Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Extra Gig #9: Guess I'm Still Pretty Even in Glasses

While I was at Comic Con on Thursday's Professional Day, I get a call from a gentleman at Comer Casting seeking my interest in being an extra on The Good Wife. Since I'd never done a gig at Comer Casting & the gig was for the next Tuesday and Friday (when I had no other plans), I signed on. Generally speaking, if you give me advance notice on things I'm more likely to show up. I need to mentally prepare for things & as I mentioned before, I come from a sorority chapter where making people go to last minute, unplanned events was punishable by death (not literal but definitely metaphoric death). Maybe some of your Greek chapters also operated this way?

On Friday, I thought "Wait a minute! He didn't tell me what role I'm doing." I know the basic premise of The Good Wife, having read about it in various legal scam blogs so I knew it was a "lawyer" show. I asked & it turned out I was portraying a member of a courtroom gallery. Specifically, a Midwesterner.

I mentioned my concern in asking so I wouldn't be portraying a prostitute or a rape victim (as an actual, real life lawyer I wouldn't do such roles in an extra gig situation for a production not handled by people who know & respect me). I also told him he could make a note in the file that I'm an actual lawyer so those sorts of roles are out for me.

Another first with this gig was that the shoot was outside of NYC. It was in Mount Vernon, in fact so there was a courtesy bus for extras (as well as a van for crew & stand-ins). Both days had levels of interesting in them so I'll go through both here.

Comer Casting operates in a similar way to Central Casting with the calling in for details and the like. They also called me the day before the gig to make sure I was still available so if my company were in the market for extras, I would consider them based on this.

Of course, I reserve my final decisions on when I get my paychecks and if they are good. The same goes for Scott Powers; I've not seen that money yet and if I don't, I most certainly would file in small claims court if I didn't get any status updates or hustle on the issue. You don't screw over lawyers, as history has shown. Especially this one. I remember that stuff & would be telling that story far & wide. Plus, that's violating trust & if you treat ME that way, how are you treating non-lawyers? Likely worse. I suppose I may also have to give some leeway for this recent storm. More on that tomorrow but I'm doing okay here.

So, other observations:

1. Based on what the gentleman at Comer told me about glasses being good for portraying a Midwesterner, I decided I'd wear mine. This turned out to be a very good thing since A) shooting went into overtime & B) my eyes did not end up being in pain from doing this because of it. The glasses also made me different from the other redheads in attendance.

2. Yes, there were other redheads at this thing, though not a large number. Maybe about 2 or 3 besides me & I'm not sure if they were natural or not. It's not the same if you're a bottle redhead; you're CHOOSING that experience & could leave it when you wanted without being ostracized or harmed by folk. Plus, it's not tied into your identity like it is if you had to grow up with it & live it since your parents refused to let you dye your hair.

One had curly hair & remarked that my hair was "vibrant." Not "pretty" or "gorgeous" as I'm used to hearing but "vibrant." I said "Thanks," but went no further. I mean, how do you respond to that? I couldn't tell if she was being complimentary or insulting. I've heard both in my time. Plus, not sure if she was a natural redhead or not; if she was, she easily could have been jealous. Apparently, she was in the union as I learned later on in Day 2.

3. This show has some good PAs and crew. Our PAs, Self & I believe Andrea, introduced themselves right away to us. Self also complimented my looks even though I was in glasses (if you were being sincere, thanks since I think I look horrid in them). There was also Tom, our set PA and the assistant director, Colin.

Colin is the sort of AD I'd kill to have on a project. He actually made an effort to learn our names & learned mine right away. Tom told us that Colin did this on every shoot they'd had. I value that sort of humanity & with my company's reputation for it, I would insist on someone with that kind of humanity handling our background folk. Plus, being able to remember the names of even 20-30 extras is a skill & he was trying to learn names for about 60 or so on this set. I remember hearing he'd done this on sets with 80 something extras. If someone can do that, that shouts "detail oriented" to me. Plus, that person is perfect for sales roles & dealing with the clients. From what I saw, Colin deserves to go far in this business.

4. On that note, this was a very friendly set. I saw principle actors talking to extras during breaks & don't think extras approached them first. As I said before, our set folk were awesome (including the lighting guys who talked to me) & Self had to put up with a lot of craziness. Personally, if any PA can put up with the stuff they have to and not start hurting folk, that person's a keeper. That's true generally but especially if they have to deal with some of the the whiny & self-absorbed people I've seen doing background work.

Some of that "too close for comfort" stuff came up again. I thought the actress playing the DA looked familiar & on Day 2, I figured out why. She was on a show that someone my people know personally was also on. Not sure how close he is to this actress today but my thought was "This could be awkward in my exec life." More signs it's time for me to hang up the extra work.

The director, Griffin Dunne, is apparently notorious for meal penalties & going into overtime on folks. I learned the crew even had an inside joke around it. If you're paying me & I can get to food, I'm not worried about it but I know it can play a toll on you physically. This made me appreciate how hard a crew works even more than I had already (trust me, you do background work for TV & you'll get that appreciation).

I also learned that Julianna Margulies doesn't like working on Fridays (and who can blame her? I don't either) & does engage in the social graces, even with background folk. I was sitting in the same row as her at one point & had one of my sneeze fits; I'm not allergic to anything & it's not a sign I'm sick but do have those sneeze moments from time to time in a day. It might be slight weather allergies. She said "God bless." I said "Thank you," since I'm polite. Remember, I don't go around pestering people for autographs unless they pester me for legal advice or referrals.

5. I did get to sit down for most of this. That made me happy since oftentimes you stand up in extra work (often in high heels if you're a woman opting for those gigs). People warned us that we had to be in court & it was boring but I didn't find it nearly as bad as real court. In real court, you don't get breaks while they realign the shot. You don't get to clear out while they move the lights. You don't get to go back to holding while they're shooting scenes without the background.

Instead, you have to sit for 3 hours & pretend to be interested while the opposing lawyer is having a witness drone on about something completely dull and inconsequential to the proceeding at hand. It's worse when you're a legal intern for one of the lawyers/firms involved in the case since you can't just leave or fall asleep. I never felt like falling asleep when I was in the scene, no matter how many times they shot or rehearsed it. You get zero relief in real court so this was a picnic compared to my real life experiences.

6. TV vs. reality is still the same with this show. I also, in a twist of irony, picked a CLE disc on evidence to watch during breaks (disc 2 of the set I'd watched in Extra Gig #8). Since, after all, if I'm going to be confined someplace for a long period of time without Internet access it's a good excuse for me to catch up on CLE DVDs so I can get credit. The scene I was in would definitely have violated rules of evidence since you don't get those surprise moments in real court.

However, I totally get why writers do that. If they didn't, no one would ever watch a lawyer show where a lawyer had to go to court. In fact, the audience might never watch a lawyer show at all. You'd be bored to tears & want to chop your own head off to end the misery.

I do give this crew points for accuracy, though. The attire was 100% on point and the wardrobe people were extremely conscientious about that. They did not have the judge use profanity like I've heard of happening in scripts; in fact, that actor reminded me of a lawyer I know from City Bar's Entertainment Committee. Those two looked similar. It does seem The Good Wife wasn't taking too many leaps into utter absurdity from what I saw & were being as true to the courtroom lawyer experience as possible in the realm of a TV show.

7. As for wardrobe, I had to get more pieces from them since many of my clothes weren't Midwestern enough. However, some of my purchases were good (like my black plaid Old Navy jacket & these darker khaki pants I'd bought for working on Wall Street). They said "no trendy stuff" so I had a time scrounging for things though I opted for stuff I'd gotten from relatives that looked very conservative. I had a few pieces I bought for myself (like the black plaid jacket & the khakis) but generally, my style is more fashionable & doesn't fit into one box since I dress as I feel on a given day. Some days, I feel more conservative. I like to think of myself as a chameleon & stock my wardrobe accordingly so nothing seems out of place on me.

On Day 2, I had to bring more & different clothes (thinking I couldn't bring black dress pants on Day 1, I brought them on Day 2 since the wardrobe PA I dealt with on Day 1 asked if I had any). Turns out those clothes passed muster, including this pinkish/maroonish blazer I got at a thrift store that was a little big on me but that I'd never had an occasion to wear. When I'd seen it, I foresaw wearing it to court.

Day 2 was rainy & the forecast had called for a lot of it so I wore other clothes to prevent my good ones getting ruined. After we shot our first scene, it was pouring rain when we cleared the set. Since my plaid coat is wool, I left it handing on a rack at the window where I saw another coat hanging when I left for holding (I was wearing a hoodie over my other clothes though my dress pants still got messed up; both were machine washable, though). My thought there was "I'm not damaging my stuff in this rain unless production plans to pay for the cleaning." You have to take care of yourself in this life & when I got back, my coat was fine where it had been. No harm, no foul since it wasn't raining later on in the day & the coat didn't get messed up.

8. The first day's lunch was interesting since apparently, not only was production responsible for feeding the crew & extras but also had to feed the people at the church. I guess no one told the caterers about that since there were non-union people who didn't get food (I wasn't one of them, though annoyed with lack of dessert at the end even though I'd brought my own candy bars to snack on at my leisure). Day 2 brought much more food. I also ended up in the union food line by accident.

I was getting up & preparing since the union people had been called to start eating. A gentleman near me told me to go ahead. I figured "What the hell?" and went on. These union people should probably not be dicks to me, I thought, since I could torch their careers very easily if they messed with me. Self had said the day before that the union folk got to eat first since there would be hell to pay with their people if they didn't. Well, there would be hell to pay with me if you cause problems and seeing as I am an entertainment lawyer & have a company that is getting to higher levels it probably serves best interests not to get on my bad side. I don't really need people to raise hell for me since I do a much better job of it myself & have been doing it for others on some level for quite some time.

Plus, the crew eating first is one thing (I've gone over that before in this series). The union eating before non-union is a different story. Maybe there should be some classification for "people who can kill our careers in this industry" in the eating order.

Poor Self said he didn't even get to eat on Day 1; if that's not dedication & respect for background, I'm not sure what is. That guy should be commended since I don't think many in his shoes would have done that.

9. I still contend that actors as a group are whiny bitches. I heard people talk about their experiences on other sets. Some of them are things I would object to or walk from; no, I don't turn off the "lawyer" or "film industry exec" if I'm doing something unrelated to those. That stuff will come out if you start problems & it takes time to make me mad. At this point, I've seen enough of what goes on to know what is a good set or a bad set.

My major reason for this is that the same girl who said my hair was "vibrant" pointed out while we were on the bus to leave after midnight that they had to drop us off at either Grand Central, Port Authority, Penn Station or some other transit hub (I don't think she mentioned but apparently there's a 4th one they had to use) since some of them were union & it was union rules. The PA on the bus told us that we were going back to 96th Street, where the bus had left from on both days.

She goes "Oh, that's not near my train." I decide to chime in at this point & say "Well it's not near MINE either but it is a subway station." I pointed out that if she had the money, she could take a cab if she had to go elsewhere. I had no sympathy considering I had to take 2 trains to get home & wait around with my stuff; I'm also quite certain no one else hearing her had sympathy since they probably had places to go as well. She then gets all hyped up & says it's a union rule (which I didn't know about). I thought "Well, go take it up with them" but didn't say anything at that point since I figured she might know what she was talking about & if she got this victory, it would shorten my trip some.

At the end of the day, we did end up getting dropped off at Grand Central. My beef here was how she handled this. She could have brought this up in a much more diplomatic & polite manner than she did, perhaps citing the union rule first. Instead, she came off as a whiny, entitled bitch & that topped off my negative vibe around her.

10. On Day 1, I heard about another story that I was tempted to interject on but didn't. During lunch, a girl at my table was talking about a representative at a Comer set giving her the creeps and sexually harassing her and other women. I forgot his name; I want to say "Pedro" but don't quote me on that. One guy in particular was encouraging her to come forward with this but she said she wouldn't b/c she knew she'd be branded as a problem & never get work.

Had I interjected, here's what I would have said:

"I own a business myself and I'm the in-house lawyer there. It's my responsibility to make sure we don't have legal liabilities hanging around. If someone at my company was doing this, I'd want you to tell me. My colleagues would also want you to speak up since we don't want to be known as that place that lets creepers bother folk. I, in particular, take our reputation very seriously & don't tolerate BS in my business. Any sane business owner wants you to speak up & won't blame you for it. If they do, they are a pack of dumbasses who will ruin themselves since people like me won't work with them & let them drag us down. People also talk & you'll get a negative reputation in the actor community. Reputation is huge in this industry & "birds of a feather" is very true around here."

I would probably have also talked about my experience at the scam TV network & what I learned about the CEO's casting couch practices along with what I did as a lawyer who was talking to potential investors. I'd have also mentioned what the web designer did to fuck up this lying bastard (and the fact that he's got friends who were apprised of this guy). People thanked us for warning them about this scam artist & I would do that again if anyone scammed me or mine. If you employ the casting couch, I'm going to speak up since no one's going to lump my company in with that bullshit or the reputations of anyone I know for a fact isn't doing it. Why should the honest & ethical among us be punished for someone else's lack of ethics?

I think I'd have probably concluded with the fact that since I'm a lawyer/business owner in this business, I'm viewed as a person of trust in society (and especially in the entertainment industry) so I have to speak up if I hear about that kind of shit or risk harm to MY reputation & possible punishment by the state ethics committee if that silence would constitute an ethics violation. As any licensed attorney can tell you, ethics rules aren't just for your conduct in legal representation. They go to your behavior everywhere & at all times. I take that duty seriously at my company & as I've stated here, I don't use my position to cover up for or co-opt scumbags, cretins, etc.

Don't be a shithead in the first place & you won't have to worry about me telling your potential investors, my colleagues or anyone else that you're not someone they should be doing business with. I'd want my contacts to do the same for me.

For me, keeping your mouth shut on things like that is akin to not reporting a rapist who attacked you. You're doing a disservice to future victims & that's not right.

After doing this gig, I came to an important conclusion: the Hollywood route to acting isn't for me. First off, I'm facing too many of these "too close for comfort" moments in doing extra gigs.

Second, no manager wants to deal with me. I'm not going to "turn off the lawyer." That's one of my strengths. Why not just ask me to dye my hair blonde while you're at it? Reality is what it is & I'm not altering my career path to make some agent or manager feel better about himself/herself. Dorothy never had an issue with my being a lawyer & she's an industry vet. We got along fine & she was never nasty to me.

Let me also point out that being a lawyer in the entertainment field is not the same as being an entertainment lawyer & even being an entertainment lawyer is different from being an entertainment lawyer who has ownership interest in a production company. From what I'm hearing, it seems I can personally have a hand in helping some agent or manager that treated me well since I could get that person meetings with the proper folk & an "in" they wouldn't have otherwise had. I also have contacts that the average lawyer doesn't & am seen in a different way based on my looks (which are what they are naturally). I have gotten approached much more often, maybe because I have a creative background as well as a legal background.

With all that, I don't see where an agent or manager is going to be beneficial to me. That person would have to be at least as good as me; I'd want better but it feels like at this point, that might be too much to ask for. I don't think most people could advise me since who's actually done what I'm doing? I've yet to find anyone who has or is doing all that stuff.

Third, I've got a family & zero desire to live in LA. I'll visit if you can find a way for me to go without being sexually assaulted by TSA just to board an airplane but until you can, I'll stay here or take the bus/drive.

Fourth, I'm not shelling out a fortune for crazy stuff. I'll do classes for me if I see something I like & want to take it but otherwise, I'll use my money in more efficient ways. Pick things I like, not because someone else told me to do it.

Finally, can't really do the crazy set hours & demands that principles have to do. It feels more like the legal world with this striving to get a series regular & the like when conditions can be just like BigLaw: long hours, trading a ton of money for your soul, a pack of sycophants telling you you're awesome even when you're full of shit & in some cases, abusive treatment.

There's also the public recognition & at least one good thing you can say about BigLaw is that associates and partners aren't going to be mobbed for autographs or forced to wear disguises to go have a cup of coffee in their neighborhoods. Nor do they usually have to worry about being in the tabloids.

I could take on that commitment for my team or my projects, where people respect me & I won't be forced to endure massive discomfort or not get to see my husband. We know that wouldn't be the case on someone else's set.

I suppose my view there is much like my view of working for someone else vs. working for yourself. I have much more passion for my own business & will work harder for it than I ever will for someone else's. If I'm treated like crap in someone else's business, I won't even bother or would probably just walk away.

Now I still love this business & have a passion for it but like anything else in life, I'll be successful on my terms & with my way. That's just how it's going to be; life is too short to not live on your own terms. I'm not going to waste my time with people who don't respect that or get it. You can't really explain such concepts to them & if you're going to have power in life, you need to use it for good. I've managed to defy plenty of odds before so I really see no reason to change things. I'm open to opportunity but if it's not terms I like & find fair, I won't bother.

Want to convince me otherwise? Prove you know what you're talking about, get my personal situation (not generalities about being a lawyer or assuming things about my company that you know nothing about) & aren't full of shit. Those demanding pay for their services need not apply.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Should We Pierce Kids Too Little to Object? Musings While Waiting for the "Hurricane"

Or, if you like "the big, wet rainstorm" (thanks, Daria). Not sure what we'll be getting this time with Sandy but as you might already know, I'm not the type of person who freaks out about the weather. Go read that entry if you haven't already.

I still have that extra gig to write about. I've decided it's going to be my last one since now I've already worked with most of the bigger background companies in NYC, I've already gotten that learning experience I was doing it for & I'm pursuing other opportunities. More on that later, though.

Right now, it's been hurricane hysteria in my area. I figured while I was dealing with all this, I'd go on and write another of my many rants. Here's one such rant.

A while back I read this entry in a childfree community. Now, let me just say that I'm NOT a child hater & I stopped posting in this community ages ago when the PC police decided to get in my face.

This post brings up an interesting debate: is it cool to pierce a little child's ears (or anything else for that matter)? Or are you taking consent away from that kid or enforcing a gender norm that may not fit the kid as she ages?

The comments went in many directions & definitely made me think. One poster talked about how her earring holes were lopsided as she aged because of having them pierced so young. Others talked about how the practice was "cultural" and implied that those who'd claimed this culture used this to say that anyone outside that ethnic group/background had no right to a contrary opinion on the matter (which, if you try with me, I'm probably going to get in your face about if it's something I actually lived & might have some familiarity with). After some thought, I figured out my take.

I think you're a fucking moron with a lot of self-hate if you would pierce your little child's ears without that kid being old enough to ask for them. If you have other children under 5 and you're doing this, you're an even bigger moron.

If you're the relative of some child & get that kid pierced without the parents' okay, you need to be smacked upside the head & forced to have "inconsiderate prick" tattooed on your face. Painful consequences might make you think twice about making a parent have to deal with this.

Why do I say this? Because getting ears pierced isn't a painless process. It DOES hurt some. I have 3 holes in each ear; I insist on maintaining them. I got my first holes when I was in the 4th grade. You know, 9-10 years old when a kid's old enough to ask for them & take care of turning the studs, putting the solution on the piercings daily, keeping the holes clean, etc. One of those holes ended up growing back after I didn't wear earrings for a while & had a resumed interest in them in 6th grade.

I got the one hole re-pierced then got my second holes in 8th grade. I got my 3rd ones in the 10th grade (I'd have to double check this with class pictures but I'm pretty sure that's accurate; I waited 2 years between the second and third hold piercings). Paid for this stuff with my own money, by the way. I did babysitting when I was in 8th grade and did cat sitting before that. I also was very good about saving my allowance for bigger items.

Case in point: I bought Super Mario Bros. 3 in 1990 when it retailed for $50. I was in the 4th grade at the time & had paid to rent the game numerous times before I bought it with money I'd saved. I may have also paid for the tax but I'm not sure about that. I remember my parents being impressed with this.

My niece is 3 months old. I don't see my sister going & getting her ears pierced (even with her desire for that kid to be a girly girl). She already has one kid under 3 who's a handful; why would she want to add even more to her plate by piercing her little girl's ears? Do you want to add ear piercing maintenance to changing dirty diapers, feedings, burping, erratic sleep schedules, etc.?

Guess who has to clean the ears, turn the studs, put solution on, etc.? You do, Mommy & Daddy! Grandma probably won't have to. Auntie & Uncle probably won't have to. Don't let busybodies put more work on you! I say let the kid decide to do that & make sure they know THEY have to do the maintenance to keep the holes open, make sure the ears don't get infected, etc. If your child doesn't have that kind of personal responsibility, (s)he is too young to get pierced ears.

That entry dealt with ear piercings but could you see some parent getting their baby a navel ring or a tongue ring? I'm sure if that parent wanted to get a genital piercing for their kid, someone would be calling CPS immediately (I'd sure hope so anyway). Why is there a double standard for ear piercing? Why do people think it's okay to pierce ears without a parent's consent but would never think to pierce these other areas? I mean, when we're dealing with babies & kids who can't even speak in complete sentences, pain is pain is pain. Right? Someone want to explain this to me.

I'm just not convinced that a sane, rational parent has enough vanity to justify all that extra work to get pierced earrings for their infant or toddler.

Oh, and what if that kid's earring falls on the floor & (s)he likes to stick things in his/her mouth? You want to deal with that, folks? What if your child or a sibling died from that? Do you want that on your conscience for the rest of your life just because you were too lazy to find clip on earrings when you felt compelled to make your little girl dress like a child pageant contestant? Seriously, what child needs to wear earrings before (s)he can speak in complete sentences & not try taking them out or leaving them for younger siblings to think of as candy they can eat? Most aren't movie stars, pageant queens or even regular attendees of adult church.

Is it just another exercise in "keeping up with the Jones?" What if their kid gets a sleeve tattoo? Are you going to get one for YOUR kid next? Parenting, folks! If you can't do it, then don't procreate. We have enough neglected and abused kids already without deadbeats like you popping out more of them! No one wants to hear you bitching about what's on TV or who's doing a concert. No one is impressed with your imitation of a sprinkler; we just feel sorry for your kids & are pissed at you for draining society's resources by not bothering to parent.

I can also see the point of the female who is a tomboy or a butch lesbian that is as anti-feminine as it gets not being happy about a parent piercing her ears before she was old enough to consent or scream "No way, bitch!" I don't think I'd have liked someone doing that to me without my consent either. Most of us don't like being told what to do or having things inflicted on us without our consent.

Maybe the deadbeats in favor of this should ask how they'd like to have a tattoo they don't want placed in a location that they don't want while their lips are super glued shut, they are handcuffed and otherwise have NO way to tell anyone if they consent or object to that tattoo. They also don't get to shift to disturb the artist's work.

How about this punishment for those assholes? Then they might get what their kids feel about it. Have some damage to your career, self-esteem, psyche & person! Since your vanity runs too deep to think of your own self-interest, this might be the only way to bring home the level of harm a kid in this country could experience.

Note that I'm speaking of American customs & culture. That's where I live & it's my experience (as is everything I ever write about). If you want tolerance or at a minimum understanding of your culture, then you should start explaining instead of telling people they have no right to their opinion if they disagree. In America, that's how you get people to respect your views & values (unless you're dealing with total bigots, of course; that's a whole other scenario).

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

NY Comic Con, Day 3: Is There Anyone In This Industry With a Name Who's Not an Asshole?

After our anniversary, we decided to go to Day 3 of Comic Con. For one thing, when you pay for a 4 day pass you should use more than 50% of it. For another, my husband says that's the day when you can get good deals from the comic book guys since they don't want to lug things back if they've traveled from far away to set up their booth.

Sadly, I bought nothing that day since things I wanted were long gone. Plus I figured I'd spent enough and seen enough. I chose to see about getting Chris Elliott's autograph since he was scheduled to be there and I didn't have any time conflicts pressing on me.

There were quite a few people with autograph tables & personal appearances at Comic Con. Most of the prices were highway robbery in my book. For instance, my mother's favorite Doctor from Doctor Who (Peter Davidson) was there but I didn't go get an autograph since his price was $40 & my mother's not big on celebrity anyway. My mother prefers him because, as she puts it, he's cute. This is certainly not untrue if you've seen '80s Doctor Who. I, however, was forced to watch it as a child along with my sister since we had one television set and PBS played it all day on Saturdays. After cartoons went off, we had to watch this all afternoon.

My mother is so not impressed with celebrity that she has zero desire to meet one in real life. If she happened to do so in her travels & that person was an ass to her, I guarantee you she'd tell that scumbag off. She is a natural redhead herself, after all.

Chris Elliott's autograph price wasn't ungodly & I figured I'd point out that I charge about 10 times more for an hour of my legal services than he was charging for an autograph and when you inevitably need the services of an entertainment lawyer, I'll be making sure you get no discounts from me. Maybe I'd even up the rate as a form of compensation for having you offend me in the first place by charging me for an autograph & likely not declaring that money as income to the government. Or, perhaps, charge you more as a means to have me behave myself & not hurt you if you do something slight to offend me since you already did something major to bug me w/that whole racket for your autograph.

Now, I'm being less that literal with that since I'd actually not bother doing squat for you in the first place if you're charging me money for an autograph considering entertainment lawyers are the ones who keep the talent from entering bad deals that leave them penniless. It's in any performer's best interest not to be an asshole to an entertainment lawyer.

Just as being mean to an agent or casting director can get you blackballed, so can doing so to an entertainment lawyer. Some of us DO have friends.

So as my husband was playing tour guide for those friends of his who only had Sunday passes and are much more into the comics & sci-fi scene than I am (that forced watching of Doctor Who & other sci-fi fare does play a role), I decided to start out in a line after the last people at the assigned table left so I'd be first or darn close to it & being certain to get the autograph. I would have considered doing this on Friday but I forgot the DVD booklet.

As I was standing in line, a gentleman in a press pass announced that Chris Elliott had been a no show for the past 2 days he was supposed to be there. A staffer at Comic Con even said that they had tried contacting him and his management with no word from either one. As people came into the line, we warned them about the possible no show. He was scheduled to be there from 2:15 to 3:15. I opted to wait until 2:30 under the 15 minute rule. One guy behind me told me that he'd lined up for both of the earlier days to see Chris Elliott's no showing behind.

As time moved closer to 2:15, no showing & no word. The staffers who were dealing with us even apologized for it. The guy with the press pass was quite mad & I talked about what I do and that it was highly unprofessional that NO ONE had told anybody about this whole thing & just did a no show. Press fellow told me that if he waited on Sunday, he'd have wasted a total of 6 hours waiting on this jerkwad & would be pissed. I wished him well on that & said at least I had come there mostly to shop and found stuff I liked. I would have passed on my business card but he left the booth before I did & I didn't see him again.

Since I have a life, I left at 2:30 & decided to start taking more pictures of great costumes and hang out with my husband and his friends.

If Chris Elliott could blow off Comic Con, a major event, there's no way in Hell I could trust him or any of his management team to show up for my company's stuff. If you own an entertainment company, you should feel the same way.

Funny thing: when my husband & one random guy in a group who came up to ask what we were waiting on heard about this, they both said "What does he have to do today?!" My husband referred to Chris Elliott as "that asshole."

Yes, Chris Elliott, I'm sure a multitude of Con attendees and the general public would like to know that one. I don't care if you were in the hospital or your grandmother died: you tell someone or have your manager do it. This is entertainment industry standard & a basic professional norm. Not doing it means you get a lot of people who won't take that shit.

This also says volumes to me about Michael Lasker of Mosaic & Christie Smith, who are both listed as his managers. Neither of them better be sending me or anyone I know solicitations for their clients since I will say "Your client Chris Elliott bailed on Comic Con with zero explanation or apology & none of you provided one either. Clearly you recruit unprofessional people, actively encourage it in your clients or refuse to effectively discourage your clients from doing this. Tell me, which is it? Why are you wasting my time? Do you think I'm stupid?"

There's no way in Hell I would have my company work with Chris Elliott and I hope no one else makes that mistake since it seems to be nothing but unprofessionalism if you make that foolish mistake. At a minimum, you can tell there's a lack of disrespect for the consuming public. Who needs that to dampen sales or harm public relations? While I can understand the fan hate & not wanting to deal with the crazies, you can at least tell someone if you can't show up to something instead of making people wait like they're a bunch of peasants & you're the fucking King of the Galaxy. That attitude will piss me off in about 5 nanoseconds & get you on my permanent black list.

After that whole Mark Bagley thing, I do wonder if there's anyone involved in Comic Con who is a name & is NOT a total asshole? I don't give a shit about your actions to an audience; I care about your behavior toward me specifically and toward the Comic Con staff, whom you are responsible to. How you treat them is a great indication in my mind of how you'll treat me & my business. I also think it's pathetic to be mean to the people who have the least amount of power in a given situation be it servers in a restaurant, extras on the set or anyone who already gets derision in some fashion for his/her mere presence.

Here's the sign we waited in front of:

To salvage the day some, I took some pictures of folk in costume. Here you go:

Here's Captain Planet! That Robot Chicken sketch with Ted Turner doing it also reminded me of that time Ted Turner came to speak at Oglethorpe. I think I wrote about that before but if I didn't, I will in the future.

Felix & one with his bag. I like Felix the Cat so seeing that did make me smile.

When I had nothing to do and others were taking pictures of folk in costume, I decided to just take a picture as well. Here's more:

Yes, Freakazoid! My husband remarked "His balls are hanging out!" Judge for yourself, folks. My husband also got the show when it came out on DVD.

Orko from He-Man! This Orko was cool & very happy to let us photograph him. This was a shot I got as friends were taking their picture.

After this, we went out to dinner as has become a tradition. This time, we chose 5 Napkin Burger. Service was SLOW but the food was pretty good. The burgers are very juicy so make sure you prepare for that.

My husband asked if I'd go to Comic Con next year. That's a good question since I'm not sure. There wasn't much of that networking I wanted (though I did get to confront that lying asshole who told my husband he had Rocko & Heffer plushes and NEVER followed up; I'll have to send him another reminder e-mail shortly). I think I will tell him "no sale" since he's obviously not bothering to follow up with anyone.

Shopping = awesome but will I find anything new in my second year?
Networking = nil; don't bother if that's your goal & you work in the entertainment industry
Panels = they were okay but not sure I can stand the obnoxiousness of fans & it's not even my property involved
Spending time with hubby = great
Seeing odd costumes & unusual stuff = some of what I saw & pics I got weren't half bad

I think the jury's still out on if I'll go again or not. At least I have almost a year to think about it.

Monday, October 22, 2012

NY Comic Con, Day 2: More Shopping, Some Free Practical Advice & Calling Out a Famous Douchebag

For the second day, we got to enter on our own time and without having to stand in a long line. There was more of a crowd but we had things to look forward to: panels, more shopping & a special trip to Artists Alley for me. We'll get to those in a moment.

While at Comic Con on Thursday, I got a call about an extra gig for the next week (this past week). Being asked & because it was for a company and show I had not previously worked with as well as having free time, I chose to take the gig. When I came in for this second day, I realized I needed to know more about the gig. After all, I can't exactly do any old gig.

Fortunately, the guy I spoke with about the gig on Thursday called me again. I asked what the role was & said he could put in the file on me that I would not do rape victims or prostitutes b/c of my career path. I think it would be damn awkward for me to have to meet some celebrity whose first meeting of me is associated with me being in scanty attire or doing something gross. Not to mention legal ethics concerns with such roles.

That being settled, we started with some shopping. After all, we had The Venture Brothers & Robot Chicken panels to go to later on. To get good seating, you have to sit through things you don't want to see as well as stand in line. Unfortunately, professionals don't get priority over non-professionals. This was the start of the unwashed masses being here (some literally unwashed).

Here are some examples of what I'm talking about:

The same basic rules for walking in NYC apply at Comic Con: follow the locals, keep moving & don't be an ass.

While there were people in costume on Thursday, there were more on Friday. Friday started the picture taking for me.

For instance, these guys did Walter White & Jesse Pinkman from Breaking Bad:

Then I saw this one. She was creepy in her stillness. You weren't even sure if it was a real person or a statue:

I also decided to do a little more shopping. After buying those I Heart Guts plushes the day before, inspiration struck me on a little rant & I decided I had to get a plush uterus.

This will be part of a soon to be performed video rant. I've got a doozy, let me tell you. I told the lady who'd sold me the other plushes about the idea & she liked it as well. They will be getting credited for this one.

I also decided to buy another dress since the white one I got the day before fit me so well. I'd seen a black one with red design that I wanted so badly but the smallest size the vendor had it in was a small.

However, she had this blue one I'd seen and liked as well as the red one.

I didn't realize until I got home and hung them all up that I'd gotten dresses in red, white & blue like the American flag. My intent on getting the red one was that I didn't have anything in that color & I wasn't sure if it would flatter me or not with my hair. Traditionally, I've shied away from bright red, yellow & orange since I felt they didn't flatter me. When I tried the dress on for my husband, though, he said I looked good so I decided I'd keep it.

Also, since I couldn't get enough of the guy with the Clockwork Orlando shirts I came back and got this one:

After some shopping, we went to The Venture Brothers & Robot Chicken panels after sitting through one for Silent Hill 3. Before that time, they'd decided to throw an unscheduled panel for Kevin Smith's reality show on Secret Stash (Comic Book Men, I think it's called). So we had to wait in this long ass line while Kevin Smith droned on (as my husband said). More pics from that:

That was the view in front of us. We had big bunches of columns for a "line" and it was horribly disorganized. Despite feedback, apparently the folk in charge of NY Comic Con have not remedied this. My husband says this has become tradition.

In the meantime, some people farther back in line decided to toss a beach ball around. The crowd got into it & people started cheering. I said "You've got to create your own fun around here." Personally, I think being able to create your fun is a trait people overlook. After all, if you can entertain yourself and find positive things in a situation you tend to have a better psyche & an energy that attracts others.

We got in and finally got to get good seats for The Venture Brothers panel. My husband has never missed that one or Robot Chicken's and he's told me about them for ages. Part of my reason for going to Comic Con was to see what he was talking about & since he kept saying "You have to see them."

Here's a pic you can look at. That fat fuck was in the way of the stage but you can see part of it behind him if you look closely. I was trying not to be the asshole violating the "no photography" rule. There were quite a few of those, especially in the Robot Chicken panel.

My husband loved going to both. I, however, have a few things to say.

* First off, can't we get some intelligent fan questions? I could come up with great stuff but before I join a line, I wish to think things out & not resort to cheesy stuff like asking for hugs, sexually propositioning people or begging for jobs. I'm not your fan, I'm happily married & my record stands on its own. You can find me; I'm not about to beg anyone for anything. Not seeing my awesomeness is YOUR problem, not mine. I'm also not selling anything so you can take me or leave me.

I would have liked a forum to meet with these people in my industry in a professional, pros only setting where I could ask intelligent questions & have a real conversation vs. being subjected to silly fan stuff. I'll say this: some of these people have far more fan tolerance than I do. I'd call you out for stupid shit or disrespecting my spouse in his/her face.

I mentioned this about intelligent questions & my husband says "you can't ask those." So, when pray tell can I do so? My company's moving up in the world & I'm dealing with similar BS now; it's just going to get worse for me. Plus, entertainment lawyer: be nice to us. Business owner in your field: be nice since you're likely going to encounter me or a friend of mine sooner or later.

* Clare Grant, I understand you are Seth Green's wife. Let me just say I admire your patience & tolerance for the whorey female fans trying to proposition your husband. You're a much nicer & far more understanding person than a good 90% of us. I know my husband would never have the self-control you displayed at the Robot Chicken panel unless maybe he was heavily medicated (and this is a man who thinks maybe 95% of the men who strike up conversations with me want to sleep with me, either secretly or openly). He even comments to me after we left that he couldn't believe some of these fans just disrespecting you & your relationship like that. Seth Green is a lucky guy & I hope he's treating you right.

Working in this industry, especially if you're a household name, is hard & there's so much misconception of it by people who don't work in it. Even the entertainment law field is glamorized by lawyers who don't do it or know people in it.

Finding someone who gets it & doesn't get pissy at you for not having the traditional job or thinking like everyone else is a blessing; you don't throw that away or take it for granted unless you're plain stupid.

If I were doing stuff & someone tried propositioning me, I'm certain my husband would grab my boob or something. I know if someone tried that w/him, I'd have to employ that trick Simon Le Bon's wife used to deal with overzealous groupies. Putting your hand on your spouse's crotch is a pretty unmistakeable signal of "That's mine; back off, bitch!" Let's face it, you have to be primitive with some people since they have no respect for anyone or anything.

The fact that you didn't do it shows you are a much better person than I am.

* You can ALWAYS blame the lawyers for something that didn't come through for a fan like merchandizing issues. We're used to it. Little hint for you folks at Robot Chicken. If you don't believe me, ask your lawyers if they're used to being blamed for stuff. You don't have to name them individually: just say "the lawyers." God knows enough people blame us for stuff (am I right or am I right?). If my CEO wants to use a general "it's the lawyers' fault" in a fan event, that's okay. Part of being a lawyer is being "the bad guy."

* If you don't want to give jobs to random fans who ask, free advice to Seth Green: don't ask people about being in SAG, especially if you're in NYC. You could encounter someone who's SAG eligible, a SAG member or even someone like me who has their own company, their own contacts & could get membership easily. Plus, there was that merger with AFTRA recently & some people may have bought their way into AFTRA to now be members of SAG/AFTRA.

A better idea is not to ask it in the first place. I heard it as "an excuse not to have to audition these nobodies who might be psychotically obsessed with one of more of our team." Come up with a different excuse: say you're not hiring or you already have a pool of people you know & trust to work with. Even go with "Could you move to [where ever you do the show; is it LA or someplace else?]?" Most people can't or won't do that. Maybe even tell them the wage is really low or they'd have to intern first. Something that sounds more plausible, would be unsavory to most people & might not bite you in the butt later on.

Go with your gut on this one but as the person handling the HR stuff for an entertainment company (among my other tasks), that's my tip. Or just offer an e-mail address for later on & then make sure your gatekeeper doesn't respond. Maybe even a fake or spam one (think of it as a woman giving the phone number for the time lady or some Christian Tell a Story line to some guy she doesn't like but is being pressured to give her number to). There's plenty of clever dodges to things if you're smart about them.

Plus, anyone who's been in the business long enough knows that you can get SAG eligibility if you get one line in a SAG feature so if you really liked someone enough getting them SAG eligibility is nothing.

Hell, maybe you can blame the lawyers for that one as well. Just a thought.

If you're curious about the "Tell a Story" lines, ask (that goes for any reader of this blog). Me, I like a business owner who's got a sense of humor. Maybe I should remember this for myself in the future.

Before I went to the panels, I took that visit to Artists Alley. I had a particular guest in mind for that one. First, it's necessary to give you some back story.

During my college days, I was in a sorority (as I've mentioned before). Now typically, once you go through the pledge period you're in a sorority for life. However, you can kicked out of one for violating sorority by-laws or chapter by-laws/rules of conduct. One such member, in fact, did get kicked out of my chapter. I wasn't there for the event that caused it but I do know it involved alcohol, a fellow sister, massive intoxication & leaving a fellow sister in a delicate condition. Thankfully, the abandoned sister wasn't raped, sexually assaulted or harmed in some way. I'm sure that's what our brass was thinking when the decision was made to kick out this first sister.

I heard about it after I returned to start the next semester. I really didn't feel bad for the first sister since she was not nice to me. For one thing, she was the sort of person who thought you were nothing if you didn't dress like her, have her interests or agree in lockstep with everything she said & did.

In short, one of the types of people I hate since they shun everyone who is different from them & refuses to entertain points of view that are different.

She also used the phrase "redheaded stepchild" in my presence & had zero to say about it. Not even "no offense!" To a natural redhead, this is the equivalent of using the actual "n-word" in front of a black person or some other racial slur in front of someone from that race. The minority in those situations will generally get pissed. I was no exception & fair warning that if you debate me on this one, I will debate you on any slur that offends you as a member of any particular group.

She also got attitude with me when I'd not tolerate her BS or disrespect to me. I remember times when I spoke at events or gatherings & she'd try slamming me down with cutting remarks and tone like some clique bitch from my past.

Had I been asked about kicking her out, I probably would have been fine with it. Being shitty to your fellow sisters is certainly grounds for dismissal from a sorority. You don't have to like them but you do have to at least be civil & respectful to them.

She totally started problems with me, as it's against my nature to start problems with people who didn't bother me first. I even got her a birthday gift one year when I was working at Godiva.

In a random meeting one day, during the announcement period when members could share their news & what they'd done since the last meeting, she proclaims that her dad draws Spider-Man. His name? Mark Bagley, a name many have heard of.

When I've shared this story with people who read comics (including my own husband), they immediately get all impressed. I vowed that if I were at some event he was at, I was going to make a point to meet him. However, in my typical fashion, I wasn't going to lie about my experience with his offspring. She wasn't my friend & didn't even stay in my chapter.

In fact, after she got kicked out she refused to speak to anyone from our group & didn't bother keeping friendships she'd had with any of us. I went to a Halloween party at Georgia Tech with some sorority sisters & one happened to see and talked to her. This girl only spoke to her and did not even say "hello" to me. Gee, is it any wonder I don't like this person?

So I made my effort to go there. My husband warned me there would be some long line so I made sure to give myself time in case that was happening so I would not miss those panels. It turns out there wasn't one. I also noted that he was charging money to autograph things. I had nothing to autograph, as that was not my point in showing up.

I went in, did my thing & mentioned my connection. However, instead of calling his daughter a bitch outright, I said "she wasn't particularly nice to me." I also mentioned what I did, handed out my business card & mentioned that if you want to work with my company, you have to go through me. That if you tick me off or I don't think you're professional, you won't be working with us (which is true, by the way).

One observation about this guy: he's a guy who lies then plays it off like nothing. I saw him do that with people in front of me. He also did this in telling me what his daughter was doing now. His account didn't match what I knew so I said "Really?" (not with shock or anything but more neutral). I learned a little more about what she was doing & said there was no need to pass my info along to her.

The next morning, on my anniversary, he apparently calls my house at 8 a.m. to leave an angry, nasty message. I was asleep so I didn't hear the phone ring. I deleted the message after hearing him say "Thanks for coming up to tell me how my daughter was a bitch at 17." I felt it was unnecessary to listen any further.

Gee, when I was 17 I had some maturity. I also had some class & didn't go starting shit with people who'd done nothing to me. I'd even mentioned being an old soul forever when he'd talked about how his daughter had started college at 17. This probably explains how I dated a 35 year old guy at the age of 21 & later dated a 30 year old guy at 22.

I had told people I was going to do that if I met him but he'd have never known. I never told my sorority sisters or anyone who knew that crowd. I made that choice when I lived up here & was talking casually to people involved in comics, none of whom have any acclaim. My husband sure doesn't know him.

Now, you'd think if a person of acclaim was going to call up some random person like me (s)he'd do it with a non-listed number. You'd also think Mark Bagley would have much bigger things on his plate than dealing with some former college sorority sister of his daughter whom he never met before & would probably never see again.

Nope! Apparently, like daughter like father. I also have a phone number that must be a cell phone since I know he & the lady he was with (possibly his wife & the former sister's mother) were in NYC and the call came from an Atlanta area code. I highly doubt he'd have skipped out on Saturday and Sunday of Comic Con to go back to Atlanta & then call me up at 8 a.m. Saturday is the biggest day for it. I didn't return to that area but logically speaking, that would make no sense.

Did I have a nefarious intent? Perhaps. I was also attempting to invoke a teachable moment (basically, don't be an asshole to people since you never know what they're going to end up doing in life & how long they hold grudges). I don't regret doing it since I got it out of the way & I can close the book on the situation.

I had no idea what his relationship with his daughter was like either. For all I knew, he was an absentee father & didn't have involvement in her life. A lot of famous people are that way with their kids. He also could very well have hated her guts or disapproved of her behavior for all I knew. My former friend's father sure wouldn't defend her recent actions & would probably be the first to condemn her for it.

If you went to my parents & told them about my being a bitch to you, they'd probably say "That's our avenger." If it happened today, they'd probably think you were dumb for expecting niceness if you'd been a jerk to me or that I was going to kiss your ass when I'm a lawyer.

Plus, I kind of got the last laugh since I now have his number. Literally.

Oh, and when a famous person or someone well known goes off on a random person, who ends up looking bad? The anonymous person or the famous one? It's the famous one. They look like they've got nothing better to do than get into little battles with folk. Plus, you've made the combatant famous if you talk about it.

So, what did Mark Bagley accomplish with that phone call? Bad publicity, proof of being a jerk (ensuring my husband totally dislikes him), giving a personal phone number to someone who could easily give it out to others (he's not or ever been my legal client, his daughter's not my sorority sister & there's nothing on me to keep that secret) & getting on my permanent blacklist.

I share this tale since too many people have found me from the past anyway and I already made preparations ages ago to avoid having to deal with her. Plus, the public should be aware of douchebags & it's not my task to enable them or let them flourish. I also have zero hesitation to call out jerks since my stories are true & always have documentation and/or witnesses.

Final lesson: watch how you treat lawyers. If they didn't represent you or have any ethical duties to keep your information private & you are nasty to them without cause, you should just dig your own grave. Especially if that lawyer is a natural redhead.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

NY Comic Con, Day 1: Shopping Ahoy!

With all the stuff I've been doing this week, time has not been my friend. I had been meaning to write of my Comic Con experience earlier but sadly, that didn't happen so now comes my assessments & all that stuff.

This was my first time at Comic Con. The prices for passes are too damn high for me, I'm not a comic fan (that would be my husband's department) & despite all his stories, I figured it would appeal much more to my husband than me. I got my professional pass and figured I'd go to network, check out vendors, go to the infamous Venture Brothers & Robot Chicken panels hubby had been telling me about for years (he's been to every single one ever since we've lived here & he could go to Comic Con on a professional pass) & while we had that booklet for Get a Life, see about getting it autographed by Chris Elliott while he was allegedly going to be there (we'll get to more of this in Day 3).

My husband briefed me on the whole experience of Comic Con. A few tips:

1. Wear comfortable shoes.
2. Bring a bag for your loot. If it's your first year there, you will buy something.
3. Get there early for the professionals line.
4. Avoid going on Saturday like the plague.
5. Bring portable food to eat since the food at Javitz is greasy & too expensive, even by NYC standards.

One very valuable tip he gave me that I used was: if you see something you want, buy it because it may not be there the next day.

This turned out to be great advice because by Sunday, it was slim pickings.

We arrived there a little after 12:30 if I recall. Here's where we were in line:

As time passed toward 3 p.m., when the floor opened the line got longer. Here are some views of that:

It gets long, doesn't it?

So as we were in line, I overheard conversations, listened to music on my iPod & occasionally sat down to rest my legs. When the line moved, we got up really quick even with our stuff on us.

Eventually, we got onto the exhibit floor. We spent our whole day there. One observation worth noting: if you're not a comics person, you can probably still find stuff here. I bought quite a few things, in fact.

For instance, these plushes from I Heart Guts. The lady at that booth was awesome. She asked if I'd been there last year; I explained it was my first year & we'd seen her site before going there so it had been a planned stop.

Basically, I Heart Guts is a retailer that has plush versions of various organs. Things like hearts, brains, bladders but even lady & man parts like the testicles and ovaries. Here's what I got there on Thursday:

A brain. Because, everyone should have one. If you don't, you are an idiot who needs to stop taking up so much oxygen.

A black heart! Since as a lawyer, it felt only proper that I have one. Why not a literal expression of something people will already tell you I have based on my occupation & being "the enforcer?"

And an ovary since I like the weird & unusual in my plushes. Plus, it's controversial & since I grew up with a Puritanical parent there's always a part of me that's going to gravitate toward the controversial. Getting that also gave me a brilliant idea for a video blog & inspired another purchase from them the next day. I plan to do this visual rant right near election time (you know, pretty damn soon once I can get my hubby to be cameraman for it).

I gave the lady here my card since she was awesome & I'd totally love to use that product placement in my company's work if given the opportunity. Perhaps even in my own project.

We did a lot of browsing around on Thursday. Got some free cereal from the Kellogg's Krave booth. I'd had the regular chocolate before. With milk, it's the weirdest stuff.

Major point to make here: there are LOTS of things at Comic Con that have NOTHING to do with comics. There was a Craftsman booth, a Chevrolet booth that had cars with no relation to comics, wrestler booths, gamer stuff, weapons, etc. I had thought the Craftsman booth was to encourage women who were being harassed by the fan boys to use tools to beat them down & repel them away. My thought was they were giving live instruction on how to use tools for that purpose. No, they apparently created their own comic book that was being given away.

Even NBC Universal had a booth to advertise their daytime talk shows, many of them extremely trashy! I went with my husband to the dentist once in the East 100s of Manhattan (which is not a nice area & we thought it was low income). When I was in the waiting room, they were playing Maury Povitch and I overheard some people in the waiting room who struck me as being from the very demographic most people will tell you Maury Povitch is trying to appeal to say that they felt Maury was trashy with all the "Who's my Baby's Daddy?" stuff. The very same complaints, I might add that so called "educated" & "professional" types make about daytime talk shows (some of which I've heard with my own ears).

Steve Wilkos was scheduled to make a public appearance there on Saturday or Sunday but I didn't show up for that one. I personally think that show would be much better if Steve Wilkos were given a gun, could blow away proven child molesters & the like with zero liability on him or the show if he did so and enough checks were done to make sure the proper animals were taken out. If he also got to take out corrupt politicians & Wall Street bankers, I think we'd all be on board for that one (all proven of course; you have to make sure people are actually guilty first or admit to their wrongdoing). The only people who wouldn't be are too wimpy to live if you want my honest opinion. If you know one, ask if they would live next door to a convicted child molester if they had kids or let that child molester babysit for them since they're so gung ho about NEVER killing ANYONE, no matter what the person did (even if it was horrific, gruesome & harmed multiple babies/little kids/disabled people/puppies/kittens/whatever weakened group you feel sympathy for). Let's see how they feel about murdering people who do these things & have zero remorse or are actually proud of molesting babies (or whatever inhuman atrocity they committed)!

Doing that would also accomplish televised murders without too much extra cost.

Amidst all this craziness, I found another vendor whose clothing caught my eye. Specifically, this dress:

She told me she only had that one & it was in a Small. As I often wear a small or x-small in things, I wasn't sure if it would fit. She told me the sizing was a little different than normal & it was based on your hips. However, based on mine she felt the dress would fit. If it didn't, she said, I could come back tomorrow & exchange it. I decided to take the risk since I thought it looked awesome, I had nothing even close to similar & it was an okay price for me.

Sometimes, the vendors you get things from don't have names. They just have cool, awesome merchandise that catches your eye & says "Consider buying me." This one actually shouted "Buy me!" As per my policy, I had to get it and at least see if it fit.

Then, I found one jewelry vendor called The Silver Necklace. They were another planned stop for my shopping purposes. Their earring display in particular caught my eye so I spent time looking there. I ended up getting 4 new pairs of earrings:

Slices of cake. Definitely appealed to my unique sense of style.

You can't see these well but they are black hearts with some colored patterns on them. They look nicer with more light.

I saw these & immediately thought of a brown silver necklace charm I'd gotten recently. It was a brown heart, presumably a chocolate heart lollipop. If I can match something I see on a shelf to something I own, I definitely consider that in the choice to buy.

And lastly:

This was a no brainer since I thought "These will match that white dress & other stuff I have." Plus, they could work in a business setting.

I also finally got a corset. That had been on my wish list for ages:

This is a quality corset from Timeless Trends in Austin, TX. Has a lifetime guarantee, in fact. I also made sure to try it on before getting it. That had to be an event since people saw you being laced into them when you were trying them on.

If you've never had a corset on, it's scary as hell at first. I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to breathe. I also wasn't sure if I could eat or move in it. I tried on 2 and this one felt much better. I think also having that sense memory of having one on helped some since the second try on wasn't as scary. In fact, I think wearing a corset could even help your back since my back felt much straighter after I was wearing them.

Their staff was very friendly & helpful in this whole trying on experience. The saleswoman there also made me feel at ease when I said I felt like I couldn't breathe when I tried on the first corset; I was worried it was just me who had that but I guess maybe it's one of those first timer things.

If you bought a corset at Comic Con, I hope you went here since some vendors had ones that weren't as well made or high quality in materials. The price I paid for mine also wasn't as bad as I thought; I expected to pay $200-300 for one & mine was $99.

For more shopping, we found another unnamed vendor. He was selling some T-shirts that were hilarious. He told us of a special fondness of parodying Mickey Mouse & apparently Disney doesn't mind the parodies as long as you clearly state that your product isn't from Disney or endorsed by them. Since we'd gone to Orlando before, I mentioned my husband's joke about Mickey controlling Orlando because of the mouse head power poles & how my husband did it in the voice of Goofy. It was hilarious & we kept making jokes about how gay people weren't welcome in Disney World because of Walt Disney's hatred of Jews and Disney World's branding itself as a "family" place. He had some Clockwork Orlando shirts that I wanted to talk my husband into getting for himself (at least one since I know he is a fan of A Clockwork Orange). He got a different shirt on Friday.

I, however, got one of the Disney parody shirts. I LOVED this:

Yes, it says "Mouse of 1,000 Corpses!" When I saw it, I had to get it.

Finally, I got a pink stuffed Nerd from the Nerds booth. Nerds: the snack that will give you an instant sugar rush & make you a beloved figure to 95% of children.

Picking a color was really hard, though. They had light purple & blue as well.

We also got some collective loot. First off, a Choo Choo Bear plush from Something Positive:

For those who haven't read Something Positive, Choo Choo Bear is the lead character's cat. This cat is hairless & boneless. He also reminds me an awful lot of our little kitty, who is just as smart & mischievous though he was fixed before he could have kittens and I believe our cat is asexual. He hates all creatures equally & has never liked other cats. When he was a kitten, he was taken to visit my husband's then girlfriend. That chick had a Maine Coon (here's what they look like). Maine Coons are large ass cats, to say the least.

Our cat was a very tiny kitten though he's a large cat now. The second smallest in his litter, if I remember.

Normally, if you are a cat entering another cat's turf you are screwed since the cat who lives there has the advantage. Not our cat!

Nope, that little gray kitten hisses the Maine Coon! The Maine Coon backs off. See what I mean about our cat hating all creatures? We love him, though. He's got moxie & doesn't take any shit unless he loves you. I sure wouldn't let anyone be nasty to this cat or they'd have to die/suffer his furry wrath. Cats have caused death before. Watch 1,000 Ways to Die for an example.

We also got a Felix clock:

The tail is a pendulum and the eyes move! My husband's wanted one of those classic cat clocks for ages & I always thought they were neat so this was another thing off our wish list. It was fortunate that we got it on Thursday because by Sunday, they were long gone.

I was shocked at all the shopping opportunities. My husband laments the shrinking number of comic retailers at COMIC con. I did also slip my card to the people at the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. As an entertainment lawyer, probably a good idea to know something about it since I do know writers in general & it's a project I'd give a damn about that's more creative than most legal pro bono projects.

Stay tuned for parts 2 & 3 of this series. We did not go to Comic Con on Saturday since it was our wedding anniversary & Saturday's bad reputation. Me + long lines = bad enough to deal with but me + long lines + my anniversary = negative level of patience, more anger & great likelihood I will physically harm someone and end up being arrested, ejected or something not good for anyone concerned. I definitely have things to say about Friday & Sunday though the presentations will be less visual.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Great, Impassioned Response to Those Old Timers Who Think The Student Loan Debt Crisis is Nothing & Students are "Lazy" or "Entitled"

Just read this comment on this story. It has to be shared since it's classic & a total smack down. You know how I love those.

Author: LadiiE36

I am so SICK and TIRED of having the Baby Boomers and the more elderly generations tell my peers and me that we are "spoiled" and "entitled." From the day I was born, my parents worked their butts off to provide for me and to foster an environment that encouraged education. And it is MY understanding that THAT is what GOOD parents do. My parents went to college, my grandparents went to college, my whole family went to college, so I am NOT going to apologize to ANYONE for wanting to have that same opportunity. I read through all the comments from individuals stating that ALL I have to do is "work while I'm in school".....that just goes to show you how out of touch most of those individuals are. This is 2012 not 1977. Tuition has SKYROCKETED and job opportunities have PLUMMETED, making it almost impossible for students to be able to do both. I might also remind the previous generation that when you were paying for school, tuition looked something like $5,000. That is NOT the case anymore. It is not possible for most students to pay their $30,000 tuitions by working minimum wage jobs, part-time.

And I am also sick and tired of ignorant people telling us how "easy" it is to "just find a job." If that were the case, don't you think we'd be doing that? I can personally tell you that even while I'm in school, I scour ads and job sites on a daily basis for available jobs that will help me pay off my loans when I graduate. And you know what a common requirement is for those jobs?? A COLLEGE OR ADVANCED DEGREE. So don't tell me that degrees aren't necessary anymore. CEO's and managers DO want EDUCATED employees, so it is just plain stupid and uninformed of people to spout off about a degree being unnecessary. And I find it INFURIATING to read comments telling my peers and I that it’s our fault that we “waste” money on “useless” degrees in areas other than the hard sciences, math or engineering. You obviously make those assertions based on the premise that ALL students are good in those areas, or have any interest in those areas, whatsoever. Please stop making wild and unfounded statements like that when the previous generations had the privilege of getting jobs and degrees in all areas including art, business, finance, law, teaching, journalism, biology, English, religion, sociology, psychology, medicine, engineering, etc....YOU are the ones who fostered this idea that students can do anything they want....and that's exactly what you all did, you got to enjoy jobs in multiple areas. Now my generation wants the opportunity to do the same and you have the AUDACITY to call us spoiled and entitled?! That is UNACCEPTABLE. The truth is, the previous generations feel entitled. You all believe you put in work to pay off your $3,000 loans some 30 odd years ago, and think that somehow now entitles you to sit around and use up all the available resources made available to you by MY generation. So, YOU'RE WELCOME.

And you want to talk about entitled? How about you acknowledge that this failing economy is NOT just the result of a greedy government, but banks and businesses run by greedy older individuals who abused the advantages of a once flourishing economic system. Now these same banks and companies want bail-outs because THEY also don't want to pay back the money they owe. And how about the individuals currently collecting social security? I tell you what, I won't ask you for any help paying back my loans, if you ALL agree that my peers and I no longer have to chip in for your social security checks. Sound fair? Especially considering that by the time we retire, YOU all will have dried up the entire fund leaving NOTHING for us. MY generation is the FIRST generation in the HISTORY of this country to be left WORSE OFF than the previous generation, and you want to blame that on US. That's crap, and I know you all know that. But instead of wanting to accept the responsibility for the failed decision making of all the previous generations, you call us names and tell us we expect too much. Why shouldn't we? You all have homes, and cars, and families, and jobs, and educations, but now that we want the same things, you tell us that our expectations are unrealistic. You've left us all with nothing and now we are supposed to quash all our hopes and dreams, or “put them on hold” and settle for mindless jobs as garbage men and ditch diggers, oh please! I refuse to apologize for putting in hard work and wanting MORE for myself. It is the prior generations who should be apologizing to US for being greedy and making horrible decisions that are now affecting my generation.

So I say again, I am NOT going to apologize for taking out loans to provide myself with the necessary education to make MY life better. And I am NOT going to apologize if the government is trying to find a way to help my peers and I to get out from under this enormous financial clusterf*ck left to us by our parents, grandparents, etc…quite honestly, it is the LEAST you all can do.

Nope, I didn't write this one. I also have a TON more entries to write (that one on Comic Con & my latest extra gig for 2) but that will have to wait until my schedule is calm enough. These posts don't happen in 3 seconds; they require actual time & (gasp!) WORK!