Wednesday, March 31, 2010

This is the Crap You Need.

So last week I told you what crap you don't need...this is the crap you do:

1) TiVo or DVR. You are an active, popular, important person with things to do right? Your busy life shouldn't keep you from seeing all of your favorite shows. Maybe you aren't busy, maybe you spend plenty of time at home, but you opted to watch Twilight (again) and will catch up on 30 Rock over the weekend.

2) A Pandora account. Create the radio channels you like and vote thumbs up or down as songs play. It's free - with short ads running about every 5 songs or so, or for a reasonable fee, Pandora One, which is ad free and has a few additional perks. There are other options than Pandora, but I think it does the best job of feeling out my mood and playing just the right songs.

3) Some polarizing figure to admire. Mine is Chris McCandless (AKA Alexander Supertramp). Yes, he may be seen by some as a suicidal idiot full of nonsense and self-importance - or maybe he just wanted to say fuck it all, I'm going outside. I read Into the Wild more than a decade ago, but didn't see the movie until recently and it rekindled my sort of romance with Chris - his courage and bravado to reject the materialistic comforts afforded to him startled me and I admired it then, as I do today. Plus, someone else's failures and successes remind you you're only human, without the carpet burn.

4) Two sounding boards: A wacky creative artist for business dilemmas and a stuffy business type for creative problems. The creative artist is not aware of traditional "solutions" and therefore automatically offers unique and out of the box ideas and opinions. Same is true of the stuffed suit - they will apply business logic and statistics to your creative problem and help you to see through the clutter to the bare bones and hopefully, the heart of the piece. In both scenarios, you will be trying something different and avoiding making the same choices over and over.

5) A signature cocktail. Face it, it's just kind of cool. Plus it helps people to know what to have on hand when you're coming over. I like Presecco (Italian sparkling wine) and sometimes Frambois Lambic (Belgian raspberry beer that is also sparkling).

6) Some piece of clothing that makes any outfit special - and instantly says any ensemble you're wearing is your own. I have a blue pashmina I wear year round and it instantly dresses up anything I'm wearing, keeps me warm, keeps food off my clothes, provides an odor guard on public transportation, and goes with everything.

7) Some cool party trick or entertaining flair. Mine is an endless capacity to connect celebrities a la Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, and making a kick-ass ice cream bomb dessert - which I always unmold in front of an audience.
Patty Duke to Kevin Bacon:
1. Patty Duke was in The Miracle Worker with Anne Bancroft
2. Anne Bancroft was in Keeping the Faith with Edward Norton.
3. Edward Norton was in Fight Club with Brad Pitt.
4. Brad Pitt was in Sleepers with *Kevin Bacon
or Patty Duke to Kevin Bacon:
1. Patty Duke was in The Miracle Worker with Anne Bancroft
2. Anne Bancroft was in The Graduate with Dustin Hoffman
3. Dustin Hoffman and Kevin Bacon were both in Sleepers.
or Patty Duke to Kevin Bacon:
1. Patty Duke was in Prelude to a Kiss with Alec Baldwin
2. Alec Baldwin was in She's Having a Baby with Kevin Bacon.
As for the ice cream bomb, you'll just have to hope for an invite.

8) Some awful work disaster that happened in the past by which to compare every other work disaster. "This is no worse than X...and I survived that" or "this isn't nearly as bad as X, I should just move forward". Or this is way worse than X, what did I do then that might help me now?

9) A sense of humor. And forgiveness for yourself when you think something is really funny, but it is only funny to you.

10) A good pair of earbuds/headphones to drown out everyone else. You're your own best company.


  1. HA! This is great, I was just going to do one on stuff new moms should have...we are on some kind of wave here.... :)

  2. I am borowing the book into the wild to read over easter weekend. One of my friends from work was telling me about it just this morning. I am going to read the book before I see the movie, Hope you have a great easter weekend