Thursday, September 24, 2009

Leeeeaving On A Jet Plane....

So it has been quite some time since I have blogged. I've been debating over whether or not I should just call it quits altogether - at least for a while. I'm still undecided, but while I continue to mull over my decision, you'll get a few more posts out of me. And by "you", I mean my mom because I'm pretty sure she's the only one who will still look at this. :)

I'm headed to Madrid tomorrow, and travel is always something fun to blog about. So here's to Madrid! I'll see you soon!

Friday, June 12, 2009

How NOT to Win Customers For Life

Being in marketing, I tend to pay close attention to what other companies do to develop their brand.  When you think of brand, your mind probably goes to a brand name or logo or spokesperson.  When I think of brand, I look much further than that.  As my boss loves to say (constantly): "Everything a person sees, hears, feels, or experiences is your brand."  So when you go to the grocery store and it is dirty, it affects your view of their brand.  When you ride in your friend's new car and it smells funny, it can affect your view of their brand.  This is why most luxury car dealerships give free car washes for life - if you see a dirty, trashed out Lexus driving down the street (also known as Emily's Lexus), it can affect someone's perception of Lexus when it is really out of their control (sorry Lexus!!).  

Today I realized a major thing about AT&T that is killing their brand: their strict upgrade policies.  It really doesn't cost them a whole lot to let you upgrade your phone at the "reduced" price, but yet if you are outside of the 18 month upgrade period, you have to pay ridiculous prices for a new phone.  You can usually talk them into giving you the reduced price, but you come away feeling horrible about AT&T and extremely frustrated with the service they've provided.  Today I stood at the front of the AT&T store waiting for my turn and watched 5 unhappy customers leave the store feeling ripped off and not getting what they came in for because of this exact reason.  And then an hour later, I left feeling the same way.  Not great for your brand.
Here is my solution, AT&T.  Let people get a new phone at the "upgrade price" at any time, as long as they sign a new two year agreement.  No questions asked.  People will feel really good about your company, will make them loyal customers, and I would bet money that you would actually see revenues increase.  I know plenty of technophiles who would buy a new phone every 9-12 months if they could so they would have the latest and greatest thing to come out.  But instead, you won't let them buy it until 18 months have passed.   Over a 6 year period, one person would double the number of phones they purchase from you if they could easily get a new one out of the 18 month timeframe.  And those customers are usually the ones buying the more expensive models as well: the iPhones, Blackberry's, Samsung Blackjacks, etc.  

Unfortunately, AT&T is way too caught up in their own self-righteousness to think of something so simple, and will continue to alienate customers while their more nimble competitors (T-mobile, Alltel, Boostmobile, etc.) will most likely come to this conclusion (if they haven't already...I've heard t-mobile is really easy to upgrade with) and AT&T will find themselves in a bad spot.  

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

SYTYCD Recap - Top 20

I've decided I'm going to jump in this year on the So You Think You Can Dance redux postings.  And I'm committing to posting my opinions before I read Holly's...I think it will be fun to see how similar or different we really are!

Tonight I'm thoroughly annoyed.  A little thing called a tornado interrupted my life tonight - ruined the first hour of SYTYCD with "Storm Tracker" coverage!  So I am jumping in halfway through the evening. I joined in right after a waltz I believe.  Just as Mary admitted that she couldn't show expression tonight because of botox!!!  And it's definitely true...she is a little plastic...but I can't believe she just said that!!
Onto the dancers (that I get to see...)

Ashley & Kupono
Ashley - just cute as a button.  Auditioned four times and kept persevering.  I really like her.  Kupono - he's a little...interesting.  But he's not terribly annoying.  He's got some work to do to really win me over, but I don't dislike him.  THIS JUST IN!!! WADE ROBSON IS IN DA HOUSE!!!!!  After being out last season, he's back!  And he has his "muse" in the audience with him!  After being gone for a year he is back.  And seriously, how can you not like a dancer when they do a Wade Robson Routine?  I thought it was great.  I really didn't get the 'old dummy' thing from the dance, but I still loved it.  Judges loved it too. 

Melissa & Ade
SYTYCD is bringing out the big guns tonight!  Wade Robson and now Mandy Moore for choreography!!  If I find out I missed a Mia or TabNap dance for the storm, I'm going to be FURIOUS!  Melissa is our "naughty ballerina".  I"m a little skeptical...ballerina's typically don't do very well here - they tend to lack personality.  Ade - He's wearing a pick in his hair for his interview.  Strike one.  He'd better dance the heck out of this to win me over.  And they both did.  Mandy created a routine that literally gave me chills.  Not sure why - it wasn't the most amazing routine I've ever seen - but it did.  It played to his contemporary strengths and her ballet skills but still maintained to be...interesting.  My skepticism is still slightly there....let's get them into some hip hop and see if they can survive...but I'm excited to see where these two go.

Kayla & Max
This is definitely the sob story couple.  She was raised by her grandparents...he has a dead brother.   I appreciate what people have gone through, but its not going to make me like you if you can't dance.  BuBallroom guy and contemporary girl draw samba.  Lucky them!   And their choreographer, Louis, is GORGEOUS!! Double lucky them!  Haha. We all knew he was going to be great so the wild card was Kayla.  I give her an "huh, pretty dang good!"  There were a couple of spots that were a little sloppy to me, but I think I like them.  Adam Shankman LOVES it, Mary is screaming like a drunk freak for the hot tamale train (the bane of my existence)...Nigel likes it too...AND BRINGS UP THAT THERE WERE SPOTS THAT WEREN"T AS SHARP AS HE WOULD HAVE LIKED!! WHAT UP?? I CAUGHT IT TOO!  Sorry...I get really excited when I see something small that a judge brings up too.  Haha.  

So that's all I saw.  On the recap I notice: two hip hop routines that I wish I would have seen.  Doesn't look Shane Sparks but could be a TabNap.  Broadway that's probably a Tyce which I usually am 50/50 on liking.  Latin dance of some sort, eh.  Of course...they couldn't wait to get further into the season before jumping in on the "Slumdog" bandwagon with a dance to "Jai Ho"!  I'm sure it was probably disappointing, but I would have liked to see it.  This is when I wish Fox wasn't so stingy with YouTube so I could see what I missed!! 

My prediction: the three couples that I saw are safe.  The rest of my predictions are solely on the 2 second recap - I think bottom three will be Waltz couple (sorry...bad draw.  Waltz is boring), Latin dance couple to Poker Face (if that clip is the best you had...), and maybe Broadway couple.  If its one of my three, I'd guess Melissa and Ade.  I liked it, but it may not be compelling enough to pick up the phone for.

Monday, June 08, 2009

The Bachelorette

When I was in college, I used to watch The Bachelor faithfully with 5 of my friends in the dorms.  I haven't really watched it since, but I decided to jump back on the bandwagon this summer.  Mostly because its the summer and there's not much on TV so I needed something to fill my DVR, but also partly because it is The Bachelorette.  It is so much more fun to watch guys fighting over the same girl (they tend to take out their jealousy through pranks and hilarity) than to watch girls fighting over the same guy (bring on the cattiness!!).  

Normally I would keep this slightly embarrassing guilty pleasure to myself, but tonight I'm conflicted.  Meet my favorite guy on the show: Jake

Jake is absolutely awesome.  He is totally laid back, seems like a genuinely nice guy, has a little bit of nerd in him, is a pilot (hello?  airline industry!), lives in Lantana, TX (hello?  Like 15 minutes from me!), knows how to country dance (which I love doing!)...and did I mention he's kind of hot?

So I'm conflicted, because I really want the "nice guy to finish first" for once and for Jillian to pick him.  But even more than that, I want her to dump him so that I can meet him.  Cause you know, that's totally what would happen if he gets kicked of the show, right?

Jillian - you'd better make the right decision!!  And if you make the wrong one, go ahead and give Jake my number, okay? :)

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Thoughts From a Restless Soul

Tonight, I watched Under the Tuscan Sun - a movie starring Diane Lane that will make any female want to pack up and move.  I really need to avoid it from now on.  I love the movie - however idealistic it may be - but it gets me craving change so much that it is probably bordering on unhealthy.  Not kidding, the last time I watched it on TV, I started doing research.  I discovered that with the salary that I make now and my Master's degree, I can pretty much pack up and move to any country I want and qualify for a work visa without needing a company to sponsor me.  Tonight, I started looking at apartments in New York and Chicago - just seeing what I could afford for what I currently pay in my mortgage.

I think my urge to roam right now is magnified for a two main reasons:  
1. I have 3 couple friends (I'm friends with both) getting married this summer, plus 4 more couples that are engaged.  I think I have only have 3 people that I consider close friends who are totally single. In the meantime, I'm still single with absolutely no prospects or signs of anything changing any time soon.  I'm not really meeting any new people and don't have any friends that I see myself with.  So it feels like if I just move somewhere new and start over, I'll meet someone.  I know that's a ridiculous train of thought, but its what crosses my mind sometimes.

2. I'm approaching 2 years in my house.  For the last 10 years, I've moved every year or two.  The longest I've lived in the same spot was in grad school - August 2005 to May 2007.  Almost two years.  So it feels like it's time to move.  Obviously, I'm not planning on doing this since I own my house, but I do drive through different parts of the metroplex and see what I could buy if I were actually going to move.

A big part of me thinks that I'm just a restless person.  I'm always looking at what my next move is going to be - in work and in life.  But regardless of what I feel like should be next, I really am doing my best to enjoy where I am and savor what I'm doing right now.  And I know I've got it pretty good.  But it can't hurt to dream, right? :)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Vegas Baby!!

So I'm laid up at home following a foot surgery on Friday.  I think it's punishment for not blogging enough.  To make amends, I'm going to continue on my adventures from March with my trip to Vegas!

My dad and I decided to take a trip to Vegas with just the two of us.  It was completely random...I'm not sure exactly when or how we decided to do this, but it was definitely one of the most fun trips I've had! 
I could tell you all about our adventures, great meals, cool casinos, etc.  But instead of boring you with the things you could find on any travel site, I'll just leave you with a bit of advice for the future: If you're up $300 but have a little time before you have to head back to the airport and say "Hey, let's stop and take our pictures in front of the Vegas sign" and your traveling partner says "No, let's stop at Tropicana and gamble a little more," tell him no and keep yourself from losing $200.  Not that this happened to me or anything....totally hypothetical situation. :)

This is the only picture we took together the entire the airport right before we boarded the plane to go home!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Why did the crawfish cross the road?

I'm not really sure why...but he was definitely trying! There was a random crawfish in the middle of the street around the corner from my house on my way to work. I've never seen anything like that before (outside of an organized crawfish boil)! Crazy!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Roomie Weekend 2009

Over Spring Break, I had my 4th annual Roomie Weekend with my college roommates.  After last year's jaunt to Chicago, this year they all came to DFW and stayed at my house.  We had a FANTASTIC, action-packed weekend.

We went and ate lunch at Chef Point Cafe right by my house.  It is a gourmet chef who couldn't get a loan to open a restaurant, so he got a loan to open a gas station and put his restaurant in the convenience store!  It was on Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives this past weekend so it was cool to get to eat at it before the show aired!

Front row: Deborah, Lindsay, Lindsay's sister Melanie.  Back: Nichole, Me
Then we went to the Grapevine Chocolate Festival.  That's right.  A chocolate festival!  You went through booths and got samples of all different kinds of chocolates from different places. Sooo good and I pretty much made myself sick.

Later Saturday night, we went to Pete's Piano Bar.  We went there on the 1st annual Roomie Weekend (which was also in Fort Worth) so everyone wanted to make a repeat.  From there we saw Aisha Tyler at the Improv and got to sit on the front table right by the stage!  Aisha Tyler is the girl who played Charlie on Friends and was on Ghost Whisperer and was really funny.

Lindsay is not in this picture....she fell asleep during the show (it had been a LONG day!) and was too embarrassed to meet her!!

We topped the weekend off with Sunday brunch at Blue Mesa.  It was yummy!  I look forward to this weekend all year long and it never disappoints!  These are three friends that I am going to be close to for the rest of my life and that makes me so happy. :)

Saturday, April 11, 2009


For those of you who don't know, my roommate is my brother's fiancee, Vanessa. Well, they have been talking for a while about getting a dog after they get married. So one random day in February, Vanessa and I decided to surprise Ben a little early with a new Maltese puppy. His name is Maverick and he is quite possible the cutest thing on the planet! He is just a tiny little fluffball and has been so much fun....minus the puppy chewing of course. I'm going to miss him when they move out in July, but for now it is so much fun to have a puppy in the house again!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Back for real this time!

Okay, okay, I'm back to blogging for real this time!!  Lots to catch you up on....Roomie Weekend 2009, trip to Vegas with my dad, Maverick the Wonder Puppy, and.....drumroll please....crossing another item off THE List!  

To start off though, here are a couple of pictures of my latest cake creation.  Actually cupcake creations.  We had a Spring Festival at work where people could bring their kids to the office for pictures with the "Big White Bunny" (politically correct Easter Bunny), watch a magic show, play some games, and have an "Egg Hunt".  I made Bunny Cupcakes for the big event.

They have Orbit gum for teeth, a jellybean nose, and white chocolate ears.  At first I didn't think they were going to turn out like I had hoped, but they ended up really cute!  Without further ado, here they are. :)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I'm Alive!

I had really good intentions of blogging tonight...and really for the past month.  But its just been really busy.  The 3rd week of January is our annual Sales Summit at work where we bring in all of our sales guys from all over the world for a weeklong kickoff/unveiling of new stuff, etc.  So the first two weeks are spent frantically pulling things together for it.  And then the week after is recovery!  So I'll be back to blogging soon, but I'll leave you with a few pictures from the last night of Summit - our big awards dinner.  Or as my friend Lauren calls it...Sabre Prom. :)