Monday, 27 December 2010

Tis a Gift to Be Simple: An Adventure Story


I've gotta say, Ocean 2010 was a rough ride. The waves rose to breath-stealing highs only to toss my little dingy into cavernous underbellies that looked more grim than the devil's palm. Overall, at the end of it, I drag a rusty pirate sword across sea salted leather to make yet another notch in the belt of experience, but not only that, I think that I can use this notch as a hold, as I grapple on to new and better heights.

It hasn't been easy here in this town, struggling to survive, wrestling the economic python as it coiled around my fragile bones and squeezed with all its might. Thankfully I had my sharp wits and the aid of near and dear friends and family, without whose helping hands I'd've been mangled and swallowed up, for sure. Really, I don't even know how to say thank you. I only hope that I can one day be the heroine in your lives who, when you're trembling between the open jaws of life's uncertainties, swoops down to dump you gently onto the downy meadows of good, solid human kindness.

It's been rough. It's been tumultuous. It's been wonderful. I haven't felt more alive, really. Life can be complicated, but all we really need are its bare essentials to survive: Love and more love.

That's my holiday reflection. Thanks to everyone and all and I hope that I can be a better friend, coworker, student, daughter, and sister in 2011.

Friday, 24 December 2010

Thought of the Morning 29


McDonalds gift certificates are a great way to say, "I love you, but I don't want to be with you forever."

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Eet Teks Ze Baguette

First--Let me say that my lack of communication at this point is not due to willful inactivity. My computer is in the shop and I am slowly dying inside without being able to blog at all. Hopefully it'll be back tomorrow. Really hopefully.

Now back to our show. Everyone around me is getting sick. I live in Southern California, where the weather is mostly nice and people spend enough time out of doors for germ spreading not to be as much of an issue as it is in the winter in other areas--HOWEVER--because I'm in a metropolis with business and tourist commuters lighting on our town just long enough to infect us with their wordly illnesses, people everywhere in this town are hacking and sneezing. Tis the season, oh yes. And that is why I'm SO glad to be French.

You see, we Frenchies are not scared of bacteria, or germs, or mold of many different kinds. My grandparents, who lived in the Loire Valley for most of their lives, would find a bit of fuzz on the top of jams, bread or fromage, and promptly scrape it off and go to town. Okay, yes, that's a little gross, but did they get sick very often? Not much. And I doubt that it was from the penicillin-like properties of the spores that sprouted from their cupboard-housed delicacies.

Yes, one of the stereotypes about the French is that they smell bad, that they don't keep up with their hygeine as often as they should. While anyone who has been on the Metro in Paris for any length of time can attest to some truth to that stereotype, what they can't deny is the French constitution. There's no question that they are one of the top 5 healthiest countries in the world. Maybe some of that could be attributed to the lack of obsessive hand-washing, anti-bacterial gels and wipes everywhere, and the pseudo security that Americans have about being "clean."

Maybe I'm jumping the gun here, and perhaps my wild swings from one outrageous conclusion to the next could be construed as...well, just cultural pride, but, so far, I've shown no sign of a sniffle...and I can't say the same for many of those around me. Coincidence? J'en pense que non.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Rocking Out

I just wanted to infect your brain with this song. You can thank me at 5 p.m., when you're in your car and you find yourself singing it, not knowing from whence it came.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Paranoia and Politics: Two Ps in a Pod

They're not campaign advertisements, they're psycho-storms, hypnotic cyclones of doubt, descending on the flat, calm plains of underinformed, undecided, or unconvinced voters in an attempt to shake enough of us, to make enough of us believe the worst, and, sometimes, the downright ridiculous.

If we can suspend reality enough to believe that the Dems are going to send sick and elderly people to death panels, or that the Repubs are going to turn back the clock for gays, women and other minority groups, we are right in the thick of the harsh political paranoia that engenders U.S. politics right now.

These days, it's chic to look over your shoulder, and not just within standard "politics as usual." Anti-establishment groups, such as the Zeitgeist Movement, have decided that the money and power hungry leaders in this country have cooked up one brilliantly executed scheme after another to gain mastery and complete control of the people of the world. Globalization is part of this elaborate plan, as well as were the 9-11 attacks. The whole argument, the movie (there are two) are well-thought-out and very convincing. But, I also note that some of the craziest people in the world can be very convincing (think cult leaders: Jones, Manson, etc). If you are willing to be led, and just suspicious enough of what's going on around you, you can suspend your own reality enough to believe that the boogie man is in the shadows, waiting.

So, when you go to the polls (or not), make sure that you close the curtain tightly behind you. You never know who's watching...

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Thought of the Morning 28


I wonder what Dr. Spock would say about naughty brain children...

Retrobilia: MySpace Blog 2007 "Garden Variety Gurus"

Solange aka Supergirl's MySpace Blog blog.myspace.com/sollychan
April 16, 2007 - Monday
Garden Variety Gurus
Current mood: annoyed
Category: Life
Over the past fifty or so years, self help books for women have been more than successful in this
country. From "Women Who Love Too Much" to "He's Just Not That Into You," to "How to Be a Bitch with Style," these miniature gospel go flying from the shelves into the eager hands of every type of woman imaginable. Although, perhaps these so-called gurus that write these books feel a certain sense of purpose in helping these women, I cannot help but think that they are simply capitalizing on one immensely common thread that reoccurs in the psyche of almost every female being alive on this continent.
These women all have self esteem issues. Why? Why not?! Hell, our society breeds it into us. I don't know one woman alive that does not have an ounce of self doubt. And no matter what a woman's friends/relatives/significant others say to her, she somehow holds onto these negative tapes deep in the back of her mind. Somehow our society tells women that they don't ever measure up. They're never pretty enough, smart enough, strong enough, powerful enough. Everytime a woman does anything she gets pegged into a stereotype. If she doesn't live up to the stereotype, well, sorry for her.
In matters of the love and dating world, it's a mess. Women constantly seek validation from members of the opposite sex, then turn around and read books about how they shouldn't do so. They teeter feebly on a borrowed sense of self esteem, only to have it thrashed to shreds by the next unforseen blow. And, let's face it, most of these dating gurus are men who now live in mansions furnished by the self doubt of women everywhere. The sound of self esteem goes, "cha-ching."
Take, "He's Just Not That Into You" for example. Yes, Greg Berandt does make some valid points for straight women. I agree that a woman should not wait by the phone for a guy to call, that she needs to have her own life and that the right guy will follow suit. What I don't agree with are the groundrules he sets for the dynamics of a male-female heterosexual relationship. He thinks that women should take any sign of hesitation on the part of the male as a sign of disinterest. Therefore, a woman should immediately write the guy off. He claims that men want to be the pursuers and women the prey. I think that he's full of it on that end.
While, yes, I agree that if a guy really is interested after meeting a woman, he will call, I don't think that if he doesn't call within a few days that it means he's not interested. Dating is a big game where seemingly nobody wins in the beginning. We're always trying to pretend like we're "not that into" the other person because we don't want to come on too strong or appear TOO needy, which could either shift the dynamics of the relationship or scare the other person off altogether. Of the guys I know, many take a more laid back approach to dating. Some of them won't call a girl until a week or so later. Meanwhile, they were probably totally unaware that the girl was on pins and needles hoping that he would get back to her but not wanting to call him because she didn't want to appear too needy.
Grey's book, "Men are From Mars, Women are from Venus," probably the most famous relationship help book to date, says that men are "emotional camels" who can go for days without any sort of emotional reassurance. I can say that, while some men may be very much like that hooved desert animal when it comes to women, others do like to reconnect emotionally quite often. I've known both kinds. One wasn't less interested than the other, they just were raised differently and had a different chemical composition.
I am thinking of writing a self help book called, "Who Needs a Man?" I'm a little young to write it now. Maybe when I'm 40 I'll do it. Straight women such as myself need to know how to find their worth without worrying about the dating game. They certainly do not need a male dating guru to tell them what to do.
We all have emotions. We all have needs. Instead of playing games and stuffing down the real you to seem more appealing to Mr. X, why don't we embrace who we are? What is SO bad about telling a guy, "Hey, I like you. If you like me too you should call me." and leaving it at that?
So many women, including myself, have agonized over a guy at one point or another, playing a guessing game as to whether or not he was "that into me." It's dumb. We sell pieces of ourselves in trying to find happiness. Happiness is realizing who you are, then if you can find a person in this world who is worthy of everything you are, fabulous.
In the meantime, girls, you can always improve upon perfection. Try to learn a new skill/hobby once a year. It will add to your self esteem, I promise!

Monday, 4 October 2010

Thought of the Morning 26


My parents just sent me my old Nintendo Entertainment System. Guess who's playing Zelda tonight!

Thought of the Morning 27
















Being proactive while you are swamped is like trying to rescue a village from a wildfire spreading down the mountainside and not having time to actually figure out how to put out the fire.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Places

Laundromat:

The inescapable odor of fabric softener, mingled with baked B.O. and mildew greets you at the door. Couples perform the same ritual every week, loading, unloading, folding, softly discussing bills, family business. An old man squints to read the partially rubbed off instructions on one of the machines. He looks up for the attendant, a mental wave for help. She is cleaning the floor. She sighs and sharply shoves his quarters into the machine. The machine switches on and the clothes swirl and foam. On the other side, the rhythm of clicks and soft thunks as the clothes dry soothe the baby in his bouncey seat on the folding table, while his mother's hands smoothe the fabric of his father's old work shirt. Toyless on the grey tiled floors, children shriek, scamper, laugh and play.

Thought of the Morning 25


"Sunday morning" and "traffic jam" are two phrases rarely heard together in the same sentence, except when you live in Los Angeles. Oi...

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Thought of the Morning 24

Three months and not even one month's worth of Thought of the Morning.

#24 and MOST IMPORTANT Thought of the Morning: I need to think more in the morning.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Thought of the Morning 22

I hate it when technology make jokes obscelete. Like, I've been hanging onto the whole "your face and my butt" comeback for the past couple of decades, waiting for the right moment for an unsuspecting victim to inquire about finding a match. Of course, now, I've waited so long that I just want to say it to anyone. Knowing me, I'll probably blurt it to the wrong person:

"I'm sorry Mr. President, it wasn't directed at you. I've just always wanted to say that to someone. Hey, you know when we shook hands earlier? Yeah, can we go back to that?"

Or at the wrong time,

"What? Uncle Lenny was a jokester. He'd want us to laugh right now! Besides, those candles have lead in them..."

Anyway, some jokes stand the test of time. My favorite one-liner is from "The Patsy" (the original 1928 silent version):

"I'm going to hit her so hard, she's going to starve to death bouncing!"

I'll leave you to think about that one for a minute...

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Buttermilk and Me


A friend once asked me, "What is it about girls and horses?" I've thought about that question far longer than I should ever have. I still don't really know what it is about girls and horses, why we tend to be drawn to them at an early age and why we in particular delight at the prancing hooves, the flowing manes, the flying flags of tails held high in an exhilerating romp across a pasture. It's so natural, so intuitive to me, that I don't even think about the fact that anyone could be anything but intoxicated by the sheer majesty of these animals.

I spent most of my childhood dreaming about horses. My storage boxes from days gone by are piled with hundreds, thousands of horsey drawings, stories, journal entries--not to mention the boxes and boxes of My Little Ponies, Barbie horses, Fashion Star Fillies (you'd forgotten those, right?), and Breyer collectibles. I was, not to mince words, obsessed. No two ways about it. Every dime I earned from Christmas, birthdays, babysitting or miscellaneous chores around the house went into my "horse fund," a little box that held all of my hopes and dreams. While other kids were squandering their cash on candy and toys, I was squirreling it away, passing the time drawing, reading, writing, imagining what life would be like if I only had a horse. I don't think anything on this earth could have replaced the feeling that I had as a child dreaming about horses.

By 15, I'd saved up just enough money to acquire something on the cheap end of the scale. My first horse, Ahab, was a spitfire, but, in spite of his tendancies to jump out of his skin at the slightest hint of movement or noise, he saved me from the majority of the pitfalls of adolescence. On his back, I escaped the feelings of being awkward, different, creative. He didn't care if I was pretty or ugly or had the right clothes. We had an understanding and we loved each other, even when he was being "Winnie the Pill."

Since Ahab, I owned a couple of horses throughout my life, but moving around and changing lifestyles made consistent horse ownership difficult. After moving to London and giving up my third horse, a rescued racehorse named Enchanted Moment (Emmy), I decided to wait on horse ownership until I had a more stable, steady job and knew where I wanted to live for the next five years. After that, I went without really riding for about three years, which was the longest stretch of time that I went without being in the saddle. I'd look through old photos whimsically, or my ears would perk at the sound of clopping hooves. Riding is like some toxins: you can never quite get it out of your blood once it's there. I'd resolved that I'd start riding again someday, but I never really knew when that would be, and life had taken a very ungraceful fall. Through bad relationships, economic downslides, and waylaying of my career goals due to industries faltering, my confidence was badly shaken and I didn't know when I'd ever recover. I began that slow spiral into deep depression: binge eating, falling out of exercise routines, really doing much of nothing except what was absolutely vital to survive. Finally, moving to yet another new city, Los Angeles, I stumbled upon Nathalie, Yves, Saddlerock and Buttermilk.

Nathalie is a distant relative. We have the same last name, which is as rare in France as it is in the U.S. She moved to the states some 15 years ago. And, she, like me, is obsessed with horses--I guess it runs in teh family. she introduced me to her trainer, Yves, who, unlike most horse trainers on the planet, actually loves horses. Other than my own father, he's probably the kindest man I've ever met. Every Saturday I meet them at Saddlerock.

There's nothing like this place to me. It is a piece of heaven on this earth, a physical manifestation of all of the dreams that I've ever had as a child and beyond. Horses, llamas, camels, zebras, donkeys, longhorn cattle, emus, and buffalo graze over acres of echoing land through the canyons of sun-christened Malibu. Thousands of wine grapes thread over the hills in neat little rows in the distance, while, on the property avocados, blackberries, pomegranates and other delectable fruits populate the trees. Sculptures, foot bridges and fountains decorate the landscape, and the air above the smog here is ripe for breathing.

Saddlerock is where I met Buttermilk. His first owner had given him away to the barn owners because she claimed that he was dangerous. After a couple of years, more or less, out to pasture, he'd seen little human kindness or compassion of any sort, and had gotten quite tubby to boot. Yves wasn't sure about him, given his huge golden and white splotched body and sluggish movement, if he'd really turn out to be a good horse for me, but he said that he would try the little guy.

"Buttermilk? Butterball is more like it!" Nathalie had quipped.

When I first entered Buttermilk's sunbaked pasture, he seemed unsure of me. His pink, semi-sunburnt nose wrinkled a little bit, and he looked at me quizzically (he has one brown eye and one blue eye) but he wasn't upset with me. He followed me through the property, looking around nervously at the shadows in the trees, as I led him 1/4 mile or so to where I would be tacking him up.

The first couple of rides were barely thirty minutes long. His out of shape body lagged and his breath quickened. within a few circles at the trot. My second ride with him was completely in two-point (standing up in the stirrups--think power squats for 20-30 mins at a time) to alleviate any strain on his weak back. My out-of-shape body was sore for a week after that.

My third lesson, he bucked me off. It was kind of my fault. Yves had wanted me to rev him up to get him to canter, and he did not like the slightly too hard wield of the crop. He started crowhopping and then let out a colossal bronc move. I landed on my hip, hard and could barely walk for a couple of days afterward. I was back on the next week.

Slowly he's getting better. As I rode him underneath the trees yesterday, as he looked around with anxiety at the possible boogie men in the shadows, I rolled my seat back a bit more, hugged my legs reassuringly around his belly a bit more, and he let out a HUGE sigh. His muscles decontracted, his head lowered, and his ears flicked back to catch my signals to him. In that moment, I knew that we were okay. That everything, somehow, was going to be okay.

Last week, Yves sent me a message: "I think that if we totally retrain him from scratch, we're going to have a good boy here."

I think that we're going to have more than that up ahead.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Thought of the Morning 21

I've finally come up with my 3 people that I would like to have dinner with, living or dead:

Douglas Adams
Dolly Parton
George Carlin

These things take a lot of thought. This trifecta came as a sort of ephiphany. Does the Nobel Peace Prize Committee have an opening?

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Thought of the Morning 20


My advice: Anger is like a racehorse. You've got to hold it back until you really need it. Then, whip the living daylights out of it.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Thought of the Morning 19

Okay, perhaps this isn't MY thought, exactly, but I was thinking of this quote this morning: "Maybe this world is another planet's Hell."--Aldous Huxley

P.S. A little trivia: Aldous Huxley's niece was my computer teacher in grade school.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

What You REALLY Want


I remember it was my fifth birthday and every kid in my grade had one of those Glo Worm dolls. Remember those? They were pretty much giant larvae dressed in hats whose faces glowed when you squeezed them. Ahh, the 80s! Anyway, my friend had one that had butterfly wings, and of course, I wanted one just like it.
I guess that I talked this one up quite a bit to my parents because, on my birthday, they announced that we were going to the toy store to get me my precious glowing monstrosity. As we entered the warehouse-turned children's wonderland, my tiny eyes drew in the colors, sights and sounds in which only a child's senses could take immeasurable delight. Up and down the aisles of dolls, stuffed animals, figurines and playsets we marched until we came upon the display of Glo Worm toys. The thing was a GIGANTIC pyramid, stacked to the ceiling with podlike boxes of plastic doll-like larvae, none of which seemed to resemble my precious butterfly model.
"Oh no, I don't think they have the one you want," my mother said, disappointment pulling down her face and frame as she approached.
My little lip must have quivered a bit, because she and my father both decided to embark on a treasure hunt. They began to burrow through the huge display of boxes as I, drawn forward and onward by the ever-appealing visual displays, explored the other toys.
And so they dug and they dug...pulling out green glow worms, blue ones, purple ones. None of these were "The One." My mother was a trooper. She had not lost the inner knowledge of the kind of delight that comes with being a child, with having your heart set on that one special toy. She searched with a fervor, as if she were searching for those same special childhood feelings that she once experienced. Suddenly, she struck them. Amid a pile of boxes scattered all over the floor, she found what she'd been looking for. Waving the box over her head containing the butterfly doll, she yelped. I don't even remember what it was that she said, but I remember the shrillness of it, the way it echoed throughout the store and caused other shoppers to turn around and look at this crazy lady wading through boxes of the most ridiculous looking toys on the face of the planet.
My mother approached me with sheer, maddened glee on her face, searching for her match in my eyes. I, on the other hand, was holding another toy that I'd found the next aisle over.
"I found it, Honey!" my mother said, thrusting the ridiculous butterfly toward me.
My little lip must've quivered.
"You've found something else?" she said, disappointment pulling down her face and shoulders as she spoke.

I don't remember the toys that I got instead of the Glo Worm, but I do remember crying on the way home because of that look of disappointment on my mother's face. I remember the way she yelped and how that would haunt me to this day.

All in all it was an insignificant decision. My mother forgave me and has probably forgotten this incident. Still, I remember. And I think, after all, I did get what I really wanted. And I still have it. :)

Friday, 20 August 2010

Thought of the Morning 18


Words are like bacteria: under the right conditions, they can cure or destroy a nation.

The Word is Good

Just when I think that the American public no longer cares much for words, what, with articles, books, press releases shrinking in size to fit on handy dandy portable devices, some loon like Dr. Laura Schlesinger pops out the "N word" a bunch of times and we're hot on debate. As thrilled as I am that this cult-er-ifficly heeded coo-coo is off the air, I do think that the can of worms has been un-corked and I'm ready to start fishin.
My ears perked the other day when I heard Anderson Cooper (of all of the men that you had to make gay, lord, why?) speaking to DL Hugely and Rev. Al Sharpton about the implications of said age-old "N-word" and its impact on black people across the nation. DL Hugely was of the mindset that, words, when used in jest, lose power over the people that use them in that way. However, Al Sharpton said that using a destructive, derogatory word in any context does not lessen its derogatory nature. "If I take your fist and hit myself with it, does it lessen the power of the punch?"
It's all a philosophical debate, when boiled down, as to the power of words within a society. Yes, we have freedom of speech, but only up until the point that it offends a large group of people. And, yes, when words are spoken in jest, it softens the blow to the public. However, as Michael Richards found, comedy does not heal all, and, as in art, there are some creations that do not go over well at all.
Freedom of spech is a funny thing in this country. Say what you want, but, also, be prepared for others to say what THEY think as well. As a writer, you just know this. When will everyone else learn?

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Thought of the Morning 17


Ever thought of getting a tattoo of your very favorite joke? Then you could tell everyone, "The joke's on me!"

Wahh wahh wahh....

I'll take my rotten fruit now. Thanks!

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Thought of the Morning 16

Life may not be fair, but, almost always, it is funny.

(Like, "Haha" funny, not weird funny. Well, actually...it's also weird.)

Friday, 13 August 2010

Thought of the Morning 15

What's obnoxious to me lately? People who say, "I put it to you..." when presenting an idea or thought. People who say this can be nothing but pretentious. Seriously, does "I put it to you" ever come to mind when YOU are addressing someone? Such as, "I put it to you: perhaps we should empty the garbage today rather than tomorrow?" Didn't think so.

When people say those words, I find myself compelled to say something obnoxious and vulgar afterward, such as, "Oh yeah? I put it to YOUR MOM!" But I'm not that crazy in real life.

Note: "Your Mom" jokes don't go over very well if you are female. Although, the thought finds itself entertaining.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Mom Wisdom

My mother's a very wise woman, who always has the perfect bit of advice to give for any situation.

Yesterday, she said this:

"No matter what you go through, no matter what people say to you, just remember that they can't take YOU away from you."

I will remember this to my dying day. Thank you, Mom. I <3 you!

P.S. Planning a ceremony or life-changing event? Visit Ellen Deschatres's celebrant website: http://www.standonceremony.net/

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Thought of the Morning 14


His and Hers Fitness:

When men talk about the gym, it's always an inflated "big fish" story: "Yep, today I did about 100 pushups, 500 situps, and benched 250." or, "Yeah, I spend 2 hours a day in the gym." These words are usually spoken with a lot of puffed chests and twitched fibres.

When women talk about the gym, it's riddled with guilt: "Yeah, I have GOT to get motivated to get back into a routine," or "I only went four days last week." These statements are typically made over lunch or after eating something "bad."

Just an observation. I went to the gym yesterday and I'm going today. Just for the record.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Retrobilia

So, LaBrea and 3rd's Trader Joe's employees were suddenly effervescent with cheerful conversation, which led me to conclude that either spring was blooming in their pants, or someone received a stern lecture from corporate. At any rate, virtual rays of sunshine and rose petals floated from the lips of each cashier yesterday as they dragged each customer's purchases over the scanner.
"These are brand new," the strapping TJ employee with a tamped-down mohawk enthusiastically noted as he waved my pre-cooked, vacuum-sealed black-eyed peas over the scan spot. "They're great!"

"Uh, yeah," I stiltedly replied, searching my cerebral faculties for something interesting to say about beans. "You don't have to deal with the can." Heh. Weak, I thought.

It was then that I was secretly violently annoyed. Why does this guy care about what I'm buying? Why is it his business? What if I were buying nothing but tampons and toilet paper? What kind of conversation would we be having then?

And suddenly I was uncomfortable, talking about beans and all. Then he asked me about my plans for the weekend. "Well, for starters, I'm going to eat beans," I almost said. But, I didn't and gave some vague "I am not sure yet," sort of answer. Looking into his vacant face, I could tell that he could care less about what I was doing OR eating, that weekend. So, why the ridiculous pleasantries? How about less lip flapping, more speed? Put my beans in a bag and get me out of this place, for crying out loud! There's a line forming from the front of the store to the back! If neither of us cares, let's get on with it, shall we?

I grabbed the bagged beans, and dusted off the sunshine and rose petals. It was a dreary, cloudy day in L.A. I stepped outside and the parking lot was filled with people talking to themselves--but, really, that's not unusual. It's hard to tell in L.A. whether an individual is a bonafied nutter, or whether he or she is simply having a conversation with someone who is not present, typically via some sort of cyborg-like earpiece attached to a smarter-than-thou smart phone. At any rate, both the so-called "sane" and the societal rejects are constantly chattering. And that, my friends, is how affluence and insanity join hands and come together.

Just another day in paradise, at least as I see it.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Thought of the Morning 13

I should invent some sort of ridiculously strong cocktail and call it "The Polygraph." I bet it'd go over big in Vegas.

Thought of the Morning 12

I prefer not to say that I've LOST something. Rather, I'd prefer to think that I'm just hiding things from myself; making a game of it.
Perhaps, in other aspects of life, we could be more playful, like, "I'm not writing a report for my boss, I'm finding new words for Scrabble." or "This isn't an awkward first date, it's 20 Questions."

Life could be a lot more fun, don't you think?

Friday, 23 July 2010

Thought of the Morning 11


From a REAL personal ad: "I'm a follower of the Law of Attraction (it REALLY works)!"
User joined in 2007.
My thought: Your REALLY is really more of a "REALLY?!?!" Try not being crazy. It REALLY works.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Thought of the Morning 10


Am I not cool because I don't own a fedora in Los Angeles? Everywhere I go, I see fedora, fedora, fedora. In fact, probably never since bellbottoms has there been such a style cliche. Like the bellbottom, however, the fedora is a universally flattering, versatile fashion staple. Still, any given night out in Hollywood's most trendy spots lends itself to an almost farcical situation where people wear them with everything, like it's the THING to do. I've seen fedoras paired with everything from track suits to ballgowns. Next time you're out somewhere, count the fedoras. We'll make a game of it. Note to travelers: Don't go out without your umbrella in London, and don't go out without your fedora in LA.
FEDORABLE!

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Thought of the Morning 9


I remember as a child, going into the closet with the lights off and closing the door. It was so dark in there that, no matter how my eyes strained and my pupils stretched, there were no shapes and shadows, just pure, suffocating blackness enveloping my face.

There in the pitch I would wave my hand in front of my face to see if I was still real, still there even. I felt around. My physical form had disappeared somewhere via some sort of teleportation or magic force. Shapes and time, the world and reality and logic were gone, and I felt swept away in the nothingness, floating into oblivion, like a lost astronaut drifting from the ship out into the unknown gravity of outerspace. Terror. My physical heart would thump loudly and my breath would quicken as I wildly reached out my invisible hand to touch the invisible string that would save me from non-existance.

And when the light finally came on, and there I was, amid shirts and shoes, coats and purses, I realized that what really mattered had been there all along.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Mobile Cravings--Really? Amazing!

Meals on wheels have really been exploding in recent years. No longer are taco trucks only for tacos, nor are they by any means a last resort. Nowadays, walking down any given avenue around dinnertime in a large metro area will reveal the familiar intermingling scent of exhaust and grill flames, as ambulatory contempo-chic cuisines temporarily nestle against a nearby sidewalk. If you're feeling adventurous, or prefer the open air of a city block to the stagnant ambiance of an indoor restaurant, check out Mobile Cravings, a very cool blog that's been around since 2009, detailing flavoriffic mealtrucks in cities across the country. Seriously, I'm giving these guys a plug. So great of an idea that even I may have to take to the streets...

Monday, 12 July 2010

Thought of the Morning 8


My thoughts on the economy: If money's at the root of all evil, then we've all got different kinds of shovels.

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Thought of the Morning 7


I find that, if you don't care what people think of your appearance, you get get ready very quickly. This thinking helps when you wake up an hour late and still need to get to work on time.


P.S. Never set your phone alarm to that soothing, gentle harp music, as tempting as it may seem.


P.P.S. Do not attempt the harp music especially when your office does not own a coffee maker.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Thought of the Morning 6


It seems as though in big cities like Los Angeles, where bold, bright young women flock in search of a better career and better quality of life, strangely enough, gender roles of days gone by are starting to re-emerge (with a modern edge, of course). These days, it's less Dolly Levi, and more dolly house...that is, that less is more when it comes to the female personality. Outgoing, silly, fun and confident chicks are often passed up for the more demure, wallflower types, who never dare to say what they think, or to ask a guy if he'd like to grab a coffee sometime. It makes me wonder, does it all come down to biology, or are we just so attached to a stereotype that we cannot seem to let her go?

Monday, 28 June 2010

Thought of the Morning 5


Hate people? Become a letter carrier for the U.S. Postal Service!

Thought of the Morning 4


If you sleep in sometimes, you skip the whole morning routine altogether. That's like "Move Ahead 3 Spaces" in any given board game where the aim is to get to the finish line before your opponent. In this case, however, the finish line is not the goal. In conclusion, sleeping in is not recomended, if you want to actually live your life, that is.

P.S. Alcohol induces sleeping in. I wouldn't recommend it in massive quantities. Oi, my head...

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Thought of the Morning 3


Sometimes I get down on myself as a writer and think, "Gee, what I wouldn't give to be Perez Hilton right now." Then again, would I really want to be known for drawing penises on people's faces? Hmm...[loooooooonnnnngggggg pause]...Yessss?

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Thought of the Morning 2


As a writer and a creative, I cannot believe that there are actually people out there who don't daydream. I know that it's bad to do, most of the time, when there are other, more productive things happening: bullets whizzing by your skill, patient bleeding on the op table. But, consider a moment a world without daydreamers; maybe nothing would exist at all then, which is wayy too complex for the human brain to even fathom. Would the Earth and all of the people on it be a black hole of sorts? A vacuum? Nothing exists in a vacuum, they say. I think that I'm going to go back to my fluffy pink clouds now, knowing that, at least, something exists.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Thought O'the Mornin'


Yet another morning that I splash coffee on my clothing. It's become a ritual. I might as well create my own couture of brown-splashed tie dye clothing, or stuff in which the coffee stains blend. I'll even rename myself Anna Wintour Klein so that my initials spell, "AWK". It'll be stitched on the butt of my jeans. The left butt cheek. Both of them.

Friday, 26 February 2010

That Stings (Sting? What's he got to do with it?)

What do Men at Work and The Verve have in common? Well, for one, they both had law suits brought against their one and only big hit of their careers. Bummer. You make a song, song gets popular, and, years down the line, someone slams you for pilfering notes.
Although The Verve had originally licensed a sample of the Oldham Orchestra's cover of the Rolling Stone's song, "The Last Time" (my, this music stuff is complicated, right?), they used more than the agreed-upon amount of the song in their popular hit, "Bittersweet Symphony", and, the court agreed to nail them for it. Really, the sample is what made up half of the song's public appeal, to be fair, and, in my opinion, the orchestra deserved at least part of the credit for that song's universal success.
However, in all fairness, the group did creatively use the sample and overlaid its own lyrics, and still got completely bamboozled in a legal battle with ABKCO, the corp that owns the rights the the Stones' stuff, eventually turning over ALL song royalties, AND songwriting credits to the Stones. Boooh and hiss. Do the Stones really need to rob the rich to further stoke the unfathomable fires of their own fortunes? REALLY?
Yet, in a 1999 interview with Rolling Stone Magazine, Keith Richards called out The Verve, saying, "If the Verve can write a better song, they can keep the money."
Yeah, and if you can find your keys, you can drive home, Keith.
But, there's a lesson here, folks, in honesty. If The Verve hadn't pushed the limits with the song, they may have still made bank, or at least enough pocket money to get by. Now, what have they got? In all likelihood, not much. We haven't heard from them since 2008. You still alive, boys?
Speaking of dead, the writer of the Kookaburra song has long since passed, but that didn't stop the people who owned the rights to the song to unearth a colossal lawsuit against the 80s Australian group, The Men at Work. They waited ages (over 20 years) to roll out the mother-of-all smack downs on the group whose main claim to fame, "Down Under," utilized a flute solo that bore an uncanny resemblance to the aforementioned childhood tune.
I must say, although band member, Greg Ham, claimed that he had no intention of copying the aforementioned childhood tune, it is ridiculous, in my opinion, to believe that he did not intentionally use the riff to give the "Down Under" song a recognizable Australian feel. Now, if the boys had been up-front and PAID for the use of this little tidbit in the 80s, they and their label would not be battling a colossal suit that may well scarf most of their celebrated fortunes. Booh and booh.
Music industry lessons learned, folks. Buy now or pay later.

Monday, 22 February 2010

Another Scam!

Booh and hiss. The latest job scam is in. I've received two such scams that seem like a genuine reply to an application, but they have one "tiny" request: Just click on "this link here" and get a "free" credit report, and then we'll set you up for an interview. Hmmm...I know better than to click on such links, and, likely this link will lead to a scam or phish site, or perhaps prompt the user to fund a subscription of some sort. Really, the amount of time that people spend on crafting these scams is obscene.

Your best defense: think about all replies logically. If a company asks you to perform some task beyond a standard questionnaire before coming in for an interview, ask questions about WHY you are being asked to do so. The first time I received a request for my credit report, I emailed back asking why this step was neccessary, and whether I could complete this step AFTER the interview instead of beforehand. Guess what! Crickets. No reply, whatsoever. No harm in questioning the motive. Very few employers request credit reports, and, if they do, it's once you've hit the final round of employment.

Check out this link for a more detailed account of this scandalous endeavor.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

New Album to Check out!


"The Flexible Entertainer" Pit er Pat

(Thrill Jockey Jan 2010)

Is it rock? No. Is it electronica? No. Is it ear candy? Yes!

Let's face it, some experimental music is just weird for the sake of being weird. It's art,and by all means should be taken as such. However, weird doesn't always make for a fantastic listening experience.
In this case, however, experimental translates to original, fresh, and, yes, fantastic, as far as listening experiences go. Chicago-born, Pit er Pat manages to bring the listener to undiscovered territory without so much as ruffling an ear hair (or causing any discomfort whatsoever to said listener). Full of mystery, sensuality, harmony and spice, "The Flexible Entertainer" makes pop music seem plain, ordinary. This album intertwines each experiment with a palatable mixture of guitar, vocals and groove-able drums. I've gotta give props to fellow Midwesterners--lately, we've been batting 1000!

Note-worthy tracks:

"The Emperor of Charms"--Fay Davis-Jeffers' nasally vocals string out over the tribal drums, lightning fast sitar-esque guitar and seductively clashing finger cymbals, conveying a dazzling flash of syncopated reverie. The track lures the listener slowly, and builds to a mad crescendo, whirling and warm. Disjointed cymbal clangs pull the track to a close.

"Godspot"--A dub-steppy, perfectly on-point, stop motion beat floats a heavy electro bass on this one. The earthy, melodic vocal seems excessive and dull at first, but then swirls into the mix of floody synth and guitar. The gossamer smoothness of a chasing harmonic vocal echo is the song's crowning glory.

"Summer Rose"--Steel drum pops and Latin-y bass set the scene for a late-60s, Paul Revere & the Raiders feel. Polka dot sway, back porch guitar, and a fantastic vocal from Davis-Jeffers that's a bit reminiscent of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs makes it easy going, and ready for a nice, tall glass of lemonade.

Check out Thrill Jockey for more info!

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

TV, We Belong Together

It's happening, it's REALLY happening! All of our Sci-Fi dreams are rocketing into the near future! Our TVs will take over our living rooms---literally--in 3-D!

ESPN and Discovery networks will be launching 3-D channels in 2010, according to press releases. What does this venture mean for television consumers? For starters, it means mega buckaroonies to be made in both the television and technology industries!

3-D TV sets will run the gamut of prices, from as low as one thousand dollars, to according to an expert on LA'S KCRW station earlier today, up to $10K! These babies should be available at the higher price range very soon. Or you can just wait for the price to come down once the hype comes and goes.

Think of the movie remakes! Not to sound macabre, but we could find ourselves face to face with the holograms of Hollywood's long-dead personalities. We could be sharing Breafast at Tiffanies with Ms Hepburn, or dancing with Yul Brenner--all without leaving home!

Wow...this is some heavy news. And yet, didn't we see this coming?