I guess there isn’t an algorithm for that.

The first boy to buy me breakfast killed himself in April & I just found out because I realized I hadn’t heard from him in awhile. As I clicked on his profile to send a msg I saw the posts. So many posts blending together. My heart sank into my stomach.

I guess there isn’t an algorithm for that.

We met in an AOL chatroom pretending to be different people. Me, the summer before I left for my freshman year of college in 2001. & him, three years older & already a UT drop out living back with his mom. I snuck out of my house & into his at 5am one morning & we’d been irl friends ever since.

After I got kicked out of school a couple years later & moved back to Austin, we’d watch Hitchcock DVDs & gameshow reruns while his mom was at work & chain smoke cigarettes indoors. By the time she was home in the morning we’d be gone. Years later when I moved to Hyde Park, he helped me move my bed & slept in it a few times when my batshit crazy roomate turned out to be a terrifying heroin addict. He helped me move out a month after I moved in. The last time I’d ever see him again would be in front of a bar on 6th street ~2019, checking people’s ID, he saw me walking & grabbed me to hug me. A feat that would terrify most men, he knew he could.

Over the past two decades we talked less & less but always every few months, & as recently as the week before his death. I cherished every convo we ever had.

I will never meet another person who can out jeopardy or out wit me more than Zachary Rodriguez could. He was a true gentleman & the last thing he ever asked me was “what do you think of when you think of me?” Migas, I told him. It’s what we ate at ihop back in 2001 the morning we met. He made fun of me for putting ketchup on them.

Maybe that should have been a red flag. Maybe I should have said something else. Or something more. My heart is both broken & at peace with that realization. I know he knows I loved him even if he forgot in a moment of hopelessness.

Rest, Señor, but I’m so pissed at you. You were one of my oldest & realest friends. You could have sent me a msg. Or a chess game request. But you knew I would have responded immediately.

& this now feels unreal.

~

Ps.
Check on your people.
& know I love you even if we haven’t talked in months or years or maybe ever, I see you & your existence means something to me.

Nicotine free

Adjust your eyes to the brightness.

The breaks are cold. You walking through the hall in your pajama bottoms, wondering if I’ve moved at all. (I have not. I don’t know what to do.)

Anxiously. I should get out more. But I think I’ll just eat a cheeseburger. Apply for some jobs. Chew some more gum. & wait for that moment. It’s close.

How To Create Customer Based Marketing That Won’t Creep Your Audience.

HOW TO CREATE CUSTOMER BASED MARKETING THAT WON’T CREEP YOUR AUDIENCE. OR CAUSE A CONSPIRACY.

When personalization goes too far. & why I’m over client profiles but I’ll make one for you anyway.

“Even when you are marketing to your entire audience or customer base, you are still simply speaking to a single human at any given time.”

ANN HANDLEY via https://www.brandwatch.com/blog/react-creepy-marketing-personalisation-goes-far/

That means don’t send me a pregnancy congrats coupon Target, or let some guy load an album onto my icloud for eternity Apple, or, dare I even say: judge me. Though keep doing this Amazon:

This is just funny.

Creepy marketing experiences have three (3) traits according to marketing blog consensus:

  • It’s invasive because it touches on something personal you haven’t shared publicly or with the brand
  • What you’re selling is irrelevant & uninteresting (fair enough!)
  • You sound like a used car salesman

The third one is the most interesting to me because it’s the hardest to figure out & often where the top of the funnel, sequencing, data collecting type stuff I’m used to designing/thinking about in regards to conversion lives. It’s the ”Fan” or first impression. Qualification. The difference between a creepy experience & an email address that can open a whole new conversation up is in being just suggestive enough not to be creepy. It’s also why I design most of my small business digital affinity campaigns only after I’ve done a lot of research & observing the entire ecosystem.

”People know that when they interact with a brand online, they are likely putting themselves on a “list” to be marketed to in the future. In many cases, consumers may have forgotten that they gave such permission to a company, or they perhaps did so inadvertently” says Seth Hardy, Editor of NewCodeEx.blog

As business-owners are looking to survive the lockdown, it’s vital to know what’s driving traffic to you. & what interactions bring them back. How do you remind people you’re still here, or will deliver or have a new outdoor dining area when you don’t know if they see you on Facebook or Instagram? How do you digitize the relationship you have with customers you are used to interacting with in person? What messages are you sending them right now? When do you stop? Do you adapt your messaging & keep trying? What’s the etiquette about stereotyping in our client profiles? & how much of the water-cooler talk is public when it’s in the comments? How do you turn all that into an opt-in?

In the dark ages that is 2016 – 2020, History will write about how marketing can feel a lot like a Russian hoax. Or a conspiracy.

I had a client once want to move from a monthly subscription-centric marketing plan to a more authentic one based around engagement metrics they *thought* they could monetize, it was soulless. & their expectations were too high. They weng back to selling used cars. But I designed an amazing infastructure for collecting affinity campaign data!

Authentic customer-centric marketing will always require a human component & priming period. If you need a quick solution, it’s not automation platforms or engagement marketing campaigns because there’s a long term commitment involved, but you won’t be worse off for trying if you do it smart.

When I was an automation analyst at the largest technology company in the world, I was an engine way before I figured out how to code it. But data access, much like generalizations and other commitments, should be used responsibly.

When trying to close the gap between your brand and consumers, you’ll have to meet them where they are. That means talking to them in in a relatable manner that feels natural. Maybe that’s not a fully automated marketing campaign, maybe that’s simply engaging more and automating the reminders to follow up.

In fact, one of the reasons storytelling & engagementbis so important to digital marketing is that it adds a layer of authenticity to your product and authenticity will only become more important to consumers in the years to come.

If you’re still reading but not sure you know what the next steps are, you can hire me to help you design a communication strategy or generate content that will be more than just a call-to-action.

IVoted2020

It didn’t excite me like it usually does. I’m not buying a celebratory cake. I’m less optimistic than I was 4 years ago on this day. & definitely more incredulous.

I voted for Joe Biden because even if it doesn’t matter, my opinion does. & it doesn’t have to make sense to anyone else. Just me.

It doesn’t have to follow any logic. I don’t have to explain it to you. Find meaning in the things you think don’t matter. In what you don’t understand.

Election days are my favorite. There is an energy as the days get closer that always builds up as the days start to feel like weeks before the first Tuesday in November. Presidential years are even better because I bore easily. & have really high standards that no one will ever meet. Except maybe the figment of Obama.

But the uncertainty is unbearable. & I’m holding my tongue. Historic moments are spontaneous. & I instantly regret my decisions to stay indoors.

Tl;dr I want to pay attention to detail in my present comfort zone. & not have to be nice. But I’m hard on myself.

Natural History

I forgot to tell you.

I turned off all my social media notifications. I much prefer screaming into a void to the tune of a symphony for a crater, then catching up on the commentary. I’ve never been a performer, I just want to capture things.

Sometimes it’s my face. Or half of. Or my words. & I remind myself these are your stupid rules. & that no one actively hates you. Stop being insecure.

In lieu of being strange & wonderful in rose colored clouds of vapor, I’ve been writing, but you have to find it. & making art out of to do lists. Publishing copy. Teaching my friends (& strangers) how to build websites. Volunteering. Reading. Taking deep breaths. Sleeping too much. Procrastinating. Forgetting. Making lists. Distracting myself.

I’m worried.

I’m hopeful.

Will revert after Tuesday.

Always a bridesmaid

I guess they wanted to hear about how terrified I was, waking up in a fog the next morning, struggling my way out of the waterbed as I realized my nose felt broken. & I was naked. Alone. In a city I didn’t know. With no friends. I got in my car and drove through west tx. They kicked me out after that.

& that was the first time I didn’t go to the police because I didn’t want to be forced again.

~that girl on the internet

This state we’re in.

Everything takes twice as long. 11:11 feels longer than a minute. Everyone is impaired. Foggy. Raw. Sensitive.

I am not Kate Bush. & my voice is shaking.

Sneaking side eyes & trying to remember to breath. Or feel. Something or anything. Everything. Nothing. I feel, staring at walls.

He said he didn’t see you. But he lies. & this is a dream.

Soon. In another universe; which they have almost found, things will be different.

Logan. Meh.

Dec 8 2019

Watched Logan’s Run for the first time & I have so many thoughts. Like:

Why do they live in a mall?
& what was the point?
Why do the people who help them run not run themselves?
Who is passing out these Ankh keys???
They have teleportation Tinder but their cars are basically rollercoasters?
Why can’t Logan 6 actually hit anything when he shoots?
& if they aren’t being reborn then isn’t he just Logan?
What ARE cat’s 3rd names?
Box.
WERE THEY EATING PEOPLE?
This was a comedy, right?

~

Things I did enjoy about this terrible, awful, piece of sci-if trash that did not have Sean Connery in it:

The ruined senate chambers overrun by cats.
Box.
No means no.
The old man’s ramblings that made more sense than the rest of the script.

That’s it.

Save draft

The drafts & trash bin are my real diary. So rarely published. Or reviewed. My words annoy me. So, I get it. I feel neurotic when I’m at my best. & I think you have a complex. Just remember to let it go.

She should be nicer. More present. Tonight I played my flute. In tune.

& last week I got a keyboard from an estate sale. I’ve been messing around. But I have to be in the right mood. It’s felt unwanted.

My plants are still alive. They look healthy. Henrietta too. She lives in a doll house.

Been feeling red lips. Power moves.

Ps get out. More. & finish stuff. & pay attention to details.

Happy Birthday

Things I have given myself over the past year for my birthday because I am incredibly fortunate & have a beautiful life despite us all being doomed sooner or later:

Freedom from the corporate world
Glossier
A legit corset.
Plants.


A subscription to nicotine gum.
Fuck Trump Lipstick
Chocolate brown hair dye.
Green hair.
Pink hair.
New tweezers.

A strawberry dress.

Happy 37.

& Maybe I’ll finish learning spanish now. 

As an adult, I learned English was my mom’s second language.
& that living through Chicano history in San Antonio was complicated for a girl wanting to fit in.

She never talked to me Spanish. I was an Oswalt, not a DeLeon. I wouldn’t be made fun of for my accent or the way I pronounced things. I would not be lost in translation.

She was a different ethnicity, a minority in this country. The first thing they made her forget was her language. The first thing I’d be good at would be communication.

The pressure to just be normal makes sense.

I forgive her for barely teaching me the bad words in spanish. For not being Louder. For not knowing how to fight back. She found her own way as a young mom taking a job at SMCISD working directly with parents who spoke Spanish. She could speak it when it mattered.

& maybe she was protecting me the only way she knew ho.w. & maybe teaching me an important lesson in empathy. She was trying to make the future better for me, & for others, & ultimately the thing that made her feel different is the thing that defines so much . I learned perseverance from the best.

I see clearly the privilege my mom gave me with a white last name & fair skin. But I am forever proud of her maiden one. & her inability to burn.

Read about this piece of forgotten history below.

Forgotten history: Chicano student walkouts changed Texas, but inequities remain

 

Here’s to you.

HERES TO YOU

On day three of deliver-everything-self-quarentine, I traumatized the pizza delivery driver.

Apparently they are leaving pizzas on wrapped present boxes at your door when you click the no contact delivery option.

I have been waiting for this moment for years. I don’t have to put on pants. My dogs won’t go crazy by the doorbell. I don’t have to talk to anyone.

But I watched through my window, a guy standing in front of my house, exactly 6 feet away from the door. I yelled from inside, “cool! Thank you!”

He lingered.

My dogs smelled him or sensed him& went crazy.

I said again from my Covid free indoors, “thank you!!”

“I need the box”

Shit. This guy doesn’t get the hint. I have to wear pants instead of bathing suit bottoms for this? I ran to my room all the way on the other side of the house & threw on a dirty skirt & finally opened the front door & stepped barefoot onto my front lawn.

“Uhh, you can leave.”

“But I need my box back.”

“What box? Do you wanna watch me eat the thing & give the pizza box to you?”

“No, I need the box.” He points a few times nervously that makes me feel like he wants very badly for this box to return with him. “It’s… it’s under the pizza. We can’t touch it or put the pizza on the ground.”

“What the shit kind of no contact delivery is this?! I had to put on pants. My dogs are freaking out. I have ASTHMA. The world is ending. Put the pizza in a big bag next time & just GO. Tell your boss.”

“Yes ma’am.”

We stared at each other but he wouldn’t look me in the eye. I waited for him to leave.

“Ccccaaaan I have my box now?”

“Oops. Sorry. Here ya go.” I handed the stupid cardboard box wrapped like a Christmas present to him.

I went inside. I washed my hands. I opened my pizza & then I realized I’m wearing a 50 year old t-shirt that is paper thin & you can totally see my boobs. I look like a punk rock Amelie & sound like an 80 year old toad that chain-smokes.

That poor kid is gonna have a serious Mrs. Robinson complex. Sorry pizza dude. I hope I get a song out of it.