Tuesday, September 30, 2008

America, We're Dumb Enough!

So, this whole economic crisis thing... I have a theory. I think, collectively, we're dumb enough to make it through. Here's a quote from CNN concerning the proposed bailout:

"The Chicago PMI, a key manufacturing read, fell to 56.7 in September from 57.9 in the prior month. However, the decline was smaller than economists were expecting. Any reading over 50 suggests growth."

What? I don't understand any of that. What happened? How does our economy even work? Should I buy that extra piece of cinnamon swirl cake with my frappacino? Do I refrain from purchasing the 227: Complete Series Box Set on DVD with my credit card? I don't know. I wager the majority of the American populace doesn't know either. And that's exactly my point. We're dumb enough to plow ahead blindly. We'll keep buying cookies, boats and orange Crocs and America will prosper.

Or will we? See, I really don't know. Maybe we should all cut back on cookies this month. Maybe that's the answer. Let's all consume three less cookies and maybe this thing will sort itself out. See, even in my proposed solutions, I'm proving my point. We're totally dumb enough.

I guess, in a way, that was also the point behind the movie Forrest Gump. Forrest represented America, and how simple and innocently we as a nation blustered our way through time to greatness, unaware. (The ironic part about that is, of course, most people who loved that movie didn't care about that underlying subtext, they just like to hear Tom Hanks talk funny about Shrimp. Again, proving my point.)

I'm not trying to be cynical or ironic here. I think I'm just trying to say we shouldn't panic, we should just keep trucking on. With caution, sure, but let's don't get too smart about the situation and start day trading our 401 k futures or whatever.

And for the record, I think the bailout just sounds like a bad idea. It screams "Quick Solution Without Regard to Consequence" to me. Like sugar-free Donuts. It sounds good, but there's no way it can be made up of anything good for you, and you'll probably pay for it later.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Daughter Songs

Both of my girls have written a few songs now, at the young ages of 3 and 2. Although I may be biased, I think they're all pretty good (though short). The tunes are nice, too, but since you can't hear that on a blog, I'll just give you the lyrics.

Robin's first song illustrates her Chinese heritage. It's short and sweet. The words are:

When I was a kid...
Ni Hao.

(Ni Hao is hello in Chinese).

Nice tune, poignant lyrics with a hint of humor and a touch of pathos. Excellent song.

Lucy's first song works to shed some light on her American heritage:

New Shoes from Target
New Shoes from Target
New Shoes from Target

While it can go on a little long, there's a lot of joy in this song.

Robin also crafted another tune while brushing her teeth and looking in the mirror. This one is to be crooned really soulfully, like a rock ballad or gospel number:

Girl on a step stool...

It helps on the last one to actually be standing on a step stool.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Best. Movie Ending. Ever?

I like how unsure the smile is on the girlfriend's face.

Also, this is oddly similar to the ending of Michael Clayton.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Face Recognition, Round 2.

Ok, so i've been determined to get a better celebrity face match than yesterday's Richard Stallman (see last post). Well, I've been failing. Here's my results so far. Not promising.

Mitch gets Heath Ledger, I get... some guy with a handlebar moustache. Nice.

Ok, so Robin gets some lovely Asian lady, then the program basically flips Lucy and I the bird. I challenge anyone to classify the three people I've been compared with so far as celebrities. And... Marilyn Manson? I guess it's the lack of eyebrows and the baby face? I dunno.

So, thinking maybe it was the beard throwing me off, I pulled an old photo of Kool & The Gang that someone "kindly" posted on facebook.

Result? 3 lovely actresses and NO FACE FOUND. C'mon!

Here is my last attempt, one in which I have collected for you the top ranked faces that mine looks like (according to this site) just so you can understand what a face like this is made up of, "celebrity" style.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


So, there's this site that will scan a photo of your face and tell you what celebrity faces yours resembles. We were all giving it a shot together here at work today. As the program scans your face, you have to wait patiently for the results.

Scott got labeled "Kevin Costner" (although he's clearly Bill Paxton)

My coworker Mitch got labeled "Jeff Gordon" (although he's clearly The Count).

Then it was my turn.

The first picture we put in the program claimed it could not find a face. Hmm.

We tried a different photo, let it scan in and waited patiently before it revealed...

Um. Who is this guy? Apparently the computer had to scrape the bottom of the celebrity barrel to find a match for me and the best it could do was Richard Stallman, the infamous computer hacker/weird looking freak.

I hope that you fare better when you try it. Oddly, if you click at the bottom it goes through the other celebrities that resemble you and the next one over was Luke Perry. Hmm.

Anyway, give it a shot and let me know in the comments if you could possibly lose worse at this game than I did.

By the way, this reminds me of I site that I once wanted to build. The idea was that it would show you what your baby would look like if you scanned in photos of two people. The trick was going to be that no matter what photos you put in, the picture would come out as a bad pencil drawing of a baby with tattooed biker arms, a beard, and an eyepatch.

I should still build that site.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Back off, Levi's.

Sometimes I get really sad that I work in advertising. Especially when I see stuff as seedy as the new Levi's ads. Have you seen these? I'm referring to the "Live Unbuttoned" campaign, a campaign whose slogan is even inappropriately bold enough to suggest that you live a life with your privates exposed to the world.

First off, there's an ad that opens with a super young couple (15? 16? 18 maybe) who we see in extreme close up. Mostly, we see their prepubescent crotches as they slowly unbutton their jeans to accommodate the tag line. Then the girl asks "Is this your first time?" and they both look nervous. The conversation continues with loaded dialog like that, insinuating the obvious. Just when you think that these kids are about to do the premarital, the camera pulls back to reveal...Hey! Just kidding, folks! These preteens are only stripping down to their underwear to jump off a dangerous pier together into the cold water below.

So, I assume our reaction at that point is supposed to be: whew! I thought they were trying to show my kids how cool it is to lose their virginity, but it was actually an elaborate set up to show my kids how cool it is to go swimming with their boyfriends almost naked! I guess then we're to chuckle mildly with relief. Then just to keep us parents on edge, they end the ad with an underwater crotch shot of both of the kids' half naked bottom halves as a reminder to us that they're probably going to do it later, off screen.

I know ever since the mini skirt replaced the poodle skirt that older generations have complained about worrisome trends in teen fashion, but I have to say if there is a hidden agenda going on in teen fashion, it's gotten way less hidden lately. Or maybe I'm an old man. But I don't know if I want to live in a era where people are OK that a jeans commercial for teens can have such a jaded, sexually experienced point of view.

I should stop here, at just Slightly Old-Fashioned Curmudgeon level, but I have to continue. Because there's another spot just as bad.

In this one, a guy wakes up in bed with a girl, and then slides out of bed without waking her. He grabs his guitar (read: he's cool, so it's okay), puts his jeans on and mentally and shirtless-ly debates whether he should sneak out or not. An old blues guy in the room narrates the guy's thoughts, obviously. "What, are you going to tell her you love her? Don't be crazy, just keep walkin'" he says, full of wisdom and that kind of crap, so the kid takes his advice and packs his stuff up, looking thoughtfully over his shoulder as he leaves the girl to struggle alone with sexual guilt after this meaningless one night stand.

I'm pretty sure that's how it was all worded in the script.

While the first spot seems to be encouraging casual sex for preteen virgins, this one seems to focus it's energy on encouraging guys that commitment is lame and that it's better to have one night stands than seek a monogamous relationship. Especially if you like the blues, which I would suggest is warning sign in general for anyone you meet in life, ladies, so take note.

I don't think this is all the former youth minister in me talking, but who knows. If you see these inappropriate commercials on TV let me know what you think. I'm pretty sure I even saw the first one on N!, which is a channel meant for preteens. I don't blame Moose A. Moose, though, he seems like an alright guy to me, and he's off work once Noggin shifts to N! and the Degrassi High School of Deviants comes on, anyway.