morning was total devastation. It looked like a hurricane had hit the Valley. Trees were down all over the neighborhood;
the streets were a mess of limbs, twigs, leaves. Fences were blown down, Christmas decorations scattered. Zyla
had left her new white snow hat she had gotten in Big Bear at Mimi's and I tried calling all morning but no one answered.
I drove down later in the day only to discover Glendale was just as badly hit. Lights were out, power was out and Mimi's
was closed. I managed to get some guy to open the door, but he explained that the hat was probably locked in the manager's
room and could not be accessed under a power outage. He suggested I call again tomorrow. I returned Zyla's books
to the library and found the huge tree out front littered in limbs at its base. An upper story window outside the Children's
Room was broken, probably from one of the huge strong branches of the tree slamming into it. Everywhere the streets
were full of limbs and leaves. I went to renew Zyla's entertainment work permit and tried faxing it into Kids Management,
but their fax was not responding. They told me I could just scan and email it in. They test texted me since there
had been recent T-Mobile issues again. I got the text. I hoped Zyla would get a text soon for a job; she really
missed going to set and hadn't been since March! I tried calling Mimi's again before taking Zyla to gym and they answered
saying they had just found her hat and I could come get it immediately as they were still not open and the manager was leaving
soon. I dropped her at the gym and drove back to the restaurant to get her hat. Mimi's had regained its power
but the streetlights were still out. I had not received a call from Jessica's and by 7pm got nervous. Thankfully
they called a few minutes later saying the power was out at their offices and they were trying to make all the calls from
their cell phones charging in their cars! I was happy to be going back to Whitney
A holiday atmosphere permeated the stages; lights were strung up all over giving the soft
glow of Christmas. I went to the crafty table to get breakfast and ran into Rhea. She talked with me about her
Thanksgiving holiday and we exchanged stories. The new episode was about co-dependence, with Whitney getting a new job
working as Roxanne's assistant. I enjoyed watching the rehearsals and taking notes on Rhea. I also had to take
notes on the guest star Megan Stevenson playing Jenn. Another big role that would be reoccurring for some lucky fellow
was not cast yet. The day went by quickly, Antar used us for a few minutes following the network run through and then
we were wrapped for the weekend. I picked up Zyla, then went to get Roseblood her small rat for dinner. Fed the
snake and headed out to get Zyla some clothes for her school's Christmas performance which was coming up next week.
Ordered up some pizza for dinner then gathered together to watch Soul Surfer
which had just come from Netflix. An amazing true story of courage that had me in tears.
Zyla had a birthday party to go to down at The Grove. Parking was a nightmare, but the holiday decorations were beautiful.
The party took place at Sur La Table where the girls took a cooking class, making lots of goodies. Ed and I wandered
around The Grove while Zyla was at the party, enjoying the ambiance. Had some chili cheese fries at Johnny Rockets,
a Gingerbread latte from Starbucks, then used my Barnes and Noble gift card from my birthday last year to buy the new Anne
Rice novel Angel Time. That evening Ed and I watched the latest episode
of Whitney on NBC.com ‘Up All
Night' with Chelsea Handler. I loved the lines that were added in and noticed the ones that NBC had cut.
The second Sunday of Advent, we went to Mimi's for breakfast and Mimosa's to start the celebrations of my birthday week.
Zyla Alter Served at the 1pm Mass, then we had a leisurely afternoon. Ed worked on editing our footage from our Wizards of Waverly Place day. I continued working on uploading my memoir story
to krushtheserpent.com. I was not going to be able to post the entire story of the year due to confidentiality agreements,
but most of it would be available.
Monday morning I was back on set at Whitney after dropping Zyla to school. We had a long day ahead of us. There were many little
scenes making up this Valentine's Day episode. I thought it was funny that in one scene Mark says Lily is his wife and
in another scene Whitney says Lily is her lesbian lover. I liked how this episode showed a lot of the characters at
their jobs. Everyone was excited to see Kathy Griffin playing Lindsay on set. The first pre-shoot of the day was
a complicated crime scene that ran longer than expected. There was barely any breakfast because the BG who were brought
in for the scene had eaten most of it, even though they had their own breakfast table and were not supposed to go to the crew
one. I managed to get a little something, scrambled egg whites and a tiny slice of quiche. Around noon cold tacos
came. I had never eaten a taco cold, but I was starving and it was good. At 1:30pm we went on walk-away lunch.
I spent my time moving my car from the far parking structure to the closer one, then reading Anais Diary. I was almost done with Volume 6, which was due back at the library in less than a
week! I came back to set a few minutes early to get in line for the coffee truck the writers had provided for us.
Caramel latte in hand, I entered the stage and found desserts were at crafty. Since it was my birthday week, I decided
to celebrate by having a slice of the red velvet bundt cake. We got through all the pre-shoots and started camera blocking
the rest of the scenes. A rumor was spread we would be done by 7pm and I got a call from Jessica's saying my call time
the next day was for 9:30am. We would not finish camera blocking but save some for tomorrow. Then that changed
and we stayed until 8pm finishing almost all the camera blocking and my call time got pushed to 11am. I made it home
in time to do prayers with Zyla and kiss her good night. Ed had made dinner, which I promptly devoured. Had some
wine before crashing out for the night.
Tuesday, show night, here we go. I took Zyla to school
then came home to get ready for set. I wondered if the stand ins would stay for the show or be let go. I showed
up a half hour early watching the last of the camera blocking we had not finished last night. A new girl was standing
in for Zoe/Lily since Tiffany was absent. I helped her find the script Tiffany had left her with the notes and gave
her the run down of how our show works. We watched the camera refresh, which none of the stand ins were needed for.
The re-writes were hilarious. At 2pm the actors went to make-up and we were told that the DP wanted to hold us for the
show. Usually that means coming back when the show starts, again at 5pm like the show before Thanksgiving. But
for some reason we were told to be back after the lunch break at 4pm instead for something in the Mason House. With
only less than an hour and a half, I went home to chill for a bit, had a snack and went back to set. There was nothing
going on in the Mason House. Cathy had to do a promo interview thing that was running late because her personal make-up
artist did not show up. Things got resolved and everything was running about 10 minutes behind which was not bad.
The audience was loaded into the stands. A playback of 'Two Broke-Up Guys'
episode was played for them. The live show got started right on time. I headed over to the crafty table for some
food. Found mini sandwiches, cheese and crackers, some apple slices wrapped in a meat with Gorgonzola cheese, that was
interesting. We sat around for over an hour, most of the guys did not hang out in the AD room, but instead in the BG
changing rooms in the building next door. All of a sudden Allison came in telling us to run to set they needed us.
The office scene had been reconfigured with new blocking. We stood in so the camera department could figure out the
new shot. Then we hung out in Mark's apartment set watching the scene be played out, which was off to the side of the
stage. From my vantage point I could see the whole audience. It was a mass of crazy energy. The music was
pumping, a lot of people were up dancing or down by the railing dancing. One woman was stripping out of her shirt and
waving it around! After that scene we went back to hang in the AD office again. I wanted cake to celebrate my
birthday week and found some chocolate macaroon bundt cake and a lemon cookie. Then I drank a coke and felt very sugared
up. I spent a lot of time with our guest stand in listening to her share stories of her life. I felt like maybe
I had missed my calling as a therapist. Everyone always felt so comfortable around me, and most times, most sets someone
was drawn to me, usually sharing deep intense stories of their life. Then again, I had to remember I was exactly where
I was supposed to be. I felt like this was all part of God's plan for my life. I was meant to be on set and was
used there to help others and I was happy doing it. An hour later Allison ran in again to tell us they needed us on
set. Again we ran along the corridor backstage to get around to the office set. I guess some other blocking had
changed in the fourth office scene so we stood in again and the cameras figured out their new marks. After that, we
went back to the AD office. Pizza came and I was hungry for some real food after the sugar high. The show finally
ended around 10:40pm and we wrapped out. Not only was our entire sound stage filled with Christmas lights, but many
of the bungalows on the lot were decked out with colorful lights as well. As I made my way to the parking structure
it was really beginning to feel a lot like Christmas. Driving home I noticed so many beautiful lights twinkling on the
homes. Festive holiday magic was in the air and brought a smile to my face. ‘The most wonderful time of
the year' sang in my head. As I walked in the door, Ed poured me a glass of wine and we watched the first episode of
Californication Season 3 before going to bed. I recognized Kathleen
Turner immediately even though I had not seen her acting since the 80's when my favorite movie of hers to watch was Romancing the Stone. I found her character very funny and great addition to
Wednesday morning I woke up and took Zyla to school. It was always so dang freezing
in the mornings and we had to bundle up. I was not looking forward to the even colder weather we would have in Ohio
the two weeks we were spending there this Christmas break. I hate freezing, it makes me tense up, then my neck and back
hurt. Jessica's called saying the casting director of The Mentalist
was requesting me for Thursday. I was booked out, but accepted the job. He knew I did not like to work late on
Thursdays since I usually had to be in early to Whitney on Friday and promised
I should be done by 3pm. I turned the heat on and curled up on my bed to finish reading Anais Diary. I felt elation as the volume concluded with Anais excitement at her first Volume of the Diary being published. It made me feel like being honest about things I usually
shy away from in this memoir. Like how I feel when I google my name and read lies that haters post about me and my past.
But then I realize I cannot feed into that energy and I cannot change or control what anyone will say. I have to remember
there are also people who post the truth about me, which counteracts the negative. I can only walk forward into the
future; the past is what it is. I know the truth and that is all that matters. After picking up Zyla from school,
I quickly made dinner for everyone, then we rushed back to her school for her Christmas Pageant Show. Another beautiful
experience putting everyone in the holiday spirit.
Thursday, I was a little disappointed that
I was not doing stand-in on The Mentalist, but instead working BG in the CBI
Bullpen. I knew the wardrobe department there did not like my clothing selection. Thankfully two units were working
and the girl that did not like my clothes back in August was working the other unit and I met a nice girl who liked my clothes
and everything went smoothly. I started reading Anais Under A Glass Bell,
which is a bunch of short stories. Breakfast was served, then even though it was walk away lunch a full catered meal
of Greek food showed up for us. The day went by quickly and I was out of there by 4pm. I had texted Amber to see
if we could meet up, but her lunch was before mine, then she wrapped out of her show an hour before I did so it did not happen.
I left the Warner Brothers lot at dusk with the full moon rising before me. Watched some more episodes of Californication with Ed before going to bed for my early morning call time back at Whitney.
Happy Birthday to me!!! I woke up Friday morning to see the full moon
hanging low in the still early morning night sky out my bedroom window. The day felt like magic. I got up to shower
and Ed made coffee. He got Zyla up early and we ate stuffed baked apples for breakfast while I opened my birthday cards.
I finished getting ready for set then dropped Zyla at school on my way to CBS Radford. All my friends and family started
texting me Happy Birthday wishes making me feel very much loved and appreciated. A few of the crew members and stand
ins wished me Happy Birthday as well. The new episode was really funny and I laughed watching Whitney and Chris's antics.
Things got off to a slow start but we ended up finishing on time and I was wrapped out and on my way to get Zyla by 2pm.
I got a text from Kids Management, finally, with a possible gig for Zyla. They were looking for an earthy, hippy look.
I called in immediately and had her picture submitted for the role. Ed, Zyla and I all headed down to Disneyland to
celebrate my birthday and have dinner at the Blue Bayou, my favorite restaurant located inside the Pirates of Caribbean ride.
The full moon was high in the sky as we were walking up to the entrance gate, and some nice lady with fast pass tickets to
Space Mountain said she was leaving and gave them to us! After our delicious dinner, we wandered around the park looking
at all the pretty lights until we got to Small World where the Fireworks show started. It was beautifully done to the
Christmas Disney Magic music, then snowflakes softly rained down on us, well Disney version sudsy bubbles. We headed
over to Space Mountain racing through outer space before leaving the park for the night. After putting Zyla to bed,
Ed and I watched another episode of Californication and one of the guest star
actors was driving me crazy because he looked so familiar. I realized it was Ken Marino who had played Alex's brother
on the Halloween episode ‘The Wire' of Whitney! Another familiar face on Californication
was Peter Gallagher who played Whitney's dad on the Christmas episode. That episode had just aired Thursday and I still
needed to make time to watch it!
The weekend was busy. Zyla had a President's report on John
Quincy Adams due right after Christmas and since we were going to be out of town, I helped her work on getting it done before
we left. I watched the Whitney Christmas episode and noticed there would
be no new episodes aired until the New Year, when the show would be on a new night and time. I also noticed they were
airing the episodes out of order compared to how we shot them. The next one to air was going to be the Valentine episode
‘Codependence Day'. Finished watching the Californication disk 1 of Season 3 and mailed it back to Netflix. I was hoping to finish out that
season before we left for the holidays. Sunday, I woke up early and finished reading Under
a Glass Bell. I loved all Anais short stories but my two top favorites were ‘The Labyrinth' and ‘The All-Seeing Eye'. I drove
my Anais books back to the library. I did not get her last Diary since
I was going out of town and decided to wait until I returned next year. Ed and I went shopping for Christmas cards and
gifts that we had to mail out before we left. I usually hate this time of year because it is so stressful with everything
that must get done. I appreciated going to Mass on this the 3rd Sunday of Advent and listening to the priest
remind everyone to keep the real reason for the season in mind. Zyla was able to Alter Serve again, then we headed home
for dinner. Ed and I watched Make It or Break It with Zyla before sending
her off to bed. One more week of craziness then we could chill.
Monday morning I woke from a
dream about unicorns and apple pears. It was raining softly outside my window. I had a super late call time for
Whitney. I assumed my girl was not in any scenes being pre-shot or in
the re-shoots of episode #111 that were scheduled. Got Zyla to school then came home to get ready for set. I drove
through the flooded streets of the Valley on my way to CBS Radford. I was told to park by the river that was raging.
Opened my umbrella and made my way to the stages. Rhea was not in the re-shoots but was in the last of the pre-shoots.
It was an easy mellow day, burgers came around lunchtime. I went to my car at walk-away lunch to move it to the parking
structure. I started reading the Anne Rice novel I had just gotten, but felt weird. It was like I was cheating
on Anais. I had spent so much of my time with her this past year, and was not finished with all that I wanted to read
of her and now I was reading someone else. But then again Anne Rice was my first love, discovering her in high school;
I devoured all her Vampire and Witch Novels with passion. I remember bringing them with me to Russia, to the Ukraine
when I filmed Black Sea 213. It was like visiting with an old friend.
Things were moving along, but we were not going to finish all the camera blocking and by 6pm I was wrapped out and told that
the last two scenes my girl were in would be done tomorrow. Headed home in time to have dinner with my family and help
Zyla finish up her homework and study for her big history test. We had time to watch an episode of her favorite show
Make It or Break It before going to bed.
The energy on Show Day was always fun, and with the holiday atmosphere it felt like even more joy filled the air. I
took Zyla to school then came home to finish getting ready. I had a late morning call time so I decided to read some
more of Anne's book. I felt like de ja vue. While reading the second chapter I felt an eerie familiarity creep
over the words. I had read this before. But I could not quite remember what had happened. I just kept thinking
oh yeah as the words poured out before me. Like remembering a long lost dream. But when had this come out?.
I looked at the copyright, 2009. I was working BOT then, did not remember
reading it on that set. Maybe I read it in 2010. I headed over to the studio; the parking situation was out of
control. As I pulled in the guard asked if I wanted to park in the structure. I said yes. He said the entire
lot was full and just for today I could park anywhere on level 3. The first three levels are reserved for higher ups
who pay for the reserved spot, most of which have personalized nameplates. I drove up to the 3rd level and
parked in the first spot I saw which was reserved for Happily Divorced, but
did not have a specific name. Had breakfast on set sitting in the audience section with 80 BG filling up the stands.
Things got underway, finishing up the last of the scenes to be camera blocked. Whitney said we would not find out about
being picked up for season 2 until May. A quick camera refresh before the actors headed into make-up. We were
given the shownight wristbands. We were not being let go and told to go to lunch. I had some salad, tri-tip steak,
mash potatoes, macaroni and cheese. Comfort foods yummy. I went to my car to read some more Anne and brought her
back with me since we were probably going to be hanging out all night. At 4pm I met back in the AD office and found
out that the director did not need us, but the DP wanted us in case some blocking changed like last week. It seemed
doubtful that would happen, but I sat and read my book while in the back of my mind listening to the live audience warm up
and the show commence. More food came. I had some cheese and crackers, hummus with pita bread, and a chicken skewer.
The first scene took over an hour and I settled in for a long night. Only Alex stayed in the AD office with me.
The rest of the stand ins when to chill in the changing rooms in the building next door. Periodically they would stop
by to visit, grab some food, find out any new info. Around 7pm more food came. I had a bratwurst dog with onions
and peppers. I had read 250 pages of Angel Time, I was almost done with it. The new scripts for the next episode
arrived. Everyone sat down to read them, giving us something to do as the hours ticked by. An episode all about
Roxanne's ex Lance and them getting back together. Rhea was only in 3 scenes so it wouldn't be too difficult for whomever
came in to cover my girl when I went out of town next Monday, missing the last two days of the episode. They were going
to be building her apartment set, I was excited to see that. When there were only 3 scenes left with just Whitney and
Alex, the 2nd 2nd Chris got the word to wrap the stand ins. I made it home by 9pm. After
flying through most of Anne's book, I vaguely did remember getting it from the library and reading it maybe 2 years ago.
I went on my website to see if I had mentioned it in 2009 or 2010 memoirs. I could not find it anywhere. It could
be I probably read it in a day or two and forgot about it. I was reading so many books and did not always mention them
all. I love Anne Rice but this book was nothing like what she used to do. I was not captivated by magic.
I was not placed under a spell like with the Vampire and Witch books. It was interesting, a good story, I was glad I
had it to pass the time, give my mind something to think about, but I was not even sure I would read the sequel.
Zyla did not get the gig and went to school Wednesday. Ed was off on his Christmas break already so
we had a date day together. We went hiking at Verdugo after a leisurely morning in. I finished wrapping up Christmas
packages needing be shipped out. I activated Zyla's cell phone she wanted for her birthday and wrapped that up as well.
I made dinner after helping Zyla study for her big history test she would have tomorrow. Then we all watched two episodes
of Make It or Break It before she went to bed. The next disk of Californication had come and Ed and I watched two episodes of that before crashing
Thursday morning Zyla was celebrating her birthday at school, so we left early to get her holiday
birthday doughnuts from Krispy Kreme to share with her classmates. I finished reading Angel Time. It ended with the set up for the sequel and of course I was going to have to read it.
How could I not? I love Anne and even though this book had glossed over passion between lovers in favor of love between
family and friends, I enjoyed it. I enjoyed reading about the relationship between the Jews and the Catholics in that
historical time period and I loved the aspect of the angels though I wish more were given about them. I went to the
library and checked out Of Love and Evil, the sequel. Never in my life
had I seen a novel by Anne Rice so short. Less than 200 pages. I had read every Anne Rice novel there was and
half of her erotica series Beauty under her pseudonym. I quickly read
the entire book. I actually found myself enjoying this story better than the first. Maybe because I had already
read the other one, or maybe because I liked how she brought in the demon angels and ghost spirit, unlike the first.
But I was not happy about how short it was and felt like it was a husk of what the author used to produce. It lacked
the passion she was known for the gripping, soul tearing passion. But I did walk away with a message from the angels
and liked the quote she put in at the beginning, ‘We are, each of us angels with only one wing, and we can only fly
by embracing one another. By Luciano de Crescenzo.' I found it odd this book had been labeled for the Mystery section
of the library, when most of her novels were in the general fiction section. I noticed her other Christ books were in
the Mystery section as well. Was talking about Christ and Angels a Mystery, compared to her other novels of Vampires
and Demons? I had heard Anne had denounced her Catholicism again and a new Werewolf book was coming out next year from
her. I wondered if she was getting back to her roots. Sometimes when one converts, has a coming back to God moment
and is filled with so much Light they try to expel all darkness and those aspects of their life. But that is not reality.
Our world is a balance of both Light and Dark. Rather trying to find the balance and not shift too much to one side
or the other is the key. I was interested in what Anne would produce in her new novel. I picked up Zyla from school
and got her ready for gym. Ed and I finished watching Californication
season 3. Great season, heartbreaking ending, beautiful writing. I went to bed early for my early morning call
time back on Whitney.
Friday, my last day on Whitney for this year. My 100th day on set this year! I woke
early and got ready. Took Zyla to school on my way to the stages. Had breakfast and read over the script.
A couple changes from what I had read on Tuesday night, but nothing major. I loved the Panda Club set where the beatnik
poets would share their words. Roxanne's apartment looked great as did Lance's. I ran into Rhea and told her I
was flying out of town and would not be here next week. There was rumor of a holiday party but she said she probably
would not be able to go either as she had an early flight right after show night. Very easy day, my girl was only in
4 scenes. I took all the notes for whoever would replace me next week. Robson texted Ryan hello to us all from
Brazil. Matt got upgraded to a principal contract for a one liner in the Panda Club. We were all very excited
for him, but meant also that they would have to replace him as stand-in as well next week. I brought Ed's school paper
in to read and showed everyone his crazy Halloween photo inside. The episode had a lot of funny moments I was laughing
at. The actor playing Lance was a perfect fit with cast. Lunch was better than ever, and I wrapped out at 2:30pm
satisfied. Ed had already picked up Zyla since he was on his Christmas break already. He had attended Zyla's School
Class Christmas Party while I had been at work. We were celebrating Zyla's birthday early so she could open our gifts
to her before we left on vacation. She quickly opened her gifts but of course the one she wanted most drew all of her
attention, her first cell phone. Unfortunately she was coming down with a temperature, so I gave her some meds and put
her to bed. When the meds kicked in she felt well enough to text all her friends the rest of the night. We snuggled
together watching her favorite show Make It or Break It, then went to bed.
The weekend went by in a blur getting everything ready to leave. Zyla missed gym but was all well
to fly out to Ohio come Monday morning. The two week vacation visiting Edward's family was wonderful. Zyla had
a wonderful birthday party with all her cousins, aunt, uncle and grandparents. So many magical memorable moments.
I loved celebrating Mass in both the Byzantine and Roman Catholic Churches, saying family rosaries in the evenings, sitting
by the fire and watching it snow. Christmas Eve, Christmas Day all over before we knew it. Sad good-byes were
shared before we were back on the plane to Cally for a quiet New Year's Eve spent at home with friends.