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.