Friday, January 31, 2003

Okay, so I call over to the degree place before noon today so that I can pick up the finished paperwork and go over to registration. Finally. I walk over to the degree place and tell the lady at the front desk that I'm here to pick up paperwork. She looks in the folder. It's not there. She looks again. It's still not there. The woman I talked to on the phone is at lunch. I go sit down. Forty-five minutes pass. A new lady comes to the front desk. She asks me what's up. I tell her. She calls registration and they tell her that they can just fax the paperwork to them and I can go on my merry way.

Except that my advisor gave me clearance for the wrong classes. We both look at the computer. Yep, he wrote down the wrong section numbers on my registration paper. The woman I talked to on the phone comes back from break. She had filed my paperwork in the "R" folder. I have been at this place for an hour. All I had to do was pick up a single piece of paper. They call my advisor and tell him he screwed up. Except, no he didn't! The degree place was accessing the wrong semester on their computer! Oh ho ho, that's so funny! I take my paperwork and register and walk back. I hate this school.

Thursday, January 30, 2003

Oh, I am so mad. This is a fury that is the most frustrating, because it's not directed at a single person, but rather a whole group of persons that I can't even complain about, because they are the people complaints go to.

I had to fill out a petition to take this graduate level course. They finally got done with it today. I went to check to see if there was anything else I had to do, but the person who told me what time to come by was at lunch then. (If you're going to go on lunch, don't tell students to see you then.) I get a phone call from Colin, in the same position as me, at 4:30 telling me I have to turn in paperwork to the Degree place before they close tonight, because it takes 24 hours to process and tomorrow is the last day to register. I run over to Cinema Student Affairs to pick up the paperwork. I go to the front desk, where a work study student is sitting. I tell him I have to pick something up from one of two people. He tells me they're talking with another advisor. Five minutes go by. It's ten till 5:00, and Degree place is clear on the other side of campus. Finally, one of the people who can help me comes out and gives me the paperwork. I book over to DP, and hand the paperwork in. Where I find out that they may not have it done tomorrow at all, and if they do, I have to come back over and pick it up and register in person instead of over the phone. Let's address these one at a time. First of all, it has to be done tomorrow. Tomorrow is the last day to register. I tell the women that's at the desk this simple fact. She smirks and tells me I'm the one who waited till the day before. This is where I lost it, and came very close to shrieking. What came out was a high-pitched "It is not my fault! I filled this stuff out weeks ago! I only now could bring it over!" She didn't say anything, but told me to keep calling and checking on the progress. Now, the whole having to register in person thing? Blows. It's like this school wants people to kill first a lot of staff members, then themselves.

Anyway, now I'm just exhausted, but we're shooting tonight. Yeah, it sucks. Projected wrap time is midnight, so won't get home till late, and I'm doing sound all by myself. Colin gets up really early in the mornings and I agreed that if I helmed tonight solo, he'd take a shoot by himself sometime. I really, really don't want to shoot now. I just want to take a shower, get in my jammies, and watch TV. Man alive.

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

There are two reasons to watch CNN. And they have nothing to do with staying up to date with current affairs, or being able to sound relatively intelligent in adult conversations. Although I guess those things are cool, too. Whatever, here's why you turn on the James Earl Jones network:

Tucker Carlson

Anderson Cooper

Ooo...pretty. I watch "Crossfire" whenever I'm home at the time it's on just to watch Tucker. I flip on CNN any time I have a few minutes just to see if Anderson is on. Not only are they sexy bags of sex, they're also really smart, which is just...yeah. I like 'em.
Stupid State of the Union address. I want to watch 24 tonight! Ahem...

Roommate issues and the leftover, for lack of a better word, administration stuff from last semester notwithstanding, so far this semester has rocked it, and rocked it hard. We had our first weekend of principal photography and it went really, really well. Everything sounded great, and I'm very much enjoying working on a crew. As interesting as it was to tackle all the major roles and, for all intents and purposes, be the sole author of a film, it's so nerve-wracking to the point of no longer being enjoyable. Being on a crew makes it much simpler; you can just focus on one task while being confident that everyone else will get their job done. This has been a great experience thus far.

I really want to see Chicago, now. Several people whose film opinions I respect and usually agree with have told me it was just fantastic. They even quelled my fears regarding The Gere. Unfortunately, without an automobile and without the necessary amount of drive to face the bus, I don't have much way to get to see the film. So, unless someone has a get-together or decides to do a movie thing, I probably won't get to see it till it comes out on video. Bah.

I left my sponge curlers at home after the break, so my hair's been weird lately, since I've been blow drying it straight yet inevitably it does some odd flippy thing anyway. So last night I had the brilliant idea to twist my hair into little buns and secure them with bobby pins, and then sleep on it. Yeah. I woke up this morning and was actually horrified by my hair. I couldn't look at it. I brushed it in the other room, too frightened to face that image in the mirror again. I was finally able to subdue it enough to brave the outside world, but damn. You'd think I would learn to not do hair experiments anymore.

Thursday, January 23, 2003

Happiness! All the sound from the test shoot came back and it works. It's a little low because we used a back up mike, but it's definitely useable. We figured out that the reason the boom microphone wasn't working was an internal switch in the mixer that was toggled incorrectly. So that was cool. This weekend is the first weekend of principal photography; we're shooting at a comedy club and at a birthday party. So far everything's been going well. Except...stupid cinema administration! The class I'm taking is a graduate level course, and I had to fill out a petition to be able to register for it. It's just paperwork that has to go through, and there was never any question of being denied, but in the meantime to secure units and financial aid I'm registered for classes I'm not taking. I turned in the petition the first day of class, January 13. They told us to check back at the end of the week. No, still not finished, check back on Wednesday. So yesterday during the break I go to check. And it's still not done.

Student Affairs: [Faculty Member] still has the petition, we're waiting for her signature.
Me: [Faculty Member] is one of my professors! She knows me!
Student Affairs: Yeah. What's up with that?

So I go to the professor, and ask her about the petition. She's all, right. Let's go get that signed right now. So I follow her up to her office where the many petitions she has are just laying on her desk. Apparently she'd had them since the 13th, and hadn't done anything with them. She signs them, and I accompany her down to Student Affairs again, because I'm thinking that I just need the go-ahead to register. Well, turns out they need signatures of the Provost and the Dean, too. So, very close to having a freakout, I tell everyone in a twenty foot radius, "This has to be done by January 30th! That is the last drop-add day! I am not getting extra fees put on my account because no one can get things done!"

Anyway. I can't believe next week is the end of January. Spring semester always goes by so fast. Although since I'm actually enjoying class this semester (and it's sad the damage to my psyche last semester and the Horror That Was Ashley have done), I'm not really counting down the days yet. I am counting down the days, however, until the next episode of 24. I can't believe it's just been one week without it; this summer hiatus is going to kill me.

Caroline! You're in France. That's so cute. I sent you a little something, so be on the lookout, okay?

Edited to add that I recommended (not linked to, alas) a new song on the left. Check it out, yo.

Saturday, January 18, 2003

We had our first test shoot today, and it was good. Well, at first, it was scary. Our shotgun microphone for the boom wasn't sending a signal, so we had to jury rig a dynamic mike (the ones that tv people use when interviewing) into the boom. Hopefully it worked okay, although it sounded good on set. We had a fun time, although it sometimes was difficult since me, Colin, and the camera operator were all tethered together because we're recording sound in camera. So at times it was this almost ballet-like choreography going on. Quite amusing for a spectator, I'm sure.

I'm usually quite enthused for major award shows like the Golden Globes, which will be on tomorrow. However, this year I don't really care all that much, since I know The Two Towers won't be taking home the big prizes, even though it should. Stupid Hollywood anti-fantasy/SF bias. I'm sure The Hours will win a lot, even though (and I say this not having seen it) it's all stupid and girl-movie and weepy and "blah blah bliddy blah, I'm so meaningful, give me an award." And now that I've seen TTT three times, I have to say, if Andy Serkis doesn't get at least nominated, I will spit at the Academy. Computer generated my ass, Gollum is Serkis.

Friday, January 17, 2003

I had a seriously weird-ass dream night before last, and it gave me a good, healthy wig. I dreamt that I was at home, and we were all in the living room watching the news. And a Special Bulletin came on; the news people had recovered new footage of the September 11th attacks. The first was of one of the hijacked planes flying long before it reached NYC. It was composed of two different shots. The first was from a distance, and you could see the hijacked plane coming up to another plane that was trying to get in its way to stop it. You could just barely see the hijacked plane come up to it, and then the second plane broke in half and plummeted. Then, they showed a close-up. The front of the hijacked plane (HP from now on) was like a shark's mouth; narrow and angry with long, serrated teeth. The HP flew at the second plane and took a bite out of its midsection, and you could see the people falling out just before the plane itself fell out of the sky.

The second piece of footage was composed of two parts as well. In the first, they had recovered footage from a camera mounted on the front of the HP, so you could see the WTC getting bigger and bigger until the plane crashed into it. The second bit showed footage from a camera in an office in the WTC; the plane got closer and closer, and then the news people slowed it down when it was about 500 yards away. The HP crept closer and closer, directly at the camera, and then just before it hit they sped the footage up again. I woke up and shivered and wondered why on earth I would dream something like that. Gaah.

My Roman Civilization professor is a hoot. He kind of talks like Agent Smith, with long drawn out words in odd places, and funny pauses. "To-daaaay we will learn about the siiiiite that Rome was....built on." He's also got a really dry sense of humor, which to me is the best kind of humor a professor can have. He was discussing the legends about the origin of Rome, and got sidetracked into talking about the Odyssey, and had this to say: "Odysseus left his wife to go fight a war. Then he traveled all around the Mediterranean, screwing, and having a lot of sons. And of course he had sons, he's just so goddamn virile."

We're doing a test shoot tomorrow, and I'm a little scared, but I think it will go well. Colin and I are trying to decide how we'll ultimately divide up tasks; he's going to be the boom operator tomorrow and I'll be the recordist. So I have to be connected to him, obviously. However, we record sound on the same tape that picture is recorded onto, so we're also connected to the camera. So when the camera moves, so too do we. I'm trying it envision the choreographical nightmare that some shots could end up being.

24 is awesome. Although I'm really hoping that Nina isn't gone for the rest of the day; I think the dynamic between her and Jack is fascinating, and I want them to explore it in all of its nasty, dark depths. Although I like the plot twist that Sherry is either in on the conspiracy against Palmer or is working as a double agent, I am now, in retrospect, a little upset with the revelation that Marie is in cahoots with the terrorists. Maybe they'll make it work, but for right now I'm less than impressed with the actress and am concerned about her ability to pull it off.

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

"Orlando Bloom, who makes his feature film debut as the elf Legolas, was a victim of an all-out assault. "They broke into his hotel room in the middle of the night," Monaghan chuckled. "They carried him downstairs. Billy and I sat on Orlando's knees and Sean Bean pulled his arms back. Viggo pulled up Orlando's shirt and slapped the hell out of his belly. "He was nearly crying, the poor baby." Bloom interjected: "It's all very affectionate. We were all in it together.""

Hee. I love those guys. Other great quotes from the cast can be found here.

For Caroline:

So far this week has been pretty swank, as far as going to class goes. We didn't have our documentary class yesterday; we meet for the first time tomorrow. So I've had writing the thriller and Roman civilization thus far, and they both seem like they're going to be fun. I like history; I was hoping to take history of Medieval Europe this semester but the scheduling didn't work out, alas. And right now I'm pondering the idea of setting a thriller in a post-nuclear apocalypse world. Not very post, though. Like, the dust has settled and my movie starts. I'll have to brainstorm a bit more, though, if I want to do that or do a supernatural thriller.

My CD player had been annoying me since the airplane. A little hold icon was showing up in the display, and I couldn't pause, skip songs, fast forward, or even turn it off without popping a battery out. I thought it had punked out on me and I'd have to go get a new one. I kept hitting the program button, but to no avail.

Today, in what has to be one of the strongest epiphanies I've ever had, I remembered there's a switch down by volume that says: "HOLD--ON--OFF." It was on "ON." I switched it over to "OFF." The situation has improved.

Song Recommendation: The Easy Beats, "Friday on My Mind." I rather like this song; my dad requested it for one of his CDs I made before break but I never actually listened to it until I gave the CD to him and he played it one day.

Monday, January 13, 2003

Alexis Denisof is engaged. Sniff.

Mayakins! I got a package today...dude. That was like the coolest present ever. Not like. It was. I always feel like my presents for you are so generic and crappy and then you find something that's just perfect. Bah. Anyways, I already set the chess set up and will put it on my counter, I think, so that all who enter may gaze upon it and wish they had a cool thing, but they don't. And I loved the sticker book. I'm totally going to sit down and do all the stickers, and then prominently display it or something. (I still have the Duck Tales sticker book from when I was in kindergarden. I almost finished that sucker. They sold the stickers separately, so there were some I just could never find. Bastards.) And hooray! indeed.
Well, I'm back at school. It was an uneventful flight, which is always nice. The apartment, however, was in absolute shambles when I returned. We had anticipated a new roommate, and the subsequent cleaning that housing comes in to do when such an event occurs, so we hadn't cleaned before we left. But we have recieved no such roommate at this time, so the place looked like those houses they find 74 cats in. It took me living at home for a month to come back and see how sad the apartment looked. So I cleaned all day today and it's much nicer looking.

This was the weekend of buying things and forgetting them, or not buying things at all. I got some extension cords at home and left them there, along with batteries. I also needed a cable splitter which I did not purchase at all. So I go to the grocery store today and while I remember to buy sour cream for the ranch dressing mix I bought six weeks ago, I could not remember to get batteries even though I had written out a note reminding myself to do so immediately preceding my trip to the aforementioned grocery store. Now I have to go to Radio Shack, which is ridiculously over-priced and has the Slowest Cash Register People in the entire world. I swear, it takes them ten minutes to ring up each purchase.

At the grocery store, I did manage to pick up some Fruit-A-Freeze popsicles. (Not pupsicles, as I had originally typed.) These are really good, I endorse them. They've got bits of fruit in them. This time I got strawberry, which are good, but not as good as coconut. However, everything pales in comparison to the goodness and joy to be found in the key lime-sicles. Mmm.

I hooked up the original Sega Genesis up about ten minutes ago. I had forgotten what a pain it was to hook up game systems before you could just plug the red, yellow, and white cables into the VCR. There was some mild cursing. But now I can play Sonic! And Earthworm Jim! ("Tender.") For some reason I feel much cooler with a Sega hooked up than I would with a GameCube or a Playstation. I don't know why. (Although Metroid Prime on the 'Cube is most triumphant. That, my friends, is an addictive game.)

The crew on the documentary met at the director's apartment tonight. I had to bum a ride, which is just the pinnacle of humiliation for me anymore. Then, we could not for the love of Kripes find parking, and ended up circling for entire halves of hours. We ended up having to walk a bit, then, neither of us could remember the directions to her specific apartment, or its number, and of course had left said directions in the car. So we wandered around, looking at mailboxes until we found it, so we were a bit late. We all talked and brainstormed and then watched a doc that the director had cut last year, to have an idea of what we'll be doing. It'll be pretty swank, I must say. Really nice quality, and I'm excited now. I guess we're doing a test this weekend, although Amy (the director) wasn't entirely sure, at least to my ear.

I'm starting 24 Season One over again, now that I finished watching it for the first time. I think I'll try to watch an ep every night or so, time allowing, just to try and see things I missed the first time around. One thing that is just fascinating to do is watch Nina, knowing she's the mole. Of course, up till the last few episodes Sarah Clarke didn't know she was the mole and played it straight, but you can still read things into the performance that make it really interesting. Nothing huge in the first hour, which is all I've watched twice so far, but I'm sure it'll be cool when things start to pick up.

I've been reading fan comments about the first season, and I've seen a lot of criticism about Teri's amnesia (which I actually thought was a well set-up arc that had a purpose and played out well) and Dennis Hopper's performance (all such criticisms were entirely warranted), but I've seen little about Kim's relationship with Rick. This to me was really quite squicky, and although it makes some sense when you think of that Patty Hearst identifying with abductors thing (there's an actual word for that, I know), it still just rubbed me the wrong way. This guy knowingly kept her from returning home (whether or not he knew about taking her to Gaines is debatable; I think he did and didn't want to come clean about it), roughed her up a bit, chased her around, and then, when he's in danger, decides to help her out. And she just warms right up to him, to the point of trusting him over the people at CTU. It was just such an odd character decision they made with Kim, and it makes it difficult for me to like her character all the much, because this goes beyond a lack of common sense or her own culpability in sneaking out in the first place; I have little patience for television characters that blindly follow their heart (or loins) when they should obviously be doing something different. This really colors how I view Kim now, in this season.

My Hello Kitty light globe is staring at me, all dark and forlorn, wishing I had got batteries.

Thursday, January 9, 2003

Why has my Christmas break forsaken me?

I don't want to go back to school. Alas, I must. I leave Saturday to return to LA, and start classes Monday. There is much sadness. I will probably update more Saturday, when I triumphantly return to my ethernet. Go ethernet! Choose ethernet!