Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Something a Performer Shouldn't Do

I came across this Craig's List ad a few days ago. In case you haven't figured it out, Craig's List has some useful purposes (I've managed to meet legitimate people in the business by using it) but there's also a lot of shadiness & utter stupidity going on there as well.

Exhibit A:

There are other ways to become famous... (Financial District)
Date: 2011-03-27, 5:23PM EDT
Reply to: job-hydty-2289922856@craigslist.org [Errors when replying to ads?]

Got entertainment related complaints? Or any other kind of complaint?

Are you frustrated with career issues? Casting, agent experiences, no pay gigs, bad on set encounters, contract horror stories, etc.

Visit CAMPLAINTS.COM and tell the world about it. Help others avoid the same fates.

Camplaints is the only video sharing site of its kind. Upload your complaint, rant, tirade or grievance about any issue on your mind...

Who knows; your Camplaint may just go viral. Remember there are other ways to become famous...


* Principals only. Recruiters, please don't contact this job poster.
* Please, no phone calls about this job!
* Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.

PostingID: 2289922856

What happened to Charlie Sheen when he decided to bitch about his employer? That's right, he got fired.

Before you dare to post such a complaint video on this site, You Tube or elsewhere, you'd better think very carefully about that decision.

First off, is it a common frustration everyone goes through or something illegal & inappropriate. Having to avoid asking famous people for autographs or not getting called much by an extras casting company? Normal stuff.

Aside to famous actors: I won't ask you for an autograph as long as you don't ask me for free legal advice or to get you an audition, etc. Is that fair? All bets are off if you ask me for things & didn't earn them.

For that matter, all bets will be off if you proposition me or make me feel uncomfortable; you'd just better hope you have good medical coverage b/c my husband could care less who you are, he'd kill you for thinking even ONE impure thought about me. Hurt him & I do the same to you. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Abnormal stuff worth complaining about: sexual harassment, not being paid for your work, violations of state & federal law, defrauding investors. Those you should speak up on, preferably to the proper authorities, the casting company, whomever. That's shout it on the mountaintops so we can all avoid that mess.

This business is what it is: you won't get called back for everything & extras don't get to eat before the crew & principals. Guess what? They have to be on set far longer & do a lot more work. Don't be a jerk. You also can't take it personally if you don't get a part; chances are, it had nothing to do with you.

Listen to people who know what they're talking about & you'll be all right. You'll notice a lot of the guidance is the same. There's reason for that.

Oh, and there's a little legal concept called defamation. If you accuse someone of being a scammer, you'd better have proof or you're going to lose that lawsuit. That goes for any accusation you make against anyone.

I feel like thanking this person for mentioning a website where industry insiders can see if there are actors we should blacklist b/c they are trashing us or somebody else for things that are just part of the entertainment industry working as it does. Tee hee!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Classiness: A Dying Art?

Well, is it? Consider an example of why Elizabeth Taylor was a class act. How many do you think would do this today? I think it would be a very small number. Me personally, I wouldn't unless you did something horrible to me (as in something so terrible that if I did it, anyone who heard about it would say I was justified & you had it coming).

Now after your oldest friend in the world becomes a person you can't respect & you experience the general human fails that I have, it would take a lot for me to sell you out to the press. That motivation completely smothers any kind of financial incentive anyone could offer me.

In contrast, here's an example of behavior that isn't classy at all.

I don't have firsthand knowledge since I'm not an Elite reviewer (forget about me revealing a real name since I can't be assured I won't be bothered for things) but I completely agree with not expecting people to eat lightly when you schedule an event during meal time. I consider myself polite enough on this matter but maybe that's because I go to & have been to events where a sense of decorum is expected. You just look lame if you try this at a museum opening or some of the legal events I've been to that had fancy spreads. It's akin to gawking at the naked people displayed in paintings and statues at a museum.

One other thing I find completely lacking in class: establishments that have "rules" for customers or encourage their staff to be rude to you. Apparently, there's a crowd that thinks such things are acceptable or "New York," if you will.

This particular article pisses me off for numerous reasons & not just because Eater NYC dares to compare anyplace else to Chick-Fil-A (there's no substitute for it, you bastards). I have 2 gripes on this one:

1. The places they compare to these chains are expensive compared to prices at the chain in question. Friendly's akin to Stadium Grill, a dining establishment in a pricey bowling alley in Times Square a.k.a. a bastion of price gouging? No!

2. Comparing Jack in the Box to Shopsin's, a restaurant known for it's patron "rules." Last time I checked, Jack in the Box didn't have "rules" for eating there.

I will NEVER in a million, trillion years patronize any establishment that thinks it's okay to issue rules to me or to treat me like shit for no reason. Shopsin's is apparently not the only place in NYC that has this level of pretension & total lack of class.

A tip: "rules" only work if your staff is practicing the pinnacle of good customer service. If you did not employ people who get attitude, make insulting remarks or behave in a way inconsistent with good customer service, you wouldn't have people like me want to kill you. I've been to enough dining establishments to see some servers and others dealing with the public taking their dissatisfaction with their job & life out on me when my party did nothing to provoke them.

Guess what? YOU chose that job. I'm not your boss, your child or your loan officer. I'm your customer. As your customer, I have some basic requirements of civility & doing your damn job. I don't care if you're having a bad day; I worked in retail for 7 years & I never, in all that time, took out my personal frustrations & problems on innocent customers who didn't do anything to me. If I can do that, anyone else can. If you can't, stop working with the public since you're clearly unhappy & need to do something where you can either be a prick or avoid the general public at all costs.

Another thing: if you want to ban me getting things removed from an item, you need to comp my food. Some people have food allergies, dietary restrictions or are simply picky. If I'm paying for it, I've got every damn right to have it MY WAY. If I wanted it YOUR way then YOU'D pay for it. Got it?

Plus, I'm saving your restaurant money & resources by not using whatever I asked not to have on my food. Unless of course, you're just getting it from a bag or something. In that case, I shouldn't bother spending money there anyway, should I? I should just cook at home. If everyone did that, then where would your little business be? Who'd eat there? You'd be out on the street.

Now, my husband & I have rarely had experiences in NYC establishments. We also don't have unreasonable expectations or belittle servers since we've had to deal with the general public, done some less glamorous jobs and know people who've been servers. If someone's violated our expectations, you know they don't need to be there. I definitely complained and made a stink when that happened. Unlike these pretentious dirtbags, the management I've encountered actually seemed to care & bothered to made amends.

Who on Earth finds rudeness charming or endearing? I sure don't. It just pisses me off & makes me want to take you down a few notches. Let me tell you non-lawyers something: you can't win a rudeness match against a lawyer. When you've been told you could kill someone with your words, no one else stands a chance.

Pissing me off isn't going to get me to patronize your establishment. It will just get me to boycott and make damn sure you never get recommended by me. I'd personally be your worst enemy for violating logic or starting problems with me. I may not start problems but you'd best believe I'd defend myself in a second if someone started things.

The opposite is true if I had a good experience. In that case, I'll be your biggest cheerleader and make sure you get some cred in whatever way I can.

Now if I found out some rules place had excellent, top notch customer service that a Southerner would praise, then I'd consider going. This means the bar is extremely high. I don't think most places in NYC would be able to live up to that so it's best that you never have me go to any such establishment unless you want to see me go on a Julia Sugarbaker tirade & possibly get arrested.

To continue on job dissatisfaction, I read this recently.

My thoughts? I'd rather be broke doing something I love than making money at a job I hate. The more I read that blog, the more it clinches my whole Peter Gibbons cynicism about the working world. I just don't think the rat race is worth it if you hate your job. Too many people I know truly hated their jobs & if you feel like you're trapped, then what's the point? You aren't doing your health any favors if don't have any satisfaction in a place where you spend the majority of your time.

I don't think hating your job is something that should be viewed as automatic. In fact, I think it sucks that most people can't make money doing something they'd be truly happy in. If they could, maybe we'd have fewer problems and fewer fights with others. Happier people means more motivation & better productivity, right?

Guess my whole belonging in the entertainment industry just reeks off me.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Why Not Working for the Man Kicks Serious Butt

Reading blogs like Evil HR Lady really make me appreciate the fact that I don't have a full time corporate job. So do articles like this one.

Personally, my feeling is that if you want me to do extra work & aren't:

A) Paying me extra money
B) Giving me overtime; or
C) Giving me some other incentive like more vacation time, business equipment, or something else to motivate me

then...you can go pound sand & I'll tell you as much. I refuse to go making a boss look good (#5) if that boss is a sociopathic cretin who isn't going to recognize me or follow quid pro quo. Nor would a lawyer last long anywhere outside a law firm by never delivering bad news or playing devil's advocate (#4). Heck, I feel it's a lawyer's duty not to be a "yes" person. Lawyers should be speaking up if a course of action is going to be bad for the business or lead to a multi-million dollar lawsuit it will likely lose.

#17 is also something I'd never do for a sociopathic cretin; furthermore, you have to have limits or you could end up doing janitorial work or other tasks that are a complete waste of your time in light of your skills. It's just foolhardy to expect a lawyer to clean toilets, you know? Finally, lawyers had damn well better not follow #13 if the boss is breaking the law. Keeping silent on certain things like investor fraud makes you a complicit party or at least like you're giving tacit approval & could get you in trouble with the state grievance committee.

Maybe my experiences have been unusual but I do think they prove you can't be a "good employee" at the expense of your ethical duties or your ability to keep a law license. Clearly, the rules are different for in-house lawyers & after you've had experiences where you had to fight to get your paycheck, you tend to be far less altruistic or sympathetic to an employer.

I recently discovered one plus to being a freelancer: you literally can't bitch about paying taxes to Uncle Sam since he didn't already take taxes from your pay like he did for the employees of the world. Plus, there's the added bonus of not having to worry about the government being too broke to give you a refund. You have that money right there if you set aside too much.

I also saw this article today & I realized why I'm better off doing what I'm doing. Much of this sums up my feelings on typical employers. If it's not a smaller company or someplace that doesn't expect me to give up everything for it, I'm just not going to be happy. Not getting to talk to the CEO or significant higher ups is also a huge problem for my working with anyone.

Finally, it's great to work for yourself because you will never have to write a "mission statement" for any prospective employer. Just today, I saw a Craig's List ad seeking interns & stating that "interns who do not submit a mission statement will not receive a response."

It got me thinking: what would my mission statement be? Kicking ass & taking names? Actually, that should be the mission statement for any attorney, effective government official or Mafia employee.

Seriously, though why does an INTERN need a mission statement? Are you a non-profit organization? A for-profit organization? Or are you a human being? Human beings have goals & aspirations, not mission statements.

Furthermore, if you're a recent college graduate or college student, how would you know what your mission statement is? You wouldn't even have much of a clue on what you wanted to do yet. When I'd graduated college, all I'd done was retail, telephone interviewing, babysitting, research at a presidential library, pet-sitting & helping give out food samples. I was someone who'd had some work experience; imagine people who never worked in high school or college. There are some people who get out of law school never having worked a job in their lives. Do you think they'd have a clue what their "mission statement" is? I didn't get out of college thinking I'd be doing what I do now.

There are older people who still don't know what they want to do. Some of them are living off their parents. Others just fell into jobs that they violently hate. I'll take limited income over being in a job I violently hate, thank you.

I think you have to have done some stuff in life & know more about the real world before you can even contemplate a true mission statement. That is, if you don't find it impersonal to even have one to start with. Do you write that on a resume? Get it tattooed somewhere on your body? It's the first time I've ever seen that as an application requirement.

Mine, if you really want to know is "kicking ass & taking names" or if you like my husband's idea, it's "mating with your men & destroying your society from the inside." If you're dumb enough to ask me for one, I'll have to put it on a resume so you can be all offended by the use of the word "ass."

Life lesson: ask for something asinine, expect to be offended.

Monday, March 21, 2011

General Musings Part 18

So, I was going to integrate the events of my day along with a story on The Consumerist that pissed me off as much as many of the people who commented on it but my husband had to go & point out more things for me to rant about. If I had multiple people pointing me to rant topics, I think it would make my head explode.

It seems like I go from either having nothing to write about to having things pile up on me to such a ridiculous level that I can't possibly rant about them in this lifetime. Extremes!

Now that I've got all this stuff to rant about, I'll do it as general musings. Let's face it: they are.

Yes, I know the ABA actually posted this story on their site but I have some remarks.

Basically, I hope this guy gets a killer 1st Amendment lawyer that slams the airport & the authorities for this. If I ever have to fly, I swear I'm going up in a bikini. I admit I wouldn't be wild about the leering by men if I did that but I'm the same person who wore a tiara for a week in high school as a protest to my high school not allowing senior pranks, a skip day or anything traditionally associated w/high school seniors that even hints of fun. Not to mention I hated that place's obsession with stupid crap instead of addressing real problems like pathetic teachers, drug selling, bullying, etc.

The rise of defending crybaby types also disturbs my psyche. I'd love to rip these people apart in a debate in person & still think they need to be shipped off to some totalitarian government since freedom is wasted on them.

For more high school administrative idiocy, go here. I would be SUPER pissed if I were one of these kids. How come?

For one thing, I hated gym w/a passion. Perhaps my getting a grade based on my lack of athletic ability one year when I didn't even sign up for gym had something to do with it but essentially, I'd had it with being trashed for not being a sports person + hated being in any gym class where I didn't have friends to talk to. At that point, I started sitting out when I was getting harassed for missing the ball. If I hadn't done that, I'd have probably started hurting people.

Second, you had the option of gym or dance at my school. I actually liked dance since it wasn't so competitive, it suited my creative purposes well & I was actually decent at it. Plus, my friends were in it & you weren't graded on your abilities but factors like creativity + effort. I also felt that class taught me things that would be useful in the future. I wish we'd had yoga or the use of a professional gym. Again, I really think self-defense should be offered in schools (especially for young women) but that's just me. I'd have even been okay with swimming since I like doing it.

Third, I was done with that mess after 10th grade. When I was a senior, I was taking 2 AP level classes; one was in Chemistry. Adding gym to that mix would have been a disaster.

On the topic of high school, I found this story interesting as well. I must say I have to respect Dave Grohl's view on this one. If people don't want their music on Glee, then Ryan Murphy should do what the rest of us do: think "Well, fuck you!" and then find someone more desirable who will let him use their work. Don't tell these people you're going to hold it against them & make a public scene; do it privately. Share those tales with behind the scenes people like myself so we know to avoid those folks if we do a similar project. Part of networking is telling your contacts when someone is a jerk or wants too much money or other good/bad things that could determine someone's fit for a project.

And here's a real life instance of the movie Falling Down. Michael Douglas stars in it as this guy who loses his mind & is trying to get to his ex-wife & young daughter for the daughter's birthday. Great film; see it if you haven't.

I thought the film was just like what most of us would do if we suddenly snapped. Perhaps this real life incident is a warning to all restaurants who raise their prices. I still laughed when I read the story, though.

Moving on, it's my fervent belief that Neel Shah will be alone for the rest of his life or get cheated on. If you believe the comments that follow, he's apparently some hipster but if he actually believes that vegetarians & non-drinkers should subsidize the bar tab & steaks he ordered, I'm willing to be he also believes a woman should pay on the first date.

I'm not going to repeat my rant on that issue but in short, expecting me to pay for any date meant you'd never get another one with me. Even if I became single again (God, I hope not), I'd never tolerate that shit. Part of it is the code of the hotties/law of economics but another part is basic gentlemanly treatment.

Sorry, but you can't expect someone with this type of view to be a supporter of paying for dates. If he were, I'd die of shock. Hope that right wrist doesn't wear out or the rules for dating gay men are different than they are for straight women.

Finally, here's how you don't hire for interns:

Film Production qualified interns wanted (Upper Manhattan)
Date: 2011-03-18, 1:52AM EDT
Reply to: job-wwcej-2271817495@craigslist.org [Errors when replying to ads?]

Film production company seeks experienced interns trained in aspects of film making to work on two feature film projects and a couple of short films at various stages of development/ pre-production. General organizational tasks will include the organization of a forthcoming film festival.
This is an internship position. There is no pay. However, following a successful internship period a paid position may be offered to the successful candidate.
Also, a commission on sales and compensations will be discussed once a satisfactory trial period is completed.
Length of internship may range from 1 to 6 months.
Credit will be given on the films as appropriate.

PostingID: 2271817495

Now apparently, some people were stupid enough to prostitute themselves for free because this was above the ad today:

THIS POSITION IS NOW FILLED - Please do not apply now. We will reopen internships in the summer.

Know what we call an "experienced intern?" Someone with marketable skills & experience!!!!!!!! In other words, they're not an intern. Interns have NO skills or experience.

That means...you have to pay them for their work. Otherwise, it's called being a volunteer.

Ads like this reek of no legal counsel or involvement. No sane attorney would let a company post such ads on their watch. You can bet my company sure wouldn't.

I actually told off the author of this one since this crap makes my business & that of my colleagues look like a bunch of law breaking scumbags who exploit people. I don't appreciate that categorization & refuse to wear it.

This is just as bad as ads asking interns to send in pictures, another sleazy practice that screams "no legal counsel works here." I hope people like this get hammered in lawsuits so legitimate companies can rise up and take their business.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Nostalgia For Times Past & Why Does Tinker Bell Look Like A Whore?

Those who know me can attest to the fact that I am what could probably be described as an "80's child." I always felt like I was born too late & wished I'd been older in the 1980s. I prefer the music, the whole style & ethic of films from the era vs. the late '90s when music turned to total crap.

It's also before the massive PC crybaby nonsense reared its ugly head. I figured out the turning point for pop culture for me was about 1997 or 1998 when the boy bands & Britney Spears became popular (though Daria was one bright spot). When I saw "I Love the '90s" on VH1, I found I wasn't all that nostalgic for 1999 & certainly not the '00s. Too soon in my book plus I don't think 9/11 changed all of society nearly as drastically as some will have you believe (at least if you're talking about pop culture).

Now, I think it's natural for anyone to feel nostalgic for earlier times. Some people just feel that nostalgia for a time they didn't really get to live. I kept wanted to be older when I was little, figuring that I'd at least be cooler & get to do what I wanted.

In college, I dated a guy 14 years older than me. I don't think I did that for the sake of getting to vicariously live a time I was too young to do anything in.

To give you an idea of my being an 80's child, I was looking for hot pink heels for a pageant in 1998; do you have any idea how hard that was?

I read this recently & I felt some nostalgia for the shows mentioned but there are plenty that I do not.

What Nickelodeon shows do I feel zero nostalgia for? Hmmmm....

All That after most of the original cast was gone. Just didn't appeal to me after that, plus I was getting older and working most Saturday evenings in high school.

Oh, and The Secret World of Alex Mack. I thought the later seasons when the lead had a boyfriend were much better. I also liked when she became more assertive. I remember watching it back then & having a serious problem with how wimpy she was. I wanted Alex to smack that Scott guy upside the head (I think that was the name of the guy she lusted after) & ask why he was dating all these bitches who were shitty to her.

Guess this comes from my own middle school experiences where I had to learn to get tough & not let people push me around. My mom also had severe problems with the sister's scientific prowess. She felt that precise level of prowess was extremely unrealistic.

Rugrats. I saw an early episode of that recently on Nicktoons. It DOES NOT HOLD UP!!!!!!!! Watching it when I was little, I related more to Angelica. Big surprise, huh? No, I wasn't necessarily like that as a child!!! I just shared that whole frustration she had w/the babies & as I've always related well to kids who are smart, I suppose you could factor that in as well.

Watching Rugrats today just shows how childfree I really am. I still relate more to Angelica but no kid would survive in my home. After I saw it a few nights ago, I felt thankful that I didn't have kids & that my nephews are well behaved. New & original concept at the time but when you're older, you can't watch it.

There's more that I never had an interest in & feel really bad that people were stuck having to watch but there's some of my feelings on it there.

Now to another rant that I actually have. I was reading this on the whoreficiation of girl's toys. Here's my take:

A) I don't appreciate pretty or skinny women being pushed around for looking as they do. Some of us look that way NATURALLY & don't appreciate the flack from jealous harpies because we fit a societal ideal that they don't.

B) That being said, I do think we don't need to whore it up for small kids. Or perhaps, you explain to them that Barbie, Tinker Bell, whoever is a grown up or a fairy tale character & when they are grown ups or become fairy tale characters, then they can do whatever they want to.

I personally can't stand the Bratz dolls since they look like whores. I also think good parenting comes into play here. Tell your kids that they look fine the way they are & be like my mother, who kept an eagle eye on me when I was developing. She gave some very dirty looks to lecherous old men who checked me out. She'd also call them leches & tell me not to walk in particular areas to avoid such glances.

You don't want to know what my father would have done. He'd tell you not to be looking at his little girl, that's for sure.

C) Tastefulness. It's sorely needed. How about just making sex toys of this stuff & selling it to the dirty old men instead of whoreing up children's toys to be placed in the girls' toy section??? Then, you'd probably make more money since life sized sex dolls cost more. If the candy heart industry can do that, why can't these retailers outsource or license their marks to adult companies?

You'd solve problems with angry parents. I also know of no parent who wants a whorey looking Barbie doll. I'd be amazed if the fathers had much of a sex drive after having to deal with the parenthood thing. Just a thought.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Social Networking Platforms & Family Members...What's the Best Policy?

In Sociology class, we learned about the principle of personas. The easiest way to explain this is as follows:

Everyone has a core personality but within that core personality, we wear different masks for different people/situations. We have the workplace mask, the family members mask, the mask for the kids, the blue collar mask, however many you need for various situations in your life. People get used to the mask you present. If you present something or someone learns of something contrary to that mask, all Hell can break loose.

The best example I've got that I'm sure would be discussed in Sociology classes today but wasn't when I was in college b/c it predates my college experience is social networking profiles. Specifically, Facebook or MySpace profiles if you went to college around 2005 or so.

I've experience this whole persona issue firsthand. Those of you who are married or have family members who refuse to acknowledge your right to your feelings can certainly relate.

The quandry is the integrity of your social networking profile vs. deception toward your family members. People experience that with people in the working world as well as evidenced by immature employers firing people for having different political views, hating their supervisor or not wanting to lick an employer's boots for having to do 3 jobs at once with no salary increase to an already pathetic wage. I think a simple conversation with the employee would be more productive.

Let's also contrast this from firings for revealing confidential information or endangering someone's life.

Personally, I push for integrity. There are ways to maintain it without airing dirty laundry such as:

A) Not naming specific names
B) Sticking to discussions on your feelings & opinions, not statements that could be considered defamatory (who wants a defamation lawsuit?)
C) Being vague enough to not make someone immediately know things but purposeful enough to make your point to those who need to hear it

I've had family members get in my face for social profile status postings. With my family, I continue to assert my 1st Amendment rights to speak & that they have no cause to censor me since their name was never used. In the case of in-laws, I simply blocked their ability to see my Facebook status updates as a default proposition.

Maybe some of you have family members and relatives who are capable of behaving like adults and not taking it upon themselves to become the Thought Police or demanding you to put up with someone else's crappy treatment. If you do, God bless you & thank your lucky stars that you aren't related to me or scores of other people whose families are screwed up. Honestly, I think my father may be the most sane of any of mine & he's the alcoholic.

After multiple annoying inquiries bordering on inquisition style tactics from family members, it all came to a head recently.

You may recall my mention of a close friend of mine who lost her mind without the assistance of drugs, alcohol or domestic abuse. Nope, her drug is a spineless scumbag who still lives with his baby mama & is jerking both of them along (while fantasizing about a threesome if you believe my husband & a guy friend my husband hates who claim all men want to do it). Baby mama is hardly Mother of the Year considering she's leaving her child in the care of my friend, her romantic rival & has family/friends who'd keep this child.

Despite her assurances that she would A) get away from this wannabe polygamist & B) perform wedding duties as requested before her life came crashing down, she has done neither one. Now I could care less about the religious aspects of the marriage breakup & if this man were single + encouraging her not to ditch her responsibilities, it would be very different.

But what I really care about is that this "friend" doesn't bother taking up grievances with me. Apparently, she has a problem with me feeling that if a friend of 20 years can 180 on me in a second, I have no chance of ever having a close friendship with anyone else. If I have to always think someone's going to perform a drastic 180 & become someone I can't respect, then I can't take that chance of getting close enough to get hurt.

I also think this person is going to mess up the wedding & that's going to end the friendship for good, especially when I offered an out that wasn't taken. Not to mention this "friend" didn't even show up for my wedding, never got me a wedding gift & hasn't bothered telling me directly about things in the past year or so. I have to hear about her life from my mother.

I posted a status update reflecting this view without a direct mention of names or situation. Instead of calling me & asking about it like a mature person would do, what do you think this "friend" does?

She decides to tell my sister. My sister mentions it to my mother, who mentions it to me. Now when my mother mentions stuff on social networking, she does in a scolding & somewhat confrontational manner. You get the sense you've just been tattled on for bad behavior. When asked, I informed her that I stand by my feelings & have a right to them. She attempted to defend this person & I pointed out that my life will be changing as well. I don't want people I don't respect being a part of it or asking for favors resulting from this new life.

My sister is apparently okay with this person taking credit for an important wedding role & being as reliable as some of her ex-friends who weren't asked because they are known for being unreliable. Those people were never my close friends & I don't respect them. I certainly don't approve of many of their life choices & are not the type of people you can help since they are black holes.

A different person in the wedding party is stepping up & I told my sister she should do something really nice for that person.

The quickest way to get me to hate your guts is to tattle to family & not talk to me. This "friend" has my phone number & could have called to speak to me. She also has a good idea of what I think about dragging family members into personal situations.

Gee, can we behave more like a 12 year old? I should go telling her father or her brother about things & see how she likes it. I refuse to speak to her since she won't bother giving me the dignity & respect of bringing personal grievances directly to me.

Furthermore, since she wants to behave like a baby, I decided it was best not to allow her to see any more Facebook statuses. As far as I'm concerned, she's part of a campaign to censor me. Not to mention that I don't appreciate attempts to be infantalized by anyone.

So I have 2 personal beefs with this person: my sister & being treated like a kid instead of an adult. Doing #2 is not simply burning bridges with me: that's throwing gasoline on the bridge & lighting a match.

You also can't exactly get treatment for being addicted to people. You can fix substance abuse or domestic violence situations, though it might not work. There's nothing to stop the same thing from happening again w/this friend.

I'm really not sure I can continue in that friendship. I don't feel it's being valued & I'd rather save my friendship for those who actually care about it, who care about me. Let me have a few people who care over a million who don't anytime.

As I was milling over this one, a friend of a friend asks why you would friend family members anyway. Good point!

I guess if you haven't, you probably shouldn't unless they have a modicum of maturity. If you did, you should probably just make sure they never see your status updates. I'm hoping that will make my life far easier. Being related to me or knowing me for 20 years is not some free pass to treat me like crap, censor me, etc. Those types of bonds mean nothing to me; I'm of the school of creating your own ties with people who love, support & genuinely care about you & your best interest. Most people have at least 1 relative who does none of that, including me. I say why bother w/them. Thoughts?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Clothing Products For the Lazy - A New Low

We're all familiar with the Snuggie and pajama jeans as well as their design solely for the lazy among us. Okay, the Snuggie would also be useful for those who want to pretend they are members of a religious cult (I'm still waiting to see someone do that on a NYC subway while begging for money); if I got one, I'd have to add some Velcro to the back so it would close.

And perhaps pajama jeans are useful if you're suffering from a long term illness where you have some good days but why, oh why, would you wear such a thing outdoors among the public? If appearances count in the world, single people who want to date & actors would never be caught dead in them. Same goes for fashionistas. Standards, people! Please? If you want a hot guy, you'll not get him wearing pajama jeans (I'm sure this is just as true for gay men as straight women).

But I just saw a commercial for a product that illustrates a new low in laziness: the Genie Bra. If you haven't seen that infomercial yet, chances are you will soon. Just in case you don't, go here to learn about it.

The pitch of the thing asks if you're unhappy having back fat when you wear your bra or having fat leaking out from the top of your breasts, pitching the "Genie Bra" as the way to prevent such things.

Okay, as someone who worked in a lingerie department for 3 years & learned how to get the proper bra size let me clear up the mystery.

The reason you have back fat when wearing a bra is because the band is too small!!!

You have fat coming out of your bra cup because your bra cup is too small!!!

50% of women don't wear the proper bra size. My mother made a big deal about making sure that didn't happen to us.

So instead of wasting your money on an As Seen on TV infomercial product that may not even work, let me give you some real advice:

1. Go to a lingerie store & get a salesperson to measure you to determine your size. Not a Wal-Mart or Target & maybe not even a JcPenney (where I did my lingerie work but God only knows if they still include that in new employee training since I haven't worked there in over 10 years). Ideally, you have access to a small, independent lingerie shop where the sales staff have time to give you personal attention but I'm sure a Victoria's Secret would suffice.

2. Stop living in the delusion that you are a size that doesn't fit. Guess what?? You might be fat now. Stop bitching about this & go buy a bra that fits. No one else is going to see the band or cup size unless you take your bra off or decide to be intimate with someone. If someone can tell this by sight, they are either a pervert who doesn't deserve the time of day or a professional who has more class than to announce such things to the world. If that professional does not, again a pervert who doesn't deserve the time of day.

Do you get it? Maybe you'd have a case if you're a stripper but most women aren't working in the adult industry & if this bothers you, chances are you don't either. Otherwise, you've got some very good drugs that people would probably pay you a fortune to get.

This is one of those things that most people don't notice or comment on unless you're whining about it.

Products like this are just encouraging laziness & making people stupid. Do we really need more of that in this country? Isn't GPS enough?

If you're in a country that's not experiencing a massive brain drain, please tell me where that magical land is so I can consider it when planning a vacation & in any future immigration plans.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Being Jerked Around - Who Hates It???

This has to be one of my biggest pet peeves in life, especially when dealing with business. If I don't know the answer to something or don't do what I'm supposed to, I apologize & tell you the damn truth. In fact, I probably err on the side of being too truthful because I hate the feeling of limbo.

I was the sort of retail associate who'd screw over the company in a second to help a customer. If I felt the company had an asinine policy or was being unfair to the customer, I'd throw them under the bus without a second thought. This was when I was in high school.

Not much has changed. At this point, I've concluded that working at a big company would a mistake. I think people who know me would agree: I lack the questionable morals & desire to show fealty to a heartless company where I'm eating scraps while the CEO is having filet mignon and wouldn't think twice about laying me off even if I saved the company from going under, rescued his/her young child from drowning & uncovered theft by the top brass. I also can't imagine a major company being stupid enough to employ someone as smart, assertive & creative as I am. Big companies don't value those things. Oh, hell no!

Seeing the second Dear Prudence letter here just confirmed it. Some of the comments also illustrate that many other people don't mind being slaves to their companies but oh, I'm not one of them. I did go above & beyond in the past but I never worked for people who exploited me or didn't reward my effort. When you don't reward someone for good behavior, they will not bother. And when others bitch about it? Surefire way to stop that above & beyond stuff!

I'd also have to warn any lecherous client that ever dared propose or take an indecent liberty with me that if you try it, I'll make sure to have a metal handle fan so I can hit you upside your head. That's if I'm feeling nice; you don't want to know what might happen if I'm not feeling nice or who else might hurt you.

My life has become an endless "maybe" job limbo. Just when I think all hope is lost, something happens to make me think "Maybe?" It's a constant roller coaster that I'm sick of being on. Even if you have no prospects, take it from me that you're better of not being on that kind of roller coaster. My fear is that if I stop following up, I'll never hear a damn thing again or will get dismissed because I wasn't aggressive enough. Honestly, I don't think I care anymore. It's just irritating when my husband tells me to keep following up since he fears he'll once again be on the layoff chopping block. Another example of what happens when you're a dick to employees: they don't bother doing volunteer stuff on their off time.

So, do higher ups at some of these companies know nothing of the concepts of punishment & reward?? Motivation? Threatening someone with getting fired for not exploiting themselves, thereby showing they are a "team player" just doesn't amuse or impress me.

Hell, though I was in a sorority I was never hazed. I'm the sort who'd just quit or do something downright sinister to the hazers. We also never hazed anyone else in my chapter & I've never heard about hazing in other chapters. See why I've called mine an "anti-sorority?" That's one of the reasons.

I also contacted a law school that is setting up legal services for an area of law I know quite well & have contacts in. If I wanted to, I could be a great resource to find people for them & I certainly think I have the experience to volunteer.

However, my inner cynic tells me I'm going to be just as disappointed with this group as I am with any other. How come?

For one, many sources dealing with volunteer entertainment services have this elitist attitude that any attorney not from a T1 school is an inferior attorney or automatically unequal to a Harvard or Yale graduate who just got admitted.

This is a colossal mistake in entertainment law. For one thing, I read that Charlie Sheen's attorney who has his place in entertainment as a tough enforcer is not some Ivy League graduate. He went to Brooklyn Law School. Yet, he's representing celebrities & I'm sure no one would denigrate him for not being a Yale graduate.

Guess what, stupids? Entertainment law is a purview of personality. Clients don't pick attorneys based on their law schools. That's also true elsewhere but it's definitely true in entertainment law. Personality is king. If you're a jerk, it doesn't matter if you were #1 at Harvard; creative clients won't want to work with you. I know this from talking to many different creative people who were looking for lawyers.

And funny, most of the entertainment lawyers I've talked to also feel like outsiders from the typical firm atmosphere & can't stand the elitism of typical lawyers.

Second, these elitists also believe that any attorney who hasn't been practicing for decades is completely useless & a moron who knows nothing about nothing. I beg to differ in this area since I'm doing something most attorneys of any level don't get to do. My circumstances are different & dismissing me for being licensed for 3 years instead of 7+ without looking at a my specific situation just shows you're an idiot.

If you wonder why I don't recommend things like Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, that's why. If these organizations don't deem me good enough to assist in an area I have a fair amount of knowledge in, why should I bother recommending them to people who despise elitism probably even more than me? I don't view it as selfish to my colleagues but more like sparing them BS & opting to connect them with quality people that I know will treat them as human beings worthy of respect instead of just a case (time suckage problems notwithstanding). Believe me, that kind of thing determines just what kind of legal services you're going to get. If you are not valued, the lawyer isn't going to be on top of things even if the person's #1 in that area of law.

So I can be an ally or an enemy: your choice. If you refuse to listen to me, I'll never lift a finger for your benefit. Coldhearted or not, that's business folks.

I was also quite gratified to see Cupcake Stop closing. I call BS on the "hiatus" since most business owners would either cede control to partners, hire a new CEO, or sell to someone else & live happily on the proceeds. They'd never just let the business close unless those steps weren't an option.

I had nothing to do with it but I'd be lying to say I don't take some pleasure from seeing a jerk get his comeuppance. Things like that renew my faith in the world & humanity as well as keep me from doing things like becoming a con artist.

You want to get in my face about being happy with the workings of karma? You've obviously never been wronged or treated unfairly in some way. Your life has been cookies & sunshine. Talk to me when you've had some of my life experiences or could beat me in hard luck stories. Avoid religious talk as well since it's irrelevant to me. Respect my beliefs & I'll respect yours; end of story.

And to conclude, it seems I now have to risk becoming an alcoholic or the wife of one to delay getting Alzheimer's. Great!

So I'm just screwed coming & going, aren't I? Not bad enough I had to live with an alcoholic as a child & be subjected to a level of secondhand smoke that will probably lead to lung cancer when I'm older: now I have to start drinking & potentially screw up my entire life. Lovely. Maybe I'll be dead before it's an issue considering my relatives generally died in the 60s-70s range & cancer runs rampant on both sides. On that cheery note...

I'll have to make a list of my pet peeves ranked in order someday. Being jerked around is definitely going to be in the top 5.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Human Nature

I got an interesting comment on a post from an international law firm. Apparently, this person didn't actually READ the post they commented on & seemed to think it was okay to write something that wasn't even a complete sentence.

No, no, NO!!!!! Only useful discourse proving you actually read will be regarded here. If English is not your native language, I hope you've got some type of translation tool so you can read, comment in English, what have you. Not being an expert in English is not what I'm referring to; basic problems in reading comprehension, in any language, is.

Don't bother with text speak or anything proving you are a moron; I'll just get confused. I also loathe morons with a passion. One day, someone should really make a list. Call it something like "X Signs That You Are a Moron." Whatever number you want. I have no idea how many signs one could come up with to make a good list.

One thing is for sure though: if you'd condemn this man for what he proposes to do here, that's a sure sign you're a moron.

Essentially, it means you don't know a thing about human nature & have never had a close family member or friend murdered. Nor have you even known someone whose close family member or friend was the victim of a murderer.

If you'd blame this man for a second for wanting to kill a man for murdering his son & then eating his son's flesh, then you are a moron. You live in a dream world if you think the justice system is perfect and criminals are always properly punished. Snap out of it!

Let me give you a real life example: you may not know the name of Michael Hayes. However, he's a well know figure in my hometown. This man murdered a number of people by getting them to pull over and killing them while they drove down a stretch of highway. The murders happened not far from where I lived & my mother was relieved that my sister & I were not of driving age at the time he was doing this.

So when Michael Hayes was going through the criminal justice system, he plead insanity. He was locked up in a mental hospital, where I believe he remains to this day. The story was heavily publicized in my hometown & people still remember this guy vividly.

A few months back, a friend from that hometown posted a link about how the state is considering releasing this man from the mental hospital & letting him skip back out into society like nothing ever happened.

Despite the fact that he would be forbidden from living in the county where these crimes took place, a number of people I knew said that if he were ever released, then their relatives (some of whom were related to victims of this scumbag) would murder him on sight. I think some would join in just based on principle; absolutely no one I know would support this man going back out on the streets, no matter how "reformed" he was.

Just more reasons I support the death penalty after thorough investigation & knowing for a fact that someone is guilty of something based on reliable metrics. I also admit I could never be a criminal defense lawyer.

Monday, March 7, 2011

General Musings Part 17

So, a few things have been going on lately. First off, I've taken some more assertive steps for 2 things I got communications on: a job offer & a meeting with the President of a local bar association I belong to. It remains to be seen if I'll ever get a definitive start date, salary & at a minimum, a written statement that some other attorney isn't going to get this job while I'm not being contacted.

Let's face it, you can't trust prospective employers not to do that stuff. This isn't the situation of a business partner, where you've got a written contract against that kind of thing. Nope, this is you blowing in the wind. Based on my experiences with people outright lying to my face + the stories I've read/heard about, I have very little trust when it comes to a business I don't own. Some of these people deserve some karma, as you're going to see an example of shortly.

Now, on to more stupidity:

I saw this & here's my thought: he ought to know if that's true. After all, he ran a Ponzi scheme for years. I was amused.

This has been something my husband, his co-workers & I have talked about for YEARS. Where were you, Daily News?

Let's not even talk about what it's like when they don't have weekend subway service. I couldn't even go into the city one weekend b/c my train line had shuttle buses over the ENTIRE way & there was no alternate to that crap.

In case you can't tell, I hate dealing with shuttle buses due to safety reasons (you're literally packed on there like sardines, sometimes unsafely) & the fact that it takes twice as long to get someplace on them as it does on the subway.

And this is total overreaction. Just another example of an overly sensitive parent who should just home school their child. What will this mother do if her son ends up a target of bullies? Or someone calls him a racist word sometime? I think this sort of thing is innovative teaching & is far more vivid, socially relevant, effective, etc. than having kids do a passive activity like reading or watching a film. I bet she's also one of those people who wants to keep the Censored 11 under wraps. Denying history is the easiest way to repeat it.

And shame on the school board who'll likely throw this teacher under the bus.

Now, here? Welcome to karma!!!

I honestly have to wonder when workers in this county are going to do that. Not saying I necessarily condone violence but if you act like a jerk to others, karma will generally kick your sorry behind. Kind of hard to have any sympathy for someone who profits richly off the backs of their employees while the employees are on welfare, especially when the executive in question brags about that kind of thing.

That's why I make it a point to treat all people with basic human dignity & respect. You can bet if I had employees, I'd not exploit them since I wouldn't want that done to my family members & didn't appreciate the treatment of people I knew who worked in "shit" jobs (defined as jobs that have no upward advancement & supervised by anti-education thugs who'd never let you advance).

Take note, big business owners. Treat people like shit & you could end up like this senior executive if you've left them in poverty with no chance to do anything better in life. If you weren't bragging about your deeds & showed some humanity, maybe it wouldn't happen to you.

Consider the mayor of Cincinnati who was on Undercover Boss last night. He did both jobs AND even wore a fat suit. That's dedication & I respect the guy for it since I know Bloomberg doesn't have the balls to do that kind of thing himself. He's too busy living in a bubble with the rich to bother with any public service duties. He also supports a Wal-Mart in NYC, forgetting that his rich friends will have to pay more to Medicaid & the welfare program b/c no one else will be able to afford it (remember, he either laid them off or Wal-Mart effectively shut down the small businesses) + these Wal-Mart employees will have to use it due to the poverty level wages Wal-Mart offers.

I know that the library director in my husband's area is too arrogant to that kind of thing as well based on his own past remarks. He also doesn't even drive on snowy/icy roads b/c he has a driver the taxpayers are probably paying through the nose for, but has no qualms demanding his employees to come in & work while risking their lives in such conditions.

Since the "have/have not" divide is getting larger & larger, one really has to consider that it's just a question of when this happens to a senior executive here vs. if it happens. People get pissed off & it's part of human nature.

Some sound advice here but this is how I view salary: it's the payment you make for me to dedicate my full energy to your work. Pay me too little & I'll be taking side jobs to make up the difference. That means if my side work pays more, you're not going to be my first priority.

You also risk my leaving your job to go to a higher paid competitor (myself as a freelancer or to some other company).

If you want to be the #1 priority, you're going to have to pay me a proper rate. I also adamantly refuse to sign anything restricting my ability to take side work if I'm making a pathetic rate. Some fields ban that practice anyway, including mine.

As long as we establish that, we're good. Too bad more employees don't approach salary discussions that way. These days, after getting my own legal clients, I certainly do.

Finally, this article. I'm truly skeptical about that kind of thing & think you should notice the contradiction at the end.

"No formal tone" but "maintain professional stuff." Yeah...so basically this means create an anemic Facebook profile that has nothing to do with your personality. That sounds like BigLaw logic.

Is anyone else concerned that as time goes on, places like Facebook will be filled with bland, vanilla, horribly banal profiles that make you just want to fall asleep because the people are that boring???

I've had people send me friend requests but have no way for me to message them to ask about them. For instance, why should I friend you? What do you do? What is your reason for your friend request to me, a total stranger? Are you violating policies directly stated on my profile, such as trying to get me to read your unsolicited material or ask me for a very personal favor?

Unless I actually know you in real life, you're going to have to answer that stuff before you see my personal Facebook page. Furthermore, my Facebook page is PERSONAL. I'm hardly a binge drinking, coke addicted whore but at the same time, I do have strong viewpoints & will not temper them for anyone's delicate sensibilities. I tell people that if their sensibilities are THAT delicate, then they should NOT be a Facebook friend.

I'd also never friend anyone who had employment power over me or any co-worker in such a job unless that person stated point blank in writing that any material on my personal page wouldn't be used against me. Face it, it's just better to work for yourself.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Being an Actor: Reality vs. Fantasy

So based on remarks I've seen from non-entertainment people varying from The Jobless Juris Doctor (a law school scam blogger) to Facebook friends of people I am acquainted with on Facebook, I think it's time to clear up some misconceptions about what it's like to be an actor.

In the wake of the whole Charlie Sheen situation, I have seen everything from "Charlie's laughing all the way to the bank & could care less about burning bridges with producers." to "Acting is an easy job while being a lawyer is hard work." I even saw someone have the audacity to claim the rudest industry people alive would be mouthy to attorneys & I know from personal experience + conversations with other lawyers that that is a baldfaced lie.

For the sake of my actor friends, let's get a few things straight right now:

1. Acting is NOT easy!!!!!!!!! While not completely related to this topic, this Huffington Post article highlights some of the things actors have to go through.

There's also having to work when you don't feel well and dealing with some less than kind industry folk (there are some out there). It's the same kind of thing as having an attorney boss who thinks the paralegals & legal secretaries are slaves or lesser than him/her. While the people I know wouldn't actually treat actors like slaves & I've never personally witnessed it, I'm sure there are people somewhere who are openly hostile to actors.

2. Real actors are not in it for the money. Even the kids of celebrities have to start somewhere. You will NOT get paying jobs in acting if you haven't gotten at least some experience doing something. Theater, extra work, indie film, student films...there are plenty of gigs that offer NO pay. Being an actor is all about having to pay dues. If you're related to someone famous, you also have to deal with people assuming you are a dick or have entitlement issues.

Why do you think lots of people who became famous didn't cash in on family connections? Believe me, the ones who do that become much more respected since they aren't perceived as line jumpers or spoiled brats.

The average person only hears about the established, famous actors doing things (which are a very small percent of all actors) instead of your more typical working actor who is not earning a steady weekly paycheck working a 9-5 job.

If you start out in acting immediately demanding paid work, you're either going to be relegated to permanent extra work or eventually go broke because no one hires you.

How many times have you heard about actors walking away from roles where they were making obscene amounts of money, simply because they were sick of the role? Something else is at work besides money.

3. It takes FUCKING EFFORT to be an actor. You don't just read lines from a script. You have to make the material come alive and create a story that the audience wants to see. Bad acting can kill a project just as effectively as bad writing, bad promotion, etc.

Try memorizing 20 pages of lines in a week as well as rewrites that could be a short time before filming. There aren't many people who are memorization experts & that's what you have to do when filming a TV show. You may have more time for a film or theater but you still have to deal with rewrites, blocking (the movements you will perform while doing the scene), etc.

So, if you think acting is SOOOOO easy, I offer the same challenge to you that I offered to The Jobless Juris Doctor: do an acting project yourself. Theater, extra work involving exteriors on a cold day/little clothing/something out of your comfort zone, any project that will give you some perspective. Ideally, you'll have to memorize lines or spend a lot of time with many people.

Believe me, you're going to learn some things.

If you still think I, someone who actually WORKS in the entertainment industry + has done some stage performance, am less credible than your non-industry opinion or that of your non-industry friends, then you're an idiot. I'll have to ream you out for whining about YOUR job next since I'm sure someone has a harder one that you (including parenthood since there are people whose kids have worse ailments & handicaps).

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Okay, Where's the Personal Responsibility?

This story just rubbed me the wrong way.

I think the reason it did is because it just reeks of no parental accountability. An attitude of "Oh, I'm deferring to authority."

So, if someone claiming to be God told you to sexually molest your kids, would you do that too?

Newsflash: there is NO legitimate school of psychology or psychological treatment that says you sexually molest your kids. I know I'd have remembered hearing about that when I was earning my BA in the subject. Not to mention I could go ask actual psychologists about such things.

I say the parents who listened to this guy deserve just as much if not more condemnation than this criminal. I'm sure they simply needed an excuse & found the words of some online stranger to be a convenient justification.

I also found this story interesting. I know that anyone who doesn't have one would probably tell you "Heck, no! Get to the Ivy League ASAP!" For law school, you'd be told the same thing.

However, I think it comes down to how much advantage you take of any college experience. What classes you choose, how much you study, etc. The quality of professors also comes into play & Ivy League schools usually mean you're being taught by a teacher's assistant (not sure about law school but I know that's true in undergrad).

Personally, I don't think my life is empty for not having gone to an Ivy League school. I hardly went to Clown College or Clown Law School, especially based on stories I've heard about institutions that should be renamed that. A sign that you didn't go to one of those is that no one chuckles when they hear the name of your alma mater. I also hate the snobbery of certain Ivy League graduates (not all since I've met some who are as nice as ever & despise the snobbery as much as anyone else).

I'd think going to an Ivy League school would be a disadvantage to some people since you're being branded with some bad things & have to overcome it if you aren't the stereotype. I have to do that at times in the legal field amidst people who hate lawyers b/c of the stereotypes about them.

Finally, give it up for Robot Chicken for asking the question I've been dying to have a chance to ask of fundies. That is, does God hate abortions or sex education more? You can't outlaw abortion & make contraceptives impossible to get; it's one or the other. Abortions or increased costs to Medicaid, the court system, social services, welfare, etc with all the unplanned pregnancies + teen mothers. Bravo for doing social commentary.