Category Archives: Recommended Reads

Betty White Releases 6th book of Wit and Wisdom

89 year old BETTY WHITE has had an amazing career and just released her 6th book, If You Ask Me: (And of Course You Won’t)

She looks at life through the lens of her time in show business. White shares her thoughts on life’s most important topics with her customary humor.


One thing they don’t tell you about growing old— you don’t feel old, you just feel like yourself. And it’s true. I don’t feel eighty-nine years old. I simply am eighty-nine years old.

If I didn’t feel so well, I might have a different philosophy altogether.

But I don’t get depressed as the number climbs. Perhaps because I don’t fear death. To some it is such a bête noire that it ruins some of the good time they have left. “

This is Betty White at her best. Wise, funny, irreverent and engaging. Drawing on a lifetime of lessons learned and observations made, she applies her wit and wisdom to a broad range of topics while mixing in her best stories from her extraordinary career.

People also get a kick out of a sweet, 89-year-old-lady with a naughty mind, but White doesn’t see it that way.

“I don’t think of it as naughty,” she says. “I don’t like dirty humor. I like double entendre, because then the people who get it, enjoy it — and the people who don’t get it, don’t know about it.

“The people who drive me crazy are the ones who say something with a double meaning, and then they poke you in the ribs with their elbow and say, ‘Didja hear what I said, didja get it?'” she adds. “I want to go home at that point.”

If You Ask Me: (And of Course You Won’t)


The SHIFT Is About To Hit The Fan! I AM

 Yesterday I commented, “we run and mange about 15 blog sites. Most of them make money…Official Life By Design, does not. But we try to keep it up to share with others, ways to grow in life. The stuff they DON’T teach you in school.”

We have a PASSION for this site and sharing knowledge that helps us grow as spiritual beings. That’s why I refuse to close this site. Money or not.

And after that post, I  happened to see Oprah  yesterday, who had on  Tom Shadyac, a famous, rich  movie director.  Who has a life-changing movie out this month, I AM.

He had millions of dollars, 3 houses, private jets, but knew he was not happy.  We have become a society of WANT WANT WANT and forgot why we are here –  and what REALLY makes us happy.

In his latest project, a documentary entitled I AM, Shadyac asks some of today’s most profound thinkers, two questions – What’s wrong with our world, and what can we do about it? This moving, inspiring film won the Audience Choice Award and the Student Choice Award at the Mountain Film Festival in Telluride Colorado, where it premiered.

I AM is an utterly engaging and entertaining non-fiction film that poses two practical and provocative questions: what’s wrong with our world, and what can we do to make it better?   

   In I AM, Shadyac steps in front of the camera to recount what happened to him after a cycling accident left him incapacitated, possibly for good. Though he ultimately recovered, he emerged with a new sense of purpose, determined to share his own awakening to his prior life of excess and greed, and to investigate how he as an individual, and we as a race, could improve the way we live and walk in the world.

Armed with nothing but his innate curiosity and a small crew to film his adventures, Shadyac set out on a twenty-first century quest for enlightenment.  Meeting with a variety of thinkers and doers–remarkable men and women from the worlds of science, philosophy, academia, and faith–including such luminaries as David Suzuki, Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Lynne McTaggart, Ray Anderson, John Francis, Coleman Barks, and Marc Ian Barasch –  Shadyac appears on-screen as character, commentator, guide, and even, at times, guinea pig.

3 big points –




It is really  as  MUST SEE movie for everyone.

You have heard about doomsday coming?  December 21, 2012?  Well, I don’t believe it’ll be like the movie 2012!  In fact, Shirley Maclaine was  on TV last week and she see’s it as a huge global shift of sorts –  not so much the explosion of the world as we know it. A New Age interpretation of this transition postulates that during this time, Earth and its inhabitants may undergo a positive physical or spiritual transformation, and that 2012 may mark the beginning of a new era.

And it’s funny,  the tagline for I AM is  the SHIFT is About to Hit the Fan!

I think this recession has brought so many of us to our knees, for a reason. To re-examine our lives and what’s next? and what is really important. It so funny in my business, there is so much “competition”. Yet I approach “competitors” and see the synergy of working together; collaborating. But some small minded  people only see competition. We are here and connected – to COLLABORATE.  Get it?!

I AM – The Documentary

Go see it!

Michael Snell


12 Goals in 12 Months – A Mans Journey and He is Blogging About It

Who made New Years
resolutions this year?

How many did you keep?!

I met an author at a blogging conference a couple years ago named  Donna Cutting. Donna wrote a great book called The Celebrity Experience: Insider Secrets to Delivering Red Carpet Customer Service.

She sent me a note about her cousin who embarked on a cool journey this year. At 34 and gay and living in Los Angeles,   he is examining his life….and setting some goals. “Turning 34 has got me to think about what more I want from life and how I can go about getting it. I’m taking control and trying to shake up my simple routine. For the next 12 months, I will be trying to accomplish 12 carefully selected goals that will fulfill lifelong dreams, overcome fears, improve my quality of life or give me memorable experiences I never thought possible.”

His name is Liam Gillen and he lives in Los Angeles. “My life’s defining moment came 8 years ago when I took a vacation to LA to see a live taping of Will & Grace. When I got to the studio and was escorted into the audience seating area, I was in awe at the sight of Will Truman’s living room only twenty feet away. It’s difficult to explain, but right then and there I made the decision to move to LA. I understood that moving just for the sake of living where television is made was drastic.  Six years later, I am still living like a LA tourist and wondering what else life has in store for me!”

He set up the site and decided to blog about his journey as a way to help keep himself on track. Knowing that friends, family and even complete strangers are holding him accountable,  will force him to stay motivated. 

It’s a great idea! Some of the goals are very targeted, like becoming more financially responsible. And some will be more challenging than others… 
like having dinner with Kathy Griffin and Anderson Cooper!  But hey, it’s good to have goals! Plus you never know who is going to read your blog.

Liam is a clever and witty writer and on a great journey. I wanted to share his site with all of you and perhaps you will check it out.

12 Goals 12 Months

And Kathy, if you are reading this, Liam is waiting for your call!


Valentines Dogs to Make You Smile


And they’ve got

This Valentine’s Day,
 the animals of Best Friends
Animal Society are getting gussied
up for a night on the town and reminding you to fix the ones you love!

When we spay or neuter our pets, we reduce the number of animals in shelters and get closer to a time when there are No More Homeless Pets!

This is another awesome video  that will make you smile – and hopefully donate a couple bucks!

Best Friends Animal Society is a nonprofit organization building no-kill programs and partnerships that will bring about a day when there are No More Homeless Pets®. At the core of Best Friends’ work is the dream that one day kindness will replace cruelty, and animals will no longer be destroyed because they are unwanted or imperfect. Spaying and neutering will be the rule for all pets and adoption will be the first option for everyone. Making this dream a reality is the mission we call No More Homeless Pets. The society’s leading initiatives in animal care and community programs are coordinated from its Kanab, Utah, headquarters, the country’s largest no-kill sanctuary. This work is made possible by the personal and financial support of a grassroots network of supporters and community partners across the nation.
For more information visit:


Mesothelioma and Lung Cancer

There are days when I think my life is falling apart. I got into a car accident; maybe I slipped in my driveway or my son got called into the Principal’s office. I even got fired.  But, compared to the millions who suffer from chronic illnesses like cancer, my life is nowhere near falling to pieces.

If you or someone you know has just gotten the news that your health conditions are changing your life, it may seem impossible to get everything back on track.  

Whatever the reason, you need an
action plan.

Here are a few tips.

1. Treatment
Exploring treatment options is a big deal, but doing it can help you to understand what’s going on with your body and in the world of medicine and technology.  Being more informed can lead to a better relaxation and uplifted spirits. For example,
mesothelioma treatments include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and tumor removal surgery.

2. Alternative therapy
Searching for additional and alternative options may increase your sense of control over your situation. For example, some
mesothelioma alternative therapies include astragalus, used to alleviate chemotherapy side effects.  Some breast cancer patients find yoga to encourage remission and an awareness of the physical self.  Acupuncture and massage therapy may also relieve pain and stress.

3. Support
Emotional, financial, and, in some cases, legal support is always a plus for those struggling with chronic illnesses. Having people, or entire organizations, in your corner may mean stress-relief and transference of burdens.
 Support groups and family therapy may also help you to connect with yourself and others concerning the trials of your illness.

So, if your life is falling apart, there’s help and hope. You can still pick the pieces up and with these tips and an action plan, embrace a new day and a new life of strength and health.



Homophobia Rears Its Ugly Head in Arkansas! Teacher Says Gays Should KILL THEMSELVES!

A Facebook page
asking an Arkansas school district
 to fire an official has
reached 20,000+ supporters!

Clint McCance, a school board member in Independence County, Arkansas, is under fire this week for a horrifically anti-gay Facebook statement he posted regarding last week’s Spirit Day, reading,

“Seriously they want me to wear purple because five queers committed suicide.

The only way im wearin it for them is if they all commit suicide.”

I cant believe the people of this world have gotten this stupid.
And from an education professional, at that! 

In response to the dangerous homophobia the education board member spewed, the Arkansas Department of Education says it does not have the authority to fire McCance.

It writes in a statement posted to its website :

The Arkansas Department of Education strongly condemns remarks or attitudes of this kind and is dismayed to see that a school board official would post something of this insensitive nature on a public forum like Facebook. Because Mr. McCance is an elected official, the department has no means of dealing with him directly. However, the department does have staff who investigate matters of bullying in schools and we will monitor and quickly respond to any bullying of students that may occur because of this, as we have with other civil rights issues in the past.

Still, the Facebook group  calling for McCance’s bigoted head continues to grow!


President Obama says It Gets Better…But Will It?

I don’t think there has ever
been a bigger LGBT movement!

When Dan Savage launched IT GETS BETTER a few weeks ago, I am sure he never dreamed President Obama would participate! High profile celebs from around the world have stepped up! (Except George Bush. Oh yeah, and Chelsea Handler!)

But it’s kind of funny – is it all just lip service? As Towleroad points out, “President Obama, as long as the actions of your administration continue to tell LGBT people that they are less than equal citizens, that they do not deserve to marry the person that they love, that they do not deserve to serve openly in the U.S. military, that they can still be fired from jobs because of who they are, how can you promise these kids that “it gets better?”

Thank you for recording this message. Please follow up your words with actions. Set the example you say is so important.”

Watch the President Obama Video .

DAN SAVAGE responds on CNN! “Here you have the President of the United States saying that you didn’t choose it — to be gay — and you will get through this…that said, the President of the United States has the power to do more than assure LGBT kids that it will get better; the President of the United States has the power to make it better for LGBT adults and children.”

Watch Dans Response .

For the hearing impaired, here is the text –

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Video for the “It Gets Better” Project

Like all of you, I was shocked and saddened by the deaths of several young people who were bullied and taunted for being gay, and who ultimately took their own lives. As a parent of two daughters, it breaks my heart. It’s something that just shouldn’t happen in this country.

We’ve got to dispel the myth that bullying is just a normal rite of passage—that it’s some inevitable part of growing up. It’s not. We have an obligation to ensure that our schools are safe forall of our kids. And to every young person out there you need to know that if you’re in trouble, there are caring adults who can help.

I don’t know what it’s like to be picked on for being gay. But I do know what it’s like to grow up feeling that sometimes you don’t belong. It’s tough. And for a lot of kids, the sense of being alone or apart—I know can just wear on you. And when you’re teased or bullied, it can seem like somehow you brought it on yourself—for being different, or for not fitting in with everybody else.

But what I want to say is this. You are not alone. You didn’t do anything wrong. You didn’t do anything to deserve being bullied. And there is a whole world waiting for you, filled with possibilities. There are people out there who love you and care about you just the way you are. And so, if you ever feel like because of bullying, because of what people are saying, that you’re getting down on yourself, you’ve got to make sure to reach out to people you trust. Whether it’s your parents, teachers, folks that you know care about you just the way you are. You’ve got to reach out to them, don’t feel like you’re in this by yourself.

The other thing you need to know is, things will get better. And more than that, with time you’re going to see that your differences are a source of pride and a source of strength. You’ll look back on the struggles you’ve faced with compassion and wisdom. And that’s not just going to serve you, but it will help you get involved and make this country a better place.

It will mean that you’ll be more likely to help fight discrimination—not just against LGBT Americans, but discrimination in all its forms. It means you’ll be more likely to understand personally and deeply why it’s so important that as adults we set an example in our own lives and that we treat everybody with respect. That we are able to see the world through other people’s eyes and stand in their shoes—that we never lose sight of what binds us together.

As a nation we’re founded on the belief that all of us are equal and each of us deserves the freedom to pursue our own version of happiness; to make the most of our talents; to speak our minds; to not fit in; most of all, to be true to ourselves. That’s the freedom that enriches all of us. That’s what America is all about.

And every day, it gets better.

24 hour help and hotline at TREVOR PROJECT

Best Gay News


Mercy For Animals…Why We Love Dogs and The Mentality of Meat

The other night we met the founder of Mercy For Animals , Nathan Runkle. Raised on a farm in rural Ohio, Nathan has long had a deep connection with farmed animals and agriculture. After a local farmed animal abuse case, involving a piglet slammed head first into a concrete floor during an agriculture project at a nearby high school, Nathan founded Mercy For Animals to give “food” animals a much needed advocate in his local community.

Since founding Mercy For Animals a decade ago, Nathan has overseen the organization’s growth into a leading national force for the respectful and compassionate treatment of farmed animals. A grassroots organizer and coordinator for many years, Nathan has spearheaded hundreds of demonstrations and outreach events across the country – ranging from protests outside pork and egg producer conventions to parade marches, educational exhibits, and more.

A nationally recognized speaker on animal advocacy, grassroots activism, and factory farming, Nathan has spoken at colleges, forums, and conferences from coast-to-coast.

On the Mercy for Animals Blog  this month, they interview author Melanie Joy and discuss her book  Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism .

In her book,  the term “carnism”  is used in the discussion of why our society thinks cows, pigs and chickens make for good eating, while rats, puppies and parrots make us queasy.

Melanie says, “I wrote Why We Love Dogs… for both carnists and veg*ns. I wrote the book for carnists to help them understand not simply why they shouldn’t eat animals, but why they do eat animals, and to help them feel invited into the conversation, rather than preached at. I wrote the book for veg*ns to help them feel more grounded in, and better able to articulate, their choices; to understand the carnists in their lives so they could communicate more effectively; and to understand the system they’re working to transform.”

It’s great reading and makes you stop and think.  Check it out!
And also stop by Mercy For Animals on Facebook !


Derek Sivers – Highly Recommended Reading

 I met someone recently who
shared this personal story….

Two friends were at a party held at the mansion of a billionaire. One said, “Wow! Look at this place! This guy has everything!” The other said, “Yes, but I have something he’ll never have: enough.”

When I decided to sell my company in 2008, I already had enough.

I live simply. I hate waste and excess. I have a good apartment, a good laptop, and a few other basics. But the less I own, the happier I am. The lack of possessions gives me the priceless freedom to live anywhere anytime.

Having too much money can be harmful. It throws off perspective. It makes people do stupid things like buy “extra” cars or houses they don’t use – or upgrade to first class for “only” $10,000 so they can be a little more comfortable for a few hours.

Derek Sivers   and his company  CD BABY  changed  the way music is bought and sold.  But beyond that, he lives a life by design!  Sivers  has been called  a hippie capitalist in the best sense of both words.  It is said, he is really sincerely driven by wanting to help people.  I think most of us can learn from his writings and they will make you stop and think.

Check out his blog  and see what he is all about. 

He has some great things to say and you will  surely find his writings motivational and inspirational! 

He is involved with  cool new free projects to help musicians –

MusicThoughts : inspiring quotes about music

SongTest : a free, open song contest


More Sickening News on the BP Oil Spill

SADLY, BP admitted defeat 
Saturday in its attempt to plug the Gulf of Mexico oil leak by pumping mud into a busted well, but said it’s readying yet another approach to fight the spill after a series of failures.

AND  WORSE  YET, Independent scientists and government officials say there’s a disaster we can’t see in the Gulf of Mexico’s mysterious depths, the ruin of a world inhabited by enormous sperm whales and tiny, invisible plankton.

Researchers have said they have found at least two massive underwater plumes of what appears to be oil, each hundreds of feet deep and stretching for miles. Yet the chief executive of BP PLC – which has for weeks downplayed everything from the amount of oil spewing into the Gulf to the environmental impact – said there is “no evidence” that huge amounts of oil are suspended undersea.

On the surface, a 24-hour camera fixed on the spewing, blown-out well and the images of dead, oil-soaked birds have been evidence of the calamity. At least 20 million gallons of oil and possibly 43 million gallons have spilled since the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded and sank in April.

The Gulf’s largest spill was in 1979, when the Ixtoc I platform off Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula blew up and released 140 million gallons of oil. But that was in relatively shallow waters – about 160 feet deep – and much of the oil stayed on the surface where it broke down and became less toxic by the time it reached the Texas coast.

But last week, a team from the University of South Florida reported a plume was headed toward the continental shelf off the Alabama coastline, waters thick with fish and other marine life.

The researchers said oil in the plumes had dissolved into the water, possibly a result of chemical dispersants used to break up the spill. That makes it more dangerous to fish larvae and creatures that are filter feeders.