Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Things I Invent at My Day Job

And by I....I mean we. Things WE invent at our day jobs. Because I work with some pretty creative women. There's Jules, Michelle, Lucia , Megan and Wendy. There was Deb. Technically we still work with Deb only it's in a different capacity. Long story that she should write about, if she hasn't already.

Several bloggers coincidentally writing great blogs like So What Are You Making for Dinner? (Lucia), Closet Fashionista (Megan) and (Deb). Julie is working on turning her life story into a Chelsea Handler kind of a book. Wendy could design the cover. Michelle could make it into a movie.

We work at an agency but our offices are in the boonies. We have about 3 lunch options total. It's not like we're popping out to grab something from Cosi in the City. When noon rolls around we tend to take our weird leftovers, Smart Ones, vegan specials -- and heat them up in the microwave. Then we sit around and cook up ideas for inventions. What we would do if we didn't work at this agency in the boonies?

These are my favorite inventions so far:

Broken Spirit
A new fragrance for women who've given up on their dreams. This was GENIUS product naming by Deb. I think it would smell something like the skinny clothes you've put in a giant plastic tub in your basement. Slightly musty and let down.

Spankles would become all the rage in shapewear - for the gal whose feet and ankles are one.

Middle-Aged Butt Branding
Sure the younger set has embraced sweatpants with brands emblazoned across their butts. Juicy. Pink. UCONN. Whatever it is, just slap it across the back of your pants and go out jogging. Our idea is to brand sweatpants for middle-aged women. We'd embroider them with snappy slogans like: Flat. Bumpy. Cold. Worn Out.
Once Great.

Real-World Barbie 
Along the same lines as our sweat pants, these Barbies would represent real women. Jiggly Julie. Big-Boned Becky. Our caravans would be stocked with Cream of Mushroom soup and Smirnoff.

Fun Nursing Homes
In my last year of high school, I worked at a nursing home for Jesuit priests called The Campion Center in Weston, MA. At the Campion Center, the priests and brothers had happy hour in the evening. It wasn't wild and crazy, but they had a drink. "Why should people at the end of their lives be denied a glass of wine," said Lucia. Our fun nursing home would have happy hours like Mariachi and Margarita Mondays. Maybe date night? What the hell.

You may be old but you're not dead.

Fun Nursing Homes in Hawaii
Very similar to our other concept, except we get to live in Hawaii. And somehow Dog the Bounty Hunter would play a role.

Stay tuned.

Monday, January 23, 2012

I'm So Tough I'm Like That Guy in Silverado

Last weekend, we went to the not-so-nearby mall to look for a couple of obscure things. First stop, FYE for XBOX headphones for my son. In the store, there were bins filled with discount movies. One of my favorites - Silverado - was on sale for like 4 dollars. But it was some kind of 2-disk collectable set, and in my mind I couldn't afford to take on 2 disks. "It's just too much," I said to myself.

That's how I think.

Silverado reminds me of other Lawrence Kasdan films I love. His son is in the movie business now so you young kids might recognize the last name. Grand Canyon that was another good one. He's well known for The Big Chill, but that's not my favorite.

Silverado is just a fun movie with a great cast. Young Kevin Costner, Danny Glover, Kevin Kline, Brian Dennehy, John Cleese, Rosanna Arquette, Linda Hunt, Lynn Whitfield, Scott Glenn, Jeff Goldblum, etc. You couldn't even afford to make this film today with all of these actors.

A pivotal scene in the movie takes place when brothers Scott Glenn and Kevin Costner learn their family has been targeted by the bad guys and their young nephew Augie kidnapped by the evil McKendrick clan. Scott Glenn's character has already been attacked by the McKendricks, beaten then dragged by a horse. He's barely recovering from his injuries in a cave when he hears his nephew is missing. On the brink of death, he musters all his strength to save his kinfolk. In a truly tough guy scene, he strips the bandage from his head, clearly showing he is not going to take any crap.

Now back to me.

I've been sick for about 10 days. But I needed to work. Because of course, this is America and what would happen if we took a sick day? I took half a day off then realized I needed to go in. People were counting on me. Not to rescue them like the young boy in Silverado. Because they had immediate copywriting needs for the purposes of marketing stuff.

The two are very similar if you think about it.

So I ripped that bandage off my head and went into work. To write draft number 7. Of copy that will appear only one time. In an ad that no one will remember. And that's how tough I am.

PS This is an actual line from Lawrence Kasdan's wiki...

He graduated from the University of Michigan with an MA in Education, originally planning on a career as an English teacher. Upon graduation, Kasdan was unable to find a teaching position, so he became an advertising copywriter, a profession he did not enjoy.