Archive for February, 2009

My Life as Mary Tyler Moore

Originally published on MySpace on February 27, 2009.
My friend Jack recently posted a line from the Mary Tyler Moore Show theme song as his Facebook status:

Jack can turn the world on with his smile. He can take a nothing day, and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile.”


I couldn’t get the song out of my head this morning as I got ready for work. I then realized that my life had become the theme song!

So, today as I walk across the big crosswalk to my office in the tallest building in Portland, perhaps I’ll toss a beret into the air and remember that Mary and I have a lot in common. We’re going to make it after all.

The song is called “Love is All Around,” by Paul Williams.

Who can turn the world on with her smile?
Who can take a nothing day, and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile?
Well it’s you girl, and you should know it
With each glance and every little movement you show it.

Love is all around, no need to waste it.
You can have a town, why don’t you take it.
You’re gonna make it after all.
You’re gonna make it after all.

How will you make it on your own?
This world is awfully big, girl this time you’re all alone.
But it’s time you started living.
It’s time you let someone else do some giving.

Love is all around, no need to waste it.
You can have a town, why don’t you take it.
You’re gonna make it after all.
You’re gonna make it after all.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBTWF1bDPn0[/youtube]

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Why Men Love Bitches: My Take on It

Originally published on MySpace on February 21, 2009.

Note: Do NOT get hung up on the term “bitch.” If you can’t get past that term just replace it with “confident” or “self assured.” This is not about the bitches we all know and despise. It’s about the strong confident women we know and admire.

I just finished reading two books by Sherry Argov, “Why Men Love Bitches,” and “Why Men Marry Bitches.”

Before you go all Postal on me let me explain Ms. Argov’s definition of “bitch.”

“When I use the term bitch, the woman I’m describing is not cruel or mean. … I use bitch in a tongue-in-cheek way. The term is intended to be satirical and is not intended to take itself too seriously. I use it to describe a strong woman who has her own identity and is secure with who she is.”

Ms. Argov interviewed hundreds of men to get the inside scoop on how men think, and from the polls I’ve done on my own, she is spot on with this book.

“Why Men Love Bitches” is a simple, honest look at why Bitches rule and Doormats drool. Most of us don’t want to be in a relationship with someone who doesn’t have an opinion, can’t make a decision, and always says, “Whatever makes YOU happy honey.”

There are 100 “Attraction Principles” in Why Men Love Bitches, and 75 “Relationship Principles” in Why Men Marry Bitches. Let’s look at a few:

Attraction Principle #1
Anything a person chases in life runs away.

Men are natural born hunters. They like to chase and catch their prey. Unfortunately I’m a bit of a hunter myself. I was never that wallflower who sat against the wall in the gym waiting for someone to ask me to dance. So this principle is probably the one I struggle with the most.


Attraction Principle #9

If the choice is between her dignity and having a relationship, the bitch will prioritize her dignity above all else.

I’ll keep my dignity, thank you.


Attraction Principle #30

Any time a woman competes with another woman, she demeans herself.

Been there. Done that. Done.


Attraction Principle #43

If you allow your rhythm to be interrupted, you’ll create a void. Then, to replace what you give up, you’ll start to expect and need more from your partner.

This is aimed directly at those of you who drop your friends and your own interests as soon as you get a relationship. When the relationship ends you feel a huge void because you let go of your own interests to be in the relationship. I learned a long time ago to never ever do this. I have a very full life, with or without a partner.


Attraction Principle #99

Truly powerful people don’t explain why they want respect. They simply don’t engage someone who doesn’t give it to them.

Amen!

While I don’t agree with everything Ms. Argov says in her books, I agree with about 95% of it.

I have recommended these books to all of my girlfriends and some of my guy friends. And let me tell you an interesting little factoid: the strong women love the books, the doormats hate the books. Why? Because they are not ready to face the fact that they are doormats.

So, if you happen to read the books and have a strong negative reaction, take a look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself why.

My friend Jean and I were discussing the books last night and she had an interesting perspective. She said, “These books are not just about how to be in a relationship. These books are about how to carry yourself through life.” So true.

So, if you read these books, read them from the perspective of how you can become that strong confident person you want to be in ALL of the relationships in your life, not just in the romantic relationships.

Bottom Line: Sherry Argov is not telling us anything we don’t know already. She’s just pointing out the obvious: confidence is sexy and attractive, insecurity is not.

http://www.sherryargov.com/

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A Bittersweet Valentine's Day

Originally published on MySpace on February 13, 2009.

While Valentine’s Day may be the most romantic day of the year for some, it will forever be a bittersweet holiday for me, because of the phone call I got on Valentine’s Day last year. The phone call that informed me that my good friend Eric’s daughter Ryanne had been killed in the Northern Illinois University shooting.

On February 14th, 2008, Steven Kazmierczak, a former NIU student, walked into a lecture hall at NIU, open fired on the students and then shot himself. A completely senseless act.

But, Eric and his wife Mary Kay see no sense in fighting violence with violence, and decided to start an education fund. In Eric’s words:

This is, in our opinion, a way to meet violence with
something other than force. We could go off on a campaign to prevent people from
getting guns or try to see to it that mentally unstable people are kept out of
society but that would be meeting force with force. By putting together this
scholarship, it is our hope that more psychological counselors will be created
that will help people. If we want to prevent school shootings by insane people,
it stands to reason that curing helping people who have those kinds of problems
will have a positive impact for someone in the future. I can’t effect a change
at a large level but if I can put something in place now that prevents someone
from going off the rails in the future, I will have left the world a better
place and honored not only Ryanne’s memory but tried to do some of the work that
is left undone by her death.

If you would like more information on the endowment, I’ve included a couple of links below. The
first one will take you to the NIU foundation’s site which has a series of links
to deal with questions about donations and all the other information that
someone might need about how the foundation works. The second link is
specifically for the Ryanne Mace Memorial Scholarship Fund explaining why it was
started and how it will work.
Here is the contact information for the representative for the NIU Foundation:
Teri Gensler
Gift and Estate Planning
Officer
Division of University
Advancement
Altgeld Hall 132
DeKalb, IL 60115
(815)753-1301


There will be numerous stories on CNN tomorrow to mark the anniversary. Here is a link to an interview that Eric did earlier this week:

CNN Story

One thing Eric said to me right after the shooting last year was, “Hug your kids more often. And tell people you love them every day.” Good advice.

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Harried Mom Coming Soon to Bus Stops and Billboards Near You

Originally posted on MySpace on February 6, 2009.

I recently booked a print ad for an organization called NARAL (Pro-Choice America), and I donated my time this afternoon to shoot for them. The ad campaign is for the Plan B (morning after) birth control pill. My role: Harried mom with two kids, who is hoping she is not pregnant yet AGAIN.

Production called me over the weekend to talk to me about wardrobe, call times, etc. The stylist (Paola) says, “You’re a mom, so bring mom clothes.” In my brain I’m thinking, oh please let me not be stuck in a pair of khakis and a baby blue sweater set in this ad.

“Paola,” I said. “Can I be a cool mom? Do I have to wear khakis and a sweater set?”

“Of course you’re a cool mom!” she said. Music to my ears.

So I showed up today wearing my True Religion jeans, a bling bling belt, and some layered shirts I got from another shoot. And I wore high heels! Shush, you did not! All moms wear ugly flats don’t they? Not this mom.

The first words out of Paola’s mouth were, “Love the jeans. Love the little tank and the belt. Lets change the sweater.” Sweet!

She actually put eyeliner, eye shadow and mascara on me, and a real shade of lipstick, and my hair was NOT in a ponytail. Wow. A mom who actually looked put together.

All shots were side profile, so I had to suck my stomach in flat for two hours straight (not an easy feat after having had three children!). I saw the ad concept, and I think it’s pretty cool. There will be words that form an outline of a pregnant belly on me, and the words will say, “Is now really a good time?” or something like that.

My job today: suck my stomach in and give a look like, oh please I hope I’m not pregnant again.

The ads will be on buses, bus stops, billboards, and various other spots around the Northwest. I don’t think it’s a national campaign. I should have pictures in a couple of weeks, and will post them when I get them.

Oh, and one more piece of good news… my agent called the minute I walked in the door tonight and said, “T-Mobile wants you for a print ad on Tuesday. Are you available?” Uh, yeah. Of course I’m available! T-Mobile! Are you kidding YES!

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Life, Lemons and Shiny Distractions

Originally published on MySpace on February 4, 2009.

When I think of the past three years of my life, I often think of the saying “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” because, frankly, life has given me more than my fair share of lemons, but I have learned how to make lemon drops!

Those of you who know me well in real life have heard me say that I have felt like I was rowing a tanker with a toothpick for the past few years. I knew I had to keep rowing even though I felt like the tanker was going nowhere. If I stopped rowing I would sink. So row I did.

Slowly I started noticing progress, but I had so many miles to go. The journey was costly, frustrating, tiring, and full of some of the most difficult challenges I have ever faced in my life. As Mike often said, “Kelly, your life is like an Elmore Leonard novel.” And it was.

I stopped journaling at home, and I didn’t blog about my challenges. Why? Because I didn’t want to give the negativity any more power than it already had. I felt that spending time writing things down would keep me from the task at hand: rowing that tanker with a toothpick.

But I want to tell you something. You have to keep rowing, and you have to believe you are moving forward even when it doesn’t feel like you’re making any progress.

I am so close to the end of this journey. I can see the port in the distance. Somehow I survived some life experiences that would have crushed most people. My friends often tell me they can’t believe how strong I am, how I persevere, and how I somehow remain optimistic.

I am an over achiever and very competitive with myself. No? Really? Failure is not an option when so much life is at stake.

Somehow I feel like a superhero who has spent the last three years in some alternate universe slaying dragons, demons, and all of her arch nemeses. I’ve been battered and battle weary, but I came out a stronger, more confident person.

The obstacles, the economy, and my recent breakup forced me to change my perspective on almost everything in my life. You appreciate life so much more when you’ve been down to the very bottom and had to fight your way back up to the light. You really do.

So, what’s next? I’m going to continue writing technical documentation for a living until I get my dream company off the ground. Huh? What dream company? I can’t tell you yet, but when I do tell you you’ll say, “Yes! That’s exactly what you should have been doing all along!”

P.S. You have to read “Why Men Love Bitches.” Made me laugh out loud when I wanted to cry. I just ordered Sherry Argov’s second book, “Why Men Marry Bitches,” which I hear is equally entertaining.

P.P.S. Ms. Argov defines a bitch as a woman who is strong, confident, and can hold her own in a relationship. Not the ‘bitch” you’re thinking about.

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