Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Unleash'd Magazine

Issue #2 is here: Unleash'd Magazine

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Our October issue The Super Hero Issue Oct. 2011 is here! I contributed the following three articles this time:

1. Stacy Clark (Singer/Songwriter)

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2. Matt Cook (Model/Actor)

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3. Chanta Patton (Model/Actor – Feature Editorial)

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Make sure you pick it up here! Right now you do get a 25% discount (until Oct. 31st ONLY)!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Unleash'd Magazine

First Issue Out Now

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I have been interning at Unleash'd Magazine since July 2011. And ratatatam, the first issue is out now!
Unleash'd is a lifestyle magazine with focus in music and fashion. The August 2011 issue features interviews with musician J-Lie and skateboarder Stevie Williams, both written by me. Find out why J-Lie didn't want to become a soccer pro, although ranking number 14 in the nation, or why Stevie Williams finds it so important to teach young kids.

This is the first time I am published in English for a magazine that is available in print, so it is very exciting for me.

Please support, it's only $2.70 for the digital issue and $11.80 for both digital and print. Buy here: Unleash'd Magazine August 2011 Issue.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Thoughts

to age with grace or not to age with grace
to be friends or not to be friends
to be in the big city or not...

Friday, May 27, 2011

My 20 Pound Heart

Natural Thoughts of a Young Woman in her late 20's


My heart is weighing twenty pounds. Although it is beating in my chest, it seems to do it a little slower today. Time is creeping by like it is walking on tiptoes, but that does not make it feel any lighter, more like a villain who is trying to hide in the night’s shadow, hoping you won’t notice it. But you notice it even more, insulting it with your thoughts.

It’s the time where one feels like one is not being productive in any kind of way. Not just for a day, but for a period of time. A phase that needs to pass by, which has not revealed yet if it is life or just temporary (which I guess is a natural thought for almost thirty year olds).

Friday night. When you usually get off around 2 AM, an earlier workday throws you off. You are asking yourself where your social life has been? As usual men are not reliable. There you are, sitting at home with your make up on, in your dress and heels, only to find out the night is a failure like so many others. Same old.

There you are, decided to call it a night. Thinking about all the people you wish around but are far more than just a continent away. Your heart knows you are in their thoughts; regardless, it is beating heavy tonight.

Bored glances into the night sky. No stars tonight, it is New York City after all. I am asking myself if I can ever just be here tomorrow – tonight it is not possible. I decided to open the pack of cigarettes I never meant to buy in the first place.

Where is she, the heroine that you wanted to be, the Lisbeth Salander, the Jeanne D’arc, the Flannery O’Connor minus the suicidal thoughts?

More glances into the sky, hastily blowing out the cigarette smoke then the final thought of the day: Should I lower my expectations in others, the world, and most importantly in myself? Tell me life. And your mind goes on dreaming of becoming a writer. That just discourages more, since everybody who is literate is a writer nowadays. Everyone has a Blog and taxi drivers are becoming special career advisers – especially for writing. What am I supposed to dream of then?

Prince, you are not helping with your “Purple Rain.” Good night, this time for real…

Saturday, March 26, 2011

E M - P A T H E T I C - M E

I tasted SOLITUDE
While listening to silence
It made me HAPPY.
I have seen SADNESS
It showed in deep lines around the mouth and eyes.
It is a reflection of perfectly organized rooms.
I feel emptiness in overcrowded spaces
Why do I feel the INVISIBLE that lies hiding inside the SOUL?

Have you ever seen THANKFULNESS
In small GESTURES by someone who loves you
It’s the type of LOVE that is overwhelming to me.
I have FELT for someone I didn’t know
Like it was me.
I can feel my STOMACH PINCHING with GUILT
For chasing happiness and LEAVING OTHERS BEHIND.
I monitor thoughts that eat me from within
Because I can never be allowed to VOICE them.

Have you ever SYMPATHIZED with empathy?
I decided to marry my INTUITION
To create a HOLY UNION between BODY and SOUL.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Homage to...

My Best Friend

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Most women are hard on themselves – my best friend is no exception; and since she would never show off her accomplishments, I would like to honor her with this profile. In my eyes she is a true role model when it comes to women who dare. I am proud of my best friend, who is about to pursue her career as a doctor with her residency coming up, and who, as she puts it, aims to "live love along the way."

Although the odds are against her, when she has to leave her home in Teheran, Arghavan Sadeghi-Seragi becomes a success story. At 8-years-old she is playing the main character in “Sidonie” an Austrian feature film. Speaking of talent, around the same age, she discovers her love for playing the piano, and doesn’t stop playing until she gets denied studying music at a university. Luckily she finds another passion. At only 28-years-old, Arghavan has become a doctor. In a male dominated practice, Arghavan has to constantly prove herself, but she is ready to embrace her womanhood and prove that she is well capable of pursuing her goals.

But let's go back to the beginning: At 4-years-old Arghavan Sadeghi-Seragi has to leave Teheran – a war stricken country – with her family, especially, as she explains, since the opera house is completely destroyed, meaning, her dad – an opera singer – will not be able to perform anymore. In Vienna, the small family begins a new life. Arghavan adjusts quickly, but feels a little foreign in her new home, “people, I must confess, did view us differently, xenophobia existed back then, although we were just trying our best to become honorable members of society.” Tragically, Arghavan’s young life has similarities to a very important role she is going to play a few years later.

When Argahavan is 8-years-old, a family friend hears about a casting for a movie by Karin Brandauer, a well-known Austrian filmmaker. After auditioning twice, Arghavan is picked for the main role, Sidonie Adlersburg, a dark skinned, gypsy, orphanage girl who is being raised by an Austrian couple. At only 10-years old, Sidonie gets deported and becomes a victim of Hitler’s regime. “I looked so similar to Sidonie, that when her real brother visited the film-set, he started crying when he saw me, and wasn’t able to stop while reminiscing on painful childhood memories of his sister.”

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Although the movie receives great reviews, Arghavan does not continue her acting career. After all, she is only a little girl. More importantly, she likes spending time with her younger sister, Pardis. When the family moves to Germany, Arghavan feels like she has been accepted. “Here [in Germany] I was not a foreigner, I was a citizen just like everybody else.” And while her dad is performing at the theater in Bremerhaven – which becomes their new hometown – Arghavan is playing her piano. After obtaining her General Entrance Certification in Germany, with superb grades, Arghavan wants to study the piano [music] at university level. When she does not get accepted, she enrolls at a university in Düsseldorf majoring in Romanistic studies, but drops out later to study medicine.

“I have always been interested in medicine but never dared to go for it.” Just like Sidonie, who is being mocked for her dark skin and tries to wash off her skin color with soap, Arghavan felt like she has been living in a shell that hasn’t really been herself up until that point; after all she was not allowed to pursue musical studies and tried substituting music with literature and language, before finally finding herself in medicine. Women who want to have a career should trust their abilities and not let anyone bring them down, says Arghavan. “As a woman it is very important to me, that I embrace my femininity, especially in the field of gynecology [in which Arghavan specializes] in order to pay respect to my patients and their privacy, I have to stand by my womanhood and nurture it.”

Some day, Arghavan wants to have children. She thinks that only both, a career and children, can make a balanced self. Arghavan is now looking forward to her residency, while practicing gynecology and working in a team and help keep people healthy. I believe I can learn something from patients, colleagues, people on the street, or anyone I will encounter in the future. Arghavan’s most important message is “one has to remain authentic and be oneself,” and while Arghavan is looking forward to pursuing her career, she is happy she will keep moving, “as long as I know I am moving, I am happy.”

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Personal in the Anonymity


What Facebook, Twitter and Co. can do to Personal Friendships

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Postcard from PostSectret
Media experts have been debating for years whether traditional media, such as newspapers and books, are getting replaced by modern media devices, such as e-papers, e-books etc. It turns out what can apply to some devices, such as the Walkman which got replaced by the portable CD player first, and then the MP3 player, is not valid for every device. So what has long been expected by cultural anthropologists, did only come true in part, because not every device is being replaced automatically, once a new one hits the market.
We still read printed books and newspapers, while the CD player will probably be completely replaced by the MP3 or MP4 player at some point. So although people have changed, and will continue to change their consuming behaviors, someone who has been reading a printed copy of a newspaper, is not likely to change their ways about it and immediately cancel their subscription, because the e-paper version exists now. Indeed, a person who has subscribed to a printed paper version, is likely to still enjoy being able to hold the paper with one’s hands, listen to it's cracking noises with every turning page, and will still enjoy carrying their paper to work or elsewhere after browsing through it at the breakfast table. In short, new devices do not necessarily replace other traditional devices, but can contribute to changing consumer’s behavior, if the new version turns out to be more convenient than the existing one.
However, we are talking about materialistic things after all – one thing getting replaced by another thing. But, what happens if modern media phenomena reach way further into every day human behavior, and actually change people’s interaction, and dynamics of friendships and personal relationships. What happens when devices enable us to do social networking in anonymity?
Recently, I picked up a magazine with an article about “cyber jealousy,” while also coming across an article on Yahoo, which was supporting the fact that divorce rates have raised, because partners are finding out about their significant other’s affairs via their MySpace or Facebook site more often. Question is, what else does Social Media do with us?
Picture these scenarios: Hannah suddenly turns into an online stalker, and Jessy unfortunately has to view pictures of her Faince’s ex-girlfriend. Bob feels jealous, because Mindy has accepted another guy’s friend request, and Liz has actually uncovered an affair thanks to her husbands Facebook site. Users are suddenly confronted with situations that would have been avoided with real life interaction, or one-on-one communication. Jessy would have never seen pictures of her fiancé’s ex, or Bob who is not jealous in real life, would have not felt threatened by written expressions. Bob, for the sake of his relationship, decided to un-friend his partner, so that he would stop going to her page.
Besides all these changed behavioral patterns we develop, another negative side effect of more social media interaction is, that we share information about ourselves with people we never met in real life, or barely know at all. What is dangerous is, that our online friends potentially create a picture of us, that might not be true to real life, or is only true in part. Maybe Mindy seems like a player on MySpace, but in real life is a shy person who is very dedicated to her relationship.
So even if online communication seems to enable us to being more communicative, it can actually accomplish the opposite. When friends used to call each other to talk, they now shoot short messages via their online network site or cell phones. In addition, one feels like one has to keep friends updated by changing online statuses, which takes away valuable time spent giving friends a phone call the old fashioned way. Is that why more people become depressed, due to the lack of face-to-face talks?
I remember when I first got on Facebook, I found it positive that I got to know people’s last names, many which I have known for years. So in a way, it completed that part for me. In addition, it helps me keep up with friends easily, if they choose to share pictures of their vacations and anniversaries, especially since I have friends in different cities, countries, and on different continents. But, did it really enable me to network and make business? Probably less so. And honestly, it is scary what kind of information we choose to put out there, or others choose to put out there for us. We are not even in control of it at times, because it’s our friends who post pictures of us from last weekend. It scares me how many “friends” my significant other has: 941 so far. I mean, can someone really KNOW 1000 people? So if I write on his wall, 941 people, majority of who I do not know, can read it, too. Do they really have to know what we have been up to last weekend?
I have made use of the privacy settings more and really try to separate acquaintances from friends, who only get to see one of my photo albums and have no access to my wall. More friends of mine decide to delete their Facebook page altogether, mostly yearning face-to-face interaction.
I really am curios where Social Media will continue to take us years from here, and am looking forward to reading extensively researched articles about it...
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I have been getting annoyed by girls who decide to un-friend everyone who is associated with their ex, who then come back and be-friend you after healing time. What do I have to do with your break up anyway, shouldn't we stick together even beyond our friendships to guys...
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