Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Nike Women's Marathon 2008

I recently received the following email from Amy and thought I'd pass it along for any of you that might like to complete a marathon and/or actively support a good cause.

Ladies (& Gentlemen too!) ~

Nike has just posted some information about the registration of the Nike Women's Marathon this year. I want to be sure everyone is aware so we can all get in and complete this glorious event together. :)

The overwhemling popularity of this marathon has caused Nike to select participants through a random drawing this year. You will need to register for the lottery/drawing starting on March 4th and be sure you have completed your entry by March 18th. The good news is that this will again sell-out and raise lots of money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The bad news is that it could be a little tougher to get in as a participant.

However...if you sign up through the TNT program and commit to raising a couple G's for LLS then you're IN. I highly suggest this going this route. Raising the $$$ is a cinch. Once you tell people what an amazing thing that you are doing, they can't help but open their wallets and donate money for this incredibly deserving charity.

I have benefitted from the money that this charity has raised over the last 20 years. The dollars raised fund life-saving research and provide cancer patients a network of resources that become invaluable when you are facing a battle with cancer.

When I remember back to just one year ago at this time ~ I was coughing violently and didn't know why. It was waking me up at night and distracting my co-workers at the office during the day. I was scratching my itchy skin and wondering just how much lotion might eventually stop the itchiness. I was waking up at night drenched in sweat thinking my pajamas made me hot...but they hadn't ever before?

On March 5th I was diagnosed with stage III non-Hodgkins lymphoma and started the toughest chapter of my life. My battle with the big C. LLS and TNT were dropped right out heaven and in to my life. Ironically, I had been a participant during several seasons and had raised about $15,000 - never knowing anyone that had leukemia or lymphoma. Suddenly, it was me with the disease and the word "honoree" on my singlet. There I was at the early morning practice giving the team my best "thank you for what you are doing for us" speech. I could never thank the TNT participants without getting choked up. I still can not. In fact, just typing this brings tears to my eyes.

I hope that you will sign up for this event. If you have never done an event with TNT I think you will find yourself pleasantly surprised. If you're like me, you will raise the money with ease and find the physical training to be the tougher part. Whether you sign up for the full (26.2 miles) or the half (13.1 miles) you will feel incredible when you're all done. Don't be afraid to raise the money. IT WILL COME.

And sorry, just because I now work at Nike doesn't mean anyone of us automatically gets in...even me! All Nike employees have to get in through the lottery or TNT. No exceptions.

Please consider signing up for TNT. You won't regret it. I promise! Feel free to forward this to anyone you know that would be interested.

--


amy bartlett
www.ichoosehope.com
"Before cancer I just lived, now I live strong." -Lance Armstrong

Monday, February 25, 2008

And The Oscar Goes To...

Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová for Falling Slowly from the beautiful independent film, Once.


This was easily the highlight of the night! I was so excited for them, a couple of independent musicians walking home with an Oscar. What are the chances? Their work in this film was fantastic and if you haven't seen Once, you should add it to the top of your Netflix queue immediately.

Glen gave the first acceptance speech:
Thanks! This is amazing. What are we doing here? This is mad. We made this film two years ago. We shot on two Handicams. It took us three weeks to make. We made it for a hundred grand. We never thought we would come into a room like this and be in front of you people. It's been an amazing thing. Thanks for taking this film seriously, all of you. It means a lot to us. Thanks to the Academy, thanks to all the people who've helped us, they know who they are, we don't need to say them. This is amazing. Make art. Make art. Thanks.


And God bless Jon Stewart for recognizing the importance of this moment and inviting Markéta back to the stage to give her acceptance speech after the music cut her off before one word escaped her lips.

Hi everyone. I just want to thank you so much. This is such a big deal, not only for us, but for all other independent musicians and artists that spend most of their time struggling, and this, the fact that we're standing here tonight, the fact that we're able to hold this, it's just to prove no matter how far out your dreams are, it's possible. And, you know, fair play to those who dare to dream and don't give up. And this song was written from a perspective of hope, and hope at the end of the day connects us all, no matter how different we are. And so thank you so much, who helped us along the way. Thank you.


Congratulations, Glen & Markéta! A well deserved honor.

Friday, February 22, 2008

I love LA!



If my cousin, Kathy, is trying to convince to stay in LA forever by offering me theatre tickets, it's working. Last night, I had planned to make dinner and watch the democratic debate. But then she called and gave me opportunity to see one of the many musicals I've been wanting to see for years, Wicked. Obviously, I put the chicken back in the refrigerator, recorded the debate & got ready to go to Pantages Theatre.

I was like a little kid, singing the songs, imagining the first moment that the lights dim & the orchestra's first notes fill the room. Melissa quickly implemented a "no singing songs from Wicked" rule in the car on the way to the show and I reluctantly agreed. It was her car, after all.

As we traveled down Hollywood Blvd., we found ourselves taking a detour due to a road closure. Why? Because the Kodak Theatre is on Hollywood Blvd. and they are setting up for the Oscars, of course! (Amy, welcome to LA.) We arrived, walked down Hollywood Blvd, noticing the stars beneath our feet, stopped for a cup of coffee and met my cousin's family just before the start of the show.

We had great seats and I throughly enjoyed the performance. It's a fun show that's completely over the top and still touching and funny. Again, I felt like a little kid as I allowed myself to enter the world and story that was presented to me. I think that's one of the things I love most about theatre. Imagination is a beautiful thing and when paired with live theatre, it's heaven.

LA is working out just fine.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Frozen Grand Central

How fun! Thanks to Ruth and Jon for introducing it to me.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Laundry Day

For most of you, going to the laundromat is likely nothing more than a distant memory. Well, some of us are still taking those Saturday or Sunday voyages and it can feel like an incarceration at times. You are trapped in a crowded and drab space, hoping the machines you need are available at the time you need them, and wishing you could stay focused on the book you brought to help pass the time rather that the many distractions competing for your attention.

My sister had passed by a laundromat in Culver City that she thought would make the experience more enjoyable so we ventured out on Saturday to try out the EZ Web Laundromat & Cafe. That's right, the words web, cafe & laundromat all used in the same sentence...or rather, the same business name. It's not perfect but it is certainly a step up from the usual laundry experience. It was a beautiful day so after we put our laundry in the washer, we went to the cafe where I purchased a hazelnut latte and melissa chose fruit juice and a banana, and we sat outside at a little round table where we read and took turns checking on the laundry. And did I mention that we had a nice view of the mountains when we looked up from our books? I mean really, there are some perks to living in LA. We didn't try out their wifi connection but for me, it's just the concept that's so great. Anything that makes going to the laundromat better than spending the day behind bars is A-OK by me!

Friday, February 8, 2008

My True Love


A special thank you to my cousin, Kathy, who invited my sister and me to join her for The Color Purple at the Ahmanson Theatre. Anyone that knows me, knows that theatre tickets are the way to my heart. Nothing moves me like the live theatre and last night's experience was no different.

I had heard mixed reviews of The Color Purple but I thought it was powerful, interesting, touching, and funny. It's difficult subject matter and I wondered how that would translate on the stage without being unbearably heavy but all involved wrote, composed and designed it well. While there are obvious leads in the show, the cast worked brilliantly as an ensemble. Having said that, Jeannette Bayardelle (Celie) deserves some praise. She gave us strong character development and powerful and emotive vocals that brought beauty, strength and humanity to the role of Celie. Overall, it was another wonderful night at the theatre. Thank you, Kath!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Monday, February 4, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Well, maybe not just yet but after a crazy couple weeks of sorting, purging, packing, shipping, and cleaning, and with the help of many generous people, I've made it to sunny southern California. My sister graciously made room for me in her life and apartment and today, I will begin trying to figure out exactly where I live. In case you were wondering, LA is huge and while this is not news to me, I've never had to figure out how to get around the area by myself. I'm sure it will provide many entertaining stories and I'll do my best to pass those along.

It feels good to be here even though so much is still unknown and there are many obvious differences between KC & LA. For one, my social calendar increased tenfold before I even made it out of LAX. Of course, that's evidence of moving nearer family but it made me laugh and it'll take some getting used to. As I mentioned above, I don't know where anything is and I'm still trying to avoid buying a car so I'll soon find out what their mass transit has to offer. I'm continuing my KC job for a month so that gives me some time to job search while still having an income, quite helpful. I love how many people are here, the diversity of the population & the fact that I can say goodbye to winter already! While all of this can be overwhelming at times, I'm really hopeful for this next stage of my life. Wonder what it will bring...