I debated whether to blog about the celebrity deaths that occurred this week. So much has already been written. But both Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett were iconic symbols of the time in which I grew up, so I felt compelled to put something here.

Mary Farrah Leni Fawcett became known to the world simply as Farrah. From toothpaste to shampoo commercials: everyone knew Farrah, her toothy smile and gorgeous blond mane of hair. She was one of Charlie’s original Angels, an identity she found both a blessing and a curse. Struggling to be recognized as more than just another pretty face, later projects grew gritty and included Extremities and The Burning Bed. But I will always remember her as the tortured wife of Sam Elliott in the 1981 mini-series Murder in Texas. Based on a true story, it chronicles the twisted path of a prominent plastic surgeon suspected of causing the death of his first wife. The creep factor is high and this is a must-TiVo for those of you who enjoy crime dramas. Farrah is well cast as the unpretentious daughter of a wealthy member of Houston society who marries the wrong man.

“The Gloved One,” Michael Jackson, became an American superstar with albums like Off The Wall, Thriller, and Bad. He was an undeniable talent, cranking out hits and dance moves like no other. His presence was magical and his career meteoric. Back in the day, cheerleaders rocked the house to Don’t Stop ‘til You Get Enough, we spent weekends at Sportsworld roller skating to Rock With You, and experienced the Thriller video on big screens at a new teen haven called Julian’s. Later personal MJ favorites include Smooth Criminal, Who Is It, Will You Be There, and Scream (with sister Janet). For the sake of Jackson’s children, here’s hoping the negativity that dogged him in later years will finally be put to rest. Despite the craziness that his life became, Michael Jackson was a talent who deserves respect and remembrance.

Celebrity deaths have a way of affecting us differently than losing someone we actually knew. Perhaps they remind us of a special time in our lives, or an event that we haven’t thought about in years. Sometimes they represent a tangible item, other times just a feeling. Back in Jackson’s heyday, who would have thought that we’d see “the death of Michael Jackson” just 20-some years later? Now I know how my grandparents felt every time they were taken aback at the passing of an icon from their own era. The loss makes me feel sad and old at the same time. 
Rest in peace Michael and Farrah.
It was here: the one evening in a blue moon that my husband and I actually got to go out with no diaper bag … eat a meal with no chaos … complete two sentences with no interruptions … and relax in a sea of anonymity without fear of what our kids were doing in a public setting. Okay, maybe that’s a little harsh. To be honest, we really have very good children. But every parent needs a break now and then. And this was definitely one of those times.

This date night included dinner (on the run, but I took what I could get) and then a concert! Grandmama and Granddaddy were in town for graduation, so they would care for our monkeys while we got some alone time. Well, alone amongst thousands of concert-goers, but you get the idea. When our first child was little, we’d make grandiose plans for date nights and Grandma weekends … then end up falling asleep early. Ah, the best laid plans. With a new two-year-old in the house -- and one who didn't rest well at all -- we were more sleep-deprived than ever, but had learned to take time for ourselves. That meant leaving the house and spending quality time together doing grown-up things and trying not to talk about the kids for a few hours.

We met some great folks on our evening out, including a restaurant owner and his wife, a shoe store manager and his sis, and even a local morning DJ out on a date night of her own. My husband took my hand as we milled around the amphitheater in search of a cool drink. These days, my hands were usually holding sticky, wiggling little fingers rather than clasped around my husband. It was nice to be me for just a little while, as an alternative to Mom.

The show was hot and loud! We danced, we shouted, we sang along. No sippy cups, bathroom trips, spilled fries, or pacifiers. It was a wonderful evening, and we had great fun. But then it slipped in -- “The boys would have loved it when…” Yes, the stroke of midnight had come, our carriage turned back into a pumpkin, and my glass slippers back into flip-flops. But, ya know, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
The Well is overflowing; building to be sold Destination Wake Forest

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Hannah, a friend I met at Kate Gosselin's appearance at the Southern Women's Show, showed up on one of the two new episodes of Jon & Kate Plus 8 tonight! As cameras panned through crowds at various Gosselin appearances, I recognized Raleigh -- then Hannah -- and, alas, then me. I knew Hannah would eventually appear because she was interviewed by TLC, but I had no idea I was caught on camera as well. LOL.

As J&K are now basically doing solo spots, I'm hoping TLC will use more snip-its in the coming weeks and we'll get to see some of Hannah's interview. :)
Here’s a little something from my friends at inSide919 that fellow professional women might be interested in:

Women network differently from men. Find out what works and what doesn't when it comes to networking on places like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Inside919, etc.

For the first-time ever, there will be an All Women's Social Media Summit in NC. Join fellow Inside919ers Olalah Njenga, Heather O, Deidre Hughey -- along with Heidi Richards from Florida and Wendy Y Bailey from Atlanta -- who will lead a lively discussion on How to Get the Most out of Social Media. You'll also learn about marketing and branding yourself and your business. Find out what some of the no-no's are when it comes to online networking.

Our very special guest will be NBC17 Executive Producer Kim Greene, who will tell us how they use social media to find US for interviews. Yes--they do read blogs, folks!

Seating is limited. You also have a chance to win a pair of tickets in our Social Media Summit Ticket Giveaway. Go to the website for details.

October 17, 2009 (all day event)
Raleigh Marriott
Fayetteville Street Mall


As someone who lives on the computer, I surprisingly never realized how strict the definition of “Spam” really is. You may not either.

The following detailed information from inSide919, a local business and social network, is highly applicable to all business relationships and good enough to share:

Sending Spam or Bulk email using the Internal Email System... Hurts Your Reputation

One of the things we would like inSiders to know is that this is NOT the place for Bulk email or Spam.The main reason for this is that YOU will end up hurting YOUR Reputation and Brand Message.

So... Do not use the Internal Email system to send Bulk email, promotions, deals, notices, thoughts for the day or solicitations of any kind. Basically... ANY email that is not Personalized may well be considered Spam by the receiving party. When a person accepts your 'Friend Request' they are not agreeing to 'RECEIVE' anything from you - they are simply agreeing to be open to forming a business relationship with you.

Here are a few examples that may help:

1. If you send me a one-time individual solicitation for a product, service or business (meaning that it includes a personal message to me, not a cut-and-pasted canned message), I don't consider that spam. If I don't respond and you solicit me more than twice, it's spam.

2. If you send me a solicitation, promotion, or notice in a bulk e-mail that's simultaneously going to a number of other people, that's spam.

3. If you post solicitations on my comment wall, that's spam (unless that solicitation is a RELEVANT response to something I "inquired about" somewhere on the Network or "requested" in my Profile).

4. If you send me a one-time invitation to an event that's designed to benefit me (whether I buy anything from you or not) that's NOT spam. If your "free event" is a thinly disguised sales pitch or "business opportunity meeting," that's spam.

Most messages sent to more than 5 people at the same time will most likely fall into the questionable area. When in doubt ... don't send it out!