ER


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I pretty much just had the greatest visually rewarding weekend ever. See, I’ve had my heart set on taking the WB Studio Tour for quite some time now and considering the fact that she forgot my birthday, it wasn’t too hard to convince my best friend, Elizabeth, to join me. (That and I agreed to go to Disneyland with her on Friday.) My last class of the week was on Wednesday night and she’s on spring break so we drove over to Burbank on Thursday ready to spend the weekend having some serious fun.

Turns out they have some hardcore rules about what you can take with you on the tour. Apparently some idiots stole plastic bread from the Friends set so we weren’t allowed to have bags or purses with us; they had to be locked underneath the tour cart’s seats. No cell phones are allowed either on account of ‘fire danger’. I have no idea why …

Our tour was late in the day – 3:30 – and our super cute guide, Derek, was pooped out. Apparently he conducts three tours a day which translates to him spending seven hours a day talking. Poor guy.

So anyway, not only was the lot not at all what I expected, but it was way better than what I thought it would be like. I’ve always lived in or near big cities so I’m quite used to the hustle and bustle of metropolitan areas and I just assumed that the studio lot would be similar to the city around it. But it’s not! It was the most bizarre thing. I expected people and energy and buzzing around but the place was practically deserted! Sure, the parking spots were full of cars, there were construction people working on their things and there were people here and there riding around on bicycles but the atmosphere was completely calm – as though we’d found ourselves in a Podunk town on a Sunday afternoon. And I swear, it’s as though the walls surrounding the lot are sound proof or something. Even though the Ventura Freeway acts as a border around part of it and Olive Avenue around another part, none of the city noise is apparent once you’re inside – it’s just so calm and quiet. Strange. But after I got over the oddity of it all, it kind of grew on me. It’s this fantastic island, cut off from the rest of the LA. This city inside a city. I can’t even describe how utterly peaceful and at home I felt. Which sounds even more bizarre, I know, but the atmosphere was just so mellow and at ease. And the bicycles! I’m in love with the bicycles. They’re everywhere! These adorable wide handled bicycles with baskets in the front and workers and crew and cast members just ride around the lot on them. It’s incredibly quaint. Especially since I got the impression that they are simply WB property and not individually owned. People just pick up random bicycles and ride where they need to. There’s no ownership – no bike racks to lock them up to – they’re just free to use on the lot. I don’t know, I guess there’s something egalitarian about that, that just thrills me.

More than that, though, there’s something strangely Utopian about it all. In fact, if you ignore the huge discrepancy in paychecks, it’s almost like a mini socialistic country. I know this is incredibly idealistic of me and it doesn’t actually work that way but it was so cool to see how incredibly integral all the behind the scenes people truly are to each and every production – how diligently the artists work on their canvases – how extensive the wardrobes are – the sheer quantity of props and even just the incredible organization of it all. They are this fantastic well-oiled machine. It was incredible. Especially because all these “normal” people work side by side and co-exist on a daily basis with these huge celebrities and they are altogether very un-fazed by it. The atmosphere is one of near equality. They are all simply co-workers who contribute their own parts. And yes, there is obviously a hierarchy but it was neat to see that really, every single worker was clearly contributing, despite the relative anonymity of their jobs.

So anyway, we’d already been through the famous ER ambulance bay so I was just basking in it all, wishing I could somehow ditch my tour cart and take a stroll, vaguely listening to the random tidbits of historic information that yummy Derek was spouting off when I felt Elizabeth smack me in the leg and heard her whisper my name urgently, all the while gesturing with her eyes to my right. I swiveled my head around just in time to see the most beautiful human being I have ever laid eyes on. In fact, if she hadn’t later reassured me it was really him, I think I would have thought he was simply a figment of my very active imagination.

But no. It was real. He was real.

I really, truly saw him, with my very own eyes: Dr. Luka Kovac in the flesh; Goran Visnjic in all his Slavic wonder was standing in front of a trailer, in the company of two unknown women, and smiling such a gorgeous smile, literally inches away from me. And just as the realization of who he was began to sink in, no longer yummy Derek sped up our cart. I craned my neck the entire time, watching him, memorizing him, silently threatening to castrate now very ugly Derek if he didn’t stop the cart right now. And even as his 6″4 figure became smaller and smaller, I couldn’t keep my eyes off of him. Tucked into his black slacks was a lovely, long-sleeved, pale blue button down shirt, with the top three buttons undone. His dark hair, longer than it was on the last episode, was swept across his face and it looked so glossy and thick. His face was much more youthful and carefree than that of his on screen counterpart. He’s thinner than he appears on TV; very tall and svelte. In fact, as corny as it sounds, he was actually hotter in real life. I know, it’s hard to believe.

Hideous Derek took us to one of the Gilmore Girl’s sound stages after that but not even Alexis Bledel herself could have gotten me to care. I walked around in a literal daze, my heart in my throat, trying to ascertain just how many yards away he actually was and while we walked around, I entertained thoughts of making a break for it, possibly hijacking the cart, or maybe one of the bikes. Heck, sprinting wouldn’t have been bad, as he was merely one row over.

Dumbass Derek took us to the WB museum right after that but my heart wasn’t into it. Not even flirting with Derek cheered me up. I did find out that he had to audition for his job as a guide, that he’s an aspiring stand-up comedian, that he gets paid by the hour, that he works five days a week, that even in the summer they’re required to wear pants, that he’s from Connecticut, that he’s been working as a guide for four months now, that Matt LeBlanc is an asshole, that John Stamos is apparently super nice and that eventually he’d like to go back to school to get a degree in journalism, but alas, despite my best efforts, he did not take me back to my soul mate. He did, however, inform me that it’s procedure that they speed up when celebrities are present. Pfft.

On the way back to our hotel I cursed myself for not being smart enough to accidentally fall out of the cart as I’m sure Goran would have helped me to my feet; he’s European after all and very courteous. And the fact that Elizabeth did not push me out is simply further evidence that she is a horrible friend. I mean, a birthday is one thing but a real friend would have pushed me out. Clearly. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to forgive her.

My only consolation is that for but a brief moment, we shared the same air.

Well, that and a little while later, while waiting for the light to change at the intersection on Mulholland Dr. and Laurel Canyon Blvd. I looked over to my right (Elizabeth was driving as I was still far too shaken to be competent behind the wheel) and was absently reminiscing, when a blonde hottie in the black SUV next to us caught my eye and smiled. I smiled in return ’cause I’m super polite like that and then he raised his eyebrows suggestively and I froze because there was something strangely familiar about that receding hair line. Then it was my turn to smack Elizabeth and point to my right all the while whispering “Who is that? I know that face. Don’t stare!”

Yeah, that’s right. Ian Ziering flirted with me.

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Or even McSteamy, for that matter. In fact, he reminds me more of a certain Dr. Greene. But anyway, that’s not the point. I really like Dr. Doormat. Not in the way I like Luscious Lawyer Daddy, but in a he’s a really great man and I have a lot of respect for him kind of way. In any event, he talks to me. Not in the friendly and civil, but often times trite way that Mrs. P and I converse but in a very honest, unpatronizing, often times intellectual way. He treats me, not as though I’m the hired help, but like he would treat any other person he meets. With respect. Like an equal. (Not that Winifred, doesn’t. It’s just different with her, somehow.) And he actually, genuinely seems interested in what I have to say in return. Every once in a while, if he has a spare moment, I like to pimp him for information about his work. He has some really crazy stuff. Well, last week, I asked him if he preferred working in the hospital he’s at now, or at a trauma center, which is where he used to work. He still works in the ER but his current hospital is smaller and doesn’t receive ambulatory traumas and I was curious if that made a huge difference for him. Turns out, I’m pretty transparent when it comes to my interest in all things medical, because he offered to let me shadow him at work! I get to wear a white coat and a stethoscope and basically follow him around for a few hours on a shift, to see how things really go down. I’m so stoked. And nervous. I have no idea what to expect. He got his schedule for December so I’ll probably end up going around Christmas, during the week that Mrs. Winifred is in San Diego with the boys. We still have to iron out the details but it looks like I’m gonna be a (fake) doctor for a day. Tee hee. I’m practically giddy.

I don’t know what it is with ER and nannies, but there was yet another episode involving nanny issues last night. Apparently, Abby’s conversation with the nasty nympho nannies in the park didn’t scare her enough to swear them off for good and in Thursday’s ep she and her delicious baby daddy interviewed several prospective nannies. But of course they’re all freaks. Poor Abby just can’t catch a break. The only semi-competent woman there is a model gorgeous Brazilian babe. She may have to consider going the Nip/Tuck route and hiring a male midget if she’s worried about Luka sleeping with them like Sean slept with his prospective baby nurse. Then again, that’s probably not a good idea either seeing as Julia is having an affair with her miniature manny. You know what? Come to think of it, medical shows and nannies just don’t mix. And I should probably stop referring to fictional characters by their first names, as though they’re real.

I’m an ER addict. Never mind that the show has been around since I learned to read. It’s an oldie but a goodie and every Thursday night, without fail, I loyally sit and watch in amazement as my fantasty doctor lover (Goran Visnjic) and his fellow doctors slice people up and manage to look insanely sexy though covered in guts and blood. Tonight was no different, despite the fact that my mother and I are in the middle of Pennsylvania on our way back to the west coast. Now, recently, my favorite character, Abby (portrayed by the lovely and talented Maura Tierney) gave birth to a baby boy. Because it’s ER and all, the birth was predictably, very dramatic but they didn’t kill the tyke off like they did Carter’s baby so woo hoo for that! My insane and occasionally unhealthy love for newborns went into overdrive and for the past three weeks I’ve been looking forward to seeing cute little baby Joe on my screen. (Especially since it’s been nearly a year since Buddha was that age and baby fever has hit me hard this year.) So color me a little suprised when Abby mentioned to her hunkalicious slice of Croatian meat, aka Luka the baby daddy, that she’s interested in hiring a nanny. I instantly raised my hand and demanded to turn in my resume. After all, I was recently fired by the bitch from hell, aka, Baroness Bomburst, so I’m pretty much free to nanny any fictional, newborn children of my favorite television characters. Anyway, later in the ep after a rather disastrous mommy and me class Abby met up with a group of nannies at the park! Hooray! Yay for nannies! I felt very much like the ER writers were sending me a personal shout-out. Except not. Right from the get-go one of the girls shared her fear that she might be pregnant with her boss’s child to which another nanny informed her that “the only father who doesn’t want to bang his nanny is already doing it” or something along those lines. Uh oh. When asked if she’s a nanny, Abby replied yes and was then privvy to lots of juicy nanny gossip, involving how the girls use their bosses’ homes and cars and clothes etc etc and overall how they pretty much abuse their positions as caretakers. I was floored, and though I know the scene was supposed to be humorous, I felt a little offended. I have never stolen anything from my families. I have never used their clothes or cars or homes without their permission and I have never slept with any of the fathers or tried to. (Nevermind my intense crush for Big Bad Lawyer Daddy.) Not suprisingly, at the end of her day when her insanely sumptuous Croatian Sensation offered to rethink the nanny prospects, Abby declined, insistent that they could do it just the two of them. Oy. Glad she’s confident in her parenting skills and all but this nanny hate has got to go. I think there are more mature, responsible, loving nannies out there than the other sort and I’m a bit disillusioned that the portrayal of us on the show (my favorite show!) was so negative. I know that nannying has gotten quite a bit of press lately but have there been any good recent representations in the media of the dynamic between a nanny and a family? I’m curious, because I’d definitely like to see some.