Philanthropy by corporations should be seen as part of it’s overall business strategy. I had a fascinating conversation with one of my mentors yesterday about my approach to philanthropy and I realized while reading this article that after leaving, being in business school, I can step back fully and articulate the strategy. When working for a non profit, I enjoyed the cold calling, long term relationship development, and the ROI conversations with potential donors. The donor’s strategic plans and the philanthropy had to fit, and when it did, it was a wonderful feeling and easy to work together. I think there’s lots to be learned by NPOs to position themselves to take advantage of collaborative corporate strategy in a win-win manner.
During the first time George gave me a ride to Chula Vista during my stint of using public transportation in San Diego, he asked for a little tour of old Chula Vista. I think it was a Tuesday night where the lowriders were all shiny lined up on Third Avenue. We drove slowly through as I pointed out LaBella’s, Fudruckers, CV Photo, Senior Center, the Plunge, Just Java, and El Primero. Close to the end was when I became sad and explained that the building with the giant marquee was The Vogue. Our most treasured place growing up. A single theater movie house that showed films for $1-$2 while I was growing up that was now empty for years.
George responded, “we should buy it and show great films on a big screen for everyone to see.”
The Vogue Plan was one of many of our crazy plans to take over the world. There were some merits to the plan that I didn’t fully realize until we showed the Kurosawa retrospective in Chula Vista one year later. The southern side of San Diego was hungry for the popular arts if it could meet the price point of affordability for the lower income, family-oriented culture of that area. As I started going to my drive-in theater more often armed with a bag of street tacos, affordable real food at theaters would make a perfect combo during prime hours. Nerdy films, b-rated, and sometimes so good because they are so bad films attracted hundreds at midnight at other artsy theaters in different parts of the city.
As I study business and wonder about the key ingredients of building a successful business, I read this linked article and a flood of happiness and excitement washed over me as I remembered like it was yesterday, George and my Vogue Plan. It was a vague dream after all.
“Earl Grey, hot” - Captain Picard
I am not ashamed to say that I am looking forward to the day when I can simply say exactly what I want to consume to a microwave-like computer and get it instantly like Star Trek. Hey, I like eating and I am picky.
“Push 2” are the magic instructions for making hot water in a coffee mug with a microwave. For most of my life I have been taking for granted where the magical multi-sensory experience of eating comes from, cooking. I heard the Founder of the Pampered Chef yesterday talk about how cooking = family = community. The tenants of her business and actually the real reasons why a mother of two started her own business so she could create more family time. I agree, enjoying the art of cooking makes eating memorable and wonderful.
And now that I think about it, Star Trek didn’t show much of the communal joys of eating. So perhaps the replicator cooking kills the special-ness of eating? Hm.
Well, as I now live alone and try to cook, I find myself questioning all the lifelong myths of food, cooking, and health - embarrassed to admit my elementary understanding behind the science of basic cooking and baking. I especially enjoy this link with the illustrations of these myths. I wish I could have these pictures framed in my kitchen!
How did I start drinking coffee in the morning? I blame the dangerous combination of college, a meal plan that allowed usage at a Starbucks coffee shop, scones, and the influence of another addict (my dear college friend & neighbor). I distinctly remember “quitting” for awhile when I felt completely messed up one morning when I didn’t get my coffee fix. Since then I’ve turned my coffee appreciation towards social coffee moments, jokes about weak coffee at my office, tasting ultra-expensive coffee, and receiving nearly $100 of Starbucks gift cards before I left for grad school (a strong hint that coffee would be a part of my new life here).
What would be the best combination? A combination of my love for history with coffee of course!
Lately there’s been a strong trend on history-based marketing campaigns celebrating people who inspired nationalism in Japan. It’s something of a subject that hasn’t been really “cool” in the trendy Japanese consumer market obsessed with western brand culture, but it’s getting traction thanks to television shows, etc.
So yeah, it’s cool to be a history buff! Show it by drinking historically designed coffee! I wonder if there can be a Ben Franklin one. That would be very cool!
Remember when our bills were beautiful and green? Yeah, I miss those classic greenbacks already.
But look here! You can get $$$ to start a green business. Applications are available for those you who’ve bounced off those awesome business ideas to me but you haven’t done anything yet. When’s the best time to start a new business? Always right now.
When’s the right time to start filming that crazy film idea you’ve had? Don’t ask me that right now. (Now that will be another blog, trust me)
Himono Onna is a Japanese expression describing a woman who doesn’t take care of herself. The connotation of this is negative in the assumption that during a young woman’s prime years, she should achieve in behavior and looks the height of attractiveness and potential to express to others that she is a good catch in order to get married. Himono refers to a fish that’s been dried for consumption. Himono onna, a dried up woman is one who’s not concerned with being “the feminine ideal” and letting herself go: leaving her prime resources out to dry. For some reason, himono onna are also considered good workers and only care about their careers. Demonstrating a cultural assumption that a Japanese woman is somehow missing out if she focuses on a career and in turn compromises her ability to be a domestic goddess.
My mother, who is Japanese, refers to me as a himono onna. Capable at work, dressed for success, and survives in social situations, but at home transforms into a girl in glasses, pigtails, sweatpants, oversized tshirt, holding a can of beer and chewing beef jerky (in my case chicharrones). The antithesis of an elegant lady. My parents constantly wonder if my friends would stop being friends with me if they ever saw my uncensored self. My father often is shocked to see me in work mode because he usually sees my Sunday default mode and that’s like two different people!
Is my prime all left out to dry? Nah. My mother just likes to make fun of me and shows me the currently popular Japanese TV show about himono onna to make me see the importance of taking care of yourself a bit more. I think living by myself is making me be a bit more domestic, perhaps putting a little moisture back into the fish….
This is possibly my favorite film this year. If I was still teaching history, this would be perfect. This could be used as a final exam where students have to identify each conflict and the countries that are represented by the foods.
It’s sad that these visualizations are funny as they are representations of horrific events in our history. I feel guilty for even enjoying them (similar to the strange guilt I felt enjoying the propaganda pieces I saw in Vietnam).
My favorites are the references to the croissants, stroganoff, and chicken nuggets. Vietnamese spring rolls were good too.
Makes me want to recreate the 100 years war and other European conflicts that are funny but won’t make me cringe with strange guilt like this one did. Reminds me of the time I used to recreate battle scenes with Legos.
Best thing I’ve read about a local business I like that’s near me: “Whether you love or hate the Illinois Smoking Ban, which took effect statewide on January 1, 2008, you can thank the Woodlawn Tap for it. The Environmental Protection Agency conducted a survey of air quality at 25 Chicago businesses and found the Woodlawn Tap to be the worst. Patrons have always claimed that the bar was smoky, but no one realized that the air quality measured was equivalent to breathing after a volcanic eruption and thus labeled “hazardous” by the EPA with 195 times more pollutants than the average non-smoking setting. Present ownership installed a new exhaust fan following the study.” I feel like I am getting more than my share of adventure here in Chicago!