I hate it when I have to get up extraordinarily early, because it totally throws my rhythm out of whack.

The plan was to get up today at 4 a.m., which I accomplished. I had to rise way before the sun, because I had to get to the set with time to fill the product with water so that the electrician could test-fire the thing and make sure that the jets ran. Also, the night before, I texted my production crew that I would call or text them not to come in if it was raining. To me, that means if I don’t contact them, then the shoot is still on at the regular time: the butt crack of dawn.

Anyway, I got to work on time, but was a little leery about how much light we’d actually get since there was still pretty thick cloud coverage overhead. Apparently, it had hailed just hours before around 1 a.m. and you could still see broken icy shards caught in the cracks and crevices of everywhere. Nevertheless, I continued with my plan and grabbed the hose – presumably the same one we’ve been using for the past two weeks to fill the product – and started to drag it over. To my surprise, it only reached half way. For some inexplicable reason, someone decided to switch out our hose with a shorter one, because, I assume, they needed the longer one for a more important purpose and thought that a hose that had no chance of reaching its destination would somehow still be useful to us.

I tried to salvage the situation by poking around the factory in the dark for a hose with only my cell phone to light the way. No luck. I heard the telltale crunchy sounds of a vehicle pulling up and someone getting out, so I went back outside and saw the electrician. I explained the situation and he directed me to the other side of the compound to find a hose in an area we call “tooling” where our spa molds are reshaped as needed.

When I got there, the area was empty, but someone had left a radio playing at full blast. I called out “hello” a couple of times and decided to poke my head around to see if I could find someone or at least a hose I could snag. The whole situation was actually kind of creepy and I understand now why horror movies always have a scene where there’s a TV or radio on with no one to enjoy the broadcast. It’s the evidence of where life was and where life should be, but is now the abode of zombies or fresh human viscera. At any moment, I expected to turn around and be face to face with the living dead. Not that it would have mattered much since I was still only artificially awake.

After checking a few more areas and finding my employee ID wouldn’t open the electronic locks it normally would during regular business hours, I returned to the set without a hose. The electrician finished up and offered to find one. He returned shortly after with a hose, explaining that he had to break into a different department to get it. By now, it was about 5:45 a.m. and we had just started filling the spa. We wanted to start shooting by roughly 6:30 a.m. to get the light from the sunrise and take advantage of magic hour. Hot tubs usually take a solid hour to fill, depending on the size. Luckily, this was a smaller one, but we’d still be cutting it close. The only element that was missing was our cameraman.

At 7 a.m. I decided to call him since he was already late by half an hour. He explained that since I didn’t call or text him earlier that he thought he should come in at the regular time, which was 8 a.m. Awesome! How he could get confused by my very explicit text the night before is beyond me. Nevertheless, I told him to come in as soon as possible. Luckily, he still got there early enough to get some great shots with excellent lighting.

Every filmmaker I know has told me that the main reason productions take so long and why you’ll be standing around all day is due to lighting. It takes time to set everything up or just wait for the sun to get in position. We experienced that today when a cloud floated across our set, blotting out the light and dropping the temperature by 10 degrees.

In any event, I think we’re getting the hang of this. The crew is becoming more disciplined.

These boots and I have a decade of history between us.

These boots and I have a decade of history between us.

I did have a personal snafu on set. I stepped on a candle tray and splashed hot wax on one of my boots. It wasn’t that big of a deal since it started to flake off throughout the day, but it also prompted me to get some new footwear. The pain in my heels from terrible insoles also helped. I decided to get some Dr. Martens since I remember their comfort from when I borrowed someone’s in high school. Unfortunately, the places their Web site claimed sold them are either going or have gone out of business around where I live, so I’ll have to make a trek out to Brea or Riverside tomorrow to get them.

When I got home, I crashed for about three hours, which was for the best since I almost literally crashed on the road getting home. Now that I’m up, I probably should do my editorial on the Confessions of a Shopaholic junket, but the problem here is I’m in that evening funk. This situation is typically where you’ve had a late nap that lasted too long to be considered a nap anymore and now you’re in an “in between” state of grogginess and realizing that you probably should do something productive before you go to sleep again so that you don’t wake up later feeling like you’re sleeping your life away.

Normally, there is no contest and I just stay up to write, like I’m doing now. The problem is that junket recaps are so laborious for me. First, I need to come up with an angle or at least a nice button that will wrap up the piece neatly. Then I have to carve out an article from my digital recordings, which more or less sucks, because it’s like sitting through the entire junket all over again. Finally, I have to pull quotes, which quickly becomes tedious when I have to pause, type, play, pause, type, etc. I hear there’s some kind of plug-in or feature for Windows Media Player that will loops just a section of a recording, which may be exactly what I’m looking for, but I don’t think it’s enough to tip my decision in favor of staying up to write this editorial.