The L.A. Report – Part 25



Hey Everybody,


I just finished a 50- to 60-hour per week programming contract about six weeks ago so now I’ve got plenty of time to write my next L.A. Report.


The contract was with Union Bank again, where I had worked three times before.  This time was very different, however; I worked almost entirely from home.  I had never done that before, and while it had a lot of benefits – like not having the commute headache, wearing whatever the hell you want, receiving UPS packages when they’re delivered, doing your laundry while you’re working, etc. – it was very lonely!  During the week, my contact with the outside world consisted of Subway workers at lunchtime!


The work was very different, too.  I didn’t write a single line of code.  Instead, I was analyzing the existing code and translating it into business rules so any changes they needed to make to the system were a little more obvious and the rules would be documented if they ever want to replace the 50 year old system! 


Job leads come up a few times a week, and I did have an unsuccessful phone interview a couple of weeks ago, so I imagine I’ll get another contract fairly soon.  In the meantime, I’m thinking about doing background acting again.  And now that I’m in SAG-AFTRA, at least the pay will be a lot better.  I’m going to try to land a new agent, too.


The episode of My Crazy Sex with my speaking role is still called “Casket Coitus” (preview at I think it may be part of a collection of vignettes called “All the Wrong Places”.  It aired Wednesday, September 13th but I don’t get cable so I didn’t see it.  Last year, you could watch episodes for free the day after they aired.  This year is different – it looks like you have to subscribe to some cable provider in order to watch previous episodes.  Last year’s episodes are all still available for free but this year’s have a “key” icon on the thumbnail instead of a “play” icon on them.  It also says my episode will be available until November 14th.  Maybe they’ll unlock it after that, who knows?  One of my friends said you can watch them if you have the Lifetime iPad app, but I’m not sure it would be worth it to download it just to watch my five lines!  I’ll let you know if I find out when it’s available and send you the link.


Last month I flew out to Billings, Montana and met my friend Susan there.  We drove down to Sheridan, Wyoming the next day and the morning after that, we drove down to Casper, then Douglas to watch the total solar eclipse.   My sister, her husband and their grandkids met us there.  Douglas is a very small town and there were several hundred people there but we found a quiet little neighborhood and had it almost to ourselves.    Totality only lasted about two minutes but it was worth it!  It didn’t get as dark as I expected – it looked about like it looks twenty minutes after sunset.  But we could see a few stars (planets, probably), nighthawks came out, the temperature dropped probably 10 degrees and parking lot lights came on.  You could hear lots of cheering in the distance when totality hit!


From there, we drove for three more days to Chicago to attend my nephew’s wedding.  I also got together with my old college buddies that I hadn’t seen in six years.  Then I flew home and Susan drove back to Montana via Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Canada and North Dakota.


One of my contra dance friends is an avid hang-glider so she got Susan interested and Susan got me interested.  I’ve done one “bunny hill” lesson and one tandem flight:  It wasn’t nearly as scary as skydiving but I did get just a little queasy from the dips and turns.  It was incredible but I’m not sure if I want to commit tons of time and money to pursue it further.  Susan is, though!


In May, I had these weird painful lumps on my right calf so my doctor suggested I get an ultrasound.  The imaging center found that I had a blood clot and they sent me straight to the E.R.  After spending most of the afternoon there, they sent me home and put me on blood thinner (self-administered injections in the stomach twice a day for two weeks – not fun!).  A couple weeks later, a vascular surgeon cleared the clot and inserted a stent in my vein.  Then he found one in the other leg that was 87% blocked so he cleared that one, too.  Now I’m taking a blood thinner (in pill form), wearing compression stockings and back to running four days a week.


People have asked me what I do for exercise on the days I don’t run (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) so I made a video of my workout:  I shot it entirely with my Samsung Galaxy S7 smartphone and edited it with Cyberlink PowerDirector, a software package I bought for less than a hundred bucks.  It’s not exactly polished, and I should have cleared some clutter out of my living room, but it came out okay for my first video project.  Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg and Clint Eastwood don’t need to worry about new competition!  :-)


Still playing golf about 3 or 4 times a month (although my scores haven’t gotten much better).


It got up to 110 degrees one day last week in Sherman Oaks.  And of course we’re having our usual fire outbreaks.  Oh, well, that sure beats the hurricanes they’re having in the South!


That’s it ‘til next time . . .