Interested in hearing what goes on in the mind of a life coach/aerobics instructor? While it can be a bizarre place, it's always entertaining...mostly at my expense. Witness my struggle/dance/frustration/celebration with change as I stray out of my comfort zone and encounter other brave and interesting souls along the way.

Friday, April 30, 2004

Like Buttah

Just saw that Barbra Streisand has been putting a personal item a day for sale on eBay! From great, Smithsonian-type stuff to terrible, your uncle's garage sale-type stuff. Does this not seem bizarre to you? Then again, I suppose she's not the type to set up a table on her front lawn and write out little price tags. can you see her writing up signs with a big El Marko and taping them up to telephone poles? Haha. Afterall, she did freak out when aerial photographers posted photos of the entire California coastline and she noticed her house was on one as a tiny, little dot.

Not that I want to give Barbra a hard time. I think the proceeds from her eBay auction are going to charity. It's just a comment on the changing times and the drastic way technology continues to change the way we operate.

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Has Hell Frozen Over?

Have you heard that an indoor anti-smoking law recently went into effect in the city of Lexington, Kentucky? That is the heart of tobacco country! For those of you who live in California where the smoking sections of restaurants have been a distant memory for years, when was the last time you ventured out of state? Were you suprised to see smokers just about everywhere?

For those of you who often feel that making a change in your life is simply not possible, find hope. What will you do today to stir the waters of change in your world?

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night...

For all you tortured writers out there, here is a great passage from "City of Nets" by Otto Friedrich, describing how Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler collaborated on the script for "Double Indemnity":

"Chandler puffed on his pipe. Wilder went often to the bathroom, not to urinate but just to escape from Chandler. In Wilder's absences, Chandler would take a pint of bourbon from his briefcase and drink. Finally, Wilder would return to the smoke-filled office and cry out, "For Chrissakes, Ray, open a window."

What does it say about the creative process or collaborations? Remember that the film they were working on went on to receive 7 Academy Award nominations. To read some of the sizzling dialogue, check out: http://www.filmsite.org/doub.html and get inspired.

Birthday Challenge

OK, I'm not someone who is obsessive with reading my daily horoscope, but given that it is my 38th birthday today, I had to check out the "today's birthday" advice. Here is the best part, "The more you give, the more you get." I have always believed this and try to live my life based on this principle. Maybe that's why I LOVE shopping so much because it gives me an excuse to give to others. The forecast also gives some random advice about romance, travel, and business, including "Business that goes down in July brings money for years to come." Great. I'll take it. Time to continue working on a plan to make it happen, because why, people? We do not sit around and wait for good things to happen to us. We take action to make things happen and attract what we want. As a client stated to me last night, "You need to keep moving so that you don't wake up 5 years later and find yourself stuck in the same place." Learn it, live it, or lose it.

Go get 'em!

Sunday, April 25, 2004

The Good, the Bad, and um, the Ugly

Hmmm. Several things have come to my attention within the last 24 hours that seem curiously related. I read yesterday that folks complained about an "offensive" billboard in LA that read "On May 14th, there will be no Mexicans in California." The billboard, which cost $10K, was removed in hours. This was part of an advertising campaign for a film called, "A Day Without a Mexican." Check out their website; it's pretty funny. The premise is that one day, all the Latinos simply disappear from California, causing many dire consequences. The point is, the population in the golden state is 1/3 hispanic. They are part of California. I'm guessing, that the people who complained thought the billboard was telling Mexicans to get out.

The second thing that I came across was an article about NASA being concerned with another film coming out called, "The Day After Tomorrow" which is a global warming disaster flick. In this movie, the US president pleads with Mexico to let Americans cross the border because of an impending ice age. Now there's an ironic twist for you!

Lastly, today the largest Cinco de Mayo celebration in the country (yes, I know it's April 25th) took place in downtown Los Angeles. I think that over 50,000 people came out to enjoy the sunshine, good food, and latino music. So it's basically a huge party in the city of angels where people of all races, ages, and economic classes mingle and celebrate hispanic culture.

Somehow it just seemed so synchronistic that these events would happen at once. California is full of paradoxes.

Saturday, April 24, 2004

BTW

About that high speed police pursuit that 2 local networks covered live for about 2 hours yesterday...there was no mention of it in today's paper. You can see how news worthy it turned out to be!

Tiger, Tiger Burning Bright...

Just read a story yesterday in the LA Times and again, a separate story today in the NY Times about a study that shows poets die, on average, at a younger age than non-fiction writers, novelists, and playwrights. Hmmm. You know, I wrote my thesis on Percy Shelley and his wife Mary (a novelist), and in fact, he did die at a much younger age. (Boy, that little outing on the lake turned out to be a BAD idea!)

But what's the conclusion to be drawn? Poets burn too brightly, too early in life? The author of the study, James C. Kaufman, had this to say, "If you ruminate more, you're more likely to be depressed, and poets ruminate. Poets peak young. They write alone." (I can accept the word "ruminate" from a psychologist quoted in the NY Times much better than I accept "dearth" from an LA newsman covering a live police pursuit.)

What does this have to do with anything? Simply that, no matter what our profession, we are all slated to die. I take this as a gentle reminder that we must make the most of our situation, make decisions, and act instead of always waiting. As Mary Shelley herself said, "The beginning is always today."

Friday, April 23, 2004

Trivial Pursuit

It's official. I know I'm definitely living in LA because I watched my first live coverage of a "high speed" police pursuit today. Why the quotes? Well, the driver in question rarely drove faster than 30 mph, and mostly drove really, really slowly and really, really aimlessly. I swear the newscasters were stifling yawns. Even the helicopter guy was getting bored and had trouble coming up with new material. You know you're stuck when you start saying things like, "Well Ken, if you recall the Ventura Highway chase of 2002..." And when you start to bandy about phrases like "spike strips" (those portable severe tire damage tools that cops lay out to puncture the bad guy's tires), brandish, and "I've seen cars go up in flames in this situation," you know you've become a bit de-sensitized to it all. I swear I even heard a newscaster use the word, dearth. Dearth? Is this an opera review or the real-life drama of a desperate man at the end of his rope?

The next question is, why didn't I ever see this kind of stuff when I lived in Northern California? Is this a phenomenon particular only to the Southland? Why? The endless miles of roads and highways? The absence of those annoying street barriers that they have in Berkeley or a lack of all those one way streets like in San Francisco? Or is it just the Angelino quest to grab those 15-minutes of fame? You make the call.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Life Sucking Zombies

Love this bumper sticker someone just told me about, "Is your attitude worth catching?" (Man, nothing beats a REALLY good bumper sticker!)

Stop whining about how everyone else behaves. Look in the mirror. If those around you shared your attitude, how would that affect your day? And I'm not saying we all have to be Pollyannas, but do you boost the energy of those around you or drain it? If you find yourself surrounded by folks who are life sucking zombies, is it mere coincidence? And if you answer that last question with a resounding "yes!" first of all, ask the question again. If you're sure you aren't in deep denial and you still insist on saying yes, then ask, how can you either extract yourself from those zombies or turn their attitude around by exposing them to your infectious good nature?

Ghandi said, and I might butcher the quote here, "Become the change you want to create in others." Enough said.

Oh yeah, happy Earth Day.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Really, We're on the List!

Hey, I just read that Anne Rice, of "Interview with the Vampire" fame is selling her mansion in the garden district of New Orleans and (gasp!) moving to a gated community, north of the city. Both the entire population of the Big Easy, her fans, and even her only son (who lives in Hollywood, BTW) are aghast. Could I be more cutting edge than I thought by relocating from the bustle of Berkeley to the placidity of the LA suburbs, or is it more likely that Ms. Rice is falling OFF the cutting edge?

But who can blame the woman for wanting to leave a house where tour buses disgorge hordes of "fans" and goth wannabes daily? And who can criticize her for wanting to leave a house that she shared for nearly 14 years with her late husband (recently departed after a marriage of more than 40 years)? Or who wouldn't want to escape from fervently adoring fans, one of which wrote a letter to her in their own blood? Writers tend to be a solitary sort and value their privacy. I'd love to see the tour bus drivers try to talk their way into the gates of her new neighborhood. Easier to talk your way into the pearly gates, I suspect.

I applaud Anne for having the courage to make a change, which possibly took a huge shift in thinking. Better to move into the future than to cling to the past like Nora Desmond, shuttered up with memories of faded glory.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Chameleon

Yes, in the interest of the blog, I am going to admit it...I am wearing pastels. Could it be the influence of spring? The sale rack at Banana Republic? Or, more frightening than that, could I already be influenced by my new surroundings in Southern California after a mere 3 weeks??? Well, let's not blow it out of proportion. I have only purchased one pale green top, not an entire wardrobe. But those of you who knew me in Northern California know that my closet used to be filled with black, red, black, navy, black, white, and oh yes, black. Perhaps it's the absence of the San Francisco fog that has thrown me off. Or is it even more likely that I am as fickle as a chameleon? Maybe it's a defense mechanism or something. What next? Accessories? Implants??? Stay tuned...

Saturday, April 17, 2004

Duh

Right. Just figured out how to post a title. Guess I was too giddy with getting the darn thing up at all to even notice that I wasn't typing in any titles. And in this case, the title says it all.

Oh yeah, I just read this quote and loved it. I wanted to post it before I forgot:

" You will succeed in the face of change when you make the difficult decisions first." --Seth Godin, bestselling author, entrepreneur and agent of change.

As much as might hate to admit it, I believe this to be true. Identify the difficult stuff, deal with it, and move on.

So at last, it is Saturday, and it's time for a day for me! After the whole tax day hoop-jumping mania on Thursday, I spent much time yesterday catching up on other projects. I have to say that I am starting to rethink my hatred of Word as a publishing program. OK, yes I know that Word is really a word processing thing and not a real publishing program, but I cranked out some good stuff using it yesterday. Amazing. BTW, I am not as technologically challenged as I might seem; I just like to vent.

Anyway, as I said, today is a day for fun, even though I think my work is extremely fun. Still, I have to remind myself to take a moment during the week where I can slow down and not keep trying to tackle the next thing on my to-do list. Sometimes I feel like a dog chasing a stick: a lot of work, but getting nowhere. Hmm, no wonder my dogs don't like playing fetch! They are smarter than I thought...

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Whew. So now that I got the 2003 taxes squared away (and fairly early, I might add. Dropped it off at the post office at 1:30pm. I wonder how many frenzied individuals will be screeching their tires as they near the special tax day drop off points around 11:59pm tonight?), do I vow to take care of this earlier next year? Well, of course I do. I'm a coach, right? Although I will let you in on a secret; we are usually good at coaching everyone BUT ourselves. Let's save that topic for another post, please. As I drove to my investment office this morning to make my 2003 IRA contribution (and no line there! I was shocked and wondered if it was April 16th instead), I made a plan to hire an accountant for next year. I'm smart enough to know when I'm in over my head. Hire an expert. What a novel concept.

Cheers to anyone still wrestling with those tax forms, especially those who have not yet started to dig them up much less fill them out!

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

It's 10pm...do I know where my 2003 taxes are??? I am baffled by which forms to use for filing my income taxes. Somehow I thought it would be simple this year and all of a sudden I am hit by a barrage of tax form numbers (6198, 1099-MISC, 1011) which basically look as logical as some encrypted code for the CIA. As the deadline ticks towards the final 24 hours (Kiefer, aka Jack Bauer, I'm starting to feel your pain) I am wasting time by posting this blog. And the HILARIOUS thing is that I looked up my returns from last year, and wouldn't you know it...I filed them on APRIL 14TH, 2003!!! Hello? Where is my coach? Who is holding me accountable for this? Well, tomorrow is another day. Good luck to all you procrastinators who have yet to file. And don't forget, the magic form is number 4868 to file for that extension. "Ah, don't worry, honey. I 4868'd it this year. Let's go buy a dinette set with zero money down and no payments until 2005!" Am I delirious or what?

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Woohoo! Well, I did not succeed in getting my blog to completely interface with my website, but the HUGE success is that I've got my new website up. Whew! Now tell me again, why didn't I hire a web designer??

Ooh, I am so close, I can feel it.

What the??? This @#$%^! thing...

Toying with adding links to the sidebar. Ooooh! Aaaah!

OK, I'm back. Obviously I decided to give my head a break from all that beating against the wall I inflicted on it the other day. And now, because I need to get this new website up, I am compromising by just picking a new template. What a wimp, eh? Hey, at least I've got my priorities straight and I know when to move on...

Saturday, April 10, 2004

I am truly stumped! And I know that if anyone is reading this while I post on Blogger, they are laughing their heads off because they cannot believe that I can't figure this out. Still, it doesn't dampen my enthusiasm. Actually, I have a long history of trying to figure things out myself and taking the looooong way around. Eventually I get there, covered in muck and thistles, but I generally shine up real nice.

Definitely having some trouble with trying to publish the new template and also connecting with my FTP server. Who could have guessed that such gibberish could come from me? I don't even understand it!

Hey, can you sense my enthusiasm waning since my first posting???

And yet again, I am trying something else. Essentially I am going back to square one as my attempt to load my own template failed miserably. It feels much like the Blair Witch Project (who remembers that movie anyway?) when they realize they are traveling in endless circles, getting nowhere.

Hmmm, can't seem to figure this out. But I am nothing, if not stubborn! Is it only 5:30pm. I have all night to sit here and match my wits with this thing. (You can only guess at the state of my social life by that last statement.)

OK, hit a glitch. This is a test. Ah, such is the ebb and flow of change, dammit.

Hey! I can't believe it...I've got my own blog!!! This is truly in line with my title as conquering technology, albeit in a very tiny way, is always a huge thing for me. And yes, it even qualifies as a revolution of sorts. Hahaha, change is exciting. Just remember to duck at the appropriate times...