Archive for September, 2009

Real Deal On Advertising VIII

Billy MaysI remember first seeing him on the television, he was advertising his most notable product, OxiClean, the incredible stain remover. I kept on thinking, there is no one on the planet who can give such a wild roar to the audience as him. He talked with such enthusiasm and pride, and he really put meaning behind every word that he said. He would go beyond any limit just to show the usefulness of all the products he advertised.  I remember watching his show Pitchmen on Discovery Channel a few weeks before he passed away. He  smashed his hand with a hammer just to show how tough some shoe insole is. Not only that, but he even agreed to let his hand get run over by a car. There has never been and will never been anyone with that much enthusiasm towards advertising products for everyday life. He was clearly dedicated to fulfilling his job as a pitchman. We probably all remember seeing some advertisement featuring Billy Mays while he was alive. The Awesome Auger, Big City Slider Station, Gopher, Hercules Hook, Kaboom!, Mighty Mendit, Mighty Putty, Orange Glo, and most importantly, OxiClean, were among some of the many products that Billy Mays had to offer consumers.
There was only one man on the face of the Earth whose massive yelling power has never bothered a single soul. His methods of persuasion were just out of this world; he attracted the spending of many consumers to buy the wide variety of products he had to offer. He had made just so many inventors’ dreams come true. With his majestic  all-powerful beard, he used his signature facial expression to woo people from all around. Billy Mays, who has been dead for exactly three months, will never be forgotten. He is a strong figurehead in the history of advertising.

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Childhood VII – Halloween

Halloween:
the epitome
of childhood.
An Unlimited
supply of candy.
Lugging that spooky

plastic pumpkin around. Seems as though there
is never enough space to store all that candy. A bottomless pit
of a bag is necessary to use to satisfy that unlimited sweet tooth. Returning
home, tired, late at night, weak, but most importantly, satisfied. Dumping the
pile on the living room table at seven o’clock at night. Theres no time to stop
for dinner, the trade must commence. “Will you trade me that Kit-Kat for  those
Snicker Bars?” “Can I have your Gummy Bears? I’ll give you my Three Musketeers.”
Mom plays that Charlie Brown Halloween Special as the long evening starts to unwind.
Halloween: the torture of adulthood. Waiting by the dressing room as junior tries on his
Pirate costume. Advertisements stressing the purchase of holiday decorations. Having
to come home early just to give out candy. Enjoying the special adult movie while
the kids are out. For only a few minutes, the sofa feels just so nice. Found the perfect
position on the cushion. And then it hits… DING-DONG!!! The dog starts barking
continuously as the house falls into chaos. Sprinting to the door as to not miss
another moment of the film. TRICK-OR-TREAT!!! Grabbing into the cauldron
of sugar-coated sugar-flavored sugar. Handing out the proper amount
to each little tike. Returning to the sofa, only to be forced
up repeatedly until the end of the long night
comes.

Gosh, I am going to miss those years of Halloween when I was little; to just go on a quest for candy with my buddies. It seems as though everyone was lacking the common sense that they could just eat the candy that Mommy bought at Walgreens instead of going out and getting some. Everyone went on a search to find the house that gave away those king-size chocolate bars, and I know that everyone thought in their head, “God D*mmit!” when that one family gave out caramel cubes as an excuse for candy. It was always hilarious how some people just left a giant candy bowl in front of their house with a little sign that said, “Please take two.” Eventually, someone would come around and snatch the entire bowl just for the heck of it, and that would be that. What I really hated were the candy corns that came on the shelves around October. I actually thought they were made of corn (yeah, I know), and so the idea of trying one disgusted me. It wasn’t until I was a lot older that I actually realized why so many people enjoyed them.

Probably the most important element of Halloween was how much I loved to wear costumes. I loved to dress up like my favorite superheroes when I was around five years old. I would even wear the costume when I went to sleep because I just loved being in character. I guess that is why I used to love acting when I was little, because I could have an out-of-body experience as another character. Every kid must have wanted to act. I don’t know where we all lost it: the sparks of creativity in artwork, singing, dancing, and acting. We used to love to get active and move around. That’s why they have playgrounds, so that little kids can release their energy. Anyway, that feeling just left one day without any notice. I know that feeling of creativity left a little when I was about ten.  What I really regret about Halloween is that I rarely chose a costume to wear after I lost that feeling inside. I mean, Halloween is just one day, so my parents always thought that I would have to wear the same costume next year. I think I know what it is; we are all falling to our peers, causing us to lose out costume-wearing spirit.

Decorations also played a huge part of what made Halloween so special. For our family, every year we would decorate by buying those fake spider webs that can be stretched over a bush or tree to make it look haunted. Even though it was always a huge mess to clean up afterward, it was our family tradition. My mom would always have us make decorations for the house using orange and black paper. My sister and I would cut it into different patterns to create paper lanterns and shades for the windows. Unfortunately, the paper lanterns would always deform and just fall off the string and the shades would always collapse days before Halloween. In the end, my dad would save the day and go out to buy last minute decorations for our house. I’ve always wanted to have a house that was extravagantly decorated in ornaments. I mean, to a level in which you can not even see the lawn because there are so many inflatables and what-not on the grass. We would actually spend time driving through neighborhoods during the night and hunt for houses with insane decorations.

Connor: I remember Halloween when I was a tot. I remember going to Spirit  (a costume store) with my mom and sister and picking out wacky costumes. When I was around three or four, I was Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh. I loved that costume so so so much that I wore it for two Halloweens in a row! I think I liked it so much because it looked like a dog costume (sort of) and everyone knows how much four year olds love dogs! More recently, however, my costumes have deviated from Disney cartoon characters. Last Halloween was uncomfortable for me, unfortunately. Even though I was a week from turning fourteen, I felt as though my trick or treating days were coming to a close. I wore an afro wig last year, by the way. I clearly remember one year, when I was about ten, when my sister, Mia, my parents, and I were trick or treating. We walked upon this vastly decorated house with just decorations galore. It was impossible to see the stucco of the house behind all the spiderwebs and fog machines. I wanted candy badly though, so I walked up to the front door where a cauldron of candy laid next to a skeleton or something in a black cloak. My sister then came to grab candy, after seeing that it was safe. She was about seven at the time. Anyway, as she put her hand in the cauldron; that skeleton that I thought was a prop… was actually a person. The man in the costume screamed so loudly that my sister dropped her candy and pumpkin bucket. It took my parents a good twenty minutes to calm Mia back down. I was just standing there all like wow, what just happened? That night was probably the spookiest Halloween experience I ever had. Surely, Mia still remembers it vividly.

Halloween is full of just so many memories of fun, food and fright that should not be put aside just because of mere age. It really doesn’t matter how old you are, there is some way to get in the holiday spirit. Please, don’t be that shut-in sitting at home thinking, “those pesky kids…” Instead, get out and greet kids in costume at the doorstep. It will save your sanity and will save yourself from constant interruptions. Most importantly, let your inner child out! Let that energy inside come out in praise of this youthful day!

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A Collaborate Post
By Michael and Connor



Childhood VI – Reading

“There are perhaps no days of our childhood we lived so fully as those we spent with a favorite book” (Proust). Growing up with reading is something that I will cherish for a long time. I remember starting out reading books by Dr. Seuss, one of the most famous childrens’ authors of all time. I always enjoyed the illustrations on each page and how each one has a burst of creativity on it. They were the kind of images that could never escape your mind. Of course now, all the English teachers at my school criticize them by saying that they can be misleading and it is what limits the child’s creativity. Well, I completely disagree with that; children use those pictures as a guide to help them understand the reading at such an early age. They can not be held accountable for understanding every word in the text.  Anyway, it seems as though every kid in America at one time was read a picture book before going to bed or curled up in a parents lap next to a fireplace. These classic stories continue on into the later years- even after that child has grown up. Don’t think they go away forever! You might end up reading it to your child or grandchild… or better yet… see a movie based on that book! Over the years, books have been transformed into movies with an extended plot line. This weekend, Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs was released as a movie; one of my favorite books to read as a child.

With no doubt, the one that the public is most excited for is the movie Where The Wild Things Are, which is released October 16th. The preview of the film looks so deep; it sends shivers down the spine… “Inside all of us is hope, fear,  adventure, and a wild thing” I’ve heard that the director added an extended plot to that movie to give it a realistic meaning.  I found out a pretty nice selection of artwork for the movie created by a large number of artists with different renditions. Click Here. Even if you are now past childhood, it really still is a movie for everyone. It’s nice to look back at those earlier years and this movie provides a key to that gate that has locked up your childhood forever. See the movie and release your inner wild thing; it has been waiting to come out all these years!

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Please, No Homework…

Labor Day is an honorable holiday that should be celebrated all around. It is a day to recognize the most diligent workers in our world. We’ve all contributed to our society with our back-breaking labor and this is such a day where we are all given back what we deserve: a day off to enjoy with family and friends. Both teachers and students need to enjoy such a day away from laborious tasks at school.

We need to step out of that box that society has forced everyone in.
To settle down momentarily and take pleasure in comforting recreation.
To open up and calm down the mind from all that stress.
Have a sense of refreshment, fulfillment, and enjoyment…

Wouldn’t that be delightful? If just for once, maybe we could all use this time to reflect. Instead of being caught finishing up that last bit of Physics homework, or stressed out trying to study for that last minute test in Algebra, maybe we could just escape, to run liberated with our labor free weekend that you will gratefully and kindhearted supply to us.

Of course, this will also have a benefit to you, the all powerful teacher. By not presenting us with homework over this long, care-free weekend, you will also share the enjoyment of not having anything to grade from us. We will also to be attentive to learn in class coming back after our relaxing Labor Day weekend. With all that time to enjoy the peace and harmony, we will return with vivid, live faces, ready to return into the school curriculum.

Even if you are still considering assigning the homework anyway, please keep in mind that there are other ways to motivate us if you are compassionate enough not to assign homework. You can persuade us to obtain more knowledge. We will be motivated, moved, and feel the desire to gain a higher level of education on our own with your guidance.

Please, from the bottom of your heart, have the sympathy to not assign any homework over Labor Day weekend.

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