Monthly Archives: March 2011
So I’ve been trying to find work for ages and it’s tough out there. I especially hate the “You’re over-qualified.” excuse. I can understand if I don’t know something that is required for a job. I couldn’t be a brain surgeon or a crane operator or a tamales maker because I lack those skills. It would result in people’s deaths and that would be bad. How could making tamales kill people? Well, I have no idea how to make those yummy little corn packages. What if I put a death chili in there by mistake? I’ve seen people’s heads blow off if they ate a death chili. It’s better to be safe and stick to customer service or typing letters or building a bridge to Japan.
So as I was looking through Craig’s List I saw an ad for a study in Berkeley. They were willing to pay $75 in exchange for an hour of your time. I’ve done things like this before. Years ago I went to the Wal-Mart headquarters and they paid us $75 to cruise around on their new website and give feedback on the design, how easy or hard it was to find certain things, etc. I’ve done studies where you have to taste ten brands of tomatoes and rate your favorites. This study was different. They were going to study your brain and how it relates to advertising.
For all these studies, you send in your information and if you match the specific type of lab rat they are looking for, they call you in. So in I went. I need the dough. I signed all kinds of papers which I’m sure some grad student is going to use as wallpaper and was taken into a room with soothing music and a bio lock on the door. Yeah, a BIO LOCK. Ummm, what is so secret that they have that kind of security on the doors? I mean a thumb print and a retinal scan? It made me think of Tom Clancy novels and National Treasure and Jason Bourne.
The nice grad student directed me to a chair and explained they were going to hook electrodes up to my face and put some weird ass swim cap on my head that also had wires hooked up to it that fed into a computer. It was not fashionable. It was especially not fashionable when she squirted lubricating gel into each of the holes in the cap that a wire attached to. In the end I looked like Alice from Minority Report only with hair. It was kinda freaking me out. However, the lure of $75 was in front of me so I ate the cheese like a good rat and went along with the program.
I was led into a room where I was told to sit in a chair, relax, stare at a screen, don’t move my head – just my ears and press a button when directed to. Ummm, ok. The grad student was above me in some weird computer “eye in the sky” booth. Evidently she was monitoring what my brain was telling her. Stupid brain, it never behaves when I want it to.
I was told to close my eyes and all kinds of weird stuff started happening. There were flashing disco lights and weird noises. I automatically raised the mental shields around the Starship Enterprise because I was convinced they were trying to implant the idea in my brain that I needed to assassinate a public figure or eat a specific type of fast food, neither of which I wanted to do.
Then I started looking at a screen with letters on it. My eye had to go to the letter that was called out. Fine, I’ve got this, no problem. Next, logos of various make-up products flashed up. I was told to press a button every time I saw a green square in the picture. After 5 minutes of the same 4 logos cycling through, my brain started to run off. Hey, yours would too! It was boring and I had to keep myself alert for button pushing. I started singing the song to Gilligan’s Island in my head. I was just keeping my ADD child-self entertained. That was when the voice of God rang through the room “Please concentrate on the images and do not let your mind wanter.”
How did she know?! Did she know I was singing the Gilligan song? I was a little weirded out. I tried to do better like a good rat. I wanted my cheese. After another 5 minutes of the same logos I thought I was going to nod off. The voice came out of the ether again, “Please, it is very important that you remain alert. It looks like you may be nodding off.” ” Well, YES, you won’t let me sing 70’s TV theme songs in my head and this shit is boring! Also your make-up does not interest me. I used it once. It was cheap, cakey and gave me a rash. This is not going to make me buy this make-up.” Did I say that out loud? No but I thought it, very empathically.
Now the commercials started. My brain decided to sing The Brady Bunch theme song very quietly in a small corner of my cerebral cortex. Nurse Ratched came on the speaker again with the admonition that I needed to focus. Hmmm, maybe I should start thinking about naked guys? That will confuse her! So I’m watching these make-up commercials and having hot fantasies about naughty things I would like to be doing with a hot guy. I think that confused their machine. I can see it now “I’m not sure Professor but it appears the subject was sexually aroused by this brand of mascara. I think we have a winner!”
Then they switched to frogs. Yes, FROGS! They were showing cute little green frogs and every now and then they would toss in blue one. Not a natural blue frog but a green frog that someone “painted” blue in a Paint program and stuck in. Fine, press the button every time I see a blue frog. Why? What does this have to do with make-up? Hmmm, are you wondering if I get turned on by frogs? What did I start thinking about now? You guessed it!
Look, in my defense there is nothing so boring as watching the same frog for 10 minutes straight while button clicking. I tried really hard to be a good lab rat but my brain had to amuse itself somehow. I clicked when I was suppose to! I didn’t miss a frog so I hope that counts for something! I think they were pretty confused by me. The experiment was over thirty minutes later.
After unhooking me from the machine, I was told the gel in my hair would wash or rub out. Great. I feel like I just finished a scene in “There’s Something About Mary”. I rub lube off my face, grab my stuff, collect my money and take off.
I’m grateful for the dough but wonder what the frog thing was about. Did they implant some kind of subliminal suggestion in my brain? Will frogs start following me around? Do I have super powers now? That would be pretty cool but all I have so far is an urge to take a shower and wash my hair.
I’m not sure I can even find a place where squirrels aren’t stalking me. Whether I’m in another city, a metropolitan area, a rural area, a park, an alley, an animated game in the middle of the snow! Who knew that “Winter Snow Squirrels” populated the upper reaches of the Trollshaws? Yup, you can’t go into any zone of Lord of the Rings On-line without finding squirrels. I have a feeling I will be haunted by the smartly dressed rodents for the rest of my life.
So to wrap things up here is the tale of a squirrel who ran afoul of a biker and the biker lost. This story from 2005 at least but it still makes me cry tears of laughter. This is more proof that squirrels are evil:
So today for Whack-A-Doodle Wednesday, I think we can all agree on a few things. (1) TSA is all jumpy about terrorists. (2) The Government is all jumpy about terrorists. (3) You shouldn’t behave like an asshat on a plane because over one hundred people are in a tin can, rocketing across the sky at 400 MPH over 30,000 ft above sea level and it’s frackin’ stupid! That being said, it is amazing how many people still continue to do stupid stunts on planes and how much the government over-reacts.
January 11, 2011 – Three idiots decided to get shit-faced drunk at the back of the plane on a flight into SFO. They became beligerent, demanded more booze, started making stupid threats and might have even requested farm animals. Since we are a litigious society, I’m sure the flight attendents didn’t want to be sued for just bitch slapping them and zip typing them to their chairs so the rest of the passengers could pelt them with full cans of Clamato (because who drinks that shit anyway?). The upshot? They called out the military!
Yup, the plane got an escort of two F-16’s as it made an emergency landing in Colorado Springs. The drunks were taken off the plane by the goon squad to find out what really happens in a Turkish prison. I can hear them now, “Dude! I wasn’t serious about the sheep, the stick of butter and the scary clown!” My question, how much did the jet escort/fuel/pilot saleries cost and how is paying for that shit? Oh, yeah… US! Just on that point alone, I vote for zip tying drunks into their seats and chucking soda cans at them. It’s a good plan.
Then of course there is how they deal with these kinds of threats abroad:
March 22, 2011 (Scotland) – Direct to you from the UK, though Scotland really does their own thing. It seems two blokes/chaps/bobbie boys who were pissed off their rocker (Hey! It’s how they talk there!) decided to hop the fence of a small airport and molest a private plane. Let me post the article as it appeared via the Scottish TV website http://www.stv.tv/ Comments in brackets ( ) are mine.
“Two drunk friends who climbed over an airport fence and tampered with the controls in a plane cockpit have been ordered to pay £1000 compensation. (That is around $2,000 each in our money)
The airport was placed on high alert before security were called to find one of the men wearing a pink cowboy hat, straddling an airplane with a fire extinguisher and covered in foam. (Alright, THAT is a story right there!)
Patrick Grigor, 25, and David Sneath, 26, both of Dundee, stumbled out of a nightclub and walked to Dundee Airport where they climbed its security fence and entered the aeroplane hangar.
The pair of Pizza Hut workers (that explains sooo much) managed to break into three aircraft and into the cockpit of one plane. They also discharged a fire extinguisher over five planes, causing £8400 worth of damage ($17,000), and grounding them until detailed safety checks were carried out.
On Tuesday Grigor and Sneath told Dundee Sheriff Court they had each paid £1650 in compensation to airport owners Tayside Aviation and had stayed out of trouble since the drunken escapade on May 20, 2009.
Sheriff George Way ordered them to each pay a further £1000 in compensation to the airport owners. (So that makes it about 5k each they had to pay for their Girls Gone Wild foam spraying spree)
The sheriff told the pair: “The first of my objectives in this matter has been achieved. Since you were last in court, the memory of the escapade would’ve come back to haunt you every time you paid compensation money. (Dude, they work at Pizza Hut, I don’t think they are that remorseful about the stunt, just paying the cash.)
“You will recall the risks you put yourself at. You’re very lucky there was no accident of some kind. (Yeah, you could have been hauled off by TSA to the scary clown prison!)
“It could have been very dangerous for you, especially if the security guards had been armed.” (Which they aren’t because it’s England/UK/the former British Empire but that threat is still there boyo! They will definitely give you a stern talking to!)
The court previously heard how a Dundee Airport security officer found the pair in the controlled area, looking into the cockpit of a plane with one of them covered from head to toe in white powder. (Damn! That is a whole lot of anthrax!)
Outside court the friends were still embarrassed about the incident.
Sneath said: “We want to move on. It was extremely embarrassing for us and our families, and especially tough trying to explain it to employers.” (I can imagine. Well Sir, we were at the Pub, got pissed, couldn’t find any tarts on the stroll so we decided to roger an airplane. The foam? We saw it at a Jonas Brothers concert. We’re really embaressed about that.)
Grigor added: “We’ve made a lot of financial contributions which have been tough in this economic climate, and we’ve stayed out of trouble. (I should hope so! Now go back to making bad pizza!)
“We’ve had a lot of banter with mates over it and, to be fair, it’s been a good ice breaker.” (See?! I told you they aren’t really sorry! They are just very sorry they got caught and had to pay the money. If they had gotten away, it would have just been a story to tell their drunken mates and a goal for other rowdy males to top.)
The lesson today? If you are going to do something stupid involving a plane, do it in the UK. Paying a fine for your stupidity is always better than the TSA clown jail alternative.
I have decided that Monday’s need to start with some humor. Gods known we need it. So today to get your smile going, I bring you a photo essay from “Pasadena, 91105 and Beyond” titled “Balloon Chicken Saves The Day”.
I’ve never been partial to balloon animals. Even as a child, I never saw the attraction. They just lose air, get all wrinkly and deflate. Just laying there all sad, damp and flaccid. Just like fallen leaves in the early morning or fruit that fell off the tree after a wind storm. I even had a friend who was terrified of balloons because she just hated the shock if one popped next to her.
At least balloon chicken is entertaining. With that coxcomb, at least we know he is a boy chicken. I wonder if he wakes you up in the morning? I do think he is kinda hot. Well, he’s full of hot air after all!
Go forth, drink caffeine and start your day everyone!
I was going to save this for Whack-A-Doodle Wednesday but I just couldn’t wait. First off, this is not about those cute little critters that totter around your garden. Nope, I am talking about the King of Porn – Ron Jeremy. If you are confused about the nickname, I’m not going to explain it to you. Go watch one of his… 2,000 skin flicks.
Anyway, this isn’t about porn or Ron Jeremy’s jimmy or a new sexbot some geek invented in their basement. Nope, it’s about booze. It seems Ron Jeremy has his own rum now. I shit you not: http://www.rondejeremy.com/#theRum It’s called “Ron de Jeremy – the Adult Rum”. You can order it on-line! Yes! You too can own your own numbered, limited edition bottle of Ron de Jeremy. I am really tempted. It’s a little like Billy Beer only classier… sort of.
Is this what all the porn stars are drinking? Are they pouring this at AdultCon in Los Angeles this year? Am I weird that I’m kinda wondering what this rum tastes like? I figure if anything, a bottle of Ron de Jeremy would be an interesting conversation piece. I’ll let you know if he shows up for a bottle signing at a BevMo near me. That would be one thing I would have to see!
So today for Whack-A-Doodle Wednesday I wanted to quickly cover a few things that squick me out about St. Patrick’s Day.
First, let me say that I am Irish. My ancestors hail from County Cork and County Mayo. While we have been here for well over 100 years from that particular branch of the family tree, I will say that Irish people are the politest people on the planet. In my mind, that title was held by the Jamaicans for years. However a quick three day trip to the Emerald Isle has convinced me that the Irish are even more polite. I want to retire there, run a B&B and hang out in the pub, adding to the Guinness family fortune.
Let me say that while my people like their booze, there are a few things we Americans get wrong.
Corned Beef. First, it’s nasty in general. The only corned beef I could stand was cooked for me by Joreth at Nona’s in Pacifica. 99% of the rest – awful. Second, corned beef is not Irish, it’s American. Basically the Irish ate thick cut bacon and cabbage. When they immigrated to New York, they lived with recently immigrated Jews. THEY had the corned beef. It was what the Irish substituted for their thick cut bacon. So stop it with the corned beef. Everything is better with bacon anyway.
Leprechaun’s. They’re creepy. I know, they are solitary shoe making fairies who are grumpy and stash pots of gold. They have never been bartenders or shills for overly-sugared cereal, nor to my knowledge have they been serial killers.
Wearing Green. I am Irish. I don’t have to wear green on one day to show my support for Ireland. If you even try to pinch me for not wearing green, I will punch you in the junk. I won’t even go into the whole issue with the wearing of the green and how the English murdered men and women for wearing shamrocks to show solidarity against British occupation. They still need to get out of Northern Ireland and I have ancestors that are British as well as Italian.
Damn! Now I understand everything! I hate myself. Being Irish vs. English, Celt vs. Roman. Yeah…. Anyway, you can see where I come down on that discussion. Same thing, pinch me and die.
Green Beer. Why? I am not drinking any beer that you put food coloring in. That’s just nasty, plain and simple.
Bottom line, I am very proud to be Irish. I don’t need a parade, a holiday, an excuse to drink or the desire to hurl a little person across a bar to show my pride. This is what happens when you are born Irish. You don’t have to try so hard to fit in.
This past Friday I was lucky enough to be a guest at the Spring Into Fall Couture Fashion Show, held at the amazing Bentley Reserve on Battery in The City. I snagged ringside seats along the runway and enjoyed the amazing show.
When we arrived, we walked the red carpet and were greeted by helpful volunteers who directed us to the bar which is always my friend. Even more so this evening when low calorie Cosmos and Lemon Drops were available by Slim Bob Skinny Chicks. I’m a whore for free booze and when it’s low cal, all the better!
Before the show, you could check out some of the designers ready-to-wear fashions (available for immediate purchase) as well. Who were the designers?
Amber Marie Bently
Dark Garden Unique Corsetry
Miss G Designs
Sequoia & Gita
So where is “the dish”? It’s coming! I was drawn into the room by the most amazing jacket I have ever seen! It was made by Sequoia & Gita, was darling and very affordable at $160. It was a green keyhole jacket – http://www.shop.sandgclothing.com/product.sc?productId=29&categoryId=3 and I figured if I got a job, I was sooo buying this.
Next we stopped by Rebecca Bruce’s table. My friend Carol Wood, an amazing seamstress/designer herself, had draped Miss Bruce’s collection for this evenings show. Rebecca had bookmarks with sketches of all of the looks she was showing that night. One caught my eye immediately. It was an all green number that would look stunning on me called Release. Carol’s mother told me that a patchwork dress titled Boundaries was suppose to be the star of the collection. Looking at the sketch it didn’t really speak to me but you can never tell just from a drawing what the dress is going to look like.
After checking out the various fashion successes and failures the guests were wearing. (Note to the ladies: NEVER wear a severe, plunging neckline dress when your breasts are flat. Not small, flat. You know what I mean. Those puppies are not shown to their best advantage when I see that.) Tiffany Blue tickets in hand, we headed to our front row seat assignments. There is just something fabulous about sipping a Cosmo, watching a fashion show and finding a gift bag on your chair. It makes my heart go pitter pat.
Once the show started, I was in heaven. Autumn showed first. It is rough to start the show but Autumns corset collection, as always, was creative and stunning. To me the only hitch was one of the models. I found out later it wasn’t Autumn’s decision to use her so I really felt for her. Why? The model was too skinny! She was showing a white swim suit corset with a detachable tulle skirt. It was a lovely ensemble but the model had no figure at all. Less than A cup boobs and no ass to speak of. She would have looked great in a flapper dress but a corset needs curves, some curves, any curves. That is the point of a corset – CURVES. You might as well have put the outfit on a ten-year old boy. It was sad. Even with this small blip, her collection itself was hot, strong and an incredible start to the show.
When Rebecca Bruce’s collection hit the runway, I was transported. The looks were so much better than the sketches. It surprised me because the all green dress on the bookmark I fell in love with just wasn’t what I thought it was. It was a bit more airy for my taste and younger in styling. I realize the bookmark said there were blues and purples in it but the all-deep green picture is what I fell in love with so I was a bit disappointed.
This dress was amazing! The color, the details, the feathers, the metal chain, all worked together perfectly. If I had a spare 21k lying around I would so buy this dress. It would look awesome on me. The styling, detail and wearability of her collection was just impressive. I enjoyed all of her looks and would urge people to check her out – http://www.RebeccaBruce.com
The show was great fun and I enjoyed myself immensely. It was wonderful to see all the creativity out there in the community. The show was also selling items in the lobby with proceeds going to the Coral Reef Alliance, a very worthy charity working to preserve coral reefs around the world.
In the cold light of day, I did find something that would have made me ten shades of puce if I was the organizer. The program that described the fashions we were seeing was full of typos. FULL! I tossed it across the room in a fit of red penned disgust. Ummmm, did you hire a public school third grader to write the copy? I would gladly volunteer my time for next years show to copy edit your program before you print it in exchange for clothes. Just sayin’.
I was still obsessed with the cute green keyhole jacket I saw from Sequoia & Gita. I decided to look it up on their website. I found it and my heart sank. Why? Look at the sizes! In what universe is a Large an 8-10? No sizes larger? While my waist is smaller, I will never fit into a jacket that fits an 8-10 dress size. My waist is a smidge too large and so are my boobs. I was crushed and felt fat. Then I felt pissed off. The audience at the show was varied. Not all the women there were tiny or very thin. In fact, the majority of women fell in the size 8-16 range depending on how you size or cut the clothes. There were larger gals there as well. The majority of the attendees (with money to spend on the clothes you were selling) couldn’t buy them because they were too small. Just saying.
Best bets for the ready-to-wear were Autumn’s Dark Garden corsets and hats by Dollymop. Sad. I would have rocked that jacket. I guess I will just have to work hard and get that Rebecca Bruce gown. She could make that fit!
So this morning my Mom calls me at 4:30am (she is in Virginia) to tell me that Japan has suffered a devastating 8.9/9.0 earthquake. It’s what we in California fear and call “The Big One”. While feeling awful, I fail to understand why she is waking me up to tell me this. Then she tells me about the Tsunami speeding towards our coast faster than a jet plane at 600 miles an hour. Great. I thought Irwin Allen disaster movies went out of style in the 1970’s.
At first I thought I would just stay where I am. While I am on the water in a marina, I am 4 stories up. However, the magnitude of the quake gave me pause. Do we know for sure what would happen in this situation? Nope, not really. We can guess, we can postulate but we can’t know for sure. We aren’t Gods even if some of our kind try to act like they are.
I decided that discretion was the better part of valor so I grabbed some things, stuck them in the car, grabbed the laptop, stuffed the cat in a carrier and off I went to the wilds of Walnut Creek. In order to avoid morning traffic, I took the back way past the San Pablo Dam, dropping down into Orinda behind the mountains. The road was thick with fog and dark. I almost thought I passed through one of those strange bubbles in time that lurk on the fringes of reality, waiting to drop on you like a trapdoor spider.
I lurked at Starbucks for a few hours, looking like total Hell, before heading to my friend Christine’s house for a few more hours of television watching. I needed to get the kitten out of the carrier before she had a mental meltdown. Not that she didn’t have one when deposited in an unfamiliar house. I’ve never heard her growl so much. Her kitty brain just leaked out of her ears, poor thing.
The devastation is awful and my heart goes out to all those people caught in broken buildings or swept away in a pyroclastic flow of tsunami water. The fact that trucks and trains alike were just tossed aside like dice should remind us all how small we are in the face of nature in her element.
It also made me nuts to see selfish people surfing in the Bay or off of Santa Cruz. What are these people thinking? If they get in trouble through their own voluntary actions, would they expect first responders to risk their own lives to save their self-centered asses? My mother lived in Hawaii for years and told me stories of tsunamis. While the people with sense would head for the high ground, there were always the lemmings who would run down to the beach. “Look! All the water pulled away, let’s run out there and pick up shells and dance around!” Yeah, that’s great until the water rushes back in like a freight train.
Those poor people in Japan had no warning. Why others tempt fate for a ride on a wave is beyond me! Let’s keep the people who were effected by this tragedy in our thoughts and remember one day, it could be us. Be good to each other.
Whack-A-Doodle Wednesday just jumped a track today with me trying to get final edits done for one project, trying to file my DBA and then other items showed up. These involved playing dress up Barbie, a hole in my brain regarding a “gay cruise movie” I couldn’t remember and various other things. The bottom line is that I neglected to hit “post”.
All I can say is that I would rather walk down the street bathed in pigs blood than wear this monstrosity.
Now if you want to have a little educational fun, instead of a burro or Spongebob Squarepants, why not get this pinata for your kids birthday party:
Now do you fill this with snack size candy bars or tampons? Just wondering.
Just a heads up to any of you men who’ve never seen a grown woman naked, that isn’t a hot dog though I am glad to see this couch has been to Brazil. Alright, go commute now with that in your head. Be safe out there!
Happy Monday Everyone! Fine, I’m sure it’s not so very happy for some. I would gamble that most of us either (a) don’t want to go back to work, (b) are reminded we need to find work, (c) are nursing the ill-effects of nearly 60 hours of drunken debauchery or various combinations of these things.
I am just trying to navigate the highways and biways of Interstate 5, which in California we just call I-5 for short even though this stretch of asphalt is very long. Between the Los Angeles Basin and the Bay Area lies what I have been told is “The Weird”.
Granted, it’s Sunday when I am typing this, trying to wrap my head around awaking from “Midnight Manhattan Madness” but that is another story for another time.
Today I want to introduce you to another blog that I read every day and one I highly recommend. It will add to your many Mondays to come.
Kathleen, Kage and the Company http://kbco.wordpress.com/ I have known Kathleen & Kage since 1989. They were fixtures on the edges of my theatrical world for many, many years. They ran The Green Man Inn at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire when I was a monkey actor doing Shakespeare shows. I didn’t know them well but I knew them. Hell, everyone knew them. Kathleen always had a parrot on her shoulder. Kage was always patrician and refined. They gave us lemonaide during the day and hosted Morris Ales at night. We were terrified to enter the Innyard without a hat for fear of evoking their maternal wrath. We were elated when Kathleen gave us permission to enter the yard wearing just wreaths when we were in our fairy costumes from Midsummer Nights Dream. She figured we were playing Elizabethan villagers dressed in costumes and those costumes didn’t include hats so were given special dispansation for as long as we were performing our Shakespeare show. That was one of the best things we heard. It made us giggle and feel naughty, like we were getting away with a crime.
Kage went on to write Science Fiction books. When her first novel, In The Garden Of Iden came out, I bought it and enjoyed it even though Science Fiction was never my thing. The years rolled on, things changed, Kathleen & Kage started working other events that I didn’t attend and life sped by. Then the brakes came on. Last year Kage Baker lost her battle with cancer. I realized I am starting to reach an age where people I know have started shuffling off this mortal coil and heading back home. At times it really pisses me off. It makes me feel a little more alone in the world and I don’t like that feeling.
Well Kathleen started this amazing blog after Kage passed. I started reading it and was delighted. I had no idea Kathleen also wrote and she’s wonderful at it. Through these posts I learned more about Kage and Kathleen and their lives. I reconnected with Kathleen via a writers group and have gotten to know her better which has been wonderful. I have also been exposed to her stories of I-5 and “The Weird”. Here are just two of her posts that explain about “The Weird” and I-5.
I find I am more aware on that stretch of road. I find myself looking for some of the things Kathleen has mentioned. I know I miss so many things since I’m driving and not a passenger like Kage was but it still brings me a heightened sense of awareness. The strange lights in the middle of nowhere still freak me out. I must admit on my way down to LA on Friday, I found myself staring out towards the mountains during the light of day, trying to figure out what was making those fairy cities come to life.
I still haven’t figured it out. Perhaps tomorrow I’ll have the answer… or not.