Week 18: Live Blogging from the Razorfish Recruitment Party

April 28, 2010 at 7:16 (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

I stood in line with 600 other people tonight to attend the Razorfish Recruitment Party at Rockit. Wasn’t sure what to expect, but when the Facebook event page reached 459 and the Rockit site listed capacity of the private top floor as 300, I knew I was in for an aggressive night.

I know the ad industry’s  been hit hard, but the line down the block for three hours really proved it. With 30 times the people showing up for every job that’s open on Razorfish’s site, I knew I’d have to be creative. Which is why I didn’t bother with a pre-made business card. I’m a copywriter who solves problems — a 3.0 x 2.0 white rectangle with my name on it just isn’t me. I wait to see what the problem is, and I try to solve it.

Nametags were all gone and people were packed in like sardines (no pun on Razorfish), so I pulled out my Post-it notes and my Sharpie. I wrote my name, Copywriter, my blog URL and the message, “I’m live blogging this event RIGHT NOW!” Then I stuck one to my chest. People looked and laughed, but they also came over and talked to me. Razorfish is a digital agency, so I hope I got their attention.

No idea what will come of this, but it was pretty awesome to meet you Tim, Heather and Wen Ex. Thanks for the party! If anyone out there couldn’t attend and is interested in a career with Razorfish, click through to the careers portion of http://www.razorfish.com/, and good luck!

If you’d like to talk further or see examples of my work as a copywriter, please contact me at 52weeksofnew@gmail.com

UPDATE: Party was great and packed, and they gave away a few iTunes gift cards by drawing names from a fish bowl. They also had a Twitter contest to name the event. That guy got a new iPad!!

All in all, it was too packed to really make an impact, but I got a few cards and some free beers, so I consider that a success. I hope Razorfish finds who they’re looking for. Creative Director Tim Sheridan mentioned not really looking for digital people but looking for smart problem solvers. I think that’s pretty spot-on with my philosophy and my experience, so I am definitely going to follow up.

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Week 16: And Like That, I Live With A Boy

April 27, 2010 at 7:16 (Uncategorized)

I’ll be 32 in two months and it probably doesn’t seem strange that I no longer live alone. Not to you. But it’s huge uncharted territory for me. Exciting, weird, scary and out of my control. I know he’s the one and I know where we’re headed, but everything in between?  I know nothing about it. Friends around me get married, have babies, become managers at work, and I stay put, where I’m most comfortable. So this is a big deal, this is serious.

We’ve spent the past two months screaming under the stress, but now that we’re officially living together, it’s pretty good. It’s nice to  have someone to come home to. It’s nice to have someone there. And I think it’ll be pretty nice to have someone to go through life with. Especially because it’s him.

It’s pretty scary out there. There are lots of unknowns. Lots of risks. But you have to take them. You have to move forward. And even though Sandra Bullock got screwed royally, she was right in saying how her work got better when she got married — because she never knew before what it was like for someone to  have her back. That’s what it feels like to me, too. My work got better and my life got better. Right now, we’re friggin’ invincible.

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Week 15: Intimacy Issues

April 27, 2010 at 7:16 (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

I got lucky enough to score tickets to see my favorite band, Dr. Dog, in their biggest venue in Chicago yet – the Metro. In past years I had a Beatles moment with them where I stood under lead singer Toby as he sweat on me at the Empty Bottle. I had offered lead guitarist, Scott, fries at Schuba’s and had stood belly-to-the-stage at the Double Door. I loved being so close to my favorite modern band, but I always lamented that they never got beyond these smaller venues. I wanted other people to learn about them and love them the way I do. Well, I finally got what I asked for.

I got the tickets months in advance and forgot about them, so I had no idea that Dr. Dog had exploded beyond the pencil-thin, flannel-wearing hipster crowd. When T and I approached the Metro April 16th, the line was out the door, up the block on Clark St., and people were begging for tickets. They SOLD OUT the Metro. The Metro is humongous with two huge floors and a capacity of 1100. It was packed to the gills at 9 p.m. and got even more packed as the night went on. T guessed there were 2000 people there and I didn’t doubt it. We stood against a wall on a thin platform two rows deep on the second floor and sweated and jumped and danced and listened. I thought there was no way they would be able to live up to their past shows, no way they’d be able to hear themselves over the crowd, but they proved me wrong, sounding as good as their CDs. As always.

There were yuppies and sorority girls and hipsters and hippies and Wrigley attendees and us. Everyone was together in their love for Dr. Dog. It was awesome. The only thing that wasn’t awesome was that I couldn’t see them. I couldn’t see a thing, actually. They got so big they got impersonal. Still good, still my favorite, still so proud of Dr. Dog — but not at all the same.

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Week 17: Life, Death and the CTA

April 27, 2010 at 7:16 (Uncategorized)

I am skipping the two weeks prior because this one’s worth telling now. Yesterday after work I left my friend S at Belmont and hopped on the brown line home. I wrapped my arms around the vertical post and dazed out, swaying with the pull of the train. Who knows where my head was when I heard several people yell “Whoa, whoa, whoa!”

As I turned around, a man my age fell like a tree cut down — sort of curling up as he fell over and past me — and landed supine on the floor of the CTA. I heard commotion as people both rushed to his side and cleared out to give him room. I heard or saw people coming toward me and backed away to let them through. I looked over at the man, shocked, intent on helping, curious. He was alone. In the seconds I was in shock, everyone else had peeled away, afraid, many commenting out loud, but no one actually reacting. I looked closer to assess the situation, my eyes squeezing like an aperture as I focused in and decided what I could do.  Was he alive? I felt myself kneeling down to give him CPR. He was twitching. “He’s having a seizure!” I heard a couple people yell. Then his head went back, his eyes went back and he started making an ugly choking and buzzing sound. I looked away and back and away and back to make sure he was breathing but to truly avoid seeing someone die.

“Put him on his side,” a disembodied voice cried. I don’t know if anyone did.  I saw them do it but by the time I looked back, other things were happening. I heard someone else yell, “Push the button!” Hardly anybody moved. People right next to the emergency call button moved away from the thing. I stared at it and waited for it to be pushed. I moved but someone moved faster toward it. It was exactly like the hidden camera scenarios you see on 20/20 of emergency situations: I kept talking myself out of waiting for someone else to help, but I felt certain someone else must know more what to do than I. So I did nothing. Someone rushed past me, I thought he was a doctor, but he didn’t get down on the ground. When the supine man started spitting and calling up white fluids from his mouth and onto his beard, seemingly choking on his tongue as it darted back and forth in his mouth somewhere, I talked myself out of getting down on the ground and giving him mouth to mouth. I was watching and waiting to see if he would truly need me. I had no idea what to do.

Seconds passed, and some random person stuttered nothing of use into the intercom beneath the call button. “There’s a guy here, in the first car, he’s on the ground…” Fifteen seconds passed, I stared at the button too, wanting this fixed, depending on the CTA to emergency-stop the train. “I’m sorry, what?” came back the response. The CTA employee did nothing, stopped nothing…  When I wasn’t looking, the supine man suddenly popped up from the floor, spitting into his beard. “It’s OK,” he muttered as the doors opened at Southport. “Oh, it’s OK, he’s OK,” the button pusher stumbled. Now people got up from their seats and left the train. Not before. Strangely, now they could react.

“There’s a seat here if you want it,” I said, gesturing toward him, but the man I had just watched having a seizure walked off the train into the crowd. My reaction was too late, too.

I sank into the seat, sweating and hyperventilating for the 10 minutes left in my ride. No one talked or looked at each other. I stared out the window and tried to calm down, but all I could think was “My God,” and how miserably I had failed that man. Quite honestly, I had failed myself pretty miserably too. If that man had been dying, I would have watched him die because my brain kept telling me he would be OK and that no one would die in front of me as long as they were still breathing. I surprised myself with how weak and cowardly I am. I surprised myself by disconnecting from what was happening before me. Shock is one thing but shit – I didn’t even react. I watched. I watched someone have a seizure. And although I was pretty certain that’s what he was having and I explained it to myself as epilepsy, it didn’t mean it was OK to stand by. It was completely disgusting that I stood by. It was inhuman that I stood by. What made me do it? What made me think I should be doing that?

I spend a lot of time on this blog picking on other people’s choices and other people’s inactions, but this one’s for me. This one’s a rag on me. Yesterday was totally a departure from how I see myself and how I think of myself. It’s time to learn some emergency preparedness and grow a set of balls. The next time I’m in a situation like this it could be someone I know, someone I love. It’s time to wake the fuck up and do something.

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Week 14: Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt Together Again

April 10, 2010 at 7:16 (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

I saw “The Bounty Hunter” with Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler. Obviously, it sucked. But the worst thing was realizing that the only person that could have saved it  was Brad Pitt. The same Brad Pitt that played a doofus gym employee in “Burn After Reading.”

Gerard Butler … Who is this guy? He’s not funny or likable, and he definitely doesn’t gel with Jennifer Aniston. They’re never going to have a real-life romance. But this recently goofy Brad Pitt would have fed off her comedic timing the way he fed off Angelina’s sex in Mr. and Mrs. Smith. He could have made “The Bounty Hunter” a blockbuster. He could have made Jennifer Aniston seem like she wasn’t talking to a brick wall. Maybe she’s the reason why he’s so funny in the first place. Maybe he’s the only man that truly gets her. Maybe together they could have sparked a series of memorable and lasting team comedies where the content is less important than the hilarity and accessibility of the characters performing it.

Damn you, Angelina.

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Weeks 10-13: Sprung

April 10, 2010 at 7:16 (Uncategorized)

I don’t want you to think I haven’t been doing anything. I have most certainly doing things.

I’ve been fighting identity theft and moving my boyfriend into my condo, selling my shit, selling his shit, ridding both our places of the shit we’ve acquired and hoarded over 30+ years; figuring out how to make printable stickers for handmade baby shower invites; helping plan my mom’s 60th birthday trip to Hawaii — no, Amsterdam — no, Rome; interviewing; courting clients; learning about interactive; and freelancing onsite, freelancing offsite, freelancing day and night.

I am exhausted. I have been sick. I have learned how much I can do, how much I can take, how I need to be challenged, how I require collaboration, how I want to be valued for what I bring to the table, how to get the best out of people and maybe a little of how to believe in myself.

A year ago, I was injecting myself three times a day in order to harvest eggs, and feeling miserable about myself and my thirty bandages. I was preparing for a fourth surgery to remove cancer from my only remaining ovary. I thought my only worth was as a nanny; then as a lethargically detached freelancer; then in healthcare advertising.

In a month, I’ve learned the truth is so much more.

I don’t have a big conclusion yet. I think I’m still too new to living to have a conclusion. But Spring is back and so am I. I’ll try to be in touch more often.

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