Thursday, April 29, 2010

How To Spot A Fake

 YO STOP STALKING MY PAGE WIT UR NUT BUSH CITY LIMITS ASS!” -@silverbakgurila

To paraphrase a friend of mine, a bored motherf*cker with an axe to grind is a dangerous thing. In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past 2 weeks or were actually out living your life & missed it, I’ve been dealing with my first stalker! Yay me, right? Wrong! Some people theorize having a stalker as being a result of “doing something right”. I strongly disagree. I was just unfortunate enough to have some loonytunes fucktard latch onto my teet. It has been uber-annoying, which I’m sure is the goal of said stalker…to annoy me. I guess if you can’t get attention from doing something positive, you’ll get it anyway you can take it.

It all started Thursday (April 15th) when I received a follow from an individual named @tamara_wiggins. The tweet simply said “Hey girl.” When I looked at the page, I noticed the background was wallpapered with my friend’s business logo and the avatar was of two other people that I know & NONE of these people are named Tamara. I looked at the person’s timeline & saw that they were tweeting another friend of mine. I alerted both he (I’m like, dude! You’re talking to a ghost!) & my friend ( the one whose logo had been pilfered.) I also asked my followers to please report that page as spam. The fakie got his boxers all in a bunch (we have reason to believe that one of the fake profile creators is a dude!) and fakie proceeds to tweet that I too am spam and to report my page. Of course, the fake profile had less than 1/10th of the followers that I have, so him crying spam fell on deaf ears.

Saturday afternoon I received a phone call from an acquaintance in a completely different time zone letting me know that a fake “Steen” page had been created & this person was hitting folks up. I get home & see this fake page is following 90 of the people that I follow. I reached out to everyone individually & told them to report this page & the page was suspended within minutes. Over the next few days I had more fake pages pop up than I can count. Because of an ongoing investigation, I can not discuss the details of where we are in the process of apprehending the individuals involved in this or the real reasons behind why this is all happening but trust me, it’s something out of a damn movie. 

Up until one week ago I felt there was no need to make my Twitter page private. I mean after all, I never say anything that I don’t mind the world knowing. You never know who’s watching, and there are too many services out there that extract information from Twitter and put them in a nice little package, making stalking that much easier. (Like http://search.twitter.com, which allows you to see all Tweets between individuals.) I quickly realized that the fake was also searching my name via Twitter’s search feature so that he could see all tweets going to me & any RT’s from unlocked pages. I’ve always considered myself to be pretty online cautious. I NEVER tell the exact location of where I’m going to be. If you do this in 2010, you’re pretty na├»ve. I will mention certain details after I’ve left a certain location. You never know…always better to be safe than sorry. I will admit, it was a little jarring to see that a person had taken the time to go through my Twitpics & had created a page using a picture of my friend’s boyfriend as the avatar and the wallpaper was of a hotel room I had Twitpic’ed in early March. I had just posted a Twitpic of a breakfast burrito I made that morning, giving them access to my entire Twitpic album containing over 200 pictures.

So, my page is private and I am very cautious of who I accept, who I decline, and who I just flat out report as spam. I’ve become quite the fake profile sleuth, if I do say so myself! I’m going to show you now a few folks that have sent me follow requests & how you too can quickly spot a fake page.

Let’s take a look at @purplegurl225’s page (http://twitter.com/purplegurl225.) The first thing I notice is that “her” avatar isn’t actually her. It’s Meagan Goode. Some people don’t like to use their own pics on Twitter & prefer anonymity so that doesn’t automatically mean this person is a fake. However, “she” has 30 followers, is following 74 and…*drum roll* almost every single person “she” has tweeted in the last 3 days has since deleted their own Twitter page! One person that she continues to tweet has never responded. He more than likely blocked her & she’s tweeting the air. #FAIL

Our next fake page comes straight out of “Chicago”. @I_Be_Jiggin (http://twitter.com/I_BE_JIGGIN) is following 173 people. How’d he find me, I wonder. He’s not following anyone that I follow or that follows me. He never tweets anyone…just spends his days tweeting himself since he created his page on the 15th (the same day all the fake pages started springing up.) He’s not following any of his favorite rappers but he is following the @claudiajordnfan page which is an automatic dead giveaway AND he’s following @pregnancy_mirac. Really, Mr. Jiggin? You want to stay up on all the latest news pertaining to the miracle of pregnancy? Curious about gestation & Braxton Hicks & mucus plugs? FAKE FAIL!

Next we have @daguelito. (http://twitter.com/daguelito). He’s new to Twitter. He has only tweet under his belt…”el fuego del caribe!” He’s the fire of the Caribbean? Really? Then why is he from Berlin? My geography is a little rusty, but last time I checked the Caribbean and Europe were pretty far from each other. FAIL

Our next fake @classwitcash (http://twitter.com/classwitcash) just sent me a follow request. She’s been on Twitter since September but she’s only tweeted 125 times. I got thrown in Twitterjail TWICE during the Grammy’s for tweeting DOUBLE that in 2 hours! She has 33 followers which is amazing to me b/c someone so attractive would have more followers just based off of that. She’s following 17 (none of which are following me or vice versa) so I’m not sure how she found me. Oh, and her tiny little av gives her away. It’s the same size an av would be if you took it from a private page that you weren’t following. Nice try.

Next up is @Misslouiegirl22 (http://twitter.com/Misslouiegirl22). She has been on Twitter since April 23rd. She only talks to people who will never respond. She has 119 followers & is following 909. She’s on @Msdasgelle’s list called “The Real People”. So, by default, @MsDashelle (http://twitter.com/MsDashelle) is fake too. @MsDashelle created her page on the 23rd less than an hour after this other mudduck created hers. Nice try ladies! @nikubushicom (http://twitter.com/nikubushicom) created hers on the same day within the same hour. Did 3 friends all decide to create Twitter pages on the same day at the same time & all list each other? Nope. It’s one hobbieless hoe creating multiple pages. TRIPLE FAKE FAIL.

Anyone who has time to spend creating fake Twitter profiles all day long & having faux conversations with other fake profiles & celebrities that will never acknowledge them clearly wasn’t hugged enough as a child. (Excluding the hugs from that “uncle” that they were warned not to spend any time alone with.) This person obviously doesn’t have real friends or a job because who opts to spend THIS much time talking to phantoms until the wee hours of the morning, missing out on social gatherings with real people & risking arriving tired at the office in the morning? This person probably doesn’t get any exercise because they’re online ALL DAY. So, be on the lookout for an ugly, tired, unpopular, out of shape individual with carpal tunnel. If you spot them, PLEASE call the authorities right away. DO NOT attempt to apprehend them yourself. They will steal your Twitpics & annoy the shit out of you too! And if you're the person who has been trying to penetrate my fortress, you're going to have to try a lot harder to get in boo-boo. Good luck! :) 

Sunday, March 14, 2010

I Hurt (Kathy Ireland's) Feelings

Last night I was luxuriating in front of the fireplace at “The Batcave”. While flipping channels, I happened upon HSN and saw Badgley Mischka. I know...I was confused too. So I put 2 & 2 together and figured out that if they were on HSN they must be designing for HSN (I know, I’m pretty quick.) My heart began to flutter like I had a hummingbird flying around inside my chest. I grabbed my Mac & tweeted “Badgley Mischka is designing for HSN? **falls down stairs**” Badlgley Mischka has designed for Beyonce (she was wearing them in her “Sweet Dreams” video), and was worn on the red carpet by Latifah & others last Sunday at the Academy Awards. (Their gowns are always seen on the Oscars' red carpet.) The line is carried at Neiman’s & Saks and various high-end retailers globally. I immediately went to HSN.com, only to be disappointed by what I saw. I was hoping to uncover gorgeous gowns that would fit this Recessionista’s budget. Instead what I found was a god-awful off the shoulder maxi dress that looked like the hostess at On The Border should be wearing it, horrible pairs of granny shoes & other disgusting looking items that people in the Midwest will order (along with 4 lbs of  Emeril's mac & cheese and a Colts Slanket) just to say they own something from Badgley Mischka. I then tweeted “Badgley Mischka’s HSN line #womp. It looks like Kathy Ireland’s Walmart line threw up on it.” Fast forward to 24 hours later. After awaking from a long slumber this evening, I logged on to Twitter & checked my @replies and I see one from Kathy herself from 5 hrs ealier:  



**double blink** I responded “Sorry for confusing Walmart with Kmart. :/”
 Now, I have several issues. The 1st is with "celebs" suffering from what I like to refer to as “Stacey Dashitis.” As you may know, Stacey frequently searches her name on Twitter and responds to people that have mentioned her name. I find that hilarious. Who has the time to search their own name on Twitter? Oh, I know. Out of work actors & washed up models. It’s a sad day when you say to yourself “Hmmmm…I wonder if anyone is talking about me” and you then proceed to search your own name. My 2nd issue is that I said the BM line looked like Kathy’s line threw up on it. Theoretically, that would be an insult to BM’s line, not Kathy’s. Their line resembles what I imagine is the regurgitation of her now defunct line (which I’ve never even seen) but I’m sure was hideous because it was sold in the same place where you could buy a box of tampons, a loaf of bread, a 10 lb bag of Tidy Cat and Mariah’s “Glitter” DVD & you could pay for the bread with your EBT card. Kmart, Walmart. Tomato, tomahto. I’ve never shopped at either place and that’s for a very good reason. So, to Ms. Ireland I want to publicly apologize for insulting your defunct clothing line by suggesting that it was carried at Walmart when it was actually sold at Kmart. Kmart is suffering sales-wise, closing nearly 65 stores last year, while Walmart remains the number one retailer in the world. So by implying that her discontinued line was carried at Walmart, I was actually paying it a compliment. 

Friday, February 12, 2010

Death To Emo Tweeters

I know that Twitter is the place where people come to overshare. We share what we had for lunch, how bad a co-worker’s breath smells, and even details about body functions (“when did I eat corn?) But lately, I’m noticing an increase of emo tweets, and not just from women. If you’ve been guilty of tweeting any of the following on more than one occasion, please cease & desist effective immediately.

1.  Needy Tweets: “It’s so cold. I wish I had someone to cuddle with. ;(” The same person who tweets this will also get mad when a random follower replies “Hey ma. Want me to come over?” Not the attention you wanted? Welp, you opened that door.
2.  Tweets of Distress: “OMG! I just cut my finger. There’s blood everywhere!” Why are you Tweeting with a bloody finger? Go clean that up! I don’t believe you anyway. But I’m sure a Twitpic that looks like it was taken at a crime scene will soon follow to prove me wrong. “I have a fever of 103. Dizzy...” Ok, if your brain is baking, why are you tweeting? When I’m sick, the last thing on my mind is notifying all of my followers about it in real-time. I can understand tweeting “I’m not feeling well. Going to lay down.” And then actually going to lay down & returning when eggs can no longer be fried on your head. But no one needs constant updates while your face is in a toilet. I’ll never understand this. I’ve seen people Tweet from the hospital. Why are we getting constant updates from your deathbed? I’m not a doctor. I can’t help you! If you want to talk to strangers about your various medical issues, go to a message board on Web MD. I get it...you need constant attention. Get a puppy. Actually, don't. Because then we'll have to hear about him pooping in your shoe. 
3.  Subliminal Tweets: Any Tweet that ends with “you know who you are!” sends me into a tizzy. Why don’t you just take direct shots? Those of us who this is not directed at are now getting hit by stray bullets. Then, God forbid anyone should ask you who or what you’re talking about. The response is either “nobody” or “never mind” or my favorite…no response at all! You threw this out there because you wanted someone to ask. Well, I’m asking. So stop being so damn passive.
4.  Billy Badass Tweets: “I just finished cussing this fool out at the Taco Bell drivethru!” Good for you. I hope you realize he spit in your Enchirito. “I wish this &%$# would call me one more damn time!” Girl, bye. You aint finna do nothin’. Showing Twitter what a badass you are doesn’t make you look like a tough guy. It makes you look like a crazy person with no self control. Chances are, the person this tweet is directed at isn’t even following you on Twitter so why are we being subjected to your threats? Text them that shit, since you’re so hard.
5.   Lovesick Tweets: These are usually shoved down our proverbial throats via some corny ass song lyric. “Tell me how I’m supposed to breathe with no air?” I don’t know. But I bet if you were out of air you’d tweet about that too. 
6.  Reaching Out…But Not Really: “I’ve been crying all night. My eyes are swollen. I don’t know how to fix this.” Again, you’re opening the door to questions that you don’t want to answer. You don’t need Twitter. You need a diary. Now, I can totally understand feeling down & hopping on Twitter hoping that a little entertainment will cheer you up. But if your current state can't be described in 140 characters and my timeline is now filled with how “numb” you feel, you need to log off & thaw out.
7.  Rants Nobody Gives A Shit About: Last time I checked, Twitter was a social networking site. It’s kind of hard to be social or network when every other day you’re tweeting about how misunderstood you are and about how little you care about your haters or people who aren’t “real”. “..and if you can’t see that about me then unfollow me cuz I don’t need you in my life!” Twitter isn’t therapy. That’s what blogs are for. And vodka. And Zoloft. You’re limited to 140 characters for a reason. Some of y’all need way less than that.

Here’s a tell tale sign that your followers no longer give a shit about your emo tweets: If you tweet “I just got hit by a car & my leg is hanging on by a tendon” and no one responds, you’ve lost your captive audience. You’ve been annoying all of your followers for some time. Stop crying wolf all the damn time & maybe someone will actually ask you if you’re ok. After all, that is your main objective right? 

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Issues!

My letter in response to the article found here: http://tinyurl.com/ykamlgv 


I just finished reading this steaming pile that you call a response to the insensitive comments that John Mayer made in his Playboy Magazine interview. What concerns me most about your “response” is that in light of his racist, sexist & degrading comments, all that you seem to be concerned about is that your chances of ever getting to ride his David Duke are now out the window. It’s pretty clear to me that you’re insecure and that you have issues with your blackness that started WAY before this article leaked yesterday. First off, my legs did NOT snap shut when I read his interview. They were NEVER open to John Mayer! I don’t find his sophomoric fart humor or “off beat” TMZ sound bytes intriguing or humorous. He’s made a name for himself (outside of his music) by being a complete douche nozzle. I’m only familiar with 2 of his songs & I couldn’t hum a single bar to either one if Jigsaw had me chained to a water heater. So you’re clearly delusional if you think millions of black women have been checking for John Mayer like that. Second, you’re placing blame on John Mayer for your own feelings of invisibility whenever you enter a room full of white men. Honey, it’s not John Mayer’s fault that white men don’t find you attractive. It’s not his fault that you’ve never in your 22 years been “hit on” by a white man. It’s YOUR fault. YOU need to stop looking for scapegoats and start looking within. I’ve never met you in my life and I can tell just by reading this article that you’re self-loathing. So I can only imagine that you exude this while in social settings. When you go out, your mind is already made up that none of the white boys will approach you and I’m sure your body language & overall aura makes you both unapproachable & undesirable. I’ve dated men of every color. I guess you can say my heart is Benetton too. And them approaching me had nothing to do with how I was dressed or how I look. I’m fun, and confident, and smart & not desperate. I don’t go to social gatherings for sexual validation. I don’t feel ugly or unsexy in a room full of any race of people. I couldn’t care less if I get approached by men when I go out. I’m confident & happy with myself. And when men see women that exude these qualities, they’re intrigued by it. As soon as you begin to realize that you’re your own worst enemy, you can stop blaming douchebags that would never give you the time of day anyway for your own shortcomings. You grew up “hearing” that black is beautiful. You grew up “knowing” people who felt this. But you clearly don’t feel it yourself. How do you expect anyone else to think you’re beautiful if YOU don’t believe it yourself? Work on yourself La Toya and stop blaming others. 

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Ooops! I Did It Again!

Ok, so I was dating this guy years ago. We’d been seeing each other for a few months exclusively. He lived about 30 miles from my house so to be fair we’d trade off on whose house we’d spend time at. This one particular weekend he was off Friday & Saturday so he came down to my house to stay with me. He had to work Sunday morning so he brought his work clothes with him so that he could get up Sunday morning, get dressed, and head to work.

Saturday night/Sunday morning we were in the bed knocked out. I was in that serious REM when I hear “OH SHIT.” I woke up startled. “What’s wrong?” I asked. He didn’t say anything. My heart was beating fast. I fumbled for the light on the nightstand. I looked over and he was just sitting up in the bed. “What’s wrong?” I asked again. “I peed in your bed.” he said. I’m thinking I know I didn’t hear that right. “What?” I asked. By now I’m FULLY awake. “I peed in your bed!” he repeated. “Well GET UP!” I shouted. I was a little irritated by him being so casual about having just urinated in my bed! I sprung to my feet & snatched back the sheets. Sure enough his pants were saturated and so were my sheets! He slowly got up and walked to the bathroom. I was tired and didn’t appreciate being awakened by someone yelling “OH SHIT!” But I took into consideration that he was probably VERY embarrassed and I didn’t want to treat him like a leper. I told him it was ok, these things happen sometimes. I remember even telling him about the time that I had a “pee dream”. I had this dream that I was at The White House and needed to use the bathroom. I remember walking down all these confusing hallways until I found this grand lavatory with golden sinks & toilets. I sat down to pee and the warmth is actually what woke me up. Of course I was a 9 year old girl when this happened, not a 27 year old man. But I digress. I pulled the wet sheets & the soaked egg crate off the bed. I rolled up the crate & stuffed it into the kitchen trash. That crate actually saved my mattress. I put on some fresh sheets and after he was all cleaned up, we got back in the bed & went back to sleep.

Fast forward to a few weeks later. SAME scenario. We’re asleep again at my place. It’s late night/early morning. I’m KNOCKED out. And I hear “Not again!” I woke up and he says, “I peed in your bed again.” This time supportive Christine was not in the building. “WTF is wrong with you!” I yelled. It was the 1st thing that came out of my mouth. I’d gone to Target a few days before to get a new egg crate & they didn’t have queen size so this time the only thing between his wet pants & my mattress was a soaked sheet. I was FURIOUS. Once again, I snatched the sheets off and he just stood there watching me as I scrubbed the mattress with a sponge & Pine-Sol in my yellow rubber gloves. I couldn’t believe that I had been awakened out of my slumber AGAIN because this grown man couldn’t control his fluid intake before bed and I’m having to flip my mattress over at 3:00 in the morning. I asked him if this had ever happened to him before and he swore that it hadn’t. I actually Googled “adult bed wetting” to see if I could make some sense of this. The search results said he either had a prostate issue or some psychological issue or he just needed to stop drinking beverages before bed. Whatever the case was, it was a huge turn off. I didn’t give him a 3rd chance to pee in my bed. We ended pretty soon thereafter.  

Why We Can't Be Friends

Dear ______________:


I remember the last time we spoke. Things had changed between us. Actually, they’d probably been changing for a while and I was just ignoring the signs. I was ignoring what I knew deep down inside was the inevitable. I wanted things to be like they were at the beginning. I guess I was grasping at straws. You were pulling away. You were growing distant. And I felt it. So I held on tighter, which only made you pull away even more. Our daily contact eventually dwindled down to no contact at all. Days turned into weeks, which turned into months, which leads us to where we are today.

As you can probably imagine, I’m shocked to be hearing from you again after all this time. If one were to use the analogy of me having a wall built around me, I’d retort that you were one of the masons on the project. I’m a little more guarded now because of you. I’m a little less trusting now because of what you put me through. Sure the wounds have healed but the scars are still there. And now after all this time has passed you want to be my friend? Now you want to be all chatty as if nothing ever happened? You think you can just step back into my life as if nothing ever happened & pick up where we left off? Do you have the attention span of a goldfish? Have you forgotten everything that quickly? Or are you hoping that I have? Well, I haven’t. And I’m a little insulted that you think I have. Seeing your name pop up in my inbox brings back too many memories, both good & bad. But mostly bad. I remember how things were the last time we spoke. I remember being in a place emotionally that I didn’t like being in. I remember feeling insecure & paranoid & sick to my stomach. I remember not being able to eat or sleep and crying. A lot. I remember the months & years that went by when I tried to avoid certain songs, certain movies, even certain foods because they reminded me of you. And truth be told, I didn’t WANT to remember you. And guess what? It worked. I managed to suppress thoughts of you for so long, I actually stopped caring & I forgot about you. I stopped wondering what really happened. I stopped asking myself “how could someone who says they care about someone treat them like this?” I filled my life with people and things that make me happy. 

My life is great now and I’m in a great place. And now you want to know what I’ve been up to? Now you want to catch up? If you wanted to be a part of my life, you should have stayed in it. You chose to remove yourself. I’m sorry, but I’m not interested in bringing you up to speed. You don’t deserve to know what I’ve been up to. I will never be one of your homegirls. I will always be a woman whose heart you broke.  I accepted this a long time ago. Now it’s your turn. Time has passed and you realize how much better your life was with me in it. Well, that same time has helped me realize how much better mine is without you in it. I’d be a fool to let you back into my life and give you another chance to do more damage. Since you’ve been gone, I’ve been staying away from guys like you. I’d be a masochist if I let you back in. I’m sorry, but we just can’t be friends.

-Me  

Monday, February 1, 2010

I Waited 2 Years For THIS?!


On August 9, 2007 I got my boobs done. As the story goes, I was working for a company and got laid off the same day I was going to give notice. I had two weeks until my new job was going to start and a wad of cash in my hand so a good friend of mine convinced me to go for it. He knew how much I wanted to get this done. I remember being at his house not too long before that showing him my doctors website & pictures of some of his work. So, without even having a consultation I called the doctor that I’d been stalking for nearly 1 year and scheduled the surgery. I paid for it in full the same day. (I don’t recommend that anyone do this without having a consultation first, but I was 100% confident about my doctor. And I’m a little impulsive sometimes. Don’t judge me.) So, I had my surgery. Everything was GREAT. Months later I wrote my doctor a letter telling him about how happy I was with my surgery. His wife read my testimonial and asked me if I’d be interested in being featured on their site. As long as I didn’t have to show off the girls I was ok with it.

So, in April 2008 I had my photo shoot. I met with a great photographer in Hollywood who took some amazing shots. I was able to keep a CD. (He shot 5 rolls total so the CD had approximately 500 photos.) After my shoot, I contacted my doctor’s office & was told that my pictures would be featured on the site sometime in the fall. I was so excited! Month after month I kept checking the site and there were no pics. I sent a few emails over the course of the 2 years asking for an update & was told that some of the other pictures that were up were old as well. Last Thursday I was informed that I would be up in February! Here we are TWO years later. The pics are finally up today, February 1st, 2010. Here are my issues:

1.) There was some paraphrasing done on my bio. I see grammatical errors & y’all know I be speakin’ proper & shit. (Seriously though, the grammar in MY bio was spot on. It borderline atrocious now.)

2.) There were some BEAUTIFUL shots that were taken that aren’t featured. I had 4 or 5 different looks and they only featured me in ONE. (see my current pic on Twitter @steenfox.) One of my LEAST favorite pics of the 500 is the one they have of me peeking through the bushes. And that's the default. Seriously?

3.) The red leopard print dress was actually NOT red. So, someone took the time to make that dress red to give me a different look when there are 496 other pictures to choose from.

4.) MY NAME IS SPELLED WRONG. WTF?!

I may sound ungrateful, but I was over this SUCH a long time ago. They [these pictures] stopped being important to me sometime during the last decade. I just can’t believe that I waited two years for THIS. I emailed them this morning and asked that they please correct the spelling of my name. (If you really want to ruffle my feathers, call me Christina.) I kinda want to mark up the bio & send them corrections on the grammar as well. I hate that shit. My pics will be up there until the end of time and I have shitty grammar & I’m wearing a red Photoshopped Bebe dress. FML.

Here's a link to the site. This site is NSFW so if you get fired for looking at titties, you can't come stay on my couch. http://www.thebreastexpert.com/modelnew/Christina.html


Saturday, January 30, 2010

Hope for Haiti Recap


So, last Friday (01/22/10) I had the honor of being able to volunteer at the “Hope for Haiti Now” telethon that George Clooney put together. It was simulcast on every major network. (BET, MTV, HBO, NBC, etc.) Cecily (one of the many awesome people I met in 2009) & myself were amongst a small team of talent escorts working the event. “What’s a talent escort?” you ask? Well, every major start-studded event that requires talent to be in a certain place at a specific time has talent escorts. Our role is to make sure that the major talent has eyes on them at all times. This is especially important for televised events, because talent often has hard in/out times. So if according to the breakdown (a sheet that details each minute of the show and a description of what’s going on down to the second) Halle Berry is supposed to be on camera at 5:04:45 pm and she’s in the restroom, we need to be able to locate her before her “on” time. (Perfect example: BET Awards ’09 could’ve used better talent escorts on Nichelle Nichols & Zoe Saldana. They were to come out to present together but Nichelle missed her hard in because she was in the bathroom. Zoe mentioned this TWICE on camera. But I digress…)

Often, escorts are assigned a specific talent for an event. However, because HFHN had EVERY A-lister there, it was impossible to have an assigned escort for everyone. George & a few others had someone keeping them on schedule. But most of the talent were splitting their time between one of the two green rooms until the show went live. After that they were all in the phone bank. There wasn’t too much corralling required so this was a pretty easy event.

It rained something awful the week of the event. I was hoping that the rain would let up by Friday. This was not the case. It poured my entire 1 hr commute from OC to LA and when I got there it was STILL raining. When I arrived at the CBS lot it was full so I had to park behind the lot at The Grove and walk back in the rain. On my way out of the confusing parking structure, I crossed paths with a makeup artist who was struggling with a travel case full of makeup. The sky made this loud cracking sound & we both looked at each other. It was about to start pouring, and we were a good 10 min walk from where we needed to be. She didn’t have an umbrella so I asked her if she was going to HFHN & she said she was. Right then it started raining so I invited her under my umbrella. She grabbed my arm & the 2 of us huddled together and made our way through a flooded alley onto the CBS lot.

Once we got under the tent she thanked me (she called me an angel) and we parted ways. I got my credentials & stood under a heat lamp while waiting to find out what the next step was. Soon thereafter, Cecily showed up. We got our food tickets & headed up to the 3rd floor for lunch. We spent about 30 min upstairs eating a nice catered spread with makeup artists and various production folks & stagehands before making our way back downstairs to get our assignments. When we returned downstairs we were told that talent would begin arriving around 3:00. The show was going to be on air at 5:00. Talent would be dropped off at the curb and we were to escort them to wherever they needed to go. Everyone would arrive pretty much camera ready but just in case anyone needed hair or makeup, this would be available for them. Certain talent had dressing rooms (John Legend, Kid Rock, Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, George Clooney and some folks from Twitter), but for the most part, everyone would need to be escorted to one of the two white tents inside that were set up as green rooms. Inside those tents were full bars, cookies & sandwiches, and plush white leather couches to lounge on. There were also high bar tables & large flat screen TV’s.

I was running my mouth to Cecily about God knows what when she sort of reached out to me as if to say “shhhhh!” I turned around & saw the reason why. Denzel was standing right next to us at the credentials table. I took no offense at all because it was Denzel! He can interrupt my story any day. Besides…whatever I was talking about couldn’t have been too important because I immediately forgot it.
We had a quick tour of the CBS building so that we’d know the layout. We walked across the stage as Cheryl Crow, Keith Urban & Kid Rock were rehearsing “Lean On Me.” The next hour was spent hanging around waiting for things to start. The ladies at the credentials table were getting things organized in alphabetical order. We had no idea this was the calm before the storm.

It was 3:15. I can’t really put into words what happened over the next 30 minutes. It was just…crazy. There was a line of cars a mile long. And every A-lister in Hollywood was in those cars. All arrivals were being announced over walkies, so we knew who was arriving and in what order. Cindy Crawford & Randy Gerber got out of a black Range Rover and I was handed their credentials. Cindy was drop dead gorgeous in jeans! “We want to go to Kid Rock’s dressing room.” she said. I escorted them up to the 2nd floor & took them to his dressing room. Now, you have to understand…I LIVED for fashion during Cindy’s reign. I had pics of her & several other 90’s supermodels on my bedroom walls as a teenager. So this moment was VERY surreal for me. But I maintained my composure & remained cool. On the outside I appeared like I do this every day. But in my head…I was dying!

I returned back to the 1st floor and waited for more talent. Everyone was pouring in. The Jonas Brothers were standing at the table to get their credentials. They started giggling when one of the ladies at the table had Chevy Chase’s credentials & kept repeating “I have a Chevy Chase!” I took Mr. Chase (who is completely hard of hearing) thru the metal detectors. He had something in his pocket that set the alarm off. I figured we could just proceed but the young security guy working at the table made him empty his pockets and go back through. He actually asked CHEVY CHASE if he had any weapons in his pockets. Chevy replied “Huh?!” It wasn't a "come again?" huh. It was an "are you shitting me?" huh. The guy asked again & Chevy responded “Oh sure, I never leave home without my knife & gun.” Love it!

When I returned to the table I saw Jennifer Aniston, Tom Hanks, Alyssa Milano & Drew Barrymore. And Charlize Theron who is absolutely GORGEOUS in person. Marissa Tomei…not so much. Her face looked like the side of a dilapidated building. Kimora, Russell & Djimon arrived together (I love that!) Halle was standing right in front of me…it was unreal. Y’all don’t know how I feel about Halle! She’s iconic & I absolutely adore her. Next I realized that I've been hating Taylor Swift for the past 4 months for no reason at all. She greeted everyone with a smile & was a very sweet girl. Then I saw Andy Garcia! I had a picture of him in my locker in high school from when he was on the cover of GQ! Katy Perry & Russell Brand arrived separately but left arm in arm. Brad Pitt walked in looking like he just left the set of the biopic “Three Billy Goats Gruff”. Collin Ferrell. Ricky Martin. Taraji. Tyrese. Zoe Saldana. Robin Williams. Robert De Niro (I love Bobby D!) Common was in line waiting to get his credentials & smiled at me & said hello. He. Smiled. At. ME. I reached for his credentials & another escort intercepted. I didn't want to cause a scene so I let him have them. (He then proceeded to sneak his way into the green room to talk Common & Taraji’s ears off.) He later tells me that Common is his favorite MC & Common told him to keep in touch. Yeah right!

I walked by Quincy & said “Hello Mr. Jones” to which he replied “Hey baby!” I nearly melted into a puddle. When Stevie arrived, everything stopped. I know I’m dramatic but believe me when I say this: I didn’t hear SHIT that was going on around me when Stevie arrived! I watched him being take out of his car by his handlers & walk right past me. I just stood there & inhaled, taking in the moment. It felt like a dream. So many people arrived at once; they started handing out the wrong credentials to people. Samuel L. Jackson arrived wearing his signature black Kangol. Michael Clarke Duncan said he didn’t want someone else’s credentials. And Leonardo Di Caprio. This guy…he’s…special. It takes Cecily to show you how he walked down the hall on his cell phone. He was on some “love-you-baby-love-you-sweetie-let’s-do-lunch" type shit. *winks & points finger* Seriously. All he needed was an ascot & a monocle. He’s so pretentious. He was smoking a cigar & drinking white wine when John Legend arrived with his English Bulldog. Leo walked over to the dog & was petting it. Two feet away from me Leonardo Di Caprio is petting John Legend’s dog while Steven Spielberg walks by eating a turkey sandwich! I felt like I was in a David Lynch film. Oh, and when I took Cecily to the restroom to fill her in on “the escort from hell”, we ran into “Precious”. (That's how I referred to her to which Cecily replied “I’mma need ‘Precious’ to have a real name!") She was really sweet. I took a picture with her & she said “at least you didn’t follow me into the stall!” I saw Jack Nicholson & Mark Wahlberg. Mark is the best friend of a good friend of mine. I sent him a text telling him that I just saw Marky. He said they had breakfast that morning & did I say hi to him. (Um, no! Mark’s picture replaced Andy Garcia’s in my locker. I could never speak to him!)

The highlights of my night were escorting my secret crush Forest to the phone bank, going to a corner to scream into my scarf after seeing LL (Cecily laughed at me) and seeing Muhammad Ali leave the building. That was another “standing in silence” moment. Oh, and when Chris Rock & Rick Rubin walked around the corner together laughing and talking, for about 2.5 seconds I secretly wished I was a New Yorker. Y’all…Rick Rubin! I saw so many things that night that made me smile. Like Debra Messing & Meg Ryan standing off in a corner chatting like old girlfriends…then grabbing hands & pressing their foreheads together. (It was cute.) And Jack Black & Randy Jackson chopping & Sacha Baron Cohen walked up and joined in the conversation. I was also able to speak with Russell Simmons about his Jivamukti Yoga scholarship for women of color. THAT was surreal. *I’m standing here talking to Russell Simmons about yoga.* I thanked him for his time & hit him with a “Namaste” before coolly walking away (all while screaming inside my head.)

It was truly an amazing experience. Seeing everyone in Hollywood turn out in the pouring rain for a wonderful cause. (Everyone was dressed casual…except for Leo & some lady wearing a long green velvet gown & a vest that resembled road kill.) You could see how connected all of these people are. They’ve all crossed paths at some point over the years. Many have worked together or worked on the same lots. Most have have had the same managers, agents & publicists. There was a sense of camaraderie & realness that we regular folk don’t get a chance to see. Being able to witness it first hand gave me a different perspective of Hollywood & it was an experience that I won’t soon forget.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Preface to Last Weekend

My name is Christine & I am the most interesting unemployed person you’ll ever meet. Within the past 6 months, I’ve had some great adventures. Like ending up at the BET Awards as “talent” with all-access to closed rehearsals Friday & Sunday and hanging out backstage watching the show from stage left. The stories I could tell about that weekend! Maybe I’ll get those out another time. (Until this day, a certain “hanger-on” still wants to know how the hell Tatum & I got in. All these months & he’s still losing sleep! I’ll never tell…) I think I attended Foxx’s “Blame It” tour maybe 3 or 4 times…excellent seats, backstage, the works. I have some very wonderful friends who take GREAT care of me so I’m very grateful for that. In July, I met up with 30 “friends” from all over the country in Vegas (we’re all part of a group on Facebook.) We spent 5 days together in a 10,000 sf compound. That was a Vegas trip like no other that NONE of us will ever forget! I may wish to run for mayor someday, so the details of that trip [the ones that I can remember] will be omitted from this and all future blogs! ;)

In October I had the honor of seeing His Holiness The Dalai Lama in Long Beach. It was an absolutely amazing, enlightening experience. HH has a great sense of humor & actually cracked a few jokes. And after touching countless people’s hands, he produces from out of nowhere a small bottle of Target hand sanitizer! Later that night I attended a charity event “Common & Friends” at the Palladium in Hollywood. That concert will go down in history as one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to in my life! (Up there with Sade and MJ.) Common, Nas, The Roots, Talib Kweli, Latifah, Mos Def & then Kanye popped up out of nowhere. Talk about a crowd losing their minds! I’m surprised I had a voice the next day! (Thanks Dani!) Last month I attended my first professional fight with a great friend of mine. The fight aired on Showtime. We sat ringside, giving me a new appreciation for boxing! Although I haven’t done the traveling that I always dream of, I’ve still been able to share some great meals, great wine, and lots of laughter with friends (old & new) and I feel truly blessed. I met some dynamic people in 2009! An amazing chain of events from 2009 lead me to this past weekend…Hope For Haiti Now, The Producers Guild Awards, and now I’m Oscar bound! (to be continued…)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Why I Need A Dryer

I hate doing laundry. Not so much the act of doing laundry itself…I mean, it’s not like I have to go down to the river & beat my clothes against a rock. But I hate the prep that’s involved in actually getting my clothes cleaned. See, our dryer is broken. We have a washer that operates fine, which is great for most of my wardrobe. I’d say I hang dry maybe half of my clothing anyway. T-shirts, sweaty yoga pants, unmentionables…they all get washed in cold & hung to dry. Its better for the fabric in the long run and on a warm day these things will be dry within a few hours. But there are some things that I can’t get away with hang drying. Towels, bedding, rugs, etc. need to go into a dryer. So, ultimately I end up putting off washing these things for as long as possible until I end up with a mountain of towels & sheets because I hate going to a public coin operated laundromat. To avoid going weekly, I have several sets of sheets and more towels than a family of 4 has.

So yesterday I got myself mentally prepared to head to the laundromat. I haven’t been since before Christmas. This required pre-sorting everything on the living room floor and making sure I had lots of quarters (because you can’t depend on the change machines to dispense all of your quarters and sometimes they eat your cash all together with. Plus you should always have extra quarters in case you put 4 of them into a dryer only to find out that for the past hour your towels have been tossed around with cold air blowing on them.) I had to go out to move my car so that I could load it with my huge, heavy basket of laundry and then schlepped detergent & fabric softener out to the car as well. I can get the entire laundry process done from start to finish in 2 hrs.

I arrived at the laundromat at 3:00 p.m. As I suspected, 3:00 p.m. on a Monday = ghost town. I’d be in and out of here quickly, which made me happy. No fighting over washers or dryers for me today. Yay! I loaded 4 washers with my stuff. As I was pouring detergent into the top of the front loading washers, in the mirror's reflection above the machines I noticed a young, thin Hispanic man with curly hair standing maybe 30 feet away from me. What caught my eye was that he was digging his nose. He wasn’t even trying to play it off like he was wiping his nose or he had an itchy nostril. He was digging away like he was at home alone! I was so shocked that he was just digging and digging and digging like this in public. I kept staring at him in the mirror hoping he would see me watching him and he’d be embarrassed and stop. But he never looked over. He just continued to dig. Then he finally stopped, but it was only to switch nostrils. He dug some more, and then did the unthinkable. He rolled his little treasures up into a ball between his thumb and index finger, then took his index finger and reached out for one of the laundry carts and wiped his booger on the chrome bar. He then continued to dig and roll and wiped more on the bar. I was beyond disgusted! This is a cart provided by the laundromat for patrons to put their clean clothes in and he’s painting it with boogers! I walked over to the paper towel dispenser and got some towels and walked up to him. “Here you go.” I said. “Thank you!” He said. “This is for you to wipe those boogers off the cart.” I said. He just looked at me. I turned and walked away. **sigh** I’ve got to get a dryer.

Friday, January 8, 2010

*sigh*

This week I was doing employment consulting for a client. Her nephew needed career path assistance and since my schedule right now is uber flexible (I have time for morning yoga, lunch in The Valley on a whim, and 20 mile bike rides on a Tuesday afternoon!) I told her I was available. So, for the past few days I’ve been meeting with her 19 year old nephew helping him map out his career goals, applying for jobs, registering with agencies, etc.

This kid is very personable. And very lost. He wasn’t really sure what he wanted to do with his life. He did mention that he wanted to be "an entrepreneur". I asked “entrepreneur of what? and you could hear a pin drop. As soon as I started going into him identifying his target audience I could tell I'd lost him. My client kind of got him & his brother thrown into her lap a few years ago and they’ve been nothing but thorns in her paw ever since she got them. Just 2 days after his 18th birthday, her nephew *Steve was arrested and now has a felony robbery charge on his record. (Over some dumb shit involving a skateboard and $5.00!) So, this week I’ve been on the phone with several contacts of mine getting advice, trying to find “felony-friendly” employers, researching information about expunsion of his felony & getting the charge reduced in the interim (because he has 5 years of probation he wouldn’t be eligible for expunsion until after that, if at all) ALL while trying to convince the poor child to go to school and learn a damn trade. We found an ROP internship in Travel & Tourism that starts next Tuesday. He seemed interested in it & I figured that with an internship his felony shouldn’t come into play and since the coursework would take place onsite (vs. in a classroom) he could potentially get into a hotel, prove himself, and possibly get hired on after the course was over in June.

I felt like I was making progress with the kid. I kept reiterating to him that his main goal at this point should be to show any potential employers that he has made strides to turn his life around since he was arrested. His aunt was even kind enough to allow him to use her business name as his current employer on his resume in an effort to show that he has had steady employment for a year. Outside of that, he’s had 3 jobs. He was fired from one, gave two week notice at another and stopped showing up a few days into that final two weeks, and the third he also stopped showing to (because he had to turn himself in after his arrest. Instead of discussing this with the employer he just disappeared.) So, his work history is very sketchy to say the least. When I mentioned him going back to school he said it would “take too long”. I’m like ‘dude, learn a trade that will make you money for the rest of your life!” Plus, this would be impressive to employers. It would show his drive and initiative. He said it made sense & I felt like it was starting to sink in & we were making strides.

We met this morning at Panera and since it was a beautiful Southern California day we sat outside. I had my Mac & took great pleasure in pimping their free WiFi while Steve texted his friends and got distracted by the birds and shiny objects. I set him up for a few appointments early next week, applied for a few jobs & registered him with a few companies that conduct focus groups before taking him back to his aunt’s office to give her a recap of our progress before breaking for lunch. It was noon and he was getting a little antsy so I told him we could just meet up again on Tuesday before his appointments. I would meet him at his aunts office early so that we could have a quick run through before his first agency interview. I told him to make sure he was dressed for success. “I don’t have no nice clothes” he said. His aunt said she would help him get some black pants over the weekend. He told me “Don’t worry about it. I’ll get some pants someway.” Jokingly, I said “Don’t you end up in jail before I see you Tuesday!” I gave him a ride home & he gave me a hug, thanked me for everything & said he'd see me next week.

I just got a text from his aunt that read “Hey girl…no need to continue job searching for Steve. He was caught stealing at Ralph’s…he is on his way to jail…” WTF! I’m literally shaking my head. I gave her a call. She was at a bar having a strong drink. As it turns out, he was caught stealing condoms from a local grocery store. So now he has the original robbery charge with a new larceny charge which will probably be be brutal. My boy just told me "He would’ve been better off knocking the officer out and getting an assault charge over the theft." Larceny after being convicted for robbery? This is bad. Real bad. *sigh*