Monday, February 28, 2011

Writing The Future

(I know this is 2011, but I'm tagging this with 2010 census because its about predicting the future.)

What will life be like later this century?

There were plenty of predictions from 1950 for the year 2000.

So what do I think things will look like in the next 50+ years?


Anti-gay policies will be wiped away, and looked upon as shamefully as the anti-woman, anti-black sentiments of our past. Marriage will be owned as a religious ceremony, so individual churches can decided what kind of marriages they perform, but the right to marry who you want will not be denied by the government.


There will be no exhaust. The only emissions will be water/water vapor. A combination of batteries/electric/hydrogen/solar will fight it out. Gas Station companies like Shell will stay in business by converting to places where you stop to refuel by charging your car.

People will still drive their own cars but there will be technology that greatly reduces the number of car accidents.


Basically everything in your house/car/life will be park of a network/internet. Locks, lights, oven, blender, all connected, all wireless. You'll never be locked out. And while houses will still use some power from power plants, most houses will have solar panels and other energy sources to try and be self-sufficient.

Television will not have a select number of channels that "you get." Programming will be delivered via the internet. Instead of being limited to 100 or 200 channels, your TV will have an entry more like an address bar where you can access an unlimited number of internet channels. NBC and MTV will still deliver programming through the internet, mostly on-demand. Yet anyone will be able to post their own content, and people can watch it immediately. Live sports/events will continue to be important.

Screens will get impossibly flat. It will be common for them to be embedded in walls. They will also have the option of being hung on the wall like a poster.

Showers will come standard with digital water temperature settings and multiple programmable presets, so everyone in the family can shower at their exact desired temperature.


Football will not be the most popular sport. Players will be too big and fast and too many injuries will lessen the popularity. Basketball will take over. Perhaps there will be a new sport, or new version of basketball that incorporates some elements of football: the importance of possession, playcalling and stoppages after a play, about 20 games per year.

Friday, February 25, 2011

How To Get a Creative Advertising Job

(Advice from a copywriter, Illinois Class of 2005)

1. Watch the documentary Art & Copy. Get inspired.

2. Buy Iezzi's new book The Idea Writers. Even if you're an art director. Especially if you're a copywriter. This is the future.

3. In fact, I would say the 3 books you need to read, know and love are Hey Whipple, The Idea Writers, and Strunk & White (for writers) or Thinking With Type (for art directors.)

4. Build your portfolio on Cargo. It's big, simple, free and what everyone is using now.

5. LinkedIn is your resume. Work hard, get internships wherever you can, make your internship if have to, make your LinkedIn profile compelling. Show that you can write or art direct.

6. Get good. If you read Outliers or Talent Is Overrated, you'll find that success is not based on "talent," whatever that is. It's based on working hard, learning from mistakes, getting better every day. If you want to get a job in creative advertising, you can. But it might take more work than you’re willing to put in.

7. Your book isn’t good enough until you get a job. Don’t stop working on it just because you’ve got some interviews. Keep working on it until you’re hired.

8. Your book probably has a typo. Have 10 people proof it and then if they haven’t found it, get 10 more. Don’t bring a typo into an interview. Just don’t.

9. You don't need portfolio school. If you have the money and the time, go for it. If not, that’s fine. Just remember that you’re competing with people coming out of them.

10. Clever headlines and pretty layouts are nothing without a big idea. Be sure you have one, and be able to talk about it. You'll have to in your job—and probably your interview.

11. Start writing cover letters now. The one chance you have to grab someone's attention is a short email. This is the most important ad you will ever make and it's for yourself. It takes a good 8-10 months to write a good one. Write a couple and send them to your friends. Then next month see if you can do better.

12. Contact people during work hours on a Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday.

13. Once you have a good book (see 6-10 above) use LinkedIn. People from UIUC are friendly. Set aside time. Contact them (see 12 above) and tell them you'll be in Chicago next week and ask to stop by for 5 minutes and have them look at your book.

14. Do something that makes you happy. If you like making ads, go for it. It's fun. Just work hard. If I had worked harder in school, I could have gotten a better job, faster. (see 6 above)

15. Because lists seem better when they have round numbers.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Monday, February 14, 2011

god that's a good looking chicken

I don't even want to write anything just so I can keep that chicken at the top of the page.

Monday, February 07, 2011

green chile chicken soup

Following the success of last week's chili (and five leftover jalapeno peppers) I thought I would try to make a chicken version. I knew that I didn't want to just repeat my beef recipe and substitute chicken--I wanted to make something new, a green chile soup to give the chicken recipe its own identity.

I started by roasting my own 4.5 pound chicken.

Once it was rested I deboned it, separated the chicken breasts to save them for later. All the other little pieces of meat were ready to go.

I ended up using the entire 4 cup package of chicken broth. But I started with maybe 1.5 or 2 cups, all the chicken pieces and 4 jalapenos.

Then I added a diced onion, 5 cloves of garlic, 3/4 cup of hot green salsa, and a little oregano. That's it.

Then I let it cook for about 3 hours on low. Easy peasy.

Time to serve.

I went into this expecting the chicken version not to be as good as the beef, and it wasn't. It wasn't bad at all. But it was sort of one note--jalepeno. It wasn't too spicy, but not a very complex taste.

I suppose this ends up looking more like tortilla soup (minus the tortillas) than a chili, but I'm not entering this in a chili contest. I don't care what you want to call it. But the liquid definitely wasn't as thick as last weeks, not thick enough to coat a chip or spoon.

But it is a lot tastier than the tortilla soup that was served at the ISR Cantina.

Burnsy Gets a Title

Led by Greg Jennings and the Packers defense in their divisional matchup--on the road at #1 Atlanta--Burnsy takes home his first fantasy title.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Super Bowl Memories

I was born in November 1983.

A shame that at 4 1/2, I wasn't old enough to make lasting memories of the March 1988 Final Four. KU won the Final Four in Kansas City. And there I was, oblivious to it all.

At barely over 5, I have no memory of a classic Joe Montana Super Bowl drive.

My first Super Bowl memory is from January 1990: Super Bowl XXIV. I was in the First Grade. I remember my family watched the game next door, on our neighbor's projection big-screen tv. I remember the best part was Bud Bowl (which was actually Bud Bowl II). And I remember thinking that it was kind of silly for everyone to make a big deal out of a game that turned out not be close at all: 49ers over Broncos, 55-10.

January 1991: Second Grade. The Wide Right Game. I think this was the game where I got sick and threw up at someone's house. I missed the next day at school and people thought that I must have been travelling back from Florida. Kids imagine things so easily. I have no memories of the actual game.

January 1992: Third Grade. Another game that I really don't remember anything about. What I do remember is that by the summer of 1992, I loved the NFL so much that I bought this sticker album, and then bought packs and packs of stickers to put in them. This was better than buying football cards to me, because it involved collecting a specific set and you could see how much progress I made.

What I remember about this Super Bowl, is that they had 4 stickers specific to SB26. So that's how I learned the name Mark Rypien. This and my collection of mini-helmets that I must have poured over 10 bucks in quarters into grocery store vending machines to finish--that's how I spent 3rd and 4th grade.

January 1993: Fourth Grade. I remember this game. I thought it was a huge deal that Beebe knocked the ball out of Lett's hand. But the Cowboys won the game 52-17, so really, who cares? More so, I remember watching the Frank Reich comeback against the Oilers live. What a game.

January 1994: Fifth Grade. This was my first Super Bowl in Peoria. I remember watching the NBA Finals when I had just moved to Illinois in June 1993. But this game? Meh.

January 1995: Sixth Grade. Middle school was such a wasteland. Why don't I remember any of this?

January 1996: Seventh Grade. Super Bowl 30. Cowboys vs Steelers. What a tasty matchup. Seriously, I have only vague recollection of Neil O'Donnell.

January 1997: Eight Grade. Packers over the Patriots. I remember Brett Favre. That's it.

January 1998: Freshman, High School. Broncos over Packers. Elway. I have a terrible memory apparently.

January 1999: Sophomore, High School. Broncos over Falcons. Okay, this one I went to a party at my friend Brian's house. I remember people were watching Celebrity Deathmatch during halftime on MTV. I don't know that we watched the game that closely.

January 2000: Junior, High School. I don't know where I watched it, but this was the first Super Bowl that I remember thinking was a great game. The Titans tied the game, and then on the very next play, boom, Rams touchdown. And then the ending one yard short. A classic.

January 2001: Senior, High School. This one was stupid. I was working at Bellacino's my senior year and because I'm an idiot, I never thought about the Super Bowl approaching. I didn't realize that I might have to work during the game until about a week or two before. Everyone else who cared had asked for the day off weeks in advance. So I was stuck at a pizza/sandwich shop working during this game. While all my friends were at a party, I listened to it on the radio. Yep. That's how lame it was. And without streaming video the way we have it now, who knows if I even saw highlights. Maybe on SportsCenter if I made it home in time.

February 2002: Freshman, College. I know we watched this in One North. I can't remember which room, I know I was in my own room for a bit. I remember having two Mike's Hard Lemonades and getting a headache. Great game though. Patriots over Rams, still just months after 9/11.

January 2003: Sophomore, College. For this one, we gathered about 12 people into room 194 (Kirat & Niraj). I was sitting with Brittany on the floor. I had a 2-liter of soda in a giant novelty glass. I know that I was rooting against the Raiders and happy with the outcome. I also remember that someone spilled something and the floor got sticky.

February 2004: Junior, College. This was a great game, great setting. We were in our apartment on Lincoln, in the Dave-Kirat-Savan-Matt living room. This was our first apartment Super Bowl and I remember lots of food. Buffalo wings, poppers, the whole deal. There was the Janet Jackson nip-slip, and the great game that came down to the final second.

February 2005: Senior, College. Over on Bash Court, someone had rented a projector in Kirat-Savan-Matt's apartment. Another good game, Pats over Eagles. I had to leave for a while during the game to drop Brit off at the Amtrak station in Champaign--she was student teaching in Chicago and had to get back that night.

February 2006: First year in Chicago. I had a Super Bowl party at Brit's apartment. It was the first year that I combined wings and smokies in a barbecue crock pot. Also the first year for my predictions ballot. It was a good time, thought it was on a small TV. Matt won a fantasy contest for the first time.

February 2007: The Bears were in the Super Bowl. Brit and I just stayed at home, not wanting to be surrounded by Bears fans.

February 2008: Burnsy/Rishi hosted a sweet party at their place on Honore. We connected with Mark on Skype. And I was rooting against the 18-0 Pats, and completely shocked that they lost. I took my crock pot on the road and took the number of meats to a new level.

February 2009: Burnsy hosted again, this time from his new place on Milwaukee. Another fantastic game that came down to the wire. Springsteen. MC Hammer was in a Cash4Gold commercial. Burnsy made this sweet football-shaped ice mold. I believe there was a nacho bar with homemade melted queso.

February 2010: Since the Saints were in it, Brit and I wanted to stay at home and root on New Orleans. And then Brit's parents came up to watch the game. We ordered in a deep dish pizza and it was yet another incredible game. This was our first Super Bowl in Oak Park.

February 2011: Brit and I will be taking it easy again. Tasty matchup. Probably won't go crazy with the food either. Will this be my last one in Illinois--a streak dating back to January 1994?