Thursday, July 31, 2008

Press Release Tips

Press releases are obviously a huge part of public relations. However, when journalists see press releases as more of a pain in the ass than a saving grace for their media, there is a problem. I was looking around and I found some interesting links to help make your press releases better and hopefully readable.
**(Make sure you read the comments after this article. There are more tips there that are very useful too.)**


Hungry Girl

Since I will be living in an apartment off-campus this upcoming school year, I decided to buy a cookbook to give me different ideas of what to cook for breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. I got a taste of having to cook for myself this summer because I lived away from home and I found that it wasn't too bad. I don't mind having to cook, but the food that I actually can cook and have time to cook can get boring. I get sick of it pretty fast and I have to come up with meals for 9 months out of the year. And, with being an athlete, I want to have healthy meals. I can't be ordering pizza and making mac n' cheese and spaghettios every night.

No worries though! I found the perfect cookbook! It's called "Hungry Girl: Recipes and Survival Strategies for Guilt-Free Eating in the Real World" by Lisa Lillien. The author is not a nutritionist or a doctor and she is not trying to get you to go on a diet. She is just a woman who loves food and has done a lot of research and has a lot of experience with low fat foods. Most of the recipes make one serving and that is all I need since I'll be cooking for me, myself, and I. The best part that I am SO excited about though is that she gives lots of CHOCOLATE recipes! That's right, you can still have chocolate and not have to pack on the pounds. Her other recipes include breakfast, salads, soups, lunches, healthy junk food (there's an oxymoron if I ever saw one), "manly" meals, party foods, fruity dishes, foods you bake in the oven, and coffee and alcoholic drinks. The second best part about this book is that most of the recipes are simple. They don't call for outrageous ingredients and they don't take long to make. However, there are fancier recipes if I decide to wow my roommates and cook a big fancy meal for all of them.

If you are interested and want to find out more, check out the HG website. Lillien even has a free daily e-mail with tips, tricks, and suggestions for making your cooking low fat. You can even order her book online. Or, if you want it now, I've seen the book at Sam's Club and Barnes and Noble. So, if you're a college girl who has to cook for herself and isn't a whiz with a spatula, I would highly suggest this book. I don't get excited about cooking, but when it comes to this book, I am like a kid in a candy store!

Here's some examples of food from her book and how many calories they are...
  • Eggs Benedict - 183 calories
  • Breakfast Pizza - 127 calories
  • Chili Cheese Nachos - 216 calories
  • Cheeseburger - 202 calories
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge - 65 calories
  • Onion Rings - 153 calories
  • Tuna Melt - 212 calories
  • 7-Layer Burrito - 277 calories
  • Sweet Potato Pie - 113 calories
  • Cookies and Cream Freeze - 160 calories

Now that's some food to get excited over!

SONG OF THE DAY: Jordin Sparks - One Step At a Time

Today's Scripture: For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. (1 Corinthians 2:2)


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Daddy's Girl

I don't think guys will understand this post so if you are a guy and you don't want to read about the mushy relationship between a girl and her mom, then I would advise you not to read on.

For you girls who have a mom that you are close to and you tell her everything, I envy you. I hear my friends talking about how they never keep anything from their mom and how they talk and laugh and do things together. I mean, it's not always sunshine and rainbows with these mothers and daughters, but with my mom and I, it's more like rain clouds and crushed dandelions.

My mom was raised in an atmosphere where hugging and kissing each other was inappropriate. Her two sisters turned out to be failures and my mom's mom was abused as a child. So, ever since the beginning, my mom has never had that special touchy/feely relationship with me. I can never remember a time when she's playfully kissed me on the cheek a bunch of times, tried tickling me to make me laugh, she's never given me a huge bear hug or even something remotely close to a tight hug, and we've never done anything just the two of us. I mean we've went shopping together, but that's only when she needs to buy me something or is grocery shopping.

I look at other mothers with their daughters and I get jealous. No matter how much my mom yells at me, no matter how much she favors my brother, no matter how much she makes me mad and keeps denying me the chance to spend some time with just her, I still love her to death and I always go to her first. It's a really twisted kind of relationship and to me it seems very one-sided on my part. Yet, I always go back. I want so desperately to tell her everything, to have her hug and kiss me naturally and have fun with me. But, after this long, after all this time in my life not doing it, I highly doubt it will ever happen.

Sometimes you can't change people. I can't change my mom and I can't tell her all the things I haven't told her. It's too late now. She's not a bad mom though. I know she does her best and she has sacrificed for me and she provides for me and I know she loves me. I just don't know it all the time...

SONG OF THE DAY: Maroon 5 - She Will Be Loved
Today's Scripture: "In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for You, Lord, alone make me dwell in safety and confident trust" (Psalm 4:8)


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Not So Ying and Yang

Everyone wants to believe that we have gotten to the point where racial discrimination is no longer a problem. Viewers watch TV shows like Rob and Big, with a little white guy and a big black guy being 'best buddies forever,' and they watch awe-inspiring movies like Remember the Titans that bring the Caucasians and African Americans so much closer together. These types of media make it seem like everything is a-okay. However, not everyone sees in black and white.

From my experiences going to a mixed high school, being in college, and having a police officer for a father, I have found that racial discrimination is still a problem today. Yes, it has come a long way from Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr., but it is still lingering. And, I believe that this problem is 50/50, fueled by both sides evenly.

I learned in one of my college classes that there is no such thing as reverse discrimination. First, let me give you a definition of reverse discrimination- "discrimination directed against members of certain social or racial groups, as white males, thought of as being dominant or having benefited from past discrimination against minority groups who are now favored, often as a result of affirmative action." Now, I believe my teacher was wrong. I believe there IS such a thing as reverse discrimination and it happens quite often.

My dad comes home and tells us about some of the things he has to deal with at work. Not only is it his job to pull people over, arrest people, etc., he has to deal with people and listen to their crap. A lot of that crap he has to listen to is African Americans trying to tell him that they're only being arrested or pulled over because they're black. One hundred percent of the time that is untrue. There are rumors about police raping "unsuspecting black women," which is also almost always untrue. And yeah, white people have jokes about black people, but black people have jokes about white people too. White people can get bullied and be the victims of violence by black people just as much as the opposite can happen.

According to Darnell Hunt, professor of sociology and director of the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA, "African Americans have always had to think racially. They're very conscious of race, of dealing with it on a daily basis" (qtd. in Dolliver, "Double Vision: The Race Issue Revisited, Adweek). But why? I highly doubt that they have someone discriminating against them every day of their life. We are all homosapiens: blacks, whites, Asians, Latinos. And if they do get discriminated against, why can't they be the bigger person and let it go. Slavery happened a long time ago and this country will never revert to that huge mistake. Why don't they let the dumb hick run his or her mouth and just walk away? Why do black people have to be so vocal and upset about it? This generation had absolutely nothing to do with what happened in those horrible times.

I don't know what can be done about this problem. A lot of smart and powerful people have tried to do something about it, but it just seems to keep reminding everyone that there is a problem. Has anyone ever thought of maybe ignoring it? I mean what is up with having BET (Black Entertainment) and the NAACP (National Association of Advancement for Colored People)? There is no WET (White Entertainment) and the last time there was an association for white people, it was something like the KKK (Ku Klux Klan). Now I'm not saying the NAACP goes around discriminating against white people by burning down homes and carrying out violent acts against white people. However, why have an association at all? I would be a little offended if I were African American. Are people saying that black people can't succeed on their own? They have to have an association all to themselves?
I know I'm treading a very fine line right now, but I can assure you that I am not racist. And I know I am a hypocrite for writing about this when I said people should try ignoring that there is a problem. But, it is a topic that makes me frustrated and I wanted to vent. I don't mean to offend anyone in any way and I apologize if I have. However, I'm American and I have a right to my opinions.
SONG OF THE DAY: Chris Daughtry-Home
Today's Scripture: "For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures" (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)