Monday, May 28, 2007

Inbox of Immaturity: Memorial Day Weekend

Hey all, here I am from my new stomping grounds (aka the yards). An admittedly weak performance, but immaturity is subject to convenience. I haven't been on IM and peeps don't feel like looking up my new email address to send silly links. Plus, I was busy watching my girlfriend's best friend, Tessa, win the officer and a gentleman's heart...and watching him carry on and off every talk show set on ABC.

Anyway, this is what's shaking in the off-weeks:
First, Roy Hibbert has decided to return for his senior year at Georgetown. Jeff Green has not. But the Hoyas are going to be a force once again, which means I may have another reason to use miles to get to the Final Four next year. On a related college/pro bball note: Greg Oden wears Jorts. (For the uninitiated, Jorts = jean shorts)
Second, from a newish show on Fuse called The Whitest Kids U' Know, a dating show a la Mallrats.
Third, if you play pickup basketball regularly or even sporadically (yes, I watched Clueless today), you know some of these cats.
Numero Schick quattro, on the same Clueless tip, you've all heard about the Rosie feud - here's some Silverstone doing some snubbing of her own.
And finally from The Whitest Kids U' Know (yes, again), a skit about a guy who doesn't really get slang hand signal.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

"College!" Observations

1. Facebook vs. Evite? Evite meet Friendster. Friendster, Evite. After receiving an invite to my sis' graduation bbq through facebook, I realized the end may be near for friend evite.
2. Virginia Tech and Unity. I was surprised not to hear anything about this in the speeches or a moment of silence. How quickly we forget? Or a testament to the strength of the campus and us?
3. Parents don't want to be the old parents. Seriously, they are obsessed with when the other students' were conceived (parents' ages) and if they have other older children.
4. Drinking game innovation. Whether you call it beer pong or beirut in its original form, the game has changed. Not with catching rules or rebutals, but speed. Civil War is essentially speed beirut, as teams compete to shoot and hit all their opponents cups as soon as they balls come to their side.
5. Stop calling us the Entitlement generation. And if you continue, at least give us props for giving back. Peep this do goodery stat from BC - 650 of less than 3000 grads forewent beach spring breaks for community service!

Half-baked thoughts, but wanted to share.

Word of the Week: Bevistated

1. Overwhelmed; confounded; stunned; (more shocked, less awed).
2. Left unmarried and feeling unmarriable.

Sentence: I was genuinely bevistated, so I took my shirt off, ran, and recentered; then sat on a rock in the 'thinking man's' pose.

Hill To The Heights

Wow, what a day. Today my sister graduated from Boston College ("the Heights"). Beautiful ceremony. Plus, the first sunny one in the last six, which our speaker attributed to the combined prayers of the Jesuits, Cardinal, the Catholic Church, and parents of new graduates. Our speaker was John M. Connors of Hill Holliday Connors & Cosmopulos. (Not sure about the spelling of the final partner's last name, but know it's not Katsopolis.) People call him Jack. (No, not Phil, Phil Connors, I thought that was you. -Ned Ryerson...) And never having met him, sitting the width of a football field away from him (if I was a real man, I'd know that distance to the inch) I felt like I could call him Jack. That's the type of guy he is. To me, and the audience seemed to agree.

His audience was diverse. It consisted of students (nurses to philosophers to businesspeople from over 85 countries), faculty (and the pray-ers mentioned above), and supporters of the students (grandparents to teens - and younger, but they weren't listening). He had undergrads and grads receiving doctorates. He had first time graduation attendees and others who'd heard 3+ "commencement speeches" in their lives. So how'd he seem to receive a unanimous two thumbs up?

By being himself. By telling his story of success (and failure). He used his connection to BC (an alumn) and the city of Boston to his advantage but didn't overplay it. He was able to appeal to the everyman (and everywoman) by being sincere and hopeful. He kept it positive but didn't shy away from some negative realities. He admitted he's made a lot of money, but insisted giving back makes him most happy. In fact, he "highly recommended" the business grads make lots of money as well "AND share it with the nurses, teachers, scientists, etc." My mother described it as all the optimism and challenge of a traditional address but special. There's a right amount of trite - and he hit the nail on the head. My sister stayed awake after watching the sunrise with her classmates the morning of the ceremony. But he didn't tell one good mini-autobiography. He told his story sprinkled with mini-stories and relevant cultural references. Calling on everyone from Jack Nicholson ("We can handle the truth!") to Ted Williams ("even he got out 6 of 10 times") to Judaism ("tikkun olam," which translates to repair the world and suggests as he did, the world is broken), he in my friend Jake's words "won the [audience's] hearts and minds." He didn't shy away from religion, but didn't alienate or make it central. Yes, the Hebrew reference was particularly welcome by our Jewish family but he made "giving" central (in keeping with the Jesuit ideal) and ended by telling all to "Trust in God but lock your car." (pron. k-ah)

And finally (he joked, "how many of you are happy to hear 'and finally?'") he kept it relatively short and sweet.

As someone in the advertising industry, I listened with different set of ears. For example, I was less surprised when he quit his job at 25 when asked to move to Detroit to work his agency's car account. But I really listened to hear if he gets it. I listened to hear if he was going to address the changes in technology and communication and how they are changing his business and the world. If he'd say "blog" like he understands it and because of that can mock it. If he'd talk about his agency's funniest commercials or most successful business results. He didn't. He told a story of perseverance (his agency made $37,000 yr. 1) and togetherness and fulfillment (does it matter the race, ethnicity, or religion of the man or woman who finds the cure to Alzheimers?)

While he and his partners, in his words "modestly named the agency after themselves," when you shorthand his agency's name, the C's usually miss out. But it was clear his agency would embody his values (respect and acceptance, hard-work and sense of humor). If you're ever in Boston, I'd suggest stopping by.

P.S. It was one of the first agencies (especially in the bigger, more established ones) to turn its corporate website into a blog. It's very good. Baba Shetty used to be over at Fallon and he's very good too. Take a look here.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Flickr straight to blog

El Gaffney
Originally uploaded by El Gaffney.
Now that I'm not working, I have time to explore...

This was going to be a couple-paragraph post about the necessity of trying new technologies/tools/utilites in order to have any business recommending (or trashing) it. But I figured it'd be more useful to just try something for the first time. This way you get to view my tech learning curve in action and add this to your observations in this case about blogger/flickr absorption. Plus, I don't waste your time reading (I don't waste my time coming up with) pop culture quotes to accurately reflect this comfort-by-trial approach... Is it true if you don't use it, you lose it?

Friday, May 11, 2007

It's (not really) a Dance Off...

But as Jake put it, more of an exhibition. But either way. Thankfully I didn't get arrested for these moves, but you still have to be careful. Ladies, this is what guys do at bachelor parties. Question answered. What happened in Vegas, in this case is not staying in Vegas.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

A New Name

Since I'm no longer "freely invited to post trends, commentary, obscure ephemera and insightful rants regarding the experience of branding" here, I've decided to bring restart my personal blog with a new name. My "planner" alias.

Goodbye Salvador Walleye.

Goodbye Kilgore Trout. Goodbye Theodore Sturgeon.
Goodbye Vonnegut.
Goodnight Moon.