Version 3: My corporate montage

Posted June 29th, 2009
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A week or so ago I posted an idea I had of making myself a corporate montage. At that point I was still thinking of trying to compete with GE or AT&T or Standard Oil, image-wise. But now I have  decided to try out a more honest version. Quite frankly, I think I may be breaking new ground as I doubt Exxon or Merrill Lynch have even considered going in this direction. Here is what my corporate montage really should be.

Below is the original post:

I have been thinking a lot about the omnipresent idea of branding. For quite a while now I have been interested in corporate image and the montages they use to advertise some vague notion of what they represent and why you should trust them with your business. These montages are all similar enough to one another that I sometimes play a game with myself when they air to see if I can guess what they are supposedly selling. Is it Wells Fargo bank? AT&T? HBO? Kraft? G.E? B of A? Ikea? Goldman Sachs?  If the current economic crisis has taught us anything at all, it is that we never had any idea what was behind those corporate logos . But look at how successful and wealthy those montages helped them all become! And then I thought: THAT is what I need to get the career rolling. I’m so slow on the uptake. I need a brand that people will have confidence in.  So I have begun to assemble the Merrill Markoe corporate montage.  It is a work i progress. I probably will be up tonight messing with it.  Because it is what I would rather do than write my new book. I need to figure out what I have forgotten in this montage. So no time to write. Damn.version 2

When Tukun met Burulkan.

Posted June 15th, 2009
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e280a0okun-met-barulkanIn honor of June, month of romance and weddings for mainly heterosexuals (except in a few forward thinking states,) I would like to share some words of wisdom about marriage that I have gleaned from my research. (And I share them as the odd member of the heterosexual sector who has never been married even though I am in love and not only permitted to get married, but encouraged and even urged to get married . But unlike gay couples everywhere, who seem to be lusting and praying for marriage, I am  too chicken . I think this makes me the only single heterosexual monogamous female in a happy long term relationship who wishes that when they finally get around to giving gays the right to be legally married, as they surely will, that the same ” they ” would be willing to also agree to transfer the right to legal but unmarried partnership status via civil unions to heterosexuals so I could use it.)

Anyway, I have been doing some research on long term relationship success among my fellow humans, and assorted other species, for use in a new book I am writing. And in so doing I came upon an article I had saved from the New York Times about dating and mating in Kyrgstan. Of all the mating information I have read about all the different species that share our planet, I think human habits have got to be the strangest. Stranger even than the hyena who gives birth through a penis. Because, in addition to the kind of eccentric illogical behavioral patterns that you find everywhere in the animal kingdom, the human is alone in being able to philosophize and rationalize about his habits in an attempt to make them seem a little less insane than Mother Nature’s normal and generally peculiar patterns. Which brings me to Kyrgstan.  The way its done in that romantic paradise (which is located in a lovely triangle between Pakistan, Uzbekhistan and Mongolia) is that roving bands of eager Kyrgstani bachelors, perhaps driven wild by vowel deprivation, kidnap any lucky eligible female who has caught the eye of one of their band members. And once he has abducted and raped  his beloved, she becomes so socially undesirable that she has no choice but to get married to him or be shunned. As if that isn’t enough of a motivation to start on a new life path as well as a dream come true  for any young woman, there is a wise Kyrgstani saying that the happily married couple in the photo above offered to the journalist who wrote the piece.

“Every good marriage begins in tears.”  Talk about a beautiful wedding toast!

It reminded me of the lunch time conversation I had with a long time family friend who was one of the more positive role models I had  growing up. It was on the eve of her 45th wedding anniversary and it  took place in Manhattan, not Kyrgstan. As I complimented her on the length of time that she and her husband had been together , I asked her to what she attributed the success of her long happy marriage. I figured I would get a homily or some  folksy, quaint bit of wisdom like “Never go to bed angry.” At the very least I expected something pithy or pragmatic or slightly Hallmarkian.  Instead she replied, “Well, dear, it wasn’t always happy. Not a day went by that he didn’t make me cry.”  After I picked my jaw back up from where it had landed on my knees,  I replied, “Then why do  you call that a happy marriage if he made you cry every day?” To which she responded, ” I’ll tell you, sweetheart…you learn to take the good with the bad.”

Or, as Burulka (pictured above) said to the N.Y.Times journalist, by way of summing up her life of  Kyrgstani wedded bliss, “He says he had to kidnap me because he heard someone else was trying to kidnap me first. He’s a good man.”

Today I  offer these two romantic anecdotes as words of solace to the gay community as they chafe at the bit for their chance to make their nuptials legal. It also occurs to me that they probably  explain my problem. I’m just afraid to face all that joy.  Having spent my impressionable years watching my parents marriage seem to drain them both of whatever life force they once had, I guess I got confused about what the ultimate goal of it all was meant to be. So  I am secretly hoping that once same sex marriage becomes legal,  the gay community will be able to take marriage and reburish it a bit, the way they do when they move in to run down neighborhoods. Maybe after they spruce it up,  and spackle it and give it a new coat of paint,  I will be able to see it with fresh eyes. Until then, if they wouldn’t mind lending me that Civil Union thing they hate, that they don’t let heterosexuals use, I would be very greatful.

Shave him.

Posted June 12th, 2009
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I’m building  some new closets. And by “I”, I mean Terry, the guy who builds stuff for me. Terry is a guy who has rebuilt so much of my home that I based a character on him. (Gil in my most recent book,  Nose Down Eyes Up.)The new closets are bigger than the old closets by half and they look great. But they just serve to point out that it wasn’t actually the square footage of the previous closets that was the problem. It is the square footage of my brain . I save too much stuff. And I don’t mean the usual things like clothes and shoes.  Here is an example of something I really really want to throw away but simply can’t. Its “Sport and Shave Ken,” featuring not just a  Ken with longer fuller hair than any Jonas brother but also The Best Slogan in the World: (And I checked. This is the best one.) “Shave him. He’s athletic. He’s all man.” Come on! Give it up for Mattel ! That is one great kick ass slogan.Sport N shave Ken (Although I would have liked it even better if it went “He’s athletic. He’s all man. Shave him.” But why nit pick in the face of such a slogan achievement?)   I have had “Sport and Shave Ken” since 1986 when I purchased him from a store that was closing . I imagine that the little girls who played with this toy in the early eighties may have grown up with some unusual ideas about what would be expected of them in their roles as wives or girlfriends.

Which is not to imply that “Sport N Shave Ken,” in and of himself, presents that much of a problem, with or without his facial hair.  The problem is that I have other stuff too.

Like this.  I dont even know what this is exactly. But I have had it for at least 15 years. ( I think I bought it at the same close out sale where I found Ken.)  But was it a show, a cartoon, a game, or just a goal to which we might all aspire?  I kept it because IC.U.T.I.E. loved the slogan. “The Coolest Ultra Tiny Individuals on Earth.” How many of us can make that claim and really mean it?

Which brings me to  The Bathroom of Horror. Here is a picture of a corner of my guest bathroom. Its become the designated spot for everything that was cluttering up a drawer and didn’t belong anywhere. Its a kind of a showcase, so to speak.  But it is nearly  full.

Bathroom of Horror

I don’t consider myself a hoarder, like the people who wind up seeking help on my new favorite show: Obsessed. ( . They’re profiling a guy next Monday who saves so much stuff he is going to have to move into his own back yard. He says he can’t throw anything out because he has no people to care about. Plus it somehow bonds him to his mother. I do have all sorts of people and animals to care about. And as for my mother; she would not have been amused by the contents of The Bathroom of Horror. It would have created the opposite of a bonding experience.

No… my  problem  (apart from finding too many things funny ) seems to be that I am using too much of my house as a designated closet.Maybe what I should do is move to a rural section of Colorado and open a little museum, like this one. I must have a giant plaster beetle around here somewhere.sign

Official Winner: Most annoying new word in the world

Posted June 6th, 2009

As decided by me. Just now. most-annoying-word-in-world

Trouble with writing part 2

Posted June 3rd, 2009
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