Archive for April, 2012

Positive Energy

They say that once you begin to view life differently, you begin to act differently. If you view life positively, then positive things will happen to you. I can truly attest to this way of living. I used to be so pessimistic about everything. I didn’t have any faith in anything I did (sometimes, this still applies) and I criticized all parts of my life. One day, I decided that life is too short to be miserable. It’s such a gift & I was wasting it away with a frown on my face. So I walked out the door with my head held high, a smile on my face and a mantra: “Life is comedy. live out loud!”

That’s when positive things started to occur. I began meeting people I’ve always wanted to meet, my creativity levels began to rise, and my ambition in life multiplied tenfold. Things that I wanted to happen to me actually to me! Examples included being asked to do sketch comedy, invited to make decisions of what scripts to put on for a theater, meeting someone amazing who sees my true beauty (regardless of my weight, lol), finding the inspiration that transpires ideas, and so on. I’m living through experiences of a lifetime and I couldn’t be happier. Of course there are parts of my life that I am not deeply satisfied with but I choose to focus on what makes me happy. The negativity in my life will never be powerful enough to overcome the positivity that overflows and I’m just so juiced to continue to expand this way of life.

Sigh…I just wanted to share my state of elation right now. I’m not even sure things can get better than this…but if I keep thinking this, then it will. I think everyone should start thinking positively & believing in themselves. It is a contagious attitude that I have embraced willingly & lovingly.

The Plate

I just realized I forgot to write about my license plate journey!! So, my license says “Iā™„NKOTB” on it. I ordered it back in March 2008. It’s so much fun driving around in my New Kid mobile because fans will reveal themselves to me & we greet each other our hellos. You just never know who are fans! People I’ve come across: gay men, straight men, mothers, goth DJs, friends of friends, and other fans just like me. A friend of mine gave me the idea to get it autographed so in late August 2008, I got it signed at a Best Buy Autograph Signing.

Fast forward three months later to November at the Los Angeles concert at Nokia, I realized I accidentally gave my autographed license plate to NKOTB. FUCK…a really big FUCK. I thought I would be able to get it back somehow but Jared wasn’t around and I couldn’t get it back. I remember meeting up with Donnie one time and telling him what happened & he said he thinks Jon has it. That made perfect sense to me since Jon was the one I had told about the scrapbook & I had told Zach to give it to him that night. However, after months odd tweeting Jon about the plate, he DM’d me & said he had no idea what I was talking about. Awesome.

After that, I knew what I had to do. I had to start from scratch & get their autographs all over again. I knew there wasn’t going to be any more autograph signings so I was going to have to get them one by one. I got a new clean plate from the DMV and began the replacement journey in 2009.

To keep the long story short, I’ll just sum up each signature’s birth.

1. Donnie-6/12/09-We ran into him after the Jones Beach concert at a diner. We didn’t even know they were headed there. We were actually there first & we met the Jabbawockeez while we ate our late dinner. We knew something was going down when all these girls starting filling the restaurant but no one was ordering. Our table was right by the entrance & we overheard an employee on the phone say, “Yes, we can accomodate 40 people.” When Donnie walked in, he was holding his son, Elijah, and he spotted us & waved to us. He said he would come over later because he had to feed his son. We continued eating & eventually, he really did come over. He stood right behind me, talking to us, while our table was surrounded by girls with cameras. Felt very awkward. That’s when I asked him if he would sign my plate. I told him I lost the first one & what happened. I could tell he didn’t want to sign it because it would cause a surge or other requests but he did it anyway. He asked if we were going to the New Jersey concert tomorrow and we said no. We said we were planning on sight-seeign & we didn’t have tickets anyway. Then he said, “No. You guys need to be there. Jason! I want the Norcal Pink Hearts there tomorrow.” Then Jason took down one of our names & were told we would have tickets at will call. Ok, this story was not short at all.

2. Joe & Danny-11/08/10-The guys were scheduled to be at Ritz Carlton to do an interview with Ryan Seacrest. I was scheduled to fly to LA that day to see one of my favorite actors, Paulo Costanzo. But my flight didn’t leave until 10:55 am and the interview was at 8 so I figured I would be able to catch them, get my plate signed & be on my way. Unfortunately, they ran on New Kids time so by 9:20 am, they still hadn’t come out from the interview I had to leave. I left my plate with my friend, Jen, and got the text later on that she had obtained Joe & Danny’s signature but couldn’t get the Knights. I didn’t mind, I’ll figure out how to get theirs another time. Thank you Jen!! You rock! Halfway through!! Woo!

3. Jonathan-5/13/11-I was on my 3rd NKOTB cruise and on the 2nd night of the cruise, I got the chance to go up to VIP. That’s where I ran into Crunchy Kevin. He knew I was trying to get the Knights’ signatures on my plate so he asked me if I had it on me. I said yes and he took it to get the signatures. He asked me if I wanted to go with him and I said no. He came back and said he wasn’t able to get Jordan’s but he got Jon’s. I will be forever grateful to him for that and I love that he is a part of this journey.

4. Jordan-3/11/12-Final autograph was obtained at the Jordan solo show at Yoshi’s in San Francisco. I bought VIP tickets & there was a Q & A after the show. We also got to take photos with him as well. We all were escorted to a room after the show where we stood around waiting. I hung out by the restroom in the back because I didn’t care to be first anymore. Turns out, it wasn’t a restroom but an elevator and Jordan stepped out right by us! He went around & passed out roses to everyone. When it was time to line up for pictures, they chose to take photos in the area I was standing at so I ended up in the front anyway. Before they got started, I made eye contact with Jordan, showed him the plate & said, “Jordan…you’re the last one. Will you please sign this for me?” He looked at it and nodded. He said, “When we take our picture, I’ll sign it.” Yay! When it was my turn, I presented the plate to him & a sharpie. He said to his security guard, “It’s ok, I told her I would.” He signed it & I thanked him. I told him how I’ve been trying to get this signed for 3 years. He gave me a big hug, we took our photo & I left with a huge smile on my face.

So there you have it. The whole story. A few pieces left out here & there but enough so that you get the gist. I’ll never forget this journey. It’s been real. Whatever happened to the old one, I have no idea. Maybe a fan has it, maybe it’s in the dumpster, who knows? I’ll always miss my old plate because Donnie signed it in the heart but at least I was able to replace it. Now, I’ll hold this plate proudly at every NKOTB event I attend.

Old plate

New plate

Like Circa 2008

Last Friday, I got an unexpected text message that sent me on a whirlwind of a weekend. My friend Yvonne offered me the chance to go to the New Kids on the Block Town Hall meeting in Los Angeles because she knew of a ticket that was available. To be honest, I hadn’t thought of going because you have to register as a Block Nation fan club member & win a ticket. Since I was no longer a Block Nation member, I figured I wouldn’t be able to go. But when I was offered a ticket because it turns out you can bring a guest, I scrambled to find flights. Then, it turned out the ticket was a +1 from a friend of our other friend, Mayra so I wouldn’t know the person I’d be going in with but I’d still get to go. However, my dilemma was that I had to work on Sunday at 8 am and had to get back in time for that. My mind was in complete chaos and I couldn’t concentrate on work because I had cars, trains & planes on my mind. I finally found something that seemed like it could work for me. I’d just end up possibly being late for work as it was a flight that came in at 7:27 AM. That was cutting it pretty close.

I bought my flights & it cost me $320!! Luckily, I had just gotten paid & hadn’t paid my bills yet so I had money to buy the flights! Yay! I was initially supposed to be filming on Saturday but this was a chance of a lifetime and I live for moments like this. This would be the first Town Hall meeting where all five of NKOTB would be there. The previous 3 that they held were in other states and were always incomplete but since they were together rehearsing for their upcoming European tour with Backstreet Boys, they were all together in LA. What luck! How could I possibly pass this up?

To sum it up, my weekend was PACKED! Friday-work, then film shoot. Saturday-fly to LA, NKOTB Town Hall meeting, Sunday-work, then see “Blue Like Jazz” to support the film because I love Jason Marsden & wanted the movie to do well. All in all, the event was fanfuckintastic! If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t have changed a thing. It was really nice to be back in the NKOTB world. I felt like myself, circa 2008, when they first reunited and I got to see my dream boyfriends since I was 13 in the flesh for the very first time. Donnie waved to me from the stage and my heart felt warm & fluttery again as always, whenever he does that. They showed some Fenway footage from when they performed there. Donnie had taken off his shirt in the rain and OMG. I had forgotten how hot he is!! Geezusmaryjoseph, that boy is foine.

Another great thing about being there was that I got to see Kevin again. Ahhh Crunchy Kevin…the NKOTB Pro Tools technician that I switched my crushing to from Donnie Wahlberg back in 2009. I can’t even count the number of great Kevin moments I’ve had from 2009 – 2011. I even got his autograph! Seeing him was fun and it reminded me of how fun it was to crush on him. He was the first guy I ever liked with long hair. It distinguished him from all the others. I made an exception and I realized I needed to break my list of criteria just so I could crush on him. I know, silly, right? He’s changed over the years and I have to admit, I’m a little bit disappointed, but he’s happy so that makes me happy to see that.

The Kevin that I fell in love with no longer exists but he stays in my heart & mind and will always remain the same. He cut his beloved long locks and is now a party boy who hangs out with music geniuses & celebrities, which is fine & dandy but if I had to do this all over again, I would have changed how I was around him. I wouldn’t have been so eager & doting. I would’ve acted more like my real self, my bitchy self, my sarcastic self. Maybe then we could have been better friends. I never wanted anything from him nor did I ask him for anything but the last cruise I went on, he offered to help me get Jon Knight’s autograph on my license plate and I will never forget his kindness. Seeing him last night made me feel all giddy again. I literally was telling myself out loud to GET IT TOGETHER, AVA! I wanted to say hello and take my routine photo with him but I didn’t. I’m done with that. I’m done with putting him on a pedestal and acting like a crazed fan because that’s not the real me. As I was leaving, I passed by his sound booth without saying a word or making any kind of eye contact and walked away. The last time I spoke to him, I told him that was the last time he would ever see me and I intend to keep my promise. We took our last picture together and I hugged him goodbye. However, last night, a part of me couldn’t help but wished he had seen me & came to say hello. :0T Okay, I’m about to get teary-eyed so I’m going to stop here. All I really wanted to say was “Hello Ava circa 2008. So what’s up?”

Oh How I Wish

As I wandered around the convention center looking for nothing at all, I spotted him. He was seated in a chair, holding a bus transfer with an amused expression on his beautifully shaved face. His printed white t-shirt was difficult to read as the image was so busy but I didn’t care. My 15-year-old self wanted to slam itself against his body & hold him forever. He put his hand up to cover his eyes and smiled while he shook his head.
“Are you okay?” I approached him as nonthreateningly as I possibly could. I smiled. He smiled.
“Yeah, yeah. Look at this, it says 2.5.” He pointed to his transfer. I didn’t understand what he was so amused by. This ‘2.5’ he kept speaking of meant nothing to me but I giggled at his amusement. He might have thought I shared his amusement so we giggled together. “I’m Will.” He reached out his hand to me.
“I’m Ava.” I shook his hand and we started walking around the convention center together. At one point, he mentioned a couple of films he made. He walked over to a table & rummaged through a few DVDs. He made a selection, took it over to a film festival submission booth & threw it into a box filled with other DVDs. He pointed to a young African-American man and said, “Ready to go?” to which he nodded.
“I thought you were going to give that to me!” I yelled, trying to speak above the noisy crowd that had divided us.
“Nope, cause you’re coming to see it at the festival, right?” His dimples made my knees buckle. A warm haze came over me and I nodded.
“Okay, where is it at?” I was hoping it would be in Northern California where I was at but he replied with an unrecognizable city. “Is that in Norcal or Socal?” I couldn’t figure it out.
“Onecal!” I could tell he wasn’t really sure so he just made it up. I relished in the fact that this complete stranger, someone I had been longing to meet since I was 15 was requesting my presence at his film debut. I couldn’t have been happier. “Let me give you my number in case you have any questions!” He scrambled for a piece of paper.
“Okay, I’ll give you my contact info too, just in case.” At this point, my inner self was doing the Running Man/Cabbage Patch combination while my outer self struggled to remain calm while searching for a piece of scratch paper to write on.
My friend, Roczane, spotted me & waved hi. I waved hi back but I couldn’t speak to her at the moment. My mind was too concentrated on exchanging contact info with Will. Eventually, he gave me his number & email, which at first glance, looked like a mathematic equation. I thought, “He’s a dork…I LOVE IT!” We hugged & I watched him walk out the door. I turned to Roczane, walked up to her & started doing the Running Man so fast I missed my step.
“Who was that?” Roczane grabbed a hold of me before I fell down.
“Will Friedle. My favorite actor in the whole wide world.” Roczane & I now had an understanding of my personal victory so she hugged me & congratulated me.

I was proud of myself & how I behaved. When I woke up, I didn’t want to. Then I recalled Last Night and wondered, “Why does Will always have a black friend in my dreams?” I just love how my subconcious always keep Will in the back of my mind, hidden in a secret drawer. While I may not always talk about him on a daily basis or even think about him, he’s there. The best part is that sometimes, my dreams come true & I experience deja vu. I’m waiting…

Detox Day 11

I think I need a break. Oh, who am I kidding? I completely broke on this day. I drank orange juice during lunch & ate Crab & Corn chowder for dinner! You just don’t refuse a free bowl of Crab & Corn chowder from free room service. Well you know what? It was DELICIOUS! Was it worth the pound I gained? Nope. I think I need to take a break from this detox, at least for a couple of days. Is that a good idea though? I no longer have sugar cravings since I’ve been off of sugar for almost two weeks. Then again, I was never addicted to it much int he first place. I used to be able to stick with a diet for at least 3 weeks & now it’s down to 10 days? Hmm, I wonder if there’s a diet out there that only lasts 10 days, haha! Yeah, right. A fad diet, I’m sure. I’ll see how today blows over & decide what’s worth it & what’s not. Ugh, I hate dieting!!!

Breakfast
Soft-boiled eggs

Lunch
Orange juice (Tropicana)
Scrambled eggs with fuzzy melon
Brown rice
Yao choy

Snack
Banana
Almonds

Dinner
Crab & Corn Chowder
Chicken Tender

Weight lost as of 4/2/12: 4 lbs.

Detox Day 10

I was supposed to go to a Fiscal Sponsorship Orientation held by the San Francisco Film Society the other day but I overslept and had to skip it. Luckily my friends made it and filled me in. It basically inspired me to write an arthouse feature length film and I would love love LOVE for the overall theme of it to be focused on body image & self love. I’m thinking something along the lines of My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Sideways. Not a slapstick LMAO comedy nor anything dancing along the lines of melancholy or sorrow. I just want to create a world & invite some guests to live in it for a couple of hours, that’s all. This has me thinking I could expand my short & just go into a full on feature. Hmm…

On another note, I effed up last night and ate with my family. They are good cooks.

Breakfast
Gluten-free corn flakes (Nature’s Path)
Goat milk (Meyenberg)

Lunch
Scrambled eggs with fuzzy melon
Brown rice
Yao choy

Snack
Almonds (Trader Joe’s)

Dinner
Brown rice
Tofu with fish
Boy choy

Weight lost as of 4/2/12: 5 lbs.

Detox Day 9

I got sick yesterday, just a runny nose. The last time I got sick while dieting, I was competing with my best friend to see who can lose the most weight by a certain date, percentage wise. When she found out I was sick, she said, “No fair! You lose more weight when you’re sick!” Actually, I find that to be true most of the time so maybe it has some validity. I bet it’s just water weight though. I’m not sure what that means really. Your body is supposedly made up of 70% water so isn’t losing water weight a good thing? Weight is weight, right?

I don’t mind if I lost a bunch of water weight. I’m sure any weight lost is good at this point. I ended up having a super late dinner last night with friends at a thai restaurant but I didn’t eat much. I tend to gain weight whenever I eat late & go to sleep right after. I anticipated some sort of gain this morning but I was pleasantly surprised to find that I actually lost a pound!

I spent most of the day sleeping off my sickness and watching Dr. Oz. A lady named Kathy Freston was on it, talking about her new book, The Lean. She’s vegan & showed us a new philly cheesesteak recipe using seitan instead. I’m game to try it. I love seitan. The first time I tried it was from a vegetarian friend of mine who is a chef that makes filipino vegan food. He has his own catering company called No Worries. Ever since then, I was hooked. Unfortunately, seitan is not gluten free so I cannot consume it right now unless I can make my own seitan. Oooh, that’s a bit too ambitious for me right now. I’d rather just buy it somewhere. Anyway, the point is, I think I might give The Lean a try after the 21 day detox is over. If Dr. Oz is down for it, I should be too, yes?

Breakfast
Crispy Gluten-free brown rice cereal (Erewhon)
Almond milk (Trader Joe’s)

Snack
Banana

Lunch
Scrambled eggs with fuzzy melon
Brown rice
Yao choy

Dinner
Pad woon sen (King of Thai 2)

Weight lost as of 4/2/12: 5.6 lbs.

Detox Day 8

Finally had a free day to cook some food so I decided to make more of my egg with fuzzy melon and some Asian vegetables. The only condiment I found that is close to soy sauce and fits the guidelines of the detox is Bragg’s Liquid Aminos which you can find in Whole Foods or probably any upper scale grocery store. It’s gluten-free and tastes just like soy sauce. Strange name but I like it. Makes me feel like I’m having some sort of chemistry lab concoction.

This past 24 hours, I lost .2 lbs again, just like the day before. I was a bit bummed about it at first but then I remembered that the normal weight loss should be 1-2 lbs per week. With that in mind, it means I’m right on track and that’s yay.

Breakfast
Crispy gluten-free brown rice cereal (Erewhon)
Goat milk (Meyenberg)
Banana

Lunch
Crispy gluten-free brown rice cereal (Erewhon)
Unsweetened almond milk (Trader Joe’s)

Snack
Rice chips (Lundberg)

Dinner
Scrambled eggs with fuzzy melon
Yao choy
Brown rice

Weight lost as of 4/2/12: 4.6 lbs.

Detox Day 7

I started off the day with breakfast and a long walk. I walked for about 2.5 hours to be exact. I was thinking that this way, I would be able to lose some weight for sure. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen as well as I had hoped. I only lost .2 lbs from yesterday. I am trying to analyze what it is I need to do but it seems my body is starting to adapt to the food.

I read somewhere that the body’s natural function is to maintain its weight. Losing weight is unnatural so the body does whatever it needs to do to adapt & maintain its weight. This is why they say you always have to kick it up a notch and surprise your body. At first, I thought have eating junk food for a day and then returning to my regular diet. That would shock my body, right? But then, the thought of consuming junk food all day made me sick to my stomach so scratch that plan.

If I’m going to surprise my body, I think I’ll start eating more vegetables. I noticed my diet didn’t really contain too many greens so while I was walking, I walked on over to the market & bought myself some vegetables that I will cook tonight. Seriously though, I just need to exercise more. There. I said it. Now whether or not I’ll do it is a whole ‘nuther conversation. This beezy hates to exercise. Bleh!

Breakfast
Gluten-free corn flakes (Nature’s Path)
Rice milk (Rice Dream)

Lunch
Gluten-free whole grain bread (Udi’s)
Turkey Breast (Trader Joe’s)
Goat Brie (Trader Joe’s)

Snack
Banana

Dinner
Rotisserie Chicken (Safeway)
Banana

Weight lost as of 4/2/12: 4.4 lbs.

Detox Day 6

I knew it was going to happen eventually. I knew I couldn’t maintain a losing streak forever. Gained back 1.6 lbs from my food yesterday. I’m a little disappointed but instead of letting it ruin my day, I’m going to use it to my advantage and make it my motivation for day 7 to lose twice as much as I did so that I lose what I gained and then some. Normally, I would allow it to get the best of me and cause me to return to a day of normal meal consumption but not this time. I’m too pumped to succeed.

I’m not making excuses but I have to break down my day so that I can see where I might have made my mistake. The plan was to go location scouting in the area to find a place where we can film an exterior shot so I knew I was going to be in a car all day & we would probably have to stop at restaurants to eat. I had to have lunch at a filipino restaurant which was nearly impossible to maintain my detox on. I tried to follow the same guideline I used when I went to have thai food. All I ate was grilled chicken (thigh meat) and eggplant. Both of which was pretty fattening because well, thigh meat is DELICIOUS so it must be fattening and eggplant is a sponge disguised as a vegetable so I pretty much just ate pieces of oil.

For dinner, we ended up at a Japanese restaurant. I asked if they had brown rice and sadly, they did not. So I had to settle for no rice at all. I ended up ordering tamago sashimi, which I never even knew existed, and saba sashimi. Basically, I had raw fish & eggs. I couldn’t handle the fish. My mind kept wandering to an image of me grabbing a live fish out of fresh waters and sinking my teeth into it. The smell of it alone made me cringe as I have never taken a liking to fish much. The only ones I’ll eat faw are salmon & tuna, which also happen to be the only two I cannot have on the detox. To be honest, I couldn’t really have the eggs neither due to the sugar content but I decided it was ok.

A-HA! That must be where I made the mistake as well. A combination of fatty chicken, oil sponges & sugar-laden eggs caused me to gained back 1.6 lbs. While I wish I hadn’t eaten it, there’s no use in crying over spilled milk. I’ll just have to move forward and be very careful from now now. Although, it does worry me about what will happen once I am off of the detox. What will happen to my body? Will I just continue gaining weight without mercy? Am I going to have to eat baby carrots & hummus for lunch forever? How will I ever adopt this diet as a lifestyle change? And now, all I can think of is my hula hoop. Exercise, betch! I didn’t do any exercise yesterday!! Another mistake found. Okay, correct it today!

Breakfast
Gluten-free whole grain toast (Udi’s)
Almond butter (Trader Joe’s)
Hard-boiled eggs
Green Tea (Yamamotoyama & Kirkland)

Lunch
Grilled Chicken (Tribu Grill)
Eggplant (Tribu Grill)

Snack
Banana
Rice Chips (Lundberg)

Dinner
Tamago Sashimi (Balboa Teriyaki)
Green tea (Balboa Teriyaki)

Weight lost as of 4/2/12: 4.2 lbs.

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