Monday, September 29, 2008


My friend Mike has been playing with the Roxy Perry band now for about 3-years. They just came out with a new CD and we celebrated the release at the Georgetown Saloon on Friday night.

I thought they sounded awesome. My friend Mike is on keyboards. He told my husband they've played better. I missed his solo - which I heard was funny.

He teaches philosphy by day and plays keyboard by night. I know there is something profound to say about that, but I'm not in a very profound mood today. Short and sweet - if you have a passion for something, go for it. It would be a shame to say, should, woulda, coulda...

Friday, September 26, 2008

Save Levi

I promised not to post about that silly woman now running as a VP candidate, but this piece from Bill Mahar is tooooooooooo funny. I love the fact that he calls poor Levi, father of Bristol Palin's incubus a "political prisoner."

I think we should all get Save Levi t-shirts.

Do Lawn Signs Work?

As you know by know, I have a thing for illegially placed lawn signs.
But what has become more interesting in my little tiny town is that signs all over are disappearing. The idiotic head of the Republican Town Committee had a letter to the editor this week decrying the lack of "democracy" afforded to the GOP as scores of McCain/Palin signs have been taken down in town. (I swear it wasn't me - honest). I didn't do it this time.
The guy's letter is literally impossible to read. Everytime he writes something he makes the case for NOT being a republican. But what is interesting is that the Democrats have not really had signs up at all. We just got our signs for our party candidates and the Obama signs -- in limited quantities, just arrived. So what's the noise about?
According to this very interesting article from a political friend, Lawn Signs don't even work. They make people feel like they are part of a cause, but don't really influence voters.
I have another point of view. I think they add to the visibility of a candidate, especially on the local level. If all you see is one candidate's name out there all the time, you're liable to think they are hard working and well liked. So it seems to me to be important for the competitor to also have his or her name out there.
My new strategy is to put my candidates signs up right next to his competitor -- at least when the signs are on public roads....

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Jews for Obama - A Sarah Silverman Film

The Great Schlep from The Great Schlep on Vimeo.

Not much more I can add to than this. She was brilliant with her film, I'm fucking Ben Affleck. This is a close second. The point, that we need the generation of parents and grandparents to really think about what they are leaving behind for their children. Will it be hope as offered by Obama? Or war, distrust and religious fanaticism as offered by McCain.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Cult of the Yogi

I have missed Yoga. I realized that today when I finally got to a class. I've tried to stay away because my Yoga studio teaches a fairly aggressive form of Yoga that is hard on the wrists, elbows, joints in general. I thought this was supposed to be good for you!

The funny thing I've found is that a lot of people have Yoga injuries. Even those who practice more easy going forms of yoga.

So what's up with that?

Here's another interesting thing about Yoga. You get there. It's a de-stressing environment. Yet as soon as you leave the studio, the stress of just crossing the street erases the magic "om" feeling of zen you had for maybe 10-minutes.

Last note on this subject. My studio has a "celebrity" type co-owner. He came on board after hooking up with one of the owners and now is the hot teacher. He's so hot that he is now teaching one class that you need his "permission in advance" to take. That does not strike me as the way of the Yogi. It strikes me as the way of the egoist.

Did I mention that when I emailed him this summer asking for a little help with my injury he never got back to me?

Is it because I'm not a size 4 like everyone else? Do you have to be a "beautiful" person to succeed in Yoga?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Truism

"People will forget what you said, People will forget what you did." "But people will never forget how you made them feel".

This line was at the end of an email from my Mom. And it made me think of something that I've never forgotten.

Now, everytime I see Alex Witchel's name in the New York Times, I still remember. I like what she writes, but I can't forget that when I was around 12 or 13 on the Scarsdale Swim Team, Alex Witchel was my bully.

She and another girl - her name was Ellen - delighted in tormenting me. To this day, I don't remember what they did or what they said, I just remember hiding in the locker room every day after practice. I was kind of a tough kid myself. I was the oldest. I was bossy. I was used to getting my way.

But this quote reminded me that while I don't recall the specifics. They way I felt those days is still with me.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Lessons of Number 1

Since I'm in "marketing" it would follow that I'd write about some marketing lessons.

Here's one major rule that the top marketers seem to keep forgetting - if you are number 1 in the marketplace, you should NEVER take on number 2. You should not even acknowledge they exist. It is ok for number 2 or number 3 to take on the leader - it gives them the challenger status and everyone loves the underdog. But for Number 1 to take on Number 2 is a mistake.

Why, because then Number 1 looks defensive. They look like they really care about Number 2 or 3.

When Budweiser (the leader) bowed to pressure from Miller (the challenger) after Miller mocked Bud in its ads, it made Bud look like a cry baby. And it drove sales of Miller to an all time high.

So what does this have to do with today's lesson?

Microsoft has come out with a new campaign on the heels of a badly received "teaser" effort featuring Seinfeld and Bill Gates. The new ads proclaim that I'm a PC is a good thing. It is directly taking the piss out of the Apple ads where the "PC" character is some poor shlubby nerd -- actor John Hodgeman -- to be specific. While "Mac" is super coolish Jason Long.

If you remember the rule, Number 1 (Microsoft) should not even acknowledge Number 2 (Apple). But here's where things are squirrelly. Microsoft doesn't really compete with Apple which is a hardware company. Microsoft is a Software company. While the operating system that powers Apple is different. Microsoft has such a huge command of the market, it is puzzling that they see Apple as a competitor.

The reason Apple is the competitor is because Apple took Microsoft (the PC) on in it's advertising.

I have to say however, that I think the new I'm A PC ads by Crispin Porter Bogusky are brilliant. And the reason is because they hijack the PC character. And they show that being a Nerd is ok.

This will be an interesting battle to watch. And maybe a new lesson to learn.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


At lunch today with my friend Michelle I expressed my pessimism about the future of our country. I have doubts about Obama's electability. But she came back at me with the goods - see below.

Guess we should never give up hope.

And here’s a solid analysis of state-to-state electoral votes . Obama’s got a slight lead, had a larger one in the summer, but it’s not all bad news. And my ex-Dean campaign friend feels more optimistic than most Dems these days, for the following reasons in particular:
It's not all doom and gloom for Obama. So far this month, he's seems to have solidified his narrow margin in Michigan and New Hampshire (states McCain is hoping to flip) while expanding his edges in the Bush states of Iowa and Colorado, where he now leads by 9.7 percent and 2.3 percent , respectively. If he wins these states in November--along with Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Wisconsin and New Mexico--he wins the White House. New Democratic registrations and Chicago's sophisticated field operation will surely help. But what the last week of polling has shown beyond any doubt is that McCain's successful convention and shocking choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate have shifted the map ever so slightly to the right, transforming a landscape that favored Obama into a landscape that favors, well, no one. For the next six weeks, then, expect Obama and Joe Biden to play defense (Pennsylvania, Michigan) as well as offense (Colorado, Virginia, Nevada) while focusing much of their attention on the king of all swing states: Ohio. But don't expect the final map to look all that different from 2004.

Please Buy a Book

My first job out of school was working for Random House. I started in the marketing department of the educational division and then moved into the children's book division at Knopf. My job, as assistant to the Editor in Chief was to read the slush pile. Seriously boring. Try reading submissions from all over the country about speaking dogs, cats that sail and birds that teach the alphabet. When my boss was out, I took naps in her office.

BUT, I do love to read. And this week's NY Magazine article on the decline of the book business has me feeling sad. So I plan to go out and buy a book. And the book I'm going to buy is James Frey's Bright Shiny Morning. I'm going to buy it because I'm listening to it on CD as I drive into the city and I think it's great. And I'm going to buy it because I think he got a bum rap when he wrote his memoiors and was exposed as exaggerating elements of it (tell me who doesn't). And because Oprah Winfey made him apologize on her show. And last, because this story in New York Magazine says his book isn't selling well -- and I love it.

Lesson of the day - Don't believe everything you read. Take that anyway you want but I swear the part about the nap is true.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Tina Fey for President

You have to love it when even the gossip magazines get into politics. I'm not sure when US Magazine became the conscience of the democratic party, but they followed up their critical cover story on Palin with a brilliant home page homage to Saturday Night Live's broadcast last night with the headline "Watch Tina Fey mock Sarah Palin."

Here's another funny thing about US. My sister works for a major retailer that sells US and other magazines at the check out line. They got calls about their Sarah Palin cover story from customers demanding it be removed or they would no longer be customers.

This story has a happy ending. The retailer refused to pull the magazines. But when will they do as so many advertisers have done before? Give in to the threats of the religious right who know how to mobilize hundreds of individuals to complain?

We live in a scary time in the United States. Thank goodness for US Magazine (honestly, I don't read it - if I have to get my gossip, I will read PEOPLE every now and then - this may change now).

May all the families in middle America read it. And GET IT.

A Lesson from Rove

In today's NYTimes, Frank Rich notes: "Karl Rove for once gave the Democrats a real tip rather than a bum steer when he wrote last week that if Obama wants to win, “he needs to remember he’s running against John McCain for president,” not Palin for vice president."

I think I said that about a week ago. I can't believe the amazing talent that Obama has working on his behalf is only now getting it right.

Republican's play dirty. They do it on the local level with push polls and bullying tactics. And on the national level by lying.

Smart, intelligent people HAVE to take this on. I was at an event last week and someone said, we can be persuaders. People will listen to you - your friends, your family, anyone.

I may go canvassing in New Hampshire. Those "sure" things don't look so sure anymore.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Bad Disney Movie

Tonight on Entertainment Tonight or one of those silly programs, Matt Damon was interviewed at the Toronto Film Festival saying that Sarah Palin is a "terrifying possibility." He added that what the Republicans are doing with Sarah Palin is like a A Bad Disney Movie. My experience with Disney Movies is not happy and light. Usually there's no Mom - the kid's an orphan, there are lots of bad guys and happily ever after usually isn't. I don't know if that's what Matt was thinking. My impression was that he thinks -- and I agree -- that all this Sarah shit is out of hand.

In fact, I think it is really a "bait & switch" by the very clever Rovatics who brought us 8-years of Bush. Seriously, all we're talking about is this stupid woman. We should be talking about the stupid man -- McCain. He's the dumb ass running for President. He's the one whose judgment needs to be questioned. He's the one no head of State from any other country will speak with. He's the one who in a single decision, showed that any independent mindedness left in his head has evaporated into the Conservative ether.

But the "fairy tale" story is also something my favorite opinionator opined on today. Thanks to Mom for reminding me to read Maureen Dowd. One of my favorite lines: "Why put out a press release about her teenage daughter’s pregnancy and then spend the next few days attacking the press for covering that press release?"

I donated money to Obama yesterday. It is the only way I can stay sane.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


I didn't realize how local politics got under my skin until I saw a sign for a republican candidate who is challenging "my" candidate on the road that takes me home everyday. It's a small local road and I walk my dogs up and down it at least three times a week.

So when I saw her signs, I did what anyone who knows me would expect -- I took them down.

Feeling a little guilty, I asked around. Apparently the signs - which were not on private property, but strategically placed on curbs that don't front anyone's home -- are illegal. Signs can be placed on private property, but any signs on public land, can be removed. Technically it's probably the town's job to take them down, but as my town is ruled by a King who forbids the lesser staff in town hall to even talk with him, I doubt he'd enforce sign removal for someone in his own party.

I was in my rights to remove the signs. And I would do it again. Just like every spring I trim the lilac bushes growing in my neighborhood.

Friday, September 5, 2008

She Shoots Wolves and Bears

I can't promise this will be my last post on Sarah "it's all the media's fault" Palin. But I've gotten so much good stuff from folks, I can't resist.

Let's start with John Stewart who pointed out that while she said "no thanks to that bridge to no where," she did in fact support it and took the money to build it.

I don't think anything more needs to be said about why this woman is not qualified to be one-step away from the presidency.

I just may stop now and focus on why McCain - who put me to sleep last night despite my son prodding me awake about 6-times - has shown how inept a leader he will be and why other world leaders refuse to speak with him.

"I'm Sorry" Works

This is a lesson I've learned over and over and over again. Bad news happens. When it does, be honest and if need be, apologize.

This week an internal memo outlining talking points and details on a mass layoff at a media company was somehow "sent to all" in a company-wide email. Shit happens. In our digital age, it will continue to happen. And as bad news travels at lightening speed, no sooner had this email been sent company-wide than it appeared on an industry magazine's web site. Shit happens again.

Here's where there was a missed opportunity. The company never said "we are sorry this happened." They never apologized to their staff and they missed an opportunity to say they were sorry in the media. In fact, in a conversation with the reporter who wrote this story, he said to me that if only they acknowledged this mistake and said they were sorry, the story could have taken on a whole different tone.

We are all human and we all make mistakes. "I'm sorry" goes a really long way.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I Love Debbie Phelps

When I first heard that Chico's was talking with Debbie Phelps, mother of swimming phenom Michael, I knew it was a brilliant marketing move.

Women constitute the largest viewing audience of the Olympics. I know I sat there riveted every time he swam. And the fact that NBC constantly showed Debbie Phelps and her daughters in the stand certainly made this a family story.

Chico's is in need of an image update - or at least a reason to reconnect with their core audience. They have lost me for sure. Partly because their styling has changed. I've got a couple of really great tops that I love, but every time I go in the store I think the clothes look old fashioned.

I'm obviously not their target. But I will go stop in next time I go by a store. Debbie is their customer. And there are a lot of Debbie's in this world. This is a huge step for women over 50 in the marketing arena. Dove was out there first and others have followed. Nice that Debbie won Gold as well...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Juno Effect

I know I take things way to seriously. And I should be thrilled with McCain's STUPID choice for VP. Afterall it can only benefit the democrats. But I think he has set women back beyond the stoneage.

Why is ok for a teenager to be pregnant? Why is ok to tell girls today that being a Mom is a great job? Why aren't we telling girls they too can pursue the American Drean?

By putting Sarah Palin on his ticket knowing (if he really did know), that her teenage daughter was 5-months pregnant, McCain is by turn saying teen pregnancy isn't a problem. It's a personal choice.

I'm sorry, but I don't think so. I think parents have to do their job. Enabling bad behavior is a choice. And those who enable it are not doing their job as parents. And if they can't do their job as parents, how can they be next in line to run this country?

Not for nothing, but teen age pregnancy is on the rise.


And furthermore, good Old John even opposed funding to prevent teen pregnancy:

Ok, just one more thing. When I was in high school, if a girl got pregnant, she got an abortion. Today, it seems that is not an option. And soon it will be illegal -- I have no doubt. So even if you look at how it is treated in pop culture today - say as in Juno - the girl was at least smart enough and given the support to understand that she had a future and wasn't ready to be a mom. I don't want to make a judgement here on poor Bristol Palin, but her boyfriend's myspace/facebook page makes it clear he ain't ready to be a daddy.

Monday, September 1, 2008

What's Keeping Me Up At Night (1)

SO, lately we've been hearing these loud screeches at night. I first heard it when I took the dogs for a walk. (I'm taking them, trying to make sure they know I'm the leader of the pack). It was a loud screech sound.


Naturally, I thought it was a screech owl. My husband heard it. It kept my son up one night. And one night when I could not sleep I could hear it like it was right outside the window. So I investigated. Turns out, it's not a screech owl, but a barn owl. Right in our very own woods here in Wilton.

It eats mice and chipmunks. It will be getting fat this year. I hope.
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