Monthly Archives: July 2014

Stream of Too Much Consciousness

A Tuesday off from work to break up what would otherwise have been a seven-day work week.  More than eight hours of sleep for the first time in months; more work done with gym personnel for the upcoming kung fu class I’m teaching; more training on White Eyebrow with new moves added (finally!); more research on farmers’ markets and festivals where I can test the market for my baked goods.  A completely packed so-called day off!

…Taping a show tomorrow with the host flying in same day.  Worried about the weather interfering in her arrival and having to reschedule a show that was hard to book in the first place.

…Have to find hosts by Thursday for the double taping day at the end of the month with former and current politicos.  Another item that needs to be put to bed before work this weekend, or I’ll run out of time for the hosts to read the books.

…Looking forward to getting back to New York but not sure if I’m looking forward to the work.  Spending Friday and Saturday in Harlem producing the live coverage of a book fair that’s rumored to be a chaotic gig is sure to add a few grey hairs.  To top it off, neither I nor my director has worked this one before.  Right now it’s a touch of angst but it has the potential to become full-blown anxiety.  Gotta keep that under control and focus on organization.

…Have to get an answer before Harlem on whether I need to fly to Texas to do an interview with the August guest.  Just my luck he’ll say yes but only leave me two days to choose from.  A whirlwind trip will end up getting squeezed in around the time I get my son home from Vermont and start teaching the kung fu class – just because Murphy has that irritating little law.

Just one foot in front of the other, just one day at a time – the only way to live a life much fuller than I ever thought it could be. 🙂

Kung Fu Hookie High

On the first Sunday of every month, I take a break from kung fu.  It’s not really by choice, it’s just that the first Sunday is a work day, and the gym is near closing by the time I get home from the studio forty miles down the highway in D.C.   Today was the first time since I started training at the gym that I didn’t mind losing time with the long staff on a Sunday.  I had, quite simply, my favorite show of 2014.

Last year, I tried to talk my boss into booking today’s guest on one of our shows, after his third book landed on my desk and became an instant intellectual fascination for me.  When the poor man had to suffer through an interview so biased and unprofessional it went viral on YouTube (see below), I really wanted to get him in the chair to do it right.

Long story made short: after having to practically beg my boss for permission to invite a religion scholar (because that’s not a comfortable subject for a public affairs network that strives for political neutrality), the choice made everyone happy they came to work today.  It even had a few decidedly-secular crew members asking for whatever extra copies of his books might be lying around.  When audience, guest, boss and crew are on a high after three hours on the air, it’s an easy day to skip kung fu!

[If wondering why this post is so cryptic, there’s a whole department of people at the network that peruse the web looking for mention of our programming and guests we aired that day.  Since I prefer a measure of separation between the day job and the rest of my life, I don’t make it easy for the office folks to find my blog.  Unfortunately, that means a few extra thoughts and key strokes are required for readers to figure out what shows I produce for whom.  But I trust those interested in doing so won’t find it too taxing!]


The Works

The end of a long session of holiday training this morning – and without the staff, for a change.

(And for anyone wanting an update on White Eyebrow status, here’s a bit of the staff, too.  Here’s hoping I finally get the last third of the form in tomorrow’s class!)

The end of a beautiful day and evening, just five minutes down the street from the gym and around the corner from my house – the City of Baltimore’s contribution to the celebratory day.

I hope all had an enjoyable and safe July 4th!

Film on My Car

Summer sucks.  I know I’m in the minority in this feeling, and I’m fully prepared for public protestations.  But I have reasons that should make sense to even the most profound lovers of the season.  Summer is too hot for this winter-born, Connecticut Yankee woman – an immovable fact of my entire existence, but certainly not the sole source of my summer doldrums.

This is also the time of year when most academicians are off from work and most politicians are, too.   This leaves all journalists but the White House press corps looking for news to cover and inevitably giving up, in favor of working on a long feature article or book – usually from their cabin or beach house, where the cell phone doesn’t get reception.  In short, from the July 4th holiday to Labor Day, Washington feels almost empty.  And that makes my job of producing a weekly television show with authors, politicians, journalists and professors extremely hard to do!

Most of all, the last time my late mother was lucid enough to talk to me with clear head and voice, it was July 4th weekend.  She died a week later.  Those last eight days of her life were sandwiched in between my first and second knee surgeries, and those surgeries suspended my martial arts life for more than a year.  More than that, the first operation required I be kept overnight at the hospital because I wouldn’t come out of the general anesthesia.  My doctor was afraid I’d die in my sleep if he sent me home.  I can’t begin to describe how terrified I was of having to be put under again a month later.

For the last seven years, sweltering summer days are a revival of full-blown grief, a reminder of the most physically devastating time of my life and a reunion with the inevitability of mortality.  The ghost of the depression that stayed with me for almost two years afterward comes floating back in like clouds of pollen in spring that I don’t even know are there, until I see the yellow film on my car.

I regularly miss my mother – especially when one of my children does something great, and I can’t tell her.  I also miss the knee I had before the injuries that required its virtual reconstruction – especially when I’m doing a form where I need to jump high or far.  Those realities are with me year round, mitigating the impact of the season over the years.  Still, there’s something about anniversaries that’s unavoidable.  And having bad times during beautiful days simply sucks.