Monthly Archives of: January 2011

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Bret Michaels and I share the same addiction…

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As I was getting a mani-pedi today I was thumbing through US Magazine and I came across the one-page article on the 25 Things You Don’t Know About Me:  Bret Michaels.  He’s been all over the place lately, and rightly so with his miraculous recovery from his brain hemorrhage in which only 20 percent survive.

I found it very interesting that he lost his virginity at a fish hatchery, his first career choice was motocross, and he was born in Pittsburgh and is still a huge Steelers, Penguins, and Pirates fan. (Guess he will be rooting for my home team this coming Sunday in the Superbowl!)  He did mention that he was a Pitt fan too, but I’m gonna try to not hold that against him.

But the most intriguing thing to me on his list was that he is addicted to peanut butter.  As I too am addicted to peanut butter–as most of my good friends know.  (George, Rita, Amanda, Polly, Brozik….)  I’ve discovered through my nutty research that there are certain people who just can’t have a jar of it in their house.  Give them a spoon and an open container and it’s all over!  We just can’t stop eating it.  It’s the texture, the taste and just digging it out of the jar is plenty fun enough.  I like to stick my spoon straight down in it and pull it straight back out just to see how much sticks, and that’s what I’m allowed to eat. (I do eat the all natural kind and sometimes even almond butter–but that runs off the spoon.  It’s all the same addiction though.)

Last winter I had the bright idea to have someone hide it in my yard, but eventually I found it.  I’ve tried measuring it, and finally just had to swear to myself I would just quit buying the darn stuff.  But I’m comforted to know that this nut butter addiction thing is real!  There are multiple people whom I know that could benefit from a little PA therapy (peanut butter anonymous).

I’ve gone to lengths to overcome my magnetism to the butter.  I’ve even purchased a “peanut butter locker” that only my son has the key too-which I’m yet to install and I’ve had it now for six months. In the meantime, I just send the peanut butter home with the sitter and it only comes into my house if she’s there.

Bret, you’re not alone.  There are many of us out there.  Yes, PB is good for all of us if it’s all natural, and if only eaten no more than 2 tablespoons a day.  If the label has partially hydrogenated oils in it, toss it in the garbage because it is garbage.  If it’s all natural then it’s one of the best fats, especially if it’s almond butter, to put in your body–right behind omega-3 fish oils, walnuts and avocado.

Will I ever overcome this addiction?  Probably not….maybe I should get hypnotized.  So what’s your addiction?  Please share…

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Crossing the Goal Line(s)

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Yesterday was such an incredible, amazing day, and all because I made things happen!  When the first of January rolled around I set some goals, mainly numerical ones.  The first was to hit 1,500 reads for the month of January for my blogs through WordPress, and yesterday I hit 1,555!  But also along the way I had been invited to do my first guest blog on http://www.thenewperfect.com, which also generated more reads (not sure how many but they have a pretty big blog readership) and then I was invited to do my own column called “Shannon’s World: Raw” (http://www.racerxvt.com/article/shannons-world—raw) on www.racerxVT.com, a virtual training website spun off Racer X Online and it’s picked up thousand of hits (thanks Tim!).

So where do I go from here?  It’s not even January 31 yet! I guess I could either coast out the rest of the month since I’ve hit my goal four-fold—which would be my old way of doing things—or I can readjust them now and see just how far past it I can soar!  Then I can collect all my numbers on the first day of February and set new goals for next month.

Numbers are such an exciting thing—unless you’re an accountant, LOL.  I’ve always found them to be pretty magical actually.  Who would have thought?  But when I look back on my last month having a number to hit has really helped me in keeping working toward my goals.  I see the number in my mind every day, which directs my intentions both subconsciously and consciously.  Each day those numbers just kept adding up and I kept getting closer and closer to the summit.

Yesterday a second goal of mine was reached.  A few weeks ago I wrote a blog about stepping back into the world of modeling after a ten-year hiatus (an extended baby break).  In December I set a goal of meeting with my old booking agent and getting signed back up.  Just a week later I was called in to shoot a preliminary campaign for a well-known bicycle brand, which was just for the advertising team to take back to corporate to see if their ad campaign would fly.  Yesterday I got the call that I was chosen for the real deal as well.  I was pretty darn excited I must say.

I believe that deal happened because when I shot the first time around I was 150% present on the set.  A pretty face, a smile and a 5’ 10” frame does not always land the job; sometimes they’re just looking for a soccer mom whom potential buyers can relate too, which means even someone like me, at 5’5”, can fill the spot.  No matter your looks, you’ve got to have an engaging personality to go with it because you are working long hours with a team of photographers, makeup artists, ad directors and sometimes the corporate folks. Ten years ago I would have let that totally intimidate me but I’ve taken a different approach this time around. I took the time in between shooting to build relationships with everyone.  It makes for a more warm and confident feeling when the camera is on you and also let’s your real personality shine through onto the film.  It takes the edge off the whole setting and allows you to not only enjoy the opportunity, but also get the job done well. I had such a blast and can’t wait for next week to shoot with the same team again.

But now it’s time to set some numbers as far as what I expect out of myself in the realm of modeling.  Do I want to try to branch out into other areas and maybe even start doing commercials?  That would be fun, but that will take an even higher level of confidence and engagement. I would definitely like to give it a try!

A goal not set is only a wish…….

 

Make it a great year,

Shannon

 

 

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Writing As Meditation

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It’s been almost six days and twenty-three hours since I’ve written my last blog….but who’s counting? (I hope the blog-a-dayers aren’t reading this for they will know I’ve fallen already) I realized today that I just wasn’t seeming like myself, and had fallen into a bit of a depression. (Not real depression—probably just a slump.)  Then it hit me!  That’s what is wrong—I haven’t done my daily writing meditation for almost a week!  That was painful just to think about.   Recently I’ve discovered just how therapeutic blogging has become for me, almost more so than real meditation (which I still stink at) or doing cardio.  It’s my time to block everything out except my keyboard–the phone, the door, the kids, the dog (oh, wait, I don’t have a dog) the everything—and just say what’s on my mind at that given moment.  True and utter therapy.  Better than a prescription any day.

My husband even looked at me tonight and said, “I really miss your blogs Shannon.”  And coming from him, a very successful writer and publisher himself, means the world to me.  He said he could tell in my demeanor that I hadn’t been writing.  Boy, he was reading me like a book.  After that compliment what was a girl to do but write.  Right?  So I am in bed, in my robe, doing what I love most when I need inner-peace…writing.

I must admit I’ve used the majority of my brain cells today making business calls so this blog is definitely written at a second grade level.  And my creativity was used while making my photographical debut in my new photo studio in the basement of my designer denim boutique.  I got to spend a few hours shooting a model wearing items from my store–it was so much fun to be behind the camera and down on one knee trying to get the right shot.  Oh how my roles have changed, lol.

Well darling…. today this is short but sweet.  And as Scarlett O’Hara says, “Tomorrow is another day.”  So goodnight for now, it’s almost time for me to turn into a pumpkin.

Namaste,

Shannon

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First Class Prejudice: My In Flight Plight

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I’ve done it–you’ve probably done it.  First Class prejudice.  We all have it.  (Or then again maybe it’s just me.) Judging the people on your flight.  Each individual face you pass while walking to your seat becomes a story–a blip in your mind’s TV.

When I walked down the aisle of flight 1227 from Charlotte to LAX (So Cal) I had it even though I tried hard not to.  Judge.  Judge.  Judge.  Assign their place in life.  Judge some more.  I couldn’t stop.  But then again, what else do you have to do while you are standing in line, awaiting the fate of who you will be glued to for the next five hours.

As I walked through the first class section the judgements were flying left and right.  “Stop it!”  I yelled at myself.  No not out loud, for sure they would think I was crazy.  Who earned these seats via miles?  Did he pay for his seat?  Did she?  Oh, I bet she turned in her miles. Or maybe not–she’s carrying a Louis Vuitton bag, (although that could be a fake.)  A fake first class ticket, to go with her fake LV.  And that guy over there looks famous-ish–like I should know his name.  Could be a big movie producer since we are on our way to the land of film and movie stars.

7D, that’s me.  Not in first class, not in last class, but a new class–in the sort of snobby section, that I of course paid more for just to be not in the non-classed class.  And for only an extra $29 bucks!

Soon after take off the man beside me started to snore.  I thought about pulling a hair out of my head and sticking it up his nose, that would be funny.  But only Ellen DeGeneres could pull that off.  It may get me arrested.  How can this man already be sleeping?  We haven’t even taxied out to the runway yet?

6:35pm              I just got kicked off my iPhone by a bitchy stewardess.  Jezz, I wasn’t ignoring her, I just didn’t HEAR her (probably because I was on the phone!)  The flight attendant announced, “We will NOT be taking off until ALL electronic devices are turned off!”  Followed by an under the breath, “I don’t care if we ever take off, I don’t wanna go to Los Angeles anyway.”  Then on her way up the aisle, “This plane is full of five-year-olds.”

“Hey, how about bringing the funny, comedian like flight attendant from Southwest airlines over here to give you a little lesson on customer service, and a sense of humor” I wanted to say, but I didn’t.  This woman needed a new job and a fresh start: a hiatus.  Something, because she obviously wasn’t happy being a day care provider on flight 1227.  I wondered just how mad she would get when I snapped her picture with my iPhone to attach to this blog once we were in the air and able to pull out all electronic devices.  Or maybe I’d get a really good one with my Macbook webcam.  Or maybe I should just let it go.

7:00pm       Oh no!  Some guy two rows in front of me just coughed fifty times in a row and coughed up a nasty *@%!.  I’m going to vomit (projectile) through the seats in front of me and down the back of his neck!

5 seconds later…Ok, I did it.  He’s covered in my Starbucks, skinny, caramel, vanilla latte.  What a waste of good coffee.

7:15              The man who I threw up on (not really) is coughing again, this time his face is buried in a USA Today.  (At least he’s a smart cougher.)  I need a face mask, remember those from the Swine Flu days?

7:25              I have cough drops, I should offer him some.

7:35             Gogo Wi-fi (inflight) activated!  Now if I could just order some take out.

8:00             Man having coughing fit again; he may die mid-flight.  I’m hoping for the best but thinking the worst, so I’m preparing his Eulogy (while sucking on a cough drop that I should’ve offered him.  But I’m sure he’s packing some Halls, you just don’t leave home with a cold like that without them!)

9:10 PST              The eagle has landed.  The man has lived.  I will survive.  (Cough).

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The Power of Numbers: Goal Setting

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Goal setting is a huge key, if not the key to success. I know, I know, we’ve probably all heard or read it a million times; track your progress with numbers!  I can honestly say that over the past few years I haven’t really written down any goals, and didn’t have numbers to back them up.  (Until recently.)  I went to a PSI seminar (which I highly recommend) the last weekend of August and there we set a 90-day goal.  Mine was to blog once a month for 12 weeks.  I added to my goal of hitting a certain amount of reads.  I reached both goals, and actually wrote 18 blogs and had 200 more reads than the goal I had set.

Was I shocked?  Yes.  Was I ecstatic?  Yes.  It’s not like my goal was to swim across the English Chanel, but it was a goal set and a goal reached.  It’s given me the confidence that it really does work.  Had I not done this, and stuck with it, I would be in the same boat now that I was in last fall.   I also believe that setting some attainable goals are what lead to huge success.  I’m also adding to my goal setting the approach of doing five things a day, no matter how big or small, geared toward reaching my goal.

Let’s take weight loss for instance.  If you don’t go the extra effort, your diet is sabotaged.  You’ve gotta count every calorie that goes into your mouth, and track the time and effort that’s put out in the gym.  Period.  There’s no other way around it.  If you’ve got a road trip and don’t prepare ahead of time, you’re going to be eating whatever the closest fast food restaurant or gas station has to offer.  Pack a cooler.  Or do what I did on my trip last summer to Loretta Lynn’s Ranch.  I took a college size fridge and plugged it into my car outlet.  I know it’s extreme, but do you know how happy and great I felt eating clean food that whole week instead of eating vendor food (at the event) or going to subway twice a day.  I had organic chicken, fruit, and even sushi that I stopped and bought at Trader Joe’s in Nashville.

If I can reach these small goals, then I don’t see I can’t set goals in any category of my life and succeed.   There is seriously power in numbers, and something magical about writing that number down and posting it somewhere visible so that you can see it daily.  It really works….try it.

Cheers,

Shannon

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Music: Better Than Ice Cream

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I feel like I need to run as fast as I can, head held high, arms bent and pinned to my sides, then maybe blare a little Billy Joel “Uptown Girl” to shake off the Sarah McLachlan concert from last night.  Or maybe I shouldn’t shake it off.  I don’t know.  She’s left me utterly emotional, along with the rest of the audience– I just wasn’t one of them that left in tears.

God, did she really have to make me stop and think so much?  And why can’t I cry? I sat forward because I wanted to feel more, damn it.   I wanted to freaking cry!  I wanted to just be a girl, at a concert, crying if I felt like it. I heard Joy next to me (my date for the night) even sniffling.   Come on, just one tear? “I can’t even understand half of the words,” I told her when she commented on some of the lyrics.  I guess I should have brushed up on my Sarah before the event–it had been a while since I had listened to her CD.  I’m one for mainly feel good music.  Too many depressing lyrics can make for a shitty day.  I felt like Cameron Diaz in The Holiday when she couldn’t cry–but I am a crier when crying is needed!

Take me to a funeral and I’m the first one shedding a tear, whether I knew the deceased or not.  I can’t even speak at funerals; tears just escape me.  When anyone sings, I cry.  When they read the Eulogy, I cry.  If I meet eyes with anyone else in the funeral home, I cry.  They are just heart wrenching, and I feel like I’ve already been to one too many. (I try to avoid them like the plague.)  So why couldn’t I cry with the other 2200 people in the auditorium?  It almost made me feel like a heartless bitch, yet I feel I’m one of the more caring people I know.  The more I thought about it though, the not crying thing was a good thing for I had done smoky eyes, and we all know what happens when water meets mascara and dark eyeshadow.

So I moved on, and accepted that my mood was more of an inward meditation.  I let the music flow through me, and around me, and I allowed it to resonate deep into my soul.  Her back-up singers/guitarist (both female) were “building a mystery” right up on stage with her.  When the three of them sang in unison, it made the hairs on the back of Joy’s neck stand up (I don’t have any, lol).  But seriously, Melissa McClelland is breaking out her first album this fall and she is one to keep on your radar, her voice is stellar!  I can’t even describe it.

I’ve never been to this type of concert where the artists are just so riveting and vocally insane.  No ripped half-naked male dancers, no heart dropping out of the sky with a sixteen-year-old (Bieber) on it–just highly incredible talented people making music from the gifts they were given.  (I envisioned myself trying to sing and play guitar at the same time; it seems much like patting your head and rubbing your stomach simultaneously but on a much harder level.) I resigned myself to the fact that you are either born with a god-given musical talent…. or not.

I’m not sure there are many other artists out there that can put their words down quite like Sarah can, let alone into vocals.  And you don’t just make up those types of lyrics.  She’s gone to hell and back (at least it sounds like it)in her personal relationships and she just pours it out onto her piano.  I admire her for that and for what she bares to us all. Her voice is still echoing in my bones, and probably will for some time.

I think Joy texted it best after the concert.  “Young, old, skinny, fat…at a Sarah McLachlan concert, we’re all one thing.  Damaged.”   And if you didn’t enter the auditorium damaged, you sure as hell left there feeling a little that way.

Last night was the end of her current tour—and she was better than Ice Cream.  If you haven’t heard her live, go next time around. This chic will strum up emotions in you that may have been dormant for a long time.  And sometimes we all just really need to feel deeply, passionately, and intensely, but it doesn’t me we have to cry.

It’s funny how we feel so much… but we cannot say a word,

We are screaming inside, yet… can’t be heard.”  Sarah McLachlan

(Enough of the emotional stuff….I’m putting MJ back on!  Dirty Diana…)

~Shan

(Pre-concert dinner.)


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“I can’t believe it’s not Butter!”

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My eight-year-old son, Vance, was giddy at the fact that his cousin’s nanny “has a crush on a guy named Fabio.”  He was just dying–doubling over in laugher telling me about it.  “Do you mean the ‘I can’t believe it’s not butta’ Fabio?”  I asked him.  He raised his eyebrow, “Who?”  “Does he have long brown hair and an accent?”  I asked.  He nodded yes.  I thought he might get a kick out of my little bit of Fabio history, so I went on to say,”I’ve met him twice,” cringing as the words came out of my mouth.

“You did mom!”  Where?”

“Right after I fell down and broke my arm at the Los Angeles Coliseum in 1997.”  (After my fall, I was about to vomit from the pain, not knowing it was a break to my radial head at the time.)  “Your dad was trying to make me feel better, he was at an event and we couldn’t just rush off to the ER, so he tried to take my mind off the pain.  We were walking around the pit  area looking for our friend who was a medic, when he spotted Fabio.

“You have got to go get your picture with him.” Davey said.

“No way.  Not my style, and right now I’m not really feeling up to it! I may puke all over him,” I argued.  It felt like the time my ex-step-mother forced me to get my picture taken with Mickey Mouse when we were at the Epcot Center in Disney World.  I could have scratched her eyes out for I was truly mortified and felt at age twelve I was just wayyyy to old for that scene.

“But your mom will think it’s hilarious,” he said, he wasn’t going to let it go.  So I sucked up my pride and got a photo taken with him.

About three years later I ran into him at another race, standing in line at the buffet in the Knothole club of Anaheim stadium.  (It’s definitely one of the most star-studded events that hails our industry.)  “Oh God, I hope he doesn’t remember me, ” I thought, “I’m sure he doesn’t, he meets millions of people.”  Right about that time he turned around and started a conversation with me.  He was nice, but very right-off-the-cover of a romance novel.

“So that’s when he asked me for my number,”  I told Vance laughing.

“Fabio asked you out mom!  Give me the phone, I gotta call Debbie.”

“Yes, and it even gets better!”  I paused, “I was wearing bib-overalls (because they were cool then) and I was five months pregnant with you.  So in a way you met him too!”

It was truly a funny moment.  And Fabio, I hope this post doesn’t offend you, you’re great, (just not my type.) My niece’s nanny, however, may give you her digits.