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Kim Kardashian’s boobs are everywhere

21 Nov

Cover your boobs up, Kim K. We know you love them. But your boobs made this song even more terrible.

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George Washington was not the 1st President of the United States?

22 Sep

John_Hanson_Portrait_1770

This guy was. When my brother told me this recently, I swear I thought he was smoking crack. We had just gotten back from visiting James Madison’s home, Montpelier. And as we discussed Madison’s profound presidency and his influence over Washington, he throws out, “well you know, Washington wasn’t the first president.”

Now my brother has said some crazy shit before, but this time I was like, are you serious? (My brother is very paranoid and doesn’t trust the government and believes in many conspiracy theories.) Then he says, “You’ve never heard of John Hanson.”

“Who the hell is John Hanson?”

“The first president of the United States.”

“What’s wrong with you? Are you high? Um. It’s actually George Washington. You know the dude on the dollar bill.”

Then he googles John Hanson and bam! Tons of results proclaiming John Hanson as the first president of the U.S. Then he goes on to say there were actually seven presidents before George Washington took office. One guy actually served as president for a day.

I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. And why wasn’t this in any of my history books. Basically, because George Washington became president after the Constitution and John Hanson and the other forgotten six presidents served before the Constitution.

John Hanson was the first president of Congress under the Articles of Confederation and for this reason, many regard him as our nation’s first President.The Articles of Confederation was our nation’s first constitution and set up the rules on how our government would run. It had tons of holes and was later replaced with the Constitution.

So this guy was allowed to sign official documents on behalf of our country. And he established the Treasury Department, the first Secretary of War, and the great seal of the United States that all Presidents today use on official documents. Sounds pretty much like he was a president, but wasn’t vocal enough to get recognition.

This is a great lesson in career recognition. Even if you stay late or bend over backwards to do your job, at the end of the day, if you don’t speak up and demand to be recognized, you probably won’t be. No one will ever be a better advocate for yourself and your worth than you. Don’t be like John Hanson who.

The future of AKQA?

20 Sep

freedom

There is something to be said for being independent. Oh to be free from holding companies and the fattening of their pockets. This has always been one of the main reasons why I’ve admired AKQA. They became an incredibly successful agency without being anyone’s bitch.

Then General Atlantic took a majority stake several years ago and everyone wondered what would happen to them. AKQA proved to everyone they could keep their cool and hold their own. And the work got even better.

Now word on the street is that there are interested buyers again. But this time it’s financial giant, Morgan Stanley as well as Dentsu.

If they sell now, will their soul be lost forever? Or will they prove once again that they are a major force to be reckoned with? Only time will tell. Although, I have a pretty good feeling that nothing can stop them or their passion for creating breakthrough creative–not even a financial giant.

Craziness. I have a half-brother I never even knew existed.

15 Aug

Now that I know this, I’m going to put my search engine optimization skills to good use.

Ralph Herbert LeRoy Phillips

3 generations of Phillips' (Herbert, Ralph and my dad, Leroy)

I just found out I have a half-brother. And he’s white. (My siblings and I are mixed.) Apparently, my father, Leroy Clark Phillips, had a child before he met my mother and never mentioned it to her until after I was born. And she just mentioned it for the very first time yesterday. My half-brother would be older than my brother, who is now 36.

My father died in 1981. He was 41. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetary (between Bradley & MacArthur). Sometimes when my family visitsmy father at Arlington National Cemetary, there are flowers there. I never knew where they came from. Maybe they were placed there by my half-brother.

arlington national cemetary leroy clark phillips
arlington national cemetary leroy clark phillips

Now that we know a half-brother exists, my siblings and I would like to meet him–if he is interested. I am hoping one day he googles Leroy Clark Phillips, Leroy Phillips, or Leroy C. Phillips and sees this blog.

Facts about Leroy Clark Phillips:

-Born on September 17, 1940
-He died when he was 41
-He was born in California
-He served 20 years in the Navy as a cryptologist
-He was working for the American Red Cross in DC when he died
-He is buried at Arlington National Cemetary (between Bradley & MacArthur)

Hopefully, one day he stumbles on this. I’ll be waiting.

Why you should choose a 2-year 529 plan

10 Sep

You have a baby. You immediately start thinking about your future and theirs. You decide to get a 529 plan. But like most financial matters in life, most of us are too busy to really understand what our options are. So we follow the herd. We sign our baby up for a 4-year college plan. And we don’t look back.

I’m writing this to let you know something about the 529 plan that I think is often misunderstand.

The beauty of a 529 plan is it locks you into today’s college rates. With college tuition rising 11%+ each year, in 18 years this will be a bargain. But let’s say your baby is like me. They know exactly what they want to be and major in the moment they step foot in class.  Is the 4-year 529 plan really the best choice? No it isn’t!

The 529 plan in Virginia (I think it might be safe to assume this applies to all states, but check for yourself to be certain.) covers your tuition for general classes. Think History 101, English 101, and Government 101

But if your kid has already decided they want to be an engineer, a nurse, or even an advertising professional, then the 4-year plan isn’t really for them. Why? Because, it doesn’t cover their core classes. So when they start specializing and taking those very specific classes geared toward their major, your 529 plan is no good. If you chose a 4-year plan, then let’s say core classes start their junior year. You have about 25,000 left in your 4-year plan starting their junior year. The inflated cost is now $100,000 for your kid’s junior and senior year. That $25,000 you have left gets applied to the actual present day $100,000 cost–leaving you with a bill of $75,000.

If you’re like me and thinking WTF, well, it’s better to know now than 18 years from now.

In addition to 529 plans, states offer additional programs to cover things beyond tuition like room and board, books, meals, etc. Virginia offers a Cordova Plan. Essentially you pick a mutual fund, dump as much money as you want into it and whatever it earns you can apply it toward any college related costs.

Putting aside the tax advantages of 529 plans for a moment, I don’t understand why I put money into a mutual fund run by educational people. I mean, why wouldn’t you invest money with a financial company that eats, sleeps and dreams about finance–like T. Rowe Price or Fidelity. Personally, I chose the T. Rowe Price Retirement 2050 fund. I figured they are a solid company. Plus, the fund is in my name. So if my son turns out to be a disrespecting asshole who decides he want to drop out and travel the world, well then it just means more money for my nest egg and he’ll know know the better.

I hope I’m not turning you off from investing in a 529 plan. I think they’re great. Especially because if you kid decides they don’t want to go to college, it’s transferable. Not to mention again, the great tax benefits.

Whatever you do, do not procrastinate on this. Start it as soon as your baby takes his first breath of air. Every year you put it off, it gets more expensive because college tuition rises every year. We took $3,000 from our tax refund and it got our son’s 2-year 529 plan down to $125 a month. Then I invest in mutual funds. I don’t think we’ll be able to cover everything. But our parents didn’t give us a dime towards our college and so we feel like even being able to pay for 3 years, hopefully 4 is good enough. After all, repaying student loans suck.

Ford Flex is off the hook

21 Aug
Ford Flex

Ford Flex

Ford used to be a piece of shit brand. In the last decade or so, their designs sucked. Their cars sucked. And their brand fell by the wayside. I would never even have considered a Ford, let alone buy one. But that changed with the Cash for Clunkers program.

We looked at Ford, Kia, Toyota and Honda. The first car we tested was the Ford Flex Limited Edition in Cinnamon. I still remember thinking about it the day after. You could say I was lusting. We needed a bigger family car and family members tried to sway us to buy the Toyota Sienna. But we’re not minivan drivers. And when you think of paying $27,000 for something that makes you feel weird and not proud, I think that’s just crazy.

I looked at the Four Runner and Highlander–all in the lower $30’s for base models.

Kia was really sad. The designs. The colors. It felt cheap. SUV were in the mid $20’s.

Honda was just arrogant as usual. No one said hi in the show room, so my husband left.

We even drove to several Ford dealerships: Darcars in Lanham and Bill Britt in Chantilly. Lanham had the Ford Flex SEL and Bill Britt had the Ford Flex Limited Edition.

The SEL is okay. It’s a nice size and it’s comfortable. But the Limited Edition makes you feel like a freaking kid on “Pimp My Ride.” It’s incredible. We were drooling.

Ford Flex

Ford Flex

Here’s just some of our Ford Flex Limited Edition features:

  • 4 moon roofs (One for each room)
  • Leather seats
  • Second row seats fold out of the way with the touch of a button
  • Trunk pops open with the touch of a button
  • Rear-view camera
  • Voice-activated navigation (phone, blue tooth, etc)
  • Microsoft SYNC (Jukebox lets you download CDs onto a hard drive in your car, picture slide show, etc.) You can tell it to play Jay-Z or Lady Gaga, it will start playing the songs you downloaded. Sick!
  • v-6 engine
  • DVD player in the second row (and nav screen can also play DVD
Ford Flex

Ford Flex

We bought our 2009 Ford Flex Limited Edition for about $35K. Which is insanely crazy! If the car had a Toyota emblem on it, I believe it would cost $10K more. If it had a Lexus or BMW logo on it, it would cost $20-30K more. I feel like we got much more than we paid for. And I can definitely say, I am glad I chose Ford. And I can gladly say that Ford is no longer a piece of shit brand. It’s the future of American auto making. If you haven’t seen a Ford lately, you seriously need to. They’re really something!

Ford Flex

Ford Flex

Ford Flex

Ford Flex

First Toddler Outside Mexico Dies from Swine Flu

29 Apr
Reported Swine Flu Cases

Reported Swine Flu Cases

Shit this is scary! A 23-month-old boy died in Houston, Texas from the swine flu. The toddler lived in Mexico City, Mexico and contracted the swine flu two weeks ago after visiting relatives in a border town known as Brownsville, Texas. He died of pneumonia after contracting the swine flu. Read more about the toddler death.

I don’t know about you, but I am going to avoid Texas like the plague.

91 Americans now have this pig disease. I heard 4 Delaware University students might have it now. And there are six probably cases in Maryland. Ugh! Ban pork!!! Put your masks on already! Wash your hands! And don’t FN sneeze on me! It’s on like donkey kong.

Here’s CNN coverage of the first toddler in US who died from the swine flu: