Monday, October 8, 2012

Things That Bother Me, A Single Faux Pas

There's a laundry list of things involving a restroom that bother me, and none of those things occurred today. What did happen involved common bathroom courtesy.

During my lunch hour, I ventured down to the office. The office is situated across from the rather spacious cafeteria which was designed with the popular open-concept in mind. In order to get to the office, you must walk by the watchful eyes of the hoards of pre-teens who are suffering from a constant state of hormonal witchery. This has been known to cause them to beckon passersby with their often awkward, and always unwelcome, comments.

"That dress is soooo cuute!" - I know, that's why I put it on this morning.

"What's wrong with your hair?" - Why thank you for noticing. I'm trying this new thing where I don't brush it in the morning. 

However, today I made it all the way to the office unnoticed. I finished everything I needed to do there - discipline problems, bus issues, etc. - and made it to my last stop, the restroom, without anything putting a damper in my substantially giddy step (especially for a Monday).

And then, common courtesy left the building.

I can understand if there was just one staff restroom and I had been hogging it for a considerable amount of time. Considerable meaning anything longer than the casual 3.5 minutes which allows for some mirror action on the way out. But, my visit today was short and sweet, and annoyingly interrupted.

About a minute and thirty seconds into my stay, just as I hit the nozzle on the faucet and acquired the necessary suds, there was a knock at the door. I wasn't expecting anyone, obviously considering a) this is a place of work so the mile high club isn't particularly high on my list of bathroom goals, and b) as noted, there's another bathroom a mere 4 feet to the left. Naturally, I don't feel compelled to rush or answer for that matter. I dry my hands, take a quick look in the mirror, and head out.

Standing there outside door is a young substitute, or possibly an aide, since I've seen her more than a time or two before. Just standing there. She announces, "that was me knocking at the door."

No Shit, Sherlock. (or sh*t, for the more sensitive reader)

My first reaction is to look to my right and check to see if somehow I'd missed the line which had obviously formed in my 2 minute absence from the corridor and clogged up both bathrooms, but I couldn't find one anywhere. After a suspicious glance her way, I shook my head slightly and walked back into the hallway.

Do social graces no longer exist? And, in case you were wondering, if there's anywhere I don't want to be bothered - it's in the John (which I just taught my students the other day, means restroom).

Thank you.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

A Mild But Albeit Innocent Obsession With Kurt Sutter (#SOA)

Until a couple weeks ago the only thing I knew about Sons of Anarchy was that the attractive fellow from Green Street Hooligans played a badass biker and that Peggy Bundy was involved in some capacity.

After devouring season 1, patiently waiting every Tuesday/Friday for the red Netflix envelope to arrive (yes, I do have it down to a schedule), I've found that even though I can jokingly tweet remarks about my newest fictional crush Jax, played by Charlie Hunnam - I really came out of this season with a newfound appreciation for one man, Kurt Sutter.

Note: "Jax's babies" - I don't know Hunnam, so that would just be weird to say..

In case you don't know who Mr. Sutter is, fret not, neither did I until I was captivated by a cameo from encarcarated Sons of Anarchy member Otto Delaney in 'Better Half' (season 1, episode 10) - which would make my acquintance going on 5 days now.

As mayhem unfolded in Charming and ATF went at SOA from a new angle, the suave gentleman restrained in a 10x10 (best guess) room was the most memorable part of the episode.

It didn't take long before I was googling (what an offbeat verb, I wonder if there's a plan to add it to the dictionary?) to find out more information about this man - the actor, not the character.

Kurt Sutter.

Come to find out, Sutter is more than just an actor that was the lucky result of a casting call. He is the creative genius behind the series. Which leads me to my mild but albeit innocent obsession with Kurt Sutter.

With my limited work in film to spawn my curiousity of his artful process, he is definitely on my list of people in the industry I'd like to sit down with for a few hours, shoot the shit (or sh*t for the more sensitive reader), and pick his brain to the full extent that my stream of consciousness will allow.

I can't imagine what it takes to make something like a simple idea come to be a show that is now rocking its way up the Nielsen rankings in its fifth season on FX.

While most people, understandably, are focused on the actors who are in your face every week carrying the show in one sense - have you ever wondered what's happening to get them there? I love television, but I have a deep appreciation for the day-to-day behind the scenes actions. While Hunnam is delivering that perfect line, I wonder who wrote it? Who chose the music to go with the last epic scene in the season one finale in the cemetary? And, who was responsible for the final shot of him standing at his father's grave that tracked back from a close-up to a wide with the min-flags perfectly lined up (flags no doubt being the result of a fantastic art department)?

And, who's behind it all?

Thumbs up, Kurt Sutter, bravo!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Assistant Woes And Other Related Theories

I think my assistant would poison me if she had a chance.

No, scratch that, I have convinced myself that she would without a doubt lace my coffee with arsenic given the opportunity.

I am so convinced of this fact that I have contemplated leaving a signed note in my desk to that effect. It would read something like the following:

If you're reading this, I am surely in some sort of tragic distress and have been rushed to a nearby medical facility through the use of emergency vehicle as my organs slowly and painfully shut down. I can't be certain of course, but I have a strong inkling that my assistant is to blame. Please follow-up on this crucial clue to solving the heinous crime that has quite clearly been perpetrated resulting in your being authorized access to my desk where this letter is casually stored front and center in the top middle drawer. And, I don't mean follow-up in the same sense as when people write "SEE I.D" on the signature line of their credit cards, I mean it with all sincerity and just as much eagerness. For further proof just ask the co-workers whom seem most likely to have been privy to my well developed theories on the matter, which let's be honest, is just about all the ones I talk to.
P.S. Don't be fooled by her sweet as pie demeanor either! CSI has surely taught you the truth.
I have began taking precautions as my paranoia, which clearly comes from my inner-city upbringing (Detroit, What?!), has skyrocketed right past rational thought at this point. And, in case you were wondering, "this point" is just before I indulge in an adult beverage, after which time my writing becomes stale and I truly believe everyone loves me (well, maybe the latter comes after a few drinks). Although I have no fear that a student would go through my desk and find my log o' misbehavior, I have decided that my assistant might, and have thus started to lock my desk and computer upon leaving the room. Also, considering the pad of paper I use to take the notes on is front and center in the top middle drawer for easy access (much like my imaginary note), I may want to begin thinking about alternative hiding places - and while I'm doing that, I might want to look into locking the cabinet where I actually keep my coffee supplies.

Naturally my father has been caught in the onslaught as every day after school I sit at my desk and dial him up. My guess is that he started to consider changing his personal extension to avoid what is rapidly becoming a tradition sometime around last Tuesday, give or take a day. Of course, I only call to tell him how my day went - and share my misery while ultimately blaming him for my undue stress, and then at the end of the week, e-mail demanding a new purse.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Review: UNREAL™ Candy

I'm not sure what it is, but there's a part of me that is always hesitant about the idea of new candy. Perhaps it's the nature of the business. There are so many candy brands that I have become accustomed to seeing on the shelf that the noticeable addition of a new competitor catches me off-guard. Even the sudden scribbles you now see on the classic 'Mike & Ike' boxes throws me off-guard.
I definitely have my chocolate loyalty - even though I'm not a huge chocolate fan - so when it came to trying UNREAL™ candy, I was skeptical to say the least.
This trendy chocolate asserts itself as 'unjunked," using that at the center of its' extensive new ad campaign as it tries to break into a market that is already very much monopolized by some of the larger and better known brands.
The biggest concern I've heard from other adults about cosuming sweets, chocolate in particular, come from the idea of gaining weight. Words like "calories," "fat," and "unhealthy" seem to be synonymous with indulging at this point, which makes a healthier alternative all the more appealing.
The packaging proudly boasts its contents' nutrition facts on the back in a bold and colorful fashion. To further make their point, the company website offers a candy by candy comparision for each of its products who all mirror an existing chocolate creation.
What does that mean?
I mentioned before that UNREAL™ candy is a healthier alternative, but an alternative for what exactly? Not just chocolate treats in general, but an alternative for some of your favorites - for some of the classics. Right now, the five options are:
  • Unreal 54 - Candy Coated Chocolates with Peanuts
  • Unreal 41 - Candy Coated Chocolates 
  • Unreal 8 - Chocolate Carmel Peanut Nougut
  • Unreal 5 - Chocolate Carmel Nougut
  • Unreal 77 - Peanut Butter Cups
Sound a bit familiar? That's because they are basically: Peanut M&M's, Plain M&M's, Snickers, Milky Way, and Reese's Cups.

When I first realized this when I went to redeem my free coupon at CVS (compliments of BzzAgent), I thought it was genius!

So how do they compare?

After trying three out of the five (54, 8, 77), I can honestly say they're not bad. Even though you can instantly tell the difference - a blind taste test of the product side by side with the original would be no contest for a seasoned candy eater. However, if you were looking to make a healthier choice I would completely recommend  the UNREAL™ option. The difference in taste would, I assume, become unnoticable at some point if you made the switch (like the time I switched from mayonaisse to vegenaise, a mayo alternative made completely of vegetables - after a few weeks I stopped noticing any difference).

Out of the ones I tried, my favorite was the peanut butter cups. I thought they tasted the closest to what I was used to, maybe a little sweeter even.

The packaging is also a plus. The bright colors stand out against a black background and make the entire package pop when placed on the shelf next to other options. It's not only a smart marketing move, but will give you something to smile about.

Disclosure: I received a coupon for a FREE Unreal Candy and several Buy One Get One Free coupons as part of a BzzAgent Campaign. I will not be compensated for this review. All opinions expressed above are my own.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Coffee, Teaching, And Assorted Complaints: Not In That Order

It's not exactly a secret that being a teacher isn't the easiest job in America. Even though it seems like most of the country is oblivious to that fact, it's not a secret. That being said, the first week of every school year possesses its fill of challenges. And, being a new teacher adds volumes to each bump in the road. Now, even though technically it's not my first ride in this particular rodeo - this is actually the sixth year, in a row, that I've been forced to succumb to the sound of my alarm clock at what I consider to be an ungodly time somewhere between 'zero dark thirty' and noon (which seems to me like a much more appropriate hour to stumble out of bed) - [see exhibit A]. Well, "forced" may be a bit overkill considering that most days I really enjoy my job.

Today was not one of those days.

Despite what I consider to be sufficient experience molding the minds of young America, I am now in a new position and legally certified to instruct a whole new demographic of students - which makes me disappointingly considered a "new teacher." Now take the average complications that arise for any new teacher, or teacher in general, and multiply it by the fact that my chosen concentration involves more than one grade which presents its own set of scheduling issues, and that my students are second language learners and may or may not speak any English. The latter being the least of my worries since I happen to be highly qualified in the English subject area - or at least I have a couple pieces of paper that say so.

It seems a bit outlandish of me not to note that there are a ridiculous number of teachers working in poor conditions with limited resources who have it far worse, and on my best day in the classroom outshine, outdo, and out spell me. But, since this is about me, please just keep that in mind while classifying my complaints in the 'fairly trivial' category.

I'm the type of person that suffers from fits of stress over a random, nonsensical array of issues. Things like packing and making phone calls to persons unknown send me into inconsolable stress comas - paralyzed by irrational fear [see: A Suitcase Full of Anxiety]. Yet, I managed to make it through my entire Masters' program vaguely resembling a cucumber - unscathed with the exception of finally being hit with the 'Freshman 15' (only like 7 years late..). Bearing that in mind, I am suddenly convinced that being even slightly unorganized, unprepared, or unknowing will ultimately cause an irreversible developmental road block in my students' academic careers - the start of a downward spiral that will end somewhere in a shallow ditch, or worse, with the phrase "do you want fries with that?"

Since the first couple weeks of school are always touch and go, I know that I will suffer deeply for at least the next 8 days while I complete this once a year transition from leisure summer beachcomber to employed life changer. And, who likes to suffer alone? This is particularly unfortunate for my father, who happens to be my bosses' bosses' boss, and who I feel a strong need to share my catastrophic thought process with.

I think the titles of two of the e-mail strings we shared today say it all:

Worst Week Ever
Code Stress Level Tangerine

**Please note that there is no exclamation point added to the end of either of these subject lines - clearly these word groupings are emphatic enough without going overboard. I may have a flare for the dramatic, but even I know where to draw the line..

Usually my codes simply involve a color, but I thought it was important to expand given the circumstances. 

The first line of inquiry dealt with my amazing assistant being promoted and my concerns over who would replace her which transitioned into a philosophical debate over various teaching styles that I, of course, translated into meaning that the world was going to end. This resulted in the second thread that began with me ordering the immediate purchase of a purse from Bloomingdale's to combat the rising 'fight or flight' hormones brought on by stress overload. 

I feel bad for my father sometimes. He is acutely aware of my mood tendencies; when I am mad, I clean, and when I am sad, I shop - and when I am broke and/or stressed, he is obligated to shop for me. It's an agreement he may be unaware he made, but I strongly believe he signed it in blood the moment I popped, blue no less, from my mother. It goes something like, "until my daughter, Lindsay Faith, is swept off her feet by the man of her dreams I am responsible for the following," and that list extends in the same fashion as a cartoon declaration that unravels until it rolls across the room. 

My first instinct is always to go for new shoes, but since the sea foam round-toe pumps I repinned on Pinterest were sold out, I opted for the bag. 

My stress did subside at one point during the day when the attractive fellow from new teacher orientation replied to my e-mail titled:

Code Aquamarine

Case in point.

I realize that much of my stress is coming from technical issues that I have no control over, yet I simply cannot shake this ominous wave of anxiety. Although, I must admit, this could all just be my body chemically reacting to the comeback that caffeine is making in my system after a three month hiatus. Who really knows.


Exhibit A: In order to combat drowsiness due to my untimely departure from my over-priced and simply heavenly mattress, I have now purchased a coffee maker specifically for my classroom so I can hit the snooze button one more time each and every morning in its' honor.

Monday, July 16, 2012

"The Devil Came Down To Georgia"

This post might sound a bit "Dear Diary-ish" so hold on a moment, I'm sure I'll come to a point.
I've been in Atlanta for a little over a week now and even though technically I'm down here for work [see: Magic The Gathering The Musical HERE or HERE] I've had some time to catch up with some of my favorite Atlanta film people - off set.

It is absolutely tremendous the amount of talent in this city.

I have to admit it's a little weird knowing such a growing number of people in a city that until a year ago today, I'd never even been to (with the exception of the airport which I visited once years ago on the way to London). My week was pretty packed and although it would have been nice to just take it easy, there's no immediate plan to come back south.

Tuesday I went to Georgia State University for a break back into reality - Praxis II. My emergency permit expired at the end of June and it was time to commit with an actual license. I passed. I passed with a pretty great score actually.

My goal was to see things in Atlanta that I've never had a chance to experience. Although I still have some favorites from my past trips, like The Independent and The Highlander (order the Caprese Panini - you won't be disappointed), it's nice to see a different side of the city [read as: metropolitan Atlanta-area]. The laser/light show at Stone Mountain National Park is neat. It's also a cheap way to spend an evening, $10 per car. I discovered there's not really much down in Covington when all the vampires are away at Comic-Con. North of the city is exceptionally beautiful, but there's something to be said for the natural beauty of the area no matter where you are.

This weekend was mostly dedicated to a heavier workload of production duties. I mostly always have a good time on set and given the humidity outside that neither my hair nor skin is enjoying very much, it works out great that we're shooting on stage.

Who knows what this week holds? Puppet building, screening a film, kids theater camp, taking stills, strip club for retirees (no joke), crock pot tacos, thrifting, and I'm sure more unplanned surprises.

What are some must see's in Atlanta?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

"I'm going back down south now"

Even though I've always been a girl looking for an adventure, I've never been one to do it away from home for long periods of time. That's not to say that I don't enjoy traveling. It happens to be one of my favorite things to do - exploring new places, getting away from the monotony of everyday life, falling in love with a new city/country/continent! However, the comfort of home always seems to beat out the allure of my destination - regardless of how beautiful/historic/relaxing the locale happens to be.  

My parents did everything right when I was a child. They forced me to go away to camp even though half way through I would have a mini-meltdown and want to come home. Which now seems like it should have been a warning sign for a very similar mid-semester meltdown my freshman year of undergrad. We were always to family taking vacations. My parents would pack up the super cool (not) mini-van, strap all four kids in, and drive all night to location unknown. I always preferred if that location involved a beach, but my father is particularly into history and unfortunately not all history occurred on a beach.

Now, here I am, 26 years old and 3 days from embarking on my longest to-date trip. If it was somewhere I'd never been to before, I'm sure there would be a substantial amount of additional stress added to my already overwhelmed personality, but this is actually the fourth time I've traveled there this year.

Where is there? Atlanta, Georgia.

I'm heading down to Atlanta for most of the month of July to work on a short film project ( directed by the naturally talented Molly Coffee.

You may remember that I suffer from significant packing anxiety and as you can imagine packing for an extended amount of time when events are highly up in the air (along with things I need for production) will probably be a clusterf*ck. Despite that issue, I'm still fairly thrilled to be going. Who doesn't want to get away for a few weeks?

Stay tuned for the misadventures of a hoity Yankee b*tch in the south - coming soon!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Pretty Little Liars Bring Style To ABC Family

The hit teen drama Pretty Little Liars which airs on the ABC Family network has more than a suspenseful plot to boast about.

PLL features four seventeen year-old girls - Aria (Lucy Hale), Emily (Shay Mitchell), Hannah (Ashley Benson), and Spencer (Troian Bellisario) - being harassed by an anonymous stalker/team of stalkers that refer to themselves as simply "A."

Despite all the life threatening texts, e-mails, notes, etc. all the girls somehow manage to get themselves dressed every morning. And not in just anything, but in outfits years ahead of their fashion forward minds. The magic of Hollywood - and a team of professional wardrobe-related staff members.

Out of all the girls, my favorite is definitely Hannah. Although some of her outfits are a bit out there and she more often than not can be seen in sky high heels that look like they weren't made for walking the halls of any high school seen - she's altogether consistently trendy.

Even though I'm not convinced her outfits are entirely appropriate for the age of her character, at 26 I would completely rock them!

Are there any characters on TV now that you would want to raid their imaginary closet? Let me know!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Clothing "For"

H&M has followed the Target trend and started offering customers designer lines for less.

It's a remarkable concept when you consider the lust that consumers have for fashion. Designer fashion is usually out of range for the typical shopper [read: broke twenty something-ers]. Consumers have flocked over this type of collaboration - see: contained riots after release of Missoni for Target line - and the bottom line has been generously padded. Notably, some of the items are a bit out there, but mostly they are a great way to own designer duds for a [semi]reasonable price.

Today, I scored a 'Versace for H&M' dress with the original price tag of $149.95 for only $20 on clearance. Versace for $20?! Yes, that's right.
The newest collection H&M is offering ranges from "in the ball park of 10 bucks" to "slightly more than I have dollars on my Debit card not already spoken for" which translates into "on the expensive side for their ordinary customer base" - a 'Conscious' collection. It's less of a collaboration and more of a nod to the eco-friendly movement. The pieces are made using a combination of sustainable materials: organic cotton, hemp, and recycled potyester. 

The collection includes a series of "glamour" gowns [like the one above]. The price tag on this beauty is $299 and I'll take it with or without gift wrapping.

Ooh la la, the lure of affordable [and out of reach] fashion!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Support The Arts: "Deadpool: A Typical Tuesday"

Yes, I have found yet another opportunity for you to support artistic endeavors!

The short film, Deadpool: A Typical Tuesday, is filming this January/February in Atlanta, Georgia and they are looking for some financial support to cover odds and ends on set.  This includes, but is not limited to, craft services (which is a highly overlooked department until you are actually on a film set..and hungry), costumes, crew costs, and miscellaneous expenses. 

You can make a donation to the project through the fundraising page set up at IndieGoGo -

Deadpool - A Typical Tuesday - IndieGoGo Fundraiser

I've read the script and it is well-written, original, and hilarious!  This project is being directed by the extravagantly talented Keith Brooks, which he co-wrote with the equally incredible, Trevor Garner.  The two are working on several other projects together, including a pilot aimed at Comedy Central.  Trevor is also starring as the title character, Deadpool, and serving as Action Director.

Whether you're a fan of the Deadpool comic books or not (which I sadly am not), or maybe you just like the idea that Ryan Reynolds has played the character (which I gladly do), you will be able to enjoy the comedic approach that the writers have taken with this concept. The fan fiction genre is one that is quite impressive and has become its own subculture phenomenon.

Taking on a project like this is incredibly ambitious and takes serious dedication. Everyone involved in the film has already put in a generous amount of time, money, and effort to make it possible.

Some of the extraordinary people involved besides the directors themselves -

Behind the scenes: Steven K. Greer (A.D.), Wes Eastin (D.P.), Gillian Gussack (costume designer), Sule Welch (fight choreographer), James Farlow (Editor), Theo Miller (Sound)

In front of the camera: Secret Harris, Anthony McHie, Jay Peterson, with a special guest appearance of the stunt variety from Ace Harney of Doobious.Org.

Check out this promo video with director Keith Brooks where he talks premise and provides you with an extended explanation of how your contributions will be used. If anything, this hilarious clip is worth a small donation!

Once again, you can make a donation (any amount is accepted!) and join in on the fun at IndieGoGo - Click the image below!

Good luck guys! I can't wait to see the finished project!

And, for your viewing pleasure, an extended ad campaign promo video!