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Autumn in New York

15 Nov

The weather has been beautiful so I’ve been taking some photos.
First up are the Union Square Greenmarket, then some fun in Central Park. Last is the Trinity Cemetery in Harlem. It was probably the coolest thing I have done so far. I took about 200 photos, but these were my favorites. I’m still trying to get on the Flickr bandwagon. (yes, I know.) I’ll let you know when I do.


Some are experiments with light. Some I overexposed, then played with the exposure in Photoshop. Some are just plain old pictures. All are things I thought were beautiful. Click on the images to see them up close.


Advertising or Social Engineering?

21 Oct

Watch this video. Cool, right?

Then tell me: does it matter if an advertisement meets the bottom line anymore? Does it have to make sense?

So many times I will find things that I think are interesting in my random surfing. Increasingly, when I get done watching, downloading, listening, I realize it’s either sponsored by a brand or created FOR a brand. It may not have anything to do with the brand itself, but somehow the name is tied. Does this mean I’m going to buy more of whatever brand is sponsoring? Does it need to mean that?

Brands are trying to socially engineer experiences more and more. Does this actually make people want to buy more Honda’s, as seen in the really cool video above? Would you buy a Honda because of this video? What if you saw it in person? Does it even matter?

At a recent lecture from Paul Collins, a Group Creative Director from AKQA New York, he told us that ads don’t need to make sense anymore. When you are trying to sell ideas to a client, does this work?


Tell me. Tell me everything you know. And everything you don’t know too. We’ll learn together.

Thoughts and observations, part 2

19 Oct

So, it’s been two weeks, give or take, and things are getting a little easier. Of course, by remarking on this, I realize that things will be really hard for the next few days. Just to be spiteful.


Things that are not so great:

1. From what I can gather, Target is the second coming to most New Yorkers. In a place where you can get just about anything from a local business, Target is the place that people are loving. That and Trader Joe’s. I’m sure there are locavores out there, I just have yet to find them.

2. People do not like bikers in general, from what I can tell so far. I’m sure there is a bike community, but I haven’t found it yet. The cabs will try to kill you, the people in Brooklyn will yell out the window at you and don’t even get me started about biking in the Hasidic neighborhoods. I’m immoral there. (see this) Good thing my helmet arrived the other day.

3. I have more mosquito bites than I ever have had in Minnesota. In fact, I can’t even remember the last time I had ONE in Minnesota. At last count, it was 16.

4. No one talks to each other on the subway. You can be standing 4 inches from someone’s face, and they won’t make eye contact or even act like you are there. I don’t want a dissertation, but sometimes a smile is nice.

5. I get lost on the subway. A lot. Usually this means I see strange things more often than I would like. Remind me to tell you about the naked guy. Or the pushy panhandlers. Or the girl who got mugged. or…


Things that are more amazing than you can even imagine:

1. When you’re just walking down the street and suddenly  see the Empire State lit in a new color-it’s amazingly beautiful. Every time it happens I just stop and stare. I can see it from my apartment window too. Anyone who tells you Brooklyn isn’t cool has never been there.

2. You can drop off your dirty clothes and someone will wash, dry and fold them for you. My clothes are now folded for the first time ever, in some cases.

3. The New York Public Library is possibly the coolest place I’ve been to. Ever. And not just because I can replay the Sex and the City scene in my head when Big pulls up and then drives away down 5th Avenue. (well, sort of. I will never admit that to you in person though.)

4. If you are craving a bowl of gluten-free noodles with pesto, broccoli and chevre, you can look it up on the internet, order it and get it delivered. If you’re not in Brooklyn, that is.

5. There is a guy here called the Sandwich Dealer. He has a cell phone that you text your order too, and he will text you back what corner to meet him. Just like a drug dealer, but with grilled cheeses.

6. It feels really good to go to a museum and realize that you have seen most of what is in it. I guess I’m not as small-town as I think sometimes. The trick is to see it with new eyes. I’m working on that part, as usual. New eyes, new eyes. The plight of the art director.

7. On any given night you can find multiple things you want to do or see. This is the hard part. Deciding has never been my strong suit. Now, if only I didn’t get lost on the subway so often…









Thoughts and observations upon arriving in New York City

6 Oct

Today is Day 5. I arrived on Saturday evening to New York City, found my way to my apartment, waited on the stoop with my current life possessions for my friend to show up with the keys and opened the door to a new life.

A few things I have noticed so far:

1. My neighborhood is noisy. People yell down the street and it’s just like having a conversation right next to the person they are talking to.

2. After 11 PM, you can still get food and coffee here. I know, novel idea.

3. I walk slower than everyone else. I have been trying to pick up the pace-just so I don’t look like so much of a tourist. The problem is I’m not really in a hurry. Ever.

4. The subway is really hot. You dress for the weather, then when you get underground, you peel off layers-or just suffer through it. So far I’ve arrived at my destinations looking quite melted. I have to get the hang of layering.

5. I haven’t ridden a bike in a week. This is the longest stretch I have gone since April. There are a few places I am going to check out this weekend, so hopefully by next week I will have some new stories about traveling in the city by bicycle. (as if I wouldn’t have anything to say otherwise.)

6. Everyone talks in abbreviated blurts-unless you ask how they are. Then they talk for a really long time. Ask them how to get to the subway though, and you get something totally different. This is only on the street though. Everyone in other spaces acts like people everywhere else. Sort of.

OK-more later. And an update on my fancy internship at the largest PR firm in the world.


11 May

I’m not moving.

Not for now at least. I thought I should tell you.

Here’s why:

I went on a mini-vacation to the Sunshine State with my mom-visited the school, ate lots of good food, did the tourist stuff, did some regular stuff–and something felt wrong. I was homesick. Like really homesick. I wanted my bike and my apartment and my friends and my shoes and..well, Minnesota. Yes. There. I said it. I wanted Minnesota.

The school was fine-but there are no real clear benefits to attending Miami Ad School in San Francisco vs. Minneapolis. I think it’s even better for me here, since advertising is all about connections. I have been working hard on making these connections in all parts of my life and I’m just not sure that giving it all up at 33 is worth it to move across the country to start over. Without a job and no network to rely on for help finding a job.


I’m a Libra. That should explain some of my indecision.

Moving to San Francisco

21 Mar


This week my mom and I are visiting San Francisco to see if I should really move there. We will be visiting the branch of Miami Ad there, eating at Chez Panisse and having lots of fun in general.


I’m starting to waffle on my decision to move. I already quit my job. I haven’t put my notice on my apartment yet, but that’s next. This last week I have had more fun in Minneapolis than probably ever. What do I do? I’ve met awesome new friends this week, had a great date (and a few terrible ones-details will follow) and it has been really nice out! Sun! It’s amazing what a little sun can do to make you forget about winter.

I’m thinking that I should stay in Minneapolis through the summer, find some job waiting tables, do great work at school, then head to an internship on the West Coast in October, when it gets cold again. I also want to spend some time on the East Coast, and maybe in between too.

Why would I want to leave Minnesota when it’s the nicest? I think I made my decision under the duress of February, which is never a good time to make decisions.

I’ve decided to take Liz’s advice and make a Pro/Con list. Here we go:

Pros: There’s no February in Minnesota in California. It’s a new city to explore. San Francisco is BEAUTIFUL. There are tons of adventures to be had, and potentially a great school experience. Minnesota Nice will be left in Minnesota.

Cons: I don’t know anyone there. I have no savings-and won’t have much to move with unless I can sell some stuff. I really, really love my apartment right now. I love living in Uptown. We have great co-ops here. I have awesome friends here. My best friends live here. My family is all here. Lake Harriet. The Greenway. The bikers. The great farmers markets (in summer that is). The wonderful network of people who make my heart happy. There is a great design community here. We have tons of art and culture and diversity.  I love my bike and my apartment and my community here. I would have to live with strangers, probably a few of them. I would be struggling for everything I’m sure. I’m not sure I want to give everything I have here up.

Sigh. I hate making decisions.

OK-now it’s your turn. Feel free to add pro’s and con’s as you see fit.

I wonder who reads this blog.

28 Feb

I made this for a friend-Liz-who totally is a star. You are too.

Hey! You!

I think you should leave more comments. I’m starting to think the only people that read my blog are spambots. I also really wonder who the hell is reading this thing!

As some of you know, I have recently began an Art Direction program at Miami Ad School in Minneapolis. Somedays I really don’t know why the hell I am doing what I am doing, but then I remember: oh yeah, it’s super fun to make things!

At Miami Ad, we spend lots of time with Adobe Creative Suite, amongst other things. I bought a DSLR and fell in love with photography this last summer. I meet interesting people every day. I get to think about big ideas, and make cool things around those big ideas. I rediscovered how fun it can be to draw with markers. I learned that a Sharpie is the worst thing in the world to smell for 4 hours straight. I’ve put myself in uncomfortable situations with students that seem lifetimes younger than me at times, then more mature and knowing of me other times.

Sometimes I worry that I am selling my soul to the Corporation, but then I remember again-it’s really cool to make stuff. To make stuff for good people and good companies is going to be even cooler.

SO–that’s my wax poetic on ad school today. I’m going to try to update this thing a bit more often. If I have any time to go on any dates I will surely tell you how bad they are also. I have a few good stories in my head, but I am going to wait until I am not telling them out of spite-and just telling them to be funny. You’ll have to be patient.

Dating Experiment #4

28 Nov

So, I never actually went out on a date with this hopeful, but I thought I would say a few words about the introduction email.  There are so many intricacies to making the first connection. My style is usually to send a few lines, just to see if the person is interested in learning more. No sense writing a memoir if the guy doesn’t like the looks of me. The same goes for you, guys.  I get emails all the time that divulge way too much information, or even worse, nothing at all except a really rude question.

Please. It’s not going to happen, ever. Just stop asking. (I wonder what the response rate is for that type of question anyway? It can’t actually work. Same goes for the rude photos. Who actually thinks that will work?)

That said, please don’t send the following:

“Hi there,

I really think this “emailing to introduce yourself” to someone you’ve never met is challenging. Who really does that? And I understand your feeling in your opening line…me too. But here we are.

I’m sure your getting all kinds of crazy emails from “interesting” guys, I assure you I’m not the typical guy on this site. I’m active in life, confident, successful, attractive, and really funny, so if you don’t like to laugh, we’re in trouble.

What’s your story? It sounds like you have traveled some…what are your three favorite places and why? I suspect you are not just another average person on this site. Tell me more about yourself. Are you more than just a pretty face in a picture?

Since we’re both on here to meet someone new, we should go grab a drink or coffee sometime.see what happens… worst case?…you meet a cool new friend.

Talk with you soon.”

First of all, don’t assume that you aren’t crazy. Everyone is, just in different ways. Second, don’t assume that the WORST that could happen is that I make a new friend. I have been around the block one too many times to know this is not the case. Cross-dressers who threaten you or drug addicts who cry on the first date are much worse. I don’t want an assignment in the first email either. I have lots of things to say-how about you let me say them?

And really, anyone who says they are confident, successful and attractive in the first email isn’t in real life. Besides, I saw this guys picture.  He had obviously lied about his age, stated as 36, and was really NOT attractive. To me, at least.  I’m sure there is someone for him, just like I keep saying there is someone for me.

Online dating is a norm now, as far as I can see.  I heard somewhere that 1 in 4 current marriages were the result of online dating. So, leave out the “this is crazy why are we here” because obviously if men were beating down my door, I wouldn’t be doing this. Neither would you, so leave it alone. It also beats picking up guys in bars. This way at least you get to weed out the crazies BEFORE you take them home.

Oh-I didn’t even touch on the grammar and punctuation needed for me to respond.  I think you probably figured that one out though. ANY misspellings and you are really never going to get a response. Spell check is included in every email/browser/dating service for FREE. Use it. Please.

I will tell you about the cross-dresser soon. I promise.

The Dating Experiment, Part 2

25 Jun

I am officially a jerk.

I was supposed to go on a coffee date with one of the guys I met with the Online Dating site. Want to know why I didn’t go? Because he called at 9:45 AM. On a Sunday. That is way to early, because we have only spoke on the phone once before, in a nervous chatter where he didn’t ask about one thing regarding me except how my last relationship ended. He forced me to say it, too.

Him: “So, he’s moving huh? That must be a good story.”

Me: “Umm, yeah, I guess. Not much really, 3000 miles is kind of a commute.”

Him: “What happened?”

Me: “He got a job. Far away.”

Him: “Come on, there’s got to be more to it than that?”

Me: “Nope–not really.”

Him: “Tell me. Tell me. Tell me.”

At this point I start making things up, just to shut this guy up. Yeah, I could have gone with him, but you know, but (insert inappropriate number here) months together is not long enough to decide something like that. Oh, you know, things started getting hard, and we are still friends; we hang out still, we just changed the status of the relationship. He’s really a great guy, and I like being friends with him. Blah, blah, blah.

Going with him was never an option. We are trying the Friends thing, but you already know how well that is going. He is great, though, even for a 40 year old, narcissistic commitment-phobe.

I hear a very loud noise on the other side of the phone. “What is that?”

“Oh-I am on my scooter.”

What!? Get off the phone and drive! On the phone on a scooter? Who IS this guy? He then proceeds to enter a sandwich shop, order a sandwich, pay, get back on the scooter, and drive home. ALL WHILE ON THE PHONE WITH ME. If I were working that counter, I wouldn’t make the damn sandwich until he hung up the damn phone. Just because it is mobile, doesn’t mean you get to talk on it in any situation.

I begin to insist that he call me back when he is not so busy. “No, no,” he assures me, but the deal has already been broken. He will not get any face time with me, but I will let him think that he should call me on Sunday. Maybe I should have been more specific–Sunday AFTER NOON. I don’t answer the phone before Noon on the weekends, unless we have been dating for a long time or unless it’s my mother and it’s the second time she calls in a row. (That’s how I know something is up. I usually don’t answer her calls, because she just wants to guilt me into something, unless it’s two in a row. That’s our code.) ((sorry mom.))

I didn’t answer his text four hours later, either.

The Dating Experiment

22 Jun

I was posting these to a friends website under a fake name, but really, they deserved to be shared with the larger world.  Enjoy.

I think I might be a masochist.

There are worse things to be, like a Republican, a Fundamentalist, or a wood tick. No one likes a parasite.

Part of my masochism includes signing up with an online dating site. Knowing what I know, why would I want to do it all again?

I just got this email, this is not a joke.

Dear Darci:

I sent this e-mail a couple of weeks ago but it looks like it didn’t go through because I put a link to a YouTube video in it. So, I’m re-sending it now:

Last night, I was out in the back yard grilling a good steak with my old “swinger” charcoal grill. I had been working in the yard/planting flowers much of the day and took a little time to sit back against the fence in a metal shell chair.

My cat Simpson was lying in the yard and I was listening to some music from the wireless speaker I had out on the back deck. I had old cassette tape of various 70’s songs playing. I had titled the tape “Boogie Check.” This, after an old AM radio call in bit by the long defunct Boogie-U100. Boy, the DJ’s sure used to talk fast back then.

The Eric Carmen song, “All By Myself” came on and I thought of Tracie. She was a little girl I knew in grade school. Early on, I somehow came to the conclusion that I was in love with Tracie (notice the fancy spelling) but never really dreamed I had a chance with her.

When I was in the sixth grade, I was having supper with the family one night and there was a phone call for me. I was just a kid and never really talked on the phone much that I can remember. It was Tracie’s friend Dori and she asked me, “Do you like Tracie?” My family was all looking at me and this question scared the hell out of me. I said, “No” and hung up the phone.

That year, I was a school patrol captain and one day, Tracie’s older sister Tammy pointed at me and told her friend that I was Tracie’s boyfriend. Hmmm . . . I wonder what that would have involved? After all, girl germs were going around back then and the boys had to draw X’s on their hands with a ball point to protect themselves.

I guess Tracie did “like” me and I always felt bad about being scared and lying about my feelings. My near obsession over Tracie carried across the years to the exclusion of all other girls. By the time I was a sophomore in high school, I was still in “love” with Tracie.

It was at this point that I decided I would call Tracie. Do you know how hard it is for a painfully shy boy to call a girl on the phone? I was scared to death and nervous as hell but I called her up and asked her if she wanted to come over to my house to listen to records. She said she was “busy.” What, she couldn’t wait four years for my call?

I was bit destroyed after that and I decided to walk to Target to look at records. It was a bit of a walk and I went across the muddy gorge where they were just building highway 3 which later became 52.

It was 1975 and I bought what was then the new release by Eric Carmen. I remember going back down into my room, playing “All By Myself” and pining over Tracie.

Yep, I sure did like Tracie.

By the way, it’s a good thing that you don’t really want to meet anyone. I don’t want to meet anyone either.

Hope you had a great Fourth of July.”


There are many parts of this letter that could scare a person, like the fact that he is telling me a story about a CHILD he was in love with and still thinks about? Red Flag. How about the part where he says he is Painfully Shy? For Christ’s sake, so am I, but I learned how to be fucking WITTY. Get over it. I also hate that he puts random things in quotation marks. Quotation marks do not make things ironic. Irony makes things ironic.

How long ago did Target stop carrying records?

I still have my friends call my date’s friends to ask if I am their girlfriend–there I go with that masochist streak again. I also make said friends find out details about their lives, like Has The Baby Been Born Yet or Are They Having Good Sex Because We Didn’t.

When? When does it end? I don’t think I need to mention that this one didn’t get a reply, let alone any face time.

p.s. I am dying to know what the You Tube video was. Oh, the possibility!