Monday, 30 November 2009

Overheard

Girl to girlfriends:

"...and that's when I discovered Garnier Nutrisse."

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Postcard from America



Friends,

I hope this card finds you in good health. Things are well across the pond. Manhattan and its perculiarly evolved inhabitants have been more than hospitable to me and my work here. I have managed to immerse myself and mingle nicely over the months. In fact, I look forward to my first blackout Wednesday this evening in Pennsylvania - a tradition as old as pain itself I'm told.

While the physical threats and dangers of the African continent we know only too well, it seems instead that dangers here on the island are of the more emotional kind [I know!] and can creep up on a person faster than one can say I feel like... Thus, the local people are very generous with their prescription pharmaceuticals and many a time friends of mine have sent me on my way with a pocketful of Aderall or Xanax "just in case".

One thing, however, that will certainly not be tempered by such freely available chemical compounds, and of primary concern to me and my staff, is the positively cursed problem of "football". This rugby-substitute sport seems to have gained far too much traction here, especially on days such as Thanksgiving.

It seems that they simply choose to ignore the superior flow and complexity of rugby for lack of athletes capable of playing two forty minute halves without stopping. This cannot go on forever and we can only pray that the certain arrival of the metric system, and beer fit for consumption, will bring with them the great sport of rugby union.

During my time here I also noted a few things that might be of interest:

People stand in lines and only the office printer has a queue. If you ask someone if they are in the queue you will be met with only blank expressions.

The term excuse me is not meant to excuse any behaviour or to ask permission, it means Get out of my way. Please.

Between the months of June and September the underground trains are as godforsaken as a Brazzaville marketplace, and are best avoided at these times.

German automobiles are entirely unknown and someone ought to bring them here immediately!

Fondest regards,

Friday, 20 November 2009

Look at this house

Just look at it.



Richard Meier's Douglas House on Lake Michigan.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Alain de Botton - lovely stuff

I try not to post too many TED talks, or random Youtube videos for that matter, but every now and then I have to post the really good ones. Some more of my old favourites will no doubt follow.

Tagline:

Time Warner Cable. The Power of You.

That's right...
You heard correctly.

The Power of You.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Everybody is betting their life on something

I came across another smart person saying smart things again - on one of those smart people websites with the videos. He said: "Everybody is betting their life on something."

Man. It really is one of the most succinct, and frankly mindblowing thoughts I've heard in ages. Some tight copy right there.

Life is a gamble in many ways, and so often risk is the one thing that determines results and success more than anything. For instance, you cannot question someone else's love for you without first committing your own (another thing that brands ought to have learned by now). It's like a signal to the universe stating your intention to live, and deep down you know it's a gamble you have to take. Quite likely that the more risky option is to not risk anything at all, as people often can see the intention behind the action and find that all the more endearing.

But these are mostly not guesses or blind gambles. Like the quote says, the bet is on something, and that thing is inside you, like a skill or personality trait or worldview. Most likely it is a composite of those things, a broader intuition of life that grows and refines as you age. You say to yourself "I think I get it, and that's why I'm going to live like this, because that way will get me far.

Maybe you're super driven, maybe you just want to be a good person. It's about understanding and then believing, then forgetting everything you learned and going ahead and laying your shit on the line.

And I find that fascinating.