Love hate New York

I saw a shitty apartment, in a nowhere part of town, that was priced too high.

It’s cold.

No one looks you in the eye. I walked everywhere, but didn’t really get anywhere.

There are papers all over my floor, my California grip slipping.

But I stopped for carry out on Hudson and talked to a Brazilian dancer playing the part of a waitress. She had a man’s name tattooed on the back of her neck. The outline of a navy blue heart on her wrist.

Told me “all the jobs are headed to L.A. Here, it’s just Broadway.”

She wants to leave New York too.

Not me.

I’m good til’ the morning.

The only people I want anymore

A close friend shared a poem with me today. I enjoyed reading it, but I enjoyed being trusted with it even more.

I’m tired of the masks.

My friend could have kept the poem to himself. Pretend to always be strong, or normal, or whatever. But he didn’t. He sent me something that was true about him, and I love him for it.

Those are the only people I want anymore. The real ones. Because we can smile, and curtsey, and dress up, but it’s going by so fast, and all that doesn’t matter. I learn from the vulnerability of the people I love and respect. They fuel me. They keep me going.

I don’t need every conversation to be deep. Let’s talk about the afternoon lineup on Food TV (my Mom and I love Barefoot Contessa).

Just don’t pretend the mask is real. That you’re not in their somewhere.

After awhile, it gets old playing the cool guy.

Because I’m not him.

And neither is he.

The “wrong” way

An interesting thing happened in yoga last night. This girl comes in late and takes a spot at the front right corner of the studio, directly in front of me.

As the class got going, she turned around to face me. This meant that we were staring at each other for every vinyasa sequence.

It was a little awkward, but also cool. I like non-conformists. The rest of the class all pointed north, except the girl, who looked south. She went through the entire class this way, facing in the “wrong” direction.

It put a huge smile on my face.

I loved that she was pointing in the wrong direction, and I loved that Gerhard didn’t correct her.

That’s how I went through the first half of class, smiling at the new girl who was doing it “wrong,” glad that no one “corrected her.”

It wasn’t until class was half over that I realized she wasn’t pointing in the wrong direction. She was new to class, and decided to look out at the room so she could better follow transitions. It was smart, and made her experience better.

How many other times have I done that? Assumed someone who wasn’t doing it like everyone else was wrong or confused, when I was the one who was wrong and confused.

Conformity is anything but wise.

They’re fucking for dinner in the city

Sometimes the thoughts make me tired, and for this month, I walk down the street.

Need wine to get there.

To the Pacific.

It roars like every Lion should. 

And I just watch. Watch the waves crash in.

It makes sense then.

Ink to the shore, city lights down the coast.

They’re fucking for dinner in the city, but on the horizon only God.

The entrepreneur’s jersey

I make dough, but don’t call me dough boy.

Ice Cube

Most of us have seen the movie Rudy. The story of a kid from Gary, Indiana who makes the Notre Dame football team against long odds.

By all measures, Rudy was a football player before he ever ran out of the tunnel. But until his family saw him in his jersey, they didn’t believe he was part of the team.

He could talk about practice, even show the bruises he’d earned, but they didn’t see it.

And they won’t.

That’s what it is to be an entrepreneur. Most of the job is spent with the practice squad. Taking beatings.

Until we’re wearing a jersey, it’s polite smiles.

We can feel ourselves growing stronger, learning from teammates. But as real as it is to us, it’s not real to them until we’ve been assigned a number.

Maybe that shouldn’t matter. But for many, the entrepreneurial ambition is to run onto the field in a jersey. Not as much to validate the entrepreneur, as to silence his critics.

My “little” project?

Wait until you see me in my jersey.

We don’t know California

For as a bat’s eyes are to daylight so is our intellectual eye to those truths which are, in their own nature, the most obvious of all.


One of the magical things about living alongside the Pacific is the marine layer, a cloud of mist that takes over the coastline, usually in the mornings. Go a few miles inland, and the sun is shining bright. Wait a few hours, and the sun will burn off the marine layer, revealing the spectacular blue of the Pacific. But while the marine layer is at its peak, the California coast is covered in fog. If you arrived on one of these mornings, and left before the marine layer dissipated, you’d think Southern California was one big cloud. That the rumors of sunshine were just that. Rumors.

That’s exactly how we as a society experience the world. “If you condense the history of the Earth — about 4.6 billion years — to just one year, humans have been been here for only about 23 minutes of that one year.” We have occupied Earth for less than .000001% of it’s existence, yet we make grand proclamations about how it works.

For some, the collective scribblings in the human notebook have ruled out God.

How sad.

Our observations are useful to live in the world, and I will run to them when I am sick, or in need of transportation, or even a recipe. But I also fight to keep them in perspective as written in crayon.

The perch of humanity is small. We don’t see as far as we think. We’ve lived our entire lives inside the marine layer.

We don’t know California.

We’ve never seen it in the sunshine.

Imagine Heaven

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Hebrews 11:1

I’m living in California for the next month or so, and have been lucky to find a yoga studio I like. It reminds me of the Miami studios where I first fell in love with yoga. In shavasana tonight, they played John Lennon’s Imagine.

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today…

I don’t want to imagine there is no heaven. With all my heart, I hope there is one. Seven years ago, I watched my Grandmother die. At age 93, she was innocent. There was a strength in her no one could touch. She went to church every Sunday, patient, humble, sweet. She believed there was a heaven, that Christ rose from the dead.

She asked me to say Hail Mary’s. I say one most every night. I pray to God, and ask him to forgive me, to watch over my friends and loved ones. To send my Dad strength, and to protect my Mom and Sister from anyone who would do them harm. I pray for my Grandmother, my Grandfather, and for all those I know who have died. I can feel them with me. Sometimes they whisper in my ear. They watch over me.

I don’t imagine there is no heaven. I imagine the bonds I’ve forged on this earth lasting forever. I imagine meeting my Grandmother again.

I imagine there is a heaven.

It’s easy if you try.

Honoring the chooser

I’ve never been one to be chosen. At least not in the traditional sense. I was never much of a student, went to a mediocre law school, wasn’t particularly popular in high school. I was chosen once by a big law firm, and it was one of the worst things that ever happened to me.

However, I realize that being chosen by the system is only one of the many ways we choose people. Most of these choices are far more subtle than telling an actress she got the part. Part of understanding people is recognizing when they’ve chosen you, what they’ve chosen you for, and what the choice means to them. Each time we’re chosen, we must honor the chooser, and live up to what they’ve seen in us, because as George MacDonald said “to be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved.”

As a career entrepreneur, I’ve chosen myself. I may rarely be picked by the system, so I’ve created my own. My ability to help those I love through my businesses, is one of the most important things in my life. I have to be careful to honor the beliefs that drive me, and surround myself with people who will both inspire and nurture my vision.

Each time a client hires our agency, we’ve been chosen. People trust their businesses to us with faith that we’ll help them grow. They just as easily could have hired a competitor, but they chose us. This is a tremendous responsibility that we must be careful to honor.

When a friend shares excitement with us, we’ve been chosen. We’ve been selected as someone worth sharing hope with. If we love our friend, we will take the time to share their joy, and bask in whatever mood is appropriate, for as long as appropriate.

We meet people all the time who are reeling, and they show us just a glimpse. In that moment, we’ve been chosen. Our best can give them a moment of safety.

Being chosen is rare, and it’s an honor.

A beauty we see clearly is disregarded by another. Had we done the choosing, a different result, but what of those times that we’re the selected beauty? In those moments, we have to honor the risk that another puts in us. When another deems us suitable, we must be suitable.

To break that trust is to break our own back.

The door doesn’t close behind you…

You got really good at something. Studied, practiced, failed, ultimately succeeded. Now you’re in, part of the club.

The door doesn’t close behind you. Others will try to walk “your” path.

They may walk it better.

Getting “it,” then telling the next generation they’re pretenders is no good. More often than not, it’s a defense mechanism rooted in not wanting to believe that someone else can do what you do.

That’s a small mindset. There was a time when you couldn’t do what you do either, and if you’re growing, there are more of those days on the horizon.