Month: June 2005

Viva Las Vegas!

las vegas welcome signHi, everyone! It’s Colleen, a.k.a. the communicatrix, from! You know, a REAL metroblog from a REAL city!*

Well, I’m out here in sunny Las Vegas…finally. I mean, it took for-fucking-ever to get here. I don’t know how you guys do it, living so far away from a real city. That drive must get really old, huh?

Anyway, sunny doesn’t begin to describe it. “Hot as motherfucking Hades the night before the bake sale” comes a little bit closer. It’s a good thing you guys built all those casino places with the cold air. Only the air-conditioners must make a lot of noise because it’s very loud in all the lobbies, plus all of those lights are kind of distracting. And there are no windows. What’s up with that? I’m like, “is it eight AM or eight PM?”

Speaking of air-conditioned places did you know there are lots of hotels in Las Vegas? And that all of them have air-conditioning? Including one that looks just like ancient Egypt and one that looks just like ancient Rome and one that looks just like ancient Barbary. I like that one made out of Legos that looks like the Medieval Times (uh-oh, now I’m getting hungry!).

We’re not staying in that one, though. We’re kitty-corner from it, in a hotel named after the legs of a famous Hollywood actress (like me!) I love boning up on history! (Ha ha, I said “boning”!) It is very luxurious and glamorous, like the ancient Riviera must have been. (Note: I have not seen any French-speaking people here, unless you count those Canadians who cut in front of us at the sports book, hey, I thought our neighbors to the north were all friendly. Maybe they are all staying at that hotel that looks just like ancient France.)

So anyway I came out to Las Vegas to shoot some time-lapse photography with my boyfriend, a.k.a. The Boyfriend. Well, that’s the made-up reason, anyway. The real reason is we really like to go out for breakfast in Los Angeles (where we’re from) and you guys have this place that makes these amazing fucking omelets. I mean, if I lived here, I’d just get an apartment across from the strip mall that houses that restaurant so I could eat those amazing fucking omelets every day without even having to get in my car because there ought to be some pluses to living in this shithole, right?

Here’s how you get there from “the Strip” (that’s a nickname for this big street called “Las Vegas Boulevard” which runs through the middle of town):

las vegas goodbye signOkay, that’s about it. I’d write more about your “city” but there’s really not much to write about, is there? I mean blah blah POKER blah blah STRIPPERS blah blah HOT AS MOTHERFUCKING HADES. You guys should really check out L.A. and stuff. It’s much cooler there plus we know how to blog.


* (that’s ““, only we say “” because we are really cool, not geeky like other people who spend a lot of time on the internet)

Please Don’t Talk About Me When I’m Gone

It’s that time of the year again, those balmy, mid-summer days when the urge to stretch out in the sun with a good book, a cold drink and several hours with which to enjoy them overtakes me.

Fortunately, I’m good at beating urges like that down with a stick. Tomorrow, for example, The Boyfriend and I are hopping in the car and heading out to Las Vegas for the week, not to par-tay, but to shoot a bunch of stuff for his reel. (Work is the new leisure!)

I may set up an entry or two to post while I’m gone so you all can get your c-trix fix, but then again, I may not! So why not use this little break to catch up on some of the many lovely sites I’ve collected for your reading pleasure? There are plenty of them all up & down the sides of this website (whose non-design is starting to bug me), and don’t forget, I’m a delicious junkie, too!

But we know you like the FRESH HOT LINKS, so here’s a batch, straight from the Firefox bookmarks holder-thingy:

Everyone else has been reading him for centuries, but I’ve just discovered the always-prolific, sporadically hilarious Tony Pierce. He yaks on too much about hot chicks (snore…) for my taste, but I am a straight girl and perhaps if you are not, you might dig it. But his post about jury duty is one for the ages. It’s almost got me excited about showing up for mine in July…not.

I loooooove the Blowhards, and especially Michael Blowhard, with whom I have struck up a little eCorrespondence. He posts all kinds of interesting, thought-provoking thangs, but I especially loved this little essay-thoughtstarter on the proliferation of choice in our consumer culture. Great comments section, too: 2Blowhards really pulls in the smart cookies.

Random surfing turned up this Hints from (Doctor) Heloise-type site which should forever lay to rest the notion that doctors are any fun at all.

Design Observer, which I found via the aforementioned Blowhards, also has tasty, thought-provoking essays. They featured a fantastic piece about the authenticity of “faux” a while back, and the archives are chock-a-block with good, tasty reading. (You could spend a day, and quite a bit of dough, clicking around on their links, too.) But the greatest thing about DO is that they have a goddam sense of humor, which is (sadly) rare among designers and other arty types, who generally tend to take themselves a tad seriously (or “a tad bit seriously,” for those of you in Oklahoma). This, for example, may be the best post title ever.

Speaking of regular reads, Cool Hunting has some of the most consistently…well, cool stuff of any site I have in my RSS. Lately, for example, they had a groovy, make-your-own-name-from-Flickr-photos post and a table I really, really, really like. A lot.

Finally, while listening to the re-broadcast of This American Life yesterday, I heard the most hilarious bit of live performance it’s been my pleasure to encounter in some damned time. The “artist” was reading from her diary, the very worst, very most humiliating parts of her TEENAGE diary, aloud at a little show called “Mortified” that goes up now & then in NYC and here in L.A. (Archived version of the show is at the TAL website and is called “My Experimental Phase”, you can skip to the last 10 or so minutes, if you like.) Mortified has a website I haven’t had time to vet just yet, but it promises lots of excerpts from the diaries of peoples too shy to get up onstage. I, on the other hand, not only am NOT too shy, but have been dreaming of some useful purpose for the 10 years of shite piled up in a dusty corner of my Billy bookcase, and plan to root through them just as soon as I’m back from losing my shirt taking pictures.

You think I’m pathetic & truthful now, people? You have no idea…


Searches, we get searchesâ„¢

searchesThey’re baaaack…

x.x.x on yore television (Yahoo)

Fer nekkid ladies in yore livin rume.

Circuit Diagram of Back Lit Large Digit Caller ID with Call Waiting (Yahoo)

Ah, yes…from my series of posts on the relative merits of LCD vs. LED…

argo starch weight gain (Google)

The communicatrix recognizes that pure starch, branded or otherwise, will pack on the el-bees if that’s what you’re after. However, it is highly SCD-non-compliant, so she recommends saving it for your shirts, and opting for the half-and-half yogurt with chopped liver chaser instead. Atkins-friendly, too!

use krazy glue on plantar warts (Google)

Unless the plantar wart is on the top of your contruction helmet which you are trying to attach to an I-beam, don’t.

kossack erotic art (Google)

Which predates “the commie sutra.”

Jane Kaczmarek in pantyhose (Google)

“Ooo, yeah, slip into a pair of those suntan control-tops and call me ‘daddy’…”

“waikiki”+”photo”+”balcony”+”woman”+”sucking” (Yahoo)

I bow to the specificity of fetish.

bbw over 750 pounds (Google)

Less odd to find this search landing someone here than it is cheering to know I’ll have someone lusting after me if I remain on the half-and-half-yogurt-with-chopped-liver-chaser diet.

funny clip art,intilectual women (dogpile)

Uh-oh, looks like the Religious Right is up to they’re wacky hijinx again!


Slow is the new fast

TurtleAs I’ve reported elsewhere, I had a little run-in with the law last week, an unexpected one. Not that I’m always Dora Do-Bee: after all, my mother was the woman who explained to the Glenview Police that she was really “just making two consecutive left turns, Officer”… and let us say the bad apple didn’t fall far from that particular tree. However, while this particular infraction was, in fact, made in ignorance of the law, my normally silver tongue (thank you, Mom, and years of advertising) got me nowhere.

So now, fair or not, I’ve got potential points on my license pending, which changes things. Considerably.

Yes, I’ll pay the ginormous fine and yes, I’ll go to traffic school (on the web, of course) but what’s really, really, REALLY irksome is the notion that for the first time in my life, I really cannot afford to speed. Anywhere.

Time and I have always been uneasy companions. I went through a Stepford-like, aggressively punctual phase (the first 35 years of my life) because dear old Dad, who had never in his 45+ years of insane business travel missed a flight like I had never, until now, gotten a mover, put the fear of G-O-D in me. After a brief rebellion where I was late a lot, I settled into a kind of a groove that went something like this: I like you/it, I’m there on time or even early; I don’t, I show my ambivalence with tardiness.

Turtle2Fine and dandy. Only sometimes, the old Colleen would war with the new. Rebellious, hear-me-roar Colleen, resentful of having to drive, last-minute, across town during rush hour to audition for a job she doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of getting because some casting director/production company/client trifecta could not be bothered to give Colleen (and legions of other casual moms who might have actual children to nanny up) a chance to PLAN said audition into her day. Old Colleen, ever-mindful of Daddy’s expections (and the rent), told beeyotch Colleen where to get off…and STEP ON IT!!!!

Through some miracle of grace and timing, I was able to stay out of my car entirely for the past three days, but the winning streak ended today: a callback (you can’t blow those off, folks) for a McDonald’s commercial (reeeeally can’t blow those off, even if you are being called in for your resemblance to a chicken) at (oh, it makes my teeth hurt!) 6:20…in Santa Monica!!! That’s 10 miles away, on a road with construction, during rush hour, Los Angeles rush hour.

At about 10 on Monday morning, I started psyching myself up to leave at 5:10. I had hourly (mental) pep talks (because I am mental) right up until my run, during which I drew (mental) pictures of myself leaving in a timely fashion and driving/arriving in a sensible one.

Turtle3Which I did. All of which, oddly enough, I enjoyed immensely. It was so strange to ride in the AARP lane, not worrying about zipping in and out of lanes to make up a precious minute, letting people enter the flow of traffic, yes, even the rude ones riding the gutter who didn’t deserve it, just “because.” I felt empowered. I felt like an old person. I felt…great.

I arrived at my audition relaxed and happy, and, while I did not exactly kick any chicken ass at my big, fat, Class-A, Network callback, neither did I feel like kicking myself before, during or after my time in The Room. So my non-chicken ass and me took the long way home, too, making a couple of pit stops, enjoying the scenery, exploring a road less-traveled (which, unlike this other, I will not share).

It seems I have been served up this lesson of patience again and again, far more times than could possibly be fair or even necessary.

Then again, a wise person once told me, “You will be given the same lesson again and again in different forms until you choose to learn it.”

I choose. I choose, I choose.

And whaddya know, it ain’t even all that bad…


Weekly roundup

RobberscThe communicatrix has been busy losing focus applying her multiple skills in other needed arenas lately, the details and location of which she may share with you soon in an upcoming missive.

In the meantime, enjoy yourself trotting around to the places I’ve already seen. Take a snap or two! Send one back to the c-trix! Let her know how you’ve enjoyed the scenery! And share those hotspots you’ve been to yourself that you think she might enjoy! The communicatrix is heavily into enjoying herself.

Except, of course, when she’s beating herself up for her lack of productivity, something Merlin Mann addresses in a great post this week about shaking yourself out of a rut. He also points to an Open Loops post with lots more tips, but truthfully, they got a wee bit too Tony Robbins for me. [via 43 Folders, the productivity pr0n freak’s best friend]

Unintentionally (we can only hope) hilarious translated subtitles on bootleg copies of the new Star Wars dreck. [via BoingBoing]

Army_tableSpeaking of BoingBoing, i liked this inventive use for dollar-store army men enough to try and get it out to a wider audience, but they didn’t like it enough to post it. Oh, well, the crafters will have to drum up their own P.R. [via the craftster blog, which I’m adding to my list of feeds even though the craftiest I get is gluing magnets to the backs of my remotes so they’re always there on my file cab.]

More genius advice served up with wit and élan from the rabbit, a.k.a. Heather Havrilesky. [via Rabbit Blog]

Ad_danceJennifer Ogren is my kind of designer: one who came to it later, after doing something really useful first like getting a B.A. in Sociology. She’s got some nice samples up on her site, like the poster, right. She’s also got some honest-to-jeezus art for sale tonight here in L.A. at C-Note, an art show by project:, whose stated goal is to "(bring) together the best elements of art, music, technology and culture to form a constantly evolving experience." So there. Entry fee is ten bucks and the lure is aforementioned fusion of goodies, along with art for a hundred bucks a throw. Groovy stuff from Luke Chueh as well, although not the glorious "Polishing My Grill" (below, right); it’s sold, and probably for a lot more than a c-note. [via Daily Candy]

PolishingmygrillAnd speaking of affordable art, may I recommend my new favorite artist, Ferris Plock? He has an embarrassment of arty riches up on his site, but I flipped for his "Robbers" series, enough so that I have an inquiry out on "Robber(s) C" (tippy-top, left). If I hadn’t gotten the mother of all moving violations tickets this week, I’d have bids out on several pieces from this series, the style of which calls to mind the delightfully demented drawings of my old friend, Tim Souers (who has a couple of little somethings up on Sally Horchow’s site), and not a little Edward Gorey. So little money, so much art to acquire… [via Flavorpill]



Who needs Jambi when you’ve got…THE AMAZING FACE ANALYZER?!?

Cw_jacket1_1Using only the professionally-taken photograph to the left, THE AMAZING FACE ANALYZER divined the following about the communicatrix…including that she is female:

Intelligence: 6.7  (Very Intelligent)
Risk: 2.7  (Very Low Risk)
Ambition: 6.7  (High Ambition)
Gay Factor: 1.4  (Very Low Gay Factor)
Honor: 4.2  (Average Honor)
Politeness: 5.7  (Average Politeness)
Income: 6.6   ($50,000 – $100,000)
Sociability: 4.0  (Low Sociability)
Promiscuity: 2.5  (Very Unpromiscuous)

Like the modest but apparently uptight genius who turned me on to THE AMAZING FACE ANALYZER (or ANALYSER, in the U.K.), I am a "Beta Academic" best suited to a number of careers which don’t interest me in the least.

Of course when I saw that my celebrity face "match" was Anna Kournikova, I began thinking, "Hey! Maybe there’s something to this here AMAZING FACE ANALYZER!" …until I saw that it had also made out a tiny, dark-haired, Asian girl with a 1.0-gay-factor (that’s lower that my incredibly low gay factor, folks!) as a dead ringer for… Ellen DeGeneres!

As an aside, I find it pretty hilarious that my own gay factor was so low, since I’m about as gay as May can get without actually batting for the other team.

And as for my lack of promiscuity, I think my sordid past (not to mention a goodly chunk of the L.A. phone book) might refute that notion, but hey, they are grading on a curve, here…


NOTE: For the heck of it, I also submitted my "badass business woman" and "quirky character gal" headshots (posted here) to see what the results might be. Dorothy Parker’s observation notwithstanding, apparently all you have to do is throw on a pair of glasses and unbutton your shirt to have your income level plummet and drive your promiscuity quotient up a few notches. Oh, and did you know I was 98% Korean/Japanese and 2% Chinese? Me, neither!!!

And quirky character gal? She doesn’t register at all, even as female. No wonder my commercial career is in the shitter…


Where do the funny people go?

There are many lovely things about L.A.: the weather; the proximity to desert, mountains and breathtaking coastline; the nutty people who tend to congregate out here. Oh, wait, that one works both ways.

One of the other great/not-so-great things about L.A. is the highly transient nature of the place. The good news is there’s a constant influx of cool, interesting people coming to town, infusing life and energy into the scene.

The bad news is that no sooner do you make a friend, or worse, hook up with a compatible writing partner, than they turn around and ditch you for some burg with shittier climes and killer real estate prices.

The other day, the wife of one of my old writing partners (I’ve got many) sent out a group email to their far-flung friends sharing my old writing partner’s observations on a photo session that was probably pretty nasty in and of itself, but hilarious in hindsight. The occasion was one of Ye Olde Faux Photo Ops (oh god, am I glad I never had a family) where everyone dresses up in Ye Olde Phony Costumes and poses sternfacedly for Ye Olde Time posterity.

Rick’s take on the proceedings, as relayed in an email to his friend, David, and forwarded by his wife, Sharon, was, as usual, hilarious:

RICK (to David): …. Oh, and don’t think for a second that that coat didn’t smell like the pissy sweat of every white trash chain smoker in Massachusetts…

The coat was on me for about 30 seconds when I politely asked the teenage girl who worked there…

RICK: How often do you, um, wash these?

Teenage girl: I don’t wash them.

RICK: Does somebody else? And if so, how often does that person wash these? Better, yet. Does he ever wash these?

Teenage Girl: The manage-ah washed them last year.

RICK: This year?

Teenage Girl: We just stah-ted this year.

RICK: You just started this year? Right. So, this probably hasn’t been washed since mid-last season?

Teenage Girl: Yeah.

RICK: Sha, can you hurry up in the dressing room, please?!?

Sha: Hold on. I want to look perfect.

RICK: Yeah. Why don’t you hurry up?

Then my wife proceeds to want every angle and prop. Shayna is even commenting on the STANK of the costume and wants it the fuck OFF. Sha is like…

Sha: Oh. Let’s all hold guns in the next one.

RICK: Sha, it’s hot in this thing, it fucking stinks and it’s starting to soak into my skin.

Sha: Oh, let’s all hold liquor bottles, too. Even Shay.

Shayna: Mommy, I want to take this off. It’s stinky.

Sha: One more pose.

RICK: Sha, she’s done and I’m done.

Rick spent the rest of the day scratching the itchy stink off of his arms.


Rick always, but ALWAYS made me laugh, when we wrote, when we were supposed to be writing but didn’t write, when I got my sorry ass booted from the Sunday Company and thought my life was over. I hadn’t found my voice yet when we were working together and Rick definitely had, but he was cool about that, too, and always encouraged my ideas and goofy tangetial wanderings.

We thought that we’d keep writing via phone and IRC but of course, we didn’t. Life intervened. 3000 miles intervened (Rick’s family was in Boston, so he and Sharon returned there to put down roots and spawn and such).

But I saved all of our old emails and writings and sometimes, when I’m glum and need help snapping out of it, I’ll pull up some hilarious exchange and laugh till I cry.

Rick, he really should be writing still.

And Colleen, you really should be telling Rick this. On the telephone.