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Silicon Valley Has Changed & Not for the Better

When I wrote, "What a Girl Wants" it was an enjoyable time to write about Silicon Valley.  The nerd culture.  The lack of social skills.  Being right-brained in a left-brained world.  But somewhere along the line, that culture difference has widened and it's hard for me to see Silicon Valley employees in a fun light.  There's just a pall of melancholy to the area now.  Everyone seems to live to work, not work to live.  

When I grew up here, you could drive to Tahoe and ski.  (Traffic makes that nearly impossible without three days off now.)  You could take your boat out onto the San Francisco Bay (no one but the wealthy can afford a boat now.) People had fun and parties on the weekend.  Now, everyone seems to stay locked up in their little boxes.  I don't know, it's just changed and people are more weary, more private and far less connected.  It's like we have nothing in common with our neighbors any longer.

Yesterday, a man committed suicide at the Apple headquarters.  (I live a block from Apple for those of you who don't know.)  And my heart just grieves that someone was so distraught over life here that they felt it wasn't worth living.  I want people to know there is a world outside of Silicon Valley, where people still actually talk to each other!  It just pains me that people here are so lonely.  You can see it in their faces at Starbucks.  When they build this new monstrosity, I fear people will be even more isolated.  It's across from my Starbucks, and I seriously don't know how they think traffic on Wolfe Road will handle all these employees, but I digress.

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I'm not blaming Apple.  I'm blaming a culture where the pursuit of fun and happiness is not valued.  Where being an intellectual from the best college is all that gives you value as a human being.  We are so much more than that!  I wish someone told this poor man that -- how much he was loved.  How he could never be replaced to certain people on this earth -- no matter what he created, no matter how much he was "worth." 

I think that's why I haven't enjoyed writing about the people I live near any longer.  It's not fun.  It's grown disarmingly sad.  Honestly, when they hand out those giant paychecks to young superstars, they should just hand some prozac along with it, because success is so much more than a career. When everyone is racing to that next meeting, I wonder if they stop and think --  I hope they stop and think --  about what they're going to do this weekend for fun.  Silicon Valley needs some lessons from its poor relations.


My First Morning Off! #SouthernCharm

I have not sat at this computer for far too long.  It's weird because you know, I'm supposed to be a writer, but life has been busy!  (I'm at my main computer, not my laptop and this is where I usually write more than a blog post.)  Anyway, I've gotten my coffee and I'm going to take some time to watch, "Watch What Happens Live" which features T-Rav (Thomas Ravenel) from "Southern Charm."  I had to actually take time out after watching the show last night because I'd had all I could stomach from T-Rav, so I had to brace myself for another dose of him. Why does no one I know watch this show?  It makes me want to live in Charleston.  Not to be around THESE particular people, but just the beauty and the history makes me crave a weekly dose.

I'm shocked how many people hate on Kathryn Dennis.  They call her a gold-digger.  Manipulative. And much worse, but the thing is, I can't get past this dirty old man thing with Thomas Ravenel.  He's in his 50's.  He's having not one, but TWO children with this beautiful young woman. How is that not an issue for people?  I mean, it's a brave, new world.  The guy could buy himself some birth control.  Or better yet, have some self control.  Yet, the online world sees this guy as a victim.  Or at least they did.  I think more and more of them are seeing the misogynist, scary, drunken, abusive side of him that lurks beneath his flippant statements that covertly throw her under the bus. Every time.

Who does that?  What kind of person needs everyone on their side to hate on someone?  You hate her?  Stop getting her pregnant!  Seems simple enough, right?  And I found his threat to not cosign for rent quite frightening actually.  If some guy talked about me like this, I'd be worried the next show I'd be on was "Dateline."  When he says, "There needs to be consequences..." I find that chilling actually.  

Anyway, last night, Thomas was threatening Jennifer at the Flamingo Party and ever the big man on campus, Whitney cried to his Mama to make her leave.  I have to say, I don't really get the charm of Patricia.  I do love that she thinks it's pre-Civil War and life is all about mint juleps and being safe from riff-raff behind her wall.  I mean, it's entertaining -- but at the same time, where did she get that money?  Didn't she marry for it?  Why is she so down on Kathryn for trying the same thing?  

Personally, I think Whitney was into Kathryn and mom & son are both feeling the sting of Kathryn choosing T-Rav -- but no one is going to feel that sting more than Kathryn herself.  This show makes me happy for real friends. Oh, and don't get me started on Landon.  I liked her last season. What happened to her? She was saying Kathryn's drama about the baby was all fake, but the truth is, you can't get admitted to the hospital over nothing.  Landon needs to have some empathy and compassion because what goes around comes around.  Besides, T-Rav is just using Landon to help abuse Kathryn -- she should know better.

Cameran is still fabulous.


The Introvert Puppy

I nearly came home with a puppy yesterday.  That's dangerous.  I have a great puppy.  (Well, she's nine now, but she still feels like a puppy!)  You know how they have those adoption centers in the pet stores?  Well, the only dogs they usually have are Chihuahuas.  I'm sorry for you Chihuahua fans, but my best friend on the block had one -- and I abhorred that dog.  All it did was yap and snap.  So I'm not a Chi fan.  My cousin has a Jack Russell and it's obnoxious.  It jumps like four feet in the air and it's completely ADD, so imagine my surprise being tempted by a Jack-Chi (Half Jack Russell, half-Chi) -- oh my gosh this thing was so cute.  There were three of them.  A white one.  A brown one.  And a little mix who just wanted to be left alone.  The other two were jumping all over him, and he cowered into his house -- he just wanted some "me" time.  I was thinking, SAME, "THAT IS MY DOG.  I NEED HIM!"



Luckily, a cooler head prevailed, and I went home to my sweet Fiona. I'm looking at properties in Texas and maybe then, I can become a pet hoarder.  For now, one dog and one cat is enough.  Look at Fiona before my son left.  How sweet is that picture? 


If my daughter gets her way, the animals will get bigger.  I suppose it's better than being a cat lady.  : ) 


The Apple Does Fall Far From the Tree

My daughter is a country girl.  She loves boots, trucks, the outdoors, horses, big dogs, camping and cowboys. This is what she wants.  It's older than me, and my grandfather drove one.  


I love the city, convertibles, princess doggies and smart nerds.

My last son is leaving for college this year.  My daughter thinks this means she should lease a horse until she can leave the area.  I'm thinking, I only have ONE kid at home, let's get a BMW Convertible! I mean, I'm pretty much done with this parenting thing.  I've driven the crap Mom-mobiles for 20 years.  It's time, right? 


I think I earned it.  Two in college, one a Marine -- one who wants to be horse trainer and go to specialty school. No one's in jail.  No one's been to jail.  I think that warrants a Beamer.  I'm not sure the very practical left brains in my life would agree, but I've got a bug in my ear for one.  I have been practical for a long time.  I know other people are just practical, but that is not in my nature.  I have shunned my nature for far too long.  Ashley Stockingdale is rising like a Phoenix!

I have a new project that I may be starting in Orange County and I could totally drive down there IF I had a car.  I mean, think of the Southwest miles I could save.  (Is that sounding practical yet?)  Work with me here. 

Kanye will never be Adam Ant!

I know Kanye is into fashion, but come on, Adam has been doing this for decades.  It's HIS look, Kanye.  I know imitation is the best form of flattery, but it just reminds me that Adam was so ahead of his time and continues to set trends. For those of you youngins, Adam was an art student, and many of his music videos were the first to tell stories. He just got the medium, and it didn't help that he looked good doing it.  Okay, I'm done now.  I'm a sad 80's girl today.



I will forever love Prince, I'm devastated...

My daughter just called me from school to tell me that Prince had passed away.  I'm gobsmacked.  I just loved him and all his weirdness.  His music was fantastic and helped define my high school years.  I don't find it unreal at all that he was right on stage (where he belonged) before he checked himself into the hospital.  Anyway, I'm very sad today to hear such bad news.  Another one of the greats, who made ACTUAL music, is gone.



Drama on #GMA AKA Rich People Problems

Michael Strahan apparently blindsided Kelly Ripa and is leaving their morning show for "Good Morning America."  I think he'll be a good fit there -- I really like Gayle and Charlie Rose.  Is Charlie leaving?  I'm not sure.  But this morning, Kelly didn't show up to her show and allegedly refuses to do so until Michael is gone.

I think she's entitled to a tantrum.  I'd hate to be betrayed by a friend like that, but I also understand the way these things work with contracts.  So I give them both a pass.  He for keeping it secret.  She, for essentially throwing a tantrum.  I cannot stand the energy of their show, so I don't actually watch it.  I want to smack their excited selves.

Now comes word that Lara Spencer is angry because she was promised the hosting gig.  Seriously?  She's terrible.  She does not have the personality to carry that show and I feel sorry for her that she doesn't know this.  I know that I am not a public speaker.  


She's very likable, but not likable enough to carry the show in my opinion.  I don't know how Michael will do with the serious stories, but he's a very likable host.  Kelly Ripa will move on and find a new host, I'm sure.  But for now, they're all making plenty of bank and they'll all be fine.

As far as Michael goes, he needs to do what he needs to do.  I don't think he should be guilted into staying at Michael and Kelly.  That is a job with limits.  GMA opens a whole new world for him.  Maybe he should have told Kelly, but I'm sure if it got back to GMA, he could have lost the gig.  What do you think?  Do you care?  Do you watch any of the morning shows?  I haven't watched regularly since "The Today Show" got rid of Ann Curry.  She was actually the one who interviewed me when I was like a deer in the headlights and she was so professional.  I was ticked when they let her go for that little guy's ego. 

JoJo Fletcher's First Bachelorette Promo


Here we go, gang.  Our first look at JoJo as the new Bachelorette.  I think she'll be fun, and I definitely think she was too good for Ben.  Not to be rude, because he seems like a very nice guy, but way too boring for JoJo.  Should be a fun season!  Looking forward to live blogging it.

Passive-Aggressive Parenting

My son has a Boba Fett jacket.  This jacket goes everywhere, does everything.  It's...obnoxious.  I'm tired of seeing the Boba Fett jacket.  People on Facebook are tired of seeing the Boba Fett jacket.  Girls that might consider dating my handsome son, are tired of seeing the Boba Fett Jacket.  It needs to go.

So I thought about how I might get rid of it.  My mom used to use my shorts that got too short as a rag.  But the Boba Fett jacket wouldn't make a great rag.  So I came up with something while at Disneyland.  Rather than pressuring him, I've decided when I go back to Anaheim next month, I'm going to JOIN him.


That right there is a genuine Princess Leia jacket, complete with buns.  We could match.  If I show up wearing that sweatshirt, I'm thinking that the Boba Fett jacket is not going to appear all that cool anymore.  What do you think? No one wants to match their mother.  Right? 


The INFP in Business: An Oxymoron

When I select projects, they have to be something that speaks to me.  I wish I could be like other authors and just write what is selling or do what I have to do, but I can't.  I have to be passionate about it, and the money comes second.  Why?  When I would love to get myself a new sportscar and maybe another Burberry, WHY must I be so interested in what I'm doing to finish it?  I was looking at actors who are supposedly INFP's.  I should preface this by calling the INFP, the suicidal poet -- that's sort of the type.  Feels everything too dang deeply, but when it comes to work, what can I say?  It works for me. And how do you change it if that's how you're wired?

Here's a list of actors purported to be INFPs:

Johnny Depp

Heath Ledger 

Robert Pattison

Marlon Brando

Mia Wasikowska (Jane Eyre)

In other words, weirdos.  INFP's are weirdos who do things that inspire them, not necessarily to make money.  If you look at their list of works, most of them picked some very strange avenues.  Johnny Depp in "Cry Baby" might be a good example.  Have you SEEN that movie?


I think part of it is that an INFP is willing to say yes to something that inspires them, when maybe others might let their heads rule.  We go with our gut.  I have a fantastic new project that I may be doing, and I'm very excited about it.  The Supernatural way that it all came about is just the cherry on top.   While I watch all my friends take the straight path on their journey to success, mine is riddled with stops and starts.  Yet, I know if I had to do it all over again, I'd make the same choices.  I know why I made them.  Sometimes, that's all you need.  I'm eating. I have a Burberry.  What more is there?

Oh, and speaking of Marlon Brando, there's a special showing at AMC theaters, of "On the Waterfront."  If you haven't seen this movie, go see it on the big screen.  It's amazing.


Annex - Brando, Marlon (On the Waterfront)_01

I admire those people who make business decisions.  I'm just not one of them.