Saturday, May 31, 2008

more women do it than you might think

From AdAge Digital:
According to a recent study, more than one-third (35%) of all women in the U.S. aged 18 to 75 participate in the blogosphere at least once a week. And that number increases if less-frequent visits are factored in. Of those women who are online any amount of time, 53% read blogs, 37% post comments to blogs and 28% write or update blogs, according to the study.

Friday, May 30, 2008

day at Jones Beach: conversations overheard

Listen, let me just correct one fact. That summer, I didn't have a job and you didn't NOT have a job...
You're at the beach. Take it off.
No. I'm fat.
I'm fat, too!
She only buys frozen stuff. The only way I can eat it is to mix it all up together and pretend it's mashed potatoes.
You'd be up for camping, right?
I don't know if I'm emotionally equipped for camping.
I can't get a direct flight to Salt Lake City, have to fly to Long Beach then back to Salt Lake, how ridiculous is that?
I had to fly to Vegas to go to Florida once.
I forgot 50 for the baby.
You got 30, right? Just put it on twice.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

hillary trampled on manhattan sidewalk today

green corn

Used to be, all anybody thought to do with corn was to butter it, pop it, make salty snax out of it or brew it into oil with heart-zapping levels of polyunsaturated fats. (I wanted to post the viral-before-there-was-viral Mazola spot from the 70s. Say "we call it maize" to anyone over 40 and they won't be able to stop themselves from repeating it. No luck excavating footage. So, picture this: tanned white woman wearing long black wig, leather wrap dress, Tonto headband, standing in the middle of a corn field sighing, "You call it corn, but my people call it maize."  (Maize + oil, get it?)

Fast forward a few decades and now food service companies use corn to demonstrate their environmental leadership by serving beverages in Greenware instead of plastic. Greenware is made of a resin derived from corn and other plants. To order this 100% compostable* alternative, contact the manufacturer in Kalamazoo. On Plastics Place.

But why would a 50 year old midwestern manufacturing firm choose for itself the url f-k?

*where facilities exist

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

what i love about blogging is how it connects you to new friends around the world

Just received this heartfelt note from a guy who obviously didn't get Jane Sample's memo.


how are you?

My name is Claudio and I work for a viral production company called Viral Factory.

Just wanted to drop you a quick e mail to recommend the new campaing

The campaign is composed by a very nice viral clip (as per link):

And the viral clip is pointing to a brilliant microsite, that deserves

a visit (I know that you like nice sites)

Speak you soon



Tuesday, May 27, 2008


I have three films out from Netflix that I keep meaning to return but I don't have time. Don't have time to drop them in a mailbox that is across the street from a subway I take every day? I can't believe I've evolved into a person for whom seconds of lag time (spinning ball) is intolerable.

When I was a junior copywriter (a minute ago) my copy was mailed to clients with stamps, which meant that revisions couldn't be done for a week, until client comments made their way back. Fine with me. Then the facsimile machine (fax to you) was introduced and there went long lunches and mid-week creative dept. trips to the ballpark.

I don't have time to check in with my bookmarked sites, so I have them fed to me on a reader. I don't have time to read most of them, so usually scan posted exceprts. I don't have time for a phone chat, so I text instead. I blog--partly because I don't have time to keep up with my friends, many of whom aren't even in advertising, but are kind enough to click through to this site just to make sure I am still alive.

Now, I find out--there's nano-blogging. A new service that limits your posts to one word. One word? What's next? We won't have time to use vowels? (George Tannenbaum predicts we'll be charged for them anyway.)

Monday, May 26, 2008

diversity lesson, circa 1950s

Fifty years ago, Dick Sutcliffe, a producer of religious newscasts for radio, was asked by his employer how best to use "this newfangled thing called television to reach folks." The Lutheran Church wanted Sutcliffe to film a minister delivering sermonettes, but instead he convinced them to create "Davey and Goliath" a stop-action animated show about a boy and his dog finding their way in a world of temptation. The show, which the church initially provided free to TV stations around the country, only aired 65 15-minute episodes, but the show made such an impression on viewers at an impressionable age (including Ad Broad) that it is still parodied today.

One of the program's distinctions (besides its claymation and complete lack of irony) was that Davey's best friend Jonathan was black, which meant they were one of the first interracial friendships ever dramatized on TV.

veterans of the fallen workplace

Phillip Toledano photographs offices of bankrupt businesses, creating eerie portraits of worklife interrupted. Crypt of Ceiling Pencils, Chamber of Steno Chairs, Mausoleum of Motivational Posters, more here.

via BoingBoing

Sunday, May 25, 2008

dive-bombing birds beat me to planting season

So much for pansies and trailing ivy.

apple memorial

Thanks, Gawker, for this trip down memory lane where Apples were Lisas, phones stayed in one place and art directors' default type was Cooper Black. (For more remembrance, visit the Apple ad graveyard)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

#33--pay phones that worked

Another thing about the old days, people walking by a ringing payphone would answer it. This guy used to prank-call the pay phone outside his window on 2nd Ave and 30th Street. Note the SUV-free avenue and the price of a hot dog: $1.

32 things I miss about new york

Today's NY Times memorializes New York Past, citing gone-but-not-forgotten institutions like automats, subway tokens, the Dodgers and other things endemic to the city when I moved here in 1979, meaning to stay just a year or two. For some of us, New York is like those old Roach Motels (where bugs check in, but they don't check out.)

Other icons of Manhattan that I used to think were forever:

1. grafitti "art" on subways

2. The Mill Luncheonette and its sublime egg creams (the first time I had one, I wondered where was the egg)

3. checker cabs with jump seats that folded

4. John Lennon

5. Pan Am sign on the Met Life building where I used to work

6. Alphabet City--such a better name than the Lower East Side

7. selzer delivered in colored glass bottles in wooden crates (although I cancelled our service after it brought in roaches)

8. Not having to dial 212 when you called someone in the city. Phone numbers had letter code "exchanges" that told you where someone lived: MU meant Murray Hill, CH meant Chelsea. So you'd know if a prospective hook-up was GU (geographically undesirable)

9. Andy Warhol

10. Studio (nobody said 54)

11. Rumplemeyers

12. orange paper transfers for buses

13. phone booths where you could make a call on the street in peace

14. Gimbels (where I bought our dining room table at its going out of business sale)

15. used book stores

16. Claremont Stables

17. cabbies who spoke English

18. buying subway tokens (with cutout Y) at the newsstand

19. straps on the subway to help keep your balance

20. Woolworths (where my toddlers were entertained by the birds in cages long enough for me to shop)

21. Being able to leave your toddlers safely for a few minutes in the pet section of a Woolworth's

22. Tower Records

23. Columbia Bagels on 110th & Bway

24. Fulton Fish Market

25. Plaza Hotel where I used to take my daughters for tea and a look at the Eloise portrait

26. Breakfast with Santa at Lord + Taylor, before the store opened, when counters were covered with sheets.

27. Thalia Theater which screened movie classics on the UWS

28. Russian Tea Room (not that I went there more than twice, but liked hearing about it)

29. Maxwell's Plum (hangout for young creatives)

30. smoking cigarette billboards on Times Square

31. the skyline

32. The chatty subway conductor on the #1 who had a running commentary all the way to South Ferry. His sardonic announcements like "Do persuade yourself to join us. Allow the doors to close" put you in a good mood, even if was Monday, even if you were going to work.

A few things I do NOT wax nostalgic for:

1. "window washers" with dirty squeegees who used to attack your car when you came out of Lincoln Tunnel

2. being afraid to walk in Central Park after, say 4 pm

3. dueling shoulder-mounted boom boxes on the subway. Although some riders play their IPODs loud enough for me to want to reach across and thumb down the volume.

4. ugly old Bryant Park 

5. meetings in smoky offices

art credit: My Father in the Subway III, 1982 (oil on panel) by Max Ferguson

Friday, May 23, 2008

new language: global brandspeak

A random comment on Jane's brilliant fun-with-brands post resulted in unprecedented bounce count for me yesterday. Her Brand Timeline Portrait (inspired by Noah Brier's Brand Tags) bounced me browsers from not only from our longitude but Mumbai, Warsaw, Cairo, Stockholm, Santiago, Zurich, Bucharest, Portugal, Helsinki, Lithuania, Slovakia, Croatia, Nairobi, Singapore.

What accounts for her viral's global virility? I think she invented a new language. Universal brand speak. The happy result of multinational corporations spending obscene amounts on global ad campaigns is, they've bequeathed to consumers an international language. All over the world, people who share a certain lifestyle know that google=searching. Nike=just do it. Mastercard=priceless. So now we don't have to go thru the pesky process of memorizing foreign vocab and tenses--we can say it with brands.

Looking for love? Put out the word in Global Brandspeak:

Anyone who can't translate older woman of real (if in need of some retouching) beauty seeking older non-metrosexual man to bring good things to life, well, you're not interested anyway.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

super sassy and fun to wear!

Though some NYC middleschoolers hold the flattering assumption that I am cyber-savvy enough to shut down their facebook accounts (see under posted items), I'm actually kind of a computer dunce. I'm new to Facebook and Twitter. Haven't switched yet to Leopard. I still Quark, for god's sake. The only reason I can keep up this site is because Blogger is so easy to use, a caveman could do it. 

But even with such a simple webpublisher, I have to jerry-rig systems to successfully navigate. For instance, I've never figured out how to refresh my home page without toggling back and forth to "See Next Post." Which is OK. Because I get to a lot of interesting blogspots this way, sites I'd never find on my own. Like this one that appears to be hosted by a woman from Stepford:
How did I ever live without this handy (and stylish) apron? My BFF made this for me and hand delivered it this past weekend. This little helper is chalk full of details, including pockets that slant to the sides to prevent pens and tools from stabbing when sitting down. On top of it's super sassy and fun to wear!

These would go like hotcakes in the back of Adweek, don't you think? Holds all those items (bberry, biz cards, ipod, building ID) harried ad execs are always misplacing.

twitter bully still at large-UPDATE

Blogger Ariel Waldman has been harassed on Twitter by a cyberbully since June 2007, but Twitter refuses to do anything about it because:
Unfortunately, although [this user’s] behavior is admittedly mean, [s/he] isn’t...doing anything illegal.
UPDATE- Read latest Twitter responses and AW's take on situation in new post.
Too bad Waldman isn't a parent of a middle schooler in New York City where she'd apparently wield more cyber clout. Middle school students at several schools across the city were dismayed this week when their Facebook accounts were unexpectedly closed, in conjunction with the shut-down by "an unknown force" of a pseudo-Gossip Girl site started by an anonymous 8th grader calling herself Miss ITK (Miss In The Know). The blog catalogued the class of 2012 into A lists and B lists causing consternation and tears among 8th grade girls--and their parents. (Cache of a blog page still here, as of posting.)

A spokeswoman for Facebook, Malorie Lucich, said accounts are disabled if terms of service are in violation.

See, Twitter? For the sake of abiding members, other providers take TOS seriously.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

flesh-eating vegetarians aren't frauds, they're flexitarians

From today's NY Sun:
Broadway East might easily be mistaken for a vegetarian restaurant, with its plates of macrobiotic grains and dairy-free simulated cheeses. But close perusal of the menu turns up a roast chicken dish that's made with real chicken. The black cod is not ersatz either.

The new spot is built for flexitarians, that breed of mostly vegetarian eater that doesn't mind a helping of animal protein now and then.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

one day follows another, unless you're inside the beltway

Lawmakers voted today to make May 13, 2008 — last Tuesday —Frank Sinatra day. In case you missed it, May 13 was the day Postal Service officials unveiled a new 42-cent commemorative Sinatra stamp.

When asked why the holiday hadn't been declared before the event, one congressman explained, "May 13 came up on us a little sooner than expected."

via TV in taxi, via AP

writing chick lit is NOT for beginners

Just received email solicitation for a writing course. Who knew chick lit was an actual genre? Note the apt breathlessness of the appeal. Is this how Helen Fielding got started?
Hi! The next session of Lauren Lipton's Chick Lit Advanced course starts on
Thursday, May 29, and I want to make sure you know about it. This class is
perfect for anyone who has started their draft of a chick lit novel and is
looking for guidance, feedback, and encouragement from an established
To take your chick lit novel to the next level, click here!
But where do I click to write like Jhumpa Lahiri?

advertising legacy of salesman for pepsi

Say you were Edward Boyd in 1947. You're pretty comfy in a job at National Urban League and you get called by the president of Coke's struggling competitor who says that because you are black, he's offering you a job heading up a new sales team, the working name of which contains a racial epithet. You can be properly outraged and hang up the phone. Or you can do what Boyd did--take up the challenge and determine to use the position to break the back of a bad situation.

As soon as Pepsi hired Boyd to exploit the then-ignored African-American market, Boyd brought in 12 blacks for sales jobs usually reserved for white men and went about leading them (and us) into a new era of advertising devoid of racial caricatures like Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben. He declined the suggestion to pursue a black sports icon sponsor, and instead launched an ad campaign called “Leaders in Their Fields” which endorsed little-known black leaders in the fields of chemistry, medicine and banking. (And, unbeknownst to them: politics. The boy who modeled for this ad, Ron Brown, grew up to be Clinton's Secretary of Commerce.)

On the road, Boyd and his team had to contend not only with threats from the Ku Klux Klan, but with indignities forced upon them by Jim Crow laws still in effect: they weren't allowed to stay in hotels in the South and had to travel in separate train cars, even though Pepsi bought them first-class tickets. Still, they persevered, using racism as a selling point, attacking Coke's reluctance to hire blacks and its chairman's support of a segregationist governor. As a result, Pepsi's market share shot up dramatically, overtaking that of Coke for the first time.

At which point, Pepsi began to fear that Boyd and his team were so successful that their product would come to be associated only with blacks. They discontinued the "special markets" sales team in 1951.

Original correspondence, photos and ads by Boyd and his team (pictured) are on display through July at The Queens Museum of Art in a show called "The Real Pepsi Challenge: Breaking the Color Barrier in American Business." Or, you can buy the book: The Real Pepsi Challenge by Stephanie Capparell.

Monday, May 19, 2008

21 nationalities,1 casting session

Keep Amy Walker in mind for your next global campaign. She does convincing voiceovers from around the world: Czech, Russian, Brit, Californian. Amazing how a girl from Seattle can sound so Sydney, Australia. Her only false note, imho, is Brooklyn-- clearly she hasn't been to Park Slope in a while.

via VSL

dead brands aren't dead if they live in your head

Interesting article on brand revival in the NY Times Magazine yesterday about a guy who acquires brands that are dead everywhere but in the consumer's mind, then sells them to companies who bring them back to life.

Paul Earle bought the brand name for a discontinued line of ibuprofen painkillers and sold it to CVS, which is why it's the only place you can still find ("Nupe it") Nuprin. And convinced to buy (and sell) Salon Selectives.

He recently acquired (America Show Us Your) Underalls and the game maker Coleco. And Brim, a coffee that hasn't been sold in twenty years, yet retains an astonishing 92 percent awareness in people over 25, thanks to millions General Foods spent on it in its heyday. Curiously, what people forget is that Brim was decaff, even though they remembered the tagline "Fill it to the rim with Brim."

"Consumers remember the kind of high-level essence of the brand. They tend to forget the product specifics," Earle says. Which is why dead brands can be brought back to life in entirely new incarnations. Like the staid company that once outfitted gentlemen for travel is now controversial teen fashion purveyor Abercrombie + Fitch.

As interesting to me as the article itself are the comments online urging the revival of brands I haven't thought of in years:

Lemon Up, a shampoo with a cap shaped like a real lemon.

1-2-3 which was a faux Bavarian dessert that settled into three layers as it jelled.

Heaven Sent fragrance.

Gleem toothpaste.

Agree shampoo--They're selling old, gummy bottles of it for $50 a pop on eBay.

Another memorably-named shampoo--Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific

O-So-Grape (softdrink from the 50s)

Sunshine cookies

Orowheat Bread

Pine Bros. Cough Drops


Spoolies (hair curlers)

Fluffo - a solid vegetable oil shortening like Crisco - it came in reusable decorator cans with plastic tops.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Pudding Pies (originally made by Hostess)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

think your product launch is a tough sell?

Try--in this age of political careers dependent upon media presence--coming up with a campaign for a candidate who is 4 feet 9 inches tall, never held elected office and is missing his left hand. Milwaukee firm Eichenbaum + Associates took on the challenge, and now--despite the fact that the Democratic Party wrote him off as unelectable and is backing his rival--Steve Novick is the favorite heading into Oregon's May 20 primary. Ah, the political power of advertising not done by pollsters.

thanks, DKR for the tip

Saturday, May 17, 2008

and speaking of young guys in the best shape of their lives: dave letterman debuts in 1982 with first guest bill murray

via gawker

news flash: ad broad joins a gym

So there I am in the trainer room getting my Complimentary Fitness Assessment when the trainer (nice guy @ 25 yrs old) says he's going to take my blood pressure. He reaches for some sort of contraption. "Wrong one," he says, putting it back. "They sent us these new pressure monitors, but they don't work as well as the old ones." He grabs a contraption that is larger, less sleek looking. "This is the old one," he says, slipping the sleeve on my arm. "It works a lot better."

I know, of course, what he is too young to realize: that this is the first of many times he'll wonder why they made a new version of something, when the old works better.

The hard part of learning new technology as you age, is having to UNLEARN the way you did it before. (Craig Daitch wrote a fine post about this in a recent Ad Age.)

"Your pressure is fine," says the kid, beaming at me. And this handsome young guy who is in the best shape he'll ever be in in his life--suddenly, I feel sorry for him.

Friday, May 16, 2008

when instant gratification took a full 60 seconds

The Whitney Museum is free tonight (and every Friday nite) from 6 to 9, but the best reason to schlepp up there isn't the Biennial featuring jacuzzi-sized kitty litter boxes, it's Mapplethorpe's Polaroids on view through September. Unlike his later studio stuff that gave him a bad boy rep (and sold out shows) these portraits are disarming shots of friends and lovers taken by an artist coming of age. His earliest Polaroids date from 1970--which means that he must have been as seduced as the rest of us were by the young Ali McGraw who appeared in this commercial for The Swinger, a Polaroid designed with white casing and black plastic strap handle to make it seem more like a pop-art fashion accessory.

Polaroid cameras seemed magic to me (and to most people I knew) in the 60s when the standard wait time to have your photos developed was 5 days. (If you took Kodachrome slides as my father did, the process including mailing, took up to three weeks.)

So I was saddened by the news in February that Polaroid was phasing out its line of instant cameras, and that its film will stop being available next year. (To nab one of the last Polaroid cameras made, go to To keep tabs on the dwindling supply of film for it, go here. For undying Polaroid love, check out flickr. For Polaroid postcards sent snail mail--fascinating project--click here.)

For decades, Polaroid was a great client to work on, known for cutting edge advertising and clever re-inventions of its core product. More than 300 commercials were produced by Doyle Dane Bernbach beginning in 1977 using James Garner (Rockford Files) and Mariette Hartley who played the part of a bickering couple so convincingly that Hartley had a T-shirt she wore on set proclaiming "I am not James Garner's wife."

One of the best (if indecipherable) spots for Polaroid was shot in Asia by Michael Gondry (pre-Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.) The first 20 seconds of this 60 is a silent, seasick, hyper-speed view of workaholic Hong Kong where a young male exec is being chewed out by his older female boss. He returns to his desk, takes a Polaroid camera out of a file drawer, sneaks into an empty office and takes a photo that we never see, a photo he uses to resign from his dead-end job and learn to "live for the moment" --Polaroid's tagline at the time. But what does he take the photo of? Perhaps the soundtrack in Cantonese explains it? (If you figure it out, please let me know.) Still, the footage is surreal, unforgettable, and what more do you need, really, than standout visual to recommend a photography product.

And that's not the only Polaroid spot that left the photo to the viewer's imagination. (Did focus group testing prove this effective?) This one left out voiceover, too. The only audio is hysterical laughter.

Like many companies, Polaroid attempted to capitalize on the Y2K panic in 1999. It introduced its new disposable instant camera with a commercial about the millenium crisis. We're reminded of the all-for-naught national frenzy that year by the voiceover: "With just moments before the new millenium, the dreaded Y2K bug threatens worldwide bank disruption and computer failure" as a young reveller races through the Times Square crowd to an ATM and takes a Polaroid of a display of his bank balance. (It was widely feared that computer glitches embedded in bank software would compromise savings accounts.)

By 2007, digital cameras had pretty much eaten up Polaroid's market, but a valiant attempt was made to keep the product afloat in Brazil where Polaroid cameras replaced mirrors in shopping malls, reinforcing the brand's tagline: Instant Images.

via Advertising for Peanuts via a/d goodness

Polaroid, which declared bankruptcy in 2001 and was bought by an investment group, will try to keep itself afloat with the intro of a Polaroid Printer called ZINK which is the size of a deck of cards and designed to make instant prints from digital cameras or cameraphones. Sure, sounds like dubious product idea. But probably so did the notion of an instant camera in 1948 when Edwin Land, a photographer on holiday in Santa Fe with his family, came up with the idea after his 3-year old daughter complained about having to wait to see their vacation shots.

sue, get a grip!

Sue Simmons, a 30-year veteran of TV news in New York, startled viewers on Monday night when she shouted the F word on the 10 o'clock news. Looking duly abashed, she apologized on the 11 PM news "for saying a word that many people find offensive." But what did co-anchor Chuck do to provoke her? Richard Wald, a former president of NBC News observes unenlighteningly: "Live television requires a great deal of concentration, and I guess her concentration must have slipped.”

Last year, more than her concentration slipped when she fell out of her chair on camera.

Is Simmons losing her balance due to cocktails she reportedly downs between the 5PM and 10PM news? Or is the station providing opportunities for her to mess up often enough for them to fire her? (She purportedly thought the cameras were off when she reamed Chuck on Monday.) According to Newsday, there have been widespread reports that Channel 4 is looking to cut expensive anchor talent, and after Scarborough -- the highest-paid local anchor in the country -- Simmons is next on the network food chain.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

list of mental ailments from admissions records of lunatic asylum west of the alleghenys, 1864

Asthma. Bad Company. Bad Whisky. Bite of Rattlesnake. Business Nerves. Carbuncles. Cold. Death of Sons in War. Doubt of Mother's Ancestors. Fever and Loss of Lawsuit. Gathering in the Head. Grief. Imaginary Female Trouble. Intemperance. Indigestion. Jealousy. Kicked in Head by Horse. Novel Reading. Parents Were Cousins. Political Excitement. Rumor of Husband's Murder or Desertion. Seduction & Disappointment. Sunstroke. Softening of the Brain. Snuff Eating for Two Years. Vicious Vices in Early Years. Women.

you want that $25,000 in quarters?

Today, Jane Sample defines a term you may have missed in MBA school: “hallway meeting”--
when 2 to 4 people meet in a hallway or by someones desk and discuss and/or make an important decision. These meetings are more productive and influential then any 1/2 hour long “meeting” with 10 attendees, all of them Executives who are too busy on their blackberries to actually pay attention at the meeting.
Hallway meetings are infinitely preferable to MeetingMaker Meetings because they not only save Harried Executives time, but facilitate creativity in all kinds of areas. As demonstrated by this fleeting but productive hallway meeting overheard in a BDA just the other day:
Senior Suit: Did you get those bids for [new client] website?
Junior Suit: Wildly different: $90K, $60K and $25K.
Senior Suit: Go with $25K. At that price, we won't have to even open a job jacket, we can siphon petty cash out of OOP for new business.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

if u cn rd ths, u cn b a copywriter

Yea, there's Portfolio Center. There's VCU Brandcenter. There's W+K 12. Or, you can sign up for a correspondence course which lets you master the craft of copywriting without leaving home. (The solicitation email itself is a compendium of every trick of the trade.) Who knew it could be this easy? Why do I always do things the hard way?

Everyday people like yourself are earning as much money as most doctors, lawyers, or engineers... and without the long years of schooling. All you need is a basic feel for the English language and a desire to communicate.

The business I’m talking about... is writing. But it’s not the type of writing you think it is. School only prepares you for “traditional” writing. You know, magazines or newspaper articles (or even novels or screenplays, for that matter.)

If you can write a letter, learn a few simple rules, and put forth the effort, you too could be on your way to enjoying a lifestyle that many doctors, engineers, lawyers — even stressed-out CEO’s — would envy. And… without the aggravation and heartache they get on a daily basis.

People who do it are able to spend more time with their family. These folks decide when they want to work, and where they want to work: On a sailboat... on a beach... at home... or even on vacation.

These people are called: Freelance copywriters.

And get this:

You Don’t Even Have to Know How to Write!
(Not the Way Most People Think of Writing, Anyway)

So long as you can write conversationally, you don’t really have to know the “rules” of grammar. You don’t have to know a preposition from a noun.

There are plenty of proofreaders and computer spell check programs that can do it for you.

Now picture yourself in this life: You’re a freelance copywriter and you live wherever you want to and still earn a six-figure income. North America, South America, Canada... I have colleagues that live in beautiful seaside resort in Europe. They tell me there’s nothing like living in an exotic location to get the “creative juices” flowing. That and getting a five-figure paycheck couriered to them from overseas.

I now invite you to join the ranks of an elite circle
of people who enjoy working in this lucrative business.

It’s an Easy Skill, Once You Know How

I can honestly say that I’ve made some mistakes over the years — but the single best decision I ever made was getting into copywriting.

A while back when I realized that there is so much work in the market place — I decided to put a course together. One so special that it would teach the “Average Joe” not only how to write powerful, compelling copy — but how to succeed in the exciting and lucrative advertising industry.

If you were to go to school for this course it would cost you thousands of dollars. But I make it available to you for only $507...(to sign up, sucker, go to The #1 Reason to Become a Copywriter)

16th century recipe turns chicken into lamb!

Featured on menu at Bombay Club Restaurant, Harvard Square: Lamb Specialties: Dumpukht Lamb $15.50: A mouth-watering chicken concoction dating from a 16th century Mughal recipe. (And don't forget to try our delicious chicken curry made of fresh goat!)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

facebook, myob!

So, I have to admit, I am new to the whole facebook thing. ("How did you meet friends without facebook when you were in college?" my kids wonder.) I think of facebook as an electronic version of the obnoxious nosy neighbor sniffing out everything about you you'd rather keep private: who you talk to, who you email, IM, chat with, twitter, what you are buying (or even thinking of buying) online. For this reason, I am insulted to log on today (for the first time in weeks) and see an ad (just for me?):
Cure dandruff naturally.
The reduce dandruff brush discreetly kills 88 percent of the fungus that causes dandruff. Made from copper, a natural fungicide.
Um, shouldn't there be a hyphen between reduce and dandruff? But I suppose punctuation is too old school for new media.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

seeing the midwife, 21 years later

There I am in my neighborhood mani-pedi factory, on the way to the wax room when I pass the midwife who delivered my first baby. She is soaking her feet in a tub. We look at each other and in that first moment of recognition it all comes back to me: those 24 grueling hours of back labor in the (now defunct) Maternity Center on E. 92nd St., her gently advising my transfer to a hospital (my baby didn't want to come out! Even in the womb my daughter was a person who does not like transition), her wise insistence that it would be more comfortable and faster to transfer to the hospital in a cab instead of an ambulance, her preceding my husband and me out to the street to flag down a taxi--but it was rush hour! No cabs! (Another trait of the child I was about to birth: always time things so you have to do them the hard way), her running to the corner of Madison to see if she'd have better luck there (my husband was busy being a human armchair to help me get through the next contraction.) If she couldn't find a taxi--would I give birth on the sidewalk?

Almost unbelievably a lit cab appeared in the distance and we watched from afar as the midwife claimed one door, a middle-aged woman another. They gestured to each other through the open doors of the cab, exchanged heated words. Then, to my great relief, the midwife got in and the cab inched along in traffic down the street to us. "You'll never believe it," she said as my husband helped maneuver my contorted body into the back seat. (I thought of a soldier loading a torpedo.) "I had to fight off a woman who said 'I know you saw it first, but I really need this cab. My 87 year old mother has to get to a party.' I can trump that, I told her. I've got a pregnant woman about to give birth who has to get to a hospital. Without missing a beat, the woman asked, "Which hospital? Can we share?"

"How is your daughter," she now wants to know, shifting her feet in the soapy water. I tell her the baby she delivered is in college, stressing about final papers and exams. She tells me about her son the same age. She has a son the same age? She'd been pregnant, it turns out, the same time I was--which in my self-absorption of first pregnancy I had not noticed.

"Happy Mother's Day," we say when her pedicurist arrives. We give each other a hug for solidarity, and for old times sake. Then resume our attentions to the duties of maintenance which women of a certain age can not neglect.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

how everyday things are made

Fascinating footage on how to make jelly beans, plastic bottles, sweatshirts and 37 other things. How Everyday Things Are Made is a site based on a course offered to non-engineering students at Stanford. Depending on what you're working on, it could save you a trip to the product factory. The site is designed by professors, not technophiles so very heavy load but load time is filled with edifying facts like the most popular flavor of jellybelly is--butter popcorn.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

apologies for the hiatus

But I was having too good a time off the grid to come back before this. Sweet air, gilded meadows, eggs warm from hen butts--too bad more farmers don't need freelance writers.

someecards, when you care enough to say what you think

Friday, May 2, 2008

specialist in women and other diseases

I am at a writers conference in the wilds of Western Massachusetts where the wireless is automatically cut off after 8 minutes. (!?) No time for a proper post, so I am grateful to my hilarious brother for sending me a link to a site that posts signage in badly translated English from all over the world . No need to click thru, as I've culled the best of them here. Unless you want to see awfully translated signs and packaging. Whoops, no comment, time's almost up.
In a Tokyo Hotel:
Is forbidden to steal hotel towels please. If you are not a person to do such thing is please not to read notis.

In a Bucharest hotel lobby:
The lift is being fixed for the next day. During that time we regret that you will be unbearable.

In a Paris hotel elevator:
Please leave your values at the front desk.

In a hotel in Athens:
Visitors are expected to complain at the office between the hours of 9 and 11 A.M. daily.

In a Yugoslavian hotel:
The flattening of underwear with pleasure is the job of the chambermaid.

In the lobby of a Moscow hotel across from a Russian Orthodox monastery:
You are welcome to visit the cemetery where famous Russian and Soviet composers, artists, and writers are buried daily except Thursday.

In a Bangkok dry cleaner's:
Drop your trousers here for best results.

In an advertisement by a Hong Kong dentist:
Teeth extracted by the latest Methodists.

In a Rome laundry:
Ladies, leave your clothes here and spend the afternoon having a good time.

In a Swiss mountain inn:
Special today -- no ice cream.

In a Tokyo bar:
Special cocktails for the ladies with nuts.

In a Copenhagen airline ticket office:
We take your bags and send them in all directions.

In a Norwegian cocktail lounge:
Ladies are requested not to have children in the bar.

In a Budapest zoo:
Please do not feed the animals. If you have any suitable food, give it to the guard on duty.

In the office of a Roman doctor:
Specialist in women and other diseases.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

another reason you should have gone to divinity school

Standing signs reserve parking on NYC streets just for you, flaunting alternate-side rules and no parking zones.