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Michael A. Carone – In Memorium

In Family, Italian, life, Malavenda, Men, Pablo Malavenda, Uncategorized on March 18, 2017 at 4:25 am

Cousins2 (blue)


August 17, 1955 – March 13, 2017


Good morning. My name is Pablo Malavenda, and I am one of Michael’s nephews. On behalf of my wife Kristin, my kids, Max & Zoe, and myself — I wish to offer my sincerest condolences to the family — especially Ann Terese, Marissa, Michael, my Mom, Lucille, and my Uncle Jimmy. I so wanted to be with you today — but am not able — so, I thought I’d share with you a few stories of one of my favorite people ever — my uncle Michael.

My memories of Michael go back to the 1960’s & 1970’s — growing up in a big Italian family with lots of aunts, uncles and cousins — who gathered every Sunday at our grandparent’s home for a big pasta dinner. Michael was only one year older than my brother Peter — so, although he was our uncle — he grew up with us and was very much a part of our generation of cousins. We loved and respected ALL of our uncles and aunts — but Michael was ours — in a special way.

Each Sunday, my grandfather, John Carone, got up at the crack of dawn, started the tomato sauce and meatballs — and then walked to church. On his way home from church he stopped at Shorty’s and bought candy bars for all of the grand-kids. BUT — he didn’t give them to us — he gave them to Michael to distribute to us at his will. Michael took us to his room — and had us earn the candy by picking up his room, doing push-ups, making his bed — and if a quarter didn’t bounce on his bed, he made us make it again — until it did. Eventually he would give in and give us our candy bars. The truth is though — we loved it!

Michael and my brother Peter were the leaders of this gang of cousins — or should I say “boy-cousins.” (My sister, Marybeth, was the only girl cousin and although she was tough enough to keep up with us, she often chose to hang out with all of the aunts and get pampered.) A motley crew we were — it was Peter, John, Jon, Scott, Tommy, Todd…and me. This was Michael’s turf — so, he would lead us in games — mostly baseball, football & basketball — and on adventures in the neighborhood. After dinner, when the Mr. Softee truck came through the neighborhood — my grandfather bought twin-popsicles and each of the cousins got a half — but not Michael. He got what he wanted. And again — we loved it!

During the summer months Michael spent many of his weeks with our family in Meriden — and we loved having him. Once my brother Peter spent a week with him in Hartford — but that ended badly with Peter getting his foot caught in the spokes of a bicycle and needing to go to the hospital — and Michael felt awful.

That whole era ended when my grandparents decided to move back to Franklin Avenue — but before the move was complete, my grandfather died suddenly. This is when my grandmother, Phyllis, asked my mother, Lucille, to take over the Sunday meals — and she did. Not much changed except the location — all the cousins were there and Michael still led us through our Sunday activities. We were now all entering middle school and high school — so our relationships began to evolve — and as the cousins got more athletic, the games got more intense.

As the least athletic of the bunch — I was sure I would be cast aside — but Michael wouldn’t let that happen. He tried to teach me how to catch a baseball — to no avail — but eventually I became the permanent pitcher or permanent catcher — and always the score keeper. He made me feel special, he saw me, he included me. One of the highlights of my early life was when Michael agreed to be my Confirmation sponsor. He attended Confirmation Mass in an awesome pink suit. He looked so good the pastor approached him and told him he loved his suit. I selected St. Michael the Archangel as my saint — and Michael gave me a gold medal of my saint — which I have not taken off since and wear to this day. Much like St. Michael, my Uncle Michael was a warrior — he protected me, he defended me and he made me a better person.

When I was accepted to attend UConn — I had no way to get to campus. I eventually moved into my grandmother’s apartment on the corner of Franklin Avenue and Bond Street and took the bus each day to the UConn Hartford Campus. Michael was living there at the time too. When Michael and Ann got engaged — he moved into an apartment in Wethersfield and asked me to be his roommate until they were married. He didn’t need me — but he knew I would be more comfortable in his apartment with my own bedroom and not on a cot in the living room of my grandmother’s. I cherish that time I spent living the life of a genuine Italian on the “avenue.” I went with my uncles and cousins to the South End Italian Club, I was the scorekeeper for the South End Yankees and helped plan Michael and Ann’s wedding with the help of Rosemary, Ann’s sister. What an incredible experience for a kid from Meriden — and Michael was at the center of it all.

Soon after those glorious days, Michael and Marissa were born, and a new generation of cousins was emerging — Anthony arrived and Jamie was getting older. Our generation of cousins was also getting married and having kids and drifting apart. When my grandmother passed — Sunday dinners continued but the focus had shifted to the younger cousins. To me, Michael was still the bright light of the family. Before our eyes Michael became a man, a husband — and what a joy it was to see him become a father. Michael had so much love for each and every one of us — but the love he had for Michael and Marissa was boundless. Even though he now had a family of his own — Michael always reminded me that he loved me, he would protect me and most importantly he was proud of me.


I was so happy that Michael met my wife, Kristin, attended our wedding, met my two kids, and attended both of my two kids’ Christenings and their first birthday parties. Soon after that Michael had his accident — but my family and I had wonderful visits with him twice a year — each time we traveled to Connecticut from Indiana — for the past 15 years. Our most recent visit was in December — and we got a lot of hugs in.

I know for certain that Michael was carried to Heaven in the palm of God’s hands. He was greeted by St. Peter — who said “Welcome — come right in! I’ve been watching you since you showed up to that Confirmation Mass in a pink suit.” He immediately hooked up with his partner in crime, my brother Peter and they stormed in and loudly interrupted a serious game of setback with my grandmother, my grandfather, my father, Patty, Sonny, and Ronny. Heaven has a new angel who brings his laughter and his love and his light.


Dear Michael — I love you. I miss you. I thank you. And I’ll see you someday — on the other side.

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Survivor Leadership: 4 Powerful Lessons from Reality TV

In CBS, College Students, diversity, Exploring Leadership, Group Dynamics, Interaction Process Analysis, Komives, Leader, Leadership, life, Malavenda, Nance Lucas, Pablo Malavenda, Pop Culture, Reality TV, Robert Bales, self-fulfilling prophecy, Survivor, Survivor Cook Island, survivor women, Timothy McMahon, TV, TV shows on May 12, 2012 at 8:22 pm

The Complete Guide



The Complete Guide to Survivor Leadership contains 4 Powerful Lessons.  Studying LEADERSHIP by watching the CBS reality TV show, Survivor will give you powerful insights into how leadership develops in teams AKA tribes. I have taught leadership for close to 25 years.  I have used various techniques to make learning leadership meaningful and topical.  As long as Survivor has been on the air, I have been using the reality TV show to emphasis and highlight the various aspects of several leadership models, practices, and theories.  From the first episode through the live Finale show, Leadership is present, can be observed, predicted and studied. The 4 Survivor Leadership Lessons are as follows:


Survivor Leadership


Lesson 1 — The Leadership Primer


This PC Pop blog post is the quintessential Survivor Leadership primer. In this post you will learn about the basic LEADERSHIP models that give the framework for being able to study leadership and how leadership emerges among tribe members. Using Leadership models and theories that emphasize relationships as much as task completion, you begin to understand how Leadership develops among tribe members.  If you love studying leadership you will love finding out how LEADERSHIP is an integral part of the group dynamics on Survivor.  If you read this before watching Survivor, you will begin to see the relationships and interactions on Survivor in a much different way. It makes watching Survivor a much more exciting experience. READ more…


Lesson 2 — Self-Fulfilling Prophecy


This PC Pop blog post discusses a concept called “self-fulfilling prophecy.” In order to study LEADERSHIP among the castaways on Survivor you must examine some of the variables that will impact the group dynamics.  In this post we look at how casting affects the group development and the tone of the tribe communities. Read this post and learn about how casting can reinforce negative stereotypes and complicate the natural development of teams.  If you are interested in how important diversity and inclusion are in Leadership, you will find this post very interesting. READ more…


Lesson 3 — Family First


This PC Pop blog post focuses on what the members of the tribe must be concerned about if they wish to be a LEADER. The tribes within Survivor resemble in many ways a “family.”  This post explores the concept of LEADERS first know who they are before they may be effective.  Leaders must first must know them-SELVES, then their FAMILY, then OTHERS. Once you become self aware of your own talents and issues, have the love, support and coaching from your family — you then impact your community and change the world. LEADERSHIP is about community and family; and this blog post explores that within Survivor.  As you will see sometimes it works and (like this season) sometimes it doesn’t.  You will enjoy the analysis of the men’s tribe; and it will give you more to think about the next time you tune into Survivor. READ more…


Lesson 4 — Serving Your Community


This PC Pop blog post focuses on the importance of Leaders developing a sense of Community. In order to understand others, you must first understand yourself.  You cannot lead a team or tribe unless you understand others enough to include and empower them.  Once they are empowered they must be coached, challenged, and encouraged. In Survivor, your immediate tribe is your core community (small c) or family.  The entire group of castaways regardless of their tribe affiliation and their alliances is the Community (Big C).  Unfortunately, the castaways become so focused on Leading their tribe and playing the game they fail to become great Community Leaders. To examine this further we must look at various LEADERSHIP models particularly Robert Greenleaf’s Servant Leadership. This season there are some clear examples of castaways completely disregarding their community — and getting eliminated. READ more…


Survivor: One Worldthe twenty-fourth season of the American CBS competitive reality television series, premiered on February 15, 2012. I triple love Survivor for many reasons — but mostly because of the LEADERSHIP lessons learned by observing the group development, teamwork and relationships among the castaways. As a self-proclaimed, cultural anthropologist with a specialization in Pop culture — Survivor gives me great joy.  Tune in and let me know what you think.  If you already planned on watching, I hope these four Survivor Leadership blog posts give you something more to observe and reflect upon.  I hope I’ve convinced you it may be worth tuning into Survivor in future. You might find some value in studying Survivor — some value in studying Pop Culture — some value in studying Reality TV.


To understand more about Survivor Leadership, please read each of the PC Pop blog posts 1, 2, 3, 4. Please check back here often because this list will be updated regularly.


CBS Survivor episodes and videos can be viewed online.


Emerging Stronger

In health, life, Malavenda, Music, Pablo Malavenda, Philosophy, Pop Culture, Uncategorized, wellness on April 29, 2012 at 9:15 pm


What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger
Stand a little taller

(Stronger, 2011 – Clarkson).


I believe in signs — and this week little signs were popping up everywhere. Eventually it hit me like a hammer. Here’s my story.


Sign 1:


I rarely listen to pop radio — maybe once every six months or so.  Because I am a music snob, I either listen to my iPod or NPR. Yesterday while driving across town, for some reason, I needed to hear music and hit search on the radio till I found music. The first song was the latest mega-hit by Adele, which is enjoyable. Honestly the rest of the songs have been long forgotten except the last song.  As I was pullin’ up on our house, I saw my wife and daughter; so, I cranked up the tunes and pulled in the driveway.  The song was Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You) by Kelly Clarkson. My daughter gave me that “Dad, you’re such a dork” look but I was amused as was my wife.  This morning on my way to the gym, I turned the key in the ignition and the radio came on, still tuned to the pop (schlock) radio station.  The song was Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You) by Kelly Clarkson — AGAIN.  What the heck? Although I think American Idol is evil to the core, I do admire Kelly Clarkson; and this song isn’t half bad.  It is a bit cliche but it is a catchy pop song with a great hook with the chorus; and it is enjoyable in a mindless sort of way.  My daughter loves Kelly Clarkson (it could be worse) so I listened a bit closer; and although it is an angst infused love song of sorts I was struck by the “…stand a little taller…” line. Yes — this is the first sign — a message being sent to me to get me through this week. I immediately needed to hear Kanye West’s Stronger.


Work it harder, Make it better,
Do it faster, Makes us stronger,
More than ever, Never over,
Our work is never over.

Now that don’t kill me
Can only make me stronger

(Stronger, 2007 – Kanye West).


History


The saying, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” is from Twilight of the Idols by Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche. Friedrich Nietzsche (October 15, 1844 – August 25, 1900) was a German philosopher, who was a writer, poet, and commentator on philosophy based on the foundation of values and morality as well as religion and culture of his times. His outspokenness and critiques made him so famous that he decided to publish the equivalent of Nietzsche for Dummies in 1888 entitled Twilight of the Idols.  This book was divided into several sections to make it easy to understand the most important work of Nietzsche (according to Nietzsche).  The first section the Preface set the tone by including a maxim from Roman author Aulus Gellius. The quote which Nietzsche referred to as his motto is “Increscunt animi, virescit volnere virtus” which translates into

“The spirits increase, vigor grows through a wound.”

Wow…this could be the next song by Ms. Clarkson or Mr. Kanye — or better yet their collaboration.

This section of Twilight of the Idols was aptly called Maxims and Arrows.  In Maxims and Arrows, Nietzsche shares profound statements in short-form — a list of incredibly thoughtful, mind-boggling, tidbits of philosophies by which to live. Although Nietzsche was being ironic, sarcastic and mocking in many of his entries, today we revere them in a literal manner. Number eight of the Maxims and Arrows is “Aus dem Leben der Schule des Krieges: Was mich nicht umbringt, macht mich stärker” which means: Out of life’s school of war:

What does not destroy me, makes me stronger.

This famous saying has been paraphrased in several different ways, sometimes with “Whatever” or “That which” instead of “What” and “slay” or some other verb in place of “destroy.”  Today, we state “What doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger.” {And it is quite ironic that Nietzsche uses the word “Idols” in his title and Kelly Clarkson was the first winner of American “Idol.”  False gods for sure.}


Song composers and screen writers love Nietzsche.  Some mentions of Nietzsche and this famous maxim (or is it an Arrow?) in movies, music, and  entertainment news are as follows:

  • Conan the Barbarian (1982) – quote shown in opening credits
  • Steel Magnolias (1989) – stated by Clairee played by actor, Olympia Dukakis
  • The Dark Knight (2008) – a variation stated by the Joker played by actor, Heath Ledger. Joker’s line: “I believe whatever doesn’t kill you simply makes you…stranger.”
  • The General’s Daughter (1999) – “Whatever hurts you makes me stronger” stated by Elisabeth played by actor, Leslie Stefanson
  • Little Miss Sunshine (2006) – Uncle Frank (played by actor, Steve Carell) looks at the banner with a drawing of Nietzsche and says, “Nietzsche, huh?”
  • Music artists who used Nietzsche as inspiration include Pink Floyd, Marilyn Manson, David Bowie, Radiohead, Dust Brothers, Mobb Deep, Manowar, Black Sabbath, the Doors, Slayer, Metallica, Echo & the Bunnymen, The Fall, Pantera, Fear Factory, The Dandy Warhols, Judas Iscariot…and of course, Kanye West and Kelly Clarkson.
  • Mel Gibson in an interview with the Telegraph (2010) reflecting on what he had learned through his humiliating experience that “It changes you and makes you one tough m*th*rf**k*r. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. It’s really that simple.”
  • Angelina Jole’s tattoo on her hip is a Nietzsche-like Latin quote “quod me nutrit me destruit” which means “What nourishes me also destroys me.”

But seriously; Nietzsche was on to something.  All of us have (or will have) to deal with tragedy, although you may doubt that it really “makes you stronger.”  No matter what’s going on in your world that makes you feel like it can’t get worse — I guarantee there is someone worse off.


Sign 2:


Last week a travelling Broadway production of Young Frankenstein (pronounced Fronkensteen) came to town.  It was a pretty good show if you enjoy silly, sophomoric, fart, horny, pee-pee humor — but it is what it is.  During the show I recalled with amazement how many stars were in the movie version including Gene WilderTeri GarrCloris LeachmanPeter BoyleMadeline KahnKenneth MarsRichard Haydn and Gene Hackman. I couldn’t remember though the name of the actor who played Igor. I now know it was the incomparable Marty Feldman. Fast forward to Monday’s CBS This Morning — Anna Quindlen was being interviewed when she shared a story. She was stuck in a dangerous storm and her daughter was worried about her to which she replied, “I am too old to die young.” A powerful and witty quote that could mean a number of different things.  My interpretation is that once you get to a certain age (I hate that term, btw), you realized that tragedy is a part of life and you survive by how you deal with it. After another Google search — I discovered that Marty Feldman was the author of this quote. He was close to the end and quipped

“I am too old to die young, and too young to grow up.”

This was Sign 2 — and it hit me like a Hammer.


Sign 3:


This weekend I was following the tweets of my friend, Sam, who has been training for months to run a marathon, and it was this weekend. Sam did a great job of tweeting to his followers regular updates on his progress to the starting line and ultimately to finishing the race — fulfilling a lifelong goal. About the time that the marathon was about to start, one tweet caught my attention. This tweet mentioned “the reason why I am running” with a link to a post on his blog, “Making Sense of the Senseless…I Think?!” The title of the post is “Running Through Pain,” and it is a powerful and personal account of why Sam had to run this marathon.  Sam’s journey includes mentoring through Big Brothers a young man going through tough times, the loss of his grandfather last year, and remembering the loss of his cousin and best friend at the very young age of 19 — the marathon is the 6-year anniversary of his cousin’s death. All of this “pain” plus the real pain of training for and running a 26-mile marathon is the theme of the blog post.  Sam’s story is so powerful I had to read it twice — and then share it with my son (and anyone else who would listen to me). Trust me — you must read this blog post about Sam’s journey. It reminds me of our resilience. Much of what we feel is a choice. How we respond to tragedy, pain, setbacks, disappointment, and mistakes, intentional or accidental, not only determines how we feel but reflects our focus, our vision, our determination, our  patience, our forgiveness, our perseverance, our strength. You learn a lot about others and yourself when things go wrong. As Maya Angelou said,

“I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.”

Sam’s journey and the recent death of one of our friends due to cancer, again at the young age of 45, also reinforce that no matter how low I feel, there is always someone who is suffering more.  More importantly, be grateful for all of your blessings now, and make sure you know what is important — and it ain’t money.  I am focused on family especially my wife and kids and my friends — who are positive and supportive.  I value my home, the food in our pantry and on our table each night, my freedom, my time with my family, and the resources I give my children to become caring, loving, and STRONG servants and scholars.  It saddens me that others are suffering more and have less than I, but it gives me hope and motivates me to give and serve. It puts my problems in perspective.

And yes, you can disagree with the maxim “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” but it is hard to ignore the success stories.  Three individuals come to mind, who were severely abused but managed to rise to unbelievable levels of success. They are Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry and Louie Armstrong. I chose these three individuals because no one can deny their achievements have been extraordinary and their hardships were extreme.

  • Is adversity a blessing in disguise?
  • Feeling sorry for yourself is a choice.
  • Shame and guilt may be a choice but still overwhelming. As my pastor says though you should not feel Shame but there’s nothing wrong with a bit of Guilt to motivate you to change.
  • Setbacks in life give you fuel for growth, give you a way to heal, allow you to succeed on your own terms, and cultivate within you compassion and empathy.
  • I assure you the next time someone you know gets in trouble, you will not be so quick to judge, you will refrain from gossip, and you will reach out to them — with compassion and empathy.
  • Mercy, forgiveness, and grace are powerful and transforming.

So, now go read Sam’s blog post: “Running Through Pain,” cue up Kanye’s Stronger and crank it up.

Stand a little taller; and Believe that we will be BETTER, FASTER, STRONGER — ’cause our WORK is NEVER OVER.




“Lord, please let them accept the things they can’t change; And pray that all of their pain be champagne”

(Otis from Watch the Throne, 2011 by Jay-Z and Kanye West).


Prologue – More Signs:


Bizarre Random Signs of Nietzsche since the post was published:

  • April 23, 2012 – Dances With the Stars: I was working on the first draft of this post while watching DWTS and Bruno said to Urkel, “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!” {Spooky}.
  • April 30, 2012 – Late Night with Jimmy Fallon: In a comedy bit called “Don’t Quote Me,” Nietzsche’s quote “That which does not kill us makes us stronger” was featured with a lesser known Nietzsche quote (here’s the comedy part) — “A fourth bong hit is always a bad idea.”  Click HERE to see the Jimmy Fallon “Don’t Quote Me” video: Nietzsche is the last quote in this segment and may be seen about 4 minutes into the video.
  • May 19, 2012  – GLEE marathon on Oxygen network. GLEE cast covers Kelly Clarkson’s Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You). Originally aired on Fox network during the GLEE winter finale episode “On My Way” on Tuesday, February 21, 2012.
  • August 22, 2012 — found this quote online — “You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.” – Walt Disney

READ more about Choosing Your Attitude — PCPop blog post:


Cadbury Creme Egg – Personality Test

In Cadbury, Candy, Carl Jung, Creme Egg, Easter, Food, Leadership, life, Malavenda, MBTI, personality, True Colors, Uncategorized on April 17, 2012 at 7:49 pm

Cadbury Creme Egg


Cadbury Creme Eggs may hold the secret for putting together the most dynamic team and getting the most out of your team members.


Soon after Easter, we inevitably try to figure out what to do with all of our Easter candy. After a great deal of research (eating Easter candy, that is), I have discovered several ways to eat a Cadbury Creme Egg – and realized that the secret for great team-oriented leadership lie in the variety of eating methods.  More importantly than “how” one eats the Cadbury Creme EggCadbury Creme Egg is how one “approaches” or thinks about eating it.  For some, very little thought is put into how, but for others it is an extremely well planned out affair. For some it must be orderly, yet others enjoy a bit of spontaneity and messiness. Of course if you love candy, you are able to eat the Cadbury Creme Egg in any of the various ways. What the leader must observe though is others’ “preferred” method of eating.  When given a choice, there is bound to be an eating method one prefers to use which gives the most joy. This is the eating method that will give the leader a glimpse into each member’s personality and behavior.  The leader will then be able to assemble any team or group with diversity including different eating-style-individuals within each group. Inclusiveness is an important aspect of leadership (Komives, 2007).  When leaders include diversity of personalities and behavioral approaches, their teams will be creative, productive and filled with positive interactions among members.  In order to accomplish this leaders must first know their team members.  The Cadbury Creme Egg Personality Test will also assist the team members in understanding and appreciating each other as well as themselves within their organizations. Using the 3 Steps of assembling a team according the Cadbury Creme Egg Personality Test, the leader must Identify, Observe and Assign.


3 Steps – Cadbury Creme Egg – Personality Test


  1. Identify the “ways people eat” a Cadbury Creme Egg
  2. Observe your team members eating Cadbury Creme Eggs
  3. Assign members to teams and projects based on how they eat their Cadbury Creme Eggs

Some of the Eating Methods I have discovered through my research (eating lots of candy) and the characteristics associated with each method are as follows:


Cadbury Creme Egg – Eating Methods


  • Center First— Bite off the tip of the egg and eat the creme filling and yolk first either by scooping it out (with their fingers or spoon, edible or not) saving the chocolate shell for last. These individuals want to see the creme filling and yolk because they are curious and seeking.  They approach this task in a complex, philosophical way pondering the manufacturing process and the Cadbury Creme Eggsinventive people who created this wonderful Easter treat.  They are principled and rational but not overly obsessed with being neat and orderly.  They enjoy opening the egg up, marveling at the creme center and yolk, eating the center first, and lastly enjoying the chocolate shell.

  • Big Bites — Bite the egg straight through eating it in one or two big bites combining the chocolate shell and the creme filling and yolk in each bite. These individuals pride themselves in being straightforward, realistic and active.  They don’t see any point in wasting valuable time being philosophical or neat or methodical.  They came to eat a Cadbury Creme Egg and that is what they will do.  Their method is daring, unpredictable, and risky, but they are up for the challenge.  They are generally realistic, opportunistic, adventuresome and spontaneous — so, don’t be surprised if they eat more than one, change their method often, and eat your egg, too.

  • Orderly — Split the egg length-wise in two pieces along the crease, open carefully (like a surgeon), enjoy how perfect the yoke is, and take small bites. As soon as they get their Cadbury Creme Egg they get a bit anxious.  They are anxious because they have a specific method and are worried that something might go wrong.  They are organized, orderly and conventional, approaching the task carefully. They are only relieved when the split along the crease is done and the egg opens into two equal-sized pieces with clean edges.  They’re in no rush because it only happens once a year and they realize how special this experience is — it is a tradition to which they are loyal. They marvel at the perfection of the filling and the yolk.  They then eat each half savoring every moment of the taste, feeling, and experience. They feel a sense of responsibility to the procedure of eating the Cadbury Creme Egg in the only acceptable manner — theirs.

  • Social— For this person it is more important to share the experience rather than be concerned about a particular method for Cadbury Creme Eggthemselves.  This is a unique and warm person who gathers friends, shares their Cadbury Creme Eggs and loves to observe how others eat them.  They are communicative; and therefore, they love hearing others’ Cadbury Creme Egg stories and memories. Their eating method will not outshine that of others or interfere with what’s more in line with their values — relationships and friendships. They are compassionate, supportive and authentic.  They view this as a means to create and maintain harmonious relationships by eating Cadbury Creme Eggs as a social experience.  Sharing is a must. They will describe the experience as inspirational and might even wrote a poem about it.

  • Extreme Eating Methods: Freeze It or Smash It.
    • Freeze it takes the commitment and patience of planning ahead and waiting almost an entire day for the egg to freeze completely. A frozen Cadbury Creme Egg when split maintains its yolk and is even more marvelous to see.  Regardless of your eating method, you would enjoy a frozen Cadbury Creme Egg, but it takes a special person to plan ahead and put them in the freezer, and wait.
    • Smash It is a high risk method. They may or may not even unwrap the Cadbury Creme Egg, and they crush it between two fingers.  They then dig in eating it as quickly as they need to without losing any. These daredevils are not concerned about getting a bit messy but the experience will be thrilling, attention-getting, and potentially hazardous.

Now that you have identified the Eating Methods (and characteristics) you may use a number of different ways to observe your Cadbury Creme Eggsteam member’s preferred-eating-method.  I would suggest distributing the Cadbury Creme Eggs to each individual in a large group setting with little direction.  Make sure you have a few people observing and taking note of how each person unwraps and eats their eggs.  After they have enjoyed their eggs, let them know what’s up.  Hand out the descriptions if you wish and allow individuals to get into small groups based on their eating method.  Allow each group to discuss what they have in common and how this explains their unique behavior in and value they bring to groups.

The final step is to put together diverse team which include one person from each of the eating method categories.  Explain to the teams that you expect there to be a healthy amount of conflict in the process of the group becoming a highly functioning team.  As the leader you should assist them in their group dynamics process of forming, storming, norming and performing; but otherwise step back and watch the magic happen (Tuckman, 1977).

You will become a Cadbury Creme Egg Personality Test believer.  You will know through this experience that Cadbury Creme Eggs indeed do hold the secret for putting together the most dynamic groups and getting the most out of your team members. What a delicious way to take your team to the next level.


References and acknowledgments:

Carl JungCarl Jung’s Psychological Types, True Colors™ Personality Assessment, Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator, Bruce Tuckman’s Group Development Model, and Exploring Leadership (Komives, Lucas, McMahon)  were used in developing the Cadbury Creme Egg Personality Test.


Quick Facts from Cadbury Website:

  • 53% of people bite off the top, lick out the ‘creme’ then eat the chocolate
  • 20% just bite straight throughCadbury Creme Egg
  • 16% use their finger to scoop out the ‘creme’
  • How people unwrap their eggs can also reflect their Creme Egg eating style, we have…
    • Delicate Peelers – To achieve a considered, methodical & subtle eat
    • Stage Peelers – Who unwrap just enough to keep the ‘creme’ off their fingers
    • Quick Discarders – Who rip off the foil as they just can’t wait to eat their Creme Egg

Mad Men Style

In Fashion, fatherhood, GQ, life, Mad Men, Malavenda, metro, metrosexual, Movies, Pablo Malavenda, parenting, Pop Culture, Rat Pack, Sinatra, TV, Uncategorized on March 26, 2012 at 10:25 am

Growing Up with GQ — Part 2:

Either You’ve Got or You Haven’t Got STYLE!


Robin & the 7 Hoods


This is the second PC Pop blog post in a series called Growing Up with GQ.  As you know from previous PC Pop blog post (Growing Up with GQ), I grew up surrounded by men who took great pride in how they looked, smelled, and were proud to be one step ahead of the latest fashion.  Every man in my family was voted “Best Dressed” in high school; and someone in our family has continuously subscribed to GQ magazine since the early 70′s.  We were metro before there was a word for it.

Robin & the 7 HoodsRecently I have realized that my son is the sole heir of this marvelous legacy.  He’s the only Malavenda male in his generation.  That’s a lot of pressure on him — and me. I have been looking for inspiration in many places and searching for opportunities to make the point without triggering the “oh, dad” so typical these days.  Not sure if you have noticed but men are dressing better in movies and TV — and men and fashion is once again acceptable.  And thanks to shows like Mad Men and characters like Don Draper there is a renewed interest in the classic fashion styles of the past — even the ’60’s. One thing my son and I do have in common is our love of “black and white” movies and TV — classic cinema and television.  He and I (to the dread of my wife and daughter) watch a lot of the Dick Van Dyke Show and movies on the classic movie channels. He loves the George Clooney – Ocean’s movies; so, we watched the original from 1960. Last weekend, we stumbled on a movie similar to the original Ocean’s 11 that featured amazing fashion — Robin and the 7 Hoods starring the Rat Pack.

Robbo played by Frank Sinatra is a mobster from Indiana who is now in control of Chicago’s north side during pre-prohibition times. Robbo and his band of thieves which features Sammy Davis, Jr. and Dean Martin are different from the other gangsters (Peter Falk) and corrupt Sheriff (Victor Buono).  With some of his money Robbo with theSinatra, Dino, Bing help of an orphanage director (Bing Crosby) creates a nonprofit social services initiative.  In addition to the orphanage, they run a homeless shelter and soup kitchen. The movie is a great vehicle for the Rat Pack with great music, dancing — and great costume design. The movie score features some of the most memorable Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen songs like “My Kind of Town,” “Bang! Bang!,” “Any Man Who Loves His Mother,” and “Don’t Be a Do-Badder.”

Ole Blue Eyes, Bing, Dino and Sammy are also dressed to kill the entire movie. Mad Men - Men's StyleThe fashion and style of this movie are classic, mobster, glamorous 1910’s style with a Technicolor – 1960’s – Vegas – Rat Pack swagger. More importantly the fashion in this movie has helped me make sense of my family. I forgot about the connection between the appreciation of GQ style with the men in my family — and the Rat Pack. The song and dance routine, “Style,” from this movie says it better than I. As the song goes, “Either you’ve got – or you haven’t got – style.” It would even inspire Don Draper.

Watch this clip from Robin and the 7 Hoods.  I think it speaks for itself.



Today, with the recent fascination with everything Mad Men and Don Draper — perhaps there is hope for my son to be more conscious about fashion and how he looks, smells, and dresses. A father could hope for a kid whose “got it” — yes?

Signs of Spring — Blooming Flowers and an Increase in Suicide

In depression, flowers, health, life, spring, suicide, Uncategorized, wellness on March 18, 2012 at 11:10 am

Malavenda Flower Garden -- photo taken and owned by PCPop


Signs of Spring are everywhere.  Flowers are blooming, grass is getting green, and the bird songs and sunshine are waking me up each Spring Rosesmorning before my alarm clock.  Today, I took an exhilarating 15 mile bike ride through the country with a gentle breeze, billowy clouds in the sky, and sunshine. I feel the anticipation for the happiness that Spring brings.  It also reminds me, though, that we are approaching the season with the highest incidents of suicide. I have a background in psychology, counseling and human development and have worked with Malavenda Tree -- photo taken and owned by PCPopcollege-aged students my entire career.  My commitment to leadership, service and community engagement led me to serving on the Lafayette Crisis Center Foundation Board for several years — three of which as president.  During this time I became acutely aware of the needs of the community, especially those in our community who suffer from depression due to abuse, illness, bullying, and  mental disorders. During my time with the Crisis Center we focused on Suicide awareness and prevention especially in the Spring.

I don’t suffer from depression but I am a bit obsessive.  And Spring not only has many opportunities to put winter behind us but Spring also pulls us in many different directions.  The energy is welcome and the motivation is increasing but the projects whether “spring cleaning,” gardening, or yard work can be more than some of us can manage. I will admit it makes me anxious.  Making to-do lists, task lists, and having a plan of action helps — not just to make tasks manageable but to also keep your emotions in check.

Malavenda Flower Garden -- photo taken and owned by PCPopFor those who suffer from depression, it is hard to understand why everyone is so excited about the Spring.  It is difficult for anyone to make it through the holidays, the new year, and the stresses of winter but most get out of their funk when the first signs of Spring appear. So if you are the only one still feeling burdened with anxiety, despair, shame, and confusion — you may sink deeper. Individuals who suffer from anxiety or depression already feel like they are not normal — not like their healthy, happy friends.  When they continue to be depressed through Spring — and no one else is — this is often too much to handle.

For every student it becomes increasingly difficult to focus on getting through the semester after Spring Break.  It is also getting to the point of no return for students who have not kept up with their school work and have been in denial about their academic future.  If you are failing most of your classes and facing expulsion, Spring is the season of reckoning. No longer can this student avoid telling their friends and family that their college Malavenda Flower Garden -- photo taken and owned by PCPopcareer is over.  To many, it seems like the end of the world and the shame is unbearable. And thus, Suicide is the second highest cause of death among college students (first is accidents).

For these reasons and more Suicide peaks in the Spring. Many still don’t realize that in the months of April and May there is a spike in suicides in the US and all of the northern hemisphere. We don’t think about it because it isn’t really logical in our minds.  In so many ways Spring has outward signs of happiness, hope, and a new beginning.  We become more active and motivated to begin new projects and engage in our communities. Perhaps this same energy and motivation explains why those who suffer from depression actually make plans to take their own lives in the Springtime.  What a juxtaposition.  They become more focused, more determined, and even in some cases, more angry and aggressive with severe mood shifts. A new beginning perhaps means the end.

Malavenda Flower Garden -- photo taken and owned by PCPopToday every community has local resources that are tremendously effective — when we’re aware of them and use them. The first step is being aware of the Warning Signs signs and Causes of Suicide.  Since untreated depression is the number one cause of suicide it is also important to understand what causes depression.  This includes drug and alcohol use/abuse, bullying, accident, illness, abuse, loss, unemployment and more.  (A more comprehensive list of the causes of depression may be found here.) Remember — There are almost ALWAYS warning signs of depression and suicide.

Suicide is preventable. But remember that Suicide does not discriminate, and it is a real issue in today’s society. There is one suicide each minute of each day and over 30,000 each year in the US. — 1350 of which will be college students. This issue, like Spring Rosesmany, needs to be confronted as a community.  If you want to help you should become AWARE of…

  • the people you love — call or visit with your family and friends and neighbors — check in regularly
  • take action if you observe any warning signs
  • be familiar with your local resources and reliable online information
  • get help from professionals — you’re not alone

If you suspect one of your loved ones or friends is contemplating suicide, you can help best by following these guidelines offered by the American Association of Suicidology and the Lafayette Crisis Center. Here is a summary of the guidelines:

  • Take Threats Seriously
  • Watch for Clues
  • Answer Cries for Help
  • Confront the Problem
  • Tell Them That You Care
  • Get Them Professional Help
  • Offer Alternatives

Malavenda Flower Garden -- photo taken and owned by PCPop

Don’t hesitate to call 911 — but if you find yourself with someone who is suicidal (and it is not an emergency), here are some tips for what to do while you are waiting for help to arrive (from Suicide.org).

  • Listen
  • Comfort
  • Be Concerned
  • Talk openly about Suicide
  • Don’t be judgmental
  • Be careful what you say
  • Listen some more (and then Listen)
  • Get professional help
  • Follow up regularly and often

If YOU are thinking about Suicide, read this first.  You should then visit a professional or call one of the Hotlines listed below including Spring Roses1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).  Each of these Hotlines and crisis centers are staffed by caring, trained staff who really want to talk to you.  In our community you may also call 2-1-1; and speak to a trained, non-judgmental person who can assist you in many ways. The 2-1-1 staff have information on important community services. So if you need essential human services – you are looking for training, employment, food pantries, help for an aging parent, addiction prevention programs for teenage children, affordable housing options, support groups and ways of becoming part of the community– 2-1-1 allows people to give help and to get help. If you need someone to talk to — just call.  Make it your first call. For more information on 2-1-1, click here (because it may not be available in your area — it is in mine). See below for more Suicide Hotline phone numbers.Malavenda Tree -- Robin -- photo taken and owned by PCPop

We must also work together to raise awareness of important resources in the community like the Lafayette Crisis Center and “2-1-1.”  Agencies like the Lafayette Crisis Center are offering services that are vital to the members of our community who need assistance — because the municipal and state governments are not going to in the near future. These agencies also need your support of time and money — please support the United Way and give directly to the Lafayette Crisis Center.

Malavenda Tree -- photo taken and owned by PCPop

Awareness — Empathy — Nonjudgmental Listening — Community Action. We all need to be aware that Spring is wonderful, but not for everyone. Sometimes all you need is to be aware — aware of what Spring Fever may bring — in addition to blooming flowers. If we work as a community to watch out for our friends, our family as well as our neighbors — depression can be overcome and suicide can be prevented.  Lastly, remember that YOU are not alone — and it will get better.

Now go out and enjoy the warmer weather, the beautiful flowers, and a new beginning.


Call 211 -- Get Connected. Get Answers.


Suicide Hotlines

  • Need Help Now?
    • Call 9-1-1
    • 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433)
    • 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)
  • Text Telephone: 1-800-799-4TTY (1-800-799-4889)
  • Military Veterans Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (Press 1)
  • Suicide Hotline in Spanish: 1-800-273-TALK (Press 2)
  • LGBTIQ Youth Suicide Hotline: 1-866-4-U-TREVOR (1-866-488-7386)
  • For info on Suicide Hotlines in your state in US, click here.
  • For info around the world, click here.

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