Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I swear to Bob!

I'd swear to God but ehh...I have my doubts.

I need to stop getting online first thing when I wake up in the morning/afternoon. I'm not a morning person to begin with and things easily irritate me. So things that I already find irritating REALY irritate me and/or get me riled up. This is not the way I want to start my day.

It seems that every time I get online to do my usual online routine, which is check my 2 e-mail accounts (personal and work), check up on the myspace scene, check my flickr activity, and look for new job postings on craigslist, I am bombarded by more stupidity than my half-awake brain can stand.

There's always another stupid-ass survey bulletin (or in today's case, four in a row from the same person) or someone telling me everything they plan on doing today (I hope putting on your helmet is one of those things.) Then there's usually some spam from craigslist trolls who get my info and send me bullshit, or another scam artist trying to scam me. Or another not-so-bright craigslist user trying to find out info about my photography/tutoring, etc, and can't form a single, intelligent sentence. On flickr, there's another "favorite" (which is basically a person book-marking a photo so he/she can find it later) on one of my photos from some creepo collecting photos for their spank collection. And on craigslist, there's a never-ending parade of stupidity in the form of poorly-worded, never-seen-a-spell-check posts from the general public of New Orleans. These posts are a depressing reminder that once I leave my house, these are the geniuses I will have to interact with. I'm not saying I'm the smartest kid in the world, but you should read some of these things!

Every now and then I get lucky and wake up to something in my inbox that makes me smile, a nice e-mail or a funny video. Or maybe a sweet job offer via craigslist. But, alas, I typically find nothing but reminders of how mindless the general internet user is.

Now, I understand that many people think at their jobs all day and just get online to unwind and have a little fun. That's cool. I'm more specifically talking about people who put their words out for everyone (or just one person) to see without really thinking about what they are saying first.

Here's a great e-mail I got in response to a craigslist post I recently made offering photography:

I need a wedding photographer for November 29, 2008
Are you free? can you reply with an answer
Thank you ("Photography!!!")

(The name hasn't been omitted. The person did not think to include it…or punctuation. That in parenthesis after the "Thank You" is what is commonly known as an "in-text citation".)

Aside from the fact that there is no information on where the wedding is located, which if it is outside of New Orleans may be pertinent information and might change my availability, look at the second line of the message.
"can you reply with an answer"

Umm....WHAT THE FUCK ELSE WOULD I REPLY WITH OTHER THAN AN ANSWER? According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the definition of "reply" is: "to respond in words or writing" ("Reply"). And, to further clarify, the definition of "respond" is: "to say something in return: make an answer" ("Respond").
More appropriate questions would be "Can you please reply?" "Could you please write with an answer?" or simply leave it at "Are you available?".
I just don't understand some people's thought processes...or lack thereof.

Now I may not ever win a spelling bee and if you ask me to quickly tell you the answer to some math equation, I'd probably be stumped. But I would like to think I apply a certain level of cognition to the things I say, and in this case, type. Spending time thinking about what one is typing is even easier than thinking about what one is saying because one has time to re-read and edit one's typed words.

I understand that the typical person, particularly the typical New Orleanian, will not have perfect grammar, spell well, know correct comma usage or even have the ability to turn their thoughts into text in the best way. It just seems that no one thinks before they hit send or post. These are things you are putting out there because you think everyone needs to read make it worth reading, silly monkeys! Hell, I've seen Monkeys that write better than some of the craigslist posters.

So I'll leave you, dear readers, with this brilliant work of literary art in the form of a Craigslist posting titled "Body Paint Shoot". In writing this, somebody expected to entice a girl to get naked and allow her body to be painted on and photographed. It has not been edited by me in any way:

looking for a model that into art i am planning a traffic sign (yield sign) life size. Then put model up to sign then paint her to blind into sign.

i also plan on some higher end artict shoots that would also like to shoot this summer.

Works Cited

"Body Paint Shoot." Online Posting. 11 June 2008. New Orleans Craigslist Creative Gigs. 17 July 2008.

"Photography!!!." E-mail to Robin Walker Photography. 15 July 2008.

"Reply." Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. 2008.Merriam-Webster Online. 17 July 2008.

"Respond." Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. 2008.Merriam-WebsterOnline. 17 July 2008.

Originally Posted to Myspace July 17th, 2008.

You have GOT to start doing something more constructive with your time!!

Everytime I get on myspace to check my messages, write a blog, or whatever, I see atleast one bulletin that says "I'm bored..." and then said bored person proceeds to waste 10 minutes of their life filling out a "survey" of questions that some other bored person made up. The answers rarely tell anyone else anything meaningful about that person's life and anyone who reads it is also wasting time of their life.

Read a book, read a book, read a mother-fuckin' book. Seriously. Even if it is just fiction, READ something that matters. Something creative from somebody else's mind might inspire you to do something creative with yours. Draw a picture. Take a photo. Make up a new dish and cook it. Start a blog of your thoughts. Write a short story or a poem. Do something you think you can't do. Ride a bike. Learn an instrument. Or...I dont know...stop ignoring your fucking kid and go hang out with him/her. Clean your room for goodness something!

Sure, a certain amount of every person's day should be spent relaxing and entertaining oneself with TV, or internet silliness, or what have you. But if you are "bored" then the net obviously isn't entertaining you any way and you should go do something that will actually benefit you in the long run. If you really want to play on the computer, do one of those puzzle games or photoshop your head on a celebrity or something.ANYTHING other than the mindless shit you guys always do.

I love you guys, but myspace is so full of shit. Don't keep adding to it. You guys are too good for that. Really. You are.

P.S. Before you guys say to me "What the fuck are you doing? You're posting a blog!" Well, I just spent this time expressing myself in what should be constructive for the people it pertains to. Even doing that is better than a bullshit survey or lameass application.

Originally posted to Myspace on July 14th, 2008

Sometimes, Less Isn't More

Growing up, I was taught to be thrifty. Much to my shagrin, my mother always shopped for me at the thrift store or walmart, buying me clothes that I would end up getting teased for wearing because they weren't the latest, greatest, most expensive brand-name item. We bought food in bulk at Sam's club and made sure to get the store brand whenever possible. It was rare that I got a "treat" like a lunchable, a kid's cuisine, or some other novelty food item. I typically didn't ask my parents to buy me certain things because I knew we couldn't afford them. Even now, I try to not ask for many expensive things for christmas or a birthday, even though money is better for the family these days.

I carried this idea of thrifty shopping into adulthood. I learned to appreciate it as a teenager and bought as much cheap crap as I could. I shopped at big lots, walmart, TJMaxx, and Ross for everything I could possibly buy at those stores. It was rare I ever needed anything that I couldn't get there because I didn't think I needed the expensive clothes or the nice cosmetics.

Well...that has changed.

I'm still not into wearing brand name shit just for the sake of wearing brand name shit. If I do buy something that is from a more expensive store, I tend to shop on sales racks and never buy stuff that has the store's name big as hell across the front of it. But, I've started pampering myself in certain ways that has really made a difference.

The biggest thing, is body care. After taking the trip to North Carolina in April, and learning about natural body care products, I decided to do some research and try some for myself. I made a trip to whole foods and bought natural shampoo and body wash.

Wow. What a difference!

My hair was instantly much healthier, shinier, cleaner, and softer. It was literally squeaky clean! My skin was sooo soft and smooth. I wasn't really paying that much more for these items than I had the other crap at walmart. After all, I did like to use Pantene for my hair, which costs about the same as a bottle of the least expensive natural shampoo at whole foods. But pantene and other shampoos are chock-full of extra crap that builds up on your hair and weighs it down, damaging and destroying it over time. Don't believe me? Ask a hair dresser. It's the same with soaps and body washes. I used to use Oil of Olay which is supposed to moisturize and blah blah blah. After one shower with the Jason teatree body wash, I was hooked. That stuff is definately more expensive than Olay, but at $10 for a big pump bottle, it's not a bad deal. My skin is clean and soft all day plus it isn't dried out at all!

I put off splurging for face wash for a while because this is where it gets pricey. I couldn't find anything for less than $10 and I'm used to paying $3 for a big bottle of equate brand clearasil type stuff. But I finally got sick of the dry, blotchy skin on my face and splurged for the Alba coconut milk face wash. After ONE USE I could tell a major difference!! My skin wasn't dry and flaky and it was very smooth and evenly toned: no red splotches! I paid $12 for an 8oz bottle, which is pretty expensive in my thrifty book, but I'm glad I did.

I still try to find good stuff for cheap when I can. I found some Almay makeup at biglots the other day for less than half its usual price at walmart. (Almay is awesome, by the way, hypo-allergenic and no animal testing. woohoo!) But after treating myself to some nicer stuff for my body, I don't think I'll go back. It is completely worth it. Even the cheapest of the all natural, organic goods(like 365 brand at whole foods) is much better than any of the "special" crap you can get at walmart. They've even started carrying certain brands like Alba and Jason (which aren't necessarily cheaper, only more convenient) at walgreens.

So long blog short, buy organics. They're environmentally friendly and much better for your body than all that other crap. Ever wonder why you don't see very many commercials for natural and organic body care and you see tons of ads for the other shit? It's because the other crap has to dish you a load of bull to get you to buy their stuff. Organics don't need to. It's naturally good and it sells itself(once you try it once!).

Plus you'll feel super cool and trendy shopping at Whole Foods. And you might end up in a craigslist missed connection. haha

Originally posted to Myspace on July 6th, 2008

Saturday, June 7, 2008

NolaRising Body Paint Photos

After a couple weeks of collaborating, this project came to life. It started as a comment left on one of my body paint photos from Rex saying that he should paint on a chick. Then I figured we could take that one (or two) steps further. Soon it turned into a full-on, four-way collaboration including some extremely talented people.

These photos are in response to the recent battle of Nola Rising vs Grey Ghost (synopsis after photos).

Rex as himself

Rex as Fred

Rex as Supersecret Ninja Writer

Statue: Jaggedsoul
Body Painting: Michael Dingler
Artist, Fred, Tagger: Michael Dingler
Lighting designer/technician/badass assistant: Max Prophet
View Large On Black
This little brainchild of mine was inspired by Mike Dingler's recent legal battle with the city of New Orleans, posed upon him courtesy of Fred Radtke.

For those of you not from New Orleans or not in the know, I'll give you a synopsis:

Michael "Rex" Dingler is an artist in New Orleans who founded Nola Rising, a project that creates signs that bear messages of hope for a floundering city and posts them around the city. They are usually brightly colored pieces of art that generally make people smile. Many other people joined the Nola Rising family and started creating art and helped him hang it around the city.

Fred Radtke is a generally hated radical vigilante who started Project Clean Sweep in New Orleans. His non-profit organization's goal is to wipe out graffiti in the city. He does this by smearing gray paint on any piece, bomb, tag, or sticker he sees. He's even been known to paint over flyers people have posted. Graffiti artists respond by painting over the gray blocks. Some have created stickers with stylized images of Radtke that read "Fred Radtke is a ticking time bomb" or "Fred Radtke is a criminal". Recently, someone started stenciling a photo of Fred's head with the text "Fred Sez" underneath him and an empty word bubble over his head so that taggers can voice their dislike for the violent "activist". His most recent endeavor: painting over Nola Rising artwork, which is in no way graffiti.

Late last year, he launched a personal vendetta against Michael Dingler and set out to "financially cripple" him. He got the city involved and Michael was cited on many different counts and faced a potential fine of $50k.

Instead of stopping his project, it brought more publicity to it and rallied more people behind him. The Nola Rising family grew and soon hundreds of signs were created. Benefit shows were held and money was raised for Michael's defense fund. A petition was passed around stating that Nola Rising was much loved art and not graffiti.

When the court date rolled around, Michael was ready and Radtke made a fool of himself in court. In the end, he was basically given a slap on the wrist and a $200 fine. He was told he couldn't personally hang the signs anymore. It was a small victory for Mike and Nola Rising, but we're sure Radtke's fight to stop his project will not end. The good thing is that this has raised a lot of buzz on Radtke's actions and the widespread dislike for him, and the numerous lawsuits raised by business and property owners whose properties he's illegally painted on, have come to light. I think New Orleans will soon see a stop to this villain.

I want to thank Rex Dingler, Max Prophet,and Jaggedsoul for all of their help on this project. Without them, this idea never would have come to life.

Here's links to the work of the collaborators on this project:

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Shoo fly!

Humans are the most inconsiderate species on the planet. When an unwanted insect wanders in to one of our homes, cars, or other personal space, we quickly exterminate them without a second thought or hint or remorse. Yet bugs have been on this earth much longer than humans have. Who is to say that humans have the right to choose whether or not these seemingly insignificant creatures live or die? I know I've been guilty of stepping on cockroaches, picking apart fleas, swatting mosquitoes, and sucking up wasps in the bug sucker, but I typically feel somewhat sorry for the act. In the case of mosquitoes or wasps, their death is due to my need for safety. What with the west nile scare several years ago, who could chance being bitten by one of those disease infested pests? As for roaches, though, I simply am disgusted by them and freak out when they are in my house. Sure, they are pesky vermin that will eat everything...from the food in your kitchen to your clothes and even the paint right off of your walls. No joke. But do they truly deserve to die?
I won't kill a mouse. And they eat all the same shit that roaches do. Plus, they'll bite a human and possibly carry diseases. But I won't kill them because they are cute. Roaches aren't cute. What kind of double standard is that? They don't make live traps for roaches though; a roach motel isn't a nice place for them to take up residence.
Sometimes, bugs just gotta go. But I wish there was a humane way to get rid of them. I guess killing takes the "humane" out of anything, but don't you feel shitty watching a roach flail around on his back for half an hour after you hit him with the raid? I do. As much as I can't stand those things, I don't want one to sit there and suffer because I don't like them. One time when I was a kid, I partially killed a small fabric-eating moth. I felt so terrible about it, watching him attempt to live that I tried to save it. Of course that didnt work and he just died a slow death. In retrospect, that was pretty stupid. But I guess my heart was in the right place.
What I'm trying to say is, humans suck. We take the choices of mortality into our hands when it comes to "lesser beings". I mean, we take it as far as killing unborn humans if their existence will inconvenience us. But that is an entirely separate can of worms. I wish there was a way for all creatures to live at peace with one another.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Socially Crippled by Modesty

There's a part of my personality that I've been working on overcoming. As issue I've dealt with for many years. It stems from ideas that were implanted in my brain as a kid and I've had a hard time shaking in my teen years and adulthood.
I grew up in a Southern Baptist home. I am the only girl, right smack in the middle of 2 brothers. My mother taught me extreme modesty, as if nudity was something to be ashamed of. Having a brother see me in my underwear would have been devestating. This all because of the way I was raised. I didn't have a wealth of girl friends as a kid, thus didn't have the experience many girls had which was you changed with your friends and didn't care if they saw you naked.
As I grew into a teen, this became a problem. I made more girlfriends and they always loved to change around each other. We'd hang out in one particular friend's room and try on all her clothes, her closet becoming all of our closet. But this was hard for me. I felt the need to avert my eyes from the other girls' bodies and tried to hide my own by turning my back to them or stepping into the closet. Changing into a bathing suit required a locked bathroom door.
The odd thing was I was sexually active at this time and didn't have a problem being nude during sex. But that was the only time. I realized I had some sort of attraction to females when I was around 13 and while I was "bi-curious", I never acted on anything until I was 16 or so. Even then, it was innocent enough exploration with drunken girlfriends. Never to be repeated once sobriety hit. I wondered if thats why I was so shy changing around other people, because deep down I was attracted to them and felt it wrong to see them nude. In retrospect, I don't think that had so much to do with it as my strictly modest upbringing did.
Now that I am grown, I still struggle with this. The thought of being naked in front of a group of people makes me feel sick and angry. I like to do extra work in movies...well not so much like as do it for the money...and have had offers to do nude or semi-nude scenes and am always completely offended at such offers. I always think "how dare you? what do I look like to you? a stripper??". It wasn't until recent years that I was even completely comfortable in my own skin; that is to say I've only just become happy with my shape and breast size. I used to think I wanted a boob job but I would never do such a thing now. I love what I was born with and think the fake girls walking amongst us are ridiculous.
But I still have problems and I feel stupid over it. Other girls can pose nude for photographs or for body paintings, but I never could. The only lens I feel comfortable being in front of is my own and that is because I have complete control over the photos and their distribution. I got ballsy enough to post an artistic nude self portrait in April and only because it was rather dark with slight highlights. It truly was a beautiful image and I released it to flickr in hopes that it would help me overcome my fear of nudity. It made me slightly more comfortable but it didn't help as much as I'd hoped. I even had a hard time releasing a photo that only showed part of my rear, which is a part of my body I am completely comfortable with.
Yesterday I went to a wardrobe fitting for a featured extra gig I landed. I felt like a moron when the woman asked me to take my pants off and we were just standing in an office with no sort of private changing area. I kind of made a big deal about it, mostly because I was completely embarassed to have to ask her to leave. She said she was desensitized but kind of looked at me like I was an idiot. Here I am, nearly 22 years old, and I won't get into my underwear in front of a stranger. Is that wrong? Should I have gotten over it? Then again, other people kept walking into the room while I was there and if I hadn't said anything, they would have done it while I was changing. There were men in the room directly outside of the one I was in and I could only imagine being spotted by one of them as I changed. I felt completly uncomfortable and as if I had regresssed ten years. The funny thing is, only a few weeks ago I ran onstage during a favorite band's show in my underwear and t-shirt with 2 other guys in their underwear. I was wearing spankies, which are more like shorts than panties, and I felt ok in that. But the catch is...I was rather intoxicated. I never would have done it sober and it took a little prodding to get me to do it in the first place. I got such a rush off of it. So why cant I handle disrobing infront of another female?
I'm thinking maybe it was because she just expected me to strip in front of her while she watched that made me uncomfortable. She didn't even offer to step out until I informed her I'm not one of those girls who just changes in front of other girls or goes to the bathroom in groups. Maybe it was because it brought up those icky feelings I get when I read casting posts that say nudity is required and that you'll have to show some creepy casting guy your goods, have your nude photo taken and hung on a wall, and then maybe not even cast. When I was in the casting office, I saw a board made up for one of the actresses with snapshots of her different outfits. Each one had a label next to it saying what scene it was for (i.e. Maxim party, at Hotel, etc). One photo said next to it "Show Breasts" and something about that got under my skin. I couldnt explain it.
I've been working for a body painter lately who paints girls fully nude. I'd never be able to pose for him. Firstly, because he does a photo session with interested girls first. They aren't artistic photos, just poor quality point and shoot images of the girls in various poses. While this step is necessary, him showing any old friend who walks in his gallery these images is not. Once painted, a girl doesnt feel as nude as she really is. But in that first session, she's completely vulnerable and may have no idea that he'll show these images to other people or that he isn't as objective and professional of an artist as he comes off as. He can be completely pervy, which I can handle, but I know better than to disrobe for him. Why does this sit so terribly with me? He refers to one girl he painted as "the big girl" and I've asked him to stop. It seems highly disrespectful of the model, who was rather big. But can't he say "the stained glass piece" or "Jena" which is her name. He got offended that I even asked him to change the way he referred to her. I've heard him say it to many people that walk in the gallery when he refers to that particular photo.
All these things add up to make one very confused, very uncomfortable girl. I'd like to do nude photo shoots of other people, females in particular, because the female form is a very beautiful thing. But I have a hard time asking girls to pose for me which is why I havent yet. I've had friends offer to pose nude or semi-nude for me and I just can't take them up on it. I wouldnt be comfortable trying to direct their naked bodies for hours when I have to hang out with them. Then again, maybe it will be easier than I think. Maybe its just the anxiety that I have associated with nudity that make me think it will be hard. I'm doing my first personally orchestrated body painting shoot next week. The model is someone who has posed nude before and I dont know very well so I dont feel uncomfortable about it. Plus, she will be fully painted, is going to be posed to hide her lady bits, and the painting is a great one that is making a statement. A cause-worthy piece that everyone involved is super excited about.
Maybe more shoots like this will loosen me up about my own body. Maybe I will never change. Maybe I'll always be this weirded-out freak of a little girl trapped in a woman's body whenever someone mentions my own nudity. Maybe it was being teased for having small breasts when I was younger (too young to should have been having to worry about it) that has gotten me uptight about it. Maybe my mother was too strict about walking to the bedroom in a towel after a shower or telling me to not shower at friend's houses. Maybe it's my knowledge that the general male (and some of the female) population can't seperate nudity from sex and will always view my nude body this way. Maybe its because so many pervy photographers only become photographers to get chicks naked in front of their camera that I wont pose for other men. Hell, I probably wouldnt even pose for a female because that stuff might end up in front of a male audience. Maybe I could ramble on about this all day and never have it make more sense to me.
What do you think?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

10 Simple Rules for your bar's ladies' room

Originally posted to Myspace May 13, 2008
For some reason, girls behave really ridiculously in the Ladies' room at the bar. It is probably directly related to copious amounts of alcohol...okay it is most definately directly related to copious amounts of alcohol. At any rate, this list of simple rules is for you, ladies, to make the bar going experience better for us all.

1. There is no reason to take longer than 90 seconds in the bathroom. Pee, wash your hands, get the hell out. Use the mirror in your compact to apply a fresh coat of lipstick in the hall outside of the bathroom. There are busting bladders out there waiting while you try to make that mess of a face pretty. If you gotta make a number 2, go home! Nobody wants to smell your foul ass. If you gotta do lady related things, you have up to 2 minutes...but even that shouldnt take that long. Learn to pee faster. It's called Kegel muscles. Look it up.

2. If it's a one seater, go in ONE at a time. Don't go to the bathroom in pairs or in a group. It doesnt make it any faster; in fact, it makes it slower because you sit in there and talk about how hot that wasted guy at the bar is. I know you don't need anyone to hold your hand so that you can pee. If you need moral support to take a whiz, you need more help than another drink can give you. If you need help standing up, then you should call a cab.

3. Learn to hover. No one wants to put their bare ass on a disgusting bar toilet seat. No one wants to wait on you to carefully put toilet paper on the seat either. Learn to pee whilst hovering. New Orleanians should already know this trick anyway. Walls are great for support. And since you have been hovering...

4. If you sprinkle when you tinkle, be a sweetie and WIPE THE FUCKING SEAT!! I know I don't want to look at your piss on the seat. And if in my drunken stupor I should accidentally brush my ass against the seat, I dont want your piss on me. And then there's the disgusting ones of you that somehow bleed on the seat and then leave it there. Umm....can anyone say biohazard? Thats fucking gross. Clean it up. Sheesh.

5. Don't vomit in the sink. Nuff said.

6. If you drop the toilet paper roll on the ground you should pick it up and take the top layer of paper off the roll and throw it away.If it got wet, you should get rid of paper until it isnt wet anymore. Do you want to wipe your precious petals on the bathroom floor? Me neither. Be courteous, will ya?

7. If you pull paper off the roll and for some reason decide you don't want to use it, just effing flush it. Don't set it back on the roll. You touched it. Now I don't want it.

8. Knock once, then give the girl another minute. If she hasn't emerged, knock again. Impatience won't get you in the bathroom any faster. You don't know if she just went in there and for you to pound on the door or yank on the knob repeatedly after a girl just got done undoing her belt, she's gonna get pissed off and will probably pee on the seat or worse. Give a lady a reasonable amount of time (refer to number one). If you are in the bathroom and heard someone knock or try to open the door, then you should hurry.

9. Don't cut in the godamn bathroom line. I don't care if your buddy is in front of three people and you are afraid of doodoo monsters and want to go in with her. Have her come wait in line with you after she's done if that's the case. Cutting in any line is rude. Cutting in the bathroom line is stupid. You might get knifed. I'm not saying, I'm just saying.

10. Properly dispose of your lady products. Proper disposal means wrapping up whatever item it is in toilet paper and throwing it away.Proper disposal is not dropping it on the floor next to the toilet, sticking it to the wall, putting it in the sink, attempting to flush it, or eating it. All of those things are disgusting and one might kill you. Then again, if you're stupid enough to try that last one, maybe you should die. Ever heard of the Darwin Awards?

So, Ladies, next time you are taking a piss at the loo in your favorite bar, remember these rules. If you are retarded, print them out and put them in your purse for you to brush up on while you wait in line. If every lady followed these rules, the wait in line wouldn't even be long enough to read this. Ever. Remember that just because it is your turn in the bathroom, doesnt mean that you can take your sweet ass time. It pissed you off when the girl before you did it and it is pissing off the girl after you while you do it. You're an adult, so behave like one and be couteous to your fellow woman.
If you can't observe these simple rules, use the men's room. It's wonderful in there and they will love it.