Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

Oh, ouch.

When I’m working and have cash, I buy Groupons for restaurants and services which I normally can’t afford (massages, facials, etc..). Then, when I’m unemployed, I can go and relax (or eat) for the price of a tip.

Today’s expedition was for a sports/deep tissue massage at one of my favorite places to get sports massages – a medical place.

Don’t get me wrong, the chic spas are super nice and I do enjoy the ambience and cucumber water, but I find the best ‘lean in and make it stop hurting’ therapists at the doctors’ offices and sports clinics.

So today, the therapist looked at me and said:

“Oh, yeah. That shoulder’s not quite right, and your hips are spun in a way that makes me think the (unintelligible) is tight”.

I didn’t even know I had an (unintelligible), much less that it could tighten up.

He then spent the next hour digging his knuckles into my back and hips so hard at one point I really did think I was going to pass out. He kept reminding me to breathe, but I think my diaphragm had stopped working.

But at some point in the fog of pain, everything started to loosen up, even the muscles that normally can’t be de-knotted, even with that crazy foam roller thing at the gym.

Right now, I feel great. The only problem is he’s suggesting I come back once a week (since I’m apparently too tense to loosen up in one session) and right now there’s no way in hell I can afford that.

Next up,  dinner at a swanky fish place in Santa Monica!

Filed under: Non-Work, , , ,


After finally getting my garden weeded (now, of course I need to replace the rotten wood on the raised beds, but money’s now tight around here), I decided to go swim.

Doesn’t further the career, but it really makes me happy.

The pool where I have masters swim shares with several aqua aerobics groups, and aside from wanting the water way too hot, the aqua ladies all seem very nice.

Today’s swim was from 6 to 7 am, and instead of going home and watching the news rehash the same crap they’ve been airing forever, I turned to my lane-mate and suggested we try the aqua Zumba(tm) class that was starting just as we finished up.

After all, we were already wet.

“Oh, come on. She’s playing Pitbull. How hard can it be?”

So we slid over a few lanes and joined the fun. The instructor saw us, bared her perfect little teeth and said “oh, we have some… swimmers!”

Then, she started the workout. It didn’t just kick my ass, it kicked my whole body. I don’t understand how an aqua workout could possibly be that difficult.

Halfway through my lane-mate turned to me and growled “I’m going to kill you.”

“Make it soon, please.”

Since we were both afraid to get out and face the ire of the vicious sharp-toothed instructor (actually, she was very nice), we sandbagged through the rest of the workout and then limped to the showers.

I then went home and took a very gratifying early morning nap.

Without turning on the news.



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

Pain is for quitters

Due to the physical therapy, I’ve been feeling pretty good, so when a friend called asking if I wanted to work a wrap day…

I don’t think I need to finish that sentence. My answer would have been yes no matter how I’d been feeling. Work is work, and my main objective is to get enough hours to keep my health insurance.

The first half of the day was easy – I was in a lift, taking down lights that were hung from the pipe grid.

Then, after lunch, we got sent up to the perms to drop out some lights. Dropping out lights isn’t all that physically taxing but is very repetitive. One unties the lines, then loops the rope around the handrail and then lowers the light (never, ever, let the rope slide. Friction creates heat and heat burns gloves and hands. Use a hand over hand motion) to the ground.

After a few hours of this I was, as the kids say, fucked up big time.

As I descended the ladder at the end of the day, a twinge let me know I’d overdone it, and on the drive home the nagging pain that I thought I’d conquered resurfaced.

Not, of course, enough pain to stop me from doing some kick sets in the pool after work, but still… pain.

Just enough to remind me that I overdid it, but what the hell am I supposed to do? Turn down work because my wimp of a body isn’t performing?

I don’t think so.

I was, however, very glad to have today off. I went to the physical therapist, who tried her best to make things better and then sent me home wearing a weird patch that lit up and hopefully, will make everything better before I have to push carts up an incline tomorrow.

Yay work!

Gotta keep that insurance.

Filed under: Work, , , , , , , , ,

Gasping for air

I’m coming to the end of my physical therapy, and things have improved with the shoulder. I’ve been doing some light swimming – mostly at my gym, where they offer what’s called a masters program, but is mostly a form and skills practice with moderate yardage.

Today, when I showed up at the gym for the 6 am swim, I was told that the swim was cancelled as the coach had a family emergency.

Since I was out of bed anyways, I checked my SCAQ schedule and saw that there was a 6:30 swim nearby, so I headed out, thinking that if it got too hard, I could just tell the instructor I was injured and sandbag my way though the workout.

It wasn’t marked on the schedule, but this particular swim turned out to be an IM. Normally, I prefer IM workouts since they’re varied and more interesting than just 3,000 yards of freestyle, but recently I’ve been ‘dialing it back’ at the insistence of the physical therapist.

Just to be safe, I got in the slow lane.

The workout started with some freestyle, and after being driven absolutely batty by the woman in front of me, who was swimming slower than I wanted to but too fast for me to pass, the IM portion of the swim started.

Surprisingly, the stroke that bothered my shoulder the most was the backstroke, not the butterfly, but I still managed to make it all the way through the workout.

The downside is that I’ve not really done any really hard swimming for a while so after the workout I dragged myself out of the pool and kind of flopped around on the deck like some sort of pasty white fish badly in need of an 8 am martini*.

I’m very happy at having been able to make it through the workout, even if I had to go home and nap afterwards.

Next up: Is there any work in Los Angeles at all and if so, will someone hire me?

*I settled for a cup of coffee and a chocolate muffin (since even though I’m single it’s supposedly the day to eat chocolate).

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

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, ,

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, , , , , ,

December 2022

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