Go 4 It

What if all those greats we learn about in history, science and the arts sat on their thumbs wondering? If they stood frozen with fear of failure would we be driving cars, chatting online with far-flung friends or sitting in the dark at night?

It’s almost as if I’m being hit over the head with the same message, today. Two of my favorites in the blogging world posted some good ones about seizing opportunities. We all know some only present themselves once. The moment to fulfill the success to its greatest potential might not return a second time.

So, without further delay, here are the two posts that grabbed my attention this morning.

The Only Way to Guarantee Failure is Never to Try – Dances with Chaos

If You Want Something, Ask – She Takes on the World

Good luck in pursuing your dreams, today.

College Life Replays: Print Journalism Lesson #2 — A Riot Mixing Grain with Grapes

A few moments ago, I came across an excerpt from a quote George Clooney gave during a speech in Houston, recently … “Never mix grain with grape.”

As I sit drinking my glass of TerreDomini’s Montepulciano D’Abruzzo 2009 that quote takes me back to those first few weekends of freshman year at Western Michigan University. The irony is wine consumption was limited to whatever was the cheapest (i.e. Boones FarmMad Dog 20/20Bartles&Jaymes, etc.) and tasted fruitilicious. Further, I knew very little about the unpleasant effects brought on by mixing it up with Boones Farm Strawberry Hill and Keystone.

A Riot Mixing Grain with Grapes!

Love in an elevator
Livin’ it up when I’m goin’ down
Love in an elevator
Lovin’ it up till I hit the ground

— Aerosmith: Joe Perry, Steven Tyler

My roommates and I were strolling Kalamazoo’s Lafayette/Knollwood Avenue neighborhoods on the search for a keg party. We decided to check out California West Apartments; and we spy an open door as well as happy people drinking. B-E-E-R!

The happy people welcomed us, took our dollars and directed us to the keg line. As I filled my cup with Bud Light, I scanned faces in the apartment. Instead of seeing eye candy, I saw familiarity. Shit! I know these people!

Kyle
Comic Credit: John Fountain, Fountain’s Pen
Susan
Comic Credit: John Fountain, Fountain’s Pen

The editor-in-chief as well as the news, sports and A&E editors from the Western Herald were all there. I felt a sinking sensation in my heart similar to the one I experienced in Vegas upon realizing I might have unwittingly set my boss up for a dinner meeting at an exotic supper club.

But, within seconds — just like in Vegas — it became clear —despite the beer buzz — that all would be okay. I would still have a job the next morning. Six creative forces I became better acquainted with that evening included Kyle (editor-in-chief), Susan (news editor/party hostess), Jamie (A&E editor), J.C. Jensen (aka Coach/sports editor), Shirley (photo editor), John Fountain (Fountain’s Pen Comic Strip) and Carrie (assistant news editor/party hostess).

Shirley and John Fountain
Comic Credit: John Fountain, Fountain’s Pen

In fact, my appearance at this keg party initiated me into a group that would eventually expand to include quite a few Western Herald editors, writers, illustrators and business people. These individuals were not only newsroom mentors and peers; they were now friends who partied as hard as they worked honing their talents.

Lafayette Neighborhood Riots, October 18, 1989

Like grain and grapes there are certain ingredients that do not mix well. The combination of WMU’s Homecoming weekend and its annual football contest with Mid-American Conference (MAC) nemesis, Central Michigan University, is one well-documented example. I do not know what the MAC decision-heads were smoking when they scheduled this match-up for this particular weekend. WMU’s Homecoming is usually enough of a reason for photos — of students doing incredibly dumb things — to be plastered on front pages across local, state — and sometimes national — newspapers.

Photo/Scan Credit: Susan

WMU’s post-game festivities — as reported in the Western Herald and around the country — included wiener squirting contests, car-b-ques, and riots. S’mores anyone?

Grain and Grapes

Jamie
Comic Credit: John Fountain, Fountain’s Pen

As a freshman, the choice between drinking Boones Farm Strawberry Hill and Bud Light often settled upon whichever was available. Sometimes both were. What to do? Instead of drawing a hard, fast line, I usually opted to start with the wine. Then, when the wine bottle(s) went dry — due to sharing with friends — of course — switching to beer was common practice. I rarely succumbed to the unpleasant results of mixing grain and grapes.

But, then, there was that one night at another party Susan hosted…

Carrie
Comic Credit: John Fountain, Fountain’s Pen

As Michelle — a long-time writer friend — and I primped at her dorm room in Bigelow Hall, we slurped Boones Farm Strawberry Hill through the straws of our squeeze-bottles. At the party we played quarters with J.C., Susan, Carrie and a few others. My poor quarter-bouncing skills emptied my squeeze-bottle quickly. To stay in the game there was only one choice: Bud Light.

J.C. Jensen
Comic Credit: John Fountain, Fountain’s Pen

As you may recall from my College Life Replay last week, I am not a quitter. My quarter-bouncing skills just required some practice. So, why not fill up a glass; or two; or three; or four? Besides, I was among friends. They had my back and, plenty of sympathy later on that night 😦

Bonus Post: Lyric Status Friday — Beautiful Day

The heart is a bloom 
Shoots up through the stony ground 
There’s no room 
No space to rent in this town 

You’re out of luck 
And the reason that you had to care 
The traffic is stuck 
And you’re not moving anywhere 

You thought you’d found a friend 
To take you out of this place 
Someone you could lend a hand 
In return for grace 

It’s a beautiful day 
Sky falls, you feel like 
It’s a beautiful day 
Don’t let it get away

— Written by Bono and The Edge, music composed by U2.

I don’t know about you. But, U2 has been a favorite of mine since the ’80s. Each of U2’s songs showcases the band’s ability and consistent success with blending lyrics and music to deliver a powerful and lasting listening experience. The MP3 I use on my 5k training runs is loaded with tracks from U2’s Elevation and How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb albums.

Previous Bonus Posts from kateschannel.wordpress.com on Lyric Status Friday …

Outshined, Chris Cornell — Soundgarden

Crazy Train, Ozzy Osbourne, Randy Rhoads, Bob Daisley

Times Like These, Dave Grohl — Foo Fighters

College Life Replays: Print Journalism Lesson #1 — Go For It!

The 1989-1990 Western Herald editorial team. All are/were creative forces. Sports Editor, Jim Jensen, is deceased, but is a key reason why I love football so much. Comic Credit: John Fountain, Fountain’s Pen, the last strip for the 1989-1990 editorial year.

If you hear the song I sing,
You must understand
You hold the key to love and fear
All in your trembling hand
Just one key unlocks them both
It’s there at your command

C’mon people now,
Smile on your brother
Ev’rybody get together
Try and love one another right now
Right now
Right now!

—  Written by Chet Powers

Go For It vs. Play It Safe

Faunce Student Services Center (the Bird Cage) on WMU’s Campus. Photo Credit: wmich.edu

I was about four weeks into my freshman year as a print journalism student at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Mich., when I saw the ad in the student newspaper, Western Herald. It invited aspiring journalists to an orientation meeting at the Herald offices located in the basement of the Faunce Student Services Center — called the Bird Cage by faculty and students — on the western edge of WMU’s main campus.

Originally, I planned to stay away from any extra-curricular activities until sophomore year. In response to seeing this ad, the rational, play-it-safe side of my brain said, “Don’t go. Get a grip! Focus on studying and adjust to “college” life.”

My intuition said, “Go for it! Why wait?”

Herald Office/Bird Cage location in proximity to other buildings on campus. Many of these did not exist during my years there (1989-1994). Photo Credit: wmich.edu

So, at the date and time stated in the ad, my intuition and I walked into the Herald offices. We listened with great interest to the editorial team talk about the various sections of the paper. All needed for more writers. Prior journalism experience wasn’t necessary. Bonus!

I knew taking the opportunity to write for the Herald was as vital to my professional success as acing all of my classes. There isn’t coursework out there that surpasses the experience one gains from practicing what will be expected in the newsrooms around the globe. Student newspapers at both Central Michigan University and Michigan State University wouldn’t have even glanced at freshmen-level, inexperienced writers.

As I left the Herald offices that afternoon, I heard the The Youngblood’s rendition of Chet Power’s Get TogetherI would later associate this song along with Elton John’s Rocket Man and Depeche Mode’s Personal Jesus with time spent in the Herald offices during fall and winter semesters. There I conducted interviews, wrote and edited copy and learned the inner-workings and politics of a newsroom.

During the long trek back to Ackley-Shilling, I felt pride swelling in my chest. For once I had taken a risk. I listened to my gut; and went with it. My first story assignment for the Herald was stowed in my backpack. I had decided to begin my Herald experience with the arts and entertainment section. Later that evening — using the press release and accompanying information — I wrote a draft to use while typing the story into the computer when it was due back in a couple days.

Goldsworth Valley 1: Ackley-Shilling. Photo Credit: wmich.edu

As promised, I returned to the Herald offices with my what I thought was a completed story. I typed it into one of the MacIntosh computers reserved for the paper’s writers in the Herald’s copy room. Upon keying it in, I let the A&E editor know I was finished. Within seconds, he told me it was a great re-write of the press release, but not what the Herald needed as a finished piece.

The story needed more details as well as quotes from the sources listed on the press release. They were closely connected with the piece I was writing and would give depth to the story. As I listened to the fair, but telling critique, obtaining the said quotes and details meant picking up the telephone, punching the phone numbers in, and talking to people.

One of the MacIntosh dinosaurs in the Herald copy room in the early ’90s. Photo Credit: One of my fellow Herald alums.

Those who know me today, might be trying to stifle a giggle at this admitted bought of shyness. But, it’s true. Up until that day, I hated calling people on the phone — I was not well acquainted with — to ask questions. This particular situation was pushing me to ask experienced media and public relations professionals relevant, intelligent, and quote-producing questions. Gulp!

Well, I couldn’t just sit there looking at the phone. I needed more details and some good quotes. The A&E editor was counting on me; I couldn’t let him down. Plus, I wanted more writing assignments. After three successes, I would receive payment (beer money) for each story the Herald printed.

“Go for it,” I said to myself. “Think about attending Bud Light keg parties instead of the ones offering Natural Light.”

So, I made my list of questions and called my first source. After that, each time I needed to make over-the-phone or in-person interviews, the whole Q&A bit became easier. In fact, my ability to swallow my fear and forget my anxiety that day prepared me for what I would do later in my career as a writer. I had deadlines to meet, this is what was required, and I would do my best.

To me, the success stories in the creative world are all about going for it; and taking risk. Those creative forces — writers, filmmakers, actors, photographers, artists, designers, stylists, painters, chefs, etc. — who inspire me all push the envelop to evolve, develop their talent, and achieve their goals.

Some of those creative forces worked right along side of me in the Herald offices in the Bird Cage. But, you’ll have to wait until next week to obtain a glimpse of who they are.

Bonus Post: Lyric Status Friday — Outshined

Chris Cornell of Soundgarden and Audioslave
Chris Cornell of Soundgarden and Audioslave (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So now you know
(Who gets mystified)
So now you know
(Who gets mystified)

Show me the power child, I’d like to say
That I’m down on my knees today
It gives me the butterflies, gives me away
‘Til I’m up on my feet again
I’m feeling, I?m feeling
Outshined, outshined, outshined, outshined

— Chris Cornell, Soundgarden

You can count on it. This won’t be the last song I promote on Bonus Post Friday. Chris Cornell is one of my faves. Soundgarden, Audioslave, solo, what have you. It’s all good. Damn good.

But, Outshined, is my absolute top when it comes to the Cornell’s magic. It blares inside my car while I drive around checking errands off my list. I envision my college days. The scenes center on the entry-level, night-course I took on graphic arts/printing. My classmates and I are busy creating. Then, in the midst of screen-printing some t-shirts, Chris Cornell belts Outshined from the in-ceiling speakers or from someone’s boom box (it was still the ’90s, people).

7 at 12:25: Things to Know About Me and New Kreativ Blogs I Love

As promised, I am sitting in my writer’s chair thinking about those two 7-at-11-ish lists I need to publish. One needs to contain 7 things I remember about myself that are appropriate for public consumption. The second requires selecting a meager seven blogs — from my just-updated blogroll — to bestow this great honor upon.

7 Things…

Thing 1: I am nearly out of ice cream, which is my favorite summertime treat. This means a grocery-store run is in the cards for tomorrow.

Thing 2: My daughter thinks my favorite store is Meijer’s, which is my local has-everything store. While it’s convenient, I despise going there. Here’s why: I am there almost every day. My 40-year-old brain just doesn’t remember all the items that must make it into my cart; even when I have a list. That means repeat trips for one item, which then, of course, turns into more.

Thing 3: Favorite retail locations include DSW, Parisian, Lord & Taylor, Ann Taylor, Old Navy, Gap, Rochester, Mich., Village of Rochester HillsRoyal Oak, Birmingham, Partridge Creek, Ann Arbor, NYC, San Francisco, and New Hope, Penn. Shopping for fun stuff such as clothing, shoes, handbags and bling gives me a high like nothing else.

Thing 4: The rootbeer-flavored vodka in the fridge from Hard Luck Candy Vodka is giving me flashbacks to that Faygo Boat Song/TV ad; and riding the Boblo Boat for my dad’s company picnics back in the ’70s.

Photo credit: The Detroit Fly Blog, WordPress.com

Thing 5: My dad is a sailor. Before marriage and children, he purchased Veliero, a 32-foot Galaxy. He raced and cruised Veliero from Bayview Yacht Club until 2009 when he sold it at age 80. His love for spending breezy, sunny afternoons sailing the waters of the Great Lakes took hold of me before I learned to walk and talk. I was only 10 months old when he secured me to stern in my baby walker for a sailing trip to the Georgian Bay.

Thing 6: My maternal grandmother is a fourth cousin to Charlie Gehringer,  one of the greatest second basemen of all time and Detroit Tiger from 1924-1942.

Charlie Gehringer, Detroit Tigers
Photo credit: Wikipedia

Thing 7Guilty pleasures include watching ABC’s Once Upon a Time and Bravo’s Real Housewives of OC, NYC, and New Jersey; reading Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum/Wicked series; and playing Angry Bird.

Kreativ Blog Nominees

I must say I feel a bit like a player on Donald Trump‘s The Apprentice. Here I sit at his boardroom table. Friends and foes are on both teams.

Then the question from Mr. Trump himself:

Kate, who are your seven nominees and why?

All eyes are waiting for this list to post. If it’s bad and exclusive; I could be seeing ugly blog stats in the morning (and who wants that on a Friday?) and an exodus of followers. So, like The Apprentice players who stay in the game a while, I’m going dance around this question; and then waffle a little.

My list of nominees is…

to the right. See the section called, Blogroll. I nominate each and every blog listed for the Kreativ Blogger Award. So, I’m going to list new blogs I love that haven’t been added to the right, yet. Don’t worry. My blogroll will include them all — and probably more — for easy clicking soon enough.

The Detroit Fly

The IdentitySpecialist

Pearl’s twirl

Coeva, the novel

Sillyfrog’s Blog

ChocolatesandRaspberries

Crazy Cool Comics

orangespicedrop

memyselfandkids

Gin & Lemonade

All Write

Good People Find Good People: Kreativ Blogger Award Acceptance Speech

One week ago I met Susan, author and blogger at Sillyfrog’s Blog. Immediately, I felt an instant connection. The vibrant photo of a frog adorning her header made me think of my daughter Issa’s passion for animals and natural wonders. Then, upon reading some of Susan’s posts I found her love for children, family, and nature to an irresistible element to her writings. Finally, her creativity inspires.

With these thoughts about Susan’s personal and creative accomplishments, it is with great honor that I accept her nomination for the Kreativ Blogger Award. Once again, I am called to revisit a favorite quote I posted about a couple weeks ago, “Good people, find good people.”

I do believe in the connections — virtual or personal — people make with one another. To ensure I follow the code for being a blogger with some manners, there are rules I must follow upon accepting the Kreativ Blogger Award. They are …

  1. Copy the Kreativ Blogger Award logo and place it in your post. (Check)
  2. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog. (Check)
  3. List 7 things about you that people might find interesting. (7 at 11 tonight)
  4. Nominate 7 other bloggers for their own Kreativ Blogger Award. (Ditto #4)
  5. Leave a comment on the blogs you nominate to let them know about the award. (Ditto)

Remember when dittos were the norm? I loved getting out of class to make dittos for my teachers. Those were the days. What did you like getting of class to do?

Related posts …

Kreativ Blogger Award (sillyfrogsusan.wordpress.com)

Good People Find Good People (kateschannel.wordpress.com)

Bonus Post: Lyric Status Friday – Crazy Train

Ozzy Osbourne, Prince of Darkness, at the I Am...
Ozzy Osbourne, Prince of Darkness, at the I Am Ozzy book signing at Changing Hands, Tempe Arizona, Feb 20th, 2010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

All aboard! Ha ha ha ha ha ha haaaa! 

Ay, Ay, Ay, Ay, Ay, Ay, Ay 

Crazy, but that’s how it goes 
Millions of people living as foes 
Maybe it’s not too late 
To learn how to love 
And forget how to hate 

 — Ozzy OsbourneRandy Rhoads and Bob Daisley.

I like this Bonus Post idea. Do you?

After all it is Friday. What could be better? The school/work week is coming to an end; and weekend fun can commence in mere hours.

Today, I have Ozzy Osbourne’s Crazy Train playing on repeat in my head. It’s the tune I associate with watching my beloved Detroit sports teams. I don’t know what it is about this song. But, it revs me up each time it plays for the Lions, Red Wings, Tigers or Pistons.

Related previous posts …

Beautifully Said (kateschannel.wordpress.com)

Bonus Post: Lyric Status Friday, April 20 (kateschannel.wordpress.com)

A Head Full of Posts

A new blogging friend, Kayla at The Gen Y Girl, inspired the title of this post. She mentioned jotting her millions of ideas on Post-Its. She stores them in her purse for future reference. I do the same. Sometimes I have to be outta my writer’s chair to drive my children around, clean my house, socialize with family and friends, walk Buddy (my adorable Pekingese), or visit my gym (which I haven’t done in months). Whenever I have an idea; and I’m not at home, I have to be prepared. At a minimum, I have a pen, pencil or crayon at the ready; as well as paper scraps (hopefully without gum stuck to them).

Currently, my head is crafting a series of posts related to a fave quote I referenced here last week. The series has transformed into much more than I originally envisioned. This transformation happened while in car waiting — with my son, Riff — for Issa (my daughter) to complete a reading session with her tutor on Tuesday. On the back of a coloring book page I found in my glove compartment, I made notes about this series and then doodled a bit. I realized Part 1 of the series would take a bit more time to ensure a quality post. So, be on the look out in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, you can count on me to write on a few other ideas.

 

Creative Forces: Gotta Love Johnny Depp

Jonny Depp as Captian Jack Sparrow in Madame T...
Jonny Depp as Captian Jack Sparrow in Madame Tusauds in London, taken in June 2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am not one to post much about celebrities. It’s just not my realm of expertise. Further, I’m a bit removed from identifying with those who live to chase, take shots, jabs or whatever to sell gossip. While on a stakeout to investigate my son and his behavior issues at school, he spied me within 30 minutes of me being assigned to my post. So, I would get a big fail as a spy or paparazzi member.

But, I am not above giving kudos to creative forces in film who make watching movies an incredible experience. So, I might as well lead with my all-time favorite, who never disappoints me in any film he carries or supports. That would by Johnny Depp. I really revel in his ability to study and become the characters he portrays. While this little sneak-peek at his Tonto look does come off as a bit too much like his Jack Sparrow, I still think it’s a notable transformation. I am waiting with eager anticipation to see The Lone Ranger.

http://www.usmagazine.com/entertainment/news/the-lone-ranger-johnny-depp-explains-bizarre-tonto-makeup-2012254