Monday, February 25, 2008

Big D v Beantown

Since I've been a little homesick lately I decided to do a side-by-side comparison of Big D, aka Dallas, to Beantown.

First, I thought I'd start out easy by comparing the skylines. While Boston has the waterfront along downtown, and the cool distinction of the "Back Bay" area where the city was built on the water, the unique architecture of downtown Dallas and its skyscrapers, along with the ever-changing lights of Reunion Tower make Dallas a winner in the skyline category.


Dallas has miles and miles and miles of open road and highways, with clearly marked exits and street signs. The downside to Dallas is that you drive FOREVER to get across town, and it's no big deal when your commute is 100 miles round trip each day, plus there is almost no public transportation available. Boston, on the other hand, is very small, and has great public transportation - yay T. You can drive around pretty easily IF AND ONLY IF you have a GPS system. Boston is notorious for streets changing names suddenly and WTF is a rotary? And this is just the outskirts I've driven to. Don't even get me started on navigating my way through Beacon Hill and the downtown area. Boston edges out in this category just because of the T.


Dallasites win hands-down in this category. While Bostonians aren't nearly as mean as I heard they were, their lack of warmth can't go unmentioned. And while Dallasites are no Midwesterners and sometimes forget that we're southern, for the most part they are warm, welcome and inviting.

And the girls up here are an entirely different breed than Texas women. In Dallas, we care what we look like ALL THE TIME. We are high maintenance and we make no excuses for it. The downside to that is that we carry that maintenance into simple things like going to the grocery store.

In Boston, women up here don't make any excuses for not making an effort. It's all about comfort. I actually had an intern scoff because I don't own a pair of sweat pants! And a lot of women (NOT all - I actually work with a bunch of women who "try") up here don't even make an attempt at looking decent. How do you attract a man when it looks like you don't give a flip about yourself? And apparently this is the norm.

I will say this: being up here and having the luxury to keep my southern traits of making an effort but losing the fuss of it all is actually nice. I like that it's not a tragedy if I go to the grocery store in my snow boots and a t-shirt without any make-up on. I like that I can dress for comfort when I want to. And I REALLY like that people up here don't care what you drive, where you live and how much money you make. New Englanders are practical; there are very few BMWs up here, and if they are around, it's the SUVs because those are practical. Nope, Hondas and Toyotas are the big things up here, and luxury is a Lexus. And most of the people I know who are buying "new" cars, get them used.


This is a tie. Bostonians love their sports teams up here, and there are plenty to go around. You've got the Patriots, the Red Sox, the Celtics and the Bruins, not to mention tons of decent college teams to watch whenever you want. But I am really disappointed with Bostonians on their lack of enthusiasm for hockey. Boston has one of the original hockey teams EVER, and people up here don't get excited for the Bruins. In Dallas, everyone goes NUTS for the Stars; we LOVE hockey down there. And Dallasites are crazy for the Mav and the Cowboys too. The only team that's not exciting is the Rangers, but people still LOVE going to the Ballpark.


This one is a tie as well. While I can't get enough Tex-Mex and I miss Rosa's and Chuy's and Cuba Libra's mojitos, Boston is notorious for its great seafood, and variety. Since coming to Boston, I've indulged in Tibetan and Argentinian cuisines, and of course I eat some of the freshest seafood as often as possible. Lobster rolls up famous up here, as is the clam chowder. Every restaurant I've been to has been amazing and my pants are actually fitting a little better now that I don't have queso as one of my dietary staples. But still, I haven't found an authentic Mexican restaurant and the Tex-Mex restaurants up here are a joke. I'm actually getting so desperate that even fajitas are starting to sound appetizing.

Overall, I'm coming to appreciate Boston and its many offerings. Let's not forget that this city is rich with history, and I've got the beach to look forward to every weekend in a couple months. Not to mention that we've got Sam Adam's beer up here, and many bars don't even have the Texas staples on tap (Coors Light, Bud Lt. and Miller Lt.) which is fine by me.

The one thing Boston will never have on Dallas is my friends. They are definitely the best part of Dallas (and Austin and Houston and even Albuquerque!) and no one in Boston will ever compare to that!

Thursday, February 21, 2008


I'm homesick. Saying that feels a little dirty, like I'm admitting defeat in some way, but I can't help it. I miss my friends and I miss having them to talk to. I hate the fact that it's taking some time to meet people up here, and I hate not having my own friends to hang out with. I'm not used to not meeting people quickly and being brought into the fold. I know it's an East Coast thing - I can't count how many times I've told Stephen it takes time, but when it's the same for me it sucks even more. It makes me long for my friends even more. I just want to be invited out for a beer sometime, and I don't know when that's going to happen.

Ugh, writing this is even more depressing because it sounds like I'm not thankful for this great opportunity I've been blessed with. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Boston and I'm looking forward to everything it has to offer, but I wish I had friends up here to experience it with.

On the plus side, work has gotten ridiculously busy in the past week. I got put on 3 accounts - one of which is a brand new client that I pitched a few weeks ago - and I've been so busy that my head is spinning. It feels so much like Moroch now with the hectic schedule, and I'm just hoping that I can make an impact and difference on these accounts and to my team members like I did at Moroch. Also, one of my clients is doing regional PR in the Oklahoma and D/FW markets. I can't tell you how great it feels to pitch reporters from back home!

So that's all that's going on right now. Stephen's birthday is coming up in two weeks and I'm planning a birthday party for him; I've also got some great gift ideas for him and I can't wait to see his reaction when he opens his gifts! I'll post about it again after he's gotten his gifts.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Delayed Entry

Wow, I just realized that it's been over a week since I last posted! Where does the time go? Actually, I was sick this past week with the flu and would like to thank whomever from the office that decided it would be nice to share those germs.

In my free time between sleeping and hacking up unmentionables I've been reading the Harry Potter series and I can't describe how great this series is. And yes, this is my first time to read the series; I never bought into the "Harry mania" and I never would have wanted to wait with anticipation for the next book to come out. So now that all the books have been released and the mania has died down, I can enjoy the entire series.

I'm about halfway through The Goblet of Fire (year 4 at Hogwarts) and just can't seem to get enough. Each book has been an enjoyable read and I'm thoroughly impressed by Rowling's writing. I can't wait to keep reading and am already a little sad that the end is so near.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Music Mogul Does Not an Adman Make You

I came across this article today in the NY Times announcing that rapper Jay-Z and IPG (one of the largest holding companies for PR and advertising agencies) are opening a multi-cultural agency focused on African-American consumers because many people don't get speaking to minorities.

I'm sorry, Jay-Z, but just because you've had success lending your name to market everything underneath the sun does not mean that you get advertising OR speaking to your audience. Yes, you came from Marcy and you've come from nothing to be one of the biggest names in Hip-Hop, but your view of reality - and more importantly commonality - is probably so far skewed now that you can't say with certainty what your community wants and how they want to hear messages.

Before everyone jumps on my back, I have to say that I LOVE Jay-Z; I think he is brilliant and he knows that all he has to do is put his name on something for it to sell. But that's what he's done: built an empire on his name alone. I've worked on launching and building the brand of a minority-owned-and-operated agency; it takes more than a name to make something successful. Here's to hoping that he's more than just a name; I look forward to seeing where he takes this agency.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Thank you, Mr. Oboe

The super bowl this year was an amazing sight to see. It's hard being in the heart of Patriots' country (and being surrounded by Pats fans at your super bowl party) and watching the Giants beat down arguably the "best team of the decade." So on the plus side we got a great football game this year, but unfortunately there were not-so-great ads. As costs rise each year for SB commercials, I often wonder why the companies who buy spots spend so much money to air their spot and spend such little effort to turn out quality product. But there were some good spots. This one is my favorite:

Since I'm such a HUGE fan of football, it makes sense that my favorite commercial would be about a football player. Despite that, in my opinion, the ads featuring football players tend to be really awesome. Does anyone remember those United Way PSAs from a few years back that showed Peyton Manning at a food drive and he lobs a loaf of bread into a guy's handbasket? That was golden. Or what about Peyton's Pep talks from this year? Arguably the best spots of the NFL season - spend some time watching these.

So while we didn't get some really great ads, we got one or two really good ones; this Will Ferrell one for Bud Light was fabulous. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

It's Time for a Change

I came across this video this morning on adrants and was so moved by it I had to post it. I'll preface by saying that I'm not an Obama supporter, nor am I opposed to Barack. I've been lazy and haven't read the platforms for my democratic candidates so I can't say who I should support, but I agree with Obama that change is needed for our country.

I will say this though: for the first time since I've been old enough to vote, I'm excited about politics. I'm excited about the changes that are taking place; the inevitability that regardless of who wins the Democratic nomination there will be a change for our country. Soon we'll have a female nominee or an African American nominee to lead our party into office.

So look at this video and let me know your thoughts, Democrat or Republican. Are you looking forward to the changes that are coming?

Monday, February 4, 2008

Closing the Quest for GH

Stephen and I made our weekly trekk to Best Buy Saturday night on our way to Costco to see if they had any Wii or 360s in stock. This has become a weekly ritual and every week we walk out empty handed; what is it with these game systems that they're still so popular that you can't get one more than one month after Christmas? So I was expecting that we would spend 15 minutes at Best Buy waiting for our weekly rejection notice, and then going on our way to buy food for our Super Bowl party the next evening. But that wasn't the case.

The girl said they had the Xbox 360 "Pro" in stock so Stephen calls his friend to make sure this is the one we want; indeed, this apparently is the one we want. 5 minutes later she comes back to tell us that they had sold out of them... BOO!!! :( But she tells us that two other stores in the area have some in stock, so any thoughts of food for our party are thrown by the wayside and off we go to drive around town looking for an Xbox. Anyway, we got one. AND we got the greatest game in the world: Guitar Hero (versions II and III.)

Stephen and I spent the rest of Saturday night and most of Sunday playing GH (our band name is Get Baked), so... no super bowl snacks, except what we already had in the house (chips and salsa, almonds, whole grain crackers) but plenty of GH. Today, the tips of my fingers are blistered and battered all for the sake of "Get Baked," but I can't describe how thrilled I am to finally own GH.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Just because you go to Harvard doesn't mean you're smart

Yesterday I flew to NJ for a new business presentation; it went well, and we should hear something next week, but I don't want to say anything else lest I jinx our team who worked REALLY hard on it. Anyway, I had to get up at 3:30 a.m. to shower and be ready to pick up a colleague and head to Logan by 5:30 for our 7 a.m. flight; needless to say, I was exhausted!

We flew back to Boston in the afternoon, and as I was driving home on Mass Ave (which runs through Harvard) I almost hit a guy on a bike! I had the right-of-way and he pulled out on a red light. There was a van next to me so I didn't see the guy until near impact! So what does the guy on the bike do? He stops directly in front of my car and braces himself for impact (think arms up protecting his face and head turned in the opposite direction.) GOD ALMIGHTY!!!

Luckily my car still has awesome brakes (although probably not anymore) and I didn't even tap this guy. So as soon as he realizes he wasn't hit, he gets back on his bike and rides off, no apology no finger to me, nothing. Too shocked, I didn't yell at him or give him the finger either, but I was so angry and upset that he couldn't follow the simple rules of red light-stop, green light-go.

It just goes to show that not everyone who attends Harvard is smart.