Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Bansky in Greensboro?

Stopped in at McGee Street Mini Mart today and noticed a "Banskyesque" doggie on the store front of Social.Could it be that he came to town to listen to Paleface and Holy Ghost Tent Revival play last night at StudioB? What do you think? Bansky or imposter?

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Monday, December 22, 2008

Harlem Nights

This past weekend I was fortunate enough to attend Harlem Nights, a celebration of the music and dance of the world famous Cotton Club at StudioB.

Featured performers were The Joe Robinson Quartet, Melva Houston and Bertha Young, the Showtime Dancers as well as performers Matthew Wiley as Cab Calloway, Todnee Jefferies as Ethel Waters, Jonathan Bethea as Nat King Cole, Tameka Allen as Billie Holiday, Indira Roberts as Lena Horne with host Woodrow Bumbry offering the history of each performance.

The evening began with the soulful singing of Melva Houston and How High the Moon.  Her earthy talent never fails to move a crowd to their feet. In 2006 Melva received a Telly Award for her short-form documentary promo - Melva Houston: Keeping Jazz Alive. When she is not traveling the world to share her passion she volunteers her time to the young members of the Triad Youth Jazz Society.

Bertha Young, lead singer of Sweet Dreams, offered a dynamic performance of I've Got Rhythm and Satin Doll.  She has opened for Patti Labelle, Frankie Beverly & Maze and performs regularly in N.C. 

The Joe Robinson Quartet followed these two talented ladies to wow the crowd with Take the A Train , All of Me and provided the driving rhythm for each performance. Joe, a graduate of Berklee School of Music, began playing the trumpet at the age of thirteen at Atkins High School and has worked with a host of Jazz greats such as Lou Donaldson , Dannie Richmond and Donald Byrd

One of my favorite performers was Matthew Wiley as Cab Calloway. He lit up the 'Cotton Club' with electric renditions of The Hi-De-Ho Man and It Don't Mean a Thing that brought a cheering audience to their feet.

Harlem Nights, arranged by Platinum Entertainment, benefited One Step Further, a private, nonprofit United Way Agency.

For information on booking StudioB for special events please contact Ayesha Oglesby.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

New SpringWidget


Recently, I took on a part time bar tending job as I make the transition into a full time freelancer. It has been years since I have worked in the service industry but, after my conversation last night about tipping with a friend, I felt compelled to speak up.

From the mom and pop diner to the country club to the fine dining restaurant, I have been exposed to the best and the worst that the service industry can offer - both as a server and as a patron. 

If you have ever worked in the service industry then you know that $2.13 and hour places your financial survival at the mercy of every person you serve. Just to make ends meet often requires long hours and double shifts with no health insurance. Don't even think about getting sick!

If you have ever been victim of shitty service then you know that what you leave as a tip is the only way for you to get your point across, short of asking to speak to the manager and hoping that they are not as ill mannered or indifferent as your server.

All of that being said - my advice is this. . .  

If you are a patron - 
- If you can't afford to tip . . . you can stretch those would be dining dollars farther by preparing meals at home

- If you are a lousy tipper - remember that the server you just shafted makes $2.13 an hour and is trying to survive.  And there is a lousy tipper database with your name in it.

- If you can afford to tip, print out this guide. Base the % you leave on the quality of service you receive

- Learn what you can do to receive better service the next time you decide to dine out. 

- When you travel understand the rules of tipping abroad.

If you are a server - 

-Your attitude and attentiveness are everything. 

-Treat every person the way you would like to be treated, with respect. 

-If you are busy - make eye contact, say hello . . . let them know you will be there to take care of them asap.

- Learn how you can increase your tips and build a regular clientele. Bill Marvin, The Restaurant Doctor, has a book that can help.

- Vent your frustrations off duty and away from work. Share your war stories with people who understand.

For more tipping information let William Michael Lynn, a professor at the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University, be your guide.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Critically Thinking

As of January 1, my term as Marketing Director for an art gallery comes to an end and the wonderful world of possibility opens up with a fresh start . . . I am making the freelance switch.

There are so many things I love to do (see the furniture? I designed and built it!) that I litterally have a toy box full of choices. 

Last night, after a local tweetup, I made my decision. . . to help artists/galleries by designing their ads, websites & logos, writing press releases, creating submission/media/press packets and of course by writing feature articles on their exhibits for local publications like ExhibitC, a regional magazine focused on the arts. 

I am still working on the logistics and I understand that there is a lot of hard work ahead of me  - but with local resources and incredible support from the art community, I have to say that this is one of the happiest days of my life. . . I finally get to swim in the deep end of the entrepreneurial pool!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

How to Get a Free Press Release to Show Up in Google News, With Active Links

Article By: David Sarokin

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Category: Business

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A press release can be a great promotion tool. But publishing a press release can be a long, drawn-out, angst-ridden, and expensive affair. Or...it can be easy, fast, and best of all, free. The key is knowing where to go. Here's how to publish a free press release with html, active links (working URLs), and have it show up in Google News.

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Freelance Switch

It is 12 days before my 'freelance switch' and I have been kicking my preparations into high gear.

Though my home office still looks like Einsteins desk from Princeton I was certain that in a magical matter of days I would have forsaken my creatively messy ways for a super productive lifestyle

I have been struggling to stay focused on my office cleaning duties as of late. It has been easier to plug my laptop in and work from my desk in the living room, than it has been to finish making my home office a sanctuary during this transition.

Trying to do research on making this freelance transition as painless as possible eats up what little free time I have.  A friend of mine pointed out that as long as the work is getting done - does it really matter where I am working?!

"Focus on the what, not the how."  was a quote from The Secret that came up. . . hey, if it means I can shut the door to my office and keep my head down for a while - I am all for that! But I had been spending way too much time bouncing all over the net trying to line up as many freelance job resources as I could . . . 

And then it happened . . . I was updating my tweets this morning when I noticed @imjustcreative posted a retweet by @mlane that will undoubtedly save my ass . . . thanks guys! 

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Font Conference

This video will *never* get old. . .

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Monday, December 15, 2008

Brinks Armored Car Driver Killed During Robbery At Old Navy

This evening, investigators for the Greensboro Police Department are still looking for the suspect who shot and killed a Brinks armored car driver during a daylight heist. Read more here http://tinyurl.com/63udkn

read more | digg story

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Working from Home

Okay, it is Sunday morning and I have been up for hours checking emails, updating twitter, and seriously debating if I really need the rest of those time sucking social networking sites before I get into research for a PR campaign.

Ideally I would be doing all of this from my fantastically tidy home office, which I imagine would look a lot like this . . . a magical place where my productivity slips into warp speed and my muse is always at the helm.

Realistically my home office looks more like Einsteins desk from Princeton. Not that I am saying my piles of papers are signs of genius mind you, but that Einstein and I share the same cleaning habits of our work space. . . none.

Working diligently on applying my '9 inches to success' theory to my workspace, I have been recycling, donating and throwing things away for the last week. All of this being done with the hope of reclaiming my home office, keeping my living room work free and decreasing my overall stress level.

Yesterday I came across a fantastic post on Wired, aptly titled, Actually Work From Home When You Work From Home. This post is for those of us who stay up until 2am working on a project and then get caught the next morning taking calls and answering emails in our PJ's, while we wait on a load of laundry to dry and the dishwasher to finish.

Building the firewall between work and home and creating a functioning home office is difficult to do. I know first hand and am trying to find that balance with the help of Michele Connoly's Getting Organized Blog.

To those of you who have mastered the art of work and home success - I admire your discipline to manage your time effectively and commitment to your long term goal of self employment. If you are considering starting your own home based business I recommend reading this article by Randy Duermyer.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

List's and My '9 Inches to Success' Theory

I am a list person. I create list's for just about everything you can possibly think of. 
  1. grocery list
  2. Christmas/birthday cards list
  3.  deadlines list
  4. 'to do' list for home de junking
  5. thank you notes/nice to meet you notes list
  6. vacation/travel wish list
  7. 'to do' today list
  8. personal goals list
  9. and the infamous 'why haven't you done this yet?!' list

This is just a short sample of my 'list'fulness. Often, when I begin to write, I let what needs to get done get away from me and add to my stress. No matter how many list's I create - inevitably there are rogue 'to dos' that end up congregating on #9 of the list above. 

Where is the that list you ask? . . . well, it's buried at the bottom of a stack of papers in my home office that looks more like a group home for wayward paper and junk than a viable office. 

Personally, I don't care if I ever see that list again. It intimidates me, and gives me ice cream before bed kind of nightmares. 

I have been trying to figure out a way to solve my perpetually growing list torture -  only adding to my lists and my frustration. Finally, I believe I have found my answer

While going through my office supplies yesterday, I found some interesting tape that has markings like a ruler. This tape has been
floating around for a few years - unopened until today. No doubt purchased for a project idea that was on one of my 'list's of no return'.  

This morning I took 9 inches of that tape and applied it to my laptop as a reminder to accomplish 9 things everyday. By focusing on 9 things that truly need my attention TODAY,  I am hopeful to accomplish more on a daily basis (one of my personal goals). 

This new theory of productivity I dubbed '9 inches to success'. 

This tag is a straight forward description of the visual reminder right?! Well, a friend of mine said that it sounds more like a 'how to' for an adult film star . . . not a PR/Marketing geek's list tamer theory . . . perv. I chose not to listen to him, seeing as the last list he made was for Thanksgiving dinner 2 years ago, which he admits he left at home. 

Now, for practical application.

1. Blog about it.     Check  /  1"

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Financial Survival: Practical Ways to Save Money

This year Kristen Eckstein published her fourth book - Financial Survival: Practical ways to Save Money

Having written this book from her own life lessons, Kristen offers free resources to help you reclaim your financial independence and lead a fuller, stress free life. 

Topics that she covers in depth, with pragmatic solutions.

1. Setting up a budget
2. Learning to live without (helping you understand Consumerism and that       personal happiness is not found in material possessions and consumption, but rather in having more to give)
3. Building a cash reserve
4. Food
5. Clothing
6. Housing
7. Furniture
8. Home Improvements and Decorating
9. Utilities
10. Transportation and Travel
11. Holidays and Special Events
12. Entertainment
13. The Extras
14. Loans and Credit Cards

Kristen's book has made a huge difference in how I look at my own financial future and has shown me the little things that I can do on a daily basis to keep it growing strong.

With all of the worry - from wall street to main street, the timing of this book could not have been better. Look for the follow up Financial Revival: A Lifestyle of Freedom in 2009! 

Sunday, September 21, 2008

get drunk thumb

Texting while intoxicated requires the 'get drunk thumb' - get yours today and enjoy the wtf's of your friends the next day! The 'get drunk thumb' comes with free *ex booty call*, *needless tweets* and *auto correct can't help this*

read more | digg story

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Chicago Company Launches Tree Free Paper

Cutting down on the use of paper is easy enough, but in spite of all your efforts you’ll never become 100% paperless. That’s where tree free paper comes in. Recently launched on the market by GPA, a Chicago paper company, Ultra Green paper is 100% tree free.

read more | digg story

What happens when you mix Digg with Twitter?

I shudder at the name which I think is rather horrible but can you guess what this site is about. Yes you got it, it is a cross between Digg and Twitter. Despite the name the site itself is actually not to bad. o just what can you do at Dwigger? Well you can submit the URL of a Twitter post and then people can vote and comment on it...

read more | digg story

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

6 Questions to Ask Yourself to Get the Most Out of Life

“And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” - Abraham Lincoln

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Monday, August 18, 2008

socially speaking

Currently, it is 7am and I have been online for nearly two hours. I have twittered, faceplanted - and updated for my twellow people. I know there is more that I could be doing, but quite frankly I don't sleep enough as it is.

I have been (and still are) feverishly working on the web updates since launcing the new logo. The new design is compliments of a 3 day stint I had at the Montage in Laguna Beach. . . a very inspirational trip.

Since the national ads - there has been a sharp increase in web traffic and so too in my email - growth! It takes hours to go through and answer each one and I am still learning to master that.

I deal directly with the artists and chairities, hang each monthly exhibit as well as off site installations, offer residential and corporate consultation, write each press release, hand deliver each investment, attend all charity functions and gallery space rentals - freelance webdesign, graphics and branding - personal shopping for antiques and fine art and custom furniture design.

So socially speaking, I need a PA to help with this fantastic growth in the business - so that the next time I am asked out to dinner . . . I can say yes.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Segway Sales Growing Fast Because of Gas Price Unsurpassed

Actual Quote: "Two 'catcalls' are the most popular," Feeney said. "People yelling, 'Dork!' and people yelling, 'How much does that cost?"'

read more | digg story

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Nation's Spies: Climate Change Could Spark War

The U.S. intelligence community has finished up its classified assessment of how our changing weather patterns could contribute to "political instability around the world, the collapse of governments and the creation of terrorist safe havens."

read more | digg story

Stop the Bush Cuts to Public Broadcasting

The Bush administration has slashed the proposed public broadcasting budget by 56% -- putting at risk vital news, educational & cultural programming that millions of Americans say they prefer to commercial media. The Senate, who's going to vote tomorrow, must stand with the millions of Americans who have acted in the past against such drastic cuts.

read more | digg story

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Associated Press: Fair Use Limits You To Four Words

Five Words Costs $12.50 –– As we wait with bated breath for the Associated Press to come down from the mountain with its own rules for "fair use for bloggers," Patrick Nielsen Hayden gives us a sense of what the AP considers fair use.

read more | digg story

Monday, June 16, 2008

PHOTOSHOPPED: Captain Jack Sparrow (A Must-See!)

Learn how to paint Jack Sparrow out of a skull. Digital speed painting of Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) with: Adobe Photoshop CS3 Wacom Intuos3 A4 Recorded with: autoScreenRecorder 2.0 Free Produced with: Adobe After Effects about 3 hours painting.

read more | digg story

US Top Consumer of Crude Oil by the Barrel

top 10 producers and consumers of crude oil by the barrel

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Saturday, June 7, 2008

With record Sotheby's sale, art market keeps booming

Collectors dropped a historic $362 million at Sotheby's evening contemporary art auction this week - a sign that for dealers and gallery owners, good times are still rolling.

read more | digg story

Friday, June 6, 2008

M. Night Shyamalan's movie The Happening

The Happening is a 2008 American apocalyptic film written, co-produced and directed by M. Night Shyamalan. It stars Mark Wahlberg and Zooey Deschanel.

read more | digg story

Email checklist

Seth Godin has come up with an email check list that you should share with a select few in your address book (you know who they are!) out of mercy for all of the people in THEIR address book!

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Thursday, June 5, 2008

Seth Godin's Email Check List

I found this checklist this morning and felt compelled to share. It will now hang in my office as a reminder the next time I want to hit send without reading Seth's list first.


We have all been guilty of it at one time or another. I recently sent out twitter invites 6 times to everyone on the list (not my fault! I swear! they said they were having issues. . . try to explain that to an angry mob!)

It is ackward but necessary when you write someone you do business with and ask them to take you off their FWD, FWD, FWD list - in one afternoon I recieved 3 emails from the same person and all were the pass this along or else, cute kitty, and life without chocolate emails that of course were not blind copied - EVER!

I have moved cleaning up and organizing my email address book to the top of my list of things to do today. I also bought some stamps.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

plugged in, charged up and ready to go!

Alright. I have spent the last few hours connecting myself to the virtual world that exists at the tip of my fingers.
After attending the ASID Spring Conference in Myrtle Beach - Ron McDaniel (BUZZOODLE.COM guru) convinced me that my myspace, and facebook were not enough. . . I needed to youtube be a linkedin blogger and twitter my life away.

I have uploaded, posted, reposted - sent requests, answered back, wrote on the walls and now finally, have decided that all of this could be a full time job. . . I already have the perfect office picked out on a beach of Bora Bora.

As if there are not enough usernames, passwords, secret codes and email accounts to check - I am seriously putting my memory to the test. . . (should have paid more attention to the memory game in kindergarden instead of eating paste).

So, here I am . . .