I don't know about you but I'm getting just a little overwhelmed and disgusted with the commercialization of the holidays. Seems like Christmas decorations were up by Halloween and now Thanksgiving day is the start of the holiday shopping rush? That's why I'm so glad to talk about Giving Tuesday. The last couple of days have been all about getting deals. According to the organization Generosity - "Now we have one for giving back." It's a national campaign. Generosity is taking the lead here in Philadelphia giving us lots of ways we can contribute to the many worthy causes and organizations in the area. To find out more go to http://www.generocity.org/givingtuesday/. You can also tweet about what you're doing #givingtuesdayphl. Happy Giving Tuesday!
Follow me on Twitter @loraineballard
It's not quite a month since my mother passed away and I still don't have much distance from the grief. I'm now a member of a club nobody wants to join - children who've lost both parents. My dad Frederick Paul Ballard died in 1987 and now my mom Kumiko M. Ballard on November 8th.
I feel untethered. For better or worse - my mom was a powerful presence in my life. Always giving me advice, cutting out articles for me to read. For years I resisted as children do but in the end I dutifully listened and nodded even if I didn't agree and was often surprised when I did. I'd read the dog eared articles.
Now that's over. It wasn't always an easy relationship. My mother was my toughest judge and the never ending flow of advice, counsel and criticism sometime drove me mad. Now I recognize it as her most powerful expression of love. She simply had a hard time saying the word.
This last year each time I would leave after a visit I would wrap my arms around her thin shoulders and tell her "I love you" and toward the end she would say it back, " I love you too" and give me a sweet, lingering look of affection as I walked out the door, backwards down the hallway - waving all the while.
I've been to too many funerals these past two years and as much as I empathized and grieved with my friends and colleagues - nothing prepared me for the death of my mother. It's changed me - in a way that has given me a deeper access to understanding of what those deaths mean to the people left behind. There's a Carly Simon lyric that says it perfectly. "...there's more room in a broken heart." Well folks - there's a lot of room in there.
follow me on Twitter @loraineballard
You may not guess this but before radio my first love was dance. I was a dance major for the first two years of college until I realized in the nick of time that while I didn't have two left feet - I definitely didn't have the drive to make it in the professional dance world. Still I love dance - of all kinds. Whether it's ballet, hip hop or or in this case African dance as performed by the Kùlú Mèlé African Dance & Drum Ensemble. They're at the Painted Bride on Saturday November 30th and Sunday December 1st with performances that not only reflect their African roots but blend in urban American Flair. Check out my interview with Artistic Director Dottie Wilkie
Kùlú Mèlé Let the Roots Show 2013 performances are on Saturday, November 30 at 7pm and Sunday, December 1 at 4pm at the Painted Bride Art Center, 230 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tickets are available at the Painted Bride box office, 215 925-9914 or online at www.paintedbride.org.
These Girls are "Bring It On" times 10! The North Philly Aztecs are a nationally recognized cheer squad and they're trying to get to Disney World for the National Championships. Take a listen to these inspiring girls and their mentors and tell me they don't deserve our support. Listen to the interview.
If you want to help click here.
Follow me on Twitter @loraineballard
Hello again everyone. I’ve been out of commission for a while. My friends and extended family have been beyond wonderful after I lost my beloved mom on November 8, 2013. I'm lucky to have such a tremendous circle of support. I’ll be writing about Mom and the things I’ve learned about caring for a love one through their final days.
But for now I will distract myself with my complete and utter outrage that Cory Wade Hindorff wasn’t the winner of America’s Next Top Model Cycle 20. I’ll be honest – I hadn’t watched ANTM since the first season. But my summer intern Alison Isaacs went to school with Cory and did a lovely interview with him that we aired just before the season started last August as part of her Clear Channel Internship program.
Check out the interview to get some backstory about our hometown Philadelphia favorite who rose above the bullies and haters in high school to blossom and became my and millions of fans’s very favorite ANTM model.
And don’t forget to check to out Cory teaching me and Alison to “Smize.”
Follow me on Twitter at @loraineballard