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GEMS I STUMBLED UPON – O YOU!

Since none of my high school girlfriends, nor I, had the opportunity to fly to Chicago to see Oprah’s show before it ended, today my friends (that I’ve known for almost 25 years!) and I attended the next best thing!  Oprah’s O You 2012 in Los Angeles!  I learned many gems and will share them in weeks to come!

O what a great group of women!

There were so many activities throughout the day, but our largest challenge was “You … in six words”
Mine life story in 6 words is: Make lasting impression, love all equally!

What’s yours?

Can you write your history in 6 words or less?
Click on photo for some great ones – Including Oprah’s!
Artwork (C) Harpo

All the experts (including Oprah) got on stage:  Her best friend, Gail, Suze, Dr. Phil, Peter, Dr. Laura B., Martha, Adam, Iyanla!  You too can win a set of Oprah’s amazing Swag Bag (Click on this link!).

I know they’re tiny, but they’re all there!
Lingering idea: It’s ok for women to put themselves 1st!

What a great way to celebrate women!   What a great way to celebrate my 1/2 way point with my first grad school class!

Where the magic happened! WTF: We’re thrilled, fantastic!

#OYou2012

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TODAY’S GEM SMACKS YOU SILLY

I do not watch this show but already know more than I would want to about this family. WTF – Way to fall (in love)!

20121009-000649.jpg

Being single myself, this reinforces tht there is someone for everyone! Thanks Michelle for sharing!

8 I’S THAT CREATE SUCCESSFUL WE

Believe it or not, this life’s lesson is plucked from an article I’m reading on Business Alliances for my classes on how to create excellent alliances…

Worst case scenario – great working relationship
Best case scenario – LOVE!

Individual Excellence  – Both should be independently strong and bring something of value to contribute to alliance. Have positive goals, not just looking to escape something.

Importance – The relationship should fit your strategic objectives so both want to make it work

Interdependence – Partners complement each other and neither can accomplish on own what both can together

Investment – Invest in each other to show mutual respect, commitment

Information – Open communication, share goals, trouble spots, changing perspectives

Integration – Link operations to teach and learn from each other, bridge on many levels

Institutionalization – Make relationship formal, not easily broken, set clear responsibilities and decision processes

Integrity – Behave honorably towards each other, no abuse of power, no undermining!

Seems like pretty wise advice for any relationship!

Citations:

Kanter, R. M., (1994). Collaborative Advantage: The Art of Alliances. Harvard Business 

    Review, 94405, 96-108.

SWEETER THE SECOND TIME AROUND

WTF: Wave Two Fingers!

Are things sweeter the second time around?  Here are two arguments with two sides and I’d love to hear your thoughts.

MEN
Girl meets boy. Girl loves boy. Boy breaks up with girl. Girl gets over boy. Boy comes crawling back to girl when they’re both home for the summer…  In my case, it didn’t fly.  Now, Girl is great friends with Boy. Then, there was no chance of the romance reaching the same marks so awkwardness ensued.  The reasons we weren’t right still weren’t right.   I’ve known people who married, divorced, then were so friendly and fun they remarried, remembered why they divorced, only to do it again.  Yet, I’ve also had friends who dated someone in high school, their lives went in two different directions until years later their paths cross again when the timing was golden!

JOBS
Girl gets job. Girl loves job. Job’s corporation closes company. In a pre-emptive strike, Girl leaves job.  Now temping, Girl accepts assignment at barely-standing old job to see friends.  Again, with no chance of the job respect to ever reach the same marks, awkwardness ensued. Yet, I’ve had friends who leap from their job to another company then pinball back into first in a higher position within carefully calculated timeframes to maintain seniority and retirement.

THINGS I KNOW ARE SWEETER THE SECOND TIME

Children – While I’d heard 1 + 1 (kids) equals 11 times the work, not 2, the payoff of having two amusing offspring amazing the heck out of me was 11 times as rewarding!

Marathons – At my 2nd mile 25, instead of cursing the course creators for their never-ending finish line, I remember a distinctly jubilant moment as I ran the last 1.2 miles!

Blog Awards – While it’s an honor to be nominated, to be nominated twice is superb!  I thank Caitlin at What She Writes for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award – again!

So looooong overdue! Thank you Caitlin!
I’m working on my crazy questions but couldn’t put this off any longer!

I get a kick out of knowing people keep reading and it means a lot that they respond!  I love that people in my blogosphere share similar or creative thoughts so check out Caitlin’s blog if you like mine.

So, pipe in! I could use a second opinion!

COOL RIDER WEAKNESS

As I spin through the musical genius known as the soundtrack for Grease 2, let me divulge to you how I longed to be Stephanie Zinoni singing her heart out from the top of the ladder about her Coool Rider!

Remember Michelle Pfeiffer in this movie?
Thanks fanpop.com for being a Greasey resource for fans!

I don’t care that she sang horribly, nor that this movie was extra cheesy.  It boils down to one thing.  Women, or at least I, have a weakness for guys who like to go fast on big, loud machines!  I don’t care how dangerous my rational self knows these machines are, my heart flutters when I hear a deep engine accompanied by a handsome driver controlling the beast.

Think this film was aw(ful)esome?? Check out Bob’s Bad Movie Blog!

Random revelation, right?!  Well, last night my adorably studious son (more like Michael Carrington), up past his bedtime, was about to retrace his report in pen – his third draft. I asked why he didn’t write this draft in pen to begin with and he said he wanted it to be perfect so he needed it to be erasable.  His drive, coupled with the 10 pm timeframe, led me to offer to retrace everything myself.  I didn’t research or rewrite anything, simply filled in the pen. Know that this isn’t usual either – we have a rep to protect!

Michael Carrington – did anyone ever see him again?!

For background noise, I watched the new season premiere of The Bachelorette!  Emily is a charming, warm southern belle whose first fiancé was a race car driver who was killed in a plane crash heading to a race.  I won’t even touch on the Brad season, he doesn’t deserve another moment of discussion.  So she’s back trying to find another true love.  Of course, for dramatic flair, or the fact that he’s adorable and foreign, a racecar driver lined up to start. I thought the most “real” moments of the show shared how nervous he was to tell her his living, knowing her past, and it was sweet that she had moments where her light shone through her very well-composed exterior when she talked about her love of racing.

Arie’s taken the lead so far as I’m concerned!
(C) ABC television group/Craig Sjodin

Of course now I’m hooked, and the Pink Lady in me wants Arie to win because of his need for speed and his big heart! I will live vicariously through her.

Pink Lady Emily kissing frogs before she gets her prince.

…and her!  Hmmm… Distant cousins maybe?!

MY FAVORITE FLUFFY FILMS

This week can’t end fast enough, yet, we could use a few more days. Nonetheless, we’re halfway and since we just started feeling that we may survive this week (knock on wood!), when the kids finally got to bed, I wanted to shut off my brain and just hang out while doing normal things like wash dishes, fold laundry! I called some familiar faces to make the mundane more enjoyable. Perhaps you recognize some… Click titles or photos to get your own copy – I can’t part with mine!

MELANIE CARMICHAEL: Look at you, you have a baby… In a bar.

Who’d you choose? Andrew Hennings or Jake Perry?
(C) Touchstone Pictures

SWEET HOME ALABAMA – FAVORITE MOMENT: Tough to pick just one, but when Melanie replaces all of Jake’s stuff, including putting chick food in the fridge. The bickering is a fun bumpy ride!

GEORGE DOWNES: Suddenly, a familiar song. And, you’re off your chair in one, exquisite movement… wondering, searching, sniffing the wind like a dapple deer. Has God heard your little prayer? Will Cinderella dance again? And then, suddenly, the crowds part and there he is: sleek, stylish… radiant with charisma. Bizarrely, he’s on [a HUGE] telephone. But then, so are you. And then he comes towards you… the moves of a jungle cat. Although you quite correctly sense that he is… gay… like most devastatingly handsome single men of his age are, you think… what the hell. Life goes on. Maybe there won’t be marriage… maybe there won’t be sex… but, by God, there’ll be dancing.

Seriously the size of the phones back then!
(C) TriStar Pictures

MY BEST FRIEND’S WEDDING – FAVORITE MOMENT: Restaurant Sing-Along complete with Lobster Claws!

MARTINI: Signora. Please stop being so sad. If you continue like this, I will be forced to make love to you. And I’ve never been unfaithful to my wife.

How far have you gone to find yourself?
(C) Touchstone Pictures

UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN – FAVORITE MOMENT: So many beautiful scenic shots! I could totally live in a village!

DUKE: I am no one special. Just a common man with common thoughts. I’ve led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten, but in one respect I’ve succeeded as gloriously as anyone who ever lived. I’ve loved another with all my heart and soul and for me that has always been enough.

Right before the swans! So peaceful on the lake!
(C) New Line Cinema

THE NOTEBOOK – FAVORITE MOMENT: Rainy kisses!

Share your favorite fluffy films!

#TheNotebook #NicholasSparks #MyBestFriendsWedding #SweetHomeAlabama #UnderTheTuscanSun #RomanticComedy #RomanticMovies

GONNA GO BACK IN TIME

Today being my baby sister’s birthday, when my other sister and I think of her aging, it reminds us that we do too – a bit. We instantly return to the decades of our youth remembering the crazy times we shared together or with our friends. The 80s still regularly weave their way into my world.

MIX MP3s – Before the digital age of music, we created mixed tapes as a sign of love, hate, lust – complex feelings best reflected in the angst-filled lyrics of the 80s. Newer cars don’t have cassette players so we load up music on our iPods. Between Adam Levine and One Direction you’ll find Boingo, Missing Persons, and Adam Ant recapturing my wild youth.

Pouring our heart and souls into bad recordings off the radio!

I still have a tangible response to “If You Were Here” which leads me to…

FAVORITE MOVIES – Who hasn’t spend their 20’s and 30’s (heck I’m into my 40’s) wishing for the last scene in Sixteen Candles to happen to them?

My favorite movie moment of all time!
Thanks to Faunboy for finding this photo!

I’ve loved reliving some of the “classic” films like Ferris Bueller with my kids – many will premiere in our home years from now because there were too many boobs flying around in the 80s. Right now I’m in hot pursuit of Weekend at Bernies for the comedy and the two leading men!

CLASSIC STYLES – Remember the original skinny jeans – your Jordaches? Who made a quilt out of your team jerseys? Whose high school uniform consisted of black ¾ sleeved baseball style concert jerseys and 501s?

It can be yours on eBAY! What is the value of our childhood?

Who still keeps these in the back of your closet waiting for the day that you can button the jeans again or that your jersey won’t look like a half-shirt over your belly?

NEVER BORING BOARD GAMES – I used to know a guy with the goal to purchase all of his favorite childhood board games. He hadn’t anticipated that many games stopped production so internet purchases became costly. I will only hunt for Walt Disney World’s Haunted Mansion game! With its vertical backdrop and spinning track, this game felt like a take-home version of the attraction!

For years I couldn't find it anywhere, I thought I'd dreamed it up! FINALLY, someone has it!

Now, we must go Back to the Future so get your Flux Capacitor calibrated and take it to 88 mph.

Wait, did we figure this out correctly?

See you on the other side!

DATING POOL – IS IT SAFE TO GO IN?

Many of my friends met amazing dates or awesome future-spouses online. Utilizing computers’ brains to define one’s heart presented uber-compatible matches. While I remained cautious about starting relationships for my kids’ (and briefly, my own) sanity, I wanted to make sense of the “playing field” at this stage of my life. I didn’t put the weight of marriage on each first date, but kept the big picture in mind. My girlfriends and I narrowed the pool down to four general guy groups. These didn’t reflect anyone we know, but this grouping made the most sense to us.

Bachelor Adam *sigh*

1) The eternal bachelor – ‘Til you come along! Suddenly you, the woman he’s waited for, glided towards him with your intoxicatingly golden aura, stole his breath and hooked him. PRO: You two could define “marriage” together with no habits to break. CON: Being a person who either lived by the seat of his pants, or lived with uninterrupted routines for years – would a romantic partner fit in?

Marry Me Again, or I'll marry again...

2) The serial groom – Kept marrying the wrong girl while searching the world to find you! PRO: He loved marriage, settling down with and exploring life together as a couple. CON: Could be easily distracted or impatient. QUESTION: What magic number would change the number of marriages from “No worries” to “No Way!”?

Sharp dressed man

3) The career dude – Neither of the above, he put career before women to provide a stable foundation for any relationship. PRO: He prioritized well and thrived with increasing pressure and responsibility. CON: Could he switch gears to find more balance, not just all work all the time?

4) The Ross – “We were on a break!” Enough said, drama!

Once the men, passed the first round of consideration, one’s history qualified them further – especially for us single moms. When I joke to my friend that it’s uncomfortable to bring up background checks over cocktails, she laughs – working at the police station, she’s pulled that information after the first phone call.

Realizing that this kills the spontaneity and romance, perhaps speed dating would silence the “What Ifs’”. You could find the man of your dreams, or (as I’ve said before) worse comes to worst, a new business contact!

So true

WTF VALENTINE’S DAY GIFT

Candlelight makes everyone look perfect...

You are dressed to the nines, your lover looks delicious, dazzling eyes, skin warm in the glow of candlelight and starry night. They reach for your hand, pull it close to their heart, your heart skips a beat as you look into their eyes and try not to get carried away in butterflies.  You soak in every word of their pledge of love and affection for you, how they enjoy every minute with you and when you’re apart thinking of you makes their heart smile.  You’re perfect for them and complement each other better than ever hoped. They pull out a very personally wrapped present and slowly push it towards you. Your heart flutters with anticipation for this gift that they carefully picked out just for you. You shake the box gently as they pull you closer in an embrace. They are kissing your ear as you slowly untie the ribbon. The velvet kisses move down your neck as you remove the lid exposing a small envelope inside. They slowly push aside your collar, nuzzling your shoulder with their lips as you gently slide out a gift certificate for PLASTIC SURGERY?! You smash the box on their head, take the certificate and run.

Just want to change a little something...

I’m not above plastic surgery, I say do what makes you feel as awesome as you deserve, but receiving this gift from a loved one feels an awful lot like “I love you, BUT…”  Maybe it’s just me, but doesn’t that feel a tad superficial (although this is So Cal)?!  To give them the benefit of the doubt – perhaps they meant that you should do the work for “yourself” to make you feel better and then surprise your loved ones with newly enhanced parts.

Well OK, then...

To me, this gift ranks with those gifts one knows to never get a loved one like a vacuum, tools, or aprons – although I’d LOVE one of these.

I'd cook all day looking this cute!

Back to the story… you get a rush of endorphins running away, free with possibilities. The gift certificate does good bringing lots of love and money raised for the silent auction you donate it too. Hell, use it yourself, if you want – but only for yourself, not for anyone else!