Donna in Hollywoodland

The blog from Los Angeles and Hollywood by Donna Grayson

Saturday, September 24, 2005


I met my friends Karie and Valerie at The El Capitan Theatre , for a screening of Cinderella .
We thought it would be a fun evening to have a girls night out and see Cinderella together.
And we knew the place would be packed with children, and we were prepared for that.
What we weren't prepared for was the rude parents.

We rushed up to the Balcony area, and got some seats in about the fourth row of the balcony.
There was a woman saving the entire first two rows of the balcony. She had jackets and purses all over the seats.
The pre-show entertainment started, and an actress dressed as Cinderella came out and started to talk to the children and sing a song.
This woman stood in the first row of the balcony, on her cell phone. Obviously calling whoever she was saving the seats for.
She stood there talking on her cell phone and looking around, trying to find her people.

I heard people on the other side of her tell her to sit down. Some one went to get an usher, and the usher came to talk to her. Her people were still not there, and the movie was about to start.
"Thats it, we're moving", said my friends. We gathered our things, and walked farther up the balcony.

We found a row, where the first two seats had a jacket draped over them. Someone else saving seats. But the three seats next to them were opened.
Just than a man arrived, obviously a Dad.
"Oh, that one seat is ours", he said, to me about the seat I just sat in.
"Um, you didn't have a jacket on it. And you weren't here" I replied.
"Great, I'll just make my kid sit on the floor", he replied and moved to another row in a huff.
Okay ... If there is not a jacket on the seat, it is not officially saved.

Ahhh... the movie was starting. But what was this ? A little bitty Infant right in front of us.
And the Infant started to cry.
The parents took the baby out. The parents came back.
The baby started to cry.
They went out, and came back.
Both parents taking the crying baby out, and bring the baby back.
After about the Fifth time of two grown adults getting in and out of their seats right in front of us - my friends said "We're moving."
I said "I'll stay here"
I stayed put. I swear those two parents didn't see 5 minutes of the movie, they were both in the lobby with a crying infant more than not.

My friends moved to the side section. And I could see what was happening to them out of the corner of my eye.
The movie had already been going about 20 minutes, and a big group of Adults and Children arrived and sat right in front of my friends.
The Mother standing in the aisle, directing the children, for like a good five minutes. I am sure she was blocking my friends views of the screen.
And the Mother brought snacks for her kids and was passing them out. From a Crinkley Bag that made such loud crunching noises as she opening and closed it, that even I could hear the bag as I sat on the other side of the aisle. The crunchy noise was
even annoying me.

My friends must have moved farther up the balcony. I couldn't see them out of the corner of my eye.

Yes, once the movie ended I saw - they were practically in the last row of the balcony.

On our way out of the lobby, we tried to get the Theatre Manager but smoke instead to someone who appeared to be an Usher Supervisor.
Our comment was that if you are going to allow people to come in after the movie has started, then an usher should escort them in, and a get them to a seat right away.

The Usher Supervisor really didn't care. She just kept saying "Sorry this had to happen." One of my friend was hoping for some Complementary Tickets to make up for our pain, but it wasn't going to happen.
I am sure the Usher Supervisor was thinking that three grown woman going to a Childrens movie should realize it was going to be noisy. But noisy wasn't our complaint. And we certainly expected to have lots of noise from the children.

We just weren't expecting the parents who were there to be totally lacking in basic social skills. And we weren't expecting that the Theatre itself would allow grown patrons to make so much noise when they arrive 15 to 20 minutes late for the movie.

We gave up talking to the Usher Supervisor, and headed over to Hamburger Hamlet .
I ordered a Mushroom Ravioli with a chicken breast - which was absolutely fabulous !

A New Lap Top

After depositing my Disability check in the bank, I drove over to Frys Electronics in Burbank. They had advertised a Lap Top, wireless ready, for $499 .
Its a Great Quality Brand, with an AMD processor - but I don't care. I need a new computer.

I got my current computer way back around 1997. It was a "parts is parts" computer.
It lasted me a long time. I even had Cable internet on it for a while at my previous house.
But alas, it was slow. I have DSL now, and when the internet goes to fast or sends to many fancy graphics, the computer would freeze up.
You know how Processors are measured in Gigahertz? Well, my old computer was in Megahertz.

About 5 years ago I had gone to Frys to buy more memory for it. I wrote down all the information in the "My Computer" section that I could. The Salesman looked at it, and wasn't even sure they carried parts that old. He did find one more 256 memory part. But he told me "Thats the last one. And I know we won't be ordering anymore - that is way to old."
And that was 5 years ago.

The computer is fine if you do something simple, like a text document, or Word or Excel spreadsheet.
But anything with the high graphics of the internet, well, forget it.

So I went to Frys and looked at the Lap Tops. I've never been on a Lap Top before, and I didn't even know how to work the mouse. I stood back and watched a few other people use the computers so I could figure it out.

Then one of the customers told me about the 256 memory. Part of it was "Shared" memory - and I don't know how that all works, but he said partial shared memory means you aren't really working with a full 256.

So as I was buying the computer, I asked the Salesman if I could buy more memory. He wrote up my ticket, and said my computer would be at the check-out stand. Then he said for the memory, and the wireless router, I had to go to a different department, but luckily the same department.

At the department where they had the wireless routers and more memory, I really got the impression that none of the Sales-Boys wanted to deal with a woman buying computer products.
They kept walking passed me like I was invisible, and helping other male customers.

I finally waited right by the booth where they write-up the orders. The minute on of the Sales people finished, I blocked his path. Stood right in front of him.
He had no choice but to help me.

Finally, I am in line to pay for my items. The Wireless Router is in my hand. The computer waiting for me at one of the check-out stands, along with the memory.

Standing in that long line, it was funny to see all the things Frys will sell you. And the awful processed snacks like cheetos and doritos. But I also saw boxes of organic green tea.

I get to the check-out stand, and the nice clerk is helping me with my order. I put in my ATM card, and Oh, no, threes a problem. Its declined.

The nice clerk explains the problem "You have probably gone over your daily withdrawal limit".
I guess this happens all the time to him.

I speak to my bank, and they raise my limit for this one purchase. I mean, its not everyday that I buy a computer.

Finally, I am checked-out and ready to rush out the door. Oh, yeah, first I have to go passed the lad's who check your bags.
Then I am out the door, because I need to go home and get ready for the evening.

Frys Burbank

Friday, September 23, 2005

Trees in Glendale

Click to see bigger pics:

Glendale Palms

Glendale Palms

Glendale Tree

Doctors, Money and Sales

I started out the day driving out to Glendale to see my Breast Surgeon. It was a pretty uneventful appointment. She basically checked the incision that was infected. Their office seemed somewhat busy, and I just didn't feel like talking.

I guess all this talking back and forth, Will I get chemo? Won't I get chemo ? Its just to much.
I am at the point that I just want this to be all over with.
I basically feel "Enough Already !"
I just want to get back to a normal life without any doctors appointments.

After the appointment, I went back to work. Today was Payday.

On Tuesday, we had received our yearly bonus. I wanted to go out and buy a new laptop.
But since I had been out on medical leave, I felt it would really be a good idea to hold off and see how big my paycheck was.
That turned out to be a good idea.

When my paycheck arrived, it was about 4 days short of money, due to the medical leave.
I almost had a heart attack.

If that bonus hadn't arrived just a few days earlier, I would have been in a real pickle.
So now with both the bonus, and the short paycheck, I was fine.
I just have to wait for the State of California to mail me the rest of the check.

Even giving that situation, I decided to drive out to JCPenny's .
They were having a big sale on jeans, and I really needed new jeans.
Of course, I got out of work late because I had to stay late to make-up my time from my doctors appointment.

As I am driving into Glendale, I was thinking "Why does this feel weird? Oh, yeah, I was just here this morning."

JCPenny's closed at 10 pm. I got there at 9:15.
Want to get good exercise ? Show up for a Sale with only 45 minutes to shop.
I whipped through the Misses Jeans and Pants section like a mad-woman.

I ended up getting two jeans, black and brown, one green pair of slacks, a green long sleeved tshirt with sequins, and a bright purple blouse - all for about $110 .

And I really felt like I had a work-out.

Guess what was in my mail when I got home ?
The check from the State of California for the rest of my paycheck.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Film Radar Party

Tonight had a get together at the Backstage Cafe in Beverly Hills.
Karie, who runs Film Radar, also sometimes volunteers over at The Egyptian Theatre .

It was a fun evening, sitting around and chatting about movies.
And this time, I managed to order something from the restaurant the didn't conflict with the way that I am eating.

Cinnamon in The Blankets

Cinnamon 090905

Cinnamon 091405

Cinnamon 090905

Cinnamon 090905

Cinnamon 090905

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Lost Party

Los Angeles People Connection had a party for the season premier of Lost .

It was at Sebastian's Restaurant in Toluca Lake .

Now, I have never been out to the Toluca Lake area before. And I have to say, I absolutely love it. All these cute little shops and restaurants along Riverside Drive. Its just a great area.

The best thing about Sebastians is that there is a big room in the back, where you can have a party. There is a big screen television surrounded by couches, so you can gather 'round and watch the TV. There is a pool table too.

The other interesting thing about Sebastians Restaurant, is that you choose from one of their toppings, and you put it on your choice of Pasta, mushroom sandwich, chicken sandwich or a salad.
I looked at the list of Toppings and chose a Mushroom Topping that had two kinds of mushrooms, and I got it on a chicken sandwich.
Then I also got a green salad that had mushrooms in it.
Yes, I am big on mushrooms now. Exotic mushrooms have been shown to have anti-cancer properties. And I really don't know how to cook the exotic mushrooms, so I figure if they are on a restaurant menu I will order them.

Well, eating out is sure difficult. I thought, by what I saw on the menu, that I was ordering according to the anti-cancer diet I was following. Oh, Eating out is doing to be really hard.

The sandwich arrived, and the first thing I saw was the huge gigantic White Bread. Oh, no, white Italian bread.
I didn't even think to ask if they had whole grain bread. It didn't even occur to me that it would be white bread. Oh, dear.

Then I bite into the sandwich, and I think "Wow, this is really good."
I take another bite "You know, this is way to good.
Another bite "This is so good, I know there is something in here that I am not supposed to be eating."

I open the sandwich - and in the mushroom tomato sauce there is - you guessed it - Cheese. Oh, no.
And then another Big Oh, No - there is that Bacon - on no, not Bacon, but that fancy Italian kind - Pancetta.
I sit with the sandwich on my lap, and everyone else is watching the TV - and I am picking out cheese and Pacetta.

I am going to have to be more aggressive when I order out in restaurants. I will have to make it clear that I don't eat Dairy and whatever else.

But all in all, the party was really fun. There were over 20 people who came to the party. And it was really fun watching the TV show premier with a group of people.
"Lost' is so thrilling, and so scary.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Luis Miquel Concert

One of my friends really likes Spanish music and Spanish culture, even tho he himself is from Australia. Go figure. He speaks Spanish perfectly, but I can't tell if he is speaking it with his Australian accent or with a Spanish accent.

So even tho I don't speak any Spanish at all, I invited him to go to the Luis Miquel concert. I got free tickets from the Music company that I work for.

After picking up our tickets at the boxoffice at the Gibson Amphitheatre , we walked around Universal City Walk looking for a place to eat.
My friend is a Vegetarian. And I don't eat Diary. We ended up seeing a Rubios Baja Fresh Grill.
I was excited "Fish Tacos!" I exclaimed.

While we made our order, I told the girl at the counter "No Cheese". She said there was not cheese on the Fish Tacos.
My friend got the cheesy quesadilla.

My Fish Taco arrived. Oh, no, the fish was in a batter and had been fried. I had assumed it would be grilled. My mistake.
But there on top of the taco was a creamy sauce that looked like it was made from sour cream.
I said to the girl "I said No Cheese. Is this sour cream?"
She said, "Its not cheese, its creamy Salsa" And she looked mad, like there would be trouble if I sent the order back.
I wasn't about to risk it and make a scene.
At the least the Taco had plenty of healthy green cabbage in it.
My friend enjoyed his cheesy vegetarian quesedilla.

We sat overlooking the movie theatres and Universal City Walk. I took a picture of the large illuminated guitar.

Guitar at Night

And we talked about our volunteer stuff over at The Egyptian.

Soon it was time for the Luis Miquel concert. I didn't understand a word, it was all in Spanish. My Australian friend translated some of it for me.

But the music was really good, and it was a great show. So I had a great time.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Church and Book Sale

First thing today, was I said I would do ushering at the Que Service at Hollywood Presbyterian .
I was late.
I felt really bad. I didn't get there in time to help pass out bulletins.
I helped with taking the offering tho.

On my way into church, I ran into one of the other Sunday School Teachers, from a few months back when I helped out with the 3 year old class.
We talked about my whole health thing, and I told her I was not sure I wanted chemotherapy. One reason being that the Percentage for the actual cure is so low. I mean, they can't give me a guarantee this will make the cancer Not come back.
Right when we started chatting the first thing I said to her was "You do know chemotherapy doesn't cure you right?"

She knew all about it. She even said it was good that I realized it wasn't a cure, because then that will make me aware of what I do for my health.
She said she knew people that had had chemotherapy, and they really believed they were cured afterwards.
Then when they came down with Cancer again, they were just devastated.
They trusted the doctors to cure them, and it didn't happen.

It made me think of an old boss of mine who ended up having surgery because of his clogged heart arteries. After he came back to work, one day he ordered an awful cheeseburger from a greasy-spoon for lunch.
I said "Are you supposed to eat that?"
His idea was "Well, the doctors cleaned out all my arteries, so I am all clean, I can eat what I want."
With an attitude like that, I wonder if her is still alive.

As I was talking to this woman, I told her "The realization has made me aware of my role in my health. I am eating organic foods as much as possible. I quit Diary Products, Soda Pop and only drink coffee occasionally. I am drinking green tea in the morning now and I am talking supplements like vitamins, Co-vitamin Q10, and Flaxseed Oil."

It boils down to the fact that I am aware of what I need to do.

After church, I stopped off at my place for lunch. Organic chicken and rice and veggies.

Then I headed over to The Egyptian Theatre to volunteer.
Gee, its been quite a few weeks since I have volunteered. That is unusual for me. While I was home on medical leave, the volunteers had sent me a really nice Get-Well card.

Many of the volunteers were happy to welcome me back. One of the staff there really wanted to talk to me about nutrition.
I gave him my speel on what I think I personally need to do. He seemed to be anti-supplements. But you really can't get all your nutrition from food - even if you buy organic. As food sits on the shelf, or it gets cooked, it loses its vitamins. And
especially since my body was probably depleted anyway - either from the effects of getting a cancerous tumor, or from the beginning and causing the tumor - well, I just feel I need extra right now to fight off whatever is going on with my body.

I am taking a good multi-vitamin and mineral capsule, 400 IU of vitamin E, 500 mg of Vitamin C, 2 capsules of 30 mg of Co Vitamin Q 10, Flaxseed Oil, Fish oil, and Lysine.
I split them up through out the day. With breakfast I will take the Flaxseed. At lunch the multi-vitamin, 1 CoQ10, and Fish oil,then with dinner the extra C and E, and another CoQ10. At night the Lysine because it says to try to take it on an empty stomach.

I have been researching Grape Seed Oil, Coral Calcium, and Shark cartilage on the Internet. But so far I haven't started to take them yet. I figure since giving up Diary products, I will need extra calcium anyway. And I have heard alot of things about the Grape Seed Oil, especially helping if you are going to do radiation. The Shark cartilage I am not so sure about, I read its hard on your stomach, and I have a tender stomach to begin with.

Back to my volunteer shift ... The Egyptian was having a Sale to get rid of alot of the stuff that had been in storage. They had books, videos, tshirts, all sorts of stuff. I was at the table where they were selling CDs and memorabilia.
One lady came up, picked up a CD, and asked me about the singer "How would you describe her music?" Like this was a Virgin Megastore, and I would know what I was selling.
I replied "Oh, I don't know. I've never heard that singer."
She gave me a funny look. Oh, come one, the stuff was donated and I am volunteering.

At the end of my shift, I was pretty worn out. Not to mention that my left hand, where I had had the lymph nodes removed, was feeling sort of tight. Time to do my "Hand above the head, open and close your fist" exercises.
I guess since it hadn't really bothered me before, I had forgotten about my hand and I left it sit in one position to long.

They were asking me to stay for another hour. But even just sitting there, I was pretty pooped out. I had had a busy weekend,and I needed to go home and get some rest before work tomorrow.

I relaxed at home watching the Emmy Awards.


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