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Corporate Etiquette 118 . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Tuesday, June 30, 2009 11 comments

{The workplace is a jungle filled with jackals, wineheads and bosses with mouths like a crocodile. There are also decent people, but I'm starting to question the percentages. This is the 18th in a series of corporate encounters which offer no easy resolutions.}

It’s the last day of the quarter at my office, which means that anarchy reins, nerves are frayed and you can run the gamut of emotions from pure exhilaration to utter despair in the course of a single hour.

Some people love this kind of action, but I do not. The last week of each quarter is ugly and has fewer rules than illegal cockfighting, so I try to lay low and keep to myself, take back doors in and out of the office building and use the restroom on different floors to avoid any “how’s it looking ” talk from executives.


I also generally keep my emotions in check, although I’ve gotten more vocal since the recent lay-offs because my particular section is largely devoid of other human beings. After what just happened, however, I’m beginning to question the logic of that stance.

About an hour ago, I was on a conference call to go over some final details of a project, and I was using a head-set to talk. I rarely use a head-set because I think the volume sucks, it echoes and you look like a jackass while wearing one, but I needed to be able to type during the call, so I strapped mine on and everything was fine for the first 27 minutes.


Then, we got to a delicate part of the requirements, and the potential customer spit out a curveball that caused me to yell (or at least state loudly): Shit sandwich!


This wouldn’t be a big deal if I had been on mute – where I had been for the majority of the call – but I wasn’t.

I don’t recall who was speaking at the time, but the silence following my outburst was universal. Nobody said anything for several seconds, though it felt like hours, and then the call resumed with nobody commenting on the statement.

The only good thing about it was that there were many people on the call, and most of them were men, so it will take awhile before they can track down the culprit. I hope that’s the case. But in any event, the only way to cope with situations like this is deny, deny, deny . . . and always use the mute button.

-BDS

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Quick Hit Friday . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Friday, June 26, 2009 19 comments

“Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria!” – Bill Murray, “Ghostbusters”


Let’s hope it doesn’t come to any of that today as I just don’t think I could handle it on a Friday. I can barely cope with the 12th straight day of 100 degree weather, a predicament which rules out patio drinking. But before I roll out of here around 3 p.m. and find a new plan for the evening, let’s look at the hard stories of the week such as:

Police have charged the tour manager of the Black Eyed Peas with assault after he allegedly punched celebrity blogger Perez Hilton outside a Toronto nightclub.

Hilton said he got into an argument with band members Fergie and will.i.am at the Cobra nightclub early Monday morning and was punched outside by Polo Molina, the band's tour manager. Molina turned himself in and has been charged with assaulting Hilton.

Hilton, who is openly gay, told The Associated Press that he called will.i.am a "faggot” after the musician told the blogger not to write about his band on his Web site.


Despite Hilton’s sexual preference, I think he’s confused on the definition of that word and when to use it (i.e. never).

Jon and Kate Gosselin announced plans to divorce this week.

The co-stars of "Jon & Kate Plus 8,” who are parents of 5-year-old sextuplets and 8-year-old twins, spoke of their decision to separate during Monday's episode of the TLC reality series. Near the end of the hour-long episode, a title card summed read that "legal proceedings were initiated in Pennsylvania to dissolve the 10-year marriage of Jon and Kate Gosselin."

"We've been dealing a long time with this," Kate said, speaking of her marital problems and the attendant publicity.

"It's been a hard seven or eight months," Jon said in one of his separate on-camera sessions. "It's been a really hard last four months. This is the hardest episode ever."


It will be even harder for the Gosselin’s when the checks from their reality TV show stop coming in.

Actress Daryl Hannah was among 31 people arrested Tuesday as they protested mountaintop removal mining in southern West Virginia.

State Police Sgt. Michael Baylous said all were released after being cited for impeding traffic and obstructing an officer after they blocked a road near a Massey Energy Co. subsidiary's coal processing plant.


I guess this story proves that contrary to recent rumor, Daryl Hannah can still get arrested in this town.

Chris Brown pleaded guilty to felony assault against his one-time girlfriend Rihanna this week.

Brown will not serve any jail time, but he has been assigned to six months of community service in his home state of Virginia, and he will serve five years on supervised probation with quarterly California court visits and complete a domestic violence counseling program. Finally, Brown has been ordered to stay at least 50 yards away from Rihanna at all times with the exception of music industry events they are both attending.


Personally, I plan to stay at least 50 yards away from any more mention of this story.

Former MTV reality star Nick Lachey and former "TRL" host Vanessa Minnillo have broken up after three years together, according to People.com.

"They have amicably split but remain good friends who still greatly care for one another," a rep for Minnillo told the magazine.


Apparently, the break-up ensued after endless arguments about which reality star had faded more quickly from public consciousness.

Matthew McConaughey and girlfriend Camila Alves announced they are expecting their second child this week after McConaughey posted the news on his website.

Matthew wrote: "Happy Father's Day - it's my first, and the last 11 months with Levi and Camila have been the most rewarding adventure to date - we have more blessed news to celebrate this Father's Day that make this time next year double the fun." "Levi is going to be a big brother... Yeah, we pulled off the greatest miracle in the world one more time, Camila and I are expecting our second child, bringing more life into the world, making more to live for. The future looks bright as the family grows and we thank you for all the well wishes you send our way."


McConaughey doesn’t plan to stop having children until he can fill out a complete band of naked bongo players.

“Sex and the City” star Sarah Jessica Parker and husband Matthew Broderick become parents to twin daughters this week as their babies were delivered by a surrogate mother.

The girls, Marion Loretta Elwell and Tabitha Hodge, were born in an Ohio hospital on Monday.


The biggest surprise was that both children were given reasonable names, a rarity among Hollywood parents.

As always, let’s end with a few gold images:



A little self confidence and affection towards a mirror or with another person if fine with me. So, don't be afraid to enjoy yourself or others today, have fun either way and . . . Happy Friday!

-BDS

{Editor's Note: R.I.P. Michael, Ed & Farrah. Just sad.}

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Blu Ray Excitement . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Wednesday, June 24, 2009 13 comments

I’m excited because I finally got Blu Ray for my loft.


It had been 12 months of eyeing the technology, 9 months of saving and then finally deciding that I had waited long enough when Best Buy started running 3 years financing at 0 percent interest. It also helped that I walked into the store, and told the salesperson that I will pay x amount for the Blu Ray player, and after “checking with his manager” for a few minutes, he came back and said yes to all my pricing proposals.

This is one of the few benefits of a down economy as consumers have loads of bargaining power if you’re willing to wield it like an iron fist.

At first, I was skeptical about the entire Blu Ray endeavor, however, the picture really is a hell of a lot sharper and the sound rings louder. But it’s the picture that gets me charged up. Every bead of sweat or stray hair or vivid landscape is capture perfectly in startling detail. This new frontier will demand perfection from make-up artists moving forward because the technology is impressively unforgiving.

It also means I am in absolutely no rush to buy pornography on Blu Ray because some things – like the bottom line of an eye exam chart or anyone you pick up after 2 a.m. inside a bar - are best left slightly fuzzy and just a little bit out of focus.



Anyway, the issue now is which Blu Ray discs to purchase, especially when you already own a significant number of standard DVDs. But this dilemma also presents an opportunity because when I do find myself with a redundant disc, I am happy to mail it off to anyone who wants it. Just email me an address at twodollarproductions@live.com and whenever I can make it to my local Pak Mail place, it will be sent.

This is a first come or rather first-emailed basis, and these posts will occur at random, but hopefully the DVDs will end up scattered around the U.S. and abroad, like the $2 Dollar Productions t-shirts of yesteryear (and if anyone is worried about receiving anything other than a DVD, you can verify with those who received shirts that nothing else unexpected will arrive. Ha.)

To kick things off, the first DVD that I now have two of is: Ghostbusters.


A classic comedy that is somehow 25 years old, which is a vaguely depressing thought.

The email gates are open, and I stress that nobody should hold out for any porn becoming available because the thought of super-detailed close-ups sucks most of the fun out from that particular lifestyle choice.

-BDS

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Bathing With The Drunken Viking . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Monday, June 22, 2009 21 comments

{This is the 28th entry in a recurring series that will only happen when I have consumed far too many spirits. This past weekend, I wallowed in a mess of things, white wine with dinner followed by rounds of Dos Equis, Shiner Bock, Heinken, Tecate and Fat Tire, a poorly paced spectacle with a concert thrown in which triggered strange thoughts, candid insights and pure horseshit. Selah.}



• If you have to look behind you before saying it, don’t tell that joke

• Nobody looks good in a flat cap – not even Brad Pitt can pull it off


• Whenever a restaurant includes gratuity on parties of six or more it only ensures your level of service will suffer

• Compliment a woman’s shoes every single time, even if you’re staring at her breasts


• Dentists have the absolute worst magazine selection in all the waiting rooms in all the world

• If you aren’t sitting with kids, then don’t eat at a restaurant where they let you color on the tables

• Never buy an entire outfit that a store mannequin is wearing


• Call in sick to work on a Wednesday – never a Monday or a Friday – and you’ll have a wonderfully inventive day playing hooky

• Golfers are easily the worst-dressed athletes in sports


• You will always get stuck next to a morbidly obese person or a baby on every single flight, just accept it.

“When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading,” Home Simpson

Quick Hit Friday . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Friday, June 19, 2009 18 comments

“It's dark and lonely work, Harry - like oral sex, but someone has to do it.” – Pierce Brosnan, “The Tailor of Panama”


‘Tailor’ was a little-seen, but extremely solid film that also co-starred Geoffrey Rush and Jamie Lee Curtis. Personally, I refuse to do much of any kind of work today as I figure everything can hold until Monday. Besides, after a long week, I also have my parents arriving in town, a concert to attend, Father’s Day brunch plans and loads of other responsibilities piling on by the minute.

But before I become overwhelmed, let’s take a look at the hard stories of the week such as:

Today” weatherman Al Roker refused to apologize for a contentious interview with reality show stars Spencer and Heidi Pratt this week about their behavior on NBC’s “I’m a Celebrity . . . Get Me Out of Here.”

On Monday morning’s show, Roker asked Heidi whether she was proud of the way the couple acted on TV. As Heidi talked, Roker interrupted her and asked, “No, the question is, are you proud of this?” Roker also told Spencer that people think he acts like a “jerk.”

Heidi said she cried after the interview and Spencer said it was a good thing he is “saved by Jesus” or he would have “ripped” Roker’s head off. Seriously.

Roker laughed off Spencer’s remarks, telling co-host Meredith Vieira: “If he had tried to come across, I would’ve dumped him like a bag of dirt.”


I never thought I would say this, but Al Roker is my hero.

Sarah Palin accepted David Letterman's apology this week after the late-night host had joked last week about one of Palin's daughters being "knocked up" by Alex Rodriguez.

Says Letterman: "I'm sorry about it, and I'll try to do better in the future." The Alaska governor says she hopes the apology will help change attitudes about men who joke about the sexual exploitation of young girls.


She means you Woody Allen, and she’s coming after you next.

London police are investigating allegations that jewelry was stolen after an Elle fashion shoot featuring actress Lindsay Lohan.

London's Metropolitan police confirmed that a necklace and earrings worth around more than $400,000 were missing. A police spokesman said no arrests have been made in the case and would not comment on whether Lohan had been interviewed or was even related to the case in any way.

The fashion magazine said in a statement Tuesday it had no reason to believe that Lohan was in any way linked to the alleged theft.


In a related story, a cocaine purchase totaling $400,000 was rumored to have occurred in Hollywood this week and paid for in small, unmarked bills.

Billy Joel and his wife, Katie Lee, have split with age differences and rumors of an affair dogging the couple.

“After nearly five years of marriage, Billy and Katie have decided to separate,” a rep told Access Hollywood. “The decision is the result of much thought and consideration. Billy and Katie remain caring friends, with admiration and respect for each other.”

According to the NY Daily News, Lee, 27, has been spotted out regularly with Yigal Azrouel, a 36-year-old fashion designer from Israel. “Their breakup has nothing to do with Yigal,” Joel’s spokeswoman, Claire Mercuri, told the paper. “Their decision to separate was absolutely unrelated to Yigal.”

An unnamed friend told the paper that age played a factor in the breakup — Billy Joel, who turned 60 in May, was 33 years older than his wife. “It was really the age difference that caught up with them,” a friend of the couple told the Daily News.


This news made Michael Douglas very, very nervous.

In other divorce news, Usher filed for divorce from his wife, Tameka Foster Raymond, after less than two years of marriage and court documents reveal the pair had not been living together for more than a year.

The divorce petition stated the couple has lived separately since July 2008, and said there is "no reasonable hope of reconciliation.”


I bet, however, there is more than a “reasonable hope” that Tameka gets a load of money in the divorce settlement and the R&B singer will Usher in a parade of groupies to sleep with.

Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor said the band’s performance Sunday at the Bonnaroo Music Festival was their last in the country.

"It just dawned on me that this is our last show ever in the United States," Reznor said during his band's set. "Don't be sad. I'll keep going. But I think I'm going to lose my ... mind if I keep doing this, and I have to stop."


Something tells me Reznor will be willing to put his sanity up for sale once again whenever NIN announces their inevitable comeback tour.

Police decided against pursuing a criminal vandalism case Jessica Alba this week after the actress helped mount posters that were plastered around downtown Oklahoma City.

Police Sgt. Gary Knight said none of the owners of property on which the posters were placed wanted to press charges against Alba, who has apologized.


The property owners were persuaded to drop the charges when Alba apologized to them personally while wearing her outfit from ‘Sin City.’

Sean Penn dropped out of two high-profile films: "The Three Stooges" and the crime thriller "Cartel," this week and is taking an extended leave from Hollywood so that he can focus on family matters, according to sources.

In May, Penn filed for a request to dismiss his legal separation case from wife Robin Wright Penn. It is the second time he has rescinded divorce proceedings.


Something tells me Penn is going to 'Milk' this attention for all its worth during his absence.

As always, let’s end with a gold image or two:



The words blonde and trashy come to mind for some reason or another. But sometimes that is all you really need, so don’t be afraid to pursue your blonde ambition today, feel free to break out the latex and . . . Happy Friday!

-BDS

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Corporate Etiquette 117 . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Wednesday, June 17, 2009 20 comments

{The workplace is a jungle filled with jackals, wineheads and bosses with mouths like a crocodile. There are also decent people, but I'm starting to question the percentages. This is the 17th in a series of corporate encounters which offer no easy resolutions.}

It was an ugly afternoon at the office yesterday.

Then again, a black mood is bound to descend when one-third of the company gets laid off in a series of closed-door meetings which began immediately after the lunch hour ended. Brutal.

Luckily, I wasn’t one of the statistics. For whatever reason – and the hiring/firing decision process remains an utter mystery to me – I survived even though my particular group was cut down by nearly 70 percent.


It’s not an unfamiliar story these days, and the firings came as the result of purely economic concerns versus anything performance-related. But in the end, it doesn’t really matter what the reasoning is behind a lay-off if you’re on the receiving end of it.

I was friendly with everyone in my own group, and one guy was as close to a friend as a co-worker can get , so it was certainly a painful afternoon. You just feel rotten. Everyone does. Those who got fired are obviously broken up and those who remain feel guilty for escaping the noose, regardless of whether it turn out to be simply a stay of execution.

There’s also no decent way to say goodbye when someone is cleaning out their desks. Everything seems trivial and trite.


I kept it simple, and just said I had enjoyed working with each person, asked for personal contact information and told them to let me know if they needed anything. Lunches were planned “as soon as we can match up schedules” and firm handshakes were extended.

By 3:30 p.m., nearly everyone had taken their things and left the building. I talked briefly to my boss, then went straight to my car and pointed it south towards my loft and when I got there, I pulled a highball glass from the freezer and fixed a Bombay Sapphire and tonic, feeling lucky and drained and trying not to think about exactly what will await me in the morning as the dust continues to settle.

-BDS

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Recession Cavity Bullshit . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Monday, June 15, 2009 15 comments

I have to get a cavity filled today, and I'm not happy about it.


Who would be? I haven't had a cavity since I was probably 10-years-old, but after sitting in last week for a regular teeth cleaning, my dentist took a look at my x-rays and then cavalierly informed me that I had developed an early-stage cavity that required attention.

"You can't really see it on the chart, but it's there," he said.

Bullshit.

I use an electric Sonic Care toothbrush twice a day, and floss almost as often, both facts that I mentioned in response to his accusation.

"These things happen," he said and shrugged before telling me to make a follow-on appointment to have it filled.

Since then, however, I've come to believe my particular ailment is a "recession cavity" versus a traditional one. I'm sure that dentists are hurting along with everyone else in this rotten economy, and therefore, I am convinced that I really don't have a cavity, but that my dentist simply needs the money from me and my insurance plan and so I was diagnosed and am being played like a violin by a man who is probably late on his boat payment.



That is the most plausible explanation in my mind.

I might ask him about it today when I return to have this "recession cavity" filled, and if he won't admit to it, then I'll at least demand a shot of Nitrous Oxide. If I'm footing the bill, then the least I deserve is a cheap high to go along with this crooked diagnosis.


-BDS

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Quick Hit Friday . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Friday, June 12, 2009 14 comments

“What is it about good sex that makes me have to crap? You really jarred something loose Tiger,” – Lin Shaye, “Kingpin”


That scene in ‘Kingpin’ is utterly disgusting and hilarious as I have a strong stomach, however, the act perpetrated by Woody Harrelson with Lin Shaye caused it to lurch in revulsion. Anyway, I’m not feeling too badly about anything except the 98 degree weather today, and the prospect of an outdoor party later tonight that I have to attend (and really don’t want to).

But before I can leave the office, let’s look at the hard stories of the week such as:

Bret Michaels performed at the Tony Awards this past week, and after singing ‘Nothing But a Good Time' the singer was clocked in the head by a descending set piece that fractured his nose and gave him a busted lip at the Radio City Music Hall ceremony.

Publicist Joann Mignano says Michaels, who performed with his 1980s hair-metal band Poison, said Michaels was also getting a CAT scan as a precaution. Although he's "pretty bruised up," Mignano says Michaels enjoyed the show.


When Mignano first saw him, however, she thought Look What the Cat Dragged In, and originally, Michaels told her he was hit by a Fallen Angel before later admitting that he lied for the attention, and not to judge him too harshly because Every Rose Has Its Thorn.

Miss California USA Carrie Prejean was fired from the pageant's boss Donald Trump on Wednesday for not honoring her pageant commitments.

Trump said, "To me she was the sweetest thing. Everyone else she treated like (expletive)."

Trump told TMZ.com Prejean refused to appear at roughly 30 events to which she was contractually bound, and failed to fulfill her duties as Miss America. Pageant officials say Tami Farrell, first runner-up to Prejean, will take over those responsibilities.


I didn’t realize the smiling, waving, tanning and wearing a tiara were quite so demanding, but apparently they overwhelmed Prejean.

Spencer and Heidi Pratt apparently left the reality show “I’m a Celebrity . . .Get Me Out of Here!” for good this week, but not before reports surfaced that Heidi had been hospitalized due to conditions on the show.

A rep for newlyweds Spencer and Heidi Pratt denied it, however, and stated: "There have been many reports that surfaced over the weekend regarding Spencer and Heidi Pratt," the rep tells ET in a new statement. "Many of these reports are false and inaccurate, including any reports of 'torture' on the show," the statement said.


That’s really unfortunate because when it comes to Spencer and Heidi that is one of the few times I would actually condone torture.

Britney Spears is reportedly dating her agent, Jason Trawick, People.com reported this week.

The singer is said to have "always had a crush" on Trawick, who happens to be one of her brother Bryan's best friends. The couple recently took a vacation in the Bahamas with her sons, Sean Preston, 3, and Jayden, 2, in May.

"They are totally and definitely dating," the source says. "Her dad loves him. He's the best thing that happened to her."


No offense, but when Kevin Federline is your competition, it doesn’t take too much to be the best thing that's happened to Spears.

American Idol" runner-up Adam Lambert landed on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine this week where he finally confirmed that his is gay.

The 27-year-old singer acknowledged the fact in the interview, and says it shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone.


It doesn’t. At all.

Miley Cyrus and her 20-year-old boyfriend Justin Gaston have split up, according to online reports.

Yesterday each celebrity — Cyrus, 16, the star of Disney’s “Hannah Montana” show, and Gaston, 20, the underwear model she’s been dating for a few months — began posting tweets signaling trouble in paradise.

Cyrus posted, “Why does saying good-bye hurt so much” and then “Life will go on. you will smile again...we will smile again.”

Meanwhile, Gaston quoted John Mayer’s breakup song, “Dreaming With a Broken Heart”, then mentioned he’d been crying.


Gaston would be crying even harder if he went to jail for dating someone underage as that doesn’t earn you much respect in the Yard.

Former Heavyweight champ Mike Tyson married his third wife, Lakiha Spicer, in Las Vegas this week, according to USA Today.


Spicer agreed to Tyson’s proposal after the boxer agreed only to nibble on her ear and never attempt to bite it off.

Former “Girl Next Door” Kendra Wilkinson and her fiancĂ© NFL player Hank Baskett are going to become parents, she confirmed this week.

The reality star told E! News "Hank and I are thrilled to announce that we are expecting our first child together. We are touched by the outpouring of support by our family, friends and fans."


As soon as the child is born it will immediately take its place as the second smartest member of their family.

Jessica Alba apologized to Oklahoma City for her involvement in a vandalism case this week.

The actress is in Oklahoma filming scenes for her new film, ‘The Killer Inside Me,’ and found herself caught up in the incident where posters of sharks were pasted around the city, E! reports.

"I got involved in something I should have had no part of," she said in a statement. "I realize that I should have used better judgment and I regret not thinking things through before I made a spontaneous and ill-advised decision to let myself get involved with the people behind this campaign. I sincerely apologize to the citizens of Oklahoma City and to the United Way for my involvement in this incident."


I’m still waiting for an apology from Alba for appearing in “The Love Guru.”

As always, let’s end with a gold image or two:



I can’t complain about fishnets or thongs, although I prefer not to wear either one of them. Still, feel free to suggest these items to the opposite sex today, remember that inviting friends over can have unintended consequences and . . . Happy Friday!

-BDS

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