Monthly Archives: June 2011

Happy Birthday To The Girl Who Should Have Been 82 Today

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Had she lived, Anne Frank would have been 82 today. I’ve always been a little fascinated with The Diary of Anne Frank, more so as I’ve gotten older and better able to appreciate her obvious budding writing talent, her wit and charm, and her ability to craft such a beautiful volume under unimaginably frightening and difficult circumstances.

Anne Frank would have been phenomenal blogger! Her insightful observations about life, people, and her days and nights in the Annex were clearly well beyond her years. And she was funny too…well, maybe not LOL funny, but witty is the descriptor that comes to mind.

Sometimes I wonder what she would think of it all…personal computers, the internet, social media, texting, and blogging of all things. Really, just a new twist on what came naturally to her. A lot has been written about Anne over the many years since her father turned her diary over to the world, and a good many people have clearly found her as interesting as I do.

What is it about her that captures our attention so, and tugs at our hearts? Well, for me, it’s just how average, and at the same time extraordinary she was. And I guess also the unsolved mystery of what and who she might have become. Would she have been a homemaker and mother? And would her children have inherited her love of writing, and of telling the story of life exactly as she saw it? Or would she have become a dedicated career woman? Continuing to write…perhaps books, or even as a professional journalist of some sort?

We’ll never know now, but one thing that is so wonderful about sharing our words, whether it is in a diary, or a book, or a blog, is that a piece of you really does live on. Our words are our own, and offer a little glimpse into who we really are.  Because our thoughts and impressions, and particularly the way we choose to share them at the point we put pen to paper, or hand to keyboard, are as unique as our fingerprints…

Who knows what sort of life 82 year old Anne would be reflecting back on now as she blew out those 82 candles, or maybe just the big wax eight and two…No doubt she would have some stories to tell of post war Europe, and perhaps her own immigration to the United States, or even Israel.

One thing I know for certain—a woman like Anne would own a laptop, and have a blog. Maybe she’d give her blog a girl’s name too, just like she called her diary “Kitty”. And she’d write about all of the life that she’d lived, what was going on around her at the moment, and she would definitely have a lot to say about the realities and annoyances of being 82, I’m sure.

But, as much as I wish she were still around to share her thoughts with us today, she’ll always be…just a girl…in the writing business…sometimes witty…

“And finally I twist my heart round again, so that the bad is on the outside and the good is on the inside, and keep on trying to find a way of becoming what I would so like to be, and could be, if there weren’t any other people living in the world”. ~ Anne Frank

Click the photo of Anne’s Diary to visit the Anne Frank Museum Online. This is a wonderful site with a lot of interactive multimedia, and The Annex in 3D…

Where The World Is Headed & Stopping It Before It Gets There

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I read a great blog this morning on Slouching towards Thatcham about man’s inhumanity to man. The blogger referenced this article in the U.K. newspaper, The Telegraph: “Disabled passengers face rising level of abuse on public transport“, and discussed the fact that despite the popularity of dialogue about basic human rights, those same people pretentiously discussing the rights of others seem to throw it all out the window when it comes to their own daily human interactions. That is my overall take on the blog posting, anyway, and for the record, I concur. Hypocrisy abounds in our supposedly civilized countries, his the U.K., and mine the U.S. I often read magazine and news articles about how stressed we all are in our daily lives these days. I don’t disagree, and I also see how that stress and pressure can lead us to be very short with other people, even rude or bordering on abusive at times. But, when we stoop as low as described in the blog and the article, it’s time to stop, reverse course, and vow to do better.

There is a series of commercial spots that run here in the U.S., and maybe other countries as well…not sure. They’re from The Foundation For a Better Life, and each spot features a vignette depicting different values–values which are clearly lacking in our world today in a big way when the disabled are so routinely abused on public transit that it makes the news, and members of Congress seem to think it’s A-okay to not only lie in a big way, but accuse innocent people of internet crimes in the process–all because of an over-concern for the self, which completely eclipses basic human concern for anyone else. 

I’ve picked five of my favorites (all below, click on the photo to watch the spot) but there are lots more on the website, Values.com. Maybe if we all acted a little more like this, we’d act a little less like that.

Maybe we’d…

Make Someone Else’s Day, In Style

Think of Someone Else’s Needs First…

Go Out of Our Way to Do the Right Thing…

Devote Our Time to Helping Others Find Their Way…

And Heal the Hurt in the World Instead of Cause It…

“Today we are afraid of simple words like goodness and mercy and kindness. We don’t believe in the good old words because we don’t believe in good old values anymore. And that’s why the world is sick”. ~ Lin Yutang

 

The First Grader; Watch the Trailer, Make a Difference!

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Wow! After watching this trailer, I’m sort of at a loss for words, which hardly ever happens. What an amazing film this looks to be! Inspirational, moving, meaningful….IMPORTANT…And, if you just watch the trailer, Capella University will donate $.50 on your behalf to worldwide education. That’s a win/win, so what are you waiting for? 🙂

Official Movie Site

Coming Up…A New E-terview Series; Nonprofit Leadership

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Leadership….what is it? I have a whole leadership focused business management degree, and while I was toiling away in all those classes I learned what the experts had to say on the subject, and I also formed my own opinions along the way. The concept of leadership means different things to different people, and not surprisingly, expectations of leadership vary from organization to organization.  I see leadership as a complex concept that involves the degree to which an individual or group of individuals purposely and systematically influences the opinions, priorities, and behaviors of others.

Unlike the experts, I believe that leadership can be either positive or negative. I remember having somewhat of a contentious debate with one of my instructors at one time, regarding whether or not Adolf Hitler was a leader. I argued that he was–just a really, really bad one, and my instructor toed the line of conventional business management wisdom that he was not, because with leadership there is an inherent implication of positive influence. Since I think that leaders can be positive or negative, good or bad, I also think leadership is all about choices. Everyone involved with an organization can be a leader (that is in line with the experts), and every individual makes choices and groups of choices–daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, that affect the degree to which he or she is able to influence others around them, and also whether that influence will amount to a positive or a negative for the organization overall.

The nonprofit sector is all about doing good, right? So, every formal (and informal) nonprofit leader arguably sets out to help their particular organization do the most good, for the most clients, and to leave a positive impact on the world, as defined by their mission, which technically could be at odds with some other nonprofit’s mission, but usually is not. They also usually believe strongly in that mission too, or they wouldn’t be associated with that nonprofit, at least not for long. And, they want to influence others–their peers, their subordinates, their bosses on the board of directors, donors, grantmakers, and the community around them, to help them and their organization do good!

So how do real life nonprofit leaders, out there in the trenches where life and work is tough sometimes, have a positive influence, and influence others to help them achieve a vision? There’s only one way to find out–ask them! And that’s what I intend to do in an upcoming E-terview series on Nonprofit Leadership. I want to talk to real nonprofit leaders, preferably from different places, working in different industries, about how they define leadership, and how they carry it out day to day in the nonprofits they are associated with. I had a lot of fun with my Authentic Winner E-terview series, and I think this one will be just as interesting and engaging, for me, and you too.

So, stay tuned over the next few weeks as I talk to nonprofit leaders about what leadership means to them, their own successes and mistakes, and they share their wisdom with us about how they have a positive influence, and we can too! I have a couple of folks lined up for this, but am open to new e-terview-ees. If you work for a nonprofit organization of any size, and manage or coordinate either people or a function, I’d love to talk to you! If you’re interested in being featured, please comment here, or drop me a line at wittybizgal@gmail.com

Best Friend, Or Narcissistic Leash Candy?

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I think she has my eyes, don’t you? Not to mention my long, pointy schnoz….

Every morning when I leave the house to take my youngest to school, I have about a two mile drive to the gate at 25 MPH, or thereabouts anyway. It’s really hard to drive 25. Anyway, every morning, since I’m going so slowly, I am treated to a show–Lookalikes On Parade. They travel in pairs, one is holding the leash, and the other is peeing on the grass. That’s right! I’m talking about people and their dogs. And it’s my personal observation, totally unscientific of course, that people who get dogs do tend to choose a pet that looks a lot like them. Not exactly, mind you, because how much alike can a canine and a human really look? A LOT, if you ask me!


If you think you look like your dog, there’s even a contest the two of you can enter: Do You Look Like Your Dog?

And, there’s science behind it too…

“Researchers at Bath Spa University in the U.K. asked 70 people who didn’t have dogs to match pictures of 41 canine keepers to one of three breeds of dogs: poodle, labrador or Staffordshire bull terrier. The guessers correctly matched dog breeds to owners 50 to 60 percent of the time…”

“In 2004, researchers in San Diego found that subjects in a study were able to correctly match pictures of dog owners with their pets more often than not, but only when the dogs were purebreds. Simple traits like hair and size played a smaller role than things like facial expressions”.

“Also in 2004, a psychologist at the University of South Carolina challenged the findings in a separate study, pointing out flaws in the study designs. When the San Diego researchers countered with a reanalysis that confirmed their initial findings, the debate seemed to be at a standstill”.

Some researchers seemed to conclude that if people do choose pets that look like them, it’s likely because of a preference for the familiar, and the comfort that brings. Either that, or people are likely to choose a companion that mirrors their own traits, physical and otherwise.

As the debate rages on…and we let the scientists duke it out, I think I’ll stick to what I know to be true–people do pick dogs that look like them! Just look around you for plenty of anecdotal evidence! In the meantime, whether you and your dog look like you were separated at birth or not, take a little time today to appreciate all of the joy that your best friend brings to your life…

The canines in my life…A Music Video

And please, if you’re in the market for a new addition to the family, consider adoption and rescue first! There are so many animals in need of good homes…Find One Here: Adopt A Pet

While We’re Waiting for Romantic Dawn to Break in November…

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First Official Trailer For Breaking Dawn, Part 1

Honestly, I’d sort of forgotten all about Twilight lately…in the lag time before the Fall 2011 premiere of Breaking Dawn, Part 1, I’d moved on to other romantic obsessions, such as all the episodes of the 80’s campy drama, Beauty and the Beast, now available on streaming video at Netflix. And then, this morning, I saw it! The brand new, just released trailer for Breaking Dawn, Part 1…and it looks like it’s gonna be epic! If you’re an older than tween Twilight fan like me, you’ll probably agree that it just seems way too cruel to make us wait till Fall. So, I found a few Twilight related items on the web that can help us all get our Twi-Fix over the summer.

All of these are ubercool, and more or less age appropriate, Twilight related goodies. Click on any of the photos to view and purchase each item from a vendor’s website…

For the cerebral Twilight Fan, there’s this book, available from Amazon.com on the philosophy of Twilight…I can’t even imagine…But, it has a 4 out of 5 star rating, so it looks to be worth a read. Apparently this is part of a larger series on the philosophy of pop culture.

This silver toned Twilight Moms medallion from Infinite Jewelry Co. is cute…I’d wear it! Well, I’d wear it to the movie, then tucked under my shirt the rest of the year…lol

Summit Entertainment makes an entire line of Twilight inspired makeup, from lip glosses, to nail polishes, to these great little complete palettes. Each is named after a character in Twilight, and inspired by the character’s personal style….This one is the Team Jacob look, with rich, warm tones…

And for the Twi-Mom who likes to plan ahead, and lives within spitting distance of Utah, or comes equipped with the means to get there, here’s a fancy Breaking Dawn premiere event you can sign up for. It’s being held at the Hampton Inn in West Jordan, Utah, which is conveniently located behind the Cinemark Theater. This one even features a Renesme lookalike contest…that alone would be worth the price of admission, which is a bargain at only $35!

If you live in a chilly, Forks-like climate, and want to be stylin’ when you’re headed out to the November Breaking Dawn, Part 1 premiere, my pal Sharmon Cate Hardin, Now You’re Covered, makes a truly gorgeous replica of Bella’s La Push knit hat from the original Twilight movie! She can do them in any color too, not just Bella Gray…my favorite was a beautiful claret red. Not to worry, any color will match perfectly with the disguise you’ll be wearing as you walk up to the box office…dark glasses, fake nose, and mustache…:-)

Here is Sharmon’s Rockin’ Red Version

This is the True to Twilight Gray Movie Hat

And just so you don’t lose track of time and miss the premiere, here’s a great wall clock that is about as understated as Twilight wall clocks can get….

Happy shopping! There’s no better way to pass the Twilight time….

No Way Out On The Road to Cougartown

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Yesterday, my family and I decided to visit Sarasota for the first time since we’d moved to the state of Florida a little over a year ago. We’d heard it was a beautiful place…gorgeous coastline, funky artist colonies, amazing food, great shopping, etc. A real Jimmy Buffet-esque paradise. So, we used our cell phone to give us directions–you know, the one with the creepy computerized voice? We set out from Winter Haven and unexpectedly came upon a toll route. Fine, we thought, we have cash for the tolls…so we proceeded on. As we drove along peacefully on our short journey to the real life Margaritaville/Cougartown, I spotted a sign a few feet down the road that read, “EXACT CHANGE REQUIRED”.

My heart skipped several beats, which is more than a little scary since I was behind the wheel of a large sports utility vehicle, and I began to yell to each of my passengers, “Oh my god! Does anyone have any change???” I’d assumed my boys were holding out, because they always find change on the ground (I guess because they are closer to it than I am) and tuck those quarters away in pockets and shoes for later use. But, no such luck….there I was, trapped with no way out…no way to turn around…and no way to magically transform a $20 bill into quarters. Most of all, I was in the throes of a full on panic attack, with no Xanax or even a new tube of lipstick (see previous blog) to be had.

As I approached the toll booth, and stopped at the red lighted stop sign, I knew I had to make a choice. Being the sort of person who, when pushed too far, has been voted most likely to jump off that cliff, guns a’blazin, into the abyss, I did not just sit in my Jeep and cry like a lot of women would. Nor did I try to back up and go the wrong way on the highway, like a suicidal psycho would. No, I did what Thelma and Louise did…I drove right on through, leaving in my wake a chorus of buzzers, bells, whistles, and flashing lights as a highly public testament to my rogue criminal nature…

Oh, and a droll Floridian in a pickup truck who followed me closely just so I would roll down my window long enough for him to shout, “You know, that’s a $100 ticket you got back there…” Uh, yeah…thanks, buddy….


Take another road to a hiding place
Disappear without a trace
Take another road to another time
On another road in another time
Like a novel from the five and dime
Take another road another time