Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The colon: overused?

Yes. But it's my favorite punctuation mark.

Career potential: writer on a furniture account

For this brilliantly worded description: "a highly graphic couch."

Scary words: "revenue growth remains disappointing"

Yeah. Why hasn't Kodak ever been able to make good on all that turnaround talk?

Advertising costumes: original but funny to about 3 people

Bypassing the gory and the outright slutty, I like to choose costumes that have some personal meaning to me. So this year, I've dressed as Mary Wells Lawrence. No, not the go-go, ground-breaking Pucci girl of the 60s -- too obvious! too much leg! -- but the Mustique-residing, Mick-Jagger-cup-of-sugar-borrowing, legend-preserving grand dame of today. Several dozen colleagues have agreed to go as my personal servants, we'll pass out "A Big Life In Advertising" (stacks of which were rescued from the Borders bargain books shelf) and, when there's a spare minute or so, I'll patiently explain to anyone who will listen how I'm still emotionally in touch with the regular consumer.

Friday, October 27, 2006

So how's that new guy working out?

He's into online initiatives and he certainly knows how to use email, but is the RadioShack CEO clear on that whole "public company" concept? "[S]ome analysts and observers said the lack of answers about the company's turnaround plans since the arrival of new CEO Julian Day has been an ongoing source of frustration and concern....The executives assembled by Day have refused all media interviews. They've also stopped holding conference calls with analysts during quarterly earnings reports, a common practice among publicly traded companies."

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Thanks. I'll be here all week.

After the debacle that was Monday night, wasn't it nice that we as Cowboy fans could rally around Emmitt Smith's mambo? He was perfect! Although, to be honest, it seemed awkward to have his partner Cheryl start the dance with Drew Bledsoe then switch to Emmitt half-way through. Hi-oooh!

Is Seth Godin calling me lazy? I think he is!

In a post that was way too long for me to read closely, Seth Godin writes, "You're busy trying to sell a service or a product or an idea to lazy people in a hurry....We don't have to like it, we just have to acknowledge it." Whatever.

I was much more interested in these guys: "Current Energy is different because it offers electricity pricing plans from three companies, and it sells energy-efficient products from lots of vendors....'Most people are really uncomfortable about the idea of energy efficiency,' Mr. Harberg said....They try to keep things simple and hands-on. Mr. Harberg said he thinks part of the reason that only about a third of Texans have switched electricity providers is too many choices and too much information."

A nit? We never have too many choices. We have too many choices that look alike.

Friday, October 20, 2006

NotBillable trendwatch: boobs

First, James gets distracted.

Then there's this.

Gosh, one more example -- wherever will we find that? -- and it could officially be a trend.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Does this make me a bad person?

I really enjoy watching New York baseball teams lose.

Yes, if only it were up to him

The wonderfully named Dallas columnist Steve Blow continues to be at the forefront of cultural trends. Today he discovers the mobile billboard truck and promptly calls for a legal ban. Because he alone knows what's good for this city, the environment and business in general.

Shhh. Don't tell him about the Internet -- why, that thing's just full of banners and pop-unders!

Details magazine: the perfect place to dispel all those gay rumors

Sometimes you run across a news account that's repugnant on every possible level. Animal cruelty stories, to give but one example. Another: recaps of Hennessey promotional events. Simply put, it hurts me deeply every time affluent people score free drinks. So wrong! 500 models? So expected! And then there is the participation of Lance Armstrong.

I never thought I'd say this but the more Armstrong lives a fun-filled, cocktail-drinking, Matthew McConaughey-befriending, Sheryl Crow-abandoning, Details cover-worthy life -- a life he has certainly earned -- the more his appeal seems to fade. He was simply more likeable when he was on a bike. And it may already be evident in his fund-raising efforts: "his self-proclaimed war on cancer remains a struggle. Since he threw himself behind the cause, no significant financial progress has been made. Fund-raising dinners, fancy rubber bands, and rousing speeches net millions, but what Armstrong needs in order to make a difference is counted in the billions. He’s used to getting what he wants. But now that he’s a mortal again, he has to reacquaint himself with words like no and wait."

Of course, it's peculiar to label an ability to "net millions" as "a struggle." But I think we like our heroes best when they're in the midst of a great battle, as opposed to having won it and enjoying the spoils. Or maybe it's just that McConaughey has a knack for damaging everything he touches.

Catharsis denied

Let us speak no more of Jeffrey and the deliciously life-affirming disqualification that never was. Instead, let's put on some red lipstick, polish up our sternums and hope -- dearly hope -- for a Laura Bennett line.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Order restored to Texas stereotypes

Maybe we're not so afraid of those naked lady statues. (I mean, have you seen the Adolphus?) Maybe we just have a bad -- albeit media-savvy -- teacher.

Order restored to the universe

I was just happy to find Halloween Hip Barbie -- only $9.99 down at the Piggly Wiggly! -- but this news is even better: "Latest rankings in the doll wars also show Barbie regaining her No. 1 spot as the holiday season unfolds, pulling ahead of the rival Bratz dolls." I think we all know the reason why.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Also, Uli revealed that our nation's greatest secret weapon is Miami Vice

Tuesday, October 10: Nobel Prize-winning economist Edmund S. Phelps writes in the WSJ that "capitalism is justified...by the injustice of depriving entrepreneurial types (as well as other creative people) of opportunities for their self-expression."

Wednesday, October 11: Uli reflects on her East German childhood, prepares for her Bryant Park show and declares the American Dream to be "wreal."


ADDED MUCH LATER: After viewing the Project Runway finale countless times, I realize that Uli never in fact says "wreal." Rather, she says that in America, dreams can come "twue." I should have corrected this earlier but could not bring myself to do so. There's simply no way you can hear a German woman say "twue" and not think of Madeline Kahn. Am I right?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Here's a thing I really like about Battlestar Galactica: part 3

"It's ALL hands-on here, Captain."

(The new season is only three days away.)

Root canal Wednesday: a jaw-dropping development

The tooth couldn't be fixed so: extraction! That's a first for me. Hydrocodone intake has been stepped up and publicists are standing by.

Welcome to root canal Wednesday. Refreshments and hydrocodone are being served in the foyer.

Isn't it about time we re-name the root canal procedure? Just off the top of my head, something like "neural nullification" or "bridge aversion therapy" would be far preferable to anything with the word "canal" in it. Agreed? Yeah? Then meet me at that place off Quorum Drive and let's focus-group some alternatives. We'll order dinner. It'll be great.

Meanwhile, until the nitrous oxide takes full effect:

-Look! Barbie!

-I can't say which is the bigger crime here -- owning a Bedazzler or rooting for Mario Lopez.

-Just as I began to wonder about Amy's knitting blog -- Where'd she go? Is she OK? Did she finish those socks? -- it's all answered with one masterfully composed photo.

-The Texas Star is my favorite sight at the State Fair. Its full beauty is evidently so pure and magical that no camera has yet captured it. Other State Fair favorites: Elsie the Cow, pie-baking contest day, Hall of State and the German food tent (best for shade, seating and beer selection). Yay!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Maybe Patricia Dunn was just concerned about their recycling habits

I know. Congressional sex scandals are fun (FUN!) and can make us feel so comparatively sane. Still I can't figure out why the Hewlett-Packard story only inspires what Dealbreaker calls "scandal fatigue." Look at this: "Surveillance, [included] a 'sting' operation and digging through trash....to spy on directors, two employees and nine reporters."

Of course nobody cares about directors and maybe that's why no one cares about this. But employees? Doesn't that alarm you just a little? It's one thing to accept that your employer monitors your at-work email and Internet activity. But how alarmed would you be to discover that your company searches your home garbage? Or does background checks on your relatives? Or tracks your friends' calls? HP did all that. To uncover an activity that is not illegal. So yes, I want an ugly, embarrassing Mark Hurd resignation. Now. It might be the only outcome scary enough to discourage any other executive from spying on employees. And because honestly, I'm tired of always having to explain all these empties.

Here's a thing I really like about Battlestar Galactica: part 2

Not since Das Boot has a story given me such a suffocating sense of claustrophobia. No wonder everybody wanted to settle on New Caprica. Mud and huts do seem attractive compared to cramped ships and the darkness of space.

(The new season is only four days away.)

Monday, October 02, 2006

Here's a thing I really like about Battlestar Galactica: part 1

All officers, male and female, are addressed as "sir."

(The new season is only five days away.)