Tuesday, April 16, 2013

...on boston

i have been sitting infront of my computer with this "write a new blog post" window up for a while. i can't stop thinking that we are living in the weirdest of times.

back in 2011, i attended the nyc marathon to watch friends run by as they see their dreams of defeating the 26 mile run come true. i hung out around mile 18 - 20, right before the runners go into central park, knowing they are so close. although many people look tired and worn out, you can tell they are excited to reach the end, throw on their comfy shoes and walk out of the park with their medals around their necks. what also amazes me are the people who encourage the runners. some people spend all day outside, in any kind of weather (in 2011, it was cold), and yell. people come and go as they wait to see their loved ones run by or others spend the whole day yelling and encouraging people they don't know. but everyone takes the time to yell and clap. if they see the name of the person on their bib then they call them out by name. sometimes they just hand out random high-5's. sometimes they just clap and smile. sometimes they even hold up funny posters (one guy had a sign that said, "a beer is near!"). these people who stand and watch, who encourage strangers and friends, amaze me.

what should have been a great moment of joy for people in boston was violated yesterday. and i just can't understand it all. grumpy cat said it best, 

but then i think,
because i really don't want to hate this world. i want to remember everything that i love that's in it, all of the people, the places, the things that we experience. as all of these things happen around us, i just don't want to forget that there really is good in the world and there are things to love about it, even in dark times. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

...on death

last friday, which also happened to be good friday, a friend of mine passed away. as someone who has lost her own father and both grandfathers, death is shocking but losing a friend is shocking. not that his death was a total surprise - he had been sick for 2 years and we all knew what the outcome would be. but to lose someone who was only one year older than you, someone who was so full of life and had so much more life to live is shocking.

the eulogy, which was delivered by his best friend (and friend of mine), was truly honest, personal and emotional. i'm pretty sure there wasn't a single dry eye in the house. but, i was personally struck by the final part of his speech when he talked about what he regretted most. what i thought my friend would say was that he regretted not telling our friend how much he loved him. i was wrong. what followed was an amazing reminder. my friend went on to say that what he regretted was not saying thank you.

since my father's passing, i vowed that i would make sure that the people i love know that i love them. although that seemed like enough, i don't think it is. saying thank you to our friends (and family) for their years of friendship, for the things we have learned from them, for the support and guidance, is much more specific than i love you. and we often forget to say these things to the people that we surround ourselves with because we're way too busy working, paying bills, drinking, chasing our dreams, etc. and probably more because we take for granted that certain people are in our lives in the first place.  

i have surrounded myself with some of the most amazing people in this world. they are some of the most selfless, ambitious, smart, innovative, supportive, thoughtful people. i like to think that they are like that because i am like that, but really it's because i hope to be more like that every single day. they are truly inspiring people. and that's what i am most thankful for when it comes to their friendship.

one final thank you:
to paulo, who lived his life everyday to the fullest. i am so thankful to have known someone as crazy and funny as you, and that i was able to call you a friend.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

repost - how to live forever and other lessons

i originally saw this when my sis forwarded mac's repost of it over on her blog. i'm also reposting because it's always great to share.

Here are some of the lessons I have learned in my first 80 years. I hope to continue to practice them in the next 80.
1. Concentrate on finding a big idea that will make an impact on the people you want to influence. The Ten Surprises which I started doing in 1986 has been a defining product. People all over the world are aware of it and identify me with it. What they seem to like about it is that I put myself at risk by going on record with these events which I believe are probable and hold myself accountable at year-end. If you want to be successful and live a long, stimulating life, keep yourself at risk intellectually all the time.

2. Network intensely. Luck plays a big role in life and there is no better way to increase your luck than by knowing as many people as possible. Nurture your network by sending articles, books and emails to people to show you're thinking about them. Write op-eds and thought pieces for major publications. Organize discussion groups to bring your thoughtful friends together.

3. Get enough sleep. Seven hours will do until you're sixty, eight from sixty to seventy, nine thereafter which might include eight hours at night and a one hour afternoon nap.
4. Evolve. Try to think of your life in phases so you can avoid a burn-out. Do the numbers crunching in the early phase of your career. Try developing concepts later on. Stay at risk throughout the process.
5. Travel extensively. Try to get everywhere before you wear out. Attempt to meet local interesting people where you travel and keep in contact with them throughout your life. See them when you return to a place.
6. When meeting someone new, try to find out what formative experience occurred in their lives before they were seventeen. It is my belief that some important event in everyone's youth has an influence on everything that occurs afterwards.
7. On philanthropy my approach is to try to relieve pain rather than spread joy. Music, theatre and art museums have many affluent supporters, give the best parties and it can add to your social luster in a community. They don't need you. Social service, hospitals and educational institutions can make the world a better place and help the disadvantaged make their way toward the American dream.
8. Younger people are naturally insecure and tend to overplay their accomplishments. Most people don't become comfortable with who they are until they're in their 40's. By that time they can underplay their achievements and become a nicer more likeable person. Try to get to that point as soon as you can.
9. Take the time to pat those who work for you on the back when they do good work. Most people are so focused on the next challenge that they fail to thank the people who support them. It is important to do this. It motivates and inspires people and encourages them to perform at a higher level.
10. When someone extends a kindness to you write them a hand-written note, not an e-mail. Handwritten notes make an impact and are not quickly forgotten.
11. At the beginning of every year think of ways you can do your job better than you have ever done it before. Write it down and look at what you have set out for yourself when the year is over.
12. Never retire. If you work forever, you can live forever. I know there is an abundance of biological evidence against this, but I'm going with this theory anyway.

Thursday, January 31, 2013


this is my woosah face.

the first week of my 2nd (and last) semester is done for me and i am already looking at my schedule and thinking, "what the hell was i thinking?!?" last semester was a great success and i was able to juggle all 4 of my classes, but this semester i decided to take 2 modules (half semester classes), 2 full semester classes and an independent study. because...well, when graduate school is only for a year and every class sounds amazing and you want to work with many different professors, you make it work. 

some pluses about my classes:
the readings are all amazing. so what if i have to read entire books and articles every single week? they are definitely interesting.
i'm in a writing workshop class where i get to write personal essays. this has me thinking i want to write a whole book of personal essays.
my professors are all amazing. i feel like i am in the presence of superstars and i'm hoping their awesomeness rubs off on me.
my friends are in my classes! and they are the smartest people i know here so you can only imagine how amazing my study groups are.
i only have class on tuesdays and wednesdays. but that doesn't mean i slack off the rest of the week. looking for a job after this place, meetings, reading and writing takes over. it's intense.


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

pep talk

if you haven't seen this video yet, then you're missing out:

since the day someone posted it on my fb wall, i have watched it every...single...morning...it's a great reminder of what we are all here to do - "create something that makes the world awesome.

there are so many quotables in this one little clip. i just can't get over it.


Tuesday, January 29, 2013


"...not only have i always had trouble distinguishing between what happened and what merely might have happened, but i remain unconvinced that the distinction, for my purposes, matters." 

- joan didion

preach on, sista.