Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

Good news, everyone!

Normally one likes to ease into work after being idle for months.  It gives a chance to adjust to the hours, the early rising (which I do anyways, so no change there), the heavy lifting and the bad air from construction and paint.

Most of the time, that wish isn’t granted and one just gets thrown into 50 hours per week of whatever it is one’s not used to (heights, heat, cold, smelly air, Michael Bay).

One goes from wondering if there’s ever going to be any work to wondering if it’s possible to survive the week of work.

It does make it easier with wonderful nice co-workers and a boss who’s the greatest guy on earth, but still.

Monday was my last day (bonus day! Hooray!), and after a Tuesday of doing nothing and swallowing aspirin like there was no tomorrow, today I went to see Dr. Dreamboat to assess the shoulder and my general well-being after 11 days of paint fume-fueled upper body workout.

Turns out, the shoulder’s not bad. It’s ouchy, but it’s  not as jacked up as I’d feared.  Which is good.

I know you’re waiting for bad news, but there isn’t any. The shoulder is doing well, and I’m very pleased.

Next mission is to try to get a day at the end of the week – or, failing that, next week.  Yay work!

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

No work, but at least I have the interwebs

Finally, I got the computer working. Hooray! Unemployment doesn’t seem so bad when I can watch stupid human tricks on YouTube. The only minor problem still existing is that I had to get a new keyboard (this machine doesn’t have one of those dedicated keyboard ports and I couldn’t find an adaptor so I had to get a USB keyboard), and it’s just a tad bit smaller than the old one so it’s currently typo city around here.

I’m also currently going to physical therapy three times a week for my shoulder – the left one has been sore for quite some time, and I figured it was because the left side was the weaker one.

Imagine my surprise when the PT informed me that the left side is the stronger side as it’s been doing more of the work – meaning the right side is the weak slacker mooching off the hard work of the other shoulder.

Dammit.

I was also surprised to learn that I’ve got some mild disc compression in my spine, which is really odd because I don’t have any kind of back pain at all. I didn’t ask, but I’m assuming this means that my spine is also a moocher and forcing my shoulder to do even more work.

So I do the exercises (which could make suspects at Gitmo talk), and go to the PT, who advises me to ice and then puts that twitchy electric thing on my shoulder and tells me it’s looking better, which, for some reason, doesn’t make me or my shoulder feel any better.

The good news is that I can still swim, as long as I breathe to alternate sides, which does reduce oxygen intake, but I’m not going all that fast anyway, so it’s fine even if the coach does yell at me to speed up.

Apparently going to the Olympics a couple of times will make you all bossy-pants.

Hopefully some work will come along soon. I’m beginning to lose track of what day it is.

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

Like sticking one’s head in an oven

Summer has officially arrived Los Angeles – early last week the temperatures were in the 70’s, later in the week they were in the 90’s, and over the weekend they broke the triple digit barrier – although today it’s cooled off to a relatively brisk 90.

One of the advantages of living in a place that used to pass for a desert is that it cools off at night- the knowledge that once the sun goes down the temperature is going to be in the high 60’s or low 70’s it’s much easier to cope with 100 degrees during the day.

This past weekend, however, nature played a cruel joke on Los Angeles and it didn’t cool off at night so much as become marginally less hot and miserable, but still too hot to sleep.

If I wanted to toss and turn in my sweat-soaked bed at night, struggling to breathe and wondering how to sleep in a bathtub full of cold water without drowning, I’d go to Florida. Or NYC, but at least I could manage to sleep on the fire escape there.

Although I’m not near the beach, which is the preferred place to be when the weather gets this hot, at least I’m not in the San Fernando Valley, which is 10 degrees (or more) hotter. During the summer, I dread going into the Valley even though I sometimes have to do so.

Since I’m currently on a short enforced vacation due to bursitis in my left shoulder (what I really need to do is take a few weeks off, but right now I can’t do that because there’s not enough money in my account to survive another strike so I’m only taking a couple of days of turbo-rest and I can actually let the thing heal when SAG walk out and I’m unemployed for an entire month. Or four),  I decided to take the time to drive up into the valley to go to Contract Services for the I-9 debacle.

Contract Services are the people who keep track of who in the union is in good standing, up to date on safety training and able to work, and a few years ago someone there had a really good idea.

For those of you not in the USA, when you work here you have to fill out a form called the I-9, which is a proof of citizenship/work eligibility. The information required to prove work eligibility is just about all someone else needs to apply for credit in your name, buy a bunch of expensive shit and then not make any of the payments and leaving you to sort it out, which can take years and years and turn just about every hair you have grey.

So, Contract Services decided that we’d all go there once every three years and fill out the I-9 info at the office and they’d keep it on file and not show anyone and the production companies could just give them the list of names and they’d tell them if we were cool or not, and then we wouldn’t have to fill it out the form for each job and subject ourselves to potential hair-greying problems.  Saving a couple of trees by reducing the amount of paper required would also have been a good thing.

Except that none of the production companies will accept the Contract Services on-file I-9, so we still have to fill one out each time we start a new show, plus since Contract Services simply will not admit that this program, while a good idea, just. isn’t. working.  we still have to go up into the inferno that is Encino once every three years and fill out that stupid fucking redundant form that no one ever accepts.  My complaints about this have so far fallen on deaf ears.

Perhaps I should complain louder. Or write someone a very angry letter which would probably be put in the same file as the I-9 and used against me at a later date.

I’ve been getting up at the crack of dawn and not going to the gym because of my shoulder, so I’m starting to bounce off the walls.  I’m not working tomorrow, either, but that will be the last day I can afford to be off work so that shoulder better hurry up and get better.

Dammit.

Just for a giggle (and because I’ve been home and able to partially catch up on my internets), Laurie at Crazy Aunt Purl has some hilarious pictures of what San Fernando Valley heat will do to a pillar candle:

http://www.crazyauntpurl.com/archives/2008/06/enough_talking.php

I won’t be able to completely catch up on my internets, though – the way I hold my arms when I type hurts that damn high-maintenance shoulder after a while.

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

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