Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

Hooray!

The powers that be finally (after almost two weeks) approved my application and activated my membership, so today was my first day getting use the Sony gym.

I lifted some weights, since we weren’t going to have a particularly strenuous day (then, of course, I had to go up into the perms to drop out cable), and I have to say I really enjoy the gym.

They’re missing a few bits of equipment that the other gym has that I like, but it’s super clean, and they were playing 80s hip-hop on the sound system, which was extra awesome.

The gym I go to – the normal gym – is fairly small and I know everyone, so it’s a friendly place.

I wave and smile at people, ask how they’re doing, chit-chat about workouts, progress, the weather, etc..

People at this gym are less smiley and chatty. Maybe it’s because I went during the lunch rush (we had a 2 pm call time so I got there at 12:30) and maybe folks were just trying to get in that workout on lunch, but they didn’t strike me as a particularly friendly bunch.

One lady, after I’d said hello, started and responded with “Oh, were you talking to me?”

Oops. Guess I’d better cool it with the friendly.

I finished my workout and then stretched on the super awesome weird cage thing that I really wish my gym would buy.

Sadly, it looks like most of the really good classes are at times when I’m going to be working, but I do love being able to work out and then walk five minutes to the stage.

I might regret the expenditure when it’s dead and I’m broke, but right now it’s so worth it.

 

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

It’s resolution time!

No, not mine.

At this stage of my life, I’ve given up all hope of self-improvement and am just aiming for remembering to brush my teeth.

No, no.. it’s that time of year when folks make a resolution to get in shape and descend on the gym like a horde of sweaty, confused locusts.

While I certainly want to encourage people to exercise, this time of year can be unpleasant for those of us who have become accustomed to the less-populated gym of the off months.

I realize it’s not possible for the staff to walk everyone through the basics of gym citizenship, so here’s a few points directed at the resolution crowd:

1. Re-rack your weights. For fuck’s sake – do you think those dumbbells are going to grow eyes and legs and show themselves back to the rack? Of course you don’t. Fucking pick them up and put them back. If I trip over them I’ll tie your shoelaces together while you’re sitting on a bench chatting.

2. Speaking of which, if you’re not actively using something, don’t fucking sit on it. It’s not your private garage fitness room, it’s a space you have to share with several hundred of your new best friends. Normally, I’d say watch the bodybuilders and do what they do, but those bastards plant their asses and proceed to gossip like fishwives, so in this regard, ignore them and keep the long involved conversations to the juice bar or the couches in the lounge area.

3. You might think that eau de mouffette dans un jardin smells divine. You might want to douse yourself with three bottles of it before you work out just to share. Please don’t.  This goes double and triple for the pool and the steam room. Do, however, feel free to liberally apply deodorant. Please, for the love of all that’s fucking holy, liberally apply deodorant.

4. Wipe your sweat off of the equipment. You’re carrying that towel around for a reason – it’s certainly not a fashion statement. If I have to scrub something down before I can use it, I’m going to find you and bill you.

5. The cardio areas and the pool get very, very crowded. Please, if you see people waiting, keep it to a half an hour. I know, I know. No one likes to have to get off the treadmill or out of the pool after only half an hour (personally, I hate it), but remember we’re sharing space here. If you stick it out, the gym will eventually be less crowded and you’ll be able to stay on for the full hour (or even more!)

6. Speaking of the pool, at various times of the day classes will reserve lanes. Although this particular gym has a masters swim program (and we’re pretty mellow), mostly they’re aqua exercise classes populated by sweet little old ladies who will gut you like a trout if you don’t get out of that lane three seconds ago. You’ve been warned.

7. If you don’t know how to use something, ask. One of the trainers will help you, or if you can’t find them, another gym member will be more than happy to walk you through how to properly use the kegelnator.

8. Please be nice to the locker room attendants. They’re very nice ladies (gentlemen on the guys’ side) and have to clean a bathroom all day, every day. Think about that before you scream at them.

9. This particular gym provides towels. It’s a very nice amenity, and we’d like the gym to continue to provide it and not decide it’s too much of a pain in the ass to bother with. So pick them up and place them in the hamper when you’re done with them. They’ll be happy to be with their friends.

10. Gentlemen, if you’re rocking those 70’s style running shorts, please wear an athletic supporter underneath. Sit ups and unsupported junk in tiny shorts is something I can’t unsee no matter how much I drink.

Happy New Year and have a great workout!

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

A Man Explains Things to Me

As much as I’d like to panic about the lack of work, it’s pretty normal for January (ish), so I’ve been doing some physical therapy on my shoulder while I have the down time (I’m determined to be positive about the work prospects for this year).

Said physical therapy has me doing some strange-looking (and painful) exercises with one of those resistance bands.

I usually opt to do my exercises at the gym, mainly because I’m more likely to do them if I make myself get up and go somewhere that’s not my apartment. Also, while I’m there I can swim (sort of – mostly kick sets for now) and sit in the steam room.

My gym used to have resistance bands available for use, but they were removed a couple of years ago, presumably due to concerns about members using them to strangle the sweaty bastard who refuses to wipe down the equipment after use.

So I bring the bands that the physical therapist gave me, and work through my exercises, usually with no issues other than failure to keep the obscenities to a discreet volume.

Except today, when I got mansplained.

The phenomenon is recounted in this article* by the utterly brilliant Rebecca Solnit  (to whom I humbly offer hommage with the title of this post).

As I was doing the exercise that I like to call the Sieg Heil (exactly what you’d imagine, only with a resistance band), a man swathed in overpriced brand-name tech fabric offered some unsolicited advice after staring at me for a full five minutes.

“You really shouldn’t do that,” he began (whatever happened to ‘hello’) in that tone. “You could hurt yourself. If you like, I can show you how to work out.”

“It’s a physical therapy exercise. I’m pretty sure she told me to do it this way for a reason.”

“You see,” he continued “your shoulder is a very complicated joint and you have to be very  careful, especially with those dangerous bands. You know the gym got rid of them.”

“The physical therapist told me to do this. I think she might have gone to college.”

“Maybe you could start with the easy pushups. You know, the ones on your knees.”

It became clear he wasn’t going to listen to me. As I tried to decide if I wanted to fart loudly, belch, or resume swearing (if you can’t reason with them, scare them off), I was saved by the swim coach, who ran up and jokingly yelled “Five more! Your butterfly sucks!” while holding her hand at a height that I wasn’t going to be able to reach without dropping the band (or maybe even if I did).

At the sight of my exercise being legitimized by  an actual staff member, he slunk off… somewhere. I was laughing too hard to really pay much attention.

*I highly recommend River of Shadows, the book referenced in the article.

Filed under: humor, life in LA, Non-Work, Off-Topic, rants, , , , , , ,

Unemployment season

Yesterday’s 14 hour clusterfuck (Churches: Big buildings with no actual space to work) was the last day of work before what I like to call unemployment season.

The TV shows are down, there aren’t really any movies shooting in LA any longer, and since I’m not willing to go to Georgia or Louisiana, I’m out of work until, well, until further notice.

Which is both bad and good.

Good, because it enables me to concentrate on other options (writing, running a half marathon), bad because, well, there’s no work, now is there?

So I’ve decided to take a radical step:

I’m going to try to get a job. And no, not a job a monkey could do. A real, grown-up nine-to-five.

The last time I had a ‘real’ job was 1996 (I think). I’d fallen off a lift gate (in the rain after an 18 hour day) and injured my back so badly that I could hardly stand up and since back then low-budget movies paid under the table I wasn’t eligible for state disability, so I found a job doing marketing for an indie record label, which mostly consisted of sitting in a chair calling up radio stations and begging them to play something – anything – from our catalog.

Of course, we had one good band, and a lot of stuff that no one would touch.

Since I was used to low-budget production, begging and pleading for a lost cause was second nature.

But then my back got better, I got called to do a movie, and I left the office behind for more pointless lifting, which was fine.

I’ve always liked my job and still do, but lately, I’m feeling my age.

After a day of standing on marble floors, my feet and knees hurt so bad I can barely walk today. The last time I had to spend 12 hours pulling heavy cable, it was a week before my back felt right.

So, between the physical pain and the fact that here in LA, there’s more competition for fewer jobs that pay less and less, I’m wondering if I can manage to stomach a ‘straight’ job.

Just for a few months, you know… and for the future. When I really am too beat up to keep doing a job that I really truly enjoy.

Hiatus seems a perfect time to find out if I can do it.

Filed under: hazardous, locations, Work, , , , , ,

This is the way we scrub the floor

This week has been all about cleaning the house because I don’t want the new owner to think I live like a pig when he does the walk through (I’m not sure when that’s going to be. I’m still desperately hoping I’m going to start working again soon, so I’m cleaning now while I have the time), and I’ve come to the following realization about myself:

I have way too many shoes. Really, it’s out of control. I blame my mother, whose motto was ‘never throw anything away because as soon as you do it’ll come back in style and then you’ll have to buy another one so you may as well just keep the old one’ for my current footwear overflow issues.

Hell, I can’t even wear quite a few of them since Dr. Buzzkill put the kibosh on my wearing heels. But I just can’t bring myself to get rid of them.
The doctor has also ordered me to lose as much weight as I possibly can (without becoming one of the lollipop-head set, of course, although years of hauling cable around have left me with enough muscle in my upper body that I’ll never be able to get scary skinny) in the hopes of buying some time for my  knees.

I’m on a pretty brutal workout regime – not only do I have those doctor’s orders to drop some lard, I have to get some of that muscle back on because although I make jokes about being weak and girly, not being able to do my job doesn’t go over so well at work, so when I’ve not been cleaning the house I’ve been pumping the iron and doing the hated cardio in the gym. I’ve basically doubled the workout I normally do – heavier weights, more exercises per body part, longer cardio time (my knees are fucked up because of work, not the gym so the physical-therapist approved workout’s not going to make them any worse).

All this working out has left me sore and cranky. That, and I really hate my gym. I’ve been going to 24 Hour Fitness for years and it used to be a decent, no-frills type place to work out, but now the clubs are oversold, horrifyingly filthy and generally miserable.

They’ve also gotten rid of the gender-segregated spas. I love to sit in the steam room, but I hate sitting in a smelly, trash strewn steam room with guys who stare, make comments and ‘accidentally’ brush up against any women they can corner.

I’ve decided that as soon as work starts back up and I get a steady check, I’m switching. I’m looking at Meridian (no web site that I can find), because they’ve got a club close to me and one of my friends goes there and just loves it.

Of course, the gym I’d really like to join is the Sports Club LA, but it’s so far out of my price range that I can’t even begin to think about it. Damn. They have the best pool ever.

Enjoy a photo from the weekend’s road trip up the coast which I was too tired and sore to write about:

Old San Simeon beach

Also, the couch blog got featured on the LA Times website today.

Filed under: cranky, Non-Work, Off-Topic, Photos, travel, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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