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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

My second vlog is my best one yet!!!!


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Rainbow of pantsuits

Gee whiz. You open your laptop to write a blog and before you know it you're knee deep in Borat clips on YouTube. Hours have passed. It's now dark outside. My leg is numb from this weird position I'm sitting in. Oh Internet, you little devil you. Come back here with my precious time.

Back to the matter at hand. I was listening to 'The Takeaway' on NPR today (yep - I'm smart) and it was all about Hillary Clinton's wardrobe.

As you'd expect, the whole segment was terrible. They interviewed a lady named Robin Givhan who is the Pulitzer-Prize-winning fashion editor for The Washington Post. She talked about how Hil first started to wear pantsuits back when she was first lady.

"You could almost hear the sigh of relief when she finally said, 'enough with these pink skirtsuits and headbands!'"

Did you almost hear the sigh? I didn't almost hear the sigh, but I'll take Robin's word for it.

Then she goes on to talk about how Hillary took things a step further during her senate run, choosing to wear only a black pantsuit as a sort of uniform.

"It gave her the same kind of freedom that a dark suit gives men, which is that it took the conversation of clothing off the table."

Well, it obviously didn't take the conversation of clothing off the table completely. You are, after all, currently discussing her clothing on national radio right now.

Robin continues:

"When she ran for president the first time and had that rainbow of pantsuits, I think to some degree she was again sort of struggling with this idea of power and femininity, and 'how much can I embrace being a woman and declare that as part of my campaign."

What the actual F.

I highly doubt Hillary Clinton was agonizing over which shade of pantsuit portrayed the right level of femininity.

My main problem with this—what made me want to scrape my ear drums out with a rusty spoon—was the way that they tried to frame the typical 'fluff piece on a female politician's clothing' into some sort of enlightening feminist thinkpiece. Come on, NPR. Just admit that you wanted to talk about Hilary's pantsuits because they're funny. Don't try to make it deeper than that.


Now that's more like it!  No, it's not a traditional costume from East Asia. It's the actual coat she wore over her actual dress to the actual 1993 Inaugural Ball.

Image by Henry Dunay via Wikimedia Commons

See ya,

P.S. I mean, I love Project Runway as much as the next guy, but there's a Pulitzer Prize for fashion writing? Really? OK, that's fine. Fashion is art. Fine! I get it. It's OK. Nevermind.

P.P.S. Did you know that Hillary Clinton watches 'Real Housewives of New York'? My source: Dorinda Medley (so take it with a grain of salt)

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Hey peers, we're bad at socializing now.

I've noticed something. Us late-20-somethings, we're bad at socializing now. We were so good at it back in college! We were ice-breaker experts. Conversation flowed like Biggie's rhymes. First-time acquaintances became instant friends. Everyone was awesome. Every night ended in multiple Facebook friend requests.

Things are tougher nowadays. The chat is sluggish. People already have enough friends. It's been a long week. They're sleepy. They have to get up early the next day. Etcetera, etcetera.

In fact, I've determined that our declining social skills boil down to five reasons:

1. We're out of practice
This is the most obvious reason. We're simply out of practice. Busier schedules and longer commutes have resulted in far fewer social gatherings than the college years. We've lost our mojo.

2. We have fewer common touch-points
There used to be so much to talk about. "Did you see those guys who made the giant slip 'n slide out in the courtyard earlier?" "Yep!" "Did you hear that those two broke up?" "Yes, can you believe it?" "Did you go out last night?" "Yeah, we were at the 80s party."

That's the way it used to be! Conversations were like an improv show. We 'yes-anded' the night away. When you live within a one-mile radius of everyone at the gathering, you have more things in common. There's more to talk about. Thus, talking to people is easier.

3. We know 'work' is a lame topic, but it's 80% of our lives now
People don't want to talk about work, and I hate asking them about it. But after a few awkward pauses I'm forced to jump in with, "So how's work going?" We're all a bit depressed it's come to that, but also relieved that the pause is over.

(I've heard the same is true of people with kids not wanting to talk about kids all the time but resorting to it eventually because it's all they have.)

4. We just don't care as much
This is a huge problem. I'm guilty of this more than any of the other reasons in this list. I JUST DON'T CARE. I can't feign interest like I used to.

5. One bad apple spoils the whole bunch
One of the reasons social gatherings feel more difficult, even for us schmucks who still try to make an effort, is that the really terrible people—'conversational handbrakes' as Andy calls them—simply limit the possibilities for everyone. It's like what Top Chef Head Judge Tom Colicchio says about seasoning: if you combine a perfectly seasoned ingredient with a bland ingredient, the net result is bland. Even the finest raconteur can't save a party full of duds.


P.S. I'm the best!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Spotlight on the searchlight

Spotlights, or 'searchlights' as Google informs me is the more common terminology, have baffled me my whole life. You'll be driving around at night and there one is—a giant beam, gyrating across the night sky.

Where is it coming from? Probably a car dealership.

Is it effective? When people see one, do they stop everything, pull off the nearest exit and weave through the city streets until they find the source? Upon arriving at the car dealership, do they shuffle like zombies to the front entrance chanting 'must buy car, must buy car' and knock on the door of the dark office until the secretary arrives in the morning?

Thomas Edison with his searchlight cart.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

As the co-founder of a marketing agency, I naturally wonder about return on investment. Do searchlights bring in enough custom to cover the rental and electricity costs? Do dealerships measure this in anyway? Do they ask customers to fill in a brief survey on how they heard about the dealership: word of mouth, Google, newspaper ad, leaflet or searchlight?

Do you need a permit to operate a searchlight? That, I think I can answer. Please refer to Section B, Paragraph B of your Seattle Sign Regulation Handbook.

B. In addition to the signs described in subsection A of this section above, commercial or noncommercial messages may be displayed for a total of four (4) fourteen (14) consecutive day periods a calendar year; these additional four (4) periods are the maximum, whether the message is the same message or a different message. These messages may be displayed on banners, streamers, strings of pennants, fabric signs, festoons of lights, flags, wind-animated objects, rigid signs, balloons, searchlights, portable signs attached to vehicles, or devices of a carnival nature, and shall be allowed as temporary signs in all zones. 

Looks like you're free to use one, as long as it's only for 14 days at a time, a maximum of four times a year.

Lots to think about.

Sweet dreams,

P.S. Low fat yogurt can burn in Hell.
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