If It’s Rarely “Sunny” in Philadelphia (In My Opinion), Why Do I Love “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia?”

I was born and raised in Philadelphia. “The Great Northeast,” actually…which is not “Center City” or even all that close to downtown. But our mailing address was Philly, so we were official.

And I didn’t realize until we moved to Texas in 2006 how I basically never really dug where I was from. Yes, I’m still a Philly sports fan — despite the negative connotations. And I love me some Tastykakes and soft pretzels. (Thankfully, Rita’s Water Ice has made it to Texas.)

I don’t know if it’s my love for the open spaces, warmer climate, better cost of living and Southern hospitality (yes, it exists) of the Lone Star State or my distaste for the crowded streets and frozen slushy winters of the Illadelph. Whatever the case, I’m happy where we are now.

So why do I love “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia?” Possible reasons:

a) It’s funny.

b) I’ve described it as “Seinfeld with Philly jerks who own a dive bar.” And I love Seinfeld.

c) Danny DeVito’s finest and most absurd work.

d) Occasional shots and mentions of Philly places that are somewhat nostalgic/sentimental.

Did I know people like Mac, Dennis, Charlie, Sweet Dee and Frank? Not really.

Did I hang in dive bars? Rarely.

Bottom line: It’s a funny show, and it’s a weird love/hate letter to my hometown.

Oh well, too much unnecessary examination. Just know that I recommend the show. It’s an acquired taste for some, given its mostly unlikable cast of characters.  But so was the world of Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer.

Advertising 101: Copywriters

No, it’s not a person who deals with copyrights or trademarks.

It’s a person who does two things:

a) develops advertising concepts, usually working with an art director or interactive designer; and

b) writes all the text for each tactic (whether it’s a print ad, radio/TV spot, direct mail piece, brochure, billboard, Web banner, e-mail, Web site, etc.)

It can be glamorous. It can be frustrating.

It can be fun. It can be boring.

How does one become a copywriter? There isn’t a “standard” path to take. Some come through advertising-specific schools like The Creative Circus or The Portfolio Center or the VCU AdCenter. Some attend “regular” colleges/universities and major in advertising or communications.

Or if you’re like me, you majored in communications and English (double major, thank you very much) and even went to grad school (for a degree that doesn’t really exist anymore: Master of Journalism, Public Relations & Advertising)

Based on my 13+ years in the biz, I can assert that most copywriters are clever, witty and tuned into pop culture. (Sometimes to a scary degree – just test me on Seinfeld or Cheers trivia.)

Some of us prefer the solitary, “alone in a dimly-lit room” working process, while others (like me) do best working in a cooperative, partner-or-team kind of atmosphere.

Although it depends on each creative person’s skill set, it’s not uncommon for a copywriter to come up with a good visual idea (or an art director to think up a great headline).

Personally, my favorite type of project is a radio spot. I relish the challenge of working in a non-visual medium, utilizing sound effects, music and voices to create a scene and attempt to persuade listeners to act. (Oh, and I love doing voices, too. I may post a list of voices I do in an upcoming blog.)

For samples of copywriting that represent some of my best work, check out my portfolio link at the top of the page.

And if you have any questions about copywriting, feel free to throw them in the Comments section.

My blogapology to misdirected readers.

Thanks to WordPress’s really cool technology, I can see that a bunch of readers were referred here from another blog (at Reason.com) – which had hyperlinked the terms “cache out the yin-yang” to my little ramblins’.

However, I really didn’t get into discussing that Seinfeldian quote – which is one of my favorites.

Courtesy of my very good friends at Seinfeldscripts.com, here’s the scene:

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[Blogger’s Note: George has recommended “Soda” as a baby name to Susan’s cousin, but the cousin didn’t like the idea. He told Susan privately that he had already chosen “Seven” as the name for their first child, boy or girl. Susan did not like this idea, despite the name being a tribute to New York Yankees great Mickey Mantle. And we fade up…

[Restaurant]

George and Susan are having dinner.

GEORGE: Aw c’mon. It’s a fantastic name. It’s a real original, nobody else is gonna have it and I absolutely love it.

SUSAN: Well, I dunno how original it’s gonna be any more.

GEORGE: Why not?

SUSAN: Well I was telling Carrie about our argument, and when I told them the name, they just loved it.

GEORGE: So, what’re you saying?

SUSAN: They’re gonna name their baby Seven.

GEORGE: (disbelief) What?! They’re stealing the name?! That’s my name, I made it up!

SUSAN: I can’t believe that they’re using it.

GEORGE: (anger) Well now it’s not gonna be original! It’s gonna lose all its cache!

SUSAN: I dunno how much cache it had to begin with.

GEORGE: (rage) Oh, it’s got cache, baby! It’s got cache up the yin-yang!!!

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“It’s got cache out the yin-yang!”

[[UPDATE: Many of my visitors are being directed here…please view THIS blog for an explanation:

My blogapology to misdirected readers.

September 26, 2008]]

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Ah, George Costanza. One of television’s greatest characters.

Welcome back to my insane ramblings. I hope you missed me. I missed you…or at least the thought of actual people out there, bathed in the soft light of your monitor, reading what I type in off the top of my head. I appreciate you very much.

Fantasy baseball update, Yahoo league: Still bouncing between 7th and 9th place out of 11 teams. Traded away Lance Berkman, J.D. Drew and Heath Bell for Carlos Quentin, Jon Rauch and Chris Perez. I figure for a keeper league, Quentin is a big-time guy to have – and his numbers were Berkman-like for much of this season.

Fantasy baseball update, CBS (and money) league: Also still bouncing, although I had a tremendous week and went from 13th to 7th for a few glorious days. I thought that some of my long-time slumpers were finally living up to their usual stats, but then they kind of went back into suspended animation.

Turns out I will *not* be staying on at my current freelance gig, at least not in the same role. We’ve discussed another position in the company, but I still need to talk about it with the person who would be my supervisor. If this doesn’t pan out, I’m working on some other options. Stay tuned…

No big boxing this past weekend, but that’s OK because we were in Philly for my friend Howard’s wedding. They had it at this little winery north of New Hope, PA. (I enjoyed their sweet riesling.)

This weekend, it’s pool time for sure. Dallas has been hovering around 100 degrees the past couple days, and it’s supposed to “cool down” to the mid-90s for a while. And summer officially starts this weekend.

Our apartment complex is being really jerky about trash. We were putting out our trash bags (no garbage can be left out unless it’s in a bag, by the way) the night before trash pickup – which is 8:30 a.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. It wasn’t hurting anybody. But the complex policy, which was redistributed in memo form, says that we can’t do that anymore. So trash has to be out some time between sunrise and 8:30 a.m. This is an inconvenience that annoys me.

The Phillies are doing very well. Of course, now that I’ve said that, they will probably begin to suck. Sorry for the jinx, boys.

Writer’s block, jet lag and overall malaise have overtaken me.

Quick. Random. Notes.

Flyers win in a major upset, taking out Les Habitantes (the Montreal Canadiens) in a 4-1 series. Next up, most likely, the Pittsburgh Penguins. They have that Sidney Crosby dude, who’s allegedly awesome. But the Fly-airs have a whole lot of momentum, reminiscent of the Colorado Rockies last baseball season.

I might have single-handedly jinxed the heck out of the Dallas Stars by attending their game this past Wednesday. They were up 3-0 in their series and looked to sweep with a victory at home in Game 4. I was there. They lost. And now they lost another one. Could it be that the hometown team wherever I go will lose?

Started watching Clerks II tonight, finally. I’m like what, six years behind on that one? Some laugh-out loud stuff, although I’m saving the second half for tomorrow.

Wish I had my Grandpop Morey’s ability to fall asleep at will. I always considered that a superhero-level power, and if I could do that it would probably change a lot about my daily routine.

In my interview this past week, I was asked about who inspires me when it comes to writing. And honestly, I was stumped. Not because I’m not inspired, but because I haven’t interviewed that much and was out of practice. I babbled on about pop culture and all my influences, but with some more time to think about it, I might have mentioned:

Music = Ben Folds, Cake, Bad Religion

TV = the writers of Seinfeld, Cheers, Frasier, The Office (both versions), 30 Rock

Movies = Tarantino, Kevin Smith (actually did mention these guys)

Fiction = David Sedaris, Mark Leyner (whose books include: My Cousin, My Gastroenterologist; Tooth Imprints on a Corn Dog; I Smell Esther Williams; and The Tetherballs of Bougainville)

That’s all for now. Good night.