Monday, April 14, 2014

Metamorphosis: Freedom... And So It Begins

Happy Monday,

Listened to Amos Lee's "Freedom" this morning.  

Don't wanna be a martyr in this war
Don't wanna hear the same excuses anymore
That everything's a threat
And it's only gonna get worse if we let it

Don't wanna blame the rich for what they got
Don't point a finger at the poor for what they have not
Though the politician and the priest
Live in the belly of the beast because we fed it

Freedom is seldom found
By beating someone to the ground
Telling them how everything is gonna be now, yeah

Now if the tables were turned tell me how you would feel
Somebody busted up into your house telling you to stay still
While the leaders will deny defeat
Innocents they testify by dying in the street

Freedom is seldom found
By beating someone to the ground
Telling them how everything is gonna be now

Freedom is seldom found
By beating someone to the ground
Telling them how everything is gonna be now

I have long loved that song but today, it felt like a life-changing and life-affirming revelation.  A shift that is still bursting in this very moment.

What a metamorphosis.

Long overdue.

The journey is about to get much more enjoyable.

Recap and Considerations (SPOILER ALERT): Mad Men, Season 7, Episode 1: Time Zones by Lilly J. Goren

We enter the final season of Mad Men through a bi-coastal lens. The initial section of the episode is in New York, at the familiar offices of Sterling Cooper & Partners. We are re-acquainted with Peggy, Freddy Rumsen, Joan, as well as some new characters, including Peggy’s new secretary, Shirley (who is also African-American), and Peggy’s new boss, Lou (who immediately insults his African-American secretary, Dawn, who had been Don Draper’s secretary previously.) We first come across Don as he is shaving, in an airplane bathroom, on his way to Los Angeles. A once-again smashingly mod Megan, in her convertible, greets him at the airport. Don eats lunch with Pete Campbell, who looks like he moved the Hamptons to L.A.  The rest of Don’s time in California is spent by himself in Megan’s wood-paneled “pad” in the Hollywood Hills. The episode continues to cut back and forth, mostly through opening and closing doors, between the East and West coasts, between the work environment at Sterling Cooper and Don’s stay in California. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Mad Men, Nostalgia, and The Pursuit of Happiness by Lilly J. Goren

Tonight we enter the final season of the AMC series Mad Men. The series, one of the first series that AMC choose to make as a complement to the classic film catalog that has dominated the station’s offerings, began with critical acclaim and lots of advertising to try to drive viewers to a channel that they might not otherwise look to for original programming. The show has, over years since it began in 2007, become a popular culture touchstone—President Obama referenced it in the most recent (2014) State of the Union Address, in regard to paycheck equity, and clothing lines at Banana Republic have been designed to reflect the aesthetic of the early 1960s and have integrated Mad Men into the advertising campaign. The show itself has become an iconic member of this golden age of “prestige television” with the protagonist Don Draper taking his place next to Tony Soprano of HBO’s The Sopranos, Walter White of AMC’s Breaking Bad, Jack Bauer of Fox’s 24, and a host of other, mostly male, protagonists who have been the centerpieces of complex and “important” television series.

Mad Men was a bit different from some of these other shows because of its historical position—opening the series in 1960s and closing it, at least according to all information, at the beginning of the 1970s. Matthew Weiner, the show’s creator, often writer and occasional director, explained that he was particularly interested in making a television series that encompassed this decade of change and unrest within the United States.  Mad Men is a period drama that explores human interactions and the repercussions of recent political/historical events through the prism of myriad imperfect characters at a Madison Avenue advertising agency during the explosion of consumer culture in post-war America. 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Jenny Rie Vanderlinden 1962 - 2014

"The Love Song"

Baby pull your covers up and start your sleeping
Start your dreaming
Kiss the sky
No one comes around this town on the weekends
So you're safe in this bed
You're safe for some time

I'll follow you around this playground
And burn your troubles in the sun
I'll follow you six feet under
And give life back to you
My love

I took care of the kids on the balcony
I gave them tea and dried their eyes
All of your troubles are on top of me
But your troubles are sweet
They're sweet like wine

Trevor Hall

To honor Jenny's light, I invite you to try four things:

1. Live as if you really understand how divine you are every second of every day. Except nothing less from yourself or anyone else. If you find yourself in a place of dishonor, disrespect, or discomfort, flee, regroup, and chart another path. One that leads to happiness, honor, fulfillment, flourishing, bliss. Where you are understood, where you are celebrated, where you are constantly surrounded by joy. And this is reciprocal. Treat others as divine. With kindness, patience, empathy, understanding. See them with softer eyes and cover their hearts with radical, life-affirming love. Refrain from amplifying, being a party to or witness of anything you don't wish to replicate in the world. Amplify light. Amplify love.

2. Give to the I Heart Jenny documentary fund:

3. Give to the Jenny Rie Vanderlinden Scholarship Fund at Kenyon College:

4. Send thoughts of love and light to Jenny's family and friends. Just one warm, kind thought can bring our hearts much comfort and joy.

Love, without conditions, out loud, every single day,

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Jackson's Honest Chips Founder Megan Reamer on The AYG List with April Yvonne Garrett

Jackson’s Honest Chips wants to change the way you think about potato chips. Using the healthiest, most nourishing oil available – coconut oil – Jackson’s skillfully crafts their chips in small batches using only the simplest ingredients, like potatoes, coconut oil, and salt. 

From the field, the farmer, and the fryer…to you, their goal is to bring the potato chip back to its humble and simple roots by using the finest organic heirloom potatoes and kettle frying them using organic coconut oil.

Jackson’s source potatoes from small-scale family farmers that they know and trust who use organic or biodynamic methods on their farms and never use GMO varieties of vegetables, 
purchase the highest grade organic, cold pressed coconut oil from companies that use traditional coconut oil extraction techniques, and use sea salt for its many trace minerals. 

Tonight at 7 p.m., I talk with its CEO Megan Reamer, a mother of four, whose son Jackson’s medical condition inspired this wholesome, Paleo-friendly, gluten-free, and vegan product.

Megan Reamer is the mother of four children and lives in Crested Butte, Colorado. Prior to starting Jackson's Honest Chips, she was a full-time stay-at-home mom. In her previous work life, she was a staff reporter for Dow Jones & Co. and a marketing consultant at Andersen Consulting (now Accenture).

She can be found of social media here:
Facebook: Jackson's Honest Chips
Twitter: @honestchips

Enjoy Megan's List:

Essential Grooming Item: Rebecca's Herbal Apothecary Healthy Hair Oil (tames my curls!)
Must-Have Travel Wardrobe: Pink Pashmina
Favorite Hotel: Any Ritz Carlton feels like heaven
Shoes: Born (going for comfort)
Outerwear: I live in my Patagonia Ultra-Light Down vest
Shirt: James Perse 
Pants: Levi's
Jewelry: Tiffany's Platinum wedding band received on my 1st wedding anniversary
Meal: Steak, mushrooms, asparagus
Snack: Jackson's Honest Sweet Potato Chips
Beverage: Sweet Leaf Iced Peach Tea
Restaurant: The Kitchen in Boulder, CO
Artist: Andrew Wyeth
Musician: Neil Young
Writer: Wallace Stegner
Book: To Kill A Mockingbird
Film: Coal Miner's Daughter
Most Treasured Possession: My grandmother's wedding ring
Perfect Happiness: Traveling with my family, preferably somewhere warm with a fantastic beach
Fear: Stuck Elevators
Dislike: Going to Children's Hospital with Jackson
Best Advice: From my dad: Just keep plugging away; from my mom: marry someone handy
Favorite Quote: You've got to play the cards you're dealt

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