Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

Confidentiality Agreement for a Stupid, Stupid Product.

This isn’t the entire document (a bit more legalese than I’m in the mood to type), but one particularly choice excerpt:

Feedback: Notwithstanding any other provision in this agreement, if Recipient provides any ideas, suggestions or recommendations to Company regarding confidential information, Company is free to use and incorporate such feedback in Company’s products without payment of royalties or other consideration to Recipient, so long as Company does not infringe Recipient’s patents, copyrights or trademark rights in the feedback.

Well, that’s just… Wait a minute … What?

So if I make a suggestion to improve the Stupid, Stupid Product (“you know.. you should make these with an extra long headset cord so that people can cram the entire unit up their asses. That way, they wouldn’t risk mislaying them!”), and then I see my suggestion (“new and improved with ass-crammability!”) in next year’s product revisions, I’m just out of luck? I don’t even get bragging rights?

That’s just wrong, man.

All kidding aside, most of us know damn good and well that any suggestions we make will not be credited or compensated (or paid attention to, especially when it’s a suggestion that could save production time and money). That’s why most of us don’t make them – that, and it just slows things down (ad agency flak: “Ooooo… that’s a great idea! Can we cram one of these up someone’s ass? Call casting right now!” First AD: “Godammit, will you please shut the fuck up so I can see my kids sometime this week?”).

While I can’t reveal what the Stupid, Stupid Product is – I can tell you this:

Ten thousand years from now, when archaeologists are pawing through the flotsam of our civilization, they’re going to wonder what the hell was wrong with us that we had to make so many of these worthless (and non-biodegradable) things.

Couch of the Day:


Although I disabled it when I started moderating comments, I’m going to have to turn that awful ‘word-verification’ thing back on. For the past week, I’ve been getting about 15 comment spam attempts a day, and it’s wearing on my nerves.

Filed under: couches, rants, Work

I see a lot of coffee in my immediate future.

One of the things that’s so difficult about night shoots is trying to sleep during the day. I got home from work at 7 am, slept for three hours and am now wide awake with no hope of getting any more shuteye.

Ugh. I have to be back at work at 8pm.

I’m hoping that if I lay down and pretend to be asleep, I’ll actually fall asleep, but I think the sticky sweat-soaked sheets might keep me awake.

At least we’re on the West side tonight. Last night in the San Fernando Valley felt like a furnace*.

*For my non-LA based readers, the West side of the city is normally cooler than everywhere else, since it’s close to the ocean, and the Valley is at least 10 degrees hotter than downtown.

Couch of the Day:


Filed under: couches, Work

Weekend fun for when it’s too hot to go outside:

From Unfogged:

Think you’re clever? Well, fuck you, clown.

The comment thread is so funny it’s frightening.

Couch of the Day (see, I told you I’d be back to the same old shit):

Couch and Friend

Filed under: couches, Non-Work

It’s really totally fixed now – I think.

I’m not really digging the piss-yellow template, though.

So what happened was my template got corrupted somehow – hence that display of gibberish you saw.

After getting ZERO help from blogger’s usually wonderful tech support, I actually had a Live Journal user suggest changing the template.

So, hopefully it’s fixed.

Just so you know, this blog is (and has been for quite some time) mirrored on Live Journal (I hate their compose interface, so no moving over there), although I’ve been lazy about archiving over there, so it’s not quite up-to-date yet (please don’t link there, either – it’s just a backup and I don’t update it very often).

Don’t even start suggesting services that cost money – early on I made a deal with myself that I wouldn’t get all type-A and empty my bank account on pimping out a weblog (or paying for traffic spikes, you hotlinking motherfuckers).

Blogroll will be back as soon as I can muster up the courage to start editing the template again.

Filed under: Non-Work

I have no idea what’s going on.

I’m trying to get Blogger’s tech support to look at it.

UPDATE: It’s fixed, but at the cost of my entire sidebar (not such a big deal – I was thinking about taking out all the blog-rating buttons anyway – all they do is piss me off, and the blogroll’s easily rebuilt).

Thanks a lot, Blogger.

Actually, no thanks at all to Blogger – they were absolutely no help despite my frantic emails, and that’s unusual, since I’ve found their tech support to be pretty good given that I don’t pay anything.

I guess they were busy today.

Anyways, I’m off to bed (it’s now almost 11 pm).

I’ll be back to the same old crap before you can say “What the fuck happened?”.

Filed under: Uncategorized

I’m too hot for my tool belt.

From an article in the LA Times:

“The cool ocean breezes and clouds that meteorologists call Southern California’s natural air conditioner broke down this year, creating record heat that is expected to continue through October.”

Oh, I don’t want to hear that – it’s way hotter than normal for this time of year, and two people I know have gotten heat stroke in the past ten days.

The Local 80 Goddess was working at one of those ‘movie ranches’ (you know the ones – with the photogenic 19th century Western-style facades, artfully rutted dirt roads and nary a power line or highway overpass in sight – yeah, those are all located in the city’s hottest suburbs) and collapsed in the 110 degree heat, which resulted in her being a guest in the ICU. Last I talked to her, she’d progressed to being allowed to walk around the block – only if it wasn’t too hot out.

The other person didn’t collapse, but started to feel really crappy in the lunch line and was able to recognize the signs of heat-related problems in time to get to the hospital before things got really bad, but still admitted to not feeling so great a few days later.

I’m sitting on the couch with a fan aimed directly at me, moving only in order to go sit someplace with air conditioning (I’ve used up all my movie passes and I’ve seen all the summer movies twice, but cool air’s cool air), but I’ll be working soon enough and Murphy’s Law being what it is, I’ll probably get sent to some far-flung inferno where I’ll be expected to remain alive for 14 hours despite the heat.

Production doesn’t stop just because it’s insanely hot – just like it doesn’t stop when it’s freezing cold, windy, or raining toads (they’d just have the set dressers clear them off with a shovel).

I think you have to fuck up an actor before a show temporarily shuts down – but not always even then. Mr. Movie Star had a story about getting hit in the head so hard that he saw double and being expected to complete the scene anyways because they were running behind that day.

Or maybe Mr. Movie Star was just being overly dramatic.

Couch of the Day:


Filed under: couches, life in LA

Holy delayed reaction Batman!

During my foolish youth, I decided I didn’t need to wear flip-flops in the gym showers (’cause I was a rebel like that) and as a result have Plantar warts on one of my feet. They’re not very large – mostly due to my doctor being pretty vigilant about removing them before they get to the point where they might cause pain – since I do, after all, spend a large portion of my working life standing.

For some reason, I picked up a really tenacious strain and the little bastards are completely resistant to any treatment besides cutting them out, so I have to have it done every so often. It’s not a big deal – they numb the foot, cut the wart out and then for a week I can’t wear any shoes but those horrible Crocs things.

When the doctor gave me the news today, I burst into tears at the idea of another procedure – completely out of character for me. I’m not normally weepy, and this really isn’t all that big of a deal (the worst part of the whole thing is the injection into the nerve to numb the foot). I just sat there in the chair with tears running down my face as I said “Yes, Friday’s fine. No, really… it’s fine” while the doctor gave me that concerned look.

Ten bucks says that as I’m on my way out of his office tomorrow, he hands me a prescription for Prozac.

The only explanation I have is that it’s a delayed freak-out from the dog bite. For the few days right after it happened, I had nightmares where I’d wake up thinking the dog was biting me again – I could actually feel the teeth closing on my leg – but they went away, and I thought it was fine. When I told a friend (whom I called for a ride home from the hospital) about my little meltdown today she said “I’m not surprised – you were way too calm just after it happened.”

Post-meltdown, I had to do a freebie for a gaffer I work with a lot who’s trying to jump up to DP, and needed a few of the normal crew to help light a blue screen shot for a micro-budget feature (Freebies suck, but when someone gives me a lot of work I’m kind of karmically obligated to do them).

Keeping an even exposure isn’t as important in this day and age of digital (back in the day when effects were shot on film and composited on optical printers, an evenly lit bluescreen was critical), but it has to be pretty close and the light on the actor can’t spill onto the screen, nor can the actors throw shadows onto the screen due to unfortunate light placement.

A bit much for a Craig’s List ‘copy and credit only’ crew, so we showed up, set up the lights, shot the shit with the nice folks and then took off once we were no longer needed.

I was the butt of the jokes all day, as anytime I lost my train of thought during a conversation, mislaid my gloves or couldn’t make a decision, it would instantly be blamed on the case of rabies* I’ve now got. This escalated into jokes about my howling at the moon while turning into a werewolf and… and… well, there was one more, but I forgot.

It’s not a full moon, so it must be the rabies.

*I do NOT have rabies – but next time I work with this group, I’m going to stick an Alka-Seltzer ™ tablet in my mouth at breakfast so I’ll walk onto the truck foaming at the mouth, while acting really nonchalant about it (“What are you staring at? Do I have something stuck to my teeth? What?”).

Couch of the Day:


Filed under: couches, Non-Work, Work

I love the internets, yes I do.

I have done nothing today except keep my leg propped up (it’s almost stopped bleeding but I stood on it for awhile tonight and that didn’t help) and laugh like hell at some poor clueless guy – which, since I think he’s the number one site on the web today I’m sure you’ve all seen, but here’s the story in case you missed it:

It all started with an article in The Onion.

Guy gets his panties in a wad, thinks The Onion is a legitimate news source and posts a rant to his scary blog (I don’t care which side of this particular issue you’re on, this guy is unbelievably frightening, and since the media attention started he’s added EXTREMELY graphic images to this post, so consider yourself warned).

People slaughter him in his comments (HIGHLY entertaining).

Guy realizes he’s made a mistake and tries to spin. However, Guy still seems to think that The Onion is real – even after about 400 (update: almost 800 now) people tell him otherwise.

People slaughter him in his comments (HIGHLY entertaining).

What will Guy do next? Who knows?

(Update: He deleted all his comments and posted a finger-wagging rant about how ‘a few people spoil everyone’s fun’. Spoilsport – although he was getting the biggest internet bitch-slapping, well, ever so I guess I understand why he’s felt the need to put a stop to it, but if you want to read the mostly hilarious comments, they’re available in the google archive here,(the original post) here (the even funnier follow-up post), here, and here).

Sweet lime-flavored Jesus, those comments just keep getting funnier. I haven’t laughed this hard in years.

Pillowcase full of hammers? Meet Guy. Seriously, go easy on him. You’re a lot smarter than he is.

This is way, way better than TV.

Oh, and note to self: Next time I have a date with a Eurotrash (and I mean that in the best way) male model, don’t take him to Amoeba to see Cut Chemist do an in-store show.

That… that did not go well.

Couch of the Day:


Filed under: couches, Non-Work

It makes me happy to know that you care.

Thanks for the well-wishes, everyone!

Now that the bruising and swelling (of which there was quite a bit) has gone down, the bites themselves don’t look all that bad – they’re fairly superficial and should heal up within a week or so. Also, there’s no tendon damage (that would have put me into another line of work – permanently).

Except that one of the teeth marks (the one that did go super-deep) is still bleeding. It’s just one, and it’s not bleeding much, but there’s still blood when I have to change the dressing (twice a day) and my doc’s refusing to sew it up. I don’t feel like I should argue with him about it, as he went to med school and I didn’t, but it’s a damned nuisance. Hopefully it’ll close up in the next day or so.

According to the Ambulance Chasing Lawyer, if doggie’s owners rent their house, I’m shit out of luck as it would be impossible to collect a judgment, and quite frankly I’m not all that injured – the chance of my getting a settlement worth more than a few hundred dollars is slim, and ACL might not want to bother if there’s not going to be a decent payout for him.

We’ll see.

Honestly, I’m less interested in financial gain and more interested in pounding doggie’s owners into a bloody pulp with the golf club I was saving for the tomato plant thief.

Something I’ve learned while laying on the couch with my leg elevated while wondering if it’s ever going to stop fucking bleeding:

The remake of The Producers isn’t nearly as funny as the original.

Maybe it’s just me.

Couch of the day:


Filed under: couches, Non-Work

Bad dog! No biscuit!

I normally walk to the gym. It’s close to my house, I’m not burning fossil fuels and I have to spend less time on those horrible cardio machines (a whole room full of people simultaneously running to nowhere while completely ignoring one other gives me nightmares about chain-smoking, philosophy-reading French hamsters).

Yesterday, as I was marching along while looking for any couches that might have been dumped overnight, a black furry missile appeared from nowhere, launched itself at my legs and began to bite indiscriminately.

If he barked, I didn’t hear him. He (and I’m just assuming it was a male dog – I didn’t get a good look at his undercarriage) closed in so fast I didn’t even have time to react – I just kept screaming “help me, help me!” at a passerby who very kindly ran in the opposite direction as the 50 lb-ish dog tore up the legs of my (thankfully wide-legged) pants and landed bites on two different parts of my calf (a few inches above the Achilles tendon and top of the calf about four inches below the knee).

I was afraid to run in case the dog tripped me and I fell (which would have given him a really good shot at my face and neck), and backing away slowly only gave him a fresh angle. The only reason I got away was because the dog charged at yet another approaching pedestrian who was apparently a better target (I guess he had fatter legs).

So much for my action heroine fantasy (“Hasta la vista, doggie! Today, I teach you de lesson you voooon’t fooorgeeeet..”).

Luckily, a guy across the street happened to see the whole thing as he was leaving for work and called 911 on his cell phone, which meant I provided the afternoon’s entertainment for the neighbors as the fire engine (why? Nothing was burning) and ambulance blocked traffic while the paramedics sat me on the curb to field-dress my leg before hauling me to the ER.

The firemen managed to chase the dog back into his yard (his owner had left the front gate open so the dog was wandering around on the public sidewalk where I was walking when he bit me), so the neighborhood’s safe until they leave the gate open again.

After a three hour wait to be seen by sleep-deprived interns, they cleaned up the wound, determined that my tetanus immunization was up-to-date and I wouldn’t need stitches (thank you, loose clothing – out of a total of 10 or 15 bites, the dog only got skin contact three or four times. Of course, he made the most of those opportunities. My leg looks like hamburger), then released me – without warning me that the wounds would bleed like hell all night.

That’s okay. I didn’t really like those sheets anyway.

This being Los Angeles, animal control never showed up, and when I called them today to ask them if they’d picked up the dog and rabies-tested him they pretty much told me to go fuck myself. They’re busy.

Damned dog. I loved those pants.

Couch of the day:


Filed under: couches, Non-Work

July 2006

Flickr Photos



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"If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better." -Anne Lamott

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