Archival Footage – Episode 1

January 30, 2009 at 11:49 pm | Posted in Business, Life | Leave a comment
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I headed over to MySpace today (for the first time in about six months) to erase myself from that rapidly disintegrating universe. After navigating through the required screens, I was presented with a message indicating that all the content I had created would be destroyed.

Troubling.

I used to blog on MySpace, and I like those blogs. So here is what I’m going to do. I’m going to reprint those blogs here, steadily over time, until I have moved them all. And then I will remove myself from that wretched, cursed place. So, jump into the wayback machine with me, back to the heady (and apparently much more vulgar) days of June 2006….

Great Moments in Advertising

I was showing this to a friend the other day and I thought that I would share it with you. I now present the greatest moment in the history of advertising:

safetyswitchad_jones_5002

There are so many great things about this ad:

1. Fear as a selling tactic. 

“If you don’t buy this product, SOMEBODY WILL DIE.” That is just so great. You could sell so many things like this – “If you don’t buy these Cool Ranch Doritos, Carl will die!” Shameless and fantastic.

2. The “Private Office” label on the window.

What kind of menial mid level management executive are you? You don’t even get your name on the door, you just work in the “Private Office.” At my office in Charlotte, that’s what we called the shitter.

3. The executive’s hair line.

What is that? Is that a mohawk? What’s going on with this guy’s head?

4. “Prevents Unnecessary Death From Electric Shock”

As opposed to the necessary deaths? Are we to be led to believe that if it wasn’t Jones that bumped into the exposed safety switch, this wouldn’t be so bad? What if it was that assclown Murphy? Would it be ok then? Anyone but your precious Jones.

Fuck you Jones. I’m glad you’re dead. You had it coming. You know why.

 

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You win

January 28, 2009 at 11:47 pm | Posted in Travel | 2 Comments
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I fear I have offended thee, Travel gods. I worry that I have incurred your wrath and am now forced to suffer through life as a travel casualty, and I believe I know what it is you may be upset about.

I think that I may have committed the sin of pride against you.

I have long considered myself a professional traveler. I make one day trips to and from distant locations. I always have my shoes off in time, and I never, ever set off the metal detector. I self-select into the expert check-in lane at airports, and I scoff at the common travel folk as they fumble around with the giant oversized dog bowls and tupperware bins. 

My confidence was such that I packed for my 6 am flight somewhere around midnight of the previous day with nary a care in the world. I did not make a list. I did not check it twice. I may have even whistled.

This clearly upset you, Travel gods, and so you decided to play a little joke on me. You allowed me to check myself in at the self-service kiosk as a different person. As a young female coworker, actually, whose ticket I had purchased the same time as mine on our corporate card. This greatly confused the man at the gate entrance, as my driver’s license does not list me as a twenty-something female. We had a fine chuckle and I returned to the desk to check in again, this time as a thirty-something man. 

All was well. I thought.

wsgIn my overconfidence the night before, I had quickly packed, in my carry-on, my toiletries bag. Apparently while I slept, you wily Travel gods swapped out my carry-on toiletries for my check-bag toiletries. Which is why I found myself pulled to the side of the security gate trying to explain to security that, yes, I was aware that there was a 4 ounce limit to carry-on liquids, and, yes, I saw that the toothpaste was 4.6 ounces. And the Listerine. And the hair gel. And the shaving cream. I was now, at 6am, the peak of business travel, that guy.

And so I boarded my plane, a bit red faced, a touch embarrassed. I completed a rather uneventful flight to Raleigh and ventured forth to pick up my rental car from Hertz. A shiny new Crown Victoria. This car, Travel gods, is a very, very large car. A car that a very averaged sized man might look a bit silly driving. But I soldiered on through the day, to my meeting where the conference room had no internet access, flip-boards, or markers, to the Walgreens to pick up new toiletries, and then back to my hotel to catch up on e-mails and get some rest. Where I discovered, dressed in my PJ’s and ready for bed, that my toothbrush holder did not contain a toothbrush.

This, Travel gods, was a good one.

I cannot even fathom where this toothbrush must have gone. It never leaves this toothbrush holder. Ever. Yet here I stood at midnight in the Hampton Inn forced to ask the nice lady at the front desk, politely, if I could use a hotel toothbrush that had less in common with the cleaning of teeth and more in common with the scrubbing of grout.

logoI awoke the next morning to shower and head to my meeting. I abhor ironing, and as I always travel with a garment bag (and thus all of my clothes are on hangers when I arrive), I usually just hang my shirts in the bathroom while I shower and allow the steam to get the wrinkles out. It’s very efficient. When you bring your garment bag and your own hangers. Not when you fold your shirts in your carry-on and hang them on the Hampton Inn stock hangers. Because, you see, the good people at the Hampton Inn fear that you may attempt to steal their hangers, so when you remove them from the closet the hanger part stays in the closet. Very effective for preventing hanger theft. Not very effective for allowing me to hang my shirts at the end of the shower.

I must admit that after spending ten minutes rigging the hanger to stay in place at the end of the shower rod with a combination of a large towel and dental floss, I did not find it amusing when you made my shirt, my only shirt, fall into the running water of the shower.

Later that day, when you again had me walk through airport security and forget that I had too large a container of gel in my carry-on luggage, I failed to see the humor in that situation either. I get it. You are mad at me. I am now the security checkpoint jackass twice in two days. Yes, I am aware that is larger than 4 ounces. Yes, I understand that 4 ounces is the limit, ma’am.

And then, Travel gods, you cancelled my flight home due to snow and freezing rain, forcing me to shuffle across terminals and wait on hold for an interminable amount of time with a ridiculous cast of characters before negotiating passage (at no small fee) on another carrier’s flight home that was landing at the same time as my original flight that was cancelled, I will remind you, due to weather. Weather that apparently is too much for American Airlines to navigate through but nothing to worry about on US Airways.

Having the woman at the entrance to the jetway for my connection from DC to Hartford tell me that even though I had a printed ticket, I wasn’t on this flight, was just cruel. Original, yes, but also soul-crushing and unnecessary. Making me go back to the US Airways desk and stand in line for fifteen minutes so the woman there could tell me that the ticket was fine, walk back to the jetway and be told that the ticket was not fine, again, and again, and again was over the line, Travel gods.

But you relented. I was allowed on the plane. I arrived back in Hartford. My car was buried under several inches of snow, topped off with a thick layer of freezing rain (read: ice), and so I was forced to set my luggage down in the parking lot and spend half an hour cleaning off my car and scraping the windows. Nevertheless, I was home. I was feeling better. I would soon be in my living room and on my couch, and my confidence was seeping back in again.

Which is probably why you sent the Bradley parking lot snow plow around the corner to push my luggage into a snow bank.

This is a stick up!

January 26, 2009 at 8:50 am | Posted in Business, News | 1 Comment
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There has existed in the news of late an undercurrent. An unspoken desire that, until recently, has not been given name or face.

Yesterday’s Huffington Post seems to have pulled the great reveal:

The obvious answer is to take over the insolvent banks, just as we did with the insolvent S&Ls…The point of the exercise is not have the government run the banks, the point is to keep the financial system running without giving even more money to the richest people in the country.

This is the only reasonable solution to the mess that the bankers have created. The other solutions are simply efforts to transfer dollars from hardworking taxpayers to overpaid and incompetent bank executives. It is hard to believe that anyone would take it seriously, if not for the enormous political power of the Wall Street gang.

They have finally given voice to this unholy idea, the notion that we should nationalize the banks. That we should give control of our badly run banks over to what is realistically the most poorly run enterprise of the 21st century – the US Government. Because they could do better.

What strikes me in the discourse is how quickly the media seems to have forgotten the other group of people that got us into this mess. I speak not of the Wall Street fat cats, but rather, the Main Street alley cats. For you see, the banks wouldn’t be having any problems if not for one huge, forgotten, underlying factor – people aren’t paying their bills.

And while it’s easy to imagine the spectre of evil, greedy bankers preying on simple, innocent Americans, coercing them into buying homes they couldn’t afford and putting all of their groceries on their credit card for the past decade, there is probably an easier answer.

Americans spent the past decade spending more money than they had.

Having now run up huge debts at these institutions with no forseeable way to pay them off, we are, through our elected officials, seeking to take them over. So we can forgive the debts. To ourselves.

That isn’t democracy. That’s a bank robbery.

Secret Shame

January 19, 2009 at 11:13 pm | Posted in Life | 4 Comments
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21894-272-2901

I am, and always have been, a member of the gotolunch society. Our organization stands in vigilant opposition to our arch-enemies, the scourge of the American office, the bringalunch gang. The bringalunch gang is vicious and evil, their weapons of war not as obvious as the sword or gun, but instead the subversive tupperware, the sneaky microwave, the shifty plastic fork.

Worse yet, in this time of economic uncertainty, I find that their numbers are growing

In our modern age of electronic communications and conference calls, I often think that the only reason for even going into the office is to get lunch. That hour, that sweet break in the middle of the day, is a sacred thing, dear readers. The company. The conversation. The food. Thai, sushi, Chinese, Italian, Mexican. A veritable United Nations of flavor offered up every day in our quiet little Connecticut town.

Regardless of the location chosen, though, one thing is certain. We will leave the building for lunch. Eat at my desk? Why don’t I just light the American flag on fire. As far as I’m concerned the two actions are analogous.

I provide this rather lengthy preface if only to ground you in my typical behaviors so that you can see how rather atypical my alternative behavior is.  You see, there are days I forego all this, the company, the conversation, the ethnic food, for a different, more personal alternative.

These are the days that I spend my entire lunch break driving around and eating fast food in my car.

I really don’t know why I do this, why I find this act so tremendously comforting. It could be yearning for my days spent in sales, wherein several days at a time were spent driving around in solitude between visiting my accounts. It could be that, because we’re located in such a small town, it is the only absolute foolproof way to guarantee that you won’t accidentally run into a co-worker when you were trying to eat alone. It could be because I probably wouldn’t be successful at convincing the staff at Taco Bell to play last week’s This American Life podcast over their loudspeakers while I ate.

imagesWhile the cause of my bizarre lunchtime ritual may escape me, here is what I do know: driving down Route 10, dunking a chicken nugget into sweet & sour sauce (nestled neatly between the stick shift and the radio) while listening to Arianna Huffington espouse on the virtues of universal healthcare…

That, my friends, is heaven.

This only becomes problematic when you arrive at your 1:00 meeting carrying, say, a Taco Bell soda cup. Three other people have a Taco Bell soda cup. “Hey, we were just at Taco Bell,” they say, “we didn’t see you.”

Really. Hmmm. How odd.

Look what I figured out…

January 17, 2009 at 10:34 pm | Posted in Music | Leave a comment
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Vodpod videos no longer available.
Actual music for my music posts. Things just got interesting…

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