August 21, 2009

And I was sucked in too...

Joined twitter. Ugh.
Tried to hold off as long as I could.
I apologize ahead of time if my "tweets" are boring.

Follow me?

My turtle, Tony Little.

My water turtle doesn't like to swim. Figure that.

August 18, 2009

The Bird And The Bee - Diamond Dave: LOVING THIS


August 17, 2009

Sure, I'll get in on the Health Care Debate. Why not?

Disclaimer: I usually keep my political opinions out of this blog, and I'll start by saying this is NOT about politics. Whether you are an Obama lover or hater, red, blue or green, this has nada to do with that. So keep an open mind and read on. I'm just writing as an art director (amazing! we write too!) in a struggling creative industry. And if you strongly disagree, that's awesome. Just read through and maybe visit the links.

Here's my take on healthcare and the Ad Industry:

In the advertising industry, there's a fast trend that creatives are being picked up far more for freelance gigs. Duh. One of my all time favorite people and the godfather of advertising, Norm Grey, one of the founders ot the Creative Circus in Atlanta, recently had an article featured on Talent
In the article, he discusses how the trend in this industry is for agencies to hire freelancers as needed. Somewhat how Hollywood hires from Talent Agencies. The creative industry has far more freelancers than any other profession and eventually, the industry could shift to only hiring freelancers. While it would be stressful to always be searching for "the next gig," imagine the creativity when there's constant change and competition. The possibilities are far greater for agencies as a whole. CLICK HERE TO READ THE TALENT ZOO ARTICLE BY NORM GREY.

Here's the problem: Where are you going to get your healthcare when you're freelancer? Sure there are temporary things like COBRA but other than getting an exorbitantly high costing private health insurance, as a freelancer- you're screwed. You may be working constantly and making a great living, but you're paying three times as much for private health insurance as someone who is employed by only one company and their group rated insurance. And at the way the industry is going, everyone might be a freelancer soon. Not having a chance for fair health insurance limits people from choosing a career in lots of fields, not just those in creative industries. made a strong argument about how by limiting health care insurance, you limit entrepreneurialism. For a country based on Benjamin Franklin's idea that you can make something of yourself by working hard, we sure like to limit those working independently in these days. (Read My Autobiography by Benjamin Franklin.)

I was talking with a family friend yesterday,who works as a nurse, and she suggested that if this whole governmental healthcare program doesn't work out, the freelancers in creative industries need to get together to form a union and get a group insurance rate. Not a bad idea. I'm glad to see that this industry has become much more of a community, thanks to Sometimes it takes a catastrophe like the recession to make a family.

But there's one more thing. In the creative industry, you are valued for your ideas and mental thinking capability- and thank god. Dr. Lisa Sanders, author of "Every Patient has a Story," was on NPR the other day discussing not only crazy medical stories that inspire the show "House MD" but also what has been valued in the medical profession. She told a story about how out of seeing patients all day at a hospital, ranging I'm sure from heart conditions to all sort of medical mysteries, the one condition she got paid the most for was removing a hang nail from a patient's toe. A HANG NAIL. It's become a culture of valuing "Doing rather than thinking." Let's be frank for minute: an ambulance ride can cost about $3,000. And if you are misdiagnosed, which according to Dr. Sanders can happen scarlily too frequently, you are still paying for every MRI, X-ray and all medical tests. It adds up. CLICK HERE TO READ ABOUT LISA SANDERS ON NPR.

Health Care affects everyone- not just us advertising creatives. Wal-mart just settled $600 million worth of lawsuits around Christmas 2008 because of their health care, wage fraud and employee benefit issues. Less than half of Wal-mart employees have health care and a single mother with three children can pay as much as $2,000 for their child to see a doctor about an ear ache with their company's health care plan. Some say that Wal-mart settled becuase Obama's newly elected Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis announced there's a "New Sheriff in Town." Whatever the case, there are obviously still strong issues with health care for group policies.

So what's the solution? I'd consider myself a problem solver, but honestly, I have no clue what to do about this issue. What I do know is that come December 5th 2009, my birthday, I will need health insurance. I don't think this is a problem that can be solved over night or even within the next few years. Maybe it isn't universal health care. Maybe it isn't privitized health care. But I know we all need to get involved in the conversation. Everyone, even if you have wonderful health insurance. Because no one should go without health care.

Back in Maine!

After a 27 hour drive with a massive moving truck, I'm back in the state. Oh yes.

Things that are different in Maine from Atlanta:

1. Where many things are opened all night long in Atlanta, Ma and Pa close down at 6pm. Forget it on Sunday- that's the lord's day. But in Maine, we can still buy booze on Sunday! At the grocery store- if it's open.

2. The leaves are already starting to turn red and orange in Maine. And its August. I also can wear a sweatshirt and go without air conditioning.

3. In Kennebunkport, Maine, there are only a few bars. One in particular serves as the general restaurant, dance club, Cheers bar, pool hall, arcade and overall hangout. There is one bakery. No movie theaters.

4. In Atlanta, there is a place to get fried chicken or ribs on ever corner. In Maine, people flip out if the cost of lobster goes up.

5. It can be hard to run into people in Atlanta. In Maine, I saw half my high school class plus their parents within two days of being here.

6. In Atlanta, I used my GPS everywhere. Here, I give directions like this: turn on the dirt road by the "God Bless America" house. My GPS has no clue where I am.
(Also, the picture featured above is the wedding cake house which is a few houses down from mine. Another source of giving directions)

7. Atlanta has Cockroaches. Maine has Mosquitos. Both are evil.

8. When the sun comes out in Maine, everyone calls in sick at work. In Atlanta, everyone stays inside with the air conditioner.

9. Since being in Maine, I haven't worn make-up and barely brushed my hair from swimming in the ocean. And that's ok.

10. I saw someone getting a speeding ticket in Maine. I haven't seen that in two years in Atlanta.