Tag Archives: Vote

Come Fly With Me

5 Jan

Drop Me Anywere Logo

Hello all. Yes, I know, it feels like forever since I’ve written here. I’m sure you were worried about me. I appreciate the Get Well cards, E-mails and flowers you all sent. Oh wait, yours must have been lost in the mail. What with Christmas and the UPS package delivery fiasco, I’m sure your ‘Get Well’ card will be arriving any day now.

Actually, I wasn’t sick at all (except perhaps for the traditional New Year’s Day hangover). I’ve been busy with a new project. It’s called Drop Me Anywhere! “What is it?” you ask (thanks for asking). Well, a little backstory.

You all remember I left my job at Disney Cruise Line for some very much needed R&R (you can read about it in Sabbatical). It’s been wonderful. I did a lot of yoga, drank good wine and scotch, reconnected with friends, wrote, traveled a little, had surgery (remember that? No? Read here) and generally got my body, mind and relationships healthy again. When I was ready, I began looking for jobs that I would again be passionate about. It turns out most of these jobs were overseas, with many in England, where I would like to try living. I applied for many of them. Some even contacted me to ask me to apply. And some led to interviews. It was all very promising until they found out I’m an American. When companies figured out they’d need to sponsor a visa for me, I became, well, less desirable. Yes, I’ve had relationships where I was told I was high-maintenance (which I continue to dispute), but when it comes to a job, apparently easy is more important than qualified and passionate (wondering if easy is more important than passionate in a relationship too – hoping not).

During this time, my friend April texted me with a few questions.

“What three things would your dream job entail?” was one question.

After just a minute of consideration I answered confidently, “Writing, Travel and Helping the World! I’d settle for two out of three.”

As, at this time in my life, I’m not settling, and nobody was offering me a job that I felt I would be passionate about, I’ve decided to create my own. Yup, full-time travel writing. Yikes!!

Drop Me Anywhere came about through a Twitter travel chat I was participating in. These are organized chats with 5-10 questions using hashtags (#) to delineate (big word – writer here) the specific chat.

One question was, “If you had a travel show, what would it be called and what would it be about?”

“Mine’s called ‘Drop Me Anywhere,’ I answered, “and it’s about traveling without a plan!”

The response was overwhelming, with people telling me I needed to film a pilot, get it on YouTube and make a Kickstarter campaign. Wow! Please believe me when I say I had not thought of the title or the topic until about thirty-seconds before I typed that answer.

I let the idea rest for a couple of weeks figuring out that, although I’ve done on-camera interviews, my comfort zone truly is writing. I contacted a well-known travel writer who I had an E-mail exchange with about a story he was writing a few months before.

“Is this anything?” I asked

He wrote me back telling me he loved the idea and what might be the best way to go about it. I guess it’s something! Next thing I know, Drop Me Anywhere was born.

So what makes it different? It’s the first interactive travel writing and reading site. It’s a partnership between you and me. You get to vote on where to send me without a plan. Yup, that’s right, you get to tell me where to go (insert your joke here). I’ll generally leave within 2 weeks or so without researching. I’ll write about the adventure and also provide information and links to vendors, lodging and activities. But wait, there’s more. . .

I’ll be spending a day, or part of a day volunteering for a non-profit organization I find over there. And after that, I’ll write about them on Rebel-With-A-Cause so you’ll know about them too.

One more twist to this new project – I’m calling it “Kickstarter Miles.” It has nothing to do with Kickstarter, but airfare is expensive, even when booking in advance. With just two weeks’ notice well, even a trip to Santa Monica can be expensive. So, if you have an extra few thousand frequent flyer miles that you won’t use in the foreseeable future, how about throwing them my way? Just click on the “Donate Miles” page and you can contact me to show me how generous you are. You’ll also see what great rewards you’ll receive for your donation.

Finally, you’ll be happy to know that I’ll be my usual snarky self on Drop Me Anywhere, so we all get to make fun of my life. And I’ll still be posting on My Own Adventure here and there as, when traveling or not, I still find this an amusing world and it helps those voices in my head express themselves. Rebel-With-A-Cause will remain informative and interesting, yet snark-free, as I’ll make fun of my own life, but not of someone else’s. These will be people who do good work and I hope my telling of their stories will do them justice.

So, please click on the Drop Me Anywhere link read a bit more about it. Please subscribe and vote (yes, you can vote without subscribing but this way you’ll get an E-mail when I post about the voting results).

I must go to check my mailbox now as I’m sure your Get Well card will have arrived today.

Starting A Rebellion

12 Aug

Back in January, as I was about to embark on a new adventure, I wrote a piece called Everything Old is New Again. In it, I made a promise to use my writing for good instead of snarkiness (although I’m still of the belief that snarky is good) and to give a voice to those who have none.  It’s time to keep that promise because, as much as I’d like to believe it’s all about me, it’s really not.

You might have noticed that an extra link has appeared on this page. This links you to my latest, non-snarky (or perhaps snarky-lite) adventure called Rebel-With-A-Cause.org.

The project involves me driving across the southern U.S. – at least from Arizona to Florida (sorry California, but you’re just a bit too far west), meeting people, writing their stories and, well, giving away money. I know what you’re thinking, ‘She finally starts makin’ some cash and now she’s giving it away. No wonder she was losing her house.’ Well, you may be right. But really, I’m known to be a bit of a tight-wad (does anyone actually use that term anymore?). What can I say, I just needed inspiration to separate me from the Ben Franklins (or perhaps I can give away one Grover Cleveland).

This project evolved from a decision to drive back to the ship I work on. During my time as an adventure tour guide, I drove across the country many times. In fact, I did it five times in my first six months. Yes, it was nice driving someone else’s vehicle, a 15 person maxi-van on which I rotated the tires and changed the oil in between trips (I rocked those auto shop coveralls). It was wonderful having someone else cover the costs, and it was great to get paid while doing it (ok, the pay was terrible). I came to know what a beautiful country the U.S. is, and exactly how big Texas is.

I decided that it might be nice to drive to Florida so that, when I’m in port, I can have my car instead of waiting for the bus to arrive to take me to Walmart to pick up supplies (aah, and you thought it was a glamorous life). Big dreams before I realized that I rarely have time to get off the ship while in the U.S. By then, the decision had been made, it was too late to request an air ticket from my company. I took it as a sign that I was meant to drive (or maybe that I can’t make a decision to save my life). Combine that with my promise to give a voice to others and Rebel-With-A-Cause was born.

Rebel will tell the stories of people I meet who have been hit hard by the economy, health issues, family challenges or simply bad luck. It will be covered by various media outlets and, in the end, readers will vote on who I give $1,000 to (yes, my own cash). Hopefully it won’t end there. I’m hoping that those who don’t receive the cash may find someone stepping up to help in another way. And maybe we can start a movement. You don’t have to give a lot to make a difference, and it doesn’t have to be money. I will use my writing talent (yeh, some people say I have some, but I think those people drink a lot) but we all have something to give.

Does this mean that I’m deserting you, with whom I share a love of snarkiness? Not a chance. During the trip I’m sure to find plenty of people and locations to provide me with inner giggles which I can share with you.  And, if you’re along my route, speak up and buy me dinner, or offer up a place to stay (ok, if I don’t know you maybe just a bite as you could be creepy).

So, if you want snarky keep on reading My Own Adventure. If you want a bit of seriousness and, hopefully, touching stories visit Rebel-With-A-Cause.  Or an even better idea, read both!  And share the love on Twitter @DropMeAnywhere and Facebook (sorry, my account is private because again, you could be creepy).  Play nice with others and share.

Job Hunting in Paradise

8 Oct

This week’s adventure involves more filming and begging for a job. I’m still waiting to hear from Oprah. Ellen? I’m sure she’ll be knockin’ on my door at any moment. In the meantime, the new target is Paradise Hunter!

 You see ParadiseHunter.com is having a contest. Not sure if it’s so much of a contest as a video job application. You see, they’re looking for someone to host. It’s advertised as 52 weeks paid vacation. Not quite sure that’s completely true but, I’ll take a job, a vacation, heck I’ll take a dinner. So this week, more filming.

The filming this time was not done by a professional camera woman, but by my friend Brenda. It was an interesting shoot to say the least. To start, I drove over to Brenda’s house in the worst storm Phoenix has seen in quite some time (an omen?). I was like the post-man – through rain, sleet (is that the same as hail?) and bad Phoenix drivers. I rehearsed my script on the way over (put that blue-tooth in my ear so other drivers thought I was talking on my phone) all the while wondering how our plan of outdoor filming with natural light was going to work.

I arrived at Brenda’s and ran through the downpour to the front door – my perfectly coiffed curly hair now a pile of frizz. Rang the doorbell and was greeted by three barking, rambunctious dogs and Brenda who is currently 14 months pregnant (really, how can skin stretch that much?). I squeezed the water out of my clothes and sat down with a nice glass on wine (part of my new pre-production ritual to loosen up). We waited, and waited and waited for the rain to stop (all the while a script running through my head).

Finally, a break in the rain. We raced outside to take advantage of the sliver of time before the sun set. As always I was prepared for one take – hah! Funny, nobody who knows me would think I might find it difficult to speak for one minute. Yet, there I was, searching on the ground for the words that had fallen out of my head. Take 3 – wait was that word? Multi-talented or mutilated (big difference). Take 12 – forgot the words, just keep going, keep going, ad-libbing, oh crap, now I’m just talkin’ nonsense. Take 18 – it’s going well, almost done, dog barking – really? Take 22 – good take but could it be better? Let’s try again. Take 25 – is that a dog vomiting next to me? Yup. Stand-by, dog is still at it. Take 27 – move to a different part of the yard as we’re losing the light. Take 32 – another decent one. It’s a wrap. I need more wine.

As was the case with the Oprah application, nothing is simple. The file is too large for Brenda to E-mail to me. She burns me a DVD and we eat our pizza. When I get home I pop in the DVD and nothin’. There are no files on the DVD. What? Can’t even think of doing the backyard filming again. Can’t ask Brenda to do it again. The way things went with the last shoot, she would most likely go into labor while filming (would it be bad for me to refuse to drive her to the hospital until we finished?). Luckily, Brenda saved the files on the camera and uploaded what she felt was the best take (really, that was the best one?).

I’ve finally viewed the video. The sound is terrible and my hair is frizzy. And where did my smile go? Really, I’m a girl whom various friends have

Aah, there's my smile!

 nicknamed “Sunshine” yet I’m lookin’ awfully serious. Could it be due to driving rain, hail, barking dogs, vomiting dogs or trying to finish before my friend’s water broke? Who knows, but perhaps they will see my potential. I completed the application. The three minutes it took to complete the application was much easier than the nearly three hours it took for the Oprah one.

So now, I wait. And hope people will vote. Unlike Oprah, you can only vote once per day. But you can spread the word. Tell your friends. I’ll send a bottle of wine for each vote received. Hhhmmm, scratch that. Way too expensive even if I win. This gig doesn’t pay what Oprah’s does. But I will drink a glass and toast you. So, let’s see how drunk you can get me. Don’t think of this as voting for me for host, think of it as a drinking game. Let’s get Carole drunk and employed all at the same time.

Vote at I’ll drink to that.

Voting? It’s somewhere between the Presidential elections and American Idol

2 Jul

I woke up today and checked my votes and, to my surprise, I was up to over 700. A big jump from yesterday’s 200+. And by this evening, we’re up to 1,276! While you may look at some videos and see that they have a million or more, I am convinced that these people have bots going.

Some of my friends have asked what “bots” are. Proof that my friends don’t use bots as they don’t even know what they are.  Bots are computer programs that automatically vote, and keep voting, to bring the numbers into the millions. . . I think. And bots are banned in this contest and will, hopefully, be caught. Regardless, I’m playing by the rules.

And for those supporters who are concerned that I don’t have millions, or even hundreds of thousands of votes, no worries. As it says on the OWN site today, 

“All vote counts on the Your OWN Show site are UNOFFICIAL and are subject to verification to ensure compliance with the Participation Terms” (Aah, the old “bot” statement).
– Shortly after voting ends, OWN will announce the top five online finalists who will join 35 other finalists chosen from the open casting calls or other online entries. Show producers will then cast 10 people from this group of 40 to be on Your OWN Show. At least one of the top 5 online finalists will get a spot on the show. Stay tuned to see who gets cast! Find out on the first episode of Your OWN Show which will air on OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network in January, 2011.

So, there you go. Only five of the 40 chosen as finalists are based on votes. Oprah’s people choose the other 35. But votes are still important. The way I figure it, they’ll look at how many votes everyone received based on the day of the video posting to see if there is interest in that show. So keep voting, please!

Also, a couple of people have posed the question, “I voted for you but when I went back to vote again (wow, thanks!) the number hadn’t changed.” Not to worry. The number seems to be updating periodically. It doesn’t seem to register right away but, rest assured, it does register. 

Supposedly the finalists must be available to come to LA in July. Is it wrong that I would like to be a finalists because that will get me out of Arizona in July? And, if I’m not a finalist, perhaps I’ll just show up and crash the party. To know me is to love me.

Anyway, please keep voting as there are only 2 days left! http://myown.oprah.com/audition/index.html?request=video_details&response_id=16764&promo_id=1

Remember, I can’t win if you don’t play!

My video is up and running!

29 Jun

I took the weekend away to go work in Dallas (a girl’s gotta make a living) and, when I returned, the video was posted. Yay!!! The link is http://myown.oprah.com/audition/index.html?request=video_details&response_id=16764&promo_id=1

I’m somewhat happy with the video. I think I just don’t like watching myself, but that’s not important. What’s important is that you want to watch me. And I can’t thank Lynn enough for her hard work on this. She made me look better than I really do. And her editing got the video looking smooth and down to size in order to get it uploaded. I’m most happy with the written application which you don’t see. I think my writing experience really played a big part in the quality of my application and I hope that Oprah’s people will be impressed.

Now comes the voting. First, a brief explanation of how it works. Some people have noted that I don;t stand a chance as there are some people with millions of votes. Yes, I applied later in the game and it will be reflected in my vote count. Still, there’s no way that those millions of votes are real. I’m guessing there are “bots” (computer generated automatic votes) involved. And, since bots are prohibited, I’m hoping they will be disqualified. Also, I’m hoping they take into account the amount of votes you received and the day you applied.

While your votes mean a lot (so keep voting!) and you may vote more than once (without even watching the video again), it is only part of the selection process. The top five valid vote getters (is “getters” a word?) are guaranteed a spot in the semi-finals, with one person from that group guaranteed a spot in the finals. I’m happy to say that the producers are supposedly viewing all submissions and will choose others to compete in the semi-finals and finals.

Also, some have questioned the fact that when they vote for me, the number of votes doesn’t change. From what I’ve noticed is that the vote numbers are periodically updated. So you may not see it immediately but rest assured, it will count and is much appreciated.

If you’d like to view and vote please click on the link http://myown.oprah.com/audition/index.html?request=video_details&response_id=16764&promo_id=1 .

And if you’d like to immediately vote again you may click on the link again or go to the “Browse and Vote” section and type in Carole in the search box. I’m the one in the short sleeved, lime-green top (the same color as the vote button!). Click on me and you can click vote again. . . and again. . . and again!

Voting is open until 11:59pm Pacific Time on July 3rd. Please spread the word! And don’t forget, go to http://myown.oprah.com/audition/index.html?request=video_details&response_id=16764&promo_id=1

Thanks so much and come back for updates.

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