odd jobs

… I don’t want no dead end job … don’t wanna be no number …

I spotted this on LinkedIn this morning in someone’s signature:
“Experienced, Professional Virtual Assistant, Certified Professional Resume Writer, and LION”

There are certified professional resume writers? Seriously? How (and probably as importantly, why) does one get certified to write resumes? And what the hell is a professional virtual assistant? How do you pay a tamagotchi?

Now, I live in L.A. where “slashed” job titles are all the rage. You know what I mean, “actress/real estate”, “actress/life coach/motivational speaker”, “actor/construction”, “model/insurance sales” and so on. The “sexy” job is always the first one mentioned, the one that the person really wants to be able to do full-time, but just isn’t good enough at to do.

In a town that has people paid to be “fluffers”, “grips” and “gaffers”, and where casting agents refer to themselves as “artists”, odd job titles are everywhere.

Now all I need to do is find my next one.

please pack light

… come on … everybody sing … do the right thing …

Although I was a bit late to the party, I watched An Inconvenient Truth a few weeks back. In my post-movie, environmentally-friendly haze, I decided that I’d try and replace all of the light bulbs in my home with compact fluorescent ones. You know, CFLs, those spiral shaped ones that draw little power and last for years and years.

I went to Home Depot the next day and found their massive selection of bulbs. I grabbed some for my outdoor motion-sensor lights, some for my bathroom lights, some for my kitchen, but could not find any bulbs that could be used with three-way lamps or dimmers… in Home Depot! where they have EVERYTHING! So I stopped at Albertsons on the way home — nope, none there either. They still have a big selection of incandescent bulbs, but I’m on a mission here.

I brought home those that I could use and put them in to use. I jumped online to find some dimmable and three-way bulbs. I was shocked and surprised to discover that they’re not that easy to find online either. The only place that I could find that sold what I wanted was an Ace Hardware Outlet in New York. This is crazy, I thought, but I placed an order anyway and as of yesterday, I have a bunch more lights and lamps using the CFLs. So, lesson number one is that these things are tough to find, but that’s not the worst of it.

I have a beef with packaging. The wasted paper and plastic that goes in to the packaging of goods for sale these days is crazy. On top of that is the way they do that hard molded plastic that’s secured by heat-sealing the pieces together into sharp-edged, ridiculously hard to open containers. You NEED a knife or scissors to open them, forget about trying to tear them. You know the ones I mean. Well, the CFL manufacturers, in all their environmentally-friendly wisdom, have decided to use such packaging for their products. I feel like, while I’m trying to do the right thing here, they’re fixing one thing and breaking another. Why not use compact, recycled paper packages, like regular bulbs are packed in? I recognize that the bulbs are a little more fragile, and that due to their contents they need to be secured a little more tightly, but it’s silly that one good move is offset by an equally bad one.

Mr CFL manufacturer, please, rethink your packaging. Mr CFL retailer, please stock more options. Mr Consumer, please do what you can too.

And after this public service announcement, I now return you to your regular schedule. Please move along.

whoa nellie!

… fight on … to victory … fight on! …

I’m not exactly from around these parts, but in the past eight years or so, I’ve become a big fan of college football. I didn’t go to college in the U.S. so I don’t have a specific team that I have an undying allegiance to. That said, I get to watch and enjoy a lot of games for the simple pleasure of watching the game. You should also know that while I love college football, Sunday’s version bores me. The NFL is too hyped, too long, has too many morons playing it, and seemingly more morons calling and “analyzing” it.

Tonight, I’m in the midst of watching the Sugar Bowl. Hawaii are playing in their first ever BCS bowl game, and not doing all that well against Georgia. The BCS games, in theory, should be the best that college football has to offer. Sometimes, the games don’t turn out that way, but my pain tonight isn’t with the game itself.

Unfortunately, a few years ago, FOX bought the rights to broadcast four of the BCS bowl games each year. These are the only college football games they will show each year. Yes, the FOX Sports regional channels do cover college football, but not the broadcast FOX network. They do, however, broadcast NFL games each week during the season, and it is from that experience that they approach the college games.

College football is about heart. It’s about passion. It’s about the pageantry that goes along with being a student or alumnus, the bands, fight songs, history. It’s about never knowing what might happen next, trick plays, thrilling overtimes that don’t end at the first field goal at the end of the first drive. It’s about fun. Sure, there is a high quotient of frat boys and sorority girls, but that’s offset by the low number of thugs and morons who seemingly attach themselves to the NFL.

FOX doesn’t seem to understand any of this. Instead, we get rehashed graphics, animations and interstitials on screen, and the same old military-inspired soundtrack. Where ESPN and ABC have (with a few exceptions) knowledgeable, relevant and capable analysts and callers, FOX have rolled out Jimmy Johnson and (a shadow of) Fran Tarkenton to provide pre-game analysis. And why is it that almost all FOX play-by-play callers sound like Joe Buck? Look, the camera work and overall production are great, the HD pictures look fantastic (NBC has the worst HD picture, by far), but those are about the only redeeming qualities. Oh, and Chris Myers as the sideline reporter is better than a lot of the token female sideline reporters that ESPN uses. But where are the fight songs? Why can’t we hear the bands beyond a slight muffle in the background? I also kind of miss the cheesy ads placed by the participating colleges — you know, “most of us are going to go pro in something other than sports” and the like.

The Capital One Bowl was the best game played today. The Rose Bowl was a blowout, but it’s always good to see USC win big there. ESPN and ABC (yes, I know, basically the same people) did a fantastic job covering the lead-up and games. They understand college football and present it in the right manner. The College Gameday show, while a somewhat tedious experience with Lee Corso in his element, is a good example of the passion people have for this game. Honestly, the only thing that could make the FOX coverage worse is if they used Petros Papadakis as the in-game analyst.

Please, when the contract is over, Mr Murdoch, please don’t renew it. Let ABC and ESPN do what they do best. And Mr Disney, if you can, please talk Keith Jackson into bringing back “the voice” of college football.

Whoa Nellie, that would be good!

p.s. College football doesn’t belong in domes either.