Calm Down

I was really excited about the new show How to Get Away With Murder , mainly because I love Viola Davis. I’ve loved her since the movie Doubt. If you’ve never seen that movie, please – stop reading this post and go watch it. Now.
Anyway I was looking forward to it. I was also hoping/thinking that it would maybe be in the vein of Murder, She Wrote. Remember that show?Angela Lansbury

Angela Lansbury solving crime and riding bikes around scenic New England towns. Good times. And Ofcourse I knew it wouldn’t really be like that. It’s produced by Shonda Salacious Rhimes. Her shows are sex, drugs, rock-and-roll – not tea and scones. Olivia Pope would kick Jessica Fletcher’s ass and then go sleep with the President. But maybe, just maybe this new show would be more understated, a little more subdued then her others.

Umm nope. The first two episodes included murder (to be expected), adultery (the new accessory for powerful women on TV), a raging college campus full of suspected rapists and druggies, a corrupt law firm, corrupt lawyers , corrupt law students, gay sex (good for them), stereotypical threatening frat boys, stereotypical know-it-alls, and yes – even a doe-eyed optimist who literally has his mouth open in shock the whole time. It’s so full of action and deceit that it’s kinda boring. Know what I mean? The writing is good – lots of quotable lines. One of my favorites delivered by a Gilmore Girls alum (oh Rory and Lorelai, I miss you). Remember snooty, mean, icy-on-the-outside-but-good hearted Paris? In this show, Paris grew up, lost any trace of her warmth, gave into her dark side and became a cynical, cold lawyer. When one of the students tries to talk to her, she says,” I know I look nice, but that’s just my face.” Ha! Classic Paris…errr I mean this new character.

It’s a good show. But geez, can’t we pace ourselves? I know the New York Times got into trouble by referring to the show’s lead as another angry black woman. But she really is angry. I mean she’s pissed, from the very first shot. It’s like you can’t be smart, effective and interesting unless your sneering.

Maybe I went into it wrong. Angela Lansbury f’d me up. I’ll give it another shot – or two. But someone needs to give Shonda Rhimes a hug. And then take her to New England on a bike ride. That’s all I’m saying.

Ch Ch Changes

It’s October 3rd. September has been quite a month – full of surprises and change. Nothing new for us. The end of last year was full of changes for our family too. I quit my job after 8 years and started with a new company right before Christmas. My husband was offered a work-from-home gig and jumped on the chance to not commute after decades of trains, planes and automobiles.

Then January through July were a haze. I was traveling a lot for work, which was perfect because my husband and kids were getting into their new “being home together all the time routine”. I was all, “good luck with that, I’ll be in Newport Coast for the week. It’s you, the kids and Common Core. Bye!” It all worked out – no one died. We made it through the winter and spring and then summer was a lot of fun.

We were just hitting our stride and then boom. This is how our life works. For as long as I’ve known my husband, and well before we had our kids, this is our life works. We like to shake it up – or things get shaken up for us. Every change we’ve ever made has come from a small seed of an idea that we can’t let go of. Wanna get hitched and then have a baby in our 20s? Sure. Wanna move out of the city to a town we’ve never heard of? Why not! Wanna have another baby even though I’ll have to quit my job? Let’s do it!

Some changes were our whacked out decisions, and some changes were out of our control. We just had to roll with it.

For the past decade or so (this is not an exaggeration) – I’ve heard my husband say that he’d love to get out of his profession. That the world of finance isn’t making him happy. But because he’s a workhorse, and because it’s been good for our family, he would never walk away. He went from one stressful job to another and made the best of it. But then September started. And slowly a get-away plan emerged. His group was being shuffled and his position would now be based out of NYC. But the kids and i had gotten used to him being home. And he was loving the freedom of not being in an office. Not spending his life on a train. He was going to karate practices, doing pick-up after band rehearsal – getting to know his kids (and they got to know him) in a completely different way. Good, bad and ugly.

It was very much like my childhood. My parents had actual 9-5 jobs for a very short time, then my dad started his own business and never looked back. My mom was either helping him or home with us – actually they were both home with us. I don’t remember a time when my dad was out of the house for more than a few hours a day. It was unusual and wonderful. They were also risk takers. My dad was a pharmacist who could have made a very safe living his whole life, but he tried something different. He took a chance. The irony is that my entire childhood I thought of them as the most boring, risk-averse people – they drive their cars slow and live their lives quietly. Now I think they were absolutely bohemian (I feel my sister rolling her eyes). But really, they marched by the beat of their own drum. And it wasn’t all good – there were failures along with the successes – but they tried. They moved us around. They uprooted our schooling. Money went up and down – but it wasn’t boring. That’s for sure.

Maybe that’s why I’m not afraid of change. It doesn’t really rock my world. Not because I was unhappy before, or looking for the change – but because I know it’s not always bad. Or maybe I’m just dead inside. Just kiddin’.

Because I am my parent’s daughter, I’m constantly thinking of businesses that we can run. After my son was born and I decided to stay at home, I even started one of those businesses. A wedding planning company that did pretty well for three years. I loved it. I only stopped doing it because of another change that came out of nowhere. A phone call from an old colleague who had a job for me. A good job. The only caveat – it was two states away. A job that would force my husband to quit his well paying job if we took the move. Normal people would have laughed and said,”no way”.  But my husband and I,who wouldn’t know what to do in a casino if we tried, took another gamble. We said yes. And it worked out really really well. We loved our new town. The kids loved their new schools. My husband found another job right away, and I was happy with my new job. For a little while. But in the back of my mind, I was always thinking of what “we could start”. Even though my husband is the total opposite of my wandering nature, he got into it too. We would look at empty store fronts and imagine what we could do. We would have hour long discussions about the kinds of things that would work there. Then, like the lunatics we are, we’d even call the renters and ask how much the space cost. You know, normal stuff you do on a Friday night. While you and your husband are out at fancy restaurants and enjoying life, we’re researching franchise options and coming up with company names.

So last month when his job location shifted, we jumped on our chance. Well, I jumped and dragged him along. It was Friday night, we were doing our usual “this is a business that could work” routine – and he left the room to order pizza for the kids. That’s when I pulled the trigger for him and applied for all the legal paperwork for his new company. No joke. He came back into the living room and I said,” it’s done. You just started a company”. Instead of divorcing me like a normal person would do – he sat down and started a business plan. The only thing that saves my crazy is his crazy.

A month later, he’s ready to launch the website and dive in. And I would tell you what it is, but it’s not my gig. It’s his. I’m pretty sure he’ll go postal that I’ve even talked about it at all. But as always, I’ll take the gamble.

Doodle Me Crazy

I have a confession. When I’m on a long telephone conversation, or in a long meeting, or in any place that requires my attention for more than a hot second – I doodle. I’ve done it since I was little. I do it in meetings. I do it at home. I do it anywhere. I do it everywhere. Sometimes if I’m in a meeting with very senior people, I spend parts of that meeting reminding myself not to doodle. Scared yet?

I got into massive trouble in elementary school for it, the teachers said I was “making a mess of my papers”. True that.  By high school my grades were so good, they didn’t care what my notebook looked like. They would have let me doodle on tables. That’s the beauty of Catholic school. A few A’s and you run the joint.

Through the years I’ve come to terms with it. It doesn’t mean I’m not interested or paying attention. It just means that I had a sudden, unstobbale desire to scribble something down. It’s like a tick. On paper.

Yesterday, someone at work called me out on it. “Nice drawing” they smirked. Uh oh. Oh well. I couldn’t hide it forever. The first step is admitting you have a problem right?

So here’s a glimpse of my bad habit. Notice sometimes I go abstract, sometimes I go modern – other times I go graffati. I’m so diversified in my doodle. You can’t take that from me. Send help. Or atleast some clean paper.

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Two Truths and a Lie

This was my son’s first homework assignment. The teacher used it as an ice breaker to get the kids comfortable with each other. At first, I judged and poo poo’d – as I tend to do. But then we got into it and it was fun. And I wanted to play the game too. So here’s mine, see if you can guess:
1) I can’t crochet
2) I can’t ride a bike.
3) I’ve met Brad Pitt
Doesn’t quit work as an ice breaker for us because you are the black hole known as the internet, you may not even be real. I just pretend you’re real so I don’t think I’m cray cray. Which I most certainly am.
Incase you’re not a robot, and you really want to know the lie…
It’s number two. I can crochet, although it’s always the same thing – a really nice, thick scarf. Which is basically the easiest thing you can do with yarn. Still counts. And I have met Brad Pitt. I ironed his shirt when I interned at ABC. When I handed it to him he said,”thanks”. See, totally met.
Another truth, this whole blog was just an excuse to name drop Brad Pitt.
Take that internet!

Why so mad?

A lot of people are getting pissed off about the ALS challenge.
What up with that?
I know I know. People are doing it for other reasons, they are missing the point. But are they? My 10 year old knows what ALS is. That can’t be bad. It’s silly and goofy. And it’s become a game for celebs to see who can do a better one. But so what? I’d rather see that then butt selfies. Butt selfies are all the rage.
Also – why do people get so pissy so fast?
Here’s what I know. I know that I’d rather see your aunt/husband/brother being doused with water for a cause than a news story about ISIS. Or Ferguson. Yes those things are happening. Yes those things are evil incarnate. And yes I read about them. But afterwards, I need something else. To function, to wake up tomorrow and know that this world is ok for my kids, I need something else. I need to see ice water dumped on Anna Wintour or George Bush. On a side note – I love Retired George Bush. He’s so warm and kind and…not dumb. I may have even voted for Retired George Bush. Maybe.
Anyway. Dump the f’ing water. Donate to ALS. Cool down and lighten up.
Here’s me and my crew doing it.

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“Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys”

A very smart woman told me about that saying. It sums up what I’m thinking many times during a work week, a chat with a friend, or a chat with my family. And then I remember that some of those people are my monkeys. And it is my f’ing circus. And then I’m exhausted.
But most of the time, I wish I could print it on cards and hand it out to people. And smile. And then walk away.
I gift this nugget to you.
You’re welcome.

Padawan lesson for the day

 Sometimes you’re the hammer, and sometimes you’re the nail.

I heard an amazing interview this morning on my way into work. Jeff Bridges was on The Howard Stern Show talking about his current movie, his life and his work. Stern is one of my all-time favorite interviewers, it’s like he knows exactly what I would ask a particular person. To me, his show shines when he interviews someone. It could be a celebrity, a musician, a hooker – whatever. He’s good at it. I’m almost always interested. Even when he brings on people I could care less about – the conversation sucks me in. 

Jeff Bridges was no exception. I like him as an actor. He’s been in some good stuff. But I’ve never had a burning desire to hear from him. Until now. Now he’s my Yoda. Don’t believe me? Google his quotes. He’s genius. He may be high, but he’s genius. 

He said lots of funny/interesting things this morning, but my favorite was the line above. He didn’t make that up, I’ve heard it before. But he said it in an upbeat, lively manner. In a way that implied he’s ok being both. Each has a job to do. One isn’t more powerful than the other. I’d always thought it meant that you were either succeeding or failing. I was wrong. To Jeff, it means you are doing different things successfully. 

Can you guess which one I was today? Which one were you?

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