With the marathon I had been running for the last few weeks, I was glad to get a few days to myself, but “busy” isn’t exactly ever out of the equation that is my life.
The heads of the Museum apparently dropped me from my marketing duties, though they didn’t tell me they did so for a few weeks. The only reason I found out something was amiss was when the lunch order came for the monthly marketing meeting, and no one came by my desk had asked me what I wanted. I was more than a little surprised that my sandwich wasn’t the only thing missing. But in retrospect, that was pretty common as to how the higher ups treated their employees there.
I was just volunteer coordinating and guiding tours from then on.
Home, or more specifically my yard, was its own share of oddities.
I had some landscapers come over to my place to work on the yard, remove a tree stump or two, etc. Tiny stuff that I just didn’t have the needed tools for. But they did a mediocre job, and expected $150 for their “Work”. I paid of course, having agreed to the contract, but I gave them a reasonably fair 2-star review for what I felt they did properly, but also didn’t do.
The guy started e-mailing and calling me literally in tears, saying that I was the last person he would have expected that from, he couldn’t believe that I of all people would do that to him, and he could no longer sleep over what I said. I couldn’t understand all the “betrayal” talk he was going on and on about. I’d only met the guy last week. So he called me non-stop begging me to give him a five-star review, and he’d do anything. Eventually, he gave me nearly 50% off my invoice, but it was a creepy, uncomfortable experience. I didn’t like the idea of a “bought” review, but since he was holding my credit card info. hostage, and he knew where I live, I made sure to get him to back down, and removed the review altogether once he settled down.
Acting/stand-in/convention life, however was busy and fine. I had a number of various jobs.
I sometimes do mascot work for a company that pays really well and is run by some really nice people. I had to do this licensing convention, and play a character called “Stankfoot”, which is some mutated supervillain for some new cartoon show called Zevo-3.
Let me tell you, costumed work is harder than it looks. I did a Spider-Man gig back in 2007, and that costume is just a spandex bodysuit, which is super easy to hang out all day in. This was a heavy, bulky costume that feels like you’re being strapped into a suit of armor.
The first 10 minutes were fine. The 20 minute mark is the “Done” point. The 30 minute mark is like scuba diving in the fires of Hell, in which a handler will take you off the floor to enjoy a nice, long break. The nice part of being a bad guy was that I didn’t have to be all cute and cuddly and wave. I got to act kind of “rotten”, stayed true to character, and was easier to relax towards the end of the shift. Fortunately, the people who run the gig understand that the costumes are hot and heavy, and were very generous in allowing us time to sufficiently recover before suiting up to hit the floor again. The show itself had some cool stuff like free ice cream and Icees. And I got to pet a penguin at the Seaworld booth.
And I love penguins.
I worked on another film titled Here Comes The Boom at MGM, then back to the convention, then over to Planet Hollywood to work on Miss USA. I had to strip down out of my workout clothes and into a suit and tie as I was driving over, but made it just fine for time. I’m grateful the beauty pageant circuit is so used to me to work with my crazy schedule. And once all that wrapped, I had to drive to the Hilton right after to work the Daytime Emmys. Immediately after that? the NHL Awards.
(Told you it was “The Summer of Stand-In”.)
While all of this was going on, I had to attend a Yelp! event, and immediately had to work on an indie short film. But I did each and every gig, somehow miraculously made it on time, and enjoyed the rewards of sleeping once it was all over.
For fun, I returned to the now closed Sahara, as they were having a massive estate sale to liquidate pretty much everything that existed in the building. The cool part about all of this was that everything was currently “all access”, which means that people pretty much had free run of nearly the entire place. I made full use of this, accessing kitchens, employee access tunnels, and then went room hopping.
Floor 25 held the Presidential suite. I don’t care how old or run down people may have considered the place. The two suites on the floor are gorgeous. Great views, and about the size of my entire house. Possibly bigger. I wanted their bathtub. Basically, a huge tub with a mirrored ceiling in a wide open view that would allow a significant look at the city.
Room 2344 is famous for housing the Beatles back in the 1960′s. for 9 years, I’ve so wanted to go in there and see that place. Today, I got access. It’s another beautiful room. Not as big as the suites, but I gushed like an idiot running from room to room, basking in the history of the place. Therein lies the rub: Clearly management didn’t value what they had, or they would have tried to fix the old place up. This new look at the insides of the Sahara was amazing, but this was it. This was the last of the “originals”, and they’re perfectly okay with just… letting it die. I took a small piece of the room’s wallpaper, knowing that whether they renovate it or destroy it, the place will never be seen the way I was looking at it then.
As for the sale, I bought some retro looking slot tokens, menus from The House of Lords restaurant, and a cool Sahara stitched casino chair.
And so ended my adventures at the Sahara.