I create context. I also write blog posts:


Posted: June 28th, 2010 | Author: | Tags: | No Comments »

So, I just got back from my second day in a row(!) at the gym, and it’s awesome. Some quick thoughts:

— Unlimited pizza on Mondays! Yes! Let me say that again: FREE PIZZA. AT MY GYM. ON MONDAY NIGHTS. AWESOMESAUCE.

— Bagel Tuesdays. Free bagels on tuesday mornings! Rawk.

— Ten bucks a month. Yeah, that’s right. Only ten bucks. For the whole month. At that rate, it’s worth it if I only go on Monday nights to eat pizza for dinner. Or, as my brother’s girlfriend said:

jesus, for $10 a month the membership is worth it just to have a place to shower in case his hot water kicks out.

— I joined yesterday. I went yesterday and today. Ergo, I’m on pace to go to the gym every day for the rest of my life. (Also, notably, I’m now on pace to drink 3 gallons of Gatorade every day for the rest of my life.)

— It’s the “Judgement Free Zone.” Seriously, it says that on the walls. They can’t judge me, even if I start only going for the pizza on Mondays. Even so…

— …You’ve never felt so much like a girly-man until you’ve walked through a gym full of dudes that are ripped and tattooed… with a book in your hand, heading for the stationary bikes.

— But the bikes have fans on them!

— It’s open 24 hours during the week. Not that I’m going to the gym at 2 in the morning on a Wednesday, but it’s nice to know it’s available if I want.

— I have no idea what’s good for me and what I should be trying for, but I rode the stationary bike for an hour, “went” 25 miles, and burned over 300 calories each day… I’m just looking to lose some weight and get back into shape — ya know, so I’m not panting every time I take the garbage out…

So that’s that. I now pay to go to a gym, something you couldn’t get me to do in high school if you tried.

I’m gonna go, I’m gonna get into shape, and I’m gonna feel good about myself for doing it. Or, if not, at least I’ve got dinner lined up for Monday nights!

Next up on my bucket to-do list, I’m going to try to read more Shakespeare…

Today, I looked into the eyes of the devil…

Posted: June 5th, 2010 | Author: | Tags: , | 2 Comments »

And he tried to bite me.

That’s because, on this occasion, he was a four year old terrorizing the shop that I work in (no need to name names — it’s a nice one in the Hamptons). Woman walks in with her unbeknownst-to-us monster child. He’s grabbing at everything before he gets both feet in the door, and we’re trying to deal with his absent-minded mother (frankly, I think it’s “selective absent-mindedism”). Then he starts rolling some of the glasses we sell on the floor. “These are dirty! I hate this store!,” the little terror-monger told me.


Well, don’t you like this one? It has a starfish on it. Have you ever seen a real starfish?


I want to fight.

(At this point, I should promise you: I didn’t make any of this up.)

Suddenly, he began flailing around, dangerously close to pieces of china that cost more than I make in a week. I had no choice but to step in and try to catch his little flying fists. All the while mum can’t make up her mind about… well, I don’t know what. I was too busy babysitting the kid from “Problem Child” to know, but she was taking too long nonetheless.

He was a weak little miscreant though, and every time he charged, I covered my balls and held out my hand like a cow catcher on a steam engine. Invariably, he would fall over — hopefully scuffing his Ralph Lauren Polo (literally, it was a “polo uniform”) shirt — and then try again. He had the worst balance of any little kid I’ve ever met.

I had ushered him away from the china — and other customers — like a matador guides a bull when he threatened to bite me. Then he tried to bite me.


Hun, it doesn’t sound good over there!


It’s ok, mom, I’m just fighting.


Okay! Dum-de-dum, I’m a moron!

Somehow, he managed to grab two pencils — I know, this is sounding like a prison fight — and came at me, holding them like a pair of sai (what do you want from me, I liked the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles when I was a kid…). Again, make up for the lack of a cup and try to deflect the blow. I was getting fed up, and I started thinking about asking for hazard pay.

World’s Worst Mommy finally came over after completing her purchase — wisely taking a store poll whether or not she should hang out and find a Father’s Day present; it came back “nay” — and laid down the law:


Behave yourself or we’re not going to get ice cream!

His response? One more shot at my nads, which, thankfully, I deflected, all while wishing them both a good afternoon and trying to shake off any homicidal thoughts I had at that point.

“That kid’s going to hell,” I was whispering to my boss before the door was even closed shut. I was wrong. That kid had been to hell and he’d already conquered. It was Lucifer himself in my store today.

So I give up. I’m now in favor of leashes for children… and horse tranquilizers, too.

The NHL Does It Again

Posted: June 4th, 2010 | Author: | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

About a month ago, I went through some of my favorite NHL commercials and posted them here. Well, we’re into the Stanley Cup finals this year, and the NHL just released a new one. I think it’s on par with any of the ones that I posted before. Here it is:


What makes it powerful?

Well, to start… it’s powerful. How do you describe the feeling of doing something so huge? You can’t. That stands out to me, because so many marketers are focused on what they’re trying to say that they don’t often consider the importance of what’s not said.

The players in this commercial come from teams that span the last quarter century. Some of them played together, some of them didn’t. Some of them had retired before some of them had even finished elementary school. But they’ve all won the Cup. They’ve all experienced something that neither you nor I will ever experience. And they’ve all had the same reaction.

We’re not talking about winning the French Open, we’re not talking about winning the World Series. We’re talking about winning the hardest trophy in sports. Why is it hard? Because you have to win 16 games. Because it’s 8 weeks of physical play, every other night, with little rest between series. Because players often can’t walk by the end, but they summon the strength for late-game heroics when it’s all on the line. Because guys like Duncan Keith lost 7 teeth when he took a slapshot in the mouth, but stayed on to finish the game. Because a guy like Ian Laperriere blocked a shot with his face that took 90 stitches to sew up — the brain contusion that showed up didn’t help matters — in the first round and returned a month and a half later to finish his season. He’s playing tonight. Why do I mention all of this? Because the players in the commercial don’t. Because that’s what it takes to win the Cup, and because nobody who went through it could adequately explain what it’s like to someone who hasn’t.

I’m at about 350 words here in this post, but I’m telling you why I like this commercial. I can’t tell you what it’s like to win the Cup. But I’m guessing I couldn’t, even if I tried.

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