Speechwriting: Corporate, Weddings, Retirement

7/8/14

Social Media: Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook

Ripe Bananas
Consummately creative, you can find and follow me all over social media. I love comments, shares, likes, you name it. I get right into the mix too, so jump in.

http://facebook.com/AnthonyTrendl
My official Facebook page. Books, ideas, literature, art, tall tales, short tales and cattails. See the ordinary in an extraordinary way. Fans of Twain, Kipling, Thurber will find this a friendly place. From the quirky to the funny to the unbelievable. Family-friendly. We talk about classic children's literature, what makes good horror, the integration of the arts. I occasionally offer free stuff, announce speaking engagements and literary performances.

http://www.pinterest.com/anthonytrendl/
My Pinterest page. This leans heavily on the craft of speech writing and speech delivery, but I post fascinating discussions on creativity as well, like a two-hour interview with Robert Downey, Jr.

http://instagram.com/anthonytrendl
My Instagram photos. Here I am in pure play mode. While I'm only using my smartphone, and I'm entirely untrained as a photographer, I'm always on the lookout for interesting ways of seeing the ordinary. Whether an unusual angle, funky lighting, or a a strange juxtaposition of some commonplace items, you're bound to see something fun. The bananas are there.

https://twitter.com/AnthonyTrendl
My Twitter page. Here, it is a mix of everything in bite-size gulps. The fullness of my interests flows through, from chess to jazz to running to coffee.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/anthonytrendl
My LinkedIn profile. Want to connect professionally? Head on over and find my profile. I'm all business there. You'll see my email address which will help you connect. I'm especially interested in connecting with others in the communications industry. Then, after we connect, message me an introduction.


5/15/14

Work Backwards to Move Forward in Executive Communications

As you go to your audience's perspective and walk backwards, you will bring them with you. By being honest, open and vulnerable, you will be able to lead your audience to where you need them.
You'll get your audience to the place you need by understanding where they are and working backwards through concerns one-by-one.

read more on LinkedIn

4/30/14

How to Have a Brilliant Slideshow (Or Not): Is PowerPoint Your Best Choice?


How to Have a Brilliant Slideshow (Or Not)

My recent article on LinkedIn looks at whether or not using a PowerPoint slideshow is a good idea. If so, why? Please check it out, and leave a comment. I love reading what others think.

Slideshows have long been a part of public speaking. More often than not, the speaker spends hours dwelling on every jot and tittle. Some of that is good and healthy. The speaker refines his or her message, trying to say clearly and persuasively whatever brings them to the podium. Mostly, though, the speaker is stuck sorting through templates, font choices and figuring out what to say on each slide. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but we need to remember what's of primary importance. Read more.





3/6/14

Theater and the Art of Public Speaking

Theater and the Art of Public Speaking - a piece I wrote for LinkedIn. I explain the difference between an essay and a speech.

Take a look. I'd love to know your thoughts.

2/28/14

Presidential Speeches

PresidentialSpeeches.com

As you may know, I'm a hardcore non-party member. I am not a Republican, which disappoints a great many friends. I'm not a Democrat, which infuriates another portion. I'm not Libertarian. I didn't join the Tea Party. When I ran for Student Council when I was in fifth grade, I ran Independent.

I expect to stay that way.

Why?
Most of what I see in politics disappoints me, as does the heavy partisan side-choosing that leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

I don't like the littering of this good Earth with political signs. OK, that's less serious than aggressive corruption, but it does bother me.

Two of Illinois' recent governors are in jail. One is Republican. One is Democrat. I voted for both of them.

As such, I have turned down every political speech writing opportunity.

I thought about how I can help good candidates. Yes, you are out there. Some of you play fair, live with integrity, and avoid the angry finger pointing and blame game. I want to help you.

Find me here:

PresidentialSpeeches.com

7/13/13

A Call for Folk Singers, Poets, Writers and Porch Talkers

A woodcut from La vida del Ysopet
on sus fabulas historiadas depicting
a hunchbacked Aesop surrounded
by events from the stories
in Planudes' version of his life.
Wikipedia
America needs more jug bands. Banjos too. More fiddles. Harmonicas. Singers.

And people to write new, good songs. Nothing wrong with the old songs, but we sing those an awful lot. People don't remember what they mean.

While we are at it, add in some storytellers. Real storytellers. Real poets. Not just the shouters and complainers.

We need a few Hans Christian Andersens, some Aesops, a Charles Perrault or two -- ones which never are heard on NPR and bankrolled by anyone East, West or Middle. We need them in parks and bedsides, porches and bars. They need names no one knows, without a slew of books or a university office. And yet, everyone knows them, and everyone wants to listen.

We have better coffee and more places to buy it, but fewer coffeehouses. People have run to the cities to live because people have run to the cities to live, but they aren't together. They are just in the same place, complaining and shouting, drinking coffee and not singing new songs.

Jugs bands are a start. Maybe someone with a guitar. Or someone with a glass of lemonade to share while telling some old tale they just made up.

That would be all right, don't you think?

5/15/13

Follow Me on Facebook (It isn't like George Takei's page.)

Join now: http://facebook.com/AnthonyTrendl

No, it is not just a funny picture site. That's George Takei's Facebook page. I'll admit there are one or two cute kitty pictures, but they are reading books. These are smarty cats.

I ask important things. Extremely important things.

Today, for example, we are delving into favorite punctuation marks. Which one is yours?

But it doesn't stop there. We discuss the science of humor. Watch interviews with Jerry Lewis and other great comedians explain why they are funny. They know why we laugh at what they do. Similarly, you'll watch John Cleese lecture on the creative process.

We talk about classic children's literature, what makes good horror, the integration of the arts. There's a lot going on. Stop in and stay for awhile.

My page description says, "Books, ideas, literature, art, tall tales, short tales and cattails. See the ordinary in an extraordinary way. Fans of Twain, Kipling, Thurber will find this a friendly place. From the quirky to the funny to the unbelievable. Family-friendly."

5/9/13

Sylvia Browne's Excellent Record as a Psychic (A Defense of Her Good Work)


It is easy to criticize Sylvia Browne's horrendous failures as she pretended to be psychic, or how stupid Montel Williams was for having her on his show. I decided to list all the times she was genuinely a psychic below, in this dedicated blog post just to her.




That's right. Never. People trusted her. People gave her money. People gave her fame and fortune and everything that goes with it

Never. 

It is easy to criticize Sylvia Browne. What she has done is that bad. So many viewers bought into her charade. Viewers who matter. 

She makes Benny Hinn seem less greedy and the Mob look more honest. Too much?

Ask Amanda Berry's family.

3/12/13

David Bowie's "The Next Day" and Artistic Integrity

David Bowie - The Next Day
Buy David Bowie's The Next Day now on iTunes.

I love Bowie's new album. So does The Atlantic (read their review The Predictably Unpredictable Resurrection of David Bowie) and pretty much everyone who knows his music.

I've been a huge Bowie fan since the mid-70s, since I was a wee lad, and used to try to write poems like his songs. Besides my fanboy perspective (though I don't think everything he's done is brilliant), I think his life is a good lesson in consummate creativity. He made some blunders in the process -- drug addiction, horrible relationships, and so forth. But he is always self-challenged artistically. Although he always sounds like "David Bowie," he never falls into schtick. He could do schtick well, as keenly as he changes personas. But he doesn't. He does more than reinvents his persona. He finds his new sound. He finds his next day.



In the beginning, this was a different thing. On one hand, he had nothing to lose by risking. He wasn't yet Bowie the Legend. He was a cocksure upstart. Now, he has everything to lose, but at the same time, nothing once again: no matter how awful an album is, he will still be Bowie the Legend.

He has always had an interesting mix of a strong work ethic despite his famously bohemian lifestyle of his youth, financial and artistic success, a smart sense of when to switch gears, and the guts to go full bore. Throw is a few stirs of right-place-right-time and we have a commercially successful, artistically intriguing musician.



But he could, at age 66, rest on his laurels. Like Bob Dylan (age 71, still touring heavily, recently kicked out one of his best albums ever), he isn't resting at all. Bowie's previous album, Reality, in 2003, in my opinion, was mediocre. I thought, like lots of folks, though he's had a good run and earned his retirement. "Take it Dave, before they laugh at you." Then he has a heart attack. He's rich, married to a super model, will have royalties from earlier work coming until Jesus comes back. He has nothing to prove and, from a humanist perspective (he rejects the truth and call of Jesus Christ), has and will have a pretty good life on Earth. Why do more?

Why do more? Why do more -- that is the artist's dilemma, isn't it? There is no poetically waxed, "Because I have to" nonsense  He wanted to. He didn't have to. "Have to," I think, is a mythical, romanticized view of the artistic process. But he clearly wanted to. So he did. Which, because he didn't have to, means he was completely free to do what he pleased.

And it is a great album.
Buy David Bowie's The Next Day now on iTunes. 

Follow me on Facebook.

3/4/13

when any mortal(even the most odd)

when any mortal(even the most odd)

when any mortal(even the most odd)

can justify the ways of man to God
i'll think it strange that normal mortals can

not justify the ways of God to man

-Edward Estlin Cummings

3/1/13

Andrew Mason's Daily Deal: 'I Got Fired Today'

Andrew Mason, CEO of Groupon, was fired. So, he wrote a letter to the company. He took being fired in stride, laughed a little, and led a lot. He told his former employees to press on despite the transition, and to let his replacement do his/her job well. I'd be honored to write speeches for a man like this. A class act. 

Read Andrew Mason's Daily Deal: 'I Got Fired Today' That will take you to a LinkedIn article. While you are there, connect with me on LinkedIn.

Blocked on Facebook


201 apps blocked on Facebook, plus a few crazy people. How about you?

  1. Ich will deinen Geburtstag adden
  2. World Domination: Total War
  3. Baby Animals
  4. ★ You're American Accent
  5. (Lil) Blue Cove
  6. What 80s song best describes your personality?
  7. Slots Madness
  8. What would you look like if you were a Vampire?
  9. Willy's Sweet Shop
  10. I want to add your birthday
  11. Gangster Battle!
  12. Pirates: Rule the Caribbean!
  13. YoVille
  14. Addicted to House
  15. Throw Beads
  16. Causes
  17. Water Balloons
  18. The Pink Ribbon
  19. Illinois Basketball Fans
  20. Chicago gifts
  21. Duck, Duck, Goose
  22. Kidnap!
  23. (Lil) Green Patch
  24. H2Opia
  25. MyCalendar
  26. Likeness
  27. Which Grease Character Are You?
  28. ★ True Age Test
  29. 80's High School Flashbacks
  30. Snowball Fight!
  31. Birthday Calendar
  32. Pet Pupz
  33. I want to add you as a friend
  34. Birthday Cards
  35. How well do you know The Brady Bunch?
  36. 2010 Bracket Challenge
  37. Vampire Wars
  38. Get Beer
  39. ★ Who Were You In A Past Life?
  40. CHiCAGO-GO
  41. Tattoodle
  42. What were you born to do?
  43. Friend FAQ
  44. Indicted Illinois Governor
  45. What Color Is Your Heart?
  46. Which vile fictional or historical person do you resemble?
  47. Which 80's band are you?
  48. For the Birds
  49. SpeedDate (Formerly New Layout Vote)
  50. Pass a Drink
  51. Which President are you?
  52. SuperPoke!
  53. Which Peanuts/Snoopy Character Are You?
  54. LivingSocial
  55. Peeps!
  56. Lollipop
  57. Which Woodwind Instrument are you?
  58. Chicago Cubs Fans
  59. Happy Hour With Friends
  60. Farm Town
  61. What kind of dog are you?
  62. purple gifts!
  63. President Obama Approval Poll
  64. Comfort
  65. Mafia Wars
  66. Optical Illusions Challenge
  67. Which Sesame St. Character are you?
  68. How Irish are you?
  69. Super Food Fight!
  70. How Blonde Are You?
  71. The New York Times News Quiz
  72. What 70's t.v. show character are you?
  73. What opera singer would you be?
  74. Team USA Fans
  75. Pillow Fight
  76. Totally 80's Flashbacks
  77. Bar's Open!
  78. What Work of Literature Are You?
  79. Collect Smiles
  80. Friend Hug
  81. Which Greek God are you?
  82. How well do you remember the 80's?
  83. Which Zodiac Sign Are You Most Compatible With?
  84. what do people first notice about you?
  85. What Major should you study?
  86. Mob Wars
  87. What era of Art History do you belong to?
  88. School of Magic
  89. Are You a Foodie?
  90. Which element are you?
  91. Starbucks drinks
  92. How BITCHY are you?
  93. Polls
  94. Water Gun Fight
  95. Pass a Round
  96. What Hymn are you?
  97. Send Your Friends Bottles of Red Wine!
  98. Send Your Friends some dogs in need!
  99. Hogwarts Sorting Hat
  100. Send Your Friends Blue Friendship Hearts!
  101. Send Your Friends Cherry Coke Zeros!
  102. Send Your Friends rose!
  103. Send Your Friends Cars!
  104. Send Your Friends baby baby!
  105. Send Your Friends Songs!
  106. Send Your Friends Hugs!
  107. Send Your Friends Dogs!
  108. Send Your Friends Candy Apples!
  109. Chug It!
  110. What dead rock star are you?
  111. What is God's gift in you?
  112. Smiles
  113. Food Fling!
  114. What's Your Strongest Persona?
  115. Hugged
  116. What kind of storm are you?
  117. Send Your Friends FRIENDSHIP REMINDER!
  118. Chicago Originals
  119. My Polls
  120. What kind of librarian are you?
  121. What is your ministry calling?
  122. Which Classic Rock Song Are You?
  123. FarmVille
  124. What's Your Myers Briggs Personality Type?
  125. What "Periodic Element" are you?
  126. Age of Castles
  127. Send Your Friends hugs!
  128. true friendship
  129. Send Your Friends Prayer requests!
  130. iHearts
  131. Where in Europe should you be from?
  132. Send Your Friends loves!
  133. Monty Python Presents
  134. Fairyland
  135. Halloween Treats
  136. Send Flowers
  137. Las Vegas Slots
  138. Mon arbre de Noël 2012
  139. FARKLE
  140. Send Good Karma
  141. Best Friend
  142. Top Gun
  143. Where is your ideal country to live in?
  144. FishVille
  145. UNO™
  146. My Army of Snowmen
  147. Christmas Ornaments
  148. Celebrate
  149. Give Hearts
  150. MyCalendar
  151. Roller Coaster Kingdom
  152. Send a Smile
  153. ▼ Pixable
  154. Christmas Greetings
  155. What is your EQ (Emotional Intelligence Quotient)?
  156. @Smiles
  157. Test My IQ
  158. @Hearts
  159. Which Wizard of Oz Character are You?
  160. Treasure Isle
  161. Static FBML
  162. Flixster
  163. Old Friends
  164. How Well Do You Know Me?
  165. How well do you know me?
  166. FrontierVille
  167. Я хочу добавить твой ДР
  168. Café World
  169. Friend Facts
  170. 21 questions
  171. Kingdoms of Camelot
  172. See Who Views Your Profile
  173. -ro
  174. CityVille
  175. Texas HoldEm Poker
  176. THE FRIEND FIGHTING QUIZ
  177. Are you my best friend ???
  178. love
  179. Zombie Lane
  180. City of Wonder
  181. Slotomania Slot Machines
  182. Monster World
  183. Horse Saga
  184. Bubble Saga
  185. Gardens of Time
  186. DoubleDown Casino Slots & Poker
  187. Zombie Mosh
  188. Empires & Allies
  189. FarmGiftsVille
  190. Yearbook
  191. Diamond Dash
  192. ZAGG
  193. CastleVille
  194. Happiness Meter
  195. A cup of Love
  196. Hidden Chronicles
  197. My smile for u! Smile back plz?
  198. Profile-Viewer
  199. The Ville
  200. I want to add your birthday
  201. Dragon City

12/28/12

Stairway to Heaven, Led Zeppelin Kennedy Center Tribute. Amazing!

Stairway to Heaven, Led Zeppelin Kennedy Center Tribute. Amazing! Heart -- Ann and Nancy Wilson. Jason Bonham drums. Best cover ever.

The choir even is wearing bowlers like Zep's late drummer John Bonham. Robert Plant gets teary eyed. President and Mrs. Obama tried to remain composed.

 

12/26/12

Apology Not Accepted: Mike Huckabee, James Dobson, and A Pastor’s Apology.


John Pavlovitz, self-appointed leader of the Evangelical Church (in all its permutations, including parachurch ministries), has apologized for me. For you, too, if you happen to be a Christian. Take a look at his blog post, Mike Huckabee, James Dobson, and A Pastor’s Apology.

I am not sure how he got the job. I voted in November for President of the United States, but never saw his name on the ballot. Maybe because he has a blog. No, no. That can't be it. I have a blog. I'm not in charge.

I'm looking more carefully at his post. Yes. Silly me. I see it right there at the top: "I am a Christian. I am a pastor. I am a father. As all three of these things, I apologize to the world (and to the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting), for Mike Huckabee and James Dobson."

Because he is a Christian, a pastor and a father, he has earned the right to apologize to the world, on my behalf, for things said by Mike Huckabee and James Dobson. I see. I see. It is clear.

I get Pavlovitz's point. People I am affiliated with say things I disagree with. It might be he was asked by Dobson and Huckabee each to apologize on their behalf. That can happen. I suppose. But it didn't. Back to word self-appointed.

This is not a blog post getting into what Pavlovitz thinks he is addressing. Rather, I am using his claim to apologize to point that, in his attempt, he, in my opinion, dismisses the depth and importance of the issues, and disrespects the families hurt or killed in the Sandy Hook tragedy.

By apologizing for something he didn’t do is disingenuous and arrogant. It is as if he has the right to apologize by proxy, somehow representing Christians. He does not have it. There is no position to do so. Only God could, and He never sins, so that would not happen. The evangelical world, which includes both Dobson and Huckabee, is not a cleanly drawn line, with a leader telling followers what to believe. There are many denominations, and many diverse viewpoints.

Just as I cannot, on the behalf of white people, apologize for the KKK, slavery and other racist actions, he simply does not have the right or responsibility, creating only a hollowness that is as meaningless in direct opposition to what I think he intended. These kinds of blanket apologies injure the genuinely hurt by putting a Hallmark Card spin on a very serious matter.

When President Clinton apologized for various things the American government did to Africans here in the 1930-1970s involving syphilis testing, no one took it as a real apology. It was, at best, symbolic. Genuine? I think so. Heart felt? I think so.

Wikipedia says: "The Tuskegee syphilis experiment (also known as the Tuskegee syphilis study or Public Health Service syphilis study) was an infamous clinical study conducted between 1932 and 1972 in Tuskegee, Alabama by the U.S. Public Health Service to study the natural progression of untreated syphilis in rural black men who thought they were receiving free health care from the U.S. government."

What President Clinton said: The United States Government did something that was wrong, deeply, profoundly, morally wrong. It was an outrage to our commitment to integrity and equality for all our citizens. We can end the silence. We can stop turning our heads away. We can look at you in the eye and finally say on behalf of the American people what the United States Government did was shameful, and I am sorry.

I agree 100% with President Clinton on this. He was saying to the nation, "I, as leader of this nation, and part of a long line of presidents to be followed by others, and therefore as a representative and spokesperson for the nation, want all of America and the world to know such testing is wrong, was wrong and always will be wrong. I cannot undo what was done, but I can say we will never do it again." Those are my words, but that's my take on what President Clinton said.

But it was not an apology. Clinton had not done the wrong himself.  Had he skipped, "I am sorry," at the end, and no one would call it an apology. They'd just say, "Right on, Mr. President." But, Clinton was President. What the American government did was wrong. He tried, did so publicly, and outside of those three words, it was a perfect statement.

I have no idea who John Pavlovitz is. I know he said in response to things Dobson and Huckabee have said, "This week, these “representatives” of Christianity in the American media, have done what they seem bent on doing and content to do in times of tragedy; they have stood on top of someone else’s pain and grief, while preaching a message of dreadfully misplaced, fear-infused hatred and horribly dangerous theology."

Which exactly what he has done.


12/24/12

Why I Celebrate Christmas

As I posted in my official Facebook page:


Christmas celebrates the beginning of the most amazing human to ever walk this Earth. Jesus Christ is not a tale or a legend, not a cute story about a baby in a manger, but the most dangerous person from Herod's perspective, someone to be worshiped from the shepherds' perspective, someone to be loved from Mary and Joseph's perspective, and Lord, God and King, from my perspective. 

Enjoy this Christmas season, love your neighbors as yourself, and, when you sing a glorious carol, think about what Jesus did some 33 years later.

12/21/12

An End of Everything: An Eerie Tale About NonExistence

Tree Fort BooksOK. Here I am. 

Midnight. December 21, 2012. It just turned Friday.

Didn't see this coming.

Uh oh.

I need to make some changes. I have entire tomorrow to plan, though here we are. It is tomorrow. There wasn't supposed to be one. Tomorrow was supposed to... hmm. This all gets kind of messy as verb tenses go. Either, I was not expecting to be here. The Mayans did some bad math. Or did I?

Some apologies. Lots of apologies. Though, then again, I think I will be hearing a few as well. You know, from that one guy and his friend, and their cousin. Definitely the cousin.

And, yeah, that thing that happened I thought no one would ever find out about? They probably will. That will take some explaining.

Looks like there will be a little credit card problem later today when the banks open. That is not going to look good. I need to stop by the luxury auto place and see if they will take back a customized Lamborghini.

Not to worry. It's not like its the end of the world. Yeah, I heard that before. Ha!

Those silly people talking about the end of the world. Can you believe that people actually bought into it. Just like this. Here I am, right after midnight. I'm here. You're here. Everyone is here. Wherever they were at 11:59 pm, Wednesday, December 20, they are still there. Same place. Same everything.

Just like we have always been and always will be, give or take a billion years and the sun exploding.

It is late, I'm tired.

Um, what was that sound? Yes, that sound. The crack. The loud, eerie, crushing crack. A branch? No, no. Deeper than a branch. A truck crash? Not that. I saw one once. Not as eerie. This crack echoed, but it was a backwards echo. The sound consumed itself.

It is still cracking. How can that be? Cracks end. Things are supposed to break. Is this an earthquake? I can't tell. The lights are off. There is no other sound. Just the crack.

Where is everyone? Streetlights gone. Must be a power outage. The sound? Should the earth move? I live in Chicago. Earthquakes don't happen here. The earth must. The quaking part.

Where's the moon? There is no moon. It must be cloudy. I don't see any stars. There must be clouds. I don't see anything. No clouds. No sky. I don't even see the neighbors house.

It must be a huge storm. It can't be a storm. There is no wind. No rain. Things are dry. Completely dry. No, I don't feel anything. Where's my bed? I was in my bed. I think. Or am downstairs?

The crack is gone. It stopped. I hear nothing. Nothing at all. The heat is off. The fridge too. Of course. The power is out. Right. Those are off. I got it. Shouldn't I hear something? The building is always settling. No traffic outside. No airplanes. Quiet night. Everyone must be in. But I don't even hear my clothes when I move. Did I move? Of course I am moving. But I'm not moving. I'm sitting still. Or am I standing?

This blackness. It causes vertigo. I never had it before. This must be what blind people go through, seeing nothing at all. Deaf people too.

It is so dark. No, dark is not the word. It is too dark for that. I can't even see what I'm thinking.

I'm thirsty. I think I'm thirsty. Or hungry. No I'm not. I'm not at all. I'm not. I just no longer am.

I'm not.


For silly tales, please visit http://TreeFortBooks.com

12/19/12

Rosati's Pizza and Gambling: Finding Better Pizza with Social Responsibility

Rosati's Pizza Twitter Post about Their New Video Gambling Machine 
Proudly announcing their video gambling machine, complete with a how-to video on YouTube embedded in, Rosati's Pizza lost my business. 

I will not knowingly support a business directly encouraging this kind of gambling. Yes, I shop where lottery tickets are sold, and despise that I must. As pizza goes, I have plenty of alternatives.

See the original Tweet for yourself. They have blocked me (apparently not happy that I pointed out that Nancy's Pizza tastes better and is less salty than Rosati's Pizza), but I am glad to post the link here, encouraging free speech. Let me know if they take it down. 

The machine is in their Yorkville, IL store. I used to buy from their Wheaton, IL store. Yorkville's decision impacted the Wheaton store's business. 

For those of you outside of Chicago, Rosati's Pizza is a basic Chicago-style pizza. According to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago-style_pizza#Thin-crust_pizza):
There is also a style of thin-crust pizza found in Chicago and throughout the rest of the Midwestern USA. The crust is thin and firm enough to have a noticeable crunch, unlike a New York-style pizza. 
The crust is topped with a liberal quantity of Italian style tomato sauce, which usually has quite a lot of herbs or is highly spiced, and typically contains no visible chunks of tomato. Next, a layer of toppings is added, and finally a layer of mozzarella cheese. This pizza is cut into squares, also known as party cut or tavern cut, as opposed to a pie cut into wedges. However, the consistency of the crust and the quantity and choice of the tomato sauce and cheese are what separate this style from East Coast- and Roman-style pizzas, and it makes the pizza from most neighborhood pizzerias immediately distinguishable from that offered by national chains such as Papa John's or Pizza Hut. Aurelios is a chain which specializes in this kind of pizza. Casa Bianca, located in the Eagle Rock section of Los Angeles, is also well known for this style of thin-crusted Chicago bar pizza.


I have had it delivered for many years, but now, as I am against gambling, am no longer willing to buy from them.

It is a free country. They are doing nothing illegal. In fact, as their post says clearly, they have a license to do this, issued by the State of Illinois. The fact that it is legal does not mean I should support a business doing something I despise. 

My community matters more to me than my pizza choice. And, as it turns out, we have several other excellent pizza choices. 

Why don't I like gambling? Plainly, I think it hurts communities in proportion to how much gambling there is. More importantly, it hurts people. I won't labor on about my reasons, but the short version is that communities are never bettered from the addition of opportunities to gamble. You can see the definition of problem gambling below, but I also think there is a larger negative social impact. Sure, not everyone who gambles will become a compulsive gambler, and one video machine may not cause anyone to struggle.  

I also know many of my readers may be enthusiastic gamblers without any issues of addiction and are not involved in any aspect of gambling culture that is a social concern. I'm not denying your right, or Rosati's Pizza's right. I am merely explaining that Rosati's Pizza's decision nauseates me. Why would I want to purchase food from a place that equates vomit in my mind? I don't. 

What is Problem Gambling?
Problem gambling is gambling behavior which causes disruptions in any major area of life: psychological, physical, social or vocational. The term "Problem Gambling" includes, but is not limited to, the condition known as "Pathological", or "Compulsive" Gambling, a progressive addiction characterized by increasing preoccupation with gambling, a need to bet more money more frequently, restlessness or irritability when attempting to stop, "chasing" losses, and loss of control manifested by continuation of the gambling behavior in spite of mounting, serious, negative consequences.

12/17/12

More Love, Less Politics: The Sandy Hook Tragedy



Already, what happened in Connecticut has become political. More guns. Fewer guns. More God in school. Less God in school. Meaningless online petitions. Impassioned Facebook posts which exact some strong emotion and a dozen like-minded responses, or a new profile picture with a candle. Nice. 

Sympathetically, our nation weeps. Our President Obama has capably stepped in as he would in any major tragedy, to offer comfort. Our churches cry out across the nation. We need to wrap our heads and hearts around this, yet know we cannot. It is too big, but we must try. 

Meanwhile, the people immediately around us need our love, not our politics. They need us to call them, to ask them how they are, to invite them for dinner, or to just sit quietly over coffee or wine.

It is easy to join the water cooler soldiers for righteousness. I live in Illinois and have no connection to the Connecticut tragedy. I cannot make a difference there. Some of you actually can. You know those directly impacted. But here, hundreds of miles away, who can I love?

That said, of course everyone killed breaks my heart, including the gunman himself. Which life didn't God love? Did He love the children more than the adults? Did He love the killer more than the killed or less? 

Our neighbors, who we should love, go through big and large sufferings daily. The suffering elderly, the scared unwed mom, the inmate lonely in jail, the hungry, the cold, the unclothed, the guy who lost his job, the high school kid whose girlfriend just dumped him for another guy - it goes on, and God so, so ... so loved the world that He gave us His son. He loved us 2,000 years ago and loves us, them... we, today and tomorrow. May the tragedy at Sandy Hook not outshine our need to love our neighbor.

It is harder to love our neighbor as yourself. Atheists as well as believers in any deity should understand this. I'm not going to convince the atheist that my Lord is real, nor do I care that they think my beliefs are misguided. That's a wholly different discussion. I do hope anyone reading this, though, looks directly to the east, west, south and north of their home, cubicle, train commute, grocery store line or coffee shop table and asks if there is something they can do to love their neighbor.

Maybe you have no idea how. Fair enough. Try asking about them. Listen. Then be ready to respond. Love might take the cost of dinner, but it might just take a half hour hearing their heart, or, maybe, just talking about something seemingly trite, like the Chicago Bears' awful season. Maybe it takes investment, like calling them next week too.

More love, less politics.