It’s Marathon day in Cleveland. While waiting for a friend to grab coffee, this woman walked by me. I had to get a picture because, even though she didn’t run, this woman wins the race with this sign alone.
I come to you not as your favorite sassy spruce. But as me, Matt Haze, the man who writes his tweets. Out of character and just being me. Because I have something I’d like to share with you.
After four years of holiday craziness and fun, this is the final year of the tree. I will not be doing it again next year. He is coming to an end.
For the last four years, the final eight weeks of the year have been such a joy for me. Sure there’s family and presents and singing along to Christmas songs as loud as you can in your car. (yup, just admitted to that) But for me, it’s always been the crazy time writing tweets as the world’s most egotistical celebrity Christmas tree. My friends can’t believe the hours of time I put into something that I wasn’t paid a single dime to do. But interacting with you and having a blast was well worth it.
This silly idea I randomly came up with one afternoon in November 2010 has brought me amazing things I never thought would happen. From doing the Gangnam Style dance on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange to crazy media mentions, and the most important, amazing friendships I’ve built all around the world that I will cherish forever.
YOU have been the best part of all of this. Seriously. All of the times we’ve interacted truly brightened up my holidays more than you know. It’s been a real joy and pleasure being sassy right back at you.
But the time has come to step away from the project. There’s a lot of reasons why and I won’t bore you with them. It’s time to move on and, honestly, not hide behind the character of a cocky conifer. It’s been fun… but it’s time to just be me.
The jokes and fun (minus being in spruce form) are always on at my personal twitter account, @MattHaze. You’re more than welcome to join me there. Tweet me and say hello. Would love to chat. :-)
AND you can learn more about what I do as a comedian, event host/emcee and radio/TV personality at matthaze.com/hireme #shamelessplug
To the thousands of you who have been part of the fun over the last four years… THANK YOU for all of your support. It means more to me than you will ever know.
As part of Social Media Week in New York, the hashtag #RejectedCitizenshipQuestions was floating around the Twitterverse.
So, I took part because, well, what else is there to do? Below is MY made up citizenship test.
And a big thank you to Nicole Nesbitt to told me to write a question Which turned into 18.
THE MATT HAZE REJECTED CITIZENSHIP TEST
Do you own a One Direction album? a) No? You may proceed. b) Yes? That is taking part in another British Invasion! No citizenship for you!
Fill in the blank: The best chip dip to bring to a Superbowl party is ____________.
Europe is a. evil b. all socialists c. only good for their food d. only good for their funny accents. [to my fast growing European fan base: That last one was making fun of an American stereotype. That's all. You know I love you.]
China is a) home to thousands of years of cultural significance b) a large country in Asia c) where we make cheap shit
The last time I left the United States was a) Never. Duh. b) Why would I even want to? c) to go to Canada to gamble.
Finish: O say can you see… a) by the dawn’s early light. b) by my lawn’s burly height. c) la la la la la la!
*NSYNC was made up of Justin, Joey, JC, Lance and a) some white guy. b) BSB 4 LIFE! c) there was a 5th one?
Puerto Rico is a ___ of the US. a) territory b) preferred resort destination of choice c) never heard of it
Fill in: Taylor Swift is currently dating ______ after dumping ____ who is named in her latest song _______.
Our founding fathers a) race each other at Nationals games b) are why I got a cheap car Monday c) all above
When you see someone dressed in a costume holding a sign on a sidewalk, you a) wave. b) honk. c) ignore.
America’s first black president was a) Barack Obama. b) Bill Clinton. c) All of the above.
Soccer is a) lame. b) something that drives me nuts from running my kids to practice every day. c) NOT football.
Ross Perot is known for a) running for President in 1992 and 1996. b) having funny ears. c) talking funny.
Fill in the blank: Chris Brown is an ______. a) asshole. b) asshole. c) asshole. d) all of the above.
America’s fanciest restaurant is _______. a) Applebee’s. b) TGI Friday’s. c) IHOP. d) the mall food court.
Which was NOT a show on ABC’s TGIF? a) Perfect Strangers. b) Full House. c) Step by Step. d) Matlock.
I would do anything for love, but I won’t do ___. a) that. b) him. c) her. d) something that puts me in jail.
In reality, it’s more like an arranged marriage to make American’s parents (creditors) happy and to keep them out of trouble (get out of bankruptcy).
Still… how fitting for them to announce the worst kept secret on Wall Street on the day when people who, um, “merge” together celebrate THEIR own connection. (I’d say love, but let’s be honest. For many, lust would be a better word).
What songs could you play tonight when you’re woo’ing your other half that would also fit to play in the board rooms of American and US Airway when they sign the merger paperwork?
So. Grab your valentine, open a bottle of wine and press play. Here’s the best suggestions, in no particular order!
2 Become 1 – Spice Girls (my suggestion): This was the song that was stuck in my head that sparked this idea. I mean, love isn’t always about two people. It’s sometimes about two corporations coming together purely out of necessity to compete and keep stockholders happy. Right? I mean Mitt Romney even said corporations are people!
We Go Together – Grease (suggested by Amanda): A classic! This could be a brilliant song to use when the employees of both companies meet up in a hangar to meet each other and share gossip about who is staying and who is going. But first, they’ll dance to this song and pretend that everything is wonderful and great! Just like the movies! Team building Glee-style FTW!
Come Together – Beatles (suggested by Robyn): I envision some of the American board getting in their Mercedes after the deal was signed, plugging their iPod in and cranking this. A great themed stress reliever tune. Just rock your head around and let loose. American will survive out of bankruptcy. Just like marriages after one of the spouses decide some person they met in a hotel bar on a business trip was the right person to make them feel better… just for one night.
You Belong with Me – Taylor Swift (suggested by Raphael): What an ironic suggestion, but it works. No one should play Taylor Swift in any Valentine’s-themed music list. Ever. The girl will just break your heart and write a song about you that will top the charts in a few months anyway. American would write a song about how US Airways didn’t keep their promise to call every night to tell them everything will be okay through the DOJ’s approval process and they will be together. Forever. Go away, Taylor.
Together Forever – Rick Astley (suggested by Dutch Guy): You’re damn right I wanted to be like a not funny Facebook person in 2008 and Rick Roll you! Com’mon admit it. You love this song. And if your valentine doesn’t sing along to this with you, dump them. Like, now.
U + ME = Us (Calculus) – 2Ge+her (suggested by Jeff): I want to see the rich American and US Air board members get up on stage in front of their employees in their new boy band called The Wall Street Boys and perform this. The marketing department would have a brilliant viral video on their hands. Make this happen! Brilliant suggestion, Jeff!
You and I – Lady Gaga (suggested by Ree): The passion. The heart. The odd clothing that looks nothing like a flight attendant outfit. You really can’t go wrong with Lady Gaga. Plus, with her canceling her tour for health reasons, I figured Gaga could use the cash from the clicks she’s getting to help pay for things. This is mainly a charitable addition to the list.
Happy to be Stuck with You – Huey Lewis & The News (suggested by Heather): Not every relationship is based on love. Let’s be honest. We all know a couple or two that are together because one night of too many drinks led to them being, well, stuck with each other. The merger really comes together thanks to American going bankrupt. US Airways is there to help get them on track. American’s creditors are happy. It’s not a match made in heaven. But it will do. They all have to get used to being stuck together. Brilliant suggestion!
On the Wings of Love – Jeffrey Osborne (suggested by Goobie Debi): When I started listening to this classic again, I envisioned a video of the two planes flying side by side in the air with this playing. Slow motion shots. Close ups. Their love together is public for all to see in the sky. Eventually, they land, both going into a hanger, door closes, and emerges a new plane with the new livery American spent millions on to develop. Classic.
I Believe I Can Fly – R. Kelly (suggested by Goobie Debi): Yes, American. Believe it. You WILL fly again! Your new love is here to help make it happen. Better days are ahead! This is the new theme song after the merger. Sing it and sing it loud!
THANK YOU to everyone for your suggestions! Have one of your own that you think belongs on this list? Wanna beat these? Comment below!
Him: I can’t wait until we make out later. Her: I can’t wait to slap you across the face when you try!
Wasn’t all of this stuff supposed to end on prom night?
Prom was the final time we, as a group of people growing up, would vote for who we thought was the most popular of all. We’d allow them to trance around during an S Club 7 song wearing a plastic sash and a cheap crown that was just a glorified paper Burger King crown. And that’d be it. No more. We officially grew up and we moved on.
The popularity contests didn’t end.
That was just the beginning.
And now LinkedIn is the latest instigator to bring up the lame game again.
The social network, which just surpassed the 200 million user mark, has been emailing “special” users to tell them they’re in the top 1%, 5% and 10% for profile views. as part of celebrating 200 million uses.
Official Matt Haze Translation: Congratulations, you’ve won a popularity contest! You’re SPECIAL!
And you know how it’s a popularity contest? Those users are posting screen shots of the email to gloat about it. And usually on Facebook and Twitter, NOT LinkedIn itself. (Isn’t that just like going to your OTHER group of friends to talk about it instead of the people involved itself? Quick! Tell me more between 3rd and 4th period and finish the story over lunch just to rub it in my face!)
Part of me thinks these the people showing off their email award (which technically thousands of others got, not making it THAT exclusive) are the same ones you see in prom photos standing far back in the crowd looking slightly annoyed and golf clapping just to be polite.
Now, this is THEIR moment to get back at all those that “wronged” them. Now they’re grown up and people care about them. When, in theory, we couldn’t really care less.
Now, every single time I see someone post their popularity contest award, I picture them standing up, standing proud and tall, waving their mobile device up in the air and saying THIS…
I mean, can you ask for anything more fun to do when you’re bored than judge someone else’s dating profile?? (Yes, that was rhetorical.)
Honestly, when I agreed to be part of this project, I thought “Oh a few lines in an article would be nice.” Nope. My love life was put on full display ON AN ENTIRE PAGE. My jaw literally did drop when I saw that.
The article highlights my friend Laurie Davis, the founder of eFlirtExpert, home to the best online dating coaches out there. Need to know how to write your profile to make it stand out? Need to figure out how to venture through the (sometimes very confusing) online dating world? Laurie is the person you call to ease your racing mind. And racing heart.
As part of a dating section in New York magazine last week, Laurie was asked to take two different dating profiles and go through them with her magic eye. What was wrong with it? What could the person do better? Will this person be declared as “completely not dateable and should just start living a life as the lonely person sitting at McDonalds on a Friday night.” (Okay the last one wasn’t an option, but I sure wouldn’t have been surprised if she declared my profile that)
Laurie sent me a questionnaire she uses with her clients to learn more about my situation. What results were I getting with my profile? Was I happy with it? What IS it I wanted to come from the profile? Do I think Big Foot actually exists? (Yeah, the last question through me for a loop, too.)
After a few days of taking my profile through the ringer , she sent me back a four page critique with her professional opinion. My first reaction, to be quite honest, was “Holy crap this is work! I quit dating!” After the realization of having to find single bridesmaids every weekend as “dates” would be even MORE work sunk in, I was brought back to reality. I was impressed with her thorough analysis of my work. Every single word was looked at. Tone was brought into play. Even how my photos were taken!! Quite impressive.
But afterwards, I had some questions that still lingered in my head. Laurie and I had a quick meet up at a coffee house on the upper west side before the article was published to clarify some things.
But here’s the three main points that stood out to me and my thoughts…
1. She was expecting it to be funnier. For a moment, I was a bit shocked when she said these words to me. I mean seriously, is there anything worse you can say to someone who relies on their comedy to get by in life?? But I DID get her point. She didn’t mean that as an insult. I know it can be hard to believe, but I DO have a serious side. I’m not always Mr. Let Meeeeeee Entertaaaaain Yoooou (10 bonus points if you can name the singer I reference in that statement). And honeslty I want people to see that. That’s the real “me.”
Laurie thought I should work on showing more of that fun personality side. One of my personal gripes about dating is how, so many times, it comes off as a job hunt where you’re trying to fill a position (heh. position) But in reality, dating is about HAVING FUN! And I was already breaking that cardinal rule I have set for my dating life without thinking about it. Re-writing it involves just making it a fun thing to read! Oh, and I’ll talk a little about how I’m brilliant. (kidding)
2. “Out of borough dating.” Laurie talks about using my work zip code instead of my home zip code. This has to be one of the dumbest things when it comes to dating in the New York area. I DO get it and it may be tough to understand if you don’t live here. Sometimes getting somewhere five miles away in the area can take two hours. Literally. I live in New Jersey. I know it may be hard to believe, but Jersey is not on the other side of the world. It’s a nice place. With things you don’t always find in the city. You know… things like grass. Fresh air. Peace and quiet. AND A TARGET. OHMIGOD A TARGET! What woman wouldn’t want to date a handsome funny, charming man who lives within a 5 minute drive of a Target? AND I have a car to take you! (I know that may have sent you over the edge ladies, but settle down!) To some, just because I don’t want to live in the city proper, I must not be their “type.” And they will turn away the potential of a great person because of that. How. Lame.
3. Be a storyteller. The main thing I got out of this process is the idea of really being a storyteller in your profile. When it’s all said and done, that’s what Laurie wants me (and YOU) to be in our profiles. Her four page fine-toothed comb analytic review was about the details. But if I had to sum it all up, I have to tell a story. Leave the person reading wondering. Let them want to connect and hear the rest of it. Find out the plot line and how it ends. I really love this idea.
I’ve been asked a few times if I’ve met any new women directly from the article. I can’t say I have DIRECTLY from it. Yet. But it has been a good ice breaker for some random situations that have come up in the last week.
Thank you, Laurie. This was fun. And I appreciate your help.
It’s normally a tradition that I watch the award show and live tweet snarky commentary of the show as it happens. A a recovering former radio DJ, it was a fun little thing for me to do.
But tonight, I will not do that. I will not watch the award show and I will not live tweet it.
BECAUSE I HAVE MONEY TO BUY MUSIC, BUT THE INDUSTRY WON’T LET ME BUY WHAT I WANT.
LET ME BUY WHAT I WANT, THEN I’LL WATCH YOUR SHOW.
Let me explain.
Thanks to technology, I can listen to music and radio from (pretty much) any part of this planet. It is AMAZING how technology has evolved like that. I can listen to pretty much any radio station in the world that streams their audio (LEGALLY as well) in my car through my stereo anywhere I’m driving in America. Just stream it through my iPhone, plug it into my car and BAM. It’s just like driving through that city on the other side of the world! And many times, the audio quality is better than most local FM transmitters in the area.
I do this often. I listen to stations in London, Toronto, Sydney, Dubai and Auckland just to name a few. The music mix in each country is different than what we get in America. Many times, the songs are the same. Many times, they are different. Over the last few years, I’ve heard songs on these stations well before America picked them up as “new music.”
But even though I can listen to these stations legally and hear this music, I can not purchase it. Even though I can listen to it and I really like it and I WANT TO GIVE THEM MY MONEY, because I live in America, I can not purchase it. They don’t want my money. My American dollars. The most valued currency in the world. (well, most valued for now… that’s a whole other blog post waiting to happen)
Every year during the Grammys, the head of the record industry gets on stage and patronizes people for not buying music exactly how they want you to. But yet, in 2013, they STILL are screwing up the system. You still are not letting us buy what we want. You’re playing a stupid, old business model game. EVEN THOUGH WE HAVE MONEY TO GIVE YOU.
Here are the three biggest pains of this situation that have come up in the last year…
Example #1: Sam and the Womp. Oh do I love myself cheesy sounding songs that sound like they came directly from a late 90s pop album. They’re fun to turn up and just go crazy for over 3 minutes. (mental picture. you’re welcome) And last year, I discovered one of them while listening to BBC Radio 1. Sam and the Womp’s Bom Bom (which you can watch the video below). It’s fun. It’s cheesy. It’s very much me. I could listen to it online on stations in other parts of the world (because America didn’t play it at first). I could watch the video on YouTube. But could I actually purchase it online when the album was released last summer? Hell no! EVEN THOUGH I HAVE MONEY I WANTED TO GIVE THEM.
Example #2: Olly Murs. The British X-Factor poster boy is one of my favorite pop artists out there. I really started to like him during Chris Moyles’s 52 hour world recording breaking marathon show when the two had one of the worst slow motion acting spots I’ve ever seen in my life. His music is just fun! I’ve known about his hit song “Heart Skips a Beat” for a long time, well before it was released here in America last year. The original version features a rap spot from Rizzle Kicks. When the label decided to release the song in America, they changed it from Rizzle Kicks to Chiddy Bang. That’s fine. But after the American version was released, the official original mix with Rizzle Kicks was no longer available to listen to in America on YouTube. Why? Because they want me to listen to the Chiddy version? Even though I’ve known about the other version (which I like better) and I know it exists? But they want me to pretend it doesn’t exist now?! I didn’t know I look like an idiot! But here’s a lyric video of the original.
Example #3: Chris Moyles. I’ve been a diehard fan of the now former Radio 1 breakfast show host for many years. Listening to The Chris Moyles Show on Radio 1 every day was part of my running ritual. His show was available to listen to around the world! Legally! So when his new parody album was released late in 2012, was I able to purchase it online, even though I could read about it thanks to his numerous plugs on Twitter and I could listen to his old show? Of course not! I’m sure Moylesie would like my money. But even though I was a loyal listener to the show every day online, I couldn’t give them my money online. Even though Chris has a large following in America thanks to his showing being on Sirius XM for many years as well! Brilliant work, label! The physical CD was available to purchase on Amazon as an import, but for nearly $50 with shipping. Yikes.
I could go on and on. But these are my biggest recent irks.
You listening, record industry?? Can you see how absurd this is?!? In 2013?!?
Stop this lame and ridiculous country restriction crap. We can consume this content thanks to technology. If we like it, why can’t we purchase it? WE WANT TO GIVE YOU OUR MONEY. YOU WANT OUR MONEY. So find a way to make that happen.