Thursday, March 31, 2005

Sprint away as far as possible

A few weeks ago I visited my local Sprint store to reconnect my supa-dupa cellphone. I'd been cut off because I exceeded my $250 monthly maximum. Curious, since you'd think they'd be happy to get more money from me. Cessation of service means drastically fewer calls (read: zero) and thus no more income from yours truly. Most importantly, I rely on my phone for that last minute audition or booking call, when there's only a brief window in which to accept the appointment. Losing my service means losing money. So why can't they just bill me for the amount and keep the service going? My friendly service agent John couldn't answer. He'd need to soon, to quell the tsunami of rage building within me. There was more...

"Why can't my phone send SMS's?"
"That phone isn't SMS enabled, Sir," he replied with a smile.
"Really? I've been using cellphones in Africa for 10 years and ALL my phones could send SMS. Are you telling me that in the USA in 2004 you're selling cellphones that take pictures but can't even send an SMS?!"
"Well we could upgrade you and you could have a new phone for just $50," he offered.
"And how much would it be for a new customer, John?"
"Hmmm. Now, I can take my number to any other service provider, right?"
"So give me one good reason I should stay with Sprint"
"Come on, John, you HAVE to be able to give me ONE reason to stay with you guys."

Another smile. Then there was a moment. THE moment. One of those moments. You know- where you have the option of beating someone to a bubbling red mess their mother would blissfully feed the dog before she recognised it as her spawn, or of simply walking away.

I walked away. And then returned today to vomit on Asha who, although cute, was unable to tell me why my phone had been cut off again, when my online account reflected that I hadn't exceeded anything. Looking on her "system" (a loose term) she informed me that I had gone over my minutes AND the $250 maximum.

ME: Then why does your website say I haven't? What use is that?
HER: Well, the site is only updated when your bill goes out.
ME: Well, what good is the service then? It's redundant!
HER: We don't charge you for it. It's a free service.
ME: And you SHOULDN'T charge me for a service where I'm going to PAY MY BILL ANYWAY!
HER: I don't design the website, Sir.

Yeah, and I'm not a hitman, but I can presently see a dozen ways to mutilate you with the stationery items lying within arm's reach.

ME: And I'm due an upgrade. Apparently I get $150 rebate on selected phones.
HER: It's $150 rebate on all phones, Sir.
ME: But the website says it's only on selected phones.
HER: No, it's all phones. Do you know for a fact you're due for an upgrade?
ME: Well, that's what your website says, but hey- seeing as the web doesn't tell the truth and you do, I guess YOU would know.

I paid my bill and left. But as I held the pen to sign my credit card receipt, I did have a moment. That moment. The moment where I saw her eyeballs skewered on a blue plastic Bic. Ah, Asha... Fond memories...

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Seventeen Again

Well the mullet has been slaughtered and I now look like I did at 17. Let's move right along... the WB talent show The Starlet. I was devastated to watch Cecile's elimination, because she's South African. Okay, and because she's tall and blonde and stunning. But mainly 'cos she's from Pretoria. And blonde and stunning. Ag shame, as we'd say back home. I hope she does continue however, as she does have great potential. I guess it would be a little "off" if a foreigner were to win a competition to discover America's next darling soapie princess. I just hope the arrogant pixie Katie doesn't take it. I'd like Merecedes to take it, but I think Michelynne deserves the win.

Oh God. Listen to me. I'm sitting in my apartment writing passionately about what is essentially a beauty pageant with a little acting thrown in. Even worse- it's a reality show. Aaargh! What have I become? And the real question: "How long have I been this way?!"

Wait a minute, I'm allowed to watch this stuff. I'm 17 today, right? I'm The Starlet's target audience, OKAY?

(Alright, it's not okay. But at least I'm admitting I have a problem. And that is the first step...)

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Anyone for mullet?

When you catch yourself thinking "whoa that guy SO needs a haircut", only to discover it's your own reflection, it's time to make that call. I have a confession to make - I've a mullet in the making. Not quite short enough on top. Not quite the length behind. But it's close, people... Real close... Disturbingly close.

It's a peculiar thing that my old '70s leather jacket remains retro and funky (in a good way), while my almost-mullet is not. I'm tempted to have a No.1 and be done with the whole "style" thing. Nothing more user-friendly than the prickly scalp that will only ever be one style. Ah, the joys of a vigorous cranial splash of icy water to start the day. Even my wife has given the go ahead. Problem is: I don't have a tidy head. It isn't neat and round and symmetrical. No. Instead, my head is rather more volumous at the rear. Like the trunk of those old Lincolns with the bulge for the spare tire. I know this because I had a mould of my head once - for a commercial where I got to play a C3PO-like robot in a suit for 14hrs without ventilation or the ability to see, sit or hear "cut" when everyone broke for lunch and I was left standing like an asshole, deaf dumb and blind until a grip took pity on me and tapped me on the shoulder to tell me it was over. But that's another story...

Where was I? Ah yes - the head. The bulge. The lack of symmetry. It's like this - if everyone else has an apple, I have a pear. Now don't get me wrong. I like my pear. I'm just gonna keep a few leaves at the stalk, okay?

(By the way, mullet in the dictionary is defined as "a common food fish". Enough said.)

Monday, March 28, 2005

Today is the day - no, really

Odd weather here today. Summer is slow out of the gates. This morning was warm and sunny, then suddenly turned with icy winds promising a late PM shower. Or, in LA speak, a flood. Got a call asking for me to voice the South African trailer for new movie Drum. It was shot in SA but had a couple of imports to help sell it to international markets. Haven't seen any footage, but with the super smooth Tumisho Masha and sexy Motshidi Motshegwa on board, there are at least 2 reasons to buy a ticket. I caught Moshidi's stint on ER - all quality.

Tonight is acting class. Prepared scenes for an industry person. I am bracing myself for the Q+A and their inevitable confession that "we only deal with the top 6 agents". I wonder whether our headshots and resumes even make it to their car sometimes. Still - better to be seen performing than just a face in an envelope that may/may not be opened.

Oh- that brings me to my little thought for the day: that "today is the day". Not that anything specific or even important will happen. Simply that every day IS the day. The day that you make it. So here's to making today, and every one the follows, one that counts.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Another Sunday

Ah yes. Another Sunday morning. Nursing a mild hangover from last night's party- a friend's birthday bash. Brought my own (Guinness) and worked steadily through them. Like a meal in a glass. Quite different to my recent discovery - Canadian whisky. (Not the first thing that pops into your head when you think of big Canadian exports!)

Old friend from South Africa, actor/filmmaker Brendan Pollecutt, celebrated on the roof of his Hollywood pad. Great views of the city, incessant fire engines sirening back and forth, and regular helicopter fly-bys courtesy of the LAPD. LA is a noisy city. As are it's occupants. I used to think that Americans were only loud when they're abroad, but it seems they are loud at home, too. Now I know why. It's the constant rumble of white noise that the city puts out. Like a gigantic tv that's lost the signal, spewing out static 24hrs a day.

That said, it makes for animated conversation. And from the surrounding apartments, it may have looked like a charming game of charades. Up until Vaughn pulled his pants down and Brendan spooned David standing up. But then. alcohol does strange things to straight men. Nothing that a couple of Ibuprofen can't mend. Failing that, there's always a trip to the store for a bottle of Canada's finest...