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Showing posts from July, 2011

Follow Friday: Slightly Subversive

In an effort to lighten the mood after that last post , this week's Follow Friday is going to focus on the funny side. We're not, however, going to talk about slapstick or dry wit or Smurfs.  No, folks, we're going to the darker side of funny. These bits of pop culture are most definitely Not Suitable for Work .  But they're hilarious. At least, I think they are. Roger and I recently discovered the cartoon Archer . It airs on FX and is currently in its second season. The first season is now streaming on Netflix. What is Archer? Imagine if a James Bond movie and The Office had a baby. Sterling Archer is secret agent for Isis. He's suave, handsome, and a bit of a letch. Ok, he's a HUGE letch. He's also not that great at his job. While he's off trying to save the world, the rest of the office crew from the comptroller to the tech geeks to the HR director get into the kind of office hi-jinks that only a spy agency could procure. There's sex, dru

The Things I Keep

It probably would not surprise you if I told you that I see something every day that reminds me of Charlotte. If you were to come into our house, you would sense her presence: in photographs, pieces of artwork, a few remaining toys.  There are many ways in which her spirit remains in our home. Most of her clothes are now gone, passed along to other little girls who love all things pink and purple.I have kept a few select t-shirts and outfits that carry sentimental attachment.  I still have most of her blankets and many of her stuffed animals. I have all of her books. I can't get rid of books.  Her room looks much as it did before she died. The Tinkerbell comforter sits on the bed. The balloons we collected each year on her birthday are still attached to the wall. In place of a six-year-old's toys and clothes, my daughter's room holds supplies for our Foundation : t-shirts, marketing materials, swag.   All of these items seem natural to keep. I have noticed, however, tha

Follow Friday: Getting Social

This week's Follow Friday arrives with only a few hours to spare. I will blame the heat. If you do not live somewhere that the weather reached 100+ today, consider yourself blessed.  This week we're going to talk about social media. I'm sure many of you have heard about Google's new platform, Google+ (or G+ for short).  I've been checking it out for about two weeks now so I'm going to offer my perspective on the newest Internet time-suck.  My first reaction when I heard about G+ was that I wasn't interested. I already spent plenty of time using Twitter and Facebook and it seemed that another distraction was the last thing I needed in my life. I never used the now defunct MySpace.  I've experimented with other social portals such as Foursquare, GetGlue, and LinkedIn. None of those seem to be worth a great deal of my time. After about a week of buzz, though, my curiousity was piqued about G+. I asked for an invite from a friend and joined the nerd her

Don Draper Approved Advertising

With our discussion around Mad Men still "on the brain" I thought I would share some favorite advertising campaigns that I have seen recently.  In the culturally creative category, we have Target's latest coupon mailer. Have you seen this? Haiku-pons! Genius! Each page of coupons consists of three panels and each panel contains a haiku for an advertised product. For example, near a coupon for cheese we have: If that weren't enough, the detachable coupons are interchangeable so you can make your own original haikus with distinct meanings. Check out some of my original creations: Saucy, eh? I think I just entered Haiku Nirvana Before I show the next ad, I will run the disclaimer that I am not a Wal-Mart fan. I don't shop there and I will never shop there if another option is available. This commercial, however, made me laugh out loud. Bravo, Martin Agency . Finally, while it's not a recent advertising campaign, I would have to say tha

Follow Friday: It's a mad, mad, mad, mad world

For this week's Follow Friday, my first inclination was to talk about Harry Potter.'s time for THE END. Then I changed my mind because if you're not already a fan of Harry at this point, I have 3 things to say: 1. What planet have you been living on for the past decade? 2. What's wrong with you? 3. If you haven't become a fan by now, there is no hope. Unless you're under the age of 10. So...moving on. The Emmy nominations were announced to day and I am beyond excited that my favorite TV show, Mad Men , has received 19 nominations! If you haven't checked out this show, now is your chance to catch up on 4 seasons of fabulous television. All 4 seasons are currently available on DVD. In addition, you can catch selected reruns on AMC or on many OnDemand cable systems. It's also available on iTunes. Season 5 should have started this month but some contract negotiations delayed the plans for the upcoming season. We'll get more Mad

Cutting the cord

This week, we are getting rid of our cable and I couldn't be happier. Of all the amenities of life, cable is one that I can certainly live without. In fact, out of the last 14 years, we've only had cable for about half of that time. We never got cable when we lived in Boone, NC. In fact, we weren't able to get any TV.  We lived in the mountains and the closest television stations were over 100 miles away so if you didn't have cable or a strong roof-top aerial, TV was not an option. I was in graduate school so I didn't have much time for television anyway. If I wanted to watch something, I went to a friend's house or had them tape it. Yeah, on a VCR. Remember those? When we moved back to Fredericksburg, we made do for a while with a basic antenna but reception was (again) spotty so at some point we bought the bullet and had basic cable for about a year or so.  Then we bought our house in Ashland and local channels again became an available option. As new home

On Birth and Death

As July 9th has approached on the calendar, I have anticipated it with a mixture of emotions . This is the second birthday that we have celebrated marked without Charlotte's presence. I have to say that, in general, it pretty much just sucks.   Isn't that eloquent? Last year we invited some friends to help commemorate the day. This year, Roger and I decided to go a little more low-key. We became members of the VMFA this year (inspired largely by the wonderful Picasso exhibit) and last night we were able to preview their special exhibition of Faberge eggs, jewelry, and other arts. It was beautiful and I highly recommend the exhibit (here in Richmond through October 2nd).   Moments after her birth Throughout Friday I was flooded with memories. On July 8, 2005, I went to the doctor for my regular OB appointment. Charlotte wasn't due for 2 more weeks but I was HUGE and very much ready. The doctor found my blood pressure to be significantly elevated and decided that ind

Follow Friday: For your listening pleasure

My job requires me to drive quite a bit on a daily basis. My time in the car on a given day can range from 60 minutes to almost three hours. I don't mind the driving but I definitely need something to occupy my time. I've tried books on tape (or CD) and I find them distracting. I really just need to READ if I'm going to enjoy a book. I do, however, love listening to podcasts. If you haven't jumped on the podcast bandwagon, this week's Follow Friday is for you!  First of all, if you've never heard of podcasts, they're basically radio shows archived and available for download on iTunes or on various websites. Many podcasts are archived editions of radio shows heard elsewhere. Some have never hit the radio waves but are produced by everyone from celebrities to your average Joe or Jane with a microphone and some basic sound editing equipment. The best thing about subscribing to a podcast in iTunes is that new episodes will download automatically to your comput

Social Media and the Casey Anthony Trial

It hasn't even been 12 hours since the verdict was reached in the Casey Anthony murder trial and already the world is in an uproar. If you don't know what's going on, look it up. Go to CNN  or Fox or MSNBC or some news outlet and find out the latest NEWS information on the murder trial of 2011.  Just don't go to Facebook. Twitter is not that different at the moment. I can't say that I'm terribly surprised. Facebook has a way of creating groupthink that is alternately empowering and scary at the same time . It's amazing to post a link to an article or a profound thought or (I don't know...hmm...) a blog and see your words, thoughts or submissions reposted by friends and even strangers.  Social media is a powerful force and I owe much of my support system as well as the success of our foundation to the wonders of the Internet.  At the same time, how many of you have seen this silly meme floating around lately:  "It's official.. signal at 12:2

Follow Friday: Holiday Weekend Version

Yes, I know. It's SUNDAY.  I will justify my tardiness by citing a mixture of life's been way too busy and don't quite have the motivation . It's a long weekend so I figure I get a little leeway.  One of the reasons why this post is so late is because we had some houseguests from Thursday through Saturday. We were privileged to host Miss Britt and family on the Richmond leg of their cross-country tour. What? You've never heard of Miss Britt? Hey! I think we just found our topic for #FollowFriday.   (convenient, eh?) Britt is a blogger extraordinaire. She lends her writing and editing talents to several blogs (some of which she founded herself). I found her through a mutual friend's blog and have been following her personal blog for about a year. Here's what I love about Miss Britt: She's a good writer. She's positive without being schmaltzy or overdramatized.  She's real. She talks about the shit stuff we deal with every day.