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Goodbye Jay

Never really new the guy but he was a big name in the ad biz. There a story in Adweek about it.

Many other stories on Google.

by Steve Hall    Apr-29-02    

Get A Clue Dad!

"Scott and Sheri were high-school sweethearts who married young, raised a family, and immersed themselves in school and community activities. Despite a divorce, they continued to share the same goals for their four teenaged children - until Scott got hooked on the drug ecstasy."

This recent HBO "America Undercover" series explores the downfall of a family because a clueless hick of a Dad refuses to grow up and act his age. He actually lets his 13 year old son roll on E. Give me a fuckin break! Is our society that fucked up? Yes, I guess it is. If it wasn't, we wouldn't have kids killing kids in highschool, or teachers having to act as babysitters with no authority. How the hell did we end up here? Hey/ I love rave music. Yes, I am too old to actually want to go to one but I do like the music. When the hell are people going to learn what behavior is appropriate at a particular stage in life. And don't you freeloving, everything is OK, negotiate with your kids failures as parents tell me I am "hindering a child's exploration of growth" or some shit like that. Kids should be kids. Adults should be adults. There is a line. You can't be your kids friend. They have plenty of those. You need to step up and be their parent and do things it takes to stop the shit we now have ourselves in.

Hey, believe it or not, I am liberal in some respects and do understand the need to communicate with your children and really hear what they are saying but I do think a return to the days where kids are kids and grownups are grownups. And fuck all this crap about parents trying to be all hip and cool and down with their kids.

I mean come the FUCK on!

Actually, the documentary had a fairly happy ending. For most the kids at least.


by Steve Hall    Apr-28-02    

"Give 'em Hell 54!"

If you give any remote sort of shit about what this country went through to become the country it is today, you simply have to see the movie Glory. Starring Matthew Broderick and Denzel Washington, it is the story of the first black regiment in the civil war.

There is a scene towards the end of the movie where the 54th regiment slowing marches up the beach between the other all white Union soldiers. At that moment, you wish you were a black American (I am white) right back there on that beach in 1867 preparing for that charge you know is certain slaughter for all in that regiment. In fact the last 20 minutes of this movie dig up such intense emotion and pride mixed with sickness for what our country was and is now.

Captain Shaw staring off into the sea

Captain Shaw setting his horse free before the assault.

The charge.

Captain Shaw being shot.

Captain Shaw's body being rolled into a death pit.

Captain Shaw's horse dead.

The music.

Everything about this movie makes me want to watch it over and over again to experience that intense sadness, frustration, pleasure, and pride all occurring inside me at the same time. I can do nothing but cry for the last 20 minutes of this movie.

Unfortunately, we are still not finished fighting this war...


by Steve Hall    Apr-27-02    

Bi-Fold, Tri-Fold, Z-Fold, C-Fold, Pre-Set Pull, Crank, Etc.

What is it with bathroom towel vendors? You've seen them all. The crank version that you have to crank where the whole world full of germs has cranked before. The pre-set pull version which always rips and never gives you enough on one pull. The blowers that are never hot enough and take too long to dry your hands. The C-Fold that always gets stuck in the pull down container and when you do actually get one out, half the container comes out with it! And the Z-Fold...oh the beautiful and simple Z-Fold. Why did vendors ever stray from this simple operational version of public bathroom hand towel?

A piece of it hangs out of the dispenser so you can easily pull it with out reaching your hand up into the germ infested dispenser. When you pull one out, you actually get just one and not have the contents of the container. It is just the right amount of towel. If you need more, just pull another one.

Why did it have to get all fancy with these freaky advanced wall hanging contraptions that never work?

How about the toilet paper "drums"? Takes so much force to pull the cheap paper out that it always rips! Why do companies create thes fucked up contraptions to make it so hard for us to actuall get the toilet paper. What do they think? We are going to steal it?

Why is simplicity always over run by idiotic so called innovation?

This doesn't apply simply to bathroom hand towels.Take voice mail. It has become such an instilled form of avoidance that it is pointless to call in the first place. Computers. I think Bill Gates was right when he said, "The average home computer user will never need more then 640K of Memory". Now have this race to see how bloated a program can be. Just when you have more memory, another Microsoft product comes out (how ironic) that swallows up most your memory and your disk space. AND, it all crashed much more often then it used. Sure, some of the new stuff is great. But, again, what happened to simplicity? Straight forward functionality?

I could go on forever. I guess I should never have stepped foot into that public bathroom today:-)


by Steve Hall    Apr-25-02    

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The Call

So, like everyone else, I have an idea for a book and/or movie. It's pretty simple but has a lot of different ways it could be handled. Basically this guy goes somewhere for the weekend or week to a conference or vacation or something. He meets this beautiful girl, they have this odd sort of romance where they keep running into each other at wherever they are for the week. It kind of grows in intensity. A nice slow sort of warm relation develops between the two of them. Very normal. Very conversational. No jumping into bed to have sex but you can feel the intensity grow between the two to of them. Maybe there is some hesitation between the two because of something in either of their lives that we don't know about at this point.They do have dinner together one night but other then that it is just running into each other, talking, sharing stories. Maybe they are on vacation. Maybe they are at a trade show for business. Then on the last day the guy is getting ready to go. To catch his flight or how ever he is getting hoe. He wants find the girl before he goes but doesn't really know where she is staying. So it gets kind of frantic because he doesn't want to let the romantic possibility die. He really needs it in his life. And he senses that she needs it too. So there's all this last minute shuffle to find her. Finally, they do cross paths minutes before he has to leave. All they have time to do is exchange phone numbers. They hug. They kiss. You can feel the burning desire. They get each others phone numbers. He starts to write it down...978-448-50??.........

The alarm goes off and he is laying in his bed with that strange feeling you have after you have just had your sleep interrupted. He sits up. He looks around his room. Rubs his eyes and then it hits him.....the whole beautiful encounter was a dream! You can imagine the frustration that begins to set in. It felt so real. She was so real. It had to be real. He reviews the dream in his head and the phone number comes to him. He runs around his room frantically looking for something to write the number down 978....shit....978-4...oh shit!....978-448-50...DAMN....he cant's get it all..finally he is sure that he knows 978-448-50?? can't get the last two.

He sits there. This can't have just been a dream, It was so real. He puts the number down. Goes about his morning routine. Makes his coffee. Makes a bagel. Sits down to read the paper. His coffee gets cold for a while so he takes it to the microwave to give it a twenty second reheat....he misses and punches in 28. 28. 28. 28. The number reverberates in his head.....and the others come back to....978-448-50xx. He freaks. THAT's the number. He grabs the piece of paper that he wrote the digits on and completes it. 978-448-50xx. What does he do? Does he call. He paces around. He says, come on, it was just a dream. this is crazy!

So he goes to work. Goes about his daily life. But...he keeps seeing the numbers...bus 978, time 4:48, extension number 50xx. It goes on all day. He goes home.

It's still eating at him. He stares at his phone but keeps saying it was a DREAM! What are you think. You can't dial the number.

He dials.

It rings. He gets scared and hangs up. You see the phone on the other end ringing...and sure enough, it's the girl in the dream.

Now, here's where it gets difficult. Does the girl not know him and he is some freak calling out of the blue? Does she still not know him but he recounts the dream to her on the phone and she falls in love with him over the phone? Does he have to hassle her over and over again like a love sick puppy before it becomes real for her? Or, does she answer and say, Oh my god, I had the same dream. I felt like someone was calling then they romance part two in real life and live happily ever after?

Or, it is freaky David Lynch like. He had the dream. She had the same dream. He calls. She answers. They have romance part two in real life.......then...he wakes up one morning a sleazy run down piece of shit apartment....and realizes that BOTH were a dream? Dream within a dream thing.

Or, the first one's real. The second on is a dream he has while in hospital after being in a car accident on the way to the airport after he gets the girls number in the first sequence....which was actually real?

Fuck, the possibilities are endless.

Then, are they married and it is an affair thing or are the single and it's simple and clean? If they are married, do they have happy marriages or un-happy marriages? Is it a moral thing were the dream happiness, they get together in real life but end up going back to their marriages because it was just a fantasy and they realize the lives they already have are perfect and they have a bittersweet goodbye.

Or, is it some science fiction crap where they have some sort of mental telepathy connection?

Another...first scene is the exchange of numbers shot so you don't know who she is. He leaves for the airport but gets into a terrible car accident. Cut, to him going to bed one night apparently all fine after the accident and he has the dream. You see the exchange of numbers again but you see the girl this time. You see him wake up and and go through the whole numbers thing....but, he doesn't remember the last two digits. He paces around his apartment frustrated and keeps repeating the number over and over to see if he can get it .......then....oo, I like this....cut to him pacing around a mental institution apparently from brain injury from the accident. He is mumbling the number over and over again. It's like years later. That's all he's done for years. Pace and repeat the number. Then....close shot....he says the number but he suddenly says the whole number. He remembers it. Remembers it like after 7 years. Ends with a zooming close of his face smiling. End. Maybe he's cured, maybe he isn't. We will never know. Maybe it was all a dream. Maybe it wasn't. Maybe he really did meet her. Maybe it al happened in his head in the hospital. Or, for those who like happy endings, after he remembers the number, he goes back to his real life, calls the girl and they live happily ever after.

See, the first part works great and makes for a great surprise when he wakes up but what happens after that? Maybe that's all there is. The dream. The wake up. The facing of real life.

I guess I'll actually have to write it to see where it goes.

Now, it's all documented here. Don't go and steal this idea cause I'll sue your ass:-)


by Steve Hall    Apr-24-02    

It's Alive! It's Alive!!

So my wife comes home today after being away for the school vacation with the kids. After the usual unpacking and various other coming home after school vacation activities, my wife finds me outside in that yard doing some insane suburban yard work ritual and asks, "Honey, while we were away, did you feed the hamster?" in her usual sarcastic tone. I gulped and said, "no". I mean we keep the thing in the basement. I never even see the thing. She announces, "It's dead, you better go explain to the kids."

So I walk up to my sons room where he is playing with his sister and tell them the story. They react, "No problem Dad, it's OK. Can we look at it?" So we trudge down to the garage and there's the cage where my wife put it assuming that there is now a routine to pet burial since two years ago I made a "grave" for our first pet casualty, Bandit, out cat. Well, we all look into the cage and there is no movement but my son says he say the thing moving earlier when he was playing his computer game in the basement. So...I stare at it for a while, and sure enough, the thing is still alive. The kids are happy but now I'm thinking, jeez, the poor thing is on it's last legs and if I don't save the thing, I'll have to put it out of it's misery with a hammer to the head or some joyous activity like that. Not what I really wanted to do on a Sunday afternoon.

Well, I now become the hamster doctor. The thing is barely moving. I wrap it in a towel, give it water, try to feed it. Get not much response. Opened it's mouth and took out some long twig or something that must have lodge in its mouth preventing it from eating and drinking. Once that was out, I gave it water and tried to feed it. Just what I wanted to do when I was trying to finish that above mentioned insane suburban yard work ritual. Anyway, it's touch and go for a while but the thing actually starts to come around! Moves a little, takes in some water. Shivers so I put it on my chest. After about two hours and only being able to get water into it, I put it on the kitchen counter and what does it decide to do? It takes a walking tour of the whole kitchen. The kids are loving this because of course the thing is gonna survive now. And all I'm thinking about is the disgusting germs it is leaving on the counter.

So, time goes on, the thing starts to eat and function on it's own and in the eyes of my kids, Dad is a hero. Can't beat that feeling as a dad!

So later, when the kids are in bed and the hamster is back at home in it's cage still in the kitchen for observation, I look at it and begin to realize, I saved a life! I actually brought a near dead being back to life. I know it's basically a rat but the feeling was pretty intense. Pretty rewarding. Maybe it's related to plowing through chemo treatment for colon canner. Maybe it's just a pure human feeling that you get when you know you have done something unselfishly good. Who knows. Whoever thought that this little achievement would rise to the level of blogdom:-)

That's all for today.


by Steve Hall    Apr-21-02    

Telemarketing With a Twist

Ever go to pick up the phone only to realize that no one is there? And I don't mean that delay from the telemarketer's auto dialer. I mean no one is there at all! Well, you've been had by the latest trend in the ever downward spiriling tactics of today's telemarketers. Get this, the don't actually want to get you on the phone. They only want your answering machine so they can leave some bullshit like, "Mr. Hall, I've called you several times to confirm your address. It's all I need to enter you into our grand prize sweepstakes in which you have a chance of one in 16 trillion of winning. Please call me back as soon as possible." Or worse, they make it sound like it is from your bank. The sripts are full of ums and ahs so you think it is a real call when in fact it is just another piece of telemarketing bullshit.

It won't be long before you see that you have 7 messages...and all are dead calls! Please, telemarketers, cut the bullshit. Be honest. If we don't want what your selling we'll tell you. If we do, we'll tell you that too. Cut the crap!

I mean, COME ON!!


by Steve Hall    Apr-20-02    

An Interesting Site Actually


by Steve Hall    Apr-17-02    

Dream a Little Dream

Yea, that was a cute little movie with a big boobed teenager who has since had a breast reduction and disappeared in to the obscurity of acting's B world.

But, that is not what I am writing about. Dreams. Why are they so real? Why do they feel like they could become reality if you just stayed asleep? Why are they so infused with your real life and yet why are they so strangely altered from real life?

I just had a weird dream that was kind of a love story and kind of a family reunion story. And, a little conversation with some I srealites was tossed in as well. Strange mix? Yes. Who was the center of the love story? Drew Barrymore. Weird. I never thought of her as particularly attractive althoug I do love her movies. And, she was fat in this movies. Fat but cute. Strange. The whole thing ended in the usually frustratingly incomplete way. She disappeared. I couldn't find her. And, she left me with a phone number which, maddeningly, in the dream, I could not seem to dial.

Such a nice dream but so frustrating too.

Anyway, back to real life...


by Steve Hall    Apr-17-02    

Mulholland Drive

If you can figure this movie out (which is always a challenge with David Lynch), you will find an engaging and sometimes frustratingly annoying plot line. The whole movie is basically about one's woman's fantasy of being a movie star. Sounds simple? Well, not when it has the David Lynch treatment. There are twists. There are turns. There are incomprehensible scenes. It the kind of movie that when finished, you have to site there foe a half an hour and sort the whole thing out in your mind.

I actually enjoy this type of movie. One that challenges your mind and defies conventional plotlines. Although, once you have figured the movie out, it is basically a simple plot. Again, just done David Lynch style.

Rent this one only if you can dedicate 100% of your mind to it while viewing.

by Steve Hall    Apr-16-02    

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