Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

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, , , , , , ,

Good news, everyone!

Normally one likes to ease into work after being idle for months.  It gives a chance to adjust to the hours, the early rising (which I do anyways, so no change there), the heavy lifting and the bad air from construction and paint.

Most of the time, that wish isn’t granted and one just gets thrown into 50 hours per week of whatever it is one’s not used to (heights, heat, cold, smelly air, Michael Bay).

One goes from wondering if there’s ever going to be any work to wondering if it’s possible to survive the week of work.

It does make it easier with wonderful nice co-workers and a boss who’s the greatest guy on earth, but still.

Monday was my last day (bonus day! Hooray!), and after a Tuesday of doing nothing and swallowing aspirin like there was no tomorrow, today I went to see Dr. Dreamboat to assess the shoulder and my general well-being after 11 days of paint fume-fueled upper body workout.

Turns out, the shoulder’s not bad. It’s ouchy, but it’s  not as jacked up as I’d feared.  Which is good.

I know you’re waiting for bad news, but there isn’t any. The shoulder is doing well, and I’m very pleased.

Next mission is to try to get a day at the end of the week – or, failing that, next week.  Yay work!

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

Sweaty and itchy

Most types of lights have ‘tails’ with heavy rubber jackets, but some units, like striplights, far cycs, and cyc strips, are hung and tilted down (positioning the tail on top of the light where the heat vents) which makes the heat too much for standard coatings, and a special fireproof jacket is used.

Back in the day, these jackets were made of asbestos, but now they’re a type of woven fiberglass cloth stuff:

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I’m not 100 % sure which material we’re looking at here.

Whatever this is sheds bits all over the place, and any contact that it makes with bare skin results in ferocious itching. Should one manage to wash the whatever-they-are particles off the skin, the particles that have lodged in one’s shirt will take up residence on said freshly washed arms.

My first job Monday morning was to circuit (connect to power, label, etc..) the far cycs, and I got that fiber all over me.

Certain types of pain one just learns to live with. I’m standing for 12 hours and my feet hurt. Got it. I’m lifting things all day and my shoulders hurt. Expected. The painters are spraying right under me and my sinuses are clogged. Yup, that’s normal.

But then one thing like itching gets thrown in the mix and it all goes to hell. All of a sudden I notice the aching feet and the smell of paint and the sweat pooling up in my bra. And it bothers me.

Right at the apex of my itchy nightmare, I was sent ‘up high’ to feed some cable out of the perms.

Oddly enough, the sweat rolling off me (no, really. It was about 110 degrees in the perms) was what finally stopped the itching.

Today, I outsmarted the fiber from hell and wore a long-sleeved shirt while I worked. Then, I finished and removed said shirt by pulling it over my head, which deposited the fiber in my hair, so my head itched all day.

I can’t win for losing.

Just for posterity, I’d like to point out that actual asbestos is marginally less itchy than the fiberglass stuff.

How I know that is probably a blog post all on its own.

Filed under: hazardous, Photos, studio lots, Work, , , , , ,

Finally, some good news.

This has been a bad year for work.

Actually, it’s been beyond bad. It’s been an unmitigated disaster – I’ve worked approximately 10 days since January 1st.

Mainly I’ve just been trying to fill my time in between wringing my hands and wondering what’s to become of me.

Texts to various best boys about if they’ve got anything have been met with either “I’m out-of-town” or “I’m looking for work, too!”

The irony is that there does seem to be a fair amount of work out there, it’s just not with anyone with whom I have any sort of professional connection. Guess I need to start attending mixers or that annual bowling party that’s a 90 minute drive east or something.

I’m certain I’ve had a year this bad before, I’m just hard pressed to remember it.

On the bright side, I’ve shaved almost 10 seconds off my 50 meter freestyle.

But starting Monday, I have two solid weeks of work.

It’s rigging on a multi-camera sitcom, and I’m beyond pleased to get it.

Two solid weeks.

It’ll be 100 hours into my health insurance (I have to work 400 hours per semester, and I have until October 10th to get the remaining 300), a paycheck and  a badly needed injection of optimism.

Today, I went to the grocery store and splurged on some chicken, veggies and various goodies (apples, grapes, those teeny little packages of trail mix) to pack  for lunch so I don’t have to eat the overpriced slop at the commissary (in all fairness, calling the commissary food slop is an insult to slop).

I’ll also enjoy working with some wonderful folks that I really like, and I can take public transit and save both the wear-and-tear on the car and the rage-inducing miz-maze that passes for parking on this particular lot.

Except on Mondays – I have swim on Mondays and I’m not going to give up that hard-won 10 seconds.

I have to take the victories where I can get them.

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

You lose some, you win some.

I love fava beans. Love them. Fresh much more so than dried.

So every year I plant them in my garden. Some years are better than others – but most of the time I get at least 20 lbs. of beans.

This year started off looking promising. In addition to the perennialized beans that come up year after year, I’d planted two other varieties that I’d purchased from Baker Creek Seed Company and things were growing well. I thought perhaps it was looking like a 50 lb. year.

Then, the weather turned dry. Dry for Southern California, which is very, very dry indeed.

The rats (they’re everywhere in the city – in the trees, in the hedges, in your crawl space. Don’t think you don’t have them because you do), understandably desperate for water, turned to my fava beans.

And destroyed them.

My total yield for the year? 12 lbs. I ate what I had and didn’t share (normally I can, dry, or give away as much as I keep) and was very, very disappointed indeed. I think there weren’t even enough beans left to seed  for next year, so I’m going to have to start fresh in the winter.

At the same time, I planted scarlet runner beans. I’d never planted them before, and they went crazy in my garden. Because I didn’t  trellis them properly (not enough room. The vines supposedly only grow to 6 feet, but mine are closer to 10), they’ve formed a sort of thicket (which is overtaking my garden – I’ve had to get the shears and cut back to save the life of an innocent tomato), and now the beans are getting ready to harvest.

I won’t get 50 lbs, but I’ll probably get 20.

Scarlet Runner Beans

These are the first of the beans. When  I was reaching into the plant to grab the pods,  I found a hummingbird nest – abandoned, as babies and mama have moved on, but still awesome.

I did have someone tell me that beans inhibit the growth of tomato plants, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. The tomatoes that are near the bean thicket are growing really quickly and are super healthy.

I have two weeks of work starting the 15th. It’s all the way across town, but it’s work and  I’m incredibly grateful for it.

Filed under: Los Angeles, Non-Work, Photos, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Newsflash…Children cause pain and suffering.

A couple of weeks ago, I did a favor job setting up a kid’s day camp. Which was fine – it’s good for the delinquents to get off the street, and I got grocery money.

Every little bit helps, right?

The only problem is that part of the job was lifting some fairly heavy boxes (unassembled bookshelves, mainly). Which was also fine, except that my partner in said lifting was a 17-year-old camp counselor who didn’t understand how to do things like communicate with a partner, or keep hanging on when asked to.

Me: “I’m going to  step back to get around this…”

Kid: “Step back?”

(loud crash and scream)

Box, meet toe.

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Sexy!

I can’t even be mad about it.

I’ve had more years than I care to admit to learn to do this stuff without killing my partner.  All of us who do this sort of thing for a living develop the understanding of how to work with a partner – how to communicate, how to read body language, how to walk backwards while carrying a slippery dimmer pack up equally slippery stairs, how to NOT LET GO.

But we all remember the day when we didn’t know it.

Just like the kid. And the feeling that one gets when one hurts a co-worker is terrible. So yelling wouldn’t have done anything other than crush Junior’s tender spirit.

Lucky for me, the toe’s not broken, it’s just… horrible. And kind of throbbing, but I’m so grossed out by the idea of stabbing it with  a needle that I’m just going to tough it out.

No sandals for me this summer!

Or, toenail polish, which I don’t normally wear, but I’m sure it’s better than the black blob.

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

Doctor Dreamboat to the rescue

A few years ago, my chiropractor retired.

Actually retired, mind you, not gave up the office and saw some patients on the side for barter.

I was concerned, as good chiropractors are incredibly hard to find.

Good chiropractors who take my insurance are like unicorns. I know they’re out there somewhere, it’s just a matter of what to use to bait the trap.

So, a month ago, when I went for a Groupon massage at a “wellness destination” in Santa Monica, I actually talked to the resident chiro and was impressed as he seemed very knowledgable about active people, plus he was super-duper cute.

Relax, ladies (and gents), he’s married. With kids.

He’s also the best chiropractor I’ve seen since Dr. Magic Fingers called it quits.

And, despite the Wellness Destination’s penchant for catering to the jet-setters, my co-pay after the insurance is shockingly affordable.

So, for the next few weeks, I’m going to be getting tortured by an incredibly fit and attractive man who knows just how to loosen up my hip flexors.

Sweet. I’m even hearing rumors of possible upcoming work.  Life is good.

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

Ouch and double ouch

I decided I’d finally had enough of the bathroom and cleaned the shower.

Since those ‘no scrub’ cleaner never seem to work, I have to get in there with some scouring powder and elbow grease to get the tub clean.

Once I’d scrubbed and rinsed and scrubbed again and was satisfied that I’d gotten as much funk off the tile as possible, I reached out of the tub to get the glass cleaner to start work on the doors.

I lost my balance, and toppled forwards. Lucky for me I caught myself on the towel rack before my face hit the floor, but in the process I got a toe caught in the metal track for the shower door and heard a muffled ‘pop’.

I decided to ignore it and finish cleaning the bathroom.

When I was done, the toe wasn’t swollen, but it was black and blue.

Really black and blue.

And hurting.

I figured I’d broken it, so  I put some ice on it and decided to wait it out.

Over the next couple of days, the bruising got darker and darker until  today I decided to use the health insurance while I still have it and go see the doctor.

Who told me what I already knew – the toe was fractured and would heal eventually.  No treatment needed.

At least it was good news.

 

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

Oh, ouch.

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!

Filed under: Non-Work, , , ,

Whew!

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.

 

 

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

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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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