Donna in Hollywoodland

The blog from Los Angeles and Hollywood by Donna Grayson

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Raiders of the Lost Ark

It was raining most of the morning.
I had planned to drop off more of my CDs at more Thrift Stores, but with the rain coming down - I just decided to stay home until absolutely necessary.

I drove again from Hollywood to volunteer at the theatre in Santa Monica.
And of course, due to the weather I was 15 minutes late - again.
Its was freezing cold, and windy as I ran about 2 blocks from where I parked to the theatre.

This weekend, the theatre was showing all three "Indiana Jones" movies starring Harrison Ford .
Tonight, was Raiders of the Lost Ark.
I love to watch sequels back to back. So I was looking forward to a really fun weekend.

This time I worked with two other volunteers. And the regular Santa Monica volunteer, gave me some pointers on how to do the mailing list sign-ups - since there is no table at the theatre, and I am used to the table over at the theatre in Hollywood. The set-up is different.
She suggested that I stand next to the inside door that lead from the lobby into the theatre.
I ended up putting my coat on a chair in the theatre right inside the door. There was nowhere else where I could see to put it, and I couldn't hold on to it while I was doing my volunteer work.

The other volunteer who was there, was one of the regulars from Hollywood also. I wrote about her a while back, she had to have some of her toes removed due to being diabetic, and she uses a walker.

When I saw her I chatted with her a while. I know she lives in Hollywood too. I asked her how she had gotten all the way to Santa Monica, and how she was getting back.
Turns out she took a county provided service for the disabled. Which sometimes, does not arrive on time.
I told her if she wanted to drive home with me, I would give her a lift back to Hollywood.
She sat on a chair, and managed to get a ton of people signed up for the mailing.
She said it was the most amount of mailing list sign-ups that she has ever seen.

Well, it was getting really crazy.
There were tons of people in the lobby.
And a bunch of guys dressed up like Harrison Ford's character in the movie.
Leather jacket, hat, whip. It was all really fun.
And I started to realize ... hmmm, I think the theatre is getting full.

I ran over to the other volunteer, and I told her if we wanted to see the movie we better get in there. Because there were hardly any seats left.
Now, we both came all the way from Hollywood to see the movie. And I was thinking more about our commute than anything else.
Actually, the "rule" is that when a movie sells out, the volunteers can't go in and see it. They have to sell all the seats to the public to make the money.
But all I was thinking of was that I drove and hour and 15 minutes to see the movie.

I told her to take the seat that had my coat on it - since it was at the very back, and she has a walker she uses.
Then I ran and got her some popcorn.
Then I ran and got myself some popcorn.
And I couldn't find another seat.

So I grabbed the folding chair she had been using in the lobby. And I placed it against the back wall.
I had a horizontal pole in front of me all throughout the movie. But at least I was seated.

And "Raiders of The Lost Ark" was great fun. Its great to see it with a packed house. The entire audience was really into the movie.

After it was over, I told the other volunteer that I would go get my car. And I would have to drive around the block to end up back in front of the theatre to pick her up.
We both had a great time. The movie was great. The Audience was fun. It was a really good night.

And its a good thing I gave the other volunteer a ride home. The wind was whipping down the palm tree fronds.
There were palm tree fronds every where. Very cold and Very windy.

Ah, but little did I realize, I was in trouble again ..... story to be continued.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Paradise Now

Usually when I do volunteer work for the American Cinematheque , I am over at The Egyptian in Hollywood.
Only one other time, have I ever driven all the way to Santa Monica to the Aero Theatre.
But this weekend, The Aero had a whole bunch of stuff going on, so I decided to make the journey to the Westside.

Well, driving from Hollywood to Santa Monica on a Friday night after work was not a good idea.
I don't like the freeways, so I basically took Highland over to Wilshire, and then Wilshire straight west.
It took me One hour and 15 minutes.
And of course, I was late for my volunteer shift.

When I arrived, I apologized to the other volunteer for being late.
Explained I had the long drive.

It was my job to do the Marketing Survey and Mailing list.
But the thing that is different from the Aero is that there is no Table for the mailing list.
At The Egyptian, we have a table with all the paperwork and forms on it. So we can stand at the table, and people can sign-up for the mailing list and look over the pamphlets and calendars for upcoming movies.
Here at the Aero, there is a table but its against the wall. So you really can't place yourself there. It just won't work.
So instead, I stood by the ticket taker and passed out the January calendar to patrons.

Then a friend of mine showed up to watch the film. (He is actually a volunteer at the Egyptian.) And since the movie was to start, I decided to sit with him.

The movie, was "Paradise Now" . And the Director, Hany Abu-Assad, spoke after the movie.
You might think a movie about two Tel Aviv Suicide Bombers would be very depressing, but this isn't. It is a very real human movie about their lives.
And I will admit, I am really not a very political person, so I only know the basics of what is going on in the Middle East - ok, probably still more than most people do. But even with my limited knowledge, the movie was still very easy to follow and I understood it.

The Q&A with the Director was very interesting. I liked the fact that he didn't want to give alot of explanation about the movie, but he wanted to the viewer to come to their own conclusions about what they saw.

And I was absolutely thrilled, when "Paradise Now" won the Best Foreign Film, at The Golden Globes.
It was really cool, as I watched the TV, to see the Director get up to accept his award - and I had just heard him speak and do a Q&A at The Aero a few days previously.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

The Library

I guess the Durant Library on Sunset & La Brea are now opened some-kind of winter hours.
I drove by a few times after work, and they were closed.

So I had to hop in my car, and drive over there on my lunch break.

I get to the library. I had put some books "On Hold" via the library website.
I need to pick them up.

As I am in line, there is a commotion at the check-out counter.
A man is demanding to talk to the librarian's supervisor.
Soon another librarian comes over.

The man is saying very loudly:
"They let me do it last time."
"She said as long as I had headphones it was okay."
"How do I get a library card ?!?"
"What is your name?"
"I want to see the Manager!"
"Whats the managers name?"

Next, the librarian motions to me to come over to the counter.
Oh, no, not me. I was in the hospital like 5 months ago. I don't want to risk being near this angry library patron.

I move to the counter, and hand her the books I am returning.

The angry library patron is right behind me, and um, he, well ... he stinks.
I am trying not to breath while she takes my books.

The man then puts his cell phone on the speaker phone - and he dials 911.

The 911 Operator answers.
The man explains "I am at the Durant Library, and they won't let me watch a DVD on my portable DVD player. I brought headphones with me. They let me watch a DVD last time with headphones."
The 911 operator explains this isn't really a 911 emergency. She says the best thing for him to do is to leave the library.
The entire library can hear because its still on speaker phone.

The Stinky Library Patron continues "Well, I asked to speak to the manager and the manager isn't here."
The 911 Operator says "Find out when the manager is going to be there, and come back then."

The man walks over to my librarian and asks when the manager will be there.
She gives him this information.
I hold my breath again, because he smells so bad.

He tells the 911 Operator that he is leaving the library and coming back when the Manager is in.
He turns off his cellphone and leaves.
He looks so sad that he could not watch a DVD.

My librarian is so flustered.
She starts to explain that Cell Phones aren't allowed in the library, but because of the situation she let him make the call. She knew what the 911 operator would tell him.
Then she explains to me the policy about not letting patrons watch DVDs on portable players. They have to check them out.
She is kind of rambling and embarrassed. It seemed like she was explaining herself so she didn't seem like the bad guy.

Then I said "I also have a bunch of books on hold."
She looks at my account "No, you don't. Nothing here for you."
"I looked at your website last night. And I have about 5 books on hold" I say.
"No, there's nothing being held for you." she says again.
"Can you please double-check. I saw 5 books on hold for me when I looked" I ask.

She must click a different link. The 5 books appear.
"Oh, Oh, yes you do. Sorry, I missed that. Yes you have books on hold. I'll get them."

She must have been so flustered by the Stinky Library Patron, she got confused.

I got my books and left.
As I drove away, I saw the stinky library patron sitting out in front of the library.
He looked so sad.
He's probably close to being homeless, and his only activity for the day was to watch a DVD at the library.

And personally, I think it sounds like a silly rule.
Anyone can walk in there and sit and read a book, newspaper or magazine without a library card.
You can even surf the internet on their computers.
So it would make sense that if you had a portable DVD player with headphones, then you should be able to watch a DVD.

And I really don't think he mis-used the 911 Operators time. Who knows where he is mentally.
I would rather he dialed 911, than pull a knife on the librarian.
(The thought of that happening did cross my mind as I stood there.)
So by him dialing 911, it was actually a good thing. Because the 911 operator calmed him down, and gave him some sensible options.

I hope the poor librarian got a chance to relax after that.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Female Directors

I volunteered over at The Egyptian Theatre tonight.
The event was "Focus on Female Directors".
It was a series of Shorts all done by female directors.
I was most interested in the Short done by Sofia Coppola .

I was up at the front with the other volunteers. I was doing the Marketing Survey "How did you find out about the movie?".
Two other volunteers were ticket takers.

A woman walked in, and the volunteer ripped her ticket.
Then the volunteer said "You look so much like Jennifer Connelly . I bet you get that all the time. That you look exactly like Jennifer Connelly. The resemblance is amazing."

The woman laughed.
The volunteer said "Do people tell you how much you look like Jennifer Connelly?"
The woman laughed again "Oh, yeah ... She told me."
And she laughed again.

The volunteered said "Really, Jennifer Connelly told you that?"
And the woman laughed and walked away.

Then the other volunteer looked at me and said "Oh, dear... was that Jennifer Connelly?"

I said "I have no idea, but it sure did look like her."

Physical Therapist

I had a 9am appointment, which consisted of the lymph node massage, followed by learning some new stretches for my shoulder and arm area.
We went over what I need in my compression glove.

It turned out that insurance would indeed cover the glove.
And the custom-made glove they wanted to fit me with would cost close to $600.

And the problem is that it is the start of the new year, and I would have to meet a $300 deductible.

No, thank you.

I told the physical therapist that I would look around the internet and find something there.
So we spent part of my appointment, going over the glove.

Then she suggested wrapping my hand again.
I said "No, I have plans tonight. I don't want my hand wrapped."

I had bought about $26 worth of bandages for wrapping my hand, and now I refuse to wrap it.
I am becoming such a grumpy patient.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Donating The CD

If you've paged around my website at all, you probably ran across the pages for My Music.
A few years back when I was living in Redondo Beach, I self-produced and recorded a CD.

I pretty much had to watch my pennies doing it. And that meant we only recorded about one song a month.
Which meant for a 12 song CD, it took a whole year to do.

Back when was all the Indie craze, I had it up on there. And I've had it on and CD Baby for a while.

But I really haven't been concentrating on music. My main focus these days have been acting.
And I think I'm getting alittle to old to "play out" out any clubs.
The idea of doing something else via the internet has crossed my mind a few times, but I just haven't had the time.

So since I haven't been out there promoting it, I've ended up with a good stack of CDs in boxes in my apartment.
Isn't that just like a typical creative person ?
Put all that energy into creating a CD - then flake out when it comes to advertising, promotion and the business end of things .....

Yeah, I'd rather be off creating something new ...
being an actor and creating a character
or being an amateur photographer and snapping pics to put up on
or doing something with this blog and website.

So what to do with all those CDs gathering dust in my apartment ?
Donate 'em !!!!

Over the weekend as I was running my normal errands around Hollywood, I stopped off at a few Out of The Closet Thrift stores, and dropped off CD copies.
At each store, I left 5. And I got a tax deductible receipt for each one.

My first stop on Saturday, was 360 N Fairfax, just north of Beverly.
Since this was my first store, I asked the guy at the Donation Drop-off how many did he think I should leave ? Did the CDs sell fast ?
His reply was very non-committal, but he mumbled something about having alot of CDs already on the floor.
I gave him 5 any way.

After that, I went to 8224 Santa Monica Blvd, just east of Crescent Heights.
The donation guy there was very helpful but busy. And I was making my donation at the same type a guy with a ton of cassettes was there.
The donation guy started to get the items confused, thinking the two of us were together.

On Sunday, I went to 1150 N. Vermont, south of Santa Monica Blvd.
I was driving South, and the Thrift Store was on my left. So I went down a side street to turn around.
Someone threw a rock at my car.
Bam !
I guess this is not such a great neighborhood.
The guy at the counter was alittle more friendly than the others.
He looked at the CD and said "Oh, is this You?"
"Yeah, it is", I said, alittle embarrassed.
He then made a point of taking out his pricing gun, and putting the pricing stickers on the CDs right in front of me.
With a smile on his face, as if to say "Hey, yeah - we'll sell this for you."
I was trying to not think of the small amount of money this organization will get for the CD - and trying not to think of how much money the CDs had cost me to produce. I've long given up thinking I would see any monetary return.

Next stop, 4126 Beverly, near Normandie.
This was crazy. There was hardly any parking spaces.
I found a spot on the street that was not painted red - but the parking meter had been broken off the pole and stolen.
Or, who knows, maybe a car smashed into it.
But it was close to the Thrift Store, and I dashed in.
The guy at the counter there was also very friendly and said "Is this your CD?"
Again, I replied "Yes".
"What kind of music?" her asked.
"Pop - like the Go-Gos" I replied.
"Oh" he sounded disappointed.
Well, he was alittle punked out with fingernails painted black.

I then headed to 6210 Sunset Blvd west of Gower.
The guy at the counter had run out of receipts.
Okay, thats fine, I don't need a receipt.

Last stop - 5454 Hollywood Blvd at Western.
Plenty of Parking. A very busy employee in the Donation Drop-off area.
But he quickly gave me a receipt.

When I looked at my watch, I had run in and out of the last four stores on Sunday, in about an hour.
This doesn't take long at all.
Five CDs each.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Tummy Rub

Tummy Rub #1
Cinnamon the Cat, gets a Tummy Rub

Tummy Rub #3
Sleeping after the Tummy Rub


I am trying to cross-reference my blog page, with the photos I post on My Flickr Page .
And its just not working.

I have a ton of pictures from my Walks around Hollywood saved on the computer.
I am way behind on up-loading those pics to Flickr.
Also Way behind on updating pages to my blog.
I am just way to busy of a person. I wish I had more time so I could keep things more up to date.
Nothing ever seems to get done in time, or in the proper order.

Well, here are a few pics that have been up on Flickr, but haven't made it to the blog.
Click to see larger

Me In Purple
The above is what I have been looking like these days.

Billboard on Sunset
A billboard on the 6464 Sunset Blvd building

View from the File Room #2
A great view of Hollywood from the office file room

Amoeba Records Mural
Amoeba Records on Sunset

At Hollywood Coffee
Inside Hollywood Coffee on Sunset


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