Tuesday, January 09, 2007

stupid is as stupid does (what does that mean, anyway? see? i'm stupid!)

as some of you know, i am already thinking about what's next for me in this crazy thing i like to call my "career" (quote marks necessary when you sell ads for a living. especially ads about toilets. i think that cinches the necessary-quote-marks deal quite definitively. btw, did you know that a toilet's flushing power is measured using grams of BEAN PASTE? yup, bean paste. bean paste is the official substance used by the toilet-powers-that-be to measure how much human waste a toilet can handle. and? just like cars have more horsepower than the average driver will ever need, most toilets that are available today can handle more bean paste than the average person will ever emit. BEAN PASTE. i bet you will never look at refried beans the same way ever again).


[except for the fact that i partly embellished that story for dramatic effect. i haven't actually been associated with an actual ad for a toilet... yet. we've done some toilet strategy, but no toilet ads. heh. i actually really like working on this client, toilets or not. and i totally, totally want a bidet seat. so now you know what to get me for my birthday. why wipe when you can wash, eh?]


the POINT of this already-horrible post was how i am thinking about what i want to do next. i heart austin, austin has the alamo drafthouse, you can wear flip-flops while you christmas shop here in austin, there are dead birds in austin, austin has queso, austin has town lake, you can get your tooth chipped in an unexpected bar brawl in austin... what's not to like? it has clearly been a very full ten months for me (ten months! already! yowza).

but as i sit around and consider the possibilities, oh, the possibilites, i find myself facing a new dilemma: corporate america has made me dumb. i mean, not DUMB dumb. i play a mean game of brickbreaker on my blackberry. i can send a meeting maker on microsoft outlook like nobody's business. i can churn out POVs, creative briefs, powerpoint decks, and research reports in the mere time it takes me to crunch my way through a single bag of cheetos. mm, dangerously cheesy!

yet... i don't know... dumb. my friend di was telling me how she read this article labeling us the zoomer generation to reflect the way we're so used to zooming from one thing to another on our way to the top. and i remember reflecting with my friend erica over this past holiday about how HARD we used to work in high school. as most of you know, i went to a total nerd high school. MAJOR nerd high school, and we worked our ASSES off. i distinctly remember sitting for hours and hours of testing our senior year (to the point where there was a several-week period where we didn't even have any classes, we just sat for AP test after IB test after god knows what other tests), and i also remember enjoying college a lot more than i did high school (although high school was pretty fun, too. we used to put all of our cars together in the parking lot after school, turn up our radios to the same station and have a parking lot party. a PLP, for short. don't you wish you went to high school with me?).

but if you asked me today to sit down and take 10 million tests on 10 million different topics (ranging from the different forms of 18th century sonata to analyzing french literature to chemical reactions, oh man, i was bad at those, to analyzing the causes of obscure european wars, etc.), or thoughtfully analyze some difficult poetry (stupid sylvia plath and her overly dark subject matters. i seriously think that the only reason her poetry is still taught in american high schools is because she had a famous husband and committed suicide by putting her head in the oven. "dirty girl thumb stump" blah blah), or go through the hellish process that was applying to college all over again... i don't know, i just don't know if i could do it.

it makes me wonder if the 17-year-old version of me was smarter than the 25-year-old version of me (yikes), or if my 17-year-old self was accustomed to using my brain in different ways, or if your brain really is a muscle that you can train back into tip-top shape. i like to think of myself as a relatively intelligent individual (i like crosswords! i read books! i listen to NPR! i keep a journal that is full of largely inane but nonetheless well-articulated thoughts!), but when i stop and think about the fact that this brain -- as it were -- is devoted to thinking about the best way to market a TOILET that flushes x amount of bean paste...

well. it's a humbling prospect, to say the least.

maybe it's time to get smart again...?


At 10:41 AM, Anonymous erica said...

I nearly spit out my lunch when i got to the "thumb stump" reference. we may be getting older, and possibly dumber, but we have the same old dork sense of humor...


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