Saturday, August 25, 2012

Barack Obama for president 2012

“I'm inspired by my own children, how full they make my heart. They make me want to work to make the world a little bit better. And they make me want to be a better man.” — President Obama

You know I have done my very best to NOT be political this year on any social networks or blogs or anything because honestly people are idiots and they just want a reason to fight and I am all about being positive these days. I suffered two major losses this year with my dog of almost 14 years suddenly dying of Westie Lung Disease in January and then my father passing away in June. I was out of work for some of that time and the days were dark a lot of the time. That said, I was always hopeful about my future and one of the reasons is this man right here.


He doesn't just stand for the left side, he stands for everything that is right in this world and it blows me away that everyone can't see that. He is all about family. He is about peace-but not such a wuss that he will allow the US to be attacked. He is about healthcare reform. He is about education. He is about putting America back to work. He is about balancing out the tax issue. He is about SOLUTIONS.

I am not going to slam the other side, because I don't need to. I am voting for this man, because of who he is, not because of who the other guy isn't.

We live in scary times and I believe our president is doing his very best to make the world a better place.

I used to be a die hard-Alex P. Keaton-Republican with Nixon as my favorite president followed by Reagan, but then I grew up and I read more and more and slowly I went to the left. I have lived abroad and I have lived here and I love America, but what we have now isn't working. I do my best to be open minded about these things, but an America lead by anyone other than Obama right now is an America that terrifies me.

I wonder, have these people read the constitution and I am talking GOP. Do they know that it said to let everyone in, all races, all religions? One nation under God-it doesn't say which God by the way-one nation not a divided mess that we are now.

I believe that Obama is a not only a great president, but he is a great man capable of real change. 

I encourage everyone to get out and vote and don't vote green party or independent, because there are two choices. Republican and Democrat period. Make the right one, it's your future, it's your parents future, it's your kids' future, this time is serious. 

Barack Obama 2012 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Heartwarming: Capitol Hill grieves for homeless man who was a neighborhood fixture.

This is a great story that will warm your heart. Here is a bit of it below, but click on the link for the full story in the Washington Post.

Capitol Hill grieves for homeless man who was a neighborhood fixture.

By  and Published: August 21

Peter Bis may have been the most rootless savant on Capitol Hill. He lived most of the past decade on the streets near Union Station without an address, a phone, a job or even a reliable connection to reality (unless the former law student with the uncanny memory really was Princess Diana’s former lover and a onetime aerospace magnate).
But in the week since Bis died of an apparent heart attack near his favorite corner at Second Street and Massachusetts Avenue NE, his many acquaintances — from think-tank economists to Hill waiters — have been marveling at just how deep a homeless man’s roots can sink into a busy neighborhood.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Mediterranean diet: Choose this heart-healthy diet option!

Whoooo-hoooo viva Italiano!!! Are you afraid of gluten? Or grains? Or beans? Come on! This is from the Mayo Clinic AND the guy, Ancel Keys,who named this diet lived to be 100. So there.

Here is a great article!! I didn't write it, but I am sharing it. 

Mediterranean diet: Choose this heart-healthy diet option

The Mediterranean diet is a heart-healthy eating plan combining elements of Mediterranean-style cooking. Here's how to adopt the Mediterranean diet.

By Mayo Clinic staff
If you're looking for a heart-healthy eating plan, the Mediterranean diet might be right for you. The Mediterranean diet incorporates the basics of healthy eating — plus a splash of flavorful olive oil and perhaps a glass of red wine — among other components characterizing the traditional cooking style of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea.
Most healthy diets include fruits, vegetables, fish and whole grains, and limit unhealthy fats. While these parts of a healthy diet remain tried-and-true, subtle variations or differences in proportions of certain foods may make a difference in your risk of heart disease.

Benefits of the Mediterranean diet

Research has shown that the traditional Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of heart disease. In fact, a recent analysis of more than 1.5 million healthy adults demonstrated that following a Mediterranean diet was associated with a reduced risk of overall and cardiovascular mortality, a reduced incidence of cancer and cancer mortality, and a reduced incidence of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases.
For this reason, most if not all major scientific organizations encourage healthy adults to adapt a style of eating like that of the Mediterranean diet for prevention of major chronic diseases.
Key components of the Mediterranean diet

The Mediterranean diet emphasizes:
  • Getting plenty of exercise
  • Eating primarily plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts
  • Replacing butter with healthy fats such as olive oil and canola oil
  • Using herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods
  • Limiting red meat to no more than a few times a month
  • Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week
  • Drinking red wine in moderation (optional)
The diet also recognizes the importance of enjoying meals with family and friends.

Fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains

The Mediterranean diet traditionally includes fruits, vegetables, pasta and rice. For example, residents of Greece eat very little red meat and average nine servings a day of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables. The Mediterranean diet has been associated with a lower level of oxidized low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol — the "bad" cholesterol that's more likely to build up deposits in your arteries.
Nuts are another part of a healthy Mediterranean diet. Nuts are high in fat (approximately 80 percent of their calories come from fat), but most of the fat is not saturated. Because nuts are high in calories, they should not be eaten in large amounts — generally no more than a handful a day. For the best nutrition, avoid candied or honey-roasted and heavily salted nuts.
Grains in the Mediterranean region are typically whole grain and usually contain very few unhealthy trans fats, and bread is an important part of the diet there. However, throughout the Mediterranean region, bread is eaten plain or dipped in olive oil — not eaten with butter or margarines, which contain saturated or trans fats.

Healthy fats

The focus of the Mediterranean diet isn't on limiting total fat consumption, but rather to make wise choices about the types of fat you eat. The Mediterranean diet discourages saturated fats and hydrogenated oils (trans fats), both of which contribute to heart disease.
The Mediterranean diet features olive oil as the primary source of fat. Olive oil provides monounsaturated fat — a type of fat that can help reduce LDL cholesterol levels when used in place of saturated or trans fats. "Extra-virgin" and "virgin" olive oils — the least processed forms — also contain the highest levels of the protective plant compounds that provide antioxidant effects.
Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats, such as canola oil and some nuts, contain the beneficial linolenic acid (a type of omega-3 fatty acid). Omega-3 fatty acids lower triglycerides, decrease blood clotting, are associated with decreased sudden heart attack, improve the health of your blood vessels, and help moderate blood pressure. Fatty fish — such as mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna and salmon — are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Fish is eaten on a regular basis in the Mediterranean diet.


The health effects of alcohol have been debated for many years, and some doctors are reluctant to encourage alcohol consumption because of the health consequences of excessive drinking. However, alcohol — in moderation — has been associated with a reduced risk of heart disease in some research studies.
The Mediterranean diet typically includes a moderate amount of wine. This means no more than 5 ounces (148 milliliters) of wine daily for women (or men over age 65), and no more than 10 ounces (296 milliliters) of wine daily for men under age 65. More than this may increase the risk of health problems, including increased risk of certain types of cancer.
If you're unable to limit your alcohol intake to the amounts defined above, if you have a personal or family history of alcohol abuse, or if you have heart or liver disease, refrain from drinking wine or any other alcohol. Also keep in mind that red wine may trigger migraines in some people.

Putting it all together

The Mediterranean diet is a delicious and healthy way to eat. Many people who switch to this style of eating say they'll never eat any other way. Here are some specific steps to get you started:
  • Eat your veggies and fruits — and switch to whole grains. An abundance and variety of plant foods should make up the majority of your meals. They should be minimally processed, and try to purchase them when they're in season. Strive for seven to 10 servings a day of veggies and fruits. Switch to whole-grain bread and cereal, and begin to eat more whole-gain rice and pasta products. Keep baby carrots, apples and bananas on hand for quick, satisfying snacks. Fruit salads are a wonderful way to eat a variety of healthy fruit.
  • Go nuts. Keep almonds, cashews, pistachios and walnuts on hand for a quick snack. Choose natural peanut butter, rather than the kind with hydrogenated fat added. Try tahini (blended sesame seeds) as a dip or spread for bread.
  • Pass on the butter. Try olive or canola oil as a healthy replacement for butter or margarine. Use it in cooking. After cooking pasta, add a touch of olive oil, some garlic and green onions for flavoring. Dip bread in flavored olive oil or lightly spread it on whole-grain bread for a tasty alternative to butter. Try tahini (blended sesame seeds) as a dip or spread for bread too.
  • Spice it up. Herbs and spices make food tasty and are also rich in health-promoting substances. Season your meals with herbs and spices rather than salt.
  • Go fish. Eat fish once or twice a week. Fresh or water-packed tuna, salmon, trout, mackerel and herring are healthy choices. Grilled fish tastes good and requires little cleanup. Avoid fried fish, unless it's sauteed in a small amount of canola oil.
  • Rein in the red meat. Substitute fish and poultry for red meat. When eaten, make sure it's lean and keep portions small (about the size of a deck of cards). Also avoid sausage, bacon and other high-fat meats.
  • Choose low-fat dairy. Limit higher fat dairy products such as whole or 2 percent milk, cheese and ice cream. Switch to skim milk, fat-free yogurt and low-fat cheese.
  • Raise a glass to healthy eating. If it's OK with your doctor, have a glass of wine at dinner. If you don't drink alcohol, you don't need to start. Drinking purple grape juice may be an alternative to wine.

Don't Be Fooled About Wellness Coaches

Many of my close friends and anyone who has ever been around me for about 2 seconds knows that being healthy, not skinny, is part of who I am. I drink tons of water, my diet is mostly plant based and I don't eat sweets that often, so I am all for wellness blogs and such.

That said, everyone thinks that they can tell others what to do. So as a blog reader, you really need to be careful. Recently someone who I know personally who isn't that healthy, but is obsessed with trend diets is now claiming herself to be a fitness, wellbeing and health expert. This person knows nothing and unless you can get a degree in nutrition in a month, then, well you know.

She didn't even work out until last summer. She ate terribly and was just a pain to be around. So now all of a sudden she is telling people what to do.

One of her blogs is telling people that 8 glasses of water is excessive? WHAT?

 I mean how can you take someone serious who doesn't even practice what they preach?

Sadly this person isn't the only one like this, especially in Los Angeles where everyone thinks they are an expert.

Here are some facts about health and wellness:

1) Every person is different and what works for them may not work for everyone. We are all unique.
2) Just because someone writes a blog doesn't make them an expert.
3) Drinking water is healthy
4) Eating veggies is healthy
5) Eating lean protein is healthy
6) Eating junk is bad
7) Exercise is good, but everyone is at different levels
8) Fad or trend diets can be dangerous
9) Dropping massive pounds quickly is NOT healthy
10) Being underweight is just as unhealthy as being overweight

There so now I am an expert! Seriously! UGH, it drives me crazy. I actually have been certified by ACE and what used to be IDEA as a personal trainer and aerobic instructor as well as a few other specialty classes such as spinning. I also took a lot of nutrition classes and I still wouldn't call myself an expert just because this week I think it's a good idea to try to make money that way.

Because I am a decent person I won't post this person's blog-that's just mean, but if you are following a health and wellness blog-do your research before you take everything they say as "God's word." And be smart, check with a professional before doing anything radical to your diet.

Use common sense people, this is not brain surgery. Be aware of scams and people looking to get rich quick. Anyone can Google images and make a blog look good.

So I Guess I'll Stay Put

I have been wanting to get out of the hot weather for so long, but as things happen I go with them. I am very excited to say that I found a great apartment without even looking in my old neighborhood-that I left because the rents went up to crazy high rents and thus my move 25 miles north to "Agrestic". I have been looking in Santa Monica and San Francisco, but looks like I'll be a "Valley girl" a bit longer. And before you think it's too good to be true for me? There is no central air-but I am excited, my closest friends all live in that area, so YIPPEE!!

I actually said to the universe, "okay, if and only if there is a great place for under X amount on these four streets, I'll stay in the Valley, otherwise, find me something great on the west side." So in tune with my last post, I did put this out there and the universe delivered. I am so excited to decorate a new place!

Things I like about the Valley:

*Tons of industry people everywhere especially writers, actors and animation artists unlike over the hill where it's all producers and agents.
*Trees-we have trees and it's every green in the valley unlike the South Bay which is very pastel.
*It's comfortable to me because I know everyone and know my way around, it's like "home."
*Lots of places to hike.

So like oh-mi-God!! Totally.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Dear Universe, I'm Asking

As many of your know I have been working contract/freelance for many years and not entirely by choice. Freelance in the animation world used to mean more money and less hours, now it means way less money and way more hours. The studios are cutting corners and so it is what it is. I love to draw and I love writing, so working freelance was a great way for many years to do both. Also the studios are hiring less and less in house people, so it just sort of happened.

I have also been working as a freelance script reader for a few companies around town and even offering up my own services, and it's been great. I am very lucky to do what I love.

If you read my last post you will see that I am taking that full time-I will still freelance in animation-I mean after 17 years it is part of who I am, but I am excited to be getting more and more clients for Script Concierge, and more and more people interested in my class on dialogue.

Now the dreaming begins. I have never wanted for much-which is probably why I don't have much, you get what you ask for from the universe. When I was seven and told my mother I wanted to be an actress and work in entertainment she said, "You'll always be broke" and I said, "That's okay, I'll always be happy" and I am happy and I am, a lot of the time not flush-let's say not flush-sounds better than broke. I never cared about having money, making money or being rich, so I told the universe that it was okay. Now I am going to ask for some specific things such as:

A trip to Paris, I have always wanted to go and you know, I deserve it.

A great apartment on the west side. Yeah I was thinking about moving up to San Francisco, but if I live on the west side I am still here in Lala land-where my life in this crazy, fun, exciting industry is and I can go up to SF as much as I want. So I want my great apt. in Santa Monica. Here is a photo from a real lead I found. It's a little spendy-but not insane. So I am asking. Universe, my apt in Santa Monica.

And I want a book deal from a major publisher for RYUAN my YA novel that I am in love with. I have a series building and I would be oh so happy working full time on this series. Universe, I am asking. Random House or Bloomsbury-is that specific enough?

Thank you universe for listening. I know with some hard work and positive energy, things will happen, and since I am asking. How about a steady stream of money? Thanks!

Monday, August 13, 2012

My New Adventure-Script Concierge

Script Concierge is up and running! As many of you know, I have been doing a lot of script reading and coverage lately and I love it. I really love the feeling of helping a writer get their script into the best shape it can be in. I also love telling new writers about great coaches and workshops such as: Ellen Sandler. True story I was doing coverage last week for a fellow writer who wants to work in television, and she had never heard of Ellen!! I was shocked-but then I remember 5 years ago when I was trying to get my first show on the air, I hadn't either. I told this writer to go buy Ellen's book and she did and her pilot is already stronger. Yay! I know that stuff. The last five years have been intense for me, in the scriptwriting world. I have taken so many classes and workshops and online classes and attended many panels that now I have this wealth of information that took me five years to collect-almost like going to university full time. And during that time, I have written many scripts from screenplays to spec teleplays to original pilots and been hired in development and as a writer. I love what I do and I really get excited helping others.

So I decided to teach a class on character and dialogue called, Who Said That? starting on Sept 10th, please email me at stepholivieri at for more info, or check my blog (see above) and or my website, Dialogue is something that most writers struggle with-if you're not one of them-you are lucky-and I happen to be really good at it and more importantly being able to see when characters are lost in the same voice and or undefined voices.

This all said, I am very excited, please feel free to share with other writers. I have been contacted already about doing a couple lectures for a couple studios, and I am open to collaborating with others as well. I am working on my new book, Who Said That? as well.

I hope that you are all having a great day and continuing stopping by, this blog is really my fun, op ed blog where I can say anything even if not industry related.

Cheers and happy Monday!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Choosing a New Way-Just What I Needed

Funny how the universe seems to know what's going on. Lately I have been feeling "off" maybe because my father died in June and or my doggie died in January, the fact that work is unpredictable and or that I am - EEEEK - middle aged, although it does NOT feel that way. In any case, I am not sure why, but my usually strong self has been having a lot of questions and the biggest.


I know what I am doing, following my dreams and working in entertainment. But that comes with always being rejected, ALWAYS, and then getting a job and then it ends early, or doesn't start, or is great and then you are out of work, AGAIN.

Sigh.. but in any case, I have been trying to make a new plan of action to support myself while I am pursuing my dream-writing.

I got this in my inbox today and thought I would share because it's perfect. If you aren't already signed up on the Daily Om, you should, it's great.
Here is the link and then what mine said today-PERFECT for me.

July 31, 2012

Choosing a New Way
Pisces Daily Horoscope
You could feel restless and ready to make changes in your life today. Perhaps you are reevaluating your life’s direction or focusing on a few key areas that could use improvement. If you’ve been feeling bored or dissatisfied with any part of your life lately, you could benefit from introspection. Examining the main facets of your life will likely reveal the areas that need a breath of fresh air. You also may want to consider how your previous actions have contributed to your situation today. While you may not be responsible for every situation, your choices have most likely played a role in creating your current circumstances. If you can take responsibility for your life and become aware of the connections between your actions and their results, you can make beneficial decisions.

By gaining a clear understanding of how our actions create our results, we can learn to make wiser decisions. It can be easy to make our decisions on autopilot without thought to the consequences. Our decisions can take on new depth and meaning, however, if we can consider the outcome we wish to create and take the steps that can bring it about. We become cocreators with the universe and gain greater control over our circumstances. By understanding that each decision you make today contributes to a specific result, you can let your choices lead you down an exciting path of growth and fulfillment.