Sunday, March 15, 2009

one strange week

So, the last couple weeks have been out of the ordinary. This is both good and bad. Let's see.

I went up to San Francisco (yay!) for the Cinequest Film Festival in San Jose, which "Dockweiler," my thesis film, played in. I went up a few days early because let's face it, I'll do anything to spend more time in San Francisco. So I left Tuesday afternoon and figured I'd go back to Hell-A on Saturday after our movie screened Friday night. I spent most of the time at home doing very little other than scanning old pictures from high school and being happy to not be in LA. I saw Julia, Larkin, Diane, Belinda, Laura Creager, and Libby one night to celebrate Larkin getting into her doctoral program at Columbia:

I went to Berkeley Bowl to do grocery shopping with Jonny (Berkeley Bowl, by the way, has THE BEST PRODUCE SECTION EVER-- I'm going to need to make a trip there next time I'm home). We then had coffee and walked around Rockridge, stopping for Jonny to pose with Liza Minnelli:

I also had lunch with Aunt Kris and drink with Tobin, and got my hair cut (or trimmed, since I am still trying desperately to grow it out) and had a facial that Mom had been insisting I have for ages now. The facial place was really calm and serene and strange- I'm not used to being pampered like that, so there were numerous times when I almost laughed or told the girl to stop making such a big deal out of me. It was also nice, though, and made me think maybe I should care about my skin more. Anyway.

The screening on Friday night went really well. Mom and Dad and I drove down and had dinner with Donna and Arnie beforehand, because the screening wasn't until 9:00. We ate at an Il Fornaio and then went over to the theater, which was PACKED- Mom and Dad had already bought tickets, which was good, but Donna and Arnie hadn't and we were worried they wouldn't get in. Turned out Nick had extra passes, thank goodness- it would have been awful for them to go all the way to San Jose and not get to see the movie. The rest of the films that were screening in the Student Shorts Program were pretty good- there were a few clunkers, and a few that really stood out as great. A lot of people in the Q&A afterwards asked questions about Dockweiler, which was nice... it means they really noticed it. Yay.

The only bad thing about the festival was that I started to not feel so great during dinner. By the time we left I felt really lightheaded and had a horrible cough, which had sort of been building up for the previous few weeks, or really ever since I'd been on the set of The Suck (Did I mention that? oh man. I should write a post about it. Dumbest set I've ever been on). By Saturday the cough had turned into the sort of death hack that makes you feel like if you cough anymore you're going to throw up, and my asthma was going haywire. Mom thought it would be a good idea for me to not drive back to LA that day and go to the doctor instead, and she was right. We went to Kaiser (which, by the way, was SO MUCH NICER and more efficient and pleasant than the Kaiser in LA) and a doctor saw me, was all worried and gave me two nebulizer treatments and prescribed antibiotics. She said I had bronchitis, and told me a story about a doctor friend of hers dying from asthma. Great. Thanks doc.

My breathing was a lot better when we left, and then got so much worse when I went home that we ended up back at Kaiser in the ER that night. It felt like when I was a little kid and Mom and Dad had to take me to Kaiser and sit with me while I was given endless pulmonary aid treatments. The doctor in the ER was really good and nice, and I trusted her more than the doctor in Urgent Care, for some reason. I was there for about five hours, in the end- Mom stayed with me in the beginning, and then Dad came to take her home and then came back and took over. It was nice to have them there, even if I'm a grown-up, technically, and didn't really need them to stay... it was comforting. A nurse took me for a chest x-ray (to make sure I didn't have tuberculosis and start an epidemic, I guess), and I had to take my bra off for it, which was fine when the nurse was some Eastern European lady, but when a Cute Male Nurse showed up to wheel me back, not having a bra was not ok. I hate not wearing a bra. Rrrrgh stupid x-ray machine.

Anyway. Dad and I got home really late from the hospital and I slept in the TV room next to an open window to avoid any cat hair that might have been in my room. I didn't sleep very well, and I didn't really feel so hot the next day, but I had to drive back to LA anyway. I had a location scout Monday morning for the short I'm shooting in a couple weeks, and I didn't feel ok missing it. I did, however, cancel the first few days I was scheduled to be helping Dustin Pearlman and JP Riley out on the feature they're doing... I just felt like I had to let the antibiotic and the prednisone run their course before doing lots of physical labor. It was a good decision, in the end, but one I felt really guilty about.

So my first day on Dustin's shoot was Thursday. The film is set at a nudist resort, so the location is Olive Dell Ranch, a nudist resort in Riverside County. It's about 60 miles from LA, so the crew is staying at a random unfurnished condo in Loma Linda. The actual resort is up in the canyons in Colton, and it's really pretty and sort of like summer camp... if you went to summer camp with lots of retired naked people. Yes, most of the nudists are retired. They live primarily in trailers, a few in mobile homes or cabins. The guest cabins are like tiny little smurf houses, or bird houses or something. I kind of wish I was staying in one, but I don't really fancy the communal showers. The whole nudist thing is weird, but strangely idyllic... all they do all day is hang out by the pool naked, and play poker at night. Not bad for a retired lifestyle. Plus, think of all the money you save on clothes!

It did take a little getting used to, though. There was one incident, which really only my brother can truly appreciate, where I almost laughed out loud at one of the nudists. I was carrying the camera, which is a lot heavier than it ought to be because of the stupid handheld rig they're using, and an old naked man walked past me, all wrinkled and saggy, and goes "Got a match?" Yes, yes, it doesn't sound funny, but this is a joke my Dad has been saying to Taylor and I when we have our hands full for pretty much our entire lives. That made me almost laugh, and then I was REALLY tempted to respond "Nope, do you?" Because clearly he didn't... because he was naked. See? Hahahaha. I crack myself up.

I have another 8 days on this set. Who knows, maybe I'll be a nudist by the end of it.

...No, probably not.