Sunday, April 27, 2008

Gettin' Lo'

So growing up in Canada, I used to watch a television show, called Today's Special. The basic plot of the show revolved around a department store mannequin, who used to come alive at night for adventures with his friends of the children's television programming variety. As I recall, these adventures were loads of fun and educational for me and my siblings. I haven't thought about this show in a long time, until today.

So this afternoon, I'm walking home through the Pentagon City Mall, and I walk into what I think is the bottom floor of Macy's. I'm not paying too much attention to where I am or what's around me, I'm just looking for the escalator that will take me up to the next floor, so I can exit closest to where my car is parked. Eventually something registers about the merchandise around me...the shorts are short, the tops are see-through, and everything seems to be "barely there." This must be the juniors section for sure.

I hang a left, beginning to wonder why I haven't spied the escalator yet, when my eyes land on two mannequins, showing off the apparel on the racks around me. One, by all accounts, looks like a pretty straightforward mannequin - one foot in front of the other, shoulders back, hands in her pocket...you get the picture. But the other one...she was a piece of work. She was bent over from the waist, with her butt stuck out, looking for all the world like she's waiting for some guy in da' club to come up and start grinding up on her. Seriously? Is that necessary?

I take a quick scan around the floor, only to realize that this posture is affected by more than just this mannequin...she's got at least three skanky friends at various unexpected angles. I wasn't quick thinking enough to snap a pic, but this illustration below might help you understand my alarm...we're talking 1s, 2s, and 5s here...not exactly what I expect in a department store mannequin.


I'm really appalled at Macy's marketing decisions, until I look around again and notice the xxi on the hangers. Ah...I'm in Forever 21. While this did much to explain the level of skankiness around me, I couldn't help but have a flashback to Today's Special. These mannequins would be at the head of the casting line for an exposé on mannequins gettin' lo' after the lights go out. Now that Rock of Love 2 is over, maybe I should pitch the idea to VH1...

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

If you're thinking about a foray into the Alaskan wilderness...

then I suggest you rent Into the Wild first. (Some spoilerish stuff below, so you might want to stop reading if you are planning to see it, and somehow do not already know how the story ends).

Anyway, I did manage to grab a few hours of personal time for dinner and a movie a few weeks ago, and at my request, this is what my friend and I rented to watch. It wasn't exactly what she or I were expecting...but it was definitely one of those films that keeps running in your mind after you see it, demanding more processing than you could handle in the first sitting.

The film itself is very well done, tells a great story, and the character of Chris McCandless unfolds throughout the film. The cinematography was apparently done by the same person who did The Motorcycle Diaries, and I think the touch is very similar, with attention to including the landscape as a vital piece of this story that carried McCandless across the country (several times, in fact).

However, I must say that I was overwhelmingly unsympathetic to the story by the time the end rolled around.

Yay for spiritual journeys and rejecting the trappings of society and all of that, but seriously, this guy was just irresponsible. I am in firm agreement that what he essentially did was commit suicide, albeit in a long and drawn out fashion. What he was attempting to do was not impossible, but a total lack of preparation, in terms of knowledge, skills, tools and other materials led to his untimely death.

This quote from an Anchorage Press article sums up my thoughts pretty well, "For...many Alaskans, McCandless represents all that’s wrong with Outsiders: the hubris, the ignorance, the plain ol’ idiocy. McCandless was the ill-prepared pinhead who deserved to die."

Sad story for sure...but cult hero? Not so much.

Survivor

Yes, folks, I have emerged on the other side of a six week test of my intellectual endurance. As I may have complained (slightly) about in the last few weeks, I have been on a project that has absolutely just been insane in terms of working hours. I mean, 18 and 20 hour days during the week, and weekends which consisted of a 12 hour furlough between conference calls (got off the phone at 9pm Saturday, and resumed at 9am Sunday!) And yes, I did make the most of my furlough - Mr. Greengenes was playing less than a mile from my house - I couldn't miss it!

Before anyone starts to pity me too much, I have to admit that there were definitely perks associated with this project:
  • Exposure to a new solution - I'm becoming a de facto expert in our workforce planning solutions, so that's kind of cool
  • Building a stronger relationship with one of my mentors
  • Opportunities for step-out client management activities - leading meetings, presenting findings/recommendations, that kind of stuff

Oh dear, I think I need to stop this list, because I seem to have slipped into super-consultant-speak. I get that comment every now and then from my friends, "You sound like such a consultant right now," which always kind of makes me disappointed in myself, because in grad school I was so vehemently against those ridiculously over-used-to-the-point-of-being-meaningless words like "leverage" or "value-add." Yet, I must confess, they are most certainly a part of my vocabulary these days. Ah well, I never said I wasn't a sell-out :p

Anyway, I'm staffed on a new project already, but this one promises to be a little more in the work-life balance department. I took advantage of my newfound freedom tonight and went to my first book club meeting. It was so much fun! I really enjoyed sharing the experience of reading Angela's Ashes with the group, and I found the discussion insightful and helpful in terms of my own processing of the story. If you'd like to know more about what I thought of the book, you can check join and check out my review on GoodReads.

Alright, I'm pretty sure I have more to say, but this is all I've got at the moment.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Dreaminess

Quick update from the land of those who have no life of their own to speak of....the kid who plays Kirby Atwood on Lipstick Jungle is so freakin hot. I'm not even sure I like this show...but I am as long as he spends half of every episode with his shirt off, I'll probably keep watching :p