Monday, December 20, 2010

Hipness for Hipsters

On Melancholy Hill - The Gorillaz
Total Life Forever - Foals
Photojournalist - Small Black
All We Want Baby Is Everything - Handsome Furs
I Can Change - LCD Soundsystem
Solid Gold - Golden Filter
Dilly - Band of Horses
List of Demands - Saul Williams
You! Me! Dancing! - Los Campesinos!
With You In My Head - UnkLE featuring The Black Angels
Derezzed - Daft Punk
All Summer - Kid Cudi, Best Coast and Rostam
F__k You - Cee Lo Green
Lloyd, I'm Ready to Be Heartbroken - Camera Obscura
Not In Love - Crystal Castles (featuring Robert Smith)
Stay Close - Delorean
The Gaudy Side of Town - Gayngs
Tonight I Have to Leave It - Shout Out Louds
Where I'm Going - Cut Copy
Windstorm - School of Seven Bells
Boy - Ra Ra Riot
Heartbreaker - Girls
Taos - Menomena
Answer to Yourself - The Soft Pack
Cameras - Matt & Kim

Music Monday

Head bopping apocolypse

Monday, December 13, 2010

Music Monday

Cause I heart me some Soft Pack... and miss my 858.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What I Learned Today (month of November 2010)

• October through December is white truffle season
• A Challenger in the sky is worth two on the ground
• Don’t let Robyn suggest a healthy lunch
• Taylor was a thespian
• Middle buttons are optional
• Always, sometimes, never
• I know what principalities now
• Kevin looks refreshing in a dress
• Rockfish is pretty good
• Hedgehog… not porcupine
• Adame gets grumpy with no smokes
• Solutions are good!!!
• The sign for ‘examine your zipper’
• Flexjet has good board games in the lounge
• This coffee mug is not microwaveable
• Kelvin’s family played backgammon wrong
• Don’t make a plan at 7:30am
• Bob rides motorcycles
• Most popular American sammich is ham
• Lux is latin for ‘light’
• Certain movies should be watched in the ghetto
• Douchey managers can be okay after multiple drinks of wine
• It’s called a ‘memory stick’
• What a ‘gannt chart’ is
• There are some movies you should never watch
• Snobster
• Qadhafi won’t fly more than 8 hours, or over water

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

It's Turkey Lurkey Time

Let the madness of the Office Holiday Party commence!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Beyond Awesome

Met Executive Chef Carlos Llaguno on Monday, he signed a copy of the Les Halles Cookbook for me that friends had purchased (by Anthony Bourdain, had already read it and made recipes {fav is the bœuf bourguignon} and recognized Carlos immeadiatly from being Tony's right-hand Sous Chef during the day.)

Also, of note this week... Ralph Fiennes opened my cab door. Yes, Voldemort is a softie.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Steampunks and Salads

Very excited for Halloween this weekend, especially as I've seen the Steampunk weapons at Joe & Susan's (crafted from NERF guns, patiently hand painted to detail.) And while I hope to stick within my caloric budget, I learned today that Rico's salad at Mi Cocina is a whopping 1,500 calories.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Top 5 XMU Songs of the Week

Lloyd, I'm Ready to be Heartbroken - Camera Obscura
I Can Change - LCD Sound system
On Melancholy Hill - Gorillaz
Stay Close - Delorean
Solid Gold - Golden Filter

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Across the Pond

If I were in London, and should I have an iPhone, I'd be running around the streets playing Kingmaker. How smart and interactive of an idea! Getting points that you can spend in-game, getting exercize too, and fighting for your team. I'm trying to figure out a way to work this into a revival of the Show Me Games, interactive bicycling.

Once Fable III releases, I know that I'll be back into gaming mode for a few days. Can't wait.

Monday, September 27, 2010

24 hours in Ft Worth

I arrived into Ft Worth at noon on Saturday and proceeded directly to the Stockyards; it was raining cats and dogs (or should I say cowboys and steer?) Headed straight to Cattleman’s Steakhouse since it’s internationally famous and I just had to start the adventure off with steak! I ordered the Cattlemen's Luncheon Club Steak: a 6 oz. charcoal broiled top sirloin, served with horseradish mashed potatoes, mixed green salad, and hot rolls. Steak was good, sides were lackluster. All in all, I give it a couple of stars. Wasn’t too impressed.

Drove on over to the Ashton Hotel and checked in. Absolutely stunning boutique hotel on 6th & Main, registered historic and truly superb in every way. I’ve heard that of their 36 or so rooms, each one is decorated differently. Mine was very Ralph Lauren and sleek. Got my self settled, looked at all the brochures and magazines, tested out the bed (a little hard for my taste but great linens) and checked out the view … none. I got one of the internal windows that faced the other side of the building… booo, next time I’ll know to request a street view.

Decidedly, it was time to wander around and left to explore Sundance Square.

Popped into Tobacco Lane on the Square and met Brad Kimura, “The Wine Guy”, who generously offered various tastings. Started with a sparking wine from New Mexico, Gruet Brut; very bubbly and crisp… I loved it so much that I bought a bottle. Also tried a 2005 Latour, 2007 Merlot from Matanzas Creek Winery and 2007 CabSav from Ferrari-Carano. Brad had a few Armand de Brignac Brut Gold bottles on hand (if I had the $$$ I would have purchased one. C'est la vie.)

Next, I wandered up the street to Milan Gallery where I happened upon a Saturday night benefit. I didn’t get all the details, but understood it was an auction to raise money for a sick child. After the wine earlier, I had a nice buzz and didn’t partake of theirs (although the cheese looked tempting.)

I enjoyed the Thomas Arvid wine compositions and could easily see those in my own home. The Gregory Beck sculptures were stunning; I can’t describe the delicateness and yet powerful strength in his work… it was like still-life ballet. The Vladimir Gorsky pop-art was interesting, though not my style.

After leaving the gallery, I turned up the street towards Piranha Killer Sushi. Got myself the corner portion of the sushi bar and a great waitress named Lauren, ordered the sushi/sashimi dinner and indicated that I loved salmon roe… was not disappointed! In fact, it may have been the best Japanese dinner I’ve had in years. Rounded it all off with some type of ice cream dessert and a Choco-tini. The only downside to the meal was that a birthday party was loud and obnoxious, really ruined the mood. But I would definitely return!

On my way back to the hotel, I stopped to listen to a decent saxophonist (am biased in this area, but he was good.) Then stopped off in the hotel bar where Cary served a very strong vodka tonic (thanks again Cary, hope you make it to Amsterdam soon) and finally off to bed.

Next morning I spent time in the Cultural district although I didn’t have time to go into each and every museum… looks like I’ll be headed back with Chris to explore those soon!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Quick thought on a weekend post

I was intrigued to learn that cosmetics powerhouse L'Oreal increased the spend in the first half of 2010 in promotions and advertising, specifically around the premium and luxury category. While I am watching the fluctuation in the marketplace along with everyone else, this appears to be a good indication that consumer goods are moving.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

And back to our scheduled programming...

Have I mentioned my love of Aldi? FANTASTIC food market with exceptional prices, great seasonal produce and snackies galore. German chocolate bars for $1.29? You betcha. Extra virgin olive oil at $4.99? Yup Yup. Not to mention the cheapy decent wines that rival Two-buck-Chuck.

I talked to an Aldi insider a few days ago who gave me the background on this German company. Did you know they are also involved with Trader Joe's? Who knew!

That's where I'm spending my dollars, at Aldi down on Old Denton Road. That is, until a TJ's comes into town.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Super Gus the Hippie Bus Jams

Here's what I'm listening to at the mo, cruising around town in my CUBE.

If We Ever Meet Again – Timbaland
Boy – Ra Ra Riot
Tonight I Have To Leave It – Shout Out Louds
Misery – Maroon 5
Our Deal – Best Coast
All Summer – Best Coast

Where I’m Going – Cut Copy
Only Exception – Paramore
Windstorm - School of Seven Bells
Dilly - Band of Horses
TAOS - Menomena

Sunday, August 1, 2010

My Birthday Cake

Those that get the joke have a special place in my heart. Right there, a little loving bit of teh awesomeness.

The cake was delicious and moist.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Red Mahogany Gel Stain, $10. Explaining that you aren't a sociopath, PRICELESS!

The Great Master Bathroom Remodel of 2010 has begun! What have I learned so far?

1) Keep a notepad & pencil with you at all times. This is for your master list of things to purchase, measurements, ideas and ANYTHING else that you will need to reference at Home Depot.

2) Speaking of Home Depot, this is great for lumber and supplies. Not so varied on the fixtures, accessories and pretty-pretty stuff. Shop around. Go to Lowes for the lighting and cabinet handles.

3) BEFORE you leave the store, call home. Make sure that you have everything that needs to be bought; check in that something new hasn’t happened or ask if soda/lunch is needed. Because when you get a call 2 minutes from home and your hubby needs Red Mahogany Gel Stain, it’s not that much fun to flip a U and go back to the store again.

4) And when you get back to that store you’ve already visited 5 times in one day, this is KEY! Make friends with the cashier and floor people. You’re going to be seeing a lot of them, and it helps when a relationship is built (pun intended.) Fifty customers will all be vying for Ryon the Paint Guy’s attention… then you walk over, give a wave, and he drops it all to help you find that dang Red Mahogany Gel Stain. You’ve just saved 20 minutes.

5) Think ahead. If you’re going to be working with Red Mahogany Gel Stain, it would make a heck of a lot of sense to purchase that paint thinner and acetone in the same trip, right? Otherwise, you’ll be driving BACK to Home Depot in a few hours, covered in what looks like blood, and Ryon will be laughing his ass off while he hands you a can.

6) Which brings me to appearances: Walking into Home Depot covered in red bloody paint stains may get a look or two. But hey, it’s Home Depot! Everyone is working on projects and this is your badge of honor as a Weekend Warrior. But you may want to rethink how it’s going to look when you walk into CVS and ask the Manager, “If I was a box cutter, where would I be?” He's going to take one look, believe you have murdered someone, and need to cut up the body parts. Pretty difficult to explain to him why you are covered in Red Mahogany Gel Stain and need a utility knife to cut up carpet at 9pm on a Saturday. I’m just saying…

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I will never forget the look on that chicken's face

So many peeps have asked about 'Digest This', the original masterpiece from Adam Holmes, where I lent a hand in the creation process. Adam will be working in Pixar in the near future, I have no doubt of that. But to catch a glimpse of his beginning, where Mrs. Rosenburg was a nervous Matzo Mummy and my vocal skills were all a-twitter... wait no longer.

Simply click the link and be magically transported away to the animated solution to end world hunger.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Peaches, Ikea and Cubes... OH MY!

Learned quite a bit this week. And let's face it, if you aren't learning something new, then you aren't living, you're just surviving. And what fun is that?

According to NPR, the Peach business is going to boom this year. Due to rain and good seasonal weather, the word of the day is PEACH. Now how to make that payoff in your daily business, since I don't think Peach Farmers are on the NASDAQ... with the exception of baking up some nom nom noms Peach Cobbler, perhaps the overarching point is that The South is going to be profitable. And we're all going to be enjoying the fruits of their labor (pun intended).

Moving right along, I had a head-smack moment on my commute home. Driving by the Ikea on the 121, I noticed that the building was in blue and yellow. Sweden's flag's colors. Was this a DUH moment or what? Did you know it was founded by a 17 year old Swede? I knew it was Scandinavian, but didn't connect the dots. It was almost like the day I realized that Kay Jewelers tagline "Every kiss begins with Kay" was a double entendre for the letter K in kiss and the brand Kay. Why it didn't hit me until recently? I am embarrassed.

Speaking of driving, I have finally found my new car replacement for Gus the Wonder Bug. After test-driving a few this weekend, I've happily decided to purchase a Nissan Cube. No, I don't think it's homely or boxy. I dig it. It's a fun ride and has an intelligence chip. Being able to cruise around DFW, getting 30+ mpg, blue tooth and iPod downloads into the stereo's memory are freaking awesome. Not to mention, it's just fun to drive. (Insert Hitchhiker's Guide quote here.)

Alright peeps... make it a great day!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

If we tweeted to Keanu to become a WWOOFer, maybe he wouldn't be so sad.

Couple of wacky/intriguing things I found floating on teh internets today.

New meme stemming from a Paparazzi shot of Keanu Reeves sitting on a bench alone, eating a sammich. He looks just a wee bit depressed. Not the - I’m going to pull a Heath Ledger - (too soon?) but more along the lines of the Sad Clown from the Circus. (Speaking of which, I haven’t mentioned clowns or zombies in a while… are we due for a G rant on Clombies?) Digression aside, Happy ‘Cheer Up Keanu Day’ everyone.

Next we come across a fun Twitter/webcam stunt involving a recruiter out of Chicago Ad Biz. Apparently, if you tell David what to do for the week, he’s going to do it (within legal limits and reason of course.) 24 hours a day, 7 days… whatever you tweet him, he’s going to do it. And in return, his boss is going to send him to Cannes. Not too shabby an idea if you ask me!

Finally… the WWOOFers. What is a WWOOFer, one might ask? Welp, basically it is traded labor for room & board on an organic farm. No money changes hands. You learn about working on an organic and sustainable farm for a few months, work minimum hours on the farm each day, and your hosts feed and shelter you. Want a getaway to New Zealand? Here’s a way to do it.

Later Gators.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Talkin bout Meh Generation!

Technically, I fall at the tail end of Gen X, which is considered the 13th Generation in the United States (1961 - 1981; directly following the Baby Boomers, this is the 13th Generation from Ben Franklin.) So many movies and books refer to this grouping (Douglas Coupland, Reality Bites, etc.) I just don't relate as well as, say, my brother or older cousins. This was the time of Grunge (yes, I bought Teen Spirit just like everyone else) and MTV. I was still watching Animaniacs and having sleepovers. Am I Gen X? I don't think so.

Here's a brief history of some of the named Generations.

Lost Generation
- Those that fought in WWI. Kinda sad name actually. "Hi, I'm in the Lost Generation... and I don't mean the TV show.")

Interbellum Generation
- Those born at the end of the 19th Century into 1915 (This would be my Grandpa Ignatz "Happy" Heppler. German immigrant and farmer.)

Greatest Generation
- Those that fought in WWII, born 1916 - mid 1920s. Tom Brokaw named them in a book and it stuck. A little pompous in my opinion to say you are the GREATEST Generation, but they lived through the Depression and fought a serious war, so I'll shut up about that.

Silent Generation - Born between 1925 - 1945. These are generally the ones to young to fight, the Depression had a profound impact on them, life was hard. My Mother and Father were of this group. Although, my mother does not remember much of the War, her older brother was an enlisted Navy (lied about his age) and in Europe.

The Baby Boom- Yeah, I think we all know about these guys. 1945 - 1965. Thanks for the sweet music, art, political movements and more. Please take your vitamins and watch your cholesterol.

Gen X - Already discussed. Holla Yuppies!

Gen Y (Millenials, Generation Next) - The fact that they can't agree on a name, or dates, pretty much sums it up. Some say it's late 1970's to early 2000... other say 1981 to early 21st Century. The advent of the Hipster. Are you wearing your Hush Puppies with a sardonic t-shirt?

Generation Z (Digital Natives, Gen Tech) - These are the Noobs. They don't remember the days of Crapple 2e computers, no internet, cell phones bigger than phone books (Hello Zach Morris!) These are the kids who are smarter, faster, more connected and with less privacy.

So where does that leave those of us kids born in 1976 - 1981? We're a little bit of the misfit toys. We can easily jump between groups. Hanging with Gen X and relating to watching 90210 and Friends... and then hopping down to Gen Y & Z with our iPhones, iPads, iPods and rocking out on the XBOX for ultimate Rock Band supremacy. I hate to say it, but John Mayer might be the poster child for this small segment. We should get a special generational name for this transitional period.

I'm still trying to think of a good name though... Generation Meh?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Unsung Heroes

Funny how a simple prop in a film can be the catalyst for a plot direction.

The Red Stapler - Office Space
What would this movie be without Milton Waddums, the squirrely looking guy who mumbles a lot, and his beloved Red Swingline Stapler. He clearly told someone on the phone that if they took his stapler he would set the building on fire. And there you go...

The Pirate Ship Revenge - Princess Bride

I'm going to go out on a limb here, but I think that even though we never really see the ship, without it, this movie could not happen. It saves Wesley from certain death, brings him fortune and the chance to come back to save Buttercup, provides the escape they need, and a final home for Inigo after completing his life mission.

The Phone - Run Lola Run
Simple red phone (I'm sensing a theme with colors here) that sets each distinct Zwanzig Minuten in play. Could they have done it differently? Sure thing. In fact, I'm sure Lola and Manni wouldn't have had nearly as many issues if the iPad was available then.

Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster - Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Not only is it the best drink in the known Universe, but provides Zaphod & Ford the breakthrough needed to get the journey started. While I'm not recommending the effect of having one's brains smashed out by a slice of lemon... wrapped around a large gold brick; I do advocate that in social situations where parties have not seen each other in a long while, and some frustration has lingered over a period of time, a good stiff drink can truly bring people back together. Stephen Hawking would dig it.

While there are many, many more that could be discussed, I rather like the idea of challenging myself over the next week to find the unsung hero in four other movies. Seemingly small items, or props, can change the course of a story. And effecting change in a positive direction is always a good thing.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Warning to the squeamish!

Now, I am the first to admit that I am NOT a horror fan. The most comfortable I can get is a 'Shaun of the Dead' and that is more for Simon Pegg than anything else. However, I do respect and am fascinated with the craft of making something unique.

That being said, do not click on the links below if you are not comfortable with scares, horror, knife-wielding maniacs... et cetera. I myself may watch cartoons before bedtime tonight. Don't say I did not warn you. Regardless, this is a redirect from Art Producer Extraordinaire, Adrienne Tucker, who has always brought me new creative concepts to chronicle... in this case, Photographers who layer without using Photoshop.

Just discovered this “horror” photographer, Joshua Hoffine. I recommend looking at his website, but his blog is especially great. He shows behind-the-scenes/making of pictures of each set that he builds. He tries to capture as much as possible in camera, rather than use Photoshop.




Thursday, April 29, 2010

Glynis... FTW!!!!

Fascinating and intriguing morning I've had. My head is full of questions, thoughts, concerns, desires, dreams and potential opportunities. What challenge am I going to place in front of myself? Do I have "the stuff"?

With my fancy-pants new haircut (it was a Locks of Love donation time) and positive outlook, I'm having a great day. Coupled with some inspirational quotes from the strangest of places, I wonder if this is the new direction my career may be heading? Who knows!

"Sometimes you are the dog, sometimes the fire hydrant." - as seen outside Veterinarian on Josey Lane.

"If you're not going forward, you are going backwards." - Nor'Kirk Church sign

"Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable or happy. The amount of work is the same." Francesca Reigler on Little Pink Book email.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

White copy on a black shirt

One of my favorite web comics is 'Questionable Content' (thanks to Rhett for recommending it a few years ago.) Each day, I take a few moments to immerse myself into the world of Martin, Dora, Hannerlore and more... my recent favorite addition is Marigold, who WoW geeky and introverted as she is, also is learning to take chances and try new opportunities.

To add to your feed, go here:

Friday, April 23, 2010

Something New

If you haven't checked out put it in your daily feeds to check. Cool News of the Day is full of innovation, ideas and general insights that come in short thought-starter snippets. If you like to learn something new everyday, this is the place to do it.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Meet Dan for "Lunch"

Lane Bryant is challenging the networks with a new ad promoting their Cacique Lingerie line. Stating that the spot had been denied access on the air, with final approval in the 9:00pm hour of American Idol, the question is what is really controversial (if anything) about the ad.

A beautiful woman tries on various intimate apparel. She then looks to her phone for a reminder to "Meet Dan for Lunch". Slipping on a jacket directly over the chosen set and walking confidently to the door, she leaves for her date. The implied assumption is that she will be meeting Dan for an intimate rendezvous.

Is Lane Bryant drumming up the "controversy" for PR? Were the media networks nervous about the implication of sexual activities? Is is because the women is full figured and not a waif-thin "typical" lingerie model? Can you make any argument when Victoria's Secret spots air at the same time?

For full spot:

For AdWeek article:

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Dr. Evildriver or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Boston Roads

Learned quite a few things about driving around Boston, Massachusetts this past weekend.

One: Don't travel to Boston on the weekend of the Boston Marathon. Furthermore, do not expect to be able to negotiate the city with roadblocks and numerous pedestrians. Pedestrians will not adhere to crosswalks or signals. Much like a squirrel running in front of you, be prepared to stop.

Two: The maps Enterprise Car Rental will give you are wrong. Bring (or in my case buy) a GPS system. And preferably, get it before the last day of your visit. Boston is notorious for either NOT displaying a road sign, camouflaging it, or making it generally impossible to figure out where you are. One way streets will change. Names of streets will change. You will end up in Southie before you know it.

Three: As soon as it turns green, you need to move. Otherwise, you WILL be honked at repeatedly. To offset the frustration, honk back with "shave and a haircut".

Four: A word about round-a-bouts... they are evil. The potential for fun is there, but until you get used to them, you may end up reenacting a Griswald European Vacation scene. Why this country has round-a-bouts, I have no idea. Boston is NOT a grid city and the City Planners should be reprimanded.

Five: Try to relax. Easier said than done, but high blood pressure and panic attacks aren't going to help when Tremont goes one way and Washington the other and there doesn't appear to be a cross street.

Friday, April 16, 2010


Have you heard about The Buckle? Perhaps you've heard of Lucky Brand jeans? Named one of the top 50 Brands of 2009, The Buckle is a retail store (physical and virtual) selling designer jeans including men and women's fashion apparel. Based out of Nebraska, this company has flourished under a weakened economy with relatively little national marketing and media presence. How do they do this?

From word-of-mouth, high associate interaction, and a true "experience" for the customer, The Buckle has differentiated themselves in the marketplace.

"It's about the person's experience in our stores," Cody said, that famous modesty kicking in again. "Not because we had a cool ad. Our department just adds a little extra to the mix. People come back because they know we'll really take care of them."

Just like Trader Joe's, this is a stock that I would want to buy.

For more, please read this Brandweek article:

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Promotions, FTW!

Yesterday, I bicycled down to Tom Thumb for a tasty sammich (had to use that coupon nearly everyday this week. $4 artisan sandwich good until 4/16.) I have had the Pastrami & Swiss Panini, The California Club, a Roast Beef with Blue Cheese and Caramelized Onions, and so on. So much better than Subway and I have now purchased 7 out of the 7 sandwiches needed to earn a FREE sandwich. (And yes, I still call them sammiches.) Coupon + Incentive Offer + Great product = WIN!

Now, on the way out of Tom Thumb there was a bright maroon NASCAR car, a tent and people setting up. I cruised on over to see what was happening and a lovely lady informed me that Beringer Wines was on site for tasting, provide recipes, and have the opportunity to take your photo with their Beringer Wine sponsored NASCAR car. While intrigued, I didn't see a clear connection between NASCAR, Tom Thumb Shoppers and Beringer Wines. Perhaps the MRI data is much higher than I would anticipate.

(Side note: a few years ago I worked on a fun Beringer Wine promotion from a strategic alliance perspective. But this was an online promotional game driven via hang tags on bottles in-store... and the prizes were diamonds or $$ off online diamond purchases. Not quite the same as wine tastings with recipes at a Tom Thumb on a Tuesday midday... oh, with a NASCAR play.)

A great promotional connection came to my email this morning however. Dove Hair Care & Glee. Simply go to the sponsored site and play a casino style slot machine, match up three products and win. Grand Prize is a VIP makeover, a la Glee fantasticness. The lead actress, Leah ?, has such gorgeous hair, I could see the tie-in. That, and everyone wants to jump on the Glee bandwagon. But, to make it a BETTER promotion, they will deliver a free sample of their latest Dove Hair Care product, Fiber Actives, to your door (while supplies last.) Chance to win + Free product = WIN.

I'll let you know when/if the free sample arrives, about the product and whether I would purchase it again. My assumption is that Unilever is smart enough to provide a generous coupon with the sample for any Dove product. In the mean time, I'll be biking down to Tom Thumb to get my free sandwich.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Scooby Dooby

I adore Craig Ferguson. I would like to set up camp in his audience as a hobo and he can feed me chicken. I'd even be willing to polish Geoff the Skeleton Robot Sidekick's feet. That how much I heart Craig.

Ok, so this video is random, but that's kinda why I love him even more. Listen to this song, Brazilian lounge music, who could hate that?

"Foodies are people who love food and love talking about food. They're like Trekkies but even fatter." - Craig Ferguson

Monday, April 12, 2010

Just a perfect day

I returned home from a lovely bike ride along the Carrollton Greenbelt this morning. The city has recently expanded a portion near our house, with new paved paths to link all the way from Hebron to Beltline. Granted, we only made it as far to the Disc Golf fields and my thighs are burning, but it was so pleasant and warm outside.

Stopped at a park bench and chatted with an older gentlemen, Chris had an extra Gatorade and he was happy to share. Lots of people walking their dogs, going for a stroll and enjoying the ponds. With the exception of the gnats flying into my face, it was a perfect morning. And yes, we spent a considerable amount of time at the children's playground on the swing set.

I really need to invest in a digital camera to share these photos, but holler if you'd like me to mobile them to you.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Networking & Nepotism

From an article on
But it's not just business owners who are reaping the rewards of network strategy. Women in corporate America, too, know that when it comes to making big career jumps, their Rolodex is much more valuable than the help wanted section. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that only 5 percent of people obtain jobs through the "open" job market, while 48 percent win their positions through referrals.

More than half of open positions are filled from referrals... I cannot say I am surprised, since all but my very fist job out of college were via a referral or foot in the door.

My rolodex is not massive, but healthy, and I keep in touch with many people from various work/school activites. In fact, I'll be lunching with previous co-workers this afternoon at Twisted Root. Between LinkedIn, this blog, Twitter and Facebook I have established an online presence. So now the question remains, where is the next opportunity and who do I know that may connect me?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

They have four legs, don't they?

A beautiful Thursday afternoon, sun is shining, birds are chirping and there is a light breeze... granted this will all go away soon when the 100 degree summer + humidity rolls right on in, but for the meantime, I'm outside as much as I can.

As I type this, my cruiser is patiently waiting for me to hop on and go for a meandering ride through the Greenbelt. The only problem is Chris, the MacGuyver of the day, who is determined that the pugs are going with us on a ride.

The boopins, fat chubby little doggies who when walking more than 250 feet and sit on their butt in protest... how are they to go on this ride? A child bike stroller. I. Kid. You. Not. You've seen them, the mothers out on their bikes trailing the toddlers behind in a canvas-style cart? Yup, that's what Chris is currently creating in the garage. A pug bike cart.

More to come on this ingenuity and innovation... and the result of dogs on a bike ride later.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

"Please rise for the Jury"

Have you ever been selected to be on a Jury? I traveled to Denton County Courthouse on Monday morning, turned in my forms, and sat with a book for a few hours assuming that my name would not be called. Sure enough, I was one of twenty people to be chosen from on a misdemeanor case to be tried the next day. (Deep sigh of relief that I wasn't chosen for the felony murder case.) I have to admit, I was a little excited at the prospect of seeing our legal system in action.

This particular case would only need six of the original twenty for actual deliberation and Jury Panel for a DUI. What would be my chances from this lot to be selected? I was a Constitutional Law major, this usually disqualifies me right off the bat in San Diego.

The twenty of us went up to the fourth floor and sat in the audience benches while the State of Texas Prosecution and the Defendant's Legal counsel asked us a series of questions. I should note now that the Defendant was present during this period and he was wearing an Army uniform. He did not speak, or really look at us, but he was there. A young man of about 26 years old, the bars on his chest indicated he had served in Operation Iraqi Freedom (as it was then called) and while I did not recognize all the bars, he most likely had four years of military service. Whether the rest of the potential jury members knew this, I just don't know.

Back to the series of questions... The Prosecution wanted to know if we would be able to determine a verdict of guilty if a breathalyzer test was not available, as long as the State proved beyond a reasonable doubt of the Defendant's intoxication. The also wanted to know if we had served on a Jury before and the case/outcome. Finally, they asked if we had any stigma against Police Officers. (I am paraphrasing a bit here, but that was the gist of the three questions.)

The Defense asked surprising questions, to say the least. Were we aware of the Tea Party and what were our feelings on this political movement? Are you a Republican or Democrat? How strongly are you tied to your political party? I was confused how this was applicable to a DUI case, especially as we were not asked if we had military service or knew of someone in service. However, the legal representatives apparently knew as we have to indicate military involvement on our initial forms, as well as our profession.

After these had been answered, we left the courtroom while the six jurors were to be determined. I was lucky number thirteen which meant my chances were decent to be selected. (Starting with Juror number one, either the Prosecution or Defense can dismiss a candidate. This can be done up to three times on each side.)

We were called back into the courtroom and names were read for jury involvement. I was the last name called.

Dismissed for the day, and informed not to read the news or do any research, I went home to await the next morning when the trial would begin. I was still excited about the opportunity to be a part of the process and awaiting the evidence to unfold. Yes, I had a good glass of wine as well.

I arrived at the courthouse, to our little jury deliberation room, wearing my Juror badge as identification and cup of coffee in hand. The other five Jurors arrived... a young music teacher, a mid-thirties pharmacetutical rep, a stay-at-home mother, flight attendant, and IT systems manager. We were an interesting group and had good personalities and attitudes.

"Please rise for the Jury" the Bailiff called out as we filed into the courtroom. Once again, the Defendant was wearing his Army uniform. Counsel waived opening arguments and the Prosecution launched right into the evidence. Two Policemen, one after the other, took the stand and walked through the facts of the case. The Defendant had been pulled over on an expired registration, apparently weaving in the road. At this point, the Officer went through standard and non-standard field sobriety testing. After a length of time, the Officer placed the individual under arrest for driving under the influence and took him to jail. At that point, a breathalyzer (or Intoxicator 5000 machine, something along those lines) was performed. (More to come on those results.)

We were shown the video documentary of the field sobriety testing and subsequent breathalyzer test. The actual video footage of the initial stop was not available, due to an administrative error on digital records archiving, it could not be proven that the Defendant was weaving in the road, or making lane changes. Breaking for lunch, and reminded not to discuss the trial, I had a turkey and swiss sandwich from Arby's with a lemonade. It was pretty delicious, love that horsey sauce!

Back to the courtroom... the Prosecution witness was a technical expert on Breathalyzer testing and maintenance. A lot of technical mumbo jumbo that confused and disoriented me. It was then reveled that the Defendant's breath was found to be 0.15. At this point, the State rested.

The Defense began with a character witness, a Major in the Military who supervised the Defendant, speaking to his trustworthiness. Then the Defendant took the stand. Clearly upset and nervous, but respectful, he admitted to drinking alcohol on the night in question, but did not feel that he was intoxicated. Prosecution argued with him at some length about the amount he drank, which was never clear, and then rested. Final arguements from the Prosecution were fiercly delivered, persuading the Jury that the Defendant was intoxicated and should be found guilty of DUI. The State of Texas notes that anything over a 0.08 alcohol absorption is defined as intoxicated.

The Lawyer for the Defendant then challenged us on the validity of his client's intoxication and urged us to review the footage again. Prosecution was able to rebut, with the same argument that 0.15 is legally intoxicated, despite any loss to metal or physical abilities. It was an "or" situation... if the Defendant had lost mental or phyisical faculties OR an alcohol absorbency over 0.08, then he was guilty of driving under the influence.

We then retired to the deliberation room, I honestly thought that it would be a quick discussion... I was wrong. We reviewed the video footage again. The Defendant was able to say the alphabet clearly from B to S. He was able to count backwards from 52 to 26 clearly and quickly. He was able to walk heel to toe, with a few adjustments, pivot and take the nine steps back. He was able to raise his leg off the ground and hold it, albeit hopping towards the end. We were not able to see the eye stigma test as the footage was too far away.

I can honestly say that my first vote for guilt or innocence was different than the end result. Elected to be the Presiding Juror (actually a coin toss between myself and the stay-at-home mom) we communicated back and forth with the Judge that we were having difficulty coming to a unanimous decision. He urged us to continue. At 7pm, I demanded the Judge bring us food. (Well, not that the Judge had to bring it, but two of us were getting cranky with low blood sugar levels.) Grilled chicken salad, it was decent. Did I mention that our cell phones had been taken away for the day and we couldn't communicate with anyone?

By 8pm, we were now at 5 to 1. Did the State of Texas prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the Defendant was intoxicated while driving a motor vehicle? Tears were shed. Frustrations were had. Fortunately, no uncomfortable arguments or violence, but it was a heated discussion. The six of us in that room had the power to effect one man's life forever. Granted, it was a misdemeanor DUI case, but we took it as seriously as a felony murder conviction. We reviewed all the evidence, we put aside or personal feelings as best as possible, and did not allow the potential punishment or ramifications sway our judgment. It was one of the most difficult decisions to make, but we finally came to a unanimous resolution around 8:30pm.

Composing ourselves and walking back into the courtroom, we took our places. I stood up, opened the document and read clearly for the Legal Counsel, Judge and Defendant to hear.
"We the jury, find the Defendant..."

Monday, April 5, 2010

Be Okay

You don't know for certain what will happen tomorrow, or even later today. So stop fighting against it, and don't waste your life with worry about what might or might not be.

Be okay with what will come, and you'll be able to handle it. You'll even discover some pleasant surprises.

Make your very best plans to be as effective and as productive as you can be. And be okay with the fact that everything won't go according to those plans.

Life is a process of constant change, and in that change is powerful energy. In that change there are always new possibilities being born.

Be eager to explore the new treasures that each moment brings. Look for the value and goodness in every new circumstance, and you'll surely find them.

Be okay with not knowing exactly what will come. For whatever it is, you will know what to do to make your life and your world the best it can be.
-- Ralph Marston

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Universal Effervescence

There is a photograph on my library wall of my mother sitting cross legged on the ground next to various statues of Thai Buddhas. I think I took this photograph in Bangkok around 1999.

She is calm. She is smiling and beautiful. She exudes a feeling that makes you want to inhale and exhale a deep breath.

With one glance at this photo, I am instantaneously transported into my happy Zen place. What is the object, photo, song that can do that for you?

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Meaning in Work

After a challenging day, I sat down in the kitchen with a glass of wine to try and settle my mind. So many various things kept popping into my mind that needed to be addressed. Work. House. Bills. Health. Friends. Exercise. Organizing. Family. Marriage. Hobbies. Und so weiter und so fort.

Whether from sibling psychicness or random happenstance, my brother called at that moment to check in and talk. Without going into detail, he made a recommendation that I listen to the Mosaic podcast led by Erwin McManus.

Video and podcast can be found here:
Reality Check: Making It Work For You
There is a brief introductory spot, then operatic short production, then his presentation.

For anyone who has a job, is looking for a job, a small business owner, a freelancer, people who love their job, who hate their job, anyone trying to find meaning in their work... this is the discussion for you. What is the meaningfulness of work and how meaningful is that in your life?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Hop On Board

It was a beautiful Spring afternoon in Dallas. Glorious 74 degree weather with fluffy white clouds, deep blue sky, and perfect amount of wind... one might think they were back in San Diego. I was enjoying the drive to an appointment, window rolled down, listening to my local NPR station (KERA) when a story came on about Haiti and Bus Drivers. Yes, Bus Drivers.

Apparently, these Haitian Bus Drivers need to spend thousands of dollars to keep the exterior of their transportation fresh and lively. Murals of the city, paintings of religious figures, depictions of celebrities or just random chaotic color to attract the eye, these buses are not only a focal feature of the town, but also an absolute-must for the citizens. But how can this impoverished nation and its citizens afford to spend such money on decorating the exterior of a Bus?

The attractiveness of the Bus was a subtle cue to the pending rider, "Look! I spend money on my Bus! Therefore, I must spend money on the general upkeep of this vehicle and I can transport you safely!" The rider would then choose to pay for transportation on the brightly displayed Bus, versus taking a chance on the unpainted, undecorated Bus nearby. (There is no official inspection of Buses in Haiti. Riders beware.)

I thought about this story quite a bit over the past few days. When determining which fruit to select at Tom Thumb, is the pure attractiveness of this apple mean that it will be more ripe and tasty? Watching the 'Women Who Lunch' meet at La Madeleine, hair coiffed and nails painted, wearing the latest slingback shoe, is that how they were able to secure the bright shiny bauble on their left hand?

How important is the exterior, when the engine and brakes are really what is most important to successfully arrive at your destination?

As I am about to embark on my own journey, this story will stay with me and hopefully be my litmus test for future endeavors. And with the resurrection of this blog I hope that you will travel along with me. I'll try to work on the bright, shiny colorful exterior... but feel confident you believe I've been maintaining the engine.

You can find the related story here:

Tuesday, March 30, 2010