Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

More good news and bad news

Good News: I’ve got two days work – tomorrow and Thursday. This is extremely good news, as every little bit helps.

Bad News: It’s on the complete opposite end of Los Angeles county from my apartment. No, I’m not exaggerating. Hello, two-hour commute. If I’m lucky.

Good News: The crew I’m working with tomorrow are the nicest, most wonderful folks ever, so I’m guaranteed to have a fun day.

Bad News: When the best boy booked me, he warned me “wear your walking shoes” which means there’s going to be an awful lot of moving stuff from one end of the lot to the other, so I’ll probably be in horrible pain by, oh, say, lunch.

Good News: Episodes of the old A-Team TV show are on Netflix.

Bad News: Episodes of the old A-Team TV show are on Netflix.

Good News: After about a month of trying to live off my bi-weekly CSA box, I’ve lost about 15 lbs.

Bad News: It all seems to have come off my boobs. This is unfair.

Good News: My now quite elderly cat is still alive and very healthy.

Bad News: The shedding is out of control. I woke up this morning with cat hair in my sinus and both eyeballs. Gonna be a hot summer.

Good News: My newish digital camera is safe from harm.

Bad News: Because I don’t know where it is, so I can’t take it to work or on bike rides. Damn.

I’m sure it’ll turn up.

Filed under: crack of dawn, life in LA, locations, long long drives, Work, ,

I’ll let someone else do the writing for me today

It’s slow (of course), and while I scan the sky for the predicted light rain tomorrow and listen to the screams of panic coming from the streets, I thought I’d share someone else’s writing with you:

This is post, from a producer, about the hours we sometimes work. He interviews several crew members about the hours and the longest day they’ve had.

It’s funny – I’m so used to the long hours that I forget the rest of the world manages to make a living only working 8 hours a day and finds the concept of a routine 12 hour day to be shocking, inhumane even.

There was a group of people that were trying to pass legislation making it illegal to work more than 14 hours straight, but I think that’s stalled.

So we continue to work 15, 16, 17+ hours and we’re grateful to have any work at all.

And, for the record, the longest “day” I ever worked was 28 hours. I made enough money to pay for a hotel room across the street (because the production wouldn’t) from the downtown location because I was hallucinating and knew I wouldn’t be able to drive home without causing carnage – the bad kind, not the funny kind.

Filed under: hazardous, life in LA, up all night, Work, , ,

I’m not sick, I’m just full of pool water

There must be something going around.

I can assume this because all of a sudden everyone around me is completely paranoid about anyone being sick, even slightly.

Today, I spent an hour in the pool attempting to correct my piss-poor upper body position, which meant keeping my head down much further than I’m really used to, which resulted in an unfortunate amount of pool water filling my sinus cavity.

So much water got up there that I’m reasonably certain even my parietal lobe got some swimmies.

So, after sitting in the steam room and showering, I meandered back to my locker and began to get dressed and pack up my stuff.

Since I still had some water sloshing around in my skull, I was sniffling periodically, and the lady three lockers down would glare menacingly at me each time I did.

Finally, she turned to me and hissed “Stay home if you’re sick! What about the rest of us?”

I tried to assure her that it was just a sinus meets pool water issue, but since she hurriedly grabbed her stuff and moved across the locker room, glaring at me all the time, I’m guessing she didn’t believe me.

In other news, I’ve got two days of work this week due to a very good friend being a mensch and helping me out.

I love everyone right now. Even the angry lady.

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

Just when I think I can’t be surprised

Yesterday, as I was riding my bike home from swimming (no job, no driving. Gas is expensive, for America, plus I have to work off all that craft service somehow), I stopped off at the local overpriced organic grocery, pretending to shop just so I could sneak in a visit to the bathroom.

As I was walking my bike out of the parking lot, I looked up at the large American flag flying over the store – not out of a sense of patriotism, but to compulsively check wind direction (I don’t know why I bother. It’s not like I can do anything about it or change my course when I’m on the bike. Guess it’s just one of those odd habits), and noticed that the store had locked the flag to the pole.

You read that correctly. Unbeknownst to me, Los Angeles has been experiencing an apparent wave of rampant flag thefts by well-meaning but presumably broke patriots.

Or maybe it’s just the beautiful people who, having liposuctioned themselves into permanent frigidity, are desperately attempting to insulate themselves from the moderately chilly evening breeze near the beach.

I can’t believe this hasn’t made the news.

Probably because the local news are more interested in staged variety shows, but that’s a rant for another type of blog.

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

The day after the day after the day after the fifth of May

As the Cinco De Mayo cleanup winds down and the city sweeps away the piles of vomit and cheap plastic novelty sombreros from the streets, the annual panic to get enough hours to keep the health insurance ensues.

As I’ve mentioned before, we have to work a certain number of hours per semester to keep our health insurance. For years, this was 300. Recently, in an effort to force as many people as possible off the insurance, the producers upped that to 400.

800 hours a year doesn’t sound like that much, until you remember that most of us don’t work full-time – we bounce around, and even when we’re full-time on a show, we don’t work the whole year.

So it’s not as easy as it seems.

I have to call tomorrow and find out for sure, but I think I’m about 30 hours short – which doesn’t seem like much except that I have to get them by the end of June and there’s currently not very much work.

It used to be that when TV ended, the low-budget movies would start up, and although no one really liked working for the tier 1 wages (the less they pay you, the worse they treat you), it filled out our bank accounts and qualifying hours nicely.

Now, there’s nothing. Other states, deciding they want some of the magic movie money, are handing taxpayer dollars over to studios in the form of subsidies (or, as we like to call them, bribes) to re-locate the productions to their states.

I’m certainly not begrudging anyone else any work, mind you. We all need to make a living.

I just miss the days when it was easy to get and I didn’t spend so much time worrying about if I’m going to keep my insurance.

Actually, scratch that. I know I’m going to lose it. It’s just a question of how long I can hang on.

Filed under: life in LA, Los Angeles, , , , , , , , ,

…and that’s why I have a cat.

My upstairs neighbors, despite the fact that they play bad guitar and clomp about like Budweiser Clydesdales, are really nice folks who have a very, very adorable French Bulldog.

Aside from being very sweet and somehow managing to smell like a wet dog even when she’s not wet, the dog needs enough attention that at least one of the neighbors must come home from work at lunch every day to let her out to do whatever it is that dogs do on the front lawn.

Said upstairs neighbors want to go to a party tomorrow night which may or may not go late, so just to be safe, they’ve had to line up a dog babysitter.

Yes, you read that correctly.

A babysitter. For the dog. Because apparently one can’t leave a dog alone for more than 15 seconds or they’ll start a land war in Central Asia. Or something.

To me, this seems awfully similar to having children. The difference,  I suppose, is that one can just throw the children in the hall closet and tell them if they move, the clown will eat them. But then they grow up and crash your car right after they borrow money from you, so  there’s that.

In contrast to needing a doggy baby-sitter, my cat, although she acknowledges that I am the one who pours the kibble in the bowl, is largely indifferent to my existence (except when she’s cold), and probably wouldn’t notice if I vanished from the face of the earth, as long as the food bowl was kept full.

I’m so thankful I don’t have to hire a sitter if I’m going to be out for one night.  Or two.


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


Most of the time, the frat boys in the building next door  annoy the hell out of me.

Sometimes it seems as if all they do is have keggers on weeknights, blow enough pot smoke around to create a sinister fog which blankets the entire west side of the city, and talk loudly about which girls they’d like to bang. I’ve contemplated mass murder more than once.

Usually when said kegger is raging the night before I have a super early call.

So yesterday, as I was coming home from a bike ride, and saw the one with the faux-hawk putting a gas grill outside by the trash, of course I assumed he was up to no good.

Damn kids.

When I asked him what was up, he told me they’d gotten a bigger one and that this one still worked, but it wasn’t, well, new.

“Besides,” he said, “it’s dirty and none of us want to clean it ’cause that shit’s gross.”

An entire career spent pulling cable through unmentionable filth means that I’m not really afraid of dirt, so I took said grill off his hands and slowly, fearfully opened the lid to inspect the damage.

Maybe it’s the aforementioned career wallowing in filth, but the grill’s really not all that dirty. Nothing that some toxic chemicals and a good scrubbing won’t fix, but I’m a bit perplexed as to why they’d fill a gas grill with charcoal briquettes.

Is propane that expensive?  I think not.

It’s a really nice grill and once I get it cleaned up and the gas line working, I can indulge in instant gratification – outdoor cooking without waiting on the charcoal to heat up.


Tomorrow, I scrub.

Filed under: Non-Work, toxic waste, Uncategorized, , , , , , , ,

May 2012

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

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