Sunday, April 30, 2006

Mom's Wedding - Excuse #1

I've been a little out of pocket for the last couple weeks. I've been absent on the blog front because this was a busy month for me. I had the crashing computer (already blogged), Mom's wedding, and a dental convention.

My mom and dad were not right for each other. I'm glad they got married and had kids and all, but they weren't a good match. Mom was hopelessly devoted, Dad was hopelessly distracted. I don't see how they could ever meet in the middle, even with tons of counseling.

So Mom met a really nice man at work and they seem to have mutual goals. They dated for 1.5 years and got married on April 22nd. I would post pictures, but I don't have any. I was busy manning the food table so I didn't have my celly to hand for pix. Mom looked great. Ed was anxious and pacing. Kae (small sister) and I looked like Mexican hookers. Charlotte (big sister) shot the wedding video and tried to orchestrate the reception so there'd be shots of the cake feeding and "champagne" drinking. Bryce (baby brother) and friends decorated the car with cans, then they had me tiptoe across the hood and trunk to write on the windows since I have better handwriting. At least they didn't get someone writing "sexual choclate" [sic] on the side of their car with shaving cream in the August sun. (It ate off the paint on our car so for a few years we drove around with "sexual choclate" on the side of the Mustang as we scraped our way through college.)

Big fun, busy trip.

My Own Canadian Holiday

Tomorrow is supposed to be Immigrant Day or something (I'm not really watching the news). Since I come from immigrants (my definition is people who came from another country and became citizens), I totally support citizenship. Heck, if my relatives hadn't come to this country and become citizens then I might be speaking French today. My grandfather Edward "Scotty" King came to the U.S. from Canada just to marry my grandmother.

It is in Scotty's honor (even though I never met the man), that I name Monday Celebrate a Canadian Day. I'm going to celebrate Celebrate a Canadian Day by purchasing a cd by Alanis Morissette. It's embarrassing that I don't already own one. I have her on my iPod but I don't own a cd. It's kind of like the time I realized I had no Foo Fighters then I went out and bought all but the album with the balls on it. So, Alanis, Monday is for you -- even though you recently became a U.S. citizen.

Celebrate a Canadian Day, eh?

Friday, April 21, 2006


Going Away Present (or The Blog Worth Waiting For)

(I asked Andrew to post this for me while I was out of town. Oh well. At least he cleaned the house and went shopping for me.)

A girl in my infomercial pole dancing class works for Hustler. She's mentioned helpful beauty secrets she got from Larry Flynt (really helpful) and that one of her co-workers does photography on the side. Last night, she brought in gifts from Hustler.

My thoughts: "Wow, how sweet! Too bad I work at a consulting company. I don't think we have any free stuff like DVDs to share. Oh look, it's got a pink cover and a girl with a lollipop. I wonder if it's a comedy or mockumentary. Wait - it's called Britney Rears 2, I Wanna Get Laid. How funny. I don't watch porn and I don't really want to give it to anyone close to me. What's on the back? Oh, insertion shots and a dribbly girl and more boobies and wangs than you could shake a rubber stick at. How quaint!"

Okay, I'm not a porn person, but I appreciate that she wanted to share gifts with us. It was a kind gesture. It would've been tacky for me to say, "Yuck! We don't watch porn. Give it to someone else." You really put yourself on the line when you give someone porn. Hell, how was I going to regift Britney Rears getting it in the butt?

I'll tell you how. My mom's getting remarried this weekend, which leaves my dad still single. This free porn will be the perfect wedding gift for my dad. Sometimes things really have a way of working out.

NOTE: I gave the porn to my dad with the whole story. He doesn't have a DVD player and he thought it looked pretty nasty, so he gave it to my younger brother to sell on the internet. Oh well.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Life in Hell

I haven't been able to blog for most of the week because I'm preparing to fly to Hot Springs for my mom's wedding. I've spent most of my time at work or in pole class or trying to tie up loose ends for my trip.

Just to make things more fun, my work computer crashed yesterday. My boss (politely) suggested that I may be visiting websites that have viruses, so I'm only allowed to visit our online intranet, the bank, a credit card running site, and Switchboard. Not sure how we're going to resolve my work email.

I've resolved to leave up the factory wallpaper on the computer and stop uploading pictures of my puppy from a flash memory card. In fact, I have nothing on my desk (not even a photo) that makes it more comfortable and signifies it's my desk.

Perhaps sterility will prevent the computer from crashing a third time in eight months. There's no possible way that anything could be wrong with the HARDWARE. Hardware is infallible.

Yes, I'm bitter.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Boycotting - How This Actor Gets Involved in World Affairs

If I love something, I support it whole-heartedly. I'll promote shows I love, tell everyone about great classes I take, brag about stores where I got a good deal. If I feel like I've been screwed and others may get screwed, I boycott that thing and tell others about it. I'm not singing songs for the rainforest, but I am taking action by withdrawing my business.

Read this letter I got in my email:

Gentlemen,

I don't usually forward this type of information, however I felt this is worth your consideration. I am sick of spending $45 to fill up my gas tank while Shieks and Omans have fleets of Rolls Royce cars and palaces in the middle east.

GAS WAR - an idea that WILL work. This was originally sent by a retired Coca Cola executive. It came from one of his engineer buddies who retired from Halliburton. It's worth your consideration. Join the resistance!!!! I hear we are going to hit close to $ 4.00 a gallon by next summer and it might go higher!! Want gasoline prices to come down? We need to take some intelligent, united action. Phillip Hollsworth offered this good idea. This makes MUCH MORE SENSE than the "don't buy gas on a certain day" campaign that was going around last April or May! The oil companies just laughed at that because they knew we wouldn't continue to "hurt" ourselves by refusing to buy gas. It was more of an inconvenience to us than it was a problem for them. BUT, whoever thought of this idea, has come up with a plan that can really work.

Please read on and join with us! By now you're probably thinking gasoline priced at about $1.50 is super cheap. Me too! It is currently $2.79 for regular unleaded in my town. Now that the oil companies and the OPEC nations have conditioned us to think that the cost of a gallon of gas is CHEAP at $1.50 - $1.75, we need to take aggressive action to teach them that BUYERS control the marketplace . . . not sellers. With the price of gasoline going up more each day, we consumers need to take action. The only way we are going to see the price of gas come down is if we hit someone in the pocketbook by not purchasing their gas! And, we can do that WITHOUT hurting ourselves. How? Since we all rely on our cars, we can't just stop buying gas. But we CAN have an impact on gas prices if we all act together to force a price war. Here's the idea: For the rest of this year, DON'T purchase ANY gasoline from the two biggest companies (which now are one), EXXON and MOBIL. If they are not selling any gas, they will be inclined to reduce their prices. If they reduce their prices, the other companies will have to follow suit. But to have an impact, we need to reach literally millions of Exxon and Mobil gas buyers. It's really simple to do!

Now, don't wimp out on me at this point . . . keep reading and I'll explain how simple it is to reach millions of people!! I am sending this note to 30 people. If each of us send it to at least ten more (30 x 10 = 300) . . . and those 300 send it to at least ten more (300 x 10 = 3,000) . . . and so on, by the time the message reaches the sixth group of people, we will have reached over THREE MILLION consumers. If those three million get excited and pass this on to ten friends each, then 30 million people will have been contacted! If it goes one level further, you guessed it . . ... THREE HUNDRED MILLION PEOPLE!!! Again, all you have to do is send this to 10 people. That's all! (If you don't understand how we can reach 300 million and all you have to do is send this to 10 people . . .. Well, let's face it, you just aren't a mathematician. But I am . . . so trust me on this one.) :-) How long would all that take? If each of us sends this e-mail out to ten more people within one day of receipt, all 300 MILLION people could conceivably be contacted within the next 8 days!!! I'll bet you didn't think you and I had that much potential, did you! Acting together we can make a difference. If this makes sense to you, please pass this message on. I suggest that we not buy from EXXON/MOBIL UNTIL THEY LOWER THEIR PRICES TO THE $1.30 RANGE AND KEEP THEM DOWN. THIS CAN REALLY WORK.

Respectfully submitted,
Gary W Thomas II, AIA Assoc.
Morley and Associates, Inc.
4800 Rosebud Lane
Newburgh, Indiana 47630
812.464.9585 (Telephone)
812.464.2514 (Facsimile)
www.morleyandassociates.com

I got a letter like the one below in my email three summers ago, so I decided to boycott Exxon and Mobil. If my gas light comes on, I'll keep driving so I don't have to stop at one of the big two. It's not that hard. Gas prices in L.A. are just under $3 a gallon right now, so I'll do anything I can to avoid the weekly scrapes of the couch cushions for gas money. I have to drive a car to get around L.A. so I can't just use public transportation or =eek= a bicycle. This is how I can help drive down gas prices. If you're in agreement, share this with a friend and hop on the bandwagon.

Friday, April 14, 2006

New Media (or "I've Been Living Under a Rock")

My sister's soon-to-be ex-husband is this kid who's totally into computers and online gaming. I guess he's pretty good at it. He knows the language, which convinces me that he's an expert.

He made this fun little movie documenting his adventures with another player. His character is wearing this invisible cloak so you can't see him, but you can see the bullets flying from his gun. He downloaded video clips of their game playing and edited them together to tell this story of what it's like to be a "cloaker." Next time he plans to add a soundtrack.

I grew up with an Atari 2600. When I was a preteen, I'd go to my friend Missy's house and we'd play Super Mario Brothers on her Nintendo. It was exciting back then just to be able to pause the game so you could go to the kitchen to get some chips. It was phenomenal when you could save where you were on the game so you could return to the same level when you came back to play later. And now you can play simultaneously with people all across the universe, download clips of what you did and put together short films.

Wow. And I was happy just to have a Ms. Pac Man gamestick at home.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Huzzah!

I had so much fun at the Faire. The actual name is The Renaissance Pleasure Faire. We got two-for-the-price-of-one coupons for opening weekend. Admission is usually $25 per adult, parking is $7.

The best way to get me to go somewhere is to describe the food and/or give me a menu. That was the real selling point of the Faire for me. Andrew had his turkey leg and mead. I pigged out on toasted ravioli (which makes me miss St. Louis) and fresh potato chips. Yummy!

We saw a couple great shows - Dominatoria Della Commedia and Pyramus & Thisby. The commedia show was awesome. We studied commedia in college, so I had some familiarity with how it worked. The story was almost identical to A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, but that's a classic story model. The Pyramus & Thisby guys were hilarious. I laughed and laughed, then they pulled me onto the stage to play the wall in their little gay romp (where I continued to laugh). I sat down and laughed some more. We're going to check out their show this weekend so we can laugh some more. There are a lot of shows to choose from at the Faire, but these were the ones that made my cut when I was looking at the menus and list of shops. (A girl's gotta plan some.)

Every time I've been to a Ren Faire I've realized I should bring more money for souvenirs. This time, all I walked away with for myself was enough soap for the next three months. I would've loved to get a sword, some leather, a fancy dragon puppet, and a lot more food. I think next year we're dressing up, so it would've been cool to buy some clothes while we were there.

Anywho, I highly recommend popping in on this Ren Faire if you're local. If you're not, come anyway.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Shelley Long, Thank You

Today I am thankful to Diane from "Cheers" for making the made for TV movie "Honeymoon With Mom." If it weren't for her agreeing to make the movie, I might not have gotten the Taft Hartley, the day of work, and tri tip for lunch that day. And I wouldn't have gotten a check in the mail this Thursday.

I don't quite understand why it took so long to get paid. I know you won't get paid until at least a week later. I think the rule is 15 days after the last day of shooting for a film and thirty days after the shoot day for a commercial. I don't know for sure. I'm sure SAG has the rules listed; I just haven't shelled out the money to join and get the straight poop. I guess I'll remain in mystery until then.

I guess part of the reason actors are broke all the time is that they're waiting for checks for things they've done. It was a month before I got paid for the first day of the XM Radio gig, then another week before the second check arrived. This was a three or four week wait. Not that I'm complaining about the work. I just think that a lot of actors mismanage their money (like me) and aren't quite sure when that next paycheck will arrive (even when they have worked recently).

Speaking of mismanaging my money, I'm going to the Renaissance Faire tomorrow. (I don't know if it's officially called the Southern California Renaissance Faire or the Los Angeles Renaissance Faire or the San Fernando Valley Renaissance Faire or what.)

Friday, April 07, 2006

Speaking of Poop . . .

(I need to book a job or get some auditions fast because the only thing I can blog about is my day-to-day life right now.)

I used to eat pepperoni & mushroom thin crust pizza all the time. I made spaghetti sauce with mushrooms that helped us survive the poverty of college life. Heck, I love this book when I was a kid about mushrooms growing when it rains. What happened?

I had some Trader Joe's marsala sauce on some chicken last night. I haven't been able to have mushrooms for at least a year, but I figured I'd give it a shot. Well, this morning it gave me a shot. Okay, not a shot. Replace the vowel and figure it out. I felt like I was going to faint and barf (in that order). I would've done ANYTHING to not come to work but just sleep and use my own toilet at home. Once I was all shot out, I felt fine. No more 'shrooms in my system.

Is this payback for kicking all those mushrooms when I was a kid? I used to love watching them explode when I'd kick them. I guess they're exacting their revenge on me now.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Pooping in the Gift Horse's Mouth

My boss is really the nicest guy. Sure, I may complain about the money I make from time to time, but I'm also the one who doesn't put in more than 35 hours a week and doesn't want more responsibility so I can pursue the acting thing. He's let me off at the last minute for a big audition or a day on set. He bought me a zombie DVD just for fun, and he gave me frequent flyer miles to fly back for my mom's wedding later this month. He even took me and Andrew to the movies with full snacks to watch Dawn of the Dead last year during a work day.

This morning I come in and he bought some tools for me to have in the office. (I spent yesterday assembling Ikea furniture with dollar store screwdrivers, so he wanted me to have something nicer when I need it.) I was really excited about that. Then he said he stopped by a bookstore and picked me up something. He pulled out The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks. How great that he thought of me! But I already have (and read) the book. Did I politely lie and say, "Oh, thanks! I look forward to reading it."? NO! I told the truth. I thanked him for thinking of me but I already have the book.

Was that a bad idea?

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


Stripper Shoes

Okay, so I had to get these shoes for my class. Gabrielle said we needed 5"-6" platform heels. That was almost unconfrontable because I usually wear tennis shoes or dress shoes with maybe 1-1/2" heels. Yikes!

I was a little scared to go shopping for these shoes. We used to live just up the street from Stripper Shopping Central on Hollywood & Wilcox in Hollywood. There are tons of little shops with plastic stripper shoes and slutty nurse outfits and triangles of fabric they tout as "bikinis." We went into one shoe store a few years ago looking for something fairly conservative to go with my New Year's outfit and left feeling icky. Considering the kind of people we saw on Hollywood Boulevard and the kind of people we imaginged would work as strippers (based on the hundreds of "Gentlemen's Club with free lunch buffet" signs around town), we figured it might feel sleazy shopping for these shoes.

Boy, were we wrong! We went to Lady Studio on Hollywood and searched for the right shoes. We weren't molested by anyone. I found a pair to try on, and once I had them on the sales girl came and talked to me about sizes. In street shoes I wear a 6.5, but she recommended a 5 for my stripper shoes. We talked about how the shoe would stretch and how it still had to fit my foot. (You don't really need room to grow in plastic stripper shoes, and this style has my toes sticking out the front so I didn't need to worry about wiggle room.) She said the shoes I had were the ones they recommended for most classes, and she gave me a discount since I was a student.

It was a sleaze-free experience. Some shoe salesmen (for regular shoes) are a little creepy, but she was great. We even talked about the different prices for the different teachers and the best flooring to learn to walk in the shoes. I paid $40, and I found my new official stripper shoe store.

Now if I can just learn to walk in the damn things.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

The Pole Class I Pay For

As you seven readers may know, I'm taking two pole dancing classes. There's the one class three nights a week for the infomercial. Then there's the other class taught by the same instructor but not associated with Flirty Girls. That class falls on Sunday nights, and I pay for it.

When I enrolled in Aphrodite Strip-N-Pole School of Hypnotics, it was just for an intro class and it was just because I enjoyed the teacher (who also teaches the Flirty Girls stuff locally for the infomercial). Gabrielle's class was totally different from the infomercial class. Flirty Girls is more about fitness and weight loss and it's higher impact. Gabrielle's class is slower, more hypnotic, and sexier.

After the intro class, I wanted to do more. I hopped in the car and showed Andrew what I learned, and he agreed that I could buy a six-week round of classes. The only drawback is that it only meets once a week. What's cool is that it's easy for anyone to do, and she gives you practical things you can use in your own setting (not just a routine to go with one specific song). She's very nurturing and validating, and she's very gentle in correcting mistakes.

We have to "dress up" for this class (not just wearing yoga pants & tank tops), like putting on clothing that makes us feel sexier and the 5"-6" platform shoes when it's time to dance. It's not a naked class, so don't get the wrong idea.) I have to go shoe shopping and I'll have to dig around my closet and see what looks sexy but will keep me warm enough that I don't suffer hypothermia. But it should be fun.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Rejection

I'm embarrassed that I didn't share this sooner (not that I got turned down).

I had an interview with a new commercial agent about six weeks ago. They liked me, but they have an entire protocol for taking on new talent. I went in for the interview and it was like a meet-and-greet: introductions, handshake, one interesting sentence about myself, attempt at joke, failure, then into the standard business spiel. The way this agency works, they take everyone unless they have someone too much like you because they don't want to try to promote two of the same kind. They won't just tell you to kiss off if they don't like your winning personality.

They told me that I had until Friday of the next week to meet with other agents and decide if I wanted to be with them. I was given an instruction sheet and an email address to send the words "I will accept representation if offered." I had to give them the date of my interview and my name in the subject line. No more communication than that. At that point, all of the agents in the agency meet and review their client files to see if they have someone too much like me. They have something like a board meeting about it. This takes at least a week because it's pilot season and they're busy promoting the clients they already have. So we're two weeks past the interview date. Then they send an email that tells their decision. Mine came about three weeks after the interview date. So that's three weeks with no agent but you're supposed to commit yourself to them exclusively before they get back to you.

Oh, and they emailed me a form letter about how I was too much like someone else they represented.

Here's the truth: I didn't really commit myself to them exclusively even though I said I did. Good thing. I kept looking for a new agent, kept promoting myself, kept networking. Why should the commitment be one-sided. And during the waiting period I got work. Maybe if they had been committed to me as much as I was supposed to be committed to them (even if temporary), then they would've gotten 10% of my earnings. Too bad for them!