Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Why We Are Friends

Christmas eve. Jeremy and I on the gravel field at the high school, splitting off to go to our respective parental homes.

Me: Have fun at church tonight.

Jeremy: Yeah.

Me: Say hi to the baby Jesus for me.

Jeremy: I'll give him a kick in the nuts for you.

Parents When You Are 30: The Nutshell Version

My mom and I are washing lettuce.

Mom: I like your hair.

Me: Thanks.

Mom: Are you going to get it cut soon?

Me: I just got it cut.

Mom: Oh.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Overall Dampness

Today I was talking to Melisa at the travel agency that books my boss's flights. She's Melisa with one s, because as she says, she's simple person and she only needs one. We were having computer problems and she said, "It's probably the rain." And the thing is, it probably was. Rain is probably why my email wasn't working and why I had to shut down and restart. LA completely loses it shit in the rain. It cracks me right up. I think it's because it washes the dirt off and the dirt is what holds everything together.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Road Test

Last week I had to take a road test to get my California license. The guy who gave me the test was so very, very nice. Now think about it, did you ever take a road test from someone who wasn't very, very nice? As we started driving around the blocks in Santa Monica, he talked about how he just gotten out of surgery. For what? For being smooshed in a car by a young driver making a freaked-out left turn. The car accident thing was something that I had already made a note to bring up during the drive, and he had lots of stories. He said they lost a guy last year. What do you call killing your tester during your drive? I call it Taking The Bus For The Rest Of Your Life.

Driving around was kind of fun. I just drove like a little old person-- really slow and deliberate and chilled. Nothing like the lack of urgency when you are not really going anywhere.

The first driving test I took was ten years ago. I was still something of an uncoordinated turner, prompting my tester to ask if I played any sports, maybe? Cause it's just hand-eye coordination, and no reason for you to make weird yawning turns through intersections. At one point, some people walked in front of my car, against their light and the tester had to hit the brake on his side of the car. He said, "They are wrong, you know, but you still have to stop". I'm still kind of amazed he didn't fail me for that. I would have failed me for that.

This driving test was more conversation than testing. We got on, as they say, like a house on fire, and except for occasional breaks for him to tell me to change lanes or turn left, it was a purely social event. He showed me the weird bump in his wrist from the accident. I called another driver an asshole under my breath. He expressed apoplectic shock that I was twenty-nine, which was nice.

License arrives in a week. Maybe I will stick around in California after all.

Walla Walla Hey Hey

This morning I drove to Glendale to do some ADR for the movie I worked on this summer. I wasn't in the movie and ADRing my own lines; we were there to create the situationally appropriate background walla for the scenes. Party scene, bus scene, sex club scene.

In the case of the sex club scene, I don't think I've ever been in a weirder job situation: stand in a semi-circle with 9 other people and make sex club background noise into the microphone. And it was a long section too. A good three or so minutes of time to fill with moaning and ad libbing dominatrix talk. Plus sometimes someone would say something pretty awesome and it was hard not to audibly laugh in response. "Use your thumb" "Don't touch that!" "I'm a filthy pig and I need to spanked!", etc.

In the bus scene, we recorded the sound of the Asian and Hispanic characters running away from the FBI agents shouting, "La Migra! INS!" The funniest pass we did all day was for the white people left behind on the bus, "What the dickens? I'll be late for my canasta game!"


In the DVD library at work, someone filed "Dancer In The Dark" in the comedy section.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The Other Twelve Hours

It's hard these days to think of things that don't involve work about which to blog. How's this:

The weather is delightful. My favorite kind: sun, clear so that colors jump, a wind to keep things fresh, and a nip in the air that makes you prefer standing in the sunshine.

I sat at a traffic light in my car beside a homeless man on the sidewalk having an involved conversation with the air the other day. He was saying something to his air companion about the sidewalk, the people walking by. It was convincing, his conversation. It really looked like someone ought to be standing there having it with him. He looked content and relaxed. I guess it's not stressful to talk to imaginary people because you always know what they are going to say.

I hit my head on the underside of a marble table today and it didn't even hurt. I started thinking about all the blows to the head I've received as a film student: there were a lot. Black eye at BJ's birthday in first year from clunking heads with Brooke. A barn door falling off a light onto my head on Preston DeFrancis' thesis film. I even hit my on the head of the tripod during Mr. Sadman pickups last week. I think my head is getting harder: each hit hurts less.

I AD'd a day of pickups for Mr. Sadman last week. Mr. Sadman is a feature about a Saddam double who comes to LA circa 1990. The actor looks quite a bit like the man himself. Dress him up in the outfit with the beret and aviators and all and the effect is pretty great. He's from Iraq (he met Saddam before he left for America) and currently teaches American military personnel Arabic and Iraqi culture. Being on set for one day is great because it reminds you how weird and fun being on set can be without the exhaustion to make you crabby. When we were set up on the sidewalk with our tiny crew and our Saddam lookalike, some middle-aged ladies walked past to get to their Prius. They asked us what we were shooting and Cindy told them and they said, "an Independent?" and Cindy said yes and they said, "Alright!" and the one held a fist up in the air. Whenever people come up to you while you're shooting and ask you what are you making, you should tell them, "A mayonnaise commercial". I heard this from an AC and have used it a couple times. It has the same effect as the teachers turning on the overhead fluorescent lights to clear out the gym at the end of a high school dance. That is, it brings quiet to the space quickly and with maximum efficiency.