Orient by water 1

I orient by water. Apparently I have to keep it on the east. If I don’t I have a hard time finding my way around the land. This is one of the many reasons I don’t live in California. I grew up on the east side of Michigan, in a town pressed up against Lake Saint Clair. […]


Margaret Atwood on writing perceptions 1

I’m pondering the intricacies of nonfiction and fiction writing and interpretation. I heard this on the radio and recognized its truth immediately. When you’re writing fiction, everybody thinks you’re secretly writing about real people and things. But if you write an autobiography, they think you’re lying as one does. From Margaret Atwood’s interview with Arun Rath […]


Electronic music on repeat: Dawn of Midi and the xx

I go through audio obsessions.

Last fall, I listened to Dawn of Midi‘s Dysnomia on repeat as I drove, as I wrote, as I cooked. I found it via the RadioLab podcast. I loved the sense of driving seemingly-electronic music slowly morphing, and I loved to hear that it wasn’t electronic at all, but humans playing to sound like machines. The layering of sound and story was what caught me, but the music kept me.

This summer and fall, I’ve been listening to the xx‘s two releases on repeat. I discovered them via the New Yorker’s profile, Shy and Mighty.

Two different artists and sounds, but both triggered my play daily on repeat response and I thought I’d share. Both are good as foreground or background, which is a hard thing to do.

I know making music and getting paid for it these days is tough going, so if you like these songs, go support the artists and buy their music!


Google Consumer Survey encountered on the Christian Science Monitor website.

Online Consumer Survey Comparison: Survata vs. Google Consumer Surveys 1

I just completed some go-to-market research for a scientifically-oriented business-to-consumer company. In this research, one of my tasks was to assess consumer sentiment and project possible customer loyalty for a new product launch. Things like customer-lifetime-value, ecommerce conversion rate, and loyalty would be wonderful to have from our competitors, but these KPIs are closely-guarded secrets. While I […]


An introvert’s social reserve – a muscle or a well? 2

In March I changed my work setting. I left my job of almost seven years and moved to independent marketing consulting and writing. Although I have my share of meetings at client sites and in coffee shops, I typically work and write in my home office. What I feared I’m an introvert. I’m restored by quiet and […]


Great wrapping (packaging) extends the gift 1

I can be a minimalist. There’s almost nothing I like better than organizing things for disposal. I like to give away books (to friends, to the library); I like to give away clothing I haven’t worn for a while. I love to reuse cardboard boxes that come in the mail – to organize items for […]


Choose well, and choose what you chose again 2

I officiated at the wedding of friends earlier this month. The bride and groom wrote their own vows and the ceremony, and they invited me to share some thoughts about love and marriage in the middle. What follows is a paraphrase of what I said, with more of my story and less about the bride and groom […]


Holiday Marketing Messages Can Go Awry

My inbox is getting full of marketing messages about Father’s Day, and I don’t like it. OpenTable would like to help me make reservations at a local restaurant for Father’s Day brunch. Two Guys Bow Ties might ensure he’s snappily dressed for the occasion. Princeton U-Store wants me not to forget the college-themed gift, ThinkGeek offers up […]


Pretty and Nice 1

We rented a canal boat in France in May with friends. We piloted it ourselves and moved between small towns on the Saône, the Seille, and the Canal du Centre in Burgundy. We had a great vacation, enjoying the sights, the countryside, the cheese, and of course the wine of France. Five of the six […]


Freeing a wild bird 1

Back in college, I had a part-time job as a clerk in the Biology Library. The blocks of time for student workers were after 5 or weekends, when the “real” librarians had time off and when the library was pretty quiet anyway. Because of the timing of my shifts, I was often in the building […]