Monday, May 15, 2006

Enduring Marriage

We filmed a wonderful weddng this weekend at the Ritz Carlton in Half Moon Bay. It is one of the most beautiful locations for a wedding in the Bay Area and every member of the staff set the standard for excellent service. The weather was absolutely perfect for our beautiful bride and adoring groom. They were surrounded by such warm families and friends. And, they incorporaed some fun activites. During the recessional, guests were invited to write their wishes for the happy couple on paper airplacnes and launch them in the direction of our bride and groom as they joyfully left the ceremony. Later on, everyone was invited to make s'mores out at the barbeque pit.

In addition to covering the wedding day, they asked us to do something a little different. We are preparing a short piece 'Enduring Marriage'. Our lovely couple wanted to hear how their close friends and family keep their marriages fresh, alive, ever-changing, and how they manage to weather the rough spots. We had our doubts about whether people would speak frankly enough about such intimate topics to be useful. Were we surprised! Our bride and groom knew their guests well. Everyone we spoke with was generous and articulate. They were funny, sincere, and genuine. Some had been married over 50 years. Others, for just 4 days. We learned so much, and it's already changed my thinking, and behavior in my own marriage.

This project had another impact. After reflecting on marriage and chatting with us, people were mindful of what marriage meant to them, and all the joys they had already shared. An atmosphere of a higher order of spirituality was created, of serenity, of gratitude, among all the guests. It was one of those times when everything seemed so perfect.

Without reviewing the footage, our general impressions were that a good marriage depends on consciously giving time and thought to the marriage and family; sacrificing and suppporting each other, doing small kindnesses for each other every day; letting go the little trifles; seeing the value of the differences between you; and being willing and able to change uncharitable thoughts to loving thoughts. Even the young flower girls, from observing their own parents' marriage, had some wise words to share.

We will condense the over 8 hours of conversations to a 20-minute piece which our lovely couple will present as a gift to their guests. We felt honored to be asked to work on this project, and felt blessed to come to know all those who freely shared with us.

We wish our wonderful couple a lovely honeymoon and a lifetime of contentment.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Gromit, Oh Gromit!

People ask us, where is your tortoise? When she is hibernating they wonder, what does she look like? Here she is. Isn't she a beauty? Such intelligence in those eyes.

Other questions people ask...

Q. Is she housebroken.
A. Yes.

Q. How does she get into the house?
A. Through the cat door. When she was younger, Chuck had to build a ramp so she could get over the sill of the cat door. Now she can navigate on her own.

Q. How big is she?
A. 3" tall, 4" wide and 5.5" long.

Q. How does she grow?
A. See those "plates"? They grow like tree rings.

Q. How old is she?
A. 10 years old. We got her after her predecessor, Cardinal Ralph de Bricassart died. He was over 30 years old and was over 20" long, big enough to slide open the doors and to shake our bed hard enough to make us think we were experiencing an earthquake. He was actually quite gentle and would nuzzle your bare toe, because it looked just like "mother" to him. Tortoises' respiratory systems are quite delicate and he succumbed to pneumonia. We actually acquired him when we bought our house. We had no idea we owned him until one day in the spring, he crawled out from under the deck. He was a Califonria desert tortoise, and it is now illegal to own one because they are on the endangered species list.

Q. Doesn't Gromit escape?
A. No, we have an enclosed yard. She can see the wonders of the greater world only if one of us carelesly leaves the front door open.

Q. Where does she hibernate in winter?
A. Next to the bathtub because the porcelain is cool.

Q. Where did she come from?
A. The Russian steppes.

Q. Who is she named after?
A. The cute animated dog in the Wallace and Gromit series.

Q. Is she a vegetarian?
A. Yes, because it's difficult for her to catch something that runs faster than she does.

Q. Does she make any noise?
A. Yes. She hisses like the air being let out of a tire when she's aggravated.

Q. Where does she hang out?
A. At the front door in the morning so she can warm up in the sun, crashing through the garden in the afternoon, and under the deck at night.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Extra! Extra!

Extra! Extra! Our latest press release is out. You can view it at...

The power of the web never ceases to amaze me. After 24 hours, our press release was picked up 465 times by media outlets, and at least 30 people were serious enough to print it or download the PDF file. And, no, it wasn't Mom who ran off 30 copies to have bragging rights with her friends.

As we anticipated, 75% of the hits came from Yahoo News and Google News. We also have a window into which search terms were most popular. Someone was looking for an event planner and I hope she found one in Jubilee Lau, one of our favorites who was liberally quoted in the press release.

I read an interesting article about the new rules of PR. You can reach clients directly through the web rather than having to go to the press which first filters information and then releases what they choose. This changes everything about how you write, optimize and distribute a press release. We're not in Kansas anymore, Dorothy.

If you're wondering how to optimize your press release, here's some information.
How to Increase Traffic to Your Website Through Optimization