03/16/2008

What Can I Do?

I was lucky enough to attend the 20th Annual Limelight Awards put on by the LoDo District, Inc. this week. It was a grand event with all many of Denver's movers and shakers! Kevin Taylor knows how to rock the menu at the Opera House - stunning venue.

What made this particular event so special was learning about the changes that Denver has seen over the last 20 years and meeting the people who have dedicated so much of their time to turning Denver an amazing city. I felt humbled indeed, when Dana Crawford took to the stage and talked so candidly about where Denver was 20 years ago and the time, planning and involvement it has taken to get simple things changed. What a women, a pioneer and such an asset to our city. I felt lucky to meet Dana in person that night and I believe Dana is Denver's darling.

There were many wonderful people in the room that night. Mayor Hickenlooper, Newly retired new anchor from Channel 7 Bill Clark was the lovely emcee. Dave Moore, the brilliant mind behind the ROCKTOBER marketing campaign and so many more. I so enjoyed learning about the people who have contributed to our city and how much love there is is for the small town we call home. No matter what anyone says - Denver will always be a town. Our town.

We are lucky to have such leaders and committed citizens. This is what makes any place great and it is rare to find such a nook where people are so genuinely proud of their streets, parks, rivers, renovations and public transportation (more to come!)

Here it is:

  • What Can I DO to Keep Denver GREAT?
  • How Can I Get INVOLVED?
  • How Do I EDUCATE Myself About Issues Concerning My Community?
  • How Can I PARTICIPATE? the challenge that I have decided to take on:

I invite you all to ask yourself these questions. Maybe you are involved. GREAT! If you aren't, perhaps it is time to give back. I am challenging myself and each one of you to do something that makes a difference for our TOWN! I am including resources on this list and I want to dedicate this to all the people that have been working over the years to create a culture and environment that lends itself to prideful living and a juicy lifestyle.

I am proud to call Denver, home.

Peace

01/16/2008

What the Heck is Social Media?

646dee2c8309958bf1e497729595b7a5.pngPeople have largely been immune to being spoon fed information. We turn on the radio and the news is being fed to us. Though we have a choice in what station we listen to, we are still be handed information. This is also true when we turn on the television. Yes, we have channels to choose from, however, we are still being fed a the end of the day by large conglomerates with an agenda.

Over the last few years social networking sites have popped up everywhere. You have probably heard of MY SPACE or YOU TUBE or FACEBOOK by now? These are good examples of social media platforms. These portals give the average citizen a place to carve out an opinion, steer a rating and toss a vote.

What does this mean? This means that we (you, me and the guy on the corner) have a voice. We are writing the reviews. We, yes, you and I, are leading word-of- mouth marketing campaigns, sometimes without even knowing it. Ever tell someone they must go and see the latest movie you just saw or visit the latest and greatest watering hole? Yup, this is what I am talking about!

It use to be that we turned to "experts" to find out what to buy, where to eat, what movies to see, where to travel and you get the idea. Now, we rely on our community. The communities that we in essence design. With tools like MY SPACE, we are able to communicate en mass, speak up, speak out and even communicate with people without even knowing them, often, meaningfully.

I get the question all the time "Isn't MY SPACE for the teenagers?" This makes me chuckle. The answer is, why, it is for everyone! The beauty of these platforms is we can utilize them exactly how we choose. We can use them for business, networking, dating, making friends, politics, fundraising, educating, the list goes on. The possibilities are really endless.

The early adopters understand the power of citizen marketing. People who are savvy enough to plug in to these alternatives are the ones gaining the most from what they have to offer. Did you happen to notice who the 'Person of the Year' on Time Magazine was in 2006? YOU!

We can research information at the speed of light. No longer do we need to digg throug card catalogs and search for ISBN's to find our answers. This is archaic. We can look for what we want and we can apply our findings, our knowledge and our expertise in so many ways! It is very exciting and gives the expert and the novice all a place to play co-exist equally. How cool is that?

Wiki Definition of Social Media:

If you really want to delve deep check out some of these reading options: Citizen Marketers: When People are the Message Now is Gone: A Primer on New Media for Executives and Entrepreneurs Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything ASK DAVE TAYLOR: This is an endless site for information that goes well beyond the Social Media frame.

Don't be afraid to surf around on some of these websites. Look at what people have created. Spend some time envisioning how you can create a campaign that can transcend any other campaign you have ever done using only social media. The possibilities will keep you awake all night with excitement. Oh, wait. That is why you HIRE ME! This is what I do for my clients! I would love nothing more than to take your campaign onto the social media road to show you and your target audience the endless possibilities!

12/11/2007

Change the World. Start at Home - VOTE for Denver

HGTV’s Change the World. Start at Home campaign is a community revitalization project in ten cities, one of which is Denver. Each community will receive funding for specific community projects. However, people can vote for the cities they feel are the most deserving of a makeover. The most ‘popular’ cities will receive additional funding from HGTV and be featured on the network.

If Denver is selected, the Curtis Park District in Five Points neighborhood will receive much needed attention through the renovation of the Curtis Park Community Center building and church. The community center has been closed in recent years due to repair issues and asbestos contamination. Their current funds only cover removal of the asbestos. However, HGTV funds will help create new programs for seniors and children and of course help revitalize the neighborhood.

Also planned is funding for Denver’s Mile High Million program whose goal is to add one million new trees to the Denver Metro by the year 2025. HGTV will support a tree planting program on Stout Street and Park Avenue to beautify and improve the area. 

Be part of the change and vote for Denver! Vote for Denver at the following URL:
www.hgtv.com/hgtv/ah_change_the_world/text/0,,HGT...

Bookmark the site because you can vote once each day from each computer until the end of December. By voting for Denver you will help revitalize a great, historic Denver community.

Check out www.hubbuzz.com

10/18/2007

An Amazing Town

977a1d0957854b12c2fa3fe3082d203b.jpgI am continually amazed by Denver. Though I am a "native" I still get the chills when people are just kind 'for no reason at all. They are good chills. This doesn't happen everywhere. This, ordinary kindness. Denver boasts kind people.

I am proud to live in this town - and yes, I still think it is a town, though hardly, as the buildings keep going up fast and furiously. We just captured the World Series...WOW! The Democratic National Convention is coming to town in ten short months... we are growing up. DENVER IS GROWING UP?!!! 

But is still a town... in my heart. It is our town. We have the chance to show the world how kind we are. This is exciting for small business...very exciting. We will have 35,000 people coming in for the World Series alone. We will have an influx of 40,000 people visiting Denver beginning on August 23, 2008.

Not only are we kind, we are savvy. We are forward thinking. We are healthy. We are entrepreneurs. We are a community. This all makes me so proud.

I am really glad to be doing ASHLEY'S LIST again! We have over 1,800 subscribers now and love seeing people making connections. Thanks for all of your support, kindness and warmth over the last two years! Keep it comin!


Ashley

10/10/2006

Star Tipped Cowgirls

medium_Friends.gifWe could be cowboys or Indians. We had swords and dolls with lemonade mustaches and gum woven in our hair.

We had logos and big wheels, tents and picnics. We had elevators instead of stairs, closets filled with little sweaters and tutus. We snuck into sister's sleeping quarters and laughed beneath her crib while she slept.

We watched gum balls turn our mouths from pink to blue. We poured Elmer’s glue on our hands and peeled it away when it dried. We slept with our blankies, well, most of us did. Some put the blankets in their ears and ended up at the Doctors office with a sudden earache.

We jumped on beds then slept in them. We laughed so loud and hard that one of us got sent to the bathtub to sleep for the night. Whoopee cushions were magical, and sugar and peanut butter sandwiches were our staples. Go carts and firecrackers kept us full during the summer nights. Little wading pools and diving boards, sunburns and scabs. Clouds and rain never interrupted E.T. or Sesame Street. Santa and his reindeer stopped by each Christmas Eve, leaving trails of snow and dung on the balcony. Christmas trees were lit long and tall...dancing and deviled eggs filled our winter season.

Easter bunnies hiding eggs with pennies and candy, turkey's laid on platters at our tables, and all the kids always had to sit at the little plastic table.

The lake and rubber yellow raft, red ants and Jessica Hosler, fishing and snakes, Elsa and Patches. Camp and tire swings, climbing trees and playhouses. Barbie's, trains, star wars strawberry shortcake, Mr. Rogers, The Electric Company, Twinkies and diet Pepsi.

Pink leotards, soccer, diaries, Ricky Schroeder, sledding down the stairs on old boxes, hide and seek, ghost in the graveyard, spooky haunted houses, crickets, frogs, lipstick and field trips. Baths and bedtime stories, shopping, laughing, skiing through trees, hiding in forts....

We were but little children, nothing but imagination to bring us to the next adventure, story, fairy tale. We hid beneath trees and prayed to God, we pulled little red wagons and ate corn on the cob. We spilled buckets of freezing water from balconies and campers, we bar-b-qued hamburgers and always wanted McDonalds. We had grass stains on our knees and peed the bed. We licked our lips of cotton candy and screamed in terror at late night window creatures. We ate fudge brownies on the day Spence died; we wore blue eye shadow and got bad perms. We slept all that we could our knees wrapped around pillows that we would wrestle over.

We pulled weeds and broomed cobwebs. WE read the Family Circus and Luanne, in the Sunday paper. WE played patty cake and house, we ripped the
Heads off Barbie’s, we celebrated birthday's, stayed late at summer parties, raked the fall leaves, watched Miami Vice. We got bit by mosquitoes and ran around with wigs and bras stuffed with toilet paper.

We were children. We were heroes, angels, cowgirls, musicians, movie stars, villains, famous, gymnasts, and basketball players, soccer players. WE were the best snowball throwers, the best eaters; we had the best ideas, and an unstoppable desire for laughter. We were funny and talented. We fought fires and fell asleep to "OH WHAT A BUSY DAY!"

We were Amy and Ashley. We were children. WE were best friends. We were blood sisters. We are still magical. We are still cowgirls with candle light beaming from our eyes. Our imaginations are brilliant and star tipped. Our friendship is as round and open as our mouths. Our life as best friends, sisters, companions, is as real as the laughter that breaks from our ribs where we are in each others presence, near or far.

05/07/2006

This Stinks - Post Marriage Experiment!

This was an article I had written for my column 'SoLo in LoDo' for the Downtown Denver News in 2003. I thought it would be fun to share.

I have always wondered what causes “attraction.” Sure physical appearances, sex appeal, intelligence, occupation, money, status, and common interests all play roles here. But there is something else at work. Chemicals.

The body generates chemicals known as pheromones, which are odorless chemicals secreted from the body that affect reproductive interactions among both animals and humans. Pheromones apparently have more influence affecting chemistry and attraction than we know.

The science of chemical attraction is reportedly in its infancy, however pheromone perfumes and oils mixed in a lab are supposed to work miracles by attracting others to us for love, sex, success, power, friendship. It is supposed to be as easy as dabbing the “pheromone” scented Eu De Toilette wherever you would put your perfume or cologne normally and be prepared!

“Such molecules are called pheromones, after a Greek word meaning "to transfer excitement".

I decided to try the pheromone oils out for myself. I searched online for the best web site for this kind of purchase. I wanted to make sure that the site was legit and also, that they could educate me in the process. I found http://www.Love-Scent.com in my search. It was confusing because I didn’t know what to order at first, so I settled on the beginner’s kit. The beginner’s kit included oil, spray, concentrate to mix the oil with and two testers. I figured this was a good start.

DAY ONE

I received the discreet package three short days after I placed my order. I eagerly mixed my oils and in my excitement spilled them all over my carpet. I managed to get some on my wrist. Being the single bachelorette that I am, I had oils on and was hungry. I ordered pizza and when it was delivered I noticed that the pizza guy was smiling quite sweetly at me. I answered the door in my flannel pajamas with bed head and was definitely not looking my best. He still smiled. Maybe he was laughing at me. Further research is necessary.


DAY TWO

I sprayed a tiny amount on my wrist before I went to yoga. During the 90 minutes, I was so nauseated from the smell that I could barely handle being around myself. Later in the day I had a meeting with some colleagues and it went very well, however, I don’t think it had anything to do with my newly acquired mucky stench!!! I then had dinner plans with the girls. Not only did nothing “amazing” happen due to my smell, some guy actually came up to our table after we were done eating and asked us if we were going to be much longer because they had a big party and had been waiting a “long time.” It was tacky, but hey, that’s beside the point. The musky scent is permeating itself through my house, and I can’t get it out … the scent makes me sick and I think my roommate is ready to toss it out the window!


DAY THREE

My dog is not spending as much time with me lately. I have the flu. I am so sick I can’t leave the house, let alone wear pheromones that smell awful and are beginning to chase even my dog away!

DAY FOUR

Had big plans for a night on the town! Of course, sprinkled my wrist with the pheromones, and off I went. I couldn’t even get the attention of the bartender, and no, it wasn’t because I was too short to see over the bar. I think he smelled me and became afraid. I don’t blame him. I practically had to tackle him to get a drink. My love scents are a hoax!!!

An old American custom, quoted in "The Scent of Eros", was for the man to keep a handkerchief in his armpit while dancing. After the dance he would present it to his partner. Supposedly the anticipated effect was that of an aphrodisiac.

I like the idea of oysters much more!!!

DAY FIVE

I threw the oils out. Better yet, I dumped them out, and then tossed the bottles in the garbage. I feel sorry for the people who collect the trash! I did not receive the results I was promised, but then, they say to give it at LEAST three weeks to take effect. If I gave it three weeks of wear I would ruin my nasal passages, and yours. I didn’t have three weeks to walk around smelling like a smoked hippie. Though disappointed with the nil results of attracting every man in Denver, winning over powerful people’s respect, and landing a mate, the research in itself is quite fascinating.

Rick Weiss a writer for the Washington Post stated in March of 1998 said; “If pheromones have a big effect on human physiology, people may want to rethink their heavy use of soaps and perfumes: It may be, Buck speculated, that the constant washing away or covering up of these sweaty social signals account for some of the loneliness or depression in modern society. “ Hey everyone, please don’t put the soap away just yet!

Ashley E. Underell

20:31 Posted in Entertainment | Permalink | Comments (0)

04/19/2006

Spiritual

We human beings are social beings. We come into the world as the result of others’ actions. We survive here in dependence on others. Whether we like it or not, there is hardly a moment of our lives when we do not benefit from others’ activities. For this reason, it is hardly surprising that most of our happiness arises in the context of our relationships with others.”

His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama

Applying this to everything would make sense.... Okay, I am off the soapbox!!!




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