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11.23.2007

Ch-Ch-Changes

It would be so boring if I told you I was busy.

Like, "Yeah, we get it, Lena. You're busy. Then why don't you just shut down your blog if you're not going to, you know, write on it?". But, see that's the thing. I will never stop writing. This is just a temporary phase - I'm only busy right now because my business is so new and it is kicking my bee-hind.

I've been trying to think of exactly how to explain how overwhelmed I've been and decided I should just show you in a highly technical representation, me being a professional entrepreneur and all.

This is me. (Yes, I'm a natural blond. And I got those pants at the Gap.)

This is your brain.


This is my business.

This is your brilliant business idea.

This is how it has been running my business.

This is your brain on your brilliant business idea.

In a word, brutal.

But, then! I bought a DayPlanner at Office Depot yesterday!


This is your brain figuring it out.

That's right. Who's driving who now, biznitch?


Oh, wait. I forgot my clients.


Now, get some clients.

There we go. Perfect.

(Hey, do you think this would count as my business plan? Wells Fargo still hasn't gotten back to me about my loan.)

So, things should be improving here shortly.

I admit I've been getting a kick out of those of you that have emailed me inquiring about what exactly my business is. My favorite was Amanda who emailed me again after not receiving a response and said simply "If I don't hear otherwise soon, I'm going to just assume avon".

Actually, the reason why I've been vague is because I started a consulting business. And it's sort of funny. Because, well, um, I don't know if I've ever told you guys this but in my former life? I was a bank real estate specialist. Which is to say, that the nightmare we just endured for the last six months was sort of my area of expertise, if you will. I know. It's a crazy world.

Also, please note that I'm now using "*" in any words applicable to my line of work because the last thing I want is for my new clients to find my blog.

Because, you know, the internet gets around.

And then they'll know all about my own selling disaster, which would be bad. And that I own a Michael Bolton t-shirt, which would be worse, no?

Anyhoo. That's what I've been doing - working from home helping people get out of their own fin*ncial disasters. I couldn't be busier or more thrilled (thrillsier?).

Believe it or not, I loved my old job in banking and have missed it. I didn't think I'd be able to get back into it with Savannah's limited school hours, so I'm pretty damn ecstatic to be doing it again in a c*nsulting capacity. Because I love helping people. And also because it pays well.

But, mostly the helping people part. Helping people pay me well, that is! Oh, I slay me.

So, the Casa de Cheeky Lotus has gone from drab to fab in just a few short weeks. With a new city, new friends, new colleagues, a new man, a new job in L.A., and being picked up for the entire season...wait, that's Private Practice.

All this to say, I am in fact the "B" word. Busy doing something I love. For that I feel blessed. Also, deprived of the internet's warm fuzzy company. I'm still working on the whole balance thing, but it's finally starting to come together.

Which...brings me to my next point.

As you've probably heard, ClubMom is shutting its Mom Blogs doors.

I can't say I was entirely surprised when I received the news last week. Just call it a hunch. If you recall, when I was hired by ClubMom/ABC a year and a half ago I was beyond ecstatic. I had only been writing for a short time and to actually be paid real shiny quarters for my werrds, and in an email from Andrew Shue no less, was a huge confidence boost. It was exactly the distraction I needed during the most difficult time in my life - my dad's sudden death - and I will be forever grateful for that.

That said, I will be the first one to admit that I felt my ClubMom blog had run its course. There is only so much time in a day and at one point recently I had five writing jobs, including the work I do for them on their sister site CafeMom.

I think this is a common burden felt by bloggers right now. We don't want to pass up opportunities, we take on everything we're offered, and then our passion - writing - starts to become a job. An obligation.

I'm looking forward to writing being nothing more than a luxury for me again. Although, I will continue to keep an ad or two around to pay for my -ahem- "expenses". Primarily for the purposes of claiming to Chris all exasperated that I "have to write" so that I can run upstairs with a glass of wine and take pictures of Savannah's toys driving around in cars while he makes dinner.

Speaking of ads, you'll notice that I'm no longer part of the Blogher Ad Network. There's really nothing to say about that other than that I have the utmost respect for the community, and hopefully they'll have me back if I change my mind in the future. But, for now I've decided to accept an offer from Warner Bros.' network, the Mom Logic Ad Network.

Warner Bros. approached a few writers awhile back, including Yvonne and me, and asked us to come into the studio to "shoot an episode" of a yet unnamed series. After Yvonne and I peed ourselves, we agreed. Well, we had our roots done. Then we agreed.

Yvonne wrote a little about her experience here and since I assume your eyes are glazed over at this point in this post, I'll save my story for next time.

In the meantime, here's an actual conversation from that day to whet your appetite:
Me: "I'm so nervous. We haven't even started filming and I smell like a sheep."

Producer: "Are you perspiring?"

Me (flapping arms): "Yes, badly."

Makeup Lady: "Here, stuff these paper towels in your armpits."

Obviously they were wowed.

Anyway, if you want to check out their site - and, eventually, streaming video of my taping - you can press your wee mouse here.

Okay, more new things to come, including a site redesign! But, for now, I must go. Savannah is demanding I explain why Mike is in Barbie's car.

11.12.2007

It's Always Fun Until Somebody Eats Too Many Free Cookies

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Chris didn't want me to tell Savannah that we were headed to a Hannah Montana concert where we would be meeting Miley Cyrus until she and I actually walked into the arena.

I found this to be a bad idea for two reasons:

1. I was way too excited and could not possibly contain my secret for the hour long drive to San Diego (plus, my ears have a tendency to bleed when fielding the same repeated question from a six year old).

2. I was sure that the sheer magnitude of the moment would cause Savannah to embarrassingly break down sobbing in front of her idol. (Considering that I cried hysterically at 12 years old when I saw Luke Perry perform in a fashion show ...at a mall. But, that's just me. I forget that Savannah is a bit more well-adjusted.)

When I told Savannah in the car on the way to the concert, I handed her a glossy picture of Hannah Montana and announced "This is where we are going".

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She didn't scream. She didn't cry. She stared at the picture in disbelief for a moment and then said almost to herself "I'm going to tell her our names rhyme."

Excellent plan.

This may shock some of you, but Savannah is obsessed with Hannah Montana. A six year old obsessed with a Disney pop star! I know, it boggles the mind.

She watches the show every day, she sings her songs pretty much constantly, and she is already the talk of the Kindergarten town because she has a Hannah Montana backpack which I won in a fierce smackdown bidding war with 13 other moms on Ebay for (whispering) $85.00 (/whispering).

Anyway, when I heard that Hannah Montana was going on tour, I immediately got online to buy tickets. During the last harrowing year of emotional and financial unrest, Savannah has been the silent victim through it all and she deserved something insanely special.

Insane turned out to be an understatement, however. Fancy Moses, those prices! Hundreds of dollars for basic nosebleed seats! Being anywhere close to the stage was a joke - it was in the thousands. I was shocked. I don't want to buy her kidney, I just want to see her perform.

I went back and forth on the issue, but in the end I just couldn't justify spending that kind of money. I know how the Internet wants to balance my checkbook, so I'm sure it couldn't either.

When she's older, I told myself.

Then, two days before the concert came to San Diego, I received an unbelievable offer from Disney via the amazingly talented Tracey Clark to, hold onto your bunny slippers, attend the Hannah Montana concert (see Lena tear up) as VIP guests with stage seating (see Lena sob with gratitude) and meet Miley Cyrus (see Lena crumple onto office floor hugging cat).

It's not that I'm a fan necessarily. In fact if I were being honest, I only recently figured out that Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus are the same person. I know, I'm quick like that. (What's this you say about Clark Kent and Superman? Wha..?)

I was overjoyed because I could not imagine a better way to say "thank you" to my daughter for every time I've shooed her away over the last year because I had to work. Or pack. Or spend hours on the phone negotiating our house sale with the bank. Or unpack. Or cry on the couch.

What better way to say "I love you' than good old fashioned idolatry.

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We arrived to the San Diego Arena about 47 hours early because I am notoriously late and I could not fathom being late to this concert. It's only taken me 30 years to know my own limitations and if that meant waiting in the god awful cold for three hours then so be it.

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I'm warmed by my love.

When we were finally let in, the lovely people at HP draped VIP passes around our necks, gave us our tickets, and pointed us into the arena with specific directions to the HP reception where we would meet Miley before the show.

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Hello! Scared. Of. Her.

I, of course, immediately darted off in the wrong direction and then ran around in circles, pleading with slack-jawed arena employees "But, I'm supposed to meet Miley Cyrus!" to which they would chuckle with each other before directing me to my dreams.

I ended up coming back outside three times for further directions from the HP people before I finally - swear to God - said these words to the HP executive "Can you please take me there? I'm an idiot."

I'm happy to report we finally made our way to the reception where I was greeted by free cookies and also free wine. Hold me closer, HP.

When it came time to walk down to our seats we were pumped. (Have I really rambled this long and this concert hasn't even started? Sheesh, don't be shy with the backspace key, Lena.)

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This is what Joy at Six looks like.

Savannah was in shock when we were seated at the edge of the stage. As a matter of fact, she literally started flicking her face because she said "I can't believe this is really happening". Her sheer joy was absolutely priceless. (Literally!)

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*flick*

The Jonas Brothers performed first and well, how old are they exactly? Because those were some tight pants. All I have to say about the Jones Brothers is that they are, um, fine young men. Their mothers should be very proud! Moving on!

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Hannah Montana was, in a word, remarkable. What a performance! She came out as Hannah Montana first and then performed as Miley - the outfits, the dancing, the singing, the wigs - it was amazing. Let's just say it was a whole lot better than Luke Perry in a jean vest at the mall.

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We ended up doing the Meet and Greet following the show. After an hour wait in line, Savannah walked up to her idol - looking like your average itty bitty 15-year-old in a green sweatshirt, albeit exhausted from her concert - and smiled wordlessly at her. Miley Cyrus gave Savannah an autograph, leaned in for a picture, and it wasn't until we exited the backstage that Savannah started breathing again.

Hannah Montana


That's when she stared at the autographed photo, her face beaming, and said "This is the best day of my life".

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She totally thinks Hannah is going to be calling our house now.


I'm here to tell you that nothing will make you feel as old as taking your "baby" to a concert. I walked into that concert a few months out of my 20's and I left 109 years old. Seriously. I hobbled out with blisters, a migraine, heartburn, and a $700 purse that was literally dripping a trail behind me because someone's "Best of Both Worlds" Icee leaked all over the floor under my chair.

And yet I responded to her "Mine too, my love. Mine too".

~~~

As promised ...The Mrs. rocks!

This goes out to The Mrs.!

11.11.2007

Did You Know That Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus Are the Same Person? Rip Off.

Okay, Miss Smarty Pants Internet.


More later, including What 10,000 12-Year-Olds Sound Like When Their Heads Are Exploding, How Old Are the Jonas Brothers Because I Probably Should Be Arrested and Why I Can't Ever Find Where I'm Supposed To Go Unless Someone Takes My Hand and Guides My Tearful Self?

I'll be back soon with all the glorious photographic evidence...

(and not in three weeks, Kate).

P.S. Meet my new best friend.

11.07.2007

More Than a Little Excited

You will NEVER guess where I am taking Savannah as a surprise tomorrow. Never!

I'm going to write about it tomorrow, but I thought it would be fun to throw it out there now and see who guesses first, you or Savannah. So far, Savannah has convinced herself it's the park or the bookstore. Ha! She has big dreams.

But, I have faith in you, internet. I know you'll come through. And if you do I will take a picture of myself holding a sign with your blog and something nice about you on it.

(And I really mean it this time. It's not like that other time where I invited you to join my sorority with the promise of picture taking for each of you and then, oh my God, over five hundred of you joined and what is a girl with a cheap camera and a short attention span to do? Forget she ever said it and go eat chips, that's what. I am ashamed.)

But, this time I so very much mean it. The first person who guesses where we're going tomorrow gets my enormous face staring at them along with a highly accurate compliment deduced from the contents of their blog.

Like so:

Just add eyes. And a nose. Like Mr. Potato Head!

Here's a hint: If I wasn't getting it for free, it would never happen.

11.05.2007

NaNoWriLess

Oh my God, save me from the serious people!

Did you know that there are professional people out there who, like, call you while you’re on a playdate and email you when you want to write on your blog and fax you when you want to watch Dancing With the Stars? They call themselves clients and they want you to, like, work when they pay you.

Very annoying.

So, I've been over here having conference calls and meetings and doing fancy stuff with numbers and while this new job could easily consume every waking hour if I let it...I admit...I miss you.

The last few weeks I have given myself permission to just immerse myself in my new life. Do you forgive me?

I admit it has been nice to actually finish a conversation in the school parking lot without walking backwards toward my car while doing it. To pick up Savannah and head to the library willy-nilly. To actually go to the gym and flap my arms around rather than let my ass swallow my desk chair. To use my computer for work rather than YouTube.

My new job demanded that I put writing on the back burner, but honestly I needed the push. I needed to be forced to take a much needed break. If I hadn't there is no doubt my blogs would have died on the vine. Which would have been sad...and moldy.

Sadly, my break meant giving up some writing obligations, but I know that it was the right thing to do. Less is more or something like that.

I am slowly finding a balance between my new business, spending time with my daughter, spending time with myself (translation: watching The Bachelor), unpacking (I am still retrieving towels from the garage) and my passion: writing.

So, bear with me, Internet. And as a token of my gratitude, I will let each of you tell me how pretty I am.

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