Worst Fortune Cookie Message

Not only did I eat the worst ever Chinese take-out last night, but it came with an uninspiring fortune cookie message. In my view, fortune cookie messages should be positive and uplifting. I checked Wikipedia to make sure I was on the right track. It says fortune cookies offer faux wisdom or vague prophesy. There was nothing vague about this message. Are you ready for it? It claimed: “Always a valley before a hill.” I know. Awful. No one likes a hill. A mountain on the other hand? That’s something you can surmount but a hill is boring and unremarkable. And the message is the wrong way around. If it read, ‘After the hill comes the valley’, then I’d be OK about it. Instead, it left me cranky. I don’t know if it was someone’s idea of a joke. I’m sure fortune cookie writers aren’t adequately remunerated for their skills: why not throw in a few clangers to see if anyone pays attention. Anyone else had a shocker fortune cookie message?

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Hot in Cleveland: My Radio Appearance

Does Saturday morning the world over mean home improvement programs on the radio? This morning I appeared on ‘The Home Tool Box’ presented by Bob Gallese on Cleveland’s Radio 1130 AM WELW to talk about one of my areas of expertise: stain removal. With the release of Completely Spotless in Australia, the good folks of Cleveland were keen to learn our secrets and insights. As it turns out, cleaning methods are pretty much the same as the US with a few name and spelling changes. I extolled the virtues of baking soda (aka bicarb soda) and white vinegar, oil of cloves to remove mould (or mold, as it’s spelled here), how to make your own air freshener using lavender oil, water and a spray pack, and even how to unshrink a sweater using fuller’s earth or epsom salts. I hope I was as hot as Betty White in Cleveland.

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Gangly Swan: what ballet taught me

I had an unexpected adventure today. I attended a ballet class. It wasn’t something I’d planned to do. As a new member of a gym, I selected a class called ‘Fluid Flexibility’ that I thought would be a cross between yoga and Pilates. But no. I joined ten other women at a barre in front of a ceiling to floor mirror and demi plied. I looked like a log. As I followed the instructor, I realized a vital element was missing in my moves – grace. I pointed my toes forwards and backwards, trying to place my arm in a delicate pose. I tried to channel Black Swan (minus the craziness) but looked gangly. Is that why we give up ballet once we turn 9? It did make me think about poise and how I move in the world. Could this awareness be a good thing? I’m not sure if I’ll go to Fluid Flexibility again, but I’m pleased it sparked the notion of grace.

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Mobile Devices THE Hot Topic (aside from Osama)

I had a revelation last week. Sitting on a New York subway, I noticed the number of people clutching their mobile phones. Some were listening to music, others played games and many others were just sitting and holding, waiting for mobile reception. For the record, mine was in my hand-bag – but I’m a mid-adopter. This hand-held device gives us access to the world – and I believe it won’t be long before we see a permanent holding of the phone. It also means content will be created and designed for the mobile device. Right now, websites look awful on mobiles with long loading times and snatches of content. It’s annoying and frustrating. Watch as the world gets smaller with websites designed especially for your mobile device with compact communication an essential. It’s something we’re working on at Dinkum Interactive where I work as a Specialist Content Writer. My aim is the elegance and brevity of a haiku with mass impact.

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Central Park in Spring

I’m feeling uplifted after a stroll around the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir in Central Park. It’s been a bit of an overcast April, so today’s clear blue skies and sunshine seem even brighter.

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New York Shop Windows

A lot of thought goes into creating a New York shop window. Peak decoration time is Christmas, of course. This is Macy’s ‘Believe’ decoration from last Christmas.

But Easter has also inspired some window designs. I haven’t seen Jesus yet, or a cross. But there are plenty of eggs and bunnies. Here’s the current window display from Louis Vuitton on 57th Street.

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It’s a bit difficult to see but there are chicks hatching from the eggs. With spring in the air, the idea of renewal and new beginnings resonates. I’m not sure if eye-catching window displays leads to more customers venturing into the store – I’m too scared to go into Louis Vuitton, expecting sticker shock. But I admire the window display nonetheless.

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Long-lost Historical Document Makes News

Did President Abraham Lincoln believe in God? The topic has been debated for past 150 years and this week, new light was cast on the question with the discovery of a long-lost letter from Lincoln’s former law partner, William Herndon. The answer? His beliefs were complex and evolved over time – he was a Theist and Rationalist and one-time Pantheist. Pantheism, by the way, asserts that God is in everything. I know about this letter because I wrote the press release for the company with the document in its possession – the Raab Collection. One of the great things about working as a content writer is you never know what assignment will pop into your inbox. It was also exciting to see the story picked up by CNN, Discovery Channel and Huffington Post. If you want to see the document, visit raabcollection.com.

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