Monthly Archives: October 2005


In 1999, at the age of twenty, I was working for a company called Thomas A Edison, a now-bankrupt startup in Amarillo, Texas. TAE, as it was internally referenced, was originally concepted as a small appliances company, a spinoff of an Amarillo custom computer operation. They had bought the Edison trademarks, on which the original copyrights had expired, and were going to put out CD players shaped like gramophones, and computers in old-timey cases. Cute. Sounded do-able. So I moved to Texas.

THEN I found out that they were going to resell E-COMMERCE SOFTWARE. By then, two days into my life in Texas, it was already too late to go home. I found myself working around the clock to get a non-existent website up before the commercials they’d bought airtime for ran on CNN. I remember standing outside the converted offices, a cheap building surrounded by too much West Texas space, freezing in the dry, cold night, trying to stay awake in a city where the nearest Starbucks was three hundred miles away. I was pushing to load up some semblance of a website by 5am CST – because at 7am, the CNN commercials went into rotation, giving ONLY the phone number and web address.

It’s six years later now, and I’m in Los Angeles, at the opposite end of the American spectrum from Amarillo, Texas. However, I’m STILL GOING THROUGH THE SAME DUMB CRAP, working long hours to promote a website that isn’t even working. The partner agency that outsources their media buying to my company – also outsources the design of the site and domain that we’re promoting to another third party. And even though TV went live this weekend, the site is down. Broken. And it’s Sunday, and there’s no one working to fix it or tell me what to do about my online campaign that’s supposed to drop tomorrow.


And here I thought that kind of incompetency was limited to startup companies in West Texas. The kind of places that blow their investor millions on eighteen year old secretaries and enough snow to put in a bunny hill. The kind of place where the VPs dip snuff during meetings – and spit into their Dr. Pepper bottles while presenting at COMDEX. Instead, I find out that it isn’t limited to Amarillo at all – although it MAY be a Texas thing. The website developers that didn’t alpha-test their homepage interface? They’re based in DALLAS.


I hate reruns like this. Maybe I should drop Internet work and go work in a respectable field instead.

how AOL makes money in 2005

I wonder to myself, quite a bit, how it is that AOL makes money these days. Certainly not through dialup accounts – or, at least not in any real volume. I think the only people who still have dialup these days are the same type who, in a previous generation, would have paid “rent” on rotary dial phones for thirty years longer than necessary.
a whole bunch of internet industry ranting, because this is what i get paid to do

at work

I’m actually at work right now. Not at my office, but really, I might as well be. I’m working on the Day Job stuff – launching a couple campaigns and catching up on a third.
that lateral promotion wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows

nostalgia, part two

I’m not sure how it snuck into my playlist, but “Serenity”, from Delerium’s “Chimera” just found its way on. Allow me to give a quick summary of what this brings back, because suddenly it’s summer, 2003.

i remember

canadiana in action

After an evening of watching Degrassi Jr High in marathon format with Carly, we started reminiscing about Canadiana. After all, there’s nothing like an evening of hearing our former countrypeople say “aboot” and “sooory” (oh god, Wheels’ accent…!), not to mention the mere SIGHT of Pat Mastroianni to bring back Memories Of Being A Teenage Girl In Canada.

For example: it is MANDATORY, if you were a girl in your teens during their reign, to have had a crush on Trevor Hurst of Econoline Crush. I’ll admit, I followed Trevor across half of West Texas, once upon a time, when I was twenty. I even have a photo somewhere of me with him at a radio station in Amarillo, and a signed copy of Devil You Know in which he has written, “to a sexy devil, [heart], Trevor”.

And if you didn’t think Trevor Hurst was hot, was there a girl in Canada who didn’t weep when Raine Maida of OLP married Chantal Kreviazuk?

Then there’s the CanCon. There’s the Log Driver’s Waltz. There was The Big Snit. All those cheesy, poorly animated CanCon cartoons that YTV used as filler. There was the pencil crayon cartoon of Canada, from Victoria to Newfoundland, that ran as background to the CBC’s “O, Canada” signoff music. There was having to hear “Life Is A Highway” for an entire DECADE instead of the one year it was a flash hit on US radio. And I have yet to meet an American who knows who Mr Dressup, Jeff the Mannequin or the Polkaroo are.

There’s the fact that we haven’t seen dollar bills in fifteen years. There’s those damn ladders-and-ropes jungle gyms that were installed in gyms in Canada, but not the US. There’s the Canada Fitness Challenge, the Smoggies, and associating the Barenaked Ladies with “If I Had A Million Dollars”, which, might I add, is a fantastic song.

It’s a little strange to have all these things I haven’t thought of in years and years – not since I was a teenager in Canada – are pouring forth. After all, Carly and I might be Canadian, but we don’t have our accents anymore. But it’s still hilarious, and it’s also scaring the daylights out of our guy roomate. Who would have thought that all this junk we disdained at the time would eventually become the basis of a new nostalgia?

Oh, and to all the expats out there? Degrassi drinking games at our house this Friday. Bring it.

the wagon just ran me over

I’m supposed to be working on my freelance job, but I’ve been too exhausted to do anything but nap today. I’ve had a couple of really exhausting weeks, after all. I’ve had a major, stressful move happen. I’ve had the Week From Hell at work, where everything came crashing down. I’ve been to Washington and back, on very little sleep and a lot of adrenaline. Now, it feels like my body and mind are both just saying, “no,” when I try to move. “No, not without chemicals,” they say, and I do not want to feed my addictions. No coffee, no nicotine – and no sugar.

After all, with the guidance of my new roomate, I’ve been back on a processed-food-free diet for the last couple days. I’ve realized that a lot of junk food had sneaked its way back into my dietary regimen (including sugar and white flour in small doses), but I hadn’t realized how much of what I was eating was simple carbohydrates – ie., insulin-producing, instant-energy, sugar-crash crap.

So. After one day on a Raw Foods diet, I’m already suffering from the kind of detox symptoms it usually took two days on the Fat Flush plan to elicit: headache, loss of energy, and a slight light headed feeling. I’ve been eating protein and vegetables and fruit and nuts all day. And, of course, flax snacks: flax seeds held together with a base of pureed vegetables and flax flour, spread thin on tinfoil and left to turn crispy in the sun on our roof.

On the bright side, this is definitely going to get me off the sugar and flour and processed foods again. On the down side, it just means a low energy Sunday in which I stay home and work.

Protected: something like a date on a friday night

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I’m rereading Even Cowgirls Get the Blues this week. It was on the top of the book stack when I moved, and I don’t think I’ve re-read it since May, 2003, when I referenced it for my graduation speech. This was evident by the “SU MAY 20” stamp on the Vancouver bus transfer stuck between its pages (although why I was taking the bus, or to where, I can’t remember)

Every time I re-read a Tom Robbins book, I get a different perspective out of it. Rereading his books as an adult is very different than it was as a teenager, when I first read them. There’s the obvious changes in my own experience, but there’s also changes in that I have had some of the concepts and ideas enter my own life through experience.

Like the idea of being outside of society. Cowgirls, like most of Robbins’ books, is about being outside of society. I tend to view Western civilization as being inflexible, almost machine-like, in its gears and wheels of documentation, law, order, architecture and structure. America in the latter twentieth century, certainly, is inflexible, a country of literal structures as well as political, social and economic ones, all written down in printed words. America, over the last sixty years, has made it a point to discourage deviation, which is deterrent to a capitalist system. (if you’re outside the system, you certainly don’t need your credit cards)

a whole line of questioning

Protected: macktivism in action

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eurasia is coming to get us (we have always been at war with eurasia)

The Ottoman Empire is coming for Bush:

I’d like to remind Bush that up until about a hundred years ago, there WAS an Islamic Empire in that territory. It was called the Ottoman Empire! In fact, traditionally, there has always been an Islanmic empire stretching from Spain across to India. And it was there hundreds of years before Lewis and Clark claimed North America for Jefferson.

However, I have a Code Pink meeting right now. So I don’t have time to rant much, even though I’m sick of seeing our president impose Western ideals and neo-classical democratic models on every single culture that he can profit by. But it seems that the protests last weekend are causing Bush to step up the propaganda. That’s good. He’s running scared. I like that. I have to go work now to find more ways to get the American public’s attention, so that approval rating can go down even further.

Those who do not know history – are not only doomed to repeat it, but to be frightened when it does repeat. And I find fear really fucking pointless, thank you – and in this context, it’s downright Orwellian.

Why do these statements sound less like rationalization and more like the ravings of a lunatic?