It’s Time to Change the Format of the Presidential Debates

30 09 2020

2020-09-30 08_03_52-(26) First 2020 Presidential Debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden - YouTube

After the Dumpster Fire production last night, otherwise known as the first Presidential Debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, the Commission on Presidential Debates is rushing to change the format of future debates.

Per the Washington Post:

“After a chaotic and nearly unwatchable first presidential debate that devolved into interruptions and insults, mostly by Trump [this is bullsh*t, but peak WaPo, AGT], the Commission on Presidential Debates said it would look into changing the format of the remaining debates.

“The televised debates are supposed to be “for the benefit of the American electorate,” the commission said in a statement Wednesday, implying that Tuesday night’s unruly slugfest did not achieve that goal.

“Last night’s debate made clear that additional structure should be added to the format of the remaining debates to ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues. The CPD will be carefully considering the changes that it will adopt and will announce those measures shortly,” the statement continued.”

How about losing the “additional structure” and totally changing the structure? In terms of Presidential debates, the Lincoln-Douglas format is pretty much dead. We have social media, new media, and a host of ways for the candidates to battle over their record and platform points.

Instead of more structure on a dead model, or CNN’s and the Atlantic’s rallying cry to get rid of debates entirely, how about we find new formats and ways for Presidential candidates to debate:

Here are The Girl’s recommendations:

Get better moderators

No one cares about Chris Wallace. I will say it again, NO ONE CARES ABOUT CHRIS WALLACE!

For that matter, people also don’t care about Norah O’Donnell, Brett Baier, Jake Tapper, Dana Bash, Martha MacCallum, Rachel Maddow, Chris Hayes or Hugh Hewitt, et al. The list goes on of legacy media retreads left, right, and center who think anyone cares about seeing them outside of their panel sound bites or the hour box they are confined to on their respective networks. Much like the debate form is dead, so is the need for a “respectable” figurehead type ala Walter Cronkite and Tim Russert. The trust level of the traditional media is lower than the Congress’s, so these gatekeepers need to step aside and either cede or share a platform with new media; which most of us are digesting these days anyway.

Spotify’s Joe Rogan was being floated across Twitter last night, and his easy, free associative and direct style would have been a welcome change to Nanny Chris.

Other thoughtful, insightful, and popular new media personalities that could facilitate debate: Stephen Smith of ESPN, Jason Whitlock of Outkick, Rodolfo Roman of The Roman Show, Charlemagne tha God of The Breakfast Club, Sonnie Johnson of SiriusXM’s “Sonnie’s Corner”, Sharyl Attkisson, Daily Wire’s Andrew Klavan, John Solomon of John Solomon Reports, Daisy and Mockarena of Chicks on the Right, Michael J. Brooks and Sam Seder of The Majority Report… you know where I’m going with this.

Fresh voices, different perspectives, all sides represented, and questions that actually force the candidate to probe and ponder, not put him or her on the defense or give him or her an easy out.

And it would also be nice if traditional media did their research and got their facts straight. How many interns does Fox News have?

  • Proud Boys is not a white supremacist organization, no matter what the Southern Poverty Law Center says, and Antifa is not an “idea”. Portland residents and business owners wish they were.
  • The “fine people” comment has been debunked multiple times, and Joe Biden did call living troops, “Stupid Bastards.” All on video, could have been aired in real time had you taken the time to actually research.
  • Critical Race Theory is not just “Sensitivity Training”. One of its accolytes is Ibram X. Kendi, who took to Twitter to compare Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s adoption of two Haitian children to white colonizers who wanted to civilize the children and remove the parents! Nothing sensitive about that…

2020-09-30 14_18_00-Ibram X. Kendi on Twitter_ _Some White colonizers _adopted_ Black children. They

We remember Candy Crowley, and other media gatekeepers massacring facts to help one candidate over another during debate. Can we for once get some real reporting that undergirds the debate questions? Real delving into both sides of an issue before you craft the questions? It’s like these journalists only report what they have heard, rather than report what they have investigated.

Change the format

I would love to see an NDT-style debate with President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence v. former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris, on their domestic and foreign policy visions. Maybe bring in Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, (even White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany), with two people who represent Biden-Harris’s domestic and foreign policy.

It would give both candidates a much-needed break and would also give a broader spectrum of the “team” who is running or will be running the country.

Another format change: break this debate over two days with three topics into a two-hour format. We are in a terrible time in our nation. Between The Rona, The Riots, and everything in between, I wanted more than 5–10 minutes for President Trump and Biden to discuss these issues. Instead it resulted in the expected: blame and name calling, and false declarations which neither candidate will probably live up to.

Finally, in the Town Hall-style debates, poll real people from across these 50 United States and get their questions and concerns. I doubt very seriously anyone in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho is concerned about climate change, but they might be concerned with an environmental policy that restricts their lives and livelihoods. They may be concerned about a mass shooting and desire to work to prevent that, but they also don’t want their gun rights restricted.

Here in California, where I live, I would welcome some limit to these draconian environmental policies that are the reason we have poor forest management, which in turn is causing these massive wildfires.

I would also welcome a conversation on #AB5, which outlaws independent contracting, and is destroying the livelihoods of women, minorities, and the middle class, along with the California economy.

Newsflash to those outside of California: the A-B-C test in #AB5 has been baked into the PROAct, which the U.S. House of Representatives passed earlier this year. If the Senate gives it a thumbs-up vote, it could take AB5 and its restrictions national. Bye, bye, Right to Work. Bye, bye, building a business through bootstrapping. Bye, bye, side hustles… NATIONALLY.

Don’t get me started on the newest hell for freelancers and independent contractors, the so-called Worker Flexibility and Small Business Protection Act that Washington State Senator Patty Murray is now trying to inflict on hard-working individuals and small business. So, if you don’t think other State’s politicians and the ridiculous policies they bring to D.C. won’t affect your little Red or Blue State, then I have a mountain cabin in Florida to sell you.

One of the reasons debates are mostly irrelevant in changing hearts and minds is because they fail to connect macro issues to micro concerns.

Start there, and maybe the next Debate will actually elucidate these issues and where the candidate and the President stand on them, rather than distract from them with trash talking and bar room brawling.





AB5 and the State of the State

26 02 2020

So our idiot Governor Gavin Newsom delivered his second State of the State address last week. All the elected crooks were in session, including the useless Attorney General Javier Beccerra, whose only job seems to be to sue the federal government, and Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis fulfilling one of her minimal duties of introducing the Governor’s address.

If California was not in such awful shape, it would have been comedy gold: much of it looked like a Saturday Night Live sketch, with Newsom entering like a rock star, while assembly members, state senators, and others clapped like trained seals, and Botox Barbie “first partner” Jennifer Siebel Newsom being fawned over. His hollow inflation of how well California is doing was fairly nauseating. It is like someone strutting, thinking they are runway fabulous, but their hairy ass is exposed.

For those in California, I recommend you view the whole thing and see how many lies you can catch. His spending three-quarters of his speech on how he will attack the homeless crisis in the state is particularly disingenuous. Newsom has been collectively shamed by President Trump and a few of the mayors of the larger cities where homelessness is rampant and destroying the quality of life for tax-paying residents. Total strangers like activist Scott Presler have gone into San Francisco to clean up the poop- and needle-laden streets. But Newsom’s attempt to slap a “rah-rah” face on the crisis comes off as castles in the air postulating. While he rattled off many declarations and ideas, he gave no solid plans toward their implementation.

He tweeted part of his brilliant strategy on Twitter:

Gavin Stupid 1

So doctors are now realtors? So I can go to my doctor and say, “I want to live in the Governor’s mansion—write me a prescription please!” Ludicrous. He was rightly ratioed by many us:

Gavin Newsom Ratio 1Gavin Newsom Ratio 2Gavin Newsom Ratio 3Gavin Newsom Ratio 5

The last ratio points to Governor Newsom signing AB5 into law, which got nary a mention in his speech. He did make this baldfaced claim:

“In city after city, household after household, the hard work of this legislature is making dreams more real for more Californians than ever before.

“When Justice Brandeis wrote in 1932 that ‘a single courageous state may…serve as a laboratory’ of democracy, he could easily have been referencing California today.

“Because, unlike the Washington plutocracy, California isn’t satisfied serving a powerful few on one side of the velvet rope.

The California Dream is for all.” (emphasis mine)

Are you kidding me?! Over 160 professions ripped apart due to the effects of AB5. For thousands of California constituents, the California Dream became the California Nightmare overnight. But let’s talk about how we are going to solve homelessness in the state, when Newsom’s signing of this landmine of a law has done more toward exacerbating the crisis! I joined in the ratio myself by pointing this out:

Gavin Newsom Ratio-my reply

The total lack of self-awareness boggles the mind. But like Assembly speaker Harridan Lorena, they do what their union overlords tell them to do and they refuse to back down or apologize. The only thing either of them will understand is being voted out. I and others are working on that part.

Republican Assemblyman Kevin Kiley has authored a repeal bill to AB5: AB1928. It has wended its way through committee and will come up for vote on February 27. With the same Democrat Super Majority who voted it into place, it’s a long shot. But I appreciate that some of his colleagues, like Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, have signed on to Asm. Kiley’s effort to see AB5 stopped in its tracks.

 

State Senator Shannon Grove has also instituted bill SB875 to see the AB5 repealed.

 

Should these efforts be blocked or fail, it is clear we the people of California need to vote these bastards out. One-party rule by union fiat is neither protection nor is it healthy for a functioning state. It is a fiefdom, and none of us signed up for that.

Recall Newsom efforts are still underway, despite the blocking by secretaries of states who are fearful of losing their little corner of power. Early voting has already started, and Super Tuesday is March 3. Californians, please stop voting party lines and union lines, and vote for saving freedom to earn a livelihood in the way you see fit, and an electorate that works for you.

The true State of the State is dependent on you; not the empty-headed Ken doll in the governor’s mansion.





A funny thing happened on the way to 2020…

13 02 2020

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you know what happened; and it is not funny. Among the numerous freedom-killing laws the California legislature concocted and the Leftist Governor Newsom signed into law is Assembly Bill 5 (AB5), hilariously named, the “Gig Worker” Bill. This bill is the bastard child of Assemblymember (woman? Who knows? *eye roll*) Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher of District 80 in San Diego County.  Delusional, and drunk on power, she claims she just wants “workers” to have good jobs with good benefits. But you watch her Twitter feed, and actually confront her couched language, and she exposes her true goal:

Lorena True Reason for AB5 Union Tweet 09-16-19

Despite conversations, lobbying, protestations by truckers, small business, freelance writers, musicians, independent contractors, and other “gig” workers who don’t make money through the traditional channel of a 9-5 employee, #Harridan Lorena got what she wanted. The Democrat Super Majority voted it in, and Leftist Gavin signed it into law.

The law went into effect on January 1, 2020, and has wreaked havoc on millions of Californians; many who either didn’t think the law affected them, or just were too busy trying to earn a living (Hello!), that they didn’t see it coming.

If you follow my Twitter or Facebook feed, or just do an Internet search, you can read the articles, and see the stories of people limited and destroyed by this law. Professions like interpreters and translators, who work for multiple agencies via 1099, are also being hit horribly. Small non-profits, theater companies, opera houses have had to shutter their doors. All because a legislature, who is essentially bought-and-paid-for by big union interest, decided that the only valid employment is full-time (and union) employment.

Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher’s big dream is to be the Secretary of State in 2022, and then probably governor, which is always a stepping-stone to the presidency.

My goal is to shatter her dreams the way she has shattered my, and others, livelihoods:

Repeal AB5

“What the bill really did was make it illegal for Californians to choose how, when, and where to work to support their families. Overnight tens of thousands of people in various industries […] found their income streams either entirely eliminated or severely curtailed.” — AB 5 Facts.

Let’s call it what it is: Evil. With a vote you tell millions of workers that what they do does not matter, and that they can no longer do it on their own terms. This is not only un-American, it is destructive. And as John 10:10 tells me, “The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy…”

For those outside of California, who would say, “Oh, that’s crazy California, they get what they deserve…” Take a look at Virginia, New York, and Illinois to see that these power-hungry Leftists are never satisfied with destroying their own fiefdoms, but will be coming for yours very soon.

Last week, the United States House of Representatives voted to approve H.R. 2474, also hilariously titled “Protecting the Right to Organize 2019” Act  (PRO Act).  Long story short, it’s AB5 on steroids, and it is a nationwide bill that they hope to make a national law. They want to wreak the same havoc that is happening in California on your little state. Welcome to the party, folks!

It is now on the floor of the Senate, and Minority Leader Schumer of New York (huh), has promised to get the votes to have it pass the Senate. Even if that happens (there is much doubt), President Trump has said he will not sign the act, and then it dies until they get someone in office who will do their bidding (Hello, Bernie?).

But if I know one thing it is this: these people are like cockroaches: they keep coming back, and they bring 5,000 of their friends with them! They are not going to stop until they get what they want. Destruction of your constitutional and God-given freedoms.

So I am doing what I know to do, for myself and for all who are affected by AB5, and will be affected by HR 2474 (PRO Act).

I am not going to stop until I see AB5 fully repealed, and this PRO Act and any of its permutations destroyed. Like President Trump recognizes, social media is very effective. So my Assembly critter (who voted YES on AB5) Chris Holden, Governor Newsom, Sens. Diane Feinstein and Kamala Harris have heard, and will continue to hear from me via Tweet, post, as well as other traditional means like letter and fax. They supported these turkeys, and I will keep throwing that in their face until the outcry is deafening. And trust me, it’s getting there.

Here is another beauty part: California in its infinite wisdom moved their State elections to March 3, which allows us to channel the AB5 Resistance to the ballot box. While early voting is already going on, we still are able to affect change. I am encouraging California voters affected negatively by AB5 to vote against the Assembly person who signed on to this debacle. Aside from withholding money (which is the union’s threat), these jokers only understand being primaried or voted out of office entirely.

So beyond what work I can scrounge up, this has consumed my days. Pray for me, and hit the tip jar if you feel so led.

Even if you are not affected by this evil law, you can support or advocate on behalf of those who are. If you are on Facebook, follow: Freelancers Against AB5 and Freelancers Against the ProAct.

And speaking of Twitter, Faces of AB5 (#ProAct) is doing yeoman’s work in not only keeping California’s legislature’s feet to the fire, but promoting stories and news that tells the truth about the devastation caused by this evil law.

Here are some important links:

AB5 Facts – To educate you on AB5.

Shannon Grove AB5 Stories – One of our state representatives has graciously set up a questionnaire for those affected by the law.

AB5 Stories  – Stories of hundreds who have been adversely affected since AB5’s implementation.

AB5 Classification Form – I have created a form to quantify the number of professions and counties in California affected by this law. If AB5 is hampering or destroying your ability to work, please fill it out.

Special shout out to Lauri Jon Caravella for her artwork that channels our protest, anger, and advocacy. All the artwork posted is hers. I’ll leave you with this gem:

Freelancers Sinking Ship Artwork (Lauri Jon Caravella)





50 Days to 50 Years: Day 12, SweetSalt with Susan Baker and Mihret

20 07 2016

“Treat every connection, communication and collaboration as part of a continuous relationship.” ― Kim Chandler McDonald, Flat World Navigation: Collaboration and Networking in the Global Digital Economy

20160720_190149

It was so great on Day 12 to reconnect with The Escape Hatcher Susan M. Baker, and her little girl Mihret at SweetSalt in Toluca Lake.

I met Susan through Douglas Welch, a friend and new media professional. Both Susan and Doug were pivotal parts of the career group I used to run called Tuesdays with Transitioners, and it was through New Media Mastermind, a group that Doug formed which included myself, Susan, Jennifer “Jungle Jenny” Michaels, Danielle Gruen, and Tracy Pattin, that the first CareerCamp in 2010 was born!

Doug, Susan, Danielle and I were the first co-chairs, and the Congregational Church of Northridge, which sponsored Tuesdays with Transitioners, was the location. That was an exciting time, where we spearheaded three other Careercamps (L.A., South L.A. and Santa Clarita). We had a great time in the Mastermind group learning how to use new media to better promote ourselves and our endeavors, bouncing ideas off each other, and seeing how we could be instrumental in helping each other’s visions come to fruition. Susan also ran a group called Nohopreneurs, which brought local entrepreneurs together for lunch and networking.

Both our lives have changed tremendously over the last six years. In 2010, Susan was in the process of adopting beautiful Mihret from an Ethiopian adoption agency, and had her in arms that next year. So for Susan, careers and reinvention took a back seat to new motherhood (of course). For me, the Yoga reinvention happened, and life has been a series of rollercoaster rides, a few of which I am still on.

Susan was beautiful and glowing, so motherhood definitely suits her. Mihret was energetic and curious, as any six year old is, and exceptionally gorgeous—modeling should definitely be in her future.

SweetSalt was a new find for me, and I will be back! Not only was the Duck Confit sandwich quite tasty, but they have natural sodas that rival any you would find in the grocery store.

We caught up on our lives, discussing Yoga, travel, what was happening with the reinvention industry, writing, relocation, and education. Susan was involved as a volunteer at Mihret’s school, and I discussed my role on the CAAN National Board. She wanted to be an example to Mihret and emphasize through action the importance of education and being involved in its potential to change lives and allow students to flourish.

I enjoyed the meeting of minds, particularly in the area of careers and reinvention. Susan is exceptionally smart and resourceful, and it hearkened back to our time in the Mastermind group—with the addition of interruptions from a bright and bouncy six year old.

Thank you, Susan, for being a part of my 50 years: enriching my life with connection, vision, and also being a shining example of reinvention and new beginnings in the second half of your life. I hope we get the opportunity to collaborate again one day soon.

 

 





50 Days to 50 Years: Day 22, Talking Careers and Reinvention with Markell Morris

10 07 2016

“Become aware what is in you. Announce it, pronounce it,
produce it and give birth to it.” — Meister Eckhart

20160709_123819

The magic of Twitter. I try to tell those who are searching for work or looking to transition to a different career to get on this social media platform, and start engaging. The 140-character limitation not only sharpens your communication skills, but it refines your voice, and allows people to get past the noise and the memes. Yes, like any social media platform, there are fools, and junk, and people who only wish to waste your time. Some of the nice features on Twitter are the mute and block functions, and the ability to filter using hashtags—so you only see the information you want to see.

Which leads me to one of my Twitter contacts and how a simple tweet turned into a meet up and a future workshop on social media and careers! I first met Markell Morris through my work with CareerCamp Intl (see my asthegirlturns.com website for more info on that). At that time, she was a career counselor with UCLA, and she was a Tuesdays with Transitioners speaker back in 2010. Since then, we have kept up with each other peripherally on Twitter, and she is working on growing her own career coaching business.

Fast forward to 2016, and my recent work with Elizabeth House. Markell saw my tweet about the seminar I was doing that Saturday, and replied to it, asking whether it was a webinar format.

 

From this interaction, we arranged to meet each other and talk about this concept in greater detail. We met at Portos in Downey, and it was a productive and delicious time—love Portos’ food! We are now planning “How to Get Work to Come to You”, a webinar series on using social media and technology to not just look for work, but let those interested in hiring discover and hire you for that work.

From this single meeting, to my work at Communities Digital News, to other opportunities, I can testify to the benefit of allowing yourself to be active on social media in order to position yourself for work. There is a strategy and a manner in which you have to go about this, but it can be successfully done. Once Markell and I have the bones in place, I will be promoting the seminar so that people can learn these strategies and let the work they want find them.

Love serendipity, love networking with like minds, and really love Twitter.

 

 

 


 





50 Days to 50 Years: Day 41, CAAN Connect!

21 06 2016

“Respect for people is the cornerstone
of communication and networking.”
— Susan Roane

A fabulous time was had by all at the 2016 CAAN Connect! The West Coast chapter of Columbia College Chicago’s alumni association has held this networking event for years, and it has always been rewarding and enjoyable for the attendees.

West Coast Director Sarah Schroeder, Assistant Director of Alumni Relations Chuck Lira, and Coordinator of Special Events Amanda Clayton did a lovely job setting the space with awesome catering (with a bar!), and a spacious setup where alumni and entertainment industry executives could conduct their 15-minute speed networking sessions.

20160621_193303

My role as an alumni board representative was to help out at the check-in desk and interact with the alumni to ensure they were having a pleasant and productive experience. Interacting with the other alumni gave me insight into what an impact this type of event can have on one’s confidence and career, and how much the work of an alumni association can impact both. Alumna Abby Sherman (BA ’79) said, “I have to say, Columbia really steps up for its alumni.”

He shoots, he scores! Rim shot. I felt quite proud in seeing part of the vision of the alumni board coming to life and being affirmed by the very alumni we seek to serve.

Speaking of pride, Hallie McPhee-Johnston, another alumni said, “”I’m proud to be a part of Columbia. I really care about our school, and what we do to help each other move forward. This event was great! I made a lot of contacts, and I have a lot of work to do to get things out to people; but I am very pleased.”

I encouraged Hallie to apply for the 2016-17 national board—I hope she does!

My other role as just another alumni coming to network was also satisfying. I met this great husband and wife writing team, Anastasia and Joshua Basche, who I suspect will be the next Robert and Michelle King (The Good Wife, Braindead).  We had a fascinating conversation about the Chewbaca mom and her viral video, and discussed actual artistic effort versus socially-driven content. We exchanged cards and I look forward to getting together with them soon.

My pitch materials were a big hit! One executive said they were very professional, and felt it represented who I am and what I had to offer. Another executive from a literary management agency was disgusted that my last literary agency told me that they had to drop me because I didn’t have a platform. She complimented me on the fact that I took the dishonest feedback and did something with it: I now have a platform that cannot be denied! All in all, I received solid information and direction from each one, and can incorporate or move forward because of it.

The evening ended with a delightful conversation and a failed attempt at using Facebook Live! with Lydia Rodriguez (’07) and Roberta De’Mesme (’90). These women met at work and found out they both attended Columbia. Not only is their friendship delightful, but they are encouraging each other in moving back towards creative endeavors. That’s what networking is all about: sharing knowledge, opportunity, and encouraging each other in our goals and strengths. I look forward to seeing Lydia and Roberta’s podcast come to life and go viral. I let them know I would be honored to be a guest one day.

20160621_214616





50 Days to 50 Years: Day 44, Education and Reinvention

18 06 2016

CAAN Board 2015

“To be changed by ideas was pure pleasure. But to learn ideas that ran counter to values and beliefs learned at home was to place oneself at risk, to enter the danger zone. Home was the place where I was forced to conform to someone else’s image of who and what I should be. School was the place where I could forget that self and, through ideas, reinvent myself.” ― Bell Hooks

In 2015, I was elected as a member-at-large for my college’s national alumni board. My masters degree is from another “name” university, but my heart and loyalty will always be with Columbia College Chicago, where I received my undergraduate degree.

The bond is strong for a number of reasons; primarily because the tools and experiences I received at Columbia are ones that I use over and over again to increase my personal currency and vocational knowledge across all the industries in which I interact.

From Columbia I gained huge lessons on finding my unique voice, sharpening and honing all my skills, and pursuing my craft with authenticity. As I move forward in years, I understand more and more what a really phenomenal education it was on many levels. As part of my board role, I have had the opportunity to share this with prospective students and with other alumni, and it has been a joy.

Which is why I am looking forward to CAAN Connect, a speed pitching event for the Columbia Los Angeles alumni. Entertainment industry executives volunteer their time to hear Columbia alumni present their projects, and many have gotten help, work, and representation through this forum.

I have attended two CAAN Connects, one as an alumni pitching a project, and the other as an alumni volunteer helping others. This time will be a hybrid of both: representing the alumni board and helping the attending alumni, and also getting the opportunity to pitch As the Girl Turns to two of the executives who specialize in representing influencers and brands. Over the last eight years I have skirted the edges of both arenas, and my desire is to cement myself and take my influence and brand to the next level.

So today has been preparing my biography, projects, and pitch materials to present in a few days, and it has been satisfying seeing the big picture representation of my body of work. I hope I can translate that satisfaction effectively into my speed pitch.

20160618_221847





CareerCampSCV 2014 is happenin’!

12 07 2014

image

Another CareerCampSCV is in full swing! The Girl did a Breakout session on ”Blogging Effectively”, then did a regular session on “Social Media and Your Career”!

image

Refueling with some lunch and ready for two afternoon sessions: “10 Things to Do While You’re Looking”, and a repeat of the Blogging breakout session.

Always an awesome time of learning, contributing,  and inspiring!





In My Orbit…

16 04 2012

Digital Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

There’s been so much floating in my universe, that it has been hard to know where to begin to write. Of course, that results in not writing about anything, which is no solution either. So I have decided to begin categorizing all of my happenings under certain headings within “In My Orbit” (borrowing shamelessly from Douglas Adams, one of my favorite authors). It gives me an excuse to write more, and not feel torn about what to include and/or exclude.

Life

“We have no control over when or how we die, but we do have control over how we live.” — from Fried Chicken and Sympathy

My world has recently been impacted by the death of two dear people: a wonderful man named Jack Gilbert, and my cousin, Ricky Morgan.

Jack Gilbert, 2011

They say dogs know a good person, and dogs and cats loved Jack. Captured by his good friend and mine, Sarah Lucy Beach.

I met Jack Gilbert through Premise, an entertainment industry prayer fellowship. He was one of its leaders, both in role, and in example. I left Premise for a time, and it was due to Jack’s encouragement that I chose to return. Jack shaped lives through his deep commitment to Jesus Christ, and his teaching of screenplay writing at places like Warner Bros., Act One, Azusa Pacific University, and Columbia College Hollywood, among others. But he impacted through his quiet presence, his wisdom, and his delight of the arts, literature, and especially Casablanca! He delighted in bringing people together, whether it was a prayer group, writer’s group, book salon, or a movie. Jack was a great listener, a solid mentor, and from my relationships with others who were his friends, an excellent person. He embodied a life well lived, and his passing has left a huge void not only in the entertainment world, but many lives.

I didn’t know him half as well as others did, but he left a great impression by the weight of his presence and his life. Jack was always a man of grace, nobility, and gentle strength. What I would describe as “Meekness”. Matthew 5:5 says, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” Jack did inherit the earth, not through a powerhouse position or personality, but by just being, Jack. Now, he has received his ultimate inheritance! It’s bittersweet. He is in Heaven, which is awesome for Him, but the world has lost a tremendous presence and talent. But like all who leave a legacy of righteousness, their work and worth continues, long after they have left this earth. I know that will be the case with Jack.

His close friends and family held a private funeral service, but because of the wealth of his life through his investment in people and the community, there will be a more public memorial in May, that I plan to attend. The older I get, the more deaths I face, the greater importance I place on honoring those who have passed on.

My cousin Ricky died suddenly on Good Friday, and it broke my heart. He was a favorite, and more like another brother than a cousin. Ricky lived with us for a time when I was younger, and he and my brother Theodore were constant companions and running buddies. I probably heard more than a six-year-old should hear about the misadventures of young adult men, but I enjoyed being the mascot. Unlike my sisters, Theodore and Ricky liked my company, and they treated me like a person, rather than a kid who was underfoot.

Mike (left), Aunt Allene (middle), and Ricky at the Foxx Family Reunion, 2005. R.I.P. my cousin.

Ricky was hilarious. He had a sharp wit, a great laugh, and a radiant smile that charmed everyone. Ricky, his mother (my aunt) Allene, and his brother Mike moved on to Northern California, and his absence left a huge hole in my young life. When I moved to California in my adult years, I was able to reconnect with him. He had since moved to Southern California, and with my sister June and her daughter Gabi, we went to visit him and his then-wife. I was writing Fried Chicken and Sympathy during that time, and he was able to share stories, give insight, and piece together some family history that had been missing.

The last time I saw him was at our Foxx Family Reunion in 2005. He looked rested and happy, was his usual chipper and hilarious self, warm, welcoming and loving, as always.  I still cannot believe he is gone, and it is still up in the air about whether there will be a service or memorial where the rest of the family and friends can mourn his loss.

Whether that happens or not, Ricky knew Jesus too, so I will see him again in Heaven, where we can laugh together.

I am thankful for the personal impact of both these men, and that through their death, as well as in their life, they continue to instruct. As Psalm 90:12 states, “So teach us to number our days,that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” I am more attuned to counting the cost of my life.

The Universe

Part of the counting of my days is my work with job seekers and career transitioners. One of the ways I do this is my participation (and sometimes chairmanship) of CareerCamp events in Southern California.

CareerCampLA is coming up this Friday, April 20 from 9 am to 12 pm, at Los Angeles Southwest College, 1600 West Imperial Highway, Los Angeles, CA 90044.  Do I need to say it is well worth your time? Trust me, it is.

The day is geared toward “Building the Career That You Deserve” through workshops, seminars and breakout sessions. The agenda is set by the attendees, so you get your most burning questions answered. CareerCamp is a positive event focused on you and your needs in developing your career.

What I love about CareerCamp is that it’s NOT a job fair, but a workshop designed to hone your skills and give you the information you need to make the next step in your career. That next step may be starting your own business, or changing careers–it’s less about enabling and more about empowerment. If you want to be empowered to make the changes necessary to discover your career direction and life’s passion, then register here.

Everything

My world has been transformed by Yoga, and now I am able to lead others through its transformative work. I teach classes at CorePower Yoga in Sherman Oaks on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. I also teach a Soul Flow class in Northridge on Thursday nights. The Monday 12:00 pm class, and the Soul Flow class are only $10–you can’t get out of Starbucks that cheaply, and its positive effects are better and last longer!

Like the CareerCamps, it is a privilege to help others on a journey of discovery that moves someone closer to their authentic self, and offer inspiration that helps them get a better handle on their purpose in life.

Speaking of that… time to rocket off to CorePower for my Monday classes. Hope to see you around my universe.

 





In My Orbit…

29 10 2011

Digital Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It’s the weekend of All Hallow’s Eve. For you 99 percenters, that’s Halloween.

For certain Christians, this holiday is anathema, while others celebrate, preferring not to toss out good clean fun and fond memories of Halloween’s past for superstition and misplaced hysteria. Thanks to a friend, I got to thinking about those past Halloweens, and how they made a positive impact in my life. So I decided to reclaim the day in my own way. Read about it on my Examiner page: My return to All Hallow’s Eve.

I get to spend the rest of today hobnobbing with women professionals for At The Helm: Women in Biz 2011. Alaia Williams of the Entrepreneur Connection has created an event that will be the talk of the town! A full day of networking with entrepreneurs and industry leaders, engaging in panel discussions geared toward the business person, and a host of speakers from all across the spectrum.

At the top of my list: my friend Susan M. Baker (The Escape Hatcher), Lizzy Shaw (Lizzy Shaw PR), Nailah Blades (Polka Dot Coaching), and Lisa Steadman. But I am particularly excited about the energy and ideas generated when like-minded people come together. You’ll be hearing more about this when it’s all said and done.

Happy Saturday, and Happy Halloween!








%d bloggers like this: