Category Archives: Featured

IN AND OUT OF THE CAGE: BENNY “EL HIJO” MADRID

My boxing coach accidentally thanked his wife and girlfriend in a moment of excitement for a win, the full story is below:

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Sept 23, 2015: In a World Series of Fighting match on September 18, 2015 Benny “el hijo” Madrid entered the cage to face opponent Jeff Fletcher. In a first round submission by rear choke hold, Madrid defeated Fletcher. In the interview after the fight Benny talked about his strategy in the ring and then gasp thanked his wife AND girlfriend. Now, in a viral sandstorm this is what is being focused on – is he a cheater, does he have an open marriage, is his girlfriend finally out of the bag, did he just get caught?!

 

To know the true story, you have to get to know Benny Madrid. His voice is always better heard in the cage, and not in front of the microphone. For starters, Benny has 3 loves in his life; his kids, Tracy Cortez and MMA fighting. People who know Benny also know that some things that come out of his mouth are head shaking worthy but never intended to be cruel or misleading – but guaranteed at some point, will be taken out of context, because in all reality – “that’s just Benny.”

Question: But why is that just Benny?

Answer: Because most of us have never witnessed the childhood that Benny had, much less lived it. Benny grew up in a tough neighborhood in South Phoenix, he came to a pivotal point in his life: to continue the road he was on and end up dead or in jail or to channel every emotion he had into a positive and go for a dream. Benny found MMA fighting, and it quickly fueled his transformation to continuously “Dream Big” and to turn his life around.

 

You look up to someone who overcomes adversity, tragedy and statistics to make a better life for himself. He then took that dream one step further – giving back to the community he came from – to show children and teens that anything CAN BE made possible. He visits schools in his same neighborhood, talks to students about how he can relate to the pressures they are faced with every day and how they too “can get out, and make their dreams happen.”

 

Benny also teaches at Scottsdale-based gym Fight Ready. Surrounding himself with professional fighters and novices alike, Fight Ready becomes a place where everyone is equal – never separated by class, race, sex, age, or profession. It’s not just a gym, it’s a family forged by passion and drive and the heart of the place are the coaches – and Benny makes up a piece of that heart.

 

In a world with social media and 24 hour news it’s easy to get caught up in personal opinion as fact and misrepresentation as truth. But let me ask the readers this – you have a goal, a passion to be a champion that burns with you 24 hours a day. You have trained, bled, over come injury and naysayers to get to your dream of walking into that cage and WIN. Is it fairly safe to say that in the height of that win with adrenaline still pulsing you just have words come out of your mouth – and can possibly misspeak?

 

Benny Madrid walked into that cage knowing that he HAD TO win, there was no other choice. And with perseverance he does – the real story is what it takes to begin from nothing and become a champion – to feel that rush some of us will only dream of having when you have reached that goal. It is a true statement that actions speak louder than words.

 

Friends and family are also starting a Go Fund Me account so Benny can officially marry Tracy Cortez. Go to https://www.gofundme.com/rx4tyavs and lets #getbennymarried.

May 26, 2015; My Story

I got the call at 9am, the day after memorial day 2015 at my office. I had spent the weekend with friends at various pool parties telling myself id call my dad on Tuesday. See how his weekend went like always.

The 505 number came in, new Mexico area code. I had a feeling it was my dads property management company, they had called before; they were having disputes with my dad. I rolled my eyes, answered and it was them. She told me my dad had been found dead in the house, he had taken his own life.

I think i said what, she gave me the number to call someone else and hung up. I called a few people, friends included. One was on their way to my house. I hit the ground and just started sobbing, the moment you see on tv where people say time stands still and your head starts spinning – is true.

The next few hours consisted of packing, debating whether to bring a black dress, and trying to keep it together long enough for a 45 minute flight. My mom picked me up, let me cry in the airport and then we headed to my dads house. In the mix was a lot of phone calls and facebook messages.

One message stood out, from my dads closest friends. Five words: tell me its not true. I called him, told him it was and he immediately asked what can he do. I asked him to meet me at my dads house. I had a mission in my head; search house, locate documents, find will, find life insurance, find phone, find ipad, find computer. The misson proved difficult. The owner of the property management company wanted to hold all his stuff, store it, make me sit in court for months to prove im able to do what i need to do without a will. My dads friend is smart, level headed, knows real estate, knows contracts. My mom was a mess, she couldnt push aside her grief to be there for me, it was too much. The owner and I came to the agreement that i sign and agree that i am liable for everything, I give him his money owed by my dad and i can take my dads belongings – but i only have 48 hours to do it; he had new people moving in over the weekend. I fought the urge to just walk away from it all – but i was so desperate for answers i needed to, i needed to scour laptops and accounts, and files. I needed the why.

I remember in my first years of business taking everything so personal. I remember me telling my dad that i just didnt understand how they could say thats its just business and its not personal. That used to piss me off, how could it not be personal?! Fast forward a few years later and i found myself saying that it is just business, no emotion. So in the next fews days, it was business – no emotion. I had to call the family, have them come and take what they wanted. I had to naviagate whether i do probate, what i wanted to take, locate the missing cell phone and field calls from everyone. I watched and observed the stages of grief in others and took it all in. I had to call my brother, who chose not to come.

You realize in that moment as you watch the flux of your dads stuff being loaded up and hauled away that in death – there are only two things we amount to. Stuff and how people remember you. And the stuff really means little. I read a quote that said that in your worst time you see everyones true colors, the ones you expect to be there arent and the ones you never expected to be, are. My support system consisted of my dads friends and my clients. I sort of laughed and looked up towards the sky, thinking how my dad was always worried i would work too hard and not make a life beyond it, and in darkest of hours the work and the clients stepped up. Every day has been worth it and in that moment i understood why. I handled my business, i did conference calls, i designed at 2am when I couldnt sleep. When my clients said no and why are you working – i begged them to send me work, give me that moment of feeling distracted and useful.

There was no will. There was no life insurance. There was no money to be found or any other documents.

I had to talk with the medical examiner, i had to make mortuary decisons; cremation was what people told me he wanted. My dads friends came and my very first client I ever had; came to the mortuary with me. I made more decisions, I signed more docuemnts, I paid more money and I left. I ended up having dinner with my client and his wife. He had to leave for a speaking engagement and her and i ended up sitting in her backyard. We didnt talk much, it was nice. She was ok with just sitting in silence. She gave me the best advice however, she told me to take care of me, do what i need to do, no one else matters. I felt inspired leaving their house.

Day 2 started wth an argument wth my mother, a conversation with my borther and me ending up not allowing anyone back into the house. I hired professional packers to pack up what i was taking back to phoenix, it all fit in a smaller uhaul trailer. I had to make decison after decision after decsion until i almost broke. At the end of day 2, my dads other good friend pulled me into the bathroom and we practically sat in the bath tub and she let me download my previous days. Certain people couldnt push their own grief aside to make room for me, they couldnt fathom the thought. Death is scary- but suicide is unimaginable.

I ended up staying with my dads friends the rest of the trip. My mom wanted to hash up arguments that happened when i was a teenager and make this about her and her feelings. I told her none of this was about her and i packed my bags and left. That night we finished a whole bottle of tequila – finally i could just be sad and it just be about me.

I couldnt wait to get back to phonex, thats where my family truly is. My brother said it so eloquently in a text: “have you heard the term blood is thicker than water? Well it turns out it is an old roman saying and proverb and it actually meant that brotherhood formed through the shedding of enemies blood were stronger than those formed in the water of the womb.” They are my Fight Ready family.

I got back to Phoenix, my garage was a mess, my dogs adjusted to me being home, i went back to work, i went back to the gym. I talked to my dad every day sometimes twice a day. We solved problems, and laughed and he was there for me. I felt bombarded with peoples opinions and the “you shoulds” and “the you have to’s.” I found myself constanlty asking myself why do i have to? I really didnt. I opted to stop talking to particular people about what i was going through. I think my dad would’ve been proud – he always told me I was too nice sometimes, I didn’t speak up enough. The cold exterior that’s my shell I’ve gotten used to – but when something like this happens, you can’t do it anymore – I wasn’t up for being the strong and stoic Angel with no voice, I had to be vulnerable and trust and rely on others and speak up – as bad as it might be.

I stayed quiet to resolve my own issues, death does something else to people. They search for answers, they search for blame they search for reasons. You learn that people do say the wildest stuff around death. Most think they are helping when they really arent. I loved my friends even more when they just said they were there and sorry and they didnt really know what to say but wanted to say something. Theres something so pure about a person like that.

I’m a realist and analytical – I quickly came to terms with the action that my dad chose – people had to beleive illness or something else, I got more and more comfortable shurgging my shoulders at people and saying well, he did it. That’s it, he did it. I cried to a now ex-boyfriend a few years back, about him hurting my feelings and being so inconsiderate. He got mad at me, blamed me, asked me where the cool, confident business owner was – it took me years later to realize that people will try and lay their insecurities on you and blame you when it really has nothing to do with you but its easier to go after someone else or refuse to look at what the facts truly are.

I wasnt going to do a memorial but a few of his friends really wanted something. So i made it casual and potluck style at my dads friends house. I brought re-enforcements from phoenix and we called it the best/worst road trip of all time. We stopped at every tourist thing we could, took pictures, made videos, fed llamas and more. The final piece was writing his obituary. My dads friend carefully messaged me that I needed to do it. I wrote it on a random morning in my office – I googled how to write one and what to include then quickly spouted some words from my heart. How myself and others saw him, what he meant to us all and how to remember him. I only sent it to review to one of his friends then proof approved it – finally shared that piece of my life on Facebook and went to dinner with a friend.

I have his ashes with me, in a black, plastic container. I’ve been mad at him, so I put him in my hallway closet until I could figure out what to do with them. I started seeing a grief counselor – I like going to her, it helps – if I think about what happened for too long it becomes suffocating and I can’t breathe. I am sad and lonely – surrounded among friends. When business wins ocurr, or interesting meetings or problems that pop up I have no one to call. That is what makes it the toughest. I leaned on him for so much guidance, I feel lost at sea.

Of all the bad and negatives that happened there is also something remarkable that ocurred. When you’ve already had the worst day of your life – anything else that happens seems trivial. I had to distance myself from some because I couldn’t listen anymore to the job hating, or complaining or being too busy or involved in drama.

The second thing that ocurred is the amount of people who have contemplated or attempted suicide – that I know. It’s this darkness that exists and that no one talks about – and who can you talk to about that other than someone who has had experience with it?

Most people who have told me about their contemplation or attempt was they were hopeless, they felt the world was better off without them. That in that moment the pain and hurt becomes so great that they just want it to go away. I observe social media and these “staged” and “perfect” lives and relationships people protray – I wonder  if there were a narration inbetween the lines if there would be fighting or hurt or unhappiness.  I’m not as bold as some on social media, I stay private, I limit and control what I share – I contemplated the sharing of this – but it’s been in my head for a few weeks now. Every time I go to bed or take a shower, the words to this blog flow through my head. I don’t know if it gives any insight to myself or if it helps someone else who’s hurting to know that they aren’t alone, that things happen and not everything has to be “perfect.” But most importantly – its not the solution, and there are people that care and they would miss you very much if you were gone.

There are days I have pity parties and ask the world what I did to deserve this. But it wasn’t anything that I did – this is the messy part of life that no one wants to talk about. I know I’m strong enough to listen, and be there for others. I refuse to become a hallow shell of a person and I also refuse to be the victim to this tragedy and let it control my life and how I live it.

I have no idea how to exist in a world without my dad, I have no idea how I get up, get dressed, act like a boss and get through some days. I know I hate to let people see me hurt and that I only cry when no one’s around, sometimes in my car to the gym or from the gym, sometimes in bed or in the shower or in my office or leaving a meeting. But then I crack jokes and try and make people laugh, help my clients, and mentor younger individals – and that boosts me up, I’m serving a purpose.

I don’t really know how to add a conclusion to this piece. It’s on-going although I’m not sure if I will continue to write about my journey, but I at least hope, it gave someone a little piece of faith or a smile. I know I can listen – I can speak of the other side – maybe this is my solution to finding his why and why this happened to me.

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The “Moment”

So, I guess it’s that time again. Linked In reminded me that this marks 8 years for the company that is NThreeQ Media. I feel like it was only a few months ago when I posted on Facebook and included everyone I could think of that had a hand in making it to year 7. And now we are at 8.

In the years past I have always thanked those in my life, felt lucky for the trials and tribulations that have come my way. Known that the things that have happened in my life – good and bad – were all for the best. And don’t get me wrong – I really am thankful for that – but this year, its so much more.

About 6 months ago I had “the moment.” It wasn’t anything big but it was meaningful. I stood at a place, that I have many times, I call it “on top of the world” which is really just the 30th floor of an exquisite place and stared out to see all of Phoenix. I smiled and said to myself that I deserved this – that I was worth it. Worth all of my dreams coming true and being that happiest possible. And I set out to do just that – make some dreams come true.

Around 2 years ago, I launched a new website, new concept and titled it “you haven’t seen anything yet.” I think that was a little premature. Not that the last 2 years haven’t been a wild ride – but 2015, it’s a game changer. The things that are on the horizon – obtaining goals that 8 years ago, even a year ago – I would have never thought possible is just exciting. I can’t wait to see what happens next, how the story goes – how one ends and another begins. This really is the year that I am who I am, love me or hate me but either way – I’m making dreams come true – and loving every minute of it.

I’m entering the land of entrepreneurship, more so over business owner. Delving into business in a whole new way, meeting new people, making new friends and learn new trades. It’s going to be a great year and I can’t wait to see what I write for year 9.

To success,

Angelina “Angel”
aka “Unicorn”

 

 

Google’s Twitter Update Is About To Hit

Here’s what businesses should be thinking about

Long story short, what you say and what others say about you on Twitter may start mattering a lot more.

Do you expect to benefit from Google’s coming Twitter integration? Let us know in the comments.

We learned in February that Google and Twitter struck a new deal that will see Google indexing tweets in real time. Initial reports indicated that tweets would become visible in Google’s search results as soon as they’re posted, starting in the first half of this year. Now, we’ve got a more specific timeframe.

In a conference call to discuss Twitter’s earnings, CEO Dick Costolo revealed that the integration will begin its roll-out next month. Given that April is just about over, that could potentially be as early as this week.

“I don’t have a specific date for you, but now I can at least give you a specific month,” said Costolo. “And that Google deal is all about…that relationship is about driving our total audience strategy. The goal is that people consume content and engage with that content whether they log in or not.”

Twitter Needs More Eyeballs
Since going public in 2013, Twitter has faced immense pressure to grow its user base, and that growth has been quite slow. While the company did manage to add 14 million users over the last quarter, it only just surpassed its 300 million monthly active user milestone. For comparison, Facebook just reported 1.44 billion. Twitter has been exploring different ways to grow its MAUs, and much of that has been focused on improving the experience for logged out users.

Earlier this month, Twitter launched a homepage redesign. For logged in users, the homepage remains the user’s home timeline, but for logged out users, it’s now a user-friendly directory of categorized content. Twitter has for all intents and purposes turned its logged-out homepage into a news site.

The Google deal is another way (and likely a pretty significant one) to get people to realize more value from the service even if they’ve not been frequent users in the past. The narrative around Twitter’s stock every time the company reports its earnings is always shareholder disappointment, so the importance of the Google deal cannot be overstated from Twitter’s corporate perspective.

The two companies, as you may know, used to have a similar relationship, but when the original deal expired, the companies were unable to reach an agreement to keep it going.

“I would say that the way we think about the Google deal now without again — without going into any of the details distinct from the kind of relationship we had in the past is that we’ve got the opportunity now to drive a lot of attention to an aggregate eye balls if you will to these logged out experiences, topics and events that we plan on delivering on the front page of Twitter,” Costolo said on a previous earnings call ahead of the new homepage roll-out. “And that’s one of the reasons this makes a lot more sense for us now.”

What’s in store?
Little is known about why exactly that relationship fell apart, but the most logical explanation is that the pre-public Twitter thought it was worth more than what Google was willing to pay for access to Twitter’s firehose of realtime tweets. Google had even built a feature for its search results pages -Realtime Search – around the deal. It used to display a box of scrolling realtime results, which included tweets as well as content from other sources, on search results pages for newsy queries.

Once the Twitter deal went away, so did the feature, making it clear that the tweets were the only real valuable part of that. This also illustrated how valuable the deal was for Google, as its absence highlighted a failure of Google’s stated mission to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible. With so much of the world’s information now flooding the internet in real time, Google could hardly make good on that mission without the access it once had.

Google isn’t expected to implement tweets the same way it used to when the new integration goes into effect.

“I don’t think that this is what Google is looking for,” search marketer Eric Enge recently told WebProNews. “I suspect that the UI impact will be minimal, but that more tweets will get indexed. However (and this is a big however), what will really be interesting to see is if Google uses tweet data to help drive personalization in one fashion or another. One simple way to do this? Simply favor content that people link to from their tweets in future related search results.”

“This type of prioritization is similar to what they do with Google+ already,” he added. “This is just speculation on my part, but I think it could be a huge win for Google if this deal gives them enough visibility to allow them to do that.”

We’ll see if either company makes a big announcement about how Google will handle tweets or if we’ll just start seeing the tweets surface more.

How Google has been using tweets
Earlier this year, Enge and his firm Stone Temple Consulting released some findings about how Google indexes tweets currently, which provides some insight into how things may change when the new deal goes into effect. His team analyzed over 133,000 tweets to see how Google indexed them, and found that about 7.4% of them were actually indexed, leaving 92.6% completely left out of the search engine.

The findings suggested that Twitter accounts with larger follower counts are getting more tweets indexed, though it may be only a correlation. Enge said he doesn’t think Google is looking specifically at follower count, but that other signals are affecting which profiles get indexed more (i.e. links to those accounts’ profiles). Either way, he noted, more value is clearly being placed on the authoritative accounts.

Out of the accounts with over a million followers that the research looked at, there were 13,435 tweets with 21% of them being indexed by Google. Out of 44,318 tweets in the 10K to 1M follower range, only 10% were indexed. For 80,842 tweets from accounts with less than 10,000 followers, just 4% were indexed.

Stone Temple said images and/or hashtags seem to increase a tweet’s chances of getting indexed with percentages registering higher than average. Mentions, on the other hand, register negatively. It also points to another of its studies, which showed that links from third-party sites have a significant impact.

“Google still loves links. 26% of the tweets with an inbound link from sites other than Twitter got indexed. That is nearly 4 times as much as the overall average rate of indexation,” Enge said in the report, adding that link quantity correlates highly with a tweet getting indexed.

They found that out of 21 accounts and 91 tweets with with over 100 inbound links, 46% were indexed. The number goes down the less inbound links there are. Those with less than ten links only saw a 7% index rate.

“What our study showed is that Google currently places minimal impact on freshness of tweets today,” Enge told WebProNews in February. “Perhaps when crawling needs to be done to discover them it’s just not worth it, and it might be that the new deal will change that. However, I suspect that it’s not the tweets themselves that Google really values the most, but the content they link to that Google wants to discover more quickly. That said, if they see a tweet getting major engagement, chances probably would go up that this tweet will show up higher in the results.”

Your reputation on the line?
Businesses may have reputation-related issues to be concerned about when the deal takes effect.

“The biggest challenge and opportunity for businesses using Twitter for customer service is that every interaction is now amplified,” Conversocial CEO Joshua March told us last month. “Whether that’s a complaint from a customer or the company’s response, the agreement between Google and Twitter places a greater spotlight on each interaction.”

“When a customer is searching on Google for a business, Tweets from customers about issues or bad service experiences could be on the front page,” he said. “If businesses have a social first approach to customer service then they can tackle these quickly and head on, creating positive engagements that will show up instead. This deal has the potential to accelerate the kind of service-related Twitter crises many brands have already experienced.”

The key word there is potential. Until we see Google’s approach to the integration, any of this is only speculative. However, these are important points for businesses to keep in mind as the integration approaches.

“For companies with a social first approach who are committed to delivering excellent, fast and authentic social customer service, the agreement between Google and Twitter has the ability to spotlight them, and make it very obvious to customers that they care,” said March. “Companies that have successfully integrated various social media into their customer service DNA should be very excited by the agreement. In addition, previously addressed concerns are now searchable, allowing customers to potentially self-help.”

Businesses are going to have to consider that any tweets related to their brands could become more visible, as could tweets from employees. In fact, even beyond the Google deal, Twitter is doing other things that could inflate visibility through search.

This goes beyond Google
Google already has a firehose deal in place with Bing.

Twitter is also working with Apple. During Tuesday’s conference call, Costolo said, “And finally, we are also working with Apple to surface great Twitter content and accounts directly in Spotlight Search on iOS and OS X, that also makes it easier and quicker to find great things on Twitter. So I would sum up by saying, there is absolutely an opportunity to go and monetize that attention and traffic. We want to make sure we iterate on the experiences to get them right first.”

Update: Apple’s spotlight search is reportedly already surfacing Twitter content.

Twitter clearly wants (and needs) to have its content surfaced as much as possible, so look for it to find other partnerships to fuel this as well.

The company is also experimenting with its own search interface, which could emphasize the power of that to more people as it continues to court and retain new users. We recently looked at a redesign it’s been testing, and while Twitter would not confirm that it will roll out to all users, it’s clearly an improvement from the existing interface, so I would be shocked if it doesn’t.

 

By  

http://www.webpronews.com/googles-twitter-update-is-about-to-hit-2015-04

 

With the Death of Internet Explorer, Microsoft Faces One of Its Greatest Branding Challenges

During the recent Microsoft Convergence conference, marketing chief Chris Capossela confirmed what has been rumored for months: The tech giant will finally ditch its long-standing default browser, Internet Explorer.

Instead, Microsoft has developed a new, unnamed browser—its code name is Project Spartan—to include in Windows 10. The company hasn’t announced a release date yet, but there’s speculation it will reveal more at the Microsoft Build 2015 conference in April.

While the company confirmed to Adweek that Internet Explorer will continue to exist in some Windows 10 versions for consumers who require legacy support, this move essentially closes the book on the Internet Explorer brand.

Given the baggage that is now associated with Internet Explorer and its declining market share over the last decade, the decision is a logical if not overdue one, according to marketing and branding experts. As Internet Explorer fell out of favor, browsers like Firefox and Chrome hit the market and introduced new product innovations in faster, sleeker, easier-to-use browsers.

“Tech brands are inherently different than non-tech brands,” said David Gaspar, managing director of brand consultancy DDG. “We cherish the history of Coca-Cola—it harkens back to youth, great times with friends and family, etc. Tech brands suffer from the exact same nostalgia, just in a negative way.”

In recent years, people have forgotten that Internet Explorer pioneered many of the innovations—including Ajax, or Java Script—that made the Internet what it was and what it is today. Instead, they’ve focused on the product’s lackluster user experience, according to Roy DeYoung, svp of creative strategy for PM Digital.

The flawed core functionality of Internet Explorer has clouded the brand’s perception, drawing so much vitriol that Microsoft addressed this in a 2012 ad campaign. “It isn’t just the name that has baggage, it’s the product,” said Matt Houltham, managing partner at Naked Communications. “Anyone that has used IE knows it’s historically slow.”

By retiring Internet Explorer and starting anew, Microsoft has the chance to shed the user expectation attached to Internet Explorer and entice consumers with product innovations and new offerings, according to marketing and branding experts. While details about the new browser are sparse, Capossela did reveal that Microsoft is currently researching what the new brand or name for the browser should be and whether or not Microsoft should be a part of that name.

“Naming is a great way to articulate a relationship between a product and a parent brand,” said Tom Sepanski, naming and verbal identity director for Landor North America. “If they want to include Microsoft in the name, then whatever name they are pairing Microsoft with technically shouldn’t compete, it should be complementary.”

But Microsoft has more to do than pick a name. The tactical realities of this move are enormous—securing trademark rights, picking a name that resonates globally, using focus groups to test the brand, securing URLs—but Microsoft first has to prove to consumers that the new browser will be markedly better than Internet Explorer.

“What will be crucial for Microsoft to get right is the user experience,” said Sepanski. “They can name this thing in whatever strategic way they want but if the product doesn’t live up to expectations, if they can’t deliver on the new promise, it’s not going to be successful.”

Houltham agreed: “If they want people to reconsider Microsoft’s browsing capabilities, then they need to be thinking of this as a new product. It isn’t just putting lipstick on the Internet Explorer pig.”

Article from: http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/death-internet-explorer-microsoft-faces-one-its-greatest-branding-challenges-163522?utm_source=sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=AWK_NewDaily&utm_campaign=Adweek_Newsletter_2015001810

This is how we date now

Very interesting read about relationships and technology overload….

We don’t commit now. We don’t see the point. They’ve always said there are so many fish in the sea, but never before has that sea of fish been right at our fingertips on OkCupid, Tinder, Grindr, Dattch, take your pick. We can order up a human being in the same way we can order up pad thai on Seamless. We think intimacy lies in a perfectly-executed string of emoji. We think effort is a “good morning” text. We say romance is dead, because maybe it is, but maybe we just need to reinvent it. Maybe romance in our modern age is putting the phone down long enough to look in each other’s eyes at dinner. Maybe romance is deleting Tinder off your phone after an incredible first date with someone. Maybe romance is still there, we just don’t know what it looks like now.

Only Sprint Allows You To Take ‘The Walking Dead’ Wherever You Go
Promoted by Sprint
When we choose—if we commit—we are still one eye wandering at the options. We want the beautiful cut of filet mignon, but we’re too busy eyeing the mediocre buffet, because choice. Because choice. Our choices are killing us. We think choice means something. We think opportunity is good. We think the more chances we have, the better. But, it makes everything watered-down. Never mind actually feeling satisfied, we don’t even understand what satisfaction looks like, sounds like, feels like. We’re one foot out the door, because outside that door is more, more, more. We don’t see who’s right in front of our eyes asking to be loved, because no one is asking to be loved. We long for something that we still want to believe exists. Yet, we are looking for the next thrill, the next jolt of excitement, the next instant gratification.

We soothe ourselves and distract ourselves and, if we can’t even face the demons inside our own brain, how can we be expected to stick something out, to love someone even when it’s not easy to love them? We bail. We leave. We see a limitless world in a way that no generation before us has seen. We can open up a new tab, look at pictures of Portugal, pull out a Visa, and book a plane ticket. We don’t do this, but we can. The point is that we know we can, even if we don’t have the resources to do so. There are always other tantalizing options. Open up Instagram and see the lives of others, the life we could have. See the places we’re not traveling to. See the lives we’re not living. See the people we’re not dating. We bombard ourselves with stimuli, input, input, input, and we wonder why we’re miserable. We wonder why we’re dissatisfied. We wonder why nothing lasts and everything feels a little hopeless. Because, we have no idea how to see our lives for what they are, instead of what they aren’t.

And, even if we find it. Say we find that person we love who loves us. Commitment. Intimacy. “I love you.” We do it. We find it. Then, quickly, we live it for others. We tell people we’re in a relationship on Facebook. We throw our pictures up on Instagram. We become a “we.” We make it seem shiny and perfect because what we choose to share is the highlight reel. We don’t share the 3am fights, the reddened eyes, the tear-stained bedsheets. We don’t write status updates about how their love for us shines a light on where we don’t love ourselves. We don’t tweet 140 characters of sadness when we’re having the kinds of conversations that can make or break the future of our love. This is not what we share. Shiny picture. Happy couple. Love is perfect.

Then, we see these other happy, shiny couples and we compare. We are The Emoji Generation. Choice Culture. The Comparison Generation. Measuring up. Good enough. The best. Never before have we had such an incredible cornucopia of markers for what it looks like to live the Best Life Possible. We input, input, input and soon find ourselves in despair. We’ll never be good enough, because what we’re trying to measure up to just does not fucking exist. These lives do not exist. These relationships do not exist. Yet, we can’t believe it. We see it with our own eyes. And, we want it. And, we will make ourselves miserable until we get it.

So, we break up. We break up because we’re not good enough, our lives aren’t good enough, our relationship isn’t good enough. We swipe, swipe, swipe, just a bit more on Tinder. We order someone up to our door just like a pizza. And, the cycle starts again. Emoji. “Good morning” text. Intimacy. Put down the phone. Couple selfie. Shiny, happy couple. Compare. Compare. Compare. The inevitable creeping in of latent, subtle dissatisfaction. The fights. “Something is wrong, but I don’t know what it is.” “This isn’t working.” “I need something more.” And, we break up. Another love lost. Another graveyard of shiny, happy couple selfies.

On to the next. Searching for the elusive more. The next fix. The next gratification. The next quick hit. Living our lives in 140 characters, 5 second snaps, frozen filtered images, four minute movies, attention here, attention there. More as an illusion. We worry about settling, all the while making ourselves suffer thinking that anything less than the shiny, happy filtered life we’ve been accustomed to is settling. What is settling? We don’t know, but we fucking don’t want it. If it’s not perfect, it’s settling. If it’s not glittery filtered love, settling. If it’s not Pinterest-worthy, settling.

We realize that this more we want is a lie. We want phone calls. We want to see a face we love absent of the blue dim of a phone screen. We want slowness. We want simplicity. We want a life that does not need the validation of likes, favorites, comments, upvotes. We may not know yet that we want this, but we do. We want connection, true connection. We want a love that builds, not a love that gets discarded for the next hit. We want to come home to people. We want to lay down our heads at the end of our lives and know we lived well, we lived the fuck out of our lives. This is what we want even if we don’t know it yet.

Yet, this is not how we date now. This is not how we love now.

http://thoughtcatalog.com/jamie-varon/2014/12/this-is-how-we-date-now/

Go, dollar, go! 5 places where a vacation may now be more attractive

Money is flooding into the U.S. dollar in anticipation of the Fed’s first rate hike in about a decade, making life awkward for a lot of emerging economies.

The dollar is on its biggest tear in decades as the economy finally leaves the Great Recession behind it. Money is flooding into the greenback in anticipation of the Federal Reserve’s first interest rate increase in nearly a decade. That’s making life awkward for a lot of the world’s emerging economies. Here are some economies that will be more than happy to see your tourist Ben Franklins this summer:

1. Turkey. $ performance year-to-date: +13%

The lira has been one of the forex world’s “Fragile Five” emerging market currencies for a while, thanks to its twin budget and current account deficits. Being next door to the disaster in Syria and Iraq has also hit its economy, but what has really hammered it this year is a massive bust-up between central bank governor Erdem Basci and an increasingly authoritarian President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Erdogan lashed out in public against the mercurial Basci this week, accusing him of being “under foreign influence” for not cutting his key interest rate by more than 0.5 percentage point. Markets expect things to get worse before they get better, and are selling the lira like it’s going out of fashion.

2. South Africa. $ performance YTD: +4.1%

How about a safari? Actually, the YTD number doesn’t really do the scale of the rand’s awfulness justice. The buck is up 36% against it in the last two and a bit years because it depends on exports of commodities. Demand for those has slowed sharply as China, which has sucked up staggering quantities of copper, gold, coal and iron ore, has changed its economic model away from breakneck industrial development. The South African government, beset by repeated allegations of corruption against President Jacob Zuma and his circle, has struggled to match the Chinese in finding an alternative growth model.

3. Brazil. $ performance YTD +13%

You’re already too late for Mardi Gras, but hey, there’s never a bad time to visit the Copacabana, is there? Brazil is the country that, along with Russia (which we’re guessing you won’t want to visit this year no matter how cheap it gets) had a 10-year party on the back of a commodities supercycle and has woken up with a massive hangover to find that some of the people who were running the party have plundered the house safe. A corruption scandal at state oil giant Petrobras may have failed to stop Socialist President Dilma Rousseff being re-elected, but markets are starting to panicking at the amount of dollar debt that companies like Petrobras have to repay.

4. Australia. $ performance YTD +6%

OK, Oz isn’t an emerging market per se, and 6% is no disaster, but the Aussie dollar is definitely feeling sorry for itself these days. For the last 20 years, it’s seemed like China just wanted to buy the top 200 feet of the whole continent’s crust and turn it into steel. Coal and iron ore exports are both still running at record highs, but prices have collapsed–iron ore was the only commodity to perform worse than oil last year. That means no more $200,000 salaries for truck drivers. The country’s central bank is also struggling to make sure that house prices don’t collapse as the froth comes off the market.

5. Ukraine. $ performance YTD +40%

But without a doubt, Ukraine is absolutely THE place to holiday this year (especially if you’re being sent undercover by the Pentagon to train local forces in the use of high-tech weaponry to stop Russian expansionism). The hryvnia has lost nearly 66% of its value against the dollar since Russia annexed Crimea and fomented a separatist war in Ukraine’s eastern provinces. The economy is collapsing; even a new $17 billion deal with the IMF won’t cover its financing needs for very long, and the constant threat of invasion hangs over it. Sadly, you won’t be able to fly to Crimea because international flights there have been suspended, but Habsburg-era Lviv, the glorious Carpathian mountains and (for the moment at least) the seaside resort of Odessa are still reachable.

Article from: http://fortune.com/2015/03/06/dollar-5-places-vacation/

Looking for some new talent!

We are rapidly growing and are looking for some new talent! We have a need for a commission-based sales person, a real go-getter who isn’t afraid to make some money and sell a great service! We are looking for some up and coming graphic artists for interns and some website interns as well! Third, we need some programmers! WordPress saavy, PHP building, jQuery finding programmers who can knock out some great sites!

We have immediate need for all three opportunities! Please send your info, resume and portfolio to info@n3qmedia.com – we can send job descriptions and more information once you inquire.

 

To success,
NThreeQ Media, LLC

It’s just business and everything else is details

A while ago I wrote a blog post about the little separation between personal and business, I never thought that there was. I never understood how someone could just say it was just business. My perspective was that when I was personally affected that all things in my life were affected and I stand by that blog however I have a new perspective on things.

Last week was interesting, in all aspects of life. But the most interesting is I found myself saying in my head on Friday that this person was taking it way too personal and it was just business, because it is. I think that you sometimes loose vision about what everything it is all about, who you are really doing this for. We strike out against eachother or in our industry, but at the end of the day it isn’t about you nor me but making the client happy and giving them what they want. That me saying that it needs to be fixed, or re-worked or edited etc., that it truly has nothing to do with the person as an individual – absolutely nothing, it’s truly just business. It’s nothing personal until they make it personal.

Over the years I have had to work on my communication – and I am still working on it every single day. I still don’t handle everything right or say everything right however, I am only human. I can be only human and imperfect and strive to be better than the last day. But, sometimes, it really is just business and nothing personal, but truly just business.

I leave this morning to begin my day slightly confused, already stressed and misunderstood. I have yet again to find my place in this world and I have yet to know what that is or what my path is, although I know that I am on it, guided by it as I should be. People come and go in my life and as one is leaving another is coming. As one project ends, another one begins. As I feel like I am no longer fitting in to this life, a new journey develops.

At the end of the day, it’s just business and everything else is details.

To success,
Angelina
NThreeQ Media
Arizona Graphic Design

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Fortune Cookie

I needed some serious comfort food today. Oh ya, and I’m not the chocolate cake kind if girl. I am talking some serious chinese food – nothing else will do. After a long day of too much google and a splitting headache all I wanted to do was go to bed but needed some of the good stuff – this little gem by my condo that just knows how to make an egg roll.

I’ve had another week full of forgetfulness, being crazy busy and problems – I love problems, life isn’t complete with out them.

Today started with that darn folder company bugging me again about the folders. Making an agreement with me – delete the “we are a fraudulent company blog” and they will leave me alone and issue the refund. I did it – I was about to offer up blood for them to stop emailing my inbox! So I did, then their clients started emailing me asking me what was going on. Fun enough, this company even had the nerve to send my emails to their clients with some alteration for their benefit. Isn’t that awesome? Here’s the thing – I’m reminded of Vin Diesel’s quote in the movie “Fast and the Furious.” – “It doesn’t matter if you win by an inch or a mile…..winning is winning.” Exactly Vin. In anything it doesn’t matter how “close” you are, there aren’t any excuses especially when your responsibility directly affects someone else’s company. End of story.

Moving on now – for good.

So let’s focus back on my chinese food. Oh sweet, sweet chinese food. Friday night with good old Netflix, my laptop and chinese food. Awesome for a Friday night. Yes, I admit it and I’m proud of it. So full circle back to my fortune which is really why this blog turned less in to evil evil folder company and more in to really just enjoying my life and my favorite food.

“Look around; happiness is trying to catch you.” That was my fortune. Okay, I hear you loud and clear! My morning started out with a great Groupon – do you belong? If you don’t join! I’m very excited for my Groupon, awesome restaurant called Noca had a deal and I just couldn’t resist. I had a friend text me this morning to see how I was doing – and I actually just said that everything was ok. It is, I’m very happy with how everything is going – and I’m excited that happiness is trying to catch me. That means I need to slow down!

This weekend I am painting my kitchen – not the whole enchilada – more like a mural. I want to paint grass and a dandelion. I have the green just need to buy some other colors. Taking a break and focusing on nothing but blades of green apple colored grass and a pale yellow and black dandelion. A big one – right next to my fridge. I’m so excited about it.

This weekend – slow down and let happiness catch you. I’ll post pics of my dandelion and how the happiness factor goes. I’m off to go finish my Chinese food.

To success,

Angelina

NThreeQ Media, LLC
Phoenix Graphic Design

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