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!

 

It’s Closing Time

What happens when one of the guys reenters the dating scene after a long-term relationship break up?  Well it’s survival of the fittest of course and he’s got to learn the new tricks of the trade to stay in the game…

Brett Gursky’s short film, Closing Time, will be screening tomorrow at the HollyShorts Film Festival, an annual festival showcasing the best and brightest short films from around the world.  Yea baby, the world.

I just happen to be in this particular film along with a few other familiar faces, so if you’re free Tuesday from 12-1:30PM, come check it out!  During this block you can also catch some of the other celebrated shorts and if you ask me, this is a real bang for your 10 bucks.

Click here for tickets and more info on Closing Time!

JTJ: Manilla Monday

It’s just another Manilla Monday.

If you’re anything like me and have a hard time keeping track of your boatload of bills, accounts, passwords and so on because you’re much, much too busy remembering all of the extremely important and hardly important things you need to do for your boss or company, and have a self-diagnosed case of A.D.D. to boot, then this is the site for you!  It’s called Manilla, like the folder or envelope,  and it houses all of your super-forgettable stuff in one place.

Genius.   One log in, one site, and BAM.  Just today I linked all of my bank accounts, credit cards, student loans, home utilities, cell phone bill, and travel and reward accounts so now I’ll never miss a due date or double pay a bill (because I forgot I paid it already) again.  Manilla even stores your account statements and sends you reminders when it’s time to pay bills or messages from the companies you link to your account.  It’s like your own free, secure and reliable assistant with bank-level security.  Not to mention it doesn’t talk back or miss deadlines.

Hallelujah.

Click here to sign up for a Manilla account today!

JTJ

Welcome back to Growing Up Golden self and hello readers!  Yea, I disappeared, I know.  But hey, I’m back!  Whilst on my very extended hiatus, it occurred to both my bestiekins and I that I am neglecting my readers of some valuable knowledge I possess and it would be a crime to keep it from you.   So, without further ado, I present to you “Jen the Jew.”   What?!?!   How dare I use that word in jest?  But I do because it is just so perfect.  And well, we all know I love a good stereotype when I see one.  So it stays.   It’s origination comes from countless conversations with friends about deals I’ve found that are…to put it bluntly, cheap.  Don’t be confused though, cheap does not mean you can’t keep it classy kids.  I have a special talent for finding the most le fance food and fun for almost free.  So there you have it, cheap deals plus a Jewish girl named Jen equals “Jen the Jew.”  Voila!   JTJ segments will detail my latest and greatest finds throughout LA and the country, so stay tuned and find out how to be le fance on a budget.  Now, let’s all take our white wigs off and be honest…we’ve got a little Jew in us!

The Race is on!

Hey there readers!

In case you’re wondering, “What good could I do in the month of May?”   The answer is easy.   Purchase a shiny, aromatic bag of Don Francisco’s Coffee limited edition “Blend to Erase MS.”   Now you may ask, “How does a bag of coffee help me do good?”  Well, I shall tell you dear friends.  Don Francisco’s Coffee is partnering with the Nancy Davis Foundation for Multiple Sclerosis to help ERASE MS!   Learn about the foundation and how you can buy coffee that raises money for MS research.

Four Loko, the new roofie.

Four Loko, the most talked about alternative to roofies, is now being banned by the Food and Drug Administration and has 15 days to create a plan to remove the caffeine from the product…or remove them from store shelves.   Is anyone surprised?    Check out the video below for some Four Loko fun.

FourLoko

Click here for more information on the Four Loko ban and it’s health risks.

*Please note this mockumercial is not supporting the product by any means, but bringing to light the known harmful implications.

Left With A Bad “Taste”

I know I can’t be the only one who is tired of the fact that “reality” programming does not represent real life.  Well, as you may have read in the post prior to this one, my friend Brett Gursky recently competed in MSN.com’s reality competition web series The Tastemaker.  However, much to my dismay – and boatloads of other people’s – Brett was only named the runner-up.  Normally I would say that he tried his best and that runner-up is still great, but I have had time to process the outcome and truly believe that he deserved to win.  Not just because we are friends, or because I’m biased, but because out of the rest of the competitors, he truly proved himself to be THE Tastemaker.  Allow me to explain.

I watched each and every episode and I have to say that the results left me in shock.  I felt as though the rug was pulled from underneath me and I wasn’t even in the competition, but instead a fan and a supporter.   Something clearly was not right, and it wasn’t Brett’s ability and outcome of each task which garnered praise after praise.  From the start he pulled in all of the elements that would qualify someone as a “Tastemaker” by definition.  The PSA that he directed – and that my best friend Nicki helped produce – not only won Round 2, but went on to air on MTV during the Barack Obama special.  Brett single-handedly got 12 actors from TV and movies to appear in the PSA on a day’s notice.  Then for round 3, he put on a charity fashion show for designer Donna Mizani which is still being written about on fashion and party blogs, getting the same coverage as official LA Fashion Week events.  The judges’ commentary on both fashion shows spelled out who should have won the round.   They cited Donna Mizani and Adrianna Costa as stars and loved how Brett reached out to the charity for the actual lemonade stand.  No ordinary person could just make these things happen so seamlessly and quickly.  Even if Raymond, Brett’s competition in round 3 (who was previously his teammate for round 2), did raise more individual donations for his charity, that was only one element of the task.  Brett created an out of the box fashion show including actual lemons, lemonade, and the freaking life-sized lemonade stand to boot.   Not to mention the size of his audience, the celebs, clearly the designer, the carpet, the rose petals, the photographers, the beverages, the energy.   He even had a live auction including signed movie posters, tickets to a live taping of a TV show, restaurant and nightclub gift certificates, and more – all donated by his very large and supportive network of friends without any hesitation at all.

The weekend after the final episode aired, my friends and I attended the wrap party that Brett threw for the cast and crew of the show.  Ironic that the person throwing the wrap party was only the “runner up.”  I got to meet people involved with the show and I asked a lot of questions.  I had to get to the bottom of this.  Over the next few days I did some digging on MSN.com for coverage of their show, and I came across a blog entry entitled “The Tastemaker is Chosen!” with the main image being a picture from none other than Brett’s fashion show.  Um, MSN.com why  would you put a picture of Brett’s fashion show on that blog if Raymond won?  Wouldn’t you want to highlight the person’s show who won the challenge?  If you aren’t even buzzing about his show, why would anyone else?   However, there was tons of buzz about Brett’s show, even from you MSN!  Not only was it on that MSN blog, but photos from Brett’s show were on the MSN homepage.  Twice.  Photos from Raymond’s fashion show were not even on the MSN homepage once.  Just saying.  Also, Raymond’s special “out of the box” break-dancing element to his fashion show was performed by “friends from The LXD” as MSN put it in their blog entry.   So I started to do a little more digging and found out that The LXD is a web series produced by Agility Studios who also produce…wait for it…The Tastemaker. Coincidence?  Conflict of interest?  You tell me.  But I’ll say this.  Something just seems, dare I say it, rigged.

Of course I could be saying this as an extremely supportive and disgruntled friend of the contestant that didn’t ultimately win the title.  But believe me, if Brett dropped the ball on the final task, I’d be the first to let him know in a non-sugarcoated way.  But he didn’t drop the ball.  And he deserved to win.  All of the evidence is there and stands on its own without me having to point it out.  But I feel that I must anyway.  I will also say that I have met Raymond several times throughout the process of the show, and he is a very nice guy.   He and Brett brought each other to the final round with their winning PSA.  I just really feel that in this case, the right guy did not take home the title.

Brett brings people together and influences others.  All day, every day.  He gets people to follow their dreams and move to Los Angeles.  He got ME to move and do just that.  He is also thanked for things that were simply one BBM away from happening and then he’s on to the next task.   He truly is “The Tastemaker.”  I guess MSN will find that out the hard way.  That being said, Brett handled the news with grace and humility.  He was very complimentary of Raymond and an extremely fair competitor.  He could have faced the judges and torn opposition’s event to shreds.  But instead he showed respect and restraint.  He could have pointed out that Raymond’s musical acts, dancers, and the photo booth were all just distractions from the fact that he did not bring in a real designer.  He left out a crucial aspect of a fashion show – the fashion.  Anyone can take a charity’s merchandise and put on a “show” with it, but how many people can get an A-list designer to do a real LA Fashion Week caliber show, as a favor with just a week’s notice?  In episode 11, Raymond is quoted as saying that he could call up 30 fashion brands on a Saturday afternoon and get someone to do a fashion show.  Well then he should have.  Proof is in the pudding.

My research also taught me that Raymond publishes a music magazine.  I would have expected him to bring in the big guns then for the final task rather than unknown musicians.   Amount of individual donations aside, I asked Brett the difference in the amount of money they raised and he informed me it was only about $200.  That’s it?  Besides, the show was not called The Fundraiser.  Anyone can be a fundraiser if they ask people to donate money.  It was called The Tastemaker. Both sides raised a lot of money for their charity of choice, but I would argue that Brett brought more awareness, especially to the Hollywood community, to his charity.  Brett went above and beyond and his event was in a whole other league.  In my eyes, and the eyes of countless others, he won round 3 fair and square.  He may not officially have the title, but everyone that knows him, including the genius’ who allowed this to happen, knows that he is it. 

So where does that leave us?  Had Brett won the title, The Tastemaker would have gotten it right and, as a result, all of the highly influential people in Brett’s social network – all of the actors, producers, directors, writers, agents, managers, club owners, etc – would be talking about the show.  But unfortunately, whomever had the final say caused this show  to lose ALL credibility.   So much for future seasons.   And so much for a reality show actually depicting…reality.

Watch episodes 11 & 12 and see for yourself.

Case closed.

Spa Saturday

On my continued search for all things fun, I decided that after a fairly rough week at work I would attempt to create an at-home spa environment as another attempt at evoking those feelings you would have while on vacation.

I did it all.  Leisurely bath not without lavender salt scrub, followed by my Ahava Dead Sea face mask that I carted all the way back from Israel, candles lit and jazz music to put the cherry on the Sunday.

Voila!  Relaxation.  However, this was still spa-adjacent and definitely a far cry from the real thing.  When considering my spa-ptions, Burke Williams or one of those fancy hotel spas are way out of my price range.  But relentless as I am, I would not let this go and needed my day.  So I got creative.

I went down to SoRo, that’s South Robertson for those that don’t know, and began to shop-hop.   The street is lined with a series of nail and hair salons, cafes, and more.  I may not be able to afford the fancy spa day I dream of, but I can definitely afford to get the services I want at a few different places.  I found a nail place, JB Nails, that offered a manicure and pedicure for $22.99 and eyebrow waxing for $10.  Perfect!  An hour and 20 pink fingers and toes later, I walked a block down and hit the jackpot when I found a massage place with services starting at $25 an hour.  I’m almost reluctant to tell people about this place because it was really such a find that it would be horrible if it became too busy to walk-in.  It’s called JB Natural Foot Massage and it was amaaaazing.  Possibly the same owner as the nail salon, but who cares!  For a measly $25, you lay on one of five reclining massage chairs in a dim relaxing room with flat screens on the walls showing a looped luxurious travel destination video, all while peaceful spa music is playing and someone is focusing on your head, neck, back, and legs.  I mean, WOW.  And it’s only another $20 to add 15 more minutes of bliss.  Once I was thoroughly relaxed, I walked over to the nearby Paddington’s Tea Room for afternoon tea and crust-less sandwiches.  This is the life, and all for a fraction of what a le fance spa would cost.

After my lovely day, the only thing left to do was to see Eat Pray Love.  So I did, and I L-O-V-E-D loved it.  I may not be able to travel to Italy, India, and Indonesia this year, but I sure as hell can do my best to pretend!

Eyes up here, thanks.

Have you noticed that over the years you’ve been seeing a lot more of people’s eyelids?  Way back when, you’d never see a guy’s eyelids unless they were sleeping or for those females out there, if they were staring at your chest.  You’d see a female’s eyelids because she uses eye shadow and other eye makeup.  But now, you almost see more lids than actual eyes because everyone is staring down…at their cell phone.

I am definitely part of this group.  I literally walk around emailing, texting, bbming, tweeting, and Facebooking.  It’s amazing I haven’t been hit by a car or walk right into a pole.  That’s how often I look down at my phone.  Forget about texting and driving being a hazard to everyone’s safety; texting and walking is just as harmful!  I like to think of myself as a great multitasker, however I could realistically respond when I am no longer moving about.

That goes for social interactions as well.  How many times have you sat at a table where everyone’s cell phones are placed somewhere near their silverware?  Last time I checked, you don’t need a cell phone to eat.  And the worst is when someone actually answers the phone at the table.  Unless it’s an emergency, real crisis, or a business lunch, it just shouldn’t happen.   Or how about when someone is texting with someone else while hanging out with you?  Um hey, how about what’s going on here rather than over there?  Be present!  This was one of my New Year’s resolutions and I haven’t done a great job of curbing my texting habits, but I am trying.  I also tend to text if I see the person I’m with is doing it because then it feels less rude since they are already being rude.  Work-related things are excusable but anything other than that can wait.

I’ve become so socially dependent on my phone through texting and emails that when the phone actually rings I get scared.  Having an actual conversation gives me anxiety because I have to think quickly and there might even be some awkward silence, oh my!

I am going to change my ways now, before it’s too late and I become incapable of real life conversation.  I vow to disconnect during meals, driving and walking for that matter, and plans with friends and family.  Who’s with me?

To waste time or not to waste time…

I recently had a conversation that led me to question when it’s considered wasting time by being in a relationship.  By “waste time” I strictly mean having no future.  This issue came up while I was talking with a friend of mine.  I simply said he was too old to be putting in so much effort and spending as much time as he does with girls he has no future with.  He is 30 and by social norm, should be dating, end up in a long term relationship that will eventually turn into an engagement and then marriage.  Well, anyway that’s what we’re told.

Now take me for example, 25 years old, still young, but getting up there in terms of female years.  Let’s not kid ourselves, there is a definite difference between females aging and males aging.  This puts me basically in the same boat as my older, male friend.

So then when is it okay to waste time with someone just for the sake of having fun?  The general population seems to think being in a relationship during college is a no-no because that’s when you’re supposed to meet people and experience life and have fun.  Would that then make the acceptable relationship-just-to-be-in-a-relationship period right after college and somewhere around 25 for girls?  What about guys?  Maybe right after college until their late 20s?  And then what, it’s time to crack down and find yourself a mate?  And then that is not an immediate process either.  You date someone for a while before making the big jump to engagement.  But back to the issue at hand…

On one hand, isn’t everything an experience?  Doesn’t each relationship, meaningless or meaningful, all innately have a meaning?  I say go with your gut.  If you feel like being in a relationship, be in one but make sure to take something from it and don’t let it hinder your chance of finding someone better for you.  And by better, I don’t mean the grass is always green kind of better, but more so better suited for you.  I also don’t mean cheat if that someone else comes along.  On the other hand, if you prefer being single, then be single but don’t choose that path just because of social norms and “taking advantage of your youth.”  Basically, don’t miss out on a good thing because of wherever you think you’re supposed to be at a certain point in life.  You may think you don’t want a relationship now, or just got out of one and need time to be single, or are desperately seeking a relationship.  Be open to whatever, or whomever comes your way because you really never know when that person may show up.