Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

Watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat….


Nothing up my sleeve. Nothing up my other sleeve. Now, with one stroke of a pen I’ll make a day of work disappear!



I was supposed to work Tueday and Wednesday, but the second day cancelled – so I’ve only gotten one day this week (so far, but it’s slow so I’m not expecting anything else).

As of late, this seems to be happening to a lot of my days – I get called to work, get excited about the possibility of paying some bills, and then because of whatever’s passing for logic in the production office, the promised work gets pulled out from underneath me.  

This sucks, but all I can do is shrug and make a mental note to start using pencil on the calendar.

At least I’m getting a little bit of work – I know a few folks who haven’t worked at all this year.

And my internet’s down. Again.

The bright side is that instead of sitting at home while I’m unemployed, obsessively reading crap online (speaking of a fucked-up excuse for logic), I have to actually do something to occupy my time. Like work in the garden, go to the gym or do my taxes.

What I need to not do again, though, is make Chicken Vindaloo  at home – not only did I burn off most of my taste buds (too many chili peppers), but the Indian place down the road does a much better version and I don’t have to clean the kitchen.

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

This can’t be real, can it?

This is getting sent around via email – for some reason, I thought that the results were even kept secret from Academy members, so my initial response is to assume that it’s a joke, but there’s a teeny kernel of doubt, so I thought I’d share.

Well, I guess we’ll find out tomorrow night, won’t we?

Secret email

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

Traffic flow

Tuesday, our call time was 6:30 am – which meant that the crosstown drive took me all of 25 minutes – and that’s including a stop for coffee.

Today, our call time was 10 am, and since rush hour in Los Angeles is from roughly 7 am to 9 pm, the same drive took me an hour and a half – and that’s with my liberal utilization of back roads and ‘secret’ shortcuts (which, apparently, are not all that secret anymore).

While normally this would just be an inconvenience, invariably when I get stuck in really heinous traffic whatever liquid I’ve drunk decides to become turbocharged and I have to pee – assuming that one can find a place with public restrooms (a rarer beast than unicorns in certain parts of Los Angeles), stopping the car and getting out means even more delays.

So I just held it – getting more and more frantic at each red light – until I got to the lot (where I thankfully quickly found parking) and made a mad dash for the restroom.

Since we only worked an 8 hour day today (we just had a few inserts to shoot), I got stuck in traffic on the way home as well, where, of course, I had to pee about halfway.

Tomorrow’s call is 9, so hopefully we’ll work a full 12 hours – we’ll get some overtime and we’ll miss that afternoon traffic.

Filed under: Work

Friday the 13th photo

Although my job for today cancelled, I still managed to work three days this week.

Actually, two and a half days. Two full days on a stage (where I decided not to bring my bicycle and ended up walking from one end of the backlot to the other about 15 times)  and one half day pulling cable through the mud. Something about mud makes cable even harder to wrap. The cold makes the metal inside stiff  (and thus hard to coil up) and the mud makes the rubber jacket slippery and almost impossible to hold.

The mud also cakes the people wrapping the cable.  By the time we were done, I had to throw my clothes in the back of the car and drive home in my underwear.  Luckily the heater in the new car works really well, and no one saw my mad half-naked dash to the front door once I got home.

While a day of work today would have been nice, at least I got a few days this week – and the upside of having the day off was that I didn’t have to stand outside all day while getting rained on.

Also this:

I do love a rainy day.

A gloriously empty swimming pool.

Filed under: Uncategorized

But I waaaaaant to!

I thought I had a day of work today, but it got cancelled at the last minute – which is fine.

Okay, it’s not fine. I need the money and losing a day of work sucks ass, but since there’s no use crying over spilled milk I went to the chiropractor instead.

My plan was to get an adjustment, magically feel better and then spend the rainy afternoon swimming.

When I shared this plan with the doctor, he paused and said, “I don’t think you should go swimming today. I think you should go home, ice your hip and take it easy”

But… but it’s raining.

One of the few guilt-free pleasures in my life is swimming in the gym’s heated outdoor pool on a rainy day.

For some reason, people don’t want to get in the water when it’s rainy (go figure), so I’m usually the only one in the pool. The water’s heated to the mid-eighties which is a bit too warm for lap swimming, but the rain on my back is cool and it’s quiet and relaxing and I can concentrate on my form instead of trying not to get kicked in the ribs as my lane-mate passes me.

We’re having a dry year, too. Who knows when I’ll have a nice quiet swim again?

Although I was tempted to ignore his advice – after all, he’s not a real doctor – the fact that he made my hip about 90% less painful is reason enough for me to listen, even though it’s a different kind of pain to imagine the empty pool at the gym while I sit on the couch with an icepack.

Hopefully there will be work next week.  And rain.

But not at the same time.

Filed under: Non-Work, , , , ,

Design flaws

This past week, I’ve been doing a few days on a no-budget indie movie. It hasn’t been bad – the director is the nicest guy in the world, and is really efficient so the days haven’t been very long.

The show’s shooting in an old TV studio that was abandoned and is now being rented to productions by some people who don’t have a reputation for being overly honest (and that’s saying something in LA), so when one of the production’s RED cameras went missing, the people who run the stage were, of course, the prime suspects (also because the theft happened late at night with no sign of forced entry).

Of course there’s no way for us to prove this, but every time I’ve had the misfortune to work at this particular excuse for a stage, something has gone missing – and the film crew rumor mill about stuff like this is usually fairly accurate.

I feel bad for the misfortune that’s happened to some very nice people, but what’s really been on my mind has been the dull ache that I’ve had in my left hip for a long time (and have ignored in the hopes that it would just go  away on it’s own) which has suddenly progressed to stabbing pain in the hip – it hurts no matter if I’m sitting, standing, laying down, etc..

Today, I finally took the plunge and went to the doctor. He told me it’s nerve damage from years of wearing a toolbelt that sits on the hips (anything around my actual waist is uncomfortable for 14 hours at a stretch, in addition to making me look like a Volkswagen).

Me: “So I can say that I’ve literally busted my ass?”

Doctor: “No, more like you’ve dented your ass.”

Oh, that’s just great. A dented ass. Does that raise or lower my stock?

Luckily, I’m not working again until Friday so I’ve  got a couple of days to let said dent heal. Today, I went out and got a new belt – buying stuff that’s marketed to the film industry is hideously expensive, so I went to a still camera store and got a really nice heavily padded toolbelt for about $30.

If the additional padding doesn’t help, I’m going to have to go the way of the farmer john toolbelt and suspenders (the toolbelt is loose and hangs from suspenders), which I hate. I’d rather have the stuff attached to me where at least I’ve got a chance of feeling it if someone tries to tag* me.

The larger question here, though is this:

Why run nerves where they’re going to interfere with such a convenient resting place? Any woman will tell you that hips are great for  load distribution – toolbelts, squirming  toddlers, grocery bags, stray bits of lumber, etc..  they all migrate to the hips because that’s the easiest place to carry the weight.

Who was it that was using the phrase intelligent design in relation to the human body? I call bullshit. This is the best example of stupid design I’ve seen recently.

Don’t even get me started about shins.

*sneaking up behind someone and affixing a clothespin to their person.

Filed under: Work, , , , ,

February 2009

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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