Archive for February, 2012

My First Live NFL Player Interview & the Beginning of SCF & Amarie!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on February 28, 2012 by Once Unwanted Girl

Yesterday was a very special day for me.  I had my first LIVE interview with a former NEW YORK GIANTS Defensive End in my hometown of Milford, CT!  It’s crazy that a year ago I was filming a silly video about my Pittsburgh Steelers from the comfort of my University of New Haven dorm room using my bootleg digital camera.  AND look at me now, I am recording in a legitimate studio thanks to my friend Gregory at Studio 95 Photographix! AND not only is the equipment fabulous but I had the opportunity to interview Leonard A. Marshall who played for the NY Giants for 10 seasons, the Redskins for 1 and the Jets for another year before retiring as a Giant!

It’s like Jessica Biel’s quote in Summer Catch “IF YOU WANT BIG REWARDS, YOU HAVE TO TAKE BIG RISKS.” This quote has always been a favorite of mine and it has proved to be true in my life thus far.

Looking back on the last 6 months, I could have made the choice to be miserable after graduation in a job that wasn’t suited for me, be depressed after losing my job and then get down because it took me almost 1/2 a year before I was able to get another full time gig but I stayed strong and I learned a heck of a lot about myself in the mean time. I wouldn’t change one moment of what I went through to get to where I am at today. You really need to take the time to get to know yourself and what you want in life before you can truly be happy and feel like you have a PURPOSE. I’m not going to lie as much as I have always seemed so confident and sure of everything to the people who’ve known me all of these years BUT there are definite times that I feel all the stress and uncertainty. Through the unemployment struggle and post-graduation stress I found myself, my appreciation for my relationships in my life and my passion/calling.

You may not know this but I was adopted from Asuncion, Paraguay which is a third world country in South America in 1989 by my family here in Connecticut.  During the time my mother was there there was a near military coup when the old Dictator Stroessner was coming back to get rid of the new Dictator Lopez. Of course I was little and eating Oreo’s not knowing what the hell was going on. He never ended up coming but my mom protected me nonetheless and brought me to this country. She saved me from the life of poverty that I could have had.

Unfortunately, growing up I resented my personal history and hated my birth mother for giving me up but I was young and really didn’t understand the POWER of adoption.  As I have grown older I have come to see how truly blessed I am with all that I have in my life.  Not many people can say that they have had 3 familes but I can. I was born to a young girl named Maria who was 13 years old, lived with my foster family in Asuncion and then have lived with my family in the U.S ever since so I would say that I have been a pretty loved girl throughout my life.

I have had a couple close calls in my life including being very sick when I was young with my asthma and being in a bad accident when I was hit by a drunk driver when I was 15 that could have be disastrous but I AM STILL HERE! People forget that we are not invincible and that all of us have an expiration so it is up to each and every one of us to Carpe Diem and live our lives to the fullest because unless you believe in reincarnation there is only one live to life for us so please join me and make the most of it!

I’m not sure what I believe in spiritually but I do know that there are some angels looking out for me and pushing me.    If you want to be successful in anything in your life you must learn to think out of the box and stay positive.  If you don’t try to reach for the stars there is no way to know if you would have/could have made it.

From this point on I’m continuing to make things happen and follow my passion so that one day I can look back on this and smile and NOT wonder WHAT IF but HOW CAN I inspire others to walk in my footsteps and really believe that they they can be all that they want to be. There is a reason I am before you now and I am happy to be apart of your lives!Image

Spending the day with a Giants FOOTBALL Legend!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on February 28, 2012 by Once Unwanted Girl

Spending the day with a Giants Legend!

After a successful & productive time at the studio, Leonard A. Marshall and myself hanging out on Wooster Street in New Haven,CT. Gotta Love Frank Pepe’s pizza and Libby’s pastries!! The teaser video for the interview will be posted soon… sooo stay tuned for that and the FULL interview with Leonard Marshall and learn about the man behind the #70!!!

A Distinguished American from New Haven

Posted in Sports with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 25, 2012 by Once Unwanted Girl

ImageSome people are under the misconception that many actors, actresses, models and athletes get fame and success handed to them on a silver platter.  That is typically not the case and I distinctly remember hearing him say, “I didn’t get here on a wing and a prayer.”  Despite the challenges that this gentleman faced he had a commitment to win and that is why he has been so successful in his life.  After listening to his extremely inspiring speech and seeing him be honored with the Distinguished American Award, I knew that I had to meet him.  The man that I am referring to above is none other than Floyd Little whom I met at the Walter Camp weekend in New Haven this past January 2012.

Floyd Little was a former NFL Running back and Hall of Famer and was drafted in 1967 by the Denver Broncos.  During his 9 years he was the team’s leading rusher with 6,323 yards.  He also scored 43 touchdowns-this man was a machine!  His renowned #44 has since been retired at both his college (Syracuse) and at Denver.  Over the years he has received more than 30 community service awards but his career path wasn’t always written in stone.   His father passed away when he was young and his strong mother raised 5 children on her own.  He was picked on at school for mispronouncing a word and when he didn’t score favorable on the SAT he was categorized as slow.  Instead of letting obstacles get him down he stepped up to the plate and used the negative as fuel for creating the legacy that he wants to leave so that young people having something positive to follow.  Floyd Little is quite the inspiration and living proof that an inner-city kid has the ability to rise above the norm. “You’ve got to hang around people who want to be successful.  If you want to be the best, you’ve got to hand out with the best.”  Floyd Little must have hung around ambitious people because the New Haven Athletic Center has been renamed to the Floyd Little Athletic Center which is such an unbelievable feat for an inner-city kid from New Haven, Connecticut.

I was hoping to catch up with Floyd after the awards banquet ended but I was told that all of the men were being directed to back to the hotel and head up to the after party.  So I grabbed my stuff and headed to my car.  To my dismay I had a bright orange parking ticket on my car for not putting change in the meter which stinks because I could have sworn on weekends you didn’t have to put quarters in. However, there was nothing at the time that could ruin my mood because I was thoroughly enjoying the entire Walter Camp evening.  I reached the Omni and headed up to the Davenport restaurant at the top of the Omni Hotel in New Haven for the after party.  I immediately gravitated towards the big screen TV to check out the score of the Patriots Broncos game and Tebow was getting destroyed by veteran QB Brady.   I glanced over to my right and who do I bump into but the man I wanted to speak to FLOYD LITTLE.  He smiled at me and I knew it was fate that I bumped into him because he was on my list of people to meet and I found his speech to be quite motivating.  I told him that I really enjoyed his speech and admired his take on things.

I never would have imagined a year ago that I would be invited to the Walter Camp Award Banquet as press and would have the opportunity to stand next to Floyd at a bar table and share a cookie with him.  All I kept thinking was “Oh my God, I am sharing a cookie with Floyd Little at this very moment holy cow!”  This might have been one of the best nights of my life because I love football and I am sharing my favorite kind of cookie with an amazing former Hall of Famer- this is the life!  You never truly know what life is going to throw your way.  So in the words of Floyd Little “You have to choose to better yourself. Life is a challenge.”  So everybody follow your dreams and leave the legacy behind by helping others!

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The Good the Bad & the Ugly

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on February 24, 2012 by Once Unwanted Girl

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I must admit that this particular game was a slight conflict of interest for me since I am a Celtics fan BUT I really wanted my fantasy Point Guard to have a really great game which meant occasionally rooting for the other team.  Luckily, James Harden went on to score 4 out of 6 free throws, 4 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals, and 17 total points. These are impressive numbers since this was Harden’s first game back after sustaining an ankle injury. Based on Harden’s performance he showed no hindrance during this game and played a total of 34 minutes. This goes without saying the only GOOD thing that came from the Celtics v. Thunder game on Wednesday night was that I have James Harden on my Fantasy B-ball team.

It is BAD when one of your teams top scoring players is out due to an injury but it is worse when your top scorer is out due to a preventable thing like Rondo’s recent suspension. Rajon made the mistake of letting his emotions get the best of him during a game in Detroit.  He reacted too strongly when I call wasn’t made for him on Sunday and out of frustration he made some unnecessary comments to the ref.  To make matters worse Rondo threw the ball to Sean Wright which resulted in a double tech and his ejection from the game.  In addition to the ejection, it was later decided that Rondo would also fulfill a two game suspension as punishment for his actions.

The Wednesday night game is proof that a game can get UGLY and sloppy real fast when you are missing key players like Rondo.  Boston was definitely hurting in the first half of the game against the Oklahoma Thunder.  Within the first quarter the Thunder scored 21 points in 5 minutes and made scoring look easy against the Celtics.  They surpassed Boston with a whopping 72 points in the first half.   Not only was Boston struggling offensively with the absence of Rondo they were slacking defensively and not able to stay on top of the Thunders’ three point shooters.  The Celtics had a total of 18 turnovers and were outrebounded by the Thunder.

Bradley fouled out at the end of the 4th quarter with 12 points. However, Bradley played a really solid game overall and is shaping up to be a great young Point Guard for the Celtics.

The Celtics scored 31 points in the 3rd quarter and came within 7 points of the Thunder in the 4th quarter, but other than that it is safe to say the game was pretty UGLY for Celtics fans.  Oklahoma went on to beat Boston 119-104. Unfortunately, the Celtics have lost their last 5 games but they have a few days to regroup before the play the Cavs on February 28th.  Let’s just hope they come with their game faces on next Tuesday!

The Skinny on Linny

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on February 17, 2012 by Once Unwanted Girl

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So after eating Chinese food for lunch today with my boss, I figure it is a MUST to write a post about the term #linsanity #linmania and all of these new Lin terms. By the way, I am in no way shape or form racist but the Asian invasion has taken over the sports world by storm!  It’s so exciting to see people overcome adversity to defy the odds and be successful.

Before the beginning of the month, if you asked someone about their thoughts on Lin most people would most likely respond, “Linn who?”  Now even non NBA viewers now his whole history. This guy came from left field overnight and he has taken over the NBA scene in a Tebow-like manner. The interesting thing is not only can Jeremy Lin play a little basketball but the path which he has taken to reach his current success is far from traditional.  Lin was born in Palo Alto, CA and his parents are from Taiwan. This is important because he is one of the few Asian American and is the only Taiwanese NBA player.   After watching Lin for the last few weeks it is crazy that the top colleges didn’t find him appealing so he went to Harvard and played basketball. The majority of NBA players were on basketball scholarships Lin was not one of them. He went on to lead the Harvard Crimson in scoring.  While at Harvard he heard racial slurs and comments at games but he stayed strong. I admire him for this because as a teenager I was called a “spic” so I can completely relate to racial slurs and people standing in the way of success. I can honestly say that I have a whole lot of respect for this young man.

Jeremy Lin has not taken the easy path and often has almost always been overlooked even once he started playing in the NBA. However in February 2012, Lin was recalled by the Knicks and he went on to impress all by scoring 25 points, 5 rebounds and 7 assists. Since then he has continued to improve his stats and keep his numbers consistent.  I truly hope that he is not a one hit wonder because I think he makes for a wonderful role model and has such an inspiring Cinderella story! If Lin continues to play at this level he will have the ability to inspire so many people on an international level.

An Incredible 70 Years Together

Posted in Family with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 15, 2012 by Once Unwanted Girl

Imagine being alive for 70 or more years.  That is at least 25,550 days of experiences and memories back logged in your mind.  Now consider being married to the love of your life, and being healthy enough to experience your 70th anniversary with him or her.  Amazing right?  Despite the advancements in health and medicine, this really isn’t a common occurrence for everyone. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, statistics show that in January 2012 the average person’s life expectancy is 78.5 years.  However, there is a couple in Cabot, Pennsylvania, who are celebrating 70 years of love and life together! I am proud to claim them as my own wonderful grandparents.  My gramps will be 95 next December and my grandma is 90.  Despite their age these two individuals are as sharp as tacks and as happy as clams.

They recently moved into a great assisted living home and spend their time playing cards, reading and taking advantage of the activities at Concordia.  Today they have an interview because they have been married longer than anyone at Concordia.  My Grandma is already to be interviewed in her snazzy red top with her red jacket and black sacks. And gramps is matching in his black slacks and a red turtle neck.  She said, “We both have had a good life. God Bless us we have lived long enough to have a 70th Anniversary!”

I guess you may be wondering how it all began. Well, my Gram and Gramps started going to the same private Lutheran school named Saint Luke’s but Gramps was in 8th grade and they didn’t really know each other in the beginning. My Gram said that they got to know each other at a youth group for people 18 and older.   They met and hit it off and began dating in a large group.  As time went on Gram said, “It wasn’t like it is now…we dated in groups and then eventually he and I paired off.”  She said that there are a lot of circumstances now that makes things a little different but she understands.  My Gram and Gramps dated for several years before my Gramps finally proposed to her.  The reason my Gramps proposed was because he was in the Army and was about to be sent off to Europe to fight in World War II so he wanted to marry my Gram before he went away.

I asked my Gram, “How did Gramps propose?”  She said, “I was sitting on a chair at my house and nobody was around and he knelt down and asked me to marry him but he was really bashful about it. I of course said yes!”  While laughing she told me that she picked the 14th of February to get married because she wanted to make it easy for Gramps to remember their anniversary and Valentine’s Day.  She told me that on her wedding day there was snow on the ground but the sun was shining bright. The only wedding pictures that were taken were outside by others because they didn’t have a photographer so there were no pictures taken in the church.   After they were married, they went to Niagara Falls for their honey moon.  You can tell in her voice how much she appreciates her life because she mentioned how their entire bridal party is no longer alive and she is blessed to be here to celebrate their 70th Anniversary with Elmer.  After my Gram was married there was a period of time when she didn’t see my Gramps because he was away fighting in World War II.  So I asked her how she coped with not seeing her husband for 3 years and she said it was very hard but she tried to stay busy.  She worked as a government inspector during the war, taught piano lessons, Sunday school and had girls nights with her good friend Maria.  Gram said that every Friday and Saturday her and Maria would get together and go shopping or see a movie.

Before Gram and Gramps moved into their house they lived with my Gramps’ parents while their house was built. The crazy thing is that up until last year they have always lived in the same house. I think that is a big reason why it was so difficult for them to move and leave the only home that they have known for the last 65 or more years.  Change is such a difficult thing especially after that long.

Two Thanksgivings ago we had a last supper like dinner at their nice Cape Cod house. It was something special that we all wanted to do for them before they moved to Concordia.  Looking back I think having this Thanksgiving dinner together was such an important thing not only for them but for all of us.  We had the dinner in the kitchen that I had spent so many summers watching my Gram clean veggies from their enormous garden and baking famous homemade bread which has been passed down to my mom and will one day be passed on to me. I remember how difficult that weekend was for everyone especially my Grandma.   The look on her face just seemed so sad and confused. One moment in particular my aunt Barb was going through all the kitchen stuff to figure out what everyone wanted to keep and what was going to get dropped off at Salvation Army.  My Aunt pulled out a glass container that had pictures of oranges on the outside and my aunt said, “Let’s get rid of this you never use it.” All I can remember is my Gram’s strained voice as she said, “No that is for my juice.” It really made me sad to hear her upset. I can’t imagine what she was experiencing but I suppose one day I will go through the same with my children. It has to be so hard to have someone going through your home, your stuff and feeling like the independence that you once had has diminished.

This memory stand out of mine from last year on their 69th anniversary. I was out to eat with my boyfriend and I gave them a quick ring to wish them a Happy Anniversary.  I congratulated my gramps and said, “Wow that’s a really long time to be married” and my gramps responded, “Well, I don’t drive any more so I don’t have a choice (with a chuckle)!” My Gramps was actually still driving up until about a year ago. That’s pretty good for someone who was over 92 years old but since then he decided to quite driving but my Gram mentioned today that she still misses him driving her around and said, “We can’t do things like we used to but your dad told us that it’s a part of getting older. I suppose everyone goes through this.”  As sad as this may sound it’s the inevitable truth and I feel that we must find solace in counting our blessings and appreciating our lives.

I then asked her if there were any interesting things that she could share with me.  She said that my Dad, Aunt Barb and Aunt Sharon were all 4 years apart and born on a Leap Year which is kind of interesting.   She remembered that when her kids (my dad and aunts) were young they had chickens for pets and tied strings to them and walked them around the yard.  She also told me about a story when her and my Gramps went up to the mountains with the kids to explore and she had packed a really nice picnic style meal.  Once they reached their destination and were ready to eat she opened up the pack and Gramps had forgotten to pack the spaghetti salad that was a big part of the picnic. She laughed after the story and said there were many more stories but she couldn’t think of them all on the spot.

Another memory that she shared with me actually included me but I was pretty little and don’t remember much. They had a 50th anniversary celebration and renewed their vows.  Apparently I was a flower girl but I don’t remember because I was about 3 at the time.  She said that my brother Nate lead my cousin Kalli and I to the front of the church and then sat in the front seat with us. I kind of remember bits and pieces but it mostly includes playing Monopoly and playing in the gym of the church during the reception. Of course since I was 3 years old at the time it makes sense that I would only recall the play time memories.

When I asked what her advice would be for young people today who want to someday get married she said, “Just make sure that you love each other and also consider the lives you’re leading to make sure you are compatible.  DON’T ever hold grudges and you will get along just fine. We have had ups and downs like everyone else in their marred life… you learn to get over that.  It’s important to have God in your life. Do what’s right and do everything you can while you’re alive. “

Our conversation ended with her saying, “We have our aches and pains but we are still going and the doctor says we are in good health!” We said, “I love you” to each other and hung up. I wish I could have given her a big hug but since we are 8 hours apart it was not possible today.  If you have grandparents nearby please do me a favor and give them a hug today!

I will end with this final thought. Appreciate your grandparents and try and learn about their lives.  Get to know them while you have them because one day they will be gone! I’m not going to lie I had to do some digging to get the content for this post.  Before today I didn’t know most of what I have written about them and I really feel closer to my Gram now that I know more.

So on this Valentine’s Day, I am proud to be where I am in life and I hope you are as well! It’s important to be you and appreciate things. I have a wonderful family who has instilled values and morals in me and I hope that one day I can have a marriage like my grandparents. Here’s to Gram and Gramps and hopefully more healthy and happy years to come!

The Night Before a Big Interview

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on February 9, 2012 by Once Unwanted Girl

Note to self: Do not and I repeat DO NOT watch a Steven King movie before attempting to go to bed.

So at the time eating one of my favorite meals (Eggplant Parm) after a long day at work and preparing to watch Steven King’s Pet Cemetery seemed like a good idea at the time.  Little did I know the imaginative thriller would have a slightly negative affect on my ability to sleep. And leave my mind spinning about whether or not I can resurrect Minnie (my former dog) from our backyard.  Well, apparently I had forgotten the impact that Steven King films and novels have on the brain because I didn’t recall that little tidbit until the present.

I definitely realize now that I am currently wide awake and afraid to leave my room and go to the bathroom to take out my contacts. I suppose my imagination is a little wound up because all I can think is that journeying into the dark abyss a.k.a my hallway could be dangerous.  Luckily I have an infinite amount of contact cases in my room just in case so battling a child from the dead in my hallway is not a possibility tonight. This is quite frustrating because I know that I have to get a good nights sleep to be mentally shop for my sports interview in NYC tomorrow morning.

Since I can’t seem to hit the sack I have begun looking up interview tips and re-reading the article that  G-Helen sent me in the mail ( for those of you that don’t know G-Helen is my super COOL Grandma who lives near Pittsburgh home of the Steelers, Penguins and not-so-spectacular Pirates). I have found some pretty obvious tips and some other VERY helpful ones that I have learned through my many part time, fulltime, college and internship interviews but things that you all might not be aware of so I figured I would share this valuable info with you all!

Looking very clean and professional is VERY IMPORTANT… first impression is essential to having a successful interview. If you know the company is casual dress up more for the interview. Don’t dress to fit the company because you are not an employee yet so it is a must to DRESS TO IMPRESS! Be confident but not cocky. Avoid slang or reference to any of the protected classes (religion, age, race, sexual orientation, politics). Listen and be engaged. Ask questions at the end, nod during the interview and ask questions for clarification when appropriate. Be outgoing but don’t talk too much! Sometimes more is less no wordy answers (sometimes I have problems with getting to the point especially when I’m nervous). Practice is key! If you have another job never say you can start tomorrow. Two weeks’ notice for employers is courteous and expected typically.  You don’t want the interviewer to think you might just quit on them.

Some common questions that I found online:

  • Tell me about yourself.
    Give a short introduction about yourself; speak about your educational background, previous job positions you have held, brief introductions about your accomplishments etc. Speak briefly and nothing too personal.
  • What are your short term and long term goals in life? / Where do you see yourself 10 years?
    Answer to this question depends entirely on your objectives. So have a clear idea about what you want to achieve in life. Map out your short term and long term career objectives. You may be asked to justify your aims. So be ready.. Also, I have learned from my experience feel out the interview some places will like to hear how ambitious you are and other people might be scared that you’re going to leave and find a diff job in a short time. USE YOUR INTUITION!
  • What are your strengths?
    Mention your key skills and positive points that apply to the position. Back them up with concrete examples.
  • What are your weaknesses?
    You have to carefully determine the weak points that you wish to put admit during an interview. Try to turn them into positives. For example, I used to work at Victoria’s Secret and folding underwear can be quite mundane but I learned to appreciate the down time and it helped me think about approaches to open more credit and re-energize for the busy rushes.
  • What are the reasons for leaving your previous job?
    This question must be answered very tactfully. Whatever may be the reason for quitting your earlier job, refrain from any negative comments.
  • Give reasons on why we should hire you.
    Be aware of your skills that the company can readily use. Speak how you fit the organizations needs and how you can contribute to the company growth.
  • Are you comfortable working under pressure?
    Working under pressure is a part of any job so if it is hard for you to handle don’t say no outright but make it positive and explain how you would tackle the pressure and still manage a good performance. Ex. Say you would ask for help if you got to overwhelmed and ask for advice on how to break down a task. Managers like to know that you aren’t going to try and take on too much and then screw up.
  • What are your work ethics? 
    Your answer should be brief and reflect your respect for the work you do and high standards of professionalism.
  • Describe a situation where you couldn’t fix a problem.
    You should confidently explain an unfavorable situation. Explain the problem, and mention the reasons why you could not arrive at a solution. DON’t leave out the positive twist to this and how it has helped in your learning process.
  • Do you have any questions for us?
    At the end of every interview, a candidate has to face this question. As a rule, you should have at least 5 questions prepared for the interviewers. Typically half of my questions get answered during the interview so it’s important to have more! Ex. What is the corporate culture like of (Blank)?

StufF to Bring To An InTerview!

  • I typically bring a NOTE PAD to write down the names of people I meet, to read off the list of questions I prepared.
  • PEN to take brief notes during the interview.
  • 3-5 copies of the RESUME.
  • 3 copies of REFERENCES just in case they ask.
  • A FOLDER to keep my note pad, pen, resume etc.
  • A FIRM HANDSHAKE.
  • A fresh professional OUTFIT.

Okay so those were some tips to remember!! I must admit that now I am ready to fall asleep and so very excited for my interview at (blank). I just hope that I don’t have dreams about the Pet Cemetery!

Good night all and hopefully I have a new job in the near future! IF anyone has an job interviews coming up I wish you the best of luck! And if you further questions please send me a message!Image