Quotable: The Measure of Success

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“Success: To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children, to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition, to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Travellin’ Tales: You Say Goodbye, I Say Hello

Why is it that the first 24 hours of a trip seem to span a week, but by the end you’re wondering where the hell all that time went?  That’s the conundrum that I’m in right now – I flew into Fayetteville late Monday night, and here I am Thursday morning packing again to head back to California.  What a whirlwind adventure this has been….

I keep thinking back to my expectations of  coming to Arkansas – what I thought I would experience, the people assumed I would meet, what the culture here had to offer me; and I’m proud to report I’ve been blown away.  The people are beyond welcoming and my interactions here have been nothing but delightfully pleasant.  I spend most of my day surrounded by a mess of movie sleeves, price points and amarays and my job is to organize and make sense of it all. Fortunately for me, I have some kickass tunes and rad headphones to get me through the day. If a few years ago someone told my family I would be in charge of organization of this magnitude, I’m sure you would’ve gotten some hearty laughs and eye-rolls from them.  But here I am, growing up and growing into myself – and I’ve proven day in and day out that I can deliver, in a big way.

And it’s not just Disney people that I’ve gotten to know while I’m down here – there are Sales people I’ve made friends with from Lionsgate, Universal, Warner and Phase 4 media; I’ve gotten to sit in with my team and the Executive Director of 20th Century Fox while he explained what goes into forecasting day one sales for a movie.  What’s more, is that with each step he explained to my teammates I would turn the conversation around and engage him in the math and statistics of his explanation.  A lot of it is about the normalization data, relative means and distributions – I didn’t realize until I got here just how much I love numbers.  About half an hour after we left his office, he came back to the main room and in front of everyone said the following:  I spend most of my day turning the math and statistics into something a normal person could understand, thank you for coming back in here and smartening me back up.  Me? Smartening up an Exec Director?! Ah!

“I’m Gonna Wreck It!”

Work stuff aside, I’ve had a few moments here and there to enjoy and explore this adorably quaint town.  First of all, it reminds me so much of Corvallis, Oregon it’s unreal.  There are expansive properties, friendly people walking everywhere and brisk – but comfortable – weather.  The first full day I was here we went and ate at a local spot called Jimmy John’s, which is full of delish sandwiches. I got (predictably) the “Californian” and it was phenomenal.  Later that night my coworker and I stopped by a local movie theater and I finally saw ‘Wreck it Ralph‘ – if you haven’t seen it, do it now; if you didn’t like it – let me know and I’ll go ahead and delete you from my life.  Really though, I don’t understand how someone couldn’t like it! And the little Skrillex cameo at the beginning? Bonkers adorable; really though!  That night when I got back, I somehow had the energy to kick my ass at the hotel’s amazing gym; great idea to get my body on Central time!

Kobe Sushi

Wednesday was more of the same – sleeves, amarays, price points, oh my…; for lunch, the sales manager treated us to some gas station sushi.  I know it sounds sketchy, hell – when my Exec Directors back in Burbank told me about it I was hesitant to even try. I mean, sushi – in Arkansas?! Yes!  The place reminded me of a hole in the wall restaurant in Los Angeles, and was run by a very sweet family.  Apparently, if you go often enough they’ll give you a pair of chopsticks that you get to use whenever you return – absolutely genius.  Of course, when I posted the picture to Facebook one of the immediate responses I got was “GAS IS SO CHEAP THERE!”, yeah – Arkansas has that going on, too.

Last, but most certainly not least – after work was out last night, I got the opportunity to go to Crystal Bridges Museum and see some of the art and culture of the city.  First of all, holy hell – the architecture of the museum is out of this world.  So out of this world, in fact, that there’s a section of the museum currently devoted to their architect – Moshe Safdie.  He’s built other amazing structures like Habitat 67 in Montreal, which kickstarted his career, as well as the Skirball cultural center in Los Angeles, the Eleanor Roosevelt library at UCSD and the Holocaust History Museum in Jerusalem. The other exhibit that I fell in love with was “See the Light” – I loved the color, contrast, illumination and shadow play.   Once I upload pictures I’ll be able to show you guys just how amazing the art was, but some other highlights of the museum were pieces by Jackson Pollock, Roy Lichtenstein and last but definitely not least – Mister Andy Warhol.

Travellin’ Tales: Yeehaw, I’m in Arkansas

Hello, hello – from Arkansas!

It’s been a busy past 24 hours, but so far it’s been such an amazing adventure and I’m loving everyone that I have the opportunity to work with out here.  What am I doing in Arkansas? Well, I currently work for Walt Disney Studios Distribution as a Retail Space Planner. The short of that being I’m part of our Movie Supply Chain; the long of it being I’m in charge of maintaining our title assortment across a few accounts (if you ever wonder why ‘Bubble Boy’, ‘Deuce Bigalo’ or ‘Cool Runnings’ is in Sam’s Club, that was partially my fault… (#sorryimnotsorry)) and I’m the head librarian for all Walt Disney titles…I even have the sexy nerd glasses to prove it!

Several times a year, Wal Mart brings all the Movie Studios together at their Headquarters for something they like to call ‘Bring It Week’.  We crowd around at vendor specific tables (Echo Bridge, Universal, Fox, etc) in a room of wires, modems and conference tables while we attempt to put the latest, greatest and best selling movies on individual fixtures.  Over the last six years, no one from my department has been part of this process – and, because of this, no one legitimately understands the process.  Well, that’s what I’m here for – for the rest of the week I’ll be helping the Disney team build and place fixtures for your consuming pleasure come March 2013.

I spent the majority of yesterday flying around the country: starting off at LAX, I flew into the ridiculously expansive Dallas-Fort Worth Airport.  The only airport that I’ve been to that might be bigger is Denver International – DFW has trams to each of the terminals, which I might’ve had a little too much fun on; but I digress (per usual).  I had my obligatory “I’m-in-Texas-and-eating-BBQ” meal from Cousins’ BBQ in the airport and then carried on my merry way to Northwest Arkansas Regional.  I have to say, short rides in prop planes are the furthest thing from my preferred mode of travel; I don’t know about y’all but I enjoy being able to stand up straight so good thing it was uneventful and quick as a bunny.

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I was put up at an Embassy Suites and um, it’s a little swanky! The room is big enough that I’m lonely, so thank goodness there’s a bar downstairs.  Originally, I was hesitant about visiting Benton County because I heard some very true rumors about it being a dry (aka having no effing alcohol).  Well thank goodness for two very different things (a) I’m staying in the town next to it called Rogers and (b) five days ago, voters approved a wet Benton County; beer bongs and shot pong, anyone?

The faux Wal Mart set-up you see to your left is my playground for the next few days – I’m tearing DVDs down and building them right back up again.  It’s actually very cathartic to be so organized and I have (so far) no complaints. I’ve been mingling with the other studios, and made friends with the company that distributes South Park for syndication.

The great thing about Benton County is it was built around the culture of Wal Mart Headquarters.  There are tons of Executives always coming into town to establish, or further, their businesses – so over time, it’s become a sort of “hot spot”, if you will.  My coworkers told me about some stellar, and other not so stellar, restaurants I should get my grub on in and places I need to visit.  I got maybe more exited than I should have that my hotel is across the freeway from a mall, but even better is the Walton and Wal Mart sponsored Crystal Bridges Museum that my co-workers and I are visiting tomorrow night.  GE is co-sponsoring an exhibit called See the Light: The Luminist Tradition in American Art which is based around the evolution of light and fluorescence in American art – I can’t wait to report back on it!

The Audiofiles: Travellin’ Tunes

I’m currently suffering from Packing Procrastination Syndrome, and writing this entry is even more evidence that I just am not in the mood to get it together this fine Monday morning.  Tonight, I’ll fly into Bentonville, Arkansas for a work trip and to be honest I can’t decide if I’m more excited or nervous.  It’s such a privilege to be asked to participate in Wal Mart’s “Bring it Week” – no one from Walt Disney Studios has gone in the last six years; and at the same time, it’s kind of like an earthquake – no matter how prepared I think I am, there’s no way to fully prepare for an experience that is so beyond unique.

One thing I can prepare for is pleasing my ear-buds for two days of six hour flights.  For car trips, I honestly live for making customized mp3 playlists; but when I’m flying, it’s nice to let someone else do the legwork while I sit back with a book in one hand and a drink in the other. Below are some of my favorite Soundcloud DJ sets that I’ve queued up for today’s flight.  Some tried and true, and others brand spankin’ new – regardless, I’m stoked on them and I hope y’all are too.  Bon voyage!


Doing It Right: HARD Presents – Day of the Dead

I think I’m finally on the verge of recovery from last weekend’s shenanigans – in typical Bouncy Kitty fashion, I more than enjoyed myself at the Music Festival last Saturday.  Sure, there were lines and there was pushing, it took forever to get in and then there were a clusterfuck of people – but that all comes with the territory of festival dwelling and was more or less expected.  Between the chaos and the camaraderie, I had such an amazing night with some of my closest friends – here are some of the highlights:

First of all, not to toot our costume horn but beepm’f’in’beep, my friends! The other weekend a zany, but plausible idea popped into my head in the middle of a brainstorming sesh: My friends and I were discussing our habitual Halloween “fall back” costumes, and a few of us admitted it was actually our “Plan A” every year and mine just happens to be a kitty cat (shocker…).  Well, because we were going to ‘Day of the Dead‘ I thought it’d be fun to incorporate some morbidity into our costumes – so, obviously, I opted for “Dead Cat”…which turned into “Dead Animals”…which somehow turned into “Hey, guys! Let’s be ROADKILL!”  I knew I loved my friends before, but I adore them 150% more because they went along with my ridiculously awesome idea.

Sexy Pieces of Dead Ass

The next highlight of the evening was getting a chance to finally see Miss Maya Jane Coles in action – as much as this was a personal highlight, it doesn’t begin to tell you how effing excited all my friends were.  She was the sole reason they bought their tickets and fended off the damn bike fences – hands down, one of the best deep house sets I’ve heard all year and according to my friends it was 110% completely worth it.

One thing I love about using LA State Historic Park as a venue is the ample stage space for ostentatious set-ups.  The Earstorm Stage where Knife Party ripped the festival a new one was no exception – it was huge, fabulous and stocked to the brim with more lights and lasers than I could count.

EARStorm Stage: Knife Party, Kill the Noise, Tommy Trash, Zane Lowe….

Last – but certainly far from least – I FINALLY SAW KNIFE PARTY!  When Knife Party came into the scene last year I didn’t know how to feel or what to expect from their evolution as a group – but the more I listen to them, the more enthralled I am by what they produce: this melodic dissonance that I simply can’t get enough of.

Knife Party – Save the World

Knife Party – Internet Friends

Wednesday Watercooler: Election Edition

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One of the many great things about being an American is the right to vote and the freedom of opinion; yesterday, we got to exercise that right. From President to Senator, and right down to using condoms in pornography and labeling genetically modified foods – there were plenty of important measures and ideals on the ballot.  For some, today is a day of excitement and joy, for others – maybe not so much; but to me, today is two very important things – first, it’s the end of our quadrennial slew of grotesque political advertisements (amen!) and secondly (and of moreimportance to myself) there’s only one month left until my birthday!    More about the later at a later time – let’s get down to political business.

Go-BAMA: 

First, we elect our first black president – next, we reelect our first black president! He delivered one hell of a victory speech last night – and I have to say, Mittens’ concession speech wasn’t half bad either.  Sure, it was a little – erm – short…and potentially something he hadn’t prepared for – but I appreciated lines like the following: I believe in the people of America. And I ran for office because I’m concerned about America. This election is overbut our principles endure.

Puff, Puff, Passed:

Last night in a historic vote, Colorado and Washington both passed laws yesterday that  tax and legalize the use of marijuana and Massachusets voted to become the 18th state to okay it’s medical use; Arkansas’  ballot measure, not surprisingly – but unfortunately, did not pass.

Legalize Love:

Marijuana laws weren’t the only sign of progress on the ballot last night. Three states – Washington, Maryland and Maine – voted to approve same sex marriage, and Minnesotans voted against a same-sex marriage ban.  This brings the number of states that allow same sex marriage up to 9almost 20% of the union for you math people; America, fuck yeah!

We’re #51!:

If Puerto Rico and the United States had a Facebook relationship status, last night’s vote pushed it from “It’s Complicated” to “In a Relationship.”  Last night, Puerto Ricans voted on a two part referendum to evolve it’s 114 year relationship with the USA and become the 51’st state. Before the election, President Obama gave the nod that he would support this decision in case of a clear majority.  With a 61% vote for statehood, 33% vote for sovereignty and a mediocre 5% vote for independence it looks like we should start planning for a revised American flag.