Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I flew into New York about 24 hours ago and boy are my arms tired. That's not a joke; it's a run-on sentence. I'm actually kind of sore all over and I think it is from hauling my stuff from LaGuardia to Jersey City during rush hour. First, I'm glad I decided against using my ginormous backpack because that would have been a disaster. Even packing significantly lighter was a lot to haul around on a bus, then through the subway turnstile, down stairs, up stairs, through a revolving exit gate, another turnstile, more stairs, ANOTHER turnstile, and then down the steps to Ben's place. It also didn't help that I was dressed for Late October weather and not the actual mid-70's temperatures. What the frig, climate change?

So far it has been rather uneventful. Ben has this place that he goes to called "work", so today was spent looking up similar places called "jobs". I sent in one application, walked to a nearby store to pick up some provisions, applied to a couple more jobs, then walked around the neighborhood for a bit. Ben lives in the Paulus Hook area of Jersey City, a place that he describes as the next great hipster homestead. I didn't quite get that vibe from walking around, but that was around 3 so it might have been too early in the day.

Tomorrow will be my first excursion into the Apple of Bigness. Originally I called this experience a relocation, but with nothing officially anchoring me down at this point I should get some tourism under my belt. The Paley Center is holding a screening tomorrow afternoon/early evening, so that's at least something to plan my day around.

[Dinner Break]

So I just had Wasabi Gelato. Amazing.

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Follow-up

Sigh. I got a very polite rejection e-mail today. It probably would have been wiser to wait until I got home to check this particular e-mail. Instead, I became aware of it when I was on my way to the grocery store and my iPod's volume dipped for a second, a sign that something landed in my inbox. I get inside the store and check the message and see the bad news.

There's the initial "Aw, maaaaaan," but then it really hits again about 45 seconds later. Of course, the Universe can't leave well enough alone and has to try to make this a friggin' MOMENT. I'm standing in the frozen pizza aisle across from rows and rows of alcohol. I make a conscious decision not to pick up anything named Jack. Then friggin' PIANO MAN starts playing on the PA system. Now I'm just getting angry. Shut up, Universe.

The good news is I now have a contact at ESPN who would like to meet with me when I get to the City. The people I interviewed with were impressed with me, so it is helpful to know that I'm making progress. Still: Aw, maaaaaan.

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Telephone



Many of the career guides I've consulted have equated the jobhunting process with the process of dating. You can understand why my baseline anxiety level, which was already pretty high, has elevated in the last five months.

Right now I'm in the waiting-by-the-telephone phase. The first date interview with ESPN went fine, and I had a second interview that went better. It's taken a few practice runs, but at this point I'm getting the hang of dating interviewing mores. Mores such as the neurotic internal dialogue:

"I thought we had a great time -- why hasn't he called? Maybe he's busy, he'll call tomorrow. Maybe he's out of town. Oh God, was it something I said?" He feverishly replays the entire encounter in his head. "...I thought that was charming, maybe it wasn't...He seemed to respond positively to that...he can't think you're fat, he hasn't even seen you in person..."

I'm blurring the line -- that's not helping.

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Comments

I just finished reading an article on Yahoo News from U.S. News and World Report mentioning more unemployment doom and gloom. Here is the first comment at the end of the article:

"president kennedy was a real hero,the others are just puppets... most politicians today are nothing but fat dirty rats,especially republicans they brain washyou and used u and abused you...it will get worst,starting with arizona "amaricas bigest embarrasment in history>>1070".."

Um, [sic].

Things not mentioned in the article:

  • President Kennedy
  • Heroes
  • Politicians
  • Republicans
  • Arizona

    Yahoo's default setting is to have the most recent comment posted first, so this is joining in the conversation mid-stream. Let's take a look at the actual first comment:

    "Here are the 5 real reasons why companies aren't hiring...

    1) obama

    2) pelosi

    3) dodd

    4) Franks

    5) Geithner"

    Sigh.

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  • Wednesday, June 16, 2010

    Costume

    I realize it's kinda early (4 months or so), but I need to start thinking about what my Halloween costume should be for this year. I am not a half-asser when it comes to these sort of things. Here is last year's costume:

    Halloween 2009

    (That's Simon from Frisky Dingo, just FYI)

    Other previous costumes have included:

    Max

    Beakman

    Charlie Brown Ghost

    Now I need your help. What should I go as this year?


    I've narrowed it down to three options. Here they are, with some Pros and Cons listed.

    1) Captain Jack Harkness from Torchwood

    Photobucket

    Pros: My wardrobe will get bumped up a couple notches in the class department with the inclusion of the captain's trench coat and suspenders. Also, there is quite a bit of sex appeal, especially if I really strive for accuracy.

    Cons: This will likely be an expensive costume. A couple of people also mentioned the obscurity issue, but considering the previous examples I don't really see it as a dealbreaker except if there are costume contests involved.

    2) Lorenzo St. Dubois (LSD) from The Producers

    Lorenzo St Dubois (LSD)

    Pros: I think this one will be a real crowd pleaser and probably the most fun of the options. Also, I assume that most, if not all, of the costume will be acquired at thrift stores so it will be super cheap.

    Cons: This would require the most dedication to staying in character. Also, I'm not sure if I will be able to find anything close to those boots.

    3) Professor Chaos from South Park

    Professor Chaos

    Pros: This is probably the least obscure of the three, and everybody loves Butters.

    Cons: This might be a little too similar to last year's costume, at least in terms of characterization. Also, careful construction will be required so it doesn't look super cheap.



    Cast your vote in the comments! If you have other suggestions (other costumes or where I can find elements for cheap), feel free to share those, too. Also, have you thought about your costume yet?

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    Monday, June 7, 2010

    Not really OK, Cupid

    "We are very pleased to report that you are in the top half of OkCupid's most attractive users. The scales recently tipped in your favor, and we thought you'd like to know."

    Um, thanks. I had no idea.

    "How can we say this with confidence? We've tracked click-thrus on your photo and analyzed other people's reactions to you in QuickMatch and Quiver."

    Oh, so it's simply mathematical? Whew, I thought I was going to have to go through yet another body image crisis.

    "Your new elite status comes with one important privilege:
    You will now see more attractive people in your match results."

    Wait, what? So before random stalker dude clicked on my profile, possibly by accident, I was getting what y'all consider to be the less desirable selections? And now that I've hit some arbitrary benchmark y'all have so graciously bumped me into the VIP section? That's not weird or offensive.

    "This new status won't affect your actual match percentages, which are still based purely on your answers and desired match's answers. But the people we recommend will be more attractive. Also! You'll be shown to more attractive people in their match results."

    Yeah, still kinda offensive.

    Also, considering my track record with your site has been less than stellar, I'm not really brimming with enthusiasm about crashing and burning with teh pretty.

    Not Ok, Cupid, not OK.

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    Wednesday, May 26, 2010

    Eurovision!

    This week is Eurovision week over in Oslo. What do you mean, "so what?" Okay, that's a fair question, considering that Eurovision has only recently gained any sort of coverage here in the States. Yay Globalism! Seriously, if you are any sort of fan of American Idol or ABBA, you will get a kick out of this competition.



    The Eurovision Song Contest is an annual international competition where each participating country will submit a song in the hopes of it being selected as the best by the rest of participants. The final features 25 live performances of songs (3 minutes maximum length) broadcast across the continent. The participating countries (including those eliminated in the semi-finals) vote for their favorite, but they are not allowed to vote for their own representative. The top 10 from each country will earn points (12, 10, 8, 7, ... 2, 1) and the country/song with the most points wins the contest. The prize is bragging rights and the option of being the host country for the following year's competition.

    Although Eurovision is relatively unknown in American culture, there are some influences. ABBA gained fame for performing the Eurovision 1972 winner "Waterloo". Celine Dion's rise to power came on the heels of performing for Switzerland in the late 1980's. This Saturday night or Sunday morning you will likely see a squib on Yahoo News about this year's winning song. It's egalitarian Europop camp and I absolutely love it.

    I actually did quite a bit of research about Eurovision in preparation for my comp exam and have since become obsessed with the last couple of entries from the Ukraine:

    2008: Ani Lorak "Shady Lady" (Runner-up):



    2009: Svetlana Loboda "Be My Valentine! (Anti-Crisis Girl)":

    Submission Video:



    I think this video is awesome. The live performance though...yeesh. The semi-final was pretty bad, but the final performance sounded even worse.

    Final Performance:



    It also didn't help that she immediately followed the winner of the 2009 contest, who earned the second highest winning point total ever.



    That's what we in the biz call an uphill battle.

    I'll be posting videos of the contenders for this year's contest over at Rube Goldberg's DVR. Y'all should check it out!

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    Tuesday, May 25, 2010

    Funemployment

    I've been hearing that term a lot lately, now that I am back in Michigan. Call me a pessimist if you must, but the glossiness fades very quickly no matter how big your fake grin is when uttering the word. However, there are some advantages that are worth exploring as I wait for callbacks from the job hunt:


  • I got to update my half.com inventory with book that I've been meaning to get rid of for years.
  • I ran all the way from Dearborn Heights to Dearborn and back again Friday morning. Yes, my mom lives 2 blocks from the border, but I ran all the way to Outer Drive and back so that was a mile or so.
  • I got to read semi-recreationally this afternoon (though it was continue a book from one of my classes this semester)
  • I get to post stuff to my blog again. Aren't you lucky?

    I don't expect to hear anything about the Oberlin job until next week. Let's see what happens until then, shall we?

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  • Wednesday, March 31, 2010

    Chantix/The Birds

    Lemme show you what I've been working on that has been keeping me from updating. Enjoy!

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    Monday, March 15, 2010

    LAX? I wouldn't say it's lax...

    This past Saturday I went to a professional lacrosse game. There are a number of items in the phrase "professional lacrosse game" that need to be discussed. First, can I get a show of hands of people who knew there was such a thing as professional lacrosse? (It doesn't count if you wandered over here by clicking "I feel lucky", but welcome!) Honestly, I didn't even know lacrosse was played much outside of Canada until I went to Oberlin. I also didn't know it was kind of a big deal until I got to Syracuse -- the current reigning champions for men's lacrosse. The concept of a professional league didn't enter my mind until I received an invitation to go Saturday morning.


    For those unfamiliar with the game it's basically hockey but played on a field, but it is NOT field hockey. Unlike hockey, there is a thirty second shot clock. Also, it seems all physical contact is allowed as long as it ranks above "sucker punch". I'm sure there are nuances that I am completely missing, but that's what I picked up from my crash course. Really, I want to figure out what some of the ref signals mean, such as the patting on the head or the "Single Ladies" hand waggle (I am not making these up).

    Another important item to note: Lacrosse fans are deadly serious about the game. There was a superfan sitting a few rows in front of me who was at full throttle once the clock started. I immediately got the "often ejected from kickball games" vibe from him, but it didn't seem like he was a drunken sports fan. In fact, I kept checking the level on his beer glass and it looked like he didn't touch his drink the entire first half, so his passion was either mostly pure or he has a strong pregaming regimen. Although the other people around me weren't as exuberant as this guy, they all had a number of seemingly informed comments about the quality of play.

    What also struck me about the game was the constant soundtrack. I've been to a few hockey games and basketball games and music will play during timeouts, station breaks, intermissions, and to introduce penalties. Music played during the entire game with tracks changing whenever teams switched possession.

    All in all, it was a pretty entertaining evening. The home team, the Rochester Knighthawks, didn't win but it was really cool to watch. I would recommend going to a game if you get a chance, but there are only 11 teams and half of them are in Canada so chances are there is not a team near you.

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    Wednesday, March 3, 2010

    OK Go

    I would be remiss if I didn't post this:

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    Sunday, February 14, 2010

    V is for...

    Vixen
    Vindaloo
    Venture
    Visitation
    Va-va-voom
    Valuable
    Valentine
    Veneration
    Vigor
    Vice
    Vagueness
    Venom
    Verify
    Vilification
    Vindication
    Vengeance
    Validate
    Vacate

    Very well.

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    Thursday, February 4, 2010

    CinePHAIL: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

    I'm taking AVID this semester to learn the ins and outs of digital editing and get some certification up in this hizzy. At least that's how I'll describe it on my resume. Our second and third projects involve making a trailer and film-based music video based on a randomly assigned movie. My group's movie: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

    Even though I have had the DVD for a number of years (I think it was a graduation present?) I never got around to watching it until I absolutely had to, which I guess would be now. All in all, not a bad film. I think there are a number of things that can be discussed in terms of race and feminism as well as the treatment of the institutionalized. While watching the movie I spent a great deal of time thinking about Murray Ridge and Brandon and his clients, which might explain why I didn't feel overly shocked by what was happening in the film.

    Also, I found myself underwhelmed by Nurse Ratched. When I think of her name I think of how she is presented as one of the great villains in modern cinema. Actually experiencing her character, I find that description to be wildly unfair. Again, maybe it is my tangential experience with MRDD patients, but I found her vilification to be more of a sexist reaction to her authority rather than any active evil on her part.

    I will be watching it again, some clips multiple (as in 100's) of times in the next couple of weeks, so maybe I'll get a better reading on the film. If anything, I now find some jokes from The Simpsons that much funnier.

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    Monday, February 1, 2010

    Super Ga[y]me

    You may have heard this story about CBS not showing a particular ad during the Super Bowl:



    I am not a fan of the headache this ad is causing or going to cause.


    This is one of those situations where no matter what side of the issue you stand, there are no winners. Gay rights advocates are crying about discrimination, which is fair if the politics behind such an ad are a factor in their decision to reject the ad. But let's flip this around: if CBS decided to run the ad what would gay rights advocates say?

    I find the ad to be stupid, unrealistic and borderline offensive. Stupid because gay porn has more subtext than what is going on in this ad. Unrealistic because those two guys would never hook up in real life. Borderline offensive because of the reaction of the third person who I read as being the liaison for the audience. And that's not even including the issue of how gay people are often portrayed in the media as oversexed hedonists. Frankly, I'm glad that this ad will not be entering my headspace on Sunday.

    But this is going to be politicized, like it or not. If eHarmony gets to advertise on national broadcast television, ManCrunch should be allowed to as well. But I don't think gimmicky kerfuffles are the way to go about achieving equality.

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    Tuesday, January 26, 2010

    Viral

    This is cross-posted from my latest blog project Rube Goldberg's DVR which is dealing exclusively with TV stuff. You should check it out.

    This semester I'm taking a television history course focusing on television in the internet/digital age. The first class session was tonight where we saw this video:



    Kinda cool, right? I realize I'm only 10 or so years behind the times (what else is new?) but midway through the viewing I couldn't help but smile. Not because of the infectious beat or the dulcet tones of Punjabi Boy Band Pop, rather it was what this video reminded me of:



    If you don't recognize this video, then you weren't one of the other four people who watched the VH1 program Mission: Man Band. The concept of the show was to take members of four folded boy bands and create a boy band juggernaut that would devour the pop culture landscape in 2007. The execution, however, failed to take the following items into consideration:


  • Boy bands kind of went to the wayside back in 2002.
  • The boy bands represented: N*SYNC (alright), 98 Degrees (meh), LFO (guh), Color Me Badd (wha?).
  • The representatives chosen from these bands were, um, how do I put this diplomatically? If asked to name the members of their respective groups, they would probably be the last one mentioned, usually after the phrase "Ooo, I know I'm forgetting one...whatshisname?"

    Anyway, the group was doomed to fail from the start. The entire first episode focused on each member going through bouts of "do I really want to do this?" with the guy from 98 Degrees pretty much being like "Is this going to take long? Cuz I got other stuff going on." The general attitude from the participants seemed to reflect the joint hope that the check from VH1 would clear rather than any creative ambition.

    The band, named Sureshot, had a manager who didn't help matters much as she adopted an attitude that she wanted to be there even less than her clients. I can't remember her name, but when I picture her all I can see is Shelly from Celebrity Rehab -- the administrative tech/former coke whore (that description is based on her own stories). Anyway, her strategy for promotion was to first have the band sing during half time at a basketball game (boy band pop + basketball arena acoustics = FAIL) followed by creating a music video. Of course no one wanted to sink money into an experiment doomed to failure before pen touched paper so they had no budget and the goal was to "go viral". Aside from the flu-like symptoms experienced after watching the video, I don't think that plan succeeded.

    I stopped watching after the third or fourth episode, but I don't recall if it was because I lost interest or if VH1 yanked it. Maybe if Sureshot watched Tunak Tunak Tan at the beginning they would have had more fun.

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  • Thursday, January 14, 2010

    NYC: Night 2 Day 3 Night 3

  • Networking shindig at Lubin House. Not a complete failure, but it reaffirmed my general dislike of networking. Did get to sit in on a seminar with Ron Howard's AD though and need to add Frost/Nixon to my queue.
  • More seminars in the morning regarding Ad Sales and the Mayor's Film Office. Very informative and provided some strategies for job hunting.
  • Got a hot dog from a cart while in line for The Late Show with David Letterman. Check that off the NYC Tourist Bingo Card.
  • Watched the taping of The Late Show. Seeing how this show is produced made Multicam worth it.
  • Dinner at an Irish Pub.
  • Upright Citizens Brigade show featuring Scott Adsit and Christina Gausas.

    On tap tomorrow: A few more seminars and a writer's panel. Also need to get a photo of Project Runway Avenue over at 39th and 7th (missed the unveiling today unfortunately).

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  • Tuesday, January 12, 2010

    NYC: Night 1 Day 2

    OMG, you guys. This week is crazy and it's only Tuesday evening.

    Last night:

  • Went to Caroline's and saw up-and-comers along with Darrell Hammond (photo-op -- woo!)

  • Dinner with my friend Liz from Oberlin (yay connections!)

    Today:

  • VIP Tour of 30 Rock which included seeing Will Forte at the end of a hall (I think), photos on the SNL set, and this photograph of what you see when you first enter the lobby from the stairs:

    NBC Lobby

    I cannot wait to go to David Letterman tomorrow. DELICIOUS!

  • Seminars at Lubin House featuring Mark Taffet, the creator of HBOPPV and the most brilliant marketing system in television. I'll elaborate on the whole week more when I get back to Syracuse, but I'll just say now that Oregon Trail may be the key to monetizing Twitter.
  • Tour of Magno (NOT Mango) Sound, an editing house that reignited my passion for editing and postproduction.

    Tonight we have an Alumni Mixer (with a promise from Prof. Longstaff that we'll be getting drinks -- woo!).

    Tomorrow: More seminars at Lubin House then David Letterman day. Win!

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  • Monday, January 11, 2010

    NYC: Day 1

    Here's today's rundown:

  • Information sessions at HBO (the security guard had a total case of the Mondays)

  • Lunch at Hale and Hearty (delicious split pea with bacon)

  • More information at HBO including a screening of the pilot for the new show How to Make it in America

  • Tour of the CNN studios which included running into Suze Orman on her way to an interview with Campbell Brown ("Don't get into credit card debt")


  • So far, so good.

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    Sunday, January 3, 2010

    Hmmm

    If I don't feel like putting on the iPod when I travel around Syracuse I usually listen to 96.5/100.3 (Movin!). I don't know how a station that so closely matches my taste in music has managed to stay in business. They play a fair amount of pop (Lady Gaga, Britney, etc.) but they also play some old and obscure stuff. Listen long enough and you can hear "U Can't Touch This" AND "2 Legit 2 Quit" -- neither of which is played with any sense of irony. Driving back from Target one night I heard "Double Dutch Bus", a song that most people would probably recognize only as a sample in Missy Elliot's "Gossip Folks".

    Another track that I have heard more than once is the song by C & C Music Factory that isn't "Gonna Make You Sweat".


    This one is called "Things That Make You Go Hmmm":



    Wow, you know, when I set out to write this I was going to focus on how screwed up the stories are in the song. However, it has been close to 20 years(!) since I last saw this video and...wow. You have to remember, this group was HUGE...at the time. We were still on a Milli Vanilli high and counting off the hits of Paula Abdul's Forever Your Girl album. It was the gap between New Wave, Heavy Metal, Super Pop (oh yeah, they play a lot of Expose on Movin!) on one side and gangsta rap and grunge on the other. It was a simpler time, 1990.

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