Friday, April 30, 2010

London Vs The Fleas

Want to know what I have been doing all week? (besides living the vegetarian life and sending out ebay stuff...) Battling a flea infestation that Perry brought home! These fleas think that my bed is a circus tent - they wheel and twirl across my sheets, they belly flop off the edge of my bed, they triple lutz across my pillow with chomping jaws. I am horrified, disgusted, and eaten alive...

"Ok, I can deal with this..... just fleas" - My mom always used Frontline Plus (Mom's are always right)... so Frontline Plus it was..... Followed directions, waited a few days.... only to find the fleas had started pairing up for trapeze acts! Doubling in number!

When Mom is not right...... the Internet knows best - Research proves that many of the Frontline Plus brands are no longer working because so many of the flea larva have become immune to it (whatdoyaknow?) - While googling phrases like, "Why are fleas so in favor to their own existence?" - One big-bold-swaggering-Daddy-Flea decided, "Hey, lets go chomp on this lady's boob" - I now have a flea bite the size of a third nipple....

War was declared!

Strategy:

Outdoors: 1)Borax: In the Middle Ages, castles built motes and poured hot tar over their walls onto unsuspecting troops....When you have fleas, who needs hot tar when you have Borax Laundry Detergent!? It dehydrates and dissolves fleas.. 2) DC Earth - Crushed up shells are so tiny, they leave hundreds of cuts on the flea, cutting them to pieces.. 3) Nematodes - (I love saying that word, "Hey guys! I am going out to put the Nematodes on the lawn!"): Tiny microscopic worms that kill small insects such as gnats and fleas but leave all the good bugs, such as earth worms, totally safe for humans/animals, good for the garden... Get this - the Nematode burrows into the flea, and lay eggs in it's stomach, and then eats the flea alive! This is some sci-fi shit, huh?

Indoors: 1) Borax: Used both outdoors and indoors, sprinkled all over the rugs.. 2) Apple Cider Vinegar: Kills them on contact, sprayed all the cushions with it (smell drove my roommates crazy) 3) Eucalyptus Plants: Fleas cannot stand them! Plus, it makes me feel like a Koala in Aussie-Land... 4) Vacuum... a lot!

Perry-Cat: 1) Capstar: The 24 hour Pill that turns your cat into a Flea-Killing-Death-Machine! Attempting to purchase this, I was led to understand that this is a prescription pet medicine - Since I do not have a regular vet for Perry, I had to call A LOT of offices until someone would sell it to me.. Not sure of the underlying idea behind prescription pet medicine really. Strung out pets on street corners? Apparently the Internet is sort of a Pet-Med-Black-Market, because I could get whatever I wanted online. 2)Advantage/Revolution: Capstar only rids fleas for 24 hours, so you need to follow up with a monthly regime. Bought Revolution... Decimated the fleas that were left...

Sitting in bed, it looks like the flea circus is finally gone - Direly, hope it stays that way because it is difficult trying to sleep when the fleas are tap dancing on your face.....

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Art Contest Winner: Jamie Cooper

These were drawn with a Sharpie Marker.... : ) They remind me of band posters and they make me happy! Thanks to everyone that submitted! Ha - To the guy who drew my Vagina... : ) It was very Georgia O'Keefe of you.... nice stuff...!

Winner Writing Contest: Chris!

Thanks to everyone who sent a submission! - Over 35 to pick from! This one (while a little kiss-ass) really caught my attention.... Great job, Chris! Look for my email today!

"Dear London - I admire what you are doing for a couple reasons. Rather than yield to "The Man" and get a square job, you decided you wanted to travel and figured out a way to do it. I love people who swim upstream, who say "Fuck what I SHOULD do... I'm doing what I WANT to do!" Not only that, but you are carving out a life for yourself in an industry that generally prefers women of a shape different from yours -- that takes courage and determination. You are blazing a trail for other women to follow, and there are many of us who love curvy women that are thrilled to see more and more of you out there.

I'm inspired to improve my own photography, because I would love to take pictures of women like you. I don't want to just be the guy in front of a computer screen, I want to be behind the lens. And why shouldn't I be? If you can do what you are doing, then why can't I too do what I want? People who are brave are an inspiration to others, or a reminder to those of us who have blazed our own trails in the past that, yes, we ARE capable of bigger things. You are one of those brave people --And a damn beautiful one too. . . .

Never Surrender,
Chris"

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Shooting in Mass

Crash Stevens, a photographer who sometimes submits to Easy Rider Magazine, hired me yesterday - While I did not have the chance to meet the owner of the multi-million dollar property we were shooting at (the owner was in Vegas for a 1/4th business, 3/4ths pleasure trip) - his place was gorgeous! Surrounded by 10 acres of woods, a landscaped lawn, five bedroom home, eight shiny Harley's in the garage, tons of old 'dragster' cars lined up the driveway - As if that was not enough, the Owner-guy also built a Saloon in his front yard (all wood, fully stocked bar, pool table, dart boards...) - Afterwards, Crash and I were hanging out, drinking some beer, tossing stories back and forth - When there was all this shouting.... And-oh-so-very randomly, this tall majestic horse came prancing through the trees, across the lawn, trailed by a tiny little pony, being chased this loud screaming woman shouting, "Carrots! Carrots! I got CARROTS! Ho! Ho! Ho! Horse!" - I kept sitting on my stool.... waiting for a punchline about Butt Carrots.... but... it never happened....

Crash's shoot was followed by Matthew Pearl's shoot in New Bedford - Matthew and I took a fantastic little excursion through Lincoln Park, an old abandoned amusement park which was closed in 1987.... The place still boasts one of those old rickety wooden rollercoasters, a burnt down bumper car lot, and walls and walls of graffiti

Today I worked with a guy who just kept telling me how awesome I was! Haha... And I know that I should be humbled... but I could not stop giggling.... He filled in every other ten minutes with, "Have you seen your portfolio? You are so amazing, you are so sexy, you are the best model I have ever worked with - If you come back to Boston, I am going to hire you and make everyone else hire you".... And... while it was not ponies and rollercoasters ..... *It felt like it*... I had a really good day today.

Photos: Christopher Lee Donovan... after a *very* muddy evening of shooting... ha... I feel bad he had to clean the place up afterwards

Coffee and dead people...

Boston has more Dunkin Donut franchaises than cemetaries....

Boston has A LOT of cemetaries - it was founded in 1630

Monday, April 12, 2010

Boston and family stuff...

When I was 16, I lived in Boston for awhile - Attended Lesley Art College for summer classes, hung out by Fenway, watched a famous AllStar practice from a rooftop. Made a few friends, traveled on the T, lived with some aunts and uncles for awhile....

In the present, most of my extended family resides in Boston (now, including my little brother and my step-sister) - Lots of family means lots of free places to crash and lots of transportation around the city.... Yet never before, have I ventured up into the Northeast for modeling jobs - Reasoning? - I absolutely abhor trying to keep my "family life" separate from my "modeling life" - It does things to my Psyche that I cannot repair.... In my home life (also known as my real-life and happy life), my boyfriend supports my job, my roommates know what I do and embrace it (they even let photographers shoot at the house), my close friends enjoy my work, even my Mom will occasionally chat with me about modeling - I love it! With a great group of people backing me like that - I am so happy where I am! I am proud of how far I have come in this industry - I am excited that I have been able to travel the country, make beautiful images, experience great things..... I love the freedom, the people I meet, the stories I have to tell....

....And then I see my Family - It is like a big black cloud descends upon my rose colored glasses - Inky smudged and grease fingered.... My extended family does not know what I do and I do not want them to...... How do you explain to someone who did the "all American thing" and went to college, got married, had kids, makes great money, wove a security net.... That you have no interest in that kind of life right now? My family manages to make me feel ashamed, childish and unaccomplished - Two years ago, I burst out in tears at a family function because my uncle decided to have a discussion about how I was an "embarrassment" to the family, how I was ruining my Mom's life, and about how selfish it was for me to stop attending college.... What to do in those situations? Telling the truth is not an option, my mother would be completely appalled if I announced my career choice to her siblings.... So..... Instead, I get defensive - I starting creating elaborate stories and lies to cover up what I really do.... "Oh, I have a part-time job! Oh I am thinking about getting married! Oh I want kids! I am thinking of enrolling in school next year! We are going to buy a house! I might get a new car"

And that hurts me a lot. I am not that person - That is not who I want to be.... I like my naked job (a lot). I do not want to get married right now. I want a dog from PetsAlive to play catch with. I will go to school when I am ready. I want to live in a dozen more places before I settle down - I LOVE my rusty old mustang convertible....

Tomorrow I headed to Boston - I am staying with my Aunt in Reading MA... This is the first time I have ever modeled in Massachusetts (for the above reason alone) - Do wish me luck! If I survive an entire week of denying who I really am and pretending I am someone else.... I..... should..... be.... totally... nuts... right!? When I get home, perhaps I will start asking Pat if he wants to adopt babies from the Amazon Jungle or I will beg him to let me move into one of those ugly, cookie cutter suburbs in Round Rock that are all that strange puke green color..... *please, please - let this week be easy*

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Come Fly With Me!

A model anonymously asked me on Formspring, if I would help her find the cheapest way to fly - Since I have never written about an entry on budget traveling before, I thought this would be a great time to elaborate....

When it comes to purchasing your ticket, the sooner the better. Alyways try to book for Tues or Wed when less people are traveling and prices are significantly less expensive. Also, red-eye flights are supersuper cheap (although I never get any sleep on them... )

When booking, I always start with Cheaptickets.com (my fav) - Other sites to check out: Bing.com, Kayak.com, Orbitz.com (blog readers feel free to post your links in the comments section) I punch in bunch of different cities "close" to my destination. I, then, rent a car and drive a few hours! Example.... if I book work in Miami, I almost always fly into Tampa because it is cheaper and I save $150....Also, if your dates are flexible... You can save a $100 if you fly out a day earlier/later than planned...

Note: While Bing, Orbitz, Cheaptickets are wonderful sites - Be sure to book your actual tickets through the airline's website if possible - It will knock off an additional $20-30 of tax and surcharge that you would have gotten booking through the 2nd party site...

Military usually gets a discount through most airlines...

And if you are a student - You can sometimes find discounted airfare on STA.com. This is the Student Travel Association.

Baggage! Keep in mind, almost all airlines charge you for checked baggage these days (blah!) AND they have penalty fees if your bag is over 50lbs (blah!) - Airlines that charge: Continental, Delta, AirTran, American Airlines. Usually $25-30 a bag. Happy companies that allow your first checked bag for free! Jetblue and Southwest! Whoo!.... Sooo if you are pinching pennies and a Delta flight comes up for $140 and a Jetblue flight for $160.... Jetblue will save you some cash (and they serve Dunkin Donuts coffee and bad daytime TV at the same time! Mmmm)...

Frequent Flyer programs are your friend... almost all the airlines have free miles, sign up for them! I get two or three free flights a year!

If you want to check out all the cheap flights near your airport, check out Fare Compare! It is a website where you type in the city you fly from - and it gives you a twitter feed to follow which shows the discounted fares from that airport. In my case, I'm likely to fly out of Austin Airport, so I use the AUS feed.

If you can think of any other ways to save money while flying, let me know! I am hoping this will be an entry for anyone who is thinking about flying on a budget... : )