My Personal 9/11 Story – 20 Years Later

I wrote this story on Facebook roughly 8 years ago, shared it a couple years back, but felt it was a good time to re-share on the 20th anniversary of the attacks that changed America. I’ve updated a little bit of it with dates and some more additional thoughts.


This was my generation’s JFK of “where were you?”

20 years ago is a day I can’t forget. The teachers in my district were on strike due to a contract issue and I was in bed sleeping. I got a call on the house phone around 8:45 from my aunt that I ignored and figured my mom would pick it up. I woke up around noon, turned the tv on, and was just in shock. I ran down the stairs as fast as anyone ever could and immediately tried calling my dad. 

See, my dad worked in NY for almost 20 years. He was there. He was at the World Trade Center as things happened. He ran from both towers as they fell. His work car was destroyed as it was parked only streets from the WTC. He told me about the attacks of ’93 one day when I spent the day in NYC with him, and I believe I actually walked through the lobby one day as a kid.

Do my dad and I see eye to eye all the time? No. 

Do we argue? Yes. 

Do I love him? Yes. 

Was I absolutely scared something had happened to him in the attacks? You better believe it. 

Cell phones were relatively new and service in that area was pretty much non-existent for hours. Those next 6 hours until he got home were one of the longest in my life. There was no way to get in touch with him. We went to our synagogue, as so many other people had went to their place of worship, and the outpour of thoughts and prayers to my dad was tremendous. I thank G-d that he was not taken from us that day. He has gone far and above what any father has done for his children. Leaving for work at 5am and getting back at 7pm almost everyday and then going to our events, he didn’t complain. We take things like this for granted as kids. 

There have been many stories of someone forgetting something at home, missing the train, being sick, having a client cancel, etc. It’s truly mind-boggling. Unfortunately, there were almost 3,000 other people who weren’t so lucky. Those on the planes didn’t wake up thinking their lives were going to end the way it did. Those working in the buildings, the same thing. There were many heroes who died saving others, those who weren’t a first responder

Do we want to forget 9/11 and something that happened 20 years ago? No. 

We should also never forget the lives post 9/11 who died protecting this country we take for granted is free. 

The war on terror is real. We should not live in fear. We should stand together as Americans. (2021 update: America just left Afghanistan that started because of 9/11)

Many people joined the armed forces because of this tragedy. 

People are still feeling the personal impact of 9/11, whether it’s still not having someone identified, the cancer the rumble brought to First Responders, or the kids born just before or after the tragedy and growing up without a parent. 

Never forget, but never take for granted the things in our lives. 

9/11/01. 

We can also never forget what happened on Flight 93 or what happened at the Pentagon. I know that, as Americans, we can associate 9/11 with just the World Trade Center, we tend to not remember (I won’t say forget) Flight 93 in Schwenksville or the attack on the Pentagon. Those on Flight 93 took matters into their own hands and sacrificed themselves in the hopes of saving millions of lives.

We’ve been very polarized over many issues over the last 5-10 years. Even during the hight of the pandemic, the numbers of those dying would constantly be compared to the Sept. 11 attacks. Fair a comparison or not, we know how hard we’ve mourned the 3,000+ lives lost in 2001.

20 years has changed how we act around someone who looks “different”. 20 years ago, it was America first – American flags everywhere. But it also a bit of hatred, vitriol, and anger towards people who have no connection, except the color of their skin, to those who attacked America that day.

It’s taken time, but we’re still learning to help others and not judge others by the color of their skin or what country they come from.

Let us never forget and strive to still be the land of opportunity and freedom.

I know I didn’t witness the events of that day firsthand. I know I didn’t lose a friend or loved one that day. I know my story doesn’t have a tragic ending like many had that day.

But it’s still my story that’s had an impact on my life.

“And I’m proud to be an American where at least I know I’m free. And I won’t forget the men who died who gave that right to me. And I gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today. ‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land, G-d bless the USA.” -Lee Greenwood

Photo courtesy of https://www.myjournalcourier.com/news/article/Remembering-9-11-20-years-later-16412006.php

Phillies-Giants Series are going streaming

If you’re a Phillies or San Francisco Giants fan living in those respective cities, you won’t be finding a baseball game on your normal local NBC Sports channel this weekend.

That’s because they’re headed to Peacock for another initiative brought forth by MLB.

If you weren’t aware, there have been several MLB games exclusively on YouTube this year – with special guest play-by-play hosts from YouTube and color commentators from the local markets.

From MLB.com

The series will be called by a special announcing team combining the broadcasters from both teams. Giants announcer Jon Miller will call the play-by-play, and Giants analyst Mike Krukow and Phillies analysts John Kruk and Jimmy Rollins will team up alongside him.

The game coverage will also have additional special features and guests, and there will be pregame coverage before every game.

https://www.mlb.com/giants/news/phillies-giants-series-to-air-on-peacock-nationwide

If you’re an Xfinity TV subscriber, you already have access to Peacock Premium on your TV (and can use the app for free too).

If you’re not an Xfinity subscriber, you can still sign up and watch for free at peacocktv.com/sports.

Will this be the future of games – airing only on streaming services?

What are your thoughts? Share ’em below!

(Images from: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:NBCUniversal_Peacock_Logo.svg, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Francisco_Giants, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philadelphia_Phillies)

The Only Constant In Life is…

Change.

If you’re here and you’ve been here before, you might’ve noticed that I decided to change things up. I wanted to make things simpler and easier to read.

Think of it as an early spring cleaning but for my website. Businesses, and well, people in general, should be doing this too.

Take a look at your social media, your website, and your vision – is what you’re saying and portraying still relevant since the last time you updated it?

The answer is probably “no” and should be changed.

We keep learning, technology keeps updating at an exponential rate, and life happens. This isn’t the famous 90’s infomercial about “set it and forget it.” It’s important to stay relevant and in the forefront of people’s minds and continue to grow.

If you’re a business – let’s work together to simplify things and help update your digital footprint.

So take a look around and feel free to provide any feedback.

Say hi to “X-Rated Kissing Machine” and “Drizzlin’ Flamenco Baton.”

The end of January through February is almost always a great time in the entertainment world – the Screen Actor’s Guild Awards, the Oscars, the Grammys, the Golden Globes, the Super Bowl (game and commercials), and most importantly – the Bad Lip Reading video of the just completed NFL season.

This season hasn’t had any awards shows yet, but we were just gifted with the 2021 version.

The reigning Super Bowl MVP, Tom Brady, who you usually throws to WR / TE targets, is the target himself, as well as a lot of other star QB’s, in this 8 minutes of comedy.

Bad Lip Reading doesn’t just do the NFL, but this is one video we surely look forward to every year.

Check out the video below.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

Merry Christmas to all who celebrate.

May we all find joy, peace, and happiness this holiday season.

Attached are some of my favorite Christmas light displays that I’ve seen this year.

-Michael Saks Digital

Calling All Gritizens

America’s favorite two year old needs our help.

Gritty, the Philadelphia Flyers mascot, is looking for e-signatures to make him essential to attend games this season. Mascots are usually there to entertain fans on the concourse, in the stands, or during stoppages of play, but without fans in attendance, why should there be a mascot there? And the answer is simple:

Entertainment.

Here’s his Change.org petition to National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman:

In Gritty’s two years, he’s come out swinging on Twitter, dropping from the rafters ( on numerous occasions ), and making people laugh with his antics and his extra costumes. He’s made fans across the world, even if they weren’t Flyers fans. Even during the Return to Play, he attempted to drive to Toronto, Canada to go to the “bubble”, but ended up in Ohio.

Not only do we need Gritty, Gritty needs us, so he took to Twitter for a thread that ended with the petition. Sign it here.

Here’s a couple of the tweets where he also makes his case:

https://twitter.com/GrittyNHL
https://twitter.com/GrittyNHL

Be sure to check out the rest of the thread.

Flyers forward and Gritty’s BFF adds his support to getting Gritty in.

https://twitter.com/KevinPHayes12

If content is king, then Gritty is the king of the kingdom.

UPDATE (12/23):

Allow him to reign appropriately.

Cover photo credit: https://www.change.org/p/gary-bettman-make-gritty-essential-a-plea-to-the-nhl

Hindsight is 2020

Hindsight is 20/20.

We say this all the time in regards to how certain situations could have been different after the fact.

Everyone looked towards 2020 as a new beginning – with jokes about the show 20/20 with Barbara Walters, having clear vision, and so on.

But 2020 was anything but normal, with bad things happening by the day. As the days and months progressed, things just kept getting worse and worse, and some days felt like months, and some months felt like years. We lost jobs, money, homes, friends, family, and time spent with loved ones.

My 2020 was no different. Many highs and lows, but I know I’m becoming a better person because of everything that happened, for better or for worse. I learned to cook, workout without anyone pushing me, and be part of a program to start my own business, which definitely hasn’t been easy.

With age comes wisdom.

We learn from events that have happened in our lives or we may have witnessed – for good and for bad.

In upcoming years , we will certainly incur more trials and tribulations. But I hope we can look back with some hindsight that whatever is happening in that current moment, wasn’t as bad as what 2020 offered.

I, and I hope you all too, will walk into 2021 with a new perspective on life.

Yo Dog – This Bud’s For You

Budweiser wants to make your dog a cele-puppy (get it? Celebrity! –awkward silence–).

Anyway… Budweiser has partnered with WeRateDogs, a social media account with 8.9 MILLION Twitter followers, and will be picking photos at random shared to their social media pages to be put on their cans (digitally). On Facebook, comment on this specific post. On Twitter, use the hashtag #pupweiser.

via twitter.com/budweiserusa
Samples from WeRateDogs’s Partnership with Budweiser

A few lucky dog owners, and I’d assume beer drinkers, will actually get custom cans with their dogs faces on them.

How cool would that be? Wait, cold is a Coors Light thing. So… how cool awesome would that be?

Hurry up and get your dog’s can on a beer can! There’s no limit on how many times you can submit a photo.

Remember to use the hashtag #pupweiser or it would be a cat-astrophe!

Happy Howl-idays!

Cover photo via https://twitter.com/budweiserusa/status/1339247363408470019/photo/1

Helping Small Businesses This Holiday Season

In November, I asked friends to post their small businesses or side-hustles to a thread on Facebook. The results were overwhelming.

In order to make things easier for everyone, I have attached a list of small businesses currently in my network who can help you with your holiday shopping, or other personal needs, with distance not being an issue for most of them.

We know 2020 has made Jeff Bezos and Amazon even richer, primarily because of convenience and stay-at-home orders, but if we can help small businesses stay afloat, in any capacity, let’s do it.

Click on their name for either their website, their Facebook business page (or group), or a direct email address.

Arts & Crafts

Ships USA

Ships USA

Ships USA

Ships USA

Ships USA

Ships USA

Ships USA

(donating 10% of profits through 2020)

Ships USA

Boutique

Ships USA

Ships USA

Ships USA

Ships USA

Ships USA

Ships USA

Food, Candy and Gifts

Delivery Around Philadelphia

Health and Wellness

Virtual

Bucks County, PA

Philadelphia Region

Cleaning

Philadelphia region

Pets

Philadelphia Region

Entertainment

Philadelphia Region

Virtual Concerts (globally)

Floral Arrangements

Philadelphia Region

Candles

Fabrics

Ships USA

Job Search / Resume Writing

Specialty Moments

Philadelphia Region

Perfume

Ships USA

Education

Outschool – Seth Guttenplan

Virtual (mention “Michael Saks for $5 off”)

2020-12-25T00:00:00

  days

  hours  minutes  seconds

until

Days Until Christmas

Need to correct website or shipping info? Fill out the form below

Instagram Wants To Take It Back To The Beginning

Instagram tweeted this cryptic message Tuesday morning.

A cool Easter egg feature to help celebrate Instagram’s 10th birthday is allowing users to change the icon on their cell phone’s home screen to any previous iteration of Instagram’s logo or to something not-yet-seen before.

It’s pretty remarkable how much it has changed but when iOS flattened a lot of their icons several years back, Instagram had to keep up. You might call these icons throwbacks / classics / vintage, etc., but we know it’s okay to bring back the OG’s, like the famous Polaroids.

Want to partake while it’s available?

It’s so easy that anyone can do it (it’s still rolling out, so be sure to keep checking!

How To Do It:

  1. Open up the Instagram app on your phone
  2. Go to the hamburger (the three lines on the top right of the app)
  3. Click on settings
  4. Drag the screen down (you’ll see dots a la Pac-Man)
  5. Be part of a confetti party
  6. Choose your icon
  7. You might need to restart your phone to see the icon

Here’s a step-by-step in photos

Here it is in video fashion.

They’ve also allowed users to download some IG Stories from the previous three years and save them as a highlight!

Could this be just for their birthday month or a permanent thing? Only time will tell.

When The Gang Gets A Bobblehead

In March, everything came to a screeching halt – most notably being sports.

  • NHL and NBA were close to wrapping up their regular seasons and preparing for their respective playoffs.
  • MLS and the NWSL had just started their seasons.
  • MLB was a month into Spring Training and only two and a half weeks from the start of the regular season.
  • NFL was prepping for their draft, which was to take place in Las Vegas.
  • WNBA was prepping for their season.

For over three months, America went nostalgic and watched the best of the best games from years past and the only live sports we got to watch were from the Korean Baseball Organization (the KBO), which ESPN aired live after midnight with commentators at their own homes.

Then, the NWSL announced a comeback, MLS announced a tournament in a “bubble”, WNBA made a plan to have their season, and both NHL and NBA announced a re-start to finish the 2019-2020 season in a “bubble” as well. It took a little bit longer for MLB to come to an agreement – between owners and players – to find a middle ground on money and games. At times it got ugly and publicly ugly.

But we knew one thing – there would be no fans at these games whatsoever.

Philadelphia fans are like no other – passionate, loud, dedicated. Even if we can’t get to a game, we’ll find a way to get to the game.

The Phandemic Krew – which was a group of fans who went to every game this season (all 60) and showed their support with banners, airhorns, ladders, cheers, boos, and so on. A constant cheer was “Sign JT!” as JT Realmuto is up for free agency at the end of the season and the Phillies have yet to sign him. It grew to have sometimes 50 or so fans at the games, socially distant, and enjoying Phillies baseball.

Why did Oscar Alvarado and Brett MacMinn start the Krew?

“We’re trying to change the narrative of what a Philadelphia sports fan is,” MacMinn said. “We get a bad rap for stuff that happened much before we were even around. We’re trying to change how we are perceived locally and nationally. We invite everybody to hang out with us.”

https://beyondthebell.mlblogs.com/spending-a-game-with-the-phandemic-krew-e95385af38d7

Early in the season, Yankees skipper, Aaron Boone (son of Phillies catcher Brett Boone), was disgusted and agitated that the Krew was using airhorns as the Yankees were batting. He tried to have the ump throw them out… but they were already outside of the stadium!

The Krew decided to come up with some rules to abide by:

All fans new to the Krew, was greeted by Oscar and Brett right away and given the rundown of the group’s rules.

  1. Wear a mask at all times. The top priority is keeping fans safe. (even providing masks to those who didn’t bring any)
  2. Clean up your trash. MacMinn provides a trash can and takes it out himself every game.
  3. No blowing the air horns while a pitch is being thrown. Noise is encouraged as long as it’s not disruptive to the game.

ESPN, Fox Sports, and other channels pointed out the dedicated fans almost every game.

Last week, Joe Girardi, Phillies Manager, sent the Krew a bunch of pizzas for their support, but then FOCO and the Phillies went above and beyond anything this bunch of fans could’ve even imagined.

They created a bobblehead, yes a bobblehead, for the Krew in their honor. 10% of proceeds will go to Phillies Charities, Inc. , but how amazing is it to get your own bobblehead?!

The price is $60, but in all actuality, it’s priceless.

via twitter.com/phillies

Now FOCO did leave out the “Sign JT!” sign but I think we can let that pass.

You could sign up for pre-sale here, but they’re already sold out! We are the best fans in baseball.

Have you ever had your own bobblehead created?

From the Sept 8th doubleheader against the Boston Red Sox

They’ll continue inside or out of the stadium next year but give them a follow on social!

Rookie Matisse is taking Thybulle by its horns.

Okay, pardon the corny headline, but its true. The NBA is officially in its bubble and the Philadelphia 76ers rookie, Matisse Thybulle is documenting his journey in a new YouTube vlog series he’s calling “Welcome to the Bubble”.

In his series, which came out with the third episode last Thursday, he’s videotaping almost every moment of this unique experience, including testing protocol, how the NBA is preparing everything, and even some of the funny mishaps along the way.

Already over 125,000 250,000 subscribers and almost 3,000,000 total views in just about 10 days, Matisse is honestly surprised how it has taken off. I initially tweeted him congratulating him on the great content and editing skills, and by the third episode, he acknowledges he’s doing it himself – all by himself. The LA Times and New York Times have already reached out to him to do some stories, which in and of itself is awesome. As of the publishing of this post, Tuesday the 21st, Good Morning America has covered his story too.

While it looks like JaVale McGee of the Los Angeles Lakers is doing the same thing, the transparency a rookie wants to display is remarkable.

But it got me wondering what businesses have been doing during the last four months? Did they take advantage of everyone being online all the time? Did they pickup any new skills? Have they been putting themselves out there? Did they pivot for the time-being?

Ricky Bobby has said “if you’re not first, you’re last”, but imitation is also the sincerest form of flattery.

Have you taken any chances? Did you pivot? What risks have you been willing to take?

Check out his first episode here:

We’re Live!

Now I know what you’re thinking: “Mike, you’ve had a site for over a year, why are you now saying it’s live?”

And you’d be right.

But domain is purchased and I’ve officially rebranded this to officially help my small business grow.

Rebranded and officially live.

Tuesday Night was the “official” start of Michael Saks Digital at Tribe 12 Launch Night and the reception was unbelievable.

If you missed it and want to see what Tuesday night was about, check it out ➡️

I’ll still be blogging, sharing some insights and pop culture news. and writing valuable content for future clients.

Thank you for joining me on this journey.

Thank you for allowing me to try new things.

Thank you for allowing me to follow my dreams.

As a former Disney cast member, this song immediately came to mind.

My First Job Podcast – Episode 4 – Jason Wand

After a long hiatus, the podcast is back.

This week, I welcomed a friend who I’ve known for almost 20 years now – Jason Wand.

We used the tool EVEVERYONE is using right now – Zoom. (If you haven’t signed up yet for the platform, you can use 40 min free every session! sign up for free here)

We spoke about family, about the lessons he learned with his first job, and how he’s coping with working as a lawyer from home.

How long does he last at his first job?

What advice does he give his one-year old?

Listen and find out.

Jason and I in Atlanta on USY on Wheels in 2001

Don’t forget to subscribe, rate, and review the podcast.

Want to be part of the show? Email me at myfirstjobpodcast@gmail.com

“Like” our Facebook page here


Find the podcasts at your favorite podcast platform!

Apple Podcastshttps://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/my-first-job-podcast/id1485741760

Breakerhttps://www.breaker.audio/my-first-job-podcast

Spotifyhttps://open.spotify.com/show/7FAUvYfv9dLUqXvFjHFc4p

Google Podcastshttps://www.google.com/podcasts?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9hbmNob3IuZm0vcy9mYjBmM2Q4L3BvZGNhc3QvcnNz

Overcasthttps://overcast.fm/itunes1485741760/my-first-job-podcast

Pocket Castshttps://pca.st/1uqo0hcs

Radio Publichttps://radiopublic.com/my-first-job-podcast-GqX7b5

Physically Socially Distance Yourself But Not From Social Media

We’re in unprecedented times.

This is a phrase that’s been repeated ad nauseam over the last few weeks, but it’s true.

Counties and cities are becoming even more locked-down as time goes on. People being forced to work from home. People being forced to stay indoors in order to combat this virus and flatten the curve.

But this is a time where social media and video chats can flourish.

This is truly a time where, despite physically not being together, we are more connected than ever before.

I’ve received more Facebook and Instagram Live notifications than ever before and I don’t mind. Not one bit.

People are sharing their lives, their activities, their dance moves, and even their cooking with all of us. Some businesses are doing AMAs to calm customers or sharing good tips with all of us.

I’m here for it.

FaceTime, Goole Hangouts, and Zoom video conferencing is the new normal. Digital happy hours, digital run groups or workout classes, cooking parties, virtual bachelor and bachelorette parties, virtual play dates or “hello’s” to nieces, nephews, grandchildren, and grandparents are just a handful of the ways people are utilizing these tools. (Editor’s note: when using video conferencing tools, be sure to keep the camera at the right angle (straight ahead) and be sure to use the mute tool if you’re not talking or need to use the bathroom)

Using social media is allowing those who might feel socially isolated to stay in contact with the outside world. It’s allowing those who might live alone, a way to feel connected to others. Yeah, you might get the handful of people who are still negative or spreading “fake news”, but the good far outweighs the bad right now.

Do the TikTok dance.

Do some virtual challenge.

Get some tv /movie recommendations.

Support small businesses.

Go Facebook / Instagram Live.

Sign up for a digital workout class.

Share what you’re doing to pass the time.

Showcase your side hustle (if you can).

Study up on best practices.

Talk to friends and family.

Go out on digital dates.

But mostly, stay connected. The longer we don’t physically social distance, the more the government will likely force us to.

This too shall pass.

But don’t pass on the opportunity to talk to people right now. We’re all in the same boat – not physically though, since that wouldn’t be smart.

If you’re not already following me, check out my Instagram and Twitter right here.

Here’s a sample of celebrities using TikTok.

Where Am I Going? On A New (Ad)venture!

Happy anniversary to me!

Nope, I’m not married nor in a relationship.

Nope, I’m not sober (nor an alcoholic either).

Nope, not an actual work anniversary, which would’ve been a couple weeks ago but that’s neither here nor there.

It’s been ONE year since I actually decided to jump in and make my website. It’s been one year since I actually decided to follow through on writing about things going on, my thoughts, my fundraisers, or whatever else popped into my brain. It’s been one year since I really decided to take as more control of my life and my destination.

But what does any of this actually mean?

It means I’m doing something that I love and want to help others.

I means I’m learning more about myself and the digital world than ever before.

Back in 2006, I ran for a position in Greek life board at Temple. I remember telling everyone that we should utilize Facebook more and more because it was where the communication was growing the fastest.

Their response was “Saks, you’re too obsessed with Facebook.”

Welp, 14 years later, Facebook, and social media in general, has been a staple in everyday culture, news, information, and selling.

Every company, regardless of size, needs a place in the digital world to keep up with the masses, and sell their product, stay in touch with clients, or a way to engage with fans.

Am I a little too obsessed with social media? Sometimes. But now, I want to do it for a career and inform the masses.

I went to my first “info session” at the beginning of January and got some great insights on some tools for using social media as a brand / business. Some tools I have been using for a while and others I haven’t. But I left knowing a lot more than when I came in.

I’ve never gone to a conference for a job before and I want to, despite some people saying they can be overrated.

One thing that I’ve prided myself on for years is that I’m a lifelong learner. (Trust me, my student loans know this firsthand)

That’s why I’m currently enrolled in the Tribe 12 Fellowship, which helps businesses and ventures in the Jewish community get off the ground and from an idea to reality.

I am in the process of creating a business that helps small businesses find their footprint in this digital world.

My Current Watch

As of this posting, I have almost 1,500 Instagram followers.

To some that’s a ton. To others, it fails in comparison to the five or six-figure follower count.

Social media algorithms are weird and there’s no way to combat them. But I have learned a thing or two over the last two months:

Engagement.

Posting with hashtags can work to get the “likes” up and maybe some extra followers along the way, but it’s important to return the favor to the other users. Spend some time on Instagram (or Twitter), comment on a post, tag a friend, use Instagram Stories (aka Insta-stories) to show what’s going on on a daily basis with you, your brand, or your company.

For the last month or so, I’ve really started to follow and engage with a lot of the Philly Influencers.

I’ve “liked” their posts, I’ve engaged with their pictures in a professional and inspiring way, and I then tag them on my future posts.

But what is an influencer?

According to DigitalMarketingInstitute.com:

“A social media influencer is a user who has established credibility in a specific industry, has access to a huge audience and can persuade others to act based on their recommendations. An influencer has the tools and authenticity to attract many viewers consistently and can motivate others to expand their social reach. An influencer may be anyone from a blogger to a celebrity to an online entrepreneur. They must simply capitalize on a niche to attain widespread credibility.”

https://digitalmarketinginstitute.com/en-us/blog/9-of-the-biggest-social-media-influencers-on-instagram

In the big picture, think of the Jenner’s and Kardashian’s. On a much more local level, there’s an exorbitant amount, from those focusing on food, style, or just everyday use stuff. Someone told me about Philly Influencer Mixer and I started to follow their journey. I’ve yet to attend an event, but I know they have the right connections and want to help others.

These are only a small number of current brands / influencers / photographers I’ve been following and interacting with:

I’ve learned a lot over my lifetime and have learned even more over the last year.

I’m learning what works, what doesn’t, and a ton of other tools and tricks of the trade.

This page will eventually get a name change as I get a real domain and make this site even more official.

I thank you all for reading this and look forward to the next step along this ad(venture)!

Call me crazy, but this song has always been an inspiration to me.

America’s Next Top Phanatic

In an hour or so, the Phillie Phanatic will be showing off his new look.

When Jim Salisbury, from NBC Sports Philadelphia put out the story the other day, all of Philadelphia went nuts.

“Why change a classic?” was the typical question, well complaint.

And I get it. I get the frustration. But what people are failing to remember is that the Phillies were actually sued by the creators of the Phanatic and there’s a federal law protecting artists.

Changes are nothing new for the Phanatic. His shape, markings and attire have evolved over the years and “evolve” is probably the right word because, according to the Phillies media guide, he was born in the Galapagos Islands, the place that helped Charles Darwin form his theory of evolution.

The changes to the Phanatic’s look come as the team is embroiled in a lawsuit with Bonnie Erickson and Wayde Harrison, who were hired to design the original Phanatic costume back in the late-1970s.

The Phillies purchased rights to the Phanatic in 1984, but federal law allows artists to renegotiate rights to their work after 35 years.

https://www.nbcsports.com/philadelphia/phillies/phillie-phanatic-lawsuit-new-look-at-mascot-2020

But as someone who’s worked in the entertainment industry, you start noticing things – like how character evolve over time. Just look at the opening of Disneyland and see the changes of Mickey and Minnie Mouse from 1955 to now. Hell, characters have changed over the last 20 years – usually for the better.

The Phillie Phanatic is as much Philadelphia as Rocky, the cheesesteak, the Libery Bell, and ow Gritty.

If the upgrade is to get out of paying a lawsuit, it is what it is.

But to those freaking out over an upgrade / makeover – relax. We all get a makeover, why can’t Phillies most lovable Phanatic?

I Saw A Sign: A Unique Way To Find a Kidney Donor

Rae L’Heureux is living without a kidney.

Yep – you read that right. She does not have a kidney. She is currently on dialysis everyday and has a 9-hour ritual EVERY DAY to live without a kidney.

She’s been able to survive but it’s not the most ideal way to live.

While she hasn’t found a donor just yet, we can hope this works out.

I came “into the know” about kidney donation a couple years ago with an ex-girlfriend. Her dad was in dire need of a kidney and she, a very healthy, young adult, jumped up at the opportunity to donate her kidney to her dad when she knew they were a match. It did take some time to recover but she’s as healthy as can be right now. You only need one healthy working kidney to survive without dialysis.

Not too long ago, she came up with a way to find a donor: Putting a sign in the back of a car with a message and her phone number.

Rae, however, doesn’t have that luxury right now.

She needs a kidney and she needs it fast. Donating, in general, is a selfless gesture but saving a life is just unspeakably selfless and can never be repaid the same way.

Rae currently lives in Florida but if you or someone you know, is willing to part with a kidney and has a blood type of A+, A-, O+, or O-, it would mean the world to everyone that knows Rae.

Orlando’s Fox 35’s Heather Gustafson did a story on Rae. Video from the interview is below.

And for just a little background, I worked with Rae at Magic Kingdom’s Guest Relations department when I worked at Disney back in 2008. Between being a tour guide, a trainer, a hostess, and an adventure-seeker, Rae put Disney, the guests, and everyone else before her. She just wanted to better the world, even if it was just at Disney World.

Here’s to a kidney and a healthy 2020 and beyond for Rae!

Get more info about a living donation here.

More information about the National Kidney Foundation can be found here.

Alison’s Avengers: Help Save A Life And Donate

For over a year and a half, my cousin Alison fought leukemia. She put up a helluva fight, giving it everything she had and then some.

Unfortunately, the horrible blood disease, which affects thousands of people each year, ended up taking her life in September of 2019.

The last two times the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society had their “Light The Night” walks in the Philly area, we did it for Alison – once in her honor as she fought (and we ultimately had her for almost another year) and once in her memory. Each time we raised THOUSANDS of dollars.

Tomorrow, Friday February 14th, we’re donating blood in honor and memory of Alison. We’re donating blood because one donation of blood can make a difference. One donation can save a life. One donation can be life-changing.

Philly’s local ABC station, 6ABC (WPVI) will be doing a story on the donation as well. (updated: click here for the story by Ali Gorman)

Place: Warwick Elementary School Gym in Jamison, PA.

Time: 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Signup at www.redcrossblood.org and enter: alisonsavengers

You can also walk in and donate. If you can’t donate, share this with someone who can.

Broad Street Run Lottery Now Open

For the 8th year now, the largest 10-mile run is a lottery system.

From February 1st to February 14th (yes, Valentine’s Day), you have the opportunity to sign up and try and claim your spot running with 40,000 of your closet friends down the heart of Philadelphia . It doesn’t matter if you sign up on the 1st or the 14th, you have the same chance.

This year’s date is May 3rd (always the first Sunday in May) and the price is $57.00. The race does start 30 minutes earlier though, this year at 7:30am.

This is hopefully my 9th time running Broad Street as my name will go into the ring. My first time running Broad Street was 2012 – the year before the lottery. I hadn’t even ran the Phillies 5k, which would end up being my first race that March, so going from 3.1 miles to 10 miles without “real” training, was a big jump.

2012’s website crashed after a couple hours and I ultimately bought a friend’s bib a month later. From 2013 on, I either won the lottery or bought the bib off of someone else.

Three of the last five years, I’ve either ran with a fundraising group or in memory of someone. This, in fact, does not take away from the lottery numbers. In 2016 and 2017, I ran in memory of Robert “Mr. Mass” Massaroni and Bensalem School District’s Shafer Middle School. Mr. Mass passed away in 2007 after just finishing the race. While Vicki Shaup and Bensalem were running the race prior to Mass’s death, they’ve been running in his memory and his honor since.

Last year, 2019, I ran with Emily’s Entourage, in honor of Emily, who is fighting cystic fibrosis. I helped raise $500 for her foundation. #TeamEE had a great time, despite the unpleasant weather.

Below are some pictures from my previous runs!

But what if I don’t win the lottery?

Don’t worry, we’re all waiting to win the millions

But in regard to the run, even if you didn’t make the lottery, there are plenty of ways to still run, especially for a good cause, with organizations like:

Just click on the specific links and register on the specific sites!

Whether you’re a professional runner or a novice, the Broad Street Run is one of the coolest runs as you run all through Philly and end up in the Navy Yard.

Hope to see you May 3rd – 92 days from now!

GIVEAWAY ALERT

Who loves a free gift card?


Okay, now that I got your attention, I do want to help give a gift card away – 2020 style.

We’ve all seen the new way to get followers, shares, RTs, and likes:

  • Follow another account
  • Like the page
  • RT or share
  • tag one or more people
  • Winner will be announced xx/xx/2020

Well, I’d love to do that with one brand / company / business by using my business pages on Instagram and Facebook.

If you have a business, a company, or know some of someone trying to build their social pages and want to provide a little incentive via a gift card or any other free service, let me know.

As you all know I am working on building my business and my brand, so I am willing to post this for free in hopes to expand both of our businesses. I will do a blog post, social media post, and help pick a winner with you.

Fill out the form below and let’s get social!

A Sweet(hearted) Animated Proposal

I’ll be the first to admit that I love Disney movies – from Pinocchio to Frozen 2, animated and live-action.

Disney movies have themes that everyone can connect with, from adult to child, including:

  • The importance of family
  • The important of finding yourself
  • Doing the right thing
  • The importance of kindness
  • The importance of friendship.

However, there has always been an opposition to Disney’s movies, especially the messages behind them: death of a parent or that women are helpless without a man, and so on.

But the thing is, when watching the movie, you can’t help but fall in love with the story and the animation.

Well, one guy took his love for his girlfriend and her love for Sleeping Beauty and went where no man has gone before.

Lee Loechler, a filmmaker, wanted to propose to his high school sweetheart (insert audible aww here), Sthuthi David, while they were in their hometown over the holidays.

It took six months to help plan, organize, get the animation, and get everything ready for a fake screening of Sleeping Beauty that would end up in a proposal.

He found the animator, Kayla Coombs, via Instagram, after a long, arduous process of finding someone who’d take on the task of recreating the end of Sleeping Beauty with a proposing twist.

Though misdirection, help from Reddit, and planting the seeds from the theater itself, Lee worked the proposal so well that it was Sthuthi who actually invited Lee to the Sleeping Beauty screening herself – having no clue it was all about her.

Every young girl or teenager talks about finding their “Prince Charming”.

Well, Sthuthi found her Prince Charming and Lee found his princess.

And if they get married at either Disneyland or Walt Disney World, wouldn’t that just be Malificent magnificent?

I’ve attached both Instagram and YouTube versions of the proposal, including insane reactions and suspecting eyes. The Instagram video below, which has over 600,000 views and almost 100,000 likes in just under a week and YouTube has over 5 MILLION views!

Guys – we can never outdo Lee, so let’s just stop while we’re behind.

Fun fact: The run time of Sleeping Beauty is only 75 minutes, so they really recreated 10% of the movie.

Philly’s Restaurant Week Is Here

The best time to try new restaurants in Philly is now.

Unlike the actual name, Restaurant Week is actually just under two weeks – from January 12th (Sunday) until January 24th (next Friday). In Center City, many restaurants offer a unique menu to patrons who’ve never dined at their establishment in hopes it brings them back again.

Lunch – three courses for $20*. (see participating lunch restaurants here)

Dinner – three courses for $35.*

Check the full list for participating restaurants and make reservations here. (note: the lunch list only has the names of the restaurants given to the Center City District. Others might be participating).

Check their instagram and Twitter for more info!

Parking

While a large amount of people will probably be coming via ride-sharing, subway, or regional rail, there are cheaper parking options if you choose to drive yourself into the city.

My first suggestion would be the $7 lot after 5pm at 16th and Vine.

The other option – the one Restaurant Week and the PPA is offering – is $9 at garages around the Center City area from 4:45pm-1:00am with a voucher from the restaurant. Use this list to check out the participating garages.

I personally haven’t done it yet but am hoping to during the second week.

Anyone want to join?

*Tax, alcohol and gratuity not included. Menus are subject to change. Reservations are subject to availability. Please honor your reservations. If you are unable to keep your reservation for any reason, please call the restaurant to inform them.

Feature image from https://centercityphila.org/explore-center-city/ccd-restaurant-week/list-view

Free Admission to the Philly Home Show

For two weekends, the Philadelphia Convention Center is taken over my home-owners, home-buyers, renters, sellers, and other prospecting eyes who aren’t really sure where they are in the process.

From hot tubs to home remodels, vacuum cleaners to window cleaners, patio setups to mattresses, there is something for everyone.

This year, it will be running from January 10th-12th and 17th-19th.

Normally, it costs adults $13 to get in and $3 for kids.

But Septa, which has an amazing perks program, is allowing you to get in for free today, January 10th and next Friday, January 17th, for FREE as long as you have your Septa Key!

Just go to the box office and flash your Septa Key and boom, you’re in!

Sounds like a good deal to me.

They’re open until 8:00 pm, so swing on by after work before your commute home.

Don’t have a Septa Key? Go online to buy tickets and save $3 courtesy of American Construction. Just go to https://phillyhomeshow.tix123.com/.

However, if you are in the market for homes, a lot of realtors will have free tickets to get in, as well. But just remember to use that company when you’re actually in the market to buy / rent / sell.

If you’ve never been, there’s a lot to take in.

Happy Home Showing!

For more info, check out https://phillyhomeshow.com/.

Celebrate Broadway Week with 2-for-1 Tickets

Now is the time to “seize the day” to see a Broadway show because there is “no day but today”.

I normally use TKTS in Times Square for discounted tickets, where you can get up to 50% the price of a ticket to a Broadway show, musicals and plays, hours before curtains go up.

The only caveat to TKTS is you don’t know what shows will be available until the day of, so go in with wanting to see any number of shows (except the truly hot tickets like The Lion King, Book of Mormon, and Hamilton: An American Musical).

Coming up January 21st to February 9th, Broadway holds its annual Broadway Week (technically 2.5 weeks) and that means discounted tickets of up-to 50% off.

Three years ago, I jumped on the chance to purchase Wicked tickets and don’t regret it for one second.

This year, shows include: Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations, Aladdin, Chicago, Come From Away, Jagged Little Pill, The Lion King, Phantom of the Opera, Mean Girls, Wicked, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Frozen, Dear Evan Hanson, Beetlejuice, The Book of Mormon, and several others.

Now, tickets went on sale yesterday, so some shows, like Dear Evan Hanson, The Lion King, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and Wicked will most likely be sold out by the time you get on the site but it never hurts to check.

Buy one ticket or take a friend and buy two.

Don’t like the view of the 50% off tickets, you can upgrade to closer seats for a little bit more. Be flexible for times and dates.

Check out the website https://www.nycgo.com/broadway-week/ before you miss out on some great Broadway shows!

If you’ve never seen a Broadway show, what better time than with a heavily discounted ticket?

Either way, the show must go on!

My 2019 Review

First off, I want to thank every one of you who helped me get my website to places I never thought.

I’ve always been the type of person to say but never do. I’ve done the Blogspot posts and stopped. I’ve done the Xanga livejournal and stopped.

But early in 2019, I really wanted to make a website and actually go through with it.

Well, I did it.

And I’m still doing it.

Since February, I created 53 posts, had 961 visitors, and had 1,821 views.

Now, that may not seem like a lot but I created this on my own, created my own content, and didn’t put any money behind the site until only a month or so ago, while also maintaining a full time job.

A couple weeks ago, someone mentioned that I was doing quite a bit, to which I called myself a “Mike of All Trades”. Maybe that’s the direction I take with this website going forward. Maybe I focus on specific posts instead of all over the digital world.

But the best part of this site is seeing people interact, like, and comment on my posts, on here or the posts that end up on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

There is only one way to go with the website and that’s up. I am constantly learning new skills and enjoying what the digital world has to offer.

My only ask of those reading this is to share, interact more, and provide any sort of feedback you see fit.

My 2020 Vision:

I’m currently part of the Tribe 12 Fellowship program (info here) that helps businesses, ventures, and ideas grow into something bigger and better than they currently are. Companies that have partaken in this program include Schmear It and PiperWai. PiperWai even made its way on an episode of Shark Tank!

What does that mean for my website? I am looking to build upon my success here to help businesses grow their digital footprint, especially in the Jewish community, where some small companies and groups may not be doing all they can.

I’ve also loved creating the Facebook page and even creating a business Instagram profile, which allows for the insights normal Instagram users won’t see.

Using Google Analytics more than ever before has been amazing and insightful.

Now is the time to seize the day. I’m not necessarily calling this a resolution but a vision and a goal for 2020 and beyond.

Oh as Barbara Walters once said…

¡No me diga! Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “In the Heights” Trailer Is Here

On Thursday morning, Warner Bros. dropped the long-awaited, for me anyway, trailer for the film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s 2008 Tony-Award winning hit In the Heights!

In the Heights follows several people, primarily the main character, Usnavi, in a mostly-hispanic neighborhood around Washington Heights over the course of three VERY hot days. (sidetone: the origin of his name is a fantastic story that I hope they mention in the movie)

The film is directed by Crazy Rich Asians director, John M. Chu. It stars Anthony Ramos, who starred in the show on Broadway, and was most recently in “A Star is Born” as Lady Gaga’s best friend. Corey Hawkins, Marc Anthony, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Melissa Barrera, Jimmy Smits, Dascha Polanco and Stephanie Beatriz. Lin-Manuel Miranda also plays a “small” role with two delicious songs.

The film has been in the works for almost ten years. The Weinstein Company was set to release the film but due to the collapse of the company due to his legal and personal issues, Warner Bros. stepped in to release the film.

I think nine to ten year gap between rights to distribution is a blessing in disguise, as over the last five years, Lin-Manuel’s popularity has grown exponentially due to Hamilton: The Musical, Moana, and his focus on helping relief being sent to Puerto Rico. In the Heights was already a blockbuster, but Hamilton and Moana sent Miranda into a new stratosphere.

If I won the lotto, the $96,000 would go to seeing this movie as many times as possible.

I officially can’t wait until June 26, 2020.

#InTheHeightsMovie

Cover photo from Variety.com

Philadelphia Rocks the Holidays and Hunger

Last week, 93.3 WMMR, Philly’s rock radio station, held their annual “Preston & Steve’s Camp Out for Hunger” which supports Philabundance at Xfinity Live in South Philly.

This was their 22nd annual camp out, which was bigger and better than years past.

They collected 2.6 MILLION pounds of food (1,339+ tons) and $200,000 in just five days! (you were able to donate at Acme for a couple weeks prior). It was a 47% INCREASE from last year’s numbers.

WOW.

It is the largest food drive in the United States.

Up until a couple years ago, I didn’t actually listen to Preston and Steve in the morning. I was either listening to Mike & Mike on 97.5, syndicated Elvis Duran in the Morning Q102, or the WIP morning show. But one day I decided to give it a try and I was hooked. Unfortunately, I was only able to listen to anywhere from 15-35 minutes of the show.

I’d hear about this cause, which is a couple weeks before Christmas and wonder how people were able to spend hours down at Xfinity Live on a workday.

In June, I moved to South Philly, barely one subway stop from NRG Station aka AT&T Station aka Pattison Ave. There was no reason I couldn’t go now. I mean, the show starts at 5:30am and goes until 10:30, and the subway into work from the sports complex only takes eight minutes. I could’ve gone at night, after work, but I didn’t think it would’ve had the same flair as the morning show provided.

Monday came and went – didn’t go.

Tuesday came and went – still didn’t go.

Wednesday came – overslept – didn’t go.

Thursday came and went – still didn’t go and had plans to go to a couple, yes a couple, happy hours that night, so if I went Friday, it was going to be very difficult.

Friday – woke up after not going out to the second happy hour and said to myself “if not now, when?”.

I brought some canned potatoes and made my way down to the sports complex.

Now, if I had forgotten my canned good, I wouldn’t have been turned away. In fact, they had plenty of canned goods and packages, like peanut butter, available for a monetary value, and then you could donate the package.

Many of their sponsors there had samples and giveaways for fans that showed up. Dunkin, Herr’s, Hand and Stone Massages, Campbell’s Soup, were just five sponsors I noticed (but I was also overwhelmed).

Celebrities came and went all week, donating or participating in events that raised money, and there was also a “Privileged Section” for people to sit in for an hour or so that was only feet from the stage and guests. Each person picked got to win gift cards or tickets too. Everyday also provided a different house band, including Jamison Celtic Rock.

I was thrilled to attend, even for an hour.

Seeing Preston and Steve, Marisa, Kathy, Casey, and Nick live and in person was a cool experience, even if I didn’t actually meet them.

Live radio broadcasts are much different than you’d expect and I truly recommend everyone go to at least once.

Thank you for being selfless, Preston and Steve, but also to the morning show, 93.3 WMMR, Philabundance, and so many others who are helping to feed Philadelphians who may not be as fortunate as others.

Check out the photos and all the great information from the Camp Out From Hunger right here!

Want to help Philabundance give out all the food? Click here!

Want a sneak peak of what each day entails? Check out their daily rush videos posted to the Preston and Steve Youtube page.

Photos via wmmr.com

My First Job Podcast: Episode 3 – Matt Lachs

What better way to start your December than with a new episode of “My First Job” Podcast.

This week, I welcomed my first guest to the show. Matt Lachs, a former Temple Men’s Basketball Team manager, joined me via Skype all the way from New York!

We talk about how he got his first gig, what lessons he learned along the way, and the connections he still has with that job.

He even has something big coming up this week! Listen to find out what December has in store for him!


Don’t forget to subscribe, rate, and review the podcast.

Want to be part of the show? Email me at myfirstjobpodcast@gmail.com!

“Like” our Facebook page here


Find the podcasts at your favorite podcast platform!

Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/my-first-job-podcast/id1485741760

Breaker: https://www.breaker.audio/my-first-job-podcast

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/7FAUvYfv9dLUqXvFjHFc4p

Google Podcasts: https://www.google.com/podcasts?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9hbmNob3IuZm0vcy9mYjBmM2Q4L3BvZGNhc3QvcnNz

Overcast: https://overcast.fm/itunes1485741760/my-first-job-podcast

Pocket Casts: https://pca.st/1uqo0hcs

Radio Public: https://radiopublic.com/my-first-job-podcast-GqX7b5

When Thinking of Pie This Thanksgiving: Think Pizza Pie with Angelo’s Pizza.

If you’re a fan of Barstool Sports, you know their president, Dave Portnoy goes to every pizza joint he can find and does his own version of a taste test. It’s part of his One Bite Pizza Reviews, which is presented by Barstool Sports, and has amassed over 126,000 subscribers!

In the middle of November, Dave made his way back to Philadelphia for the New England Patriots game versus the Philadelphia Eagles at the Linc.

Earlier in the week, Dave stopped at Angelo’s Pizza, 736 S. 9th Street, for another test.

He buys one slice and then takes one bite and scores it live on video.

Well, the popular shop that opened up in January 2019, is consistently selling out their dough.

No freezer? No problem.

All their dough is fresh and chicken cutlets are breaded that morning.

They’re open 12-9 Tuesday through Sunday/

Once they sell out, they post on both their Instagram and their Twitter to let their customers know.

If you don’t want some pizza pie for Thanksgiving, be sure to check them out this weekend! But don’t wait dough…

Check out their social media above or look at their menu on their website here.

Cover photo via MICHAEL KLEIN / Philadelphia Inquirer Staff

Know Before You Go: Use Your Resources Before Traveling And/Or Going To Sporting Events

Today starts the busiest traveling month of all, with friends and family bustling to celebrate the holidays with one another.

With gas prices relatively low in most areas of the country (notice, I did say relatively low), some families might be driving. Most, however, depending on the distance, will be flying the friendly skies to get to their destination.

What I really want to know is: Is everyone doing their homework before they leave their house?

Ever since September 11, 2001, the TSA has been cracking down and paying close attention to everything we try to bring on the plane: both on purpose and inadvertently.

And the TSA should.

But what people don’t realize is 1) the TSA puts out a list of what you can and cannot bring through security at the airport and 2) you can actually tweet or contact the TSA through social media and ask if something is okay to bring.

An example: I was flying to Orlando in 2017 and I wanted to bring some lunch with me. I knew drinks weren’t allowed (sealed or unsealed), but I wasn’t 100% sure about Wawa hoagies. So I tweeted them and voila, got the answer that it was okay and off I went to Orlando with a hoagie in hand.

An example of their social media presence

Their Instagram account, which has amassed over 2 million followers, points out some of the most interesting finds the TSA agents has come across.

I get it – some people just forget they have things in their bags but some actually try to see if they can get away with it.

But if the TSA is allowing you to ask prior to even leaving your residence, why aren’t you asking?

Traveling this holiday season? Click here to see what you can and cannot bring.

Making Professional Stadiums More Secure

Airports aren’t the only place where security is beefing up and limiting what you can and cannot bring onto the premises.

Arenas and stadiums are severely limiting what’s allowed on their grounds. Yes – most arenas are paid partially by taxpayer’s money, but it still property ran by billion dollar organizations who have a say what comes in.

Incidents in and around venues

  • Ariana Grande’s concert in London had explosives go off just outside the arena.
  • In Orlando, a YouTube celebrity and”The Voice” singer, Christina Grimmie was shot to death by a “fan” who traveled to Orlando just to see her.
  • Numerous shootings at concerts

With all of this, stadiums around the country, and in fact the world, have been changing their policies on what’s allowed inside.

But not everyone is checking before they leave their homes or work places to see if what they’re about to bring to the game will even be allowed in.

Stadiums are posting on their websites, their social media, and sending out emails about what’s allowed in during which events.

Below is what Levi’s Stadium tweeted out several hours before the 49ers Sunday Night matchup with the Green Bay Packers.

Most stadiums are doing this before each event.

Even before you walk up to the gates, there are signs everywhere saying what you’re allowed and not allowed to bring.

But the amount of people who don’t look before they arrive is astounding.

Every stadium and arena, whether it’s an NBA/NHL arena, or NFL, MLB, or MLS stadium, has a security checkpoint that will have you walk through a metal detector and possibly followed up by a metal detecting wand before you can even get your ticket scanned. You might’ve waited in line for 20 minutes even before going through the detector.

But if the metal detector goes off and you have something that can’t be brought in (i.e. a bag or an e-cigarette or any other contraband), you have to either throw the items out or leave the line and find a place for your things.

“See something, say something” is a new expression that everyone’s using for something suspicious, person or package. If you leave something outside that doesn’t look right, someone might think it’s an explosive.

Most go drop things off in their car or a friend’s car.

Others might take their Uber / Lyft back to their hotels or AirBnb’s to drop it off.

Some stadiums offer lockers to place the prohibited items in outside the stadium. They are still checked by security but they won’t be allowed inside the stadium / arena.

But those lockers come at a cost. And if you pay it once, you probably won’t pay it again because you’ll be thinking before you leave for the event, “Will I be allowed to bring this into the stadium?”.

But people also ask, “why can’t they just see go through my bag and see that nothing is in there?” or say “..but I was allowed to bring in to another stadium or onto another plane.” The amount of time you’re wasting arguing could’ve been saved if you looked online five minutes before you left.

Well, every stadium and airline is different. They can provide the information but it’s up to us, as guests and patrons, to actually do our own homework.

Most people have smartphones, with massive amounts of information at their fingertips.

Why don’t we use it?

Safe travels!

The Philadelphia Eagles Step Up After A Tragedy

If the Philadelphia Eagles are known for one thing off the field, it would be their love of community – it doesn’t even need to be in the state of Pennsylvania.

Every Friday night in the fall, high school football teams are playing across the country.

Current high schoolers, alumni, family, and the community come together in hopes to see their team get the W.

Last Friday night, Pleasantville and Camden High School’s New Jersey state matchup was a normal Friday night playoff game until gunshots in the 3rd quarter sent all fans for cover.

A group of six adults, yes adults, targeted another adult at a high school football game.

Unfortunately, three people were shot – including a 10-year old, Micah Tennant who died several days later.

With the game being postponed, the Philadelphia Eagles stepped up and opened up their home to host the rest of the playoff game on Wednesday afternoon in front of a much smaller crowd, closed off to the public. The Eagles are active in the community and this gesture to host showed how much community means to them.

Besides playing a game inside Lincoln Financial Field as a high schooler and making an entrance like a real NFLer, some of the Eagles stepped up and showed up to support both teams.

Via Twitter

They had a moment of silence, in honor of Micah, who was pronounced dead only hours earlier. Some playing in his honor.

On Thursday night, a Pleasantville teacher took to Facebook to explain what the entire last week meant to him and the community. He used to be a Washington fan but over the last three years, hasn’t been a fan of the NFL in general. Wednesday changed him.

This is not how anyone wanted to play the game.

This will forever be in their minds and their memories.

Lives were changed last Friday night.

Camden ultimately came away with the win but even for just a moment, these high school students got to forget about the outside world and play the game they love in hopes for a state championship.

Some students may never play a down after they leave high school. On Wednesday, they were able to feel like a true professional.

(Photos via ELIZABETH ROBERTSON / Inquirer.com STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER, Fox29.com, Edward Lea (Press of Atlantic City Staff Photographer)

Cover photo via (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post )

Verizon Sprinkles Some Disney Magic On Its Customers For A Year of Disney+

Disney+ went live today and not a lot of work got done by people logging in.

There were issues of people being able to log in or just connection issues, but with something so large, it was bound to happen.

Now you might be saying, “Mike, that headline is misleading.”

No, the headline isn’t wrong. You can get one year of Disney+ for free by being a Verizon customer.

The only caveat: You have to have an unlimited data plan with Verizon Wireless or sign up for a year of 5G FIOS.

I wrote an article not too long ago saying how Disney was offering customers a way to prepay for a length of time at a discounted price.

Disney is offering Disney+ for only $6.99/month or if you get the ESPN+/Hulu/Disney+ package for $12.99/month. (Hulu is the ad-supported version)

$84/year isn’t that bad for a platform offering as much as it is. But if you’re a Verizon Wireless customer with unlimited data or a Verizon FIOS switcher, save your money and get your free year! This is in addition to the six months or longer of free Apple Music!

Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar, Nat Geo, and Disney Animation is just the start. Most recently, Disney bought most of Fox’s assets, so The Simpsons, Avatar, and countless other films and shows are on there too!

After the promotional period, you will get charged $6.99/month unless you cancel.

The best part? If you’re already a Disney+ subscriber, you can still get one year FREE with Verizon and still keep whatever subscription you purchased prior afterwards!

But the biggest question on everyone’s mind is…

What do you plan on watching first?


For all FAQ with Verizon, check here.

To sign up with Verizon, sign in here and click add on’s and apps.

Tonight’s Final Jeopardy Response Will Leave You In Tears

It’s no secret that Alex Trebek is battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer since he announced it in March.

Earlier this summer, Alex sent out, via the Jeopardy Twitter account, that his cancer was in remission.

Then back in September, the cancer came back and it has taken a lot out of Alex.

We know cancer can kick the crap out of you, but it’s remarkable how Alex just doesn’t show it on tv.

Tonight, during Final Jeopardy, contestant Dhruv Gaur answered, well technically questioned, something we all felt. Instead of an actual response, he wrote “We ❤️ you Alex!”.

You can hear how choked up he felt when telling Dhruv he was left with $5.

It doesn’t matter what the actual answer was. Dhruv telling Alex how he (we) all felt, was the only answer.

This likely was filmed around his next round of chemo.

Alex Trebek, Pat Sajak (who also just went under emergency surgery), and Vanna White have been welcomed into so many homes for 30+ years. Thousands of people have been on their shows, but millions watch and play along almost nightly.

We feel apart of their lives, even if we really, truly don’t know who they are as people outside of their on-screen persona.

Jeopardy has actually made us all smarter, well I know I am during Teen Jeopardy.

Well if you didn’t watch the episode tonight, watch the video below.

Dhruv then took to Twitter to explain his actions:

Screenshot via https://twitter.com/dhruvg_

Thank you, Dhruv, for saying what we’re all thinking.

#WeLoveYouAlex

Got that bye-week Eagles blues? Baby, this will make you super excited

Sean’s family timed it perfectly: Let’s have a baby during the Eagles bye-week and go viral.

It worked.

On Wednesday, Sean’s family welcomed their third child into the world and the oldest child immediately took her new little sister under her wing.

They just happen to live in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where the Eagles won Super Bowl LII.

I wonder if they named her after Nick Foles, Trey Burton, Corey Clement… 🤔

See the video below.

I think we found a new lead singer of the Eagles Pep Band.

Who would you rather help save money: You or your family/friends? Disney is allowing its Cast Members to decide.

A perk is a perk is a perk and companies don’t necessarily have to offer anything extra to their employees – but that would make everyone unhappy. So instead of using the word “force”, I chose “allow”, because it still is a perk.

Disney+, Disney’s streaming service, goes live on Tuesday.

D23 and other Disney programs, offered discounts to customers if they paid upfront for a year or longer, Verizon is offering Disney+ free for the first year, and in 2020, Disney Theme Parks are offering Disney+ free if you’re a Cast Member. Cast Members can also get Hulu and ESPN+ as part of that package

But there’s a catch: You must give up the option of getting friends and family into the park for free.

Well, the triple package is enticing, as it is $12.99, so over a year, YOU‘re saying $155.

While more limited than before, Disney goes give comp tickets and Main Gates to their cast members to help get some friends and family of Cast Members into the parks. The Cast Member is still supposed to stay with their guest and are “responsible” for their actions in the park.

But a one day park hopper at Disney, when not blocked out, is $109. When friends and family come to visit, they may be spending multiple days in the parks or just want to spend sometime in the park with you. Even if you only get two passes, it already surpasses the monetary value of Disney+.

So would you rather save $150/year for a full package of a streaming service, or help save your friends or family money when they come down to meet you.

From what I’ve seen and read, even if you chose the Disney+ bundle, you still might get a couple comp’d tickets.

I know how some current cast members feel, but I used to work there.

As someone who’s never worked there, which option would you choose if given the option?

Leave a comment below!

A Senseless Tragedy Hits Home

Late Wednesday afternoon, Jill Millman was found murdered in her house.

She was found with multiple stab wounds in the back by her mom.

At only 35, she had an entire life to live, and was an aspiring chef.

Via 6abc

“You hear on the news all the time until it happens to you, you don’t understand and last night it happened to us,” said Jill’s stepfather Bob Rubenstein. The family said they are trying to make sense of it all, thinking maybe someone misunderstood Jill’s personality. “Jill was on the spectrum. Jill had autism and she had some other developmental delays and sometimes people with autism…a lot of people don’t understand,” Weinstein-Rubenstein said. Jill still pursued her dreams and worked as a prep cook at The Dining Car on Frankford Avenue.

https://6abc.com/family-mourns-loss-of-woman-found-stabbed-to-death-in-fox-chase-home/5678557/

But this story hits home to me and my family.

While I personally did not know Jill, her stepfather is a childhood friend of my Dad’s.

This is a guy my Dad talks to all the time and continue to see.

This is a senseless tragedy and we hope her killer is caught and brought to justice

RIP Jill.

Please consider donating to their GoFundMe page by clicking the link to help with the unexpected funeral costs.

Update:

Literally minutes after I posted this, I got the alert via 6abc’s app.

Via 6abc

Sources told Action News 30-year-old Arthur Caesar has been arrested in the death of Jill Millman. Police believe the two were in a relationship.

https://6abc.com/30-year-old-man-arrested-in-fatal-fox-chase-stabbing-/5684864/

My First Job Podcast Episode 2: Advice

After a social media crowdsource, this week’s podcast is about advice you’d give your 15 year old self.

Advice for the show? Send me an email to MyFirstJobPodcast@gmail.com

Give the new Facebook page a “👍🏻 ” while you’re at it.

Like, subscribe, and leave a review!

Read More

There Are Ways To Stream Apple Services At A Discount

Apple TV+ goes live tomorrow, November 1st.

Now I know what you’re thinking…

“Mike, we don’t want to do anything illegal.”

Well you know what? Everything I’m about to say, IS LEGAL!

Apple just recently updated it’s OS to pull iTunes (RIP) apart in segments: Apple Music, Apple Podcasts, and Apple TV(+). To me, it’s not a big difference how the apps are setup because you can still only use one at a time.

But, earlier this year, it was announced that Apple was going into the streaming service, like everyone else, and their product name for it was Apple TV+ (using the + seemed like a Disney thing to do, but I digress…).

During the keynote early in September, Apple announced they would be offering Apple TV+ free for one year if you bought any new iPhone, iPad, or Mac. In the grand scheme, it’ll save the consumer about $60/year, but it’s still a good way to get new customers to buy into your service.

Verizon Wireless already offers Apple Music free for some Unlimited customers and free for six months to others, which can be another $30-$60 total savings, depending on your plan.

If you’re a student, high school or college, or have a college email address, you’re able to get Apple Music for only $4.99/month plus tax (if your state charges online tax). $60/year for streaming music is pretty good, especially compared to other services like Pandora, Spotify, Amazon Music, etc.

But Apple just one-upped themselves to get students on board, especially with Apple Music.

They’re offering Apple TV+ FREE for students as part of a bundle with Apple Music. So for $5/month, they’re getting Apple Music and Apple TV+.

Now I wish I was back in college…

“My First Job” Podcast is Live

Take a listen to the first episode of “My First Job” Podcast and please let me know what you think.

I kept it pretty brief, just under 20 min but I wanted to talk about why I started the podcast, my first job, and where we’ll go from here.

Want to be part of it? Send me a message and let’s schedule a time.

We all have had a first job.

Now let’s talk about it.

It’s available on Spotify, Anchor, and working on getting it on iTunes!

FREE TACO(s) is MLB and Taco Bell’s Treat For America This Halloween

No, you’re not reading that wrong.

On Wednesday, October 30th, Taco Bell is giving away one free Dorito Locos Taco from 2pm-6pm. If you use the app, you can redeem it anytime all day.

You might be asking why.

Who am I kidding? Who questions free food?

Well, I’ll tell you anyway.

Taco Bell has partnered with Major League Baseball the last several years for the World Series. It’s probably the easiest win-win for all parties.

Someone steals a base. Yes, ONE base, through a minimum of four games, and everyone gets a free taco. No purchase is necessary (though Taco Bell would prefer you spend at least some money on something else).

Well during Game One on Tuesday, in the top of the first inning, Trea Turner stole a base.

And just like that, promotion is activated.

But you might be asking yourself, “But Mike, why did you put the “s” in parenthesis?”.

Well, while it is one per customer, there’s more than one Taco Bell in your area, so if you want to take advantage, happy hunting!

All I know is that on Wednesday, I will be saying “yo quiero, Taco Bell.”

I’m Starting A Podcast – My First Job

Yep. I’m starting a podcast.

In my almost 35 years of life, I’ve been working for almost 2/3 of them. Obviously, most of them were hourly jobs, but as they say “you never forget your first.”

I wanted to start a podcast because I have a lot to say about a lot of subjects. Sometimes people will agree with your views and sometimes they won’t. It’s what makes the world go round (well, not really but you get the picture)

But we all have something in common: jobs. More specifically, we all had a first job.

Some are interesting. Some are boring. Some will make your jaw drop. Some will make you go “oh, me too!”. But we all have a story on where we worked and how we got into the working field.

Did their first job lead to their career?

Is there a first job they wanted but didn’t get hired for?

Listen and find out.

First episode will be dropping soon!

If you want to join me on an episode, be sure to contact me!

Verizon Wireless and Apple Music… You Can Get One For Free.

I’ve had Apple Music since I ordered my MacBook Pro at the end of 2016.

I was hesitant to pay for a streaming music service since I already had so much music on my computer to begin with.

They initially offered three months free and then either $4.99, $9.99, or $14.99 a month thereafter.

$4.99 for students.

$9.99 for non-students.

$14.99 for family sharing.

It was pretty on-par, financially, with Spotify and Amazon Music Unlimited and the other platforms offering tiered models.

Well, it’s been almost three years and I love using Apple Music. It takes some of the work out of downloading and paying for individual songs and albums. It works on all Apple products, including the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, MacBooks, and the HomePod. I can download music to my Apple Watch and take my music on the go, even when there’s no service.

Enter Verizon

Back at the end of 2018, Verizon Wireless offered six months of Apple Music for free with some unlimited plans.

Well, it became so popular that they expanded it in the beginning of 2019.

Currently, two of their unlimited data plans, the “Get More Unlimited” and Play More Unlimited” offer Apple Music for free. No end date in sight,

The other unlimited plans, the “Start Unlimited” and “Do More Unlimited” offer six months of Apple Music for free and then at $9.99/month.

AT&T has Spotify. Sprint has Tidal. Verizon Wireless now has Apple Music.

If you’ve never used Apple Music and have Verizon, you’re missing out on free money and music!

Not sure how to activate it? Check out the info on Verizon’s website here.

Already have Apple Music? You can cancel your current subscription and pick up with Verizon’s. You just have to follow the prompts on your phone after activating Verizon’s.

Thinking about switching to Verizon or only have limited gigs with Verizon? Check out their Unlimited plans here. You might end up saving money!

You won’t be able to get your phone for free, but you might be able to play as much music as you want at no additional cost!

Xfinity Restores The Ability To Set Your DVR From Anywhere

photo from corporate.xfinity.com

With so many weekly episodic shows and the ability of On-Demand at the tips of our fingers, there are moments where you want to set the DVR when you’re away from your tv.

Two years ago, Comcast-Xfinity lost the battle with TiVO, which meant that Xfinity had to get rid of the function that allowed you to set your DVR remotely. You could see what’s on, but you couldn’t use your device to set up a recording. I know, I know… a first world problem.

I’ll be perfectly honest when I say I was sad when that ruling came down because I enjoyed that function quite a bit. You had to hope someone else was at your place to set the DVR for you.

Two years later, and it’s back.

I noticed it while I was in Europe and forgot to set a recording of a show that was going to air while I was away. I was surprised to see that I could just hit the “record” function on the app.

I then received an email and noticed Xfinity started emailing customers to let them know of the change. They made it seem like it was a new thing to the platform.

How does it work?

When you use the Xfinity Stream or Xfinity Stream TV apps or do it from xfinitytv.com, you’re able to record, watch, and even delete your favorite shows straight from your device. You click on the show you want to watch or record, you click “record, and then can then click “record episode” or “record series”. ( See below)

It’s something minute but it’s a game-changer for me. Let’s just hope Xfinity stays on the up-and-up this time.

BRB… Going On Vacation

Starting Friday, I will be going to a continent that I’ve waited 34 years to see – Europe.

I’ll be flying into Amsterdam, spending a couple days there and then flying to Prague for another few days before returning home on October 6th. We have several things planned at both locations, but still going in with some flexibility.

In my 34 years of life, I haven’t done as much traveling as I really should have. Outside the US, I’ve been to Israel (2x), Costa Rica, and Cancun. Domestically, I took a teen tour around the country for a month and a half.

If you know me, you know my obsession is with sports – and that’s the main reason why I’m going on this trip.

The Philadelphia Flyers are playing the Chicago Blackhawks in an NHL Global Series game October 4th. The Tampa Bay Lightning play the Buffalo Sabres in Stockholm, Sweden, in November as the other Global Series game.

But yes… I get to go on vacation.

The last vacation I went on was to Florida two years ago.

The time before that? Two years prior to Costa Rica.

Wait a second…

I realize I go on a “big” vacation every two years or or so.

I am insanely excited to go on this trip and be immersed with history and also see a professional game in another country. Eight days in Europe may not be that long, but I will take full advantage of the time I have.

Take Time Off

We need to remind ourselves to go on a vacation and enjoy the world around us. Going through the daily grind means nothing if you’re not stepping away from it once in a while to experience new things.

As I’m typing this, I realize that I need to take my own advice. I don’t go down the shore, I don’t take weekend trips, and I work one full-time job and one part-time job. I don’t take any “me” time.

So, with an “out of office” almost on, I anticipate a trip of a lifetime and can’t wait to share my journey with you.

I might post here and there, but this week, it’s all about me!

For the most up-to-date pictures, be sure to check out my Instagram!

America’s Got Talent Crowns a New Champion!

Just like I predicted, Kodi Lee won it all on America’s Got Talent last night.

Though he only performed on the show three times, he had my vote from the beginning.

On the results show, he delivered a beautiful duet with Leona Lewis and it solidified the fact that I see him becoming a professional musician, either solo or doing duets.

Other performances included Cher singing Waterloo from Mamma Mia 2 (or ABBA), Ozuna and Benicio Bryant, Macklemore and Kygo performing with the Detroit and Ndlovu Youth Choirs, Julianne Hough with V.Unbeatable, Brian King Joseph with Tyler Butler-Figueroa, and Emanne Beasha with Lang Lang.

The Top 5 includes Voices of Service, Ryan Niemiller, V.Unbeatable, Detroit Youth Choir, and Kodi. A surprise vote had Benicio Bryant not make the top 5. Voices of Service came in 5th, and then the surprise had V.Unbeatable come in 4th.

Ryan Niemiller was the last to be eliminated. He has already jumpstarted his career and made a name for himself. He had a bit with wrestler Chris Jericho, which as a wrestling fan, I was very amused.

It came down to Kodi and the Detroit Youth Choir, who I admittedly did not expect to be in the top 2.

When Kodi was announced as winner, you could see the excitement in both him and his mom, but the DYC’s musical director was the first to congratulate him.

$1 million richer and a performance in Vegas from November 7-10th will only be the beginning for Kodi.

If the top 10 go out on tour, I’d definitely be up for seeing every act!

Congrats, Kodi! Below is a compilation of all his performances this season!

America’s Got Talent: The Final Performances

Last night, the Top 10 performed their final performance of Season 14 in America’s Got Talent.

Simon Cowell was 100% right when he said this season was the best finale he’s been a part of. (note: I’ve really only been watching the last four seasons, including the “Champions” season, so I’m a little biased).

But from beginning to end, every performance was outstanding and if spread out over the other seasons, could’ve won the entire thing. Sadly, only one performance will win.

While I can say my two favorites were Kodi Lee and Patriots of Service, I know there are millions of people voting for all the other acts too, so I can just give my two cents on each of their performances.

I truly loved having Gabrielle Union and Julianne Hough, but they were “blown away” and moved by every performance, which sometimes lost made their words less meaningful. I love their reactions, but their words are almost repetitive. I know they’ll grow for future seasons.

The Acts

Benecio Bryant

He’s done a great job all season blowing everyone away with his honesty, originality, and the vulnerability. At now 15, with his birthday being yesterday, he went with just him, his guitar, and his voice. I’ve been a fan of his since day one and while I think he could win the whole thing, I don’t think he will.

Detroit Youth Choir (DYC)

Terry Crew’s golden buzzer group has covered Carrie Underwood, Panic! At the Disco, and last night, they covered Macklemore’s “Can’t Hold Us” which included a step routine. This group of teenagers has wow’d the judges with their solos, their singing, their dance routine, and their passion. For such a large group, their director Anthony T. White has done an amazing job making sure the group is on point. I don’t see them winning the entire thing, but their love for the arts is great to see. Detroit should be proud.

Emanne Beasha

A young “opera” singer, who was the judge’s pick to join the finals, left people wondering how a 10-year-old (well turning 11 on Wednesday) had such a voice. She sang “La Mamma Morta”, which honestly brought me back to watching “Philadelphia” with Tom Hanks. But that being said, the show is called America’s Got Talent. Emanne has the talent and will definitely go far with her voice. As a side note, I put “opera” in quotations just because she might have the voice and register for it, she may not be an opera singer just yet.

Light Balance Kids

Just like their adult predecessors, their routines are out of this world and have your jaw on the floor the entire time. Their theme last night put the viewer into a diner and boy was it delicious. Once again, mostly tweens, some teens, and single-digit kids, this group showed they belonged. But just like their adult predecessors, being that it’s been seen before, I do not see them winning, but coming in the Top 5.

Ndlovu Youth Choir

One of the more inspiration performances goes to this group hailing from Africa. They sang “Africa” by Toto and had everyone on their feet, most specifically Gabrielle and Julianne. They’ve had some amazing renditions of their songs all season and just bring a smile to your face. Do I think they’ll win it all? Sadly not, but I definitely see them touring the U.S. over the next year.

Tyler Butler-Figueroa

First off, anyone who fights cancer is a winner in my book. This kid, Tyler, was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of four, and had a video preceding his performance of young cancer survivors encouraging him and letting him know he’s an inspiration. In honor of that, he used his violin skills to play Destiny Child’s “Survivor”. What’s great is that, even though he’s playing with a track behind him, he’s using the violin as his voice to “sing” along with the song. Some of the most talented violinists out there can’t do what he did.

V.Unbeatable

I did not even know which way to look during this performance. These kids have put Cirque Du Soleil on notice with their dancing and acrobatics. These kids have been a fan favorite since Dwayne Wade gave them his golden buzzer and they haven’t disappointed since. I definitely seeing them as a top 5, if not top 3 placer. Do they win the entire thing? I give them a 30% chance.

Kodi Lee

My odds-on-favorite since his first performance. Being blind and on the spectrum doesn’t define Kodi, but his passion for music is. He gets lost in the music and is just breath-taking. He sang Freya Ridings “Lost Without You”. The judges loved it. The audience loved it. I can gush all over him but do I think he’s going to win? “Heck Yeah!”

Ryan Niemiller

As a comedian, you have to bring it with every joke at every performance. Ryan has done just that. While he does play off his disability at points, it doesn’t define him and never will. It’s all about owning who you are and making the audience believe everything you joke about, has happened. Simon wanted to make sure that a production company signed him onto a movie and within seconds, Gabrielle Union offered it to him. It’s forever on TV, so they better work out the details! I also see him making the top 5, but I do not see him winning it all.

Voices of Service

The only group that follows me on Twitter. Yes, they actually do. I’ve been a fan of theirs since the beginning and was thrilled when they made it to the finals. Their opening was about letters sent to them by veterans on their impact while on the show that left all of them with tears in their eyes.. They sang “Foodprints in the Sand” by Leona Lewis and left everyone speechless. Simon even said there’s a chance they win the entire thing. While I do hope it’s true, I definitely see them in the top 3, if not top 2.

This season has been amazing and I love the art is showcases and brings into the homes of millions of people. If it jumpstarts 10+ careers, then bravo AGT and their producers.

The winner gets a show in Vegas on my birthday weekend, and that’s in addition to the $1 million prize.

Only hours to go, but someone, or some group’s lives are about to change.

Check it out at 8:00 pm EST / 7:00 pm CST on NBC.

Editor’s note: Emanne’s last name is Beasha and Crowsignal won’t let me change it

Disney’s Nightly Hotline Bling

No, Drake isn’t going to be calling people’s homes at night, but you can talk to your favorite Disney (and other formerly licensed) characters, like Spider-Man and Woody and have them wish your child a goodnight.

Disney’s Bedtime Hotline is back for another year and it’s available through the end of September!

You can call a toll-free number, 1-877-7-MICKEY (1-877-764-2539), and you’ll get a pre-recorded voicemail from Mickey Mouse, Spider-Man, Jasmine, Woody, and Anna and Elsa.

It’s a pretty easy process.

You call 1-877-7-Mickey and listen to a 40-second message and then pass the phone off to your child who chooses who they want to “talk” to.

Granted this won’t be used for tweens or teens, Disney says it will give the kids something to look forward to at bedtime while giving parents a break. I wouldn’t be surprised if intrigued adults called just to see what the characters are saying.

Disney is having a focus on their new Sleep Shop line and a new Bedtime Adventure Box, which is a nighttime subscription box helping families with a regular nighttime routine.

For more information about the subscription and and their sleep shop line, check out their websites.

What do you think? Will this work for your child? Who would you want to talk to?

ReWriting Wellness: How The Creative Collective Is Opening Up Your Mind In A Healthy Way

I told myself I was going to step out of my comfort zone and last week I did just that.

I went to an event to write.

“An event to write?” you might be asking yourself.

Yes, an event to write.

I went to an event where I was given prompts and I was told to write about anything associated with the word or phrase. I didn’t even need to think about writing coherently, it was just pen to paper until the music stopped.

Hava Rose, creator of The Creative Collective, set up shop with some coconut water, some snacks, and a comfortable setting of pillows, chairs, and a comfortable rug. It honestly felt very zen.

The Creative Collective’s message is “Finding Unity in Individuality”. At this event, there were approximately ten people, most of whom did not know one another before the event. There were a couple repeat attendees, but most of the group was new.

We went around the room, introduced ourselves, and had a nice discussion about the topic of the night before writing.

I was nominated to introduce myself first by Hava’s dog, who enjoyed spending more time with me than with the other humans.

There were four writing sections, each lasting a couple minutes. If you wanted to share your thoughts, you could’ve. If you didn’t want to, you didn’t have to. No judgements. No side-eyes.

Some of the prompts made the writers have an “a-ha” or a “woah” moment that opened their eyes to something they may not have realized. Not one person had the same responses to the prompts, but there were quite a few head nods that showed some people did feel the same way.

The entire event was about 90 min and ended like the boat scene in Tangled with the lanterns but we did it with rolled up wax paper with a phrase we wanted to release from that night.

This was the Creative Collection’s first event sans meal, but don’t worry, there are more events where it came from.

Her next event is this Saturday, September 21st at 11am, which includes a writing session and a plant-based breakfast and is only $33!

I’m glad I went. You won’t regret it either.

You can purchase tickets by clicking here.


About Hava Rose

Hava is a chiropractor who loves writing. She has been most recently been interviewed on the Catching Z’s podcast. She is always looking for new clients for her chiropractic practice, where she does office AND home visits.

She also has a candid YouTube video interview about herself, where she opens up about life and what led to her developing Namaste Nourish and the Creative Collective.

Check out her Link Tree site here or follow her instagram account here.

You can listen to her podcast or watch her candid video below.


Find What Works Best

Heraclitus once said “change is the only constant in life”

Everything in life is a learning experience.

As humans, we normally don’t stay on the straight path despite everything that goes on in our lives, blocking lasers like Wonder Woman as we go through life. We change, ever-so-slightly from our experiences, both positive and negative.

In business, we learn from our mistakes.

Same thing can be said for my website.

I’m learning to post at different times because of traffic, I’m learning what people are excited to read, and in turn, not reading, and I’m also learning about the look and feel.

What looks good to me may not look good to everyone and that’s okay. But at the same time, I can’t be naïve and not even make slight changes.

I’ve tinkered with this site, the look, and the format multiple times a week in order to find what works best.

Originally, my homepage said my site is always changing, but then I deleted it because I realized most people understand that websites are ever-changing.

I’m also learning not to just write and post. This isn’t necessarily a Facebook post or tweet, so it’s important to read, proofread, and edit before clicking “publish”.

It’s important to stay relevant.

It’s important to stay up with the times.

It’s important to be flexible without losing who you are.

What are your thoughts? Share below!