Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

I’m feeling much better now.

About 10 days ago, my doctor put me on a new medication for my blood pressure, which, due to my parents’ apparent genetic inferiority, is high.

Really high, despite the former medication – during a check-up the doctor started muttering about a stroke and wrote me a new prescription.

I was told that there would be an adjustment period of  ‘a few days’ where I might not feel so well.

During this ‘few’ days, I accomplished the following:

Smashed in the fender of my car trying to back out of my parking space.

Stepped on the cat.

Got lost while swimming. In a pool.

Forgot my own phone number.

Spent half an hour arguing with a cardboard cutout of Austin Powers*

Also, I apparently did some online shopping, as I’m getting packages from eBay that I don’t remember buying. So far, I’ve been too afraid to open any of them.

I’m not sure I want a peek through that window into my psyche.

It was all the bad parts about being really, really drunk with none of the social acceptance. Or drinking.

A week and a half later, I’m finally semi adjusted – meaning the world has stopped being so annoyingly spinny and I can think again.

Except that one of the side effects of this medication is heat intolerance, which, despite my trying to explain my job to my doctor (outside. all day. no breeze. cable. burning sun. pants), just resulted in him advising me to not get dehydrated.

Which is fine – hydration is awesome – but it’s currently hotter than chicken fried ass here in Los Angeles and no matter how much water I drink I still get light-headed, red, and blotchy when I go outside and think about doing anything more strenuous than breathing.

It’s dead right now so I can keep my tomato-colored face inside, but this is going to be a problem in a couple of months – especially since ‘red and blotchy’ progresses through ‘light-headed’ to ‘involuntarily horizontal’ fairly quickly.

Since I can’t imagine that being too terribly popular at work, I have to discuss options with the doctor.

Hopefully, this won’t result in my being put on yet another medication requiring an adjustment.

 

 

*That one’s an exaggeration. It was more like 10 minutes.

Filed under: humor, mishaps, Non-Work, , , ,

What is it with me and fingers?

I need my hands to do my job. So one would imagine I’d be extra careful, but still it’s the body part I manage to mash and smash more than any other.

After waiting a week to get in the ocean after Los Angeles’ torrential skywater catastrophe, some friends and I decided to go for a swim. Our usual spot in Santa Monica wasn’t an option as it was parking for the LA Marathon – and near the street closures – so we went a bit south to Venice beach, thinking that we’d have an easier time with traffic and parking.

Which worked out very well. Plenty of parking, light traffic for those who drove (I rode my bike as I had to traverse the most congested part of Santa Monica to get to the beach).

And then we approached the water, and came face to face with 6 foot waves.

I’m not particularly fearful of the ocean once I get past the surf (if something gets me, it gets me. C’est la vie), but I get a little nervous in surf much higher than my head.

Okay, that’s an understatement. Any waves bigger than about three feet and I’m a panicky idiot who needs supervision to ensure I won’t do anything stupid.

Needless to say, I didn’t get past the surf, and the one swimmer who did had to come back because it took so long to get my heart rate down from ‘coked out hummingbird’ that we ran out of time.

I would have hung my head in shame, but my neck was too sore from getting tossed in the surf.

So, with my proverbial tail between my legs, I slunk off to breakfast and then decided, last-minute, to try to get some sort of workout in and make a yoga class at the gym.

As I was rushing out of the house and using my foot to keep the cat from running outside, I pulled the door shut and didn’t move my finger quite quickly enough.

So it got slammed in the door.

If you’ve never done this, I can assure you it’s excruciatingly painful.

After screaming a few choice words, I looked at said finger and saw the nail turning black.

I’m told that’s bad. There are numerous tutorials on the internet to deal with this in the comfort of your home, but since I am lucky enough to still have insurance, I can go have a doctor do that for me, for only the cost of a very pricey night out.

So instead of going to a yoga class, I went to urgent care.

Where the very nice doctor numbed up my finger (FOUR shots in the nerves) and drilled a hole through the nail to let the blood out.

If you’ve never had a doctor drill (actually, it’s a burn. They BURN a hole though the nail. The smell is… unfortunate. I may never eat again) into your nail, I can assure you it’s really gross and also – take the ‘digital block‘ option. You do NOT want the doctor burning through your fingernail with no pain meds. Trust me.

So now I have a hole in my fingernail. Surprisingly, it’s not that painful. It’s just gross, as we’re over 24 hours on and it’s still bleeding.

Eeeewwww.

Although I think the post-burning photo of the fingernail gushing blood is funny, I’ll be nice and post a photo taken today – the grossest thing about it now is how badly I need a manicure.

2014-03-10 18.39.38

Right now, it’s a pathetic excuse for pilot season here in Los Angeles, so although it’s busy, a day off isn’t a bad thing.

I’ll make work calls tomorrow.

Filed under: humor, life in LA, Los Angeles, mishaps, Non-Work, Off-Topic, Photos, , , , , , , ,

It’s that time of year again!

Time for the sort-of annual W-2 (and 1099) competition.

The person with the most W-2 and 1099 forms (or your country’s equivalent) will win this super fabulous bottle of Weight Loss Elixir ™ given to a hapless crew as either a wrap gift or a practical joke. No one’s quite sure which.

P1040173

That’s right. Elixir, in Italics – the action typeface. Plus, the pink label makes you burn more calories so drink up, you fat fucks.

P1040172

Organic Liaison sounds vaguely dirty. Like the Coast Guard getting nasty on the comms with the Army. No preservatives though. It’s an organic liaison.

Leave the number of forms you got in the comments and the person with the most wins it!

Filed under: humor, Photos, Work, , , , , , , , , , ,

It’s resolution time!

No, not mine.

At this stage of my life, I’ve given up all hope of self-improvement and am just aiming for remembering to brush my teeth.

No, no.. it’s that time of year when folks make a resolution to get in shape and descend on the gym like a horde of sweaty, confused locusts.

While I certainly want to encourage people to exercise, this time of year can be unpleasant for those of us who have become accustomed to the less-populated gym of the off months.

I realize it’s not possible for the staff to walk everyone through the basics of gym citizenship, so here’s a few points directed at the resolution crowd:

1. Re-rack your weights. For fuck’s sake – do you think those dumbbells are going to grow eyes and legs and show themselves back to the rack? Of course you don’t. Fucking pick them up and put them back. If I trip over them I’ll tie your shoelaces together while you’re sitting on a bench chatting.

2. Speaking of which, if you’re not actively using something, don’t fucking sit on it. It’s not your private garage fitness room, it’s a space you have to share with several hundred of your new best friends. Normally, I’d say watch the bodybuilders and do what they do, but those bastards plant their asses and proceed to gossip like fishwives, so in this regard, ignore them and keep the long involved conversations to the juice bar or the couches in the lounge area.

3. You might think that eau de mouffette dans un jardin smells divine. You might want to douse yourself with three bottles of it before you work out just to share. Please don’t.  This goes double and triple for the pool and the steam room. Do, however, feel free to liberally apply deodorant. Please, for the love of all that’s fucking holy, liberally apply deodorant.

4. Wipe your sweat off of the equipment. You’re carrying that towel around for a reason – it’s certainly not a fashion statement. If I have to scrub something down before I can use it, I’m going to find you and bill you.

5. The cardio areas and the pool get very, very crowded. Please, if you see people waiting, keep it to a half an hour. I know, I know. No one likes to have to get off the treadmill or out of the pool after only half an hour (personally, I hate it), but remember we’re sharing space here. If you stick it out, the gym will eventually be less crowded and you’ll be able to stay on for the full hour (or even more!)

6. Speaking of the pool, at various times of the day classes will reserve lanes. Although this particular gym has a masters swim program (and we’re pretty mellow), mostly they’re aqua exercise classes populated by sweet little old ladies who will gut you like a trout if you don’t get out of that lane three seconds ago. You’ve been warned.

7. If you don’t know how to use something, ask. One of the trainers will help you, or if you can’t find them, another gym member will be more than happy to walk you through how to properly use the kegelnator.

8. Please be nice to the locker room attendants. They’re very nice ladies (gentlemen on the guys’ side) and have to clean a bathroom all day, every day. Think about that before you scream at them.

9. This particular gym provides towels. It’s a very nice amenity, and we’d like the gym to continue to provide it and not decide it’s too much of a pain in the ass to bother with. So pick them up and place them in the hamper when you’re done with them. They’ll be happy to be with their friends.

10. Gentlemen, if you’re rocking those 70′s style running shorts, please wear an athletic supporter underneath. Sit ups and unsupported junk in tiny shorts is something I can’t unsee no matter how much I drink.

Happy New Year and have a great workout!

Filed under: cranky, humor, life in LA, Non-Work, Off-Topic, , , , , ,

Retro(ish) Friday Photo

From the Flickr archives:

Fake blood dispenser

What’s the best way to drip fake blood (corn syrup and food coloring) over a set? Why, with a repurposed ‘maple’ syrup dispenser which once held a product also made from corn syrup and food coloring.

The fake blood is harmless, but very, very sticky. And nearly impossible to get out of your hair.

How do I know this?

Please enjoy a bonus photo from back in the days before digital, when we used Polaroids:

Bloody!

Bloody!

That, my friends, is a largish puddle of fake blood from a low-budget horror movie which, to the best of my knowledge, was never released.

There was so much blood that we had to clean the cable before we sent it back to the lamp dock – since production wouldn’t pay for a pressure washer, we had to use a kiddie pool. We wrapped the syrup covered cable, then dropped the coils into the kiddie pool and scrubbed.

By the end of the day I looked like a serial killer, my hair was sticky and matted with fake blood and although I had no groceries I was afraid to stop anywhere on the way home.

The place in the back of the car where I dumped the wet clothes for the drive home was stained red until I got rid of the car.

Filed under: humor, Photos, Work, , , , , , ,

You can never find one when you want one

My garden, while only about a mile from where I used to live, is currently 8 miles away.

Interestingly, it takes the exact same amount of time to drive as it does to bike, and since the bike doesn’t burn $4 a gallon gas I usually prefer to ride than drive.

But lately I’ve had this shoulder issue, and it seems to cycle (no pun intended) between ‘getting better’ and  ‘won’t this thing ever stop fucking hurting’.

Today’s physical therapy appointment wasn’t until noon, and since I’ve been in a ‘getting better’ phase, I decided to bike instead of drive. Hey, I’m unemployed and gas is expensive (for the US).

So I hopped on the bike and headed out. I swear I behaved – I didn’t lean on the handlebars and I stayed off of the drops. I got to the garden fine – no pain and I felt really good. I dumped my veggie scraps into my compost bin, watered the seedlings (leeks, rutabegas, parsnips, beets and celery that looks like it’s not going to come up), admired the out-of-control fava beans (looks like I’m in for another 50 lb harvest from my tiny plot), and weeded for a few minutes.

I then headed out as I needed to be at the PT place.

About a mile into the return trip, I started hurting. Bad.

I then, for the first time in my life, decided to do the sensible thing and catch a bus back home.

I found a bus stop and sat. And sat, and sat and sat.

With the clock ticking (can’t be late, don’t want to anger tiny Asian woman who is torturing me), I decided that I couldn’t wait any longer and started riding, figuring eventually a bus would catch up to me and then I could give my poor shoulder some rest.

Except no bus came. I kept looking over my shoulder, hoping I’d see something – anything. Any bus would do.

Nope. Nothing.

Normally, when I’m biking, I have to avoid being flattened by a bus approximately every five minutes, so the complete lack of buses just when I really needed one was maddening.

Every time I looked back and didn’t see a bus, I’d let loose with a torrent of language that would likely shock a sailor. At one traffic light, a police car pulled up beside me, and the nice officer asked me what the problem was.

“I’m hurting and need to catch a bus, but now I can’t find one.”

“So.. they’re just like cops, then?”

Yes, indeed. Just like cops. Only not on a frantic manhunt which involves several innocent drivers getting shot up.

I finally saw a bus two block from my apartment.

Bastards.

Filed under: cranky, humor, life in LA, Los Angeles, mishaps, Non-Work, , , , , , , , , , ,

A Man Explains Things to Me

As much as I’d like to panic about the lack of work, it’s pretty normal for January (ish), so I’ve been doing some physical therapy on my shoulder while I have the down time (I’m determined to be positive about the work prospects for this year).

Said physical therapy has me doing some strange-looking (and painful) exercises with one of those resistance bands.

I usually opt to do my exercises at the gym, mainly because I’m more likely to do them if I make myself get up and go somewhere that’s not my apartment. Also, while I’m there I can swim (sort of – mostly kick sets for now) and sit in the steam room.

My gym used to have resistance bands available for use, but they were removed a couple of years ago, presumably due to concerns about members using them to strangle the sweaty bastard who refuses to wipe down the equipment after use.

So I bring the bands that the physical therapist gave me, and work through my exercises, usually with no issues other than failure to keep the obscenities to a discreet volume.

Except today, when I got mansplained.

The phenomenon is recounted in this article* by the utterly brilliant Rebecca Solnit  (to whom I humbly offer hommage with the title of this post).

As I was doing the exercise that I like to call the Sieg Heil (exactly what you’d imagine, only with a resistance band), a man swathed in overpriced brand-name tech fabric offered some unsolicited advice after staring at me for a full five minutes.

“You really shouldn’t do that,” he began (whatever happened to ‘hello’) in that tone. “You could hurt yourself. If you like, I can show you how to work out.”

“It’s a physical therapy exercise. I’m pretty sure she told me to do it this way for a reason.”

“You see,” he continued “your shoulder is a very complicated joint and you have to be very  careful, especially with those dangerous bands. You know the gym got rid of them.”

“The physical therapist told me to do this. I think she might have gone to college.”

“Maybe you could start with the easy pushups. You know, the ones on your knees.”

It became clear he wasn’t going to listen to me. As I tried to decide if I wanted to fart loudly, belch, or resume swearing (if you can’t reason with them, scare them off), I was saved by the swim coach, who ran up and jokingly yelled “Five more! Your butterfly sucks!” while holding her hand at a height that I wasn’t going to be able to reach without dropping the band (or maybe even if I did).

At the sight of my exercise being legitimized by  an actual staff member, he slunk off… somewhere. I was laughing too hard to really pay much attention.

*I highly recommend River of Shadows, the book referenced in the article.

Filed under: humor, life in LA, Non-Work, Off-Topic, rants, , , , , , ,

I’m not sick, I’m just full of pool water

There must be something going around.

I can assume this because all of a sudden everyone around me is completely paranoid about anyone being sick, even slightly.

Today, I spent an hour in the pool attempting to correct my piss-poor upper body position, which meant keeping my head down much further than I’m really used to, which resulted in an unfortunate amount of pool water filling my sinus cavity.

So much water got up there that I’m reasonably certain even my parietal lobe got some swimmies.

So, after sitting in the steam room and showering, I meandered back to my locker and began to get dressed and pack up my stuff.

Since I still had some water sloshing around in my skull, I was sniffling periodically, and the lady three lockers down would glare menacingly at me each time I did.

Finally, she turned to me and hissed “Stay home if you’re sick! What about the rest of us?”

I tried to assure her that it was just a sinus meets pool water issue, but since she hurriedly grabbed her stuff and moved across the locker room, glaring at me all the time, I’m guessing she didn’t believe me.

In other news, I’ve got two days of work this week due to a very good friend being a mensch and helping me out.

I love everyone right now. Even the angry lady.

Filed under: humor, life in LA, mishaps, Non-Work, , ,

Aquapolypse!

Here in Los Angeles, we take all sorts of natural disasters in stride. Earthquakes, tsunamis, out-of-control wind-driven fires, killer bees, Brett Ratner… none of them even make us drop our lattes.

Until the unthinkable happens and water begins to fall from the sky.

Then, we panic uncontrollably, run screaming to the grocery stores for supplies (can’t run out of Pinot Grigio, now can we? Oh, wait.. Are you supposed to drink white wine or red in a raging storm that will be the death of us all? Somebody help me before my head explodes), drive recklessly through the damp streets, crash our cars and then swear never, ever to leave the house ever again if there’s even a hint of that evil sky water on the horizon.

So with the news predicting an all-out onslaught of scattered showers throughout the weekend, my lack of work was not such a terrible thing, since I get very, very nervous even attempting to drive (or bike, or walk) around panicky Angelenos who are trying to clean the local grocer out of anything even remotely edible while fighting the onslaught of frizzy hair.

Although I did venture out to visit  the gym, I  avoided all grocery stores and, just to be safe, hardware stores and booksellers.

As predicted, it’s been drizzling intermittently all afternoon and I’m now home,  watching the news coverage of the colossal traffic jam.

Oh, the humanity.

Filed under: camera, humor, life in LA, Los Angeles, Non-Work, Photos, , , , , ,

The four wheels of the apocalypse

Here in Los Angeles, we love our cars. Really, really love them. We do anything we can to avoid using our feet, our legs, or any form of public transit. Should we need to reach some far (or near) destination, we travel via our network of free highways (“freeways” for those of you not familiar with Southern California automotive nomenclature).  They’re clogged with traffic, marred with graffiti, strewn with trash and king-sized potholes, but eventually they get us where we want to go.

It’s a love/hate relationship, and although they make us miserable at times, we just can’t imagine life without them.

Until this coming weekend, when CalTrans will close – that’s close as in completely shut down – a 10 mile section of the 405, one of the busiest stretches of road in the country, if not the world.

To our car-centric culture, this is nothing short of a Biblical-sized catastrophe.

Carmageddon. The Sepulcalypse*.  We collectively flap our hands and hyper-ventilate as we contemplate the idea of not being able to drive.

The newsbots have been raising the alarm about this for weeks, and now the city of LA has resorted to the awesome power of faded television stars to try to calm the masses:

Said masses obstinately refuse to be calm and now hysterical panic is sweeping the city.

Many people are planning, like rats fleeing a sinking ship, to leave town.

“Yeah, we’re just going to drive up the coast Friday, get a hotel for the weekend and just chill out.”

“Wait. You’re driving to a hotel where you’re just going to sit around all weekend? Why not just stay home?”

“Stay home? What if we have to drive somewhere?”

And so it goes.

Unfortunately for me,  I now live west of the 405, and some surface streets in my neighborhood will be closed, making any sort of vehicular egress on my part impossible.

I won’t be able to make the union meeting (on the other side of town, of course) on Saturday or to the three parties downtown, so I plan to do my commuting to the beach on my bicycle.

And take photos of what will be either hilarious chaos or  eerily empty streets.

*The surface street alternative to the 405 is Sepulveda Blvd, which will not be closed, but might as well be, since no one has any illusions about traffic moving at anything faster than a painfully slow crawl.

Filed under: humor, life in LA, Los Angeles, mishaps, Non-Work, , , ,

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