Release the Kraken!

If you recognize that quote from the classic “Clash of the Titans,” then I salute you.

I’m about to unleash my own Kraken – which is to say, I’m about to send an amazing amount of unsolicited e-mails to potential employers.

I’m doing a gigamegaload of online research, and when that’s completed, I’ll be directing the aforementioned lucky souls to this blog.

Here, they can read my innermost (and self-censored to remain professional) thoughts, see my work samples and resume, and best of all, brighten their day with a laugh. (Man, I’m humble.)

So I will soon see a large spike in blog visits, and I’ll be seen by everybody who’s anybody in the DFW marketing world.

By Zeus’ beard, I welcome you all!

Busy week.

Last Friday, met with a freelance client.

Monday, met with another one.

Tuesday, meeting with a local agency about possible on-site freelance and maybe even full-time gig down the road.

Wednesday through Friday, writing the entire Web site for the first two clients mentioned.

This Wednesday will be three weeks since the interview I had, which has yielded no response whatsoever. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think that’s all that cool.

Philly to phly?

In the past week or so, two Philadelphia sports teams have done big things in their attempts to build contenders. (This goes against everything Philadelphia.)

The 76ers signed free agent power forward Elton Brand away from the Los Angeles Clippers, who had hoped to keep him (and are mad at Brand’s agent for allegedly sketchy tactics). Brand will give you 20 points and 10 rebounds a night, and is a bona fide star player to go along with budding star swingman Andre Iguodala, steady point guard Andre Miller and a good core of young guys.

Just like that, the 76ers are a contender. (Of course, it only cost like $82 million.)

And tonight, the Phillies made the best possible trade they could make at the moment. They sent three prospects (two pretty good ones and a question mark guy) to the Oakland Athletics for starting pitcher Joe Blanton.

Reasons to like Blanton:

He’s only 27, he “eats innings” (pitches a lot), he’s durable, he has pretty good control (which he’ll need in the homerun-happy Citizens Bank Park), and he’s coming to the National League – where he’ll get to face pitchers instead of designated hitters. That’s a big help for one’s ERA.

He may not be CC Sabathia (who was the best available pitcher until Milwaukee got him in a trade from Cleveland), but I think he’s less risky than A.J. Burnett of Toronto and Erik Bedard of Seattle (both of whom were rumored to be in the Phillies; sights).

Will these moves guarantee a championship or two? No. But at least they’re trying. (That’s a new one for us.)

P.S.: Just picked up Blanton for my “money” fantasy team. He’s 5-12, so it figured that he was available.

My interview with The Pakistani Spectator

Yes, you read that correctly. As a world-famous blogger, I was asked to give an interview by a reporter from The Pakistani Spectator (link below).

Here’s the transcript:

I’m a 35-year-old American, currently working as a freelance advertising copywriter. My wife and I live in Plano, Texas (a suburb of Dallas), although we’re originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  I earned a B.A. in Communications & English and a Master’s in Journalism, Public Relations and Advertising. I’ve worked in advertising and marketing for 13 years, writing for major national and international companies. I have Crohn’s disease, and have also dealt with pyoderma gangrenosum (a skin condition with ulcers) in the past. But right now, I’m healthy, happy and loving life in Texas.

Would you please tell us something about you and your site?
I’m a professional writer who loves popular culture and the Internet. I was blogging on my MySpace page, and decided to “take the plunge” and create a full-fledged blog on WordPress.

Do you feel that you continue to grow in your writing the longer you write? Why is that important to you?

In every writing-based class, they tell you that “a writer writes.” The more you do it, the better you get, and hopefully you’re able to express yourself in new ways. Blogging is a great outlet for me – it’s kind of like a journal or diary that I share with the world. (Or at least 1,400 visitors so far.)

I’m wondering what some of your memorable experiences are with blogging?

The three days or so when I’ve had 40+ visitors. Knowing that people are interested in seeing what I have to say is gratifying. Also, this opportunity to be interviewed by a member of the international community is quite nice. It shows that thanks to the Internet, the world is getting much smaller.

What do you do in order to keep up your communication with other bloggers?

I don’t spend a lot of time communicating with other bloggers. I do try to respond to everyone who leaves a comment on my blog, but rarely post comments on others.

What do you think is the most exciting or most innovative use of technology in politics right now?

I thought the touch-screens that they were using on CNN during the Presidential primaries were pretty cool.

Do you think that these new technologies are effective in making people more responsive?

The touch-screens, no. I do think that blogs and online news coverage are keeping people more informed, but only people who truly want to be involved will be “more” responsive.

What do you think sets Your site apart from others?

My writing “voice” is different from most other people, and I think that my honesty, humor and unique life experiences make my blog different from others.

If you could choose one characteristic you have that brought you success in life, what would it be?

Optimism. Despite facing some rather large challenges in my life, I have worked to maintain a positive outlook that has served me well.

What was the happiest and gloomiest moment of your life?

My happiest moment was when I married my wife. My gloomiest moment occurred at the height of my illness, when I was in a great deal of physical and mental pain.

If you could pick a travel destination, anywhere in the world, with no worries about how it’s paid for – what would your top 3 choices be?

Aruba, Italy and Hawaii.

What is your favorite book and why?

I couldn’t possibly pick just one book. I’ve enjoyed great and funny fiction writers such as David Sedaris and Mark Leyner, plenty of books penned by comedians, many Stephen King novels, books on advertising and more.

What’s the first thing you notice about a person (whether you know them or not)?

Their physical dimensions and their clothes. (I know that’s two things.)

Is there anyone from your past that once told you you couldn’t write?

Strangely, no. The interesting thing is that I really didn’t know what I was good at or wanted to do with my life going into college; yet one of my closest friends in high school told me later that she “knew” I’d be a writer. I’ve since berated her for not telling me sooner!

How bloggers can benefit from blogs financially?

Well, I don’t make any money off of mine – although it’s possible that someone could see my writing style (and my PDF file of work samples) at my blog and become interested in hiring me. I’m sure there are people who put advertising on their blogs or sell merchandise related to their blog.

Is it true that who has a successful blog has an awful lot of time on their hands?

It doesn’t hurt. However, I’m sure some bloggers spend just 15 minutes a day or so doing quick entries when they can during the day.

What role can bloggers of the world play to make this world more friendlier and less hostile?

Open and honest communication can often help people understand each other better.

Who are your top five favourite bloggers? (U.S. comedian), (baseball), (advertising), (advertising), (political/news commentary).

Is there one observation or column or post that has gotten the most powerful reaction from people?

Not particularly, but it seems that the more personal the topic, the more relatable it is – and the more comments I receive.

What is your perception about Pakistan and its people?

I suffer from the typical American’s ignorance on many foreign countries, and until recently only knew of Pakistan’s troubles with India and the recent political news concerning Musharraf and Bhutto. However, I just finished reading an in-depth article about Pakistan in the May 2008 issue of GQ Magazine by Devin Friedman. The stories of corruption, religious fanaticism and suffering are terrifying; but obviously, there are people living there who are trying to rise above the politics and extremism – such as the online reporter who requested this interview.

Have you ever become stunned by the uniqueness of any blogger?

There are some extremely funny and odd blogs out there.

What is the most striking difference between a developed country and a developing country?

I am incredibly unqualified to answer this question, having led a relatively sheltered and spoiled life in one of the most developed countries in the world.

What is the future of blogging?

There are millions and millions of people who don’t have Internet access, but more of them discover the Web every day. It’s possible that some day in our lifetime, blogs will be a very common method of communication.

You have also got a blogging life, how has it directly affected both your personal and professional life?

No, I don’t blog enough to affect my personal life – other than I do enjoy having another creative outlet and receiving a modicum of attention from readers. And as mentioned above, it’s possible that colleagues and potential clients/employers will see my writings and hire me.

What are your future plans?

To find a satisfying full-time position utilizing my advertising and marketing experience, and to try to increase the amount of blog entries I create.

Any Message you want to give to the readers of The Pakistani Spectator?

Please do not judge all Americans by the actions of the recent administration.

What some people pay for a copywriter’s expertise

Check out what they want for $0-$20 an hour…

Copy Writer
Hourly Rate:$0-20
Dallas, Texas
Copy Writer

Write copy for advertising and web pieces with a focus on selling
aspects of the company and products offered via the company internet
magazine and global emails.

Responsibilities include art direction, copywriting, desktop
publishing, graphic design, photo direction, computer-illustration,
print production, contractor and vendor coordination, and production

Requirements: Four year degree preferred

Incredibly wonderful spam

This was the message text:

“Hey, my name is Liza i girl.I’m search friend
message me my mail !! [E-MAIL ADDRESS REMOVED] !!
I send my foto .”

Well, Liza, it appears that your English language skills are not great.

But you are “girl.”

Maybe we could be friends, but I don’t think I can message you your mail since I don’t know where you live.

Oh, a photo too?

Make sure you brush your tooth before taking the picture!


OK, so we had pizza tonight. We don’t get it often, but as I was sitting there waiting for our takeout order, I noted the ridiculousness of the menu options and pondered our country’s obesity problem.

Do you think that a part of it could be this possible meal:

Appetizer: Breadsticks or “cheesy bread”

Entree: Pizza (possibly with a cheese-stuffed crust)

Dessert: Brownies or some other doughy chocolate treat

You can get this meal (or a variation) at any of our finer quick-delivery pizza joints.

And I’m guessing you see the connection between each course:


“Yes, I’ll start with the bread appetizer. For my main course, bread with all the usual toppings. And for dessert, please begin baking five additional loaves of my favorite…BREAD.”

Am I a victim of this breadphilia? Absolutely. I love cookies and cake and pies and breads and muffins. Sure, I try to have wheat bread when I can. (Not a big fan of the whole grains if they have those nutty chunks in them.)

There’s no way to wrap this up with my mossy brain right now. Well, maybe one word:


Random Ramblin’s: My Royal Return!

Sorry I’ve been so remiss in posting. (I know you care.)

July 4th was really cool. After the usual BBQ, we drove over to this spot in Frisco where we could see fireworks (albeit most were far away) in like five different towns at once. Of course, the ones at Pizza Hut Park – which claim to be the best in North Texas –  might have been just that.

Saw Incredible Hulk and Indiana Jones.  Loved the first, liked the second.

Got my “Heart Rate Monitor for Dummies” as part of the master plan to try interval training. My friend Charlie says it’s the latest thing – short bursts of maximum effort to get the heart rate up, which is basically anaerobic activity that gets you the benefits of aerobic activity.

(Or something like that.)

I don’t know what it is about Caffeine Free Pepsi. Maybe it’s sweeter than other soft drinks.  But we love it.

Finished my two-month, contract-to-hire-oh-never-mind gig. Do NOT want to talk about it here.

Currently freelancing on-site at a Dallas agency. Much better.

Interviewed last week at a major utility company for a client-side gig. Should hear something this week.

Fantasy baseball-wise, I’m pretty much craptabulously done. I’m starting to think I’m really a lousy competitor, even though so many trades I make work out better for me than my trading partner and I’m able to find great bargains and young talent.

I pretty much HAVE to get a haircut every four to five weeks, or it starts to look godawful (like it does now). See, the part that grows fine (sides and back) overtakes the growth of the super-slow top part of my head, and I end up looking a bit like a pumpkin without the green stump part.

Our forecast here is like 95 to 98 every day. Of course, we’re all indoors most of the time. And on the weekend, the closest pool is usually near-empty.

The Phillies are in first place. Wonder if it’ll last. Not likely if they don’t get better pitching.

The Summer story writing contest is coming up. (If you recall, I entered the Spring contest with horrendous results.) But now I’ve got a much better idea of how to approach it. And hey, it’s only $5 to enter.

Ad Campaign I’m Loving: The Dos Equis “Most Interesting Man in the World.” Heard a radio spot for it today and laughed out loud. THAT is saying something. Euro RSCG New  York, I salute you, you magnificent bastards! (And stay thirsty, my friends.) I actually went and bought a case just to support the company.

OK, time to brush my teeth and head to bed. Nightie-night.