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John Sciacca Writes...

Features, Reviews and a Blog by John Sciacca

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Random Thoughts (Blog)

There Will Be BLOG!

Posted on May 18, 2010 at 12:02 PM

Growing up, my mom let me win all the games we played. I’m sure she thought she was doing me a kindness by letting me win, but what it did was teach me how NOT to lose. And now, while I like winning, I *hate* losing. HATE it. If I think that I’ll lose, I’ll choose not to play. (Ask I’m-never-playing-Boggle-with-you-again! Malia...) To me the phrase, “It’s just a game! Let’s have fun!” will always wreak of loser talk.


I’m not proud to say that there have been multiple instances of dramatic hand sweeping off all the pieces of Risk, Scrabble and Monopoly games with an “I QUIT!” tantrum befitting a 3 year old. I’ve twisted video game controllers to death, shattered tennis rackets into submission and now know that the momentary gratification of breaking a golf club is far outweighed by the long-term self disappointment (and the ouchy picking of graphite splinters from your hands)


So, me and losing, we don’t get on.


Well, I lost something last week, and I’d *like* to say that it isn’t bugging me, but it is....oooh, but it IS! Caster Communications, one of the best A/V PR firms in the biz (and home to our very own PR Buddha) had a little competition, with the prize being a $100 gift cert to Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. The contest was to share your favorite Caster memory and the winner was going to be determined by the Caster 7 (somewhat less ominous than the Oceanic 6) voting on their favorite entry. I won't say I was counting my steaks before they were grilled, but, I would be lying if I didn't say that I had contemplated who would watch Lauryn while Dana and I gorged ourselves on delicious tenderloins and poured California red wine down our throats from crystal goblets the size of small planets.

Now, I’m slightly hazy on the EXACT rules of the contest because it was posted on Facebook and, as you know, I stopped doing Facebook long ago. But this was their post following the completion: "Our little (very little apparently) contest on fun Caster anecdotes is closed, and our clear winner (although an hororable mention goes to the anti-Facebook John Sciacca) is..."

Now I'm a little hazy as to exactly what a "hororable mention" is, but I DO know it doesn't feel like winning!

So I’m not sure if I lost because A) they REALLY thought the other entry was better (the "clear winner" statement pokes me right in the craw!) or B) you needed to be on FB to win. (This comment – in reply to “Was his really better? – makes me think B. “No totally NOT--you should have joined would have won!!!!!") Now, I'd *like* to say that I take consolation in knowing that I didn’t win because I technically wasn’t eligible, but I can’t.


So, I am going to put it to you; tell me who you think should have won. I realize that it won't get Dana and I a dinner -- stupid free dinner. If I had my gun.... -- but YOUR love and admiration might taste nearly as sweet.


Other guy’s entry #1:

I'm going to cheat and relate two anecdotes to increase my odds of winning. 'Cause, let's face it: Daddy's gotta eat, right?


My favorite Caster memory used to be the first time I met Kim. It was my first or second CES. I was tired and grumpy and overwhelmed when Brent introduced us, I wasn't really in the mood to make pals, and I don't remember exactly what was said. But if I ever write a movie about my life the character of Kim will deliver the line, "Hi! My feet hurt. We're friends now. Get over it." If that's not exactly how it happened, it should be.


Other guy’s entry #2:

 My new favorite memory, though, comes from the GLSL launch event, and I can't remember who exactly was presenting at the time -- the systems integrator, probably? -- but he was showing off the DVR functionality of the Media Center system and started playing a clip from the previous night's episode of Glee, which I hadn...'t seen yet. So I voiced my objections, and the guy obviously thought I was I'm kidding or something, because the episode kept playing. Barely two seconds went by before half the room started threatening bodily harm (or maybe it was just me, Kim, and Ashley, and we were really loud). I knew at that moment I was with my people.

Seriously, I ♥ you guys more than I do my own family. Okay, that's not saying much. I ♥ you guys almost as much as peanut butter.

My entry #1:

What shall forever be known as "The Microsoft Trip"

Ashley met us at the airport in perhaps the biggest vehicle I have ever been in besides the aircraft carrier, USS Harry Truman. This was the land yacht of land yachts. So, she is driving around, and even with GPS manages to get us lost AND drives us the wrong way down a one way street AND jumps the center median. I was fortunate enough to hang out with Ashley all day, and we had the best of times in the Microsoft House of the Future, where it turns out that in a few short years we will all be drunk, naked and Asian. Next we head over to the Microsoft exec's house where he shows us what SHOULD be a killer theater. Except the only thing killing about the theater is the heat; the temperature is seriously just shy of causing paper to spontaneously burst into flame. And there is absolutely zero ventilation. And this demo is droning on and on and Ashley and I are sitting on the riser in the back closer to the sun's core. And to top it off, the Exec is choosing the LAMEST demo material. Like ever. This was the dialog going on inside his head. "Hmmmm. A bunch of A/V journalists want to see my theater. What should I demo? Something awesome with a lot of explosions and dynamics? No, that's just what they'll be expecting. I'll go with a lame Mariah Carey concert video. Yeah, that's the right choice!" Then off to dinner, where I -- OK, all of Ashley's people, but I like to think it was especially I; it was closer to the future and I was closer to drunk on the red wine -- look SO much more awesome because we didn't pull any douchery like posting about something M'soft clearly implied that they didn't want posted!

My entry #2:


Caster Dinner following Kim's house launch

This is one of my favorite memories because it involved all of the Casters. I sat next to Ashley, and begged her not to "eat my babies" (miniature, fully formed Calamari fetuses), and across from Lauren, Becca and "new girl." This wasn't too long after the Microsoft trip, so of course there was much reminiscing about getting drunk, naked and Asian, and I expressed to Ashley my fully hetero, totally not weird or gay Man Love for John Mayer. (She reciprocated, but didn't need to make any arguments about her sexuality in the process.)  I've spent a good bit of time with Lauren at various events (endless -- and I do mean ENDLESS -- Media Center things and the CEDIA ball game), but it was really the first time to chat it up with Becca in person and, of course, new girl (AKA - PR Buddha, AKA - Amanda). So our end of the table was AWESOME, with much suckling from the never-ending Caster teat/vine. Not even (name removed for my own good) random/awkward non-sequitors -- "You know, I found something interesting on vinyl the other day..." -- could stop our van from a rockin'. Found out that new girl is WAY more than just "new Pam"---way quicker and way funnier (and way cuter) and her hire just cements that Caster only cherry-picks the cutest and best. Sadly, Lisa Maughn, my dear-dear Lisa, was all the way at the other end of the table, but, surrounded by the company I was, I didn't even notice.

I drink your milkshake, Caster! I drink it up!

Categories: May 2010, Rants

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Reply Dana
2:28 PM on May 18, 2010 
Stories like these make me want to AMEX-it up!
Reply PR Buddha
2:46 PM on May 18, 2010 
*cues music, clears throat* milkshake brings all the boys to the yard...damn right it's better than yours...I could teach you but i'd have to charge....

I will never look at Calamri the same way...especially the squid fetusus...or is it feti if it's plural?

Reply [email protected]
4:40 PM on May 18, 2010 
In my opinion there is no doubt you should of won. Shame on your mother. She should have known better than to let you win games all the time. She should have know it would have lasting effects on you. I wonder if you will let your daughter boost her self esteem.
Reply Kimberly Lancaster
5:40 PM on May 19, 2010 
Oh John, your stories were so good but you had to "like" us on Facebook and submit that way so though I laughed and always laugh at the Ashley driving the wrong way/Ten Reasons You Should Never inivte Someone from Engadget to a press junket story is fabulous it did not meet the criteria of our "little" FB contest. It's all about the rules my friend.
Reply John Sciacca
6:12 PM on May 19, 2010 
Kimberly Lancaster says...
Oh John, your stories were so good but you had to "like" us on Facebook and submit that way...did not meet the criteria of our "little" FB contest.

Foiled by Facebook again! FAAAAAAACE-BOOOOOOOOK! I *guess* I'll enjoy the consolation prize which is giving the Caster Crew a good laugh, though it doesn't taste as juicy as that steak. Enjoy your technicality, DB!
Reply Ashley
11:59 AM on May 20, 2010 
I drove down that street the wrong way to provide years of laughter and entertainment to you people. Because that's the kind of person I am.
Reply John Sciacca
1:00 PM on May 20, 2010 
Ashley says...
I drove down that street the wrong way to provide years of laughter and entertainment to you people. Because that's the kind of person I am.

Mission accomplished! And I guess the M'soft exec was doing his part to seer the memory into our brains with his theater's (lack of) HVAC. ;-)
Reply Malia76
6:06 PM on May 24, 2010 
I was trying to read and compare, however I couldn't get past the part where you, John Sciacca, said that the temperature in the room was hot!!!!! I've been in your 78degree theater, I had to stop there. And my 13 point Boggle word still makes me smile!