"So what's it gonna take? Silver shadow believer..." -Shiny Toy Guns

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

It's all about the kids.

At the end of the year, I start reflecting.
I get to thinking about all the things wrong with this planet and what I want to do to help. Unfortunately, the bank account of a writer who is not yet famous, is an empty one. I am unable to donate to all the causes I believe in, and trust me there are many.

"What is my contribution to this planet and humankind?" Is a thought that crosses my mind hourly. It's really hard to figure out a way to help and so many of us have this idea that our contribution will, "barely make a dent." But, as long as we think that way, nothing will ever change. The other problem is who to give to; there are so many deserving causes.

I have contributed to:
-World Vision Inc., http://www.worldvision.org/; it's an organization devoted to working with children, families and their communities, worldwide.
-St. Jude Children's Hospital offers many ways in which to assist sick children http://www.stjude.org/ . I donated to them, in September when Chili's restaurant had their Design-a-Pepper program. I colored one and gave a little bit of money- not much but it still counts.
-Through the United Way program, http://www.unitedway.org/ , I have donated to the kids of in the county I live, for the last two years. It is an excellent way to watch how efforts help the community in which you live.

MOST IMPORTANT: If you don't have a lot of money, offer some of your time. There is truth to be said, in the saying, "time is money."

An organization I intend to donate my time to in the coming year is the Charity Music Program, http://www.charitymusic.org/ . This organization donates used musical instruments to disadvantaged, at-risk children with a desire to develop their musical talents. The instruments are loaned, at no charge, and the program is nonprofit and run by volunteers. They take other sorts of donations too like, instruments of any kind and concert tickets (type of venue and artist, do not matter), and they are in need of volunteers, as well.

I will also be donating to the Tony Hawk Foundation, http://www.tonyhawkfoundation.org/ this year. This organization helps to fund the building of public skate parks in low income areas; giving children a place for recreational activities outside. I think it’s a healthy alternative to lying around the house playing video games, eating crap, and doing who knows what else; and an effective method of promoting exercise, in a country that has a tremendous child obesity problem.

I believe in many, many causes and if I could save the world, Lord knows I would try. Of the most important to me however, are the ones that cater to kids. I believe they are our future and that healthy, happy kids are what will make exceptional adults, some day. Children’s creative expression has become increasingly important to me. Whether it be skating, music, art, baseball, etc.- it is all a form of creative expression.

I was fortunate as a child, to have a grandmother who put me in art classes. I am forever thankful to her for it, because without her I never could have afforded to go. She believed I was an artist and that it was important for me to find a way to express myself. As a kid it was art and as an adult, I have found my creative release through marketing and writing, and I believe this is a direct result of her efforts years ago. I am proud to say that I have recently started dabbling with painting again for the first time since high school; I never think they’re any good, but I know Gram is smiling somewhere.

I am looking for a good program that donates to the development of children’s artistic abilities by offering supplies to kids who can’t afford them, but haven’t been able to find one. If you know of one like this feel free to contact me.

Happy Holidays.

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Stunner Brothers Stun

The first time I met Jon, of the Stunner Brothers I was downtown in my home town. I hit my girlfriend's arm and said, “Look at that guy.” She replied with, “Who the one with the corn rows and crazy glasses?”
Oh yes.
After a few drinks, my liquid courage had kicked in so, I walked right up to him and said, “Hey, I think you are the finest guy in here.” I can’t believe I used the word “fine,” but never-the-less that’s what I said.
He laughed and said, “Yeah right? Are you serious?” At that point, I thought it would be a good idea to give him my phone number. Knowing that my gift for solid communication usually fails me when I am tipsy, I figured that I would probably never hear from him again.
Months later, I received a text message from some random phone number telling me to go to YouTube.com, type in "Stunner Brothers" and watch the video. There it was the Stunner Brothers classic, “Piggin’ Out,” starring Jon Boy and KC.
I laughed really hard and called my friend and told her to watch it. When I went to their website and realized it wasn’t just some joke, and that they were really trying to go somewhere with it, I decided that I wanted to write about them. Because everyone has a dream but it is those who pursue it that inspire me. Hence the interview with the Stunner Brothers…

So who are these #1 Stunners really? The Stunner Brothers are two guys from Novato, named Jon Boy and KC who pull crazy skits and videotape them. For now they are mostly an Internet phenomenon- promoting their comedic footage and music through Myspace and on their website: http://www.stunnerbrothers.com/ but will eventually be releasing a collection of their work on DVD.
They met a few years ago at a strange time in life- one in which they were both homeless. Jon had just gotten kicked out of his grandma’s house and KC kicked out of his mom’s. At the time, Jon was sleeping on the floor of his buddy’s house (the buddy was also a friend of KC’s). In the next day or two, KC came and started sleeping on the floor too and they’ve been friends ever since. Now roommates, best friends, compadres, Stunner Brothers- they have realized that people find them highly entertaining.
Late-night after partying one night, they went through a fast food drive-thru. A cop was in line in front of them, but they were having too good of a time to care. They had the music blasting and were dancing in their seats. “We were going nuts to it- bumping, going crazy to it,” KC told me, “holy shit dude, we hella go crazy.”
At that point the idea was born. Jon came home from work one day and told a few friends that he and KC were going to become the Stunner Brothers. “We go out and do wild shit, record it and see what we can do,” Jon said.
On a visit down to Santa Cruz, they were walking down the street doing what they call the “model walk,” which is basically strutting around in sunglasses and telling girls that they are hot. “The girls were just eating it up,” KC said and Jon finished his sentence with, “and guys wanted to fight us.” They came across a stage where a DJ was playing, jumped up and started dancing, even though they weren’t invited. A few girls decided to join and they ultimately became the show.
A constant show they are; they started bringing the camera pretty much everywhere they went. Some of the footage has been planned while others are shot at random. The videos include Piggin’ Out, Kay-Z, Work Like a Cholo, Mackin’ 101, Statuatory, Cold Stone, Club Envy, Big Trouble in lil’ China, Dialin’ Dealer, and their newest, The Breakup. All of which can be found at: http://www.stunnerbrothers.com/ . Each clip is a unique piece of comedy that leaves their audience in disbelief, laughing uncontrollably, at times feeling uncomfortable, and ultimately completely stunned.
Their most popular, Piggin’ Out, came to be after they had pretty much gotten booed off stage following a performance of their music at open mic night. KC told me, “We did a few of our songs, we weren’t well rehearsed, and it just all fell apart. We got really embarrassed and got the hell out of there, but we redeemed it.” Completely random, while on their way home, they saw cop cars parked out front of a gas station and decided to pull in. They shot the video in the quickie mart and when they left were immediately pulled over.
In Work Like a Cholo the idea was premeditated and well thought out. “We didn’t have the balls to do that one for a while,” KC said. The reaction to it, in San Rafael's canal was not all that inviting, initially. “It took Jon to start singing in front of that taco truck to actually get people to loosen up a little bit, and to let us put our arms around them.”
“I figure we stun people when they watch us and when they see us, and we wear stunners as well, so I guess it’s a pun,” Jon said. Some people hate on them for wearing their stunners and some people laugh. Regardless of the response, they feel that they have made it a standard to wear stunner shades inside a club, even if it is nighttime. Jon told me, “I’ve been wearing glasses since I was twelve, before stunners even came out, night and day, all day long,” and then busted into a Ain’t Nothin’ but a G Thang lyric by Dr. Dre.
The On 1 Mix Tape, DVD will include the videos from their website and should make its debut next year. The person responsible for putting it all together is their editor, Warner Brown. He is their editor, graphic designer, and web producer. His talents are exuded in putting the footage to music, inserting things that work well, and taking others out and the videos wouldn’t be anything near what they are without his genius and dedication.
Once the DVD project is complete the Stunners hope to start off by selling them out of the trunk of Jon’s car and after that who knows? Their website, stores, theaters- sky’s the limit. They also have a CD to come out later and T-shirts are on sale currently. Their ultimate goal is to get enough good footage to eventually enter into a film festival of sorts, where they could discretely be there watching the reaction of the crowd. Not everyone will be able to handle the Stunners comedy, but one thing is for sure they’ve got honesty for sale and that’s pretty refreshing and commendable.
“I want to push it as far as it can go. I don’t give a fuck what people think.” Jon told me. “We do a lot of this stuff to get out our insecurities.”
Unfortunately, the Stunner Brothers have recently parted ways. KC has decided to further pursue his music career and Jon has gone off to film on his own. Which is a sad thing; they are very different and yet truly compliment one another. Will KC return to the Stunner Brothers? At this point, it is unknown.
They also wanted me to include the fact that KC currently lives in a closet of their apartment.

- Adrienne is an SSU Alum and former writer for the STAR. You can check out the full story, as well as many others, at her blog: azydoesit.blogspot.com.

*I am honored to say that this story (with a few edits) made it back into my college newspaper, the SSU Star.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Pumpkin Art, Just For You Pumpkin!

Last week while in Copperfields Books, I glanced through their Halloween table, where many books for the big and small relating to the holiday were placed. I came across Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, By Alvin Schwartz and laughed to myself as they were some of my favorite books in junior high. In the front, on a stand was a book by Tom Nardone, called Extreme Pumpkins. Tom is a guy who designs crazy pumpkin carvings and publishes them on his website: http://www.extremepumpkins.com/
The interesting part about all this is that I wrote about him while in college. I contacted him last year while writing a story for The Star on the art of pumpkin carving, I entitled it, "Bibbity, Bobbity, Boo! What Will Your Pumpkin Do?" I was proud of this particular piece- I really liked how it turned out; in re-reading it I remembered that I had written about the traffic slowing on 101 because of Petaluma's pumpkin patch. Which is still a real pisser; you live in an agricultural community people- it's not the first field you have seen with corn and hay?
In any case, I found it quite coincidental I would come across his book almost one year to the day following my article. He was very nice guy and I feel special that I got a chance to interview him; especially, now that he is an author. According to the website he wrote the book in early 2007. Congratulations to Tom. If you are carving this year you should check out his stuff.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Take a Walk on Memory's Side

The Memory Walk is less than 5 days away...
"What is The Memory Walk," you ask? A stroll down Memory Lane spent reminiscing about your first love? Is it a flash in your minds eye of your newborn child, who is now all grown up? Or the thought of your first major accomplishment or promotion? Not quite. But, it is an event that supports the preservation of such memories.
The Memory Walk is an Alzheimer's Association event that raises awareness and money to support the ongoing research of the disease and care for those it affects. The walk is held in more than 600 communities and is designed to help fight against the awful and debilitating disease.
"A memory is all we have," is one of my favorite sayings and is true in so many ways. Our ability to survive in this life is based on the things we've learned from it. But if you can't remember these tactics, how will you ever be able to continue? This walk supports just that: basic survival, the research of treatments and possible cures, and the assistance to those currently living with the disease.
I did the walk about two years ago to support my friend's Aunt Patt who has Alzheimer’s; while the disease is not a stranger in my family either, my grandma on my dad's side and two of my great aunts are suffers. It's pretty safe to say that everyone knows at least one person affected by the damaging disease. The walk is a deserving cause and a true two-for-one: get your exercise while striving to make a difference in your community.

This Saturday, October 13th, please join "Patt and her Posse" of family and friends, at Spring Lake Park, in Santa Rosa, CA for the annual Wine Country Memory Walk.

The event information is as follows:
Registration Area Opens 10/13/2007 9:00-10:00 am
Warm-up Festivities 10/13/2007 9:30-10:00 am
Memory Walk Begins! 10/13/2007 10:00-11:00 am
Program, Tribute and Raffle 10/13/2007 11:15-12:00 pm

*Funds raised at the Memory Walk will support research that is on the brink of promising new treatments to slow and prevent Alzheimer’s and local programs to improve the lives of those individuals living with the disease. If for some reason you cannot make it to the walk, you can still make a donation.
To find out how please go to this link: http://memorywalk.kintera.org/faf/r.asp?t=4&i=226273&u=226273-101415948&e=1291922549
and visit Patt's web page to help in the efforts to support the Alzheimer's Association of Northern California and Northern Nevada.

If you don't live in Northern California but, would like to find a walk to join in your area, please visit: http://www.alz.org/memorywalk/

Friday, September 21, 2007

Pick a Pepper! Design one to help fight Childhood Cancer.

With all that's happening in the family and my out of town adventures, I never got a chance to write about this... Last week, I went out to dinner at Chili's restaurant, with my parents. My parents are divorced, but are still friends; I know- I am the luckiest kid from a broken home, ever! We find Chili's delicious; it's probably our favorite chain restaurant and has TV's for my sports fanatic Papa.
While sitting there I noticed many a colorful pepper plastered all over the walls. Coloring contest? I am totally in. (Probably am too old to compete, but still want to color one.) Turns out, it's the “Create-A-Pepper to Fight Childhood Cancer” campaign (http://www.creatapepper.com/) and all ages are welcome to participate. The whole month of September (which is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month), people dining at Chili's can color a pepper to be displayed in the restaurant, and make a donation to St. Jude Children's Hospital.
On September 24th, this Monday, 100% of all proceeds from sales made at Chili's restaurant go towards finding a cure for childhood cancer. Why not eat there on a day where your money is working towards supporting kids? I created mine and donated while dining at the restaurant. It was very simple; they just added it to our bill. But, anyone can create one online at the above website- no purchase necessary. They pick three online winners per week who will receive a $25 gift certificate and the 28th is their last drawing. I just made one online (Pepper code: 131433) and it's awesome but, far less artistic then the real deal, pictured above. The website also includes pictures of peppers colored by celebrities. If you miss the boat however, donate to St. Jude anyway, it is a wonderful organization.
To learn more about St. Jude and the discoveries made that have, "changed how the world treats children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases." Please visit: http://www.stjude.org/

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I ♥ Travis ♪

As most of my friends know, I love Travis Barker. I am well aware that he is married and has kids with a beautiful woman, yet I still love Travis Barker. I think he is one of the greatest drummers of all time, he's got a totally rad clothing line, and something about the mohawk and all the tattoos- I just love him. The show, Meet the Barkers was my all time favorite reality TV series but, my admiration for him has endured since Blink 182, through The Transplants, and now to +44. Have you checked out his new Soulja Boy (crank that) Remix? It’s amazing.
Every time, I go to LA I think to myself, “I hope I see Travis Barker.” Well, this time I finally did.
We went for breakfast to a little restaurant called Quality, on 3rd. Some of the best biscuits and jam I have ever had, and being a Southerner’s daughter that is a huge statement. On our way back to the car, we passed a bench with Famous Stars and Straps “F” stickers all over it. As I blurted out, “I love LA, his stickers are everywhere,” I realized we were standing in front of the Famous store. In a hurry to catch our plane we continued back to the car. My brain said, “Ok you don’t have any money to spend; you don’t really need to go in there.” But my intuition said, “I really want to go in there, buy some stuff, and hopefully he will be in there.”
As we pulled away, I turned to my friend who was a longtime former LA resident and asked, “Do these celebrities ever actually visit their stores?”
“Yes, all the time,” she said.
At that moment the regret of having passed up a great opportunity sat in the pit of my stomach. “Well, if we have time after we pack our stuff, do you think we can go back?” I asked.
Not a second later, my friend says, “Wait! Was that him right there?” Sure enough we pull back in the front of the store and there he is in a supped up classic convertible. He gets out of the car. I am dieing, shaking, can barely talk; I am this excited. Crazy- silly- totally lame; I don’t care- absolutely love him.
We find a place to park and go in. By the time we did he was no where on the floor. But, the store is totally awesome with wall to wall exclusives. It’s called, The Fast Life, and it’s on 3rd Street, in Los Angeles. Check it out. Seeming how it’s one my favorite brands, I couldn’t help but shop around. As I tried on a hoody in the dressing room, I just knew Trav was probably in the back some place. Oh be still my beating heart. I bought the sweatshirt and we left in time to make our flight. A usual response upon hearing this story is, “But, you didn’t meet him?” No, unfortunately I haven’t yet, haters. Just let me have this.
It was the most thrilling part of the trip. The only thing that comes even remotely close to feeling that good, was crashing a private birthday party at a Thai restaurant while doing the salsa with one of the most interesting individuals I have ever met. But, that my friends, is a whole other story; it’s actually a story, within a story, within one, meant for another time.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

JT, One of Pop Music's Greatest Gifts

Two days ago, I went to see Justin Timberlake’s Future Sex/Love Sounds Concert. I know, I know, it poses the question: "Justin Timberlake?"
Truth be known, I am a rocker at heart and besides the queen herself (Madonna), pop music is never my first choice. I am not his biggest fan but, I do love his latest CD. My best friend however is the biggest JT fan in the world so, when she asked me to go, my initial reaction was, "do I really want to spend the money to see JT in concert?" After throwing around the idea, I finally just gave in. My exact words to her were, "Okay, I will go. Your reaction alone will be worth the money."
Oh, and it was. She was super excited, probably one of the most pumped I have ever seen her; next to going to Vegas or winning a lawsuit. But, the show ultimately sold its self, and was well worth the money. The concert was at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. I really liked the setup; the stage was in the center of the stadium and had four wings to it, which made the show visible from every angle. It helped that we had awesome seats; we were very close. Instead of JT appearing to be about 2 inches tall, he was more like 12 inches; a very nice change compared to other shows I have been to.
He was amazing; without a doubt the best dancer I have ever seen. Those white sneakers were flying all over the place. I refer to him as the new “Michael Jackson.” What MJ was to the 80's, JT is to NOW. Not only was he wrecking shop on stage but his dancers and back up singers were as well. Did I mention Timbaland was there? A collaboration of his phenomenal freestyle jams that included a shot out to the late and great Aaliyah, was our gift during the intermission. Later he performed, Sexy Back with JT.
Good Charlotte opened for Justin; I found them to be an interesting choice. I appreciate JT's ability to combine pop, with rock, with hip-hop. Most of the music produced these days is a mix of more than one genre, anyway. Justin closed with his version of California Love; a nice little tribute to Tupac. It got the crowd pretty rowdy, as it is the CA hip-hop anthem. Bittersweet Symphony by The Verve, a song very near and dear to my heart was played while JT and all the performers came out to take their final bow. All in all, I was quite impressed with the show. I suggest everyone go see him, even if you aren’t a fan.
Am I a JT fan, now? You can bet your ass I am. I even considered buying an extremely over-priced “Timberlake” T-shirt.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Nursing Homes- Nothing That "Homey" About Them, Homie.

WARNING: This piece is highly opinionated.
Let me tell you a little story...
Over the weekend an 82 year old little old lady was admitted to the hospital. She had trouble breathing and needed oxygen. She was supposed to be released a few days following but was considered "at-risk" and needed round the clock attention. Her insurance covered her to go to a nursing home; where she could be monitored 24 hours a day. By the way, the word "nursing home" to an elderly person who is still mentally capable, is code for "institution" or "dooms day." After spending some time in one, I now can see why.
The food looked like slop on a plate, you have to share a room with others- sometimes in far worse condition than yourself, there are moans and groans from all corners, you aren't free to come and go as you please- or do anything as you please, for that matter. It's dingy, smelly, and just plain depressing as all hell. Don't get me wrong, the nurses did care, but the administration people were complete sharks. They were very condescending and watched our interactions closely, paying attention for any little slip up. Their questions seemed to be doubled-edged swords. For instance, the phrase, "she needs help with that" could be easily misconstrued by them to mean, "She can't take care of herself." This is where the riddles begin, "What do you mean she needs help, are you saying that your grandmother is incompetent?" No, I am saying she's fucking old and really scared and could use some assistance, asshole!
I have a new found belief that once considered mentally or physically incapable you have about as good a chance of getting out of that system as you do the prison system. I felt like her lawyer a lot of the time defending her, trying to be on top of what she was signing, expressing time and time again to "the sharks" that this was not the place for her and that she was not ready for such nursing, reassuring her that I would "get her out"- by far the longest 48 hours I've spent in a long time.
Why is it, we forget about our elderly? Did they not pave the way for generations to follow? Did they not pay their dues? It makes me positively sick that there isn't more that can be done. Oh but there is, right? A 24 hour nurse is a possibility and yet costs a fortune; not everyone can afford such special treatment.
It broke my heart to see those people in there. I cried myself to sleep at the thought of her spending one single night there, let alone the rest of her life. I want to be clear here; by no means am I saying my grandma is too good for such a place- but in a way isn't everyone’s grandparents? Why can't these facilities be nicer? Less desolate and hopeless?
I got "old skinny" out this time, we won our case, but will we be able to prove her competence again later down the road. Tough to say. For now we've made other arrangements and hopefully we can get her care straightened out, so that she never has to go back to a place like that. I'm sure there are a few good ones out there. I think most nurses do their jobs and some even go the extra mile; I believe nursing to be one of the most commendable jobs on the planet. My rant is not only in defense of the patients in these homes but, in the staff's as well- having to work in such conditions. I know one thing for certain, I would never want to live, work, or even visit a place like the one I just did, ever again.

Friday, September 7, 2007

The Union Massacre, Art & Benefit Show

Tonight, Friday the 7th at 8pm, The Phoenix Theater in Petaluma will be hosting the Union Massacre, a benefit show and art auction. The Board of Directors at the Phoenix has approved the constructing of a large Art Wall. It will be a place where street artists can express themselves freely. The show is honor of this, and proceeds go towards raising money to pay for the materials it takes to build it. One giant step for Petaluma art, and a step for Graffiti art everywhere, I'd say.
For a donation of $8 at the door you will enjoy musical performances by: TOP.R with DJ Max Kane of 4OnePhonics, Steel Trap, One In The Chamber, Zap Syndicate, Real Talk, The Urban Apache Breakerz, DJ Defie, and DJ Beset. Artists creating live paintings include: Alex Pardee, Wesker, Sorrow, and Jeb One. A few of the artists' pieces will be available for sale and a little birdie told me at reasonable prices. It's always a great idea to purchase art that you love; especially, before the artist hits it big and you can't afford it anymore. Having seen the works of a few of them, it's safe to say fame is only a matter of time.
So whatever you were going to do tonight- scratch that. Instead come listen to some music, buy some art, watch a few break dancers bust a move and some extremely talented artists paint. Come down and support the local arts and the building of a very large open canvas for street artists to beautify. Pink Floyd sang it best when they sang, "All in all, it's just another brick in the wall," and we will build it together by contributing to this show.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Potter Box Revisited

I have way too much crap. So yesterday, while going through and throwing away some school stuff, I ran across an old binder from Ethics. Inside were notes on the Potter Box and no, this has nothing to do with Harry Potter. The Potter Box is a framework method used for making ethical decisions. Developed by scholar Ralph B. Potter Jr., a theologian and professor of Social Ethics at Harvard, I believe it to be absolute genius! It has landed Potter a spot on my heroes list, that’s for sure.
People who also had to take Ethics are saying, “Oh my god she’s not really going to discuss the Potter’s Box right now, is she?” But, of all the classes I took for my major- besides writing for the Newspaper of course, Ethics was my favorite. It was difficult; it is harder than you think to make an ethical decision. Is it ethical to give all the information? Is it ethical to withhold information for their protection? You are damned if you do and damned if you don’t, in most cases. Someone somewhere will always be pissed off.
When Potter developed this moral reasoning method he came up with four categories he felt were universal to all ethical problems. According to Potter people use Facts, Values, Principles, and Loyalties as moral analysis in formulating a decision.
1.) The Facts- are, the facts. Who, What, When, Where, Why. It’s also the time you would identify the problem. What's the issue?
2.) Values- what are your values? This is also the time to take other people’s values into consideration, from their perspectives. For example, I try not to swear around my Grandma. I know that she doesn’t like it and her values say that, “ladies” do not talk like that. I would probably reach a different decision taking her values into consideration versus that of my friends.
3.) Loyalties- who are you loyal to? As a journalist you would be loyal to the public. But you might also be loyal to your boss, loyal to your family, your religion, etc. You could be loyal to yourself. For instance, you could know that your current situation is not right for you and in order to be loyal to yourself you would need to remove yourself from it.
4.) The Principles- are taken from philosopher’s (sometimes ancient) ideas. It's basically the approach you will take to reaching a decision. An idea you believe would be the best way to solve the problem. It’s always hard for me to choose just one, but its okay to use more than one.
Aristotle’s Golden Mean- the word “mean” means half-way between two extremes; basically, to find a balanced outcome. Aristotle was a Greek philosopher who lived somewhere in 384 BC. He said, “All human actions have one or more of these seven causes: chance, nature, compulsions, habit, reason, passion, desire.”
Confucius Golden Mean- is the compromise principle. Confucius was an ancient Chinese philosopher who said to find the middle ground. I find this and Aristotle’s to be very similar. He said, "Respect yourself and others will respect you.”
Kant’s Categorical Imperative- is what we should never do, what has become our universal law. “Thou shall not kill,” etc. Immanuel Kant was a German philosopher who lived in the 1700’s. He said, “Act that your principle of action might safely be made a law for the whole world.”
Mill’s Principle of Utility- said, “Seek the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people.” John Stuart Mills was a British philosopher who lived in the 1800’s. He said, “All desirable things... are desirable either for the pleasure inherent in themselves, or as a means to the promotion of pleasure and the prevention of pain.”
Rawl’s Veil of Ignorance- says to place yourself in the position of the people our decision may influence. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes, for example. He said, “The principles of justice are chosen behind a veil of ignorance.” Think of the veil of ignorance as looking the other way, like when people call smog fog in order to keep in denial that the air is polluted.
The Judeo Christian Principle- also referred to as the Agape says, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." You know all that stuff it says in the bible; a lot of what our Constitution was based on.
It’s not necessary to go in a particular order, it is a linked system but, I usually start with the facts and work towards the principles. So, I write out the facts, then values involded, then the loyalties, and close with the principles. Two people with the same problem could come out with two very different decisions when using the Potter Box. I found it best to write it all down, it really helps weigh out the pros and cons. As indecisive as I am, it may be beneficial to use this for making the big choices.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

July 21st-29th is Eric Volz Week

This week, right now is "Eric Volz Week," July 21st through the 29th, of 2007. The week that marks the beginning of the 9th month since Eric's arrest. His friends and family have asked that people gather and pray for him.
Please go to http://www.friendsofericvolz.com/ to read more about his story. In a nutshell, Eric was convicted of the murder of his x-girlfriend down in Nicaragua. But there is no legitimate evidence placing him anywhere near the crime scene, at the time of the murder. He is a 27 year old American who has been sentenced to 30 years in a Nicaraguan prison. The more I learn about him, the more I feel he was victim of a conspiracy.
He graduated University of California, San Diego (UCSD). Majoring in Latin American Cultural Studies. He studied, traveled, and was an avid adventurer. His future was bright, as he set out to pursue a career in photography and journalism. He was supposed to go to New York, but instead was invited to Nicaragua to put together a photography archive for that which would be the “El Puente Newspaper.”
He became the publisher of the Central American bilingual periodical, EP Magazine.
The magazine was a success; readers and advertisers saw potential in its image of “cultura libre – conscious living.” It wasn't long before, EP drew the attention of investors and major advertising entities, and became one of the leading bilingual publications in Central America.
I feel it is a shame that someone with so much to offer the world is rotting in prison for a crime he didn't commit. Most everyone is aware of how strongly I feel about this; I wear a "FREE ERIC VOLZ" button on my purse at all times. Please do your best to send positive thoughts his way this week. Visit his site: http://www.friendsofericvolz.com/ or find him on Myspace and remember: FREE ERIC VOLZ!

Picture courtesy of: friendsofericvolz.com

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Favorite Sales Quote Ever...

Favorite Sales Quote Ever:

"Lets put some lipstick on that pig, and sell the damn thing!"
Coming from a father who could sell snow to an Eskimo; I find this rather amusing today!

Friday, May 11, 2007

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With avoidance as one of my best friends, anxiety becomes my most dreaded enemy...

Friday, April 27, 2007


Check out my friend Noel's new blog:
If anyone can spit some "Noeledge," it's him for sure.
Poker extraordinaire; you won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Being honest is not a gift, but a life sentence of constant foot-in-mouth, heart on your sleeve, confusing, embarrassing situations. Never disclose everything, keep some things to yourself.
And this is the thought for today.

Sunday, April 22, 2007


Tonight, I watched this Dateline special on NBC about a guy my age, named Eric Volz. He is currently sitting in jail in Nicaragua for a crime he didn't commit, I believe. They have no physical evidence that he is in anyway connected to the crime. His story is sad, unbelievable, and beyond a doubt extremely gripping. What's even more frustrating, is that this all happened last year and yet, this show was the first I had heard about it. A good friend of mine had told me it was going to be on, so I decided to watch it tonight when it aired. In doing so, one hour with this guy really got to me; I was glued to my TV set and definitely felt for him. He appeared calm, collected, and above all else: innocent.
The story is awful; a beautiful girl was brutally murdered. But, by pinning this on Volz (a person with a legitimate alibi, witnesses, and no connection to the crime scene) we will never know her true killer and an innocent man loses a good portion of his life time. In a time when there is so much wrong; I wish I could do something about every injustice there is. People always tell me, "you can't save the world," and I of course realize this. But, if this were my brother, or sister, or a friend; I would want people to do as much as they could. I would feel useless if I wasn't contributing anything to this important matter. If you get a chance please go to the attached link and read about his situation, and please tell as many people as possible: FREE ERIC VOLZ!!


Or watch him on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8tQJfp9fIgY&NR=1

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Loss of a Friend, a Brave Soldier

I wrote two days ago, "I feel lucky to have never endured or known anyone who has been involved in such a mass tragedy."
I spoke too soon, later that night I choked on my words- literally. The news of an old friend of mine being killed in the Iraq War was brought to my attention. This was a person I hadn't talked to in some time, yet the pain was no different than losing anyone I have cared for. It makes me MAD that a sweet person with so much to live for died so young; an honest to goodness nice guy, with a wife and little boy left behind.
My friend died serving his country. He went to war for people like me, who could never imagine going over there; who would never be able to handle such a situation. He is the first person I know personally to die in the War. For his plight, I admire his courage and strength with all that I am.
This is a War I strongly disagreed with from the get go; a War that continues, with not even a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. How many more people have to die? How many more friends, family members, and loved ones? Oh, and why are we over there again anyway? I plainly have no clue.
My friend was the second person to pass in the War from Sonoma County this month. He was a happy guy, who used to ride his bike over with friends when we were freshmen in high school. We’d do innocent, adolescent things like walk places around town and hang out in my mom’s backyard. I always enjoyed that when he spoke he had something interesting to say; it was never just to blab or for filler. If he was talking, I knew I should listen because it was going to be funny and/or thoughtful.
Watching his family and close group of friends go through this is absolute agony. Having lost a dear friend to violence in an isolated incident, at the hands of two bouncers, last fall, this feeling of helplessness is all too familiar. The idea of burying another one of my friends is almost too much for me to bear. Yet, with as much respect as I have for these people I wouldn't miss it for the world. It has become all too real to me that life can be ended at the drop of a dime. It reminds me that each day is precious and that I should appreciate the people in my life as much as I can.
For Kawika, my friend, the fallen solider, I hold solemn gratitude and the utmost respect for. For Dave, my friend, the victim of what I believe to this day to be a wrongful death last fall, the same. Both of you touched my life, were taken too soon, and will never be forgotten. "To all my friends/Present past and beyond to all those who weren't with us too long/Life is the most precious thing that you can lose/While you were here the fun was never ending/Laugh a minute was only the beginning..." -Pennywise, from the song, "Bro Hymn."
I love you- my bros forever. Rest in Peace.