Saturday, November 26, 2005

Four Day Weekend!

Now that I've recovered from the food coma, I have to get on a night schedule (we're shooting nights all week next week), so tonight and tommorow night I have to find an excuse to stay up late (I'm normally a morning person, so this is a big deal) .

I think I'm going to go to M-Bar to see the Lenny Bruce show (okay, it's not actually Lenny Bruce - it's a guy named Jason Fisher who's doing some of Bruce's routines).

Although next week's going to suck (I hate nights and working them intermittently for years is the main reason why I have such a terrible problems sleeping now), I'll have fun tonight!

UPDATE: The show was great - although some of the material felt dated, I was surprised at how much of it still seemed relevant. Jason Fisher did a good job of giving the half-century old routine life, and I recommend the show highly if you're interested in seeing some of Bruce's material 'live'.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Casting agents couldn't duplicate this if they tried

Today, we were shooting in an office building (in scenic Torrance) - and of course had to haul pretty much entire truck up to the second floor (at least they had a good elevator - I've gotten stuck before. I've also had to run lights up one at a time because the elevator wasn't big enough to hold our carts. That sucks more than I can explain).

First thing in the morning, the production designer warned us that we had to be super careful with the doors in the office as they were very expensive (over $1500 each). Of course, it was about 10 minutes before one of the doors got scratched - but not by us (thankfully).

We're still having generator problems, so my boss spent the entire day running around swapping out random stuff. Well over 100 years after it's discovery, there's still an element of voodoo to electricity - the littlest things can make portable generators go haywire. Basically, what's happening is that our generator is having a problem with something somewhere in our cable or distribution and is having to work so hard that it shuts down ( a Power Factor problem - only click the link if you can speak fluent geek). When the generator shuts down, all the lights on the set go out. When this happens while they're shooting, this is a huge problem.

What's causing this is anyone's guess. It could be one thing, or it could be five different things all working together. (I can't really explain this very well without veering in to major tech-speak).

Luckily, the producers have been very gracious about it and are trying to work with my boss to find the problem and fix it (again, this is largely guesswork - and involves replacing most of our cable* and distro in the hopes that we'll eliminate the problem).

The other source of amusement today was the pedometer reading.

Last weekend, on a whim, I bought a pedometer, just to see how much I walk at work (we've all been saying for years that we walk a lot every day, but no one I know has ever tallied it up). Today was the first day I wore it (well, I wore it Monday, but that doesn't really count), and I kept checking it throughout the day.

I knew I walked a lot at work, but I had no idea just how much: from 6 am until 8 pm, I walked 16.9 miles. The camera loader (who probably walks way more than me) wants to wear it Monday.

Since tomorrow's a holiday, after work, some of the crew went to Alpine Village in Torrance to have a drink. Alpine Village is a bad German themed, well, mall. It's got bad German food, bad German Tschokes, and bad German music. Unbeknownst to us, after dark it's also a major senior citizen nightspot.

The weird thing is the cover band was playing modern music. Kylie Minogue, Madonna, Santana, etc.. and the seniors, dressed to the nines (some of them in rather revealing disco-mamma wear), dancing like crazy. It was hilarious, but I hope I'm in that spry when I'm their age.

One of the sound assistants and I had a conversation that this would never be in a movie because casting folks can't come up with stuff like this.

It's true, you know. Casting people don't want the background to upstage the actors.

Call time: 6 am
Wrap time: 8 pm
Senior party time: until 10:30 pm, when I ran out of steam and headed home.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

*In layman's terms, electrical cable is a bunch of really thin wires held together by insulation. This is true for 4/0 (pronounced 'four-ought') cable (which can conduct hundreds of amps), your vacuum cleaner cord (which conducts about 18 amps), and everything in between. When the cable is mishandled, coiled backwards (it should always be coiled up clockwise), or run over by cars, these little thin wires break and the cable doesn't conduct as much electricity. It is a possibility that fucked up cable could be causing the generator problem. Have I mentioned that there's still an element of voodoo to electricity?

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

I threw up in Trader Joe's

Monday morning I ordered my standard breakfast off the catering truck - an egg white and spinach omelet with a side of turkey bacon.

Three hours later, I was slightly nauseous and by lunch I was really nauseous, had stomach cramps, and was apparently pretty green around the gills. Despite my protestations that I could tough it out, my boss sent me home.

Good thing too. It got worse as soon as I got home (at least I made it home - I had visions of me pulled over on the side of the freeway, being sick into oncoming traffic). I called the doctor who told me I probably had salmonella and that I should try to drink fluids if I could.

The only problem was a complete lack of fluids in my house (I had a half bottle of wine, some coffee creamer and an expired can of Red Bull); so I went to Trader Joe's to get some ginger ale and sparkling water. I figured there wasn't anything left in my stomach, so I'd be safe as long as I got in and out quickly.

I'd forgotten about Thanksgiving.

Trader Joe's was jammed - the lines stretched halfway across the store, and by the time I got to the checkstand I wasn't feeling so hot. I managed to pay for my groceries, but I couldn't quite make it out the door.

They were very nice about the whole thing, but I'm not sure I can go back in there.

Since I'm feeling better, I'm back to work tomorrow - when I talked to my boss on the phone, he said they'd been having generator problems and we're going to have to swap out all the cable - I missed all the excitement.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Sunday's quest

I put hot sauce on just about everything I eat - eggs, meat, cottage cheese (don't knock it - nonfat cottage cheese, canned mandarin orange slices, walnuts and hot sauce is damn tasty. I just have to remember to take the Lactaid), quiche, BLT's, rice, beans, pasta, toast, that cheap caviar from Trader Joe's, salad, etc...

Hell, I've even tried hot sauce on ice cream (now that one didn't work so well).

My favorite had been Cholula, but the caterer on this movie's been stocking a brand called Tapatio, which is now officially my favorite. It's got a good heat level, an excellent flavor, and it's not too vinegary (Tabasco, while great on oysters and in cajun-style stuff, is a bit too thin for general use).

I'd seen Tapatio at restaurants, and had always reached over it to get to the Cholula, but now I'm converted.

My two missions today were getting the laundry done and procuring some hot sauce. I struck out at Whole Foods and that hot sauce store in the Farmer's Market (although they do carry Cholula).

Third try's a charm (or something like that) - I found it at Monsieur Marcel, a gourmet place that's also in the Farmer's Market (I'd gone in there looking for something else and just checked the hot sauce selection out of curiosity).

I bought two bottles (I was going to give one to my cousin, who also loves hot sauce; but screw her - she can rot in Tabasco land), and to celebrate my score, for dinner I had oven fries (slice potatoes, bake in oven till crispy) with about a quarter bottle of Tapatio - and a glass of the 2005 Beaujolais Nouveau, which held up surprisingly well to hot-sauce loaded potatoes.

Don't hate me because of my hot sauce habit.

Hate me because I paired it with a perfectly innocent wine.