Wednesday, January 31, 2007

80's PSAs = Little nuggets of YouTube gold

I'm sick. Boooo. I have a whole day to catch up on something called My Life. Yayyyyy!

It's not all work, work, work at my job though, as a recent conversation with a co-worker of mine will attest. Somehow the conversation turned to the concept of the PSA ie the Public Service Announcement. There's a really special place in my heart for the PSAs of my childhood, as they have taught me many things, given me that edge on pop culture trivia, and mostly gave me too many nightmares to count.

I start with a classic, the hallmark of all PSAs. The one that started the aforementioned conversation and sent us down memory lane - a clip from the wildly popular Singing Pills.

If you grew up on Saturday morning cartoons in the Tri-State area, you know this clip. And you know that these singing pills made look in your parents' medicine cabinet to see if theirs sang too.

Next up, a PSA from He-Man and She-Ra.

Well-intentioned, maybe. But would you want a steroid-pumped Little Lord Fauntleroy, dressed in medieval bondage gear, talking to you about being touched in bad ways?I didn't think so.

Sometimes, PSAs are required as part of a celebrity's probation agreement when they've been really bad boys and girls. Yet they wind up making us feel like we're the ones being punished when we have to watch it.

Remember, crack is whack.

Moving on, one of the popular "Time for Timer" PSAs. In brief, witness the birth of my cheese obsession and sudden, Tourettes-like outbursts of "I hanker for a hunka cheese!" throughout the course of my life.

Now, here lies the difference between East Coast and West Coast PSAs which warn us not to use drugs. In the West Coast version, it's a pop video with dancers in candy colors while Duckie sings in the background.

West Coast PSA (YouTube vid link is broken)

But on the East Coast, we don't play around. We just try to scare the ever-loving shit out of you.

And finally, this one is not the 80s, but an honorable mention from the 90s. How do you develop a life long fear of New York City rats, before moving to New York City or encountering a rat? You watch a PSA directed by David Lynch of Twin Peaks. 'Nuff said.

Is that rat smiling???

Friday, January 26, 2007

Stop everything! It's Time For A Birthday Holla!

I admit, I have been remiss in posting on this blog. More importantly, I have been very remiss in posting a very belated birthday hollah that has been sitting in the Drafts section of my Outlook at work. So sad, all these posts waiting to happen, sitting in that pocket of my work e-mail. Ponderances over things like zebra stripes, New Jersey announcing a squirrel-eating advisory (oh boy), and more work rants, all lying in wait. Either they will one day come to fruition on this blog or I get fired.

Now...This Very Special Edition of Birthday Holla is for one of my oldest, closest partners in crime...J!

Whereeeee to begin?!? Well, let’s start with my first gift: A tiki idol to ward off the Brazilian Kumba Kumba curse that has plagued us since our teenaged days. That is the curse that has provided us with many hours of extreme immaturity, as we slap each other on the forehead and then start running away, screaming “KUMBA KUMBA KUMBA!”. The only way to remove the curse was to do it a second time again, hence one of us would be throwing ourselves around the legs of the other pleading, "Take it back! Take it baaahhhhaaaaack!"
That's right. Yell out "Kumba Kumba!" whenever J and I are in the room and I promise you - hilarity will ensue. Flash to the future where we're 90 years old with stumps for teeth and we're terrorizing the nursing home staffers with "Kumba Kumba!" while they're changing our Depends.

Wear the little guy close to your heart

We first learned about this curse from the wise person who was our manager when we had retail jobs at Merry-Go-Round in high school. Two teenaged girls...a bored store a mall with no customers...and Kumba Kumba was born.

And if you know what Merry-Go-Round was and its Mecca status in the ‘90s for Guidos and Guidettes, bonus points for you. So it’s only apt that I pass along a birthday wish from the crew over at Dance Party USA, a show taped in the Philly burbs with a few kids from Jersey (my peoples!!!) bussed in. My first experience watching this show that was in fact with J. See, she was actually a Guidette when we first met, but not like the Joisy Guidettes that are commonly associated with the title now. If there had been a Spice Girls for this local area phenomenon, J would have been Posh Guidette.

And I…well, I was a bit of a nerd. With Coke-bottle glasses and rugby shirts as my initial attire of choice, I could not believe it in high school when I befriended this peacock in pink flamingo boots. Then she introduced me to Dance Party USA. Had I known then what I know now, I would have realized the hours of bad television programming J would subject me to, most notably Cops. But I watched in rapture as the hosts Princess and Bobby introduced 80's freestyle song after 80's freestyle song, while dancers bopped around in their Z. Cavaricci pants, high top Reeboks, and lots and lots of hair gel.

After my first viewing ended, I turned to J, bowed my head, and proclaimed ever so solemnly, “J…make me a Guidette”.

The peeps at Dance Party USA know that you can take the girl out of Jersey, but...

Seriously, this show was so popular, you had bragging rights if you actually knew one of the dancers. So if I've made anyone so excited that they feel cheated out of an opportunity to find their inner Guido or Guidette, they can always sign this petition to make USA Networks bring the show back.

Next gift for J - a very special pair of cowboy boots to complement the Texas Two-Stepper that you are whenever you drag me to Red Rock Saloon, Hogs and Heifers, or any of the other white trash bars that you love for reasons I can't explain.

They are Gold. They are Studded. They are J.

And finally, I have retained Nobu Matsuhisa to be your personal chef for a whole month. Because there are not too many people I know besides C that are foodies to the core and willing to try everything and anything. From the English curries we make at home to turkey tazz to soup dumplings in the deeps of Chinatown to some really funky fish, you're not easily put off by the possibility that you will be nursing Pepto-Bismol for at least a week.

Except for certain types of sushi that follow you home in your bag - holy mackerel!

I did think of giving you a free pass to try out the restaurants all over the city and get into some really funky things, but who can turn down having Nobu at their beck and call three times a day to cater to your every whim?

"Explain to me this 'Dutch Oven'"

Happy belated Birthday Holla, girl! I look very much forward to toasting your birthday during a weekend of mirth and merriment!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Doggie dentist or Dr. Feelgood?

At this very moment, my parents’ dog is high as a kite.

He’s getting his teeth cleaned and since my dad was opposed to him going under general anesthesia, Jaxon The Dog has been given a plethora of sedatives and gas to boot. If this is anything like when I had all four of my wisdom teeth pulled at the same time, then this dog is flying. He’s probably so far gone, he’ll be meowing.

This is your dog's brain on drugs

There goes Jaxon running in the meadow of his dreams, chasing purple polka-dotted pussycats with gimpy legs. Nice big bags of dirty laundry are all around so he can sniff to his heart’s delight and T-bone steaks are just pouring from the skies. And they talk! Those nice big, juicy steaks are falling all around him saying, "Jaxon, eat me!" "No, eat me first!"

What's a dog to do?

And when he gets tired, he can just roll over onto his back because people are lining up just so they can rub his belly for hours and hours and hours on end. I almost feel sorry for the dog when he wakes up. He has it pretty good, but nothing can compete with this vision of doggie Utopia.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Mr. Incredible - a long overdue work rant

If your New Year's did not include dancing relatives (blood-related and non) on top of bars, the gradual theft of a ham - slice by slice, and leaving your coat behind at the site of the ham theft, you're off to a better start than I.

But moving forward, I haven't talked much about my job not because I'm afraid of Big Brother, but because I love it. No, seriously. I'm one of those sick puppies who actually likes what they do. I walk chirpily to work, looking forward to my day. I'd rather eat lunch at my desk and get work done than go out for an hour. I've come in early and I've stayed late. All the things I didn't do when I was working with Nose Digger, Whiner and The Idiot Prince. I've even worked on weekends.

From home, yeah, but voluntarily I have logged into my network and worked from home. Why? Because I farking love my job!

I'm a sad, sad case, I know. But you have no idea what this means for me. I've paid my dues, y'all. Granted I took a step back in my position and salary to work at this place, but that was the only way I could convince them I was meant to work in events. And you know what? It worked. I got promoted after ten weeks. After years and years of bullshit co-workers and office politics and being reduced to tears on certain occasions, I am wholly gratified by my job.

Well, not quite.

See. There's this asshat in my office. No, it's not a hat made out of an ass, but if there were such a thing, he should be forced to wear one. Every Day For The Rest Of His Natural Life. Okay, if the word asshat confuses you, then let's do this: let's call him an a-haaaaassssss-hooollllllleeee!
Okay, okay, okay - let's call him by the nickname he has at the office. And that nickname is...drumroll please...Mr. Incredible. Make no mistake, this is not a compliment. It's far from it. Because it is not a reference to his character (or lack thereof), but his uncanny physical Meathead resemblance to a certain animated superhero by the same name. Although in the spirit of sarcasm, the name works rather well.

Imagine this image in human form, with a touch of rosacea. Scary, eh?

Seriously, this summumabitch is out to get me. I don't know what his problem is, considering we barely say two words to each other. He's a vice president at our office - his title reads "VP of Something Very Important Sounding". But after one drink too many at a happy hour, a few of us agreed that his title should be "VP of Bullshit", coasting on the backs of others and then taking credit for it. The general consensus around the office is...well of course the general consensus is that he's an asshat, but that's not what I was gonna say. The general consensus is the reason he doesn't mingle with the masses is that he has something to hide. And it's becoming more apparent with the digging we've all done that what he's hiding is his lack of credentials.

Yet he's still managed to sell The Big Man At Top a bill of goods and convince him that he is worthy of a VP title. The joke around the office is that his motto is "Overpromise and underdeliver". It's mind-boggling to me how, when he barely communicates with anyone who isn't upper management, he was once in charge of the Communications department.

(Blinking) The Man Who Does Not Communicate was in charge of our Communications department. And now he's a VP. Not only does the man not communicate, he can barely emote. Smiling takes a tremendous amount of effort on Mr. Incredible's part. And when he does, you get the feeling something really, really bad has just happened. Like somewhere in this world, the locusts have invaded and rivers are running with blood. So, really. I don't get it. Did he grunt his way to a promotion???

Facial Expression No. 2

Moving on, we barely talk to each other, right? Because I'm too lowly for him to waste breath on and frankly, I don't see what he can contribute. since the word 'teamwork' does not seem to be a part of his vocabulary. But on two separate occasions he's seen fit to meddle with me, going to my boss and saying I seemed unprepared for my job and on a second occasion, telling her I wasn't staying on top of one of my events. Thankfully, not only does my boss rock but I'm doing very well at what I do (knock on wood). So she thought to address Mr. Incredible's "concerns" with me immediately, instead of just believing him. In return, I was able to point out his thoughtfulness by choosing not to interact with me in the six months I've been there. So how da hail can he be the expert on what I am or am not doing all day????

Seriously, what kind of punk-ass bullshit is that? This is not the second-grade. You have a problem, or you think you do, you come see me. I'll set you straight first, then kick your ass before I go on happily to orchestrate another event.

Another thing. There's a lot of writers in our office, some good, some bad. I'm not saying I'm great, but I think I'm a good judge of what sucks. His writing sucks. The hilarity in all this is that he's actually referred to himself as an "award-winning writer". Yeah, I'm an award-winning writer too. See, I wrote this poem in the fourth grade? And they picked it out in a contest and I got to read it in front of the whole county at this special show and everything! That's right. And the name of this winner was "No More Cookies, Please".

Soooooo, someone Googled him. And we found his award winning work - snicker, snicker, snork. This stuff is award-winning all right. This was the winner of the "Toilet paper I would use only if poison ivy were not available to me as an option" Category.

Let me show you an example of this material that just has "Pulitzer Prize" written all over it:

"By the third cherry vodka and seven up I was ready to hunt anything, kill it with my fucking teeth. They think I'm a pussy city boy, I'll show them what real snipe huntin is all about. I'll take that fuckin twelve gauge and blow them snipes a new asshole. "

There's plenty more where that came from, but I think that's pretty much all you need to know. I mean, seriously. A cherry vodka and Seven-Up?!?!?! That's the drink preference of a bad writer right there. Or hunters. Maybe both. Because I don't see how the alcoholic cousin of the drink known as a Shirley Temple is going to send anyone off into a Badass Hunting Rage. Do you?

I rest my case.

Keep in mind that there's plenty more where this comes from. All cherry vodka and Seven-Ups does seem to do is result in an affliction where the swearing associated with Tourette's transfers itself from the mouth to the hand. I mean, he just spews and spews this dreck. Aaaa-haaannd spews! Much like I am right now. And I should seriously stop.

But man, I seriously do not like this guy. And I'm not alone. Several of us have agreed this is not a man you want to be alone in a room with. Aside from him trying to sabotage my reputation at work, there's definitely something a little "off" about him, in a Jeffrey Dahmer sort of way. Like if you were alone in a room with him, he would give consideration to the dismemberment and cooking of your parts. (Shudder) This is a man who cleans his teeth with the bones of former work colleagues, the ones who dared to get in his way.

But other than that, I really like my job.