Thursday, June 25, 2009

TV That Made Me Blush

I kept hearing about this show "The Secret Life of the American Teenager." I had never seen it before because I didn't have ABC Family channel. But Time Warner was nice enough to give me all these channels I didn't have before when I agreed to a two year commitment.

So while I was waiting for the "Important Announcement" on Jon & Kate Plus 8 on TLC I decided to watch an episode (or two). I thought ABC Family would be a cross between the Disney channel and Nickelodeon. But I'm almost 30 with no children and I didn't feel completely comfortable watching the show. I almost wish I had a DVR so I could have counted how many times the teenage characters in the show said the word "sex." And the way the adults/parents interacted and talked to the teenagers was more blunt than I expected for a TV show on ABC Family. I guess I should have paid attention to the slogan for the channel, "A New Kind of Family."

Maybe ABC Family is a reflection of the changing times. Maybe I would have appreciated a channel like ABC Family that offered tweener programming with more mature topics when I was that age. But again I'm not a parent yet I don't think I could sit down with my 13 year old and watch an episode of the show.

Have any of you ever watched ABC Family? The TV Show "The Secret Life of the American Teenager?" Am I more old-fashioned than I thought?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Social Media: Photos and Video

I'm working on the next lesson for my class on Social Media. The next topic is supposed to be about photos and video. I want to write about online photo sharing programs (like Flickr) and the #1 user generated video site YouTube. I also want to talk about Skype.

So I need your input. What online photo sharing programs do you use? Do you rely only on Facebook to post your photos online? What other video sites do you use besides YouTube? What are you using to record video? Your cell phone? A camcorder? Flip Camera? Do you edit your own video? If so, what programs do you use? Do you use Skype? Anyone experimented with video in Google chat?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Death of Newspapers: A Laughing Matter

I don't play a lot of video games. But since I was a kid I was always fascinated to watch others play video games. I would sit and watch my nephew play Super Mario Brothers for HOURS. So I remember watching one of my friends play Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City. On one of the missions they stole a trunk and the message on the side of the truck at one point said "Yesterdays news today." I laughed because those 3 words define newspapers as we know them. I was just surprised to see it mentioned in a video game.

And then Jon Stewart had to touch on the subject just in case the masses didn't notice the demise of newspapers. The video is sadly hilarious because it is so true. And it's not just newspapers. All of mainstream/traditional media is struggling to redefine themselves in the age of the internet and getting the information NOW.

It just makes me wonder who will be our credible sources for news and information?

Monday, June 22, 2009

MySpace Layoffs

MySpace has been a social media juggernaut. Notice I'm talking in the past tense. In the last year Facebook has surpassed MySpace. Sadly this means there will be layoffs at MySpace.

"Beverly Hills-based Myspace confirmed today that it will lay off about 30% of its workforce, which is approximately 425 employees. " according to Mediabistro LA Fishbowl blog Read what the CEO said in his memo about it...a not to be missed quote.

Anyone that reads my blog/Facebook notes knows that I'm working on developing a class about Social Media. I mention MySpace in the course but I don't go in to detail of how to use it like I do for Facebook. I don't think MySpace is not a viable social media platform for professional networking. I have a MySpace page that has nothing on it and the only reason why I joined was so I could look at friends photos. But the majority of my friends post their pictures on Facebook or Flickr so I don't remember the last time I logged in to MySpace.

I hate for anyone to lose their jobs but MySpace is headed on the path to extinction.

Do you have a MySpace profile? Do you still check MySpace? Do you use Facebook or MySpace more? Do you know anyone who is still dedicated to MySpace?

Friday, June 19, 2009

Not Just Another Father's Day

As most of you know Father's Day holds little meaning for me. Not because I don't love my Father but he has been dead for 23 years. Over the years my Mom would encourage me to get cards for the male influences in my life at Father's Day. But it's not the same as when it's your own Dad.

I have been blessed to have a few good father figures in my life. The other day I went to Hallmark and they had a new category "Like A Father." So I found an appropriate card and sent it to the current "Like A Father," figure in my life.

But this Father's Day is different for me. The stars, moon and calendar have aligned in such a way that Father's Day is also my Father's birthday. If he had lived he would have turned 60 on Father's Day.

A few weeks ago my brother said that our Mom's birthday was his birthday. And I said why? He said, because if she wasn't born we wouldn't be here so it's our day too. That's an interesting concept. My Father's birthday is also my birthday.

If I still lived in Atlanta I would have made the 2.5 hour drive to Tifton, GA. That is where he is buried. But logistics as they are I can't do that. I feel like I should do something but I don't know what to do. Maybe I'll call my father's brother but it's probably a little strange to do that given that I am estranged from his family.

To those that still have your Dads, whether the relationship is good, bad or indifferent, give them a call...send them a text...cause whether they are active or not in your life, you wouldn't be here if it wasn't for them.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Whose Line Is It Anyway?

Lately I have been watching a lot of old movies. I'm talking black and white classic movies. And I'm amazed at how some of the best lines in modern movies and TV shows pull from the classics.

In the finale of Army Wives, Season 2 a female character kisses a male character. Male character says, "What are you doing?" Female character responds, "Well, If you don't know I must be doing it wrong." And kisses him again. I thought that was a great line.

Two days later I'm watching "Born Yesterday," a movie made in the 1950's and low and behold similar scene, same exact lines. Only difference was this time the male character kisses the female.

Is anything original anymore? We already know that music gets recycled thanks to sampling but what people from our generation watch movies from the 1930's, 1940's, 1950's to really be able to catch when an already used famous line is being used again.

I guess it just goes to show that if something is really good, it's probably worth repeating.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Summer Sun

It has been a month since my vacation in St. Thomas and I'M STILL PEELING!!! I don't think snakes peel this long.

On my vacation I was very good about putting on sunscreen and reapplying throughout the day. Those that know me know I usually put on suntan lotion but not sunblock. But I realize you can put on sunblock and still get a healthy tan. So what had happened was that I fell asleep in the sun one day at the beach thus I didn't reapply. When I woke up I knew I was burned.

I hope the peeling stops...soon...but let it be a lesson to all. Light skin or dark skin, wear your sunscreen and remember to reapply.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Diet Shakes

Working out has not given me the results I wanted. I've gained instead of loss although everyone tells me my body is looking tighter. But I haven't achieved the 6 pack abs I wanted nor can I fit in to the jeans I was trying to wear (my legs are even bigger now). So I'm trying something different.

On the free table at work someone left 2 packs of Slim Fast. Slim Fast by itself is disgusting to me. I just can't stand the taste. BUT when I blend it with fruit in to a shake it's not so bad. From 1 can of Slim Fast I can get about 2 - 8 ounce shakes when I mix it with fruit. So I'm trying to drink a shake for breakfast, eat a normal lunch and dinner is always a crap shoot. Only because I don't know if dinner will be something I have cooked or something I have bought out. I have enough Slim Fast do try this for about 2 weeks and this is already week 2 so we'll see what results I'll get.

Anyone else on a fitness/diet/nutrition plan? What's working for you?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Challenge Carry Over

I have done a few challenges this year everything from not eating out for a month to purposely living on 5 to 10% less of my salary. But when the challenges end I don't necessarily go back to what I was doing before I started the challenge.

I still try to cook as often as I can. And I'm proud of me when I bring lunch 2 or 3 days a week. Or when I eat dinner at home instead of going for convenience and eating out.

I still try to live on less. I don't buy books I borrow them from the library or wait for my request to come up in the book swap club. When I go out to a club I make sure to get there when entry is free. I used to get a pedicure/manicures every 2 weeks, now I go once a month.

I've curbed my travel plans BUT I do feel like I'm spending more to hang out locally it's just not nearly as much as if I was traveling. And I only use one credit card and my debit card. Any other cards are out of use. I pay the bill off every month or if not the entire balance, most of it.

In what ways are you challenging yourself? Personally? Professionally? Financially? Etc.?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Alter Your Summer Plans

The economy has taken a toll on my travel plans. I'm in prepare-for-the-worse mode so I had to re-evaluate the trips I had planned or thought about taking.

Memorial Day I was thinking about going to Miami or Atlantic City. Neither happened and I enjoyed just kicking it in NYC.

Fourth of July I was originally going to go to New Orleans for Essencefest. But it looks like I'm going to stay in NYC. I can't remember the last time I was in NYC for the 4th. To mark the 350th Anniversary of the Henry Hudson voyage the Macy's fireworks will be on the Hudson River. So I think a few friends are going to stake a spot at Riverside Park for the day and watch the fireworks. I'm looking forward to laying on a blanket, laughing and talking with friends, maybe reading a magazine or two and just relaxing.

August will still be a busy travel month. I'm going to Tampa for the NABJ convention. I'm going to go to Boston for a weekend to see the Yankees take on the Red Sox. I have never been to Fenway. The end of August I have a girl's trip planned for Asheville, NC. (If any of my Carolina girls are interested in coming hit me up offline.)

October I'm going on a cruise Columbus Day weekend and December will be my BIG trip. I'm going to Costa Rica with my best friend.

I know, I know, you are going to say that's still a lot of travel but for me that's a lot less travel than I am used too. I'm used to go some place every single month. But when I think about the economy and look at my personal goals it's best that I curb my travel, even if it is just a little bit.

Has anyone else had to alter their summer travel plans?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Social Media 101

I'm developing a course on Social Media. As I work on this course I'll be posting blogs seeking your opinions. So today's topic is Twitter. There are so many different application extensions like TwitPic, Tweetdeck, Twitterfeed, Twitterholic, etc., etc. Which ones do you use?

Also, how often do you use Twitter? What do you use it for? Do you follow conversations based on topics you are interested in? Do you follow Twitter for coverage of live events (NBA Finals, American Idol, etc., etc.)

If someone was interested in signing up for Twitter what would you tell them? What advise would you give? Would you tell them to join or to forget about it, it's a fad that will pass?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Falling Off the Wagon

We all fall off the wagon. No I don't mean the kind of falling off the wagon that requires rehab. I'm talking about when you set a goal(s) and don't quite achieve it or you are progressing towards it and stop short.

I periodically refer to my goals for the year and at one point I thought I was making really good progress. But I looked back at it this weekend and I realized that I haven't finished reading a book in about 6 weeks.

Everyday I enter my apartment and I realize how much I need/want to purge. I've gradually gotten rid of clothes but I still need to cut the heart strings attached to my t-shirt collection. And papers are a constant problem for me. Most journalists are pack rats.

But the good thing about falling off the wagon is recognizing when you are falling short of your goals.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Obama's First Days

Don't get me wrong. I think President Obama and his team are doing a great job but the economy is still very much in decline. The stock market is starting to improve BUT the jobless rate is at 9%. The Consumer Confidence Index now stands at 54.9 (1985=100), up from 40.8 in April BUT American car manufactures are entering bankruptcy in order to be able to restructure. I don't blame Obama and honestly I didn't know what to expect. Any predictions/thoughts on what lies ahead? 3 months? 6 months?

Monday, June 08, 2009

Back on the Blog

Hey Everyone!!!

I went on a mini hiatus. It started as me taking a break to go on vacation. It turned it to me not really having anything to say. I know that's hard to believe because I always have something to say. But if you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all.

I teach the students that take my classes to not add to the endless crap that's on the internet. But I also try to set a good example for my students by blogging on a consistent basis. I explain to them how hard it is to do and to stay motivated. Bloggers get writers block or as bloggers like to call it "blogger exhaustion."

I also think micro-blogging (Twitter) has changed the blog game. Sometimes I really can summarize what I'm thinking or feeling in 140 characters or less. So I may micro-blog and normal blog less.

For those who have blogs, how often do you blog? Do you try to keep it consistant or do you blog when the mood hits you?