Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Catching Up...the 411

Confronted with a pile of bills and other miscellaneous biz-related miles of piles on my so-called dining room table, I choose to sit here - in front of my laptop, blogging. Well, who wouldn't when faced with those options? Truly.

The past couple of weeks have been a blur of excitement, anxiety, and fun with a trip to Chicago to the Housewares Show to launch a new product, the conclusion of my company's youth short fiction contest, and tons and tons of work to catch up on. Cole started guitar lessons, and Doug and Cole are considering the pursuit of Hapkido (a martial art).

So, I've been a bit remiss about writing and feel a whole heck of a lot more motivated to do THIS instead of bills. Where did we leave off? My Diane Arbus articles took a lot out of me. I was totally obsessing over her life and her body of work, the political climate of her time, her death, and the movie, Fur, a made-up tale of her life, starring Nicole Kidman.

Some times things or people or scientific theories hit me like that. Diane's power over me was so strong, because it was so multi-faceted. From the fantastical and unusual photographs she took, to her aristocratic upbringing, to the fact that she was married to one of my favorite actors who played the psychiatrist in MASH (who knew!?)- the fact that Diane was a mother, and an artist - all of these things played (and obviously continue to play) on my imagination. And then, there is her untimely and self-inflicted death and the accolades her work received a year after her death. So many things to learn about, to look at, and to think on; Diane Arbus is a contradiction, a mystery, and completely fantastic! Check out her stuff if you haven't had the chance. She is not one to be overlooked. Diane. Diane. Diane. Those were actually lyrics to an 80s pop song, entitled the same...though Diane Arbus is pronounced dee-ann..but anyway, enough...

Sooooo, I spent five days in Chicago on planes, trains, and automobiles, working with my aunt to launch her new invention, the Jeweler in the Dishwasher, a super cool, super effective and SAFE jewelery cleaning unit that goes in the dishwasher.

It was an amazing and exhausting show. The International Housewares Show is HUGE. There were over 3000 exhibitors. Here are a couple of pix. I'm happy to say the show was a success, and she is filling orders for retailers! More on this later. You can check the unit out at:

Chicago is one of my favorite cities, and I wish we would have been there to play! After 91/2 hours on the showroom floor and with all of the walking and talking, the last thing we wanted to do in the evening was to go site seeing. Definitely want to get back out that way this Summer with the family. During past visits, I've enjoyed all the typical venues: Shedd's Aquarium, Wrigley for a Cubs game, Kingston Mines, Buddy Guy's Legends, the Pier, the Museum, the Planetarium...all of the cool shops and galleries. What a terrific Midwestern city!

Jacque and I met some lovely, genuine folks while we were there. Here's a shout out to Edward with a variety of Hulk-strength trash bags (next booth over from LA) and to Barb, and Jodi, the Hangshaper gals from Minnesota (2 booths down)! Hope you made it home okay and are selling millions! I, also, had the good fortune to run into some potential graphic design opportunities; we'll see how they pan out. I'm sincerely grateful for the work. I need it, but what I'd REALLY like to be doing (again - not that I'm turning work away, folks!) is more coaching and writing. I just can't get enough of either.

An acquaintance stopped by today, and we got to talking about what we've both been up to, respectively, and in the midst of our conversation, she shifted gears and blurted out, "every time I'm around you, you make me feel so good," and went on to say with the BIGGEST smile on her face, "we need to find a reason to hang out." This is MY gift; I'm telling you. I have an intuitive way of quickly and objectively sizing up a person's situation, ability to assess what it is they are looking for and/or what is missing in their life and/or what is hindering them from realizing their goals (DREAMS!)...even in the most infinitesimally brief moment, I have a way of reflecting a person's best self.

Most importantly, I sincerely appreciate the individuals I am interacting with; I hear them, and I help to keep them on their path (think that new Fidelity commercial with the green line, helping people find their way among the chaos...little dramatic, but you get the picture). The individual creates the map, and I merely act as the compass. My coaching business is called Open Mind Coaching. I specialize in career, life, and adult ADHD coaching. I'm fairly new (I've been informally coaching for ten years and became certified a year ago), so my rates are reasonable, and I offer a relaxed coaching environment. All coaching is done via telephone. Click the image below if you're interested in learning more about this.

Didn't really mean for this to become an infomercial, but 'tis the season, right? Coaching may seem a luxury during these times of economic crisis, but sometimes a coach is just what a person needs to get them through the storm to see the light and to find their way. It's proven (somewhere -I swear!) that people actually spend more money on self-care products and services during recessions. They often use the excuse of needing to look good for job interviews or to appear to take their job more seriously. Seriously? I totally understand the need to invest in oneself when stressed to the max. We need a little pampering, but invest in something more important. Take the money you're spending on your nails and invest it in your psyche and goals. You'll be sold in a month! my humble coach's opinion - lol. Wow, okay..tangent, but hey, I'm passionate about this portion of my professional life!

Sooooo (this is the second time I've started a sentence this way, which means I'm writing in a very disjointed and gushy fashion), Chicago was an insane amount of work and stress. Came home to bipolar Missouri weather and fell ill with the crud. I'm feeling much better. Waking up today to the KREATIV Blogger award today was delightful.
Hanging out with Cole made my day. We had tacos for lunch with his Aunt Carla at our favorite joint in Parkville. We also ran around, dropping off the publication from last year's short fiction contest and writing tutoring flyers for my Tuesday workshops at the library and some small businesses. Cole is getting more serious about his guitar lessons, which is nice to hear about, and he is currently reading Jonathan Livingston Seagull. I can't get enough of talking to him about this story. If you know anyone of any age who needs a self-esteem lift, have them give it a read. It's very short but impactful. If you dig it, read on with Illusions, Bridges Across Forever, and One all by Richard Bach. Metaphysics. Love. Airplanes. Unconventional Messiahs. Star Wars. All ingredients for good stuff. I've been reading them over and over for 20+ years.

The sun is setting, which means I need to get my butt off of the computer. Glad to check in and debrief. I'm gearing up for an article on a new quantum physics theory, Entanglement, I read about in the latest Scientific America. Keep an eye out for it. It challenges Einstein's special theory of relativity. I've been trying to absorb it before attempting to write on it; it's complex, mind-blowing stuff.

Thanks for your comments and readership!

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