Friday, February 27, 2009

Mixed Messages

Why is it that reviews are never straightforward? I certainly understand that they need to be a mixture of strengths and weaknesses, praise and guidance, but when things are completely contrary it's hard to know where to go from there.

  • Use discretion. Do not express displeasure and disappointment about leadership.
  • Express your opinion. Don't remain in the background.
  • Expresses opinion well and is valued.


  • Take on a greater leadership style. Be less deferential in dealing with staff and managers.
  • She is rough around the edges and harsh on staff - "my staff are terrified of her."
  • Give people direction and hold them accountable, be more hands off.


  • Shows confidence and meets us as an equal at the table.
  • Holds back and is "beaten down" by our organization.
  • Has a phobia about numbers that trips her up - she should let it go.



There is more good than bad in the feedback that I received, but of course it is the bad that resonates with us. One set of comments in particular took me completely by surprise and were attributed to a female VP that I had no concept of having issues with. She described her staff as being "terrified of me." Me??? Little old me??? I cannot even imagine what I've done or said that has created this. And a part of me is horrified.

Another part of me is intrigued.

Am I less or more likely to get service from this team as a result of this terrifying persona?

Thursday, February 26, 2009


I always knew my VP operated on a different plain that I do - especially in his private life - living in Manhattan by Central Park, traveling internationally constantly (winter trips to ski in Vail, mid-winter fishing in Patagonia, Christmas in The Hague, Summer in the Hamptons), but today I got my confirmation that it might actually be a different PLANET.

White tablecloth dining only in VP's world.

VP: "Hey - there are lots of leftovers from my lunch meeting if anyone wants something."

Admin: "Oh great, I haven't been able to get out for anything - what was the lunch?"

VP: "Sandwiches and things."

Admin: "From the regular deli?"

VP: "No, from some other place I never heard of - Quoo-Zee-Nos?"

Admin: " you mean Quiznos?"

VP: "Yeah, that might be it. Ever heard of it?"

Admin: (laughing) "Obviously you don't dine in the slums with the rest of us."

Fine dining for the "little people".

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Popularity Contest

Did your high school have those fundraisers where different colored carnations were sold for like a dollar a piece? At my high school, the flowers were tinted for each possible event - and it seemed like there was a sale about every other week. Supposedly they were for the good of the class - you know, funds for PROM and GRADUATION and such.


This was all about those most desirable chicks being able to act surprised and sweetly embarrassed when a bucketful of flowers were dumped on their desks in homeroom. They complained about having to carry them around all day from class to class, how INCONVENIENT it all was, how they couldn't understand how it was possible that Tom, Joe, Tim, Patrick AND Tony all bought them flowers the same day...I mean didn't those guys know she was already dating Peter? It was almost as bad as when they complained about having to wear their boyfriend's football jersey to school on game day. "Oh, it's so big, I look like a whale." "Oh I hate our school colors...if my boyfriend didn't MAKE me wear it I'd never wear this color."


In my senior year of high school, I sat duty at the flower sale table rolling my eyes as the same names were written on the delivery cards over and over again. Nothing had changed for FOUR LONG YEARS. It was almost always the RASCK (a clique that was created using the first letters of each of the girls' first names). Renata, Amy, Stacy, Cindi, Karen....(notice there is NO W in RASCK).

At one point I actually asked a guy I was friends with to just BUY ME A DAMN FLOWER ALREADY. I told him he could send it to me ANONYMOUSLY. I told him I would GIVE him the dollar.

He politely declined.

Color me embarrassed.

Now, I've always had friends. And lots of them. Even in high school and across all cliques. My friends are top quality folks and I love them. Even though most of them continue to abandon me and scatter to the four corners of the earth these days. But I guess I still suffer from that sense of non-popular (a.k.a. inferiority) complex that was represented by my flowerless days in high school.

Time for redemption.

Last week I was recommended for an on-line interview on the internet. And, well, they have a voting process for the most popular blogs. I don't pretend to play in the big leagues here - no penetrating discussions here of hot news topics, no in-depth soul searching, not even superior writing or even good grammar.

But, I sure would like to get a couple of votes.

Click here, read my boring interview, and give me your vote.
(You can vote once every 24 know American Idol style)

And while you're at it, why not visit the upper right corner of my blog and "Follow me" so I can believe in the hordes of you out there hanging on my every word.

Won't you make me just a little popular??

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Brain Fry

Lately I've been mesmerized by tv.

Did you see the Hulu commercial with Alec Baldwin they launched at the Superbowl? Yeah, that's my mushy brain he's laughing about.

While I think everyone deserves to shut it down and vegitate now and's become total habit (think drug habit) for me to escape work at 7:30PM, hit the house by 8-ish, and proceed to eat my reheated leftovers while curled up on the couch in front of the tv.

Weekends? Yup. The same. I do laundry and I watch tv. Glad I have that pause button for the DVR so I can hit the laundry room, the kitchen, and the bathroom once in a while.

Turns out I'm not alone. If you google tv addiction you'd be amazed at what comes up. Everything from scientific studies with graphs and charts, to support groups, to (love this irony) tv guides and blogs about what to watch tonight. (Enable much?)

One site had a bunch of scientific evidence from 2003-2005 including the average hours per day for leisure activities - look at that spike on TV!

I can't get behind the numbers on the male/female ratio in my household because while Hubby joins me sometimes, he is not nearly as zoned out or tuned in as I am. He has the ability to get the MIDDLE OF A SHOW. (WTF!)..and just say, "I'm tired, I'm off to bed." Or to go into the other room and doodle on the computer, pick up a book, run out for errands, or even head out for a hike or photo shoot.

I, however, am glued to the "boob tube". And with umpteen gazillion channels, the movie package, AND DVR'd favorites, there is never a time when I say, "there's nothing on" anymore. I have a fear that I could become a pasty-faced goggle eyed freak with a self-induced case of agoraphobia and a vocabulary consisting of only one syllable words.

This chart was downright scary...because I had started my quest for blog fodder with a half-hearted tongue in cheek story about tv addiction. Then I looked at this chart...and you know...

I'm resting firmly in Phase 2. Well, to be honest, I'm pretty much Phase 3.

They say the first step is to admit you have a problem.

This article also goes on to say if you are so far gone (Phase 3) you have to make radical changes not just to watch less TV, but to exchange your tv time for other activities. Something Phase 3-ers have a very difficult time doing. In fact, the article suggests Phase 3-ers could actually experience physiological and psychological withdrawal symptoms just like any other addict.


Maybe I have to seriously consider how to make a change here.

{think think think}

Oops. Gotta run. NCIS starts in 20 minutes.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Glimmer of Hope

Do you remember that old poster of a kitten hanging from a tree branch by its claws and the headline, "Hang in There Baby"? I'm not trying to return to my cat theme of last post, but hell, I've been thinking of that animal an awful lot lately.

Last week I attended an industry conference in New Orleans where client after client told me how they were cutting back severely and just hoping for a turnaround in 2011. So, not only have they faced the bleak picture of 2009, but have already essentially given up on 2010. As a marketing professional this is one of those times where you need to get a little corny and say - every challenge presents an equal opportunity. (Gag - such an overused phrase). But still, it is essentially true. This is the time that you need to be even more vocal about the value you provide to your clients (or your employer). More importantly, you need to actually PROVIDE value (especially in cost-saving strategies they need). Most importantly, you need to not retreat and hide under the bed. Silence denotes surrender.

That being said, it is also a time I have to make tough calls on approving training or overtime for my staff. I also watch with concern the peaks and valleys of workload rather than the steady stream we had become used to over the past 8 years. So now I am urging my staff to dig up the old wish list - the things we think are valuable but we never seem to have the time to implement. Of course, they must be NO COST wish list items, but still...

All of our firm's numbers look good so far this year, but I think the executives see a cliff quickly approaching and they are trying to be proactive in cutting waste. We have salary freezes, hiring freezes, and promotion freezes. Essentially, it is getting cold in here! As a prime example, I had a stellar review today - really beyond the norm - but since there is no money for raises and no promotions this year, it doesn't cost the firm anything to be overwhelmingly positive and I have to accept the pat on the back for its own value, I guess.

Just when I feel like I'm about to lose my grip on that little branch however... one of my unemployed friends (yes, there are several now) emailed to tell me he has accepted a new position.

A small glimmer of hope.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


**Warning - if you are an animal lover in general, a cat lover specifically, this is the post for you. If not...tune out now you'll be bored to tears.**

As many of you already know - since my very popular blogging hubby announced it some time ago, we have adopted two new furry friends into our family. After 6 months of turning items dropped on the floor into the ghost of our last pet - the memorable CK Dexter Haven - we determined we were ready to take the emotional leap into pet-hood again.

We knew we did NOT want to re-create our experience with Dex - the good or the bad - but to create a new one. I begain searching on for local charities that supported pet adoption programs. I specifically skipped any cats that physically reminded me of Dex, staying well clear of black fur. And I was mostly focusing on kittens.

The best laid plans.

After talking with a dear friend who is of the highest order of all animal lovers - the kind who takes in strays and DOES NOT reject them if they get extremely ill, destroy property, attack other house pets, or any other digression - we started to consider adult cats as an option. She said that usually the kittens find homes, but many of the adults are left to live in shelters, non-permanent homes, or worst of all be put to sleep because they are no longer as cute as a kitten.

So, new plan.

We decided to wander in to our local PetSmart who offer space in their store on weekends to some pet adoption organizations. We walked up to the glass and immediately separated. Hubby made eye contact with a wildly gesticulating 12-week old grey/black tabby, while I melted at the golden eyes staring soulfully out at me from (you guessed it) a big black furry face.

We've got a live one!

Within seconds the "crazy cat ladies" as I will affectionately and not inaccurately term the women of the adoption organization, descended upon us and wanted to know what we were looking for in a pet. They quickly opened cages and placed the kitten in Hubby's arms, and the black cat in mine. Immediate purring commenced from both animals and we were hooked. We placed them on the floor together where they...inspected? another. The kitten, being young, foolish and rambunctious, immediately leaped on the black cat until a warning hiss sent her scurrying. Still, they seemed compatible enough, and we were ready.

Red tape and paperwork.

I sat down at the table and began the paperwork. The adoption application that had to be filled out were 6 pages long! We had to pass a kind of fit test to ensure we were appropriate to adopt. They asked for references, commitment to spay but NOT declaw, commitment to not set limits on how much we would spend for vet care in event of illness, commitment to not allow the cats outdoors, etc. etc. etc. The paperwork warned of serious screening of references, imminent home visits, and retrieval of the pets should the home be considered unsuitable. In addition, we had to meet with the woman currently fostering the black cat as she required preapproval.

Crazy cat ladies indeed.

After about 15 minutes in walks the woman fostering the cat we wished to adopt. Complete with pink sweatshirt with sequined kitties, stretch pants, big Edith Head black plastic framed glasses, and jet black dyed hair down to her waist, she was a sight to behold. She gave us her own little pre-screening once over and pronounced us acceptable and then took us on a whirlwind tour of the store to pick out just the right food, toys, litter, and accoutrements to make our house perfect for the Queen. She also indicated that both cat and kitten might leap up on our table to be fed since she was currently fostering NINE cats and SIX dogs and she had to feed the cats on her dining room table so the dogs didn't eat their food. Ok, I love cats, but yuck. I really don't want something that licks its own butt and genitals eating off my dining room table.

The Queen and the Princess.

The Queen, who was christened Yasmine before we got her (we call her Yazzy or Yazmatazz) is only a little over 1 year old, and weighs twice what Dexter ever weighed. In short, she's a porker. And, despite my declarations to stay away from black cats, she is JET black.

She LOVES getting attention from us - but in typical cat fashion she has specific boundaries and restrictions. She wants to be petted, but does not want to be in our laps. She will allow herself to be carried, but not held. She does NOT like her belly to be touched, but arches her back and sticks her ass up in the air so we can pay attention to her lower back area - petted, scratched, patted, whatever we like all the time. She also is very fond of being our morning wake-up call and likes to crawl on our pillows and bat our faces at about 4AM. Maybe she will finally succeed in turning me into a morning person. And she does not feel that we deserve or should expect any privacy while in the bathroom. She wants IN. NOW.

The Princess, who was originally named Daphne and we re-named Penny, is a pistol. She likes to be in our faces (literally) and has discovered one of Dex's favorite resting places, wrapped around my laptop with the double heat source of sunspots and laptop motor fans.

She is a typical kitten - everywhere at once - up down and over - and using her claws to go vertical at every opportunity. She loves to crawl up the chairs we have in our home office, which have a tapestry like fabric that she can really hook into. I can't say the chairs (or I) are quite so happy about it. She will not leave Yaz alone. Ever. Ever. Ever. She likes to bat at Yaz until Yaz gets to a point where she either engages in a full out throw-down or runs away with the little kitten chasing her. I can't express how funny it is to see the big lumbering fat black cat being chased up and down the stairs by the skinny sleek little tabby. Rarely it turns the other way, which is almost as funny as Penny tends to turn at the last minute and jump about 4 feet straight up in the air always catching Yaz by surprise.

Our new family unit.

It's been an interesting transition again - having just become accustomed to life without an animal, to take in two new and strange creatures. I think it's going to work out.

But that commitment to not declaw? That's still up for debate.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Only in New Orleans...

...would the Ritz Carlton mini-bar be stocked casually with these:

Hangover Relief
The Power is in the Fizz!
The Ritz Carlton (complete with lion logo) Intimacy Kit
2 condoms, 2 obstetrical towelettes, 1 package of lubricating jelly

Enough said.

Friday, February 13, 2009

iTunes - Skewing the Database

So in my master's program at Mville, we often discuss the interactive function of today's marketing-purchase-data record cycle. If you order a book on Amazon it automatically categorizes your purchase and starts to recommend books of similar topic, style, author, etc. It immediately tells you what other books were purchased in combination with your selection by other shoppers. Powerful algorithms are cranking away in the background advising you like an expert on the next chick lit book you'll love, or the classic author you have neglected, or the book on knitting (which must be related to a gift purchase, because god knows you don't knit).

Today I skewed my iTunes profile. I made my very first purchase. My iTunes library to date has been completely constructed by transferring our bizarre CD collection into the computer. But yesterday I switched away from NPR/CBS depressing economy news and sought ear candy with WPLJ - long lived pop-rock radio station complete with extremely annoying morning team of idiots. They had brought into the studio a young british singer I'd never heard of - Lily Allen. Her music was pop with attitude, and probably way to young for me, but it was new, fun, and I enjoyed it. Her voice was a little smoky and her slight cockney accent came through as she sang.

So today, I did it. I hit the purchase button on iTunes and purchased the entire album for $9.99.

As it downloaded I noticed a little red box to the side...what does that say?

Oh dear. EXPLICIT.

I started looking at the song titles.

Oh dear. One is titled F**K You.


So you can just guess what kind of recommendations I'm getting from the iTunes Store "Genius" now.

But I have to admit. I like that F**K You song. It's a bouncy little rendition that makes me smile. And with the news these days (another friend called me for help with his resume, having just lost his job), a little F**K You song goes a long way.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Abe & Charlie

So it's quite the date on the calendar - celebrating the birth of Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin.

Old Abe would be 200 years old today, if it wasn't for that assassination thing. Oh, and that natural inability for humans to live that long too.

I recently got to see the Lincoln Memorial in person for the first time. It was an amazing sight to see. But if you've ever been there you'll notice it's not like in the movies when a contemplative moment can be spent gazing into the alabaster face of Mr. Lincoln, solemnly reading his words, considering the historic ramifications of his life. No, it is a mob scene with a gazillion school kids on their annual trip, screaming babies, and generations of Americans in bad tourist outfits trying to hit 22 sites in an hour.

Still...if you can shut all that out and just consider the vision he must have had and the strength, and the fortitude, and the brilliance, to do what he did...say what he did...and plant the seeds that he did...its so humbling. It really makes you wonder how history chooses to find the souls who can leave their mark in such meaningful ways. And do these remarkable individuals know what impact they will have 200 years later?

Those seeds Lincoln planted have grown slowly and unsteadily, but they are gradually bearing fruit. And while we still have a long way to go, we can proudly declare we've come far...all following in the footsteps of this great man.


And then there's Charlie - known to some of you as Charles Darwin - a man who still causes angst and strife among the hords of faithful and blind who cannot conceive of an alternative meaning to 'God created the world in 7 days'.

If Darwin had done nothing else but piss off the religious fanatics of the world, I would worship HIM as if a god. But in reality his brilliance did not stop there, but in laying the groundwork for understanding of who and what we are, how we have survived thus far, and the very essence of us - in the discovery of genes. While Darwin probably had no concept that genes would someday be discovered and hold the truth and key to our ultimate survival, he certainly understood that the characteristics that genes play a role in developing created our ability to be "fit" enough for the world.

It makes so much sense that I cannot believe that anyone disputes it.


If I weren't so afraid of losing my job and not finding one again before I starved and had to move me, my hubby, and my two kitties to a nice little Whirlpool box in the alley, I'd quit my job tomorrow. What would I do? I would do nothing but read books about Abe Lincoln and locate fossils to mail to school board members who want to subvert children's education by eliminating evolution in science classes and teaching creationism.
Really, these people need a bonk on the head.
Instead I'll have to settle for marking the date on my calendar and thanking Abe for starting us down the path to a better world (if only he had tackled gay rights too)...and thanking Charlie for upending the ridiculous and showing us light and reason. Oh, and creating the premise for Survivor.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Do the Math

I do way too much thinking when I'm driving. Really I should be paying attention to the road, but the drive to/from work is so automatic my mind wanders and wanders and wanders.

Tonight I was thinking about the economy...again...and getting freaked out...again. All I had to hear was that the stock market dropped almost 400 points...again...and my mind started spinning...again.

So I started to do the math. Assume there are about 200 million adults in the U.S. population between the ages of 15-64. Then conservatively assume that of those 200 million 50% are actively earning money. So we're down to 100 million potential spenders. Then assume only 50% of them have dispensable income available to them...another conservative figure I would think. So now we are down to 50 million.

Then, assume 50 million people represent say 30 million households - assuming some partnerships, marriages, co-habitation, multi-adult family households, etc. So how much could each of those households spend to equal the $800 billion that equates to our pending stimulus bill?

$27,000 U.S. greenbacks folks...per household.

Now I would consider our household (luckily) still one of those 30 million. But here's the thing. We just bought a car in December for, you guessed it, $27,000. Granted it is financed for a few years, but essentially it has been spent. So, I think we've done our part.

Now since this $800 billion is actually the SECOND stimulus package of this amount to be put in place, you can double that household bill of $27k. And just imagine the hangover THAT will create for all of us when the tax bill comes due. So, before they start adding up number three, I think the rest of you 29,999,999 housholds need to get out there and help out this sickly and sad economy. Buy a car. Buy a coat. Hell, buy lunch. Just get out there and open those fists.

(and in the background I hear my Dad..."save your money!")

This math is making me tired.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Unwillingness to Say No

In all of the "profiles" I've done through various team building activities at work, and through all the 360 reviews, etc. there has been one major and consistent flaw pointed out in my personality - I'm just the girl who can't say no. (at least at work)

I'm too accommodating. I'm too easy on my clients. I don't stop to ask "Should" we do this? I just pause and think "How can" we do this.

And so here I sit at 9:30PM at night, having once again, bent over backwards to take care of a client. The client (my client = internal staff, project manager) called in a panic with edits to a series of technical figures. He called at 5PM. The designer who created the files had left to pick up her son from day care and he needed edits made by 10PM tonight. What??? a 10PM client deadline? WTF?

But, I didn't question. I truly assume that when people contact you in a panic at 5PM with a 10PM deadline they have exhausted all options to push this until the morning. I tracked down the designer in her car, asked her to please log in from home and make the edits. She was good enough to do it. We worked together (through a couple of crashes, some bad handwriting on edits, and two totally unexplained marks that we had to track people down to explain) and were getting the last edits done at 9:30 when one of the team members IM'd me to say they were going to forward the file to the client without the figures since the edits weren't done and we could finish in the morning.


We had an option for doing the edits in the morning?????

I'm feeling used and abused. And worse, I passed that along to the designer who is at home with a 5 year old and having to ignore his needs to take care of this.

I think I've learned this lesson before, and it hasn't stuck. Maybe this time?

Extreme Green

Ok - I stole this from Nicole's Blog 60 piggies...isn't this the coolest thing ever?

I cannot think of anything that I would love more than stepping out of my shower onto this bath mat. It's living moss! Especially now, in this neverending winter we are having. It's like summer shade in your house. It's the green roof technique brought inside!

Of course on the site that it was featured on, there were all kinds of naysayers - germs, dying moss, not right for homes with pets, etc. etc. etc. But hopefully the kinks will be worked out and it will be an option someday. My toes will be very excited.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Old Fashioned

I learned something new about teenagers recently. Many of them no longer know how to read or write in cursive!

In the computer era we have managed to completely obliterate the art of hand-written communication. While watching MK open her Bat Mitzvah loot, I was astonished that as she opened each card and we asked, "Who is it from MK? What did they write?" She repeatedly responded, (in a wail), "I don't know! I can't read it!" It wasn't that the handwriting was particularly hard to read, it was that it was written in cursive.
She can only read PRINT!
It's official. The age of email and text messages has taken us one step further toward being unable to communicate without technology.

I had come to terms with the fact that as the years go by I will receive fewer and fewer letters in the mail, and I will send fewer and fewer myself. Email and I are friends, and I'm a fast typist, so even when I was writing letters, I often typed them and printed from the computer. But I also appreciated the beauty of cursive and often selected a font that looked like handwriting to personalize my messages.

But no longer. Now I must print. In ugly block letters.
I predict soon all fonts will have to be sans serif - removing all remnants of artistry in case it actually makes it too difficult for our next generation to read. Italics will be permanently banned as totally unreadable. And forget seeing calligraphy on your wedding invitations any longer. It is already the norm to see computer address labels on them. Next you will receive e-vites with an rsvp to an email account.

In discussing this travesty with friends, they talked of how no generation in the future will find ribbon-bound letters in a trunk and be able to slowly read their grandparent's love story. Items like these will be relegated to museums and future generations will think- how odd it was to have to use a pen and paper to send messages. You'll need a PhD to interpret the beautiful cursive handwritten notes and museum display cases will include electronic translations of the message.
How strange life is. How quickly it moves.
So, bye-bye fountain pen.

Hello arthritic thumbs and texting.

Damn. I feel so old fashioned.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Hello, my name is Wenderina, and I'm a West Wing Junkie

As I look at that title, I suddenly realize the play on words. Since the the creator of this show, Aaron Sorkin, has had his difficulties with pharmaceuticals...but what I truly mean to portray is my love of this man's incredible writing.

Lately, I've been watching several episodes of West Wing a day. This happened by chance as I did not realize what setting the DVR to tape "All episodes on this channel in any time slot" would bring me. MANY many many episodes of the West Wing. I was a devotee of this series the entire time it was on the air, and was truly sorry to see it go. I felt there could have been a continuing series with a new administration, the actors they added only served to enhance and deepen the writing. But alas, there are those pesky ratings.

Granted, most episodes were extremely idealistic and spoke of a White House that actually operated with high-minded goals, integrity, and related mostly to those of us who lean to the left. But Aaron Sorkin's greatest moments were often when he presented the opposing arguments, introduced a conservative, a dissent, a new point of view that caused the lefties like me to pause a moment and either re-commit to our original position, engage in a healthy debate, or allow ourselves to realize there was possibly more than one way to meet a challenge. Aaron Sorkin introduced memorable characters who were proclaimed Republicans (the enemy) and in no way were they moderate. They were dedicated to the ideals of that party just as the Democrats were dedicated to theirs. Sometimes they (gasp) were given positions right there in the White House. But most significantly, they were dedicated and brilliant individuals.

The most memorable for me was the introduction of a Republican lawyer who lambasted the position of the current administration on Sunday morning talk shows - a beautiful blonde woman (now seen on CSI Miami, quite the intellectual step down) who found herself offered a job as a White House counsel. Her Republican friends sat around a table and laughed at the offer, ridiculed the Democrats, and insulted the administration. Far from joining in, this woman stopped and made a grand statement:

As Aaron Sorkin concluded the series, he determined the Democrats would once again win the next election, but he also positioned the losing Republican candidate as the next Secretary of State. Very pie in the sky. Who would believe that partisan politics could take the back seat to putting the best minds to work together in politics?

This weekend I was reminded of this and the feelings Aaron Sorkin inspired in me, and how he actually made me think that there could be some positive sides to politics, that there may be some people out there who actually live to serve the country, that there might be a better way of governing than what we experience in the dirty pages of the media. I was at a friend's home and they were discussing the country's obsession and almost blind euphoric worship of the new president. They are staunch supporters of him and his position, but they fear that this worship is unhealthy. Similarly, another blog I read posted something similar and found herself hosting comments that equally attacked her position or claimed to support it, but instead were actually virulently hateful of the new administration and their positions. I prefer to think of the new administration as a potential that Aaron Sorkin was more prophetic in his writing than idealistic.

But I also caution the world to temper their hope and admiration with a dose of reality. To believe that, as we saw in West Wing, holding too tightly to a single position without healthy debate and respect for the potential good ideas that can be posed by others is detrimental. And to know and understand that this president, like those who have gone before him, may fall down as often as he soars.

In the meantime, pick up some West Wing on cable or on DVD and enjoy the extraordinary human potential, the idealist views, the honorable debate, the struggle for answers to the world's toughest problems, and the inspiring writing behind it all.

Thank you Mr. Sorkin, and your excellent writing staff.