Sunday, September 30, 2012

Friendship: "No Rain" by Blind Melon

I'm...different.  No, really, I am different.  Now, I don't consider myself to be weird or an extreme odd ball.  But I can say that I struggled to find my fit in the world. 

I discovered that I am a whole brain thinker.... too geeky for the artists and too artsy for the techno weenies.  So, I spent a lifetime learning how to swim in both ponds.  I admit that shifting between the two worlds has taken its toll on me.  In college and during the early part of my corporate career, I worked to bend and mold myself into what I thought was the "right" girl to be. 

Each phase of my life was filled with a cast of characters who came from all walks of life and lived all over the world.  Some of these folks became permanent fixtures and eventually grew to become chosen family.  Others passed through, leaving drama in their wake. 

Over the years, I came to realize that it is the support of God, my friends, and family (both inherited and chosen) who helped me immensely to grow and gain wisdom.  And despite all of my bending and twisting, somehow, I managed to become the woman I always wanted to be.

"No Rain" by Blind Melon

In truth, the lyrics to this song are rather depressing.  They reflect a deep feeling of loneliness and isolation, combined with an extreme longing for connection.  All of these emotions are the exact opposite of my post message.  However, I LOVE the video's message!

Yes, yes, dear reader, I selected this song based purely on the video. <gasp, then click on the above link>

Why do I like the video sooooo much?  Well, I spent most of my life feeling like the little 'Bee Girl.'  I was just wearing my tu-tu, doing my thang, feeling quite lonely in my life long quest of self-discovery.  Of course, I met a few bumble bees and doodle bugs in random spots along the way.  (Gerry, Tia, McGyver, Murph, and Tiffany - What up?!?)  Then I moved to Portland, OR.  And like the Bee Girl in the video, I found my wacky hive of eclectic friends. But we prefer to dance in downtown Portland and Forest Park.  Life is good!

"And all I can do is just pour some tea for two and speak my point of view..."

Heading to Race for the Cure in our pink Minnie Mouse ears

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Bill Clinton, Spin Master: "Switch" by Will Smith

Though I am not one to attend political rallies or plaster my car with bumper stickers expressing my views, I do try to stay on top of what my politicians are doing.  Quite honestly, in the current environment, we can't afford to ignore what is going on in Washington, DC - regardless of your political leanings.

So, when I had an opportunity to hear former President Bill Clinton speak during the Solar Power International Tradeshow, I had to go see what he had to say.  Would you believe, in a room full of smart phones, they actually tried to stop us from recording his speech or taking pictures?  (I guess, Mr. Romney's campaign is learning how technology can cause Karmic repercussions the hard way....but I digress.)  Get this, though,...we were encouraged to Tweet during the speech and were given a hash tag to reference. Go figure.

It isn't often that I get to see a true Spin Master at work.  The marketing diva in me jumped with glee, as Bill gave us all a stern lesson on how to clean up our solar marketing messaging.  His basic theme was know your audience. The solar industry, as a whole, loves to use terms like "subsidies", "green", and "clean energy."  All of these terms apply, but have a more liberal spin.  To appeal to conservatives, we must use terms like "incentives", "ROI", and "job creation." Add these new terms with hard data and European case studies and you have a recipe that kills any 'show me the money' opposition.  Brilliant!

Of course, Bill had to pepper in a few subtle digs on the Republican candidates, but otherwise he stayed on target and gave some fact filled insights.

In truth, life is one long series of marketing campaigns for everything from wanting another cookie when you were a kid to negotiating your next promotion.  But, I just gotta believe that persuasion merely gets you a seat at the dinner table, while aptitude allows you to stay for dessert.

"Switch" by Will Smith

I just couldn't resist honoring Slick Willie (Bill Clinton) with a song from Big Willie (Will Smith).

(To all my global readers, I fully understand that "willie" or "willy" has an entirely different meaning in some countries - which is why the movie Free Willy had some marketing issues overseas. Though it is funny, no pun is intended on my part....)

Anyhow, until yesterday it was a toss up between "Gettin' Jiggy wit' It" and "Switch."  Both songs are fun and dance worthy, but "Switch" won out in the end....mostly because it is slightly more obscure than the jiggy song.

Unfortunately, there are no deep meanings or profound revelations in this song other than a shadow of the music industry's more than justified paranoia over free downloads in the line: "...don't download, go out and buy the record."  But then again, it has a catchy beat with a nice hook for all the video honeys to shake their rumps's a club song - and really, that's all it needs to be. "Hey!"

"That's what I'm talkin' 'bout..."

Our beloved Pres. Bill Clinton making a point on messaging.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Detoxing: "Carry On" by Martha Wash (Full Intention Club Mix)

In my "Balance" post (28 August, 2012), I stated that my plan was to do a detox and mental reset.  Well, I did just that this week and then some!

Normally when I detox, which I try to do annually, I do a juice fast under the care of my wonderful naturopathic doctor,  Dr. Stephen Bailey of the NW Naturopathic Clinic.  For only the third time in my life, I felt strongly moved to undertake a water only fast / detox.  (Now, I DO NOT recommend this course of action to anyone and by no means am I making any health care suggestions - please consult your own doctor.)

With tons of prayer and meditation, I drank six quarts of water daily for three and a half days.  I broke my fast with raw fruit, raw vegetables, and herbal tea.  After a day and a half, I reintroduced small portions of proteins back into my meals.

Just as I'd hoped, my detox cleared my system, gave my digestive track a rest, and profoundly increased my mental clarity and creativity.  I feel more in tune with my body, especially since I had to be extra sensitive to my energy levels and activity.  The time that I would've used to prepare meals, I used to work on creative projects and purge the clutter in my apartment.  I still have a ways to go on the apartment purge, though.  (Do I really need all of my MBA coursework from 2006?  LOL!)

AND - I started writing again!  I made some major headway on my novel.  Yup - this would be that piece I set aside and am now determined to finish.  In addition, I can say that I feel less overwhelmed and more rooted.

I spent time with my writing friends this weekend.  It was wonderful being with such a creative group of women!  My dear friend, Nancy Brophy, had us all over to her house to celebrate another writing friend's birthday.  Nancy's husband is a chef and culinary school teacher.  Her prepared a lovely meal composed of seasonal vegetables and baked salmon.  YUM!

Many thanks to Jessie Smith for inviting me to her writing focused birthday party.  There is really nothing like having a clear mind and beautiful, creative, and hilarious writing friends!

"Carry On" by Martha Wash (Full Intention Club Mix)

My best friend, Gerry Walker, gave me this remix track on a mix CD he made for my birthday.  He is a musician, singer, song writer, and author juggernaut with more talent in the tip of his pinkie finger than most people have in their entire body.  Needless to say, his music collection is quite vast and diverse.

I seemed to have this song on repeat mode the entire week.  I love the message and the beat.  Martha Wash has such a soulfully rich voice.  You really couldn't pick a more perfect vocalist for these song lyrics.  Plus, I had fun shaking my bootie to this beat, while I was shredding old documents and preparing boxes of stuff for donation.

"Carry on, When the valley's deep I'll be strong, With a mighty love to carry on, carry on..."

Happy Birthday, Jessie!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

50 Shades: "S&M" by Rihanna

Well, let me be honest and admit that I am often slow off the mark, when it comes to reading extremely popular fiction.  My boss, another avid reader, hounded me for two years to read The Hunger Games series. I didn't start reading Harry Potter until book four was out.  And I randomly picked up book six of the Charlaine Harris Sookie Stackhouse Series, because I liked the tiger on the cover.  :D

So last April, during the RT Booklovers Convention, when everyone was a buzz over 50 Shades of Grey, I thought, "Yeah, I'll never read it.  If it's that popular, it can't be that good."  Yup - that would make me a "snob."  I'll admit that my tastes tend to veer towards lesser known authors, who write works with interesting, unexpected, and intelligent twists.  But even the biggest health nut occasionally eats a candy, the author and business woman inside of me wanted to see what all the fuss was about.  This week, I shushed my inner book snob and purchased the Nook book version of the first book in the 50 Shades series.

Many of my writing friends and several bloggers have ripped this book to shreds.  Lashing out (pun intended) that it is poorly written and that Ana (the heroine) is 'too stupid to live.'  While some of their comments are pure hateration, I see their point....I mean, how many times can one use the word "hot" and not annoy critical readers.  But, considering that it started out as fan fiction and grew into a phenomenon - I have to give E. L. James points.  Specifically, for her execution of character development.  I am currently reading book three, NOT because of the BDSM, but because I am eager to see how Christian overcomes his demons.  I've seen so many of my friends swoon at the mere mention of the name Christian Grey then comment on how he just needs TLC.  THAT, my friends, is called creating a great character!  He elicits an emotional response....need I say more?

Side note: Besides the over use of the word "hot", my other distraction is the fact that when I read Ana's endearment of "Fifty", mentally I hear "Fiddy" - as in the rapper, 50 Cent.  Now, Mr. 50 Cent has a wonderful smile and amazing laugh - wish us fans could see more of those elements of his personality, but then again, I'm not one for following celebrities....I've got my own life to live.  But when I think "Fiddy" I have to pause and refocus, before I continue reading.  LOL!

"S&M" by Rihanna

Oh, my....

Take my word for it, doing a Youtube search for S&M without adding  Rihanna's name to the search text can lead you down a dark rabbit hole.  Then, once I found Rihanna's video, I had to make sure I found the 'official' video without fan edited - ahem - extras.

Somehow, I felt this song and video was more than fitting.  And while I don't consider myself to be a prude, some of the images are a little more than interesting.  Rihanna is beautiful, of course, and she really knows how to work a latex outfit and blue lipstick.  Plus, I would surely fall and break my neck (or at least badly twist my ankle) in the heels / boots she gracefully runs around in during this video. <sigh>

The song is very dance-able.  I do love the tone of empowerment - she knows what she likes and she's not afraid to admit it - explicitly.

"Come on, Come on, Come on - I like it, like it..."