Jacki’s Favorite Things!

2011 – Not a great year in many respects – continued economic crisis, the big fat mess in Europe… nope,  not going there.  For me 2011 was a GREAT year!  Why? Because I made some amazing friends in my new home town of Park City, my family has been healthy and happy, and I have been given the work opportunity of life time with a dream team of girl power at my side. ( you know who you are! H, M, N, J, J and Amanda)  So coming from the space of abundance and gratitude I share with you “a few of my favorite things for 2011. ” Move over Oprah, Jacki’s list is here!!

Funniest Youtube Video- I hate to say  that it’s true, but how often have you said these things to your  friends, spouse, or boyfriend?

My favorite song- We Found Love by Rihanna . I got hooked when it become the opening song for one of my other new favorite things  –  Zumba!

Zumba is an exciting and energetic way to get in a great cardio workout and have fun while doing  it.  I have been going to The Law of Fitness in Park City, Utah with an amazing teacher Patrice Martin. She teaches  everything from Pilates to Zumba to Funk and every class is like a  party! She is so energetic and excited to whip you into the best shape  of your life. It is my goal, Patrice, to help make you the next Tracy Anderson.  My 11 year old daughter Allie goes with me and that makes it even that much better.

Favorite  Beauty Product- In spring of 2011 Mac came out with fun new line from Wonder Woman! M∙A∙C Spring Colour 2011  is, “the feminine force that saves the day! No nemesis can match her  super-sized Mineralize Skinfinish, Eye Shadows, Lipsticks and Powder  Blush for this transformation!” It is a great collectors item and I love collecting anything Wonder Woman!

My Wonder Woman T-Shirt – Ok not a new favorite thing, but a classic! I order this tshirt by the dozens and give them to my favorite people. It you receive one you know the rule, you must  take a picture of yourself in it and send it to me.   I you have not  received one for me send me an email telling be why you deserve one and I will send to the top 5 requests! [email protected]  ( include your mailing address)

My Favorite New website for buying great gifts  and all things handmade and Vintage: Etsy. My fav  thing to buy as a gift are PeaceCords – a new product by the company ARZU, founded by my friend and former Goldman Collegue Connie Duckworth.  Buy one for everybody and help the women of Afghanistan.

As I have taken on a new role as Co Chair of Women Moving Millions  I have obsessively been reading books about philanthropy.  Here are two, new, sure to be classics by authors I met this year,  alongside by two other favs by women who are also my fav people!
Do More that Give – Leslie Crutchfield, John Kania and Mark Kramer. new
Giving $mart by Thomas Tierney and Joel Fleishman. new
Inspired Philanthropy: Creating a Giving Plan and Leaving a Legacy by Tracy  Gary
The Generosity Plan: Sharing Your Time, Treasures, and Talent to Shape the  World by Kathy LeMay
 
My favorite thing to watch  this year are TED videos, especially the women.  Hard to pick one out of the crowd by I really loved this one by Sheryl Sandburg of FACEBOOK at the inaugural TED Women Conference. (Why we have too few women leaders)
 
My favorite article – Do you sometimes read an article that literally gives you  the chills because it speaks directly to something you have been thinking about? This is how I felt when I read the article called “Collective Impact” by John Kania and Mark Kramer appearing in the Stanford Social Innovation Review. The article frames how ‘large-scale social change requires broad cross-sector coordination.”  Since reading it I have adopted a “collective impact mind-set” with all the social change work I am doing. 
 
My favorite drink – Ok it is a toss up between an alcoholic drink called “The Love Potion” and Vitamin Water Zero.  Perhaps they balance each other out? One for the night and one for the morning after? The recipe for this fabulous drink – 2.5 shots citron vodka, 2 shots Lillet (white), 2 shots St. Germaine, and 1 cup grapefruit juice. YUM.

Lastly I am ending with my new fav joke. Always gotta have one to pull out in times of emergency.

What Religion is Your Bra?

A man walked  into the ladies department of a Macy’s And shyly walked up to the woman  behind the counter and said, “I’d like to buy a bra for my wife.” “What  type of bra?” Asked the clerk. “Type?” inquires the man, “There’s more  than one type?” “Look around,” Said the saleslady, As she showed a sea  of bras in every shape, size, color And material imaginable. “Actually,  Even with all of this variety, There are really only Four types of bras  to choose from.” Relieved, the man asked About the types. The saleslady  replied:

“There are the Catholic, The Salvation Army, The Presbyterian,  And the Baptist types. Which one would you prefer?”

Now totally befuddled, The man asked about The differences between them. The  Saleslady responded, “It is all really quite simple. ..

The  Catholic type Supports the masses; The Salvation Army type lifts the  fallen; The Presbyterian type keeps them staunch and upright; and The  Baptist makes mountains out of mole hills.”

Have you ever wondered why A, B, C, D, DD, E, F, G, and H are the letters used To define bra sizes?  If you have wondered why, But couldn’t figure out What the  letters  stood for, It is about time You became informed!

(A} Almost  Boobs…

{B} Barely there…

{C} Can’t Complain!…

{D}  Dang!…

{DD} Double dang!……

{E}  Enormous!…

{F} Fake…

{G} Get a  Reduction…

{H} Help me, I’ve fallen And I can’t get up!…

Once again have a Very Happy Holiday and a Gorgeous 2012!   Jacki

A “Modern Miracle”

“A Modern Miracle” was a top headline in the Financial Times yesterday. Your mind may be wandering to thoughts of a soldier coming home to his family, a lost child being found unharmed, a life saving surgery or other such heart-warming human stories. However, the article was referring to a violent video game, “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3,” which has recently shattered video and movie game records.  It is a “Modern (sales) Miracle.” It was reported by Activision Blizzard Inc., the games distributor, that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 rang up $1 billion in sales just 16 days after it launched in stores Nov. 8. 2011. (NY Times 2011).

Activision, in a statement released Monday morning, placed Call of Duty in the same pantheon of other mega-entertainment franchises such as “Star Wars,” “Harry Potter” and the “National Football League” (LA Times, Dec. 13, 2011).  Unlike those ones this came is rated M for Mature and is about killing people.  The Entertainment Software Rating Board defines M rating as, “Titles rated M (Mature) have content that may be suitable for persons ages 17 and older. Titles in this category may contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.”

While the Call of Duty website requires visitors to enter their birthday (17 years and older are allowed to enter the site) it is hardly a practical form of parental control over such a violent site.  Most recently, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 has recruited popular actors like Sam Worthington (from Avatar), Jonah Hill (from Moneyball and Superbad) and Dwight Howard (NBA basketball star for the Orlando Magic), to star in a live-action trailer for the video game. In the Minute and a half long trailer guns and weapons of all types are constant reminders of the violent and crude nature of the game. If you want to take a look, click here.

Perhaps the most alarming statistics are for the trailer and the overall sales of the game. The trailer alone has received 17,640,028 million views and 31,775 comments since its November 8, 2011 release date. Many hit TV shows and movies will never see that kind of viewing. To put things into perspective, it took James Cameron’s “Avatar,” a record breaking 17 days to reap $1 billion after its release in 2009. It also went on to break multiple North American and worldwide box office records, including becoming the highest grossing movie of all time worldwide. Meanwhile, it only took 16 days for Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 to reach $1 billion in sales.  Of the top 10 titles sold on Amazon.com in 2011, six are violent and rated for mature audiences.

Top 10 titles sold on Amazon.com in 2011*

  1. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (Activision Blizzard) (Rated M for Mature)
  2. Just Dance 3 (Ubisoft Entertainment) (Rated E 10+ for Everyone over 10)
  3. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda Softworks) (Rated M for Mature)
  4. Battlefield 3 (Electronic Arts) (Rated M for Mature)
  5. Portal 2 (Electronic Arts) (Rated E 10+ for Everyone over 10)
  6. Batman: Arkham City (Warner Bros. Interactive) (Rated T for Teen)
  7. Just Dance 2 (Ubisoft) (Rated E 10+ for Everyone over 10)
  8. Madden NFL 12 (Electronic Arts) (Rated E for Everyone)
  9. Gears of War 3 (Microsoft) (Rated M for Mature)
  10. Call of Duty: Black Ops (Activision) (Rated M for Mature) (LA Times 2011)

So is this the kind of “Modern Miracle” we should be celebrating? Further what is this saying about our culture? What is this saying about what our sons, our young men ( primarily) want to do with their spare time?  Their downtime is spent killing people in more and more realistic ways. An amazing film which premiered at Sundance last year and likely to be an Academy Award Nominee is called “Hell and Back Again.”  This Film follows the US Marines Echo Company in Afghanistan, and one particular solider back to the US after an injury. What did he like to do in his spare time at home while in recovery? Play violent video games because they were so ‘realistic’ and gave him that rush which he so missed.  I honor those serving our country but I also believe that violence is a drug.  You can come to need it, even be addicted to it, and it can have horrible and devastating consequences for the individual, our families, our communities and our world.

My 11 year old daughter just started debate in school and her first assignment was on whether violent video games led to more violent behavior amongst school age children.  Without citing all the compelling evidence the answer is yes.  Do violent video games have anything to do with the increased level of random acts of violence that we seem to be witnessing more and more? I don’t know, but doesn’t common sense say perhaps?

My almost 15 year old son had 6 video games on his Christmas list, almost all of them violent M rated games.  I stood in front of the rack at BESTBUY talking about them with him and the young male sales rep.  The salesperson gave me a run down on them all – which ones involved killing real people ( women and children) versus aliens, how much blood generally spurted out when victims were shot, and so forth.  I asked him if there were any games that were about solving world problems, helping people, and they both just laughed.  He suggested I go over the Disney section.

Standing there I was reminded of a conversation I overheard two weeks ago on a plane.  I was sitting beside a 13 year old boy and two younger boys across the aisle started talking about “Call Of Duty.” There were no more than 8 years old.  They were all talking about how awesome the video was, how they could  not wait to get the game, how ‘everyone’ plays it.  At the time I did not know much about the game but now I wish I would have ask that parent, ‘what the heck was he thinking?”

I am not perfect.  My son has a couple of fighter games, but not the worse ones. I admit to cowering under the pressure of “come on mom, all my friends have these games and it’s just not fair. They are not that bad. ” He works so hard at school and a couple of hours of video games over the weekend truly seem to be his downtime, but it is breaking my heart.

The Christmas season is a time to take stock.  It is a time to think about our family values and what messages we send our children by what we buy for them. Perhaps next year the “Modern Miracle” will be that violent video game sales are down, way down, and donations to charities that help people are way up.  I know. Dream on.

Wishing you all the most joyful holiday season.   Looking forward to sharing more in 2012.

 

Sundance 2012 and “The Invisible War”

Every year in mid January the busy mountain town of Park City becomes the “it” place for producers, actors, and movie lovers alike when the infamous Sundance Film Festival arrives to town. Originally founded in 1981 by Robert Redford, his founding goal was to create an environment designed to foster independence, discovery, and new voices in American film. Now one of the most well know festivals, both in America and abroad, the Sundance Film Festival is a showcase for new work from American and International Independent Filmmakers.

Last night I had the pleasure of meeting with the Sundance team, including John Cooper, Director of Sundance Film Festival, to hear about this years incredible line-up.  How do I begin to talk about 116 films in 11 different categories with topics ranging from a hedge fund magnate who is desperately trying to sell his firm before they discover the fraud ( “Arbitrage” starring Richard Gere and Susan Sarandon) to the story of an openly gay bishop who refuses to leave the church or the man he loves (“Love Free or Die” by my friend!!!!! Macky Alston)? There are so many that I simply MUST see that I am going to prepare for a very busy 10 days.  Once I put my list together I will share them on a separate blog post and plan on tweeting my way through Sundance.  ( from the opening screening of ”The Queen of Versailles”, to the hottest ticket in town “The Artist at the Table” Dinner, (last year we sat with George Soros and Danny Glover) to all 15 ish films we plan on going to!

One particularly moving and controversial documentary that will be featured this year is titled “The Invisible War: A Film About the Epidemic of Military Sexual Assault and Rape”  by filmmaker Kirby Dick.  This films “is an investigative and powerfully emotional examination of the epidemic of rape of soldiers within the U.S. Military, the institutions that cover up its existence and the profound personal and social consequences that arise from it.” The statistics are staggering, in 2009 alone 16,000 women were assaulted. Furthermore, it was found that military women are more likely to be raped by a fellow solider than killed by enemy fire. This film is still in need to financing and it indeed an honor and a privilege to help.  If you may be interested in supporting this work with a tax-deductible donation, please contact me at [email protected] For more facts on Women in the Military visit the fact page on my website.

Listening to the curators and project leaders talk about these films last night was a deeply moving experience. What was so clear is that they love all these films, and the filmmakers, and hope they find their audience.  This was especially true for the documentary films. Having gotten recently involved with the producing of films ( “Ready to Fly” being my first one) I can tell you first hand the commitment that is involved with telling a great story.  I truly believe in the power of films to advance social change.  Supporting Sundance, by not only coming to the festival but by making a tax deductible donation, makes it possible for so many to do the work they were meant to do, and tell the stories that were meant to be told. Click here to make a donation and thank you.