Definitely stole the show for me!
P.S. I took this video with my Pure Digital Flip. Oh little Flip, how I love thee :)
Definitely stole the show for me!
P.S. I took this video with my Pure Digital Flip. Oh little Flip, how I love thee :)
I’ve tried to stay relatively quiet on the political front—the media can’t seem to keep its gossipy mouth shut as of late. But on the positive tip, I wanted to post Obama’s South Carolina victory speech. His focus on unity and rejection of bi-partisanship politics is so on point heading into Super Tuesday. His vision gives me goose bumps.
For more perspective on the Obama campaign, Jack and Jill Politics follows it closely and gives a great peak into the mind of the middle class Black voter. It’s one of my daily reads. I also love the Huffington Post and its mind-boggling editorial posts. Also great for up-to-the-minute breaking news, especially if you’re a crazy Internet person like me who refreshes your page(s) every couple minutes.
For marketers, the online social world presents quite the conundrum—how do marketers utilize such a buzzin’ space without being perceived as obtrusive? Because now more than ever, it’s all about the user's time, not the marketer’s. Now more than ever, marketers aren’t the ones calling all the shots; people are voicing what they want and need, and companies are rushing to provide.
Such was the discussion at last night’s fabulous MITX event, Social Media: the Opportunities and Implications for Marketers, which was held at the Parris Lounge. Larry Weber, social media guru and chairman of the W2 group, moderated a panel comprised of some heavy-hitters from the social media space: Tom Arrix from Facebook, Suzanne Skop from MySpace, and Juan Fernando Santos from Studiocom. In addition, Jeff Taylor, Founder and CEO of newcomer Eons weighed in from a start-up’s perspective (and he absolutely blew my socks off btw), and Pauline Ores from IBM spoke on behalf of a 100-year-old business adapting to this new digital space.
A few key points from the panel discussion:
But what about marketing? Where do advertisers fit in? Well, you see, no one really knows. Someone mentioned an influencer-type of scene, where people tell their friends/virtual community about their favorite products. But if the company is pushing that, it sounds a lot like a payless pyramid scheme… or the failed Facebook Beacon.
Which brings me to my final takeaway: insiders from the leading social media sites really have no idea how to market to their users! And I don’t say this as an insult to any of the panelists, but rather as an exclamation of excitement. We’ve got all this great data, unbelievable segmentation possibilities, and HUNGRY Internet/mobile users who simply can’t get enough of the virtual world. So much opportunity, and so many kinks to be worked out. As Larry Weber put it last night, right now in the social media space, it’s a matter of maturation. We’re encountering, as he put it, “first generation hiccups.” Example: Coke friending his daughter on Facebook. Yeah, that’s pretty freaking lame.
So don’t let the heavy-hitters fool you; they do not have the golden equation that will magically make their users interested in marketing. We’re all mixing potions--or, in our lives, scribbling away at the whiteboard--together. And what fun it is!
Missed Part I? Read it here.
Day 4: Tuesday, January 1, 2008
Health: Can I get a definition?
I’ve been awake for almost an hour now, and I haven’t felt any overwhelming desire to eat. Not once. Breakfast sandwich? No thanks. Crispy, warm and fluffy waffles? Mmm, I’ll pass. So perhaps I’ve really committed to the placebo affect of this “the 3rd day is the hardest day” business, or maybe it’s actually true. Or maybe I’ve inflicted enough permanent damage on my metabolism to buy some time before my body starts to eat itself again. The point is I’m not uncomfortable. And that, my friend, is worth a filling cup of Smooth Move any day.
One of the requirements for this detoxification endeavor was maintaining a relatively normal life. I told myself that I had to keep working out, taking my vitamins, accomplishing my work effectively. Otherwise, it wasn’t worth it to me.
Today is New Year’s Day. I convinced myself that the gym wasn’t open, so I didn’t bother checking to see if I actually could go. And this is the slippery slope that concerns me. I’ve started to use the state that I’m in as a justification for “taking it easy,” for giving myself just a little more leniency with what I’m doing. I mean, I suppose if this was a more permanent circumstance, it would be a more significant cause for evaluation.
But, is this the subconscious dynamic that feeds people with eating disorders? To go easy, be lazy to maintain reserves a bit and facilitate feeling ok, but continue the harmful behavior so that working hard again is delayed?
January 2, 2008 12:02 a.m.
So, in a strange and very appropriate twist on today’s observations, I’ve stumbled upon a TLC program about people addicted to food. It’s funny, the way they describe their eating high, I feel almost similar about not eating. The hunger is a strangely powerful feeling, exhilarating almost. Being hungry has become a normal part of feeling. And perhaps I should feel guilt like they do, for not giving my body the nutrients it craves, as they bombard theirs with horribly unhealthy sugars and enriched carbohydrates. How is it different? Neither of us is getting what we need.
It helps to remind myself (or lie to myself?) that this is a detox, not a diet. It’s dangerous because I do feel thinner, and satisfied when I look in the mirror. Am I confusing my body’s deterioration with something that only appears attractive? Or is this detox actually doing its job? My skin and my eyes are clear. My face looks warm and glowing. My cheeks are flushed. I’ve been having great hair days.
I look healthy.
Anyway, I didn’t feel any overwhelming, I-can’t-do-it-anymore desire to eat today. I guess I’m getting used to it. I wonder if my mind will have a harder time recovering from this than my body will. By the time I’ve trained myself to eliminate food from the things that I want, it’ll be time to ease myself back into having it.
Morale: Didn’t think I’d still be doing this. Scarily impressed and surprised at my will power.
Motivation: The heaviest man alive bathing in bed, eating tacos, and being ok with it.
Day 5: Wednesday, January 2, 2008
I WANT COFFEE AND I WANT IT NOW
I have an unnatural amount of energy today. Doing laundry, I ran up and down the stairs. At the gym, I worked out 70% but without struggle or dizziness. I mentioned on an earlier day that I feel thinner. And I do. But a strange phenomenon is taking place that honestly, is really unappreciated. Unfortunately I don’t have a scale, but I estimate that I’ve lost 4 to 6 lbs over the past 4.5 days. That’s a fast drop. Especially since it involves my body eating muscle to keep fat reserves (also unappreciated). But my abs, well, they have the loose skin syndrome. I feel like if I threw on a bathing suit and ran in place, I could absolutely be a worst beach body on the cover of US Weekly.
I mean, I don’t even know how to counteract that.
Breaking News: My roommate will officially begin her master cleanse tomorrow morning. How will I benefit from this? Well, she has purchased, as required, laxative tea. The same one that I have been enjoying in fact, but hers is chocolate flavored. Yum. Simple things bring me exceptional elation.
Other Breaking News: I’ve decided that day 6 will be the last day. That’s tomorrow. That means that I can wake up on Friday morning, jump out of bed like a kid on Christmas, and sprint to Starbucks for a triple-grande soy latte if I damn-well want to! Will I do that? Hell yeah I will, and not only because I’ve had about $40 in Starbucks gift cards from Christmas burning a hole in my pocket for the past week.
More Breaking News: I’m a tid bit constipated. I’ve read several suggestions to rectify (ha ha) that.
So, what’ll it be: Stay plugged up, endure nauseating salt water or shoot something up my ass? I think I’ll go with number 1. Thanks.
Morale: I’m pretty fucking hungry, ok?
Motivation: As Larry David would say, I’m looking prettay prettay good (except for the loose skin thing).
Day 6: Thursday, January 3, 2008
So, you’re probably wondering why exactly I’ve chosen to cut my detox short by one day. Well, as much fun as it is watching my skin get too big for my body, I feel like I’ve accomplished what I set out to accomplish. I didn’t cheat. I didn’t demolish any relationships via mood swings. I didn’t eat any of my friends. If I stop now, I’ll have been in control the entire time. Do I think I could go another day? I absolutely could. But, like I said before, I really just wanted to see if I could do it. And I did.
Also, I only have about a day’s worth of lemonade ingredients left. ☺
January 4, 2008 12:00 a.m.
How do I feel, now that I have but one night of peaceful slumber in between me and eating? I’m excited. I’m also relatively nervous that I’ll be so ecstatic to eat, that I will start inhaling food with no regard for my body’s rusty ability to process it.
Maybe I’ll miss my hunger. We’ve sort of bonded. And I can’t tell if I’ll be relieved or disappointed to once again set my alarm clock. Tomorrow is the last morning that my bowels will jar me awake at 8 a.m.
Motivation: If I gave up now, I’d have to re-evaluate my life.
3 Days Later: Monday, January 7, 2008.
So, I’ve been eating for roughly three days now. I have to say, I feel better. But I’m still not sure which lifestyle is more desirable: One where you never have to think about when to stop eating, what to eat, when to eat, how to eat. Where food doesn’t exist, except when you want it. A life where if you can train yourself to find pleasure elsewhere, it’s almost just as satisfying as fulfilling a craving for food.
OR, a life where your body can have what it needs when it needs it. Both are mind-numbingly simple and excruciatingly complex – based of course of which state you’re in. The grass is once again, always greener.
As a finale, I’ve created a conclusive Lemonade Diet pro-con list based on my experience. Hope you enjoyed the tale.
Haven’t put a hair post up in awhile! I think it’s time. But don’t fret, my straight-haired friends, this one might appeal to you as well (well... maybe).
I wore my hair chemically relaxed for over a decade, from the age of 11 to about 23. And it really put a strain my hair, causing it to be very brittle and dry. Consequently, I couldn’t really play with color. But now that I’m finished with burning relaxers and all the complications they bring (like jagged split ends and an abnormal fear of chlorine), I’m free to color my hair however I want without having to worry about entire locks breaking off (ok, that really happens).
Having said that, I had always gone to Black hair salons to get my hair relaxed and straightened. And they did a bang-up job. But I had a slightly different experience once I began coloring my hair. Not that they did a bad job per se, but time after time and salon after salon the stylists just didn’t get the color quite right. Now I’m just speculating, but I think it might be because not many Black women permanently color and/or highlight their hair. Many use over-the-counter boxed hair dye, rinses, or semi-permanent dyes on relaxed hair (they are less harsh).
But White women… they seem to highlight their hair a ton. Like, for keeps. And then it occurred to me - why not try a Black stylist at a White salon?
And so I did. And I found the best stylist in the world: Jesse Lockward. She’s the queen of color (no pun intended) at the hippest salon in Boston, G20 Salon located at the bottom of Newbury Street by Mass Ave. Before my first appointment, I sat down with Jesse for a “color consultation” and we picked out the best highlights and lowlights for my hair. She then went into another room and mixed small amounts of the bleach and dye that we’d need. I had never seen a stylist mix his or her own colors before – apparently G20 is famous for their hand-mixed dyes.
Not only is Jesse amazing with color, but she’s also a sensational blow-dryer and all-around stylist—for any type of hair. Most of her clients have straight or wavy hair, in fact. But as the word gets out among Black women, she’s also getting more and more Black clients—which is wonderful.
I’ve been seeing Jesse for about a year now, and I’m never disappointed. Whenever I leave G20 and strut onto Newbury Street, I'm feeling beautiful and confident. Sometimes she leaves my hair curly, and sometimes I ask her to press it straight (just to mix it up a little). I never thought I’d see my hair as straight as it was when I was relaxing it, but Jesse proved me wrong. Anyone who can accomplish this kind of transformation in 2 hours deserves a medal (I know, silliest photos ever).
Jesse Lockward, Stylist
G20 Salon and Spa
338 Newbury Street
My New Year’s resolution: stop working out until March and eat whatever I want. Oh, and refrain from whining and complaining if (actually not if, but when) I gain a pound or two. In fact, embrace the pound or two! It is the winter after all – extra pounds will keep me warm (or so I tell myself).
And let me tell you, actually enjoying every bite of my favorite yummies has been absolutely liberating! I recommend giving yourself a week or two (or a few months) to pause your calorie fretting and cut yourself some slack. ‘Cause there are so many treats that must be tried. I’ve found a few in the South End that I’d love to share with you.
Chocolate Mousse from Stella
I actually visit Stella’s bar just to savor their chocolate mousse, which is topped with small pieces of almond biscotti. Creamily scrumptious and served in a martini glass for extra enjoyment.
Banana Bread from Flour
Always just sweet enough to be called dessert and just doughy enough to be rationalized as breakfast. Save the top for last—it’s got that almost-undercooked stickiness to it that leaves a delicious taste in your mouth for hours. Oh, and yes you can buy a whole loaf, thanks for asking!
My all-time favorite: Harriet Cupcake from The South End Buttery (pictured to the left and below)
First of all, let me just say that any bakery with the word “buttery” in the name has my mouth watering even before I taste the goodies. And this cupcake makes good on my initial eagerness. Basically, it’s a mini carrot cake—minus theFirst of all, let me just say that any bakery with the word “buttery” in the name has raisins (thank goodness… not a fan of raisins). The cake itself is moist and delicious, with grated carrot strips and spices to enrich the taste, but the true magic lies in the homemade cream cheese frosting. It’s just so thick and whipped and smooth, placed atop the actual cake like a crown. If you like carrot cake, this cupcake will provide you with the perfect morsel of carrot-cream-cheese perfection.
A South End neighbor Andrew sent in his suggestion: Morning Glory Muffin from Appleton Bakery
Made with brown sugar, cranberries, raisins, carrot, pineapple, wheat flour. Yummy and fibrous!
Got any baked goodies to share? I’m on my delectable food diet for another two months; so let me know what I should be savoring!
I swear… I’m a healthy individual.
I work out daily. I do yoga. I’ll kick your ass in spin class. I eat nutritious, organic, whole foods. I don’t cook with salt. I do NOT use Splenda. I take far too many vitamins every day. Fine – I have a slight case of food and exercise snobbery.
Enter The Master Cleanser. Perhaps you’re familiar. Also known as The Lemonade Diet, the phenomenon is a detoxifying fast developed by Stanley Burroughs. Basically, you mix up some water, cayenne pepper, grade B maple syrup and lemon juice, and consume nothing else (barring the herbal laxative tea – I’ve chosen Smooth Move – twice a day) for 10 days.
You may have guessed by now that I decided to try this freaky thing out. And I did that not so much to eliminate the build up of crap from my body or even to drop a bunch of Lb’s in record time. Really, I was bored with my routine. I really wanted to see if I could do it.
I suppose really going for the gold would have involved reading his book, The Master Cleanser: With Special Needs and Problems beforehand, but this was something that I had to throw myself into with only enough mental preparation to activate an understanding to avoid any real damage to my body. Plus, that would have forced me to eliminate the economical value of the week from my Pro/Con Venn diagram. Hey, Beyoncé did it (that was on the Pro side too). And she wasn’t even too ashamed to tell Oprah. How bad could it be?
Naturally, as a writer, I felt the need to document my feelings, status, likes, dislikes and bitching with whimsical and dramatic wit, throughout. The following is the first half of my 6-day adventure sans food. Oops… did I just give away the ending?
Day 1: December 29, 2007
It’s a detox, not a diet.
Heavy drinking and a Mexican binge at Border Café late last night boosted my motivation to begin today, despite disparagement from my R.N. friend. Worried about my ability to recover from the hangover, I ate an organic energy bar at approximately noon. Whatever, it’s the first day. AND it was in the name of common sense and logical appreciation for my body and long-term health.
Currently, my most potent concern is passing out at the gym. Coming in at a close second place is becoming delirious and unable to accomplish necessary tasks, namely, the work that I have to do in order to make that money. I’ve assured myself that no fun little eating disorder game is worth losing my job or alienating friends. We’ll take it one day at a time.
Earlier, one quarter of a Dunkin’ Donuts bagel sat in a tub of cream cheese and was flaunted under my nose. Now, objectively speaking, this food was not really even desirable, but the very simple principal of ignoring my visceral instinct to eat is the most unnatural of concepts. In direct relation, my regular fluctuations in mood from cranky and easily irritated to energized, patient, and ready for a grand old time, have been magnified noticeably. And a desire to quit now waves in and out with a sureness that I can keep it up. Watch out. I might be on a multiple personality warpath by the end of this.
Well, I think it’s safe to say I’ve never been this hungry. Fortunately I had the Pats kicking ass to distract me temporarily from one of the most uncomfortable states of all time. Perhaps I’m masochistic, but I spend the evening in a bar and subsequently a club. And maybe it was the booze wafting from the drunkards around me, maybe I was just tired from getting my boogie down, but by 10:00 tonight, I started to feel legitimately buzzed. And let’s be honest. I didn’t hate it. I was just about the cheapest date in Boston tonight.
Another thing I didn’t hate, went down around 1 a.m. Post-no-more-eating shit #1. The Smooth Move laxative tea worked like a dream.
Morale: No quitters allowed.
Motivation: My mom, with the following text in response to qualms about proceeding: “I knew you couldn’t do it, you pussy.”
Day Two: December 30, 2007
Poop Tea For Breakfast
My roommate lovingly confirmed the less than lucid state that I was in last night, with the following comment,
“When you started putting together a Brita filter at 2 a.m. last night, that was a drunk thing to do.”
Does it worry me, you might wonder, that the tendencies of a starving person are scarily in line with those of an individual who’s been drinking all night? Well, slightly. If I felt woozy enough to gallivant around town, feeling little to no disconnect from the intoxicated freaks around me, what will happen to me by the end of today? Tomorrow? Yikes.
In more uplifting news, I woke up this morning feeling strong. No hunger pains in the night, no dreams that I was gorging on a smorgasbord of Wendy’s and Waffle House. A pretty standard sleeping experience, actually. I even woke up to an exciting, albeit small, bowel movement! It was like Christmas morning. And as we speak I’m thoroughly enjoying a cup of delicious and herbaceous tea so that later on today I might be able to take another crap.
My next challenge is the gym. Here’s hoping this doesn’t end with me twisted up in the spinning rubber of a treadmill. Is there a bigger gym faux pas than a girl who can’t handle her eating disorder?
Occasionally, and by occasionally I mean all the time, I find myself daydreaming about food. It’s not, I don’t think, that I want in particular to eat. The wanting has become a blanket. I just want. I want something that I can have. And so I’ve started to find alternate means of satisfying myself. Hot showers, comfy aromatherapy candles, drinking my lemonade concoction warm. I distract myself with cleaning, with work, by reading, by writing this. Don’t think that I haven’t entertained the idea of distracting myself with sex. It’s just that my booty call options are all extremely annoying at the moment. I will be soldiering on without that luxury.
I went to the movies tonight. I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to get sidetrackeds from the loveliness of chewing and swallowing and feeling satisfied. And it was, but only because I was so shocked and nauseated by Hillary Swank’s gushy Irish gallivanting to remember to hate my life for other reasons.
As I stood in the concession line behind my friends, sarcastically (but longingly, really) offering my advice on what they should eat, I got to thinking. It’s strange how awkward social situations can become when food gets involved. There’s no question that I was judged for abstaining from the obligatory popcorn, snow caps and Diet Coke. But simultaneously, I was apologized to on more than one occasion for being eaten in front of. We hate on each other for eating, we hate on each other for not eating. We drink strangely strategic brews, instead of eating, to “cleanse.” Did I want to shove my head under the butter pump? Of course. But did I feel extremely satisfied with myself for receeding into the backdrop with a Smartwater bottle filled with an opaque orange liquid? Absolutely.
The things that keep us alive certainly do have more power than we give them credit for.
Morale: Thank the heavens for hot beverages.
Motivation: Recognizing that the hardest part of the day is from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., and feeling ready to attack it tomorrow.
Day 3: December 31, 2007
The 3rd Day Hump
Since I’ve identified the hardest part of the day, I may as well shoot out some positive vibes and mention the easiest part: the mornings. I’m sleeping well (still no violent binge-fest dreams), perhaps due to the exhaustion I’ve bestowed upon myself. Surprisingly, I’ve woken up refreshed and alert the past several days. I wonder, though, if this is just a testament to my mind traveling into Survivalmode Town. Since I spend my days moving in and out of woozy fogginess and painful self-awareness, the familiar feeling of waking up “out of it” seems like a refreshing switch.
In other news, tonight is New Year’s Eve. And before virtually throwing your 2008 goggles at me and digitally dangling a glass of Veuve in front of my face, I did for the record, decide to boycott the evening’s festivities long before embarking on this “prelude to anorexia” in the words of my mom. All of your speculations are true: I will not drink and I will not go out. I will not count down to midnight or have a New Year’s kiss. Instead of putting a bottle of champagne to my face, vomiting in a cab and waking up next to who the hell knows with lipstick on my ass, I will be attending a yoga class from 10 p.m. to midnight at Baptiste in Porter Square, probably coming damn near close to passing out, and going to bed early to avoid feeling my body.
On the plus side, I’m looking rather skinny and super cute in my yoga gear.
January 1, 2008 1:37 a.m.
Yoga was a super duper success. No passing out. No feelings of hunger. A little dizziness, but that’s to be expected in a 90 degree room of 50 people sandwiched next to each other like yoga will be banned starting in 2008. I was surprisingly strong. Using the class as an opportunity to tune into my body, I took it easy when I needed to and pushed when I had the strength. And the best part was that nobody around me gave a shit. There was no need to justify or judge what I deemed a less-than-hardcore performance. I just listened to myself. Watched myself. Felt myself. The best December 31st I’ve ever had the privilege of remembering. And that’s not because it’s likely the only one I’ve remembered since childhood.
I spent the T ride home debating on whether or not I should jump off
the detox train. Stopping would be so appropriate. Tonight could have
been such a grand finale to any cleanse. But I feel like I can do it.
And so I’ll keep on truckin’. With newfound fuel. Happy New Year!
Motivation: Bring it on, 2008.
How time flies. The Age of Conversation hit the virtual bookstores almost a year ago, and now time it’s time to open up the dialogue once again. Drew and Gavin are currently cookin’ up 2008’s AoC, which will be bigger and badder and hipper than EVER before.
And will center around a new topic, naturally. Only this time we’re deciding it together. Here are the options:
Cast your vote at SurveyMonkey.
Drew’s blog post goes over all the juicy details—definitely check it out to get a feel for this year’s project.
If you’re down to contribute, e-mail Drew and let him know! And be sure to check out last year’s authors—they’re really some badass marketers:
Gavin Heaton, Drew McLellan (these two crazy guys conceived this awesome project) CK, Valeria Maltoni, Emily Reed, Katie Chatfield, Greg Verdino, Mack Collier, Lewis Green, Sacrum, Ann Handley, Mike Sansone, Paul McEnany, Roger von Oech, Anna Farmery, David Armano, Bob Glaza, Mark Goren, Matt Dickman, Scott Monty (Boston blogger! Yay!), Richard Huntington, Cam Beck, David Reich
(Boston blogger! Yippee!) (New York blogger, that is :)), Luc Debaisieux (who I will SOMEDAY meet, lol), Sean Howard, Tim Jackson, Patrick Schaber, Roberta Rosenberg, Uwe Hook, Tony D. Clark, Todd Andrlik, Toby Bloomberg, Steve Woodruff, Steve Bannister, Steve Roesler, Stanley Johnson, Spike Jones, Nathan Snell, Simon Payn, Ryan Rasmussen, Ron Shevlin, Roger Anderson, Robert Hruzek, Rishi Desai, Phil Gerbyshak, Peter Corbett, Pete Deutschman, Nick Rice, Nick Wright, Michael Morton, Mark Earls, Mark BlairCB Whittemore, Mario Vellandi, Lori Magno (Digitas!), Kristin Gorski, Kris Hoet, G. Kofi Annan, Kimberly Dawn Wells, Karl Long, Julie Fleischer, Jordan Behan, John La Grou, Joe Raasch, Jim Kukral, Jessica Hagy, Janet Green, Jamey Shiels, Dr. Graham Hill, Gia Facchini, Geert Desager, Gaurav Mishra, Gary Schoeniger, Gareth Kay, Faris Yakob, Emily Clasper, Ed Cotton, Dustin Jacobsen, Tom Clifford, David Polinchock, David Koopmans, David Brazeal, David Berkowitz, Carolyn Manning, Craig Wilson, Cord Silverstein, Connie Reece, Colin McKay, Chris Newlan, Chris Corrigan, Cedric Giorgi (we met in Paris... but I was like 30 minutes late, and I'm still ashamed), Brian Reich, Becky Carroll, Arun Rajagopal (Oman's own), Andy Nulman, Amy Jussel, AJ James, Kim Klaver, Sandy Renshaw, Susan Bird,Troy Worman, S. Neil Vineberg
Maybe it's just me, but Karl Rove's description of Barack Obama as "lazy" makes me think of this scene from D.W. Griffith's Birth of a Nation. Notice the booze, chicken wing, and (shoeless) feet up on the table. Perhaps Griffith's caricature of the Black politician was on Rove's mind as well.
If you'd like to watch Griffith's full account of the founding of the KKK, be my guest. It's 3 hours long, and mostly boring. But plenty of "shuckin' and jivin'" negroes, not to mention many Whites in blackface.
And P.S. - Just a sidenote, campaigning for the Democratic party's nomination for president while simultaneously attempting to initiating talks with leaders from your father's homeland does not a lazy person make.
My family has always been very creatively charged. Our creativity, for the most part, manifests itself in three ways: music, words, and crafts. My grandfather played the piano with jazz legends including Ella Fitzgerald. My father played the tenor saxophone and the piano. And my uncle, Rusty Hassan, is a Washingtonian (D.C., that is) jazz historian and DJ.
My mom gardens, creates stained-glass stepping-stones, and writes. And my aunt, Sondra Hassan (she also goes by Sandy) quilts. Magnificently. She uses color in ways I’ve never dreamed were possible. Or maybe I should say, in ways I’ve only experienced in my dreams.
My aunt has been quilting for decades - for as long as I can remember. Whenever I visit D.C. with my mom for holidays or family events, we are always eager to check out my aunt’s new quilts. And she’s always excited to show them to us. In fact, 5 minutes after we’ve arrived, we are downstairs in her basement gasping in awe at the new patterns and color palettes that my aunt has created. They are never anything less than breath taking.
But my aunt is funny. You see, she loves her quilts. She’s very attached to them. But she also has a hard time recognizing the power that they possess. It's baffling!
For me, that power comes in the form of a strong tug on my heart. When I see one of her quilts, I need to have it. I need to see and to feel that explosion of color every day of my life. I know others feel the same way. In fact, my aunt has been told that her quilts are worth thousands. She’s even been told that her quilts are museum quality.
And though she has shown her work in art galleries around D.C. and has been features in several books, she is only now (FINALLY) setting up to sell them. Or at least a few ;) But this small step for my aunt is a huge step for mankind. Because, in my opinion, the world simply needs this kind of color. It’s inspirational.
She has established a blog as a place where she can showcase her work and converse with customers. She’s still working out her angle, her “sales” voice, her pricing, and her story—as well as figuring out what the hell a blog is anyway—but I think she’s done a fabulous job so far.
So I wanted to share my aunt's work with you sooner than later—if not only to decorate your day. I’ve included a couple photos of her quilts here, but for the full experience you must visit her site: www.SondraHassan.com. In particular, be sure to check out her Pattern Gallery.
Wow, little Flip. Your small size and simple nature do not keep you from producing quality work. We can all learn a thing or two from you.
Umm, oh yeah! Today's my birthday! And I plan to spend it doing the things that I love. Like laughing. So, my dear readers, I invite you to share a quarter-century giggle with me (25 = new age bracket box. Both terrifying and... terrifying. Like this dance).
By Slava Menn
"For a few unfortunate individuals gaming is more than recreation, and we have provided for them as well. We have proposed to dedicate 2.5% of state gaming revenues to prevent and treat compulsive gambling, as well as drug and alcohol abuse and other related public health concerns, the largest such allocation in the country."
So let me get this straight. You’re going to:
Genius PR move!
That’s like Pablo Escobar opening a cocaine rehab clinic, or Phillip Morris starting a cancer center.
Sure, Mass Lotto brings in a lot of cash. But where can you buy a scratch ticket? On any corner in Dorchester, Lowell, New Bedford. But you’ll be hard-pressed to play “Jumbo Bucks” or “Frosty the Doughman” in Brookline, Newton, or Weston. Tax the poor and feed the middle class and rich? That doesn’t sound right.
Though this “Lotto Poor Tax” brings in $900 Million, Massachusetts still has a deficit of $1 Billion. Don’t forget, we’re state that’s notorious for making bad decisions over big bucks. We got screwed out of $15 Billion and 20 years over this Big Dig debauchery.
We don’t need another crutch. We need to rebuild the foundation.
Deval, you’re a smart man with a creative team. Can’t you think of other ways to ways to make money? Here’s some ideas:
On this course, the Casinos will be making billions for a handful of wealthy, taxing thousands of working class, and generating millions in revenue. But Massachusetts will still be in the red.
Then what happens. Will we have to appoint a Tony Montana to get us into the white?
First - Happy New Year everyone! 2008 is gonna be intense and awesome.
Second - I got a handy little gadget for Christmas – a Pure Digital Flip Video Ultra. Basically, it’s a camcorder for people who hate all the directions and buttons and headaches associated with electronics. In fact, the Flip Video only has 8 buttons. Total. And they’re all pretty much right next to each other (HORRAY!).
This camcorder also features one key addition: A USB connection. Why hasn’t anyone thought of this yet?
Slide down a little lever and the USB arm just flips out. It looks like a thumb drive. Plus, the installation software is built right into the device. Very handy for bloggers, podcasters, vloggers, and aspiring YouTube superstars.
Now that I’m keeping this little Flip in my purse, I have begun to fancy myself an undercover reporter. So expect some live-on-the-scene breaking news coverage comin’ at ‘cha in the New Year.
And third - Tomorrow I will post Slava’s guest blog. I’m sorry for the delay—I blame the holidays (easiest scapegoat ever).