LA Lupus Lady in DC!

After arriving in DC on the "red eye" from LA and heading to my hotel to relax for a bit. My friend Catherine met me and we walked around the city took some snaps as I settled into to what will be a busy week in Washington. As you can see, I went straight to the President's House...

I am here as a part of the Lupus Research Institute's Capitol Hill Advocacy Day. The National Coalition is the patient voice for Lupus Research. I have basically copied verbatim from the Lupus Research Institute's handout for participants in the 2009 Capitol Hill Advocacy Day and - click it and learn what you can do for Lupus!

A few of my Lupus friends have asked what can they do? Well, even if you aren't here with the National Coalition in DC you can let your voice be heard. Call your Congressperson and Senators let them know that you are a Lupus patient and a constituent of theirs and you and the LRI (Lupus Research Institute) urge Congress to sustain the nation's medical research enterprise and support the House funding level of $31.2 billion for NIH in the Fiscal Year 2010 Labor-HHS Conference Appropriations Bill.

-- Congress approves the budget for the NIH which funds various biomedical research including clinical trials and the research that can and will lead to a cure for Lupus. the request for $31.2 billion amounts to a 3 percent increase above last year and is $400 million than the Senate proposal.


The LRI National Coalition requests that Members (of Congress) support a provision in both the House and Senate FY2010 Labor-HHS Appropriations Bills to provide $1 million to the HHS Office of Minority Health to continue a new nationwide lupus education program for health professionals.

-- Lupus is up to three times more common among African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans and affects over one-and-a-half million persons, 90 percent of whom are women.
Most Lupus patients often visit multiple doctors and go years before receiving a correct diagnosis.

Both House and Senate versions of the Fiscal Year 2010 Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations Bill have recognized the urgent need for improved lupus education. Each bill provides for $1 million to the Office of Minority Health in the Department of Health and Human Services to build a national lupus health education program for health education providers.

The official wording of the requests for Members of Congress is how the Lupus Research Institute forms their official request, so if (when!) you call it will help to use the same wording. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me. I am still learning how this part of the lawmaking process happens. It isn't as easy as singing "I'm just a bill. A bill on Capitol Hill."

More as my DC adventure continues...


Lupus Research Institute Capitol Hill Advocacy Day -looking back and forward!

Somehow it seems appropriate that I am planning my second Lupus Research Institute Capitol Hill Advocacy Day trip as Senator Edward Kennedy goes from being a living legend to a part of the legacy. He was so inspirational when I heard him speak to young Democrats at the Conventions. My participation in Democratic politics and as a Delegate led me to focus my activism specifically on the cause closest to me, Lupus. ~ I just booked my tickets and hotel, thanks to my husband's frequent flier miles and hotel reward points. I will going to the 2009 Lupus Research Institute Capitol Hill Advocacy Day - on September 14 (advocacy training and the latest Lupus news) & September 15 (on Capitol Hill, speaking with members of Congress)

Looking forward to it, is an understatement. I can't wait to get back "in the the Loop" (I know it's inside the Beltway) for Lupus. I hope you can join me and the coalition of Lupus organizations that are participating in the 2009 Lupus Research Institute Capitol Hill Advocacy Day.

Looking back on last year's Capitol Hill Advocacy Day, I am proud and humbled that I was able to take part in conversations with Members of Congress on Capitol Hill about funding innovative research so that we can find a cure for Lupus patients, educating medical professionals about the signs of Lupus, which will lead to early diagnosis and proper care of Lupus patients and other Lupus issues. These conversations led to Congress funding NIH Lupus research and programs to educate medical professionals. Pretty much exactly what we asked for. That's why it is so important for us to have a voice and speak for ourselves on Capitol Hill. Whether you have Lupus, care for someone that has Lupus or simply know someone with Lupus. Please join me on September 14th and 15th and let your voice be heard.

See you in Washington, DC!


Teddy and me...

Just a quick note about me, before I became a Lupus patient advocate on YouTube and online, I was an activist for Lupus research and additional funding to support medical advances within my community and was fortunate enough to attend three Democratic National Conventions - two as a Delegate from California (1996 and 2004) and one as a volunteer for the producers of the 2000 Convention in Los Angeles. While the support for Lupus research and additional funding was a cause close to my heart. It was a state issue that prompted my political activism initially. I will cover more on that in later blogs.

memory in my head today --
Boston 2004 Democratic National Convention Hall - I'm psyched I just saw Ben Affleck and continue down a corridor when I see a group that includes Senator Ted Kennedy coming towards me. Smiling and looking directly at him, I ask the Senator "Are you in the loop for Lupus?" He relies "Yup" and that was my moment with Teddy.


Purr-fect Kitty Poledancer

My love for Purple Lab NYC's "Huge Lips, Skinny Hips" began with two shades - Kitty Poledancer and Worship Kate. Kitty Poledancer is a natural soft nude and Worship Kate is the yummiest shade of berry shimmer. Much more than the gorgeous color and amazing gloss, one reason I adore this brand so much is that every package of "Huge Lips, Skinny Hips" comes with a love note inside. The note describes how Fabulous Fashionista and Purple Lab NYC Creatrix Karen Robinovitz was inspired to name each shade. Within the Kitty Poledancer love note, I found out that Kitty Poledancer was a nickname that Karen got after taking her empowering S-Factor pole dancing classes. I love S-Factor. The sanctuary where the shared love of movement and femininity combine to enhance and enrich women (sorry, no men allowed) with power and grace that carries them through their lives. The classes are filled with beautiful, strong women who are as much athletes as they are dancers.

"Huge Lips, Skinny Hips" was coming out of my mouth as much as it was on my pout. I loved this multi-tasking lip gloss line so much that I was talking about it to anyone that would listen - the check out girl at Target and the lady at my dry cleaners - all about the lemon peel and meadowfoam. I was singing the praises of the lip plumper with Hoodia to my friends - both kinds, actual and virtual. That's when I found out that Purple Lab NYC had teamed with Brickfish to create the "Kiss and Tell Your Huge Lips, Skinny Hips I.D." contest.
Right away, I wanted to win the incredible dream fashionista trip to New York. To win I had to enter. (Not knowing at the time, that I was going to enter the contest for every shade.) I felt my entry had to be fresh and innovative like Purple Lab itself.

Instantly, the vision of my Kitty Poledancer entry in the Kiss and Tell Your Huge Lips, Skinny Hips I.D. came to me. My entry would be a picture of my cat wearing his sunnies. My picture for Kitty Poledancer was purr-fect! In it my cat, Bernie Williams (named for the coolest NY Yankee player ever!), was lounging with his blue sunglasses on, it was simple yet bold and cool. The blue sunglasses popped against his grey and white fur in the picture and it conveyed everything I had hoped for. I love Kitty Poledancer because wearing the lip gloss turns me into a beautiful sex kitten. The aisles of the supermarket became a catwalk, I strutted while shopping for soy milk and strawberries. Wearing Kitty Poledancer from Purple Lab NYC "Huge Lips. Skinny Hips" is fun. I feel bold and sexy like a cat who wears shades.

Now, I'll stop talking about my Kitty Poledancer entry in the Purple Lab NYC & Brickfish "Kiss and Tell Your Huge Lips, Skinny Hips I.D." and let you judge for yourself. Click the link. Please vote and review.

Brickfish Social Media: Purr-fect Kitty

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My RED SOLE Story!

This is my RED SOLE story: The Red Sole entry (click the link below to cast your vote!) for the "Kiss & Tell Your Huge Lips, Skinny Hips I.D." contest from Purple Lab NYC & Brickfish is actually my third submission. (I have--at least--one entry for every shade in the contest). I had the idea for it first but waited for the right circumstances (lighting and a photog) and logistics to make it all come together. In case, you are wondering Kitty Poledancer & Love Your Thighs were the shades that I created, produced and submitted entries before RED SOLE hit the Brickfish ViralMap and i will tell you about those entries soon.

RED SOLE is typed in all CAPS as an homage to Christian Louboutin, the shoe designer famous for his red soles, who inspired Purple Lab NYC Creatrix Karen Robinovitz to name her knock 'em dead-perfect shade of red RED SOLE. When I put RED SOLE on my lips, whether with a quick wisp or if I layer it on with three coats, the color is always perfect--sometimes it is just more so. The color red usually implies heat, passion and fire. Purple Lab NYC's RED SOLE shade of Huge Lips, Skinny Hips is a combination of all of these things and more--it's a lip plumper that helps curb hunger. My passion for RED SOLE runs deep.

In thinking about how I was going to portray the way I love RED SOLE, I knew I wanted a close -up shot of my face that focused on my bold bodacious pout. I knew that I would wear sunglasses and not be smiling--all the best models never smile. I knew that my RED SOLE entry had to be more than just another non-smiling, sunglass-wearing, spotlight-on-the-pout picture. There needed to be an X-Factor (apologies to the S-Factor who inspired Kitty Poledancer, but that will be in the next blog) in the photo. The lighting was my "light bulb" moment--it simply had to reflect the power and strength that I feel when I wear RED SOLE. I love the natural light that beams into my dining room when the midday sun is overhead. The venetian blinds of the skylight even create a cool, striped shadow. I now had to wait for the midday shadow and my husband to be in the room at the same time--which I did. After a few test shots, checking angles and location of the striped shadow, Steve (my husband) said he had it. No way! The shoot was too easy! Yet, after checking the back of my digital camera, I saw that he was right. Captured in a moment of good lighting, a not bad angle, the sunlight hits my face just right as if I was shot by Bruce Weber. There I was: a sunglass-wearing, non-smiling, Huge Lips, Skinny Hips model. Who knew that an ordinary woman could become a model with a little lip gloss? Purple Lab NYC, that's who!

Here is my Kiss & Tell contest entry for RED SOLE, please click to vote.

Brickfish Social Media: Bold Bright & Bodacious

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