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    Wednesday, February 28, 2007

    The N-Word

    The N-Word is now banned in NY. Good luck enforcing it you idiots. Banning a word no matter how offensive is not the answer. Try helping to change society, instead of writing it down in the minutes of a meeting and thinking it will go away.

    The last word on scrota

    If you've been following the debate of the use of the word Scrotum, or have just tuned in, regarding the latest Newbery award winning book THE HIGHER POWER OF LUCKY, then this, and I agree fully with Neil Gaiman who is a much better arbiter of such things, is the last word. If not, find out about what you've been missing. You can do it, just google.

    My First Meeting

    It's long winded and not well written, but you'll get the idea.

    So, after two phone calls and three e-mails I finally had enough redundant information to attend my first meeting at a studio. I’ve got a PA gig, as you know, on an unnamed TV pilot. I have no intention of dishing specifics but will occasionally write amusing things such as what is to follow while keeping all names and actual places a complete and utter secret from you, because they really are irrelevant and would distract from the sheer joy of what I think will turn out to be universal truths about how these things get made. The use of the word “universal” in the previous sentence was not a clue. Trust me.

    The meeting was at 3:00 PM and was closer than not to where I live. I decided to leave at 2:00 PM to get there just in case something went wrong and allow me plenty of time to not be late to my first ever meeting at a studio. On what should be about a 5 min drive from my place I encountered a major roadway reduced to one lane by three tow trucks cleaning up a fender bender, a fountain run amok, and just general silly driving from people who have lived here longer than I.

    Driving up to the parking garage I was told to use, I realized that some sort of ID would be required. When it was finally my turn, I drove up to the security shack and handed over my Driver’s license. The guard asked where I was going and I told him the exact address, floor and suite number. He looked at me puzzled. I said that I realized that the parking was more for the Studio lot than for the building where the meeting was being held, but this as where I had been told to park and asked him if there was another associated parking garage on the street. He told me no and asked who I was going to see. I pulled the sheet of paper I had prepared earlier and threw out the name that seemed to have the highest job description. This seemed to get things rolling somewhat. Finally he found my name on the computer after about 4 minutes and the printer began to spit out my parking pass. He looked confused again and said that the pass said my meeting was in a building on the lot and I retorted that it might very well say that but the meeting I was to attend was in the building across the street from the garage. I didn’t tell him I had received two phone calls and three e-mails confirming this though because I’m sure he’d think this was a low number and therefore I’d probably gotten it wrong. Unsure he called over another security guard and brought up the discrepancy in what the pass said and what I said. The other guard told him not to worry about it since the pass was good for the whole thing and I could go where I wished, which at this point was somewhere else entirely.

    Pulling my car into a slot only 4 inches wider than my car on either side, I got out and made my way through the lot and outside, then crossed the street to the building where my meeting was to be held.

    Inside, I approached a woman security guard and told here where I was going and asked whether I needed to sign in. She pointed me in the right direction of the desk and I crossed the lobby to the other side and finally found it. Once again I was asked for ID and turned over my license. The guard asked me where I was going and once again I told him the floor and suite number. When he asked who I was going to see I said it was a general meeting and not with any specific person. I once again pulled out the sheet I’d prepared and handed it over. He picked a name and dialed their number. He left a message stating that a Mr. Alan Bunch was here and if he could get a call back that would be great since he wasn’t letting me through until he did. I corrected him telling him it was Greg and that Alan was my middle name, but this made no difference. When he hung up the phone he tried to keep me from worrying I guess by telling me that person he had called was probably just in the bathroom. I pointed out to him that there was another name on the list, which excited him, and he was soon off dialing the next number. This time the person he was calling was not in the bathroom and OK’d and validated my presence. I was issued a visitor pass and he kept my license, which I could retrieve after the meeting in exchange for the pass I now had in my hands.

    Now, on both sides of the lobby just before one reaches the central elevator banks there are four black oddly shaped platforms each containing two angled surfaces on top each of these containing a small round piece of etched glass that lights up when you wave your pass over it. There are guards watching to make sure all passes are swiped over said “beatified” sensors. I’d noticed this, so when I approached I looked at the guard who looked at me and acknowledged that I too had to swipe. So I did. The circle lit up, a little ding sounded and I walked toward the elevator to the floor I needed to go to.

    Once in the elevator, of which I was the sole occupant I pushed the button for the floor I wanted and waited. Nothing happened. I looked around and stuck my head out and pushed the button again. It lit up and then a second later went back out and the doors remained open. Hmmmmm, some sort of new security layer I had missed. Sure enough, as I scanned the button board all the way down registering each button and its purpose I came across, at the very bottom, only two feet from the floor another of the etched glass circles with the same pattern as those from the black stands. So, I waved my magic pass across and heard a small ding and then noticed a light turn green. So, I pushed the button again and I was off. The doors closed and the elevator began to rise.

    This wasn’t so tough. Upon arriving at my floor I got off and looked for the suite where the meeting was to be held. Only problem is none of the numbers on the doors came close. So, as a guy passed by and asked me what I was looking for I told him the room number and confusion crossed his face. He told me he’d never heard of that number before but I might want to have a look through a set of double doors just ahead of me since it had the same first two numbers of the suite I was looking for followed by two zeroes.

    Peaking my head inside I immediately noticed the number I was looking for. It was someone’s office. Later I would find out who this someone was. As I approached another person walked by. They asked me if I was there for the meeting and I said yes. This turned out to be one of the people from my list. Soon another walked by and introduced himself. I was in the right place.

    Well, the meeting went off and I kept up and learned a few things and just generally kept my mouth shut. Everyone seemed nice so I don’t foresee any personality conflicts. But in the end what I wanted to tell everyone was that if they’d just said that the meeting was going to be held in an office and not a suite, since the room number given was an office within a suite that had a different number, and if they had attached to that office number the name of the high level person that occupied it, it would have been easier for everyone to find it. But of course I didn’t. They do things their own way here and for now I’m simply following their lead.

    Oh yeah, when we went back to our cars after the meeting, we had to once again show our IDs to get access to our cars. Just think what it would be like if you worked here, or in the building. Everyday you'd have to show three people your ID and wave it over a sensor every time you wanted to use the elevator or reenter the building. Personally I'd just pack a lunch.

    Job Stats

    Stats from the last job I just completed.

    PHOTOS TAKEN: 29667
    MILES DRIVEN: 6715
    CDs BURNED: 29
    SCALE CARDS USED: 1 (I rule supremely in this category)

    Now back to what you were doing.

    Monday, February 26, 2007

    The Oscars


    The only good bit, which contained the best line of the night.

    "I’m going to take that job about a guy with no arms and no legs who teaches gangbangers Hamlet.”

    Saturday, February 24, 2007

    Save the internet

    Save the Internet: Click here

    Click on the link above to sign the petition to save Net Neutrality, a founding principle of the internet and the only thing keeping you from paying even more for internet access.

    Friday, February 23, 2007

    The next few months

    Well, so here’s where I stand. I completed the survey job on Wed (Feb 21) of this week. On Thursday I was advised to contact the Producer of a pilot shoot of a friend. By Thursday afternoon I was meeting with the Post Production Supervisor and by Thursday evening I was a Post Production PA on said shoot. So, my plans to write are on hold. This will be a 60+ hour a week job. It’ll be a nice change of pace even though my primary responsibility will be to run stuff about in my car on what I can only imagine will be on increasingly intense time schedules. It runs through April and will be finished, according to the schedule, the day before my birthday. It’s a fine opportunity for which I am exceptionally overqualified, so there should be no real hitches in me excelling in the position. Of course I can’t, or if I can still won’t, be discussing the specifics, or the name players, because there are plenty of magazines such as US and PEOPLE for that sort of thing. It doesn’t start until March 5, so I’ll have about a week to write before it begins.

    A good friend of mine is coming into town for the weekend to attend the Spirit Awards for which a number of the films she worked on have been nominated. She just happens to be a Post Production Supervisor, but unrelated to my new temp job.

    Wednesday, February 21, 2007

    Sunday, February 18, 2007


    ...from radioactive propellers that create giant skulls to chase you.

    Saturday, February 17, 2007


    These are direct quotes overheard in the bar I hang out in. I've removed attribution to protect the people from whose mouths these are uttered.

    "Fuck you and you special sauce."

    "He would never say that, because he is delicious."

    "Come around idiot, come around."

    "I liked the bottle; it looked like a penis."

    That is all.

    Long Beach, Ca

    Thursday, February 15, 2007

    Wednesday, February 14, 2007

    Santa Maria, Ca

    If they're so drought tolerant, why do they need irrigation?

    Monday, February 12, 2007

    Santa Barbara, Ca

    Bound to happen

    After shoving my debit card into some odd 800 ATMS over the last 4 months, I finally lost it. I didn't lose it in an ATM I don't think, but it must have fallen out of my pocket at some point. Oh goody for me. Oh well, I'm in Lompoc, Ca tonight and will do one here tomorrow morning then off to Santa Maria. At least I don't have to pull ATM receipts anymore, of course I don't have access to actual cash either. Harrumph!


    So, I was staying in the Motel 6 in Goleta while working and instead of going to the Elephant Bar near the airport, I decided to just walk to the Outback Steakhouse right down the street. The reasons are obvious, I wanted have few beers and it’s better to walk than drive. The service on the beers was fine, and efficient. However, when I ordered food to go, it was a fiasco. First, I generally assume it’ll be 15-20 for to-go food at 6:15. and up to this point with all of the traveling I do I have never been wrong with this simple assumption. Now, certainly they were busy, but 15-20 for to-go isn’t asking much. Now the hotel was like a three-minute walk from the place. When the food arrived, 42 minutes after I ordered it, I took it in stride and left. When I got back to the hotel room, what I found was less than acceptable. The fires were cold and limp, having been cooked probably 30 minutes before I ordered, unless this is how the Aussie’s like their fries, and there was no plastic ware. Normally this would not have been a problem, but I ordered a side salad. A SIDE SALAD! I guess people in Australia, who are already offended by being connected to this chain, eat salad with their hands. Having never been there, maybe they do. I however, do not, except this time, what choice did I have? I could walk back for a Plastic fork, allowing my meal to get even colder. The truth is I don’t blame the bartender, even he was getting irate with the delay, although I did overhear him being told it would be 30 min almost 10 minutes after I ordered it, but I pretended not to hear that and he chose not to tell me. I blame the kitchen and whoever fills to-go orders. I doubt I was the only person screwed that night. What happened to pride in work. I’m sorry you work in a chain restaurant, but why should I have to suffer for it? Oh, at least they gave me a loaf of bread; too bad I didn’t have a knife to cut it with. It was so French. Well, that isn’t true, because if it had been French it would have had a nice crust. Oh yeah, it was also a Sunday so no Happy Hour bringing the total to $ 39.00, with tip I now regret, which would not have been a problem if the food had been worth it.

    Sunday, February 11, 2007


    It’s raining. It’s raining all up the coast where I need to be surveying, and it’s raining here. I’m heading up to Goleta, Ca to do it and the Santa Barbara area then on to Santa Maria, San Louis Obispo and finally Paso Robles. I’m hoping the next three days or so of surveying will not be in misty cold rain, but I’m afraid it will be. It would have to end this way wouldn’t it? Oh well. Don’t know what access there will be, so be good until I get back.

    Wednesday, February 07, 2007

    Playing with Google Reader

    You'll notice that in the middle column there is a new feature at the top. This is a widget of sorts generated by the new Google Reader that allows me to select certain items coming into Google Reader (basically an rss aggragator) as shared and then they automatically get posted into the column. So, it's safe to click on any of these that catch your fancy, it's just a new way to share what I find interesting on other people/group's blogs that I regularly read. It's not an ad thingy. It is for real. Hopefully it will be more useful the more I play with it and understand what I can do with it.

    Sunday, February 04, 2007

    Smelling the end

    I can smell the end. Only 26 left to go. It’s like waking up with a chance of rain in the forecast knowing that it’ll wash all the impurities from the air, but also knowing that the rain could be contaminated.

    Some people have been having trouble logging onto the blog recently, if you have and can now read this let me know. I made some cosmetic changes on Sunday but am having no trouble opening the blog. There is a slight possibility that there are issues with the new blogger and Explorer. Seeing as how I don’t use explorer, I can’t trouble shoot it if there are. So, if any of you are reading this though Explorer and don’t mind letting me know that things seem alright that will go a long way to helping those with issues figure them out. I hope everyone out there is doing well and I apologize for not being in touch while I wrap up this contract.

    Fiddling with bloggy bits

    I'm fiddling with design over the next few days, maybe a week depending on how much free time I have so don't get excited.

    Saturday, February 03, 2007

    Simi Valley, CA

    Mmmmm! Beer Sandwiches!

    Friday, February 02, 2007

    Simi Valley, CA

    BooBahBeeBah BeeBahBeahBah BeeBahBeeBahBah

    Simi Valley, CA

    [EDIT: Something is going on here.]

    Santa Clarita, CA


    Remember back in the good 'ol days when snow was white and pure and you could actually make snow cones and things from it and eat it as long as it wasn't "yellow"? Well, it's a bit different now.

    Russia has flown a team of chemical experts to a Siberian region to find out why smelly, coloured snow has been falling over several towns.

    Penn Jullette's Radio Show

    Neil Gaiman would like everyone to listen to Penn Jillette, who has a radio show and mentions two Neils and National Gorrilla Suit Day.