Monday, June 21, 2010

Things I Have Learned Online

Okay, so, according to the internet, there are thousands upon thousands of dollars to be made just sitting on my ass. Like, I know, internet. It's called "writing". However, that hasn't been paying the bills as well lately, what with being between contracts and all. I'm staring to feel the pinch. So, maybe my good friend the internet has a point.

The internet wouldn't lie to me, right?

I've decided to make it my personal project this summer to "make money online from your own home" by doing all the crazy things people do to make money. First of all, I've signed up with AdSense to put ads on my blog. I almost accidentally typed "ass" there. To put ass on my blog. Anyway, AdSense promises that the ass put on my blog will with unobtrusive, and won't do anything to my readers unless they click on them. After that, I'm not sure what happens, and I won't be able to find out because I've already had to sign a contract in blood stating that I will not, under any circumstances, click on those ads even if my house is on fire.

The other thing I'm going to do is write articles and make how-to videos for Associated Content. Of all the money-making schemes online, this one seems to be the most promising. Why? Because it only partly relies on me tricking people into clicking links, and the other part is something I do really good, writing. And talking on a video. Okay, so anyone who listened to my short-lived and ill-conceived podcast knows that I'm not very good at the talking part. But I'm good at spamming my twitter and social networking sites with content, so just, you know, gird your loins and such.

The most exciting and yet least likely to pay off avenue to monetary gain on the internet has to be the online survey phenomenon. I've already signed up with a (legitimate and free) survey site and have taken some surveys. I'll be honest, I made six dollars in an hour, which is less than minimum wage in my state. But I got to click things and it makes me feel important to know that someone, somewhere, might use my opinions on iced coffee to market something to my fellow consumers.

If I've missed any opportunities to waste my time trying to get free, easy money, let me know. I'm game for anything on this virtual road trip to unbelievable riches.

I'll provide you all with updates from my awesome internet money adventure. According to all the promises these sites make, I'll be updating you via wrist-watch computer from my private helicopter over my recently purchased island off the coast of Fiji. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

In Case You Missed It...

First of all, if you did miss the fact that Lady Gaga has a new video, you don't spend enough time on the internet. But I'm here to recap it for you.

I'm not sure what commercial you'll guys get, but for me Vevo selected an add for Caress body wash that implied my salsa dancing might not be up to par because my skin isn't sexy enough. Then the video started.

First, we're treated to a shot of a hot guy in fishnet tights lazing in a chair while the words "Gaga" and "Klein" and "Alejandro" are displayed in bold text. I know who Gaga is and I know the song is "Alejandro" but I'm not sure what "Klein" means. Maybe she's going for a pseudo German vibe, because the next thing we see is a bunch of men in Nazi-esque uniforms sitting at tables. Sweet, maybe this is going to be a Cabaret themed video!

The song should be starting any minute now. I mean, the Nazi guys are shirtless and dancing now, so they're going to need music to groove to. This is where Gaga pops out and starts singing, right?

There's Gaga! Wearing steampunk goggles! Awesome! And there's... bloody meat full of glitter and pins. And, uh, a casket. Okay, let's go with this. There's a cheering crowd, too. From the uniforms and Gaga's bleached eyebrows I'm expecting them to start chanting "Peron! Peron!" but it doesn't materialize.

Instead, Gaga is now leading a funeral procession for that casket we just saw a minute ago. Oh, and she's the one carrying the glitter meat. Wait, I thought she was watching that from the window. I've officially lost the narrative thread of this video and the song hasn't even started yet. Is 10:00 am too early to have a drink?

At least I have incredibly phallic shirtless gun-holding puppet man to soothe me. Gaga usually has women or flamboyantly arrayed men in her videos. I'm not complaining about the buff underwear models in this one, Lord knows I am not. But it's two minutes into this video and the song hasn't even started yet.

At about 2:04, funeral ballerina Gaga starts talking in a really muddled accent that can only be described as "vaguely European". Something about being in love with Alejandro, but not being able to be with him. Then it cuts to a shot of incredibly phallic shirtless gun-holding puppet man. So, that must be Alejandro. At least, that's the perception I'm going to continue to watch under.

So, Madonna is sitting watching some shirtless guys-- oops, my bad, that's Gaga. The cruel laughter and throne of nightmares made me mix the two up. But this is definitely still Gaga. I can tell by the goggles. The Gagagles. The shirtless Nazi boys dance for Magana's pleasure, and then the camera cuts to what can only be described as the 32nd Annual Needlessly Buff Moe Howard Impersonators' Synchronized Dance Competition. This is possibly the most disturbing part of the video for me, and by that I mean their haircuts. The haircuts, dear God, the haircuts. All I can think of are the Three Stooges, but their bodies, and the dancing, and men touching and simulated sex with each other and--

GAH! Gaga is dressed as a nun, probably praying for my immortal soul because her stupid Nazi Moes gave me a girl boner. Look, lady, you can't just put shirtless guys grinding on each other in your video and not expect a straight woman to stay dry as the Sahara, okay? No matter how ridiculous their haircuts are.

Now, I'm not going to describe the next scene. Because I have a pen name that gets paid to write about that kind of stuff. But this is definitely starting to win the prize for Best Gaga Video Yet in my mind. After the porn, Gaga dances around in Sally Bowle's underthings with her Moe clones behind her. And then there's more simulated intercourse with men in high heels. Seriously, has she been reading my dream journal?

Okay, now I'm starting to understand the plot of this video. The white latex cape she's wearing shows that's clearly a Knight Templar, and these are the devoted pilgrims following her. Right? Is there some kind of story here? There's always a story, Gaga! Sometimes it's hard to figure out, but there's always a story. Just let me know what it is!

The next part is honestly my favorite part of the video. I know, I know, you thought it would be hard to top the sex dancing. It's actually pretty tame, with Gaga sporting a Carol Channing bowl cut and actually wearing pants while she dances by herself and with jackbooted thugs. But she's so sexy and awesome in this part, it makes me wish she'd thrown the creepy Catholicism and Facism references out and done the whole video like this little bit right here. But if she'd done that, the inevitable comparisons to Madonna wouldn't have been as forthcoming, so she fucks it up by putting on a machine gun bra and dancing.

At this point I have yet to compare her to Annie Lennox, which happens at least once per video. Gaga hasn't forgotten about my love of pointing out which artists have visibly influenced her. She slicks back her hair and puts on a leather jacket, sunglasses and panties and gets behind a microphone to sing to her distopic future Fascism world while having fond flashbacks to the simulated sex she just had in the middle of the video. And there's some rioting and group sex and I still don't know what's going on. At the truly horrifying conclusion, Gaga's face melts like a film negative.

I have no idea what I just watched, but I'm terrified and aroused.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

My son's first grade teacher is awesome. There's no way of getting around it. She's totally focused on reading and writing, and runs her classroom like an all day writing workshop at RWA national. Today, to celebrate these dwindling days of this school year, I'm going to share the fruits of her labors through the prose created by my son:

Kiersten, by Christian Armintrout
copyright February 2010 ed. note: There is actually a copyright page.

Kiersten is my best friend in the world!
But one day Kiersten ran out of our fort so...
I went in.
I saw snowball, it was as heavy as a TREE!
So-- I rolled it out.
But another kid came in and he hit me!
When Kiersten wasn't around.
Kiersten is a great friend.

Christmas Tree, by Christian Armintrout
copyright January 2010

I had to get the Christmas tree out of the closet, it was heavy.
Then, I had to get the ornament box out.
We has lots!
Next I had to take everything down the stairs.
Grandpa and Steve helped me build it.
After we put up the tree we decorated it with ornaments.
My favorite ornament is a robot. But it got broken.
My new favorite is a bear in a car and mom put it up high because it is delicate.

The Boy Who Used to Be Naughty II, by Christian Armintrout
Dedicated to Mom and Dad and Wednesday
copyright October 2009
ed. note: This is the sequel to The Boy Who Used to Be Naughty, which tells the story of the time Christian got into my office and broke a bunch of glass globes for fun.

Now I am 6 1/2
Sometimes mom still says, "GO to your room,"
When I do naught stuff.
The last naughty thing was giving money to AJ.
I should have given the money to the lunch lady.
I learned my lesson.
Well, I ran out of paper so thats... the end.

ed. note: This next one is my total favorite. It's the only fiction one he's written, and I think he shows a real knack for it.
Grandpa's Car is Cool!, by Christian Armintrout
copyright November 2009

Grandpa's car is cool!
It has a face on it. The eyes are headlights, the bumper is the mouth.
"Hooo," I said.
It transforms into a red and blue robot.
The tires are lazers. It uses sign language to talk.
It can also make a mean face. I copy it.
"That car is cool," I said.
He said, "Thanks!"
"Cool," I said it again.

Look, I know I'm his mom, but I don't think it would be bragging or premature to announce that he's going to be the next Faulkner.