Saturday, September 25, 2010

Generational Gaps & The Best Gook

dan brummer glen brummer survey of american men
Survey of Men 20 vs. 50 years old pop culture, sex, opinions
I found this article in Esquire this month to be really neat. The basis is to ask and get opinions of 20 year old men and compare them to the answers and opinions of 50 year old men. Below is why they chose these two age groups. It's kind've like the generational gap on paper.
'Fact: Among the total population, there are more 50-year-olds in America right now than any other single-age group, and the second largest single-age group (not counting the stragglers around 50) is 20-year-olds. Fact: If you're looking at only the male population, there are more 20-year-olds in America right now than any other single-age group, and the second largest single-age group is — wait for it — 50-year-olds.* Fact: This is pretty cool, and after commissioning a nationwide survey of men born in 1960 and 1990, we learned just how far apart today's 20-year-olds and 50-year-olds are in their attitudes, expectations, and beliefs.' Below are some of the 50 questions asked. 

3. Whom do you consider the coolest man in America?

Barack Obama 21% 14%
George Clooney 12% 21%
Clint Eastwood 26% 55%
Robert Pattinson 3% 1%
LeBron James 20% 5%
Jack White 3% 1%
Justin Timberlake 9% 2%
Mike "the Situation" Sorrentino 6% 1%

17. You've got a big announcement to make to your close friends. What's your preferred method of communication?

Twitter 1% 0%
Facebook 25% 8%
E-mail 4% 8%
Texting 24% 5%
Telephone 16% 30%
In person 31% 50%

18. How many times in the past two years have you cheated on your wife/girlfriend/significant other?

Zero 82% 92%
Once 8% 3%
Two to four times 6% 2%
Five times or more 4% 3%


Below is Esquire's list of best health and maintenance products for men to use from lower cost to big spending items. I consider a cheat sheet when this stuff comes out each year. The Gillette warming scrub is legit by the way. If you buy the new Gillette Fusion razor it comes with a free sample. Enjoy

See the list of the best products for men according to Esquire

They Saved the Best for Last

In my last day in Florida a myriad of things fell into place that made this trip seem definitely worthwhile. After trotting countless numbers of marketing managers and their social networking and video laden presentations to the main stage today we got something different. Not only did we learn about impacting and visualization on a broad scope, but we were presented with the ultimate example. Chris Carter (Website). A performer/mind reader who performed amazing feats of guess work and manipulation. 

Afterward, for the first time all week we received a decent amount of down time and then off to Universal studios Harry Potter attraction. Accompanied by a dj themed part exclusive to our employees complete with a red carpet beverages, food, free alcohol and free Harry Potter's famous Butter Beer flowed in the heart of a village crafted perfectly in a reflection of the Harry potter books and movies (Universal's Harry Potter website). The experience that most impressed me was a huge castle complete with talking oil paintings, newspaper clippings and all types entertainment in the journey through the line. It all leads up to the coolest and most creative ride I personally have ever ridden. It was like a haunted house, virtual reality roller coaster. This ride to me has it all. Please bear in mind I was legally to drink before I decided the bob sled and mine train at Six Flags Over Texas may not be the coolest rides in the park since I am a roller coaster wimp. 
Lastly, and unfortunately what I thought would be a unique experience turned out ton the flattest when I attended a luncheon promoting the African American council the company is trying to start. The guest speaker was a former colleague of our Company president and an exective at Kraft foods. While she shared some impactful themes and motivating principles the majority of her speech was drowned by experiences that too often came across as petty examples of enduring workplace resistance to accepting blacks and women which was communicated as more of a paranoia. It seemed as if her intent of an uplifting message still had some chain links  attached and she was still dragging them despite her success. But that's a WHOLE other entry. Last day, good day. A good productive trip of networking and being encourage by the profits and cash my company is cranking. 

Friday, September 24, 2010

National Sales Meeting First Impressions: Blending In & Standing Out

Thank God for the few people I have met through various training courses and development groups throughout the year because this whole national sales meeting thing has me feeling like I did as a kid when my parents made me go to a birthday party of  people THEY were friends with and swore since their kids were also your age it would be a great time. That may have been my first experience with the awkward forced introduction. That's what this meeting feels like so far.  The backdrop is better than that old birthday party though. Set in Orlando Florida at the Lowes Royal Pacific Resort setup jointly with Universal Studios. What's hardest blending here so far is every time you see someone you vaguely know they know someone else they have been waiting all year to talk to. These things are such reunions for the employees that have been here a while. And there is nothing wrong with that at all. The majority of the sales force works isolated all year long miles away from our counterparts sometimes with our own regions. Most of the guys minus the newbies have been with the company 15 to 20+ years and some up to 30! So when you introduce yourself for the first time to someone who sees five people they haven't seen in at least a year and they can only catch up with them every sales meeting once a year, "Marcus Combs, out of Dallas ,TX"  becomes "nice to meet you, uhh... yea excuse me (trail off HEyyy!)". From the start a few things were working against me concerning my social circle. The guy who started 7 months before I did and who I previously worked with at General Motors was let go 3 days before departure to Florida. We were the same age, scheduled on the same flight and was fired 3 days before the big trip. Then to make matters worse the second closest person I know, my boss, goes home Tuesday morning for a family emergency. My comfort covers are fading fast. That leaves me closest to a guy from California who will be my bag toss partner at the Halloween party and my teammates for my area that have been honestly working longer than I have been alive. The average age is mid 50s with one not making the trip because of surgery and most importantly no true partner in crime. The guys on my time are really great guys but I just don't know The Eagles, The Beatles, and famous 70's cowboys games the way they do. 
So in the mean time I'll work the room as I do, and enjoy the familiar faces who don't know as many familiar faces for the sometimes overly awkward period that reveals that what we have most in common is the lack of interest in striking up a new awkward or swiftly interrupted moment in exchange for the one we both stand invested in already. This has to get better...

At GM the approach was much less, shall I say "responsible". In Detroit we were introduced to 3 levels of a night club that had alcohol flowing in a sea of your choice of neon strobe lights, fire or a blue ice theme. Executives treated open bar like a unspoken race to see who could be loudest and cross an uncomfortable statement line not only first but sadly most often. My then boss won that race. The prize? A trip home with no pension after 30 years. The people with this company appear to pull the reigns at more than two beers. But maybe there onto something, I haven't read bankruptcy in any of their associated google searches. On to the next awkward introduction...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Arrested Attention (this entry is a result of sitting at the airport gate for longer than I would like)

This week I will be in Florida for my first National Sales Meeting with my company. I really am not looking forward to the idea of interjecting a 15 second who I am and where I’m from hundreds of times to an audience that is comprised of years of friendships and history. One thing I am looking forward to though are the rituals I have started to notice whenever I fly. Number one, break out the Starbucks iPhone app to find the closes gate where one is. It probably is the only reason I have the app besides the fact that I like the icon of it on the phone but not walking 25 minutes the wrong way when you could have walked 5 min the right way counts for a lot if something can save you from that. Second, I must buy Peanut butter M&M’s. Tied with Reeses peanut butter cups, M&Ms are my most favorite candy and I only buy them when I fly now. Most importantly so far not many airports carry them, but DFW does. What’s funny is now I see myself more addicted to the ritual of buying and having the M&Ms more than even eating them. I for some reason really dig the red orange color of the bag so I won’t even eat them until sometimes 3 days into the trip. Lastly on my list of travel rituals is making a playlist for my iPod/most current broken iPhone  to listen to on the plane. I recently loaded up on all the newest Kanye, Rick Ross and Drake and then mixed in some Erykah Baydu and Johnny Cash’s Greatest Hits. Which by the way I am convinced every man should own. No matter the mode of transportation you take Johnny Cash makes a trip instantly edgier and more adventurous. Right before every trip I pray for the mail to bless me with the most current issues of my subscription GQ and Esquire first. Then I usually find a paper or business magazine that I can enjoy with the arrested time that is air travel. As I blogged a couple entries lower I bought the new Rolling Stone with the Mad Men cast on the front so I plan to enjoy that as well. Those WERE my plans. I almost completely forgot that my wife’s talented cousin had given scripts of four different screenplays so I HAVE to finish at least his top two must reads according to him. Oh and I already saw my first celebrity Monday morning, former actor and MTV personality Bill Bellamy. I kid because he really is irrelevant these days but I instantly recognized him and he was taking pictures with what I guess you would call former fans. I must say though, the man had the best hair I ever saw when I approached him to shake his hand. That celebrity money no matter what list you’re on even if it’s D has it benefits; I wanted to steal his sunglasses. Regardless, I’m really looking forward to ingesting all these stimulators in the arrested state that is air travel and praying I don’t get sick since I forgot to participate in my most important ritual, taking my Airborne.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

From Powerpoint to Play.

The Office Tips & Tricks You Need To Get Ahead 9 to 5 & Beyond Office Tips
I'm a sucker for lists like these. Plus I am more than aware it involves marketing someones product. Someone gets paid to cross market ideas and tips with products. I need that job! Fun to read about etiquette and experiences familiar to us all in the workplace. Let's see how quick the person who brakes the rules most often comes to mind. I miss the office atmosphere. The awkward social norms of asking How someones morning or weekend went just because you both went for the coffee simultaneously from guessing who's stinky microwave food is on rotation or trying to remember names you swore you wouldn't forget. Nothing like your second, dysfunctional family. Behave accordingly...

Because I'm Obsessed

Rolling Stone Slide Show
From the minute I hear of a show set in the 50's based on advertising in New York i thought "man this should be the sweetest show ever!" The director is the guy who did the Sopranos. He makes the show as authentic as possible. For instance, none of the actors are allowed to lift waits during filming since no one did back in the 50's and 60's. They can only do cardio to stay in shape. Interesting to me.I remember counting down to the 1st episode and the first airing, and it hasn't disappointed me yet. I'm starting to by the episodes in Blu-Ray and it's makes re watching an episode that much more enjoyable. I hate that they don't show the show in HD. Above of course is the Rolling Stone cover for this month and I of course had to buy it. It's begging to be read  for my plane ride to Florida on Monday. The link to the rolling Stone site has a bunch of black and whites from the photo shoot. Pretty sweet. Below is my favorite, Mad Men with a MacBook.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Struggle

So I started this blog in hopes of communicating some ideas and putting forth opinions and experiences I deemed worthy of sharing. Sadly ever since I came up with the idea I have been intensely busy with work, weddings, friends and errands. I don't know that more of my time could be accounted for. What's most disappointing is that I assumed posting blogs would be so fluid and enjoyable but it has been anything but. Despite the fact I feel like I can communicate a story, a struggle, or experience, having enough time to edit myself stands to be my biggest obstacle. By the time I get ready to blog about a current event or article the events luster has passed or surprisingly I spend so much time condensing my wordy text. One of the reasons I enjoy Twitter so much is that you must communicate with 140 characters. It's perfect for me and it can be a fun challenge to say so much within those perameters. My mind thinks over itself when blogging while trying to simultaneously edit punctuation tense and flow. So I am embracing this challenge and now am changing my strategy. I plan to write shorter posts and concentrate on current events based more on personal goings on as opposed to editorials. I have more posts that I ever thought dedicated to...stuff. Fillers that satisfy posting. I leave for Florida or a National Sales Meeting with my company on Monday and I have been told by my co workers that I will be engulfed with seminars workshops and a scheduled whirlwind of activity. I hope I have sometime to myself to crank some better quality posts more worthy than fillers. Let' see...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Fake Jerry and Fake Wade

Fake Jerry and Wade
My favorite time of year is football season and my favorite radio station has started one of its best weekly staples. A fake Jerry Jones and a fake Wade Philips share in post game reflective conversation that almost always equals a great laugh. Another something to look forward to this time of year!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Violence brings us closer

Nothing is better than football season. It represents a set aside day or days (depending on how hardcore you are) of the week on Sunday, Saturday or Monday Night where friends make "plans" on a regular basis to enjoy sport. My wonderful wife has adopted the NFL ritual of Sundays being cleared for football and it may be the longest time that we sit on the couch together and enjoy TV without the dispute of what to watch or being torturing each other through disgruntled sys of boredom. She isn't a movie watcher, or a sports fan in general but she is a football fan. A football fan so much so in my heart of hearts I am convinced our family's recent purchase of a 55" LED Samsung purchase spear headed by my wife secretly was made with football in mind. This time a year in general is special because of football. So many people are fans of the fellowship more than the game. Women (it seems few these days) look forward to cooking and hosting others and their appetites despite quite possibly having zero interest or any knowledge of who's even playing the games. It's the perfect sport for everything. I'm convinced that if the Romans had pay per view or TV for that matter the collesium  would have been packed and the city would have stopped to enjoy our natural  human lust for combat in a Friday Night lights fashion. Today football has become an interactive sport with fantasy leagues online that allow you ample time to prepare and ample time to enjoy without nightly games like MLB NBA and NHL. Football's Sunday and Monday night staple games clear a reserved day of the week where with only 16 games in a season and a "win or go home" playoff you are guaranteed a teams best effort. The same goes for college football. And oh how I am so envious of my buddies who have direct affiliation and loyalties to their alma maters. If there is ONE single regret in my life it is not going off to a school. I went to UTA which is a part of the UT system so I am a Longhorn fan but it will never be the same as attending school in Austin, Lubbock, College Station or anywhere else for that matter. So much of our love for football is our loyalty at all levels from pee wee to pro to both our teams and human nature to root for combat. The Friday Nights or the pee wee Saturday mornings are all centered around an event that is the once a week contest where you look forward to either rooting for your team or enjoying a  guaranteed once a week get together that promises more camaraderie that any board game night would provide. So here's to football and seeing friends more often, here's to the all American spirit of competition and rivalry, and here's to the only event that still brings families and friends to gather around the television in our fast paced world of multitasking. Fellowship is alive in football.