Some Courts Birth Legacies, Other Courts Give Rise to Movements

Different people excel in or on varying types of courts.

In addition to sporting one of the most iconic mullets in history, Andre Agassi shines on the tennis court.

While he was no Derek Jeter on the baseball field, Michael Jordan owns the basketball court.

Perry Mason outmaneuvers opponents in a courtroom.

While these courts have been known to give rise to legacies, it is in the court of public opinion where revolutions are born.

This is the court that catches the crimes that fall between the cracks; where, collectively, we as a people prevail.

Its power is exemplified in the #metoo movement. Although there has yet to be one guilty verdict, careers and companies have already been decimated by the court of public opinion.

While I may not have a strong backhand, I can’t make a half court shot, and I don’t have a law degree (yet), I have built brands, promoted brands and even performed crisis management for brands. If there is one court I understand, it is the court of public opinion. And I can state with certainty that the magnitude of its present influence is unprecedented.

31 posts down – 334 more to go.

The Last Word

I love words. I’m inspired by them. I collect and treasure them.

Often, when I’m writing, I can’t get enough of them. But I know that not every beautiful word can find it’s way into a piece.

I especially love the last few words.

It is often those final words that make or break an article, a poem, a song or a story.

I tend to save my best words for the conclusion, and I typically write an ending long before penning the beginning.

Because those last few words possess the ability to linger in a thought provoking infinity, they hold enormous power.

But, last words must be chosen with great care. You only have one chance to use them effectively. Last words lose complete potency when followed with additional words, rendering them, former last words.

This is why last words in a disagreement are often meaningless and detrimental.

Yet some people are mentally incapable from walking away from a heated exchange without uttering the final word. They simply can’t help themselves from supplementing their words – even when it weakens or destroys their entire position.

For them, having the final word is worth the cost of losing the entire argument.

Words are one of those instances where more isn’t necessarily better. It’s just more.


30 post down – 335 more to go…

Don’t Trust Anyone with Teeth

My husband’s grandfather was a very successful businessman whose company helped build New York City. His advice to my husband was to never trust anyone with teeth.

As a modern cautionary tale of someone who has trusted far too many people with teeth, my husband is frequently pleading with me to heed his grandfather’s words. Despite my husband’s constant warnings, I often find myself misplacing my trust in someone with teeth.

Even my young son pinned a post-it note to my computer screen urging me to stop being so trusting:

Although I have this constant reminder staring me in the face on a daily basis, somehow I still end up trusting someone, somewhere with teeth. My achilles heel has spiraled so far out of control that I have now widened my net to even toothless people.

Some would label me a fool – as if being trusting is some kind of a character flaw. However, trustfulness is not synonymous with foolishness.

To be clear, I am not a sucker. I am an idealist. I seek truthfulness in people because that is what I choose to see. For my own psyche, I need to believe that I am sharing a planet with decent and trustworthy individuals.

It is I who does not want to live my life in constant distrust; always feeling suspicious of another’s motives.

It is I who made the conscious decision to pursue an existence believing that people – whether they have teeth or not – are inherently good.

I should not have to alter my belief system in order to accommodate the immoralities of others. I should not be the one forced to conform to their culture. It is they who should be respectful of mine.

Unfortunately, this is one of the many instances where idealism and reality conflict. Choosing to see good will never give rise to goodness. It only entices the charlatan.

Because succumbing to a bitter and mistrustful existence is not an option I’d like to explore, I have decided to protect myself by learning the law.

This was way I can “trust but verify” – only with greater assurances.

29 down, 336 more to go…

Cutting Off Your Nose Doesn’t Always Spite Your Face

When I was growing up my Mom was constantly cautioning me not to cut off my nose to spite my face.

“I’m not going to the party if I have to wear those hideous shoes with the buckle that look just like the pair that Christopher Columbus was wearing when he discovered America.”

“Don’t cut your nose to spite your face,” she would say.

Guess what? The soles of those Christopher Columbus shoes never saw pavement.

“If I have to eat those brussel sprouts, then I just won’t eat the cake.”

“You’ll just be cutting off your nose to spite your face,” she warned.

I stood my ground – even when it meant foregoing Carvel ice cream cake with the chocolate crunchies.

Today I am faced with a much more consequential “nose cutting, face spite-ing” conundrum – one that involves my economic livelihood.

I am forced to decide whether the pursuit of justice is worth the financial risks.

If I’ve learned anything in recent years, it is that the just choice is not always the most lucrative one – or the most convenient one.

As I sit here pondering whether or not to risk the proverbial disfigurement of my face, I am reminded of the time in my life when I actually did cut off my nose.

I was 15 years old. I had rhinoplasty. The surgeon literally cut off half of my nose! Maybe even more than half.

And guess what? It was such an improvement that my face has yet to stop thanking me.


The moral is: cutting off your nose doesn’t always spite your face. Sometimes it perfects it.

28 posts down – 337 more to go…

Sometimes Strength Finds You

A few days after my son was delivered via c-section, he developed a fever in the hospital.

I was still recovering from the surgery and was having a lot of trouble walking.

The nurses kept insisting that the only way for me to heal was by walking around.

I refused. It just hurt too much.

Then a nurse came in to tell me that my son was being taken to the NICU to have a spinal tap in order to determine the cause of the fever.

Upon hearing this – miraculously – I had somehow mustered the strength to jump out of the hospital bed and sprint down the corridor to be with him.

Thankfully, he turned out to be perfectly fine. And, he’s still perfect in my eyes.

Anytime I think I’ve exhausted all my strength, I reflect on that day. It’s a reminder that we don’t need to search so hard. Strength has a way of finding us all on its own.

27 posts down – 338 more to go…

Stepping Forward

Yesterday’s post was about stepping forward – even when it necessitates walking through shit and dangerous debris.

Out of sheer coincidence –  or maybe a sign – an old poem I wrote in 1997 called, Stepping Forward, just appeared on my facebook memory feed.

I had posted it 2 years ago, a few days after my son, then 10 years old, handed me a piece of paper that read, “could’ve, should’ve and would’ve”, and asked why I despise those three words.

I explained to him that there is nothing sadder than going through life wishing you had done things differently.

The conversation made me think of my old poem. Although I wrote it when I was single and searching for love, the poem has nothing to do with love at all. The poem is simply about living without regret.

Anytime I find myself starting to second guess a decision, I re-read it. And then, like a Stoic, I take a giant step forward.


Stepping Forward



26 posts down – 339 more to go…

The Path of Most Resistance

From trodden, ever-traveled trails to desolate, hindered roads, life is a journey from one pathway to the next.

While some are navigated with ease, others require tenacity.

Although I can’t be sure whether it is conscious or not, I seem to keep finding myself, laying footprints, on the most obstructed roads.

It appears that, according to HG Wells, losers take the path of least resistance. In keeping with Wells’ line of thought, I must be a winner. Indeed, a big EFFIN WINNER!

“Come on down. Tell her what she’s won, Johnny…”

Please, Johnny, don’t let it be a brand, used, crockpot!

Stoics keep on laughing and they keep on stepping forward – even when the road is blanketed in shit and barricaded by dangerous debris. For, all Stoics know that there will soon come a day when those muddied footprints will reveal a story of great triumph.

25 down – 340 more to go…

Just Laugh – and When You Can’t Laugh, Laugh Some More

When I was 10 years old, my Grandmother taught me how to laugh in face of adversity.

It was one of the most valuable lessons I ever received. And to this day, humor is my fail-safe remedy for handling setbacks. In fact, I’ve become pretty, pretty, pretty good at finding some parcel of hilarity even amidst the bleakest of circumstances.

It all began at the iconic Macy’s Department Store on 34th Street. I was with my Grandmother, my Aunt and my two younger sisters about to embark on a shopping spree. As most grandparents do, my Grandmother loved to spoil us. But on this particular day, my Grandmother was in an even more generous mood. She and my Grandfather had just driven back from a winning weekend at Atlantic City. Between her AC loot and Gloria Vanderbilt just coming out with her new velour line, this was going to be one helluva shopping spree!

We had just finished eating lunch at the cafe. As my Grandmother was paying the check, someone must have caught a glimpse of her sifting through the thousands of dollars she was carrying in her purse.

About 5 minutes after leaving the restaurant, on our way to the Young Miss Section, I see my Grandmother – in heels – sprinting down the escalator, screaming, “Help! Somebody, stop her! That woman just stole my purse!”

Sadly, as it so often happens, the thief got away.

Instead of being draped in velour, we spent the rest of the afternoon in a dingy police station, filing a police report. The anguish of being robbed is bad enough. But, only now, as a mother, am I able to really grasp how traumatizing it must have been for my 62 year old Grandmother to be in a New York City police station – amid felons – with her 3 young granddaughters (ages 10, 8 and 4).

But if she was traumatized, she never once let it show.

That evening, the family went out to dinner for a meal that I will never forget.

All we did during the entire meal was laugh. We laughed about my Grandmother’s track skills. We cracked up envisioning her on a future cover of a Wheaties box. Even the seedy police station now seemed funny. My family caused quite the ruckus in an upscale restaurant. Jokes were flying. Chairs were shaking. Our laughter was so infectious that even the waiters and fellow patrons couldn’t help but laugh along.

The day that my Grandmother was robbed in Macy’s remains one of my all-time favorite family memories.

Even today, I can still hear my Grandma’s laugh. I carry it with me wherever I go. And it never fails to comfort me in moments of darkness.

I am forever grateful for my Grandmother’s jovial spirit and for showing me that laughter really is the best medicine – well except for Garlic. But, that’s a story for another post.

24 blog post down – 341 more to go…

The Road to Self Discovery is Paved with Blood

I have this remarkable ability to find humor in every situation. It’s what keeps me going even during the tough times. It was a gift that that my Grandmother passed down to my Dad, who then passed on to me.

I inherited my work ethic from my Grandfather who reluctantly retired at 76. I have a habit of getting immersed in assignments, lose complete track of time and even forget to eat. I wouldn’t prefer it any other way.

My other Grandfather had a talent for singing. Yeah, that gene skipped me. But it never restrained me from singing in public.

My Mom’s Mom handed me two gifts: her hunger for knowledge and her perseverance. She was unstoppable. She put herself through college in her sixties simply because she felt like being enlightened. Like her, I am a perpetual student who never, ever, ever, ever, ever gives up.

While I cherish all of these attributes, the one I am most thankful for is the one I received from my Mom. She gave me her heart.

In honor of her 50++ birthday, today’s post is dedicated to my Mom – my strongest advocate, best friend and the kindest most selfless person in the history of the world.

John Mayer questions whether our characteristics can wash out in the water or if they are always in the blood. Thankfully, they can never be washed away. They are cemented in the pavement that leads to self discovery.

23 posts down – 342 more to go…

Does Art Imitate Life or Does Life Imitate Art?

I recently read a scathing article, depicting the innocuous and beloved sitcom, “Friends”, as offensive – especially to millennials.

Let me be a little more specific. 24 years after it debuted, “Friends” is now being described as transphobic, homophobic, racist, misogynistic and sexist.

Other than hanging out in bars and restaurants – as opposed to coffee shops – “Friends” exemplified my single and carefree twenties, living in Manhattan. In every episode that I catch today, I not only laugh, I get to relive my own Rachel haircut, every nightmare date I ever had, and even my old wardrobe.

With “Friends” being one of my all-time favorite TV shows, it saddens me to think that someone could see so much ugliness in a harmless comedy that truly epitomized the 1990s – an illustrious era.

To me, the “Friends” era – at least till 2001 -, was marked by laughter, happiness, great fashion, technological achievement and economic prosperity – not hatred, “ism’s” and phobics.

If “Friends” can now be perceived as hate spewing entertainment, then what does that say about all of us who found joy in each episode? Was “Friends” feasting off the trends of the day or was it creating them?

Was “Friends” merely a sign of the times or was it defining the times?

It comes down to the age old debate: Does art imitate life or does life imitate art?

I think that when art imitates life, it is called, “dramatization”. And when life imitates art it is called, “Pop Culture”. It’s as simple as that.

And I think pop culture is much more enjoyable when we’re reminiscing – not wasting our energy searching for some shred of nonexistent bigotry.

22 post down – 343 to go…

A Diamond in A Rock

Tom Petty once sang:

“Some days are diamonds
Some days are rocks”

Petty was mistaken. It is not one or the other.

All days are diamonds. Some days you just need to look harder to see some trace of sparkle.

Today was one of those days.

The kind when you’re forced to watch someone age before his time. The kind when you have to accept just how fragile and finite a life really is.

But, it was also the kind if day when you realize that strength can endure – even when muscles weaken. And sometimes that is all the carats you need in one day.

21 blog posts down, 344 left to go…

The Great Big L.I.E.

When I was 17, I was petrified of merging onto the L-I-E, also known as the Long Island Expressway to non-New Yorkers.

I’d be frozen at the onramp, for what seemed like forever, waiting for the perfect moment to make my entrance.

Many gave me the finger. Others would take the time to roll down their windows and curse me out. It didn’t matter. Even though I knew that by remaining motionless I’d never reach my destination, I was physically unable to make my move until I was absolutely sure there wasn’t a car in sight.

I eventually overcame my fear of the “merge” as I gained experience and more confidence in my driving skills. Now, I boldly swoop right in. Oncoming traffic no longer intimidates me. And I enjoy just cruising along in the fastlane.

Life is kind of the LIE onramp. If we are halted by fear, not only will we never get to where we’re going, we’ll never even get the chance to appreciate the ride.

20 blog posts down – 345 more to go…

0% Chance of Rain

Before I get on a plane, I always check the weather report of my destination.

However, I still keep an umbrella in my suitcase at all times – even if there is not a cloud expected in the sky.

I like to be prepared. People err. Technologies glitch.

Nothing is ever certain. Well, scratch that, the only certainty in life is that there are no certainties.

I don’t believe in a 0% chance of anything.

There is always a chance.

Just ask the Minnesota Vikings.

Just ask every underdog whoever triumphed.

Anything is possible. That is why you should always carry an umbrella.

19 blog posts down – 346 left to go.

Walk Tall or Don’t Walk at All

One could master a lot from Bruce Springsteen lyrics.

In fact, it was Bruce Springsteen who said that we can learn more from a 3 minute record than we can ever learn in school. Or something like that. (By the way, kids, a record is a circular object with grooves that plays music when touched by a needle.)

In the same song, Springsteen encouraged us to never retreat, never surrender. I wont, Boss. I won’t.

But one of my favorite Springsteen quotes is, “Walk Tall or Don’t Walk at All” – meaning, that if you are going to do something, do it with pride and confidence; otherwise, don’t bother doing it all.

Something tells me Brice Springsteen might be a stoic.

18 blog posts down – 347 left to go.

There is No News – Only Opinions With Which We Choose to Agree

Journalism is dead. And it has been for a very long time.

Facts only exist in a fleeting moment of time. And then they vanish. Memory converts all facts into perspectives. It is inevitable.

Even weather is opinionized … and sensationalized. It can’t just be snowing. Instead, it has to be snowmageddon-ing.

Bitcoin is not simply going up or going down. It is either headed to the stratosphere or it’s on the verge of a catastrophic collapse.

I have a lot of politically vocal facebook friends. Some lean left. Some lean right. They all think they are discussing current events. But they are not. Instead, they are merely discussing someone else’s account of some event that has previously occurred.

In many ways we are all like the walking dead in the movie, “The Sixth Sense” who only see what they want to see.

We are all guilty of believing only the reporting with which we agree. The reports we accept as true are what help us decide whether or not to venture outside in a snowstorm, invest in Bitcoin or argue the merits of capitalism with a facebook friend who we haven’t seen since 3rd grade.

While it is most certainly not “News”, it’s these varying assumptions that keep life interesting.

17 blog posts down – 348 more to go…

Guest Post from a Stoic in Training (S.I.T)

Hello! I am the stoic-in-training that my mother, the stoic extraordinaire, keeps talking about. Let’s call me the S.I.T! And please, don’t pronounce it as “sit”, say S–I–T.

My mom is so busy dealing with slime at the moment that I have to fill in for her today. She has been working extremely hard to fight off the slime that has been attacking her throughout the past few years. And I must say, I admire her courage. She knows how to fight slime, and, even as a young girl I see this.

My mom is a champ. I think I get that from her. Today, at school, I was playing Ga-Ga ball. It’s a game that takes place in a hexagon or octagon – I didn’t count the sides. The point is that it was a roundish pit with edges that includes a ball. Obviously, it includes a ball. All of the best games include balls. To hit the ball, you use anything but your waist and below. Your head, your hands, you name it! If the ball touches anything waist and below, then you’re out

I am a professional when it comes to Ga-Ga ball. Pro-fessi-on-al! I hit the ball really hard and always get people out, and I stay in a long time. Today I was only in a game and a half. Here’s why: I was against three other kids out of, like, thirty. Everybody else was out, and just as I was about to hit the ball really hard with my knuckles, somebody else hit it. Now, authentic Ga-Ga ball pits have sand or grass at the bottom. This one, however, had cement.

Do you know what happens when you punch something rock-hard really fast? I do, as today, I did just that. My hand scraped against the flat, hard stone floor – for the third time! Blood was coming out of five different places. Three on my middle finger’s knuckles and the two fingers’ knuckles next to it, and below my middle finger and my index finger! The scrape under my index finger was the worst. I won’t even describe it, or the pain I felt. All I will say is Ga-Ga ball got me there three times, that same spot. I went inside to wash the blood off and when I came back out, guess what I did? I went straight back to Ga-Ga ball.

Why am I telling you this? Well, my situation at Ga-Ga ball is similar to my mom’s with slime. My mom keeps getting attacked by slime, but it never stops her. She keeps on going. We both do. We will never stop persevering. Ever.

 16 down, 349 to go! (I think)

“Injustice Anywhere is a Threat to Justice Everywhere”

Anyone who knows me can attest that I am a quote junkie. I jump on any opportunity to absorb inspiration from words.

In honor of what would have been his 89th birthday, today’s inspiration comes from the words of Martin Luther King Jr. who once said:

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”

Especially in this #metoo #timesup era, King’s words really resonate.

I’ve been troubled by the recent reports of harassment victims being coerced into signing settlement agreements that contain non-disclosure clauses. Because such clauses are intended to conceal despicable – and in many instances illegal – behavior, could these agreements constitute an injustice that threatens justice everywhere?

I think so.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not in any way blaming the victims – many of whom signed under duress. When faced with the option of settling and walking away quietly with your dignity intact and your family unscathed or face endless smear attacks not to mention the exorbitant costs of litigation, the easier and more appealing choice is to discreetly walk away and move on with your life.

Unfortunately, walking away only ensures that the conduct will continue and that more individuals will be victimized.

I applaud those who had the courage to break their silence. It could not have been an easy decision. But rarely is the laudable decision the convenient one.

Martin Luther King Jr., too, saw an injustice. While he could have easily ignored it and have lived out a quiet and peaceful life, he chose to fight for justice everywhere. He paid the ultimate price – his life.

Sometimes you just need to stand up for what is right so that justice can prevail. No matter the costs. No matter the hardship. No matter the backlash.

15 blog posts down, 350 more to go…

Greetings and Salutations

Some blog posts will be profound. Others not so much. Here’s one that falls into the “not so much” category but still worthy of posting. Why? Because it’s kind of funny. And because I am just too busy dealing with slime at the moment to be philosophical.

My daughter, the entrepreneur, just launched a new slime making business.


As if there isn’t already enough slime in the world.

But I digress.

I don’t know about you, but I find it physically impossible to keep up with emails – particularly when I’m having to allocate so much time attending to slime. Hey, that rhymes.

Emails just seem to multiply – like cockroaches. The second I finish reading or responding to one, not less than 15 more arrive. At this very moment, my inbox is filled with 31,989 unread messages. True story.

In hopes of catching up on emails before Y3K, I’ve decided to take a brief hiatus from slime-related duties and tackle the daunting task of sorting through my inbox. I have been entertaining myself by analyzing the greetings and salutations of many, thankfully, now-marked-read emails.  Here’s what I observed:

  • A lot of people who I’ve never met think of me as their “Dear”
  • I’ve received a ton of “Hello’s” and not one single, “Yo”
  • More people than I would have ever expected use the salutation, “Cheers” – even though in my experience, “Cheers” is typically preceded by a tequila shot, not a name. If “Cheers” is now an acceptable salutation, then I don’t see an issue with signing all of my emails, “l’chaim”.
  • Some conclude their emails with, “Thanks” – sooooo, you’re very welcome.
  • Apparently, a lot of people think that they are the “Best”. But they can’t all be the “Best”. To quote Carrie Fisher from “When Harry Met Sally”, “Everybody thinks they have good taste and a sense of humor, but they couldn’t possibly all have good taste.” It’s the exact same thing with the “Best” salutation.
  • Most of my received emails were signed “Regards” – some were kind and others were warm. Awwwww.
  • I noticed that lawyers especially love the “Kind Regards” or the “Warm Regards”
  • I also found that the nastier and more threatening the tone of the email, the warmer and kinder the regards. That really makes me giggle. It would kinda be akin to the Son of Sam having had signed his letters, “Warm Regards” or S.W.A.K. or better yet, “XOXOXOXO”
  • Speaking of which, I did receive a few XOXOs – even from some who I have never X’d but have occasionally O’d.
  • I should also note that I did not receive any emails that were signed, “Kind F%cking Regards” or even “Go F#ck Yourself”. So that’s reassuring. Unless, of course, that was the insinuation of the “Warmest Regards” salutations.

The Stoic

14 blog posts down – only 351 more to go.

Treasured Moments

I read that Dr. Seuss once said, “Sometimes you will never know the true value of a moment until it becomes a memory.”

Whether it takes minutes or a lifetime to be recognized, whether it feels monumental or inconsequential, every moment carries value.

Although it’s a constant challenge, I try my best to capture some shred of meaning just before the moment begins slipping away. Sometimes I succeed. At other times, especially when I’m caught up in minutia and tangled in aggravation, it’s an epic failure.

It’s on those days that I re-read a poem I wrote nearly 22 years ago, called, Treasured Moments. It helps me to seize more moments while taking less of them for granted.

Treasured Moments

Days like this I wish could last
too few hours that race so fast
so before this moment becomes the past
I remind myself to grasp it before its pass
because so many yesterdays I reflect upon
were treasures unrealized until they were gone…10/26/96


13 blog posts down – 352 more to go…

More Insights of a Ten Year Old Philosopher

This isn’t the my first post boasting about my ten year old’s insightfulness, and I’m quite sure it won’t be my last.

I am constantly amazed by her wisdom. She is a voracious reader and a very gifted writer. She is a better writer at 10, than I was at 20. That is for sure.

But I am especially inspired by her philosophical thinking. She is always asking questions and forever seeking answers to life’s greatest mysteries.

When she was about 3 years old she asked me how “things got their names.” I began telling her the story of why we named her what we did as I naturally thought she wanted to know the origin of her name. But that wasn’t what she was asking me. She was trying to understand why a tree was called a tree or a leaf was called a leaf. She was trying to grasp the evolution of language. At three years old.

At ten, she is questioning less and reflecting more. She is formulating her own theories and sharing them with me. She is quickly transforming into my teacher.

She reads this blog every night. And she is always eager to suggest new blog post topics.

The other night she proposed that I write about conflicting perspectives of “time”.

She said, “There are two expressions concerning time that are in complete contradiction of one another: all in good time and there is no time like the present. ”

“The first one”, she said, “seems to imply that we should wait, but the latter suggests taking immediate action.” Then she wanted to know which one was correct.

“You can’t just ask me an algebra question,” I joked. If only life was as simple and absolute as calculating unknown variables in a math equation.

Anyway, the more I pondered her question, the more I came to the conclusion that both expressions are correct, for they are not mutually exclusive.

We can be practicing patience while simultaneously taking action. Come to think of it, aren’t we doing both on a regular basis? There are future accomplishments that I believe will one day be realized (right now they are called, dreams), but only because of steps that I am actively implementing today (otherwise known as efforts).

When my daughter gets home from school today, I am going to tell her that there is no time like the present to work on putting her dreams into action.

12 posts down – 353 more to go. Good thing I have a little philosopher to fill me with topics.