Tabled

12 years ago we bought a table.
Big, sturdy,bright and cheerful.
Through the years we put it to task.
It’s been an ironing board, a bar, a buffet, an art table, a crafting table, a homework dump, and occasionally a place we eat our meals.
It’s…weathered. Distressed.
For the last 5 years my husband has hated that table.
Hated. A table. Like a normal person hates war or poverty.
He obsessed the dings, the scratches, the peeling paint, and the permanent mosaic of stains.
For the last two years I’ve covered the offending table with a tablecloth or place mat.
But it still bothered him.
I didn’t love it either. But I get over stuff quicker.
So last weekend we found out that a lovely family had moved into our community and into the country after years of saving up.
They proudly bought their first home but were short on furniture.
Are you thinking what I thought?
Do good and stop the hate?
Done.
Things moved quickly after that.
The family picked up the table and seemed thrilled.
My husband and I went out and we bought a brand new table.
The heavens rejoiced – or atleast my husband did.
It was delivered yesterday afternoon.
By dinner there was a scratch on it.
It was never the table. It was us.

Old scratched beauty and new scratched beauty.

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Culture Vulture 2014 – Winter Edition

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The Good Wife

One of my best gal pals has been telling me to watch this show for a long long time now. But I wasn’t interested because her taste in pop culture is….how do I put this…non existent. She watches minimal TV and when she does, it isn’t on Bravo. Sometimes I have to explain the cover of US Weekly to her, just sayin’. So this past week I was on a plane or at an airport for approximately 12 hours of my life…perfect binge watching environment. I gave the show a shot because frankly I’ve seen everything else (except Lost. Can’t go there). She was right. The show is fantastic! Move over Olivia Pope, make room for understated acting and writing. The show had me at Christine Baranski – and I haven’t even gotten to the Alan Cummings season. I hope Huma Abedin, Silda Spitzer and Jenny Sanford all watch this together.

All Is Lost

As you all know, after the holidaze my husband and I hibernate until Easter. There’s the odd get together here or there, but in general, we work and we stay home. Or go to a movie. This year we had a lot of good choices. We’ve seen almost all the ones that have been nominated – but my favorite so far is this little movie. Simple and complex, quiet and devastating. You don’t need any 3D glasses to feel like you are a part of this story. A man stranded alone on a boat after an unfortunate accident. There are a few voice over lines in the beginning – and a couple of words in between. Other than that there is silence and isolation. It’s like Castaway without Wilson or a neat, happy ending.

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From Scratch: Inside the Food Network

When I was little, my mother was obsessed with the cooking shows she found on TV – mostly on PBS. Paul Prudhomme, Julia Child, Martin Yan, these were the faces in our living room. She would never make a perfect roast chicken and I’m pretty sure she still hasn’t tried Chinese food – but she couldn’t get enough of those shows. I remember very clearly how happy she was when The Food Network started. To this day it’s her goto channel. Like a true mother’s daughter, I’m just as obsessed. This book isn’t about the celebrity chef drama – there’s no mention of downfalls or scandals. This is how and why the network got started. If you get off on back-of-house info like I do, this book is for you.

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Cupid is stupid

I’m just coming back from a week long work conference, physically and mentally just coming back.
I got home in time to see all the beautiful Valentine’s posts, read all the tweets of love and devotion, and see the Instagram shots of flowers and gifts. I love seeing all the love – but I could care less about the day. This got me thinking (in a Carrie Bradshaw kinda way)…
Am I dead inside because I don’t care about Valentine’s Day?
I know my husband doesn’t believe me, but I really don’t want to go to dinner tonight. Even after all these years he thinks it’s some sort of trap. I love flowers but I love them all the time. Not just today. And Forrest was right – life is like a box of chocolates – except you know exactly what you’re going to get today.
You know what I’d like for him to get me? Those bags from IKEA. The big blue ones that hold everything and cost 50 cents? I’d post pics of them all over the place.
Know what else he could do? Put the new shower liner on in the bathroom. If he did that I’d tweet a love sonnet to him (ok, a haiku).
Does that mean I don’t love romantic gestures? No. I just don’t want them or need them today – I’d like a rain check for a really crappy day in March if possible.
Cupid isn’t stupid. I’m sorry I said that. He’s just not my kinda guy.

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Green with envy

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. I hope someone or something out there loves you in the pure, joyful way that this boy loves this cat. Signed, jealous.

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A Filter and a Dream

My girlfriend, who is a phenomenal photographer, always says the first thing people say when they see a good photo is “wow, you must have a really good camera”. This cracks me up. Why? Because she could take a photo with a disposable $5 camera that would blow you away. Does she have a jazzy expensive camera? Yes. But the notion that it’s all you need is hysterical. It’s her creativity and eye that stands out. I know plenty of people with really pricey cameras that take crap pics.
Me? I just fake it till I make it. I was gifted a really nice camera (by said friend) a few years ago. And I love it. But you know what I love more? My camera phone. And most importantly my camera filters!
Filters are like Spanx for my pictures. They can’t fix everything – but boy do they help. They tighten, they crop, they blur, they make everyone and everything look better. Is it an illusion? Sure – but what’s wrong with a little make believe?
Look at the picture I took on the train this morning. And then look at the filtered spanxed version. I rest my filter case.

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Easy Button

I’m deleting these permanently from my phone. Here’s one last hurrah for these quotes, images, etc. that made me smile. Enjoy! (Yes, this counts as a post. Haters be hating.)

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Ernie Banks Moment

Next week is the first big conference at my new job. And since we are the event and conference group, it’s my team that runs it all. We get the credit or the blame – whichever way it goes. Most of the team is seasoned and has done multi day events before, but it’s the first time at the event for the new CEO. So everyone is nervous. We had our first big walk through yesterday and it went amazingly well. The team is buttoned up and ready – but they are still panicked that they’ll miss something. So I shared my favorite “I think I missed something” story (have I already shared this? If yes, sorry, go surf the internet and come back tomorrow).
Years ago I was doing my first big event in a new job, for two very – ahem – challenging bosses. The event was an interview with Chicago Cubs Hall of Famer, Ernie Banks. The event was in mid-February in downtown Chicago. Already fun right? For months I stressed about the venue, the weather, the staging, and whether anyone would actually show up to this thing. Did I mention it was crazy expensive? It was. I found the right interviewer for Ernie. I made sure we were taping it so we could use it again for something – look at me being cost effective! No stone was left uncovered!
Cut to the morning of the event.
I had flown in with one of my bosses the night before and had a nice, passive aggressive dinner where she reminded me how important it was that I don’t mess up.
Gulp. Yummy.
The next day, I woke up at 5am – even though we weren’t setting up until 1pm – in a cold, hard sweat with one thought:
I never invited Ernie Banks to the Ernie Banks event!!!!!!!!! Omg!!! WTF??!!
I had visions of how it would go down.
Instead of facing the humiliation, I would just head to the airport and go home.
There were other jobs, I thought.
How could I have forgotten to invite him?
But of course I did.
Ernie was all set to go.
But I was so freaked that I actually called his house at 6:30…I forced myself not to call at 5:30. His housekeeper picked up and I pretended to be his car service and asked,” is a 6pm pick-up ok for Ernie tonight?” She said he was all set and hung up.
Real story.
Please note that this didn’t happen in my first few years as a planner. I was a so-called professional at that point.
Every planner has an Ernie Banks story, it’s part of the job.
Moral of the story – you invited Ernie Banks. Everything is ok.

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