I woke up at 7 yesterday which seemed a little early for a woman whose children were out of town but my friend Stefan had asked me to come and speak at the City of Hope. It’s been a busy couple of weeks and we’d failed to connect, we’ll he’d done a good job of calling and emailing but I hadn’t quite responded. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t know that from 2-4 each afternoon I have to lie in the pool. I don’t swim so much as I float and read books. It’s a mental heath thing and if you ask your doctor to write a prescription for this they totally agree that it’s necessary.
I knew that I was supposed to talk to the folks at City of Hope about how to blog. “How to blog” is incredibly broad so I planned to talk about passion and compassion and how the City of Hope would tug at people’s heart strings. It would be fun and easy.
At 9am I pulled up to the City of Hope, and please don’t ask me how this happened, and it was like running into a brick wall. I sat in my car and realized that the last time I was there, the only time I was ever there, was in 1987 and it’s the last time I ever saw my Grandmother alive. I’d been in boarding school and she had pancreatic cancer so her illness was quick and fatal.
Typically when one revisits a building from their childhood there’s the sense that it’s not that big anymore. The strangeness of this was that it was just as I remembered it with patients on the left and research on the right. My car faced the same way my father’s had 25 years before. I was instantly propelled back to that moment where I stood afraid to walk into the building because how does a 17 year old know how to say goodbye to her Grandmother? And then how do you react when you finally see your zaftig grandmother frail and thin in a hospital bed promising to come visit you in school and you’re still a kid but you know she’s never leaving that place?
That all sort of hit me while I was sitting in my car prepping myself to talk to a bunch of pros.
The talk went well and I know there were a few people in the room who just weren’t with me but I think I got them in the end. It takes someone special to work there so I had the sense that I was surrounded by kind folks with open minds.
After finishing at City Of Hope I had a quick dim sum in Arcadia, swung by the house and grabbed Junior and took him to the Video and Audio Center in Santa Monica. This could only have been accomplished in August when traffic is light. Junior and I checked out Samsung’s 75″ smart TV. I mostly showed up there because the guy who invited me seemed nice. I have to say I wasn’t all that interested in the TV but when I got to see it I understood why they were having a press event.
It’s huge. This may or may not be a good thing. The picture quality is laser sharp. I was blown away by the crispness of the image, the lack of glare, the 3d capabilities and the fact that it houses it’s own app store. If any of you see Mr. G driving to Wilshire and 15th you have my permission to use whatever means necessary to derail him from the errand. MSRP on the TV is $10k, the folks at Video and Audio are selling it for $9k and if it shows up at my house I’ll cry because we cannot afford it but I know we’ll both want it.
I was also surprised by the store. I haven’t shopped for a TV in ages and I don’t remember it being this pleasant of an experience. Quite possibly I went to the wrong store previously…
From Santa Monica I ran to drop Junior off and had a quick visit with Kelsie. She’s had her second chemo treatment and is looking remarkably good. She’s bald now and I’m pleased to report that she has a lovely shaped head and thank goodness that she really does have a pretty face. Hair is totally not necessary.
From Kelsie I ran home (okay I grabbed an In and Out protein style on the way) and changed back into working clothes. I rinsed the burger out of the tips of my hair, picked up Anna and went to NBC. At NBC the folks at the NBC 4 told us about their social media strategy during the Olympics.
There are things you must know about NBC. I think their Olympics coverage has been dismal. Their color commentary has been too colorful and the endless closeups on the athlete’s faces have taken away all context. I want to see their bodies. It’s also completely unforgiveable that NBC didn’t air and highlight the fact that North and South Korea played each other in table tennis. How was that historic handshake not aired?
Now that I’ve done the mandatory #NBCfail introduction I have to say that our Los Angeles affiliate has been spectacular. Their facebook, twitter and instagram strategies are brilliant and I’m grateful that they were willing to share it with the community (including a friend from ABC News). I enjoy our local broadcast and I’ll hope for something better from the network when NBC has the Winter Olympics in two years.
From NBC Anna and I headed to Palihouse for to meet with the Strawberry Growers Association. I met my new girlcrush Jodi. Anna and I were late to the Strawberry thing and Jodi kept making sure we had food. She explained that she was half Jewish and half Italian so she specialized in feeding people. I noticed that she also talked with her hands. This is my kind of woman.
The Strawberry folks were trying to explain to a group of moms that strawberries are good for you. It was a whole lot of preaching to the converted. There was some chatter about sustainable practices and a blogger touched on the fact that she would feel good eating conventionally grown strawberries. I’ll stick with organic in the house but I won’t pass up some conventionally grown at a restaurant or at your house. I’m not 100% sure what the push was. If I was there to be told that strawberries are delicious and healthy…. um yeah, I’m with ya. If the discussion was about the safety of conventionally grown berries I’m probably not the right person for them.
Here’s the deal on fruits and veggies. I buy organic so I don’t have to think about the risk. It adds about 10-20% to my grocery bill and I’m okay with that. It’s a luxury that I don’t have to sit down and think about which fruits and vegetables I can buy conventionally grown and which need to be organic. If you can’t find organically grown groceries or if you can’t add a few extra dollars to your grocery bill you should still load up your cart with fresh (or flash frozen) fruits and vegetables. I personally would avoid (like the plague) foods which have been genetically modified unless they are organic. As of this writing the foods that I’d ONLY eat organic are: soy (this is hidden in many processed foods), corn (in all it’s forms), cotton seed oil, alfalfa, Hawaiian papaya, tomatoes, canola, sugarcane, sugarbeet, rice, zucchini, round neck squash and peppers.
Got home at 11, fell into bed. Really just fell right in.