bread and a selection of heaven in little white boxes.

My weakness...See's candy.  Best chocolates ever.  My new favorite?  Bridge mix.  


This morning I have a work meeting and then need to drive up to the main office in LA.  It's kind of cloudy and misty and overcast...the perfect day for staying inside all day and drinking tea.

At least I'll get the tea part.


Still not sure what is for supper tonight.  We're all home...I'll have to see what strikes my fancy at Costco later.

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