Thursday, March 30, 2006

Who knew?

Apparently it isn't all that difficult to be the editor of a women's lifestyle magazine:

Launching July 24, [Missbehave] is a provocative consumer magazine from the publishers of Mass Appeal targeting women with fashion, beauty tips, and cultural lowdown appropriate to "more edgy, street-savvy women ages 18-32," according to editor Samantha Moeller. "There's a lot of men's magazines featuring this whole sneaker culture--graphic t-shirts and all this 'gear,' I call it," Wherever did she come up with that term? said Moeller. "But a lot of women from all different backgrounds are into the same thing. They might have a 9-to-5 job, but they're going out to parties and rocking their gear, dressed down like that. Even more so, there are a lot of jobs, in all kinds of industries, where it's really acceptable to wear all that kind of gear." I think she should have used the word "gear" a few more times. Moeller summed up: "There's all these men's magazines that show this kind of stuff-and we're saying hey, it's time for the women's side too." For example, the magazine has a section called 'ADHD,' Always fun to spoof mental illness. Moeller said, with short features categorized by "style, entertainment, and tech." But Moeller emphasized that Missbehave is very much a lifestyle magazine as well, with "documentary" articles exploring the myriad female American subcultures. "For example, there's a subculture in Texas of female fans who worship Selena, the late singer--and there are fans who wear t-shirts with her picture airbrushed on them, and it's a real culture," Moeller said. "We love that kind of stuff, because it's a fashion thing, without being 'style.'" "ish" She left the "ish" off at the end there. Moeller's husband
Adrian, Missbehave's publisher, (aha!) is also in charge of pushing the magazine to readers: "Initial circulation's going to be 75,000, and we're going to be doing a lot of promotions." He went on: "We're going to be doing some huge wallscapes in SoHo and the Lower East Side, postering all of New York and Los Angeles. Because God knows SoHo and the LES pretty much count as all of New York. Where I'm living might as well be Toronto. We're doing Fashion Week. We're buying special placement in Borders and Barnes & Noble. It's going to be huge."

Dudes, what am I doing with my life? I could totally have this job, revealing trends in niche subcultures. Like I hear this iPod doohicky is really catching on among these "hipsters". Who, as is turns out, are often not as young as they appear! Shocking!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Nice Rack! pt. 2

I know I have plugged him before, but seriously you guys, this Larry Dobrow CRACKS MY SHIT UP. If you haven’t read these before, Magazine Rack reviews random titles for people in advertising to (ostensibly) decide if they should buy ads in the mag. There are several contributing writers but he is far and away the best. There are dirty words in this one! In a trade newsletter, meant for business people with important jobs and shit. I wish so badly that he had a blog or wrote recaps for TWoP or something, because I seriously cannot get enough of Mr. Dobrow.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Found in translation

I love codes and shortcuts. I’m that person who in the proper context will abbreviate everything, so that emails to Veronica Mars friends look something like this:

“Well, I thought ANMMHE was a way better ep than VT. HaLo has nothing on LoVe (my OTP) and JD was kinda acting OTT. YMMV. OTH, I <3 TT now and think she and KB are great together. Re: S3, TPTB at the CW might pair us with GG. OMGsquee, what a perfect lead in!”

I also like these kinds of ciphers in RL (sorry, real life). For example, the picture on a printer that tells you which way to load paper. Working as a temp, I learned that this:means that the right side of the page faces up and the top of the page goes to the left. It’s the modern day equivalent of hobo-code. I began looking for other examples of symbols with hidden meaning.
Prepare to have your mind blown. I found one such symbol, often hidden right beneath our noses, that contains information of such vital import for the viewer that I cannot believe I'm one of the few to know its meaning. Much like the answers to the DaVinci code, this secret is both ingenious and obvious, and the time has come for it to be revealed.
Did you know that in most modern cars you can determine which side the gas tank is on while sitting behind the wheel? Not from looking in your mirrors, or asking your passenger to stick their head out the window. Every car that I have checked since discovering this on my ’96 Mercury Sable (RIP “The PrincessMobile”) has an indicator by the fuel gauge that points to the side of the car where the gas tank door is. In the case of the PM®, it was an arrow pointing to the left, located just beneath the “E” for empty. In many other cars it is a picture of a gas pump placed strategically on one side of the fuel gauge. We have rented several cars over the past few years, and I assure you every single one of them has had this kind of indicator. No more craning out of the window to catch a glimpse of the tank door's outline. No more backing up and turning around to face your car the other way. From now on, you will always know which side of the car to pull up to the pump.
I know you’re dying right now to run out to your car and check, so I’ll let you go. You can thank me later.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Friday send-off

Happy Friday! This is when I wish I had one of those blogs that update every 28 minutes, mostly with new links to cool shit, because I don't have anything particular to say about this, except, perhaps:

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Can't Buy My Love

NB: I meant to post this a few days ago, but have not had the chance to edit it properly (read: look over once). I sort of hate linking to the Times because it will only be viewable for a week or two, but I figured since I went to all the trouble of writing (read: bothered to jot down in between page refreshes checking for new email) this, I might as well post it. Appologies for the poor structure and uninspired linkage. This is one of few archives I will not look back upon with delight.

Couple of things I find interesting about this – yes, I think you should disclose if you are getting inside information from a company when you blog about it. Saying you “heard from someone” that "blah blah yay!Wal-Mart" without disclosing that the “someone” you heard it from is their PR agency is pretty disingenuous. However let’s never confuse blogger with journalist. This is journalism. This is blogging. I seriously doubt that the content of these blogs is being radically altered. That’s the point – they find people who already love them some Wal Mart and just feed them extra info. Like if your drug dealer had a customer loyalty program where he gave you better smack in exchange for you talking it up to some friends. You’re a druggie to begin with; your friends know where you are coming from. How can I get hooked up with one of these deals? I already missed the boat on the Veronica Mars blogger day. And yes, the bitterness that torments my soul knowing if I had been a better blogger I could have been one of the chosen few knows no bounds. Thanks for asking. I’ve sung the praises of Time Warner Cable, though I think HBO on Demand should be part of the regular HBO package. I really, really love Starbucks despite any negative corporate image problems. Screw you and your carpel-tunnel Ms. Barista; fire me up a caramel macchiato. I would totally accept some free lattes in exchange for plugging Starbucks on my clearly relevant and impactful blog. Hello, it's in the name already! Because as much as housecoffee will kill me for this, they give me my fix. The actual coffee is consistently overroasted to a nice burnt taste and $4 for bean-water and milk still galls me. But it’s the always the same. Every time, everywhere. And I do mean everywhere. Knowing that I need only travel a mere 2 blocks from work or from home or from almost anywhere in New York City safe enough to take my parents and I can obtain the same exact blend of espresso, milk and carefully orchestrated coffee-house experience soothes my soul. Not enough to make up for missing the Veronica Mars Blogger Day, but you know. It helps. And I will certainly tell you guys when Starbucks starts paying me off to posts these odes. Till then, you can trust that any “insider information” I post is obtained the good old fashioned blogger way: by making it up.

say what?

Tony Brummel, the owner of the independent rock label Victory Records, says he is not interested in selling individual songs from his albums, though he may give them away to build buzz. The label this week captured the No. 3 spot on the chart with the new album from the emo-rock band Hawthorne Heights. The band's CD sold about 114,000 copies — a solid figure for an independent rock band, but somewhat less than expected given the label's shipments of roughly 800,000 copies. A rock album, Mr. Brummel said, "is a work of art."

"If you're buying a Picasso," he continued, "you can't just buy the upper right-hand corner."

No, but can you view just the upper right-hand corner at a museum, the same way that you can listen to just one song at a time, instead of the whole album on, say, the radio?
I cannot believe I am trying to make sense of a metaphor that compares Hawthorne Heights to Picasso.

Thursday, March 02, 2006


As my man Mr. A-Z says, it's all about the wordplay. And for me, that means Wheel of Fortune. Back in my smarty-pants high school days (no, I am not still a smarty-pants. I have graduated to being a know-it-all. Doyie) I used to think I was beyond WoF. I cruised through Jeopardy at 7:00pm, yelling back answers like, "Star of India!" and "The Tempest!" with equal parts triumph and disdain. When WoF started at 7:30, I was all, my brain is too fast for this dumb show. So I would turn to other intellect-enriching programs, like Entertainment Tonight.
I can't pin down the moment that turned me around. I probably just left the TV on after Jeopardy while I worked in the kitchen and little by little, I soaked in the goodness that is Wheel. For starters, Pat Sajak is hilarious and not for the reason you think. Not unlike Pat Kiernan, DCA, Pat Sajak's humor is buried beneath a professional demeanor. When a contestant says, "I'd like to buy an O please" and Pat responds with "An O. Well OK!" he's not making bad "O - OK" joke. He's saying to them, "Are you fucking kidding me? You just bought an E, you have like $500 left and the goddamn answer is 'Whitney Houston Texas'. How do you need to buy a fucking O to solve it?!" And then when the contestant gets their one O and then announces, "I'd like to solve the puzzle, Pat! Whitney Houston Texas!", he might say something like, "Yep that's it!" but in his head he's thinking, "Of course it's Whitney fucking Houston Texas. You had all but the X up there but you had to go and waste $250 on the fucking one O like it was "Apple" unlocking the fucking DaVinci Code." In other circumstances when the puzzle is all but solved and the contestant chooses to spin that one last time, Pat will give them an "Alrighty!" but with an unmistakable subtext of, "Go for it, you greedy dumb fuck. You can't be satisfied with $15,000 in the bank plus a trip to Cabo, no, you just have to spin and call out the X for $350 more. Come on Bankrupt!" When they inevitably land on Bankrupt, he gives the best fake "Awww" ever before brightly turning to the next person, "Whaddya say there, Karen?"
But it's not just the heady mix of Pat Sajak's barely-masked loathing for both the contestants and for himself that keeps me hooked. There is a special event, rare as a Corpse Flower, that once you experience first-hand will have you setting your Season Pass to bump Wheel even above Ellen: The MisSolve.
The MisSolve is not when a contestant can't get the final puzzle, or when they shout a desperation guess during the speed round. It's not even when they get one word wrong, like adding an S to the end thereby rendering their whole answer incorrect. The MisSolve is when over 65% of the letters are in place and the contestant thoughtfully calls out a completely nonsensical solution. Somewhere along the lines of "Baby Fish Mouth" I have been fortunate enough to witness three of these in my lifetime, and I am here to share them with you today.

I'll admit upfront this was a tricky puzzle and the Feyonce (who did not give me the flu, BTW) solved it before I could. The Category was "Event" I think (and they are playing fast and loose with those categories these days. You'll see what I mean) and the answer was:
Choreographed Fountain Show
Tricky, right? And only an event in the every-half-hour-outside-of-the-Bellagio kind of way. But our intrepid contestant's stab came out as:
Choreographer Fountain Shot
I'll overlook the fact that the T was already up in Fountain, as were the first two Rs so you knew that Choreographer and Shot couldn't be right. What the hell would a Choreographer Fountain Shot even be? Bob Fosse's version of "Our Lips Are Sealed"?

A slightly more plausible but no less correct guess was given for the following puzzle, Category "Around the House":
Juicy Pineapple Chunks
Ok, what? It's the unnecessary adjectives that make these kinds of puzzles difficult, as evidenced by the guess of:
Spicy Pineapple Chunks
See, not totally absurd. Granted, I've never heard of Spicy Pineapple Chunks but then again I don't eat a lot of Thai.

But my all-time favorite MisSolve, the one that gets me giggling every time I think of it or come across French pastries is this puzzle, Category "On the Menu":
Custard-Filled Eclair
Now, the C hadn't yet been called, but other than that I'm pretty sure the entire board was filled in, because the contestant only got one tiny little letter wrong in their guess:
Mustard-Filled Eclair
Seriously? Seriously. Mustard-Filled Eclair. Not even my people would eat something like that.

So there you have it. My love of the Wheel laid bare. Not since the days when people were forced to spend their winnings on living room sets and ceramic Dalmations from the rotating stage has this show been such a nightly ritual for me. I was awed by the star power of NFL Week, "aww"ed by the charm of Best Friends Week and plan to be "Aw-yeah"ed by the hot-n-steaminess of Soap Opera Star Week. I am continually amazed at Vanna's wardrobe and her complete and utter lack of purpose. I am also waiting for the day Pat Sajak loses it and slaps some poor, unsuspecting dude for calling out "N" when it's already been called. Seeing as how the show is taped months in advance however, I suspect we may never see that footage air. In the meantime, I comfort myself by shouting out answers like "Upright Vacuum Cleaner" and "Sampling the Local Tequilas" (a prize puzzle where the prize was, natch, a trip to Mexico) and crying anytime someone solves the Final Puzzle. That never happens on Jeopardy.