Sunday, May 27, 2007

What's new?

Wow. It's over. The months and weeks and days leading up to the Festival are now a thing of the past.

I was involved in something incredibly big and wonderful.

I saw some fabulous shows. If you ever get the chance, do not miss Teatro Hugo & Ines from Peru. Or the Vietnamese Water Puppets (oh! a video!) Or Big Nazo.

I survived Ginger.

I think I gave myself an ulcer.

What have you been up to?

Friday, May 11, 2007

My Adventures with "Ginger"

I know, I know. I've not been very faithful in either writing or reading blogs lately. I've been busy, doing the Children's Festival, and the Farmers' Market started, and...

Ah, you don't want to read the boring stuff. You're here for the absurd.

I found the Children's Festival a new sponsor this year -- a nice, tasty bundle of money, and some volunteer t-shirts. Our contract with them states that we will have final approval on the t-shirt design, and they would have an activity tent on our field where they could, discreetly, hand out their brochure to interested adults.

Now, this is an Arts festival. The marriage of Commerce to the Arts has always been sketchy, but this company wants to recruit staff, and their product is perfectly suited to doing something fun & educational for the kiddies -- an ideal way to showcase themselves.

Now, I'm dealing with the big man's executive assistant, who we will call "Ginger". She asks for our logo, and off she goes -- getting the t-shirt designed. First design: 'volunteer' on the sleeves, and a big "We're Hiring" on the back.

Uh, no. "Put your logo on the sleeve," I suggest, because that's what's usually done. "Oh, that's too expensive," says Ginger ("Oh," I think to myself, "now she thinks I'm stoopid.") "so we'll do this."
Our company presents

On the back of the t-shirt, under the big word "Volunteer."

Uh, no. I email her back, saying "What are you presenting? The Festival? People will think that's the Festival number. How about this?"

Our Company

"Oh, sorry," Ginger writes back, "the t-shirts just had to go to print. It's done."

I grit my teeth, write an email of official disappointment (stating as obliquely as I can that a publishing company should understand the words "final approval" in a contract), and think "Okay, let's make sure she doesn't screw up their activity on the field."

A month ago, when I first got into contact with Ginger, I sent her a looong email, filled with ideas of how they could use their area of expertise on the activities field, to meaningfully engage the kids, and thus impress and hopefully intrigue the adults. I even titled the email "Your Company's Presence at the Festival" or some such.

THEN, over 3 in-person meetings with Ginger, I gave her these ideas again. Her concern was that the kids wouldn't come in without a contest or something. "Ginger," I said patiently, "This is an Arts festival, we cannot have it turn into a carnival. Why don't you bring in a basketball hoop to draw the kids in, as there's no other sports stuff on the field. BUT, this can't be all you do, because we are an ARTS festival, so you could...."

So yesterday, after the whole t-shirt debacle, I sent her a simple email saying "So, what are your plans for the Activities field?"

Her reply? "Other than the baskeball hoop you suggested?????" [I lie not about the 5 question marks. Oh, how I wish I did!]

So, my question to you, my loyal readers is three-fold:

Is she being deliberately obstructive?

And if she is, is she doing it on her own or with the big boss' approval?

Or, is she really just that stupid?



Wednesday, May 02, 2007

One day in a Chinese restaurant... cousin was eating dinner with my mom, me and a couple of my nephews. It came time to open the fortune cookies, and he introduced me (us) to the practice of ending each fortune cookie with "in bed!".

If you've never tried it, you're missing out.

Yesterday, my friend and I went for Chinese food. [We were looking for sushi, ended up with greasy Chinese...imagine our stomachs' disappointment!]

Our cookies:

"You will soon be the centre of attention -- in bed!"

"The world will soon be ready to receive your talents -- in bed!"