Thursday, October 21, 2010

Why I never learned to play the violin

When I was a little girl, my grandmother gave me a little, red violin for Christmas.

My grandma is a professional violinist and I am sure she was dreaming of having me follow in her footsteps.  She was probably already seeing all of us tracing back those footsteps to that moment when she handed me that awkward, very bright, fake violin that played recorded music when you rubbed the yellow bow accross the rubber wheel that doubled as the "strings."  She probably envisioned me falling in love with the romantic instrument and becoming a virtuoso. 

Too bad for her that I am me and have absolutely NO musical talent.  Or patience. 

While looking through some old family photos, I stumbled across the photographed documentation of that fateful Christmas day. 

First the picture of my mother patiently trying to teach me how to correctly hold the bow and violin.  So far the dream of me being a brilliant violinst is still a great possiblilty.

Next I try it on my own.  The dream of super stardom is fading. 

Then the dream crashes and burns when my lack of patience overpowers my violin loving potential.

Sometimes in my dreams, I can still hear that little red violin.  Saying....stick with your day job. 

Stay tuned for a coming blog post about my very conservative, very reserved parents playing a very original game that apparently they absolutely loved...with very disastorous results.  The game? 
 "Squeeze Butt." 

Friday, October 8, 2010

The writing was on the wall, er...sign-in sheet

I am all for budgets.  Keeping track of your money is important.  Doing sums to figure out financial footwork is completely acceptable.  However....there are certain places not to finalize your budget.  Like at the bank.  On the sign-in sheet.  For all to see. 

Especially when you can't add.  Or subtract. 

Today, I went to the bank.  It was payday and I am always excited to go deposit my check.  When I got to the beginning of the line, I stopped to sign the back of my check and to sign the "sign-in" sheet they have on a little podium. 

This is where my day became awesome.  Here is what I saw:

I just had to take a picture.  (Which by the way, I didn't take a picture at first because I was much too afraid that taking a snapshot of a sign in sheet at a bank must violate several Federal laws.  So I went back and pretended to text someone while I took this picture.  I half expected to hear sirens and see a swarm of SWAT members coming at me afterwards. I kept glancing around for someone to stop me and I tried to think of a believeable thing to say if approached - like "I am doing this so as to prove a breach in your security, of which your presence disproves my theory. I promise I am a good person, I have a Citation Award from AWANA!!!"

Fortunately, so far I haven't gotten any menacing calls from the Department of National Security.  All I can say is that we are not as safe as we thought - I can take a picture of a sign-in sheet at a bank!!! )

Aside from the element of is why this is so awesome. 

1. This person had no clue how to add/subtract.  In fact, they tried to do both at the same time.  They took the number $5,800 and the number $1,800 and added the two "8's" and subtracted the "1" from the "5" with an answer of $4,600.   I sincerely hope this person was not a math teacher....or an accountant. 

2. This person gave themselves tick marks on the edge of their "sums" (if you can call poorly calculated numbers "sums").  I don't know if the tick marks were strikes for poorly done math or points for what they thought was good budgeting. 

3. Their last comma that separated their final number of "$3,400"  was so large that it commaed both the number AND the dollar sign.(Of course, their figure was once again off by $100 if they were trying to add...and we won't even try to fathom what math book taught them their math rules if  they were in fact trying to subtract.)

What an inspiration of dismal degrees.  This person had no shame and wrote their numbers for the world to see.   I just hope they weren't trying to figure out if they had enough money to buy a car or something...for they may find when they get there that the math was a little off. 

I believe I will start doing my budget on sign-in sheets.  You can never have enough accountablility. 

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Oh Why, Oh Why - My dad and the Fly

We Philpots come from a long line of hicks.  Topics like chopping wood are not as foreign to us as some would think.  In fact, I can chop and stack a mean pile of logs.  Yes.  Too bad that can't go on a resume or even attract a decent boyfriend.

Since my dad grew up on a Christmas tree farm before moving to LA later in life with a whole "fresh off the farm" vibe, I am a first generation non-hick. 

Let me tell ya, that ain't so easy. I have to establish what is "in" and "hip" and explain to my dad things like  lol does not in fact mean, "Lots of love" and that Facebook is nothing like the Farmers Almanac.  It soon became evident that you can't completely take the "country" out a boy when my dad proceeded to cut down all of the palm trees in the front yard because quote, "trees that are that skinny and serve no purpose don't deserve to take up my soil." 

I am pretty sure if he could have, we would have made a log cabin with those palm trees and stuffed the cracks with oil rags in the winter to insolate it.  If you doubt me, both his brother AND sister made their own log cabins.  For real. 

Today, a bunch of flies flew into our house.  No big deal.  At least, to non-hicks that's no big deal.  However, those flies came into a "hick" house, otherwise known as the "death" house (to vermin at least).  We don't mess with Raid like sissy city-slickers.  Nope.  We hunt.  I feel so sorry for those unsuspecting flies who were just seeking a little santuary from the muggy weather outside.

At the first sighting of these "vermin," my dad grabbed a dish towel.  Now, I am actually very proud of him because normally he tries to catch them with his hands first.  Have you ever seen a grown man, with a Master's degree, chase a 10-millimeter length fruit fly, frantically clapping in the air?  Let's just say, we don't need T.V. in our house.

My mother shadowed him and yelled useful encouragements like, "It went over there, it went over there!!!"  He would snap the towel and she would jump up and down and ask excitedly, "didja get it???"  If he did in fact "get it" she would exclaim, "ew, gross, throw it away!!" 

You would think that throwing away the dead curled-up bodies would be just standard protocol, but in a "hick" house sometimes the carcasses are left wherever they went down.  Oh yes, it's gross.  But I suspect that it's my dad's way of displaying his mighty hunts.  Like mounting deer heads...but with flies. you know why my friends never come over to my house. 

Oh and after a dad hacks a luggie.  Yep. 

There was a concentration of these flies in the kitchen, understandably as that is where the food is.  Well, that became ground-zero.  My dad snapped and flicked and pounced on the buzzing enemy with the vigor of a combat sergeant. 

One fly escaped to our walk-in pantry. My dad saw this opportunity, ran into the pantry (armed to the teeth with TWO towels) and screamed at my mom to slid the pantry door shut (so as to trap the enemy). 

This was the exciting moment, everyone.  The old pantry door is NEVER used. Ever.  The pantry door was also never made to be slide across it's rusty, dirty tracks in the manner that a frantic mom a.k.a knight would heave close the heavy gates of a helm under attack. 

But, oh she tried. 

The pantry door balked halfway across and there was much excited pushing and pulling from BOTH my parents as they tried to trap this tiny, little fly.  Eventually, the door did reluctantly slide close, locking my dad and the fly in to duke it out. 

My mom and I stood outside the pantry and begged for battle updates as we heard towel swooshes and snaps.  Finally, my dad, as happy as a boy who had just come back from his first coon hunt, exclaimed proudly, "I got it!!"  He came out, holding his "trophy" and scanned the horizon for any other buggers.  After the coast was proclaimed clear, life slowly faded back to a rather diluted form of hickness.  Or at least, we made him wash his hands after holding the fly.

We are such hicks. Like, really.  I am surprised we don't eat more possum stew...that my great-grandma did actually make. 

I just wish we could find some Texas T, some black gold.  :)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Boredom is blog about your calves

I was bored at work...and I was flexing my calves.  Yes.  You read that right.  

I then left calf muscle is WAY bigger and firmer than my right one.  I am not just talking slight differences here, people.  No. I am talking more like my left calf muscle could run a marathon and my right one might have trouble getting off the couch to get more potato chips.  

Naturally, I wondered how this had happened.  My only explanation is that when I did ballet I only would do the "one-legged twirl/stand/french words I can't pronounce or spell" on my left leg.  Hence, my left calf is a close cousin of Arnold Schwarzenegger's calves.  Yes.  My left calve muscle is directly related to our governor's calve muscles.  

Several thoughts are now racing through my mind.  
1. If cannibals ever capture me - my left leg will surely be the coveted prize of the tribe, while my right leg will be tossed to the dogs.  

2. If I ever had to roundhouse kick a "bad guy," I am going to use my left.  I hope.  If i can remember all of this valuable information.  

3. If I ever hope to become a "leg model," once again, my left calf is my only option.  I will only be able to model left-foot shoes.  

These are strange things to ponder.  I hope you guys have more exciting lives and don't have time to notice these things.  

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

All my friends call me Muggsie

I want you to know that the California budget crisis is over.  I have fixed it.  We no longer have a deficit. Public school classrooms can buy more books, roads can be repaired, prisoners can get better meals, grandparents can get social security.  It's all thanks to me and my criminal activities. Yes, I am that philanthropic.  I think I deserve a museum...or at least a statue.

I normally am a very generous person, if you don't mind me boasting (no one said anything about me being humble too).  I give money to lots of people.  However, up until about a month ago, none of my generosity had been voluntarily given to the government.   I figured, eh my taxes should be enough.  Recently however, the LAPD decided that my givings needed to increase. 

Before the following events occurred, I had one thing going for me - I had never been pulled over by a cop.  Ever.  In fact, I was very proud of this. I even tried to work that into normal conversations.  "Oh hey, we are all out of coffee, and I have never been pulled over."   Introductions used to consist of me saying, "Hey, my name is Emily, and I am a perfect driver."

I won't go into the gory details. It's just too painful.  Let's just say that about a month ago, I got pulled over for speeding.  There were tears. There was grinding and gnashing of teeth.  There was much ratiionalization..  "I was going downhill.  The speed limit changed for no reason!  My brakes are bad!  I was ministering to a fellow brother in Christ (aka talking to my friend in the passenger seat)!  My speedometer hasn't been calibrated!"  .

Eventually, I got over it.  I figured, for all the times I haven't been caught, I guess I can pay this one.

I tell ya, I didn't speed once during the last month.  I was so good.  If the speed limit was 40, I was going 39.9 mph.  My guardian angel was putting on weight just from lack of exercise.  I let people cut me off on the freeway. I drove behind slow trucks.  I kept my hands at 10 and 2.  I turned down the music. I was being featured in a Powerpoint show at a Guardian angel training seminar named, "Reformed drivers, Changed Hearts and Better Gas Mileage."   Speed demons were being laid off due to lowered productivity.

Life was good....until......

Last week, I was driving to the train station to go to work. There was a construction zone.   The sun was in my eyes. My windshield was dirty.  I was distracted by the construction crew. I didn't see the signs posted.

As I turned left into the station, I got waved down by a cop.   Apparently, There was a "No turning left during construction" policy.   He promptly wrote me out a ticket.   Bam.

I would go into my rant right here how it was unfair and it's just stupid and they just want my money and the cop did the "pull over" in a dangerous manner and I was late to work and how life sucks and "two tickets....seriously??? Really??? Com'mon!!!"

But I won't.  I don't believe in complaining.

So.  Now I am going to have to get a tattoo and take up weightlifting.  I am a "criminal" now, and that's what we do.  Just call me Muggsie.  However, thanks to me, California has more money to spend on things they don't need.  I did you a favor.  If you have a government college scholarship or if you get social security - I funded that.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

My brick kitten with an antenna (i.e. My temporary cell phone)

My cell phone broke. In the olden days, waiting to hear from a friend for a couple days would be no big deal. People could call my home phone. They could write me a nice letter. They might send me a "speedy" telegram. Maybe they would stop by and have have a tall glass of iced tea with me and "chew the fat."

But it's not the olden days. I don't ride a horse to work. I don't know how to use a typewriter. I don't know how to wear a corset. I look stupid with my hair in a bun.

I need my texting, my facebooking, my blogging. I send about sixty texts a day. There is no way I can wait the estimated two weeks for my new phone to get here so I communicate with all my friends again. (Yes, I am getting the Droid X as soon as it gets shipped :)

There was only one thing to do. Use my mom's ancient, antique phone as a temporary mobile device.

Note: This is the phone that Abraham Lincoln used to text his generals war instructions. Abraham took pictures of his top hat collection to send a pic message to his Cousin Mo in the south. Christopher Columbus used this phone to update his facebook status to, "I can't find the freaking land, crewmates hate me, I am going to go drink beer. lol."

This phone was the newest and greatest back in the day. Why? Because it has a camera on the front!! I mean who can think of a more awesome thing to put on a phone than that?!?! There is no way that humans can invent something more awesome than this "camera phone." Oh and get flips too!!! I mean I can flip it open like a cool person, and take a pic of my cat. Crazy.

Granted this phone is the size of a small brick. I could use it to stone a small person. (Not that I would of course....and that is just a morbid thought, but i am trying to think of other useful things to do with this phone.) When Jesus challenged the Pharisees to throw the first stone at that woman...I am pretty sure he was gesturing to a pile of these brick flip phones. However, This brick also has a bonus extendable antenna. Don't get good signal?? Try raising the metal antenna two more inches!!! Wow, WAYYYYY better service now!!!

Texting on this phone is like trying to send a smoke signal - slow and rather iffy when it comes to interpretation. You have to hunt for all the letters, and there is no indication for where the punctuation keys are. Consequently, I have to send the worst written sentences in history. What if I have to tell someone about a dog I saw, "Having been squashed by a truck the dog ate a half eaten hamburger" Or about my grandma killing a spider "Already dead my grandma flushed the spider down the toilet" Yeah.... if you get a text from me in the next couple weeks, I did actually go to college, I just have to type on a brick with an antenna, give me some grace.

I think the main reason I hate this phone is because it made me late to work yesterday. I set the alarm for 6:30 a.m. I checked it twice to make sure i set it correctly. I did. One problem. I set the alarm to be on vibrate. Now on my old phone, the "vibrate" setting was enough to awaken me with the thoughts of "AHHHH there is an earthquake!!! It's the big one!!"

Not this phone. Nope. The vibrate on this phone is that of the soft purr of a two-week-old kitten. And it only purrs twice. Quietly. Like that of a two-week-old kitten who is purring after drinking a whole bowl of warm milk. Yeah, I woke up three hours after I was supposed to be at work.

Stupid kitten.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

My Superhero: Sam and his pants

I love my friends. They do crazy things for me.

As I mentioned in my last post, I visited San Francisco this last weekend, mostly to see one of my friends who is living up there this summer. On my last day, we had gone into the city for lunch and a movie.

This is where my day got just a little more awesome.

At this point, I need to introduce you to my friend. Let's call him....Sam. Sam is well...very particular. Before going to the movies, we had gone to a very nice bar and I had ordered a Long Island Iced Tea.

Nothing wrong with that.

However, as anyone who drinks alcohol can can, well...make you pee. I mentioned this fact to Sam, and he became very concerned and rather obsessed about my pee schedule. He didn't want me getting up during the movie. That would ruin it, and apparently I would not be able to follow the plot at all if I missed the three minutes needed to, my business.

So. Sam made us go to a later movie time. He made me walk around. He tried to calculate how long it would take me to pee, and how many times I would need to pee after drinking about 12 ounces of alcohol. When we did go into the theater, I was allowed to pee just one more time before the movie. I did make it through the entire movie with no, uh...nature calls. Sam was very proud of me.

All that to say...because of the later movie time, we were starting to run out of time to get back to Berkeley, grab my suitcase, and BART back into San Francisco in time for me to catch my Greyhound bus back to Los Angeles.

Sam had an idea. Sometimes, when Sam has an scares me. It usually involves things that make no sense and make me slightly nervous. However, Sam is very persuasive and usually uses big words and things called "logic", and he can win pretty much any argument. This idea involved me waiting in the BART station, while Sam RAN as fast as Sam could run back to his apartment, grab my suitcase, and book it back to the station to catch the next subway back to San Francisco - which was in exactly 7 minutes.

Poof. Sam took off. I waited. Five minutes. No Sam. Six minutes. No Sam. I felt the breeze of the incoming Subway. No Sam. I sighed. There was no way Sam could have pulled it off anyways. I knew that my doubts had been right, Sam's "logic" was off. However, what I saw next...okay, it was pretty impressive. I saw a flash of my suitcase and Sam flying down the stairs to the loading dock JUST as the subway pulled in. He ran into the subway cab with me at his heels.

At this point, I need to add another detail about Sam. Sam has one pair of jeans that he wears all the time. Because of the San Francisco "walk-everywhere-you-go" mentality, Sam's jeans had become really, really loose. He had to keep hitching them up as we "touristed."

Loose jeans are not proper running attire.

After Sam and I got on the SF-bound subway and sat down, he informed me that during his sprint to his apartment, his pants fell down. In front of a gelato shop. On a busy Berkeley street.

I have never laughed as hard as I did after hearing that. Sam. You are my hero. You literally ran your pants off just to grab my suitcase for me to get me back home.

I have the best friends. They care about me more than their pants.

In appreciation, I should buy him a belt.

Monday, August 9, 2010

I left my cell phone signal in San Francisco

Have you ever met a Cookie? I have.

This last weekend, I took a bus trip up to San Francisco. It was my first time to take a Greyhound bus and I found out one thing....I haven't been missing anything. If you enjoy being cramped in a small, confined space for eight hours at a time, smelling the B.O. of the person sitting next you - Greyhound is for you. If being a captive audience to the ramblings of a sweet little lady named, "Cookie" appeals to you- Greyhound is for you.

Allow me to introduce you to my friend, Cookie. Cookie loves to eat. Cookie loves dorritos that make her breath smell of powered, process cheese and garlic. Cookie has two dogs, LuLu and Striker. Cookie used to have a dog that climbed trees, but that dog got arthritis and couldn't get down one day. That stupid dog kept trying to climb the tree, regardless of it's old age. It eventually got run over by a truck....twice.

Cookie works at a school as both a custodian and supervisor. Cookie works long hours. Cookie has diabetes. Cookie loves her family, that's why she is on this bus - she is going to a family reunion. Cookie loves interior decorating and must show me the five different ways that she plans on decorating her bedroom/kitchen/bathroom/dining room. Cookie is getting a treadmill to put in the dining room, because they don't eat in there any more - Cookie wants to lose weight.

Cookie needed a headrest for her head so she could sleep. Cookie borrowed my sweatshirt for the rest of the trip. But she didn't nap. She kept talking. She eventually sat on my sweatshirt. It's now my cookie sweatshirt.

I really did love Cookie. She just talked. A lot.

My trip to San Francisco was amazing. I hit nearly every tourist trap in San Fran, and only bought one souvenior. Success. I ate at awesome restaurants and drank at some sweet bars. Best part of San Fran? The Bart. Why? Because I got to travel under the Bay and listen to bums talk. At one point, a man got on with a boom box that was blaring rap music. Party on the Subway!!!

I wish I could take a picture of San Francisco the way I saw it. The homelessness and dirtyness were a little overwhelming - I wanted to help all the bums. But at the same time, I just wanted to see the fun side of San Francisco.

On my last day there, my cell phone died. It couldn't get a signal. I think that San Francisco overwhelmed my phone. It couldn't handle the excitement. I left my cell phone's "soul" in San Fran. Now I can get my Droid X. Thank you, San Francisco, for encouraging me to get a better phone. I'll come visit you again when I need a new laptop.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Memos and working hard....or hardly working: The Double Feature

I have violated the cardnal rule of blogging: frequent updates. I have failed all five of my readers. I am sorry. To show repentance, I am writing a double feature.

Blog post that should have been posted last week: The Coffee Memo

There are two kinds of people: people who care about stupid things and must make the biggest deal about said insignificant stupidity and people who blog about those people. Being the blogger, I just wait for people to flip out over things that are about as important as a week-old newspaper. Fortunately, I never have to wait long.

Last Friday, someone at work snapped emotionally and decided to declare to the world through masking tape messages how they felt. I wish I had taken a picture, but here is where my writing skills will be put to the test. Allow me to describe what happened.

We have a "fancy" coffee pot at work. Instead of having to brew a six-cup pot of coffee and forcing all 15 people in my office to drink the same kind of coffee, management bought a nifty coffee machine. This coffee machine brews individual cups of coffee. A person merely chooses the kind of roast/flavor they like and inserts the single serving "pod" at the top. About two minutes later - bam, their customized brew is ready to go. Awesome, right? (because really, forcing people to drink the same kind of coffee should be against the Geneva Convention - I might have to work with these people but I shouldn't have to like their coffee too!!!! But I digress....)

However. This is where people become passionate activists. After making coffee, there is a 5 second procedure commonly known as "removing-your-pod-of-used-grounds-before-leaving-the-coffee-station." The trash can is about 4 feet from the coffee pot and this task should be relatively simple. But hey, we are paid to work, not throw away coffee pods!!!

I confess - I have been known to leave my coffee pod in. I'm sorry. I was too wrapped up in the debate of whose weekend was more fun to remember to take out my favorite Kenyan Bold AA pod.

Apparently, this "unact" of leaving in coffee pods kept ruining someone's day. They were tired of being people's maids. So they wrote a memo....on masking tape.....on the coffee machine.

Because masking tape was not exactly designed for business memos the message was chopped up on about ten different strips.....that ryhmed. The message itself made absolutely no sense, and the only part I can remember distinctly was and I quote, "He who wills it, kills it." I have no idea what that has to do with coffee pods....but I got the message.

The rest was sort of broke up like this:
Strip of tape #1: Whoever keeps leaving pods
Strip of tape #2: Must know that I don't nods
Strip of tape # 3: Because I have to pick up after you.
Strip of tape # 4: Use the coffee but don't make me blue
Strip of tape #5: Because everyone uses coffee not just you.
Strip of tape $ 6: He who wills it, kills it. (once again I have no idea how that related to the whole "coffee conundrum")

I wish that they had taught "Masking Tape Memo-writing" in business school, I think it's a very effective means of communication. I have mended my ways, I no long leave my "pods" in the machine. Lesson learned. Masking tape memo: 1 Me: 0.

Blog post for this week: "Working Hard or hardly working"

I worked the hardest I have ever worked in my life today...pretending to work. Now, to any future/present employers who I am sure read my blogs regularly - allow me to defend myself: I am a very hard worker. I love being so busy and working on so many projects that the day flies by. I like to take pride in my work and I enjoy feeling accomplished as my head hits the pillow every night.

There. That was my disclaimer so I won't get fired. Moving on.

The hard part was - there was absolutely NO work today. I sat at my desk and pretended to work. I even went to my manager and confessed the lack of work that I had, and I was instructed to go back to my desk and "look busy."

The problem is...I work at the most visible desk in the office. So...I can't just goof around, I have to look busy.

So. I watched shark attack videos for 2 hours, I read every news article published today on CNN, LA Times, NY Times, Tech Report, I looked up the next smartphone I want, and I watch a lion hug a human (on Youtube, not in the office). As a counter-being-fired measure, I created a word document to write random sentences in. If the owner of the company walked by....I keyed up that document and wrote stuff like, "....and therefore sales should be expected to increase by 56 percent if we continue to streamline the economics of the quicksanded supply and demand of the target market."

It worked. No one got mad at me all day. But man, I worked hard. I ran out of shark clips, news articles, and random sentences to type by about 3 - and I was told to stay until at least 4. So....I had to entertain myself for an entire hour - after already exhausting the internet. It was hard work being that bored.

What do you guys do when you get bored at work? I need suggestions for tomorrow.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Never let me choose my title

I got the power. This last week my boss asked me what I thought my title at work should be.

One thing you should should never ask me what I think my title is. It could get pretty ridiculous.

Allow me to explain what I do. I am in the "marketing department." What does that mean? I blog, I call people, I go into meetings. Routine. However, before you envision a bustling department thriving with ad campaigns and streamlined online presence.....don't get too excited. Why? Because I am the only one in the marketing department. Yep. It's me, a computer, and a phone.

So technically....i am the marketing manager. In fact...i am the SENIOR marketing manger. There is no one ranged higher in my department.

I started brainstorming on my title. I mean, there is so much potential. I could be Marketing Wizard. Just think of the cool introductions I would get. "Um, yes, you want to speak to our Marketing department? Let me transfer you to our "Marketing Wizard." The only problem may be that people might confuse me with Harry Potter.

I could be Marketing Director. But I shut that down because what am I directing exactly? I really don't have any power, because all decisions have to be finalized by senior management. So....all I could direct is what snack I get out of the vending machine, which makes me only the director of snacks.

My next idea was to make a super long title for myself. Why make introductions easy for others? "You want to speak to our Marketing Department? No problem, let me transfer you to our Marketing-and-self-directed-specialist-in-all-things-related-to-communication-and-social-media-manager-who-coordinates-campaigns-and-updates-our-Web-site-Vice-President-of-public-relations."

I'll probably get stuck with a lame title that no one can decipher. "I'm the marketing coordinator." you coordinate? What do you coordinate? "Myself, I coordinate myself!!!!"

Marketing. It's so awesome that it can't be put into a title. No title is worthy enough.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Well... I guess I have been needing the workout

My dad just repainted his '98 Honda Accord....and it sucks.

The paint job itself looks fantastic. My dad is just trying to save money and not buy a whole new car just because the paint on his Honda had peeled a little bit. He is just being frugal, and that's great.


He is now treating this 12+ year-old car like it's a Mercedes Benz or BMW, special edition.

We have to park in the farthest, most remote parking spot in any lot.

Today, after we had already parked in most out-of-the-way spot on a trip to Subway, he realized that he had parked SLIGHTLY crooked. Not even all the way out of the lines, just slightly slanted. Well, he had to get back in the car and repark. I had to stand to the side and wait for my 50+ year-old father to adjust his 12+ year-old car (a very BORING car, not even a cool classic car!!!) in a parking spot that was so far from civilization that we probably could have gone hunting for our food (yes, we were in that remote of a spot-wild animals had to be close).

I am not complaining....don't get me wrong. I just hate having to hike to Subway when technically we did drive there. But I guess I can always use the exercise.

I am just secretly waiting until a shopping cart gives us a ding or a bird poops on the car so we can park where normal people park.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Sir, in the "real" world...that's called a hostage situation

I love people who are annoying. They are awesome.

Today, a man on my commute tried to save the world from late buses...and in the process created a rather awkward environment, which made this all even more awesome to enjoy before a long day at work.

Here is what happened:

We had arrived at the Metrolink station down in Burbank around 6:55 a.m. and were waiting for our "Beeline" Burbank bus.

A note about The "Beeline." Yes, this is the actually name of the Burbank metrolink city bus system. Their slogan is "getting you where you need to 'bee'." Their maintenance crew must take the "bee" part very seriously, because you literally can hear the "buzz" of these city buses from about a block away. They seriously buzz and vibrate like a rather tired, old drone bee trying to make his last haggardly flight back to the hive.

Apparently the bus time schedule had been changed, but only by a couple minutes. A normal, mentally-stable, sensible person would not have their whole world rocked by a five-minute late bus.

Fortunately for my entertainment, the public transportation system is populated by those who do not possess those qualities.

About three minutes after the bus was supposed to arrive, one of the middle-aged, slightly overweight, probably divorced men(because I doubt any woman could put up with this you will soon see for yourself) began to pace with increasing intensity. He began to rant about why do they always change the schedule, and "Dave" (apparently a regular "Beeline" bus driver that this guy knew) would never do this to him!!!!!

Four minutes into this very horrifying injustice of the entire incapable and inept public transportation system and greedy-capitalistic-corporate-monsters-who-were-going-to-make-him-ten-minutes-late-to-work, another Beeline bus arrives. Bad Situation adverted. This man (shall we call him "Bob"?) cooled down until we realized it wasn't "our" Beeline. It was for a different route. But don't worry, the woman driver assured us...our "Beeline" was on the way.

Well that wasn't good enough for Bob. He need to go to work NOW. The woman driving the "wrong route Beeline" was trying to reassure Bob that she was sure that our bus would be there soon enough.

Nope. Bob wanted her to take him to work. Right. Now. He then announced to the rest of us commuters that we could board this Beeline and that this woman would switch her route just for us and she would personally drive each and every one of us to our work.

Bob suddenly grew very knowledgeable about the management structure of the Beeline bus system and informed the driver that she could just switch her route. "It's okay," he said rather passionately (this may be the most exciting thing that has happened all week for this poor guy.) "I talked to your dispatcher before. You can just change your route."

"Your boss won't mind. I will personally talk to the dispatcher myself!!!" He declared proudly- more for the benefit of us other commuters to know that he in fact was in total control of this "terrible" situation.

The poor woman radioed back to dispatch and of course found that it wasn't normal protocol to just start driving random routes whenever a person wanted you to.

I believe that Bob really would have made us all board that bus and may have driven us all to work himself if our Beeline hadn't shown up right about then. If given the chance, Bob may have also taken a couple detours to pick up his dry cleaning, grab some breakfast, and maybe even stop a couple "bad bees" from destroying the world, one late bus at a time.

Confession: If "Bob" had done this....I so would have been the first willing passenger. I really wanted to see Bob save the world from late buses. That would have been much more exciting than going to work.

I just would have hated to tell him that in the normal, un-pretend world that we actually live in, late buses don't give one an excuse to create a hostage situation. However....I might have waited to tell him that a couple minutes into our hijacked bus adventure.

Because seriously....annoying people are awesome. They try to save the world.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

How to [Not] watch movies with my parents

My parents almost never watch movies.

Movies waste time you could be doing dishes, doing the laundry or gardening. However, sometimes I convince them that it might help them to watch a movie so that they can do even more work(or rather commission me to do even more chores) afterwards.

Today, I got them to watch Young Frankenstein- they were able to watch half of it. My mom has to make a comment about every swear word.

Usually, she goes like this:
Movie: "$&@&!!
Mom: Ugh!!!! How can people say that!!!! Do they have no moral code?!?!?! What is wrong with today's society?!!!?!

My dad loves the action and the funny quotes. However, it's very, very, very awkward to watch a movie as father/daughter when it makes any male anatomy reference.

Movie: :::Male anatomy reference:::
Dad: :::stern/serious/no expression face:::
Me: :::looks intently at my shoes:::

My parents are the only people in the world who can make me want to go do the dishes instead of watch a movie.

Movie: ::Male anatomy reference::: #*@*!!!
Mom: UGHH!!!!! The nerve of today's Hollywood!!!! I can't take this anymore!!! :::storms out of room:::
Dad: ::stern/serious/no expression face:::
Me: I am going to go clean my room.

I think I will be doomed to watch Princess Bride and Little House on the Prairie forever, and repeatedly clean our entire house.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Gangsters have pretty handwriting

I ride the train to work now. The best part of my daily trip back and forth to the office is admiring all the "artwork" displayed on the adjourning walls that line the railroad tracks.

You gotta admit, gangsters have pretty handwriting.

As we whistle our way down the tracks, I try to read my local gangster news update, posted on their wall (kinda like on facebook.....wait was facebook created by gangsters??????????) . I, of course, don't understand gangster language as most of it is written in some form of acronym code...and I am sure if I did actually know what the signs and letters meant, I would be disgusted.

However, I always try to think the best of everything, and therefore I come up with my own translation of the curvy, colorful letters that whiz by my train window.

Here is what I "translated" today. By the way, if you are an actual gangster (because, of course, I am sure my blog is read by the most afluent gangsters) and these next couple translations aren't what you meant....send my a complaint lettter.

And pull your pants up.

Gangster's wall post: BFRWOER $*@&$&@!!!$$#*$&@! Death

My translation: Best Friends R Wonderful Only Everywhere Radical. Flowers, Rainbows, Sunshine......Death (okay, I really don't know how to translate a gangster word if they actually write out the entire word in English.)

Gangster's wall post: GRWIOQ ::Peace Sign crossed out::: :::Heart:: :::Random blob on wall:::

My translation: Great Rain Will Ink On Quietly. :::I heart Peace::: :::See, I drew a heart:::: :::Freudian Ink Blotch...I want to be a psychiatrist when I put down this spray paint can:::::

My train rides are full of great reads. Forget books or newspapers, I read gangster literature.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I'm sorry about not doing the heavy lifting on this one...i have an old computer-related injury

A while back, I was volunteering at a food distribution center. My assignment was to move boxes from the trucks to the "box-opener" people. One of my fellow recruits declined from this very noble task, "due to an old video-game injury."

I had laughed when he had told me this. I mean, really?!?!?! Our ancesters worked 10-hour days in the hot, 100-degrees sun. They plowed with nothing but an old mule, a wooden plow, and hard rocky soil. Their injuries included kicked-in knee-caps from their stubborn mules; sore, blistery hands; misaligned backs; and poor nutritient-feed, worn-out bodies. They didn't have "video-gamer" thumbs. This fellow food-bank volunteer was a whimp in my eyes.

Until last week.

I got a kink in my neck from leaning in towards my screen all day. I had to put bengay on my sore shoulder.....that had moved a two-ounce plastic mouse over a half-foot radius all day. I now have a "computer-related injury."

Unfortunately, I can't boast about my wounds. No one wants to hear the story behind the kinked neck when it involves starting at a dimly lit screen looking at mice and men....(Yes, that is what I do all day- read previous posts for explanations).

I need to get better injuries so I can have better stories. I want to talk about "mule-related injuries." Those are the good ones. They involve blood and gore. Not whiskers and tails.

Anyone got any fields to plow? A mule I can borrow?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I have become a surgeon of lines

There are many lines in life.

There are lines at Starbucks, lines for the most anticipated movie of the year, lines you cross when you make a dirty joke, "please stand behind the yellow" lines, and at my job there are "self-coloring lines." I have determined that if one line was to make me go mad- it would be those silly lime-green lines that make me have to make decisions like..."Is that the jacket, the ear, or the fishing pole?"

For the past two days, I have been working on a scene consisting of a person in a fishing outfit. There are many components to this outfit, including that endearing little fishing rod with it's even more endearing fishing line. (Yes, that's right, yet another line.) The problem has been that the fishing rod has no separation from the rest of the character. What does that mean? I have become a surgeon of lines.

Oh I know, if that's the worst thing to complain about-I've got it pretty good. However, do you know what it's like to "mouse-draw" (meaning using a computer mouse, not actually use a real-live mouse, which would make my job a lot more fun and interesting) every single millimeter of a fishing pole????

Just think, Fishing is not very exciting of a sport, now imagine - not even gettting to fish, but drawing the straight (yet very crookedly drawn by the original artist) fishing line about 54 times...that's right- I counted how many poles I drew. All the while I drew I sang that old song from down south, "You'll get a line, and I'll get a pole, and we'll go down to the crawfish hole!"

Tomorrow, i get to go back in and start my next profession - dentistry meets barbery. I get to discete where this character's mustache intersects with his teeth, which ironically are only a couple shades different from the next.

I kinda want to go fishing now.

Monday, June 28, 2010

The not-so-clean Pine-sol Deception

It is 8:22 p.m. when I write this. I don't have much time. I risk much in documenting my findings. They are coming.

Okay, so I am not in great danger. However, I have always wanted to write like my life depended on it. Or maybe the lives of many others. Alas, my work really only saves the sensory organs of my family. That's right, my only spy work happened in my brother's room. Yes. It smells- of the great Pinesol deception.

Allow me to explain. Go back to yesterday. My mother confronted my brother on the odious smells emerging from his room. We aren't really sure when his bed sheets/clothes/trash were last....taken care of. There is great reminiscing of the great clean up in 2008- but there has been a build-up of who-knows-where-that-smell-is-coming-from ever since and the city has been threatening to evacuate the place for a scientific study of the grossness (all for medical safety of course). My mother pleaded, begged even, that he do a thorough clean-up.

He turned and walked into his room and shut the door. No one knew what was going to happen. We were all holding our breath (mostly because of the smell). Today, I walked by his doorway and smelled Pine-sol. Had he actually cleaned? Was this a sign of true change? Was the human race no longer at risk???

Upon a stealth operation, known only to a special few as "Tarawoza," (an Indian name meaning "only a few have lived who have smelled this") I snuck in (risking my life, and my nasal passages health) and looked to see what had happened.

Turns out- he hadn't done anything EXCEPT pour Pine-sol in a drinking glass and placed it on his desk. The bed was still unmade, the clothes still rotting in their messy pile on the floor, and that unknown disaster still lied under the bed. BUT- the smell was masked with the one true cleaner that reminds one of freshly cleaned floors and counters. You could say that this filthyness of a sin was covered up by cleanliness. A philosopher might ask....does Pine-sol cover a multitude of.....sins/odors??? As my mother is blind, she assumed the problem was fixed.

I don't know whether to call my brother a deciever...or a genius. I may never have to clean my room again, granted that I have Pine-sol and a glass.

I would turn him in....but I can use this. I believe that I shall save this "tattle" for a rainy day.

Excuse, I must find where he put the Pine-sol.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Canadian/French manual to cat whiskers and mouse ears: by Emily Philpot

You know the old saying, "I learned everything I need to know for life in Kindergarten." Well, that saying definitely applies to my new line of work. Coloring. Essentially, my new job abides by one key rule....stay within the lines!!!!

I was recently hired at a small animation company in L.A. My new job is in the ink and paint department where we color and edit hundreds and hundreds of frames for the animation department. My exact title at this company? Well, I waiver between calling myself an "inker" (not to be confused with stinker) an animation assitant, or a digital painter.

For those who follow my blog even occasionally may know thatI just graduated from college. Every new graduate knows that your first job is pretty important in setting the stage for your future career. Your salary history counter starts ticking, you break in your power heels and you learn to navigate the corporate world. For me...I stand armed with my colors and magic mouse (the Apple wireless mouse- not Mickey mouse or Mighty mouse or whatever mutant mouse would be magic...because that's just creepy) , ready to face "the man." Sure, I didn't picture starting out as an "ink and painter," but I never knew how fun this job could be.

What is my job like? First, you are assigned a scene that holds anywhere from three to 40 feet of frames. Each frame has to be colored individually. Just to explain - a frame is a picture of whatever cartoon is moving at the time. Each frame changes their postion slightly to give the idea of motion. Think of a flipbook. I have to color every page of that flipbook. Sounds easy enough.

Did I mention that I never really enjoyed coloring as a child? Coloring books were not as interesting as playing "house" outside. When I did color as a kid, I also never believed in finishing a page. The idea was to scribble enough color on the page to get the general idea and move on. Most of the drawings I did as a kid were....abstract and modern. Even if it was supposed to be a drawing of an elephant - it always looked like a painting someone did while high on crack (though in my case as a three year old, it was probably more like large amounts of sugary candy) and looked more like a grey wall of circles and dots with a florish of random blue lines zigging around the poor elephant's ears. Oh if I could only write a letter to me and warn little three year old me of the imporance of choosing colors and closing gaps.

My work is more difficult than just getting out crayons and "being inspired." The problem begins with the actual animation software. It's written by a Canadian/French company. Which means even if there was a manual (which of course there isn't) it would be in Canadian French. Better yet, even if this magical manual did indeed exist it would be like this...

::Pretend this next section is in snobby French:::

Oh yes, so to color your seemly simple sketch of a mouse(P.s. our company has created several cartoon characters that are mice) first you must stare at the screen for twenty minutes looking for impossibly invisible gaps between lines. We did this just to be snobby. Your life of precious minutes is not important to us. We invented the Canadian bacon (how we can turn pigs into Canadian citizens are beyond us...but still-we did it and you eat it) after all and are therefore better than you ::sniff::

We did not think that you should be able to just click on the section you want colored (say you want to color the mouse's jacket or shirt collar) a certain way. If even a molecule of space exists between separation will not be able to do anything. We created this program for the sole purpose of laughing at you. You are stupid. ::sniff::

Once you have closed the gap between separation lines, you will be allowed to color. But of course, you must click 1o different buttons hidden under buttons that have nothing to do with what you want to do. If you want to paint one of the lines that outline the character, you cannot just click "paint"- you have to click "repaint" even if you have never painted it before -you are repainting it because we said so and we are French. You can switch from the paint mode to the brush mode by holding down the "b" key...but don't even think to ask about a short key to switch back to paint...we didn't invent one- you have to manually find the "repaint" button on your own. If you are so lucky to figure out the process to get to the paint bucket and palette - you must now navigate through the true hell we have created for you - the invisible deleting button. ::sniff::

We tried to ease you into a sense of false security by creating false "short step keys" that should techinically trick you into thinking you can paint quickly and painlessly. However, we have hidden short keys that are also similar to your known short keys that actually delete frames - without telling you. What does this mean? You will think you are almost done with your project and will then learn that instead of using the "z" key to zoom in - the "z" key has been deleting frames silently (like a serial killer with a silencer). You now must color an additional 70 frames- once you can find them in the vortex of files of course. You must manually import each frame ONE BY ONE into your x-sheet. Because importing all of them at once would create a laziness that we do not want to support. (what is that? We are lazy for not creating a manual??? Need we remind you that we invented mustard??????) :::sniff::

Once you have successful manuvered through our program and colored the big sections of the picture of your cute zittle mouse (accent added for additional snobbery) your true talent (although we of course do not think you have any talent you idiot American inker who just graduated college) will be put to the true French test. You must perform the "self-color" lines drawing test. If you can do this we may permit you to eat a baguette as an award. However, do not become too proud in your do not speak French and will always be inferior to us. ::sniff::

To draw the self-color lines that outline the character, you must protect every color you have already used- or we will ruin everything you have already done. Yes, if you don't protect every color you have used we will override it and erase the last eight hours of your work. Oh and if you try to use the "z" key to undo the last step- we will punish you by once again deleting some frames. And of course not tell you. Oh and we will spell "color" like "colour" just to show you that your spelling is inferior to ours.

If you try to switch from paintbucket mode to the brush mode and then back again to paintbucket mode, we have commanded the program to flip out and do random things like delete frames, use your credit card, call the French police, and of course - delete frames. We would apologize for this inconvenience but...we are the French- and we don't apologize. ::sniff::

We have also commanded our software to condense the lines that were so clear in the orginal sketches to all intersect with no distinct direction. This will challenge your weak American minds to figure out the difference between the whiskers, nose, and facial components of your cute little mouse cartoon. You will have to manually disect every line and continually redo your work when you find that you have mistaken an eyebrow for an eyelid. This is what you get for being inferior to us. Phewy on you!! :sniff::

If you need a break from staring at the screen all day, we suggest you get a flight to Quebec- it is always nice here and perhaps we can educate you to the more sophisticated things- like French wigs, perfume and animation software. Because as everyone knows...the French are known for their superior computer skills (sarcasm added by this American blogger to protray her bitterness towards this quirky software).

However, just in case anyone from my office or management team reads this (or even anyone who is French) please know that I write this all in fun. While the software has bugs and as everyone calls it "quirks", the whole idea of coloring for a living has kinda grown on me. It's kinda fun to design characters that I know little kids will watch and giggle because they are so cute and michevious. While the animation software does have some logistical issues, it does cut the process by quite a bit if you think about what they had to do before computers. So to the French....please hire some nerds and work out the "quirks" and make our (the inkers) jobs a bit easier.

Now if you will excuse me...I have to go find some deleted frames.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Junk in my Trunk

There is an orange in my car trunk…and I have no idea how it got there. I never put food in my trunk, and no one else drives my car. I noticed it about a week ago. I opened my trunk and was like, "What? Where did you come from?"

Normal people would have just thrown it away, or maybe even eaten it. Not me. I just slammed the trunk shut and forgot about it. Next day, I opened my trunk, and there it was. Still. I shrugged, threw my book bag in, and shut the trunk. Next day, the orange was STILL there!!! I mean, you would think the thing would just eventually disappear the same way it appeared.

I thought about getting rid of it. I mean, I am not going to eat it. I don't need an orange in my trunk. However, you just never know. What if I become citrus deprived someday? I could just go to my trunk, open it and hey look an orange!!!

Every day for the past week, I have opened my trunk, looked at the orange slowly decaying in there and slammed the hatch. I now feel somewhat like a scientist. The orange has now become an experiment to my otherwise dull life. How long can the thing survive in the depths of my trunk? Right now it's slightly wrinkly and discolored, but it still musters the strength to greet me with it's orangy glow. I just couldn't throw it away now…it's a part of my life.

I figure I will let the orange die in my trunk and maybe another fruit will appear. Who knows, maybe my car is like the goose that laid the golden egg….except with fruit. My car could get famous, and I just can't risk that fame by throwing away my miracle orange.

The Girl who loved lace, the Girl whose job was killing her, and the Girl who hated washing dishes

I am a woman, and I can turn on my computer, listen to my ipod, and use my hair dryer...hear me type!

March 24th has been deemed in the blogging world as "Women in technology blogging day."

(On a side note, is there really such a thing as a "blogging world"? I mean if there would have to be metaphysical since there is no "blogging earth" rotating around the "blogging sun." And if there is a metaphysical blogging world, how was it made? With a big bang/computer crash? With a spoken/written word? Who is the God of blog? These are the questions I ask myself when I am this sleep deprived.)

March 24th is set aside to celebrate one particular woman's journey in technology- Ada Lovelace. The first thing you might notice about this woman is her name. Apparently, she loved lace. Perhaps she wore it everyday. Maybe she liked tying her shoelaces. Maybe she made her own lace since she was that awesome. What ever the case was, I think she just had weird lace fetishes.

Ada Lovelace born on Dec. 10, 1815 was the only child of famous poet Lord Byron and his wife Anne. She is widely known for building her own computer coding program. Lord Byron disowned her at a young age which most likely gave her daddy issues, which probably drove her to study more in an attempt to prove herself.

She is considered by most scholars to be the first official computer programmer. She translated an Italian mathematician's notes on the first "Analytical Engine," adding her own notes and sections which were later studied by programmers and considered to be very advanced for her time. She also wrote detailed descriptions for future computers and codes.

This girl beats Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, hands down. If she was alive today, she would probably own her own computer company called "Lace." Just think, we could have had the "Ilace," or the "laceberry." Want lace? There's an app. for that. Sadly, she died from too much bloodletting and therefore could not invent those wonderful ideas.

Second lady to honor on this day of women and technology - Marie Curie. She is the woman who can truly claim the phrase, "my work is killing me!"

Marie Sklodowska Curie, born Nov. 7, 1867, won two Nobel prizes, one in physics and one in chemistry. She discovered radiology by isolating polonium and radium. Interestingly, she named "polonium" after her native country, Poland. Using these radio-active elements, she blazed the trail in cancer research.

Probably the cutest thing about Marie was her love life. Her instructor at the School of Physics and Chemistry was Pierre Curie. He was studying magnetism and she became very interested in his research. She soon could not resist his "polar side" (har har har) and they were married. Nothing says love more than the fascinating world of cancer and magnets.

After their wedding, they scarcely left their research nest. Sadly, Pierre was killed by a horse-drawn vehicle. Marie finally died from radioactive poisoning. She died trying to save the lives of cancer victims. For that, I tip my metaphysical blogging hat to you, Marie.

The third lady of technology is personally my favorite- Josephine Cochran. In 1850, a rather rudimentary machine had been invented to supposedly wash dishes. However, it was hardly practical and very cumbersome.

I don't know about you, but I HATE washing dishes. You have to touch yucky food that people nibbled on, and you have to scrub pans with oil that no matter how much you suds and scrub, the oily residue will ALWAYS be there!!! They were the enemy of my childhood, because instead of being about to play outside after dinner, I had to do the dishes. Oh and just when I would finish the dishes for one meal and feel good about my accomplishments- BAM! Different meal, more dishes. Now I see I am not the only one who hates this task.

Josephine Cochran is quoted in saying, "If no one else is going to invent a dish washing machine, I'll do it myself!" She went on to market her mechanical dishwasher at the famous World Fair and started her own company that eventually became KitchenAid. All I can say go girl!!!!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Tik Tok on the Clock ~ Please Stop

6:30 a.m. ~ My phone vibrates under my pillow. I jar awake and groan. Tuesday. Bleck. I grab whatever clothes don't smell too bad and hit the shower.

I know some girls are fashionistas and it takes them two hours to get ready for their glamorous day- me, it takes 30 minutes from the time I climb out of bed to the time I pile into my car. I know someday I will regret looking like something that just out from under a rock, like the day I turn 40 and I am still single. But for right now, I don't own enough awesome clothes and make-up to look pretty, so I just wear whatever is lying on my bedroom floor.

7:15 a.m. ~ Starbucks. It's almost scary that the barista knows my order. Grande Peppermint Mocha, nonfat, with whip. I love my drink. I have it every day. The Grande part is so that I am not pigging out on the Venti size, but enough to fill me up with warm coffee, chocolatey goodness. The peppermint part counteracts any bad breathe the coffee part will inflict. And the mocha part - duh, I am a girl, I need my chocolate. The nonfat part is so that I can have the whip cream part. My day starts out with balance.

7:17 a.m.~ Driving to school, radio blasting. This is seriously the best part of my day. I have all of my homework ready, my phone isn't ringing. It's just me, my car, and the music. Tik Tok ALWAYS, and I do mean ALWAYS comes on the radio. I don't know how I feel about this song. I think it's one of those things that by the time the chorus kicks in, you just have to be car dancing. The lyrics are lame, I mean it's about a party. That's it. A party. No love story, no deep, emotional pull for you to find yourself. Just brushing your teeth with alcohol...which I am sure can only lead to cavities.

7:30 a.m. ~ Get to school. Run to the library. Check e-mails. Delete the junk. Answer the e-mails from the boss. Check facebook. Roll eyes at all the relationship changes/babies born/sleepless ramblings from all of my 300+ friends. Yes, I get it, you have a life. I don't.

8:00 a.m. ~ Go to class. I have a confession to make. It's hard for me to pay attention in class. I have eye sight issues, so half the time I can't see what the teacher is pointing to on the board, I can't read the equations and when the teacher just teaches by talking I can't follow what they are saying. I am a visually-impaired visual learner. Don't cry for me, just know that if you want me to learn, hand me a book. I love to read. The book is close to my face, the words make sense and learning occurs.

12:35 p.m. Lunch. Lately, I haven't been able to eat until dinner. I have no idea why I am not hungry. Besides my heavenly peppermint mocha, my first meal is dinner. I know it's unhealthy. Note, I am not trying to lose weight or be a weirdo, I simply am not hungry til about 3 p.m. So I head to the library and work on tax accounting/article writing/facebooking/music videoing/job hunting. This is such an awkward part of my day. I don't have enough time to jump into a large assignment because I have to leave soon to babysit. However, it's too large of a chunk of time to waste. So I listen to music and prattle around on the miscellaneous agenda.

Oh and I hum. I can't help it. In the library, you are supposed to be absolutely silent. But I hate silence, so I hum. It's usually a melodyless tune, one with no rhythm or climax. I probably annoy others around me. In fact, I know I do. But they sometimes annoy me with their glares and pointy looks. So I figure we are even. Sorry fellow studier- I mean no harm-I just need my humming. Kinda how a kid needs to suck their thumb.

2:50 p.m. ~ Chaperoning. I don't really babysit because the kids really don't need to be watched. This is awkward because when I tell people I chaperone, I think they think of me with a fancy sailor hat sitting in front in a suit saying "Where to, miss?" If I say babysitting, the kids grimace because they are "all grown up."

They do however need someone with a driver's license and that's where I come in. I pick four girls up from two school, drive them to their houses, watch Full House for an hour while they change into their ballet clothes and eat a snack, and then make the drive into Canyon Country. Not very exciting, but it gives me $100 per week for spending money.

My job does allow me to view the world of junior highers. They are full of "OMG!! He totally sat next to me in history today. He was like, 'are you going to text me?' and I was like 'uh no, I don't want to' and he was like ' well then I will just wait until you do' and I was like ' that is sooo sweet!!' I totally hope he asks me out!" If you think that was just an exaggerated teen conversation, let me assure you I heard it come from the three giggling girls in my back seat. Every day I thank the Lord Almighty that I am no longer in junior high.

5:30 p.m. ~ The girls are safe at ballet and my eyelids are getting heavy. I haven't eaten and I am getting hungry. I drive back to school, eat dinner in about 10 minutes and head back to the library. I will then stay in the library until midnight doing research, writing, figuring out the 8 billion tax exemptions that the government uses to keep people like me from ever becoming a tax professional.

I do on occasion sneak in a couple of youtubes, hulus, groovesharks and googletalks. My friends definitely help me get through the day.

Midnight~ Drive back home. Tik Tok comes back on the radio. I groan...until "TIK TOK ON THE CLOCK, DON'T STOP...." comes on and I have to sing along at the top of my lungs. The end to my day is very similar to the start of my day. This is my circle of life.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Verbitizing Facebook/Twitter

What they should actually be teaching in school - how to write a facebook/twitter status, how to text with 100% accuracy under your desk where your teacher can't see your frivolous actions, how to google words you don't know how to spell- like Onomatopoeia (man, I LOVE that word!). These are the big concerns of the student body.

I think we need to add classes like "Facebook 122 - How to create a fan page" or "Twitter 204- How much is too much when it comes to tweets." "Youtube 422, how to find the funniest hamster dance video."

Another thing, I have no idea how to "verbize" what I am doing on Facebook/Twitter. Am I tweeting, twittering, updating twitter, twitterpating (bambi reference) , twixing...WHAT AM I DOING?!?!

Facebook, once just a noun, "Hey, look! I am on Facebook!" Has now become a verb of some sort "I am Facebooking!!" Really, am I "Facebooking"? Does that mean I am in the act of performing daily time-wasting functions on a social site that sucks the life out of billions of people world-wide? Is Facebooking really the only word that we could come up with as a society to describe what we do with every second of our free time? Did I just "facebooked?", or did you just get "facebooked?" Where are the grammar rules for my social networking lifestyle?

You know that famous excuse used by students, "I'll never use this in real life!!" Boy was I wrong when I said that about most of my assignments. "Alegebra, psssshhh, no one uses that anymore!!!" Or... "Computer science, dude that's just a fad, just wait five years!" If we added facebook/twitter/youtube class, students wouldn't have these excusees anymore, and I would get to learn how to verbitize all of my social networking activities.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

First car love: Hatred and Duct tape

My first car holds that "man's best friend" position in my heart. My little 2003 Ford Focus has been through a lot. It taught me how to drive, how to get my license, how to taxi kids back and forth, how to drive on long, windy roads and scream at my steering wheel. It gives me the freedom to go where I want, when I want.

However, as much as I love and adore my car, I hate and abhor this beast and gas guzzler. My car is a tiny sedan and should easily get 25 miles to the gallon, but I am lucky to get 18 mpg on a good day, driving with the wind propelling me and going downhill. This thing lurches forward for no reason as it tries to shift down. It can go 60 mph in about two minutes, and don't let the spoiler on the back fool you. I couldn't win a race against a motor scooter with my hunk of metal.

I have replaced the driver side mirror mechanics, the rear axil, the brakes/tires, motor mount, transmission, brake routers. This thing is a tempermental piece of machinery, and I love it regardless of it's quirks and downfalls. It's been there for me when I needed a drive to relief the pressures of school, friends and life.

To my first car, may you eventually die when I have enough money to get a much nicer car. Until then, please hold still so I can duct tape you some more. (Yes, I have duct taped my car before.)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Please don't compliment the Interns, they might get excited

It's true, I am a sucker for compliments and affirmation. You tell me that "Hey, I like your outfit today," and I will smile for the rest of the day. Being a student means that most of my work will go completely unnoticed. I have interned at three different places over the last year and a half, and most of my work could have been done by any one with half a brain. I get it. I am not doing the work of champions. Don't get me wrong, I am not trying to demean the places I have worked (in fact I probably wouldn't be able to get a job after college if it wasn't for them), but it's a fact of life-interns do the work of slaves.

I don't mind it really. I mean, everyone has to start somewhere. Starting at the bottom allows for plenty of growth and learning experiences. It also cultures a certain amount of respect for those who have developed their careers and expertise.

But compliments. Man, if you tell me that you liked how I put that sentence together, or that you thought my idea was a good 9, baby. This phenomenon does have it's disadvantages. I am constantly trying to look for opportunities to be noticed and appreciated. While that in and of itself is not bad, I can feel rather prideful or worst, hurt, when my work isn't set apart or considered the best.

The other day, I was working and was given an opportunity to do some work for editors at a newspaper. It wasn't some big job, just making phone calls and inputing data. I jumped on that chance so fast it would make your head spin. The jobs are rather menial and not very glamorous, but to me, editors asking me if I would do the job was them trusting in my abilities. I interpreted it as a compliment. They were just dumping work on an intern, but I saw it as a glorious bequeathing of a honorable responsibility. "Yes your Majesty, I would be honored to do this task, thank you, I shalt not let you down."

So next time you see me, sure give me a compliment. Just don't be surprised if I float off to the clouds to lovingly add to my beautiful collection of assorted compliments.

Friday, March 12, 2010

I'm sorry I say I'm sorry

Hello, my name is Emily Philpot, and I say I'm sorry.

It happened, we were in second grade. My bestest childhood friend confronted me on the playground. "You say 'I'm sorry' too much!" It's true. If I walk towards someone, and we do that awkward side-shuffle/fake-out football move....I say I'm sorry. If your day has been going badly, even though none of it was because of me....I say I'm sorry. If you are mad, I say I am sorry. If you sneeze....I say I'm sorry. If I squeeze by you while you talk to that other person, oblivious to the rest of the world who is trying to move on with their lives while you spread out in the middle of the hall, yes....I say I'm sorry.

Can I blame my parents for instilling a humble and meek spirit into my life? Okay, maybe I do say it in excess, and I admit that at times it can be annoying. But truthfully, I don't think people say it enough, and I am just making up for that.

Think of those annoying messages that you get when you call customer service. "Thank you for calling our service department. We only have one employee and he is on coffee break. Thank you for being patient with us. Your call is important to us, so please keep holding. We are so very sorry for the inconvenience. We apologize for the wait. We are sure it won't be much longer, Starbucks is right around the corner and he is usually pretty quick about getting coffee."

To me, that's the part that is ingenuine. That reeks of un-sorryiness. (Yes, I know those aren't words-but they works, so deal.....I'm sorry) They really aren't sorry that they are making you wait, they just say that to check off their "politeness" box of the day. "Yes mom, I was polite today, I had 145 customers hear 'We are sorry for the wait.'"

But even with all the fake politeness, people still attack me for apologizing for real stuff. "You are sorry my day is going badly?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! WHYYYYYY?!?!?!?!?! You didn't do anything, you scum!!!!! It's not your fault!!!!! So just SHUT UP!!! I don't want to hear it!!!!"

"What?!?!?!?!?! You say you are sorry for squeezing by me and my boyfriend as we make-out right here in a public place? WHYYYYYYY?!?!?!?!?! It's not your fault we love each other!!!!!!!! STOP SAYING 'I'M SORRY!!!' It's so annoying to hear a polite person!!!!! Go AWAY!!!!"

You may think i exaggerate with these reactions, but trust me. I have been chewed out countless times by people insisting that I should not say a polite "I'm sorry" in passing.

So to the world, I will say it one more time. I'm sorry for saying I'm sorry.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

If you give your mom a robe

If you give your mom a robe….make sure you keep the receipt.

She will want to try it on to see if it looks good, even though technically no one will see her in it. She will hate the color, even though the color she actually wants does not exist. She will bend over to see if the hem is straight, which bending over will ensure that the hem will in fact NOT be straight and there will be much ado about quality.

She will twist around to see all angles of the fluffy, green robe that you searched high-and-low for. Nevermind the fact that you found the very last one being sold on earth and it was even on clearance and you found three matching nightgowns that were also on clearance. Your money that you earned babysitting screaming kids is irrelevant if you give your mom a robe.

She will ask your opinion on how she looks. Granted, she has tried on the robe over her big sweatshirt and jeans. She looks like a fluffy, over-stuffed Eskimo, but you don't want to return the robe that you searched 10 stores for, so you say it looks comfy. She won't believe you.

She will ask dad how it looks, and you will look at him and give him the pleading puppy face. He will chuckle and say, "I love you in anything." She decides to keep the robe.

The next day, you will be woken up by your dad and instructed to return the robe. If you give your mom a robe, make sure it's purple and slimming and the hem is straight and it looks good at every angle and it can be worn inside out and still look good.

If you give your mom a robe, make sure you keep the receipt.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Entry-level Curse: You are Scum

Unexperienced. It's the cuss word for all recent graduates. If you are like me, you are hitting the job boards with vigor and polished resumes that shine with potential. Here I am a graduating senior with my shiny business degree, and I have to go through "the cycle" again.

By "the cycle," I refer to the circle that every person has had to face since their first day of preschool. It starts at the bottom as a lowly "entry" level preschool postion. From preschool, you get to graduate into the "big kids" school-elementary level education. Each year, you become a bigger and more "grown-up" mature young person. The first graders now look at you in awe as you stand in your sixth grade line at recess.

THEN it happens. You are moved to junior high. You are now a pip-squeak beneath all of the eighth graders and ::shivers::: high schoolers. No fears, you end up a senior in high school and you are on the top of your game. You are the role model for every scared little freshman that cowers in your very presence. Life is awesome, and you rule the school. However, that nasty graduation thing happens and :::Boom::: you have been lowered to that pathetic freshman-level status once again. You suck, you don't know who the cool teachers are, you don't know where the computer lab is. You are just a little lost puppy. But hey, senior year comes and once again you can scholarly recommend teachers, textbooks, courses and clubs to all of those visiting high school seniors and feel so very awesome in all of your glory and knowledge. :::Boom::: Graduation.

Now you get to look for an entry-level job. Forget all of those awesome Manager/Senior executive/VP/ Director positions. Psssshhh you are scum. You don't deserve those lofty positions. You get to be an assistant, or if you are lucky… a "coordinator" (whatever that actually means). You will file papers that will probably never need to be looked at again, you get to organize databases of people who have already changed their addresses/names/phone numbers/identities and the data you just entered is already outdated and completely pointless but you do get to demonstrate your deep knowledge of copy/paste functions. This is why you went through 20+ years of education and internships for: to grovel at company doorsteps waiting for a job crumble to be tossed your way. Because entry-level jobs are just that awesome and worth the wait.

Entry-level jobs. You go on that careerbuilder/monster/craigslist/juju Web site and search for that job that just SCREAMS "YOU!!!!" You see "We are searching for an energetic, enthusiastic, excited, ecstatic, enthused individual who is passionate about [insert industry here coffee/wine/sales/computers/ puppies/sewer systems/ phone lines/fax machines/ screaming children] The ideal candidate must know the ins-and-outs of every operating system ever invented (of course with this they use a whole bunch of acrynoms that they probably looked up on the internet to make them look more tech-savvy), must speak fluent Chinese/Spanish/English/German, must know how to use every photo-editing software ever invented, must be very, very organized and can clean-up after any other messy, higher-up employees, have immaculate writing skills (and here is where the company recruiter misspells one of the words or puts in an extra comma and you roll your eyes at their inadequacies) and you must have at least five years of experience (yes you must have experience even though this is an entry-level position, we want knowledge and wisdom, people!!!) working under great bosses who have taught you how to run the company and you were their best employee and you are willing to work for $12 an hour even though you have student loans to pay off."

Perfect!!! This job is sooooo you!!!! You even call a friend about how excited you are about how perfect of a job you found.

The ad will then go on to use adjectives and words that you [or any other normal human being] have never even heard of. "We are looking for someone who can perform organizational, optimizational, functionary performances on the systemoptics of the central components of front-runner, cutting-edge capabilities for our various itemized processes and productions." Huh? You then question your degree and everything that your teachers/parents/friends/church/ books ever taught you. Are you dumb? Why haven't you ever heard of these duties in all of your education? You must be a failure. You should probably just go work at Burger King now because you don't even know what "systemoptics" is. Silly you for even considering getting a job that wants you to perform "optimizational functionary performances."

You decide to apply anyways. I mean, the worst they can say is "no," right? So you write a perfect cover letter boasting of all of your accomplishments and feats that you have ever done since second grade when your teacher proclaimed that "you have potential!" You include every experience you can think of. "Oh you want me to have experience in the wine public relations arena? Well, I happen to have a friend whose dad drinks wine. I have even seen him drink both white and red wine. I am very qualified for this position and am available for interviews anytime. Seriously. Call me right now if you want to, I will pick up the phone. I will even answer my phone after midnight if it means getting this job. I will buy you a puppy if you hire me."

Two weeks goes by and no calls, no e-mails. No one cares about you or your pathetic degree in Business Administration. You start to apply for even the jobs that you didn't really want but at least are something to get you by. Still, nothing. Job searching turns into a psychological war field of desires and emotions. You cry yourself to sleep because no one loves you. THEN the phone rings. Interview? YES, of course you are available!!! You can meet them any time, any place. Yes, you will buy them coffee.

You then receive an inspirational talk about pyramid schemes and "no pressure sales calls." This product [cars/insurance/cleaning supplies/body parts/onion rings/jump ropes] practically sells itself. A baby could sell this, so we think you are PERFECT for this job. You only need to contribute $30 to invest in your future and your training for a great career. You have the potential (see your second grade teacher was RIGHT!!!) to make $1 million dollars in your very first year!!!!!! Just think what you could do with that money!!!!! Now go bug all of your friends and tell them about this amazing product and how it can change their lives forever. Trust us, we wouldn't lie to you to make a profit.

Job searching. It's the curse on humanity. Enjoy the hunt. J