Create your balance. Design your life.

Domestic Violence and the NFL

Domestic Violence and the NFL

Sep 18, 2014

By Mo Breden There is no way that I could write my blog post this week without addressing domestic violence and the NFL.   I look at Janay Palmer Rice and I fear for her, I worry about what he’s done to her prior to the elevator, I worry about what he will do to her in the future, and I know she is more susceptible to his violence now than she ever was.  I can’t do anything about her life, I have to hope that the people who love her the most will help her through her life and that she will reach out and get the help she needs. Women, mother’s who put their children in Ray Rice jersey’s and took them to the Raven’s game, I don’t understand?  Women, who after viewing the tape say that she, hit him first, so she deserved to get hit back?  Women, what are you thinking?  What kind of insane reasoning is this? I believe that men and women are equal, or should be, in every way.  We are, however, different, and that has to be acknowledged along with our equality.  In general men, particularly professional athletes, are bigger, stronger, and more prone to violence than women.  (My opinion).   Men cannot go around smacking or punching, or pushing women around, they just can’t, it is WRONG!! When I was growing up, we had a rule in our house, proclaimed and enforced by my father.  The boys NEVER hit the girls.  I can remember tormenting my older brother to total exasperation, he flipped a table he was trying to study on, but he did not hit me.  I also remember a major fight between my older sister and older brother, my sister was vicious, but my brother did not hit her.   My brother’s never hit my sister or me. Mother’s, your boys need to be taught this from the beginning, because it has to be a part of who they are.  They are, in all likelihood going to be bigger and stronger than the girls and women in their lives.  They cannot express themselves with physical violence towards these girls and women.  Mother’s, your daughters need to...

The Challenges of Work-Life Balance During a Kickstarter Campaign

The Challenges of Work-Life Balance During a Kickstarter Campaign

Sep 17, 2014

By Jeremy Scheinberg Most people think a Kickstarter (or other crowdfunding) campaign begins the moment you click “Launch.”  If only it were that simple!  The unfortunate reality is that a Kickstarter campaign has three parts – the Pre-Launch, the Campaign, and (hopefully) the Post-Campaign (otherwise known as, how do you efficiently spend a pile of money without burning every relationship you ever created in your life). The biggest part of the entire process – and the part that will require the most work – is the pre-campaign.  As crowdfunding expert Richard Bliss, points out “Crowdfunding is not an ‘if you build it, they will come’ proposition.  You have to bring your own crowd.”  That is more difficult than it sounds.  It means reaching out to every family member, friend, casual acquaintance, person on the street who you just met and having him or her support you.  But support doesn’t just mean a $5 or $25 pledge.  The most important thing that they can do for you is telling everyone they know.  This creates an amazing network effect that builds your support base faster than you could ever do it on your own.  But it also requires them to have a lot of faith in you as well.  A successful ask means that they are putting their reputation on the line (hence the importance of proper “post-campaign” planning or “Don’t even think about promising something unless you know you can deliver it.”)  So you need to get your “direct crowd” ready to join you as soon as you hit “launch.”  That means reminding them that you are launching soon and doing it in a way that they are ready for it and not completely exhausted by the time you need them. Rule #1 – Embrace your personal network and bring them onboard. This is very difficult when it comes to preserving a work-life balance.  You are tapping all of the relationships you have ever created.  It’s hard not to be worried about letting people down.  It’s very stressful.  Your salvation – hopefully – is that you really believe in what you are trying to accomplish.  This is where it helps to have a supportive spouse.  If...

Writer’s Block

Writer’s Block

Sep 16, 2014

Today’s column did not go as planned. This week I intended to do a column about Heather Langenkamp in Wes Craven’s “New Nightmare” but I cannot figure out what the column wants to be. I am having a case of writer’s block which is a horrible thing when you are a writer. So instead I am writing a column on the fact the Halloween (my favorite time of the year) is coming and preview some ideas I have for the upcoming month of October. Of course the month of October will be columns dedicated to spooky fun for the month. I know I will make some suggestions for fun movies to watch this time of year. Want some examples? For those of you with younger children I may recommend movies such as: “Hocus Pocus”, “Casper” or “The Nightmare Before Christmas” Then I may come up with some ideas on how parents can get together and make a fun night for all their kids. There could be a sleep-over movie party. A night for mother’s and daughters or father’s and sons as they have a movie marathon together enjoying food, movies and games. There could be a progressive kid’s party where all the kids and parents go to one house for dinner (something fun like pizza). then to another house for games , to a third house where the kids can watch a spooky movie and tell a few ghost stories and to a final house where the kids can have a sleepover. It is great quality time for parents and their young ones. I might make a list of great costume ideas based on the Movie Bad Girls that I love. I did this last year and most likely will again this year. One example: Margaret White (Carrie 1976) Find yourself a long white nightgown, a curly red long hair wig (it works best if teased up a bit) and then glue styrofoam blocks under the nightgown. Stick kitchen utensils like a butcher knife and frosting spatula and potato peeler into the blocks and drizzle a little fake blood around them. The best way to make your own fake blood is to take clear...

In Case No One Told You, You Look Fine.

In Case No One Told You, You Look Fine.

Sep 11, 2014

You look fine. You look like you. If no one has told you lately, or ever, let me. You are fine. You look like you are supposed to look—and it is perfect. Perfect is a loaded word, isn’t it? I could literally HEAR your eyes rolling as you read that line. “I don’t look perfect! I have “x” pounds to lose, my boobs are too “x”, my flab is too floppy.” Etc. But think about it. What if you just lived in your own skin for a day, without thinking about how it is aging, how much it weighs, or what it looks like to others? You look like YOU. You are the perfect you. The Throwback Thursday (#TBT) phenomenon on Facebook is one of my favorites. I love looking at everyone’s past pictures and catching a glimpse of the person they used to be before I knew them, or be reminded of the person they once were. When I look at my own, especially from my last years in high school, I want to reach across to myself and tell her that she is fine. I want to reassure her that everything will work out the way it’s supposed to–that there is an end to her loneliness. Seeing my picture, at 17, reminds me of all the things I was doing to myself to be thinner, prettier, look more like everyone else, be desired—things I hope my daughters never feel the need to do to themselves. What did I need then, and what can I give my children now, that might help them feel a little more sure of their place in their own skin? My parents ached for me. All the tears I shed—face hot and crammed into a pillow–about being overweight, being picked on, or worse, feeling left out, spurred my parents to say, “We just have to work harder. I’ll go on a diet with you. Kids are mean,” or “You have such a beautiful face.” Friends listened and echoed sentiments rooted in their own insecurities. We could easily identify with each other’s flaws and shook our heads in agreement any time they were mentioned. We all felt we needed to change. At no...

A land without corn

A land without corn

Sep 10, 2014

This week I’m going to cook as opposed to just heating up a bunch of stuff and tossing it together (as my friend Peregrine once said of my cooking skills).  I miss all types of Mexican food.  I don’t think the cuisine exists on the African, European, or Asian continents.  Admittedly, I have high standards.  I’ll never forget this drive thru in Gainesville, El Indio. Its the stuff food fantasizing was invented for; still the best Mexican food I have ever had. Funny, these cravings bring on memories of other times in my life.  There are moments, despite having a great community, when all I really want to do is spend some time with someone who knew me before I moved to Subsaharan Africa.  The memories are comforting as they ease this special kind of ex-pat loneliness. For me black beans and rice brings about feelings of nostalgia and comfort.  During residency it was one of the dishes I felt like I did a decent job at and, after eating quite a bit of it, I stopped making for years.  I remember the first time I participated (let’s be honest I was just watching) in the making of black beans.  It was with my college friends Angie and Jade.  Jade was, and I’m sure still is, an outstanding cook.  She introduced me to Goya, specifically Recaito, which was a dear friend for a very long time. Whenever I’m in the US I go on a mad shopping spree.  In anticipation of the trip I start shopping on Amazon weeks in advance.  Its always for stuff that I barely thought of before moving abroad – shoes (I was never a shoe person but they wear quickly here) and non perishable food.  The non-perishable food spills into boxed wine and sometimes household things like good kitchen sponges.  We can buy many of those things here but they tend to be crazy expensive.  Most boxed cereal costs $10 hence I haven’t bought cereal since moving to Rwanda.  During one of these return trips I smuggled 10 boxes of Special K Red Berries into Malawi.  Two months ago my luggage included a large jar of Goya Recaito, a bag of black beans, and...

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