Monday, March 27, 2006

Field Name: Anastasia Beaverhousen

Legend in this country speaks of a tribe of secret agents living, breathing, eating, and shopping amongst the masses of unknowing American citizens. Trained to blend in and to avoid conspicuity, these ever-mysterious souls drifting in our midst look just like you and me. These skilled chameleons quietly embrace their noble duty that serves this country as a whole. They are so secretive and invisible that some people may not even believe they exist, but I stand to attest that they do indeed exist. As of today, my friends, yours truly is offically a mystery shopper.

Unfortunately, almost all information is Top Secret and I am not at liberty to discuss who I work for or to identify the business I infiltrated this afternoon. That is classified information that could compromise my mission. What I will say is that the experience was kind of intense. I had the world's longest list of things I had to record, so I felt very pressured to remember all the points and make sure I answered everything accurately. I think the hardest part was trying to watch the employees (and get close enough to read their name tags) without arousing suspicion. Let me tell ya, people tend to notice when you're staring at them (or at their chest).


As some of you may know, I spent my senior year as an exchange student in France. It was the 1993-1994 school year, which also just happened to be the year that the North American Free Trade Agreement was passed with much fanfare and discussion. I didn't pay much attention to politics back then, but one of my host relatives pointed out something interesting, something so coincidental I still can't get over it.

In French, NAFTA is called l'Accord de Libre-Échange Nord-Américain. And the acronym? ALENA.

Weird, eh?

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Postcards from the Edge

I recently discovered and have fallen in love with Postcrossing, 'The Postcard Crossing Project'. I love postcards, pen pals, and getting mail other than bills, so Postcrossing to me is slightly addictive. Essentially, once you sign up, you request someone's address, which gets chosen randomly and could be anywhere in the world (so far I've had New Zealand, Australia, Finland, and England). Once you send your postcard off and it gets received, the person registers it and then someone else will randomly receive your address. I have gotten one from a German exchange student in Canada and another from a guy in Spain. It's a lot of fun.. you get to make contact with people all over the world you would probably never know ordinarily, plus you get to send and receive fun mail.

I have a thing for postcards, so I started collecting them years ago. When I get a new Postcrossing address, the fun is randomly picking one and then figuring out what to write on it. I have sent poetry, quotations, as well as brief notes about the card or whatever. It's fun, check it out!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

My Shower: Smurf Murder Scene

I had an interesting and pretty fun evening last night. It started off with my decision to dye my hair a crazy blue. The color is 'After Midnight Blue', which I'd hoped would be a really nice dark blue, but since my hair never takes the color it's supposed to, it's kind of like a vivid aquamarine.. looks blue in some lights, looks green in others. Even though this change would maybe seem surprising or out of character to the people I've met since leaving California, way back in the day, I used to frequently Manic Panic my hair some crazy color. I've always enjoyed it because it's one way to outspokenly embrace my differentness, but in recent years, I have always had a job with a dress code and it's been something I have been unable to do. It dawned on me yesterday that I have nothing preventing me from doing it now, so yeah, I have punk rock hair and it kinda rules.

After I dried my hair and surveyed the new 'do, I called Dan to see if he wanted to go out. Dan and I had gone to an awesome Natalia Zukerman concert at Weezie's, the lesbian bar, on Melissa's birthday and Dan really liked the bar and wanted to go back. It's a pretty chill place, as far as bars are concerned. Anyway, Dan and I headed to Weezie's and hung out for a while. One of the bartenders, Jeremy, is friends with Melissa and even though he wasn't supposed to be working, he was there. Jeremy's really fun and cool, so it was awesome to see him. Even though it was a Saturday night, there was no DJ and Jeremy was running around trying to do bar stuff and DJ at the same. I asked him to let me DJ and the next thing I knew, I was in the booth spinning CD's. w00t!

A table of older ladies sitting near the booth asked me what music there was "for old people". I laughed and handed them the binder of songs to browse, along with a pen and paper to write down what they wanted to hear. A few minutes later, they handed me their list with a $5 bill. Ha! I didn't even know people tip DJ's, but right on.. and then later after I'd played their songs, they asked me again, I handed them the binder, and got given their list with another fiver. Sweet! Even though I wasn't officially getting paid, that definitely was a nice gift towards my bar tab.

Dan switched early on from Bud Lite to very strong Long Islands ("We call 'em 'Strong Islands' around here!"), so toward the end of the night, he was pretty blitzed. At one point, I looked over to where he and Jeremy were sitting at the bar, only to discover that Dan was shirtless. That totally cracked me up, because it was like one minute he was wearing it, the next minute not. The funniest thing about it was maybe half an hour later, when Jeremy came over to us and told Dan he had to put his shirt back on because "the lesbians are complaining that it's a health code violation." omfglol. It's a fucking gay bar, for Pete's sake... what gay bar doesn't have shirtless men walking around??? That kills me.

Anyway, I DJed until closing and I had a really great time overall. Dan.. <3 you, big guy. ;)

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

If You Wouldn't Mind...

Please take a moment to go here and sign to be a citizen co-sponsor of the 2006 Roadless Area Conservation Act. A cute, furry creature somewhere will thank you.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Rocking the Classics

I'm having some fun browsing YouTube. This kid kicks ass.. he is seriously good. This is the second clip I've seen from this guy, and from what I remember, he arranged and composed this himself.

Talk About Issues..