boring memo

Admit it:  your memos are boring.  And because they can barely stay away through an entire memo, you aren’t getting your message across.   They aren’t listening.

I have a million ideas about adding levity and humor to your workplace communications, but very few of them are as easy as this one:  Baby Mail.   Got something important to say?  Want them to actually listen?   Try communicating it with BabyMail.  I love this communication tool for a bunch of reasons.

  • They will actually listen to it.  Carefully.
  • They will end up sharing it w/ their teammates and talking about it.   (Do they do this with YOUR memos.)
  • It demonstrates that you have a personality and sense of humor — even if you don’t.
  • It forces you to communicate your message in 20 seconds.  Come on…you can do it.  That’s all they have time for anyway.

Here’s a sample:

Brad On Baby Mail

Looking for a motivational speaker for your event — and don’t feel like hiring a baby would be appropriate? Contact me here.

Brad Montgomery

Motivational Speaker, Funny Humorist, Humor in the Workplace Keynotes, Fan of Baby Mail

YouTube Video

Mobile Post: Posted on-the-go by Brad Montgomery from his iPhone.

Check out this very cool article about clowns teaching nurses how to use levity and humor at work and with their patients.

NYC – Teaching Nurses the Value of Big, Red Noses –

Perhaps students were wondering, “How can you be light-hearted in a serious profession like this?” Mr. Christensen said. In fact, he said, “you can carry your sense of joy and light into the workplace.” Nurses need their spirits to be high. For sure, patients do.

If you are interested in the use of humor with health care, as I am, you should check out this article.

The science is becoming clearer every day: happy people are healthier, are more engaged, more creative and more productive. Whether you’re in a traditional high stress job like nursing and health care, or even a supposed lower stress job (Is there one? Tell me…we all want it!) invest the time in learning to take yourself less seriously.

Need a professional funny motivational speaker to help you find the levity through a funny keynote speech? Go to the contact page now.


Brad Montgomery
Heath Care Speaker, Humor in the Workplace Expert, Fan of Levity!

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Holy Moly.  Even I can’t believe I’m writing more about how Southwest Airlines uses humor, levity and lightheartedness to ualimprove their bottom line.  I know it.  And you know it.  Humor + work = improved bottom line.

What amazes me is how United Airlines and the other struggling airlines are the only ones NOT learning from Southwest.

Corporate espionage would never be so easy:  United should put a single employee on a Southwest flight, have them notice how the fun attitude of the employees translates to customer satisfaction, and then…. copy them!   No cloak and daggers needed.   It’s not even stealing.  It’s just common sense.

I was just on an United flight and was chatting with a flight attendant about the safety announcements, and whether she thought humor was appropriate.  I’m not at all sure what the “official” policy is, but her understanding of it is that fun is NOT encouraged… or allowed.  And she shared some anecdotal evidence about her UAL peers getting chewed out for trying to make the safety demonstration fun.   Hmmph.   Oh, and guess how her morale was?   Yeah, lousy.

She is a nice woman, but her loyalty to her employer and her customers ends at her paycheck.

I live in Colorado… and as it is a hub for United I fly them a lot.  An awful lot.  An AWFUL lot.  I’m stuck with them.   But I don’t like them.   It’s clear to me that their employee morale is rock bottom.   They are worried for their jobs and future.  They don’t feel like the carrier is on their side.  And their employee dissatisfaction comes through loud and clear to folks like me.  Their customers.  I have dozens of stories about how United could have easily earned my loyalty but instead made my life harder. It’s too bad.  Especially because it doesn’t have to be that way.

They need — to be frank — me.   Bad.  Really bad.  But they’ll never hire me to talk to their staff with ideas about how to connect enjoyment of their jobs to creating an outstanding airline.    They haven’t noticed that the ONLY thing that sets them apart from their competitors is their people.  And their people are unhappy.  Very unhappy.   Just ask that flight attendent.

I don’t hold out much hope for United Airlines.  But maybe it isn’t too late for your organhp-logo-v2ization.

Does YOUR company need to invest in your people’s quality of (work) life?  Do you agree that NOW is the time to make sure they are at their best, because you simply cannot afford a staff that isn’t fully on board?

[Hey United Airlines! Honestly, you need to hire me, like, yesterday.   Give me a buzz and I’ll help your folks which will help you.  Guaranteed.   Come on, I dare you!]

Go to the contact page and let’s talk about how to ramp up your groups attitudes and loyalty, and how that will create a great impact on your bottom line.

Now, for a contrast… check out what the wacky and  successful Southwest Airlines is doing on board with their customers. Do these customers look happier than those you’ve seen on any UAL flight recently. You betcha. That, my friends, is what you call “a hint.”

Do you need to ramp up the attitude in your organization? You don’t even need to sing.  Contact us now! Go to the contact page.

Do me a favor? If you liked this article, Digg it for me right here:

Digg it!

Brad Montgomery
Motivational Speaker, Humor in the Workplace Expert, Funny-ist

Brad’s Take on the Pike’s Place Fish Market
Hooked on Humor Audio Subscription Program
Laugh-O-Nomics: Brad’s Motivational Humor in the Workplace Breakout Seminar

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Hap-py New Year and welcome to the second edition of the “Humor in the Workplace” humor in the workplace blog carnivalBlog Carnival! Better late than never, right?

To satisfy your insatiable need for humorous anectdotes, I’ve opened the floodgates and scoured the web. As result, not everyone is technically aware that they’re participating in this edition but as soon as they find out, I’m certain that they’ll be flattered, overjoyed and innundating me with posts for future editions.

Without futher ado, may I present “Humor in the Workplace” resolution style. ‘Cuz that’s how we roll!

1. I resolve to put work in it’s proper perspective (Sandee
contributed this short and clever parable about the wisdom of NOT
working hard):

The Fisherman

2. I resolve to find a low-stress job:

Got Stress
(Bob Goldman rates a few professions based on the level of stress. Guess what? I win!!)

3. I resolve to follow these guidelines for all holiday work functions (Cyde Fahlman offers tips to avoid holiday stress but really, they’re year ’round effective!):

Holiday Stress

4. I resolve to bring joy and levity to my work environment on a regular basis:

10 Things To Do To A Co-Workers Desk

(Thanks, Mike! These practical jokes are pretty funny!)

5. I resolve to polish my interview skills……just in case! (Chris shares his interview experiences with us. I feel bad for Chris. Really. I do.):

Why I Fail Interviews

6. I resolve to keep in mind these all-important tips when participating in meetings (Madeleine Begun Kane gives us the skinny on how to effectively [ha,ha] communicate in meetings):

Those Unspeakable Meetings

7. I resolve to not try so hard to be funny (John Kinde lets the secret out of the bag on successful humor):

Be Funny By Doing Less


Thanks to all of our bloggers for submitting to the carnival. We’ll do it again in about one month. If you are interested in submitting to our next carnival, contact us here or by emailing kirstie “at”


After much anticipation, the long-awaited first edition of the “Humor in the Workplace” Blog Carnival has arrived!! Response for this first edition was pretty awesome so thanks are due to all who submitted. Now, I’ll preface this edition to state that humor is in the eye of the beholder – or reader in this case. ‘Nuff said.

Getting a jump start on the holiday season, this edition’s participators will be introduced to the tune of “Twelve Days of Christmas“. Yes, I know………you’ll be humming that song for the rest of the day. It’s not like you won’t hear it in every store you enter from now until December 25th so I may as well get the ball rolling! Without further ado………..

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
A contract for Christmas Parties

On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
One office prank and a contract for Christmas parties.

On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
Three angry workers, one office prank and a contract for Christmas parties. (one, two, three)

On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
One clepto granny, three angry workers, one office prank and a contract for Christmas parties.

On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
One clever bee! One klepto granny, three angry workers, one office prank and a contract for Christmas parties.

On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
Online gaming insight, one clever bee! One klepto granny, three angry workers, one office prank and a contract for Christmas parties.

On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
Flight attendant training, online gaming insight, one clever bee! One klepto granny, three angry workers, one office prank and a contract for Christmas parties.

On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
Work-at-home-mom dress codes, flight attendant training, online gaming insight, one clever bee! One klepto granny, three angry workers, one office prank and a contract for Christmas parties.

On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
Computer rules for dummies, work-at-home-mom dress codes, flight attendant training, online gaming insight, one clever bee! One klepto granny, three angry workers, one office prank and a contract for Christmas parties.

On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
Two hiring handbooks, computer rules for dummies, work-at-home-mom dress codes, flight attendant training, online gaming insight, one clever bee! One klepto granny, three angry workers, one office prank and a contract for Christmas parties (one, two).

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
Tips to handle “humor”, two hiring handbooks, computer rules for dummies, work-at-home-mom dress codes, flight attendant training, online gaming insight, one clever bee! One klepto granny, three angry workers, one office prank and a contract for Christmas parties.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
Advice for lazy students, tips to handle “humor”, two hiring handbooks, computer rules for dummies, work-at-home-mom dress codes, flight attendant training, online gaming insight, one clever bee! One klepto granny, three angry workers, one office prank and a contract for Christmas parties!


Thanks to all of our bloggers for submitting to the carnival. We’ll do it again in about one month. If you are interested in submitting to our next carnival, contact us here or by emailing kirstie “at”

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Welcome to the “Humor in the Workplace” Blog Carnival! I’ll be your Ringmaster and each month I’ll direct your attention to various rings, where you’ll read the latest experiences, stories, ideas, tricks and wisdom relating to Humor in the Workplace.

What is “Humor in the Workplace”? No, I’m not talking about the time your colleague fell asleep at his desk and went to the staff meeting with keyboard impressions on his face……..though that is funny – post it and we’ll put it in. I’m looking for the latest blog posts about:

  • Office Humor. What you’ve seen or experienced AND how that experience has effected your work culture;
  • Office Pranks and Gags. What you’ve seen or experienced, and what the effect is on your work culture;
  • Techniques and ideas for those wanting to incorporate more humor at work;
  • Examples of the worst possible work culture and how that culture needs a sense of humor;
  • Anything else you think is related to Humor in the Workplace. If you are able to connect fun and work, it will be considered for this Carnival.
  • Examples of humor with management and leadership in the office setting.

What is a Blog Carnival? As defined by Wikipedia, “A blog carnival is a type of blog event. It is similar to a magazine, in that it is dedicated to a particular topic, and is published on a regular schedule, often weekly or monthly. Each edition of a blog carnival is in the form of a blog article that contains permalinks to other blog articles on the particular topic.

Blog carnivals are a great way for bloggers to recognize each other’s efforts, organize blog posts around important topics, and improve the overall level of conversation in the blogosphere. They also serve as a place to connect with those who are expert (or at least highly opinionated!) and those who are interested in that field.

Why participate in a blog carnival? Simple.

First of all, it’s cool to have a single clearinghouse for related articles about Humor in the Workplace. And this carnival will help others find you. In addition, you’ll get backlinks (incoming links to your blog). The more backlinks your blog has, the higher rating in search engines. Plus it’s just fun!

How to participate? Submit your posts by clicking here or via the “Humor in the Workplace Blog Carnival” submission box below or email a link to your blog post. All we ask is that you link back to this carnival on your blog – I’ve got a super-cool button coming soon!

Thanks for playing! Now let’s have some fun!

I was recently speaking in Seattle, Washington and had a chance to finally see the Pikes Place Fish Market in action.  (In case you don’t know it, Humor in the Workplace speakers have turned the Fish Philosophy into a near cliché.)

As you know (unless you’ve lived in a cave) the Fish Market is famous for a fun atmosphere  — and for turning that fun atmosphere into a healthy profit.  Tourists and customers gather to watch the fun as the fish mongers literally throw fish, laugh and joke with customers, and generally enjoy their work. The result for the fish market is more than fun and smiles:  it’s a thriving business.  A world-famous thriving business.   It’s a totally cool place with a totally cool concept.  (Hey Mom!  I used “totally cool” twice!)    It’s also been beaten like a dead horse.  Ok already!  Throwing fish is fun.

It’s been the inspiration for many a motivational speaker, a series of motivational videos, courses and other products.  If I had a nickel for every time I’ve been asked, “Brad, have you heard about the Fish Philosophy?” … I’d have…. well, a couple of bucks at least.  

If the thought of reading a blog post about the fish market makes you want to hurl, stick with me….I’m headed somewhere.

Watching the “show” at the market reminded me that a fun workplace doesn’t require funny people.  You don’t have to be a funny, joke telling manager or leader to create a pleasant work environment.  At the Market, I didn’t see a single comedian.  I didn’t hear a single joke.  

What I did see was a staff that had been empowered to be (and have) fun at work. 

Fun without funny?

Tossing a fish is not funny.  Can you imagine tossing an albacore in your workplace and getting a laugh?  (My guess is that you’d get a quick visit from HR.    “Hey everybody, Janeen is just threw a grouper at me!”)

So what was so fun about the fish market if it wasn’t flying fish? In a word, the fun was in the work culture.  They are having so much fun it is infectious. 

My point?  This fish market encourages it’s employees to have fun.  It makes it safe for them to have fun.  And it rewards them for having fun.  

Nobody is required to be funny…yet the laughter and smiles are ever present.  (It’s important to mention that in addition to laughs and smiles, the Market is well known for customer service, quality product and a staff that is willing to make every shopping experience a positive experience.) 

If you want your work culture to be more fun and funny, remember that you don’t have to be funny yourself.  You just have to do your part to encourage others to be fun. 

Throwing fish not required.


Brad Montgomery
Washington Motivational Speaker, Fish Thrower*

* Ok, not really.  I’ve honestly never  thown a fish.  A small rabbit** perhaps, but never a fish.

**Yes, I’m kidding.  (Rabbits wiggle too much to really get a good spiral.***)

***I’m joking again.  It’s a bad habit.  But hey, it’s my job.

****Are you looking for the site above where there was “****” There isn’t one. This footnote is just a little added bonus joke. Ha ha. Get it? Ok, me neither.

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I got a kick out of this funny tee shirt. What cracks me up is how this shirt isn’t far from the truth.

Would you have the guts to wear it to a community college?

How else could you offend the “hand that feeds you?”  What is the worst tee shirt you could imagine wearing at work?

How about:

  • My Manager is Insecure and Incompetent.
  • If (insert your company/organization here) was stupid enough to hire me, how good could they really be?   Or:  Home Depot is desperate enough to hire even me

How about for folks in retail:

  • Nobody who works here uses the crap we sell.   (For example, if you work for Ford, your shirt would be “Everybody at Ford drives a Chrysler.”)

Or for restaurant workers:

  • This hell hole barely passed the heath inspection.

How far could YOU go to slam your workplace?   When does a slam turn from funny to offensive?  Let me know.

PS.  My brother is a college counselor / advisor, and I doubt even he could get you into school if you can’t spell community college.

If you think levity and lightheartedness are important to corporate America, join the crowd.  In particular, join the folks at Microsoft Finance North America. 

I worked with this group recently in Seattle, Washington and, like most of my favorite clients, I learned at least as much from them as they learned from me.

(Read the related blog entry about my trip to Microsoft)

I was totally impressed with this organization. (If you read my blog you know that I rarely say that.)


•  I was impressed with the transparency of the organization.  I was impressed how everything was “on the table” …. I heard candid discussions on the recent (and odd) TV commercials, the aborted attempt to buy Yahoo, the fact that Vista’s popularity is lower than they’d like.   Contrast this openness with many of my other (unnamed!) clients who spend more time instructing me about what I cannot talk about than what their folks need to hear.   [For example, I once worked for a client who had JUST gone through a huge set of layoffs.  They forbade me to discuss the layoffs … as though their folks might forget that 50% of their friends were no longer there and they themselves were worried about their job security.  Oye!]

• I was impressed by the people.  They are good people who love their families, work exceptionally hard, and are very loyal to each other and their company.

• This group was fun loving.   They like each other, and it showed.  They were easy to make laugh.  Ready with fun anecdotes and conversation.  They were a far cry from what any of us might expect from folks who work in the high tech industry for a finance department.   Many times I’ve worked at corporate meetings where people are forced to socialize with each other. It’s clear that they don’t want to be socializing… but they have to be there so they are.  Not so at Microsoft.  Their obvious enjoyment in each other was fun to watch.

• They were eager to ramp up the fun.  They were ready to share best humor practices with each other and with me. I often have to work hard to break the ice with a new corporate group.  Not this one:  MFNA was ready to laugh from minute one.

• During my program, I joked about clown noses, and taught a few funny ways to use them at work to handle stress.  We arranged to make sure everybody had a nose to take with them.  As you can see from these photos, they didn’t go to waste.

Near the end of our time together we split into groups and brainstormed ideas about safeways to create more levity and humor at Microsoft.  [We spend so much of our time at work, it makes sense to create fun. How can we do it?]  We heard a bunch of great ideas…but check out one group’s very specific ideas about how to increase the levity at the office.

1.       Friday Jokes

2.       Laugh at every meeting

3.       Happy Button

4.       Monday stories of weekend adventures

5.       Share embarrassing stories

6.       Dance in the focus rooms

7.       Dance every time you hear or see a “GO DO”

8.       Baby picture ID badges

9.       Word Bingo _  Drowning the puppies – (who ever imagined  we would here these words together!)

10.   Hawaiian shirt day

11.   Match the story to the person

12.   e-flowers/emoticons

But what was my favorite part?  It came 10 days after I left Seattle when I heard that CFO John Rex bought a Nerf Gun to attack his team.  (And, as a follow up, his awesome assistant, Amelia, bought guns for the rest of the team so they could create a defensive strategy.)    ”Hey everybody!  Let’s buy Nerf Guns!

Humor, levity and lightheartedness help us with morale, creativity, energy, communication, and — in the end — productivity.  It was unbelievably cool to share this message with Microsoft Finance.  But it was even cooler to see that they “got it.”

Thanks So Much, MFNA!

Brad Montgomery
Microsoft Fan, Washington Motivational Speaker, Nerf Enthusiast

PS.  Microsoft gets so much bad press.  I suppose it is impossible not to have some detractors if you’re that big, and that omni-present.  [After all, how many companies have actually changed the entire world besides Microsoft?]  It’s impressive.   When you’re there in person, working with the individuals who make up a part of this massive organization, it’s hard not to leave impressed. Tags:
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The Latest from Brad Montgomery

1. A Cool Message from Dorfus Dottydunkin.

2. The Third Wise Man

3. Speakers Introductions Are Boring.

4. Cool Links to Even More Humor.

Nicknames at Work Can Make You Smile

Hi, My Name is Dorfus Dottydunkin.

My 12 year old son LOVES Captain Underpants (which is a very cool kids’ book). Heck, I love it too. The following is excerpted from a children’s book, Captain Underpants and the Perilous Plot Professor Poopypants, by Dave Pilkey, in which the evil Professor forces everyone to assume new names…

So, here’s how you do it:

1. Use the second letter of your first name to determine your new first name:

a = snickle

b = doombah

c = goober

d = cheesey

e = crusty

f = greasy

g = dumbo

h = farcus

i = dorky

j = doofus

k = funky

l = boobie

m = sleezy

n = sloopy

o = fluffy

p = stinky

q = slimy

r = dorfus

s = snooty

t = tootsie

u = dipsy

v = sneezy

w = liver

x = skippy

y = dinky

z = zippy

2. Use the second letter of your last name to determine the first half of your new last name:

a = dippin

b = feather

c = batty

d = burger

e = chicken

f = barffy

g = lizard

h = waffle

i = farkle

j = monkey

k = flippin

l = fricken

m = bubble

n = rhino

o = dotty

p = hamster

q = buckle

r = gizzard

s = lickin

t = snickle

u = chuckle

v = pickle

w = hubble

x = dingle

y = gorilla

z = girdle

3. Use the third letter of your last name to determine the second half of your new last name:

a = butt

b = boob

c = face

d = nose

e = hump

f = breath

g = pants

h = shorts

i = lips

j = honker

k = head

l = tush

m = chunks

n = dunkin

o = brains

p = biscuits

q = toes

r = doodle

s = fanny

t = sniffer

u = sprinkles

v = frack

w = squirt

x = humperdinck

y = hiney

z = juice

Thus, for example, George W. Bush’s new name is: Crusty Chucklefanny.


Try this for your favorite client. (Or your nightmare client. For your workmate. Your boss. Your spouse. Try it at dinner time with the family. Trust me… it’s pretty funny… even if you’re not eight.)

Yours, Dorfus Dottydunkin


The Third Wise Man Might Surprise You

During a recent trip speaking in South Carolina I had the good fortune to drive back to the airport with a very wise man.

I was rushed after finishing my keynote to get to the airport. As it was a smaller town, if I missed the last flight I’d have to spend an extra night on the road.

The wise man noticed I was hurrying and we started talking about the over-fast pace by which we all seem to live.

“It just doesn’t make sense. We are all in such a rush, and it just doesn’t help much,” he said. “Like when you’re on the freeway rushing along, passing everybody you can. Switching lanes here, passing people there. And sometimes you notice a particular car as you pass them.”

He continues, “But when you get there, they are there too. That car you remembered passing so long ago is there too? How is that possible?”

Then, this wise hotel shuttle driver was just silent, as was I. It was weird; I was in such a hurry, and — to be honest — I just wasn’t listening to this man that closely. But for some reason, when he talked about the car “being there too” it just got me. It held me.

I said something lame like, “Dude, that story is absolutely profound.”

He just nodded and said, “When you rush to get there, that other guy you passed is already there.”

What’s the point? I thought about that nice man — to whom I gave a huge tip and a copy of one of my books — on the plane and here’s what I think he meant:

Rushing takes a ton of energy, time, and trouble. It raises our stress level through the roof. We get stressed, we get anxious, and we get tired. And in the end, it really doesn’t make a difference. In the end, we “get there” about the same time as the people we were so busy “passing.”

The Three Wise Men: Ghandi. Yoda. And the Embassy Suites Shuttle Driver.

It’s ok… slow down.

(Which is cool because it gives you some extra time to have some fun and play. : )


Speakers Introductions Are Boring!

Are you a professional speaker, an entertainer or a presenter of any kind? Let’s face it, 99% of introductions for speakers are boring as heck. They are too long. They practically repeat the speaker’s resume´. And they are boring. Really freaking boring.

What makes it worse is that in most cases, the audience has a written copy of the speakers achievements and credentials in their lap DURING this boring introduction.

But speakers and entertainers need introductions. What should you do?

First of all, remember that it’s up to you as a speaker to create and deliver a great written introduction for your introducer to use. (TIP: Use 20 pt font so they can read it without their glasses.)

Second, no matter how long your intro is, shorten it. And then shorten it some more.

Third, make sure that your intro doesn’t duplicate the bio that is in the convention or meeting program.

And finally, (and this is the best one) make sure that that your introduction helps you to connect to the audience. I tell most of the clients in my coaching programs to include something personal and NOT related to their talk. Maybe they are a passionate dog lover. Or they will drive for hours for the absolute best Mexican food. Or that they have a secret passion for cooked spinach.

Why? For two reasons. First, because this type of stuff will usually get a laugh from the audience. And that’s a good thing. Really good. But second, and more importantly, this type of intro will help CONNECT you to your audience. If your audience hears that you are a real person with real loves, real passions, and a real personality, they will relate to you. And after all, isn’t it this sort of connection that professional speakers are after?

You bet…. so trash your old intro and start fresh.


Humor Resources

How To Give a Speech So You Don’t Look Like an Idiot

Learn how to create and deliver a funny speech by tomorrow! (Heck, shut the door, READ THIS, then get out your pen and you can have this done in one hour!)


Are you a believer in the power of levity and lightheartedness and its ability to help your organization get to where it deserves to be? Are you having trouble convincing the masses? Give us a call. We can help.


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Seriously dude. It’s time to get back to work. Don’t you have some email to return or something?

Ok, now you’re just pushing it. You need some serious help with time management. Move on baby! This thing is over!

Since you’re still here, here’s a video of a flash mob performance in Seattle. I love it for two reasons. One, the energy is undeniable. I’d love to be part of one, and I’d love to witness one. Second, what killer marketing for the TV show. Hire some dancers, and let YouTube have it’s way. I wish I had thought of it.

You must be craving more. Why are you here? I bet you have something that you SHOULD be doing but don’t want to. Clean your desk. Get coffee. Call your mom.

There has to be a better way to procrastinate than this!

Since you’re here …might as well check out my blog. (Hey! If you can’t fight it, embrace it!)