Monday, April 30, 2007
I love maintaining this blog, mostly because of the remarkable readers it attracts.
Show me another blog on the entire World Wide Web that would inspire a concerned Good Samaritan to send in a beautiful picture like the one above.
Take THAT Perez Hilton!
In response to the jarringly ugly Lone Pube sketch I drew last week, a gentle soul sent me this amazing work of art with the inscription:
"Seeing as to how your drawing caused some anguish, I decided it was only proper to provide a 'real' image of the mysterious ringlet.
I give you the artist's rendition of 'The Lone Pube.' Note: Beer not to scale."
Thank you Lone Pube Artist. You know who you are. Your work soothes weary eyes and provides a sense of calm to the tired, over-worked masses.
A thousand blessings to you for sharing your sweet, sweet talent.
Friday, April 27, 2007
Let's file this under, "You learn something new every day."
I just read this revelation on the AP News Wires:
TWO MEN ADMIT TRAFFICKING SPERM WHALE TEETH
"The former director of a whaling museum and an antiques dealer pleaded guilty Thursday to illegally importing hundreds of sperm whale teeth from England and selling them to U.S. merchants.
Lewis Eisenberg, 61, the former director of The Whalers Village Museum in Lahaina, Hawaii, bought many of the teeth and resold them to collectors of scrimshaw, an art form in which designs are etched into whale bone. Eisenberg, of Oak Harbor, Wash., sold teeth he got from antiques trader Martin Schneider for more than $45,000.
Schneider, 60, of Blue Bell, Pa., got the teeth of the endangered whale in Britain and smuggled them into the country by hiding them among other goods he was importing. Prosecutors said he sold a total of $500,000 worth of teeth from 1995 to 2005.
Wildlife smuggling is a multibillion-dollar illegal industry. Federal officials describe it as the second-largest black market, behind only narcotics."
Now, I am really in shock over this issue, for a variety of reasons:
1.) Oak Harbor is on the Northern end of Whidbey Island. I was raised on the Southern end of Whidbey, and we never had much cause to go to Oak Harbor. Now you know why. There are evil sperm whale teeth traffickers lurking up there.
2.) Sperm is a funny word.
3.) I cannot believe that sperm whale teeth and crack comprise the biggest black markets. How is this even possible? In all these years, the media focus has only been on the threat of drug abuse. No one, not even Connie Chung has ever mentioned black market sperm whale teeth. Doesn't anyone care about our nation's children? Why didn't Nancy Reagan tailor her "Just Say No" speech to include this crippling scourge?
This has all the makings of an Anderson Cooper 60 Minutes expose.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
While this blog is generally a useless montage of crass fart jokes, Dockers insults, pubic hair sightings, Bigfoot tracking, stories of masturbating tresspassers, bad ass fuckin' turkeys and VJ shame, we did manage to do something worthwhile. I received another e-mail from my favorite student at the University of Michigan. He said thanks for all your input on the VJ program. Moreover, he's going to give it a shot! We've managed to convince him, despite our bitching and wacky, humiliating memories, to apply for CNN peonhood. I think applause is in order. You've helped inspire someone to head to Atlanta, don those uncomfortable head sets, risk paper cuts while delivering scripts, scrape by on whatever shitty salary they're offering now and enter into the big, crazy world of the original Cable News Network.
Buried at the end of "The Peon Life: Calling All Advisors" responses, he also asked if any of you knew any CNN recruiters. Naturally, someone responded that the only recruiter they knew was Roz, but she had left. I told him I was pretty sure it is an online process. But if anyone has any other ideas, please post 'em.
You might as well take this opportunity to do something useful on this blog. It is probably the very last time it will happen.
Today you can help a bright young man on his career path.
Tomorrow, it's back to the meaningless crap you've come to expect here on Peon Confidential.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
A few posts back, I asked anyone who had encountered The Lone Pube in an unexpected place to send a photo or draw a lovely sketch and send it in for all to admire.
Well, I just checked my e-mail account and found this:
"I saw the lone pube last night. And you're right----it was just one. I guess pubic hair does not like to travel in packs.
Basically, I went up to the bar to get more beer for me and my friend. When I came back and set the beer down, my friend started downing his right away. He likes to handle his beer like he's worried someone will steal it. Then I looked at the table and I saw it---the lone pube---sitting next to my beer. I have no idea whose pube it was. All I know is that I have experienced the mystery of the lone pube first hand."
While this is a stellar example of The Lone Pube phenomenon, this tipster did not include photographic or artistic evidence. So I had to take matters into my own hands. See the sketch above, in which I have rendered an approximation of this Lone Pube sighting.
However, in order to avoid similarly incompetent, unskilled and downright unattractive sketches in the future, please include visuals with your Lone Pube descriptions. Seriously. Look at that sketch. Do you really want to see ugly shit like that again?
I thought not.
Whomever wrote the second response on the Larry King mugshot post: kudos!
You made me laugh until I started making weird pig noises.
More importantly though, you should be commended for your noble deed: keeping the Roz flame alive!
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Monday, April 23, 2007
A much-celebrated CNN talking head has a sullen moment Thursday night during commercial break. He admits to being lonely. The crew is stunned, so they start joking around with him to cheer him up...and offer to take him to Scores Gentleman's Club.
This talking head replies, "Scores? What do they have there, whores? I don't like loose women."
The crew assures him there are no whores there, but he could get a lap dance.
But this offer doesn't entice him either. Just before going back on air he makes it clear: he doesn't like lap dances, or loose women...He prefers bisexual women.
Friday, April 20, 2007
This is so exciting, I can scarcely take it. Honestly, I am grinning like a buffoon as my stubby fingers clack away on this keyboard.
A CNN Atlanta spy sent me an e-mail that simply stated:
"Someone was kind enough to load this into Read-Me again today."
Within that e-mail was the unadulterated version of a 1998 classic known as...
The Roz Files.
Previously, I only had the condensed version. I must have printed it out before it reached its full, delicious fruition.
This spy also told me (and I fucking LOVE this) that whenever there is a "Read-Me bitch session" now, someone always adds:
"What would Roz do?"
Now, brace yourselves. This version of The Roz Files is messy, wild and wooly. People just randomly inserted various comments into different paragraphs, and the grammar is willy nilly.
It's not for the faint of heart.
And I'm only cleaning it up a bit. Just enough to make it legible for any non-CNNers who read this blog. I took out some of the entries that had been published in the previous Roz Files too. And to anyone who doesn't know about Roz, let's just say she was a Hard News Cafe legend. All tales of Roz should be cherished, preserved and passed down to the next generation.
So here it is--The ROZ FILES, part 2--ready for your enjoyment:
A PETITION HAS BEEN STARTED - IF YOU WANT TO SIGN, MESSAGE...
*** BUT DON'T MESSAGE IF you are going to be mean***
Thanks to all who support our fellow employee.
Roz was a nice person. She had a different sense of humor and she will be missed.
All we have now is employees who sit at the food tables and ask us what we want from there...they like an invitation to the food line so they can serve!!! Never seen anything like it...I feel like I am disturbing their fun!
The food is terrible, prices are getting worse. And the Marriott staff act like they are doing us a favor. They all have an attitude with a mean streak, and can't wait to charge us for utensils and empty cups...
If this is what you like then this is a chat room...
BUT IT IS NOT A JOKE YOU GUYS...I WOULDN'T MIND SEEING THE OLD HARD NEWS BACK...it is truly an unpleasant trip to the cafe when I have to go!
Whatever happend to Stony & his 40 Watt hotdogs @ the old SideDish @ Techwood? Now *there* was a petition worthy dude!
WHO BROUGHT THE COOL GUY??????....
---This File was Started because a few people "Cared." Many people put childish comments in here and that in itself is "UNPROFESSIOnAL."
You should keep your negative comments to yourself. YOU are not the Professionals I thought I worked with.
YOU are such a professional that you have time to start a petition about someone that no one cares about ever seeing again in their life.
No--this file was started because one person was so self-righteous, out of touch, & sanctimonius as to be unable to accept a simple, inconsequential fact of life, & instead try to overblow it into some pseudo cause we should all rally 'round.
Give it a rest, Evita...
LIGHTEN UP....THIS IS FUNNY!!!!!!
WE DONT WANT ANYONE TO HAVE FUN HERE.
IF THERE IS ANYONE OUT THERE WHO FEELS AS I DO, THAT THIS IS UNFAIR TREATMENT OF A LONG-TERM, DEDICATED, HARDWORKING EMPLOYEE, MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD. THEY SENT THE SURVEYS BECAUSE THEY WANT FEEDBACK. WELL I SAY GIVE THEM FEEDBACK, AND GIVE IT OUT LOUD!
Where does one get a survey to complain about this? who is the manager of Hard News so i can complain directly?!
I WAS TOLD TO WRITE A LETTER TO ALEX FRASER OR ROBERT FLINN WITH TURNER PROPERTIES- THEY ARE THE ONES WHO ARE IN CHARGE OF THE MARRIOT AND HARD NEWS.
AND LETTERS ARE USUALLY THE MOST EFFECTIVE.
I THINK A PETITION MIGHT BE EFFECTIVE, AND MAYBE EASIER THAN INDIVIDUAL LETTERS.
do we have a little too much time on our hands?????????
FUNNY, THAT WHEN SOMEONE TAKES A SECOND TO NOTE WHEN AN EMPLOYEE AND FRIEND OF LONG STANDING DEPARTS, PARTICULARY IF IT IS AGAINST HER WILL, THERE ARE THOSE WHO COMPLAIN ABOUT IT (AS JUST ABOVE). ROZ WAS AN ECLECTIC AND WARMHEARTED FREIND OF MANY OF US AND HER REMOVAL IS JUST ONE MORE EXAMPLE OF THE RAW DEAL WE EMPLOYEES GOT FROM THE NEW MANAGEMENT AT THE CAFE. SHE WILL BE MISSED; THEY WILL NOT.
I agree with the above statement. Rosalyn is always friendly and funny. I hear her greet almost every Hard News Cafe patron by name each day and she is always genuinely interested in how they are doing.
-----NO ONE spit in the food with more style!----
All I ever heard out of her was when she would sarcastically read back what you bought and how much it cost! I'm sure she received SEVERAL complaints against her for THAT.
You know, I've heard a lot of complaints about the attitudes of the workers in the Hard News, but I personally have never had a problem.
I suspect the workers reflect back to the patrons the attitudes the patrons bring in.
And I suspect the State Department is chock fulla COMMUNISTS!
WELL, HERE'S AN ALIEN CONCEPT... HOW ABOUT MAINTAINING A PROFESSIONAL ATTITUDE DESPITE WHAT KIND OF ATTITUDE YOU GET FROM YOUR CUSTOMERS? AFTER ALL, IT'S A BIG OLD WORLD OUT THERE WITH ALL KINDS OF PEOPLE IN IT, WHICH MEANS THERE ARE ALWAYS GOING TO BE A FEW HUMANS WHO ARE GOING TO WALK INTO YOUR LIFE WITH BAD ATTITUDES. WELCOME TO LIFE ON PLANET EARTH. DO YOU REALLY BELIEVE THAT GIVES EMPLOYEES OF ANY ESTABLISHMENT THE RIGHT (READ THAT: EXCUSE) TO MIRROR SUCH BAD BEHAVIOR?
I have seen her be very nice to some people, but overall my experience with her was not. I personally won't miss her. Bring Albert to days.
God, Albert? Please.
I second the above, I saw her ignore people all the time, and make a big deal if she had to get up out of one of those chairs to do her job. I say she should stay over where they put her. Management finally got it right.
I heard she shot a man in Reno --just to watch him die --
Yeah! I heard she liked to beat little children too!
Well then I guess you should feel vindicated then. She was always nice to people who were nice to her, and was one of the few people in that place who actually had personality. Those jobs arent glorious ones and if you ever took the time to be nice to her you might have found out just how kind she really was. but true , anyone who gave attitude got attitude back. everyone deserves respect, even food service employees....
...but not newsroom employess
...yeah, especially those writers!!
Respect here? Now that is truly funny.
I'VE GOT NEWS FOR YOU... FOOD SERVICE EMPLOYEES DO NOT HAVE THE OPTION OF "GIVING ATTITUDE BACK." RATHER, THEY HAVE THE OBLIGATION TO CONDUCT THEMSELVES PROFESSIONALLY AT ALL TIMES. THOSE WITH SELF-RESPECT (WHO DO NOT DEPEND UPONTHE RESPECT OF OTHERS BUT MAINTAIN THEIR OWN SELF-ESTEEM DESPITE WHATEVER ATTITUDE THEY GET FROM OTHERS) OPERATE BY SUCH RULES, AND I FOR ONE SALUTE THEM FOR THAT. THE OTHERS WHO CANNOT MANAGE TO DO THAT ARE INVITED TO WORK ELSEWHERE.
Reno... I'm thinking of heading there myself later this year. Can anybody recommend a place to stay?
Try Roz's Renoforum: "High prices, low quality--and the 'attitude' is always free!"
That is SO not the subject here. Let's get back to what's important: Fighting This Move!
I NEVER MET ROSE, BUT WITH A NAME LIKE HERS...I CAN'T UNDERSTAND WHY SHE'D GET THE BOOT. LORDY.
OH PLEASE. WHEN'S THE LAST TIME WE GOT ANYTHING FOR FREE
Well, there's the Braves coupons and the Hawks coupons and the choice of gifts at holiday time and the $500 bonus .......
FREE????? I USED TO THINK THE JELLY IN THE HARDNEWS WAS FREE, BASED ON THE FACT THAT NO ONE EVER CHARGED ME FOR IT...BUT THEN ONE DAY ROZ TURNED ON ME, AND NEARLY ATTACKED ME FOR NOT PAYING FOR MY CONDIMENTS....AND SHE POINTED OUT TO ME THAT "NOTHING IN THE WORLD IS FREE, BABY! DONTCHA FORGET DAT! WE DON'T OWE YOU NOTHIN'!" PERHAPS SOMEONE SHOULD REMIND HER OF THIS....
ROSE? WHO'S ROSE?
Now that we've all had our little fun and gotten completely off the subject, I think we need to do something about this situation. There is something bigger here than whether or not you felt she was nice enough. How would you
feel if your boss came to you and told you that you were going to be transferred and there was nothing you could do outside of quitting.....
ACTUALLY, THE STANDARD CNN EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT GIVES THE COMPANY THE RIGHT TO DO EXACTLY THAT. (HOLD ON....I WOULD REALIZE THAT I HAD NOT PERFORMED MY JOB TO THE EXPECTATIONS OF MY SUPERIORS AND MY CUSTOMERS, AND BE THANKFUL THAT I WAS NOT FIRED. I WOULD ALSO REALIZE THAT I AM NOT OWED A JOB, THAT JOBS ARE EARNED, AND JOBS ARE NOT ALWAYS EASY TO KEEP...)
Marriott has quietly gotten rid of almost all of the employees that worked n the old Hard News Cafe. There are only 3 left. Is this ironic or what.
(WHAT IS IRONIC IS THAT YOU THINK THERE IS SOMETHING COVERT GOING ON HERE...THE SIMPLE FACT IS THAT ROZ AND THE OTHERS WHO HAVE BEEN LET GO OR TRANSFERED WERE NOT DOING WHAT WAS EXPECTED OF THEM. QUIT EXCUSING POOR PERFORMANCE TO THE FACT THAT THE JOBS SUCK! SO WHAT? NO ONE MADE THEM TAKE THE JOB....OUR "BOOMING" ECONOMY CLINTON KEEPS CONGRATULATING HIMSELF FOR SURELY HAS A BETTER PLACE FOR THEM!)
Did you ever notice the republicans in congress always take credit for the booming economy, until a negative aspect comes up. Then it's all Clinton 's fault.
How many of you can say that the new employees in the cafe have any personality or know you be name or let you come back if you are short with your money ???
If anyone noticed, the morning shift in the cafe seems to be the worst as far as not greeting you as well as not even asking "may I help you?" when you are standing in front of the line to order your food. They look at you like you're
crazy until you speak and let them know what you want......
(ON THE OTHER HAND, ROZ SPOKE TO YOU LIKE YOU WERE AN IDIOT, OR A BOTHER...NO MATTER IF YOU SPOKE TO HER OR NOT.)
It's time we stop being silly and start being serious, otherwise we are going to be laughing while the marriott continue to do as they please and we have no recourse but to take it or brown bag it, and if this happen, don't even think about bringing anything that needs to be warmed in the microwave, that may be the next victim..... and having cold sandwiches or even donuts.
ROZ... IS THAT THE ONE WHO ALWAYS SAID "MMMMMM HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM" ???
Was she the real loud one?????????????
Are we talking about Rose the weather lady that "left"?!
That Rose went back to Rhodesia ...
I heard that HardNews was gonna start charging for AIR--The voices in your head told me so!
The voices of the millennium?
People get transferred in their jobs all the time.
YEAH, LIKE MONICA!
Wait a minute, that Kaufman anchor @ 'SB got TRANSFERRED!?
Surely you aren't suggesting Rose was having some sort of Monica problem?
ROZ... NOT ROSE!!! THERE IS NO ROSE...PLEASE TAKE THIS SERIOUSLY!!! [as if]
Okay, but not TOOOOOO seriously... all right, Cha-cha?
This is funny, but I thought the people who worked here would be a little more mature than this.
How immature of you to think that, punk.
You're the one reading it, cool cat.
-I just love this chatroom... Hey age/sex/location check?
-19. Female, CNN newsroom, Blond, Blue eyes, Looking for an older man that likes to take walks in the park, and cook.
HEY WHO'S THE 19 YEAR OLD? TELL US MORE!!!
-42. Female, Hard News, unemployed, bitter, and ready to quote prices back to customers sarcastically. Recently been moved against my will.
Wasn't there a Brady Bunch episode about a petition?
My favorite Brady Bunch episode was when the boys and girls were trying to scare each other out of using the attic for a bedroom! What a riot!!
I like the one where Alice elopes with Sam the butcher!!!! Or when the dog runs away.
REMEMBER WHEN JAN GOT THE JOB AT THE ICE CREAM PARLOR? WAS THAT PARLOR RUN BY MARRIOTT, TOO? I ASK CAUSE SHE DID NOT LAST LONG AT THE JOB....
OW!! MY NOSE!!!!!!!!!!
NO, that's Rose!
Maybe Roz or Rose for that matter can work for the Bradys? Alice has retired.
I think the Brady's retired!
Once, Roz said to me "Oh don't you look nice today for a change... all dressed up with a shirt and tie." I wear a shirt and tie every day. It really hurt my feelings. But I will miss her accent as she sarcastically quotes prices to me.
FOR SOME REASON SHE ALWAYS CALLED ME "TROUBLE-MAKA", BUT I NEVER FIGURED OUT WHY I WAS ONE.
The truth is, YOU all can't accept the truth. The truth hurts my feelings too! Maybe Roz got you confused with a guy who looked like you who didn't wear a suit and tie...
YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!!!
Well, I hardly spent time in hard news, but her name is Roz and she was the only one who would say hello and not charge me for a knife and fork.
--I hear Roz is taking the CNN Audio test on tuesday, She has a good shot too.
Now who was this chick?? And no more of that wacky talk about moving Albert to days!
YEAH! I heard that guy is so mean, he beats his mother for fun.
You people are sick. You must have eaten @ the HardNews! Roz is a real human being.
SHE IS NOT--SHE's a FREAKIN SAINT!!!
--St. ROZini of HardiusNauseum!
...And she has Braves vouchers for trade.
--I guess Roz isn't a candidate for one of those, "I'm Watching You CNN" promos.
PROBABLY NOT..... sounds like she wasn't watching anything.
--Maybe we could have just dashed out with our food while she was insulting someone else.
I hear she is seeing an anchor at CNNI and is in line to become one herself...
Thursday, April 19, 2007
I'm a little bummed out.
Ever since I found out that Malaysia has an Official Bigfoot Tracking Team (government funded no less) I have been intrigued by this amazing career opportunity. I was going to leave the world of TV behind and make Bigfoot tracking my next professional move. I wondered what kind of uniform the Official Bigfoot Trackers wear. I envisioned my tax return, with Official Bigfoot Tracker listed as my profession. I imagined "talking shop" with the other Official Bigfoot Trackers. We'd feel superior to the amateur trackers, with our "official" status. I pictured myself at glittering cocktail parties, enthralling everyone with my exotic Bigfoot tales. People would shun the astronauts, porn stars, Nascar racers and taxidermists in the room and come rushing over to me, rapt with interest.
So you can imagine how excited I was to come across this site:
BIGFOOT FIELD RESEARCHERS ORGANIZATION
It's a goldmine, and answers such questions as "How come no one is trying to shoot a bigfoot with a tranquilizer gun?" and "Do bigfoots climb trees?"
But my dreams were dashed when I realized that you can't just become a member of this esteemed organization. You have to be invited. And there is an intense screening process. It's like a fucking New York Co-Op board. And I don't think I could take the humiliation of being rejected from the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization.
Then I noticed that July 12-15th there is a Bigfoot tracking excursion in Michigan! Michigan, the place where I have a newfound cosmic connection. It also appeared that they allow non-members to attend. But further investigation revealed that it is sold out! This is devastating. Also weird. Who knew there were so many people desperate to track Bigfoot in Michigan?
It's only noon and already the day is steeped in disappointment.
But I'll tell you this:
I'm buying a damn Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization t-shirt.
I deserve it.
Nobody, not even Bigfoot can stand in my way.
I've been getting some e-mails from people who feel cheated by the removal of yesterday's Blind Item. I picture these people ripping their hair out, pounding their fists on their desks shouting, "WHY? WHY?"
And as those who saw the Blind Item early in the day can verify: really juicy rumors like that are rare. I promise it is the last time such drastic removal of quality CNN dirt will occur. In the future, I will make sure the Blind Items are blind, not just myopic.
In the meantime, note the update in the blind item section.
Is it a random list? You be the judge.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Yesterday I received an e-mail from a student at the University of Michigan who wanted advice on the CNN VJ Program. (I'm telling you, I have a connection with Michigan these days. I'm getting my ass there soon for a visit.)
Here's what he wrote:
I came across your blog and wanted to know what your experience was like as a VJ. It didn't sound like the experience was that good. Would you recommend it to a college grad (2008)?
My main goal is to become a general assignment reporter. I'm a news assistant at a local station now and could probably move up to a reporter in a year. I know i don't need the CNN VJ thing. But it sounds like an interesting avenue...to make some good contacts for the future, anyway.
I gave him my advice, and asked if it was okay to post his e-mail to solicit answers from other former VJs.
So c'mon everybody. As reformed peons, we should pass along whatever knowledge we've gleaned from our CNN drudgery.
Plus, we are approaching graduation season, so let's offer up some solid information (or at least funny pearls of wisdom) to all the peons, Type-A producers, techie fatties, Teleprompter-reading drones, sarcastic directors and intrepid reporters of tomorrow...
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
The glitch is that I'm a dumbass...
I got someone to make the transfer from VHS to DVD.
I gave said individual a case of Guinness for his efforts.
Now I just tried to sign up for a YouTube account, only to be told THREE times that based on my information, I am ineligible for an account!
It's a conspiracy. Clearly Lou Waters is a majority shareholder at YouTube.
Unless someone can help a dumbass out, here's what you are missing:
-Falling set pieces/duratrans
-Repeated use of "What the fuck? What is going on around here? Are we training in playback today?" by Earl Maple on the director's track
-Bad mid-1990's fashion/eyewear/hair
-Howard Stern pranks, including a chyron claiming the caller was from "ELOHSSA, Manitoba" (use a mirror, if you must)
-The cat who barfed on the set
-An attacking Panda
-The VJ delivering scripts while on air
-Flip Spiceland...being Flip Spiceland
-Anchors reading "BACK ON CAMERA" and "FULL SCREEN" as part of the story
-Bloopers involving misuse of the words Penis, Dick and "Woody Pecker"
Mixed into this pastiche of TV history are classic 1990's moments, including "The Dancing Itos", that chubby kid making funny faces behind Rudy Giuliani during one of his speeches, and the Al Gore Macarena.
It is a precious time capsule, this Blooper tape. If anyone can help deliver its beauty to the world, please let me know.
Otherwise, I smell a theme party/screening coming on...
Monday, April 16, 2007
I read Sunday's New York Post item about CNN president Jim Walton's request that all CNNers wear suspenders to work today, in honor of Larry King's 50th year in broadcasting.
(I also read the anonymous quip someone made in response: "I'm gonna wear suspenders. I'm also going to eat blueberries and fart in public all day.")
Well, as I no longer work at CNN, I am asking any spies there to let me know if anyone followed this mandate. Let me know if any fine employees felt such a kinship with Larry, or a desire to follow orders from Jim Walton that they turned up in suspenders, ready to crank out the news...
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Kurt Vonnegut died last night at the age of 84.
Although he never knew it, he was my mentor.
As a restless 15-year-old I'd get bored on the idyllic island where I lived. So every Saturday I used to hop the bus and head to the University District in Seattle. I'd spend hours in the used bookshops on "The Ave". There was one in particular that was run by a crazy old man. I wish I could remember the name of this place. It was dusty and dark, and the books were piled high and in random order. There were a few cats running around and jazz playing in the background. Posters for bands and political events were plastered on the walls and people just sat on the floors talking or reading. The owner didn't care. He believed in creating a sense of community where everyone was welcome.
When some random guy came in selling a bag of vintage clothes, he bought me a 1960's cocktail dress. I wore it with alarming frequency (much to my mom's irritation) up until my first year of college. He also gave me a copy of Dorothy Parker's "Enough Rope". But there was a caveat: "Even though I'm a little afraid to give this to you at such a young age, it's good writing. Just don't get jaded like her. Promise me, okay?"
In this comforting environment I was free to thumb through as many well-worn paperbacks as I wanted, for as long as I wanted. I didn't have any sort of literary compass. I just grabbed books that caught my eye, whether it was the cover art or the title that attracted me.
One of the first books that I bought using this method was Kurt Vonnegut's "Breakfast of Champions". As soon as I opened it, I was fascinated. The grammar was all over the place. There were strange doodles on the pages. It looked like my journal, only published for the masses. I couldn't believe that it was an actual book published by an actual publishing house. It was too fucking cool.
I carried that book around with me for months. It was proof, somehow, that I could actually become a writer when I got older. If this loon Vonnegut could do it, then there was room for me too. I took the book to college with me and had it in my book bag the night I saw Kurt Vonnegut and his pal Joseph Heller at a writers symposium in New Orleans. I wanted him to sign it. But seeing his iconic face, framed by that big mop of hair, I suddenly felt shy. I wondered if he'd think I was foolish. I wondered if I'd get up close and not be able to speak, rendered mute by my nerves.
When the discussion ended I wandered out into the balmy night with my book unsigned.
A couple of years ago I was sitting in a Midtown bar, waiting for some friends. It was summer, and the bar had the front glass doors open. I had "Breakfast of Champions" in my work bag. I had been re-reading it that day, amazed at how funny and vital it still was after all this time. I was enjoying the summer breeze, enjoying my gin and tonic, and one shoe was dangling off my bare foot. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw that familiar face from the dust jackets of so many of my books. It was Vonnegut, shuffling down 2nd Avenue, puffing a cigarette.
I did a double take.
A triple take.
This was my chance! Emboldened by the booze I rifled through my bag, grabbed the book and started galloping to catch up with him, one shoe on and one shoe off.
But as I neared him, saw that mop of hair bouncing up and down, the trail of smoke behind him, I stopped.
I didn't really need him to sign my book. He'd had such an influence on my life that he'd already left an imprint. The signature would only be redundant.
So thank you Mr. Vonnegut, for legitimizing my crazy dreams.
You will be greatly missed.
"You must be careful what you pretend to be because you are what you pretend to be."
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Today's post is a cautionary tale.
Oleg Cassini was born on this date in 1913. He began his career sketching for couturier Jean Patou, and was an assistant to famed Hollywood costumer Edith Head. In the 1960's he shot to fashion stardom by designing First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy's signature look of simple yet sumptous elegance...
But in the 1970's he made history by becoming the first designer to license his name. This led to "Oleg Cassini" adorning cheap luggage, rank cologne and misshapen velour sweatpants.
The man who had designed clothes or the most fashionable First Lady in history was now designing clothes for the hoards of people rummaging around TJ Maxx. (Which admittedly, would include me if I had a TJ Maxx nearby. I'm a fan of the scavenger hunt brand of shopping. There's nothing cooler than finding something you actually like right next to a yellow, fringed, sequined crop top emblazoned with the phrase "I'm A Motocross Diva!")
The downward spiral of his influence must have been depressing. Imagine Oleg standing behind some annoying cow at the airport check in line, rolling his eyes as she shrieked at her husband for getting her the Frappuchino instead of the Mochachino. Imagine him casting his eyes down and realizing that this couple is wearing his n' hers Oleg Cassini sweatpants, carting around Cassini luggage. Taking a whiff of the stale air, he notices that hubby is wearing Cassini cologne...
But who am I kidding?
The licensing deal made him so rich he probably never had contact with the plebs who wore his shit anyway.
So, Happy Birthday Oleg. Although you passed away last year, your name will live on in TJ Maxx stores around the country for decades to come.
Friday, April 06, 2007
Happy Easter Weekend!
In honor of the joyous upcoming Easter holiday, I present you with the most joyous musical extravaganza EVER put on film. There is a whirlwind of entertainment packed in this 8 minute clip: tap dancing, Olivia Newton John in a cowboy costume, table dancing, legwarmers, spirited clapping while roller skating, Olivia Newton John in leopard print, Gene Kelly on roller skates, synchronized lasso twirling, Olivia Newton John in a space-goddess outfit, colored lights, and acrobats.
So crank up the volume on your computer and revel in the glossy glory that is XANADU!
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
I really think I need to visit Michigan. The following is the second great Michigan story I've read lately. This sublime bit of journalism is from a college newspaper called The Michigan Daily. The bold headline (one to make Walter Winchell proud) is:
"MASTURBATING TRESPASSER BOOTED FROM FRAT"
You read that right. Trespassing, Masturbating and a Frat house. Perfection. For your pleasure I'll post this gem along with running commentary:
"Police have been unable to locate a woman who entered the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity house without permission on Thursday and began to masturbate on a couch."
(What kind of an APB did they put out on this one? Also, this was a frat house. I suspect she could have avoided the trespassing charge if she had knocked on the door and politely asked, "Can I just sit for a spell and masturbate?" I don't think it would have been a problem.)
"While fraternity members were eating in the dining room, a woman entered the house's living room, took off her clothes and started masturbating, said LSA junior Dan Nye, the president of the Washtenaw Avenue fraternity. No one saw the woman enter the house or knew how she got in...Fraternity members asked the woman to leave the house, but she refused and continued masturbating for about half an hour, Nye said."
(Half an hour? They let her continue for half an hour? If this were a man in a sorority house masturbating, he'd barely have the time to slap his pecker around for two seconds before a member of the sisterhood would whip out her pink Motorola RAZR and shriek out a call to 911. )
"When members asked the woman if she was all right, she casually replied that she was fine, he said. The woman was talking on her cell phone at one point, said LSA sophomore Adam Bayard, a member of the fraternity."
(She was on her cell phone, while trespassing and masturbating. Was she checking stock quotes? Calling in sick to work? Talking to mom? "Hi mom...I know I haven't called much. I'm sorry, I've just been really busy lately."
This is exactly why I think our multi-tasking society is getting out of hand...so to speak. People can't even enjoy the simple pleasures of masturbation anymore.)
"She walked out of the front door wearing only a thigh-length black coat after a fraternity member called the police, Nye said. When police arrived minutes later, the woman had already left...The woman told fraternity members that her name was Melissa and she was a student at Eastern Michigan University, according to the police report."
(When did THIS conversation take place? Was she still masturbating when introductions were made? Were refreshments provided? How civilized these frat boys are, making pleasant conversation with their guest.)
"Fraternity members said they will throw out two couches in the living room because of the incident, Nye said."
(You know they're just saying this because they're worried the cute sorority girls won't have sex with them on those couches anymore after the crazed masturbating trespasser trickled juice on them. Otherwise, they'd have just spritzed a little Febreze or wiped down the pleather with Windex and called it a day.)
"Police said the break-in appeared to be an isolated incident."
(WHEW! I'm glad to know that she isn't making the rounds from house to house like Goldilocks, masturbating on different couches until she finds one that is "juuust riiight".)
For anyone having trouble placing the face of the woman in the photo above, that's Jocelyn Elders, the first female US Surgeon General and patron saint of masturbators. In 1994, Bill Clinton fired her when she posited the notion that masturbation “is something that is part of human sexuality and its part of something that perhaps should be taught.”
Jocelyn Elders, we salute you, a woman too smart and saucy for her time. You'll always have respect here on Peon Confidential at least.
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Which TV twosome (who share more in common than just a workplace) may not need that alarm clock in the near future? A wake up call indeed...
Well, that was quick TMZ! The word is out I guess: O'Briens out, Roberts and Chetry in. I did find the TMZ comments section pretty humorous though. One person wrote: "I have been wondering when this would happen...Married couples do not work together on a show."