May 17, 2013 • 11:18 pm 0
May 15, 2013 • 5:02 pm 5
One of the most horrible feelings in the world is the nausea-inducing panic of losing something that’s necessary to function and is a pain in the ass to replace.
Note that anything necessary to function is usually a pain in the ass to replace, although the key to the shed in the back where you keep the ladder that you only need once a year is an exception.
Since gas prices are rising (again) here in Southern California, I’ve opted to commute on my bicycle whenever possible in order to avoid pump-induced nausea and anger.
I really do enjoy riding the bike. Not only is it more economical, but I see a lot more interesting stuff when I’m not sealed in the car singing along to a certain teenybopper pop icon who keeps putting his feet into his adorable almost post-adolescent mouth.
The downside of bike commuting is that, in a way, it’s not as easy as driving. Instead of picking up the purse and locking the doors, I have to dig the locks (plural, since I’d like to keep said bike) out of my panniers, find a place to secure the bike, make sure anything that can be stolen is removed (bike computer, water bottle, super expensive blinky headlight that can blind astronauts in space), and then schlep the whole mess into wherever it is I’m going.
Sometimes I forget a step and leave something on the bike. Usually it’s the computer, but sometimes it’s the water bottle – call me paranoid but I feel weird about drinking from it after it’s been out in the world unsupervised – and sometimes it’s something more important.
The other day, I ran errands for most of the day, making numerous stops to pay bills, grocery up, work in the garden, plot the demise of those goddamn squirrels, etc..
When I got home and discovered that I needed olives (hey, it’s not a martini without one), I dug in said panniers for my wallet.
Nothing. I dug again.
I did that thing where I slapped my pockets.
So, since I’m a sensible adult, I did the right thing and immediately called and cancelled my debit card.
I then sat a moment, thought about where I’d been and decided to retrace my steps.
First stop, the Whole Foods in Westwood.
Where the very nice lady at the customer service desk handed me the wallet that some kind person had turned in. Including the cards.
The worst part is that, since I technically did the right thing by cancelling the card, I couldn’t even be mad at myself. Just sheepish and grateful that there are still a few honest folks left in the cold, cruel world.
This morning, I went to the credit union and enquired about a replacement debit card, expecting to get the thing about waiting 10 days while they mailed it, etc.. Also, I wondered if they’d give me a refresher course in how to write a check, since it’s been so long I think I forgot.
“Sure thing!” the teller responded. “Fill out some paperwork and I’ll print one out right now.”
Turns out, they can print cards now. Actual credit cards. That work.
They didn’t even charge me a service fee.
May 10, 2013 • 5:23 pm 1
May 7, 2013 • 4:44 pm 3
When I’m working and have cash, I buy Groupons for restaurants and services which I normally can’t afford (massages, facials, etc..). Then, when I’m unemployed, I can go and relax (or eat) for the price of a tip.
Today’s expedition was for a sports/deep tissue massage at one of my favorite places to get sports massages – a medical place.
Don’t get me wrong, the chic spas are super nice and I do enjoy the ambience and cucumber water, but I find the best ‘lean in and make it stop hurting’ therapists at the doctors’ offices and sports clinics.
So today, the therapist looked at me and said:
“Oh, yeah. That shoulder’s not quite right, and your hips are spun in a way that makes me think the (unintelligible) is tight”.
I didn’t even know I had an (unintelligible), much less that it could tighten up.
He then spent the next hour digging his knuckles into my back and hips so hard at one point I really did think I was going to pass out. He kept reminding me to breathe, but I think my diaphragm had stopped working.
But at some point in the fog of pain, everything started to loosen up, even the muscles that normally can’t be de-knotted, even with that crazy foam roller thing at the gym.
Right now, I feel great. The only problem is he’s suggesting I come back once a week (since I’m apparently too tense to loosen up in one session) and right now there’s no way in hell I can afford that.
Next up, dinner at a swanky fish place in Santa Monica!
May 3, 2013 • 4:47 pm 0
One of the movie ranches* in the desert have spent the past few years building some really, really nice facades on their land.
Said facades are mostly metal (excellent for not catching on fire) and have outlets so one can power small lamps without having to run cable.
They’re also relatively new, which means they’re relatively clean inside, too.
*”Movie ranch” means exactly what one would think. It’s a ranch which is there to serve as a movie location.
April 30, 2013 • 8:09 pm 5
I was lucky enough to get a day of work last week, and figured I’d have the check in the mail and all would be good, and then today I got a call that I can honestly say I’ve never gotten before in all my time working in the film industry.
“They” lost my start paperwork.
When one starts working on a new show, one must fill out a packet of start paperwork. It’s always the same thing. Deal memo, some sort of confidentiality agreement, which name one would like for one’s credit*, any applicable equipment rental (if one has specialized equipment for which production must pay – like a dimmer board, certain tools for installing fixtures, etc…), and the promise that one won’t sexually harass one’s coworkers. Much.
The best boy didn’t specify who lost it, but I’m assuming it was somewhere in one of the maze-like offices on the lot where, apparently, paperwork goes to die along with dreams.
So, I need to redo the impressive pile of paperwork that I originally worked my way through last week.
That’s one seriously tree-killing pile of redundancy, but the upside is that I’ve gotten another day of work out of it (Boss: “You’re driving up here anyways, you might as well work.”).
*Despite my constant efforts to get a joke name (I.P. Freely, Heywood Jablowme, Michael Bay, Prince Albert of Cannes) as my credit, it’s never happened. They always just use my real name.
Is it too much to ask that my IMDB read “sometimes credited as…”
April 23, 2013 • 7:08 pm 2
A follow spot is, as one might imagine, a spotlight used to follow an actor. You’ve all seen the results on dancing shows, ice rink spectaculars and “talent” competitions.
There are many different varieties of follow spot – of course, the one that’s the easiest to operate is the most horrible to move around. The Strong Super Trouper weighs approximately the same as an obese elephant and is long enough that it’s impossible to get up a stairwell with any sort of turn.
But it’s amazingly easy to work and moves very smoothly. When properly balanced it’s a breeze to follow the movements of even the most erratic actor or dancer.
But sometimes it’s just not practical – like yesterday. The riggers wouldn’t have been able to get the Super Trouper up the stairs to the platform where I would be working.
So they went with a smaller unit which was lighter – which is a great thing if you’re the one carrying it, but it’s a bad thing for the operator.
Lighter means not as smooth and not balanced as well.
I was fine when the actor was standing but as soon as any erratic movement started it was really difficult to maintain a smooth pan or tilt. The light kept either sticking and making the pan look jerky and, well, bad.
My boss and the DP both seemed very happy, though, and that’s all that counts.
They didn’t need the follow spot for the last scene, so I came down from my perch and helped work the set and then wrap to the truck.
It was a fun day with extra nice folks and as an added bonus, the location was so close to my apartment that I was able to walk to and from work – which was extra awesome at wrap because the traffic was terrible.
April 19, 2013 • 5:12 pm 0
April 18, 2013 • 5:10 pm 2
After finally getting my garden weeded (now, of course I need to replace the rotten wood on the raised beds, but money’s now tight around here), I decided to go swim.
Doesn’t further the career, but it really makes me happy.
The pool where I have masters swim shares with several aqua aerobics groups, and aside from wanting the water way too hot, the aqua ladies all seem very nice.
Today’s swim was from 6 to 7 am, and instead of going home and watching the news rehash the same crap they’ve been airing forever, I turned to my lane-mate and suggested we try the aqua Zumba(tm) class that was starting just as we finished up.
After all, we were already wet.
“Oh, come on. She’s playing Pitbull. How hard can it be?”
So we slid over a few lanes and joined the fun. The instructor saw us, bared her perfect little teeth and said “oh, we have some… swimmers!”
Then, she started the workout. It didn’t just kick my ass, it kicked my whole body. I don’t understand how an aqua workout could possibly be that difficult.
Halfway through my lane-mate turned to me and growled “I’m going to kill you.”
“Make it soon, please.”
Since we were both afraid to get out and face the ire of the vicious sharp-toothed instructor (actually, she was very nice), we sandbagged through the rest of the workout and then limped to the showers.
I then went home and took a very gratifying early morning nap.
Without turning on the news.
April 10, 2013 • 4:52 pm 3
Pilot season is officially at an end here in Los Angeles, so work’s getting a bit thin again.
I’ve been working on weeding the garden, but clearly I haven’t been weeding quickly enough as an irate garden master confronted me this morning.
I was surveying the broken stalks of my fava beans and wondering if I’d be allowed to set up some sort of squirrel catapult (google it yourselves – I gave up trying to find a video that didn’t have an excessively loud and annoying soundtrack), when the garden master snuck up behind me.
He’s from Russia, so his English isn’t the best but the gist that I got was that I need to get the weeds out of my plot because they ‘make seed’ and it’s ‘no more just this plot’.
I showed him that I’d been working at it and he shrugged and said ‘faster’.
Awesome. So now I’m on notice at the garden and am too broke to pay for help like the lady in the plot next to me has (no, really. She hired a gardener for her garden plot. At first I didn’t get it but now I totally understand).
Guess I know what I’m doing for the next few days.
Also, any tips about how to get rid of squirrels that doesn’t involve poison or a standing army?