Adult Parties

After graduating college and having a real job, I thought that my transition to adulthood was fairly complete. Granted, I haven’t bought my first house or had kids, the settling down part of maturity, but I have finally broached the post academic world and was just starting to enjoy it. And it was with this framing that I went to a party on Saturday night. Sounds exciting, right? Not really.

That’s because it was a birthday party… at a bowling alley. Correct, a bowling alley. As in what you would expect to see on an episode of Roseanne. Seriously, this girl was turning like 26 or 27. And yes, secretly there is nothing truly wrong with going bowling, but when, during your prime years, especially when single and dating, you choose to host an all-ages, cake-eating, giggling, silly celebration you are truly just wishing that you were 12 again. That’s why you have kids, then you don’t have to look like the responsible party.

So while everyone else is getting older, I am actually regressing to sixth grade. Next weekend I heard we might play spin the bottle at Billy’s house, but only if his parents stay downstairs.

Enjoy your adulthood

One Month

4 1/2 weeks, 31 days. A time period that I never thought I would be measuring with the thought and intensity that the last month has brought. There have been discussions, rationalizations, maturations, expressions, hopes, pangs and most recently silence. A quiet in my life that I have not known for six years. An unsettling quiet filled with uncertainty. That quiet where you can feel the conversations and emotions hanging in the air but they cannot be materialized, cannot be grasped and brought to realization. Not just yet.

Moving Pictures

I finally attended a movie theatre that has replaced their static slide projectors with a video projector and specialized content.

Since 1995, when the pre-show entertainment began illuminating the screen, I knew this was inevitable but wondered when the breaking point would be in the cost analysis. Right now, it looks like they are making up the price difference by gaining larger corporate sponsors such as NBC.

Hopefully this trend catches on in other theatre chains. It certainly is more entertaining than crooked slides and could be utilized in many more creative ways. The down side is involvement from local businesses will drop in the initial stage. The slide shows were a great place for a nearby restaraunt or day spa to gain needed exposure in a concetrated area. Now, these businesses will probably not be able to gain access to this same demographic until the technology drops in price or the theatres recognize the importance of the local community in getting moviegoers to the area and keeping them there afterwards.

All in all, it was an interesting move and at a theatre where I hadn’t seen a movie in several years and expected very little in the way of new technology.

btw – put torque at that point in your list where you have seen everything else within a 40 mile drive and you want to see a story with no depth and very few interesting characters. the audio was loud, though….

How the Hockey Game Went

Before I begin with the rant, the Stars won the game 2-1 in a well-played if not really too exciting game against Atlanta. Now, as I said in my previous post, this was my first experience at the AA Center in Dallas. A nicely designed building, almost still smelling new, it rises from the ground directly off of the freeway, where there has been an empty lot for as long as I can remember. And what, pray tell, have they decided is the purpose of this building? Basketball and hockey games? No…

Advertising. Pure and simple marketing aimed at the individuals already dedicated enought to slap down forty dollars per person to watch roughly 2 hours of professional sports. I cannot even begin to tell you how many branding attempts were made towards me over the course of the evening. Obviously, it’s the American Airlines Center. There are billboards outside of the building. Snack bars with name brand sodas and beer. But these are things that you will find around most major sport complexes (maybe even large high schools).

Where the youth of the arena made it’s capacity to deliver marketing messages clear, was when you stepped into the main room and were inundated by the large video displays (eight monitors in fact) hanging over the ice and the l.e.d. screens above and below each video monitor and the wraparound l.e.d. display that goes around the entire perimeter of the arena. This display, with or without the house lights dimmed, showered colored messages on the fans. “Make some noise.” “Goal.” “Go buy our stuff!!!”

Granted, if I were in the leadership position of any major sports team, I would want to make sure that technology was being used in the best way possible. And to that extent, they seem to have made some very good choices. I even appreciated the close relationship of American Airlines, the Dallas Morning News, and WFAA-TV when our local weatherman appeared to give everyone at the game a exclusive Stars weather report. It was probably recorded within the last 30 minutes and then rebroadcast at the arena so we would know exactly what that crazy Texas weather was going to be like come 10 o’clock.

Yet, as soon as that interlude was over, it was back to advertisements for sandwich companies, cell phone companies, media companies, electric companies (not Sesame Street though), etc. Everyone watched the game, as the advertisers were watching us watching their ads. Did everyone win? Yes, except for the Thrashers. I just hope that all participating tonight realized their exposure to all of these ideas and can separate a rational decision from brainwashing…I mean, uh,….motivated marketing.

I’m off to eat a Subway sandwich and use my AT&T cell phone while watching WFAA and using my TXU power.


Short postscript: the AA Center can seat more than 17,000 people and amazingly enough, we end up only five rows above good family friends Bert and Peggy Williams. Hope they enjoyed the game as well!

A New Year

Resolutions are coming shortly, L.A. is calling, friends have been supportive, creativity is aching to be stretched. In short, life is in transition. I spent the last couple of days in Austin and San Marcos, where I caught a great show from a great band, Turbodwarf…local music and good friends. Caught the tail end of my mom’s birthday festivities and will be atttending the Dallas Stars game tonight at the new American Airlines Center (at least new to me, living in the bay area left little chance for watching silly Texans flail around on ice).

Here’s to exploring the world and myself in this New Year.