28 February 2007

What Kind of Car Are You?

I'm a Dodge Viper!

You're all about raw power. You're tough, you're loud, and you don't take crap from anyone. Leave finesse to the other cars, the ones eating your dust.

Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.

26 February 2007


Thanks to Energy 92.7 in San Francisco, I can avoid listening to the crappy radio stations we have here in Memphis.

I'm not talking about our independent station, WEVL, which I love. Or, WUMR, our University of Memphis jazz station. Or, even WKNO, our NPR, classical station. When I'm in the mood, I give them each a listen and usually love it.

But, Dance? Here? Not on your life.

In saying crappy, I'm talking about any of our popular music stations -- the ones that play shitty thug music (of which we have more than our share in Memphis), or the Top 40 station that plays only a handful of "safe," poppy, crappy, so-last-decade music (and even when they'd try to be cool and do "polyester" weekends it was too much K.C. and the Sunshine Band and not much else but the overplayed standards that always show up on the latest "best disco" albums.

Our excuse for a country music station = SUCKS. Our soccer mom-whiny-adult contemporary-elevator music station that's "safe for work and kids" = SUCKS. Not into Celine Dion all day.

On Energy 92.7, Fernando and Greg's morning show kicks it. You should check them out. Sterling James, DJ Ajax and Cardio Radio rock, too. Because of these guys, I have a new favorite radio station and favorite song of the moment. The lyrics for Hellogoodbye's "Here (in your arms)" reminds me of how I feel about Cameron. And I love that it's danceable.

LOVE IT. The video is fun, too.


I love these. We bought them in 2002.

A couple things I don't love, though, are that the pedastal drawers are somewhat impractical, as most laundry care product packaging doesn't fit in the shallow space unless it's stored on it's side, and that seemingly every time I launder jeans the legs come out horribly twisted. This is true for king size sheet sets and other bedding as well.

Online, I was searching for any information on twisted jeans and front-loading washers to better prepare myself for this post. Landing on iVillage Garden Web, I found a lot of interesting comments, and now surmise that other brands of machines are apparently far worse than the Duet HT at twisting legs. The problem is that the marketing for the machines talks of increased load sizes, (like 12 pairs of jeans, for instance), water savings, energy efficiency and such. On the occasion that I've put 12 pairs of jeans in the dryer, I can be guaranteed twisted pant legs.

Yesterday, I discovered that a smaller load does much better. We washed 7 pairs. Since water usage is dictated by weight and we can adjust the amount of HE detergent we're using we should still be saving something -- money, water, electricity -- something. And after a touch up in the dryer, my Diesel Yarik's looked fabulous this morning.

So, still love more than not love the DuetHT.

25 February 2007

From Today's "The Commercial Appeal"

Merged agency gets top ad prize

Fair campaign wins ADDY Best of Show; entries rise this year
By Jane Roberts

February 25, 2007
Forget the red carpet. The creative types in Memphis advertising agencies walked on air Saturday night, pumping the night with victory.

Inferno, tucked in a funky nook on Tennessee Downtown, took 18 gold ADDY awards in the Memphis Advertising Federation's annual gala -- more than any other agency -- but Best of Show went to the newly merged Carpenter Sullivan Sossaman for its clever Mid-South Fair campaign, including a billboard-size kamikaze pilot.

"Entries were up 8 percent to 943 this year," said Maury Tower, contest chairwoman. "I think it's a sign that the economy is improving."

After 9/11, entries dropped off precipitously; evidence that companies were cutting back on advertising and that the agencies themselves were investing the $45 entry fees elsewhere.

"And this year, the awards were more evenly divided between the agencies. No one swept them like they have in the past."

That may be an indication that agencies are stepping up in general, and using technology more to captivating affect.

Sossaman and Red Deluxe Brand Development perhaps get as much credit for raising the bar as any. Sossaman received a national ADDY in 2006. Red Deluxe, which took 13 gold ADDY's this year, catapulted itself to stardom with a national win in 2005.

This year, it also won the judges' Best of Print award for its newspaper campaign for The Lofts and special recognition for the radio campaign it created for The Commercial Appeal.

Tactical Magic earned 12 gold ADDYs and special award for art direction. Inferno received the Judges Special Award for promotion work.

Winners were selected by an out-of-town panel of judges representing small and large markets. They advance to the district competition in March.

"There are always surprises in who wins and what type of work different agencies are doing," said Dan O'Brien, principal at inferno. "Things surface at the ADDYs that you just really didn't know existed."

Surprisingly, much of the work in an ad agency is invisible to the general public, often because campaigns are designed for business-to-business use or because the technology that springs them loose is unseen.

But advertising people see where the genius lies, part of the fun of the ADDYs, O'Brien said.

"With each agency, the work has a look or feel. While it's not formulaic, you can see where the inspiration is coming from."

That insight is extremely helpful, he said, because an agency's trump is always the depth of its creative pool.

The other reward of winning, of course, is the limelight it sheds on the an agency's creative team and the potential that builds for new business.

"Just because a company wins the most ADDYs may not mean a huge influx of business, but it does mean they are going to get recognition, and that's what you need when you're calling on customers," said Mickey Woodham at Thompson & Co.

Thompson won six gold ADDYs, including two for its Memphis Humane Society campaigns.

Conversely, companies that rack up multiple wins also tip their competitors to the depth of their talent.

"It certainly puts the stars on your radar," said O'Brien, who admits agencies are always hoping to hire talent away.

"On the flip side, you're also putting your superstars out there for everyone to see. Frankly, I'd like to keep those folks on my side."

--Jane Roberts: 529-2512

Ad agencies take gold

archer=malmo, 6 awards

Carpenter Sullivan Sossaman, 13 awards

Combustion, 4 awards

Disciple Design, 3 awards

Hemline Creative Marketing, 1 award

idex, 1 award

inferno, 16 awards

LeBonheur Children's Medical Center, 9 awards

Nokturnal Studio, 2 awards

Oden, 4 awards

Phillip Parker Photography, 1 award

Red Deluxe Brand Development, 13 awards

Tactical Magic, 12 awards

Thompson & Co., 6 awards

WA Films/Arra Creative, 2 awards

23 February 2007


Snow crab, king crab legs, shrimp and clams with potatoes and corn. And crab cakes. A martini in the shaker and a chilled glass in the freezer. A bottle of Pouilly-Fiusse.

When Cameron said that he'd invited John and David to dinner and that he and John were cooking since it was a school night, I had no idea what was in store.

David and I arrived at the driveway at the same time. We opened the door and the steamy smell of fresh seafood and Old Bay wafted out the door. I kissed Cameron hello and surveyed the kitchen. What a scene. Two huge boiling pots of water were on the stove. One, a porcelain canning pot that hardly gets used these days, showed me that we were in for something special.

Dinner was fantastic. And, he wouldn't even let me clean the kitchen. He had something else in mind.... I'll keep that to myself.

What a wonderful night. The icing on the cake? It's FRIDAY!

Hope you have a great one.

20 February 2007

Tonight's Screening

7 PM on Logo: Adam and Steve

I enjoyed this movie. I guess I'd give it a 3 on a scale of 1 to 5. I didn't give it my undivided attention, though. I was chatting with daviddavedammit on AIM, getting Doris and Billie cookies and myself martinis during commercials. I made two grilled cheese sandwiches.

Since I recorded it, Cameron and I will be able to watch it when he comes home. Maybe then I can give some sort of review.

Until then:

Adam & Steve

I've always liked Charles Barkley

First of all, the "firestorm" created by his comments, Tim Hardaway deserves what he's getting.

18 February 2007


I think this is an interesting and personal way that we've commemorated our holidays and it's something I've done since Cameron and I spent our first Christmas together.

When you buy a live Christmas tree you are supposed to remove the bottom 1" of the trunk so the tree will draw water and live throughout the season without becoming a fire hazard. We always buy a live tree and we always take off the inch. My idea was to use the stump to commemorate our first Christmas together. That first year I grabbed a Sharpie and wrote on it, "Cameron and David, Our First Christmas, 1992." The decoration on the discs of pine have become more "designed" as time has passed. This is one of the many things I do that causes my friends to call me "Martha".

Every year I've wrestled with a way to display these keepsakes. They've draped the back kitchen door for the last several years as a "garland" of sorts, but that arrangement has always left something to be desired, aesthetically. This year I found some old pine garland in a plastic storage box that we haven't used in years. It isn't as totally disgusting and fake looking as some other types of artificial garland. It even has tiny, real pine cones on it. During the process of figuring out how to construct this display, I also figured out how to make my wirework Christmas card holders, purchased during a clearance sale on Martha Stewart's online store, more functional -- so, bonus!

So the photos show how all this worked out. I was preparing to send these images of what I consider a "Good Thing" to "Martha, The Martha Stewart Show." As instructed in my new issue of Martha Stewart Living, I went to As I was reading about the ways in which to submit ideas, recipes, etc., to Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia the legalese instantly turned me off and ultimately changed my mind about sending them.

"All tapes, photographs, creative suggestions, ideas, notes or concepts or other materials (collectively, "Material") submitted to The Martha Stewart Show, whether through a solicitation by The Martha Stewart Show or unsolicited, become the property of The Martha Stewart Show and will not be returned. Submission of Materials shall constitute an assignment to The Martha Stewart Show and its corporate parent, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. (“MSO”) of all worldwide rights, titles, and interests in all copyrights and other intellectual property rights in such Materials. MSO is and shall be under no obligation to: (1) maintain any of your Material in confidence; (2) pay to you any compensation for any Material; or (3) respond to any of your Material. Due to the volume of submissions, all tapes and photographs submitted cannot be returned. By submitting a tape or photo, you agree to let the The Martha Stewart Show use such tape or photo in any media, including on-air and online, and all submitted tapes and photos become the property of The Martha Stewart Show."

While I didn't expect to be compensated for my idea, I do expect to keep ownership of my ideas and my work. My clients have to pay a significant price above normal fees for me to give up ownership of my commercial work. My idea -- my work -- I own it. I've decided to keep this "good thing" to myself.

16 February 2007

Not So Happy

A bunch of us went to The Happy Mexican for lunch today. We had a nice time -- it was fun. Service was very slow which put me on track to be late for a photo shoot. Upon further analysis, I realized that once I got everybody back to the office, though, I still had time to make it to the shoot in the nick of time.

What I hadn't realized, however, was that my digestive system wasn't so happy. Before I could make my way to the shoot I had to make a pit stop. A lengthy one.

I thought my chile relleno tasted odd with my first bite, but I figured that it was my taste buds and not the relleno. Now I think my instincts were right. I finished the shoot, cancelled a meeting with our friend/real estate agent and am now at home.

I'm having little Sprite on ice and hopefully I'll feel better soon.

The fact that it's Friday ought to help, too.

15 February 2007

Are You Ready...

"There's only so much you can learn in one place. The more that you wait the more time that you waste..."

Thanks, Madge. Not ready to think about this today....

14 February 2007

Love. Hate. Love. Hate.

Cameron and I observed Valentine's Day last night because he left for work this morning and will not be home until Saturday. He is so wonderful. And, this, our 15th Valentine's Day was as special as the first. Probably even the best with the exception of the year that I got us wedding bands.

He had flowers for me that he arranged himself -- which is no small feat for a non-girly man. A martini was waiting for me. He'd been to Lucchesi's for take-home and heat lasagna, both veggie and meat. He made a Caesar salad and had Garlic Bread waiting to be heated.

I on the other hand had been to Inz & Outz to get him a card, a sexy red undergarment, some naughty candy hearts and a bottle of video head cleaner.

Let's let it suffice to say that we loved a very nice night. I just hate that he had to go.

On another note, I'm loving this:

because it means that this:

will be here today. And that means I can start using this:

as a gym bag. It makes a lousy laptop bag in my opinion. In fact, I hate it as a laptop bag.


13 February 2007

Feeling Lucky

Our bowling team's name is "Whatever". When we were at the first night of league bowling three years ago Richard, our league secretary at the time, asked me "what's your team name?" And, because I get bored with the cheeky or trashy or otherwise drool names, I replied, "Whatever." He said, "sounds good to me," and so there you have it. It's been out team name ever since.

I wore my new favorite shirt to bowling on Sunday. It's one I bought when I was in Louisville over Christmas, bowling with my family at Lucky Strike lanes.

It worked for us this past Sunday. We all bowled well. Some of us better than some of us. But, we beat our team record, twice. We've held high scratch game (804), high handicap game (898), high scratch series (2255), and high handicap series (2540) since the beginning of the year.

Our new record was set for scratch and handicap games with our first game: 822 and 901 respectively. Mark: 243; Cameron 142; Chris 236; David 201.

Then, in the second game we broke the new record we set in the first game. We had 918 scratch and 997 with handicap. Mark bowled his highest game ever, a 258. Chris bowled a 300. I've never written "300" on a scoresheet. It was his second time to bowl a perfect game. Cameron and I rounded out the scores with a 158 and 202, respectively.

Finally, in our last game, Mark bowled a 217, Cameron, 154, Chris 219 and I bowled a 198. For that game our team scratch was 788 and game with handicap was 867. We finished the night with Mark's scratch series at 718. Cameron's scratch series was 454, Chris' scratch was 755 and mine was 601. Our total scratch was 2528 and series with handicap was 2765.

Woo hoo! Love to break our records!

12 February 2007

Please Pass the Kleenex®

Have you seen "The Notebook?"

Starring Gena Rowlands, James Garner, Rachael McAdams and Ryan Gosling this 2004 movie chronicles a nearly 50-year relationship between the two main characters.

If you've ever been in love you have to see this movie.

There are times that I cry during movies. Sometimes it's for joy, or sadness, or both. This is one of those "both" movies. It is a beautiful, touching, sometimes poignant. Art direction and authenticity of set design are beautifully executed. It's simply fantastic.

Just go. Now. Rent it. You'll thank me later.

09 February 2007

Happy Friday

I went to bed at 12:15 this morning. I thought that I'd get at least 7 hours of sleep.

At 6:15 I woke up to yet another report on Anna Nicole Smith. Sad, but I'm already tired of hearing about it. Fitfully, from there, I slept until 7:55. So, I'm late. Again. I'll eat lunch at my desk to make up for it. So far, I've made coffee, burned an English muffin. I now have my second English muffin with a little butter and apple butter for a change. Coffee. And, my girls, begging for yet a third cookie this morning. (They're IAMS light. The little ones. It's OK.) Just wish Cameron was here.

I went to a memorial mass last night for my friend Eric's dad. It was probably the third or fourth time I've been to a Catholic church. Weddings. Funerals.

Being brought up Southern Baptist I am usually at a loss for the parts we, the congregation, are supposed to say back to the priest during the service. I don't know the songs. So, while I stand there just taking it all in and only giving back when we're told to extend, "Peace be with you," I was glad to be there for Eric.

Chuck's namesake, Eric's older brother, Chuck, made some comments from the pulpit that embarrassed the priest, not to mention his mother and the rest of his family. The soloist was laughing, as was the organist and most of the congregation. We all know that he was trying to paint a picture of his father for us, but I'll bet his dad never said "shit" 3 times in the sanctuary. No doubt, he wouldn't have shared the story about driving by a nude beach in southern California when he said that he "wasn't into balls and bats."

It's funny. When you meet someone's family after many years of knowing them and begin associating some of the stories they've shared with you over time, you begin to feel as if you already know them. I saw how close he and his mother are. I saw a funny exchange between Eric and his sister-in-law that has to do with a night they were having dinner and he was a bit too excited about Magic Shell. I saw the residue of a lifetime of sibling rivalry. I heard stories from Eric's aunt and how she took him along with her youngest children on some pretty amazing trips to New York, Washington and California.

I am sad that I'll never have the opportunity to meet Eric's dad. But being with his family made me feel as if he was there, in spirit I suppose. I learned a few things about him. He learned Chinese for military duty after studying a year at Yale. He started out learning Russian. He was a Knight of Columbus. He loved telling jokes. He loved candy. He would eat the candy coating from Jeannine's Jordan Almonds. She'd come home to find her almonds gone and a pile of uncoated nuts in the trash.

More importantly, I learned that I should never pass an opportunity to spend time with people I care about. Even things we dread, like attending memorial services and being in situations where you know very few people can be some of the best times in life. And, of course, those situations are not about me. I'm there for them.

I need to go to work. Did I mention, "it's Friday!"

I hope you have a good one.

08 February 2007


I called the doctor's office today to get the report on my blood work. I was intrigued by the statement "it all looks good." Another call may be in order for clarification.

The only concrete figure I got was that my cholesterol level is 190. According to the American Heart Association this is acceptable. But I didn't get a figure for HDL cholesterol. So I don't feel like I know everything, but at the very least I feel good about the results of this physical.

Back to the gym!

01 February 2007

He Gave Me The Finger

I went in to see Dr. Acree for a bronchial infection and congestion, and while I was at it, a long overdue complete physical--it had been five years. I just left the doctor's office. So, a recap:

I woke up late. After rushing to feed Doris and Billie and make a pot of coffee, I showered. Because it's been like the North Pole here lately I've exhausted my supply of thermal underwear. I wore the white Union Suit. Mistake, just for the record.

I get to the doctors office. The nurse weighs me with all of this extra clothing (car coat, scarf, fleece pullover, jeans, boots, thermal socks, union suit, belt). Not happy about her reading, I was consoled by the doctor who said "don't forget about all the clothes." Guess he knows that I usually weigh myself after I am completely naked and digestively weightless in the mornings.

After the temperature check (98.0) and blood pressure test (normal), I was given directions to the restroom and a plastic cup. I told the nurse I wasn't sure I'd be able to participate since I had gone right before I'd left the house a half-hour earlier. As I placed the nearly filled cup on the table I was kind of embarrassed when she said "Look how much!"

As I sat and waited for the doctor I looked around the room. I watched this woman pace back and forth on the sidewalk about 20 feet away from the window. She ducked and bobbed, clearly trying to see something. I just watched her. She eventually walked away. I looked at the chart that explained how HIV progresses from infection state to full-blown AIDS. I studied the chart that explained the muscular system and how each relates to one another. Boring. I continued occupying my time looking around. Biohazard. Sharps disposal. Sphygmomanometer. OK. I know how to pronounce this word, but I haven't had to in years. Phonics works. Do they still teach it in school?

The doctor came in and went over my chart. And because it had been so long since my last physical he asked a battery of questions to update my records. Then it was time for the stethoscope and breathing. Then an external abdominal exam. He checked my ears and my throat. Then it was time.

He tells me to lower my trousers. This is when I realize that the Union suit is sort of in the way. Junk hanging out in the front, he explains to me what I should be looking for during a testicular self-exam. I get the exam. Then it's time to turn to each side, "cover your mouth and cough."

Flap open in the back for the prostate/stool exam, I'm trying to figure out how to button up the front while keeping things moving along. I want to laugh out loud at what this might look like to a fly on the wall. Thank God he closed the blinds when he came in, otherwise, Ms. Thing would be getting quite a show by now. Elbows on the table, I take a deep breath as instructed.

Yeeoww. You'd think, because I'm a bog ol' homo, that this wouldn't be a "thing." But, it is. Trust me.

"We're done." He is explaining what happens next while grabbing several tissues to help me get rid of the "cool jelly" used to invade my "grocery hole" (thanks, GBoogie for that phrase -- makes me laugh every time I think of it). Prostate exam: good. Stool sample: good. A different nurse comes in to administer an EKG. Results: good. I walk from the exam room with my jeans back up and buttoned, union suit unbuttoned with sleeves dangling below my waist to the X-ray area.

Then it's on to the nurse who explains that she's "been here for 17 years". Stabbing and twisting the needle in my vein after she'd already taken two vials of blood, she made me wonder exactly what she was trying to do other than leave a hideous purple and black hemorrhage in the crook of my arm.

So far, the results are that everything looks great and I am supposed to call in a week for the report on my blood tests. I am on my way to pick up my prescriptions for a bronchial infection and congestion. Z-pack is my friend.