A Whole Lot of Stuffs

Yesterday had its ups and downs.

On the up side, the other newbie (David) and I joined the Actors’ Equity union. Our Equity rep insisted on taking us out to dinner, since she was having us come to work early to do all the paperwork, so we got to go to the Portobello Yacht Club and eat thirty-dollar meals. I had a grilled red snapper with roasted potatoes and fried baby artichokes. Delicious! So now I’m a card-carrying professional unionized actor.

On the down side, we found out that our stage manager, a really awesome guy named Bill, is being moved over to the luau show at the Polynesian resort … and his last day is today. Apparently his 4 years at our venue is a LOT for Disney — they like to move managers around. So we’ll be covered by the Adventurers Club manager for a while, until they pick a replacement. The old luau manager is going over to Finding Nemo: The Musical, which is also where one of our actors is for the next couple of weeks, training as a replacement Marlin. We’ve joked that the Nemo show eats up everyone in Entertainment, and I guess it’s actually true. Heck, Nemo is having auditions again in mid-May; perhaps I should prepare a comedic song with Dory in mind. Hmm.

And finally, on the personal side, I have to crack down and lose some of this relocation weight. I packed on quite a few pounds during the whole moving process. When I did the big weight loss, I made it down to 127 before settling in around 130, which had me wearing a size 8. I’ve crept back up to a size 12, and clocked in this morning at 154 pounds. For my height, 145 is the borderline between “normal” and “overweight”, but I’d like to get back below that to the 130s at least. So today starts a strict regimen of eating a healthy diet (which for me is low-carb) and getting more exercise.

I'm Like a Caveman

I just saved 77% by switching to Geico.

My Allstate motorcycle insurance policy was for $727 for the year. And for some reason, they had my scooter in their system as the model “XV1700A” (it’s actually an XC50V) and noted that it has an engine displacement of 1670cc (it’s actually a mere 49cc). I called my local agent, who told me that she had no way to change the model number … but the amount should be correct, because it’s properly listed as “motorcycle-scooter-moped”. Which sounds more like a general category than a specific type to me. Anyhoo, I also called Allstate’s 800 number, and they can’t fix the model number either.

I checked around with Progressive, who also couldn’t identify the Yamaha Vino as a specific model, but were willing to quote me $470 for the year. Better and better. Then I checked Geico, where they not only had the Vino XC50V as a valid model number, and they not only were incredibly friendly on the phone, but they also quoted me $171 for the year. So I’m switching over the scooter. If we like them, we may consider switching the cars over too — I’m just not a fan of our local Allstate agent; she’s nowhere near as cool as our Seattle agents were.

360!

We combined our birthday power and got an Xbox 360 yesterday. It came with Xbox Arcade, and Scott also bought Gears of War.

I’m just glad that Psychonauts is now bacward-compatible. Now if only they’d add Mercenaries to the list, before Mercenaries 2 comes out (in “holiday 2007”).

8 weeks down

And so ends week 8 of performing here at WDW. My probation period is now over!

One of the other actors, who’s just above me in the senority hierarchy, used to have my days off (Monday and Tuesday) — he took different days when they re-bid, but he now wants his old days back. He offered to switch with me, and I totally accepted. So now I’m off on Saturday and Sunday. Barely here two months, and already I get weekend days off! Of course, that means my two nights off every week will be the busiest nights to do anything out of the house, but that’s all right.

Our cable internet was cutting out sporadically, which seemed to be a problem caused by using a splitter. So now we’re running some cable into the bedroom outlet to get a more robust signal straight from the wall. Seems to be working better.

A lot more places will be completely closed for easter down here than I’m used to. Grocery stores closed all day? Unheard of! Crazy south.

Taxcitement

I just filed taxes electronically for the first time. I had all my numbers already crunched, and it turns out that we just made the cutoff to use TurboTax’s “Freedom Edition” for free. So supposedly, a refund could be direct deposited in as little as 9 days. It’s also nice to know that TurboTax came up with the exact same numbers I did.

Less than a week now until my birthday, which marks the exactly 60-day point from when I started my new job (it feels like both much longer and much shorter than two months). And after tomorrow night, my 8-week probationary period is over, so I can feel more comfortable that I won’t get canned unexpectedly. Not that I would, everyone seems happy with my performance so far. But you know me, I’m a fretter. Only a month or so left until I hit 90 days, when I can get insurance benefits and an ID card with my picture on it. Whee!

The other day I got to catch-and-release the THIRD gecko that got into the apartment. I wish I could figure out how they’re getting in — I don’t mind the geckos at all, but I worry that when the warmer weather comes, bugs will use the same access points. Oh well, at least the cats have a chance against the bugs … the geckos just hang out on the walls, out of the reach of little chittering kitty teeth.