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Tweet me? TWEET YOU!

“Ew, Tweeter, what is that?”

As my fingers dance across my keyboard, this is normally what I hear when someone pops up behind me and glimpses at my screen. As it is, I don’t just use Twitter, I use Tweetdeck ( well, wait, since Twitter is acquiring Tweetdeck, does it just make Tweetdeck Twitterdeck?). When people who are unfamiliar with any form of social platform other than Facebook, they find it overwhelming, the endless, non-stop stream on content, mentions,locations, check-ins.

And then I get the dreaded question.

“Can you teach me how to use Twitter or something?”

Or something?

I don’t consider myself a selfish person, but platforms like Twitter,Tumblr and even Facebook, are so personal that the fun in it for me,personally, was to experiment and find out on my own how to navigate through these sites and communicate. How do I explain to someone who uses Facebook for Cityville and Zynga Poker that Twitter is more than just another place to post an update about your pup Fifi?

Of course, I am not exempt from the mindless clutter of tweets that  I feed into my stream on a daily basis- I go through moments of personal, informational, and random tweets, while trying to at least maintain a core focus on my interests that got me into tweeting in the first place :  digital media,technology,  and public relations. Through participation  in the weekly tweetchat @Journchat, the brainchild of PR Super Diva Sarah Evans, not only was I given the ability to connect and network with PR Pros, rookies, and enthusiasts all over the country, but it gave me a chance to really hone my craft; A second look at what I was educated in and applying that to current events and situations amongst other who understand that being involved in public relations, journalism, and the digital media era is ever evolving.

but can we find another term for it already?

So when asked, ” What is Twitter?” I usually fumble for a response. Twitter gave me access to new friends, new ideas. Twitter introduced me to the Graphic Communications and Management Program at NYU, which I was later admitted to as a graduate student. Twitter connects me with those in the know, and not just because we went to school together, or found each other on Facebook. Twitter is that constant stream of innovation and information that will continue to change how we identify ourselves on-line.

I have battled with the possibility of having two seperate twitter accounts : one to have as a professional person in weekly chats and all, and one for my personal musings. At the end of the day, I prefer not to take my personality out of Twitter- there is nothing wrong with showing how my mind works and functions along with the way I may intrepet and analyze daily events and situations.

This has resulted in being followed,unfollowed, personally messaged about content, or told in person that my tweets are sometimes “too personal”, ” don’t put yourself out there.”  So does this mean we are constantly protecting our identities online? Keeping one face while hiding another?

How social do we really want our social media to be?

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116 days

2794 hours

167643 minutes

10058622 seconds


Time until Saturday, October 1, 2011

As many of you now, at the end of summer I will be moving to New York City to pursue graduate studies at New York University.
I am very excited to partake on this wonderful new adventure in my life, and although I will be sad to leave Miami and South Florida- the place that has been my home for 16 years,
I am going to leave with a bang!

What is that date I have counted down? Is it my moving date? No. Birthday? No.

That will be the day I am back at the starting line. I am fighting to the finish for the ones in my life that NEVER stopped fighting.  can you please donate – help me find a cure!


Before I leave South Florida, I want to give back one last time to my community,my city, and to the organization that has changed so many lives around me, and my life as well

I would like to get your support in my commitment to run a half marathon. I am training to participate in an endurance event as a member of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training.

Yes, here I go again- The last SIX half marathons I did were amazing. My full marathon was life-changing-  I can’t tell you how excited I am!

The challenge I am preparing for is  the Disney Wine and Dine half marathon. I know, I know, 13.1 miles is a long distance, but it’s for an important cause. The LLS’s mission is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and Myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.  The bad news is that there is no known cure. Leukemia remains a leading cause of cancer-related death in children.  Every 4 minutes, someone is newly diagnosed with a blood cancer, and 894,543 Americans are presently living with leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease, or Myeloma.  However, the good news is that in 1960, the five-year survival rate for children with the most common form of Leukemia was just 4% and today it is 85%.

Running a marathon is only my physical commitment to this cause. My main  goal is to raise $2,000.00 to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. My motivation to train for this event comes from the many people I met during my first season, specifically my former teammate, Erica Calix, a cancer survivor. It also comes in memory of the family I have lost due to other forms of cancer. Cancer can take a healthy human being that is full of hopes and dreams and destroy them and their family.  But it can also gives families the strength to endure, to survive, and to make a difference.

This time I will also be dedicating this marathon to my best friend’s mother, Ana Luz Mayoral. She passed away from cancer in  2002, and I have watched my best friend blossom in the years in the memory of her mother.  Ana Luz was to be my godmother, and was my role model, and my hero.  I am going to run 13.1 miles while thinking of my honored teammates, and using their strength and perseverance to get me through the tough miles.

Please make a donation to support my participation in Team in Training – it’s time to beat cancer!.

I also encourage fundraising ideas, suggestions, and assistance!

If you donated last season, and cannot donate again, your word of mouth,forwarding of this email, and continued support and encouragement is very much appreciated!

Thanks for your support!  🙂

Meesh

Michelle’s Donation Instructions

Yes! I would like to contribute to The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and support Michelle in her  marathon! Remember, all donations are 100% tax deductible.

All you have to do is: 

1.      Write out a check made payable to The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  Be sure to inquire with your company to see if they have a matching gifts program.  Ask you HR department for details…what that means is that your employer will match any donation that you make to a charity.  What a wonderful way to double your money!     – if this is an option, let me know

2.      You can also donate through my website at: http://pages.teamintraining.org/sfl/diswine11/meesh

Believe me when I tell you it’s for a fantastic cause and that your dollars will be put to excellent use.  You also get to feel good about yourself without having to run a single mile (lucky you!)

To make it easier for you, here is a choice list of total amounts you can give:         (But don’t worry about the amount; every little bit truly helps.)

“I wish I could be there to cheer you on.” $100
“All this training gets Michelle out of the house.” $75
“If she can run 13.1 miles then she should give me a call now and then.” $50
“At least she is doing something worthwhile.” $40
“When was the last time I even saw Michelle?” $20
“I barely have enough for rent these days.” $15
“Make Michelle earn it the old-fashioned way.” ($1.00 per mile) $13.1
“Michelle who?” $10
Other (please fill in) $ ____

I sincerely thank you for supporting me!  ☺

My momma and me- silly

If only work really was like this

Ah, remember this unofficial day off from school when we were younger? Back in my day  ( if you’re reading this, you should know my “day” falls somewhere in the 90’s- and I will leave it at that)- it was just the girls that got to participate in this endeavor.

Now in our modern world,everyone gets a chance to spend a day in their parents world. ( or some version of it, as some companies may alter the day as to not scare of children from the actual realities of the working world)

Walking into my building at work today, I was greeted/almost run over  by pint-sized versions of my co-workers. Some look bored ( the day hasn’t even started!), some look tired ( I feel ya too there, buddy. One word when you get older : Starbucks) and some, rightfully so, look excited to be here. Whether it be because it’s a day off from school to hang out with their parents all day, or actual excitement to experience a “Career Day” because what their parents do is of actual signifigance and importance to them.

Growing up- Take Your Child To Work Day was something so new to me. The first year I ever heard of it I was excited..a day..with my mom..YES! My mom was a nanny and would be gone the whole day, returning late at night in time for homework supervision and dinner.  The possibility of spending a whole day by her side,  no matter what she was doing, was a treasure.

When I approached my mother about this “special day” she gave me a bemused look at said ” what? no. You don’t want to see what I do. Let me ask Ms. Ginger”. Ms. Ginger was her boss, a prominenet interior designer in Houston, Texas, where we lived at the time. I remember thinking ” But Ms. Ginger isn’t my mom.” It wasn’t until  I was older than I realized what she was trying to do. The concept of “Take Your Child To Work” day was to inspire and motivate your child to somehow follow in your footsteps, or at least get an idea of  what their hard work and education can get them too.

My mother was a nanny.

She had studied in her native country, El Salvador, to be an accountant and received her accounting degree, but when she came to this country and had to work to continue making things happen for her, she did everything from waitressing, to housekeeping, to what eventually became her love and current career- a nanny.  I don’t see anything wrong with that decision for her, then or now. But perhaps at that time, my mother wanted me to see something more than her cleaning up and caring for another person’s child.

What I wish my mother had known then, and what all parents should know now:

No matter what you do,

how you do it,

what you did to get there,

I am proud you are my mother.

You may not work in a shiny office,

drive a fancy car,

have a nameplate, or a title.

But the work you’ve done to get me where I am today merits every recoginition,

award, and highest honor.

She may have wanted me to see a better life sending me to work with her boss,

but what I wish my Mom had known,

was that I would’ve loved spending a day with my mother,

at her side,

doing what she does best:

Working hard, with all the love,blood, sweat and tears in her body, to ensure her family not only survives, but strives for higher goals and successes that she was not able to achieve.

So while I sit here at reception, and employees stride by me with their children, stating ” she’s just here for a little while, she’s on the way to NYU for her Master’s” I want to say “stop”. There is nothing wrong with working while planning for the next dream come true.  My mother taught me that a long time ago. As long as you reach your dream, keep working at whatever you have to do to get there.

Riff Raff, StreetRat

I had a realization the other day. Not a stunning one, but a realization nonetheless.

One that occurred as I was viewing photos on Facebook,especially when I look ed at the people that live in the city, the friends and colleagues I will be associating myself with;

The life I am going to be leaving  and the madness I am going to be stepping into:

I am not rich.

I was not born rich.

I do not have well off parents that can provide rent, “extra money” just in case, credit cards, and shiny things.

If anything, all the hard work put into getting me through school has been in the aspiration that one day I will be able to help the family with so many other expenses, and give my parents a well-deserved  break just in time for retirement.

With unemployment, being laid off, and other things- this is a dream of mine that has been within my grasp and  lost, and I believe I am well within it once again with the new opportunities that have been bestowed upon me.

I’ve been lucky enough to have a hardworking mother, stepfather, and when he was alive- father, that have shed blood, sweat and tears to put me through my college education.

If I was a rich girl, la la la la la la la

Of course, having rich parents or not is not a necessary attribute for success.  As I was reading on WSJ –http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/rich-parents-dont-matter/ – there’s so much more to life that being raised among the wealthy, country club hopping, never knowing what it is to not have whatever you want or choose between a pedicure or lunch for the week, people of the world.

But it sure does help.

I find myself worrying about :

not having enough clothes

shoes

accessories

outfits

to thwart off the very much true fact that I will be on my own, fending for myself, in a world of fast paced intellectuality, that, more often than not, is also influenced by  one’s aesthetic.

Expenses in New York City are no joke.  The lease on an apartment alone will be a major financial issue. Not to mention the investment of  winter clothes- something I have never had to worry about  after  living in Miami for 16 years. It adds up, these little things.  And yes, it may sound crass, to be worried about my wardrobe-but as professional woman approaching her 30’s in the next couple of years, there’s a certain place I think I should be, and a certain representation of myself I should have in the workplace or when meeting clients.

So, what can I do?

Options considered are :

winning the lottery

learning how to sew and making my own clothes

Writing to Oprah

Having one of  you submit me as a candidate on “What Not To Wear”.

Bring Potato Sack Fashion Back.

Oh, the things they would do to my clothes.

I  was never savvy ( or coordinated) enough to learn to do my own mani/pedi without looking like I just dunked my hands and feet in fingerpaint. Straightening my own hair? I look like I am having a seizure trying to hold the brush with my left hand while blowdrying with my right.

Tally up the costs of these normal luxuries we, as women, give ourselves to keep ourselves prim,trimmed, and sparkly.

Now- subtract that from …0.

or from deciding whether to pay your student loans, rent, groceries,gas,cell phone, internet- with whatever income you’re getting.

So, this is my fear.

With work getting into full swing- I am searching for the places that won’t make me feel like I could’ve spent the money better elsewhere, than on myself getting my nails done,hair done, everything did. Or solutions. ( “do your own nails” bootcamp, anyone?)

“Be a Woman. Powerful business when done correctly” – Mad Men

I never claimed to be someone who doesn’t procrastinate,

or that doesn’t  let life grab me by the hair and swing me 180 degrees into something new and scary, and probably unknown.

And sometimes when that happens, my pure passions- the very things that bring lightness to my being, that have sustained my sanity when I’m about to rip out my hair and go sell muffins on the street corner- take a backseat to everything else.

Not even a backseat, cause you can still see things if they’re in the backseat. They get placed in the trunk. Under the spare tire.

So-what has happened since I last blogged?

why, let me show you.

well- that fundraising I was doing:

One hot day in August- I held a fundraiser at a local restaurant-Cantina Grill – and was worried about my reaching my final fundraising goal when BOOM! My old teammates  surprised me with a check with the remaining $1,500.00 I had left to fundraise.

the magic check

and yes, I cried. You would’ve thought I had won the lottery. And in a lot of ways, I did.

soon after that, well-2  months after- I completed 26.2 miles in beautiful San Francisco, California on behalf of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. It took me 6 hours- I was rained on for 3…and I pretty much looked like one of those people on the fishing boats from a storm scene out of “Deadliest Catch”

And I got a Tiffany necklace too

The feeling is beyond incredible.

Now, behind all this madness I was quietly involving myself in two things : Yelp.com, and applying to graduate schools.

Well, one particular school.

New York University.

Dream School

Back story:

As you may or may not know- I’m a born and bred New Yorker.

That being said, when my parents divorced and I left the island of Manhattan at about 6 years old, it was always my father’s dream that I would return back to New York  for college. As I grew older, that dream became my own. But fear of rejection, fear of not knowing..basically-cowardice, thwarted my attempts and I pursued my undergraduate degree at University of Florida.

Thanks to divine intervention ( or what some of you may know as “Twitter”), a program at NYU caught my attention and I caught theirs. A friend of mine, who had also applied,introduced us via our twitter handles and before I knew it, I was speaking with NYU, discussing admissions.  I was scared. I was nervous. I may have been quietly jumping and down while on the phone with them.

Without making a big fuss about it online,I applied to NYU in July, and waited.

Now, what does applying to  graduate school and writing free reviews for a website based on the people, for the people, and by the people?

Yelp.com introduced me to people that encouraged not only my creative ( and somewhat crazy) manner of thinking, but pushed me to be uncomfortable and go outside of myself-to trust my instincts. What began as just a way to review yummy food and wax poetic about sweets has, to this day, turned into a community for me that I cherish and hold dear.

Fast Forward : November.

November  was fast. and crazy.

Basically-

I went to North Carolina for a friend’s wedding on November 12th.

November 13th my sister went into labor and had difficulties.

November 14th I was on a one way flight from North Carolina to NYC,with nothing but a dress, strappy heels, and some leggings in my carry-on.

The rush was worth it to welcome my second nephew into the world :

that little person has a huge part of my heart.

While in the city, the pressure of finding out whether I got into NYU or not was getting to me, and the pulse of the city was syncing with my desire to find something new outside of Miami- where for two years I have been struggling to find  a job that made me ultimately happy.

Then, on November 29- I had two  very important conversations. The first was with someone, from Yelp, who  told me to stay in the city, to push for what I wanted. The second was with a friend of mine, who couldn’t shake the feeling that all of these crazy turns of events had me in the city for a reason. That same evening, on a car ride back to the city from Yonkers- I received this :

I screamed so loud I gave myself a headache that didn't go away till yesterday.

And now?

I am happy.

Planning the big move to NYC in the fall, in disbelief at how everything really does have a plan,

hungrier for life, crazier than ever.

Lesson Learned in 2010: pay no mind to when other people doubt you, leave you, or mislead you- the only person that needs to believe in you, is well..YOU.

Hold on tight!

La Yelp Boheme

Dearest computer,

we gather here to write our reviews’

Here Yelp lies,

we all know her worth

Finds  great stuff from all over Earth.

Good food,  and everyone’s two cents worth.

In any town, even Bethlehem,

we raise our glass,

you bet your ass to,

La Yeeelp, Boheme.

La Yelp Boheme!

La Yelp Boheme!

La Yelp Boheme!

 

To days  of pure starvation,wanting cookies,  just put  something in our stomach,

and we need to express, to communicate,

we really want to eat,

a good treat! not something bad.

Using the app, or computer,

we’re finding great food sooner.

we’re writing about it, no doubt about it,

hey-did you just check-in and get a badge?

To writing about some fruit you sampled  for free,

or dumplings, that make you, shoutout with glee

Because you’re funny, you’re useful, and you’re cool,

and you love ROTD!

To writing it all  for fun,

and getting Elited!

 

La Yelp Boheme!

 

(update with Yislin additions )

to hand crafted beers made in local breweries! To popchips to sweetness, to rice and beans and cheese.

from leather, and tapas and curry vindaloo-to huevos rancheros and Maria Argüello!

My team and their story

This is me, on mile 4- feeling pretty good :

Afterwards – my big moon face has expanded it seems-but  some of my Teammates were good sports and allowed me to record them, and their reasons for running:

click on the link, wp doesn’t let me add the twitvid!

http://www.twitvid.com/EWP6I

enjoy!

don’t forget- if you would like to donate to my cause- ANY AMOUNT HELPS- go to

http://pages.teamintraining.org/sfl/nikesf10/meesh

tax-deductible! 🙂