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August 20, 2004

Screening and such

On Saturday, Karen's good friend Caitlin and her mom arrived. We spent a busy-busy couple of days shopping for apartmenty things for both of us and GETTING an apartment (across the street from mine <.g>) for Caitlin. They were camped out on my living room floor, which was fun as otherwise I'd be staying alone (the boys haven't moved in yet). I've never lived alone, ever, and it's weird. Heh. So that was good times.

Caitlin met with a producer she'd met previously, who's going to find her work. And he invited her (and, by default, me) to the private screening of his newest movie. Which was last night, at the LA Film School on Sunset.

We parked in the parking garage with a Hollywood legend. He couldn't find the stairs and walked down the ramp, instead. Hee. We watched the film, which was still very much a work in progress. They hadn't chosen the music, so had music that was the type of thing they wanted to use, instead. The color correction hadn't been completed, the sound was sometimes off, and the editing was still a bit choppy. In spite of that all, it was very, very good! The characters were wonderful, the acting was spectacular, and the story was engaging.

Afterwards, we were standing around talking when who walked up to the Producer but LOU EFFING PEARLMAN. Slimey slug of a man. *shudder* I'm not convinced he actually saw the movie. I got a feeling he'd come for the very end, just to show the Producer he'd been there, and to make sure the Producer would be at an event Lou runs every year (which is where Caitlin met the Producer, as he goes as a favor to a friend of his). Yuck, yuck, yuck.

And that was my first Hollywood experience. *laugh* Quite a lot of fun, and much less intimidating than I'd imagined.

August 13, 2004

I have MOST of the essentials, anyway

Still no bed or any kind of furniture, but I have the slightly-snowy Olympics on my antennaed TV; my computer set up on top of one cooler; the other cooler, in place of the refrigerator, is fully iced; I have the remains of an orange-pineapple Slurpee; and I have hot water. Finally. Life, as far as I can see, is good. *g*

August 10, 2004


I am effectively exhausted. It's been quite a couple of days. Here's a rundown:


  • Spent hours looking for a temporary "bed" to sleep on at my completely unfurnished apartment
  • Gave up around 3 with plans to go to Beverly Hills to a museum, and then back to Burbank to the IKEA to buy a folding guest cot.
  • Just getting into Beverly Hills and the battery charge light goes on. Manual says to pull over ASAP. Make it to gas station that happens to have a service station attached, that happens to be open on Sundays, that happens to be AAA-certified, AND that happens to be about 4 blocks from the museum. They'll charge the battery and see if that helps, which will take an hour.
  • Go to museum. Very cool. They were doing an exhibit on set decoration, so we saw sets from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Spider-Man 2, Haunted Mansion, among others.
  • Go back to car place. Alternator and battery both need to be replaced. Can be done tomorrow (Monday).
  • Leave car, call for cab to go to LAX, because the only car rental places open on Sundays are at the airport. Amuse the girl at AAA when she asks for the zip code I'm in... the only one I knew was from Beverly Hills, 90210, and she just about died laughing when it worked. Hee.
  • Pick up rental from airport, head to Burbank IKEA for cot. Cot is SOLD OUT, which it did NOT say (other items did have signs if they were unavailable). I about cried. Nothing to sleep on, we'd searched all day, and my car was stuck in Beverly Hills.


  • First day of work. Not what I would call the best day ever.
  • We were completely understaffed. No one had three minutes to show me around, tell me what was expected of me, or even show me where we keep things I would be needing to use. They were busy, CRAZY busy, but that kind of sucked.
  • Didn't even have a key to the bathroom.
  • My computer wasn't working until 4:30 pm, despite the fact I had to take customers. Without a computer. In a brand new bank, in a brand new state with different laws and rules and ways of doing things.
  • Went to get cashiers check for the lease signing that night... wire transfer that was sent Saturday was not in.
  • Cue Kate's practical breakdown.
  • Turns out the wire HAD been received, but would not post to my account until overnight. Which meant I would not have access to the money until today, about 12 hours too late for the lease signing. At this point, I'm near tears.
  • A wonderful, wonderful woman who works there, my angel, wrote me the check out of her personal account. She'd not even known me for eight hours, and she wrote me a check for $2600. I still can't believe it. I don't know what I would have done.
  • Left work earlyish to get to lease signing. Signed lease, WHEW! Moved some stuff in.
  • Went to dinner with my mom and the roommates.
  • Went with Mom to Beverly Hills to get the car. Had to say good-bye in the gas station parking lot. *sniff* Not the best farewell ever. She went to the airport in the rental, I went home in my car. I wish I could have taken her to the airport, but it really didn't make sense for me to drive all the way out there, FOLLOW her out there, JUST to say goodbye and turn around and come back home.
  • Came back to the hotel to crash, but was so wired from the emotional rollercoaster of the day that I couldn't fall asleep. Or stay asleep.

I was up way too early this morning, I'm still kind of reeling from the last two days, and I'm so tired. So, so tired. I have to work today, and then move the rest of my stuff.

But through this all, the most reassuring thing is that I never thought about giving up and going home. I never once thought "What the hell am I doing here?" It feels right, and I'm excited. I have a job and an apartment, and soon I'll have furniture for the apartment. *laugh*

So I guess it's just onward-ho!

August 07, 2004


We got it!

*throws confetti*

We'd be able to move in this weekend, except that we need a cashier's check for twice the first month's rent at lease signing. All my money is in Illinois. I didn't realize I'd need a cashier's check for it, so I didn't think to deposit the money into my account here last week so that it could clear. So. Dad is going to wire some of it to me, but I don't think I'll get it until Monday. Sadly. Which means no spending the weekend moving things. And at least four more days in the hotel, as I won't be able to do it all Monday evening (have to take Mom to the airport), so I'll have to have this place at least through Wednesday morning. Blech. Oh well.

But! We got the apartment! *dances* It's right smack-dab between all of our places of work, and has three parking spaces. Three! Parking spaces! Which means no fighting for street parking like the rest of the Bozos around there. Hee! And it's gated, which makes Mom feel better. *g*

I'll send out an email once I find out my exact address.

But for now, I have my final four hours of the Class 'o Torture.

August 05, 2004

Lucy in the sky with diamonds...

Don't mind the subject line. That song is stuck firmly in my head at the moment. I think it's because my mom was reading about Lucy the hominid in her brand new sixth grade Social Studies book, and she (Lucy, not my mom) was named for that song.

Yeah. Oookay, Kate.

I'm more than halfway done with my class. *jumps for joy* *throws confetti* Only two and a half more days.

Mom and I went to see The Notebook last night. Soooo good! I knew it was sad, but man, I think I cried through 90% of that movie. I think more because I kind of knew what was coming. *sniff* Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling were just so cute together! Completely adorable.

And now I want to read the book. Which I probably shouldn't, because I've heard it's not nearly as good as the movie, and is full to the brim with sappy dialogue. But I still want to. Perhaps I will.

Babble, babble. None of that was really anything worth writing, now, was it? Heh. I should get ready for class... la la la.

August 04, 2004

Fifty-two hours of pain

Yeah. So this training? This mandatory 52-hours insurance training? Is about to kill me. I have now completed 19 of the 52 hours.

*stabs self in eye with spork*

So. Boring. This is our day:

8-9: Review yesterday's info.
9-9:15: Highlight sections relating to review questions for first chapter. Match review question numbers to sections highlighted.
9:15-10: Have chapter read to us.
10-10:15: Do review questions.
10:15-10:20: Go over review questions.
10:20-12:00: Lather, rinse, repeat for second chapter.
12-1: Lunch.
1-4:30: Lather, rinse, repeat again, with two more chapters.
4:30-5:30: Go over ALL the review questions from all four chapters, again, and then do test prep questions, which include half the review questions.
5:30: FREEDOM!

We do get little breaks, but we sit in a room, with 23 students (about three of which are under the age of 40, and about four of which are female), on hard-ass plastic chairs, where there is no coffee, no vending machine, no windows (except for the glass door), and no bathroom (have to go upstairs into the office building above, carrying a huge PVC pipe with a key attached to the end of it to use). Keeeeel meeeeee now!

Somewhere in the 3:00 hour my brain just shuts off. I reach my absorbtion capacity, and can take no more.

Aaaaaand... here I go for Round Three!

August 01, 2004

Destination: Los Angeles

I'm here! I start work tomorrow. Or, more specifically, I start my 52-hour training class tomorrow. Monday through Saturday. How's that for a first week of work? Ppbbtt. That's what I have to say about that. I just hope I'm getting paid for it. *crosses fingers*

We got off to a bit of a rocky start last Saturday, after noticing Friday night a bit of antifreeze leaking out of my car. So instead of being on the road at 7am, we were at the repair shop. It did, however, give me time to visit a bit with Tammy and Michelle, so that was nice. A couple hundred dollars, and a new water pump later, we were on our way. Only a few hours late, even.

Day 1 of driving was uneventful. We made it through Illinois and Iowa and into Nebraska. We rolled into Omaha about 9 pm, which is probably as far as we would have gotten, anyway, if we'd left on time. We just would have had some evening hours to relax, instead of arriving, eating a quick dinner and going to bed.

Day 2 of driving took us through Nebraska and into Colorado, to Denver. We did arrive a bit earlier this time, which gave me the opportunity to see John. Did some catching up, which was fun. Good times.

During Day 3, Monday, we stopped in Vail and took the gondola up the mountain. Did a little "hiking" on the trails up at the top and had lunch, then headed back down the mountain to continue the drive. We finished off Colorado and made it a good distance into Utah. The mountains were gorgeous to drive through, and we hit a thunderstorm in the desert, which was pretty neat. We stopped in a little place called Cedar City, Utah, which was very, very small. I guess there is a university there, but there were no breakfast restaurants at our exit, so we had to get back on the interstate going back north to the next exit up for a Denny's. Heh.

Day Four was our side trip day. We went the opposite direction, southeast, towards the Grand Canyon. It was 140 miles, each way, out of the way, but so, so worth it. Getting there, we went through Zion National Park, which was totally and completely gorgeous. Breathtakingly gorgeous. We hit the North Rim of the Grand Canyon a little before noon, and did some more wandering out onto trails and rock overhangs. Really, really beautiful, and not very touristy (as I've been told the south rim is). We had lunch at a restaurant with giant picture windows overlooking the Canyon, and then were back on the road again.

Again, the drive consisted of desert, desert, and more desert. This time, however, instead of a rain storm, there was a dust storm. A mighty dust storm. We got out at a rest area and were greeted with signs warning of rattlesnakes. Eeep! The dust storm picked up again, and we stopped at a McDonald's outside of Vegas where they told us this kind of storm was not typical at all. Lucky us!

We landed in Las Vegas, and took a drive up and down the Strip. We stayed in the Monte Carlo, which was by far the nicest hotel we'd been in this trip. We took the tram to Mandalay Bay for a buffet dinner, doing some piddly gambling along the way. I won $25 off of my initial $3, and then promptly lost it. Oops. After dinner, we walked (and walked and walked) to the Bellagio to see the dancing fountain. We watched it dance to Elton John's "Your Song" and then the National anthem. Very, very cool!

We started off Day Five by walking back to the Bellagio to see the inside (very, very cool... very swanky), through Caesar's Palace, and then over to the Venetian, which was also quite neat. They have a little river with gondola rides (and singing drivers), their very own St. Mark's Square with more singing people, and lots of little shops. Then we were on our way through yet more desert, towards Los Angeles!

We rolled in to Pasadena to a Quality Inn that was not so very "quality." My mom even covered the pillow with a t-shirt. =/ We got dinner in a mall with a parking garage that my dad expertly parked the car AND trailer in. Hee! He's got skilz, yo!

Day Six, Thursday, found us leaving Pasadena to find greener pastures. I became a member of the Pasadena Public Library to use their internet to look up some addresses. Really neat old library! Very cool. And then we were off to a Best Western in Sherman Oaks. We checked me in to the Extended Stay America and moved all my things in, then returned the trailer (FREEDOM!!!), and I met my future roommates for dinner at an Indian restaurant in Sherman Oaks.

On Friday, we spent the morning unpacking much of my stuff, setting up the computer, and trying for internet. The phone, however, was not working. After exhausting every possible cause for the non-service, they recommended we change rooms. So we repacked everything, moved it across the hall, and set up the computer again. We went back to the desk to say we'd moved, and to get a new key, and the woman was like "Why is this computer all locked up? Oh well. Let me restart this while I get you your key." We made one final trip into the old room to make sure we hadn't forgotten anything, and what do you know, the phone was working! Due, I suppose, to the locked computer. Which, HELLO! Oh well. This room is a bit nicer, anyway.

After getting settled, I went online and looked up a bunch of apartments that were available, and Mom, Dad and I drove around (and around and around) looking at possible places from the outside and taking notes on the neighborhoods.

Saturday, we took Dad to the airport. *sniff* I won't see him until Thanksgiving! Sadness. And then I met up with the roomies to look at apartments again. We weren't able to get in to see any, but we left lots of messages. Then, Mom and I went in to Burbank for dinner, which was yummy, and I completely crashed as soon as we got back. I think I was asleep by 8:30. It had been an exhausting week, let me tell you!

This morning, Mom and I got up early and headed down to Sunset to have coffee at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf there. We then drove around the hills up (and when I say up, I mean up)Sunset Plaza Blvd. looking at the houses whose front steps probably cost more than I've earned in my entire life. We then drove through Beverly Hills some, and then back up Benedict Canyon Drive into the Valley (where I will be living and working) to meet the roomies to actually SEE an apartment.

Apartment looked super-nice. 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath, two stories. Kitchen, dining room, storage, HUGE closets. And three parking spaces. AND it's just about directly between Burbank, where the roomies work, and Encino, where I work. Gosh, I hope we get it. We had to scramble for some info to turn in with the application, which we will put in the mail tomorrow. Cross your fingers for us!

We went for lunch, and then afterwards, Mom and I took a drive up Mulholland Drive. Goodness gracious is that beautiful! The houses are... WOW, and the views are fantastic! Totally, totally awesome. Then we made our way down the other side of the hills and into Santa Monica. We hit the Santa Monica Pier for ice cream, walked down the beach, waded in the Pacific Ocean, and then made our way to the Third Street Promenade to watch some street performers. Way cool.

And here I am. Back in the Extended Stay and ready to start my L&D License training tomorrow. Whew! *wipes brow*