When You’re Right, You’re Right

I hate to say I told you so, but, well, you know… I told you so. I don’t have a photo to back up my story, but I swear to you, it’s true. My local store has Christmas trees for sale. The fake variety. I mean, it’s not like they have real pine trees standing around. But still.  Right next to the Autumn/Thanksgiving decorations and Halloween candy. I know time flies, but this is ridiculous.

 

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Holiday Rush

In the waning days of August, as summer inched closer to its end yet still had plenty of bite to put sweat on the forehead at the height of the afternoon, I was in a local store to grab a few items and, lo and behold, I saw Halloween decorations staring back at me. Really!? In August the merchandisers were already starting to push Halloween on us!? Halloween, people! Now, I love Halloween, but still, this was a little much. I did a double take just to make sure I hadn’t maybe forgotten that I had previously slipped into a coma and having recently come out of aforesaid coma forgotten that it was actually the beginning of October. Nope. No coma. It was definitely August, and I was already being nudged to think about how I’m going to decorate my front porch for a night more than two months away!

Absurd, I know, but this is how the trend has been going for years now. Each successive holiday season, the celebration du jour has their products on sale earlier and earlier. My prediction? By mid-September, we’ll start seeing turkey cartoons and cornucopia centerpieces. By the time Halloween actually rolls around there will be plastic sleighs and reindeer horns for sale next to cash registers. On Christmas Eve we’ll be able to buy chalky candy hearts with “Be Mine” and “Kiss Me” tattooed on them. After we sing Auld Lang Syne we’ll crack open a Cadbury Cream Egg which, by the way, has already been on sale for a week.

It’s getting crazy how early each consecutive holiday season starts but is it really that unexpected? Should we be shocked? We do live in an age of capitalism, so getting the jump on the competitor is how a business thrives. And who doesn’t like being reminded of these great excuses to eat more than we can fit in, see family we can barely stand, and drink more than we ought to? But when is it too much?

Keep pushing the clock back the way it’s been going and before you know it kids will be sucking on candy canes on their way home from the 4th of July parade.

Laborious Labor Day

Today is Labor Day here in the U.S.  I must confess that Labor Day is one of those holidays that has always confused me, mainly for its contradictory nature.

I mean on Mother’s Day, we celebrate mothers and gift them with the present of doing nothing all day (not that many mothers get away with actually using the gift).  Father’s Day is the same way. We encourage fathers to do “their own thing” on their special day. The effects of most holidays coincide with the original purpose behind said holiday.

But not so Labor Day.

“Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

Now, one would think from this description that workers should have the day off to relax and reap the rewards of the labor they’ve given to their employers and to society as a whole. And indeed, there are some who do have the day off. However, many of the hardest working folks do not. On this day of celebrating their contribution to the world as we know it and to the workforce in general, they are instead forced to work.

Retail workers bear the brunt, just as they do at Thanksgiving and Christmas, given all of the sales that crop up on Labor Day. But they’re by no means the only ones. Food service, convenience store workers, gas station attendants, paramedics, all manner of hospital employees to name a few.  And yes, some of these good folks are essential personnel and life is much better and much safer (for the rest of us) with them in their respective jobs, even on holidays, and we’re thankful for it. Others not so much. Retail, food service, convenience stores, grocery stores. There’s no reason to not let these people enjoy a much deserved paid day off except… except… that it cuts into bloated profits. And we can’t have that now, can we?

So when all is said and done, Labor Day has been turned into a perverse contradiction of its original meaning and rather than truly celebrating the worker, it has devolved into just another way to take advantage of those who cannot afford to lose their jobs by protesting a holiday shift.

Such is America.

click on the photo to see more info on the history of Labor Day

 

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Late Night Thoughts

You know, during the work week, I am tired as anything, but as Sunday evening rolls around and the dreaded Monday is on the horizon, I am wide awake. Go figure. It’s to the point of “okay, if I can just fall asleep now, that’s five hours, and I’m good with five hours, right? Right?” And no, I’m not good with five hours. Not good at all. But the countdown hasn’t stopped, so it’s hard telling how many hours of slumber I’ll actually get in.

But as I lay here, not sleeping, my brain is on overdrive. Here’s a question for you folks that is weighing on my mind. Now, it’s weighing on yours. Welcome to my world.

Just what the hell is Bugs Bunny shaving??

 

 

 

Let Us Prey

I consider myself a fan of the Predator franchise, even though the Predator and Alien smash up wasn’t exactly my cup of tea.  I’m not saying the concept isn’t fantastic. No doubt sci-fi horror fans around the world were thrilled to see a Predator finally square up with a xenomorph, just as much as slasher fans were excited to finally get Freddy vs. Jason (fantastic movie, by the way). I think what killed it the most for me was that the first AVP (Aliens vs Predator) entry was PG-13 and came with a mediocre script. What’s wrong with PG-13? Well, nothing really, but considering every Predator and Alien movie that came before it, and after it, was rated R, why on earth would the movie when these super violent aliens finally cross paths be rated PG-13? Yeah, yeah, I know it’s to reach a broader audience, but still.

However, the newest entry, Prey, is quite arguably a modern-day horror masterpiece. It was a GREAT movie. I loved it. Personally, I felt that it was a perfect addition to the franchise. The fact that the film featured a strong female lead, just like in the original Alien film, really set it off.

Now I understand that opinions are like, well… abundant. Yeah, let’s just say abundant. Not exactly the “A” word I was thinking of, but it’ll do. In other words, everyone has one. An opinion. Cause you know, they’re abundant. And sometimes those opinions drive me up the wall. There, I’ll admit it freely. I hate people. It’s no big secret.

Why this segue into opinions, you might ask? Well, like much of the world, I’m in a few online social groups with like-minded folks who share hobbies, interests, what have you. One of those groups is all about movies. Horror movies to be specific. I don’t know if you’ve noticed or not, but misogyny tends to run rampant online and especially in groups about horror and sci fi. No, really, it’s true.

So, anyway, people in this group were downright losing their minds over the fact that Prey had a strong female lead. And just so we’re clear, when I say, “losing their minds,” I don’t mean in a good way. Like, oh wow, she’s a freakin’ badass!  Yeah, no. It was not like that. At all.

It was mostly men (remember, I did mention the whole misogyny runs rampant thing) doing the mind losing, and the general feeling was, “Let’s talk about the brother. Now HE was awesome. HE would have made a far better hero. HE should’ve been the lead.”  Yeah, great. Sure, the brother would’ve been the perfect hero, perfect for another cookie-cutter action movie. And we certainly don’t have enough of those out there. *insert eye roll here*

Now, let me step back to say the movie itself was very clever at putting the audience in the perspective of a strong, capable, intelligent woman who – without giving spoilers – was gaslighted and made to feel lesser than by all the big strong he-men around her, including her brother. So, the fact, that this freakin’ badass of a woman takes on a Predator was powerful and satisfying and made the movie the horror masterpiece that it is.

But back to the brother. The character added a great deal to the movie, there is no doubt about that. As a side character. Having him be the “hero” would not have added an extra element to the plot nor would it have made the movie better. The actor is fantastic, and he was perfectly cast in the role, and that role… was exactly what it needed to be.

You may be thinking, well those male movie aficionados may have a point. Maybe their criticism of a female lead has some validity. Let me explain something. The major consensus seemed to center around this concept (and I’m quoting): “Her fighting skills were exaggerated; it just wasn’t believable. There’s no way she would be able to fight like that.” Wasn’t believable. Wasn’t. Believable. In a sci-fi horror movie, something wasn’t believable. Go figure. I love when people watch a fictional movie and then tear it apart for not being accurate. I mean, hey, maybe I’m wrong, I guess I should go pick up a history book and see how the Predator vs Native American tribe battle really went down.

It’s like when people are legitimately upset because “cars don’t explode like that in real life.” As they’re watching Transformers, a film about giant robotic shape-shifting alien vehicles from a distant universe.

The same guys who thought the female lead’s fighting skills were unbelievable also expounded the view that (another quote), “The brother was more believable as a fighter and a hero, his action sequences were amazing.”  Cause you know, HIS fighting skills were right on the mark. These are the same folks who totally believe the whole Predator comes to Earth to hunt prey scenario, and of course, that checks out. However, it’s the FEMALE lead’s fighting skills that get called into question. That’s the unbelievable bit.

I’m serious, Facebook needs to add an emoticon of Picard’s facepalm meme. Or better yet, Dana Scully’s. I’m kind of singling out these few comments but know that there were hundreds more just like them, all from men, who took issue with a female lead in a Predator movie, a female who could kick ass, but should’ve been a man.

These are the same people who apparently forget about Ellen Ripley and Sarah Connor. Of course, those movies had the same type of male characters who downplayed the female’s role and tried to gaslight her (just like with Prey), so, yeah, there’s that.

About the Job

Dear Influencer aka Large Celebrity,

Hello! I know I’m a little late to the game, but I’m inquiring about the personal assistant job I came across online this morning (appended below). I might be wrong, but I have a sneaking suspicion the position might still be available. I’d like to go down the list of the qualities you’re looking for to effectively show you how qualified I am for the role.

I see that you’re seeking a well-organized, available, diligent assistant. Well, I just moved here, I’m single, I live alone, I don’t know anybody, I don’t have any kids, and I’m allergic to cats, so, you’d be amazed at my availability. As for being well organized, I always say, “organizing is something you do before you do something so that when you finally do it, it’s not all messed up.” Looking for help with planning and managing calendar activities? No problem, I worked as a secretary for a family doctor in a remote village in Alaska before moving here to beautiful LA. Cooking and cleaning are no problem, I’ve watched tons of videos on both YouTube and TikTok and except for the dance-vacuuming, I’ve got it down. But in all seriousness, you probably don’t want to see me dance anyway. I’ve got a whole Elaine Benes vibe going.  I’ve come across quite a few delicious-looking recipes on my Facebook feed as well. For instance, a lovely hot dog and spaghetti stir fry served in buttered focaccia bread and topped with powdered sugar. Talk about savory and decadent! Let’s just say you won’t go hungry.

I’m in plenty of online groups so I don’t think I’ll have a problem keeping up in communication with your team of producers, videographers, stylists, etc. Maybe we could start a chatroom together so we can all just stay in touch that way. Wouldn’t that be a great idea? See that? I’m working for you already. I generally consider myself a calm person, but I have been prescribed a handful of anti-anxiety meds by my therapist to “level me out” as he puts it. Cause you know. Road rage in the grocery store aisles. But really, I’m calm most of the time, nothing serious. And if the meds don’t kick in quick enough, I just throw a shot of gin into the mix, and I’ll be right as rain in no time.

I realize this is technically a part-time position while still needing to dance attendance 8 hours a day every day, and that’s A-Okay with me. I figure we’ll be fast friends anyway and hanging out with my bestie is always a good day, amirite? As for being on call 24/7, also not a problem. You’ll officially be contact number 4 on my phone. 1 is my therapist, 2 is my mom – Janet (well, she’s not really my mom, she’s just an older lady I lived next door to years ago who was like a mom, and well, she never answers, but still), 3 is Ralph Harrington (you might know him, he drives a bus here in LA, I met him on my way in, really nice guy.) and now number 4 belongs to you!

Part of the job is to wake you up every morning and help you greet the day. One question: do you prefer a healthy dose of ice water over your head (so invigorating!) or a quick snuggle to start your day? You also mention not being allowed to take photos, that’s also not a problem. I currently have a Motorola flip, and strangely enough, there’s no camera on this one.

Traveling is also no problem. My apartment is less than 200 square feet, it’s more of a closet really, so I’d prefer being out and about, adventuring with you anyway. You made a point about keeping my private life out of this, and aside from meeting Ralph for drinks on Thursday and checking in with my therapist every other day, my schedule is all yours! And just so you know, I clocked it and I’m exactly 52 minutes from the center of LA, so your geographical requirements are spot on!

One part of your listing that stands out to me is “assist on minor video projects” which is literally one of my biggest dreams ever. I’ve had so many ideas for little “web-isodes” (that’s what I call them. Short episodes found on the web. Get it? Cute right?). One is about an orange girl from outer space who’s sent here but makes first contact with a family of raccoons. So, her whole perspective of our planet is taught to her by cute little trash pandas. That’s just one idea, I have hundreds more in my Twilight notebook (I hope you love Twilight too), I’ll be sure to bring that for the follow-up interview.

One small problem though, I don’t have a car. I’ve been relying on Ralph to take me places. He has a pretty handy schedule once you get used to it. Just call down to the bus depot and ask them for it, maybe you could schedule your appointments around him until I get a set of wheels for us.

Well, I’m going to stop myself there. I feel that I’m overqualified as it is and continuing to tell you why I’d be the best person for this job would just be overkill and frankly not fair to the lesser people who also applied for the position. From just your ad alone, I can’t help but think we’re two peas in a pod, quite honestly. Feel free to reach out when you’re ready to schedule the follow-up! I can’t wait to meet you!

Yours Truly,

W-

I mean, come on! Who wouldn’t want to apply for this job??