Working for the man today…

At DC comics, where the previous executive assistant was apparently fired because she's already been completely disabled in the system….. Translation: it's gonna take at least a day or two to generate a new username and pasword and get my computer mapped and back on the system…. Good thing I have about 50 comic books on my desk…..

And the wonder woman is on my wall, and yeah, I have my own office….complete with a V for Vendetta mask on my desk, it's kinda hot….. So is the poster of Viggo Mortenson on my wall… Alla the History of Violence….. Mmmmmmm
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Let me introduce you to my little friend

I know this looks like an image someone drew on a facebook wall, or something from MST3K, but believe it or not, this is a new Russian designed robotic suitcase, complete with infrared technology, light sensors and gyroscope. It uses a card that you keep on your person and follows you around like a puppy dog in love, or a Russian mobster you can’t shake…It can detect stairs and objects without bumping into them, won’t fall over, and if stolen without your card, emits an obnoxious alarm… and breaks kneecaps, dismembers assailants and scatters fingertips and teeth to the far corners of the world. My only question is at $2,000 bucks why can’t it make me a martini??…yowzas! I’d like to see it handle the 59th Street platform at rush hour, but my guess is if you can afford a $2,000 suitcase, you’re not taking the A train. It will be available in 2009, which gives me plenty of time to save up for it, because my $75 purple beauty has definitely seen better days.

Via RawFeed

More on the coffee you hate to love….

Taylor Clark has penned a tall tome titled “Starbucked: A Dark Tall Tale of Caffeine Commerce and Culture.” It’s supposed to be a rich read packed full of nerdy facts. Check out a detailed review at the Observer.

I’ve already written on my experiences as a coffee snob, and I’m the recent recipient of a pound of Kona coffee, which from what I understand is equivalent to holding a bag of 100% pure uncut cocaine. It’s still sitting unopened on the couch now because it intimidates me, but when I do try it, you’ll be the first to know. So here’s what I learned this morning: the first Starbucks opened in NYC in 1994, a far journey from its Seattle home. If you’re anything like me, you probably grew weary in the next few years of ordering even the plainest Cup o’Joe only to be forced into swank-sizing it with a modifier…. tall-venti-grande? I remember an experience in the late 90’s in Princeton where I asked for a “medium” coffee, and was corrected “Grande?” to which I snarkily replied (and I was WAAAAY more snarky then) “Uhh… yeah, y’all are from Seattle right???”…. blank look from barista…blink…blink…cricket…cricket…I resumed, “Yeah, just checking.” Snark unappreciated.

Anyways, when the first Starbucks opened in NYC it was one of 425 stores, now they have expanded to 14,000 (4,000 of which are located outside the US…. they’re overtaking the world!!!)and 170 of those 10,000 in the US are right here in Manhattan!!

But they’re not all evil….they may have infected our entire country with a caffeine habit, as evidenced by the compete surge of coffee shops from 585 in 1989 to 24,000 in the US today… only 10,000 of which are Bucks…..Nah, they’re not so bad, and bonus!! they have those sweet inspirational quotes on their recycled cups to ease the yuppy pangs.

"you’ll never find a hubby while you’re a chubby"

Where to even start with this one…. I’ll give you the advantage that I didn’t have. Check out the website first here before reading any further, and then read my snark and either agree with me, or bite me. Really….go…get all up in there.

Maybe you laughed, that’s okay, maybe it didn’t phase you, although I’d find that hard to believe. If you’re anything like me, you stared at the computer in utter disgust and confusion.

What’s with all the girl on girl action? yeah, it sells, but it just seems kinda out of place, no? oh wait, there’s one guy tearing off a woman’s panties with his teeth…ok, sign me up…

Ok,just kidding. My issue is not with gyms… although I think if you need someone to kick your ass verbally, mentally, or emotionally to get you to do ANYTHING in life you’re a bit of a masochist, but that’s beside the point. My issue is with the motivation behind joining a gym like this.

Personally, I’m not surprised they’re receiving hate mail… I think what they’re doing sucks. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m kind of uber-sensitive when it comes to advertising, but come on!! Please don’t assume that every woman wants a hubby!!… and even if they wanted one, that should absofuckinglutely NOT be the reason to join a gym, nor should the list of reasons include the desire to have your clothes ripped off by someone’s teeth, or having sex with the lights on, (which scares skinny people too….) no, I think one should lose weight because one wants to, because you want to look good for you, because your health is important to you….. for crying out loud, didn’t we all read She’s come undone already?? It’s just insulting. But I’m not going to say anything because I don’t want to be labeled a bearded lady…… yeah, that whole feminist as hairy-legged, smelly and undersexed man-haters schtick is real tired.

Melly’s working for the man today…..

Actually, I’m working for the woman who works for the man, as in THE MAN. For the next two days I am the temporary executive assistant to the SVP of the President and COO of Time Warner…shazam!! So I’m working on the 12th floor of the South Tower, I have my own office which has two gorgeous orchids, my own closet complete with a shoe rack!!! two leather chairs and an end table with a vase of spray roses… it’s pretty sweet.

The only potential downfall was that the 12th floor being the EXECUTIVE floor, not only do I not have swipe access onto the actual floor, I have no swipe access into my wing… which means I can’t leave.. and 9-6 is a long time to go without eating lunch, even for Melly. However, an e-mail at precisely 9:30 AM alerted me to what today’s executive dining menu holds….Today’s specials include Salad of baby arugula,Bosc pears and Parmesan cheese; Roasted winter squash bisque; Grilled vegetable saladwith fresh mozzarella; Pan roasted branzino with plum tomatoes, olives and capers; Dry aged NY steak with crisp onions; Pasta tossed with oyster mushrooms,shallots and Romano cheese…. sweet!!! Most of the floors are stocked with bottles of water and tea and coffee etc, but this floor has dozens of canisters of wheat thins, triscuits, candies, danishes, cereals, sodas… it’s a little out of control…

okay, so when I’m not gorging myself on massive quantities of gourmet grub, I’ll be posting through out the day as promised…

So let’s start with this pic. As you can read from the writing this is a tampon advertisement circulating in France…I love it. The message is quite clear. Plug it up and you’ll be safe. This advertisement would never fly in the states, because we have some puritanical aversion to menstrual blood or bodily excrement in general. Haven’t you noticed that pretty much anytime a product is made to show absorbency, a nondescript blue liquid is used…diapers, maxi pads, tampons… You gotta love the French, they just put it right out there, ackowledging that vaginas bleed once a month is very bold!!

This is the boldest we’ve come:

get it… the flower is the vagina, and it’s red because it’s bleeding.

So this little stroll through google images has proven very rewarding:

eyeless medusa??? I think you get the picture

Your ecstatic ramblings not appreciated

Dear Mr Bishop,

Please stop talking. You have been preaching for 30 minutes, and I still am not sure what you are talking about. I don't really go to church here, but they pay me nicely to sing pieces that are kind of pretty so I do…. In exchange for this service that I provide, I get to sit in the bank of the church in a choir loft where I can sleep, or blog, or read the paper for twenty minutes while someone up front preaches…you keep it short, we sing pretty. We sort of have this unwritten code… But you sir, are getting dangerously close to the 35 minute mark…. And that's not cool.

We in the choir feel that we should have been given fair warning of you not honoring our agreement. This is the west village, we have brunch to get to, mimosas to drink, shopping to attend to, s&m sales… Don't you want to put on your fabulously pointy hat and get Eggs Benedict with us ? You can bring your little scepter thing too, it's cool…. But we need to get a move on.

40 minutes now…. Ok, any longer and you're gonna pick up the tab..yes, I believe we are about to stage a mutiny in the choir loft. We will walk out, forcing the organist to finish out the rest of the service without us…. Have you heard his variations on a theme from the Flinstones??? Of the nine of us, I believe four of us are still awake….

Ok, we're making a coffee run, since apparently we have a lot of time on our hands. Todd's gonna grab me a dark roast and a pumpkin loaf…. Which i might add, if I had consumed before your sermon, may have helped me actually pay attention to your ecstatic ramblings….ok they're bringing you your hat now….. That's a strong hint…. Take it!!

Thank you

Mellissa Hughes

Agnostic soprano in the choir loft

PS you are officially uninvited to brunch.

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This week in review with Melly

My last post I wrote on a Greyhound bus traveling back from my mid-week adventure with my family….. A lot has happened since then. I had a cold that just wouldn’t go away, a fabulous high profile gig that I had to give away because of that lame-ass cold, the most amazing sushi dinner of my life in which I even consumed raw beef….. yeah, remember a year ago when I was a skinny bitchy vegetarian and had a general rule about avoiding foods for which I felt compassion for?? Well, one year later and I’m dating someone who’s health depends on eating the flesh of other mammals. So, yeah, sushi, concerts, rehearsals, hacking chest cold, throw in a one year anniversary and a full-fledged leap into the microtonal music world and you get an idea of how my week was.

It’s 3 pm, I’m eating cereal and sifting through my Google Reader sitting unshowered in my pj’s…(and ps, Mafoo’s attempting to distract me by singing “He touched Me” in his falsetto….)It feels real good to have a lazy Saturday, but to normalcy I must return, society tells me. Anyways, here’s a few things I starred and had every intention of posting, but was just too drrn busy… I promise to be a little more on top of it this week.

Melly’s WTF moments: Eight teens in Australia rape a 17 year old girl, piss on her, spit on her, light her hair on fire, videotape it, distribute it as ‘C**t the Movie’…. and are sentenced to…..drumroll please…….a rehabilitation program for male adolescents about positive sexuality. Even more fucked up than that would be the cops who were cleared of breaking into a man’s home and tazing the hell out of him.

In feminist news, Times Online told us that the feminist movement has gone way too far by encouraging women to take charge of their own sex lives…. the nerve!!! Ladies, they want you to remember that it’s your wifely duty to have sex, even if you don’t want to… (sounds so Biblical, doesn’t it?) “sex should be seen in the same light as taking out the garbage, or doing the dishes”, hey, it’s all about compromises, right?? And speaking of douchebag men telling women what they think… Michael Smerconish expressed his enthusiasm for the male-friendly term vajayjay….while calling feminists “vajayjay naysayers”, stating that feminists have no interest in attracting men to their vaginas….WHAT?? Aww Mikey, are you really gonna perpetuate the “all feminists are hairy-legged labia-lickers” stereotype??? that’s kinda lame. Ok, I’m not personally going to invite you south of 14th street, but let me set something straight, I have a definite interest in my vajayjay, and despite what you think, most women desire some serious attention down there, so if a warm and fuzzy image is gonna help you and the rest of your ignorant crew out, let me direct your attention to my vulva puppet!!

Confessions of a yuppy coffee snob stranded in Red Sox Nation

In the days of the World Series aftermath, I experienced living amongst Red Sox Nation fans….. Although I’m a native New Englander, I don’t have any Red Sox paraphernalia, but I like to route for the underdogs, so I found myself sitting crossed legged on my parents living room floor cheering our Sox on to their second world championship.

When I visit my folks, there’s just something about me that screams SHE DOESN’T FIT IN HERE, and I’m not sure what that is….Other people notice, too. After making the move to New York in May I’ve become obsessed with “New York” mentality…. Mostly because I can’t stand it, or the fact that most New Yorkers are transplants, not native born New Yorkers….So the search for this synthetic change in me is something I’m very conscious of. I’ve been watching myself closely an chronicling the subtle changes in myself that reflect my new surroundings… like tuning up my creepy guy/safety skills, or perfecting the subway stare and increasing my spatial intelligence with my knowledge of the NYC Subway System, etc….

When I’m home in New Hampshire I always feel like an alien…New Hampshire itself is a strange state, just look at any recent election… they always vote republican and they’re proud of it…. And then there’s the New Hampshire “look” which is comprised of holiday sweaters/sports team sweatshirts, jeans and Birkenstocks. EVERYONE wears this. On Monday I was the only person not wearing a Red Sox Jersey, even my sister sported a sweatshirt, though I didn’t notice until halfway through dinner. My mother announced she had to wear Red Sox Nation gear to the Anthem Blue Cross center where she works the next day because of the outcome of the World Series game….. I just scratched my head and grimaced…. Something else I tend to do when I’m home.

I guess my point is that I don’t fit in here, and I’m okay with that. I’ve been up here for four and a half days and have yet to see someone who wasn’t middle class white bread American…

One of the unfortunate pieces of evidence that my folks use against me as proof that I’m a yuppie is my intense love of coffee. I admit, I’m a complete coffee snob, and I’m never as aware of this fact as I am when I’m at my folks home in New Hampshire. I tend to make my own very strong coffee at home in Brooklyn, but I buy nice grounds and use a shitload of them. My Dad is a one-cup a day guy…. It just so happens that his one-cup is a thermos full of what I call Hazelnut Hot N Brown, which he dilutes with sugar free, diabetic-friendly Hazelnut creamer. I can’t drink that stuff. I’ve tried just using more grounds but the flavored stuff always gives me a headache. So I play the waiting game, and tell myself that I don’t have a caffeine addiction….. I can do without right??? Until I start twitching around noon and am in search of the nearest Starbucks…which are really hard to find in the Granite State. If you want Starbucks, you need to buy yourself the grounds, or find a Barnes and Noble and get the stuff that they keep in the carafe, which is really only available in the leaded and unleaded variety. So, to the B&N I go in search of my Grande coffee.

I’ve done this three times this week This morning I went to someplace called Coffee Berries, which is a sweet looking Mom N’Pop shop in the town I live in. Sure, I’ll support those kinds of shops before I buy the Bucks….. but I walked in to find eight varieties of Green Mountain Coffee. GMC is ok… it’s better than DD’s imo, but it ain’t no Bucks. It’s the kind of coffee that you find in Mobil Stations that have sandwich counters.

Ok, I said to myself…. We can make this work, let’s see what the options are: Two decaf varieties… no and no. Toasted Almond, Pumpkin Spice, Southern Pecan, and Hazelnut…. No, no, no, and no. Columbian Supremo and Blue Mountain…hmmmm. The plot thickens.

I looked onto the description cards. Under the Columbian Supremo (Supremo??) were the works lush and vibrant, and the Supremo made me want to shout Olé!! Blue Mountain was described as medium in body and flavor…. Medium??? No thank you. So I poured myself a cup of the Supremo, poured a tiny bit of Half and Half in and a two sugars… Now the ratio of cream to sugar is something that takes time to perfect and is different from bean to bean and roast to roast. I admit this is not my strength. My talents lie in the brewing, and if my coffee is not right, it’s usually in the fixin’ step that I’ve faltered. So after the initial doctoring, it was time to taste……I’m drinking a steaming cup of nothing…. Literally tasted like hot water, or what I assume coffee would taste like if you brewed with used grounds, or brewed a cup of hot water in a dirty pot…. NASTY.

So I’m standing there holding this large cup of something I don’t want, thinking to myself, I’ve chosen poorly… what to do… and all I want is my Bucks…God Damn It! Sure, I’m a yuppy, just give me my coffee!!!!!!

It’s at this point that the lady notices that I’m not drinking my coffee but am grimacing to myself and scratching my head…. I explain that the coffee tastes off, a tactic that usually works. If you present the problem to someone in a way in which it can’t be inferred that it is actually THEIR problem, but that for the greater good of the clientele, the product should be removed and replaced immediately… they usually thank you and give you what you want. She was just not having it.

It was at this point that I told her that I thought she should know something was wrong with the coffee. She listened to me explain what I thought was wrong with it, and than told me that I had chosen wrong, and if I wanted something bold I should have chosen the Blue Mountain coffee. Right, thanks lady I think I’ve figured that out now…

And then toothless Martha in the corner looks up from the crate of Yankee Candles she’s unloading and looks me over and says, “you’re one of those Starbucks people, aren’t you….” And my blood starts boiling. There’s an intense hatred for New Yorkers in New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. I could have been standing there in a Yankees cap, the battle was over. The lady holding my unwanted coffee told me that the flavor I had chosen was their most popular flavor, and surely if the majority of their customers liked it, then the problem must be me. Then she tells me she’ll take my coffee back, but that there’s nothing wrong with it. So go ahead, try the other one, she tells me. I hand her two bucks and tell her that I’ll pay for what I took from her, because I feel bad about taking their coffee, but that I’ll find my coffee elsewhere.

I wasn’t going to let her be the bigger person, I gave her my money and was content leaving the store not holding her coffee. My sister looked at me like I was a complete moron, but I don’t care.

To her I was an uptight New Yorker, I know in my heart of hearts that I’m a poor, paycheck-to-paycheck musician… but my money’s green nonetheless, and there’s something to be said for customer service. I know what my financial situation is on a day-to-day basis, and I still believe strongly in the power of consumerism. What I choose to pay for is a very powerful way of supporting an organization, and if I have three bucks in my wallet and you give me shitty service I’m gonna take my three bucks down the road….Cuz, If you assume I’m a yuppy and I want yuppy coffee, I guess I should live up to the stereotype and go find my Bucks, right??

Facebook issues…..

I used to be an anti SNS person…. and then one day in August of 2006, I joined all of them…. more as a sociological experiment than a voyage into the depths of everlasting friendship networking….

My immediate reaction was that Myspace was my favorite way of dealing with my professional colleagues… it was a way around having my own webpage but getting music up and information up about stuff I was invovled in.

Friendster just sucks…..

Facebook is a little more complicated…. When the mini-feed hit last September I was still wrestling with my fascination in the creation of my new reality, which was the only way I viewed this obsession with checking my sites daily….. The arrival of the mini-feed made the manufactured reality thing even easier, I didn’t have to worry about people checking my pages to see what groups I was joining, or what Suzie Q wrote on my wall, they were notified!

Although I have found a bunch of old friends and new friends via facebook, I admit, it’s not my preferred method of networking… it’s just the most popular with certain crowds…. Which brings me to mypoint. In the past three days I’ve been inundated with requests to become a vampire, been poked, had a sheep thrown at me, and just the other day tried to return a simple comment on someone’s wall…. (not sure if it was a grafiti wall, or a super wall, or a tickle me wall)…. but I couldn’t even write on it without installing the same wall on my page……lame-O.

Here’s an interesting blog from one of my blogging regulars about his own dissatisfaction with the new facebook.