Monday, February 28, 2011

Day 43: Playing with Barbies PAYS OFF!!

TODAY I WON $9,500!!
I won the Barbie commercial contest that I entered last week.  I split the cashity-cash in half with my co-producer Garrett.  We also gave money to the lovely ladies who were in the video and to the crew (some of whom were lovely ladies too).  So I end up pocketing $4,000.  It felt awesome to win, but equally awesome to be able to pay some really incredible people that gave their time and blind trust to  Garrett and me in this crazy contest endeavor.  Thanks Raina, Danielle, Robin, Ana, and the guy who color corrected the video who I never met cuz Garrett knows you and I don't and he didn't tell me your name but if he did I forgot it so sorry but thanks to you too. 

2011 Earnings so far:  $5,976.00

Today's Contest:  I am not mentioning the contest I am entering today.  It's a creative contest that people could enter in against me.  I'm all for some healthy competition, but I know that there are people who read this blog who would kick my ass in a creative death match...So I choose to mask myself today and be...Ninja Blogger.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Day 42: Skinny Minnie

2011 Earnings:  $1,976.00
Today's Contest: Details Magazine $5,000 Personal Trainer Sweepstakes
Prize:  $5k gift card to put towards a personal trainer.
Rules:  Online sweepstakes submission.  I fill these out so much now.  I wish I was magic and could just look at the screen which needs my info, wave my imaginary wand in a big fancy flourish and say "Sub-MISH" like a Samantha Stevens or Hermione Granger.
I could use a swift kick in the work out pants.  I've spent most of the winter eating everything in site, as if all food known to mankind is going to be rationed out tomorrow and there will be Soviet bread lines forming.  To get inspired and out of my rut, I'll watch fitness shows.  But somehow the pint of Haagen Dazs ends up in my hands while I'm watching The Biggest Loser.

She (ie, me) better get it together and quick if she's going to fit into her skinny jeans this summer and have the right look.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Day 41: She's Come Undone

2011 Earnings so far:  $1976.00

Today's Contest:  AT&T $10,000,000 Idol Sweepstakes
Rules:  Rules.  So many rules.  Just enter on line info
Prizes:  Lots of cash.

Oh Lawdy Lady Lawdy Shawdy Lady Lawdy Lades.  After a full day of working on freelance stuff, my brain is feeling really wonky.  Really Willy Wonky

Friday, February 25, 2011

Day 40: Lazy Susan

2011 Earnings so Far:  $1,976.00

Today's Contest:  So Delicious Coconut Milk
Prize:  Coffee Stuff
Rules:  Enter on Facebook

I came over to my friend Jack's.   He's begging me to go out, so I had to find a contest STAT and am doing this from his computer.  So I chose one I'd already entered.  It's all I can muster up right now. This daily contesting is kinda like owning a needy dog that you have to make sure to go home and walk.  Anyway, he's lying on the couch, agitated and it's late.
If we don't go out soon, he might kill me.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Day 39: Alotta Nevahda

I won three songs to download from the All State: Score with a song contest.
Approximate retail value (that's so Price is Right):  $3

Total 2011 earnings:  $1,976.00
Today's Contest:  All State:  Score With a Song Contest
Rules:  Play a (kinda actually fun) driving game where you have to avoid hitting debris on the road (like old tires, tvs, and a dinosaur...that's the best out for that T Rex! Where?  Oh, that one.)
If you make it to the sports stadium (which I did...whooooooRAAAAAY!) then you win some prizes.
Prizes:  For completing the driving round you can win anything from music downloads (that's what I won...heyyyyy) to gift cards.  You are then automatically entered to win a trip to Vegas to play golf with basketballs players and go to a show with them.  Weird. Cool, kinda, I guess.  But totally maybe a little bit random, non?

Honestly, I don't understand how all of these elements of the contest relate to each other. Driving, basketball, music websites, gigantic threatening T Rex (again, the best part). What's the through line here people??? That said, I'm happy I won this instant game, and I actually downloaded a Radiohead song, so it's totes legit.

As far as winning a trip to Vegas to tee off with some B ball play-yas...I say bring. it . on. I love me some Vegas.  It's totally over the top, outrageous and completely trashy.  It is so faux-real.   Not to mention one of the most camptastic movies of all time was shot there...Showgirls...starring Elizabeth Berkley...the once brainiac do-gooder Jesse Spano from Saved by the Bell, turned desperate stripper Nomi Malone.

The first time I stayed in Vegas, I was at the Flamingo Hotel, where Donnie and Marie were playing.  My room was over looking the strip. The view was mayyyyydge. Also overlooking the strip were Donny and Marie's gigantic heads on a billboard along the outside of the building.  As I walked back towards the hotel one day, I counted up from the bottom floor to where my room was, and realized that I was staying in Donny's hairline.  Yeeeesssssss.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Day 38: And Blingo was it's name-oh

Total 2011 winnings so far:  $1,973.00

Today's contest:  Publisher's Clearing House "Blingo" Search Engine

Prizes:  Various things from gift cards to movie tickets
Rules:  No rules really. Just sign up to use their search engine and you can win a prize by just searching...and searching, and searching, and searching, and searching and searching and searching and siiiiiiiiiiiiiiirrrrrrr (breath) CHIIIIIIIIIIIG (that was a high C).  

This search engine is like if google and a slot machine had an evil baby. An evil baby that deals crack.  It's awful.  I hate it. I can't stop siiiiiiiiiirrrrrr CHIIIIIIIIIIIING (no breath that time).  I'm actually not really looking for anything, I just keep on plugging in new searches and seeing if I win something.  I'm totes gunna be stuck on this Blingo nonsense till like next forever.

**Update:  Ok, I just did a little more research and you can only win a prize for the first 25 searches.  Phew-skis.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Day 37: Cuckoo For Coconuts

I WON $$$ TODAY!!!
I won a $237.50  residual from a commercial that won money using my creative concept I entered in the Benjamin Moore commercial contest.

2011 Total earnings so far:  $1,973.00

Today's Contest:  So Delicious Dairy Free Coconut Milk:  100 Days of Change Giveaway

Prizes:  Various healthy daily giveaways, all leading up to one Grand Prize of a holistic spa retreat in Thailand to relax..."and see where coconuts come from" (honestly...that's what they's too cute for words).
Today's prize is a jumprope (again, I'm a little bowled over by cuteness factor)
Rules:  "Like" their facebook page and you get entered for that day's giveaway as well as being entered for the big Thailand vacay.

There is something totally charming about this whole brand and campaign.  I'm completely smitten.  Based in Oregon (LOVE!)  So Delicious' look and feel is smart, fresh and contemporary & it seems like they are genuinely interested in promoting wellness through coconut products.  It all feels friendly, authentic and wholesome.  A+, gold star, good job, marketing people.  

They also have hard core fitness trainer Jillian Michaels on board as the face of the product...and they have her sitting in a giant coconut.  I love it.  Ya know she all caszh like "Hey girl, heyyyy...what's uuuup, I'm just hangin' in a coconut.  Jealisss?"  Or like she's maybe kind of emerging from it.  Like a modern day Bottecelli's Birth of Venus...

...or when Athena was born out of Zeus' head (yup, that's how it went down...I knew that cuz I made a diorama of that Athena scenario in 6th grade with a Barbie emerging from a head of Zeus fashioned out of cotton and felt pieces.  Pretty sure I got an A on that one).

I also really like that So Delicious is just sticking to coconut milk...that's all....and not trying to make coco-nuggets, or
coco-breakfast strips.  God bless the soy world, but they try a little too hard to make non-meat...meat.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Day 36: A Little Fishy

 2011 Earnings so far:  $1,735.50

Today's Contest:  Gorton's Seafood Lover's Sweepstakes
Prizes:  A trip to a fish eating seaport, OR elect to take the cash equivilent ($3,500)
Rules:  Just enter your info, matey

This is a daily entry contest.  It's a little funny, in that you don't know where the final destination vacation is going to be, because it's based on a popular vote by the people who enter...I guess that would encourage people to come back each day to vote for the place that they want to go.  You can choose from Italy (Amaze-balls), The Greek Islands (Gorge-balls), The Caribbean (Hot Latin Balls), or Gloucester, Massachusetts (Puritan balls...whuuuut?)  I'm confused by this last choice.  I mean I understand why they put it in there....cuz it's the homebase of Gorton's.  But really, who's going to be like...m'eh why would we go to the beaches of  Greece when we can go to....wait for it....Massechuseeeeeetts, kids!... and see Pilgrim Reenactments, Lizzie Borden's Home and the Salem Witch Musuem.

Though, truth be told, the Salem Witch Museum sounds kinda phenoms (mmm...okay, and maybe the Lizzie B house would be totally nice to check off my life list too).

I liked Gorton's fish sticks growing up.  I liked em cuz my dad would make them for us on weekends when we would visit him after my folks split up.  It becacme something familiar and comforting, in a very uncertain time.  Maybe I also liked them because the Gorton's Fisherman totally looked like Kenny Rogers.  And who isn't comforted by a little KR song stylin'?

(Incidentally, the song below always makes me feel like I'm at the dentist with the Lite FM station on in the background.  I'm leaned back in one of those chairs, and I have one of those sucky tubes in my mouth.  Chhhhssssshhhhhsssshhhhspsppsspspspspspshhhhhh...and the easy listening begins....)

Pourque the Spanish Subtitles?  In the other versions I found, he's gets a liiiiiiiittle long winded with setting up the song. Kinda nice though, cuz this spanish karaoke track also shows how majorly global his music is.  Te amo Lady.  Te amo, Kenny Rogers.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Day 35: Food Glorious Food

2011 Earnings so far:  $1,735.50

Today's Contests:
I entered a few contests today that all ended up being related to food.

1.  "Tony's 99 days of More" Instant Win Game
2.  Steamy Kitchen Ipad Giveaway
3.  Steamy Kitchen Cookware Giveaway


Steamy Kitchen is a straight forward online sweeps submish.  This website is authored by a chef named Jaden Hair, who makes cooking Asian Cuisine easy and delicious.  But the name...Steamy Kitchen...Jaden...quite frankly I'm blushing.  It's outrageously naughty.  Don't get me wrong, I'm totally LIVIIIIIIIIING for it.  But, Jades, I mean, what is going on next to that Kenmore of yours?   Steamy Kitchen sounds like romance where the cover would have a Fabio-esque overly worked out and tanned (and presumably gay) model, seducing a scantily clad lonely housewife on top of full length deep freezer.  This kind of talk is getting me all sorts of pre-heated.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Day 34: Sloppy Seconds

2011 Earnings so far:  $1,735.50

Today's Contest:  OVC's (Online Video Contests) "2nd Chance" Contest
Prize:  $500
Rules:  Enter a video you shot for another online commercial contest, that for some god unknown reason, you didn't win.

My friend Garrett and I yet again shot a commercial for a contest.  This was last summer, and was for Skin-it.  Skin-its are fancy (aka awful) decals that you can put on your phone, on your laptop or even your wall.  Things like your favorite Monet, your favorite sports team or even your favorite Vampire.

We created a commercial that totally capitalized on and ripped off the pop culture New Jersey phenomenon.  Instead of Jersey Housewives...Jersey Phones, complete with big hair, gossip and glittah.

We lost! We were furious!  We were roooooooobbed (sung with a little trill at the end there).   Well, even if we didn't win we shoulda gotten some kinda honorable mention for tiny prop and wig usage.   For the Love a Linda...we turned a thimble into a tiny Solo cup (filled with what we presumed was a screwdriver....that Val ipod was such a lush).
 Now's our chance to rightfully claim our prize in this Sloppy Seconds kinda contest.

Other Sloppy Seconds

Jenilee Harrison who replaced Suzanne Somers on Three's Company as Cindy Snow

New Coke

"Saturday Night Fever" sequel "Staying Alive" where Travolta's Tony Monero tries to make it big on BroadWAY, and ends up in a craptastic Dante's Inferno show.  Hell hath no furry like a Scientologist scorned.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Day 33: You're a Doll

2011 Earnings so far:  $1,735.50

Today's Contest:  Barbie "I Can Be..."Commercial contest
Prize:  Cash prizes ranging from $500 to $10,000
Rules:  Create a 30-60 second commercial based on the creative brief

My friend Garrett and I worked on this commercial for the last week and a half.  Garrett's my good friend who I won a commercial contest with 2 years ago for Sabra Hummus.  We won a cruise through the Mediterranean...and a year's supply of Sabra Hummus.  Opa!

The Barbie contest gave us the creative brief to follow:  shoot a documentary style video that would have super successful women talk about how Barbie inspired them.  I was lucky to find really dynamic, smart women...who were also total Barbie babes 

Raina the Writer

Robin the Photographer
Danielle the Vet


I learned a lot this week about Barbie...even beyond what I already knew as a little boy who stole his sisters' Barbies to play along side his own collection of Cabbage Patch Kids...and Strawberry Shortcake dolls...and My Little Ponies.  God I was a gay kid..had I known who Barbra Streisand was at 6 I'm sure I would have had her doll too. 

What I learned about Barbie:

Christie was the black Barbie

There was a disabled Barbie in a wheelchair name Becky, but she couldn't get into the Barbie dream house because the front door wasn't wide enough for her.

There was a Growing Up Skipper doll that you could pump the arm of and she would grow boobs.

There was an entire NYC fashion show 2 years ago where designers like Anna Sui, Donna Karan and House of Field designed a runway show of Barbie inspired outfits.

Across the board, the most universal creative exploration that went down with Barbie was getting her naked and "playing humpies" with Ken.  Clearly this was before his Sparkle Earring years.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Day 32: Oscar Buzzed

2011 Earnings so far:  $1,735.50

Today's Contest: $100,000 Give-away
Prize:  $100,000 split between multiple winners and a 3 month subscription to
Rules:  You need to outguess Roger Ebert's Oscar pics.  If you guess all the categories correctly, you win some on line movie watching and lots of money for Paul Newman microwave popcorn. is like if Netflix had a little hipster sister who went to an expensive art slash film school to rebel against her bougie upbringing.  It's an incredible resource for independent/foreign films, and obnoxiously obscure media references for Williamsburg, Bklyn get togethers.

Day 31: Garden State Haiku

2011 Earnings so far:  $1,735.50

Today's Contests:

New Jersey Courrier News Cash Sweepstakes
Kame All Natural Asian Food:  Oriental Express Trip

Prizes:  $500 from Jersey.  Big Ol' trip from Kame

In honor of these two contests I thought I would marry East and West (of the Hudson River), by writing a Haiku blending the two...

Spray tan says Guido.
But plunging neck line says gay.
Where the f am I?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Day 30: Halls of (no) Justice

2011 Earnings so far:  $1,735.50

Today's Contest:  Halls Pop a Drop and Don't Stop Instant Win Game
Prizes:  A variety ranging from a plane (seriously), to a package of Halls
Rules:  Enter on line info and then play a Plinko like game reminiscent of the one on The Price is Right using Halls lozenges as the Plinko chips.  Click on one and watch it get bounced around into one of the slots below (ps..slots is one of my least favorite words....right behind moist panties...and then slacks.)

I chose the blue (presumably menthol) lozenge.  It landed in a "Lose" slot (again, gross word) near the left.  GRRRRR!!!!  Maybe I shoulda gone with the totally traditional golden rod circle one.  MAYBE I SHOULDA GONE WITH THE TIGER'S EYE!!!!   These are the ever unresolved variables compounded with all those pesky things called emotions, that drive a man to run from reality and eat his feelings by putting away half of an Entenmann's Raspberry Danish Twist followed by some Ben & Jerry's. 
So I've heard.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Day 29: Sleeping Beauty

2011 Earnings so far:  $1,735.50

Today's Contest:  Better Homes and Gardens:  Sleep Number Bed Sweepstakes
Prizes:  A new bed, A grand in new bedding, A $5,000 Visa Gift Card
Rules:  Online info submish

Loooooooong day.  It's late.
Must. get. some. rest.
Winning the sleep number bed would be sweet.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Day 28: Barbie (and the) Dream House

2011 Earnings:  $1,735.50

Today's Contest:  HGTV Dream Home Give Away
$2M in prizes including:  A kick ass house in Stowe, VT, a big ol' truck and $500,000
My response:  WHUUUUUUT????  That prize is insane-balls!
Rules:  You can enter online info up to twice a day.  Contests ends this Friday.

I was doing a two-fer on the contest front today, cuz I was shooting a Barbie commercial for the Barbie "I Can Be..."contest which is due later this week.  We spent the day interviewing some super sharp career ladies about how Barbie inspires girls to believe they can be anything.  Barbie (nee Barbra Millicent Roberts) is known for being a fashion icon, having a sick-ass car, being a Unicef ambassador and like have a bazillion careers...even a dolphin trainer (real dolphin not included).  I guess being a doll and not needing sleep enables you to do like EVERYTHING EVER!

After the long day of shooting, I bumped into a friend on the subway who told me to check out the HGTV contest.
So I did and it's incredible.  That's the one I entered today.  It was an easy sweepstakes submish.

Maybe Barbie could have handled today's schedje, but honestly, this working girl (aka, me) feels a little rough around the edges from it.  I give it up for people who enter contests on a daily basis (aka "Sweepers").  It's like totally a full time job.  One that I wonder might even drive an over achiever like Barbie to the brink....

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Day 27: Green Day

2011 earnings so far:  $1,735.50

Today's Contest:  TruGreen TruStories Sweepstakes
Prize:  $25,000 MasterCard RewardsCard 
Rules:  Standard On-line info submission

TruGreen is a lawn company.  I thought that they might be sourcing TruStories about working in the yard or gardening, but they are just running the contest so that you can create your own TruStories.  
Anyhow, the whole company name got me thinking about things that are green.  And green, like anything, has it's share of....

The ordinary...

The extra-ordinary...


And lows...

Friday, February 11, 2011

Day 26: Spider-Pan

2011 Earnings so far:  $1,735.50

Today's Contest: Syfy's: Spiderman B'way Tix and Trip to NYC Sweepstakes
Prize:  Spidey Tix & Roundtrip airfare
Rules: Enter that online info, kiddo
Julie Taymor and U2's Spiderman Turn off the Dark was finally reviewed this week after multiple delays due to a tangled web of technical problems.  It got panned to the likes of...

"Spider-Man is not only the most expensive musical ever to hit Broadway; it may also rank among the worst."
Ben Brantley, New York Times

"Really, truly horrendously and unfixably bad down to its bones."
Richard Lawson, Gawker

Matthew Fletcher, Just reacting to the above reviews

But the  whole reason that I entered this contest is that I WANT to see this show and how bad it is.  There is certain satisfaction and schadenfreude I feel when I see really bad theater.  And not so-bad-that-it's- when I saw Hannibal The Musical or Sock Puppet Showgirls
But genuinely bad theater....Like Carrie the musical with numbers like "I just wanna set the world on fire".  Or the musical reading I was in as a budding thea-tah stah, about highschool juvies in a geometry class called Searching for Y.  

Scene 4:  Searching for Y
Erik (ie.. the role I played) takes center stage and sings:
 "Gangs hey I don't fear em...but when I see a theorem."


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Day 25: Pizza Pie in the Sky

2011 Earnings so far:  $1,735.50

Today's Contest:  Red Baron Pizza Sweepstakes
Prizes:  $5,000 gift card, Electronics, a year supply of Red Baron Pizza
Rules:  Submit info on line.  You can instantly win...or not, in my case.  But then you're entered into the larger pool of peeps for a $5,000 gift card.

I've actually never heard of Red Baron pizza .  When I think of The Red Baron, it's more of the Charles Schulz motif.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Day 24: Jingle All the Way

Total 2011 earnings so far:  $1735.50

Todays' Contest:  Kikkoman 'The Thrill of the Grill' Sweepstakes
Prizes:  $10,000 to throw the ultimate BBQ party
Rules:  Standard on line submission

I love a little Kikkoman soy sauce. I have some in my fridge right now. It's one of those brands that keeps me hooked even today by their catchy jingle that I remember from the 80's.  I'll walk by the Asian food section in my grocery store and sing...."Make it good or make it grand...Add a touch of Kikkoman."...though I'm admittedly probs in the minority of peeps who remember that one.

But I do long for the days of a good commercial jingle...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Day 23: None for me Pleats

2011 Earnings so far:  $1,735.50

Today's Contest: Docker's Wear the Pants
Prize: $100,000 to realize your dream
Rules:  Submit your Dream Idea onto the Docker's Website. The 5 ideas that collect the most Facebook votes will be in the running to win $100,000 to make their dream happen.

The whole thing has a strong masculine bend, and is a very Thoreau kinda 'build a house in the woods, eat roots and rice and write a memoir' type of contest.   Très straight... I mean, it's sponsored by Dockers after all...and they still make pants (and shorts, good god) with pleats.

 So when I submitted my dream idea  of having the glam rock musical  I wrote called "Gay Zombie" run on Broadway and turn it into a movie...I played up the rock and roll & living dead, but didn't mention the 'glitter and be gay'. I didn't even mention the title. Am I dimming my own light?  Ehhhhh...mmmm...uhhh...grrrrrr...I have this kinda maybes, I dunno, sorta, not really, stop judging me..but am I really just judging myself, kinda vibe about it.  Actually though, if I just stop my brain from reeling.... I really don't think of it as dimming my light for others, as much as just using softer lighting gel so it doesn't feel like a full on disco ball EX-Puh-LOOOOooooooOOOOO (breath) SIOOOOON-Uh of a submission.                                                            
You can vote here:
1.  Like the page on the top left corner.  And then 2.  Click vote