Tag Archives: unemployment

10 Luxuries I Can Now Afford Since “Once Upon a Time” Got Picked Up for a Full Season

A couple of weeks ago, on the night of its premiere, I wrote the blog Please, Fairy Godmother… Please Make “Once Upon a Time” a Mega Hit!

I got my wish.

On Thursday, ABC announced that it was ordering a full season pick up of the new fairy tale drama, which means 9 additional episodes to their original order of 13.

Why do I care so much? As the dialogue editor for the show, that means 9 more paychecks. And if it truly is a mega hit, I may have 22 weeks of pay for years to come.

Since my last show Brothers & Sisters was cancelled last May, my mind has been going to some very dark places. Unemployment is only available for 26 weeks, and if I didn’t get another show, those dark places could quickly become a reality.

Foreclosure.

No medical insurance.

Food stamps.

Selling my kids into slavery.

But now I can count on some regular paychecks. Well, as long as I keep turning my show in on time and well edited. And also as long as the higher-ups on Once Upon a Time (basically everyone higher than I am) don’t get annoyed that a lacky like myself is incessantly chatting about their hit show on her mommy blog.

So now that I can count on a regular income (about as regular as you can get in the entertainment industry), here are the 10 Luxuries I Can Now Afford Since Once Upon a Time Got Picked Up for a Full Season:

  1. I can stop calling peanut butter the other white meat. We can finally add some lovely Spam to our dinner. Not every night. But some nights.
  2. Feed my dogs instead of eat my dogs. Their growling stomachs were really bugging me, and frankly, these mutts don’t have a lot of meat on their bones to nibble on.
  3. My 2012 wardrobe will not completely consist of my 10-year old’s rejected hand-me-downs from her classmate. I’m so glad Mary Belle’s friend is out of the High School Musical phase. I was feeling like one of those pathetic moms that dresses like her teenage daughter and truly believes it when people tell her they look like sisters.
  4. I can stop filling my Arrowhead water bottles from my neighbor’s hose. I dodged a bullet by never getting caught. Maybe I should make them a quiche to ease my guilty thieving conscience. A Spam quiche.
  5. I’ll donate blood for free. Platelets, however are too lucrative to give away.
  6. I can stop making my kids reuse their dental floss (no wonder they hate to floss).
  7. We won’t be living in a cardboard box on an off ramp. Actually my plan was to create a home out of cardboard boxes from IKEA. I figured that it would be easier to put together than their furniture.
  8. I can start buying my kids’ friends real birthday presents instead of just recycling the gifts they gave to my kids. It’s really embarrassing when I find out the hard way that there’s a personalized message in the book that was given.
  9. I can stop googling “earn money” “black market” and “kidney” together in advanced search mode. But shoot… I could have made a bundle of money. But my kidneys are getting a little old and tired. Too bad my daughter Emily’s got type 1 diabetes. They probably don’t want hers either.
  10. I can keep posting blogs on Sundays (those are the days that public libraries – and hence computers and the internet – are closed). Otherwise, it would take me about two days to text these ramblings via cell phone. Also, Verizon would have cut my service by then anyway for lack of payment.

Ok… so I’m exaggerating a little. But in my head, I really was living in a box on an off ramp, filtering leftover German Shepherd with my single kidney.

A girl can dream, can’t she?

Next – The 10 Luxuries I Can Afford When I Win Lotto.

#1 – Spam every day!

Episode #3 of Once Upon a Time airs tonight at 8:00 pm on ABC. Please watch.

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Filed under Anxiety, Career, Debt, Financial Insecurity, Humor, Parenting

Lucky to be Working Again?

Taking a break

First of all, let me tell you how grateful I am to have a job. Every morning I wake up to NPR, and by the time I get out the door there’s always a story about the unemployed.

From May through September, that would be me, as I mentioned in last week’s blog The Show Biz Hiatus Dance.

I’ve now been back to work for three weeks and have received two glorious paychecks. I’m not scrambling to grab another balance transfer on a 0% interest credit card to pay for the DWP bill, yet knowing that the temperature has to reach triple digits in my house before I turn on the air conditioner.

Because I am a very VERY busy mom, my calendar is always chock full of commitments, most of which I try to fulfill, and because I work from home, my schedule is flexible enough that I can usually pull it off.

Here was my extracurricular schedule this week:

Saturday:

8:30 am – 5:30 pm Models of Pride conference with Emily

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm Going away dinner for my neighbor

8:00 pm – 12:00 pm Colfax Charter Elementary Parents Social

Sunday:

8:00 am – 1:00 pm AIDS Walk LA

Monday:

9:00 am – 10:00 am Meeting

6:00 pm – 8:30 pm Colfax Annual Giving Telethon

Tuesday:

7:30 pm – 8:30 pm Meeting

Wednesday:

4:30 pm – 5:15 pm First basketball practice for Jake

7:00 pm – 9:00 pm Valley Village Homeowners Association Meeting

Thursday:

10:20 am –? Great California Shakeout

7:00 – 8:30 pm Take Mary Belle to Turning Pages volunteer group

Friday:

9:00 – 10:00 Celebrate my friend Lisa’s birthday

This doesn’t include car pools, daily community reading in my son’s kindergarten class, family dinner, chores, helping my kids with homework, or obvious things like taking a shower or sleep.

This was a tough week. I’m a dialogue editor working from home on the new ABC show Once Upon a Time, and frankly, the production sound sucks. There are probably a lot of variables of which I am unaware, but there should never be a reason why I should be cleaning 5000 microphone zaps out of a show. A job that typically takes me 50 to 60 hours this week took close to 80.

Where did I get those 80 hours? I made it to Jake’s first basketball practice, but otherwise everything after Monday was a wash, including the car pool, reading, dinner, chores, and even eventually the shower. And sleep. On Wednesday and Thursday I crawled out of bed, parked my butt in my Herman Miller Aeron desk chair and stayed there until the wee hours, leaving only to make a smoothie or use the bathroom.

Thursday morning, I got a call from the dub stage saying my tracks sounded like crap (ok, they didn’t use the word “crap,” but it was the same implication).

What? No one has ever accused my tracks of sounding like crap. My boss told me that they were trying to move along with the mix, but that I would need to recut the problem areas, which apparently were across the entire show.

While I was on the phone with my boss, I got another call with the caller ID from my daughter’s high school. Emily wasn’t feeling well and wanted me to pick her up. The school is 20 miles away, and I realized at that moment that there was no earthly way for me to finish my show by Friday.

I started to cry. Not just cry, but bawl my head off, heaving and jerking around like some daytime soap star. It was the hardest and longest crying fit I’ve had probably since puberty. My 15-year old was still on the other end of the line.

“Breathe, mom. Breathe. It’s ok. I’ll just lie down in the nurse’s office and wait til school gets out.”

I barely heard her as I cried some more and dripped tears and runny snot all over my bed. I wanted to take a nap. I wanted to die.

I sobbed a little longer, and then started working again.

My husband Tom came home from work, made dinner, and read to Jake. Mary Belle helped Jake with his crafty project (don’t get me started – those crafty projects will soon be getting an angry blog of their own). Emily took the school bus home and said she felt better by the end of the day.

I kept working.

I started to make better time.

It turned out that there was a technical glitch on the stage, and my tracks were actually not crap. Oops. I started to reclaim a small portion of my fractured self image.

I worked again until after midnight, then drove to Disney at 7:00 am with four more minutes of material to cut. I brought my laptop, MBox and drive and finished cutting on the stage, managing to stay just one step ahead of what they needed.

I left the Disney lot just after 1:00.

And now I’m on to the next episode.

I’m going to start early erasing some of my calendar for next week. And I’m thinking of turning on the air conditioner tonight, just to remind myself how lucky I am to have a job.

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Filed under Anxiety, Career, Debt, Financial Insecurity, Humor, Multitasking, Parenting, Volunteering