Lolabelle in NYC

I'm your typical 30 year old New York City singleton. Or, I was in 2006 when I wrote these posts. Now I'm married and have a baby.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Specialization is for insects

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

-Robert A. Heinlein

Thursday, January 25, 2007

I just read that Netflix is going to start allowing you to stream movies from their website. For every dollar of your monthly membership, you get one hour's worth of movie viewing. Of course, you need a high speed Internet connection and preferably a projector hooked up to your computer (things I only have at work,) but I still think the whole concept is brilliant. I may have to start pricing projectors.

What is really interesting to me is that Netflix is making a brilliant change to their business model. While they have always put their user-experience first, this new model does give them the option to sell advertising that runs prior to the movie. Hell, it would be stupid not to. This opens up a whole new revenue stream, will keep prices low for the consumer and allows the distributor to be in control of the content...the way it should be and has been for almost every other media.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

I don't know who made this site. All I can tell you is that I want to run away with him and have his babies.


Here's a cool optical illusion. Stare at the black dot for 30 seconds, then mouse over the image without taking your eyes away.
you're not seeing what you should be seeing...too bad

Sadly, I think that this image is too small to work properly.

Here how this is supposed to work.

Oh, and if you were wondering what the photo is, that's me in the swimming pool of the Albion Hotel in Miami.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Acupuncture and Herbs- No good deed goes unpunished

A friend of mine just finished Chinese Medical School and has set up her own practice here in Greenwich Village. (Chinese Medicine is basically acupuncture and herbal treatments.) To help her start her business and build up her clientele, I have offered to build a website for her. Nothing fancy, just a basic site using some of the concepts of search engine optimization to help her draw in new clients.

Anyway, she apparently felt that this was too big a task to ask a friend without offering anything in exchange, so she offered to treat me. I’ve never had acupuncture before and am interested in what she does, so I figured I would give it a try.

The acupuncture was pretty cool. I’m not sure if it did anything (she says I have stagnant blood and is working on moving it for me) but it certainly did not hurt. I won’t know if it had any positive affects for another month or two (this blood moving thing is very much tied to my menstrual cycle, FYI.)

She also prescribed raw herbs for me, which I have to cook every night for about 45 minutes. The herbs are rough, I’ll be honest. They don’t taste very good. They make my apartment smell “earthy” and it takes a lot of time. I want to try it out for her sake, but I’m not enjoying it. In fact, I have a cup of hot herbs in front of me know that I have been ignoring all morning. Even with milk and sugar (she laughed at me for doing that, so it probably isn’t the traditional way) it still tastes awful. I think there is licorice in there and something very bitter. You can tell that the other herbs aren’t so bad, but they aren’t strong enough to cover over that bitterness either. I’m still trying to keep an open mind, though. I just worry that it is giving me stink-breath as well. I’ll keep you updated.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

No Time To Read the 9/11 Commission Report?

No time to read the 9/11 Commission report? Check this out, then. It is a graphic adaptation by Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colón on Slate. Very well done.

According to Slate:
Sid Jacobson was the managing editor and editor in chief at Harvey Comics, where he created several characters, among them Richie Rich, and was the executive editor at Marvel Comics. He is the author of two novels. Artist Ernie Colón has worked at Harvey, Marvel, and DC Comics. At DC, he oversaw the production of the Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Blackhawk, and the Flash.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Goodbye to Summer- a haiku

As the days shorten,
I say goodbye to summer,
farewell to sunshine.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Once again, the Internet brings people together; Worlds Collide at Long Tail Party

This blog was built out of a desire to experiment with the interactivity and interconnectedness of the Internet. Also, I wanted to see if I could apply what I have learned at work to this site and build traffic without telling any of my friends about it…which is also why I decided to remain anonymous.

I don’t think the anonymity will last though. Here’s why:

1. I can’t keep my friggin’ mouth shut (main reason)
2. I attempted to network and make an appearance last night at a Long Tail meet-up (as my blogger self) only to realize that I would inevitably know other people (albeit, blogger-types) at the party. That put me in a weird spot because I had already signed up as Lolabelle with a link to this blog. I had to quickly revise my profile out of fear that one my friends would see it and recognize me from the photos
3. Yes, I post photos of myself.

I’m also very curious as which will happen first: Will one of my “real-life” friends find the blog or will one of my blog fans find me in real life. I think that I am so curious to know how it will pan out that I have been dropping hints all over the place. (Let’s face it, I’m full of shit and want to be found out. Not an invitation to stalk me though, please.)

By the way, I also have to say that Chris Anderson is a real sweetheart. He seemed to genuinely want to get to know his fans and listen to their ideas. Everyone should buy his book right now! As Natalie Portman said of the Shins, “It will change your life.”

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Direct Response...when musicians answer each other in song

My friend and I have been playing a little game. We’ve been trying to come up with a list of songs that are direct responses to other famous songs. Here's what we've come up with so far:

1. Peter Schilling’s Major Tom to David Bowie’s Space Oddity
2. Joy Division’s Love Will Tear Us Apart to Captain and Tennille’s Love Will Keep Us Together
3. Roberta Flack’s Killing Me Softly to Don McLean’s American Pie
4. Liz Phair’s Exile in Guyville (whole album) to Rolling Stones’ Exile on Mainstreet
5. Lynard Skynard’s Sweet Home Alabama to Neil Young’s Southern Man
6. My friend added Eddie Money’s Take Me Home Tonight to the Ronettes’s Be My Little Baby, but that one bothers me for being too collaborative.
7. Woody Guthrie's "this land is your land" is an angry retort to Irving Berlin's "God Bless America"

Can you think of others? Please add.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

New York Times Misses the Point (again!)

I thought the NYT’s article on Fame as Motive was pretty interesting, but man, they didn’t even mention the Internet in their analysis of fame. I think they totally missed a major turning point in our concept of fame.

Yesterday, Gawker called someone “Book Hot” and then upgraded them to “TV Hot.” Likewise, there is “Us Weekly famous,” “Reality TV famous” and finally, “Internet famous.” This article treats all fame equally missing out on the revolution in fame that is taking place right now, as I type this.

As the means of production become more accessible to the masses, so do the means to become famous. Of course, that dilutes the notion of fame too. More and more people can be less and less famous. The Long Tail of fame, if you will.

So, I think the interesting question is not, what motivates people to try to be the next Paris Hilton (which the NYT attempted to address,) but rather, what motivates hordes of teenagers to perfect their myspace pages or bloggers to record their most intimate thoughts? The NYT article says, “Public recognition can bring a heightened focus on the self.” I wonder what that will do to a whole generation of kids? Here our society is taking a permanent and major shift towards navel-gazing and the New York Times is talking about Kurt Cobain? Wow…I’m stunned by their lack of insight.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Drug Fueled TV Appearances

Thank you,, for providing us with the top 5 drug-fueled TV appearances of all time. I thought that numbers 2 & 3 were kind of a cop-out (German TV doesn't count!) but it was worth it for James Brown, Crispin Glover and Richard Pryor.

The 5 Most Obviously Drug-Fueled TV Appearances Ever (

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Prague in 2006

I just got back to New York from Prague, where I was attending a wedding. Man, I was overwhelmed by the reality of how much globalization of culture has occurred since the last time I was in Europe. A local even dropped the word "hipster" on me. Weird.

I feel like New York City is losing its edge. If we can't even lay claim to being hipper than the rest of the world, what have we got? The city's architecture and infrastructure is aging, so we aren't even one of the most advanced, modern cities. Nor do we have the beauty and history of a city like Prague. I feel that New York is past its prime. Maybe time to move to Beijing?

UPDATE 8-25: Gawker declares New York to be "Already Over" (a full 2 weeks after I did.)

Monday, July 31, 2006

Free Music on the Internet DOES Exist!

Shhh. This is a secret. As far as I know, I am the only one that has figured this out....

Of course, now you are all are saying, "Shut the fuck up. Ever hear of Limewire?" I hate all those software systems, though. They suck. They take too long and the music is always crap- incomplete, not what you are looking for, etc. Maybe I haven't tried in a while, but still.

OK, this got off on the wrong note. I'm excited about this find. It is called Hype Machine and it is the best website ever. It aggregates all the blogs that contain music and makes them searchable. But wait, there's more....

The little button on the top that says Podcast is the genius of this site. About a month ago, I discovered the site and suspected that the Podcast button might lead to free music. Sure enough, I podcasted a few bands (My Morning Jacket, Asobi Seksu to name two) and it obediently downloaded the first song from my search to iTunes. Exciting, yes. I IM'd all my friends. However, today, having forgotten all about it, I opened up iTunes and it proceeded to download 30 songs from the last 30 days worth of searches. Brilliant. I'm so excited.

UPDATE 8/8: The next time I plugged my ipod into my computer, the podcasts disappeared. I'm still working on this one...

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Letter to Alcohol (From an email forward)

Dear Alcohol:

First and foremost, let me tell you that I'm a huge fan of yours. My friend, you always seem to be there when needed. The perfect post-work cocktail, beer at the game, and you're even around in the holidays hidden inside chocolates as you warm us when we're stuck in the midst of endless family gatherings.

However, lately I've been wondering about your intentions. While I want to believe that you have my best interests at heart, I feel that your influence has led to some unwise consequences:

1. Phone calls: While I agree with you that communication is important, I question the suggestion that any conversation of substance or necessity takes place after 2 a.m. Why would you make me call those ex-boyfriends / girlfriends when I know for a fact they do not want to hear from me during the day, let alone all hours of the night?

2. Eating:Now, you know I love a good meal, but why do you suggest that I eat at WHAT-A-BURGER, or JACK-IN-THE -BOX, or DENNY'S and some cold french fries (washed down with WINE & topped off with a Snickers bar after a few cheese curls & chili cheese fries)? I'm an eclectic eater, but I think you went too far this time.

3. Clumsiness:Unless you're subtly trying to tell me that I need to do more yoga to improve my balance, I see NO need to hammer the issue home by causing me to fall down. It's completely unnecessary, and the black & blue marks that appear on my body mysteriously the next day are beyond me. Similarly, it should never take me more than 45 seconds to get the front door key into the lock.

4. Furthermore:The hangovers have GOT to stop. This is getting ridiculous. I know a little penance for our previous evening's debauchery may be in order, but the 3pm hangover immobility is completely unacceptable. My entire day is shot. I ask that, if the proper precautions are taken (water, vitamin B, bread products, aspirin) prior to going to sleep/passing out face down on the kitchen floor with a bag of popcorn, the hangover should be minimal & in no way interfere with my daily activities.

Alcohol, I have enjoyed our friendship for some years now & would like to ensure that we remain on good terms. You've been the invoker of great stories, the provocation for much laughter, and the needed companion when I just don't know what to do with the extra money in my pockets. In order to continue this friendship, I ask that you carefully review my grievances above & address them immediately. I will look for an answer no later than Thursday 3pm (pre-happy hour) on your possible solutions & hopefully we can continue this fruitful partnership.

Thank you,
Your biggest fan

1. Innovative
2. Preliminary
3. Proliferation
4. Cinnamon

1. Specificity
2. British Constitution
3. Passive-aggressive disorder

1. Thanks, but I don't want to have sex.
2. Nope, no more beer for me.
3. Sorry, but you're not really my type.
4. Good evening, officer. Isn't it lovely out tonight?
5. Oh, I couldn't. No one wants to hear me sing.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Ad Age interviews the Geico Gecko

Listen to this interview.

I'm a big fan on that cockney'd gecko.

Friday, June 09, 2006

So, I guess this blog is about the Internet?

So, I guess this blog is about the Internet? That really wasn't my intention yesterday. I hereby promise to write more entries on sex, drugs and rock 'n roll. That's what sells, right?

I Think I Broke the Internet

6/8/06- 2:47pm
I broke the Internet today.

First, I decide to start a blog and immediately take down all of blogger/blogspot. Seriously, I have written three posts waiting for this damn site to come back online.

Then, I took down Epsilon/Dream. Any web-geeks out there? Epsilon is one of the biggest email vendors in the world. I don't know if we were the only ones having problems, but DREAM has been down all day. The company I work for is a major news source and today is one of the biggest news days all year. (Al-Zarqawi killed) All the print editions missed the story. It was a shining moment for the Internet as a source of real-time information. Too bad we couldn't send out today's headlines...

OK, I've already realized that it will be impossible not to talk about my friends or my job. I told you that I would contradict myself. This is all part of the experiment, though. I still think I can remain fairly anonymous. We'll see.

Long Tail

I read in the New York Times today that of the 60,000 titles that Netflix stocks, 35,000-40,000 of them are rented on a daily basis. Now that is not DVDs, but TITLES. So, it turns out that people are not sheep after all. They are actually consuming all sorts of different content, not just what is hot that weekend.

There is hope after all.

This brings me to the idea of the "long tail." The basic idea is that small amounts of (in this case) content taken together form a major segment of the marketplace. Like grains of sand forming a beach. Each individual movie/ website/ blog/ article/ song/ book/ whatever is not significant, but the fact is that we are moving away from the model of major media players. User generated content is king. (Which brings us back to why I am blogging.) Individual websites are more powerful than the major portals. So, how does a website stand out? Or can it? Is the Pareto Principle dead? Or does that work with the long tail? I'm honestly not sure. Comment if you have thoughts on that please.