Thursday, August 13, 2009

Close eyes * Breath Deeply * Repeat

Close eyes * Breath Deeply * Repeat

Close eyes * Breath Deeply * Repeat

It's not working...

Although I've been getting booked consistently on some pretty good projects, I find myself extremely stressed! I absolutely can not allow myself to be out of sorts, as over the past year in LA my body has decided to manifest my emotional stress in undesirable physical conditions. I'm trying to keep everything in check, but in this moment, I can't ignore my want to just scream and punch my fucking roommate in his face!

Okay, let's back up. The acting classes and workshops Universal offers its tour guides happen in the summer, which is about the worst possible time! TV shows are coming back from hiatus, movies are filming, we're actually picking up tram shifts, people are going on vacation, bla, bla, bla. Due to doing background work I was only able to make it to three of six of the acting classes. There are a few casting workshops that I've taken the day off work in order to attend. Between balancing background gigs, tram shifts, classes and workshops and dentist appointments, it's been very difficult to plan a trip home. It's my turn to come back to Ohio and it's been a month now since I've seen my guy. Of course I want to come home, but it's a tricky time to get out of LA.

Finally, things cleared up. There are no workshops, classes or dental appointments slated from the 19th to the 31st of this month. I "booked-out" with my calling service for background work; aka, told them I was unavailable. However, we still can't buy a plane ticked because of my fucking roommate situation!

There are about a thousand whiney details, but in short the roommate moving out and I have not been on the same page at all. Although 95% of his belongings are out of his room, including his bed and clothes, I can't get a plane ticket until he gives me a date that I can move my things to his room. *sigh*

Friday, August 7, 2009

New carpet may have become a fantasy...

So... After my year lease I really wanted month to month, so I'm not trapped in a situation when the house in Ohio sells and my guy eventually joins me in LA. This place is great, since it's not only month to month, but the bills were already divided, so for the past three months my names hasn't been on anything!

Every month we each pay twenty-five bucks to have our beloved internet, a mere seven for water/sewage and every two or three months there's a varying electric/water bill. A couple times a scary pink "final notice" gas bill came for Kat, a girl who lived here two people before me. I asked my roommates if we should be concerned with that; roommate #1, true to form, was not phased, stating that we were now paying a completely different company than the one sending the statements. "That's odd," I remember thinking, "there's more than one gas company for this building...?" I'd also noted several times how bad it sucked that we paid water/sewage since most apartments cover that. I didn't take it upon myself to understand any of it farther; the utility amounts I was paying seemed fair and I was content that nothing was in my name.

Well... [Insert chuckle and eye roll here.] As it turns out, since roommate #1 pays "the LA department of water and electricity" he assumed the monthly seven dollars to roommate #2 was going toward the gas bill. He didn't realize that his bill was only charging us for the electric and #2s bill is water and sewage. Although I knew what the seven bucks went to, I guess I thought the gas bill was every couple months, like electric, or maybe I just didn't think about it at all, I don't know... So as it turns out, no one has paid a gas bill for this apartment for at least six months, I think; I'm not sure when exactly this Kat person moved out.

Oh, and did I mention that stove that I've waited two and a half weeks to have fixed is GAS!? [Insert frustrated laughter, because there's nothing else to do but laugh. Frustratedly!]

Roommate #1 had this grand realization last night. Thankfully I was not here this afternoon when they came to "fix" the stove. I assumed he would tell him we'd likely solved the problem, but still have them look at my poorly draining bathroom sink and tub and we'd literally made a list of questions for the manager regarding the lease agreement, the deposit, the carpet, etc. Instead I got this text message from him:

I'm suddenly a fan of [manager]. Apparently her style is, why fix a broke one when you can just put in a new one? It's sparkly.

I replied, "LOL! That's crazy! So does it work, or has our gas indeed been shut off?"

Well... That's the awkward part of the story where they haul one all the way down. Another all the way up, and then plug in and turn it on to discover that yes... This little bitch gringo just don't got no damn gas. (I don't think I made new friends...) but... NEW STOVE! And a letter for Kat from the gas company. So we have some info to work with.

I can not believe they would order and bring a new stove before anyone even came to assess the old one! Hilarious! I actually liked the old stove better. :( A kitchen towel doesn't fit over the oven handle of the new one! WTF? Roommate #1 is still at work, so I have no idea if he got any our questions answered. My bathroom drains still suck, or rather, they don't; they obviously didn't look at them despite the note I left on the stove. Worst of all, I can't imagine after this fiasco that they're going to be any more willing to deal with our desperate need for new carpet...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

No, really, he's in Cambodia...

This week I worked background Monday and Tuesday on "Criminal Minds" and had an amazing costume fitting yesterday for an upcoming episode of "Mad Men." This afternoon I'll be an extra on "Bones," back at the super charming 20th Century FOX lot. So it sounds like things are going swell, but I'm actually trying to ignore/balance some stress...

The roommate drama

Let's refresh: roommate #1 has the master suite, he's amazing, we see each other often.
Roommate #2 is also a lovely person, but he's never here, which is good because I share a bathroom with him.

In mid July #2 left for a two week family trip to Cambodia. At that time he told us he was "70% sure he was moving out" and we should start looking for someone. Neither #1 nor I thought he'd officially filed his 30 day notice with the office; I expressed quite a bit of concern and even suggested #1 and I just find a two bedroom instead of another roommate. #1 was completely unconcerned with the situation.

A day or two after #2 left, my stove stopped working. I imagine the pilot light's out, but I don't want to try to light it, for fear of blowing myself up. As I walked back in my building the day I had my tooth pulled, I noticed the manager was actually in her office and stopped to try to talk to her. She has a thick Russian accent and I was numb and bleeding. I'm sure it was hilarious to onlookers. Her response to my stove issue was to say, "did your roommate get the notice in the door? He owes $500." He had and he'd assured me it was taken care of. I relayed that to the manager who disagreed.

Isn't it funny how sometimes the truth sounds more like a lie than an actual lie? That's how I felt as I uttered the phrase, "He just left for Cambodia for two weeks!" Cambodia?! I'm sure she didn't believe me. I wouldn't have believed me. But she did say she'd tell the company that, "so maybe they won't evict the other two of you." What the fuck!?

So needless to say, I didn't press the stove issue again! #1 was also not the least bit concerned with the eviction threat and we've lived the past two weeks without a stove. Luckily, I've been doing background work and thus being fed on set; I've also learned the amazing joys of a toaster oven!

The first of this month #2 returned and he claims to have bank statements proving he doesn't owe money so I once again put in a maintenance request for the stove. That issue pales in comparison to the new information that #2 did indeed put in his 30 written notice to the office before the trip, despite telling us he was "70% sure." This means he wants to find a replacement by the 15th of this month! The problem with that is that #1 left town for a week, the day before #2 returned.

So #2 put up a craigslist ad and I've been fielding emails. With #2 anxious to get things lined up I agreed to meet with people Monday afternoon since "Criminal Minds" wrapped early. I wasted literally six hours of my day for three people, only one of whom showed up! I was beyond pissed that I have lived her the shortest amount of time, yet I felt like I was dealing with everything!

Okay, on top of that, there's the room issue. #2 pays a mere $2 more than me even though his room is much larger and he has a parking spot. Naturally, I am excited to upgrade when he moves out! I didn't question it when I moved in here because I was so desperate, but upon seeing the price breakdown, I felt it was total bullshit, especially since he wasn't here much to use the parking space! When I said I was planning to change rooms, #2 didn't have a problem with it, but was afraid it would be a tougher sell to get the new person to put their name on the lease. What? I was confused.

Apparently #1 isn't on the lease and I came to realize, neither am I. I filled out an application, but I don't think I ever gave them a copy of my drivers license. #2 is the only name on the lease, thus the reason he's held responsible for any money issues. But it's month to month, and I had thought I was on the lease, so I didn't think is should be too hard to get someone else to sign. My concern is with finding someone as desperate and stupid as I was, with regard to the price breakdown.

#2 isn't moving out with any speed, so I have to keep my current room picked up to show people. As I think I mentioned before, I think it's incredibly awkward to show them my room, thus they'll know that I upgraded. I know I have every right to upgrade; it's like a company promoting from within; I had dibs! Nonetheless, I feel like that could lead to questions that I don't want to answer because I feel guilty about the total bullshit of the price/room size/parking spot.

My guy suggested I stay in my room, but take the parking spot, so it's somewhat even. That's the option I'll take if the new person is more vocal than I was about the street parking and small room. As guilty as I feel, I guess I'm more greedy because I already have my new room layout planned in my mind!

Roommate #1 literally just came home. He is so fantastic! Although I liked #2, I can't talk to him; we go in circles and he doesn't do anything about things brought up to him. IE: knowing the terms of the new persons lease or acknowledging it's his fault we haven't had a stove for a week! #1 and I understand each other and one of the first things out of his mouth was an apology for not being part of the situation. I'm confident he'll deal with it and ask the manager the right questions later today when they come to finally fix the stove. One thing that my guy pointed out, as did #1's friend just a moment ago, is that the new person might not have the option of a month to month; those usually happen after you've lived somewhere a year. The guys both think the whole building is month to month, but no one knows for sure.

The silver lining is that with a new name going on the lease, maybe that can be our grounds for having the horrible carpet replaced! If you know anything about tenant rules regarding new flooring, please leave a comment!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Random and Funny...

Friday I worked background on the TV show "Crimina Minds." I am back again today, literally leaning against a set as I type this, listening to a scene being filmed, with crew members bussling around me.

Like any job, background work has its highs and lows. It's amazing to be on set and watch and learn; not to mention you're fed and paid to sit around most of the time. However, you're constantly reminded that you're the most insignificant thing on set, a nessrsary evil, so to speak. You're not told what's going on, you have to wait like begging dogs watching everyone else eat lunch until you get permission to join the line and you don't always have a place to sit. Friday we had to grab chairs from a trailer and carry them to our holding area; when we wrapped we were asked to put them away. It's no big deal. The point of the story is that Friday I grabbed my chaired at the end of the day and headed to the restroom attached to the sound stage to change out of the hideous out fit they'd put me in. After checking out with wardrobe and the production assistant I realized I'd left the chair leaning against the wall, outside the restroom. I decided to take the bad karma and did not go back for it. I had forgotten about it when I arrived back on set today until I went back to use that ladies room and it was still there. Only then did I notice there was a crown doodled on the back of it.

I think almost everyone will understand why that made me simotaniously laugh, roll my eyes and smile.