Series of Tubes

That Other Online Place Where I Write Things

I'm on facebook and have some fun and lively interactions there. I'm not really 100% sold on facebook, I use it warily and my "security" settings are pretty tight. (I don't really believe I have much security there.) There have been some hilarious images being shared on FB and I wanted to put some here.

The whole Kim Davis (I'm not linking, you can google it) ridiculousness has been amusing for the memes it generates. Like the serious ones:



But more than that one, I really enjoyed the on-point, but hilarious ones:




Smart memes just make my day.

Here's another image I had to share about life in general these days. This is THE TRUTH!



And lastly I wrote about a comment made to me by a valet guy on recent evening. He was returning the GTI to me - six speed manual transmission (or "Stick" as we like to say) and as he got out he said: “I like the 6 speeds!” And I said, “I know, right?” and he said “It’s cool you know how to drive it!”

At first I felt a bit insulted, but not long after I posted that interaction, I realized it was a compliment. I felt insulted because of my own occasional low self-esteem. Middle age is a tough place to be (especially while I'm so overweight) and so when a 20 year old guy tells me something like that I imagine how he pictures me - like someone who could be his mom - and he's surprised that I know how to do something cool like drive a six speed stickshift car.

But you know what? I am goddamn cool!

In Which I Finally "Get" Pinterest (And Other Tales)

First I had a baby. Then I went back to work on a Major Motion Picture. My social media life was frozen in time as of December 2011. Facebook, yes. Twitter, yes. Instagram, a little bit, but not a lot, no time to pick filters and upload and blah blah-easier just to tweet a pic directly. Blogging, yes, did the photo a day for (just about) all of 2012.

PinterestScreenShotBut the two things I never got going with were Pinterest and Kickstarter. To be honest, I didn't quite get Pinterest. Mainly because I never tried it or spent time on it. (Huh, that must be why I didn't understand it!) But lately I have been perusing it and realise it is the most awesome way to bookmark things for future. I have four boards: Ideas for Harper; House and Home; General Inspiration; The World! Each are self-explanatory. I love having a place to put ("pin") stuff for Harper especially. SO MANY CUTE THINGS for the future! I also love the visual/graphic nature of it. Just about any page you go to anywhere has a cool, cohesive look as most people group things. You could have a lot of fun with color by making a "red" page or an "orange" page, etc. Or even similar shapes or objects. If I had the time, I might do some of that, but gads, so many other things to do! (I already stepped away from FB for a while so I could stay focused on things I actually want to accomplish!)

Speaking of accomplishing things, Kickstarter is something I've jumped into a little bit lately. I have pledged to two projects already: "Be Natural: the untold story of Alice Guy-Blache" and "Save the Rogers City Theater". Both are film related, both things that spoke to me. Be Natural is a project to produce a documentary about the first woman film director/studio chief. The project has already reached their goal and beyond and I can't wait to see the film. (But if you want to donate more, they can definitely use the money to find and preserve more of Alice's films.) The Rogers City Theater is an old style movie house in Michigan. They need $100,000 to convert from film to digital projection, otherwise they can't show first run movies anymore and would probably go out of business. A friend is related to the owners and pointed this out to me. I LOVE old movie houses and so I pledged to keep those lights on! They are 3/4 of the way to their goal (yay!) with 21 days to go and they should make it. Maybe you want to pledge a few bucks yourself?

I love the idea of this group fund raising to get smaller projects off the ground. You can pledge as little ($1!) or as much as you like. You are not investing, you are donating to help a project along. And if they don't make their goal? They don't get any of the money. So word of mouth and social media is key for Kickstarter. Go to the site, find a project that speaks to you, chuck in a few bucks, help someone reach their goal.

And hey, if you feel that is too self-serving for people to ask for free money to do their own project, you can also loan your money to someone on KIVA. I've been lending money there for six years now. I put in $175 spread around to a few loans, and have always gotten the money back and then have reloaned it over and over. I have made 30 loans so far and plan on keeping that money revolving around the world.

I'm just getting stoked on the internet again. It's a fun place!

"I'd Rather Be Petting A Yak" -- UPDATED!

It's the hot new phrase sweeping the nation! Okay actually it's just a funny thing my friend Cyana said on the phone in the middle of a conversation the other day. I liked it so much I had to stop her and laugh and say "I'm going to put that on a t-shirt!" The next morning she sent me this:

Pet a yak (smaller)

And with that, I made this:


So if you'd rather be petting a yak and would like the world to know, CLICK HERE.

(I love me some!)

UPDATE (5:30pm):

You can also get it in Mug Form! Go the the Yak Link on the sidebar to purchase your very own!


I Hate The World - I Love The Internet

When your sister dies too soon, everything is harder all the time.

I'll just start with that to explain the first part of the title of my blog post.

I've been crying for a while now, tonight. Part of it is just release from a stressful, cold, busy week here in Belfast. The work is not hard. The weather is not that bad (and I was prepared for it). My schedule is not outrageous compared to some shoots I've been on. But all together + a touch of homesickness + time difference + grief = it's all exponentially harder. It's unexpected and surprising, this burst of tears and sobs. Maybe it's just my day off and I'm letting it all go, after working most of the day, to prepare, to gird my loins, for the week to come. Who knows. Maybe I just needed a great sobbing cry and it would have happened no matter where I was, no matter what was going on.

Here's a funny thing. I wouldn't have shared this much detail directly with Jen and yet I would have shared some of this with her and she would have been supportive and said helpful things, even if they were sort of just platitudes. Hard to explain how sisters are. Every sister relationship is so different, even within one multi-marriage family. 

You know what is hardest about being on location without husband or friends nearby? You miss hugs. But somehow, within a week or so, you find one or two people on set, on the crew, who you can hug every day and it's not weird. It's like emergency rations of affection. The video playback woman, Grace, is one of my hug-buddies. So are Paul and Amie on stunts. Great people all. Thank the the gods for them. Gemma too, when she's here, but she's always on a different set, preparing when we are shooting. I'm grateful for my hug-buddies. I don't know how I'd make it without them. And it's not even that long of a shoot.

Then there is the internet. 

I started this job with some blog posts about our location scouts and had to take them down because they were a bit too much information for the wonderfully passionate group of fans surrounding this project. Because of that, I started to read a few of their blogs and am having a lot of fun with it. There is one blog that has almost daily updates and I love reading about what I may or may not have been doing during my work day. It's great. And from that blog, I have gotten many new twitter followers. I have made it clear they will be disappointed by my tweets and blog posts from now on (in regard to the project), but still they are there and they interact with me and you know what? It's awesome. Two of them have even sent me HILARIOUS safety graphics and I posted them this week. I feel like, even though I have a very small part on this project (and those of you who KNOW me know exactly how I feel about this small part), these new fans/followers have kind of become friends. Paul and his 3 year old daughter in particular have been so kind and funny and supportive. When I tweeted that I hated the world and everyone in it today, he sent a supportive and funny tweet back in response. When I said how much I appreciated his and his daughter's support and even more so because we'd never even met, he sent me a picture of his daughter giving me two thumbs up. It made me burst into happy sad tears again. What a crazy wonderful thing this "social media" is. 

Then there is Dor who is now on Twitter and who sends me emails with LOLcats in them. My other dear sister Dorian. Thank all the gods for her too.

And I'm listening to Green Day. Billie Joe and Tre and Dirnt are sort of helping. If only I had drumsticks right now, I would be in great shape. 

My clothes are laid out for heavy weather tomorrow. It's 8:30 and I have to be up at 5. I'll be going to bed soon. I'm exhausted. 

Internet Celebrity, LOLcats and Cheezburgers

A few weeks ago I joined Sarah at the WordPress Word Camp LA at LMU. I went more for the content than the tech stuff as I use mostly Typepad (though Metblogs is WordPress). The thing I was the most excited about was that Ben Huh was one of the speakers. 

Ben Huh of I Can Has Cheezburger fame. Ben Huh my internet rock star!


Word Camp had only a few hundred participants and each talk took place in a classroom on the LMU campus so it was quite intimate. Ben's talk did not disappoint! He had great things to say about simplicity and doing things on the cheap. Very very smart stuff. Some great quotes from his presentation: 

Human nature has a tendency to admire complexity but reward simplicity.


Complexity has an inverse effect on your business's ability to scale.

I was fully inspired to continue keeping it simple and fun on Safety Graphic Fun. 

He took questions and mine was the last one. I asked "Where did you get that awesome t-shirt?!" He was quite pleased that I asked and said you can find it on Threadless. (I might need to buy that for a few friends...) If you have no idea what the heck that shirt is all about, you clearly have a full time job and kids and a life. This shirt is a beautiful dovetailing of two internet memes. The first is one of my all time favorites: Keyboard Cat. And the second part of the shirt is original Three Wolves Shirt on Amazon with the famous review. Stroke of internet meme genius, that shirt!

After the talk, I met Eric, the original originator of I Can Has Cheezburger. He's from Hawaii originally so we talked about where we went to high school (Radford for him) and other Hawaii stuff. He lives in LA now, working on a new venture (didn't say what). I then shook Ben's hand and thanked him for his great talk and Sarah kindly took the above picture for me. I also gave them both my Safety Graphic Fun business cards so they could see how they have inspired me.

It was a great day with some other great talks and great ideas. Thanks to Sarah for asking me to go!

Online Life and Free Stuff -- Blogger Prom and Gap Edition

I've been blogging in various ways since October 2005. Not very long compared to some, longer than a lot of others. But only in the last six months to a year has my online life really started to be more than just me writing down what I'm feeling or doing. This comes with the whole "Social Media" boom of Facebook going uber mainstream (not just for college kids) and Twitter exploding all over the place.


Lots of people who are not online as much as I am might think it is a lonely place to be. One person in front of a monitor and keyboard, silently typing away into the virtual ether. Wrong and wrong. If you interact on Facebook and Twitter and comment often on people's blogs and websites, you start making friends fast. And with new friends come unexpected benefits. 

I started my book blog in 2005. I start this blog in the summer of 2006 while in Mexico City (oh that's why it's called what it is). In 2006 I also started living on line in earnest, reading blogs and websites with great regularity and commenting often. One of those sites was LA Metblogs and when they said they were looking for new writers in 2007, I applied and was asked to join up! Through Metblogs I've met an amazing array of brilliant funny people. I started the Classic Eats series last fall and have met even more fun people in real life as we eat our way across LA. One person I met was Caroline on Crack and because of her, I got invited to Blogger Prom earlier this summer. 

With Twitter going great guns, I met new friends there, online, many of whom were also going to Blogger Prom. So the night of the great event, I ended up meeting The Slack Mistresses, Be The Boy, Lisa of 1 Good Foot, and Kim Prince of House of Prince in real life! And OMG what a great time we all had. Plus Blogger Prom was a completely free event -- free food, free cocktails and tons of give aways, plus a huge goody bag full of great stuff. All FREE.

Not long after that glorious evening, I got an invite from Nina, aka The Slack Mistress, to come to a Gap Jeans Born To Fit party. I wasn't exactly sure what this was all about, but I was told I would get a free pair of jeans and who says no to a free pair of jeans or to Nina? Not me. Plus it would be chance to meet more online peeps. 

The party was at the Gap Pop Up Store on Robertson (it's open until Sept. 27, read more about it here.) and was completely private to our group. There was free valet parking, to start (nice!) and when you walked in a Gap representative greeted you with a coupon for your free jeans and other info about their pop up store. Then a guy offered me cocktails so I said yes to Sangria, thanks! And another gentleman offered lovely pu-pus. This was already great! While I was talking to Lisa (of 1 Good Foot), I saw a woman walk in and I recognized her instantly -- GINA! Holy cow. We'd been twitter friends and there she was. FUN.

Then it was time to browse the jeans. I think there were only about 15 women there to try on jeans and three or four Gap sales people to help you find your perfect fit. I worked with a nice young gentleman who knew his jeanery and suggested a few different styles to try. I went into the fitting room with a few pairs and settled on the Long and Lean style in a size 14. But the 14 was a touch big (yay) so the nice young gentleman suggested the 12s. I was unsure but gave it a go. I put the 12s on and they seemed a skosh small, but when I walked out, a couple of the ladies who were there said, "oh yes, they look great!" and I was still a bit unsure. The nice guy helping me also said he thought they looked perfect. I hemmed and hawed a little, asking are you sure? He said, and I quote: 



I changed back to my clothes and poked around, trying on a few shirts and sweaters then put a purple t-shirt on my to-go pile. Then we all socialized a bit more, having a few more drinks and snacks. When it was time to go, I paid for my shirt, got my bag of clothes and hugged and kissed my new friends good-bye and left. Total cost for the evening? $22. I got cocktails, dinner, new jeans, new shirt and free parking for $22. If I hadn't have bought the shirt, it would have been $2 total. NICE!

Nina got to host this awesome shindig because she was contacted by a Gap representative who found her through her blog. ONLINE.

Am I getting through to you yet about life online? How about this: Remember that Sarah was on the Oprah Winfrey show because a producer found her Mar Vista Mom blog and she and three neighbors got rooms redesigned by Nate Berkus for free. 

Good. I'm going to finish my little story about bloggy life and free stuff in the next post. Stay tuned!

Vacation Without Wifi

Im blogging from my iphone cuz i need my fix! (all the promised wifi at each hotel has not worked...) We've been in Seattle all week visiting friends and family. And it's been HOT! no, I mean hot!! Record breaking temps that are 20-25 degrees above normal. Yesterday it was about 103. No one has air conditioning because why would you need it if the average is 77? Oy.

But with the view we have from out B&B, we can't really complain.

Home to LA on Saturday, where it should be so much cooler. Who'd-a-thunk?Vacation Without Wifi

The Week I Had

It started last week with a trip up north to help celebrate Grace's 21st Birthday. Amazing to me that she already is 21. It was a lot of fun with a few bittersweet moments thrown in for good measure. We went Macy's to the Mac counter so Grace could get some "Going Out On The Town" make up done and I got new eyeshadow and false eyelashes! I've never had them before and that was wacky good fun. See?


Grace had a fun night, though with a bit of, ahem, overindulgence toward the end. Matthew was an awesome brother and stayed up late to pick up all the 21 and overs from their night of debauchery. Good man, Matthew!

I left on Friday and while it was a good visit, there is much healing that needs to be done in that family. My brother in law is not doing well, still deeply grieving. (I'm being extremely polite here, but I'm not ready to dig too deep on this topic at the moment. If you see me real life, you can ask me all about it.)

The important part is, Grace and Matthew are two amazing, smart, talented, wonderful people and I am so proud to be their aunt. 

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I woke up Friday morning, the 3rd of July, prepping for the drive home and when I checked my email, there were four comments for my other blog, Safety Graphic Fun. I have a few regular readers who occasionally send in funny comments, but have never received four at once from total strangers. I checked my referral page (to see how people got to my site) and lo and behold, my site had been listed on as one of "Ten Humor Sites Sure to Make You LOL." OMGWTFBBQPONIES!!!!!11!!1! Click here to read it! It's a blogger's dream come true! Well, when Boing Boing posts about me, then I'll truly be in nerd heaven.

My traffic started going through the roof as I prepared for the six hour drive home. I posted on the facebook fan page and sent something out on twitter, but then had to hit the road. When I got home, I had over 80,000 hits for Friday alone! Then yesterday I got over 172,000 hits! DUDE! My mind is blown and I'm so appreciative of the traffic and new fans and most especially for all the people who are sending in their own images of wacky safety graphics for me to post. That is fantastic.

Is there a downside you ask? Not much of one because it is easy to avoid, but occasionally some assclown will send in a comment that is just rude, obnoxious or generally unnecessary. We (us bloggers) call these individuals "trolls" and when you follow one of the first rules of blogging, you are fine. That rule? "Don't Feed The Trolls." Their words can sting or be annoying, but then you commiserate with other bloggers and all is well.

There is a funny side to all the comments, though for most of the commenters I refer to, it's not funny. But here goes.  99% of the women who comment either just say how hard they are laughing or add an additional funny comment about the particular safety graphic they are commenting on. However, 85% of the men who comment tell me what the safety graphic really means. Or they don't get my humor and explain why my "comments" are not funny or why I am wrong.  My favorite of all time, and most commented on posting is about me and my French language skills. Kurt and I have been howling with laughter as each new person writes in with their correct translation. You can read them all right here

There have also been a couple of physicists and audio engineers who have explained things to me about my blog. I *do* appreciate how well educated my readers are. I do. Now if we could just improve their humor education, we'd be doing extremely well! Again, not complaining about the traffic, just amused and observing of these trends!

I'm excited and curious about what kind of traffic tomorrow will bring. Friday was a holiday and while there was much traffic, it did slow down today. *Only* 40,000 hits today. I'm hoping tomorrow there will be a full compliment of office workers checking their bookmarked websites before work actually starts and that they find my site...Can't wait for the new comments!

Lastly, I'm SO STOKED that on that list of Ten sites, four of them (not including my own) were sites that I visit often! To be included in  that company of hysterical blogs makes me even more pleased and proud. 

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Driving home on Friday I got a speeding ticket! This is the first -- FIRST -- speeding ticket I've ever had in the state of California in 25 years! 83 in a 65 on the 101. Does that seem fast to you? That's NORMAL for driving home from the Callahan's. I've set my cruise control for 85 at times. The cop was nice, funny and asked at one point "Why so fast?" and I shrugged and said "New car?" I had to call people immediately to tell on myself and laugh.

And no, I wasn't even listening to Green Day at that point. I was listening to a podcast of This American Life!

Today Kurt was out having a work/writing afternoon and texted me on the way home. He said, "Guess who's getting a speeding ticket?" HA HA HA!! He was going like 90 on the 10. He used the "New Car" defense and the cop gave him a slight break by making the ticket for 80 in a 65. 

Go GTI!! 6th gear will get you! It's hard not to be zippy in that car...

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Tomorrow is Monday. I'm not working!!!! Yay! There is plenty of blog work to do -- new images to sort, emails to answer, blog posts to create for the next few weeks. I have to update Hot Dog Death March and get the donated money to the charity as promised. FUN work! Love it love it love it.