Wednesday, September 27, 2006
"Prompter Queen" the former VJ, related this story to me the other night over some beloved cheap Chardonnay:
"I used to be an expert TelePrompter. I could cut the scripts, place them on that conveyer belt with one hand, scroll with the other and keep my co-workers entertained with my spirited singing during commercial breaks. No one could top me.
Well, the time came for my interview for the giant leap into Feeds. I was nervous, but I answered Joe Kinstle and Julie Gooch's questions as clearly and calmly as possible.
But then they asked me:
'Why do you think you deserve to be promoted to Feeds?'
It struck me as such a weird question.
Why does anyone deserve to be promoted to some dark crevice where you push play and record?
So I said, 'Well, I've really mastered all the VJ skills.'
'What separates your skills from other people's skills?' Joe asked.
Trying to make light of this question, being that VJ skills seemed so menial, I cracked a smile and said,
'I sing while I TelePrompt.'
Without smiling, Julie asked 'What do you sing?'
So I broke into 'Rollin', Rollin', Rollin' on a prompter...bah-bah-bah-bah bah bah!'
They did not laugh.
And I did not get promoted."
Friday, September 22, 2006
While I suspect the late night talk show hosts have already picked this story down to the bone (so to speak) I feel compelled to tell you about this important news item I found while trolling the Reuters wires at work:
PENIS TRANSPLANT REVERSED AFTER TWO WEEKS
Surgeons in China who said they performed the first successful penis transplant had to remove the donated organ because of the severe psychological problems it caused to the recipient and his wife. Dr Weilie Hu and surgeons at Guangzhou General Hospital in China performed the complex 15-hour surgery on a 44-year old man whose penis had been damaged in a traumatic accident.
The microsurgery to attach the penis, which had been donated by the parents of a 22-year-old brain-dead man, was successful but Hu and his team removed it two weeks later.
"Because of a severe psychological problem of the recipient and his wife, the transplanted penis regretfully had to be cut off,' Hu said in a report published online by the peer reviewed journal European Urology, without elaborating.
"This is the first reported case of penile transplantation in a human," Hu added.
Both the man and his wife had requested the surgery. He had been unable to have intercourse or urinate properly since the accident that occurred 8 months before the surgery was performed. There had been no signs of the 10-centimetre (4-inch) organ being rejected by the recipient's body. But Hu said more cases and longer observation are needed to determine whether sexual sensation and function can be restored.
"The patient finally decided to give up the treatment because of the wife's psychological rejection, as well as the swollen shape of the transplanted penis" Hu added.
Okay. Wow. Where do I begin on this one? How about:
-I want the back story. This man's penis was damaged in a "traumatic accident". Did it involve rabid squirrels? Running with scissors? Roasting marshmallows on a camping trip? Seriously, a public service announcement is in order.
-This transplanted penis was donated by the parents of a 22-year-old brain dead man. The obvious joke is that this gives new meaning to having an "organ donor card". Also, who the hell are these parents? Isn't this over-stepping parental boundaries? What happens if by some miracle of science, he wakes up from his brain dead state, only to find that he's a fucking Ken doll?
-A 4-inch penis? The reason this kid is brain dead is from beating his head against the wall over the tragedy of having a 4-inch penis.
-The wife "psychologically rejected" the penis. I also imagine she physically rejected it, otherwise he wouldn't have had it lopped off.
But how in the hell could anyone get excited about the prospect of going down on a four-inch penis from a 22-year-old brain dead man that had been surgically re-attached to your husband?
-Where is this penis now? Did they freeze it for other possible penis transplants in the future? Or did they just throw it in the trash with the McDonald's wrappers and moldy bok choy?
Clearly, a follow up story is needed on this one.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
The other day I was cleaning out my closet, and came across one of those big boxes filled with mysterious shit, all jumbled together from various stages of your life: cards from ex-boyfriends, concert tickets, gag gifts from Spencers and the like. Toward the end of my search in the depths of this time capsule, I found a small white box. Written across the top in purple lettering were the words TACKY FINGER.
I was perplexed.
For some bizarre reason, I had stolen a box of Tacky Finger, the gloop we used to facilitate script ripping at CNN. This was back before laser jet printers, when the scripts had carbons between them, and were color coded. Directors and anchors would get miffed if they got the wrong color. I don't remember who got which colors. But back then, giving someone pink when they were used to yellow was a grave, punishable error.
The point is, I stole a box of Tacky Finger from my employer sometime in the late 1990's.
Then I traveled with it across the country.
From state to state, apartment to apartment.
And no, I haven't thrown it out yet.
Friday, September 15, 2006
I'm not really sure why, but there are certain commonalities between tech staff in newsrooms across the country. Before going any further, lest I piss off the lone tech person who might possibly be reading this blog, I am a tech person. So this post is kind of like how you can call your boyfriend or husband an asshole but no one else can.
I'm not talking about the obvious things:
-propensity for wearing ill-fitting, over-washed concert t-shirts and bad jeans
-pasty skin, vaguely green from too much time logged on a computer
-hairy palms from furious masturbating to the sexy femmes in their Anime collections
-peculiar nicknames like Bumpy, Planet, Stretch or "The Skipper"
No, what I'm talking about here is how just about every single tech person I've ever encountered can:
-recite entire scenes from any given Monty Python movie, and will laugh hysterically at any mention of "The Knights who say Ni!"
-recite the "X Files" and "Buffy The Vampire" episodes by date and title
-recite names of writers who worked on "The Simpsons" and where they went to school. (This is often followed up by a rubbing of the hands, Mr. Burns-style)
And while they all make fun of the on air talent, snickering at their cruel wit, they usually get tongue tied and giddy whenever one of these on air people even looks in their direction.
This, I suspect is due to the great divide between the technical and on-air staff: The techies usually think the on-air people are stupid and shallow, and the on-air people usually think the techies are troglodytes who push buttons. They will occasionally refer to the techies as "their colleagues" but they don't really mean it.
The techies often want to fuck the on-air types, but that desire is not a two-way street. It's more like the cul-de-sac mom's house is on, where too much time is spent in the basement, masturbating to the sexy femmes of an Anime collection.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Atlanta is a rather large city with a variety of drinking establishments, right?
So why is it that every single time I went out, no matter where I went out, I ran into CNN co-workers?
I know that "Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name..."
But sometimes you just want to NOT see the same mother fuckers you work with everyday.
I tried achieve this dream by going to many different kinds of bars. I tried odious 70's theme bars like Car Wash, stupid sports bars like Bats and Balls and those ubiquitous martini bars like Leopard Lounge. And actually, at that bar I was so drunk once that when one rotund co-worker came in, I squeezed his breasts. I don't think he cared for it much.
Obviously, there was one bar that you stayed away from if you were incapable of facing hordes of CNNers. The Highland Tap. This is a cavernous, Flintstone looking bar that would actually be very cool. Except it was constantly infested with CNNers. Yes, it was a rare day indeed at CNN when you did not hear the refrain of "Let's meet at The Tap." This was always met with a chorus of "Oh I LOVE that place!"
People would get all excited about this prospect, like it was some new kind of thrilling adventure; practically falling out of their ergonomically correct furniture about the mere possibility of swilling down a lite beer after work in some windowless place with the same dull co-workers they looked at day in and day out.
There was only one time that seeing a co-worker at a bar worked in my benefit.
I was out with a friend at a dismal dance club, drinking one too many Long Island Ice Teas. This friend went scouting around the room by himself for hot men. I was left alone, dizzy and perched precariously on a bar stool.
Not sure what happened, but I fell off the bar stool, and managed to bust my chin open on something sharp. When I came to, a CNN co-worker was shaking me saying
"We've got to get you to Piedmont Hospital."
We zoomed off, my chin beeding into a pile of cocktail napkins.
He stayed with me for three hours, waiting for the plastic surgeon, and then held my hand as six stitches were sewed into my chin.
A couple weeks later when they came out, I gave three of them to a friend. The other three I taped into the thank you card for my knight in shining armor, whom I dated for the next couple of years.
Last I heard, they both still have my stitches.
Thursday, September 07, 2006
I'm posting this photo for the glorious former VJ now known as "J"
Otherwise known as VJHoolia Goolia.
If you're still confused, consult the comments section for the Labor Day VJ Toast Post.
I'm posting this photo for anyone who ever had to answer to a rather mild-mannered guy named FLOYD YARMUTH.
You know how some names would never sound right over a loud speaker in an emergency room:
"Paging Dr. Yoakam. Paging Dr. Dwight Yoakam."
Or some names just don't work in certain scenarios:
"And representing the Prosecution for the State of New York- Mr. Billy Bob Thornton."
This is the opposite. Never have a mother and father named a kid more perfectly for middle management.
It's almost as if they knew his professional fate the second he took his first breath.
There's a sense of destiny in a name like that.
That's the name of a man born to push CNN peons around, and wear well-pressed Dockers while doing it.
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Like many companies, CNN offered up a gym for its employees at a reasonable rate. Many employees were excited about it. How great, how convenient that you could cart all your gym shit to work in a duffle bag, work out, shower, put your sweaty gym shit back in the duffle bag and then take your place at the audio board, switcher or satellite operations area.
Me, I knew better. I never once set foot in there.
Because the ugly truth about workplace gyms is this:
Unless you work for Playboy enterprises, nobody wants to see their co-workers naked.
Nobody wants to bear witness to their naked co-workers weighing themselves, rubbing their balls, re-arranging their pubic hair and then return to work and sit next to them in the newsroom. It's hard to take your boss seriously when you know the answer to the boxers or briefs question first hand. Especially when the answer is briefs. Especially if they're purple.
Worse, I had a friend tell me not only did you see all your co-workers at their most vulnerable but,
"You never get to see who you want to see naked. It's always just some tired old cooches you don't want to look at."
Another friend didn't understand why I had such a problem with the prospect of seeing co-workers in various states of undress...until he saw one naked co-worker in particular. This co-worker was a stout, short, fat, balding man. So one afternoon this friend of mine was getting dressed in the locker room, minding his own business. He was suddenly panic stricken when he saw this flabby yet jovial co-worker strutting around in the dick-swinging buff; oblivious to the way in which his natural state accosted every eyeball in the room. This affable chappie was talking to people, laughing, telling jokes like he was at a church picnic.
My friend hot-footed it out of that locker room and said,
"I couldn't believe it. He looked like a naked Ziggy cartoon."
Monday, September 04, 2006
In honor of Labor Day, today's post is for all the current VJ's out there toiling away.
If you were just yelled at for scrolling the TelePrompter too fast or too slow, chided for not taking enough initiative, scolded for not putting the mic on a guest properly, bruised from moving a set, covered in stench from wiping someone's ass, here's to you. Someday you'll be promoted and it will all be over.
Hopefully the experience won't turn you into someone dorky enough to blog about it several years later...