Thursday, September 30, 2010

DJ's Are Cooler Than Me

DJ's: Work in a hip, modern office with ipads

Me: Work in an office that is roughly the same temperature as the Arctic, where I have to run my heater all day, even when it's warm outside.

DJ's: Know who sings every song

Me: Every time I hear a Sublime song, asks Dave, "Who sings this?"

DJ's: Have time to go to rad (that's right, I used rad) concerts and shows

Me: Lucky if I make it to the dog park once a month

DJ's: Have cool tattoos

Me: Can't decide what tattoo I would still enjoy when I'm 85

DJ's: Get invited to bunches of parties

Me: Still have no friends after living here for 3 years

DJ's: Have to work on Saturday

Me: Probably also have to work on Saturday

Meanwhile, we met our (soon to be) Wedding DJ last night. We are still working out the details, but check out their cool little shop for a preview. Toast & Jam

They even have cooler company names than me. *sigh

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Oh Summer, I miss you.

Summer Sped Up (A Chicago Timelapse) from Josh Kalven on Vimeo.

Number One

This morning, it was bright and sunny, a perfect Fall day. As I walked the dog around the neighborhood I took a deep breath and marveled at the delightful morning. This was pleasantly enhanced by an unknown neighbor who was filling the crisp air with the sweet sounds of Frank Sinatra. I love when I have these small magical moments. Dave and I shared stories of how music sometimes enhances moments, makes them more magical and imprints them in your memory. (Perhaps we are on a music kick, as we will be meeting the DJ for our wedding next week. ) Whatever the reason, music is an important part of our lives. But... we can't help but notice that some of the "new" popular music is lacking something....

Sometimes, we listen to radio stations in the greater Chicago area, if for no other reason, than to mix up the monotony of Radiohead, Andrew Bird, The Beatles, Beck and Rufus Wainwright that we have been listening to a lot lately. Also, we like to learn what the popular songs are. Perhaps we are old, but as I said before, something about music now is depressing, annoying and sad.

First we listened to a Pop Station. We made it about 3 songs before we had to move on. Every song was auto-tuned to annoying proportions. Currently, there is only one auto-tune song we are excited about:

Next up: the hip hop station, where we learned the Number One song.

Deuces (Clean Version) by Chris Brown

REALLY?! My "favorite"lyric is the "you ain't nothin' but a vulture, ah ah ah". Pure genius. I shed a tear for the future of our country if THIS is the number one song. Frank Sinatra is turning over in his grave as we speak. We listened to the Eminem song that followed and were impressed with his vocabulary in comparison. (He used the word, "sincerity").

Finally, we moved to the 80s and more station where we realized Bon Jovi should have just stopped after the 80s. Don't get me wrong, "Slippery When Wet" is one of my all time favorite rock out albums of my youth and " You Give Love a Bad Name" still makes me sing. But, "It's My Life" should have been made at the same time, thus making it iconic and memorable rather than just kind of sad. But "It's My Life" did remind us that in the late 90s-2002 there are an incredible amount of songs including a similar pattern. See if you can pick it up.. these are the ones we remembered.

One of my old favorite videos... I'm a sucker for group dance scenes, Michael Jackson throwbacks and zombies.

Backstreet Boys: Everybody

And then, this gem. Who can forget?

But even these songs, my generations embarrassing guilty pleasure... are, I venture to say, significantly better than today's number one.

What is happening to our pop culture? We went from The Beatles, to Lil Wayne. What caused this? Here's an interesting idea:

The Hubert Peak Theory

Looks like Dave and I will stick with our "old" favorites.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Common Sense University

We hire interns in my office to assist us with research, marketing and presentations, as well as usual intern stuff like coffee runs and filing. We post at prestigious schools in the greater Chicago area, and have a g.p.a. stipulation of 3.75 or above. We have a small, laid back office which provides these interns with the ability to be flexible, work with top executives and really get to learn something. Plus, we pay them. In return, all I ask is for 2 things: 1. respect 2. do the work we are asking you to do. Seems simple, right?

But I have noticed an interesting trend. Students who don't quite make the g.p.a. cut off, and/or are from the "less" prestigious schools make better interns. They listen to me, they respect the positions of all the members of our team, they ask intelligent questions, and they complete the work to the best of their ability. The super students from top-tier schools with amazing test scores and off the chart g.p.a's have continually let me down.

Oscar Wilde said, " Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught."

I can't help but be reminded of this, of how important common sense is in real life every time I am faced with intern blunders I can't understand. Below are some common examples, keep in mind that these are not examples of ONE intern, but many, and have occurred multiple times, all from excellent students from a top school.

1.Paper/Folder Sizes: I cannot count how many times I have had to explain and even demonstrate with examples the difference between letter size paper/folders and legal size paper/folders. Countless times I have a letter size hanging folder in my left hand, and a legal size in my right, and have to lay them on top of each other to demonstrate the difference.

2. Alphabetical Order: At what point did we stop learning the order of the alphabet? "W" comes after "P" and "Pr" before "Pu". I don't even have words to describe how annoying this is.

3. 3 Hole Punch Operation: There is a fancy machine made to punch holes in a piece of paper, you literally slide the piece of paper into the side, then push down, and Presto! 3 holes! Ok, let's go over it again, you slide the piece of paper in... in the front... until it stops.... ok, you press down... no, keep the paper there while you press down.... *sigh

4. Binder Construction: We have given you a stack of paper, every 15 or so pages there is a blank sheet on which we have written the title of the section. We have handed you tabs, a 3 ring binder and the 3 hole punch (that hopefully you remember how to use now). Your instructions: put this in the binder, the names on the blank pages are the names of the tabs. It is already in order. Yet, 20 mins (yes 20!!) later, you bring me the binder, and extra pages.

5. Answering the Phone: We are a business, this is not your cell phone, "hello?" doesn't cut it.

6. Proof Reading: Occasionally we ask for help proof reading final documents. First of all, it's a giveaway that you didn't read it closely if it only took you 10 mins to finish a dense 100+ page document. Secondly, in your scouring, you missed: " The company has one several awards" you will not be asked to proof again. As a side note of proofing: for the love of everything holy, do not turn in a presentation to me that you clearly have never read. I hate re-doing your work.

7. Punctuality vs. Punctuation: Me: "I'd like you to work on your punctuality" Intern: "Yeah, I need to work on my comma placement"

8. Calls to Clients:Occasionally we ask interns to assist in database updates, sometimes this means calling to get updated contact information. If your list a. hasn't been approved and b. contains the names of our CURRENT clients... please do not call them.

9. Ask Questions Related to the Work: I get it, you are here to learn. But, I need you here to do your work, so stop asking me tons of questions about something you recently learned in class, UNLESS IT RELATES to the project you are supposed to be working on.

10. Galloping: I don't get the running/galloping up and down the hall, is it to save time, be more efficient? Are your gchat friends and solitaire cards not going to be at your desk when you return from down the hall?

11. Time Sheets: I hate to break it to you, but you are not getting away with anything, I know full well that you sat in the conference room playing solitaire and chatting with your friends all day, listing 8 hours for the day on updating a presentation is ludicrous, especially since I had to re-do the whole thing. Also, you didn't work on Labor Day, or Christmas or New Years Eve.

When I bring things to your attention, all I ask is that you listen, contemplate and respect my position, but instead, more often than not I get a snide remark such as, " I'm a (Prestigious School) student!" as if this is proof that you are far more intelligent and superior to me. Well, I don't care where you go to school or what your g.p.a. is if you can't figure out a 3 hole punch!

*sigh. I worry about the future of humanity.


Can we get some love?

We have been blogging about our usual and sometimes unusual boring daily lives for quite some time and yet only 4 of you follow us? Come on! Show us some love. We recently started branching out and following others we love, you can do it too...

Come on, where are you?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Books Update

With a tremendous amount of help from our friends and family we have whittled the book list down to the following. Thank you everyone who has contributed to this so far. I am confident we can meet the goal by the end of 2010. :)

1. Gone with the Wind by Mitchell
2. The Maltese Falcon by Hammett
3. The Day of the Locust by West
4. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Doyle
5. The Invisible Man by Wells
6. The War of the Worlds by Wells
7. Leaves of Grass by Whitman
8. The Shining by King
9. Paradise Lost by Milton
10. Remembrance of Things Past by Proust
11. Swiss Family Robinson by Wyss
12. The Time Machine by Wells
13. The Origin of Species by Darwin
14. In Cold Blood by Capote
15. The Art of War by Sun Tzu
16. The Waste Land by Eliot
17. Dr. Zhivago by Pasternak
18. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Thompson
19. Pygmalion by Shaw
20. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof by Williams
21. The Importance of Being Earnest by Wilde
22. A Streetcar Named Desire by Williams
23. Tartuffe by Moliere
24. The House of the Seven Gables by Hawthorne
25. Eating the Dinosaur by Klosterman
26. Into the Wild by Krakauer
27. The Bourne Identity by Ludlum
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