December 6, 2013
November 22, 2013
On a recent visit to Raleigh, NC, I needed to burn some extra time so, my sister and I wandered into a building that was purported to be an art gallery. We walked out confused and disappointed because we encountered very little that could truly be construed as art. As we walked away discussing our observations, a young man was sitting outside enjoying the gorgeous weather and a salad. He asked if he could help us because we looked as if something was amiss.
I thanked him for his concern and told him that we were fine but did not understand the "art gallery" that we had just exited. He jumped up with excitement, declared that he had a gallery and asked if we'd like to see it. We looked at each other and accepted his invitation. As soon as we walked in, we were immersed in beautiful artwork that embodied what we had expected to encounter in the previous gallery.
Large paintings, obviously a set, in bright, vibrant hues hung to our left while a smiling blond, Dolly Parton, leaped from the canvas in front of us. The proud and profusely talented artist introduced himself as Keith McLaurin as he escorted us around the quaint home for his highly attractive works of art. I was struck by opulent depictions of Tupac Shakur, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, random abstracts, sports figures and even custom painted T-shirts.
McLaurin fell in love with drawing and painting after being assigned to draw a cardinal in first grade. He was unable to draw the North Carolina state bird so he enlisted the help of his mother. However, he was displeased with her "stick figure bird" and after hours of trying to draw one to his liking, he finally decided to simply trace the picture. The praise he received from his teachers motivated him to learn the craft in earnest. His best friend, Reggie Williams, taught him to draw and Keith has been a professional artist for thirteen years.
Years later, Williams' kindness lives on in Keith's life. The notion of paying it forward has not escaped this painter as he devotes a portion of his time and effort to mentoring children who have an interest in learning the art. Parents make a small payment for art supplies but the lessons the kids receive each Saturday are priceless. McLaurin also manages a co-op of artists that includes Edwin Worth, DEEZEEART, Anjuli Johnson, Mike Driven, Anthony and Andrew Vaughn - a father and son collaboration, Rocky Reese, and Teresa Stephens, who is a photographer. In addition, he has been invited to travel to the Congo to create some of his unique art pieces that will be auctioned in New York in January to raise money for the Congo region.
Through his business, Pitch Media Gallery, Keith McLaurin offers custom painting services, commissioned artwork for Album/CD or book covers, body painting, custom designed T-shirts and sneakers, and personal gallery viewings by appointment.
Join Keith and his associates on every first Friday of the month for a showing from 6:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. If you're in the market for a one of a kind Christmas gift, the Pitch Black Friday Sale might be just the event for you. McLaurin is offering 50 tickets at $50.00 each that will guarantee the holders an original painting (select pieces) from his gallery.
Pitch Media Gallery is located at 14B Glenwood Avenue in Raleigh, North Carolina. For additional information, email Keith McLaurin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
October 14, 2013
Millions of people suffer from diabetes, obesity or both and struggle to control these health issues. Either condition alone can be complicated but together, they can be overwhelming. So, patients often find themselves interested in products claiming to be a cure for diabetes or the magic pill for weight loss. Yesterday, a tweet about another subject led me to a website with a link to the Diabetes Solution Kit - a cure - and it caught my attention. Once you click on the link, you are presented with a video, which is usually a red alert for me because you know the sales pitch is coming. Still, I watched it. Hey, if there's a cure for diabetes, I want to know about it.
The video was repetitive, full of a lot of words - spoken and written - that really said a lot of nothing. The viewer is urged time and again to watch the video to the end. I was unable to find a pause button, or any button for that matter, so that I could stop the video and return to it later. Yes, this was by design to keep viewers glued to the screen. The video was long, boring and tedious. And just as expected, it all led up to a the speaker trying to sell books (download or download and printed) to those hoping to find a "cure" for diabetes. What exactly is this miracle cure? Cinnamon and Chromium Picolinate. Sure, everyone's heard of and has eaten cinnamon in some recipe or other. You may have even heard of Chromium. But what the heck is Picolinate?
I couldn't answer that question but I know how to Google it. What I found was not good and that was not surprising. Read the article - be warned, it is long and tedious as well but much more forthcoming with interesting and useful facts. I believe that you will come to a similar conclusion as the one I reached. Chromium Picolinate is not a a cure for diabetes and it is a health risk. There are better ways to control your blood sugar level, including adding cinnamon and other spices and foods to your diet, increasing exercise, getting the proper amount of sleep, and reducing the amount of sugar (refined and natural) taken in daily. Fruits should be thought of as sweet treats or dessert and eaten in moderation. There are a few vegetables, such as carrots, that fall into this category as well because of the large amount of natural sugar they contain. Drink at least two (2) liters of water a day. That equals approximately four (4) 16.9 oz bottles of water.
My search of Dr.Oz's website did not yield any information on Chromium Picolinate but I did find this helpful slide show about foods one should eat to lower the blood sugar and lower body weight. Try these foods to Eat Yourself Skinny. There are even some recipes to try.
Always take the time to investigate any claims of "cures" or above average results of any supplement as they are not regulated by the FDA.
October 8, 2013
Could your high school music program use $10,000? Enter the Get Pitch Perfect With Foreigner contest.
Foreigner has teamed up with the Grammy Foundation to help one lucky high school boost their music program with a $10,000.00 donation. All it takes is a 15-30 second Public Service Announcement about the importance of music in school. The deadline to enter the contest is November 15, 2013. Details can be obtained by visiting http://www.grammy.org/news/get-pitch-perfect-with-foreigner-and-the-grammy-foundation. If this is music to your ears and you plan to enter your school in the contest, best of luck!
Here's a snippet of Foreigner performing on the Queen Latifah show backed by a high school choir.
October 7, 2013
I've made it no secret that I subscribe to Tyler Perry's newsletter. The most recent letter from Tyler talks about his participation in the CBS This Morning segment called Note to Self. Perry says it changed his life and urges others to write a letter to their younger selves. His is a piece that is loving, introspective,and encouraging yet powerful. Before seeing his, I saw this exercise as experienced by reality TV star and entrepreneur, Evelyn Lozada. Her letter to her 7-year-old self was moving as well. It seems that writing a letter to one's younger self is a tool by which one can bring about healing of past injuries and hurts. It also appears to be painful but in a manner that soothes the old sore places and promotes healing. Only you can decide if it is a tool that you are willing to use to repair the dilapidated areas of your life. Why not? As long as you are still alive, you have the power to change your life. And, of course, you're so worth it!
October 5, 2013
The timeless Gladys Knight performed her new single, Old School, on the Queen Latifah Show. The Empress of Soul still throws down on stage. The album Another Journey is available on iTunes and Amazon and features "I Hope You Dance" which so many loved in the movie Tyler Perry's The Family That Preys. Listen to her kick it "Old School"!
October 4, 2013
At a time when families who have already been rocked by financial upset face even harder times because of the resent and unnecessary government shutdown, this feel-good story by CBS Evening News is worth sharing. Tip your hat to Bill Bartmann, a debt collector who practices consumer advocacy. He believes in helping people through his company, CFS II. Hmm... a debt collector who helps those he is charged with collecting from. How often does that happen?!