Archives For May 2005

is their publicity.

i was having a conversation this weekend with a judge and he asked me what i did and i flippantly replied that i packaged lies for a living and he replied that it was better than being a lawyer. even lawyers are believing their own bad press.

the only reason that advertising is ahead of the legal profession in terms of respectability is that part of advertising is PR, basically they market the industry better.

advertising is about manipulation, nothing is real.

at my first ad agency job in Trinidad we had one of those multinational fast food chains and a photo shoot of the product would take about half a day. and involved product from at least three different outlets, fake fries, fake ice, Styrofoam and toothpicks; basically the fake fries would be surround by a number of hand picked fries, the bottom of the fry packet, would have a block of Styrofoam with toothpicks upon which the real fries were mounted — bigger looking and fuller bags of fries. after the shoot there would be at least another quarter of a day working on the photos taking out blemishes and making stuff look better. same for models.

i`m not a lawyer, i have no idea what goes on in law offices everyday, but i do know advertising, been doing it for 13 years and i`m good at it, but i also don`t believe the hype. i was cynical enough to believe that i was doing the world a favour. i believe George Orwell said it best: \”Advertising is the rattling of a stick inside a swill bucket.\”

i did a lot driving this weekend in TN; Nashville – Kingston, Kingston – Memphis, Memphis – Nashville, pretty much one side of the state to other and then back to the middle.  i managed to make incredibly good time and avoided getting any speeding tickets following some fairly simple rules.

1. don`t be the rabbit; stay with the pack, especially if everyone else is not in the passing lane. you also don`t want to be at the head of the pack in the passing lane because you`ll be the first to get tagged. conversely you don`t want to be at the back of a bunch of speeders either because you`ll be likely the first one to get pulled over.

2. stay within 9 mph of the posted speed limit. you`re less likely to get a ticket if you`re going less than 10 mph over the speed limit. if the traffic is moving at a consistent pace and you`re less likely to be singled out.

3. pay attention to the trucks; i have never seen a truck get a speeding ticket; if you have, i stand corrected. the trucks usually know where the traps are and their driving indicates it.

4. try to be inconspicuous. if you`re driving anything brightly coloured with a spoiler, a two door coupe, any model sports car; you are conspicuous. you can`t help what you drive, but even in the pack, you car stands out and you`ll be the most likely to get pulled over.

5. in Tn, at least, not all cop cars look it. the THP has a number of vehicles not limited to black SUVs that you don`t notice until the lights start flashing.

6. holidays are open season. on holidays and holiday weekends, local and state police tend to be out in force.

what worked for me, may not work for you. be careful and pay attention on the roads.

i`ve never been particularly vain about my personal appearance. i wear what`s comfortable as opposed to trendy; although i apparently i clean up nicely. i`ve been told that i`m easy on the eye, but i don`t really see it and people always compliment me on my hair, but i could cut it all off tomorrow and not feel any great remorse; it is after all just hair and it will grow back.

my single vanity about my personal appearance is my skin. and i think that has more to do with gratitude than anything else.

i was born allergic and aside for my shellfish allergy; which has a far worse reaction; all my allergies showed up on my skin. in the first year of my life, i developed allergies to milk; human, cow, goat, milk substitutes, eggs and fish. it`s a wonder that i grew any at all.

these allergies continued through most of my childhood, but lessened to some extent. i knew i could only have eggs or fish one day a week, milk had to be powdered and mixed thinly. but by and large, for the first thirteen years of my life i had a rash of some sort and cabinet full of topical ointments. the other thing i learned early on is not scratch or pick which has came to serve me well later on in life. but that is a tale for another day.

as i got older; through the joy of hormones or some greater power looking down on me; i wasn`t saddle with ashy scales, acne or pimples. i just had naturally healthy skin. but having spent so much time taking care of my unhealthy skin, i wasn`t about to take anything for granted. i learned what soaps i could and couldn`t use on my skin, i realised that soap on my face was a total no-no. i had my first facial at 15 and learned to steam and give myself facials when i couldn`t afford to get one.

in my mid-20s i discovered another trigger for allergies; stress. in my fourth year at my first ad agency job, i stress myself out to the point where my entire back was just a giant rash that took almost a year to get rid of. there are no traces of it now, which is another interesting thing about my skin. i heal almost perfectly, much to the chagrin of my tattoo artist. if i use too much A&D ointment while my tattoos are healing, they will heal completely like a cut, leaving just the faint line of ink. while i was getting the last set of ink, he banned me from using anything other than petroleum jelly just before i bathed to keep it dry.

since i`ve moved here, i`ve found a soap that me and my skin are happy with, learned how to keep my skin moist on during the winter months and what to use as the humidity returns to levels i`m accustomed to. although i`m not currently available to afford it, there is a trip to the body shop coming. their body butter is the only thing i`ve used consistently in the last eight years that works no matter what time of year it is.

“A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value – you can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine soredly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a mini raft down the slow heavy river Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or to avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mindboggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can`t see it, it can`t see you – daft as a brush, but very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.

More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitch hiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have “lost”. What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is is clearly a man to be reckoned with.”

– from The Hitchhiker`s Guide to the Galaxy

towel day was intended to mark the passing of Douglas Noel Adams in a manner befitting him. it was intended to occur a week after his passing but in the ways of the world ended up being two. so May 25 is Towel Day.

it that time of year; school is out and the mommies are out in force per the schedules of the children and they are a joy to behold. as i`ve said before i find the mothers that populate Nashvegas far easier on the eye than the university students. and this is the time of year these women shine. out come the shorts and the sleeveless tops and the minis and little dresses. it`s a joy to behold.

it`s not about nakedness for these women, it`s about what`s comfortable. i`m yet to see a piece of ass floss. i may be alone here but i don`t think you have to be naked or nearly naked to be sexy. there is a lot to be said for the sexiness of discovery. there is no tease or anticipation with the ass crack and/or the pudenda on display.

i`m not advocating that women be covered from head to foot, i`m just saying the current fashion trend towards excessive nakedness is unappealing to me.

I thought I would stay up after I got home from the midnight showing to write my review while it was fresh in my mind, but then I thought I wasn`t going to say anything new and if the turnout last night at the movie theatre was any indication, there were more fervent worshippers at the altar of the force than I. Episode III: Revenge of the Sith is the sixth film in George Lucas` epic space opera; Star Wars, however chronologically it precedes the original Star Wars movie; now named Episode IV: A New Hope; released in 1977. Ep. III: ROTS, chronicles the fall of the Jedi Knights and the rise of the Galactic Empire and the consummate villain, Darth Vader.

Let`s get this clear, I did enjoy the movie, but i had to make certain allowances; Hayden Christensen still can`t act his way through a moist towelette, Natalie Portman wasted in ugly costumes and George Lucas` inability to create a realistic love interest.

Christensen, first introduced to audiences in the vomit inducing Episode II, has churned out sickeningly mediocre performances over the course of two movies, leaving you wishing that he`d become Vader already instead of being such a whiney brat.

The beautiful and talented, Natalie Portman is also wasted in a series of progressively uglier costume and hair changes over the course of two movies, you`re almost grateful that she dies at the end of this movie and doesn`t pass on her horrid fashion sense to her daughter Princess Leia, well except for really bad `bun hair`. George Lucas seems incapable of writing of directing a love scene without it having it feel puerile and juvenile, makes you wonder how this man reproduced, you would think a man capable of imagining a universe full of such fantastic characters could draw on some real life inspiration that would make love between Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) and Padmé (Natalie Portman) seem less like a cheesy Barbara Cartland romance or a douche commercial.

Episode III was dark and from the previews it looked as if Lucas had finally channelled his inner Kershner; Irvin Kershner was responsible one of the only two movies in the series not directed by Lucas and believe to be the best film of the series; Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. Lucas did manage to channel some Kershner but saddled it with all of his baggage. The movie was a visual effects spectacular with all manner of space craft, battles in space and a completely CG villain; General Grievous. Because it was so dark and carries a PG-13 rating, the movie was not overly burdened with the need to have something cute for the kiddies, although there were only two scenes that I think would be perturbing to small children. I think you`d have more trouble having them keeping still for the two hour and twenty six minute run time and some of the seizure inducing fight sequences.

I`m going back at some point not because I feel a continued need to line LucasFilms` pockets but having vetted it for content for my nine-year old audience, I need to accompany him. If you haven`t seen it and you`re not a Star Wars fan, you can wait for cable or DVD and if you are a fan, you can probably wait as well. It doesn`t disappoint but not as much as it doesn`t overwhelm.

roll the die

May 18, 2005 — Leave a comment

i am the master of finding cheap fares; for other people. i`ve done it for my mother in law, i`ve done it for friends. i can find that really cheap ticket with the minimum of fuss. somehow i can never do the same for myself.

i`m trying to get my daughters here for the summer and currently the cheapest fare i can find is in the $800 each, to get them to Nashvegas and that doesn`t include the surcharge for children travelling alone.

i miss the girls and i want to see them, but there is no way i can afford that and conversely flying to Trinidad will cost even more, because even though the fares are marginally cheaper, we would need to fly all three of us, plus accommodation and transport while we`re there. plus all the `cheap` fares i`m finding require us to be gone from anywhere between three to five weeks. neither of which we can afford either.

my job situation is still iffy. i`m on probation for a month, which can be extended at my boss` discretion and i`m firmly of the belief that the nanosecond she finds someone or our busy season ends, i`m out the door. i`ve got feelers out but no nibbles yet.

i hate being fucking broke and stressing about money.

Section 102(c) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (8 U.S.C. 1103 note) is amended to read as follows:

`(c) Waiver-

`(1) IN GENERAL- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall have the authority to waive, and shall waive, all laws such Secretary, in such Secretary`s sole discretion, determines necessary to ensure expeditious construction of the barriers and roads under this section.

`(2) NO JUDICIAL REVIEW- Notwithstanding any other provision of law (statutory or nonstatutory), no court, administrative agency, or other entity shall have jurisdiction–

`(A) to hear any cause or claim arising from any action undertaken, or any decision made, by the Secretary of Homeland Security pursuant to paragraph (1); or

`(B) to order compensatory, declaratory, injunctive, equitable, or any other relief for damage alleged to arise from any such action or decision.`.

REAL ID Act of 2005

be afraid, be very afraid. there are three versions of this bill and all of them contain this same provision.

please stand by

May 11, 2005 — Leave a comment

over the coming weeks there will be a drop off in the volume of posts here; as if there haven`t been already.

my writer`s block continues in force, my part-time employment limits what i can say about technology; especially as it pertains to apple and i find myself on probation at my full-time job.

this combination of factors is making it harder for me find the energy to post on a daily basis.

May is national masturbation month.

launched 10 years ago by Good Vibrations in an effort to “educate and excite people about the healthy practice of self-gratification” it`s one of my favourite times of year.

even in the midst of committed relationships, masturbation has never lost it`s thrill. i make no bones about it, i enjoy sex and i enjoy masturbation, i don`t believe it takes anything away from my partner unless you`re sneaking off to do it. i think it`s a great deal of fun to masturbate for and with your partner. it helps both of you to learn more about what get each other aroused and if you pay attention you can improve your technique.

so go out and have fun this month, on your own or with a friend.