Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Reba's Bright Success

Reba succeeds on many levels, and let’s not waste any time in breaking it down:

Reba the human being: She’s everything a star should be – and more. She employs her celebrity for frequent charity events (and a lot more that no one knows about). She was devastated by losing her band manager and six band members and paid tribute to them in 1991 with a hit album, For My Broken Heart. She then heralded in a new age of talent representation by having family members manage her career. She is also dearly loved by her peers, and remains an inspiration to them (a pre-superstar, free-spirited Faith Hill once shouted at a McEntire concert, “I love you, Reba McEntire!”)

Reba the singer: Ain’t nobody sings like Reba McEntire – and she has the pipes and the talent to back it up. Combined with her awesome charisma, and down to earth charm, and the country-singing icon is simply unstoppable.

Reba the songwriter: She not only sings those hits, but she writes most of ‘em, too.

Reba the actress: Her crimson-colored locks, vocal talents and natural theatrical ability earned her an Annie Oakley starring role on Broadway, which ultimately lead to her taking the lead in hit, now iconic TV sitcom, Reba (screened four times daily on Lifetime).

Reba the character: The multi-talented performer plays Reba Hart, a Texas soccer man who divorces her cheating (though charming) husband Brock Hart (played by Christopher Rich, formerly of Murphy Brown and a short-lived but brilliant The Charmings). Together, Reba and Brock produced three children: 17-year-old Cheyenne (Joanna Garcia) - who marries Van Montgomery (played with manic genius by Steve Howey) after he gets her pregnant, the tranquil and ever-wise little seven-year-old Jake (Mitch Holleman), and Kyra (Scarlett Pomers, formerly of Star Trek: Voyager and That’s Life). Into the mix is Barbra Jean, Brock’s new wife (played to the hilt by Melissa Peterman, who somehow managers to cross-pollinate Gomer Pyle with Georgette -via The Mary Tyler Moore Show), and makes “the other woman” as appealing as she’s ever gonna’ get.

Reba the show: This series does for the contemporary family comedy what Bewitched did for supernatural sitcoms (and everyone knows how much I love Bewitched). The characters on Reba interact just like real people. They actually get mad at each other, forgive one another, move-on, and deal with it (just like we all do – or should do).

Everything about the show is top-of-the-line. From the opening theme song (I’m A Survivor) - to the show's writing, which is as crisp and comedic as you're gonna' get, as is the directing.

The issues in Reba’s family are real: unplanned teen pregnancy, childhood sweethearts divorce after years of bliss, and teen angst – each experienced, on one level or the other, by Reba's Hart – who holds the brood’s brew-ha-ha together, moreso than any TV mom ever could.

So to reiterate, Reba succeeds on many levels.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Love Yourself Enough To Stage A "Reinvention"

"...If you had only known how. And once I showed you the way to the New World, nothing was easier than to follow it."

- Christopher Columbus


"If life doesn't offer a game worth playing, then invent a new one."

- Anthony J. D'Angelo

Hello Everyone -

Most of the time we can't embrace a new way of thinking or a paradigm until we let go of the old ones. Especially the old way of thinking that doesn't work. Yet, overcoming old paradigms is a large part of knowing who we are and what we want to accompish in life.

If only we each had Angels who would walk us down the path of life, addressing all our "issues" and showing us that fear is often exaggerated in our minds. The truth is, we do have Angels. We are each other's Angels...sometimes we show up as Cupid on Valentine's Day. Sometimes we show up as Guardian Angels. But one thing is for sure, we show up. And, if you'll have me, I'd like to show up be your Angel for offering a few inspirational thoughts on "Reinvention."

Below please find an essay from Anthony J. D'Angelo, of After that you'll find a poem, entitled, "Life's Contact," written by an Anonymous author. Both the essay and the poem address reinvention.

On Valentine's Day - and every Day - it's always important to remember to love ourselves (in an unselfish way)...enough to know that the past is always gone...all that matters is the present...and to remind ourselves that hat we have a wonderful ability to reinvent ourselves at every turn. And that as long as we have only the best of intentions - for only the highest good of all those concerned, then everything is going to be alright.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Herbie J


The Essay, "Life Reinvented," by Anthony J. D'Angelo (

A reality that we forget is that as we travel through life is that we are constantly reinventing ourselves. Some how when we "grow up" we think we have finished this process. We begin to think that who we are is who we are. This concept of having grown up and knowing who we are in all actuality can be damaging. I hear all the time that you are supposed to discover who you are. That idea is again reinforcement that there is a definition of you and that your goal in life is to discover that.

If you stop and think about your life, you will see that there was never a definition and that who you are is always changing.At one point, you were in grammar school. When you went to junior high school, you reinvented a lot of who you are. Then in high school, you changed. Just when you get the hang of high school, it is over. If you go to college, once again a new you; a you not living with your parents.

Then a few years later as you hit the job market a new you has to emerge yet again. Your reinvention is endless as you develop romantic relationships, get married, have kids, have grandkids, overcome obstacles, move. You are always playing a new role and always reinventing yourself.

Your success in life depends on how well you reinvent yourself to new circumstances as they are presented. When you get stuck in your old roles, you limit yourself. The captain of the high school football team has to learn a new set of skills and roles as he moves forward in life. This is true throughout your life. I always tell people that there is no definition of you other than the definition you give yourself.

You can reinvent yourself at any moment in time.Often our definitions of who we are limit our success by declaring that we are forgetful, not on time, can't control this or that, don't like to exercise and more. This definition ensures that we do not change our behavior towards success.

Furthermore, we recreate the same relationship patterns by thinking we are a certain way. Besides the personal definitions that keep us trapped in failed behavior and situations, there is also the career definition that controls us.In these economic times of layoffs and insecurity, it is more important than ever to realize that there is no definition of you. You can reinvent your skills, your career and your life. In these challenging days, knowing that can be your greatest assets towards new success.

Remember that there truly is no definition of you. You can give yourself a new definition. Start creating definitions that will lead you towards behavior that will create success in your physical, emotional, relationship, career, financial and spiritual life.Do not get stuck in your old inventions of you. Your life is your invention. Who do you want to invent, today? Inspire someone you love."


"Life's A Contract" - The Poem by Anonymous (via

I bargained with life for a penny.
And life would pay me no more.
However, I begged at evening.
When I counted my scanty score.
For life is a just employer.
It pays you what you ask.
But once you set the price.
Then you must bear the task.
I worked for a menial hire.
Only to learn dismayed.
That any wage I asked of life
Life would have willingly paid.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Looking Back and Moving Forward

Clearly, one of the most rewarding experiences of my life has been taking care of my parents for the last fifteen years. I would not be who I am today if not for my Mom and Dad. And as I ready for the many great experiences I plan to have in 2009, I now invite you to read through my past blogs about my parents - and to view a video-article that the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle produced about my Mom.

All the best,

Herbie J

The Blog Link to "My Father's Journey"

The Blog Link to "Nothing but Everything...A Tribute to My Mom: St. Frances of Turri"

The Video Link to the Democrat and Chronicle Video Article About Frances Pilato