theladyrose: (Default)
I'm currently attempting to adapt my Number 86's guide from several months ago into shorter segments appropriate for bathroom stall reading. If anyone has any interesting pearls of wisdom that are applicable to at least three spy series or more, I'd greatly appreciate it!

The Secret Agent’s Guidebook:
(Useful Tidbits of Knowledge Culled from At Least 5 Fictional Spy Series)

1. Scientists and inventors should never be trusted. Even those with innocuous intentions create some sort of deadly weapon that gets into the wrong hands from either sale or theft. They tend to be killed after they have outlived their usefulness.
2. All transcontinental and international flights take no more than ten minutes no matter what the distance.
3. Any safe can be broken within a minute or less.
4. Your spouse is either a double agent and/or will be shot to death in the near future. If they’re in neither position, then you’re next on the hit list.
5. There is no such thing as an ordinary wristwatch. At the very least it will contain a high-power laser.
6. At least once during a mission you’ll be dancing with the enemy at a fancy dress party.
7. Don’t worry about dying in any plane crashes; you’ll go through at least two in your career.
8. Surgeons, podiatrists, ophthalmologists, and dentists are either enemy or double agents. Never enter their offices.
9. When you go undercover in a suburban village, know that this village is really a training camp for Russian spies.
10. Men who enjoy classical music are villains.
11. The opposition will either clone you/swap minds with you at least once.
12. Beware of men in wheelchairs, especially if they’re petting white Persian cats.
13. You will never die in a car crash even if it does explode while you’re still in it.
14. If you’re in an office of someone other than your boss with a world map, then the person in that office is definitely an enemy agent.
15. No enemy agent ever dies of a heart attack/car crash/other accident.
16. Every agent has a Russian equivalent of the opposite gender no matter which organization you work for.
17. Anyone who owns a castle and/or a suit of armor is definitely an enemy agent.
18. You will never die jumping out of a glass window.
19. Female agents will have to dive from an insane height while fully clothed during at least one mission.
20. In the rare chance that a woman is killed, there will never be any blood on her clothing even if she's shot. The exception to this is if you work for the CIA or the woman is a formerly suicidal Italian countess.
21. Any woman who invites you over to her apartment is out to kill you.
22. Come to think of it, anyone who invites you over for dinner plans to torture and/or kill you.
23. You haven’t become a real field agent until someone’s drugged your drink.
24. None of your male contacts will ever be Canadian.
25. Singers are to be viewed with utmost suspicion.
26. There is no such thing as an ugly hotel receptionist.
27. If you see a red convertible, it’s owned by a woman.
28. You will never die when in front of a firing squad.
29. If someone asks you to carry a book for them, then there’s a microdot with the hidden message dictating the particulars of an upcoming assassination.
30. If you’re involved in a fight on a train, don’t be surprised when you find yourself dangling off the edge of a cargo net with the storage doors open.
31. Anyone who owns an aquarium is a villain.
32. The best places to hide when a troupe of enemy agents storm in are in air/heating ducts, haystacks (if you’re in a barn) and kitchen cupboards.
theladyrose: (Default)
Number 86's guide to preparing for final exams:

Disclaimer: I hold absolutely no responsability if none of these so-called methods for studying. So please don't complain to me if you fail your exams after trying all of these suggestions because I don't know what I'm doing either.

The Hypnotherapy Method: Record yourself reading aloud from your notes and/or your textbook, then play your tape or CD just as you're falling asleep. Try using short statements and repeat several times. Some say that you remember the last thing that you see/hear before going to bed the most clearly in the morning. Works best if you're a character in Brave New World.

Subtype: Commence your studying starting around 10 at night and continue to study and mutter to yourself until you're dead tired. Works for some, but not optimal; this is probably the most commonly employed method of studying that I've observed...

The Sleep Osmosis Method: Put your textbook/notebook underneath your pillow before you go to sleep. The information imbedded within your textbook/notes should flow into your empty brain, albeit slowly. Unfortunately, a fair amount of knowledge will also flow out of your brain back into the book/notes as the level of knowledge on each side of the pillow reaches equilibrium, so you won't learn too much that's new. This might work best for biology and/or chemisry, but I haven't tried this method for either subject.

The Mnemonic/Story/Song Method: For remembering sequences of facts, come up with a mnemonic to remember; the funnier ones work the best. Kids Playing Chess On Freeways Get Smashed is a morbid way for remembering the categories within the Linneaus classification system, from broad to specific: Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species. Try associating simple key phrases to dates: the 14th and 15th Amdendments to the American Constitution are very simply summed up as freedom, citizenship, and the vote. Some people have come up with songs for remembering technicalities with the French subjunctive tense, but unfortunately I can't remember them at the moment.

The Group Study Method: Find a group of friends who all want to study the same subject and lock yourselves in some room in your local library. I particularly suggest the library because in a quiet, intellectual environment you will feel more obligated to get work done. This sort of study group tends to work best for social sciences, science, and math, especially math as it's much easier to figure out what's going on when you can all look at the same problems, graphs, and diagrams. If it's not possible to get everyone to meet at the same time and place, try a conference call at home. The drawback is that you might be distracted into going off-topic with said group of friends instead of studying. Try not to have a group of more than six people to avoid the temptations of distraction.

The Classical Music Method: Listen to classical music, preferably Mozart, non stop as you study. It's tremendously relaxing unless you're listening to a particularly angry sounding requiem or Beethoven's 5th. I personally have found that instrumental music is much less distracting than music with vocals and lyrics as I tend to focus too much on the words and not on my notes. I vaguely remember hearing somewhere that there might actually be scientific backing on this one. This is the only one that I will actually swear by; for my science finals up to second semester of last year I did well on all of my midterms and whatnot when listening to my magical Mozart CD. I haven't done so well ever since I lost it, so there you go.

Please feel free to add your own suggestions!
theladyrose: (Default)
59. If there's classical music playing, something sinister is going on. Villains like listening to classical music because they think it sounds classy and/or can play things like Ravel's "Bolero" really loudly to cover up the sound of a gunshot (although that also works for other kinds of music). Marches and waltzes are only played in remote places in the middle of the ocean, i.e. on an oil rig.
60. You will be sealed alive in a coffin at least once, but your colleagues will always find you; you're not Beatrix Kiddo, so you don't have to kick your way out. If you're in a crematorium committed to the flames, you can save yourself if your enemy agents discover that you handed over fake diamonds to them. Then again, agents also have been buried alive for using diamonds as payment so you probably want to stick with cash from now on. If you're supposed to be in a funeral home, your partner will hand you some champagne to while away the time.
61. The tech/gadgets guy will save you in the field when you turn rogue agent to pursue a personal revenge mission or if the rest of your colleagues are in lockdown.
62. If you're female, you'll have to do a really high dive on a mission. If you're unlucky (which is probably the case), you won't have a bathing suit on you. Sorry.
63. British generals can always be trusted, even if their personal lives can be a bit sketchy. Russian ones tend to be wild cards.
64. Female spies drive sports cars. If they're especially classy, they've got convertibles.
65. Agents never die in car accidents. They're either kidnapped and are supposed to be presumed dead to the outside world, or they've staged the accident to throw off suspicion.
66. Most agents are lousy dancers unless they work for the Ministry of Defense, in which case they may have to go undercover as dance instructors. Female agents typically specialize in more exotic styles i.e. Arabic or Cuban.
67. The only agents who know Asian languages work for the CIA or MI6. Only the CIA agents speak them, though.
68. If you looked great in black and white, color probably doesn't suit you as well.
69. If the opposition has "dealt with" someone, that person is guaranteed to be dead. If you "deal with" someone, you're either negotiating some deal involving buying some sort of weapon or decoder/finding employment within their organization as a mole or you've knocked them out over the head. If you're in the CIA, you're more likely to kill off henchmen types.
70. You will find yourself at some sort of ninja warrior school owned by the opposition at least twice. You'll be asked/forced into showing off your karate moves at least once.
71. You'll imitate one of the opposition's voices at least once to lure your prety into a trap, and even if your phony accent isn't so great they'll fall for it anyway.
72. If there's a world map in someone's office who isn't your superior, then that person can be safely assumed to be a member of the opposition.
73. You never carry around your real passport with you. Your department can and will supply you with a plethora of fakes guaranteed to fool passport officials. Police officers in foreign countries are more likely to see through your cover and may threaten to deport you, but you don't need to worry about them interfering too much in your assignment.
74. There's no such thing as an ordinary toilet kit. Toilet kits are perfect for disguising gadgets and explosives and such without arousing suspicion when passing through airports. Electric cordless razors (no agent uses any other kind) should actually be able to be used for shaving, though, because you will actually need to use it for that purpose.
75. Anyone who prefers a certain kind of smoke, i.e. Cuban cigars or Russian or Turkish cigarettes, is very dangerous.
76. You will never be injured when jumping through a glass window. The opposition will.
77. Female Japanese agents will appear in a kimono at least once during a mission. They are also capable of swimming long distances.
78. Come to think of it, all of the Asian women you come across are experts in some form of martial arts.
79. Speedboats are your friends, unless you're being pursued by a helicopter and/or a white weather balloon.
80. If you do go to Japan, you will either visit Tokyo or some remote island populated by fishermen and ama pearl divers.
theladyrose: (Default)
More things to expect:
24. You haven't become a real agent until someone's tried to drug your drink. Female agents tend to be the drink-druggers. The classic move is to momentarily distract the female agent and swap glasses.
25. A proper English gentleman carries a brolly (umbrella for you cultural barbarians out there :P) which always has some nifty built in feature i.e. a foil for when you really need to get rid of an opponent, a built in tape recorder with playback, a built-in gun, etc.
26. You will come across some sort of deadly gas that can be used to exterminate a lot of people once during your career.
27. You need to be able to speak/understand at least two languages other than English, enough so that you can play baccarat (that's all the French you'll ever need!), order drinks, hail a taxi, check into a hotel, and make reservations. The only things Russians tend to say in their own language are assassination orders or military commands involving killing people. So if a Russan agent starts speaking in his/her native language, you better get the heck out of there.
28. If it involves Singapore, then the opposition is up to its dirty tricks. Nothing good ever seems to come out of Singapore.
29. Many Russian agents speak excellent English, often with perfect British accents. They've probably been to a cultural assimilation school in Hamden Colony 3 or belong to the gentleman's training ground called S.N.O.B.
30. None of your male contacts will ever come from Canada.
31. No matter how good you think your cover is, someone will break into your hotel room and rifle through your belongings. It's always a good idea to check for bugs beforehand.
32. The best covers for an agent are in world travel, import-export, finance, and journalism. Science and diplomacy are also OK but require much more specialized knowledge.
33. Scientists will never live to the end of your mission. They are all quite brilliant and come up with discoveries and inventions that have a lot of deadly consequences because nobody pays them enough to produce less harmeful things. If they are employed by the opposition, they're either mercenary and will be killed as soon as they're paid, or they've been tricked into thinking that they can benefit mankind.
34. You will disguise yourself as a hotel waiter or maid at least once during a mission to escape from a room or illicitly enter a member of the opposition's room.
35. There's no such thing as an ugly hotel receptionist.
36. If you're male, you'll wear a military or naval uniform at least twice during your career.
37. Come to think of it, you'll also wear a tuxedo (black much more often than white) fairly often.
38. I hope that you're a good dancer; otherwise you'll be stepping on a lot of important toes.
39. Shoes are tremendously useful tools. You can store a tracking device or microfilm in a false heel, and you can easily conceal a knife in the tip of your shoe or in your sock.
40. At least one of the villains you will come across will be wheelchair bound. These types tend to have some very efficient hired assassins to carry out their dirty work, so watch out.
41. You should be suspicious of anyone who is the guardian of a daschund or a white Persian cat with a diamond collar. If (s)he owns multiple cats or is in charge of a cat rescue and recuperation center, make sure that any cats given to you by this person have their organization collars removed. Oh, and the daschunds only attack pretty young female French helicopter pilots.
42. I hope that you like defusing complicated bombs because you'll come across them fairly frequently.
43. Safes are very easy to break. Your department will usually supply you with some portable safe-cracking tools before you go out on assignment. You can easily swipe security cards and get fingerprint molds once you're close by to the safe.
44. You may be a secret agent but you often have to deal with blackmail cases as well. These usually end up being more interesting than they appear, so don't be disappointed.
45. Assassins-for-hire groups tend to be quite popular. At least once you'll end up busting one of these murder rings by hiring yourself out as a target.
46. If you see a convertible, it is almost always owned by a woman. If it's red, then it's definitely owned by a woman.
47. Killing people really isn't that necessary. Knocking them unconscious is so much more humane; all you have to do is punch them across the jaw or whack them over the head.
48. In a tight spot if you need to get special access, just knock out of the many little henchmen types running around the villain's lair and steal their clothes. This is a time-tested strategy that is guaranteed to work until you finally get into the place that you were trying to access in the first place.
49. You'll be placed in front of a firing squad once during your career. Just at the last moment even your sketchier and less-reliable allies will come in to save the day. Aren't you just lucky.
50. Girlfights tend to be really intense. Don't underestimate them.
51. No agent ever dies; they merely find new ways to go into hiding.
52. If someone asks you to carry a book for him, there's guaranteed to be a microdot hidden somewhere inside.
53. All agents must be trained in the medical sciences to give CPR, inject the right drugs, remove bullets from bodies, and stop bleeding from bullet wounds.
54. All agents will be tied up to something at least once during a mission. The opposition can be a little kinky sometimes.
55. Abandoned houses are to be viewed with the utmost suspicion.
56. In a pinch, air ducts and haystacks make good hiding places. However, if there's a massacre going on, kitchen cabinets are optimal.
57. You will be pursuited at least twice by the opposition on motorbikes shooting at your car or at you directly.
58. Anyone who doesn't work in your department who invites you over to dinner at his/her place is out to kill you. Drinks, alcoholic or tea and/or coffee, are often much safer. If a woman offers to bake you some sort of dessert, you can definitely trust her.
theladyrose: (Default)
Number 86's guide for secret agents (to be an ongoing feature in my ever-abundant spare time based on all of those spy shows I've watched, which amounts to an embarrassing many):

Watch out for diabolical masterminds, and always keep your bowler hat on in times of distress. )
theladyrose: (Default)
I drove by myself for the first time to the carpool meeting spot because Ellie wanted to sleep in, and somehow I felt unimaginably free. I was listening to "Morning Passages," from Phillip Glass's the Hours soundtrack, and suddenly I felt as if I was finally at pace with the rest of the world. Somehow I had stumbled my way onto some global harmony, and for a few minutes before I had to go I had a sense of why things were, had stumbled upon some hidden universal peace. Phillip Glass is a genius. That's what it feels like in my inadequate words to discover some musical truth in a wonderfully complex, mysteriously flowing piece of music. I don't think I've ever met anyone else who actually knows what I'm talking about, to be honest, someone who is familiar with this weird musical translation.

Yup, I probably sound like I've gotten a little too familiar with weed. I assure you that for the moment I am completely and utterly insane.

I think I've sat through the dullest English class of my entire life. Seriously. I probably sound like a total cultural barbarian saying this, but I honestly didn't see what was so great about Louise Glück's poetry reading. My brain might be totally fried or exhausted, but I didn't see the deep meanings or pretty figurative language or whatever. And her voice-well, I see why we need voice actors. I'm surprised that the people in the audience didn't all fall asleep listening to her drone. Amazingly enough, I didn't actually take a nap during class. And now, may I present to you:

[ profile] theladyrose's tried and tested ways to stay awake during boring classes (which thankfully she employs very rarely):
-Count in binary on your fingers and see if you can count to 1000 by the end of class.
-Practice sitting up with really good posture. Not only is it good for your spine, but you'll gradually feel more awake.
-Doodle or write random things down in your notebook. Just make sure you keep your hand moving the entire time.
-Try to see if you can bend your fingers on each hand one on top of each other. See if you can do it with both hands. This requires a certain amount of flexibility in the finger, and the mild aches and pains you feel will keep you awake.
-I've found the following to be the most effective: stretch your legs out and try to touch your toes while sitting in your desk. See how long you can keep your legs parallel to the ground.
theladyrose: (Default)
Oh, and people at non-profits are absolutely obsessed about getting the day's mail. And recieving sums of money greater than $500. And they like to make fun of donors behind their backs.
theladyrose: (Default)
Number 86's Guide: What to Know about Working in an Office Environment if You Are the Designated Lackey

If I have learned anything from my internship so far, they are:

-You will be worshiped whenever you fix the jammed copying machine.
-Don't use a pen when trying to fix a stuck paper-cutter, because inevitably it will fall apart and you'll get ink all over your shirt and hands and pants. And if you do have to use a pen (large paperclips work reasonably well), don't choose a black or dark blue one or any dark colors. Then again, magenta ink isn't very nice either. Ignore what I just said about the pen colours because they're all bad.
-If you are about to procrastinate on work or do something kind of embarrassing you'll be caught by your co-workers and occasionally your supervisor if you're doing something really embarassing. You'll also catch a lot of people slacking off and guilt them into working again as a sort of unitentional retribution.
-If you want to use a laminator properly, leave it on for at least three minutes so that you can actually melt the stupid plastic onto the paper or cardboard or whatever.
-Invitations are more time-consuming to make than they appear.
-If you don't want to lick four hundred envelopes, you can seal them by using a glue stick. Very useful to know.
-The (wo)man who invented the stick-on stamp is a goddess.
-If you want to be called back promptly, repeat your telephone number twice and slowly. Your caller will love you and might be tempted to give you their leftover tickets.
-People in marketing, event planning and PR think that you are a technology god(dess) if you start babbling about meta tags even if you don't know what you're talking about.
-Last names beginning with the letters "k" and "s" typically sound the funniest.
-Watch TV. You don't sound like a workaholic if you can talk about early 90's TV shows. Skip reality ones if you don't want to be mocked.
-You will be mocked if you read Sinclair Lewis for fun. Either that or your co-workers will threaten to call the psychiatric wardens.
-If you work in PR and event planning, you have absolutely no need of science and or complex math. If you can add and subtract and compare two numbers, then you're their Einstein.
-When in doubt, make your supervisor do it ("But wait a minute, I don't understand! What is this caller saying!"). Actually, I haven't done that one yet, but I've watched others get away with it.
-Learn how to alphabetize things. This is surprisingly handy. Unfortunately I don't really remember the alphabet so well, so I've written it out on a piece of paper above my organizers.
-Bring CD's so that when you have to do something really boring like filing or stuffing envelopes or more filing you can listen to music.

Best day at work so far, but am stressed out about the upcoming concert for a 70's soft rock star dude whom I've never heard of before. This year's performer is Kenny Loggins, and my God he's expensive. But I don't know how much other rock stars charge for performing. But the amount of money involved in general is ghastly. Slightly stupidly I volunteered to stick up Summer Symphony posters around Pleasantview's downtown because I figured that there are lots of people old enough who are interested in Kenny Loggins, or so I hope. Most of the people who've ordered tickets so far seem to be at least in their early 40's. But somehow we're still really behind on ticket sales by about $20,000. Eek. We only got three orders today, and those were all single seats. But there's supposed to be a massive ad campaign coming out on Friday, so next week will hopefully be busier.

Can someone please buy tickets? Prank calls are also welcome.


theladyrose: (Default)

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