Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics Opens Tonight!

February 12, 2010 Leave a comment

Tonight, “With Glowing Hearts”, we will witness the Opening Ceremony of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games! I am thrilled to have had the pleasure of visiting this beautiful city last summer and cannot wait to see the Opening Ceremony on television tonight (NBC, 7:30 PM PST for me).

Watching the Olympic Games has always been emotional for me. I am always affected by the cultural inspiration & spectacle of the host city.

2010_vancouver_olympics_logo.jpg

2010 Vancouver Olympics logo from Business Week "Hot Property" post by Dan Foust

I love the torch relay and the final lighting of the cauldron usually brings me to tears!  Seeing representative athletes from each country also can move me, especially since they each have their compelling stories to tell.  Of course, my national pride comes out completely when the USA enters the stadium!

It is an inspirational moment in time, when the most dedicated athletes from every nation have an opportunity to come together, compete, and make new friends. It is a time of great national pride for virtually every citizen on the planet. We are amazed by the achievements of these athletes, by the graciousness of the host city, and by the spirit of friendship and tolerance that inspires the games.

It is going to be an exciting few weeks! GO TEAM USA!

Happy Groundhog Day!

**Update: The Groundhog has spoken, “If you want to know next, you must read my text. As the sky shines bright above me, my shadow I see beside me. So six more weeks of winter it will be.”**

Here I sit in balmy southern California, anticipating another sunny, 60 degree San Diego day. But in Punxsutawney, Philadelphia, the people are gathering in Gobbler’s Knob, in 20 degree weather, preparing for the most famous groundhog in the world Punxsutawney Phil to make his 2010 weather prognostication!
Groundhog Day Ecard

Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!

Phil’s inner circle in Punxsutawney are more than ready to share the news with the world this year as they present Groundhog Day via a live webcast ! Want to get a text of the outcome? Just send “Groundhog” to 247365 on your mobile device between now and Groundhog Day. Follow the event on twitter! You can even send free ecards for your Groundhog bash!

Will Phil see his shadow and ensure 6 more weeks of winter in that chilly clime?

Or will he predict an early spring?

I promise to update as soon as I get my text!

Celebrate National Freedom Day & Black History Month

National Freedom Day on February 1st celebrates the signing of  the resolution that became the 13th Amendment that outlawed slavery in the United States by President Lincoln in 1865.  Major Richard Robert Wright, Sr., a former slave, first commemorated Freedom Day in 1945 at Independence Hall and with the ceremonious laying of a wreath at the Liberty Bell. President Truman ratified the holiday in 1948.

February 1st also marks the celebration of Black History Month, which observes remembrances of important

Black History Month from Kevin Fell

Black History Month (image from Kevin Fell at HOZA!)

people and events of the African diaspora in the United States and Canada. Media outlets and educators use this month to highlight the special achievements, notable moments in history, and influential people of African descent whose words and deeds have contributed to the shaping of the world today.

Some criticism of Black History Month has been aired by religious leaders, celebrities, and journalists who contend that one race should not be singled out for observance and, moreover,  ‘Black’ history is American history.

What do you think?

What do William McKinley, Tom Selleck, & Oprah Winfrey Have in Common?

Seemingly, these three famous American figures have nothing in common. Until you read the Wikipedia page for January 29th and realize they all share the same birthday!

Happy Birthday Tom & Oprah! (can you wish a happy birthday to a deceased president? Hmm, that’s a tough one.)

William McKinley, 25th President of the United States

William McKinley, 25th President of the United States from wikipedia.com

William McKinley was the 25th President of the United States in1897-1901. He won the election on a platform of pluralism for ethnic groups and backing the gold standard. During his presidency America launched the Spanish American War and annexed Hawaii, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Guam, &  put into place an American protectorate over Cuba. His presidency ended in murder, McKinley was one of only four US Presidents to be assassinated. He was succeeded by Theodore Roosevelt and his death led to the eventual appointment of the Secret Service as the official physical protective unit assigned to the President. I used to live on a street named for him.

Tom Selleck on the Red Carpet from Wikipedia.com

Tom Selleck on the Red Carpet from Wikipedia.com

Tom Selleck is an award winning American actor, screenwriter, and film producer whom I remember best from his portrayal of the attractive Hawaiian private detective from the television series Magnum P.I.  I just saw one of his many, many movies (over 50): “Mr. Baseball”.  He plays a rejected professional MLB player who goes to play in Japan in the hopes of returning to the major leagues. His experience in Japan is reminiscent of the story of “Monica’s” from “Love & Basketball” when she is forced to play in Barcelona, Spain since International Women’s Basketball is the only form of professional women’s basketball available.

Oprah Winfrey from Wikipedia.com

Oprah Winfrey from Wikipedia.com

Oprah Winfrey is an incredibly influential and wealthy American talk show host, media tycoon, and philanthropist. Writing about Oprah Winfrey in the space of a paragraph on this blog seems ridiculous. If you don’t know who Oprah is you probably are not reading this blog because you have never in your life seen anything electronic or printed on paper.

Celebrate Holiday wishes Oprah, Tom, & President McKinley a very happy birthday!

William McKinley was the 25th President of the United States in1897-1901. He won the election on a platform of pluralism for ethnic groups and backing the gold standard. During his presidency America launched the Spanish American War and annexed Hawaii, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Guam, &  put into place an American protectorate over Cuba. His presidency ended in murder, McKinley was one of only four US Presidents to be assassinated. He was succeeded by Theodore Roosevelt and his death led to the eventual appointment of the Secret Service as the official physical protective unit assigned to the President.

Toss up: Fun at Work Day or Kazoo Day?

Frankly, I am at odds with my holiday celebration options for today, friends. But I think you don’t have to be if you are flexible in your definition of “fun”.  More on that later: first let’s check out the contenders-

In the red corner, wearing the black suit, weighing in at some very serious poundage, it’s Fun at Work Day!

And in the blue corner, wearing the plastic mini, weighing in at a mere few ounces, it’s Kazoo Day!

Who will be the winner of this match-up of the holidays?

Ok, here’s my solution: Combine them for Fun at Work Day with Kazoos! Seriously, you will have a blast, playing the kazoo at work. And so will all your friends! Perhaps you can play in a kazoo band in your office:

Hey, I am not the only one to think of this and I can prove it. If you would be ever so kind, visit Mike and Matt at their music blog “The Ear Farm” and read not only their recommendation to combine the days, but also their Top Eleven Picks of Songs that Feature the Kazoo.

It will blow your mind! And then you can blow your kazoo!

Kazoo for national instrument campaign
Stock up on kazoo’s for work at Kazoobie’s- http://www.kazoos.com & join their campaign to make Kazoos America’s National Instrument!

5 Ways to Celebrate Chocolate Cake Day

January 27, 2010 2 comments
Chocolate Cake Day Icing Sign Generator via www.redkid.net

Chocolate Cake Day Icing Sign Generator via http://www.redkid.net

Here’s a delicious holiday to “sink your teeth” into, and five easy ways to celebrate Chocolate Cake Day :

1. The Obvious: Bake a chocolate cake.

I have done this. Usually from a box, substituting the oil called for with melted butter (highly recommended!). Occasionally (as in once), my best friend and I spent 13 hours trying to make a showcase cake from Rose Levy Berenbaum’s “The Cake Bible”. This cake was a chocolate Genoise with chocolate Frangelico ganache, and was to be wrapped with thin chocolate leaves made with hazelnut toffee bits. From scratch. Let’s just say it tasted great and looked nothing like the picture.

2. The Popular: Bring a box of chocolate cupcakes or cake donuts to work.

A sure-fire way to bribe your way into the hearts of your co-workers is through food. Especially chocolate-sugar-fat-bomb treats. Make sure to bring enough to leave a few available for seconds, or to give to the IT guys. Yeah, that will keep your laptop from crashing, I bet!

3. The Explosive: Take your sweetie out for a Chocolate Lava Cake at a fancy restaurant.

This is a really good idea. I can’t believe I didn’t write this first. You have to get one of those flourless (who cares, it’s so full of chocolate and butter, who needs flour anyway?) Chocolate Lava Cakes and share it. Go somewhere fancy enough that your waiter cuts the cake open when s/he serves it and shows you the oozing, melted chocolate “lava” erupting from inside. Then, pick up your utensil and give your sweetie the first bite. Now that’s LOVE!

4. The Big Spender: Buy a chocolate cake from the bakery.

Tell the bakery it is Chocolate Cake Day if they don’t have a sign up or something. Ask if you can get a discount since it’s a holiday (and they should feel sorry for you since you don’t have a sweetie or else you’d be doing #3).  Take the cake home in a big, preferably pink, bakery box. Eat it, slice by slice, and don’t share. But do pair it with nice red wines and by watching Food Network or that Matilda movie (who remembers Bruce Bogtrotter?).

5. The Weird Al Yankovich: Just Eat It

Anyhow, anyway, get yourself a slice of that dark brown, sugary chocolate heaven and put in your mouth. Rinse (milk, wine, water, your choice). Repeat. Guaranteed to add volume… to your waistline!

Categories: Food Tags: ,

January is National Blood Donor Month

It’s not too late to join in and support National Blood Donation Month! With the ongoing daily needs of blood in your city and to support the disaster relief in Haiti, it is as good a time as ever to donate blood!

In the time that it takes to crack open that Twilight book, you could give blood….

Blood is needed at all times, and donating can be done just by walking in. Find your local blood center by zip code or find your local Red Cross.

You must be in good health, at least 17 years old,  and weigh at least 110 pounds to be eligible to give blood in most states.

A pint of blood is the typical donation amount, and a pint can be donated every 8 weeks, sometimes even more often. Your donated blood is processed and available to help others within 48 hours, and blood centers strive to keep a 3 day supply on hand.

I know a 24 year old vegetarian who eats a high iron breakfast specifically to ensure she will be able to donate blood exactly every 8 weeks. She has been donating since she turned 17 and has given more than 5 gallons! She is extraordinarily proud of her dedication and told me once there is a lot of competition among the regular donors and donating so unfailingly makes her feel “hard-core”,  as in part of a dedicated & loyal group.  She knows she is making a difference, and feels it is very healthy for her.

Others just do it for the donuts.

How can you help? Walk into a blood center and donate. Go to blood drive and donate. Organize a drive at your school or work and donate with all your friends.

Save a life!