Angela Natividad's Live & Uncensored!

31 March 2008

Pretty Much Because I Can

On a whim and shortly after blogging about it, I decided to move this blog to after all.

About-Angela-type stuff will now appear on

In two lines I've related news that in execution cost Benj six hours of his life and maybe permanent circuit damage. In exchange for his suffering -- which involved CNAME insanity, cloaking, host-hopping, and a lot of cursing directed mainly at Google but (I suspect) really at me -- I did the dishes.

I'm nice like that.


Sooooo. I've been sitting here for about three hours trying to work out how to use this space in the future.

I figure most people visit to find out more about me (for reasons I can't begin to understand). Most of the information pertinent to those searchers is located elsewhere.

At some point I plan to point this destination to a bio page and change the URL to my actual blog, likely to the ultra-fancy new one I bought today: LIVEANDUNCENSORED.COM! 

It's a pain in the ass to type out, but tough. Get a feed reader. And think of all the stray porn traffic I might get!

As for what I'll be covering (in a manner most LIVE and most UNCENSORED)? You can probably expect the same general marketing/advertising/media/personal stuff. I'd also like to talk more, and more frankly, about the trip I've taken from college student, to dressed-to-kill marketing exec, to pyjama-padding online ad/marketing publication editor.

Because it was a little like falling headfirst into a looking-glass, suffering a concussion from the consequent head trauma, and having an awesome hallucination for four years.

If you're among the six people that actually read this daily, you may have noticed I pulled the Google ads. I did that because this is less of a for-profit effort and more of a for-sanity one. (Also, I lost my AdSense password.)

You may also have noticed I altered the layout and gave the whole thing a delicious maroon-and-blue-on-white motif. That was because I have no taste and am probably going blind.

Oh yeah. Most obviously, I changed the name of this blog from "That Convoluted Marketing Romance" to LIVE AND UNCENSORED! That happened mostly because would have just been too mean.

28 March 2008

Talk About a Hard Sell

I was doing some research for a shampoo ad, and I found a :60 Sunsilk spot for Malaysia that doesn't even show hair.

Oh, the things we take for granted.

Twitter in the Real World

Image credit: Hugh MacLeod. Hey, look. He Twitters.

The hostess: "Meeting tomorrow. Ugh."

Me: "You know what's worse than being in a meeting? Being on Twitter with a bunch of people in a meeting."

Massage therapy major: "What's Twitter...?"

Benj: "Ha-ha. Oh God."

Me: "It's this microblogging thing where you, like, share your every thought with a bunch of strangers, and you only have 140 characters to do it in."

Massage therapy major: "I don't get it. Why?"

Me: "Why not?"

Benj: "I know. Who has a Twitter account? Show of hands."

I raise my hand and dart my eyes around the room. The hostess' boyfriend lifts his arm, looks around and puts it back down.

Benj (to me): "You see? This is not a mainstream phenomenon. It's just you and your little internet tribe."

My ass it is. Hey you! Follow me here.

If By 'Sassy' You Mean 'Clinically Insane.'

Here's the trailer for the American remake of "My Sassy Girl" (via Darren Chan), which is based on a Korean romantic comedy of the same name. My favourite line (from the original, because I have no favourites from the remake): "Let's drink till we DIE!"

I first saw the trailer for the Korean version at Fanime Con. (Don't ask. Ever. Seriously.) In the original, the girl is less cute and more psychotic. She also voms on a stranger's head, which at the time seemed like a really good reason to go out and see this movie. But that's probably because I was heavily under the influence of yaoi.

27 March 2008

Kids Scratch Away at OLPC Keyboards; and Oh, How They Yield

So much for ultra-durable. The OLPC keyboards are literally coming apart, with help from small fingers and kid curiosity.

And in other news, here's the Classmate PC, the polished Intel response to Negroponte's green One Laptop Per Child units. And to think: they used to be chums.

Deltalina, Deltalina, Deltalina!

Two days ago the alarm clock went off and I woke up all shocked and confused because NPR was talking about Deltalina.

Flight attendant Katherine Lee, dubbed Deltalina by a crew of forum geeks, is the star of Delta's new airline safety video. It hasn't even started appearing in flights yet, but it's circulated the 'net so many times you'd think it aired six months ago.

I covered it on Adrants last month and expressed skepticism that the video would help rescue Delta from financial woes and dismal word-of-mouth. I am revising my opinion slightly.

Deltalina won't save Delta, but I can imagine a bunch of curious 'net dorks lining up flights in the next few months, just to see how the world reacts when Kat Lee finally appears on screens in the sky. By now, even I'm curious.

Slightly off-topic: I miss the days when all American flight attendants were hot. What with equal opportunity and industry giants that think the lowest rate is the best means of promotion, all the sky candy's moved on to international flights.

And frankly, it's impossible to find an ad conference that throws me in the way of Air Tahiti Nui.

Increasingly Digging Square-Shaped Rides

See my Scion crest? I know it's shameless brand-whoring, but I feel strangely attached to it. Make your own here.

25 March 2008


"Ms. Natividad, this is the bank. I just wanted to confirm a purchase with you. When was the last time you visited Home Depot?"

My heart skipped a beat. Something was clearly amiss. I hate Home Depot -- possibly more than KMart (can you say Big Bland?), but then again, Home Depot smells better. (I enjoy sawdust.)

"NEVER," I spat out, in probably the same tone I'd use if someone accused me of Communist sympathies during the Red Scare.

This is a really long way of saying somebody counterfeited my credit card and used it to buy goods at Home Depot in Florida. And I can't help wondering what they bought with it. Shears? Lumber? A set of French doors?

Because if I blew a few hours of my day to counterfeit a credit card, my thoughts wouldn't approach anything resembling, "HELL YES! Now I can fund all those repairs I need to make."

21 March 2008

How Facebook Apps Ruined My Life and Wreaked Havoc on My Self-Esteem

How many of you guys added the Compare People and Top Friends apps just to find out how much more awesome you are than everyone else you know (and quietly despise)?

I know I did.

My current Compare People stats:

Here is what your friends think about...

... your strengths:

most generous
best mother (potential)
best public speaker

... your weaknesses:

most talented
person with the best sense of humor

You heard it here first: BEST MOTHER POTENTIAL. Who needs talent and humour when I have a role in caregiving (possibly from a podium)?!

20 March 2008

Oh, But We ARE Alarmed

Wikipedia isn't digging Modernista's siteless redesign. In fact, it's playing saboteur. (Ironic.)

Here's the story (gleaned from Adrants so I don't have to repeat myself):

For its latest site redesign, Modernista did away with elaborate imagery, hype-laced content and the notion of using a website at all.

Now users that run a search for Modernista -- and that click on the link to -- will be redirected to the search engine they used. In the upper left-hand corner they'll find a funky red nav bar.

Clicking on "ab.ou.t" will give you the option of bookmarking Modernista and visiting the agency's page on Wikipedia or Facebook. "wrk" drives users to flickr images of Modernista's client efforts, organized by client, category or medium. "n3wz" sends you to recent Google News stories about Modernista, and "cont@ct" will give you USA/global contact info to copy onto a clipboard, as well as a link to job and internship options.

Direct visits to now point to the Wikipedia article.

Okay. All that happened yesterday. Early today, Wikipedia tore down its listing for Modernista. Hours later, the Wikipedia results for Modernista (and thus, visits straight to point to Los Sieste Modernista, a Mexican band.

The Modernista nav bar continues to hang pathetically -- but bravely -- above the article, assuring users: "Don't be alarmed, you are at the Modernista! site."

You'd think a crowdsourced encyclopedia would've have been the first to applaud the agency's attempt to surrender to the zeitgeist, warts and all. But noooo. Then again, you asked for it, Modernista. This is part of taking the good out there with the bad (and exposing potential clients to all of it).

Starbucks Does the Loyalty Program Thing

You mean like a grocery store?

I'm reserving my "icks" and "yechs!" for after I find out whether this can improve my life in some way. But come on, Howie. What next, an intercom?

"Blue-light special on Akeelah and the Bee!"

"20 percent off espresso beans when you buy a tall doppio macchiato, no whip!"

"Buy two vanilla scones, get one free. OFFER ENDS FRIDAY."

Marketing Borrowers into Foreclosure

Sit down, relax and absorb The Subprime Primer. Insufficiently gloomy? Read BusinessWeek's "Recession Time." It's not all a big excuse to drink; courses of action are provided if you happen to be in dire straits.

Like a lot of other people out there, I took a gamble against the future and bought a place I couldn't quite afford at the time. That was three years ago. The lenders aren't all bad; after hashing out options, I managed to crawl out of precarious ARM-mode with a low fixed rate. I decided to hold onto the property.

But as coverage of the recession and mortgage woes increase, I find myself rethinking that choice about 250,000 times a day. The water is hot. The fear-laced tempo is speeding up. This isn't 20 shares of Apple on the stock market; this is a house.

How many people will shortsell just because they're scared?

One Reason Why Men Always Leave Me

So me and Benj are having "us" time in the living room, which means he's sitting in a red armchair doing guitar scales and I'm Adranting on the couch across the way.

Benj stops playing. He looks up and goes, "Listen to this scale. Does it sound like a legitimate guitar lesson?"

"Sure," I say.

"It's hard. These are so basic. I can hardly do them anymore."

"Always good to go back to basics." (I am scanning a press release for agency info. I am wondering why Dentsu is so twisted. I am debating if I should cross-reference goatse. You can never have enough goatse.)

"You know ... my technique was never quite right. I could never play like Paco."

"Practice makes..." I start to say, but then he interrupts by doing something unexpected.

I look up and he's WALKING TOWARD ME. With his guitar.

"I want to show you what I mean," he persists. "What are you doing?"

"Nothing. Well ... working. But I'm listening."

He kneels down and starts to strum. I can't help it -- I cast a fast split-second glance back at my screen and he catches me in action.

"You're not paying attention. What are you doing?" He leans in. "What IS that?"

Long pause. Nothing for it but to explain.

"I'm screenshotting rhino shit."

He doesn't even ask why. Instead he gives me an elongated I-hate-what-you-do-for-a-living stare and goes back to his big red chair.

18 March 2008

On Time Management

I had a streak of bad progress reports as a kid. It's not that I was stupid; I just didn't take school very seriously. At first the grades fell because I hadn't studied long enough - that is, I didn't take the time to finish the work I'd begun. In a few months' time, I stopped doing my homework altogether.

My mom confronted me about my falling grades and asked me what was wrong. Was the homework hard? Did I not understand the teacher? Did I have chatty friends in class?

Without raising my eyes from my latest edition of Disney Adventures -- and I can't even recall why I thought I could get away with this -- I replied, "I don't have time for homework."

Worst. Answer. EVER.

Mom stared at me for a few seconds. And then she smited upon me a punishment I'll never forget. "Put the magazine down," she said quietly, "and follow me."

We went to the kitchen. She said sit on the floor and wait. Then she went back to my bedroom.

She returned with two boxes under each arm. One contained a pile of school books. The other contained copies of The Baby-Sitter's Club, some Disney movies, playing cards, and -- at the very top -- my Disney Adventures magazine.

"Get on your knees," mom said. I obeyed. She leaned over, straightened my back and tilted each of my arms upward, palms up and even with my shoulders.

"This is a lesson about time management," she said. "This" -- lifting up the box of videos, novels and magazines -- "is play." The box was positioned carefully on my right hand.

"This" -- lifting up the box of school books -- "is work." Plop, onto my left.

Not a terrible load.

"You have fifteen minutes," she said. "If either of those arms falls below your shoulders, you start again." Then she walked away.

That was probably the most agonizing fifteen minutes I ever spent with books. It took FOREVER. My hands shook, my knees threatened to buckle and sweat formed on my brow. I tried to be brave and imagined I was She-Ra, or possibly He-Man. I squeezed my eyes shut and avoided looking at the oven clock, which mocked me with its sluggish green numbers.

Mom didn't even reappear when time was up. I dropped both boxes on the floor and collapsed, my cheek hot against the checkered floor. Then I scrambled up -- a little like my ass was on fire -- and did a week's worth of homework.

I recalled this delightful instance of childhood trauma today because somebody called to nag about something and I caught myself in the middle of saying, "Sorry, I just haven't had the time." For obvious reasons, it's not a sentence I can utter lightly. I only received the "time management" lesson once in my life, but everytime I start making excuses I'm forced to ask myself--

Is it really that I don't have enough time, or am I failing to distribute sufficient time to my priorities? It's usually the latter.

I remember the shaky limbs, and that godforsaken copy of Disney Adventures (which, by the way, I couldn't bring myself to make her buy me again), and I make an effort to do things when I say I will. My track record's not perfect, but hell; it's way better than it might have been.

14 March 2008

Who Needs a Movie?

You do.

MTLB and Adfreak seem uncertain whether this is a real small business ad for Fred and Sharon's Movies, but everyone seems convinced of its genius. (I can't even watch the whole thing, it hurts too good.)

If it's real, it seems to me that Tim and Eric owe these people a huge debt.

Watch how Fred makes movie magic. Oh, and see his other YouTube videos.

13 March 2008

I made something for you. It's a cape. Put it on.

I totally hoovered my morning covering the whirlwind drama of AOL buying Bebo (story here, stats here) for $850 million. Out of curiosity, I decided to check Bebo out.

That's when I found this. On Bebo's deliciously non-ugly, totally distracting homepage. I've had Bebo streaming Crackle cartoons in one of my tabs ever since.

Bebo. Kicks. Ass. If I were 14, I would totally be on it every day.

12 March 2008

Sarah and Mark, Sarah and Mark, Sarah and Mark

The Mark Zuckerberg/Sarah Lacy interview from SXSW. For those that prefer to skim, read the play-by-play.

See Sarah after the interview. The girl bounces back, that's for sure.

For a sympathetic approach to Lacy, and to parse out the more savory tidbits she did manage to extract from Zuckerberg amidst the hoo-ha, read about the person behind the journalist, courtesy of Brian Solis. (The image credit goes to him, too.)

11 March 2008

God Has Called You

...and from MySpace, no less.

07 March 2008

Follow the G-Rated Exploits of Veronica Lodge

Guess what! The ageless characters of the Archie comics are real -- and they blog! I know, it's almost too exciting to stand.

Read Veronica's blog. All right, we'll take it for granted that she watches American Idol -- but what's with this cuddly (((SnowAngelHugs))) crap?

Ronnie would never do that. Betty, maybe; not Veronica.

A prospective entry from the REAL Veronica:

Hey minions, Today I stepped on somebody's neck with my four-inch stiletto heel. Betty saw and said "Hey, that's mean!", but what does she know? She cooks her own food. Your hero, Ron.

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

I read this poem as a kid, and didn't much think about it again until someone older and much more successful than me made me look twice.

That happened over a year ago and I haven't revisited it until now. It's odd how the poem seems different, but more applicable, the older I get.

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

06 March 2008

Demotivating Quotes for Inspiring Imagery

I smell T-shirt line. Potential brand name: "Antihero." For the grown-up who still wants to point to daddy and say, "YOU MADE ME THIS WAY."

Possibilities for expansion? Endless.

You've failed me again, son.

You don't want to be the neighborhood joke ... do you?

Mistakes are for people who don't think.

Life is hard. Thankfully...

BONUS! iStockPhoto watermark included:

Don't worry, I'm used to being alone.

Materialism: A Privilege, Not a Right

Have you ever been called materialistic?

Being a materialist is actually a big responsibility that your everyday impulse buyer isn't really up to. The only way to consciously fight materialism is to refuse to participate in exchanging goods.

Why not rise to the occasion? Literal "materialism" could represent a deeper interest in the materials that compose the objects we invest our money, time and loyalty in.

I've heard it said that the First World, however consumption-crazed, isn't a truly "materialistic" culture. Because if people were actual materialists, they wouldn't simply preoccupy themselves with buying stuff -- they would feel genuinely compelled to research where that stuff came from, how it was made and who made it.

Developing that kind of knowledge would change the way we make purchasing decisions and dispose of items we no longer want.

We can learn more about the life cycle of the stuff we buy -- stuff that we've selected to represent ourselves in the world -- by taking 20 minutes to watch entertaining (and free!) films like The Story of Stuff.

05 March 2008


I just read a post by Michael Arrington entitled, "When Will We Have Our First Valleywag Suicide?" Here he takes issue with the way Valleywag airs the private lives and dirty laundry of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs.

SV start-up kids aren't movie stars or divas, whose private lives are aired to the world almost as a matter of course. Most valley entrepreneurs aren't even recognizable names outside the area. And because of the nature of their struggle -- trying to turn an idea into a profitable business model -- they pull long hours, play hard when they can, and likely suffer all sorts of private-life repercussions resulting from workaholism.

"Seeing your marriage woes, DUI or employment termination up on a popular public website (permanently indexed by search engines) is simply more than they can handle," Arrington argues. "They have not had the ramp up time to build resistance to the attacks."

Arrington then points to the ongoing drama of the late Paul Tilley and the so-called "Blogs of Death," and (predictably) asks:
So how long will it be before Valleywag drives someone in our community to suicide? My fear is that it isn’t a matter of if it will happen, but when. Valleywag and Nick Denton, though, will likely look forward to the event, and the great traffic growth that will surely follow.
Arrington ends the post by saying the valley was much nicer to live and work in before the days of Valleywag.

It's no secret that gossip rags are a dirty business. That's what makes them so attractive to hordes of idle eyes. With the ease of publishing afforded by blogs, I'll bet in a few years' time that every industry is going to have one or two of their own.

But suicide is a serious thing. The suicides of two frivolous, flighty kids -- Romeo and Juliet -- have defined tragedy in our literary lexicon. It strikes me as counterproductive to fuel the mob mentality that now plagues bloggers that critiqued the way Paul Tilley dealt with his employees, shortly before his death.

To honestly believe a successful man, who dealt with as many detractors as admirers in his life, killed himself over a few blogs makes a cheap caricature of a complex mind. It really does the guy no justice.

Let the gossip rags do their thing, and if you want to make a better world, try being a more sympathetic person. Don't go on some vicarious vendetta against bloggers. It's not rational; it's poison.

Could the Othello Treatment Earn Hillary the Democratic Vote?

Hillary wins definitively in Ohio and Texas. That's pretty much that, isn't it? Unless something crazy happens, people are only going to congregate more readily around the safe choice as we draw closer to November.

Got this in my email this morning. I don't know whether or not it's true, and you can call it politics as usual if you want -- but I sure as hell won't put a President in office that uses my skin color to condemn me.

Even if she's a woman.

See the ad for which Camp Hillary is accused of darkening Obama's skin color to highlight ... what? Everything we already knew?

01 March 2008

As If Microsoft Needed an Excuse Before

Intel: "Nyah, nyah, Microsoft. Now that we've got Apple's business, we don't need to take any shit from you. In fact, we're giving you shit. We're gonna force you to lie and cheat so we can meet our quarterly earnings."

Microsoft: "Hey guy, no need to twist our arms. We've got the 'Windows Vista Capable' stickers right here." Off to the side: "Ybarra, why don't you go over there and start some correspondence about how we're caving to Intel's machinations."