Cosmic Carra Reviews Larry Crowne

Yes, Cosmic Carra Reviews Larry Crowne!

Wednesday is date day for my husband and me.  We drive 30 miles from Williams, Arizona into Flagstaff to have lunch and a movie along with doing errands one can't do in a town of 3,000. 

Today we saw Larry Crowne with Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts.  I had only seen the previews and thought it would be an "ok" movie as the previews did not really "rock" me but it looked SWEET.  Forest Gump, grown up on a reinvention quest is what I had envisioned.

I was so wrong, this movie has so many messages and such subtle humor I took 5 pages of notes.

  • StrategicForeclosure sign foreclosure (Photo by Brendel)
  • Job loss
  • Relationship issues
  • Substance abuse
  • Entrepreneurial motivation
  • Paying it forward
  • Having a plan B
  • Alternative income sources
  • Loving your neighbor
  • Gangs
  • Hope 
  • Love

This massive list is covered in 1 hour and 39 minutes of meaningful entertainment.  Taking notes in a movie is not unusual for me as that is just what I do.  I go to movies for the message and the great one liners. I really do not like to watch movies more than once and no, we do not have a video library.  Having a brain that thinks in pictures, the movie or even TV shows stay with me.  I can't even watch reruns of Gilligan's Island as I remember the story line and don't want to see it again.

The messages of a movie are like a puzzle for me and trying to see what the story is, how it might modify how I feel, what I might do differently are key components to a good production.  Movies that do not pull some emotion from the viewer or make you think are just mindless entertainment films and sometimes that is perfectly acceptable to simply spend the $6.00 per ticket at the matinee with the $1.00 soda in the refillable cup. Recently we saw "Midnight in Paris" which had an important message.  "Bridesmaids" was a total waste of my $7.00 it was like a Saturday Night Live skit gone too long over and over.  "Bridesmaids" was gross humor leaving me angry that I spent my money.  "The Hangover II" was funny and again just entertainment with a short moral.

Larry Crowne is entertaining and does have a message and should be on your MUST GO SEE list!

Reading a review prior to watching the movie is an ABSOLUTE no, no for me!  Having a brain like the Tin Man after visiting OZ is something we all have.  We can watch, think and reason on our own based on trailers or descriptions of the movie.  What difference does it make what someone else thinks about an art form which is supposed to touch your soul? 

Tom Hanks is the director and Screenwriter along with Nia Vardolos of "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" fame.  The movie was released on July 1, 2011 by Universal Pictures staring:  Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Taraji P. Henson, George Takei, Peter Scolari, Bryan Cranston, Cedric the Entertainer, Wilmer Valderrama, Jon Seda, Nia Vardalos, Natascha McElhone, Maria Canals, Pam Grier, Rami Malek, Rob Riggle

I Don't Get It ButtonThe movie takes a serious issue facing our country today and gives people HOPE.

Many of the reviews I read AFTER the movie  are laughing at the optimistic approach to the recession. I am not sure of the age of some of the reviewers but they obviously "Don't Get It."   The light at the end of their tunnel is a freight train and they don't have a clue!  14 trillion dollars in debt with no more room to borrow spells BK in most books.  How this FACT is going to effect America in the days and weeks to come is yet to be determined.  This movie shows how a group of people have chosen to adapt to the current changes in the economy to survive.

Larry Crowne, (Tom Hanks) is fired from his big box job because he does not have the educational background to move upward in the company.  He is a model employee with receiving 8 employee of the month awards.  He picks up the trash on the way into work and takes pride in what he does.  These ethical qualities do not insulate him from being "kicked to the curb" as the company down sizes. 

Larry takes being fired in stride and handles the rejection of job interviews from every type of job imaginable.  One employer says "times are tough" to which he responds "tell me about it." Anyone in the audience having gone through a job search in the recent past can identify with the feeling of hopelessness in obtaining a new job. Larry is also divorced and had taken a 2nd mortgage on his home to pay off his ex-wife.  So he is stuck with no job and a huge house payment.  This is not Hollywood hype this is everyday life in our face. Larry ultimately takes a job from a friend in a diner being a line cook.

Going to college was an idea shared by Larry's neighbor, Cedric the Entertainer.  Cedric had been the winner of a game show and made his living today with a perpetual garage sale. The bond of the neighborhood and the feeling of concern for one another was a message critics might not have seen as the plot envelops every part of our changing economy in one way or another. 

As Larry fills his SUV with gas he sees two young people come into the gas station fill up their scooters with gas for $3.78 while his bill was just shutting off at $75.00.  He makes the financial decision to downsize to a scooter for transportation just like many people are having to do today with cars to survive.

The first day of school Larry runs into a vibrant young lady, Talia (Gugu Mbatha Raw) who invites him to be part of her "gang." The story line here is a little unrealistic with a hot, quirky, fashionista befriending a middle aged man on an old scooter.  However, the message could be for compassion to all mankind going through struggles needing a little help from their friends, no matter what age.  What a great way to meet new people and invite them to hang out.  Create your own "gang" and help others. I am thinking about a "Girlfriends Gang."  This concept is a reach for some critics but the message worked for me!  Talia has the entrepreneurial gene in her and quits school to start a business right in the middle of this economic mess.  She is living her passion and looked at the numbers with Larry based on the rent and income projections  to make the right decision for her.  Today many people are looking at that same choice.

The gang helps Larry transform with a new look and feng shui for his dated home with an upside down mortgage.  Talia is in an economics class with Larry and is constantly texting him while the lecture is on.  One of my favorite lines was from George Takei (Star Trek fame) the Econ Professor as he takes away Larry's cell phone in class "They call these smart phones but only dummies use them in my class." 

Larry really understands the principles in the Economics class.  He has a discussion with the professor and makes the decision to go through a "Strategic Foreclosure."  He spent time going to the bank, trying to refinance,  trying to explain his situation and the banker says, "3 year ago I would have given you over $500,000 on your signature however, we can't do anything for you now as you owe more than the home is worth"  Larry explains he can no longer pay the payments without a job to which she replies….. "let's get some complimentary coffee and talk as you have to continue making the payments."  Larry knows the process and the fact he will have 30 days to vacate.  He packages up all the documents and the keys and delivers them to the bank providing the deed prior to foreclosure.  His neighbors have an emotional time with accepting he is going to have to move and the reality of what is going on in the world today is right there on the big screen for all to see. 

Will this movie send a message to homeowners who owe more on their homes than the value will support?  If they are listening it will and they should get legal and tax advise as to whether a strategic foreclosure will work for them in their individual situation. Each State has different deficiency rules on first and 2nd mortgages so no action should be taken without proper legal and tax advice.

Mercedes Tainot (Julia Roberts) is a speech instructor where Larry is taking a class called "The art of Informal Remarks." She is a self medicating alcoholic trying to numb herself to the feelings she has with her porn loving, writer husband who stays at home.  She starts throwing rocks at what he does all day on the Internet when he tries to explain he is posting to his blog.  She says he is not writing the blogs only commenting so he must have gotten the idea that commenting on blog posts was the same as writing a blog post from a "Canadian Blogger Thesaurus." He calls her "Boozeilla" then she retorts he is a "childish blogging loser." 

The movie is so much more than 1 hour and 39 minutes of entertainment. It gives HOPE to everyone who watches it and is willing to listen to the message along with some humor and reality.  The movie shows how people can support one another and make the best of a very unfortunate situation.  Downsizing to a 1 bedrooms apartment with a one butt kitchen is not so bad after all if you have your priorities right. It is, what it is and you do what you have to do to survive today and this movies shows that it is perfectly acceptable to make changes to adjust to the change! 

Read how people are sharing their lives and what they are doing to start over on the Larry Crowne website.

The content in this movie is an example of how human beings can be helping one another as the Cosmic Shift Happens!  

If you are  going through some changes and in need of some fun, support and new energy, the "Girlfriends Reinvention Weekend to Reboot Your Brain Camp" being held in Williams, Arizona August 19th to 21st is something for you to consider to take care of yourself and your mental well being.  We will have guests talking about how they have survived similar situations described in this movie and how they have gone forward working Plan B and beyond! 

Get off the hamster wheel and come "Reboot" with us! 

Social Media Summer Camp… No Bugs at This Summer Camp!

Social Media Summer Camp… No Bugs at This Summer Camp!

How can that be……. you may be asking? Are you trying to put the puzzle pieces of Social Media together?

Have you been putting off learning all the confusing pieces of social media and how they all fit or do you know someone who needs to get with what is happening today in social media marketing?

No matter what business you are in, sharing this information can help someone you may know struggling with social meda pieces. Bring or tell a friend and go to Social Media Summer Camp and forget the bugs!

Hear how every business can maximize profits using social media on Blogtalkradio when Shelly Roth, President of Springboard Ventures, is a guest on the show May 11th 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time . We will be discussing Social Media Summer Camp 2011 and her new books. Call in and ask questions at (347) 994-1903

  • If you already KNOW about social media, this is an opportunity for you to share with others how they can get up to speed in a balanced manner.
  • Simply forward this blog post or send a link to someone NOT using social media so they can listen to the blogtalkradio show and hear firsthand what Shelley will be teaching.

Shelley R. Roth, President of Springboard Ventures has designed a user friendly summer program to learn about facebook, twitter, linkedin, blogging and e-mail campaigns. Spend ONLY 1.5 hours, one time a week for six weeks to be up and running with confidence in social media.

Shelley Roth is an author, trainer, motivational speaker, and social media navigator. She inspires and empowers businesses to achieve higher levels of productivity and growth through creative sales and marketing initiatives. As President of Springboard Ventures, Inc., Shelley has worked for more than a decade with dozens of entrepreneurial ventures in various stages of development, as well as Fortune 500 companies. She has served on the advisory boards of several technology companies, served as a mentor and member of the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship, and the Houston Technology Center and MIT Forum.

Social Media Summer Camp 2011

The program has everything you ever wanted to know about social media and how to turn it into a profitable endeavor.

Session 1 – Facebook 101

  • Set up your Personal Profile and Optimize for Business
  • Create status updates, ask questions, share links, upload pics
  • Research Business Pages
  • @Tag people, pages and events
  • Create distribution lists
  • Upload contact lists
  • Set privacy settings

Session 2 – Facebook 102

  • Create your Business Page
  • Understand New Business Page Navigation
  • Research Applications and other Pages
  • Learn to use the Photo Stream for Marketing
  • Upload your contacts and invite to LIKE your page
  • Get Sticky with your content
  • Sourcing Content

Session 3 – LinkedIn 101

  • Completing your Profile for SEO (search engine optimization)
  • Getting Referrals
  • Completing yoru profile 100%
  • Uploading connections
  • Finding connections
  • Searching for people, companies, groups

Session 4 – LinkedIn 102

  • Setting up and Managing Groups
  • Researching Applications for Business use
  • Answering Questions and Establishing Expertise
  • Setting up your Business Profile
  • Twitter and LinkedIn-Peanut Butter and Chocolate
  • Creating an Event and Promoting it

Session 5 – Twitter, Blogging and Tools for Streamlining Social Media

  • Creating a Twitter Account
  • Why Tweet?
  • What to Tweet
  • Searching on Twitter
  • Blogs Overview-Wordpress and Blogger
  • Tools for ease: ;;

Session 6 – Power of Email Marketing

  • Why use an email marketing service such as Constant Contact?
  • How to best position your email to get opened and read
  • Creating CTA’s (calls to action) with your email
  • Building a quality contact list
  • Using Social Media sites with your email campaigns

To receive a $20.00 discount on the purchase of the Social Media Summer Camp please enter code: CARRA when you purchase the event.

Shelley sends out a very informative newsletter with weekly video tips on social media. I learn something new every time I watch one.

Sign up for the weekly video tips to have a continuous flow of knowledge as social media changes on a daily basis.

Shelley is the author of an informative social media book entitled “Get Real, People! What your Digital Body Language Says about You Online” Watch the trailer on the link below and get ready for some FUN with social media.


Connect with Shelley Roth and Springboard Works all over the web!

e-mail Shelley

Phone 713.937.1006


LIKE us on Facebook

CONNECT on LinkedIn

FOLLOW on Twitter


More special gifts and reasons to connect with Springboard!

Click for FREE 60 Day Constant Contact Trial

Remember to listen to Shelley Roth, Live on BLOGTALKRADIO Wednesday, May 11th at 9:00 a.m Pacific Time. Call in to ask questions at (347) 994-1903 Let’s have some fun with social media!

And remember, there are no bugs at this summer camp, so leave the bug spray behind and join us!

Let The Game begin! Where In The World is Carra Riley?

Today, January 12, 2011 is the official launch day of the game, Where in the world is Carra Riley?

The contest is an opportunity to win a $500 travel certificate to one of the Seven Wonders of the World. This is combined with 6 other connected prizes from Williams, Arizona the Gateway to the Grand Canyon: 2 meals from Grand Canyon Coffee & Cafe,  3 nights at The Grand Country Inn, train ride for 2 on the Grand Canyon Railway to the Grand Canyon, bull whip lesson with Buck Williams , two rounds of golf at Elephant Rocks Golf Course, 4 car load passes to Bearizona and more to make winning the trip extra special.  See all the rules here.

Join in the fun.. all you have to do is engage by commenting and come to the party!  You will be sharing the journey with me, Carra Riley as I travel with world with my husband Tom on the  Spring 2011 Semester at Sea voyage.  I will be doing research as I write “Cosmic Cow Pie…Connecting The Dots Around The World.”

Today was a full day of checking out of the hotel, getting to the dock, going through customs, unpacking and participating in a “meet and greet” with the parents of the students on the voyage!

I set up the computer with the ships wireless system but we cannot upload video.  I will have to save the video till I can get to Cyber Cafes in port and stick to small file pictures to share!  You can also go to my flickr account and see the photos of the day all along the voyage!

A picture speaks a thousand words.. so this is what we did today!

Tom Riley in Nassau Semester At Sea

Carra Riley Nassau Semester At Sea

Our Ship MV Explorer

More pictures on flickr in the Semester At Sea MV Explorer set.

So let’s get this party started! Comment on the blog posts, the facebook fan page, the flickr account or youtube videos!  Get a point for each comment up to 5 comments a day!  In the event of a tie, additional engagement or posting on any of the sites will determine the tie breaker!  Go to the forum at Cosmic Cow Pie and register so we know your screen name and can keep track of your points.  If you don’ t register we will not know you are playing the game!

This should be fun and you might just connect with some very interesting people from across the world!

Where in the world is Carra Riley? Nassau!

Nassau, Bahamas Day 1 Continued: Connecting The Dots Around The World.

The contest actually starts on January 12th.. That will be the official 1st day of the contest when we embark from Nassau.  We have just been “practicing!”  Thank you for playing along!

Warm weather of mid 70’s in Nassau was a welcome feeling as we left Charlotte, North Carolina at 18 degrees F Sunday morning.  The welcome calypso band playing at Immigrations was certainly a pleasant surprise as we waited to enter Nassau. This warm greeting  from the local band was only a start to an education in how the entire island, including the omelet lady (another post later this week)  at the resort is working to create a pleasant experience for all who come here.

We found a bag porter who helped us get the bags through customs without a glitch.  He took us right to a large SUV taxi driven by a delightful girl named, Tamika who explained she owned the vehicle and worked for herself. She was born and raised in Nassau and shared some interesting statistics such as the size of the island being 7 miles wide by 26 miles long with only 200,000 residents. According to Tamika this week is supposed to be in the 70’s as last week they were in the 60’s which is cold for Nassau.   We asked her to stop at a food store and we purchased bottled water, soda and snacks to save excess mark up at the resort.  We made arrangements with her to pick us up on Tuesday at 11:30 to board the ship by noon so we continue to “manage our mess” in an organized manner. The attitude of the locals was one of kindness and appreciation  for the business. Lessons to take back to our local areas.

Learning to roll with the punches is part of having “balance” in travel.  Sunday morning in Charlotte, NC we expected to go to a Money Exchange outlet in the airport during our 3 hour layover to obtain $30.00 in currency for each of the 11 countries where we will be dock.  I had the 11 envelopes all ready to organize the funds and be prepared when we arrived and needed to get cabs for our first location.  We had our first opportunity to exercise the “10 second rule.” The money exchange store was closed because it was Sunday.  We had the plan all arranged in our minds for the last couple months and now there was nothing we could do about the store being closed.  We just implemented the 10 second rule of being upset LESS than 10 seconds and made a new plan B to find a bank in Nassau on Monday or Wednesday when we have time to go get the change.  The activity did not turn out the way we wanted it to but the end result will be the same, just on a different day in a different place. The bottom line will be the same as we will get the different currency in the 11 different envelopes and the money issue should be smooth sailing.   Our taxi driver let us know we could walk to Royal Bank from the hotel and get that job taken care of. Problem solved and less than 10 seconds of stress.

The vision for me in this trip is to “Connect The Dots Around The World.” I had no preconceived idea of how any of the dots would start to connect but they have already started to come together. Your comments and input will be invaluable as I post on my blog with a stream of consciousness writing along with just sharing what I am thinking and the observations I am making from exactly what I am experiencing.

The “bar of expectation” for many businesses and services is a moving target today and we have had our experience with this two times in the first day of travel.  As the world economy is changing the fight for the discretionary dollar is actually going to the street with customers one on one. Watch how this is evidenced by the video where a “meal hawker” aka host, actually comes over to the taxi we just got out of to entice us to eat at the restaurant he works for.

This is certainly an example of meeting the customer where they are!  The street or beach vendors are also “asking for the business.” The worst it can be from asking for the business is someone saying “no” so if you are not afraid to get out of your comfort zone to ask for new business, it might be there. We went to “Big Ten”  for dinner and actually never went back to Twin Brothers so you see.. David asked us to go to his restaurant we did.

Now here we go!  Fun in the sun and it’s almost time to get on the ship and sail! It was a peaceful day with 3 hours in the sun to get going on our required read  “Three Cups of  Tea” by Greg Mortrenson.  An inspiration to all and another post will be coming sharing the PASSION this man had for building schools for children who want to learn.

The Island of Nassau relies on tourism for it’s very existence. The atmosphere of all the service providers is one of trying to please and create a memorable experience for everyone here.  Taking this attitude of a community working together to survive can come right back home to our local areas where we need to come together on what we are trying to do to survive also.

This is the 1st GLOBAL lesson that we can apply to our LOCAL communities as we go “Glocal” in our thinking!

Register to comment and play:  Where in the world is Carra Riley? You could win a trip to one of the seven wonders of the world!

Cosmic Cloud Pies!

What is that you say?  Cloud Pies NOT Cow Pies!

On the journey to “Connect The Dots Around The World” flying from Phoenix to Charlotte to Nassau I looked out the plane window and saw Cosmic Cow Pies… it looked like a field of Cloud Pies!   A much more “cosmic” visual than those actually left in a field by a cow! COSMIC CLOUD PIES aka Cosmic Cow Pies. What do you think?

Cosmic Cloud Pies

The message came through the clouds and I could see the shadows on the ocean.  Very symbolic of the Cloud Pies that we have to navigate in life.

Cosmic Cloud Pies create shadows in life

All the “pies” flying around create shadows in life and when the clouds go away with the light of the sunshine the path clears up and we have smooth sailing…..  balance and no stress.

Cosmic Cloud Pies Disolved

Navigating the Cosmic Cloud Pies of life aka Cosmic Cow Pies of life can be fun and easy when you apply the 14 principles found in Cosmic Cow Pie…Connecting The Dots.

Be sure to join the contest to win a trip to one of the seven wonders of the world!  Play: Where in the world is Carra Riley?

Can’t wait to read what you think of the Cloud Pie concept!