Follow Friday

Journalism Camp this week at Ball State has been rad and very time consuming.  I never thought I would have Twitter withdrawls ... but I have so I guess that means I have an addiction.  Although I have enjoyed my time at BSU surrounded by yerds, nerds, and jerds in general, I am will be happy to return to the real world on Monday.

Here are my picks for this week's Follow Friday Saturday.  Adding them to your timeline will be the best decision you've made today!

@sammymojito: He is one of the first people I connected with on Twitter and I still enjoy his tweets and conversation!  Sweet, handsome, and encouraging.  What more do you want? Okay fine -- he will reply back!

@dynamite4life: He is @sammymojito's brother and equally awesome!  He always tells me good morning, and keeps tabs on the wheelings and dealings of his followers.  He's sweet, he's a Notre Dame fan, and he has excellent music taste.

@paulpoteet: You might know him if you're from Indiana -- he's been a meteorologist for (at least) 20 years!  Not only does he keep me informed on the weather, but he tweets and retweets pretty interesting stuff.  I also like that he interacts with his followers and always seems to be doing something rad.  He is also quick to thank his fans, which is a thumbs up in my book.

@anythinglime: She is hilarious.  She has a great sense of humor as well as sense of style.  She's also smart and recently married; did I mention she's a dog trainer and BSU alumnus?  I suggest following her if you like dogs, love to laugh, want to know what it's like to live in Florida.

@teamcreepz: Her sense of humor adds a lot of sparkle to my timeline.  She is not afraid to share her opinion/call people out, which I find endlessly entertaining.  She's a huge fan of hockey and instant netflix, and has great taste in television and movies.

@gokeysupporter: She is just goofy.  She won't clutter your timeline with garbage and is always happy to interact with her followers.  I also love that she is up front with what she's feeling: if she's excited, you'll know it!  She has a lot of enthusiasm and loves to meet new people.

@tommyismyname: I met him a few weeks back during a chat and I am really glad I did!  Not only does he pass on relevant information dealing with social media, marketing, and the like, but he also beat boxes and cracks me up.  I don't feel like he is pushing links down my throat.  He is also charming, funny, and approachable.

@grizz83: I haven't been following him for very long but in the short time we've known each other, he has kept me laughing.  Who would have thought that a grizzly bear could be spot on?  I must warn you though ... this bear has an opinion about everything! :)

@dennisay: I think he's hilarious.  He is always doing something awesome or talking about the awesome thing he is going to do later.  He is an excellent replier and a self-proclaimed nerd.  He has good taste in TV, too.

@kjoebbb: She is an animal lover!  She rescues animals, has a cat and dog, and is a college student.  She updates a lot, which some people may not like but I dig.  She is sweet, friendly, and helpful.  She is also quick to share her opinion on what's happening in TV Land.

BONUS: @djsamhouse: he's a DJ in LA who interacts with his followers.  Ask him for a song recommendation!

Find previous Follow Friday awesomeness HERE HERE HERE and HERE

Hope you have a great weekend!

Follow Friday

Here are my picks for Follow Friday this week. Get excited people.

@josephthomas:  The Glo-Stick gif posted above is his favorite (or at least I claim that it is).  He's funny, he posts lots of pics, and he will interact with you if you are rad enough.  Give him a shout out!  You won't regret it!

@grimalkinrn: Accidentally stumbled into #SMmanners chat and kept me laughing the entire night!  Funny, ridiculous, and great at random discussions.  Claims to be a Mean Girl and hate John Mayer.  Say what you need to say, say what you need say.

@lizzayn: She's a writer and huge sweetheart.  She keeps you up to date on the happenings (as well as her writing) but she won't flood your timeline.  She also has kept encouraging me to reach for the stars which I dig!  If that's not convincing enough -- she has a quote from Gene Wilder in her bio!

@zombienicole: I seek her tweets out when scrolling through my timeline.  She keeps it real, she keeps it fresh, she keeps it funny.  I love her honesty and her bravery.  I also love the pics that she posts!  Tell her hello, she will most likely respond!

@insanetruckdriv: Ever wonder what it's like to be a truck driver?  NOW YOU KNOW!  He tweets daily about life on the open road and shares his adventures from all across the country.  Pretty awesome.  He has a great sense of humor, too!

@willdobbs: He is into Social Media and always sharing information and tips.  He's friendly and great at interacting with his followers.  I hope to get him to participate in the #SMmanners chat very soon.  Following him will keep you in the Social Media loop.

@risingspivey: This woman is going to change the world!  She is encouraging, outspoken, and amazing.  Her interests are varied so you don't have to worry about her clogging up your timeline with the same old stuff all the time.  Ask her how you can become a #ChangeAgent.

@serrot: She has an incredible sense of humor and a wide variety of interests.  She is always interacting with her followers and keeps any and all conversation lively.  She is always awesome about relaying important information from all over the web!  I have come to rely on her connectedness to many different issues, etc.  I dig her taste, too.

@diggs31: He is a total sweetheart and I love talking to him (just about) every day.   He is FULL of positive energy.  He is a great conversationalist AND asks me really interesting questions.  I always get excited when I see him on my timeline.  Introduce yourself to him!  Seriously!

@paulpannone: Want to know anything/everything about the wedding industry?  I suggest you follow him, as well as @ewednews right now.  Not only is he a great blogger and fact-gather, he is also incredibly friendly!  One of the first people I connected with on Twitter and I still dig him.

BONUS: @KyleMcShane: I met him this week during the #SMmanners chat and he had a lot of great input.  He's into Social Media and he knows what he's talking about.

Need more rad people to follow?  Previous Follow Friday posts HERE HERE and HERE.

Britney Spears sells 100 million records

It's official: Britney Jean Spears has sold 100 million records.

In honor of this great accomplishment I am going to walk you through the time I've 'spent' with the Living Legend.  Do not read further you suffer from Stansophobia (Fear of Stans)!

My love for Britney Spears can be traced back to a bus ride where my sixth grade best friend passed me the single ...Baby One More Time in a very under-the-table manner.  She very discreetly encouraged me to give it a shot.  I was a wee bit skeptical about this unknown artist: my best friend's favorite song was 'David Duchovny' by Bree Sharp.  I raced home, placed ...Baby One More Time in my Discman, and pressed play.

After listening to the single approximately 10 times, I watched the video repeatedly on my PC.  From that moment on I was a Britney Spears fan.

I become the proud owner of my first Britney Spear's album after initiating a CD trade: Celine Dion's Falling into You for Baby One More Time; ...Oops I Did It Again was purchased at a Plato's Closet with my allowance and spare change that had been collected for weeks.   I distinctly remember watching her music videos on MTV, recording them to VHS, and watching them over and over (and over and over and over).

For my 17th birthday I received her Britney album as well as the DVD accompaniment; I made everyone watch the DVD during my birthday dinner and listen to the album en route to and from the mall.  (Keep in mind that I already had all of the videos from Baby and Oops on VHS, as well as the Behind-the-Videos.)  That same year I purchased her Live in Las Vegas DVD; I still watch it once every few months.

Her album In the Zone came out when I was a freshman in college.  I downloaded it weeks in advance and listened to it non-stop, burning copy after copy for every man/woman/child who knocked on my dorm door and inquired about the voice of an angel that was blaring through my desktop speakers.  Release day I skipped class, rode the shuttle bus to the parking lot, drove to Target, bought the album (which I already memorized), drove back to the parking lot and listened to the entire thing, singing every word.

That same year my roommate and I memorized the steps to the Crazy video.  I never told her I already knew it by heart from the VHS days; my sophomore year I wrote an entire paper about the media frenzy surrounding her first marriage, ironically also shot in Las Vegas.

The week Blackout was released I went on vacation; my gift to my neighbors was leaving the CD on repeat with a sign that read 'Hope you have enjoyed listening to Britney's new album xoxo Leah'.

The year of her Circus Tour I took my college bff to Chicago (actually she took me as I was vehicle-less) to SEE HER LIVE.  Here is a picture of my reaction to seeing Britney Jean Spears for the first time:

My reaction to being in the same room as Brit.

To this day, that was the single-most incredible moment of my entire life.

Go ahead and keep that white wig on.  I C U JUDGING ME.  You only make me Stronger.  I will tell you to your face that there is no argument you can make for me stop loving her.  I was Born to Make You Her Happy.

I know more about Britney Spears than you can begin to fathom.  Does this make me Crazy?  Possibly.  Is scheduling a Google Alert to delivered to my inbox everyday make me Toxic?  (I personally think it makes me Lucky.)  Will I boldly enter a discussion about her with complete strangers/haters?  Everytime.  You may think she's Outrageous; but as for me and my house, I say, Gimme More.

Britney Spears makes me feel like I am sitting in a packed movie theater opening night.  The air is electric; your heart races, your palms sweat, and you take a collective breath when they Kill the Lights.  Will you be disappointed?  Sometimes.  Does this mean I'm Not A Girl, Not Yet a Woman?  Definitely not.

Follow Friday

I can't believe it's Friday Monday already. This week has been insane and ridiculous and I could not be happier that tomorrow is Saturday Tuesday.

Here are my picks for this week's Follow Friday Monday. Previous picks can be found HERE and HERE.

@JohnAntonios met him during a #PR20Chat this past week and he is knowledgeable in both Marketing/PR and Social Media.  Most importantly, he's a blast to talk with!

@carlajo Carla is fabulous and has her pulse on that happs in Indy.  She is in the PR field (and rocks it) and is hilarious, thoughtful, intelligent, etc!  I suggest adding her if you need some life in your timeline.  Also, did I mention she's beautiful?  Just sayin'.

@running5k2day Sweetest lady in my timeline (or at least one of them).  She is a mother of TWINS and she still manages to talk with you!  She's got positive energy and never makes me feel bad about falling behind on my chores.

@sergioni He's hilarious.  He is up-to-date about the happenings in Hollyweird and always makes me laugh.  Always.  Did I mention he's hilarious?  Beyond that, he's really sweet and he interacts with his followers.

@jj_newberry He is also hilarious and is a constant tweeter.  Some may not like this, but I LOVE it.  He makes me laugh with his commentary and there is always SOMETHING going on.

@peachonice She is one of the first people I ever followed on Twitter, and she is still one of my favorites.  She uploads pictures WHICH I LOVE and had some pretty profound things to say.  She also interacts with followers.

@bryanricard One of my newest twiends from #BrandChat.  He impressed me with his know-how.  Follow him to learn something about Marketing/PR/Social Media

@toryk She is a Social Media diva just like me!  She works in the field (and plays in it, too).  I met her during the #PR20Chat and ran into her again during #ForbesChat.  I love a lady who contributes to her field and who had great music taste.

@misterbrogue I added him to my nest last week during Follow Friday and have not regretted it at all!  Photographer, philosopher (maybe), and all around rad dude.  Be warned -- he's interested in meeting new people and interacting.  If you're boring he'll give you the boot!  I consider this a compliment and have really enjoyed talking to him over the last week or so.

@thespacebase He's lives in Tennessee.  He has great taste in books and music.  He's married to a Roller Derby Goddess -- what more could you ask for?  Oh, he's funny too!

@grenkappa He's from Florida.  He's got a sweet smile.  He talks back -- I highly recommend following him.  He loves to talk about music so get the conversation started!

BONUS: @smartalecjosh12 We have the same taste in TV shows and I love it.  I can talk about Buffy, Dawson's Creek, Bones, you name it!  If you have awesome taste in TV like we do ... I think you know what to do.

Follow Friday

It's been brought to my attention that having 1094 people for #FollowFriday on Twitter can be a bit daunting. What's unfortunate is that I like to give a shout-out to the people I interact with on a weekly basis, and if it happens to be a busy week, this can add up to a lot of people.

I haven't quite decided if I will completely stop mentioning all my favorite tweeps, but in the mean time here is a list of my Must-Follow for this week.

@Divacoachdabney I met her this week during #BrandChat and she had a lot of insightful input on branding, marketing, and social media.  I'm looking forward to getting to know her better (and learn, too).

@hotmixprincejay He's a DJ and he's hilarious.  He keeps up with the trends in sports, news, and Hollyweird.  I one day hope to be on his must-follow list as well.

@sarayelich She tweets a lot (some people like that, some people don't).  She is funny and random and her mom is a florist.  She has a variety of interests and I enjoy reading her updates.

@mrwordsworth I met him this week during #MonitorChat.  His tweets are great.  Funny, sarcastic, witty -- I highly recommend you follow him to give some humor to your timeline.

@girlspintout A mom and a beer fanatic.  What's not to love?  She is working to unite the women of Indy (and soon, the globe!) who love beer.  Support the cause!

@bodewadmi He posts a lot of interesting links and interacts with his followers.  I am a big fan of interaction -- if you don't respond, what's the point?

@ambusctrs101 If you want an example of how a business twitter should be run, follow this company!  She does a great job of mixing business and personal to keep it interesting.

@karimacatherine I met her this week during #BrandChat and ran into her again during #MonitorChat.  She knows a lot about marketing, and I highly suggest you learn something from her.  Don't be intimidated -- she is very approachable!

@141chars She posts links about social media so you can stay in the loop.  Only drawback is that she doesn't respond.

@gazelma She is a blogger and a very interesting woman to follow.  Her fashion blog is great and so is her take on pop-culture.

BONUS: Follow @homelessnickle.  Recently moved (or is in the process of moving) from Indy to Chicago.   His blog kept me motivated to keep being myself during my job quest.

Previous list of Must-Follows can be found here.  You should follow them as well.

Tin can

My mother received a troubling message from her realtor yesterday and it is completely my fault.

He called to complain about my POS car being parked in her driveway, saying that it was 'bringing down the value of her house'.

At first I was embarrassed because, let's face it, my car is not exactly the chariot it used to be. Yes, one side is smushed in. Yes, it does not have A/C and there is a slight crack in the windshield that I discovered this week. And yes, the hubcaps were taken off during Dreamboat Annie's last surgery and were never put back on (never found actually).

Just because one of her windows rolls down irregularly and the CD player no longer works does not mean she is not a trusty steed. We have been through a lot together, and some bonds are not based on superficiality. I don't care that she has scratches, dents, and plastic pieces that hit your feet when you ride shotgun; she gets me where I need to go.

As I continued to mull over this message, rage started to surface. If he is blaming his inability to sell a house on the appearance of my car, which was only parked there for a short amount of time, he is obviously an idiot. If a potential buyer falls in love with the property then reneges because of my car, they too are idiots.

I'd be more than happy to accept a new car if it will help sell my mother's house. I'd be even happier to have a buyer who accepted the house, Tin Can and all.

Paula Cole

Where have all the cowboys gone? A great guilty pleasure song from the 1990s and also an interesting interpretation of the music industry. It seems anyone these days can get a record contract. You do not need talent, a voice, strong lyrics ... all you really need is an 'image' and the opportunity to sell yourself (but that's an different entry all together). Hell, I could be a county music star with some help from an excellent lyricist and auto-tune.

My argument is this: I know for a FACT that there are plenty of artists and groups who do still care about the music, the message, the lyrics but they are hidden gems that require mining and a map to find.

Some of my favorite artists many people have never heard of -- so how do you get talent to go mainstream without selling out? Is it possible to become famous and stay connected to who you are? Take Green Day for example: their latest album is a far-cry from Dookie. Evolving as an artist is important, but when does evolving stop and selling-out begin?

I understand the powerhouses in the music industry are interested in profit but how refreshing it would be to see a shift and bring the focus back to the music, instead of the sludge that is barely tolerable on the radio waves these days.

Avril Lavigne wanted to be a country singer and was formed into a faux-punk-rocker to sell albums. Imagine what sort of impression she could have left if she was able to live her passion instead of putting on heavy eyeliner and fishnet stockings. True, her persona and 'talents' made her a household name, at least for awhile, but at what cost?

Is it still possibly to make a impression by being yourself, sticking to your guns and not taking no for an answer? The loss of genuine talent is already being felt by yours truly.

I sat around July 4th listening to folk music and wishing I grew up in the 60s and 70s, when music seemed to mean something. There is part of me that still believes the world can change with a strong voice, a guitar, and something to say. Am I am that naive to continue to see music as a tool? Has our generation somehow lost our ability to reach the masses through lyrics and music? Will we be remembered for getting 'Tipsy'?