Filed under: Fierce
I feel like I have finally shed my winter coat. I am not talking about a fur or a Montcler, but rather that little extra roll that gathers around your midriff over the holidays and winter months. Mine came out of hibernation a bit later this year, but I feel like I am now at my summer weight.
I honestly don’t want to come across like one of those stick thin girls who is always complaining she is fat. I eat healthy and am a fitness fanatic. But I am also a victim of liking my wine and penny candy. I swear if I cut both of out of my life I would be killer, but life is way too short and I crave my Skittles. And I know there are alot of you out there who can relate. We know our own bodies to the point where it becomes an obsession. And that extra 2 – 3 pounds we gain each month just puts us over the edge. Suddenly even our “fat jeans” don’t sit as well and everything in our closet just seems a bit snug in all the wrong places. Yes, I wear my cranky pants about once a month - however now they don’t feel as tight.
This summer I have been determined to overcome these feelings both mentally and physically. I have always been a fan of working out. I can’t function if I dont have some sort of physical activity in my life to balance out the stress of my job. Sweat, listening to my all time favorite rock songs (I have a playlist “Dirty Rock Songs“on my iPod just for working out) and those sweet little cuts you get on either side of your stomach are my saving graces.
Which is probably the reason why I am also obsessed with pilates. Pilates is both a mind and body exercise. I have been practicing pilates for years now. Okay you got me, sometimes consistently and sometimes not. I started pilates seven years ago with private lessons three times a week. I used to think money grew on trees.
Coincidently, this is also the same time I started working with that guy who was just nominated for Best Actor in a Drama. So Sarah (my instructor ) became my personal trainer and my therapist at the same time. I truly believed she changed my body and my life. She is now one of my best friends.
What I love about pilates is that it strenghtens and tones without bulking. I hate the word bulk. It’s an amazing work out if you give it the time and devotion it needs. You learn how to isolate and use muscles you never knew you had. It cuts inches of your problem areas and elongates your muscles giving you a celebrity physique. Your posture improves, your core becomes flat and sexy minus the six pack look and your legs look longer and leaner. Hello gap shot.
Think about it. Instead of always contracting your muscles, you elongate them. Long, lean muscle without the bulk. I am in!
I also like to run. I know I am contradicting myself, but can’t help it, I love the rush and the sweat. So pilates helps me that much more. And for any guys out there who may be reading this, it’s all about your core. Think hockey. Think baseball. Think golf.
Recently, I took this whole strengthen and stretching concept one step further. I tried Gyrotonics. Ever seen any of these machines? The look like they have guest starred in a Hannibal Lecter film. They are scary and intimidating, but again the results are fierce. I have tried a few times now. We end our pilates routine about 15 minutes early to stretch even more and gain flexibility. Let me tell you, when I get step off one of these contraptions I feel like I don’t need my heels. I swear I grow 2 inches each time. Now I know what Bobby Brady was thinking when he used to hang from the swing set. Same effect.
If you haven’t tried pilates, I urge you to give it an honest shot. Not once or twice, but for an extended period of time. Buy all the classes in advance. You will feel obligated to go. Try privates at first to learn the exercise philosophy, the routines and to find the best instructor for you. You can introduce duets or trios into the mix later. This will save face with your checkbook. You will feel destined to go after you see the results.
I have decided to invest in a great new winter coat this year. To quote my friend Mo, “The kind that when you have it on, it doesn’t matter what you are wearing underneath.”
Until then, my only other major purchase is a renewed membership to my pilates studio. This morning after a great workout, I bought another 10 session card.
Aahh. . .summer thinking weighing in. You better believe it matters what is underneath.
Filed under: Sanity
I just got home from visiting my cousin in the hospital. We spoke on the phone yesterday and she told me she was on her way to a doctors appointment. I am thinking gyno, check-up or maybe even a little microdermabrasion. Well that’s at least what my beauty doctor tells the monkeys who is phoning when she calls my office to confirm my appointments. Which basically sums up the difference between me and Susie. But never did my smart, reserved and sensible cuz mention she was not feeling well. In fact, when I hung up with her I was wondering why she seemed so distant and was being a little missy pissy.
She has been sick with poop soup since July 2nd. I would have thought great diet and what perfect timing for bikini weather. Susie, on the other and much more practical hand, thought maybe its time to get checked out. My Mom called me this morning to let me know what was going on. They ruled out all the “bad” stuff and were now holding her for observation and to run some more tests. I knew she hadn’t planned on checking herself in, so I assumed she didn’t have the right stuff. I phoned her to ask if she needed any of the essentials – rag mags, music or good underwear. Stressing the good underwear. Susie is single so her undies should either be doctor neutral or doctor friendly depending on the datability status of the doc. It made her laugh. But of course I was totally serious.
I ran home after work, made a quick dinner (yep I can bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan), grabbed my man (who I have to say despite his major jetlag came along willingly) and made it to the hospital a whole half hour before visiting hours were over.
You have to understand my family – or any Italian family for that matter. We do everything together, there is always a crowd and its always noisy. We talk over one another and just get louder to be heard. Hospital rooms, and shared hospital are no exception. Welcome to Room 412 A (she had a roommate). Had being the key word here – more on that in the next paragraph. My Mom, Dad, Aunt Jubes and Uncle were all crammed in one half of the room. Enter Mike and me. Noise level immediatley went up. My Mom told me she didn’t like my hair and it “wasn’t my best look.” Of course everyone else piped in too. I guess doo rags are not in fashion in hospitals these days. Note to self – make blow out apppointment for later this week. Note to monkeys – say its a doctors appointment if anyone calls. I hopped in bed with Susie and actually sat on and almost yanked out her IV. Oops sorry but can you please move over. I then proceeded to tell the tiny room my escapades in Nantucket. We all laughed. Both Aunt Jubes and Mom are nurses – we know how to cheer up a room.
412B didn’t really appreciate my bedside manner. Poor thing got up, dragged herself out of bed and left the room. That’s when my Aunt decided to tell us that she was in for splitting migraine headaches and was scheduled for a spinal tap. My Mom responded with well that still gives her no right to be pissy. That’s my Mom – always sticking up for us. She proceeded to also say that if she came to her pain center tomorrow, she would give her a little extra pinch. We all laughed again and this time even louder. Well why not, we had a private suite at this point. B checked out.
Susie is going to be fine. And I hope her ex roomie is too. Mom, if by some chance you do get this girl as a patient tomorrow, try and be nice. All together we can be overwhelming and enough to make any girl a little pissy.
Feel better Susie! Love, your cousin.
Filed under: Events
Now that I have your attention (who doesn’t remember that famous poem), I can share my weekend with you. I spent the weekend in Nantucket. I wasn’t sure if I was going to go, but with my husband still abroad at the British Open and the weather looking promising, I decided to hop on the high speed ferry.
Reservations highly recommended. This is what it said (and they highlighted this part for me) on the bottom of the print out my monkeys gave me when I left the office Friday. Hhmm I better reserve my seats. God forbid I got stuck on a slow boat. As I clicked on purchase I glanced at a picture I see every time I am in my husband’s home office. It’s his favorite picture of me and was taken about 10 years ago in Nantucket. He was speaking at a conference and we were staying with friends at this wonderful beachfront property. This was going to be fun.
The girls picked me up in a black vintage 1955 GMC truck. This was not any old truck but a Chrome Hearts custom pimped out turbo charged baby that was an attention getter. The wheels were as tall as a five-year-old and the three of us (2 blondes, 1 brunette) climbed in to begin our island adventure. Like I said, this was going to be fun.
The island was packed and traffic was tough. Even tougher going over all those cobblestones in the truck. We beeped and screamed hello at about a dozen people we knew trucking through town and stopped to pick up sandwiches for the gang and our day at the beach. Finally we plowed through the crowds and were on our way to Skull Cottage.
The road out to Mo’s was all to familiar to me. The first day of my first summer rental (10 boys, 3 girls including me) in ACK, I spent in the ER having gravel removed from my knees. I rollerbladed down this street attached to a moped by a rope. They did not teach us common sense at Boston College.
Anyway, Mosey’s husband hosts an annual get together with four couples that he lifeguarded with back in the day. Di and I were crashing The Big Chill weekend, and we found out later, a friend in the neighborhoods birthday bash. I recognized the neighborhood instantly and asked if they knew this guy named Bernie. They did. It was his party and the very same spot I stayed at years ago and posed for that famous picture. Here 10 years later I found myself at another Weekend at Bernie’s as a birthday crasher!
We had two missions – to introduce Di to this guy we thought may be a good contender and to have fun! The intro was never made, but the fun as expected, was certainly had. Turns out everyone else on the island knew Bernie too. The party was packed and a total blast. Our gang (we won the most amount of crashers award) had the best time. We were the first in the buffet line, the first to laugh at the toasts, the first on the dance floor, the most popular guests and some of the last to leave.
I am not sure if the guy we tried to hook up with Di is this guy from Nantucket (he’s 6′ 10″ tall and a former Canadien olympic basketball player with very large hands and feet. . .my bet is on him) or if Bernie is the man of ACK.
What I do know is that Owen and Vince have nothing on us and I cant wait to go back.
Filed under: Events
I have always threatened to write about my experiences as an event producer, not to mention celebrity event producer. What I have seen, been exposed to, covered up, shared and producd over the past 11 years is certainly worthy of a book with lots of chapters. Tonight, I was out with two women (aka Toughie and Chiefy) that I have done most of the above with. I still refer to them as my gypsy staff but have come to realize and cherish that they are my unknowns and unpredictable factors.
Truthfully, they are wonderful women that volunteer their time to various causes for many charity events. I met them at a bar (shocker) on Cape Cod at an event they were working at for a former hockey great. I guess you can say I poached them because since then and without fail, they have been at all my major events. With success, they have managed to create a little drama at each as well.
Chapter One: Payton Place. Talk about being out over your skis. My first event for a certain just nominated for Best Actor in a Drama Series was an avalanche of emotion. Little did I know that with all the guest list management going on, my girls were also tracking the extra curricular guests. Ahhh to be be single and on television. . . This was also when I learned these girls were worth their weight in gold. A certain celebrity guest (big guy. . .where everyone knows your name) flew in from the coast of Maine and was used to the fresh seaside air. They changed his room 3 times and finally he just exclaimed that he really needed an ocean breeze. My resposne to him , and I kid you not, was “We are in the middle of the state. I can get you some bad clams and a fan.” The girls went to WalMart that night looking for Glade Ocean Breeze air freshener and got the man a floor fan.
Chapter Three: Missing Intern. Yes I lost one. Same event, different year. The best part of this story, well besides the fact that we finally found her, was that no one told me she was missing. My staff did their absolute best to recover the stray and not let me know anything was wrong until the situation was resolved.
Chapter Five: Faulty Walkies. This was the golf event that I freaked out because our walkies were completely silent. There were no frantic calls of needing water, needing an EMT (or 3 that one year the last being called after that same actor hit a photog in the chest with his drive), needing more golf balls, needing a shuttle bus, or needing anything. I finally placed an All Call to determine if I had a faulty walkie. It worked and the response back was “to relax” everything was in control.
Chapter Seven: The Doorknob. I wasn’t actually at this event, but the girls were and they get such a kick out of telling the story (have heard it now about 7 times) , I thought I should add it here. Their sister (aka the Exhibitionist) joins them for certain events. As I have said before, as event planners you wear many hats. This event she was the bellman and was simply trying to be friendly, polite and help guests enter the hotel. Now add full service to the list. She turned her head as she was reaching for the doorknob and greeted one very tall guest by grabbing his package. Picture how a hand is clenched when reaching for a doorknob and then just applying slight pressure. No need to squeeze, just a gentle turn.
Chapter Nine: Lost in Manhattan. They were expected to be on site at our NYC venue at 7PM and it was now after midnite. I called them every half hour. I went to bed but couldn’t sleep. Finally I discovered that they had indeed checked in, so I got up and went to their room. Or what I thought the front desk told me was their room. They ended up finding me, or hearing me, as I was screaming bloody murder outside some poor guys room. He opened his door to find me dressed in my pajamas banging and yelling like a crazy lady at this door to let me in. I think he thought it was his lucky night. It definitely was the girls. They got off the train at Penn Station to learn Rob Thomas (should I hav called this Groupies?) was playing at MSG. They managed to score front row tickets to the sold out show, forgot to call me and turned off their cell phones.
Chapter Eleven: Oh My God. This happened last month. One would think wisdom and maturity would change people. I took them to NYC to a season premiere. Adult beverage service began at 8AM on the train. They were on “holiday.” We arrived to a torrential downpour, similar to what I arrived to this week in NYC. Funny that they knew there was a great Irish Pub right across from Penn Station. We were parked at the bar at 11AM. Toughie left with a roadie (she did not want to “offend” the bartender). The trip ended pretty much the way it started. But this time I managed to keep track of them, for a little while anyway. Again the “let’s not tell her” came into play. One left while the other distratced me. Finally I let the other go home as well – they had an early train home the next morning (which was really in a few hours at this point). The “let’s not tell her” came into play once more. These two decided to blow off their train, blow off their day jobs and stay in the city another night. I discovered them the next morning as I boarded my originally scheduled train and was searching for a seat. Wow that really looks like Toughie and Chiefy. But they left yesterday. It is Toughie and Chiefy. . .Oh my god!
There are so many more stories to be told. I might actually have to write that book some day. Several chapters will also showcase all the amazing things my staff and volunteers do on a regular basis, Toughie and Chiefy especially. I can not imagine doing any event without them. I am always the one upfront and in the spotlight, but honestly its them who make me shine. I chose to share this tonight becasue I just got home from spending some quality time with them. I know these stories probably are not as funny to the common reader, but to us they are hysterical. We laughed all night.
They treated me to dinner and brought me gifts for being so good to them on our last NYC trip. One gift was a roadie kit, the other was a certificate to the restaurant we were at. They gave it to me after they paid the bill. . .they know me too well. They have spent the past 7 years volunteering at all my events and are now thanking me. Forgot what we are up to now, but perk number four of being an event producer is having the opportunity to work with some truly remarkable selfless people.
Les and Jen, you two are definitely a couple of wild cards, but my deck is never complete without you.
Filed under: Events
Yesterday I woke up in NYC to such a thunderstorm I thought the entire city was going to flood. It was raining cats and dogs. Perfect day to be escorting two auction winners to set to watch a taping of Rescue Me. I was here with two young, adorable girls (their Dad bought them this trip at an auction at one of my events) and the blonde (my client) from last week’s road trip. This is also one of the many hats I wear as an event producer, being a chaperone so to speak. Anyway when I saw the blanket of dark clouds and heard the thunder, I knew if anything went awry today I could always blame it on the rain.
First of all, the fact that I am even going on another road trip with her, and just one week later, was a feat in itself (I am sure she feels the same way – wink wink). This time however I was in charge. The who, what, when, where, and how was up to me. The why was all hers – she is the client.
The weather man on TV said there was a 97% of humidity. That and the sheet of water that was falling from the sky made for a super hair day. . . not. And the summer white jeans I had planned on wearing would have resulted in an ugly grey, muddy disaster. Good thing I have OPD and brought some options. The girlies both wore cute summer dresses and sparkly flats. They are young and were going to see very “cute boys.” I decided to wear my dark jeans, Marni cami and new Rag & Bone vest (thanks Mia). It was a fierce outfit but in a I didn’t even try sort of way.
When we stepped outside I wished I was dressed more like Gordon from Gloucester. Remember that guy who fished and sported a bright yellow slicker, rain pants, boots and matching hat? The line for a taxi outside of our hotel was 10 people deep. But luckily, and perk number two of being an event producer, we had a driver. We sashayed past the line into our dry car.
When we arrived on set in Brooklyn the rain stopped and we entered the scene fresh as daisies. Wish I could say that was perk number three, but unfortunately, the only thing that event producers do not control is the weather. It was wet, hot, humid and sticky, but I feel like the girls had a great day. They were wined and dined, saw the behind the scenes making of a hit TV show, listened in on producer headphones, met and mingled with the star actors, hung out in an actor’s trailer, viewed a pyrotechnic stunt, witnessed both People Magazine doing a photo shoot and A & E interviewing for an autobiography, took home autographed items and left grinning ear to ear.
Which also put a big smile on my client’s face. It turned out to be a sunny day for everyone – blame it on the rain.
Filed under: Feast
I am full. Girls weekend was a buffet of silliness, seriousness, remembering and encouraging. We snacked on delicious food (see above) and shared tasty tidbits about our lives and recipes about everything from dating to career paths. Our weekend was centered around food. The food we ate and food for thought.
My Aunt Jubes brought down enough to feed a small army. We are Italian, it’s in our blood. I had 7 people over for dinner Saturday night – 5 girls and 2 boys. My dad and our friend Gary snuck in (we needed the men to fire up the grill). The weekend was a real treat – it gave me the chance to cheer up my girlfriend, spend quality time with my godmother and mom and share my family with my friends. We were emotionally nourished.
The next day proved to be just as fulflling. We got up early and ate breakfast in our jammies gossiping about the night before. Of course we re-hashed and re-analyzed all the topics. We are girls, its just what we do. And we determined that we must all meet up again early fall for a progress report. Once that was settled, we noticed it was another gorgeous day. Knowing we found temporary peace with our issues, we decided to hit the beach.
At the beach, we met up with some other girlfriends of all ages and talked about how our men were away doing men stuff and how great it was to be with just the girls. That feeling changed very quickly when suddenly we found ourselves as stars in a Diet Coke commercial. Remember that one when Lucky Vanous sent an office full of women into a swoon? Right in front of us was another kind of eating adventure – this time a feast for our eyes.
One of our friend’s daughters is dating the former top recruit of the Harvard hockey team. He and about 6 of his yummy teammates were visiting (sorry no picture – I was tempted but sometimes my better judgment saves me from myself). Lucky was dressed in a tee shirt and jeans. These guys were in swim trunks and flips flops. It was a smorgasbord of tanned, toned, young flesh.
Hello Mrs. Robinson! The parade of skin and muscle went on for about a good six minutes before anyone could speak. I think one of the first comments was about their physique. . .something about the perfect shape of a hockey butt. It’s so funny how us girls can relish in the fact that we are so happy and content with one another until a gorgeous guy strolls by and flexes his masculinity. And then of course we were presented with a new buffet of topics to talk about.
We stayed on the beach for hours. Tanning, chatting and flirting (harmlessly). We are girls, its just what we do. Oh please, its not like the men we know don’t do it too. Eye candy terminology ring a bell? So if we are eye candy then what were these boys? We could spend hours discussing – they and this are great food for thought.
Filed under: Fierce
My friend Nance was laid off from work this week. We all knew it was pending but the reality of it still hurt. Luckily, we had already planned this girls weekend. In my opinion, its a great way to cheer anyone up. Spending time with friends, shopping and some great wine always does the trick for me. (See picture) But when suggesting my possible remedies to her woes, we realized that now retail therapy (one of my all time favorite excuses) became a question rather than a solution. Was it a luxury or a necessity?
Let me start by telling you that Nance is also my friend who coined the phrase major purchase. We do pilates duets every week and most days she would leave the studio saying she needed another MP. Her last break up she bought a Me and Ro necklace she just had to have (the bracelet to match too) and just told us that ironically enough, she found it when cleaning out her desk at work. She brought it to the Cape. It is dull and rusted. Her necklace, like her life, needs a major shine up.
We have spent the morning munching on a yummy spa breakfast that consists of papaya and mixed berries. We plan on making egg white omelettes when we return from the fitness center at the club. Nance and I are lucky enough to belong to a club that feels like we are vacationing at the Four Seasons every weekend. Sometimes this is taken for granted. But truth be told, it is a luxury.
We tried listing all the other “luxuries” in her life that she could possibly eliminate or at least cut back. We concluded that most everything from communication (she is thinking of getting the new iPhone) to maintenance (she needs the bod and the clothes to get a great new job) has become a necessity in both of our lives. We are simply babes in medialand. So funny that I am writing about this again. It was the title of my thesis in grad school.
Bottom line, now that we are watching it, is that it is hard to distingiush an “L” from an “N.” Everything we see, read, watch and absorb tries to persuade us to be better, do more and live in excess.
My Aunt Jubes (who again ironically enough is on her way to down to join us) always told me that if something made me happy, I should have it. Of course back then, I applied it to new shoes or a boy. Now I realize that happiness isn’t about a pair of heels or some guy. Happiness is a luxury. And it is a major necessity.
Filed under: Events
This is a perfect story seeing I am interviewing two potential hires tomorrow and everyone always seems to know someone who wants to get into event planning. I can’t tell you how many times I have been asked what I do and then that immediate chaser. Yes, as an event producer I enjoy many perks, have met some dynamic people, make it onto many invite lists and get to travel. But its not always that glamorous. Tonight for example, I found myself lost and with no gas.
This afternoon my client/friend (I would have put friend first but she informed me tonight that she no longer reads my blog – hence the juxtaposition) set out to mark both a 25 mile and a 50 mile bike route on the North Shore of Massachusetts. We are planning a cycling fundraiser for this September and decided to “ride” (yeah right) the route ourselves to determine where we need directional signage. I thought great fun roadtrip and we can stop for a snack at this way cool barge in Marblehead for a burger or trek over to Woodman’s for some fried clams. Sidenote – both never happened and I ended up consuming half a box of Hot Tamales and chicken tenders and fries from McDonalds. Sorry, she had to pee and I am totally PMS. Can you just sense all the excitement and glamour?
It might help to tell you that she is blonde and I should be. This was a classic case of the blonde leading the blind. I told her to print directions and I would supply the treats for the trip. We had plenty of water and sweets but no directions.
Our three hour tour up the coastline started in rush hour traffic. Her excuse was a meeting with her boss. Okay one benefit – I am my own boss. We had planned to leave at 4pm and be back about 7pm. It was 6pm when we realized we missed the first exit, were off track and no where near our route starting place. Then the little orange gas light came on. Now this is a light I am very familiar with. I think I ran out of gas just about every other week when I was in high school. Just never seemed to do anything about the light. I also seized the engine in my car one trip coming home from producing an event in NYC, but thats another story and another ignored light.
We finally found a gas station and thats where things literally picked up. I was now the driver and she was left to navigate the maps. Thank god, I get car sick if I read in the car and inherited a challenged sense of direction from my Mom. Trying to read a map in a car would have forced me to fire a client.
I also inherited a heavy foot from my Dad. We missed many turns and I almost catapulted us into the harbor a few times. Hey, they will be on bikes and not at my speed. Finally, after many turn arounds, do overs and backing in and out of people’s driveways, we got to our destination. Our turning point was well worth the drive. That and the many stops along the way were amazing. There are some truly beautiful places on the North Shore and the scenic route should not be missed; just go slow.
The same pertains to event production, pay attention to the details and go at your own pace. I promise you will never be lost without gas.
Filed under: Fierce