Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Classifieds of the Game Show World

I enjoy game shows.  There.  I said it.  Whether this puts me in the geriatric demographic or not, the flashing lights and glitter will suck me in time after time.  I remember wiling away many a summer day in our kitchen growing up, yelling out what I thought was the price of Tide detergent to the obviously oblivious contestants on The Price is Right while putting up peach jam, blueberry jam, or some other form of fruit in the form of jam.  Highlights included seeing the outfits the girls chose to wear that day, the glorious days someone on contestant row got the price EXACTLY RIGHT and got to fish a $100 bill out of Bob Barker’s pocket, or, heaven forbid, someone got a double showcase.  Whew, dilly.  Those were the days.  Regardless, this youthful attempt to dodge work that required me to be in a field somewhere eventually cultivated a love for all things game show.  This being said, I’ve also wiled away many a day wondering just how a game show works – who makes the sets?  Who decides the puzzles?  And for the love of all things holy, who gets to set up the Plinko board?  These postulations lead me to wonder, “What would the classifieds look like for the world of game showing?  Here are the conclusions I concocted, based on no actual facts other than the three thoughts battling for squatter’s rights in my head:
Wanted:  Pretty lady to turn letters.  Must have a working knowledge of the entire alphabet, as well as a thorough understanding of the argument Vowel vs. Consonant.  Must be able to walk and touch blocks of light at the same time.  Small instances of idle chitchat required every day, as well as the ability to clap and smile politely, even if someone is clearly an idiot.  Wheel-spinning abilities a plus, but not required.  No uggos, please.    
Attention Creative People!  Do flashing lights make you giddy and not prone to seizures?  Were you voted “Most Likely to Design a Set for a Cher Concert” and never quite made it?  This job’s for you!  Put those gluing skills to use as you fashion a giant mountain with a little guy who yodels until he sadly falls off.  Lighting more your game?  Help us design sets that won’t change until our host’s microphone does!  Experience with velvet, sequins, and bells always welcome.  Come join a team comprised of several hot women and one questionable host.  Apply today! 
Position Open:  Family Mediator.  If you like to ask questions to opposing “families” this may be the position for you.  If you can say, “Survey says” with enthusiasm, successfully count to three*, and pause long enough for your audience to repeat the answer that’s so clearly displayed above you on the game board, then send us your resume.  Searching for someone able to ask five questions in 25 seconds or less.  Also desired, not required, the ability not to kill yourself. 
*Our lawyers require us to say that at least 3 strikes are involved with this position on a daily basis. 
Wanted:  Host who can pronounce words that aren’t even words, one Daily Double at a time.  If you seem to never age, make incredibly lame jokes, and yet can still pronounce “ichthyomis” without the slightest trace of irony, send your resume to our HR department.  Other duties involve turning answers into absolutely asinine questions, crushing dreams of intellectuals by not allowing them in to Final Jeopardy, and telling people how far behind the champion they are currently.  Excellent math skills, along with a large collection of pocket squares, required. 
Attention Applicants:  We need someone to build a pyramid, preferably within a $10,000 budget.
Match-Makers – we want YOU!  If you are constantly setting up your friends in soon-to-be-failed relationships, we want you for our hosting position.  Duties involve asking questions with double entendres, not giggling childishly at the answers, and sending off helpless women with men who appear to be rapists.  Ability to count to three required. 
Needed Immediately:  a set consisting of a tic-tac-toe board and C-list celebrities.  Must be able to differentiate between an “x” and an “o.” 
Writers Wanted:  Position available to write semi-innocuous partial sentences to be completed by semi-wacked out celebrities.  Bonus points if the sentences can be completed to make slightly sexual statements.  Double bonus points if you can write material suitable for our completely racist and anti-feminist host.  Other than that, no abilities required, other than to play to the needs of aforementioned “celebrities.” 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Benjamins and Other Banes

It’s that time again, folks.  After my last post’s sob story about being poor, I’ve decided to whine and complain about something ELSE that’s probably within my control if I weren’t too busy whining and complaining about it to fix said problem.  Whatever.  People that try to sell me that line of crap about “controlling your own destiny” and “put on your big girl panties and deal with it” also annoy me.  So, in the spirit of small underpants, here are more annoyances that exist currently in my life.
1.  $100 bills.  Really, America?  First off, no one uses cash anymore.  This shortage of cash in people’s pockets also results in a shortage of cash in store registers across the good ole U-S-of-A, making the act of making change a pain in my not-worth-a-hundred-bucks booty.  Secondly, when have you ever pulled out a Benjamin and NOT heard the receiver sigh in frustration?  Whether you’re trying to grab a taco from one of the many, truck-driving vendors around our fair city or procuring some crack from one of the many, crack-dealing vendors around our fair city, NO ONE HAS CHANGE.  I believe this hatred stems from an incident when I was serving tables one day.  A lady paid for a $13 check with a $100 bill.  As our register notoriously had only $1 and $5 bills (that still didn’t add up to $87) I told her that I would need to run (it was August.  In Tennessee.  Just a note.) to a totally different restaurant to get change and that I would be right back (this so she wouldn’t think that I was pulling the complete opposite of a dine-n-dash entitled, “Take all of my table’s money.”)  I run.  I almost twist my knee in an unfortunate run-in with a dent on the sidewalk.  I get her change.  And this woman?  The only woman from the entire table to pay with cash?  Left. No. Tip.  That day started my hatred of the $100 bill, and while I don’t mind that they exist, just put them in the bank and pay with your check card.  And the $50?  Don’t get me started.  Try counting a stack of twenties and then come up on a $50.  I dare you to keep count.  DARE YOU! 
2.  Super-strong paper towels.  I’m using a paper towel for one reason – I need a paper towel.  If I need to scrub hard water stains, eradicate the unfortunate blood splatters on my shoes, or wax my car, I’m going to use the appropriate cleaning device.  The reason I’m using a paper towel is because I probably made a mess too big for a napkin and too small for a beach towel.  They’re paper towels.  Not Sham-Wows.  The world does not need Sham-Wows on a roll. 
3.  The new trend of putting your offspring into your TV commercial.  It’s not okay.  Your children are going to grow up constantly being known as the, “Hurt bad?  Call my dad!” girl or the poor kids of the Hickory Hollow Kia guy that I’m convinced only do the commercials because they’re afraid dad will go on another, “ride the Ferris wheel until you throw up and THEN decide to do my commercial” bender.  And girls forced into the slavery of their dad’s television advertising grow up to be afflicted with a condition I like to call, “Daddy didn’t love me, but I bet this large man holding money out of his car window will.” 
4.  East Nashville bumper stickers.  I get it.  You live in the hip on one block/completely ghetto on the next block part of town and you’re proud to still be kickin’ it in your Chuck Taylors.  I appreciate the architecture, the culture, and most of the people.  But the bumper stickers?  Flat-out make me shake my head.  They also make the folks that live in other, less-hip parts of town gloat when we can get out of our driveway during a Titans game. 
5.  The fact that White Castle has chicken rings.  While I’m well aware of the fact that chickens also don’t have nuggets, I would really like for someone to show me where the hell the ring comes from on a chicken.  Things that are supposed to come in rings:  Onions.  Circuses.  Dances around rosies.  NOT CHICKEN.  And how am I supposed to dip a chicken ring in a little vat of honey mustard?  It can’t be done, my friends.  It can’t. Be. Done.
6.  YouTube videos of babies.  Actually, YouTube videos in general, but lately I’ve been getting a lot of “Have you seen the video of the baby 'saying something funny that will probably be Auto-Tuned and put on iTunes in order to add to the baby’s college fund' video?"  Odds are, the baby is doing something most babies do – laughing, drooling, or pooping on something.  Also, odds are that since I find YouTube to be an absolute monstrosity of party-killing evil, I will probably hate whatever you’re about to show me.  It’s not the babies I hate – it’s the fact that I’m about to lose 3 minutes of my life to watch something that I have probably already seen over the course of my baby-sitting career (which consists of the past 7-odd years since my nephew was born.  And then only when my sister, Marian, catches me off-guard with a “So, what are you doing this weekend?  Nothing?  Watch my children!” conversation.*)
Wow.  Reading the last few paragraphs made me realize how much I hate the things I hate.  To renew my faith in all things not-stupid, allow me to list some things that make me stupidly happy.
1.  Canadians.  I fancy the people from “Fake America” frolicking through the streets with their Canadian “bacon” (it’s ham, folks.  Canadians obviously have their parts of the porcine variety confused.) on a stick shouting, “Let’s play some hockey, eh?” while the mounted policemen look at them with smiles from atop their gallant horsey.  I found out recently that a co-worker on another floor briefly lived in Canada when he was growing up, and so now I can say that I (sort-of) know an actual Canadian!  Now, if I could forgive them for Celine Dion, we would be ready to rock n roll with the hosers up North. 
2.  The fact that you can make ANY dish sound fancy just by listing all of the ingredients.  I figured this out the other day when I gave an ostentatiously -long description of what amounted to a quesadilla.  I’ve also figured out this is why the people on Top Chef sound so fancy – they’re just naming every single freakin’ part of their dish!  For example, a PB&J?  “Well, Chef, tonight we have a lovely jam made of farm-fresh strawberries paired with a homemade almond butter on a lovely wheatberry bread.  We (they always talk in “we” speak) serve this with a side of fried potatoes paired with a twist on the traditional ketchup (that means you added garlic.  Or truffles.)   See?  Fancy.  Told ya. 
Unfortunately, per usual, the “happy” list isn’t nearly as long as the “annoying as hell” list, but such is life.  Now I’m going to go figure out how to make chicken rings sound gourmet when they’re made of things like “riboflavin-injected triglyceride modules.” 
*  Remember – if I mention you by name in my blog, it means I love you.  Or that you really, really annoy me.  So, um, just kidding?  Hehe. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Jamiepolitan: A Guide to Being a Recessionista with an Attitude. (Or, a Poor Bee-Yotch)

I don’t know if you’re anything like me (you’re not, if you’re lucky) but I’m quite tired of the suffix “-ista” being applied to everything.  Fashionista, recessionista, barista.  Stop the insanity.  Why can’t we just say I’m a well-dressed, yet thrifty, person who makes coffee?  However, I really hate the term “recessionista” because it sounds too…nice.  I wasn’t exactly a bundle of sunshine before the low-tide of the economy forced starfish and real estate moguls alike to flounder on the sand, and being poor has done absolutely nothing to improve my attitude on life.  Therefore, I’m not a recessionista.  I am just a poor person.  So, here’s a guide to rolling around in the mountains of poor with me.
You must learn to cleverly accessorize, as a lot of the clothes you buy from Goodwill and “borrow” from people’s clothes lines are going to have holes in them.  Used clothing is often given away for reasons other than it’s out of style.  It might be too small, it might remind someone of an old flame, and it might have a very small hole right over your nipple.  A blazer will sometimes fix the latter problem, as will that used “Miss Pig Fair Teen Princess 1987” banner you just found in the $1 bin at the Salvation Army.  The possibilities are endless as long as you’re creative! Being creative lets you announce your personal style to the world without letting them know that you don’t actually have the money to buy a shirt without holes!
Speaking of creativity, you’re going to get really good at inventing reasons not to go out with people.  My favorite excuse is, “We can’t go because we’re freakin’ broke.”  Sometimes this works.  Other times it invites the response of, “But come OOOONNN.  My ferret only has one birthday a year and you simply CANNOT miss Miss Glitter McGlitterton’s 3rd birthday!”  If you sense the inviter inhabits a money-filled bubble of reality-repellant plastic, you must bring out the (stolen) big guns (that’s right.  I just implied that we don’t have the money to buy hypothetical guns.)  Sometimes it’s the mundane “my aunt died again” excuse.  Other times the excuse involves a large hippopotamus and several circus midgets with blow torches.  Again, let your imagination run wild (which is totally free!) while you come up with something to get that bubble-dwelling friend off of your monkey-laden back. 
You are going to curse yourself, endlessly, for buying a house at the very apex of the housing bubble.  You may attempt to sell your house to take advantage of lowered interest rates (or, you know, take advantage of the fact that you’re no longer single and would like to move out of your single pad now that you’re married.)  This  is an absolutely moronic idea because no matter how well your house is staged, no matter the rock star you’ve enlisted to aid in the sale, it’s still real estate and “selling your house with ease” is not very en vogue at the moment (at least not in my neighborhood.  I’m sure the Bellevue elite have fewer problems, but their idea of a problem is which seersucker suit to wear to Steeplechase.)  What IS en vogue is deflated property values and shattered dreams of actually moving out of the cramped shoebox of a townhouse that’s slowly driving you, and your husband with a lot of knick-knacks, several guitars, and a full drum kit, to the brink of perfectly-staged insanity.   The upside of this is that you don’t have to join a gym (costly!) because all the self-inflicted butt-kicking is going to give you an ass to rival Beyonce. 
People who have much more of everything are going to abound.  Everywhere.  Nicer cars, nicer homes, nicer iPods, people with ANY iPod, etc.  Seeing the ease with which these people breeze through life is not only saddening, it’s disheartening and induces an innate hatred for everyone.  Just learn to let the hatred burn a pit into your stomach.  Then, focus this hatred into something positive.  Like a blog detailing your hatred for those with more money than you.  You will make no money at this, but you also might not shoot the next 17-year-old you see driving a Land Rover (legal fees are astroNOMical.)  Let the words of anger flow while you stare longingly at the Groupon for a manicure you still can’t afford.  Your financial situation will not improve, but you’ll save yourself some medical bills by not getting an ulcer!
We’ve now come to the end of this article and I’ve offered no advice on repurposing old furniture, growing your own vegetables, or using cloth diapers.  I realize I’ve done nothing but bitch about what a bitch it is to be poor.  Hmmm.  Well, I have a solution.  If you don’t like it, pay me to write something else.  Problem solved!