Wednesday, September 13, 2006

So What....

"So What" - that song that has gotten so much air play on the radio lately and has become my new office song, sure has stuck it out for the long haul. I love to sing it in the car, in the shower, while I'm standing at the copy machine at work, to myself at my desk, I even sing it in my sleep while I'm snoozing in the morning trying to get my ass out of bed.

My comadre pointed out very astutely that this song had to have been written for gelat (latina) women. I have to say that after thinking about it, she's got to be right. Could it be that this is our theme song for better or worse? Ay dios.

Field Mob
feat. Ciara
[Jazze Pha]
Ladies and GENTLEMEN!
Jazze Pha, Field Mob, Ciara, Superstar DJ's
Here we go

[Chorus - Ciara]
They say - "He do a little this, he do a little that
He always in trouble," and I heard
"He's nuttin but a pimp, he's done a lot of chicks
He's always in the club," and they say
"He think he slick, he's got a lot of chips
He's sellin them drugs," and I heard
"He's been locked up, find somebody else
He ain't nuttin' but a thug"
So whaaaaaaaaat, so whaaaaaat
So whaaaaaat, so whaaaaat

[Shawn Jay]
And they say - I'm a slut, I'm a ho, I'm a freak
I got a different girl everyday of the week
You too smart you'd be a dummy to believe
That stuff that you heard that they say about me
They say that I'm THIS, they say that I'm THAT
But all of it's fiction, none of it's fact!
But you don't be hearin it about your lover
You let it go in one ear and out the other
Now he say, she say, they say, I heard
If they fake we can't let it get on our nerves
She miserable, she just want you to be
Like her, misery needs company
So don't listen to that vine of grapes - They're
Nuttin' but liars hatin, and I bet
They wouldn't mind tradin pla-ces
with you by my side in my Mercedes


Mo' Money, Mo' Problems, life of a legend
Haters throw salt like rice at a weddin
So what, that's your cousin, that don't mean nuthin
Her like missin is a type of affection
You get, you just blind to the facts
See the lies just as obvious as cries for attention
Yield to the blindness to apply your suspicion
But listen, say you love me, gotta trust me
Why you stress this high school mess?
Break up never, they just jealous!
Drama from your mother, mean mug from your brother
I'm that author of the book, they can judge from the cover
Yes - I been to jail
And yes - I'm grindin for real
I'm a positive talkin negative pimp
They hate to see you doin better than them, so!


(Ladies and Gentlemen, Ciara)

Some people don't like, it
'Cause you hang out in the street
But you my boy-friend
You've always been here for me
This love is serious
No matter what people think
I'm gon' be here for ya
and I don't care what they say
Some people don't like, it
'Cause you hang out in the street
But you my boy-friend
You've always been here for me
I love the thug in ya
No matter what people think
I'm gon' be here for ya
and I don't care what they say

[Field Mob ad-libs as song fades]

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Tortilla Nation

I feel the need to educate people on a recent trend that has me very worried. I just saw a commercial yesterday for the new McDonalds $1 Chicken Snack Wrap. People eat in on the street, they eat it on the go, they eat it in the office, they eat it at home. It’s so convenient, that you can take it on the go and hold it in one hand because it’s neatly rapped in America’s new boyfriend – The Tortilla.

In this world of healthy wraps, nouveau fusion Mexican cuisine, late night drive ups and fast casual dining….it seems that tortillas are making a leap to the A-list. I’m proud of the tortilla. It’s getting its much needed moment in the spotlight. But like most things that hit the mainstream, America has begun to pimp out the tortilla so that it has begun to look like a shadow of its former self. It's being handled by mere mortals and it may be a danger to us all. Let me explain…..

When I was a little girl, every morning, Hermelinda, the lady who took care of my grandpa would make homemade tortillas and pan. She would put some scrumptious butter on my tortilla and roll it up for me to have with my café con leche. It was a delicious treat that was stunting my growth and packing on the early pounds, but I was four years old, what did I care? My torrid love affair with the tortilla had begun.

My grammy would often make me tortillas with peanut butter and jelly for an afternoon snack. She would grill the tort to an inch of its life so that it was nice and crispy and smear on the PB&J and I would have it with a bottle of Pepsi (because Mexican’s believe firmly in that Pepsi won the challenge and we also love to recycle glass). The most important part of this equation was the fact that the tortilla had to be very, very toasty.

In my early years, whenever I would try to take her to Taco Bell she would scoff. No way was she going to eat there. Their tortillas were RAW. When we would have brunch at Mexican restaurants, my grammy would send back many a tortilla at a restaurant because it wasn’t toasty enough. “Like a cracker!” she would say when she sent it back. I think her record for sending back the same set of tortillas was five times.

I finally asked my grandma one day why she was so insistent that the tortilla had to be so crispy. “It’s better that way, and besides, if it’s raw, you’ll get worms!” Whaaaaaa-waaa-waaaa-WORMS? I was gonna get worms? Like my dog? Like they were gonna eat me from the inside out and squirm in my body? Oh my God, how many soft tacos had I eaten in my lifetime? How many Big Beef Burritos would it take for a colony of worms to grow in my belly? I was going to die. At the tender age of eight, I knew that it was all over. I was a mere vessel for parasitic colonization.

I ran home and told my mom that I was gonna die. She said that it probably hadn’t done that much damage. “So it’s true?” I asked. “Better to err on the side of caution,” she replied cryptically. From that day on, I never, ever, ever ate a raw tortilla again. Not steamed, not warmed. I needed those bitches grilled to an inch of their life. I even sent them back a few times.

Now in my lifetime, my grammy also told me that if I ate chile seeds that the seed would go in my appendix and I would die. She also told me that eating Vicks was good for me. My grammy knew lots of stuff, so I ain’t trying to question her wisdom.

Today, I would like you to ask yourself the following questions. Does it really seem like a good idea to eat raw dough? Do issues of salmonella and yeast raise a caution flag for you? Do raw eggs scare you? Then I would think that eating a tempe wrap in a raw tortilla (no matter how sun-dried tomatoed that shit is), a steamed burrito, or a microwaved quesadilla might be a little suspect.

Let this be a cautionary lesson for you all. Don’t be fooled by whitey’s attempt to appropriate our foods. They don’t know what they are getting themselves into and I strongly question their ability to handle such things. Tortillas are to be handled with care, cooked on a comal, sarten or directly on your gas stove. There is no other alternative. If a live flame has not touched your tortilla, you may be in grave danger. Assure yourself good health and a long life. Cook your tortillas. You might have to send that shit back five times, but at least you won’t have to have your appendix taken out because of a damn chile seed or have worms eat your insides out.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Lonelygirl15 - Not So Lonely

So yesterday, I mentioned my current fixation with video blogging. One of the people who I neglected to mention was someone named Lonelygirl15 . I had seen Lonelygirl15's videos featured on You Tube and all the hits she'd gotten, so I watched them. Honestly, I didn't get it. They were kind of boring and a little weird and too personal.

I never thought much of it again until I saw an article in the LA Times today. Could it be that Lonelygirl15 isn't real at all? That she is a genious marketing tool used to promote an upcoming horror movie? Fucking brilliant.

Mystery Fuels Huge Popularity of Web's Lonelygirl15

By Richard Rushfield and Claire Hoffman

September 8, 2006

Lonelygirl15 appears to be an innocent, home-schooled 16-year-old, pouring her heart out for her video camera in the privacy of her bedroom. But since May, her brief posts on the video-sharing site YouTube and the social networking hub MySpace have launched a Web mystery eagerly followed by her million-plus viewers: Who is this sheltered ingenue who calls herself "Bree," and is she in some sort of danger — or, worse, the tool of some giant marketing machine?

No one has publicly come forward to lay claim to her work, but she is starting to look as connected in Hollywood as any starlet. Three lonelygirl15-obsessed amateur Web sleuths set up a sting using tracking software that appears to show that e-mails sent from a lonelygirl15 account came from inside the offices of the Beverly Hills-based talent agency Creative Artists Agency.

The apparent CAA link takes its place alongside other tantalizing pieces of evidence that lonelygirl15 is not who she claims to be: a copyright for the name obtained by an Encino lawyer, and a plot line that, leading speculation suggests, will turn out to be the lead-in to a horror movie's marketing campaign.

CAA spokesman Michael Mand said he "could neither confirm nor deny" that the agency is representing whoever is behind the 27 video posts. (Other talent agencies and production companies contacted by The Times denied any connection.)

As to horror film rumors, calls made to several studios found no such plans — but plenty of fascination for the way in which a Hollywood-ready cultural phenomenon has been built from a grass-roots Web platform. Lonelygirl15, many say, is the next-generation "Blair Witch Project," using interactive forms of storytelling that, like the 1999 hit, tries to trick an audience into thinking it's true.

Indeed, if a commercial project does result, lonelygirl15 may prove to be a model of how to harness a groundswell created on seemingly populist, user-driven websites such as YouTube and MySpace.

To fans, meanwhile, it doesn't seem to matter whether lonelygirl15 turns out to be a private citizen or part of something bigger.

Riana Giammarco, a Rhode Island 20-year-old who curates a lonelygirl15 discussion board (one of several on the Web) says the mystery is the principal draw for her.

"I like the community aspect of the mystery — getting together and trying to figure it out," Giammarco said in a phone interview. "Though I would still watch if there weren't a mystery, the videos wouldn't appeal to me as much."

Lonelygirl15 began quietly, posting in May two amateurish tributes to other videos on the Web's confessional arenas. For a moment she was just one of thousands who post videos on the site each day, typically young people speaking into cameras about their personal lives, a familiar trope from reality TV.

On June 16, lonelygirl15 made her first appearance in a video, titled "First Blog/Dorkiness Prevails." Dark-haired, big-eyed and pretty, she blinked nervously and hugged her knees as she described living in a small town "hours from a mall" with strict religious parents and a friend named Daniel, who she didn't like "in that way."

Over the next three months, two dozen more videos hit the Web, spaced out every few days. Bree dangled hints about her life, revealing that she had spent her youth in New Zealand, was treated for "lazy eye" and had an obsession with physicist Richard Feynman. Oblique references popped up to "my religion," which was never named but which forbade things such as attending Daniel's high school graduation party.

Fans soon started to notice jarring details. A music clip from an undiscovered L.A. band was mixed in to her well-edited montage sequences. Her room was movie-set neat. Above her bookshelf hung a photo of famed occultist Aleister Crowley. Thin already, Bree talked about an upcoming religious ceremony that she would participate in, even though it involved going on a diet.

On the message boards, discussions revolved around the single shoot theory: that the videos must have been filmed in one batch, because they gave little or no nod to the furor erupting around them. The landscape of two outdoor videos had botanical clues that suggested Southern California.

Since June, the videos have regularly made it to the top of YouTube's daily "Most Viewed" list, averaging about 200,000 views each, with several topping 600,000 — viewership many cable TV executives would kill for.

In late August, fans discovered that the Web address for had been purchased before the first video even appeared, with efforts made to shield the identity of the buyer.

In early September, Web forums erupted with the news that lonelygirl15 had been trademarked and the application filed by an Encino lawyer named Kenneth Goodfried. (He declined to comment for this article.) Within days, the MySpace profile of Goodfried's daughter was being combed for connections to the video.

Independent film director and blogger Brian Flemming, who is known for creating edgy film events, became wrapped into the story when viewers became convinced that Flemming had constructed the whole thing in order to promote an upcoming film.

Flemming said he received more than 300 e-mails from people accusing him of involvement.

"People have been confronting me with coincidences, and I don't know how to explain it," Flemming said, choosing his words carefully for fear of furthering the theories. "It's been pretty crazy and actually not particularly desired. It's like a big gift being handed to me that I don't want."

In the last week, the videos have developed seemingly ominous themes. In "Bree the Cookie Monster," Bree and Daniel, on her bedroom floor, sample cookies they say they have made. Judging a contest is a purple monkey puppet, who holds up scores for each cookie recipe. The first cookie was given a "10." The second a "12," the third "06."

Viewers immediately asked: Why 06 and not just 6? Soon, a posting told the virtual crowd that Aleister Crowley was born on October 12, 1875." Could it be that the ritual lonelygirl15 had been preparing for would take place on Crowley's birthday?

But the most compelling mystery has become who is behind lonelygirl15, and fans soon became proactive in trying to solve that bigger puzzle. Driven by hours of conjecturing and late-night instant-messaging analysis, three amateur sleuths who met on the discussion boards on hatched a plan in August to lure lonelygirl15 to MySpace profiles they had created for the purpose.

They were Shaina Wedmedyk, an 18-year-old Oberlin College freshman; Chris Patterson, a 36-year old software engineer from Tulsa, Okla.; and a 23-year old law student in Pennsylvania who declined to be identified by name.

On Aug. 29, they sent an e-mail from a profile they had created for "Seth," an imaginary 17-year-old from Ohio. He told lonelygirl15, "You seem really cool!! I added you and I hope you will add me back. We have the same interests! Your videos are cool, where do you host them? MySpace?"

Later that day, they received an answer. It read simply, "Hi seth :) I think I added you…. The videos are on youtube. What sort stuff are you into?"

Using the tracking software, the team was able to see that seconds before lonelygirl15 had sent the note, someone had looked at Seth's profile. This visit was the only one the profile had received in 17 hours, suggesting that whoever was at the controls of the lonelygirl15 account on MySpace looked at Seth's page before sending the message.

The user's IP address — the number assigned to any Internet-connected computer — was traced to the private server of CAA in Beverly Hills.

Tuesday night, lonelygirl15 posted a sexually tinged video titled "Poor Pluto," in which Bree bemoans the demotion of Pluto to sub-planetary status.

Sprawled on her bed, she stares into the camera and remembers her brief time at a regular high school, when she loved stars.

"They said I was doing something with my teacher, and that's when I stopped asking questions about stars."

Another riddle that will move the story forward?

Or, perhaps, there is a truly mind-blowing explanation for lonelygirl15, albeit one that keeps receding ever further into the realm of the unlikely: just a bored teenager with a camera.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

High School - Bye School

I live a block away from a high school. I never think much of it when I’m on my way to work except that I need to slow down lest I get pulled over for driving too fast and threatening the life of our future America. But now that it’s September and the summer is over, I realized that kids are actually back in school. They are. Can you believe it?

I drove by the high school this morning and saw all these kids up in on the front steps with their heavy book bags, trudging their sleepy little asses to class, looking like this was the last place in the world that they wanted to be and I had one thought:

I may hate my job, I may hate my life, but I am fucking glad as hell that I don’t have to go to high school anymore.

High school fucking sucks. It sucked when our parents went. It sucked harder when we went. And I can only imagine how tough you must have to be now to survive the war at home that is one’s secondary education. I mean, do you remember getting up when it was still dark so that you could be in homeroom by 7:20 am? My dad used to rip off my covers, turn on the TV to full blast on the snow channel and put shaving cream on my face and none of it worked. I was still always late in the morning.

My mom would inspect my clothes before I walked out the door and inevitably make me more late when she would get mad that I didn’t iron my jeans. Good lord woman! I’m fucking late! I don’t have time to put a crease in my jeans! Then she would yell at me and ask me what people would think of her if her daughter went out in public looking all “chewed up”. Whatever mom. Whatever.

Then I would rush to school in my little clunker (life was worse when you rode the fucking bus) and sit in my car and do my homework until I heard the last bell ring. I rushed up to homeroom and my teacher would yell at me for being tardy. You know that I was #2 in my high school class (because I took the hard AP classes and some people were fucking lazy ass motherfuckers who took stupid classes like ROTC History so they could get straight A’s and be valedictorians, then go to community college or court reporting school) and I almost flunked out of my AP English class with a Withdrawal Fail (WF) because I was always late? Fuck you, Mrs. Fritz. I still remember your fucked up, sorry ass and I still hate you for it, bitch.

Then I would think about how I forgot my clothes for P.E. and how I had to wear the “Loner” P.E. clothes that actually said LONER on them. It’s LOANER you fucking dolts. Is that place an institution for intelligence or ignorance? Then I would have to run the mile with cholas who would walk the whole thing while shouting expletives like “Fuck you, Miss Rizzo. I ain’t fucking running no stupid ass mile. Fuck this shit. I ain’t running for anyone but la migra.”

Then after P.E., I’d go to lunch and fight for a table at Burger King while I waited for my double cheeseburger, because that’s totally what I needed to be eating everyday to get more chubs club.

After lunch, I would go to Spanish class with La Senora Jameson who had an untimely car accident and was never the same after she experienced some head injuries. Mrs. Jameson taught us the same lazy ass lesson plans in AP Spanish that she was teaching to Spanish 1. Then a week before the AP test she announced, “Tenemos que preparar para el examen de AP.” Um, don’t you think it’s a little late for that? Maybe we should have been thinking about that a while ago, you crazy ho.

Sixth period, Calculus. Group work! Group work is an experiment designed to have students teach one another so that they are too preoccupied to realize that their fucking teacher is a lazy ass who doesn’t know anything about Calculus in the first place. One person does all the work (me) and everyone else copies (everyone else). I guess that class was my best introduction to real world experiences so I can’t hate them entirely for showing me how unfair life really is.

Then I would go to Forensics. Yes, Forensics. Not the kind on CSI, the speech and debate class. Because I was a DORK. I didn’t know I was a dork then, but I was. I would read all the current events magazines and practice my International Extemporaneous speeches and plan our tournament trips to CSU Fullerton and Berkeley. Forensics was the only time I had any fun in school. Que sad that reading about the Middle East crisis in U.S. News and World Report was my idea of fun.

All I could think of was how I was going to have to live this day over again. High school is like Groundhog Day with bad clothes and pimples.

So today, with school back in session, I salute you, young adolescents of the world, for your bravery and your strength. Know that it will all be over soon and you will be free to waste your life and education away in the real world where things still blow. But at least you don’t have to get up so fucking early in the morning to realize it.

I Tube, You Tube

I am currently FACINATED by people who video blog. I would never do it in a million years, but I get hours and hours of enjoyment during work hours watching people on You Tube share their thoughts and feelings with thousands of strangers who find them so interesting that they are compelled respond with their own video blogs. I guess this is what you call an internet community. To me it's free entertainment because I'm too fucking poor to go to the movies anymore. I gotta get my entertainment from the masses yearning to be heard. Speak to me, gente. I first found LucyInLA who is trying to become an actress.

Lucy is a little innocent girl from Texas who came to LA to act and thinks she is gonna get famous by being on You Tube. She ain't dumb, because she is famous now. I have money on the fact that she'll be repped at CAA within the next month and I'll still be toiling away waiting for someone shitty junior agent to read my damn script. Good luck to you Lucy, you crazy ho.

The other person I found on You Tube is Little Loca. She is a straight up homegirl from East LA. Little Loca is the real mothafuckin' deal and I fucking love her. Loca gives the world shout outs and calls people out on their shit, new wave internet stilo. She's all technological and shit. She don't fuck around and you'd better not fuck with her. Little Loca, I remember when I was like you back in the day. You bring back good memories to this veterana. Keep on keeping it realz, hermana. LL 4eva'.