Thursday, July 27, 2006

Day Nine: July 26, 2006
Let’s Shoot This Thing!

Today’s locations include the park and the Enescu Museum. As I start this, I realize that it is way too early. I can barely keep my eyes open.. Sitting on the floor of the lobby probably isn’t a good idea. I’m tired, but I’m able to jump high enough when I see the black bug crawling towards me. Then I start seeing them all over the lobby. It’s really odd when this stuff happens because it’s usually a sign that something big is going to happen, like a plague or an apocalypse. But all that happened was I got to crunch a lot of bugs. Fun stuff. They were all gone when we got back to the hotel. Maybe they weren’t there at all………

It’s also supposed to be near 100 degrees today. Europe is in a heat wave. However right now, it’s very cool and comfy. But it’s also 6:30 in the morning. Ridiculous.

You’d think that it would be to early for any problems but one has arisen already. There is a great little kid playing the role of a great little kid on a park lawn. Really cute. So we show up for the first shot of a 6-day shoot after months and months of prep and the kid is in a bad mood. And not one of those whiny bad moods. This was a full blown loud, stubborn bad mood. This didn’t bode well for the rest of the day. But it turned out great. The kid was amazing and all was well. The guy playing the dad was a little nutty. He had a French accent and spent half the morning talking to Robert. This was a nice change of pace. People who have shot with me know that I have this habit of talking to the cast. And then we become best friends. We end up exchanging e-mails. I send them copies of the commercial. But this time, Robert went over and ended up stuck in a conversation about nihilism or something. I went over to rescue him and intentional threw myself into his web. But he wouldn’t bite and I was out of there in a matter of moments.

I should mention that the art department came through in flying colors with the medicine ball dilemma. We looked at a couple yesterday and they were too small. So they spoke of painting a basketball or something. But this morning, we saw a genuine, dirtied-up, leather medicine ball. Kudos to Carmen and her team.

On to Cosmic Catch. The black boy (I know that’s not very PC but he’s not African American. We’re in Romania.) is named Cosby. I guess they had Must See Thursdays here as well. I guess it could have been worse. His mom could have been a fan of TGIF on ABC and named the kid Urkel.

And sadness. I have a hard enough time functioning on my own while at the same time projecting my crazy little back stories onto other people. Seven kids showed up this morning and our intention was to use only 6. Actually, 8 kids were supposed to show up so we’d be rejecting 2. Instead, we had to reject only one. But we asked him to hang around just in case there was an injury or something. It was rough. All the other boys were on set, playing Cosmic Catch and having a rip roaring time (yes, rip roaring). The rejected kid has to sit out of the way. Just now, I saw him from behind. He’s sitting all alone on a bench. And not just all alone. He’s way over to the end. Nicely framed shot of sad boy all alone. It’s my childhood all over again. Of course in my childhood, I didn’t get a nice check for sitting around doing nothing.

I must remember to call my therapist.

9 am: Unbelievably hot. This could be the end of the world.

Craft Services didn’t really have anything specific for breakfast. Someone brought out a tray of éclairs, though. Éclairs on one tray and some meats and cheeses on the other. Sitting out in the sun. Now if you’ve been keeping up with my trip on a daily basis, you know that I’m having some difficulty adjusting to the locals’ inability to get sarcasm. So at one point, I bring the plate of meats and cheeses to the camera area just to make a joke about it. Larissa comes up behind me, takes the tray away and brings it back where it was. I follow her and tell her I would have brought it back but I was busy making a joke. She stopped, turned around and said, “you like to make jokes all the time. I notice that.” I think Larissa hates me. She is, however, starting to get a grasp of the nuances of sarcasm. It’s funny. She’s trying. Soon everyone will be trying it. It’s a bit like Prometheus introducing fire to the mortals.

10:45 am: It’s 100 degrees out. Celsius, I think. And these jeans I’m wearing aren’t the coolest in the world. I knew I shouldn’t have left my shorts in my room. Damn me!

Uh oh, Craft Services just took away the tray of meats and cheeses. But they replaced it with a box filled with cakes and pastries.

Uh oh. Out of the corner of my eye, I see Christy watching me write. Have I written something bad about her? Something mean? Apparently she has seen her name amidst all of my chicken scratch and now I have to explain the entire thing and what I’m doing and stuff. By the way, I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome Christy and Sarah to the blog list.

On to the Enescu Museum for some Twister Dance, some Yahtzee Turbo and some Cosmic Catch schtick. It’s actually hotter inside than it is outside.

5:00. Okay, almost time to wrap. We’re taking bets on when we’ll get this final shot. The votes are as follows:
Robert: 5:35
Liz: 5:22
Stephanie: 5:41
Sarah: 5:27
Me: 5:45
Christy: 5:46
Actual finishing time: 5:51. Christy wins.

First of all, I would have won if Tom hadn’t wanted to go for one more shot. It’s a conspiracy. And Christy picks a time one minute after mine? What is this, Price is Right? Not fair! Shrewd, but not fair.

By the way, we’ve coined a new catch phrase: “not so fast, Ionescu.”

We’re all going to dinner at a highly recommended place called Dada. James comes downstairs with his computer. There’s something kind of cool about that to me. I don’t know why. I mean, it wouldn’t be cool to be so busy that I would always need to be with my laptop. It’s just such a creative look. I’d carry it around and write scripts constantly. At least that’s what I tell myself.

Topher has informed me that now that he’s back on the dinner circuit with us, I no longer have to pay. Good news. I was running out of cash for the tip. And Christy didn’t join us. Something happened to her ankle and it swelled up to the size of a grapefruit. She didn’t want to make a big deal out of it on the set but it was kind of hard to ignore. Next thing you now, she’s got creams and bags of ice. We haven’t seen ice since we got here; she gets bags of it for her ankle. Uh, I think my elbow hurts…

Dinner. How to explain dinner if you weren’t there? It was one of those situations where things were just so bad that it got ridiculous. Our waiter is a real pip. No personality at all. And talk about foreshadowing. It’s been 90 minutes and no food. Wait, the appetizers game a while ago but there seems to be a problem with getting drinks. Robert ordered a mojito and was told no problem. It took a long time but he enjoyed it. He enjoyed it so much that he ordered another. But he asked a different waiter. And that waiter said that they didn’t have the ingredients to make mojitos. “So what was this?” asked a confused Robert. “Brown sugar, rum, lime and mint” replied the waiter, not realizing that he just gave out the recipe for a mojito. Anyway, the drink finally arrives and the glass is only half full. Actually, I’d have to say half empty based on the way things have been going. Apparently the restaurant has run out of rum. So I wonder just what was in that bottle of Bacardi I saw the waiter carrying around. Maybe it was from his private stash. Stephanie suggested Caipaihirina. There’s no way I’m spelling that correctly. It’s Cachaça, lime and simple syrup. For whatever reason, Dada adds vodka to theirs. Whatever. It still took forever.

Did I mention they sell furniture there? I can’t tell if the restaurant is in the middle of a small boutique or if it’s the other way around. Desperately needing to get some circulation back in my legs, I decided to walk around and look at the boutique stuff. It wasn’t long until some woman approached me and started explaining everything around me. I lapsed into my patented method of feigning interest, a method so convincing that when I finally went back to my table, the woman approaced me with some of her brochures. I csn’t escape.

Still waiting for the food so I’ll tell you about the bathroom icons. There has been some confusion during the past week regarding which rest room belongs to which gender. The graphics they use aren’t the most obvious. Not so in this restaurant. The woman icon is a red stick figure, spread eagled, with big hair, big boobs and a gap between her legs. The man? No head. The boobs are now the eyes. A tie. A man thingy between his legs.

Dinner had its moments but James’s fish takes the cake. Ha! Fish cake!! Anyway, his tuna steak was frozen. Frozen!!!! Poor James.

Dessert time. I was looking forward to this because I desperately want to go back to the hotel. I couldn’t imagine ordering dessert after all the problems we had. One thing on the menu was called “Snake, No Snake Cake.” I don’t have a clue what that’s supposed to mean and was okay never knowing. But Robert asked the guy who was now our third waiter. And this guy’s a comedian. Snake, No Snake Cake, according to Mihai, is like Baklava. It’s coiled like a snake but it’s not a snake. Very clever, Dada. We all understood coiled like a snake but Mihai told us that it basically looks like shit. Nice. So after all this waiting and stuff, we’re beyond punchy. And Mihai is trying to sell us some sh*t. The jokes are pretty easy after that. Robert ordered some for the table so we could all have our sh*t together. I aksed if it was served room temperature or if it was hot sh*t. Shecky Ionescu says it was spicy sh*t. They must bring Mihai out for the tables that are having trouble.

We asked for the check and for the restaurant to call 2 cabs for us. The check came relatively quickly but then the processing took so long, the cabs came and left without us. It was the longest week of my life.

Another 6 am call tomorrow. Advertising is so glamorous.

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