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 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 19, 2013 • 5:12 pm 0
March 29, 2013 • 8:59 pm 3
Back in the old days, to get to the perms one would climb a rope ladder. Then, someone figured out that this was probably unsafe and something about which the dirty toolbelt people might be able to sue.
Enter the wall ladder.
If you’ve ever tried to climb a rope ladder, you will agree that a ladder fixed to a wall is much safer.
But still not that safe.
Enter the cage.
The cage prevents said ladder climber from falling to his or her death (or severe injury) and features a handy platform halfway – not for resting, but to allow more than one person to climb the ladder simultaneously. One person climbs the bottom half, and when that person steps off the lower ladder and onto the platform, the next person starts up.
Mostly for safety, but also because no one wants to see what’s up a co-worker’s shorts. Trust me on this one.
March 15, 2013 • 7:59 pm 0
March 5, 2013 • 11:57 pm 3
Last night was my first time going up in the condor in almost a year. Although I’m not normally too terribly afraid of heights, it does take me a bit to adjust to being in a lift after extensive periods of time spent on terra firma.
We were shooting on a Y-shaped studio lot street, so we used three condors. Mine was the lowest, armed out over the intersection, mimicking various streetlights. This had two advantages. It kept me lower, so there was less adjustment panic, and since I was a few feet below the tops of the facades, I was sheltered from the wind (spring has not yet sprung here in Los Angeles, so it’s still a bit brisk at night, especially up in the air).
The other two condors, at opposite ends of the street, were ‘full stick’ (meaning they were at full extension of 80 feet, almost straight up) and at the mercy of the wind and fog.
At least it didn’t rain, but the billowing clouds did make for some entertaining nighttime viewing:
The operators in the other two condors told me that the wind died down after about an hour, so everyone had an easy night.
Most terrifying night in a condor ever was the night I was armed out over the LA river for an elaborate car chase scene – my base was on one of the bridges and my bucket was full stick, so the distance to ground was about 200 feet. Adding to the terror spawned by an overactive imagination was a windy night and a very ‘bendy’ condor arm (some of the arms flex more than others).
At the end of the night I think I might have kissed the ground.
March 1, 2013 • 7:37 pm 1
From the Flickr archives:
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:
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.