The Cult of Melinda

The gAyTM is closed! No gay rights, no gay $$$!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Kid Cuteness: Addendum

Can you tell I can't sleep?

Anyway, I'll get to part 2 of Kid Cuteness when it's not the middle of the night, but I thought of this today and kept cracking myself up.

Kahunah, Silverfox and I brought the children to the museums in DC. We were driving back after when I decided to participate in the education of Short Stuff and starting telling him about how L'enfant designed the City. Short Stuff was not impressed with Mr. L'enfant's accomplishment and said we had too many trees around. (Strange thought coming from a kid who lives in the New Orleans area, where trees are EVERYWHERE.) Anyway, he asked why the heck we need these stinkin' trees anyway.

My answer: We need trees so the birds have a place to live. We wouldn't want a bunch of homeless birds walking around asking for change.

Life Lesson #1,263: Don't let Auntie Mel answer your kids' random questions.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Universe Thinks It's Funny...

Today, I had two major projects due by 5 pm. One is the huge personnel-related project I wrote about previously, which wouldn't have driven me as crazy if people would look up the definition of the word "deadline" in the dictionary. The other is a huge IT/Communications project to develop a customer service web application (which will work in conjunction with a desktop interface for tracking workflow), requiring "you know who" to draft a report detailing the intricacies of my department's web-based communications/customer service and provide specific data/solutions to fit the new system based solely on screen captures of what that system will be.

I had about 2 weeks to do both at the same time, while keeping up with all my day-to-day communications duties, like updating every damned phone number on our dozens of web pages and dozens of forms/applications because we just got a new phone system. I was on track to completing both on-time IF I used every minute of the day to the fullest.

That's when the universe thought, "Fuck Melinda. I can't stand that bitch."

This morning, the servers crashed, which means that we couldn't access our databases, any work saved on the server (meaning all of it), our e-mail or our web-based applications. Since we have the new-fangled phone system tied into our server, our phones also went down. FOR FOUR HOURS! Fortunately, I had enough stuff open on my desktop or printed out for editing to get some work done, but I hit the wall at about 3 hours, counting my mandatory 1 hour lunch.

The servers came back up and I started working furiously to get things done UNTIL the fire alarm went off and we had to evacuate the building. After standing outside for about a half hour, I rushed back to my desk and tried to get shit done UNTIL the fire alarm went off AGAIN!

I submitted the IT/Communications project with time to spare because I'm just freaking brilliant under pressure. Then, I got the personnel project pretty much finished, pending feedback from my immediate boss. At a quarter til 5, I ran over to my other immediate boss (also known as my other boss's boss) for a quick run-down on an upcoming major project that starts probably next week. When I got back to my office just in time to go home, I found out that the deadline for the personnel project had been extended to Wednesday.

When I left the office, I was dreaming of my couch. I just wanted to crash and burn in the comfort and privacy of my crappy little apartment. I stopped for smokes on the way and got to my building just in time for the arrival of all the fire trucks. Yet another false alarm but I had to stand outside waiting for the fire department to clear the building for entry, for about a half hour!

You know what, Universe? Fuck you too!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Kid Cuteness... Part 1

Captain Kahunah and Silverfox came up last month with Short Stuff and Pint Size. I waited patiently for them to tell the cute kid stories, but they haven't yet. So, I've demanded and been given permission to tell some of them myself. We'll start with Short Stuff. Short Stuff is funny, even more so when he gets a bit confused by Auntie Mel's weird ways.

First, he kept asking when we were going back to the hotel. There aren't many high-rise apartment buildings in New Orleans. So, I don't think Short Stuff's ever really seen one. Poor Kahunah had to keep explaining to him that people (including Auntie Mel) actually lived in my building. Once he got that, he started referring to my place as home. His parents "corrected" him, but really, Short Stuff always has a second home here. So, there, 'rents!

Then, when we were at the National Museum of American History, Short Stuff decided he wanted to take photos. Silverfox wasn't about to hand over her expensive digital camera, so he turned to Auntie Mel.

SS: Can I borrow YOUR camera?
AM: My camera's at home on my desk.
SS: Cell phone camera?
AM: I don't have a cell phone.
SS: You're still a kid?!
AM: No, I'm all grown up. I promise.

My favorite moment though has to be his negotiations for a lego model of Air Force One. Kahunah and Silverfox are very education-oriented when it comes to the kids. That's great and has really paid off, what with Short Stuff being king of the honor roll and all. But education and toys are really an unfair combination. In order to get the model, Short Stuff had to say who flew in the plane. After a few "I don't knows" and a couple of sly looks around trying to find the answer, Short Stuff gave it his best shot: "The Jonas Brothers?" I know there was some serious parenting going on, but I nearly lost it right there on the spot. Fortunately, Auntie Mel had just enough tact to walk off and snicker out of earshot.

Okay, that's the end of part 1. Next time on "Kid Cuteness": Pint Size.

A Writer's Dream Come True...

When you start thinking of being a professional writer, you dream of winning the big writing prizes or ending up on the best seller list for the longest time ever or getting amazing reviews in the major papers/mags. Maybe you dream of the movie adaptation and the autograph signings.

You never dream of the day when you'll be told that your bond statements are just AWESOME! I mean, that part about debt policies? So sexy. And did you read the section on accounting standards? Almost made me cry. Really. But nothing will ever top the analysis of the fiscal year 2010 approved budget. That should be quoted by angsty, young poets everywhere!

Apparently, the budget people just can't stop talking about me and my bond statements. My life is weird.


The bad grammar and horrible spelling are torture! I need to get drunk. Too bad I'm not allowed.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Why Did This Sound Like a Good Idea?

Communications expert for the finance department of a municipal government sounds like a pretty good job, right? A little technical writing. A little editing. Some webmastering. A bit of strategizing here and there. No biggie. After all, it's great professional experience while journalism is in a nosedive. It contributes to my "expertise" in political and economic matters. It might even work towards getting me another editorial position some day.

It might also drive me freaking nuts! I can't go into detail, but you have no idea how unbelievably insane this job is, especially considering the complete absence of communication skills in the general population. Ugh!

Today has been particularly rough, so a colleague decided to express her "sympathy" for my current plight as I tackle a huge personnel-related project. Just a tip: Sympathy is the last thing that comes across when you're SNICKERING!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Israeli Women Just Have That Effect

So, I have this lovely Muslim friend at work. (She's even more lovely when she cooks for me. Just sayin'.) She grew up in India, but moved here in her late teens. Her English is great, but she does sometimes slip up on the way she says things.

Anyway, I was prattling on about my "imaginary wife" of the week when she asked who I was talking about. Our servers were down at the time, so I told her to drop by later and I'd show her a pic of my Israeli crush. She dropped by to get my help with something, so I took a moment to show her the "love" of my week: Tal Nerubay. She was standing over my shoulder when the pic came up and this is what I heard from behind me, actually coming from the mouth of a married, heterosexual, Muslim woman: "Damn! She IS hot!" She deserved a little healthy mocking for that, but seriously, she was right.

Ladies and gents, Tal Nerubay:

Things I have discovered...

My new habit of watching TV online in six languages is completely normal, at least it's completely normal for lesbians in America who can't get good representation on our own televisions.

I sometimes understand foreign languages better than I understand English spoken with a strong British accent.

If you obsessively watch TV shows in languages you don't speak, you start to understand them after a while. It's scary.

If the actress is hot enough, even Hebrew and German can sound unbelievably sexy.

After making out with a woman on-screen, an actress you sort of liked can become one of your most favorite people in the world EVER!

Ani ohevet Yisrael! I know I was obsessed with Spain and still am. BUT! There's just something about Israeli women. Maybe it's that mandatory military service that makes them sooooo sexy. Maybe it's the fact that they're Jewish and could reliably produce my 2.5 Jewish children. Maybe it's the looks. HUMMINA! All I know is that if I ever decided to date again, I would so be on the prowl for an Israeli. (Remind me to tell you about the Israeli woman I chatted up once before being introduced to her HUSBAND!)


Thursday, July 09, 2009

Why the Universe Sucks

I think we all have a few people we'd really rather never see again. Somehow, these people broke our hearts or screwed us over or just annoyed us so much that we'd rather pull out our own toenails than see or speak to them again. Unfortunately, the universe sucks. So, we run into these people on the street or see their picture somewhere (a friend's web site, a newspaper, etc.). Sometimes, the universe REALLY sucks and the EVIL DOER is looking great and doing well at a time when we're feeling run down, horribly unattractive or a bit failure-ish.

I had one of those "the universe REALLY sucks" moments this week. It's very depressing.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

What's Hebrew for Hummina?

Okay, if Spain doesn't work out, I'm moving to Israel!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Because repair shops are for amateurs...

There, I fixed it.

It's Hard Out Here for a Critic

I don't think it's much of a secret that I freelance as a book reviewer/film critic. What does seem to be a secret is what book reviewers/film critics do. You see, I got an "anonymous" comment to one of my reviews, a mixed one on a small independent film, that was quite obviously from someone associated with the film. Apparently, you'd think I'd want to promote independent film.

Ahem. Anonymous person? I'm not a promoter. I'm a critic.

Don't get me wrong. I love me some independent film. Most of the films I watch are indies or foreign films. I love giving rave reviews to great independent films. It pleases me immensely to introduce my readers to a movie I think they'll really enjoy. I would hate to encourage my readers to watch something that I thought was bad. Because my first duty is to the readers. Always.

The only duty I have to authors, editors, filmmakers, etc. is to not review materials I'm biased against from the start or that are so far out of my experience that I can't give them a fair shake. So, I don't review heterosexual romances or books/films about fashion, pregnancy, man-hunting, etc. I pick my subjects carefully and try to be as fair as I can. That's all I can offer.

Some of my reviews have been glowing enough to end up being used in promotional materials. That's flattering but wasn't my intent in writing the review. Some have been mixed. (I admit that telling people to watch all but the last ten minutes of a film can be interpreted as harsh, but I was being honest and as fair as I could considering how horribly done the ending was.) Occasionally, I'm down-right mean in trashing something that was done so poorly that I can't find redeeming qualities.

But, again, that's what I do! I'm a critic. So, if you want someone to only say positive, glowing things about your product regardless of its actual quality, hire a really good marketing team and don't submit your stuff for review. Otherwise, suck it up and deal with it.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Dear Friends with Children...

I would like to thank you for not doing some of the things that end up on this site.