Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

The stupidest thing I’ve ever seen

Working in the film industry guarantees that one sees stupid shit on a damn near daily basis, so this phrase passes my lips fairly often, but whenever I say it, I know it’s a lie because I can remember with great clarity the absolute stupidest thing I’ve ever seen.
Some years ago, during a period of unemployment (much like this one), I was watching some fluff-addled morning television show while drinking coffee and contemplating what to do with my empty day.
One of the segments on said fluff-addled morning show was about people who had unusual pets, and one of the ladies featured had a 12 foot (4m) long boa constrictor. And an 18 month old (or so) baby.
When asked by the interviewer if she was worried about the snake trying to hurt the baby, she replied “No.. (snake’s name) loves the baby. She’d never ever try to hurt him.”
As she said this, the camera focused on the snake, which was coiling around the baby as Mom explained that the snake was just trying to give the baby a hug.

I’m certainly no snake expert, but I was under the distinct impression that when a snake that big coils around something the size of a baby, they’re not doing it out of affection.

I remember yelling something at the television before the segment changed, but whenever I catch myself saying something’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen, I think about that baby and where he is now.

Hopefully, the internet will be back on Thursday, as promised, and I won’t have to do so much thinking anymore.

Filed under: Non-Work, , , ,

I’m feeling much better now, really.

This morning the doctor called just to check in, and during the course of the conversation he mentioned that I need to find a therapist.

Me: “Why do I need to see a therapist? You gave me pills.”

After a long silence (during which I could almost hear him contemplating a career change), he sighed heavily and told me that the pills (which are totally great, BTW) are a short-term solution and since I can’t take them for the rest of my life I’m going to have to actually deal with my problems.

Damn.

Although I promised I’d get to it eventually, I’m going to have to wait a few days because of The Oyster Incident.

There’s a lady at the weekly Hollywood farmer’s market who sells farm-raised oysters (actually, I think they’re ‘line-raised’ but I don’t know one from the other) for a very reasonable price and while most of the time I can pass without making a purchase every once in a while something in the universe shifts and I just can’t say no.

I got a dozen, iced them down, threw them in the fridge, and spent Monday afternoon on the back porch with my oysters and my fancy German-made oyster knife which is supposed to make shucking them an absolute breeze, but they must have designed it for big weakling German oysters because those little California ones put up one hell of a fight.

In addition to being difficult to pry apart, they’re small and have lightweight shells. Normally, with the bigger oysters, if you miss and the knife slips, a small chunk of shell will break off and then you just have to try again. With these little ones, if you don’t get the knife in at just the right angle, a bigger chip of shell breaks off and the knife skids across the top of the oyster and plunges into any bit of soft tissue. Since I use a dish towel for protection most of the almost-stabbings happen around the thumb area, but this time the knife grazed my wrist since I was stupidly holding the thing in my hand as I attempted to pry it open, and now I’ve got a really nasty-looking gash.

No one who has seen it has believed my story – they’ve all given me that narrow-eyed “yeah right” look when I tell them what happened and that there was no alcohol involved.

Now, while I’ll freely admit to having contemplated killing someone else more than once, I just can’t see any potential entertainment value in suicide.

Since it’s not something I’d even remotely begin to consider, I’d just love to avoid the inevitable accusation/denial/intervention cycle so I’m going to wait until the thing’s completely healed before seeking out any headshrinking services.

Thankfully, the cut’s not deep (it’s really more of a scratch) so it should heal fairly quickly.

I have to work tonight and I don’t want to wear long sleeves (it’s currently hotter than Satan’s balls here in Los Angeles), so maybe I’ll just wear some of those 70’s-era terrycloth wristbands and hope that people think I’m trying to be ironic.

Filed under: Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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, , , , , , , , , , ,

An extra special link just for today.

One of the wonderful commenters left this link:

http://axiumclosed.blogspot.com/

Sweeeeet. I’ll continue posting what I know here, but since I’m just a toolbelty schmuck, the above link might be a better source of information.

Oh, and my unemployment claim has been delayed for six weeks – about a year ago, I made an accounting error that resulted in a $200 overpayment, so today I got the “fuck you, buddy” letter in the mail.

I’m going to appeal it – although there’s the argument that stupidity should hurt (as the only way to alter behavior), I think a six week ‘time penalty’ and a 30% monetary penalty is a bit harsh for an honest mistake. Of course, the appeals process takes about six weeks.

Dear gods… I think I’m going to have to get a job.

You realize, of course, that the whole reason I work in the film industry is because in the ‘real world’ I’m completely unemployable. You know, like a monkey that you can’t get to stop flinging poo no matter how hard you try.

At least this should be interesting.

Filed under: Non-Work, , , , ,

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