25 June 2011

this appointment with disappointment

separate lives.  river splits the two, the two versions of ourselves.  you know.

over there all verdant where a canopy of contentment stands over manicured yards and money raining down all timely and whatnot.  a rive gauche for the accomplished who sleep sweetly and love deeply and things are straight and teeth perfect and none need hindsight.  a life we think better that actually exists.

makes me think of

these separate lives. of ours.  well mine.  from the ole here now.  not just about means or money or status, but the disconnect of knowing and faith, from still hoping and just dreaming. my feet banked with acceptance rather than disappointment. still swinging for dimly lit, rippling dreams, still reaching and learning.

makes me realize finally

that over there begins, you know, over here.

18 June 2011

Father's Day 2011

Father’s Day 2011

Every Father’s Day, we dads go through a tortured exercise of cognitive dissonance.  On the one hand we love that our impressive brood have thought enough of dear old dad to point chubby little fingers at some object, like say a rep tie or a talking/singing 5-pound bass mounted on a plaque for mom to buy for us.  Outstanding!  Well done wee little one.  The dread comes when adding said sweater or socks or cravat to our rather substantial and growing (each June!) collection.

Submitted for your approval, a proposed moratorium on the “point and purchase” routine on behalf of all conflicted dads for Father’s Day.  What follows then is a list of several objects of desire, and a few everyday (totally preapproved as cool) knickknacks that will make your old man’s day come Sunday.

Peddles Make the Man (lose his gut) – eBike by Kalkhoff

Want to do something about that growing girth?  Want to join the ranks of the green movement?  This eBike will help you do both in comfort and style.  The Kalkhoff Pro Connect, built for stability with suspension forks up front and a slightly longish wheelbase, will help dad rock his summer suit in comfort whilst peddling from home to office with as little stress as possible.  Riders are offered 50 to 200 percent peddle-assist thanks to a 300-watt motor.  And with 27 gear combinations, the old man will be able to tackle even the steepest of climbs with butt firmly planted in the saddle (no need to stand up and sweat those streets of San Francisco!).  Dad will love this eBike with its onboard computer, speedometer, and LCD display, not to mention headlights and taillights and very generous battery life.  He might even wear the tie the kids gave him last year on its inaugural ride.

Headphones to Soothe the Beasty Austin to LAX Commute

When our iPhone earbuds finally wear down (after the cat has chewed on them, and the kids have borrowed them for the 100th time) it’s time for an upgrade.  And, if you’re looking for a gift we’ll appreciate immediately, then here are two price-points for our listening pleasure:
·         Klipsch Image S4

The Klipsch is a terrifically priced alternative to what we really want, the Bose Comfort 3 headphones (more on them in just a sec).  They can be found at Amazon for $79, and they sound great.  Truly.  Silver and black, they come packaged in a Altoid-like silver tin, and are one of CNET’s Editor’s Choices for this category.  Can’t go wrong here.

·         Bose Quiet Comfort 3
The latest iteration of this line of best-in-class headphones from Bose works on so many levels.  They are not cheap at $349 to be sure, but they are noise-cancelling, sound great, and if we amortize the $1 headphone rental from United Airlines, by the time we’re 75 we’ll have paid for them.  The headphones fit the contour of the ear, and the cord can be unplugged so that we can use them as a standalone noise reduction without music. 

It’s retro, loud and goes fast!
·         Triumph Scrambler

Okay, okay, this one is not your everyday Father’s Day gift.  But, in every generation, there is an atavistic and very male impulse to ride the hog, throw rooster tails, and take to a cross-country jaunt on a Ducati or Gold Wing.  It all started with Steve McQueen in “The Great Escape” jumping 15 foot high fences and then his brief appearance in “On Any Sunday.”  Dude was cool … and he rode a Triumph.  And now this retro ride is back and we can all be cool for only $8,800. 

The Life of Riley

·         Chukka Desert Boots

You know it when you see it: style.  Am I right?  When a dad rocks a certain elan, people notice, whether he be 27 or 77.  The desert or chukka boot is style incarnate definitely boosts the typical male’s game.  These boots are understated but noticeable.  Men envy the bloke that rocks his chukkas with a casual summer suit with aplomb.  Women notice the man pairing his desert boot with his favorite jeans.  Throw a chambray shirt on with a linen jacket and you’ve got a nice Father’s Day ensemble for church, then afternoon bbq, and maybe even a movie if dad can keep from taking his siesta.

What time is it?  Oh, let me check my watch ...

·         Bremont Chronograph

These days, a man’s watch says as much about him as the car he drives.  But, let’s not go overboard, shall we?  I mean, five figures on a watch?  If you’re going to spend a few thousand on a nice watch, just be sure that you have a son or grandson to leave it to.

The two brothers (Nick and Giles English) that own the watch company Bremont swear they named their watch co. after the gentleman whose field that crash-landed their airplane into (on?).   As someone who has named or branded companies and products, I have to say, that’s a pretty good one.    Maybe even better than LuxeMont.

Happy Father’s Day, y’all.


12 June 2011

Back in Black ... Hat Tip to AC/DC

Well, good news and bad/sad news.

Better judgement and depleted cash reserves forced my hand to jump back into the corporate world.  So, with God's help, I've decided to partner with a large consulting group up in San Francisco.  Some of you may have remembered that I was making my way up to San Francisco a few times the past month or so (where I ran, almost literally, into Michael Chabon at SFO) to meet with their CxO for an interview.  After a week of intense training (read, indoctrination), I have seen and gleaned that this corporate culture will be VERY metrics-based, micro-managed, and looking for one thing: viz., can you close a large deal.  I've got nothing to lose and everything to gain, so we have agreed to take this business relationship on a test drive.  I'll be reaching out to many (many) large Fortune 500 type companies (some that I've closed large seven-figure deals with) within the next 90 days to see how my new company (and bosses ... sounds weird after two years with none) might be able to help them.  Btw, this new company is THE leader in like a dozen or so sectors, and have the reputation for sipping their own champagne.  Yes, their accolades are deserved, but this will be a challenging new venture.  But, one that has benefits (I've been hiding the teeth of a hobo the last two years) and a nice (very nice) salary.  So, although I might be back in the black in terms of a paycheck, I'm still very much in debt with law school loans and several things are requiring a large wealth-creating event in my life.  But, I'm trusting (always!) that hard work and a perspective change by yours truly will be rewarded and that God will bless, Dear Reader!

To square-up the circle regarding my company that I started with my business partner two years back, it is now up to 35 clients, and we met a few months ago with the top entertainment attorney in the country in our space.  He asked us to consider pushing our clients over to him and we have to work out the details.  Keep you in the loop on how that goes.  I met two weeks ago with a very senior editor at one of Hollywood's top two publications in America who asked permission to interview me for an article about what we do and about who our representative clients are.  If I told you the folks we signed, you would instantly recognize them, they've sold hundreds of millions of records.  Anyway, not sure about the interview.  I'm definitely trying to keep my head below the radar, but, oh, I dunno.  Maybe it's time I just go for it.

Our main issue in the business was securing the millions we needed to hire 15 or so others (mostly attorney types) to sign yet more top-selling artists per our business plan.  So, after meeting with three (3), count 'em three billionaires with hat in hand and business plan at-the-ready, we found out that Congress was about to change the law (we hope!) in our favor.  Bottom line?  When investors see a change brewing in the law regarding a business they might plunk down $5 million - $7 million for, well, they like a bit of additional due diligence time.  Which is where we're at ... and I can't afford to wait.  Time to move on.  I think it will all work out though.  Btw, above is a pic from the private SoHo House in the building of one of our bigger clients.  Dig this place in the UK (by reputation), and now we anglophiles have another place above our pay-grade here in L.A. as well.  ;)

So, Friday.  I'm at SFO again, heading back to L.A., and in walking next to me to catch my flight at gate 69 at United was James Cameron (Avatar, Titanic).  He was with a woman I didn't recognize, and I was surprised he was hopping on a United Airlines flight.  (I guess even an almost-billionaire rides commercial!)  Aboard the plane, I worked on a script that I dropped for almost two months as life crashed-in around me, and really found it so refreshing to write because I love the story I'm working, and where these characters are going.  I will finish this before summer ends.  Btw, the last two weeks my son has been in baseball playoffs.  One of his teammate's grandfather always attended the games as well (we'd known each other for a few years), and he and I would constantly talk about the business.  He was a President at Paramount for like 20 years, and a legend with a star on the walk of fame.  He's retired and a really old-school cat with people asking (and paying) him for advice.  Made watching (sometimes) boring baseball much more fun to watch.  He asked me to consider raising some money for a vanity project of his.  Not sure if that'll work out presently b/c one too many irons are definitely in the fire.  Gotta focus on my new position and see how this goes.  But, nice to be asked, you know?

Anyway, Father's Day is coming up, so I'm posting tomorrow my LuxeMont article for suggested purchases for the old man in your kid's life.  (Don't judge me if they come across as very aspirational!  LuxeMont and JustLuxe is very high-end afterall.)

Have a great week, y'all ...