Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

Go on, say it.

Did I say I had steady work coming up?

Whoops.

What I meant was I thought I had a gig but the best boy made a change at the last-minute (as in the Friday before I was to start), and didn’t tell me.

These things happen, and I’m sure he had a good reason – there are so many folks who are really, really hurting right now. It’s possible that whoever replaced me is going to lose his/her house or insurance or become destitute save for this gig.

I’ll never know. It stings a bit, of course, but I just have to let it go and hope that it’ll all work out for the best.

It usually does (most of the time).

The first thing I did was get on the phone and start informing people I was available.

My “I need work” texts must have seemed sufficiently desperate as I’ve managed to scrape up one day this week, which is better than nothing,  but still…

Right now would be the appropriate time for the  ‘I told you so’ chorus.

Remind me to spend the rest of my life at financial DEFCON 1 no matter how well work is going.

On the bright side, I’m now officially too broke to drink so my liver gets a nice vacation. Hooray!

Filed under: mishaps, overspending, Work, , , , , ,

Too busy for my fridge

Just let me start this out by stating how grateful I am to be working.

The only problem with working is the fridge and its contents.

Right before I got this job, I’d purchased some food.

I was thinking about my budget,  so I  didn’t go too crazy. Veggies, mostly, but also some chicken and assorted toppings. I usually have a bag of brown rice in the cabinet, and I’ll cook a batch as needed about twice a week.

I thought I was set.

Then, I proceeded to spend 12 hours a day on set with craft service and catering.

So today, when I opened the fridge for the first time in.. I don’t know, I was greeted to a big bunch of wilted and moldy garbage, with accompanying odor.

Awesome.

Even the mustard was moldy. How can that even happen?

Since the fridge was empty after I pitched everything, I took the time to scrub it out while I was muttering angrily about wasting food.

I’ve got one more week and then I’ll re-stock with  a shiny clean fridge. Maybe. Hopefully there will still be enough work to justify not buying groceries.

Filed under: overspending, Work, , , , , , ,

The most painful time of year

Once again, it’s the tail end of the ‘dry season’, and my savings haven’t quite managed to stretch (mostly due to some car issues), so I turned to the Motion Picture and Television Fund for an emergency grant so I can pay my rent and, you know,  maintain a place to live.

The times I’ve had to use this option in the past, the Fund have been wonderful and compassionate, but this time I guess they’re dealing with more folks in trouble, because there’s very little compassion (or basic politeness) to be found.

The intake person cheerfully suggested I contact homeless shelters in case I got turned down for a grant (after asking if I had ‘any friends who would give me money’),  and the social worker, in the initial phone call, sternly reminded me of all that I’ve ‘taken from’ the fund in the past and that he’d have to ‘carefully consider’ if the fund wanted to give me any more help.

Great job guys. Way to make me feel like less of a piece of crap. Appreciate it.

I’m fairly certain they’re going to turn me down this time – just a hunch, mind you.

With work not due to start up for a couple of more weeks (my work texts have yielded nothing but other people looking for work, too), I’m starting to go into panic mode.

Unemployment have been waiting as long as possible to pay out claims (although a friend who was having trouble with them last year says they’re being great this year – guess I’m just in the group they’re picking on this time), I may have to pay my landlord in two (or three) installments.

I hate doing this. I hate even having to think about doing this.

The last thing I want is for the guy who owns the building to start thinking I’m not good for the rent. That can’t go anywhere good.

Hopefully work will surprise me and pick up early.  Work needs to pick up early.

Just not to end on such a maudlin tone, I have good news and an informal poll:

 

First, the good news – I may be just about destitute but at least I’ve got a date. Another broke deadbeat whom I met at one of LA’s  numerous free movie screenings. Hooray me!

Also, I’ve been invited to a friend’s birthday party, then informed that I’ll be expected to pay about $70 ‘to help defray costs’. Times are tough all over, but my initial inclination is to be offended about this.

What do you think?

Filed under: dating, life in LA, Los Angeles, Non-Work, overspending

That’s just great.

When I’m working and have a good amount of cash, I buy all kinds of deals on Groupon – which works great, since I can redeem them when I’m not working and not break the bank eating out and pampering myself (not literally, of course. I think that’s a different deal site).

Today, I went for a massage courtesy of Groupon. This particular massage place was one of the medical places that’s got a doctor there, so they did a whole intake questionnaire and had the therapist look me over since I’d mentioned some shoulder pain.

She took a step back, cocked her head and said “that’s odd. Your left shoulder is lower than your right one”.

Ah, crap.

I really honestly thought I’d escaped this particular injury. It’s something that happens to ‘lifer’ electricians. We load heavy stuff on whichever shoulder we like better (for me it’s the left side. Although I’m right-handed, I do just about everything else in a left-side dominant manner), and eventually the shoulder drops, leaving us looking like some Victorian bell tower dwelling monster. Or something.

So now, I’ve got uneven shoulders, and a thumb with a chunk out of it.

There go my dreams of being the world’s oldest supermodel.

Also, work is still dead. Dead, dead, dead. Hopefully, it’ll pick up towards the end of the month.

Filed under: overspending, ,

Some weeks are better than others

This week started out so well. Work’s picking up, the weather’s been gorgeous, etc…

Until Tuesday, when I decided to go to the grocery store, and because I needed some bulky stuff, I took the car.

Midway through my backing out of my parking space in the six-space carport, the neighbor’s little rat-dog ran across the alley and under my wheels, and in an attempt not to flatten said rat-dog, I swerved and hit the support post instead.

Which would have been fine, except my current car is apparently made of vacu-formed tinfoil as the low-speed oopsie resulted in the following:

One torn off driver’s side mirror

One severely dented front driver’s side door.

One fucked up front quarter panel.

One fucked up front bumper.

One $500 deductible.

One rat-dog owner refusing to admit that she’s at fault.

Awesome. So now, I’m on the hook for five Benjamins and my car has to go to the body shop for an undisclosed amount of time.

Also, I’ve spent eons on the phone with said insurance company and will now get a point on my license and jacked-up rates for the foreseeable future.

Lucky for me my insurance covers a portion of the rental car – not all of it, of course, but some of it.

Gods bless America.

So for the next week or so, I’ll be driving a Prius, which is what the rental car company gave me. Side of smug is on the house.

And five days of work turned into three.

How was your week?

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

A narrow escape from the temple of impulse buying

The last time I worked, I started having problems with my walkie headset – I could hear, but not respond, which might not seem like a problem, but can annoy the hell out of the gaffer if you can’t answer a simple fucking question without climbing down out of the rigging.

I’d put off buying a new one as I haven’t been working, but since things are supposedly picking up (or so I hear) I drove to Burbank and walked into the most dangerous place on the planet.

Filmtools.

A vast air-conditioned emporium full to the brim of all kinds of cool stuff that I don’t need but desperately want more than I’ve ever wanted anything before.

A tool pouch with a little light built-in so you can peruse the contents in the dark!

Special gloves just for wrapping wet cable!

Neat-o stretchy cables that attach your wrench to your belt so if you drop said wrench while you’re in the perms, it won’t fall to the floor and hurt someone!

25 different types of clips to hold your gloves!

Tape in all the colors of the rainbow!

Oh, the colors…

Plus, helpful staff!

Me (glassy-eyed): “What’s that?”

Sales clerk: “That’s a dampening widget that sound guys only use on the 5th Monday of a month ending in -ed”

Me (drooling): “It’s so shiiiiiiny….”

Must. Control. Self.

After stepping outside and taking several deep cleansing breaths of the smoggy air, I managed to escape with just my new headset and a pair of the wet cable gloves (soggy gloves suck so it’s a totally justified purchase), but oh, for the shiny stuff I had to leave behind.

Damn you, Filmtools. Damn you to hell.

Filed under: Non-Work, overspending

Saturday Photo

Sort of impulse buy

Although work’s been slow, I’ve done okay with the money this time (so far), so when I went looking for new bikes – not intending to buy one, just to look – the sales guy pulled some serious ninja moves on me.

I didn’t even see him pounce, and the next thing I knew, my charge card was out and they were loading it into the car for me.

It probably helped that he was very, very cute and enthusiastic about bikes.

So far I’ve only ridden it about four miles, but it’s awesome and I had this big stupid grin on my face while I pedaled through the streets.

I hadn’t realized how hard I’d been having to work on the old bike (cheapie decade-old hybrid ‘mountain’ bike fitted with road slicks) until I got on this one, looked down at the computer and realized I was cruising along with no effort at a speed which used to really make me sweat.

Sweet.

Hopefully, work will pick up so I won’t keep freaking out about money and can just enjoy my fan-fucking-tastic new bike.

Filed under: Non-Work, Off-Topic, overspending, Photos

Ow. My Legs.

I’m currently in Lake Tahoe, on the first vacation I’ve had in about two years (unless you count foot surgery as a vacation).

Since I’m very tired and hurt all over (but in a good way), I’ll just post some photos:

Frosty trees and blue sky

Lake Tahoe

View towards the lake

Tomorrow, I’m off to Napa to see my sister. I’ll be back either Sunday or Monday (depending on work next week).

Filed under: Non-Work, overspending, Photos

Hooray for reduced traffic (I think).

It used to be, that when I wrote something about, say, refusing to take a cat across town to see a fucking kitty eye-doctor, I’d get hate mail from what seemed like every wacko with a pulse and a keyboard.

That was back in the Blogger days – when I moved the blog, I lost around 60 percent of my traffic, which, I’m told, is normal (so much for my thinking I was special and that people would love me enough to update their damn bookmarks), so after yesterday’s declaration of kitty-type hatefulness, I didn’t get one hate mail.

Not one.

I got a hate Meebo message, which I’m counting as about one-third of an actual email due to the extra lameness factor of trying to scold a total stranger in text-speak (“u r mean”).

I’m not sure if it’s just harder to email me via WordPress, or if no one cares anymore. Either way, I win.

Filed under: Non-Work, Off-Topic, overspending, , , , , , ,

Fine, I’ll look on the damn bright side.

Although I don’t know how much of this list is optimism and how much is schadenfreude, but sometimes you just have to take what you can get.

Especially from me.

Here ya go:

1) At least I don’t live in the Western San Fernando Valley – if you think I’m whining about the heat now

2) At least I’m not a “pro-family” US Senator with a horrible voting record on gay rights who got popped (pun intended) for hitting on a male cop in an airport restroom (insert derisive snicker). Now there’s a guy with problems.

3) The cat has only thrown up one hairball this week. This is a vast improvement over last week, when she threw up about ten thousand hairballs and kindly left most of them right where I’d step in them during night-time trips to the loo.

4) The maintenance guy has switched from Eddie Money to the Eagles. I don’t really care for the Eagles much, but it’s a change and I have to take what I can get, right?

4) I’m working Friday, but it’s on a stage that’s air-conditioned to the point of qualifying as a meat locker with a crew of folks who, if I start acting bitchy, will just throw something at me and not take it personally. Yay!

5) The MRI for the right knee came back, and besides a bit of fluid, everything is normal. No torn anything, no weird tumors.

And, just for the record, I don’t hate France – I love France. Honestly, I can take or leave Paris, but the south of France is where I really fell in love with the country and the people (who were wonderful everywhere I went, and very patient with my atrocious French), even though every time I go there I gain about three metric tons from eating all the delicious food and drinking gallons of the local vin ordinaire.

Whenever I complain about the excess pounds, whoever I’m talking to gives that dismissive hand wave that only the French can do really well and says “Oh, there is always time to diet later. Here, have another croissant”.

Why, merci. Don’t mind if I do.

Stupid France and their stupid wonderful food and stupid delicious wine and cheese (which is so totally worth eating) and nice people and beautiful light and strong coffee.

Mmmm.. France. I need to go there right now.
But I can’t go to France any time soon because today I lashed out with Mr. Debit Card and bought a Nikon D40.

I blame Nezza for this.

Originally, I had only thought of buying the D80, which is WAY outside my price range, so I’d just looked at them, sighed wistfully and hoped that the DSLR fairies would someday leave one under my pillow if I were very, very good indeed, and moved on. Then, when Nezza mentioned a D40, I looked at it and thought it wasn’t so bad, so when I went by Samy’s Camera today to buy film for my ancient SLR, I saw the sale price on the D40 and before I knew it, I was walking out the door with one.

I hope you’re happy, Nezza.

Now I have a camera but I can’t make an impulse ticket purchase to Paris, where I’d jump on the train and go somewhere with fatty food and stunning beaches and cheap wine and fabulously attractive locals whom I’d probably ignore completely due to my being too busy stuffing my face.

Who am I kidding… Once I factor in the lost work, that would cost about a bazillion times more than a camera.

Unfortunately, the camera doesn’t use normal batteries, so I couldn’t just take it out of the box and start shooting (of course, there was a really awesome couch on the way home), but once it gets charged I’m going to try it out.

And, of course, if I don’t like it I’m going to muster all of my imaginary PMS anger and return it.

Filed under: camera, couches, life in LA, Nikon, Non-Work, Off-Topic, overspending, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

April 2014
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Halfway through a wrap day

Get something out of those jockey boxes, I dare you.

Electricity and water

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