You Can Call this a Comeback

With the end of the year approaching I’m suddenly inspired to reflect on 2015, take inventory of the positive, find solutions to the negative and ultimately decide what I want to bring with me into 2016.  One of the things I want to bring with me is this very blog. Hey blog, missed ya! And in true Golden-fashion, I said to myself, “Self, why start tomorrow what you can do today?” You know, make a habit of it starting NOW. Amirite?

So, here goes. Whether you’ve followed my blog because you’re a fan of the content, or of me, or thought that this website was the Jewish version of Keeping Up with the Kardashians (my Sunday night family dinners should be filmed)…

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Sunday night family dinner

I think giving you a few updates on what I’ve been doing these past few years is the perfect place to start. Do-Re-Mi, my friends.

Where I’ve been…
Since my last post back in June, 2012, I’ve been BUSY. I’ve continued to host after shows at Afterbuzz TV for Impastor, The League, Truth Be Told, Dads, The Americans, and more. Then I got an exciting call, I was cast as the co-host for The Art of Life of The Lifestyle Network! WHATTT. My first broadcast TV gig. Major. I even got my very own blue check on Twitter. I was also cast as the new co-host on the Sam in the Morning show on LA Talk Radio. At the same time, my YouTube channel, Two Drunk Girls TV got some serious cred and bestie,

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Two Drunk Girls

Lauren Leonelli, and I got signed by Fullscreen for management and soon after came Gersh as our agents! I know, we’re still pinching ourselves. I guess it’s true, if you build it they will come. And they did. That brings us to the latest and greatest. Lauren and I set out to do a radio show of our own on LA Talk Radio, so we created a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds and get the show off the ground.  Not only did we meet our goal (thanks to many of you), but we threw ourselves a super fab launch party. The first show went live on October 7 and we’ve been booked with some seriously awesome guests since with no sign of slowing down! I’ve also picked up a love of yoga and practice regularly, because how else could I stay centered with all of this going on?! Sounds like a lot, doesn’t it?

What I want to bring with me…
Gratitude. And not just because it’s Turkey Day tomorrow but because duh. It’s something we all strive for, try to remember, post super deep memes and quotes about on Instagram, and then completely forget about because life happens and we say bye to gratitude like it’s Felicia. So here I am on November 25th resolving to maintain my gratitude each and every day. Why you may ask do I need to up my gratitude levels when I am clearly very thankful for the aforementioned resume? Because dear readers, even I forget all that’s happened until I put pen to paper and take stock for this here post. While in the thick of things I felt stressed, overwhelmed, busy, and under-accomplished (I will probably always feel this one due to my overachieving Capricorn nature, insert therapist’s name here ___), but you get my point. Why the F do we get on this damn hamster wheel?  We do it to ourselves which is the worst part.  I know I do. Welp, it comes to an end here and now, hopefully for good. At the very least, I’m going to pour a healthy amount of champagne into my hamster wheel water bottle and celebrate my accomplishments along the way. Who’s with me?

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It’s Complicated

While we’re all feeling festive and suddenly gracious, I would greatly appreciate you lovely people tuning in to my new radio show called It’s Complicated on LA Talk Radio, Wednesday’s at 12PM, and let me know what you think! Part of taking stock is also humility, so I’m going to exercise mine now. Any and all feedback is welcome.

And finally, thanks for supporting my comeback as a blogger folks. I appreciate your support over the years, and now, more than ever.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

 

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To Don’t List

Happy Monday everyone!  A friend recently shared this extremely inspiring article with me and I wanted to share it with all of you.  What better way to start your week than with a “To Don’t List” of the 30 things to stop doing to yourself.  It’s a quick, moving and ultimately useful reminder of the basics that are easily forgotten while life happens.  Once you’ve read it, be sure to check out the follow up article with “To Do’s” that you can start applying right now…

Enjoy, and have a great day!

Lemonade For Life!

This past Friday night, I visited a special lemonade stand.   Yes, that is what I did on my Friday night and for a good cause.   My longtime friend, Brett Gursky, is a finalist on MSN.com’s Tastemaker competition show, ala The Apprentice but for the socially inclined.   Brett was given the challenge of directing and producing a fashion show for fashion week that tied in a charity.  Whoever raised more would naturally win.  However, at some point throughout this final challenge, the cause became greater than the outcome of the show.   Brett chose Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, an organization he had followed closely over the years and therefore became very invested in its success.   Seamlessly Brett integrated the charity’s own Lemonade Stand serving actual lemonade into the fashion show featuring the edgy and sexy designs by Donna Mizani and soundtrack by DJ Savi.  (click here to watch the show)

For those that don’t know, Alex’s Lemonade Stand was founded by a four-year-old girl named Alexandra Scott who was diagnosed with childhood cancer before her first birthday.   Her simple yet monumental plan was to raise funds for doctors cancer research and someday a cure.  When Alex passed away at the age of eight, her stand and foundation raised over $1 million dollars.  Now, in the organization’s 10th year, it has raised over $35 million dollars that have since created 150 research projects, a travel program to help support the families of children receiving treatment, and developed resources to help people all over whom have dealt with and been affected by childhood cancer.

Help turn lemon’s into lemonade by donating $1 (or more) to Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.

To learn more about Alex or the foundation go to www.alexslemonade.org, and to catch the final episodes of MSN’s Tastemaker to find out who wins, go to http://tastemaker.msn.com.

Mommy Issues

As you know, I recently graduated from the Second City Training Center in Los Angeles.  You may not know though that such people as Steve Carell, Jim Belushi, Tina Fey, and Mike Myers, those nobodies, are also products of Second City.   So is John Paul Karliak, whom I was fortunate enough to be in class with and perform with him on stage.  Talk about talent.  I mean I always knew he was a great improviser, but after seeing his one-man show that he also wrote, I’m just in awe.

J.P.’s Donna/Madonna is an incredibly moving nature vs. nurture story about his life, or semi-secretive life, with both his adopted mother, “Donna,” and his birth mother, “Madonna.”  Through storytelling, reenactments, song a la Bette Middler, and dance, J.P. keeps you at the edge of your seat waiting to see what will unfold next in his story.

Now although one-man shows are usually not mah thang – unless referred to as stand-up comedy – J.P.’s changed my perception altogether.  The entire show may be performed just by one person, however each character he plays feels as significant and well-rounded as when he is playing himself and you quickly forget you are watching one person do an entire show. That is called acting my friends.   This show is truly lovely and translatable to anyone who has a mother.

You don’t want to miss his last show, trust me.  I’m not giving my seal of approval because my friend needs help filling seats.  He by no means needs help doing that as it has been sold out weekly.  You should see it because it is talent, creativity, honesty and heart at its best.  See it…and then call your mom.

Celebration Theatre – August 31, 2010 @ 8PM
7051 Santa Monica Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA‎
(323) 957-1884‎

Funny People!

Every Wednesday night I get together with the special people in Ithamar Enriquez’ Conservatory 4 class at the Second City Training Center Los Angeles to pitch sketch ideas and cast scenes just like we are producing SNL.  These scenes are then performed again in our improv shows before a live audience.   We are collecting material that will soon be used in our 8 week show run once we graduate from Conservatory Level 5.  What ever makes the audience laugh will stay, and whatever doesn’t, well…it will probably also stay!  Just kidding folks.  Here’s a sample of what we’ve been up to…

Want to see more?  You can still catch us on April 11 and 25 at 7PM.  And the best part?  The show costs a whopping ZERO f-ing dollars.  I know, I know.  It just seems too good to be true.  And it is.  Hope to see you all there!

Holiday Series Part 3: I’ll Be Home For Christmas

A Very Golden Christmaskah

Whoever said that this is “the most wonderful time of the year” should have also included that it is the most hectic time as well.  I’m beat and still have New Year’s Eve to get through!

Ever since I left the nest for college, I have always come back for the holidays.  I usually come back for about 12-20 days depending on how long I have off, and can’t wait to spend the time relaxing with family, eating, watching holiday movies, catching up on sleep and listening to Christmas music.    However, although my traditions haven’t changed at all, my accommodations certainly have, as well as who’s involved in the festivities.

This year I have had the pleasure of sharing a bed with my mother since her apartment does not have a guest room for me and I can’t stay at my dad’s because my bedroom furniture has become my mom’s.  So it’s share a bed, or set up shop on the couch.  Well I tried the sharing thing, but in typical only child fashion, I moved to the couch so I would have my own space and hopefully more sleep.  But to my dismay, I’ve had just about the same few hours of sleep every night regardless of the location due to my mom’s new foo foo pup, Baci, and his big brother Harley waking us up at 8AM everyday needing attention and to go outside.  I hope for your sake you are not in fact in my shoes and have your own room, personal space, and drawers to unpack your things in.  I also hope you have your own bathroom.  Let’s just say I have taken over the “his” sink in my mom’s his and hers bathroom.

Then there’s the friends and family members you’re responsible for seeing at some point during your trip, however long it may be.  But again, if you’re like me and are sans car when you go home, this can be extremely difficult to maneuver because you are at the mercy of those with cars and on their schedule.  It feels like a loss of independence almost, and an urgency to make the most of my time.  My dad keeps saying ‘Tempus fugit, Jen.”  Yes, time flies along with any chance for relaxation.

But the best part of being home is reverting back to childhood.  I wake up to a cup of coffee at noon, haven’t paid for a single meal or movie ticket, my laundry has been done for me and dinners cooked for me too.  I’m babied and it’s wonderful.  I’ve been in a constant food coma, spent a lot of time in my Christmas pjs, and perfected the game of catch with the new family dogs.  My dad calls me Monkey Child and tells me to be careful when going out at night.  My mom even offered to help me complete the work I’ve had to do while home in Miami just as if it were homework I needed to turn in in high school.

Although going home is never the tranquil vacation I envision, I’ve definitely put in a lot of quality family and friend time, making it really “the most wonderful time of the year” and reminding me why spending hundreds of dollars on a flight is worth every penny.  Now can someone please tell me when the most relaxing time of the year is??

Holiday Series Part 1: All I Want for Christmas is You

How Thanksgiving has already come and gone baffles me.  Really.  I mean this year flew faster than ever before.  That means New Years is right around the corner and then we start all over again.

This is truly the most wonderful time of the year, for so many reasons, however it seems to do funny things to people.  Aside from the standard family drama that comes out during this time, people all over the world at one point or another are overcome by loneliness.  It’s like right after Halloween, that feeling starts setting in.  But why?

Could it be because of the endless commercials where the girl gives the guy the awesome sweater or the guy gives the girl a mysterious red box and her face lights up?  Or the festive holiday greeting card aisle at CVS that appears and is dedicated solely “To Him” and “To Her”?  Or because the most amazing movies are played at this time, people leave town, and it’s fun to be lazy with someone? Or because it’s also the time when you remember loved ones that are no longer living or part of your life?

I get it.  Holiday loneliness is a different beast altogether.  It’s the time you create memories and feel all warm and fuzzy inside and want to share it with someone, not just in a friendly way.  It’s the season of songs like “All I want for Christmas is you,” “I Miss You Most at Christmas Time,” and “Baby It’s Cold Outside” and movies like While You Were Sleeping and The Family Stone. I’ve been in relationships the past few holiday seasons so I can’t say that I have felt this strain of loneliness in a while, however there was one year that I went as far as having a “Winter Boyfriend” to avoid it.  He was, and still is, a friend that was in town over the holidays and we were both single, yet interested in the possibility of dating.  We decided to give it a shot so we’d always have a plus one or date during that holiday season.  We were together Christmas day on my family’s boat in Miami, and together on New Years Eve as well.  Then the holidays came to an end and so did our winter relationship.  It was genius.

That particular situation worked out but I wouldn’t suggest settling just to have a body around during the holidays if you don’t really have an interest in them.  If you’re overcome by loneliness, I suggest spending extra time with family and friends and reach out to people you haven’t seen or spoken to in a while.  Maybe buy a Snuggie so you will be cozy sans snuggler.  Start going to the gym now instead of waiting until you make a New Years resolution for it.  Create a blog, if I can do it, you can too.  Anything to keep you busy.   Enjoy the holidays and focus on all of the wonderful things you do have, rather than the one person you don’t have. If all else fails, go to as many holiday parties as you can and stand under the mistletoe.

The Flirting 50’s

Sometimes when I talk with my friends about my latest crush or fling, or hear about theirs, I feel a little silly and childish because of how we discuss them. Some we nickname, some we bash, and some we brag about. It’s all in good fun and it’s just what girls do. Let girls be girls! Amen.

Well Amen until you hear your mom and her three girlfriends discussing the same things, and then your amen quickly turns into the Twilight Zone. When I first experienced this I was surprised and uncomfortable because it scarily reminded me of my friends and I thought that just couldn’t be possible. My mother and her friends are women, have lived through all kinds of things I can’t even begin to understand yet, and have kids and even grandkids. They are definitely not like us. They are cougars while we are mere cubs. But could it be, females are still silly and girly at any age? Even in their 50’s-60’s? Apparently so.

As the gossip and “boytalk” went on I became more comfortable and even entertained by what I was hearing. At that point it was actually fun and I was happy to contribute. My favorite was the nicknames they created. I couldn’t believe that these ladies were so creative. They referred to one guy as “Milton Bradley” because his real name sounds incredibly similar. I have to say, they are much nicer with their nicknames than we are. We go straight for “Toolbox” or “Douchebag” and are not as clever…or mature.

Once we moved past the nicknames, they started asking me to offer advice to one of the ladies in the group who has trouble interpreting what guys say and mean. I still have not mastered that and was even more taken aback that with all of their years of experience they had on me, they STILL had not figured it out and STILL take part in silly games and jumping to conclusions. She admitted she deleted a guy from her phone because he canceled a date due to a cold. He was obviously seeing someone else, that must be the reason, she thought because no cold is that bad that it garners cancellation.

Yes, most guys have a rotation of sorts but hello? How did you even get there from a cold?! Is it because our standards change as we get older? Does our tolerance completely disappear? There is definitely something to be said about someone who knows what they want and accepts nothing less. Probably a good lesson for us all. However, be REALISTIC about it. A cold could mean a variety of things, not necessarily that the poor guy is seeing someone else. He may actually have a cold and not want to be sniffly and snotty and groggy on a first date. He may just want to make a good first impression. Who knows. Regardless, it still blows my mind that no matter how old we get, how much experience we have, we as women will NEVER completely understand men and they will certainly never understand us. Men are from Mars, women are from Venus and that is that.

Renewed Religion…Really?

I have never been religious by any means.  Not even close.  I have always felt Jewish though and connected with other Jewish people, but could never really pinpoint what I was feeling.  I was Bat Mitzvahed and have celebrated the major Jewish holidays every year since I was born.  But it never mattered much to me because I was born Jewish and knew that I didn’t have to work at it to continue being Jewish.  I would fight my parents about going to temple and when I’d lose the battle (unless I had a test or something school-related the next day) I would sit there and zone out, or nap on my dad’s shoulder, or throw some degree of a fit.

Then I moved to LA and it all changed.  Not initially though, because I would go home still for the holidays to see my parents and long distance boyfriend, but I found that when I was in LA for a holiday, I felt the need to surround myself with friends and celebrate the holiday even though it had never interested me before.  It became my connection to my family that’s 3,000 miles away, and brought something deeper into my life because at that point I had just been living and going about my merry way.  So for the past two and change years, I have organized potluck style Yom Kippurs and willingly attended temple.  I’ve even fasted.

Now, for those that don’t know what Yom Kippur is, it’s the day we Jewish people atone or repent for our sins.  Basically, after Rosh Hashanah or the New Year, we fast for an entire 24 hours and go to temple, and then wipe the slate clean to start again, hopefully as a better person than the year before.  Heavy I know.

This year happened to be particularly meaningful though.  When I was home for my mom’s birthday and Rosh Hashanah, I went to temple to make my mom happy since it was her birthday.  I went with an open mind and even decided to follow along in the prayer book, drastically different from when I used to go without even opening the book once during the service.  I also listened actively to my rabbi’s sermon and couldn’t wait to leave and tell my friends all of the amazing things I had learned from him that morning.  I was comfortable and even felt at home.  Hey, I should since I’ve been going for over 20 years.  After I left the temple, I felt a strong desire to email my rabbi and let him know how moved I was by his words.  What was happening to me?!

Fast forward a week and I’m back in LA, making plans for Yom Kippur and unenthused about going to a temple that was not mine, but overly excited about my Break the Fast potluck dinner with many of my friends.  I soon found out that plans had changed and I would be going to a friend’s temple, rather than the free service at the Laugh Factory (again, only in LA).  The rabbi at my friend’s temple happened to be Dennis Prager.  Dennis Prager happens to be brilliant so my three friends and I sat, listened, and feverishly typed everything he said into our Blackberries so we would always remember and incorporate the things he said into our lives.  Again, I was so excited to tell people about the things I had learned that I ran home and read my notes to my two roommates, and finally felt like more than just a person going through the motions of life or existing, but rather someone who’s learning and growing and really taking in the things around me.  Sounds cheesy I know, but ohwell.  That’s the best I can explain it at this moment.  Once the painful fast was over, 25 friends and I feasted on everything breakfast related and/or edible.  The friends I had gone to temple with shared a few things we felt were especially important or pertained to our group, one of the things being about the company you keep.  I stood there and looked at the company I keep and felt a rush of warmth and amazement.  I was in awe of the relationships I’ve formed since I moved here, and the ones they all have with each other.  I will go as far as saying I am blessed with incredibly amazing friends.  We even called ourselves a family because that’s what it feels like at this point now that we’ve celebrated various holidays, birthdays and important events with each other. I thought we should take a family portrait but I was sadly vetoed.  Instead, we played charades for hours on end which happens to be my own family’s tradition during holidays.

I guess this is just another stage in my life, one where the little things become that much more important and appreciated, and the things that were never that important are now seen in a different light.  I am no fan of change, but these changes I will gladly and comfortably accept.

Tomorrow’s Light

I was incredibly devastated by the events on September 11, 2001.  So moved, that I didn’t know what to do with my thoughts and sat down and wrote lyrics to what could some day become a song.  Then in 2003, I brought my lyrics to my guitar teacher who’s name now escapes me but definitely deserves credit, and we produced and recorded Tomorrow’s Light.  I held on to the song for years not knowing what to do with it until recently when my friend Ana Ochoa created a video for it using stock photography.  It’s by no means the best song around, but it came from the heart.