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Tuesday
Nov102009

Inspiring Creative Flow 

My creative flow can only be as good as what I am absorbing, just like a sponge. So I need to soak up positive energy to succeed at any task and to stay creative. Like most, when I hit the proverbial wall, I need a recharge. Here are a few different ways that work for me and may work for you too.

Doing a more intense work out; sort of sweating-it-out so to speak is my number one method. 

Listening to music that makes me feel good, especially when driving, is a good jump starter for the soul. 

Being outdoors; breathing fresh air is my key to recharge and reboot the mind. I especially benefit from the suns rays and positive ions from time at the beach.

Cooking is the ultimate inspiration for me and I love doing it. It's a good feeling when I see it all come together, and even better when I see the pleasure it brings others.

image: George Hirsch, East Hampton Main Beach, NY

Tuesday
Nov032009

Air Travel’s Glory Years

Come fly with me. Oh the exciting lifestyle of a flight attendant, or to be more accurate, the stewardess when referring to these vintage photos. The flight attendant title wouldn't come to be until the late 1960’s. Back then ladies would be retired at the old age of 32 or upon your marriage, whichever comes first! Nice policy. But you see there was still glory and romance in this profession; jetting to Rome, wearing designer uniforms and dining across continents for a young lady.

I did get to know a few flight attendants during my years traveling millions of miles above 30 thousand feet. Ahem. Just kidding- I have a tremendous amount of respect for everyone of them and always had generally good experiences. But, things have changed and the so called art in the air is so, so different. It seems that form of transportation has become a victim of extremes; passengers looking for bus fare rates and trying to carry everything they own onboard including farm animals. And yes, I did witness a passenger boarding with a live chicken. And now every ounce of refreshment and entertainment translates into added operating costs, so we do without the drink and magazine or movie. 

Oh here's a conversation I overheard and will never forget. The Flight Attendant, “Hi sir, would you like the beef or the chicken?” The Passenger, “Do you have fish?” I guess somehow, food at 30K feet seems better?

What it now comes down to is this- the passenger has to do more to get more. It's just the way it is, so to make it more comfortable for yourself here are a couple of sites that are good for pre-boarding research. You can check out reviews of the exact seat you will be in prior to your next flight at SeatGuru. Do your travel research and you’ll make everyone’s travel easier, budget-in for flight delays at FlightAware. My philosophy is be prepared, but expect the unexpected.

Oh, and when the flight attendant makes the announcement to remain in your seat until we come to the gate, they are talking to you person next-to-me already on your cellphone. Smile. And folks, thank you for flying with us! 

source: vintage images of the ladies in the friendly skies

Friday
Oct162009

Party at the Tail End

Today tailgating is a huge part of most athletic events; especially college football. But, it doesn’t end there. You’ll smell the aroma of sausages, steaks and basically anything you can grill- at many types of outdoor pre-events like NASCAR, music concerts and even kid's events.

Believe it or not, the First American Tailgate was not a very happy occasion; picnic-goers watched the opening battle of the 1861 Civil War from the sidelines (kind of like that gladiator thing). But thankfully, today’s college tailgates are more celebratory but still serious business as 30 percent of all tailgaters never even enter the stadium. True gators hang out celebrating in the lot listening to or watching the game from their remote TVs. 

- Sport Tailgating dates back to the very first college football game between Rutgers and Princeton in 1869, when fans traveled to the game by carriage; grilling at the "tail end" of the horse.

- Then there’s Yale in 1904. Seems there was a train made up of private railcars that brought fans to a Yale game. The train stopped at the station and the fans had to walk to the stadium. When they arrived at the stadium, they were hungry and thirsty. Bummer. So the idea was born to bring along a picnic hamper of food for the next game. Good idea.

- Another assumption is that tailgating started in Green Bay, Wisconsin in 1919, when the Packers team first formed. Farmers would pack their pickup trucks around the field, drop their tailgates to sit on and eat a basket of food while they watched their team play. 

Today tailgating has evolved into a more evolved party fan experience. Now huge elaborate rigs are equipped with built-in cookers, tents, roll out carpeting and wifi hook-ups creating the backyard away from home.

So what’s the best? Well, the biggest tailgate party is the Florida-Georgia Game in Jacksonville, FL; AKA the world's largest cocktail party.  Fans begin arriving midweek for Saturday’s game.  The party does not stop with kick-off.  It keeps going through half-time and well past games end. Some keep it going past Sunday afternoon. I witnessed the amazing turnout when we filmed my TV show at this event and was required to be present for the entire duration. My Faux Pressure-Cooked Chili was a crowd pleaser. And yes- of course we grilled.

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