Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Book 5: Bossypants

If you can make me laugh, I want you to be my friend. You can be a terrible, horrible person. You can be the worst cynic ever. If you make me giggle, you win.

Someone told me they were shocked that I liked 30 Rock and Tina Fey. "She's so liberal. How can you listen to that? She's out to destroy our values."

Yes, there are values I hold dear and I've worked very hard for candidates I believe in. At the end of a hard day though, I just want a good laugh, folks.

..And, that's why I love Bossypants.

My mom had surgery earlier this year and I spent the whole day in the hospital reading passages of Bossypants.. to my grandmother, who didn't understand. I reread the book a few weeks ago, on a football Saturday, aloud to Steve, who pretended to listen but at least laughed.

One of the best passages in the book is about Amy Poehler's first day at SNL. She's goofing around with Jimmy Fallon, who returned the joke by saying she was unladylike and he didn't like it. "I don't f*cking care if you like it."And she moved on.

It made me think about my own work demeanor and personality. How often do I shy away if someone doesn't laugh? How often am I scared to reach out at a networking event for worried I might be shunned? Why do I care if they like it?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What does brand loyalty mean?

This week, the story is about Netflix, who lost 800,000 subscribers after raising subscription rates, splitting their streaming and DVD services and then changing their mind. Next week, a citizen-run social media campaign is encouraging Americans to switch their banks after several large banks announced new fees for debit transactions. (The group has over 25,000 Facebook fans, no less.) That's right, banks are now going to charge you to conveniently and safely access your money.

Marketers work to inspire brand loyalty amongst their customers. They try giving stuff away (I like money), funny commercials, contests, social media messaging is meant to sound hip and fun.

Our friends raved about Netflix. They had both DVD and streaming subscriptions, even if the streaming feature didn't offer much and you could only check-out a few DVDs at a time. As soon as prices jumped, so did they. And loudly.

One thing is clear: Just because a customer gives you money, even over a sustained time frame, today's consumers aren't loyal to your brand and are ready to jump if they feel taken advantage of. So, if a business relationship isn't the basis of brand loyalty, what is? What companies inspire you to keep your business? Why?

*Side note: Steve and I cancelled our Netflix subscription this month and we're loyal members of the ING nation, but probably not if they start charging fees.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Experience the Gold Dome from your iPhone

Georgia's State Capitol is truly one of the best ways to learn about Georgia history- and its free. Another way to experience it for free without even having to travel to Atlanta is this new iPhone tour app from Georgia State University.

The video segments are narrated by Monica Kaufman Pearson (etc., etc.) and there is even a welcome from Governor Nathan Deal. I hope they update it with more videos and definitely more pictures (I mean, there isn't even a two-headed animal mention), but it is an awesome start.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Mug Shot Monday for October 17, 2011

In an effort to blog on a more regular basis, I'm going to work on some weekly themes. Welcome to the first, Mug Shot Monday: Yes, you're stuck at work but it's better than jail.

Meet Bobby Sigman, mayoral candidate in Covington, Ga., who was recently arrested for paying people to steal his opponent's yard signs. Nice. Wonder if he wins?

(h/t 11 Alive/ WXIA Atlanta)

Friday, October 14, 2011


My brain functions like a website. I like to see headlines that I can click on for more information, not everything in one place. I don't want to flip through pages to find anything.

When I was working for the Secretary of State, we constantly received media inquiries relating to State Election Board cases. To stop the stacks of paper, I taught myself basic html and built a database of all the documents. Search, click, boom. Everything right there.

This is also the approach I take when it comes to recipes. Now, you're the beneficiary. I have posted my basic html cookbook that I update as I get new recipes. You can click here or use the little tab above. It's created for personal use so I'm not saying it's perfect. Let me know if you see any problems. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

All I Want For Christmas

My mom had a garage sale recently where she finally cleaned out all of little things we accumulated in our childhood. We had told her for a while we didn't want them, but she was convinced that one day we'd be sentimental about boxes of notes, pictures, old clothes. She was disappointed when we weren't.

So she sold off board games, purses, posters, books. When I was there, I realized how much of it was once gifts. In high school and college, we all felt the need to buy everyone a gift whose phone number we had. Even now, we spend money on gifts for family, friends and co-workers that we don't even know if they'll like- or even care. It's the thought that counts, right?

I'm blessed with a great friend, Sarah Melissa, that introduced me to the Five Love Languages. Gary Chapman wrote the books to help people understand compatibility and how individuals, even great people, may not be compatible because they express and receive love in different ways.

For me, I feel loved through physical touch, words of affirmation and quality time (also, proving I'm high maintenance). Steve feels loved through physical touch and quality time. Neither of us feel loved when we get gifts. Last Christmas, we bought each other small gifts but spend our money on something we really needed, a new mattress and bedroom furniture.

With everyones' finances a little tighter this year, why don't we focus on what our friends and family really need? Sure, some people want gifts, but others want some time together, support, a hug. What do you really need for the holidays? Ooo, take the quiz, too. What's your love language?

*Thanks to my favorite website for inspiring this post.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

What We Had For Dinner

STOP what you're doing right now and make this dressing. Holy mother, is it life changing. *swoon*

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Can you spare a few dollars to fight ALS?

Steve, Sharon and Ben

I hope you don't mind this brief update asking for your help in the fight against ALS.

As many of you know, Steve's mom, Sharon, lost her fight to ALS over two years ago. I wish I would have met her sooner, before she was sick. You could see how much energy the disease had taken from her, even though she made sure you could still feel her love. Since Lou Gehrig was diagnosed with the disease, little progress has been made to determine the cause or to find a cure. It remains a fatal disease for everyone diagnosed.

On Saturday, October 22, Steve, Ben and I will participate in the Walk to Defeat ALS, sponsored by the ALS Society of Georgia. Not only does this organization fund research for ALS, they also help the families provide for their loved one's basic needs during their fight. For Sharon, they provided everything from a chairlift for stairs and a hospital bed to education materials and support groups. They truly do important work for patients.

I understand budgets are tight but please consider donating a few dollars to this very worthy cause. If it's not in your budget now, maybe you can remember them before tax season, forward this email on, or even just offer a prayer for those suffering from ALS and the families support them.

Please click here to donate.

Thank you so much for your help. We're looking forward to spending a pretty autumn morning supporting the ALS Society of Georgia.