you are Joe Strummer!
Joe Strummer… you've been through the cleansing
fire of punk, only to pick up a few venerial
diseases along the way. You're more of an
optimist when it comes to fucked-up genius.
But you can write wicked-deadly riffs and lycs.

Which fucked-up genius composer are you?
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steeplechase abuse downs billion belief commune

I think I may have just turned a corner.

I just had a very long meeting with my boss. First, he explained the nature of our arguments last week. I guess he had tried to lecture the other two monkeys on coming in late and working on other stuff during work hours. (I guess the Lil’est Dictator had done her taxes during work hours.) In their defense they said, “Well, Jessica checks her email during work”, to which he replied that he doesn’t want that either. This prompted him to have the PTB do the Big Brother Block. He didn’t mean for ALL the sites to get blocked. Just hotmail, yahoo and gmail. So he ammended that and the rest of my internet is free now. But not gmail. I still have my one secret email reprieve, thankfully, or my film career would be significantly stalled. And whatever. That's all fine. I can understand him wanting people working while they get paid (even if most companies don't seem to be bothered about email use).

But here's the part that's fucked. That topic led us to another discussion wherein he asked me how my movie thing was going. I guess, going forward, he doesn’t want to hire any new people (reception included) unless they want SPECIFICALLY to work their way up in an investment management firm and work their for the rest of their lives. He said that in hindsight, he probably wouldn’t have hired me. Nothing personal, just that he knows my heart isn’t in it and he would hate to keep promoting people around me. I told him that wouldn’t bother me but that if I was unable to get pay raises based on long-term commitment, that WOULD bother me. Unfortunately, it turns out that my salary is basically capped. He said he might be able to adjust with inflation or bonuses whatever, but that he can’t promise that my salary will ever go any higher as long as I’m here. This is apparently based ENTIRELY on the fact that I don’t want to do this job for the rest of my life. So no matter how hard I work, I can’t get rewarded. And even if the other monkeys don’t necessarily work very hard, they CAN get rewarded just for enthusiasm that I can never muster. So…fuck this. If I have to keep a day job (which, for now, I do) I want to work for a big faceless corporation that doesn’t care if I want to be here or not as long as I do my work. I want raises based on work quality, punctuality and general attitude, not based on whether or not my long-term goals are in line with my bosses. So if any of my big corporate monkey friends have any openings in their firms, PLEASE let me know. Seriously. $30k to start would be really nice as I don’t want to have to take an immediate pay cut. But I WILL if it’s, say, Amazon (especially IMDB). I would also require benefits. So this is it. It’s decision time. And I’ve decided not to be the black sheep of this fucking farm anymore.

irresistibly heaved itself upon

You can see photos from London here!

For some reason a lot of them are blurry. I guess there's not a lot of light in The Olde Smoke. Nevertheless, please pay particular attention to some of my favorites:

1) Me, J.J. and Stewie.
2) The statue of a woman giving a handjob to a dolpin.
3) My horrific but necessary George McFly impression.
4) Gimpy pigeons with no feet.
5) “What the eff?”
6) The fantastic view of the tops of Idlewild's head.
7) The Winchester!
8) The stage inside the Chislehurst Caves where Floyd, Zeppelin and Hendrix played.

christen backside


After one of the worst weeks I have ever had at this job, I was ready to burn off some steam through song. I really wanted to sing some Violent Femmes (“Kiss Off”…But, barring that, “Add It Up” would have done). After a brief pre-funk at Faye’s, Dom, Sherrard, Faye and I headed off to the Mandarin Gate to meet Chris and Ben. We got there pretty early to assure ourselves a table. That was, unfortunately, our downfall because having that much time to kill before singing time allowed Faye and I ample opportunity to try (literally) every fru-fru drink on the menu. Now, when I say fru-fru, I mean in taste only. Because while these drinks had fruit juice a-plenty, they also contained a large amount of hard alcohol (some of which was 151 Rum). After several hours of consuming drinks such as “The Zombie” and “The Suffering Bastard”, we were ready to sing. My heart sank when I saw that there were no Violent Femmes in the book. There was also no Oasis. I had to regroup and, for a while, every brilliant song idea I came up with was met with rejection. Their selection was really pissing me off. Furthermore, their “by artist” list had different selections than their “by song” list and I can’t, for the life of me, choose songs by title. My eyes always glaze over after the first page of songs starting with “a” or “the”. So anyway, I found some Billy Joel and picked “You May Be Right” (but I’m getting a little sick of needing to use BJ as a backup during desperate times). After a while, I finally found a song that I felt would sufficiently alleviate some work stress. I was going to sing “One” by Three Dog Night. I had been wanting to do this song for a while. (In fact, I had practiced a couple of times). I was ready to wail on it and give it the angst it so required. But by then the place was packed to the gills with American Idols. It was hours before I was called up again. And when, at 1 in the morning, I was finally called back, the DJ took liberties and skipped to a song I had put in JUST IN CASE I had a chance at 3 songs. I wasn’t prepared to sing it at all because I thought I would have been lucky to be called again. He said “sorry, I switched things up on you”. And when I saw “Man-eater” by Hall and Oates show up on the screen I knew I was in for a crappy performance. I just wasn’t ready for that one. I know it pretty well, but my heart wasn’t in it. Damned karaoke DJ’s and their liberties.
But despite DJ’s with god-complexes and pretty bad service (I don’t think we ever would have gotten served if the waitress hadn’t fancied Chris) and despite WAAAY too much fru-fru rumminess, a good time was had by all. Once again, Andrew blew us away with his Foreigner. This time it was “I want to know what love is”. I am convinced that Andrew should start a Foreigner tribute band. The man has a gift.

Faye and I were supposed to do some hardcore baking in preparation for Adam and Eva’s wedding next Saturday (for which we are meant to bake cake for 200 people). I was trying cake recipes and Faye was going to try some frostings. Well, somehow I managed to avoid the wrath of the hangover fairy. But Faye was not so lucky. We were in contact all day, but actually baking did not start until around 4:00 when I decided I’d better not wait for Faye to start feeling better. I baked a chocolate and then Faye and I got some supplies from the store. Faye was still feeling atrocious and even had to rest her body on the cart a few times. Yikes. Once at Faye, I made my banana cake while we watched 21 Jump Street and ate Thai food. The banana cake turned out pretty good. I then started in on my very complex “Death by Chocolate” cake. Turns out it was too complex, however. Because even though I thought I followed the directions to the letter, and set the oven timer for 10 minutes less than the recipe called for, it was still a rock-hard brick of charcoal by the time it came out. My cake from earlier had inexplicably failed too. So I’ve decided to nix the complex chocolate recipes and just go with my standard chocolate from my Joy of Cooking. That one has never failed me. Around 9:00, Kayobi, Matt, Andrew, Dom and Borgia showed up for tasting and “Ginger Snaps Back”. Faye managed to stop being nauseous long enough to make a quick chocolate whip to put on the banana. People liked that one so at least my baking endeavors weren’t a TOTAL failure. I don’t know what went wrong. I wasn’t even hung-over!
“Ginger Snaps Back” (the pre-quel) wasn’t nearly as good as “Ginger Snaps”. Those two angsty girls, cute as the are, just aren’t convincing at 19th century Canadian ladies. Let’s hope “Ginger Snaps II”, which places them back in a modern setting, isn’t as much of a disappointment.

Sleeping in is lovely. Truly a luxury. Thank you, Marilyn, for not crying until 9:30. At 10:00 my mom called and I surfed the internet while she talked at me about things. I spent the rest of the morning sitting on my ass watching special features and trying to get motivated for yoga. It has been almost a month since I last went so I knew it was going to be hard. But I HAD to go. (Seeing as how it had been almost a month since I last went). And hard it was. For about the first 15 minutes, I felt like I was going to throw up. But once you’re in there, you’re in there for the duration. So I tried to just breathe and get through it. By the end I as, as always, glad I came.
I relaxed some more when I got home and tried to prepare myself for coming back to work. Not easy considering how my attitude underwent a huge shift last week. More on that later…

It's official

You Are 30% Normal

(Occasionally Normal)

You sure do march to your own beat…

But you're so weird, people wonder if it's a beat at all

You think on a totally different wavelength

And it's often a chore to get people to understand you

How Normal Are You?

respirator nosebag boyd bird dioxide rastus gonzalez

Yesterday was St. Patrick's Day. Being moderately Irish, as most Americans are, Faye and I had our annual St. Paddy's Day feast and screening of Darby O'Gill and the little people last night. Faye made veggie “meat”balls smothered in a delicious Guinness cream sauce. I made vegetarian Bubble and Squeak (the leftovers of which I'm enjoying right at this moment). Black and Tans (or half and halfs, if you want to be politically correct about things), were had by many, and laughter by all. Gotta love any holiday that celebrates drinking. (Well, I suppose technically, it celebrates a snake-free Ireland, but, like most holidays, history and tradition have obliterated the original intent of the holiday almost entirely. Yahoo!)

I spoke to my boss about the internet situation today. He denied any knowledge of it at first. Later, he sent me an email coming clean about having ordered the Big Brotherization of my computer. We have been engaged in email discourse ever since. I am arguing that I don't let the internet get in the way of my work (which really is true, for the most part. I always get my work done). He is arguing that people should never have any down time at work. I am arguing that I had thought we had a good system of open communication here that should have allowed him to feel comfortable enough to discuss such matters with me, rather that blocking things and denying it. I am also arguing that I shouldn't be singled out (to which he replied that he will make sure no one has access to email). We are still working things out. The bottom line is that I definitely feel a rift here. I always thought I had a pretty good relationship with my boss, but I guess I was wrong. It's still all about making money for him. He also seems to have a hard time realising that even though this company is HIS life, it isn't necessarily anyone else's (and it certainly isn't mind…I'm not getting paid enough for it to be). I know it's probably too much to ask that I have access to personal email here. I'm sure most companies, if they scrutinized the situation carefully enough, wouldn't allow it for their employees. But it still feels like unnecessary regulation. Afterall, how am I supposed to feel loyal to a company that doesn't trust that I am getting my work done? In a company this small, it really hurts business to have those kinds of rifts between employer and employee (and co-workers, for that matter). Furthermore, employees who aren't necessarily INTO the job they perform, NEED little outlets like email and LJ to keep from getting disgruntled enough to become violent. FURTHERfurthermore, if I wasn't able to work on my movie career whilst working my day job, I would be stuck here forever. And then someone really would have to die.
Blah! BLAH, I say!

In unrelated news, I REALLY wish I'd written this.

Long London Update Part 3

We made our way to the Tower of London. I hadn't been there since I was 16. I had gone with my father and I remembered it being really cool. A highlight for me had been the torture chamber which not only showed how the devices were used with dummies, but also had a display case full of “inadvertent” torture devices such as chastity belts. That exhibit really stuck with me. For some reason, it is no longer there. In fact, the whole place is pretty much a huge rip off. The coolest part is the architecture outside and the fact that a giant castle sits in the middle of a big modern city. The inside is mostly just tourists and a few people in silly costumes with the odd cool display of weaponry. Not worth 14 pounds each, I'll tell you what. The giant fucking ravens were still there though. Those things are amazing.
We took it easy Friday night too. I wasn't feeling very well. So we watched Comic Relief on telly. Most of it was pretty lame but there were odd bits that were priceless genius. I guess it's probably the same as Comic Relief in the U.S. Do they even still do that? Are Whoopie, Billy and Robin still friends?
Anyway, it kind of just made me want to watch the Comic Relief episode of The Office.
TANGENT Has anyone seen the promo for the American version of The Office? Apparently they ARE still going through with it. It premieres pretty soon on network TV. It was only a 30 second promo but the whole time I felt like my brain was being scanned. Fucking horrible

Woke up late because I couldn't sleep a wink the night before. Too many springs jabbing into my back. Probably having been saturated with images of small orphaned children with AIDS didn't help matters. We had a quick breakfast, checked email and then met our UK consulate Tom at Tower Bridge station to make the geeky obligatory trek out to The Winchester. It's actually not called the Winchester. It's called The Duke of Albany and it's in Southeast London. But for one shining moment, it was The W and we had to see it. We were a little unsure about whether or not we should go in but we decided to suck it up and do it. Once inside, we discovered it to be rather pleasant. A jolly woman behind the counter took our order and we had a pint next to the fireplace, which was adorned with pictures from the day(s) of shooting. They only shot the exteriors of the pub. It was still a very cool experience and I'm glad we went.
We then went hunting for some food. We ended up an a Lebanese place. I had never had Lebanese but it's apparently your standard Middle Eastern Falafal situation. It's also very very delicious.
Food in our bellies, we hit a few trendy pubs before it was clubbing time. I had been wanting to hit an indie club, as there is positively NO good indie nights in Seattle. Well, there are apparently few good indie nights left in London either. But it was still better than your average night at Polyesther's. We got a little dancing and drinking in and mini-cabbed it back home.

This being our last day of vacation, we felt we should take it easy. We had a nice, long, lingering breakfast and then saw a screening of “The Life Aquatic”. I liked it, but I can see what the critics mean when they say that it's lacking the soul of Anderson's first three films.
We spent the evening packing and drifted off to restless sleep with “The Annabel Chong Story” playing on TV.

We knew we were in for a long day. It wasn't nearly as stressful as getting there though. Watched some more Alan Partridge. I also watched “Closer” (which I liked. Even though Natalie Portman still annoys me. I found out later that the guy who wrote the film used to write for all Steve Coogan's projects so I don't feel so bad about enjoying the film). I also watched “Mean Creek” which was pretty good. Customs was pretty easy to get through. It's actually harder to drive back from Canada than it is to come back from the UK. Weird. I probably could have smuggled a lot more Caffrey's for Faye. Oh well. Now I know for next time.
We arrived home around 10:00 to a nice clean house (thank you, Faye), a lovely little “Welcome Home” sign (Faye again) and a very amorous Marilyn who missed her daddy like you wouldn't believe. But I think her relief that he actually came home again has turned into anger and she's gone from being relatively quiet and friendly, back to her usual loud and snubby self. She won't be so big when I adopt my own kitty next month. But that's a different story…

And that's Jessica and Dom's Jolly Good Adventure…

Happy St. Paddy's Day! Slainte!