Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

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, , , , , ,

I don’t feel so good.

I was ready for the heat Monday. I drank water, I took electrolytes, I stayed in the shade whenever possible. Except for the sweaty smell (and the fact that my bowels stopped working for about 24 hours – TMI, sorry), I was fine.

I came home feeling not nearly as bad as I’d anticipated.  I made it through the hot day, and the next two days would be easy, right? On stage, in the shade where it would only be 100F.. cake.

Then, I woke up.

I rolled out of bed feeling like absolute shit. I felt like I’d been on a three-day long bender in Tijuana and topped it off with 6 am rotgut shots and one of those dirty water hotdogs from a street vendor. No sauerkraut.

I made the mistake of having a cup of coffee, which, instead of making me feel more awake, made me feel worse.

Once I got to the stage and started rigging lights, I didn’t feel any better. I was drinking water and taking more electrolytes and still felt bad.

Four liters of water later and I started to feel semi-human again. We got off work early-ish and I went to the gym, but didn’t work out. I jumped in the pool and the 80 degree water made me shiver – which, by the way, felt great. I then hung out in the cafe and played Words With Friends with one of the personal trainers until it was cool enough to return to my un-airconditioned apartment.

Wednesday, we had a much later call (10 am) because we had to wait for the set dressers to finish before we could start (doesn’t help us to wire up wall sconces when the decorator comes in at lunch and changes everything), and miraculously, I felt pretty good all day.

I kept drinking water just to be safe, though.

Today, it’s finally cooled off enough to be bearable. Let’s hope it stays that way.

Filed under: hazardous, locations, Work, , , , , , , , ,

And the heat’s on

For the past couple of weeks, it’s been cool and overcast in LA, which is always something I enjoy knowing that once it really gets hot I’m going to broil straight through until Thanksgiving.

Each day that I’m not sweating profusely is a meteorological special happy place.

Since I haven’t worked so far this week, I’ve been out on the bike every day enjoying the mist and the cool air (and not using overpriced gasoline, which is always good).

Well, that’s going away now. The cool days are becoming fewer, the hot days are becoming more frequent and the news is predicting record heat over the weekend (and issuing warnings about heat stroke and general sweatiness). It’s easily 20 degrees warmer today than it was yesterday and going to get even hotter, which I’m predicting my tomatoes will not like one little bit.

I’ve already lost two to my garden’s soil borne tomato wilt (also known as “creeping crud”, “icky” and “goddammit”) – one of the two Marvel Stripe plants I had and sadly, my only Jetsetter (the perfect food porn tomato – perfectly round, perfectly red, perfectly tomato-y, perfectly hard to find. Oh, well. Maybe next year), and I’m desperately hoping the extreme temperature shift won’t finish off the rest of them.

I’m also not sure if I should call the diet a success or failure so far. I’ve only lost 5 lbs (target was 10), but my body fat percentage has gone from 26% to 22%.

I don’t think that muscle weight is any better for my knees than fat weight, so I may have to re-think my strategy of hell-bent weightlifting until I can grate cheese on my abs.

Guess I’ll sweat some of it off this weekend by just going outside.  Although if bits of Southern California keep catching fire I may have to stay indoors.

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

Should I or should I not?

Since today’s call time is 11 am (it was originally 9 am, but got pushed*), I’m wondering if I should go to the gym before work or not.

I’m tempted to, on the grounds that I’ll preemptively burn off any accidental non-diet friendly craft service that should find it’s way into my gaping maw (BBQ potato chips: my Achilles heel), but if I do, then it’s a sure bet that I’m going to overwork my muscles and end up collapsing in a sniveling heap somewhere.

If I do legs, then I’ll have to run up and down the stairs to the perms at least 50 times, and if I do arms, I’ll have to repeatedly pick up heavy things.

If I don’t go to the gym, I’ll sit on my ass all day and do nothing that even makes me break a sweat. Plus, there will be chips.

Or, I could sit here and dither about it until I run out of time – which I’ve probably already done since I have to drive across town to Culver and it’s now almost 10 am.

*When a call time is changed to a later hour due to turnaround issues for cast or crew, it’s pushed.

Filed under: studio lots, Work, , , , , ,

This is the way we scrub the floor

This week has been all about cleaning the house because I don’t want the new owner to think I live like a pig when he does the walk through (I’m not sure when that’s going to be. I’m still desperately hoping I’m going to start working again soon, so I’m cleaning now while I have the time), and I’ve come to the following realization about myself:

I have way too many shoes. Really, it’s out of control. I blame my mother, whose motto was ‘never throw anything away because as soon as you do it’ll come back in style and then you’ll have to buy another one so you may as well just keep the old one’ for my current footwear overflow issues.

Hell, I can’t even wear quite a few of them since Dr. Buzzkill put the kibosh on my wearing heels. But I just can’t bring myself to get rid of them.
The doctor has also ordered me to lose as much weight as I possibly can (without becoming one of the lollipop-head set, of course, although years of hauling cable around have left me with enough muscle in my upper body that I’ll never be able to get scary skinny) in the hopes of buying some time for my  knees.

I’m on a pretty brutal workout regime – not only do I have those doctor’s orders to drop some lard, I have to get some of that muscle back on because although I make jokes about being weak and girly, not being able to do my job doesn’t go over so well at work, so when I’ve not been cleaning the house I’ve been pumping the iron and doing the hated cardio in the gym. I’ve basically doubled the workout I normally do – heavier weights, more exercises per body part, longer cardio time (my knees are fucked up because of work, not the gym so the physical-therapist approved workout’s not going to make them any worse).

All this working out has left me sore and cranky. That, and I really hate my gym. I’ve been going to 24 Hour Fitness for years and it used to be a decent, no-frills type place to work out, but now the clubs are oversold, horrifyingly filthy and generally miserable.

They’ve also gotten rid of the gender-segregated spas. I love to sit in the steam room, but I hate sitting in a smelly, trash strewn steam room with guys who stare, make comments and ‘accidentally’ brush up against any women they can corner.

I’ve decided that as soon as work starts back up and I get a steady check, I’m switching. I’m looking at Meridian (no web site that I can find), because they’ve got a club close to me and one of my friends goes there and just loves it.

Of course, the gym I’d really like to join is the Sports Club LA, but it’s so far out of my price range that I can’t even begin to think about it. Damn. They have the best pool ever.

Enjoy a photo from the weekend’s road trip up the coast which I was too tired and sore to write about:

Old San Simeon beach

Also, the couch blog got featured on the LA Times website today.

Filed under: cranky, Non-Work, Off-Topic, Photos, travel, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

We have a winner!

Jon takes the canned swill  delicious beverage with 20 W2 forms!

Jon, shoot me an email at randomblogmail@yahoo.com and I’ll send it right out!

I’d also like to take this time to apologize for not being more interesting as of late – there’s just not that much going on right now. I get up, write a bit (I’m still behind schedule, though), go to the gym for a couple of hours (I’d be totally ripped right now if I didn’t like wine so much), come home, work on the scarf I’m knitting (it’s my first lace project so it’s taking a while), write some more, watch some bad TV, list stuff on ebay (I’m now listing stuff for people in exchange for a percentage of the sale. Tune in next week when I start dancing on the street corner for whatever spare change passersby chuck at my head) and then go to bed.

No going out, no dates, no movies, no trips anywhere, no social life to speak of and I don’t even have work to blame this time.

Guess I need another excuse, don’t I? 

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

Have yourself a hysterical re-gifted Christmas

Every now and then, I just have one of those days.

Like today.

The toilet’s stopped up and the landlord’s out of town, so every time I need to pee I have to hike up the street to the gas station that’s also used by the local, um, working girls who are really guys whenever they need to refresh their makeup. Hey, at least it gets me out of the house. After calling around and pricing plumbers, I’ve decided that I can certainly live with a walk up the street a few times a day until the landlord gets back and deals with it.

Around lunchtime, I decided to hop on the bike and take a longer trek to the gym, which happens to be next to a movie theater with really nice restrooms – you know, so I could workout, offload breakfast and see one of the end-of-the-year award-bait movies all in one trip (although not necessarily in that order).

At the gym, everything I wanted to use was either broken or covered in puddles of sweat. Really, people.. you’re not just carrying that towel for the hell of it.

Later, as the movie was letting out, I looked up at the leaden sky and decided the predicted rain was still far enough away that I could get in a bike ride.

Of course, I got completely soaked, and when I got home I discovered that the FedEx delivery person from hell had taken my package of prints that I’d ordered from Flickr so I could save money on Christmas gifts this year, folded it in half and crammed it partway into the mailbox where it had then gotten rained on.

So now, instead of having that smug “I beat the system” feeling,  I had a big stack of soggy fucked up photos.

I now regret my decision not to bother with any sort of plan B.

I then called FedEx to file an insurance claim, and when the rep asked for the exact monetary amount of the order, I couldn’t find the order confirmation email from Flickr. It wasn’t in the inbox, in the trash, on the desktop.

It was just completely fucking gone. Then I realized that I had to pee again, which meant a hike up the street in the rain and that’s when I started crying.

“What am I going to do?” I wailed “Now I don’t have anything for Christmas and I have to get on a plane Saturday morning! I can’t go shop at the mall! I’m out of work!”

The FedEx customer service rep went into “placate the crazy lady” mode and tried to calm me down, but by then I’d worked up a really good head of steam and  there was really nothing he could do besides tell me that I had 21 days to file a claim and that perhaps I should call back later after I’d calmed down.

I then completely lost my mind and demanded that someone from FedEx call my family and explain to them that this was not my fault.

The rep started laughing, and then I realized how silly I must have sounded and started laughing as well, and although I’m much calmer now I’m going to be digging around the house looking for some crap that I can slap some paper on and try to convince said family that I really thought they might like a T-shirt from the caterer on some TV show that no one’s ever seen and a promotional flashlight from last year’s buzz movie.

Ooo… I think I might have an unused wooden spoon somewhere. That might work. Or batteries. Everybody loves batteries.

Also, I would just like to go on the record as saying that I am now officially sick of Christmas music.

If I hear that fucking Carpenters song one. more. time. I am going to very calmly turn to the person standing next to me and strangle them.

Merry Christmas to you too.

Oh, and I saw Juno. It’s very cute and sweet, although I really don’t think it’s award material. Guess it’s been a slow year.

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

Of all the days for me to pack light.

Generally, what I take to work is about the same no matter what I’m doing – items get added and subtracted depending on circumstances (rain gear, for instance, isn’t necessary in the summer months). In an effort to pack light, if I’m certain I’m not going to need something I won’t bring it.

Yesterday, I thought I was going to be the board operator, so I left certain items at home – like my toolbelt. Really, I don’t need the toolbelt if I’m going to be sitting in a chair pushing buttons all day, so it’s just added weight in the bag that my back will thank me to leave at home. Ditto the stiff work shoes that give me ankle support when I’m carrying something heavy – if I’m sitting in a chair all day, I can get away with wearing soft sneakers that are much more comfortable.

So when I got to work yesterday, I was surprised (and a little dismayed given what I’d left at home) to find the regular board operator siting there – first unit were out on location, so he’d stayed behind. Since he’s been running the board on this show since it started, he’s really the best choice for the job under any circumstance (I’m just the redheaded stepchild here), so I just inwardly groaned at now being woefully unprepared to do my job.

Luckily, I was able to borrow some gloves (the one thing I absolutely cannot do without), and then if I needed a tool throughout the day I just had to find one of my co-workers and beg.

D’oh.

Lucky (or unlucky) for me everyone just thought this was funny.

The other serious miscalculation I made involved the gym. Last week, I got clearance from the doctor to go back to the gym (I have to wear the knee brace at work, and am still forbidden from running, but it’s a start), so on Sunday I worked out like crazy, thinking I’d be sitting in a chair most of the day yesterday.

Oops.

Of course, this particular set is two levels, and three guesses who kept having to go upstairs and up the ladders? Actually, going up wasn’t bad – it was coming down that really hurt.

It’s probably better that I didn’t sit all day, because this morning I’m not nearly as stiff as I would have been – so I guess I can’t really complain. I’m also a lot less tense right now.

At wrap, one of our actors commented: “You seem much happier today than usual”

I don’t know if I was happier or just distracted because of the pain. Probably a little bit of both.
When I don’t work out, I get cranky. I guess the gym is where I vent my pent-up modern city dwelling aggression, so I’m much calmer when I’m working out (I guess this makes me an addict) – On the drive home, I didn’t yell insults at the other motorists nearly as much as I usually do. I just sat in the car, happily listening to the new CD I bought, and then when I got home, I soaked in a tub full of Epsom salts before I went to bed.

I’m still a little sore this morning, but since I know that I’m going to be running around, I can pack accordingly (laptop? no. Work shoes? Yes. Arnica cream for sore legs? Oh hell, yes)

I might even bring my gym bag and try to hit the gym after work (depending on what time we wrap and how much turnaround we have).

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

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