Britney Spears, Mother May I?

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Britney, Britney

What’s happening to you?

Little girl not ready to grow up

But now a mother too

Bad boys influenced

They got the best of you

What now is a young mother to do?

Whom shall you turn to?

Where shall you go?

When shall you face

The reality of this time and place

A new season in your life

Like it or not adulthood is upon you

No more time to run from it

It’s time to yield and embrace it

This motherly season of your life

Beware of grossly getting involved

With people who say their your friends

But in actuality are merely

Making merchandise of you

Fiends rather than friends they are

Your character and reputation they mar

Drawing you deeper into death

When you’re not around

Whispering about you under their breath

Your health deteriorating

Your soul contaminating

Your mind frustrating

Your moods fluctuating

Your direction vacillating

Britney, Hollywood is a strange place

A place where people sell their souls

For a moment of fame and stardom

Then when you make it they resort to martyrdom

Telling you how much they supported and believed in you

Trying to make you feel indebted to them too

Masterfully manipulate and persuade you

But now you are a mother of two

Gotta do what you’ve gotta do

Think a bit beyond you

Concern yourself with the future of your kids

The influence of you and others on them

The ill effects of sin

The backlash of Hollywood spin

To such seductions no time to give in

Get your head on straight

Get your heart settled and established in truth

Remove from you those whose manners are uncouth

The devil is on the loose

Seeking to destroy you in this pivotal time

As you transition and your identity try to find

Beyond that of a performer

An entertainer in the eyes of your fans

It’s time for you to be still

Get a grip as best you can

Pull out of the public eye

If need be, take time to cry

Visit your family

Attend church services

Consult other mothers

See a psychologist or family therapist

Process your unfinished business

Lest you continue to profusely bleed within

And the media make a mockery of you

Blaspheme you and devilishly grin

We all suffer disappointment

And experience emotional challenges

Partying and burying them however

Does not make them go away

Britney, you must face your fears today

Embrace your season and learn the life lessons

Be the singer, songwriter turning the mess into a message

Be the woman you were created to be

Pursue personal transformation

And blossom fully.

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Why Social Media Can Save the World’s Economy

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If you are as tired of the doom and gloom about the world’s economy as I am, then here’s the obvious solution: social media.

Specifically, Social Media for Small Business.

As we leverage social media for our businesses, it’s called marketing. So if we use social media to deliver extraordinary customer service and tell our story in a compelling manner, our prospects will become customers and our customers will become brand ambassadors and they will tell their friends that you are cool and suddenly you will have more customers.

Spoiler Alert! You have to be doing a good job, selling a good product or service at a fair price to people who want and need it.

It’s quite likely that the real economic recovery is going to come from small and mid-sized businesses, entrepreneurs who have the vision, passion, courage and work ethic to turn their dreams into a business. A small business at first. A local business, that does business with the local folk. Real people; you and your friends. They do well, treat you well and you spend some of your money with them, and so do your friends. Perhaps they then spend some of their money with you, and so do their friends.

Soon enough, lots of real people are buying real things from other real people and we are all spreading the word via social media and after a while we all have a little more money and we spend a little more money and suddenly things are looking up!

What’s the hook? Well, this buying local stuff means making the effort to support each other, it means buying an organic tomato from an actual farmer at the farmers market instead of going to Walmart and buying some genetically modified round red monstrosity that looks like a tomato but doesn’t really taste like anything because Cargill/Monsanto took out all the ‘taste’ genes so they could add ‘never spoil’ genes. Sure, it’s cheaper – but is it worth it?

If we invested a little more in our local economy and consumed a little less, if we made an effort to buy local (or at least American) when we can, then the world becomes a better place.

As we do this and use our social media connections – our friends – to help spread the word, our town or city becomes better because we know it more, we know the merchants and shop keepers – and they know us.

Pretty soon we’re part of the movement – the sanity movement, the keep it local movement, the “let’s buy less crap from China” movement, the “let’s demand real food not science projects from giant corporations” movement.

We can save ourselves – and social media, the technology that allows us to connect instantly and effectively with lots and lots of people, can make that happen.

Social Media can save the world’s economy and give us a better world to live in – if you want it to, if you want to be part of it.

I do!

Mike Wolpert / Social Jumpstart

(we are a marketing consultancy that teaches business people how to leverage social media and online marketing to grow their revenue – we have some very cool clients and we give away some pretty great training, inspirational advice and coaching. If you’d like some help – or inspiration, call me! 407.405.3500 is my cell or email: Mike (at) SocialJumpstart (dot) com – I’d love to chat)

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How To Declutter Your Bedroom Fast

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Do you want to able to walk into your bedroom, shut the door

to the world and everything else and leave it behind?

Your bedroom should be your little escape from the rest of

the world, a place where you can relax and unwind. However, if your

bedroom is cluttered and resembles a dumping ground then

you need to learn how to declutter it fast.

Decluttering your bedroom doesn’t have to be a daunting task. You

just have to learn how to throw or give away the things you don’t

need and organize the things that you do need.

Go through all areas of your bedroom.

First by putting or throwing away the things that are out of place. Be ruthless and heartless

if you don’t use and need something then throw or give it away. Stop

holding onto material things, that is why you have so much clutter and

need to declutter fast.

The biggest clutter in a bedroom is usually the clothes wardrobe or

closet. Take everything out of your closet and go through it. Try

things on, if they don’t fit or are out of fashion throw or give them

away. When you have decided on what to keep, try to arrange them by

coordinating them (i.e. by putting together the clothes that work

together) this will also make your job of finding something to wear

in the mornings much easier.

If you don’t have a place for shoes, then make one; i.e. a shoe rack

at the bottom of the wardrobe. This will clear so much floor space

in your bedroom.

To keep your bedroom decluttered, you need to organize and put away

things properly. Keep things that you use frequently within easy

reach, other things that you don’t need too often can go at the top

of your closet. Another good storage space is under your bed use

this space wisely. Invest in good quality storage boxes that you

can store under your bed.

Once you have decluttered your bedroom try to keep it that way. A good

tip is: before leaving your room have a good look around

for things that are out of place. Pick them up and put them where they

belong. Decluttering in this small way will ensure that you will declutter

fast.

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Schools – How to Have Successful Author School Visits

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Before You Call to Invite an Author:

Have two lists ready: one with questions you want to ask, and another to write down the things the author will want and need to know from you. I know this sounds overly simplistic, but trust me, as an author who has done my share of school visits, you would be surprised at the number of schools who make the initial call with no idea when the school visit will be, or how much they can afford. Remember, too, an author has a schedule to check, just like the school does.

Information For Your Call:

* Date of proposed school visit

* A rough idea of what your school can afford (fee, travel, room & food)

* Number of groups/presentations you will need and ages of students in each presentation/group

* Whether you plan on inviting the media (radio, TV, newspapers)

* Where you intend for the presentations to be (auditorium, library, classrooms, etc.)

* School’s contact info

Questions to Ask on the First Call:

* Are you available on the date we have in mind?

* Author’s fee for the day

* Do you have creative ideas to help us hire you in the present economy.

* How many presentations can/will you do per day?

* What will you include in the presentations and will they differ by age group?

* Does the author allow for Q&A at the end of the presentation?

* Do you need a microphone?

* How many children per group are you comfortable speaking to?

* Do you give schools/students a discount on price of books?

* How do you arrange book sales? Book signing?

* Once arranged, ask for a contract/invoice from author to be sent

* What equipment will you need on hand, i.e., water, easel, chalkboard, chair, table

Children/Teachers:

Make sure the children and teachers know there will be an author/poet coming to the school. Familiarize the students with the author and their work. Some things that work well are:

* Read a bio about the author in class

* Take students to the author’s website

* Hang a photo of the author in the classroom

* Make welcome banners and displays to help generate excitement

* Draw illustrations of author’s work, then hang in classrooms and hallways

* Read excerpts of author’s work on P.A. system each morning

* Have students each make a list of questions to ask the author

* Send a book pre-order form home with children so parents can plan book cost

* Invite parents to attend their child’s author presentation

* If school has a marquis, put school visit date and author’s name on it

* Call media to announce upcoming author school visit

* Make sure the office staff knows about the school visit so they can welcome the author

Anything the school can do to make this an exciting time for students is helpful. Most authors will work with the school, if you ask them, so keep in touch by phone and trade ideas before the school visit. One school I visited actually used the fact that I go by my initials (CJ), and held a contest with the students about what the initials really stood for. It was fun for everyone, and the winner got a free book (I donated it) and a picture taken with me for their school’s yearbook.

Another school got very creative when the school district cut their funding. To help cover the cost of an author school visit, they held a prearranged “Dinner With The Author Night”. They opened it up to the whole town by advertising in the local newspaper and radio, saying the school was holding a raffle for dinner with the author who was coming to the school. They sold raffle tickets through the students and the school office for $2.50 per ticket. The school was more than able to afford the author visit — it turned out to be one of the most profitable fundraisers the school ever had…and I had a wonderful time at dinner with the winning family.

There are all sorts of ways to overcome cutbacks in school funding in this crazy economy. Talk to the author you are thinking of hiring for your school visit. See what things have worked for them in the past and listen to any ideas they may have.

I’ve often donated a few of my books to schools so they can sell tickets for a book lottery. Then on the day of my school visit, I drew one name during each of my presentations for the winner. That worked very well and generated a lot of excitement before the school visit and during each presentation.

A few more helpful notes: during the presentations, please ask that teachers remain with their classes. Children always behave better when they are seated near their teachers. Please don’t put the author in the position of acting as a disciplinarian. They have enough to focus on and may even be dealing with a little stage fright.

In closing, if you’ve put the author up for the night in a motel, give them a quick call. Being in a strange town can be a lonely experience. You could offer to take the author out to dinner. They will probably decline, wanting some time alone to prepare for the next day, but I guarantee, the author will certainly appreciate being asked.

I hope your school visit will be a success in every way!

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Music Promotion Tips – How To Promote Your Music

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If you are still starting out as a musician, a singer or an artist in general, and you want to find ways to enter into the music industry but you don’t have much resources to hire a PR firm to do all the music promotion for you, you can actually learn a few music promotion tips to help you introduce your music and reach out to your fans. With the wide reach of the internet today, music promotion has become a little easier than before.

Yes, the shortest way to promote your music is to hire a music promotion agency or company but if you are just starting up, here are a few things that you can do to market your own music at the least cost.

– Invest time and effort. Accept the reality that promoting your music especially if you are a new face and a new sound, is not just simply putting up a website and expecting fans to flock in. If you are not yet in the stage where fans can find you wherever you hide, then you have to spend time and effort to find your fans. Promote on site that you think your fans frequent. Find websites that are relevant to your kind of music. For sure, people who love your music are there in websites that talk about music similar to yours.

– Develop your marketing plan. Whether you are promoting online or offline, it is important for you to have a written marketing plan to help guide you on how you can attain your goals and what you need to do next. Without a plan, you can easily get distracted with your focus and you may not even have a good direction when it comes to promoting your music.

– Take advantage of social networking sites. Yes, you can use social networking sites to find and grow your fan base. You can start with friends and family and aim to make the numbers grow. One good thing about social networking sites is the fact that you can provide them updates every now and then and you can inform your fans as well on the new song that you are writing or the new album that you are making, which can also pique their interest and eventually patronize it if they love your music. You can also get comments that you can make use in improving your music as well.

– Consider off line promotions as well. Create links to local radio stations or the print media, or even ask for sponsorships. It does not matter how small the sponsorship may be, it can be a good start in learning how to get bigger ones next time as well. If you can get a break in the local TV network, then that would also one of the great music promotion tips that you can maintain.

There are of course, many other creative ways and music promotion tips that you ca use to help you promote your music. The thing is, you have to make sure also that you have the music that your target audience will love so that they will also learn to like you as well, thus make sure to hone your skills and talent to perfection as well.

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Was The Moon Walk A Hoax?

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Was There EVER A Man On The Moon?

Back on 20 July, in the year of 1969 C.E. the eyes of the whole world were riveted to their television screens in order to see a man walk on the moon. Those that chose not to believe their eyes were laughed to scorn — for there truly were thousands of people that firmly believed that the entire event was staged right here on Terra Firma.

They believed that the Apollo 11 space flight that claimed to land the first humans on Earth’s Moon was nothing but a hoax.

The well-publicized mission to the moon, carried out by the United States, was considered a major accomplishment in the history of exploration and it was a smashing victory for the United States in its Cold War Space Race with the Soviet Union.

Did any man ever really walk on the moon?

The evidence — just now coming fully to light — is overwhelmingly against it.

1- For pure-reality film footage power the broadcast sponsored by an entire Government Space Agency comprised of the finest brains in the world Sponsored broadcast that commemorated this alleged event could not even come close to competing with the film footage conceived by one mere mortal — George Lucas — and released less than 8 years later, on 25 May, in the year 1977 C.E. to be exact, by 20th Century Fox for the fascinated movie-goers clamoring to get into the Star Wars box office.

2- No genuine evidence of the trip was ever offered that could be verified by independent analysis.

2- Nor has the United States produced any subsequent evidence that could be substantiated by teams of honestly earthbound scientists.

3- Here it is the year of 2010 and the United States still has not followed up on its alleged trip to the moon by establishing a colony there.

4- If we are to believe the supposed broadcast the United States had communication devices that could transmit and receive messages flashing between the moon and the earth back in 1969, and yet, until last week we couldn’t even get phone service more than half way up Mount Everest.

5- In 1969 our little moon-walker was supposed to have a space suit capable of producing zones of genuine comfort in a voyage through an absolute vacuum and surrounded by absolute cold, and yet the men and women attempting the climb up Mount Everest come right close to freezing their whiskers off because earth-bound scientists cannot provide them with adequate protection from the comparatively moderate earthly elements they face.

6- Look at this with an open mind: We have space suits that are not supposed to explode in the absolute vacuum of outer space, but our submarines — designed by the best brains on earth — cannot safely plunge even half way to the bottom of the ocean. Now, before you start laughing here, you take an egg, even one of them reasonable facsimiles fresh out of the supermarket carton and not one that I furnish you with, and let’s run 2 quick experiments with it.

7- Put that egg inside the fist of the strongest man you know and ask him to crush it as if it were an empty aluminum can; odds are, unless he can squeeze more than 200 pounds of pressure, he can’t do it.

8- That egg will withstand him.

9- Now take a hypodermic needle from your own hospital choice and pump 10 pounds of air inside the shell of that egg. Odds are, you’d better run and grab a face mask before you try this experiment at home. In fact, you’d better haul it outside before you try it!

10- What do these 2 experiments teach us? A- When the pressure outside a shell is less than the pressure inside the shell (as one should experience if a spaceship really left the earth’s atmosphere) the contents inside that shell blasts its way outside much faster than B- when the pressure inside that shell is less than the pressure outside that shell (as it is demonstrably verified to be when a submarine is drifting downward).

In other words, it should be 1,420 times harder to construct a little space suit that can resist bursting apart 1,000 miles above the earth’s sea level than it is to construct a submarine that won’t go any farther down than 7 miles below sea level.

Here, Let’s try that another way – let’s throw an egg into outer space together and I guarantee you it will come apart on US. You go half way to Paris and drop it into the ocean, and I guarantee you, it will safely go down deeper than a whale can dive.

I can safely rest my case on the fragile skin of an egg, if you’ll let me have one gathered fresh off the nest of an open-range chicken farm, not one of them scientifically engineered products that gets scrambled on the trip home over a city street made by a Government Transportation Agency supervised construction crew working to meet scientifically engineered specifications. Land Sakes, Alive! Here they are claiming they can travel safely all the way to the moon, and they can’t even build a road from here to Washington Avenue without 9 potholes showing up in it before the year’s out? Come ON!

The end.

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How to Tell If Your Husband Hates You? Signs the Love Is Gone

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Is there a way to tell if your husband hates you? “Hate” is such a strong word, isn’t it? But, sadly, you feel that your husband has grown to dislike you to such a point that he loathes you. That’s a tough emotional pill for any married woman to swallow. The nagging feeling that your husband just isn’t happy is difficult to shake. In the back of your mind you can’t help but wonder whether you’re misreading things, right? You’re hopeful that you are but still there are some signs present that indicate that the man you married just isn’t feeling any degree of love or affection for you anymore. Is there a definitive way to tell what’s going on in his heart without confronting him? There are actually a few subtle clues that may help you to clarify where the connection with your husband stands and whether your marriage really does have a future or not.

Here are a few signs that the love your husband once felt for you has disappeared:

He’s not affectionate anymore. A man in love wants to be affectionate with the woman he adores, be it a girlfriend or a wife. Men enjoy stealing kisses and they crave being close to the woman in their lives. If your husband never wants to kiss you and hand holding has become a very distant memory in your marriage, that’s a clear sign that his feelings for you have definitely shifted into a less complimentary place.

He’s very critical of you. Every relationship goes through periods of time where the couple can’t seem to agree on anything. In some marriages, those conflicts wade into personal waters when either the husband or the wife starts firing off hurtful insults. Your husband may have always been critical of you to a degree, but if he’s turned it up a notch and it’s waded into spiteful territory, that’s an indicator of what he’s no longer feeling for you. A man who desperately loves his wife will not intentionally say hurtful things to her regardless of how strained their marriage is.

He avoids spending time with you. Many women jump to the incorrect conclusion that their husband is having an affair when he starts working more. In reality, most men who are intentionally avoiding being with their wives aren’t cheating. They simply don’t know how to get through a few hours with a woman they’ve come to dislike. If you notice that your husband seems preoccupied with the idea of being away from home more, take that as a clear sign that he’s not finding any fulfillment within your marriage anymore.

He forgets important dates. You may chuckle at this sign that your husband doesn’t love you anymore, but take a moment to carefully consider it. Yes, some men are notoriously bad at remembering significant dates in their wife’s life or within their marriage, but there’s a point where it becomes less about memory issues and much more about intention. If your husband has always given you something on your birthday and this year you get absolutely nothing, that’s not about him being too busy or forgetful. He’s made a conscious decision not to acknowledge your birthday and that’s incredibly significant. The same is true if your wedding anniversary has passed without so much as a greeting card.

He spends more time with the children on his own. If your husband insists on spending more time alone with the children, that’s a very troubling, yet clear sign that the marriage is heading towards its end. Some men, who feel emotionally disconnected from their wives, will forge a new, and individual, relationship with their children. They do this in anticipation of a separation when they’ll be forced to parent alone at certain times. This is a situation that can be confusing for a woman who isn’t aware of her husband’s shift in feelings.

Recognizing some of the signs that your husband is no longer feeling as close to you as he once did can help you determine what you want your future to look like and therefore what your next step should be. Arming yourself with more knowledge, in terms of what your husband feels and expects, will help you move forward towards making the most informed and suitable choice for your own future and that of your children.

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Fun Hollywood Stories Fly Off the Bus!

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Here are seven fun stories about Hollywood:

The Universal Maniac

In 1999, an Australian gentleman told me about an interesting experience he and his family had at Universal Studios. They were on the backlot tour passing one of the theme park’s main attractions, the Bates Motel used in the 1960 horror classic Psycho, about a murderous young man named Norman Bates who loved his mother a little too much. As the guide gave out information about how director Alfred Hitchcock shot the picture, a tall man, dressed in drag and carrying a large knife, emerged from behind the old set and charged toward the tram. The narrator seemed to know nothing about the Norman Bates look-alike and clammed up completely. The make-believe killer wore such a convincing maniacal expression that some of the paying customers were frightened and screamed when he raised his weapon. Then the “fiend” pulled off his wig and he turned out to be comic Jim Carrey; the thirty-seven-year-old star was clowning around during a work break. After his laughing “victims” calmed down, Jim was happy to pose for pictures and sign autographs.

The Wildest Guest

Longtime staff at the old Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles had many candidates for the most outrageously behaved celebrity guest. There were the hammy Barrymore brothers who always tried to outdo one another; after the drunken John earned many stares for bringing his pet monkey in the hotel’s famed Moroccan-style club, the Coconut Grove, Lionel arrived there with seven chimps. Chaos erupted when the well-dressed guests chased the animals as they swung through the paper Mache trees. Then there was famed movie theater owner Sid Grauman who told Charlie Chaplin that he found a dead body in his hotel bed. The tramp fled in terror when Sid pulled back the blankets, not realizing he was looking at a wax dummy covered in ketchup. But it was hard to top the antics of actress Tallulah Bankhead who once called for room service, answered the door in the buff and told the bell boy no tip; she had nothing on her.

Marlene’s Wartime Regret

Marlene Dietrich found her true calling entertaining the Allied troops in 1943. The forty-two-year-old actress, who never enjoyed making movies, got a crash course in how to talk to audiences. Nothing could be tougher or more fulfilling than performing in front of young men who might die in battle the next day. The Berlin-born American citizen overcame suspicions that she was actually an Axis spy, and was proud of spurning Hitler’s request to return to Germany. After World War II ended, she enjoyed being a lusty cabaret singer for many years and tried never to take herself too seriously. Marlene, whose long list of romances ranged from John Wayne to General Patton, once mentioned to her husband that she should have married Hitler back in the thirties, and then there would have been no war. She laughed when he agreed and stated that the Fuhrer would have killed himself much sooner.

We Don’t Want a Hit

Executives at United Artists Studio were unimpressed viewing the initial footage of Sean Connery playing James Bond in the 1962 spy thriller Dr. No. The thirty-two-year-old Scottish actor, whose receding hairline was carefully hidden by a toupee, seemed to change his accent in almost every scene. Sure, the former Mr. Universe runner-up was a formidable presence, but did Connery have the sophistication to play the suave super spy 007, a role originally meant for Cary Grant? The studio kept the completed film on the shelf for many months before releasing it in England where it was a smash. Well, it had to be a fluke; Bond was English, after all. Six months later, they released it in the USA where it did great again. Dr. No led to a hugely successful James Bond franchise and made Sean Connery an international star. It failed only in Japan, where movie-theater owners translated Dr. No to read, “We don’t want a doctor!”

The Battle of the Munchkins

The actors who played the Munchkins in The Wizard of Oz were hard working and much maligned. In the 1960s, the often-inebriated Judy Garland became a favorite TV talk show guest and would trash her former co-stars from the 1939 classic. She would make up tales about them being drunk, swinging from chandeliers, getting into knife fights, making lewd propositions to her, and being rounded up for their scenes in butterfly nets. In real life, the New York- based Leo Singer Midgets had won the lucrative Oz contracts in a hard- fought battle with another group of little vaudevillians managed by dwarf actor Major Doyle. There was much animosity between the two rival bands of performers. The cigar- chomping Doyle was in his apartment on Fifth Avenue, still fuming over the job losses, when a phone call instructed him to look out the window. Three busloads of tiny entertainers mooned him and then it was on to California.

Walt Disney’s Daughters

Walt Disney’s two daughters, Sharon and Diane, grew up sheltered from the limelight. The children had no images of Mickey Mouse around their home. Their father didn’t go to many parties, preferring to stay in after a long day of work. Sometimes he would playfully chase the youngsters upstairs, cackling like the evil peddler woman in Snow White. When they behaved badly, Walt would admonish them with a raised eyebrow; his stern demeanor inspired the character of the wise old owl, in the 1942 animated feature Bambi. As toddlers, the brainy Diane and beautiful Sharon stayed blissfully unaware that their parents worried about them being kidnapped and allowed no pictures of the sisters to be publicly circulated. Once in 1939, a curious classmate questioned six-year-old Diane about her family. She went home and said, “Daddy, you never told me you were that Walt Disney,” and asked him for an autograph.

Who Won the Race?

Writer/director Billy Wilder liked to mess with producer Samuel Goldwyn’s head. The Austrian-born Wilder, who had fled Europe when Hitler rose to power, respected how the former glove salesman from Poland had good taste in stories, even though Sam hardly ever read anything. One time Wilder pitched the mogul a screen idea about Nijinsky, the famous Russian ballet dancer. Goldwyn was dubious, Wilder persisted; the story had great cinematic possibilities. As a young man, Nijinsky danced for the Bolshoi and received international acclaim. Then he met the great love of his life, was rejected, ended up in an insane asylum and thought he was a horse. Goldwyn stared daggers at him. Sam didn’t just fall off the turnip truck. The public would never pay to see something so negative.

“Don’t worry, Sam, it has a happy ending.”

Goldwyn asked what could possibly be happy about a man who believes he’s a horse.

“He wins the Kentucky Derby!”

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