I live in California – the state where people live in sunshine more days than they do not. Where access to free and outdoor activities abounds. And, where this past week a serious threat to a local Pasadena high school was thwarted - thanks to the efforts of astute community members and law enforcement.
It isn’t yet September and we are talking about school violence as if it is an eventuality this new school year and no longer “breaking news”. How can this be?
So, I want to start a dialog and invite all respectful readers to join the conversation by answering this one complicated question with only ten words:
How can we make our schools safe for our students?
This week we lost two legends in the entertainment field- Robin Williams and Lauren Bacall. I adored them both. And, until the day when the internet came in to my life, I would spend my free time going to the movie theater or watching old classics on TV. Now I am absorbed by catching every news and soundbite about these two actors on various social media timelines.
Nothing that should get done IS getting done today. Damn that internet!
Now I fully understand that as a human I am given free will. But, let’s face it- those who are reading this blog also are giving some time to online media vs. other activities. At least for some of your day!
So, what I am to do? Well, for starters I believe I may need to implement “unplugged Saturdays and Sundays”. That way I can spend time with real people or at least view people on a larger screen than my laptop.
Of course, I won’t totally divorce the internet – just reduce our relationship to weekdays! So, let’s see if I can do this challenge!!
(Pause for some introspection and time to check the calendar)
Oh wait- it is almost the EMMY AWARDS! I guess my unplugged Saturdays and Sundays will need to be postponed until after August 25th when I am done covering the event as a social media correspondent for The Insider at CBS.
And for those two mega – stars- Robin and Lauren – May you rest in peace – sweet peace!
Dara: To win second place, of course! LOL! :-) If I don’t win, I’m glad people who never heard my music got a chance to listen and to share. Being a music educator, I’m always about spreading the word about the importance of music in all of our lives, be it writing, playing or just listening.
If you are a person who participates in social media on a regular basis then you probably are familiar with this hashtag – #IRL – In Real Life. That is when you meet someone from social media in person. Up close. No typing needed.
I first joined the social media world in 2008. Tweeting a few thoughts from time to time. Then I stumbled upon a group of educators and family experts and we joined a bit of a “group”. From there I hopped over to Facebook to extend my inner circle, followed by Pinterest, Instagram, Google +, Klout, Tumblr, etc.!
Many times I would wonder while “chatting” with my social media pals - If I met you in person would you be the same person you portray here in social media? Would you be so kind and generous or are you really an egotist or worse?
I am glad to report that I have met scores of my online connections and rarely was I disappointed. Yes, there were a few who I thought may have had giant egos and indeed they did – but they was few and far between.
I must say that meeting social media peeps in person gives the online experience a serious boost. The relationships are genuine, we know each other, and not only by our TWITTER handles, and truly do care.
So, if you are ever given a chance to meet social media friends #IRL – I hope your experiences will be as positive as mine.
Enjoy the slideshow of some of the many friends I have met and follow them on TWITTER, if you wish (their handles are under the photos).
Earlier this week I posted a pictorial blog of our recent trip to the monuments in Washington DC. Most of the memorials we visited were tributes to those who have served in combat.
After posting this blog I recalled that I had caught a group of World War II veterans on an honor flight to commemorate Veteran’s Day at the World War II Memorial. I happened upon this group in November of 2010 arriving at BWI airport when I was awaiting a departing flight at the same gate.
I know the footage is shaky and also not professional. But, this is what happens when organic moments are caught on simple FlipCams!
There are many more videos, like this one, on YouTube. Simply use the search words – Veterans returning home
Feel free to post links as comments to your “coming home” videos. And as always, respectful comments welcome.
If you are one to be touring the east coast of the United States this summer (or ever) be sure to place on your “Must Do” list a visit to the national monuments in Washington DC. Below you will find a photo essay with hopes that these pictures will entice you to journey to these national treasures and soak in the historical lessons that each tell.
If you had asked me four months ago to describe Steampunk I would have answered with a blank stare. I had NO idea that this was an art form let alone one that is quite unique, intriguing and most of all taking the design world by storm!
In essence, Steampunk is the melding of vintage objects with a contemporary flair. How can I best explain Steampunk – well think of taking your grandmother’s glass trinkets and placing it with your father’s baseball. Glue them together and add a bunch more interesting novelty pieces. Hard to visualize this as art? I had a difficult time wrapping my head around this, too. To get some clarity I did some homework and found myself spending a bit of time with someone who could answer a whole bunch of questions about Steampunk – Beverly Holman, a longtime resident of Hermosa Beach, CA.
First lesson I learned – 80 is the new 50! Despite being a senior citizen she is no way near retiring, as she has jumped in with both feet and wizardry hands to create the most funky of designs! Imagine placing an eyeball and a license plate on to an old camera. Strange grouping you may think? Well look below and see how this odd matching of objects becomes a work of art!
I had an opportunity to interview Beverly and found out that after many years in behind a desk she longed for her first love – art! Without much ado, once retiring she decided turn back time and go back to her artistic roots. She decided to start by seeking out various retro and antique items that could be repurposed. (Her house is stacked with bins that hold the most fascinating collection of objects!). Once she has mapped out a general idea she assembles items that she believes will carry out a chosen theme – then she sits down and starts to create! Hours and days later a new Steampunk design is born!
Here is where I get sad – I see these wonderful creations and then reflect back to the many times I threw out little objects thinking they were were worthless. Who would want that odd monopoly piece or glass figurine from a five and dime store? Beverly does!
And in case you are wondering Steampunk is a legitimate art form. Some find a more goth following with their talents while others lean to the more Victorian and vintage aspects of Steampunk. There are magazines such as Just Steampunk! that dedicates many pages to artists (Beverly will be in their upcoming issue.)
So if you are sporting an AARP card and wondering what to do in the next chapter of your life – consider your more creative side! Nothing keeps a brain and body fresher than setting goals and using your innate talents! And, if you are interested in learning more about Steampunk or wish to have a great conversation with a fascinating woman please check out Beverly’s website! I am glad I did!
Below are some photos I took of just a few of the dozens of creations that Beverly has made. Many of her designs are available on ETSY and in California shops – a list is on her website with links.
Enjoy and note – I truly love Steampunk and was fascinated by the art form. This is NOT a sponsored post.