Thursday, January 15, 2015

...And the Oscar goes to,

So I started a Tumblr (I’ll tumble for ya’) and my daughter is mortified. She has gone to ground in stealth mode and won’t let me follow her. Heh heh which I understand, this is her playground. I am hoping to build this is up as a way to promote the hashtag BuyArt. I have a number of artist that I am promoting and one or two galleries that I have associated with so it will always be a place to check into to the new works of some talented people.

As for Camille
  @bluepanda666 (I only have her twitter account to check in with her goings on). But I must say that I couldn’t be more proud of her for getting accepted to 
at the age of 16 as a sophomore in high school. This college specializes in teaching those that want to learn and cater to these young applicants that aren’t getting their needs met in a regular public school setting. I look forward to watching her blossom in this new nurturing environment as she begins to take charge of her life.
The school is very well regarded and has some proud alumni that include the likes of Joel and Ethan Cohen, 
Ethan Coen, Martin Scorsese, Joel Coen at the Academy Awards
Henry Alford, and Ronan Farrow
Ronan Farrow on set at MSNBC
 among others. They can count Rhodes scholar, Fulbright fellows, and MacArthur grant recipients and have peppered the list of “30 under 30” since Forbes started keeping those lists. The school is associated with Stanford, Brown, and Columbia Universities and she will be able to transfer after two years should she so chose.

All in all it is very impressive and we look forward to her continued success.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Dreams, Movies, and real Politics (sorry)

I had too much to dream last night, too much to dream. So I dreamt about running for Congress. I think I could reasonably make a go of this, but the dream was interesting and very telling about my thoughts on this state of our Union.
The first part was a little like the classic Robert Altman film “Bob Roberts” with me in the Tim Robbins role; showing up to rallies on my motorcycle, making backroom deals, and generally pissing people off.

The second part was a little bit more “Independence Day” however; because when I got into congress I realized that it was occupied by extraterrestrials bent on world domination. 
Then it became necessary to pair with the likes of Ted Cruz to unite Tea Partiers and Progressives in an effort to rid the government of this plaque of aliens that seek to rule by fear and divisiveness.
I am not sure what makes the alien government different from the current government the strives to divide down party lines, keep us ignorant by using corporate stooges to control the media, and increasingly arm and militarize our law enforcement agencies that view themselves as occupying forces in hostile territory rather than a public service in a community. But in my dream armed insurrection seemed the only option.
In reality, we don’t seem that far behind.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

My personal Robin Williams story: September 11th thirteen years ago

Mork from Ork, still one of Williams most enduring and endearing characters.

I don’t usually go in for the whole celebrity-eulogizing but I was watching the “Pioneers in Television: Remembrance of Robin Williams” and it reminded me of what a singular talent he was.  From his early standup through his academy award winning performances to his humanitarian work Robin Williams one of the truly wonderful souls. Many of us know of his trips to Afganistan and ALL of us remember Comic Relief, but it is one little known thing that I want to mention here.

My brief encounter with Robin happened at a traffic light on Van Ness Blvd. I was driving north when I stopped at a red light in my Jeep with the top down. There was a loud kerfuffle behind me with shouting and someone was getting out of their car in traffic.  A quick glance in the rear view showed someone running up beside me. Now I admit my first thought was carjacking but the guy was not on the right side for that. It was then I notice in the car next to me, smiling his crooked smile, and shaking hands with the rogue pedestrian was Mr. Williams himself. I looked at him with dawning recognition. He just nodded at me, shrugged to say "Yup it's me", and waved. However that is not what I to talk about.

The under publicized event that I want to talk about happened on September 11th 13 years ago. After the tragic events of that day a lot of people wanted to do… something, anything. Even as far removed as San Francisco CA we wanted to help. For many, as it turned out a great many, that desire to help culminated in a desire to donate blood. Now I handled it by organizing a mobile blood truck to come out to my work site. But for Robin Williams he showed up to the San Francisco Red Cross where he found thousands of people had arrived ahead of him. For most this would have meant standing on line or going home. Robin could have used his name to jump the line, do what he’d come to do and go home. He chose to exercise another option, and fall back on what he does best. For the next 20 hours Robin William proceeded to entertain those giving souls on that line at that donation center. Long beyond the point of his voice giving out he “riffed” and improvised like crazy bringing a little light to a few solid citizens on a very dark day indeed.

Few, but those who were there, know this story and I thought that today would be a good day to share this with those of us that morn the loss of a true comic genius and a great human being.

Now, if you have the time, here is one of the greatest episodes of "Inside the Actors Studio" of all time.

Monday, September 8, 2014

All the Pretty Little Horses

"I and the Village"
Marc Chagall 1911

So the time-honored wisdom of babes has taught me one good lesson. That is to stick with what works. My young daughter does not like her naps. So when little Miss Cranky Pants has budgeted a little too much time for fussing, I know that it is time to take her upstairs, dim the lights and hum softly till she goes to sleep. This works great, except that I love to sing. I love a variety of songs even the ones I make up as I go. But she will have none of it, Brahms, not “Rockabye”, not even “Golden Slumbers” The only one that works for her is “All the Pretty Little Horses” and only when I hum. No singing, no extra verses and no sour notes. 
So I sit there, and over and over again, …when you wake you will find all the pretty little horse. And it got me to thinking that this is what works in many situations. We all have our favorite restaurants, our repeat vacation spots, even our go to verbiage for our marketing content. (Read through your work, I am sure you will find a pattern.) Which brings me around to creativity. Is this repetitiveness indicative of a stifled or stunted creativity? Or is it a tool we can use to free us up our higher minds for something greater? It is said that Einstein had a closet full of nothing but brown suits, the same outfit for every day of the week.
He said that it was to simplify his morning routine, he need not occupy his mind with the chore of pick out what to wear he simply picked the next clean one and this freed his mind to think about other things. So, are we thinking 2,3,4 moves ahead while we write that redundant line of text? Are we more creative? Or are we just being driven like cattle through the Starbucks line and ordering the same old thing because we can think of nothing else to get?

So I stick with what works and give the people what they want. But I try to do it will a level of authenticity that allows me to be, if not like Einstein, at least a little be clever.

Here is a little light music while you ponder.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

What has worked for you on Social Media

As seen this morning, original post by Thomas Marzano, and it made me curious. How have any of these rules help you in your business or with you clients? Does anyone have anything to add? Subtract? Give me something that has worked for you in Social Media. And there is no limit on how many words you can use.

As seen this morning, original post by Thomas Marzano, and it made me curious. How have any of these rules help you in your business or with you clients? Does any one have anything to add? Subtract? Give me something that has worked for you in Social Media. And there is no limit on how many words you can use.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Making a Break Through

Michael Blaustein Making it work
I would like this to serve as an example of the broad scope of my skills, and my willingness to put myself out there, to break through, if you will. I will bring creativity, agility, and innovation to the position of Digital Strategist and given the diversity of my background I will quickly become a great asset to BCS Interactive. Allow me to lead off with a short video that are my "Thoughts on the Evolution" of advertising and marketing in the digital age.

Thought on Evolution
Thought on Evolution

Now on the surface of it you might say, creepy cell phone video, and you would be right. But if you think for a moment about the necessity for moving quickly and staying agile I feel it is a strong example of my willingness to embrace the current with and eye toward the future. If the two watch words at Ketchum are "Break Through" I might interpret that as "Serge Forward" or be willing to move quickly and act on / interact with the fast moving digital universe. "Stay Agile" may well become my personal watch words. Now I also mention Oreo and Orabrush, did I just pick two words that sound the same?
No, and here is a little more.

Agility in the Digital Age
Agility in the Digital Age

Oreo proved a willingness to engage in and react to a fast moving environment and I believe to achieve a "Break Through", this type of attitude is essential. Being willing to act first and fix mistakes later.

I would encourage you to start from the beginning of my blog to learn more of my thoughts on creativity. And here is the link to my creative portfolio which you can find on Coroflot. My creativity and long experience makes me a strong candidate for this position. The diversity of my background and an allignment with your mission makes me unique among applicants. I look forward to developing new concepts in marketing for the digital age.
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Sunday, March 9, 2014

Fostering Creativity Where-ever, When-ever.

bold ideas, the muse that
drives innovation.

But wait, this is not a true Haiku. A haiku by definition is not just a collection of syllables but also a requisite theme. That theme…is nature the Japanese revere it, and often juxtaposing two ideas or images.

Maybe this one is more traditional:

Shadows dance with light
Wind makes music in the leaves
Rolling down the road

If you look at the rest of this blog you will see that I am making an attempt to explore creativity and inspiration (spotty though my efforts may be) I do believe that the first Haiku distills it admirably.

Now I went ahead and created a fresh video post in answer to your request and I believe it also help to illuminate the theme of this blog while showcasing my unique suitability for a position with 87AM, heck even my usename m8qlaff (google it I dare you) has a certain resemblance to your firms name.


I am also including a video I created a few years ago that I feel gives insight to my design process. This is a furniture piece that I conceived, designed and built.


 The third video I am including here is something that I had nothing to do with other than a little encouragement and technical support of the young filmmaker that I believe is really going places. It is a compelling short that is worth the 10 minutes it takes to watch. Enjoy


If you would like to learn more, please check out my online portfolio where you will see my advertising and graphic design, my dabbling in animation and a whole lot more furniture. 

Ok now allow me just a little cover letter style plug (old habits die hard) My creativity, a proven track record building businesses and training teams, coupled with stellar experience developing client relationships and managing client expectations in all aspects of sales, advertising, and marketing makes me a strong candidate for this senior position. The diversity of my background and an affinity for emerging technology makes me unique among applicants.