September 29, 2005

Bated/Baited Breathing

For all you folks out there who fancy yourselves marketers, advertisers or are otherwise involved in the tangled web (not Web) of consumerism, commerce and capitalism, I have some cool and intruiging news about Seth Godin's next big thing. For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, you should probably read his books, for a couple of reasons.

First, because they're full of some cool, reasonable theories about how marketing does work, should work, and will work. And he addresses the many ways traditional media marketing is broken -- how most of us, as creators and users of these channels, are stupid and overstimulated and blind and generally too lazy to find new ways to make people care again. (Namely, by selling something that's remarkable and doesn't rely on clever, creative, useless advertising space in the middle of a prime-time sitcom or the Superbowl. Because that just doesn't sell stuff anymore.)

Second, you should read his books because word on the street is that he's not gonna be doing many more. The inventor of the Purple Cow Himself has apparently recognized his cow is beginning to look more brown than purple and that he'd better take his own advice and get on with something new... and cool... and purple again. It looks to me like it will be found here.

In other news, a robot in Chile found buried treasure on the island that inspired Robinson Crusoe. And we're not screwing around, here.

We're talking treasure like you imagined when you were playing pirates with that cool pirate ship-themed lego set while in your bathtub with your cousin at the tender age of 4 and a half. Or maybe that was just me. But anyway, billions of dollars in booty. By which I mean gold coin and jewels and a couple papal rings and stuff.

Reuters posted an article on the find some odd fourteen hours ago, and I guess the goodies haven't even been dug up yet because now Wagner (the group who own the robot who found the treasure) and the Chilean government are in the throes of a passionate debate about who, besides the long-gone Incas from which they were originally pillaged, the goods now belong to, after being buried for 5 centuries. Hmmm...

I hear People Under the Stairs are going to be in Seattle soon. Like, maybe exactly October 19 at Chop Suey. God, I love those guys. If they don't play Mid City Fiesta, though, I might be that one white girl that freaks out and starts screaming requests at a hip hop event like it's TRL. Here's to hoping I can keep my cool. Anyway, I'm waiting for the 19th with bated breath.

:: After typing that phrase -- "bated breath" -- I spent probably thirty full seconds thinking about what a weird phrase that is. Then, I googled it. ::

"...bated breath refers to a state in which you almost stop breathing
through terror, awe, extreme anticipation, or anxiety. Shakespeare is the first
writer known to use it, in The Merchant of Venice:

"Shall I bend low and, in a bondman’s key, / With bated breath and
whisp’ring humbleness, / Say this ...”

Nearly three centuries
later, Mark Twain employed it in Tom Sawyer:

eye fixed itself upon him; with parted lips and bated breath the audience hung
upon his words, taking no note of time, rapt in the ghastly fascinations of the

For those who know the older spelling or who stop to
consider the matter, baited breath evokes an incongruous image, which Geoffrey
Taylor humorously (and consciously) captured in verse in his poem Cruel Clever

Sally, having swallowed cheese/ Directs down
holes the scented breeze/ Enticing thus with baited breath/ Nice mice to an
untimely death

[Thanks, World Wide Words!]

If I started a band, I think I'd call us The Cruel Clever Cats. Or maybe The Band. That might be really good. Like when people name bars "The Office" or "The Bookstore" or call strip clubs "The Lumberyard" or "A Bowling Tournament".

(They might not do that, but they should. Just think how few women would be interested in accompanying their husband/boyfriend to "A Bowling Tournament".)

I'm a genius.
I'm also single.

Call me!

September 19, 2005

Back, ye scurvy dogs!

Today is official talk like a pirate day. I learned this when walking back from lunch. While waiting at a crosswalk, I noticed that next to me were a couple typical yuppie Microsoft-types with blue shirts and ties. Which typically I wouldn't notice, except they were both wearing eyepatches and scowling. I must have looked suprised, because one of them turned and informed me, in full pirate-speak and with a faux (I think) drunken swagger, that it was, well, official talk like a pirate day.

So I scurried back to my office and did a little research, and sure enough... Dave Barry thinks it's talk like a pirate day too (check out the link, above, for his introduction to this important holiday). And Anna Nicole Smith is also celebrating, I think... or is that just the typical swaying, slurring, and breast-exposing? Whatev.

Today Engadget has this photo up of a special ergonomic pirate keyboard.

And, if you struggle to translate English into pirate, as I do, check this translation site out.

Enjoy, mayties! The day is still young... and the liquor store is open. Buy yerself some whiskey and celebrate proper-like.

(That translator thing is sweet.)

September 17, 2005

Spam Off!

Eff these spammy comment-leavers and emailers!

Seriously. You're not creative... you're not clever... you didn't just figure out the secret to getting clicks on your crappy-ass selling-garbage website. You're just annoying me, humble blogger, and causing me to write about you, which is boring and hateful and generally uninteresting. HONESTLY. If you're that desperate to sell whatever it is you're selling, you're probably going out of business. Just cut your losses now and maintain whatever dignity you have left and leave me and my quirky little practically nonexistant blog alone!!! (I'm starting to feel like Ben Stiller in the airplane scene of Meet The Parents -- "I just want you to take those little sticks out of your ears and listen to what I'm saying..." and, later: "Bomb bomb bomb! Bomb bomb, bomb-bomb!")

In related news, this guy is pissed off at link spammers (aka comment spam) and is doing something about it. Blacklist away, Simon! Spammers, beware! And be ashamed. You're lame.

September 16, 2005

He-Man, Mach-18's and Alf.

To celebrate the arrival of the weekend, I thought I'd share this ridiculously funny link that I recieved from a colleague who found it on Drawn. If you're at work, please note that unless you work in a place where the volume can be up and you can be your own private dancer, I highly recommend waiting until you're approaching 3 sheets this evening to click the aforementioned link.

But just so you don't feel left out and you have something more quiet, but equally entertaining, here's a little something you CAN click. Did you know there's a 5-bladed razor coming out? Why can't they stop with the adding of blades? And why doesn't someone just release, like, a 10 bladed razor just to fuck with everyone else? We're doing this wierd blade by blade increase, and it's like these companies actually believe us consumer whores are going to think a 5-bladed razor is actually worth an extra dollar. Or that investors are going to scratch their chins and say "Gee, you know Schick is coming out with a 7-bladed razor? That's really innovative. We should buy our life savings worth of stocks in that cutting-edge company for sure!"

I am flying to Boise to go to a wedding this weekend. I love weddings. The ceremony, the cool and strange family members that attend, the token drunk uncle/sobbing father/pissed off bridesmaid with bad hair, the food, the toasting, the public displays of affection from old people, the cake-fight part, the typically bad music, the bunny hop, the little kids in their tuxes and fluffy dresses running around like little miniature brides and grooms screaming like 3 foot banchees, the groomsmen who inevitably mack on the one good looking bridesmaid which ultimately ends in a) a scuffle, b) an illicit video, c) a very satisfied bridesmaid, or d) none of the above -- I just have an active imagination and a little spare time on my hands at the moment.

Anyway, I think they're great. And I hardly ever think about the fact that everyone I know is getting married and I'm newly single and the prospects aren't looking so promising and I'm starting to suspect what the leftist lesbians say about men just might be true. (Lie) And I'm really looking forward to the whole boquet toss part and plan to definitely not sneak out just before that happens (also a lie).

So the net net is that I really am looking forward to this whole wedding thing, or at least most of it, and I wish you were going to be there to share in the drama and the glory of it all with me. Too bad... you'll have to wait for the pictures to develop.

And, finally, the hippest kid on the internet:

Alf rocks. And this little fat kid knows it, and is proud. So, by default, this kid is the coolest ever. I don't think you can/should argue with that logic.

Happy Friday!

September 12, 2005

The dangers of walking city streets in heels: Part I

Lacking physical coordination, skill, or grace.
Awkwardly constructed; unwieldy: clumsy wooden shoes; a clumsy sentence.
Gauche; inept: a clumsy excuse.


So I recently managed to hurt and humiliate myself while traveling less than 1 block in the span of approximately 3.5 minutes.

Mid-morning, my friend and colleague D. and I walked out of my office building, took a left, walked half a block, crossed the street, and went up the stairs and into an SBC for a cup of coffee, as is becoming a tradition. While tucked in the safe womb of the coffee house, all was well, except that I paid nearly 5 dollars for a latte. Even the walk down the stairs went smoothly, and we managed to cross the street unscathed. But, when I hit the FLAT 1/2 block leading up to the office door, I suddely felt my left foot fly, as if I'd accidentally stepped on ice, out in front of me. (This was almost akin to an out of body experience, in that I had not TOLD my foot to do what it was doing, and as the horrifying realization of that washed over me, I could only watch myself with a mixture of fascination and confusion, as if floating over my unruly body.)

My right foot stayed firmly planted on the ground, again, without being told to.

As you can imagine, this "two feet going opposite directions" thing left only one possible outcome: I was going down.

In a last ditch effort to save myself, I flung my arms out to the sides. Recognizing that my right hand held a cup of coffee worth its weight in gold, I proceeded to hold it very still above my head while flinging my outstretched left arm first backward, and then forward to try to regain some sense of balance. This only resulted in making me look like a dying one-winged bird with a cup of espresso. Long story short, I finally hit pavement. Fully. With D. watching on.

I, of course, immediately burst out in a fit of laughter, which was only made worse by the fact that D. clearly couldn't decide whether he was supposed to be helping me or laughing or walking away as fast as he could. A comical mixture of shock, pity, embarassment and hilarity appeared on his face, alternating in no particular order.

To make matters even more ridiculous, as I was getting up (and feeling a little mopey about the fact that I had just fallen down on a public Seattle street for no apparent reason while wearing my hottest heels and a new pair of jeans, which I was going to have to wash and check for ass-scuffing, now) I noticed that I had somehow managed to set my coffee down, upright, before I hit the ground.

It's like my inner mom kicked in, with a "do you know how much that coffee just cost you? You could buy health insurance with what you just spent on that! And now you're going to drop it?!!!" and caused me to involuntarily sacrifice my body for a shitty cup of overpriced espresso.

As a matter of fact, D. later said he thinks I might have pulled out of the whole trip unscathed, had I not been clearly attempting not to spill a drop of joe for the duration of my struggle with gravity.

And now my knee is swollen and sore. What gives?

This wasn't my first public run-in with physics. Just a week before the SBC "trip", a co-worker and I were walking out of Washington Mutual after depositing our paychecks. I was, again, wearing some really cute cuffed pants and heels. I pranced down the first set of stairs, which overlook the street and a patio on which sit 15-40 people at any given time. This stair-prancing didn't cause me a problem, so I must have been feeling a little cocky when I got to the second set, because I took them a little faster. Big mistake.

My increased speed resulted in me catching my right heel in the cuff of my left pant leg, which had the effect of straitjacketing my legs together. I let out a shriek that probably called dogs from the greater Seattle Metro area, and lunged forward. I would have plunged headfirst down the stairs, legs crossed, with no means of recovering my footing, had my co-worker not been in front of me. Luckily, he heard my scream (who didn't?), and turned and caught me with some superhuman reflexes (that I clearly do not posess). Honestly, that one probably would have knocked a few teeth out of me if I had been alone. But since it didn't, I spent the next five minutes laughing so hard I cried as I thought about how funny it would have looked if I just ate it the all the way down the marble stairs in front of a whole courtyard of strangers and a busy street downtown.

How is it possible for me to be so singluarly lacking grace? I mean, everything in my life points in favor of me being a veritable ballerina; lilting and spinning my way lightly through the world.

The "Use It or Lose It" theory debunked:
Since I was 2 I've been an athelete. First, dance and skiing. Then, years of gymnastics (yep -- I can do the splits and stand on my hands, folks!) followed by competitive soccer and 6 years of competitive club volleyball. Oh... and track! I did (of all things) the triple jump. Isn't that, like, the most complicated footwork possible in track and field?

And I work out often, even occasionally with a trainer who makes me do all sorts of coordinated stuff. Which I do, and hardly ever hurt myself. So obviously I've got some control over my body and use it frequently enough to suggest I could navigate the world without hurting myself. I'm considering hiring a bodyguard to walk around with me and protect me from myself and catch me and whatnot. I mean, I'm pretty sure someone out there would take that job. And God knows I need it.