Showing posts from 2006

26 Years Later -- Goals? Why Do We Need Them?

I just found two speeches I wrote when I was 18 years old (now I'm 44). Below is one of them (I'll post the other one later): Goals. Why do we need them. Goals help us establish meaning and values in our lives. They give us a purpose in life. When we strive for goals, we are adding growth and identity to our lives. Everyone needs to determine some kind of goal. Viktor Frankl quotes Nietzsche in his book saying, "He who has a 'why' for living can bear with almost any 'how.'" Cases of extreme deprivation such as the concentration camp experience in the past wars illustrate the human need for a sense of direction and purpose; those who lost all sense of meaning and gave up hope, died. Although we are not faced with such extreme conditions, the lack of meaning seems to be a pressing and pervasive problem in our society. Many who are fortunate enough to achieve power, fame, success, and material comfort nevertheless experience a sense of emptiness. Alth

A Lesson in Power

Our trip to Sacramento was planned to the minute. From LAX, my client and I would arrive in California's capital and go immediately to his planned interview with CBS. However, once the plane landed, I discovered that everything was cancelled and we had two hours to spare. What to do? From this, I learned a LESSON IN POWER. The POWER of "celebrity," the POWER of "knowing people," the POWER of "experience," the POWER of "figuring out what to do," the POWER of "confidence," the POWER of "trusting yourself." My client is a celebrity. I represent his interests in art and culture; which has included creating and currently touring an exhibition of works from his world-renowned collection as well as producing a companion documentary film based on the featured artists. Back to the story (and the LESSON IN POWER): Minutes to spare, needing to act fast. Using who I knew and who he is, I was able to finagle getting an audience with

I Give Up

I give up ... there isn't someone out there who can share my life. When you read those online personals, everyone sounds the same: they all go to the gym, visit the beach at sunset, manage a company, travel to Europe, drink wine, eat in fine restaurants, etc., etc., etc.! Blah, blah, blah, blah, bleech. I'm unconventional and do have conventional elements in my life due to professional obligations and goals. It just seems that everyone has become so "strip mall" ... blocks and blocks of sameness. I'm bored. I'll miss living downtown when I leave ... I'm on the path to moving by the end of the year. I can see the writing on the wall. Little Tokyo is slowly losing its character: Office Depot, Subway, Quizmo's, and Starbucks prevail while Japanese-American owned businesses fall by the wayside. Century-old industrial buildings are either torn down with stucco-clad apartments in their place or transformed into tiny, anti-artist "loft-described" c

Believe It or Not: A Good Question from Dan Rather!

Earlier this year, I received two front-row seats for a presentation by Dan Rather on January 27 at Disney Hall (my guest and I also got to meet him afterwards during a private reception). One thing that he shared was, while he doesn't make New Year resolutions, he does take the opportunity at the birth of a new year to reflect and to ask himself one simple question: "Do I still have time to become the person I was intended to be?" I have thought of that often and recognize that we do not come into this world with a guarantee of living 80 years or so. Every day is a gift.

A Day without Make-Up at Age 43


What Have I Learned from Past Relationships?

The first word that pops into mind is "stretching" as in "stretching beyond my comfort level." Relationships with my ex-husband of nearly 11 years and a 6-year relationship that recently ended were ones that made me "stretch." The first one inspired me to travel, think creatively, cook more interestingly, appreciate quality, and to continue my education that later led to my post-graduate degrees. The second one was also instrumental by example in moving forward with my business even after my best friend died. Also, I learned through this relationship that alcoholism is indeed a disease -- unfortunately, we both shared the experience of loved ones who had not successfully sought help. For years, I realized that I had secretly harboring anger toward my brother, my sister, and my ex-husband for being "weak," not truly believing in my heart until later that they were simply ill and needed to find help on their own. In short, I learned a lot and remai

Dogs and Letting Go

(Dog #1): Four-month old chihuahua-golden retriever mix (today, he's about a year old) rescued on May 13, 2005 ... taught me how to be human again (and lots of other stuff!) (Dog #2): Two-year old miniature Irish setter-looking mutt (Papillion/long-haired dachshund mix) ... rescued on April 7, 2006 ... easier the second time around (gotta handle that "barking-and-chasing-the-cat" thang!) Today I realized that being a dog owner (similar to being a parent, I think!) teaches you how to let go ... i.e., it's okay that mud gets all over me and the inside of my car after they have happily run free in the dew-soaked grass and puddles in the park. They are happy, satisfied, and that's when I knew why I got Dog #2 even when some of my friends said I was crazy ... Dog #1 at long last has that companionship he needs beyond me ... he can play, run free, and love all ... especially with a dog pal that is more of his equal in size (his former girlfriend was a MUCH bigger dog


It doesn't matter how old you are; we all seem to experience times in our lives when we simply need reassurance. Reassurance that you're loved, respected, honored, meaningful, attractive, doing the right thing, and needed ... validation from someone else that you mean something. Funny, it's almost like what I do (consulting). Consultants often get more respect from the corporate boss than the staff; an outsider can validate what you are doing right ... or wrong. Reassurance is that external point of view that reaffirms hopefully what you already (or should) know about yourself -- YOU matter. When you're down, lonely, rejected, or just sad, reassurance can bring you back to reality -- yes, you DO matter. Whatever you are feeling is just temporary, and a loved one can remind you that it will soon pass. You will get through it. What I love about getting older is having a reservoir of life experiences from which to draw strength and perhaps ... yes, reassurance from mysel

Was that an Earthquake?

I woke suddenly this morning at 4:20 AM, feeling what I thought was an earthquake. I turned on the television, then the radio, remembering that sometimes the latter was quicker to respond. Nothing ... did I imagine it? Oddly, it was about 12 years ago when the last quake hit Los Angeles, about the same time, almost the same day. Was I dreaming?

He's Just Not That Into You

God, do I have to be hit over the head? Or have I just been too busy over the past four years and not willing to face the fact that my relationship wasn't satisfactory? I guess we never fought because I never cared, either. Signs of "he's just not that into you:" Red flag #1: He doesn't sound happy when you call him during the day. Red flag #2: He's physically in your presence, but you just don't feel that he is "there" mentally or emotionally. Red flag #3: You break up with him and he doesn't seem to care. Red flag #4: Kissing becomes nonexistent as sex slowly dwindles ... If I were counseling a friend, I would have encouraged her to "head for the hills" years ago. Okay, there were a few things that made him "boyfriend" material. He was steady, focused on his work, didn't stray his eyes (or other body parts) toward other women, handsome, quick to smile, and could fix stuff that I wanted done. What happened to that &qu

Pets + Parents

There are inevitable times in your life when you are faced with tough choices related to your pets and your parents. Thankfully, I'm not in the decision-making place for the latter as both my mom and my dad (who have been divorced for over 25 years) are in good health (though I worry about my dad's hip, which is sorely in need of replacement, but he is choosing to live in pain, at least with the help of homeopathic remedies). However, my mom is going through her own challenges with my grandmother who was recently hospitalized. My dilemma is with my pets; particularly, one of my three cats. I am overcome with guilt as I have shared previously that I became a "reformed" cat owner last May when I rescued my dog. Now, to my credit, my cats could care less about me. I originally took my black-and-white cat into my home when her former owners left to work in Yugoslavia sometime in 2000. At that time, it was thought that she was about 4 years old; of course, now she must be


Last night, I went to a gallery for an art opening and a band performance in celebration of "Dia de los Tres Reyes" (Day of the Three Kings -- a holiday in Mexico and Latin America that is more often celebrated instead of Christmas). The 12th day of Christmas, it commemorates the day when three wise men arrived with gifts for the baby Jesus. I haven't danced like I did last night in years! I met up with a friend of mine (who happens to be gay) who was my salsa partner most of the evening ... He kept telling all of the straight guys that I was newly single (it gave a few of them the courage to ask me to dance). I had so much fun!

Dating Again

I did it. I went on my "first" real date since I broke up with my boyfriend. Did I mention that I decided to break up with him on New Year's Day after we saw the movie "King Kong?" I figured that the gorilla and the girl had a better relationship than us, which made me cry the whole way home and gave me the courage to say, "This ain't working, baby." Today is Saturday--one full week from then and I must say that I feel better, I feel lighter on my feet. I think I wrapped myself too much into a relationship that was going nowhere ... really slow. Oh, and that date? That was on Thursday and while it wasn't a "love match" for me, he did send me an email that made me cry, too. He said that he knew I'd be cute based on a photo he had seen, but he was amazed to see that I was "fantastically beautiful." That statement alone made me realize that my boyfriend has never said that (or anything close to it) to me in five years. I al

Slow Down and Observe the Signs

This morning, I found an old journal entry from exactly four years ago entitled "Slow Down and Observe the Signs." Evidently, I didn't take this to heart as the time has flown by and I think my life's pace increased instead of the reverse. A lot has changed in the past few months. I have finally slowed down (more so in the past three to six weeks), largely due to a surge in my energy from getting more sleep using my new contraption (a mandibular mouth piece, which kind of looks like a clear plastic teeth-whitening device that is hinged, keeping my jaw jutted out slightly so I can breathe at night). Evidently, I've not been going into "beta sleep" for the past seven years due to a condition known as "sleep apnea." Thankfully, this has changed. My metabolism has been jolted, and without changing my diet or exercise patterns, I have been losing weight, slowly but surely (of course, now I am supplementing this change by taking better care of my he

Rain in Southern California

Ah, a rarity much treasured ... rain in Southern California! I hope that it rains hard for 40 days and 40 nights, but alas, I know that today's liquid magic will disappear by tomorrow. I discovered that my puppy loves the rain. Thank goodness! I put on my little-worn yellow rain jacket (that conveniently folds up into a bag -- go figure! Why would anyone want to crunch it into a useless bag that doesn't hold anything BUT the jacket itself!!!) and walked in the field across the street. My little boy (i.e., yes, I am a crazy dog person who has now adopted my animal as my son) played in the puddles and just shook off the rain. Yay! I'm happy ... in spite of today being the first official day since I finally convinced my boyfriend of five years that, yes, we are indeed broken up. Actually, I was miserable since it happened (until the rain poured this morning) -- which was last night, after we saw "King Kong" with a neighborhood couple (the woman is my long-time friend

Who Am I?

Okay, someone asked me to answer the following three questions, which I thought I'd post. It seems that they are revealing as to who I am: 1.What songs or artists put you in the mood? Depends on the mood that I am seeking, but I am very eclectic in my tastes. From the bands with whom I grew up--Chicago; Boston; America; Aerosmith; Def Leppard; Bread; Van Halen; Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (except honestly, I am not as much of a "band" person as I am a "song" person) to what I'm currently listening to: John Mayer, James Blunt, Lifehouse, Bonnie Raitt, and whatever was playing yesterday from 12 noon to 2 PM on KCRW during "New Ground" -- don't tell anyone, but I also love some of the 1980s C&W since I am a native Texan, and which I "closet" from most people (it's kind of like comfort food to me --- Randy Travis, Travis Tritt, Clint Black). I work a lot with the Latino market, so I enjoy lots of lively music from Mexico, Cu