Thursday, June 30, 2011

Why I survived my High School Reunion... and so can you!

Me and Friends during Venice High School (me in black sweater)

Me and Friends at Venice High School Reunion

Being a TRUE  L.A. girl, I graduated from "Venice High", a local Los Angeles Public High School. I am so proud of my Alma Mater, that's where they filmed "Grease", and believe me, MY High School experience felt like something ripped out of a Hollywood Movie.

There were jocks, stoners, nerds, surfers, cheerleaders (I was one!), gang bangers, and yes even BULLYS.
Which brings me to my next point.... fast forward a few years later and its time for my High School Reunion.

At first I was reluctant to go, rationalizing my decision by saying things like "well, I still keep in touch with the people I really want to", "why should I go, life moves on?", and "reunions are for losers".

The truth of the matter is I was still scared of a few "Bully's" that might show up and throw me a punch or two. I'm not talking about a real punch, I'm sure by now they know better (a bully actually threw a punch at me in High School for no reason), but a metaphorical punch. A jab that may hurt my self esteem and may dismantle all the self-esteem building I've done with myself in my 20's and 30's. Something that may dissipate the things I'm finally able to tell myself and actually believe like "yes I'm good enough", "yes I have the right to be successful", "yes I deserve the best life possible". SO STICK IT BULLY. I decided I was way better than that and in the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, "no one can make you feel inferior without your consent".

So off I go, spray tanned and spanxed up. As I walk in, I bumped into my old science teacher, Mr. Siegel. When I was a shy little girl in his science class, he asked me what I wanted to do when I "grew up". I told him a wife and mother. He told me I could do that, but I should also seriously consider a career, he told me I had huge potential. He believed in me.  I was so happy I was able to see him so many years later and tell him how much those words meant to me. And that yes I was a mother but also a successful career woman with Emmys and Travels and so many fun adventures under my belt.  Being able to thank my teacher made all my efforts to attend the reunion worthwhile.

I also got a chance to see my old friends, reminisce about the old times, and catch up on our lives, our kids, our careers. It was just like the good ol' days. I got lost in conversations, laughs, and a drink or two.

And the bullys? They never showed up! I think this time around, they were the ones that were scared.

Moral of the story: There are always bullys in our lives, whether they come in the form of old classmates, bosses, spouses, or yes, even friends. And like they say about scary animals, most of the time they are more scared of us then we are of them.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

My Life Smells like Salmon- Does Yours?

We've been taught that Salmon swim upstream as part of their life cycle. They do it to procreate, to keep the species alive.

Why do I feel I'm a Salmon? Is it because my "stream" consists of deadlines, housecleaning, bills and endless workouts and diets?

It's like groundhog day. Brush teeth, wash face, make coffee, check FB, check Twitter, check emails.  Wake up 7 year-old daughter, make her brush her teeth, help her get ready, make her breakfast, pack her lunch, drive her to school. And all of this happens before 8:00 am!  Every day! Monday through Friday. The same routine.

And as a woman who is getting older, the amount of creams, lotions, potions and gadgets I need to use on my face before I even leave the house has also increased, putting more of a demand on my daily routine. The kicker: I STILL get zits! What?! I thought I would grow out of that phase after my Teenage years! No bueno!

I need to work out more than I ever needed to!  Because my metabolism is slower, my body will not accommodate extra "surprise" calories that often lurk behind friendly lunch meetings, spontaneous Happy Hour invites and celebratory cupcakes from the office.  I've been in broadcasting for the last 15 years, and on-camera I need to look just as good as that young 23 year old fresh off her Media Training classes and swimming around me like a Shark. Snap! Meanwhile, I'm just a poor Salmon trying to swim upstream.

Get home and realize the dirty plate you forgot to put in the dishwasher and the dirty jeans you threw in the hamper seem to have duplicated like Gremlins splashed with water. (if you get this reference that means you're probably around my age). Then, I need to not only finish the work I couldn't finish at the office but also help my daughter with all HER homework. And, the bed was never made from the morning when I rushed out!  Should I even bother? I'm about to un-make it in about two hours anyway.

Can I just say, "AHHHHHhhhhhhhhhh"!!!! I can't even comfort myself with chocolate ice cream.

But, like the Salmon I just cant GIVE UP. I need to keep going, like the feisty little fish that battles fierce currents, strong waves, and endless miles to get to its destination.  Only in my world  the challenges  come in the form of rejection letters, gaining 5 pounds at the drop of a hat, unexpected dings on my credit score, cavities, an old car that needs a fixin, ... and oh yea... can you say parking ticket ? Not to mention keeping up with my daughters life too! Making sure her C doesn't turn into a D and that despite my disheveled and unorganized life, she still grows up to be a sane human being that will also one day strive to Swim upstream and fulfill HER destiny.

The lesson here: I don't know. What I do know is that I did have a period where I gave up. I didn't care to swim upstream. I was tired, exhausted, fatigued, over it, sick of it and mad at it. So I just lay there, belly flopped like a dead fish in the water.

But then I realized lazy people work the hardest. I mean, homeless people work 12 hour days and get less than minimum wage in the street corner with their coin cup in hand. Sure, they don't pay taxes but they also don't go to Paris, U2 concerts, Napa Valley or Olive Garden (well maybe they do go to Olive Garden).

Hard working people get the most out of life. Just like the Salmon, the more momentum they have the faster they fulfill their destiny.

It took that ONE determined Sperm amongst Millions to penetrate the Egg that eventually made YOU. Imagine if that little guy would have given up? Sure, another Sperm would have eventually made it but then it wouldn't be you. It would be a completely different set of DNA that would have ended up looking like your brother or sister. But it wouldn't be YOU.

So, I decided to dust off the old fins and start swimming. Not just normal swimming, Salmon swimmng. Hey, this may actually be fun. And there MAY be something to Darwin's Theory of Survival of the Fittest after all.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Diva gets Tamed in Koreatown: a Hair-Raising story

Joe Jonas 6/2011

As a reporter with an unpredictable schedule and an often small window to get ready for my next interview (yesterday it was with Joe Jonas), it's difficult to tame my mane. Especially when I don't have ALL the tools I need to make my hair look half-way decent and not "Homeless Fab". The list includes: hair smoothing cream, a blow dryer, hair straightener, a hot curler, and hairspray. And that is just the bare minimum. My hair is so stubborn I even nicknamed it "the Diva" because it needs an entourage and has an  attitude. Ay dios mio!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Beauties, and Bosses and Weiners ohhhh My!

Last night I attended the Launch Party of MUN2's (Comcast/NBC owned Cable Network) new Reality Show" Beauties & the Boss.

Going with the theme of the evening, I went with my *Boss, Bel Hernandez who is Exec. Producer of the Weekly Talk Show I Co-Host called "Let's Talk", and *Beauty and fellow Co-Host Dyana Ortelli.

We were actually invited to walk the Red Carpet, something I'm not quite used to, since, as a reporter I'm usually on the other side of the rope interviewing the Stars.

Our show tackles topics such as Fashion, obesity, Latinos in Hollywood, Politics, and much more.

As the three of us made our way to the bathroom (where we could actually hear ourselves talk), we started talking about Weiners. In particular Embattled Congressman Anthony D. Weiner who is trying to "stick it out" (not literally for now) and keep his job after he almost "blew" it by posting lewd photos of himself via his Twitter account.

I personally think this is a private matter between him and his wife. If he's good at his job, I don't care if he showed an anonymous (or maybe 47,000 anonymous) people what "lies beneath".  One of my co-hosts disagreed. But we ALL agreed that these and topics like these, are the  kinds of discussions we are having on our "Lets Talk" round table. 

So we walked out of the smelly room and darted for some fresh air, but not before a nice lady from one of the stalls bolted and asked us if  we could continue this conversation? 

We told her to watch "Let's Talk" on Thursdays at 7:30am on KJLA.
We have a captive audience! And not because they are stuck in a bathroom!

Weird Science: turning a Negative into a Positive

I leave my house early in the morning to take my daughter to school. So I'm usually wearing sweats, no make-up, and if I'm wearing a ponytail, its considered a fancy day.

I live in a Condo in Los Angeles, and there is an older man that always sits on a bench smoking or reading a book near my particular building inside the Complex. 

The man is just sitting watching the stream of people walking in and out of  their homes which means I have a witness to my disheveled mornings. 
I come back from dropping off  my 7 year-old, get my gym bag. Go to the gym.

When I get back, I'm sweaty and smelly. And there HE is reading a book, or smoking a cigarette on a bench near my door.

I caught myself grumbling about it.  I hate Looky-loues  (which according to the Urban Dictionary means: a gawker that stairs at disasters, accidents, or people in the process of misfortune.) 

But then I had an Epiphany:  I decided to change this man's title, he just got promoted from "looky-loue" to "man from Condo Complex who makes sure no one breaks into our building" and just like that, I turned a  "negative" into a "positive". And who knows, I may just smile at him next time. After all, he is looking out for our neighborhood right? 


SUNDAY, JUNE 5, 2011

Yes! I tried out Barry's Bootcamp (an intense one hour work out that involves both cardio and weight training) and the verdict is:  I loved it!

I was intimidated at first because many celebrities swear by it (i'm talking about Kim Kardashian ya'll) and although I do work out frequently I wasn't sure I would be able to keep up.

When I walked through the door I literally felt like it was my first day in Kindergarten and I wanted my Mommy to be there and hold my hand.

But, this 30+ year old woman had to grow some and just face her fears.

I think my 3 mile weekly runs "trained" me for this Bootcamp and I was prepared for the intensity. I knew I was "in" when I told the fit girl working out next to me that this was my first class and she said, "wow you're a pro!"

Moral of the story: Don't let things intimidate you. I put off taking this class for almost a year because I heard how hard it was, and when I took it, yes it was challenging, but not anything I wasn't able to handle.

When the class was over, I felt such a sense of accomplishment. Not only because I knew that I just had a great workout, but because I was able to face my fears. I also realized that I was obviously not giving myself enough credit, since I survived this class with my limbs intact. Barry... bring it on...