Monday, August 23, 2010

Mickey Mouse Marathon

Because I have a soft spot for Mickey Mouse, identify as a lesbian and am a southern California resident, I rarely miss a “Gay Days at Disneyland” event. Before I continue, I know that sentence raised a few questions, so here are some answers:
  1. Yes, there is a “Gay Day at Disneyland” event each year in October
  2. Yes, Disneyland is kind of gay everyday, but that is besides the point
  3. No, Disneyland does not officially sponsor this event
  4. Yes, they should sponsor it, but again, besides the point
  5. On this day LGBT folks and allies come to Disneyland from far and wide by the thousands, ready to “gay it up” in red t-shirts
  6. LGBT = Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered
  7. Yes, straight people are there too and if they happen to wear red shirts they may be pretty pissed off
  8. Yes, that is part of the fun
Now that that is out of the way… Disneyland is charging upwards of $100 for a ticket these days (holy moly) but Costco has a screaming deal on a four-day pass. Once purchased, one can use said pass for admission on any four days over a year period (minus a few blackout days of course). For last year’s gay Disney festivities Neezy and I decided that we loved Disneyland enough to go at least four times over the year and made a sound investment in the Costco pass (okay, so really, we decided that I loved Disneyland enough, but whatever).

Yesterday, Neezy and I made our final trip to the park. As previously mentioned, I love me some mother fucking Disneyland, but over the course of the last year I have discovered that this love has its limits. As a child I wished with all of my heart that I could go to Disneyland everyday, yes, everyday, everyday!!! As a 27 year old, this wish has been quelled. Take note, this may be one of the few times that I exhibit maturity that is greater than that of an eight year old.

As a result of yesterday’s activities (and sheer boredom with funemployment) I have done a thorough analysis of the time we spent doing various activities over our four visits and have developed this chart to summarize the results (Blind? Click on the image to make it bigger):


The first visits were fun, and as depicted in the charts, we spent a lot of time riding rides and waiting in a lot of lame ass lines but the thrills were worth the wait, and we left the park feeling like we were indeed, exiting the happiest place on earth. As the visits progressed we became bored with Space Mountain, Pirates of Caribbean and yes, even It’s a Small World. We spent less time on the rides and more and more time watching the a lot of ordinary fucking people (freaky ones, fat ones, REALLY fat ones, skinny ones, crrrrazy ones etc.) and stuffing our faces with everything in sight. Yesterday alone, we consumed the following: subpar turkey sandwich, potato chips, yummy lemony slushie thingie, minorly delicious lemon bar, scrumptious jalapeno cheese filled pretzel, delightful chicken kabob, overly pinapplely Dole Whip float, orgasmic frozen banana, decent and economical chicken tacos, GIANT ice cream cone and finally, Mickey Mouse shaped rice crispy treat. It is also important to mention that we didn’t arrive until about noon and ate breakfast before we came. On our first visit, I was on a mission to ride as many rides as possible within the time frame available (I did not develop a spreadsheet, although I thought about it). During our last visit our only goal was to EAT EVERYTHING!! Mission accomplished.

In spite of my very full belly, I was slightly miserable and on the brink of cutting someone at various time throughout the day. Despite anger and a bloated, not so fresh feeling, I would not trade my “year of Disneyland” for anything else as I have learned a few valuable lessons:
  1. Although you walk about 50,000 miles in a single day, Disneyland does not really do a body good.
  2. My desire to rear and care for a child does not yet exceed my desire to cover it’s mouth with duct tape when it screams.
  3. Americans are weird, and kind of fat but a lot of fun to watch.
  4. Splash Mountain IS the best ride ever.
  5. Disneyland is best visited when accompanied by 30,000 homosexuals.
  6. “World of Color” is just a really gay version of the Bellagio fountains. Rainbow colored fountains doing choreographed dances to Disney songs? Queen, please.
  7. The happiest place on earth is my bed, after spending the day at Disneyland, not Disneyland itself.

Friday, August 20, 2010


I have known since sometime in October of last year that I would not be starting my “real job” again until September, despite graduating in mid-June. Funemployment, and The idea of doing absolutely nothing for two and a half months was highly tempting, but I knew that it might end up looking something like this (click on the image if you forgot to wear your glasses today):


In order to preserve my mental state, keep my girlfriend, and pay the rent I decided to occupy at least some of my time this summer by doing a bit of freelancing (more like really random independent consulting work, but freelancing sounds very LA doesn’t it?). The most recent work has involved analyzing results from an employee satisfaction survey and conducting independent reference checks on candidates applying for an executive management position.

I have found that anonymous employee satisfaction surveys allow respondents to be brutally honest. When asked the one thing that they would change at the company, one respondent said quite simply “FIRE BEATRICE,” while another yearned for "more better" coworkers, and said (and I quote) “to se and work whit more profesional personel.” It was not surprising later to find the more self-reflective comment “Need to work on my english.”

On the other hand, people who are giving professional references are often sugar coating their responses and embellishing the candidate’s actual experience and qualifications. I have discovered that some translation may be necessary in order to uncover the truth, for example:
  • “She is very well respected in the company, everyone really enjoys working with her.” really means “She brings cupcakes to meetings and doesn’t annoy me”,
  • “He implemented robust processes and procedures to dramatically improve office efficiency” really means “He printed “your mother doesn’t work here” signs for the break area that reminded people to clean up after themselves.”,
  • “She is pragmatic and process oriented” really means “She is fucking boring as hell.” and,
  • “He is a real go-getter” really means “He is an egotistical asshole and I cannot wait for him to get a new job so he will stop stealing my spotlight.”

With this method of translation, negative comments are a particular cause for concern, for example:
  • “She could work on her communication skills” really means “She was a raging bitch, I think she might eat babies.” or,
  • “He lacks experience” really means “I am not sure if he even knows how to wipe his own ass.”
Needless to say I have found ways to entertain myself over the past several weeks. I am quite happy, Neezy has not issued any restraining orders against me and my rent and bills are paid in full. Oh, and just in case you were concerned, I have still found plenty of time to train, run errands, sleep-in, watch the Food Network and play on the internets!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Acquiring Age Appropriate Accommodation

With MBA in hand and a real, professional career on the horizon it no longer seemed appropriate to dwell among undergrads. Sure, there are probably hundreds of real life grown ups living in the neighborhoods just outside the walls of my alma mater, and many of them are probably sane, productive members of society, but because rent is not cheap near campus, and the traffic is pretty awful most of the time, I would venture to guess that a vast majority of them fall into some category of mental instability. First, there are the 30+ year-old alumni who never moved away from campus after graduation, and are perpetually trying to relive their glory days as a Beta Theta Pi. Next, there are the 30+ year-old drop outs that never graduated but stay close to campus because their rich families keep paying their rent in hopes that they might actually finish their degree. Finally, there are the men that I refer to simply as “creepy old guy” that knowingly move into apartment complexes full of college students with dreams of becoming a sugar daddy for some young girl (or boy). As a person of what I believe is strong mental stability I went in search of new, age appropriate accommodations.

Although the 90210 zip code topped my list, shockingly, there was nothing in my price range. With Beverly Hills out of the picture and my teenage dreams of living next door to the Walshes crushed, I found myself overcome with indifference. I began a massive search, looking at apartments everywhere (please note that when I say everywhere I really mean everywhere on the west side of Los Angeles – I was able to successfully rule out many areas for various reasons including Downtown, Hollywood, South Central and even Compton).

My criteria was fairly simple:
  • 1 Bedroom: for the first (yes, first) time in my life I will live alone. A part of me had hoped to move in with my girlfriend, but due to various complexities and absurdities that I will save for another post, I have successfully avoided the innate lesbian desire to “U-Haul.”
  • Off-Street Parking: Parking in LA is a clusterfuck (yes, that is a technical term) and I am easily annoyed. It is best for me, and for all of humanity that I have my own designated spot.
  • Dishwasher and in-apartment Washer/Dryer: I am a spoiled girl from the suburbs and have never gone without these amenities.
  • Central Air Conditioning: As a girl who spent much of her life in Arizona, it seems downright asinine to live without air conditioning.

Like any good MBA, I put together a complex spreadsheet of lists and formulas that would help direct and track my search. Like any good irrational person, after a couple of weeks of searching I successfully signed a lease on a place that was not listed on my spreadsheet and met virtually none of my criteria. I do in fact live in a one bedroom but it lacks a dishwasher, washer/dryer and central air conditioning. I did land an off-street parking space recently but only after parking on the street for six straight weeks and enduring two parking tickets in the process. To be fair, I do have air conditioning but it is only in the bedroom, where I have become a hermit for the last several days as summer finally hit Los Angeles. Despite it’s shortcomings, the apartment is adorable and right in the middle of a neighborhood I affectionately refer to as Homotopia. The lesson I have learned is that it doesn’t really matter what amenities you do or do not have as long as you are surrounded by a few good gays.

Funemployment Foiled

After a long hiatus, the real world looms (insert horrific scream here). Although it defies my better judgment, I must leave funemployment behind for the promise of financial stability, parental approval and the fulfillment societal norms.

Two years ago, I made the decision to retreat to the academic world because I felt I needed to come up for air and take inventory. After my undergraduate studies, I spent four years drowning my former life and self in my career and I decided it was about time I try to rediscover “me”. Pursuing a professional graduate degree may have been the only legitimate means of taking a two-year vacation. I can think of no other circumstances under which my family, friends and even my employer would encourage me to quit my job and take out $100k in loans in which to support myself. Now, truth be told, business school was not all fun and games – I did have to work my ass on off on occasion – but in comparison to my former employed existence, it was a picnic. But like all good things, this chapter in my life is coming to a close and I must return to my maniacal life as a management consultant in just three short weeks.

The last two years have been everything that I hoped that would be, and although I may not be overjoyed to return to employment, I do feel that I am ready, armed with renewed priorities and a sense of self. This new blog will trace my steps as I make my transition, keep me honest, and if nothing else give me an opportunity to bitch about all the things I find annoying in my life, my job and the world at large.

I have (less than religiously) maintained a public, non-anonymous blog over the past couple of years but now that I am rejoining a world where a pretense of professionalism is required, I have decided that a pseudonym is in order. Nice to meet you, you can call me Dani.