Donna in Hollywoodland

The blog from Los Angeles and Hollywood by Donna Grayson

Saturday, March 11, 2006

The Russians Are Coming The Russians Are Coming

If you ever want to see a totally funny, slapstick silly movie from 1966, get
The Russians Are coming The Russians Are Coming .( page)
I love this kind of crazy fun stuff, and I really loved this movie.

Eva Marie Saint was there again for the Question and Answer.
And Director Norman Jewison joined her afterwards for the Q&A as well.
So this was an extra-fun night volunteering over at Aero Theatre in Santa Monica.

March 11, 2005

March 11, 2006 Photos

Me and Cinnamon

Platforms & Car

Wow !


Friday, March 10, 2006

Don't Come Knocking

Since I was at Jury Service for 4 hours, I then worked at the office for 4 hours.
And I then headed over to the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica to volunteer

This weekend the guest was Eva Marie Saint .
And tonight they showed a new film that she is in, Don't Come Knocking (Also see ).

Since they were pretty sure the movie would sell-out, I got myself a ticket to make sure that I could go in to see it.
I really liked the movie, both Eva Marie Saint and Sam Shepard gave great acting performances.

March 10, 2006

March 10, 2006 Photos

Observatory & Clouds

Me With Camera

Standard Hotel


Jury Service Continued

I gave myself an entire extra hour to make it to the court house today. And it helped alittle.
Same thing as last time. I got into downtown LA okay. But just try to make it into that free Jury Parking lot.
I kept getting all turned around, and ending up on one way streets that weren't going in the direction I needed to be going in.

I had with me Paperwork. Paperwork to get me out of this long trial.

First, a letter from the Human Resources Department stating Company Policy was to only pay me for 10 days. And after that I was not eligible to be paid.

Second, a letter from me to the judge. I stated that since my company did not pay me for more than 10 days it would be a huge financial hardship to be without pay. I then stated how that I had been treated for breast cancer with surgery and radiation,
and that I had hospital bills totally over $50,000. And that I could absolutely not afford to be without one days pay.
(Yes, thats right - my insurance covered 80%. I have to meet the remaining 20% and that comes to about $50,000 or thereabouts.)

Then my letter went on to state, that since this was a personal injury case I would have to ask to be excused from the trial anyway.
Working in Accounts Payable, I sometimes have had to pay the legal bills for my company to people who have been injured. And that experience would influence my opinion in the case, and I could not be a fair juror.

When I arrived at the courthouse, I waited with the other Jurors in the hallway.
The bailiff came out, and I handed her my envelope and asked her to give it to the Judge.

We were all called into the courtroom.
The Judge said a few words about the next events. Then he said something like "Attorneys for both sides have reviewed and do agree to excuse Juror Donna Grayson. Thank you Miss Grayson for your efforts in this matter."

An I was out that door as quick as I could be.
I must have resembled a Road-Runner cartoon.

Down to the Jury Assembly Room to get my paperwork that showed I was done with this.

The burden of Jury Service off my back, I finally went for a walk in Downtown Los Angeles.
Yes, I took lots of pictures and someday soon they will be up on .

I stopped off at Koo Koo Roo and had lunch.
Then I walked around Downtown Los Angeles, taking pictures.
Until a Security Guard came out to tell me that I could not take pictures of his building.
"OK, I'll leave". I said.
I think the problem was that I was in their Courtyard, and not on the public sidewalk.
"I think you will find that most of the buildings won't let you take pictures." He said.
I guess this is due to terrorist threats. I fail to see how alittle 40-something year old chubby woman taking pictures with a Powershot is a Security Threat.
Not to mention, the buildings and courtyards are just gorgeous. And many contain beautiful sculptures and artwork.
Its a shame for them not to be photographed.

It didn't matter much anyway. I was done with Jury Service. And ready to go back to the daily grind at the office.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Leonard Nimoy at The Egyptian

Tonight, I volunteered over at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood.

Leonard Nimoy was the Guest. And he was doing a Question and Answer in between his two films.
The first was Kid Monk Baroni , from 1952, the first film he had starred in.

It was great to see Leonard Nimoy in person. I am a big fan from watching Star Trek.
And even though the movie was completely different - it was a Mobster movie, not Science fiction - I really enjoyed the evening.

March 9, 2005

March 9, 2005 Photos

Dolores del Rio Mural

Wall in Hollywood

Hollywood Palm Trees

Musso and Franks

On Hollywood Blvd

Me On Security TV

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Jury Service

Today was my opportunity to do my Civic Duty and serve on Jury Service.
I'm usually one of those people who feel they should serve when called.
My friends would say "I know how you can get out of it. Here's how ..."
And I would say "No, No, No - you need to go, this is part of your duty as a citizen!"

But by the time my jury service was all over - I was wishing I had listened to my friends.
What a stressful ordeal !

First, I have already been postponed more times than is legally allowed.
I postponed it in the beginning myself. Then my breast surgeon postponed it back in August right before my lumpectomy surgery.
Then when I started the Radiation Treatments, I just called them up and talked to them on the phone, explaining the I knew it was more postponements than allowed - but I was starting Radiation. They didn't question it, they just went ahead
and postponed me one more time.

So after all that, I was really looking forward to going.

I had to call in on Monday, and they didn't need me. When I called in on the service again, they told me to report on Wednesday at 7:30 in the morning.
7:30 in the morning !!!!
Good heavens.

So I look at Mapquest, and I manage to make it to Downtown Los Angeles at a good time.
I hate all those one way streets that you have to navigate around.
I found the Courthouse where I needed to be.
There is a free parking lot for Jurors. How to get there ? Where was it ?
I drove around and around.
I pulled into the wrong parking lot. The guy had me write my juror ID # on the ticket when I pulled right back out.
Then I got stuck going down Grand, and there was no left turn street. I was on First Street. But in order to turn around and go back to where I need to be to look for the parking lot - I ended up all the way on Sixth Street !
Every other street was one way going in the wrong direction !

I finally found the parking lot. 45 minutes I had been looking for it.
In spite of getting into Downtown LA on time - I was now 45 minutes late.

I go running down the stairs of the parking lot. Ready to dash across the street.
A tall blond lady stops me
"Are you are Juror?" she asks.
"Yes, and I am really late. I need to go." I say
She starts asking questions and chatting, and I am hurrying as fast as I can.
I am trying to be nice, but I am late. And she is following me while chatting about Jury Service.
Finally I say I am heading to the Courthouse on First Street.
She pulls out her Juror information card. There is a completely different address on it.
"Do you know where this address is?" She asks
"No, I don't - and I am really late. Ask the parking lot attendant." I reply and dash off.

I go through the security check point. (Oh, gee, more Radiation ha ha ha.)
Rushing as fast as I can to the second floor Jury Assembly room.
I am now a full hour late.

And guess what ? They must tell you to get there at 7:30 in the morning because they know alot of people are going to be late.
The room is filled with people who are filling out their Jury cards, reading and drinking coffee.
There is nothing important going on.
I'm not in trouble for being an hour late.

I have plenty of time to fill out my paperwork, get a relatively comfortable looking seat, and grab a cup of coffee.
I am seating right in between two men each about 10 years younger than me. Both are reading.
And the one on my left has a hacking cough.
Oh, no - should I move ? I look around to a see if I spot any other available seats that appear somewhat comfortable.
No, alot of them don't seem to have good enough cushioning.
And I am going to be sitting here a long time.
So I will deal with the guy with the hacking cough.
Risk catching a cold, so I am comfortable the rest of the day.

The day is very slow.
First we go through basic instructions.
Very important: There are two Starbucks in the Courthouse. And a regular coffee place right next to the Jury Assembly Room.
Also important : Restaurant Guide posted on the bulletin board.
Very Comforting: There is only one day of Jury Service in Los Angeles. If we don't get called on Panel today, we will be dismissed.
If we get on a Panel, then its up to the Judge.

I leave my books and things in my seat, and I go to look at the Bulletin Board. The nearby restaurants are listed.
But the Museum of Contemporary Art will let you in for free on your lunch break if you are wearing your Jury Badge.
I make a note of this, because it sounds like it could be a plan.

I sit there all day reading.
Mr Hacking-Cough gets selected on the first Jury Panel that they call.
He is gone, thankfully.
For every Jury Panel they call, the remaining Jurors adjust their seating to make more room for themselves.

I decide to try the Ninth Floor Cafeteria for lunch.
What I ate was definitely not on any anti-cancer diet that I know of.
I consider reconstituted food somewhat Fun Food.
I never eat it normally. And I while I was eating my lunch, I was kind of laughing at the food.
The main dish was a Beef Stew and I believe the carrots were actually real carrots.
The corn was from a huge industrial sized can. It was obvious.
And the mashed potatoes were completely "freeze dried, add water". They were giving me the biggest giggle.

I sat in the courtyard of the courthouse, near the fountain.
Okay I took like 50 digital pictures of the fountain. I will post them sometime in the future. Not all 50.
I just didn't feel like hiking all over downtown LA.
I walked around the fountain instead.

Then back through the Xray machines, and back to the Jury Selection Room.
Oh, no - they called my name for a panel.
Up I went to the 7th Floor.

It was not good. The case would most definitely go well beyond the 10 days that my company pays me for Jury Service.
Most likely 20 days.
They were not going to meet every day of the week. 3 days one week, 2 days another week. The 20 days were going to be spread out over a good length of time.

After the Judge explained this, he said "Who can definitely serve for this length of time ? Stand up."
About 10 people stood up.
"Okay, you are dismissed today. Come back Friday at 10 am for Jury Selection."

After they had left, the Judge said "Everyone who is left. We are giving you a paper and a pen. Write down your name, Juror ID #, and why you do not think you can serve on this jury."

I wrote about my 10 day time frame for payment from my company. And that I absolutely could not go without being paid.
The judge and the attorneys took all the papers and read them in another room.

When they came back, the judge picked up a small bunch of papers and read off the names.
"Okay all the people whose names I just called, you are excused."

The rest of us sat there. And the judge went through each one of our papers with us.
When he got to me he said "Go to the Human Resource Department at your company, and ask them if I give them a letter that states you must serve on this jury - will they pay you for more than 10 days with a letter from me."

There were other people in the Jury Pool that had way more dire circumstances than me.
But we all got the same story.
Get more information for the Judge, and then come back on Friday at 10 am.

March 8 2006


Purple Wigs


Hotel Palm Trees #2

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

March 7 2006

Hollywood Mural

Little Guitars


Dean Martin

Hotel Palm Trees

Monday, March 06, 2006

March 6 2006


Egyptian Theatre

Clouds & Building

Doorknob on Hollywood Blvd

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Oscar Sunday

I hate to say it - but Oscar Sunday is almost like a holiday in Hollywood.
Well, it is.
I really do think it should be a state holiday, and we should all get one day off to prepare.
At least thats how I felt this year.

First, I met up with some friends at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
Thats the pink hotel on Sunset.
We met for Brunch.
And what a fancy brunch it was.

I started out with a Bellini - which is a Champagne and peach puree.
They have a wonderful fruit plate that comes with a ginger sauce - and I highly recommend it.
I went more with breakfast and ordered eggs. My friends went more with lunch ordering chicken.
And we got dessert along with the meal.
It came to about $60 each including the tip, but that really was a reasonable price.
We got what we paid for - it was all fabulous.

After that I went to a private party to watch the Oscars on the big screen.

Many of my Blog Readers and Flickr Friends have wondered if I actually went to the Oscar Ceremony.
And the answer is unfortunately No.
I don't know anyone personally who was nominated this year.
I am sure I could have tried to crash some of the after partys - but thats just to much work.
I'd rather watch it on a big screen with a bunch of friends. And make all sorts of hysterical comments at the screen.
Yeah, we were all hooting and hollering, and we had a comment for almost every star and every evening gown.
It was a really fun night.


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