Donna in Hollywoodland

The blog from Los Angeles and Hollywood by Donna Grayson

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Donnie Darko

Tonight, I volunteered at The Aero Theatre in Santa Monica.
The movie screening was Donnie Darko.

I have never seen Donnie Darko , and I originally signed up to do tickets so I could go in to see the movie.
But then I read the reviews on , and it really didn't sound like my cup of tea.
I'm basically a big chicken, when it comes to scary things.
So I changed my spot to Captain, which meant I helped out in the lobby all evening.
But now, I wished I had gone in to see the movie. Because it ended up being a great evening.
Oh, well, to late now.

And I missed a few other things tonight. Turns out the Theatre management played an April Fools joke on the audience.
During the announcements, they said the wrong film had been shipped and they were showing Donnie Brasco this evening, instead of Donnie Darko.
Most of the audience laughed and got a big kick out of the April Fools joke.
But I was in the lobby volunteering, and I missed the joke.

As I was in the lobby, and the movie was playing, one of the employees said "Donna, you have to go into the theatre and watch this part. Its the Aero. "
So I went and stood in the back.

Up on the screen, was the scene with the characters Donnie Darko and Gretchen Ross sitting in the theatre watching the movie, and the Rabbit appears.
On the screen, you can see to the side, the wall of the movie theatre. Along which, is a row of little round lighting fixtures.

Then in the actual physical movie theatre where I am standing, are those exact same round lighting fixtures along the actual real wall.

They started with the movie screen, and continued on in real life.
It was a real trip.
I was looking more at the background walls and lighting fixtures in the movie, then I was looking at the scene.

I left and went out into the lobby.
"Wow - that was amazing!" I said.
The employee said "No, go back in, its not over yet."

So I went back in and stood in the back.
Just in time to see Jake Gyllenhaal leaving the theatre in the movie. And right above him is the huge "Aero" marquee.
The exact same marquee thats outside the theatre that I am physically in.

I went back out in the lobby.
The employee said "Did you see it ? Did you see the Aero marquee?"
I answer "Yes - that was fantastic !"

Later, we had a surprise quest arrive, who was not on the schedule to appear.
James Duval , who played Frank, came by for a Question and Answer.

I took on the job to tell people who were staying, that we had a surprise guest speaking.
Then I popped my head in to the theatre a few times to catch some of the Q&A.
But I was so busy I missed most of it because I was in the lobby.

As some of the guests were leaving, they remarked that even though that was a surprise Q&A, it was one of the best Q&A's we have ever had.
And dern it, I missed most of it. To busy volunteering.

April 1, 2006 Photos

April 1, 2006 Photos

Beverly Hills Hotel Me and Valerie at the Beverly Hills Hotel on Oscar Sunday.
Valerie, Bruce and I enjoyed a wonderful brunch in the restaurant.

O Townhouse Downtown Los Angeles

Downtown Downtown Los Angeles

Friday, March 31, 2006

March 31, 2006 Photos

March 31, 2006 Photos

Beverly Hills Hotel Me at the Beverly Hills Hotel on Oscar Sunday

Cinnamon Cinnamon on my Lap

Downtown Downtown Los Angeles

Downtown Downtown Los Angeles

Downtown Fountain Fountain Downtown Los Angeles

Downtown FountainFountain Downtown Los Angeles

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Steve Buscemi at the Aero Theatre

Tonight, The Aero Theatre was showing the new movie, Lonesome Jim directed by Steve Buscemi.

First, one of the volunteers who doesn't own a car, needed a ride into Santa Monica. He met me at my office, and I drove him with me down Sunset Blvd to the screening. He was going to be a security guard for the evening. I showed him where the best
parking was, just north of Montana. And explained to him to be careful not to park under certain trees - or there will be sap all over your car.
The trees in Santa Monica are alive, and they have sap. And even tho it is a nice pine scent, it is sticky and hard to remove.

I volunteered and got a ticket for the screening. I wanted to make sure I got a seat. Since there was a celebrity there, we expected the theatre to be full.

But at the last minute, the Cinematheque still didn't have anyone who signed up to be Volunteer Captain for the evening.
I told them, I would organize and be in charge of the volunteers - but I couldn't stay in the lobby during the film. I had a ticket and planned to see the movie.
So they made me "Supervisor". Which ended up still being a difficult job because we are so busy.

And because there was a new rule for the evening.
Since there was a celebrity, and we were almost sold out, there was no Leaving and Coming back. Once you were in the theatre, you were in the theatre.
This was very hard to enforce. People were not used to it.
And we tried to tell them as we ripped their ticket.
"No re-entry". Huh ?
"No Ins and Outs" said one volunteer
"What ? No burgers ?" said the patron.
It was a crazy night.

But I got to go inside and watch the movie since I had a ticket.
I really did enjoy "Lonesome Jim". Its an interesting story, about very dysfunctional people living in Indiana.
Casey Affleck plays a really depressed guy who moves back home and Liv Tyler is the woman he gets together with.

Then after the movie, Steve Buscemi did a Question and Answer with the audience. Which I really enjoyed.

Afterwards someone asked me "Did you like the movie ? I know you don't like foreign films. And this is a foreign film because it was filmed in Indiana."
I got a big laugh out of that.
Yes, seeing the Midwest again (I grew up in Illinois) sure did make me appreciate life in Los Angeles, California.

March 30 Photos

March 30 2006 Photos

Beverly Hills HotelThis is me at the Beverly Hills Hotel on Oscar Sunday

Disney Concet Hall Disney Concert Hall, taken while I was on Jury Service

Downtown Fountain Fountain at the Courthouse, while I was on Jury Service

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

March 29 Photos
March 29 Photos

Building A Building Somewhere in Los Angeles, I think Los Feliz

Doggy A doggy in Hollywood

Los Angeles Los Angeles, Viewed from my office window

Cinnamon has had enough Cinnamon is totally fed-up with the picture taking

Colonoscopy Interview

Ugh ... its time to move away from the exciting life of Hollywood (yeah, right) for just a moment ... and post about that uglier side of my life ... The Damn Cancer.

For those viewers just joining our programming, back in Aug 2005 I had a lumpectomy for left breast cancer, with 6 lymph nodes removed. Followed by Radiation Treatments. And I refused Chemo.
My Six month check-up and Mammogram turned out a-okay with a clean bill of health.

But while I was going through my Radiation Treatments, my family informed me that my older sister who lives in Washington State had just been operated on for Stage 4 Colon Cancer.

Of course, when I told my Doctors this news, they all about had heart-attacks. They all said the same thing: "You know Breast Cancer and Colon Cancer are related."

Okay, fine. I already knew I would need to get a Colonoscopy because of the Breast Cancer. And I told my Breast Surgeon that as soon as I was done with the Jury Service I could not get out of, I would schedule a Colonoscopy. (I'm following the colonoscopy with a trip to the Dentist - so life is just a bowl of cherries.)

Of course, none of the Colon Doctors that either my Breast Surgeon or General Practicioner recommended were covered by my insurance.
She was insistent that I use a Colon Surgeon, just in case I needed any surgery done. Then according to her, I would already have a surgeon familiar with my situation.
So none of the regular Gastro doctors my friends recommended would fit the bill either.
I eventually faxed over a list of names from the Insurance company to my Breast Surgeon, who gave me her recommendation.

So today I had the Interview Appointment scheduled at one in the afternoon.

But first, my morning did not get started very well.

In our elevators at work, we had these little TV / computer screens. They transmit News, Weather and Advertising.
You stand in the elevator and watch all the information so you do not get bored going from floor to floor.

First thing this morning, I get in the elevator. I am by myself. The doctor appointment on my my mind. After I punch the button, I look up to read the TV screen.
Right there on the screen:
"Colon Cancer can appear five years earlier than expected in people who smoke, drink or are overweight - according to Scientists at Blah Blah Blah Research Center."

On the day I have the interview scheduled with the Colon Surgeon.
This appears on the Elevator TV screen.

Now, I really am not a crazed religious person.
But I looked at the TV Screen, and in my mind I shouted:
"Oh, no you don't Satan. God is on my side. And I rebuke that. That does not apply to me!"
Well, the smoking really doesn't apply to me. But I won't accept the rest either.

I felt much better after I told The Devil Himself to go take a hike.

I left the office early enough to get to my appointment in Burbank.
As I expected I had a pile of paperwork to fill out for Mr. Colon Surgeon.
They needed all my history : I'm hypoglycemic, only have one kidney, past breast cancer, family history of colon cancer and skin cancer.

Then the question was : Please List All Complaints.
I kind of chuckled.
Well, I don't have any complaints.
I feel healthier than I have in a long time.
So I wrote "None at Present. Past history of Breast Cancer. Sister with Colon Cancer."

After I was done with the forms, it was time to meet Mr. Colon Surgeon.
He was very nice, and young. And he's done more Colonoscopies than you can count.
He seemed very confident that he knew how to recognize cancer and polyps.

He asked me "Why Are you Here ? Why do you want a Colonscopy?"
I said "Well, thats a funny question. Your form asked if I have any Complaints. And I don't have any Complaints. I feel really good. All my plumbing is working just fine. Its just with my past history, and my family history - my other doctors want me to do it."

And he looked at me and said what all the other doctors are saying "Yes, you know Breast Cancer and Colon Cancer are Related."
I said "I've heard that."

I went to the front desk, picked the date and scheduled the colonoscopy.
I got the instruction sheet. And I had already heard that the Prep is horrid.
No seeds or nuts or stringy veggies like celery for 5 days.
No solid food for two days. Only clear liquids.
The day before I have to drink some awful drink that makes you poop your brains out.
My breast surgeon told me to have plenty of toilet paper and baby wipes.
As one friend who has had it done said "And its not nice poop".

Oh, well, maybe I will lose 5 pounds from the experience.

After the appointment, even though it was cold and windy - I took about a 45 minute walk.
Taking pictures and walking up and down the block.

Then I really needed lunch. So I stopped at Panera's in Studio City.
It was a steak & walnut salad with goat cheese. And an oatmeal cookie. Very yummy.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

March 28 2006 Photos

March 28 2006 Photos

CloudsClouds over Hollywood

Stars Maps Maps to Stars Homes

Sporting Goods Hollywood Sporting Goods

Monday, March 27, 2006

Marilyn Hotchkiss Ballroom Dancing & Charm School

Fun night for a Monday.
I jumped in my car, and rushed to get to The Aero Theatre in Santa Monica for a special screening of Marilyn Hotchkiss Ballroom Dancing & Charm School .

I got to do Guest check in. I stood by the front door with a sheet of names on a clipboard.
It was cold and raining outside. But I didn't seem to mind the cold night air.
And I still get flustered when someone famous walks up.
Looking up and recognizing someone from TV or the movies is such a rush.

Mary Steenburgen was there and so was her husband, Ted Danson .
They sat on the steps of the theatre across from me. They look so perfect together. They make the perfect couple.

Camryn Manheim was there for the screening. As well as David Paymer and Ernie Hudson and other cast members.

I loved the movie. I hope you get a chance to see it and it comes to your area.
Its a great life story. John Goodman plays a man who is trying to return to his childhood girlfriend.
Robert Carlyle and Marisa Tomei are so wonderful together.

Its a movie filled with outstanding actors. And a very touching story.

March 27 Photos

Photos on flickr March 27 2006

Hollywood Reflection in a Store Window, Hollywood

Hollywood Sign The Hollywood Sign

Me & Cinnamon Cinnamon the Cat gets annoyed with all the picture taking

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Mr Magoo Cartoons

Volunteering tonight, I stayed on my end of town.
"Magoo, Mcboing & Modern Art" was showing at Egyptian Theatre .

Before the films, there was a reception and event.
They served the most fabulous beef stew and mashed potatoes.

My big volunteer job was helping check wrist bands and directing traffic into the party area.
Then we went in to watch the films.

I remember watching Mr Magoo growing up in the Midwest.

I don't remember Gerald McBoing Boing at all.
My the entire "Boing Boing" thing was really funny. And the film we watched has a great moral to it, about being different and still being special.

Seeing those cartoons from my childhood, it was really a great experience.

Photos March 26

Hollywood Blvd Hollywood Blvd, a little fancy with the photo editing software

Cinnamon Cinnamon on my lap

Me and CinnamonEnjoying a cup of coffee with Cinnamon the cat

Lights Lights on Hollywood Blvd


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Donna's Music, Poetry, Acting Resume, and More ...

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