Friday, May 1, 2015

my new favorite thing.

The Sound of Music is a classic. It's timeless. So when Laurence Maslon came out with a book companion to the musical, WITH a forward from Julie Andrews herself, I broke into song immediately. And there's more.

The abundance of photographs are what make The Sound of Music Companion a fan favorite and an excellent coffee-table book, but it's the research that must have went into all the of the facts, both musical and the story behind the Trapp Family Singers, that I was most impressed with.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

i hate everyone, and pants.

As someone who has had their share of trouble thinking of the glass as half full, and really doesn't like anyone, I kind of got Kim Korson and her autobiography titled I Don't Have a Happy Place which is filled with extremely honest short essays beginning with her child self hating the little girl next door for her Barbie collection. I totally get that. And hating everyone else at Disney World. I get that, too. Included are Kim's pivotal life moments from childhood to adulthood along with the constant struggle to find her happy place. It's definitely not a woe is Kim kind of book, it may appear that way by the title and how Kim portrays herself as being an all around negative human being. But really, she's super funny and just trying to live. And living is fricken hard.

In other news, can someone please buy me this shirt?

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

rooting for the ref.

Being a referee has got to be the worst job ever in the world, next to being one of Hugh Hefner's girlfriends or an Olympic drug tester (which actually is number 8 on the list, I Googled it). I mean, what an emotional rollercoaster. And the verbal abuse. No thank you! I come from a basketball playing family, and my late grandfather was escorted out by many the referee in his day. Gosh he made me proud. But anyways, referees are always going to be needed, it is America after all. So if you're going to do it, you might as well be Ed Hightower, elite NCAA referee who came from nothing and has now refereed some pretty intense games throughout the years during this tournament.


The Whistleblower by Bob Katz, who has always been intrigued by referees, is Hightower's story. Growing up in poverty. Landing the gig as a big time official. Katz put readers right inside Hightower's head. Feeling all the pressure, totally changing my view on refs in general. The writing was phenomenal, and there were times when I was like WE ARE STILL TALKING ABOUT BASKETBALL, RIGHT? It was that interesting.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

let's get likable.

Since...forever, word of mouth is the best and purest form of marketing, especially now that everyone's mouths are all over Facebook and Twitter. Social media has made advertising much more simple and affordable, but only if you know how to use it. Enter Dave Kerpen and his book titled Likeable Social Media, Revised and Expanded: How to Delight Your Customers, Create an Irresistible Brand, and Be Amazing on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and More. People aren't listening to commercial or radio ads like they used to. A lot of people have XM Radio, many DVR their shows and fast forward through commercials. If you learn how to master the 18 strategies Kerpen shares for advertising your brand and yourself on social media in a likable way, you will be successful. It won't happen over night, but it will happen.

Just a little added advice:
We live in a world where people we know are constantly trying to sell things to us on Facebook. Beachbody, Young Living Essential Oils, Mary Kay, Thirty One, various jewelry. I have literally seen ads for ALL of these products in the last hour, without trying. As a consumer, I am looking for polished posts; little to no typos, no crazy run-on sentences, no swearing or sexually explicit content. If I see any of the errors listed above, you officially lost my business. So instead of getting all crazy excited about this new idea you have for advertising your products or telling your story, STOP. Take a breath and EDIT your posts/flyers before hitting "post". You're welcome.

Monday, April 27, 2015

just a man and his mom.

After spending his adult life in Manhattan, author George Hodgman returns to his hometown of Paris, Missouri to care for his aging mother in his heartfelt and funny memoir titled, Bettyville. Betty is a stubborn old broad, never been easy to live with, but much worse now that her mind is deteriorating. That being said, George has no intention of ever putting her in a nursing home, and this memoir is about how difficult it is to change roles from child to caregiver to your parents, and seeing them through until the very end. Although the childhood references were a bit over my head as a 90's kid, many of you a few decades older than I am will appreciate them. This is a memoir (or an outlet) for anyone who has or is currently caring for an elderly parent with dementia or Alzheimer's.

Friday, April 24, 2015

just in case you missed it.

*Repost because this one was just toooooo good. And because I'm leaving for a weekend in the big apple today and I'm busy.

I know I always say this about Jodi Picoult novels, but it's just TOO true to ignore. I get smarter while reading, and after I'm done, I am an expert on whatever subject Picoult has decided to invest herself in while writing. For Leaving Time, it was elephants. I now know that a baby calf under the age of two cannot survive in the wild without their mother, even though they are part of a heard. I learned that elephants truly never forget. I learned that Asian elephants and African elephants have two completely different personalities, just like the people. I also learned that Picoult just keeps getting better and better.

Leaving Time is written from four different perspectives. Thirteen-year-old Jenna's mother Alice disappeared ten years ago, and no one has any idea if she is alive or dead. Jenna has made it her goal to find her. Alice (who we hear from in the past tense) has spent her adult life researching elephants and how they grieve. Spending time in Africa before meeting Jenna's father and moving to New England where he owned an Elephant Sanctuary after she found out she was pregnant with Jenna. She continued the research with the elephants in captivity until tragedy struck. Jenna enlists the help of Serenity Jones, a former celebrity psychic who was famous for finding missing people, and Virgil Stanhope, the police officer who was there the night her mother disappeared, to help her solve the mystery. Jenna is single-minded in her search and will do whatever it takes to find her mother. I have to be honest, when the truth came out and slapped her in the face, I felt the sting.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

going up, every day.

I saw on instagram recently that Reese Witherspoon was reading The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. So like any normal blonde woman, I purchased it immediately. Because you should always be yourself, unless you can be Reese Witherspoon, then always be Reese Witherspoon.

I do agree with my girlfriend Reese when she said the story kept her on the edge of her seat. I couldn't put it down. It was a bit of a mystery, mostly narrated by an alcoholic woman named Rachel who wasn't super reliable. So I never knew what was going to happen next because who believes anything an alcoholic says? The other narrators were Rachel's ex-husband's new wife, Anna, who popped in here and there to make the story extra curious. And then Megan, the beautiful neighbor of Anna, and a woman that Rachel always saw on her train rides pretending to go to work everyday. Because you guessed it, alcoholics can't keep a job either. So Rachel would pretend to go to work and then look at the row of houses that used to be her neighborhood with her husband Tom before he had an affair with Anna, and they ended up married with a baby girl in the house Tom and Rachel bought together. Anyways, Megan lived a few doors down from Anna's old house, so she would imagine up these stories about her and her husband, to occupy her mind in her sorry life. When Megan ends up missing, and Rachel is the only one who saw her in her yard with someone who wasn't her husband AND also saw her the night she went missing, she is determined to get to the bottom of things. If only wine wasn't so delicious.