Thursday, March 24, 2011

On the other hand...

Confession: sometimes, I tend to be a tad unobservant. I don't know why that is; I guess that I get so caught up in my thoughts that I don't pay attention to everything that's going on around me.

Case in point: yesterday I somehow managed to get all the way to work without noticing that one of the lenses in my sunglasses had popped out. I guess there's a chance that the lens was in for part of the time...but that would mean that I missed it falling out, so still not good.

I discovered the sad state of my sunglasses on my way into the building. A co-worker happened to call out "hello" behind me just as I was passing the front doors, and as I turned to return the greeting, I caught a glimpse of my reflection in the glass. There was only one lens remaining in my sunglasses! Shocked, I commented on it to my co-worker, who remarked that she had thought I was wearing an eye patch.

I guess this balances out the whole "smart kid" thing from my last post...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

"Who would want to take pictures of ugly children?" "The UCTA, that's who!"

Confession: my younger brother and I were smart kids. I'm not bragging or anything; we just were. Some kids were good at sports, others were great musicians. Bret and I were smart. We imagined elaborate story-lines when playing Barbies and action figures (a clever boy-girl compromise) and thought up, and in one case typed up, complex rules for our own games.

What I share with you today is one of the glowing moments of growing up with my little brother: the Ugly Child Talent Agency, or UCTA (which can be spelled out or pronounced "ook-tuh", with the double "o" like in cook and a bit of a guttural sound on the "k"). The creation, or rather realization of the existence of, this infamous agency was on this wise: I'm not exactly sure how old we were at the time; my sister posits that she was about five, which would put Bret and myself at 8 and 10, respectively. Bret could not remember, and so fell back on case law lingo: "since time immemorial". Anyhow, my brother and I were discussing one day the proliferation of ugly children in movies. Think about it. "Mary Poppins", "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang", "Bedknobs and Broomsticks". All ugly children. (Also all British children. We believe the UCTA specializes in the representation of British children, though they are by no means the whole of their agency.)

It occurred to us that perhaps there was an agency of sorts that set these....aesthetically challenged children up with lucrative film roles. How else would children such as these make their way into such potentially endearing parts? The UCTA is the only solution. Throughout the years, whenever Bret or I see a less than attractive child featured in film or television, we feel compelled to remark to one another, "Looks like the UCTA is hard at work in this film". And so it is.

So here's to you, UCTA, and your continual promotion of the children that the world has looked over.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Back off, Lumberjack!

Confession: I apparently suffer from a slight case of masklophobia: fear of mascots.

I was reminded of this fact while having lunch with a friend on campus today. I noticed my friend glance behind me and turned to see what she was looking at. Pressed against the window (not right behind me, but across the room) was a giant lumberjack! Well, giant as in a regular-sized person dressed in khakis and a flannel shirt and wearing a giant lumberjack head, complete with scruffy faux-hair and a funky lumberjack hat. I felt a twinge of fear, but calmed myself, knowing that the mascot could not confront me from outside. A minute later, however, I heard heavy steps behind me, and my friend warning me not to look behind me, before the lumberjack walked by, holding a large poster. Grateful that I had not been accosted by the giant wood-cutter, I suggested to my friend that we get going before it made a round trip back to our table. We walked away, only to see another lumberjack further down the hall! They were ganging up on me! When we made a second pass on our way out, my friend graciously walked on the side of the hall closest to the terror. I found myself actually exhibiting physical signs of fear: my heart rate increased, my stomach flipped around, and I was very nearly visibly shuddering. Not good.

This was not my first experience in on-campus mascot terror. A few years back, while studying in one of the campus lounges, a giant red blood drop came up and grabbed my arm, using a gloved finger to tap the place where the blood-drivers would extract my blood donation. It freaked me out! I said something about how I had to go to class soon, and the blood drop left me alone. It's not like you can make much of an argument when you can't say anything.

This leads me to my first reason that mascots/people dressed in costumes covering their heads creep me out. They can't say anything for fear of "breaking character", they're always pantomiming, and, quite frankly, mimes creep me out too. I then find myself awkwardly wondering if I'm supposed to say anything to mascots. Their hearing is probably impaired by the giant plastic heads, and they can't answer anyway! And where do I look while talking? Their "eyes"? Where I suppose their actual eyes might be? Where?! And, speaking of eyes, where are they looking? I mean, are they secretly leering at me, thinking that since I can't see them it exempts them from social mores? Did the mascot get their job as a cover for their perverted ogling, staring at people all day while no one is the wiser? Do mascots have to submit to a background check before donning the mask to avoid such behavior? So many creepy things to consider.

On the other side of things.... I happen to love Disneyland, where costumed characters run amok through the park. I do admit to feeling slightly awkward around them, for sure, but I'm definitely not creeped out. I suppose it's because we expect them to be there, rather than them sneaking up on you, and because the Magical Kingdom isn't really the type of place at which you expect to be leered at...towards... Anyway...

So there it is: terrified of lumberjacks and blood drops. Friend of Mickey and Minnie.

The end.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Snow, Wheels, and a Pair of Heels

Today I present to you a tale of risk, a tale of adventure, a tale...of a journey to a job interview. Yesterday I left my home to find my car covered in snow from the storm the previous evening. Quickly, I swept the snow off my windshields, telling myself that the snow on top would most likely blow off on the road. Little did I know...

I arrived at a stop light and came to a complete stop. Suddenly, my vision was obscured, and then completely cut off, as the snow from the roof of my car came cascading down onto my windshield. Thoonk thoonk thoonk. Panicked, I quickly switched my wipers on to their highest speed in an attempt to clear my field of vision. The wiper blades were able to clear off the windshield, but there still remained a looming mound of snow on the hood of my car, denying me a clear view of the road. I made it through the intersection, but quickly realized that I wouldn't feel safe driving the remainder of the way with the vast amount of snow remaining on my car.

Reluctantly, I pulled my car over to the side of the road (enduring more cascading thoonks as I once again came to a stop) and exited the vehicle, ice scraper/snow brush in hand. I did pretty well on the driver's side, but as I moved to clear off the passenger side, I realized that I had a major problem: the side of the road that I was approaching was a tad slickish and sloped down into a ditch filled with gross, dirty water. I briefly considered getting back into my car and calling it good, but as the majority of the snow was, in fact, on the passenger side, I knew I had no choice but to brave the perils of slick road and muddy water. Did I mention I was in 4 inch heels?

Slowly, I made my way to the other side of my car, grasping to the front of my hood with one hand while brushing off all the snow that I could. Seeing that my car was nearly cleaned off, I dared to move a little further, but I slipped and nearly fell (my shoes weren't much in the way of traction), so the wise choice seemed to be getting back into my car. Having done this, I went on my merry way to the interview, to which I was still able to arrive on time.