Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Don't believe what you read today..

Happy April Fool's Day! Be on the lookout for google and other fun websites to pull some pretty fun pranks!

Here are its pranks since 2000. The one I fell for? The free printing services it would offer (including free delivery!) Yes, I felt dumb. And last year, Google owned You-Tube jumped into some of the fun with some rick-rolling.

I definitely appreciate Google's good-natured humor. As long as I'm in on the joke!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Celebrate Earth Day With a Giveaway!

Go to www.loveMaegan.com to find out all your ways to enter!
You can win up to three bags! You should DO IT!
(You should also follow Maegan's blog because it's GREAT!)
And don't forget to recycle and take care of your planet.
Have a happy EARTH DAY!!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

I like my independence, thankyouverymuch

I work on a college campus (a rather liberal one at that...) and let me tell you: NO ONE with whom I work (85% female office) would go for any of this. This makes me muy grateful to have grown up in the very latter part of the 20th century. But really, if we HAD been a housewife in the 50's, this article would not seem as ridiculous. And THAT is the scary thing!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Missing the frenzy; my book abandonment tendency

In college, I did a lot. Too much, really. Any leisure time I used was usually accompanied by large amounts of guilt. I should have been reading for western civ, working on a journalism project, preparing a pols outline for a paper or sending emails for SUA. I rarely read for fun (maybe during breaks), was never caught up on the tv shows I wanted to watch, did not work out as much as I wanted and my apartments were never tidy. I had grand plans for post-undergrad degree life, some of which aren't exactly working out... (Seriously, I thought I'd have so much more money to spend! Damn you student loans and bad credit decisions!)

But reading can be cheap, right? (Hellooooo public libraries!) Yet, I seem to have ADD in my life without a million things going on (ie college!). Right now, I'm reading approximately two thousand books. I started on Wuthering Heights but couldn't quite get interested. I started Farewell to Arms but leave it at work to have something to read during lunch. I watched a recent Vlog about The Great Gatsby and got out my copy from the bookshelf in my room - it's now my main bedside book. I also have a collection of short stories I bought before Christmas by F. Scott Fitzgerald and am somewhat invested in The Last Campaign, a book about Senator Robert F. Kennedy's presidential campaign.

The last book I actually finished was David Sedaris' When You Are Engulfed in Flames. And that was all short stories. Apparently, I'm not focused enough to finish a full length novel. I'll let you know if it happens.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

40 minutes 'til gametime!

As previously discussed, I love KU basketball. I've also decided in the past week college basketball is probably one of my top 10 favorite things ever. (Possibly top 5 even!)

KU plays today, and even though they are playing the Cinderella team of this year's tournament, I would encourage you to root for KU today. If not because we have an AWESOME mascot...

...than do it for me. Because the tournament is not nearly as enjoyable when KU does not make at least a decent run. Decent = advancing to the 2nd weekend. Now, we KU fans are pretty spoiled. This year, though, we were a little generous with the team. We WON the championship last year and all the starters left, so the '08-'09 season was billed as a "rebuilding year". Apparently, we should not have let our expectations down as KU ended being the Big 12 champs of the regular season. Yes, Oklahoma and Texas, we're in a rebuilding year and we STILL win the regular season. Do you see what I mean about being spoiled?!

I could go on and on about KU basketball, it's history, it's LEGENDARY status in college hoops. But I won't because sometimes you can't explain it with words. Here, watch these videos (below text from my facebook photo album description of pictures I took on during the final 4 game against UNC and the championship game against Memphis.)

ONE SHINING MOMENT: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKKbrHMGkD4

(can we also notice how FAR Sherron FLEW after he passed that ball? Best assist EVER!)

AND THE MAN WHO LED THE TEAM TO VICTORY, because KU Basketball is great and watching these Jayhawks is much freaking fun. We will ALL remember that night for the rest of our lives!

and because we all need to KEEP ON DREAMING:

one more, because BILL SELF HIGH FIVES BIG JAY: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HxM9c4kqjT0&feature=related

The scene at Allen Fieldhouse after we won the championship. Thousands gathered at the shrine of college basketball to watch the game on the jumbo screens. The winning was pure joy.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Dressing for the Occasion

There comes a time in your life where everyone you know is getting married. Sometimes you get invited, sometimes you're a bridesmaid and sometimes you're the maid of honor! And sometimes you even get to plan the wedding because your fabulous friend you miss terribly is in Japan. Just so happens, this is all relevant for me this year.

First up, I'm a bridesmaid for my friend Lindsey. The other bridesmaids (maybe co-maids-of-honor?!) are her sisters so I'm very honored to be in this wedding. Lindsey and Phil were engaged July 2007, asked me to be in the wedding in November '07 and we were fitted for dresses in May 2008, a whole year before their big day. The dresses are now in so the next time I'm in Des Moines I can try on this fabulous dress:

I will be attending two weddings in June; on the 20th in Kansas City and on the 27th another Des Moines wedding.

On July 31st, in the dead heat of a Kansas summer, I will be the maid of honor for my friend Megan who is currently living in Japan. She and her fiance (actually, they're married in Japan!) will be back for two weeks and will have their states' wedding in Lawrence. As the maid of honor, she wants me to stand out *cringe* so I will be wearing navy and the other bridesmaids will wear candy pink. Here is our dress:

I'm actually helping out with some of the leg work here in town since Megan and Nathan are living in Japan! I'm very excited to be a part of the wedding and to have a hand its fruition. (I <3 event planning!)

Overall, the next 5 months will be a blast! Definitely no bridezillas! Now I just need to find a date! A fun one, preferably!

In other fun news, I was lounging this morning watching music videos (CMT + VH1)and Kelly Clarkson's "Life Would Suck Without You" video came on. I had heard the song and thought it was good but the video is hilarious. I had also been hearing her new cd was good so I headed over to KC's myspace to see if there were other songs from her album (there weren't) but I was happily distracted by her concert list. As I perused the list, I remembered she never did shows in the midwest because she apparently does not get good concert attendance. Then I noticed the Ohio State Fair: that's midwest-ish. I then got WAY TOO excited when I saw she would be at the Iowa State Fair. The ISF is another post in itself but I immediately headed to the concert line up for the fair and (thankfully!) August 22 is a Saturday and I prayed to the concert gods my ISF buddy, Ashley, would be excited as I was about KC's concert. I urgently texted her: ALERT: ISF CONCERT LINEUP HAS BEEN ANNOUNCED. As I expected, moments later, she called me for the info. I started my story from the beginning and as soon as I said Kelly Clarkson, I knew that's the show we'd be going to: Ashley was as excited as me! (Obviously, we're good friends!) Tickets go on sale April 11; and this time, we're going to get some damn good seats!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Fake news or just calling the BS?

Maybe you've heard of this week's growing feud between Comedy Central's Jon Stewart and CNBC's Jim Cramer? (If not, you apparently don't watch ANY news. Seriously, it was everywhere. Even on "serious" news channels. Last night, Cramer was a guest on Stewart's Daily Show. And it was ugly. Early reports from the taping indicated the interview went long because Stewart "repeatedly chastised" Cramer. And that was putting it lightly.

While some might not take this to be an important interview, it definitely indicates a growing dissatisfaction with those controlling our country's financial well-being and those that deem themselves worthy enough to make it "entertainment". (Even on sakd "serious" news channels.) Gawker.com is one of my most-frequented sites, but those commenting on the article about the Stewart/Cramer interview questioned a "comedy" show's ability to make judgments on moral practices of other news shows. My question is where did the term "fake news" come from? If anything, The Daily Show may be a parody of traditional news shows, but the news is still true; it's just ridiculed. And for good reason. What was particularly clear in last night's episode is the ability of Jon Stewart to call bullshit on any situation and to any person. And I applaud him for that.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

All aTwitter

About a year ago, a friend I know from an internship we did together, invited me to this new social networking website. I joined (I was probably bored or avoiding homework) but didn't do much with it. Last summer, said social network was prominent in several news events; during an American's imprisonment in a foreign country and was used to communicate information during the November Mumbai attacks. After President Obama was elected, another friend, still an undergrad at the local university, was planning a trip to the inauguration so I started frequenting this site a bit more. Starbucks, CNN, other Lawrence residents, former coworkers, National Debt, The Daily Show. And if you keep paying attention, the number of people you follow could balloon to 124 people by March.

Yes, I Twitter.

When people who are barely familiar with Twitter try to explain it, they get the basics: 140 characters per "tweet" and the question, "what are you doing". The thing is, these are the basics. And to make a judgment on Twitter based on this information and the fact that the people you track is called "following" leads to some pretty unintelligent and uniformed commentaries on Twitter. And it's happened. Google "Twitter" and I'm sure you'll find said evaluations about Twitter.

The thing is, Twitter has evolved from communicating just "what" you're doing and is now communicating anything you can share in 140 characters. Usually, news and media information, but also pictures (with the use of TwitPic) and sports scores (a helpful tool during March Madness day games). Without being involved, those evaluating Twitter cannot accurately comment on the tool.

Although, I'm not currently pursuing a career in any type of communications (marketing, PR, etc) I am a proud graduate of KU's J-School. So,I've rationalized my use of Twitter to stay up to date with media and networking developments. Just in case I eventually jump back into any type of communications. And really, it's also a lot of fun.


Monday, March 09, 2009

Donna Brazil has the recipe

Sometimes I forget how fortunate I am be living in the cultural epicenter of the state of Kansas. Lawrence may be in the middle of the country, but it's a pretty spectacular place to live.

Last night, the Hall Center for the Humanities hosted The Emily Taylor and Marilyn Stokstad Women's Leadership Lecture featuring Donna Brazile. (See link for all Ms. Brazile's amazing accomplishments). Let's just say, I found a new hero. Besides not letting Anderson Cooper be her boo and washing all the nasty things she wants to say out of her mouth with chardonnay at the end of the day, Donna Brazile knows her stuff and has been a part of some amazing things in modern American politics. DB told AC he wasn't her boo because he was pushing for some information. This incident took place the night of the Democratic National Convention and AC wanted to know what candidate Barack Obama said to her the night before the day of voting. She would not reveal to AC what was said between her and Senator Obama. But last night she DID reveal that conversation. Candidate Obama was asking DB (among other superdelegates) to change their choice and cast their vote for Senator Obama as their nominee. DB told Senator Obama she would not and he accepted that. And then went on to say how much he had learned from Senator Clinton and how great he thought she was. (As a campaign volunteer for Secretary Clinton when she was Senator and Candidate Clinton, this warms me to our current president even more.)

Ms. Brazile, a native of New Orleans, LA, was asked and responded to the performance of current LA governor, Bobby Jindal, and his response to President Obama's address to Congress two weeks ago. First, although Gov. Jindal is a republican, Ms. Brazile acknowledged his impressive political resume, made more so by his young years - only 37. She went on to say the first thing Gov. Jindal should have done was to thank the American people for their resources (ie TAXES) being used to rebuild New Orleans after the horrible destruction and catastrophe of Hurricane Katrina. He should have thanked the American people and gone on to tell them WHY New Orleans was important to our country. A major export point for goods in the midwest and importer of 30% of the petroleum used in this country; New Orleans is a vital port for this country. Ms. Brazile then scolded (in an appropriate, responsible way, of course) Gov. Jindal for politicizing such a horrible event. The tone in her voice was not to be argued with as she recounted her efforts in requesting assistance for her mentally disabled sister who lived in an assistant living facility. FEMA told her that assisted living facilities and mental institutions were not priorities in the evacuation. I was dumbfounded. For this to be their policy is very, very wrong; but to communicate this to a loved one is just disgusting. Ms. Brazile made her way to a network camera and told the country what was going on. Within an hour (5 days after the storm), her sister and 3 others were rescued from the facility by the Lousiana Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries. Only FOUR people survived the week from that specific hospital.

Ms. Brazile's lecture focus was "Women in Politics: Are We There Yet?" but it was the stories she injected into the lecture that made this a truly memorable evening. She spoke of her "political children" and how she made her way to the platform for this year's inauguration with her sister Lisa and Lisa's three disposable cameras. (The lecture included lots of laughs). Though Ms. Brazile strayed from her speech several memorable times, her message was still clear. We have not made it to political gender equality in this country. She mentioned being 57th out of 58 countries in terms of women participating in governing (I'm still trying to find this specific statistic) and this truly saddens me. As my own interesting in being involved in politics has increased over the years, specifically since 2000, my grandpa has remarked several times that he expected me to run for office. I always just smiled and said "no, grandpa, I'd rather be behind the scenes", since I was definitely the shy one in school and didn't much improve my public speaking skills in college. But if there were one inspiration to start a career in public service, it would be Donna Brazile. I cannot even fully communicate what she said but it was something along the lines of "if you as a woman don't step up to serve, how can you expect others to do it?" It was a very different approach to being a leader and getting involved to make things happen; to realize the fully potential of this country.

She ended her lecture speaking about an assignment she had give to her students in 1994. Her students had to create a plan to elect a black candidate to the presidency. Looking back at what she had assigned, Ms. Brazile spoke with some former students and talked to them about creating a plan to elect a woman to the presidency. Lucky for us, she believes they've found the recipe.

Additional quotes from the local article about Ms. Brazile's appearance:

On the Sebelius HHS nomination:

“Kansas is coming to Washington, D.C. Thank you for sending your governor. I’m telling you she has one major responsibility with over 14,000 Americans losing their health insurance each and every day. I know Governor Sebelius is up to the challenge.”

Rush Limbaugh challenging President Obama to a debate:

“Sorry, Mr. Limbaugh, but he’s busy right now. He inherited a huge mess.”

About women seeking the presidency:

“I know that it’s our turn and that we must prepare ourselves to take our position at the table even if we have to bring in folding chairs.”

Her conversation with Obama when two superdelegates would have given him the nomination:

“He said, ‘I admire (Hillary Clinton) so much. I’ve learned so much from her.’ He was so complimentary of Senator Clinton that I grew to like him even more that night.

The Lunch Hour

So, I haven't posted a blog in 8 days. I feel bad about it. Why? I don't have that many followers. I don't blog for a living. But I wanted to have a more relevant blog this year. One of my early 2009 goals. (Not a new year's resolution, because my NYR was to have more fun.)

Yet, I have nothing to post about. I'm sitting here in my office over lunch with no inspirations. I could talk about my new office with a big, room high window that I loooove. But there's not much to say about it. Someone left so we all shift to better offices depending on seniority. I have this much seniority ----> l l. Yes, between those 2 lines. Not much. But enough for a window.

So, I'm looking out my window (even though the day is gray), and pondering blog topics. I've been thinking about trying to position this blog so it has a specific topic and it's more marketable (this is my PR degree kickin' in), but my interests are all over the place and I use this as more of an outlet for several things. I could write about my viewing of "Watchmen" this weekend, but I'm still absorbing the experience. Yes, I absorb movies. One thing I can say I did love about it was the music. I also decided "The Sound of Silence" is definitely on my list of top 5 favorite songs. I need to more thoroughly listen to my "Best of" Simon and Garfunkel CD.

See my problem? Work, movies, music. And I definitely can write about current events and politics when I get the inspiration. Never one thing. I guess that's what makes me the scatter-brain I am. Although, the only comments I get are on the most random blog entries. So, maybe I need to go with the "stream of conscious" posts more often?

Sunday, March 01, 2009

And the context, please?

Grab the book nearest to you, turn to page 18, find line 4 and write down what it says.

..."and never let anybody lodge there willingly."

Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte