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Monday, September 27, 2004

WHAT IS GOTH? is out!!! Pick up your copy today for a great big picture of me, probably the first time my image has been published in marketable book form.

Buy one for your goth friends, your stodgy family, your newborn babies! Make me popular and proud! Encourage more full-page photographs of me in hardcover coffee-book publications!

It's some form of this photo, by the way.



I haven't actually seen it myself - only just placed my Amazon order five minutes ago.

Two encounters at rehearsal tonight (last night) were ... mystifying and wonderful. Danielle, our movement coach, took me aside and gave me some high praise, calling me "fearless." I like that: "fearless." I know there are moments when I experience horrible fear that others don't seem to have, but during rehearsal of this production, I have been strangely removed from fear. On Saturday, we experimented with blocking for Arial's harpy speech ("You are three men of sin ..."), and I was lifted in a kneeling position by two people until I was supported only on my shins high above their heads by their straight arms. I felt safe.

I can remember being too terrified to sit on my stepfather's shoulders at the Exhibition in Brisbane when I was a child. I would only ride piggyback. I was terrified of falling. It's funny how things change.

Clark also showed me a small-framed road bike that he wants to give to me. He's going to fix the brakes and the chain tension and have it ready in a few days. "Anything for my Arial," he says. I don't know why, but I wanted to cry -- from a sort of shyness? I was so moved, but I was afraid to show it. There's something emotionally astounding about doing this show, anyway.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Moving is coming along quite nicely.

I've begun riding my bike to and from rehearsal. It isn't a very long ride (I can cover it in only about half an hour, despite my disgusting level of non-fitness) but my inner thighs ache, and the seat of my bum is bruised. They tell me I need a gel seat. That, or arse calluses.

I have just signed up with Vonage, and thus far, I am immensely impressed. If anyone wants me to give them a referral so they can have the first month for free, leave me a comment with your e-mail address. It's awesome - $14.99 a month with 500 free local and long distance minutes, no charge for incoming calls, $0.039 per minute for international calls, online voicemail system ... the more I look into it, the more I like it. I have to wait for my phone adapter before I can hook up a phone for outgoing calls, but that should be here by the end of the week. In the meantime, I can already receive voicemail for free. Screw you, Sprint! Eat my VoIP dust!

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

The Left Coaster: Why You Should Ignore The Gallup Poll This Morning - And Maybe Other Gallup Polls As Well

Oddly, I haven't found anything else online to back up these claims, so I'm viewing them with suspicion, as much as I'd like them to be true.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Kind of a bummer of a day. I didn't get the master control op position I was going for at WHP-TV. The Director of Engineering called me and was very nice about it. He said I was most definitely in the running, and I would have been given the job if someone with a lot of experience hadn't applied and been chosen. I can't blame them. It's better to have someone experienced rather than someone who needs some training. But why would anyone with a lot of experience take a third shift starter master control op job? And why would they keep it for long? At least I would have been guaranteed to keep the job for two years. Oh well.

Other than that, I would like to complain about Comcast. Possibly the worst customer service of any company I have ever dealt with. I won't go into the tedious details, but their phone staff need some serious training in how to provide good service.

I need to shake this funk. Life isn't bad. I just feel disappointed by a string of little trials. I need to reclaim the happy pessimism which seems to have evaporated over the past few months. Damn you, optimism! See what mental anguish you cause!
Now, I would normally never really leaf through the Wall Street Journal, but today as I was filling up a cup of tea in the lunch room, I noticed an article about none other than Japanese Lolita fashion on the front page. "The Little-Girl Look Is Big in Japan Now - Amongst the Brave," says the title. As you can imagine, the rather condescending and conservative article in the paints Lolita devotees as a bunch of maladjusted freaks.

'By dressing up like babies, the Lolitas are attempting to hang on to the carefree days of childhood, [a psychiatrist] says.' For some reason, this sentence conjures up images of perverted, fat grown men in diapers on Maury or Springer rather than the Lolita fashion movement.

'"Dressing up like this and having people stare at them makes them feel their existence is worth something," says ... a clinical psychologist who has done case studies and written articles about Lolita culture.'

Probably my favorite quote: 'Ms. Otani [a Lolita], the store clerk, says her clothes get so many stares that her boyfriend, who dresses in punk fashion, won't go out with her unless she wears something else.'

There are plenty more phrases and sentences which made me smirk.
About one of the only street-teaming initiatives I would whore myself out for:

GET FIREFOX!

Clicky clicky!!

Monday, September 20, 2004

I answered questions wrongly in a math assignment. *weeping and gnashing of teeth*

Sunday, September 19, 2004

I only seem to post in this blog when I'm procrastinating. At the moment, I'm putting off a visual basic assignment which I just don't feel like doing, and packing for the move to Harrisburg, which I have a legitimate excuse for (I'm apparently allergic to it - must be the residual flea powder).

Our new flat in Harrisburg is the bottom story of one side of a duplex on uptown Second Street, a block from Italian Lake and the Susquehanna River (we're a block from the Susquehanna here in Columbia, but thirty miles downstream). It's a one-bedroom apartment, but there is a dining room and a huge front living area as well as a basement. We're surrounded by synagogs and Masonic temples/lodges. Everyone who knows Harrisburg well knows exactly which house we live in when I mention the Virgin Mary statue. Our neighbours in the other half of the duplex are collectors of fine painted statuary. In their front yard is a wonderful collection of bears, panthers, angels, deer, Indians, and a life-size Virgin Mary in a blessing posture surrounded by a white arch. All the statues are lit up at night, year-round. It really is delightful. I am being extremely sarcastic. But at least nobody will ever have difficulty finding our house.

I am compelled to resign my crown as queen of punctuation because I have discovered that I am horrifically flawed. For the last 24 years, I have not known all the rules of the humble comma. Now I have been humbled. My ignorance stems from coordinating and subordinate conjunctions. There are seven coordinating conjunctions - and, but, or, nor, for, yet, and so (note well the Oxford comma in this list - it is the standard for formal writing at HACC, so I must learn to use it). These are quite arbitrarily assigned, and if one is used in a compound sentence, a comma is required. Subordinate conjunctions which perform exactly the same role in a complex sentence do not require a comma.

For example:

I thought I had mastered the comma, for I was a cocky fool.
I thought I had mastered the comma because I was a cocky fool.

You see that the former sentence requires a comma, but the latter does not. I would never have thought to put a comma in the former sentence. This has existentionally rocked me to my grammatical core. I am now the most insecure user of commas in existence. Every time I have an urge to use one, I check the usage rules I have jotted in my college folder three or four times. It has slowed the writing process down considerably.

A couple of days ago I spilled boiling water from a bowl of noodles all over my left wrist as I was lifting the bowl from the microwave. The next day it blistered spectacularly. Now I have an ugly red scar that looks for all the world like a suicide attempt. I blame the comma!

Even Eats, Shoots and Leaves didn't mention this rule (or use the Oxford comma, though that's not a problem for me). Brain ... unravelling ... heart ... breaking ...

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Signing a lease today. More details later.

Is anyone else bothered by the fact the first major essay I have to hand in for my English class is a descriptive essay about going to a restaurant? I swear, we wrote on harder-hitting topics in the eighth grade.

I'm also bothered by my 100% average in English. Where I come from, nobody ever receives 100% for any English composition. William Shakespeare would probably only average about 85%. Whoever heard of a perfect piece of writing?

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Hey, Kelli, why are you e-mailing Matt about my blog? This blog is between you and me! It has nothing to do with Matt! It's not like I've made it particularly hard for you to comment to me personally. (Hint: below this and every entry, there is a "comments" link! If you click it, you have the option of leaving what's known on Teh Interwebnet as a "comment"! Isn't technology incredible!?)

Hope to hear from you soon!

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Things are kind of overwhelming. So many things at once. Finding a place to live in Harrisburg, organizing part-time work, getting ready for Tempest rehearsals to begin, studying for college. I'm average 100% in all of my classes so far. Except Spanish, in which I am averaging 102%. I'm wary of this, because the moment I get even 99% on a paper, assignment or exam, I'll be crushed.

I've been avoiding communcation for a couple of weeks. Half the world seems to think I'm dead and is worried about me. I want to tell them not to be worried, but I also don't want to communicate.

Matt took down his design of Kelli Harman's website. Now it's back to it's old, revolting, incredibly amateur cyan blue design. Kelli Harman's lawyer isn't working with her on this anymore because she is in the wrong, and won't negotiate. We will take her to court. What a stupid, immoral woman she is. On top of that, she hasn't paid me yet for promotional work I did in July. I certainly hope she does, or I'm going to be forced to bring the Attorney-General into it again. Or maybe I'll contact him anyway. I'm sure he'll be delighted to learn that Kelli is up to her old tricks again.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Kelli Harman: worst talent agent ever.

Here are some fantastic links from the Attorney-General's website, well worth checking out:

The Attorney-General seeks sanctions against Kelli Harman

Kelli Harman ordered to refund over $15,000 to scammed models

There are also some great links on the State College newspaper, Centre Daily Times' website, http://www.centredaily.com/mld/centredaily. Search all available years of their archives for "Kelli Harman," and you'll find three articles from 1998.

MODELING FIRM TO MAKE REFUNDS IN JOB-OFFER DEAL
Published on March 14, 1998, Page 7B, Centre Daily Times (State College, PA)

Excel Model Management will give refunds to people who responded to its help-wanted ads and paid for the agency's training, but never got the promised jobs...
Read the full article here


ATTORNEY GENERAL PENALIZES MODELING AGENCY
Published on July 2, 1998, Page 5A, Centre Daily Times (State College, PA)

[...]

[Kelli] Harman was ordered on March 13 to pay restitution to customers who responded to the agency's ads to model but didn't realize there was a fee required. Harman was also ordered to pay the attorney general's office more than $2,000 for civil penalties and the cost of the investigation.


MODELING AGENT, ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE TRADE BARBS
Published on July 3, 1998, Page 5A, Centre Daily Times (State College, PA)

Harman said the attorney general's office was acting for personal reasons and was being vindictive because a member of Creany's family was rejected as a model at one of her offices.

Creany said that no member of his immediate or extended family has ever had dealings with Excel or Harman and that her claims about personal motives were "absolutely untrue."

Harman said that in the days preceding and following the settlement, she repeatedly tried to reach Creany and the attorney general's office to work out the differences.

[...]

But Creany said Harman never approached him about working out the problem.

"She has never told us that she wants to meet with (the models) -- that's absolutely not true," Creany said. "She stopped payment, she's not paying restitution, so we're asking the court to stop her from doing it again."
:(

I have been informed that Warren Pletcher's index page, which I quoted below, has been removed from the Harman Agency website. I am heartbroken.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Why Commencing A Defamation Action Is Not Aways A Good Idea

While people who are targeted by lies [or alternatively, say, targeted by people they have pissed off who have genuine complaints] may well be angry enough to file a lawsuit, there are some very good reasons why actions for defamation may not be a good idea.

The publicity that results from a defamation lawsuit can create a greater audience for the false statements than they previously enjoyed. For example, if a newspaper or news show picks up the story of the lawsuit, false accusations that were previously known to only a small number of people may suddenly become known to the entire community, nation, or even to the world. As the media is much more apt to cover a lawsuit than to cover its ultimate resolution, the net effect may be that large numbers of people hear the false allegations, but never learn how the litigation was resolved.

Another big issue is that defamation cases tend to be difficult to win, and damage awards tend to be small. As a result, it is unusual for attorneys to be willing to take defamation cases on a contingent fee basis, and the fees expended in litigating even a successful defamation action can exceed the total recovery.

Another significant concern is that, even where the statements made by the defendant are entirely false, it may not be possible for a plaintiff to prove all of the elements of defamation. Most people will respond to news that a plaintiff lost a defamation lawsuit by concluding that the allegations were true.

In other words, the plaintiff in a defamation action may be required to expend a considerable amount of money to bring the action, may experience significant negative publicity which repeats the false accusations, and if unsuccessful in the litigation may cement into the public consciousness the belief that the defamatory accusations were true. While many plaintiffs will be able to successfully prosecute defamation actions, the possible downside should be considered when deciding whether or not such litigation should be attempted.


Of course, another point to add here is that one can't be sued over an expressed opinion. And also, nothing I have posted on this blog regarding Kelli Harman has been a lie, but merely opinion and fact. It may well have been damaging to her, but if you behave like a jerk, and word of your behavior gets out, who is the real cause of the damage, hrmm? Truth hurts, eh?
The most amazing thing happened today while I was walking to lunch with Matt and our financial advisor (Chris Henshaw at Morgan Stanley, whom I like instinctively) in downtown Harrisburg. Kelli Harman confronted us, right there on the sidewalk! It was hilarious and wonderful fun! The conversation went something like this:

Kelli Harman: (Waving at us) tHeRE he IS! (To me, wild-eyed) yOu HAvE tO StoP thIs ChILdIshNEsS.
Me: I think there's childishness on both sides here, Kelli.
Kelli Harman: THiS iS bETwEeN mATt aNd mE. mAtT kNOwS WhAT hE dID wRoNG.
Me: Kelli, we have a lunch date, we really should be go--
Kelli Harman: hE'S ADmITteD tO bEiNG lATe aND ScrEWinG Up.
Me: I don't think he's admitted to that, Kelli.
Kelli Harman: yOu NeeD tO gROw uP!
Me: No, you need to grow up and pay your debts like an adult.
Kelli Harman: wHAt yOU'Re dOiNG iS dEfaMAtIoN oF cHArACter!!
Me: Just try it, Kelli.
Kelli Harman: i WiLL!
Matt: Have a great day.
Kelli Harman: I wILl!

Isn't that priceless?

Anyway, despite the fact she doesn't have a leg to stand on, in the interest of complete legal safety, I have edited some portions of my blog. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

BWAHAHA!! Check this out. Harman's 16yo web intern has surreptitiously put his own personal webpage on the Harman Agency's domain:

Click for some truly wonderful and inappropriate reading courtesy of Mr. Warren Pletcher! Yes, that's right, you can find a lengthy questionnaire as well as pictures, and your chance to apply to be Warren's girlie, all at http://www.theharmanagency.com/warren!

Some of my favorite quotes:
Obsessions?: watching porn.
Addictions?: sex.

What's your biggest fear?: bitchy girls when ur trying to be nice

Do drugs?: no. weed isnt a drug

Made out with a stranger?: can't say that i have but sure i would if they were hott.

Kissed the same sex?: absofuckinlutly nottt.

What do you find romantic?: fireworks. and layin together under the stars, with a girl whos not prude..
Turn-on?: not being a bitch, and not being stuck up
Turn-off?: cocky girls... and fat girls...

Right This Moment...
Are you going out?: yea to get the vodka out of my car

Perfect Girl Survey as according to me
1. Hair color: brown/blonde the style matters more
2. Eye color: blue
3. Height: dont matter as long as its less than 1 inch taller then me
4. Hot Stomach: hell yea
5. Long or short hair: long
6. Glasses: nah
7. Piercings: dont matter
8. Scars: dont matter
9. Eyebrows: what the fuck?
10. Big butt or little: nice butt
11. Big boobs: i guess
12. Fat or Skinny: Skinnier
13. Straight teeth: yes
14. Funny or serious: both
15. Party or stay at home: both
16. Should she cook or bake?: cook would be nice
17. Should she have a best friend?: a good one
18. Should she have alotta guy friends?: as long as shes faithful
19. Outgoing or shy: outgoing
20. Sarcastic or sincere: both
21. Should she love her mother?: yea
22. Should she watch guy movies?: dont matter
23. Would she be a smoker?: not ciggeretts
24. Would she drink?: yeah
25. Would she swear?: moderatly
26. Would she play with your hair?: i guess so
27. One or more guys at a time: 1..what kinda question is that
28. Would she pay for dates?: nah
29. Does she kiss on the first date?: yeah
30. Know anyone that fits this?: yeah

Isn't that fantastic? Their web intern shamelessly flaunts the fact he's a drinking, swearing, dope-smoking, sex-addicted 16yo with poor grammar skills on their own domain! I love it.

The funniest part of it is that, despite all the homophobia on the front page, his "perfect girl" link, describing the characteristics of the sort of girl he'd like to date, is titled "perfect guy" in the HTML. Freudian slip, anyone?
******N.B. EDITED******

So, AN UNNAMED WOMAN's lawyer called Matt today! Dialogue is occurring, and I certainly hope this whole matter will be resolved justly in short order. The most hilarious news of the day, delivered by said lawyer, is that AN UNNAMED WOMAN is now a reader of my blog! Hi AN UNNAMED WOMAN!!!!! I'm so glad you found my little corner of the internet.

As her lawyer related to Matt, AN UNNAMED WOMAN wishes for me to remove my blog entry of a couple of days ago. In this blog entry, I expressed my fairly negative opinion of AN UNNAMED WOMAN. Now, in the interest of fostering this new dialogue between AN UNNAMED WOMAN's lawyer and Matt, I have indeed removed this blog entry. However, it has been saved as a draft, pending the outcome of the aforementioned dialogue.

Those of you who read my blog on a regular basis know the contents of that blog entry. However, those of you who missed it should stay tuned! Should AN UNNAMED WOMAN decide to mend her ways, cease in her efforts to swindle Matt, and pay us the four-figure sum she contractually owes us, I guess my opinion of her will be raised just enough for me to refrain from posting negative commentary regarding her business practices on the World Wide Web. Should AN UNNAMED WOMAN decide that she is going to continue down the irresponsible path of iniquity she favored last week, I'd venture to say my opinion of her would sink to new and unexplored lows. And, since this is my very own little corner of the internet, and since I'm perfectly entitled to express my opinions, gained through experience, on my own weblog, I guess there would be nothing stopping me from publishing that draft blog entry again. And then some!


I don't take kindly to being crossed.

Fires happen, Colonel. Things burn.
-- Monty Python