Saturday, October 28, 2006

Justin Timberlake & Spongebob Squarepants: Bringing Sexy Back

While riding in the car - SUV actually - the other day, one of the local radio station's promos posed the question: "If Justin Timberlake is bringing Sexy Back; where has sexy been?" (Okay, so maybe I didn't get it exactly write. I was driving, for goodness sake.) The question stuck with me because I'd asked myself the same question when I initially heard the song.

My Answer: Sexy went slutty. We welcome its triumphant return and hope that sultry, smoldering and intriguing will also come out of hiding.

Spongebob Squarepants

I have never understood the popularity of Spongebob. The small excerpts I'd seen seemed really annoying. How could even small children stand this? Then I was sucked in, like into a whirlpool. My 17-year-old son - a very unique child - is fascinated by Spongebob Squarepants. He watches it every shot he gets, between hip-hop and rock videos. Anyhoo, in an effort to spend some time with my fickle teen I watched a few episodes with him.

I truly hate to admit this; but I actually found it...funny. Of course, I occasionally do laugh aloud at the funnies - reading them is a luxury I can rarely afford. However, a lot of the humor was geared toward people a bit older than the kids targeted by the show. Even for the grown-ass kids that we are currently cranking out.

So, I found the show funny. Though, I don't make an effort to watch the show; I often sit with my son when he does watch it. My favorite episode thusfar - I am a Spongebob Newbie, remember - is the one where Mr. Krabs falls for Mrs. Puff. The ultra cheap Mr. Krabs begins lavishly spending money on Mrs. Puff. He realizes that he is out of control and charges Spongebob with preventing him from spending any more money. Yet, every time some new opportunity to impress her comes up he is insistent that Spongebob give him the money to spend. It is hilarious (or maybe I'm just seriously twisted) and it reminds me of the internal angst that so many of us have suffered in relationships.

For anyone who is, or has ever been, a voluntary doormat; trying to buy love or friendship or morphing into a completely different person to please a mate/friend/boss it's time to bring our sexy back. Our sexy selves that is. This isn't about looks, size 0 jeans or an expensive wardrobe. It's about confidence...the ultimate sign of sexiness. Have enough confidence to be you, whoever that may be. If you want to change, let it be for your betterment. After all, we should all strive for self-improvement on the outside and on the inside - where it matters most. But, it should never be to "earn" someone else's approval.

Samara Leigh

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Madonna: "Damn Near Fifty"

During a weekend of vegging out on chick flicks and music videos between walks in the park, my husband and I "dissented" on the age of Madonna. I said something about the fact that she still looked great and he reminded me that she was "damn near fifty." For some reason, I found this completely unacceptable. I'd been a fan since Holiday. And while I couldn't remember my age at the time, I didn't think she was that much older than me. I guessed that she was 42 to 45. For some reason that sounded much better and was more comforting.

Of course, I love my husband to death, but I couldn't take his word for it. I googled Madge and learned that she was....48! Or, "damn near fifty." Still small, well-defined and with the courage to prance around in a 1980's leotard that had a lot less lycra than she had ass. At "damn near fifty?"

Honestly, if it hadn't been for this discovery and the realization that Janet Jackson is forty - and both looking extremely cut and in great health - I'd probably have spent the entire weekend on the couch (well, I'd probably have gone from the couch to the love seat a few times).

Though I have no dillusions of looking like either of these women, it did remind me that I can do a lot more than I have been to get in shape and be healthy. It also reminded me of the goals that I have for myself as a person, a writer and an entrepreneur. There is an awful lot that I'd like to do before I am forty and definitely before I turn - "damn near fifty." This small ephiphany reminded me of the need to bring my goals back in focus and get to work on them.

And they say music videos aren't educational!

Samara Leigh

Friday, October 20, 2006

Jennifer Weiner Comes to Cleveland

My introduction to Jennifer Weiner was through the movie, In Her Shoes. I loved the movie. I am a fan of both Cameron Diaz and Toni Collette. I laughed, cried and was moved by the plight of both the sisters and their tragic family history of learning disabilities and mental illness. I was especially touched because I love a young, bright soul that is struggling with Autism. Soon after, while cruising the aisles at Tar-get I saw the book and her first book, Good in Bed.

Recently Jennifer attended an event in Cleveland. I was eager to meet and perhaps interview the author. When doing a bit of research on her I discovered her "For Writers" section on her website. Hillarious and spot on. I was more geared up to meet her than ever before. Yet, somehow the day of the event I felt tired, drained and was making every excuse in the book why I should just stay at home staring at my computer and hoping for some inspiration. There was the "I don't know what I'm going to wear" excuse. After all, everyone would be there to see me - wouldn't they? Then I pulled out the "I don't wanna pay for parking" excuse. Parking turned out to be a whopping $1. I even trotted out the "I can't go now, I am going to be late" excuse.

I removed my jacket and tossed it on the chair and was taking off my shoes when I realized that I was doing it AGAIN. Being a complete self-defeatist that was busier killing my own dreams than any outside force could ever be. Dammit! Why do I do that to myself? I high-tailed it out of my house, made it to the venue - without killing any small animals I might add - parked, managed to find my seat and even sweet-talked a server into resetting my place and bringing me lunch. And I did not miss a moment.

Jennifer Weiner is as charming and as funny as I'd imagined she'd be. She chatted about her family, her life and how she got her start writing as if she'd known us all for years. As I listened to her I thought about some of the conversations that my best friend and I have had over the years. The ones where we'd laughed until we cried. No matter how dire the situations seemed - family, love lives, kids...for those moments life wasn't so bad after all and we were inspired to pick ourselves up and try again the next day.

That's what Jennifer Weiner gave me that day. Inspiration. And the realization that there was no magic potion. Just someone telling a story that they needed to get out. The fact that someone identified with it, enjoyed it and wanted to make it into a major motion picture...well that is just the frosting.

I didn't get to meet her. I didn't get to interview her. Yet, she helped me that day. More than she'll ever know.

Samara Leigh

Reality TV Addiction

Did I mention that I've become really addicted to reality TV? Not everything. I still can't stomach Survivor and I'm not drawn to shows like the Amazing Race, The Bachelor or The Simple Life. What I do love is American Idol (after three years of ridiculing the show without ever having watched it), Project Runway, real estate related shows - Property Ladder, Flip This House, Flip That House - and my newest favorites - Big Spender and The House of Carters.

Maybe my real fascination is just with the fact that there is an entire world outside of my office in a windowless loft - which I call The Loftice. I've been working really hard the past few months to get out of the office more. I've discovered my favorite TV shows again, the great outdoors, fresh air and how to spend time with my teen-ager in ways that he finds tolerable and sometimes amusing. Yay me!

So, my DVR will be working overtime over the next several weeks as I continue plugging away on client work, planning an online conference, trying to work out enough to ward off the winter pounds and...oh yeah, pen a 50,000 word novel.

Piece of cake. Piece of pie. I'm sure.

Samara Leigh

Thursday, October 19, 2006

NaNoWriMo...Uh-Oh

November is National Novel Writing Month

Okay, what better way to pull myself up by the writing bootstraps and write more than by throwing myself into an unbelievable writing challenge - headfirst.

So, the idea is to write a novel of at least 50,000 words in just ONE MONTH. Brilliant. Should be no problem at all. ;-)

I am definitely going for Chick Lit as my genre. Stay tuned to see if I survive past week one.

Samara Leigh