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An Open Letter to Elon Musk

Dear Mr. Musk (may I call you Mr. Musk?)

I wanted to write you to say that I told myself I would never buy a “new” vehicle. The markup, depreciation and racket of modern automotive purchasing made me queasy. I’m a woman of modest means, but when I heard Tesla was releasing a vehicle in my financial reach I did not hesitate. Your dedication and labor towards a better future, beautiful design and effortless tech inspired me to change my thinking. So today I put down my 1k deposit. I want my money to support innovation, growth and responsibility to my fellow man. And I think purchasing a Model 3 is the best way for my dollars to say that. Thank you for giving us hope that things can change for the better.

-Dani Howell


Snark, Twitter & Beer

Sooo this just happened.

Yesterday evening whilst I was imbibing homemade Strawberry Basil Margaritas, I received a Twitter DM. I saw it and immediately thought it was an Auto DM with the purpose of trying to sell me something. “This is what I get for following a dude with 19K followers” I thought to myself. So this is what I wrote back this morning around 9am:


My snark was intended to mean: don’t try to sell me something without engaging with me first. One of my biggest pet peeves is Auto DMs and people following folks and trying to peddle their wares before at least making small talk. I see Twitter as a giant cocktail party. How would you feel if someone shook your hand and said “Hey, buy my stuff“. Not cool. So, in my generally snarky, smartass way, I replied back “…buy me a drink first”.

YngProfessional asked for my mailing address. I figured he was going to send me the book or something, so I replied cautiously with my work address (just in case he was a psycho at least he’d have to get through the building and find me first). This afternoon at 2pm a big box wrapped in green wrapping paper shows up. Inside is a letter, 6er of Fat Tire beer (YUM) and my favorite snack, pistachios.

Y’all THIS is engagement.

fat tire

The note was handwritten from the YngProfessional. It was kind and professional (true to his name). And I have to say, I was impressed just as much as I was creeped out. Ok, maybe a little more. But you know what? Creepy factor aside, this meant something. It meant he WAS listening and he WAS seeking engagement and realism. You’d have to at least read my twitter bio to know how much I love pistachios. There’s a right and a wrong way to go about social media, and I feel that this made up for the earlier faux pas.

I was pleasantly surprised and I hope to bump into him one day and say thanks for reaching out. What say ye dear readers? Creepy or awesome?

I’m Taken!


I picked an anniversary date he wouldn’t be able to forget. Jeff Howell and I got married at the Northpointe Red Barn in Jackson, MS on that date. The hustle and bustle of the day was amazing and it went by far too quickly. I spent the day getting ready with my best girlfriends at my hotel suite. Next thing you know…it’s 3pm…time for pictures. We drove to the Red Barn to finish getting ready. I slipped into my dress and we went outside for group photos. I didn’t want to see Jeff until the “moment” so he and his groomsmen took pics after we were finished and back inside. Then *bam* it was 5pm. Time to walk down the isle. My bridal march was an atypical song, “Nothing else Matters”….a Metallica song covered by Apocalyptica. I peeked around the corner to try to see Jeff for the first time. He was up at the front waiting on me. I was so nervous…just telling myself “don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry”. And I managed to stay tear free….until Erin Cubert read “To My Valentine” by Ogden Nash. I feel to pieces and stayed all weepy until the end. I had to strain to say my vows so my voice wouldn’t crack! We kissed then Woosh! It was over. Outside for more pics…then inside for drinking, dancing and food. There were so many great moments...twirling around on the dance floor…smearing icing on Jeff’s nose…seeing all our friends. The atmosphere was electric. Lindsey and her crew from dandyLion Events set everything up and designed the space so well, I could hardly believe I was in the same venue I booked. The lighting, decor and special touches were phenomenal. We ate cake, then tossed the bouquet & garter to giddy guests.  We left amidst sparks and sped away in a classic Mustang. All said and done, I was happy, exhausted and married to my best friend.

Change is Good

I’m officially changing jobs. I’ll now be working for IASIS Healthcare starting July 25th! I’m super excited to get over there because I know it’ll be great for my career growth.

My poor piggy

My poor piggy
So this happened yesterday. I was wrangling my dog into the laundry room so I could vacuum. Normally I put him outside because he’s not a big fan of the vacuum. BUT yesterday,  my fiance went across the street to be a good samaratin (the storms from last week blew our neighbor’s tree down and he was going to chop it up for them) and he left our gate open. Since I was barefoot and our driveway = super-pointy rocks, I thought I’d just put the dog in the laundry room to keep him out of the path of the scary vacuum. Our laundry room is pretty small. By the time I got our 75lb dog in there, I was scrambling to get out. I kicked the doorframe. &*%$#@!. Expletives came spewing forth; I thought I stubbed my toes. No big deal. Till I looked down. My poor, poor pinky toe on my right foot was slightly askew. That’s when I know something was afoot. (zing!) The ER was not fun. They took 3 x-rays but said they couldn’t use them because they were “inconclusive”. The nurse decides to numb me up so they can move my toe around. She starts injecting a TON of numbing fluid into my toe. So much that the pressure from the fluid caused the bone to slip back into place. I shouldn’t say slip, I should say ohholyhellmytoeisfallingoff POPPED back into place. Then they took a second round of x-rays and viola! Bone is fine! Just a few fragments floating around, but I should be good. They buddy taped my toes together (quote from the nurse while taping “Let’s be friends!”) and gave me pain meds. Sweet, sweet pain meds. It still hurts like a sumbish, but at least I’ll be able to sleep. Moral of the story? Always wear sneakers when doing housework.

OBTW How the heck did I miss this?

Dani Heileman is Engaged

Don’t ask me why I didn’t immediately blog about this……I’m tellin’ ya folks, that’s just how busy I’ve been lately. Jeff & I went to Breckenridge Colorado in February for some awesome R&R and he proposed on the side of Peak 9. Dropped to his knees on his snowboard on a gorgeous mountaintop. It was amazing and the most beautiful thing I could have ever imagined. The ring was custom designed for me including symbols that are close to my heart. The date is September 10th and I can’t wait! If you want more sappy, wedding-y blog entries, check out      =)

Moved In

This past weekend was a biggie. Saturday was time well spent and karma points earned. I worked with many talent folks at the Design-a-Thon. We created branding, materials and a website from start to finish in one 24 hour time span for a very deserving non-profit, Youthturns. You should check it out when you have a chance. Then Sunday was my big move! I had so many people come out to help and show their support. Special thanks to Kurt, Dave, Les, Bryan, Julia, David & Camille, Latda, Jones, Thomas and Jeff. The move was smooth and I’m happily settled.
This weekend is going to be equally as crazy. Movie tonight, beerfest tomorrow and boat trip Sunday. Pics and commentary to follow, hope you had a great week!

Sometimes People Make Me Angry

Thought I’d share a little tale with you fine folks today. We’ll start off with me. I’m not perfect. I’m not pretentious. But there are little things that REALLY get under my skin. This morning is a shining example. Today, I went to Publix to buy breakfast for everyone I work with. I vaguely noticed the guy in the checkout line a few rows down who was buying cigarettes and vitamin water (what a paradox). We both finished paying around the same time, so I’m walking out of the store a few yards behind him. I load my groceries. I notice in my peripheral vision that he’s sitting in his car. He’s one row ahead of me.  I get in my car and as I’m putting the key in the ignition I watch him unwrap his cigarettes and throw out the plastic and foil that keeps them sealed. On the GROUND ya’ll. This lazy bastard rolls down his window and throws out the plastic and foil onto the parking lot. I almost, ALMOST, just turned my key and left. But I had a moment of clarity. A few weeks ago, I was out dancing with the amazing Erin Cubert. We were walking out of one of the dance clubs and noticed a guy throwing a beer can into the street. Erin stopped, walked back and threw the beer into a garbage can literally a few feet away. She stated “that just gets under my skin, people who don’t care”. And let me tell you folks….seeing that guy throw his trash out his car window made my skin crawl. So, I pulled my key out of the ignition, marched over to his car and picked up his trash. Right in front of him. I walked the few feet to the garbage can by the curb and threw it away. He started his car and had to drive right past the garbage can to leave the parking lot. As I looked up, he was laughing at me. My blood boiled. Something so seemingly insignificant to so many, made me want to take on the world in that moment. My hope is that he realizes that some are disgusted by his behavior, and he’ll make changes for the better. But my understanding of most of humanity tells me otherwise. What about you? What would’ve made you get out of your car?

It’s Official – I’m a Grownup

My New HomeTa-da! Look at me! I’m set to close on my new house July 21st. I’ve been looking for a while but I fell in love with this one. This cottage was built in 1946 but it’s been completely gutted and re-done. New plumbing, electrical, drywall….the works. It’s gorgeous on the inside. These last few weeks have been a whirlwind for me, but I think I’m back on top now. BTW, do you have any plans for 7/25? I could use some help lifting all those boxes…..

#NashvilleFlood: How Can I Help?

Photo by: Kelsey Wynns

Excellent post by the Nashvillest.
Hands On Nashville is coordinating the volunteers.
Debris Guidelines for correct cleanup.
United Way of Rutherford county taking donations & supplies.
The Community Foundation is taking donations.
Support Nashville Flood 2010, add a #twibbon to your avatar now!
Call the Davidson County animal shelter. They need pet food and supplies. You can take recovered animals there as well: 862-7928
During the water shortage, view tips on how to conserve via Cool People Care.

On Twitter, follow @christnemaddela and @WKRN for up-to-the-minute info. Hashtags: #TheSaturation2010 #TheOtherSituation #NashvilleFlood