My New Guilty Pleasure: The Economic Recession

Now, millions of Americans losing their jobs is no laughing matter but I’m deciding to look on the sunny side of this egg. I suppose that I am able to maintain this lighter attitude because I am relatively employed and I have nice legs. I do feel that this is a great time to assess the nature of well, our nature, and adjust accordingly.

My Top Eight Reasons this Recession Kicks Ass
1. Decreased production and consumption of Hannah Montana dolls, tee shirts, pencil sharpeners and backpacks. As much as I enjoy a good pop idol, the amount of crap that is produced in the name “entertainers” for little kids is frightening. I long for the bygone days of inherited wooden toys and hair dolls. I wonder what the Amish are playing with these days…

2. Increased awareness and (hopefully) usage of locally grown produce and other foodstuff. Whole Foods did a lot making the organic movement commercially and profitably viable, but my fruit doesn’t need to travel 300 miles by air conditioned truck for me to chomp it down in a minute. A banana told me so.

3. Dinners at home. Thank god I moved into a house with a good kitchen before the stock market tanked. My previous culinary abilities were self-limited to spreading hummus on pre-cooked chicken. With my new found 15 by 15 foot linoleum laden kitchen I am a roasting, baking, domesticated and recession proof machine.

4. Decreased use of fuel and increased use of public transportation. Okay, so I’m not using the bus but I hear that some people are. I can’t really joke about my negligence so I’ll end this one here.

5. Vacancies on Melrose Avenue. There are a proliferation of “For Lease” signs glued in the windows of commercial properties throughout Los Angeles, but the ones I cannot lament about are the ones nearest my home. Most of which were previously occupied by Ed Hardy knock off outfits, stripper dresses, and other items of exceptional bad taste. I imagine a town in China is suffering without having such things to bedazzle.

6. My most creative Christmas. I’m not going to divulge where I got about half of my presents but I will tell you that I spent a total $8 on 6 people in a specific case. All of the items were “green” in terms of reuse.

7. Learning how to pirate entertainment, no patch required.

8. My hopes for fat American children. The next time you’re at Disneyland, take a seat and people watch for a moment. It is likely the number of people, children included, that could squeeze into a size ten can be counted on the hand you’re not holding your 40 ounce soda in. Kid’s aren’t exercising. And no, wii bowling does not count. I pray that parents with tightening purse strings kick their chubby little children back into the baseball fields or into a library.
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New Year, Same Ridiculous Shit

For the last two hours, my life has been dedicated to the sole purpose of being a face in some juice commercial. Per the usual, I would like to think that these things extend beyond the superficial; that somehow, someway, someone sees something special in my heart and that is why I book jobs. I try to make myself an endless beam of positive light and magnetic smiles. I stare around the room and wonder if the thirty other girls at this callback are thinking the same thing. Who then wins the positive energy contest? Could the combined efforts of the all of this positive energy then become negative? My mind wanders into an oblivion of useless tangents about religion and everyone and their prayers to different, mutually exclusive gods/ dieties/ relics.
Back to my pink ballroom full of hopefuls. I’m wearing the same black jumper I wore in the original casting in which I awkwardly laughed and hugged and played around with “my new best friend” who was 9 inches shorter than me and with big hair that kept getting in the way of the lower portion of my face. I left feeling violated. Presently, I am trying to squelch the feeling of being outwardly irritated that the director of this commercial is over an hour late. I watch the light change on the carpet covered in gargantuan flowers. The woman in charge frantically runs about making sure there are enough chairs per SAG regulations. “I need to keep the fire lanes clear,” she keeps muttering. As a half hour turns into an hour turns into an hour and a quarter, the seats fill up and the adults are suggested to give their seats up for children and stage mommies.
Finally some asshole in a puffy Northface jacket rushes into the room and through the double doors. The director. Soon after, a hotel employee follows the trail with a menu in hand. He apparently has time to eat. They bring in the first ten girls. I am in the second group. The first ten come out; five are kept aside, five are dismissed. My group goes in. We stand holding numbers in front of a panel of people who aren’t speaking, moving, or in any way creating an environment in which you feel comfortable. The director takes his head out of his bowl of noodles to bark, “Could you all smile at the camera?” in a way that makes me think that we should have been instructed to do so before lining up before the firing squad.
“Hi, I’m Jessica blah blah. Number 11.”
“Brianna blah. Number 12.”
“Jenny Bahn. Number 13.”
The listing continues until the director’s face goes back into his bowl of noodles, apparently indicating that we are not special, interesting, or adequate in any way. We are ushered out and back into the pink ballroom full of people who have not been psychologically manhandled yet. I get a good laugh out of it until I realize that I have misplaced my sunglasses during all of this and that some clepto bitch has stolen them. All in all this day has cost me time, dignity, and $300. But at least I saw Cher walking on my way back home.

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