Friday, June 30, 2006

Magazine Coupon - $5 Off

Just a quick note –

I wanted to let you know that is having a promotion for $5 off on a large selection of their magazines.

I hold my subscriptions for Glamour, Allure, Cosmopolitan, and O with them and I’ve been very pleased with their prices.

If you have a subscription coming to an end and would like to try, click the link below to receive your $5 off. You will also need to enter the coupon code summermags during checkout.

(P.S. This offer expires on July 31st.), Inc.


RSDM Makes the News

Congrats to Residents for a Safer Downtown Memphis! Paul and Mike made it onto the news last night to talk about their plan to help clean up downtown.

Here's a link to the story.

The President Goes to Graceland

In keeping with my Memphis theme this week, President George Bush brought the Japanese Prime Minister to visit Graceland today in Memphis.

According to, Air Force one was equipped with Elvis Presley's greatest hits, grilled peanut butter and banana sandwiches, and Elvis movies.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Page Test

Alright, as a test... I created a few new pages yesterday. They're essentially to highlight a few shoes that I like.

Charles David Whoop Shoe
Enzo Angilolini Maylie Shoe
Franco Sarto Question Shoe
Guess Carrie Shoe
Guess Marri Shoe
J Lo Roxi Shoe
Michael Kors Bleeker Shoe
Michael Kors Newton Shoe
Oh Deer Audrey Shoe
Steve Madden Pawla Shoe
Steven Lalo Shoe
Stuart Weitzman Fever Shoe
Stuart Wetizman Sensual Shoe

The good and the bad in Memphis...

Paul posted a blog about a few things going on in Memphis. Here's my opinion on them...

The Good:
First, one of the big perks to living in Tennessee: Tax Free Week. The idea is that occasionally the State of TN will throw in a sales tax holiday to promote local business. They rarely give much advance notice to Tax Free Week, as I don't think they want consumers to be waiting for it to arrive. But, when it happens, it's great! Most stores will mark down their items by 10% or so to match the tax savings. The next savings week is coming up on August 4th to August 6th. Customers can get clothing, school supplies, or computers without paying tax. The exception to this are items that are considered to be more of a luxury. This means, any one piece of clothing must be worth less than $100. Each school supply must be worth less than $100, and each computer must be worth less than $1,500. Clearly, a big part of this particular tax free week is to help parents get their kids ready for back to school. How nice!

The Bad:
I've really had it with the price of real estate in Downtown Memphis. Since moving to LA 2 years ago, I have watched the market value of places downtown grow at an exponential rate. When I left Memphis, I had a wonderful 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom apartment in one of the nicest apartments in downtown. It included air conditioning (a given), a free washer and dryer just for me, storage space, 2 swimming pools, a gym, and a gated entry with unlimited parking spaces. For all of this, I paid a premium-- then, over $850. Now that 2 years have passed, a similar place in downtown seems to be going for close to $1,500. And, here's another that is priced just over $1,000.

In fact, I have spoken with local friends lately who didn't feel they could cough up the extra $ it costs to live in downtown and have opted for places as far as 20 miles east. For a place outside of downtown, a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment is still going for less than $700. And with that, you get many more amenities.

And, you can forget about buying a place for the price that things were going for 2 years ago, or even one. A one bedroom condo in Memphis used to go for less than $100,000. Heck, a TWO bedroom condo used to go for less than $90,000. Now, a one bedroom condo in downtown Memphis can get up to over $1 M! Here's a sample that's more representative of the average. It's a one bedroom, 1.5 bath condo in downtown Memphis that's going for $362,000.

Now, keep in mind that the condo that I just showed you used to be an apartment building. The residents were kicked out (or asked to buy their places) in order to turn the apartments into condos. Granted, the space is 2,000 square feet, but I just don't care. That same place would have been $100,000 not too long ago.

And, what has changed? I hope to have a better answer for this after visiting Memphis in a few weeks, but in the meantime, I'm really not sure. Crime is up and downtown does not have the following:
  • A normal grocery store (When I lived there, I used to drive to Mississippi or Arkansas to go grocery shopping)
  • A doctor
  • A dentist
  • A gas station
  • A shopping mall or other major shopping center (There is one nice mall, but the only place that I ever found to buy clothes there was the Gap and Anne Taylor Loft. As much as I like these stores, this isn't much variety.)
  • Choices in schools (I think there is one small school downtown)
  • Jobs - Although there are some places to work downtown and things are growing, don't count on it. When I lived there, I worked 25 miles east in Collierville, TN.
So, I hate to bash downtown, but seriously, where do the developers get off charging so much? I learned yesterday from the Downtown Condo Report that the total number of condos downtown has risen to 3,633 (including those in progress).

Who is buying these places?

According to the Downtown Demographic Report, the average salary in the "Downtown Core" is only $51,000. How in the world is someone making $50 K supposed to give up $300 K for a one bedroom place?

When developers are choosing the prices for their condos, they should also consider property tax. Many areas that surround downtown don't have property taxes. But because TN has no state income tax, if you do pay property taxes, they're high. This encourages residents to move further and further out of the city. So in addition to being able to build a giant house for less, they also forgo the high property taxes.

Isn't the point of building up downtown to attract residents?

The reason that I'm ranting is that I'm already paying over $1,000 / month for an apartment-- in Los Angeles... in a nice neighborhood. Within walking distance of the beach. Near celebrities. Near all sorts of restaurants, jobs, and grocery stores. Near a huge shopping center. With lots of dentists and doctors to choose from. With gas stations.

And, despite this great place where I live, I have always really loved Memphis. The low cost of living there has always been a huge argument for me to move back. But, how can I continue to argue that if I'll be paying the same price or more for rent? Heck, when I lived there, I used to have to drive to Mississippi or Arkansas to go grocery shopping!

So anyway, after my visit in a few weeks, I hope to have more understanding around how property taxes and rents in downtown have soared in a proportion that doesn't match salaries there.

I should take a moment to mention a few of the reasons I LIKE downtown, since clearly you may be wondering.
  • The People - Memphis has a small town feeling. It's a given that while you're out, you WILL see someone you know. Heck, you'll probably see 10 people you know.
  • Market Segment - The demographic of people downtown is progressive. According to an online marketing resource (a link I can't find at this moment), the people of downtown Memphis are a similar market segment to that of people in Santa Monica, CA
  • Live music - You can find this anywhere and everywhere and always - even during brunch
  • Original art - The art community is thriving downtown and the local businesses support it by displaying pieces that are for sale
  • Diversity - Where else can you see a country concert, a symphony, an off Broadway show, a boxing match, an art opening, a political debate, a rodeo, museums, a baseball game, spas, horseback riding, canoeing, a black tie event, a volunteer event, a small business incubator, public transportation, rollarblading on a boardwalk, river boats, rooftop parties, and people who actually like a big cross section of these types of different events - all in a 10 radius?
  • Cost of Living - Aside from real estate, the cost of living in downtown Memphis is extremely reasonable. In addition to things being reasonably priced, many events are free. Gotta love that!
Alright, enough with that topic. I'll be sure to post an update in a few weeks if I find anything that would explain the high real estate prices. The bigger question is: Is the market at its top or is it going to head back down sometime soon?

An Oklahoma Trial

This was not what I expected to be reading on MSN this morning:

Back in Business!

My blog passed the test! Google decided that Diabetes Supply Review is in fact real content, written by a real person. Whoo hoo!

Here's the e-mail I received:

Your blog has been reviewed, verified, and cleared for regular use so that it will no longer appear as potential spam. If you sign out of Blogger and sign back in again, you should be able to post as normal. Thanks for your patience, and we apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.
The Blogger Team

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Memphis Bound...

The phone call this morning got me thinking about what I'll do with my free time in Memphis. There is always so much going on, that its hard to choose what to do! :)

I took a few minutes to scan through a few websites and came up with a few things of interest to me. Since I've been gone for 2 years now and things are ever changing, I'm not completely tapped into what 'the thing' to do is.

So, here's a list of some of the things I found. If you have one you recommend, please e-mail me or post a comment. Also, if there's something I missed that I should know about, e-mail me your suggestions.

(I, of course, will only go to a handful of these things...)

Events in July:

9 - Lazy Sunday Brunch at Miss Cordelia's
9 - Huey's for Larry's band Martin & Taylor
9 - MP3 DJ Night at Hi Tone
11 - South Main Association Meeting (to see Residents for a Safer Downtown Memphis speak)
11 - Indie Memphis Cinema Club
11 - Sheriff's Debate
12 - Toastmasters Meeting
13 - Leadership Academy Luncheon with someone from the Commercial Appeal
13 - Madison Rooftop Party
13 - Snozberry at the Flying Saucer
13 - Country on Beale - Trent Tomlison
13 - Center City Commission Annual Luncheon
15 - Farmers' Market (I have to see this!)
15 - Sleep Out on the Mississippi (Tempting...?)
16 - US Senate Debate
16 - MP3 DJ Night at Hi Tone
19 - Toastmasters Meeting
20 - Mpact Financial Literacy Workshop (my membership is still up to date, gotta use it. ha.)
20 - Mayoral Debate
20 - Country on Beale - Julie Roberts and Chris Cagle
20 - Dempspys at the Flying Saucer
20 - Peabody Rooftop Party (?)
22 - Farmers' Market

Random or Fate?

You know how sometimes in life odd things happen? Well, this week has been one of those times...

Months ago, I was interviewing for jobs in Memphis. This was before I had committed to learning everything that I could about having my own small business.

Since my work is now contingent upon an internet connection, I've decided to visit my family in Oklahoma and friends in Memphis during July.

Randomly, two companies in Memphis have called this week-- one just a few minutes ago-- to ask if I would be available to fly to Memphis on the week of July 10th to interview.

So.... the week of July 10th, I will be IN MEMPHIS. I'm already scheduled to be there. Shane is loaning me his condo while he's out of town and I'll be there, working away. At night or on the weekends, I'm hoping to see my friends. But, otherwise I've just been scheduled to work.

But now, I'm scheduled for 2 interviews! It actually crossed my mind when I woke up this morning that I might want to pack a suit or two when I go, just because random interviews seem like the sort of thing that sometimes happen when you least expect it.

How I feel about the whole thing will be decided after I have the experience. Clearly, there are a LOT of factors to consider. But, I'm always open to meeting people and to feeling things out. For me, interviews are a lot like first dates; it takes quite a few of them to get to a second or third date. You know?

You don't get married to the first guy who will have dinner with you. But if you meet a few, eventually you find a fit. And who knows? Something good will definitely come of it... be it practice interviewing (I usually tell myself this to stay calm. lol.), a new networking connection, or a new job. Any of those could potentially be valuable.

To be continued in a few weeks...

Oh MY...!!!

Alright, so I learned a new lesson this morning. You are NOT supposed to post 50 blogs in 2 days. Dang it!

As I mentioned yesterday, I created a new blog and I tried to post a ton of information to it all at once. I was really hoping to just get things off and running at a good pace. Put up a bunch at first and then just maintain it a little at a time.

Ugh, instead... I received an e-mail today saying that my diabetes blog has been locked because of content spam. I guess I should have thought of this... it is quite a few posts for one day.

A person is supposed to take a look sometime today to verify whether or not my new blog should be classified as spam. I hope that they'll understand my error. Argh.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Diabetes Supply Review

Whew-- After 8 hours of posting and piecing together, another site is up and running!

I'm working to diversify myself a little, so I've created a site to post information about diabetes supplies on.

The site is called Diabetes Supply Review. It features information about diabetic shoes, diabetes symptoms, and some recipes that comform to a diabetes diet. It also has links to diabetic cookbooks and diabetes monitors and test kits, blood test strips, and more.

The product brands include AccuChek, OneTouch, and FreeStyle. You must have seen the commercials with BB King. :-)

Lastly, I've put up a few links from the Diabetes Supply Review to the American Diabetes Association site.

I have a feeling that at this point, the site will look extemely jumbled. Since late last night, I've put up 50 posts (that's definitely a record for me). They're currently all on one giant page if you go straight to Diabetes Supply Review. The idea is that I don't have time to add another blog to my daily list, but I'd like to get the information out there. I'm hoping that typical users will find the blog through a search engine and will be taken to one specific post, like this.

Okay, that's it. I may need to zone out for a while now. :-)

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Warren Buffett gives away his fortune

Oh MY! Check out this article I just found on Warren Buffett is going to give away 85% of his wealth! That's amazing! But I guess if you are starting with $40 Billion, it's not so bad. One of his granddaughters was on Oprah recently, describing her modest existance. Thanks to her frugal grandpa, she's learned to make it on her own. On the other hand, that's got to make a girl at least a little bitter!

Here's the article:

NEW YORK (FORTUNE Magazine) - We were sitting in a Manhattan living room on a spring afternoon, and Warren Buffett had a Cherry Coke in his hand as usual. But this unremarkable scene was about to take a surprising turn.

"Brace yourself," Buffett warned with a grin. He then described a momentous change in his thinking. Within months, he said, he would begin to give away his Berkshire Hathaway fortune, then and now worth well over $40 billion.

This news was indeed stunning. Buffett, 75, has for decades said his wealth would go to philanthropy but has just as steadily indicated the handoff would be made at his death. Now he was revising the timetable.

"I know what I want to do," he said, "and it makes sense to get going." On that spring day his plan was uncertain in some of its details; today it is essentially complete. And it is typical Buffett: rational, original, breaking the mold of how extremely rich people donate money.

Buffett has pledged to gradually give 85% of his Berkshire stock to five foundations. A dominant five-sixths of the shares will go to the world's largest philanthropic organization, the $30 billion Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, whose principals are close friends of Buffett's (a connection that began in 1991, when a mutual friend introduced Buffett and Bill Gates).

The Gateses credit Buffett, says Bill, with having "inspired" their thinking about giving money back to society. Their foundation's activities, internationally famous, are focused on world health -- fighting such diseases as malaria, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis -- and on improving U.S. libraries and high schools.

Up to now, the two Gateses have been the only trustees of their foundation. But as his plan gets underway, Buffett will be joining them. Bill Gates says he and his wife are "thrilled" by that and by knowing that Buffett's money will allow the foundation to "both deepen and accelerate" its work. "The generosity and trust Warren has shown," Gates adds, "is incredible." Beginning in July and continuing every year, Buffett will give a set, annually declining number of Berkshire B shares - starting with 602,500 in 2006 and then decreasing by 5% per year - to the five foundations. The gifts to the Gates foundation will be made either by Buffett or through his estate as long as at least one of the pair -- Bill, now 50, or Melinda, 41 -- is active in it.

Berkshire's price on the date of each gift will determine its dollar value. Were B shares, for example, to be $3,071 in July - that was their close on June 23 - Buffett's 2006 gift to the foundation, 500,000 shares, would be worth about $1.5 billion. With so much new money to handle, the foundation will be given two years to resize its operations. But it will then be required by the terms of Buffett's gift to annually spend the dollar amount of his contributions as well as those it is already making from its existing assets. At the moment, $1.5 billion would roughly double the foundation's yearly benefactions. But the $1.5 billion has little relevance to the value of Buffett's future gifts, since their amount will depend on the price of Berkshire's stock when they are made. If the stock rises yearly, on average, by even a modest amount - say, 6% - the gain will more than offset the annual 5% decline in the number of shares given. Under those circumstances, the value of Buffett's contributions will rise.

Buffett himself thinks that will happen. Or to state that proposition more directly: He believes the price of Berkshire, and with it the dollar size of the contributions, will trend upward - perhaps over time increasing substantially. The other foundation gifts that Buffett is making will also occur annually and start in July. At Berkshire's current price, the combined 2006 total of these gifts will be $315 million. The contributions will go to foundations headed by Buffett's three children, Susan, Howard, and Peter, and to the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation.

This last foundation was for 40 years known simply as the Buffett Foundation and was recently renamed in honor of Buffett's late wife, Susie, who died in 2004, at 72, after a stroke. Her will bestows about $2.5 billion on the foundation, to which her husband's gifts will be added. The foundation has mainly focused on reproductive health, family planning, and pro-choice causes, and on preventing the spread of nuclear weapons. Counting the gifts to all five foundations, Buffett will gradually but sharply reduce his holdings of Berkshire (Charts) stock. He now owns close to 31% of the company-worth nearly $44 billion in late June - and that proportion will ultimately be cut to around 5%. Sticking to his long-term intentions, Buffett says the residual 5%, worth about $6.8 billion today, will in time go for philanthropy also, perhaps in his lifetime and, if not, at his death.

Because the value of Buffett's gifts are tied to a future, unknowable price of Berkshire, there is no way to put a total dollar value on them. But the number of shares earmarked to be given have a huge value today: $37 billion.

That alone would be the largest philanthropic gift in history. And if Buffett is right in thinking that Berkshire's price will trend upward, the eventual amount given could far exceed that figure.

So that's the plan. What follows is a conversation in which Buffett explains how he moved away from his original thinking and decided to begin giving now. The questioner is yours truly, FORTUNE editor-at-large Carol Loomis. I am a longtime friend of Buffett's, a Berkshire Hathaway shareholder, and a director of the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation.

Pepperdine - Pepp Talk

Alright, so my talk today at Pepperdine wasn't bad...

Leading up to it however was another story. How is it that right before something is supposed to happen, everything else happens too?

I lost my memory stick first. Then, I got stuck in exteme traffic. My car almost ran out of gas. More traffic. McDonald's had problems processing my gift cards in the drive in window. More traffic. Traffic lights. Crazy driver. Animal in the road. And finally, the school!

After my talk (which I must say was short), my professor asked a few questions about my personal website ( Apparently, the students were paying attention because 5 of them looked me up on the spot-- Cool!

Deal of the Week

If you like, here's a coupon for you--

Enjoy!, Inc.

What's Happening to Libertyland?

Ack, and I never even got to go... check out this article from

Pair buys Elvis roller coaster

MEMPHIS, Tennessee (AP) -- Owners of a small museum wanted a piece of Elvis Presley's favorite amusement park ride but ended up instead with the whole thing -- a roller coaster called the Zippin Pippin.

The Pippin was bought by the city's park commission in 1947. Most of the superstructure for its 2,800 feet of track was replaced over the years but it's still billed as one of the oldest wooden roller coasters in the country.

The ride was a top attraction at Libertyland, a 30-year-old amusement park Presley often rented for private parties.

Libertyland is closing and its rides and concession stands were sold at auction Wednesday.
Robert Reynolds and Stephen Shutts, partners in a traveling museum called the Honky Tonk Hall of Fame & Rock-N-Roll Roadshow, showed up planning to bid on one of the roller-coaster cars.

Instead, they bought the whole Pippin for $2,500. It went cheap because the sale agreement gives the buyer a month to take it down and haul it away.

Reynolds said he had not yet decided what they will do with the Pippin.

"There's 30 days to figure it out. ... The car is all we needed," he said.

Friday, June 23, 2006

How People Are Finding Angie's Adventures This Week

Alright, I'll try to stop posting the ways that people found my blog soon, but in the meantime, it's just so darn interesting!

It's surprises me the things that people are searching for, first of all. Second, it surprises me that I'm ranked on these things.

  • Memphis Downtown Lunch Delivery (You know, I always went out to lunch, so this isn't my specialty.)
  • Chinese Take Out Boxes with Baby Clothing (These can be found on Main Street in Santa Monica!)
  • Doctors Who Treat Whiplash in NY (Huh??)
  • How to make New England style hot dog buns (at least SOMEONE else is thinking about these!)
  • Buying New England style hot dog bun rolls (times two!)
  • What is Jessica Simpson's favorite drink from Starbucks? (I'm not sure.)
  • Paul Ryburn (wow, congrats!)

Summer Is Here!

It's odd, but this is the first week all summer where it has actually FELT like summer to me. I mean, I've been on a vacation; I've been to the beach. But still, it's just felt like any other time of the year.

What changed?

Well, I've been trying to decide, but I suppose it has to do with a few things. First of all, after being sick last week, my sleep schedule shifted some. I've been sleeping in later and staying up later at night. Next, it's been warmer. I've really enjoyed sleeping with all of the windows open, to enjoy the breeze at night.

This breeze concept is of course a foreign concept when I'm in Oklahoma and TN. There, it's more like hot gusts of dirt or something. But I guess that the consolation to most homes not having air conditioning in LA is that you get a nice ocean breeze to cool you off.

My one rant about all this of course are the children next door. These poor kids are being raised in tiny apartments, all smooshed together with nowhere to play. Well, unless you count the park, but with all of the homeless that live there, I'm not sure I'd want my kids to go there.

Anyhow, the kids seem to be unsupervised most of the time. And, even when their parents are around, their parents yell and scream as much as they do. The kids run around next to my apartment and in the alley way screaming and fighting all day it seems in the summer.

That's the one unfortunate thing about the whole breeze concept. In order to get work done, I often have to close the windows to tune out the kids. And, thus it gets extremely HOT in my apartment.

I try to be tolerant... Because of course, these kids I'm sure would like somewhere else to run around besides an alley. And considering how expensive LA is, I'm sure it would be a small feat for a parent to move their kids from a $1500 / month apartment to a house with a yard.

So anyway, the summer is here... popsicles, beach, heat, and all... Finally!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Welcome Memphis Bloggers

If you're visiting for the first time today from Paul Ryburn's blog, welcome!

Wow, thanks Paul for the great post! I'm always happy to help with anything involving Memphis and I'm glad my e-mails made a difference for Residents for a Safer Downtown Memphis.

Paul's right-- before moving to Los Angeles, I spent 3 years in Memphis. During the day, I worked at FedEx and at night, I had the good fortunate to play downtown. Of all of the cities I've lived in over the past 10 years (6 to be exact), Memphis was by far my favorite. I hope to eventually have the opportunity to live in downtown Memphis again.

As Paul mentioned, I recently completed my MBA at Pepperdine. My emphasis was in Entreprenerial Management, which has been extremely helpful the past few months as I've opened up my own business. I have two main areas of focus: internet marketing and internet / technology consulting.

So far, things are going great! I love the creativity and freedom that come with my new career. Last month, I spent a few weeks traveling around Italy and Spain, and business kept going from there. It was wonderful!

This new found sense of freedom has also prompted me to spend some time back in the South this summer. I'll be in Memphis and Oklahoma City (my original hometown) -- with my laptop -- for most of the month of July. I'm completely looking forward to seeing everyone and the progress that Memphis has made since I was there a year ago for Music Fest.

I should get back to work. Again, welcome if this is your first visit! Thanks for stopping by. I hope that you'll take a few minutes to poke around and feel free to check out my other web sites under the Links section on your right.

See you again soon!
:) Angie

Angie, Angie, & Paul at Harry's Detour on South Main

Monday, June 19, 2006

Monday in Review

I'm finally feeling better and I have a busy week ahead! Last week's Operation Working from Bed did not cut it-- I'm way behind.

However, I'm extemely happy that my Lacoste shoe site is up and going this week. I got my first 2 Lacoste sales this morning, so it's off to a great start!

I'm now on to my NEXT project. I'm now considering different options for another shoe site. I'm thinking about possibly a women's Michael Kors site, or maybe a men's shoe site-- Allen Edmonds anyone?

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Lacoste Shoes

A new shoe site for you to check out:!

A little about Lacoste shoes:

Renowned for luxury and classic styling, Lacoste has an unrivaled heritage in the sports fashion market. The brand continues to appeal to the fashion forward consumer and the footwear line is no exception. Modern designs and colorways combine with classic shapes to create a unique style that distinguishes Lacoste from other lifestyle brands.

Deal of the Week

Since I've spent most of the week lounging around, the online grocery store was an essential part of my week.

Included in my delivery was 7-up, chicken soup, and Advil - All of the things you know you need when you're not feeling well, but just don't want to actually have to go anywhere to get.

Well, nowdays if you live in LA or a major city, the grocery store will come to you! Although it sounds frilly, for a small delivery free (which is often waived), someone will pack up everything and drive it right to your home.

I often take advantage of this when I'm just plain busy. It's usually my alternative to an expensive restaurant delivery dinner. And, it's a good one!

The grocery store will deliver just about anything, including fresh sandwiches, frozen food, fruit, wine, fresh bread, desserts-- even organic stuff. They also have household items, like magazines, toilet paper, medicine, first aid products, and light bulbs.

You shop online by isle, as if you were in the grocery store. But often times, you have the option to "save" your shopping cart, so that you can quickly find things again for your next visit.

You just can't go wrong. :-)

Anyhow, with my personal spill said, I have a coupon for you! The coupon is for free delivery at Vons!

Vons has recently expanded their delivery area to include the following locations in California and Las Vegas--

San Fernando Valley, South Orange County, Inland Empire, North Orange County, San Gabriel Valley, West LA, South Bay, Temecula, San Diego, Oxnard, Ventura, Las Vegas, and Henderson

If you would like to get free delivery of your groceries, click here to use your exclusive Vons coupon!

Friday, June 16, 2006

New England Style Hot Dog Buns

If you've ever lived in the Northeast, you must have tried the great hot dog buns that they have there. New England Style Hot Dog Buns they're called (Freihofer's makes them)

I've been wondering lately-- Has anyone seen these in LA?

Maybe they're like Craft Fat Free Creamy Italian dressing-- it's mainly only available in New York.

Speaking of Entrepreneurship...

Remember when I spoke at Pepperdine's Entrepreneurship Form back in March?

Well, I'm at it again... Next weekend, I'll be back for Round 2 of my talk on non-profit consulting. I'm hoping that my friend Joe will be able to join me this time.

I'll keep you posted. :-)

Letter from the Editor - Memphis Flyer

Congrats to Paul, who has made it into the Memphis Flyer this week with this article:

I've never met Paul Ryburn, but I feel like I know him. That's because I regularly read his blog about life in downtown Memphis ( Most of the time it's a fun read, and it's a good way to get a feel for life among Memphis' downtown social set.

I learn things, too. Like the fact that a pigeon is not able to lay eggs unless it can see another pigeon and that a new restaurant called Dawgie Style is getting ready to open on Madison. I find out which team won at trivia at the Flying Saucer and what happened at the Peabody rooftop party -- and that June is Tube-Top Month. (At least, Ryburn has declared it to be such, and I applaud this kind of civic-mindedness.)

But in the past week or so, Ryburn's journal has taken on a more serious tone. Something's been bothering the blogger and his downtown friends, and that something is crime: muggings and robberies. Restaurant workers are being robbed on the way to their cars after hours. A couple of Ryburn's friends were mugged while walking home. They see cars full of young men backing into parking spots, as if to ensure a quick getaway. They see security guards with metal detectors checking IDs before allowing people on Beale Street on the weekends.

"I'm frustrated. I'm angry," he wrote last week. "A lot of other people are too. I feel like the neighborhood I love is being taken away from me. I think downtown is still pretty safe overall, but I also think we're approaching a tipping point, where if we don't fight back now, the criminals will take over for good by the end of the summer."

Scary stuff. But this is where the story gets better. Ryburn and his friends and readers started organizing. They contacted the City Council and police at the downtown precinct. They created an e-mail address to report and discuss crime downtown []. They met with officials of the Memphis Police Department and came up with a citizen/police plan.

They haven't solved the downtown crime problem yet, but they've made a start. And they've demonstrated how the Internet can make things better in the real world, not just in cyberspace. Ryburn has even resumed his regular cheerful blogging. (And though I've never met him, I'm sure he would want me to remind you that June is Tube-Top Month.)

Bruce VanWyngarden, Editor

How People Are Finding Angie's Adventures

I mentioned last week some of the interesting things that people are searching on to find my blog.

It has only gotten to be more bizarre. Most people lately who have randomly visited, have searched for something having to do with dental work. I must be the only person who blogs about the dentist. :-)

Here are some of the most recent searched phrases:
  • Cafe Concerto Florence, Italy
  • KCRW Angel Party June 2006
  • Paul Ryburn Crime
  • What does dental deep cleaning cost?
  • Homeless lady Civil Rights Museum Memphis (What?)
  • Deep cleaning dentist
  • Parvez Art Gallery Beverly Hills
  • I can't afford a dentist. What should I do?
  • Memphis, Blue Monkey
  • Entrepreneur going to MBA

The Brainpower of America's Largest Cities

Alright, here's an interesting set of statistics... has compiled a list of the "smartest" big cities in America. It's based on the number of adults with different levels of education.

Check out the rankings here.

This is where the cities rank that I've lived in:

26 - Pittsburgh
29 - Oklahoma City
32 - New York (I was actually in Troy, but this is the closest city available)
41 - Los Angeles
42 - Memphis
51 - Detroit (Detroit was also listed on the "cities lagging in brainpower" list, so I'm not sure what's up with that)

I'm back... sort of.

Yesterday was a false start. I really thought that after 2 full days in bed that I was good as new.

Turns out I was half right. I woke up this morning feeling bad again, but so far I'm pushing through it okay.

I was planning to wait to blog until all of my other work was caught up this weekend... but my brainpower is somewhat diminished and coding is just not at the top of my list at this moment.

With that in mind, I think I'll catch you up on a few things I found this week.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

2 Sick People

Oh man... what has happened to my life? lol.

Just 2 days ago, I was cruising along at full speed and yesterday morning I woke up with a fierce illness of some kind. My best guess is that it's the stomach flu that Morgan's friends have all had recently. My only question about that is-- How long does it take that sort of thing to incubate? Because yesterday was 3 days since I saw her friends...

Anyway, to make matters worse, BoRyan is also sick. He has a cold of sorts. So it was very much the sick taking care of the sick. Yesterday, I stayed in bed all day and only got up a few times to watch TV.

Last night, our attempt at sleeping was almost humorous, as we're both in that gross... can barely sleep stage.

Anyhow, today I'm feeling much better. I'm in bed with my laptop and I hope that by tomorrow, I'll be hitting the ground running again.

On Monday, I had such a good day that I organized everything for Tuesday, including my outfit. Hopefully, I'll finally get to wear it tomorrow. :-)

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Angie on Tour

I'm heading out on my U.S. tour in just a few weeks. You should look for me, coming to a city near you! I'm sure we're due for a martini. :-)

Here is my tentative schedule:
  • July 5 to July 8 - Oklahoma City
  • July 8 to July 23 - Memphis
  • July 24 to July 31 - Oklahoma City

Please keep me posted on the latest happenings!

See you soon,


Monday, June 12, 2006


Monday is finally here; it's back to work for me.

We flew in late last night from Salt Lake and I was so tired, the trip felt extremely long.

The airport was just chaos. Someone tried to push me out of the way as I stepped onto the escalator. Luckily, I've learned to block these sorts of people with my body and my luggage.

Today, my shoulders are sore from the trip and also, from the great massage I had yesterday.

Alright, back to work. If I find anything newsworthy, I'll be sure to post.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Deal of the Week

I found a new service this week that I want to share with you; it's called StubHub.

If you're new to StubHub, like me, you might wonder what it is. Here's the description from is the #1 site to buy & sell tickets online. On StubHub, visitors have direct access to sports, concerts, & theater tickets nationwide. StubHub has the best selection, best prices, & best reputation of any ticket site.

Searching around, I found tickets for all sorts of events, including a Mary J. Blige concert, a Memphis Tigers basketball game, Les Miserables on Broadway in NYC, American Idols Live, Madonna, Jerry Seinfeld, and an NHL hockey game.

The next time you're trying to find tickets, you may want to look on StubHub as an alternative to Ticketmaster.

And actually, the next time you want to SELL your tickets, you should check StubHub as an alternative to eBay.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Wedding Bells for Morgan

It looks like Google may have finally resurected Blogger... and just in time--

I'm in Salt Lake City today for my friend Morgan's wedding. This is a long awaited occasion for her and I know that everything will be great for her.

Last night, I stopped by her bachelorette party in SLC. Going to a bar in Utah is slightly different than in other places... You have to buy a membership to the 'private club' to go in. Interesting.

BoRyan's job today is to take one of the flower girls down the isle during the wedding. I'm looking forward to that... I may even post a photo.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

How to Kick Silicon Valley’s Butt

I read a post today by Guy Kawasaki I think you might be interested in. Guy is the author of Art of the Start and is an advocate for entrepreneurs. I will share an excerpt with you here. To read the entire post, visit Guy’s blog at

I especially like his discussion about engineers vs. MBAs. As an engineer with an MBA, I definitely think he makes a strong argument... check it out!

Stuff You Can Do Jack About

  • Focus on educating engineers. The most important thing you can do is establish a world-class school of engineering. Engineering schools beget engineers. Engineers beget ideas. And ideas beget companies. End of discussion.

  • If I had to point to the single biggest reason for Silicon Valley’s existence, it would be Stanford University—specifically, the School of Engineering. Business schools are not of primary importance because MBAs seldom sit around discussing how to change the world with great products. Mostly they care about how to get interviews at multi-nationals and consulting firms. As my mother used to say, “Best case, engineers give buildings. Best case, MBAs endow chairs.”

  • On a tactical level, this means that aspiring regions should raid the best engineering schools. What do associate professors at Stanford, MIT, and Carnegie Mellon make? Whatever it is, offer them double the amount to move. Be clever: how hard could it be to recruit top flight faculty to move to your beautiful (but not gorgeous) region if you conduct interviews at MIT in the winter? This is a trivial expense compared to the various incubator, tax treatment, and venture capital fund formation schemes that are the usual solutions to the challenge.

  • Encourage immigration. I am a third-generation Japanese American. My family moved here to drive a taxi and clean white people’s homes. If I had a choice between funding someone from a family who moved here from Vietnam whose father and mother run a 7-Eleven versus a descendant of a Mayflower passenger with “IV” in his name, I’ll give you half a guess as to my preference. You need to encourage smart, hungry, and aggressive people to immigrate from around the world. And to do that, you need good schools. To mix several metaphors, if you want to cover your ass, you need to open your kimono because trust-fund kids don’t make good entrepreneurs.

  • Send the best and brightest to Silicon Valley. I can hear the complaints already: “This will lead to a brain drain which is exactly what we are trying to prevent.” This attitude misses the essence of entrepreneurship: it’s not about preventing bad things, but fostering good things. Would it have been better for Hawaii if Steve Case had become a lawyer at his father’s Hawaii law firm instead of moving to the mainland and creating AOL? I don’t think so.

  • The goal is to infect them with the disease called entrepreneurship and show them that there can be more to life than “a job;” that two guys/gals in a garage can change the world; and that a lot of money = millions of dollars. Sure, some people will never return—like me. But those who do return come back with a much broader perspective on what life and a career can be. Maybe they will build another Silicon Valley because they’ve seen it done before. Here’s a dirty little secret: Silicon Valley is more a state of mind than a physical location, and you can’t alter a state of mind by staying a home.

  • Celebrate your heroes. Every region needs its heroes. These folks take role modeling to an extreme; they have names like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Ted Turner, Steve Case, Anita Roddick, and Oprah Winfrey. Kids need heroes, so that they can say, “When I grow up, I am going to be the next Steve Jobs.” In many places, a successful person is pulled back down because of jealousy. Sure, there’s jealousy in Silicon Valley, but our way of dealing with it is to try to outdo the person, not pull her back down.

  • Forgive your failures. There is no better place to fail in the world than in Silicon Valley. (Where else can you get your clock cleaned by Microsoft and become a venture capitalist and top-ranked blogger?) Indeed, some people here have made a career of failing. Some of this is cultural—failing in Europe or Asia casts a cloud over one’s family for generations. Not in Silicon Valley. Here, it doesn’t matter (within reason) how many times you fail as long as you eventually succeed. So many entrepreneurs who failed went on to create massive successes that we’ve learned that failure is a poor predictor of future results.

  • Be logical. Make the challenge to create a Silicon Valley as easy as possible. Thus, a region should use it’s natural, God-given advantages. For example, aquaculture in Hawaii, security technology in Israel, alternative fuels in the Midwest, and solar power in the Sun Belt. There’s a reason why the best woolen sweaters come from Norway and the best Aloha shirts come from Hawaii. It’s not because people tried to buck the trend.

  • Don’t pat yourself on the back too soon. Many regions declare victory because Microsoft, Sun, or Google opened a branch office. These branch offices don’t hurt but don’t kid yourself into thinking that the existence of a branch office means that you are now a tech center. Truly, a region is a tech center when its companies open branch offices elsewhere, not when tax incentives and kowtowing got a company to open up a branch office in it.

  • Be patient. There is nothing short-term in these recommendations. I estimate that creating something that begins to look like Silicon Valley is at least a twenty-year process. This is certainly longer than most politician’s reign--hence the challenge of doing the right things for the long run.

Awesome News!

I’m so excited to say that I’ve still ‘got it’! I’ve been in LA almost two years, so sometimes I do wonder… but yesterday, it was proven.

I hope you had a chance to read my previous blog post about the crime in Memphis. If you didn’t, you should check it out. Anyway, I also sent this post out in an e-mail to all my friends in Memphis.

I have such an amazing group of friends there.

Sending out that e-mail helped. One of the people I sent it to has helped to arrange for my friend Paul to be interviewed on the Memphis news on Monday night.

I’m so excited to hear that I could have a tiny impact on something in Memphis—even from LA. :-)

Good luck Paul with your interview!

Laughable Customer Service

I know I’ve been telling you a lot lately about underperforming customer service. Today, I had an experience that was so over the top (in the other direction) that I thought I should mention it here. It’s laughable actually.

Last weekend, I went to dinner at a fancy restaurant in LA called Yamashiro. You can check out their web site at for more details, but I’ll sum it up for you briefly here.

The Yamashiro building was built in 1911 by two brothers and is a replica of a palace in Japan. In the 1920’s, it became the headquarters of the “400 Club” – an exclusive Hollywood hangout. During the Great Depression and until WWII was over, the place was boarded up. In 1948, it was bought and turned into the restaurant it is now.

Yamashiro has a private drive for their guests and only allow valet parking. They serve high end sushi and drinks overlooking their beautiful outdoor Japanese garden. The service and food are great, as you can imagine.

Anyway, the laughable part came today when I received a thank you note from our waiter. First of all, since when do waiters write thank you notes? Secondly, the hand writing was all bubbly and curvy. The thing is, our waiter was a man… and this is clearly not his hand writing!

Anyway, the restaurant is great! Go there, try it, and let me know if you get a random thank you note. J

Blogging Feels Virtually Impossible

What is going on in the world when Google can’t keep up their blogging site for an entire day? This has been going on for almost the entire past week and I hate it! Blogging is a very important part of things for me right now and the last thing I need in the middle of a work day is this message:

Down for Maintenance
Blogger is temporarily unavailable due to an unexpected problem.
We will be back up as soon as possible.
Update (2:20 pm PDT): We are fixing a database issue. We hope to be back up in a couple of hours.

The URL they put this on is You should be sorry! :-)

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Another Blog?

Are blogs like children? After so many, is it a wash to just keep having more?

I'm not sure.

So far, I officially have 6 blogs through Google. Then, I have one on Myspace; one on Xanga; and one on Yahoo 360.

I'm thinking of starting another blog to recommend products that I like.

Blessing or disaster? I'm not sure... Hmmm.

What People Were Searching On

It's always interesting to me to look at my tracking log and to see what someone typed into Google or Yahoo to find this blog. Here are a few of the latest:
  • Thai and sushi Malibu
  • Deep teeth cleaning insurance, dentists money invisiline
  • The Today Show on MSNBC
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Adam couture
  • Bad customer service
  • blog (isn't this a little specific?)
  • Improv comedians
I'm not sure what the correlation is here. My blog is useful to learn about food, entertainment, and dental care?

An Important Message From Downtown Memphis...

My friend Paul Ryburn posted an important message today on his blog. I hope you’ll read it below and e-mail Paul at if you want to get involved in his new organization to help fight crime in downtown Memphis.

(Keep it safe – I want to come back! J)


Crime in Downtown Memphis

Thanks to everyone who e-mailed in response to my last post (Saturday), asking what's up with crime downtown and why I'm so upset and frustrated. I've received permission to post a few things, so now I'm going to tell the whole story.

A week ago Sunday, a bunch of us were sitting in Sleep Out's celebrating Memorial Day weekend. Well into the evening, my friend Mike King decided he needed some fresh air, so he went outside for a walk. He never came back. That's not unusual for downtowners - we figured he ended up at another bar, or a friend's place.

Actually, he ended up lying in the alley behind Parking Can Be Fun, out cold. He had gone for a walk around the block - he walked down Union to Front, then down the alley. Someone was hiding behind the bricks in the alley, waiting. As he passed by, they hit him in the back of the head with a brick or slapjack or other heavy object. He was unconscious until 2:30 in the morning. When he came to, his wallet and cell phone and money were gone. Oddly enough, they put his empty money clip back in his pocket. He later learned that the robbers had attempted to use his credit cards at 12 gas stations, although the card company cut them off after the 2nd purchase due to unusual activity.

The next morning, Mike and I sat at Sleep Out's and he told me what had happened. He told me he had cancelled all his cards. "You called the police as well and filed a report, didn't you?" I asked.

"No," he replied. "They hit me from behind, so I never saw them. Without a description, what good will it do to file a report? Besides, I don't want to make Downtown look unsafe. This was just a one-time, isolated incident."

"No, it's not," I told him. "About a month ago, a friend of mine was walking to her car, in one of the Peabody Place garages. As she was walking up the stairs, the same thing happened to her. She was hit from behind and knocked out. She came to at 6:30 the next morning, lying in the bushes outside. She's not sure if they dragged her there, or if she tried to run for help and passed out. All her money was taken."

Mike started to suspect that there may have been more unreported robberies of the same type. He began to talk to people around Downtown. He talked to a friend of ours who owns a popular Downtown restaurant - out of respect to them I won't give the name, but I will say that it is in a building owned by Belz Enterprises. She told him that 5 of her employees have been mugged recently.

Friday night I was having dinner with some friends, and I filled them in on Downtown's recent crime wave. They told me that a friend of theirs had been walking up South Main toward the central part of downtown, when two men appeared out of the bushes and jumped him and robbed him.

That was when I really started to feel unsafe. I make that South Main walk all the time on Friday and Saturday nights, to Earnestine & Hazel's and sometimes to Raiford's. I made that walk even more when the Blue Monkey was there.

Now I can't make that walk anymore. My quality of life has now been affected by crime. So Karen, Russell, Nate, everyone else at E&H, if I come in less often on the weekends, I hope you'll understand. I also feel bad for people who are buying condos at The Lofts and CityHouse or who rent at South Bluffs, and are being told that they're only a 10-minute walk from Beale Street and The Orpheum and Peabody Place. It's a lot longer than 10 minutes if you get knocked out.

So Friday night after dinner, my friends went to get a beer and I decided to take a walk. I walked down to Beale Street and saw the security guards searching people with metal detector wands. I realized there had to be a good reason why they implemented that measure. I wonder what kind of crime is going on around Beale Street?

Later I walked home. As I crossed the intersection at Main and Monroe, I saw two teenaged guys walking/running to their car. They were walking funny, like they were concealing items they had hidden under their clothes. I thought to myself, four cars have been broken into at my parking garage (First Park Place at 9 S. Second) in the past week. Wonder if another break-in had just occurred? But what could I do? Call the cops and say, two guys who look like they might be criminals just ran by and got into a navy Crown Victoria and drove off? I didn't see anything. I had no evidence.

I'm becoming paranoid. After I got home that night, I paced the floor of my apartment for a good two hours, trying to calm down. About 3 in the morning I looked out the window. I can see Monroe Avenue, about 50 feet on either side of the Second Street intersection, from where I live. I saw four teenaged guys approach a car, two on either side, looking in the windows. One of the guys started to mess with the left front door. Oh my God, I thought, I'm witnessing a break-in, right here, right now!

Then the guys got in the car and drove off, and I realized I hadn't witnessed a break-in. I had witnessed four guys get in the car they owned (or their parents owned) and drive home. Now I'm seeing crime even in places where it doesn't exist.

As I walked home earlier that evening, I watched a cop set the light at Union and Main to flashing 4-way red, then pull cars over who did not come to a full stop. Why are police resources being used to entrap people into minor traffic violations, when my neighbors and I aren't safe on our own streets?

I'll be okay. I've always been street smart. I walk in well-lit areas downtown, as close to the middle of the street as possible. I approach dumpsters and other large objects behind which people could hide with extreme caution. But I worry about my neighbors. There are several single females who live in my apartment building who walk their dogs after dark, using the alley behind the building as a shortcut to Court Square. I think of my new neighbor who just moved in a couple of weeks ago, and how she and I grabbed a bite to eat at LoLo's one night and had a great time, and how sad it makes me to think of her being knocked out and robbed while she's walking her dog. I passed on the crime info to the security guard in my building. He said he'd let everyone know. My building is hiring a new courtesy guard to work Monday and Tuesday. Previously we had only had a guard Wednesday through Sunday. I commend the owners for taking that step.

I'm sitting here typing this post at the Flying Saucer. Many of the waitresses here have become my friends. I worry about them. I wonder how many of them have been mugged walking to their cars, considering a business a block away has seen 5 of its employees get mugged? The Saucer has had a pretty high turnover the past few months. I wonder if any waitresses have quit because of the crime downtown?

I'm sitting at the Second Street window at the Saucer. Outside a bum is approaching people, hitting them up for money. This is not a homeless person who's genuinely is in need of help - this is a businessman engaging in a money-making venture, doing the same thing he has been doing every day for the past three years. "Sir! Sir! Sir," he calls out to passersby. "Can I ask you a question," he says, extending his hand. People try to avoid him, some successfully, some not. Peabody Place security shoos him away, but he'll be back in 30 minutes. I do not believe that this bum is one of the people that has been knocking people out and robbing them. I have to wonder if the true robbers see that people like this bum are tolerated downtown and see an environment which is favorable for crime.

Take a look at the Memphis Police Department's Crime Mapper. Try searching for all crimes that have occurred in the past month within half a mile of Union and Main. 41 larcenies as of today. 73 vehicle break-ins. 12 narcotics violations (and look how many of them have occurred on Beale Street). How can we claim that Downtown is the safest part of the city when all that is going on? And when I search for robberies, how many turn up? Zero. That indicates that a LOT of people are not filing police reports.

I'm frustrated. I'm angry. A lot of other people are too. I feel like the neighborhood I love is being taken away from me. Actually, I think downtown is still pretty safe overall, but I also think we're approaching a tipping point, where if we don't fight back now, the criminals will take over for good by the end of the summer. That's bad for all of Downtown. Own a condo in the area? Your property values will decline as a result. Own a business? Your revenue will decline because people will be afraid to come down here. This is not just a problem for the people who get robbed or attacked. This is a problem for all of us. We must work together to fight the crime.

What can you do to help? First of all, if you're robbed, for God's sake, file a police report. Even if you have no idea who robbed you, at least the cops will know where they need to step up their patrols. If you see suspicious activity, call the police and report it. The Downtown Precinct's number is 525-9800; that hopefully will get you a better response time than the main 545-COPS line.

Several of my friends and I, including my friend Mike who was robbed, plan to put together an organization to share crime information, raise awareness of criminal activity downtown, and lobby the people in power to do something. If you'd like to be a part of this, e-mail me. If you've been a recent crime victim or if you know of people who have, please e-mail me and let me know. The information you send won't be posted on this blog if you tell me you wish it to remain private. If you can get us in touch with a Henry Turley, Jack Belz, Kevin Kane, media outlet or other person/business that has the power to get things done, please e-mail me.

Please forward a link to this post to anyone you feel should see it. Thanks.

Self Adhesive, Removable, Custom Wall Graphics

Interesting site I ran across today-- They make self adhesive, custom wall graphics.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Brush with Customer Service - IV

Seriously, what's the deal?

Quick note to say that for the past 2 days now Sony hasn't been able to find my computer or its status. It was supposed to arrive today, but of course-- It didn't.

Today, someone FINALLY called the service center directly to find out they haven't even STARTED to work on it, and they're not sure when I'll get it.

I've been on the phone with them for so long latey, it's nuts.

How can this be considered normal?

Is entrepreneurship in your genes?

I found a small article on MSNBC that's quite interesting. It's something I've thought a lot about lately, so I thought I'd share.

As you probably know, I completed my MBA in Entrepreneurial Management just this past December. Since I was around 5 (some of my earliest memories), I have always wanted to have my own business.

For years growing up, I thought I'd own a photography studio... but, I didn't just want any studio. I also wanted to package up small darkroom kits that hobbiests could use at home without investing so much money in a traditional darkroom. I wanted to market it as a unique product that wouldn't be available anywhere else. I was 11.

I also remember spending a ton of time thumbing through a wholesale toy catalog (who knows how I it - I must have been 8), amazed at how little a "gross" of toys cost... and wondering how I could get my hands on the things to sell them.

Until a few months ago, I never took the risk to fully branch out into my entrepreneurial self. I came from the sort of place where going it alone is financially risky... too risky. Going to MBA was my chance to bridge my corporate background and my long standing feelings around small business.

The one question I started to think about was WHY? Why did I have these feelings? After all, both of my parents are teachers. My mom is a musician and my dad a psychology teacher. Although they're great teachers, neither of them have ever had an entrepreneurial bone!

That's when I started thinking about my past and where I came from... where I was "exposed" to these ideas? (this is about as deep as it gets in MBA school, so soak it up here folks... lol.) I realized that I wasn't. I think that's what scared me so much about going off on my own... a corporate job is so comfortable; so safe.

But through this process of self discovery, I did find have a revelation: My mom's mom and my mom's brother were both entrepreneurs! My grandmother (Pauline) was 40 when my mom was born and although she was always a part of my life growing up, I never really knew what she *did*.

She was 85 by the time that I was 18. She lived in a small house and that was about the extent of my knowledge. Growing up, I always thought she was extemely poor. It turns out that after graduating high school, my grandmother created all sorts of entrepreneurial business for herself.
I should really get more specifics from my mom, but my grandma at one point was a self employed seamstress. She made and sold her own baked goods. She ran a small housing community that she owned. She managed 3 pieces of other land. She had a little store that I think was hers too.

Growing up, nobody really talked about it. Looking back, she probably didn't always get a lot of credit. She was born around 1911 in Oklahoma; not exactly the year of the woman.

Anyway, my life made a lot more sense after I learned all of that. Even though I never knew it, entrepreneurship was in me.

As I mentioned before, my uncle is also an entrepreneur. He owned an auto repair shop for most of his career. This turned out to be very useful during MBA school when he advised me on a business plan that I was writing about opening my own auto shop!

Isn't it funny the way life works?

Here's that article I promised-- It's from MSNBC and although I'd like to see a few more facts and figures, it's excellent food for thought!

Is entrepreneurship in your genes?
Study indicates that genetics plays strong role in self-employment drive

LONDON - Forget family influence and upbringing. When it comes to being an entrepreneur, genes seem to play an important role, scientists said Monday.
A study of identical twins by researchers in Britain and the United States suggests that family environment has little influence, because nearly half of a person's propensity to be self-employed, or entrepreneurial, is due to genes.

This relatively high heritability suggests the importance of considering genetic factors to explain why some people are entrepreneurial, while others are not,” said Professor Tim Spector of St. Thomas Hospital in London.

(Click for the rest)

Monday, June 05, 2006

Customer Service: Part III

Alright, for those of you who've been reading my blog, you know that I've had a few brushes lately with the Customer Service Monster.

Today, I had 2 more "altercations." (ha)

First, I called Sony to double check that my laptop was actually going to arrive tomorrow. I asked a few questions because I wasn't getting a straight answer. The guy finally said, "Yeah, I think it should arrive tomorrow." So I asked, "Was it mailed today then?" And of course, he didn't know. His answer is that if I don't receive the computer by tomorrow, then I should call back and they'll find out for me. In the meantime, he put a "note" in my file.

Seriously, who really cares anymore... my expectations are so low. Hopefully the thing will show up this week.

Okay, so my second customer service experience was much worse. I guess it was actually 2 experiences. Last night and today, I called America West Airlines to try to redeem 2 $300 ticket vouchers that I have.

The reason that I have these vouchers is because I was totally booted off a flight and had to stay an additional night in a city that I was flying out of. And, on top of that, when it happened America West took around 2 hours to find my luggage so that I could actually make my way to the hotel. They couldn't even figure out their own computer system to give us a ticket - they had to call a technical support # unrelated to their company for over an hour. I should also mentioned that this all happened at around midnight. It was a red eye.

Fast forward to last night...

I called up with my fairly flexible travel plans and got an immediate answer that 'there is no route available between those cities that you can take.' I let them know that I was confused because this is the route that I was taking when I was booted from my previous flight. Then, I asked if the reasoning was because America West doesn't operate all of the legs of the flight-- or, are there no seats open for travel voucher holders.

Apparently, the customer service representative didn't know. His answer was, "most people who book these tickets have to call every day to find the one they want. I think you should call back tomorrow."


I could tell I was getting nowhere with him, so I did. I called today and this was my conversation...

Me: I'd like to make a reservation using my travel voucher.
AW: How did you get this travel voucher?
Me: By being kicked off a flight.
AW: Oh, we have almost no way for you to redeem those. There are almost no flights.
Me: Okay.
AW: Well, where do you want to go and on what dates?
Me: I'm traveling from LAX to OKC and I can travel anytime between July 6-13 and July 30-Aug 6.
AW: There are no spaces available on any of those dates.
Me: What about to Memphis?
AW: No.
Me: What about to Tulsa?
AW: No.
Me: What about to Dallas?
AW: Yes, there's one to Dallas on July 11th!
Me: Great! How's the return flight.
AW: Oh, there's no return flight available.
Me: Hmm... okay?
AW: You should call back tomorrow.

Am I crazy or is something wrong when you are willing to fly ANYTIME in a 2 week window to one of FOUR cities the airline flies to?

What's the point of giving up your seat and all that really, if they're just going to laugh at you later?

Apparently, I'm not the only one. There are entire forums devoted to complaining about airline customer service. There's even an air travel stress scale.

America West and United (they're partners in this weird deal) have gone way down in my book after this. I doubt I will ever fly with them again, other than to possibly redeem these damn vouchers!

Events and Planning

Those of you who know me well *know* that I LOVE events!

Events used to be a big part of my life; I once went to two black tie galas on two nights back to back. Also if you know me well, you know that I've got somewhat of a gown and formal shoe collection going on.

Its been a while since the days of multiple parties in the same night, but thank goodness I'm still prepared-- This week, I've got two events coming up. First, there is a KCRW Angel party and then, Absolut
  • It's for KCRW-- a liberal, forward thinking crowd of people
    • With all that in mind, I'm thinking the look should be 'fashion-creative'. I have a few options... the two winners so far are a lace black dress, a crouched black dress, or a red dress with jewel accents. I'm also thinking I'll wear scary-tie-up-the-leg high heels, so I hope they have parking that's not too long of a walk.

      For the wedding, I'm thinking I'll either go with a plain black dress, or maybe a cute light green dress I have. The green dress has a matching scarf and it would honestly be the best choice if I weren't 5'10". Given that I'm tall, it's just slightly short enough to make people feel a tinge of surprise when they see me. And, I'm just not sure if that's the whole vibe I'll be going for in Salt Lake.

      See you at the ball!

      Good news!

      Blogger is FINALLY back up! It's been having problems since Friday.

      My friend, Paul, informed me that someone was hacking into Google's site to cause problems.

      If Google can be hacked so easily, is anyone safe?

      Anyhow, I wish Google or CNN would drop a note about it... it's been a little bizzare!

      Saturday, June 03, 2006

      Angie's Deal of the Week: Father's Day at 1-800-Flowers and

      My fellow blogger, Paul, does a cool deal of the week on his blog, so I've decided to give one a try. I have access to a lot of special offers and discounts these days, so I think I'll start sharing them with you!

      This week, I'm going to share discounts for Father's Day. Father's Day is just a few weeks away and friends keep mentioning it so it's on my mind today.

      I have two Father's Day discounts to tell you about:

      The first deal comes from If you buy a gift through their site, they will throw in a free teddy bear!

      Logo (175x45)

      If your dad isn't as snuggly as a teddy bear, this other offer may be more appealing. is offering $5 off of their subscriptions before Father's Day. I have actually ordered all of my magazine subscriptions through and found much better deals there than other places. It especially beats buying them in the line at the grocery store!

      Fathers Day 5off 234x60

      Alright, that's it-- my first official deal of the week. I hope you enjoyed it!

      Happy Saturday. :-)

      Friday, June 02, 2006

      Customer Service Woes

      Again with the bad customer service!

      Remember my last customer experience with Sony?

      Well, I mailed my laptop in to Sony 7 days ago when the customer service person told me that it would take 7 total days to get it back. This was the same person who verified my 3 year warranty.

      That means it should be here today, right?


      Today, I got a phone message from Sony with an estimate for almost $300 to fix my computer. This is the same computer that is under warranty!

      So, I had to call back twice to finally get someone on the phone.

      Me: I'm returning a call from Sony regarding an estimate on my computer. I have a question about this because the computer is under warranty.
      Sony: Warranty? Are you sure? Is it an extended warranty?
      Me: Yes, it is. And, I sent it in with that in mind.
      Sony: Oh, yes. I see it here. Our data entry people sometimes just don't pay attention!
      Me: Oh, good. I was concerned. Speaking of which-- When will I get it back?
      Sony: Oh, I'd say in about 7 days.
      Me: When I sent the computer in 7 days ago, I was told I'd get it back in 7 days.
      Sony: Yes, when you send in a computer with a warranty, we guarantee that you'll get in back in 7 days. When it's not under warranty, it takes 11 days to 14 days.
      Me: But, the computer is under warranty. Can you do something about this?
      Sony: Oh, yes, I guess so. Let me put in to rush-rush-rush your computer back to you. (typing) There, it's in!
      Me: Okay, so when should I expect the computer back?
      Sony: Hmmm... let me get my calendar. Umm... let's shoot for say, Tuesday?

      Ahhhh!!! What is the deal? Is there any computer company out there with good customer service?

      Even when IBM did an onsite repair to Bo's laptop a few weeks ago, they had to come back a 2nd time because they broke it when they took it apart to fix it the 1st time...

      Shopping for Baby Clothes

      I recently visited a baby store with one of my good friends who is ~7 months pregnant. She apologized at first for 'forcing' me to go into the store. Little did she know, one of my favorite gifts to shop for is baby clothes.

      She was shocked for sure...

      Luckily, I have 3 nieces, a nephew, and numerous other small ones in my life to buy for. So, I was able to give her the scoop on just where to get the perfect newborn outfits.

      This Sunday is her baby shower. Luckily, she doesn't read my blog, so she won't know what I'm getting her.

      I was planning to buy her a super cute one-piece (one-zey?) at this little independent shopping center in Santa Monica. There is an artist there who makes these little shirts that have fortune cookie sayings on them like, "There is a nap in your future." They come in these great little Chinese food take out boxes.

      Anyway, I learned something new yesterday that is going to prevent me from getting this gift right now. My friend is Jewish and according to an e-mail I received from the party organizer, because of a religious superstition-- we shouldn't bring gifts that are wrapped inside a box.

      Who knew? And, how random is it that this gift is actually contingent on the box?

      Well anyway, I can always get her one of those after the baby is born.

      In the meantime, I'm going to fall back on my #1 favorite baby store: Baby Gap. I'm always surprised that their selection and understated cuteness constantly exceeds every other store. In addition, their clothes are always cheaper, so you can get more cute little outfits.

      My friend doesn't know the sex of her baby, so I'll be getting a green or yellow outfit for the baby.

      Here are a few of my choices--

      Here's a hat too... I just love baby hats:

      What do you think? Cute, huh? :-)

      Thursday, June 01, 2006


      Hopefully, I'll pick up again soon with the details of my trip to Spain... stay tuned. :)

      I'm tired!

      Alright... so it is officially difficult to get up and be productive the day after an improv show that doesn't get you home until past 1 AM.


      The show was pretty good... Michael Richards very much did the typical Kramer stuff from Seinfeld. It was fun to see him, but the parts I enjoyed the most were when his normal personality started to peak out.

      There were also around 4 other comics. For the most part, they were good... it's always interesting to me how the whole thing is 'improv' but, when you see a comedian twice, his act is exactly the same... even if its been over a month. We saw two of those last night.

      And, I also noticed one of the finalists from yesterday's Last Comic Standing show out in the parking lot of the Improv... I wonder if he was already booted from the show?

      Anyway, the night was fun. I didn't get up however until almost 9 AM... and unfortunately, we're out of just about everything. In LA, this is a huge pain.

      The thing is, apartments here are so small that you can only bring in a little bit of each household item at a time... definitely no stock piling of toilet paper going on. Anyhow, when you run out, it's a seriously huge trek over to the West Hollywood Target, where you then pay for parking and have to take a shopping cart up an elevator.

      Of course, there's always the option to go to Costco. That takes a while too, but it feels more rewarding... especially on the days when they hand out samples. But, the problem with Costco is that you get home with a GIANT wheel of Brie or something.... which of course, you don't have room for.

      The one saving grace here in LA (if you don't want to try to make the trek out to get supplies) is this web site: Yummy delivers just about anything you could need in 30 minutes or less. Honestly, they almost always leave something out and their customer service is not set up to fix problems... but somehow, we always go back. There's just no equal to having someone bringing all of your groceries right into your kitchen for you.... especially if it saves on gas and parking.

      On another front, I was sadly banned from posting on one of my favorite shoe blogs today. I used to log in each morning and post a few comments that have helped direct a tremendous amount of traffic to my site. I suppose that they noticed, because I've been cut off! Of course, I could always post under another name, but I suppose I may take the hint... :) Luckily, there are many other shoe blogs out there!

      Speaking of Jessica Simpson, I mentioned before that I'm reworking Well, one of the things I'm doing is adding a "Which kind of shoe are you?" quiz. Here's a sample of one of the answers to the quiz... It's not up yet, but I will definitely keep you posted!

      You're a Barb Shoe!
      What kind of Jessica Simpson Shoe are YOU?
      Brought to you by