Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Please bring back Schoolhouse Rock.

Nostalgia.  If you break down the word to its Greek origin it's from nostos ‘homecoming’ and algos ‘pain, or grief ', so it literally means a sickness or pain relating to home or homesickness. (I didn't study Greek, but I can't tell you how many times the 2 years of Latin with Mr. Lynch at Canandaigua Academy has come in handy).  In modern times, we've corrupted the word to mean a longing for things past, but it's not really that far off from the original.  Personally I get nostalgic when I hear stories of how upside down our values have become; for instance how we've become a country based on spending all of our available money and even money we don't have, or the economy falters.  How in God's name did saving some money become a bad thing?  Crazy,  right?  So I get nostalgic for my simple childhood, and for the things I liked then.  One of these things was Schoolhouse Rock. 

     Schoolhouse Rock was a series of animated cartoons that played in between my favorite Saturday morning shows.  They were PSAs that were really well crafted and catchy but that always taught you something about grammar, math or even our government. I have to say, we had the best cartoons
back then, which is probably why they trot some of them back
The Gang
out.  In between Scooby Doo and Fat Albert (I don't think that one is coming back), we'd watch Conjunction  Junction, I'm Just a Bill, Lolly Lolly Lolly Get Your Adverbs Here and a host of others.  They were so well done, you got involved in these characters lives and wanted more. So for me, it's nostalgic when I think of them. It's a funny thing about nostalgia though, you always want the things to be exactly as they were when you remembered them, but they never are in reality. Case in point, go visit the playground of your youth and see what remains.  Everything we played on is gone. Slides are so short now, they should be called slids, because they are over so quickly. They are plastic and have side rails on them, versus the burning hot sheet metal of my youth.  Monkey bars (you probably can't even call them that any more because it's offensive to simian primates), are barely off the ground, while the ones I played on were easily 15 feet high.  Tether-ball is too violent, it's gone.  Even the merry go rounds are hard to find, and if you do, they are weighted to slow them down so much it's hard to get dizzy on them.  Things that used to spin freely like steering wheels on wooden ships, are now bolted down.  We wonder why kids have abandoned them and taken to playing indoors. They are safer now, but at what cost?   Back on point, I am about to fast forward the Schoolhouse Rock pieces to 2010, so beware, you'll never look at the characters in the same way after reading the next few paragraphs.

How a Bill becomes a Law -  We meet the protagonist, Bill, as he sits on the steps of Capitol Hill waiting to become a law.  He's a sad, thin, bleached white, folded piece of paper and he explains how the process of becoming a law works.  He's a bill requiring school buses to stop at railroad crossings.  He goes through the process and in the end is carried victoriously on the shoulders of his sponsor as a newly created law.

2010 Version - We meet Bill under the same circumstances but he barely fits on the steps of Capitol Hill.  He is the morbidly obese, 2400 page PPACA federal statute (Health Care Reform Act) passed by the current administration.  He looks dirtier that a Chilean coal miner, having had to coerce so many politicians to support him with back room deals and exemptions promised to come later (111 and counting).  He's no longer sad, he's full blown depressed and on medication to try and combat it. No one read him prior to passing, he is amended within 7 days of passage, he is totally partisan, and he is projected to cost 940 billion dollars over the next ten years.  People chant "socialist" every time he leaves his government subsidized housing.  Support of him has slipped to 37% of Americans.  His lofty ambitions have been abandoned long ago, and he now despises what he sees in the mirror each morning.  All the stress puts him in the hospital and the closing scene shows a government "death panel" deciding his fate. (I hate O'Henry type endings, so I'll give you a clue...  Bill sadly never gets to ride his newly bought Rascal scooter to do his grocery shopping)

Conjunction Junction -  The bespectacled,  engineer protagonist runs a train depot and teaches us about conjunctions like AND, BUT and OR.  He is helped by a couple of boxcar hobo's that ride the rails for free.

2010 Version - Ooh, not good at all.  Bad enough that the government stopped subsidizing his railroad, but it also now insists that the TSA do all the security screenings for the passenger conjunctions.  AND opts out and cannot board.  OR is singled out for additional screening as he seems tentative and indecisive, just like all terrorists.  He is put on the "Do not Board" list and cannot access the rails anymore.  Don't even get me started on BUT and her successful sexual harassment lawsuit of the TSA.  She no longer has to ride trains, she owns a Lear jet now.  Our hapless engineer, already financially strapped and now unable to connect his train cars, tries to declare bankruptcy but due to newly passed legislation is unable to. He goes on the lam with his hobo pals and is never seen again. 

Lolly, Lolly, Lolly, get your adverbs here - We encounter the quaint 3 generation store called Lolly's selling a wide variety of adverbs.  All three generations are well versed in their products and equally engaged in servicing their customers. The musical romp starts with "Lolly, Lolly, get your adverbs here..."
The Lolly Family in better times

2010 Version - The weakening US dollar has caused rampant inflation in their product costs. Who would have thunk that the long term business model of giving their product away for free would prove to be unsuccessful ?(The lesson here kids is, don't base your business on a crack dealer's short term methods).  Lolly junior takes a job with a big box store and is quickly ostracized from his family.  He eventually quits that too, and launches a successful singing and skating career, but changes his name to "The grocer formerly known as Lolly", just to spite his family.  They never reconcile, and Pops dies shortly thereafter forever splintering the once great Lolly family.  Lolly, Lolly, the grocer formerly known as Lolly,  get your sadness here. 

Figure Eight - We open in a one room, snow covered, schoolhouse where a young blond girls sits dreaming about skating as she learns her multiplication tables, in particular,  those of the number 8.  A piano tune in a minor key is her accompanist while she daydreams in class.

2010 Version - The one room school house has long since closed and after multiple consolidations of dwindling school districts (due to weather and high taxes in the northeast, many people have chosen to move south), she attends a sprawling urban school. She walks by the graffiti-ed walls and trash littered hallways each day.  There is no piano accompaniment, the music program had to be scrapped due to budget constraints.   The good news is, that she no longer has the pressure of academic performance hanging over her head, as the school has dramatically lowered the standards for graduation.  This is a good thing, as years of effort based praise, instead of performance based rewards, have left her with an inability to remember her multiplication tables.  She has no math skills but she does have a closet full of ribbons.  She gets pregnant in the 9th grade (rumor is, it is the artist's formerly known as Lolly, whom she met at a singing and skating exhibition). She drops out and goes on welfare.  She tries to supplement her income as a prostitute, but her poor math skills ensure that she is perpetually kept in a state of poverty. 

Wow, those sure are different than the ones I remember as a kid.  In retrospect, I had asked that they bring back Schoolhouse Rock, but I think I've changed my position.  I think I'll just keep my nostalgia. 
If this blog really bummed you out, you can get a good dose of  old fashioned Schoolhouse Rock at this link.....

Schoolhouse Rock Videos

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Giving Thanks for the ample derriere.

This is about as racy as this blog gets.

    I stumbled across an article about Coco the other day.  Coco who?, I asked. I admit to not being current on a lot of things that others might find socially relevant, but when I got my first look at her, and her ample posterior, I was amazed that I hadn't heard of her before.  She's married to Iced Tea and is a former Playboy model, so I'm not putting her up as a paragon of virtue, but as an example of something else.  My second thought when seeing a picture of her, was "Holy Cats, that's a nice booty".  OK. it was my first thought, but I am trying to sound less testosterone driven than I am.  My third thought, was "This topic would make a nice blog", so here we are.  For those who might not want to continue reading, the rest of this blog could largely be classified as "over-share", but I'm writing it anyway, so you have been warned.

    Now I think Coco's derriere is a little ridiculous, implanted or not, but it's about time that the ample booty got it's fair share of press.  Heretofore, it's been relegated to being praised in song lyrics only, and those who appreciate an ample ass, like me, have not been graced with many models or actresses that were mainstream, that had them.  I don't know who decided that pencil thin was sexy, but they are wrong, just dead wrong.  Flat is not a shape. Round is.  I learned that on Sesame Street. 
They call it "mooning" when you show them, so what is the shape of the moon?  That's right, round. Truly Queen got it right when they sang  "Fat Bottomed Girls
you make the rockin' world go round", but they weren't the first.
Glenn Miller wrote and sang "It must be jelly, cuz jam don't shake like that."  He got it, but he wasn't the first either.  Ponder, Peter Paul Rubens, the Flemish painter who immortalized women forever in his paintings, and he chose normal sized women, and painted them sensually.  Born in 1577, he was a diplomat, and knighted twice, and he had an artist's appreciation for curves.  They eventually coined the term "Rubenesque", after him, to describe full bodied women.  I think he would have been proud. Incidentally he fathered 8 children, died from gout, and at 63 fathered his last child whom he never saw born.  He's my hero and he got it.  Somewhere after that though, we lost it, I blame Twiggy.  See in the 1950's the epitome of sexy was Marilyn Monroe.  She was a size 14.  Just a decade later, we got Twiggy, she was a size 6. We've now had decades of presenting anorexic models as "normal" or even sexy.  Really?   I have frequented adult clubs in my time, it really is a hazard of my job (quit snickering, I really mean it), and I can emphatically state that while viewing the women in these clubs, the only 4 letter word that starts with F that I ever wanted to do to any one of them, is FEED.  Baby Back Ribs are sexy, seeing a girl's ribs sticking out on stage is not, oops, we were talking about butts, so back on topic.

 I suspect that a lot of guys appreciate women with more junk in the trunk, but feel peer pressure not to acknowledge the sexiness of those voluptuous women. That's sad.  I take every opportunity to admire them, just ask my wife.  Trace Adkins gets it, he sings, "I hate to see you go, but love to watch you leave." I'm not sure he coined the term Badonkadonk, but I like it.  It's one of many coined to describe this particular type of butt.  How many can you name?  I used Wikipedia to list these, so I  want to cite the source, but I knew most of them.  There's apple, biscuit, booty, buns, caboose, can, cakes, culo, hams, moon, onion, six, tail, and trunk.  None of these have a flat shape.  If a butt was supposed to be flat they would call it a "1", but they don't they call it a "6".  So Wikipedia gets it.  How many terms can you name for a flat ass?  Yeah, me neither. 

     I suspect my appreciation for the "big apple" comes from more than just the body part itself.   How do you get and keep a flat ass?  I'm thinking it is linked to a lifetime of denial of tasty things, instead of the ability to indulge yourself occasionally in food, and I like food.  I think food is sexy too.   I don't think watching a woman eat a salad is sexy, but how about a creme brulee, or a big juicy steak?  Sure it is.  I like it when a woman's lips are stained dark red by the Cabernet she has been drinking, that is sexy too.   Who coined "Food is love"?  One of those celebrity chefs, and he/she gets it. There is also the intelligence thing too, and the studies bear this out.  Women with wider hips/butts, tend to have more intelligent children.  They really do, look it up.
just wrong (it's Calista Flockhart)

Just right.
I could spend some time talking about the other benefits of this type of booty, you know, when you don't have clothes on, and you are engaged in adult congress, but I am trying to keep this clean, so I'll just post a comparison of pictures and let your imaginations do the work for you.  Take a look at the left and think about what it would be like, and then take a look at the right.  I
personally don't even see a choice here, I mean I could get hurt encountering the bony left one, but the right one looks like it would be a nice soft surface, and I need to protect my connecting parts. 

     In ending this missive about derrieres, the last point I'd like to make is that there is supposed to be a difference, between men's and women's backsides.  It certainly helps to avoid embarrassing situations as you approach couples from the back and say a friendly hello to the woman.  I would not marry a woman whose onion looked the same as mine, and I didn't.  Now that's not to say, I don't have a nice rear, as a matter of fact (this will sound a little braggy), but I can't tell you the number of times I have left a group of people and have overheard the comment "WHAT AN ASS!", as I was leaving.  So there.  Since I'm writing this blog during Thanksgiving week, I think it only appropriate that I give thanks for the bountiful booty, so thanks God for getting it right, and I'll keep spreading the word.  

"The" End.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Youthful Adventures - Of Fisticuffs and loose teeth

     You can probably tell just by looking at me, that I am not much of a fighter.  That is not to say, however, that I have not gotten into fights, and even won one. If I could recall them all, I daresay my record would look something like the Buffalo Bill's record this year, but I have to call one of mine a tie, so the comparison has to end there (for now).  Like most kids, all of my early fights were with my siblings.  I never really fought with my younger sisters, I did unmercifully tease and torment them, but we never duked it out.  With my older siblings, sisters and brothers alike, that was not true. 

I should remember more of these fights, but the brain has a way of letting you forget the ones you lost, and of keeping those few glorious victories intact in the gray cells. The biggest fight I remember losing to a sibling, was actually to my sister, Meter Maid.  Dad had thought it was a good idea to purchase boxing gloves for us one year to cut down on the trips to the doctor.  Meter Maid and I gloved up one day and I think it was the first punch she threw that knocked me out.  That's right, she hit me in the nose, and I toppled like a house of cards, and had to be revived by my brothers. In my defense she was 4 years older than me, and heavier.  I can say that because it is the truth, and she lives in Ithaca, so she can't hit me for it.  OK, it was only a few lbs heavier, but it's still pertinent.  She worked at Burger King at the time, so it was probably a Whopper fist that got me, but nevertheless, she put me to the ground with one punch.   She still brags about it to this day, the bully.

     I fought most, naturally, with the brother that was closest in age to me, and whom I shared a room with.  I haven't introduced him yet in the blog, but I am going to call him Brother Redface. He had a funny way of blushing or reddening when he was mad, frustrated, embarrassed, hot, or even cold, so my memories of him as a kid, always include red cheeks.  He won every fight we ever had, and there were many, except for the last one.  I was 13 or 14 at the time, and we both belonged to the junior organization of the Knights of Columbus, called the Squires.  The 2nd year I was in, I ran against my brother Redface for an office in the organization, and won.  He did not take it well.  He spent the rest of the meeting deliberately defying my authority and his actions eventually resulted in a pool stick, that belonged to the Knights, being broken.  I was unhappy, but not as unhappy as Redface, as I told him that he would have to pay to replace it.  It all boiled over on the way home.  We exited the building and headed into the alley beside it, me, my brother Ace, and Redface.  I was over-exerting my new found authority, Redface was getting in my face, and Ace was egging us both on.  I think Redface threw the first punch, but this time I was not rolling over.  Heretofore, his expectation of easily besting me would have been reasonable, as he had done it every time prior.  I wouldn't hit in the face or below the belt or even act too aggressively, but he would, guaranteeing my submission every time.  That night, however, was drastically different.  I was livid, and very quickly he found himself the recipient of several uppercut punches into his face, as I held his head down with one arm.  I'd heard talk of "blind rage" before, but I hadn't experienced it until that very moment.  Neither had my brother.  This went on for a while until by brother Ace broke it up, fearing the police would be coming.  We headed for home intending on finishing the fight in a more discreet location.  My hands were shaking both with excess adrenaline and with the fear of what Redface would do to me.  I didn't know how bad I had hurt him until we passed under a streetlight, and I saw his face.  It was bruised, swollen, and both eyes were blackened.
He wasn't coming out for round 2, not then, and interestingly enough, not ever again.  I seemingly punched the fight right out of him.  That single incident forever changed our relationship.  He would get mad, but after that night, would never raise his fist to me.  To this day I wonder how we both would have turned out if the fight had never happened, or gone his way.  I'll never know.  My brother Redface is deceased.  His story is one of tragedy, pain, a broken family and the loss of a promising life. It is also a story for another day.

 The next fight I had was just as one-sided as my previous one, unfortunately I was on the receiving end of the fists this time.  It all started innocently enough, on the soccer field at school.  Gym class had finished, and we were headed into the building, and I had yelled an obscenity at a friend of mine quite a ways ahead of me.  A bulky long haired Stoner in front of me, turned and inquired "What did you call me"?  Now, it was a simple misunderstanding, and I certainly had the verbal skills to talk my way out of this, but for some reason, I didn't.  I was just coming off from a big win, so I was a little cocky.  As I assessed him, I recognized him as one of the notorious "Fence Gang" a group of chain smoking thugs who skipped class, smoked cigarettes and more, and harassed kids who passed by them, like me, twice a day on my way to and from school.  (One of my High School English teachers regularly reads this blog, I'll bet sentences like that one, kill him).  I didn't deny the accusation and I accepted the fight, figuring I'd make quick work of his out of shape, lung blackened,  wheezing body.  That's when I learned that they lie to you in Health Class. He may have smoked but he had a lot of muscle, and within a few punches, he had me on the ground. He sat atop of me and leisurely landed punches to my face.  One of them knocked my two front teeth loose. After a few minutes, the gym teacher came and broke it up, and Bob the Fence Ganger, offered to meet me after school to finish the fight. I considered my options, including how I would look without front teeth and I declined, saying that I was fine declaring him the winner and better man.  We actually became a little closer because of the fight, I now could see him as something other than the stereotype, and he could see me as a punching bag.  We never became fast friends, but always acknowledged each other in the hall or on the street when we saw each other.  Weird, isn't it?

     The last fight I'll mention is the tie, and it goes back to the end of one of my High School years. A little background is in order.  Do we all have Arch Nemesis's in high school?  Someone that you love to put down to enhance your social position?  Circumstances and the social order of the High School had pitted me against one kid since Freshman year. His name was Flopping Phil.  I don't think his parents actually named him that, but most of my class called him that, after I made it up.  He had blond hair that was feathered and I think he had a slight lisp. I really didn't reach too high to find an Arch Nemesis, he was easy to pick on, no Lex Luthor to my Superman, more of a Mr. Mxyzptlk.  We both reveled in aggravating each other in every possible way, although our favorite way was to "burn" each others books. Now before you get all up in arms, "burning" books in this sense required no flames, you simply knocked the books out of the other person's hand when you passed them in the hall.  They then would be forced to pick them and all their contents up while you laughed and passed on by.  It was a harmless prank, but one we both practiced practically every day of high school.    Do you know the meaning of the word,  Serendipity?  For those readers of this blog that are out of the country, I apologize for it's use, as it apparently is one of the 10 hardest words to translate from English, nevertheless, it is the perfect word to describe the next scene, it was Serendipitous.  The school year was ending and I left class a little early for some reason or another and turned a corner and noticed Flopping Phil alone in the hallway in front of me.  He had every single book he owned trapped against his girlish hip, (he had cleaned out his locker that day)
and they were stuffed with papers. I found this picture
that is a nice approximation of the hallway in front of
him at that very moment.  It was long, shiny, and empty like this, but not for long.  He was a few yards down the hallway, so I accelerated quietly but quickly towards him, and just at the last minute, as he started to sense me, I hit all the books forward out of his grasp with a huge sweeping motion of my arm.  They were propelled forward with the motion and seemingly all went in different upwards trajectories.  I don't know if they really suspended in the air before they hit, but that's how I saw it at one point, each book poised in the air, yards apart from each other, crammed with papers.  Then they started to hit.  Each and every one landed like a grenade, papers were bursting and tearing from within, bindings were loosening and flapping, and it all happened in pockets before us.  As the last one hit, only I could appreciate how epic this particular "book burning" was.  The hallway was completely filled with paper, and looked like a city street after a ticker tape parade.  You could barely see the floor.  I looked over at Flopping Phil and immediately could tell that he was not as impressed.  He lunged at me, shoved me into a doorway with a class in session, and started to try and punch me.  He landed a couple, I hit back, but it was over as quick as it started as the teacher from that class pulled us both in, and made us sit through the rest of it until the bell rang.  I was fine with that, but remember Phil's possession's were strewn all over the hall, so he wasn't. By the time we were let out, the hall was full of people trampling on his books and papers.  This was the fight I call the tie, but in my mind it is a loss.  I couldn't take pleasure in watching people walk all over Phil's things, even if he was my Arch Nemesis.

     So I'll close this blog about fighting with these thoughts.  I won a couple, I lost most, I tied once, and now in retrospect, I think I lost them all.  I forever changed a relationship with a brother, I got my teeth loosened, and I humiliated a kid who was doing nothing other than walking down a hallway.  Maybe Meter Maid wasn't the bully in this story after all?  I did give up my pugilistic ways, and I'm proud to say, you can tell I'm not much of a fighter, just by looking at me. 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Travel Log - My time in tights.

     The trick, in my job, is to be remembered.  It's great when you can be positively remembered, but to just be remembered sometimes works as well.  I'll do a little background on my job to help everyone understand this better. My current title is Regional Sales Manager, and I work for a tortilla company in their Foodservice division. So I sell tortillas to restaurants, but not to grocery stores and I manage some commissioned employees that we call food brokers.  I also do large presentations to foodservice distributors and frequently participate in their trade shows.  My current region extends from Northern NJ up to Maine in the U.S. (8 states), and Ontario and east in Canada (5 provinces).  So you see there is never enough of me to go around, which is why you need to be remembered when you work in a market or with a broker or distributor.  My brokers have 30-50 lines like mine, so it's a competition every day as to whose line they will work.  This is a story of how, one year, I motivated them to sell more using a little creativity and a $79 Superman costume bought off the Internet.

Dr. Stale
The hard part of the work was done for me when our marketing department launched a pretty creative broker promotion and created the superhero they called "Missxon Man" (I exed out the 2nd i in case I am violating company policy).  Missxon Man (MM from now on) was a traditional superhero who fought the evil villains related to bad tortillas, IE The Crack, Dr. Stale, and Frostbite.
They launched the promotion in the beginning of the year with a pretty cool comic book and it came with financial incentives to sell our products more than the others, but it became apparent to me, almost immediately, that it had a major flaw.  It was 10 months long. Now I love my brokers, but they are not immune to this shortening attention span thing happening to everyone. I blame the Internet, well except for my blog. I have trouble keeping their attention for 10 minutes, 10 months was presenting an unusual challenge.  Unusual challenges call for drastic measures, so I Pay-Pal-ed my way into a full Superman suit and a pair of tights.  That's when MM really came to life.

     The MM on paper was not going to get the job done, but if the character was more vibrant I thought I could work with it.  I envisioned doing my sales meetings in full costume and then sending out small videos on a 6-8 week basis reminding everyone of the character, ergo reminding them of the promotion.   The videos had to "pop" though, so I put MM in everyday settings, like he was just a regular guy, who happened to also be a superhero when needed.  I thought they could relate to that. In preparation for my role, I grew my hair a little longer. I'm a sucker for a low maintenance, military style cut, but that wasn't going to allow me to play MM with a Superman curl in front.  I then dyed my hair.  I love my gray, I earned every bit of it, and I hate the notion of "faking" my looks, but again, for art, I sacrificed.  I did shape up a little, but I also made sure to buy a Superman costume with a padded foam insert to put some muscle where my chicken wing, beer, and no exercise diet had failed to put it previously.  I packed my suit in my suitcase (you should have seen the looks from the airport screeners) and headed out on the road.  Let me paint you a picture of the presentation that I would do....

I would start by standing in front of my brokers (average room size of 20) in business casual clothing.  I would fire up the in-focus projector and launch a spreadsheet of their sales numbers.  The groans would immediately follow as they anticipated a 45 minute presentation as dry as your mother's stuffing on Thanksgiving.  Shortly after I started, I would receive a pre-arranged phone call, answer it and beg their indulgence as I stepped out of the room to take a quick call.  As one of them continued presenting, I would rush to the bathroom or nearest storage room, strip down, put on the costume, grease my hair and put the curl in, put the company logo-ed shirt on over the S emblazoned chest plate (it matched perfectly in color), and get ready to re-enter the room.  At a convenient spot in the presentation I would throw open the door, burst back in with cape flapping behind me, and loudly announce " Hold on Citizens!  This looks like a job for Missxon Man!!"    It would stun every room.  How often, in the course of your business, has a costumed superhero burst in to save you from a boring presentation?  It was the same for them.  I would continue to do the presentation in full costume, for the entire 45 minutes (FYI foam costumes tend to build heat, so make sure to do this in air conditioned offices if you ever consider doing this).  I delivered this presentation in Boston, Albany, Montreal, Toronto, Halifax and NYC, and in every case, at the end, came the requests to pose with Missxon Man for pictures.  I wanted them to remember, but now they wanted to remember that day too.  It was an unqualified success, but I was just getting started.

My Fans in Toronto

     Before my hair turned back to gray and before I cut it, I filmed several short videos highlighting MM in an everyday setting, discussing the broker's progress on the promotion, and a different aspect of the promo.  They were usually shot in one or 2 takes, purposely filmed poorly to make them appear more like home movies (Think Blair Witch project).   I then would send them out at intervals, with a recap of how they were doing against the rest of the country, and they competed like they hadn't before.  At every update my group of brokers would be far ahead of the pack, and even by mid-year it was clear that they were collectively performing better than all other parts of the country. At our mid-year meeting I was recognized for the accomplishment with a movie-sized poster that hangs now in my office.  It features me, in full costume, in pose and is done up like an advertisement for a MM movie.  It's a nice reminder of the efforts I made and the result. 

The Poster

The end of that year brought the now anticipated result of a first place finish for my group and more accolades for me.  They awarded me a crystal trophy for my efforts and the marketing department created a nice video that showed highlights of my films. Thus ended my time in tights, and the costume went into storage.  The only challenge I face now is how to turn this long winded, self -serving blog, into a powerful message?  How about this?

Is my job so different than yours, or life in general?  Aren't we all presented with opportunities each day to excel or to relegate ourselves to mediocrity?  Don't we want to set good examples for our children and have them look to you as their Hero? 

Nolan's idea of MM
You see, the story wasn't about me, it was about my brokers.  Each one of them who performed, banked some serious cash for their efforts but more importantly, stepped up when called, and exceeded all possible expectations.  I may have worn the tights, but they were the true heroes in this story. They saw the challenge, faced it head on, kicked it's ass and were rewarded handsomely for it. 

Me?   I'll have to settle for being remembered.

On that note, below are some of the videos if you care to peruse them.  The first is one what I put together, the 2nd is the one the marketing folks spliced before they gave me my award.  FYI, the 2nd one ends at 1 minute but the music goes well beyond that.  Enjoy.  (MM)