Friday, June 30, 2006

Back to work, for a moment

As I was leaving the dentist's office Thursday, after getting a lecture on using too much force while brusing my teeth and damaging my gums (statistically speaking, I'm a bit less than halfway through my lifespan so my teeth have got to last another 40 years at the very least. Who knew one could actually cause damage with what's turned out to be overzealous dental hygene), I finally got a call to go to work - for one day only.

Very few shows are shooting Monday as Tuesday's a holiday, and a lot of folks don't like one day calls as it messes up one's unemployment, but I don't mind. It's pension hours, heath insurance qualification hours and gets me out of the house. Plus, one day here and there helps me ease back into the swing of things before I go back to 70 hour weeks.

My offered choices were wrapping cable in the almost 100 degree heat or working on the lamp dock.

I didn't hesitate for a second. "Lamp dock, please." My momma didn't raise a fool.

Lamp dock work is mostly warehouse-style stuff. Putting things away, fetching things, checking orders, flashing* returned lamps to make sure they work.

I had a fun day working with a great group of people, even if I did spend too much in the studio store (discounted DVDs qualify as an occupational hazard).

I had a six am call, which was good. It means I got to go through the security checkpoint before it became a complete cluster fuck (about 7 am), and working an eight hour day meant that I got released to go home at 2:30 pm. I put my extra time to good use by going to the gym and then checked my garden to discover that someone had stolen two of my tomato plants - dug them right out of the ground. Asshole. Sometimes I really wish it were legal to beat people with a golf club.

Couch of the day:


*Get your mind out of the gutter. "Flashing" is turning a tungsten lamp on and off very quickly to make sure it's working without having it heat up.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

RIP Little Antonio

The LA Times has been keeping a webcam trained on two goldfish living in a tank full of water drawn from the LA River - it's been sort of an unofficial experiment about the water quality of a really nasty looking cement-lined urban river.

One of the fish (named "Little Antonio" after our not so beloved by everyone anymore mayor) has died, although I'm pretty certain his (or her) death wasn't due to the water quality, since he (or she) lived for over 100 days.

In case you were wondering about relevancy - I'm deeply interested (no pun intended) in LA River water quality, as over the years I've had to wade in it numerous times (damn music videos) for work.

I really, truly, with all my heart want to believe that there's nothing toxic in that water.

What doesn't kill me only makes me stronger, right?


What's the lifespan of a goldfish, anyway?

Couch of the day:


Monday, June 26, 2006

The big geeky trade show weekend is the new black

This weekend was Cinegear - the annual grip, electric and camera cluster fuck. This year's show was at the Veteran's Administration in Westwood, so at least it wasn't boiling hot like it would have been had we been in the Valley.

Cinegear Trade Show 2006

There weren't as many vendors, and the ones that were there didn't have last year's lavish displays, but I got to see a lot of friends, catch up, and find out when everyone's going to start working again.

My Coolest Booth Award went to one of the music libraries who had an Elvis performing:


He gave me a scarf and a kiss on the cheek.

That made my week - I love me some Elvis, even if it's really a guy named Steve in a wig. Actually, as Elvii go, Steve was a really good one, so I'll recommend him should you find yourself in the situation of needing an Elvis for, you know, whatever. He doesn't have a website, but email me and I'll give you his manager's phone number.

Before I hit the show, I went to see Who Needs Sleep - Haskell Wexler's excellent documentary on the effects of long hours on film industry workers and what folks are trying to do about it. In the movie, Wexler interviews the surviving family of two crew members who (several years apart) worked 20+ hour days, fell asleep at the wheel on the way home from work and died (one was a camera assistant named Brent Hershman whose death spearheaded a lamentably short-lived attempt to reduce working hours in the film and television industries).

If it comes to a theater near you, I highly recommend it. Those of you who have read this blog for any length of time know some of the hours I can work and have been able to see for yourselves what happens to my brain ("Can't... Post... Passing... Out...").

What you probably don't know (unless you've known me personally for a very long time) is that some years ago, on my way home from our location in Palmdale (a bedroom community of Los Angeles that's about an hour's drive one way if there's no traffic) I fell asleep at the wheel after a 19 hour day. I got all comfy in my seat and bored by whatever was on "Morning Edition", dozed off gently and woke up not understanding why my car was facing into oncoming traffic on Interstate 5.

The LA-based crew had not been offered hotel rooms.

Thank the deity of your choice that the only thing I fucked up were the trousers I happened to be wearing at the time. Oh, and don't bother asking me how I managed to make the car do a 180-degree turn without flipping it over. I was, after all, sound asleep at the time.

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Couch of the day: