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!
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?
April 2, 2013 • 7:32 pm 1
This afternoon, as I was cleaning the bathroom and wondering if I could somehow turn the power of PMS into a paycheck, a friend called and asked if I wanted to do a little data entry.
“It’ll be three or four hours of work and he’ll pay you $20.”
That’s a bit low for data entry, but it’s great if I want to distract myself from worrying about the fact that the “slow” season is approaching and what I’ve got in my savings account wouldn’t buy dinner at one of LA’s finer celebrity-infested restaurants.
“Great! I’ll have him email you!”
I suppose I should mention that, back in the days when the interwebz was still on dial-up and named AOL, I hurt my back (fell off a lift gate) and had to take a temp job which involved operating a ten-key. I sat at that fucking thing for eight of the most miserable months of my life. I’ve never been happier than the day I was well enough to quit and run back to the circus.
I’m still pretty fast on said ten-key, especially when I’m being paid a flat rate.
I figured I could finish the job in a couple of hours and then go for a bike ride to celebrate being underpaid to do menial labor (oh… Wait).
Imagine my surprise when I got a Google document which involved cutting and pasting URLs from websites. About 20,000 URLs, which I would have had to find myself (example: “Type the word Sears in field one and then paste the URL for Sears into field two”).
Holy shit. Even with one of those decommissioned space agency supercomputers (which I hear one can buy on Craig’s List), 1,000 trained monkeys and a shitload of cocaine, I doubted this was doable in less than a week.
When I called to try to explain that this was way more complicated than four hours and $20, the response I got was “well, I wanted it by tomorrow morning, but do you need all day?”
Luckily, just at that moment, I got a call to work. Tomorrow.
So, even though I’ll only get 8 hours, the cut-and-paste nightmare will fall in someone else’s lap.
Life is good.
February 27, 2013 • 5:22 pm 2
Today, as I came out of swim at 8 am, a PA stopped me as I was about to exit the pool.
“I’ll have to ask you to wait, miss. We’re rolling.”
I was so delighted that something – anything – was shooting in town I forgot to ask what it was, but as soon as I could leave the building I sauntered over to the set (a lacrosse game on the lawn of the park next to the municipal pool) see if I knew anyone on the crew who might throw me a pity day (or three).
I didn’t see anyone on the grip or camera crew that I knew, but I did see a stand-in that I remembered from the last TV show. According to her, the electricians were all off frantically trying to rig the next location before the company moved (ahead of schedule, of course. When we need the time they’re always ahead), which meant that any attempt to introduce myself would just garner ire and ill-will, so I chatted a bit and then headed home to make a valiant (but futile) attempt to scrub the itch off my chlorine-soaked skin.
I’m still unemployed, but I’m very heartened to see a shoot here in town. Let’s hope that a decent number of the record number of pilots shooting this year happen here. We all need the work.
February 14, 2013 • 8:17 pm 1
I’m coming to the end of my physical therapy, and things have improved with the shoulder. I’ve been doing some light swimming – mostly at my gym, where they offer what’s called a masters program, but is mostly a form and skills practice with moderate yardage.
Today, when I showed up at the gym for the 6 am swim, I was told that the swim was cancelled as the coach had a family emergency.
Since I was out of bed anyways, I checked my SCAQ schedule and saw that there was a 6:30 swim nearby, so I headed out, thinking that if it got too hard, I could just tell the instructor I was injured and sandbag my way though the workout.
It wasn’t marked on the schedule, but this particular swim turned out to be an IM. Normally, I prefer IM workouts since they’re varied and more interesting than just 3,000 yards of freestyle, but recently I’ve been ‘dialing it back’ at the insistence of the physical therapist.
Just to be safe, I got in the slow lane.
The workout started with some freestyle, and after being driven absolutely batty by the woman in front of me, who was swimming slower than I wanted to but too fast for me to pass, the IM portion of the swim started.
Surprisingly, the stroke that bothered my shoulder the most was the backstroke, not the butterfly, but I still managed to make it all the way through the workout.
The downside is that I’ve not really done any really hard swimming for a while so after the workout I dragged myself out of the pool and kind of flopped around on the deck like some sort of pasty white fish badly in need of an 8 am martini*.
I’m very happy at having been able to make it through the workout, even if I had to go home and nap afterwards.
Next up: Is there any work in Los Angeles at all and if so, will someone hire me?
*I settled for a cup of coffee and a chocolate muffin (since even though I’m single it’s supposedly the day to eat chocolate).