The Food/Weight Struggle

Hello all!

Over the next year or so, I’ll be working on a project/book that focuses on the food-weight struggle, as well as its effects physically, psychologically (emotionally) & spiritually. I believe the food-weight struggle has touched us all in some way, shape, or form, so I am opening this up for everyone who has ever struggled with food, their weight, or both. Feel free to change your name, city, and the names or roles of others. I will not send spam mail or put you on any mailing lists. Please email all submissions to: MsCALLI0PE@yahoo.com. (The “0” is a zero).

Please share from your heart. In case you get writer’s block, here are a few questions to consider:

  1. Is it difficult to eat healthy and/or maintain a healthy weight in today’s time, culture, world? Why or why not?
  2. Is there a correlation between physical, emotional & spiritual health? Please explain.
  3. What are some common misperceptions people have about fat/thin people?
  4. Are you the only person in your family who suffers with a food/weight problem, or is this something your family unit has always struggled with?
  5. If you are overweight, are you afraid to be thin? Why or why not?
  6. If you are thin, are you afraid to be fat? Why or why not?
  7. What were your eating habits as a child? Were you active? What are your eating & work-out habits now?
  8. Are you depressed or feel depressed? Do you eat/exercise more or less as a result?
  9. Have your family members, friends, or society at large contributed to your eating disorder? Please explain.
  10. Have you or anyone you know experienced mistreatment or discrimination because of being over or underweight? Please explain.
  11. Have you or anyone you know ever experienced physical illness or ailments as a result of being over or underweight? If so, what ailments?
  12. Many overweight & underweight people state they do not have time to manage their eating or weight. How important do you feel having free time is to maintaining a healthy weight (“1” being “not important” and “5” being “extremely important”)?
  13. Are you disciplined (“1” being “not disciplined” and “5” being “extremely disciplined”)?
  14. Are you an emotional eater? If so, do you eat when you’re happy, stressed, sad, or all of the above? Describe what pushes you to partake in emotional eating & why?
  15. If you have been obese, anorexic, bulimic or any other eating disorder, and have successfully arrived at and maintained your ideal weight, what worked for you? Which diets, exercise regimens, support groups, religious institutions or practices etc,?
  16. Has being over or underweight affected your sex life? Explain.
  17. Do you ever feel guilty for eating or overeating? Explain.
  18. What strange habits-if any-have you or someone else developed in order to control your food intake/weight?
  19. Are you an habitual over or under-eater? Do you know someone who is an habitual over or under-eater?
  20. Do you have a sexual attachment to food?
  21. Have you replaced some other habit with under or overeating? If so, how did this happen?

Feel free to pass this blog along to anyone who may have an interesting perspective to share. I will eventually start making online polls for everyone to participate in. I appreciate your participation in advance.

~Calliope

Posted in Lets Get Personal | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Taking Care of Self, & “Time.”

As an American, I must speak from experience and say that while our society is “individualistic” in nature, we still fall short in the area of tending to ourselves properly. My proof? The rise in obesity, diabetes, depression; the lack of human decency as evidenced through the recent rape of an 11-year-old girl by 28 men; addiction to drugs & alcohol becoming more commonplace, to the point where an emaciated-looking Charlie Sheen’s drug addiction is a joke to the general public. Of course, this is not to sweep his involvement in domestic violence under the rug, but when we get to the root of everything, it goes back to having adequate time to truly deal with self physically, emotionally and spiritually.

I have always been that “go to girl,” the one friends would call up for advice. Even in my Christian day, married, single, gay, straight, all manner of people from all walks of life felt at ease talking to me; and I got in the habit of always being available, an open ear & a shoulder to cry on. As the years passed on, I was seeing progress in many people, but never had the time to deal with my own issues. I’d been wanting to lose weight for years, but could never commit to it. I was your typical critical Scorpio, but never had time to deal with my root issues; I was hungry for my life’s purpose, but never had adequate downtime to figure it out. Now, nearly 6 years after leaving the Christian school & faith, I’m finally realizing that all of my issues go back to discipline, which is tied to “habit,” which is also connected to “time.”

As a child, I had all the time in the world. My parents did the best they could in raising me, but they didn’t enforce the habits of regular exercise, eating healthy, and many other things related to hygiene. Don’t worry, I’m not a total wreck. I’ve done pretty well for myself, considering; but when it comes to exercise, I realize I struggle so hard with working out daily because it was never a habit as a child, a teen or an adult. I’ve always been somewhat spiritually disciplined, which is easier in many ways than being disciplined physically. This may explain why we see so many overweight spiritual people in churches or religious institutions. It’s easy to sit down, read a book, & grow from it, but getting up and exercising is another battle altogether. Now in my late 20’s, I’m having to fight daily to make sure I get exercise. I signed up for Tap Dance Class because I knew I’d have to show up or get an F on my transcript. This was my way of forcing myself to get exercise, and daily I am seeing the benefits, but I had to go to this extreme measure because I lack discipline; and to develop discipline, one must have time.

It takes time to wake up; shower; brush & floss teeth (at least twice daily, as those who floss/brush less than 2/day were shown to have a 77% higher chance of cardiovascular issues), grocery shop, prepare & eat food for breakfast & the rest of the day; keep the domicile spotless; keep the vehicle clean & make car/insurance payments (if this applies); take care of and exfoliate skin; wash, condition, and twist hair; keep the nails & body lookin’ good; work and/or go to school (if this applies); and this list is just for a single person so nevermind adding kids and a spouse or significant other to the list.

I have been reading a few books on money & marketing which have opened my eyes to how important goal setting & habits are to success. Each book suggests the reader should read the material, write down goals, and see those goals becoming a reality DAILY. In other words, make some positive habits, which also develops discipline. I began to realize, as I implemented these suggestions, how everything tied back into discipline, developing habits, & the time to do such. I began spending less time on the phone, less time on Facebook, and more time just sitting and thinking about what I needed to get done. “Time” was revealed to me. I used to think there weren’t enough hours in the day to get everything I wanted to get done accomplished, but as I began to take an honest evaluation of my life, I realized how much time I was wasting. “Time” revealed itself to me and showed me that I could do all I desired with the time (life) given: I just had to manage it properly.

It is my belief, with all of this said, that our society is not individualistic, otherwise we’d have more time for self in the form of vacation & ease of travel; nor is our American society family oriented, because if it were, it would give us more downtime to spend with our families. The American dream, with all it’s pesticide-laden foods, toxic air, and fluoridated water is a façade. Our American way of life is killing us slowly by not giving us the time to take care of our individual needs, and at the same time, attempts to gear us toward a more detached, impersonal, materialistic way of life, getting us further & further away from the concept of community. A true individualistic society would give its citizens time & space to take care of the individual or self, which would then lead to less stress and better overall health for all. How many times have we all heard people say “well, I’d love to walk/jog daily, but I just don’t have the time?”

Time won’t be handed over to us. A system has been put in place, and this system is like a well-oiled machine. It is up to each of us to recognize how necessary developing positive habits and discipline is to our very existence, even if it involves going to some unusual lengths to make it happen so that we can make the most of our time. For me, this means withdrawing from the world & not answering my phone for a few days, weeks, or months, which has caused some of my family & friends to panic. Here is what taking care of self means to others:

@saucy_scribe: You’re in my head sis! I can’t lie. Lately I’m selfish, only wanting to tend to ME, which is fine cos I spent the GREATER part of my life caring about other ppls feelings & what they thought about me. NOT ANYMORE THO.

@AniLacy is a single, stay at home mom who is living happily without a car. You can check out her blog here. What follows are @AniLacy’s thoughts on taking care of self & time:

@AniLacy: And people who don’t do it think it’s strange, they ask me what I do with my time if I don’t have a job, lol, I’m a MOM! If I worked too I’d never read a book, or take a walk, or knit a sweater! As if balance & self-care doesn’t matter. It does big time!

Posted in Lets Get Personal | 2 Comments

Copyright Yo Shit! The Step-by-Step Guide

My first experience with copyrighting my own music came about a year and a half ago, when I started getting serious about my music career. At the time, I was working with a producer in another state, and was writing & sending music without any second thoughts. One of my dear friends, out of concern for my musical success & future, told me I should copyright my music before sending it to anyone or posting it in any public domains. I took her advice—as well as signed up for an “Introduction to Business in the Music Industry” class—and submitted all of my songs for copyrighting.

The copyright process was tedious, so tedious, in fact, that before I’d opened up this blog, I decided one of my first entries must be a step-by-step guide on the process. “Doesn’t the website have instructions?” Yes…very tedious ones. “Why blog about this?” Quite frankly, because my heart is for integrity as it relates to the artist’s creative process. The realist in me knows there are hungry people out there lacking character who would love to profit off of the stolen ideas of others; and since I believe in the creative potential of others, it is essential for people to know how to protect their ideas, which in turn is protecting their investments & future. Whatever I can do to make the process easier for others makes me happy.

**One tidbit really quickly, the so-called “Poor Man’s Copyright”, although a helluva effort, will not, DOES NOT hold up in court & is not considered a real copyright, so going through this process is crucial if you really want your product protected.

What you’ll need: A debit/credit card or checking account with $35 dollars in it—depending on how many different types of copyrights you’ll need—and patience. You can submit multiple files under one $35 claim. If you have questions along the way, click on the following link http://www.copyright.gov/help/  and contact customer service. Lets proceed.

1- Remove your Pop-Up blocker.

2- Do not at ANY time during this process use the “BACK” button!

3- Go to this website: http://www.copyright.gov/

4- Click on the “eCo Login” link or logo.

5- Click on the same “eCo” logo again.

6- Click on the “Continue to eCo” button.

7- Click on the “if you are a new user, click here to register” link.

8- Fill in the information AND be sure your password has letters, numbers AND symbols.

9- Click Finish

10- Under “Copyright Services”, click on “Register a New Claim”.

11- Click on “Start Registration”.

12- Select the TYPE of work. (So if you’re submitting MUSIC, select “Sound Recording” or if it’s lyrics, select “Literary Work”); then press the greenish “Continue” button.

13- Click the “New” button.

14- Select a “Title type”. (I usually select “Title of work being registered.”

15- Give your work a title, then press the “Save” button.

16- Press the “Continue” button.

17- Select “Yes” or “No” for the “is this work published” question. Don’t worry about a preregistration number, unless you have one, and hit the “Continue” button.

18- The next screen will ask you for the name of the authors involved. Click “New”.

19- Fill out the Author information AS WELL AS the required fields. If you don’t have a DBA, don’t fill it out. Hit “Save”.

20- The next page will ask about the author’s contribution. It’s important to include ALL AUTHORS if there is more than one. Make your selections, then hit “Save”.

21- Click “new” & fill in all required fields including city, state & zip where you want to receive your copyright certificate when the process is complete, then click “Save”. If there are no other authors, click “Continue”.

22- If none of what’s on the “limit your claim” page pertains to you—as in your work is original, not based on anyone else’s—hit the “Continue” button.

23- This screen will ask you whom you’d like the copyright office to contact about your copyright. If the contact is you, hit the “Add Me” button, then the “Continue” button.

24- Repeat the same steps for the next page depending on your situation.

25- If you want your certificate sent to you, hit the “Add Me” button. If it’s being sent to another location, enter the correct address.

26- The next section is the “special handling” page. If you do not want to be charged $760 for special handling, then do not check any of the boxes. For the $35 copyright price, leave all fields unchecked and press “Continue”.

27- The Certification page. If you’ve been honest on this application, check the box, type your name & click “Continue”.

28- Review your application & make sure all fields are correct, then press “Add to Cart”.

29- Hit the “Check Out” button.

30- I suggest doing the “Pay Credit/ ACH” option, because it goes through right away. The “Pay Account Deposit” process is longer, & can take a few days. MAKE SURE YOUR POP-UP BLOCKER IS OFF! Click “Pay Credit/ ACH”.

31- The copyright.gov website will ask if you want to proceed. Click “ok” if you do & “cancel” if you don’t.

32- DO NOT USE THE BACK BUTTON.

33- Fill out the information and continue to the next screen.

34- You should see an “Upload Deposit” button. If not, click on the “home” link in the upper right hand corner, click on your open case. You’ll see the “Upload Deposit” button.

35- Attach what you’d like to copyright and write a description. If you click on the “acceptable file type” and “acceptable file size” links if you have any concerns about what file types & sizes are accepted.

36- Click the “Submit Files to Copyright Office” button.

37- You should see an “Upload Successful” screen. This completes your copyright process.

If you have any additional questions about the copyright process, like when you’ll receive your certificate, or when your music, poetry, etc, is considered protected, click on this link http://www.copyright.gov/help/ and call customer service.

Posted in Music Business | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Twitter Rape–Twitter Promoting Gone Bad

Having an artist page myself, I’ve been noticing a pattern in regards to how other artist, writer, activist and other promotions pages partake in an activity I’d like to call “Twitter Rape.” Twitter Rape can be defined as “tweeting & Direct Messaging promo links to other Tweeters without the slightest hint of invitation given OR permission granted.” It’s invasive, it’s impersonal, and at times, downright rude. There are many different versions of Twitter Rape, and I think all forms are tacky beyond oblivion for the simple reason that most times, it lacks that “personal touch”; and what I mean by “personal touch” is, quite frankly, have we had a conversation, and/or have you even given my tweets a glance? Most times, these artists, writers, and activists haven’t, and are more concerned about desperately getting their message out than connecting to the very people they hope to have support their cause. I’ll let a few tweeters offer their opinions:

“The whole market yourself on Twitter idea annoys me, especially people who don’t have anything else to say. It’s about relationships, in my opinion.” @rexi44

I posed the question “If someone you followed, followed you, DM’d a link & promptly unfollowed, how would you feel?” @Alien_Hybrid answered “probably pissed, that ain’t so cool, but twitter has its shallow people as well as real life.”

“If you dm me or tweet me about your music or anything else I will report you as spam. I don’t work for a record label.” @ReignsSupreme.

Lets discuss the different types of Twitter Rape. The first type is the infamous “Please follow me!!!” also known as “begging for followers.” Some don’t even say “please”. This one doesn’t fly with the everyday tweeter because there are hundreds, if not thousands, of spammer accounts who “@” and paste a potentially virus laden link and beg for followers. With that said—artist, activist, writer—what is separating you from the average spammer account? It is also highly impersonal and comes off a bit desperate to many tweeters. Most people tend to ignore tweets like these, so its best to strike up a conversation, then send a link. Me personally, if I see a “follow me” with or without a link attached, I’m assuming it’s spam & block accordingly.

The second type of Twitter rape is something I’d like to call the “The Twitter Hit & Quit”. You follow an account, they follow you back, hit it—as in hit your account with a seemingly personal DM message—then quit it by unfollowing you. They’re so quick with it, that you didn’t know they were following you in the first place. I was first confronted with this poor, tacky type of promotion when a certain inspirational account sent me a DM shortly after I’d followed them. The message was kind, with a link at the end, which felt personal. When I decided to write back and ask questions about the link, I’d gotten the “you cannot message someone who does not follow you” screen, & thought to myself “well, there’s one blog I won’t be checking out anytime soon.” Again, impersonal & tacky. I would have much rather had the account send me an “@” with their blog link than go through all that trouble, and it appears I’m not alone in believing so. No one wants to feel they’re being pimped for a follow, or that they’re just a number. After all, the United States of America already accomplishes this by calling American citizens “consumers” & assigning us bar codes also known as social security numbers, but that’s another blog.

I’d like to also add, know your market. There are some people who just may not be interested. If you encounter people who show a strong disinterest in your product and you continue to bombard them with your music, brand, blog, etc, in my experience, it usually ends up turning said people off even further. Instead of wasting your time trying to convert an “unbeliever” of your product into a “believer”, focus on those who are showing interest. It’ll save you time & spare you from having to put your ego on the mend on a consistent basis.

Independent artists, activists, writers, et al, we’ve got to do better. There’s a reason why many companies put so much emphasis on providing a personal customer service experience. There’s a psychology to getting people to give your brand a shot, and I can promise—having worked as a customer service rep & consistently being awarded for top-notch customer service via customer surveys—providing the personal element is one of the best ways to market yourself effectively.

Posted in Music Business | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Purpose–What’s this blog about?

As I sit topless in the comforts of my internet-less garage apartment, I realize something: I have yet to write & post my first entry! How utterly tacky of me. So here I sit, comfortable, thinking of ways to convey my love of music to you via my blog—the contents—and the music I compose, sing, arrange, and produce. You name it, I do it, all via Garageband, by the way…for now. (We independent artists must always upgrade the equipment & programs when we can).

I’ve been singing, according to my parents, since the age of 2, began composing songs at the piano by 8, took up the flute by the age of 9—and played it all the way to the age of 20—and began taking harp lessons my first few years of college. Music is in me and has always been a part of my life. After leaving college, I tried out for American Idol, didn’t make it past the first round, and gave up on music entirely. It was through my experience with American Idol that I began to see how twisted the music industry—then called “The Entertainment Industry”, and for good reason since it’s less about music and more about entertainment—had become. No longer was talent, writing one’s own music and/or playing a few instruments necessary. As long as one had “the look,” dressed up in silly outfits, was willing to make a complete fool of oneself as well as sell one’s soul…”Hello Record deal; hello success!” To make things worse, American Idol, in my opinion, gave America & the world the wrong impression—that any and everyone was worthy of a record deal—by allowing runner-ups the chance to make their own album. I tried out for American Idol in 2005. I’ve seen a massive decline in the quality of music since then.

This is not to demonize American Idol as a whole. Without American Idol, we wouldn’t have known Ruben Studdard, Fantasia, or Jennifer Hudson. Shows like American Idol helped true musicians & artists realize how easy making an album really is. Daniel Bedingfield made many of his songs from his bedroom, on his own equipment. My logic is, if he can do it—as many others like him have done and are doing now—why can’t I?

I’ve arrived at this place now, after many experiences—good & bad—more in love with music than I’ve ever been, and more determined to leave my stamp on this world, whether that means nation and worldwide recognition, or being known for a helluva blog and effort. I do not want to leave this planet without having given my all. I don’t want to go to the grave burying not only myself, but all the dreams I never tried to accomplish because of fear. No, that won’t be me.

So I start with this blog entry, and hope to write many others having to do with: popular trends in the music & entertainment industry; music business (protecting music, lyrics, & written works, music publishing, record deal contracts, etc,.); character & integrity in the music business (or the lack of); music & book recommendations; networking tips; etc,. Most importantly, I hope to inspire independents like myself to never give up on the process, even if it seems it’s all going nowhere fast! There is hope, and there is a new musical movement going on. Know it, love it, be a part of it! This is my journey.

Posted in Lets Get Personal | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Hello World!

Hello everyone! This blog is a work in progress. I hope to have a blog post up soon.

 

Stay tuned,

 

Calliope

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments