Monday, April 12, 2010

Dissed. Micro-messaged. Or Worse.

A micro-message is a non-verbal behavior or action that subtly tells me, "You don't matter as much as this other person or thing." Example: we're talking, someone walks by, and you scurry off in mid-sentence to talk to the new person. Or I send you a text, you reply you'll call later, and you don't.

This has happened to me twice in the last week. I guess the actors could be really busy. Or have attention-deficit disorders. I'd like to believe the perpetrators aren't even aware they're doing it.

But I think they are.

How do you respond? One of my colleagues works on Oprah's 10/10/10 rule: will this matter in 10 minutes? Ten days? Ten months from now? If not, maybe you should let it go.

But I believe relationships matter. If you cannot conduct or complete a face-to-face conversation -- not via email, voice mail, or text -- then perhaps you have broader relationship issues. I just don't think it's burdensome to conduct a 10-minute conversation.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Famous Newscasters' School

How do the TV news and weather announcers in your town pronounce everyday words? I'm not talking about names of Iranian presidents or Taliban leaders, but words you'd expect they'd have mastered by the time the little red light winks at them.

Here's a short list of words that, according to a few friends on Facebook, TV newsroom staff need to work on:

  • Temperature -- often delivered as "temp-A-chur." Sounds like a Whirlpool appliance.
  • Didn't -- often delivered as "did-it." If you can say "lint," you can probably manage "didn't."
  • Mischievous -- often delivered as "mis-CHEE-vee-ous." Miss Cheevious was a second-grade teacher at P.S. 165 when I was in grade school.
  • Ostensibly -- there's no "V," and therefore no "ostensively."
  • Introduce -- please introduce (with an "o") yourself to the fact that "interduce" isn't a word.
  • Often -- often has a silent "T," so its correct pronunciation has no number 10.

Please add your own, and feel free share these with Laura Norder, the woman who's trying to get on the TV series, Law and Order.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

3D TV - We'll see (or maybe not)

I don't want a 3D TV.

I don't want the joy of having to wear a pair of electronic goggles to watch an hour-long show that's got 15 minutes of advertising. I don't want the extra watts on my utility bill. I don't want another $500+ added to the Visa bill I already face when "digital TV" compels me to buy a new LCD screen. And digital cable isn't a bargain -- not with 4 "Shop at Home" channels on the invoice.

3D should be a novelty. A reason to visit the cineplex. If I wanted a home theatre, I'd build or buy one. There are plenty of defunct movie houses for sale.

TV -- 3D, LCD, digital, 1080P, whatever -- is entertainment. Nothing more. It's not my life. Sometimes, we're so busy experiencing imaginary stories on a screen that we skip the real experiences of our own lives.

That's just wrong.

But, hey, Panasonic & Samsung: when you perfect a time machine -- basically, a 4D experience -- give me a call. There are some events in my own life that I wouldn't mind experiencing again.

Beam me up.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Attention, NASCAR Nation: You need a second season

The last big snow storm gave me a great idea for reviving NASCAR's falling popularity.

It needs a winter racing series.

Think about this:
  • A snowmobile racing series. Sure, you couldn't race at Daytona or Homestead, Fla., but just about every other state where there's a track got snow.
  • Forget the "truck series". (They never actuall place things in the truck beds, which is the whole purpose of driving a truck. D'uh.) You need a Zamboni series. Ever notice how Zambonis turn on a dime? The handling issues that have killed Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s career in recent years would be gone.
  • You welcome in a whole new category of sponsors: Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate. Rossignol Skis. Blizzak snow tires. Arctic Cat snowmobiles. DuraFlame logs. (Then again, given the engine fires, perhaps not.) And so on.
Best of all: you don't actually need a race track for a winter NASCAR series. Find a frozen lake and you're good to go.

However, please leave the Sprint Cup cars at home. Bad enough they don't actually have snow tires. They don't have defrosters or windsheild wipers, either.

You're welcome, NASCAR.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Can't Smile Without You

Turns out you can protect yourself in the event of a Michael Bolton special on PBS. The Barry Manilow vaccine covers that.

On the other hand, the Celine Dion vaccine, while effective, unfortunately contains live Bette Midler virus.


* * *

Seriously: I used to really enjoy Barry Manilow's music. I was in my 20s, and it wasn't bad. But somewhere along the way, he switched to recording other people's hits, almost exclusively. At first, he was sort of doing Vic Damone or Steve Lawrence's old shtick. Now he's his own Time-Life Records revue.

And then there's the cosmetic surgery. Something about a 60-year-old man with spikey hair and stretched-tight cheeks is more than scary. Last time he appeared on Jay Leno, he looked like Big Bird in a red suit. Sang OK, but unwatchable.

Barry: come home. Write some catchy tunes. Buy a comb. And put on some sensible clothing.

You're welcome.