I received a wonderful gift the other day from a freelancer I worked with at NBC. I actually ran into Chris a few months ago outside a movie theater. I didn’t recognize him at first. My fear when he reminded me how we knew each other was that I had been an a–hole, as I was his manager at the time. If I could redo one thing at that time in my career, it’s that I had learned how to be a better manager. I wish I had asked to learn Six Sigma during my NBC/GE years and that I had been groomed to be stronger management material. Chris surprised me the other day with this sweet story. Thank you.
A fine example of how you never know how a small kindness that you do can affect someone else. In 2006 I was working at NBC, and Lynne Gullo had a bunch of rolled up posters in the corner of her office, and I fell in love with a poster from 1986 that showed all the NBC TV stars from that season: Bob Hope, Don Johnson, Bea Arthur. An incredible photo of 20th century TV legends. Lynne was like, “Really? If you want it, go ahead and take it.” I did. I framed it. And I gave it to…
I don’t know how I’m going to survive my drive to work this week since I finished listening to the Serial podcast. My new job and hour commute was the perfect time to catch up on this gem that everyone was buzzing about in December.
For anyone even more behind than me, Serial was a weekly podcast spin-off of the radio show This American Life, hosted by Sarah Koening, who told the true story of the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee, a popular high school senior in the Baltimore area. Her ex-boyfriend Adnan Syed was convicted and is serving life in prison for her murder. Koening skillfully re-examined his case and presented a gripping story with more holes than a slice of swiss cheese. You can and should download the Serial podcasts. Be sure to watch these SNL SERIAL and FunnyOrDie parodies too when you’re done!
The series made me think of a book club I was in several years ago when we read The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold. The novel is told from the point of view of the young victim settling into heaven as she sees her murder solved and the reaction of her family and friends. I realized then that my idea of heaven is True Crime Heaven. I want the TRUTH about all of the murder stories I have heard throughout my life.
I picture myself on the escalator ride up to the pearly gates with each floor being a glimpse into the crimes of the century, like who murdered JFK, Marilyn Monroe, Nicole Simpson, JonBenet Ramsey, Reeva Steenkanmp, and now, Hae Min Lee. I’ll finally get to see if what I suspected was TRUE (multiple shooters, Peter Lawford, OJ, Patsy, Oscar, Adnan). Huh, interesting, I knew it!, no way, why, no?
Then I got to thinking that maybe that’s too ugly a view to take with me. Maybe senseless, ugly human behavior is best left to the imagination and writers of Law & Order franchises. Why is it so hard to know the truth? Does anyone ever say yes I did it, but here’s why? Oscar Pistorius, to his credit at least admitted he made a mistake (take away points for killing her on Valentine’s Day, though). Was he telling the truth?
I’d also like to know how the “Mail Kimp” soundbite got included on Serial. Seriously, did they only interview three people for that spot?
What is your idea of heaven? What would you like to know on your escalator ride?
Did you notice that Hell just froze over? That the cows came home? And the Fat Lady Sang? I know, it was all my doing. You see, I started an exercise program and stuck to it for its duration, and I owe it all to…September!
September is the new January. Just like January, when you’re so over the holidays, you can’t eat or drink another bite and you’re ready to wipe the slate clean, September gives us the same shiny new, optimistic feeling. Gone are the excesses of summer barbecues and weddings, laying around doing nothing (if you are so fortunate), watching endless Little League games (grown-up LL games are apparently called The Dodgers, FYI). It’s time again for a little structure and discipline to kick in.
After a brief family visit in August to Disneyland, I realized how pathetically out of shape I was. I have been going to a weekly “bootcamp” class on Saturdays for years, but that was pretty much all I did all week. My summer schedule also meant I skipped some of those workouts too. Walking around Disneyland for 10 hours will separate the fit from the flab-ulous. First, there were the pictures taken at unflattering angles while holding 1000 calorie cupcakes (The Bumblebee Lemon Cupcake at the Hungry Bear Restaurant in Frontierland is diet-busting worthy). Then there were the 14,000 steps logged in. I whimpered at the thought of walking back to my car.
My current freelance job at Warner Bros. has me sitting for eight hours. Our building is slightly off campus, so our eating options are downstairs in the cafeteria, next door at Claim Jumper where everything is over 2000 calories or a seven minute walk across the street to the WB Commissary. 90% of the time, I opt for downstairs because it is most convenient.
Late in August, while catching up on my daily industry news on WB’s home page “Behind the Shield,” I noticed a fitness class being offered. Usually the fitness classes are not featured and they are free to members of the gym, which I was not. This one was called FUNctional FITness and it was meeting M-F from 6-7pm for 20 sessions starting Sept 8. I had to pay for it and join the gym.
I emailed the instructor and asked, “Would you recommend this class for a sedentary slug with bad knees?” He responded back immediately, “Absolutely! Everyone has to start somewhere.” I felt encouraged. So I took the bold move and did something I have a very hard time doing–I committed. Even though I’ve been too lazy to walk across the street for a year, I was suddenly going to take a class five nights a week for four weeks (I knew I was going to miss four of them already). I joined the gym for three months not even knowing if I would still be employed that long (for now I’m there till 10/31).
I had to take an endurance test with the adorable and perfectly fit instructor to show him how inflexible, unbalanced and un-muscley I was. He continued to be very nice and encouraging. I asked him how the other 3 classmates were and he diplomatically replied, “Well, there are no Olympians.”
And so we began. My biggest fear is being “the one that holds up class” but I was pleasantly surprised to see my classmates and I were all pretty much on the same level. We stretched, moved our bodies and threw balls around. I got through it with little discomfort, but enough effort to make me grunt. I went back the next day and the next. All in all I did 16 of the 20 classes, which is 16 hours less of me sitting in a chair. I realized I COULD exercise every day and I felt a LOT better about myself. My fantasy of losing 10 lbs. in the process did not happen, but I still have hope that some day that will kick in too.
Now, when I get home and head to my Lazy-Boy I don’t feel quite so guilty. Beside, my second favorite thing about September has started – the new Fall TV Season! What are you watching?