Monday, March 30, 2015

Busy is the New Normal

The past week has been full of various events, tasks, and other things that have kept me busy.  On Tuesday, I went to Glassman Media.  I changed up my schedule, so now I work at Glassman on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and Karga Seven on Thursdays and Fridays.  Tuesday was a change of pace from my usual days at Glassman.  I typically have been busy the whole day, but my day was a bit less structured.  There was a bunch of equipment that needed to be organized, so I helped out with that.  I sorted some of the equipment, and we put some bags together that people will be able to check out.  They have cameras, chargers, batteries, and other such equipment.  Once we had everything arranged in a bag, my supervisor entered the information into an Excel spreadsheet.  She had some trouble printing the documents, so I helped her out a little bit.  It took me a while to figure it out!  Excel can be confusing!  In addition to that, I helped prepare some boxes that they needed to ship this past week.  That was okay, but not as exciting as what I've done before.  They asked me to organize some more after I was done getting the boxes ready.  The guy who was supposed to help me gave me vague instructions and didn't provide much assistance, so I did what I could.  After I was done there, I went back to the apartment and had a quick dinner.  Everyone in the UTLA program was required to attend a screening of "The Walking Deceased" at the UTLA center.  It's a movie that spoofs the TV series "The Walking Dead".  It was entirely made by UT alumni, so it was a big deal.  We watched the movie, and then we got pizza and asked questions to some members of the cast and crew.  I wasn't a fan of the movie, but it did have some good moments and humor.  After that was over, I went back to the apartment.  I did a little homework afterwards, but that was about it.  On Wednesday, my day at Glassman was basically the same as Tuesday.  I spent some time organizing equipment and some time getting those boxes ready for shipping.  They were completely ready by the end of the day, so that was nice.  I made a little progress on the equipment, but I'm hoping I don't have to mess with it much more.  After I was done there, I went home and had another quick dinner.  At 7:00, I had to go back to the UTLA center for my New Media & Emerging Entertainment class.  We started out by watching a depressing documentary on the visual effects industry.  One of my roommates is in visual effects, and he has recently started worrying about job opportunities.  The documentary certainly didn't help!  We got on to fun stuff after that.  We split up into groups, and we had to come up with a transmedia campaign to promote an event the professor told us about.  We had to list ideas of how we could promote the event pre-launch, during, and post-launch.  Each group had to get in front of the class and do a short presentation.  It was fun!  The professor also brought in some mini cupcakes, and that was cool!  After that, I just took it easy back at the apartment.  Thursday started off with a special errand.  Before I started at Karga Seven, I had to go to the post office and get my passport renewed.  My mom scheduled an appointment for me at a post office that's right along my way to Karga Seven.  I just had to stop at a different subway station and walk a little bit.  I showed up for my appointment at 10:30, and they got to me pretty fast!  I showed them my birth certificate and my application, but then I hit a roadblock.  They needed a passport photo, but they couldn't take my picture there because their camera was broken.  They told me how to get to a Rite Aid just down the road, so I walked there and got my passport photo.  Thankfully, it was very close to the post office.  Once I had my photo, everything else went reasonably well.  There were a few problems because I don't have a California ID and they weren't familiar with my bank (CEFCU).  I'd think it should be pretty easy to renew a passport as long as you're a United States citizen and resident, but this is the federal government we're talking about!  Soon enough, however, I was good to go.  They kept my birth certificate, but they're going to mail it back to my house soon.  My renewed passport should be there in 1-6 weeks.  On my first day of Karga Seven for the week, I did more of my usual work in postproduction.  I spent the time recording the text in an episode of their show about tornado survivors.  I also worked on character bios.  That night, we had another mandatory event.  We all had to go to a networking "mixer" at a bar in town.  (I put the word "mixer" in quotation marks because I think it's way too cutesy.)  When we got there, I spent plenty of time eating.  They had some free food, and I hadn't eaten dinner beforehand.  After I ate, I just sort of wandered around and talked to a few people.  Most of the people I "mixed" with were other UTLA students.  However, I did meet and talk to a few UT alumni who were at the event.  I knew I probably wouldn't get much out of it, but it was okay.  It was late when I got home from that, so I didn't do much else that night.  Friday was a more typical day at Karga Seven.  My supervisor was originally going to have me transcribe some videos, but I reminded her that I was supposed to work on character bios that hadn't been done.  That's what I ended up doing all day.  They changed up the format that I'm supposed to use for character bios, and it's much less labor-intensive.  In any case, I would rather write character bios than transcribe any day!  I was glad to do it!  After I got home from that, I essentially collapsed on the couch.  It had been a long week with a lot of random stuff!  I was tired and feeling very lazy, so I just watched GSN for a long time.  Eventually I decided that I wanted dinner, so a friend and I ordered $10 box from Pizza Hut.  I also threw in one of their "Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies"!  When I saw that it was going to take an hour, I kicked back and watched an episode of "The Middle".  I've gotten into that show since I went on the set visit!  I like it a lot!  The pizza got there about when I expected it to, and we devoured it!  I like the $10 boxes because they come with breadsticks and cinnamon sticks.  The chocolate chip cookie was also delicious!  After I ate that, I continued to laze around.  On Saturday, I slept in as usual.  I watched some TV and made a lunch from the little food I had left.  In the afternoon, I read a bunch more of that script we need to read for my Development class.  I impressed myself - I read over 60 pages!  I took a break from that, and then one of my roommates got back from something he had been doing.  I desperately needed to go grocery shopping, so we had planned a trip.  I was surprised at how much I bought at the grocery store!  This was the first time I had ever gotten a cart for myself!  I made a little list before we went, and that was also a first.  People at Jewel always say, "I only came here for a few things," and now I know what they mean!  All in all, I spent about $95.  With my Vons card, I saved $6.55!  I'm hoping that trip will get me through most of the rest of the semester.  After I got back from that, I made dinner using some of the food I had just bought!  I went to the hot tub and pool at night.  On Sunday, I got up and ate some continental breakfast.  They're not serving it next Sunday because it's Easter, so they had an Easter theme going on.  After that, I watched a sermon on my computer and had another "mini church service".  I would normally have gone to church, but this Sunday was special.  It was Huntington Beach day!  Just before noon, I took off with a little group to Huntington Beach.  It was me, 2 of my roommates, and another friend.  When we got into town, we went to Target to buy some stuff for the beach - a cooler, drinks, and whatnot.  We grabbed lunch at In-N-Out Burger, and then we went to the beach!  After I put on plenty of sunscreen, I spent the day adventuring in the water, playing sand volleyball, and throwing around a football.  There were some crazy waves out there!  I got battered a few times!  We stayed at the beach for quite a while, and we left for home in the early evening.  It's about a 1-hour drive, but it took a little longer on the way back because we had to detour for a while.  There was a big accident on the highway that caused a major jam, so we went around it.  Google Maps didn't exactly give the best directions, but we found our way.  When we got back, we ate at a restaurant called Gindi Thai.  It was fairly fancy and expensive, but we all found something affordable to eat.  They had delicious Pad Thai that was reasonably priced!  3 of us got that, actually.  Once we were done there, we came back to the apartment.  I tried to wash the remaining sand out of my trunks, and then I took a nice shower.  The sunscreen seemed to work fairly well, but my back and my upper chest are pretty red.  I didn't put sunscreen on those areas, so I can't complain.  (Usually I'll have somebody else sunscreen my back, but I skipped that.  I don't typically put sunscreen on my chest or stomach.)  It doesn't hurt now (the same night), but it could in the morning!  My Development class is cancelled this Monday, but I plan on getting up about when I normally would.  I still have one class on Monday, and it's also the day that registration for Jeopardy! online testing begins!  I'm going to give it another shot!

Monday, March 23, 2015

A Spring Break to Remember

My week of Spring Break went pretty well!  I spent most of my time Tuesday through Thursday sleeping in and relaxing.  It's always nice to catch up on sleep when possible, and I enjoy being able to sit around, watch game shows, play on my phone, etc.  Quite a few people traveled and had grand adventures over the break, but I was content just lazing around and enjoying my free time at the apartment.  On Tuesday, I did a bunch of laundry and went over to the north clubhouse around 5:00.  They were having a St. Patrick's Day party, and there was some free food there.  I had corned beef, cabbage, and other fixin's for dinner.  A free meal will always guarantee my attendance!  On Wednesday, I went over to the building where the UTLA center and Glassman Media are.  I had scheduled an advisory meeting at the UTLA center, so I went there and did that.  Just before the meeting, my supervisor at Glassman called me and asked me if I could come up to the office once I was done.  I went up there after the meeting so I could sign some forms.  The week before, she told me that they would be preparing for a big presentation over the weekend of the 21st and 22nd.  She said they would pay me if I worked that weekend, so I told her I would be happy to do it.  I signed a confidentiality agreement and filled out some information so they could pay me.  Before I left, I also rented E.T. on DVD from the UTLA center.  I relaxed for a while after that.  Later that night, I watched E.T. for the first time in several years.  It's such an excellent movie!  It's actually ranked #24 on the AFI's list of Top 100 Movies.  I thoroughly enjoyed it, and it made me sad when I remembered that Universal Studios Hollywood got rid of the E.T. ride.  They still have it at the park in Orlando, however.  On Thursday, I returned to the UTLA center and Glassman.  We're only allowed to rent the AFI Top 100 Movies for a day at a time, so I had to return E.T.  I had to go back to Glassman to sign a few more forms.  I spent the rest of the day chilling.  I know I went to the pool and the hot tub either on Wednesday or Thursday.  On Friday, I got up relatively early and went to Universal Studios once again.  Since I got a season pass for the price of a 1-day pass, I figured I'd take advantage of it!  The lines were really short, and the Jurassic Park water ride was open!  I was very excited when I saw that - it was closed for renovations when I went the previous Saturday!  I immediately rushed to get on the Jurassic Park ride.  I wanted to get a locker to hold my stuff, but the lockers at Jurassic Park cost $5.  That's incredibly stupid because the lockers at the Mummy ride are free!  The Mummy ride is close to Jurassic Park, so I walked over there and put my stuff in a free locker.  Then I went on Jurassic Park twice in a row.  I walked on both times - I'm a big fan of single rider lines!  (However, the regular lines were also extremely short.)  I didn't get too wet the first time, but I got soaked on the second trip!  From there, I immediately went over to the Mummy ride.  I went on that one twice in a row as well.  I hadn't seen the single rider line for the Mummy when I went on Saturday, so I thought it didn't have one.  I eventually discovered it when I saw a little girl enter it!  It was early enough in the day that the regular line was still short, but single rider lines always get you a seat more quickly!  Once I had ridden it twice, I retrieved my stuff from my locker and did some other things.  After I had lunch, I saw the "Special Effects Stage" show.  It was neat and informative!  I saw all of the shows once, and I did most of the rides at least twice.  By my count, I rode on the Mummy seven times!  I only did Shrek 4D once, but I think I did all the other rides (including the studio tour) twice.  It was a fun, fast-paced day at the park!  In the afternoon, I left the park and walked around CityWalk for a while.  I went back to the magnet store and bought some more souvenirs.  Later on, I took the tram away from CityWalk and caught a bus to the McDonald's a mile and a half down the road.  I decided to take advantage of the Filet O' Fish Fridays at McDonald's!  My Filet O' Fish meal cost less than $5!  After that, I headed back to the subway station.  UTLA offered us free tickets to Laugh Factory shows, and I signed up for the one on Friday night.  It started at 8:00, but they wanted us to be there by 7:30.  After taking the subway and a bus, I arrived at the Laugh Factory.  They have a 2-drink minimum, so UTLA paid for our tickets and 2 non-alcoholic drink tickets.  Most of the other UTLA students are of legal drinking age, so they were not too thrilled that they had to down 2 non-alcoholic drinks.  I, for one, was happy for the free beverages!  All the comedians at the Laugh Factory were pretty funny, and it was a great show!  After the show, I wanted to get a ride back to the apartment rather than taking public transportation.  A girl offered to take me home, but she invited me to go out with her and some other UTLA people.  They were planning on going to a pub I had been to before.  I obviously wasn't going to drink with them, but I went along for fun.  Sadly, the place they had in mind is 21 and up after 10:00 p.m.  They took me to another place that didn't exclude underage people.  It was a nice little karaoke bar and restaurant.  I had fun there!  It was cool seeing other people get up and sing some karaoke songs!  The environment of the place was really nice.  I ordered some churros, and a few people in our group started looking at the book of karaoke songs.  They pondered getting up there and singing some karaoke, so I thought about it too.  One guy in the group went up and sang a Brooks & Dunn song.  When I got my hands on the book, I saw that they had the "Cheers" theme song!  I couldn't resist!  I got up there and sang it, and I got some applause afterwards!  (Most of it came from my group, I'm sure.)  They all said I did well!  Not long after that, I got a ride back to the apartments.  I want to go back to that place sometime!  There could be more good karaoke songs for me to sing!  Over the weekend, I did PA work for that presentation Glassman was preparing.  Saturday and Sunday were both long days!  I worked from 10:00 - 8:30 or so on Saturday, and I worked from 10:00 - 8:00 on Sunday.  I made some good money, and it was so much fun!  I wish I could tell you guys more about what I did, but I have to be very confidential.  After I got off Sunday night, I treated myself to some Bob's Big Boy and finished my homework.  Monday marked my return to classes and the end of Spring Break.  In my Development class, we talked about a script that we had to read over the break.  We learned how to give notes to screenwriters, and we have to read another script and type up some notes.  Thankfully, it's due in 2 weeks because next week's class is canceled.  We started off How Hollywood Works by having some delicious cake to celebrate the March birthdays!  Then we had our usual weekly discussions and talked about movie business.  We finished class by hearing another pitch and learning the information behind the script.  Spring Break was refreshing, and I'm ready to get back to work and make the most of my time left here!  It's scary how little time we have left!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A Whole Bunch of Pictures

Hi, everyone!  It's been a while since I've posted pictures, so I decided I should upload an assortment of photos tonight!  These are mostly arranged in chronological order, but I put all the "Psycho" stuff together.  The pictures of the Bates Motel are from my Universal Studios trip.  Enjoy!

This is a picture from the UTLA bowling night on January 30.

This is another picture where basically everyone is making the "Hook 'em" sign.

This is the obligatory "silly picture".

This is the typewriter used to write the novel "Psycho".

This is the letter opener the author of "Psycho" had on his desk.

This is another artifact from the "Psycho" author.  I forget what exactly it was.

This is the Bates Motel sign.

This is a shot of the Bates Motel.

This is "Norman Bates" walking out from the motel.

This is a view from the Castaway, the fancy restaurant Phil took us to just so we could see the view.

This is another view from the Castaway.

This is a partial shot of the car dealership set for "The Middle".

This is a close-up shot of the dealership.

This is the fountain from the "Friends" theme song.

This is another shot of the fountain.

This is yet another shot of the fountain.

This is the giant "WB" sign on the Warner Bros. lot.

This is a partial shot of the main DeLorean used in the "Back to the Future" series.

This is another partial shot of the DeLorean.

This is the costume and cane Emma Thompson used in "Nanny McPhee Returns".  Mom, I took this picture just for you!

This is a sign just outside the entrance to Universal Studios.  Everyone was taking pictures at the time, so I just settled for a decent shot.

This is the rotating globe outside the park.  The word "Universal" is showing in this shot.

This is the word "Studios" on the same globe.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

One Heck of a Weekend

The past few days have been very fun and entertaining!  Friday started out with my set visit to "The Middle".  I slept in a little longer than I had planned to, but I still woke up with enough time to catch my 11:00 ride to the Warner Bros. Studios.  The group I traveled with was the first to get there.  Everybody else got there by 11:30, which was when the tour was supposed to start.  It started a little late, but it was so neat!  The lady who showed us around started by taking us through the production offices.  She showed us the writer's room, the area where the PA's work, the place where they make graphics and such for the show, etc.  Then we went outside and walked around the lot.  She showed us the area where they film scenes at the car dealership.  Apparently, Frankie doesn't work there anymore (I wouldn't know since I've only seen the first 2 episodes), so they don't use it much.  It was cool to see!  We saw some other outside set areas, and then we walked down a street with several houses.  They've used those houses for "Desperate Housewives", the National Lampoon series, "Lethal Weapon", and other such shows and movies.  Near the end of that street, we saw the house they use for "The Middle".  Just across from that house, we saw a little pool.  They use that pool for "The Middle" and other productions as well.  The family went to the pool in the first couple episodes, so I recognized it.  As we kept walking down the street, we came across a fountain.  I thought it looked nice, and then I learned that it was the fountain in the theme song for "Friends".  It was really neat to see that!  The lady said that tour guides in New York City will go past a fountain and claim it was the one from "Friends", but the show was entirely shot in California.  We stopped and took plenty of pictures, and then all the students in our group posed for some pictures in front of it.  After that was done, it was about time to go into the actual sets.  We passed the area where all the actors' trailers are, and I took a picture of the giant "WB" sign nearby.  We started by going to the building they use a little less.  It had the set for the schools featured on the show, and it was cool.  There are a few different schools because the kids are different ages, but they use the same area and just change everything up depending on the school.  In the same building, we saw the set they use for Mike's trailer.  The lady said they were about to film a couple episodes using that set.  After we saw that building, it was finally time to check out the main set.  We wandered into the parents' bedroom and sat down in there.  They were filming an episode, and the scene they were filming was in the living room.  There were some headsets in the bedroom, so some of us could listen to what people were saying backstage and what the actors were saying!  After they filmed several takes, Neil Flynn (Mike Heck on the show) came back and greeted us!  He's actually an alumnus of Bradley!  We knew he was going to chill with us because we arranged for it - it's cool for Bradley students to meet successful alumni!  He talked to us about how he got where he was, and then he had to go back and do some more.  After they filmed several more takes, he came back.  This time, however, he brought Patricia Heaton (Frankie Heck) with him!  It was so neat!  They both took the time to meet us and tell us about themselves!  They were interested in knowing our plans and goals!  They were just great to be around!  Eventually, they had to leave again, but it was awesome meeting them!  At one point, Atticus Shaffer (Brick Heck) also walked by and said hi.  We watched them for a little longer, but then it was time to go.  Everybody began to leave, but I didn't go back with the same group that took me there.  I had made plans to get lunch with a girl who drove separately, so I met up with her.  She had to get back to her internship quickly, so we ended up just going through the drive-thru at Bob's Big Boy.  I tried a patty melt this time, and it was fantastic!  She took me back to the apartment, and then I just relaxed for the day.  I finally managed to call Universal Studios and make sure I could take advantage of their "Buy a day, get 2015 free" deal.  I had tried calling them a million times before, but they were always really busy!  I figured out that I could buy one of those tickets!  Since it's the 50th anniversary of the (re-)opening of Universal Studios, you can get a season pass for the price of a 1-day pass!  What a deal!  I bought one of those after I figured out it wasn't only for California residents (as someone had told me).  I relaxed and watched some GSN for a while.  I had some dinner and then continued chilling for the rest of the night.  I think my roommates went out and did something, but I wanted to rest before my big day at Universal Studios.  I woke up nice and early on Saturday morning and made my way there.  Once I got off the subway at Universal City, I had to figure out how exactly to get there.  I found the right direction pretty quickly, and I saw there was a Universal Studios tram parked nearby!  I love free trams that take you to amusement parks!  And this one was especially nice because there's a big hill going up to the park!  It dropped me off in front of CityWalk.  I walked to the park, got in, and tried to figure out what to do.  I wandered over to an escalator going to the Lower Lot, so I decided to make my way there.  You have to ride down 4 escalators to get to the Lower Lot!  And 3 of them are really tall!  Once I got down there, I found the Mummy roller coaster.  The Mummy is one of my favorite rides at Universal Orlando, so I was excited to get on!  I practically walked onto the ride, too!  It was a lot of fun, but the one in Orlando is better.  I immediately went on it again and then went to the Transformers ride.  I walked onto that one thanks to the single rider line!  The perks of being a single rider are so nice!  The only other ride down there is the Jurassic Park water ride, but it was closed for refurbishment.  I stopped at the NBCUniversal Experience attraction, which is basically a mini-museum full of artifacts from the history of Universal Studios.  It has a lot of info about the history and even more movie memorabilia!  I took a picture of the main DeLorean used in the "Back to the Future" series and a few other things.  It was neat!  After that, I went to the Upper Lot to go on the studio tour.  It's the main attraction at the park.  A big tram takes you all around the lots they have used for various movies and shows.  They still use some of them, and New York Film Academy was filming something in one of the lots.  We passed the Bates Motel from "Psycho", which is one of the oldest standing sets there.  While we were going by it, an actor portraying Norman Bates carried a "dead body" out of the motel and put it in the trunk of his car.  Scary!  I was happy that I watched it on Monday!  I didn't expect any of the "Psycho"-related stuff that happened throughout the week!  Later in the tour, the tram went through a King Kong 360 3D experience.  There were also some areas where we saw how they make certain special effects.  They showed several videos throughout the tour, and it was all interesting!  Once that was over, I went back to the Lower Lot because I thought the Shrek 4D movie was down there for some reason.  I discovered it wasn't, but I stopped for lunch at the Panda Express down there.  After lunch, I went to the Upper Lot to ride all the remaining rides.  The lines had gotten much longer, but I did everything I wanted to do.  The Upper Lot had a Simpsons ride, a Despicable Me ride, the Shrek 4D movie, and some shows.  I enjoyed it all, but I especially liked the Simpsons ride and the Despicable Me ride.  The Simpsons ride starred Sideshow Bob (a.k.a. Kelsey Grammer), and they gave out free 8 oz. water bottles at the Despicable Me ride!  Once I had ridden everything and taken a break for an ICEE, I saw a couple of the shows.  There was a show called "Animal Actors" where they had some trained animals do a few tricks you might see in the movies or on TV.  A lot of those animals had been in famous movies or TV shows from the past decade.  However, they had a bird who was in "Ace Ventura:  Pet Detective"!  It was a pretty neat show.  After that, I went to "Waterworld".  The show was apparently based off the movie, but I've never seen the movie.  It was all new to me!  There were a lot of breathtaking stunts, and it was great!  By the time I got out of that one, the last showing of "Special Effects Stage" had already started.  If I go back, I'll see that show.  I was ready to leave, so I got out of the park and explored CityWalk for a while.  It's a different place at night when all the lights are on!  I walked around and found a place to eat.  Then I went back to a magnet shop I had seen earlier and bought souvenirs for a few people.  After that, I boarded the tram and got back to the subway station.  From there, I went home and relaxed for the rest of the night.  Thankfully, I didn't have a bad sunburn because I was in the shade or inside for most of the day.  I got some sun, but it didn't hurt.  On Sunday, I got up and ate at the continental breakfast.  Then I went to church with the guy who normally takes me there.  It was a very nice sermon!  After I got home from that, I relaxed and watched some GSN.  Just before I made dinner, my roommates got back to the apartment.  They had gone to Long Beach without me!  I was a little upset that they didn't even tell me they were going, but I couldn't do anything about it.  I ate dinner, and then I went to the pool and the hot tub for my own little "beach" trip!  After that, I continued doing nothing.  On Monday, I slept in for a long time and then dragged myself out of bed.  Not long after I got up, it was time for lunch.  On most Mondays, I go out and get lunch from the food truck that's parked outside the building where the UTLA center is.  We obviously didn't have class because it's spring break, but I went out there anyway.  I didn't really want anything from the food trucks out there (it's different every week), so I got some food from the deli inside the building.  I went back to the apartment and took care of a few necessary tasks.  There's a theater that plays recent movies for only $3, so I planned a trip to go there and see "Paddington".  I made myself a little sandwich and then headed out to see the movie.  The concession prices are still a little unreasonable, but they're better than most theaters.  The movie itself was fantastic!  I see why it has 98% on Rotten Tomatoes and why Phil is obsessed with it!  It's got some great humor, and it's a wonderful story!  I remember reading Paddington books in elementary school, and it was nice to see a movie adaptation.  I came back from the movie, and I've been chilling since then.  I don't know exactly what I'll be doing this week, but I'll keep you updated!  I'll post some of the pictures I've taken tomorrow.  By the way, I know I titled an earlier post "One Heck of a Month", but I had to reuse that format because the family from "The Middle" has the last name Heck!  I couldn't resist that opportunity for a pun!

Friday, March 13, 2015

The Excitement Never Ends

The past 3 days have proven to be very enjoyable for the most part!  On Tuesday morning, I got myself to Karga Seven.  I did my usual work in postproduction.  A good portion of the time was spent working on a final edit report and watching a soon-to-be-aired episode of "Tornado Alley:  I Survived a Tornado".  The last portion of the episode covered the tornado that hit Pekin on November 17, 2013.  I've also watched some of an upcoming episode about Washington.  It reminded me to be thankful that all my family in Pekin stayed safe.  I have a lot of family there, and it was scary to know that part of their town was destroyed.  After I was finished there, I went on home.  I got a couple loads of laundry going, and then I prepared dinner.  After I ate dinner, I did an assortment of tasks.  I made copies of some items I'll have to take to the post office when I get my passport renewed, and I did my homework for New Media & Emerging Entertainment.  I think there were a few other things in there, but it was all small stuff.  I went to the hot tub shortly before it closed, and I did some more work before going to bed.  All the excitement came on Wednesday.  Instead of going straight to Glassman, I went on a tour of the Writer's Guild of America Library!  UTLA announced the tour a long time ago and said they could have 15 people come, so I jumped on it and made sure I got a spot.  There ended up being 8 students on this trip.  I got a ride over there, and our tour began soon after we arrived.  We started out in a hallway outside the library, but we got into the library pretty quickly.  They had all kinds of cool artifacts on display!  As you might have read, I watched "Psycho" for the first time ever on Monday.  Interestingly enough, they had the typewriter used to write the novel "Psycho" on display!  (The movie came out the year after the book.)  They also had the letter opener the author used, and it was creepy!  There was one other artifact with a carved skull and skeleton, but I forgot what it was.  One of the coolest things about the library is that they have scripts from many movies and TV shows over the years.  There were some on display on the main tables.  They told us quite a bit before they let us run free, and I was getting anxious!  We only had about an hour for the tour, and I wanted as much free time as possible!  After about half an hour, they let us do as we pleased.  Most of the movie and TV scripts are behind glass doors, but they told us they would unlock them if we wanted to see anything.  I asked them if they had any "Cheers" scripts, and they had a bunch!  They had the script for the pilot and a bunch of other episodes!  I grabbed 4 of them and excitedly went back to the table.  I took a bunch of pictures, and you can see those if you're friends with me on Facebook.  It was just so neat!  I read through the pilot and one other episode completely, and I looked at the other two for a short time.  I laughed out loud at several points just reading the scripts!  I probably looked a little strange to everyone else in the group, but I couldn't have cared less!  We stayed about 15 minutes past the time we originally thought we would leave, and I liked that.  After that, we walked over to the nearby Farmer's Market where Phil (the Executive Director of the UTLA program) bought us lunch courtesy of UT!  We got some food at a South American BBQ place.  I enjoyed it!  Some people had to leave soon after that, but the rest of us talked for a while and then got some ice cream.  We found a place that looked really good, but it was cash only.  Phil needed to use his credit card, so it couldn't happen there.  They had a really good-sounding "Brownie Sundae Monster" or something like that, so I bought my own with cash.  It was well spent!  The rest of them went to another ice cream place where Phil could use his credit card.  I probably would have gone there and gotten free ice cream, but the people at the first place warned us that most places were cash-only.  While the rest were getting their ice cream, a guy who did the UTLA program in 2009 came over and said hi to Phil.  When Phil asked him how things were going, he said he works for The Price Is Right.  Yes, I'm serious!  It's not a joke!  He said a bunch of other UT people do, too!  I immediately asked him if I could contact him, and Phil asked if we could get together a group to attend a Price is Right taping and then go backstage and learn more about what goes on.  The guy said yes!  I'm obviously in, and Phil said we could get about 5 or 10 students total!  You don't know how excited I am for this!  Not only will it be a great experience, but I can talk to all the guys who work there and have a good chance at getting a position there!  I've been very fortunate here so far, and the good stuff just keeps on coming!  After we were finished there, one guy went back home, and the rest of us got in Phil's car.  He took 3 of us there (including me), and 4 of us squeezed in his car for a ride back.  However, we ended up getting a nice tour before he drove us back to the UTLA center!  The first place he took us was a nice restaurant and golf course in Burbank.  He recommended it as a nice, romantic place to eat!  We just went there so we could see the view.  It's nice and high up!  They also have some conference rooms there, and there's a little chapel-type area where people get married!  After we left there, we drove by a nice place in Glendale (which is right next to Burbank).  It's a museum that used to be the house of the guy who founded Glendale.  It looked like a big, fancy tourist spot!  They also have a big garden, tennis courts, a public pool, etc. on the property.  I would like to go there sometime!  Then he drove us by the first house he owned in the L.A. area.  It was modestly sized, but it sounded like a great deal!  The rent sounded ridiculously low for L.A., and it also included water!  He only had to pay for gas and electricity in addition to rent!  The house also had a small backyard, which is all you can ask for in a big city.  He told us there was a powerful earthquake just after he and his girlfriend moved in, but they only lost 2 small things because most of their stuff was still in boxes.  Some other people who suffered a lot more damage came over to the house, and he let them stay there for a while.  Phil has so many cool stories!  I think his old house was the last stop on the second tour of the day.  He took us back soon after that, and I went back to the apartment to grab my laptop.  Then I went to Glassman so I could work there for a few hours.  I had a nice time there.  When it was time to go, I went home and ate a quick dinner.  Just after I got back to the apartment, I got a call from Glassman.  They want me to work at a presentation they're doing over the weekend after Spring Break!  They also want me to be there on Monday morning, but I don't particularly want to miss class.  Still, it'll be a fun weekend!  Then it was time for New Media & Emerging Entertainment.  The first hour or so of class was just watching videos that the professor liked.  Really, that class is mostly watching videos on YouTube or from other sources.  It could easily be an online class!  Later, a guest speaker came and presented to us.  He's had a lot of experience in horror movies.  He's made some of his own, and his strongest skill is special effects.  He showed us a bunch of videos from a YouTube series he's helped to produce.  They showed how to create some of the gory, ridiculous special effects seen in horror movies.  He said he got a deal to make a feature film because of his work on that series!  That's great for him!  It was cool, but I wish he wouldn't have shown so many videos.  I got the point pretty quickly.  He could have wrapped it up a little sooner, but he ended up going late.  After we got out of class, I went back to the apartment.  It was late, so I chilled for a while and then went to bed.  Thursday was okay - there were good and bad things.  I met up with the girl who gives me rides to Karga Seven on Thursdays, but this is the last one - she's dropping her internship at Karga Seven for another one she found!  I'm all on my own from now on!  I'm planning on switching around my hours and days that I work.  Once I got there, I received my transcription assignment.  There were a few other things they thought they would give me, but they had me transcribe instead.  Transcription is not exactly what I would call "fun", but I got to it.  I had no clue how much talking there was in the clip she gave me!  They actually wanted me to transcribe 3 different clips, but I was maybe 2/3 of the way through the first one at the end of the day!  Good luck to them with the rest of that!  I've never had anything that bad before!  The nice thing (as always) was lunch.  Since it was the other girl's last day, some of our supervisors took us out to lunch!  We went to a shopping center close to our building, and they had a bunch of great food options there!  I got some food from an Asian BBQ place.  I've had a lot of exotic BBQ lately!  And it's all been delicious!  After we ate lunch and hung out there, we returned to Karga Seven for the rest of the day.  I continued working on my monotonous, demoralizing transcription assignment.  It would have been nicer if the guys in the video at least weren't so repetitive!  At 5:00, it was time to go.  I asked for next week off because it's Spring Break, and I got the time off!  Woo hoo!  Some people probably had horrible drives home from work today because the President was in town to be on Jimmy Kimmel's show, but our drive home was fine!  He was in a different part of town, so we didn't have to fight through the bad traffic!  Traffic will continue to be bad over the weekend because of the L.A. Marathon on Sunday.  After I got home, I ate dinner and then went to the Line Producing class I'm auditing.  It was a great class!  We learned that the professor in that class is producing a movie that will hopefully start filming in the fall.  I'll make sure to go out and see it!  After I got home from that, I put one more load of laundry in the washing machine.  Then I watched a couple episodes of "The Middle" to prepare myself for the set visit tomorrow!  I signed up to visit the set because my mom is a fan of the show.  I had never seen it before tonight, but it's funny!  I should watch more of it later!  What I didn't know is that Neil Flynn, who plays Mike Heck, is a Bradley alumnus!  We're probably going to get to meet him tomorrow!  That'll be so awesome!  I'll have to get a picture to show my mom!  I'm not working at Karga Seven tomorrow because of that visit.  It should be a "heck" of a fun day!  And I'm going to Universal Studios on the weekend to kick off Spring Break!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Typin' the Time Away

The past few days have been busy, but I'm still on top of everything.  Friday was a very hectic day for sure.  Very late on Thursday night (I was about to head to bed), I got an e-mail from my supervisor at Karga Seven.  He told me he wanted me to go out on a shoot.  We had been discussing possible times for me to go on a shoot, and I told him I could do it Friday because I don't usually have anything in my schedule on Friday nights.  However, he didn't respond to me until Thursday night.  He said he tried to send me a call sheet around 9:00, but it didn't go through at all.  His e-mail was acting up, so he couldn't get it to me.  He told me that call time was at 7:30 in the morning!  Lovely!  I was going to have to wake up very bright and early to make it there by 7:30!  I rose at 5:15 the next morning and got ready to catch the 5:54 bus.  All went well, and I arrived at Hollywood & Vine with plenty of time to relax before I needed to catch the subway.  I stopped at Starbucks and got some caffeine in me.  Later, I went down and got on the subway that dropped me off just after 7:00.  I walked from the subway station to Karga Seven, and then I waited a while.  My supervisor met me shortly after 7:30, and I helped him with a few random tasks.  It was all stuff we needed to do before going on location.  The first few scenes we filmed were actually in the Karga Seven offices, so I hung around there.  A lady had me tape up some receipts, and I was glad to have something to do.  Most of the time, however, I was just sitting and listening.  We were filming an episode of the Discovery Channel show "Cry Wolfe".  It's about a private investigator named Brian Wolfe, and it follows his investigations.  In between takes, I went out and offered everybody water, as they told me to do.  Wolfe wanted a water bottle, so I handed him one.  In a small way, I got to interact with the host!  Cool!  After we filmed a scene or two there, we went out to a pawn shop in a seedy-looking part of L.A.  That's where they needed to film the next scenes.  However, they didn't need me!  They said they only needed a few people for this portion, so they had me sit in one of the vans and watch over some expensive equipment.  I just turned on the SiriusXM satellite radio and chilled!  It seemed like we were there a pretty long time (because I was doing nothing), but eventually we headed out to a person's house.  Once we got there, we sat down for lunch.  While I was still at the Karga Seven offices in the morning, they had me pick out my lunch choice from two different restaurants.  The second restaurant (which was supposedly our backup place) was a Mexican place.  It seemed like everybody was hoping we would have that!  We ended up having it, too!  It was well needed!  After we ate, I ended up sitting around for quite a while.  They were filming some scenes in Wolfe's car, so those of us stuck at the house had little to do.  When they were almost done filming those scenes, they came up to me and told me to get everyone's Starbucks order.  I was going to be part of a big Starbucks run!  I wrote down what everyone wanted, and we had 16 orders in total.  Once I had those all down, I went to Starbucks with another guy.  Somehow, we managed to carefully transport all 16 beverages back to the house!  We gave the available people their orders, but some were still out filming a scene.  Eventually, everybody got what they wanted.  When we were driving back from Starbucks, I noticed that I didn't have my phone in my pocket.  I was almost certain I took it with me, so I was afraid I accidentally left it on the counter when I was helping to carry all the drinks.  We called Starbucks soon after we got back, but they said they hadn't found any cell phones.  One lady said she saw a phone lying on a desk in the house, and she didn't know whose it was.  I was relieved!  I stayed out there for a good period of time while they finished filming the scenes inside the house.  After it was all clear, I went back inside the house and found my phone!  They wanted to wait until it was fairly dark outside to film one final scene, so we waited for a while.  When it got dark, they filmed the scene quickly.  We were pretty much done!  I helped out a bunch with the process of cleaning up and taking stuff back to the vans.  I knew I needed to go back to the office so I could get my computer (which I left there in the morning), but I thought I would take myself back home and treat myself to the Dog Haus.  However, everyone on the crew decided it would be fun to walk to a nearby pub called the Village Tavern.  They had food there, so that's where I had my dinner.  The show's director got a tab going and paid for all of us!  That was really nice of him!  It was well past 8:00 at night when we left, so my supervisor told me he would give me a ride home.  We went back to the office first so I could get my computer, and he also had a few things to do.  After that, we headed home and he dropped me off!  He lives in Burbank, so it wasn't a big deal, but it was still kind of him!  When I got back to the room, one of my roommates had some friends over.  They were about to head out to the hot tub, so I joined them.  We hung out at the hot tub and then swam in the pool to cool off.  I think they went out soon after that, and I just relaxed.  Before I went to bed, I set an alarm for 9:00 because I was getting a package redelivered the next morning.  My mom scheduled it, but she didn't know exactly when it would be.  My alarm went off at 9:00, and I know I got up and turned it off, but I sadly fell asleep again.  I wasn't quite awake enough when I turned it off.  Just after 10:30, I regained consciousness because I heard one of my roommates talking to a lady at the door.  I darted out of my room and greeted her.  He had signed for the package, and she was telling him that I could have given her permission to sign for it and leave it at the clubhouse.  In any case, I had my package!  I was thankful that he was up and about - he was the only other guy in the apartment!  I opened up my package, and it contained everything I was expecting plus some Crispy M&M's and a Gonzo stuffed animal!  Thanks, Mom!  I watched some TV and made lunch soon afterwards.  After lunch, it was time to start on my papers due on Monday.  I intended to start writing them during the week, but other things came up.  I began with my coverage paper that had a 1500 word minimum.  We had to pick something that hasn't been made into a movie and write coverage on it (a synopsis, comments on its story structure and its potential as a movie, etc.).  It could be a book, an article, a video game, or anything else.  I chose Jim Gaffigan's book "Dad is Fat".  It won't be super easy to envision a movie for it, but it's such a funny book!  Jim Gaffigan is my favorite comedian, and his writing is hilarious!  I say it "won't be super easy to envision a movie" because there will be more in-depth projects based on whatever we chose for this one.  I started out writing pretty well, but I got some writer's block near the end.  I just couldn't figure out how to word certain sentences.  By the end of the night, I got through the end of the synopsis section, and I had written almost 1100 words.  That's not a bad day's work!  I also had some dinner at the Dog Haus.  It had been way too long since the last time I had eaten there!  After I finished my work for the night, I relaxed for a little bit.  Since the guy who usually takes me to church was unsure if he could take me this week, I contacted a girl in the UTLA program who goes to a different church.  In the morning, I talked to the guy, but he said he couldn't go.  I met the girl at about 10:30, and we took off to the Los Angeles campus of Saddleback Church!  The main church is the one Rick Warren preaches at, but he was actually in Los Angeles this weekend!  Saddleback is celebrating its 35th anniversary soon, so he's going on a tour of all the locations.  He went up and made a couple announcements after the worship time, and we presented him with his own little Walk of Fame star!  The worship was very loud and high-energy.  I'm used to more calm worship, but it was neat!  After Rick made his announcements, we watched a video of the 9:00 sermon.  We were at the 11:00 service, so they just played a video of the sermon from the first service!  I thought that was kind of funny, but I hope we normally get to hear from a pastor who's actually there.  Ironically, the sermon was about not being too busy.  I was certainly busy this weekend!  After church let out, we went home.  I made some lunch and then got back to my paper.  I had some more writer's block in the comments section, but I pushed through it.  I had some dinner and then finished it off.  After that, I got working on my paper for How Hollywood Works.  That paper had to be 900-1100 words.  It was pretty easy (as all papers in that class are), and I cranked it out in practically no time!  (It took much shorter than my coverage paper did!)  Once I was done with that, I looked over both papers and made some final touches.  I sent them both off just before 11:00.  In that weekend, I had written 2 papers that were almost 2600 words combined!  The total minimum was 2400 words, anyway!  I spent a lot of that weekend typing!  I went to bed soon after that.  On Monday, my Development class started out with discussions about various new movies.  A guest speaker showed up, and we talked to her for a while.  Class let out after she was finished, so I ate lunch and took care of a few other things.  In my How Hollywood Works class, we began with our usual discussions.  We also had a guest speaker in that class, and she showed up earlier than the professor had expected.  She talked to us for a while, and then we continued our weekly discussions.  We ended class by talking about the story behind one of the movie scripts some people read.  It was interesting!  After returning from class, I went on a grocery shopping trip with one of my roommates.  I made myself dinner after we got back, and then I watched "Psycho" for the first time.  It's pretty creepy, and it's an excellent movie!  Since then, I've just been chilling.  On Tuesday, I'll return to the office for a regular day at Karga Seven!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Warming Up

This week has been another fast-paced, exciting week.  On Monday, it was time for classes once again.  In my Development class, we talked about what it takes to make a good script adapted from literature, real life, or anything else you might adapt into a movie.  We discussed the movies "Adaptation" (appropriate, huh?) and "Walk the Line".  We also talked about what makes good script coverage, and we have to submit a coverage assignment next Monday.  We're going to have to visualize a movie adapted from something that's already been published (but not made into a movie).  I've chosen Jim Gaffigan's book "Dad is Fat".  It might be more of a challenge than what other people are doing, but it's such a funny book!  It could potentially be a hilarious movie!  In How Hollywood Works, we started out with a guest speaker.  Usually they come about an hour into the class, but she was there right at the beginning!  She was really great, too!  After she left, we did our usual weekly discussions.  We ended the class by reviewing techniques and principles for a good pitch.  Then a guy from one of the groups did his group's pitch.  It was interesting because the other guy playing the Hollywood executive was really harsh on him!  The other 3 groups (mine included) will do their pitches next week.  After classes were out, I headed back to the apartment to eat dinner and relax.  I have 2 papers due next Monday (the coverage assignment and a midterm paper for How Hollywood Works), but I wanted to take it easy.  I was disappointed because I thought I was going to get to attend a Wheel of Fortune audition session.  A girl from the UTLA program sent me some information and invited me, but we all decided later that it just wasn't practical.  If it weren't in a casino that was over an hour and a half away, it would have been possible!  I was also sad to find out that they were in San Diego on Saturday!  If we would have known about that one, we definitely could have gone!  I was feeling down for that reason and because Brent Getz's death began to sink in, so I cheered myself up by watching "The Naked Gun 2 1/2:  The Smell of Fear".  You can't watch a movie by the directors of "Airplane!" without laughing!  I had never seen that one before, and I saw that Netflix recently got "The Naked Gun 33 1/3:  The Final Insult".  One of the UTLA guys said it was actually his favorite one, so I'm looking forward to watching it!  The girls who I was going to attend the audition with came over to the apartment, and we chatted for a while.  One of them loves Wheel of Fortune, and she's obsessed with Pat Sajak!  She thought he was going to be at the auditions, and that was actually one of the biggest reasons she wanted to go!  Once they had left, it was pretty late.  I got ready for bed after that and retired for the night.  On Tuesday, I got myself over to Karga Seven.  I think I spent the whole day doing character bios, but I worked in postproduction the whole time in any case.  On the way home, I nearly missed my bus because it was about 2 minutes early!  I got there just in time!  You really are rolling the dice whenever you take L.A. public transportation!  After I got home, I made some dinner and then eventually got around to homework.  After a little homework, I just hung out with my roommates.  Wednesday was another lovely day at Glassman Media!  I got myself there in the morning and then spent all day doing fun stuff!  I still don't know if I should share anything online, so I'll keep my lips sealed for now.  I might consider asking if there's anything I can tell because I really want to share it!  When my day there was over, I came back to the apartment and relaxed for a bit.  Normally I would have eaten a quick dinner and run off to my New Media & Emerging Entertainment class, but this week was special!  Instead of our regular class, we had a tour at Starburns Industries!  I carpooled with a roommate and a friend and went over there.  It was a neat tour!  Starburns Industries works in postproduction for traditional and stop-motion animation projects.  I think my professor for that class founded it or something like that!  They're working on a feature-length stop-motion movie right now, so we got to watch some of it and see where/how they made it!  We also got to see a quick promo they made for a TV channel!  Our tour was focused on stop-motion, but they do about half of that and half traditional animation.  Their biggest well-known project is the Adult Swim series "Rick and Morty".  They also made the "Community" Christmas Special, which was stop-motion.  One of the best parts about it was the Texas-sized pizza they ordered for us!  The professor said he always likes to treat the UT students with a Texas-sized pizza, but the Bradley kids joined in!  It was 36 inches!  I wish I could have taken a picture of it, but I left my cell phone at the apartment (not that it really mattered - they confiscated our cell phones anyway).  After that tour was over, I did some homework and then went to the hot tub with my roommates.  We hung out there for a while and then swam in the pool to cool off.  It was pretty much time to get ready for bed after that.  Thursday was kind of an interesting day.  The girl who gives me rides to Karga Seven on Thursdays had to get her car door handle fixed.  We left at our normal time in the morning and went to a car repair place.  When she called them beforehand, they said the repair wouldn't take long.  When they took a look at it, however, they said it would take 1 1/2 to 2 hours to fix!  She wanted to stay there until it was done, but I wanted to find a way to get to work.  I looked up a public transportation route, and she lent me her TAP card (what you use on the buses and subways) because I didn't have either of mine (yes, I have two of them)!  I had no idea where I was, so I took off in one direction to try to find the bus stop.  It said the total walk (including the walk from the subway station to the Karga Seven building) was 0.83 miles, so I figured the bus stop must have been fairly close.  After I walked a long way in that direction, I looked it up on Mapquest and turned around.  As I was passing by the car repair place again, I saw that they were pretty much done fixing her car!  Thankfully, their second time estimate was off!  They charged her $90, but it doesn't really matter to her - it's on Paramount's dime!  Some guy at Paramount was the one who accidentally messed it up!  We got to work a little late, but she informed our supervisor in advance.  I spent the day making more character bios and doing other postproduction stuff.  Then I ate dinner, chilled, and did some more homework.  I named this post "Warming Up" because it's finally starting to feel like southern California again!  Monday was cold and rainy (the same as the weekend), but it's been sunny and progressively warmer the past couple days!  Friday will be even better, and I can't wait to enjoy some of the beautiful weather!

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Good News and the Bad News

The last several days have brought a roller coaster of highs and lows.  On Thursday, I had to get myself to Karga Seven.  Normally I get rides on Thursdays, but the girl who gives me a ride was going to a special event for the first half of the day.  After I got there, I went up to my usual area of postproduction.  I forget exactly how it went, but I ended up doing character bios for most of the day.  I had to reformat some old ones, and then I made some new ones.  I did something else at the very beginning, but it wasn't for very long.  The good news came in the afternoon shortly after lunch.  I got a call from my other internship, and they made me a really fantastic offer!  I can't say much more, but I'm excited!  When the day was done, I got a ride back home because the girl got back from her event in the afternoon.  After I ate some dinner, I went on over to the Line Production class.  It was pretty cool, as always.  We watched a scene from the movie "Kingsman:  The Secret Service", and it was great!  I've heard that movie is pretty good, so I might go see it soon!  When I got back from that class, I did a few quick things and then watched the movie "Adaptation".  It was one of the movies we had to watch for my Development class this week, and it was deep!  There were elements of comedy and drama, and the plot is complex.  It definitely made me think, and I'd probably figure out more if I watched it again!  In any case, Nicolas Cage plays twins in the movie - that in itself is wonderful!  I went to bed soon after I finished it.  On Friday, I got myself out to Karga Seven again.  I've always had to do that on Fridays, so that's nothing new.  I started out doing more character bios, but I ended up doing transcription for most of my time there.  Transcribing can be an arduous process!  I was relieved when 2:00 came around!  After I finished things up there, I caught the subway back to Hollywood & Vine.  Since I had some time between my arrival and the next bus headed my way, I stopped at Starbucks.  I felt like getting something, so I tried a chocolate chip cookie.  I was not impressed - I'd think Starbucks would have decent munchies!  I still made sure to walk to the bus stop plenty early, and it wasn't a horrible mess this time!  The bus was 4 or 5 minutes late, but I'm just grateful that it showed up!  Soon after I got back to the apartment, I called my mom to share my good news.  We talked about that and other fun stuff for a while, but then she had to deliver some crushing news.  My good friend, Brent Getz, passed away late last week.  I knew Brent because one of my aunts knew him in high school.  They became Facebook friends, and I enjoyed reading their banter about cats vs. dogs and other topics!  My other aunt became friends with him, and then I joined in on the party!  Brent, my aunts, and I formed a "Facebook Foursome" that was so much fun!  I actually got the chance to meet him in person when we invited him to a cookout at one of my aunts' houses.  He was great to talk to and hang out with in person!  He was an all-around wonderful guy, and his sudden passing was devastating.  After I finished talking to my mom, I called my aunt and then just lazed around for a while.  I had to sit down and think about what I just learned.  However, it soon became time to get some Little Caesar's bacon-wrapped crust pizzas!  I really looked forward to trying it out, and I actually organized a little "party" in my apartment for other people who wanted some!  It was a fun time, and it was a nice way to honor Brent.  He LOVED bacon, and I know he would have been all over that pizza!  It's a deep-dish pizza with bacon-wrapped crust and topped with bacon and pepperoni, and it's delicious!  After all the guests left, I got back to my usual activity.  I watched some TV and used my computer.  On Facebook, there was definitely a lot of mourning going on!  All of us who were friends with Brent posted about our memories of him.  We all supported each other, and we agreed that his presence will be missed.  My roommates got back from their night out, and then I went to bed.  Saturday was a nice day of sleeping in.  After I got up, I went to IHOP with my roommates and another friend.  I had never been to IHOP before, and my first trip was on National Pancake Day!  Sadly, the chain is doing their special National Pancake Day event on Tuesday, but the holiday is the same regardless!  I got a Pick-a-Pancake combo with the Chocolate Chocolate Chip pancakes (yes, there are 2 "chocolate's" in the name)!  They were tasty!  After we got home from that, I chilled for a while.  In the afternoon, I got around to writing most of my paper for How Hollywood Works.  Then I went to Target with one of my roommates.  I bought more than I had originally expected, but I was proud of myself for remembering a ton of things I needed!  I hadn't really shopped for myself before this semester!  I ate a quick dinner after I got back, and then I went down to the hot tub.  It was partly to test out the flip-flops I bought at Target, but hot tub trips are always fun!  I had originally planned to watch another movie on Saturday night, but it was too late to watch it once I got back.  I did, however, finish that paper!  Not long after I got that done, one roommate left for another night out with friends.  I got in bed after that.  On Sunday, I got up when I normally do and had some of the continental breakfast.  When I was waiting for my friend to pick me up and give me a ride to church, I got a text from him saying that he wouldn't be able to make it.  I walked back to my apartment, watched an East White Oak sermon online, and listened to some worship songs.  After my "mini church service", I made lunch.  I knew that I would be meeting with a group to prepare for a presentation on Monday, but I didn't know exactly when it would be.  When we decided on a time in the evening, I watched my other movie.  It was "Walk the Line".  It's undoubtedly a high-quality film, but I'm not too crazy about the ending.  It's based on real life, and Johnny Cash apparently had a very happy marriage to June Carter, so I guess I shouldn't judge.  After I watched the movie and ate dinner, I went over to the meeting.  It didn't last too long!  It sounds like we know what we want to do for the presentation!  Following the meeting, I did a random mix of important and semi-important things.  Tomorrow will start off another week with some classes.  Below is a picture taken at the cookout where I met Brent Getz.  This post is dedicated in his memory.