Tuesday, December 1, 2009

DJ Hell

DJ Hell released the exploratory double album Teufelswerk, to much acclaim this year, and one of the songs that turned the most heads was "U Can Dance," his collaboration with Roxy Music legend Bryan Ferry. Now Hell (born Helmut Josef Geier) will release "Dance" as a single, and in typical dance music fashion, he's invited a gaggle of friends to get their remixing paws all over it. Simian Mobile Disco, Carl Craig and Tim Goldsworthy all contribute remixes to the single, which will be available in January via International Deejay Gigolo Records.

Track Listing For Teufelswerk:
01. U Can Dance (Radio Edit)
02. U Can Dance (Carl Craig Remix V.1)
03. U Can Dance (Carl Craig Remix V.2)
04. U Can Dance (Tim Goldsworthy Remix)
05. U Can Dance (Simian Mobile Disco remix)
06. U Can Dance ('Teufelswerk' album version)
07. U Can Dance (Video)

Ted Leo & The Pharmacists new disc

Ted Leo & The Pharmacists will release their new album, The Brutalist Bricks, on March 9. After previously recording for the now-defunct Touch & Go and Lookout! Records, this will be Ted and the boys' first album for Matador Records. No word yet on the a tracklisting or any of that other stuff, but you can head over to Matador's site/
to hear new single/recent live favorite “Even Heroes Have To Die.” Speaking of live, if you want to see Ted in his natural habitat, he's got a few East Coast shows coming up, starting with a December 2 stop at Philadelphia's First Unitarian Church.

Tour Dates For Ted Leo & The Pharmacists:
12/02 – Philadelphia PA – First Unitarian Church
12/03 – Washington DC – The Black Cat
12/05 – Cambridge MA – Middle East
12/06 – New York NY – Bowery Ballroom


In Flight Entertainment News

Lumexis Lands $15M For In-Flight Entertainment Systems

Costa Mesa-based Lumexis, a developer of in-flight entertainment and broadband connectivity systems, announced late Monday that it has scored $15M in a private equity funding from Perseus LLC. According to Lumexis, the financing round also included prior investors PAR Capital Management and Zone Ventures, and includes an option for an additional investment of $7.5M. Lumexis said the funding came in conjunction with a "large" order from an un-named customer, which is installing its systems into a fleet of 737-family aircraft. Lumexis claims that the firm's new order came because of its cost, weight, and reliability advantages. The core of the firm's systems is the use of fiber optic cabling.

Twitter Deals for The Holidays - Laura Baverman

This holiday shopping season, more than ever, mature men and women really are joining fan pages on Facebook and following their favorite brands and stores on Twitter.

They're jumping on a retailing trend that's not here just for today's Cyber Monday online shopping sprees, and not just for this year's holidays - but for good.

• Find CyberMonday deals on our SavingsCentral blog
• Check out travel deals on CyberMonday
• Cyber Monday changing workplace

Over the past six months, retailers have upped their presence on social media, the various Internet-based programs that allow people to quickly communicate with large groups of "friends" or "followers" using text, video and other multimedia.

This year, the retailers have used Facebook, Twitter and other Web-based tools to offer exclusive deals and contests to their fans and followers, people they consider their most loyal customers.

That's meant free stays at the Marriott's Hawaiian hotels, free Kroger brand ice cream, free tickets to University of Cincinnati football games. It's meant sneak peeks at Black Friday deals, like Cincinnati Bell's bargains on handsets.

Social media is different from the e-mail offers, television commercials and newspaper circulars.

It isn't necessarily about generating sales for the retailer.

It's about creating buzz and engaging the customer, for good or bad. That in turn, helps sales.

"In some ways, it circumvents traditional advertising and takes a retailer directly to the customer without the cost of direct mail or even e-mail," said Ellen Davis, vice president of the National Retail Federation.

A recent holiday survey by Deloitte found that 14 percent of Ohio consumers expect to use social media as part of their shopping strategy this year.

Most will use it to find discounts, coupons and sales, or to research gift ideas.

It's impossible to compare social-media use to past years because 2009 is really the first year it's played a role in holiday shopping, said Ed Bentley, Deloitte's north-central regional leader for its retail practice.

"This year is just a building block for the future," he said.

"It's become a way of creating that anticipation and interest level by reaching people in new ways."

Sophistication varies
Retailers typically fall in three camps as far as the sophistication of their social-media strategy, Davis said.

Some, like Best Buy, Dick's Sporting Goods, Kroger Co. and Cincinnati Bell, have developed a strategy that includes customer interaction, incentives and quick support.

Others, like many big-box stores, have set up accounts that mostly drive visits to their Web sites rather than interact with customers.

Still others, like many luxury retailers, don't see the need.

For Cincinnati Bell, it was about joining an online conversation that already was happening around its products and services, said Jane Weiler, the company's senior interactive marketing manager. She recently hired a full-time representative to respond to customers via Facebook and Twitter seven days a week.

"People might be surprised we're not doing this to drive traffic to our stores. It's all about the customer, the conversation and the relationship we're building," she said. "That's what social media is about."

Cincinnati Bell launched contests on its Facebook and Twitter pages for Black Friday, entering fans and followers into a drawing for tickets to the day's UC football game.

"The thing we've learned is to keep it simple," Weiler said. "Create contests that they can do instantly while out on our page."

Kroger Co. set up multiple Twitter pages earlier this summer to reach different interest groups. @KrogerWorks informs job seekers of hiring news and job fairs at stores around the nation. @KrogerDeals earned followers throughout August and September for its Deluxe Ice Cream giveaways. @SharingCourage lets Twitter followers know about Kroger's breast cancer awareness efforts. Kroger utilized its Facebook page to push visitors back and forth between the two mediums.

Making fast friends
Mike Deininger created a Twitter page for his Over-the-Rhine boutique, Mica 12/v, about three months ago (www.twitter.com/mica12v). He also runs the account that promotes all of the businesses in the neighborhood's Gateway Quarter, www.twitter.com/otrgateway.

Deininger had followed several Findlay Market businesses, like Taste of Belgium and Dojo Gelato, through his personal Twitter account and noticed, inadvertently, that he was visiting those merchants more often.

"It reminded me to get up there on Saturday when I go to buy my Blue Oven bread," he said. "I'm hoping the same is true for me."

He's not seeing immediate sales generation. If anything, Twitter and Facebook take more of his time and attention. But he's finding new ways to draw his most loyal fans into his store and into the Gateway Quarter more often. And they're the ones that bring friends, too.

"It can't be ignored, because you are reaching your most enthusiastic crowd," he said.

Poverty in the US, via John Hanrahhan

If Michael Harrington, author of “The Other America: Poverty in the United States,” were alive today and writing an update of his 1962 classic, he would probably not need to change a word of the following observation from that book:

“...(T)he poor are politically invisible. It is one of the cruelest ironies of social life in advanced countries that the dispossessed at the bottom of society are unable to speak for themselves. The people of the other America do not, by and large, belong to unions, to fraternal organizations, or to political parties. They are without lobbies of their own; they put forward no legislative program. As a group, they are atomized. They have no face; they have no voice....”

Further, Harrington wrote, “society is creating a new kind of blindness about poverty. It is increasingly slipping out of the very experience and consciousness of the nation.”

And so it is for the most part today: Invisible in our political discourse. Invisible in the press. Invisible in current discussions of solutions to our Great Recession but all too real for growing numbers of millions of Americans. The mainstream news media should acknowledge an obligation to make these invisible Americans more visible. Perhaps they could devote to the nation’s poor – and to solutions to poverty – even 10 percent of the news space and broadcast news time they give week in and week out to the tiniest ups and downs of the stock market, consumer spending, professional sports, and celebrities famous for being famous.

“It’s not only the news media” that generally ignore poverty in the United States, said Columbia University economics Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs, in a wide-ranging interview with Nieman Watchdog. “It is not on the political agenda. I doubt if President Obama has said much about it. The word ‘poverty’ itself is hardly ever used. Sometimes political leaders refer to the unemployed or low-income wage earners or struggling families, but not poverty. We have no activism around poverty. The political rhetoric is always built around ‘the hard-working taxpayer’ and not poor people.”

While there may be some spot-news and feature coverage of poverty-related issues in the mainstream press from time to time – and exceptional op-ed pieces from New York Times columnist Bob Herbert – Sachs, shown at right, said he sees little comprehensive news-page focus on “the systematic realities of poverty and the tax and spending policies” that need to be reformed to reduce poverty and income inequality. “They zero it out,” he said. (See an example of good recent press coverage of food stamps by Jason DeParle and Robert Gebeloff in The New York Times.)

Sachs, director of Columbia’s Earth Institute and special adviser to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the Millennium Development Goals to fight global poverty, said the mainstream press generally takes its cues from the presidential administration and Congress in reporting issues. If an issue isn’t being promoted by an administration or by prominent members of Congress, then the press tends to ignore it.

There was a brief, recent exception to the decades-long neglect of the poverty issue when the since-disgraced Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards made class and poverty the centerpiece of his unsuccessful 2007-2008 campaign. Edwards’s positions forced Barack Obama and other candidates to seriously discuss poverty for the first time since Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” and “war on poverty” of the 1960s. The discussion ended when the Edwards candidacy ceased.

In an article for Scientific American last March, Sachs wrote: “Indeed, our political discourse tends to focus on the middle class and neglect the poor, while our actual tax and spending policies are often directed to the benefit of the wealthy. As a result, the U.S. has the highest poverty rates, greatest income inequality, highest per capita prison population and worst health conditions of all high-income countries.”

Let’s look at some recent developments that point to the precarious circumstances that tens of millions of Americans – some in poverty, some in near-poverty, some falling out of the middle-class into near-poverty – have found themselves in during the recession:

POVERTY: The U.S. Census Bureau announced in September that the poverty rate for 2008 “hit its highest level in 11 years” at 13.2 percent, with poverty highest among African-Americans and Latinos, Reuters reported. This marked an increase from 37.3 million people in 2007 to 39.8 million people the previous year who were living in poverty. The government defines poverty as an annual income of $22,025 for a family of four, $17,163 for a family of three, and $14,051 for a family of two. Of the 2008 number, 14.1 million were children under the age of 18. The Economic Policy Institute projected that the 2009 figures would show increased overall poverty and with “a quarter of all children...living in poverty.”

HUNGER: Some 49 million people, one in about every six Americans, last year experienced food insecurity – actual hunger or not enough food for an active, healthy lifestyle – the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported this fall. The number of children classified as food insecure was 16.7 million – 4.3 million more than in 2007. USDA officials projected that the hunger figure would be even higher in 2009. Alleviating what could be an even greater hunger problem is the federal food stamp program, which helps cover the cost of groceries. The program has had record numbers of recipients every month this year, with one in every eight Americans (more than 36 million) currently receiving food stamps.

UNEMPLOYMENT: The October jobless figures showed 10.2 percent unemployment and 17.5 percent underemployment for American workers. Unemployment for African-American workers stood at 17.1 percent. The Washington Post reported recently that unemployment for 16-to-24-year-old African-American men “had reached Great Depression proportions – 34.5 percent in October.” Young black women had a 26.5 percent jobless rate.

New York Times columnist Bob Herbert reported in August that research by the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University in Boston had found that the percentage of American men under 35 who are actually working “is the lowest it has been in the 61 years of record-keeping.”

HOMELESSNESS: Although accurate homeless figures are difficult to compile, individual cities and advocates for the homeless report an upsurge in homelessness over the last year. One organization estimated that over the course of a year some 3 million people nationwide are homeless at one time or another. In Los Angeles, the fastest growing segment of the homeless population is families with children, with some 17,000 parents and children reportedly homeless in that city on any given night.

FORECLOSURES: CNNMoney.com reported in mid-October that the number of foreclosure filings hit a record high of 937,840 homes in the third quarter, according to a report by RealtyTrac, an online marketer of foreclosed homes. RealtyTrac called the just-ended three-month period “the worst three months of all time" for foreclosures. So far this year, lenders have taken back 623,852 homes.

BANKRUPTCIES: Some 1.4 million bankruptcies are projected to be filed by the end of this year, up from the 1.1 million filed in 2008, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI). There were 135,913 consumer bankruptcy filings in October, an 8.9 percent increase over the September filings, and a 27.9 percent increase over October 2008, the ABI reported.

HEALTH INSURANCE: The U.S. Census Bureau in September reported 46.3 million Americans lacked health insurance in 2008, compared to 45.7 million in 2007, with the poor and unemployed highly represented in the categories of uninsured and underinsured.

Sachs noted in his Scientific American article last March that government spending and tax policy affect the distribution of income “across different income classes at a point of time, and across generations.” Needless to say, these spending and tax policies do not benefit the poor and also squeeze the near-poor and middle class. Sachs has attributed this widening income disparity and favoritism of the government toward the super-rich to “the ruthless penetration of big money into national politics.”

As a result of these policies, Sachs wrote, “America ranks 22nd out of 23 high-income countries in public social outlays as a percent of national income (ahead only of Ireland), for health, pensions, income support, and other social services.”

How pronounced is inequality in the United States today? History Professor Tony Judt, director of the Remarque Institute at New York University and author of several books including “Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945,” characterized it this way in the December 17, 2009, issue of The New York Review of Books:

“In the U.S. today, the ‘Gini coefficient’ – a measure of the distance separating rich and poor – is comparable to that of China. When we consider that China is a developing country where huge gaps will inevitably open up between the wealthy few and the impoverished many, the fact that here in the U.S. we have a similar inequality coefficient says much about how far we have fallen behind our earlier aspirations [of a more equal society].”

A zero Gini rating would indicate a society in which everyone had equal income, while a score of 100 would indicate absolute inequality. The higher the number the more unequal the society. The most recent figures for the United States and China, as compiled by the United Nations and the Central Intelligence Agency, were 45.0 and 46.9, respectively. Iraq was at 42. U.S. neighbors Cuba, Canada and Mexico were 30, 32.1 and 46.1, respectively. The countries with the most equitable income distribution were mainly social-welfare or mixed economy countries with Sweden at 23, Denmark 24, Iceland 25, Luxembourg and Bosnia-Herzegovina at 26, and Norway, Germany and France at 28. The United Kingdom was at 34. The most unequal societies were Namibia 70.2, Equatorial Guinea 65, Lesotho 63.2, Sierra Leone 62.9, Angola 62, Central African Republic 61.3, Afghanistan and Gabon 60.

The Economist magazine reported in October 2009 that the richest 1 percent of Americans in 2007 “increased their share of the country’s income to 23 percent,” according to analyses of tax returns by economists Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty. This marked the highest level since 1928 of the concentration of income earned by the top 1 percent. The article added that two-thirds “of the country’s total gains in the five years to 2007 accrued to the top 1 percent, whereas the bottom 90th percentile saw only 12 percent of the extra income.”

To reduce U.S. income inequality and poverty, Sachs said it is vital to increase the U.S. tax base. Tax collections have remained steady at 17 percent of the gross national product (GNP) for the last 15 years. State and local government spending has increased some as a percentage of GNP, but when you add federal, state and local spending together you get a figure of 30 percent of GNP. In the social-welfare countries of Europe, the figure is between 45 and 50 percent, he said.

“The gap between the United States and Europe is of great significance,” Sachs said, “because, unlike those European countries, this country has crumbling infrastructure, increasing numbers of children living in poverty, a deteriorating education system with alarming dropout rates, an inability to face up to climate change...”

Sachs said the biggest single difference between the United States and the social-welfare countries is our tax systems.

“Europe has had a value added tax (VAT) since 1970, and my own recommendation is that the United States adopt this tax to raise our level of government spending by several percentage points of GNP,” Sachs told Nieman Watchdog. By doing so, “we will be able to spend more on job training for the poor, education, climate change, contributions to international development, paying down the debt” and other problems that the country is not dealing with adequately. “I don’t see how we can close the inequality gap without a value added tax,” Sachs said.

A value added tax is like a sales tax on goods and services, but with the difference that the tax is calculated at each step of production and distribution, so it becomes “embedded” in the final price of the goods paid by a consumer, rather than added on at the time of purchase.

Sachs, a self-described liberal, noted that a VAT also has the support of some conservative “deficit hawks” such as Peter G. Peterson, the Commerce Secretary under President Nixon and cofounder of the private equity firm, the Blackstone Group, who regularly calls for reining in Medicare and Social Security costs. On the more liberal side, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) in October declared a VAT would be “on the table” as part of a future discussion of a larger revamping of the tax code after the health insurance debate is resolved.

In a report focused on U.S. national debt-to-gross-domestic-product ratio issued in September, the moderate Brookings Institution said that a VAT of 15-20 percent may be needed to help close the national fiscal debt.

On the conservative side, Forbes.com columnist Bruce Bartlett wrote in October in support of a VAT, saying that if the United States adopted Europe’s average VAT rate of 20 percent, “we could raise $1 trillion per year in U.S. dollars.” Bartlett clearly does not have the same social program spending goals as Sachs, as Bartlett sees the VAT as a possible replacement for the corporate tax. Anticipating objections to the VAT as being a regressive tax, Bartlett said food could be taxed at a lower rate or exempted, “while higher rates may apply to goods thought to be consumed primarily by the rich.”

(Progressive economists Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman favor instead a financial transactions tax. Baker said a tax of 0.25 percent on stocks, futures, and credit default swaps would produce $140 billion annually, about one percent of GDP.)

In addition to a VAT to produce more revenues, Sachs favors deep cuts in the military budget to increase development assistance to impoverished countries, as well as boost spending for a variety of underfunded domestic programs. As a critic of U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Sachs called for withdrawing all U.S. troops from those two countries for $150 billion-$200 billion in savings, while slashing another $100 billion from spending for nuclear weapons development and unnecessary weapons systems.

Sachs said the social-welfare countries of Sweden, Norway and Denmark offer many positive examples for the United States to emulate to deal with our growing poverty problem. Those countries, he said, are not only good at providing generous health care and other social insurance programs, but also have systems of government that emphasize “public values” and a sense of shared citizenship embodying a deeply-held belief that no citizen should be left behind.

In his 2008 book “Common Wealth: Economics for A Crowded Planet,” Sachs presented a host of statistics and examples that show in virtually every category social-welfare countries are far better than mixed economy countries – and both kinds of countries are far better than free-market countries such as the United States – “in reducing poverty and inequality and in promoting health and prosperity,” as well as fostering a greater degree of social harmony and confidence in public institutions. Poverty at the time of the book’s 2008 publication stood at 5.6% of the population in social-welfare countries, and at 9 percent in mixed economies, far below the aforementioned U.S. poverty rate of 13.2 percent.

Sachs acknowledged that a new tax and increased funding for social programs with the aim of reducing poverty will be a tough sell because, “We’re stuck in this country in a sterile discussion led by ideologues who yell that we’re ‘turning socialist’.”

With the debate at this level largely framed by right-wing politicians and broadcasters, majority party Democratic leaders today shy away from discussing U.S. poverty and inequality, or calling for programs that smack of the New Deal or the Great Society. But, Sachs said, the press can help change the terms of debate by focusing on the tragic human stories of U.S. poverty and showing the great successes European social-welfare countries and others have had in limiting poverty.

In “Common Wealth,” Sachs wrote that U.S. policies pursue “a constricted notion of social insurance,” thereby fostering “a society of fear and vulnerability” that causes mainstream Americans to “feel increasingly unnerved by widening income inequality.” Americans need to be informed, Sachs said, that the United States “does not have to accept continued high rates of poverty as the price to pay for a vibrant market economy, since social insurance can be combined with a high-productivity market economy.”

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Just for the record....

Just for the record, someone started a nasty rumor that I am not creditable with my magazine.

This is the biggest jealously rumor yet. I have heard a lot.

My work is valid. My interviews with Bumblefoot and Johnny of The Last Vegas are posted on their sites. I have been credentialed by CNN to cover their Democratic Party, Silver Lining/Silver Lake to cover their event hosted by The Red Hot Chili Peppers & Robert Downey, Jr. I have interviewed authors, such as Jennifer Storm, Musicians coming up such as Nick Rozz and Dario Lorina, and so on. I have kept proof of every credential, pass, and so on and there is plenty of documentation. Keep in mind I never taken any money for advertising, gotten paid for my work, - this little hobby of mine has turned out to be quite the adventure!

(there are so many more, with photos, and verification it isn't even funny)

I suspect this one person "Dorren" who is sending out these vicious rumors on sites around The Chili Peppers and Alice in Chains site is simply upset because I won't back down on my book. And I won't. After a year of delays it is being published and if people don't like it, or don't believe it, etc... I really don't give a - well you know the rest.

Please don't email me with your rumor mill. I have been dealing with the proper people about certain questions as to when I had outside help with the magazine. Anything that has been pasted on another forum may or may not have been manipulated. All that is in review and that is all I will state. Again, if something is NOT posted here- It is NOT mine. Period.

Anyone having any questions should come to me directly.



The Horse Chronicles is back on 11/01/2009.

I had a few people work on it this past year. It became such a mess, and has caused so many problems, that I am taking it back. I also have to pay someone to host it and design it as I don't have the time to do so, and respond to everyone.

If you need me- myspace me or get me at thehorsechronicles@yahoo.com

Friday, May 1, 2009

Interview with Dario Lorina by Tanya Vece

If you don't know who Dario Lorina is , you're not in the music industry. Nikki Sixx is a huge fan of this 19 year old guitarist. Dario is living the dream and is the next guy to kick metal ass not only in Hollywood , but on the national scene. I'm proud of this Vegas boy and his mad music skills. - Tanya Vece

TV: Sebastian Bach's heard of you. Nikki Sixx is a fan. How old are you again? Rumor is below drinking age! What is that like to have these idolsin the rock business aware of you at such a young age?

DL: Yes, below drinking age... ;) and... i'm not sure if they're fans, butI've had the pleasure of meeting them both.

TV: How did you get started in the music business?

DL: I started playing guitar when I was about 6 years old and just never putit down. I played in several original/cover bands when I was young and atage 16, I started touring with Jani Lane. Since then i've had theopportunites to play with many artists and bands. As of April I started touring with Lizzy Borden. Checkout their latest release on Metal Blade Records, "Appointment with Death".

TV: Where do you see yourself in five years?

DL: Simple enough answer, playing music. :)

TV: If you had to choose between a ok solo career or a great career playingwith Motley Crue, what would you choose?

DL: As much as I love Motley Crue, I would probably choose a solo career. I mean, Mick Mars makes Motley Crue who they are as Nikki, Vince, and Tommy do!

TV: Biggest challanges of the music business?

DL: The music business is a tough business, yes, but if you have passion and drive, challenges can definitely be overcome.

You can check out Dario on the following sites:

Meet Mark Morton of Lamb of God

Mark Morton of Lamb Of God

Friday, May 8thAutograph Signing at 4:30 pm J&R Music World in NYC.

Lamb of God guitarist Mark Morton has lead his million selling Grammy nominated band to the very forefront of new American metal. Mark and Lamb of God are currently on a sold out US tour in support of their new CD "Wrath" which entered the Billboard Charts at #2. By combining meticulous technique; angular, often off-kilter riffs; and a black-hole heavy guitar sound, Mark has not only helped redefine the genre but is influencing a whole new generation of guitarists. In fact, he is just about to embark on his second run of monthly instructional columns for the world's top selling guitar magazine, Guitar World.

Store Location23 Park RowNew York, NY 10038(across from City Hall Park)Phone: 1-212-238-9000Fax: 1-212-238-9191

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Adriana Rubio Interview

Adriana Rubio & Tanya Vece. October of 2004.
Interview with Author Adriana Rubio.
5 years after her first Horse Chronicles Interview.
Where is she now!

By: Tanya Vece

TV: Tell us about the Layne movie and what is going on with the project?
AR: This biopic is being made in a very independent way. We are fully determined to do it. We won't allow any brainwashed Hollywood clown to make fun of Layne's story or put him only in a "junkie" spotlight. We spent enough time trying to explain what the movie is about. It was all in vain. We have sadly learned that for Hollywood Layne Staley is another overdosed rock star. They don’t want to show him differently or should we say…they don’t want people to see the real side of the story. We worked on many scripts’ drafts during the course of two long years, have talked with the main roles actors, producers, photographers , musician, etc. We are in the right way now.

TV: With my book I have run into critics who know nothing of the situation. They just judge. Have you run into these same challenges with the movie?
AR: I understand your situation which is not much different than mine. People judge and talk because the air is free. Whatever bullshit they talk about me or the movie it doesn’t bothers me, because I know what I’m doing and why.

TV: What do you think was Layne's most important message to you, when you were working with his family, and when he made the call to you?
AR: When I was working with his family I felt he was completely alone…no matter how many people visited him or talked to him, no matter how many letters or phone calls he might have received. He was alone and immensenly terrified inside his own persona. And I could proove it by myself when I got that phone call from him. There’s still a big misunderstanding of what happened to him. Even though he died of an “accidental” speedball overdose, that wasn’t the real end. During all of these years I couldn’t stop thinking why he called me three months before his death. And when Nancy withdrew support to thefirst book, she said: “She knows nothing”, so that made me think even more about his call. I did a lot of research and got the point. It is revealed in the movie.

TV: Some people think are books / projects about Layne are obsecure. You got tapes of Nancy helping you and then she retraced what she said. What are your feelings on this. I confronted Nancy with mine. Do you think she is prooving Layne's words about her right?
AR: My feeling on this is that Nancy saw herself reflected in the books as in a mirror and didn’t like what she saw: the truth. So that’s why she retraced what she said. It’s all taped…you know things like “I’ve been preparing for Lyane’s death for five years …”, “I am guilty to the degree that I’m guilty…”etc…But I am more focused on Layne’s words like when he wrote: “If this pen were a gun I could much more easily explain how I feel…” I have no doubts that Layne’s words about his own feelings involving her mother are absoultely true. Additionally, I have words from Liz on tape which at her request were not printed in the books, but they are still on tapes. And Liz’s words are pretty much the same Layne’s sentiments.

TV: How can people get involved with the Layne movie?
AR: People can get involved with the movie in many ways for: crowd scenes, tatoo services, experienced publicists, painters and musicians. They can send resumes and contact info at infoartspublications@mchsi.com

TV: How much are you going to cover of Layne's life in the movie?
AR: The movie will cover the most crucial moments of Lyane’s life from childhood to adult. Lydia and you are not included in the script for this movie. Even though Layne left this world at the age of 34, he lived like 80 and you know this is true, so we had to work really hard on the parts selection.

TV: LATHAN MCKAY plays Layne and looks just like him. Has he had any strange or spooky occurrences while in the role?
AR: Lathan is a very good actor and is perfect for this role. Even though he looks like Layne, you can feel Layne’s presence in the studio coming out from him. And per your question, yes Lathan experienced a few strange things, but nothing scary. I should say very encouraging and positive.

TV: Are you planning on taking the finished film to any film festivals in the US?
AR:We have a lot of things on the table to discuss about. Film Festivals could be a possible thing to do. Not decided yet.

TV: Since the books and you working on the film any spooky occurrences?
AR: I have experienced lots of strange things, nothing scary. Encouraging and positive occurances.

Karen Eyo - Get LinkedIn

Karen Eyo
The Horse Chronicles' LinkedIn person you want to meet!
By: Tanya Vece

Just who is Karen Eyo? She best describes herself as follows:
My background is born in Liverpool, England Father Artius and Mother Josephine of African and English descent. 6 siblings. Left Liverpool in 1980 to embark on a journey to Canada and lived/worked for approximately 26 years as an artist/actress/poet. 5 years spent in New York, Brooklyn and Manhattan running Open Window Theater Company in Williamsburg. After overstaying welcome in NYC returned to Toronto, Canada. Ran first Marathon in Toronto have successfully completed 5 more in NYC, Ottawa, Liverpool, London and Paris. Published 2 poetry books Juliet is bleeding and Reflections. Presently living in London working as a Personal Trainer at BBC and Rolls Royce. Studying Remedial Sports Massage at LSSM one year diploma course to be successfully certified by November 2009. Still involved in the arts continue to go out on auditions/castings. I currently work with Juice Plus!

TV: How did you get into personal training?
KE: An opportunity arose when I was handed an application form given to me by Val Henney a gym instructor working out of SequinPark Gym in London. We were in training at the time for the London Marathon.The application was funding from 2012 Olympics to study Level 3 Personal Training Course. I applied and was accepted for Jan 2008 Course and graduated July 2008.

TV: Do you believe being an artist, or people who indulge in art in any form, plays a beneficial part in remaining healthy or the healing process, and why?
KE:Being an artist I understand the benefits of good health and how it contributes to lifestyle and well-being. To act, dance, perform and write takes great energy, endurance and stamina in contrast a great athlete who trains rigorously to win the gold is like to a great actor who wins an oscar. The ingredients we choose to put in our bodies (nutrition) prepares our bodies and minds towards a greater awareness and allows healing process and the will to live.

TV: What do you think is the biggest misconception of personal training and nutrition?
KE: I think the biggest misconception of personal training is price. There are people
who believe only celebrities, wealthy people and professional athletes have personal trainers when in fact personal trainers are affordable to everyone. I have clients from the age of 21 to 73. The majority of them have had a gym membership which they hardly used.Ting a trainer has resulted in more of a commitment to their fitness goals and achieving better results.

TV: Your books. Do you have any future plans to write another one? Juliet is Bleeding and Reflections are great titles. Any stories behind them?
KE: Yes I have future plans to write 12 more and a best selling novel.
Juliet is bleeding title came about while reading Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.
I experienced a nose bleed and blood went all over the page and I blurted out Juliet is bleeding. That same night I went for a walk in Williamsburg and there was a film being shot the title was Romeo is bleeding. Hence I kept my title and published Juliet is bleeding one year later.
Reflections title is a reflection of my life as an art model. When I would sit for artists and sculptors I would write poetry. The stillness helped create a poetry in motion idea. The artists would give me drawings or I would salvage the ones they threw away in the garbage. When I designed the book I used the drawings as to illustrate the poetry. Reflections represents the art model as poet or vice versa.

TV: I have heard running a marathon is a life changing event. I understand there are tribes of Indians who run for 12 hours a day, some more, because of breathing patterns and the way they condition their brain to motivate their body. Do you believe once you have run a marathon the hard wiring in the brain is changed and allows one to lead a more positive life? What was it like after your first marathon?
KE: Your absolutely right in hearing running a marathon is a life changing event.
I like your piece of information regarding tribes of Indians. I do believe once you have run a marathon the hard wiring in the brain is changed and allows one to lead a more positive life. I have experienced that change. After my first marathon I was on a runners high for months.. I had friends and family come out to show their support as well as complete strangers cheering you on. The energy is priceless, and when you cross the finish line there is a unsurpassable joy and spirit which gives you a higher awareness. I experienced the runners high big time on my first marathon that is why I continue and look forward to my next one.

TV: You work with Juice Plus. How can my American readers reach you?
KE: Juice Plus is a food supplement of dried fruits and vegetable juices and pulp and vitamins.
To order they can visit my website www.juiceplus.com/+ke27633

If you are not on LinkedIn, get on there and add Karen!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

LinkedIn and Volunteer Match Paried together!

New VolunteerMatch Group at LinkedIn Invites Professionals to Network, Share Ideas on Giving Back

Members of the LinkedIn network who share a commitment to volunteering and service are now invited to sign up for VolunteerMatch's new public group at LinkedIn.com. Through the new group, professionals can connect, network professionally, share ideas, and inspire each other to service that strengthens our communities.

"Our members tells us they overwhelmingly use LinkedIn for professional networking," said Robert Rosenthal, director of communications for VolunteerMatch. "By solidifying our presence at LinkedIn, we want to give professionals who volunteer and professionals at nonprofits the tools they need to connect, collaborate and thrive."

Launched in 2003, LinkedIn has grown to serve a community of more than 33 millions registered members. After joining the network, an individual can find, be introduced to, and collaborate with other qualified professionals to accomplish their goals. The site is free to join.

"When professionals partner with nonprofits and donate their skills, it not only has a major impact in the ability of nonprofits to achieve their missions, it also helps individuals position themselves in the job market, learn new skills, and gain valuable leadership experience," said Rosenthal. "The potential is limitless."

Join the VolunteerMatch group at LinkedIn:

Become a LinkedIn member:

About VolunteerMatch

VolunteerMatch is the Web's largest and most popular volunteer network, and is committed to strengthening communities by making it easier for good people and good causes to connect. Its award-winning online service, www.volunteermatch.org, helps visitors find local volunteer opportunities by location, interest area, and/or keyword. The VolunteerMatch network welcomed more than 10 million visitors in 2008, including millions of participants in employee volunteer programs, and has become the preferred volunteer recruiting service for more than 62,000 nonprofits.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Author Jennifer Storm by Tanya Vece

One of the books I just finished reading is Blackout Girl by Jennifer Storm. The book is an intriguing account of a not so unfamiliar story. Drugs, alcohol, and sexual abuse are all served on the rocks in this book along side of a shot of youth. I recently had the chance to talk with Jennifer by phone about her life , both past and present.

Jennifer's story starts where most people believe opportunity to mold their future begins. At the age of twelve Jennifer Storm was raped by an acquaintance after blacking out from drinking. Most can't bear the thought of a child on the verge of puberty being involved in sexual intercourse, but according to the Justice Department one in two rape victims are under the age of 18; one in six is under age 12. A statistic which is disheartening to say the very least. Around this time Jennifer's addiction to alcohol and cocaine emerged.

A vicious cycle took a hold of Jennifer. In her book she tries to reason her intake for alcohol and drugs as a way to numb the pain. It isn't until the end of the book both the reader & the author truly realize the chicken & egg theory is debatable. Some argue drinking & drugs lead to bad things. No doubt they can. Others argue the drinking & drugs numb the bad things. In Jennifer's book readers can say the circumstances warrant both.

According to Feminist.com once you are victim of sexual assault the chances of another assault are high. In Jennifer's case this was true. At the age of seventeen she was sexually assaulted again by her best friend's cousin. When I asked Jennifer about why she decided after ten years of sobriety to revisit her pain and past she honestly answered "I found writing to be a healing journey into my past. I discovered two things when I was writing Blackout Girl. One was I had a unique story about how I dealt with things and two my story wasn't that unique!" She continued on to stay "I would read books about recovery but none spoke to my truth about it. There were a lot of books about the journey leading to sobriety but I didn't really find stories about the process of sobriety. I wanted to write about the depths of my hell and how I got sober."

When I spoke with Jennifer we compared notes and she talked about her Cocaine addiction. "It fueled my alcohol addiction, which was my primary addiction. It was hard for me to do one without the other. I was an upper girl. I would fuck for free or use my tips from being a waitress or bartender to feed my habit" Jennifer said. Most female addicts end up stripping or performing forms of prostitution to keep up with expensive drugs habits.

"Relationships have been one of the hardest things" Jennifer continued. "Knowing what is healthy, what is appropriate, and boundaries are important." she said in response to a question I asked regarding sobriety and relationships. I noted it has been an observation of mine most addicts carry their addictive behavior into relationships. In Blackout Girl Jennifer discusses not only her road to sobriety but her realization and acceptance of being a lesbian. "Everyone has issues. Finding a healthy relationship is one of the hardest things to do. Every relationship I have been in in the past has been destructive. I think because intimacy triggers a lot." In the book Jennifer honestly talks about sobriety and finding yourself, something that is relatable to everyone regardless if you are homosexual, straight, sober or currently using.

Now an executive director for Dauphin County's Victim Witness Assistance Program, Jennifer Storm is using her background to her advantage. In 2002, the Pennsylvania legislature passed one of the most inclusive hate crime statues in the country. Legislation Jennifer worked personally towards getting passed into law. Governor Edward G. Rendell appointed Ms. Storm as a commissioner to the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. She was later appointed to the Homeland Security, Law Enforcement and Justice Systems Advisory committees where she also serves on the Terrorism Prevention and Local Law Enforcement Subcommittee. Her various accolades adds to the feeling of hope, and self-empowerment, the reader is left with at the end of Blackout Girl. If Jennifer Storm can overcome the various challenges and adversities that came into her life, as well as kick a drug and alcohol habit, we all should be able to be optimistic towards the future. Even if it means venturing into the unknown and giving yourself a fresh start at sobriety.

The first time author is now finishing her book tour and just finalized a draft of her second memoir. The working title is coined by her as "Leave the Light On" and discusses the challenges of staying sober while in college. Her battles are no longer with drugs & alcohol but the healthy , and also crazy, life of being a writer. "I got lucky with Hazelden Publishing. They were taking unsolicited manuscripts at the time and I was able to get a publisher before I got an agent. My advice for writers starting out would be to self-publish. If you can get your book onto Amazon.com and into a few book stores which generate decent sales, like 1500 to 2000 books, it is that much easier to go back to an agent and get your book picked up." Jennifer recently did a workshop at Book Expo America in Los Angeles. "Self-publishing seems to be the trend. Now at days you have to work your ass off. Even if you do get a book deal the publisher doesn't really help with the marketing of it. You have to get yourself out there!" she explained.

I like Jennifer's book because it has mass appeal. People who have been sober can relate, people working on sobriety can relate, people with challenges in life (which encompasses us all) can relate. Parents who have children need to read this story. Jennifer deals with so much of the meat and potatoes during the process of growing up even though her circumstances are on the extreme side. Suicide attempts, her attraction to other women, the battle with the bottle, and the battle within her self to love herself are all detailed in Ms. Storm's book. While reading the book you can't help but find yourself routing for Jennifer to beat the odds. I often found myself comparing situations in my life , as well as my similar responses, to Jennifer's story. Blackout Girl reminds us all how easily her story could easily be ours - or that of our children. It is a must read of the human experience.

Jennifer is currently speaking at colleges around the USA. If you have the ability to bring her to your local campus, please contact her via her website. Tour dates for her book signings are listed there too! www.jenniferstorm.com