(not the teenage kind)

Friday, February 23, 2007

Resourcefulness And Weird Dreams

I got an email yesterday which had my dad's name in all caps as the subject. It was from a man in Tennessee who was not sure he had the right person but who had met my parents on a cruise and had just found out my dad had passed away. He wanted to know how to get in touch with my mother and wanted to offer his condolences. He said he had only known my dad for a few years but considered him a friend and would have liked to have spent more time with him.

The most intriguing thing about the email was the address to which it was sent. It was sent to my business but not even to my own business email but to the general "info" address. That address is only on my website and on my brochures. So either my dad was handing out my brochures on the cruise (which would only be possible if I had given him any which I did not) or the guy googled me. Although I can barely find myself via googling - a lot of people have my same name. Plus how did he know my name? I did write back and asked him how he found me. I hope he responds.

And how did he hear that my dad died? It could be he called my dad's phone number. My sister and I, because we are cuckoo, asked the people who rented my dad's place if they would keep his phone number. They were amenable but then said the phone company wouldn't let them. So we MADE my dad's assistant work her magic with the phone company and it was all good. We have known that number for 30 years and we could not bear the idea of letting another thing go. And we are cuckoo.

I am sure that receiving the email, the weird death scenes on Grey's Anatomy last night, and trying to figure out what to put on my dad's marker led to the strange dream I had last night. I won't go into all the weird detail but basically, in the dream, I went to find my dad's unmarked grave and there was a piece of cardboard that had his last name which I moved and my dad got up and he was alive. I believe we went shopping and he was on the cell phone calling people and telling them he was back. I pointed out to him that he was walking and didn't need his scooter. He said something very angry about all those wasted years on the scooter. Then we went back to his condo. The tenants didn't live there. It was mainly empty. We went into the room that used to be the office and somehow he got blood on the carpet and I thought about how his assistant was going to be upset because she had just got the carpet cleaned. Then he was watching TV with some headphones and he started to sound very angry about the sound quality.

Random things happened. I found a cigarette butt and got upset with him for smoking (I think this came in because I had been talking to someone about the people she worked with who took a cigarette break every hour. Whenever I see people smoking I think about how my dad quit when he was in his forties and still got lung cancer and emphysema and I want to say "I see an oxygen tank in your future.) At one point I was going to go into the living room to check the phone messages to see if any of the people he called had called back. He asked for a catheter. I could sense he was fading and I took his cold, cold hand and said "I miss you more than I ever thought possible." And then I woke up.

I knew right away I had a strange dream but it took me a moment to remember. It was really an unpleasant dream because he was not happy at all. He was very curt and angry. And then I got mad at myself because I had spent the whole time we were together worrying about logistics - how were we going to put back together everything we had taken apart? - and hadn't asked the important questions like "what do you want us to write on the marker?"

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

How I Blew My 15 Minutes Of Fame

Some of you might remember that last spring I started this blog about rude cell phone behavior. I did not receive overwhelming positive feedback about it, I was starting my business, my dad was sick so I let it go. No, those are just excuses. I gave up too soon. I also stopped checking the email account associated with that blog on a regular basis. For some reason this morning I thought to take a look. And there were several emails from a Wall Street Journal reporter sent in December and early January. She said that my blog would be perfect for an article she was writing.

I wrote her back immediately knowing it was too late. She wrote me back with a copy of the article which was on the front page of The Wall Street Journal. She was right. Rude cell phone would have fit right in - it was all about using blogs to complain about people's behaviors.

Lessons learned:

1. I give up too easily.
2. I should trust my instincts. (I knew it was a good idea!)
3. I need to check all my email accounts in the same obsessive manner with which I check my business email.

don dokken thought I was upset because I missed having my name published in the Wall Street Journal. That's not it at all. I missed out on having a hobby of writing a blog become maybe a tad more than a hobby.

I am going to resurrect rude cell phone. The WSJ reporter told me to please write if I have any other great ideas. She's always looking for them.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


"There was a death last week. There will be a death this week. At least one of those will stick." That's from Watch with Kristin on Yahoo and she is talking about "Grey's Anatomy." Stephanie and I got together at a new bar/restuarant in Toluca Lake (Lucy's 51, which I highly recommend. The women to the right of us were drinking bloody mary's and wine and planning a week of detox. The woman to the left of us must have had a stake in the place because she insisted on giving us a tour - it's only one not so big room - and emphasized how perfect the place is for production meetings.)

Stephanie and I spent a great deal of time thinking back to the table read and trying to remember who was not there (this taxed our memories greatly because that was like two weeks ago...) Stephanie had heard that two people definitely die and that two of the interns get together. Regarding the death, we came up with two names:

1. Meredith's mother
2. Alex

They were the only two who were not at the table read. Meredith's mother makes sense. As for Alex, wait, they are just making him interesting. And Stephanie pointed out that he's been married to an African American woman for thirteen years and they have five children (just to be clear, she was referring to the actor not the character) so he's a nice man who really needs the gig.

As for the Interns who get together, well if Alex is gone, that means it's George and someone else and I totally vote for Izzy. I told you I saw them smoking together!

These are the important matters that keep me up at night. (That and why hasn't the accountant finished the taxes, it's been a week dammit.) Discuss.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Wishes Do Come True

Many years ago I took a little girl I was babysitting to Disneyland. When we got to the Snow White fountain I gave her a penny and told her to make a wish. Many weeks later I was at her house when she started sobbing and carrying on and the reason for her upset was the unfairness of a world where you make a wish and it does not come true. She had wished for a certain pair of new shoes and every morning she would run to the closet and see if they were there and they were never there. I told her that wishes do come true but some times you have to wait a really, really long time. That little girl is now about thirty years old and the last I heard living in Santa Cruz. I have not talked to her in a really long time so I do not know if she ever got that pair of shoes but I sure hope so.

I have had many years of birthdays and on some birthdays I have had multiple pieces of cake with a candle and I do not believe that one wish I have made while blowing out a candle has ever come true. But last Saturday night on my birthday I was presented with a piece of cake and I guess my luck has changed.

I believe that the reason my wish came true is because it was extremely specific. In the past, my wishes have been very vague. I can't be specific (because, you know, maybe they are just taking a really, really long time to kick in) but say for example you wish to win $1,000,000 in the lottery. I think you must need to say specifically which lottery and when and what lottery is exactly $1,000,000 anyway?

My wish was kind of nerdy and simple. I wished that I would receive in the mail on Monday the 1099 form for my Dad's long term care insurance so that I could mail his taxes out to the accountant. And on Monday, there it finally was. Some might say that I wasted a wish but for me there is nothing better than crossing something so important off my list.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Words of Wisdom

I really have no experience being a recruiter. However, I have many clients who ask me to find people for them. And I have been quite successful. I had one client who hired the first person he interviewed, forcing me to cancel all the other people I had lined up. I am thinking of starting up another separate consulting business just for recruiting.

I have posted here before (sorry, can't link, blogger is being weird again today) about the crazy and wacky things people write on their resumes and cover letters. I think there should be a mandatory class for college seniors about what to write on a resume and what to say and not say on an interview.

I have no resumes to share from my latest search for a marketing person but here are two words of advice:

- Yeah, it's great to have a "story" about why you are leaving your current job. But it is important to listen before just parroting your story. Because when I go into a detailed description about the company and state several times that it is a small company and then ask you why you want to leave your current job, answering "It's a small company and I really want to work for a big company where there's room to grow," just isn't going to get you to the next phase in the interview process.

- Beware of google and the internet. I google all potential candidates. One woman, who looked ideal on paper, had written a review on amazon.com that referred to "insensitive employers" and gave away some personal information that made me decide to pass on her. So, people, how hard is it to use a fake name and location when posting things on the internet? In fact, if this woman had just used her first name, I would never have found her. A friend of mine told me she interviewed a guy who she was ready to hire. And then she googled him and found his My Space page on which he listed "recreational drug use" as one of his hobbies.

People scare me.

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Monday, February 05, 2007

McDreamy, McSteamy, And All The Other Mcs

Stephanie left this message on my voice mail last week:

"Monday. 12:30. You'll come to the lot for lunch. We'll position ourselves at a table right outside the commissary. Dress warmly. At 1:00 the cast of Grey's Anatomy will be there. They will ignore us."

Or maybe she said "they will walk right by us."

In any event, I cancelled a client meeting and went.

By 12:45 we were casually eating at our station directly opposite the one and only door into the commissary which was where they were having their table read. I was facing the door and Stephanie faced the direction from which they would be arriving so she could announce who was who since I can only recognize people if they look exactly the same as they do when I see them on TV.

Almost immediately she told me that McDreamy was heading our way. When he was directly in front of me someone to the right of me shouted out "Congratulations," he said "thanks," I thought, "I could have said congratulations" and then I looked to the right and realized that the congratulator was George who was sitting on a bench with Izzie. They were both smoking. Which was disappointing. Because, you know, they're doctors.

But who had time to ponder because next up was McSteamy who looks even better in person. In fact, they all looked better and smaller in person which makes me think they are putting way too much make-up on them or something. The one who looked the most better, by the way, was Callie who was amazingly fresh faced and gorgeous in person. But I think they do that on purpose. And I didn't recognize the Chief which Stephanie explained was because he had dyed and cut his hair.

I turned to Stephanie and said "Where's Christina?" and Christina rounded a corner.

A group of them walked into the commissary and McDreamy held the door open. Before he walked in, he opened the door wide, turned around and looked right at me and smiled. I, of course, quickly looked down because I am a dork. If I had waved, I know he would have waved back.

"There's Meredith," Stephanie said. "She's late." I think Ellen Pompeo must be just like her character because she looked all twisty and agitated and she was greeted at the commissary door by someone who said "You're late." But she was not the last to arrive. That was Burke. "Yay," Stephanie said. "He's back from rehab." He opened the door for a guy who may or may not have been gay.

"Why are some of them (McDreamy, George, Burke, Addison, McSteamy)wearing their scrubs for a table read?" I asked Stephanie.

Shrug. "Maybe that's just what they like to wear."

I saw all of them. Every single one of them. I even saw Meredith's father. I even saw Shonda Rhimes.

Stephanie and I went for a walk around the lot. She introduced me to her boss and told him how discreetly we had sat and watched the cast. "Are you going to take her and show her where the guy blew up last year? Everyone loves seeing that." I started jumping up and down. "Yeah, I want to see where Kyle Chandler turned into pink cloud." (Hmmm...I don't think I got that exactly right. Pink Cloud was actually the name of the guy who lived in the basement of my sister's dorm at UC Berkeley. Don't ask.)

We saw Joe's bar, we saw the locker room, we saw a bunch of creepy operating rooms, and finally the hallway where Kyle Chandler evaporated.

Stephanie said she'd let me know when they have their next table read in the commissary and next time I swear I will wave at McDreamy.

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