No Life Rehearsals

Live, Love, Laugh–Your Life Depends on It

Algonquin Table for Two: A Conversation with Dorothy Parker

dorothy parker 2I’m a fan of Dorothy Parker’s wit and probably have an overly romanticized view of what life around the famed Algonquin Table must have been like.    Which got me thinking and, as my husband would say, nothing good can come of that.  What if she were alive today?  What would Dorothy Parker’s view be on current affairs?  And, other than a small (read sizable) niggling of doubt, I thought, why not, dive right in, channel my inner-Dorothy Parker.  So, without further adieu, I give you what I hope to make a regular feature Algonquin Table for Two:

Me:  Have you been following the story about the crack smoking mayor of Toronto?

DP:  You know you’ve reached a certain pinnacle in society when you’re immediately recognized by a  collection of verbs, nouns and objects as opposed to your name.

Me:   Oh, don’t tell me you joined the band wagon and approve of the media’s overuse of lame monikers–the worst being, in my humble opinion, Nancy Graces’ incessant use of “Tot-Mom.”

DP:  Despite what people say, opinions are rarely humble nor ever kept to ones self.  Opinions are the hammer of discourse, with facts being the nail. One powerless to the force being acted upon it, despite being on the side of right; and the other intent on exerting it’s force.

Me:  What do you have against opinions?

DP:  I take pride in my never having met an opinion I couldn’t disagree with.

Me:  Thank you for joining me at the table.  Perhaps we may meet again?

DP: Perhaps.  However, in the alphabet, as in life, assignations always come before rendezvous.

 

 

 

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If You’ve Never Watched a TED Talk, Watch These Five

TEDMany of you may be scratching your heads at my title thinking, “what the heck is a TED talk” or “isn’t that for computer geeks” or maybe even “is that the stuffed animal that talks in a Mark Wahlberg movie?” If you have not experienced the wonderful world of TED talks, allow me to play Willy Wonka and show you around.

First, what is a TED talk?  It started out as a conference way back in 1984.  Yes, great things from the 80s are still around and not obsolete and archaic despite what the younger generation thinks.  It brought together three industries Technology (the geek connection), Entertainment and Design.  The TED conference still creates a tremendous amount of buzz and many new and noteworthy ideas are presented. Interestingly, the 1984 conference featured demos of the Sony compact disc.   Yep, I’m right there with you, makes me feel old too.

The TED talks were launched as a way to share the ideas from the conference with everyone else and it has become so much more.  The concept behind TED talks is Ideas Worth Spreading.  Pretty much all of the TED talks are worth watching and sure, if we had infinite time on our hands, we would probably watch them all. But we don’t.

Compiling a list of the top five TED talks is very subjective it’s like picking your five favorite foods.  Most of you might go “really?” at my love of saltine crackers (yes, it would probably make it into the top five).  And, more TED talks get added each week so this list most definitely will evolve and change, perhaps becoming a regular feature on this blog.

With these provisos, here goes:

(1) one of the most viewed TED talks is by Ken Robinson on the topic of How Schools Kill Creativity.  I guarantee it will make you think about your kids differently.

(2) An awesomely funny and interesting look at finding your “soulmate” through online dating by Amy Webb  How I Hacked Online Dating.   For anyone in the dating world, re-entering the dating world, or people not in the dating world anymore, this talk is a great look at how technology has changed the way we “market” and view ourselves and how we view, and should view, others.

(3) A non-TED talk makes the list because it is just so great and you can find it on the TED website Steve Jobs’ commencement address at Stanford How to Live Before You Die.

(4)  Another must watch is by Brene Brown on the Power of Vulnerability, which addresses how we numb ourselves (though things like food, drink, drugs, and medication) to feelings of vulnerability and the power of being vulnerable.

(5) Last, but certainly  not least, a great talk by Simon Sinkek on How Great Leaders Inspire Action and explains that great leaders and successful businesses tap into the “Why” we do things, buy things, follow people/ideas.

I encourage you to explore the TED talks website, find topics that interest you.  Maybe you’re in the mood for something inspirational? Yeah, they got that.  How about cool new science or emerging global issues?  They’ve got a little of everything.  Most are no more than 18 minutes and some are less.  So, sit down with a copy of coffee today and enjoy an Idea Worth Spreading!

 

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Crack, Drunken Stupors, and Bobbleheads, Oh My

tom fordOf course I need to weigh in, albeit late, on the whole Toronto mayor scandal.  In case you haven’t been following this closely, let me recap.  In May of this year rumors of an incriminating video surfaced of the portly Mr. Ford smoking crack along with a picture of him hanging in a hoodie.

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By the way, Mr. Ford makes Bill Belichek look downright debonair in his hoodie on Sundays.

After much brouhaha and meaningless political blather from all and sundry of his inner circle and in the absence of said incriminating video, Mr. Ford issued a clear and concise statement of his own:  “I do not use crack cocaine nor am I an addict of crack cocaine.”  Enough said.  Move along, nothing to see here.  Case closed.

Not. So. Fast.

Numerous allegations of drug use and DEALING come to light by members of his entourage.  Yes, that’s right dealing.   Name calling ensues, carefully skirting any unseemly expletives which would be beneath these fine upstanding citizens.  Numerous people resign or are removed from their posts, but  two remain standing including Mr. Rob Ford himself and his faithful sidekick and brother Doug Ford.  It’s Toronto city politics version of the Hunger Games.

So, you’d think this would be a wake up call to Mr. Ford, time to clean up his act, and wipe his brow that he dodged a bullet here.   Oh, No.  This is Vegas (really Toronto) baby and he’s doubling down.  In August, he’s caught on video swaying and slurring his words.

But, do the people of Toronto care?  Hell No!  We won’t let Rob Ford Go!  His approval rating climbs to close to 50%.  Yes that’s right, one-half of the fine citizens of Toronto believe he’s doing a bang up job.  Go get um tiger!

Then, things take a turn for the worse for Mr. Ford.  His driver is arrested on drugs trafficking charges and then Mr. Ford gets a fine trick (not a treat) on Halloween.  It’s no joke, the police now have THE video.

He then (finally) admits to being “hammered” in public and told reporters that “I have smoked crack cocaine” but that he’s not an “addict” and that he tried it “probably in one of my drunken stupors, probably.”  Even more concerning, and continuing the pretense that he’s not an addict, he did not know the exact circumstances of his crack use.  “I don’t even remember…the state I’ve been in? It’s a problem.”

His explanation for his statement back in May?  The reporters did not ask the “right” question.  He relies on the present tense/past tense distinction when parsing out his answer.  Beauty Eh?  He’s such a hoser.

But wait, Johnny, there’s more.  Another video surfaces (New Rule #1 of Hunger, er, I mean Ford Games, no videos!) where a once again extremely inebriated Ford goes off about someone who insulted Ford and his brothers by calling them “liars and thieves” (as if!!).  In the expletive filled video, he screams “I’ll rip his f—ing throat out. I’ll poke his eyes out. . . . I’ll make sure that motherf—er’s dead,” Ford says, then hitches up his pants over his extremely rotund belly bracing for action.  I half expected him to say next that he lived in a van down by the river.  Chris Farley you are missed (no one else could do this justice).

You just can’t make this shit up.  So, finally the nail in the coffin for Mr.  Ford right?  This must must must be beyond the pale for the fine people of Toronto. It doesn’t appear to be.  Of one thing I’m certain, there will be more chapters to this surreal tale.  So, today’s news should not come as a surprise, yet it does.  Mr. Ford joins the exalted ranks which include Snookie and Miley Cryus (with a twerking version) and has his own Bobblehead–a svelte and flattering Bobblehead at that.  He got the Ken treatment.  His mother must be so proud.  bobblehead

And, if the fact of the Bobblehead is not enough, the fine and upstanding citizens of Toronto actually LINED UP (formed a queque, waited in an orderly row) to shell out $20 for this piece of crap which he then autographed.

Only in America, oh I forgot, this is Canada.  Only in Canada.  Good, they can have that stereotype now.  We’ve had it long enough.  Let’s show them America.   The next time one of our politicians smokes crack, lies about it, and then admits to it, we won’t stand for it and we certainly won’t buy the Bobblehead.

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