By Joy A. Kennelly
Finally! Someone who gets my sense of humor and will allow me mine. Here's a hilarious send up of Sarah Palin in honor of all my Democrat friends.
Finally a good friend sent me this funny video to counter my one-sided message so to honor her for being so bold without further ado, here it is (there is some offensive language fyi):
Hey Sarah Palin
You have to admit it's very funny. I love that the woman singing even looks like Palin a bit and the guy's mouth is so straight even when he sings. His facial expressions are hilarious too. This may be the last pro-Democrat thing I post, but you never know - send me something and I'll decide. Not that I agree with any of it, but it is funny.
I hope they do move to Canada though if we win. LOL
Now! Finally here's my take on yesterday's Governor's Women's Conference now that I'm feeling better and happy. It's amazing what getting out on the town will do to clear one's head and put you in a completely different head space.
Must share this though first - the artist from tonight's art opening had an image on display that has been on my vision board for a year. A little spooky. Oh, and speaking of spooky.
As a joke, I sent my good Democrat friend Shana a Halloween card that said, "I tried to think of the scariest thing I could send to you" on the outer cover, then when you open it up, I slipped in a McCain/Palin bumper sticker. She loved it!
Because of the success of that joke, tonight I posted a sign above the mail boxes in my building which said, "Happy Halloween! Here's a treat and a scare" with a bowl of candy below it and a McCain/Palin sticker stuck under the word scare. I left for the night and couldn't wait to hear all my Dem bud's response.
They loved it too. I had written Guess who? But they all knew it was me.:) I am the only Republican living in the building after all I think.
Finally! People having a sense of humor about politics. See all Republicans aren't narrow minded and humorless! At least I'm not. :)
Now, on to the Women's Conference! Click on the link for a broad overview.
The Women's Conference
Leave it to a rock star to get all 10,000 plus women in the Long Beach Arena on their feet clapping, yelling and whistling which was all of our reactions when Bono came on the stage to receive his Minerva Award.
I know there were so many amazing speakers all day long, but I need to start with the end just to give you a glimpse into a day that just kept building in intensity.
Bono was fucking amazing. Sorry to those who hate swearing and that word, but that's the only word I can think of to describe that experience. He's electric in person and the energy that flew through the room was tangible, he's that charismatic and dynamic live.
And he didn't even sing! At least while I was there.
(I have to admit, by the time the evening was drawing to a close I was so tired after being up since 5am two days in a row with events on both days and very little sleep and the adrenaline of the day wearing off, I left a little early.)
Bono. Click here to watch highlights of his speech.
He's funny, he's smart, he's sexy, he's interesting, he's compassionate, he's driven, he's humble, he's the most remarkable man making such a difference in the world today - what a life achiever and role model. And he's Irish too! I love it!
And he loves Africa!
He's my people. I want to help One, his campaign to help make poverty history, and will soon. I promise.
He was funny because he joked after describing meeting the Kennedy family now there's a bunch of over-achievers. I had forgotten that Maria's father, Sargent Shriver started the Peace Corps. Isn't that amazing? Her mother started the Special Olympics. What an act to follow.
I love that the Kennedy family is like our American royalty. I also love that they're Irish too. Go Irish! Also, that my name is so close to theirs I always tell people mine is spelled like Kennedy, but with two L's.
I know it may surprise some of you that I admire the Kennedy clan so much because they're all Democrats, but what you don't seem to understand about me then, is that I admire people who have high ideals and go for them, especially when they're doing good for people.
Regardless of politics.
People are people first, Americans 2nd, party affiliation third, or not at all. There are benefits to both political parties, and maybe that lone commenter has it right and we should all vote independent.
I know there's parts of both main parties that I like and there's parts of both I detest. But that's what makes America great. All parts make up a whole and somehow it works. We are all individuals, yet part of something greater - America, our country tis of thee.
Let us never forget that. We are all Americans first and then party affiliation. Vote your heart, but vote! It's your God given right (just don't Acorn it ok?)
So, getting back to the Kennedy's. I like Robert Shriver III who is currently a Santa Monica council man and took a pic on my cell of him (after asking permission first. He's a very cool guy. Thanks!)
I then sent it to my friends telling them he was my new bud as a joke. Some of them got it, but some didn't know who he was. Kind of funny, but par for the course if they're not into politics right?:) I teased my other Democrat girlfriend and said this is your buddy. I then sent her a picture of Christiane Amanpour saying, here's mine.
Me and my new friends at the conference had escorted Christiane around to her speaking engagement which was fun. She is so impressive. Click on her link if you don't recognize her name. Chief International Correspondent for CNN. What an inspirational woman and journalist.
I want to be like her when I grow up.
But that's not all who was there. Right out the door, one of the crew needed someone to find Dr. Oz and get him to his interview on time. I volunteered for that duty and got to meet him shortly thereafter. He'd brought his family and they spoke later on apparently. Very nice man. Made a point of introducing himself first which I thought was extremely gracious since I knew who he was obviously.
The morning speeches for me opened with Jenny from the block - yes, that's right. Jennifer Lopez. Or JLo as many of you might know her. I loved her vulnerability, honesty and references to God in her speech. Go Jennifer! I'm not sure all the women were buying her as the opening remarks, but hey, that's what makes this conference so great - it's a huge mish mosh of celebrities, politicians, business women, authors, and others you would never expect to hear all in one place.
I know there were other speeches ahead of hers, but I missed them doing what I was doing in the press area. I made a point of making sure to hear Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Warren Buffet being interviewed by Hardball's Chris Matthews though which was stupendous! (I'm trying to find other adjectives than amazing. How'd you like that one?)
Here's a really great write-up of this conversation from the LA Times writer, Louis Sahagun, entitled:
Schwarzenegger, Warren Buffett chat at Women's Conference
He caught the story I told my chiropractor this morning about Buffet turning the tables on Matthews to ask whether or not he would have liked to have been born a woman (to which Matthews deftly avoided answering - obvious non answer, eh?)
Read the article - it really does capture this session quite well.
The only points I would bring up additionally is that I was very impressed with the fact that Chris Matthews wife is the Executive VP of Marriott (doublecheck her title, I could be wrong about it's exactness, but pretty sure it's that high up).
I was also extremely impressed with his obvious love and respect for her and the fact she is such a dynamo all on her own right. Kind of puts his career in perspective doesn't it ladies? LOL He also has a great sense of humour about himself which I just love.
I also loved Arnold's assertion that part of the reason he left Socialist Austria was because he wanted to live in a country with more opportunity. Now I'm paraphrasing because it's been a day, but that was his theme.
He said, "The bigger the risk, the greater the gains" to which I completely agree. Buffet agreed, and clarified that he doesn't have a problem with people making lots of money. What he disagrees with is people failing and making a lot of money which made at least some of us laugh out loud because he pointed out the obvious.
Arnold (sorry, I can't easily spell his last name all the time and you all know who he is anyway right?) also said, "Government has it's function, but it's not the solution." A direct jab at Obama in my mind. Buffet said, "Capitalism works extremely well." and later on, "America is the greatest country in the world....One thing we know for sure it will always be the most powerful, best, most generous in the world."
It was so comforting to hear one of the top financial minds of our lifetime state the obvious after the horrible crash and economic crisis we've been struggling through. I think personally, I needed to hear that right about now. Doesn't it comfort you a little bit too?
I also liked how Arnold pointed out that our CA economy is strong because it's so diversified. I was impressed to learn that there are currently 1 million women owned small businesses although only 10% female leaders in large corporations. Also, only 24% female legislaturers. (sp?)
Made me consider running just to even things out a bit. LOL
I liked that Arnold acknowledged that "women make different decisions and we need that mix." He also recognized Title IX and even mentioned our Award-winning Olympic VBall athletes which I loved.
Go South Bay!
He feels that the athletes of today are the leaders of tomorrow. The "camaraderie, being a team player, recognizing short comings, listening to people's feeback, and follow through" were all traits of becoming a great leader which athletes naturally have.
What was cool about TItle IX is that later on during the Minerva Awards, Tennis Champion, Billie Jean King, spoke as an honoree and acknowledged it too. We take it for granted now, but for many girls growing up, they didn't have the same opportunities as we do now which I think is fantastic.
Billie Jean has written a book entitled, Pressure is a Privilege: Lessons I've Learned from Life and the Battle of the Sexes, which I actually have read already because I picked it up during Book Expo America earlier this year. It's really interesting and I highly recommend the read.
She had an amazing life and really is such a trailblazer on so many levels. I found her experiences leading up to and after her win over Bobby Riggs during the Battle of the Sexes, to be most interesting of all. Although I'm not a lesbian, nor ever intend to be, I could relate to her fear of "coming out" because it was fearful for me to "come out" as a Christian with the values I hold which are so different than so many of my friends and other business associates.
I was able to relate to Maria Shriver for the same reason. She was one of our afternoon speakers and every single time I hear her, I well up with emotion. It was comforting to know I wasn't alone. When Billie Jean King came on the stage she shared how she'd been crying after hearing Maria share her story of taking care of her ailing mother and coming out in support of Obama.
Maria spoke earlier how she always thought she was courageous, but she only realized recently that all the amazing things she'd done in her life weren't courageous because she never allowed herself to feel the fear. However, when she decided to come out in her support of Obama, she was terrified.
I could relate to her too because when I first decided to go McCain/Palin on all of you, I was terrified. Politics can be very devisive and polarizing which is something I didn't want to happen. I also couldn't keep silent about sharing my feelings for my country and how I felt it was being affected by the Obamania.
Barack Hussein Obama. Sorry, I just like saying it and writing it. Kind of rolls off the tongue doesn't it? HA!
In any case, back to the Governor's Women's Conference in Long Beach. This is such an amazing event I wonder how in the world the next Governor's wife will ever fill Maria Shriver's shoes because she's done such a wonderful job of creating this non-partisan, awe-inspiring day that continues to build and grow every year. I don't envy that woman one iota.
My hope is that somehow Maria will stay involved, or that the next Governor's wife will realize that Maria is such an integral part, she will keep her on as a consultant or something. But fortunately we won't have to worry about that for awhile. Do we?
There were so many speakers who were absolutely amazing. Ooops, there's that word again, but if you were there, you would agree. That word can not be used enough. Trust me. It really encapsulates the day.
Here's a link to all the speakers just to give you an idea of who spoke and what you missed if you weren't able to buy your ticket in the three hour window they sold out in.
(I really hope they consider moving this to the LA Convention Center because they really do need a bigger space for next year. Carol, if you're reading this go for it! They need you!)
The Women's Conference: 2008 Speakers
Now do you see what I'm talking about? I only was able to hit a few and was bummed to have missed former Secretary of State, Madeline Albright (are you seeing a pattern here? I love politics!), but did manage to hear current Secretary of State Dr. Condoleezza Rice, Pepisco Chairman and CEO, Indra Nooyi, speak on the same stage which was very fascinating as well.
The only thing I disliked was Indra's joke about Sarah Palin because I thought that was disrespectful from someone in her position, but she's entitled to her opinion. Maybe Indra should run as VP? Just kidding. Although she really is an amazing woman with brilliant ideas. I may steal a few of hers for an idea I have for Hermosa Beach.
Condoleezza is so gracious and wise I would love to go to Stanford and sit under her when she goes back to teaching after she leaves office. What a brilliant woman and so calm. Really impressive lady. This was one of the highlights of the day (only exceeded by Maria Shriver's speech. What a gifted orator she is.)
Search around on the site because I believe there are still video links to all the major speeches that you will be able to listen to and you should. You will be inspired, challenged, entertained, educated, encouraged, and happy you did.
One of my take-aways from this year's conference is how very proud I am to be an American. So many international speakers spoke of their love for our country to and the meritocracy, to quote Indra, America offers those who come here to pursue their dreams.
Over and over and over again, that respect and love for America came through and it was so encouraging. I admit. Sometimes I feel defeated because of all our financial woes and everything that's going on with this political race. However, after my experience at the Women's Conference, I feel renewed in spirit and determination that everything is going to be ok.
We all may not get the President we want in office, but we will get the person our country needs and no matter who is elected, we will be ok. Now, having said that, I still believe we will be better off with McCain, but right now, looking ahead, I'm going to leave the stress of this election in God's hands.
And then go to Nevada next weekend to do what I can to support the election and get McCain into office. lol. Should be fun and very interesting to say the least. Can't wait. I'm doing it as another sociological experiment too.
I am passionately proud of America and the opportunity for people to voice their opinions whether I agree with them or not. I'm proud that we are a resiliant people and we never give up. I'm proud that only in America can you come here with nothing and create empires. I'm also proud of how many people give back to our country which was exemplified in Betty Chinn, one of the other Minerva Award winners.
Now you may never have heard of her and may never again other than she's the Minerva recipient this year by simple virtue of the fact she runs a very humble volunteer effort to feed the poor up in Eureka, CA.
Here's an excerpt from her bio:
"Betty Chinn has not started a grand organization nor does she have a
big staff working for her. Instead what she has done for over 20 years
is wake up every day, load up her truck and go in search of those who
need food, a blanket or simply human contact. Rain or shine, holidays
and weekends, Betty Chinn finds lost souls and reminds them that they
are part of a human family. In the true spirit of Minerva, she is a
warrior. She fights for humanity, bestows a touch of grace on those
whose lives are rarely touched, and provides dignity for those who can't
search it out for themselves."
This woman grew up in China and experienced tremendous hardship before coming to America.
"She was born in China in the days when the Communists persecuted and
tortured intellectuals who did not follow Mao's ways. Her parents, both
successful physicians, were Communist targets. Betty's father fled and
her mother was imprisoned, leaving Betty and her siblings out on the
street. The shock and trauma of homelessness, separation from her
parents and the perils of escaping her dire straits were too much for
Betty and she went mute. But she was able to escape from China and
found her way to Eureka. There she met her husband and had two sons of
whom she is extremely proud. It was also in California that she would
find her voice and recover her ability to speak. Her first English
lessons came from watching Sesame Street."
As her way of giving back to the country who gave to her, she volunteers among homeless people and has helped bring 17 off the streets. It's a small testimony, but a powerful one. She touched me the most out of all the award winners because she used her horrible history for something far greater using her pain as a catalyst to heal and give back.
I'm tired so if this isn't as eloquent as I hope, I'm sorry. Like I said earlier, writing these blogs takes me hours and since beginning at 10pm, it's now 2am. I just couldn't stop once I got started because I really wanted to give you a feel for the day.
If there's any way you can attend next year, you really must. This is absolutely the best day to be a woman. Every year I feel a little more strengthened, a little more enlightened, a little more inspired. And a whole lot lighter.
Like I've said before, it's not easy being me, but at this event, I realize I'm not alone. There are many other leaders, survivors, catalysts for change, trail blazers, and it's fantastic!
I hope to always attend the Women's Conference as long as Maria Shriver is involved. I also hope next year to cover this as a blogger during the event to give you even more personal insights that are live and on site. We'll see. Stranger things have happened!
That's all. I really must go to sleep now. I hope you've enjoyed the read. Leave a comment! Would love to hear your thoughts.