Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

A rare opportunity makes me silly happy

I almost never get to ride my bike to work.

Usually, I’m working in either some far-flung place or too many hours to brave a bike commute home when the drivers start getting drunk.

So yesterday, when I had a 9 am call for what was predicted to be an eight-hour day at a lot 3 miles from my apartment, I gleefully loaded up the bike bags with my work gear and headed out.

I giggled as I sailed past the traffic on the more than usually clogged up Santa Monica Blvd, and then glided through the full-to-the-brim parking lot (valet on the dungeon level and good luck finding your keys), then dismounted right in front of the catering truck. One egg white omelette (with a side of bacon) later and I rode over to the stage.

Sweet.

I did take the precaution of locking my bike, as I don’t want to lose my commuter to one of the lot bike “borrowers”.

We worked about 6 hours, had a very good time with super nice people, and then I rode home while it was still light – and even managed to make a stop at the pet store to get the cat’s ridiculously expensive (but she’s worth it) food.

I wish I could do this more often.

Unfortunately, although I’m working on the same lot tomorrow, I’m going to make a long day longer by going to masters swim before work, and I can’t make the ride from the pool to the lot in time.

So, car it is. But the swim makes it totally worth it.

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

The Streets of Beverly Hills

For the past few months, I’ve been taking part in a visual survey documenting road hazards for cyclists in Los Angeles.

That translates into riding my bike around and taking pictures of the shitty roads crisscrossing our fair city.

I don’t understand when and why Los Angeles county decided that having usable roads was near the bottom of the priority list, but cycling here can be an adventure.

There’s a choice if one is going to commute by bike – road tires or fat knobby mountain tires? There are advantages to both. The road tires, which is what I ride on, roll easier so you can go further, faster with less effort, but the fat tires can roll over the city’s plentiful potholes with less of the breaking and crashing.

I like the lower rolling resistance of the road tires – I made my choice, and I’m happy with it, but I do have to worry more about pavement than do the mountain bikers.

Today, as I was riding home from the garden, I spotted this:

P1040305

And this:

P1040307

And this:

P1040309

Oh, and this:

P1040313

And last but not least, this beauty:

P1040318

These are not so much potholes as they are small canyons. All of them on the same 2 mile stretch of road in the glamorous metropolis of Beverly Hills.

I’m not even sure a mountain bike could roll over those top two, and while I can roll over the last one I’m not sure I’d be able to keep all of my fillings in my head.

So what I have to do – since this stretch of road has no sidewalks – is veer out around the potholes into the path of the luxury SUV driven by the guy talking on the cellphone and simmering road rage.

There’s a residential street just north which has better pavement, but since there’s a stop sign every block it’s slow and frustrating.

Happily, though, the roadway is due for a reconstruction project which will mean a complete repaving (not just shitty asphalt patches), and there seems to be support for bike lane striping.

This is especially wonderful news since Beverly Hills has historically been, um, resistant to bike lane striping (and bike racks, and people on bicycles), even though the city’s streets are wide enough to accommodate bike lanes without giving up traffic lanes or parking (both are legitimate concerns for motorists).

But of course, the consultants hired recommended some weird mixed use travel lane which will just put cyclists and other undesirables in a center lane and right in the path of angry drivers.

But until whatever happens happens, I’ll still marvel at the crappiness of the street right in the middle of Beverly Hills.

Filed under: life in LA, Los Angeles, Non-Work, Off-Topic, Photos, rants, , , , , , , , , ,

Slightly delayed Friday photo

Moooo!!!!

This is from CicLAvia a couple of weeks back, and I just didn’t get around to posting it.

This guy rode the whole course in a cow suit. I almost fell off my bike laughing while I took this photo. Good laughing, though, not bad laughing.

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

Friday Photo



It’s that time again – when Los Angeles will close streets for the use of cyclists, pedestrians, roller bladers, etc..

This year, it’s going out to the ocean, and I couldn’t be more excited!

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

CicLAvia!!

I love CicLAvia.

I’d love it in any other city, but the fact that car-crazed Los Angeles actually closes streets to traffic so a bunch of bike-riding deadbeats can have fun is nothing short of amazing, and makes me giggle like some sort of a super-villian.

Every time the event is held, it gets bigger and bigger, so clearly I’m not the only one who enjoys it.

This year, it was really crowded, but still fun. Since pictures are supposedly worth a thousand words, please enjoy a novel:

Stationary cyclists

Photo OP

4th st bridge

Pinata District

Double Dutch

Traffic jam

Bike Polo!!!

parking problems

Power Rangers!

Fire hydrant, drinking fountain

Next event is October 14. Awesome.

Filed under: camera, life in LA, Los Angeles, Non-Work, Off-Topic, Photos, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , ,

Mid-week random updates

The anklebiter (the small dog I found) was kept by her ‘foster’ home – so I still have visitation rights and I don’t have to pick up poo! Best of both worlds!

The toilet is fixed.

I’m appealing my unemployment denial, and when I got the statement from unemployment about contributions, I saw that Axium reported none of my earnings to them at any time last year. Fuckers. Interestingly, a subsidiary company of Axium called Pax did report earnings.

All of us are really hoping the writers take the DGA deal – pilot season is when I make a significant chunk of my year’s income, so losing it would suck even worse now that I know over half what I made last year wasn’t reported to unemployment.

Over the weekend, I decided to go out for a long bike ride (I know I sometimes make it seem like I use martinis to cope with my problems, but I really use my bicycle to cope with problems), and when I was about 15 miles away from the house, I managed to get two flat tires. Basically, what happened was this: the city of Los Angeles will sometimes try to put stop signs right in the middle of the road (in the lane dividers), so motorists can see them better – of course, it takes about a nanosecond for the sign to get run over, so then the city comes along and cuts off the signpost about an inch above the pavement – also of course, they don’t bother to mark it so anyone can see it, so it just sits there until either the road gets repaved or someone important shreds a tire.

After I ran over the thing, I went back and looked for it and I could barely even see it when I was looking for it. Awesome.

The good news is that it just tore up my tubes, so I won’t have to replace the fairly expensive road slicks I’ve got on the bike.

Also, I only had to walk about a mile to reach a bus line that went to my neighborhood. Normally, whenever I put my bike on one of the bus racks, I’m completely freaked out that someone’s going to grab my bike at a crowded stop – this time, I figured if they did try to steal it and ride away, they wouldn’t have gotten very far so I was able to sit back, relax and listen to the guy next to me talk to himself all the way home.

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

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