Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Life in the TMZ

I spoke too soon; the death march is NOT over.  Bad Dad is off doing field experiments for three weeks in a row and I am holding down the fort alone while trying to keep all of the end of fiscal year balls in the air at work.  I am so tired, I can barely type and write grammatically.

Summer camps keep shorter hours than daycare.  I am stuck doing both dropoff and pickup and all the stuff at home that keeps the household running.  Seriously, from 6:30 AM, when I should be up doing my back exercises (but I hit snooze instead), till 9:30 PM, when I hit the sack, I am running as fast as I can.  There is no margin for errors or surprises in my schedule, especially in the morning.

Imagine how thrilled I was to get an email alert about TV filming near work on Friday.  The bounding box for road closure is a worst case scenario.  How dare they film on the route between Iris' summer camp and my office?  Why do they have to film during the AM rush hour?

I mentioned in Free Range Kid 5 that our daytime hometown is one big movie set.  I read that movie studios have to pay for travel time for filming at locations outside of a certain radius from a certain street corner.  That's why some sound stages were built near work.  They fall inside the zone.  Today, when I was waiting for a return phone call, I looked up the zone rules.
It is a 30 mile radius used by union film projects to determine per diem rates and driving distances for crew members.

The center of the studio zone is located at the southeast corner of Beverly and La Cienega in Los Angeles, California. More than 90 cities and parts of three counties including Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura counties fall within the 30-mile studio zone.
See an interactive map of the 30-mile zone.

Wikipedia said that the website, TMZ, is named after the thirty-mile zone.  Well, that would explain why so many of our neighbors work in the entertainment industry*.

Traffic in the TMZ sucks, even without movie filming, freeway construction and presidential visits.  

But, I did manage to sew Iris' theater costume between dinner cleanup and bedtime tonight.  The performance isn't even until Friday so I beat the deadline by one evening!  That means we have time to celebrate with a meal at the El Segundo farmers' market tomorrow.  Iris wants to go to the Farm Stand because their fries are so good.  I was hoping for Chef Hannes because he does a special menu with farmer's market ingredients every Thursday.  In prior years, the peach cobbler was amazing.

* At the end of school, it is common to discuss summer vacation/camp plans for the kids.  This year, one classmate's mom told me that they weren't doing any camps this summer because they are going on location (for two movies) with her husband.  Another dad said that his band had a couple of tours and the family would accompany for one, possibly two of the tours.  Is it too late to be adopted into one of those families?

One dad from the local school friended me on Facebook.  He works as a forensic accountant for the film industry.  (Who knew you could make a living doing that?)  He posted on fb a scan of the requirements for a scene from a decades old classic movie.  I guess he takes the head count, multiplies by the rates, and comes up with how much the movie filming should cost.


  1. Agreed. A few years ago I thought that summer would be more relaxing than the daily school schedule. Wrong! The only consolation is that eventually they will be self-propelling.

  2. I feel your pain. When my kids were little I sometimes felt that parenthood in modern times was an 18 year death march! Finding day care, supervising homework, making lunches, chores housekeeping, work...arrrggghhhh. Just keep repeating "this is only temporary."

  3. Here's an interesting essay on why french fries taste good:, but you probably won't have time to read it.


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