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Musing #25: Magic Words…And the Walls Came Tumbling Down

Musing #25: Magic Words…And the Walls Came Tumbling Down

Dec 20, 2013

I’ll be keeping this “rare tale of personal triumph” short. Since commencing my steerage of Scylla and Charybdis six months ago, I’ve become progressively more comfortable with sharing my pain, my crazy and my failures. But I’m still terribly disturbed by the solipsism inherent in what I’m doing here. No amount of good reader feedback (and there has been plenty, all of it appreciated) can dissuade me from the belief that this column is largely eye-roll-inducing to those who read it. Given this particular anxiety of mine, the notion of sharing my joy, my intelligence and my triumphs is utterly anathema. We all have those times when we’re awesome and we know it. But knowing it (and clapping our hands) is necessarily enough. We’re not supposed to talk about it when we’re awesome. That’s terrible manners. It’s supposed to be for others to judge and express. Here’s looking at you, Anne Hathaway. She’s insufferable. In the case of my recent personal awesomeness, it’s a tale specifically of an important person judging and expressing that I’d nailed it and stood out from the crowd in doing so. This made me very, very happy. But to share in detail beyond that would be to wallow in braggadocio. Braggarts are distasteful. Here’s looking at you, Kanye West. He’s less than completely sane. I’m only sharing a small part of this story, because it’s enough for me to know the details. I’m sharing what I’m sharing because it happens to be the totally unanticipated coda to Musing #6: Beauty (or How Barbra Streisand Ruined My Youth). Here’s the relevant excerpt in its entirety: You might have noticed that you’ve never heard of me. That’s at least partially because I have the curious experience of being told (frequently) by agents – who allegedly “love [my] work” – that I’m “not ugly enough to be ugly, and not pretty enough to be pretty,” therefore “uncastable until [my] body catches up to [my] face.” Charming, those agents, don’t you find? Apparently, I’m going to “work all the time in [my] 40s.” But, until my chassis has the decency to age like fine wine, I’m saddled with ”the body of an Ingénue and the face of a...

Because of Heller

Because of Heller

Dec 20, 2013

On December 22nd each year, Heller’s friends and family honor his memory by spreading random (and deliberate) acts of kindness to others. We encourage you to go out and spread some kindness of your own. By Hayley Ritz Two Weeks Before Christmas 2007 There we were, preparing for the holiday season in the cookie cutter routine we followed each and every year before. Our calendar read, “Mail Christmas Cards Today!, Jenny’s Christmas Concert, and Heller in Church Play.” Nine-year-old Heller would be The King this time. In years gone by, he was a shepherd, and before that, a lamb. The twinkling array of electric-lit snowflakes beckoned to our neighbors from our front lawn, “Merry Christmas!” they seemed to shout out. “Yes, we too are festive!” Our annual Santa photo was positioned in its dedicated frame upon the piano, and our live, hand-picked tree stood proudly in the corner of the room. Its decorations filled every last branch–thanks to a night of tree-trimming assistance from Heller. A few chosen charities awaited our donations. That year, we selected Water for Life and ECHO--two organizations that we felt would best turn our meager gifts into small contributions that would ultimately help to change the world. I will admit; we put forth very little effort in our decision. These charities were easily selected because they were the two that Heller chose through his youth program at church and through the Honor Guard at school. Yes, we were well on our way toward a holly-jolly, conventional Christmas when December 22nd callously appeared out of nowhere and knocked us off of our path, thus changing the course of our lives, and the future of our Christmases forever. On the day of Heller’s life celebration, his grandmother delivered these words: “Many people have mentioned the fact that this tragedy (the loss of our sunshine) is heightened by the fact that it happened around Christmas, and they wonder how we will ever get through another Christmas.  Christmas is Christ’s day and we will continue to celebrate Jesus on that day! But December 22nd will be a day reserved for celebrating the life of Heller, and we will celebrate on that day (and...

A Year In Review

A Year In Review

Dec 19, 2013

By Mo Breden I’m taking a break from my blog, through Christmas and New Year’s. I’ve blogged once a week since June 18th when I wrote my first blog about Edward Snowden for Mo Mo Politics. I wrote several politically oriented pieces and, after a discussion with my editor, we changed the blog to Life with Mo, allowing me more leeway with my blog content. It’s been an honor and a joy to have been asked to post to this website and I hope to continue with my commentary in 2014, if they will have me. I hope that those of you who are out there reading will have me, too. I’m sorry to say that two of my sorest subjects have not gotten any better. Guns in our country continue to be a danger to each of us and our loved ones. There have been 25 school shootings since December 14, 2012. It continues to be a heartbreak.  I will continue to write about it and continue to advocate for common sense gun control laws until this stops. Politics in America is still in a disgusting mess. They did pass a budget this week, but ya know what? I don’t trust it. As we get closer to election season, they start to behave, just like little kids before Christmas. My male readers may not agree with me, but I believe we need more women in positions of power in politics. Men have had the power from our beginnings, and we have had many great men who have done many great things. All I want is a chance for women to do the same for their country. Yes, if she runs, I will support Hillary Clinton. Won’t that be fun??? On a personal level, I have grown much this year. I guess you can teach an old dog!! I ‘ve written about love, family, swimming and motivation. My first blog in 2014 will be about progress in all of those subjects. So, I will wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! May God hold you in the palm of his hands until we meet again in 2014. Thanks for stopping by to...

Quick Ways to Change Your Look for a New You

Quick Ways to Change Your Look for a New You

Dec 18, 2013

By Dean Downing With so few days before Christmas and New Year’s, it is easy to feel like we are neglecting ourselves.  Part of essential work life balance is finding a way to feel beautiful in spite of a busy schedule.  There are hundreds of things you can do to change your look, and become a new woman, in just a few seconds. Here are my top 5.  For the rest, you’ll have to come in for a visit: 1. Get yourself Clip In Extensions. Depending on your budget you can get just a piece or two, to give you a little length or flare, or a whole head of hair pieces, to dramatically change you into a celebrity. 2. Buy a few sets of fake eyelashes! You can go super dramatic with these or just a thin set to give you a little fuller look. These can be purchased just about anywhere and are a quick on and off. 3. Make sure you are having fun with lip color!!! You can change a whole outfit or night for that matter with just a change of your shade in lipstick. Have fun! Go get that sexy black dress and put on those RED lips! 4. The biggest thing that I have changed for people is contouring their makeup! I have watched countless YouTube videos on how to change the contour of your face with shading. I LOVE Pixiwoo. She can teach you any look you would ever want to know. 5. The last (and sometimes sexiest) thing you can add to an outfit is a new pair of glasses. You can get many glasses for next to nothing now. They don’t need to be your everyday pair, but have fun picking out some less expensive options and change your look to sexy, smart and seductive. Want a chance to visit stylist Dean Downing in person?  Enter the GIVEAWAY here! a Rafflecopter giveaway Dean Downing’s style of salon work is edgy, contemporary and fashion-inspired yet wearable at the same time. A graduate of the Paul Mitchell Academy, he has also received advanced training from TIGI, Vidal Sassoon,and RUSK.  Currently a RUSK Design Team Member and former...

Movie Bad Girl of the Week,This One is For the Boys

Movie Bad Girl of the Week,This One is For the Boys

Dec 17, 2013

This column contains slurs. It is in context with the subject and I apologize if anyone finds the language offensive. As I was going through movies in search of a subject for my column I came across “To Kill A Mockingbird” and could not resist the urge to re-watch one of my favorite movies. I know I usually pull characters from cult and/or horror films but some movies are just so damn good you have to go there. This is one of those times. My initial intention was to use Jean Louise “Scout” Finch as the star of this article. She is bright, mischievous and a character with an incredible realness and depth. As the movie played and I sat there watching something magical happened. It dawned on me that although we see a period of slightly more than a year through the eyes of this girl that the story is about, friendship, love, adventure, terror, mystery and the difference between right and wrong. At the center of  all of it is her father, Atticus Finch. He is the subject of this column. This one is for the boys. This is Movie Bad Girl of the Week: Bad Boy Edition If you have not seen or read “To Kill A Mockingbird” drop everything immediately and go get copies of the movie and the book this very moment. You will experience something  so special and wonderful that will remain with you for a long, long time. The story is such a simple one but is so incredibly complex at the same time. Atticus Finch is a single father of two children,  Jean Louise (referred to as Scout) and her brother Jem.  Atticus is an attorney in a small poor town in the Depression-Era South. In a time of racial tension a black man, Tom Robinson is accused of raping a white girl, Mayella Ewell. Atticus is given the responsibility of defending Mr. Robinson. Being a moral and good man he goes in and defends this man with integrity, honesty and a high moral standard because he knows that the man is innocent. It will take Atticus and those around him on a journey that will be...

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