Thursday, May 5, 2016

extra extra

okay, so we all know that i'm a big ol' lifelong fan of "general hospital."  this isn't news.  so i'm sure it's no surprise that i follow a bunch of the cast on twitter, right?  so anyway, a couple of weeks ago i saw this tweet:

i immediately forwarded the tweet to the old lady (who was still at coachella at the time, mind you) and she was like "yeah, sure, let's go."  so i sent our names, plus the bean's to the email listed and was surprised to receive a response within minutes.  turns out that the only requirement was that everyone be over 18, and the filming was happening at night.  like super late, with a call time of 11pm.  yikes.  and with the hub heading out on a pre-planned boys' weekend away, i was stuck.

after a few convoluted texts back and forth (on my part, of course), lilcee came to my rescue.  she offered to take the bean overnight, and especially because it had been ages and ages since our girls had spent any time together, i knew it would probably be quite a flurry of happy activity over there.  lilcee always takes great care of her, and she loves hanging out with them.  so i totally owe her big

the old lady and i tried our best to take a nap during the day in hopes of being able to stay up that night.  too bad we're both not very good nappers, because i managed to get maybe an hour or so in, while she got even less.  oh, well.  we dropped off the bean at lilcee's and headed out to the grove around 8:00.  with not much traffic to contend with, we were there in no time.

we usually like to eat over on the farmers market side, but since it was so late all of the stalls were either closed or cleaning up...even starbucks.  ack!  we ended up heading over to the other side of the grove and grabbed a table at umami burger, where we both ordered the "manly" burger and shared a side of truffle cheese fries.

we killed the rest of the time walking around, peeking in at the shops, and eventually remembering that there was a starbucks cafe at the barnes & noble.  thank goodness.  with coffee in hand, we were finally properly fueled for the night.  except that when we went to use the restroom before checking in, we found that it was roped off.  d-oh.  back to barnes & noble we went, just before they closed for the night.  and then we went out in search of where to meet up with the casting people, asking a few folks who were scurrying around with walkie talkies and clipboards and things, and were escorted to the valet parking lot along with a bunch of other extras.

after filling out the required waiver, we grabbed a chair and sat down.  and waited.  and waited, and waited, and waited some more.

one of the PAs got up to announce that they were going to raffle off a bunch of $100 gift cards to the grove, and because we couldn't hear too well i decided to get up and stand a little closer just in case we happened to get called.  we didn't, of course, but another PA was looking for a handful of women who were all checked in and ready to work.  i raised my hand and was chosen, so i motioned for the old lady to join me and we started following the PA to points unknown.

except that she noticed that the old lady wasn't one of the people she'd chosen.  damn.  so much for being slick.  she asked her to rejoin the group in the parking garage, and with a super annoyed look at me, she turned around and did as she was asked.  i felt bad, but i figured we wouldn't be separated for long.

i ended up being used in a scene where the lead actress (not anyone i'd ever heard of, but whatever) was heading into the restroom - the very one that had been roped off when we tried to use it earlier.

the girl i was with and i didn't receive a whole lot of direction, so the first take wasn't exactly how they'd envisioned it.  once we knew what the assistant director wanted us to do, we did two more takes and then we were good.  and it wasn't anything difficult at all...just head into there like any other time, don't look at the camera, walk into a stall and shut the door.  so this was my view for a lot of the time:

i hope i don't end up on the cutting room floor.  i would totally crack up at the sight of me trudging into the restroom during the movie, but whatever.  i'd be in a movie!  whee!  and then after those three takes, we were released and headed back to the garage where the old lady seemed relatively happy to have me back.  sorta.  heh.  and then after a bit more waiting, we were all called up to start filming a concert scene, which is what we'd been told we'd be doing anyway.

there were promotional posters for "the concert" posted everywhere.

and as we stood there, we felt as though we were being watched.  look at the creepy ass mannequins on the second floor of the athleta store:

it was pretty cold out there, and there were some long waits in between takes.  but look - if you look closely behind me on the right side of the photo, you can see maurice benard, aka "sonny" on GH:

and then after a couple of takes he noticed people waving at him and decided to come over and say hello.  he was really friendly and patiently posed for photos with everyone who wanted them...including me.  duh.

a little more time passed and then all of a sudden it was 3am.  the old lady was so over it, as was i, so we were a little extra salty when the director appeared onstage and said "okay, let's break for lunch, see you in an hour!"  WUT.

we had less than zero interest in eating anything, but everyone else sure swarmed that food table like they hadn't eaten in days.

at least they brought in the nicer porta potties, although we didn't use any of them.

and we found sets near one of the heaters, which was nice.

break actually ended about half an hour later, so we were happy to get back to our spots and hopefully finish up the job.  we noticed that about half of the extras seemed to have left, which i thought was kind of shitty, but whatever.  we stayed there and followed instructions for another hour and a half, and then as the first signs of daylight appeared the director jumped up onstage again and thanked everyone for coming.  he asked if there were about 20 people who were willing to stay for another 45 minutes, and released the rest of us.  and we were outta there.

we stopped for a bathroom break before leaving, and i noticed that they'd cleaned up all of their equipment and props pretty quickly.


the old lady snapped this as we headed home.  the freeways were empty and the sun was getting ready to join the party.  it was close to 6am when we got home, and we were exhausted.  i don't think either of us had ever been up all night long like that before, and i don't know when we'll do it again.  i was seriously a zombie the next day.  but it was a fun experience, and now i guess we'll have to wait and see if i actually end up in the movie.  it'll be a long wait till 2017!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

you sold a ton of cookies, here's a box of crappy trinkets!

so in addition to the prizes we've given our girls for hitting their goals during cookie season, we received a huge shipment of prizes from girl scouts USA last week to distribute.  since the cookie chair lives just down the street from me, i got to be the one to pick them up to sort and bag.  luckily, the old lady is always willing to help, especially when it's something fun like this.

we spread everything out into piles to make it easier.  look at all this crap:

because the bean was one of our girls who hit the 500 box mark, she got pretty much one of everything that we received.  the 50+ prize was this milk bottle-shaped chalkboard decal.

if they sold at least 90 boxes, the prize was this little ceramic cow bank:

for 130+, they received a water bottle.

160+ boxes earned this t-shirt.  like last year, the shirts ran really small and my guess is that a lot of our girls won't get to wear this thing but maybe once or twice.  get it together, GSUSA.

the bean's favorite was the 200+ prize, the daisybelle cow plush.  this kid lives for stuffed animals.

a journal and matching pen was the 250+ prize.  ho hum.

325+ boxes got you this apron.  it's cute, and maybe we'll actually use it.  we'll see.

this lunch tote is actually pretty cool.  it's a good size, insulated and has backpack-style straps.  i might have to borrow it every now and then.  heh.  oh, and you had to sell 400+ boxes for it.

the gift of caring program is where the girls ask for donations that go towards buying boxes of cookies for local charities and the military.  the bean managed to squeeze in at least 30 of these, which earned her a necklace and a charm bracelet.  too bad she isn't into jewelry.  like, at all.  i'll probably rock these during meetings or something.

we have five girls who were able to hit the 500-box mark.  for their hard work, we're going to attend some giant party way out in agoura freaking hills on saturday that i'm already imagining will be the biggest cluster ever.  there are 1,700 girls throughout GSGLA who reached this goal, and with that many girls plus one parent each...well, let's just say i'm not excited.

and then next weekend we're taking our 500 club girls to a kids' spa.  it's the final prize for this year's cookie season, and then we're finally done with all things girl scout cookie for 2016.  phew.  i don't want to look at another box of those damn things for a loooooooooong time.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

foxy, french, ferguson, fun

warning:  this is going to be a lengthy post, because - well, you'll see.  and i want to remember every detail of this day forEVAH, because it was totally a bucket list item!  

okay, so despite the producers' repeated reminders that they couldn't guarantee that we'd get to tape an episode of "celebrity name game," we did. we totally squealed and jumped up and down and freaked the eff out when we got the email, and then immediately switched gears to "what will we wear??"  heh, of course.  the crazy call time of 6am was a little cringeworthy, especially since we needed to be ready to walk onto a stage the moment we arrived.  hair and makeup is not my strong suit, and when i'm half asleep?  fuhgeddaboutit.

because my body is somewhat used to getting up at ungodly hours for races and things, the wake up call ended up not being too brutal. plus, since i'd gotten lashes done again (yay!) and my hair was up in pin curls from a perfectly timed hair appointment, half my work was already pretty much done. and so i managed to get myself dressed and ready with time to spare. 

this, of course, meant a stop at starbucks first - thank god for their stupid early hours. 

we pulled up to the studio gate about 25 minutes before we were actually due to check in. 

after making our way through the maze of studio buildings, we found the garage we'd been instructed to park in. we sat there for a while, chatting nervously and wondering how the day would go. and then when it was time to go in, we left our phones behind as we'd been instructed, grabbed our stuff and headed out.  this, of course, means that there aren't many pictures in this post.  oh, well.  we did manage to remember to grab one "before" selfie, though:

except that there was no one to meet us, as we'd been told. we stood there and smiled awkwardly at passers-by who eyed us as they shuffled off to work, and then finally my co-leader decided to go back upstairs to call and make sure we hadn't screwed anything up. 

of course, while she was up there one of the PAs finally showed up to escort us to where we needed to go. another team of contestants had arrived by then too, and we just kind of smiled at each other and waited for further instructions. 

the studio building we entered looked old and crusty, and i wondered what other shows had been filmed in it over the years. we stepped into an elevator the took us a few floors below ground, and then the waiting began. 

first order of business: wardrobe. the garment bag full of my alternate outfit options went on a rack marked with our names, and then we sat down to wait our turn. i noticed a lady standing off to the side who was perfectly put together and just oozed confidence, and it wasn't hard to figure out who was in charge. and then she glanced in our direction and waved a hand around towards us, murmuring to her assistant. as she passed us, she turned and said "i don't even need to look at what else you two brought. you're PERFECT." score for us! i'm pretty sure we beamed with pride as everyone else in the room looked over at us before following her into the wardrobe area. 

having received our stamp of approval, the PAs had us change into the comfy clothes we'd brought so that our on-air ensembles could be steamed and freshened up. we were offered breakfast burritos and beverages and then led into a curtained-off room next to where hair and makeup was set up. our pictures were taped to a pole outside, and inside there was a table, several chairs and a couple of board games. that was it. no books or magazines were allowed, and it was up to us to figure out how to keep ourselves occupied until the next thing. 

but because it's us, it wasn't hard to stay entertained. we've been known to kill hours just sitting and chatting, and not having my phone wasn't as difficult as i'd expected. i mean, you know...that thing is like a third arm for me. i guess the anticipation and anxiety over what would happen next helped a lot to keep me distracted, and i didn't even miss it. 

we were brought into another room just down the hall with a bunch of other contestants, where the producers did a silly little dance and introduced themselves. it was nice to meet the ones we'd been talking to over the last couple of weeks, and they were super friendly. we went over all of the rules of the game and what to expect for each round, and there was one guy sitting in the back who kept asking the dumbest, most random questions ever. is it really bad that my mind immediately went to "please let them be our opponents!"?? because it did. i'm not even sorry. 

after every rule had been explained and every question had been answered, they broke us up into several groups to do a practice game. wanna guess who we got paired up with? muahahahahaha. 

we went over where we would be sitting, what order we'd be playing the rounds in, where to stand, what to expect from craig ferguson (the host of the show). there was a lot of squealing, jumping up and down, jazz hands, spirit fingers - pretty much everything you'd expect from a game show. it was so much fun, and i loved it.  we completely wiped the floor with that other team, by the way. and we were PUMPED.

then back to our little corner we went, and waited a while longer until they finally came back for us to go through some  touchup on our hair and makeup. i'm just gonna say it - i was pretty proud of my skillz when all she had to do was refresh a bit of eyeliner and blush, add a little under eye concealer and finish off with some lip gloss. as for hair, a few pieces were pinned away from my face and a couple of strands were touched up with the iron and i was good to go.  we were sent back to wardrobe to get our show outfits back on, and then a bunch of us were led up to the studio to get a feel for what it was like and see where we'd be taping.  i was a little startled to see that one of the PAs was putting on a parka, gloves and a beanie.  they'd warned us that it was going to be cold up there, but i wasn't really prepared for how freaking frigid it really was when we got there.  it must have been 40 degrees in there, and my teeth were chattering and i couldn't feel my fingers and toes.  holy crap.  anyway, we watched a set of contestants go through a mock game, and i started getting really excited.

we were led back downstairs to change back into our comfy clothes (i guess maybe they wanted to see our show outfits onstage with the lights and everything?), and then the real waiting started.  it was weird - we'd been told that we were scheduled to be on the first episode of the day, but we sat around for a good long time with no one coming in to give us any updates.  

it turns out that our opponents had been booted from the show, because random questions dude got busted with his cell phone.  even after repeated reminders and requests to make sure that phones were left in the car, he still thought it was a good idea to bring that shit.  and it cost him his chance to be on the show.  it was pretty annoying, because since we were supposed to be first to tape we would've been outta there a lot earlier than we'd anticipated.  and this meant that we were going to be paired with a whole different team, so it wasn't going to be as easy breezy as we'd convinced ourselves it'd be.  damn.

after awhile, we were pulled into the room down the hall again to do another mock game with the new team we were going to be playing against.  and this time, it was clear that we'd met our match.  they were good, and our confidence deflated just a little bit.  it wasn't too long after that we found ourselves heading back to wardrobe, touching up hair and makeup again, and then going upstairs to the studio again.  this time, we were the ones playing a round of the game on the front of a live audience.  it was all very overwhelming and daunting and scary as hell, and all i could do was hope and pray that i'd be able to remember everything i needed to on top of being perky and smiling and jumpy and peppy, plus be able to actually play the damn game.  

we went downstairs yet again, but our wait wasn't too long before we followed yet another PA back upstairs into the freezing studio.  this time we were led into a tented area just off to the side of the studio audience, where we were wired up with a microphone and offered bottled water (with a straw, meant to be sipped while leaning forward just a bit in case of spillage).  we were both too nervous to do anything but crack jokes and admire our name tags (which we didn't get to keep).  and was show time.  ACK.

we took our places on the couch as we'd been instructed, and then craig ferguson came out and the game began.  the show aired yesterday (which is why i'm finally able to share this), so i have a bunch of screen grabs i can share since you likely didn't see the show.

they did a quick introduction of all four of us before turning to the other team, who jumped up and did a little silly banter with craig.  there was a lot of clapping and "woohoo!!"ing, like all good game show contestants should do.

this was our opposing team.  they were really nice, but like i said...definitely a better match for us than the other team.  and keri reminded me so much of molly shannon!  totally her twin, right?

they played their first round with their celebrity...rick fox, former laker and current actor.  you may remember me spotting him at the laker game i posted about last week.  and then it was our turn to jump up off of the couch and chat a little with our host.

the way we'd rehearsed it, i was to answer when craig asked us how we knew each other.  too bad i got completely tongue-tied and totally mangled my words.  this was the one moment i was most dreading seeing on air.  ugh.

i finally managed to get it out, explaining that we're girl scout troop leaders.  look, GSUSA, we taught craig ferguson the girl scout sign!

our celebrity was the very dreamy and very french gilles marini.  you might remember him from "dancing with the stars," "switched at birth" (which the old lady and i watch religiously), or perhaps from the first "sex and the city" movie.  anyway, he came out and gave hello hugs to all three of us.

and look...he flashed that GS sign too!

the first round had our celebrity in the middle, acting as the clue giver for both of us.  this was my first one:

i can't stop laughing at this. derpy derp derp.

my partner's first one was much sexier.

we managed to get four correct answers, giving us:

as we went to commercial break, gilles high-fived us both.

between rounds, we got makeup and hair touchups as needed, along with offers of that bottled water.  our producer came out to give us a pep talk and tell us we were doing a great job, with reminders to stay animated while still having fun.  one thing i'd been concerned about was how sweaty i get - especially when i'm nervous or excited or just plain scared out of my mind.  i suppose this is something they've dealt with before, and maybe that's part of the reason it's like the frozen freaking tundra in there.  

round two saw us swapping celebs, which put me on the couch directly next to mr. foxy himself.  i was definitely not complaining.

oh look, jazz hands!

and then even more excitement when craig asked who the clue giver was going to be.

we got first pick of the categories:

while my partner blurted out "STRIPES!" i caught onto the clue rick was giving me and shouted out "no!  gray or grey!"

oh, man.  what the hell was i thinking during this blur of a half hour??

now, i have the entire show saved on my DVR.  but i have no idea how i'd transfer it so that i can share it here for all the world to see.  luckily, the show decided to post a quick clip on youtube and share it on twitter.  

check it out:

at the end of that round, we were doing pretty well...and winning.

and then it was time for craig to be the clue giver.  dun dun dunnnnnn.  i got to go first.

and then my co-leader stepped up and listened to craig's clue.  the category was "brothers and sisters," and he started it off with " a shit band."  and somehow, she managed to guess:  the jonas brothers.  womp womp.

here i was telling him "that's terrible!!" and he shrugged his shoulders and said "what, like it's not true?"  awwww.  sorry, joe/nick/kevin.  i tried.

the goal during round 3 was to get to $3,000 before the other team in order to get to the final round and play for the grand prize of $20K.  we were feeling pretty good right about here.

but then it all went to shit.  i missed my next two answers - i'd gotten all discombobulated and forgot the category. if i'd kept it in mind while craig was giving his clues and hit that buzzer as soon as i knew the answer like i should have, we would have advanced.  not to mention, the value of each answer went up with each turn.  and so, instead...

we CHOKED.  and as craig gave the clues for the last question, i knew we were sunk.  i know my co-leader, and i know she has no idea who the coen brothers are.  

but the other team did, and so that was that.  game over.  and our only consolation prizes were goodbye hugs from our hunky celebs.  gilles turned to me with a sorrowful face and with that fabulous french accent said "i'm so sorry, baby" and gave me a kiss on the cheek.  SWOON.

as soon as i got my hug from rick, a PA we hadn't seen before came up and escorted us towards a different tent way in the back of the studio.  inside were our bags, tagged with our names on them, and our sad little water bottles with our initials written on the caps.

the PA had left us to change out of our show outfits, which also gave us just enough time to listen to our opponents play their final round.  i couldn't really make out what was being said, but i knew that every DING! meant that they were powering through the answers.  i counted each one, and just before we left that tent we heard it go off a tenth time, which meant that they'd won the $20K.  and we decided that although we were pretty bitter about not having gotten that far, we'd really liked keri and melissa and dug RULL DEEP to find happiness for their win.

we asked the PA if there was a restroom we could use, but she wasn't particularly helpful.  and she showed us right out the side door and dumped us out of that studio very unceremoniously, right next to the trash cans.  talk about kicking us while we were down, man.  once we were officially losers, that's exactly how they treated us.   i get it, i suppose, but damn.  that was the shit icing on top of our loser cake.

we consoled ourselves a little with lunch at porto's. it helped, but just a tiny bit.

when i checked my twitter feed, i noticed that rick had tweeted about the show.  i decided to respond, and was rewarded a few minutes later when i saw that he'd "liked" my post.  yay!

back at home, i finally drank that damn bottle of water.

and then after the show aired yesterday, good ol' foxy liked a few more tweets i posted about it.

so by now, my co-leader and i have had several weeks to get over the humiliating loss.  and we've been at that point where we can laugh about it for a while now.  but i gotta say, watching the show on tv brought back ALL THE FEELINGS.  not to mention, the fire is lit under both of our asses to find another game show and hopefully get a little redemption.  but you know what - we had such a great time through the whole process: trying out (not just once but twice!), the anxiety of waiting for that email, shopping for the perfect outfits (plus several options), hanging out at the studio, meeting our celebrities, playing the game.  it was a blast from beginning to end, and let me tell you...i won't ever be that person who watches a game show and says "oh, that's super easy, i would TOTALLY win at that!"  because while you can be really good at the game itself, there is so much going on during that taping, and it can be a real mind fuck if you aren't prepared for it.  

i sure hope we can find something else to play.  got any ideas?  we're open!
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