Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Opting Out

One of my challenges is saying no to people. At my core, I'm a people pleaser. So I end up saying yes to invitations to which I really want to say no.

This past weekend was a Dance for Peace. It was a hippie Burning Man style festival where people presumably dance. There are DJs and I assume lots of people on high on life (wink, wink.) I was invited by a new friend so I immediately said yes. I thought, "I've never been to one of these things. I only live once."

The night before the Dance, I felt dread. Considering I no longer drink and don't smoke weed, it would probably be pretty boring for someone who is 1) sober; 2) enjoys solo dancing to Katy Perry, Jay-Z and Pink; 3) shuns dance clubs; 4) doesn't like being touched by dirty hippies; 5) thinks bongos are an atrocity; and 6) is 36 years old. But the people pleaser in me thought, "I should just go. I can suffer through for an hour."  

Prior to The Dance, I went to brunch with two ex-New Yorkers whose company reminded me who I am. I am Manhattan, not Brooklyn. I'm Hollywood Hills, not Venice. I'm Carrie Bradshaw, not Tori Amos.

With much anxiety, I opted-out at the last minute. I felt bad for letting my friend down but I felt good about my decision as I headed home. Sometimes doing something for someone else or for a blog post isn't worth it.

Besides, I have many irons in the fire: 1) eBay sales are heating up; 2) I have a few great job leads; 3) I'm submitted a proposal for a freelance project that could be lucrative; and 4) I'm in the final stretch of editing the book. I don't have time for peace dancing; I need to be an ambitious warrior.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Devil, Thy Name is Dairy

"Got Milk?" Totally. "Some cheese with your wine?" Absolutely. "We all scream for ice cream!" Count me in.

Antibiotics, Claritin-D, Kleenex. As a long time sufferer of sinus infections and congestion, these have been the items of prominence in most of my adult life. In 2009, I had a sinuplasty to open up my sinuses so they were large enough through which mucous could pass. A success for almost a year, I could finally breathe. Only recently have I been suffering from congestion again despite irrigating my sinuses twice a day. Understand this: sinus congestion is maddening, uncomfortable and results in exhaustion.

On a whim, I began reading Skinny Bitch, a book about eating healthfully and getting thin effortlessly. Newsflash: eat vegetables, grains and fruits (non-fun foods) and shun alcohol, coffee, sugar, meat and dairy (the fun stuff). We all know this, but we don't really know why. We should avoid the "fun foods" because they're not meant to be consumed by humans.

Our bodies are well oiled machines. If you give it the right gas, it will run well. If you give your car Diesel, then don't expect it to get you anywhere and it will take a long time to process/repair. The "fun foods" are our bodies' Diesel. (The book goes into more detail and it's fascinating.)

For sinus purposes, dairy is especially bad because our body attacks it like an infection and the result is mucous. (For the record, my ENT had told me this, too.) We're not supposed to have milk past infancy and we'd be fine without it. Cheese even has morphine in it (breast and udder milk have naturally occurring opiates to keep infants and calfs drinking milk. In the cheese-making process, the cow's milk opiates are exacerbated greatly and become morphine. It's true, cheese addicts.) I could go on, but I think you get the point.

Net-net, I decided to stop dairy (all but 5% of my usual consumption) to see what happened. Well, it's day 6 and my sinuses are as clear as a bell--as open and dry as they were after surgery.  I haven't taken Claritin in weeks (it was useless) so that's not it. I haven't added any supplements. I've eaten more fruits, vegetables and grains and shunned meat. So maybe that helps.

As the book says, "You are what you eat." I'm proud to say that I'm now more of a "no fun food eater" instead of a morphine-addicted mucous monster. So take it for what it's worth, dairy-dedicated sinus sufferers. Nothing tastes as good as mucous free feels.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Hey, Ms. Tambourine!

Some think it's called Karaoke. Well, let me tell ya, you haven't experienced warbling in its truest form until you've experienced Kerry-oke.

On Friday night, my friend held his birthday party at an awesome place called Soop Sok Music Studios in Koreatown. On my 20 minute drive over, I warmed my vocals with "Raise Your Glass," "Black and Yellow" and "Teenage Dream" (a song that I've listed to 687 times, per iTunes).

When I arrived, I immediately performed "Teenage Dream." Then lots of other people sang (including the birthday boy who did a phenomenal rendition of "NY State of Mind.") There were a bunch of actors that all had musical and theater training who made everyone step up their game.

While keenly observing these quasi-professionals, my eyes rested on a tambourine. In my college days, I sang back up for The Bartonians (unofficially. It's complicated) and mastered the tambourine. It's been some years since I held this fine instrument in my hands.

I began shaking my old friend and soon discovered that it lit up with four different speeds: spastic lights, medium, slower and then slow jam light mode. I adjusted for every song.

I sang "Raise your Glass," "Me and Bobby McGee" and "Wanted: Dead or Alive." I shook my instrument and my booty to every other song (Note: I've given up drinking for a few months now so this was based on pure joy!)

I was sad to part with my tambourine, so we did a photo shoot to commemorate the experience. Out of curiosity, I asked the price and to my surprise, the Korean lady said, "Gift" and then "Yelp." I screamed with glee and proceeded to write and post an excellent review on Yelp later that night. (This isn't payola; I did have an extraordinary time!)

So, a tambourine can be illuminating. I learned that I can still shake it, if you ask then you shall receive and sometimes you can get delight from the simplest things.

Just call me Ms. Tambourine!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Three Lines, 2 Wrist Bands and 1 Heater

Last week, I stepped up my social game. I went to the premiere party for a web series, the super secret Lykke Li show at Sky Bar, Shepard Fairey's art opening and a TV writers' panel. I waited in line at all but the first, the middle two made me wear wrist bands and the art opening had me shivering underneath 1 working outdoor heater.

The web series premiere party for Foodies was on Tuesday night and there was little drama other than on the screen. Easy to get in, free, no lines or wrist bands and it was warm. It was also over in little more than an hour. If you want to see ridiculous LA dinner parties (and a dig about my hometown of Westport, CT) then this is the show for you.

The Lykke Li show, in contrast, was a monumental, drama filled extravaganza. As the only FUNemployed person in the group, I took point on getting in the line. It was guest list only which worked since we've been on the list since January. Upon arrival, I learned that wrist bands were being distributed and they could not be saved for others. I started sweating since the 2 other people were not there yet. In the end, after lots of drama, wrist band wrist slippage (I'm the expert) and flirting with the door bouncer, we had comfy seats on a couch. The free show was intimate, the setting beautiful and the performance amazing.

Next up was the free Shepard Fairey art opening. If you don't know him, he is the street artist whose most famous work is "OBEY" with Andre The Giant's image. I'm not a huge fan of his work but like art parties. There was a huge line to get in, wrist bands mandatory and Dave Navarro. I smuggled my way in by befriending an intoxicated man with a wristband (shortly after sliding by security, I literally ran into Dave Navarro). The space was tiny (as is Dave) so I ended up outside again listening to the band called Metalachi, a hybrid metal and mariachi band. That's when I met the heater. It was chilly, I didn't have a jacket so I camped out with my new best friend. At one point, I leaned back, put my leg up and pretended to be a stripper. Camera flash. That's a photo for the ages.

Lastly, I went to a TV writers' panel. After waiting in a mellow line, we sat and listened to 2 super successful writers, one medium successful and one relatively new to the business. It was fascinating to hear what they had to say. And inspirational. I woke up today with a renewed focus on finishing the book. They all talked about the self-loathing process of writing which is something that I've felt A LOT. It was good to hear that even super successful writers have days where they tell themselves that they have no business doing what they're doing.

3 (lines), 2 (wrist bands, 1 orange, 1 lime green), 1 (heater): I've got a new fire burning in me. For writing, not from the heater.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Traveling Salesman

I am coming down with a cold and sound like a frog. Therefore, I'm cranky which will pepper this post. You've been warned.

As a list maker, I rarely operate without writing my to dos. Sometimes it's reassuring to see that I have things to do, a purpose you may say. Other times it's overwhelming to just feel like I'm always on the go with no end in sight. Interviews...appointments...library books...Netflix DVDs...social engagements...resume revisions...applying to jobs...book editing...yoga...cooking healthy food...laundry...dates...company research...ebook publishing how-to's...book cover photo shoots...car servicing...ebay sales. I feel like a traveling salesman with a huge territory.

Sales is a hard job and there is often a lot of rejection. Constantly searching for work...love...the next great event...fun experiences all feel like sales calls to me. The latter two have been much more attainable. Easy sales you might say. The big sales (the first two) have been alluding me. Based on what the psychic told me last week, both work and love will come quickly. I hope she's right. I'm tired of going door to door and having it slammed in my face.

Willie Loman was a terrible salesman and Arthur Miller alluded that his lack of success was due to his misperception of himself...in that he was good at what he did and his personal charisma and popularity would lead to his success. I'm hoping that my downfall won't be my optimism and belief that everything will turn out okay. Stupendous even.

Here's to getting off the road.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Channeling Dionne Warwick

This week, I called a highly recommended psychic. I liked what I heard. She foresaw the following:

1. I will be working in 4-6 weeks. I have two interviews scheduled and she told me they will go well. She explained that she sees me taking a different job. The interview has not been scheduled but the company will be close to home and not as fast paced as agency life.

2. I will meet the man I will marry in May. He'll have light hair (slightly wavy) and light eyes. He is a happy man, likely because he's always been lucky. He's not a game player. I'll meet him in connection to the new job. He'll either work in the building or with my company. I'll meet him in the parking lot.

3. I'll have a boy and a girl. They will not be twins. I stopped myself from asking if they'll be Irish twins. Considering I'm 36, I think that goes without saying.

4. The book will be a slow start sales wise. It will sell a bit at first but it will grow over time to be deemed a "success."

The common reaction has been, "And you believe this?" Yes, I do. I saw a psychic last year who basically told me #2 almost verbatim (sans parking lot) and that it would be spring 2011. Last year's psychic also told me about #3, exactly.

This psychic told me that she could see that I've been in a dark period, a time of transition. There is only light ahead. I'd be an idiot not to believe my new psychic friend.

And, I'll be looking back at this in 4-6 weeks to check!