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Sat. March 2 to Fri. March 8, Van Nuys, Warner Brothers

Saturday- We were out the door early and off grocery shopping. We returned home, put the groceries away and went to the Furniture Barn, looking for chairs. They were really expensive and only had the red oak. Since the inside of the motor home is all golden oak, and to order them would take 6-8 weeks, we left.  We are still looking for the chairs for with the dining table. We finally gave up on finding the folding wood chairs. It seems that all the folding wood ones have a bend in them that makes them too tall, for storage under the sofa. So we went to Target and bought two metal folding chairs, with cloth seats. The fit under very nicely. These are for when we have folks over for dinner.

We returned home, ate lunch and took a short nap. We decided to ride our bikes on the ‘orange line’ trail. This bike trail crosses the San Fernando Valley, parallel to the orange bus line. It was a very nice trail. There is a pedestrian lane, the bike lanes and then behind a fence the bus lanes. We had to cross a number of streets,but we ended up riding a little bit less than 10 miles.

Bob was having a lot of trouble riding. We even stopped and checked his bike, since it seemed so hard to pedal. We finally figured out that he was having the A-fib. We returned to the motor home as quickly as possible, and let him rest. We watched Season two, disc two of Boardwalk Empire.

Sunday-  We did our usual Sunday morning activities, like the budget and bill paying. We also changed our plans for when we leave here. We want to purchase a ‘bra’ for the front of the motor home ( that has been a plan for a long time) before we head to Alaska.

The folks that make the ‘bras’ want the actual motor home to do the measurements. So Bob is going to take the motor home to Fontana on March 29. We were leaving on the 30th, as the 29th is my last day of work. I am going to drive to work that day, then leave directly from the hospital to meet Bob in Fontana. We are going to be staying at the shop for the night , before we move on Saturday. Then instead of staying for 10 days at the Palm Desert Thousand Trails, we are only going to spend one night, then move on to Quartzsite, to spend another night, before heading to Casa Grande, AZ.

We rec’d an offer we could not refuse. We can stay at the resort ( Palm  Creek Golf and RV Resort) we are going to be at for the Alfa Roadrunners Pre-rally and National Alfa Rally for two weeks for a special price, two discounted weeks for the cost of one. This is an upscale resort and other Alfa Roadrunners will be there, so we decided to join them.

We ate lunch, then went to Burbank to the AMC movie theaters to watch Identity Theft. It was a really funny movie. I had been given two free tickets and we wanted to use them before they expire.  By the time we left the theater, Bob’s episode of  A-fib had stopped!

We continued east to Pasadena to the Container Store and purchased two more of the storage containers. That should complete the set. Bob only wanted three on his side, but I wanted four on my side of the closet.

We came home, ate dinner and watched the third Boardwalk Empire, season two.

Monday-  Since Mary, one of the CM’s, is on vacation this week, I am filling in for her on her very busy floor. It was a very busy day! I had to get to know 20 COU/DOU  ( cardiac/ diagnostic  observation unit) patients.Plus I had nursery and OB. So I felt like I was running around in circles all day!

Meanwhile, Bob was cleaning the Hydro-hot. When John, the tech, looked at the Hydro-hot in January, he told Bob that there was a lot of build-up in the Hydro-hot, so we had purchased two large bottle of cleaning vinegar( 6% instead of 5%) and Bob put them into the system. This meant that we had no hot water for the next 24 hours. 

Tuesday-  Today was better at work for me, since I knew the patients. It wass till pretty busy.  Bob flushed out the Hydro-hot and we have our hot water back! We watched the fourth Boardwalk Empire DVD of season two.

Bob spent a lot of time on the phone trying to work out  the handle for the refrigerator. The gal finally figured out that when they mailed us the last set of new door handles, they sent us the same old ones, instead of sending the new, supposedly fixed ones. So they are sending us the newer, fixed versions. We will see what happens, as the old one is already broken.

Wednesday- I am off today as this is my second requested weekday off. At 11:30 we left for Warner Brothers studio. The parking was across the street,, $7. The tour was $49 each.

Warner Brothers Studio Tour

Warner Brothers Studio Tour

VIP Tour entrance

We entered the high rise building across Warner Brothers Blvd. to enter the Visitor Center, passing through security. We wandered through the gift shop, looking at the over priced merchandise. At 12:10, we were allowed into the theater for Tour #17, at 12:15. We watched a 10 minute movie, then were split into two groups for the tour. Our guide was named Bob. We went back outside to 13 person  golf carts for the tour. We were pretty squeezed into the seat, with three to a row. Paramount had two in each seat, with a total of 7 on the tour. WB was 13 in the cart.

We had to put on seat belts, as we were crossing Warner Brother Blvd. As soon as we entered the gate, Bob pulled into a parking lot and told us we could not unbuckle.

This first stop was in front of a building which looked like a motel. They use every building in the studio for locations, so this was actually an office building. We stopped in front of Adam Sorkin’s parking place, which was empty.

Our next stop was at the lagoon. This area ,where we were not allowed to take pictures, as they were filming in the distance, is used in a number of movies. We actually saw this in True Blood, which we watched on Saturday evening.

From there we went down a street, which used to be a western street, but since they do not do ‘westerns’ any more, they have changed the front of the buildings into contemporary houses. Bob talked a lot about different uses for each street. Recently they filmed an episode of Three and half Men, with the male cast running down this street. We remembered seeing the episode.

From there, we drove through an office complex, which they use for a lot of films, such at for entrances to hospitals.

We continued on through the back lot. We arrived at a square, where Bob jumped out of the cart and asked one of the guys with us. 011

to pretend to punch him in an alley. The streets are all designed as places to film.

One of the streets in the tour

A street looks bigger if there is a curve in it.

Street

020-001

We stopped in the square for Bob to talk about various films. This guy walked behind us and Bob called out hello Mr. Lorre. He was past us by the time I got the camera ready. This is Chuck Lorre, the executive producer of Two and half men, Two Broke Girls, and Big Bang Theory. He was the guy that Charlie Sheen had the fight with and he fired Charlie. Only personality we saw in the tour!  This was where he went!

Studio  25

We continued on the tour, driving past trailers and through the shops which build the sets. Finally, we arrived at the only complete set still set up. This is the set from “Friends”. We were allowed to sit on the couch, and Bob took our picture.

Us sitting on the Friends couch

Us sitting on the Friends couch

Then we were able to move into the set, and he took a picture of us with Phobe’s guitar. Remember “Smelly Cat”?

Phobe's Guitar!

Next, we stopped at the car museum.

Austin Powers RR

The Rolls Royce from Arthur.

Car from Get Smart

From the movie Get Smart.

Grand Torino, owned by Clint Eastwood

Grand Torino. Clint Eastwood actually owns this car and has allowed them to use it in the museum.

One of the 250 General Lee's

One of the “General Lee’s”. there were two hundred and fifty of them, most of them destroyed in the filming.

Space Capsule from Big Bang Theory

The space capsule from Big Bang Theory, when Howard went into space. Then there were lots of Bat Mobiles.

One of the batmobiles

Another Bat Mobile

Third Bat MobileBat cycle

Of course there was the Bat cycle.

Harry Potter car

Here is Harry Potter’s car.

Next, Bob took a picture of us in front of a green screen. We were told to do something. So we pretended to dance. I tried taking a picture of the picture, but it did not come out.

While driving around the studio, we were able to see lots of cars and parking places. He drove past lots of different set, telling us which movies or TV shows were filmed in the sound stages, but he did not stop at each one. He sort of showed us Ashton Kuscher’s trailer, but we could not see it. More on that later….

We were able to stop in at the Big Bang Theory set. That was awesome, as we are fans of Big Bang Theory. We were not allowed to take pictures of the set, but it was fun to go through. We had tried to get tickets for a filming, but were unable to obtain them.

We also toured the set for “The Mentalist” which we watch, so that was fun. Again, no pictures. He actually locked up the cameras and security follows you.

Then we were off to the Warner Brother Museum. Again, no pictures. This was also a potty stop. We were able to see lots costumes for various movies and TV shows. John Wayne, Humphrey Bogart, John Goodman, Ben Aflack, etc. It was interesting to get so close to them. On some of the ladies dresses, the waists were the span of my hand. They were that narrow!

We only had 15 minutes and security followed us through the entire place. The upstairs had all Harry Potter costumes and props. We were not allowed enough time in this area!

Our crazy leader, Bob

We think Bob is a frustrated actor, as he acted out scenes, like this one, from The Mask( Jim Carry movie) and from Spider Man below.

Bob again

We definitely thought that the Paramount tour was much better.

We had some time, so we ran to the Glendale Galleria for me to get some new work shoes at the Easy Spirit store, since mine were falling apart. We returned to the WB area again, and stopped at a diner called  Paty’s for dinner. We then drove to the other side of the studio, and parked in one of the parking garages. We had to be there by 5 PM, and we arrived about 4:45.  Parking was free this time. We had free tickets to the filming of the sitcom, Mike and Molly. They were the only tickets we could get for this evening, although, we like the show.

We took the elevator to the first floor of the garage, and sat on benches. We had our tickets checked and our hands stamped by the security guard. They took us in groups, crossing the road, over to the studio. We went through another security check point. There were no cell phones or camera’s allowed. They checked us thoroughly to make sure that we were not sneaking any into the filming.

It was a fairly long walk to the set. This time, we actually passed Ashton Kusher’s  trailer. It is a two story trailer, with one slide out on the first floor. Much nicer than the Movie Waggons! It was labeled Waldon’s World. All the trailers are labeled by the character, not the name of the star.

We arrived at the set, and stood in line, waiting to go through another security check point. This set is directly across from the Big Bang Theory set.

Some man behind  us actually had gotten a camera this far! He was with someone from the crew, so he was pulled out of line and taken inside, ahead of us….

We also watched the handler bring out the ugly dog, who stars in the show, for his evening walk and sniff!

Once we went through security, we entered the studio, and walked up the steps onto bleachers. We were seated on the left side of the bleacher, 4 rows from the front. To our left was the living room, straight ahead was the kitchen and the black screen that they used during the show for when Mike and Molly were in the car and when Mike and Carl play miniature golf at the end. To our right was the café set and the basement area. We could see the café very well, but could not see the basement. We could watch that on the monitors overhead.

This was an awesome episode. It was possibly the funniest episode of the show, EVER! The episode is about  Mike’s birthday party.

There was a guy who was our ‘ring master’ who kept us in line, explained what was going on, and generally kept us entertained before the show and between the filming.

He had people come up to the front and do barnyard calls. They were hysterical. He had three guys come up and a girl. It was like an episode of the old TV show The Dating Game. Again, hysterical. We laughed so hard. He even said that these were the best people he has pulled up there in a long time. He also gave away gifts, which of course we did not win!

During a break, just before 7 PM, they gave us cold pizza and an 8 oz bottle of water.

The taping of the show goes exactly like the show will air. They start with some film that has been previously taped. Then they go to live filming. If we do not laugh, they stop and go back, re-writing the jokes. Some times the actors mess up. Reno Wilson, who plays Carl, kept messing up. Billy Gardell who plays Mike and Melissa McCarthy who plays Molly both messed up also. They each had fun with their mistakes! All of the cast were there.  They came out to be introduced to the audience before the show and then again after the filming. We rec’d a program:

Billy Gardell (MIKE) has appeared in numerous TV series, including Bones, My Name is Earl” Desperate Housewives, and a recurring role in Yes Dear . He made his film debut alongside Anthony Quinn and Sylvester Stallone in Avenging Angels., and with Billy Bob Thornton , in Bad Santa. As a stand up comic, his comedy special, Billy Gardell: Halftime, premiered on Comedy Central and Billy Gardell presents: The Road Dogs, premiers on Showtime later this year. During his time off from Mike and Molly, Billy performs standup comedy to sold out audiences across the country.

Melissa McCarthy ( Molly) is best known to TV audiences as the clumsy culinary genius Sookie St. James in, Gilmore Girls. Her TV credits include the role of Dena in the series Samantha Who?, and guest starring spot on Curb Your Enthusiasm. Film credits include Bridesmaids, White Oleander with Michelle Pfeiffer, Pumpkin and Go. Of course, she also stars in Identity Theft which we saw on Sunday.  She first made her mark on the comedy stages, performing stand up in NY at The Improv and Stand UP New York. Since moving to LA, She has become a member of and continues to perform with the world renowned Improv and sketch comedy troupe The Groundlings.

Reno Wilson( Carl) made  his TV debut as Howard( Theo’s best friend) on the Cosby Show. Since then he has appeared in numerous TV series including Heist, Blind Justice and The Hoop Life.  He was the voice of Frenzy in Transformers. He is also going to be seen in the upcoming film Bolden, as Louis Armstrong.

Swootsie Kurtz ( Joyce) has won an Emmy and has nine Emmy nominations. Plus a Golden Globe. She is the actress who is most familiar as she was in Texas Cheerleader Murdering Mom, Pushing Daisies; Nurse Jackie, American Dad, Huff, Law and Order, Heroes, Lost, ER, and Sisters. Her films include: Citizen Ruth, Liar Liar, Dangerous Liaisons, Cruel Intentions, the Rules of Attraction. Bubble Boy, Duplex. Broadway credits include: the House of Blue Leaves and Fifth of July, Heartbreak House, Frozen and  Tartuffl. 

The rest of the cast also have long resumes.  They are:

Katy Mixon ( Victoria)

Nyambi Nyambi ( Samuel)

Rondi Reed ( Peggy)

Louis Mustillo ( Vince) who when some music played started dancing on the set. He really got into it! He was in the Soprano’s.

This was sooooo much fun! We would gladly do it again. The filming was over by 9PM and we were home by 9:30.

Thursday and Friday- very busy days at work. Thursday evening we watched the final second season episode of Boardwalk Empire.

Friday evening, we went to dinner with Valerie and Jim. Valerie is the nurse Case Manager who oriented  me and has been my mentor. We had a nice time going to dinner with them at the local Red Lobster. Since it is Lobster Fest, we both had Lobster and took half home for dinner tomorrow night. We are going out with them again.

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