Category Archives: Relationships

Constructive criticism

Feedback — we have to give it and receive it, sometimes daily depending on our jobs.

That doesn’t make it any easier to hear.

Tim Minchin, the Olivier-award winning and Tony-nominated songwriter of Broadway’s Matilda, once received a very bad review that he couldn’t really shake off.  How did he deal with it?

He wrote a hilarious song about it.

I’ll have to try that sometime…

Note — Minchin is currently workshopping a new musical in London based on the movie Groundhog Day. Can’t wait to hear those lyrics!

Solutions for a small planet

Admit it — most of us don’t read the manual that comes with our new smart phones cover-to-cover.

Maybe not at all.

So it’s not surprising that articles like “21 Things You Didn’t Know Your iPhone Could Do” literally amaze.

However, I would like to add a feature to that list that applies to any brand of mobile phone.  It crosses platforms, versions, price points — you name it.  And in New York City, it has proven extremely valuable on a daily basis.

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Sidewalk Ambassador Avoidance

Got a mobile phone at your ear?  Appear to be in a conversation?  They leave you alone.

World peace.  It’s what every beauty pageant contestant wants.

 

Hot dogs

This dog loves his fan almost as much as my pup.

 

After every warm-weather walk, Rory Dog lies down right in front of the small circular fan I have in the corner of the living room.  No standing or ear flapping for him;  we’re talking flat on his belly, legs splayed out behind him like a turkey prepped for stuffing.

flat roryOnce he cools off and starts to doze, he falls over on his side.  (Rolls is too gentle a word for his total collapse.)

Ya gotta love dogs — I certainly do love mine!

Thesaurus much?

It was raining hard when  my flight finally landed in New York tonight, so taxis were scarce.

I waited in line for a solid hour with travelers less adept at adapting to the foibles of the road.

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One gentleman was particularly displeased with the turn of events, and proceeded to blame his wife for all the choices she had made that led them to this point.

Oh, and every other word was f@#k.

I hope he has a rotten visit to the Big Apple. And I hope she buys him a dictionary…

And hits him with it.

Lost in translation

First of all, I want to clarify –

This is not a rant. Think of it more as a ‘huh.’

lost parcelYesterday a package arrived at my door.  It was addressed to a man who hasn’t lived here in almost six years.

I quickly deduced he had selected his old address by accident while shopping online, so I called the company to see if I could help correct his error.

(How nice am I?)

Turns out the company’s customer service just isn’t set up for this type of communication.  All their scripts are for customers, not people like me trying to assist another customer.  The representative I spoke with understood the situation and was definitely working with me to help correct it, but she refused — or maybe wasn’t allowed to? — say anything that was not in her script.

So nothing she said to me made any sense.

Even after we figured out how to resolve the shipment error, she thanked me for my order and hoped I would return again.

You know?  Probably not.

 

 

True romance

I didn’t read The Bridges of Madison County when it was published in 1992 — even though Oprah said I should — and the film of the same name three years later was too schmaltzy for my taste.

(Sorry Meryl.)

So no one is more surprised than I at how much I love — that’s love, love, LOVE — the Broadway musical adaptation that I saw today at the matinee.

bridges broadway

This is one of the most romantic shows I have ever seen performed on any stage.

Kelli O’Hara and Steven Pasquale are simply amazing. O’Hara is a Broadway veteran; we expect her depth of character and beautiful voice.  But Pasquale, who I know from his many TV roles, matches her step for step, creating a relationship that is wonderful to watch.

And his tenor?  Fills the theatre.

The music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown are beautiful; the book by Marsha Norman a wonderful mixture of light and shade.

Did I mention I love it?  I simply cannot wait to see it again.

Deaf dogs rock

My dog Rory, who turned 15 in December, is almost completely deaf…has been for almost a year.

His hearing loss is obviously age-related.

Dogs can also lose their hearing due to ear infections or injury, but many dogs are born deaf.  The most common cause of congenital deafness is pigment related. If there is un-pigmented skin in the inner ear — often found in white-haired or white-skinned dog breeds — the nerve endings atrophy and die off in the first few weeks of the puppy’s life, resulting in deafness.

And people are often hesitant to adopt deaf dogs and puppies .

deaf dogs rockDeaf Dogs Rock is a non-profit organization formed two years ago to promote the care and well-being of deaf dogs.

I happened upon them through the great Google machine and wanted to spread the word.

I’ve learned how to accommodate Rory’s deafness through trial and error, through hand signals and changes in my own behavior to aide his understanding.  Deaf Dogs Rock offers so much more education and information on how you could provide a loving home to a dog with hearing loss.

It will be your gain!

Giving credit where credit is due

We hear about bad customer service all the time.

I want to highlight some amazing treatment I received from Miranda, a live chat representative at Discover Card.

discover logoAs most of you probably know, I earn ‘cash back’ for using my Discover Card — a percentage of my monthly purchases.  I can take that cash back as money; use it to pay online purchases; or buy gift cards from partner retailers.

I am a movie junkie…so I buy AMC Theatre gift packs every time.

amc theatresFor $20, I get two movie passes and a $5 gift card for concessions.

In New York City, that’s a $40 value since our movies costs so much more.

It’s a great deal.

Recently I was using some of those $5 gift cards at my local AMC theatre concession stand, and they didn’t work. I tried one after the other…

Nothing.

I used the live chat feature at Discover.com and told Miranda my troubles.  When she found out that six of my $5 gift cards were sickly, she immediately sent me six complete AMC Movie Theatre gift packs.

That’s $120 worth of gift packets — $240 by NYC standards — for a mere $30 worth of bad cards for my inconvenience.  Now, that’s amazing customer service — above and beyond what I expected.

Thanks, Miranda. (I gave you a great evaluation.)

Not OK

I’ve seen this acronym on the Internet from time to time:

NFSW

 

 

 

I had a pretty good idea what it was all about from the context, but Google just provided its literal meaning:  “Not For Showing Wife.”

That’s just wrong.

And it’s being thrown around all the time in conversation — casually, with a wink and a smile.

Shame on all of us.

My mom said

My only memories of John F. Kennedy’s assassination are my mother’s.

Here’s her story.

high chairMom was mopping the kitchen floor with the radio on. Only nine months old, I was watching the proceedings from my perch in my high chair.

A radio announcer broke into the music with the news of the President’s death in Dallas. Mom immediately dropped her mop and walked out into the front yard. All the other moms on her street were standing in their yards, sobbing.

Much later she remembered I was sitting alone in the kitchen, surrounded by drying suds.

I think I can cut her some slack.