Friday, July 10, 2009

I went back to Ohio

I doubt the postings will last, but I'm going to try to document 2009's yearly sojourn to my old home town, Hudson, Ohio. I'll be staying in areas around and about, but this will always be the place where I go back to in my mind and heart.

I couldn't wish for a better place to grow up.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Not an Actual Post

Hell,it's been a month and a half. Ridiculous!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Pope and Facebook

This is a few weeks old, but Pope Benedict XVI issued a statement about Facebook.

Yeah, that's just weird on its own. Who asked the Pope about Facebook? Which one of his minions said, "Hey, Bennie, you gotta comment on this Facebook thing. Obama knows all about it and so should you. You wanna reach the kids, you know. No, not that way. What's that? No, you shouldn't update your status in Latin. Anyway, the world is waiting, so I prepared this brief."

It's a pretty innocuous statement, and it doesn't really say anything that people haven't heard, but this familiar-sounding excerpt stands out: "But he also warns that "obsessive" virtual socializing can isolate people from real interaction and deepen the digital divide by excluding those already marginalized."

I don't know about those of you who do the Facebook thing too, but I gotta say the exact opposite happens. I've gotten in touch with old friends that I miss a ton. Learned that some folks I didn't know so well are surprisingly witty, hilarious, thoughtful and I consider them real friends now.

If anything, I'll see more of these people now in my travels. I attend more events. I know what's going on in people's lives, and that means a lot to me.

A friend of my said this, though I'm paraphrasing: "I love hitting Facebook first thing in the morning. Grab my coffee and read my personal newspaper, filled with news about the people that matter to me."

For me, it's more like reading the paper in the evening with a beer in hand, but the sentiment stays the same.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Nude dancing girls?

Here's an interview with Grayson Capps, my old friend and partner in the House Levelers (which was the first band for both of us). Towards the end of the interview he mentions a wild incident that he says occurred with the Levelers, namely a bunch of topless women dancing on stage with us in Tupelo, Mississippi. Now, I admit I have memory problems. Crustodio can confirm that. I have forgotten a lot of stuff. And kids, let that be a lesson to you - don't do (too many) drugs. But I really don't think that ever happened. I don't think he deliberately made it up - maybe his memory is as bad as mine. Well, this is what I recall, anyway...

I do remember the bar in Tupelo (birthplace of Elvis Presley, you know) Grayson mentions. It was a biker bar, called "Hey Norton's!". When we first showed up there we thought we were going to die - it was a tough looking crowd that seemed unlikely to enjoy our special brand of "thrash-folk". But surprisingly, they loved our band and we ended up playing there a lot. The owner was a little biker dude named Lamar. Before we started every set he would get up on stage and drunkenly bellow into the mic that we were the House Levelers from "New Orleansaloosiana". And then he would yell "Hey, Norton's!" and the entire crowd would all scream back at him "Hey Norton's!". It was awesome.

We got to know Lamar a little bit over the half-dozen times we played there. We even crashed at his place once, when we couldn't find a place to stay. One night, and I think this is where Grayson's story comes from, he was particularly drunk and feeling affectionate towards us. He beckoned us to come behind the bar after the place had closed. He was very excited to show us something. We crowded around as he opened a cabinet on the wall behind the bar. Pasted on the inside were a bunch of polaroids and snapshots of women "showing their tits", in the parlance of the times. We were suitably impressed and Lamar was quite proud of his collection. Looking back at that night, in these days of the endless Girls Gone Wild video offers on the tube, it seems kind of innocent and endearing. Not quite as exciting as naked women dancing on stage while we played, but for me, it's a better memory.

NOTE: I apologize for the ad at the beginning of the video, you'll just have to grit your teeth through it.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Naw, we straight

Apparently this video has been making the rounds, just not with the middle-aged white boy demo. Regardless, it makes me happy inside.

Sure, more than half of the country wanted to have a beer with George Bush four and eight years ago (sort of. damn you, Florida). But I'd rather have a chili dog with the smoothest president I've ever seen.

It's not easy to be cool AND the smartest person in the room. But damn, he's got it.

UPDATE: Apparently the mainstream media is on board too.

Let me get back to the PM on that, then we'll talk about the content requirements

I read this post from Gods of Advertising and couldn't help but smile. It is my life.

With great apologies to my family, I am a very literal listener. My father raised me (very sternly) to "Say what you mean and mean what you say", and I'm afraid that lesson has stuck for life. Along with "If you're on time, you're late", but that's another post for another time.

As a copywriter, I certainly think "conceptually" when creating work and when it comes to humor, I have no problem using or understanding metaphors and other tricks of the trade.

But I swear, if we're having a conversation that includes expected results, you better tell me exactly what you want. I will only hear what you say, not what you "really meant". Yes, I realize this is a fault on my part. I'm working on it. But for the love of butter, why can't people just say what they want?

This especially gets the worst of me at work - in meetings, particularly. Just like the post linked above, I'll drift off when you start using acronyms. I'll take a mental powder when you choose long, unnecessary words when a short, succinct phrase will do the trick.

Life it too short, folks. Don't waste my time with "procedural understandings". However, I'll gladly share my thoughts on "how to work together more efficiently".

It's not that I don't understand you. I just don't want to have to work to understand you. I'm in advertising. One of the few grown-up playgrounds that survives on adult ADD, caffeine and wit.

So, are you with me? Get your message across already, will ya?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Masterfully cleansed

Like any sane person, I take all my fashion, musical and dietary advice from Beyonce. So I'm proud to announce that I finished the 10-day Master Cleanse diet/fast on Thursday and am gearing up to eat solid foods again today. Also known as the Lemonade Diet, you subsist entirely on a drink made up of lemon juice, organic Grade B maple syrup, cayenne pepper and water. It's actually pretty tasty, though it gets a little old after 10 days. I did the MC last year around this time and this time it was a little easier, mainly because I knew what to expect.

So, what's it like? Overall, it's a pretty good experience. I had really good energy, I wasn't cripplingly sleepy all day and I felt clear-headed and possibly something similar to what John Denver referred to as a "Rocky Mountain High'". Surprisingly, I never was really hungry. I had cravings from time to time, and other people's food smelled wonderful, but if I drank a lemonade I immediately felt better. I usually drank around 6 - 8 glasses a day. I missed the act of eating and the flavors, but never felt that hunger was an issue.

My cravings were always for healthy items. I thought about brown rice a lot and good wheat bread, tomatoes and apples. As much as I love junk food, I never once had cravings for sweets or chips or anything like that. So, I've decided to go back to the vegetarian diet I abandoned a few years ago. I love the taste of meat, but I do think it's unhealthy. And I deplore the killing of animals for food, and always felt bad about eating meat. But, on the other hand - bacon is GOOD. Always, always my downfall.

On the downside, the first few days of the diet can be really rough if you ingest a lot of toxins on a daily basis. In my case, that would be coffee and booze. I had the worst headache for 2 and a half days as I went through caffeine withdrawal. I always felt I drank too much coffee, but I just love it so much and I need the energy boosts to get me through the day. I'm planning to switch to decaf and hoping that I if I buy really good coffee it will satisfy me. Yeah, good luck with that.

Although I love to drink alcohol (mainly wine, these days), I've done enough time "on the wagon" in the last few years that I didn't miss it at all. Plus, I've just naturally been slowing down on the drink lately - partly because drinking makes me too tired to deal with the baby and also because my doctor recommended it.

Besides losing weight and getting rid of the crap in your body, the diet is relatively inexpensive compared to eating real food for 10 days. So, it can be a good thing to do when cash is tight. But be warned that the organic Grade B maple syrup is bizarrely expensive. A little 12 oz bottle is 13 bucks. And you'll probably need 4 or 5 of them.

But by far, the worst is the salt water flush. This part is a little graphic, so you may want to skip the next 2 paragraphs. Ok, now obviously since you're not bringing in solid food there's going to be a problem pushing everything through the body. It's recommended to drink a laxative tea at night, which I rarely did. But what you must do every morning is drink a quart of salt water. It's only 2 teaspoons of salt, but I still found it unbearable. It's hard not to gag on it. Plus, a quart is a lot of liquid to drink in one sitting, no matter what the beverage is. Last year, I tried using a straw to make it easier, but this year I just powered it down. 

Then the fun begins. In about half an hour you're filled with an extremely urgent need to use the bathroom, at which point everything in your bowels is vigorously expelled. It ain't pretty. This happens a few more times in the next half hour. So, whatever you do - do not stray far from a toilet for at least an hour. And prepare yourself for the possibility of a shart attack.

After you complete the 10 day fast, you need to be very careful getting back to a regular diet. For the first day you can only drink orange juice. The second day you can have some homemade vegetable soup. And the next day you can pretty much go back to normal. So, today I am really, really looking forward to some soup. Subsisting on oj for 2 days is not fun.

That about wraps it up. I found this book really helpful. I lost around 13 lbs, which puts me within 4 lbs of my wedding weight from 2 and a half years ago. I know I will gain some of the weight back immediately, but I'm hoping that sticking to a healthy vegetarian diet will help me continue to lose weight and feel healthy. Then again, we'll be hosting a Super Bowl party next weekend. That will be the true test. Wings....  Chips...  Beer...  Pork rinds.... Oh, god......