Just saw this! I’ve done corporate event planning for years but now have my own company, Cole Event Group (CEG).
The business guy selling used tires off a bumpy freeway is a f****** genius. If you put the word Skinny in front of any dish it tastes horrible. Angry freeway drivers are even worse once they get home. The beauty salon is full of people divorcing or finalizing custody battles and their lawyers suck. They should make Tilex for a mildewed heart. Stale bread is evil. Melted Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups taste, like, CSI sketchy. Ice cream should drip off your chin in the summer. There’s not enough salt in the world to flavor a bad job. My left hook would knock you out. People that hate cilantro are probably racist.
March 8, 2012
International Women’s Day
An Open Letter to Anne Sweeney
CEO of ABC Television Network
Dear Ms. Sweeney,
B****. That doesn’t sound very appealing to the ear, does it? As a community we have raged against rappers using this same derogatory term for years. Funny how a network does it and suddenly it is harmless entertainment.
I imagine you knew it wasn’t harmless.
There are many people throughout the country that are livid over your use of the word b**** next to the word Christian. As a Christian, I completely disagree with them. The show itself isn’t ideal with its portrayal of racial stereotypes. I mean, Lupe the Maid, come on now. The issue really isn’t an attack on Christians. I watched GCB. It highlights the hypocrisy of us Christians.
And unfortunately, we tend to be hypocrites. We judge others while not judging ourselves. We claim to act in the name of God while disgracing that very name with our lust and greed.
I don’t think Jesus drove a Bentley.
Ms. Sweeney, you’re right about calling out our hypocrisy. That I applaud. Still, certainly you know it would be inciting terrorism if you made a show titled Good Muslim B****es. I can see you ducking and staying out of tall buildings just at the thought.
Call out our Christian hypocrisy. Simply remove the name b**** from your advertisements.
And this might be simple if it was one show but you are on a roll, Ms. Sweeney! Now the show Don’t Trust the B**** in Apartment 23 is coming out. I was driving home yesterday and saw your billboard. You might put dashes instead of the word but we’re clear.
You, my dear, sweet creators of Grey’s Anatomy are sending a mixed message. On one hand you celebrate women in strong roles. Then a moment later you destroy that effort when you degrade them. When you degrade us. When you degrade you.
B****. Would you want your young, easily influenced ABC Family viewers to grow up thinking that ABC is the American B*** Channel?
There will be many calls, there are already many calls, for you to cancel your shows. That’s an extreme reaction from some very offended people. Hell, I wanted to boycott all sponsors of your shows but that damn Philadelphia Chocolate Cream Cheese? Just. Looks. So. Good.
Rather, on International Women’s Day I ask:
1. Review your new show development culture of shock and awe.
2. Return to your portrayal of strong, intelligent women.
3. Swiftly remove all branding that plays on the word b****.
4. Oh, and, apologize.
Your female viewers love when you admit you’re wrong. And we’re quick to forgive. Very unb****y of us, huh?
You can tell me to start from the left but I’ll still start from the right. I’m 39 and that means many of the things I do I’ve ways done.
But the new art is this way! I’ll start with the old, thank you very much.
But we have an exhibit ending soon! Must not be for me to see.
But you haven’t been here in so long! And so I must start to the right and visit old friends before flirting with new.
You can tell me anything you want but I’ll still be 39.
I was at a Christmas school performance today, standing in the very back behind iPhones, cameras, video recorders, mothers waving and dads holding toddlers on their shoulders.
Toddlers can really block a view when they are up that high.
And, of course, I was watching the only person in the world at that performance that mattered to me. Her hair was mussed in that after recess sort of way and she had on her christmas school performance scarf. The boys blue, the girls pink. I like pink.
And then I noticed her. She was on the top left row of the choir bleachers and while the rest of the children were singing about Rudolph and his need to get a less shiny nose, this little girl was searching the crowd. I think she was looking for her mom. Or maybe her dad. Or perhaps her grandparents were coming the way my Mom and Pop used to and she knew they would be there just the way I knew mine would.
But you know when a child scans the crowd mid-performance and then finally finds their parent? That never happened. She continued song after song to not sing and rather search. Search for someone to have their eye on her.
She deserves that. Everyone child deserves that.
While the other kids performing were jumping she stood still. And when they switched to another language the only language coming out of this little girl’s heart was a cry. “Do you see me because I don’t see you?” She continued to search.
Isn’t it like that with God? We scan and scan the crowd hoping He’s somewhere out there, hoping He showed up even though everywhere we look, He doesn’t appear to be. Hoping in the midst of our trial that He hasn’t gone ‘on holiday’. And all the while, He’s standing in the very back, smiling and trying to catch your attention.
“I see you. You don’t see me, Little One, but I see you. I have you locked right in my gaze. See? That’s me waving. I see you.”
He says that to us, you know? Maybe not in that language but He says that to you. Stay on the bleachers, pick back up with the song, jump and shout about Rudolph and rest from scanning the crowd.
Because He sees you.
I dream more often than most and love that things unsettled in my awake brain find a way to sort out in the midst of sleep. This one was odd though. Telling though. I was on a tour bus full of people not really on a trip but sort of gathered. And represented was every country. The bus came to a stop and as everyone rose to politely get off, two Americans pushed their way to the front. How did I know they were American mid-dream? They had on red, white and blue and lacked the coolness of the French and the horrid teeth of a Brit. Stunned people in the back, including me, began to ask, “Why are you pushing to the front when we all need to get off?”
The two Americans turned back, incredulous, “But we’re American.”
It’s unfortunately true. We have an entitlement soaked in the assumption the world revolves around us. Even today, as Abbas spoke at The UN asking for acknowledgement of Palestinian Statehood my initial thought was about my safety, as an American. Would war be declared on Israel, our ally in the Middle East? Would my safety be in danger? “But We’re American.”
It’s arrogant and foul and for such a new, nearly infant country we have balls the size of China to push our way to the front of a bus line or a negotiation or shower the world with our aid dollars every time there is a natural disaster. We don’t have the money to save you but our arrogance says we must live outside our budget and be the red, white and blue hero.
Our arrogance and greed caused a global financial meltdown that rests on shaky legs. Our arrogance spends money we don’t have for causes that are not our own and ignores the homeless and the poor and the unfed just under our American feet. Our arrogance wants applause and cheers as we roll, tank first, into countries across the globe when our deepest concern is not people but the protection of oil. Our arrogance ignores the Mexican being tortured, gutted and dumped down the street because he does not provide an economic value to my American life, or so my American brain thinks.
We are a passionate country. A brave won. A sometimes quick to react and not think through ten years later type of country. We respond with force when our resources are in danger. We respond with silence when torture happens with our NAFTA partner just steps away.
It’s arrogant. It’s globally immature.
Brought to you by the bed at Hyatt Regency plus four pillows, maybe five.
It was Friday night and Friday day wore me out. No, it was more than Friday day. It was the week before, a big event week. It was not taking a day off after a big event week. It was executive meetings and 1:1’s and ‘make sure everything is set and ready to go’ type things.
I was tired.
And I got to Friday night and felt as if I was driving in circles. I mean, I did go in a circle but I’m sort of talking about the mental ones. The emotional ones. The ones that you don’t want anyone to see. I sat in the car, near tears but not quiet there and dialed Hyatt’s reservation line. I keep them in my contacts for just these occasions.
“Do you have a room? A really quiet room I could check into, like, ummm..now?”
Room 419 (Don’t bother stopping by. I checked out.) was perfect. And the bed looked amazing and the pillows were plentiful and not only plentiful but gushy. You know, the type that fold up under your head and then around your body and the more you stack them around you the safer you start to feel?
I ordered room service, “Please just send up a plate of fries with ketchup as quickly as you can.” We’re not looking for gourmet here, folks. This is comfort and rest and things verging on Southern.
I ate the fries. I put on the television shaking my head at all the imagery so foreign to me since I don’t have television at home and the rowdiest thing crossing my brain is usually The Godfather II. I tucked myself into the bed and under the covers and pushed all those pillows back around me.
And fell asleep.
And when the morning came, it suddenly dawned (though it was 11am) on me that all I needed was a really good rest. I write about things like that in Pre Middle Age: Forty Lessons in Growing the Hell Up. There’s a whole chapter on naps and another one on blankets. I get it. Sometimes I forget though.
I’ve been feeling rather overwhelmed with giving lately and not receiving. It feels unbalanced. Thinking back to my mom who first placed in giving, I sat up in bed and realized she did that well but she didn’t take care of herself. That’s where things were off. Was everyone else cared for? Sure. But did she ever sneak off to a hotel in the middle of nowhere to sleep with a bunch of pillows tucked all around her? Never.
I, we, you need rest. And sometimes we can catch the need before it becomes a need when it’s simply an almost need. Other times, the brain is so far gone in busyness and to do’s and to don’ts that you can’t even think through to what you need. And that is the time when you make a call to a lovely hotel or a super five star one or even put the “closed for business” sign on your bedroom door for 24 solid hours and rest.
You will not succeed at saving the world one scraped knee, one hospital visit, one packed lunch, one ‘pick up the dry cleaning cause I forgot to’ at a time if all you do is give and not get.
Much love to you as you give and occasionally, just occasionally….receive.
Brought to you by Pete at Pep Boys for making my car the absolute last one off the lift tonight.
For sale! One 39 year old with a splinter. Not only a splinter but a week long one and not just a week long one but one that crunches that crunchy glass sound every time I step down. I can hear it in my teeth.
That sort of splinter. And no, the splinter isn’t 39 years old but I am. Did you know when you’re 39 you are the Splinter Taker Outer not the Get Splinter Taken Out Person? *DeepTweezeredSigh*
Sitting at home tonight working out a splinter that kept working in I cried, “Jesus! I’m the person. I’m not the kid and I need your help even with this. Where are you cause it won’t come out?!”
I get it. I get this age. This adult age that says you are the one that cares for people not necessarily the one cared for. Damn, babies and old people have it made.
I had, not one, but two flat tires tonight after a lovely dinner. It didn’t bother me too much. I made it to the gas station before they completely gave up the ghost, put enough air in to make it to Pep Boys. Everything was okay. But then I sat in the waiting room with three other women. Around my age women. Women that work their asses off to spend the evening getting tires repaired. Women that needed new batteries because they probably ran into work early in the morning leaving the lights on. I left the waiting room, drenched in the smell of grease and new timing belts, and walked outside to the garage, “Please! Could you JUST put the tires back on my car? Just two? Not four.”
I paced and paced and was entirely unreasonable and stayed far enough away to not make the mechanic think I was checking his work but close enough so he knew not to make me the last customer.
I was the last customer out. I deserved it.
I get it. I get flat tires. I get splinters. I know bigger things happen and just around the corner could be absolute ectasy or tradegy. For now, for just this one little moment….
I don’t want to be at Pep Boys. And I don’t want to be the Splinter Taker Outer.
Somebody hand me a needle and a match,
Brought to you by the voice screaming in my head Sunday night.
It happened. I think I almost officially went to Crazy Land. I’m not knocking it. I think most creatives dip their toe in that pool once in awhile. If the water isn’t cold and I ease in, I’m good for a visit.
It didn’t happen that way last night. I was driving back to set up for another event. A fun event. An event that was relaxing and calming and should have been a breeze to organize. All of a sudden, driving over the hill I heard a scream inside my head. It’s simply been too much of late. Too much media. Too much time checking Huffington Post, Facebook, CNN, Twitter and more. Too much time trying to find ‘pretty’ sites to visit about things like fashion and design to rest my brain rather than going offline and, uh, resting.
My brain is hyper-active. I long for the days when it was sluggish. *DeepOld-FashionedBlackAndWhiteTelevisionSigh*
So, for now, I’m making some small changes. Mini changes. Changes of the small and not the big kind:
1. I started buying books again. I’m not talking about digital versions but real live paper books that get soaked and swollen in the bathtub. Those kind. I’m reading one book a week, focusing on memoir for now since that’s where my passion rests.
2. I’ve restructured my time. No more watching Netflix as a means of falling safely to sleep. Old episodes of The City can really screw a girl up.
3. I removed all interactive apps from my phone. Well, except for the pizza delivery one. I mean, let’s not get out of control here. FB and Twitter and Netflix are no more.
Might that change tomorrow? It could. I’m a woman and therefore inherently fickle. For now, for today life is just a bit quieter.
Have to go. Going to walk outside and star watch. And I don’t mean the magazine kind.
Much love to you as you rest and quiet the loud places,