Friday, February 23, 2007


This time of year LA feels like another country. Usually it just seems like a different planet.

I left Chicago about a week ago. The temperature was in the single digits. The wind chill was even lower. There was about eight inches of snow on the ground. I was so cold I got on the plane wearing lined snow pants, a turleneck, a sweatshirt and a polar fleece jacket.  

Four hours later, I got off the plane and there were flowers blooming. People were wearing shorts. The wind chill was 70 degrees.  Soon, I was having a chat on the veranda of The Georgian Hotel watching palm trees sway in the breeze overlooking the ocean.

For the last few days I've been doing the focus group thing in Marina del Rey. This means sitting in dark rooms for hours and hours watching a moderator present dozens of concepts for new products that I've written, while paid respondents give their feedback. Second only to brain surgery in importance.

When you consider the power that six people you don't know can have on the success or failure of your new product idea, be afraid.  Be very afraid.

One of the things that particpants are asked to do is rank each new product concept we present to them with a score between one and five. Today some guy said he gave one idea a score of three instead of just a one because he felt sorry for it.  

I don't want to put too fine a point on how hard we work, since no one I know has ever lost their life in the defense of marketing or advertising, but one of our team members got so sick last night he had to go to the hospital today.

Afterward, I went to a friend's house out near Pepperdine for some much needed R and R.  Four days of M and M Peanuts, chocolate chip cookies, Thai food, Chinese food, Sushi, and beverages with a high incidence of caffeine can take their toll.

It's been so long since I've done an entry I'm getting blisters on my fingers.  Next time I'll fill you in on the two weeks I spent with the kitty cats.  Did you know they've got cat litter that turns cat pee pee into little round hockey pucks for easy disposal?  



ksquester said...

Cat got your tongue?    Anne

screaminremo303 said...

"PissPuck Kitty Litter" I like it. Do I get sushi too?

I can't believe you didn't call me to serve as your personal assistant. I can genuflect with the best of them.

mosie1944 said...

I'd been wondering where you were.

psychfun said...

Where have you been? I mean this kind of litter has been out since Dusty was born & that was 17 yrs ago!

Ok, I'm suppose to feel sorry for you in 70 degree weather? Ha! Girl it is 23 degrees here right now. They are saying rain & snow this weekend & Mon snow...ugh! You'll stay there if you know what is good for you.

Sorry to hear about your colleague...bad sushi? Bring back some warmth with you! Eat fruit out has too look better there than it is here! That will help the immune then too.

Heck, I thought when you said "another country" it was because of all the Oscar craziness!

mombzbe said...

I will trade some weather with your for your metabolism.  Once again, I have a tummy ache after reading of your gastro-adventures.

Some peanut m & ms should settle that right up.  

P.S.   That kitty litter is overrated.  You still have to open the box up and take care of fishing said puck out with this thing that looks disturbingly like a kitchen implement.   Bon appetit!

jevanslink said...

What's wrong with this picture.  How come all MY focus groups were in Cicero, or Skokie???
As for the litter, clumping...what a concept, eh?   Compared to pee spreading all the way thru the litter , requiring much more frequent changing of said litter, hockey pucks are very good, very good indeed.  You just need to make sure they have DRIED all the way thru before attempting removal...
Comment from cberes1 - 2/23/07 7:03 PM

thisismary said...

Marina del Rey! About a gazillion years ago, my family visited a couple that lived there.  I remember a snack tray with Greek Olives, a walk near the beach and the guy that eventually became "Dan Tanna" bought us kids Orange Julius'.  Strange what sticks.  Glad that you are back.