Tag Archives: technology

We’ve Out-Nerded Them

27th April 2009

Holy crap. Did you get my back on the Moleskine laptop or what? Thank you, guys. You are goodies.

As it turns out, you want a Molekskine laptop too. (Make one, ASUS. Do it.) There was much discussion about exactly what you want, so instead of doing my wallet-laptop spiel, this next post is a roundup of your most desired features and clever comments.

We’ll also talk about this thrilling photo:

Gah! Give me that.

Also! A couple of you had your own ideas about dream laptops, and I found this intriguing. To be honest, I’ve never spent much time making laptop wishes until I got this assignment, but it’s surprisingly fun. Tell me your computer fantasies! Unless they involve fox costumes and beeswax — in which case, this might not be the best forum.

Anyway, go see! Tell me what you think. And thanks again.

Please Express Approval for My Awesome Laptop Idea

17th April 2009

I just wrote a post for Intel and ASUS about how I want a sneaky laptop that looks like a Moleskine:

They hired me to conceptualize eight imaginary laptops for them, and I’m a little panicked. Most of their posts trend toward the uber-geeky — they’re discussing charger cord patents, so I kind of sound like, “I want a laptop with flowers on it! Eeeeeeee!”

(By the way, these copywriting campaigns are how I make a living. Advertisers are like, “We need more women to want laptops! [hand cream! cell phones! little black dresses!]” And I’m like “Women do want those things.” And they’re like, “Who are these women of which you speak?” And I’m like, “Uh, all women.” And then they pay me to write stuff. Stuff that’s way more fun than the copywriting I used to do, incidentally, where they mostly assumed customers would be confused by wit. Hence, I like this better. Questions welcome in comments.)

Anyway, these laptop ideas inform their prototypes of new PCs, and I would like a Moleskine laptop, please. Quite possibly one with flowers on it; I’m not ruling it out. So please go read my post, and back me up if you feel the same.

Also, I think my next post will be about a laptop that fits in a wallet so you can use it when you’re out at a bar. Is that called a cell phone? Possibly, but shut up, it will be rad.

Meeting Dara Torres

14th April 2009

Dara Torres is exhausted. The five-time Olympian was up at dawn doing satellite interviews to promote Big Milk, and her new book. She’s been awake since 4 a.m., answering the same questions repeatedly, and now she’s gamely meeting with us so we can ask them again.

We’re a handful of mom bloggers, most of whom have known each other — or known of each other — for years. We’re talking shop and cracking jokes beside an enormous public pool when Dara emerges. Her swimsuit says “Love 2 Swim” on the front, and there’s a prolonged moment of confusion about how we should greet her. Are we supposed to greet her?

We’re here, courtesy of Hewlett Packard, to observe an Olympic Mom in Action. She’s just like us! With the baby? And the nine Olympic medals? And the muscles that look like they originated in a quarry?

Hewlett Packard believes that we are all women who use technology to simplify our lives, and in this moment we don’t disappoint. We’re pulling out our digital SLRs to photograph Dara, grabbing our phones to Twitter about Dara, but for the most part no one is saying hi to Dara. No one is even making eye contact with Dara. After a few minutes of hopeful glances our way, she finally turns to her handlers. “You just want me to do a couple of laps?”

It occurs to me that this would be a nightmare scenario for me, but Dara is handling it with grace. She is standing alone and exhausted in a swimsuit before a group of women, all of whom are mostly ignoring her while surreptitiously checking out her body.

Her body is accomplished, my friends. Breathtaking.

Of course, the grace has come with practice, Dara has been checked out before. How many of us hang out in our swimsuits on national TV? In the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition? On the pages of Maxim? Dara and I are not from the same planet when it comes to bathing suit nightmares. I’m guessing hers involve more pressing matters than what a bunch of bloggers think about her thighs.

People, her thighs are terrible with power.

She dips one toe in the water and shivers. “It’s cold,” she says, smiling back at us over her shoulder. “I hate it when it’s cold.”

Dara has two smiles, one that’s open and friendly, and another that’s ambiguous, the type of smile that’s particularly confounding to men in their early twenties. The latter suggests that she’s amused, but perhaps only because she thinks you’re full of shit. The overall impression is happy, but skeptical, and so I like her.

She jumps in the water, and swims quietly back and forth. There’s a charming old lady in the pool who calls out, “You’re more beautiful than Esther Williams!” Because this lady is the only one bold enough to approach, Dara jokes with her for quite awhile about exercise and aging, and they mug together, flexing for our cameras. This situation becomes slightly less charming, but much more amusing, when the lady chases Dara into the locker room to ask her increasingly personal questions while she showers. This too, Dara handles gracefully, she seems also to have had practice with fans who have boundary issues.

After the brief swim, Dara leaves with the group for lunch at an upscale sushi restaurant. She asks if there’s fish in one of the rolls. I say, “Crab, I think.” She turns to the next tray. “Are you allergic?” I ask. “I don’t really like fish,” she says. I’m surprised by this, as though spending half your life in water should somehow impart a craving for halibut.

In my few minutes of interview time, I ask what’s left on her life list. She looks perplexed. “What do you mean, life list?” Well, what does she still want to do? She’s an Olympian, an author, are there any smaller things she hasn’t gotten to yet? “You know, someone else asked me this, and I don’t really have a bucket list or anything,” she says. Not even anything little, like having an ice cream with your kid? “Like before I die? That’s kind of morbid,” she laughs. “I mean, I assume I’ll be around for all that stuff. I’m trying to enjoy everything right now, take those things day by day.” Well, you must have goals though, I stutter. “Yeah. Right now, I’m training and swimming for world championships.” Ah! Of course. The swimming. I guess that does count as a goal if you’re an “Olympian” or whatever. I refrain from telling her that I like fruit, and am hoping to one day do a pull up. Maybe another time.

After our interviews, someone asks what kind of T.V. she watches. It turns out Dara is a Rock of Love devotee. Suddenly, any self-consciousness at the table evaporates. There’s little more endearing to a group of bloggers than confessing you like crappy reality TV. Dara Torres is a sister.

Conversation turns to Dancing with the Stars, and she admits she considered joining the cast this season. Dear god. You have to do that, I say. “Tell my agent!” she says, and cuts her chin upward in his direction. “Evan!” He looks up from his phone. “She says I should have done Dancing with the Stars.” “Hey!” he says. “I wanted you to do it. You were the one giving me all that crap about spending time with your kid.” She laughs.

“Can you dance?” I ask. “No.” She says. “I’m terrible. I just didn’t want to get voted off first.” “Nah,” I say. “You’re too America’s Sweetheart for that.”

She grins.

———————–

More of My Photos
And takes from the rest of the crew:
Liz Gumbiner from Mom-101
Dory Devlin for Shine
Alice Bradley from Finslippy
Tracey Gaughran-Perez from Sweetney
Amy of Amalah

SxSW 2009

18th March 2009

My greatest regret was not attending the “Why is Professional Blogging Bloodsport for Women?” panel, so I could stand at the back of the room and yell “FAIL!” every few minutes.

Ah well, next year.

If you’d like to see all my photos, the rest are here. Somehow, I failed to photograph the two pregnant women I pretty much flew to Texas to see. The hell? I guess we were too busy drinking.

Plinky

23rd January 2009

Have you heard about Plinky yet? It launched yesterday, and you might want to go grab your preferred user name before it’s gone.

Plinky gives you a new question to answer every day, and lets you friend people and compare answers with them, sort of like you can on Facebook or Twitter. You can favorite other people’s answers, and publish your own answers to your blog (or your Twitter feed), and so forth. If you’re already blogging, it’s a nice way to supplement and to help your readership grow. If you’re not, it’s a less work-intensive way to connect with friends. I’m an advisor to the company, and I’m excited about it, so I’ll be posting my answers to Plinky prompts here in the next few weeks. Go have a look, and let me know what you think.