Thursday, September 2, 2010
The Performing Arts Center has a really nice little website where you can sign up for shifts. It shows you everything that’s available, and tracks what you’ve done. And you can set yourself a goal of hours to volunteer and it keeps track of your progress. Or not. It’s not mandatory.
But let’s face it. I’m very goal oriented. I set myself a goal of 100 hours this year. Given that I started in February, it seemed reasonable. And it’s a nice number. 100. I like it. And I was racking up my hours. I was at 76, people. I was going to make it with time to spare. Not that anyone else would have noticed. But I would notice. I would hit 100 and give myself a mental gold star. I love the mental gold star. Nobody else was paying attention. But I was paying attention. I had a gold star in my hand. I was that close.
Then they switched the system. Today. And suddenly, I have a goal of 100. And ZERO HOURS accumulated. God. Damn. IT. Zero. Goose egg. Nada. 76 to ZERO. Aaaaaaggghhhh! Feel my pain! Feel my PAIN!! I’m resorting to capital letters. It’s that bad. BAD.
Not that they’ve completely disappeared. They are on some spreadsheet somewhere. I can still use them to get a ticket. But that’s really not the point. I was sooo close. Obviously, they do not understand the value of intangibles as incentives. Especially to goal oriented people who really, really, really like to see that 100% complete. I’m now at 0%. Big, fat zero. I’m so crushed. Gutted. Gutted, I tell you.
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Worse, now they have to treat every one of these people seriously. Because you can practice your attack your first-person shooter video game. And you can buy guns by the truck load. And you can go on the internet and learn how to make a pipe bomb. Seriously, 20 years ago if some guy had shown up with something strapped to his chest, you assumed it was traffic flares, pipe cleaners and an alarm clock. Now it’s so easy to come up with a workable assault plan, you can be pretty crazy and still do damage before a sniper picks you off.
And there seem to be so many people who are willing to strap on a gun and try to make a point because of their beliefs. The more I see, the more I think Kevin Smith was actually prophetic in Dogma, when the angel Rufus said, “I think it's better to have ideas. You can change an idea. Changing a belief is trickier. Life should malleable and progressive; working from idea to idea permits that. Beliefs anchor you to certain points and limit growth; new ideas can't generate. Life becomes stagnant.” Or worse, when hardcore beliefs are threatened and a person becomes volatile.
So, as we all know will happen with a shocking incident perpetrated by a diehard member of a faction who goes rogue (because it happened with Islam, it happened with survivalists, it happened with Tea Partiers, it happened with abortion protesters), somebody is going to try to paint all environmentalists with this nasty, nasty brush. I suppose it would be too much to ask of America that instead of pointing fingers, we all looked within. Looked within our own groups, whatever they may be, and look to see if we have our own extremists. Anyone who feels so passionately that they might take up arms for the cause. Talk them down, bring them into the fold. Don’t let them isolate themselves. Because in isolation, madness grows. Tell them that you understand their frustration, but violence is never the answer. Ideas bend. But beliefs shatter. And shattered beliefs can cause shrapnel.
Monday, August 30, 2010
The Emmy’s was last night. Which means my DVR is programmed for the first showing of the Fashion Police red carpet report. Emmy’s? Pah. Neither Buffy the Vampire Slayer nor Homicide: Life on the Streets, two of the most well written and influential shows of the 80s and 90s ever won Emmy’s, so screw them. They know less than nothing. But I do love a red carpet take down. And nobody delivers a shiv to the boned waist like Joan Rivers. I don’t always agree, but she has a point of view and the wicked tongue to deliver it.
On the other hand, I’m starting to wonder if they deliver a thick skin with your SAG card. How those people can stand there and not look like deer in the headlights knowing that by 7:00 am Eastern they have an 85% chance of being ripped from the rooter to the tooter in multiple medias by bitches who armchair quarterback the red carpet from their LaZBoy recliner wearing sweat pants and 2-day old socks, I’ll never know. And all but the worst of them are wearing clothes that if most of them saw someone wearing that exact same thing at a wedding, holiday party or charity function, we’d make a point of walking straight up to them and telling them flat out how amazing they look. I mean really. Ridiculous standards. I mean who would hold an actual living, breathing human being to the level of expectation that would annihilate most of us? And some have to do a major red carpet 4 or 5 times a year. Ye gods. Not me, man. Not me.
And yet. It’s their jobs. And some have teams of people who make sure they look their best. Though it’s a glimpse of how impossible those expectations are that some people have more stylists than a NASCAR pit team, and still get it wrong. But awards shows are the “big game” of the celebrity bowl. And it’s always fun to see who was off their game (January Jones – WTF? Was that left over from the Project Runway party store challenge?), which underdog pulled out a big play (Jane Lynch – she’s had past snafus, but looked amazing in aubergine), and who borrowed their wardrobe off the San Diego Chicken (Christina Hendricks – not a good night for the “Mad” girls). I’ll go out on a limb and say Toni Collette was my fave this year. The hair was amazing and the dress fit like a glove and was totally unique. But we’ll see what Joan has to say.