Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

Nature hands me my ass

I had it all figured out for today – I was going to get up early, pack my lunch, and then walk the two blocks to the bus stop so I could save some gas and get that nice eco-smug feeling. What’s not to love?

The bus was due at 6:05 (have to be across town for a 7 am call), and as I was getting ready to leave, the cat started following me around and crying.

I picked her up and was petting her, then her eyes bulged and a veritable fountain of vomit erupted. She didn’t even make that ‘huk huk huk’ noise. Just puked.

It went everywhere.  Down my shirt, into my bra, in my hair where I turned my head to keep said puke out of my mouth.

Since I definitely didn’t want to spend the next 11 hours smelling like cat barf (or any barf, really), I peeled off my now very gross clothes and hopped in the shower.

So much for that bus ride.

After a frantic wash and clothing change, I looked at the time and went pale. I might make it, I might not, and one can never predict what the traffic’s going to do.

So, I texted the best boy with the information that I might be late because my cat barfed on me.

Worst. Excuse. Ever.

Shockingly, I made it to work with minutes to spare and we climbed up into the perms.

In response to a comment on the last post – not only do rigging crews not get lunch*, they don’t even get air conditioning.

The air is only turned on when the shooting company arrives. Since it’s currently July, it’s quite hot in the perms.

Our boss has made the very sensible decision that we’re only to be ‘up high’ before lunch, and then in the hottest part of the day we come down and do work on the floor (wiring fixtures, labelling equipment, etc…).

So the morning was all about sweat and sore muscles (after two days of carrying cable, I’m in serious pain), and the afternoon was all about frustration as we attempted to re-install some fixtures from last season in exactly the same places they were before.

The clock ran out before we finished, so we’ll have to try to pick it up tomorrow.

After we were dismissed, I walked out to my car, which was parked on the street as this particular lot has the most difficult parking ever so it’s  just easier.

I’d parked under a tree and the avian residents had left their calling card, so to speak.

Although the idea was to get back across town before the traffic got too bad, I had to stop and get the car washed, as I couldn’t see out of the windshield.

Damn animals.

*Film crews can either be on production, which means the shooting unit, or off production, which means anything not actively making the movie. On production means one gets free parking, free meals, climate control and craft service. Off production means you get reasonable hours (usually) and don’t have to carry a walkie, but you have to pay for your own food and parking (depending where you are. Paramount Studios, for example, charges for parking, but if you’re on production you get a voucher. Riggers have to suck up and pay it).

Filed under: long long drives, mishaps, studio lots, Work, , , , , , , , , , ,

Friday Photos, or why I’m afraid to go to sleep tonight

This is the cat, in her normal state of fuzzy resplendence:
Pussy, with hair

Except today, when she looks like this:

Shaved pussy

I still have no air conditioning and it’s been incredibly hot and she’s been incredibly miserable, so off to the groomer (a new one, since it’s too far to drive back to Hollywood with a wailing cat in the back seat) we went.  Now, I’m left with half a cat.

No, seriously. The pile of hair was bigger than the surprisingly small cat.

The new groomer loves said cat. Kept feeding her bits of chicken salad because she was ‘stressed’ (no idea if that applied to the cat, the groomer, or both).

Hopefully this means she’ll be too full to kill me in my sleep (the cat, not the groomer).

Filed under: camera, Non-Work, Photos, , , , , , , ,

…and that’s why I have a cat.

My upstairs neighbors, despite the fact that they play bad guitar and clomp about like Budweiser Clydesdales, are really nice folks who have a very, very adorable French Bulldog.

Aside from being very sweet and somehow managing to smell like a wet dog even when she’s not wet, the dog needs enough attention that at least one of the neighbors must come home from work at lunch every day to let her out to do whatever it is that dogs do on the front lawn.

Said upstairs neighbors want to go to a party tomorrow night which may or may not go late, so just to be safe, they’ve had to line up a dog babysitter.

Yes, you read that correctly.

A babysitter. For the dog. Because apparently one can’t leave a dog alone for more than 15 seconds or they’ll start a land war in Central Asia. Or something.

To me, this seems awfully similar to having children. The difference,  I suppose, is that one can just throw the children in the hall closet and tell them if they move, the clown will eat them. But then they grow up and crash your car right after they borrow money from you, so  there’s that.

In contrast to needing a doggy baby-sitter, my cat, although she acknowledges that I am the one who pours the kibble in the bowl, is largely indifferent to my existence (except when she’s cold), and probably wouldn’t notice if I vanished from the face of the earth, as long as the food bowl was kept full.

I’m so thankful I don’t have to hire a sitter if I’m going to be out for one night.  Or two.

 

Filed under: Non-Work, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , ,

Home again, at last.

Long ago, at a party, a friend who had spent her entire adult life in a wheelchair said to me “When you’re handicapped, everything is a procedure.”  At the time, I nodded sagely and sipped my drink while I tried to look like I had a fucking clue what she was talking about.  After the last 24 hours, I completely – truly – understand.

I’m still working on the procedure, but since I’ve only been up and about for the past day, it’s all fairly new.  At my wonderful saintly friends’ house, the only time I had to get up was to go to the toilet – everything was brought to me and I even had help taking a bath. Now, I’m on my own and were there webcams in my house, my antics would be comedy classics.

See me try to carry a cup of coffee (yes, I know it was stupid) while on crutches and spill it all over the cat!

See me trip over a throw rug!

See me try to coax hissing coffee-soaked cat down from the top of the bookshelf!

See me try to retrieve errant crutches after they fall just out of reach!

See me try to wash the dishes and keep my foot propped up at the same time!

Best of all – see me try to bend over and pick something up off of the floor!

Hilarious.

I’m sure it’ll get better – I just missed out on the crutch practice days that I would have had without the complications.

Because nothing ever seems to go all that smoothly for me, I picked up a staph infection at the hospital. Not at the incision site – on the top of the foot. I was fine at first, but as soon as the hospital’s anesthesia wore off, the foot began feel like it was on fire.  Since I have actually set fire to myself (on more than one occasion), this is a feeling that I know well and quite frankly don’t care for all that much.

The medication wasn’t helping the pain at all, so  the doctor was called and he told me to take more of the medication, which made me vomit. Repeatedly.  I have now officially poisoned myself with vicodin. Sweet. Remind me not to do it again. I don’t know how people get addicted to that stuff.

I got a better pain drug and was much happier once I managed to get my face out of the trash can.

Although I didn’t have internet, I had cable TV (I’m going to miss that), the best dog ever to keep me company and wonderful people who kept me fed and updated my blog for me. I owe all of them something spectacular now.

When I went to the doctor for a check up, he just scratched his head and said that he couldn’t figure out how I’d gotten the infection – then wrote me a prescription for antibiotics and said that if there was no improvement in five days that he was going to have to re-admit me to the staph factory hospital.

The good news is that the infection’s definitely clearing up – I still can’t put any weight on the foot, but it’s stopped hurting so much when it’s not elevated, which was the one obstacle to my going home.

So now I’m back home and I have the internet again. Of course, the first thing I did was go online and order some padding for the crutches because my armpits look like hamburger.

I’m going back to the doctor in the morning. I don’t suppose he’s going to let me drive yet, so I’m planning on being stuck in the house for another week.

Which isn’t a bad thing – I have a lot of stuff I have to get done if and when I can manage to balance.

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

I am so ready for summer to end.

It’s time for the annual heat wave (now with extra humidity!) that turns Los Angeles into Miami West. Although this seems to have taken everyone by surprise, it happened last year and the year before that and the year before that. Before that, I forget. Must be the heat.

Huge thunderheads hang in the sky east of the city, and while they’re very pretty (as clouds go) they’re making everyone completely miserable and smelly. I keep getting invites for afternoon events and there’s just no way in hell I’m going to even bother putting on makeup and trying to look human.

Every morning I wake up early intending to get in a workout and a bike ride before the heat gets really bad, but I’ve just not been able to do it. Maybe it’s because it’s not actually cooling off in my house at night. This is just cruel and unusual, if you ask me. If I had any energy, I’d fire off an angry letter to someone.

What I have been doing is seeing a lot of movies, but I have to be careful because I don’t want to run out of movie passes. I buy them every time I work on a lot where they’re sold (and save them for occasions like this), but I only have a few left so I’ve got to ration, which takes away one source of free air conditioning for a few hours.

Tomorrow, I have my first appointment with the therapist (who seems like a nice lady and I’m not sure I should subject her to me), who will hopefully have an air-conditioned office. After that, since we’re in for at least 8 more weeks of heat, I think I’m going to have to shave my pussy.

Seriously.

She’s obviously really uncomfortable and has been following me from room to room scolding me whenever I happen to be home – you know, just in case I didn’t already know that it’s hot and sticky and she’s wearing a heavy fur coat. She’s also shedding like mad. She should be bald already, but since she isn’t I’m starting to doubt that there’s actually a cat underneath all that fur.

The only problem with this plan should be obvious. The last time I tried this (with a former cat) I ended up in the emergency room. My sister suggested filling the water bowl with whiskey, but I’m kind of afraid to try it – what if something happens mid-clip and I have to take her to the vet?

Then he’ll ask why the cat can’t stand up and I’ll have to explain that she’s drunk. He already thinks I’m horrible because of the whole eye incident, so I think a kitty blood-alcohol level would make him call the PETA hit squad.

You know, the more I think about it the more I become convinced that it’s a really bad idea.  I think I’ll just use my last AMC pass and go see IMAX Batman.

There are rumors of work Saturday night, which, while I’ll have to try to get turned around (since I’ve been going to bed* before 10 every night), will at least be not too hot.

In other news, Los Angeles county is threatening to require that calorie counts of meals be posted on the menu right next to the price, which I predict will, at the very least, cause mass confusion around here (“wait. The hamburger’s 800 dollars? What? It’s only ten dollars? Well why do you have that number there if it’s not the price? I don’t get it”)

*What I really mean is laying in the bed with the fans turned on high, sweating profusely and wishing I lived in Greenland.

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

It’s a shiny bright new year!

Instead of the normal list of completely unrealistic resolutions (“I will only eat healthy things” “I will always be nice to people” “I will not scream ‘cocksucker’ out the window of my car every three minutes”), this time I’ve decided to just be happy and make a list of things which I will not be changing in the coming year.

1) I resolve never to stop yelling “Hahahahaha… suckers!” as I coast past gridlock in mall parking structures on my bicycle. Schadenfreude is really underrated, you know.

2) I resolve to continue swearing like a mule skinner whenever possible. Even around kids. Especially around kids.

3) I resolve not to watch a lot of important art house movies in the coming year. I’m totally in touch with my inner magpie, and Speed Racer looks shiny.

4) I will not buy a hybrid car in 2008.

5) I will not get around to cleaning out my hall closet and throwing away those festering doodads that have been in there for a decade.

6)Except the Battenburg lace Christmas tree angel that my aunt gave me a few years ago which I will probably put on eBay just because it’s completely pointless and it makes it harder for me to find my tools when I need them.

7) You know what? Fuck it. I’m just going to set the thing on fire, video it and post it to YouTube.

8) I don’t even know why my family keep buying me tree ornaments anyways. I haven’t had a tree since the early 1990′s.

9) I resolve to continue setting grossly inappropriate gifts on fire and posting the video to YouTube. Burning Mary Kay perfume (fire can only improve that smell) coming soon.

10) I resolve not to decrease my alcohol consumption during the coming year.

11) I will continue to call my cat “pinhead” even though that’s not her name.

12) I will continue to ignore whatever ridiculously overpriced skin product/procedure du jour is making the rounds. Goddammit, I earned these wrinkles.

13) I will continue to procrastinate…. later. Maybe. When I get around to it.

Happy New Year, everyone!

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

So now I need some advice.

Almost a week ago, I found this dog:

Meet the Anklebiter

All attempts at finding her real family have failed (according to the lady at the shelter, there’s a good chance that she was dumped), and now I’m having to think about things.

I really like the dog and want to keep her, but given the hours I work I just don’t think I’m the right home for her. I was hoping that my friends would keep her because that way I’d still be able to visit, but now it’s not looking like that’s going to happen.

So, who out there has experience with tiny dogs? I suspect she’ll be unhappy when left alone for 14 hours a day (well, not alone but I can’t imagine she’s ever going to get too buddy-buddy with the cat). Chihuahuas aren’t like cats, right? They don’t like to be home alone all day doing whatever it is cats do (I think my cat’s using the internet while I’m gone, but I can’t prove anything), right?

I’d love for the dog people out there to weigh in on this one.

Filed under: Uncategorized, , , ,

I’ll be fine once the bleeding stops.

Since I had no work today (that’s not necessarily a bad thing – I worked all night Friday night so I lost Saturday. I know I got up, went out and did…something. I just don’t remember what that something was. Then, Sunday was the annual trip to the LA County Fair where I once again overindulged on strange and disturbing fried foods – so I needed a day to recover and maybe get some weekend-type stuff done), I got up bright and early and did my laundry, and then, because I felt like a challenge, I decided to take the cat to the vet.

This is never a decision to be made lightly. This particular cat, who is all of 7 lbs, can somehow manage to scream louder than an air-raid siren when she’s placed in the kitty carrier and driven anywhere. But lately she’s had this weird thing with her eye and I was starting to get worried about it. Basically, she scratches all the fur off the corner of the eye and then walks around the house shaking her head and crying. I figured since she usually sits on the back of the couch and glares at me silently or sits on my head while I’m trying to sleep, I should probably ask a trained professional if there might be something wrong with her.

So, when I got to the vet, he looked her over, took her temperature, thought for a moment, and then said “I don’t think there’s anything wrong, but I’m going to send you to an ophthalmologist just so he can have a look at the eye. They have some specialized equipment that we don’t.”

Dude. It’s a cat.

Right at the number one position on the list of things I am simply not going to do is stuff a fur-covered Klaxon into a cheap Chinese plastic box and then drive across town to a fucking kitty eye doctor in Santa Monica just because.

Hell, I don’t even think I’d take a quiet, well behaved cat that just sat there in the passenger seat and didn’t fuck with the radio or anything all the way out to Santa Monica just to see a specialist because the vet thought there wasn’t anything wrong, but still, let’s have a look. Or something.

No. I have to draw the line somewhere.

I held the fucking kitty eye doctor’s business card up, shook it, and said “Didn’t you just tell me you didn’t think anything was wrong?”

Clearly, this was not what he was used to hearing from clients.

Sometimes you can just tell that someone is used to dealing with post post-modern middle aged urban professionals (muppies? mappies? puppies?) who have pets instead of children.

“Well,” he stammered “I don’t think it’s really anything, no. I…I just thought you might… just want to be sure.”

Okay, fine. How about I take your word that it’s nothing, and then if something out-of-the-ordinary happens, like she grows a second head or starts oozing green goo or explodes I’ll think about giving the fucking kitty eye doctor a call.


At some point during the conversation, said kitty decided that a really great place to hide from the bastard who was torturing her was under the front of my shirt – in the process of her trying to climb in and my trying to pull her out so said bastard could give her a shot she shredded up a fairly significant portion of my skin.

Guess I should have had him trim her claws, too.

He gave me some eye-drops to put in her eye and I think I’m going to wait until tomorrow to start them. Discretion being the better part of valor (or so I’ve been told), I need to stop bleeding before I take on any more epic cat battles.

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

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Halfway through a wrap day

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