Thursday, February 20, 2014

Please don't fall

I know Jimmy Fallon doesn't need my help, but I expected someone would guide his landing this week.  I liked Leno but also am okay that the torch was passed...but I did think the new show would be different than his Late Night show.  That, given the audience might be a little different, so would the show.  Don't get me wrong, I've enjoyed tuning in - U2 at the top of the Rock was sweet and I like his style; no doubt I'll be somewhat faithful.   But after the first few inaugural Tonight Show episodes, I feel he has made the move in name only and that the NBC executives are making another hasty decision in not insisting on Fallon rev 2.

I like Jimmy.  I think he's talented, cute, funny.  His skits leave me in stitches.  But he needs to remember he is traveling on a different road now.  He's showing up in our lives an hour earlier - while I'm still wide awake and thinking critically.  I want more than goofy impressions.  I want more than silly youtube-type jokes.  I want political jokes, current event jokes, I want to use my brain while I laugh senselessly.

I don't work in television, but his workplace questions shouldn't be much different than ours:

1.  Why are we here? 

2.  What does my community, those we serve, need most?  

3.  What can we stop doing so that we can step up and do something better something that is more important?

4.  What matters most to us?  

Sunday, February 16, 2014

I'm Quiet, I'm Needed

Quiet:  The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking, by Susan Cain

My extroverted hubby gave me a book, and in his words, it celebrates me.

For probably forty years, I thought it was a bit of a character defect, that I (usually) prefer working alone to working with others.  That I prefer listening to talking (unless it's about my children so don't get me started here...).  I always thought it was my shyness, and with, as Sir Elton sings, a "handful of grease in her hair" it probably was, in my youth.  But as I grow older I see it less as passivity and more as my overall goal to get to peacefulness.  It's just my personality!  And it's perfect.

In Quiet, author Susan Cain contends that introverts are important and that society undervalues them.  They possess fabulous talents, qualities that are needed in damn near every circumstance, and possess a reservoir of untapped significance!  Unfortunately, introverts need an environment where they can thrive, and this isn't easily created, away from home at least, in situations when the loudest and the pushiest reign.  They can be overlooked or disregarded or just not recognized - especially at school or work.  Think about it - when you find yourself among others in a meeting, the best ideas aren't necessarily being promoted because the only ideas being discussed are the ideas of the best talkers.  "We" are missing out.  How do we draw from the quiet?  The reserved?  We all know fun people we like to have a beer with...they're easy!  But for a meaningful dialogue?  Next time, invite an introvert!  Now that's a good time!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Love Day!

There are a few reasons I would cut off my arm - and you are one of them.

Thank you for always being there, for cheering me up, for cheering me on.

Your friendship is more than I thought possible.

I love you always.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Rock 'n Roll

Rock 'n conjures up all kinds of images, doesn't it?  I think of lots of bands and late nights and even my Bobsession - his switch to electric guitar was radical and courageous.

Speaking of radical and courageous - my best friend and I are preparing for the run of our lives, the Rock and Roll 1/2 Marathon in July.  (His bucket list, by the way...NOT mine.)

We're starting slow and building...under the auspicious direction of Austin.  The rules state that you must finish in 3:30, and that is my goal:  to finish.  And to finish by 3:29.

Here's the training plan Austin designed for us:

date week long run/miles # med runs med run/miles weekly mileage
1/5/2014 1 0.5 any N/A N/A
1/12/2014 2 1 any N/A N/A
1/19/2014 3 1.5 any N/A N/A
1/26/2014 4 2 2 2 6
2/2/2014 5 2 2 2 6
2/9/2014 6 3 2 2 7
2/16/2014 7 4 2 2 8
2/23/2014 8 4 2 2 8
3/2/2014 9 4 2 3 10
3/9/2014 10 5 2 3 11
3/16/2014 11 5 2 3 11
3/23/2014 12 5 3 3 14
3/30/2014 13 6 3 3 15
4/6/2014 14 6 3 4 18
4/13/2014 15 7 3 4 19
4/20/2014 16 7 3 4 19
4/27/2014 17 8 3 4 20
5/4/2014 18 8 4 3 20
5/11/2014 19 8 4 4 24
5/18/2014 20 9 4 4 25
5/25/2014 21 9 4 5 29
6/1/2014 22 10 4 5 30
6/8/2014 23 10 4 5 30
6/15/2014 24 11 5 4 31
6/22/2014 25 11 5 5 36
6/29/2014 26 11 5 6 41
7/6/2014 27 12 5 6 42
7/13/2014 28 10 5 5 35
7/20/2014 29 RACE (13.1!) 5 4 33.1

It's our new "Rock and Roll".  And we're getting ready.  Putting one step in front of the other.  Not sure where this journey will really take us, but I'm guessing to more places than just the finish line.

And yes, in between Katy Perry and Alanis and Eminem, I'll have Bob on my playlist, probably crooning something like this:  "Don't criticize what you don't understand..."

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Nesting: Empty

It's official - it's an end of an era...the barn red that was Matt's bedroom walls is gone.  My sweet boy grew up and packed and left.  He has his own mortgage.  His own life.  His wife.  It went so fast.  The room is folding into a guest room, I guess.  Quiet colors.  An extra room.  It will be fun, right?  Imagine the possiblities.

I may be smiling, I am trying, but geez...I was coming around to the red thing.  And I really, really liked having that kid around.
Me, coping:  a little Starbucks...a little 312

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Fun begets fun

One of the things I resolve to do in 2014, besides limiting the sweet eats, is to bring other kinds of sweetness into my life.  To go after fun.  To intentionally hunt it down and claim it.  No one is going to knock on the door and say, "Jen, how about some fun today?"  And if they did, that would be very creepy.

So today my work day (working from home!) reached its natural conclusion a bit early and I found myself, mate attached, at a 4 pm matinee.  There were ten people in the theatre, which automatically works to the fun advantage.  Sprinkle in two dollar popcorn and it's just a love fest for me!

Meryl Streep can play anybody, I'm convinced.  I think I'd want her to play me - or maybe not.  She has the talent to expose everything.  Julia Roberts was at her best...ever.  We saw August: Osage County and it was stirring.  A movie about family dysfunction, unhappy people, passing it down through the generations:  meanness, secrets, strong women and exaggerated bad behavior, sisters so disconnected and still sharing something, misery begetting misery.  Somehow, it's a film that stops you in your tracks, guides you to that foregone conclusion that sometimes walking away is the only answer, and that is probably the most disturbing thing of all.