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Often, in the background noise of our day-to-day household, I hear the Disney channel.  It's a bright shiny singing dancing onslaught, but it seems mostly harmless.

 

However, there is a weird, pervasive message that I keep hearing in every show, every commercial, and almost all of the songs---"You are all exceptional!" There's even a song (it's the theme song for a show called A.N.T. Farm, about gifted kids).

 

For your enjoyment:

 

 

It's awesome to make sure that our kids have confidence.  It's great to make sure they have big dreams.  It's a wonderful idea to praise them when they do something outstanding.

 

My question is...how are they supposed to know when they've done something outstanding if they are all exceptional, all the time?

 

Just wondering.

 
 
Blog Entry CommentsComments: 5 (Last: Steven · 10/29/11 1:44 PM)

Did you know that you can save someone's life?  It doesn't require any superpowers, or a huge time investment, or any special training.  

 

All you have to do is go to http://marrow.org and sign up.  After you sign up, you'll be sent a testing kit, which takes five minutes to complete and mail back (it's even postage paid).  Here's what it looks like:

 

swab1

 

You swab the inside of your cheek and put the swabs back in the envelope.  You're done.  If you match someone who needs help, then you get the chance to save someone's life!

 

How cool is that?

 

swab2

 

I was inspired to do this by a Seth Godin post about his friend Amit, who is in need of a bone marrow transplant.  I'm hoping to continue the cycle of inspiration and gather a few more folks to sign up.

 

Have a great week!

 
 
 
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Blog Entry CommentsComments: 3 (Last: Lori · 10/24/11 11:10 AM)

 

That little vTourmobile in Washington, DCoice whispering in your ear deserves some attention. Whatever she's saying, even if it sounds weird, might turn out to be something amazing.

 

Recently, as I toured Washington, DC with my kids, I was reminded of a time when I "went for it" based on listening to my little voice.  It was the summer between my Sophomore and Junior year in college.  Everyone I encountered said, "so what are you doing to earn money this summer?" And oddly, at some point, I started saying, "I'm going to work for tourmobile in Washington, DC."

 

Let me back up and state that, when I said that, I a) had no idea whether there was a company called Tourmobile, b) knew no-one in the tour industry, c) had done zero research on the subject (um, there was no Internet then).

 

When I got home for the Summer and had to actually get a J.O.B., I decided to take a stab and investigate DC tours.  Whaddayaknow! There WAS a company called Tourmobile, and they were listed right there in the Yellow Pages (you know, that thick yellow thing you're using to hold open the garage door).

 

Long story short, I picked up the phone (attached to the wall with a curly cord) and got myself a job.  There was a pretty intensive two week training course, and before I knew it, I was wearing a blue polyester skirt and narrating tours of Washington DC.  It was my favorite job EVER (until this online community thingie) and I felt like I was on top of the world because I had "manifested" the job I wanted.

 

So the next time your little voice starts talking, you might want to sit down and listen! (Unless it's saying, "Eat that cream-filled donut..")

 
 
 
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Blog Entry CommentsComments: 4 (Last: Lori · 10/31/11 2:42 PM)

From the opening scenes to the awesome (don't miss them) ending credits, Super8 completely mesmerized me.  If you're old enough to have loved Stand by Me and E.T., this movie will grab you and not let go.

 

The central action concerns a gang of kids who are helping their friend make monster movies.  One illicit night of shooting, they capture a massive train crash (and something else) on film, setting in motion a chain of events that I shouldn't describe.  Let's just say that something was on the train, and the Air Force wants it back very badly.

 

This movie is refreshingly free of snark, self-awareness, or meta-anything.  Which makes it a breath of fresh air.  The most high-tech gadget in the film is one of the kids' electronic football game (omigosh I LOVED that game).  The relationships among the children, as well as with the parents, are so well-drawn that it becomes not just a sci-fi movie.  I knew all of these people in 1979, and loved them.  You will too.

 

Here's the official website, with trailer: http://www.super8-movie.com

 

Super 8 New Movie POster

 
 
 
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Blog Entry CommentsComments: 1 (Last: AnJuli · 6/12/11 5:07 PM)

Full disclosure...I'm married to one of the creators of this app, but even if I weren't, I'd say it totally rocks.  This is a fun side project for some of our dev team who are interested in sports and apps, and it was released today!

 

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app...pik-2011/id430202830

 

The app includes mock draft creation, a 600-player-deep prospect database with articles and videos, and full live draft updates on draft day.  Use your Facebook connect login, and share your mock draft with friends.

 draft

Visit http://draftpik.com to see full feature details and screenshots.

 

It's only $2.99, a total steal if you're interested in the NFL draft.

 

The guys had so much fun doing this one that they're already working on pro basketball and hockey draft apps as well.

 

Tell your friends; baby needs new shoes...

 
 
 
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Blog Entry CommentsComments: 0
As we're all discussing how the Federal Government could save some money, I have a suggestion.  How about doing away with the monstrous boondoogle called The American Community Survey, run by the good folks at the Census Bureau (otherwise known as We're-Not-Counted-as-Unemployed-Anymore, Inc.)

A couple of months ago, we received a lovely packet from the Census Bureau informing us that we were REQUIRED to fill out this form, for which we were randomly selected, under penalty of law.  I'm not really given to whining, but this form stuck in my craw so badly that it languished on the counter until now.

We have received multiple phone calls, several additional mailed reminders, and even one in-person visit from someone with an official business card.  She informed my husband that she'd appreciate it if we called her to allow her to pick up the survey when we're done, as she is rated on how many surveys she gets returned.  She failed to understand that I DON'T CARE HOW SHE'S RATED.

Lest you think I'm just being cranky, here is the list of questions from the form (I've helpfully bolded the especially fun ones).  All of this information is supposed to be completed for any person living at the address, including children. If you have more than 5, they "may call you for additional information":

American Community Survey
Us Dept. of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration
US Census Bureau

For each person living at the house:

Name
Relationship
Sex
Age/DOB
Is Person 1 of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin?
What is Person 1’s race?

Housing:

Which best describes this building?
About when was this building first built?
When did Person 1 move into this house, apt or mobile home?
How many acres is this house or mobile home on?
In the past 12 months, what were the actual sales of all agricultural products from this property?
Is there a business (such as a store or barber shop) or a medical office on this property?
How many separate rooms are in the house, apt, or mobile home?
How many of these rooms are bedrooms?
Does this house, apt, or mobile home have:
   hot and cold running water
   a flush toilet
   a bathtub or shower
   a sink with a faucet
   a stove or range
   a refrigerator
   telephone service from which you can both make and receive calls?
How many autos, vans and trucks of one-ton capacity or less are kept at home for use by members of this household?
Which fuel is used most for heating this house, apt or mobile home
Last month, what was the cost of electricity for this house, apt or mobile home
Last month, what was the cost of gas for this...
In the past 12 months, what was the cost of water and sewer for this...
In the past 12 months, what was the cost of oil, coal, kerosene, wood, etc., for this...
In the past 12 months, did anyone in this household receive Food Stamps or a Food Stamp benefit card?
Is this house, apt or mobile home part of a condominium
Is this house, apt or mobile home owned by you or someone in this household with a mortgage or loan? Owned by you or someone in this household free and clear? Rented? Occupied without payment of rent?
What is the monthly rent for this house, apt or mobile home
Does the monthly rent include any meals

About how much do you think this house and lot, apt or mobile home would sell for if it were for sale
What are the annual real estate taxes on this property
What is the annual payment for fire hazard and flood insurance on this property
Do you or any member of this household have a mortgage, deed of trust, contract to purchase, or similar debt on this property
How much is the regular monthly mortgage payment on this property
Does the regular monthly mortgage payment include payments for real estate taxes on this property
Does the regular monthly mortgage payment include payments for fire, hazard or flood insurance on this property
Do you or any member of this household have a second mortgage or a home equity loan on this property
How much is the regular monthly payment on all second or junior mortgages and all home equity loans on this property
What are the total annual costs for personal property taxes, site rent, registration fees, and license fees on this mobile home and its site

Person 1
name
birthplace
is this person a citizen of the US
when did this person come to live in the US
At any time in the last 3 months, has this person attended school or college
What grade or level was this person attending
What is the highest degree or level of school this person has completed
Major of any bachelor degrees this person has received
What is this person’s ancestry or ethnic origin
Does this person speak a language other than English at home
What is this language
How well does this person speak English
Did this person live in this house or apt 1 year ago
Where did this person live 1 year ago (address)
Is this person currently covered by any of the following types of health insurance or health coverage plans (extensive list of options follows)
Is this person deaf or does he/she have serious difficulty hearing
Is this person blind or does he/she have serious difficulty seeing even when wearing glasses
Because of a physical, mental, or emotional condition, does this person have serious difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions?
Does this person have serious difficulty walking or climbing stairs
Does this person have difficulty dressing or bathing?
Because of a physical, mental, or emotional condition, does this person have difficulty doing errands alone such as visiting a doctor’s office or shopping?
What is this person’s marital status
In the past 12 months, did this person get married, widowed, divorced
How many times has this person been married
In what year did this person last get married
Has this person given birth to any children in the past 12 months
Does this person have any of his/her own grandchildren under the age of 18 living in this house or apt
Is this grandparent currently responsible for most of the basic needs of any grandchildren under the age of 18 who live in this house or apt?
How long has this grandparent been responsible for these grandchildren
Has this person ever served on active duty in the US armed forces, military reserves, or national guard
When did this person serve on active duty in the US Armed Forces
Does this person have a VA service-connected disability rating
What is this person’s service-connected disability rating
Last week, did this person work for pay at a job (or business)
Last week, did this person do any work for pay, even for as little as one hour
At what location did this person work last week (address)
How did this person usually get to work last week
How many people, including this person, usually rode to work in the car, truck or van last week
what time did this person usually leave home to go to work last week
How many minutes did it usually take this person to get from home to work last week
Last week, was this person on layoff from a job
Last week, was this person temporarily absent from a job or business
Has this person been informed that he or she will be recalled to work within the next 6 months or been given a date to return to work
During the last 4 weeks, has this person been actively looking for work
Last week, could this person have started a job if offered one, or returned to work if recalled
when did this person last work, even for a few days
During the past 12 months, did this person work 50 or more weeks?
How many weeks did this person work, even for a few hours, including paid vacation, paid sick leave, and military service
During the past 12 months, in the weeks worked, how many hours did this person usually work each week
Was this person an employee...(list of options including govt employee, self-employed, etc)
For whom did this person work
What kind of business or industry was this
Is this mainly manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade, other
What kind of work was this person doing
What were this person’s most important activities or duties
Income in the past 12 months
Wages, salary, commissions, bonuses, or tips from all jobs (before taxes, etc.)
Self-employment income from own non-farm businesses including proprietorships and partnerships
Interest, dividends, net rental income, royalty income, or income from estates and trusts
social security or railroad retirement
supplemental security income
any public assistance or welfare payments from the state or local welfare office
retirement, survivor, or disability pensions
Any other sources of income receive received regularly such as Va payments, unemployment compensation, child support or alimony
What was this person’s total income during the past 12 months
 
 
Blog Entry CommentsComments: 9 (Last: Steven · 2/23/11 8:08 PM)
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Blog Entry CommentsComments: 1 (Last: Lori · 2/7/11 11:13 AM)
All we needed was another reason to watch the Superbowl forRionoType the commercials...but 20th Century Fox is pulling a pretty creative stunt to promote its upcoming movie "RIO," which comes out on April 15. 
 
When you watch the RIO commercial spot, you are supposed to find the frame with the embedded code that will in turn direct you to a special level on ANGRY BIRDS (by Rovio).  That level will take you to a RIO sweepstakes.
 
The sweepstakes winner will attend RIO’s world premiere in Rio de Janeiro on March 22.  That same day, Fox and Rovio launch a new “Angry Birds Rio” app.

If you forget to Tivo the Superbowl, the commercial will be available across the web, including youtube.com/rio, after the Super Bowl.

...and for what it's worth, I'll be rooting for the Packers, much-beloved by my husband's grandfather, "Pop."  I know he's in heaven with his knit Packers cap on, cheering away!


Here's the RIO synopsis (I didn't get to pre-screen the movie, so this tip is not an endorsement):
From the makers of the hit ICE AGE series, RIO is a comedy-adventure, in 3D, about taking a walk on the wild side.  Blu is a domesticated Macaw who never learned to fly, living a comfortable life with his owner and best friend Linda in the small town of Moose Lake, Minnesota.  Blu and Linda think he’s the last of his kind, but when they learn about another Macaw who lives in Rio de Janeiro, they head to the faraway and exotic land to find Jewel, Blu’s female counterpart.  Not long after they arrive, Blu and Jewel are kidnapped by a group of bungling animal smugglers.  With the help of street smart Jewel, and a group of wise-cracking and smooth-talking city birds, Blu escapes.  Now, with his new friends by his side, Blu will have to find the courage to learn to fly, thwart the kidnappers who are hot on their trail, and return to Linda, the best friend a bird ever had.

Disclosure: I was sent press info on this event, but sadly no money or goodies.  I am only posting this because I love movies, I love technology, and I love creative ideas (oh, and playing mindless games on my iPad), and I know my readers love those things too

AngryBird_Rio_Feature2
 
 
 
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Blog Entry CommentsComments: 1 (Last: Lori · 2/4/11 9:30 AM)
photoSent from my iPhone
 
 
 
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Blog Entry CommentsComments: 10 (Last: Rosemary O'Neill · 1/31/11 9:40 AM)
The Golden Globes are one of my favorite awards shows...the mingling of stars from TV and movies, the alcohol-fueled speeches (they get to drink at their tables during the show), and the little glimpses of schmoozing during commercial breaks (look! Nicole Kidman chatting up a guy from Big Bang Theory!) all add up to great TV.

But forget the show, all I really care about is the red carpet.  I realize I'm taking a risk posting this before the Fashion Police show...so here are my running thoughts...

TRENDS
white and nude/blush colors or black
sparkly or bejeweled belts
trains and fishtails

Highlights:
Olivia Wilde in a stunning Marchesa sparkly ballgown (her hair needed a bit more polish, though)
Julianne Hough wide bejeweled collar at top of plain black column
Piper Perabo with elegant shoulder bow Oscar de la Renta
Eva Longoria crisp long black gown with train, belt, fishtail
Lea Michele (Glee girl) in chic pink cascading ruffle Oscar de la Renta
Catherine Zeta Jones jaw dropping forest green strapless Monique Lhuillier
Sofia Vergara - Vera Wang red with black belt, curvy cool corset back
Anne Hathaway in Armani Prive shimmery sequined long with cutaway back, puffy shoulders (i know, sounds wrong, but it was so right)
Megan Fox (?!) in an elegant Armani column with interesting bandage top

Best maternity - Jane Krakowski in slate grey Badgely Mishka, gorgeous and understated.
catherine-zeta-jones
























Lo
wlights:
Kaley Cuoco in lacey curtains Katharine Kidd
Helena Bonham Carter Vivienne Westwood lace choppy color splashed, mismatched shoes, crazy hair
Natalie Portman pink strapless grecian Viktor & Rolf with red rose at bustline, french twist (yes, I know everyone else is going to love this, but I didn't)
Julianne Moore weird poofy one sleeve red with jeweled necklace integrated
Angelina Jolie in green sparkly Versace - too 80's Dynasty for me
Sandra Bullock - too droopy, sparkly peach with sparkly belt
Kelly Osborne - weird black and white blocked...
Halle Berry - mullet gown black mini-corset with whispy trailing parts
Scarlett Johanssen bride of Frankenstein hair fluttery sleeves nude sparkly


JULIANNE-MOORE
 
 
 
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Blog Entry CommentsComments: 0
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Blog Entry CommentsComments: 0
I was invited to the Trish McEvoy Power of Makeup event at the downtown Seattle Nordstrom (I refer to it as The Mothership).  I love her makeup line, which is based around a planner system that allows you to easily keep your makeup organized.

The event started with a one hour master class session of 20 people, led by Trish McEvoy herself.  She went through a basic face, offering personal tips and techniques gained from her years of experience.  Key points: look at your face objectively and base your regime accordingly; adjust your use of blush according to the shape of your face; no makeup can turn back time, but it can help you age gracefully.

After the session, we were all escorted down to the makeup counters where we each received a personal makeup lesson/makeover by 20 of Trish's national makeup artists.  I learned so much in one hour, but I really wished I could bring my artist home with me to help me out in the morning!  I'm focusing on skin care more, now that I'm a certain ahem age, and so far I'm liking her Serum product a lot.

I'll post more after using the products for a bit longer...we'll see if I can keep up the routine!
 
 
 
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Blog Entry CommentsComments: 3 (Last: Guest · 10/13/06 10:46 AM)
We stopped in for a Lego Latte at the Lego Starbucks.  It was good, but the Lego milk was a bit crunchy.
 
 
 
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Blog Entry CommentsComments: 4 (Last: Guest · 10/9/06 12:24 PM)
Do you have smoke detectors in your house?  If they're like ours, the instructions read like this:
(in very tiny red print on the underside of the device)

CAUTION. AT 2AM WHEN THIS DEVICE MAKES EAR SHATTERING CRICKET SOUND, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO FIX DEVICE.  BATTERIES CANNOT BE REMOVED UNTIL BLOOD HAS COMPLETELY LEFT YOUR ARMS.  DO NOT ATTEMPT TO STAND ON STOOLS OR OTHER WOBBLY CHAIRS TO REACH DEVICE, AS THIS MAY RESULT IN MAJOR OWIE.  DO NOT ATTEMPT TO RIP DANGLY WIRES OR BATTERY COVER OFF, AS THIS WILL RESULT IN HUGE ELECTRIC SHOCK.  DO NOT CURSE AT DEVICE, AS THIS WILL ONLY INCREASE THE VOLUME OF THE HIDEOUS CHIRPING SOUND.  MANUFACTURER, FOR YOUR SAFETY, HAS CREATED BATTERY COVER THAT MAY NOT BE REMOVED; PLEASE REMOVE BATTERY COVER TO REPLACE BATTERY.  DEVICE MAY BE WIRED TO HOUSE ELECTRICAL SYSTEM, BUT BATTERY IS STILL REQUIRED IN THE (VERY VERY UNLIKELY) EVENT THAT THERE IS A FIRE DURING A POWER OUTAGE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT.  DO NOT ATTEMPT TO SLEEP WITH DEVICE IN HOUSE; DO NOT DISCONNECT DEVICE, AS SMOKE POLICE WILL BE SUMMONED AND A FINE WILL BE INCURRED.  FOR YOUR SAFETY, DEVICES HAVE BEEN INSTALLED BY YOUR HOME BUILDER IN ALL OF THE HIGHEST AND MOST INACCESSIBLE POINTS OF THE HOUSE.  THANK YOU FOR PURCHASING THE SMOKE-O-MATIC.  FOR PROBLEMS, CALL 1-800-I-CANT-HEAR-YOU.
 
 
Blog Entry CommentsComments: 18 (Last: Guest · 9/16/07 12:48 PM)
Am I the only one who has a throbbing pile of books waiting to be read...sitting on and under my nightstand?  Next in line is "The Historian," a bestseller that I ambitiously toted to the East Coast this summer thinking I would have time to sit and read (hahahahahAHHAHAHAHAHA).  Sitting patiently beneath that book is one called "My Soul Has Grown Deep," a collection of African American stories which of course is about 5 inches thick.

I should also mention that atop the books is an archaeological trove of old crossword puzzles (I love the Sunday NYT one) and magazines magazines magazines.  My OCD side won't allow me to start the next book until I've read all of this month's magazines and caught up on crossword puzzles.  The issue is that while we were at the beach this summer, I got about 3 weeks behind and haven't caught back up.  I know therapy is really the answer.

What reading material is sitting on your nightstand?
 
 
Blog Entry CommentsComments: 6 (Last: Guest · 10/6/06 10:57 PM)
I'd like to introduce Enid III, my latest handbag acquisition.  Ted got it for me for our anniversary (yeah, that's right, he's cool).  She joins Enid I and Enid II in the Enid Collins subcollection.  I LOVE her!  She's big enough to hold a diaper/wipies as well as cellphone and wallet...what could be better.

If you're an interested purse lover, the link below contains a little history about Enid Collins of Texas.

http://www.retrovintagecollect...ge-Retro-Purses.html
 
 
 
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Blog Entry CommentsComments: 10 (Last: Guest · 10/3/06 6:42 PM)
 
 
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