I had the pleasure of attending the Digital Marketing Strategies event at our corporate offices this week with members of our digital team in Washington D.C. We spent two days in seminars unleashing a corporate digital marketing strategy outline and additional education to teams across the nation.
My life is absolutely chock-full of events that circle right around. I, Audrey Korshoff, am almost never compelled to fill out a contact form and contact my Congressman. For the most part, I let them do their job, and I do mine. I do this so rarely, that I think the last time I filled out any sort of form to contact my senator and/or house representative, my youngest child was still in diapers. She’s currently 8 ½ years old.
Today, in honor of Wikipedia and Google’s public showcase to show their discontent with the SOPA and PIPA legislation, I clicked on the link and (gasp!) filled out the form to Congressman Jim Cooper, expressing my concern regarding the bill.
We finished our training day, and after a flight delay, boarded the flight headed home to Nashville. After I boarded the plane, as others were still boarding, a man stopped, looked nearly right at me, and said, “It’s an honor to meet you, Senator, thank you for your hard work”. Confused, I looked incredulously at this man, whom I realized was looking at the seat behind me as he moved forward to shake the Senator’s hand and find his seat.
So, I turned around.
Sure enough, there’s Congressman Jim Cooper sitting on the plane directly behind me, reading his newspaper. Just before I shut off my phone, I tweeted, commenting on the seat #upgrade I gave myself at check-in, sitting in front of a senator and contemplating whether I should take the opportunity to approach my stance on the SOPA/PIPA situation.
I did make some friendly banter about how I initially thought the random guy on the plane was talking to me, but decided that it was after 5:30, and I was going to go ahead and let the man read the newspaper instead. After our complimentary beverage service and a trip to the restroom, I finally bolstered my courage to bother him and told him my story.
We briefly discussed Wikipedia’s blackout for its stance against SOPA and PIPA , then he shared that he had attended a digital conference in Nashville last week where Google came to represent and inform them about the technical intricacies and implications of these bills. I took the opportunity to share my thoughts, explaining that while I had read the overview, along with much commentary regarding the bills and would strongly prefer to not have the bills pass, I felt that I needed to read them in their entirety before I felt prepared to argue or discuss their finer points. What I did express was that those bills would be a complete “game changer” if passed (especially in my field of work), and that I felt it would NOT benefit the country as a whole to move in that direction.
So, Wikipedia and Google, I did my job today. I contacted my local Congressman, not once, but twice today. I think the second time did a much better job of getting a voice “heard”, and sure was a lot more fun.
On a more personal note, I have to say that my hesitation was in vain. Congressman Jim Cooper is very approachable, entertaining and absolutely as sweet as apple pie. He even humored my geeky side by allowing me to snap a quick picture together on the plane for my blog about my uncanny luck.
After some deliberation and the realization that downtown Nashville might be a little overwhelming of an undertaking for this single mom with four kids, not to mention just a really long night (thinking about the traffic OUT of the area) and too many people drinking and potentially driving, I opted for a more “country” setting for our fireworks festivities.
The town of Nolensville, TN had a family friendly event planned with free rock climbing walls, inflatable bounce houses, face painting, a watermelon eating contest, and a stage with live entertainment throughout the evening. We all ate dinner then headed over to the park. I brought a blanket and laid it on the ground to hold our space, then enjoyed walking around and even got my own face painted with a firework design. The kids got free balloons and the chance to run around in a park filled with families and played with other children. When it started getting dark, we all headed back to the blanket to watch the fireworks.
All in all, it was a really enjoyable 4th of July. We were home and we were all tucked in by 11:30pm. Thanks to the town of Nolensville for putting on such a delightful event and to the firemen and police officers who were all on hand to help with crowd/parking and getting us all out on our way home efficiently. They also had the firetruck and ambulance tours for the kids. We had a wonderful evening. Thanks again, Nolensville.
My friend Mitch introduced me to his buddy Andy Hillstrand yesterday. Andy was in Nashville to work on some new songs and we had the chance to sit down for several hours and work on a couple different song ideas with another friend of ours, Shannon Lawson.
Over the course of several hours, we all laughed, sang, talked and played music. We took a little break and headed over to Losers and Blue Bar, then decided to get something to eat and go back to work on the writing. It was late, so we all ordered Jack In The Box, and we ended up spending $50 at the drive-thru (something I’ve never done before)! We laughed about how all that food fit into only three bags.
After a belly full of food and a long day of creativity, we decided to call it a night…
For those of you who don’t know Andy, you can see him as the Captain of The Time Bandit on The Deadliest Catch and After The Catch on TLC or catch him on the road at one of his local venue shows where they discuss the intricacies of life on a boat doing one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. You can also hear some of Captain Andy’s music at those shows or download them on iTunes. There’s several to choose from, including a song he wrote in memory of his friend and fellow boat captain, Phil Harris, who passed away.
Speaking of iTunes, you can download Shannon Lawson‘s newest released single, “Rainy Day Whiskey” there too. He’s working on releasing his next album and is currently investing a lot of time in writing & recording with a new project. Stay tuned for more information from Shannon.
James Otto will host a live streaming benefit concert on StageIt.com on July 7th at 7 p.m. As a former North Dakota resident, Otto was saddened by the recent tragic flooding in Minot, ND. All proceeds including ticket sales and tips will be donated to Minot’s local Red Cross. In addition, a fan who has chosen to remain anonymous will match up to $5,000 of monetary tips given during the show.
This is another one of Otto’s “Thirsty Thursdays” concerts that he began in early June of this year, during which he performs via live streaming broadcast from his laptop using StageIt.com, giving fans a front row experience and chance to hear brand new music and favorite hits- all while interacting directly with Otto.
“Since I am a former North Dakotan, this is near and dear to my heart. I hope all of you will join me for a very ‘Thirsty Thursday’ that’s more than just fun… it has the ability to make a great impact on those in need,” said Otto. “Please spread the word and join me!”
For more information about James Otto and “Thirsty Thursdays,” visit www.JamesOtto.net. Tickets for the benefit show are only $5, and a limited number can be purchased at www.StageIt.com . While you’re at it, don’t forget to follow James Otto on Twitter: @jamesotto