Saturday, July 29, 2006
A first date
Friday night date
Last night, I had a date with someone I met on the aforementioned internet dating site. He was charming, funny, very smart, and very much the gentleman. We met at the Apple store, mostly to determine from the get-go if either of us was an "axe-murderer." Once we'd passed that test, we moved on to dinner at an Italian place. There was a wait, so we walked around the block and chatted. It's funny when you first meet someone, and don't know all the right things to say. Or even the most interesting things to say. Somehow I ended up mentioning that some guys on the dating site like to list that their best feature is their butt (who does this? who even lists a best feature? its so weird). I also mentioned that I am fascinated by the link to "report a concern" to the site about someone there. The "report a concern" idea became a running joke for our evening, whenever either of us said something odd, the other would say "report a concern." Like when I said I'd wink at the female hostess to get us seated at the restaurant faster ....

Dinner went well. He had a favorite thing on the menu, and I really appreciate that he picked a place he knew, and that he knows what he wants. We talked easily enough together. He works in the gaming industry, so right away we had things to discuss. He told me about an idea he had for a short story, which involved both religion and robots, so of course I loved it. We shared creme brulee, and it was quite yummy.

I went over to his apartment afterwards to watch Hedwig. Now, this isn't a movie I'd seen before, but there were drag queens, and good songs, and a great story. I love drag queens, and I admire a man who can enjoy them. There's also a substory of Rent in the movie, and he hadn't seen that, so I think we might rent Rent next weekend. Anyway, he at one point said he thought it was a weird first date movie, but I loved it.

After I got home, I turned on IM just to tell him thank you for the nice time. We chatted for like an hour. It was so nice to be out, with someone new, and someone who was cerebral and funny, respectful, and yet still somewhat mysterious. It will be so interesting to see what happens.

Thursday, July 27, 2006
Internet everything
I've thought about it, and its kind of amazing how the internet is so central to my life. Don't get me wrong, I still have personal relationships and interact with lots of real life people every day. But, a lot of my life is centered online, like my job (web development and online advertising), my shopping (amazon, ann taylor loft, others), photography (shuttefly and flickr), communication with friends (message boards, games, email), music purchases (iTunes). Man I loved Webvan when it was around.

So, it kinda makes sense that I might sign up for an online dating service. For the most part, its been interesting. Fairly non-intrusive, and I think its fun to check and see who might be looking at my profile, and to see who else is out there. I've made a couple of cool connections, and there are a couple of guys that I can see myself being friends with. If I make some new friends, that's cool. I honestly don't have much in the way of expectations of who I'll meet, I'm just taking this as it comes.

But, then, I get this email, from a man a good deal older than me ... and for some reason I find it odd. It starts, "Well I thought that you have a beautiful smile and you are so incredibly cute and beautiful that I just had to send you an email... if for no other reason than to simply clutter your mailbox." While some might think its sweet, innocent, charming, what-have-you, I think its creepy. It made me realize that I don't have much in the way of control over *who* sees my profile. All these people have to do is pay a few bucks, and they can peruse everyone else on the site, and they have a way of reaching them online.

So this leaves me with the question of how do you deal with these people? While his flattery may be sincere, it could also be that he's using flattery to try to get close to someone. I'm not the type to be charmed into meeting someone, or trusting them, or even emailing them back, just because they call me beautiful or cute. That ain't gonna do it. I'm interested in people's stories, their passions, what they love, and when someone opens up, they'll get to see who I am, too.

Maybe this internet dating thing is not really that much different from hanging out at the bar. Some guys will be cheeseballs, some will be jocks, some will be nice. It's just at the bar, you don't wear a profile around your neck, and the guy would have to try harder to even get a name, or information from you. Maybe that's what bugs me. I'm not part of a catalogue, and I'm not trolling for dates. But somehow the dating site opens you up to people who are thumbing through a catalogue of sorts, or who are just casting a wide net figuring maybe someone will take a chance on their offer. I'll just need to figure out how to react to it all.

Monday, July 24, 2006
Still hot
We hit a Stage 2 power emergency today in California, and it's expected that we will have the same issues tomorrow. It's just been too hot, and there isn't enough power in the state to balance out the 110ish heat that is hitting the central valley.

What's interesting to me is that this all happened to us back in 2000-2001, and at that time we had rolling black outs. What a strange phenomenon. You had a grid block noted on your PG&E bill, and if we went to Stage 3, they announced rolling blackouts. They'd roll the power through the grid, giving each block a heads up that they would be next, before the blackout hit. What was amazing, personally, was that both at work and home that year, I lived in blocks that were immune. I worked next to a fire station, and lived across the street from a senior's home.

Politically, this is also interesting. Grey Davis got in a lot of trouble with constituents because of the power troubles back in "those days." I'd argue that was one of the main reasons he was kicked out of office. Six years later, Arnold has only added 6,774 megawatts to the power supply. Sure we lost some plants, and opened 12. But the net gain is negligible. Makes me wonder if the tide will turn on Arney.

Saturday, July 22, 2006
Project 2996
I came across Project 2996 today. It's a blog, and the idea is to have 2,996 bloggers sign up to give tribute to the 2,996 people that died due to the terrorist attacks of 9/11. If you want to participate, you are randomly assigned a victim to honor.

I was given Christian Hans Rudolf Wemmers, of San Francisco. My eyes welled with tears when I got the actual name, and found he was someone who lived in my city. I did a little research about him, and his office was blocks from where I now work. I will go over there on Monday to take a picture of the building.

Now the hard part is to make a tribute to this man, a man I don't know. I guess my plan is to do some research, and find out what I can. I know he was a Phi Delt in Florida, and he liked to play foozball with co-workers. He liked hiking. He went to international business school in Michigan. He was at a conference at the world trade center, on the 106th floor, that fateful day.

I have a couple months to come up with something. I think it will be photographs of things I love here, and maybe depending on costs, I will donate something ... a foozball table, perhaps, to children? I don't know, and my hope is that as I learn more about the life of Chris, I will stumble upon the answer.

Friday, July 21, 2006
Demonkeeping School of Internet Marketing
During the summer, we have official "Spare the Air" days. On the first 6 of these in the year, almost all of the public transportation is free, all day. That's right, free. I think this is awesome, from an environmental standpoint primarily, but also from an interesting social standpoint. Today was our last "free ride" day and the trains were packed. People heading in to SF for a night out, tourists enjoying themselves, it was a steady flow of people taking in a wonderful summer day.

One of the other things things about the Spare the Air days is that it draws some "interesting" types on to the trains. On the first spare the air day, I had a man sit next to me as I was reading "Practical Demonkeeping" by Christopher Moore. If you haven't read him, I strongly recommend it. He's irreverent, rediculous, and leaves you wondering how anyone ever thought up the characters and plots that he seems to weave with great ease. So, I'm reading the Demonkeeping, and this guy asks if I like Moore. I gave him the quick "yes I like him" and focused back on my book, to give the hopefully obvious statement that I'm reading, and that I am not talking while I am reading. No luck.

My Demonkeeping admirer kept going, telling me he'd been at a book signing with Moore, but never read his books, blah blah blah. Then went on to tell me he'd started a new job, very proudly stating that he worked in Internet Marketing. Now, he said this like it might be 1997 and a girl would swoon when someone mentioned they worked forone of them new fangled dotcoms. There also seemed to be the subtext that he was Smart because he worked in Technology and should be admired for his mental capacities. He then furthered his case of amazingness by announcing that he'd gotten his start working on Websites by working on "adult entertainment, sometimes known as porn sites." Well hey hey, we have a winner, folks! I'm of course beside myself, likely drooling, because not only does this guy work on the Interwebs, but thank my lucky stars, he has worked in Porn.

OK, so the very Smart and Technologically savvy Spare the Air rider then went on to explain Internet Marketing to me. To me. Of course I said nothing about working for an interactive ad agency, and just looked at him completely dumb-foundedly (and probably interpretted as enraptured, delighted, and wantingly) as he went on to tout the many merits of ... really, a drum roll please ... the Subservient Chicken.

(Now, I realize some people may not be familiar with the Subservient Chicken. What is important is that it came out in early 2004 -- so, two and a half years ago. You can see info on it at wikipedia, or at the Chicken's site itself. It's also one of the more commonly talked about viral campaigns, referenced widely and loved by many.)

So back to Romeo. He goes on to tell me that the Subservient Chicken indeed has roots in .... wait for it ... Porn. And yes, with that fellow BART riders, we have come full circle. Welcome to the Demonkeeping School of Internet Marketing, where all campaigns, theories, or ideas begin and end with Porn. Forget strategy, no, no, it boils down to this... Porn. It sells, folks. Just ask any Internet Marketing Guru on public transportation.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006
My new job

I started my new job just a month ago. I like it there, a lot. I get to work with funny people, creative people, and people who do not take their work too seriously. We work in advertising. I'm quite serious about what I do, in some ways, but realize that it is fleeting. These things that we create, they go live and are on the internet for 3 months, maybe a year; they may win awards, but ultimately these things are not lasting. From time to time there is a campaign that has staying power, or a tagline that becomes familiar, or an ad that makes its way in to pop culture. That is part of the fun, along with creating things for a living.

So the not so serious part of the job...we have a delightful whoopie cushion that gets 'passed' around the office. Little did you know, dear reader, that there is new technology in the whoopie cushion field. No longer do you have to blow the cushion up... some are now self-inflating.

Yesterday, our favorite green whoopie cushion was sitting on a table as we were having a conference call. It's hard to avoid the urge to squish the little thing, and no sooner had we introduced ourselves on the call, had one co-worker "squeezed the turkey" (as we say in my family) right near the phone. We had to put ourselves on mute because it was all too horrifying. And we had to laugh. Luckily it was only an internal call.

And to be an actor...
Our class went OK last night. I say OK because we had a sub. Lo, she was erudite and critical! See how she has taught at world renowned universities! Be awed by her technical background and long list of credentials! Shiver in terror as she criticizes your neutral scene and tells you to do it again next week in front of the regular teacher! And, be amazed by the short student who refuses the request, and insists upon a "re-do!"

In brief, I can't wait for our regularly scheduled professor to be back. He's much more approachable, tactful, and endearing.

Sunday, July 16, 2006
Best Yogurt Ever

Best Yogurt
My friends turned me on to the Trader Joe'sGreek style honey yogurt. I bought it last weekend, and ate the container (it was small) for breakfast Monday & Tuesday. Very tastey, and I couldn't stop thinking about it. I went back today and got two containers, and ate some right away when I got home. Also remarkable and delicious from TJ's are: Vanilla Gelato, Nuts about Raspberries, and the Sparkling Lemonade.

Acting 101
Now I'm getting ready for tomorrow, and for my "Neutral Scene" at my acting class. A Neutral Scene is one where you use words that can mean anything, but you have to create the story out of the backstory and the actions. The assignment was for each pair of partners to take the lines, and create characters and a scene from it. Sooo for example, our lines are (abbreviated version):

A: Well ...
B: Well, what?
A. Nothing
B. Okay .... Please ...

And so on. Anthony and I decided that we would act out a man, hitting on a woman in a bar. But then that didn't flow so well, so we created more history for our characters. The man and the woman just broke up, and they unexpectedly run in to one another at a bar, and end up accidentally spilling their drinks on each other. We'll see how it plays out. Should be interesting.

Saturday, July 15, 2006
Send a book to the Gulf Coast
I found out about this today, via notMartha, and knew I had to pass it on:

The Dewey Donation System
This group does an annual book drive for libraries, and this year has chosen to support the areas effected by Hurricane Katrina.

Please give if you can.

unrelated ...

Last weekend I was driving in to the city, and saw a brush fire had started on the side of the road. I grabbed my cell phone and called 911. Which was BUSY. How does this happen? I tried several more times, but could not get through. Disturbing, to say the least.

Thursday, July 13, 2006
Let's mix this up
A good blog (or even a mediocre one) needs its niche. So forget the really yucko first few posts, from now on I'm gonna write about things I like. Or know something about. So here goes.

Yes, its for real. And it got like 350 million page views in its first week out. The Bodygroom is sold out at and It's all about the optical inch, my friends.
*Oh and it won like the Gold Lion at Cannes, too. :P

The Hoff
I'm going to admit that this got passed around the office, and I only found these today. Seems like we've heard that the Hoff was such a hit singer in Germany for years, but I'd never heard him. Yeah, so the Hoff has a few videos over at You Tube that deserve a view:
Hooked on a Feeling - amazing green screen action!
Looking for Freedom Released in 1989, just a month before the fall of the Berlin Wall, this became an unoffical anthem for the Reunification of Germany.

Well now I've done it; an odd combo, but both are deeelicious.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006
Blue Dolphins everywhere

I've been noticing, as I drive around, that a whole lot of people have these blue dolphins hanging from their rear view mirrors. All sorts of different cars, all sorts of different people. I knew I was missing out on some trend because I see them everywhere.

A quick search lead me to find out they are air fresheners, available on Ebay for $1.25. wwwoooohoo!

I gotta wonder about the odor situation going on in some people's cars ... that they need one of those gag-inducing air "fresheners." I'm all for the new car smell, and I'm all for freshness, believe me. But maybe open the windows and let things air out? Covering up bad scents with another more powerful "sweet" odor is never a good idea.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Gamer's block
I really love playing a couple of MMOs - World of Warcraft, and then an wee game called A Tale in the Desert. I've played WoW for oh, like a year and a half, and I'm sure hardcore players would label me as quite casual. The thing is, I haven't played for a couple months and I am sure my guild wonders what happened to me. My main character is a level 54 night elf druid. I know! A full year and a half and she's only level 54 (max is 60). Oh well, I like soloing, and I like quests, and so far I haven't quite gotten into a raid group I love that much. The game changed at around 50, to being more focused on large groups, etc. I miss my friends there and should log back in to check on them all.

And, a Tale in the Desert. Love the game. Am not sure I like some of the politics that go on there. Like, if you're logging in for fun, and want to escape reality, its not that great to then be met by new politics. Anyway, I haven't logged in there for a couple weeks. Also miss the peeps in the game.

The block might be because of this itty game called "Fish Tycoon." Yeah, its a free download from Yahoo. Hmm. Find the 7 magical fish, seemed "easy" enough. But see, you start with like 5 fish and then have to breed and breed and breed to get the magical ones. After logging in for a couple weeks in a row after work, I only have 4. WTF? I've bought everything in the little store in the game for my tanks, and yet the last elusive fish are no longer a temptation. I logged out a couple nights ago, and haven't been back. The fish probably died, but oh well. Again, failing to see the point in a playing a game that's more of an irritant than fun. Shame on you Yahoo, and shame on me for getting hooked.

I'm gonna go read my book by the pool and celebrate the 4th of July. Then its off to eat a hamburger and watch some fireworks, because hey! nothing says freedom like beef and pyrotechnics.

Monday, July 03, 2006
The lost demographic
In advertising, etc there's the idea of the "lost demographic." This isn't a new idea, but basically, the idea is that males 18-40ish are no longer engaging in the "popular" media the way they once did. Advertisers are having a hard time figuring out what these guys are doing, and what they are watching, reading, spending their time with.

I'd argue that anyone 30-something or under, and who hasn't been sleeping under a rock, knows what happened, and I think its the changing face of media:

1. Ta-da! Teh interweb! Thank you, Al Gore! If people are reading a blog, they get it, I won't expand on this, only to say that if you've got an internet connection at home, why in the world would you pay for a newspaper to be delivered?

2. Video games. As games like World of Warcraft increase (5.5 million players worldwide), and overall sales of video games and consoles increase roughly 10% a year, this seems to be a place where people are looking for entertainment.

3. Cable news & sports. And by this I mean stuff like the Daily Show, and ESPN.

4. Podcasts, videocasts and emerging media. Our age group likes gizmos and technology. I tend to listen to a lot of podcasts on my way to work. Again, these are free (for the most part), interesting, and educational. While some have ads, I can fast forward through them.

I think that as there are more ways of obtaining news and entertainment, the lost demographic will spread out and become even harder to track down. This might be good, as it opens the door for small companies or news agencies to get a start, and the internet offers a level playing field as far as cost (its cheap).

This topic interests me because I think even though I'm a female, I'm also part of this lost demographic. (I know, an Onion headline: White female, 34, joins Lost Demographic) . I don't watch the news because its sensationalized and so watered down that its lost its meaning. Movies suck, and have become a whirlwind of sequels, remakes and live-action comic book screen-plays. I get one magazine (Real Simple), and it seems to recycle its stories on about an annual rotation, so I'm not sure how much longer I'll keep it. I heart my iPod. I get news stories from the internet.

Saturday, July 01, 2006
The first post

Neomi is something that's been rattling around in my head. Some ideas, some thoughts that want to be shared. The idea for this blog, at least for now, is that its a place for a wee gen-xer to talk about the politics of the US, and to share ideas about the state of the world we live in. I don't feel like my generation talks about the political situation we find outself in. That said, I'm not going to pretend I know a whole lot about politics, or that I have it all figured out. I don't. We don't. And I can't say I like how things are going.

So on the outset of this blog, I want to at least share my thoughts. I don't believe in "conspiracy theories" and I won't really dive into those here. What I'd like to do is start to figure out where the country is headed, and where we can make a difference. "Knowledge is power," so this will be a forum to share knowledge as I am learning myself.

The first few ideas I have to share here, over the next few days, have spawned from my having more time to listen to podcasts, to read, and to reflect during my longer commute on public transportation. I've picked up some tidbits of knowledge and hope others might enjoy talking about the ideas.

So just some basics about me ... I'm mostly a democrat, living in Northern California. My academic background is in religious studies; while I am spiritual, I am not specifically religious. I am a project manager, and I work in the web development / advertising world. I like what I do, and mostly I am a happy person.