"you cannot seperate the good and the bad. and perhaps there is no need to do so." – jacqueline kennedy onassis

be the person your dog thinks you are

A lot of the people I’m close with are dog owners and lovers and to be honest, it’s almost something that’s required in order to be a friend of mine. Not that I read that back, it sounds snooty. Scratch that.

Let’s start over: I love people that love dogs. There….that’s better. “Why is that?”, you ask? Well…let’s start with the obvious: dogs are awesome. And fluffy. And playful. And they don’t care what you look like in the morning.

Besides the never-ending list of why dogs are great, there’s also the fact that they can lend a hand in big decisions when your gut isn’t cooperating. Animals (and dogs in particular) are said to have the keenest sense of whether or not a person is truly good. They’re sensitive to human emotions and pick up on even the slightest hint of “wrong” that might be present in a situation. Take my dog, for example.

Guinness is 115-pound chocolate lab who looks like he could rip your head off, but will just drool all over you instead. BUT, if this dog meets someone who rubs him the wrong way, you can tell immediately. The hair on his back stands straight up, his upper lip snarls and he won’t look them directly in the eye. Instead, he’ll cling to the people around him that he trusts, using the only way of communication he possesses to say, “Steer clear…this guy’s bad news.”

So recently, when I’ve felt disappointment from people living in all areas of my life, I wished that I had Guinness here with me to confirm my gut feelings. That got me to thinking: if my dog met me, would he like me?

Dogs think their owners are the greatest people on the planet. They cling to their humans and will go to extreme lengths to keep them safe and happy. Sure, they tear up our carpet and pee on new couches and track mud into clean kitchens but at the end of the day, they love us more than any other human probably ever will. Depressing? Maybe. Awesome? Absolutely.

So now that I’ve thought about the mind of my pup,  I feel myself getting angry at someone and and a stupid thought almost comes out of my mouth, I stop myself. If I think I might do something stupid (and this isn’t saying I’ve never done anything stupid…let’s be real.) I consider that I need to try as hard as I can to be the person that dough-eyed chocolate lab thinks I am. I need to be genuine, honest, caring and hard-working.

Sure, he could think I’m a total ass for all I know. Either way, it’s worth a shot.

yo…is it april yet?!

But seriously, is it? April might just be my favorite month of the year; the gates of ballparks across the country open to fans, spring arrives (at least we hope it does) and I get to celebrate another glorious year of life. What’s not to love?

This year, April is BIG for Cleveland. There’s a new exhibit at my favorite museum (more to come on that)…the Cleveland Film Festival and the ball club we’ve all been dreaming of takes center stage on the diamond at Jacob’s Field. Oh…annnnnd my birthday. That’s a non-mention though, let’s be honest.🙂

Photo credit: clevelandmovieblog.com

Anyyywhoo. First things first. The Film Festival. Taking place from April 3 all the way through April 14, the festival features over 300 films from about 60 countries around the world. The arrival of over 85,000 to the Tower City Cinemas results in a HUGE increase in downtown activity. You think a Browns game or St. Patty’s day is busy? Think again. This is Cleveland culture at its finest, acting as a host, home and springboard for some of the brightest minds in the film industry. The films I’ve currently got my eye on (and the list is sure to grow) are “The Kings of Summer” and “Running From Crazy” (this one features Ernest Hemingway’s wild child granddaughter). Make sure you grab tickets soon…they go on sale March 22 and can be easily purchased online.

Photo credit: @MLBastian

On to the Tribe. This team seems to be what everyone is talking about…Kipnis, Swisher, Giambi, Bourn, Perez, Tito, Lofton…the list goes on. Not to mention the recently lowered concession prices for cheaper hot dogs (YES!) and beer (double YES!) at games. But let’s get down to the nitty gritty: this town is buzzing more than it ever has before about the Indians. And rightfully so. I’m willing to say we’ve got the quickest outfield in the MLB. They can run, jump and throw; everything an outfield should be able to do. These three guys combined with a strong middle infield and great team chemistry will give our pitching staff the added confidence that was missing last season…which is confidence that is crucial to winning ball games. And no one can say enough about number thirty-three Nick Swisher. Has anyone seen him without a smile on his face? I’m concerned that he might be too happy to be here! I’m kidding, of course. That’s enough from me…if the his “This is a Tribe Town” video doesn’t jack you up, don’t call yourself a fan.

What are you looking forward to in Cleveland this spring?

who is anne hathaway?

Good ol’ Anne has been all the buzz in the movie industry since the Golden Globes, but after reading an article on Ragan PR, I realized that PR industry could learn a thing or two from this mysterious (yet talented!) actress and her odd transformation.

The article outlined why people don’t like Hathaway (and I didn’t agree with the digs the writer made, which were superficial and low)…but I was more interested in the transformation she made from the cheeky Amelia Mignonette Thermopolis Grimaldi Renaldo, Princess of Genovia, to the awkwardly-scripted and slightly pompous actress we saw on the red carpet last Sunday. I was thrown by her whole appearance (and no, not just the darts drawing attention to her upper naughty bits). Her demeanor was a little condescending, her dress choice fueled by feminine competition and her answers forced and a bit dramatic for my liking. Please understand, I’m not here to bash miss Anne…her recent performances have been great! I’m merely observing a change in personality and how wrangling said changes can teach lessons to everyone.

  • BE YOURSELF! Don’t force a different personality onto yourself or your brand than what comes naturally. In no way am I saying that Anne is not being herself…she’s just changed. She could very well be portraying the person she is today, which is a completely different person than she was years ago.
  • Scripting conversations and encounters might work in a video shoot, but it doesn’t convey authenticity in situations that truly aren’t meant to follow an outline. Sure, it’s not a bad idea to think ahead when, say, you’re appearing on the red carpet, but trying too hard to fit a mold might make you seem inhuman.
  • Don’t try to be too perfect. Because let’s face it, that’s impossible. Imperfections are endearing and make you likeable! For instance, take Mia…or old Anne, whichever you prefer.

THIS is the Princess of Genovia?

you don’t know jack.

Or do you?

He could be the barista making the best expresso you’ve ever tasted, the guy selling you skinny jeans at the Gap or someone snapping a picture at the intersection of your favorite town. He could be Jack Dorsey, the co-founder of Twitter and square, two socially forward organizations that I’m now convinced are capable of changing the world.

Tonight I had the honor of listening to Mr. Dorsey speak at the Cleveland Clinic, and I had no idea what I was in for. I thought I was going to go and listen to him talk about how he founded Twitter, what it’s become, so on a so forth. But in an hour long event that was run with surgical precision by the Clinic, I (along with about 100 others) got more than a story. We got inspired.

Jack’s story began in St. Louis, a midwest town home to a great baseball team and an architectural masterpiece known simply as “The Arch.” Now…I thought I had a lot of interests but this guy…this guy is fascinated by EVERYTHING. Jeans, bad coffee, scuba diving, maps, massages (yes, massages), the list goes on. But most of all, he believes in truly viewing the world as more than just…the world.

For instance, to Jack, the Golden Gate Bridge isn’t just a bridge. It’s a gateway into one of my most beautiful and inspiring views the world has to offer. He doesn’t view Twitter or square as technological giants, he thinks of them as utilities that are allowing us to operate on a level that connects us at the core. Conversations that have changed the course of history have taken place because of hashtags and the ideas Jack has to offer (like square, which might save the economy of small business) will continue to change this world.

I’ll admit, my first thought after Jack left the stage was: “Umm…okay, what am I doing to change the world? Nothing.” After the initial hint of worthlessness wore off, I realized that I don’t have to be on an international stage to make a difference, I can do it anywhere and in anyway.

So thanks, Jack…glad to know ya.

history worth talking about

I’m baacccckkk! I am like a neglectful parent, coming and going as I please without considering the feelings of anyone who may depend on me.

Okay, so maybe it’s not that extreme but nonetheless, I have returned. I miss writing and need to do it more often so that my creative juices keep on flowin’.

That being said…I’m here to tell you about a lovely little Cleveland gem of which many are unaware. It combines art, automobiles, fashion, sports and gives it all a central focus: history. The Western Reserve Historical Society, located in University Circle, has got it all. I risk sounding cliche with that comment but I’m sorry, it’s true! At this point, I’ve got to give you all my disclaimer: I am a self-proclaimed history buff and I do volunteer for WRHS, so this stuff is like crack to me. Hear me out though.


The Hay-McKinney Mansion on the grounds of WRHS.

I discovered the historical society when I first graduated from college. I was looking for ways to get involved in the community as a volunteer and ‘voila!’ there she was. I applied to help out and within weeks I was in. I visited the museum a few times before really diving in and each time I had to pull myself away. Exhibits range from bridal wear to stone sculptures and now, with the addition of the Crawford Auto Collection, the Setting the World in Motion exhibit captures the importance of Cleveland as a hub of vehicular technology and cultural exuberance.

One of the vehicles on display in the new Setting the World in Motion exhibit.

One of the vehicles on display in the new Setting the World in Motion exhibit.

I’m not going to give you insider’s access to the museum, because I truly believe to get the full effect you need to explore it yourself. Take it from me, a proud westsider who has found a great love on the eastside. Make a day of it; picnic in the lawns of the Botanical Gardens, swing by the museum and grab dinner in Little Italy. It’s not hard to take some time to love on your city–and it’s time well-spent. Enjoy!

To learn more about WRHS, visit their website or following them on Twitter and Facebook.

an open letter.

To Whom It May Concern:

I’m writing to you as a concerned Baldwin-Wallace College alumna, former student-athlete, and active member of the Cleveland community. My concern over the recent happenings on the campus of my alma mater is unsettling. In an attempt to understand the situation at hand, I’m writing to you, a school official who should be available to listen to the concerns I’ll voice in this letter.

My initial reaction to the self-imposed ban placed on the post-season play of Baldwin Wallace athletes was fury.  As a young child, high school student and college athlete, I have continuously been taught that hard work pays off, and honesty is the best policy. Playing college softball at the Division III level showed me the true essence of what it meant to be a student-athlete; we worked hard in the classroom, on the playing field and in the gym. We were never compensated for our time. In fact, on most occasions, we were practically paying to play. Purchasing equipment, raising funds for trips, and practicing late when the appropriate space wasn’t available. Times are hard, and being a student-athlete didn’t make it any easier.

Secondly, I was confused. Social media took this bull by the horns and created a whirlwind of tweets, status updates and text messages full of misinformation and anger, from both current and past students.  In this flurry was an obvious and gaping absence from the center of attention itself: my beloved alma mater, Baldwin Wallace University. No responses, no phones picked up and no emails back to inquiring voices. Nothing. We were left to create a situation of the worst-case scenario in our minds. A professional in the communications field, I found this to be one of the most disheartening characteristics of this situation. The transparency that BW holds in such high regards was missing and unfortunately, it was left up to the student-athletes themselves to answer question after question during a time when their dreams had been dashed. Emotions were high and there was nowhere to turn for answers.

Instead, an email was distributed. A generic, two paragraph email sent to the inboxes of all BW student-athletes. This message explained that it the self-imposed ban on postseason play had been unavoidable and that it was the integrity of the institution that had led to the decision. I’m envisioning entire teams gathered around computers with tears in their eyes as grown men and women began to realize that their last season playing for the love of the game would be meaningless. Here’s where the embarrassment kicks in for me.

These athletes, these college students aren’t receiving inappropriate funds. They’re not skimming from the top to play at the college level. I can guarantee that this “small percentage” never asked for a dime.  The current student-athletes are most certainly not to blame. I never saw a dollar cross hands in order to play a sport a Baldwin Wallace University. Instead, I lost money because of my experience as a student-athlete. I lost time that could have been spent elsewhere. I lost focus on my studies because I spent a week with my team winning an OAC championship. What I gained as a student-athlete, though, is indescribable. Life lessons of teamwork, strength and respect will never leave me. Money can’t buy those lessons. It never will.

It’s too late to go through the appropriate chain of command in this situation. The NCAA serves a purpose as an organization and that was completely disregarded in BW’s decision process. It was their responsibility to investigate any wrongdoing and attempt to make it right. All I’m asking for is the appropriate communication following the choice to self-impose. Is that so much?


Alyssa Purvis
Baldwin-Wallace College, Class of 2012

why don’t we believe?

It’s the Saturday of Halloween…I’m sitting on my couch with a freshly opened bottle of wine and the lights in my apartment dimmed. Mood lighting? HA! Far from it.

This year, I’ve had a difficult time getting into the Halloween spirit…which for me, is unheard of. I’m usually planning my costume weeks in advance and jazzing myself up for celebratory festivities days before it’s normal to do so. But tonight, I’m happy I’m not out taking shots of pumpkin-flavored liquor or dressed scantily in this cold, Ohio wind. Because, my friends, I’ve stumbled across a Discovery Channel special that’s one for the ages. Think I’m a nerd? Go ahead…I can handle it.

MERMAIDS! Yep, this show is about the discovery of mermaids. I was intrigued, of course, by the scientific angle that was taken on the age-old tale of the sea creatures Walt Disney cashed in on. I spent my childhood swimming around pools like Ariel, pretending to be a mermaid and never once questioning the fact that these creatures were real. I know I’m not alone, right?

Well anyways, all nerdiness aside, this show made me think. The scientists who are admitting that they’ve found the body of a creature that is almost surely a mermaid have been faced with questions from the scientific community about how the “mermaid-ish” creature had never, ever been seen before. When this question arose, it struck everyone involved in the investigation that the creature HAD been seen before. They had been seen by thousands upon thousands of sea-faring fisherman, various navies and world travelers. Why would we doubt all of these accounts?

There were drawings, images, stories and even videos and photographs of creatures representing these mermaid-like creatures. But yet, we still brush them off as a fairy tale or an imaginative being created out of thin air. Why? In any other situation, these accounts would be taken as evidence…in criminal trials, it would be physical evidence that a jury would not dispute.

I may be coming off as a little crazy (it’s the wine, I promise) but seriously…why are we so quick to dispute the confirmation of fairy tales? People from complete worlds apart have told stories about their encounters with creatures of myth and yet, they’re written off as crazy, or seen as delusional. I’m not saying that there aren’t crazy people in the world, simply questioning why different circumstances garnish different treatment.

Personally, I’d like to believe that there are mermaids swimming about our oceans. Lots of people are quick to dash the dreams that fairy tales do exists…but why don’t we just believe that the possibility of their existence is real?

That being said, it looks like I’ve got my Halloween costume lined up for 2013. Cheers!


Interested in learning more? Check out this DC’s documentary here: http://dsc.discovery.com/show-news/mermaids-the-body-found.html.