Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

A Contagious Christmas

This has been the busiest December I’ve had in a long time. I worked almost every day, which was great, and thought that I’d managed to avoid the Holiday Death Plague currently being passed around here in Los Angeles.

Said plague featured a combination of the worst head cold one could possibly imagine and a tubercular cough that, like house guests, just won’t go the fuck away.

I was feeling pretty smug – I had three days of work the week before Christmas, no days of sickness, and one day off before I had to get on a plane to go visit the family and overeat.

Wednesday promised to be great – due to the slowest director in the world, we were going to get a hefty check, production were buying lunch, and holiday cookies were plentiful.

Mid-morning, one of our extras started to cough. I didn’t think much about it – after all I’d not gotten sick yet, which must have meant I was immune to the Holiday Death Plague. Throughout the day, her cough got worse and worse, and by mid-afternoon almost 20 people on set (including me) were starting to cough.

Refusing to believe that I was getting sick, I attributed it to dust from when I had to go up into the perms to drop out some power for a new set, but as I was driving home I finally had to admit to myself that the Death Plague had, in fact, won.

So, I spent the holiday sniffling, hacking and wheezing while stuffing my face full of fatty food and sweets. The day before I was to leave, my sister started coughing.

Whoops.

As of now, the head cold portion of the program is gone, but the cough is still lingering and frightening anyone who comes anywhere near me. I hope it’s gone before the middle of next week, which is when I have to work.

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

Have yourself a hysterical re-gifted Christmas

Every now and then, I just have one of those days.

Like today.

The toilet’s stopped up and the landlord’s out of town, so every time I need to pee I have to hike up the street to the gas station that’s also used by the local, um, working girls who are really guys whenever they need to refresh their makeup. Hey, at least it gets me out of the house. After calling around and pricing plumbers, I’ve decided that I can certainly live with a walk up the street a few times a day until the landlord gets back and deals with it.

Around lunchtime, I decided to hop on the bike and take a longer trek to the gym, which happens to be next to a movie theater with really nice restrooms – you know, so I could workout, offload breakfast and see one of the end-of-the-year award-bait movies all in one trip (although not necessarily in that order).

At the gym, everything I wanted to use was either broken or covered in puddles of sweat. Really, people.. you’re not just carrying that towel for the hell of it.

Later, as the movie was letting out, I looked up at the leaden sky and decided the predicted rain was still far enough away that I could get in a bike ride.

Of course, I got completely soaked, and when I got home I discovered that the FedEx delivery person from hell had taken my package of prints that I’d ordered from Flickr so I could save money on Christmas gifts this year, folded it in half and crammed it partway into the mailbox where it had then gotten rained on.

So now, instead of having that smug “I beat the system” feeling,  I had a big stack of soggy fucked up photos.

I now regret my decision not to bother with any sort of plan B.

I then called FedEx to file an insurance claim, and when the rep asked for the exact monetary amount of the order, I couldn’t find the order confirmation email from Flickr. It wasn’t in the inbox, in the trash, on the desktop.

It was just completely fucking gone. Then I realized that I had to pee again, which meant a hike up the street in the rain and that’s when I started crying.

“What am I going to do?” I wailed “Now I don’t have anything for Christmas and I have to get on a plane Saturday morning! I can’t go shop at the mall! I’m out of work!”

The FedEx customer service rep went into “placate the crazy lady” mode and tried to calm me down, but by then I’d worked up a really good head of steam and  there was really nothing he could do besides tell me that I had 21 days to file a claim and that perhaps I should call back later after I’d calmed down.

I then completely lost my mind and demanded that someone from FedEx call my family and explain to them that this was not my fault.

The rep started laughing, and then I realized how silly I must have sounded and started laughing as well, and although I’m much calmer now I’m going to be digging around the house looking for some crap that I can slap some paper on and try to convince said family that I really thought they might like a T-shirt from the caterer on some TV show that no one’s ever seen and a promotional flashlight from last year’s buzz movie.

Ooo… I think I might have an unused wooden spoon somewhere. That might work. Or batteries. Everybody loves batteries.

Also, I would just like to go on the record as saying that I am now officially sick of Christmas music.

If I hear that fucking Carpenters song one. more. time. I am going to very calmly turn to the person standing next to me and strangle them.

Merry Christmas to you too.

Oh, and I saw Juno. It’s very cute and sweet, although I really don’t think it’s award material. Guess it’s been a slow year.

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

Random midweek holiday photos

Equal opportunity holiday decorations at the Grove:

Equal opportunity holiday decorations

And I’m not sure which one cracks me up more – the chandeliers in boxes or the palm trees wrapped in decorative lights:

Christmas decor in Beverly Hills

Hmmm… Chandeliers win. By a nose.

Filed under: camera, Nikon, Photos, , , , ,

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