Thursday, April 8, 2010

Here's A Story

Where can you find a Nerf dart gun, an acoustic guitar, and half a dozen people who find primarily find their dates on Craigslist, at Star Trek conventions and in the recesses of their imagination.

My company's San Francisco office.

To be fair, that division must be doing pretty well given the huge quantities of Hostess products in the kitchen. Though, I must admit, the econo-size bottle of Germ-X anti-bacterial solution may have been lemon-scented but it carried the faint whiff of irony.

Yes, folks, I was in California this week.  My favorite, favorite, favorite place - and I started my trip by seeing my favorite, favorite, favorite people.  My oldest friend lives in LA and - since we're not using real names, I'll call her "Carrie" - since she reminds me of Sarah Jessica Parker's character from Sex and the City; the leonine mane of hair, incredible fashion sense, and a ridiculously flat stomach well into her thirties despite a penchant for junk food and liquor (how the hell did Carrie drink those sugary cosmos and eat her way from the pretzels of Union Square to the pizzas she brought to Big's apartment?)

Every time I come to LA and visit "Carrie" I feel like she and husband throw me a party.  "Let's just hang out and have dinner" turns into a dozen or so people.  Included in the festivities were a friend of theirs I knew from when she lived in New York (and got fired and re-hired from her job as head charcuterie buyer for Dean & Deluca while on a cross-country flight.  She only let the first part stick, choosing not to let the emotional roller coaster of a psychotic boss continue any longer.  Though, to this day, we joke that she got fired for buying the wrong cheese.)

Also included was one of "Steven's" co-workers and his wife, who used to be besties with Bethenny Frankel, one of the Real Housewives of New York.  She's the Fake not-actually-a-Housewife-because-she-works-and-just-got-married-last-week one.  Her website calls her a Celebrity Natural Food Chef - but most of the photos make her look like a hooker.  That would be cool - a celebrity natural food hooker.  Anyway, she and I hit it off (not Bethenny, her former friend, who wore a totally awesome outfit that made her look like the girl from Swiss Miss box dressed up as a dominatrix.)  We spent half the night drinking and judging everyone else - it was like being in a gay bar without the faint smell of vodka, Armani cologne, and leftover sweat from the pre-party-workout.

After a while Carrie's sister showed up, and someone brought their friend Charlie, and later, I think, the cast of West Side Story dropped by.  Or I could have been loaded.  Also, everybody with children brought their children, though I can't recall anybody actually paying any attention to them.  I think there was a sitter or a nanny - or maybe the nanny was a guest, and she was the one who invited the Sharks and the Jets.  Whatever - between the internet and television, kids practically raise themselves at this point.  You can pretty much give them money, food and condoms and everything else is drag-and-drop.

Visiting with "Carrie" and "Steven" and their kids was pretty much the highlight of my trip.  My meetings weren't the most productive of my career, and every day felt like it was one step forward, two steps back (as opposed to the two steps froward, one step back I've gotten used to.)  However, my last meetings were in the Bay area - which I enjoyed - and I got to visit the offices of our Mobile division, which I always enjoy.  I think it's awesome that our company, which is staked on the premise that educational technology should engage students and draw out creativity, actually bought a company created by students.  And there's something about working in a professional context with people in their 20s, that draws out the mentor in me (I know - shocking, right?)

But the funny thing is...I got some mentoring, too. A fter spending the bulk of dinner encouraging someone to follow the passion in his life, I was asked about my blog.  "You write like you love it."

I do love it.  I love trying to make people laugh, I love trying to entertain people.  And I really love it when I succeed.  There are days when it's hard to drag myself out of bed at 5:30 to go to the gym; there are days when that 7am flight or that 8am meeting or that 9am conference call is emotionally exhausting.  Ys, I get a great deal of satisfaction from my career - and I think I'm pretty good at it (Yeah, sometimes I fuck up - we all do - at least I can admit it which is more than I can say for some people I've worked with over the years.)

But entertaining people is my passion.  I love telling you about the guy with the table on the corner of 66th and Broadway who only sells pecans/  Why pecans?  Is there such a market for pecans that a merchant needn't carry anything else?  If so - why are there no stores solely devoted to pecans?  No Pecan Palace or Purveyors of Pecans.  Even a politically-themed shop called "Yes, Pe-Can!"

I love telling you that we went to Taboon last Friday night, despite the fact that I was dog-ass-tired from a week on the road, and had the most delicious Red Lentil Soup, but my fish tasted like nothing - with a faint hint of lemon.  And was the consistency of soap.

I love positing that the Governor of North Carolina looks like Florence Henderson and I spent most of the recent meetings with the Democratic Governors Association wondering how to get her to say Wessonality (when I wasn't figuring out how to hit on the Governor of Maryland.)

Yes, folks, there are days when I want to stay in bed until 7 (or 9; or noon) and spend my mornings at the gym and my afternoons writing.  Yes, I'd love for someone to read this and offer me a book contract or option a screenplay or simply let me write dirty jokes for Chelsea Handler.  And there are times I'd like to experiment with becoming addicted to Vicodin as a strategy for getting through the week - or the day - or a meeting. 

But then - what would I write about?  How would we relate?  Where would my humor, my pathos, my common touch come from?  I'd lose all my...Wessonality.

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