Monday, March 30, 2009

Sorry, I Have to Do This

"Check out my pert nipples."

The New Job

Has anyone else heard how bad the economy is? I think I saw a commercial during The Celebrity Apprentice about a bank, or something. Anyway, I got a new job! I didn't lose my old one, didn't need to leave my current company, and got a nice bump in pay. I somehow got very, very lucky.

Business in branding has been good for a while. After an awful summer, CPG (consumer packages goods) companies have been investing in their brands. People will always need to buy soap, eggs, juice, candy. Firms like mine work on these smaller brands, and work has been steady. Fees are down and timelines are shorter, but business has been brisk!

Bigger firms that work on corporate programs (big bank logos, airlines, banks) typically make a shitload more. While my typical project may be $150-200K, there's could be a $500-1M. There's never been a better time to work on CPG brands, as those live and dive on shelf impact and positioning that only package design can deliver.

My new company is called Blue Marlin and does basically what my old company did. It's smaller, and I'll be coming in with a lot of experience and seniority. I start tomorrow and am really excited. It was painfully cler that I had outgrown my old position and the internal politics had become painful.

Wish me luck.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The New Polident

This packaging took 18 months to complete. It's an update of the US packaging based on a global design. I think it looks great.

Dentures is a strange category. It's not fancy or glamorous and downright weird. But getting dentures and maintaining them is a huge emotional event. People have a hard time adjusting, not to mention eating, and sometimes live in fear of being 'found out.' It was heartbreaking listening to some of them tell their stories in the focus groups.

Brands in this category try to get personal with consumers, to be a source of confidence and bring back the vitality they may feel their lives have lost. I think this pack is a great step to get a more emotional connection between Polident and their consumers.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

It Was Funny At The Time

A few nights ago, my parents were in town and took us out for dinner, Brian included. He and I started taking pictures, intentionally making bad faces. It was the funniest thing ever. Check it out, even Jack got in on the fun...

(he's usually a lot cuter than this.)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Something I Just Realized

I only used the word "man" when I'm not happy. "Listen man, I'm not paying for that." "Sorry man, no way"

When I am happy or speaking about something positive, I use "dude." "Dude, that's awesome." "Totally, dude."

I actually don't like people that use "man." It sounds antiquated, like they are trying to hard. On the other hand, I can instantly relate dot anyone who says "dude."

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Jack's Bris - 03/11/09

Jack's Bris was amazing. It was in our apartment, packed with family, very cozy. It took place on a Wednesday. It was his mother's birthday and the 20th Anniversary of his father's Bar Mitzvah. I say that's a coincidence, but you never know.

We found our mohel through an old camp friend of Harley's. This friend's mother-in-law is a pediatrician and a mohel and had done the ceremonies for her 3 grandchildren. She approached the service from a very emotional place, making sure that t was gentle and calm for both the baby and family. She had us apply topical anesthetic to his weenie so it would be nice and numb before she even got there. She also gave him wine and sugar water to distract him from the pain. The sugar water worked much better.

She walked through the ceremony slowly but not too slow. Explained the importance of why we do it, what it means, and how the honors are offered to the family. The ceremony was about offering a little bit of ourselves to God, proving that we still have what it takes to be the chosen people. That was not a direct quote.

It was hard to watch the actual procedure. Imagine someone cutting a turtleneck with a cigar cutter and you'll get the impression I got as I watched with squinted eyes through my finders. He cried, but he had cried a lot harder the night before from gas. It was gentle, sweet, and over before I knew it. His penis is all healed now, and the pediatrician said it looks beautiful. I'm ecstatic that this is all behind us.

We had written a little something to say during the service to help personalize the ceremony and make it meaningful to our family. In the end, it felt so personal that we didn't need to read this, which was great. But here it is. A little schmaltzy, but see how you feel when someone's about to cut your son's dick and try to not get a little emotional.

We introduce Jack Abrevaya Heller to the family.
We welcome him home.
We embrace him in a familial cocoon of love.

We take full responsibility for him, but leave some of that left for him.

We recognize the profound influence we will have on the kind of man he will become.

We hope to guide him on his journey, teach him what he needs to know, and help him on his way

We will love and protect him, and feel comforted that he is surrounded by loving family and friends who will do the same.

He, and all of us, are blessed with that.

We remember all those who cannot be here today

We reflect on those we have lost, but who still surround us everyday

Welcome home, son. We've been waiting for you.


Join, hands and hearts and voices

Voices, hearts and hands

Jack's finally home

Best friends forever

Voices hearts and hands

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Things Just Taste Better Out Of A Skull

I'm a man who knows what he likes. I like the hot spray of fresh blood against my face, I like the cold clasp of wrought-iron chain mail around my thighs, and, of course, I like the taste of almost anything consumed from the skull of a beheaded enemy. For me, nothing beats a crisp beverage or hearty entrée served in the bony remains of a human head. Whether I'm swilling down breakfast mush or nibbling on a light dinner salad, a skull turns any dining experience into a special event.

I love The Onion.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Phish is Back

Here's a video of the opening song from their first show in 5 years. It's so nice to have them back!

This is from a friend of mine at work who went to all 3 shows. I won't be going to any of these shows. I feel like the luckiest guy when I get 4 hours of sleep in a row. Man, I am old.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Long Overdue

On March 4th, 2009, my son Jack Abrevaya Heller was born. He's a Pisces with a Cancer rising and is expected to be very sensitive. He has a moon in Gemini like his father.

He's awesome, except for the marathon crying sessions in the middle of the night. Thankfully, he has a patient mother.

Harley was amazing during the birth. Really amazing. I could not have done what she did, and I'll always admire her for that.

The expensive OBGYN? Worth the money. He made it look easy, and it was a beautiful experience. But honestly, I didn't have a say in this no matter what. Pregnant women usually get their way.

The doula to help Harley through natural childbirth? You f*cking betcha. Men should never take a leadership role when helping women through labor. We do not understand their state of mind or have the ability to guide them through it. If we didn't have Vicki, well I don't know what we would have done.

The private hospital room for 2 nigths? Worth every penny. At night, we had some great time together with the baby and just the 2 of us. During the day, we were surrounded by friends and family. Wouldn't trade that for anything.

Jack, we love you! And do yourself a favor: let your big sistet be the boss. It'll happen whether you want it to or not.

Monday, March 02, 2009

I'm F*cking Ben Affleck

Remember "I'm F*cking Matt Damon"? This is the follow up. Bigger and better. (it's about 6 minutes, perfect for lunch)