Posts Tagged ‘writing’

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It’s been proven: Shopping is actually good for you!

April 14, 2009

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Who doesn’t love to shop. Well, I do know a few people who don’t like going to the mall, but they’re not  a lot of fun, so we won’t talk about them. For those of us “normal” folk, here’s why we love shopping: because mentally and physically SHOPPING MAKES US FEEL GOOD! In his article “How Manolos Can Save Your Life”  http://www.womenshealthmag.com/life/benefits-of-shopping?layout=print, Dan Tynan, who’d prefer his wife didn’t see what he wrote, says:

In a paper published last year, researchers at the UK’s Brunel University noted that shopping is associated with increased activity in the left prefrontal cortex, a part of the brain that has been linked to pleasure and positive thinking. In fact, levels of dopamine, a neurotransmitter released during pleasurable experiences including sex, can rise sharply even when you’re merely window shopping. In another study, published in the journal Neuron, researchers at MIT, Carnegie Mellon, and Stanford strapped volunteers to an fMRI machine and showed them photos of products. When shoppers saw something they wanted to buy, a flood of dopamine to the nucleus accumbens–the brain’s reward center– lit up their fMRI images like a dashboard.

 Shopping keeps you younger

And it’s not only about pleasure. Shopping may also help women maintain their mental acuity in old age, says Guy McKhann, M.D., a professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins University and a co-author of Keep Your Brain Young. “People who are doing really well as they get older tend to be mentally engaged, physically active, and socially involved,” he says. “And women are all of those things when they shop.”

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What’s worse: being unemployed or in a job you hate?

April 9, 2009

Now wait! Before you accuse me of being blonde, think about it. Really think about it. A friend of mine just asked me if I could write about him being “deeply depressed in his ever-lasting job”. Let me clarify. He lives in Israel, ergo the ever-lasting job situation. And he works for the airlines: people, complaints, complaints, people. Every now and then something goes right (the plane is on time, the passengers are on time, there’s no terrorist attack, the pilot is not drunk) but nobody seems to notice, except him. Celebrations are few and far between. ·you’re hating it for as long as you show up for work. That could lead to ulcers, heartburn, psoriasis and a pot belly, not to mention hypertension, depression, anxiety (I used to work for a behavioral health company. I should know.) and the need to make like Spiderman and crawl all over the building walls. True or true?

That got me thinking. Really thinking. What’s worse, being unemployed or working at a job you hate? (I know, I asked that already. I’m just trying to make a point).

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Everything’s on sale including luxury

April 7, 2009

 I recently saw a commercial that sent shock waves through my body: Macy’s was advertising their great prices! Excuse me?! Did I miss something? Now, don’t get me wrong: I love Macy’s. It’s actually my favorite store. I used to shop there extensively BR (before the recession). I loved their shoe selection (that’s a duh!), their lingerie and their petite collections. Macy’s loves and understands me, I would say to myself as I wondered the I.N.C. aisles. But, I never, ever, ever considered Macy’s a place where I went for good prices. Granted, they have sales ALL THE TIME, but the land of Dooney & Bourke, Calvin Klein and BCBGMaxAzria is no Walmart. Or at least, they weren’t last time I checked. I can’t say I’ve been in the shopping mood lately. And window shopping has never been my thing. I mean, what’s the point? When I visit the stores, it’s because I want to buy something — sometimes, everything, especially at Macy’s. I can’t imagine just looking and not taking anything home. Doesn’t that cause physical damage to, say, your left prefrontal cortex? I know I would be one angry little woman (I’m aware that there are other names out there for this condition, but I prefer to keep a clean blog), if all I could do is look and not buy. Talk about self-denial!

The fact that this mega mid- to high-end chain has to advertise low prices is truly a sign of the times. This crappy economy is not just affecting the little people (and I don’t necessarily mean petites here), but everyone in general. I guess Maddoff did more damage than I thought. He not only brought down some of the country’s wealthiest families, baseball and football team owners, even small countries, but he seems to have done a number on our retail establishment as well. I wonder, when all is said and done, what our shopping options will be. Maybe Nordstrom will partner with Target or Bloomingdales will buy TJ Maxx. These are fascinating times. Nothing, it seems, will ever be the same. And, yes, it is scary, but at least, it’s not boring. And maybe, just maybe, Dun & Bradstreet will have its own handbag collection. And their prices will fluctuate according to customer demand.

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Ever been scammed by a landlord or property manager?

April 1, 2009

If you have, believe me, I feel your pain. This morning I took Arbor Property Management, Inc of Garden Grove or Westminster or some such Southern California city (They don’t have a physical address. May I say more?) to small claims court over our deposit. Not only did we never receive it — and it’s been oh, four months since we moved out — but now they’re claiming deductions of $1300 for items which the judge argued could be considered “wear and tear” and a few other fees she thought verged on “usury”. Well, at the end of our lengthy dispute, she promised to think about the case and mail us her decision, which I welcome.

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All I want is all there is and then some!

March 30, 2009

earthakittAs I was listening to Eartha Kitt’s “All I want is all there is and then some” for the umpteenth time, it finally hit me. (Ok, I admit it: sometimes I’m slow.) It’s not about having “40 men who want to date each night or a mansion on a million acre lot” (although that’s not too shabby, either), but it’s about allowing ourselves to wish and desire without bounds. Like she says “Why not? If I’m gonna want, I’m gonna want a lot!”, and why not indeed? Why settle? Why put a cap on what we can be or what we can achieve? It’s akin to when a few years ago people were applying for mortgage loans. (Remember those days?) Some went in thinking they could afford a $150K home. But why think small, the bank countered? We’ll give you a $600K mortgage! Go get yourself a MacMansion on the hill. (Ok, so maybe this isn’t the best example…). But, you know what I’m talking about. I’m sure you do because, like me, some of you have sold yourselves short for no other reason than we believe we don’t deserve any better. And … may I ask who told us that? It’s not like when you’re in the reincarnation line ready to dive down and invade a sperm, a higher being hands you a number: 43. That’s your aspirational quotient. Jump, but remember on Earth you cannot aspire to anything above 43. Talk about mediocrity! Why, that’s not even 50%. Forget it! I’m not going in. I’ll stay here until I can get a better number. But being in the hands of a higher power, you’re pushed off the heavens and you land head first into you know where. Nine months later, a perfect 43 is born. Wouldn’t make a bad screenplay, actually: people walking around with their aspirational quotients on their sleeves. But, wait! We already do this. I told you I was slow.

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Call it what you may, you’re still unemployed!

March 27, 2009

This morning I received my business word of the day from www.Netlingo.com
(I get the jargon, too. It’s a lot more wicked!).  The word was rightsizing and the definition was -no lie:

A perversion of “downsizing,” meant to showcase the wisdom acquired by the “sizer” since his/her last foray into the re-scaling jungle. It sounds better than “layoffs.”

 Now, I ask you, who cares what it’s called? The important thing is what it does. So, great, the marketing department of a great corporation you have been performing at the top of your game for decides that the right number of employees is say, a bit off, and well that needs to be remediated (another great business term), so you and your whole group or part of your group or just you and someone in Wichita have to go. And after your meager severance package is paid and your Cobra benefits announced (ha! Are they kidding? You wouldn’t have been able to afford Cobra while you were employed, much less now. What are they thinking?) Well, of course, they’re not thinking, otherwise they would have known a long time ago the optimum (great word!) size of their operations and saved you the pain and agony of getting laidoff, oh sorry, rightsized.

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Cell Phone Banners Spell Success

March 17, 2009

A couple of days ago as I was fidgeting with my cell phone trying to delete some graffiti my teenager had left on my main screen (Nick was here!), I realized this space was prime real estate for true inspiration. So I set out to create a banner that read “I am successful!”. You have no idea what effect this phrase has on me every time I pick up my phone. There in black over a beachy background (what else would you expect?), these three little words stare back at me prompting me to respond. I guess I could disagree, but then where would that lead me? Oh yeah, DepressionVille. Nah, I don’t want to go there. Instead, I smile, primarily because the message still takes me by surprise –the memory not being quite what it once was– and secondly because it’s true and I can’t help but concur with it.

 As I was walking out of the office building I was not to return to on that Laid Off day, a very wise and dear man provided me with some great words of encouragement. “You’re a CEO, don’t forget that, you’ll land on your feet.” Wow! That was comforting, especially coming from someone who had known me only for a very short time. Yes, I had helped him edit a book he’s currently writing, but other than that, what did he really know about me, my work ethics, professionalism, etc.? Oh yeah, I helped him edit his book. I forgot. I’ve got to look into this memory thing. But I digress. I guess you’ve figured out that I do this a lot. Bear with me. It gets better.

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