Saturday, March 27, 2010

For those of you in the New Orleans area, there's still time to get a ticket to tonight's benefit and auction to My Darlin' New Orleans benefit, party and auction. This is David Simon's new HBO series. I went to these benefits for "The Wire," and they are a great time with fabulous auction items up for grabs, a chance to meet cast, creators and crew and good drinks, music and food.

"HBO and its new series Treme, currently filming in New Orleans and premiering in April, are hosting a celebrity auction and cocktail gala to benefit the New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic (NOMC), bringing attention to their important efforts to provide health and social services for local musicians and tradition bearers through this star-studded event."

Do not order through the website. For last minute ticket sales, call (504) 415-3514

“My Darlin’ New Orleans” Celebrity Auction will take place at 7p.m., Saturday, March 27 2010 at the Generations Hall.

310 Andrew Higgins Drive
(In the Warehouse District)
New Orleans, LA

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A windy Tuesday as I sit here at Starbucks. I stayed up late last night writing a cover letter and submitting myself for another job. It sounds really interesting, so let's hope I get a bite. Every place that I apply to has the same process. I have to submit a resume through their online application, which is tedious and sometimes imperfect. Many of them don't have clear instructions on how to attach a cover letter, and most, even though you've uploaded your resume, require you to tediously fill out your job history anyway. When you're a copywriter like I am which consists of several freelance gigs in between full-time gigs, that can really suck because I have to go back and make sure the correct jobs are showing up in the auto fill, which they never are. However, it's all means to hopefully landing a great job, and this part will just be looked back upon as well, the thing that got me there.

On other fronts, I've been thinking a lot about blogging, and what my blog is now versus what it was a few years ago. Of course, I and my situation have changed, but that's not what I'm talking about. In this day and age, where everyone Googles everyone, I feel that the anonymity of being able to express myself freely is somewhat gone. One, because this blog is well known and if one Googles me, it comes up right on top. God knows why people want to read about me, but you guys keep coming back. However, that has no bearing on what I'm talking about. In fact, I feel like I've been cheating you lately.

Now, the chances are greater that an employer or anyone really, will Google me, take a look at my blog and decide that the most recent entry is what represents me as a whole. Because of this, I don't feel the freedom anymore to express unchecked anger, sadness, a depression spell, a crazy night, general observations or perhaps what I'm going through on any given day that might be misconstrued by an employer.

Then, there are the people that you meet who instantly Google you when they get home. And yeah, I can tell. Especially when the creepy neighbor in Baltimore did it after coming on way too strong to me during a chance meeting in the neighborhood. Got home, there it was. Didn't help that his house looked into my bedroom.

Google is a wonderful tool which I use for job searching myself. Being an awesome researcher, if I do say so myself, I can usually find a name at a company to which I've applied, or can research a company to get to know its culture. And yes, I do use it to find a little information about the recruiter if I've tracked down their name. If they have a blog or Facebook page, it humanizes them and lets me know a little about whom I'm dealing with. But, one thing that I don't do is sum them up by their blogs or Flickr pages. And, at risk of sounding like an old fart, in this day and age of online social networking, that's exactly what people do.

I know when I started blogging that I was putting myself "out there" at the mercy of others. I first started with Letters to Rob to deal with a cousin's suicide. Though I can't tell you how many people that blog helped, and from what the people who emailed me say, saved some lives of those who were contemplating suicide. But, I took it down because it was a very honest and raw depiction of what I was going through in dealing with it and some of my own demons I was warring with. And, to a recruiter or person you just meet, you can no longer trust them to take it as what it is, an expression of what you were going through at the time, not the whole package.

To a writer like me, I need to express. I express well and honestly. And, I've been feeling like I can't do that, which leaves me stifled. These days, I don't blog about work unless it's general or just a funny story that doesn't put the company or anyone in a negative light. And, some of my bookstore posts are my best, especially when I was pissed off. However, now I'm very sensitive about mentioning anyone because it can be read, misconstrued and passed around in seconds. I'm even finding myself being careful with how I word this post, and to me that's not blogging.

There are some things I'd like to put out there and do it in the only way I know how. Honest, raw, sometimes crass and vulgar, and unbridled. I've played around with the idea of starting another blog, yet not attaching my name to it. This way, it won't be something that will be identified with a random Google search of my name, and if I'm having an off day and get a little real, won't cost me a job.

Friday, March 19, 2010

This is the only picture even remotely resembling a boob shot that will ever appear on this blog. But first, a disclaimer. This is not an accurate representation of my boobage. I'm wearing a Victoria's Secret push-up bra with strategically placed silicone fillers. And yeah, those came with the bra. I'm also squeezing them together a little bit to enhance any imaginary cleavage. What I'm trying to say, is I'll never be featured in Jugs Magazine. But, for what it's worth, I present you the first and only annecentral boob shot. Really, I just wanted a good picture of my four leaf clover. The below is what happens when you have a dude take the shot.

My Lucky Treasure Chest

As you guessed, that was on St. Patrick's Day, which we celebrated at Timmy Nolan's Irish Pub. My clover was a "temp tattoo" sticker that I bought on a whim earlier in the day. I have no decent green clothing, so I thought that was a great solution. That shot was taken at Bob's Big Boy just after the fun that consisted of moments like this.

St. Patrick's Day 2010

The man on the right is a British friend of Shannon's who he ran into there. A fun, positive guy. The beauty on the left (my right) is Emerson, who works there and whom we've befriended over the years. We took one last St. Patrick's Day and had to keep the tradition going.

Bag Pipe Band plays on St. Patrick's DayThe place was packed on both floors, and even more so when a bagpipe band, dressed in kilts and full regalia stormed the joint and started playing, much to the crowd's delight. It really was a wonderful moment, and they played a few songs to lifted drinks and applause. In the setting, the celebration and show of Irish culture, it really gave one chills to be a part of it. I managed to snap a few shots of them, which wasn't an easy feat since there was no room to move, but that hot, sweaty close quarters is also what made it a great experience. I can't believe they got in there with that gigantic drum you see on the left. There were three or four pipe players, a bass drum and swinging tenor drum.

A funny part of the night was when a woman saw the guy she was dating at the bar with another girl. Whoops! Boy did she explode, right in front of us, calling the guy all sorts of names as his date hid behind him. She wasn't mad at the girl, because thankfully, she was one of the few girls who realized it's the two-timer's fault, not the person they are two-timing with. That is, unless the "other" girl knows he's cheating. Then, by all means blame her too. In this case, they both didn't know the other existed and sympathized with each other. Even funnier, was some random guy was passing by and heard her screaming, then turned around and apologized to her because he thought he'd brought on her tirade. The two-timer had little to say, just took his medicine and shrunk back into the crowd of happy drunks.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I woke up last night just before we had an earthquake. Whenever they happen at night, I always do that. Perhaps I'm just sensitive to the buildup or something. When my bed started to rumble and rock, at first I thought it was the cats running around on it. I tilted my head up and saw them looking back at me, wide-eyed and still. After it stopped, a few seconds later the news broke in that we'd just had an earthquake. I fall asleep with my radio on, listening to Coast to Coast radio show on KFI640. The station is just blocks from me so they felt what I did. It was a 4.4 that hit at 4:04AM. How do you like those numbers? And, it hit on the 16th. Four times four is 16. I love that.

As usual, just in case what we'd had was a pre-quake to "The Big One," I got up, put on a T-shirt and some undies because I was not going to be dragged out of rubble naked, on national TV. And yeah, that's what I think of after every quake. If I'm naked as a jaybird, on go the clothes. Funny, because this morning I heard one of the DJs on a radio show say that he does the same thing. His words, "I check to make sure I'm not starkers in case it's a pre-quake."

Nice to know that I'm not alone in my race to the dresser.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Me and Shannon in the Photobooth!This picture just cracks me the hell up. It's from the photo booth at the Manifest Equality VIP closing party. As you can imagine, when you add creativity, audacity, alcohol and the Los Angeles public there were lots of hilarious photos that came out of that. They gave us each a print of the photo, so we have a great memento of yet another night of ShanAnnegans. Very cool. It was at the start of a great time for a fantastic cause. Thanks to knowing the right people with the right access, in this case the wonderful David Markland, we got on the list. David was also at Barnes and Noble for my friend Evan Wright's book event. Yeah, the one where we were sitting by two vampires and didn't realize it at the time. This is why I love blogging. You meet the coolest, nicest people. So David, thank you for the invite.

We braved the torrential downpour to get there and Shannon invited a couple more friends who met us there. The rain added to the ambiance. I guess there is just something about art, night, music and rain that works. The event took place in the cavernous space of the former Big Lots store in Hollywood, (pictures at the end of the entry) with plenty of roaming and moving around room. Sea Wolf Plays @ Manifest Equality VIP Party 3-6-10
Sea Wolf performs.

They had two open bars going full tilt and I had my cosmos while Shannon drank Dos Equis. We then drifted through the eclectic throngs of artist types and hipsters, stopping in front of really cool works by artists from every corner of the art sphere. It was great to be among everyone just being comfortable being themselves, us included as we killed time before the performances by Sea Wolf, Modest Mouse and a DJ set by The Crystal Method. Yeah, I know. To say it was awesome is an understatement, because the performances were incredibly intimate due to the setting and low height of the stage. You could walk up and be close, dance or stand back and chill. We stood up close, letting the music course point blank through our bodies, the low notes vibrating the bridge of my nose to my rib cage. The bands were all of five feet from us, and you could watch the intricacies of their play and effortless collaboration with each other. And, I must say that it was a damn good looking crowd that night. We talked to some eccentric, creative and interesting people and really dug the musical acts. Outside, they had a taco truck from The Border Grill which was delicious and fresh. Shannon treated me to a delicious green corn tamale, Mexican coffee and chicken taco. Yum, freakin' yum!! It was just a really well organized, well run and very clearly thought out event.

The Crystal Method @ Manifest Equality VIP Party 3-6-10
The Crystal Method performs their DJ set. Not bad for a phone photo!

What was also great is that during their sets, the band members mingled with the crowd, giving it an even more special, intimate feel. Sometimes members from each would step off stage when they weren't playing, and dance, talk or take pictures with people. The Crystal Method especially did a lot of that, and would bounce around us as we danced to the throbbing beat. It was a fantastic, awesome time. What was really funny is we almost got tagged to take one of the members of the band home that night. Before they played, David told us that Ken Jordan might not have a lift back to Encino. I told David that we'd swing him home if they needed us. David was one of the organizers of the event and was a huge part in making sure things ran smoothly. Turns out they were able to secure Ken's ride home. We got a huge laugh out of the fact that we almost drove one of the members of The Crystal Method home. His equipment would have fit just fine in the Volvo. Now that would have been what Yasmine would call a rock star adventure in its truest form.

Here are some more pics from the event.
Look out for the Evil Smurf!Word.

Manifest Equality VIP Party 3-6-10Manifest Equality VIP Party 3-6-10

Thursday, March 04, 2010

One morning, about a week ago I heard a scream from one of the apartments in my building. Whenever I hear screaming, my ears tune in but I'm not alarmed. There are a lot of well... screamers in my apartment building in the form of girls in their early 20s who are prone to spontaneous shrieking. Don't get excited guys, it's just how they communicate to each other sometimes. It's the vocal version of OMFG. Never being a person who communicated by shrieking myself, it gives me brief pause and I usually tune in for a few seconds to make sure no one is actually in trouble. Seconds later, I heard frantic knocking on doors. Eventually, the rapping made its way to my door. Since I wasn't dressed, I wrapped a blanket around myself and parted the blinds to see the my teenage Russian neighbor and her friend.

After noticing my state of undress, in heavy accented English, she said, "My bird died. I don't know what to do. It's covered in ants and they are going into its brain."

Sweet Jesus. Thanks for the visual. And to all of you out there, you're welcome for me sharing it with you.

Both she and her friend were visibly shaken by it. The bird was a cockatiel that was stupidly given as a gift to her by a stupid friend. People...don't give animals as unexpected gifts. It rarely ends well, and they end up abused, neglected or turned into the pound because the people that you gave them to were not prepared to care for them, nor take on the responsibility that requires daily attention and care. Parents, please tell your kids this. Please. Because in this case, this beautiful bird ended up dead after only two months in her house. And yeah, it pisses me off because it was totally unnecessary. The girl is 17 years old, maybe 18 by now and living on her own. When I found out about the bird I asked her if she was comfortable caring for it. She was, and her parents were coming to visit and she said that they were on her about caring for the bird. The rest is history.

Pardon me while I breathe a moment... In through the nose... out through the mouth.

Okay. Better.

Anyway, I told her that I couldn't help her because if I saw it I'd freak out. Her solution? To put it out in the alley, uncovered, dead in its cage. I found out when another neighbor texted me about it, adding that the water inside the cage was filthy. I texted the landlord and told him about it, knowing that his brother was working around the building. I asked that they dispose of it properly out of some freaking respect, and so that it didn't attract predators and vermin. Not only that, but I didn't want our building being known as having people inside it that think that's an acceptable way to dispose of your deceased pets. I knew where the friend had bought the bird, so I went to the pet shop and asked them not to sell anymore birds to people fitting her or her friend's description. They were pretty disgusted when I told them the story. The store is reputable rescue/adoption-only place, possibly except for the birds. I have no doubt that they didn't know that the bird was being bought as a gift.

Other news is that I'm still looking for full-time work with bites here and there. I've been freelancing and have a couple irons in the fire. Shannon's business is starting to thrive again, so I hope that's an indicator of the economy picking up. I'm looking forward to having a "schedule" again. I won't lie... I don't like the job searching part. While it does have a tinge of excitement to it of new possibilities, the daily grind of it can be tiring, uncertain, frustrating and tedious. I know there's a great match out there and I want it to happen now. Mostly, so I can get that rhythm again of being required daily to output something creative. That is the most important thing for me.

Lastly, for those of you that asked about the dress...

I scored it at the Barney's New York Warehouse sale after a week of looking at every major department store. And when I say scored... I scored. I almost didn't see it, then was walking to the dressing room and there it was, the only one and a perfect size 4. It was meant to be. It's a great LBD (Little Black Dress) with that splash of artsy to it in lace and beading, which you can't see in the picture. I decided to go for more artsy/hip than straight glamor, so I headed over to Nordstrom's at The Grove and chose footless silver sheer stockings. That was my own idea, and it worked perfectly. Downstairs, I found the perfect silver artsy/glam Michael Kors heels and had a star sighting. Shopping along side me was Tara from the show True Blood. Only in Los Angeles. Over to the jewelry counter, and I found the necklace and bracelet, which I paired with a string of loose pearls that I already had. I do have to say one thing, that everywhere I went, the sales people couldn't have been nicer. I was really impressed. Maybe it's the bad economy, I don't know. But, the people were good listeners, not pushy, funny and knew their products. A big shout out to Natalie at the Fashion Square Neiman Marcus. I wish I'd found a dress there, as she was fabulous. She took her time, showed me several dresses and treated me with respect and dignity. I wasn't going to be one of her big Neiman's spenders and drop several thousand, but it didn't matter. The woman who sold me the shoes at Nordstrom's, and by the way, Nordstrom's has an awesome shoe department that blew away both Saks and Neiman's selections, was patient and insightful. So, way to go Los Angeles retail people. Thanks for having fun with me.