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Showing posts from October, 2012

Republican Rhapsody (With Apologies to Queen)

My friend, is not only a social media and marketing professional, but he's also a humor writer. This is a contribution he offered up to the Laughing Stalk blog.

What do the polls say?
How ‘bout the Tea Party?
Want to win in a landslide?
Just escape from reality
Open your mouth
Insert your foot and speak

I'm just a fetus, I am not in vitro
Because I'm easy come, embryo
In with Wade, out with Roe
Any way the wind blows, ‘cause science doesn't really matter to you
To you

Mama, don’t kill your son
You’ve got a gun against your head
That rapist just might shoot you dead
Mama, my life has not begun
So please don’t go and throw it all away
Mama, ooo
I hate to tell you this
But if I come out in nine months or so
It’s ‘cause of God, ‘cause of God, because science doesn’t matter

Too late, you’re now preggo
Send an epidural down your spine
Feet are swelling all the time
Goodbye everybody - I've got to go
Gotta leave this uterus and kiss POTUS
Mama, ooo - (any …

Karl the Curmudgeon Almost Wins the Oxford Comma

"Kid! Kid!" My friend, Karl the Curmudgeon, burst into Capoci's, waving a newspaper in the air. Capoci's is an Andorran bar, and we were going to watch the Roller Hockey World Cup's semi-finals. Andorra was facing off against Catalonia, and this promised to be an exciting match.

Don't give yourself an aneurysm, I said. What's up? Karl slapped a copy of The (London) Telegraph on the bar.

"Look!" he declared, looking like he had just found the final map to Blackbeard's buried treasure.

I picked up the paper and began to read. 'Owen Paterson has produced a 10-point guide for his civil servants on the pitfalls of common punctuation errors, including the Oxford comma.'

Son of a—!

"HA!" shouted Karl. "See, I told you the Oxford comma was a load of crap." He gestured at Nicolau, the bartender. "Two Alpha Torradas, Nicky."

Nicolau placed the two Andorran brews in front of us. I took a few big swigs, while I con…

An Homage to Suzanne Glass, Founder of Indie-Music.com

I said good-bye today to one of my writing influences, a woman who is partly responsible for my writing abilities, knowledge, and style.

Suzanne Glass, founder of Indie-Music.com, passed away last week after a short bout with cancer. Suzanne started the site back in 1996 as a place for independent musicians to learn about marketing, the music business, professionalism, and to have their albums reviewed.


It's this last category where I got to work with Suzanne, reviewing any CDs I could, and putting them up on her website.

I met Suzanne through our mutual friend, Joel, who I had known since college. And my first email to her, asking her if I could possibly write for the site was met with, "any friend of Joel's is a friend of ours!" and I was off and running.

I wrote over 150 CD and technology reviews for the site, and a few marketing articles. Suzanne and I toyed with the idea of representing some bands, even going so far as to meet with a few of them, before deciding…

I've Got This Bridge I'd Like To Sell You

Erik is out of the office this week, so we are reprinting a column from 2003.

I realized I had finally made my mark in the world when I received my very own Nigerian scam letter, addressed to me at my office eight years ago. When Nigerian scam artists put your name on a letter, rather than addressing it with an impersonal "Dear Friend," you've obviously done something important.

At least that's what I tell myself.

But there it was, in a pile of mail, directly from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.

Keep in mind, this was in 1995, before crooks realized the email was a much cheaper and easier way to swindle people. This was back in the day of fax machines and the post office.

"Grandpa, tell us a story about how crooks used to swindle people with pen and paper."

Nowadays, the crooks use email to blanket hundreds of thousands of people. But back in 1995, they used word processors and stamps to regale me with their tales of woe, of how they had $75 mi…

Need a Hug? Wear the Like-A-Hug Vest

I'm a hugger.

I like hugging people when I greet them, assuming I know them fairly well. People I know less well get a firm, but warm handshake. I appreciate physical contact among friends and family. The pat on the back. The reassuring squeeze on the shoulder. The high five.

And the hug.

I believe that nothing can replace the warmth of physical contact, and even in the growing world of social media — online networking, remote relationships, and video phone calls — physical touch is very important. It's what makes us feel loved and special.

So I was more than a little disturbed by the story in The (London) Guardian about the new Like-A-Hug vest invented by a group of MIT students who apparently never got enough hugs when they were kids.

Whenever you get a "Like" from someone on Facebook, the Like-A-Hug vest will inflate like a life jacket and "hug" you. When a friend likes a status update you made, a comment, a photo, or a video, you'll "feel the w…

Confessions of a Frightened 12-Year-Old

I spent most of my pre-teen childhood afraid of almost everything. Afraid of the Cold War. Afraid of rock musicians and their drug-addled fans. Afraid of being eaten by sharks, even in swimming pools. Afraid of being hit by cars (which I was once). Afraid of the song "Hotel California," the beast they couldn't kill, and the ghost of the guy's wife who hadn't been around since 1969.

One thing that scared me were the drug scare films they showed us in 6th grade to keep us from using drugs. These had been made in the early 1970s to show kids what would happen if they took drugs.

You would die.

Drugs, said the films, would make you freak out and have horrible screaming fits about psychedelic monsters trying to steal your face. Or they would make you think you could fly, and you'd climb on top of a building to try it, only to realize halfway down that things weren't going according to plan.

These films filled me with a sense of dread that stayed with me for we…