Sunday, December 2, 2012

Documenting our Existence

I am fascinated by the results of the 1 second of your life project that I found perusing kickstarter.
My initial reaction is, what a wonderful project. What a great video to look back on your life!

It would only take one second of our day, each day, and yet it would add to our set of tools that we are mandated to nourish with data. So part of me wonders, if while we're busy documenting our lives through photography, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Linkedin, our websites, blogs and apps, if we are actually living it at all? I mean LIVING.

Do we remember what it means to focus and be present?
Do we remember how it felt, to pass guilt free hours talking with friends in person while never checking email on our smart phones even once?
Do we remember how it felt to find uninterrupted flow in a task that we enjoyed so much so that we looked up and half the day was gone.
Are we so easily programmed that we are products of the tools we use? Tools embedded in a system that requires more to exist, that requires benchmarks of success to remain valid, where statistics and photographic evidence become indicators that prove our lives were worthwhile after all.

Monday, October 1, 2012

8 Things I Learned Editing a Pro-Choice video Campaign

For nearly one year, the team at Concentric Media worked on several video campaigns released in the fall. Led by Emmy-winning director Dorothy Fadiman, I worked on a video campaign called Choice at Risk, that shares stories of women who had back-alley abortions or stories from the family members who lost loved ones due to those unsafe illegal abortions. The campaign traces the history of abortion to the present in convenient bite size documentaries. Below I list just a few of the many things I learned about reproductive care, contraception and abortion, in no particular order, while working on this campaign.

1. Yes, it does seem logical, but it's good to know there is a report published by the Guttmacher Institute, proving that access to contraception = less abortions. Reports like this are important because even today, there are those who seek to stymie access to contraception, these are the same people who are against choice.

2.Republicans are obsessed with vaginas, and some women are choosing to embrace this interest.  Check out this video.

3.Ok, lets admit it, MOST men are obsessed or at least quite interested in vaginas, and us women think they're cool too! But some men have developed an unhealthy relationship with them, to the point that they think they need to control those who have them, because if their full power were unleashed who knows what might happen!? As Jon Stewart aptly pointed out, vagina's, "besides being able to repel rape sperm, can also be used as a Wi-Fi hotspot, can detect radon and carbon monoxide, can convert standard DVD's to Blue ray…" Well, the list just goes on and on.

4. It's true, vagina's are amazing, but some politicians are afraid to even hear the word VAGINA said aloud, as if you just took the Lord's name in vain and will now be struck by lightening, or said, MotherF#$$ers, lets get this party started Aiiiiight, interrupting the dead silence at a local library. Michigan Reps. Lisa Brown, D-West Bloomfield was silenced on the house floor for using the word vagina in an abortion debate because politicians were that disturbed. Sorry boys, time to learn that saying the word vagina will not actually jinx you or bring death upon your family or unleash a plague upon our great nation.

5.When I was asked to design the logo for  Choice at Risk, I started doing visual research on herbs and contraception / abortion.  By research, I mean I typed keywords into Google images seeking visual inspiration. That's how I landed on Queen Anne's Lace also known as wild carrot (Daucus Carota), and eventually ended up reading Robin Rose Bennet's website . After absorbing her studies into the contraceptive nature of Queen Anne's Lace I knew that this flowering plant had to be in the logo. After the Concentric Media team worked and reworked the concept, we came up with what you see above. To me the logo is powerful because it stands for a long history of contraception and abortion that exists as long as women do. There is no better and more aesthetically pleasing way to learn more about that history than to check out the "4000 Years For Choice" collection by artist Heather Ault. Also, check out this video for a brief and more recent history.

6.When you ban or restrict abortion, women who have money, travel to a location where abortion is legal, woman who have just a bit of money, pay to have unsafe back-alley abortions and poor woman try a DIY approach. The end result is that the woman who have less money die or end up in the hospital. There are lots of stories here:

7.There are people who thinks it's OK to murder someone, because they disagree with his/her activities, as was the case when Dr. Tiller, an abortion Doctor was gunned down while attending his church in wichita Kansas.

8.There are no plush vagina toys for sale although there are uteri. This could be a market niche.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Message to my Bucket List

Dear Bucket List,

I am ever so blessed and humbled that you deem me a worthy human to send downloads of beautiful story-nuggets-of-glory,* awe inspiring images, and an upswell in fascinations like vegan cooking mastery, herbal healing and local flora and fauna, but you have grown so long that I will now need to live as many years as humanly possible, at least until 135. We all know what that means: I will have to pre-hire someone to pluck my man-beard because by the time I'm that old I'll be too blind to notice it, and I want to be as cute as possible. I will also need to assure my location is in close proximity to bingo halls, ballroom dancing, golf and chic silhouette depends for my incontinence. These are all concepts I am now thinking of thanks to your generosity, and I'm quite excited at the notion of looking like this.

If you wish that I do double or triple the work until I'm 135, please also direct kind-hearted and evolutionary benefactors to me as well.

Yours Sincerely,


*Otherwise known as fantastic ideas for stories.

PS: Do know, I write with utter reverence and apologize for use of the term “bucket list.” (I know, it just feels so negative doesn't it?) But everyone KNOWS what a bucket list IS and no one would really know what a passion-nugget-of-greatness or a baby-furry-spargeltarzan, or a verhonepiepeln is, so there it is.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Interview Rejection Letter

Dear John Smith and Company,

Thank you for inviting me to an interview for the media position. Although you were included in a highly competitive group of potential workplaces, after careful consideration I regret to inform you that you were not selected.

Although there is no way to lessen the disappointment, I would like to point out that your comments about how you are overworked and your department is actually a total dump, offered casually as we walked towards the interview location to meet the committee, did not help your case.

I appreciate you taking the time to speak with me and wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.


PS: Even though your rejection letter arrived physically in the mail before I even got around to writing mine, I technically rejected you first, because I decided immediately after the interview while driving home on the very long and traffic filled commute. So that means I win, you lose. (And that's what we are all about in this game, winners and losers.)