Tag Archives: business

Oh me, oh my- My year in pictures.

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“To survive, you must tell stories.”

-Umberto Eco

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Wounded Knee- For profit, ticket sales, or true kindness?

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-207_162-57593566/johnny-depps-interest-in-wounded-knee-causes-a-stir/

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Wow, what a situation has occurred, as many of us know. (Those who don’t: Johnny Depp mentioned wanting to buy Wounded Knee and giving it back to the Native Americans here in my home state of South Dakota. Link is above.)

There are a number of opinions based on this possibility and here are the top few of them.

1. He’s doing it for ticket sales due to his crapped-out Lone Ranger movie.

2. He’s doing it for publicity and fame (kinda goes hand-in-hand with #1)

3. He’s doing it out of pity

4. He’s doing it to look more “Native American”

5. He’s doing it from the heart

6. That’s kind and all, but not actually going to help the current situation. If he’s going to spend that much money he should use it to build youth centers or schools or housing or so on, so forth.

Ok, phew, that’s a load-full of assumptions all in a day and a half, is it not?

My thoughts, in case anyone was curious. (Keeping in mind I am neither a stark-raving fan of his, nor am I completely indifferent to his career and acting choices, and I do enjoy a number of things he is in as well as have none-so-fond or apathetic opinions on other things he has done. You can keep in mind or disregard the fact that I do think he is devilishly handsome, but that has in no way swayed my opinion on this topic. Many people find him devilishly handsome.)

#1/#2. Mr. Depp has had a number of crapped out movies, it’s part of being an actor, most of them have. Once in awhile, there’s going to be a bad decision made or there’s going to be stuff that goes wrong, and don’t you think the movie has had enough press (his slightly stereotypical Native character “Tonto” being done in a, we’ll say, slightly disreputable and insulting way) And for that matter, does Mr. Depp honestly strike people as the type to make matters worse by dangling this hope in front of millions of faces to make himself look better? For one thing, he strikes me as the type to not be so stupid as to assume this could in any way make him look better or gain forgiveness for his decision. Another thing: I don’t think he gives a fuck what we think about his acting decisions, and I hope he doesn’t. He is not by any means obligated to.

3. Hm. It’s my opinion that assuming he is doing this out of pity is pretentious (if not outright attention-seeking). Not to mention insulting and degrading to Mr. Depp. Stop for a moment and think, “Is that something I would do?” or “Is that something my friend would do?” or “Is that something my neighbor would do?” or “Is that something a perfect stranger would do?” Chances are (hopefully) you’re going to say no to all of those. He is not some attention-seeking icon nor is he some sort of inhuman celebrity whose lot in life is to pity people for press.

4. He “claims” to have Native blood so he must be doing it for that reason, to look more “Native”. I’m not sure how to even respond to this one, regardless of his actual heritage (for one thing being absolutely none of our business, we all speculate or we all know what we are, regardless of proof or iron-solid facts. Do you honestly expect him to draw his family tree for you?). What a petty and pathetic assumption made by small minds with no imagination. Get real.

5. THERE we go. “He’s doing it from the heart” ok this I can see as being true. Even if he isn’t, does it matter?

6. “Nice gesture and all but…” OK so here’s where the real opinion comes in. This is in my home state and I know the Indigenous population in this part. I know people who live on Pine Ridge and I’ve met some of their tribal leaders. I’m also a business woman and this land is going for 3.9 Million (article says 4.9, Wounded Knee itself just 3.9) Let’s do the math. Some say he should build youth centers and schools and so on, so forth.

Ok, let’s start with the simple fact that 3.9 million dollars is NOTHING by big business standards. It’s a couple pennies. For what you’re talking about, we’ll go with ONE youth center for a population of Indigenous folks this size, that can conservatively be called “Start-Up Cost”. Much less more than one. Simply put, unless that youth center became self-sustaining within a year (possibly two, if their lawyers, CPAs and other financial folks were on-the-ball and sharp as knives) it’s gone. Sure, 3.9 may seem like a lot. But not when you’re considering land permits, taxes (considerably higher on the reservations), building permits, business licenses/taxes/permits, utilities, so on, so forth. Yes, they desperately need one. The suicide rate within the youth population is horrendous, but I can tell you they already tried the youth center thing and due to funding and politics (mostly politics), it crashed. Plus, it would take two or more years just to get government approval to build something like that. Nice thought, not going to happen.

Also, keeping in mind that “it’s a nice gesture and all…” says right there. It’s not Mr. Depp’s concern. The well-being of the reservations belong to the people of the reservations and those sworn to help them. What he is offering is not salvation- it’s a chance to HEAL. Once that spiritual land is returned to its rightful owners, healing can begin, and once healing begins, the rest will fall into place on its own. Please don’t expect a savior out of him. Just accept it as it is- a gift, an opportunity, a chance to heal. He knows this already, that is why he has offered it, or even offered the suggestion. He obviously feels it deep inside or he wouldn’t have risked mentioning it to the press. The red tape he is going to have to cut through to make it happen is phenomenal and may not happen for awhile anyway.

My point being simply this: Keep hope and have faith, but don’t put it all on his shoulders and don’t try to make bad his image because of it. If it’s meant to happen, it will. Those with a true connection to this land and the historical value of it know that. And it seems to me, Mr. Depp is aware of this too. And if indeed he has genetic indigenous ties to the people of this land (or surrounding land), this could very well be an opportunity of healing for him, too. The only difference for him is that he has the means unlike the rest of us and the reservations in the area, if he’s using it to help others, then be glad for that. There are much better ways to use money to make yourself look good. Stop making a soap opera of it and smile at the thought that perhaps, this land and these people can find a semblance of healing after all. If that is his intention, then thank you, Mr. Depp.

Stacey

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“A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.”

-Richard Bach

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cover    For more information on my published novels, click here!

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“Partners In Crime”- Episode 1 (My Day In A Short Noir)

Noir4Awake

And there she was. Woken up again, another day. Just like any other, they may say. A look at the book, putting pants on one leg at a time, using the toilet. Yes, a morning, just like any other.

But little did she know, when that morning passes, there will be an afternoon. A suspicious afternoon. An afternoon to leave chills down her spine.

An afternoon to be suspicious of.

Noir5Window

First there came the call, you see. That strange call. At first she thought… it couldn’t be. A strange woman on the other end, leaving a message. Just like that. Like it was any other missed-call occasion. As if everything was… normal.

But it wasn’t normal.

I mean, who leaves a message in such a way, who? To request a call back but not until… later?

Now that raised her suspicions, you see. Who calls just to say… Call me later.

Even worse…

Call me tomorrow.

Naturally, she thought the worst. A stranger, using their phone, to call, to make a special appointment. An appointment that could mean the difference between… a late lunch, or an early lunch.

noir1

It made her think, as she repeated the message to ensure she had written down and heard every word correctly. Should I call her later, should I call her tomorrow?

The questions, there were just too many.

She thinks about it, as she lights a cigarette and leans against a lamppost in the middle of the night for no reason.

Noir3lamppost

But wait. The meeting. She wonders if leaning against a lamppost in the middle of the night while smoking a cigarette can fit into her schedule well when she has that secret meeting to attend. The meeting of which may contain clues. May contain… answers.

Noir3stranger2

She attends this meeting. There were no actual dark alleys to walk down, but the construction traffic she endured for half an hour was frightening enough to make any cigarette-smoking-stranger filled dark alley in the middle of the night look like a picnic at the county fair.

She enters this building, this maze of a building that once again arouses her suspicion. Who builds their office complex in a circle structure if they haven’t got something to hide? She pretends to get lost. For looks. Just for looks. To scope out the place, you know. To question the local office dwellers, incognito, discover clues. By no means did she actually get lost, that’s just a vicious rumor. Spread by her enemies. Members of the local gang of Massage Therapists that don’t like her style. Don’t like the way she practices… barefoot. They mean to bring her down. She means to discover their seedy secrets and expose them for what they really are…. Chiropractors.

SuspiciousNoir1

But alas, there were no clues to be found, no secrets to unearth. Just a meeting, like any other. Top secret work. Nothing to hide. Nothing…. to hide…

::::Cue dramatic music:::

Until next time, the Massage Therapist, with too much time on her hands, adventures to be had in life. She knows she’ll uncover the truth one day. Someday.

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“A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.”

-Richard Bach

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cover    For more information on my published novels, click here!

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The Best “Wrong Job” Ever Done!

moneytunnel

So this is what my brain looked like last night, when I realized I had ONE day to get my finances finished and sales taxes figured out, as it was due in full TODAY. Yikes. I couldn’t remember how he told me to fill out the form! I blanked on everything! Context: My state’s sales tax is 6%. The form wanted me to write down the figures for 4%. Why?? (Answer: State tax) It wanted a city code, for which city I made money in. It said 1%! Why?? (Answer: I had the wrong code) And where the hell does the other 2% come in that makes up that 6%?? (Answer: City tax)

So, here is what I did. I did the math for 4%, the math for 5% (in case the 1% city tax code was the right one) and 6% since I knew state tax was 6% (That’s what I pay when I shop in this city, anyway). I will wholeheartedly admit to not being a mathematician. But I managed it. Then I took the form, since the tax man had VERY enthusiastically pointed out to me last time that I HAVE to put the city code down for each transaction (I thought he meant to put down each transaction, not just if the transaction took place in different cities) and I wanted to be prepared, I itemized everything on the form, and brought precise money to pay for either 4%, 5% or 6%). Very precise. Very accurate. Very wrong.

I approached the lady at the front desk by showing her the form and telling her, “I’m pretty sure this is wrong, but I did my best.” She laughed and took it, looking it over and said, “I’m pretty sure it’s wrong too, but it’s very precise.” She called the tax man to let him know I was there and needed to go over the form with him.

While I waited, we joked around, the nice lady and I, about the weather, about taxes, so on and so forth. I explained an abridged version of how I came to do the form the way I did, and she laughed and told me, “If it helps, it’s the best “wrong job” I’ve ever seen!” LOL. I cracked up. Because in fact, it did help. If I was going to do it wrongly, at least I did it thoroughly. She said she sees people throw stuff together, get their figures wrong, hope they won’t notice, do sloppy work. This was the most precise way to do it wrong she’d ever seen, hahaha. I am actually proud for that. Even the tax man was impressed by it, lol. (And not in a mean way). Plus, I got to meet a really nice lady today and I got a nice thorough explanation for exactly how to fill out the form and the accurate code for the city (I was a digit off. It was a 2% code I needed but the only one I found was a 1% code that is added on top of the 6% in certain cases, such as if I worked in restaurant, sold alcohol, or did business on an “Indian” reservation.) So it wasn’t that bad of a situation. I learned a good lesson, and was very grateful the man took the time to help me fill out a new form box by box instead of just running through it and telling me to bring it back later. Next time, I know what to do, lol.

And I’m pretty sure I gave them both a funny story to tell, too.

Anyway, now I know how to do it in the future, and in the future I will do it as I go along instead of waiting for the last moment. And hope that next time, I’ll have more to not have to itemize, hehe.

Stacey

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“I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity”

-Edgar Allan Poe

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cover    For more information on my published novels, click here!

thevillagepoetpress  Visit The Village Poet Press (My publishing company)

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We’re in Business

thevillagepoetpress

We’re in business, people! Last night I wrote a post of my blog The Legends of Sangue (When Mediocre Just Won’t Do), expressing my desire to further my marketing and business efforts, in order to gain more recognition, more readers and more sales. Through research, I have discovered a book published by a company looks much more professional than a self-published book. Also, that it is possible to begin your own publishing company, even if it’s just for the sole purpose of publishing your own work. So, I thought and thought and thought…

And The Village Poet Press was born!

Yes, it is a real business, and shortly all my books will be published under this company name. I figured, if I’m already doing all the work of a full time publishing company, then I may as well give it a name and make it real.

Along with this will be plans to further my marketing reach with specific attempts to gain readership by targeting proper demographics, networking online and off, and doing whatever I can to get the word of my novels out there. Just thought you all would be interested! I’ve gathered some initiative, pretty neat.

Have a wonderful day!

Stacey

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The Village Poet Press

The Legends of Sangue

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