Archive for October, 2011

October 31, 2011

How I use 30 Rock at my job

An important part of working on the Weekly Yelps is to maintain the illusion that our San Francisco editing team DOES NOT EXIST. We work hard to preserve the voice of each city’s Community Manager because they know better than us what their city wants to read every week. Sometimes, though, issues come up where the “local voice” sounds off, so the editors have to do a little creative research.

I was working on a Northern California issue last week and I realized I didn’t remember how to talk about the freeways using NorCal colloquialisms. See, I’m here in San Francisco by way of a Southern California beach town, where we do things a little differently – which I did not know until I got to college and was relentlessly made fun of for it. I went to school in Santa Cruz, where I learned that you can determine whether someone hails from Northern or Southern California based on if they used “the” before a freeway’s name. This seems so stupid and I initially brushed it off as San Franciscans being self-righteous cliches, but the more I got made fun of for it, the more I realized this is actually a real thing.

Cut to me editing said Northern California issue, confusing my NorCal knowledge with my SoCal roots. I couldn’t remember if I should use “the” or not while talking about which freeway to take to a particular business. I didn’t want any of our readers to catch onto the shameful whereabouts of my hometown, so I asked my manager what I should do. She responded with this video:

This is just one example of many of how I make final editorial decisions, and also how I turn to Tina Fey when I feel lost.

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October 25, 2011

How I think I look when I wear dresses

Body image issues, or do I just secretly want to be a power lesbian who wears skinny jeans and tweed jackets every day? Let’s not analyze it.

October 23, 2011

I’m still excited for Twilight: Breaking Dawn

October 20, 2011

Inspiration for a new biz venture (lolz)

My coworker showed me this website called Fomato Cards today and I’m pretty obsessed. I’ve been talking about working on a line of cards with my friend Jess (one of our great designers at Yelp) for a while now. We’ve sort of put this idea on hold, however, because Jess has been busy in her off-time launching a wedding invitation business and an online store, and I have been busy squeezing my pores in the mirror and playing with my dog. But these Fomato illustrations cracked me up and lit a little fire under my patooty.

My favorite of these cards is the birthday one on cheese. I love cheese so much! In my fantasy world, I would eat it every day and I would still feel amazing, my skin would be flawless, my waist would be trim, and I would never be constipated. A girl can dream.

October 15, 2011

Love letters to the ladies of The View

A while ago, the ladies of The View did a segment on why they loved our Yelp mobile app. Our PR team thought it would be nice to send them thank you care packages full of schwag. When they asked me to write the personalized notes for each lady’s care package, assuming I was familiar with the show, I lied through my teeth (via gchat) and said, “Why yes, of course I’ve watched and loved every episode of this daytime TV show that runs when I’m at work!” After skimming through some Jezebel recaps and studying the notes PR sent over, this is what I came up with:

Dear Whoopi,
We suspect you want to do some investigative research on the art of vajazzling (don’t deny it!), so help us help you. Type “vajazzle” into Yelp’s search bar – and maybe follow up with a “merkin” search in case you don’t like what you find. Tell us, can Twitter do that? [PR specified that Whoopie Goldberg’s note needed to be about vajazzling and Twitter. I can’t remember why now.]

Dear Elisabeth,
We heard you have celiac’s disease. That blows (hehe), but lucky for you, the best gluten-free eats are only a quick Yelp search away! [The only things I read about Elisabeth Hasselback are that she’s an annoying Republican and that she has a gluten allergy. I thought it best to focus on the latter factoid for this note.]

Dear Barbara,
How many Yelp CompliMints would it take to get you to have an interview with our CEO, Jeremy Stoppelman? [Barbara Walters’s was the most difficult note to write because she’s so intimidating and I figured she’d roll her eyes at whatever her note said, assuming she’d even read it at all. I opted to keep this short so she wouldn’t come to my home and slash my face for wasting her time with nonsense.]

Dear Joy,
You have a lot of opinions about a lot of heated topics, and while we won’t say whether we do or do not endorse your arguments, we will say we love your spunk. With your pugnaciousness, we think you’d thrive on many of the Yelp Talk boards. Have you considered signing up for an account? [Joy Behar is my favorite.]

Dear Sherri,
You once said you weren’t big on voting, but might we suggest you embrace suffrage on Yelp? Join, rate and review businesses – anyone can do it! Unless of course you’re a robot, which you’re not… right? [I actually forgot about Sherri Shepherd, which makes sense because she doesn’t have real opinions about anything like the other ladies. Her note pretty much reflects my opinion of her non-opinions.]

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October 8, 2011

Lies I’ve published on Facebook

What??? I never had a potential internship lined up with Nip/Tuck! What the hell am I talking about?! And why did I say this? LIE.

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October 7, 2011

I’m sad to see you go, Steve Jobs

When I heard Steve Jobs died, my first thought was, “But didn’t he just get sick?”

In reality, Steve Jobs had been sick a very long time, impressively fighting off pancreatic cancer much longer than most people who are diagnosed do. But still, when a fellow coworker read the news headline out loud, my office’s floor collectively, silently, took a very deep breath and held it. It’s displaced, awkward, and kind of gross to be personally affected by a stranger’s death; and yet, no one is passing much judgement as the city feels like it’s been put on pause today.

Like I assume a lot of people did, I immediately googled Steve Jobs to find out more about the man we’re all mourning. He was very guarded about his personal life, and as such, pretty much left us with just two big pieces of himself: his Apple products and some very quotable quotes. My favorite is from his commencement speech to Stanford’s graduating class of 2005:

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.

I find this advice particularly resounding, since I am one of many early 20-somethings who graduated into a dismal job market. Does this advice apply to us? I want to think that it does, and that we don’t have to take what we can get, shut up and be happy with it. We constantly hear rhetoric about paying our dues, and I think for a lot of people that means living with this horrible ennui that we don’t think we deserve to fix. We’re in a state of constant anxiety, mainly because the idea of making important life decisions with your gut instinct isn’t something most people encourage.

RIP, Steve Jobs. Thanks for reminding us we really do have the power to do anything we want.

October 5, 2011

Babe alert: Gavin Newsom came to my office!

In extremely exciting Yelp news, I spotted Gavin Newsom touring our office’s obligatory start-up “party floor” yesterday and I almost peed my pants. He was posing next to a KegMate, looking like a boss, and I was holding a bag of popchips with my mouth hanging open. It was so magical I literally thought I was hallucinating. Back at my desk, I pinged our PR team a litany of questions as to what he was doing and if I was allowed to share the same oxygen as him. I got no answers, but they did let me know when he was leaving the building. At that point, a coworker and I ran downstairs and bounced around the lobby until he came out of the elevator. Then we giggled uncontrollably as we watched him walk away. In the words of our security team leader, Doris: “He’s a tall drink of water for a white man.” In my opinion, he looks like Patrick Bateman, which is hot. (Question – Which is grosser: That I think a psychopathic killer is hot or that I’m digging a Bret Easton Ellis character?)

He even posed for an unfortunately unattractive picture with our CEO:

In addition to being allowed to gaze into the back of the head shaped by God’s own tear drop, I was happy Gavin came to our office because it reminded me to rewatch Mary Van Note’s hilarious web series, Gavin Really Wants Me. Except I hate to break it to you, Mary, but I can tell by the way we didn’t make eye contact that he really wants me.

October 2, 2011

Lies I’ve published on Facebook

Whatever, I lie all the time on Facebook and you do too, so don’t judge. It’s for the best, really; if we didn’t all lie, the only updates anyone would have to read are the ones that old high school frenemy pens nonstop (“woke up to birds by my window!, brunch with the girlzzzz, bought a shower curtain with Boyfriend<3, repost if you love JESUS CHRIST, early nighty night with <3333the Boy<3333,” et al).

The lie I published on September 27, 2011 at 11:27pm:
Neat, my allergies are making me look perma stoned.

The truth: I do actually have allergies right now that are giving me really bad dry eye.

The lie: I am profoundly stoned in this photo. I had taken two Ativan, smoked a bowl, and drank two Skinny Girl Margaritas. Also, my eyes are extra watery because prior to taking pictures of myself, I was crying while youtubing dogs being reunited with their US soldier owners coming home from Iraq. I wanted to post this picture on Facebook because I hadn’t washed my hair in two days and thought it looked sexy.

I’m excited to see what other lies I can uncover once Facebook Timeline launches!

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October 1, 2011

The ways I am an obnoxious dog owner

Found perusing the Bold Italic back stories: Furry Logic, an article on dog owner and non-owner etiquette. Needless to say, I’m more than a little obsessed with my dog, Mary Cherry (note: I accidentally typed “god” instead of “dog” just now, which I think is poetic). Here are the dog owner etiquette rules I feel comfortable breaking.

I dote on her in public. At six pounds and 12-years-old, Mary frequently gets exhausted on long walks. I will pick her up to carry her, which brings her very close to my face, and when she sticks her nose on my cheek, it reminds me of how she is such a sweet little pita pocket stuffed with sunshine! I absolutely have to kiss her fuzzy ears a million times and tell her how special she is or my heart will explode!!! People who don’t have extraordinarily precious dogs don’t understand this, but it is possible to become physically ill if you don’t smoosh your dog’s face into your face constantly.

I let her go crazy at the park. Because she’s so small, I really don’t see the harm in her running over a picnic blanket. She doesn’t bark unless you step on her, she doesn’t intimidate or even really excite other dogs, and she’s missing most her teeth so even if she did bite, it would probably feel like a tickle. Not to mention, literally everyone coos and smiles affectionately at her (see above: pita pocket). She’s basically every San Franciscan’s ideal apartment pet – she cuddles like a cat, but she loves you like a dog. Also, she’s as low-maintenance as a hamster.

I don’t always pick up her poop, but hear me out: The freeway runs over my block, which creates an outdoor ceiling ideal for hobo camping. Some of them smoke a lot of crack, and crack does weird things to your bowels that I don’t like. I can’t even begin to count the number of times one of them has leveraged themselves with my car to take a huge, grayish crack poo all over the sidewalk in front of my building’s stairs. It really bums me out. So sometimes when I’m in a super bad mood about it, I won’t pick up Mary’s poops on their part of the sidewalk. Take that, disenfranchised homeless community!