Visiting the 'ER'
I was in an emergency room last Tuesday, and I actually ended up on the operating table. Yep. I kid you not, and it was all because of the Phil Spector trial. Yep. The reason I was there was because of someone I met early on at the trial, and because of them I was on the operating table on Tuesday. Thankfully, I'm okay, but maybe that's because it was County General's ER, which is located on the Warner Brother's lot in Burbank. Maybe I should back up and start from the beginning.
You may remember me talking about two trial watchers I met early in June, Margaret and her son David. We met in the hallway outside 106, and we had lunch together several times, all of us in deep conversation discussing the merits of the case and the testimony of the day. Margaret and I have a lot in common. We both sew, adore kitties and love watching trials. Since Margaret didn't want to take the Metro Gold Line train by herself, her son David came with her to court several times in June and July. David was the one who overheard "W" say "You snooze, you lose," when she sat down beside him at the morning break on June 11th, trying to take an accredited reporter's seat, who had left to stretch their legs and/or call in to their office. (You can find that story in this entry, here.)
When we first had lunch, Margaret had mentioned that David was on "hiatus," and that's why he could come to court with her. When he had to go back to work, he emailed me through the blog, and we kept in touch. I remember him telling me that he worked on a TV show, but I couldn't remember which one. As we kept in touch, I found out that he worked on the NBC show ER, but I didn't know what his job/title was. When the trial was all over, he invited me to have lunch with him and Margaret, to catch up on what was happening and we worked out a day and time. It was then that I found out that lunch would be on the Warner Brothers lot. We had a last minute change of plans when the October 23rd hearing was moved to the 22nd, but fortunately that worked out fine.
David set a time for 1:00 pm, and told me at which street and gate a drive on pass would be waiting for me. When the guard asked to see my driver's license to verify that I was Betsy Ross, I had to say, "Because you need to make sure I'm the real one, correct?" The guard had given me a map with a red marker showing me the route to get to my assigned parking space. I'm sure I would have been lost without it. When I passed through the security gate, David was right there driving one of the four-seater golf carts everyone uses to get around the lot and Margret was with him. I show him my pass with the parking lot space assigned to me, and off we go, David leading the way. It's a good thing he did because even with the map, I realized I would have been totally lost. Once we get my car settled in, I got on board the golf cart, and away we went.
As we exchanged our hellos, I said to David, "I know you work on the show, but I don't know what it is you do." David tells me he's an associate producer, and he's worked on ER for five years. It's then that I tell him that ER is one of my most favorite shows, I've watched it ever since it debuted, and I never miss an episode. David replied, "That's great! Sometimes, when friends and relatives come in from out of state, they like to visit the lot but they aren't necessarily fans of the show. So you really know the story lines, and characters." "Oh yes, I really love the show," I replied. " I was watching the last episode and I was in a panic when at the end of the episode, they panned in on Abby really looking at that bottle of wine. I was, 'Oh no Abby! Don't drink it!' So, please don't tell me what happens!" David smiled and said, "Oh I won't!" On our way to the cafeteria, David points out various ER 'points of interest' sets. I get to see the "L" overhead train tracks, the set that is across the street, (for some reason the name of that particular set escapes me; I'm drawing a blank on that right now) and we stop at the exterior set for when ambulances are bringing in new patients. It was quite surreal for me to be walking around on the set of a show that I've watched and loved for over ten years. As you might have guessed, everything appears bigger on TV.
We then stop off at one of the sound stages where they are filming, and outside, David introduces me and his mother to John Stamos. He's very gracious, and greets each of us with a hug and a cheek to cheek kiss. Back on the cart, we weave through a maze of streets to get as near as we can to "Ashely Blvd." where the cafeteria and commissary are. We pass on the fine dining in the commissary, and head into the cafeteria. This is better than some restaurants; Warner Brothers studio, feeds their employees well. Inside, it's almost like what you might find in an upscale mall, with several different types of food/sections. There's Poquito Mas, a Pasta & Soup section (I can't remember what it's called), a grill, an exceptional salad bar, a desert section, and a drinks section. I head directly to the grill to get a burger sans bun with onion on romaine lettuce. I add a side salad of romaine from the salad bar, grab a vitamin water, and David pays for lunch for all of us at the cashier. (Thank you, David!) We find a table in the quietest area, and settle in to eat lunch. I give David and Margaret a detailed run down on everything that happened at the trial (and behind the scenes) from the middle of August until Judge Fidler ruled a mistrial on September 26th.
After lunch, we head off to meet David's brother Kevin, who is working on a new TV show. Many times at lunch during the trial, David and Margaret would jokingly call Kevin "the good son." The show Kevin is working on is called Moonlight. Kevin introduces his mother and myself to several of his coworkers, and shows us all the sets on the show. I'm quite fascinated by the two story high, back drop black curtains that surround the main set. On the other side of them is a continuous, full blown city skyline. It for when they are filming inside the set, it appears as if the actors are in a building up high, and you can see the skyline of the other buildings through the "windows" of the set. Margaret and are are totally blown away at the artistic design of the sets on Moonlight, and when we drop by one location, cast and crew are in deep conversation on one set, so we don't get to see that one up close. Kevin points out to us the gentleman who designed all the marvelous sets.
In the house/apartment of the female lead, I notice that there are quite a few Asian touches scattered throughout the set. I'm a big fan of anything Asian, ~my own home is entirely decorated in an Asian theme~ and I closely inspect two painted glass framed images of a royal looking man and woman hanging on the wall of living room set. Margaret makes the observation that it all looks like it could be easily lived in. Everything is quite "authentic" looking. That you could just walk onto the set, plop yourself down on a sofa, and think you were home. Several sets not in use had linen coverings with labels to note which piece of furniture they were for. I ask David if they were to keep people off of the furniture, and he said that the covers were basically just to keep everything clean, because people come through these sets all the time, and this just makes it easier.
After getting to see all the sets for this show, we head on over to where they are currently filming on ER. On the drive over, David mentions several films that he's worked on, and that he worked with O.J. Simpson on his last film, Navy Seals. So we talk about OJ a bit and his latest legal trouble. "He was the nicest guy," David said. "There was a time when my mom and dad were at this film industry event with me, and O.J. was in deep conversation with my dad about sports. This happened one month before Ron and Nicole were murdered." How forkin' spooky is that?
When we reach the sound stage we make doubly sure out phones are turned off because they are filming. The actors are set up in the area where there are several beds for patients. We are watching from a part of the set not being used, which is the waiting area. There are a ton of people walking around behind the scenes, and I recognize a few of the favorite characters who have been with the show for a long time like John and Chuny, and a recent actor J.P. Manoux, who plays the part of Dr. Hauschka, Neela's overbearing taskmaster.
Every bed is filled with someone in it, wearing a hospital gown, and John Stamos (Dr. Gates), Linda Cardenllini (RN Sam) and Chuny are working on a patient. The director is off in another part of the set that I can't directly see, and he's shouting out stage directors to Sam. There is a goof and they have to shoot it over again. David had asked someone earlier to bring him his camera out from his desk area, and John Stamos graciously gets his picture taken with all of us. David then leads us on a trip to other ER sets. We pass by small rooms that look like they are small rooms with the remains of treating a patient already on the floor, complete with fake blood. We get to another area, and David takes us to their set for the second floor, and OR1. Operating 1. And that's how I ended up on a real operating table with real equipment in there. David took my picture from the observation booth. I had the best time, and I hope we get together again soon. David said that if the writer's strike happens, he may be showing up at some of the Spector pretrial hearings until it is resolved.
Rachelle mass emails, again.
Last week I got a few emails at my blog from different people telling me that they received an email from Rachelle Spector, asking them to go look at her website and see how she's supporting her husband. You just have to shake your head with a heavy sigh and hope that we don't see as much, or hear as much from the current Mrs. Spector until round two.
I normally don't write about Internet crazies, but something reached a limit for me today and I thought I might as well share. I mean, Kim of The Darwin Exception has kept me totally entertained with her stories about the woman who calls her "Kimmer" and the neighbor lady without any heat. So I thought I might as well share with you the latest drama about this sad woman from Patasa, or some place out in the underdeveloped world like that, who just sees red when the word "Sprocket" crosses her path.
This sad little old lady has followed me from crime forum to crime forum, for gawd knows what reason, and trashes me up one side of the room and down the other. I have zero clue what I could have ever done to her, to cause her to have all this pent up animosity, directed towards me. She is a sad creature to be sure, and I would show her some kindness and/or pity if she wasn't just drop dead crazy as a loon. What I've often seen her do, is, when someone challenges her on why she hates me so much, she never answers the question. She doesn't have one. She changes the subject and starts waxing poetic about how sad her life is, and how terrible it is that most of her time and energy is spent on her crippled daughter. She recently posted over on the CTV forums that her daughter was in an automobile accident over a year ago, and now her ankle is fused and she will "never walk normally again, never run again, never dance again." And on and on the pity party goes about how sad it is about her daughter, and I'm still not getting it as to WTF that has to do with why she can't stand me, and has to trash me every place that I hang out.
And then today, she sent me a threatening message, promising to send the police to my door, if I didn't STOP doing SOMETHING....some persecution, whatever, for some who knows what Genever-induced paranoid rambling perceptions she has, that are most likely self induced. Now I understand, that what happened to her daughter is sad, and I wouldn't want that to happen to anyone, but give me a forkin' break. Whose life does not have challenges? Far worse things have happened to other people and they get over it and move on with life. They go on to live productive and happy lives. Besides, it's not like the kid is dead and buried and her killer has not been brought to trial yet five years down the road. This old lady should be grateful she's not standing in Mrs. Clarkson's shoes.
And that brings me back to the Phil Spector mistrial. How long is it going to take, to get a conviction, and justice for Lana's family? That's an injustice for you. Don't forget Lana. Go light a candle for her, as many times as you can.