Thursday, December 31, 2009

ha ha

Ok, so I haven't blogged in forever. And I'm not really going to blog right now either. I just wanted to share this because I thought it was hilarious...


Someday when I have time I'll find the video.

(Note: For some reason, blogger really likes to cut off all my pictures. To read the whole thing, just click on the pic. That should work.)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

It's just not ok.

“I am so pissed off.”

So started an email from my cousin the other day, telling me that Maine had repealed the law allowing LGBTs to marry.

I hadn’t really thought much about the issue since Prop 8 passed last November. I didn’t even know that Maine was voting on it. I’m not really a political person. I figure the right will never convince the left and the left will never convince the right. There are just too damn many people in this country for all of us to agree on everything. I always just kind of walk that middle line, staying out of the argument. What can I do, right?

But recently I’ve been rethinking that stance when it comes to allowing gays and lesbians to marry. Because it’s not really about marriage. It’s about allowing a certain group of people to have the same rights as everyone else.

Wait a minute…

I’m sorry, are we really talking about equal rights in the year 2009? Didn’t Rosa Parks refuse to sit in the back of the bus, like, forever ago? And didn’t Susan B. Anthony show that having a vagina doesn’t impair your ability to vote way back before computers and cars and maybe even indoor plumbing? We’ve put a man on the moon and a black man in the White House, but we’re still putting restrictions on who you can love?

Oh, I see. It’s because being gay is wrong in the eyes of the Lord. I get it now. Lawmakers have been sworn to duty – to serve and protect – and that includes saving people from the fiery pits of hell.

Wait...that's not right either.

Many, many years ago, a bunch of folks in weird outfits and a penchant for big shiny buckles got on a boat and pitted themselves against stormy seas, frigid winters, and starvation – all to escape religious prosecution. And then some other stuff happened and then it was 1776 and there were declarations and constitutions and everyone decided there would be separation of church and state.

Now – I’ll give you this – there is a bit of an overlap between religion and government. That’s because people confuse morality and religion. Religion isn’t just a list of morals you should have. It’s a belief system. And you know what? Government isn't a moral system. It's a ruling body designed to keep our society safe and organized. Because if you’re going to have more than one person living in the same space, and you don’t want total anarchy, you have to have some rules. Government is the instiller of these rules. Government says, “Hey, you know what? You probably shouldn’t kill people.” And voilá, for the most part, people refrain from murder, because it’s better for society. Religion says “Though shalt not murder.” Probably for societal reasons, but also because killing someone is killing one of God’s beloved creatures, and there’s a whole theological discussion behind why that is bad, yada yada yada. In short - same rule, different reason.

And there are a lot of those. Things that make God happy (religion) are often the same things that keep a society in working order (government).

But, and I want to say this clearly, it is not the government’s job to keep people out of hell. If I want to worship Satan, the government can’t stop me. And shouldn’t. If I want to pray to Allah, if I want to worship the earth, if I want to walk up and down Los Angeles with a giant cross on my back, that is my prerogative. If my religious devotions start affecting traffic or disturbing the neighbours or in any way harming society, then yes Mr. Police Officer, welcome to my home. But my religious beliefs are mine and yours and yours and if we disagree, then great. We can agree to disagree and maybe even learn something from each other. God Bless America.

But...Marriage. Marriage is what brings is together today.

Here’s another area where there is a little blurring of the line between government and religion. Marriage is when you make family where there wasn’t family before. For some it’s about love, for some convenience or money, and for others it’s about citizenship. Whatever reason you get married for, the government says, “Congratulations, here are your tax breaks and new legal perks.” But it’s hard, because no one watches the new couple sign the paper from the courthouse. They see the couple make vows in front of a priest. But you can get married without going to a church. And for some people who don’t feel the need to make it official to the government, you can get married at a church and not sign any papers. Church marriage and government marriage are two different things that a lot of people choose to combine. I get it. If I just signed a paper and didn’t make any vows before God, I’d feel a little weird about it. And if I got married at a church, but then didn’t get any of the fun tax breaks or couldn’t visit my spouse in the hospital, I would be outraged. But, in the end, they are two different things. The government shouldn’t care who or what you marry.

So we’ve covered that in the United States, church and state are separate, and that church marriage and state marriage are ultimately two separate things. I think at this point it’s pretty clear that banning gay marriage is unconstitutional. I could end this here and feel pretty confident that I am in the right. But for some people, there’s just no separating the Bible out of it. As a church-going girl, I have to say good on you for living your convictions. It’s great when you see God in every part of your life. But, also as a church-going girl, I’m a little confused by which God you’re talking about. Because the God that I learned about, the one who sent us Jesus, is pretty clear about loving the Lord with all your heart, soul, and mind and loving your neighbour as yourself. In fact, he said, “On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Nowhere in that statement did he say, “Go out and picket your neighbour’s right to love,” or “Go out and beat senseless someone who is different from you and tie them to a fence and leave them to die,” or “Treat people who love others of the same sex like second class citizens.”

You can throw Leviticus or Romans or Corinthians at me all you like, but ultimately, “Love the Lord, love your neighbour,” rules out all of that. And until you are following specific mold cleansing rituals and aren’t lying with a woman for 7 days after she’s had her period, don’t talk to me about Old Testament rules.

Now, if you believe that God is going to send gays to hell, then I probably won’t be able to convince you of anything different. But I should be able to convince you that treating LGBTs like second class citizens is against all that this country stands for. Would you feel pride sitting in a segregated classroom? Would you stand for Nazi’s taking your Jewish friends off to a concentration camp? Then why would you allow the poor treatment of LGBTs to go on in this country? Why are we letting confused teenagers commit suicide, and closeted people shrivel inward because they’re too afraid to be who they are, or for God’s sake letting people get murdered solely because of who they love?

Why are we sitting down for this?

What can I do? Plenty. And you can too.

To find out more about what you can do, please visit the Human Rights Campaign.

UPDATE: A good friend of mind suggests checking out the Courage Campaign.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Maybe they will serve s'mores next to the pits of fire.

So, one of my youth group kids told me a story about a girl who got a flu shot and then couldn't walk or talk anymore. Then she told me that she was able to walk backwards just fine, and she could also run, and when she ran she could talk normally.

Well, I laughed my ass off. It's a sad story, but come on, that visual is hysterical. It's also completely not true. Or so I thought.

Then, I looked it up, and....

And then I laughed my ass off again.

I'm pretty sure I'm going to hell.


UPDATE: And this guy is going with me!...from the comments section of the article on Boing Boing

Author Profile Page thecheat | #15 | 12:48 on Fri, Oct.23 |


Bow chicka wow OW!

Ok, so I have a post abrewin' in my head about this whole Maine/gay marriage thing. I have some things I want to say, but I want to make sure to take the time that it deserves to write it well and write it thoughtfully.

In the meantime, I wanted to share something I came across today.

I was looking around for something on CalOSHA's website, CalOSHA being California's Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and got to this page:


To me, the page breakdown is basically:

1. Click here if you're working in porn and you have a complaint.
2. Click here if you have a complaint about any of the other hundreds of thousands of types of jobs that we have here in sunny California.

I've heard that porn is huge - but is it the biggest industry in all of California? Or do they just get that many complaints that it needs to take up, like, 50% of the complaint page? And really, if you're the type to complain to OSHA, is porn really for you? Because I don't think I've ever heard rumours about porn being a safe and healthy job to have.

First Maine, and now CalOSHA - today has left me really confused.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

I simply won't wear underwear unless it's Korean.

I passed this place last night and just had so, so many questions.

View Larger Map
(The tree and pole get in the way a bit, but it reads "Korea Underwear Discount Centr")

1. Who opened this place?
2. And why?
3. And who shops here?
4. Is underwear really that expensive?
5. What is Korean underwear?
6. Do you think maybe you should make the sign a little more discreet?
7. This place looks pretty it a warehouse filled with underwear? Is there really that much of a demand?
8. Where do you get this discounted underwear?
9. Why is it discounted? Is it used?
10. Do you think maybe you should have used spell check before you printed that sign?

10a. They probably got someone to make that sign for them, seeing as how it's unlikely that they are underwear distributors and sign makers. If you were a sign maker, wouldn't it be probably, like, someone's whole job to make sure the signs were spelled correctly?
10b. If you were Korean, and English wasn't your first language, and you wanted to open a business in an American city, wouldn't you maybe go to a sign maker owned and operated by native English speakers?
10c. If you were not a native English speaker, wouldn't you maybe not open a sign business where your whole job is to print stuff in a language you don't know all that well?
10d. So you're saying to me that these underwear people ordered a sign, the sign makers designed it, there was probably a proof or two sent back and forth, then the sign was actually made and then hung into place, and during that whole process not one person was like, "Uh, dude, Center has another e in it. And, while we're on the topic, it should probably say Korean, not Korea, because it needs to be an adjective to describe what kind of underwear discount center it is."?

11.What the hell is Korean underwear?!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I'm not sure if you knew this, but there is a lot of stuff to do in Los Angeles.

For instance:

California Cougar Convention for Younger Men & Older Women
Crowne Plaza Beverly Hills (Los Angeles, CA)

Cougars from throughout California will compete for the title of Miss Cougar California at the first-ever California Cougar Convention. Lucia, "Queen of the Cougar Jungle" (KTLA TV), will deliver the keynote address on "The Cougar Revolution." Plus, enjoy a RapidDating Mixer and a dance party that lasts until 1am.



Lucia is the author of Lucia’s Lessons of Love and a syndicated columnist. She hosts The Art of Love Show on She was voted Miss Urban Cougar in December 2005 by She is the veteran of numerous interviews, including Dr. Phil, The Tyra Banks Show, CBS Early Show, VH1, 60 Minutes Australia, Danny Bonaduce Show, etc.

Prior to Lucia’s Keynote, Renee Piane, “The Pioneer of Rapid Dating,” will help break down barriers with a Rapid Mixer. Ms. Piane has worked with hundreds of thousands of singles over her career.

7pm - Doors open
7:30pm - RapidDating Mixer, with Renee Piane.
8pm - Keynote Address with Cougar Author and Expert LUCIA,
"The Queen of the Cougar Jungle" (KTLA)
9pm-1am - Dance Party, featuring your favorite hits.

Miss Cougar California will be selected by the Cubs at this convention. She will be crowned at approximately 11pm and will win a free berth on the Cougar Cruise (see below), will be featured by In Hollywood
Magazine, and receive a gift package from them, plus other prizes. To be eligible she must be legally single, at least 40 years old, and present at the time of selection.

Co-Sponsored by CougarCooking, Cardeaux Cosmetics Cougar Kit, American Laser Centers, UrbanCougar, TheArtofLove, SinglesTravelCompany, icougardating, RapidDating,
CougarInternational, LASingles Society, and many others.

Bonus: Love Shack Parties will be giving away goodie bags.

Ok. My brain is about to spatter all over the wall behind me, so imma break this down piece by piece.

*deep breath*

1. Cougar Convention? Um...who goes to this? Not "who's a cougar," because come on - they're around. I even joke about being one someday. No, I mean, like, who signs up for this and spends their money on this, and then plans for it and thinks about what outfits to wear, and tells people they are going, and then holds their head up high as they walk into the Convention center? Also - who are these young men that are doing the same thing? Wouldn't it be easier to just give the cougars a bag of hair gel, cheap aftershave, and chlamydia?

2. Miss Cougar California? This makes me think of the gin soaked American Teen Princess ladies from Drop Dead Gorgeous. "I can look at this glass and see it's half empty...which, in the beauty pageant biz means 'WHERE THE HELL IS MY WAITER?!"

3. Ok, we really have to talk about the picture.

"Yeeeeaaaaaahh boi! Imma pose like a white rapper and these mommies gonna love me!" No they're not. Because I'm going to kill you. Now take that cross necklace off before Jesus starts crying.

You are not a cougar. My guess is you are a starving actor who is hoping that none of your friends see this stupid model job you booked. Well, good for you for making a buck in this economy, but this picture will come back to haunt you.

(If I weren't such an awesome person, I'd post the picture of my friend dressed up like a sheep for a commercial she did. Sadly for you, it turns out I'm a great friend.)

You are on your way to Target.

You, my dear, are in desperate need of some meds. Who told you to stand like that? Come here so I can slap you. Also, you are not a cougar. You are maybe 12.

Where is the nexus of this intersection? Are you sure you're going to the Cougar Convention and not to Lilith Fair?

4. Website:
Events? Plural?

5. Co-Sponsored by CougarCooking, Cardeaux Cosmetics Cougar Kit, American Laser Centers, UrbanCougar, TheArtofLove, SinglesTravelCompany, icougardating, RapidDating,
CougarInternational, LASingles Society, and many others.
Oh my God. What do Cougars cook? I thought they just ate through the raw meat and bone of their bloody carcasses. Are there European cougars? I thought Europe was supposed to be way classier than us.

6. Co-Sponsored by CougarCooking, Cardeaux Cosmetics Cougar Kit, American Laser Centers, UrbanCougar, TheArtofLove, SinglesTravelCompany, icougardating, RapidDating,
CougarInternational, LASingles Society, and many others.
hahahaha Cougars have mustaches.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Everybody wants to (save) the world.

Some philanthropy magazine based in the UK recently introduced an essay contest. Winners get published in the magazine and get 1,000 British pounds. Being published sounds fun (although, not gonna lie, yours truly IS a published author. I got some poem published in a book in the 4th grade. Yep. Didn't know I was famous, did you?). And getting 1,000 British pounds, which is probably like a million American dollars, would be enough for me to run away to some beautiful island with swim up bars and cabana boys and hammocks. At least for a few days.

So I happily entered.

I highly doubt I will win, as they probably wanted real answers. I mean, I gave them a real answer that I'm serious about, but I'm not sure my writing style will be appreciated. So I'm gonna post it here. I hope you enjoy.

Without further ado:

The Question:
As a philanthropist, how would you spend $10 million to combat global warming?

The Rules:
Would you seek to put pressure on governments? Or to drive changes in public behaviour directly? Or to incentivize markets? Would you focus on challenging unsustainable consumption trends? Or on addressing questions of equity between richer and poorer countries? Would you target your efforts towards particular countries or regions? Or particular industry sectors? Or particular technologies or institutions?

Whatever your plan, your essay must give some indication of how you would judge if you had been successful and in what timeframe you would do this. Bear in mind that the $10 million could be used over any period of time that you see fit. You should also indicate what you see as the main obstacles to the success of your plan.

My Answer:
The only way to combat global warming and reverse our environment’s pendulum swing away from destruction is to change the entire population’s habits and the way we think about our relationship to the planet. This is no small task. People are notoriously difficult to change and a lot of people don’t think about the environment (or much of anything) at all.
But I don’t think it’s hopeless.
There are three ways that we can change things.
1.      Wait until we’re faced with an irreversible environmental catastrophe. As cities are destroyed and our skin burns in acidic rain, we’ll run in the streets, weeping and gnashing our teeth, yelling, “Why? Why did I leave the water running when I brushed my teeth? Why did I buy that ridiculous Hummer? Why didn’t I listen to Al Gore?” And as we’re all shuttled off to Iceland (which would then feel a few degrees hotter than Hades), we’ll sniff back tears and promise to change our wicked ways.
2.      Realize through our current trials and tribulations that the power to make big changes comes from within, and that collectively, we humans -  a mighty and extraordinary species - have the courage, compassion, and intellect to look our bad environmental habits in the eye, overcome our fears and sloth, and get back to the way things used to be.
3.      Make being green lucrative for business owners and cheap for consumers.
Seeing as how the first way is a bit “too little, too late,” and the second is just the plot of the Wizard of Oz, I would direct my efforts toward method number three. Assuming a 2% APY, compounding once annually, I'd tuck the $10 million safely into a savings account and let it grow for 2 years. Sadly, this will only bump me up to roughly $10.4 million, but every little bit helps and I have some important work to do during that time. While my money is growing, I'd need to make some key contacts. See, this particular philanthropic endeavor has to be for-profit in order to work, but it involves some of the same principles used in nonprofit organizations. Namely donor cultivation; convincing potential funders that their investment will benefit a particular constituency – in this case, the global community. I’d befriend young, rich entrepreneurs. I’d sip bourbon with 10-gallon-hat wearing, oil-owning Texans. I’d have hushed conversations with Senators in dimly-lit D.C. bars. (Maybe I'm jaded after 8 years of the Bush administration, or maybe it's because I have no idea how the legal system works, but it seems to me if you want to make any real change, you need to have a politician in your back pocket.) 
Next – putting my plan into action! I’d buy a huge lot of desert land in Nevada and set up a solar power company. My deep-pocketed friends would be share-holders in this company of course, as I would need much more than my $10.4 million dollars to get it going. The selling point would be that the customers would get their energy at a much, much cheaper price, as I’d keep the profit margin very low, but because I’d be the most earth-friendly yet cheap energy company ever, every one would use our power, making the profit loss up in quantity of customers. My customers are happy, my cowboy oil stock holders are happy, the earth is happy.
This is when things would get really expensive though, as power, oil, and coal companies would start working to bury me in lawsuits, trying desperately to keep the market in their favour. Lucky for me I spent all that time in D.C. buying whores for politicians! And extra lucky for me my big shot friends, grateful for including them in my lucrative plan, were willing to contribute to key re-election campaigns…I slide right through this part.
I tell you, once this green ball is rolling, it’s impossible to stop! Now that the solar company is raking in the dough, I’d buy up the buried patents on the cars that run on garbage (Come on – we put a man on the moon, but we haven’t already invented a car that runs well on something other than oil and gas?) from the now-broke oil and gas company owners. Then, once my green companies have control of the power and auto markets, I’ll have enough pull to make stricter laws on pollution, making sure that if companies are going to do the bare minimum in order to keep their bottom line fat, that the bare minimum is set pretty darn high! Meanwhile, other businesses will have to take up greener practices to compete.
I realize that completely toppling decades-old businesses and therefore leaving thousands (maybe millions!) of citizens without jobs would cause public dissent and would be bad for business. Making sure this didn’t become a PR nightmare requires a two-pronged approach. First, I would now hire the coal companies to re-green the mountain tops they have destroyed, the auto companies to help make and distribute my new green cars, and the oil companies to rebuild much of the Middle East. (Did I mention that because our oil consumption has decreased so significantly, we no longer have to continue fighting in Iraq and surrounding countries? How’s that for supporting the troops!). This would give people jobs, and more importantly, green jobs! Second, I’d get liberal, do-gooder celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio and Ben Affleck to make my company the new black, assuring that Hollywood was on board. In a short amount of time, TV and film propaganda would make sure the American people knew what to think.
Once I had my business model down, I’d take this baby global. It will take a while to turn this polluted ship around and reverse some of the damage we have already done, but I figure I can set up a company, prove its sustainability, and have completely greened the business market in four, five years tops.
The end.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Education is an important issue. And over here at I Like Q Headquarters, I like to do my part to educate. In this instance, I'd like to pass along some helpful tips that I found on the Internets. I haven't tried them, so I guess I'm less educating more than I'm just passing along some random shit that may or may not be true, but what the hell - I was only an education major for one semester in college.

21 Uses for Vodka

1. To remove a bandage painlessly, saturate the bandage with vodka. The solvent dissolves the adhesive.

2. To clean the caulking around bathtubs and showers, fill a trigger-spray bottle with vodka, spray the caulking, let set five minutes and wash clean. The alcohol in the vodka kills mold and mildew.

3. To clean your eyeglasses, simply wipe the lenses with a soft, clean cloth dampened with vodka. The alcohol in the vodka cleans the glass and kills germs.

4. Prolong the life of razors by filling a cup with vodka and letting your safety razor blade soak in the alcohol after shaving. The vodka disinfects the blade and prevents rusting.

5. Spray vodka on vomit stains, scrub with a brush, then blot dry.

6. Using a cotton ball, apply vodka to your face as an astringent to cleanse the skin and tighten pores.

7. Add a jigger of vodka to a 12-ounce bottle of shampoo. The alcohol cleanses the scalp, removes toxins from hair, and stimulates the growth of healthy hair.

8. Fill a sixteen-ounce trigger-spray bottle and spray bees or wasps to kill them.

9. Pour one-half cup vodka and one-half cup water in a Ziplock freezer bag, and freeze for a slushy, refreezable ice pack for aches, pain, or black eyes.

10. Fill a clean, used mayonnaise jar with freshly packed lavender flowers, fill the jar with vodka, seal the lid tightly and set in the sun for three days. Strain liquid through a coffee filter, then apply the tincture to aches and pains.

11. Make your own mouthwash by mixing nine tablespoons powered cinnamon with one cup vodka. Seal in an airtight container for two weeks. Strain through a coffee filter. Mix with warm water and rinse your mouth. Don't swallow.

12. Using a q-tip, apply vodka to a cold sore to help it dry out.

13. If a blister opens, pour vodka over the raw skin as a local anesthetic that also disinfects the exposed dermis.

14. To treat dandruff, mix one cup vodka with two teaspoons crushed rosemary, let sit for two days, strain through a coffee filter and massage into your scalp and let dry.

15. To treat an earache put a few drops of vodka in your ear. Let set for a few minutes. Then drain. The vodka will kill the bacteria that is causing pain in your ear.

16. To relieve a fever, use a washcloth to rub vodka on your chest and back as a liniment.

17. To cure foot odor, wash your feet with vodka.

18. Vodka will disinfect and alleviate a jellyfish sting.

19. To remove cigarette smoke in your home or office mix one part vodka and three parts water and spray the clothing, then launder and let dry.

20. Pour vodka over an area affected with poison ivy to remove the urushiol oil from your skin.

21. Swish a shot of vodka over an aching tooth. Allow your gums to absorb some of the alcohol to numb the pain.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Important things to ponder at 12:01 am.

1. What's this new trend of referring to people as @name. Like, on a facebook status, someone will be like "@Rachel - I thought the same thing!" Um, my name is Rachel. Just Rachel. And facebook is not Twitter. I'm assuming that's where it comes from, right? Twitter? I hate Twitter. It's stupid unless you're following a celebrity. But, back to the original point - why add the @ when you're not on Twitter? It makes me feel like a robot. And, it serves no purpose. No purpose at all.

2. So, you know when you're daydreaming about what it would be like to go back in time and the more you start thinking about it, the more you realize you don't know how anything works? Like - how would you make soap, so you could stay clean (unlike all the people from the Dark Ages that never bathed)? Could you rig a system with indoor plumbing? I couldn't. Nor could I make electricity or anything. Well, for some reason, I spend a lot of time thinking about this, and it looks like I'm not the only one, because someone came up with this. If the internet is good for one thing, it's helping you realize that other people waste their time thinking about the same crazy shit as you.

3. Did you ever notice that there was a lot of rapping about Arnold Schwarzenegger in the early 90's? I wonder if those rappers think about how he's just a boring old Republican governor now when they hear those songs.

Not sure what I'm talking about?

Shoop/Salt 'N Pepa - "Got a body like Arnold with a Denzel face"

Jump Around/House of Pain - "Or better yet a terminator Like Arnold Schwarzenegger Try'n to play me out like as if my name was Sega"

Arnold Schwarzenegger/World's Apart - "'Cause Arnold Schwarzenegger is in your dreams each night Where Arnold Schwarzenegger gets to kiss and hold you tight"

And I'm sure there's more. Was Arnold, like, way bigger than I remember him being? I mean, I was at the peak of my pop culture knowledge in the 90's and I don't remember him being all that awesome.

4. I wish my name was in rap songs. I was in a rap video once, but no lyrics revolving around @Rachel. I bet you think I'm kidding about the rap video, but it's true. I was totally a video ho for a day and I loved every second of it.

You can see me around the 2:08 mark. And by "see" I mean "know exactly where to look and don't blink."

Saturday, September 26, 2009

My first love letter.

Dear Maker's Mark,

It's Saturday night. I've had a long, stressful week at work. I'm sitting at my computer making a mixed cd for a friend, sipping Maker's made just right, and I decided I must write a love letter.

Apparently I came to visit the Maker's factory in Kentucky when I was very young while on family vacation. It must have stuck with me, because this smooth amber liquid settles my soul and makes me feel at home.

I live a long way away from the West Virginia hills where I grew up, but I can taste the Appalachians in your drink; and when I take a sip, I know everything is going to be all right.

I silently thank you every time I have a drink, but on this night, as the sun sets and I listen to jangly country guitars through my speakers, I want to say it out loud.

Thank you.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Ring Around the Rosie

UPDATE: When you read this you'll probably think I'm crazy, because these are normal directions. When I posted this Google gave me some freaky ass directions that circled me all over Los Angeles. So, this post was funny once. Trust me.

I was looking for directions from Union Station to my house today, and this is what Google maps decided would be the quickest route:

View Larger Map

Because obviously driving a route that looks like a twisty straw is much more important than getting home, say, sometime this week. Culver City by way of Alhambra? An excellent choice.

This is my favourite part:

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I wish the directions said, "Add some flair to your drive by making a fun circle on the 710 for no reason. It's a great accessory to any trip. For even more fun - bring your bedazzler!"

Who even knew there was a 710?

It reminds me of the early days of Google maps when to get from New York to London, for example, it would tell you to swim across the Atlantic Ocean.

Speaking of Google Maps - they have this thing called Street View, which I absolutely love. You can see what the building looks like for the job interview you have the next day, you can see creepy people standing in windows, and you can even see my car sitting in front of my parents house in Montana (they really need to update that satellite feed).

They can also do a little product placement.

Some of you know that I like to be very vocal with companies whose services I use. I send them letters of complaint, letters of praise, letters with suggestions, and so on. How can I expect them to better serve me if I don't tell them what I want? Lately I've had to do a lot of complaining, (that's another blog for another day), but just a few days ago I wrote a nice letter to Budweiser telling them that I loved their Bud Light + Clamato Chelada's, but that I wished they came in sizes other than the 24 oz. cans, which is just a little too much at once. I got the nicest, completely customized (read: NOT A FORM LETTER!) email back from an employee, that not only used the phrase, "You're wish is our command!" but also listed some places in the area that sell Chelada's in a smaller size. I of course went straight to Google maps to find where the closest one is, and this is the street view that comes up:

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Talk about great advertising!

UPDATE: Apparently, the Google van has made another sweep past this street, because the picture is different. It used to be a giant Budweiser semi blocking the Arco station.

I could spend hours looking at things on Google maps, but I have a lot to do, and I'm tired, and I have a glass of whisky waiting for me so I'll leave you with a giant uncooked chicken in Pittsburgh:

View Larger Map

Make sure you turn 180 degrees to see the guy dressed as a ham lurking in the alleyway. It doesn't really look like a ham, but fortunately for us, Google has a zoom feature, and the guy in the suit was nice enough to label his confusing costume "Ham".

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Be our guest! Be our Guest! Our command is your request

I'm so hot right now.

Check me out guest blogging on Lori's blog.

It's a little offensive. Enough so that she added a caveat to the beginning. Um, sorry about that. I sent it to her in an email and now that I'm seeing it all printed up for the world to see I'm a little like Woah.

I'd write more, but I'm off to Anaheim to see some West Virginians.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I'm tore up: a pictorial.

I'm starting to feel old. Not in a "wiser" kind of way, but more in a "my body is falling apart" way.

I peg the decline of youth at about 24 years old. That's when random knee pains, loss of mental faculties, etc. started occurring out of nowhere. Faint wrinkles started to appear around my eyes.

Then at about 27 there was a second drop. I started to get fatter, and care less about getting fat. I started getting complacent. Faint wrinkles became less faint and fun forehead wrinkles started to show up.

And now at the ripe old age of 28 and 3/4ths I'm starting to not be able to sustain injuries like I used to.

My current decrepit state started last Saturday - July 4th. I went to Visalia - my friend's hometown - to celebrate our nation's birthday (or whatever the hell the 4th is all about besides beer and burgers). She'd been talking up river floating for years now and I was excited to actually go.

It was so fun and relaxing. Until we hit the rapids. They weren't big. Nothing to worry about. But then there was a pirate ship in the way (isn't there always?), and my inner tube was underinflated, and I ran into some guy and next thing I know, I'm being drug over sharp rocks at a fast pace. It hurt, but I've felt worse, and it was over in a few minutes. For the most part I was just numb and a little sad that I'd lost my flip flops and sunglasses.

The real fun part came later when I was having trouble laying down, so I took a look at my (sweet, luscious) ass in the mirror and saw a bunch of giant bruises. I won't take pictures of my (juicy) ass and post them here, because ew, but pretty much I look like this:


Which is fine. I can sleep on my stomach.

But then today, I drove my scooter to a mailbox. Easy peasy, right? Well. I pulled up to the big blue box, put my hand brake on and pushed the button that keeps my bike upright. See, I have a Piaggio mp3, which looks like this:


The two front wheels actually lean with each other and there is a button that will lock them in position. I put my right foot on the ground and was in the middle of swinging my left leg over, when my jacket caught the button and unlocked the front wheels, which sent my bike tipping to the right. Which trapped my right foot between my 500 pound bike and the curb. The scene looked something like this:


I'm not really the best at Paint, but I'm here to tell you, that's almost exactly what it looked like.

Anyway, so my bike falls to the side and my leg is trapped against the curb and I'm, like, half on my bike, half off of it, and I know I look like a beached manatee and I'm super embarrased and I'm not quite sure what to do. I tried lifting the bike, but, like I mentioned before, the thing weighs 500 pounds and I wasn't in the best position to push it off me. So, I start wiggling my foot to the left, to get it to an opening big enough to untangle it. Just as I get it out, this guy that looks like he just hopped the border fence comes running across the street to help me.


He helped me right the bike, and I tried to explain what happened, so he wouldn't think I was a complete dumb ass, and to say thank you, but I don't think he understood and I was too flustered to say gracias.

And now my ankle has one of those bruises that doesn't look too bad yet, but has a menacing look to it and that "there's so much blood trapped under here that it's hard" kind of feel and the whole area is tingly. I look like this:


So now I have my foot up and I'm icing it and I'm whining about my war wounds on the world wide web and sipping whiskey. I had originally planned to go bike riding tonight and start work on getting fit again, specifically because I'm so old and fat and battered and need to be able to handle life's blows better - but tonight I'm too old and fat and battered to to work on not being old and fat and battered. So now my evening plans look like this:


And my cat looks like this:


because I'm neglecting her to write this post, and she really wants to be petted, and she doesn't care about any pain I might be in, so she's just kind of silently lurking next to my chair and giving me the eye.

I take that back, now she's standing on her back legs and yelling at me.

I feel like a (bruised, old) bad mom.

The end.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

My morning grind just got so much better.

I'm a big fan of music. When I was younger I played in about every band possible (like, school orchestra type bands - not cool rock bands. Let it be known that I am not hip). When I was in high school, the Information Superhighway* (which, by the way, I was sure would never fly) was just starting to become accessible to the average Joe and I would search music message boards and try to find new, cool alternative** music. I would drive to the mall and search Sam Goody for a cd that looked interesting, and give it a shot. This was in the days before mp3s and Napster and in general being able to sample bits of music to see what you liked. In fact, cd's themselves were relatively new. I bought my first cd in 1994, right before I started high school.***

This is all to say that now, with music as accessible as it is, I'm in hog heaven, and I spend a lot of time on iTunes and The Hype Machine downloading new music. I downloaded enough that I ran out of room on my 8G iPod. Which would have been alright, but my iTunes was being annoying and I could only manage to get a few hundred songs on there, and for some reason, when I put it on shuffle in the morning so I could dance around while I got ready for work (and, let's be honest, so I could sing to my cat), it would play the same handful of songs over and over. It was getting a little monotonous - and whose morning schedule needs MORE monotony? Not mine, that's for sure.

Enter Lori Culwell, author extraordinaire. Note that I said author, not writer, because she is published. Several times. Check it out here, here, and here.

I met Lori while taking a UCLA Extension class, and we bonded over the fact that we both appreciate all the really weird and funny crap that happens around Los Angeles. (More on this later). Anyway, Lori's husband, Stephan (who is a voice-over actor and was on Family Guy once, which makes me want to pee my pants a little), somehow managed to run out of room on his 80G iPod. So after hearing my plight of the full iPod on Facebook they...drum roll please...decided to give it to me. How nice is that?? I loaded it up last night, and while I still have a long way to go to fill all the space, I really appreciated the eclectic mix of songs that were the soundtrack to my morning and Miss Mags really, really enjoyed having Erasure's "Always" sung to her.

Thank you Lori and Stephan!!!

In other Lori news, she has a blog (Funny Strange) that details all the weird and hilarious things that she witnesses around town and she invited me to be a guest blogger! I'm not sure exactly when it will post, but it should be up this week, so head on over there and check out my 15 minutes of fame!

* If you were born in the 90's you may not know it, but Information Superhighway was what they called the Internet before it exploded into what it is today.

** Again, if you were born in the 90's, you probably don't know that alternative music used to be the term for the underground stuff that not many people listened to - Nirvana, Bjork, etc. When those bands became more widely-liked, underground stuff then became Indie, but now Indie is what's popular, so I'm sure another term will be coming soon.

*** I'm starting to feel kind of old.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Blame it on the alcohol.

There's so much to catch you up on - like how I floated down a river and totally bruised my ass or how I went to an awesome concert at the Hollywood Bowl. But I'm a busy woman with lots to do, so I'll just catch you up on one of the highlights of my three day weekend.

So, when I can, I like to take my scooter up to Neptune's Net in Ventura County, have a drink, maybe a burger, and enjoy the view. It's nice to take a break from the grind of commuting for an actual fun ride. The Net is a particularly good destination, partly because it's on PCH, so the ride is beautiful, but also because there are always a ton of other riders on the road. I love to catch up with a group of Harley's and pretend I'm with them.

For some reason there weren't a lot of riders out last Friday, but that didn't matter, because the rider of all riders was out. Picture it - I'm riding south on PCH, enjoying the ocean breeze and trying to cut between cars, when I hear the lovely roar of fellow riders. I expect the usual gang of tatted, bandana-wearing muscle men, with their leather clad women in back. But instead I see her. Hot Chocolate.

I kid you not, this woman has a hot pink Harley, with the words "Hot Chocolate" and a picture of a steaming mug of cocoa emblazoned on the side and back of her bike. And her helmet. I should also mention that her bike was nice enough that it had a radio (or cd player or something) on it that was blaring "Blame it on the a-a-a-a-a-alcohol" for all of Malibu to hear. It. was. awesome.

(Is it racist if I mention here that she was black, which was why the name Hot Chocolate is particularly awesome? Or maybe you already assumed? Does that make you racist? Does it make me a bad writer that I can't think of any other word than awesome to describe what I saw?)

She was the leader of the two-person pack. The other woman had a jean jacket with "Harley Davidson" and the HD eagle bedazzled on the back in rhinestones. Her license plate said 1moride. She was like the sparkly Sancho Panza to Hot Chocolate's Don Quixote.*

I followed them for quite some time, hoping that the awesomeness (again, I apologize, but I'm sorry - it was awesome) of owning a hot pink bike or a HD bedazzled jacket would rub off on me, but sadly, I was all too aware that, despite my posturing, I could never be that bad ass.

You were definitely Born to Ride, Hot Chocolate, and I salute you.

* I have never read Don Quixote, so I'm not exactly sure of the comparison I'm making there, but I thought it sounded good.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

“Bacon, it’s the candy bar of meats!”

Have you ever been on The Innernets and one thing leads you to look up something else which leads you to look at something else which leads you to all sorts of new worlds?

Well, it is one of those kind of mornings. I'd like to introduce you to ...

Bacon Flavored Vodka.

Yes, I said bacon flavored vodka. It makes me really want a Caesar. Or to at least try a sip. I don't know if I could bring myself to buy a whole bottle of it though.

Thumbs up to whomever designed the bottle with that awesome semi-abstract bacon symbol.

Thumbs up to the people who a) even thought to make bacon vodka and b) made it using potatoes.

Thumbs down to calling it Bakon. Too obvious, man.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I'm talking 'bout the man in the mirror

Ok, so there's a lot I could say about the death of Michael Jackson. I could say that he definitely left a dent on the music world and on me as a child of the 80's. I could say that he was weird and I could talk forever about whether I think he actually molested children or not.

But that's not what I want to say.

What I want to say is, "Um...what?"


Did Diana Ross know that MJ wrote her into his will to be the mother of his children if Katherine Jackson couldn't or wouldn't? What kind of random choice is that? Can anyone do that? Like, can I leave my children to Julie Andrews? I don't have any children, but if I did, and if I had a will, I'd totally leave them to Julie Andrews.

The other funny thing is that those were the only two options he left. Doesn't he know that his mom and Diana Ross are both old? Aren't there better options? Maybe Janet? Or Tito? Or hell, almost anyone other than MJ himself or the crazy baby mama (or the aforementioned old people) would be fine.

I take that back, LaToya probably isn't a good choice either.

Also, am I the only one wondering about Joe Jackson's access to the kids if they are with Katherine? Isn't Joe an admitted child abuser?

I leave these confusing questions to you. I have work to do. And by work I mean I need to go write a will leaving my MC Skat Kat tape to President Obama and my underwear to Justin Timberlake.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Forever Your Girl

omg I haven't posted in FOREVER.

I have lots to catch you up on, but for the moment, I want to talk about awesome restaurant names. I came across this one today:

Burgers and Cupcakes

Um, drool.

Another great one is "Burgers and Beer" in Indio. Extra points for it being in the shape of a castle.

View Larger Map

True story - I was in La Quinta (pretty much right near Indio) and I was like, "I really just want a burger and a beer" and I went to a gas station to ask a local where to go and they sent me to Red Robins. The next day I drove past Burgers and Beer and was all, "Are you kidding me? Wouldn't this place be the first place you'd think of when someone says they want 'burgers and beer'?" I was a little disappointed at missing my big opportunity (I mean, come on. Look at the place. You know it has to be awesome inside. Like Medieval Times, but with burgers), but I'm determined to get back to the desert someday and Burgers and Beer will def. be on my agenda.

I have an idea for an all-nacho bar/restaurant (the specialty if which, other than nachos of course, would be my special slushy margaritas) called Nacho Nachos, but the aforementioned restaurants really inspire me to think bigger. Think of the opportunities!

Bacon and Chocolate
Bacon and Mashed Potatoes
Potatoes and Cheese
Whiskey and Ribs
Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup
Beer and Wings

I really need to get in the restaurant business. I'd be, like, a kabillionaire.

P.S. - I would be remiss if I didn't mention Bakesale Betty's in Oakland, CA. The name isn't all that exciting, but they sell fried chicken sandwiches. FRIED CHICKEN SANDWICHES!!! And also, they sell the best strawberry shortcake I've ever had. A shout out to Kyle and Sarah who decided my going there was a must.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

"Building young lives, one dog at a time"

This is my blog, and I'll do what I want with it. So, I'm going to post a fundraising letter, in hopes that you will be moved enough to donate.

Hello Friends,

It’s that time of year again. K9 Connection’s Softball Fundraiser is ON!

I try really hard all year not to solicit funds for too many events, in the hope that I can wrangle up strong support for K9 Connection. I hope you appreciate that and will donate accordingly. J

K9 Connection, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit project of OPCC, brings the magic of dogs and kids together by educating and inspiring high risk youth through bonding with and training homeless shelter dogs in basic obedience and assisting dogs in the development of skills necessary to become adoptable. The program empowers at-risk teenagers to apply the lessons learned to their own lives as they teach the dogs; to develop an awareness of the risks of uncontrolled or impulsive behavior, and to believe in the power of positive reinforcement as an alternative to force and violence. K9 Connection aids teenagers in becoming responsible community members by focusing on goal setting, personal accountability, and personal motivation.

They’ve upped the ante this year and are shooting to raise $25,000 (up from $10,000 last year). It takes $10,000 to run just one of their intensive three-week programs. During each program the teens learn to set and achieve goals for themselves and their dogs, in addition to developing empathy and compassion for others, both human and animal.

Last year, you answered my request, and helped raise almost $2,000 (we blew the other gamers out of the water – I was the top fundraiser! I am keenly aware that this was because of YOUR generous support). I’m hoping that this year we can double that!

Here's what we can do to help this wonderful organization:

  • Donate online through the website at

  • Give me a check (made out to K9 Connection)

  • Mail a check directly to the k9 connection office (1453 16th Street, Santa Monica, CA 90404. Mention me in the memo/notes section so that I get credit for the pledge)

I’m fully aware that the economy isn’t the greatest right now, and that your budget might be very tight. Just remember that any donation, no matter how small, is helpful and greatly appreciated. I find in times of restraint and worry, it’s best to just donate with reckless abandon. It’s good for your heart.

I would also really love some company at the game. It’s a fun day in the park with food and you can bring your (well-behaved, leashed) dog. $20 will get you a "seat" at the game. $100 will get you in the game. Either will get you my undying gratitude. It’s set for June 27th in Cheviot Hills (Rancho) Park (2551 Motor Ave., Los Angeles, CA).

If you don't have the funds now, that's ok - you can still help by spreading the word! Send this email to anyone you think would be interested and please visit to see all the wonderful things they do!


P.S. – If you do donate, please let me know. I want to be able to thank you and keep you updated on the $25,000 goal!


Friday, April 10, 2009

Hoppy Easter!

Happy almost Easter!

In celebration of this, my favourite holiday, here is a picture of a bunny so big it can be seen from space.

View Larger Map

Monday, April 6, 2009

What were they thinking?

I like to play this game sometimes called, "Ummm. What?"

The way you play is you go about your daily life and when something odd catches your eye, you go, "Ummm. What?" take a picture, and then blog about it.

This question of "What?" is usually followed by, "What were they thinking?"

Play with me, will you?

This first picture is from a long time ago. It slowly caught my eye, as I was watching this Barbara Walters special, saw this part, let it keep going, realized what I saw, and then rewound it to take a picture. I give you "Barbara Walters and Miley Cyrus walking a bike with a big basket"


I picture all these well-paid writers sitting around a table, talking about how to lay out the special and someone goes, "I think we should have a shot where, out of nowhere, Barbara and Miley are walking a bike together," and then someone else goes, "Great. Let's go with that." Except let's not go with that. Because it's weird. You know that's not Miley's bike. And it's certainly not Barbara's. And then there's the fact that walking a bike is not a two person job. And why does the bike need to be there at all? Can't they just walk? Did Babs need a walker and this was there sly way of hiding it? I mean, seriously, what were they thinking? I really want to know.

The next picture isn't as clear as I wanted it to be. I should scan it, but my scanner is tucked away in my closet. But, even from the fuzzy picture here, I think it's clear that Office Depot is trying to move their merchandise with promises of free ham.


First of all...ham? Really? WHO EATS HAM? (Other than my nana.) And why is an office supply company trying to give away ham? Why not give away, I don't supplies? I could use some free office supplies. I don't want your ham, whether it's free or not. And then there's the whole phrase "ham certificate" that's just disgusting. In this scenario, I picture an old, fat CEO sitting around a Board meeting going, "Give 'em ham! Everyone loves a free ham!" And also he spits when he talks.

This next pic is my favourite. This comes from tonight's episode of Wheel of Fortune. I don't watch Wheel of Fortune, but I do sometimes watch Jeopardy (I kicked ASS tonight and even got the final Jeopardy question when none of the contestants did). So I was rewinding past Wheel of Fortune (to get to Jeopardy) and I notice that there are 4 contestants at the wheel instead of 3. And one of the 4 was a midget. I'm not gonna lie, my first thought was that maybe they let one team be a regular sized guy and the midget because the midget wouldn't count as a full person. I may go to hell for that, but when you're rewinding and there is no sound, your brain only has so many places to go. Plus I'm kind of mean. Turns out the midget couldn't reach the wheel to spin it, so he brought along his friend as the designated spinner.


I'm wondering here if that was really the best they could do. Isn't it a little degrading that the poor guy had to have a partner? Like, couldn't he just walk up to the wheel to spin? Or maybe they could hook up some sort of device? There had to be better options.

This last one is more of a "Really?" than a "What were they thinking." So, Meat Loaf is a guest on tonight's House. Here's his credit:


Meat Loaf ADAY? Since when did Meat Loaf start using his last name? Was he trying to sound more legit? Dude. You're name is Meat Loaf. There is no legit for you.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Where you bean, Lima?

OMG I haven't posted in so long. That doesn't mean I don't love you, it just means I'm busy. I have some friends coming into town soon and it's taking a while to prepare.

I think next Saturday might end up being the best day of my life though, so stay tuned.

Also, I worked out with Richard Simmons again today and I can smell the BO lifting off of me in waves. Good thing Miss Mags licks her own butthole, or else maybe she'd realize the difference between things that smell good and bad and shun me and I'd have to spend the afternoon cleaning alone.

TTFN, yo.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Leave me alone.

I'm somewhat of a loner. I don't like to answer people's phone calls and texts, I like my Friday nights club free, and I don't really like to date.

Sometimes people will ask me about this, and... well...

I just caught myself singing the Chicken Noodle Soup rap song to the tune of Les Miserable's "Master of the House" with the voice of Kip from Napolean Dynamite.

Why am I a loner? Because I really can't have witnesses to things like that.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Workin' 9 to 5

Tough Economic Times.

The phrase is so overused, it makes me throw up in my mouth a little every time I hear it. None of the alternatives are better. Economic crisis. Financial crisis. Turbulent times. And don’t get me started on the whole “Wall Street/Main Street” thing or I’ll regurgitate all over your face.

You know what else makes me want to throw up? Your resume.

I’ve seen a lot of resumes in my day, but now that we’re in “tough economic times,” I’m seeing even more and from people all over the map. East Coast, West Coast, G.E.D. to Ph.D. And they’re all guilty of some pretty common sense errors.

Maybe you’ve never had a job that didn’t involve handling a deep fryer. Ok, I get it. Maybe you’re fresh out of high school or college. I get that too – school certainly never taught me more than how to be bitter about the education system.

But if you’ve ever had a job that required you to sit behind a desk all day, there is no excuse for some of the nonsense I’ve seen. So come, sit a spell, grab a pencil, and listen up, as I present to you:

Rachel's Resume Tips

I can almost guarantee that if you follow all of these steps, that you’ll at least get a phone interview. Some of these might seem like common sense, but if I’m addressing it here, it’s because I’ve seen it.

Cover Letters

  1. Always write a cover letter. I don’t care if the job announcement asked for one or not. And no, writing “Please accept my resume for the blank job. Thank You, X” in an email does not count.

  2. Do not refer to yourself in third person. It’s creepy.

  3. Make it sound like you really want the job.

  4. Not exactly qualified? Explain what drew you to the position, list the skills that you do have that will be beneficial, and above all, sound passionate. You’d be surprised how often passion can get your foot in the door, even if you’re lacking in some skills.

  5. a. If you’re really not qualified, don’t apply. You're just wasting everybody's time.

  6. Don’t just recite your resume. Highlight and give further details about the most relevant parts.

  7. Is there something odd about your resume? Maybe you have a mysterious three year gap in your employment history, or had a lot of jobs in a short amount of time? Briefly explain it in the cover letter.

  8. Don’t lie. Because when you get called in for an interview and you’re a nightmare, you will be the butt of many jokes in the office for months to come.

  9. Don’t use emoticons.

  10. Don’t say something like, “You’re search has ended, because I am the perfect candidate.” It makes you sound like a d-bag.

  11. Don’t add a signature line. I don’t care if it’s a quote from Jesus Christ himself. This is not an e-mail (even if it’s being sent as an e-mail attachment). Usually I see them from women and it’s something inspirational. I will then assume that you have a Thomas Kinkaide screensaver or that you’re a hippie, and you will be fighting an uphill battle from here on out.

  12. Write a letter that makes it sound like you read the job description, understand what the company is looking for, and have thought about where your skills match what they are looking for.


  1. I was always told that you had to keep your resume to one page. That’s not true. Don’t make it too many though. I start getting weary after page three.

  2. If it is more than one page, make sure the page breaks are placed in such a way that the document flows well. For example, don’t let your page break in the middle of a job description.

  3. The objective and skills sections aren’t as important as your job history. If you include these sections, remember a few things:

  4. a. Don’t put something lame in your objective. If you’re applying to be a professional mud wrestler, don’t put “To be a professional mud wrestler,” or even worse, put in a job that is not the one you’re applying for (don’t laugh, I’ve seen it). Try something like, “To use my athletic talents for the entertainment of others.”

    b. Your energy is better spent explaining your skills underneath the specific job that required them, instead of saying, “I’m awesome at bow hunting” at the beginning. How do I know that you’re good at bow hunting? Because you said so?

  5. If your resume is getting rather crowded or lengthy, you may want to take out some of the descriptions. Make sure to keep the information that is most relevant to the job you are applying to. For instance, if you’re applying to be a veterinarian and you used to work at a circus, you can leave out that you were the champion juggler, but will want to include that you were responsible for wrangling the tigers.

  6. Make sure your resume is easy to read. Make good use of indentations, bullets, bold font, and spacing.

  7. When you are listing your former job responsibilities, make sure your verbs agree. Don’t say, “Conducted controversial scientific experiments…” and then in the next bullet say, “Producing babies with two heads…”

  8. Don’t provide references until the hiring company asks for them.

The Whole Package

  1. PROOF YOUR DOCUMENTS. This means more than running spell check:

  2. a. Although, totally run spell check. Run it every time you change the document. Because if you don’t, and you send me your resume in Word, I can see all the red and green squiggles under words that show me that you didn’t run spell check. And that makes me think you aren’t so excited about this job.

    b. Better yet, when it’s finished, convert it into PDF. No chance of squiggles. You can download a free converter here.

    c. Once you’ve spell checked it, print it out, grab hold of a red pen and read it again. Slowly. Did you right a book or did you write it? Was the test past or passed? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

    d. Once you’ve read it so many times that you’re sick of yourself, have somebody else read and proof it.

    e. Do all your bullet points line up from one page to the next?

    f. Make sure all your documents use the same font.

    g. While we’re on the subject of fonts, don’t go any larger than 12 point, or you’ll look like you’re special needs.



Sending It Out

  1. If you’re sending this via email, put the title of the position you’re applying for in the subject line, unless they specifically ask for something else.

  2. What have you named your document? Try to include your last name, the type of document (cover letter, resume), and the name of the company to which you are applying.

  3. a. Applying to more than one company or type of job? Make sure you change that information when appropriate.

  4. What email address are you sending from? Now would be a good time to switch from to something more professional like

  5. Do you live in Los Angeles? Are you cute? Are you thinking about sending your headshot along, even though this job has nothing to do with acting or modeling? Don’t. It’s creepy.

  6. a. Someday I’ll tell you about Ravi, the magician from Los Vegas with the chest hair and large gold jewelry. I guess that’s what we get for posting on Craigslist.

  7. Don’t hit send yet! Did you include everything they asked for? Did they ask for a salary history or a writing sample? Make sure you include it.

  8. a. If a company asks for something like this, don’t just send a resume and then say, “Salary history available upon request.” Because they did request it. And they probably won’t ask you for it again.

    b. Sometimes people might not want to include a salary history. The cover letter is a good place to mention this. You might say, “I am open to discussing the salary range, and will gladly explore this topic further in an interview.”

For formatting help, try this tutorial or google the problem you’re having.

You can find a cover letter template here and resume templates here.

I hope this helps. Maybe next I’ll write a post about interviews and how you should always send a thank you note. I mean, everyone needs all the help they can get right?

After all, we are in tough economic times.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Hey, wait a minute Mr. Postman...

People that the mail in my mailbox today was addressed to:

1. Resident
2. Ashley Mills (not me)
3. Maggie (my cat)

Taking care of business, everyday.

It's been a while since I posted. Mostly because I've been busy, but also a little because once you've posted about working out with Richard Simmons there isn't really anywhere to go from there. My blog and my life reached it's pinnacle and it's all downhill from here.

I took this past week off, in that I stayed home every night and allowed myself to just chill and not feel bad about all the stuff that I needed to get done. But now it's back to business.

Yesterday was a fun day. I got to wear jeans, a lady from the bank came to talk to us and brought us FREE LUNCH (which translated into FREE DINNER and FREE BREAKFAST. SCORE!!), and I opened up a new account (which will earn me a little money on my checking and give me NO ATM CHARGES, no matter where I am or what bank's machine I'm using. SCORE!), and because I opened the account I got a $20 gas card (SCORE!) and will be able to earn reward points that will basically earn me $200 for free (SCORE!!) and then my friend Mason told me he gets to use an art studio for a while (Mason is totally awesome and will be famous someday and you should go check out his art: and he's going to use the studio to make the paintings I'm commissioning from him. SCORE!!).

All of that put me in a pretty good mood, so I decided it was time to pick up my responsibilities and smack them around a 'em who's boss. So I finished a book, mopped my floor, did my dishes, cleaned my scooter, cleaned the trash out of my car, and wrote an outline for a website. Still to come: grocery store, laundry, and more cleaning. I am totally going to pwn more chores and tomorrow...smooth sailing. Tomorrow is whatever I want to do. Woohoo!

Yeah, this is pretty much an extremely boring post, but first of all, it's exciting to me because I'm actually getting shit done and second, I told you it was all down hill after Richard.

Did I mention I bought his Supersweatin' Party Off the Pounds DVD, and that it should be arriving soon? I'm stoked.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Sweatin' to the Oldies

I'm not quite sure how I'm supposed to accurately describe what happened this morning. I just don't think I can do it justice. But hopefully, you'll read this post and be inspired to do this yourself. Only then can you understand the fun, the excitement, the hilarity...

...of working out with Richard Simmons.

It turns out Richard teaches aerobics classes (called "Sweat" class) in Beverly Hills three times a week. I don't know why there aren't billboards advertising this and spotlights shining and parades going by. I don't know why there isn't a wait list to get in the class. He's a legend to anyone who spent time in the 1980's. After the class, my friend Ari and I were driving on Melrose and we saw a slew of paparazzi and fans at Kitson for Nicole Ritchie. Ari goes, "Really? All of this for Nicole Ritchie? We saw Richard Simmons today!!" My thoughts exactly. How can you stand in line for Nicole Ritchie and not get excited for Richard Simmons? This studio is the best kept secret in LA.

According to his website, Richard was moved by an experience he had in the 70's when an overweight woman was denied access to a gym. Their excuse was insurance risk, but basically, she wasn't hot enough to work out in their fancy LA gym. Richard was indignant and said to the woman, "I saw what happened inside, Ma'am, and it just was NOT right! Here's my card. I intend to open my own exercise studio, and, I promise, you will be welcome there, any time!" And so was born Slimmons.


In case you maybe got dropped on your head when you were a baby and can't figure out why the studio is called Slimmons, Richard kindly spells it out for us (um, literally) on his site: "I took my own last name, "Simmons," and added the "L" to make "Slimmons."


Here's where the description is going to get kind of dodgy. It's impossible to explain his energy. I walked in, early, as I thought I might make a trip to the bathroom before we started. Unfortunately, everyone else had that idea too, so I was waiting in line, trying to be respectful of the class he had before the Sweat class I was going to (it was a discussion class - they were all sitting on the floor taking about being positive and such), when he stands up and yells, "Let's sweat!!"

Just at that moment the disco ball started (did I mention there's a disco ball?), the doors opened, people flooded in, and Britney Spears' "Circus" started pumping through the speakers.

Circus indeed.

A girls dance troupe had come from out of town, so it was me and my friends, several older women (one lady had to be in her 70's), some skinny people, some heavier people, a smattering of men, and a bunch of these young dance girls in turquoise shirts.

There was no welcome, no introduction, no agenda laid out. We all just scrambled for a spot and started doing grapevines with Richard Simmons.

It. was. awesome.

I was about to describe all the fun dance moves and laughing and singing, but I just remembered I never mentioned that he was wearing short shorts and a tank top with a glittering bird on it.


I think it's important that you get the visual. Packed room, turquoised children, heavy older women, disco ball, glitter. Got it?

Ok. So we're grapevining, and walking like Egyptians, and clapping, and jumping invisible rope, and there are arms everywhere, and we're stretching and bumping into strangers, and all of the sudden the whole room is singing along to "Michael Row the Boat Ashore" and we're crossing ourselves, and Richard is telling us to do it pretty or he'll turn off the lights and close the doors and make us play Anne Frank, and by this time it's pretty clear he has a crush on my friend Ari, and then we all get in a circle and Richard starts pulling people out to do dances down the center, and he starts "Love shack" over again because we were working out too hard to sing it well and he thought it was insulting to the B-52s, and then there's a scramble for weights and we were toning and then we're on our backs thrusting into the air and doing push-ups and we're sweating and sweating and sweating...

I've never had so much fun. My friend Ari said it best, "I had a smile on my face the entire time."

It was outlandish and crazy and everything someone who is averse to working out needs. I have to give props to Mr. Simmons for the energy and heart he puts into helping making other people healthy. He is truly something special.

Class is over at this point, but then he sits us all down so we can watch the dance troupe that came do a routine based on Richard Simmons. Here's a picture of Richard watching the dance-girl Richard:


We clapped and cheered and Richard told us he loved us and would stay for pictures. Which, of course, we got:


We thanked him and he thanked us and I was trying to tell him how amazing the class was (I have never ever before enjoyed working out and I have the belly to prove it and it was really nice to exercise and have a fun time and get cheered on), but he was busy talking to Ari and telling him to come back or it would break his heart because he had a crush on him. (I knew it!)

Honestly, it was the best $12 I ever spent.

I'm totally having my birthday party there.


Thursday, March 5, 2009

You're kneeing your muffin!

I just wanted to take a moment to say that there were donut holes at work today and I didn't touch them.

I was at work for ten hours. All I had was a cheese stick, a tuna sandwich, and some popcorn. And I didn't touch the donut holes.

Yeah for Lenten will power. I better be getting some sort of Jesus points for this.

I had more to say, and I was going to try to make it funny, but really, it was an extremely long and brain zapping day. Right now I feel like yelling, "I give up!" and heading for the hills.

You know, sometimes I wish I was retarded. And I say retarded not to be offensive, but because it's one of my favourite words, and it makes me happy. So there you have it. I probably lost some Jesus points for that. Anyway, I feel like if I were retarded I could get in on some of that "ignorance is bliss" business I hear so much about and I could get someone to take care of me and maybe wipe my ass if I was tired. Because right now, I'm just smart enough to know how dumb I am, and it really puts a damper on things.

I wouldn't mind being a genius either, but I couldn't get anyone to take responsibility for me if I were a genius. I'd just have to do people's taxes and answer annoying questions, I bet. I guess I'm saying that I'm overwhelmed, and today I would have liked to have not been me. But tomorrow is a new day, and maybe I'll make it through without feeling like a hamster on a wheel.

Because I can't entertain you, I'll leave you with this video of Ralphie May (who I always find entertaining) that has some relevance to this post.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Desperately Seeking Focus.

I'd like to go to bed.

But I can't.

I'm just too busy. I've been positively swamped this whole week. Work has been nuts and it seems my personal life is even nuttier. Sometimes when things get too overwhelming I like to do as Thoreau said and "simplify, simplify." I find that notes help. I think through my tasks and write them down. Then I don't have to spend energy remembering them and it helps me to prioritize.

Because this is my blog (which means I can do whatever I want with it), and because pretty much no one reads it, I'm going to take a moment to list the accomplishments of my week and also jot down some tasks that I have yet to finish. Maybe this will help me focus.

1. Plan a weekend workout with Richard Simmons. Place, time, group. All this coordinating that needs to be done!

2. Plan a costume to wear to "Purim in the Chood." Purim (which is Monday) is a Jewish festival that requires you to dress up and drink yourself into a stupor that makes it impossible to tell your friends from your enemies. I want it to involve glitter and be somewhat offensive. The costume, not the drinking. I'm not sure how to make drinking glittery and offensive.

3. Create a cubed Barack Obama.

4. Learn how to say "I eat dead babies" in Korean.

5. Learn a new pick up line (that would TOTALLY work on me, btw): "I like pudding. Can I get your number?"

6. Send video facebook messages with my new computer that allows me to speak in a deep voice and turn into a werewolf.

7. Download Open Office and Foxit Reader, as well as iTunes and Mozilla Firefox, to my aforementioned new computer.

8. Spend some quality time with my bff Miss Mags, who I haven't had much time with lately.

9. Clean up Miss Mags' hairball barfs from my bed (which she's done twice this week).

UPDATE: three times

10. Join to get my finances in order.

11. Learn a new joke! "What's a pirate's favourite letter?" "Q. Because it has a pegleg."

12. Play with utensils made from corn, and marvel at it's ability to bend, be a utensil, a fuel, AND a delicious side dish.

13. Decide if I want to take on a labour-intensive project that could help my old camp make a lot of money.

14. Revel in the fact that my space bar works.

And it's only WEDNESDAY!

So, as you can see, I've been bogged down with really important things lately, which has kept me from other important things like focusing on my Lenten goals (although I haven't eaten any dessert or overt sugars) and writing in my blog.

I really need to get it together.


Monday, March 2, 2009

To the Culver City Ralph's.

Billy Joel's Downeaster Alexa? Really?

You might consider investing in a different musak company.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Los Angeles, I'm yours.

LA gets a bad rap. I've always loved this town. Yeah, it's filled with weirdos and freaks, but really, what town isn't? We're just a little more honest about it.

I was in Beverly Hills this morning and decided to take the long way home, since it was such a nice day. I thought about maybe just doing a few loops around the residential streets to see if I could find the grandma statue. (I'll find it again one day and post about it, but I think I've already mentioned that residents of Bev. Hills have odd taste in art.) But instead decided it had been much too long since I'd gone down the PCH, so I drove up to Sunset Blvd. to the PCH to get home. Along the way I was thinking about how much I love it here and just kind of falling in love all over again. So I decided to come here and present to you:

Reasons I love Los Angeles (the long way home version):

1. Sunset Blvd to the PCH smells like flowers.

2. There are motorcyclists everywhere (because the weather is AWESOME) and if you're part of the brotherhood (like I am, even though I just have a scooter, albeit a bad ass scooter) you can give and get the special motorcyclists wave while you drive, so you feel like you're a part of something bigger.

3. When you get close enough to the ocean, you can tell its there even if you can't see it, because the wind gets a little colder and you can start to smell the salt in the air.

4. People practice driving (riding?) their Segways in beach parking lots.

5. People actually own Segways. I mean, wtf is that about? Silly Angelenos!

6. The city is big enough that you can get wrapped up in your own neighbourhood and then you're driving one day and you're all, "Omg - Pacific Palisades! I forgot this was here. So pretty!"

7. You can drive down the highway and it's 80 degrees and you look up and there are snow-capped mountains.

8. You can actually go and play in that snow and then drive around in the 80 degree weather the very next day, like I did this weekend.

9. Douchebags drive around in cars that are low to the ground and are really loud, and it's like someone with a bull horn yelling, "Douchebag here!" and you can laugh at them.

10. Did I mention that the weather is AWESOME?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


It's amazing what sick days can bring about.

Do you remember the days before the internet, where when you saw something, you really had to take it in, because you'd never see it again? Well, despite my youthful looks, I grew up without the internet (or a cell phone, or DVDs, or plasma screens, get the point). So when I saw something I really liked, it was always bitter sweet, because I knew I'd never get the moment back.

And then Al Gore invented the internet.

Now you can relive virtually anything, virtually. (ha! See what I did there? With the English?) Ten seconds after something airs on tv you can find it on YouTube. When YouTube first started I used to search for some hilarious things I had seen, but, it takes time for the global community to upload every inane piece of useless crap, and the stuff I was looking for was particularly inane and useless. And then, you know, I got a social life and a job and years passed and I kind of stopped looking. I was moderately satisfied - having found Daft Punk's "Around the World" video that I had wanted to see again since seeing it on MTV2 back in the day and after finding Phil Collins "Land of Confusion" which I'd been dying to see again since I had this conversation:

Me: Do you remember that video? There were, I dunno, dolls or something? And Ronald Reagan was there? And a gorilla?
Matt: You made that up.

But there were some things I thought were destined to stay a memory.

But then I called in sick to work today and a soap opera star called Mason and I didn't really have anything to do and the planets aligned and I restarted my search and was, like, filled with joy - filled - because I found the crap I've been looking for for 10 years! Some of it's still missing - but I'm determined to renew my search with vigor.

So now I present to you: Stuff I Think Is Hilarious That I Thought I'd Never See Again.

1. The Days of Our Lives episode where Austin is in the Garden of Eden and someone is in a snake suit.

I followed Days randomly during 8th grade and then off and on for a year or two after that. Enough to know who the characters were for a while. I have this memory of being in the dorms freshman year of college and someone was watching Days and they called me in because they couldn't believe how ridiculous it was. I agreed, and laughed until I cried.

I seem to remember some guy floating into the scene in a bubble (like a soap bubble), but I couldn't find that part.

2. The episode of the Tellytubbies where they do the boom boom dance.

I think this episode is where my love of the Tellytubbies truly gelled. I was up early one morning because I had torn all the ligaments in my foot and it made everything uncomfortable so I couldn't sleep. I turned on the Tellytubbies as I oft did at the time (what can I say - I'm mesmorized by them) and I saw this episode...and laughed until I cried.

It starts out like all Tellytubbies episodes do. They run to the top of a hill because a pinwheel told them to and their stomachs light up and one of them shows a short tv clip on their belly. This day it was a group of kids in Africa doing the boom boom dance, as you can see here:

They always show it twice, and then the rest of the episode is usually the quartet doing something similar to what they watched in the video. In this case, the boom boom dance.

Now, the Tellytubbies are funny enough because they are built like babies and they have those huge butts and sweet faces. And when they dance, it's even funnier. But they usually do some sort of weird line dance or La La does ballet or something. But in this case, they must have watched Step Up first, because they are booty dancing. Like a ghetto girl in a club. Seriously - watch La La and Po and see how many times they just turn around and head ass first for the camera:


The best one is one I still can't find. I think it was Dipsy (but it could have been Tinky Winky) that does this dance, straight out of 1980's Harlem. He does this dance that's basically full-body vibration. HYS.TERICAL.

Now this last one I almost didn't add, because I couldn't find exactly what I was looking for. Or even close. I was looking specifically for:

3. The episode of Passions where Timmy is in the Norma Bates Hotel and there are cat shadows everywhere,


4. The episode of Passions (possibly the same episode - I don't think I ever watched Passions more than once) where this girl is in hell in her closet and she's just like waving non-chalantly side-to-side going, "Heeeelp."

What I did find was a clip of the witch Hecuba putting Charity (the aforementioned girl) in hell. Which is funny, yes, but what is funnier is that someone (looks like someone from Russia maybe, based on the captioning) videotaped the clip from their tv that barely has a signal. I'm picturing some guy in Siberia in a room with nothing but a bottle of vodka, a tv, a video camera, and the computer capability to upload stuff to YouTube, who was either bored into mental illness or was mentally ill to start with. I was squinting through the fuzz, trying to visualize the hell in the closet, when I realized how shitty the reception was and was like, "Who recorded this? And then uploaded it? And for God's sake WHY?" I think you'll agree that it's pretty funny:

Ok, correction. This isn't the one with the Russion captioning. That was a different really-fuzzy-recorded-by-holding-a-camera-in-front-of-a-television clip of Passions. It's super ridiculous too, because, like, what the hell is going on here? And why is Jabba the Hut on Passions?

I wish I had more sick days. I'm almost positive I could find clips from Short Circuit or the Monchichis or probably even Flight of the Navigator in its entirety. And maybe, just maybe, I could find that show where there's this koala and a hunter who chases him, but the hunter can never get the koala because the koala disappears into thin air like it's no big thing and just chews on eucalyptus leaves, chillaxin, while the hunter gets all upset.