Dancin' Cross The USA

I read an article the other day outlining some scenes from the classic 80's "family" film, National Lampoon's Vacation (For those you unfamiliar with this work, best to just check out the Internet Movie Database entry).

As soon as I heard the chorus to "Holiday Road," I was suddenly filled with memories upon memories of watching the dubbed tape of this movie at my grandma's house. The quality was bad, we constantly had to fix the tracking, and the scene when they visit Dodge City and get their hubcaps stolen always had a lingering static gray line along the top of the frame. The dubbed VHS also cut off the credits and switched to the movie "Glory" which my sister and I never took the time to watch, since our 6 and 10 year old minds couldn't quite grasp the themes of prejudice in the civil war (to this day, the extent of that film I've watched is the 3 seconds in the middle of the title sequence the dubbed tape cuts to, right before I got up to press stop and rewind on my Grandma's VCR).

This movie especially hits home for me since my brother, sister, and I spent a lot of time at my Grandma's house (every weekend, nearly) in San Francisco. These weekends spent in the city are partially why even growing up as a resident of the East Bay I still consider San Francisco itself to be home. But what these weekends also did was give me a repetitive 3-4 hour regiment of the same 3 or 4 videotapes my Grandma happened to have at her house (Angels In The Outfield and Home Alone 1 and 2 were the others), because what the hell else were we supposed to do there? The Bayview neighborhood wasn't exactly the safest, and the Game of Life box was missing all of the paperwork.

Thank you, Wally World, for the memories.

Really now?! Walking to work and a tour guide for a group of Asian tourists asked me to please stay with the group...


Off The Top Of My Head

Part of what I plan on doing to maintain the liveliness in this blog is to randomly post lingering questions that came up for whatever strange reason prior to me deciding to write them down:

-I am honestly curious as to what compels people to post up selfies without any sort of context

-On that note, when did everyone I know stop using Twitter? Instagram is where it's happening.

-So does anyone realize that any kids born in the past few years will now have a treasure trove of comments that complete strangers wrote on the naked baby pictures their parents posted on Facebook?

-How does one obtain flaming bagpipes, and who can teach me how to play it?

-It may be because of the industry I work in (a more elaborate post will come in due time), but why does it seem like I'm one of the last of my friends who still drinks like a college student? And is that a good thing or a bad thing?

"I feel like arguing with you two right now but I can't think of a way to provoke you. Ideas?"


Not Going Forward Development

As I mentioned in my previous post, I've come a long ways since I was the ripe age of 23 and wallowing in the clutches of Corporate America. Well, technically, I am still in the clutches of Corporate America, but it's a much less soul-sucking facet of Corporate America. I don't think anything exemplifies that fact more than this email I received a few months ago:

And to a lesser extent:

VIP tickets to the NFL Draft? VIP pass to the Big Apple BBQ (the largest bbq event in all of NYC)?

I didn't actually make it to the draft that night, but the fact that I simply had the option was, well, fairly bad ass. Working in media certainly has its perks, and unfortunately I think the young'ns I work with can't fully appreciate it like I can. I mean, just a few years ago, this was the most exciting thing to have happened to me at work:
"We don't get out much, can't you tell?"

"That is just the best feeling ever. A battery at 99%"


2 years in NYC, as of about...........now.

With much less fanfare than my celebration of my first year here in NYC, the second anniversary of the day of my origination here on the east coast came and went quietly with a simple Facebook and Twitter post (and now a blog post, I guess). Unlike last year, I didn't have any moments of deep self-reflection or even any relative panic, and rather immersed myself in a marathon run of playing time on What's The Phrase.

Now it's not to say my 731st day here didn't cross my mind (obviously, since I'm writing about it), but I think it has more to do with the fact that for the first time in a long time, I feel like I finally have somewhat of a handle on where I'm headed. Kinda. Of course, nothing's perfect, but I'm a hell of a lot better off than when I was ranting about life happening but not changing. There's still a good number of question marks for my future, but definitely a lot less than back in 2010.

And what's even better (and this was emphasized with my recent trip back home and after I did my rounds with friends) is that I see all my old friends, colleagues, chums, croonies, acquaintances, sympathizers, compadres, associates, contemporaries, and well-wishers whom I've grown up with finding their stride too, developing their careers, relationships, tastes, and that general disdain for the younger generation that comes with age. As my friend would say, there are certain people you just don't have to worry about.

Kinda. It troubled me a bit that a few of my friends at home seem to have lost the taste for beer.


So I've been meaning to get back into the whole blog writing thing. I haven't quite decided whether I want to continue through this medium (Blogspot), or to move onto something a bit more mainstream nowadays (wordpress), or perhaps something completely different altogether. Knowing me, though, I probably won't bother to make the switch.

I actually had quite a few topics I've been meaning to write about in the past few months, but got too caught up with Reddit, Arrested Development binge watching, or other weapons of mass free time destruction. Here's a preview of some topics that were supposed to have come, but have not yet come:

-The 2 year rule, where my career was then and where it is now
-Something about the 6 days I went without a phone
-My new Video-A-Day project! Definitely need to elaborate more on that later

Instead of olive branches we should extend churros. Nobody's mad when they're eating a churro.


Coming Changes

Hi Paul,

I want to reach out to you personally first to say thank you for everything you've done for me these past few weeks. You've demonstrated an openness and flexibility that anyone would be hard pressed to find at any other company, and I appreciate all the time you've devoted to me.

That said, it makes it incredibly difficult for me to say that despite the anticipation of positive changes to the team and culture here at Starcom, I have decided to go with a new opportunity elsewhere. That's not to say that I discount anything we discussed yesterday, as the possibility of these great things to come here in the New York office has made staying here very tempting. However, and I understand that some things are out of our control, I don't feel there was a tangible enough timeframe for these promises. Personally, I am in need of a change that is more immediate, and I have been able to find an opportunity for this change elsewhere.

I will draft a formal resignation letter tomorrow. I appreciate everything I have been able to learn from everyone I have been involved with here at Starcom, and I hope the best for you, the GE team, and everyone else as well.

Best Regards,

Mark Solomon | Search Analyst