moda vivendi

I'm just talking to myself. We do that sometimes, me and myself.


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Five things I love about Lucy

Today is Lucille Ball’s birthday.  I’ve always admired her.  I think her red hair reminded me of my grandmother and since I was little, the two women were inextricably linked in my mind.  One summer, I spent a good portion of my time reading books about her, researching her, and putting together a presentation and speech to deliver to inform others about her (it was for a class, I wasn’t just preaching to people on the sidewalk!)  To say I’ve become familiar with her work is an understatement.  In honor of Lucy, here are five things I love about (and learned from) Lucy.

  1. She knew what hard work and motivation would do.  Lucille Ball started out as a model, worked on Broadway (under a pseudonym), and then “Queen of the Bs” as a B-List contract actress.  From there, she worked her way up to having an integral role in creating I Love Lucy (and a handful of other shows later).  That was a time when women just didn’t do that.  They didn’t sit in business meetings and negotiate contracts, but she did.  Further, after her divorce from Desi Arnaz, she bought out his share of Desilu and worked as a very active studio head.  Lucy knew what her purpose was, what she wanted to do in life, and she followed her ambition to make herself the icon she is today.  Know that you are capable of making your dreams happen, as long as you’re willing to work for it.
  2. She made a fool of herself when women were just supposed to “look pretty.”  Lucy wasn’t afraid to go the distance to get a laugh, whether it was falling, making faces, or attaching bulbous noses to her normal one.  First woman to really portray pregnancy and having a baby on a sitcom?  That would be Lucy.  Beating a dead horse from above, she wasn’t afraid to do what needed to be done; neither should we.  It’s more acceptable today for women to be funny (or CEOs or engineers) than it was in the past, but there’s still that barrier between men and women.  Adopt her fearlessness and do what you need to do to get the job done.
  3. She cared about other people.  When Lucy was younger, she cared for her stepfather’s parents (and her own brother).  When she later moved to Hollywood, her family came too.  She took care of them and helped to provide for them.  Even after her divorce, she and Desi remained close.  This is what you do for family and people you care about.  Never lose that compassion.
  4. She was afraid of birds.  Lucy said that she remembers little from the day of her father’s funeral when she was a young girl, but she did recall a bird getting trapped in the house.  Since then, she was afraid of birds.  She even went as far as removing wallpaper with pictures of birds that she just had hung (not realizing when she purchased the paper that birds were pictured).  We all have those irrational fears; it’s perfectly acceptable to give in to one (just not all of them, because then you’re just a nutcase).
  5. She left a legacy.  I can only hope to be so memorable one day.


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Things to remember when posting for your business

**Please note: this was first posted over on theBrewRoom blog.  You can check out the full post (and more) there!

Inspired by a list published on AdAge.com by Simon Dumenco, “9 Media Things That Should Be Immediately Regulated,” I hereby give you my list of 7 Things That Should Be Immediately Regulated When Posting For Your Small Business (or any sized business for that matter) on social media accounts.  Posting for your business can be tricky to navigate at first, but it gets easier with practice (and remembering these reminders).  Please note: there is no particular order because these are all important.  Well, except for No. 1.  That’s pretty important.

5. Henceforth, your posts shall only contain one punctuation character in a row.  I get that you’re excited, but use your words, not your exclamation points.  Exception: ellipses…

4. Henceforth, you shall not ramble.  The ratio of number of characters per post to percent of increased engagement varies between Ragan, Short Stack, and Linchpin SEO infographics, but they all will tell you that posts clocking in around 100-150 characters (3 lines of a Facebook update) see more interactions on Facebook.  Similarly, about 80-100 characters are ideal for a tweet.

3. Henceforth, you shall not post willy-nilly.  Everyone (yes, everyone) will tell you to make a schedule of posts and stick to it.  It’ll keep you organized, keep you on point, and ensure that you post essential messages without becoming overbearing (and annoying).

2. Henceforth, if you must automate posts, know who/what/where/when.  Don’t be the person tweeting your two-for-one BBQ Nite when something devastating (or joyful, but mostly devistating) happens.  Make sure you know what’s going where and when.  Try your best to make a quick change should you need to.

1. Henceforth, you shall be interested in others.  As John of YaJagoff will tell you, social media is losing the “social” aspect.  He’ll also tell you that you can get more people interested in you by showing interest in them.  Think about the last time you were faced to endure time with a “me” person.  It’s a turn-off, yeah?  Don’t be that person online.


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5 Reasons You Hate Your Job (Redux)

I’d like to preface this by saying I like my job about as much as the next person.  Usually I’m doing something that I think is helping the company.  I have worth!  I have talent!  I have stress-relief balls all over my desk! (My favorites are a light bulb and a penguin.)  But this “article” that I read is just begging to be satirized.  It’s called “5 Reasons You Hate Your Job.”  I’d tell you to go and read the full thing here, but let me break it down for you.

You’re Unorganized

I’m proud of my organizational skills.  Okay, my desk at home looks like a hoarder and a pack rat got together and threw up all over it, but in the grand scheme of things, it could be worse.  And at work, I’m the best, most color-coded, Type A, Post-It-Noted person in the office.

So really, maybe I’m too organized.  There’s no clutter to make me crazy so I am crazy in other ways.

You’re Stressed

Reason number two is because “I’m stressed.”  Well, yeah, of course.  When you are told to re-do something 10 times and it turns out that Version 1.0 is the winning choice, or they ask you to do something 10 times and your contributions still aren’t implemented, you tend to get a little frustrated.

You’re Not Taking Care of Your Body

Actually, I’m training for a half marathon.  If I want to eat a cookie, I’m eating that cookie.  Next!

You Don’t Like Your Colleagues

The author suggests that I understand that they have personal lives and stresses in those personal lives, just like me.  Okay, I understand that for them, but why don’t they understand that for me!?  I don’t want to be at work while you stand around and eat your cookie.  Do that at home, not on my time.  I eat my cookies at home after I train for a marathon.  See, I’m understanding.

Your Finances Aren’t In Order

That’s why I have a job..to make money.  So I’d say my finances are getting in order.  They aren’t as tidy as my organizational skills, but I balance my check book.

I’d like to offer my own 5 Reasons You Hate Your Job:

  1. You’re Given Too Much Work and Not Enough Money (Look, that kills Reason 1, 2, and 5)
  2. You Don’t Like Your Colleagues (That one was pretty spot-on the first time around)
  3. Your Business Casual Clothes are too Binding (Casual Friday should be Casual Every Day That You Have to Put On Real Pants Day)
  4. You Have to Wake up Ridiculously Early (I’m a morning person, but not a crack-of-dawn, before-the-birds-are-chirping person)
  5. There Isn’t Enough Coffee or Whoever Made the Coffee Today Must Have Put Ashes in It (It isn’t that hard people. I know I was a barista, but come on, this is a home-brew machine, it doesn’t say “Go gather a unicorn’s tears and fill the water reservoir with them” on the instruction booklet)

And sometimes there are days when you only have 1 Reason You Love Your Job:

  1. Your Chair Swivels


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Five things I’m thankful for today

1. Seeing an okra blossom this morning.  Unusual, I know.  But have you ever seen an okra blossom?  The picture doesn’t do it justice.  It’s the softest yellow color with the most vibrant ruby ring right in the center.  Mother Nature, you know how to make them.

2. Coffee. And rain.  Aren’t you just absolutely shocked to read that one?  Right now I am sitting on the porch at my favorite coffee shop (sadly, not Affogato anymore..rest in peace, old regular place) and it is raining and there is a breeze and it’s all so poetic and perfect for writing.  What is it about coffee and rain that are so conducive to writing?  I do believe I have a best seller in me somewhere in the style of Thoreau or Wilde.

3. This guy.  Dogs may stereotypically be man’s best friend, but look at that face.  How can a girl not fall in love with him.  I’m dog-sitting for the week and every night, like clockwork, we go for a walk (well, he takes me for a walk; the little fella can pull!) and then come home and have a raw hide, for him, and a dish of ice cream, for me.  It’s possibly the best relationship I have ever had.

4. Homemade cookies.  I don’t have a picture of them because I haven’t actually made cookies in a surprisingly long time, but that doesn’t cancel out the fact that they are delicious and definitely one of the better things in life!

5. World peace?  New exciting things, like meeting new people and going on new adventures.  I would willingly be hurt 9 times if it means I get to experience that “new relationship” feeling just one more time.  It really is one of the best feelings in the world (the new, exciting one, not the curl-in-a-ball-from-emtional-pain one).


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18 things I want

I was inspired by this gem I found on Thought Catalog while at work browsing the internet the other day and knew I’d have to steal the idea.  So, I give you The List.  (Some of these are my own creation, others I liked so much from TC that I borrowed them, as noted with a *).

  1. Unlimited coffee*
  2. A dog that is exactly like Snoopy, who turns into Joe Cool and a Flying Ace, but then also who tells me about it, not just communicates with his bird-friend in thought bubbles and dashes.
  3. A 60s-inspired mod dress in the style of Suzy Bishop in “Moonrise Kingdom,” as it will make Halloween a lot less stressful once I know I have the right outfit.
  4. A Shazam app for smells*
  5. A white duck named Bob.
  6. Season tickets for the Pens.  Or partial season tickets.  Or just going to a few games this season.  Y’all know how excited I get, even if it’s just preseason.
  7. To feel like it’s okay to skip a workout and not have my body rebel against me.
  8. A job that I like.  Preferably a career that I like.  Shouldn’t we have the right to say, “This is what I want my life to be like, and I don’t want to be hiding under the covers every morning a la Bridget Jones, panicked and chain-smoking because it’s Monday and the work-day is approaching.”
  9. A partner.  Not someone who is better than me (so that I’m always trying to impress them) or worse than me (so I get complacent and think that they’ll never leave), but an equal.
  10. Ctrl + F (or Command + F because I’m a Mac nerd now) for my car keys*
  11. An arsenal of high heeled shoes that are cute AND comfy.  (Michael Kors knows his stuff, though, so this is on the way to being checked off.)
  12. Unlimited access to any book, any time.  (Like a nook, but for those days when I leave mine at home.)
  13. A TV crew to follow me around for a day.  Andy Warhol said that everyone should get their 15 minutes.
  14. To see friends who don’t leave near to me on a regular basis.  Same for family.
  15. Access to a beach.  Can we just blow up Jersey already?
  16. A back-up camera for those times when I’m stubborn and think I can carry everything into the house in one trip.  “Did I drop something important or just a water bottle?”
  17. Wine juice boxes.  Wait, they already have this one.
  18. To go back in time and meet Lucille Ball and Julia Child and all those other amazing women.
  19. World peace??*


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I need a dollar

Actually, I need a lot of dollars.  And to get them, I need a full-time job.  Note: I don’t want to leave where I currently work.  It really isn’t as bad as this blog makes it seem and the people are wonderful.  The problem lies in the fact that I have two degrees and neither says I’m qualified only to be a receptionist.

So here’s what I have to offer:

  • I can answer phones and file and fax and color code.  Usually with a smile, might I add.
  • I can set up and update social media stuff.  I do it a lot for my own purposes, why not get paid for it!  Bonus: I know how to use hashtags (ie: on Twitter only, not to use them on Facebook)
  • I’m a good writer.  I can write clever things.  I can write clever copy for your ads.
  • I drink coffee.  Essential for those long nights of writing clever copy.
  • I can work independently.  I can work in a group.  I’m a chameleon.
  • I have a professional wardrobe so I’m good to go at a moment’s notice of being hired.  And I don’t mind wearing heels all day.
  • I can recall ads from years ago.  Typically ones that were really good or really bad, so I know what to do or what to avoid.
  • I bake.  Cookies with our late night coffee and brainstorming, anyone?

I know what you’re thinking..  No one lists those qualities on job boards under the “qualifications” heading.  But they should!  Anyone can have “proficiency with Adobe Photoshop and InDesign” (which I do, in case you’re wondering), but it’s also important to be an exciting employee and co-worker.  No one wants to work with Marty McDull-Pants even if he is a photo-editing genius.  So I can do all of the professional, typical requirements and have a little fun on the side.  And provide cookies (and pie)!  Who wouldn’t want to work with someone like that?


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Today has been mostly awkward

Awkward:

  • I always manage to spill my coffee all over, especially on days that I wear white.  It’s a fashion statement..?  I’m waiting for the day that I spill coffee inside my purse; I know it’s going to happen sooner or later.
  • Auto-correct.  I usually manage to send the message I intended to send with my phone, it’s when I’m using a machine that doesn’t have auto-correct that I get screwed up.  I just assume that the computer is going to insert “waiting” instead of leaving it as “wautung” or putting a period in when I hit the space bar twice.

Awesome:

  • The people I work with.  One girl just introduced me to the phrase “Awesome Possum.”  It’s like “Super Duper” but more fun to say.
  • Applying for jobs.  Just kidding.  This really belongs in the “awkward” category but I needed some padding here.