Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Right Now

Right now, David is sitting perpendicular to me with my feet in his lap. He's wearing the hood of his sweatshirt up in a most dramatic fashion. He's glued to a riveting episode of Doctor Who that I am half paying attention to. A library full of alien books is killing people, or something. Truth time: I really like Doctor Who and get sucked into every episode. Double truth time: I love David Tennant. Judge me or don't - I've always had a thang for smart, skinny men.


We just ate turkey black bean enchiladas from Skinny Taste. You should try them ASAP - Only 278 calories per serving! Easy to make and full of spice and flavor.

Right now, I love:
-The forementioned enchiladas. (Did you add them to your weekly menu yet?)
-"For My Lover Returning to His Wife" by Anne Sexton - Read it.  Now. You won't be sorry.

"Let's face it, I have been momentary.
A luxury. A bright red sloop in the harbor.
My hair rising like smoke from the car window.
Littleneck clams out of season. 

She is more than that. She is your have to have,
has grown you your practical your tropical growth.
This is not an experiment. She is all harmony. 

She sees to oars and oarlocks for the dinghy, 

has placed wild flowers at the window at breakfast,
sat by the potter's wheel at midday,
set forth three children under the moon,

  three cherubs drawn by Michelangelo,"

-Instagram's "Following" feature - Yes, I am stalking the accounts you're stalking. Thanks.
-Homemade dance videos from my ghetto little bro and sis.
-David Tennant and his blue suit(s)?
-Dinner date with my BFF tomorrow
-New nail polish color: Essie's Skirting the Issue
-"It's a Head Snapper" 2010 Radiant Red California wine (Label says 'Warning: May Cause Whiplash.')
-Leftover raspberry sorbet
-'Parenthood' season finale tonight - Kristina's fake bald head is obnoxious, Julia gives up too easily, Sarah should become a stranger in a strange strange land, and Crosby is the best ever.
-The realization that this time one year ago I was returning from the WORST BUSINESS TRIP EVER in Vegas. Good riddance!
-Adam's (even more) crazy ass ways on 'Girls' - Who knew I would love him more as a stalkerish lovesick puppy than a freakish woodworking tough guy?!
-FLOTUS' bangs and wardrobe yesterday - Can I get an amen?
-'The Sopranos' is on, which also means it's time to go.
Hey Tone  - my most main MAIN man. Pass the Pellegrino, lovah.

Happy Tuesday, snitches. Tomorrow is half-way to Friday.



Friday, January 18, 2013

Lia Likes Girls

I do, in fact, like girls. There is a surplus of them in my family and my circle of friends, but do you remember when Facebook used to post your status right after your name? "Lia Kerner is ready to CRUSH this Weather & Climate exam!" (Oh, college.) Anyway, being sort of a Facebook purist and not totally an idiot, I hated when people would disregard this albeit annoying feature and post statuses like "Lia Kerner Do u even kno how much boyz suck?!?!?!?!?! ALOTT. F*ck u u kno who u r!" Shudder. I'm getting carried away. Once I was trying to say "Lia Kerner likes girl's night & vino" or something dumb like that, and instead FB posted "Lia Kerner likes girls." Thanks, Mark Z. It became the joke of the weekend (therein, the name of the FB photo album. Oh, college again) and that's the end of the story.

And I know I'm like the creepy, boring uncle of digressing right now, but I'm OK with it. 


Girls/women haven't always had the greatest rep in these here parts. Remember when we couldn't run for office or vote or anything? (Did you know Colorado was the first state to adopt an amendment granting women the right to vote? Chalk that up as another reason to love ole CO.) Remember when women who made mistakes (with men who made the same mistakes and were usually the married ones) were stoned to death, hanged, or just publicly scorned until they killed themselves or crawled in a corner to die? (Wow, this got heavy fast.) Remember when women got 50 cents on every dollar a man made doing exactly the same job? Remember when mostly rich white males decided how women should conduct our lives? Oh wait, still working on that one. So glad those days are (soon to be, I hope?) over.

Women are kicking major ass right now. How about some Hilary Rodham Clinton? Hil has been takin' names since Day 1. Oh you don't like my haircut or my "frigid" attire? Suck it, I'm going to be the first First Lady to go on to be a member of a President's Cabinet. I'm going to be Secretary of State, fools, so keep hatin'. She went on to be one of the best, most-diplomatic Secretaries of State we've ever had and - fingers crossed - a future US President. And one of the themes central to her tenure? Female empowerment.

"Women are the largest untapped reservoir of talent in the world. It is past time for women to take their rightful place, side by side with men, in the rooms where the fates of peoples, where their children's and grandchildren's fates, are decided," she said at a fundraiser in early 2012. Go Hil.

Plus, she is just the coolest:
Photo: Hummingbirdminds

And the rest of us aren't doing too poorly, either. The 113th Congress was recently sworn in, and with it a historic number of female leaders - 110. Let's make that last "Remember when," statement ancient history, ladies. What do you say?

While I know very little about sports, I'm confident women are takin' care of business there, too. In June, I had the privilege of interviewing five inspiring Paralympic athletes - two of them women. The current world record holder with 13 Paralympic Gold medals, Jessica Long is a swimmer and double below-knee amputee. Katy Sullivan, a double above-knee amputee sprinter, broke the U.S. record for the 100 meters at the London Games this summer. While learning to walk steadily would be considered a major accomplishment for either, they choose to submit their bodies to mind-numbing training to perform against and beat the most talented amputee athletes in the world. Hashtag WINNING.

Photo: The Downey Patriot
Photo: CNN

Then there's music. Where to begin? The female power ballad is the anthem of my life. On what I imagine was a foggy Massachusetts morning, I was brought into this world and I'm confident Whitney Houston was on the radio somewhere in that hospital. I made my entrance with a full head of hair, long limbs, and a deep urgency within me for soulful music that knocks me out of my chair. All-time favorites include: Whit (May she rest), Bonnie Raitt, Trisha Yearwood, Shawn Colvin. But there are some new greats out there. I strong-arm you to check out the following:

Jessie Ware, Devotion - Dramatic, smoky, dancey (Photo: Jessie Ware Facebook)
 Cat Power (Charlyn Marie Marshall), Sun - Sassy and thought-provoking, great to move to, smoooooth. (Photo: pitchfork.com)

 Kathleen Edwards, Voyageur - Strongly recommended with windows rolled down. Perfect for belting out alone (or among friends) in the car. (Photo: pastemagazine.com)
Bat for Lashes (Natasha Khan), The Haunted Man - Hauntingly smooth, power, emotion. (Photo: stereogum.com)

There are a great many things to hem and haw over - yeah, I said it - in this day in age, in our bombastic teenage country, but there are also a lot of great things. Like many of the women above - and others - who've got it goin' on right now. Can you snap your fingers and solve child abuse, starvation, poverty, gun violence, rape, adultery, athletes shootin' up (Ugh, Lance), the National debt, loneliness? No. But you can make the best of what you've been given, you can stand up for the things you love instead of bashing everything you hate, you can fight the greed and give of your time/resources to a cause you believe in, you can stay healthy in honor of those who can't, you can fight for the mother-lovin' rights to your life and lady parts, and you can listen to some damn fine tunes while you're at it.

Vive la revolution and happy fridee, all.


Amendment: (Thanks Dave.) A round of applause, please, for Kathryn Bigelow -  a majorly talented and bad-ass female film director of many, including The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty - two incredible, fearless films that don't just show you the world of war, they take you there and throw you in alongside the ranks. She is dominating in a field historically controlled by men. Plus, she's a hottie with a body. Check her and her films out. Do it.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Coast Ends Back There

I've been tired lately. Nothing new since I have a less-than-perfect immune system thang goin' on, but let's call it some serious mental fatigue. These past nine months at the new job have been the most challenging, humiliating, empowering, frustrating, rewarding, and refreshing moments of my life. A lot of people make statements like that - in the same dramatic, cliche fashion - but I really mean it.

Transitioning from a large office of mostly fat cats where everyone worked for a fraction of the day to a teeny tiny, all-female office where workflow blazes at lightening speeds and we are vastly outnumbered by clients and publications has been a difficult one. When you're surrounded by lazy people, it's easy to look like a hard worker and I prided myself on being one, but it wasn't long after I started the new job that I realized what a glutton I had been with my work time. Personal time suddenly became non-existant. No more extended lunch breaks (or any lunch break for that matter), no more chatting and gossiping and texting for as long as I pleased. No more scooting out early or taking half days whenever its suited me. These days I can maintain a few sporadic conversations on g-chat, but that's about it. And I'm not complaining, this is how it should be.

This job has humbled me in ways I didn't know I needed to be. I'm the tall, awkarwd, self-depricating one already, so is it really necessary to bring me down a few notches? But I've learned it was - and is - because that's what it takes to truly improve. Over the last few years I coasted through the days and told myself I was 'living the dream,' working my way up the ladder, and I couldn't have been more wrong. That's the thing about that word 'coasting' - it implies continuning on the same path you're on, no increase in speed, no vertical movement - steady on. Coasting is no way to grow.

My first few months were filled with days that ended in tears of frustration and confusion. Of truly feeling I can't do this. Of having questions and having no where and no one to turn to for answers. Figure it out, they'd tell me. To me, figure it out meant Take these instructions, follow them, and then check your work. But there were no instructions this time, just figure it out - somehow. It's not that my coworkers or bosses are some fembots (I love that word) who refused to help or kept me locked in a dark, dingy chamber with nothing but a Diet Coke and a typewriter - yes, there were times I felt very alone - but I believe they saw my spirit needed a little breaking. I needed to be told - No, wrong. Try again. I see now that I had developed some fat cat tendencies, and they worked on me to develop more swift, Greyhound-like tendencies. Each time I was wrong, each time I felt lost, I returned to square one and began piecing things back together, slowly at first and more quickly with time. I still get overwhlemed, but I can feel how I've grown in ways, how I've developed the tools to take a step back and figure things out. I'm still a puppy, I still have a lot to learn, but it's comforting to hear my bosses note how I've improved and made real strides. I can't believe the sense of value this new experience has fostered within me.

I consider myself a lucky one to have discovered what I wanted to do early on in college, in life. Freshman year brought the realization that writing was my true outlet and passion, and my sophmore and junior years revealed that I would combine that love of words with a critical eye for editing and make a career out of it. I graduated college with little more than the belief I was going to be an editor. I was going to make it. It has been slow-going for a while - moving at 'coasting' speeds - but it seems 2012 brought me the momentum I finally needed to kick this thing into high gear.

'This thing' being my old bag o' bones, but mostly this job I love that has become such an important part of me. This other love of mine. My love of the swift, red pen coursing across a manuscript; the feel of pages between my fingers that my own hands molded and stretched and combed; the rush of an idea sparking somewhere in the dark depths of a mind; the moment everything clicks and begins coming together - both people and publications do that, I've learned.

So maybe this fatigue is finally the good kind - the kind earned after a long day spent on a job well-done. I won't expect it to stop. After all, 2013 is shaping up to be the year of HAUL ASS.


Thursday, January 3, 2013

2013: An Update

Good eve, folks. I thought I would drop in and give a quick recap of my progress thus far in 2013. Translation: In an attempt to be "better" this year, I gave up my phone for the day. Translation: I left my phone on the counter this morning (because it was frigid and dark and that made me delirious) and, upon realizing I was without it, decided to take the day off from said phone. David is very happy about this because apparently I am "addicted." But it's not like he's a doctor or anything.

With that said, at least 14 times today, I habitually reached for my phone on my desk, which was not there. Yes, I grabbed at air - finding nothing - too many times to count today. I can't say I'm proud of it, what I can say is that I've discovered the answer to the age old question: If someone eats an amazing lunch and there's no phone around to Instagram it, does the lunch really happen? Sorry, but the answer is no.

Now I'm getting off track obviously fantasizing about my phone, but I just meant to say I think I'm blogging tonight because I'm not stalking your New Year's Eve photos on Instagram.

Update on other goals: 
-This being my second post in a week, I'd say we're OK in the "blog more" department - just have to keep it up.
-At the grocery store this evening, I reached into my purse for my wallet and pulled out a tupperware container. A ways to go on the clean purse thing.
-I have yet to join a gym but I got two new flyers today with New Year's specials - motivation, motivation! I think I'll visit a couple places on Saturday.
-My Christmas decorations are still up and there are piles of clean laundry on the stairs. Miles to go before we sleep on the clean house thing.
-Some 2013 travel is in the works: Miami? NYC weekend? Vegas? A REAL vacay? Stay tuned.
-Girl time plans are on the books for Jan, Feb, possibly March, and with two bachelorette parties this year, I'm sure there will be lots of lady time!
-Everything else is TBD - but a confident TBD.

Other than my C+ resolution marks, 2013 has been pretty swell thus far. New Year's Eve was super fun - full of yummy food, friends (yummy friends?), craft beer and a righteous hangover the next day. Talk about starting the year off on the right foot! Work has been insanely busy catching up and gearing up for what looks like another productive and rewarding year! I also got my first-ever bonus which I chalk as a major blessing and career milestone! How wonderful it is to work for a real company!

I don't think I mentioned in my last post just how grateful I am for the passing year and the possibilities ahead of us. It hasn't always been the easiest road, but it's so rewarding to see commitment, loyalty, hard word, kindness, faith, love, pay off. To go through even the shortest stretch of the road and feel, wholeheartedly, Yes, this is right. We are getting somewhere. It's not just professionally, either. It's in our marriage - discovering those things we've promised to "work on" over the last six years really have improved, to see that we're learning to communicate, to listen, to learn from one another - but it's also in our relationships with family and friends and the world around us. To feel completely supported and uplifted by our net, hopeful for the future, is so liberating - and often brings on tears of joy.

I am rambling uncontrollably and realizing "LESS RAMBLING" should have made the Top 5 of my New Year's Resolutions. So I'll make a quit exit and since I'm feeling inspired tonight, I'll leave you with the immortal words of Dicky Fox, Jerry McGuire's mentor:

"Hey, I don't have all the answers. To be honest, in life, I have failed as much as I have succeeded. But I love my wife. I love my life. And I wish you my kind of success."
 xo, l