Monthly Archives: April 2005

Where is the Alternative in Music Now?

It’s funny that I can listen to the same song on four different radio stations in Atlanta and that stations are all claiming to be bigger, better and offer a more unique playlist than all the rest.

That is why I enjoy listening to my cable and online music channels commercial free. I can listen to big band, blues, reggae, 80s retro, punk, ska, you name it, whatever mood I’m in.

I’m also searching for the perfect channel that plays my truly alternative retro 80s music as well as other well defined channels. The 70s had motown and disco, so these channels need to define themselves and segment more than just a decade so they can better target their listeners.

I wonder what satellite radio will do to the traditional format we know of today. All I know is, bring on the competition. If I can get better, more targeted music as well as other media, I will be a more satisfied customer and companies will be much more successful in building their demographics and successfully marketing to these folks.

Some cool music information sites – The “download this” section in Entertainment weekly and also the “if you like this band, you might like ____” section of the magazine –

80s music free to listen online

Here is an awesome list of many different stations online:

Have I mentioned how certain areas in Europe and other ares have a funny fetish for 80s music? In Lucern, Switzerland, Carnival bands are jamming to anything from Bon Jovi to AC/DC.. On our honeymoon in St. Lucia, we danced to Madonna, Prince and Michael Jackson tunes from the early 80s. Classic.

Here is a Lucern radio station – check it out.

So, keep searching for those great stations, whatever music you like. They are out there! Oh yeaah, and a plug to WEGL in Auburn University – they were great during my college years there. War Damn Eagle!

A Child of the 80s

I was born in 1971 but I have a fonder recollection of the 80s than I do for the 70s, with the exception of Sesame Street, the Brady Bunch and various disco hits (anyone remember disco duck? was that in the 70s or 80s? And the Hustle.) Now the 80s is a fun memory of all things innocent (Strawberry Shortcake and rainbows) and back-then rebellios (Cyndi Lauper and spraying my hair pink in 8th grade for her concert in Kings Island – I was so cool. Not.)

I find myself drawn to the 80s – I can identify with the music, the tv shows, the fashion – the preppy handbook! whales! – although that scares me now – and all the rest. I am better at Trivial Pursuit the 80s edition than the original. My mom can beat our family in the original version. Maybe it’s a generational thing.

Anyway, here are some guilty pleasures regarding the 80s. Play 80s video games on the web during your lunch hour at work. Read up on the decade of decadence. Here are some fun links. Enjoy!

A Leg Lamp for all Seasons

My sister got me a leg lamp nightlight from the Christmas Story this past Christmas and it was about the best thing I received due to the fond family memories we had growing up and the direct correlation with the movie. I still have it in my kitchen. I just can’t bear to put it away. It’s a leg lamp! It’s not just for the holidays! There’s nothing like the glow of electric sex in the kitchen in the middle of the night. My dad was the cuss word king and my sister and I were the equivalent of Ralphie and his little brother. There are few movies that are that worthy lately.

Shaun of the Dead was great and Harold and Kumar Got to White Castle were pretty funny. I love my Netflix subscription and keep my movie queue loaded. Doesn’t it seem good movies no matter what genre are becoming more few and far between? There is a good article in Entertainment Weekly about star treatment and how it is costing moviegoers to pay for their perks. It is sad.

I love my DVR. TV is mine again.

Ever since I got the adelphia DVR, I feel like I have control again of my tv viewing pleasure. I have a 21 month old daughter so the odds of watching shows during network scheduled times are slim to none. Now I can watch my shows on demand. I can tape Sesame Street and Barney for those emergency melt down sessions. My husband can tape those mythbusters shows and we can both get our tv back.

I don’t watch a lot of tv, but the shows I do watch, I am passionate about. Now I can watch Desperate Housewives any day of the week at any time. I do watch 24 live because that is my mini-movie each week and I haven’t been to a movie in years. (Although I do love Netflix) If my daughter stays up, fine, I’m taping my show and I can focus my quality time with her and see it later.

Now I dream of a day where we don’t have commercials and we can watch all tv and movies on demand. We get busted when we actually watch live shows – we try to scan the commercials and are denied!!!! Technology rocks and I’m so glad I can watch Saturday Night Live again. I almost feel hip again. – Check out Netflix and check Tivo or your local cable company about getting DVR. The biggest difference between Tivo and my cable company DVR is that Tivo has a service fee and since I’m already getting cable, it was only about a $5.00 a month difference just to add it to our cable bill.

Having a 21 month old – Build me up buttercup

I never knew the eternal feeling of joy of having a child, even when I was pregnant. You go through the motions for 10 months (yes, 10 months! contrary to popular belief of 9 months, started by men, I’m sure – for me it was almost 10 1/2 months).

You never truly get it until you are in the delivery room and, after a few long hours, a doctor finally holds up this work of art, a beautiful child that is ours that we had been longing for, and all of a sudden it hits. I’m a mom! My husband is a dad! That is our child! And my husband is saying “it’s a girl?” with excited hope, nervous anxiety and sudden fear all at once. At that moment, I understood the true meaning of family and fully appreciated all that my parents had done for me.

The funniest part is that the day before I had my daughter, I had mild cramps not realizing I was in labor and we watched the movie Dogma by Kevin Smith. Right after the movie was over, we realized my labor was getting more regulated and I wanted to get some sleep before it got serious. I had my parents visiting to keep me company as we waited those long overdue days. I thought that I was in early labor all day. We swam in the lake and hung out as it was in July and I had worked up until my due date on July 4. So we went to bed after the movie and sure as I climbed into bed, my water broke. Wa laa. Nature sure has its moments! So we left for the hospital at 10:00 pm. Given that it was a Saturday and summertime in Atlanta, we were lucky – my husband was afraid that I would go into labor during rush hour in Atlanta which equals at least an hour in traffic. But it all worked out great and we learned so much about ourselves in the process. And we have an incredibly beautiful baby girl in which words cannot describe our love for her. Truly an unconditional love.

Now Megan is going to be 2 in July and time seems to be flying. The first three months were glorious and exhausting. We were getting to know her, and she was getting to know us. And there are no manuals in parenting. My parents left after two weeks and I bawled. My husband was like, “what’s WRONG?” and I was all hormonal and said “they’re LEAVING!” in a horrific mess of panic and lack of confidenct. But we persevered and figured it out along the way. Now we are in a nice schedule for now. Although my sister did warn me – “once you get into a nice schedule, the baby changes it. Always keeps you guessing!”

I have since learned that all of my friends, family and authors on the subject of parenting were also winging it, so I felt much better. All we have is a community to share our victories and troubles and learn from it. So I talk to my friends and family often. And I read a lot. And God love the Young and the Restless and Desperate Housewives to make me feel like a good mom! Those are such guilty pleasures. I will defend these shows until the end!

So without much further ado, here are some of my favorite parenting links that I could not live without. And, always ask your friends or family if you have questions about anything as you face parenting, because we are all in this together.

The Girlfriend’s Guide to Pregnancy – I get this for my girlfriends and the one to surviving your first year of motherhood. Vicki Iovine is great!

Babycenter – the single best newsletter around for pregnancy each week and monthly baby updates afterwards. Also my number one source for research on sickness, discipline and everything in between!

Babystyle – pricy yet cool stuff for baby. I like their clearance section. You can get cool stuff at a nice price if you wait! OR just try EBay.

Ebay – I have no shame. It’s just a big consignment store online. Megan has grown so fast, I bought footie pajamas here and they were like new and I got lots of winter use out of them, guilt free. Ebay rocks. I even sold a maternity top online that I never wore to a girl in Ohio. I love the Internet!

If you are in Atlanta, I recommend Roswell Pediatrics and if your child needs ear tubes,

Amazon is my favorite place for Babies R Us stuff, books, movies, you name it:
If you spend $25, you can usually get free shipping and given the cost of gas nowadays, it’s worth it!

And yes, if your child has had many ear infections and antibiotics aren’t helping, please consult an ENT. Tubes are not permanent and a non-medicated option to help your child as they grow. Our daughter had a non -clear ear from December to July and had infections from October to July. She has only had one or two episodes since and it is April of the next year. She is a much happier baby and we don’t have to keep giving her antibiotics. The tubes will come out on their own and they help draining the natural fluid that builds up when she gets sick.

So where is the build me up buttercup reference? Right here. I realizing how cool Van Morrison is. He has so many songs that other artists have sung that I haven’t been aware of. So it’s time to order his album on Amazon! What great relaxing music for the baby, too.

Good luck with parenting and remember. You need to have something for you in your life, something for you as a couple and something as a family. Keep the balance and you will be happy!

Deep Thoughts in Technology Marketing

Is search engine optimization more important or search engine marketing? These pay per click search engine companies are making a fortune and my bidding is going to eventually get too high for my budget. Ideally, showing up naturally at the top of the search engines is the way to go. But the magical question is how to get there and stay there? Agencies are out there but what about one person marketing departments?

Is there a class marketers can take about the whole advent of the Internet and how marketing applies? Everything I learned at Auburn in the 90s was about good solid traditional marketing, which is a great background, but now things have changed so much.

I look to the Internet when I search for products so the assumption is to go online. How do you reach those IT and help desk professionals? I wondered about sponsoring some gaming sites. Do they really read all those magazines? I bet they just Google everything. Which brings me back to my first thought.

Oh well. Onward and upward. Here are some helpful PR and marketing web links for all those one person marketing departments out there. Hang in there!

Our US Fallen Heroes and Where to Honor Them

I got word today from my adopted soldier that he lost one of his fellow comrades in an explosion in Iraq. I wanted to post this link to a wonderful web site that remembers and honors our fallen heroes. I am sad to think this list may grow much longer before our war in Iraq and elsewhere is over. Please check it out and pay homage to the men and women who are sacrificing their lives for our wonderful country and freedom.

Can I get my local weather?

The Weather Channel is having some MTV problems. They have too many shows now and have strayed from their original purpose. It is frustrating and sad to see the demise of many of our cable networks. Why is this happening?

And why do I only have one choice for a cable company? Give me two or three so I can pick the best plan. And why can’t we as consumers select a package where I can pick only the 20 channels that I want to get for a cheaper price? Let’s face it, we only watch a handful of networks to begin with.

I did see music videos this morning on VH1 and MTV but I was in denial…

Baseball, beer and Zyrtec – spring is here!

It is that wonderful time of the year. Spring. Flowers are blooming, the sun is shining and we sit in our offices wondering there has to be a better way to make a living. My car is covered with yellow pollen, Spring’s gift to us. I can finally open my sunroof since the weather is warm, and then poof! Hello pollen.

At least it only is around for a few weeks. Zyrtec is the best thing I’ve found to handle my indoor and outdoor allergies. The problem is that since Claritin went over the counter, insurance companies stopped covering Zyrtec so it’s like $75.00 to fill a prescription. It’s robbery. I hope they go over the counter sooner than later.

Spring also means sitting on bar porches outside in Atlanta. Time to soak up some beer laden sun. We are going to the beach this weekend to kick start the season. One of my favorite beers is hefeweizen. The local brewers make some great versions. I know they are summer brews – hopefully they will release them earlier. Abita’s Purple Haze is also a great sweeter beer. Yes, it’s more girly but my husband likes it too. Lake Lanier is also a great place to go. Cocktail cove is a great water hang out if you have a boat or a friend with one. If I could go to Boston’s Beerworks I would get the blueberry beer. It comes with blueberries. There is also a watermelon brew that is most excellent.

Go Braves! Go Cubs! Go Red Sox! It’s going to be a great baseball year, steroids or not. Although I don’t agree with athletes using it, why didn’t baseball ban it earlier? Now it’s a “hurry up and blame someone” mentality. That is so backwards. Let’s think these things out, commissioner. Now play ball!

Lost in Translation – UK English

It’s funny. I thought that there would only be a language barrier with countries that speak other languages. I was wrong.

My husband works for a swiss company and we have had the pleasure of visiting Lucern. I learned some German and expected a language barrier. The city was great and most people knew English so it was fine. And when I tried to speak german, they were gracious and smiled as my American accent lacked the harsh accents that fuel the language.

I work for a UK company. I am a marketing manager for the North America office. I figured it would be a much easier transition. Boy, was I wrong. Not in speaking the language, but in deciphering their language and culture differences when it comes to advertising and crafting corporate messaging.

In addition to getting used to UK spelling and constantly updating our materials to reflect the US English, there are also subtle differences with what seems to work in advertising. I am learning how to politically and creatively communicate so as not to insult them when we work on an ad or direct mailer. It seems that those mentos ads really weren’t a joke. Our humor is different as well as our corporate messaging. It is a battle that I continue to fight.

I went to visit the office one time and was also amazed to find that their slang and the speed in which they spoke was very hard to understand, even though they spoke “English”. It’s like those Guy Ritchie movies like Snatch where it takes a good 30 minutes of listening to the dialogue before you have a clue as to what they are saying.

So, I guess this lesson I learned is that things can be lost in translation, even in English. Who uses the word “whilst” anyway?