Monthly Archives: April 2010

Superstar tip #71

Sometimes the ATM in Aguas Calientes, Peru doesn’t like to give out money.  Bring enough cash otherwise you will end up crying on a park bench wondering how the hell you’re going to get back to Cuzco.

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My week in photos: Peru Edition

If you are my friend in real life or on Facebook, chances are you’ve already seen most of these. But for those who haven’t seen them, here are some of my favorite photos from my trip to Peru. Next week I’ll start blogging about the trip and the crazy stuff that happened. And trust, this was the most challenging trip I’ve ever been on.

This is a legitimate oasis in the middle of the desert.  Huacachina is a small town that sprouted up around the oasis and it used to be a resort town for super rich Peruvians.  Now it’s more of a backpacker hangout where you can sandboard during the day and party all night.

This is a photo of me atop a desert dune. I’m still finding sand in those shoes two weeks later.

Photo of the street where my hostel (the fantastic Loki Hostel)in Cuzco was located. I didn’t get altitude sickness but it was difficult to breathe that high up. Believe or not, climbing a massive hill to my room did not encourage the flow of air into my lungs.

Some ladies I photographed in the square. It’s a nice photo but the photo I really wanted was me holding that baby alpaca. It didn’t go over well when I tried to take the alpaca into my arms. So. This is what I had to settle for.

This is the church in the village of Oropesa. This was definitely a highlight of my trip. The village was beyond beautiful.

Another shot of Oropesa. The sky is so blue!

I’m pretty sure this bedspread is the most awesome thing I saw on my trip. Machu Picchu  can’t hang with these green eyed pandas.

A village I passed during my casual stroll to Machu Picchu.

I lied. It is anything but a casual stroll to Machu Picchu! But it’s worth it and here’s what it looks like when you get there!

This is from the top of Wayna Picchu. Apparently, if you want, you can hike an additional hour to the top and sit on four pointy rocks and take photos from super high up. I think it’s worth it if you can manage the hike.

If you want to see the rest of the photos, check out my flickr page. http://www.flickr.com/photos/sarahskywalker/ Yeah, I had to get a flickr page because my parents don’t trust facebook. I probably shouldn’t either.

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The Richard Branson Project: Official Launch

Not all international superstars are created equal. There are those who sparkle when a sun beam falls upon them or float as though he or she is an angel. Some only need a first name. Others are known for their clothing/perfume/media empires.

However.

Only one has created a space plane. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8400353.stm

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I won’t bore you with claims that Sir Richard stole my idea, nor will I place the blueprints of my own space plane on here to validate the claims I said I wouldn’t bore you with. There’s a more serious matter to discuss.

I am not currently at a place where I have the resources to design my own space plane. And if I can’t create a simple little thing like that, then how am I ever going to be able to teleport back to the time when Atlantis was destroyed so I can rebuild it, rename it Your Mom and then teleport back through time, stopping off in Italy mid-Renassaince period to paint puppies on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and snag the Mona Lisa for my living room? The live one, not the painting. Beat that art snobs!

I have to face reality. I’m just not a big enough superstar to get all that accomplished. Yet.

Which is why, today, I am pleased to announce the launch of The Richard Branson Project, or RBP, for short.

As a mid-level international superstar, the RBP will follow my attempt to enter the upper levels of superstardom by becoming Richard Branson’s friend. Everyone knows the quickest way fame jump is to be friends with someone already at the level you want to be at. Remember how Nicolas Cage helped Johnny Depp by introducing him to his agent? Johnny hopped on the A-List train and never looked back. Kim Kardashian is another fine example. She used to be just another Paris Hilton tag-a-long. Now I don’t even remember what Paris looks like. That’s fame jumping done right.

This is a modest project with achievable goals. All I am looking for is a standing invitation to Necker Island (RB’s private island), a couple of photos ops here and there, a press release in Vanity Fair, People, and the Wall Street Journal about our new friendship, a five minute video interview for this blog, and oh heck, let’s throw in a free ride to space.

I will document my progress when necessary on this blog. I’m fairly confident I will be successful on most, if not all, of my goals.

And if you missed it the first time, check out my soon-to-be favorite vacation spot, Necker Island, on MTV’s Cribs.

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Happy Hope your Taxes are Done Day!

Did you use Turbo Tax or go to an accountant? I used to go to an accountant but money’s been tight the past couple of years. I miss my accountant. She was nice and always saved me money. The first time I went to her she said, “You gotta look out for you.” Then she punched a guy in the face.

Backstory.

It was my first year living in New York City. I was 21, going to acting school and waitressing to pay the rent.

“Welcome to Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, a theme restaurant that revolves around a movie that came out over ten years ago! Would you like me to serve you my dignity now or later?”

One day I got a letter from corporate headquarters. I thought it was a thank you card or gift certificate to Best Buy for being such a good waitress. Nope, just my W2 form announcing it was time to file my taxes.

Thanks corporate! This is just what I need to remind me that I don’t get paid enough to be a dancing monkey for your restaurant. Let me walk over to H&R Block so they can remind me too!

This was the first time I made enough money to make filing my taxes a requirement. I don’t know if you remember what it was like to file your taxes for the first time. It’s a pretty intimidating experience. There are a lot of numbers and personal questions involved. I’m not good with either of those so the idea of spending my afternoon dealing with both of those things produced considerable anxiety.

When I arrived at the office for my appointment, I met Tosha. She was a petite African American woman with a friendly smile.

“Come on back. Nothing to be worried about.”

I believed her.

Tosha started to look over my paperwork. She invited me to sit down at her cubicle. So I did. It was located toward the back half of the office. My chair faced the front door. Tosha and her desk were between me and the door making it difficult for me (if I had wanted to) to escape/make a run for it. This is a very important detail to remember. A windowless bathroom was to my right.

About a handful of people who had appointments waited in the front. One man came in who did not have an appointment. He demanded that Tosha answer all his questions.

“How much is this property tax? I ain’t paying it.”

“I’m married. That helps right?”

“I still don’t understand. Man, I don’t have time for this shit.”

As this went on it became clear that the man was unstable. Tosha kindly told him that she didn’t have the answers and he would have to see a specialized tax accountant.

“No. You answer me now.” And he threw his papers onto her desk. That’s when Tosha turned to me and said…

“You gotta look out for you.”

I didn’t have time to process that statement before she stood up, knocked his papers to the floor and then, in a very deliberate manner, stepped on them in her four inch lime green stiletto heels, leaving tiny heel piercings on this man’s tax documents.

“You bitch.”

It was at this moment I realized things were not going to end well and I was trapped. As Tosha threw her first punch, I watched as everyone else scattered out onto the street.

“Get the cops!” someone yelled from outside.

Save me! I thought as the walls of the cubicle came crashing down on top of me. The man had thrown Tosha against it. She wasn’t hurt but now she was going to make him pay. Her words, not mine.

People always wonder what flashes through a person’s mind when they are in a situation like this. Here’s what went through mine.

Someone here is going to have a gun.

Overly dramatic? Maybe. But that’s what Papa Walker taught me when I was seven years old. “You never know who will have a gun so always be on the lookout and get down if you ever hear shots.”

So I hit the floor and crawled army style to the bathroom. I crouched behind the door and listened as the fight continued.

I couldn’t tell who was winning for a while. There was some muffled scuffling and I heard Tosha mutter, “Who’s the bitch now?” I poked my head out and saw her pinning the man to the ground, twisted on his back like a pro wrestler, sans shirt, her lacy black bra on display for all to see.

Two cops walked in and I darted back behind the door. No way was I going to the precinct to be a witness for this mess.

Tosha and the man decided they would not press charges against each other. I could feel the air settling and the threat of danger was now being replaced with the sweet promise of opportunity. I knew all I had to do was wait until the cops left and my taxes would be done for free.

“Oh you’re still here?” Tosha said as I emerged from the bathroom. “Sorry bout that, let’s finish taking care of you.” We shared a laugh over how stupid men are and she did my taxes at no cost.

Today I salute all the Tosha’s of the world. Thank you for throwing it down and getting your clients the biggest refund possible. Godspeed.

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