Saturday, December 26, 2009

Making a blockbuster movie is easy. (Spoiler alert)

Yesterday, I enjoyed a traditional Jewish Christmas – a movie and Chinese food.

The movie was Avatar, which was visually stunning. Directed by James Cameron, it bore striking similarities to his other blockbuster, Titanic. Both feature a main character that goes on a journey initially meant for someone else. Both of these characters then fall in love with a woman from a completely different world than their own. They are both found guilty of a crime the are truly innocent of, and locked up while disaster occurs all around them. A woman eventually frees them both and they go off to save the day. Both our heroes die in the end, only for us to learn that their spirits live on.

Simple. Go write a blockbuster today.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Usually it's a period, not a hyphen, that causes bleeding.

I shave in the shower. So I have, what is supposed to be, a fog-less mirror. This would imply it's a mirror that doesn't get foggy.

Rather than "Fog-less Mirror," the box should read: "Fog. Less Mirror." That's what I wind up with - a lot of fog, which leaves much less mirror to see myself in.

Let the clotting begin.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I need to work on my typing skills.

I misspelled an emoticon today.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Is it bad that I only become aware of historic or socially significant events when Google changes their logo?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Carbon(ated) dating.

Recently, the company I work for created an iPhone application for Amp, an energy drink made by Pepsi. It was called "Know Before You Score," and it was designed to help guys pick up women. As reported in the Los Angeles Times:

The application provides pick-up lines and other charming tools to seduce a "wide" variety of females -- 24 in total -- including the bookworm, the cougar, the athlete and the women's studies major. It also has a "Brag" feature which encourages users to "include the name, date, and whatever details you remember" about successful hookups or failed conquests.

Pepsi removed the application after receiving heated criticism for stereotyping women. Ridiculous move Pepsi! You guys make a living selling tons and tons of corn-syrup-infused water to millions. Promoting sex between two (or more) human beings is certainly a much more natural and wholesome offering. I'd continue down that path, and forget the fizzy stuff.

And the app was educational. Who knew there were 24 different types of women?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Let's put national healthcare reform into a giant silver balloon so it can get some real attention.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Thank your friendly multi-national banking conglomerate for saving your life!

Thousands of Americans are being driven from their homes by an insidious danger: defective Chinese drywall. This Great Drywall of China contains sulfur compounds, causing foul odors, nosebleeds, headaches, and the corrosion of metal objects and appliances, forcing residents to flee in droves.

So, a hefty pat on the back to our Nation’s housing lenders and banks. For years, they’ve been trying to protect everyday citizens by taking away their homes, one by one.

When the likes of Fannie Mae, Citibank, and Countrywide heard everyday Americans were under attack from a Communist threat lurking within their sunken living rooms, they leaped into action. They didn’t waste time asking if homes even had this drywall, they couldn’t take that chance. They foreclosed first and asked questions later. Every split-level ranch was a potential Manchurian Candidate, a sleeper cell waiting to unleash anti-American fury.

Now, don’t worry about me, I’ve had all my drywall replaced with faith-based interior supports.
While government bailouts are a small step towards thanking them for their selfless efforts, my gratitude will likely go a long way in their recovery.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Leave health care alone.

The New York Times reports 263,000 jobs were lost in September, with the one bright spot being the health care industry, which ADDED 19,000 jobs. By contrast, 64,000 construction jobs were lost last month. I think it's clear that our health care system is WORKING. Literally.

We must all urge Obama to leave our health care system alone! We cannot risk tinkering with a sector that's producing jobs. Clearly, people's lack of adequate preventative health care is keeping doctors from joining the ranks of those unemployed construction workers. I mean if Indians start losing their jobs too, our unemployment lines will start looking like auditions for the Village People. As a country, we can not go back to the days of the Village People.

A booming health care industry also keeps tons and tons of 5-month old magazines in waiting rooms across the nation, and out of landfills. So you see, the current system is also good for the environment. So please join in me in calling for end to health care reform.

Come to think of it, if doctors were to wind up on the unemployment lines, it would put everyday out-of-work Americans closer to their health care providers. Hmmmm. Let me think this over some more.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Facebook Coincidence.

These two friends of mine know nothing of each other, and just happened to wind up with back to back postings on my wall. The earworms are everywhere.

Friday, August 14, 2009

My book report.

Recently, I was unpacking some books. As I took them out of the box, I put them randomly on my bookshelf without paying much attention. When I went back to organize them properly, I saw these two books had wound up next to each other.
The universe is one kooky place.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Partly cloudy with a 90% chance of a bargain.

If you live in NYC, you know it's rained a lot recently. You're probably also keenly aware of those ubiquitous $5 black umbrellas that blow apart in the wind, or from the light breeze of a sneeze.
That's why I was surprised to find a box full of incredible umbrellas for five and seven bucks in the back of this Lower East Side pharmacy. These are seriously sturdy, big umbrellas, for the price you'd pay for disposable one. I have to wonder if they're mis-priced. Go get 'em.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I don't think this neighborhood can appreciate the amazingness.

Snapped this in Vancouver two New Years Eves ago. Just re-found it in my camera. Click pic to enlarge.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Nice solution.

I like this billboard for Puma stores down by Lafayette and Houston. I'm sure the assignment was to simply let people know where in NYC you can find their flagship stores and running shoes. The addition of three simple words turns it into a fun and memorable message that makes great use of its location. Well done. (Click pic to enjoy the details.)

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Shifting gears.

I'm a talker. I talk a lot. Sometimes to the exclusion of listening. I can also fall into the trap of being all talk and no action. Today I shifted gears on both these fronts, putting a project into motion while doing a whole lot of listening in the process.

My friend Kyle and I collaborated on a project which had us doing man-on-the-street interviews in Union Square for a few hours. A few hours of listening to all sorts of people. A question here, a little back and forth there, but mostly listening. I found it changed my interactions with everyone that day, even after we put the camera away and stopped shooting.

In the cab from the shoot, I was remembering how much fun it was to just listen to all the different strangers I met. At that moment, the driver started telling me a very long and intricate story about his family history and aspiring music career. I maybe said twenty words the whole ride, but when I got out of the car, he told me how talking with me "made his day."

Later on, I went to an art/music show at PS1 MoMA called WARM UP. In Jonathan Horowitz's exhibit (which I highly recommend by the way) a woman started a great conversation with me out of the blue. Throughout the day, it was as if the vibe I was sending out was "talk to me, I'll listen." I think it took being forced into listening all day to help me realize the fun, and power, in it.

One of the more visually interesting and participatory exhibits at PS1 was this pool people could gaze at each other through. It was a great show with plenty to see, and of course, listen to.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Stupid camera flash. Red eyes every time.

Obama. Spotted at corner of 6th and C.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

The Pump. Deflated.

The Pump is a small chain of health-conscious restaurants here in NYC. I've been going to them for years, drawn in by their apparent obsession with providing a healthy diet to all. However, the other day, they really disappointed me.

Below is a screen shot from their website.

As you can see (clicking it makes it bigger), they state: "We use only whole, unprocessed ingredients like fresh vegetables, brown rice, and whole wheat pita."

The other day, I ordered their pancakes, which come with with maple syrup. I wondered how they could afford to give out free natural maple syrup since it's usually pretty expensive. I asked to see the syrup bottle. When they showed it to me, the first ingredient in the list was CORN SYRUP. Corn syrup is not only one of the most processed foods out there, but outside of AIDS, it's one of the worst things you can put in your body.

When I complained, they told me to call their main office. What followed was ridiculous.

They first told me they do only use natural ingredients - in the foods they prepare. I explained that their site, and their stores, boast how they offer only healthy offerings, and how corn syrup doesn't fall into that equation. And, by giving this type of syrup away with their breakfast, it IS an ingredient they are using.

Then they tell me they serve this crap because of how expensive real maple syrup is, and how no one else has ever complained. I explained that when your restaurants are plastered with how healthy everything you guys use is, the assumption is that everything here is natural. And, the fact that nobody has "caught" you doesn't make it okay.

They proceeded to give me a whole bunch of excuses. I told them they should at least offer a natural version of maple syrup to those who'd pay the extra, and let people know that some of what's on their menu doesn't subscribe to their health claims. Instead of even saying "we'll look into it," they tried to defend themselves. Silly.

This really isn't about the maple syrup. It's about a company being trustworthy and standing by their philosophy. There's really no way of knowing if the rest of their menu is full of unhealthy items. No matter how you cut it, they're full of shit. Well, shit is organic. Maybe they're right after all then.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Mmmmm. Doubt in every bite.

Like until we die?
Well, how long do you plan on living?
Is it too late to change my mind?
Why are these fucking question marks all over my wedding cake?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Duane Greed. Now easier and more enjoyable to shoplift.

Saw this poster at the Duane Reade on 2nd Street and Ave. B. Very well re-written in my opinion.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Fill in those blanks in. Yeah, fill 'em in good.

Shannon, a girl I hadn't seen since high school, came by to spend a little of my birthday with me the other day. We got to reminiscing, and remembered this.

I was her paperboy, and used to hang out with her a bit during my route. One day, she broke out a MadLibs book. I proceeded to fill in the nouns, adjectives and verbs with the dirtiest words my 13-year old brain could wrap itself around. It was prose that would have made Mamet proud.

When I came to collect the money from her dad at the end of the week, he stood there with the MadLibs in his hand. He then had me read from it aloud. It was pretty humiliating. Not so much because I got caught, but beacuse when he pushed me to explain what all the words meant, I didn't really know.

Back then, I didn't know if a blow-job was a noun or a verb, and I had no idea you couldn't conjugate a pussy. Still, I think it was some of the best writing I have ever done.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

A funny thing happened on my way to nowhere.

I’m aware comparing yourself to others will only lead you down a rabbit hole. But, I’m only human. Or in this case, rabbit.

The other day I found myself walking around the city feeling blue. I had just turned 39, and I was going over in my mind how, lately, many of my friends have been racking up some seriously prestigious awards in the advertising industry. Meanwhile, the situation I’m in right now hasn’t afforded me many opportunities to produce finished work and shine as brightly as my buddies.

I’m certainly happier for my friends than I am jealous of them. Well, I might be a bit jealous, but in a way that pushes me to try and do better work myself rather than be all “sour grapes.” And I’m thankful to have so many talented friends. I also know creating your own projects can be fulfilling, as well as beneficial to any creative person’s career, so there’s no need to wait around for your job to plop an opportunity in your lap. Still, on this day, I was lamenting how the accolades of the ad world haven’t been coming my way, and truth be told, haven’t been due.

Then, I tried focusing on something positive about my creative output – my improv. Since returning to New York, the work I’ve been doing at the Upright Citizens Brigade has been met with a lot of positivity by my mentors and peers. While improv isn’t a tangible thing I can put in my portfolio, submit to award shows, boost my salary with, or share with anyone other than the small audiences who see it, I was patting myself on the psychological back for having a creative outlet that made me happy and garnered some recognition.

At that absolute very moment, I happened to look down at the ground. There on the sidewalk lay an empty box from a bobblehead of the character Hiro, from the TV show Heroes. Masi Oka, the guy who plays Hiro was someone I recruited to be in SNAFU, an improv group I put together in San Francisco. Even as I tried to find my way past envy, the world just couldn’t resist shoving another friend who’s achieved a higher level of success and industry acknowledgement than me in my face. I laughed out loud. As good as my comedic timing may be, the universe’s is better. Well, I gotta run. I have a hole filled with carrots to get to.

P.S. I’ve been typing this on a plane to Denver to see my buddy Sean and go on a whitewater rafting trip. They just announced we are about to land and need to close our laptops, right as I’m finishing this post. See, my timing is indeed stellar. Take that universe.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

It's all a lie!

AgencySpy has it all wrong. Yes, there was an outbreak of Swine Flu at our agency. But what is being mistaken for "pandemonium" over a health scare was simply excitement over this being one of the first things our agency's been involved with that has truly gone viral.
(click image to enlarge)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

They're off!

As I sit here reflecting upon all the hearts, and children's privates, Michael Jackson touched during his life, I notice the race to find which celebrity has been most emotionally affected by another celebrity's passing has officially begun.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Hey New York, stop fucking hitting me.

Look New York, in the past year, I've lost 20 pounds and have gone from 18% body fat down to 11. What I'm getting at is, I'm not taking up all that much space, so stop bumping into me!

I get smacked into, on average, ten times a day. On the subway. On the sidewalk. In the department stores. Everywhere.

When I lived amongst the Los Angeles sprawl, I could go months without a single soul even brushing up against me. Probably 'cause everyone was hermetically sealed away inside their cars. Not that I
want to go back to such isolation. LA was pretty lonely sometimes. It got to the point where I considered getting into car accidents just to meet people. But the streets of wall-to-wall people here who act as if I were invisible is too much.

Here's a picture of what I look like (before the weight loss mind you). If you see me, please make some room. Thank you.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Broken English.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Trump Card

I was playing a game of Apples to Apples a while back. In case you're not familiar with the game, a card with an adjective is turned face-up. Each player has seven cards with nouns on them. All the players throw down a noun-card they think is the best match for that adjective. The judge of that round then determines whose noun is the best, or funniest, match. Usually, some lively debate ensues as people try to defend their nouns.

During this round, the adjective we had to match was "heartless." Here are the cards that were then thrown down, in order. When I saw "J.F.K. assassination," I figured nothing could top that. Guess I was wrong. Damn you Hitler. Damn you to hell. In defense of my card, I do think feminists are pretty heartless, although they are fun to objectify.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

My iTunes plug-in (in development).

Buying and listening to music has changed a lot since my days of puberty.

It used to be you had to flip through racks of albums, only to find you've wound up with only
one or two good songs scattered amongst ten tracks full of filler. Many times, the hunt for the record was more fulfilling than the record itself. You kind of lose that sense of fun when you buy music through iTunes.

In an effort to bring some of the old-school, record store charm to the digital age, I'm developing an itunes plug-in that recreates one of the staples of the days of vinyl. With my plug-in, you simply choose the songs you want in iTunes, click to check out, and then you'll be greeted with a smug, arrogant record store clerk who judges your selection with a roll of his eyes. And because he's digital, he can pop up every time you play the song to remind you that your salaried job will never be able to buy you the coolness he commands at 5.50 an hour.

Friday, March 27, 2009

My Larry David life.

Larry David and his Curb Your Enthusiasm writers must be following me around, stealing material based on the uncomfortable and awkward trouble which seems to find only me. Here are two recent examples.

A very well known, highly awarded, advertising Creative Director is a Facebook friend of mine. Here's a screen shot of an exchange we had.

I interviewed with this guy before, and was happy he still wanted to work together.

After this interaction to the left, I explained I was now full-time, but if he really needed help, I would try to do a little work for him on the evenings or weekends. He went on to tell me I was a talented guy and that we'd do great work together, blah, blah, blah.

Moments later, we have this exchange.

To those not in the "ad biz," Gerry Graf is another high-profile Creative Director, possibly even more awarded than the guy I'm talking with here.

Then, the next day, I had to see a doctor for a fairly invasive procedure. (I'm fine, thanks asking.) It being my first time at this doctor, I was greeted with a clipboard of obligatory forms to fill out. As I flipped the papers I got to one that seemed kind of odd. Turns out it was another patient's very personal records.

I went up to the office manager who gave me the forms and complained quite harshly, telling him it didn't instill a lot of confidence in me, knowing how this office was being run. He apologized, and I went back and sat down.

Turns out he wasn't the office manager, but the physician's assistant, and was going to be assisting as things were being shoved into my body. There was an uncomfortable vibe in the room, made even more so by my paper gown which failed to fully close in the back. It was faint, but I thought I heard the music from the closing credits of Curb.

Friday, March 13, 2009

The RSVP that got away.

I was recently invited to give a lecture at The Freedom Law School, an organization that believes federal income tax is unconstitutional. So why would a group like this offer to fly me, an ad guy, all the way out to California (all expenses paid) to give a lecture? Simple, they had the wrong Jeff Greenspan.

They were looking to invite this Jeff Greenspan, the SW Regional Coordinator for Ron Paul's 2008 presidential campaign, and controversial figure in Nevada politics. (For the record, I too dig Ron Paul.) Funnily enough, I've actually met this other Jeff Greenspan. I guess these Freedom Law dudes just went to my site,, and emailed me from there, assuming I was him.

I made the mistake of telling them I wasn't the Greenspan they were looking for. I should have accepted the invite. I should have gone and gave the following speech:

"Hello Ladies and Gentlemen. I'm Jeff Greenspan. Thank you for having me. Everyone in this room believes we should be exempt from paying any federal income taxes. (hold for applause) So, you want to make use of the nation's highway system, live under the protection of our defense department, and take advantage of the federally funded infrastructure of our country without any contribution of your own. Basically, you want a free ride. Well, I came here with a plane ticket that you all paid for, stayed in a hotel on your dime, and enjoyed a nice daily spending budget which you all graciously provided. But, I'm not the Jeff Greenspan you're looking for. I just wanted a free ride, just like you guys want. Kinda shitty, isn't it? Thank you. Now, if you don't mind, I have an already paid for plane to catch. Good night."

I'd probably get beat up or something. So I just stayed home and curled up with my W2.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Hold please.

While on hold with my pharmacy, the Spice Girls' "Wannabe," was playing. As I was greeted with the enticing refrain of "tell me what you want, what you really really want," I thought to myself what a poignant question I was being asked, given the large amount of psychotropics sitting on the other end of the line.

What do I want, what do I really really want? Vicodin.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Ahhh, I amuse myself.

I made a joke awhile back that I thought of the other day, and I chuckled at my own cleverness. I figured someone had to.

My friend Ryan named his son Dash. I asked if that was short for Hyphen.

Haaa hahahha hah hhahahahhahahahah ahahh ahahahahah

In reality, it's short for Dashel, and he's quite cute. His dad (pictured) is pretty talented too. He's the creator and co-star of Sailor Man, a very cool show where the violent exploits of a well-known cartoon sailor are brought to blood-soaked life. It's been getting incredible reviews, and as of this writing, it's about to begin a second run. Check it out here.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Customer service in the afterlife.

I've come to expect poor customer service nowadays. From the never-present waiter, to the Sprint representative who couldn't tell me why they still sold the HTC Touch phone when the fact that it doesn't ring is one of their "known issues." Yes, I've come to expect lousy treatment like this, and the other day, Duane Read didn't disappoint.

They "lost" my prescriptions. When I pressed for more answers, the girl behind the counter giggled "I don't usually work here, I don't know what to do." There she was in her white lab coat, which when teamed with her skill set, barely qualified her to work behind a Clinique counter, let alone a pharmacy's. One of my most used phrases seems to be "let me to speak to the manager." It's a demand so inextricably linked to my life that I'll likely have it etched into my tombstone.