My fantasy football

In my fantasy football game, I'd draft Don Draper as the quarterback. He'd play with a cigarette dangling out of his mouth and a bottle of whiskey stuffed in the leg of his pants.

The running backs would be Martha Stewart and Nancy Grace, dressed in matching pant suits and pumps. Both vicious enough to take someone's balls and run.

The wide receivers would be Bernie Madoff and the Hamburglar, in jail stripes and purple, respectively. Both have had years of practice at running and avoiding detection.

For a tight end, I'd choose Obama because, yes, he can do anything.

And as a floater, I'd need someone else who's multitalented. Therefore, I'd pick Liza Minnelli.

My entire defense would be kittens. Not ferocious ones, but extra cute ones. Their only play would be to flop over in the path of an oncoming running back. We may end up sacrificing one, but I believe the other team would have to forfeit due to their Michael Vick-ish actions.

The kicker would be David Beckham. With his shirt off. (I'm still a lady, after all.)

And as a bonus, Liz Lemon and Rose Nylund would head up the dance team and shake what they've got to songs from the soundtracks of John Hughes movies.


Captive audience

I've had to go to the mall two days in a row now. Yesterday, I noticed a man sitting in the same place I'd seen another man the day before. Presumably waiting for his wife to finish shopping. I thought, "This is a captive audience."

We should start marketing more to men in women's dressing rooms, at the little seats. Or in store lobbies or waiting areas. They have nothing to do and are probably bored out of their minds. They need something to buy too.


Social Iran

The two Twitterers I'm following from the ground in Iran - @Change_for_Iran and @mousavi1388 - haven't tweeted in 14 hours and 17 hours respectively. This makes me nervous.

I cannot imagine what it's like to have all forms of communication shut down. Or to be arrested or killed over 140 characters.

My generation has never had an uprising. What would have happened here if McCain had "won by a landslide" under suspicious circumstances? I'd like to think we would have voiced our concerns.

These are Flash Mobs with a purpose. These are letters from the resistance. These are inspiration.

The world is reading along, hoping for a happy end.


Susan and Edward

I get a lot of thinking done in the shower. Last night's revelation was that Susan Boyle is the real-life Edward Scissorhands.

Susan and Edward both lived alone, away from people.

They both look weird.

They have amazing talents - Edward with his gardening and haircuts, Susan with her singing

Once they revealed these talents to the world, they became sensations.

They could not handle the pressure - Edward started ripping wallpaper and knocking down shrubs, Susan had some public rants.

The public turned on them - the neighbors said Edward was unstable and dangerous, the tabloids said Susan was cracking.

They both had to disappear for awhile - Edward ran back to his lonely house, Susan checked into a facility.

Susan Boyle's story seems to be continuing. I saw something about a comeback concert in a headline today. By the way, can someone have a "comeback" concert when they were never making big money and were only performing on a reality show? I guess so. But the real point is, look what the world can do. Is it better to remain isolated or to expose yourself?



I find that the thesaurus only helps me about 30% of the time.

abort, back wrong horse, backslide, be defeated, be demoted, be found lacking, be in vain, be ruined, blunder, break down, come to naught, come to nothing, declinedeteriorate,fall, fall flat, fall short, fall through*, fizzle,flopflounderfoldfounder, go astray, go down swinging, go down*, go downhill, go up in smoke, go wrong, hit bottom, hit the skids, lose control, lose out, lose status, meet with disaster, miscarry, miss, miss the boat, play into, run aground, slip, turn out badly


Pandora and my continued iPhone love

I'm a million years behind on this discovery. But I finally found Pandora. I found it through my iPhone app, actually. And now I'm listening to it on my computer too.

The site has all the functionality I would've put in there. At least so far. I am only sadly disappointed that I can't play it through my wireless speakers. But I guess Apple is protecting iTunes by making Airtunes only work with that program.

In other iPhone-related news, I want a new one like everyone else. But the one I have continues to save me in all sorts of situations. Yesterday I was looking for cat food at a pet store. No customer service in the cat food section. I was left to blindly stare at labels.

The problem was, all the brands I recognized, I had heard bad things about. (Wall-e is having stomach problems and I'm tired of cleaning cat puke. This was an important decision.) So I used my iPhone and looked up the best brands. I ended up with a brand I never would have looked at because their logo is a little "I-designed-this-in-the-back-of-my-wiccan-candle-store-under-my-wooden-wind-chimes." But supposedly it's natural and great for him. I probably would've ended up with the best of the bad if I hadn't had my phone. Or I would've stared for 30 more minutes in a consumer panic.


My email to Fox

In my anger at Fringe cutting off, I dashed off an email to askfox.com. Five minutes later, I realized the DVR can be set to record beyond a time slot's end. But this is not the point. Not The Point.


I don't watch American Idol. I'm not interested.

I am, however, a fan of Fringe. And I have DVR.

Almost every week, American Idol runs over into Fringe, about five minutes. Since my DVR only records from 9 to 10, I miss the last five minutes of Fringe. (And yes, I've tried recording the next show, it doesn't work - just skips to the beginning.) This is annoying. I've spent almost an hour (really 40 minutes because I skip commercials) watching this show, leading up to the conclusion. Only to have it cut off. At the climax.

Unless you want to continue to alienate your DVR audience, maybe you should better plan for your shows. Have less commercials during American Idol or edit down some chatter or some singing. Maybe have that annoying recap I seem to keep catching be a little more succint. Or you could have less ad time during Fringe, so it actually ends by 10.

Whatever you do, stop messing up Fringe.

Thank you,
Heather Apple

PS - Arrested Development was the best show on television. I hope you're never that short-sighted again.


In which I reveal my cruel side.

Yeah, yeah, you can have only four periods a year. I've known that for quite awhile. But you're going to have to sell me more than that. I'm pretty comfortable with what I've got.


Oh, you made an ad? Let's see it.


Um... Re what my what?


"Repunctuate your life."


After the initial shock of the word "punctuate," which sounds horribly close to "puncture," I was able to discern the main point - PUN.


You know who did a good job with using that pun? Kotex. Not this. Please take your 90s, Real World-esque stamp and redo your ad.


How to benefit from swine flu

(And other ways I'm cementing my place in Hell.)

As I was pulling my hand sanitizer out at lunch, I started to think about how companies like Purell could benefit financially from the swine flu. What other companies could see an upturn due to an epidemic?

Lysol - The new mace.
Campbell's soup - Stay quarantined longer.
Diamond Match Company - When in doubt, burn germs out.
Yellow Cab - Better odds than the subway.

And what about new business ventures?

Oxygen Tanks (They're not just for old people.)
Delousing Units - Connect easily to pressure washers - hey, as long as you're imprisoned.
Home testing kits - ESFT - Early Swine Flu Test

Seriously, I worry about these things more than most. It's in my personality. I mask it with humor. Also in my personality.


Upon watching Terminator 2.

Before last night, I'd never seen Terminators 1-3. After being told to skip 1 and go straight to 2, I settled down to watch it in the company of my boyfriend, who was delighted to see it again.

Until he was reminded, repeatedly, that I am a girl - a trait that's great for his dating preferences but falls short at action movies and sports.

I liked Terminator 2. I'll start with that. But I had so many questions, so little patience to see who survived and so little tolerance of needless action shots.

First of all, I was able to compare the situation from the first movie, which I was briefed on, to Harry Potter - if the Terminators had not gone back in time to destroy Sarah Connor, then John Connor would have never been conceived. Much like if Lord Voldemort hadn't tried to destroy Harry, he would never had made him so powerful. However, if the Terminators hadn't come back in time they never would have been created either. But how could they have come back in time if they'd never been created? It doesn't make sense.

I took Philosophy of Time in college - freshman seminar - so I've been trying to work this out in my head. But unless there is a way that the Terminators were created without the humans having the clues the future Terminators left behind, I don't see how this is possible. Unless the future already exists and cannot be altered?

Also, what happens in the third movie if the Terminators (spoiler alert) and all the clues were destroyed in the second one?

Next, I can't believe they killed Arnold. Or that nice man with the family. I specifically asked my boyfriend if the nice man would live and he lied and said yes. I was therefore twice devastated by the death and the deceit. However, it was explained to me post-movie that there were tons of Arnolds so I felt slightly cheered. I knew, of course, that John Connor would live because of the existence of T3 and the new movie (which may be a prequel so that might not apply?) and the fact that John Connor is the one who sends the Terminators back in the future. As previously stated though, that probably wouldn't matter much in the reality that is time in this movie.

I also found myself saying a lot, "That wouldn't happen in a girl movie." I was talking about the glory shots. The unnecessary things like the bad Terminator riding his motorcycle up the steps. He couldn't have walked? Or the slow motion when Arnold shoots the bad Terminator at the end. I did appreciate the dialogue though - especially when I finally saw the "Hasta la vista, baby," scene. I'd known that saying for years and now it has context. Hooray!

My point here isn't to tear down the movie. I said I liked it and I meant that. Even the special effects were great, minus the lasers and the burn hole that appeared when the Terminators came back in time - for some reason that made me think of Bowie. My point is merely to look at it from a girl perspective and warn other boyfriends to get ready to answer some questions.

I'm prepared for the summer movies now. I've seen T2, all the X-Men and Transformers. My remaining question is: When can I buy tickets to midnight Harry Potter?


Random television idea.

Anchormen and women saying "teabagging" would make an excellent television or viral spot for Urban Dictionary.


The little old lady who sang to her cats.

There once was a little old lady who sang to her cats. Well, she wasn't that old. Really just in her 40s and in need of a makeover, but nobody took enough time to notice.

Every day her cats purred as they heard her soft voice carry through the house. The broom sweeping the porch in time with her tune. The birds chirping the melody. It was a lovely life.

It was a lonely life, too.

The little not-so-old lady had never been married. She'd lost touch with her friends. And her cats, being lazy as cats are, never spoke back. She bought a television.

Sucked in to the glowing glory that was prime time, she soon discovered she could be famous. Why, her voice was better than those gals in the short shorts, whose voices had to be distorted by machines. She packed her bag up right then and there - a sweater, a turtleneck, a skirt to the knees and a kitten or two.

When this little not-so-old lady walked on stage in her matronly wear, with her hair curled back and wild, the crowd sniggered. She had heard such reactions before. She merely smiled and began to sing.

Now that little not-so-old lady who sang for her cats may sing for the Queen. And she'll never be lonely again.

It's not an Ugly Duckling story - she's still the same lady with the same little old lady style; it's a story of measuring something worthy and ignoring what's superficial. The duckling doesn't need to be a swan. It just needs to have talent and confidence that shines.

Goodnight kids.


Some things stay the same.

The Internet has changed a lot since I was introduced to it. But one thing remains. My AIM screenname.

I've had it since either late middle school or early high school - either way it's been so long I can't remember. Back when I first started using it, my family was on AOL and I got to hear the fun dial-up noises and the robo-guy saying, "You've got mail."

During college, I had my AIM up all the time. Now I use iChat just during work hours. Over the years, I've added so many friends that I now have to delete someone before I can add a new person. I don't know who half the people are because their screennames are so odd. But I keep them anyway, because even if I will never IM them again, I will read their Away Messages.

I think Away Messages were my original Twitter. It was a quick place to say what I was doing. Then I would come home to four or five boxes from people who commented on my Away Message or wanted to talk to me. My favorite Away Messages in college were song lyrics that I thought fit my mood - there was a lot of Radiohead and Liz Phair in there. Now I use song, movie and political quotes, say something about work, or turn to my personal favorite - "Your mom's available."

Oh, how I've evolved.


Social Media

Heather Apple
Copywriter and Digital Socialite

Sometimes I wonder how much social media one person can handle. It seems like the more you add, the more they all suffer.

For example, having a blog, a Twitter and a Facebook means one will inevitably be the last priority. Probably Facebook since I feel like I have less control over it, followed by this blog, because it's longer form than Twitter and harder to access (I'd like to lodge an iPhone/Blogger complaint, please.)

Also, does social media make you a more interesting person? I feel like I should be doing more interesting things so I have more interesting things to write about. But then would I have time to write them?

You'll have to excuse my ramblings. My head is all muddy today because I'm sick. Which is one more boring thing to Twitter or blog about.


Blue mob.

I'm not a sports fan, but I do like to study people. And UNC's win provided me with an excellent opportunity to see mob mentality at its finest.

As you may know, people went nuts. Franklin Street was overrun with general chaos and insanity. Here are a few things I saw:

Several fires.
Local news said that people were burning their clothes. I did see a lot of topless men and the police were taking things like newspapers as you entered the area, so it makes logical sense that clothes were the kindle. Many, many adults say they do not see the point of jumping over fires. I'm pretty sure it's only to later say, "I jumped over the fire. Dude, it was awesome."

In trees, on poles, standing on walk signs and some were the aforementioned unclothed gentlemen. I'm sure they got up there to be above the crowd and so everyone would look at them. But why tear the street sign off the pole? If it was to inspire more cheering, it worked. More than one person around me commented that these fellows were going to be electrocuted. I believe they survived.

The downed street sign quickly became a surfboard, with girls climbing on top of it and riding it through the crowd. One girl in white pants kept getting up there and her behavior disintegrated as time went on. She was on the surfboard just trying to balance. Then she was on the surfboard again, pulling up her shirt (poor planning on that white sports bra, by the way.) Then she and other girls were chicken fighting to stay up there, with the girl in the white pants easily winning - she had the most experience, after all. I left before we saw nipples or a bare butt. Her dad must be proud.

Stoic police.
I never saw any police panic or run or do anything besides stand on the steps of the church, take newspapers or sit at the ready on motorcycles. I kept saying things like, "Aren't the police going to make those guys get down?" The answer was no. On our way out, a girl said to a policeman on a motorcycle, "Do you have two shoes? I don't. I just have one." She did indeed just have one shoe. Perhaps her other one was on fire. The policeman made no comment and, as far as I know, did not file a report.

Impromptu dance party.
One guy thought ahead and brought his boom box with him. Placing it on his head, the crowd around him danced to songs like Petey Pablo's "Raise Up." Lyrics: "This one's for North Carolina! C'mon and raise up/ Take your shirt off, twist it 'round yo' hand/Spin it like a helicopter." The people followed the song's instructions.

Guy in a chicken costume.
Why? For attention. But the logic behind the choice of a chicken in particular fails me. UNC's mascot is a ram. It did seem a little like Halloween out there though. Maybe he got confused by the joy and alcohol.

Open drinking.
Speaking of alcohol, I saw several people just walking down the street with open containers. This is not Mardi Gras or New Orleans. This is North Carolina, where we can't drink until noon on Sundays and certainly never in the open. Once again, I saw no immediate police action.

It was an interesting experience overall, one that many people there were probably unable to remember. I'll say that a town coming together like that was pretty cool to see, especially that late at night on a Monday.

Carolina made it through the championship game. I made it through basketball season. Reason to celebrate.


Pollen attack.

It's not green in NC. It's yellow.

Names for the pollen invasion:

Bee's Disease
Blonde Dandruff
Yellow Rain
Car Wash Super Sale Days
Canary Explosion
Sneeze Weeks
Earth Chalk
The Snots
Nasal Holocaust
Powder Plague
Nature's Exfoliation
God Sneeze
Death Sprinkles
Layer of Doom

Eh, maybe not my best, but a worthy exercise.


An invention for ladies.

Schick Quattro for Women Trim Style - why has nobody thought of this before? Add a trimmer to a razor. Seems like a duh.

I'm not going to say much more about it. I'll let this subtle, but not subtle, television spot do that.

My only comment: do women really refer to that area as a "bush?"


On finishing a book.

It's always sad to finish a good book. You rush and rush to the end because you can't put it down and then it's over.

Do I want to get involved again when I know every book has an end?


The Train Wreck

It's hard to turn away from the news. It's almost all bad and completely sensationalized. I know that I will be horrified by what lies beyond a headline reading, "Man decapitates 5-year-old sister as officer watches." But it's like I can't turn away.

What if the news was happier? Or better yet, what if we replaced all the people in headlines with cute, furry animals?

Quick try with CNN:

Thousands of bunnies protest G-20

Follow the trail of a cereal honey bee

Cops question two kittens about missing mitten

Another sex scandal rocks dog obedience school

Cat decapitates mouse as squirrels watch

Actually, that may have made it creepier.


Manual labor v. manuscripts

I spent part of my day shoveling mulch. This reaffirmed my chosen career in writing. Hopefully, my fingers will still be able to type tomorrow. I'm pretty sure my arms will be useless.


New book I'm reading.

I hardly ever read non-fiction, but I'm reading a new book called, The Rite. It's written by a journalist who follows a modern day exorcist through his learning process. It's a wonderful book so far.

I think what I really like about it is that I'm learning, especially about the Catholic faith and Christianity in general. It's amazing how intricate the hierarchy is between God, the Devil, angels, demons and Man.

I'm not saying what faith I am or if I even think exorcisms, demons or angels are real. But I am excited to discover something new.


Recently overheard.

This conversation was overheard at a restaurant a few months back. A table of two girls, one very loud, was near ours.

The first bit of personal information: "I weigh 141 now. I weighed 139 in high school."

The loud girl went on to describe details about a health problem she recently found out she has, listing several alcoholic drinks she could no longer drink. A guy from another table actually named her disease to her (and the rest of the room). This was not enough to make her lower her voice.

She then proceeded to talk about stalking a guy on Facebook and how she erased her history afterwards, just in case. I found it interesting that she thought this guy might actually go into her internet history and spy on her.

Anyhow, she'd be a marvelous character for a book. Secondary though. One can only take so much.


Changes to the blog.

You may have noticed that I made some changes to my blog. Or you may never have been here before and this all looks totally natural to you (if so, yes, I do everything great the first time, please skip this entry.)

I went into the html and with my limited knowledge, and help from friends, I left aligned the copy and header, moved the whole layout down and made a few things lowercase. Other fixes were done with Blogger's help, like changing a few colors and making the top navigation bar a little less intrusive.

I've also added the ability to follow me. I do not like the design of the follow box but I'm unable to fix it in html. Oh well. Follow me anyway, anywhere.

Television and Music

Every week, we go to a trivia night at a local bar. The first category is always current events and the last is always music, with two miscellaneous categories in the middle.

The theme of last night's music category was "music from television shows." Almost every answer came from Grey's Anatomy or The O.C. And surprisingly, almost every team scored a 9 out of 10 even though some of the artists were relatively obscure.

It definitely shows how powerful television can be for promoting music. However, no matter how much I like the music on The O.C. soundtrack, I'm still not going to watch it.

Our host did miss Gossip Girl, another big music show. I guess it's the whole "male in his 20s" demographic.


How do I feel about Obama on Leno?

Dismayed and comforted. It's very confusing.

Shouldn't he be doing something to fix the economy?

Isn't it nice to see him out there, casually and frankly talking to the American people? 

It's all so new. Ch-ch-changes.


Recommendations on Amazon.com

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My complaint stems from buying one thing for my baby nephew on the site. Now I get car seats and the book "Everyone Poops" in my recommendations. Amazon thinks I gave birth. In fact, I think it says something like, "The perfect thing for YOUR baby" over a picture of a teething giraffe.

I also bought some travel books when I went to London and Paris in 2007. And then another book in 2008 when I pretended like I could afford to go to Italy. It won't stop recommending travel books and it's getting to me. It's like salt in the wound. Oh, Rick Stevens has a new book on Spain WHERE YOU CAN NEVER GO. Buy it now!

Another time, I searched for books for a naughty X-mas party. And here comes my dating guide for lesbians, a season of the L Word and my Melissa Etheridge CD. If I were a lesbian, I'd be kind of insulted to be so stereotyped.

I have finally discovered I can click "not interested." No thanks to Rick Steven's new silk money bag (fancy words for a fanny pack there, Mr. Stevens) or the huge weights they're basing on another present I bought. And there's a special section you can go to to improve your recommendations. Do most people know this? Am I just in such a hurry that I never see these things or is Amazon.com, as I suspect, a cluttered mess?

Also, can I fill out some sort of profile? I know there's a Wish List, but where can I say, "I'm an aunt" or "I'm a heterosexual female with no money to travel?" Maybe I could even say which genres I am interested in or when certain people's birthdays are or separate my recommendations into "Recommendations for my nephew," "recommendations for traveling," "recommendations for reading," etc.

Once again, you may be able to do these things already, if so, I recommend improving the interface.


PR Nightmare

Last night, we watched the episode of Arrested Development where Michael hires a PR agent. Hilarity ensues, of course.

Reading about AIG today, though, I started thinking about Public Relations crises and how to survive them. I'm not sure AIG can spin their "bonus" story in a positive light at this point. Perhaps they shouldn't have called these "bonuses" in the first place. Back pay? Employee debts? Anything but bonuses.

The American people are looking for someone to blame. The last thing you want to do is be a behemoth company who is taking taxpayers money and giving it to the rich. You either want to be a victim or a Robin Hood. AIG can't really be the company in tights, but they could paint a picture of employees who have been working for nothing for months, just to get the company back on track.

They say there is no way to retain such talented employees but to pay them this high. But what about the rest of the country? A lot of people are taking pay cuts just to have a job. If no companies were paying these huge bonuses, I feel like the talent would fall in line.

As someone in advertising, a field where talent is often an excuse for a large paycheck, I don't like the sound of this either. (However, we do have the advantage of working for the sake of the art.) But this is not really a time to argue. It's a time to buckle down, get realistic and wait it out. Your bonuses will be back, you jerks. If the American people don't storm your building, looking for blood, first.


Crib World

I think it was on "Sex and the City" (and don't leave me here just because you hate the show, I have a point) where Miranda was complaining about a place called "Crib World." She said she wanted a store called something like, "this is the crib for you."

I think I'm starting to believe that for every purchase. I am so tired of researching what I should buy. Forums, blogs, manufacturers pages, talking to friends - it's exhausting. And all the while, there's this thought in the back of my head that I know I'm going to get it wrong.

If you're a lady, you probably remember those sliding bar questionnaires they used to have (maybe still have) at Clinique. You had to match up things like what tone your skin was, did you have freckles, did you tan or burn? Then you were dubbed a skin "type" and the right products were immediately clear. What happened to little quizzes like that? Still in the Cosmopolitan Magazine? I think I saw one on a stroller site once when I was shopping for ideas for my nephew. They really are helpful.

There are things like Pricegrabber if you know the product you want and you just need the best deal, but what comes before that? Just because something has five stars on Amazon doesn't mean I'd give it five stars, too. My circumstances are unique, darn it.

Thus far, I've got the wrong red hoodie and the wrong camera memory card, at least one of which will make it to craigslist very soon. Maybe the title of my posting will be, "This is the camera memory card for you." I think it would work.


The Great American Attempt

I started writing an ultra-ambitious project last night. It's supposed to turn into a novel, but I face several obstacles. (This would not be Fail 1 either.) The first is just shiny things. I lose my focus to Rock Band 2 or my DVR. The second is organization and purpose.

I said awhile ago in another entry that you needed to know the ending of your story before you started. I feel like I know the landmarks along the way, but the ending is a little fuzzy. That worries me.

A lot of people say you just have to sit down and make yourself write. What I'm doing now is writing down the landmarks. It feels like barfing on the page. After that or along the way somewhere, I hope it'll become clear how to organize them and tie them all together. And of course, I hope I'll see an obvious ending.

I do this when I'm writing ads sometimes too. I take everything that needs to be in the ad, write it down and then organize it into a coherent piece. Sometimes I can piece it together with copy and paste and a few words here and there. Sometimes I have to write from scratch and just use my notes as guidance. Depends on the style of writing.

I really felt like I went into the writing zone last night, an emotion I haven't felt towards a non-advertising piece in awhile. It was nice.

On an unrelated note, I also started training my cat to walk on a leash. Apparently, I have several ultra-ambitious goals.


Mass Mentality

One thing that depressing me about a lot of advertising is appealing to the middle ground. It's like the more people you can get to approve your brand, the better. In reality, shouldn't a brand appeal only to a specific target? Isn't the target actually a part of the brand itself?

Sure, some brands are actually suited for the Bible Belt, don't-change-anything, soccer moms out there. But not every brand has to appeal to them. And honestly, if that's your target, your brand is going to be wishy-washy and just generally appeasing. It's not going to be a concept so much as a creative compromise.

When you have a brand that appeals to a certain type of people, they really do become part of the brand. They're like mascots. See the Mac guy for a really straight-forward example.

I guess every copywriter wishes they could do only niche marketing that appeals to hipsters or musicians. But there's got to be a mix. How else would we appreciate it?


Is all hope lost?

February is a draining month. It's the last of winter and even though it's the shortest month, it seems to slide by like molasses would in this kind of weather.

It's easy to get bogged down in February, to lose the hopeful, bright outlook you had at the beginning of the new year. I wonder how many resolutions make it to the end of this month? I know my Wii Fit has been looking sad and lonely for a few weeks now.

I also wonder if Obama is suffering from the drag down. People are letting their faith slip. Would it be easier to forgive things like accidentally picking semi-crooked cabinet members in a warmer, happier month?

More importantly, as it is impossible to change the weather, how do we fix this from a marketing standpoint? I think Obama should have devoted more to after-campaign campaigning. We still need his snappy advertising to stay focused. Anyone would tell you that the user experience doesn't stop at purchase (or vote.) You have to fulfill that brand promise over and over again.

It's not enough to make a speech. We're too media saturated. Obama needs to put on a show, do the dance, be himself. Fulfill that promise he made and stop acting like he thinks he's supposed to. Stop letting the suits run the show and keep the hope alive.

(On a side note, you'll notice in an earlier posting that I had added a Twitter feed to my blog. I decided it wasn't worth it. Too many @blahblahblahs without the context. Though I am still Twittering. I'm an addict, which I could have predicted.)


New work on the site.

I haven't blogged in a long time. Sorry about that.

But there is new work on my portfolio site.

Be sure to check out Inai Inai Ba! and Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. Also, there is new photography in A Tasteful Affair.



It's a dirty job.

Today I'm working on a blacklist for a site we're creating. With user input, you try to be as ready as possible. But people can be really creative and I know there's no way we'll be able to catch everything.

I've basically spent the day writing as many dirty words as I could think of and researching Wikipedia and George Carlin for more.

Wish me some fucking luck, douchebags!

(I need a shower.)


Children's Story

How to tell a child that a plane landed in the Hudson River:

One day, a big, lazy goose was sitting in Central Park trying to get a tan. But it was very, very cold and he had to hide in the branches of a tree. HONK brrrrr. HONK brrrrr.

I'm not going to get any sun here, he thought. And all of my friends have flown south for the winter. Maybe I will too.

So he took off, flapping and sweating and heaving his weight. He flew towards the south. Which took him right by the Hudson river.

Meanwhile, a plane took off from La Guardia airport. They were heading south too. To Charlotte, North Carolina. The pilot of this plane was a very good pilot. He'd flown over a thousand times before. He directed the plan south. Which took it right by the Hudson River.

By the time that fat, lazy goose got to the river, he was exhausted. HONK pant. HONK gasp. I'm never going to make it, he thought. Just then, he saw the plane. Maybe I'll hitch a ride with them, he said. Then he flew down and sat on the wing.

This is the life, the fat bird said. And he laid down and fell asleep. HONK shooo. HONK shooo.

The pilot wasn't happy though. The big fat bird made his plane lopsided. He couldn't fly all the way to Charlotte like that. The flight attendants couldn't serve drinks because they'd all spill. Plus, the fat goose's snoring would bother everybody in every town they passed. 

He looked down and saw the Hudson River and had an idea. I'll wake that fat goose up, he said. And he took the plane in for a landing, right into the river.

The goose was still fast asleep. Until he heard a mighty splash and woke up with a start. He was all wet, with matted feathers and water up his beak. HONK spit, HONK spat.

The pilot laughed to see the goose so mad. Let's get off this plane and take a boat instead, he said to the passengers. So they all got off and onto a boat. And the pilot scooped up the fat goose and took him too.

The boat ride was fun for everyone but the goose, who had pneumonia and had to stay in bed the whole time. HONK sneeze. HONK cough. 

Nobody worried though. The southern sun would nurse him back to health in no time.

The end.


Hand gestures.

A few of my friends cannot make hand gestures without it looking WRONG.

I'm going to attempt to write a description of a gesture from yesterday.

We were discussing deli meat, specifically the kind that comes in the reseal bags. It began as a conversation about how long meat lasts outside of the fridge. Then it turned into a discussion of how slimy mean was in the bag. And I commented on how awful it was to get the meat out of the bag, how you had to stick your whole hand in to do it.

My friend says, "No, no. You can totally get it out without doing that. You just take the bag and shake it."

He puts both hand up like he's holding a bag between his pointer fingers and thumbs and moves his hands down in a sharp movement.

"Then you open it and..."

He stuck out his pointer and middle fingers on his right hand and put them face up at his chest level. He pulled his right elbow back. With his left hand, he used his pointer and thumb to pretend to hold the bag of meat open.

He slid his right hand forward, fingers up, towards his imaginary open bag. Right when he crossed the "opening" of the bag, just as he was starting to make a patting motion upwards, he saw our horror-struck and amused looks.

His face flushed and he dropped his hands like they were stolen merchandise at a gas station. And then we laughed.


The white SUV.

I remember the night OJ Simpson was driving along in his SUV, surrounded by helicopters and news cameras. And police.

A quick search of Wikipedia tells me this was in 1994. I was 12, just old enough to sit and... well, not hope... but anticipate the potential disaster we were all about to see on live television. He was armed. He had been accused of killing his wife. And he was on the run.

We ordered a pizza.

That's the part that sticks out in my mind. How many pizzas must have been ordered that night? And how can pizza places, or other delivery companies, capitalize on live television events like that more often?

(This is another one of those advertising moments where I feel like I might be going to Hell.)

For the unplanned events, maybe there's a pizza company that's there when you can't leave the house. For the moments you can't bear to use the DVR.



Writer struggles.

I wish I could do more than write. I wish I could learn all the design programs and learn Flash and html and CSS and pretty much everything else that could bring my ideas to life.

I think the greatest frustration in being a writer in advertising is being told no and being unable to create something for yourself. I hate to see my concepts die because of time and budget. And I feel like it's ultimately my lack of skills that kills them.



Hardcore Kids. Or none at all.

When I was a kid, I was way more hardcore than I am now.

The physical examples are easy to understand. I was a daredevil on skates or a bike because I was shorter - less distance to fall. Plus, I was invincible. Duh.

But I also thought I could do things with my life that were almost cruel in retrospect. I wanted to be a CIA agent and I went around boasting about how I could kill someone. No problem. Then I wanted to be a lawyer defending the bad guys. I was a bad ass. I was also a Republican.

Once I got into my teens, I thought more about business and social problems. And one idea I had wasn't half bad - I wanted to start a restaurant where children weren't allowed. No, this is not the topless bar. Just a regular restaurant where children weren't screaming.

After a trip to Houston this past weekend, I think this idea has more legs than I originally planned.

I like kids. From a safe distance. But I don't have one and I think that choice should be enough to keep me from having to deal with them.

With that said, I'd like to propose child-free things:

Baby-Free Flights
No Stroller Shopping at the mall  - this could be just one day a week
Grown-up Grocery
Childless Cafes
No Kid Cones - ice cream store

Is what I'm proposing segregation? Is it wrong? Are the lactivists going to attack me? 

The answer to all of these is probably yes. But I'm hardcore, right? No problem.


2009, day six. I despair.

It's raining outside. Steve Jobs isn't presenting at MacWorld. The economy continues to fail. Bush is still president. (But only for a little while longer - there's that tunnel's light.)

Yesterday I read an article about Gaza. In it, a child was saying that he would never forget the bombings there and that when he grew up, he'd bomb back. It was as profound as any work of fiction and it sent shivers down my back.

2009 is shaping up to be a challenge. An opportunity, maybe? I don't know.

Save money.
Get in shape.
End the mid-twenties crisis of confidence.

A note on the mid-twenties crisis of confidence:

I believe this to be a universal thing, perhaps generational, but I have no proof of that. Around this stage, perceived life failures and the slow pace of success contradict everything we know and expect. The media, the movies, the Internet - fast, fast, fast. You either make it by 25 or you become someone who never gets a Wikipedia article. Confidence falls and without it, you cannot succeed.

"Melissa, your face is on the phone. Soccer practice is over and you need to pick it up." - 30 Rock

Facing the challenge.