2013 Year in Review | The Quintessence

I went and saw The Secret Life of Walter Mitty last week and was blown away by the beauty in that film. The writing, the acting, THE CINEMATOGRAPHY! Ahhhh! It produced a brain implosion!

Any who, I walked away from that theater with one word lodged in my head; quintessence. This word comes up many-a-time in the flick and the very nature of it and what it means to the film was enough to make me giddy with knowledgeable delight. According to the ever so wonderful Merriam-Webster Dictionary, quintessence is the essence of a thing in its purest and most concentrated form.

...So it got me thinking.

What represents the quintessence of my year? That's a hard one! It takes time! Well, at least I thought it would, but then as I sat staring at the beautiful San Franciscan skyline it came to me: Mark is the quintessence of my 2013. (Big fat duh! I married the man, so I'm glad that one was a no brainer!)

This has been a year of exponential change. Relationships were pulled apart (sometimes harshly) and dissected. I made some discoveries and learned how to say no and yes when appropriate. Then I did a lot of personal self-investigation. I got down to the roots* of me and honored those roots appropriately. (*Those magical roots that tie me to the Earth; keep me grounded and guide me.)

All of that root examining changed me. I changed. Totally booted the old me and luckily, Mr. Arana (AKA Mr. Spider) was okay with the new me.

Basically...in a nut shell...

He lets me love him the way I know how to love. (I'm no expert. I am a pretty damn good loving person 90% of the time, but then I can also be a selfish, stubborn and might I add gangsta human being other times.) So him letting me love him the way I know how is a HUGE thing. Not everyone likes the way we love, ya know...

So he's my "it."

...And this is the picture of him that really sums up all that love and importance I hold for him. I took this picture of him while we were on top of the island of Maui. Frigid cold, but stunningly beautiful; the sunrise was amazing...but all I could look at was my darling husband. Says a lot. This shows my love in its purest, most concentrated form.

I love him...like Universe large...tons of galaxies within galaxies kind of love...onion-y love-lots of layers that sometimes make me cry. When I was a kid I created this theory (in my head) that people love to snap lots of pictures of the one they love. I grew up and proved that theory correct.

And now my 2013 Year in Review. I love doing this every year. I get to relive the good stuff...share with you how I saw life for the past year. Happy New Year, friends.

{Music from the About Time Soundtrack: How Long Will I Love You by Jon Boden, Sam Sweeney & Ben Coleman}

{Past Year in Reviews:   2012 , 2011 , 2010}

When Christmas Spirit is Needed the Most

I write with a heavy heart tonight...

One of my friends with THE most beautiful spirit is going through something terribly, heartbreaking and difficult. Something I wish with all my heart I could heal and help with, but I can't. I just hope that what I preach is true...that waves of love and warmth and positive intentions come flooding towards her and that she can literally soak it up and let it all coat her heart and help her through this time.

If ever there was a moment when Christmas spirit and love was needed it's now. My prayers, my magic, my thoughts, cyber hugs...they all go to her.

Christmas is special and joyful and wonderful for lots of people, but it can also bring pain and sadness for others. Because of this fact I give as much goodness as I can when I'm out and about. I hope you do the same. Smile lots. Give extra. Love harder.

Mark and I are having a quiet Christmas this year followed by a semi-impromptu holiday getaway. I don't see myself writing all that much so Merry Christmas now, friends.

Hug your loved ones. Tell those who aren't in hugging distance how much you love them and show them you care. It's the perfect time to pray for a little magic and wish for a Christmas miracle.

My Favorite Celebration Dance


Because it's Friday!
Because I'm alive!
Because my bestie got some great news!
Because Mark and I have planned an awesome trip right after Christmas; just the two of us!
Because all my Christmas shopping is done...only 5 days to spare!
Because life is goooooood!
Because yesterday's office work party was actually hilarious fun!
Because no one's told me I CAN'T be an actor!
Because I'm feeling strong!
Because I did all my workouts this week!

The Power of Empathy

You know I never could put my finger on one specific thing that distinguishes a great friend from the rest. After watching this adorable short featuring Brene Brown and her words of wisdom I now see what it takes. It's empathy!

I've always been an empathetic person. As a small kid I'd see someone being sad and I'd break down into tears. I'd actually meet them in their sadness. I never looked at it as a curse or something to avoid. While it was painful and hurtful at times it wasn't enough to leave someone in their sadness...and I've kind of existed in that way ever since.

I watched this video and the light bulbs went off. Watch out for those who say "Well at least..." You make think they're being kind and they could possibly be trying their best, but it's not the kind of best you need. You need people who "see" you and embrace you...those who don't think you need to be fixed or saved or any of that dramatic stuff.

Remember that. :) It's good to know!

In My Next Life...

I want to be her.

{All Photos from Atlantic-Pacific}

I really don't dig wearing skirts and heels, but she makes it look so fun. Even this self-proclaimed tomboy can't resist her Valentino pumps. Damn it.

Books I Currently Love


I have this nasty habit of panicking when the library doesn't have the book I want to read so I start selecting books down my reading list line until I hit the jackpot. Only problem with that is I end up with bunches of books all at once when they come in. 

That happened to me this time around. I have three books currently sitting on my coffee table. I am reading this BEAUTIFUL book called, Randy Lopez Goes Home, that I've been wanting to read for years and Mark is reading one of my other wish listers, How to Be Black. (I haven't seen him this invested since the Hunger Games, y'all. He's not a big reader like I am.)

I can't say too much about Mark's choice since I have yet to touch the dang thing, but my book by Anaya is breathtakingly beautiful. Each word is a morsel that I gobble up. It's magical surrealism meets Chicano awesomeness meets The Alchemist. If you're looking for magic this is the book. It's been awhile since I've gotten lost in both a story and the writing. Was needed, homies...was sorely needed.

He's learning about my peoples!..at least I hope that's what's happening.

Christmas With The Aranas

Oh, how I Luuuuuv me some Christmas! I love the energy, the sweet sentiments, the twinkle lights and the magic. My favorite thing to do the day after Thanksgiving is prepare the home for the holiday. My home comes alive...warmth enters and the whole place becomes enchanting. I keep apple cider on the stove simmering on the weekends. I'm like a serious Christmas nut. 

I don't mess with "beautiful Christmas themes" or years of change. I'm all about colorful lights and ornaments that mean something. I want to be able to one day sit with my little spiders in front of the tree and explain where each ornament came from and what it means to us as a family. My mom did that for us (although she now does tree themes...silly mortal) and I loved the tradition.

So we've gotten ourselves a pickle ornament, which I will adore using once we have kids. I love pickles, but I loved them even more once I found out that in some cultures placing a pickle ornament on a tree was a family game. You hide it among the branches. The first little to spot it gets a special 'extra' gift. GOLDEN GREENY AWESOMENESS! 

I also ordered one of the last stinking "First Christmas 2013" ornaments on the planet. That thing was ridiculous to find, but oh-so necessary. As for the base ornaments. No "all white" trees or all this or that. It's all about tradition and growth...My tree will not discriminate lol. All colors are cool. Arana Christmas Code. Word to your mother.

The pickle!!!

The Year of Mish...there's a hashtag for Pete's sake. Date's important, yo!

Even the wrapping paper and supplies are random and lovely. The theme is not to have a theme.

I suck at wrapping. Seriously, but I love presents under the tree enough to keep trying.

The Goddog was apart of the Christmas setup. 

Be a deer and rock some Christmas spirit.

Mark sprinkles his spiderness when he can.

Letter! (Close cousin to WERD!)

Happy Birthday Man Bestie!

I have a man bestie. He's been my man bestie for many, many moons and I love him dearly.

I love him for a variety of reasons; one of those because of his birthday. He's a Friday the 13th baby like I am. We share the love of 13. We fight over the seat in the movie theater. He high fived me a gazillion times for incorporating the number into our wedding.

He's a great friend. I took him out to lunch yesterday to celebrate (He took today off to enjoy his day so I had to catch the fella early) and celebrate we did. We feasted on Mediterranean food...then grabbed frozen popcorn. It was a good, fun day. It love spoiling the folks I care about with little gestures of kindness. I'm sure the lady behind the counter at the popcorn place was confused. She's seen me in there with my husband before, but there I was gushing with another guy. What can I say; I'm a lucky girl. I'm blessed with boys. I was the secret sister in Little Women. Jo was jealous of my tomboy ways and booted me from the book.

Happy birthday D. Love you, dude. Glad you were born. Keep pimpin'.

I'm Alive and So Are YouuuuUUUuuuu


I'm alive! I woke up! You all are rolling your eyes and saying, "Yeah, Tish. We do that every day. Good job," but today I had a procedure done in the morning that required sedation and I do not do well with the idea of going under. Anytime my life feels like it could be in jeapordy I do my tried and true Tishy 'thing': I write goodbye letters to those I love. I lost my father at a young age and (never got to say goodbye) so now I HAVE to say goodbye. Words can never go unspoken! People think I just HAVE to have the last word, but that's never been the motive. I just can't do that to anyone. My loved ones HAVE.TO.KNOW. Period.

So last night as Mark and I got ready for bed I sat down with my book and began to write. I wrote a letter for each person I love and instructions for what I wanted to happen after my passing. Do you know how hard it is to write a living will? I cried so hard my nose started bleeding. YES! Mark was drifting off to sleep and then I start spazzing out; he wakes up startled and freaked and then we both laugh as I lay in his arms with tissue shoved up each of my nostrils.

And that's when it got even more hard, because thinking about losing a man you JUST married and doing that to him...and leaving him. Well, it just kind of tore me up inside. I hugged him tight for a very long time and in the morning as the nurse pulled me away I hugged him again and whispered in his ear that I loved him very much. It's scary letting go of someone's hand and walking into surgery. I was in a bed with needles stuck into me for a good hour before they gave me the happy juice (as they called it.) That was so nerve wracking and heart breaking.

I love that man. I love that man! OOO WEEE, do I love him! I fell for that fella quick when we first met. We've definitely had our fair share of moments where I've wanted to trip him nice and hard, but I love him so much harder than I've ever wanted to trip him. :) 

I'm glad I woke up and was wheeled out to his smiling face. I'm thankful for the beautiful friends who texted and called the night before to wish me luck. My wonderfully kooky mom and my best friend...I'm thankful he took off work and sat beside me ALL.DAY as I slept. 

I of course will read the letters to my loved ones. Why? Because you should always tell your loved ones how you feel? I love journaling. It's such a beautiful way to document. The old school blogging. You all just think this was a trend that started for me in 2005. Pshhh! I've been chronicling since 1987, yo. Word to your mother. 

Journaling helps me remember and reminisce...helps me reflect on who I was and who I now am. I'm proud of myself, too. I have no regrets. I am perfectly content with those who are present in my life. When you're sitting there processing your life and the decisions you have made you wonder if you've made the right choices. I have. Realizing that was a gift in itself. I'm getting back to old school...loyal and loveable people who you can count on hands found their way into my life and there they shall remain. 

I have my peoples. I'm alive and so are you.

It's a Wonderful Life. 

A Scary Nap + Awesome Dreaming

Tomorrow I'm having a procedure done that requires me to "go under" for a couple hours. That TERRIFIES me.

Nope, not getting plastic surgery done. Getting my lovely guts looked over to find out why I've been having issues for the past year and some change. I've written about my issues on Fit Bottomed Girls a couple of times....I'm healthy as a horse. My GI doctor adorably gushes over how awesome my body runs. She says I should frame my numbers (don't tempt me, woman!) but I still have crazy pains that I'd like to nip in the bud.

So bring on the endoscopy! A tiny little camera is going to travel from my throat and explore my gut and organs to figure out where the problem is chillin. Remember that totally awesome movie, Innerspace? I swear that's what it's going to look like. Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid are going to enter my body and then I shall sneeze them out at the end. It shall be epic!

It shall also be scary. I don't really enjoy being put under. The last time I went under was for a foot surgery a couple years ago. I wrote this long letter to my loved ones...my version of a living will and I'll do the same this time. It drives my husband CRAY, but I can't help it. I've lost folks! Things happen and if they do I want people to know how much I loved them and all that jazz.

So. Wish me luck! Full recovery and solution to the tummy problems! Wish for a great wake up followed by Ellen personally calling me and asking me to be the Christmas sloth she's been dancing with for the 12 Days of Christmas. Then Marki Costello will call and say, "Tish! Glad you got involved with helping the show grow. I'd love to represent you! Can you meet with my crew on Monday so we can talk about your brand and how we plan to pimp you out in 2014?"

This could all happen. It's Hollywood, after all and I am the QUEEN dreamer.

Women and Hollywood

I was a movie watching fool this weekend. (That's the perfect cure for cold weather!) Without even trying I chose three goodies with female empowerment themes. Yes, even Frozen did the darn thing.

Frances Ha

My buddy, Twinkie, told me to see this movie. I recommended it to Jen without even having seen it myself, but yesterday I finally watched and was relieved that I recommended a good one. Talk about a good friendship movie! Let's not have a dude come in and save the day. Let's just watch a woman live life...and deal with it sans savior with a weenie.


I'm not gonna lie;  I'm a cartoon nut. I don't need littles in order to check out the latest animated flick so it was nothing out of the ordinary for me to skip right on over to the Arc Light and sit with a bunch of adorable littles to watch. The movie was so cute. I loved that Mark laughed multiple times and sat on the edge of his seat; totally immersed in the stuff. (The Disney magic got 'em.) The story is great. Don't want to ruin anything. I'll just say Disney is getting smarter about women and how littles see them. No more damsels in distress. The brass ring ain't the ultimate prize, yo! PS I'm obsessed with the snow man. I need a pet snow man in my life now! Josh Gad is amazing! (and special note: I used to compete against him in high school debate and forensics.)

Does anyone else like to listen to children comment during the movie. Some adorable and smartie fartie kid behind us kept commenting about which parts were interesting...which parts weren't and how sad it was when one of the good guys found him/herselt in a pickle. Double the laughs. Make sure you see during kiddo hour. Seriously.

Whoopi Goldberg Presents Moms Mabley

Where do I begin...Well first of all Whoopi is my idol so anything she creates, goes. She directed this beautiful documentary about one of the comedic greats; Jackie "Moms" Mabley. Had to check that ish out. It totally reminded me of a class I took in college where we studied folks like Red Fox and Richard Prior. I'm a history (specifically Black studies) nerd nut. I just can't get enough of learning and I love the approach Goldberg took. Moms started on the Chitlin' circuit and made her way up...She broke down Moms' career; the key comedy clubs she went to...her comedy and the powerful change she brought; disguised in jokes. You just have to watch it. It keeps playing on HBO. She influenced the likes of Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, Joan Rivers, Kathy Griffin...I love when other greats give props. It was nice and heart warming. She's still hilarious and relevant all these years later.

Girl power.

A Simple Thank You

I always have time to stop and reflect. Yes, "The Marki Challenge" (as I'm lovingly referring to it) is HUGE! It's SO MAJORLY IMPORTANT, LIFE CHANGING! but and there's a big but (hee hee) I always strive for balance with Hollywood. I believe being a great actress involves being open to the world. You can't live in a silo...I love people! I love life and I will tell anyone that I get my juice and passion for the craft from my love of people and human emotion...behavior.

So...all that to say yesterday I was in Marki's Challenge, but I took a couple hours to connect. I wrote a haiku to my bestie. I told her how much she means to me. I opened the sweetest thank you letter from my Goddaughter and picked up my phone to hash over how wonderful her little heart is with her mama.

People who I love dearly are starting to get their thank you's for attending and/or supporting our wedding. I cried quite a few times while writing those letters. (Maybe that's why I was so touched by my Godchild...she's like her GodMama!) Truly being thankful...sitting down and allowing the love people showered upon Mark and I are on our wedding day to seep in...it's an emotional explosion of goodness. How often do you get to witness that sort of love?

I've gotten texts saying folks are tearing up...I took some time to love and shower my friends and family right on back. It was a day of gratitude and love. No matter what happens in life, I have these moments and happy tears. There's something comforting and endearing about that.

Life is goooood. Real goooooood.

Hollywood Happy!

I'm in the zone right now!

There's now a facebook page where I hope each of you lovely readers search for and 'like'. I'll use the page to share progress, discuss the show, share acting information I learn about and audition details.

Even if you're not into the whole Hollywood scene this is just a chance to watch someone go after their dream. I'll be cooking up the most honest "Behind the Scenes" I can legally (you know Hollywood can be quite secretive sometimes!)  share with you.

Someone had to tell it like it is! I wrote a book about all of this a couple years ago. It fizzled, but my wish to act in film never wavered for a minute. Apparently I'm supposed to tell this story. I was just using the wrong medium!

Thank you all for the support. It really does come down to numbers. I've never attached my worth to my twitter followers, but I will attach some importance to the number of hits I get for this campaign. I have to show this woman that I mean what I say and I say what I mean!

So if you feel like helping a dreamer...seeing some magic unfold then stay tuned and like and share as much as you can!

Sincerely with Luv and Kiwi,


My twitter handle: @LuvandKiwi
Instagram: @LuvandKiwi
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/SupportTheDreamer
Marki's Twitter handle (tweet her! Let her know you believe in Tish!) @MarkiCostello

Project Help A Dreamer!


Many (okay hopefully a lot of you) know that my dream has always been to act. Tish must act! Tish loves to act! Tish = actor! With that being said I need your help. In my last post I mentioned how I sent a desperate message. Well that desperate message was received! And it was responded to! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! 

The gist: Over the weekend I wrote this talent manager who has the mouth and proverbial balls to get me through some acting doors. Doors that have remained invisible to me these past eight years (doh!) Her name is Marki Costello. (Recognize that famous last name?) She's got a show on E called "Drama Queen" right now. I tweeted her asking how I could submit myself. She tweeted back her email. I emailed her so fast I almost shit myself and then today I received this response: 

SO HERE'S THE DEAL. We are getting so many wonderful emails from all of you who are watching the show and who are so beautiful and talented, and have wonderful dreams of succeeding in Hollywood. As I always say, it's SHOW BUSINESS with a big emphasis on BUSINESS. I only succeed in my business when I find talented people who are just as hard working and just as driven as me.. people who I can partner up with and with whom I can create an EMPIRE......with their talent and my knowledge, it is a winning formula for success. But most IMPORTANTLY, their work ethic has to match mine - now THAT IS WHEN YOU HAVE A WINNING COMBINATION. So with that said, it would be amazing to have someone who possesses all of these qualities for season 2!! I'm reaching out to you to see if you have what it takes to be on season 2 of The Drama Queen as talent or as an on-camera EMPLOYEE. The biggest mistake people make is, they think being talent is just red carpets and glamour. But what it really is, is HARD WORK AND DEDICATION. So we are challenging YOU to show US your hard work and dedication. We are looking to see who truly believes they have what it takes to match our work ethic and passion, and be a part of the CMEG team. We are asking you to now concentrate on the BUSINESS OF SHOW.. Whoever gets the most creative by spreading THE DRAMA QUEEN WORD -- whether it's by emailing everyone in your data base, tweeting every person you know ten times a day, passing out flyers in your local mall, or Instagramming pictures or videos -- we want to see it all! YOU WILL SEND US SCREENSHOTS OR SNAPSHOTS Of your hard work and creativity and I will fly in 4 of the finalist to have a meeting with me in LA for either an on-camera employee position for season 2, OR as a client on my roster who I can manage and develop into a STAR. So get busy and get creative and SHOW ME WHAT YOU GOT! 

Here are the deets - 'The Drama Queen' airs every SUNDAY at 11/10c on E! Check your local listings and make sure to DVR every episode, so you don't miss out on the crazy, the chaos, and the HARD WORK, that is Hollywood.

So I'm gonna do it. I'm gonna work hard and pimp the living SHAT out of myself and I'd ask in the next coming weeks if you could help. I've emailed some of my brainiest and media savviest friends and asked them to help me figure out a way to pimp the show and me being on that show. Hopefully I get a clever ole hashtag soon. I ask, dear wonderful friends, if you could help me out by passing this blog post along...telling people to read it via email. Re-tweeting my posts about getting on the show and working with this team. Helping in any way you can to spread my word. 

I'm crying as I write this because I want this SO bad. It takes a village to get into this business. I know some of you have actually never seen me act...haven't even read all of the posts I've wrote over the years declaring my undying need to be in a great film. It's my dream and I'm hoping maybe you empathize with dreamers. Wouldn't it be great if you helped me and I did make it through those doors and you did see me living out my dream by being in a film?! Wouldn't it be cool when you heard me talk about this challenge and how you helped me to fulfill my life long wish?! How many people can say that triumphantly?!  

So I'm asking for lots of re-posting, sharing, and help!  Who's with me?! 

Can you see the hopeful pleas shooting out of my eyes? I'm telepathically pleading with you to help! 

Desperate Reaches

I don't know when I became that desperate girl who sees a director or writer or producer or agent and starts in on the Tishy campaign, but I am. I'm trying my hardest to find someone who both a.) can open doors in Hollywood and b.) believes I have what it takes to walk through those doors.

Enter my latest action. I wrote a successful talent manager on Twitter and she wrote me back and told me to send her my 'stuff'. I always hang my head in shame when folks request this. I have no 'stuff'! That's why I'm desperate and reaching out to people on the twittersphere. You have to show work to get work, but you can't get work unless you have work on your resume. So should I lie?! I can't lie. So I just plead and cross my fingers super hard that these people I'm reaching out to see some 'something' that fills their brains up with my potential.

It's Christmas time, which means we've been plopped down on our comfy couch with apple cider all weekend watching movies. Not just ANY movies, either...CHRISTMAS MOVIES...with lots of magic and feel-goody heart pulling stuff that makes me want to act and be apart of that even more. I'm itchy and ready and impatient and ...and... and...ugh.

You always hear the stories. Some huge, successful actor was just minding their own business when some agent or director saw them and plucked them from obscurity and plopped down in a new world of film and awesomeness. This happens! I've read the story too many times to count. So I'm just hoping that can happen for me.

To be continued...

Cat Fail Sail | The Human Reenactment

Sometimes you feel like a nut...

The last time my play sis, Michele, came to visit we sat looking at hilarious YouTube videos for a good while. One of those funnies happened to involve a cat. I swear I'm not usually a cat gusher, but this video can make the bluest of days swell.

 I decided to take that joy a step further. If I remind Michele of this cat fail she promptly sends back a joyful response. Thought I'd up the happy ante. Thus...my version of the Cat Fail Sail was born!

Can I just say I love my husband. I told him I needed his help recreating the epic cat video and without hesitation or judgement he picked up my camera and got to work. Gotta love a man who supports the weird and creative. I adore him.

Naturally 7 | Acapella Awesomeness

Last night Mark and I supported a friend in the arts by attending a concert he was involved with. The group, Naturally 7, is a cool acapella "Voice Play" group that is touring with Michael Bublé. I had no idea what these dudes were like going in. I just thought it was some R&B stuff. I haven't been to an intimate venue in quite some time though so I was down for some newness.

I was a bit blown away by the sounds coming out of these men's mouths. There are no instruments. It's all them...which naturally meant I stood there with my mouth open the entire time. I may have drooled. May have possibly...

Then they did a cover of Come Together by the Beatles and I went ape SHAT. Then this Coldplay song...be still my heart.

Emotional Catch

Yesterday I played emotional catch with Mark. We avoided a really scary, life-changing car accident by inches. It was the kind of moment when my breath suddenly caught (for what seemed like a lifetime) and when I finally came to and realized I was screaming...much in the same way I did when I came to after getting my fingers ran over by a minivan...the gasps caught in my throat and prevented the tears and shock from flowing out of me.

It caused a weird energy for the rest of our car ride. He'd catch  a case of the blues and then sling it my way. I'd play...I'd catch the ball...hold on to the pain and grumpiness for awhile while he felt better and then I'd sling the grumpiness right back at him. 

I don't know when we finally both dropped the fear and moved on, but I was keenly aware of the emotional catch we were playing. 

One of my wonderful sisters, An, texted today asking how it felt to be married...

Today I caught a sobering moment that made me think of my relationship in a new way...forced me to answer her question in a new way. When you get married your awareness changes. I didn't think anything had changed, but that game of catch definitely shook me and produced a fear in me I wasn't ready for. I have to be responsible for someone else's demeanor? Oh God!

I'm newborn status when it comes to marriage. This I know for sure. 

I Am Grateful...Thank God!

You know what?! I feel like being grateful today. And by that I mean something's open in my heart and it's sending little synapses to my brain and telling my noggin to wake the hell up! Look around! Smell the roses! Look at my own green grass!

My brain was totally down for the cause and started rattling off gracious thoughts.

I am grateful for Erin who has been hashing out the third season of The Walking Dead with me. I love how she looks at the show...how invested she gets. She invests like me! I cry, damn it! I feel for those people. I get mad...I jump up on the couch and scream, "NOOOOOOOOOOOO!," at the TV. It's deep.

I am grateful for my sweet ride, aka Gatsby Whoopi Goldberg Arana, aka The Prius. To be able to drive my dream car is kind of a big deal for me. It's not often my actual dreams come true. I was scared when I got Gatsby I'd lose that magical obsession I have with him. Nope. Still worship everything about him. He's the bee's knees.

I am grateful (and this is a big duh) for Jenn who seriously dishes out THE best, THE most uplifting conversations each and every day. Our conversations are personal, poignant, emotional, intelligent (sometimes) immature when they need to be...ego-driven when they need to be and free of judgement.

I am grateful for my dude who replaces the empty rice milk carton with a new one when needed. Who loves my friends and takes care of them for me. Who watches Walking Dead with me and doesn't jump ahead. Who gets me frozen popcorn. Who tries Vegan dishes...the list goes on man.

I am grateful for minestrone soup on a grey day.

I am grateful for this vegan, low acidic, gluten free cold coffee stuff I found from Whole Foods.

I am grateful as HECK that it's Friday.

I am grateful that the burning in my chest has subsided. Dealing with some major acidic/heart burn issues.

I am grateful for cute pups, sweet babies....anything that makes me coo.

I'm grateful for Twinkie's cupcake word challenges. I love words! I love Twinkie! I love being creative and thinking of fun words!

I am grateful for this feeling pushing me to explore what I'm grateful for.


I haven't been the most consistent lately...

I've been battling the dream beasts and reading this phenomenally, totally wickedly cool book. Both kept me away from the computer and reality for that matter.

First the book! Ready Player One is soooo good! I totally had a 14 year old geek moment with Mark last night about this story. It hooks you from the very beginning. I haven't been this hooked on a book since Hunger Games. While Hunger Games was totally a let down once I hit book two though, this ish is just keeps getting better and better. I love books that do that...the kind that hook you fast and fill your mind with nothing but book plots, words and ideas. When I'm not reading the book I'm twitching a bit. (It's that kind of good.)

The other distraction or whatever you want to call it is the whole acting thing. I finally got up the courage to ask a friend who's in the industry (doing quite well for himself) if he'd be willing to help me get an interview with a big talent agency here in town. I have an agent, but she's a commercial agent. She can't and won't help me ever land a film and since that's what I want from this good ole world then I have to keep pushing ahead.

Pushing ahead...do you know how exhausting that is? Eight years out here basically running around in little circles. It's frustrating to no end. Ironically it makes it hard for me to apply myself  because I've hit so many dead ends. Oddly enough, it was someone else's dead end that lit a fire under my keister. An old friend from acting classes found Mark and I's wedding pictures randomly while searching for something else. He emailed me to catch up and send congratulations and we began to chat. Turns out he put acting aside, moved to New York and is now working on a new creative project outside of the industry.

It was a shock because this guy was SO amazing in class. He's got that kind of intensity that you expect from an Al Pacino...without the shouting. (wink) This is where good actors' dreams go to die...they give up because of how stupid hard this shat is. Never mind that they're incredibly talented. I got scared hearing his change of plans. I know he's happy and totally cool with his decision, but I internalized that move with the quickness.

I could see myself shaking my head no as I saw a door that read, "Exit" and I wasn't, no way no how, gonna walk through it. That's the difficult rub. This is torture. Being helpless and lost, but knowing I can't give up. It's the proverbial rock and hard place scenario.

I wrote my friend. I wrote that director. Help me God, PLEASE allow those reaches to lead to something!

One Up is All I Need

Last week was good, but in regards to acting it was a bit of a bummer ball.

I had an audition that didn't pan out and while I get a lot of auditions that don't lead to work it came at a time when I was questioning what the heck I could possibly do different to get work. How do I become a mover and a shaker? So those thoughts combined with a bummerific audition sent me to the land of self pity. I hate that land! I swear if it truly existed it would look like the hell from What Dreams May Come.

She's swimming in her own darkness! DON'T SWIM IN YOUR OWN DARKNESS!

So yeah I was swimming in my own darkness while simultaneously flipping through instagram and came across a director whose work I admire. I was thumbing through his pictures and came across one I liked...was about to "love" it when I noticed he had left some information for an actor to contact him...It just felt like I had been dropped a gift. I picked up my laptop and started typing to him.

A long and thoughtful period later I was done and crying...CRYING, Y'ALL! It's such an emotional path to choose....acting that is. So many downs....so few ups. BUT hopefully by taking that initiative I create an up that is worth the eight years of down.

A bit of hope was restored and I didn't feel so bad about that audition. I'm praying, crossing fingers, hoping and a'wishing that the director finds my email and takes heart in my plea.

Come on dream!

My Wedding Day

Two months...

It's crazy how slow the days of our engagement were...Ever since the morning of our wedding day time has been rushing by; crackishly fast...maniacally fast! We received our wedding proofs the other day and I've spent hours upon hours flipping through each shot and reliving that day. It's been heaven.

I have zero regrets on hiring our photographer. Jason and I go wayyyyy back. I always knew I wanted him to capture the day and I'm thankful Mark was on board from the get go. It's where we focused a majority of our budget. Some people focus on food and cocktails while others are all about the venue or dress. You always pick something that's your something. I love to document. I love capturing moments through photography and boy did we get some good documentation! So without further ado, here are some of my favorite shots from the day.

Donut Snob, wedding treats, wedding desserts

We had a tiny simple carrot cake for show, but the REAL dessert was Donut Snob minis. They were SOOO perfect and scrumptious. People were oinking out!  Just the way we planned it... While it was stressful at times, I am so glad we went with these particular donuts. The manager was so kind. They usually don't deliver outside of the Los Angeles area, but one of the drivers had family up in Northern California so they made a special trip just for us. It meant the world...and the world to our guests' bellies. 

Jason Lee, Photography, wedding, bride
custom chucks, chuck taylors, converse, green

It had to happen. I can only do serious and "bridal" for so long before my inner goof has to break free. No Jimmy Choos or designer anything for me. I wanted to be uber Tish on my wedding day, which meant custom Kelly Green chucks. Boo ya! (I got custom chucks for Jenn as well.) 

When Mark proposed he offered me two things: a ring and a little pin that said "You're the bees knees." Love that he kept the theme going. It's one of my favorite compliment for friends.

green bow tie, bow tie
twins, identical twins, wedding

Have I mentioned that my husband is an identical twin? It's frickin adorable. They're alike in every kind of way two dudes can be alike. Mike is Twin A, though and Mark is Twin B, which means Mike is the older brother. Mark totally acts like the baby of the family. It cracks me up how two minutes can change a man...or men.

panache bridal pasadena

This is Scarlett, my lovely dress. She was heavy like a muther trucker, but she was uber fun to wear. I always had this kind of dress in mind. I wanted poofy and pretty...something I could wear chucks with, but still look bride-y in. I went to Panache Bridal in Pasadena to find her. I would have traveled even farther. She was worth it and then some.

Jcrew wedding, bridesmaid dress

Girls get so caught up in having a huge bridal party, but I really wanted to keep it to a tiny minimum. While I would have loved to have my best guy pals (D and Fat) and my childhood friend, Leigh Anne, standing up there I just kept seeing Jenn and Mark's twin so I had to go with the gut. I just needed my "best woman of honor". 

These two pics are of my mom and dad. The first is my mom...who I lovingly call "Mo." People assume we're lesbian lovers more often than mother and daughter. Someday mixed chicks and their families will be more comfortable for some folks' psyches to handle. For now I just pinch her butt or walk arm in arm with her and giggle as people stop and stare with bewilderment. The second is my dad. (Sure you probably figured that out, though.) I love his grin. He's such a shy, cute fella. He's been in my life since I was four; helping to shape the chick I am today. For heaven's sake, he's the fella who got me hooked on all things toot and poot related!

bridal bouquet

My biological father died when I was a young girl. I always said if I got married I'd carry a picture of him in my bouquet...a way for him to be able to walk me down the aisle. I kept my promise. 

Tiffanys, Tiffany & Co. , Gatsby collection, pearl necklace, pear

My beautiful friend Glenda let me borrow her pearl earrings for the wedding so my something borrowed was some kind of special and sweet. The single pearl was a gift from Mark; my very first Tiffany necklace. What can I say, I've always been a sucker for that blue box.

My play sis officiated our wedding. It was practically perfect in every way. Loved her attire. My lady brought it!

officiant, friend as an officiant
kiss the bride
fit bottomed girls, fbg, fit bottomed bride

My wonderful sisters took part in the ceremony. Filipino weddings consist of three parts: the giving of the coins, placing a veil over the couple and placing a cord around the couple. They were responsible for the cord.

We found the most perfect poppers for our entrance. Once we were introduced by the DJ, our guests let 'em rip. It was pretty awesome I must say. Thank you Chinatown Summer Nights for giving us that glorious idea.

willy wonka
guest book idea
first dance, wedding

"Come with me and you'll be in a world of pure imagination..."  Our first dance was from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. There was a touch of fun whimsy in everything we could possibly put it in.

mother daughter dance
father daughter dance

I surprised my mom with a special dance. She used to always sing to me "Coat of Many Colors" by Dolly Parton so I had the DJ find that lovely song. It was only right.  My dad and I danced to "God Only Knows" by the Beach Boys. When in Rome, I say! The lyrics and the vibe were perfect for our beach wedding.

best friend dance

Jenn and I have this little tradition. For her wedding she surprised me with a special dance to "Count on Me" ...it's our song so I had to keep it going! We start out dancing just the two of us and then let the husband join in. It's like Charlotte from Sex and the City said, "Maybe our girlfriends are the soul mates." They certainly are.
nontraditional wedding cake

Mark's Jersey boys. 

thriller, wedding dancing

Steph is my dancing partner in crime. Whenever we're at the same wedding we're joined at the shaking hip. 

jwlphotography, j w l photography, jason lee

This is Jason...our wonderful photographer who captured all of the wonderful pictures you saw above. Of COURSE we had to get a picture with him. People were coming up to him at the reception wanting to meet him. He's sort of a big frickin deal. Check out the site that made me fall in love with his work. You'll see why.

{Photos by: j w l photography}

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