Wednesday, July 24, 2013

LIVIN THE DREAM...PT 2




On Sunday (7.21.13), my first radio show, Jammin Jukebox Radio, celebrated its 1-yr anniversary of its debut and also 1-yr of broadcasting on Blogtalk Radio (BTR). It was quite a show with over 200 live listeners and LOTS of great music! 



Suffice it to say, when I began my show a year ago, I didn't really know what to expect. My goal was to play Indie artists' music and hope that one person out there would listen, like, and buy it. It's incomprehensible to me that over 750K listeners have heard the nearly 200 Indie artist interviews and scores of music. The platform that BTR has provided for me to help these Indie artists be heard has helped open doors and take them to new heights not yet realized. Many of the Indies have gone on to do multiple interviews, put out more awesome music, and some have even been signed to record labels. It's been an amazing journey for which I am extremely grateful! None of this would have been possible, however, had God not given me a deep love and passion for music & radio and orchestrated events in my own life that brought me to BTR and this mission to serve these Indies in a way like never before. 

So Year 2 is officially underway. Our 1st show of this 2nd year took place on 7.23.13 with a return guest from our 1st year, Margo Rey. She recently released the remake of the hit, "Tempted", originally done by the former 80s band, Squeeze. The single broke into the Billboard Top 20 AC Chart; making this Margo's 4th single to make it onto the Billboard's Top 20. Quite an accomplishment to be sure! 



Margo also shared about an organization very near and dear to her, called Brides Against Breast Cancer for which she has been appointed as National Ambassador. She, herself, is a two-time cancer survivor. Her hit, "Let the Rain," a top 20 Billboard charting song, has been selected by the organization as the theme song for a new BABC nationwide campaign.  



BABC accepts bridal gown donations that are then sold to brides-to-be for a fraction of their original cost. Proceeds then go towards Breast Cancer research. Donors can also donate via text at the banner below. 



I'd say Year 2 is off to a fabulous start and what better way to kick it off than speaking with the lovely and immensely talented, Margo Rey, about an awesome cause. It was great speaking with her again and look forward to having her back on the show in the very near future. 

Stay tuned...Year 2 is gonna rock your socks off! 

CHEERS! 








Sunday, July 21, 2013

FINALLY....AT LONG LAST...

....I've found a hair stylist that I REALLY, REALLY like!! 

It happened recently. On a whim I decided to 'walk-in' to my neighborhood hair salon. My hair had reached that point of desperate change. It didn't help that it was the day before my son's high school graduation and something needed to be done PRONTO! 



I should have realized that my luck was on my side when I told my 15-year old daughter that I was going to get my hair professionally colored and cut. She shot me a look of disbelief at first that quickly turned into one of sheer relief. You see, for years I have been my own 'stylist'. My hair wasn't all-bad but it wasn't all-good either. I've lost count how much money I've given to Loreal...but let's just say, it's been a small fortune. I've cut and trimmed my own hair, which wasn't bad for an amateur without training. But it wasn't professional. My daughter knew this. I don't think she actually thought for a second I was serious. 

I called her bluff.

Even though the sign in the window beckoned walk-ins, I never dreamed in a million years I would actually be able to get a cut and color with no appointment. These things take time after all, and believe me time is what was needed to make over this head of hair. I was prepared to be turned away and getting ready to head to Wal-Mart to pick up Dark Mahogany Brown. 


They called my bluff. 

As a matter of fact, they did have time to do a cut and color. What were the chances of that?? This either was going to be a very good thing or a very bad thing. It wasn't too late to back out but I don't think my daughter would have let me if I'd tried. 

This very nice girl that couldn't have been more than a few years out of high school invited me to her chair. Kaylin was beautiful and had gorgeous long, black hair. She was young, trendy, slender, and did I mention beautiful?? She looked like a stylist. She was hip, modern, and I immediately felt like there might be hope for my hair. After all, anything had to be a VAST improvement over Dark Mahogany Brown and 90s styled loose-curled hair. We discussed my hair history; the colors, the styles, and the gray. After her assessment she ventured into this tiny room and came back with a color or two or three. She explained she was going to dye my roots and then do a pull-thru rinse. For a second I thought I heard my roots scream with glee. I had no idea what a pull-thru rinse was but it sounded hopeful and to be sure, I was about to find out. 

Kaylin did my roots first. If early indications meant anything, this color was going to be good. Score! Next, I had to sit for a bit to let the color kick-in. Heck, I was willing to sit there all day if it covered up those dastardly roots! After about forty-five minutes, Kaylin did the pull-thru rinse which is basically using a different color that literally gets pulled through your hair to add highlight, sheen, and to enhance your color. Who knew?! 

She rinsed, shampooed, conditioned and when that was complete I could tell the color was going to be fab. Ummm...did I just say fab?? My daughter would just die if she knew I used that lingo. 

Anyway...

Now it was time for the cut. Here is where I always get nervous when a hairstylist starts cutting my hair. I've had cuts that didn't go so well and most always never look like the pictures in the books that I picked out beforehand. This was the one and only time I didn't have a 'picture prop' to bring with me. I was completely winging it. I had nada. Zilch. I was toast! The only descrip I could muster was, "maybe long layers...I don't know...just don't chop it all off". Yeah, that had to of been helpful. 



But to my surprise, as Kaylin cut my hair, it was as if she knew exactly the kind of cut I wanted. It wasn't too short. It had long layers and most of all it wasn't a cut that was dramatic. IT WAS PERFECT! 

On top of that she styled my hair just right. It didn't end up looking like I was from another planet. You know how some stylists get all crazy on your hair. They do these off the wall styles that might look great on the pages of a fashion mag, but certainly would garner some strange looks and double takes if worn in my little small NC town. 

Fast forward six weeks...just had my hair cut and colored again today.  

I do believe I've found my new stylist. I gladly kicked Dark Mahogany Brown to the curb. Our relationship is history. From now on I'll dig for change in my couch cushions if need be to go get my hair 'did'. My amateur stylist days are over. 





Friday, July 19, 2013

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CHRISTMAS IN JULY...



"Chestnuts roasting on an open fire..." 

Okay, okay, before you abandon this post for something a little more seasonal, let me explain! 

It's that time of year when my kids think I'm absolutely strange; that I've gone bonkers and belong in a loony bin. (No, not really, but it sounded good she says in her most matter of fact tone) Ummm...yes, they really do think that!! 


Anyway...


Once July 4th is over my mind begins drifting to the holiday season; which suffice it to say, will be here before we know it. I know by now you are probably thinking I'm loony too. But in my defense, it's not that far off and if you are a parent you know all too well that it takes MONTHS of planning for those special gifts for our kids...unless of course you are one of those lucky few that has a stash of money in a bank account, just won the lottery, robbed a bank...well, you get the picture...


Anyway...


This weekend marks Christmas in July on my favorite shopping channel, QVC. Now you're probably saying..."oh, she's one of THOSE people" Why yes, as a matter of fact I am. I love it! (Bet you never saw that one coming...) I truly enjoy getting a preview of all their new items for the upcoming holiday season. The grand irony is I typically don't buy anything but it's like window shopping and I get great ideas that I'll implement when the holiday season OFFICIALLY arrives a few months from now. 




And yes, I listen to Christmas music...a TON of it! QVC usually succeeds in putting me in the holiday spirit! 


It's also the time of year when my mind turns to my annual holiday programming that will commence on my radio station. This year I've created a second radio station on Live365.com called Yuletide Radio, that will play 'all Christmas music, all the time". As we draw closer to the holiday season I'll share details about it. 


"It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas..."







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Thursday, July 18, 2013

ACCIDENTAL OVERDOSE OR A NEW FORM OF SUICIDE?

In recent years our society has lost a multitude of celebrities to what has been termed as 'accidental overdose' of a lethal combination of drugs and alcohol. It's a commonality among those who have lost their lives in this way. Is it really an accidental overdose as much as the medical professionals and media warrant or possibly something more?




As more details emerge about the death of Cory Monteith, one thing we've learned is his struggles with fame were many. He was not fond of being in the spotlight. He came to Hollywood already the by-product of drug addiction. Mix that with his inability to handle the demands of becoming an overnight success on a hit television show, and you have the makings of a very dangerous combination.





As a society, we are often shocked when we learn of the death of our favorite celebrities. It is unexpected; yet we are very aware of the known drug and alcohol addictions these celebrities have prior to their death; thanks to the almighty media.. And still, we are shocked each time. Perhaps we are kidding ourselves into believing that celebs are not really fighting the demons of addiction. They look the picture of health as Cory Monteith did. Heck, if they aren't getting arrested then we have nothing to fear, right?

I find myself pondering were those celebs aware of the dangers of mixing various drugs with alcohol? I'd like to think when sober they had to have been. In that moment of weakness, did they even care about that or were they only concerned with getting high? Or was this some sort of escape because the pressures of being in the limelight were too great? They had to have known each time they were playing Russian Roulette with their lives. And maybe that was the point. Cheating death time and again. Thinking they were invincible; yet struggling daily to ward off the demons that haunted them in this way. These are all important questions we should ask ourselves. We can never know what those celebs who lost their lives in this manner were thinking as they got high for the last time. But one thing we can be certain of is the loss of their lives is tragic. The stories that emerge post-mortem are ones of great sadness. We learn the back-stories of the little pieces of their lives that are revealed that shed light all too late on what most likely led to their demise.


Let's face it, celebrities seek fame and fortune because they want to be rich and famous and have it all, including their privacy. Many have this false idea of how they will be able to still live their lives normally once they've 'made it'. Few ever get their heads out of the clouds long enough to realize how much of their life will become the subject of intense scrutiny and it will never again be their own once they become a public figure. They believe they can handle it and even initially embrace it; only to find that the illusion is one of great disillusionment. Usually when this realization is met, it is too late to retreat into a private lifestyle. We see this all too often. A celebrity rides the wave of stardom for awhile and then we begin to see their personal lives spiral out of control. I believe in many cases like this, the celebrity begins looking for an escape or way out with drugs and alcohol being their vice. Just as their disillusion of becoming famous deceives them into thinking they can handle it, many approach drugs and alcohol with the same mindset. They can handle it. It is only a little bit of this here or there. But then recreational use becomes the fix that they think fixes everything. And then when the fix is no longer working to take away the pressure, I believe some are under so much pressure they just want out at any cost; even if it means losing their life.

Don't get me wrong, I'm certainly not implying that any celeb who has died from accidental overdose intentionally tried to kill themselves, but it does make one ponder the possibility given the enormous amount of pressure they each faced day in, day out.

To be sure, I'm not making excuses for their CHOICES.  It really is all about their choices; choices to seek fame and fortune, choices to use drugs and alcohol to medicate themselves, and choices to want to escape from it all when things become too much for them to handle. Why can't they make the choice to give it all up; the drugs, the alcohol, the fame, the fortune... It's far easier said than done. And as we've seen all too often it can't or won't be done. Recall I said they seek fame and fortune to become rich and famous and to have it all. They want it all and know they can't have it both ways.

The commonality among each of those who have died to accidental overdoses had a string of negative circumstances surrounding them that was fodder for every media outlet around. Not only did these celebrities have to deal with the demands of being a celebrity, but equally had to deal with being judged, critiqued, and in some cases, hated, for their actions which just added to the immense pressures they were already dealing with. I believe all of us have breaking points and tragically we've seen many celebrities who have reached theirs. We all want to be accepted and loved. It is a human need. But when one rises to great heights only to fall from grace a short time later it can do much to destroy a person's concept of himself.




Not all celebrities have difficulty with handling fame and fortune. Many have gone on to do well for themselves and give back to society in immeasurable ways. Thankfully the number of celebrities who have not succumbed to addiction to handle the pressures of instant fame far outweigh those who have. But the number in recent years who have lost their lives to addiction are staggering and even just one life lost to addiction is one life too many.

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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

LIVING THE DREAM: PT 1



Over the next few posts, I'll be sharing with you about each of my radio shows and radio stations. My purpose for doing so is not to promote them, (okay, a little shameless self-promotion never hurt anyone right?) but more to share with you my deep love and passion for this hobby that has grown into something more over the past year. If your interest is piqued after reading, please by all means, check out my shows! Seriously though, I hope they will motivate and inspire you to follow your true passion and calling!




Coming up this Sunday, July 21, I will celebrate my 1-year anniversary on BlogTalk Radio with my show called Jammin Jukebox Radio Show. Ironically, on the 1-year anniversary of my boyfriend's passing, just a few short weeks before my show debuted, I decided I was going to do something in his honor that would give me great joy, while helping others in the process.

There's a back-story, however. Before there was ever a radio show, there was a radio station.  In 2007, I founded a radio station over at Live365.com called Jukebox Junction Radio that continues to thrive today.When I began my radio station in '07, I set up a music profile on MySpace (back before there was a Facebook) and it wasn't long before I was being approached by Indie artists who asked if I would play their music on my station. I soon realized that Indie music was no longer a far-removed unique Rock genre, but instead had grown into an all-inclusive genre that desperately needed to be heard. Even though the radio station was doing quite well, I was always left with this feeling of wanting to do more with my passion for radio and music and to help Indie artists all over the world be heard.



A few months after my boyfriend passed away, I gravitated to social media and discovered Twitter. At first I didn't get the whole Twitter thing. It seemed foreign in nature; much like Facebook was for me in the beginning. But it didn't take long for me to figure out this Twitter thing was a neat little social medium. One of the very first things I noticed was that Twitter was a brilliant way to promote a cause or brand to practically the whole world, unlike Facebook. In the course of getting to know Twitter, I stumbled upon tweets promoting radio shows being hosted over on BlogTalk Radio. Who knew there was a place out there where you could do a podcast, broadcast it to the world, and gain a legion of listeners. Now THAT was pretty cool and exactly the kind of broadcasting I had been aspiring to do since 2007 when I founded my radio station.



I'm convinced there's an order and reason to everything that happens in our lives. Had my boyfriend not passed away, I can assure you I would not have discovered Twitter, much less BlogTalk Radio. I know it was all part of God's plan! In the past year I've featured the music of Indie artists from all over the world. I've interviewed Indie artists from Scotland, the UK, Canada and all over the United States. I've done over 200 interviews and played countless hours of Indie music. So with my 1-year anniversary of Jammin Jukebox Radio Show fast approaching and 750,000 listeners later, the rest they say is history. I hope to be doing what I love for many more years and one day soon doing this radio thing as my full-time career. I think I'm well on my way and have laid some positive groundwork. Dreams do come true. What are yours??



WEDNESDAY WONDERMENTS...



Is it me or has there been A LOT of extra drama in the news of late?? Okay, so I guess you're saying to yourself, "of late?!" I say that because I typically try NOT to watch the news. It's depressing and it seems there's never anything good to report. We all know positive news does not bring good ratings & could be considered by some to be boring. But I like good news. It beats the negativity of the daily dose that the news media dishes out.




Try as I might to avoid the news at all cost, one can't help but be 'aware' of what's going on thanks to social media. Our news media thrives on reporting sensationalist stories that get spun, retweeted, and shared all over social media. And to think I once aspired to be a journalist! Suffice it to say, I'm thankful I didn't pursue that path.



All the news of late has caused me to ponder many things. To keep from repeating what you've already read, I'll only offer my opinions on those stories that have gotten my attention.



PAULA DEEN DEBACLE

I've been a long-time fan of Paula's and her admission of using a racial slur some thirty plus years ago did not make me any less of one. I can assure you had a black man (or any man or woman, regardless of color or ethnicity, for that matter) held a gun to my head, he/she would have been called much worse. The mere fact Paula Deen hasn't backed down or retreated from this has increased my respect for this woman. She should never have had to appear on national television pleading with folks for forgiveness. If there's any aspect of this story that rubs me the wrong way it would have to be how our media has fixated itself on something that is 'old news'. They spun the story until it resulted in several of her sponsors pulling the plug on their support of her moving forward. They successfully attempted to dismantle Ms. Deen's image and career. I'd love to poll the powers that be of these corporations that made the decision to 'distance themselves' from Ms. Deen to see if they have ever been guilty of using racial slurs in their lifetime. I would bet not one could attest that they hadn't although my best guess would be the response would be a holier than thou non-admission of it. The thing that sets Ms. Deen apart from most is she spoke the truth...something our society knows little about these days. My hunches tell me the ones who will hurt the most are the sponsors who will lose millions because they will no longer have the PD brand to pin their revenues on because of a knee-jerk reaction for the sake of political correctness. Ms. Deen on the other hand will rebound stronger than ever. She has nothing to hide. In fact, she's the only one in all of this that has been truthful. The interim of this has merely been a hiccup in the road for her. She will have the last laugh and will be standing long after her sponsors have bitten the dust. Look at Martha Stewart and how she pulled time in the pen for corruption and money laundering and came away from it unscathed. These days few remember or recall that she even served time. And Ms. Stewart never admitted to anything and the media never raked her over the coals. I suppose that's the secret to being in the spotlight...play along and they will leave you alone.




TRAYVON MARTIN CASE

Regardless of which side of the fence you sit on regarding this case, this is a tragic story all the way around. A young man lost his life and in essence, any parent can't deny this could have been any one of our children instead. An adult male has to live the rest of his with the stigma of having shot a young man and being hated by those who feel he should have been burned at the stake. The fact of the matter is both subjects in this case had demons in their closets. "Martin was suspended from school; he was caught with a marijuana pipe; it was reported he had burglary tools in his locker; and it was recently revealed that pictures of marijuana plants and someone suspected to be Martin holding a gun were found on his cell phone." Zimmerman had encountered previous charges of domestic violence abuse. No one truly knows except Zimmerman, Martin (who can no longer speak for himself) & God, above what really happened that night. There has been much speculation based on the racism that the media has brought forth in this case. By all accounts, both individuals were hot-headed and irrational. Zimmerman completely ignored law enforcement warnings to stand down & not approach Martin. "Rachel Jeantel, the troubled young woman who was speaking on the phone to Trayvon Martin just before he was killed, testified in George Zimmerman’s second-degree murder trial that Martin called Zimmerman a “creepy a– cracka” before their violent confrontation."  Based upon the facts in the case, this is a situation that was the result of a confrontation that tragically resulted in Martin's death. It could have very easily been the other way around had Martin been the one to pull the trigger. I wonder how the media would have spun this had Martin lived and Zimmerman died. We will never know.


CORY MONTEITH DEATH

As it had been speculated by many, it was revealed yesterday that Cory Monteith died from a lethal mixture of heroin and alcohol. Forget the celebrity aspect to this story, another life has been taken in this manner. It was well-known Monteith struggled with addiction but few knew he also struggled with the instant fame that came from Glee becoming an overnight success. To my point in an earlier post, if these celebrities can't handle the fame, then why aspire to be famous? Fame and success can be lethal in and of itself if a celebrity already has difficulty handling the pressures and/or arrives in Hollywood battling addictions. Fame will not cure them or help them to recover. If anything it only adds insult to injury. We've seen all to often the numerous stints in rehab of celebrities with addiction issues. The list is as long, if not longer, than those we've lost who caved to their addictions one final time. It's tragic and it needs to stop. But how? The cast and crew of Glee tried to help Monteith with his struggles; even putting his welfare above that of the show. He acknowledged he had a problem and welcomed their help. But it was too little, too late. Perhaps the key was never putting him in front of the cameras to begin with if he had known addictions. How many more celebrities have to die in this manner before it gets Hollywood's attention? The real question should be, what is Hollywood going to do about it from here?

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Monday, July 15, 2013

LET'S TALK PASSION....

Okay, now that I have your attention...(bet you thought I was talking about...well, ya know...PASSION)! Nope, not THAT kind of passion!!!




Let's talk for a moment about things that you're passionate about. What is it you love to do? I'm talking about those things that you feel deeply about. If you could work in your dream job, what would it be? Most folks only ponder this very thing and dismiss it; thinking they will never see their dreams realized.



Really, if money were no object and you could work in any career, what would it be? You see, I'm a firm believer in not only following your dreams, but pursuing them fast and furious (like running them down until you overtake them and they can't escape you, kind of pursuing them). Now with that said, I'll readily admit, I'm not nor have I ever worked in my dream job. Money has been an obstacle. Life happened...I got married, divorced, had 3 kids, a mortgage, car payment. (not necessarily in that order)..need I say more. The bills wouldn't pay themselves and well, abandoning a good job and salary for the sake of pursuing my dreams just wasn't feasible, no matter how much I wanted it. I've spent the bulk of my life putting my dreams on hold or getting a taste of my dreams only to have them ripped from me for one reason or the other. But the one thing I can say is I never gave up on my dreams. 



I believe when God plants a desire in your heart for something that desire will not die. It will burn within your soul and that flame will become a blaze until you can't ignore the passion God has put inside you. I've always said with me God has a sense of humor. Everything I've every dreamed about for myself has come true...just not in the way I envisioned. He gives us all gifts and talents that He expects and desires us to utilize.When we aren't using our God-given talents and gifts, we can rest assured we will be restless within until we do. 




I spoke in a previous post about dreading Mondays and why I think so many folks don't look forward to that first day of the workweek. If we were truly doing what we were meant to do, we wouldn't dread Mondays. It's that simple. But many of us do, myself included.
What are my passions you ask? Well, I thought you'd never ask. My greatest passion is my love of radio broadcasting and my second greatest passion is writing. I've always dabbled in both but I've never had a full taste of either enough to 'get my fill'. I would love to spend part of my days writing in this fashion as you're reading here with the hope of entertaining the masses and yet giving them something to think about...seed planting if you will. And the other part I'd love to devote to my radio shows full-time. While my radio shows are currently paying a little piece of change each month, I'm not where I'd like to be to 'give up my day job'. Heck, I'd quit cold turkey tomorrow if I didn't have to worry about the rent being paid. But such is life... I'm working fervently like the next person pursuing my goals & passions. And truth to tell, most folks don't come by success or being able to live out their passions in their dream job overnight. It takes years of hard work, determination & perseverance to achieve our goals. The key is never giving up and always pressing on towards the goal. I believe I'm closer now than I've ever been. Are you? 



Until next time...

MONDAY, MONDAY...

Well, here we are again facing yet another Monday! I suppose we should look at it from the glass half-full perception and be thankful we made it to another Monday. Ummm...I don't think the vast majority of us are looking at it that way when our alarms are going off & blaring at us early on this most dreaded day of the week. 
So why do we dread Mondays so much? I can vouch that I begin dreading the whole 'brand new workweek' scenario on Sundays. Forget waiting until my alarm goes off bright & early on Monday morning. I've given a lot of thought to my own discord with Mondays. It isn't Monday so much that I dread or even loathe. Like this morning, for instance, on my drive into work, the sun, (which has been absent for some 3 1/2 weeks) was staring (or should I say) glaring at me. It was a nice sight to see & a welcome one I might add. In my neck of the woods the weather guys said we would see sun on Monday. So for that I welcomed Monday to arrive....but that was the ONLY reason. 

I think many of us dread Mondays because many of us have to get up to go to work in jobs that aren't our passion so we can pay the bills and continue the vicious cycle of doing it all over again the next Monday..week after week, month after month, year after year. It's been said if you are doing what you love then you'll never work a day in your life. I don't know that there's been any truer statement. Think about it. If we were doing what we loved, it wouldn't matter if Monday were coming or not. We'd be glad for it to arrive because it would mean another opportunity to get up and do what we love. 

I think it's so important to follow our passions and do the kind of work that is meaningful and rewarding. We're a much happier and content species when doing so. I've been working towards following my passions for some time and I've never been closer or more ready to do so. It's only a matter of time now before that dread that comes with Mondays will be a far gone conclusion. Each day this week, I'll be sharing with you a little bit about my passions and my plans for making them into a career in order to get out of my job. There's a big difference in those two things. A job is something you do to pay the bills. A career is doing what you love.

Stay tuned....


Sunday, July 14, 2013

TIME FOR AN UPDATE


I began this blog in 2008. For those of you who have followed it all this time, I thank you. I was thinking recently that I needed to get back into blogging. It is something I truly enjoy but as they say, life has gotten in the way more times than I can count. That's really no excuse though. I enjoy it & should have made time to keep it updated on a regular basis. 


When I signed into my blog earlier this afternoon, my first thought was, "you really need to give it a new look". There are so many whimsical and cute templates to choose from nowadays. It's no doubt, blogging has come such a long way from 2008 when I got into it. 





In thinking about the look of my blog being so outdated, I thought about how much my life has changed in the 5 years since entering my 1st blog post. Much has happened over that span of time. I found the love of my life and lost him unexpectedly and tragically to death. Two of my wonderful three children are now high school graduates. (Praise God for that!) My youngest will be a Sophomore this coming school year. I'm now a "Granna" to one very special little boy who is now almost 15 months old, just started walking and a 'ham' in training to be. I now have not 1, not 2, not 3, but 4 radio shows hosted on Blogtalk Radio and have just added a 2nd radio station that features all-holiday music year-round, hosted over on Live365.com. (You can find links to each on the right side of blog.) I just finished my 3rd year of college thru Liberty University. I'm a Dean's list student and have become an inductee of the Alpha Lambda Delta, Sigma Beta Delta, and Psychology Honor Societies during my time there thus far. I'll be a rising Senior in just a few short weeks. My son, Cameron, will be entering college there in the Fall as a Freshman (boy, does that sound weird to say that....my son will be in college). About the only thing that has stayed the same, is I am still working in the same full-time job but hope to be transitioning out of it one of these days in the near future. 

So, with all the many changes my life has seen over these last 5 years, it's time for an update to the ole blog. I'll be giving it a much-needed face-lift  Don't be surprised if you see a different look for a bit each time you stop by to visit. So, please bear with me as my blog goes through a brief period of transformation. 



Life is really all about change....some good, some bad. We have to take the good with the bad and how we accept and adapt to the many changes is truly what builds our character and molds and shapes us along the way of life's journey. I'd say my character has been molded and shaped every possible way one can imagine; especially over these last 5 years, but I'm definitely not worse for the wear, I'm definitely stronger, and better for it...(or I'd at least like to think so). 

Until next time...

THE WORLD LOSES ANOTHER CELEB...

The world awakened this morning to learn that overnight news broke of the unexpected and untimely passing of actor Cory Monteith, star of the Fox mega-hit series, Glee, who was found dead in his hotel room in Vancouver, Canada, of an apparent overdose. 



While it has not yet been determined what caused Monteith’s death, speculation has been mounting that the twice-rehabbed star may have succumbed to yet another bout with his addiction woes.




He had just completed a recent stint in rehab in April of this year. He was spotted in June, at LAX, with long-time love, Lea Michelle, looking happy and healthier than he had in a very long time, as the pair were off on a romantic getaway.
The looming question in the minds of most, is how does this keep happening? Monteith joins a growing list of celebrities who have died far too soon. Drug addiction seems to be the common denominator that has taken the lives of many in Hollywood. I saw random Tweets to this effect when the news broke. One tweet even asked the proverbial question, “when will they ever learn?” It isn’t so much a matter of when they will ever learn, but more one of they have an addiction that preys upon them in their darkest hour or when they least expect it. Try as they might, many of them seek help and know they need help, but find themselves yo-yoing between being clean and sober to falling back into that downward spiral that becomes an inevitable means to an end.

I recently saw an article about Lindsey Lohan’s most current stint in rehab. She has professed that now that she is clean she has acknowledged that Hollywood is her worst enemy. She wants to retreat into seclusion when she is released from rehab as she fears if she returns to Hollywood, she will fall back into old familiar patterns of behavior and addiction. I hope she does retreat. With the bad rap she’s received for her drug-induced antics over the last few years, it is evident in being clean how much she loathes herself when she’s battling addiction. The picture above is an old file photo of the innocent, wholesome Lindsay Lohan that we all came to know and love before she fell victim to the rigors of Hollywood. It’s a picture far removed from most of our minds. Perhaps I’m the only one cheering for her full recovery and future success. I’m a sucker for a good success story and would love to see her recover. It beats the odds of the belief I’ve held for some time that one morning we would wake up to headlines that she had met a similar fate as Cory Monteith.
With this latest news of the death of Cory Monteith, it does give one pause to perhaps examine why certain celebrities are more susceptible to falling into addiction than others. Regardless of how talented these folks are, perhaps it needs to become the responsibility of directors, producers, writers, and all the powers that be in Hollywood to look beyond these celebrities for underlying issues for potential red flags or prior addiction issues BEFORE putting them to work & making them the next household name. Granted every adult human being bears the bulk of responsibility of their own actions, but as we've seen time and again, those with addiction issues are not equipped nor able to handle the pressures of what it means to live up to the demands of being a sought-after name in Hollywood. Perhaps that’s first where it must start and the question we should be asking instead is, "Are they ready?"