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December 24, 2004

Merry Christmas!


In celebration of Christmas, I thought I would share with you one of my all-time favorite radio broadcasts. “This American Life” is a Public Radio International program put out by WBEZ in Chicago. This week they replay two classics and you can listen to them over the Internet:


David Sedaris reads “Santaland Diaries,” his chronicle of employment during two Christmas seasons working as an elf in Macy's department store on New York's Herald Square. This is the piece that made Sedaris a star when it was originally broadcast on NPR’s “Morning Edition.”


The second is by David Rakoff. Although less known to the general public than Sedaris, his humor is just as wicked. His story is about his experience playing Freud (yes, Freud) in the windows of Barney's department store.


The link above requires Real Media Player. If you don’t have it, you may download it for free here.

Enjoy! And happy holidays.

Steve, your webmaster

P.S. If you enjoy the program and would like to hear more, its main website is http://www.thislife.org/

December 20, 2004

Modest Needs

In this season of "giving," here's the real deal.

Modest Needs is for compassionate people (like you) whose lives have been touched by kindness and who would now like to pass that kindness on by pooling just a bit of what they can afford to share and using those funds to keep struggling families from entering the cycle of poverty.


December 15, 2004

Steve Sweitzer




A long-lost alum has been located in Missouri! Here's an email I received the other day from Steve Sweitzer:

Saw my name on the found list and wanted to send you an update. I have an agency in Columbia, MO, now. I grew up around here believe it or not, so it's a homecoming for me.

My wife Polly and I have a 21 month old daughter named Sadie and we like this little town of 100,000 people. Jay always believed that we could work from anywhere, right? ell, it's working. We've got 30 employees here in Columbia and a 6 person office in Calgary, Alberta. I’d like to say hello to everyone and let you know that a little part of Jay is alive here in Missouri.

All the best for 2005,

Steve Sweitzer

I asked Steve to remind us what he did at Chiat/Day. (My mind is pudding. I barely remember what month it is. Anyway, you can read all about Steve's career at Chiat/Day by clicking on the "continue reading ..." link below.

I started in 1989 as an art director in LA. When I left in 1996, I was a group co-creative director with Steve Rabosky. I worked on Nissan (national), Energizer, Home Savings, Unocal, Quaker State, MinitLube and Sony Playstation (LA)----NYNEX, Reebok, Nickelodeon and Fruitopia (NY)-----Reebok, Sky TV, Brooklyn Gum (London), to name a few.
I remember the day back in 1991 when Lee and Rabosky were mad at Jay for shipping me off to the New York office to "infuse" that office with "LAness", whatever that meant. It's kinda funny now, but back then I was pretty scared, since Jay didn't bother to tell those guys.

I did two stints in NY and one (though short) in London, but I began and ended my Chiat/Day years in LA.

After Chiat/Day, I went to Hal Riney as Executive CD for a while.

I did some other stuff, but now have my own shop, Woodruff/Sweitzer.

December 13, 2004

Messy Desk contest


How many times can you remember Jay screaming about a messy desk. Oh, how he would have loathed The Messy Desk Contest.


December 09, 2004

Public Places


The Project for Public Places, a non-profit organization dedicated to the design and management of public places, has just named the The 20 Best North American Districts, Downtowns, and Neighborhoods. Is yours one of them? They also go on to identify unique public places in other cities in the world.


December 06, 2004

Charlie Bidwell

© Charlie Bidwell

Check out the website for C/D alum Charlie Bidwell, who is now a very classy photographer based out of Los Angeles.

December 01, 2004

La famiglia di Nonno Jay


When I was in Italy in October, I had a chance to visit Jay's daughter, Debra, who lives in Rome. We reminisced about Jay (Debra has a Frank Gehry "fish lamp" in her apartment) and she showed me a fantastic photo of Jay and all of his Italian grandchildren, which I did not have the good sense to copy. But here are some single portraits of them.

Debra and her husband, Alfredo D’Angelo run a non-profit organization called The Human Life Project, which has set up humanitarian help in many parts of the world: Cambodia, Burma, the Sahara, Pakistan, and India, as well as the gypsies in Rome. The ambitious program consists of creating schools - often building or reconstructing them, but also creating programs (English one of the most important.) They also hire and train the teachers in education and health care. They build wells for drinkable water, sell crafts in Italy to create self sufficiency, micro credits, health programs, etc. Debra has an amazing iPhoto collection of pictures from the various villages in which they've worked.

Debra and her family spend a lot of time in Cambodian villages and she says her children are happiest when they are there, playing with the other children in the villages and running free. That's the Chiat DNA.

Here are Debra and Alfredo's fabulous children ...

Francesco is 15 ...

Celeste is 13 ...

Valerio is 11 ...

And Antonio is 7.

"Grandpa Jay" would be proud.