Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

A narrow escape from the temple of impulse buying

The last time I worked, I started having problems with my walkie headset – I could hear, but not respond, which might not seem like a problem, but can annoy the hell out of the gaffer if you can’t answer a simple fucking question without climbing down out of the rigging.

I’d put off buying a new one as I haven’t been working, but since things are supposedly picking up (or so I hear) I drove to Burbank and walked into the most dangerous place on the planet.


A vast air-conditioned emporium full to the brim of all kinds of cool stuff that I don’t need but desperately want more than I’ve ever wanted anything before.

A tool pouch with a little light built-in so you can peruse the contents in the dark!

Special gloves just for wrapping wet cable!

Neat-o stretchy cables that attach your wrench to your belt so if you drop said wrench while you’re in the perms, it won’t fall to the floor and hurt someone!

25 different types of clips to hold your gloves!

Tape in all the colors of the rainbow!

Oh, the colors…

Plus, helpful staff!

Me (glassy-eyed): “What’s that?”

Sales clerk: “That’s a dampening widget that sound guys only use on the 5th Monday of a month ending in -ed”

Me (drooling): “It’s so shiiiiiiny….”

Must. Control. Self.

After stepping outside and taking several deep cleansing breaths of the smoggy air, I managed to escape with just my new headset and a pair of the wet cable gloves (soggy gloves suck so it’s a totally justified purchase), but oh, for the shiny stuff I had to leave behind.

Damn you, Filmtools. Damn you to hell.

Filed under: Non-Work, overspending

Saturday Photo

Sort of impulse buy

Although work’s been slow, I’ve done okay with the money this time (so far), so when I went looking for new bikes – not intending to buy one, just to look – the sales guy pulled some serious ninja moves on me.

I didn’t even see him pounce, and the next thing I knew, my charge card was out and they were loading it into the car for me.

It probably helped that he was very, very cute and enthusiastic about bikes.

So far I’ve only ridden it about four miles, but it’s awesome and I had this big stupid grin on my face while I pedaled through the streets.

I hadn’t realized how hard I’d been having to work on the old bike (cheapie decade-old hybrid ‘mountain’ bike fitted with road slicks) until I got on this one, looked down at the computer and realized I was cruising along with no effort at a speed which used to really make me sweat.


Hopefully, work will pick up so I won’t keep freaking out about money and can just enjoy my fan-fucking-tastic new bike.

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

Apologies all around.

It seems that some of you got spam emails from my email address.

This was caused by a hopefully brief affair with a ‘bot due to an insufficiently confusing password.

It’s been corrected, and there shouldn’t be any more issues.

Please enjoy some photos from today’s bike ride:

Hollywood sign

View of Burbank

Griffith Observatory

Observatory on a smoggy day

I think I need a new bicycle. This one’s trying to kill me when I ride it up a hill.

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

Ow. Ow. Ow.

Just as I knew it would happen, as soon as it got really, really hot (and humid, sadly), I got an outside job. Running cable. In the San Fernando Valley (which, if you’re not familiar with Los Angeles, is hotter than the surface of the sun).

We started out early in the morning (I went to bed when it was still light and got up to go to work when it was still dark), wrapping the last night’s set in one of the city’s tonier hillside areas.

I know I’ve mentioned it before, but there’s a direct correlation between how rich people are and how hateful they are to film crews. In poor neighborhoods, they just sigh and wait us out.  Anyone who makes enough money to have an expensive car and a gardener is outright hostile.

In this particular neighborhood, they weren’t actually trying to hit us with their cars, but they weren’t making any sort of effort to avoid us, either.

In between dodging the luxury SUVs, we finished our wrap in the really startling mid-July downpour.

None of us had rain gear, but that really didn’t matter because we were already so sweaty that a little more water made no difference at all. It actually felt nice and kind of refreshing.  Had I been working with guys that I knew a little better, I’d have stood there in my undershirt and shouted about  being king of the hill. Or something.

I also slipped on someone’s trendy oddly spaced flagstones and lumpy grass landscaping and turned an ankle, but lucky for me it didn’t swell so I was able to walk it off.  Going home early means the crew works for the rest of the day on reduced manpower, which means that the work takes longer to complete.

After our impromptu shower,  we hopped in a van and went to rig cable in an even hotter part of the city – where the temperature was over 100 degrees F. I drank gallons of water and electrolyte drinks and never had to pee, but I didn’t pass out so I guess it was a win.

I never want to complain, though, because everyone else on the crew is just as hot and sweaty as I am, and bitching about it’s not going to solve anything. At least I remembered to keep reapplying my sunblock. Normally I forget about it, sweat it off and then get burned to a crisp.

After we finished running a truckload of cable, we went to a third location in the basement of an apartment building (not the new gentrified fancy apartments.  An old style tenement) where we ran even more cable and started hanging lamps inside, until we ran out of time, as production decreed that we were not to go over a 12 hour day. Shame they stopped us. It was just starting to cool off enough to be comfortable.

I went home, took a cold shower (mainly because I didn’t want to wait for the bathtub to fill), and then felt almost human again.

This morning, I woke up incredibly stiff and could barely get out of bed.  It’s better now but I’m still gimping around.

I’m not sure if I should blame the heat or the cable. Or both.

Also, I don’t know what’s going on with comments. Right now, they’re all showing as ‘pending’ even though I’ve tried to approve them. Some sort of WordPress skullfuckery, I guess.

Filed under: crack of dawn, hazardous, locations, Work

Hello Summer. I haven’t missed you.

Here in Los Angeles, we had a very cool and overcast spring, which ran into a very cool and overcast summer.

Not that I’m complaining about that – I deal with cold a lot better than I deal with heat, and any temperature that’s much over 80 degrees makes me start to think about moving to Antarctica.

The cool and overcast was so nice while it lasted, which was until Monday, when it was 70 degrees F and cloudy.

Tuesday, it was 95 degrees F and the sun beat me down like an angry pimp.

Of course, as soon as the air got hot I got a horrible allergy attack which teamed up with some bronchitis (just in case the heat wasn’t enough punishment), so right now, I’m stuffed up, coughing, raspy and sweaty.

Ah, summer.

Filed under: Non-Work

Now 97.5 percent allergen-free!

For the past week, I’ve been frantically cleaning my house.

I mean really cleaning it. Scrubbing the walls, washing the windows, rubbing goop into the wood floors to make them look somewhat less beat up, picking the crap out of the crown molding. Right now I’m just as tired and sore as I would be after a week of wrapping cable.

It’s not just cleaning for cleaning’s sake, though. Tomorrow, my landlord comes over to inspect the units and have a talk with both tenants about the ‘future plans for the building’.

My neighbor immediately interpreted this as “get out deadbeats – I’m fixing this shithole up so I can get me some good tenants”.  I adopted a wait-and-see position, until the landscape guy, while watering the roses this morning, casually asked if I were planning to come back ‘after the renovation’.

Looks like the neighbor might be right.

So why clean an apartment I might not be in much longer? Because of the ‘might’. The landlord might see that the place looks nice (as nice as it can look with the furniture I’ve got), and offer to not throw me out on my ear. Or, the neighbor could be wrong altogether.

We’ll see.

If he does evict me, though, he might just be doing me a huge favor. Rents all over Los Angeles are crashing – in some areas, they’re lower than they were 10 years ago – and if the housing market takes another dive, the money Mr. Landlord is going to have to pay me to leave will help out with a down payment (thank you, rent control laws).

Looks like I win either way.

Plus, my place is super sparkly clean and smells great – except the hallway. I used some of that ‘carpet fresh’ sprinkle stuff for pet dander (mountain rain scent), and now the area smells like a douche – and not the kind with a popped collar (those smell like Drakkar Noir).

UPDATE: Landlord measured all the rooms and then used a bunch of gibberish buzzwords like ‘change’ and ‘transition’. Looks like the neighbor may be right. We’ll see.

Filed under: Non-Work

Friday Photo

Bar at Anisette in Santa Monica

Still no work, so I’m overeating and chugging wine. Which, of course, is interfering with my plans to spend all my time at the gym and become really. Fucking. Ripped. But what are ya gonna do?

Hope you all have a terrific and safe holiday weekend.

Filed under: camera, Non-Work

July 2010

Flickr Photos



Random Quote

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

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