Thursday, December 1, 2011

Positively Possible by 2015

Today's is World AIDS Day. Check out this video on the status of this pandemic. I was dumbfounded and elated to learn that the transmission of HIV from mother to child can be virtually eradicated by 2015. That is just three years! With so many things going wrong in the world that seem impossible to fix, it is encouraging that if we work hard we can reach a major goal in the near future.

The AIDS quilt was started in 1987 as a way to remember friends, lovers, and families that had died. Today the quilt is over 1,290,000 square feet and includes more than 91,000 names (learn more here). 2015 Quilt has started a virtual quilt, allowing you to create your own panel to show your support. Here is mine. Create your own panel! It is an easy way to support this very worthy cause.

Song of the Day
Today's song in U2's Beautiful Day.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Calmness and Respect Totally Rock

One of the speakers at Camp Mighty was Brian Piotrowicz, a producer from Oprah. It was cool being in the presence of someone who works closely with "The Great One," but Brian was inspiring in his own right. He talked a lot about the environment at Harpo. While they all work very hard, with insane hours, it is a place of calmness and respect. He said that is come from the top (Oprah) down but that everyone subscribes to the idea and it works. 
Watching a clip of the Great One during Maggie's interview of Brian
Brain had been in TV for a while before coming to Harpo, working on shows like Jenny Jones and Sally Jesse Rafael. In his other positions it didn't seem like calmness and respect were high priorities...more like screaming and insulting. I could relate because I've worked in a few places where screaming and insulting were the modus operandi. Along with belittling and punishment. And who doesn't love a little belittling and punishment? No one! No one likes or deserves to be treated that way. 

Brain said that it was like entering a new world when he got to Harpo. When he came into work each day he knew he didn't have to fear getting screamed at. And that made it easier for him to do a good job. When he said that I wanted jump up and shout "Truth!" One because I'm crazy like that and two because it is so true. 

Note: As a personal policy, I don't like to talk about my job on this blog. I like to keep the two separate. And I'm only writing about it now because a good work environment is important to me. I now work in a place where if I make a mistake I can tell my bosses immediately, and while they won't be happy that I screwed up, they acknowledge that mistakes happen, believe that I've learned my lesson, and we move on. In other work places when employees make mistakes they are so paralyzed by the fear of how their bosses will react that they cover it up. I don't have an MBA but I know that ain't no way to run a business.

Like Brain, I recognize how lucky I am to work where I do. And no matter where my career takes me, I plan to bring a feeling of calmness and respect along. I urge you to do the same.
Brian and Maggie

My friend Leslie was also inspired by Brian. Check out her cool illustration of what she took away from what he had to say.

Song of the Day
Today's song is Aretha Franklin's Respect.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

TED Tuesdays: Stroke of Insight

Today's video comes from Jill Bolte Taylor. Jill is a neuroanatomist (ie brain doctor), who suffered a stroke. In this emotional and poignant video she describes her experience from the unique perspective of someone who knows a lot about the brain.

If you are interested in learning more about this amazing story (how could you not be!?), check out Dr Taylor's interview with Oprah and her New York Times Best Seller, My Stroke of Insight.

Song of the Day
Today's song is Pearl Jam's The Fixer.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

101 Things in 1001 Days: 3

I'm an East Coast Kid and I love the winter. But man, those cold dark months can drag on and on. That is why I my 101 List included #4: Go some place warm during the winter. I got to cross this item off by going to Palm Springs for Camp Mighty at the beginning of November.

Like most vacations, the best day weather wise was the day I had to leave. But it was gorgeous! 80s and sunny. So I sat pool side at the Ace Hotel and ate bacon! Can you believe it? I thought I had died and gone to heaven!
What my heaven looks like.
That was definitely one of the best days of the past 1001.

Song of the Day
Today's song is The Mamas & The Papas California Dreaming, because that is what I've been doing since I left Palm Springs.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

TED Tuesdays: The World Needs All Kinds of Minds

Today's featured TED Talk is from Temple Grandin. An incredible woman, whose presentation is particularly inspiring. Grandin proves that everyone has strengths, and that with the right encouragement, we all can be great.

Thanks so much to Annie for recommending this Talk. I'ld love for you to tell me which TED Talks positively inspire you.

Song of the Day
Today's song is Moves Like Jagger by Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguillera. I've got them moooOOOoooves like Jagger!

Monday, November 14, 2011

TED Tuesdays: If I Should Have a Daughter...

I've been told by lots of interesting people lately how much they learn and are inspired by TED Talks. TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) is a not for profit that creates conferences and videos featuring "Ideas Worth Spreading." So I'm going to educate and inspire myself with a weekly TED video and I'll share them with you.

My friend Ryan suggested this first video, starring Sarah Kay, an incredibly talented poet.

Are there any TED Talks you love?

Mightier Than Ever

Enlightened in Palm Springs

I returned from Camp Mighty late last night. I'm still processing all the new ideas I heard and the incredible people I met. I need to do some sorting out before I can write it out for you, but I will tell you that something major happened to me this weekend. I don't know how to describe it exactly, but there as been a shift. And I'm excited, and when I finally get some sleep I'll be energized too.

I've been talking about Camp Mighty so much that I don't want to completely leave you hanging... At Camp we selected five items from our Life Lists that we will try to accomplish in the upcoming year. We were assigned teams, shared our five goals, and asked our team for help and support to complete them.

I ask for that same support from all of you. And in return I'll do what I can to help you achieve your goals. One of the most powerful messages I took away from this weekend is that we don't have to conquer everything alone. In fact, it is a whole lot more fun to do it together.
The lovely necklace we each received. Each ring represents one of our five goals for the year.

So here is what I hope to, nay will do this year:
  • Do a pull up
  • Find a blogging mentor
  • Go to Colorado
  • Plan a stress-free wedding
  • Record every book I read, with a quote
While some these things may not seem particularly hard or deep, they all hold meaning for me. And I'm pumped about focusing on them and looking forward to sharing them with you.

Song of the Day
This weekend was a lot about self-reflection. Lets get punny! and enjoy Michael Jackson's Man in the Mirror.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Presenting My Life List

One of our assignments for Camp Mighty is to create a Life List, a list of things we want to accomplish in our lives (similar to a Bucket List but sounds less morbid). This is perfect timing as the 1,001 days for my 101 List are coming to a close. My 101 List truly changed my life (I'll write more about this later). While creating my Life List, I was again excited for all the amazing things I plan to do. So I present to you my Life List! And you should create your own! You will be astounded by all the totally bad ass things you will get to do.

Also, I'm continuing to campaign for Charity: Water, a non-profit organization that works to bring clean and safe drinking water to the 1 billion people worldwide who do not have access to this most basic necessity. All the Mighty Campers are working hard to raise money for this worthy cause. And I need your help. 

To give please go to and click Donate to Our Campaign. When you donate please be sure to add my name or PositivelyAnna in the Comment Section so I know who you are and can send you love, good juju, and happy thoughts. While I'll still love you if you aren't able to donate, giving as little as $5 will go a long way. It only takes $20 to provide one person with clean water and your $5 can be a big part of that.

Song of the Day
Today's song is What a Feeling.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Puts It In Perspective

Hope you are having a relaxing Sunday, enjoying time with friends and family, picking apples, or watching the NYC Marathon (Go Nicole!). But imagine if three hours of your day had to be spent getting water for your family. This video helped put things into perspective for me.

You can help support Charity: Water with a donation as little as $5. Click here to donateWhen you donate please be sure to add my name or PositivelyAnna in the Comment Section so I know who you are and can send you love, good juju, and happy thoughts.

Song of the Day
Today's song is Born to Run, in honor of all the incredible athletes running today. You inspire me!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Charity: Water

I'm going to Camp Mighty next week and I couldn't be more excited. This event promises to be one of inspiration, learning, and fun, but most importantly making a positive impact on the world. Before arriving we have to create a Life List and while we are there we will help each other move closer to our listed goals. So while we are there to improve our own lives, there will also be tremendous effort focused on improving the lives of others. It is in this spirit that we will be supporting Charity: Water.

Charity: Water is a non-profit organization that works to bring clean and safe drinking water to the 1 billion people worldwide who do not have access to this most basic necessity. All the Mighty Campers are working hard to raise money for this worthy cause. And I need your help. 

Please watch this video; an impassioned plea by Charity: Water's founder Scott Harrison. You will see how great the need is, as well as the amazing accomplishments this organization has already achieved.

To give please go to and click Donate to Our Campaign.      When you donate please be sure to add my name or PositivelyAnna in the Comment Section so I know who you are and can send you love, good juju, and happy thoughts. While I'll still love you if you aren't able to donate, giving as little as $5 will go a long way. It only takes $20 to provide one person with clean water and your $5 can be a big part of that.

Song of the Day
Please enjoy Aretha Franklin's Bridge of Troubled Waters...a wonderful version of this great song.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

At Home with Carl Lagerfeld

This Halloween, designer Carl Lagerfeld allowed us into his home to see his domestic side. Well it might have been my friend Shu-Ping in a Chanel-tastic costume, but I'm pretty sure it was Carl.
Meet Carl. He's just like you.

Carl likes to lounge.

Carl is not above leftovers.

And after a long day of ruling the runway, Carl goes for a light brewski.
(Thanks to Nika, Shelia, and Shups for the pictures)

Song of the Day
Please enjoy Deee-Lite's Groove is in the Heart.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween Central

We live right off the New York City Halloween Parade route. Each year the street below our apartment turns into a spooky, hilarious, slutty, and relevant costume runway. I took a deep breath, dove in, and snapped a few pics.

A lounging clown

A wonderful Wonder Woman

A ghost, pink pixie, and Master of the Universe, He-Man

Captain and Hose

Hagar and his lady

Beetlejuice and Freddy
A lurking Uncle Fester

Marvin the Martian and a girl with big boobs

The Joker and his hoard of ruffians

Not sure what these fellas were but they definitely were fabulous
Peas and Carrots! My favorite couples costume of the evening.
It is hard to capture the energy of Halloween in New York, but I think this last picture does a pretty good job (if I do say so myself). It is a fast, loud, crazy, scary night that I Positively love!

Song of the Day
Today's song is Prince's Let's Go Crazy.

Friday, October 14, 2011

A Positively Perfect Wedding

Last weekend we attended our dear friends Liz and Kyle’s wedding. It was an incredible weekend filled with great food, happy tears, amazing and original music, and the best wedding speeches many of us had ever heard. 

During the ceremony, a friend of the bride and groom read this lovely poem by Garrison Keillor. I thought it would be perfect to share with you on this autumn Friday.


Here on an autumn night in the sweet orchard smell,
Sitting in a pile of leaves under the starry sky,
Oh what stories we could tell
With this starlight to tell them by.

October night, and you, and paradise,
So lovely and so full of grace,
Above your head, the universe has hung its lights,
And I reach out my hand to touch your face.

I believe in impulse, in all that is green,
Believe in the foolish vision that comes true,
Believe that all that is essential is unseen,
And for this lifetime I believe in you.

All of the lovers and the love they made:
Nothing that was between them was a mistake.
All that we did for love's sake,
Is not wasted and will never fade.

All who have loved shall be forever young
And walk in grandeur on a cool fall night
Along the avenue,
They live in every song that is ever sung,
In every painting of pure light,
In every pas de deux.

Oh love that shines in every star
And love reflected in the silver moon.
It is not here, but it's not far.
Not yet, but it will be here soon.

Liz and Kyle, thank you for including me in your special day. Your love for each other is an example for all of us. I love you both very much.

Song of the Day
As this wonderful wedding was in Cape Cod, Vampire Weekend's Walcott was a big hit on the dance floor.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Strongest Man My Dad Knew

One of the sad things I alluded to the other day was the passing of an old friend. Charlie lived next to my family for 70 years and meant a great deal to all of us. He called me "Annabelle" from the day I was born until the last time I saw him this summer. He taught my mom how to fold a fitted sheet. He was the strongest man my dad knew. And he was a caring friend to my grandparents.

I would like to share a few pictures of Charlie. I know most of you didn't know him, but he was a wonderful example of a life well lived; a life full of generosity, strength, and humor.

We will miss you Captain Charlie.

Song of the Day
Tim McGraw's My Old Friend.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Positively Potter

As the last installment of the Harry Potter film series came out in theaters this past summer, we diehard fans are new wandering in a cold, dark world in which there will be no new books or movies. We grasp at any un-seen or un-read content from our beloved story.

Well have I got something for you Pott Heads! Perez posted some awesome (and eary) behind the scene photos. Here are my fave.

Check out the whole album here.

Song of the Day
Turns out Hypster is just fine. This is the last time I get caught up in a panic on Twitter (well, the last time this week). Today's song is Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell's Ain't No Mountain High Enough.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Trying to Get Back

In the three years I've been writing this blog, this has been my longest hiatus. My goal here is to focus on the "good stuff." I haven't been able to do that lately. I've been going through a series of sad, bad, and exhausting things. And because these things have been layered on top of me I've had nothing to say here.

But I'm trying to get back. I'll admit for a time I was drowning, then struggling, then coping, and now I'm getting back on my feet. And back to you. But just like the sad, bad, and exhausting things in your life, mine aren't just going to instantly fade away. I'm going to keep taking care of myself and asking for help, which is my suggestion for any of you going through a hard time.

There are many types of therapy. I'm a firm believer that none will work unless you are in the right "place." This blog is a type of therapy for me...helping me focus on positive things. But for a while I was far from the right mental place. I've recently started to feel better, and I am again noticing small, good things. And I really want to share them with you. I'm positively happy to be back.

Song of the Day
UGH! Speaking of exhausting things I'm just finding out that Hypster, the site I use to create my playlist, might have shut down. I'm trying to figure it out and how to keep up the Song of the Day. In the meantime, the todays song is I Can See Clearly Now.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Positively Shadowed

When my mom visited a few weeks ago, we went to the art galleries in Chelsea. In the the Dillon Gallery I saw something that truly amazed me. These pieces by artist Kumi Yamashita blew my mind. She shines lights through carved pieces of wood or aluminum to create these unbelievably life like shadows.

I urge you to check out more of Yamashita's work, and to have a wonderful weekend.

Song of the Day
Please enjoy Stevie Wonder's Uptight.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Guest Post: Back in the NYC

I'm very excited! I have my first ever guest post. My dear friend Becca recently moved by to New York. She was so positively excited about being back in the city that I asked her to write about. Without further ado...

Moving from New York to Portland, OR was hard. Super duper hard. But we’ll talk about Portland in a later post...maybe. Let’s focus on the positive (this is PositivelyAnna after all). I’m back in New York. Smiley face. I’ve always loved the city, but before I left I didn’t appreciate the details. And I’m one for details. Now I want you lucky folks to appreciate the details too. I think it will make New York EVEN BETTER. So I’ll share some of my realizations of why we live in the best city on earth. And if you don’t live here, then why you should be jealous of those who do.
Enjoying the roof of the MET
I’ll give you folks a little list (I’m type A and we like lists).

Number 1: There is always something to do or to explore. No matter what the day, the time, or the weather, you can’t get bored. There is something for everyone. Outdoor movies, Shakespeare in the Park, the guitar player on the pier, the list goes on and on. 

What I love about New York is that people truly take advantage of these opportunities. You might just be walking across the street to get drunk at your local bar, but appreciate it! You can’t do that everywhere (meaning walk to a can certainly get drunk wherever you want).
Get drunk at a local bar? Check!
Number 2: Everything can be delivered. Anything you could ever dream of wanting can be at your doorstep. Peruvian food? Yes please. Groceries? Of course. Your dog? Sure. It is easy to complain about how difficult it is to do anything in New York but you are all fooling yourself. You pass five drugstores on the way to the subway, nine coffee shops between your building and the gym, and three grocery stores walking the dog. If you think that is hard, try living in the ‘burbs where you have get in your CAR to buy a pack of gum. The hardest thing about Manhattan is getting on and off the island.

Who wouldn't want do deliver Becca's cute pup Crouton
Number 3: You can make reservations at restaurants. This seems silly, right? But it’s true. There are many cities (eh hem, Portland) where you can’t make reservations at the most popular restaurants. I’m sure at one point in time there was a good reason for this, but now I just think it’s silly. If I want to go somewhere to eat I don’t want to wait two hours in a crowded foyer/bar/bench in the rain. I plan ahead (type A remember?) and I know where I want to eat a week in advance. I want to be rewarded for this. Thank you New York for allowing me to make reservations! It’s less stressful, you aren’t STARVING by the time you sit down, and it just seems more polite.

Wine Tasting at Hudson Terrace
Number 4: Energy. You can’t miss it. Walking out your door is like walking into a wonderful tornado of fun. When you are surrounded by so much energy how can you be sad, slow, or tired? There is too much sh*t going on around you. I think some people confuse the energy with stress. Instead of assuming everyone around you is stressed and in a hurry (that will only make you feel those same emotions) assume that they are excited for the day/night/lunch....they just want to get there a little faster than you. :)

Number 5: And most importantly, I feel like I’m home.

Thank you Becca!

Song of the Day
Please enjoy the very appropriate Empire State of Mind.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

An Ode to Fashion and Dance

Did yesterday's post inspire you with all the 1920's fashion and dance? Well here is 100 more years of inspiration.

Which decade was your favorite? The getups from the 1960's looked pretty great to me.

Song of the Day
Billy Joel's we didn't Start the Fire has a similar vibe as this video.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Jazz Age Lawn Party

For his birthday, my Gatsby-loving friend Shu-Ping wanted to go to the Jazz Age Lawn Party on Governors Island. And I'm so glad he did! It is one of the coolest things I've ever done in New York. My friends and I took a ton of pictures, and I'm very excited to share them with you.

We took the Governors Island Ferry over to the island.
Our very happy birthday boy
I'm coming to America!
The event spread across a large lawn.
Our tickets bought us entrance, a tasty lunch, and endless cocktails.
But the best part of the event was the costumes.
Oh the costumes!

Even the accessories were perfect.
The women were gorgeous...
The men were dapper...
And the children couldn't have been cuter.

The costumes were just amazing.

So amazing in fact that Bill Cunningham was there. He took my picture! Major NYC/Life List accomplishment.
I'm thinking of making a full time move to the 1920's
This was a perfect event for our gang.
We had a great time dressing up.
And being in character.

The event organizers did a wonderful job recreating the era.

There was a great band.

Lovely dancing.

Even a bathing suit contest.

(handle bar mustaches not required but encouraged)
There were many vendors selling period-appropriate wares.

Odd Twin, a vintage clothing store from Brooklyn, had a booth with an endless collection of beautiful, 1920's clothing and accessories.
The Jazz Age Picnic is held every year with one event in June and another in August.
We will all be back next year!

Happy Birthday Shu-Ping. You are the best!
For more pictures of the event, try here and here. And for ideas on how to through your own Gatsby-themed party, check out these helpful tips from one of my favorite blogs, Mighty Girl.

P.S. Thank you Nika, John, and Shups for your fab photos.

Song of the Day
Whitney Houston's I Want to Dance with Somebody.
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