Monday, August 31, 2015

How can it POSSIBLY get any better than this?

My schedule at Warner Bros. is now officially "reduced". I still get to work weekends, and working yesterday was a bit weird, considering so many of my friends aren't there anymore (temps, by definition, have an "end date", and all of the people I trained with, plus quite a few of the kids that were already there, were hired as temps). I'm only on an extension, through the end of September, give or take whatever period of time traffic will allow, so I'm also a temp. It's just that, now I'm a temp with fewer days, and fewer hours per day, at least this week.

I say all of that as a good thing. I discovered Friday evening that I was booked on "Jane the Virgin" today, as a detective, in the background. I've worked this show once before, as a maid in the Miami boutique hotel where Jane works. Last time, I fit into the costume perfectly, so I assumed they'd have me back all the time. I never got on camera that day. They shoot pretty tightly, so they realized they'd never see me in the background with my housekeeping cart, so I got kinda close to the actual set once or twice but never really got placed on camera. Also never got recalled as a maid. Cést la vie. Say "la vee". La Vee. :)

Today, I was there as one of four detectives, with four uniformed police officers. I found the wardrobe truck early enough to not be late, thankfully, considering I had to drive 22 miles to get to set but without anything that resembled traffic (arrival at 6:30 in the a.m. will do that). I showed the wardrobe ladies what I'd brought; they sent me to the trailer to change; I got semi-approved and then had to change my shirt again: "PERFECT". If I wore my skirt suit, I had planned to shave my legs (with my electric) while I waited. No one mentioned that I might need some hosiery, even though the skirt suit was the approved outfit, so I guess I'm very happy to be a blonde. I stood in a line with the other seven so we could get approved by hair and makeup. I'd showered last night, so my hair was combed but not "styled". I threw on some lip gloss while waiting, with the intention of adding more makeup once I got to "holding". Makeup guy looked at me and said "PERFECT". Hair lady came over and spritzed my part with some hairspray and said "PERFECT". So no shaving, no makeup, and not much product in my hair. How can it possibly get any better than this?

We were walked over to set, shown where we'd be "holding", and informed that we'd have a non-deductible breakfast on our pay vouchers but would likely get wrapped before the one-hour walkaway lunch. Got settled in; grabbed a bite; got "propped" (cops need lots of little stuff all over their uniforms; detectives just need a badge); went to holding and waited. First scene was shot, moving on. Second scene was shot, moving on. They pulled me and another detective and three of the four cops for scene three. The others stayed in holding.

They looked at our shoes and determined we'd all be too noisy, so they threw carpets down in the hallway. We practiced the crosses they needed; I was asked to "walk lighter" and then by the time we got to the filming, they just had me cross barefoot. We shot the scene a few times and returned to holding. Moving on. Wait - that's it? Yeah, get yourselves unpropped, one at a time, and then we'll return to the wardrobe trailer to wrap out.

We were signed out approximately three hours after our calltime (sign-in). It took about an hour to get there, and a little longer than that to get home. We'll get paid for eight hours at AFTRA wages. I have time to get my laundry done today! And maybe I'll book more background work on my two other days off this week!

How can it possibly get any better than this?

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Last Day for a lotta my peeps at work :(

... So there were plenty of hugs and digit exchanges and thankfully, no tears! It did make for an interesting day of trying to give extraordinary tours, while simultaneously trying not to leave any of my friends feeling jealous or hurt that I'd been offered an extension, while also simultaneously being grateful for having been offered said extension! Actually, just a bit exhausting, but in all, a good kind of exhaustion. The friends who were leaving today had good plans for what they would do next, and there was quite a bit of last-minute networking happening, in all directions.

Yesterday evening, I was notified by my calling service that on my first day off of this coming week (Monday), I am booked for some background work (background acting gig). Yay! It's an early call time, and it's the greatest distance I will have had to travel in a long time for a bg gig, but I'm absolutely grateful for it. Got a call today that my call time has actually changed to earlier on Monday, from 7 a.m. to 6:30! Yowza! Still, any day on set is a good day, so I'm happy.

Also got a phone call in the middle of my day that my friends needed a backup babysitter so they wouldn't have to cancel their anniversary date plans. I don't have to be in too early tomorrow, so I said that if they'd bring their kid to me, I'd be happy to watch him. So when I got home from work, Brendan and I went down to the pool and spent a long time swimming and playing and visiting with every neighbor who walked by. "Who's that? Why is she pushing her stroller all alone? Is that guy coming swimming? Are those girls coming swimming? Who's that? Why is he doing that?" ad infinitum. I'd forgotten about the questioning phase of four-year-olds.

Then we came upstairs to eat hot dogs and tater tots, and we watched Wall-E. I had only seen this movie once before in my life, and I remembered liking it, but I also remembered not remembering every single event that happened. "Where's Wall-E? What did that say? Where's Wall-E? Why did he say that? Why is he scared? Is the rocket ship here? Where's the rocket ship? It's the rocket ship! Why is he scared? What is he doing? What did he say?" ad infinitum, from a kid who has seen this movie so many times in recent history that he knows exactly what's going to happen, and why, but he still has to ask the questions.

At least he's polite. "May I please have another strawberry? When this movie's over, can we play Minion Trouble? May I please have another strawberry? When we finish this game, can we watch a short movie? May I please have another strawberry? I have to go potty again - will you please come help me? When are the kitties going to come out? Look who's here! (one of the cats) When are Mommy and Daddy coming back?" ... and he swims like a fish. So impressed with his swimming skills. So pleased that Mommy and Daddy are teaching him manners. He's a joy, and when he started playing the games on his tablet, it gave me time to sit here to blog.

So Stephen got home from work, and opted to not play Minion Trouble with us, but had a chance to observe the two of us at play on the floor while he did whatever he needed to do online, and now he's lying on the floor in the open doorway just trying to cool off while preventing the cats from escaping. Oh, well. Cocoa made an attempt, and now the door is closed again.

It's been a good day here. How can it possibly get even better?

How's your day been? Why do you say that? What do you mean? When you've answered all of my questions, can we watch a short movie? Do you have any crackers? May I please have one? etc. ;)

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Welcome, Philippines!

I saw a dark green splotch on my map today and had to check it out - YAY! A new visitor from a new-for-my-map country! Welcome!

Things are afoot... more details to come (I promise).

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Ups and Downs; Pros and Cons; Good Days and Bad Days

I had every intention of posting nothin' but good news today, but before I posted, I HAD to visit my emails and my Facebooks and all the other pages I HAD to visit, so I got a little bummed out by some of the things I discovered.

Yesterday, I got my schedule for next week. It had four six-hour shifts on it, plus one eight. Not only does that mean NO OVERTIME, but it also means, well, things have slowed down A LOT before anyone in management was expecting. When my friend Hattie and I were first hired, there were A LOT of "new hires" giving tours or supporting the tour staff, because A LOT of full-time employees had adjusted there lives to a new "attraction" on our lot. Also, we got pretty doggone busy at the beginning of the summer, and A LOT of employees up and quit. This was to be expected, as the summer season's supposed to be a real bear of a season, and not everyone is cut out for this type of work. As you know from reading here, I absolutely love my job as a tour guide. My worst day as a tour guide is about on par with my worst day on set: not so bad, not nearly as bad as my best day in some other jobs I've had.

So I had three tours today, and they were all pretty good, and I got to end my shift with a really good tour, so I was happy. I went to Trader Joe's to pick up some ingredients for key lime pie ice cream, because I was just feeling really good. Stopped at the credit union first to make a deposit, and encountered Wil Wheaton again. This time, rather than telling him what a fan I was, I asked him "any work on Big Bang coming up in your horizon?" And we had a lovely conversation that didn't feel at all like celebrity vs. fan. I mentioned that I give tours at Warner Bros., and that I love pointing out the theater where "Wil Wheaton plays his [celebrity] card" (okay, so there was a little bit of fangirl mushmouth at that point; I said "Wil Wheaton plays his Wil Wheaton card"), and/but he smiled and said with the utmost sincerity, "I love that tour. The Warner Bros. Studio Tour is the best one in town." And I just died to know that, even though he hasn't taken my tour, he essentially thanked me for doing the job I do.

Got home on Cloud Nine and checked the aforementioned stuff. Discovered that my schedule for next week has been adjusted: I now have an additional eight-hour shift, but it's not on tours, it's at the "new" attraction. Not sure how I feel about that. I'll take the hours, but I have a feeling it's going to be  A LOT of standing in one place. That's one of the things that I love about giving tours - I stand, walk, drive, move for the whole shift, so my body doesn't ever tire of being in one place. So, I'm a little something-not-quite-eager about that shift.

Then, in Facebook, I discovered that Hattie's been informed that next Saturday (the 29th) is her last day. Yes, this was always set up as a temp gig, and yes, we all always knew that our "projected" end date was September 12th. But Hattie's end date is now two weeks earlier. What the eff, man? I'm totally bummed, both on her behalf and on my own, just because I know I'll be getting a similar notice any day now, and while the Captain at my local TJ's is possibly ready to bring me in any day now, there are no guarantees that he will, and also, I've really enjoyed being fully employed and being able to make a dent in debt these last few months.

#FirstWorldProblems, I know. #EverythingHappensForAReason, I believe. #ProductionGigsAreTempJobsToo, yeah, I get it. I got to "stay" in my industry this summer, even as everything slowed down to a nearly grinding halt. #IAmBlessed, yes, I surely am. In some moments, I really do feel like I'm the luckiest gal in my corner of the world... and then sometimes, I'm only the luckiest human gal on my futon. ;)
yeah, I know it's dark in here. shut up. we have no light in the living room except what comes from our 'lectronix.
Wouldn't it be cool if Hattie got to give a tour for all our dance pals from Arthur Murray, and I got to give one to the Wheatons? Yeah, that'd be cool. One last hurrah before the temp gig ends. A girl can hope! :D

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Another link found via The Bloggess

I sometimes suffer from Depression. I never suffer from Anxiety or any of the other plethora of mental ailments that others suffer with. Jenny and Wil, two of my favorite bloggers (possibly two of my favorite PEOPLE) of all time, both suffer from/with a variety of the mental ailments, and they both frequently publicly post about their issues.

So Jenny recently posted this link, and I find it absolutely appropriate and true to how I feel about my Depression, when it hits.

If you suffer from any of these "fun" things, then I hope you realize that You. Are. Not. Alone.
If you don't suffer from any of this, then please realize that those of us who do aren't trying to piss you off with our suffering. Your compassion doesn't help us in the depth of our despair, but it does help us to see it, so that when we are on an upswing, we can be grateful for it. So please continue to view us with compassion; offer emotional support; don't be offended when we're unable to accept any help in the moment it's offered.

Thank you.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Welcome, Singapore!

I know, it's been a few days since I last posted. Again. I know.

Today was Daddy's birthday. So I called him this morning (as one does) to catch up, and I discovered it had been nearly a month since we last spoke by phone! That's just crazy! So we did get caught up, and I hope he had a most excellent birthday. I'm glad Uncle Terry is there to keep him company. They have fun together, those two. Like today, Uncle Terry took Daddy grocery shopping. Good times. ;)

I was supposed to be working tour support at the museum on our lot today. I wasn't supposed to have any tours. But I hadn't yet worked a full shift at the museum prior to today, and I was dreading it a bit, I suppose, because the shifts I have worked over there have been a lot of "just standing". I'm not sure how many consecutive hours my body will allow me to do that type of work. I don't have the best shoes, nor the best knees, nor the best lower back. We reach a point in our lives where some things are easier done than others. So I was dreading it, a bit.

... But then I got there, and mentioned my "dread" aloud near a bunch of guides getting ready to go out, and one of those guides jumped on the chance to "swap" shifts. Got management approval, clocked in early, informed all concerned parties, and we each got to do our most favorite task today. Thanks, Jackie! :)

Most of my days have significantly less "drama" in them, and that's okay. I do love my job, and I'm happy to continue looking for all the other work that I'm trained and qualified to do. This temp gig will likely end when it's slated to (12 Sept), and I'll go back to that other end of the film industry world. I really hope that the bits and pieces that I get to witness while I'm out in my tours doesn't fall apart on me or make me unhappy to work tour shifts; I hope I continue to love the touring gig with my whole heart up until the moment I am not scheduled. I'm too old to be a flibertygibbet. Gotta know that I know what I know, and trust that it's all going to continue "working out" in my favor.

Speaking of "working out" - the weather's been too hot to be able to tell if the pool is being heated at all these days, even after having sent a
letter to the landlord with my rent check! Can't work out in the pool if the water's too cold, and lately, in the mornings, it's been feeling a bit on the "too cold" side.

So now everyone's caught up, including our newest guest reader from Singapore. Thanks for continuing to read my adventures, kids! Please bring friends. And wine-n-chocolate. ;)

Friday, August 14, 2015

Need a Good Laugh? Or at the very least, an out-loud giggle or snort?

Visit here. I was directed here via The Bloggess, a.k.a Jenny Lawson, and I just have to say,

NO, I haven't been feeling "depressed" lately, but this is the out-loudest I have giggled (or snorted) in quite some time. I think my fave is (unfortunately), #27. Please don't bother with the additional links at the bottom of the page. I wish I could link JUST the original article, but you all know how that works, kids. It doesn't.

Still, my profuse thanks to Jenny Lawson for linking that particular "article" in a recent weekly wrap-up (or, "shit she did when she wasn't here"). Love me some Jenny.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

100º Days

Yep, that's right, kids, you read that correctly.

This week looks like several triple-digit days, followed by another week of high 90's.

I was up and out to work too early today to hit the pool this morning, and I'll be up and out too early to hit it tomorrow morning, so this was me at 8 this evening (or so):
the view from the pool at night

me, IN the pool at night

when I first got in, the water did not feel "warm" (altho it also did not feel "cold")... once I got out long enough to bring the phone/camera closer, the air actually felt cooler than the 98º my GPS was telling me it was, so that the pool felt nice and toasty. Do ya wish you were me, having to swim at 8 p.m. just to cool off?


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Welcome BACK, Spain! (¡Felicidades, y Bienvenidos!)

I gave a tour today for a family from Spain, in addition to the other folks who were in my tour cart(s). I wonder if those folks are the same folks who have decided to visit me here, today, on my blog?

One of the things that I do include on every. one. of. my. tours.  is the instructions for what to do in case you, as my guest, might see "someone more famous than I am"... so I wonder, you know? Did my Spanish family today decide to look me up? To see exactly "how famous I am"?

If so, familia de España, you missed out on your photo op. ;)

No matter. Whomever you are, WELCOME! ¡Bienvenidos!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Float, Float On...

I had a second day off today. I hate having a "weekend" and tried my best to book some work, but nothin' doin'. Hopefully, when I get my schedule for next week (tomorrow), it'll only have one day off, or if it manages to have two, they won't be consecutive.

My reason for hating a "weekend" is because I've had such long periods of "unemployment" that I want to always be working, and I have yet to feel that I deserve two days in a row where I'm not gainfully employed. Maybe that's somehow a Depression-Era mentality creeping into my psyche. Whatever. I like employment. I like productivity that leads to something.

Which is not to say that I don't know how to be lazy or unproductive. I do. That was my yesterday. Today, I needed to accomplish shit.

So besides putting away the clean dishes and reloading the dishwasher; putting away my "stack o' crap" that's been building under my computer (papers that just needed filing or disposal); putting away the clean laundry that I did last week...

I also made a crock pot of healthy eats for our dinner tonight (and at least one more meal, either at work or home)... and floated for about an hour on my back in the pool.

Yeah, kids, I went down there to work out. The water was just warm enough to encourage me to float. So I floated. YES, I had done a little swimming and treading, and then I conducted an experiment.

I wanted to discover what the pool's "currents" were like. So I started at the deep part of the shallow end, with my feet towards the shallow and my head towards the deep, and then I took a conscious "nap" (I did not allow myself to fall asleep, but I relaxed as fully as I could while still awake). I "awoke" from my nap when my armpit snagged the rail to the steps at the shallow end (facing 180º from where I'd started).

Got myself turned around and did a gentle "backstroke" type of move to get my head to the deep end wall. Didn't want to disturb the water too much, you see. When the water had rested, I released my hold on the wall and floated over to the stairs (deep end), and then back up to the surface-level filtration. I knew I was going there, because I could hear it cycling, just below the surface. Pushed off from that wall and ended up turning 180º again, "landing" at the line between shallow and deep "ends", and spinning 180º a few times before my body made it over to the shallow end wall, opposite the steps, where the jet was pushing out definitely-not-hot water, and I was sent, once again, to the steps.

After my hour-long experiment (or so), my feet gently landed on the second step, and there was no more "floating" away without considerable effort. My body had been a human pool lounge, and the "current" had taken me everywhere except for the deep-end jet. Got plenty of sun on my face, chest, and legs. and it was really, incredibly relaxing.

Way to spend a "day off", huh?

Monday, August 10, 2015

No, I'm NOT sick!

... which is what some of my co-workers have been saying this past week, while relaying stories of hoarseness and fevers and gastrointestinal distress. Stupids.

My unproductive cough appears to have returned. I am trying to get it quiet before I go to bed so that Stephen will sleep through the night, since he has to get up early tomorrow. I've still not booked any work for tomorrow, and I kinda hate that. Today was enough time off - won't someone decide they need my help tomorrow? Really don't wanna just hang around for another day. I'm ready to get back to giving tours already!

... which is not to say that this damn nagging cough won't be giving me new fits again tomorrow. But I'm NOT sick!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Welcome, Portugal!

And Welcome BACK, Israel! I wonder if y'all found me the same way Argentina did just yesterday, with the google translate thingy. Wouldn't it be something if I somehow gain a brand new audience, just because of the google translate thingy, and these posts welcoming new readers and returning readers? I wonder if I'll finally somehow manage to get a map that is entirely green? Wouldn't that be somethin'?

Today is my "Friday", as long as work doesn't call me in to pick up a shift tomorrow. I'm kinda hoping they will - I'm not sure I know what to do with a "weekend" anymore. Had a couple of "meh" tours today, and I had to swap with two other guides to get to take my last scheduled tour out, but I'm so grateful that both guides did swap with me.

Had a family of four from Tallahassee, Florida. They were very involved in the tour, and excited to see everything I showed them, and when I dropped them off at the end, they each had to hug me good-bye (and all hugs were real, heartfelt human contact kind of hugs). They didn't bother to tip me anything for having given such a great tour, but I honestly couldn't have cared less. A great tour to end the day equals at least a good day of touring.

I am blessed. Thanks for stopping in!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Welcome BACK, Argentina!

I know, I know, it's been almost a whole week since I've posted. Sorry about that, kids.

It's been a good week, full of okay tours, good tours, visiting with friends over lunch, and really great tours. I've been scheduled for six-day weeks for so long that I've kind of forgotten what a five-day week feels like.

This upcoming week looks like a five-day week on the schedule as it stands, which means that I could potentially book some background work on my Monday-Tuesday "weekend", or I could get called in to work one of those days, or I could call myself in if I feel up to it. Or, I could have a "weekend" off. What a concept!

Anyway, thank you, folks in Argentina, for returning to me after your year or so "hiatus". I noticed you used Google's translate thingy to understand me, and that you decided to read one of my Mommy posts while you were here. I don't know how the translate thingy worked out for you (like does it understand "thingy"?), but I appreciate that it's available for you, and I appreciate that you wanted to read about my Mommy. Sorry it wasn't so much about Mommy, as it was a desperate cry for help with "vlogging". There are other "Mommy" posts out there, if you look for 'em. Thanks for trying.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

There's a first time for everything

Thank you, Russian readers, for lately taking such an active interest in my blog. It has not gone unnoticed.
the last 24 hours or so

Some perks of being a tour guide

They're getting very close to shooting some of our favorite shows again. This means that some of the soundstages that we've had some access to, we now have better access to. For example, The Big Bang Theory has been, up until today, completely covered in black and dark blue tarps, so that even if you go into the stage, there's really been nothing to see.

That changed today. Today, the furniture in the apartments was covered in canvas, but you could see all of the dressings on the walls. Meaning Penny's apartment is appropriately dressed. All the stuff in Sheldon and Leonard's apartment is where it should be. There was lots of equipment in camera alley, including a few cameras on dollies, covered loosely in their protective coverings, just waiting for the rest of the equipment to leave their space. There was still plenty of equipment in the stage areas, blocking the audience view of the stairwell that heads down from S/L's apartment. But overall, so much more to see!

No one's ever allowed to take pictures, and my tour that I took into that stage was very well behaved. But because of the rule about photography being in place, I haven't ever wanted to take groups into that stage, simply because you leave there with a memory of dark tarps. Not today, kids. Not today.

... During the week, our touring schedules get very busy. Everyone goes out, for the most part, for all of the tours we're scheduled to do, during the week. On the weekends, things slow down a good bit (probably because most tourists either don't realize that we do tours on the weekend, or they're hoping to spot celebrities, and they expect better chances on weekdays). A lot of tours get cancelled if they don't get booked. No sense sending a driver out for two hours with no one on the tour cart, right? So when we "single out" (get cancelled), we have to do our very level best to find something else productive to do, to help out another section of our department, or if it's the last tour of the day, just go home.

Today, I traded my first tour slot with someone else who was hoping to single out so he could help out the dispatch department, and since I'm still considered a "newbie", I really like being assured of a tour. So I gave my first tour; I gave my second tour; I went to lunch. There was no one to trade my final tour slot with, as all of the tours that ended up going out were guided by newbies who did not want to go home. So once I had officially singled out, I went over to our new attraction to increase my education. I'd already been through the "tour" part of that attraction once, but more as entertainment than education, so this time around, I paid closer attention to the finer details. I learned stuff. I walked slowly through the gift shop at the end so I could learn stuff about what we've got available for retail purchase. I discovered I get a nice discount, if I ever want to buy
expensive tchotchkes.
And I held a real Oscar. :)