Wednesday, February 28

Your reality check just bounced

I'm not sure if I've mentioned my intern interviews before but they were awful. The USC students were the worst. I don't care if you're a big USC fan, I'm here to tell you those kids are the most self obsessed, entitled fools I've ever met. They literally walked in asking if they would be negotiating contracts. Did I mention I work for a fortune 500 company? Were they kidding? They walked in with an attitude that said "I got a degree. I've paid my dues. Give me my job." It was bizarre. During the interviews I saw lots of ridiculous behaviour. One kid slouched so far down in his seat I thought he'd slide to the floor. A young woman realized I was low man on the totem pole and ignored me throughout the interview and spoke only to my Director. This was a HUGE mistake. It annoyed my Director much more than me. Another kid claimed to have single handedly resolved the whole "race issue" on campus. Really? That's fascinating. Maybe we should just drop you off in South Central and see what you can do about the whole "gang issue". Better yet, here's a ticket to Iraq. Let us know how it works out for you.

I bring all of this up because yesterday the LA Times ran an article about Generation Y. Apparently there is such a thing as too much self esteem.

I've met a few representatives from Gen Y and, as you can probably guess, they bug the hell out of me. I'm pretty sure they are the idiots text messaging throughout the movie I'm trying to watch. Do they think that beacon of light coming from their phone is invisible? They've also decided talking on the phone is acceptable behavior in a theater. Someone needs to tell them we aren't impressed with their over active thumbs and that the world is not their mother's living room.

I recently watched a table of teens fiddle with their phones while they ate and barely acknowledged one other. What's the point of going to lunch if you're just going to ignore one another?

Guess I"m getting old. I just don't get it.

Tuesday, February 27

Something I didin't want to hear

Friend: Oh my God! You were the first person I thought of when I heard Anna Nicole Smith died!!
Lucy: What? Why me?!
Friend: Because I'll never forget what you said to me once...
Lucy: Oh no. What did I say?
Friend: I once told you I couldn't stop watching Anna Nicole's show and you said "Well, of course not. It's like watching a scheduled car wreck every week." I never forgot that! It still makes me laugh.

Oh dear. I think the most terrifying words I hear, as I get older, are "You said... "

And speaking of a scheduled car wreck, have you heard about this show? Why on earth would some fool agree to humiliate themselves in front of millions? I just heard a teaser and some idiot didn't know what 2 x 5 was. Good Lord! I guess those Who Wants to Be a Millionaire questions were just too hard.


, the first question was a trick question! It was "In what month do we observe Columbus Day?" We DON'T observe Columbus Day anymore! I haven't that day off in years! No fair! Only elementary school kids get that dumb day off. Recount!!!

Monday, February 26

... and the angels sang

Umm, are you aware of this delightful site? Wait, it gets better. I sent this to a client who has recently did an exceptional job. They were SO excited.

Next time you want to celebrate something from afar, give these guys a try. If you're in So Cal you can send the milk on ice.


Thursday, February 22

Friends don't let friends...

So, we all know not to drink and drive. Well, about the only time I have a cocktail (or two or three) is while in the Big Apple. Tonight a friend introduced me to the Madras. Are you familiar with this lovely drink? It's orange juice, cranberry juice and vodka. I had three big ones tonight. I'm thinking it's probably not a good idea to drink and blog but, here we go...

First of all, I really wanted to take some pictures for this blog but was too dang embarrassed. I normally don't care, but there is something about whipping out a camera on a New York street that I just can't handle. Well, more precisely, I can't do it while I'm here for work. I gotta get over it.

I had to get up early for the big meeting we're all here for and was up late last night so I was pretty beat after the meeting. I had a lunch meeting that turned into a three hour marathon deal but it was good. I think I answered a lot of questions so it was worth it. I had a few hours in the afternoon before our "team dinner" so I shopped a bit then trekked back to the hotel. I still had a couple of hours before dinner so I got to relax with a shower, answered some emails and made a few calls. I found out a very big "thing" I've been working on came through so I felt like celebrating. Yea me (and the sales guy I've been haunting about this deal)!

When I say "team dinner" I'm talking about a pretty good sized group considering we all had to fly from LA to get here. There are about 25 of us in this hotel so we all met in the lobby and piled into cabs. Dinner was very good. It was a prix fixe menu so I was, at first, concerned but then realized it was nice to only have to worry about ordering cocktails. Everything else was brought to us. I'm feeling pretty lucky right about now. I work with some very talented and fun people. Going on these big trips can be a lot of work (especially for those pulling it all together) but it's also a great way to get to know my co-workers. There were many toasts tonight and I hope everyone felt appreciated. We had a lot of fun this evening and I'm looking forward to travelling with this circus again soon. Today I love my job.

Wednesday, February 21


I had a great time flying solo today. I scheduled six appointments, scheduled them along a "route" and got to focus on my business. We usually travel in packs and never have time to get to everybody's biz. We also tend to run late which makes me crazy. Flying solo is the only way to go. I even had time to stop by the hotel before heading out for dinner... which was freakin' amazing!

We went to a place called Bond 45 and had some incredible vegetable antipasto and a mozzarella bar misto (translation: caramelized veggies and a giant variety platter or mozzarella cheese. What a great idea!!!) We also ordered pasta dishes but were so enthusiastic about the veggies and cheese that we didn't have room for much else. I'm happy to report that I've yet to have a bad meal in New York.

After dinner we headed over to see Spring Awakening. Holy cow, is it a great show. I think it showcased the BEST singing I've ever heard in a show and I've experienced some mighty fine performances. It's a funky show with great music and an exceptional cast. The show is full of unusual voices which I loved. It was so good to see such a unique show. I'm not doing it justice, you just have to find a way to see it when it tours the country. It's been compared to Rent because it has contemporary rock score but I liked it even more than Rent. It's simply one of the best shows I've ever seen. I'm so glad I got to see the original cast. (Sidebar: NO WAY! The cast is on Letterman as I write this. SO COOL!!! They must have had to run down the street to get to the theater for curtain time!)

When I was first invited to see Spring Awakening, I looked it up online and decided it didn't look like anything I'd be dying to see. The second I declined, it was all I heard about. Even Rosie O'Donnell was raving about it on The View. There was no escape! After rethinking the invite my friend and I decided to go. I'm so glad we did! It's provocative but in a humorous and compelling way. I don't think Ms. O'Donnell is doing middle America any favors by recommending it though. I'm sure there are folks going on her recommendation and fainting dead away within 20 minutes of the opening number.

And speaking of Rosie, I saw her tonight. I was walking into the theater and an usher's arm swung down behind my friend preventing me from moving forward. Just as I was about the tell him off, I realized he was trying to make room for Rosie. I was still annoyed and turning towards my friend behind me (about to mouth off) when I noticed Rosie with with some guy I used to work with. I said "Hey, we used to work together!" He nodded and RAN in. Whatever.

Favorite line I heard in Times Square tonight: (Completely exasperated) "It's the Winter Garden not the Olive Garden!!! Jeez!"

Monday, February 19

I'll be in touch

I met a couple of friends at The Grove today for a late lunch/early dinner. Stef was in from Minneapolis and wanted to eat and walk around while Tony is always up for a Grove visit. Although I generally like the place, I dislike the crowds. I'm old and curmudgeony and people bug me. I assume Stef wanted to meet there because she doesn't get weather in the 70's these days. It was a hassle to get there due to street closures for the Academy Awards but I must admit it was beautiful "over the hill". It rained quiet a bit during the night and it was cloudy at the house when I left. I thought it might rain but the skies just got more and more clear as I made my way to West Hollywood. I meant to take pictures but forgot my camera. Oh well!

Tomorrow I catch a flight to NYC. It's supposed to be cloudy and cold there but I've booked a pretty busy couple of days so the week should fly by. I don't really mind the cold weather so much, it's the 85 degree thermostat settings in the buildings that make me crazy. You run from one building to another and get your cheeks pretty freezing then duck indoors and have to strip off all of your clothing.

I'd like to post photos while I'm away but I'm not sure if my camera is compatible with my work laptop. I'd bring my home laptop but if anything happened to it I'd have a fit. If something happened to my work laptop I'd be sad to lose info but it wouldn't cost me otherwise. I'll have to suffer the work laptop during the week. I'll try to keep my tiny readership up to date.

The big news is that my company has put us in a new hotel this time around. We used to enjoy The Regency but prices must have gone up, or something, because it's no longer on our list of hotels. It's a drag because they have a great little bar downstairs called The Library where we always used to meet. It was my favorite part of staying at The Regency because it wasn't a pick-up sort of bar. It was mostly business folk and older people so it never felt yucky sit alone to wait for friends. They also have a great breakfast so I liked to have "meetings" there. I heard once that it was where the term "power breakfast" was first applied. The fun bonus was that I could always count on seeing someone interesting there. Everyone from Larry King to Al Sharpton and Hilary Clinton to famous writers I could never quite place. I'll miss The Regency because it was beginning to feel like a home away from home. The service is outstanding and I doubt I'll find that kind of treatment again any time soon. Someone wanted to stay at The W this time but I whined "No! It's too pointy there." She knew exactly what I was talking about. I'll let you know how the new place is.

Oh, and American Experience is airing an episode tonight called New York Underground. It's all about the NY Subway system and how it changed the city. It looks good. You might want to Tivo it for future airings.

Sunday, February 18

"No, for I must away."

I saw The Last King of Scotland this evening with Shandon and Norman and I'm glad I did. It's better than I'd expected and I'm sure Mr. Whitaker will win an Oscar for his remarkable performance. I was reluctant to see it because I fully expected to see some nasty stuff and I did. I guess I tend to avoid films that can be, at times, described as "grisly".

In an effort to recover, I plan to finish reading Year of Wonders and watch one period film or another. I watched Mansfield Park this morning and liked it. Rome is on right now. I've heard good things about it but tried the first episode and just couldn't get into it. I did just hear someone say with exasperation "I was at an orgy, mother." A funny line to overhear but not enough to interest me apparently.

I'm notoriously disloyal when it comes to any television series. I can love something for several seasons then just drift off without a care as to how things turn out. About the only television I'm loyal to are BBC period films. That being said, I tried Middlemarch but couldn't get into that one either. It must have been a bad day. I'll probably give it another go. I keep reading such great things about it... I must have missed something. Of course, I only gave it about 45 minutes and that's probably not fair. I did just learn that a new series called Robin Hood begins March 3rd on BBC America. It looks promising.

As for tonight... when in doubt, go back to Pemberley.


I heart Doonesbury!

I sincerely hope you can read this, if not, click here.

Thursday, February 15

Smarty Pants

I had a good day at work, I got lots done and learned a thing or two. We have Quarterly update meetings hosted by the head of our division. Usually there are screens and Powerpoint presentations and graphs and lots of numbers. Today our fearless leader decided to do his presentation semi-unplugged. He sat on a stool in front of a black velvet curtain and just talked to us. It was great! He really seemed to want us to ask questions so he made a few out-there statements and the Q&A portion began. This man is very smart and we were all impressed with the depth of his knowledge of each of our businesses. I don't know how he knows all that stuff but I'm glad he does. Many of my friends were drooling over his smarts. I prefer the head of our company, now he's dreamy. I've often said "I love a man who can grow my 401k"... but I digress.

After the presentation, a friend commented that it's really sad that the head of our division is so obviously more intelligent than our Commander in Chief. Sad but true!

While driving to Shandon's house, this evening, I realized I was whistling We're in the Money. I guess the Quarterly went well.

Tuesday, February 13

Life is hard but Mom is cool

Well, tragedy has struck. Little Man had his wallet stolen. He was carrying a $40 Toys r Us gift certificate and the $60 he won (aka "his ill-gotten gains", according to mom) in the wallet when it disappeared.

He was at a pizza place playing a video game when the crime took place. He set his wallet on the game (he's seven, there is no other explanation) and a moment later it was gone. "Why was he carrying his wallet?" you may ask, again, he's seven. Nobody knew he had his Gamecube money on him. He came back to the table and my brother said he looked stricken. When asked what was wrong, he just said "It was just there. I don't know what happened. I can't find it anywhere!" His mom knew exactly what had happened when he burst into tears. Poor little guy! My brother said he was almost certain who had taken it. Some kid had been looking shifty and hanging around the video game. He said he SO wanted to grab the punk by the collar and shake the wallet out of him but he hadn't actually seen the alleged theft, so he didn't feel he could do much. He thought about approaching the parents, but again, it' hard to point fingers on a hunch. Because, Little Man is forever losing things, my bro figured this would have to be a harsh lesson the kid would just have to learn the hard way. Ouch!

Sunday night, right before dinner, the following prayer was said:

Kids & Family: God is great. God is good. Let us thank Him for our food. Amen.
Mom: ...and we hope you get the kid that stole Little Man's wallet!

I love my mom.

Monday, February 12

Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink

I went to Big Bear over the weekend and had a grand time with a few friends. We did a lot of scrapbooking and watched too many movies. The cabin we stayed at has, like many cabins I suspect, a rather eclectic assortment of cast off VHS films to choose from. I'm mortified to report that at one point I found myself completely caught up in Top Gun. (It's almost as bad as the recent Nora Roberts embarrassment!)

When we arrived at the cabin the first order of business was to turn the water line back on and run around turning off all of the running faucets (It's a whole "winterizing" thing that I didn't understand until later). After turning off the upstairs bathroom faucets, I turned and noticed the toilet bowl was completely empty. I thought it odd so I flushed it thinking it needed some water. (As if it were a houseplant or something. What a moron!) I immediately saw water pooling around the base and that ain't good. Next thing I knew my friend was racing upstairs shouting "turn off the water"!! Turns out all of the water from the tank came pouring out into the living room through a mounted wall speaker. I'm just glad it was clean water and leave it at that.

We got a plumber out quickly and he informed us he'd received about 2,000 similar calls in recent weeks. Big Bear, apparently, saw three nights of -13 degree weather that burst God knows how many pipes. It's a miracle we even got a plumber to come out. He got our cold water running and promised to return the following morning. He also discovered the enormous crack running down the side of the toilet, a detail I'd not noticed. Who knew porcelain could freeze and crack like that? I'm from Southern California for goodness sake!

While we waited for the plumber we all decided that, while could go probably go without showers for a couple of days, doing without restroom privileges was unacceptable. The plumber cleared up this problem by explaining that if one must turn off the water the potty is still functional, you simply fill the bowl with water yourself. Who knew? We had some snow melting in a pot for just such an occasion when the plumber arrived.

We didn't have to use the snow... thank God!

I did attempt to wash some dishes in cold water but, I swear, my fingers were numb in a matter of 10 seconds. I'm talking seriously COLD water! We decided to rinse and soak the dishes and just wait for the hot water.

Oh, and try washing your face in ice cold water some time. It's not fun, trust me.

We were back in hot water by 10:00 am the next morning when the plumber returned. Happy Days! The ladies and I can be pretty tough but we drawn the line at no hot water. It's just not negotiable. Now you know.

Thursday, February 8

No trouble saying "Back off"

I took a management class at work this week. Three whole days of how-to-be-a-great-manager. It was actually a lot more fun than it sounds and was even enlightening.

First, they gave us a quiz to identify our communication style. There are four types: Analytical, Driver, Amiable and Expressive (all pretty self explanatory). I'm an expressive... big surprise! Some folks were shocked by their types. There was a woman how happened to be the Executive Producer of a local newscast. She was a Driver and was surprised to hear it. The second I heard her title I figured she had to be a driver. How could you do that job and not be a Driver? There were a few people from the local news (we heard about the Anna Nicole Smith news before it broke) and I learned all sorts of stuff about how a newscast comes together. Cool!

There were 16 of us in the class, half were Expressives, others were Analyticals and Drivers. There was one Amiable and she clearly resented the Expressives. Wimp! (I kid!) Fortunately, we had a dynamic group of people. I collected a few cards and will be staying in touch with those folks (Thom would be so proud).

I swear the whole world should take this test so we would all know how to communicate with one another. I can't wait to test my family!

I picked up messages during breaks and was completely annoyed by a Driver who is getting on my last nerve. He's a young MBA straight out of school and is demanding way too much of my time lately. I give approval for product and he calls me a few times a week to argue about my comments. He's somehow under the impression that I enjoy debating what's best for my brand with him. Here is my question: If you needed someones approval at work, would you be constantly antagonizing them? Here's the kicker: some of his co-workers are coming to So Cal and he asked if I would take a day off to be a tour guide. They want to see the sights. Awww, well isn't that cute? Ya know, there really is no nice way to say "Put down the crack pipe, dude." There is not so nice way to call his boss (a woman I've worked with for over five years) and tell her to call the pit-bull off. Did I mention I'm an Expressive?

Monday, February 5

Confession time

I feel so dirty, I read a Nora Roberts book and I liked it. Now, to my credit I'd just finished a book called Sold about a 13-year-old girl sold into prostitution in India. A friend at work insisted I read it and could do so in an evening. One look at that cover and I thought "Oooh no. Noooo way!" But my friend was right, it sucked me right in and was a pretty good read. A nightmare, but a good read.

After being traumatized by Sold I needed a light diversion. In a moment of weakness I picked up the Roberts book from a pile of mom's castoffs and had it pretty well wrapped up in a couple of evenings. To make matters worse, Shandon informed me that Ms. Roberts' books are housed in the "Romance" section of her bookstore. What?! Oh the shame. Even that dreadful news didn't keep me from purchasing the next two books that follow the one I read. Yes, it was the first in trilogy. Dammit! I may need an intervention. The books are scheduled to arrive via UPS just in time for my long weekend in Big Bear. (Sorry Shandon. I tried to buy them at your fabulous place of business but the books I needed weren't there and it was embarrassing enough to stand in the ***ROMANCE*** section. I felt 40 for the first time and it wasn't pretty. Now I know how those guys must feel when they go behind a curtain to buy porn. Amazon won this one only because they promised to ship me the hardcover Jane Eyre I wanted as well as a DVD of Persuasion.)

In an effort to get back on track, I've just started one of Shandon's recommendations called Year of Wonders. So far I like it, but sheesh... more trauma. The main character's life pretty much sucks in the first place but the plague is running rampant through her village and I fear her children are goners. Now, I'm always up for a good literary wave of black death but I sure hope things pick up for our poor heroine.

Here's a picture of whats to come on my nightstand. Yes, I realize it's a ridiculous stack. Please note the offending Nora Roberts on top. The stack is just as it's naturally evolved.

Let's see, there's travel, mourning, classics, death, politics, history, cooking and (apparently) romance. No wonder I'm exhausted at the end of the day.

By the way, I started that Darcy takes a Wife and was promptly mortified. I'm apparently a prude a purist and no real romance fan. I kept "clutching the pearls" (as my father would say) and gasping "Elizabeth would NEVER think that!" or "Darcy would NEVER do that!" I've been resistant to try any of the gazillion "sequels" to my beloved Pride and Prejudice but because I don't consider myself one of those freaky Janeites who can't deal with the slightest departure from an Austen word I figured I'd give it a try. Thank God I picked it up with a gift certificate. Once I'm over the shock I'll give it another go. If I still can't take it, I'll have to drop it in the public library donations bin.

Sunday, February 4


Good news: I won $50 in the backyard Superbowl pool!
Bad news: My nephew won $60 in the backyard Superbowl pool.

We now realize it's probably not a good idea to introduce a kid to gambling at the tender age of 7. It started out so innocently, Dad bought a $5 square for him then Little Man won the final score booty. The kid was so nervous in the last few minutes of the game that he had to watch it alone in a another room. Dad watched him pace and count down the clock then leap into his arms. He's now got enough to buy the Gamecube he's been eyeing. My brother has so far refused to buy him a video game because he didn't want a glassy eyed kid fused to his tv all day. On the other hand, he believes if the kid saves he should be able to buy what he wants (provided it's not crack or porn). Looks like a brand new Gamecube is on it's way to my bro's house. Oops!

We should have known this might be a problem a couple of years ago. At a family Fourth of July party, we had a blackjack table set up so someone taught a bunch of kids how to play. My nephew was about 5 at the time and was the dealer. I wandered by and thought they were just pretending to play. I then heard my nephew say (I kid you not) "Dude, you should have doubled down on that." I sort of did a double take and looked at the one adult standing by. He looked at me, shrugged and said "He's right." Uh oh.

Sunday ramblings

I'm lucky to come from a very loving home. We pass each other in the hall and say "I love you". We also say "I love you... be careful." whenever one of us is leaving the house.

This morning, while making chocolate chip cookies for the Superbowl thingy at my brother's house (I used the much coveted See's Semi Sweet Chocolate chips and I've got three word for you: Oh my God) my mom grabbed her keys and headed out the door.

Lucy: See you later. Be careful!
Mom: (Sternly stops and turns towards me) Why, what do you know that I don't know?
Lucy: Very funny.
Mom: Hahahahaha!

Meanwhile, dad is LOVING this beautiful day. Before she left, Mom caught a glimpse of him standing on the porch, in a warm breeze, admiring the yard, and said "Daddy just luuuuuvs summer weather". I laughed and told him he reminded me of our beloved family dog who used to sit on the "cliff" of the yard, eyes closed, enjoying the wind as it blew back his fur. He loved to bask in the sun and daddy had the same look to him today. It's supposed to get into the mid- 80's. I'm not normally a fan of any temperature above 80 but after our recent cold snap it's a welcome change. The best thing about it heating up is dad's stock. Stock is my favorite flower in dad's garden. Double Bloom Stock, to be exact, produces what is probably my favorite scent in the world (orange blossoms being a close second... oh, and those chocolate chip cookies must be a third) and the scent grows stronger the warmer it gets. It reminds me of home and the arrival of Spring and baseball and all of that good stuff. Also, stock is just plain gorgeous.

On this glorious day, while dad and I are at my bro's house, mom will stay home for her "Poirot Jubilee". Among Superbowl counter programming options today, there is a "Poirot" marathon and mom couldn't be happier. She'll have hours of uninterrupted Poirot programming to enjoy while Pops and I go to the loudest house on earth. (I love my niece and nephew but hardwood floors and a 7 and 5-year-old make for a mighty noise.)

Enjoy your day and be careful. No, I' don't know something you don't know!