Category Archives: Pop Culture

Happiness & joy from me to you

In no particular order:

That photo to the right? That’s a magnet on my fridge and it rocks. I got it in Maui and no, I don’t know where you can find it in any other locale. But search for it online if it tickles your fancy.

My amazing former-ballerina Pilates instructor in NYC, who kicked my ass into the best shape it’s ever been, has a YouTube channel! People, this woman gave me the long, lean muscles that cause massage therapists to ask, “Are you a dancer?” Oh yeah, that shit’s real, though we won’t talk about the flab layer over said muscles that proves I enjoy eating. I’ve missed Gina’s workouts like they’ve gone off to war or something – and BTW, if you don’t feel breathless and in pain after you do these, you’re fucking them up. Form’s key, y’all. “Scoop” your abs (as Gina says – i.e., pull your belly button away from your shirt) and squeeze the muscles you’re working on as you do these exercises. You’ll die for sure, but you’ll have an ass that can grate Parmesan.

This candle in my living room smells like a pumpkin shit 40 homemade pies and I think everything about that is completely delicious.

Kale and delicata. It’s what’s for dinner.

There’s nothing like a very hipster holiday. I’ve been listening to this like a lunatic. Also, a bit o’ trivia: every time I close my eyes while listening to Zooey Deschanel speak, I hear the identical voice of my NYC biz partner, Demetra. I miss her crazily, but it makes me happy.

My clients are getting these this year. Yes, each and every individual person I work with gets their own box of loot. Aren’t they lucky ducks?! I ordered them all today because I have OCD and problems with anal retentiveness.

I’m totally bewildered by the holiday spirit I’m bursting with this year. It’s been many years since I gave a rat’s nut about the holly-days. I don’t know what the fuck is up, but seize the day and whatnot. I might even buy this because you know I can’t even decorate like a “normal” (*retch* traditional *retch*) person – shock! awe! madness!

Ari’s update from the road in the great southwest made me piss and snort: “In Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. Thinking about karma and chimichangas.”

Here’s wishing all of you good karma this Chrismukkahwanzaa season!

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Generation X bites reality right back

One of my favorite topics (my generation) by a great writer (from my generati0n). (Thanks for this, Scott O.)

And my additional $.02/$200:

Damn straight, we were latchkey kids. Damn straight, we only got trophies when we placed, not when we participated.

Damn straight, we brought you Google and Twitter – and VitaminWater and Pearl Jam. We were also the generation who convinced employers that working remotely, flex time, and casual attire were worth more than corner offices and gold watches. And that an individual contributor was just as critical – if not more so – than middle management waste. You have us to thank for that.

And P.S. I lived at home during college and for four years after college – first to save money on room & board, and then to save money for a down payment on a condo. I drove a 1981 Toyota Tercel that I bought myself for $1,700. I ponied up for the insurance and gas too. I worked part-time all through high school and college. And for the record, I made $14,750 a year in my first “real” job out of college – in 1995. My then-boyfriend-now-ex-husband couldn’t even find a job out of college – for two straight years. He used his mechanical engineering degree to work at a frame shop while living at home, paying off his student loans, and saving for that aforementioned down payment.

I didn’t have opportunities to travel the world until I was nearly 30 and had a good chunk of corporate slavery under my belt to foot the bill. I also spent most of my twenties working for less than $35,000 a year and often cleaning conference room coffee pots and pitchers of curdled cream. But I sucked it up and did it with a smile and to the best of my abilities – because that’s just part of the deal sometimes.

It may seem that I’m embodying the “whininess” my generation is often touted for. But I just want to make it clear that times haven’t changed too much in terms of the struggle that awaits post-Pomp-and-Circumstance. Everything happens when it’s supposed to. And it often isn’t easy. It also gets harder and scarier the older you get – but you grow more resilient and trusting of the blessings of time. You learn that it truly is all about the journey – because the destination is a myth. There may be milestones along the way, but when the journey ends, you haven’t arrived. You’re dead.

In the meantime, attitude is everything. And entitlement is non-existent.

The Anti-Book Club

He’s not against books. Just these books.

This is one of my favorite recurring bits – and last night’s rendition tops the list. The queer ghost impression nearly killed me. Every time this bit comes on, I set down whatever I’m eating and drinking so I don’t asphyxiate in my own living room.

Meanwhile, for now I’m jonesing to get me a copy o’ this. Wow. This shit’s for real. Check out that cover. It’s like Stephen Hawking talks boners. I don’t think it’s coincidence that the author has the same initials.

Holla, NYT!

This is, by far, one of the cleverest, funniest, smartest op-ed pieces I’ve ever read. As a humor writer at heart and a communications strategist by trade, I commend you, Thomas Vinciguerra, for blending the best of both worlds. Your chariot to The Writers’ Holy Land awaits you.

SIFF-citement

In the two years I’ve been back in the homeland, I’ve been jonesing to drink in SIFF. Attending Sundance in 2007 got me into serious film festival mode and, unless you’re a complete zombie, living in NYC just has a way of imbuing a deep appreciation for art & film. I always thought people who touted their affinity for documentaries and foreign films were full of hoo-ha – until I actually watched a few documentaries and foreign films. And realized there’s a reason people love them so dearly; that reason being mainly that there tends to be a stronger message, even call to action, a feeling that something within you has shifted as a result of simply seeing a film, and – in the case of foreign films – more complex characters than your typical American box office fare.

And so the film snobbery descends.

For whatever reason, I simply couldn’t get my act together to attend any SIFF screenings in 2009 and 2010. So – just as I make deals with myself in other areas of life (such as not allowing myself to watch a 47-minute episode of “Thirtysomething” unless I run on the treadmill the entire time…and yes, I’m re-watching the entire series from the perspective of someone actually in the target age demographic, instead of a clueless teenager who thought all that drama was just for television…turns out, whoops!, all that shit – every single storyline! – actually happens in your thirties) – I bought a pack of SIFF tickets as incentive to get the show on the road.

And so it is. The festival’s film repertoire is wide and varied, but I’ve made my selections. I know it’s heavy on the documentary side – but then, I’m a storyteller who has always found non-fiction and tales of real people’s lives far more intriguing than any shit anyone could ever make up.

How to Die in Oregon – I know it’s grim, but my parents and I have discussed this topic several times and, the truth of the matter is, they’re aging in the state of Oregon. So, sadly, it’s relevant.

Something Ventured – I’m an alum of one of the largest technology companies in the world *and* an entrepreneur. Further explanation not warranted.

Norman – The premise is unique, and Richard Jenkins and Adam Goldberg are incredible, but it was the trailer that sold me. As much as I adore Judd Apatow, this is an intelligent and thought-provoking twist on the coming-of-age flick that is ripe for its time. Also it was filmed in Spokane. Booyah!

PressPausePlay – Creating and sharing art in the digital age. Lena Dunham. Seth Godin. SOLD.

Go forth. View. Enjoy. Think. Be changed. Create change. GO.

And so the world shifts

Because it is, you know. Shifting. Morphing. It’s not only true at a societal, social, human level, but geologically the plates of the earth are shifting in a way and at a rate not seen in our lifetime. Or for many, many lifetimes. If you’re as spiritual as I am, you know there is no way your physical world can shift without your inner world – and that of those around you – following suit. Things are changing, people are changing. In as many uplifting ways as worrying ways. Systems are collapsing to make room for a better way of being. What we’ve seen in Egypt is just the beginning. The power of the people, of cooperation, of hope. I know I’ve felt it within myself – a shift in my cells, my heart. And it’s wonderful to see it reflected on a global level.

That’s why, when Julie told me about the documentary, I Am – currently touring the country along with its director, Tom Shadyac – I knew I had to secure my place in the audience. I saw the film when it premiered in Seattle this past Friday, and also participated in a Q&A with Tom afterward. It was incredible.

Check the website to find out if and when it hits your town. If you can’t make a screening, wait for it to hit Netflix. In the meantime, enjoy this preview. And never, never, never lose hope.

Why women (not men) give birth

Dr. Oz butchered JF live on his show – i.e., removed a pre-cancerous mole from his hand. This was of course the best scene, when Jimmy pitched a HUGE fit while they injected local anesthetic into his hand. And I know he’s a professional performer, but I really don’t think he was faking it!

On a more serious note, props to Jimmy for taking care of this…people, it’s super important to go to the dermatologist every year for a head-to-toe skin exam. I have a number of friends who’ve had skin cancer, but thankfully these annual exams caught it early and they’re all happy, healthy, and covered in SPF.

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