Take the Allnewsnoblues.com Poll
How do we really feel about our lives and the choices we've made?
Information from major newspapers, magazines and websites, including GQ Magazine, USA Today and TODAYshow.com, show that after weathering a few years of a down economy and tough times, some are questioning where they are in life, and the decisions they've made.
However, many are content and don't feel beat up or disillusioned with their lives. Intead, they are happy in their jobs and relationships and strong in their convictions.
A whopping 79 percent of people said they like their work. Contrary to a widespread belief that many dislike their jobs, most actually enjoy going to work and feel they are contributing to making things better.
Data also shows that 65 percent of those polled said that they see a better attitude among coworkers and those they come in contact with during the day. More people are taking the time to say "thank you" and "please come again soon" in service industries and small businesses.
Speaking of small businesses, 62 percent of Americans feel the recent tough economy is bringing back the concept of entrepreneurship and small family-owned businesses. There has been a strong backlash against "big business" and impersonal companies.
Nearly 80 percent of those polled said they like where they llive. Even when asked "if you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?" most people said "right where I am." Even when suggestions like a tropical island or another country was posed, most said there's no place like home.
On to the topic of relationships:
Roughly 70 percent of men say they think they are with the right partner in life, while 56 percent of women feel they've chosen correctly. So you see guys? We aren't such ogres after all.
Of the women who responded, the reason given for the lower percentage was that woman have a more romantic view of love, therefore they compare their spouse or partner to a "prince charming" while men look at a bigger picture in considering happiness in a relationship.
Two out of three single people say they are happy and content being alone. Single people don't feel the stigma that past generations of singles often felt. Many say their lives are full with work, friends and family.
And only 27 percent of people polled would change who they married or are in a relationship with.
Age is an interesting part of these polls, too.
Of people over 50, about three-quarters of those polled said they like their age and wouldn't go back to being 20-something if they could. NBC's Today Show runs a segment on the over-50 crowd and it has shown that many feel that by age 50, people know themselves better, have settled into their bodies and enjoy the free time grown children and less responsibility has given them.
Do you feel you made the right choice in a life partner?
If you could go back to being 20, would you?
Are you happy with your job or what would you rather be doing?
Where would you like to live if you had your choice of anywhere in the world?
We'll follow up with a story about the results.
We look forward to hearing from you. - SEW
Feeling Color - Designers Log- June
You've probably seen them too, those people at Home Depot or at the local paint store, holding a handful of paint color swatches with puzzled looks on their faces.
For most of us, selecting a paint color is difficult enough. But beyond deciding which blue is lighter or which green is closest to your daughters bedspread, there is a psychological impact of color in our lives.
Every color we encounter in a space has some impact on how we feel. It can make us happy or sad, literally give us a headache or put a warm fuzzy feeling into our hearts. A recent study by Olympic Paints found that yellow, an old standby for babies rooms, can actually provoke anxiety and that babies in yellow nurseries tend to cry more.
Color can also affect our appetite, work productivity and even our lovemaking. Even the saturation or intensity of a color can alter how it makes you feel. A soft blue can bring back fond memories of childhood while a strong dark blue can be depressing.
Cultural preferences can be another factor in color selection. In China and India white is the color of death, as opposed to black in this country. We think of white as meaning peace, virginity and is usually the color for wedding dresses. But in many Latin America countries, it's considered good luck to wear bright colors, not white. This is also the reason we associate fun and bright colors with certain places.
Here is a quick primer on how some colors can affect your psyche.
Yellow - A very invigorating color, yellow can also bring on anxiety. Don't use it for high energy areas like the kitchen, but keep it to smaller areas like hallways or laundry rooms. If you enjoy this color, opt for one with honey or golden tones. This will add an elegance to the room
Red - Did you know research brought us to use red for stop signs? Red literally tells the brain to slow down. It's often used in bars, casinos and restaurants to keep customers there and remove any feeling of being rushed. Red is perfect for dining rooms and sexy reds, like the color of Merlot is soothing in the bedroom.
Blue - It's not a stretch to understand that blue is a calming color. It's the color of the sea and the sky. Be careful that the blue you select isn't what I like to call "little boys room" blue, but choose a turquoise or navy for large rooms. Blue is also an appetite suppressant. When was the last time you ate blue food?
Green - Again a color associated with nature, greens make us feel secure and tranquil. Green is not a good color for skin tones, so shy away from using it in a bathroom or bedroom where you look in the mirror. However, mossy green is a great neutral, while apple green feels fresh and clean.
Brown - Another color that prompts comfort and security, brown really runs the spectrum from light to muddy. Don't use a dark brown in small rooms, it only intensifies the feeling of claustrophobia. But a light brown, like soft suede is very conducive to dens or home offices as it cuts down on eye fatigue.
Don't let the paint color you choose have the wrong effect. That pink in the store can look like Pepto-Bismol in your bedroom. Terra Cotta might seems like the perfect selection for that Italian look, but can be dreary and depressing when it surrounds you.
So, the next time you are stymied and overwhelmed with the choices at your local paint store, think beyond what might be pretty or safe. Color is a psychological tool and can hugely affect your mood and life. - SEW
Steve Wallace lives in Danville. An interior designer for more than 20 years, his work has been featured in Palm Springs Life and he is completing a book about design for publication soon. He writes a monthly entry for www.allnewsnoblues.com about design and style. Contact him at www.stevewallacedesign.com or call 925 915 1005.
Tour the O'Neill Tao House in Danville
The only American playwright to ever win the Nobel Prize for Literature, O’Neill also received four Pulitzer Prizes for his work. Tao became his muse, where he often locked himself away for days, creating his legendary and timeless masterpieces. The couple spent time by the pool and with family dog, Blemie, and the author enjoyed walking the hills and the isolation and peace the home brought him.
Carlotta was in charge of decorating the house. Built in the Spanish Colonial architectural style, the residence featured blue ceilings, red doors and black tile floors. Having sensitivity to bright lights, Carlotta kept the drapes drawn, which gave the house a mysterious and shadowy aura. Although they entertained family and friends often, most visitors found the house gloomy and foreboding. It was, in fact, the perfect haven for a playwright to create the unforgettable characters and emotional situations he brought to life on the stage.
The O’Neill’s lived in Tao until 1944, when his worsening depression and alcohol abuse forced them to return back east.
Due to severe hand tremors brought on by his alcoholism and his continuing struggle with depression, O’Neill never completed another play after leaving his beloved Danville home. He died in a hotel room in Boston at age 65 in 1950.
In 1974, due to the efforts of Senator Alan Cranston and others, The Eugene O’Neill Foundation, Tao House, was formed. The property was in danger of being torn down by a builder and with the help of many, the ranch became the Eugene O’Neill National Historic Site in 1976, and the home has been restored to its original state. It’s now run by the National Park Service, whose mission is to perpetuate the writer’s vision, to provide programs for future artists and to keep alive the contribution to theater in America that O’Neill made.
Tours are available through the National Park. In May, the park service announced No Reservations Saturdays, which includes tours at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. Reservations are required for tours on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays & Sundays at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The tour takes a little more than 2 hours and is free.
Andrea Gearing Up for Vacation
I had a great past week and lost 3 pounds.
In 31 weeks I am at a grand total of 39 pounds lost. There is one stubborn pound left from my "vacation" from Weight Watchers.
It’s ironic that I will probably lose the last of those 6.2 pounds I gained right as I’m preparing for my next holiday.
No, it’s not that I take a lot of vacations, but the one I took in April left a legacy of weight that has stuck around for almost two months. Luckily it happened so recently that I will remember the affect it had this time around.
I will count points, track what I’m eating and try to remember that just because I’m not at work; it doesn’t mean I can eat whatever I want.
Fortunately, this little holiday will be spent camping in the mountains and with that, there will be a lot more physical activity and no dining out. I know not to skip any more WW meetings than is necessary (no meetings in the mountains). Last time it was three weeks before I went back to WW and I had gained more weight than I had on the few days I was away.
I have one more column before I leave on this camping trip.
See you next week. - AV
Why We Celebrate Memorial Day
Originally known as Declaration Day and established in 1866 by veterans of the Civil War, the first of the national summer holidays was planned for the end of May because it was assumed that all over the country, at that time of year, flowers would be in bloom. Placing a flowered wreath on the headstones of those who died in war became the traditional way to honor those who gave their lives for our country.
The first Memorial Day was a day of remembrance and mourning for the over 30,000 killed in the Civil War. After World War I it was expanded to cover all wars that the United States had been involved in. We now recognize those who served in the Second World War, Korea, Vietnam and now the situations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
It was made a national holiday in 1971.
Although over 25 communities nationwide consider themselves to be THE home of Memorial Day, Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, DC is where the official services are held every year.
Although we have come to believe that it is only Arlington where the President honors those who have died in service, it was only after the death of President John Kennedy, who was buried there, that the location became synonymous with Memorial Day celebrations.
This year President Obama will celebrate Memorial Day in Illinois, at one of the many sanctioned veterans cemeteries throughout the country. Although most of our recent Presidents have laid a wreath at Arlington, our current president wants to honor those most recently fallen victim to war, including Iraq as well as soldiers who died at the Fort Hood massacre who are buried there.
Whatever your plans for the holiday, enjoy family and friends for the cookouts, beach days and lazy afternoons, but keep in mind the real reason we as Americans celebrate this date. - SEW
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