Friday, September 9, 2005

Shameless Self-Promotions

Here’s the Shameless Update:

Last week, several major things happened for Shameless. A venue that would like to host some of our future events invited me to attend a benefit for Hurricane Katrina survivors, and in the process, I was introduced to the camera crew of “In the Mix,” a national entertainment magazine filmed locally in LA. The interview went well, and got them really excited about producing a feature story on the Shameless benefit events. The next day, I met with the president of the station for Urban Arts TV, and the head directors of their “In the Mix” program. I introduced them to Shameless and our partnered charities, ONE and Reach the Children, as well as several clips of music to give them a taste of the level and quality of the Shameless Artists. The next morning several station members from the meeting emailed me to solidify the long-term relationship they intend to build upon with Shameless and our artists, as well as confirm that they will film all our upcoming benefit events for the show, “In the Mix.”

The documentary production company “Nineteen76 Productions,” is collaborating with several local film schools to create an ad campaign for Shameless; one that is funny and going to be good enough for you to fwd on to all your email friends. The president of Nineteen76 filmed a documentary on rap icon, Adina Howard, and just returned from filming Madonna’s world tour. My favourite thing to tell people is that he took Kabala classes with Madonna! Still, as with all our artists, he has a great heart and is devoted to the Shameless cause.

We also had our first article published- a full feature titled, “Shameless is Selfless,” and I met with the lead editor of several local papers, who will also be working for the LA Times in October and he and his wife have been working with several national magazines and papers for the last 20 years. They are offering to place Shameless stories in weekly features, as well as my personal journal entries as a series, and a national magazine cover on Shameless for Sunset or Outdoor magazine. This is the same man who broke the story on Erin Brockovich, so when he tells me he’s doing something, I believe him. We meet again with my PR director this week.

Expect to see Shameless Youth Rallies, a Shameless 5K, Shameless Fashion Show featuring one-of-a-kind couture by Handsome Clothing and Rockin’ Republic Jeans, and big-name artists brought to you by Virgin Records. See September’s events at:

All in all, it’s been a great experience so far, and it seems that things happen for us daily, so it’s quite a blur. I will do what I can to keep you abreast of Shameless and our events, but so as not to clog up your email accounts; I encourage you to check up on our site, frequently. We will have photos and updated news posted soon.

Thank you so much for your support and your contributions.

Shameless Self-Promotions
Do Good. Be Shameless.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Jambo! From Kenya-

Journal Entries from Kenya

June 25. 2005 Saturday -Pride
It’s my first day in Kenya. The people I pass on the street have a silent pride; a dignity about them. The women are dressed with head scarves, their lovely smooth faces looking out. They wear dresses, many of them in bright purples and yellows with patterns. The men wear shirts with jackets, trench coats, even when sitting in the truck bed of iron construction poles or burning coals and piles of wood on the street. While the circumstances here are beyond humble and these street people rarely smile, there is a dignity quite visible in their presentation.

June 26. 2005 Sunday -Nehamiah’s Story

I met Nehamiah today. He is a schoolteacher here in Kenya. He tells me of how he used to sneak into school when he was young. Too poor to pay for classes, he would hide in the back o fthe classroom until a teacher found him. Thrown out of class, the teachers would beat him, to punish him, calling him “a thief of education.” The young Nehamiah would answer back, “I would rather be a thief of education than a thief of property!” He explains to me that, even at a young age, he knew his only option to escape poverty was to gain an education.

Now, Nehamiah and his wife, Caroline, run schools for orphans. At first, they simply had four students, orphans, in their one-room dirt-floor shanty. Now, with the assistance of Reach the Children, they have a school that houses over 1500 students and has boarding facilities for 700 girls in order to protect them. Rape, Nehamiah explains, is a problem. With AIDS and lack of education rampant, the myth that sex with a virgin will purge a man of the disease endangers many young girls passing from the slums through cornfields on their way to school. Nehamiah and Caroline have been focusing efforts on providing room and board for all the girls in their school, so they will not have to brave the cornfields without an adult to protect them.

Nehamiah and Caroline joined us today to sing at the hospital. In the oncology department, they don’t often have visitors. Many children were missing legs or an eye. Few would smile. Not even for our little treats or gifts. One boy put his head down over folded arms, and refused to look up. He wouldn’t respond, even when we sat next to him, singing or talking. There was no response as my friend, Janelle, sat beside him to rub his back. I felt so awkward and inappropriate trying to be cheerful before children in such awful circumstances, but to do nothing wouldn’t be acceptable either. So what are we left to do but try and make the best of what they have left?

June 27. 2005 Monday -An Education
Today I met Annet and Ashley in Kwa Watoto. They found me after class let out and held onto my hands and wouldn’t let go until I left. In Kwa Watoto, children are squeezed into small rooms divided by corrugated metal sheets. Light shines in through small holes left in the cement or between the slats of metal sheets. Classes are divided into small rooms about the size of a small bedroom, with desks stacked closely together. In the seventh grade class, we notice nine students looking over each other’s work. One of our teachers on the expedition remarks that, “In the United States, it would be safe to assume the students were cheating. Here, it’s because they only have one book, so nine kids will crowd around it to copy down their assignment.” While the students were excited to greet us with a song, they quickly returned to their seats to focus on their studies. They are so dedicated, and in such poor conditions, battling poverty and even the physical hardships of sickness and disease just to get to school.

June 28. 2005 Tuesday -Alright, Children!
When we got to Kayola to build this morning, a young woman showed up, trailing about 20 kids, 3 and 4 years old. She had heard about our work in building a new school, and wanted to see what the wzungis (non-Africans) were doing. She informs us that all the children in her class are orphans, mostly living with relatives, and she serves as a volunteer to help care for them. The amount of selflessness and sacrifice teachers I’ve met are willing to make for the survival of these kids is overwhelming.

She has the children sing us several songs, and we sing to them. They are so cheerful, and obedient, singing any song she urges them to. I tried dancing along, but it mostly just made them laugh.

June 29. 2005 Wednesday -Stella
There is a woman who shows up every day to help us work. Her name is Stella and she is the most elegant woman I have ever met. Tall and statuesque, she first met us on Monday, and when she found out we were building a school, she immediately jumped into the trenches alongside us to begin digging and moving rocks, still in her heels and long dress! Each day since then, Stella walks for an hour just to join us. She has three children, 15, 13, and 11. Her husband is a pastor. She is amazed that, in the United States, you can get a job in fast food without any training. She is amazed that, in a country with so many jobs, not everyone would take work as a janitor or in fast food. She is a teacher, and is asking to volunteer, just to work. Her husband is a pastor, poorly underpaid, but he cannot find another job. Like so many other Kenyans, he wants to work, but cannot find a job that pays.

July 3. 2005 -Little Green Dress
So much has happened already. Every day that passes feels like three. On Friday, we went to work one more day on the foundation for Grace’s new school in Nairobi. By now we know the names and recognize our little street children, and they know us. One girl shows up every day in a little green dress, torn right across the middle where the seam is. Friday, just after our bus rolled in, Becci found “little green dress” and whipped out a needle and thread. The little girl stood there and smiled as Becci stitched back together the faded dress. Children gathered around to watch, some with t-shirts torn straight down the middle of their bellies, all with socks that were more holes than socks. I just thought, “I wonder what her mother will think when little green dress comes home and her dress is fixed?”
Later, we found that her name is Sara, and she has no parents. Sara is looked after by several other kids in the neighborhood, but she belongs to nobody.

July 3. 2005 -Letter from Stella.
Dear Farrah,
Thank you for coming to Kenya and loving our country. We are proud of your presence in our country. Thank you for helping needy children. Much thanks for showing love and care for the poor.
God bless you for working harder during construction. We are thankful for the building which will offer a lasting solution to the housing problem these children were facing. I appreciate for the children you have sponsored.
You are true friends to us for a friend in need is a friend indeed. As Kenyan children call you angels, so you are in deed and word toward the needy. I’m grateful for your love, care, mercy, and kindness you showed everyone you met. God will pay you as the Bible says he who gives unto the poor gives unto the Lord and the Lord will pay him. Yes, your presence was a miracle on the Kenyan soil.
Travel safely back to America and send our greetings and love to your parents and friends. We love you and we will miss you. Come back again.
Goodbye and God bless you.
Your friend,
Stella Silisili

July 4. 2005 Monday -Do Good Anyway.
Tomorrow will be our last day to work on Grace’s new school. We’re all preparing for the inevitable questions we’ll be propositioned with by the workers, the volunteers, and the children. “Will you be my sponsor?” “Will you host me in America?” “Will you send my child to college?” “Will you leave me hungry?”

The trouble is, you cannot help one and not help all the others. It’s like when we try to give a helpful child candy or a treat- suddenly 80 more surround you, pulling at you, crying, “give me! Give me!”

It is hard to realize that many of the street children we’ve gotten to know and care for will never attend Grace’s school. It’s hard to recognize that, even though they’ve watched it build up right before them, and while many have helped carry wood or even pass rocks and bricks with us to build the walls, that they will never have the $30 a year to pay for a basic education.

When I think of my girls, so smart and so bright and clean, and how, every day, they confront the hazy-eyed glue-sniffer and his gang of drugged homeless kids or dangers of disease and infection just from the people sitting next to them…I want them to have a chance. I want them to have the opportunity to succeed, because, given the resources, I know they can. But poverty is overwhelming, and I cannot help them all. In frustration and despair I ask what good is building a school when those who need it most will not be able to attend? I hear the words of Mother Theresa, “Do good anyway.”

July 7. 2005 -Note from Stella
Dear Farrah,
I send my warm greetings and a lot of love to you.
Much thanks for your wonderful shoes. I gave them to my son who is twelve. He was excited to have them. They fit him very well and they will assist the boy so much.
Thank you for being so nice, helping, caring and kind to me. I’m grateful for your concern and friendship. You have been a blessing to me and children. May the Almighty reward you for that. I love you Farrah and be blessed. Safe journey.
Your friend,

July 7. 2005 –Thank you note from Michael
Dear Farrah
Receive my greetings and love. Thank your for the shoes you sent me. They are nice and expensive. They fit me so well. I was very happy to receive them. They will help me a lot. Thank you Farrah. Thank you for making my mother your friend.
Your friend,
Michael Okatch
Son to Stella

July 10. 2005 Sunday -It Requires Faith
As we ride through the city of Nairobi, we notice that everyone is out on Sunday. Everyone we see is in Sunday best, on their way to church, and the city is alive with people. Granted, church is often a circle of people on a sidewalk or mound of trash with the familiar smell of burning trash in the air, but everyone is attending some kind of service. Some in the street, others in a cathedral, and others gather underneath the trees. We realize that Sundays are consistently different; that everyone in every wake of life seems to be on the way to church. Carol observes, “How is it that, in a place where they have nothing, everyone believes in God, but yet, in America, where we have everything, people question if God even exists?”

July 18. 2005 Monday -My Letter to Friends

Jambo! I just returned and I'm slowly recovering from my time in Kenya. My arms feel heavy and empty without the hands of these orphaned children hanging onto them. You should seriously come with me next year. It's an amazing experience. Many people have already asked how to sponsor a child to enable them to attend school. You may contact me to find out more on sponsoring these children, and see more information on the organizations I'm assisting at: or

Wednesday, January 5, 2005

I don't DO Chrismas Cards...

Mostly because they will inevitably be late. And who wants to brag about the past when you can celebrate the future with a New Year letter? Or, in most cases, a "somewhere around late February" letter...

Lifestyles: 2004 Summary Report
I know it's rather lengthy, but it's all true. And entertaining.
Mad love. Farrah.

Last year we found our heroine seeking a new direction. Farrah quit her home financing job in San Francisco and started a journey that wrapped itself down the coast of California, to her beloved friends in Las Vegas, and all the way over to the Walkers in Boston and Cape Cod, plus New York, and DC. She was in Florida in time for the countdown for 2004, and rang it in with kayaking, snorkeling, and all the dancing and eating that accompanies a cruise to the Bahamas with about 200 new friends.

Rather than return to reality, she took some extra time via train from Palo Alto to snowboard in Utah and Colorado. While the responsibility to settle into pharmaceutical sales seemed like the journey she had been groomed for, Farrah continued to seek something more fulfilling as she compiled her portfolio. She returned to DC and sought further counsel with wise and equally dazzling friends who were ecstatic over their fulfilling jobs. Taking her New Year's Resolutions very seriously, she finally decided what 2004 would be all about: Lifestyle. With no job, no career, but a few pearls, a great party dress, inappropriate footwear, and great friends willing to humor you, one could feasibly create a pretty fabulous Lifestyle. With that resolve, upon her return to Palo Alto, she filled the corset of "Ernestina" in the musical, "Hello, Dolly!" (Now available on DVD.) She also made a return to film in a short mocumentary, "Pimpin' for Dummies," as well as completing a semester of graduate studies in Philosophy of Religion at Stanford. And she finally agreed with her friend to start a funk band.

Immediately following these productions, Farrah and friends camped for a weekend in Monte Reyes and continued down to LA with one of her best travel buddies. In San Diego, she had the experience of a lifetime and (with the help of her favourite pilot) flew a small piper plane over San Diego's deserts. The experience was incredibly thrilling, and, with much prayer, she was able to refrain from throwing up. Her adventure crossed over again to the east coast, where she reunited with her Bahama's friends in DC to the infamous Duck Beach. This year, over 800 single LDS friends spent their Memorial Day weekend having luaus (complete with roasted pig and fresh cotton candy) kayaking, sunbathing, swimming, dancing, dolphin watching, and, in our house, YES! the karaoke machine was fully employed. Every morning. Every meal. Every night. It was the nearest thing to heaven.

While still on the eastern side of our country, Farrah thought it best to revisit New York, since it had thawed since December. Not only did she finally get to see Broadway's "Phantom of the Opera," but she fulfilled the goals of: 1) eating all the street food she could find (falafel is so good!) 2) had New York cherry cheesecake IN New York IN Central Park and 3) saw real rats in a very real New York subway. Wow. Like a dream come true.

In June, Farrah and a few close friends flew to Arizona and drove down to Los Cabos, Mexico, where they went boating, snorkeling (of course!), and tried deep sea fishing for the incredible jumping marlin that reside in the waters there. On that expedition, she fulfilled a life-long dream when a school of friendly dolphins surrounded their boat and she jumped out to join over 50 wild dolphins in their ocean. It was a spiritual experience. Really. While the trip was only supposed to last for a few days, she was able to reunite with some dear friends in Arizona, and decided to stay long enough to include a side trip to attend a very special wedding in Salt Lake. While there, she was also able to try wakeboarding for the first time, refusing to quit until she could have a few successful runs.

On the way home, with much prodding from her ongoing love affair with Eclipse Marketing, Farrah agreed to a brief, two week stint selling pest control in Huntington Beach. By the third day, she agreed that she needed to go home (there's only so long you can go on a few bathing suits and five days of underwear, even in the OC) and she contracted to work for the rest of the summer. By that weekend, she had decided to stay permanently, and with a lot of faith, by that Sunday she had decided upon a new home. The move to Huntington Beach was surprising, and while she would miss the Bay Area's culture, people, and 50 cent movies on Terrific Tuesdays, but knowing she'd return often, made the leap forward. She had a great final send-off, camping, wakeboarding, tubing like mad, and even went wakesurfing (definitely the COOLEST thing ever). Eclipse gave Farrah complete flexibility, and a wonderful amount of support. Of course, once she settled in long enough to make her bed, she had very special weddings to attend in Arizona and Texas, and a few trips to Las Vegas for fun (no weddings included). Not to mention that appearance cheering for a friend on "The Price is Right!" She won. Thanks for noticing. Bob Barker is scary.

In November, she finally had time to return to work- in Hawaii. While visiting her mom and reuniting with other visiting friends, she was able to go surfing and parasailing (some more firsts!) in between sales. She returned just in time to turn 28 and celebrate with a weekend celebration in Mexico with friends joining from Palo Alto, LA, Las Vegas, New York, Utah, and even some locals from Huntington. The photos are uncut, uncensored, and are now available online and spreading rapidly. She was also blessed to spend yet another leg in the Bay Area and actually completed all her Christmas shopping before December! Definitely a first.

This December has me winding down in the OC. Sunbathing (in December!), running on the beach, that danged artificial tree! and a whole lot of Christmas music makes for a new kind of era. I haven't ingested anything that wasn't chocolate, hot chocolate, or caramel corn in the last five days. I finally managed to get wrapped gifts from my trunk to the post office by Christmas Eve, but no one got those pretty little cards in the mail. YOURS were lovely, by the way. Thank you. I think this letter is overcompensating for that blip in responsibility. And while I hoped to be in Mexico or Costa Rica for this New Year's, I think 2005 is setting a precedent that involves less moving around and a lot more quality time devoted to 1) finally organizing that stuff in my garage 2) keeping in better contact with my friends and family (without necessarily driving or flying to do so) 3) starting my own business. Yeah. All that traveling was kinda for a reason. I hoped I'd have a website up and running by now, but for now, let's have an agreement- you and me. You send me all your contact information, and I'll send you the latest photojournals of my escapades and more frequent updates on life in the OC. Everyone down here is beautiful and have great personalities, so they're quite amusing.

As for what's slated in 2005, I have a few goals. To have my events travel service, "Hot Spot Entertainment" up and running. Extend my good will and love for music into my own promo service as "Shameless Self-Promotions" (check out and Also, since I'm now embracing the SoCal lifestyle, return to acting. Might as well. I've also been volunteering with a new international relief project called, "East Meets West," and come February, will be producing an art auction and helping to organize a concert to benefit "Reach the Children" in Africa. Let me know if you or friends would like to contribute in any way. And, seriously, after years of complaints and confusion from those nearest and dearest, I have resolved to improve the updates on my whereabouts. And bless your heart for all you do to maintain that communication. Seriously. 2005 is payback time. Hopefully soon, I'll have a website to refer you to, like most people of this century do.

So lots of stuff is already heading me into the New Year. Now I'm mostly figuring out how to organize my 7th Annual Traditional Post-Christmas Christmas Party for January 9th. You're totally invited. Plus, I've decided it's about time for me to start dating. (My mom will be so delighted.) So, go for it. I know you've been thinking it. Go ahead. Have him call me.

And the saga continues...