An Award-Winning Digital Marketing Strategist and Personal Publicist, Joy Kennelly has covered the worlds of entertainment, red carpet events, celebrities, travel, technology, politics, food and fashion festivals for many years.
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I had an interesting chat with a Wells Fargo Bank Board Member on my flight recently in light of the crash of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). He said as a Board Member, he is held liable for the decisions of his bank and as a result, he is very concerned about how it is run. He felt that the SVB board of directors should be sued and/or go to jail because of the collapse.
I didn't realize he worked for Wells Fargo when we started speaking and said I didn't like their fees. I'm sure he was happy hearing that. LOL The conversation did peter out rather early come to think of it.
"Many folks don't realize that women founders specifically are underbanked. In the United States, the World Economic Forum suggests that there's about $300 billion worth of small businesses run by women across this country that have not been able to get proper access to financial instruments that help every business run."
And here's more data this author provides in the article,
"When you look at the data, Silicon Valley Bank actually put $17.5 million into Black and Latinx founders last year to help support that underbanked population as well, this isn't just a female founder issue. This is basically an issue for any founder who is not a white man in America."
When will women ever be treated fairly and judged on other merits rather than male-dominated versions of what will create success? Women may appear riskier in certain perspectives, but then, why is this not taken into consideration? According to Prowess, the following facts are stated in their article: FACTS ABOUT WOMEN IN BUSINESS
Around 30% of all US businesses are majority female-owned. The number of women-owned businesses continues to grow at twice the rate of all US firms, and they are increasing in economic clout.
Women also bring a diversity dividend as non-executive directors of companies: gender-balanced boards are more successful than mono-cultural boards on every measure. (McKinsey & Co 2007).
Placing greater value on female-dominated personal and social services, community and social services is an important part of decoupling prosperity from pollution-based growth. (‘Prosperity without Growth’, Jackson, 2009).
Increasing numbers of women are studying science, engineering and technology (SET) degrees, but over 70% drop out of SET careers, compared with half of men. This is a huge waste of investment, talent and opportunity, especially as the key challenges of our time – renewable energy, food security, medical advances – require diversity of technical and societal engagement. (UKRC for women in SET 2011)
Ironically, my Dad holds this exact same bias with me and my sisters. Because my youngest sister is married to a man who makes 6 figures, my Dad has opted to loan them money to build a real estate EMPIRE at a measly 1% interest rate. Yes, it's varied all the way up to 5% sometimes, but the majority of the time, it's a simple 1% which is worse than what a bank would offer him if he just stuck it in a savings account. AND they're not charged for insurance, experience no penalty for late payments, and so far there's been no oversight, just here's my money...
My middle sister has paid thousands of dollars in interest on her home in Austin and she feels the same way as I do about how Dad discriminates against us both. It's his era mindset to undermine single females, but what's the excuse of the tech and banking world I wonder. Many white men were raised by single white mothers, yet they think all women are meant to struggle all their lives.
I only recently discovered my sister's travesty while helping my Dad get his trust organized and was appalled to discover that ALL his money is tied up in Glori and Dwayne's real estate dealings.
This means, now that he's ready for assisted living or any other medical option he may need, Glori, will need to sell off a real estate holding before he will have money to cover his care because she's not liquid enough to give him the settlement of the remaining balance of the loan without doing so.
It makes me mad, but it also is heartbreaking to me to learn how she has, in my mind, taken advantage of him all this time. And that he goes along with it like a horse following a carrot held out in front of him. What has he really gained from this transaction? What benefit has he personally received by giving all his money to Glori? Other than her calling him to stay in touch and her jumping when the next funds are available? Does he relive his real estate glory days? Does he enjoy feeling he's still in the real estate game? What is the benefit?
When I challenged him and asked why he chose to invest so much money with Glori he said well Dwayne (her husband) is good for it. Never mind, Dad isn't benefitting financially AT ALL, only them. And Glori will refuse to look at this for what it really is because she's SOOOO busy managing her 1.25 million real estate empire built on Dad's money (last time I checked.)
I've dealt with this bias my entire life and that's why it infuriates me, even more, to see other women getting screwed over too in the general workforce and especially in the tech sector.
Think of all the wonderful technology that is created by women, but dies a slow death because the female founders can't receive funding to move it forward. That's what is discouraging to me and why I left that industry years back.
But let me share some highlights because they're just too good! LOL And I quote,
"Firms creating mini funds to earmark capital for traditionally underrepresented founders. And by mini, I mean less than 2% of their overall AUM (pay attention to the numbers here!), run by fund managers who are not even afforded full decision-making capabilities to write out cheques. Good for you.
Investors congratulating themselves for making that one investment into that one woman-led company, and it’s doing pretty well! Good for you.
Fund managers speaking on panels and getting quoted in the press about their commitment to leveling the playing field – sometimes even with “Women Founders are the Future” tee shirts on! – while actions behind the scenes would suggest otherwise. Good for you.
Firms writing out the largest cheques we’ve ever seen to non-women founders who’ve not only gloriously failed before (“failure is good!”), but are known quite globally for being absolutely toxic additions to the ecosystem. Good for you.
Investors continuing to lean on stats about making deals into mixed-gender teams – teams with at least one woman – (or media continuing to highlight the “good news” have “skyrocketed” to, in this case, 17.2%), with a complete lack of acknowledgment that little to no research or data collection has been done on this particular sub-set of startups in regards to gender dynamics (it needs to be done), and that it’s likely “skyrocketing” because of the exact same awful set of behavior that’s also gotten us to the 1.9%. Good for you.
Or full circle, how about this extremely simple, but stark one:
Traditional investors patting themselves on the back for any of the above or 100 other “good deeds”, and still being 100% responsible for a 30% decrease in capital allocations to women startup founders from two years prior.A reminder that it’s a 30% decrease from the already pathetic number of 2.7% in 2020."
What part of you don't understand and you're causing more poverty in the world by your actions don't you get? At a certain point, men need to be honest with themselves and with others that they DO NOT WANT WOMEN TO SUCCEED! They just don't. And no matter how many times we beat them over the head with this truth that their actions speak louder than their words of support, they refuse to change.
I got so fed up, I left that community despite investing 4 years of my life into building a travel startup and really liking many of the people I came in contact with. I ultimately decided I was tired of writing about men's success in tech and not seeing myself and other females being provided the same opportunity to achieve the same.
I've given up on my Dad and have decided I am not here on earth to serve him, but I'm serving God by honoring my Dad regardless of how he treats and mistreats me. I refuse to allow my sister to poison my relationship with my Dad despite the favoritism, the catering to, or the negativity she spews to him about me every chance she gets to maintain her chokehold on his finances and the financial support he so willingly provides at every turn. That is on her conscience and God will deal with her selfishness, lies and greed, not me.
All I can do is focus on my business, and what I have in my control to provide quality travel services to those who hire me and not worry about the rest. Dad is going on a 20-day trip with Glori and maybe then she will see how much he is declining and recognize she needs to begin caring for him in ways that are foreign to her. Like allowing him time to recuperate. Making sure he eats meals that are healthy and filled with nutrients to maintain his brain health, not just whatever she thinks is ok.
Like preparing to sell properties to pay him back to cover his care because as it stands right now she has taken so much of his money he won't be able to provide the financial coverage himself. That's why I keep pushing the man who is helping Dad to move faster and close out his trust. Protect my Dad. Care for my Dad. Honor my Dad's final wishes. Finish the job, Paul. Do right by him.
This has been an interesting life and it's only bound to get more interesting as I free myself of caregiving responsibilities and turn them over to the one sister who has benefitted the most, while contributing the least to his overall care. I will still be there for him, but I sincerely hope she steps up more too. That is my prayer.
It is also my prayer that the Tech industry will begin to recognize they are missing out on not only supporting females who build amazing things but also supporting our society as a whole since women care for society in unique ways that men just don't consider.
We need more women represented in all aspects of improving society which I truly believe technology has the capacity to do, but when the nurturing, innovative, and unique perspectives of the female brain are ignored, discounted, and reduced to begging for 1.9% of funding, it's debilitating, reduces our society to a lower operating level and is just not as valuable overall.
And because female founder and CEO of Minneapolis-based Soona Studios, Liz Giorgi, puts it so well, I will close with this:
"And the final thing I'll say, which really just blows my mind every single time is that when you look at the data, quite bluntly, women-owned businesses are more likely to survive.
They're more likely to be profitable, and they're more likely to grow sustainably year over year. When you compare those data points alone, it's baffling to me that there aren't more bets made on women-owned businesses."
Do better white men in positions of power. We know you can. Just do it, like Nike.
Romans 12:1-2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
WOW WOW WOW!
Today's message and prayer at the Church of the Highlands was on fire! Here's the link if you want to hear and watch and see how thousands of people around the country are lifting up prayer requests for things that matter to you and society right now:
Today's 21 days of prayer is all about spiritual attacks on the family and encouraging us to put on the full armor of God. We need to step into our place of authority and fight the devil.
Ephesians 6:10 - 13
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
Be encouraged! Do not shrink back and be destroyed, stand in your purpose and your calling. Do not flee, Nehemiah 4:14 “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.”
Focus on the home and believe God can do great things. This is what the pastor was preaching and praying for today and encouraged all of us to pray too. That we would have:
1. Homes built on the Word of God
2. Homes will have a spirit of unity, established in prayer
3. Homes filled with children in love with God.
I have been so blessed and encouraged as I follow along daily I just had to share and encourage others to join me.
It's been really amazing to see what I'm praying for manifest in real life too. I've been praying for our government officials, our country, my alma mater, my friends and their families, my family, my favorite celebrities, Hollywood, and whoever and whatever God brings to mind as I'm lifting up these prayers to Him.
I believe in the power of prayer. I believe in God's goodness. I believe in the power of God's truth. love and ability to change lives and circumstances.
I see it in my own life and in certain things happening in the country today which is why I have to write and share this with you to encourage you to join me in the final days of this amazing experience.
There's so much evil and darkness in the world right now. Wouldn't it be nice to have some light and encouragement in the midst of it? That's why I'm doing this. It changes my whole perspective and gives me encouragement that God is in control and He wins over the evil going on right now.
When I think about it, all I can do is pray for our borders, for the people caught in the crosshairs and that God will intervene, give our government officials wisdom in handling it, and that we will have law and order once again. It's out of my hands...
And on the flip side, I see positive news happening that makes me feel good:
I know some may not think Alec being charged is positive, but I've been praying there will be justice in the world and I think it IS manslaughter when someone deliberately points a gun at someone and shoots it, fake or not.
I'm also tired of celebrities literally getting away with murder as Bruce Jenner did in that fatal car crash. I also feel sometimes we have to go through hard times to trust in God, not ourselves. Perhaps Alec will turn to God now?
But enough of me and my opinions of what's happening in the world, let's get back to God and his will for our lives.:)
This is one of my favorite verses in the Bible and I hope it encourages you too: Jeremiah 29:11 11 For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for prosperity and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
They have a great app for pray called Pray First which you can find in both iPhone and Android stores. And I like having the church app too because it makes it easier to find the message. You can also just watch on your computer. Whatever works! Just pray!
God bless your day as my friend Ashley always says. If you'd like some worship music to play in the background as you go about your day, here's some I just found.
A FULL DAY 10am-3pm of BRAND AND PITCH WORK and then YOU ACTUALLY GET TO PITCH YOURSELF!!!
WORK ON YOUR PITCH and BRAND with our CERTIFIED ACTOR'S FAST TRACK COACHES
PITCH YOURSELF TO INDUSTRY GUESTS!!!!! (JUDGES WILL BE ANNOUNCED)
ENJOY DELICIOUS TACOS from a TACO TRUCK!
PRIZES WILL BE AWARDED FOR BEST PITCH decided by our INDUSTRY GUESTS
If you're not currently an actor, but need to pitch your startup, your new business, or perhaps propose to your love, then you may also want to consider joining me because what I've come to see is that acting really apply to how you present yourself in the world overall.
Each class teaches the tips and techniques Levine gained over 20 years as a successful actor, producer, director and casting director of 1000’s of commercials and theatrical projects for such notable clients as Apple, Microsoft, Chase, Capital One, Sears, Disney, The Voice, and Comedy Central, to name a few.
Each workshop session provides students the opportunity to audition on-camera, watch themselves on playback, and receive immediate personalized coaching from James. Private coaching is offered separately online and in-person and includes audition self-taping in On Your Mark Studios on an appointment basis.
Levine has taught classes in Los Angeles and internationally with Stella Adler Academy and TVI Studios. In addition to his “Bring It!” book, he also co-hosts and produces an online interview show for Casting Frontier called The Curve which recently featured such luminaries as Bernard Hiller, April Webster, Stuart k. Robinson and many more.
**Please Note: At the conclusion of the class/workshop, the instructor will NOT be taking home nor given access to your headshot, resume, or any other of your promotional materials. Your headshot/resume and any other promotional materials will be returned to you. This is not an audition or employment opportunity. **
I always know it's time to write when I keep going over what I want to convey for days at a time. I don't know if other writers do this, but I write my articles in my head first, edit and refine them and then they spill over when I sit down to actually put "pen to paper" so to speak.
However, this time, even though I've been mulling what I want to say about grief and the loss of my mom for the past week and longer, my thoughts are still jumbled, I haven't figured it all out, nor am I sure I want to.
Hopefully, by writing my thoughts down it will begin to make sense - at least to me.
Reader, hate to break it you, but you're just along for the ride...:)
As in the words of Counting Crows Big Yellow Taxi song, "Don't it always seem to go That you don't know what you got 'til it's gone" this best describes my feelings and experiences since losing my little Mom this past May 1, 2016.
I never realized how much I counted on her until losing her. She was my best friend, my cheerleader, my confidante, my driver when I needed her to be, my travel companion, my IT department, my assistant, my mentor, my travel advisor, my spiritual advisor, my friend I sat with at church, my friend I went out to eat with like here in this picture at the Long Beach Lobster Festival, my mover, my car buyer, my apartment hunter, my solace, and my heart.
I miss her so much and each day when I think it can't hurt any more than when she first died, something else reminds me of how much I depended on her to be there for me.
Like now, hobbling around on crutches with a strained calf muscle. As if not being able to fully use my hands isn't bad enough. Sometimes you are forced to slow down and feel regardless of whether you want to or not.
I'm participating in my church's Grief Share program which has been very comforting. It's nice to have a place to go each week where it's ok to cry, share memories, learn from a 45 min video featuring experts and others who have lost a loved one, and comfort others who are grieving too.
The corresponding workbook which provides 5 daily devotions and places to journal has been very encouraging too. It helps to get what's in my mind out and down on paper. And later, to be able to share what spoke to us most.
One of the recommended Grief Share tools is writing a grief letter to friends and family explaining what you're going through and how they might help. I didn't really want to do it, but after seeing my sink full of dirty dishes, my clean laundry still not put away after 3 days, and being unable to drive without more pain, realized maybe writing this blog would do the same thing.
Those who are interested in what I'm going through and how they might help will read my "grief letter."
Those who don't, won't.
And that's okay.
Losing my Mom has drastically affected my life in more ways than ever imagined. I remember when someone I was working with asked me how I was doing and at that point I was still in denial and said, "I'm fine."
But the longer it's been since my Mom died, the more I see that I'm not fine.
I will be down the road perhaps, but right now?
Not so fine. Not fine at all.
It may appear so when you see me smiling or doing something interesting, but it's always there, a heartbeat away from coming to the surface.
Grief apparently exacerbates your emotional state and causes intense reactions of anger, among other emotions. I'm experiencing this now and hope writing this will help those who have experienced my intense feelings of anger will give me grace and forgive me because I am having trouble controlling it, but am really working hard on healing in therapy as a result.
"Anger is a necessary stage of the healing process. Be willing to feel your anger, even though it may seem endless. The more you truly feel it, the more it will begin to dissipate and the more you will heal.
There are many other emotions under the anger and you will get to them in time, but anger is the emotion we are most used to managing. The truth is that anger has no limits. It can extend not only to your friends, the doctors, your family, yourself and your loved one who died, but also to God. You may ask, “Where is God in this? Underneath anger is pain, your pain.
It is natural to feel deserted and abandoned, but we live in a society that fears anger. Anger is strength and it can be an anchor, giving temporary structure to the nothingness of loss. At first grief feels like being lost at sea: no connection to anything. Then you get angry at someone, maybe a person who didn’t attend the funeral, maybe a person who isn’t around, maybe a person who is different now that your loved one has died. Suddenly you have a structure – – your anger toward them.
The anger becomes a bridge over the open sea, a connection from you to them. It is something to hold onto; and a connection made from the strength of anger feels better than nothing. We usually know more about suppressing anger than feeling it. The anger is just another indication of the intensity of your love."
In another book I recently read, When Parents Die, whose "topics range from the psychological responses to a parent's death such as shock, depression, and guilt, to the practical consequences such as dealing with estates and funerals," I learned some people don't experience the typical five stages of grief at all, or they bounce around like I seem to be doing.
I have family members who think if they just keep moving, doing, traveling and escaping this reality of their spouse/mother being dead they will get past the painful feelings, but what I see happening, and experts concur, you don't ever "get past them" you bury them and they show up later.
If you deny feelings of sadness, loss, and depression, then you're more apt to respond with no emotions, nor feel other emotions as fully, or react in anger that's much more than the situation you're angry with would normally involve.
I wonder now if my Dad losing his Father two days before I was born and possibly never really grieving that loss fully explains why we've always had a difficult, distant relationship whereas my sisters have not.
I'll never know because my Dad isn't in touch with his feelings enough to ever confirm or deny. That's just him and I'm learning to accept him as he is and have compassion on who he is because at 83 years old, he ain't changing much.:)
How my family handles their grief over Mom dying is their journey, not mine. All I know right now is, I can't be there for them, nor can I expect them to be there for me because none of us have anything to give each other. We may want to, but we just don't.
And that's okay too.
When my Mom first died, all I felt was numb, like I was going through the motions. I felt this way when I placed my son in adoption when he was first born and realize now, going through my Mom's death, my adoption was a very similar experience.
Even though he didn't die when I placed him in our open adoption, the experience and reality of being a full-time mother raising him died when I signed the final legal papers finalizing our adoption. The finality of it was deeply wounding, knowing I would not be raising my only child, and took years and years of therapy to heal.
It was every bit as much a loss/death to me as losing my Mom.
I was numb for weeks, so depressed I became suicidal only pulling out of it when I went on an antidepressant which caused me to gain weight I've never been able to lose, and drastically changed my career path causing me to shut down my short film festival because short films were a constant reminder of what I had lost.
I began writing for the Los Angeles Convention & Visitors Bureau and thought I would pursue a journalism career, but when I saw my paychecks and the amount of work and hours I put into writing at the level I like to write, I knew it wasn't sustainable and began looking for alternative careers.
Not to say I wouldn't write for them again on a freelance basis, but just not as a full-time career.
Having marketed filmmakers for five years, it was a natural career decision to begin repping entertainment clients as a publicist because I knew the language, I knew the players, I knew the media and I knew it intimately from many levels - fundraising, pitching, showcasing, selecting, gathering judges, experts and others to support my vision.
Pitching over 300 agents/managers to get my client representation? No biggie. Happy to do it.
Writing press releases that get placement in multiple media outlets? No problem.
My PR Mentor, Marcia Groff, taught me the fine points of writing a press release and media relations based on her years of experience repping numerous major music acts while working for EMI America Records as National Coordinator of Artist Relations working with Kenny Rogers, Sir Cliff Richard, Kim Carnes, Sheena Easton and David Bowie.
Plus, taking a PR certificate program at UCLA Extension, attending multiple seminars, classes and workshops also further refined and validated my expertise.
Approaching publishers at BEA to pitch my author client and my open adoption book? No problem.
Although I did find it ironic none of the Christian publishers wanted my adoption story because my son was born out-of-wedlock and didn't fit prescribed Christian thinking. Readers Digest was interested until they read the anger I had still not fully healed from after my adoption.
Only positive, life-affirming stories for them too I guess. However, my story then was real. It was raw. And it was what many birthmoms experience immediately after an adoption.
Only no one ever wants to hear it.
It would ruin their view of adoption because in life, only the adoptive parent's life experiences matter or are supported because they're dealing with raising a child not their own. Never mind the woman left behind dealing with the loss. We don't exist in many book aisles because publishers don't think anyone will care.
How wrong they are. I devoured every book I could find on what the birth mom's experience was like because I wanted to know what I was getting myself into. I wanted to know if my feelings were normal. I wanted to understand. To be understood.
I wanted to heal.
However, many of the books that were published were written in the 60's, only spoke about closed adoptions, weren't my life experience at all and even though I could relate to certain aspects, much of it was drastically different. That's why I wrote my book proposal and worked on getting published.
I had heard Jamie Lee Curtis was somehow related to adoption and managed to attend an event where she was speaking and gave her my first couple of chapters to read. She read it, called me, and because I was on the other line I didn't pick up for some reason and missed speaking to her. She was so kind and told me it was a very moving story and needed to be told. She didn't leave her number and I never contacted her again after that.
It was the kind of encouragement I needed to hear then and remembering it even now, I have a soft spot in my heart for her as a person, while continuing to admire her as an actress/author.
I don't think the timing was right for me then though and feel when it's right, it will happen. My (our) story will be told.
And I'll be ready for it.
I found when I would speak to women who had experienced adoption back in the 60's who would call into Rose Vista Maternity Home where I was living at the time while I healed those mothers were angry at me for suggesting adoption to the pregnant women who lived there because they had never processed or accepted their decision.
Many had had adoption forced upon them with no recourse. I would have hated that too!
However, that wasn't my experience. I was choosing adoption. I was choosing the parents to raise my son. I was choosing to be able to stay in touch.
I had choices.
They did not.
I understood their anger, their pain and their hurt, but it's always been my goal to share a positive story on adoption because even though it was devastating at the time it happened, I'm at peace with it now after much counseling, much activism and speaking to potential adoptive parents and adoptees with unresolved abandonment issues.
I knew what I wanted to give my son through our open adoption and feel we have a good relationship because of that.
I even flew to DC to speak at a conference which C-Span covered to show that there really are three choices when faced with an unexpected pregnancy. It doesn't have to only be abortion, or raising your child as a single parent. You can also lovingly place your child with a family who would love to raise your child with all the benefits, security and financial resources many birthmoms aren't able to provide at the time.
I had people come up afterward to speak to me who appreciated my simplicity of thought and sharing my experience so boldly. But the woman who touched me most was someone who came up after and wanted me to hear her personal experiences with her multiple adoptions.
Once she had shared, I hugged her and told her thank you for sharing, she turned around without a word, and left, silently disappearing into the crowd.
It was like all she wanted was someone to hear her and share her pain. I get that. Sometimes all I want is someone to hear me about my Mom and what I miss about her which is why I'm so grateful my aunt, my Mom's youngest sister, is there for me.
I can't discuss this with my sisters because they're dealing with their own grief and we're reacting in negative ways which aren't healthy for any of us. Despite outward appearances, my mother's death was an extremely hurtful, wounding experience among my immediate family for all of us. Pictures of us smiling belie the hurtful words and actions that happened then, but it's a memory nonetheless which is why I keep them.
It's been safer and healthier just to take the break I need to heal without them and even my Dad to a certain extent, I'm finding.
I kinda experienced this with one sister when I chose my adoption too. While we were caring for my Mom together while Mom was on her deathbed, Grace was shocked to hear I was still in communication with the adoptive family because she had assumed it would be over when I placed him with them.
Nope. We're still in each other's lives. For better or worse.:)
That's the misconception I think a lot of people have about the way adoptions can be handled now. I don't blame Grace for being ignorant, many are, but hopefully by my continuing to share my life experience with my open adoption and others too, we'll begin to remove the stigma and mystery surrounding this life choice.
I get to see my son grow up, hear about his life and hope to one day have more of a relationship with him when he's ready. I always chose to stay in touch because I never wanted him to doubt my love for him or the reason I chose adoption was because I didn't want him, but because I wasn't able to fully parent him in the way I was raised and wanted him to experience - with a loving Mother and Father.
Especially since he's bi-racial and felt he needed a positive male role-model growing up in today's society.
But I digress. Where was I? Oh yeah, my Mom's death and my subsequent loss.
The other interesting thing I've discovered about grief is that the longer you numb out on antidepressants, the longer it takes to heal. As a result, I worked hard to get off mine by gaining support through a therapist, my Grief Share group, a massage therapist, and friends who are sensitive to what I'm going through, having experienced the loss of a loved one themselves, or having backgrounds in psychology and healing.
My Psychiatrist could see I was in a much better place than when I had originally come into see him sobbing uncontrollably and agreed with me, just asking to touch base in a few months to see if I still feel good. I'm sure I will.
I like having my sex drive back. I like feeling again and being able to cry. It feels good to feel human, rather than repressed and inhuman. And my uncontrollable sobbing and negative thinking has diminished. Not gone completely, because I'm still grieving, but it's much less.
I learned about the repression and effects of antidepressants on the brain while watching TED talks on grief, which I highly recommend watching if you're going through a loss yourself. Very helpful information there.
Here's one I listened to which I liked, but there's numerous others too. Find one that speaks to you...
Check out www.ted.com for a WIDE variety of subjects, experts from all over the world and you will be amazed at how you grow and change after listening. I study topics I'm interested in like grief, travel, leadership and humor by fully immersing myself in a topic and listening to everything there is available.
You can watch however you like though. They're free and suited to how you want to learn and grow. Highly recommend checking it out. But that's my experience. May not be yours.
Having friends and group support doesn't protect you from feeling feelings of sadness, loss and anger which is why I know I still have a lot of work to do to heal. I've also recognized that the trauma I've carried throughout my life that I've never fully addressed is coming to the forefront during this time because the loss of my pillar of support, my Mom, makes me feel more vulnerable, more alone, and more aware of my need to grow and change and heal now more than ever.
Her death is also helping me clarify what I will and won't accept in my life which is healthy. It's changing the way I look at my remaining immediate family, lowering my expectations on them, and giving me the freedom to pursue healthier relationships that are nurturing, loving and supportive outside my immediate family.
As one of my friends said her friend told her, We may be born from our parents into the family we ended up in, but that doesn't mean we owe them anything to stay attached. So, I'm learning to detach with love and back away slowly. It's painful, I don't know how long I will do it, but as I heal and redefine who I am in the world without my Mom it's needed.
My Mom, although she was great in many ways, never believed I accomplished everything I had with my career. She constantly told me I was lying, even when I showed her my work and my clients as proof, and never attended any of the bigger career moments in my life like producing an awards ceremony on the backlot of Paramount Studios.
She even told me to stop putting so many accomplishments on my resume because no one would want to hire me. As a result, I began hiding parts of myself I felt would threaten employers, potential boyfriends and others to fit more into her acceptable view of what a female should be.
Despite the fact she was simply a hairstylist with only an AA Degree, never had any career experiences like mine and didn't understand my world at all, I wanted to please her though and secretly thought maybe she was right.
What's been interesting since her death is my choosing to finally reclaim who I fully am. I'm tired of downplaying what I've done, where I've been, and what I've accomplished. I've sacrificed a lot over the years, I've earned it and I'm proud of my life accomplishments.
I also decided to pursue becoming a TED Fellow because watching all the TED Talks while I did work that doesn't require my full brain, I heard people I could relate to, learn from, enjoyed hearing, and knew I would grow from being around. Who knows if they will accept me or not, but it really helped me to reframe my own life while filling out the application which took over 6 hours to complete.
As the Swahili sign we often saw while driving around Kenya said, Pole Pole. Slowly, slowly.
Or as the 12-step slogan says, Progress, not perfection.
I knew my Mom from the day I was born until her final breath which I was there to experience. I will always cherish the final months we were able to spend together. Normally she would forget my birthday, leave with the rest of my family to celebrate Christmas without me, leaving me to fend for myself alone and feeling abandoned, but this last Christmas was different.
She returned home early from visiting my sister in Austin while my Dad continued to stay for three weeks and it was just me and her.
She was sick and I took care of her bringing her soup, Gatorade, and making sure she was ok in between work.
She was thrilled to have time alone to play with her new sewing machine which you can see here that we're now trying to sell including the table and corresponding other pattern table.
I'm grateful my Mom was open to going to San Diego to visit my Aunt and surprised us both with special birthday cakes making this my first birthday in years that she actually acknowledged and celebrated. She even spoke with regret that she had never thought of doing this years earlier and promised that from that time on we would celebrate together again.
I will always cherish that time and the knowledge my little Mom loved me as much as I loved her.
There's more memories, but I think I've bent your ear enough and written enough for now. Thanks for reading all the way to here if you have. Look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments below, or via email. I moderate comments and don't always see them though until later fyi.
I would especially love to hear from those of you who knew my Mom, or had met my Mom, because it has been really lovely to receive emails, cards, and texts with that encouragement and understanding point-of-view.
Just please don't tell me like my high school counselor, Shirley did, I liked your sister's talk better at the funeral. Not helpful, or what I want to hear. Thanks Shirley. LOL
I look forward to continuing to grow and heal and will write more later. Hopefully, on happier topics.
It's really funny to me how different men are than women. I've been reading a lot of great books on female entrepreneurs, leaders and other change makers to have positive female role-models to look to rather than always reading about how men do things.
I really enjoyed Gail Evan's book, "Play Like a Man, Win Like a Woman: What Men Know About Success that Women Need to Learn. The book was listed for several months on the New York Times,BusinessWeek, and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists." (Stole this from her bio.:)
Men are really, really competitive! I just saw this in action on a Facebook post I casually posted regarding the woman in Kentucky with the marriage license debacle. Now I haven't formed an opinion either way, because to be honest, I have too much on my plate as it is.
However, I guess all the guys who were going back and forth on this topic sure cared about it. A Lot!:) I've never seen straight men argue so fervently on something that is really minor if you consider everything else going on in the world today, but for some reason this issue of religion caused something close to flame war! Or maybe it was because Ted Cruz said it? LOL (And for the record, no, not voting for him.:)
I haven't been online much due to personal health issues and working on other stuff, but man, these guys went at it! They totally exemplified exactly what Gail writes about in her book, among other topics.
The reason I liked her book so much is because she succinctly, eloquently and in story form, shows through examples in her own life and career at CNN, the White House and other prestigious jobs she's held, how so very different men are than women! And how to deal with them and master these same techniques.
Now I get it!
I'm happy to be having a guy join my team who I think will be a great addition just by virtue of the male chromosome and will be announcing his involvement down the road. I've decided it's time for stealth mode, at least for the moment. As a publicist, I'm always sharing, but now, feel it's time to dive deep and stay low until I have what I want to offer fully actualized.
The other thing I've come to realize as I wrestle with my health issues is that my Dad raised my sisters and I to be extremely entrepreneurial and never give up. I'm very proud of both of my sisters and thought you might enjoy learning about us because I feel like sharing something personal which I don't always.
My youngest sister has been married forever, has three girls, dogs, cats and all now live in CO with her wonderful husband because that's where he was raised. They have bought, with my Dad's help, numerous real estate properties in cool places and renovated each and every single one. Glori and Dad often work together while Dwayne is working full-time in his demanding jobs and she knows everything there is to know about houses.
She's the boy my Dad always wanted.:)
My parents idea of fun is watching those HGTV shows where homes are bought, renovated, then sold. I'm starting to get into them, but since it's what they've done, they watch knowingly whereas I'm learning. I helped renovate my Dad's rentals growing up and can paint and do basic stuff, but Glori is a master at everything. Very proud of her accomplishments in that realm. Her husband too.
She and her husband are now opening a new business where they're taking the skills and experience she's gained running their own real estate to offer to other investors and property owners in Breckenridge, Blue River and Placer Valley the security and safety of knowing their rental and personal properties are in good hands. They're pretty jazzed and have created an awesome website you can review here: http://www.alpinehomewatch.net/
(I helped her edit and gave her advice on working with her web guy. I still want her to create an app, but she doesn't understand that technology aspect yet. I'm sure it will come though, knowing her like I do.)
I do have to admit, sometimes I get a wee bit jealous because having a husband support your business while you're launching is a big deal. It's almost like having an angel investor because costs that single female entrepreneurs have to cover like basic living costs, are taken care of by a husband's full-time salary. I see a lot more mommy entrepreneurs find success simply by virtue of that financial fact which they seem to take for granted because they have other struggles I don't deal with, like kids, schools etc.
However, such is life. Now that I have someone who wants to help me who is as passionate about what I've been doing and understands what we need to do, perhaps everything will move along a lot faster now. At least that's my prayer.:)
Now, my other sister is just as entrepreneurial believe it or not. Both sisters have successfully moved out-of-state to develop new lives and opportunities. I think partly, because they have family members there with them. Grace is a single mom to my delightful college graduate niece and recently broke both her feet; yet still managed to drive for Lyft and was making a successful living doing that in Austin, until she now has an even better job more suited to her talents of arranging travel for a Fox production.
I'm proud of her too. Despite being injured, she's worked hard to overcome this and find work that makes her happy while serving others.
That's another thing we all have in common, we like to serve. My Dad was a great role-model and still is in that regard. Mom has always played a more low-key role serving my Dad and the family.
As I was listening to my sister's speak to my Dad on the phone recently, I realized we're a pretty tough bunch. We don't let obstacles like horrible tenants, broken bones, or damaged immune systems keep us down for long. We see what needs to be done, we do it and then achieve other goals. I don't see that resolve in my neices, or some other women I meet, and have to say it must have come from being raised by my Dad. And Mom (who has different skills and talents.)
Here's an example from my past since I've been sharing about my sisters so much.
One Sunday, while still in high school, I was asked to walk the dog before church. We didn't have a fence around our large backyard yet and he needed out before we left.
I donned some high heels that we played dress up in, grabbed the leash and the dog and began walking him around to do his business. Well, he saw a cat and began tearing off after it. Now, I'm still in heels remember, walking in grass, through trees and bushes in an unpaved backyard.
I clung on for dear life and as he tore off, my grasp on the tree I was holding on to with one hand while holding his leash in the other, loosened and I had to let go while being dragged straight into a tree limb sticking out which rammed straight into my throat below my chin.
I let go of his leash and ran bleeding back into the house crying. I only remember going to Dr. Starr's, our family doctor, that day, or somewhere else and getting lots of stitches before going to church later. At least that's how I like to remember it.:) However, if you don't believe me, ask me to show you the scar some day. It's still there. I recovered fine, but never did wear heels to walk him again! LOL
All this to say, I've needed their stories to help me through a very tough time physically. I won't bore you with the details, but just know I'm damned and determined to live a fully functional, happy life regardless. Just need to find the right medications and help to take care of myself.
So, that's all. I need to stop now. It's been fun sharing and I hope you've enjoyed this little dive into my family background. I love them all very much in spite of everything and can't imagine doing life without them. Although we're very different, we're also very similar and I'm choosing to focus on that.:)
When life hands you lemons, what you do with those lemons determines how your life will move forward. So, in the wise words of my friend and this meme, I am focusing on building the new. Or in the words of this scripture found in Philippians 3:13 & 14:
Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
And as I was reminded this morning in church, Colossians 3:12-14
So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.…
And that's my sermon for today.:) God bless all of you all's...
More fun stuff ahead! Right now I'm off to see Boston at the newly renovated Forum and enjoy their luscious happy hour offerings! See you around! My friend is coming shortly!:)
My two sisters (Grace and Glori) and I were raised by a Father who wanted boys, but ended up with three girls. A blonde, a brunette and a redhead. So you could say I've grown up with gender bias my entire life.:)
When we were little we didn't play with dolls, we played with hot wheels, building blocks, and imaginative games where we were wild animals, perhaps because when we were very young, my Dad moved our entire family to live in Africa on a missionary boarding school in Kenya while he taught school on his sabbatical. Perhaps because Dad subconsciously was giving us toys he thought we'd like? Who knows.
We visited wild animal parks, tribal villages and traveled around Africa during the month-long breaks we took during our three month on, one month off school experience.
You could also say we grew up traveling because prior to that life-changing experience, we also traveled 7 years earlier throughout South America in a converted Pepsi Cola truck motor home as a family and had adventures none of my friends growing up in the South Bay could relate to.
As a result, my sisters and family and I were very close because it happens when you only have each to depend on, or share such intense life-changing experiences like we did. That's why I love traveling and encourage everyone to do it, even with small children. It shaped my sisters and I into very independent, strong women which has it's good points and it's bad points.:)
I distinctly remember walking behind my Dad while we were in one South America country because we had been warned of pickpockets and I was "guarding" him (as a 7 year old I believe.) I'll never forget the armed military men with guns, the tanks in the streets and other images you just didn't see in the states as children, but other young foreign children grow up with on a daily basis.
As children back in the states, my sisters and I laid bricks, we painted and maintained my Dad's numerous rental properties and again, were treated like boys because my Dad is all-male and never thought anything of it. My least favorite memory was having to pick up dog poop the day of my birthday party.
Maybe that's why I don't own a dog to this day?:)
We also all played AYSO soccer and my two sisters became quite good at it, one playing as the only female on an all-boys varsity team (which went over really well with the boys she played with, and against, trust me) and my other sister continuing to play and referee the sport to this day.
I, on the other hand, really didn't like it.
Because my birthday falls on December 31, I was always younger than my teammates in many ways which was difficult. I don't remember the exact circumstances, but I know one team my Dad forced me onto was an All-Star team and they resented having a "non-AllStar" player like me join them.
As a result, my own team members would run past me at practice and deliberately kick me in the shins to express their anger. They also taunted me constantly making life miserable.
Needless to say, I hated playing, but stuck it out because my Dad wouldn't let me quit. I remember it never got better, but since it was a short season having joined midway through, I was able to endure it.
There are three years between my sisters and I. They are only a year apart. This meant I was always forced to go into various Sunday Schools in churches we were visiting by myself, while my sisters had each other for company.
I hated that too, but did it because my Dad wouldn't let me not do it.
See a pattern here?
My Dad has always forced me to do things beyond my comfort zone and as a result I now have little fear of entering rooms where I know no one, joining groups that are already established and expressing my opinion as a woman in a room where often I'm the only female.
Two final stories then I'll share why I'm really writing.
Two memories that stand out as defining moments in my life and probably subconsciously are part of the reason I established my travel company are as follows.
My best friend growing up was a girl named Kieva who was the daughter of my Dad's best friend, Ed. My parents attended the same church, double dated, married around the same time and knew each other for years before we were born.
Kieva and I were born two days apart, in the same hospital, two doors down from each other, and she was my best friend even though she lived in Frazier Park, about two hours outside of Los Angeles. She was fearless, had a brother, was raised by a then divorced single mother with little supervision while I was sheltered, all sisters, with a Dad who was constantly sharing articles on rape, women getting hurt by men and other stories designed to make me more cautious, even as he pushed me into situations where it could easily have been dangerous.
I'll never forget the time when I was 13 years old and really wanted to visit Kieva so my Dad put me on a bus by myself to go from Manhattan Beach, where we were living at the time, to Downtown LA to catch the Greyhound Bus for a bus ride two hours away to Bakersfield.
Now I had never gone Downtown before, had never been to that Greyhound bus station before, and as you can imagine, was pretty overwhelmed when I arrived (thinking of all the bad things that could happen to me as a result of the indoctrination my Dad kept giving me via newspaper articles.)
Somehow I missed the bus I was supposed to take probably because I arrived late and was too shy to push to the front of the bus line to make sure I got on the right bus and missed my connection. There was a black guy who saw me looking confused who came and put his arm around me offering advice. I am positive he was a pimp to this day and probably thought I was a runaway by his actions.
I was able to get away and finally found a bus station person to help me find the right bus and get on it hours later. I didn't arrive in Bakersfield until 2am after leaving Manhattan Beach earlier that day which explains how lost I was and how much time passed.
Kieva and her Mom were worried when I didn't arrive on time and were there waiting for me until that time. Remember, this is before cell phones and there was no way to communicate with anyone what had happened.
We were so happy to see each other we stayed up talking until 4am I remember. Good times. We used to get in so much trouble together. I think she was the one who helped me overcome many of my fears and will always hold a fond memory in my heart for the friendship we shared until she got married and moved away.
The other distinctive memory I have of my Dad pushing me out of my comfort zone was when I wanted to attend a class at a church I didn't normally attend and not driving yet, think I was 17 at the time, my Dad drove me there, dropped me off and told me to find my own way back.
I attended the seminar, enjoyed myself, and when it came time to go home, asked the organizer if she knew anyone going my way. She didn't and asked the attendees for me. An older man offered and I thought she must know him, so I agreed to go with him in his car. She told me after she didn't, but by this time I was committed and kept my guard up.
We got into his two seater Mercedes Benz convertible and that's when it started. He wanted to date me and began asking me all kinds of questions. Turned out his youngest daughter was older than me and he was in his sixties.
He wanted to take me out after and being the naive, sheltered 17 year old that I was, raised in a Christian home without much worldly influence having grown up without a TV (until my sisters and I won one when we sold the most candy bars together to help me win the contest when I was a Junior in High School.:)
As a side note, that wasn't my first selling gig either. When we were very young, I had a flower and lemonade stand where I sold to my neighbors. The TV was such a goal of ours in high school having not had one for so long, I recruited my sisters and we went door-to-door, sat outside our local grocery store, recruited our friends at church and sold the most candy bars out of anyone except one other student who I tied with.
I'll also never forget being so proud and happy carrying my TV box through the corridors of my high school only to get beaned in the head with an apple core by someone who was jealous. That was probably my first experience realizing not everyone will be happy when you work hard and win.:)
But I digress.
So, here I am in this man's car, being driven from Torrance to Manhattan Beach by someone who is in their 60's who wants to "date" a 17 year old. Me. Tall, blonde, freckled, naive me. Again, no cell phones people. Gotta remember this.
He keeps asking me to eat with him so I give in and choose Bob's Big Boy thinking it will be crowded and perhaps safer than somewhere else. It was, and I'll never forget the looks we got walking into the restaurant.
Even they knew something was wrong with this picture, but my Dad? Oh, no worries. My daughter can handle it. Oy.
We sit down and in order to look even younger than my age I order a tall ice cream sundae. We talk some more, me still extremely uncomfortable, and then it's finally over. We get back into his car and he drives me home.
I'll also never forget what I said to him when he asked if he could see me again. "Sorry Bob, but I don't think I can meet your social needs right now." LOL Where I came up with that line I'll never know, but when I went inside and told my Dad my experience, all he did was laugh.
No concern at all...
That's kinda when I realized I was on my own as far as the world was concerned. I chose to travel to Europe by myself after college with great fear and trepidation, only calmed by the fact I was going to volunteer with a missions team for the first month or two of my experience which gave me time to acclimate to being in a foreign country by myself for the first time.
That's a story for another time, but all this to say, I know what it's like to be in scary situations or pressuring situations. I know what it's like to travel alone (that wasn't my last experience doing so.) And I know it's more dangerous for single females to travel alone than males simply by virtue of our gender.
I also know it's more difficult for women to find funding in technology than men because I've lived it, seen it, researched it, reported on it, and fought against gender bias since getting into this field.
But at a certain point, you just give in and say, I want to eat. I want to have my bills covered. I want to thrive, not merely survive and if having a man be the face of my women-focused business in order to get funding, then that's what I'm going to do.
I'm tired of fighting for respect. I'm tired of my accomplishments being discounted as a professional. I'm tired of my abilities being questioned or marginalized.
I give up fighting.
These past few weeks, living with no money due to the male friend I was helping with his business get funded (while mine isn't) stiffing me on money he promised he would pay for my work, and the fact I can't do the telephone sales job any more because it aggravates my hand injuries too much, has caused me to wake up to the fact I either change, adjust, fit in, or allow my dream of running a successful technology company for women die.
And I refuse to do that.
I've worked too hard, for too long not to see it through. I know it's a good idea. I know it's needed and I know I haven't exhausted all my options yet. You know how I know that? Because my male CTO told me that when I called him ready to quit.
He believes in me, my company, our efforts together and because of his encouragement and belief, I'm willing to do what it takes to continue.
I have been told by travel experts, the winner of last season's Amazing Race, women I meet wherever I travel or hold mixers, and other travelers I meet, the idea of helping women find other women to travel with is a great idea. I've experienced it personally. I know women travel differently than men and we sometimes need a little more encouragement to step outside our comfort zone.
I had my Dad pushing me, but there are many women who don't and will never accomplish their travel dreams out of fear, lack of experience and or right planning. That's why I created the company. It's why I'm still passionate about it despite the many, many obstacles I've overcome and continue to overcome.
It's why I am now seeking a CEO who will come along to push it forward and work beside me with skills and experience that will enhance my abilities and my team's abilities. I want someone who will take an objective look at what I'm doing right, what needs fine-tuning and what needs to be done differently in order to achieve our goals of finding funding.
What people sometimes fail to understand about me is that I am in constant self-improvement mode. I want to change, grow and develop into a better person. Doesn't mean I always react correctly, but it does mean I take constructive criticism really, really, really well.
I'm not the same person I was even a year ago.
There are parts of my life I will continue to chip away at because I haven't reached perfection, but there are other aspects I'm proud to have conquered. That's why I love to read and learn from people in the tech field and every aspect of business because years ago, when my Dad paid me to read motivational books in college to earn money, I'll never forget reading one that said, the books you read today will be who you are like five years from now.
May we all continue to grow, expand our minds and our lives and read.
Therapy helps too.:)
So, now back to the grindstone if you'll excuse me. I have a lot of work to do.
After wrapping up work for a national professional women's organization where I spoke to hundreds of women in all industries, in all levels of their profession, in all areas around the country on a daily basis; attended numerous amazing conferences and special events with panels of female tech founders, entertainment professionals and executives at all levels of their business over the past six months; and read about women who have achieved major success in their fields, I have discovered the following observations to be true about women in business:
1. Those who are majorly successful are part of numerous organizations that enhance, support and provide networking within their chosen field, not only with women, but also men. In addition, they volunteer, sit on boards, and are extremely philanthropic overall whether in support of their own non-profit endeavors, or those they choose to support financially, or with their time.
2. They generally are extremely well-educated with many holding numerous degrees and/or certifications, especially African American women.
3. Many started out in a completely unrelated field and fell into their current profession where they discovered a passion, skill and expertise they developed over time, becoming more successful as they grew in knowledge and experience.
4. All are passionate, driven, ambitious, hard working and believe in their career choices regardless at what level, what industry or what area of the country they reside in.
5. As women overall, we all struggle with finding balance between work and personal life, whether that means single, married, or otherwise involved.
6. Many women rose to the top of their careers only to discover how unsatisfying, soul-draining and unhealthy a lifestyle it was and completely changed careers to find satisfaction doing something completely different where they once again became successful, but in a more balanced manner.
7. Almost all credited their spouse, or a mentor, in helping them achieve their success.
8. Almost all wanted to achieve and develop their careers when asked future plans, but those who didn't, generally only had a high school education, didn't value advancing themselves professionally on any level, and were very satisfied with status quo and/or ready for retirement.
9. Women in sales or real estate, were more savvy with negotiation than those who weren't and often asked for, and received, the better price as a result. Many upper-level professionals sniffed out the dishonest business dealings of the company I was working for and declined the offering immediately which was a relief to know not all women are as gullible as might be believed.
10. Most women's default when they didn't want to do something was to say they needed to check with their husband, but when the price point became more comfortable, they suddenly became more autonomous in their decision making process.
It's been a fascinating sociology study starting with the first panel of all female executives I heard during a conference on the Santa Monica Pier all the way up until now.
I took the time to follow up with Susan Paley, ex-CEO of Beats by Dr. Dre because she was most interesting to me during TechWeekLA (next one coming up this November fyi.)
I'm always interested to learn how someone builds their brand into a global success, how they gain the partnerships, publicity and name recognition, and how they achieved their own personal level of success.
Our conversation was enlightening, interesting and answered all these questions and more.
She had met Dr. Dre before, connected again at a CES conference, they went to dinner with a bunch of other people he worked with, he saw her passion and business savvy, got her on board and provided "access at a level that was insane."
She was part of the branding relationships with artists and connected the headphones to athletes during the World Cup who wore them incessantly creating a natural phenomenon unheard of without paying for product placement.
Here's some examples of the headphones and relationships she helped cultivate during her time as CEO.
Susan said they had to be careful of who they partnered with to avoid bastardizing the brand like OP did in the 80's because then it became valueless. When Roxy approached them there was "authentic core-synergies in how each brand approached the market."
As far as reasons companies become successful, she said it's important to start off with a great product, a compelling value proposition fulfilling a consumer need and a simple idea.
It was nice to hear her validate PR as a huge piece in brand building and also to hear her validate that social media works hand-in-hand with overall marketing efforts. So many people still don't understand that fact for some reason.
Part of their success with Beats by Dr. Dre she attributed to giving away product to influencers, and as Jimmy Iovine, his partner, said tongue in cheek, "I know a lot of people." (He may wish he didn't know the Monsters CEO now that there's a huge lawsuit going on between them. Susan left the company years prior fyi and is now working in the car industry integrating music branding still.)
The main takeaway from our conversation and from other marketing gurus I've heard speak since, is the benefits of co-branding since it creates so much more access and opens up distribution channels an entrepreneur, startup, nonprofit or brand may not otherwise achieve on their own.
This leads directly into the cool Scion MotivaTOUR event I recently attended at Smashbox Studios where CoolHaus Co-Founder, Natasha Cole and Ludlow's Cocktails Co-Founder, Freya Estreller, really impressed me, although all the speakers had something of value to say.
Again, they developed both their businesses through strategic partnerships and Freya's entire talk was on what they use to determine whether or not to partner and how their current partnerships have benefited them. (Please excuse the quality of this pic, it's more to showcase one such partnership. I was actually working for The Hollywood Reporter at the time and enjoyed the benefits of this marketing drive.:)
It was interesting to learn the criteria, depth and breadth of what other companies were willing to provide if they believed in their offerings. They have PR and distribution through key partnerships that leverage their brands into markets they want by simply sharing equity.
Freya and Scion Event Organizer
I was extremely impressed with both of them because I remember being pitched CoolHaus as a product years ago and it's awesome to see the success they're having now. I'm hoping to have a one-on-one interview with them soon to pick their brains more and learn more about developing partnerships.
On a more personal level, it was also very encouraging to hear my "fellow" female tech founder friends share their personal stories (Nanxi Liu, Enplug, Founder, and Espree Devora, WeAreLATech, Founder) at the amazing Digital Women event at Cross Campus Pasadena because even though I've known them for years, I hadn't heard certain aspects before.
Digital LA Producer, Kevin Winston, always pulls together a great bunch of panelists and this conference was no exception. (Register here for his upcoming Silicon Beach Fest June 24-27, 2015 asap because it always sells out.)
I may have complained about the lack of professional women at conference panels in the past, but apparently people are listening because now it's not just me singing the praises of the tech scene in Silicon Beach for women, but also another female VC Investor I recently heard speak at the Digital Hollywood event this past month.
But I digress.
What I enjoyed about the sharing Nanxi, Espree and also Elvina Beck, PodShare, Founder, gave was how personal their stories were. I learned how Nanxi approaches networking and pursuing her goals and how she has accomplished the success her company has had.
Starting out in an apartment where they all lived and worked together to now traveling the world speaking, fundraising and developing strategic relationships while running a very successful company. (I've written about her before here and she's on my advisory board.)
I learned how much influence Espree's father had in her development as a business person because he never allowed her gender to be a hindrance and always encouraged her to go for it. I think that's why she's the dynamic entrepreneur she is today. Her mother's influence is also seen in her willingness to speak and help those just starting out, and even those of us a little further along the food chain who also need help.
I recently was drowning with everything I had going on and reached out to both of them for advice and was very happy to receive the support I needed after being so vulnerable and admitting I didn't have it all together and needed help.
That's what our Silicon Beach startup community cultivates, what it's best at doing, and why I like living back in LA. It's just a different vibe and intent which is encouraging and supportive of all, not just a few, like other places I've lived.
It was nice to hear more female investors speak during the Digital Women event too because so often there is a token female VC, but as Alyse Killeen, Investor at March Capital Partners agrees, there's so much more we can do to support all women, not just those who look like us. Alyse is big on being inclusive to African Americans and Hispanics too which I admire seeing as she's lily white herself.:)
I do believe the more women speak up for themselves, the more we raise awareness of issues that are happening, the more men will see the value of what we're saying and make changes necessary since it benefits the entire eco-culture, not just women.
I especially enjoyed attending the DGA's Women's Steering Committee Presents: WSC 35th Anniversary: Celebrating the Pioneering Women Directors of the DGA because I've been involved in entertainment longer than technology and know many female directors, including my good friend, Martha Cotton seen here with another friend, Pina de Rosa.
It was so inspiring to hear the founding "mothers" so to speak of the whole female directors movement in Hollywood because so many younger women take for granted the privileges and opportunities those who fight for our rights from years ago earned for them.
First the original group of women who made the changes spoke, then they honored female directors who carried on the torch and are making a difference today. It was fascinating to hear their stories, relate to their struggles, hear the humor and the hardship involved with pursuing your dreams and goals.
Very inspiring on so many levels. Entertainment is another sector that is a boy's club and very difficult to break into, but we're making headway slowly, but surely.
Seeing how many female professional groups Victor Harwood has included in Digital Hollywood was also very encouraging. I've known of him and his conference for many years and saw friends I always see at such events and have known for years too like Linda Sherman, and enjoyed hearing new people speak too.
It was phenomenal to hear women at these levels speak and not on topics that didn't mean anything to the audience like child raising, although it was touched upon, however, the main focus was on business and it was so refreshing because it was so high-level and honest!
I finally felt like I was amongst my peers and those I could learn from because they've been in the trenches a while and have overcome their own personal, as well as, professional struggles to achieve the success they have now.
Overall, it's been great to be back in LA and in our tech and entertainment scene although I've been taking time off from the majority of events to focus on building my own business since there's only so many hours in the day.
Time waits for no man (or woman) and you have to put first things first.
This won't be the end of the evolution of women's involvement in the tech or entertainment sphere and I hope to continue reporting, living, changing and experiencing it firsthand for many years to come. If all goes well, I will have an even more to share from the entertainment perspective soon too. I'm ready to get back to the creatives.:)
Recently launched a Meetup site for Joy's Travel Adventures to gauge interest and within a few days had over 50 members. We continue to grow and it's been fun meeting the women offline and learning more about their travel interests to help refine what we offer.
Our next event is called 50 Shades of Selfies with the Style Club which you can find out about by clicking the link to our group above. Join us and make sure to RSVP on our group page to be added to the list.
My goal is to take this beautiful rendition of what our full website will look like created by my amazing Polish team and build this out once I find the right developer here in the states. This is what I envision for the website with a proprietary matching service women will join for a behind-the-scenes, private social networking community to keep confidentiality, privacy and security issues managed.
It will also require approval for inclusion which creates an exclusivity for member only events, offerings, and tours.
I've also created an app and have submitted it for approval. So, yes, a lot going on behind-the-scenes creatively, but also in other realms.
I've also been working on the following:
1. Refining my Executive Summary with the assistance of my advisors
2. Working on financials for the business which has become clearer and clearer now that I have an actual travel group to visualize expenses and income with.
3. Applying to numerous accelerators which is almost a full-time job in and of itself. Made it to a first interview with a few of them. Fingers crossed.:)
4. Taking classes to help refine my travel video concept because I still see this as a TV show since there are really no travel shows for women and Anthony Bourdain's style of traveling just doesn't cut it 100% of the time for females. We need to see traveling we like to do as females, not always eat Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern either. We want to see Fashion, Food & Fun like my tagline says.
5. Pitched over 100 cable, network development executives and others regarding my travel show for women and had quite a few accept my Linkedin invitation, thus opening the door for future communication once I apply what I've learned in my classes for creating the show bible and budget.
6. Been working on finding more advisors because you can never have enough people helping you move forward towards your goals and why wait for an accelerator to provide them, when I can successfully seek them out myself professionally via Linkedin?:)
Oh, and speaking of job, also looking for work that I can do without further injuring my hands until I find investors willing to come alongside and grow my vision to allow me to hire more people to help me.
Balancing a lot, but feeling more driven now than ever because I have a personal deadline to fulfill. I'm not going to let my injuries hold me back from achieving my dreams and goals. No matter what JW Marriott Las Vegas thinks or does.
Even though my hands hurt and I still need to write about my experiences at MAGIC, I feel compelled to share my heart about this achingly beautiful story about a loving relationship between a jazz great, Terry Clark and a blind pianst, Justin Kauflin, called Keep On Keepin' on.
If you are following me on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram you have seen my many posts, but it's not enough room to share how much this film has deeply, deeply moved me and my desire to see the world feel how this film made the whole audience feel.
If there's one word to describe it, it's just love.
Love between Terry Clark and all his students, but especially blind pianist, Justin Kauflin, Quincy Jones and the two Aussies who spent years of their lives honoring a man Alan Hicks (the Director) played drums with, Terry Clark, to create this award-winning documentary, shot by Cinematographer, Adam Hart.
I sat in my seat next to three other women I've never met before and we were all weeping by the end. I alternated between tears and smiling throughout the entire film because there were so many aspects that moved me and made me laugh. I wasn't alone either.
We were so blessed to actually hear how they made this film and the influence Terry Clark has had on their lives in a special live performance by Justin and Q & A with all three - Justin, Adam & Alan sharing their struggle to capture their mentor and friend. (I taped both songs, but can't figure out how to transfer from my phone to my computer since I'm tired. Maybe tomorrow.:)
Terry is in his 90's now, had to have both his legs amputated, yet continues to inspire and love young musicians with even more vigor now that the poison has left his body. He's influenced the lives of so many jazz performers like Wynston Marsalis, Dianne Reeves, Quincy Jones, Miles Davis and the star of the film, blind pianst Justin Kauflin (seen here with his guide dog, Candy, and Cinematographer/Executive Producer, Adam Hart.
I grew up with a father who played all kinds of music for us. I heard Duke Ellington who Terry played with, and a whole slew of amazing, eclectic musicians which has shaped and molded my love of music since a child.
That's why I loved this film so much because it tells you the history of jazz through the eyes of a man who lived with many, many musicians I admire. When I was in my jazz phase I would go to every Al Jarreau live concert I could get to and heard David Sanborn open for him, but the most amazing opening act, who I didn't really understand or appreciate at the time, was Miles Davis. He was opening for Al on a New Year's Eve and I took my friend Carol, who shares the same New Year's Eve birthday as I do, and we loved it.
Talk about a great memory.
I grew up in the South Bay and my sister was very much into the punk and ska scene which I grew to appreciate because of her influence. I also have always loved R & B, classical, and love music of all genres because each reminds me of a special time in my life.
Jazz is part of our rich American history. I hope you will enjoy this film from all the different levels I did and leave a comment if you saw it this weekend, or next weekend. Also, buy Terry Clark's book which is his autobiography available here if you don't have a screening in your city.
I'd love to hear if you do. I feel with all the horrible news in the world, like the numerous beheadings, wars, and more, the world needs a little more love like this film brings to everyone who has seen it.
And with this, I must bid you adieu and Good Night.
I'm taking one of my painkillers and I know I will.:)
Recently I had the pleasure of participating in the Global Innovation Fellows Program. From what I gathered, it was started to bring students out of the classroom and into the real world which is a great initiative.
When I first moved back to Los Angeles my good friend, Ariel, invited me to join him only three days after my arrival and because nothing else was going on, I decided to dive in head first; especially when I heard we were visiting Google and Facebook up in Silicon Valley!
Wouldn't you have wanted to go too?:)
We started out at Junior Achievement where I bumped into a friend, Marisa Materna, whom I've known for over 10 years and had lost contact with.
Joy Kennelly and Marisa Materna, Special Events Director, Junior Achievement
The guest speakers were great, but have to admit, re-connecting with an old friend definitely was the highlight of that day.
Joshua Freedenberg (Motivational Speaker, Author of “The World’s Next Top Leader”) and Brian Williams (CEO, Junior Achievement)
Although all the speakers were excellent and inspiring too. Recognize anyone?:)
Anna Ouroumian (CEO, Academy of Business Leadership) Center surrounded by this year's Global Innovation Fellows Class of 2014
Throughout the week we were able to visit Idealab, CAA, the Fashion District and many more businesses across Los Angeles. It was wonderful to hear amazing speakers and visit companies I've admired for a long, long time.
The only bummer was trying to get from place to place logistically due to LA traffic and consistently running an hour behind for each session which ultimately resulted in certain sessions being canceled due to the delays.
In addition, choosing to drive up to SFO without knowing where to stay and arriving at 2am only to be expected at our first session by 8am when we were still an hour away was very difficult; and it was very disappointing to learn two key speakers for that morning were canceled last minute who I really wanted to hear.
Overall though, a good experience. The program is free, fairly new, run by only one person, and you get what you pay for.:)
I've never understood why women don't travel more, but after experiencing this last-minute trip with no guidance or assistance from the organizer, I now have a deeper understanding of what those who've not traveled much experience which was beneficial all on it's own for my travel company, Joy's Travel Adventures.
It also opened my eyes to the tech community's need to have assistance with travel which is a great side benefit too. Sometimes life's greatest frustrations turn into life's greatest opportunities and provide insights into needs not normally revealed in normal, every day experiences.
The opportunity to hear all the wonderful speakers: Freddy Nager (USC Professor & Founder/CEO, Atomic Marketing); Richard Pan (Entrepreneur/Investor); Gustavo Demoner (UCLA Professor & Brazilian Innovator); Kent Smith, (Executive Director, LA Fashion District); Russell Hancock, (President & CEO, Joint Venture Silicon Valley); Alex Maleki, (Business Development, Idealab); Philip Leslie (Engineer, Google); and more...see first hand how companies are run while visiting them on-site, learning new things, and taking tours of Google and Facebook was awesome, especially for a social media junkie like myself!
I felt like I was on a technology high my whole time in Silicon Valley seeing Twitter headquarters, hearing speakers at Kiva
Justin Renfro of Kiva and Rob Campbell, Global Innovation Fellows Leader
and Code for America,
Code For America
and squeezing in a visit with my friends, Roger Royse and KP, my co-organizer with StartupMind, too.
Kaustav P. Chaudhuri aka KP, Co-Organizer of StartupMind with myself, Joy Kennelly
I learned a lot, made some great connections, spent time with new friends and had a blast touring SFO as a tourist with Ariel and Avanti, my road trip buddies,
Avanti Armendariz, Joy, Ariel Barco
which was a fun way to blow off steam after the intense week.
Logistically, there are things to improve, but program-wise, Global Innovation Summit on the surface is an excellent concept. Great cross-section of business, non-profit and variety of industries. I wish the organizer well because he's onto something positive.
Plus, the cost of the program includes all travel logistics!:)
I heard someone say once they don't believe in criticism which I think is missing the point if it causes you to improve and correct what needs to be changed to make something stronger and provide a better overall experience for all involved.
Plus, if everyone blows smoke at you and you never hear the truth, what good does that do anyone?:)
That's one reason I'm excited to begin working with two new members of my Joy's Travel Adventures team, Lana Leazer and Shar Martin. I've come to realize I can't do everything on my own, other people have skills, connections and experience I don't have, and by combining our backgrounds we will develop something even stronger for female travelers.
More on this later, but next up is my MAGIC experience which was so overwhelming as a newbie, I had to take some time to digest everything I saw and all the wonderful brands I met. Very cool to see the huge variety of clothing, accessories, shoes and booth decorations. Very fun too!
I posted pix from both experiences on my Facebook fan page which you can review here: http://www.Facebook. com/JoysTravelAdventures
I've been writing this wrap-up in my head for weeks and finally have time to put my thoughts down "on paper" so to speak. I had conflicted thoughts after attending the free Marki Costello hosting workshop introduction and needed time to process how to present it.
Plus, had to wait on some pix and other stuff; then the holidays came and have to admit, got distracted with all my fun events.:)
My goal in attending the New Media Expo in Vegas next week is to learn how to create a more regular blogging schedule, develop more quality content for you, my faithful readers, and monetize the hell out of this thing. Also, meet some new collaborators, see friends I only know virtually and learn and network.
I've been blogging for seven years and it's time. Just heard one fashion blogger receives $50,000 from brands sponsoring her blogs and that's my goal!
Isn't it for everyone who blogs?:)
What I love about the tech community in Los Angeles is the openness to new ideas, new people, new concepts and new opportunities. What I found fascinating was to juxtapose the two events, Marki's hosting class vs. Silicon Beach Fest since I attended both the same day.
I was torn because I missed all the morning meetings I really wanted to hear, but I had signed up for Marki's class awhile ago and was very curious what she is like in person having interviewed her for my blog awhile back.
Marki is just as blunt in person as she is over the phone or on TV. When she saw me and another older person in the audience she pointedly asked if either of us were guests, or there for the seminar. The guy left, but I stayed and made a point of introducing myself as her recent interviewer because I knew she felt I didn't belong. LOL
Guess hosting is a super young person's game since she controls the funnel according to her. What cracks me up is she says she's a walking conflict of interest proudly as if that's a good thing! LOL She says only people who take her class will ever become hosts because there's very few talent managers who focus on hosting which she does and E! requires all their hosts go through her class.
What I found very interesting, because I had no idea this was true even in this realm, is the fact even in hosting, your brand is key. What I really liked hearing is how Marki helps her clients shape and develop their concept, provides a safe environment for people to practice and refine their skills, shoots a demo reel you can use to find representation or shop yourself around, and introduces you to key people.
I think she's worked really hard to get to where she is today and respect her for that. However, the conflict of interest really bothers me. In no other industry is this accepted as the norm. Why Hollywood? But I don't really care in the long run because I don't intend to be a host for any entertainment channel, but if they come to me, I won't turn it down. LOL
What was fascinating to me after leaving her workshop, where the funnel for talent is so narrow and difficult almost impossible, to then enter the Silicon Beach Fest where the skies the limit, anyone with a good idea or skills can find success if they work hard, and everyone is so supportive and accepting of everyone regardless of what they look like or what age they are, was the huge contrast in approach.
Completely different vibe to be honest. It wasn't, You can't do this without me and must pay me hundreds of dollars before I help you because I control your destiny like I felt at Marki's workshop.
It was, Here let me help you. I've found success, here's how I did it, and I can help you find it too.
WHAT A DIFFERENCE!
The irony of the entire experience was to hear Marki say all the networks constantly want her to find new talent from the web where people are just out doing their own thing. So, be encouraged host wannabe. You can make it in Hollywood too. Just think outside the box, do your own thing, believe in yourself, and pursue your dreams.
You never know what might happen!:) Disruption in the entertainment industry is happening and the old guard is just trying to protect what they feel they control, but it can't last forever.
Change is inevitable. It just is. Either go with it, or die. Simple as that.
Here's some pix highlighting Silicon Beach Fest, but first, a word from our sponsors...:)
But if you're in tech here in Los Angeles, you already know this.:) My new friend, Espree, pictured with Kevin held an excellent seminar on finding a developer which included a friend, John Shiple, who I had no idea was so accomplished until this seminar!
We had met years ago at a friend's BBQ and enjoyed karaoke most of the night never once talking business. LOL You can check out his website here: www.FreelanceCTO.com
Bumped into other new friends, recognize these guys?:) The entire event was held at the amazing iola in Hollywood and it was fun to finally see what this co-work venue is like after hearing about it during Social Media Week. The seminars were held throughout the first floor and upper spaces too.
Here's some more pix to give you the vibe.
There were a lot of new businesses hosting parties, lots of great seminars, sponsors set up with tables, meetings with friends I've met at other tech events, and it was fun to bounce between seminars listening to what everyone had to say.
It truly lived up to the claim, "LA's first startup - entertainment community fest, with more than 2,500 attendees attending panels, workshops, demo days, pitch fests, hackathon, beach sports and more." Here's some of the fun people I met. The guy on the left and the girl on the right have a very cool company which showcased attendee's Twitter feed throughout the night. She also runs a very cool music newsletter/website called Fusicology. Click the name to learn more because it's been around forever and has the best collection of news, events, fun festivals and more. She's hilarious!
Everyone was a ton of fun. Such a difference than the life and death feel to Marki's seminar. Sad, but true.
And catch this aticle too in case you don't believe me or Forbes: "The Startup Genome Ranks The World’s Top Startup Ecosystems: Silicon Valley, Tel Aviv & L.A. Lead The Way tcrn.ch/10kSHCc "
After a full day of sessions, we were all invited to visit some tech companies and I chose to check out Deviant Art because I love art. Isn't this a great entryway? Check out the owner and his dog too. Here's some highlights from the presentation and office visit.
Wouldn't you like to work here? I would! Scott Perry of Sperry Media is holding the cute swag Deviant Art gave away. If you don't know him, here's something I lifted from an article about him by celebrityaccess.com: "As president of Sperry Media, Scott Perry works with nearly every single label to create online marketing campaigns for across a network of 40 key indie store web sites nationwide and handles the street marketing efforts for lifestyle and entertainment companies at over 400 record and lifestyle stores." I had wanted to hear his session specifically because it really interested me, but arrived too late. Darn it!:)
I won the door raffle at Deviant Art and am still trying to decide what piece of art I would like to own. I want it to be special because it will reflect this very cool time attending Silicon Beach Fest. I was hoping to have something to share with you by now, but with 23 million artists they offer on this site, it's rather difficult to choose just one. Now I understand why people hire art agents or whatever they're called.
I'm now looking forward to attending New Media Expo next week. Here's a blurb describing it I stole from Digital LA who probably stole it from the website: "New Media Expo presented by BlogWorld is Jan 6-8, 2013 in Las Vegas. This is the world's largest conference & tradeshow for Web TV & Video creators, plus Bloggers, Podcasters and Social Media innovators!
Enjoy 3 value-packed days of sessions, networking and cutting-edge knowledge from over 170 speakers that will bring your online content quality, marketing, audience and monetization to a whole new level."
I've gone one time before and couldn't attend last year because I was living in Atlanta. Really looking forward to attending and will share more later. Thanks for reading!
Designed to Counteract
Female Bullying, Teen Pregnancy, Self-Mutilation, Depression & Sex
Trafficking, More Than 2,500 girls Have Gone Through This Life-changing Journey
Los Angeles, CA Becoming A Modern Day Princess,
a Rite of Passage self-discovery course, has helped teenage girls from the ages
of thirteen to eighteen to overcome and escape female bullying, teen pregnancy,
self-mutilation, depression and sex trafficking as it teaches them the ten key
character building steps every girl needs to become a young woman of integrity
and influence. It also provides a way for parents, mentors and leaders to make
life-changing, positive impacts in the lives of adolescent girls who are just
• One in three
females will become pregnant out-of-wedlock before the age of 20.3
• Median age which
young women have their first sexual experience is 17.4, outside marriage.
• The CDC reports
that 48% of teens have had sex at least one.
• One in four will
contract a STD (sexually transmitted disease) before the age of 18.
• One-third of all
teen pregnancies end in an abortion.
Launched in 1999 under the auspices of
King’s Harbor Church by Founder/Author/Speaker, Doreen Hanna, her Modern Day
Princess curriculum has been taught and shared nationally, and now internationally,
since her book, Raising A Modern Day Princess
co-authored with Pam Farrel, was published in 2010 by Focus On the
A 7-week, community-based MDP program was established in
2006 at the request of the State of New Mexico and has been embraced by various
state-funded organizations for at-risk girls.
Doreen Hanna’s personal mission
statement, “Empowering Women To Equip Our Teen Girls,” is not just a
proclamation, but a vision she has seen fulfilled since 2000 as she has trained
and mentored over 300 BMDP leaders who have guided more than 2,500 girls on
this life changing journey to find value and strength in the lives of
participating girls, their families and others who have joined them in their
journey and public celebration.
said, "The greatest
reward for me is watching
these girls go through
the program and see them
become confident, gracious,
Sessions within the BMDP program include: 1) Discovering the Princess Within;
2) My Legacy Empowers My Destiny;
3) The Wealth Found in Obedience;
4) The Portrait of a Prince; 5) The Treasure of True Friends; 6) Looking & Acting Like a Princess;
7) The Princess in the Mirror;
8) Beyond My Kingdom; 9) Dancing with the King; 10) Remembering My Crowning Celebration. Central to this process is the final
rite-of-passage ceremony—a defining moment in which girls are blessed by the significant
father figure in their lives as their family and community celebrate and
support them as they step into womanhood.
recognizing a teen girl’s need for fatherly affirmation and the importance of
celebrating her step into womanhood, developed this final public ceremony where girls are
affirmed by the respected man in her life, as the culmination of the
Just having been asked often
begins to unlock the hearts of the men." Hanna said. "This is a
structured opportunity for men to reflect, opening up their
hearts and minds to often express things they've never said to their daughters or the
girl they care for.”
frequently happen such as fathers expressing their love publicly for the first
time, reconciliation of father/daughter and family relationships, and positive
male role-models which includes grandfathers,
uncles, teachers, coaches and more who step in to bless these girls and
often promise to remain in the lives of girls who may not have fathers.
a Modern Day Princess’ was an indescribably uplifting experience for our entire
family,” says Max W. “As we celebrated our little girl's ‘rite of passage’ into
young womanhood, an overwhelming sense of pride and melancholy welled up inside
of me. What a profound honor to bless our daughter. This program is essential
in continuing the moral well being of our daughters and young families, not to
mention future generations as well.”
Doreen Hanna, Founder of Treasured Celebrations (the non-profit umbrella for all MDP
resources) created and implemented the first Becoming A Modern Day Princess
Biblically-based program in 1999 at King’s Harbor Church in Redondo Beach,
CA. By 2006, upon the request of the State of New Mexico, Doreen
developed a 7-week community-based program, titled “Today’s Modern Day
Princess” that has been embraced by various state-funded organizations for
In 2010 the book, Raising A Modern Day Princess co-authored with
Pam Farrel, was published by Focus On the Family/Tyndale. It has sold
more than 24,000 copies throughout the US and internationally. Additional Modern
Day Princess Resources include leadership guides, journals, and most recently, a woman's program
titled, "Still a Princess~Becoming a Bride." Doreen and her husband Chad have two
grown daughters, four grandchildren, and reside in Los Angeles, California.
Here's the official blurb: "SXSWedu supports innovations in learning for education practitioners, industry leaders and policy makers who share a passion for modernizing learning from early childhood to higher education in both formal and informal environments. Join the SXSWedu community March 4-7 in Austin, Tx, for four days of compelling presentations and events."
After researching business books and trying to find leadership topics related to the creative fields, I created this panel because of the lack of information available. I felt my colleagues and I could add value to colleges, policy makers and institutions seeking diversity in business learning and leadership because entrepreneurship crosses all disciplines.
Our audience: Educators in Business, Music, and Liberal Arts, university professionals looking for unique speakers to come talk to their students, industry leaders, entrepreneurs and anyone interested in learning from experts in music marketing, promotion, branding, social media and creative leadership.
Focusing on music due to SXSW's overall emphasis on music, and my working on a book for musicians, I invited two of my book contributors, Michael and Rich, to participate because I liked the mix of rock-n-roll and country perspectives.
Here's our bios in case you're not familiar with our names and background:
Brandvold is a
freelance music industry consultant based in Northern California. He launched
Michael Brandvold Marketing to leverage his years of experience to provide
direction to large and small clients in the areas of online & social
marketing, as well as, e-commerce and customer acquisition and retention.
Gene Simmons of KISS first tapped
Michael’s skills as a pioneering online marketing strategist to launch and
manage all aspects of Kissonline.com’s multi-million dollar enterprise,
including their ground-breaking VIP ticket program.
Michael has also managed the online efforts for Dream Theater, Andy
Gibson, Greg Kihn, Motley Crüe, Rod Stewart, Madonna,Ozzy Osbourne, Madonna and
Britney Spears to name only a few.
Rich Redmondhas toured/recorded/performed with a 'who's who' of recording artists
including Jason Aldean, Miranda Lambert, Lit, Ludacris, Luke Bryan, Eric
Church, Keith Urban, Bryan Adams, Jewel, The Pointer Sisters, Rushlow, Pam
Tillis, Gene Watson, Doc Walker, Deana Carter, Jedd Hughes, Trace Adkins, Hank
Williams III, Mindy McCready, Robbie Nevil, The Stellas, and Doc Walker to name
Currently the drumming powerhouse
behind country superstar Jason Aldean, Rich plays to millions of fans per year
and has appeared numerous times on such shows as American Idol, Ellen, The Late
Show with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Tonight Show
with Conan O’Brien, The Late Show with Jimmie Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel Live, among
Rich recorded all the drums and percussion on Jason’s 5 records,
selling millions of units and producing 11 #1 hits. Rich’s ‘song-friendly’
drumming style, infused with a true rock-n-roll spirit has led to these records
being regarded as a unique voice in Nashville’s musical landscape.
marketing efforts have also successfully enhanced search engine optimization
(SEO), increased attendance at events and developed business and media opportunities
on behalf of clients in entertainment, travel, technology, and fashion, as well
as, in promoting and supporting numerous political candidates and social
has presented classes and produced seminars on social media at The Musicians
Institute, American Cinematheque, and at conferences throughout the US.
Now that you know who we are, please vote to help us be selected: <
All the details are available once you click, but here they are again too:
With personal examples from their successful careers
running creative businesses in the music industry, each panelist will share what
being an entrepreneur has taught them and how they would pass that information on
to future generations; how they learned how to lead a team of creatives; and how
musicians use their creative leadership in bands. They will also discuss how
they developed the out-of-the-box strategies that guide their careers and those
they work with, and what they do to teach others those same skills.
Questions it will answer
How do creative people lead? What makes them successful?
How do they appeal to a creative audience? What sets their style apart from
traditional leadership styles? What do they do differently in branding,
marketing and social media than other business professionals?
Doesn't this sound cool?:) Wouldn't you want to learn what we will present? It's cool to see one of my goals moving forward which I hope you will support by voting.
I realized this epitomizes what I hate the most about CA and why I left even though I'm a 2nd Generation Native. Sheer madness of over-regulation, over-taxation and a myriad of other issues best stated by friend, Jody Eldred, here:
"I am SO glad they are FINALLY addressing this. It has been ruining our state. Illegal immigration, crime, a ruinous business climate, borderline bankruptcy, housing foreclosures, some of the highest unemployment in America, horrible schools, amoral values run amuck, the porn industry capital of the world, climbing abortion rates, torn up highways and streets... these PALE in comparison to the valiant efforts of our state legislators in this noble cause."
My thoughts exactly.
It's soooo nice to be living in a state that has it's government head on straight and leave behind a state that is like an immature, out-of-touch teenager who thinks the world revolves around their every thought.
Oh, and let's not forget the desire to be the first green state and in so doing, driving business out of LA in droves, raising taxes, creating the third highest unemployment in the country, and a state that doesn't have a budget, is deep in debt to the tune of $26 billion, raids city coffers to pay for what they can't afford, and has no leadership.
Those of us who grew up in CA remember the first time now Governor Jerry Brown was in office and know he has no better idea of how to lead this state now than when he did the first time! Even Gavin Newsom agreed with me which was an anomaly since I would normally never agree with anything he says.
Here's an excerpt of my Letter to the Editor of the LA Times which never ran, but holds true even today: "CA has been primarily a Democrat-run state for many, many years and we wouldn't be in this mess if there wasn't such a state-imposed government chokehold on the ability of businesses to operate here.
I'm a 2nd generation native CA and grew up in the 70's with a father who believed in solar energy, raising our own food, recycling, composting and everything else eco. I remember our state as one everyone wanted to come to and CA being called the 'Golden State.'
Since that time it has progressively (and I use that word intentionally) gone downhill. Recently, a potential celebrity facialist client explained the reason she wanted to hire me to market her business was because 30% of her rich clientele had left the state.
We have one of the highest unemployment rates in the country, businesses are fleeing to TX, AZ, and anywhere else they aren't taxed to death, both of my sisters have left and my parents and many others have, or plan to, leave also.
Governor Brown, as someone bought and paid for by the unions, those of us ... in CA look forward to the time you truly act independently and make the tough decisions to pull our state away from the brink of disaster."
It will never happen, but one can dream right? Now on the flip-side, Georgia has the following going for it:
"Domestically, our state tax rate is very competitive, and state law mandates that Georgia’s budget is continuously balanced. Both the legislative and executive branches of state government has worked for years to create and maintain an excellent environment for business growth and success.
If you want to know how business-friendly Georgia’s climate can be, simply look around the state. It’s home to some of the world’s most recognized corporations, including Georgia-grown Coca-Cola, CNN and The Home Depot.
These three native companies are joined by at least a dozen other of the world’s most well-recognized firms in taking advantage of what the state has to offer. Among them: UPS (above), Delta Air Lines, AFLAC Insurance, Newell Rubbermaid, CIBA Vision, Gulfstream Aerospace and most recently NCR."
So nice to live in a state where those in leadership are adults and have business as an aspect to treasure, support and encourage, rather than kill, drive out-of-state, or out-of-business.
I debated between Texas and Georgia, but the reason I went with Georgia is because my friend is here and loved it; I needed more lush scenery than the arid desert-like conditions of Texas; I loved the churches out here having admired them from afar for many years; and I thought I would know within three months whether or not I wanted to stay.
I knew within a week this is where I am supposed to be. It just feels right. I'm dating, there's more opportunities to create and find work, and it's absolutely gorgeous. I love the trees and scenery. My grandmother is from Georgia and a part of me feels like I've come home in some odd way.
What I struggle with now is wanting all my friends in CA to move out here, and then not wanting anyone to spoil my experience because then I would be responsible for helping them acclimate as my friend has me.
However, maybe in time when I feel more settled and ready to be hospitable, it won't matter as much. But until I can drive to the Perimeter Center Mall and not drive around lost for 15 minutes or so looking for a simple store I know is there without having to rely on my GPS to get me back on track, I think for now I am enjoying the freedom from any expectations of the people I left behind.
Sometimes a fresh start is just that. Fresh. No attachments. No entanglements. No past responsibilities to drag you down. No dead end relationships to hurt you any more. No mean people to gossip and attack you any more.
A fresh start with fresh possibilities.
Just nice, down-to-earth Southern people who, upon hearing I'm new to Georgia, say with a warm smile and sincerity in their voice, "Welcome to Georgia."
Thank you. I do feel welcome here and appreciate your Southern hospitality.
What some people don't realize, but I'll keep reminding them until they understand this fact, is believe it or not, there are women interested and involved in technology contrary to the young Meetup leader who thought women in the audience at a recent tech event meant we were there solely to look for a husband. lol
Can you believe it? He was a little drunk so I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt for speaking without thinking. Kinda like Jerry Brown allowing his associate to call Meg Whitman a "whore" and then his not apologizing for them during the Gubernatorial debate last night.
DUMB and Sexist! I'm really tempted to call Jerry's number and bawl him out since NOW continues to support him. Why? I don't know. Blind adherence to their "religion" I suppose.
But I digress...
Now to give you a little of my tech history. I've been around this industry since the 90's when the dot com craze first hit and produced a very successful online film festival called Media & Entertainment Festival (affectionately nicknamed ME Fest) for Penton Media back in the day.
I have friends who have produced, marketed, and sponsored tech events which I always attend and also keep up-to-date on information by reading and attending conferences. In fact, heading to Las Vegas tomorrow to hit blogWorld too.
I've been incorporating digital marketing into my PR & Marketing strategy for clients for over ten years. I also used to attend all the tech events VIC (Venice Interactive Community) threw and still fondly remember the HUGE party held at the Skirball Center just before the tech crash.
Anyone else remember?:)
If my recent positive experience at Wokcano for the Start-up meeting is any indication of the growth of tech again, I'm sure LA is primed to explode. I enjoyed hearing Investor Mark Suster of GRP Partners sound a rallying cry to tech heads in Los Angeles to stand their ground and refuse to leave for SFO & Seattle to help build up our LA Infrastructure for bigger long-term growth.
I micro-blogged during his talk (editing out his profanity) and you can review that here:
The common thread out of the talks I attended during the Dallas conference seemed to be:
1. Listen to your audience to hear what they're saying about you and your brand
2.Create a strategy based on that research
3. Then contribute.
Here's some highlights of the people I heard once my talk was over.
Jodi Gersh spoke on the Power of Place and analyzed a variety of geo-location tools out there. Her favorite is GoWalla, whereas Jason Falls enjoys Whrrl.
I'm giving Whrrl a whirl although GoWalla is intriguing because of the passport aspect since I love to travel and it would be fun to have a place to showcase my trips while I'm out and about.
I liked having the Geo-Location overview from a marketing person's perspective because then the following week during Social Media Week in Los Angeles, I was able to hear some of the CEO's of even newer geo-location services share their presentations on what made their geo-location service better than the others.
If you click here, and here, it will lead you to my micro-blog coverage of that series on Geo-Location Marketing which was sponsored by Moment Feed. Great evening.
Completely different perspectives and different ways of presenting information, but that's what makes Social Media so interesting. It's constantly evolving due to the creativity and technology utilized by people all over the world.
It's not just about Foursquare people!:) Even though there are now 3 million users using it, this entire type of marketing really isn't mainstream just yet which is limiting it's reach and visibility.
Jodi mentioned even more options too: Foodspotting, footfeed, tri-out, aroundme, tonight.im, m.check.in and to be honest, I haven't had the time to check them out. If you do, let me know what you think.
I ducked in and out of a few Social Media Optimization Summits seminars to make sure I heard as much as possible and if my notes are scarce, that's why.
I popped into Jun Loayza's "How to Implement Ambassador "Experience" Campaigns who stuck with corporate examples for his talk. I never gathered whether or not he was behind the strategies presented, or merely sharing other's successes as examples.
Here's one of his case studies for review. Click the highlighted name to learn more about the actual social media activities for this successful Ford Fiesta launch:
What I enjoyed about his presentation was the direct ROI examples. People still have trouble understanding the value of social media vs. traditional public relations thinking they're separate and don't support each other, but I have never found that to be the case.
Traditional media relations is currently fueled by social media believe it or not. Sometimes the first place journalists learn about what's hot is on social networks. They also regularly read blogs, and constantly comb the internet looking for stories of interest.
I remind people of this all the time, because I have numerous journalists, civic leaders, celebrities, publicists, and others who pop in to read my blog due to my coverage of such a wide variety of topics. I never want to be focused on only one subject because I have a wide interest in all kinds of things and consider my blog more of a magazine style format, than an analysis of just one topic.
Again, I digress.
Back to examples of Ambassador campaigns that worked courtesy of Jun Loayza:
As always, Fashion is on the cutting edge of social media and Jun shared how his company had helped create the LG campaign using popular fashion bloggers to spread the news. (Where was my invite? LOL)
Apparently, Jun's company, www.postrank.com, (according to him,) is recommended over Technorati to find bloggers (which I find hard to believe knowing the CEO of Technorati and learning in another seminar Technorati is considered the 4th largest social network, but hey, Jun may be right among a certain tech demographic...)
His bottom line was determine what you want to accomplish, find the influencers who will help you achieve your goals, and then implement the strategy to achieve your goals. I asked what a band could do to and was given some good ideas which I'll be able to share with my students.
I attended the luncheon where I heard a few speakers including Shashi Bellamkonda from Network Solutions who discussed optional trends in New Media.
He basically gave a bunch of links and a quick highlight of each. You can find it on the company site here somewhere (I don't have time to research it for you.:): http://blog.networksolutions.com/
The speaker I most enjoyed hearing present was Erica Campbell, Senior Manager of New Media Marketing for Rent - Video & Photo Sharing for Optimum Growth & Brand Exposure which you can review here:
View more presentations from Erica Campbell. Be warned, there are 175 slides and trust me, she had to talk REALLY, REALLY fast to go through all of them in the three hours allotted for her chat.
That said, it was great and even though this was applied to the apartment rental industry, the principles apply across the board to any industry and her presentation is excellent.
And I'll close with this speaker since you're probably tired of reading so much data all at once, right?:) Now you know what I feel like after attending all these conferences and seminars! lol
Strategic Planning by Jenn Kane Co.
KD Paine Measurement Checklist:
1. What are your objectives?
2. What audiences are you targeting?
3. How would you prioritize these audiences?
a. Media, influencers, bloggers, competitors, etc.
b. Prioritize how you’ll reach them.
4. What are your Key Performance Indicators?
a. If this is really working, then>>>>
5. What is the right measurement tool?
a. Where will you know you’ve achieved this?
i. Socialmention.com – free! Use with Kids
vi. PR Newswire
To define “Return,” ask:
a. What are we measuring, and why?
b. What does success look like?
c. How will we know when we get there?
d. Are there incremental milestones worth noting?
There's more, but you should hire Kane Consulting since that's all I have time to cover at the moment. Sorry. :) I enjoyed her talk because I've utilitized a lot of her suggestions as a leader of goal setting groups over the years.
I really enjoyed my experience in Dallas, TX because I was able to hear from a wide variety of speakers from all over the country and everyone was very interesting. Kudos to Tami for putting on a great conference which is sure to only grow as word gets out.
Now here's a great video of the Social Media Week seminar I attended at the House of Blues entitled: "THE NEXT STAGE OF ENGAGE: BRINGING ONLINE MUSIC COMMUNITIES TO LIFE" with some great panelists.
I learned a lot and had other information confirmed to share with my students.
I'm teaching Social Media & Fan Management in the Musicians Institute's Music Business Program and am delighted to be working with such ambitious entrepreneurial students.
My kind of people!
Okay, that's all for now. Gotta run. I have a store launch to attend with my friend. Let me know what you think of what I've written!
aroundme, BlogWorld Expo, CA, Charmin, Dallas, Erica Campbell, Foodspotting, footfeed, Ford Fiesta Movement, Foursquare, GoWalla, GRP Partners, House of Blues, Jerry Brown, Joy A. Kennelly, Jun Loayza, Kane Consulting, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, m.check.in, Mark Suster, ME Fest, Media & Entertainment Festival, Meg Whitman, Music Business Program, Musicians Institute, Network Solutions, New Media Marketing for Rent, NOW, Penton Media, postrank.com, Red Bull University, Santa Monica, Sharpie Squad, Shashi Bellamkonda, Skirball Center, Social Media & Fan Management, Social Media Optimization Summits, Social Media Week, Technorati, The Dew Crew, tonight.im, tri-out, TX, Venice Interactive Community, VIC, Video & Photo Sharing for Optimum Growth & Brand Exposure, Whrrl, Wokcano
It's been a crazy few weeks. Had to find and buy a car, find and move into a new place, and started teaching Social Media & Fan Management at the Musicians Institute.
Whew! All good though. Very happy with all the positive changes in my life. Now I'm prepping to attend BlogWorld if all goes well.
Social Media Optimization Summits continued
Finally have a moment to write more about my experience in Dallas and Los Angeles surrounding Social Media conferences I spoke during and attended. Here's a link back to Part 1 in case you've forgotten what I wrote before: http://bit.ly/aGqhaT
Wait! It's already there.:) Well, what do you know....Trust me, this strategy works. It's extremely time consuming, but definitely worth it.
Oh, before I get too much into everything, here's a fun video of the tech company I worked for during the summer called Shopzilla. Know it?
Cool group of people and brilliant tech business. Here's the employees and management as you've probably never seen them before. lol I enjoyed seeing all the people/friends I made goofing around in this.
Everyone really is that fun to be around too. My former boss, Robin, is the rocker chick and my buddy, Britton, is rocking out with her around 1 minute in. He's part of the talented band Red Circle Underground so this "acting" came naturally.:)
Here's just one of the fun monthly company-wide activities I worked on while I was there. All the children of employees in the company were given art supplies to create Shopzilla posters. Other times I worked on a huge Mexican Fiesta, a Carnival complete with a live camel and a beach party.
I love tech companies.:) Always have, always will.
Here's a few examples of the kid's design creativity of Shopzilla's logo, and what they received as a gift for participating.
Adorable, eh? I wish I could have stayed on, but they needed someone with Human Resources experience which I don't have, nor ever want to learn. LOL
Great company though... One I admire and wish well!
The Joule in Dallas, TX
I had the privilege of staying at The Joule, in the heart of Downtown Dallas, as their guest during the Social Media Optimization Summits which was absolutely delightful. I highly recommend this hip, boutique hotel as a central location for anyone doing business in Dallas, looking for an excellent restaurant to entertain guests, host an event poolside or inside privately, or attend a hip nightclub to dance and socialize.
Here's a quick peek into why I enjoyed my stay so much:
My beautifully appointed room.
The Joule's beautiful poule high up in the city offers great views. A very popular happy hour venue too.
These two professional pictures were provided by The Joule. The others are mine. Please don't use without permission.
Wine shop on-site in the entryway to the delicious Charlie Palmer restuarant. Click their name to see some of the cuisine, learn about the chef and the venue. My dessert was delicious and just the right size.
Here's some professional shots of the Joule Penthouse & PM Nightlife Lounge. For more information and to review even more images, please click on the links.
They're both so opulent and you'll love what you see! I was very impressed with my experience there and give it a 4.5 star rating.:)
My Quick Dallas Tour
Every time I travel to a conference or Food & Wine Festival, I like to take in some of the local sites to gain a better idea of what the city is about above and beyond the event I'm attending. This trip was no different. Every moment I had free, I walked, rode the metro, or explored because I love traveling and having new experiences.
Similar to LA's Downtown, Dallas streets were rather empty of people walking around, but I never felt unsafe. I only wish I had more time since there's a few museums and art galleries I would have liked to see.
But that's for another trip. Enjoy my visual essay. I will write up the Social Media Optimization Summits Conference next because I took notes and want to share now that I finally have the time.
and Leveraging New Opportunities to Boost Your Brand, Annual Long Beach Oktoberfest, Beyond Facebook, Combining, Dallas, Fan Management, John Forrester & Associates, Joy A. Kennelly, Musicians Institute, Shopzilla, Social Media, Social Media Optimization Summits, The Joule, Twitter and LinkedIn: Introducing, TX
Recently I've had the pleasure of seeing women from my previous Goal Gal groups become successful in new ways which made me sentimental. I haven't lead a similar group since, but always dream of finding more motivated women to create and be motivatedwith as another Goal Gal group.
We'll see. It's on my goal list to accomplish this year which is always a good start.
In remembrance of all the women who
have blessed my life then and now, here's a blog post I wrote about our
experiences together back in 2006:
"Over the past year I had the privilege of leading an empowerment group for women called the Goal Gals. We met every other week to discuss our goals and achievements, or struggles. It started out with Patti, Shana, Jennifer, Cynthia, Monika, Kirsten and Judy. I invited Patti, Jennifer, Cynthia, and Kirsten. Kirsten invited Monika and Judy. Jenn invited Shana. We all began the journey of self-discovery and accomplishment together a year ago in August.
We went to Big Bear together in September and had a Goal Gals Retreat which was a lot of fun. We ate, we drank, we did a spa night, we created visions boards for ourselves and just hung out bonding. In December, we produced a Spark of Love Toy Drive at Luxe Hotel Rodeo Drive for underprivileged children. We collected over 350 toys that night and had a lot of fun. Although it was supposed to just be our private Christmas party for ourselves I got a little carried away with planning and over 300 people showed up. In January, we had a great brunch and caught up with each other. I gave everyone calendars for the year to keep them on track. We then invited Renee and Deborah to join us and decided to only meet once a month.
This wasn't as motivating and it was hard to get everyone together on a regular basis. I invited Pearl and Patrizia to join us. Jenn invited Anna. Pearl invited Wenona.
I invited Patrizia to join me at the Spectrum Redondo Bike Tour party and we had a nice time eating and hanging out. (Notice there's always eating involved?)
My client and I were invited to attend the Spring Fashion Show of Valeria, a famous Italian personality turned designer, and Pearl, Patrizia and Deborah joined us. We were right behind Paula Abdul and for a moment were blinded by the photographers taking pictures of her with us in the background.
I'm sure we're immortalized somewhere in cyber space.
Then in April, I decided it was time to include new people and organized a bowling party at Lucky Strike which I announced on my Ladies Who Brunch group. It was fun and that's when Amy joined our group. I recruited her because she was a chef. Just kidding. Can you tell I like food? I also invited Mindy who'd I'd met through a friend.
Anyway, we then began to meet as a very large group which was difficult. Eventually Deborah, Renee, Kirsten, and Cynthia stepped down because they were too busy to participate.
I knew Amy needed a push to get her business out there and when another client was participating in the Zimmer Children's Museum fundraiser, I offered her and Shana's services. Both of them were scared, but pulled off an amazing event.
Mother's Day rolled around and to avoid the Birthmother blues, I decided to throw our own Mother's Day party combined with visioning. Amy hosted it at her amazing house in her backyard garden which was a lot of fun.
Who knew Pearlwould have so many Martha Stewart wedding magazines? I guess stands to reason since she does lead a relationship group!
As a result of the wonderful job she did previously at the Zimmer Museum event, Amy later catered a BBQ at a writer's home on a referral from that event which Jenn and I helped her with. Then, in June I began floating around from Goal Gal to Goal Gal staying with one or the other until I landed at my parent's home they haven't sold in Torrance. I got to experience 4th of July with Shana & her family.
Then we had a final Goal Gal dinner at Hotel Angeleno in Westwood which Pearl, Monika, Shana, myself and Patrizia attended. It was really nice to hear what everyone had been up to and hear how the group had impacted their lives.
Over the past few months, I've just been hanging out with the Goal Gals on an individual, or impromptu basis because I decided to focus on myself for a bit. I participated in the Ladies Who Launch Incubator and realized I needed to pull some things together for me. I took two trips - one to Cabo and one to Maui. I began blogging, and put together a PR Insider Secret Workshop designed to teach people how to do their own Public Relations. I also began housesitting up in Los Feliz.
Now, I'm trying to figure out how or when to begin another group if at all. I love the power of groups and the things we were all able to accomplish was amazing. However, it's a big responsibility which I'm not sure I'm ready to tackle again just yet.
Plus, everyone has been making new friends, creating new projects, and moving in different directions as well. We got together for a Spa Day recently which was fun. Looking back over the year, I'm proud of what we accomplished together and individually.
Many have started businesses that have flourished, others began pursuing careers they'd only talked about, others considered other career options and took on charity endeavors, and some of us cut back on what we were doing to leave room to explore who we want to be.
I had a great time as you can tell by all the photos. I will miss those who have moved on, but know it's simply a season that we are in each others lives - some longer than others."
You may recognize some of these amazing women. And they all are really special. I wish everyone much continued success and love. Now I'm thinking of a Goal Gal reunion.
Or starting another Goal Gal group real soon! Want to join?:)
I enjoyed swimming this morning because it finally loosened up my hip muscle that has been hurting over a week now. The side stroke is my favorite because it really stretches my entire body and hit exactly where I needed it.
I then enjoyed a leisurely nap after reading a very funny book. I would tell you the title, but some people might not understand my sense of humor.:) Ask me privately and I'll tell you. After that, spent the majority of the day writing and catching up on stuff.
Tonight, catching up on my FirstPlace4Health homework which I need someone to help me interpret because some of it is confusing to figure out on my own.
So happy my month-long fast from events is over and I can go out again. I think I'll be more picky going forward though because I got so much more done not going out as often.
Have a good one! Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile
I have been trying to apply the 7 Habits principles and establish a personal mission statement ever since taking Stephen Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People course (click the link on his name for my professional blog explaining what it's all about and my personal story following those guidelines if you're unfamiliar.)
So, when I clicked on the video called Advent Conspiracy, I wasn't prepared for how I would react. Although I should have been. I just started crying because this video reflected exactly how I've been feeling about Christmas this year. All I want to do is spend time with people I love and care about.
Watch it and see how you respond before you compare yourself to me and my reaction.
I want my life to count. I want to share God's love with the people I come in contact with and deal with. I don't always succeed, but at least it's a goal. Working for a church is exposing me to people I would rarely come in contact with on a professional basis and it's been a humbling experience to be involved in loving them through their loneliness and pain, but also happy times too.
Now I have more reasons than ever to make volunteering and giving of myself more of a priority in 2010.
In any case, have to run, but just wanted to share this potentially life-changing video with you because it impacted me so deeply. Maybe it will you too. One can only pray.:)
And to really inspire you, here's some encouraging verses Pastor Jeff Perry taught on last night which also deeply impacted me because it just reminds me how much God loves me and you, especially at this time of year. We are not alone!
Romans 1: 38-39
38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither
height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to
separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
And if you really want to be blessed, read the entire chapter of Romans 1.
Enjoy your day! I plan to! And remember, God loves you and so do I!:)
P.S. Just found this year's Advent Conspiracy video and wanted to make sure you saw that too.
If you knew him, please consider clicking through to the www.lafuneral.com link and leaving a condolence message for his family. I'm sure they'd appreciate it. A memorial service is planned later this summer.
How do you like them apples LV? I guess one out of three aint bad. lol
Moving right along. Here's a link with news on who and what to vote for on Tuesday, May 19th special election (Vote for Teresa Hernandez!) and I quote from the www.socalgop.com site:
The Southern California Republican Coalition is taking the lead in the grassroots opposition to Proposition 1A.
Governor may want to increase your taxes.... The California
legislature's Democrats may want to increase your taxes.... The
California Republican Party and its Chairman may not be willing to take
a position.... The Chairman of the Republican Party of Los Angeles
County may not be willing to take a position....
But make no mistake grassroots Republicans know a HUGE TAX INCREASE when they see one -- and so does the Southern California Republican Coalition. The SCRC emphatically OPPOSES Proposition 1A.
It is a tax increase disguised as a spending cap that has not teeth.
The public employee unions may love it, but every tax payer in this
state knows better. The SCRC is leading an advertising campaign
against 1A - Please click to donate today online.
"Prop 1A is a huge tax increase disguised as a shame, weak spending cap. The voters are not as ill-informed as legislative and party
leaders may wish them to be. The tax payers of California are not
buying their lies. The Democrats lied, and the Economy Died - and we
refuse to go along to get along!" says Southern California Republican
Coalition Chairman, James Crean.
"We oppose raising taxes for so
many reasons. We are in a serious economic downturn and increased
taxes means there is less money to spend to spur the economy which is
needed to lead to real job growth.
"The legislature just
increased our taxes by $42 Billion dollars and now they want to add
another $16B in tax increases. That will do only one thing - cause
everyone who pays taxes to look at moving out of California, especially
those that run businesses in order to lower their product costs in
order to stay competitive when prices are dropping across the country,"
There were no real cuts made in the legislature's
prior budget, nearly all cuts were shame cuts in job positions with no
one in the job or they were reductions in the year to year growth
without any real decrease. The Democrat legislature does not have any
backbone for real cuts and the more taxes we give them, the more ways
they will find to grow government and continue to pay off the public
employee unions, such as the California Prison Guards union, the
California Teachers Association union, and the Service Employees
In a time when real citizen's 401K and
retirement savings accounts values are dropping, the unions are
bankrupting the state with enormous retirement benefits that often lead
to union employees earning more in retirement than when they were
employed by the state of California. Yet the unions are making no concessions, preferring to raise everyone else's taxes to pay their
addiction to tax payer's money.
"The only informed vote on
Proposition 1A is NO," says SCRC Chairman Crean, "and we are taking a
lead position with grassroots voters to inform voters to vote NO on 1A
along with NO on the other propositions. I hope folks will go to www.SoCalGOP.com and make even a small contribution to save us from more tax increases."
Ron Prentice is the CEO of California Family Council, formally
associated with Focus on the Family and also working alongside Family
Research Council. California Family Council (CFC) was formed in 2003
with Ron as the founding director. With offices in Southern California
and Sacramento, CFC’s mission is to protect and promote Judeo-Christian
principles in California’s culture. They do so by communicating the
analysis of current legislation, creating pastor and grassroots
coalitions, and educating the general population on the issues of the
day. Ron also serves as the Chairman of the ProtectMarriage.com – Yes
on 8 Coalition, working with dozens of national, state, and local
groups to bring about a victory for traditional marriage in California.
Location:Sizzler Torrance, 2880
Sepulveda Bl. (Between Crenshaw & Hawthorne). NOTE: we now have
the full meeting room due to the large monthly turnouts. No more
standing room only!
All are welcome - Members and non-members alike! This event is Free
And for those of you interested in making positive changes in your life, don't forget to sign up for the Standup Leadership seminar entitled Leading Change at www.leaderyou.com which will feature Coach Lori Ketkar and distinguished Naval officers, CAPT Luke and First Brigade Commander, Juliane, at The Shore Restaurant and Lounge from 5:30pm - 8:30pm.
Lastly, for those who want to learn more about our upcoming TLC Empowerment Group which starts June 3, 2009 at TLC Pharmacy, join Business and Life Coach Sherry Marshall, TLC Pharmacists' Annabell and Mindy, me and Perfect Body from 4pm - 6pm at Luna G located at 323 Pier Ave in Hermosa Beach, CA that same Thursday night, May 21.
Check out Luna G's latest designer clothing for men and women and unique gifts, taste GoChi Juice and TAIslim, meet Perfect Body trainers and the rest of us and have fun mixing and mingling.
Just think? Two great events on the same night! Hermosa Beach is the place to be Thursday night!
Back to your regularly scheduled Sunday.
I've been enjoying mine since I rode my neighbor's bike to the Healthy Living Festival in Manhattan Beach at the Metlox Plaza and blogging.
Time to go home and get ready to go out for drinks at that new Redondo Beach restaurant named Maison Riz.
That's my kind of place if you're taking notes. :) Gotta run!
Beach Cities Republican Club, Biz & Life Coach Sherry Marshall, California Family Counci, CAPT Luke, CEO, Coach Lori Ketkar, Gary M. Mallette, GoChi Juice, Healthy Living Festival in Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Joy A. Kennelly, Leader You, Maison Riz, Male, No on Proposition 1A, Old, Perfect Bodies, Republican, Ron Prentice, TAIslim, Teresa Hernandez for Congress, The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v. Wade, The Shore Restaurant and Lounge, The Southern California Republican Coalition, This is Hermosa, TLC Pharmacy, www.lafuneral.com, www.socalgop.com, www.thejoywriter.typepad.com/thejoywriterpr
TLC Empowerment Group A Positive Network for the Health & Success Conscious
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Join like-minded people in a transformative group designedto create change in your life by taking positive actions with your career, personal and weight loss goals through coaching and TAIslim. Bi-monthly meetings are held on location at TLC Pharmacy and are facilitated by Certified Life and Business Coach,
During the six-week TLC Empowerment group you will:
Network with peers
Create three month goals to improve your health & life
Share successes and challenges with members every other week to gain insights and assistance
Be held accountable by Coach Sherry & group members
Most importantly, form a supportive community of new friends in which to createempowering strategies and action plans to improve your life.
Confidential Weigh-Ins at TLC Pharmacy for those seeking to lose weight as their goal
May 18th thru May 29th Monday—Friday 9am-5pm (by appointment)
TLC Empowerment Group Meeting Time & Days:Wednesdays
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Sherry is a licensed Life & Business Coach specializing in Energy Leadership with many satisfied and successful clients during her three year coaching career. Sherry has led workshops on leadership, time management, goal setting and creating a positive mindset.
As facilitator of the TLC Empowerment Group, Sherry brings structure,positive momentum, and encouraging accountability to help you create an unstoppable mindset.
For those of you who have known me for awhile, or have been reading this blog for awhile, it may come as a shock to your system to hear that I've been accepted to receive a ticket to attend the Inauguration, but join the club! I'm right there with you!
Like I told my chef tonight, I feel like if Obama loves me, then f all the rest. (Sorry Christian friends, I have a problem with swearing, but I'm working on it.) I think it's a huge honor and definitely going to be the most exciting day of my entire life to date to participate in such a historic swearing in. Now to figure out all the details because I never in a million years expected to be accepted, but am so thrilled now that's it's a reality! I have so much to organize!
I also was invited to attend the pre-Inaugural brunch and I pushed the envelope to see if I could bring the adoptive parents and my 9 year old son who live out near DC too because I'd love for Eli to have this life experience and realize he can aspire to be whoever he wants to be in this world.
I'm not sure they're even available because I know Jeff just retired from the Pentagon and their whole life is in a huge transition. He may have a new job by then and who knows where they'll be living. I just really, really hope everything works out on all sides because nothing would make me happier.
For those of you who don't know, my son Eli is mixed - half Nigerian and half me. What's so cool is that the adoptive couple are interracially married and you'd never know he wasn't their natural born child. I looked for a very long time to find this couple and God was totally in our adoption. He is one happy, smart kid. I haven't seen him in awhile and would love to spend time with him doing this. We shall see!
The other cool thing that happened today is my good publicist friend, Lynne Hasty of Green Galactic throws an annual Christmas party for all the cool women in her life and believe me she knows a ton. She's an amazing music/arts publicist and so generous, loving and kind.
I just love her and always try to make her events because they are gauranteed to be among some of the hippest, most unique, artistic, musical, interesting events you'll ever attend. If you are looking for a music publicist, look no further and call her ok? You'll be so glad you did. She's awesome!
Tonight was her 17th Annual Christmas gathering that I would say over 30 amazingly accomplished women attended. Although I was later than I anticipated because I was having the best brainstorming session with my new "power partner" (that's Business Networking International speak for someone who's your best referral giver and receiver), Ryan of My Website Design, I still caught my favorite part of the evening which is when we go around the room telling a little about ourselves to help facilitate networking afterward.
I saw some friends I haven't seen in years, the lovely, talented Lynne of course, made some new friends, and the best part was finally able to share face-to-face with live people that I got to attend the inauguration! I believe there was a collective gasp and then excitement for me which was very gratifying.
I've always, always, always said I'm a moderate and despite my rabid Republican politicking during this campaign, I love that I will be participating in such an auspicious occasion in our country's history. Now I understand what my African friend in England was trying to tell me the night of the election. It may take me awhile, but I do eventually get it.
My good friend Shana who is such a staunch Democrat her very young boys talk about politics (which cracks me up) teased me today and said she can see me becoming Democrat yet! I laughed at that because although I really do see value in both parties, I still lean way more right than I ever will left. However, that said, I respect others who do and love the diversity of the friendships in my life because of that fact. I LOVE politics. Who knows? Maybe while I'm back there I'll look for a job! LOL
Stranger things have happened. All I know is, I'm ecstatic and regardless of anything else I'm also very proud to be included. Makes all the pain, heartache and other struggles I've encountered holding strong to who I am and what I believe in all worth it.
The other really cool thing that happened recently is that one of my best friends from high school who I always had the best time with, accepted me on Facebook as a friend which touched me deeply, deeply, deeply because he recently married his gay partner. His acceptance by reaching out and accepting me in friendship despite our differences continues to move me even today.
When people can look beyond politics, religion, and everything else that can divide us as people and simply love and accept each other as individuals, that's what love is all about. He blessed me on a day I really needed to feel loved and I will be very grateful to him for that for a long time.
God always knows when we need to feel His tender touch through humans and sometimes it doesn't always come in the package or way we expect it. I totally didn't expect my friend to accept me and when he did, I just broke down crying.
What was a little embarrassing is just then I received a call on my landline which I never get and had to check who would be calling me. It turned out to be the woman who had interviewed me to be a press agent for the Academy Awards telling me that although she really wanted to hire me, due to budget cuts they weren't able to bring anyone on after all. She was so sweet about it too. What a great boss she would have been! But who knows, maybe that will come true later on in the year. You never know.
What's so amazing looking back on this call now, is if she had called to say yes, we want you, I might have been working rather than free to attend the Inauguration! Isn't that amazing how God works? He replaced one wonderful thing for something even more wonderful! I am truly blessed.
So, that's all for now. Just wanted to share and would have shared earlier except for the fact I couldn't get into my blog for some reason. Thanks for reading. I love having a place to vent. As I was driving home from Downtown tonight all I could think about was either dancing, running around on the beach, having a bite, singing loudly, or blogging. Ok, I'll admit, sex too. LOL
I always know I'm going to have a great night if I'm driving and my favorite Cold Play song, Viva La Vida, comes on. When I'm singing at the top of my lungs and driving fast it's the greatest feeling in the world. Makes me feel like all is well in my world. Hearing it tonight I felt it was just another great addition to an already great day.
It's great nights like these that I miss having someone special to share these moments with. So gentle reader, for tonight, you are my someone special. Thanks for being in my life.:)
That's all. I really must get to sleep because I have another busy day tomorrow and three parties in the evening. I'm having the best Christmas season this year! I'm telling you!
For whatever reason, people keep Googling "the blond guy from TMZ" and
find my blog. How long ago did I write about him and TMZ? I just think it would
be hilarious if he either lives in the South Bay, or is a member of Oct
805, my biggest fans. Who knows? Who cares? I don't, but just think it
would be ironic.
In any case, I actually had the most delightful birthday after all. I knew it would turn out that way - the best days always come after the worst. Plus, when there's nothing planned, then good stuff can fill in too. Like the wonderfully sweet card from one of my good friends which arrived unexpectedly.
I also joined a good girlfriend for a spontaneous celebratory birthday lunch which was great. Then dashed off to Glen Ivy Day Spa to cash in my two-for-one coupon I found recently that I'd collected over the summer during one of the AVP's. It expired 12/31 and I thought what a great way to end the year and celebrate my birthday.
Receiving an email from a very fun girlfriend who was off for the day while her husband was working prompted me to invite her to join me. By 2pm we were soaking in the generous hot tub relaxing. We pampered ourselves with the moisturizing Grotto treatment and just generally relaxed throughout the spa not leaving till almost six! Now that's my kind of day.
My other great girlfriend had heard my plight of no New Year's plans and invited me to join her at her fun married friend's New Year's open house. This couple is such an adorable contrast - she loves parties, he swears not to, but does throw margarita wrestling contests for young women which absolutely cracks me up since his wife is one of the most respected experts in her field - known world-wide for her brilliance.
To know both of them though, they're the most loving, giving, generous people who are so full of life and fun that I don't care what they do. They're my friends and his mom is great too! Even though last night wasn't anything like I had planned, it was just perfect.
My new BFF and her husband who had invited me are really wonderful to me too. They gave me the best birthday cake, presents and love. I am indebted to their generosity of spirit and heart. Thank you!!!!
Great food, great friends, great conversations, ending with fun times down at the Hermosa Beach Pier Plaza - hard to believe fun too for adults over 20 out past 9pm I know, but the swing band drew a decidely older crowd which made for a nice mix of people.
What I thought was absolutely hilarious was to see a woman who was
older than me wearing the shortest micro mini standing on stage proudly
french kissing her husband when it struck midnight. I'd heard this
woman needs attention, but didn't realize how badly till I saw her outfit and subsequent kiss. I guess if you've still got it flaunt it right? Or is it at the
beach once a bleached blond bimbo, always one? I don't know.
Oh I must stop, it's not nice to speak poorly of your elders. Sorry
Sienna. Whoops. Didn't mean to blow your cover, but then again you're
not hiding anything so why should I? I'm such a bitch with a capital B.
Can't help myself.
It just comes naturally this time of the month, but
I hope you know I mean this all in good fun. If you can't poke gentle fun at
politician's wives, who can you laugh at? See, you're laughing too! I
see that smile. You agree. This is what makes the beach scene so
entertaining to be part of if you ask me. If it's not the young bucks, it's the old babes...
We would have hit the Mermaid bar afterwards, but the line wasn't worth standing in. We really must hit it before it's torn down - one of Hermosa Beach's historic monuments for the great drinkers of our city. Just kidding, but it is historic.
For those of you who don't live down here that whole piece of property (of which the Mermaid is but one part) is going for 33 million dollars - now does it give you an idea of the size of the property for sale and the value of Hermosa Beach beachfront? We'll see what goes in there next - could make for some interesting changes to the whole Downtown scene in its entirety. Know any cool hotels looking to expand? We'd love to have one come in.
Caught The Bucket List today and it was the perfect day to see it. Great flick and great chemistry between the two men. It was really nice to see Morgan Freeman in something other than his serious films. Also, I wonder how close to Jack's real life this story really is? How many wives has he had again?
I am very emotional (you know why) and I couldn't help but cry at parts. It's very thought-provoking, funny, enjoyable and worth catching. I really liked it. Made me want to create my own "bucket list."
Let's see, in no particular order, here's my spur of the moment, off the top of my head "bucket list" -
1. visit Tahiti 2. see healing of family relationships 3. finish my PR certificate at UCLA Extension 4. fall madly and deeply in love with the man I'm to marry and spend the rest of my life with 5. get my hormones balanced out once and for all 6. lose 15 or 20 more pounds (lost 12 so far!) and keep it off 7. travel the world to exotic places I've never been like Thailand, Fiji, Bangkok, Australia, New Zealand 8. go back to Africa and visit everywhere we lived and traveled to when I was young 9. write my book on my open adoption experience and have it turned into a movie 10. have a syndicated column writing like I do for my blog on whatever I feel like 11. make a difference in my community that changes its course of history forever 12. be a good role model to my nieces and son and children who are like family to me 13. paint more 14. love more 15. share more 16. volunteer more 17. trust more 18. laugh more 19. bitch less 20. Enjoy life to the fullest in whatever I'm doing, with whoever I'm doing it with 21. See The Oprah Show and The Ellen Show live and see great guests and receive great gifts 22. See loved ones I've been praying for come to know Jesus as their personal Lord and savior 23. Be a better friend in a deeper way to people in my life I care about 24. Have my life count for something bigger than myself 25. balance my life better
I had such a pleasant yesterday and today that I feel ready for whatever is thrown my way in 2008. I had such peace last night even though I was single. It just felt like it was okay for that night. I just had the distinct feeling that I should cherish being alone because once I am married I'll never be alone again.
Hard to believe I'd ever get to the place that I'm actually happy being single, but I have a real contentment and settled feeling about it all. Like 2007 was supposed to clear out all the bad relationships that were holding me back for the right one in 2008. Does that make sense?
Who knows if this makes sense, but I do know I am closer to God as a result of this year and know who I am better too. Like Philippians says in the Bible chapter 4:11-13.
"I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.12I
know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I
have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation,
whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13I can do everything through him who gives me strength."
I hope you have the opportunity to experience the peace of God that surpasses all understanding at some point in your life too.
God bless you! Happy New Year!
Live like you were dying and consider writing your own bucket list. May make you reconsider how you'll spend 2008.
Life's short people and we're only given so much time on earth. How will you spend it this year? Make it count.
And with that... Good night... or should I say Good morning...
Okay, remember the sweet little east Indian ticket reservationist who didn't know anything about Hawaii and spent all that time trying to get the spelling right of Kuaia? Guess who I got when I called United again tonight? Yep. Him. Isn't it a funny ironic small world?
This time I asked him about another location and when my destination wasn't allowed on my free ticket I asked about where to fly to get closest to Tahiti. Oh my goodness, he didn't know where or what Tahiti was! Oy, oy, oy! I know I'm dumb for not realizing that LA was the closest airport apparently, but I didn't have the benefit of a computer screen since I was driving and he did.
I guess my frustration with him is because I used to do his job for five years for both Alaska and Delta Airlines and know what he should know in this position. I thought it was so funny to get him again, but couldn't deal so told him I'd call back and promptly hung up.
Guess who I got when I called back? HIM!
That made me LOL because I realized then I couldn't escape my fate. I then asked to speak to his supervisor which he was nice enough to transfer me. I explained to the women that when I worked in the airline industry even when my airline didn't service the location, the computer will give you the code to figure out an itinerary regardless of which airline you're booking.
For him not to know that and waste more of my time... not good customer service United Airlines. I thought I had been so smart by going online and figuring out my original itinerary prior to calling only to learn that my ticket doesn't allow for inter-line agreements meaning I can't fly on their partners.
Makes me seriously reconsider not jumping ship next time they ask for volunteers to be bumped. Oh well, I will figure it out eventually. It is a free ticket after all. I just need to hurry up and book it! It was just too funny to hear his little sheepish voice one more time. Merry Christmas Rameesh wherever you are in India. Do they even celebrate? I wonder.
My friend Domi invited me out to the Arclight tonight for a snack and a movie. I agreed because I was traveling up to Beverly Hills to have my hair done at Cush Salon courtesy of my friend Adrienne and was also meeting my other friend Marcia who I haven't seen in a long time after that which made it worthwhile to stay up there so late. Plus, we all always have a good time together so...
I'm glad I did. Sweeney Todd was a very fun, albeit horror, movie set to music. Who knew there would be so much music to all the gore? I've never gone to see anything Stephen Sondheim has done so totally wasn't prepared to hear murder sung about so casually. Or to see so much spurting blood! Domi said it reminded him a lot of all the horror films he has done. NOT MY THING AT ALL!
For such a murderous, gory story, I was surprised the killing didn't start earlier into the film hence my blog title. Enough with the back story - get to the point Burton. Just kidding. Tim has his own unique style of filmmaking - although I'm beginning to think his art director doesn't know any other looks beyond goth, but then again neither does Tim Burton himself it seems! I guess you want his style, then you see his movies.
Ghostly white makeup with heavily made-up smudged eye makeup, weird blue tones, stark contrasts of color and black and white mixed together, bad teeth, oh I could go on, but I'm tired. You get the drift. It's really stylistic and moody which is very interesting visually actually, but almost distracts from the actors because it is so unusual. I sat through most of the killings with my eyes covered because those images, despite some looking like red paint, would stick in my brain too long.
It was fun to hang out with Domi and who knows, we may start working together again if we can come to an agreement that we're both happy with. I'm still not into horror, but as long as it's strictly red carpet escorting, that's fun so... We shall see! Stranger things have happened.
I enjoyed spending time with Marcia catching up too. We went up the block from her place to a little pizza place that was very delicious. I loved the interior since it was all stone work with pretty furniture. Can't remember the name since I'm tired and it's late, but it's near the Belmont. Check it out next time you're around.
My lovely, lovely, lovely hair took three hours to create. I say you can never be too blonde or have too much chocolate. I'm so blonde I look like a summer baby. I LOVE IT! You really must see Martine at Cush Salon for color and ask for Chassie, the owner, to cut your hair.
It's the cutest, hippest best kept secret of Beverly Hills salons. No pretension, just good hair in a relaxing, hip environment. I feel so glamorous. Just like a movie star after having them treat me to their amazing skills. I had had my hair cut previously up in Beverly Hills at a salon I just walked into because I couldn't take it any longer, but I wish I had waited.
What a difference having your hair cut and colored by people with training and expertise. Plus, they were both so humble about it too. A lovely, lovely, lovely experience. I love being pampered like this. Next week I've got to visit Glen Ivy Day Spa to follow up on today. Full pampering please. I've earned it.
Thank you Adrienne. You're such a good friend to me. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I hope you get this salon lots of media hits and that they provide you with everything you ask for to help them achieve it too! They deserve some media coverage for sure.
If/when my stupid camera works again I'll take a pic of my hair and upload it. Now I'm ready for New Years Eve - watch out boys. Cougar on the prowl...
Okay, enough of that. Real quick rundown of the past week. The Manhattan Beach Christmas Fireworks display was simply fantastic. They had this really fun band leading us all in Christmas and Hanukkah carols for an hour prior. Can't you just see me dancing the Hora loudly singing the Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel song? It was so much fun being silly like that.
What was really cool is that numerous streets are closed off to turn the hill going down to the Manhattan Beach pier into a walk street and it was jam packed wall-to-wall with what seemed like thousands of people out celebrating. Yet, I didn't see one drunk. What a novel concept. Maybe they hit the streets later, but I doubt it.
Maybe because the emphasis was on children with local business, Skechers', and numerous other Downtown Manhattan Beach businesses sponsoring an adorable snow camp area. Yeah Skechers! Thank you everyone for such a delightful community event! The fireworks display went on for almost 1/2 an hour and were set to Christmas music which made it even more fun. I sent numerous friends little videos from my phone to watch. Very exciting!
The inexpensive spaghetti dinner at the MB Fire House was fun too. I wasn't hungry because it was so early when we arrived so I just watched my friend's enjoy everything. I enjoyed the eye candy collecting money though. Too bad I was with my guy friend so it looked like we were together.
Nothing against you bud, but you're cramping my style. LOL. I'm sure I'm cramping yours too. Oh well, next year should be good for both of us since it's 2008 and it's going to be great. We all had fun together. That whole night was a real blast. I love singing along loudly and just goofing around. Great time letting off steam after the hell I'd gone through only a week prior.
What's interesting about that previous hellish experience is that last night I went to a local friend's Christmas gathering and it actually came in handy. During the night she received a call and became afraid for one of her friends who lives up in Hollywood since he mentioned killing himself. Since I'd just been there myself (feeling suicidal) I offered to go with her to help calm her down and offer some of the wisdom I'd gained from my therapist and the Suicide Prevention Hotline (SPH) people to him too.
When we called their hotline (which is 310 391-1253 or toll free in Los Angeles and Orange County 877 727-4747,) they were extremely nice and knowledgable. Did you know there is a Psychiatric Mobile Response Team (PMRT) who will come and be with you within an hour if you call and need help? Their number is 1 800 854-7771 I believe. What I liked about the SPH is that they walked us through how to handle her friend since he wasn't probably going to call them himself that night.
When I called Alcoholics Anonymous' hotline, suicide prevention was beyond their abilities. However, I gave him their contact numbers too since they're a great place to go when you've hit bottom and need ongoing support dealing with your drinking problem. Call 1 866 507-6237 for the national hotline and 310 618-1180 for the local hotline if you need help too ok? You are not alone! There are people who have been where you are too. It's never too late to turn your life around and get help for this disease.
Now if you should run across someone who threatens suicide, the key questions to ask are, "When are you going to do it? Have you thought about how you will do it?" Apparently, although we think it would lead people to actually do it, it's not out of the ordinary to the person you're speaking to and just helps you gauge how serious they really are.
However, I highly recommend leaving stuff like this up to the professionals - call for your own expert advice from the SHP, don't just take mine please.
Isn't it funny how God used something that was meant for evil (me wanting to kill myself) and used it to help someone else for good? The ironies of that night just kept hitting me. Especially when we drove past my friend's old place on our way to her friend's house and it turned out I actually knew the street having known someone who lived there myself!
It also turned out I knew of this hurting man indirectly because my friend who lived on that street at the time had catered his wife's memorial service. Small world. It was just meant to be that I was there for this man I think. When we finally did reach him he kept wondering why I was there and how I knew so much about suicide prevention. When I explained I'd been right there where he was only a few weeks ago, he was blown away. I'm blown away. God has a quirky sense of timing and purpose is all I can say.
I don't think I'll be experiencing anything more like that for a bit since the doctor has prescribed birth control pills to help regulate my hormones. Yeah! Free sex! Just kidding. Although I will admit the thought crossed my mind.
One of the side effects apparently is to have your breasts become larger. If mine do, I won't be able to see my toes! I think that looks retarded on women when that happens. Sorry, no thank you. However, I will say my friend who recently underwent breast augmentation really deserves to have new breasts.
Hers looked like the African women I remember from living in Kenya who would pull this long sad narrow balloon out of their blouses to feed their nursing babies on the bus. Seriously, that bad. If anyone needed fake boobs, my friend does!
What was freaky is that although I had a lot of people praying for her never in a million years did I expect to hear from her the very night of her surgery sounding so chipper and normal. Kind of weirded me out!
She was ecstatic and said she had no pain whatsoever. Even the doctors were shocked at how well she was recovering from the surgery. I was shocked too! She sounded a little frenetic too which was weird. That was explained today when she returned my call asking after her and learned that she'd been drugged then too and barely remembered our conversation.
I'm just so relieved she's doing so well, especially after the heartbreak of Kanye West's mother's death. I was so nervous for my girlfriend because it was going to be a much more complicated surgery than she had originally thought, but I think due to her excellent condition from all her pilates training and all our prayers (two big churches were praying for her) she is doing really, really great. Thank you God.
Mama's got new boobs! Cougar's got new hair! Time to go out and celebrate! Her husband is going to be so happy. I know she's ecstatic. Now this type of re-constructive surgery I support any time any place. Oh, and I also support the new boobs Hermosa Beach is considering. Check out This is Hermosa forum under the 2 lanes vs. 4 lanes smackdown thread for my commentary on boobs in Hermosa Beach. You have to scroll down a bit...
Let's see what else? Third Tuesday was awesome as usual. I forgot how much I missed the encouragement of that group. All 300 plus of us prayed for a quick end to the Writer's Strike. It was really sad to see how many people in the audience it was affecting. I hope it ends soon. I want an awards season!
I bumped into my old friend Matilda and just felt like hanging out with her all night rather than socialize like I normally do. I'm so glad I did. After hearing another encouraging, funny message from the pastor, we generally break into small groups to pray for each other. Usually there's 4-5 people in each group, but again, this evening it was just me and Matilda. Since we'd been talking all evening we knew what to pray for each other.
However, I wasn't prepared to have her pray for my family situation because I hadn't mentioned it as a prayer request and all of sudden my floodworks began. I just stood there silently crying with crocodile tears just flowing uncontrollably down my face while she prayed for healing of my entire family because the breakdown of my family relationships deeply, deeply, deeply affects me.
I know I've hurt them too, but at a certain point there needs to be forgiveness and letting go of grudges. I can't undo the past and even Jesus forgave me my sins (which have been many!) I just need to stay away from everyone until I feel like this cloud of condemnation has passed and it's ended. May never happen, but I'm praying it does. Enough's enough. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. Now to get on with living.
Or as they say in Al Anon:
Be honest with yourself
Take it Easy – Tension is Harmful
Play – Find recreation and hobbies
Keep on Trying whenever you fail
Learn all the facts about Alcoholism
Attend Alanon meetings often
Try to dominate, nag, scold or complain
Lose Your Temper Try to push anyone but yourself
Keep bringing up the past Keep checking up on your alcoholic
Wallow in self-pity
Make threats you don’t intend to carry out
Be a doormat
Who knows how this family stuff will all resolve itself, but I have a real peace about avoiding the parent's gathering this year. Although I'll miss seeing my oldest niece and my aunts and uncles since this is the time of year I normally see the relatives.
However, I'm hoping to go to San Diego for New Years' so maybe then I'll pop by to visit or even stay over. Who knows? I can't think that far ahead right now and they're all very busy people with busy lives too.
I did receive a nice Christmas card from one set of relatives which was very comforting and sweet of them to remember me. I'm so behind on sending out cards I really must devote some time to it asap.
My visit to Niki Shadrow's 20's party at the new 86 nightclub was fun as usual. It was great to hear the old timey 20's music and see people dressed up in flapper costumes. Reminded me of the Little Rascals. Remember them? Oh tay buckwheat.
Also, the Toledo Show performed and they were amazing as usual. I'd actually written a press release promoting the Stories from the Red Room documentary about The Toledo Show and Harvelle's. Yes, we have one in Redondo Beach now. And yes, The Toledo Show performs there too! You really have to see this R & B cabaret act - they're great! A little risque, but sexy as all get out. Click on the above link for a little preview.
My ex-boyfriend used to love Harvelle's in Santa Monica and loved the blues so he got me into it too. I love that little hole-in-the-wall place on 4th. Lots of good memories there. I'm glad they're down in RB now too. I really must get a group together some night and go hit it. Too fun.
My cookie exchange party just prior was a lot of fun too. I sent some of the cookies I collected to the soldiers for them to enjoy. I've never seen so many varieties of cookies in one place before. That was a cute party since it was a lot of women from the Republican's Women's Federation. Only in the South Bay. Never, ever in Hollywood I think!:)
Here's a little blurb on them:
Manhattan Beach RWF is a dynamic group of like-minded conservative
women with shared values. We are a diverse mix of ages, backgrounds and
professions - but share a common desire to elect Republicans! We meet
every month, usually the second Tuesday at 7 p.m. in a member's home.
We have a speaker each meeting, 2-3 fundraisers per year and social
So, care to join? Email Rosalie at ManhattanBeachRWF (at) cfrw (dot) org. I just think it's kind of funny and wish my mom would join since this is so her thing. She's the most rabid Republican I know and just cracks me up with her passion. I guess I come by my political activism honestly. Only mine is on the local level only.
What else to tell you all. I think that's all and if it's not, oh well. I'm very tired. Can't wait to visit with my girlfriend and hear all about her breast surgery recovery. I'm going to try and make kugel as a treat since her Bubby used to make it all the time as comfort food.
Can't you see it now? A shitska baking a traditional Jewish dish? Oy vey! But she needs some comforting so I'm going to give it a whirl. Should be interesting.:)
Okay, that's really all. Have a good day (seeing as it's 2am and morning already.) Good thing I don't have anywhere pressing to go till my 1:30pm lunch tomorrow. Yeah!
86 nightclub, Alcoholics Anonymous, Arclight, Bubby, Cush Salon, Domiziano Arcangeli, Dreidel Song, Glen Ivy Day Spa, Harvelle's, Hora, Joy Kennelly, Kuaia, Kugel, Little Rascals, Manhattan Beach Republican Women's Federation, Skechers, Stephen Sondheim, Stories from the Red Room, Suicide Prevention Hotline, Sweeney Todd, The Joy Writer wordpress blog, The Toledo Show, This is Hermosa, United Airlines
As a publicist, when you're pitching the media you have very limited time to get your point across. As a result, you learn to speak quickly, succinctly and cover all your bases in a minute or less.
That training came in handy today when I participated in the pitching contest in front of 3 venture capitalists judges during the final day of StartupLA which was a great "unconference" as they like to call it!
I've never, ever pitched a product in person like that before in front of an audience no less and it was a little intimidating to say the least, but afterwards I knew I'd nailed it. I was affirmed by the judges who said I'd done a great job which made me hopeful that I'd won, but still unsure because there were a couple others I felt were good too. I was so nervous my face was twitching during the judge's critique! I hope no one else saw that!:)
I wasn't able to stay because I had my class and asked a friend to accept on my behalf in the event I did win. She agreed as long as the main organizer agreed and she was fine with it so I raced off to Hollywood.
I was on such a high! It was like all these years of toiling away behind the scenes had paid off and I was validated as a professional in front of my peers. I've sold things since I was a child and am extremely competitive. As a result, when I came to the event today it was with the sole purpose of winning. I didn't even know there was a prize, but when I came out of my class I had 2 messages telling me I'd won a $1,000!
How cool is that? What a great event! I know how much work goes into organizing events having produced numerous events over the years. The speakers and sessions they produced were very impressive. I hope you make the next one!
I caught the tail end of Jason Calacanis' speech the night before and he totally cracked us up with his blunt observations on what it's like to be an entrepreneur. Anyone who's been doing this for any length of time could totally relate. He was a riot! If you EVER get the chance to hear him speak, do. You won't regret it at all.
He runs Mahalo along with Mark Jeffrey and it seems like it's a very cool company. A human driven search engine I believe - very cool.
StartupLA was very interesting because there were so many tech people and I haven't seen that many since the early days of the tech boom. People who are involved in the tech world are always extremely creative, extremely bright and extremely driven which I just love being around.
It was a great experience and I highly, highly recommend you attend the next one when it happens. I met some amazing VC's, heard some great speakers, saw people I haven't seen in a while, and met some cool entrepreneurs. Very fun and informative. Loved it!
Now to collect my money. Still can't believe I won a $1,000 doing what I do all the time! I'm thinking I should hire myself out to help entrepreneurs sell their ideas to VC's as a business! Couldn't you just see it now? I could pitch people's businesses at various VC contests (if such beasts even exist), win the prize money and take a commission off the money funded!
We'll see. Stranger things have happened, eh? I just got a call from someone whose work I highly respect and it came out of the blue. Could be a new direction for me and I'm all for it. For those of you interested in learning what it was I pitched, here's my winning 60 second pitch about Travel Play Company and the Travel Tray in a nutshell (give or take a few things because I was in the zone and can't really remember everything!)
$1,000 60 second winning pitch
My name is Joy Kennelly and I've been involved in PR & Marketing for the past 10 years. Recently I was hired to represent Travel Play Company and the Travel Tray for children. (I had a sample of the product and pulled it out to show how it worked and what it looked like.) This helps children keep their food and toys in their laps when traveling.
It retails for $19.95 or $24 and is manufactured for $3, but with mass production can be reduced to $1.50. The main target market we see this product sold to is the auto industry, next
is the airline industry and basically anyone who has children. We've sold 1,000 pieces to date with minimal advertising support.
The company is looking to sell the patent, license the product or sell the company. I see it as a company in a box because it's ready to go with the right funding.
Okay, now I'm fuzzy. I think that's all I said - correct me if I'm wrong. I was so nervous! Anyway, it was a great experience and I'm eager to do it again for other companies and products. I love competition! Plus, I love the money! We shall see!
BTW, Travel Play really is for sale as is the patent. Contact me if you're interested. (the contact button is messed up and you really do need to contact me for any info ok? Thanks!)
Let's make a deal!
There was a minor mis-connect afterwards which prevented me from taking the check home tonight, but I've been assured the "check is in the mail." Can't wait! Pretty cool for a minute's work, eh?
Another room felt like Wizard of Oz on drugs... Huge almost 2 story fantastical Anime sculptures, HUGE floor to ceiling, wall-to-wall paintings filled with bold colors, wild crazy images and lots of detail.
It was a little overwhelming after the day I'd been having. Almost too much sensory overload because the Geffen is a HUGE almost warehouse like space with lots of large rooms filled with lots of amazing, over-the-top pieces of art as sculptures, paintings, installations, media etc. I LOVED IT!
If you see only one art show this year, please make the effort to see this one. It will blow you away. I can only imagine what the curator and programmer went through to pull this all together.
I've never seen such variety of work on such a large scale ever. It was like walking through a crazy mixed up world of Japanese Anime art that someone crazy had come up with, but not in a scary way, more like a great big adult playhouse if this makes sense.
This exhibit is absolutely brilliant in my humble opinion. I'm going to go back to see it when there aren't so many people around, however, with the turn-out tonight I'm sure the crowds aren't going away any time soon. I think all MOCA's members came out for this event it was so packed! People watching was at a high because of it being Halloween weekend - lots of costumes, interesting people and children too!
My friend and I arrived on the early side and there were still lines out the doors for the video room and the Louis Vuitton store. Simply breathtaking and awe-inspiring to think all that art came from one person. I was blown away and I'm sure you will be too. Check it out and let me know what you think!
You have to like modern art obviously! I believe I heard rumor it's the only US Exhibit Murakami is holding. The show runs through February 11, 2008 - Run, don't walk to see this exhibit. You'll be glad you did.
Afterwards enjoyed great fish and chips at The Village Idiot courtesy of my good friend Adrienne of Magnolia PR who celebrated my win with me. She's had some great wins for clients recently too and as soon as she sends me the tear sheets I'll share it with you. She and I work really well together and she's going to help me spread the word on Travel Play Company too which will be great!
It's a Small World, Japanese Anime art, Jason Calacanis, Louis Vuitton, Magnolia PR, Mahalo, Murakami, StartupLA, The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, The Village Idiot, Travel Play Company, Wizard of Oz
Sometimes you just need a good friend to tell it like it is and remind you that God is in control, not you. I keep saying I'm turning my life over to His will and His leading in my life, but deep down inside I keep thinking that means I'll still get to play in Hollywood with all my friends I've known for years and years.
Not so. I was reminded tonight by my good friend that when one door closes, another opens. Right now it seems like God is closing the door for me to do more personal publicity for actors and it's very sad to me. I LOVE that kind of work. I love helping people brand themselves and create business and opportunities from that identity.
I LOVE IT! It makes me very happy and I think I'm good at it. Others do too, but they can't afford my services (at least the ones I'm meeting. Maybe I need to meet more better ones. Ya think?)
For whatever reason though, it's just not happening right now and I have to accept that fact as a fact and stop living in denial. Maybe I'll go back to doing it down the road, but for now... Not happening. I'm beginning to realize I don't really know what God wants for my life anymore.
That's why my friend telling me she knows I have a gift for publicity and that maybe God wants to use my talents in representing the South Bay is a little overwhelming, but also encouraging. Maybe this is the right direction to take.
I have to admit though. When I think about living AND working down here I feel like I'm going to be bored out of my skull! What is going on at night other than bars and happy hours? Will someone please tell me? Lots of stuff to do on the weekends and during the day, but nights? WHAT IS THERE TO DO - ESPECIALLY IF YOU'RE SINGLE???
Maybe I need to start planning some parties and get some events going or something. I don't know, but I do know that if I am going to stay down here I need to entertain myself. I can't deal with the thought that the highlight of my night is going to be meeting a friend of mine down at Barnes & Nobles and seeing what the latest mags are. I'll shrivel up and die! Not that there's anything wrong with it, but not all the time!
No wonder people drink so much down here. LOL. They're bored! I'm bored! Oh well. I need to stop ragging on my little home town and start doing something to make it more fun. I'm sure there's other people like me who would love to do stuff at night too.
I can only hit Java Man so often too. Love that place, but have to say, the customer service with some of the guys working there has gotten kind of bad. I don't know why. I'm not tipping any different than I have in the past. I am ordering the same stuff. I don't know. Just an fyi, mr. owner guy. Especially the Sunday closing crew. What's up their butt?
I was so bored I threw an impromptu night BBQ on Tuesday and all nine people I invited showed up. That was with two hours notice. I think they're bored too. This community needs something pulling the singles and those without children of the town together outside of bars. Just a thought.
I'm tired. Just felt like blogging. It's been awhile because I've been busy and other stuff taking up my time, but I miss sharing. Maybe it's a little too personal, but I always hope that perhaps other people will relate to what I've written and will be comforted or encouraged to know they're not alone feeling the way they do.
One of the things the former shrink from the Women of Faith conference I attended last weekend said is, "When we reveal, then we heal." (This was a very fun conference, but kind of Christian lite so you had to be there which is why I'm not covering it. Check out the link for more details. It's good, just not what I expected. Laughed a lot though!)
I kept trying to read bits and pieces of the book over the breaks because it had such an intriguing title and he's such a great author on numerous topics. I almost didn't get it because I still have a gift card from the women's retreat I attended and was going to get it later, but then I read his counseling of an overweight patient about how to effectively lose weight - one pound at a time, one week at a time (more details in the book - read it! It's really great. This is my 2nd time reading it now.) which was a concept I hadn't really grasped because I'm the "I want it now and if I can't have it right now why bother" type person.
However, that idea really resonated with me and since reading the book I've joined a gym again. Time to hit the ground running so to speak. Maybe I'll eat more salads now too. Maybe Weight Watchers is next? Who knows? :)
Back to the book though, I digress. What Dr. Cloud explains is that there are 9 certain traits and characteristics of successful people that he was able to analyze after meeting so many "de ja vu" people. He calls them that because he kept meeting people who reminded him of other people and he thought maybe he'd met them before because there were so many similarities, but then he realized these people all addressed life in the same successful way. That's the genesis of the book. I highly, highly recommend it. It's easy to read, lots of examples with real people not celebrities which would make you think you can't attain that life, and very informative.
There's a little study guide that goes along with it and if you bought the two together at the conference I was attending you got a discount - I bought both.:) Now I'm starting to read the daily step by step guide to changing your life in 30 days. It's very scriptural so if that's not your thing don't bother. But if you are interested in hearing God's perspective on you and your dreams, then get it. I'm enjoying reading it too.
Speaking of goal setting... A few of my friends and I are going to start the Goal Gals back up again real soon. (It's something I created back in the mid-90's which my friend Cynthia named when she was part of it where I get groups of people together to accomplish goals in three month increments.)
I'm excited about starting again because I always get so much support in groups like this and accomplish so much more than I would by myself. It's a good time to start too because pretty soon I'm going to be very busy again. I'm very excited that my producer/writer/mentor friend, Marcia, is going to help me create my adoption doc because I'm just way too close to be objective. Should be interesting...at least I hope!
I'm also looking forward to taking Chris Howard's seminar again next weekend. He takes everything that's taught on goal setting and just kicks it up to a whole other level. I was so inspired last time I attended can't wait to attend this one. I think you can still sign up for free. Check it out. If you're a conference attender like I am!:)
I'm still loving working with my artist client, Gali Rotstein. She's creating some really cool new art pieces and is busy in the studio. I'm busy pitching her to more and more galleries. We have some pending, but until things are confirmed I can't really discuss them here. Just know as soon as we know, you will know. There's also a very cool women's magazine (one of my favorites actually) interested in her story too and if I get her that hit, it will be major! Say a prayer!:)
Otherwise, wrapped the car gig last week (although they're not done, but I was - HA HA) and have been busy catching up on things this week as a result. I don't know how people work 9am - 5pm. I really don't. It's so machine like. But the money's nice I guess. However, according to my Henry Cloud book, it's more important to do something that makes your heart sing.
So, I'm off to read more and learn what's going to make my heart sing! Have a good one all.
FYI, this was originally one of my blogs in July and I decided to submit it to the papers to share my view on what's going on in the South Bay. This was printed this week in the Easy Reader and another shorter letter I wrote was published last week in the Beach Reporter.
I think the Easy Reader editors made it even better and I'm proud to have my name attached to this. Now hopefully more people will read this and realize it's time for a change.
Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend. Now here's my letter....
I haven't written something like this in a while, but I woke up and feel
compelled to share this viewpoint in hopes maybe people will read it down here,
see themselves and think maybe, just maybe we need to change...
I'm referring to Manhattan Beach and those who live here. In fact all of the South Bay and especially Hermosa Beach. It deeply saddens me that when I invited a girlfriend to come down here to join me and some of my new friends for dinner one of the first things she shared with me was a girlfriend of hers
who'd gone out down here five years ago was drugged and then raped in a parking
lot of a bar.
Then, over lunch with my mom yesterday, when I told her I'm starting to socialize in Manhattan Beach,
she said, “Well you know what they call that city don't you. Drunken Manhattan Beach.”
That is so sad to me. Since when has alcohol become such a dominating force in a sleepy bedroom community that two separate people have such a bad impression of this beautiful seaside area? I grew up down here. I attended the local elementary schools, finished four years of high school and then after I
left for college, not returning until now.
I don't want to come off as holier than thou or whatever because I'm not. I enjoy my mojito as much as the next person, but I want to ask those living in the South Bay to stop and think for a moment if the legacy we want to leave to generations to come is bigger than the fact this is a party town where the big
focus is getting drunk.
I was surprised to learn an acquaintance mention that her daughter was turning 14 and she knew she'd have to provide alcohol at her birthday party, but she was concerned about how much to offer. Since when does serving alcohol to minors constitute a good party?
Are we going to continue to be a community that turns a blind eye and condones alcoholism for under-age children? Are we going to continue to teach our children that this is how we live - drinking all the time? Are the police going to continue to turn a blind eye to the rampant open containers on the
beach during events like the 6-person volleyball tournament and events on major holidays?
It sickens me that everything else we do down here - the wonderful free outdoor summer concerts available in all the South Bay cities, the amazing fireworks displays available during the 4th of July, the
creative, entrepreneurial minds and businesses that come out of here are completely overshadowed by alcohol and partying.
Maybe our International Surf Festival deserves national and international attention for the quality of our lifeguards. Maybe our art scene deserves national and international attention for the diverse, unique, art festivals. Maybe the wonderful sports associations that host numerous city-wide sports like volleyball, softball, and soccer should receive more attention.
Maybe the creative recreation department that offers such a wide variety of inexpensive activities for the community deserves attention. Maybe our multiple adult schools that are so inexpensive, yet so popular and offer such a wide array of classes, deserves attention. Or the classy Manhattan Open Tennis Tournament
or the interesting accomplished people who live down here like our local newscaster, professional athletes or CEO's, or our many volunteers. What about our education system, our shopping, and of course our beautiful beaches and piers?
As a publicist interested in the image and reputation of where I grew up I don't want my hometown to be casually dismissed by guests I’ve invited to visit as, “Oh, that city? That's where you go to get drunk. You have to go visit there at least once to see the party scene and get wasted. “
I want the South Bay to be known for something other than alcohol and if it means hitting up the chambers to do publicity for them, then that's what I'll do. If it means starting a coalition of businesses, organizations, citizens, government officials, police and others interested in making a change, then I will. I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!
I pray my words bear fruit and sober up those of you who are using alcohol as the grease to promote your businesses, or score women (or men), or to avoid reality, or pain. Please stop. I know it's a disease, but let's not perpetuate it to future generations.
It’s time we as a community take back our beaches and our nightlife and create an environment where all are respected and protected. I’m sick of public drunkenness as a common occurrence. It’s time for a change!
We can make a difference in our community-- one activity, one business event, one story at a time.
Where to begin? Spent lunch with the Crown Jewel Club Girls over at Shade Hotel in Manhattan Beach as a fund-raiser for this delightful organization. Here's the mission statement from their Web site:
"Crown Jewel Club is
dedicated to giving at-risk, inner-city girls the opportunity to learn
basic disciplines in the areas of basic manners, grooming, table
etiquette, and how to conduct themselves in social settings.
is to provide a positive environment that fosters improved self-esteem,
self-confidence, respect for themselves and others, self-awareness,
self-nurturing, the value of giving, perseverance, and the importance
of education, family and friendships."
Just a wonderful organization with wonderful success stories, it brought tears to my eyes to hear the children tell NBC weatherman, Fritz Coleman, and NBC Co-Anchor, Colleen Williams, (who both co-hosted the luncheon) how "Mrs. Phillips" has changed their lives.
Mrs. Phillips is the founder of this two-year old organization which has radically changed the lives of the girls who have gone through the training. I spoke to the school counselor afterwards and she said that she's been at that school for 10 years and there were always fights and disagreements among the girls in the Spring. Now, since the program has been in place, that behavior has stopped. Also, this group helped one little girl choose not to join a gang when asked to. Man...
My two little favorite girls when asked about themselves responded - "I love sushi and Mrs. Phillips." The 2nd little girl said, "I love Mrs. Phillips. She's taught me how not to be so ghetto." How cute is that? Each little girl was wearing the cutest bonnet too. Check out the Web site for pictures and more details.
There were also some real amazing little girls who wanted to be doctors, fashion designers, investigators, and one little girl who seemed destined for politics telling us how she wanted to uncover domestic violence or something like that. This from girls ages 9-11 years old living in South Central!
Shade Hotel was a really beautiful venue for this event too. They closed down the bar area and the outdoor patio for the luncheon. Free organic manicures were offered by Green Bliss Eco Spa, a traveling spa, at one end. Delicious tea sandwiches, Caesar salad, fresh fruit and petit fours were elegantly displayed and prepared by Marley Majcher ofThe Party Goddess.
Five years ago when I was in the catering business (has anyone ever avoided it completely?) I worked for her company and actually ended up serving at her wedding. She is such a fun party girl. Half the room was formal china, silver, chandeliers to represent her husband, and the other half of the room was this wild animal print chairs, brightly colored plates, cups, etc (at least that's what I remember. I also remember serving jello shots a lot too - that was one fun party for those wedding guests!)
She's extremely creative, very smart business woman. I highly recommend her company to you. You can tell her I referred you as we re-acquainted ourselves at the event. She remembered me too which was fun. She produced this event and it was top notch all the way. The goody bags are wonderful with so many sponsored gifts I can't go into them all here. Just know they are spectacular and most enjoyable.
The one funny moment of the day was seeing the former Mayor of Manhattan Beach, Steve A. Napolitano, there and mistaking him for someone who worked for the hotel because of his 60's style brown shirt and matching brown pants that looked like it could be a uniform if you glanced at him quickly. I couldn't figure out why he was walking out to join all the ladies until he was acknowledged from the stage as who he was! My bad.
I had seen him at the other women's conference event I went to and couldn't figure out why a young, handsome guy like himself would attend an obviously all-female event (Okay, not really, but why did he keep showing up though?), but when it was mentioned that he was part of some other governmental office it became clear he was schmoozing his constituency (although he's very low-key - I think he likes to be supportive too. How do I know though? I don't even know the guy - only spoke a few words to him today! I'm sure everyone else in town knows him though. He seems a little shy.)
He was very gracious to the charity and offered his office to match anyone's $5,000 grant they made that day. I don't think it was that type money crowd, but this was my first Manhattan Beach event. I'm just getting the lay of the land down here.
Who knows what goes on in the Soroptomist International of Manhattan Beach? Seems like a great organization to be part of though since they do so much charitable work. I like that. I might have to see what all is entailed to be part of it because I'm impressed with the women I have met to date.
Then drove like a mad woman to Gali's (trying to burn out the additives in my engine like the mechanic suggested this morning when I took my car in for review again.) It was rather fun speeding full bore around the curves of the Sepulveda pass in my red sports car. Fortunately, no police were around because I was booking! Just doing what my mechanic suggested. A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do!
Met with Gali to discuss strategy and next steps. Together with her designer friend, Cynthia Combs, they have created the most classy press kit from the raw press materials I gave them. I was so happy! It was beyond what I imagined it could be. Those two are EXTREMELY talented. Too bad Cynthia's moving to South Carolina to start her eco events business, but I'm sure anything she does will be first class all the way. I'm also sure you'll be hearing about her sooner than later. Mark my words.
I feel good about what Gali and I have planned now and just need to implement everything. This week is going to be extremely busy! I'm networking like a crazy woman - chamber lunch tomorrow afternoon, Third Tuesday in the evening (don't really network there, but catch up with friends.) Wednesday night - another chamber mixer. I'm intent on checking out the local scene since I normally never hang out down here in the South Bay and am curious who participates.
Thursday morning - another networking breakfast (I overslept last week and hope to make this one - my nights can get late though!) and then that evening two events- the Simpson's movie animation art gallery opening with a cool crowd in attendance (I'm tired and not explaining it properly, but trust me it's going to be great!!!! Fred Willard anyone? How about a Flamin' Moe? I CANNOT WAIT!!!) followed by the EPPS summer mixer which is always a good time.
I pitched myself to a lot of the publicists in that organization to help with their overflow PR work. It will be nice to put the name to the faces. Also, to see old friends I don't see except for these events. Very good group of people. Highly recommend joining if you're an independent publicist, or any type actually.
Okay, I'm getting tired. I do need to say something though about the show, Age of Love. Although at one point I was hoping to like Jen, the oldest one of the bunch, as she is the spokesmodel for the clothing site I was approached to represent, can't say that I do. I think that woman is a Cougar with a capital "C." She even said it herself in tonight's episode, she only wants what she wants.
I WOULD NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, EVER date someone 18 years younger, especially if my son was that age - that's just sick and wrong. I have gone out socially with much, much younger men, but I would NEVER, ever seriously consider dating any of them! I think the youngest I ever hung out with was 18 years and even that was a huge age difference at the time. He was a model - what can I say? First red head I ever hung out socially with too. Too much a Daddy thing since my Dad's a red head - just not my thing. I like my men dark and handsome. Know anyone? :)
BTW, took my profile off yahoo because the person's profile I hid popped up in my box as reviewing my profile and I couldn't figure out how to remove him. If he's not interested enough to contact me, then why stare at his face right? However, it would have been nice, but would have been's do not a relationship make. I think I'm taking a break from online stuff for a bit except maybe EHarmony still. Too much going on this week.
Back to age vs. beauty, whoops, 20's vs. 40's. I don't think it's a fair playing field for someone that much older to pursue someone younger like that - I think what next week's episode will reveal is that Mark (isn't that his name? I'm sorry, he's not that exciting to me - handsome, but a little too naive) is more interested in just having sex with her than having a real relationship.
Also, that woman seems more interested in adding him to her (sex) belt than having a real relationship too I think. She seems too hard and calculating to be anything other than a (fill in the blank.) Can you tell I'm over wanting to work with that company?
However, maybe I should watch what I say seeing as she's the assistant to the head coach of the Lakers and if I ever need a favor, she'd probably be the one I need to deal with!:) Jen, you're a very nice woman and I'm sure you had only the best motives on the show. Really, I do. Truce?
I have to admit though, that show cracks me up when some of the earlier 40 year old women got kicked off because they were bemoaning the fact that time was slipping away (or words to that effect.) I've been there, but not on national TV!!! No reality TV for me - thank you very much. I especially would never go on national TV and announce my age to the world. A lady never reveals her age and a gentleman never asks.
I had to teach that to the little cutie patootie four year old boy who was watching softball with me the other week. I can be real kid-like around kids because I just love playing around and being silly with them which they love too. I guess I was a little too much for his serious little mind and he asked me with great concern, "How old ARE you?" I just love how honest little kids can be.
I kept teasing him and telling him I wanted to pick him up and give him a big hug he was so cute. I told him too, not only is he handsome, but I bet he's smart too, to which he replied, "Yes I am" with all the bravado his tiny little body could muster. HOW CUTE IS THAT!!! They're all coming to my BBQ so I can't wait to see him again. Very fun little boy.
Speaking of which, my little boy (9 years old now!) just sent me the sweetest thank you card for the Star Wars stamps and funny reggae head pencil I sent him for fun. He lives with his adoptive parents outside DC and he's the best little guy. I just love him. I'm going to buy some fun stationary to correspond back to him. Little boys are fun!
It's the big boys you have to watch out for. Just teasing. I wish I had a big boy in my life about now. Are you feeling me single girls? Jen? HA! LOL. In any case, today was fun. Tomorrow is going to be busy so I best be getting to bed.
Age of Love, Colleen Williams, Crown Jewel Club, EPPS, Fred Willard, Fritz Coleman, Gali Rotstein, Green Bliss Eco Spa, Marley Majcher, Shade Hotel, Simpsons Movie, Steve Napolitano, The Party Goddess