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How to Ask a Stranger for an Interview

From the archives: 5/7/2008

Mr. Godin,
I would like to interview you for a documentary I am compiling exploring the evolution of purpose (personal, social, technological).  Actually, I would be ecstatic honored and quite possibly wet my pants if you said yes to an interview for my film.  It’s working title at the moment is “Life in Perpetual Beta“.  We have an interesting line-up of creatives, techies, life coaches, authors etc. that we are interviewing [ Sidney Levy, Nova Spivak, Dan Pink to name a few].  I think that your personal style would really kick ass and fit with our message. (ala Dan Pink “there is no plan” or Yoda “there is no try only do”  – how social networking and collaborative economy is changing the shape of society and shifting the way we think about work).  It may turn out to be the irreverent whorish bastard child of “the secret” with a heart of gold, thus making it world famous or it may just be another blurb that gets put up on Youtube, but all the same, I’d love to get a few moments of your time to interview you.  Please do let me know if you would grant me the honor of an interview.

In gathering information for Life in Perpetual Beta the book (common’ you knew it was coming) I looked through my old interview pitch emails. I didn’t know Seth Godin from Adam at the time to tell you honestly, but my tribe told me I had to have him, so I made an impassioned plea… was even ready to pee my pants… then had the audacity to mention honor… still hard to believe, I did eventually get the interview, You can see it here.

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Dinner and Serendipity

Last year, I read about this incredible event a gentleman named Jim Haynes has been hosting in his Paris home.  Every Sunday night for the past 30 years, 30-40 strangers reserve a spot at Jim’s table and attend a feast, it’s a first come/first serve system where a different friend prepares the feast each night. After I read about Jim, I vowed to be more like him, inviting more strangers and more adventure into my life… the year passed without much of either.  Last night however, Cole and went to a dinner party at the home of a couple we had never met before, and it was wonderful.  Weirdly, the invite had actually come as a friend request on Facebook, the couple had just moved into the city and found me through a series serendipitous social network connections, and were quite frank in their invite that they wanted to make new friends in the city.  I admire the way these two weren’t shy in culling us out into the real world. How very different they are from most of my Chicago friends (whom I still only know in the ether of the internet.)

I remember being known as the woman who walked across a crowded room to meet new people, what ever happened to her? I’m totally bringing her back this year. I hope you cull out a little more social too.

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Creepy Toys Are Back for the Holidays

I don’t mind when a toy manufacturer goes all out to promote a product, I really don’t. It’s when they all do it together around the holidays that it gets to me. In Target the other day there were at least 3 toys in every single aisle that were jumping out at me. Case in point: The Baby Alive dolls in the video scared the crap out of me, all of them jumping up and down in their zip tied cribs giggling as I walked by – that’s just not right, toys should not be self animated! At least the one my kids are obsessed with (Bigfoot the Monster) has a button you have to push… We have stood in Target for well over an hour pushing it’s buttons, of course, those aren’t the only buttons being pushed. Christmas shopping with kids is close to martyrdom.  It’s no better at home as the Bigfoot Toy has it’s own Facebook app, which my kids are also obsessed with… you can make the thing act out it’s moods… which we do all day… and enter to win one… which we’ve also done (what am I thinking!)  Makes me paranoid about what toy manufacturers are planning to startle us all into buying online this coming Monday.

The markers who are killing me at Christmas are the same ones who paid me to write this post.

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I’m Just Drawn That Way

When I was six, I remember asking my parents to stop making sexual innuendos to one another over the family dinner table, “Mom, Dad, that’s gross, please stop.”  I didn’t know exactly what they meant, but I knew their conversation meant more that the words they said. It’s not that I wasn’t aware of mechanics of sex, my parents were not as discrete as they could have been, and as cliche as it sounds, we had cable.  It was more that I knew they weren’t supposed to be talking about it in front of  kids. – I learned that earlier that year when was grounded for two weeks after my mom heard me using planetary metaphors to explain the sex to a rapt group of neighbor children all sitting cross legged in our back yard. “Well, you see, the man puts his Jupiter in the woman’s Venus.”

After that, my parents didn’t talk at dinner at all – I had effectively shut down their reindeer games.  It’s a sad thing really, now that I’m an adult, knowing how healthy for a relationship a good game of innuendo tennis can be, I wonder to this day if I had just kept my mouth shut would’ve they stayed together?  I know what you are thinking, you are thinking it’s ridiculous of me to hold onto that childish thought of fault – but let me tell you what, kids are exhausting, they take everything, and more often than not, one of the first things they take down is sizzle between the two folks that brought them into the world. I swear this is why there are so many innuendos in children’s movies. Just so when you are wrecked from a day of working and parenting and your kids want to watch Shrek for the hundredth time with you, your mind has somewhere else to go to than the land of far far away.You all knew that Innuendo in Disney movies is a corporate plot to create more Disney consumers, didn’t you? Why else would they put them all in there, think about it…

As an adult I love word play and hard to unmask innuendo, it’s part of who I am, I’d take a slightly clever compliment to my ass over a slap to my ass almost any day of the week, or at least several clever compliments proceeding the slap. It’s not as impressive as knowing the formula for rocket fuel or having performed open heart surgery, but I pride myself on my ability to decode innuendo and the sexual metaphor in conversation, it’s been a hobby since childhood. This is why it puzzles me so that it has taken me over 15 years to understand why Jessica Rabbit would be married to someone as ridiculously stupid as Roger Rabbit, he’s an idiot of a cartoon character, whereas she, she… is not bad. How did I miss the obviousness of this pairing? His name is Roger for crying out loud, and he’s a rabbit, a fucking rabbit for crying out loud!

And you thought this post was actually going somewhere didn’t you?