Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Perfect Daughter

Courtney stood in the doorway.  Her heart pounded with the frenetic energy of a trapped Hummingbird fighting for life.  She tried to concentrate on her breathing.

“Mama?” she whispered in the darkness. “Mama? Are you awake?”

She peered into her mother’s bedroom hoping today would be a good day. As she stepped into the disheveled room, with the smell of illness permeating the air, she approached her mother’s bed. She held her breath. She could see her mother’s pale face upon the pillow and her chest rising and falling. She leaned down and gently laid her hand lightly on her mother’s frail, thin shoulder.

“Mama?” she repeated softly.

Her mother slowly opened her eyes and focused on Courtney.

“And cut!” cried the director. “Damnit Courtney!  What is with you today?  You moved off your mark again! Now let’s try it one more time and please do it like we rehearsed okay?"

Courtney cringed and felt her anger rise. She knew she hadn't blown it. But, she didn't argue and moved quickly back to her starting mark for another take. This job was a nightmare. Had she not been so desperate for the work, she would have quit. The director, Al, was sadistic in demanding needless takes and lighting changes. He was deliberately malicious to crew and talent alike. He had created an atmosphere of almost unbearable tension on the set. Word had it he was a frustrated actor himself and on a steady diet of coke, and God knew what else. At first, she thought he had bad allergies or a cold. But on her second day of shooting she’d found out from a second-line-prop man it was drugs.

“Just try and stay under the radar kid, and you’ll do fine,” said one of the production assistants.
“Yeah, like that’s gonna happen,” she murmured. She was in three more scenes today.
But, she made it through her second day, and then, her third and fourth. Today should be her last day and she’d make enough to pay her rent and buy some food. The utilities would have to wait a little longer. God, how she hated living like this. She was in a constant state of anxiety and there were times she had to concentrate just on breathing. To make matters worse, she wasn’t feeling well, probably due to lack of enough sleep. She moved to her first mark and concentrated on the scene. Prop men and gofers swirled around her. A makeup lady touched up Courtney’s face.

“You’re doing fine, honey,” she whispered to Courtney. “Just hang in there one more hour and we’ll break for lunch.” Courtney nodded. At least she’d get fed today, that was some comfort. She had no food at home other than a can of tuna, a couple pieces of bread and two tomatoes.

“Okay people!” hollared Al. “Let’s get moving! Time is money!” Courtney wiped her sweaty hands on her skirt and concentrated on her character. Al’s grating voice echoed through the soundstage. “Lights! Speed! And…ACTION!” Courtney moved forward into the room.

“Mama?” she whispered in the darkness. “Mama? Are you awake?”

And, as Courtney whispered her lines she was suddenly transported back to her own childhood in Illinois. She was seven years old and walking into her mother’s dark, depressing, cave-like bedroom. Her mother had been drinking again. Courtney could smell the liquor.  The depressing aroma was forever hanging in the air. How she dreaded those mornings. She never knew what to expect.  Her memories of always trying to be the perfect daughter came flooding back.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Sweet Dreams!

So excited! My pillow collection has gone live on ShopVida.com
! Check out my luxurious pillows from my City of Dreams and Malibu Collections! Here is the skyline of LA from my City of Dreams Collection. Check them out and take advantage of the awesome year-end-sale happening now! Stay tuned for more to come! Happy Holidays everyone.

Add perfect complement to any furniture with a oblong VIDA Matte Accent Pillow.
SHOPVIDA.COM

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Keep it Safe for Your Pets This Holiday Season - Foods to Keep Out of Reach

Now that the holiday season is now upon us and you are a busy bee preparing a sumptuous feast for your family and friends, take extra precautions to keep your fur babies safe this holiday season.  A kitchen with unattended counters teeming with delectable dishes can be a minefield of potential trouble for you and your pets.

Before your guests arrive and to avoid unnecessary chaos during dinner, try keeping your pets in a separate area of your house and out of harm’s way.  Uncle Henry won’t be tempted to sneak a little piece of turkey or pie to the dog or cat.  And, if little Billy drops his turkey leg onto the floor you won’t have to fight the dog for it.  Whether you’re able to do this or not, you’ll still want to be aware of the potentially toxic foods to keep out of your pets reach.   You don’t want to make an emergency trip to your vet.


Bones
Be they turkey, chicken or ham bones, avoid giving these to your pup or kitty.  Bones can be a deadly choking hazard.  If swallowed, there is also the danger of the bones splintering and puncturing your pet’s intestinal walls, causing internal bleeding. 

Turkey Skin
Yes, it’s delicious but very fattening, so avoid feeding any to your pets as it can also be dangerous.  If fed in large quantities can cause pancreatitis.  

Onions
Love that vegetable dish with the little white pearly onions?  Don’t feed any of it to your dog or cat.  All onions, no matter what size or color, are also potentially toxic, and can cause vomiting, diarrhea and anemia. 

Macadamia Nuts
Delicious, but they are not for your pets, as they can cause vomiting, lethargy, and abdominal pain. 

Dough Yeast
Nothing smells yummier than bread or cookies baking in the oven except, well, turkey.  But, feeding uncooked dough to the fur kids is also toxic.   Dough rises in warm places and will do the same in your pet’s stomach causing vomiting, diarrhea, and discomfort.

Alcohol

It doesn’t matter if your grandparents have a cocktail for medicinal purposes now and then.  The same does not apply to pets.  Alcoholic beverages and animals don’t mix so keep those unattended drinks away from your curious pets.  They can become quite ill if you catch them sneaking a cocktail or a beer.

Chocolate
Don’t drop any of that chocolate.  It may taste heavenly to you, but  chocolate is very toxic to animals and causes vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain.

Garbage Detail
Those unwanted bones you’ve decided to toss out will set a dog or cat’s nose quivering and the hunt in the trash will be on! The bones can be dangerous alone, but when discarded with foil, string, or plastic, you’ll want to ensure you have a good tight lid on your garbage to keep it inaccessible.   All four can do damage to intestines. 


If you do want to give your pets a little holiday dinner, raw or cooked carrots or string beans mixed in with their kibble is safe.  You’ll want to avoid anything with fat such as gravy, potatoes and yams.  A little taste of turkey won’t hurt them, as long as it’s boneless and skinless. 

To also better prepare for any possible emergency, check with your vet beforehand and find out their holiday hours.  Make a list of backup facilities and keep all the information handy on the refrigerator or cabinet door.  If your pet does happen to ingest something, and is behaving out of character, or is obviously ill, don’t hesitate to call your vet.  Give yourself peace of mind knowing your pets will come to no harm. 


Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season and a prosperous New Year!  May it be filled with many furry hugs and sloppy kisses.   Let the feasting begin!
















Sunday, December 4, 2016

Bill Dauber Tells Journalism Students “Bring It to the Table”

By Kimberly Mack

Bill Dauber, professor of journalism at Los Angeles Valley College, and advisor of the Valley Star, tackles the question: “What is the future of journalism?" as guest speaker of LAVC’s Journalism 108 class Tuesday night.

Journalism is changing the way we get our news,” confirms Dauber. “New media is moving in new areas, becoming more democratized. Digital media has been eating away at advertising profits and cutting into the number of print jobs. Those jobs are disappearing.” Ten years ago, the Los Angeles Times had a news staff of 1,300. Today, that number is closer to 720, making it one of the hardest hit newspapers of our time.1 In 2010, the LA Times daily circulation of 600,449 was down from the previous year’s figure of 657,467.2 Revenue and circulation continue to make a downward descent, as papers struggle to give birth to new sales strategies, such as inserting links into their on-line editions to increase readership.

Dauber shares an interesting fact. Although, advertising revenue and circulation for newspapers across the country have been negatively impacted with the evolution of digital media, such is not the case for college newspapers. The opposite is true. “Because,” says Dauber “advertisers are trying to specifically reach the students.”

Dauber further shares that one of the things he does like about digital media is that it offers much more access to newspapers. He is an avid and consistent reader of The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and The Atlantic Monthly.

Having been a reporter for the LA Times, and The Orange County Register, Dauber’s advice to journalism students is “Be familiar with social media. You need to know it, and read about it. Write a blog. Find out what you are interested in. Develop an expertise, and ask what can you offer that is different.” Dauber elaborates, citing Andrew Sullivan’s blog, The Daily Dish, as an example. Sullivan, a political commentator for The Atlantic Monthly, provides people with an analysis, posting what he thinks about each news item. Sullivan found a way he could contribute. “You need to bring something to the table with whatever you are doing,” Dauber tells the class.

His final piece of advice was take advantage of the many journalism and mass media courses at LAVC and other colleges.

Yes, the future of journalism is changing. But, wherever digital media takes us going forward, Dauber’s message is clear. “Bring it to the table.”

Professor Dauber has been teaching at Los Angeles Valley College for nine years. He graduated from the University of California at Irvine with a degree in history. He’s been a reporter for the LA Times, the Orange County Register and is author of “The Real Las Vegas: Life Beyond the Strip.”


1. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/03/business/media/03paper.html


2. Retrieved from http://www.medialifemagazine.com/artman2/publish/Newspapers_24/Newspaper-circ-declines-lessen-again.asp  

Sunday, November 27, 2016

City Hall Los Angeles

Did you know the City Hall building was built in 1930? It's an iconic sight especially now during holidays at night! Give someone a gift who loves LA and take advantage of this Black Friday sale going on until midnight tonight. Just use code BLACKFRIDAY and get 40% off $125 and up when you order. Made with 100% Modal - this scarf feels super luxurious and I love them in this cold weather. They keep your neck warm! Have a look see and order now for holidays! Blessings to all! https://shopvida.com/collections/kimberly-mack
This scarf made with soft, luxurious fabric will add a bold, modern statement to any wardrobe.
SHOPVIDA.COM

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Malibu Collection

MalibuYearning for Southern California beaches? Here's a shot of the coast on 100% Modal from my Malibu Collection! This vibrant scarf makes the perfect gift and can be worn with anything...casual or that suit you have been wanting to wear that's stuck way back in your closet. It will keep your neck warm as you zip in and out of stores doing your shopping! Order now in time for the holidays! www.shopvida.com/collection/kimberly-mack

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Ocean Artwork Now Available at Fine Art America

Feel the need to get away and feel the sun and wind on your face before the chaos of the holidays begin?  Take a respite and let your soul be soothed with this shot of Leo Carrillo State Beach on Fine Art America available now!  This is one of my most popular photos and you can just feel the wind and smell the ocean in this dramatic shot.  Who knows - maybe you'll even catch a fish or two.  This shot is available as a print, or on canvas or metal.  Also available on note cards!  Happy fishing!

http://fineartamerica.com/featured/fishermans-port-kimberly-mack.html