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"He who knows his WHY in life can live through any HOW" - Victor Frankl

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Inside Bobbi Brown Studio: Beauty & the Team

It’s no secret that women today are hustlers: students, coaches, chefs, executives, designers, principals, doctors, architects, and moms; many double as breadwinner, confidant, community leader, and trendsetter. With no time to abandon any of “these games,” self expression, individuality, and confidence are the creative play’s necessary to pull up- towards elite status. Part of that challenge, according to Bobbi Brown, Beauty Expert, Entrepreneur, and New York Times best seller, is to look good, and feel good, too. This lifestyle balance- on and off the field, is the apex of the reinstated national, women’s, professional, soccer league: Sky Blue Soccer.

Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) league will resurrect in the Tri-State area next year. “In spring 2009, we will have three national teams in New York, New Jersey and Boston,” announced Ian Sawyers, Sky Blue General Manager at the “Look Good, Feel Good-Sky Blue Soccer Event” at Bobbi Brown Studio, Thursday, August 14th 2008 at 6:00 PM. “Sky Blue will be replacing the now folded WUSA league,” he continued.

Women’s United Soccer Association ardently began in 2000 and scored three seasons before declining ratings and diminishing attendance caused investors to suspend operations. Sawyers remarked, “We have new investors, and a stronger soccer community both here on the East Coast, and more specifically New York and New Jersey. There is a huge demand and we are here to earn the respect of the soccer community.”

In studio, Domenique Esposito, a seasoned forward for the 2008 W-League doubled as model for the feel-good event. An A-Team artist demonstrated Bobbi Brown’s signature 10-Step Beauty routine for a polished look at any time of day. At its conclusion, audience members participated in technique and myth Q&A, followed by a Bobbi Brown makeover. Each audience model received a customized map of pallets and products used to create their unique look.

Esposito commented,
“I’m in a league short of going pro. Whether I’m on the field playing, in a studio, on interviews, or practicing, I need to look good and be healthy.” This dual philosophy is the synergistic force that drew Sawyers to Brown. “Bobbi is committed to showing women and girls the balance between beauty and health. She encourages grass roots community leadership and so many other things that Sky Blue is trying to achieve,” said Sawyer.

Bobbi Brown currently works with
Dress for Success, a program which provides interview suits for underprivileged women as well as a Bobbi Brown beauty treatment, consultation, and an at-home essentials kit to recreate the look themselves. She has also played an instrumental part in the organizations’ fundraisers for continued community outreach.

Julie Foudy Sports Leadership Academy and Soccer Without Boarders are two community leadership initiatives teaming up with the 2009 league. Sawyers said, “The synergy between athletics, health, and beauty- ACL injury prevention, weight management, developing your voice in the world…it comes down to self-concept and having a strong vibrant personality.” These are the images that Sky Blue and Bobbi Brown diligently work to portray.

The WPS season starts April, 2009, with Bobbi Brown’s signature face. For whatever reason you’re thanking the sky, feeling good while looking great is an awesome goal for everyone.

From the hand of…


Sunday, August 17, 2008

When Youth Reminisce

The Reminiscents, an eleven-piece teen band stopped the New York/New Jersey commuter traffic in their tracks at the World Trade Center Path Station on Thursday, August 8th. The Jersey City Arts High School program at New Jersey City University features, three vocalists: Atahya McKnight, Rosaline Bailey, and Elvia Ferreira and seven instrumentalists: trombonists, Shawn McCauley and Iggy Hermann, saxophonists Cara Scalcione-Hahn and Hamad Wajid, keyboardist Jacob Carlin, drummer Errold Lanier, and dual electric and bass guitarists Brittany Barrera and Michael Realista. The band features Pop, Rock-n-Roll, and Jazz favorites from Elvis Presley to Aretha Franklin, impressing crowds in Atlantic City, Metropolitan open spaces, senior centers, and museums.

The Reminiscent’s are the first artists to perform at the landmark location since the September 11th attacks. At their Hoboken, NJ, Frank Sinatra Park performance on Tuesday, August 12th, Jacob Carlin, 18, reflects on the Path performance. "It's a real honor to be the first [band] to perform there since 9-11. When we got there, I saw the quiet looks on everyone’s face coming in and out [the station]. We got to put smiles there again."

The Reminiscent’s have made smiles appear on a variety of audience’s faces since the program began June 9th this year. Atahya McKnight, 16, said, "We've also performed at Journal Square, Harborside Financial Center, and Newark International Airport. It's a lot of fun, and we get to do what we love." Rosline Bailey, 16, adds, “We get to show other kids our age and those part of the Youth Corp., that there are other ways to give back to the community.”

The one-hour performance included a twelve-hit playlist. The Beatles, "With A Little Help From My Friends," The Shirelles, "Mama Said," and Edgar Winter’s "Free Ride," to name a few, represent a repertoire atypical of the 21st century, teen listener. To that end, fifteen-year-old Brittney Barrera says, “Music is music. I have an old soul, so I love it. But the music we play is the foundation of all music played today. So, I’m in the back grooving to beats and tunes that’s real music.”

Positive peer-to-peer influence is a strong acclimation for the program and the capabilities of urban youth. Errold Lanier, 17 and program veteran says, “I’ve been part of the New Jersey Youth Corp program for four years now. I’m always learning different aspects of music, and I’m working on my signature style like Elvin Jones one of my favorite drummers. It’s also seeing how fortunate I am to be in my position that’s great, too—I’m glad I take my education seriously, so I can be a leader to those I work with in the corp.”

Cara Scalscione-Hahn, 16, also recognized the value of stepping outside normalcy. “Nowadays, you have to be open to try new things to figure out what’s best for you. I had been playing the clarinet for seven years and picked up the sax for about a year now. I figured it was beneficial to know both; if I want to play in a jazz band verses playing in a Classical band.”

The arts program has equipped these teens with an opportunity to develop confidence within a skill set. Carlin explains, “I didn’t realize going into this how much work it was really going to be. Sometimes rehearsals are stressful and moving equipment, too. But, the best [aspect] is that all of our hard work, our teamwork makes the performance. When we see people come to us and even start dancing, it’s awesome and worth it!”

Carlin’s sentiment is shared by his colleagues, and their experiences have prepared them for an international audience. In August 2009, The Reminiscents will travel to Oberhavel, Germany as two-time participants in the annual, Begegnungen Oberhavel-Internationales Kulturtreffen. The Oberhavel International Culture Festival is a ten-day workshop that focuses on uniting the generations based on mutual respect, global peace, and cultural tolerance through musical expression. “[Last year] we bonded with a group from Finland almost instantly-probably because they spoke the best English. I’ve kept in touch with some of them through email and instant messenger, and I hope I have life-long [international] friends,” says Carlin.

The Reminiscents continue to accept donations for the 2009 trip. “Anyone who is interested in making a donation is encouraged to contact me through email or phone at 973-876-9846 or nsdrum00@yahoo.com,” says program producer and director Ned Stroh. Booking and general information inquires should be directed there as well.

“We get to touch people’s lives, in different environments. You can’t beat the feeling,” Bailey says in closing. “No matter what, whether in the blazing sun or pouring rain, we are here to sell the show.” A sale this group will forever reminisce.

From the hand of...


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Comparative Shopping for Humans

standard - d.3 – a minimal requirement that defines quality, quantity, level, or grade

During a typical NYC commute home, I stopped at a Broadway & Fulton St. bank for a simple transaction. The objective: obtain a Signature guarantee on a letter addressed to Putnam Investments (portfolio management company), from a financial institution of which I hold an account. The investment banker who made everything complicated: “Nicole.”

I entered the bright premises and note the twelve, uniformed, non-teller associates point and click on screens and hold conversations. There were so many staff members available I didn’t know whom to approach-nervous to insult someone’s rank or title for my free request.

Finally, one Banker offered assistance, and I asked for the signature guarantee. As I waited, he spoke softly to a female banker who glanced in my direction with a blank look on her face. I managed to eavesdrop an “uh...okay” before “Nicole” moved in my direction. She motioned for me to follow her to consultation seating. I handed Nicole my letter and accompanying documentation, and she reviewed them. She then asked me how she could help me.

Her question started the agitation. I repeated the service I needed, and Nicole verified my account information in the system. After she saw I wasn’t lying, she said “Great, let me ask you something, do you bank or invest with any another financial institution?” At this point, agitation gave way to aggravation. Not only was she holding a document in her hand that clearly answered her question, what did it have to do with my reason for being there?

For some reason, I humored Nicole. I told her yes on both accounts. Apparently, this was her cue to ask more detailed questions: the institutions name, types of accounts, savings amounts, and whether I considered this bank, as an alternative portfolio management option. I told her I hadn't previously thought about switching (trying to remain sweet and civil). And so Nicole made her pitch, which to my dissatisfaction, consisted of two sole points: a declaration of corporate backing, and exponential branch locations. So here I am, twenty minutes in; no signature guarantee, and a completely ignored interjection that I had no intention of leaving Putnam.

Although annoyed, I told myself it couldn’t hurt to let her finish. I was totally wrong! Why, because Nicole called Investment Banking Manager “Jim" up to the stand to testify. This perhaps could have been a smart idea, if Jim had provided reasoning that differed from Nicole’s. Not only was this not the case, Jim manages to say, “I’ve heard of Putnam, they’re a good company. I personally don’t work with them, but they are a good company. But if you are ever interested in leaving...” and finished using the same two, uninspiring points.

When God finally ended this test of patience, I thanked Jim for his time, and watched he and Nicole leave; she with my documents in hand. Nicole returned in about forty-five seconds, to tell me that she couldn't provide the stamp because I signed the letter without a bank witness-go figure!

Maybe the signature rule isn't a bad one. Perhaps, it only sounds stupid when you listen to financial advice that says, come over and let us manage your life-savings because we have a good name and lots of locations. So what if we don't give you tangible evidence that proves we are looking out for your best interest, or equipping you with the information necessary to make a valid decision.

Standard audience as a reminder, never let unqualitative reasoning from brand institutions influence your financial decisions. Conduct your own research, ask tough questions, and shop comparatively!

From the hand of…


Monday, August 4, 2008

Constitutional Opini-Nation

standard - d.2 – the rule, principal, or authority that is used as the basis for judgment.

The Pink Standard is first and foremost, an escort through a subjective analysis of my life. This same diary that will become a formidable opponent to any REM schedule, will serve as my archived, recorded quote. Programmed by reality TV forwardness, and prepared by a tenacious taste for public criticism, I hope to capture my personal and professional cultivation through self-reflection and audience interaction.

At this crucially, pivotal and exciting time in my life, I welcome the opportunity to share a professional opinion with the intellectual community. The New Jersey/New York metropolitan area continues as a perennial, effector on American culture, economics, and policy, harboring a community of increasingly opinionated individuals who are receptive to paradoxical change.

I recognize life experiences, influences, and inhibitors as a will-shaping triad; a substantial element in exercising point of view. This parallels the playing field. Suddenly, civil and individual critiques are as qualifying as political gorilla suggestion, to the self-educated public. The desire to collect information, ascertain its meaning, and then validate arguments, explains the feasibility for an open source society; the form of governance that should be the humankind standard.

As a post 9-11, post I-phone, post-ARM New American culture- we, the righteously impetuous voter have an alimony-esque, Constitutional right to objectively op-ed-out on societal shifts and shuffles.

From the hand of…


Saturday, August 2, 2008

TG Chronicle.v.1 - A Standard Created

standard - d.2- an authoritative criteria by which future encounters are judged; a model.

Post graduation, I knew I wanted to blog. With time available for creative writing, application apathy and interview indigestion were on the blog horizon. May 20th came and went without a single post. I couldn't write because I needed to recapture my fantasy edge, the ability to take everyday life interactions and creatively develop alternate existences or fashion an opinion that captures societal tendencies to foster responses and discussions. Week after week I found myself unable to find a stream of consciousness about anything. My business, recent graduation, media stories, nor colleagues seemed as focal as the prospect of solidarity.

Playing the field has rendered one miserable disaster after the other. Cheaters, stalkers, swindlers, and vengeful baby-mama drama are just some of the perilous encounters that have made me a stronger person, but damn near killed me. Why should I, an educated, self-aware, attractive professional be forced to follow P-Ditty's philosophy? Going through the pain to experience the joy is not a standard to bank, but a lackluster formula which, unfortunately, has been the tired way that I've discerned the good, bad and ugly.

When my ex, who I will refer to as K5, became my stalker, and then half of my vocabulary landed on plates in front of my dates, I grazed the perimeter of depression. After four years of this formula, I eventually shut down. I stopped dating (or "entertaining prospects" because I always provided the financial and physical means of dates and therefore never considered any outing a date) and started praying. My prayers weren't just for a boyfriend or a long-term resolution, but for the opportunity to experience something better than mediocrity or subservience.

For the sake of unabridged fairness to myself, I decided to try one final time. I jumped back into the encounter scene, and in a Craigslist instant, I had a week of amazing dates. My awesome week with TG, a handsome and kind technical genius was the creative catalyst that answered the call. To my surprise, I've experienced a dating standard, a criteria by which all future encounters will be judged. TG, my macchiato’d Mr. Opportunity boarded the 129 to our uncertainty on Friday. His destination: Maryland; his legacy: my realization that ignorant, uneducated, irresponsible, and cheap roughnecks are not all the East Coast has to offer.

That perfectly placed Sex in the City episode is always the icing on the cake. Carrie always recognized dialogue and actions of a moment, as light shining on internal wants and desires. I certainly noticed TG as chivalry in daily dosages, nobility in genteel narrative, and unyielding generosity. Despite his departure, I'm optimistic. I had the best week ever, and I now have, The Standard. All aboard!

From the hand of…