TED talk: Susan Cain: The Power of Introverts

I just really enjoyed this. Enjoy, from an introvert 🙂

Click on the link and relish in who you naturally are …TED

I have started reading her book (I know, that doesn’t shock any of you), Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. I’ll let you know how it is. Anissa

March 3, 2012 at 9:59 pm Leave a comment

Mistakes introverts make

Mistakes Introverts Make  …  Anissa note: sure wish I knew this earlier in life!! Better late than never!!
By: Sophia Dembling

Isolating: Sure, some people need more social interaction than others, but we all need some. Too much isolation is not healthy. I know it’s time to leave the house when I start feeling gloomy in my solitude, or like I’m getting weird. Weird is subjective, but when going to the supermarket feels like a major excursion, when I start worrying that I may have lost the ability to converse, when I get furious at near-strangers in my online social networks, I know it’s time to for face time. I call a friend, do lunch, attend a party…anything to get my social gears cranking again. It needn’t be anything deep and meaningful. Just a little something to reconnect me.

Not returning phone calls: Yes, we hate the phone, and it’s OK to ask that people respect and honor this. But that doesn’t give us carte blanche to ignore phone calls. When someone you care about calls–even if you let it go to voicemail to deal with later–you really should respond at some point. If necessary, drop an e-mail and schedule the call. Otherwise, pick up the phone and dial. You can do it.
OK, if someone obstinately refuses any other form of communication and insists on frequent time-sucking phone calls, then you get some leeway to make your point. Otherwise, be nice. (I learned this lesson after hurting the feelings of a very dear friend.)

Plunging into the deep end: As much as we prefer deep conversation, plunging straight into your worldview over the onion dip at a party can be off-putting to others. Start shallow and ease into the deep if the conversation continues. If you’re looking for friends, remember that insta-friendships are rare, and rushing the conversation isn’t a shortcut. Friendships build incrementally, and they start with small talk.

Letting your mouth run away with you: Ah, the dreaded babble. It happens. Lots of us chatter when we’re nervous. Shy introverts might be prone to this. It’s like running down a hill; once you get started, it’s hard to slow down. But it also might happen when the subject is something you are particularly passionate about. Either you get caught up in your own enthusiasm, or you burrow deep into your own knowledge and forget to check audience reaction.
If you suddenly realize you’ve careened into a long monologue, take a breath and look around. Do people appear rapt? Then continue. Do they look slightly pained? My favorite line at that point is, “But don’t get me started….” Cue laughter, everything’s fine.

Confusing introversion and fear: We all must do things we don’t like. That’s life. But if you find that you can’t bring yourself to do certain things-return a phone call, attend a gathering, join a conversation-then what you’re feeling may be fear, not introversion. Fear is a useful emotion, of course, with deep evolutionary roots. But if it interferes with your life and you find yourself regretting things not done, maybe it’s time to rummage around in your psyche (one of our favorite activities!) to figure out what you’re scared of and how to change that.

Judging: Some introverts insist that parties are pointless, chit-chat is a waste of time, and extroverts are shallow. I neither share nor endorse those opinions. Parties can be joyous, and community ritual has been important throughout history. Chit-chat connects us and greases the gears of society. And while I’m sure some extroverts are shallow, as I’m sure some introverts are (thinking deeply about yourself only does not make you a deep person), a blanket dismissal of extroverts is bigoted and, well, shallow.

January 5, 2012 at 12:07 pm 1 comment

10 myths about introverts

Taken from: http://www.carlkingdom.com/10-myths-about-introverts by Carl King.

This really helped me a lot .. Hi, my name is Anissa and I’m an introvert.


So here are a few common misconceptions about Introverts (not taken directly from the book, but based on my own life experience):

Myth #1 – Introverts don’t like to talk.
This is not true. Introverts just don’t talk unless they have something to say. They hate small talk. Get an introvert talking about something they are interested in, and they won’t shut up for days.

Myth #2 – Introverts are shy.
Shyness has nothing to do with being an Introvert. Introverts are not necessarily afraid of people. What they need is a reason to interact. They don’t interact for the sake of interacting. If you want to talk to an Introvert, just start talking. Don’t worry about being polite.

Myth #3 – Introverts are rude.
Introverts often don’t see a reason for beating around the bush with social pleasantries. They want everyone to just be real and honest. Unfortunately, this is not acceptable in most settings, so Introverts can feel a lot of pressure to fit in, which they find exhausting.

Myth #4 – Introverts don’t like people.
On the contrary, Introverts intensely value the few friends they have. They can count their close friends on one hand. If you are lucky enough for an introvert to consider you a friend, you probably have a loyal ally for life. Once you have earned their respect as being a person of substance, you’re in.

Myth #5 – Introverts don’t like to go out in public.
Nonsense. Introverts just don’t like to go out in public FOR AS LONG. They also like to avoid the complications that are involved in public activities. They take in data and experiences very quickly, and as a result, don’t need to be there for long to “get it.” They’re ready to go home, recharge, and process it all. In fact, recharging is absolutely crucial for Introverts.

Myth #6 – Introverts always want to be alone.
Introverts are perfectly comfortable with their own thoughts. They think a lot. They daydream. They like to have problems to work on, puzzles to solve. But they can also get incredibly lonely if they don’t have anyone to share their discoveries with. They crave an authentic and sincere connection with ONE PERSON at a time.

Myth #7 – Introverts are weird.
Introverts are often individualists. They don’t follow the crowd. They’d prefer to be valued for their novel ways of living. They think for themselves and because of that, they often challenge the norm. They don’t make most decisions based on what is popular or trendy.

Myth #8 – Introverts are aloof nerds.
Introverts are people who primarily look inward, paying close attention to their thoughts and emotions. It’s not that they are incapable of paying attention to what is going on around them, it’s just that their inner world is much more stimulating and rewarding to them.

Myth #9 – Introverts don’t know how to relax and have fun.
Introverts typically relax at home or in nature, not in busy public places. Introverts are not thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies. If there is too much talking and noise going on, they shut down. Their brains are too sensitive to the neurotransmitter called Dopamine. Introverts and Extroverts have different dominant neuro-pathways. Just look it up.

Myth #10 – Introverts can fix themselves and become Extroverts.
A world without Introverts would be a world with few scientists, musicians, artists, poets, filmmakers, doctors, mathematicians, writers, and philosophers. That being said, there are still plenty of techniques an Extrovert can learn in order to interact with Introverts. (Yes, I reversed these two terms on purpose to show you how biased our society is.) Introverts cannot “fix themselves” and deserve respect for their natural temperament and contributions to the human race. In fact, one study (Silverman, 1986) showed that the percentage of Introverts increases with IQ.

“You cannot escape us, and to change us would lead to your demise.” <– I made that up. I’m a screenwriter.

It can be terribly destructive for an Introvert to deny themselves in order to get along in an Extrovert-Dominant World. Like other minorities, Introverts can end up hating themselves and others because of the differences. If you think you are an Introvert, I recommend you research the topic and seek out other Introverts to compare notes. The burden is not entirely on Introverts to try and become “normal.” Extroverts need to recognize and respect us, and we also need to respect ourselves.

Let me know your thoughts.


January 4, 2012 at 12:04 pm 4 comments

A glass of milk

my dad shared this with me.  Enjoy!


One day, a poor boy who was selling goods from door to door to pay his way through school, found he had only one thin dime left, and he was hungry.

He decided he would ask for a meal at the next house. However, he lost his nerve when a lovely young woman opened the door.

Instead of a meal he asked for a drink of water! . She thought he looked hungry so brought him a large glass of milk. He drank it so slowly, and then asked, How much do I owe you?”

You don’t owe me anything,” she replied. “Mother has taught us never to accept pay for a kindness.”

He said … “Then I thank you from my heart.”

As Howard Kelly left that house, he not only felt stronger physically, but his faith in God and man was strong also. He had been ready to give up and quit.

Many years later that same young woman became critically ill. The local doctors were baffled. They finally sent her to the big city, where they called in specialists to study her rare disease.

Dr. Howard Kelly was called in for the consultation. When he heard the name of the town she came from, a strange light filled his eyes.

Immediately he rose and went down the hall of the hospital to her room. Dressed in his doctor’s gown he went in to see her. He recognized her at once.

He went back to the consultation room determined to do his best to save her life. From that day he gave special attention to her case.

After a long struggle, the battle was won.

Dr. Kelly requested the business office to pass the final bill to him for approval. He looked at it, then wrote something on the edge, and the bill was sent to her room. She feared to open it, for she was sure it would take the rest of her life to pay for it all. Finally she looked, and something caught her attention on the side of the bill. She read these words …

“Paid in full with one glass of milk” (Signed) Dr. Howard Kelly.

Tears of joy flooded her eyes as her happy heart prayed: “Thank You, God, that Your love has spread broad through human hearts and hands.”

There’s a saying which goes something like this:

Bread cast on the water comes back to you. The good deed you do today may benefit you or someone you love at the least expected time.  If you never see the deed again at least you will have made the world a better place – And, after all, isn’t that what life is all about?

December 20, 2011 at 1:26 pm 1 comment

50 Quotes Americans Should Remember

The below was posted by Addicting Info and his a direct reproduction of their information listed here. None of the below was written by nor compiled by me.  I found this link through a Google+ discussion and wanted to share.


1.) “If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.”
~John F. Kennedy

2.) “We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we cannot have both.” ~Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis

3.) “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”
~John F. Kennedy

4.) “The school is the last expenditure upon which America should be willing to economize.”
~Franklin D. Roosevelt

5.) “I believe that, as long as there is plenty, poverty is evil.”
~Robert Kennedy

6.) “A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.”
~Franklin D. Roosevelt

7.) “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.”
~Dwight D. Eisenhower

8.) “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.”
~Martin Luther King, Jr.

9.) “Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.”
~Abraham Lincoln

10.) “Ultimately, America’s answer to the intolerant man is diversity, the very diversity which our heritage of religious freedom has inspired.”
~Robert Kennedy

11.) “It was once said that the moral test of Government is how that Government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped.”
~Hubert H. Humphrey

12.) “I believe that there should be a very much heavier progressive tax on very large incomes, a tax which should increase in a very marked fashion for the gigantic incomes.”
~Theodore Roosevelt

13.) “To impose taxes when the public exigencies require them is an obligation of the most sacred character, especially with a free people.”
~James Monroe

14.) “The supreme duty of the Nation is the conservation of human resources through an enlightened measure of social and industrial justice. We pledge ourselves to work unceasingly in State and Nation for … the protection of home life against the hazards of sickness, irregular employment and old age through the adoption of a system of social insurance adapted to American use.”
~Theodore Roosevelt

15.) “The laboring classes constitute the main part of our population. They should be protected in their efforts peaceably to assert their rights when endangered by aggregated capital, and all statutes on this subject should recognize the care of the State for honest toil, and be framed with a view of improving the condition of the workingman.”
~Grover Cleveland

16.) “It is essential that there should be organization of labor. This is an era of organization. Capital organizes and therefore labor must organize.”
~Theodore Roosevelt

17.) “Today’s so-called ‘conservatives’ don’t even know what the word means. They think I’ve turned liberal because I believe a woman has a right to an abortion. That’s a decision that’s up to the pregnant woman, not up to the pope or some do-gooders or the Religious Right. It’s not a conservative issue at all.”
~Barry Goldwater

18.) “The tax which will be paid for the purpose of education is not more than the thousandth part of what will be paid to kings, priests and nobles who will rise up among us if we leave the people in ignorance.”
~Thomas Jefferson

19.) “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.”
~Franklin D. Roosevelt

20.) “Tolerance implies no lack of commitment to one’s own beliefs. Rather it condemns the oppression or persecution of others.”
~John F. Kennedy

21.) “America was established not to create wealth but to realize a vision, to realize an ideal – to discover and maintain liberty among men.”
~Woodrow Wilson

22.) “If capitalism is fair then unionism must be. If men have a right to capitalize their ideas and the resources of their country, then that implies the right of men to capitalize their labor.”
~ Frank Lloyd Wright

23.) “I know of no safe repository of the ultimate power of society but people. And if we think them not enlightened enough, the remedy is not to take the power from them, but to inform them by education.”
~Thomas Jefferson

24.) “While I am a great believer in the free enterprise system and all that it entails, I am an even stronger believer in the right of our people to live in a clean and pollution-free environment.”
~Barry Goldwater

25.) “Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism.”
~Hubert Humphrey


26.) “In our personal ambitions we are individualists. But in our seeking for economic and political progress as a nation, we all go up or else all go down as one people.”
~Franklin D. Roosevelt

27.) “As Mankind becomes more liberal, they will be more apt to allow that all those who conduct themselves as worthy members of the community are equally entitled to the protections of civil government. I hope ever to see America among the foremost nations of justice and liberality.”
~George Washington

28.) “The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism – ownership of government by an individual, by a group.”
~Franklin D. Roosevelt

29.) “Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost.”
~Ronald Reagan

30.) “Only a fool would try to deprive working men and working women of their right to join the union of their choice.”
~Dwight D. Eisenhower

31.) “We establish no religion in this country. We command no worship. We mandate no belief, nor will we ever. Church and state are and must remain separate.”
~Ronald Reagan

32.) “Taxes, after all, are dues that we pay for the privileges of membership in an organized society.”
~Franklin D. Roosevelt

33.) “Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes that you can do these things. Among them are a few Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or businessman from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.”
~Dwight Eisenhower

34.) “The Social Security Act offers to all our citizens a workable and working method of meeting urgent present needs and of forestalling future need. It utilizes the familiar machinery of our Federal-State government to promote the common welfare and the economic stability of the Nation.”
~Franklin D. Roosevelt

35.) “Few nations do more than the United States to assist their least fortunate citizens–to make certain that no child, no elderly or handicapped citizen, no family in any circumstances in any State, is left without the essential needs for a decent and healthy existence. In too few nations, I might add, are the people aware of the progressive strides this country has taken in demonstrating the humanitarian side of freedom. Our record is a proud one–and it sharply refutes those who accuse us of thinking only in the materialistic terms of cash registers and calculating machines.”
~John F. Kennedy

36.) “But let us begin. Now the trumpet summons us again – not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need – not as a call to battle, though embattled we are – but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, “rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation”- a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease and war itself.”
~John F. Kennedy

37.) “We all agree that neither the Government nor political parties ought to interfere with religious sects. It is equally true that religious sects ought not to interfere with the Government or with political parties. We believe that the cause of good government and the cause of religion suffer by all such interference.”
~Rutherford B. Hayes

38.) “The divorce between Church and State ought to be absolute. It ought to be so absolute that no Church property anywhere, in any state or in the nation, should be exempt from equal taxation; for if you exempt the property of any church organization, to that extent you impose a tax upon the whole community.”
~James A. Garfield

39.) “You know that being an American is more than a matter of where your parents came from. It is a belief that all men are created free and equal and that everyone deserves an even break.”
~Harry S. Truman

40.) “I think that being liberal, in the true sense, is being nondoctrinaire, nondogmatic, noncomitted to a cause but examining each case on its merits. Being left of center is another thing; it’s a political position. I think most newspapermen by definition have to be liberal; if they’re not liberal, by my definition of it, then they can hardly be good newspapermen.”
~Walter Cronkite

41.) “No business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country. By living wages I mean more than a bare subsistence level – I mean the wages of decent living.”
~Franklin D. Roosevelt

42.) “Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our nation.”
~John F. Kennedy

43.) “For all my years in public life, I have believed that America must sail toward the shores of liberty and justice for all. There is no end to that journey, only the next great voyage. We know the future will outlast all of us, but I believe that all of us will live on in the future we make.”
~Edward Kennedy

44.) “We will bankrupt ourselves in the vain search for absolute security.”
~Dwight D. Eisenhower

45.) “Not only our future economic soundness but the very soundness of our democratic institutions depends on the determination of our government to give employment to idle men.”
~Franklin D. Roosevelt

46.) “The most effective way to restrict democracy is to transfer decision-making from the public arena to unaccountable institutions: kings and princes, priestly castes, military juntas, party dictatorships, or modern corporations.”
~Noam Chomsky

47.) “The country is governed for the richest, for the corporations, the bankers, the land speculators, and for the exploiters of labor. The majority of mankind are working people. So long as their fair demands – the ownership and control of their livelihoods – are set at naught, we can have neither men’s rights nor women’s rights. The majority of mankind is ground down by industrial oppression in order that the small remnant may live in ease.”
~Helen Keller

48.) “I like to pay taxes. With them, I buy civilization.”
~Oliver Wendell Holmes

49.) “Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they’re sure trying to do so, it’s going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can’t and won’t compromise. I know, I’ve tried to deal with them.”
~Barry Goldwater

50.) “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”
~Franklin D. Roosevelt

November 10, 2011 at 11:56 am 5 comments

The Green Thing

Received an email from both my mom and dad on this .. must mean I should share!


In the line at the store, the cashier told an older woman that she should bring our own grocery bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment.

The woman apologized to him and explained, “We didn’t have the green thing back in my day.”

The clerk responded, “That’s our problem today.  Your generation did not care enough to save our environment.”

He was right — our generation didn’t have the green thing in its day.

Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over.  So they really were recycled.

But we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

We walked up stairs, because we didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks.

But he was right. We didn’t have the green thing in our day.

Back then, we washed the baby’s diapers because we didn’t have the throw-away kind.  We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts — wind and solar power really did dry the clothes.  Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.

But that clerk was right; we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house — not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana.

In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us.

When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used a wadded up old newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.

Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power.  We exercised by working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But he’s right; we didn’t have the green thing back then.

We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water.

We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

But we didn’t have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service.

We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances.  And we didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.

But isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn’t have the green thing back then?

October 18, 2011 at 11:54 am Leave a comment

Too Busy for a Friend?

I’m sure many of us have read this, or something similar, before. It bears repeating.  And yes, after I read it when my mom sent it to me, I cried 🙂
Too Busy for a  Friend?
One day a  teacher asked her students to list the names of the other students in the room on two sheets of paper, leaving a space between each name.

Then she told them to think of the nicest thing they could say about each of their classmates and write it down. It took the remainder of the class period to finish their assignment, and as the students left the room, each one handed in the papers. That Saturday, the teacher wrote down the name of each student on a separate sheet of paper, and listed what everyone else had said about that individual.

On Monday she gave each student his or her list. Before long, the entire class was smiling. ‘Really?’ she heard whispered. ‘I never knew that I meant anything to anyone!’ and, ‘I didn’t know others liked me so much,’ were most of the comments. No one ever mentioned those papers in class again. She never knew if they discussed them after class or with their parents, but it didn’t matter. The exercise had accomplished its purpose. The students were happy with themselves and one another. That group of students moved on.

Several years later, one of the students was killed in Viet Nam and his teacher attended the funeral of that special student. She had never seen a serviceman in a military coffin before. He looked so handsome, so mature. The church was packed with his friends. One by one those who loved him took a last walk by the coffin. The teacher was the last one to bless the coffin. As she stood there, one of the soldiers who acted as pallbearer came up to her. ‘Were you Mark’s math teacher?’ he asked.
She nodded: ‘yes.’ Then he said: ‘Mark talked about you a lot.’
After the funeral, most of Mark’s former classmates went together to a luncheon. Mark’s mother and father were there, obviously waiting to speak with his teacher. ‘We want to show you something,’ his father said, taking a wallet out of his pocket ‘They found this on Mark when he was killed. We thought you might recognize it.’
Opening the billfold, he carefully removed two worn pieces of notebook paper that had obviously been taped, folded and refolded many times. The teacher knew  without looking that the papers were the ones on which she had listed all the good things each of Mark’s classmates had said about him.
‘Thank you so much for doing that,’ Mark’s mother said. ‘As you can see, Mark treasured it.’ All of Mark’s former classmates started to gather around. Charlie smiled rather sheepishly and said, ‘I still have my list. It’s in the top drawer of my desk at home.’
Chuck’s wife said, ‘Chuck asked me to put his in our wedding album.’

‘I have mine too,’ Marilyn said. ‘It’s in my diary’

Then Vicki, another classmate, reached into her pocketbook, took out her wallet and showed her worn and frazzled list to the group. ‘I carry this with me at all times,’ Vicki said and without batting an eyelash, she continued: ‘I think we all saved our lists’
That’s when the teacher finally sat down and cried. She cried for Mark and for all his friends who would never see him again.
The density of people in society is so thick that we forget that life will end one day. And we don’t know when that one day will be. So please, tell the people you love and care for, that they are special and important. Tell them, before it is too late. And One Way To Accomplish This Is: Forward this message on. If you do not send it, you will have, once again passed up the wonderful opportunity to do something nice and beautiful.
If you’ve received this, it is because someone cares for you and it means there is probably at least someone for whom you care.
If you’re ‘too busy’ to take those few minutes right now to forward this message on, would this be the VERY first time you didn’t do that little thing that would make a difference in your relationships?


August 24, 2011 at 11:02 am Leave a comment

The real world

A share from my mom that I like enough to share …


Bill Gates recently gave a speech at a High School about 11 things they did not and will not learn in school.

He talks about how feel-good, politically correct teachings created a generation of kids with no concept of reality and how this concept set them up for failure in the real world.

Rule 1 : Life is not fair – get used to it!

Rule 2 : The world doesn’t care about your self-esteem.
The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3 : You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school.
You won’t be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule 4 : If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss

Rule 5 : Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity.
Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: They called it opportunity.

Rule 6 : If you mess up, it’s not your parents’ fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes, learn from them!!!!!

Rule 7 : Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now.They got that way from paying your bills,
cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent’s generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8 : Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they’ll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. *This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9 : Life is not divided into semesters.
You don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. *Do that on your own time.

Rule 10 : Television is NOT real life.
In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule 11 : Be nice to nerds.
Chances are you’ll end up working for one.

August 10, 2011 at 12:42 pm Leave a comment

The sneeze worth sharing

They walked in tandem, each of the ninety-two students filing into the already crowded auditorium.

With their rich maroon gowns flowing and the traditional caps, they looked almost as grown up as they felt.
Dads swallowed hard behind broad smiles, and Moms freely brushed away tears.

This class would NOT pray during the commencements, not by choice, but because of a recent court ruling prohibiting it.

The principal and several students were careful to stay within the guidelines allowed by the ruling. They gave inspirational and challenging speeches, but no one mentioned divine guidance and no one asked for blessings on the graduates or their families.
The speeches were nice, but they were routine until the final speech received a standing ovation.

A solitary student walked proudly to the microphone. He stood still and silent for just a moment, and then, it happened.
All 92 students, every single one of them, suddenly SNEEZED !!!!

The student on stage simply looked at the audience and said,
And he walked off the stage…

The audience exploded into applause. This graduating class had found a unique way to invoke God’s blessing on their future with or without the court’s approval.

This is a true story; it happened at the University of Maryland.

August 8, 2011 at 8:41 pm 1 comment

Going bald for a cause

This is a direct reprint from the site, Omaha.com.   I was very happy and proud to have lent my head to this event!!


Published Friday July 8, 2011

Going bald for a cause

By Katy Healey

* * * * *
Click here to view a video of the event.    It’s only about 90 seconds long. If you go about 50 seconds in, you will see the girl, Morgan, they discuss below. AWESOME!!

* * * * *

Jenise Bryan was cutting someone else’s hair when she decided to let someone else shave hers.

Two weeks later, she and 13 others were bald as cue balls.

“Why not?” she said. “It’s just hair. It grows back.”

Those haircuts in 2010 benefited the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a worldwide, volunteer-driven charity dedicated to pediatric cancer research.

This year, eight-year-old Morgan Bryan sat in a raised chair beside her mom at the Nebraska Medical Center as two hair dressers clicked on their razors. Bryan went first. See, it’s easy, she told Morgan. Seconds later, Morgan’s golden locks fell to the ground, too.

Like mother, like daughter.

A crowd of more than 50 cheered as the duo stood, now bald and beaming.
The haircut showed off Morgan’s yellow peace-sign earrings, a fitting compliment to her bright smile. Her mom’s new do revealed a purple cancer ribbon, tattooed behind her ear and usually hidden beneath a layer of hair.
Bryan’s aunt died of cancer when she was a child, and her mom, diagnosed in December, beat breast cancer just two months ago.

“If we can help get it stopped when they’re young, maybe we don’t have to lose people,” she said. “Even when they get older.”

Dr. Bruce Gordon, a pediatric oncologist at the hospital, kicked off the event as the fund-raiser’s first “shavee.”

“There’s not a lot of hair to lose,” he laughed.

A patient towing an IV pole buzzed part of Gordon’s head. Then a younger boy, bald himself and sporting a Spongebob hat, took his turn. They let Gordon keep his beard.

One after another, 21 more volunteers took the stage. On went the smock, off went the hair.

This year’s fund-raiser was the fifth of its kind held at the Nebraska Medical Center. Friday’s event raised more than $5,000 by the time the first razor shuddered to life. Organizer Mandy Arens expects the final tally to reach $10,000. The money will go to Saint Baldrick’s Foundation. The foundation funds more pediatric cancer research grants than any organization except the government.

The shaving, a show of solidarity, supplements the donations, Arens said.

“It’s such a powerful statement,” she said.

So powerful, 10 more people joined the 12 who pre-registered.

Morgan, one of five kids to participate, inspired Jami Prouty of Crescent, Iowa to volunteer, too.

“If she can do it, there’s no reason I can’t do it,” she said.

Prouty, out of nerves, asked Morgan to hold her hand. But when she sat down, Morgan didn’t hold her hand. She shaved Prouty’s head.

Contact the writer: 402-444-1071; katy.healey@owh.com

July 8, 2011 at 5:39 pm 1 comment

St. Baldrick’s Shavee

Yes, that will be me come July 8th.  As you many of you know, I had my own significant battle last year with Lymphoma. Although nothing like it was then, I am still fighting.  I long to hear those words “in remission” and I want to hear them said confidently by my oncologist.

So while that rages on, I want to support others as I was supported.  I am choosing to be a shavee at the St. Baldrick’s event on July 8th at 1pm at University of Nebraska’s Medical Center in the Durham Outpatient Center Atrium in Omaha, NE.

Why? Because I wish cancer did not have to be a reality for kids.  I wish it wasn’t a reality at all!  I remember spending summers riding my bike, swimming, playing softball, and just goofing about.  But if you are a kid who is getting chemo, you have a hard time doing any of that due to chemo treatments and the side effects, doctor’s appointments, and/or radiation.

I was never bothered by losing my hair. I found it fascinating to see how it fell out (and yes, it does come out in clumps) and how much hair I really had after it clogged the drain on a daily basis.  But what did bother me was the stares. For the first month or so, the stares were hard for me to manage.  I dreaded being out and remember going to get groceries at really odd times to avoid large crowds.  The first few times I had to go to large meetings at work were bothersome.  But as time passes, you forget that you ever had hair, or what you looked like “before”, and I would even forget to put on my hat when I would leave my house to go somewhere.  There were many moments of “oh crap, I forgot my hat” and would have to run back to get it.  Although I had learned to ignore the stares, I still didn’t welcome them.  What I noticed most of all was that kids get the most stares. I wonder if it because we all find it impossible that anyone that young should have to confront such serious things. Or maybe that is just me. I think kids should know of playing, biking, swimming, movies, the ice cream truck, camping outside, and a 1000 other fun things that have nothing at all to do with a doctor or a doctor’s office.

Because I believe this so strongly, I am going to shave my head in support of all the kids who are in their own cancer fight and raise money for cancer research in kids.  If you would like to come see on July 8th, I would love it!  Or if you prefer to put a bounty on my head and donate, you can give directly online at http://www.stbaldricks.org/participants/anissagoyalstein or by phone (888-899-BALD).

You can count on this donation being used responsibly.  The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a volunteer-driven charity committed to funding the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long and healthy lives.   In 2010 alone, they gave over $14 million – that’s more in grants for childhood cancer research than any other organization except theU.S.government.  And all because nearly 38,000 people shaved their heads!

On behalf of some really awesome kids, thank you for your support! Anissa

June 23, 2011 at 12:52 pm 1 comment


A share from a friend of mine that had me laughing. Enjoy!!


1. Put 400 bricks in a closed room.
Put your new employees in the room and close the door.
Leave them alone and come back after 6 hours.

4. Then analyze the situation:

a. If they are counting the bricks, put them in the Accounting Department.
b. If they are recounting them, put them in Auditing.
If they have messed up the whole place with the bricks, put then in Engineering.
d. If they are arranging the bricks in some strange order, put them in Planning.
e. If they are throwing the bricks at each other, put them in Operations.
f. If they are sleeping, put them in Security.
g. If they have broken the bricks into pieces, put them in Information Technology.
h. If they are sitting idle, put them in Human Resources.
i. If they say they have tried different combinations, they are looking for more, yet not a brick has been moved, put them in Sales.
j. If they have already left for the day, put them in Marketing.
k. If they are staring out of the window, put them in Strategic Planning.
l. If they are talking to each other, and not a single brick has been moved, congratulate them and put them in Top Management

, if they have surrounded themselves with bricks in such a way that they can neither be seen nor heard from, put them in Government.

June 2, 2011 at 5:23 pm 1 comment

Bugles Across America

I heard of Bugles Across America on ABCWorldNews yesterday and was incredibly touched by this group.  It bothered me that the option given to many veterans was a recording of taps and not live.  Tom Day also found this appalling and is trying to address the need. And doing a great job of it!

Please consider volunteering, requesting a bugler, or even donating via their site.

Bugles Across America, NFP was founded in 2000 by Tom Day, when Congress passed legislation stating Veterans had a right to at least 2 uniformed military people to fold the flag and play taps on a CD player. Bugles Across America was begun to take this a step further, and in recognition of the service these Veterans provided their country, we felt that every Veteran deserved a live rendition of taps played by a live Bugler. To this end, we are actively seeking volunteers to provide this valuable service to Veterans and their families.

Bugles Across America now has over 7500 bugler volunteers located in all 50 states and growing number overseas. Since the Department of Veterans Affairs is expecting more than 1/2 million veterans to pass every year for the next 7 years, Bugles Across America is ALWAYS recruiting new volunteers.

Bugler Volunteers can be male or female. They can play a traditional bugle with no valves, or they can perform the ceremony on a Trumpet, Cornet, Flugelhorn, or a 1, 2 or 3 valved bugle. The bugler can be of any age as long as they can play the 24 notes of Taps with an ease and style that will do honor to both the Veterans, their families, and the burial detail performing the service.

May 31, 2011 at 5:20 pm Leave a comment

Thank you!

Memorial Day is about honoring those who have fallen while defending our country. The holiday’s origins date back to May 5th 1868:

On May 5, 1868, Gen. John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, officially proclaimed the holiday, and on May 30 of that year, flowers were first placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.

As you read this we have soldiers abroad doing what their country has asked of them in both Iraq and Afghanistan. These wars have been going on for a decade now and while casualties have been kept low compared to other historical conflicts, it is important to remember that not all of our troops will be coming home.

In the Afghanistan War we have lost 1594 American soldiers since 2001. Last year was the deadliest year of the Afghan War for US troops since it began, we lost 499 men and women in 2010.

The Iraq War, which began in 2003, has cost us a total of 4454 lives thus far and countless injuries. Thankfully, the amount of US troop casualties in Iraq peaked in 2007 and has declined each year since.

If you want to read blogs more specific to the military, I suggest Milblogging.  Amazing!


taken directly from: http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/The-Reformed-Broker/2011/0530/Memorial-Day-remembering-what-it-s-really-about

May 30, 2011 at 12:53 pm Leave a comment

Happy Mother’s Day!

To my mom and all my mom friends out there!

May 8, 2011 at 2:48 am Leave a comment

Hidajat cited as ‘Young Hero’

This article is from SPN and had to share. Too cool not to. What an inspiration!

Back in February, we shared the story of Nathan Hidajat, who decided before he turned 8 that he wanted to give up his birthday for charity: water after watching the video of Scott Harrison on stage at Big Omaha 2010. Nathan met his original goal — raising $1,000 — in a mere seven days. Not content to stop there, he’s raised and met new goals several times since.

Charity: water campaigns typically last for 90 days, and Nathan’s will reach that in about three days. As of his last update on Tuesday, he had raised more than $3,000 from 86 donors. I conducted an email interview with Nathan, who (with the help of his father, Robert) looked back over his charity: water experience so far and discussed fund-raising goals for the future.

Silicon Prairie News: How do you feel about reaching your goal of raising $3,000 for charity: water?

Nathan Hidajat: I feel great! I am happy and thankful for everybody who helped me reach my goal. Most importantly, I am excited that the money raised will help more than 150 people get clean water.

SPN: Do you have another goal for the last few days of your campaign?

Hidajat: My next goal is either $4,000 or 100 donors.

SPN: What have you learned from this whole experience?

Hidajat: I [learned] that:

  • Even someone as small as me can help people and make a difference in the world.
  • Helping people is fun!
  • People are very nice and want to help.
  • At first I was scared and nervous to play piano for Grandmas and Grandpas at the retirement homes [as a thank you to the donors], but it’s actually very fun! I really like to see them happy and sing along when I play for them.
  • People like my drawings [also a donor thank you] and feel that I appreciate their help and donation.

Additionally, the Lincoln Way chapter of the American Red Cross recognized Nathan as one of several “Young Heroes of the Heartland” in an event on Tuesday night in Ames. According to the organization’s website, this award is used “to recognize and pay tribute to young people, under 21, who have demonstrated local acts of heroism.”

May 2, 2011 at 11:38 am 3 comments

From charity:water

This Earth Day, we’re all about water.

Some people in developing countries spend 3 hours each day
walking for water. Take 3 minutes to learn why.

April 22, 2011 at 9:10 am 4 comments

Curiosity and Courage

I am a big fan of Dr. Biswas-Diener so when I received this email, thought it would be nice to share.

Curiosity & Courage

For those of you interested in exclusive content please accept this gift from us. Follow the link below to listen to a one hour lecture (with on-screen powerpoint) by Dr. Robert Biswas-Diener on the exciting topics of curiosity and courage. No registration is necessary and the content is free of charge. Enjoy!


April 19, 2011 at 12:20 pm 2 comments

Quiz for Bright People

My mom shared this with my dad, sister and I.  See how you do!

There are only nine questions. 

This is a quiz for people who know everything!   These are not trick questions.


1. Name the one sport in which neither the spectators nor the participants know the score or the leader until the contest ends.

2. What famous North American landmark is constantly moving backward?  

3. Of all vegetables, only two can live to produce on their own for several growing seasons. All othervegetables must be replanted every year.  What are the only two perennial vegetables? 

4. What fruit has its seeds on the outside?

5. In many liquor stores, you can buy pear brandy, with a real pear inside the bottle. The pear is whole and ripe, and the bottle is genuine; it hasn’t been cut in any way. How did the pear get inside the bottle? 

6. Only three words in standard English begin with the letters ‘ dw’ and they are all common words. Name two of them.

7. There are 14 punctuation marks in English grammar. Can you name at least half of them?

8. Name the only vegetable or fruit that is never sold frozen, canned, processed, cooked, or in any other form except fresh. 

9. Name 6 or more things that you can wear on your feet beginning with the letter ‘S.’

Do you want to know the answers??

  1. Boxing.
  2. Niagara Falls .   The rim is worn down about two and a half feet each year because of the millions of gallons of water that rush over it every minute.
  3. Asparagus and rhubarb.
  4. Strawberry. 
  5. It grew inside the bottle.   The bottles are placed over pear buds when they are small, and are wired in place on the tree. The bottle is left in place for the entire growing season. When the pears are ripe, they are snipped off at the stems. 
  6. Dwarf, dwell and dwindle… 
  7. Period, comma, colon, semicolon, dash, hyphen, apostrophe, question mark, exclamation point, quotation mark, brackets, parenthesis, braces, and ellipses.  
  8. Lettuce. 
  9. Shoes, socks, sandals, sneakers, slippers, skis, skates, snowshoes, stockings, stilts.

April 18, 2011 at 2:27 pm 3 comments

Cat House on the Kings

Cat House on the Kings is California’s largest no-cage, no-kill, lifetime cat sanctuary and adoption center. Lynea Lattanzio founded the sanctuary 19 years ago. Since then, Cat House on the Kings has saved over 18,000 cats and 5,000 dogs. Other than a “forebber hoam,” I can’t think of a better place for a kitteh to be!

Thanks to Lolcats for sharing this!

April 17, 2011 at 2:25 pm Leave a comment

Dog in Japan stays by the side of its ailing friend in the rubble

Well, it goes without saying that I am an animal lover.  I am a big believer in sharing your wealth with charities and the 3 that get a lot of my money are Search Dog Foundation, Humane Society and ASPCA.

Here is a story that I saw on the news and yes, I completely lost it.  I have cried a lot when seeing some of the images of the Japanese and all that they are enduring. I am encouraged by their spirit, their hardiness, their love, their compassion, and their faith.  But to see this, well, it seemed so human. As I type this, I am starting to cry.  The translation toward the middle to the end of the story is amazing. And yes, I was happy to read the update sentence.

I hope you will take 20 seconds to read this. But I understand if you don’t.

March 17, 2011 at 7:02 pm 1 comment

Pets are family too

I saw this and well, see for yourself.

From Lolcats

For kitty parents out there, that is a kitty meow none of us wants to hear. It says I am scared. I missed you. Love me. Where were you. I’m happy you are back. Love me.

March 17, 2011 at 8:42 am Leave a comment

So very true …

I don’t know about you, but can completely relate to this! Thanks Lolcats 🙂


March 15, 2011 at 8:47 pm 1 comment

Oscars 2011

I didn’t make it to this year’s AMC Best Picture showcase so I haven’t seen all of the best picture nominees.  But I saw many.

Here are my pics for the major categories:

Best Picture – King’s Speech

Best Director – David Fincher

Best Actor – Colin Firth (I think he should have won last year)

Best Actress – Annette Bening (I know, everyone is picking Natalie Portman)

Actress in a Supporting Role – Helena Bonham Carter (though will most likely go to Melissa Leo)

Actor in a Supporting Role – Christian Bale

Writing, Adapted – for 127 Hours (will probably go to Social Network though)

Writing, Original – for Inception (since the director was not nominated)


What are your picks?

February 27, 2011 at 4:49 pm 2 comments

Soft kitty …

If you are a Big Bang Theory fan like me, then check this out at LOLcats!

February 13, 2011 at 12:21 pm 1 comment

Winter’s view

I loved this picture from the Omaha, Nebraska Facebook page.

January 26, 2011 at 8:38 am 1 comment

Why did the chicken cross the road?

Linda shared this with me and now I share it with you …


BARACK OBAMA:  The chicken crossed the road because it was time for change!
The chicken wanted change!

JOHN MC CAIN:  My friends, that chicken crossed the road because he recognized the need to engage in cooperation and dialogue with all the chickens on the other side of the road.

HILLARY CLINTON:  When I was First Lady, I personally helped that little chicken to cross the road. This experience makes me uniquely qualified to ensure right from Day One that every chicken in this country gets the chance it deserves to cross the road. But then, this really isn’t about me.
SARAH PALIN:  The chicken crossed the road because gosh-darn it, he’s a maverick!
GEORGE W. BUSH:  We don’t really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road, or not.  The chicken is either against us, or for us. There is no middle ground here.

DICK CHENEY:  Where’s my gun?

COLIN POWELL:  Now to the left of the screen, you can clearly see the satellite image of the chicken crossing the road.

BILL CLINTON:  I did not cross the road with that chicken.

AL GORE:  I invented the chicken.

JOHN KERRY:  Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road, I am now against it! It was the wrong road to cross, and I was misled about the chicken’s intentions. I am not for it now, and will remain against it.

AL SHARPTON:  Why are all the chickens white? We need some black chickens.

DR. PHIL:  The problem we have here is that this chicken won’t realize that he must first deal with the problem on this side of the road before it goes after the problem on the other side of the road. What we need to do is help him realize how stupid he’s acting by not taking on his current problems before adding new problems.

OPRAH:  Well, I understand that the chicken is having problems, which is why he wants to cross this road so bad. So instead of having the chicken learn from his mistakes and take falls, which is a part of life, I’m going to give this chicken a NEW CAR so that he can just drive across the road and not live his life like the rest of the chickens.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN:  We have reason to believe there is a chicken, but we have not yet been allowed to have access to the other side of the road.

NANCY GRACE:  That chicken crossed the road because he’s guilty! You can see it in his eyes and the way he walks.

PAT BUCHANAN:  To steal the job of a decent, hardworking American.

MARTHA STEWART:  No one called me to warn me which way that chicken was going. I had a standing order at the Farmer’s Market to sell my eggs when the price dropped to a certain level. No little bird gave me any insider information.

DR SEUSS:  Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed I’ve not been told.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY:  To die in the rain, alone.

JERRY FALWELL:  Because the chicken was gay! Can’t you people see the plain truth? That’s why they call it the ‘other side.’ Yes, my friends, That chicken is gay. And if you eat that chicken, you will become gay too. I say we boycott all chickens until we sort out this abomination that the Liberal media whitewashes with seemingly harmless phrases like ‘the other side.’ That chicken should not be crossing the road. It’s as plain and as simple as that.

GRANDPA:  In my day we didn’t ask why the chicken crossed the road. Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough.

BARBARA WALTERS:  Isn’t that interesting? In a few moments, we will be listening to the chicken tell, for the first time, the heartwarming story of how it experienced a serious case of molting, and went on to accomplish it’s lifelong dream of crossing the road.

ARISTOTLE:  It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.

JOHN LENNON:  Imagine all the chickens in the world crossing roads together, in peace.

BILL GATES:  I have just released eChicken2011, which will not only cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance your checkbook. Internet Explorer is an integral part of eChicken2011.  This new platform is much more stable and will never reboot.

ALBERT EINSTEIN:  Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the road move beneath the chicken?

COLONEL SANDERS:  Did I miss one?

January 24, 2011 at 9:38 am 1 comment

Jar of Hearts



This song pierces my heart and Dick, you know why.

January 22, 2011 at 12:49 pm 1 comment


Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

January 21, 2011 at 10:20 pm Leave a comment

Daily Acceptance Prayer

Author Unknown

I accept myself completely.
I accept my strengths and my weaknesses,
my gifts and my shortcomings,
my good points and my faults.

I accept myself completely as a human being.
I accept that I am here to learn and grow,
and I accept that I am learning and growing.
I accept the personality I’ve developed, and
I accept my power to heal and change.

I accept myself without condition or reservation.
I accept that the core of my being is goodness
and that my essence is love,
and I accept that I sometimes forget that.

I accept myself completely, and in this acceptance
I find an ever-deepening inner strength.
From this place of strength, I accept my life fully and
I open to the lessons it offers me today.

I accept that within my mind are both fear and love,
and I accept my power to choose which I will experience as real.
I recognize that I experience only the results of my own choices.

I accept the times that I choose fear
as part of my learning and healing process, and
I accept that I have the potential and power
in any moment to choose love instead.

I accept mistakes as a part of growth,
so I am always willing to forgive myself and
give myself another chance.

I accept that my life is the expression of my thought,
and I commit myself to aligning my thoughts
more and more each day with the Thought of Love.
I accept that I am an expression of this Love.
Love’s hands and voice and heart on earth.

I accept my own life as a blessing and a gift.
My heart is open to receive, and I am deeply grateful.
May I always share the gifts that I receive
fully, freely, and with joy.


January 19, 2011 at 3:42 pm 1 comment

Golden Globe Picks

So, it my guilty pleasure time of year. Yes, it is awards season. I have always loved movies and so somewhere along the way, I became an annual Oscar’s watcher. However, the awards season has blossomed over the years.

My friend Tabitha and I are making our picks to have some good-natured fun.  Hope you will join us!

To be fair, I want to share what I have seen (or haven’t) so you can know where my guesses might have come from.

Seen: The King’s Speech, Black Swan,The Kids are All Right, Red, Easy A, The TownI will fully admit my bias of the movies in red that I considered amazing, outstanding, excellent. Worthy of every award.

Want to see (and will by the Oscars): 127 Hours, The Social Network, The Fighter, Inception, Blue Valentine, Love and Other Drugs

No desire to see: Burlesque, The Tourist

My picks:

  • Best Movie: The King’s Speech
  • Best Actress in a movie:  Natalie Portman (but I could see Michelle Williams winning this t00)
  • Best Actor in a movie: Colin Firth
  • Best Comedy Movie: The Kids are All Right
  • Best Actress in comedy: Annette Bening
  • Best Actor in a comedy: Johnny Depp (doesn’t matter which movie)
  • Best Supporting Actress: Helena Bonham Carter
  • Best Supporting Actor: Geoffrey Rush
  • Best Animated Film: Despicable Me
  • Best Foreign Language Film:  Biutiful
  • Best Director: David Fincher (or Christopher Nolan)
  • Best Screenplay: Simon Beaufoy, Danny Boyle
  • Best Original Score: Danny Elfman
  • Best Original Song: one of them from Burlesque


  • Best TV Drama: The Good Wife
  • Best Actress:  Julianna Margulies
  • Best Actor: Jon Hamm
  • Best TV Comedy: Glee (wish it would be Big Bang Theory though)
  • Best Actress comedy: Edie Falco
  • Best Actor comedy: Jim Parsons
  • Best mini-series: Temple Grandin
  • Best Actress mini-series: Claire Danes
  • Best Actor mini-series: Ian McShane
  • Best Supporting Actress: Jane Lynch
  • Best Supporting Actor: Eric Stonestreet

Ok there are my picks. Although I feel like I am a tv-holic at times, I didn’t watch any of the miniseries nominated, I don’t watch Breaking Bad, Mad Men, 30Rock, Glee or Nurse Jackie. I have only my Entertainment Weekly to help shed light on the greatness of these shows and the actors within.

Ahh, the fun of this all for the joy of seeing spontaneous expressions or reactions. Or in the case of Christine Lahti’s win one year, she was in the bathroom at the time they called her name.  Makes for great story!  My one wish is they would stop the madness of having the one-year pregame show to do the fluff interviews of what everyone’s wearing. Let’s take that one hour and build it back into the show so folks can give a proper thankyou lasting longer than a 30-second commercial. It’s ridiculous. Let the moment shine a bit.  It annoys me when the last award of the night is given and the credits are rolling as folks are on the stage. I know, none of us want the Oscars to last an additional hour. Hence, get rid of the ridiculous pre-game/pre-award what are you wearing crap. Let the E! network take care of all that.

January 14, 2011 at 12:50 am 1 comment

Happy Holidays!!

From the Omaha Chamber of Commerce

December 24, 2010 at 12:04 pm 2 comments

A year in Kindle

It’s been a year since I bought my Kindle. I wondered at first how much I would use it, if all the books I would want would be offered, and if I would end up like a kid, discarding my new toy after a few months.  Well, I used it a lot, it seemed that 99% of the books I wanted were available for download, and I never discarded the toy. I love it. I will say, unlike others, that it didn’t stop me from buying traditional paper/hardback books, though this happened less and less as the year went on. And by mid year, the only non-Kindle books I bought were for school.  When I am writing papers, I need to be able to flip pages, have many books open at once, etc. and the Kindle isn’t the best tool for me during this process.  I did have some design ideas when I first got my Kindle which now seem to be integrated into the new Kindle.  Oh well..that happens.

I have 89 books on my Kindle and thought I would share some of what I have read over the past year. I would love to hear your recommendations!

The books I would recommend most from the past year

  1. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks  – read my book review post here.  Or my review from Amazon: I read this book faster than I normally do (and I read fast). This is the most amazing book I have read in a long time. I found it similar in style of the books And the Band Played On by Randy Shilts or A Civil Action by Jonathan Harr. This is not a book about cancer (although I have it) but a story to me about love and the medical community. I learned a great deal but thought it was all presented so easily for understanding but also in equality to both the medical community but also to the Lacks family. If it had not been for Entertainment Weekly’s profile, I may not have found this book. It is a must read!
  2. The Emperor of All Maladies: A biography of cancer  .. an amazing book and so much more than just a biography of cancer.
  3. The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest… loved reading this about various pockets of centenarians and their commonalities
  4. The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun… Gretchen Rubin’s blog into a book. Incredibly honest look at personal change
  5. Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School .. I love books like this.  Cerebral but interesting.
  6. Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose .. from the CEO of Zappos.com Tony Hsieh.
  7. Making Rounds with Oscar: The Extraordinary Gift of an Ordinary Cat… pets do more than we know.

Some others ..

  1. What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures — great Gladwell book. Not been the biggest fan of his other work.  I read Outliers this year as well and found it incredibly lacking.
  2. Bright-sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America — usually her work is laden with research and interpreted facts. This book seemed like one big complain fest. It was awful and the lack of research was shocking. If I know studies she is referring to and she is consistently getting the facts wrong, well, I have a big problem with that.
  3. What’s Next, Gen X?: Keeping Up, Moving Ahead, and Getting the Career You Want – such a waste of time to read. Don’t even bother.  A rehash of GenX stereotypes and other nonsense.
  4. The Truth about Leadership: The No-fads, Heart-of-the-Matter Facts You Need to KnowI am a huge fan of Kouzes and Posner but this book lacked a lot of what made their prior works so brilliant.  It was a disappointing read.
  5. Drive by Daniel Pink —  I loved Pink’s A whole new mind. I have read it 3 or 4 times.  But Drive, well, it just didn’t captivate me.
  6. The Book of Awesome — was not awesome at all.
  7. Mojo: How to Get It, How to Keep It, How to Get It Back if You Lose It — usually a Goldsmith fan (loved What got you here won’t get you there) but this book was just, blah. I never got into it.
  8. Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?– what an awful Seth Godin book. I know many liked it a lot, but I found it incredibly repetitive, so repetitive that I wondered if I was reading pages and pages over and over again. Sadly, I wasn’t.
  9. Quirkology by Richard Wiseman — another great book that made you think despite all the research etc. (which I love anyway)
  10. Switch — by Heath brothers. Another fun read!!

Books from my book club that I joined late in the year

  1. The Help – loved this book.  To find out later it is being made into a movie, well, that is just icing.
  2. The Glass Castle – disliked this book a lot for so many reasons, I won’t even start.
  3. Eat, Pray, Love – good book the first time I read it a few years ago. Second time, not as much.  Pairing it with the movie, which I thought was awful, even less enjoyable.

Books for escaping .. pure beach reads .. I actually read more of these than I thought I had after I started looking at titles

  1. Deception: An Alex Delaware Novel – by Jonathan Kellerman. This is my go to guy – my favorite author of all time. He writes about one book a year and I gobble it up as soon as it is published.
  2. James Patterson – Postcard Killers, Don’t Blink, Cross Fire, Private, Worst Case, 9th Judgment, I, Alex Cross.  Second favorite author for a little escapism.  It seems like a new book comes out every few months (can’t you tell?)
  3. The Lost Symbol – read Dan Brown’s latest in one sitting, over the course of a day. Later, I realized how seamless reading on the Kindle really was and knew that I would be in trouble.  And 89 books later, books are still one of my biggest material weaknesses.
  4. The Velveteen Rabbit. It was a free download and a great little book of love.
  5. This is where I leave you by Tropper.  Random download based on a recommendation.  Great book – honest, real, and a bit heartbreaking at times
  6. Anthropology of an American Girl: A Novel – I can’t remember much about this book. Sad huh?
  7. Sh*t My Dad Says – hilarious book!  I enjoyed it. The translation to tv? Not as good but a nice success story for the author.
  8. Why My Third Husband Will Be A Dog: The Amazing Adventures of an Ordinary Woman – I used to read Scottoline for her mysteries, but then they lost their appeal. This book was a fun departure and enjoyed the stories.
  9. Open – Andre Agassi was definitely Open in his biography and I found it honest and unflinching.  The scuff he got for being honest was ridiculous but then again, everyone has an opinion.
  10. The Scarpetta Factor – I hadn’t read a Cornwell book in at least a decade or so. The series started so amazingly and then, poof, it’s like she was phoning it in and I lost interest. This was a great read for Scarpetta fans but not sure I will pick up another.  The magic is gone.

December 23, 2010 at 7:46 am 2 comments

Holiday spirit

From LOLcats


December 22, 2010 at 10:45 am 2 comments

Best. holiday. ever.

I don’t know who took this picture. I don’t know where this was taken. All I know is, when my mom sent it to me, I fell in love.  This picture embodies all that I love about Halloween.  Just amazingly beautiful!

October 30, 2010 at 11:11 am 2 comments

Greetings from Omaha

October 28, 2010 at 1:38 pm 2 comments

A sad day in politics

I was watching a livestream yesterday of the The Women’s Conference hosted by Maria Shriver.  There were many amazing speakers and it was well worth listening/watching from my office at home. The one time this was true was when Matt Lauer was the moderator between Meg Whitman, Jerry Brown with Arnold also there.

First, I thought that California had their own state mandate that a Governor could only serve two terms for the state in their lifetime. But I guess I was wrong on this since Jerry Brown is running again.

Second, I cannot believe the politicking that occurred at this conference and the absolute degradation that was displayed. Most notably, Matt Lauer asked Whitman and Brown if they would remove all negative advertising from the airwaves within 48 hours.  NEITHER would agree.  Brown essentially said I will if she does.  This was annoying. He must have said it at least 3 times when asked my Lauer.  Whitman actually was booed, extensively by the audience, when she would not agree and indicated it was important that information be shared with the voting public.

If a candidate cannot stand on his or her own MERITS as to why that person wants the office, what their intent is for leadership, their vision and their strategy, then they need to STFU.  And yes, I really mean that. STFU, get off the stage, and find another career path.  Politicians have for, far too long, been promoting their own interests and agendas. Enough is truly enough.  We, us are the people who matter. Not you. We elect you to represent us.  So represent.

And yes, right now, I am sick to friggin death of politicians. I really am.  This display was truly the worst of who we are as a nation. I cannot believe that we can’t stop acting like we are on an elementary school playground.  Do they need to be reminded of kindergarten rules —

Play nice with others.


If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.

Respect others.


October 27, 2010 at 1:37 pm 1 comment

Nobody likes conflict

I don’t know about you, but I am sick of the election ads on tv, on the radio, in the newspaper.  Do these really work? Do voters really vote based on a 30-second commercial?   I can’t stand it. All the mud-slinging. All the nastiness. Why is that necessary?  Why can’t the women man up and just shut up?  I wish they would all just shut up.  Talk about yourself and what you stand for.  When I hear all this back and forth, my stomach clenches up. My shoulders get hunchy.  I wonder if it just me.  Does the conflict just annoy me? I can mute the commercials. Go to another radio station.  Am I being a good citizen by burying my head in the sand? What if I am not planning on voting – does that make a difference?

How do you manage election time of year?


October 23, 2010 at 1:05 pm Leave a comment

Grow already!!

It’s funny.  During your first chemo treatment, they tell you all about losing your hair.  Within two weeks, it will be gone. To take control and shave it off yourself.  Or whatever it is you want to do to take control since there are so few things that one can do during all of this but go with the flow of the side effects, the doctor appointments, and everything else.  After a few weeks, you can almost forget what it was like to have hair. I forgot what I looked like and would look at my driver’s license every now and again. It almost seemed weird to have hair.

But no one ever talks about when your hair starts to grow back.  It’s an awkward process.  I never wore wigs, only hats. But many tell me wigs help when your hair is growing out so you don’t have to deal with wayward curls, or hair that stands on end. This process sucks!  Of course, there comes a time when the wigs don’t help either because your hair has grown too much for that.  Oy. I know, what a stupid thing to care about too.

I gotta tell you though, I wish it would just grow out already!

October 22, 2010 at 1:04 pm 1 comment

Apple. Apple. Apple. Want. Want. Want.

I don’t know how Apple does it. Or more specifically Steve Jobs. I don’t know how he reinvents the market in such unique ways. I don’t know how that company is so innovative and creative.  From the commercials, which by the way, they need to make some more of.  I love Mac!  Shoot, I loved him when he was on the tv show Ed.  To the iPad. Sure, everyone made fun of the name but who’s laughing now?  There have been how many sold since the launch – 4 million, 5 million?  Yeah, that’s a lot and they’ve only been on the market since early April.

I have 2 iPods but other than that, I am not really an Apple girl.  However, one step into an Apple store and you want to surrender. You want it ALL.  I tried the netbook thing last year with ACER.  Nice concept, good design, but still not quite there for me. So then, wala, the iPad.  I have played with an iPad twice now in two days.  It is too heavy and they need to work on that but it’s better than a netbook in so many ways. But still, not quite there yet for me. No matter. There will be more generations of iPad’s with each one getting more amazing than the next.  Until then, I will suffer along with my Toshiba laptop and my Kindle. I love my Kindle and until Apple can rival that in weight, etc. then no can do.

But as I walked around in there, looking for a keyboard, I wanted it all. I have no idea how it happens, but I wanted a laptop. Then a desktop. Then an iPad. Then the iPhone (darn it, move on that will ya Apple. I’m on Verizon, have been for almost a decade and I’m not straying to AT&T).   It was very hard to not want it all and I don’t even have a need for any of it.  I have no idea how that magic hold comes over a person when they walk in. It’s like a giant playground and you want to take all the toys home with you.  I am thankful that I don’t carry a credit card with me or I have no idea what would happen.  I got my keyboard and got the heck out. I didn’t play or touch or dawdle.  Want, want, want = get out, get out, get out!!

I should clarify that my first experience with a computer was some IBM monstrosity using WordPerfect, DOS, and those iPad sized floppy disks. I hated computers back then. To me, it was just a huge piece of junk that made things harder and more time-consuming. Then off to college I go and most of the offices at IU used the original Macintosh computers.  One of my jobs (of the 2 I had during college), I had to go into administrative offices, make sure things were turned off, nothing was unlocked, etc.  Sometimes, I would use these computers to write letters (email wasn’t existent quite yet – I know, crazy right?) or do homework.  I loved that job.  It was then that I loved computers. I loved that Macintosh. I wanted one so bad.  Then about a year later, email started on campus and then I really wanted one.  So, in some ways, I am an Apple girl.

I think I should stay away from the Apple store for a while.  I am feeling twitchy right now. Darn nostalgia.

October 8, 2010 at 2:55 pm 1 comment

Leaders and leadership

I believe we all evolve as leaders.  Wait, that is not completely true. There are some truly bad leaders out there that remain bad and only get worse. But that is still evolution just not the way I think it should go.  Yuppers, lots of Anissa opinion going to be infused in this post so be ready.  I have been watching idly by lately and have had enough.  Between government, big business  (I really wish BP would read the below), and even locally within the state, I am tired of ineffective leaders.

First, I don’t believe leadership is a title.  Just because you have one doesn’t mean anything to me unless you believe your title has magic and you use that power to threaten, rule by fear, coerce, or otherwise, put down the rest of us little people you believe us to be.  Your leading by your title does not create respect or trust.  For those of you who do this, think about that for a second.  Does your team respect you? Trust you? Want to make you look good?  If you don’t outright say yes immediately and know it to be true, you aren’t a leader in my eyes.

Second, I think we are all leaders.  This may be in government, school, work, church, your neighborhood, your high school, your professional organization, etc.  At any time, we are all leaders and we are all followers. If you remember this, a leader can be more compassionate instead of power hungry.  A leader understands that they do not exist without followers.  That a true leader is a servant to others (hence servant leadership). Do those in your department, group or team believe in your vision (if you have one & you have shared it – big assumption on my part) and help you achieve it?  If you are leading the charge and there is no one, or few, behind you, you aren’t a leader in my eyes.

Third, leaders know their team.  They know each person, what they do, their strengths, their motivations, and where they want to go.  As a leader, can you say this? If you can’t, then you better sit down and take the time.  And this does not mean once a year during the performance review (which I find ridiculous – these conversations  should be ongoing and regularly occurring throughout the year).  Leading is about people not tasks, not sitting in committee meetings, not sitting in your own office all day long. As an extension, does your team actively stop by your office/desk to talk to you, not just about work but about random things? If no one, or few, do this, you aren’t a leader in my eyes.

Fourth, leaders don’t play favorites. If you make the effort to only get to know a few really well, only give these people the extra opportunities, only take them to lunch, only take the time to laugh with them and show your human side, you are especially not a leader in my eyes. We might as well be back in high school.

Fifth, leaders talk.  I don’t mean communicate, I mean talk.  What are your plans for the department, group or team? What are you trying to accomplish now? What is happening in the organization? This should be regularly and consistently shared. We should hear more from you, all the time. Believe me, a chief complaint is that communication sucks in any organization – so what are you waiting for?  And if you complain that there is too much water cooler talk, this is YOUR fault.  In the face of ambiguity or lack of communication from YOU, there is no information being shared.  People will band together, support each other and share the small tidbits they pick up and try to cobble together what is happening. You aren’t a leader in my eyes if you believe that it is your team’s fault for the acting this way. You need to look within.

Sixth, leaders create the climate.  If you think the climate in your department, group or team isn’t supportive, is negative, tense, and people are constantly calling sick because of stress, YOU created this and YOU must fix it. A leader knows and if you don’t, you aren’t a leader in my eyes.

Seventh, leaders are reflective learners. Do you take the time to think about who you are as a leader? Where you have been and where you want to go? I am not talking about titles or roles.  I am talking about your style. Do you know what it is?  Do you know its impact on others? Do you readily know areas you need to enhance or are your blind spots? Do you know the behaviors that grate on others (the do as I say, not as I do variety). Do you take the time to read about other leaders and think about those aspects relative to yourself?  Or, do you think yourself impervious, superior, perfect, and in need of no leadership style change in any way?  The chief leadership trait that is more important than any other is vulnerability, in my opinion. I look for this in leaders and believe this is THE trait that epitomizes leaders. If you can be vulnerable, admit your mistakes, show that you need the expertise of others, that you don’t know everything, then your courage, your integrity, and your humanity shine through.  Are you vulnerable in any way? If you aren’t, then you aren’t a leader in my eyes.

Eight, leaders aren’t paranoid. If you are, then you need to look inside and figure out why.  Hire a coach, go to a therapist, seek out a mentor. But the problem is yours, not your department, group or team. And if you believe it is, then you need to get everyone together and LISTEN.  Ask the question about how they feel things are going and how you are doing as a leader, and then sit back and listen. The only thing you do is take notes and if you must talk, say thank you for the feedback.  Then follow back with everyone on the areas you are going to work on and ask them to be your monitor so they can congratulate you when you make strides (no matter how small). All of this takes vulnerability. Do you have it?  If you aren’t willing to do something about your paranoia, then you aren’t a leader in my eyes.

Ninth, leaders know how to have healthy conflict.  If you have surrounded yourself by people who kiss your ass & do whatever you want, and are basically mini versions of you, then you aren’t a leader in my eyes.  Leaders know that this isn’t leadership at all. This is just hero-worship and those persons kissing your ass hope you will help them with their own careers, giving them extra perks along the way.  Bobble-heads do you no good.  If everyone has given up and stopped sparring about issues, just letting you make decisions unilaterally, you aren’t a leader, you are a dictator.  Healthy conflict is a good thing. You, the team and the organization gain so much more from this. But if you fear conflict, again, you need to look at some of the advice in Eight above.

Tenth, if you have felt that any of this has been written about you dear reader, then you need to look within now at those areas above that pissed you off..  Those are the areas that you know, deep down under all those protective layers, are the real leadership issues that you need to tackle. So go tackle them. And don’t think about this once, today. Think about this often and regularly and start DOING something to change. It is the only true way you can be a leader now and forever.

May 30, 2010 at 10:00 am 2 comments

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