All posts in July 2010

Public Information Station

Last week I was riding the train into downtown Portland on my way to work and realized something very strange.  People share a lot of personal information on public transportation.  Granted, most people are not going up to perfect strangers on the train and offering up the information.  What happens is that people are calling places like their banks and phone companies but before their bank or phone company will give up any information, you have to provide them with some personal details to verify your identity. 

In the course of a 30 minute ride I learned full names, addresses, phone numbers, birthdays, and even one social security number.  Luckily for my fellow train-goers, I personally have no plans to use said information.  However, I can’t speak for everyone else on the train and you can bet that if I heard it, other people heard it also.

Getting down to the point, we need to be careful what we say and when we say it.  Just because it is public transportation does not mean it’s the place to air your not-so-public information.  

Mel Gibson

WARNING: The recordings linked to this blog are unedited and very graphic

Ya know what’s not awesome? Watching one of your favorite actors crash and burn and turn into someone you weren’t expecting.  I once witnessed a very well known public figure kick his dog on my old street in L.A. Witnessing one now treating the mother of his child like a dog is obviously worse. In situations like this, I choose to look at every angle. In part to learn and probably in part to make myself feel better.

I want to be clear that I do believe that Oksana Grigorieva is the victim in this situation and no one should ever EVER be spoken to the way I’ve heard this woman spoken to. I wish that were clear to everyone, but I also know that there are hundreds of thousands of women who may have heard those recordings and have very likely heard worse in their own living room.

I suppose in a way I hope making these recordings public lets these women know they’re not alone- that it can happen to anyone from Milwaukee to Malibu. I also hope that it opened the eyes of people everywhere to how terrifying domestic violence can be. These conversations were via phone. I can’t imagine the fear of having that person beside me- ready and able to strike at any moment. The extreme anger in Gibson’s voice is so apparent it doesn’t seem at all possible that he would have been able to restrain himself.

Now, there are going to be a lot of people who think of Braveheart and all of the other wonderful films this man made and decide for themselves there must have been some provocation or that this simply can’t be true. I mean, it’s Mel Gibson for cryin’ out loud- he would never do this!! We “know” him. He’s not like that! And so goes the story of every neighbor or co-worker who turns a blind eye or is shocked to find the truth behind closed doors.

I don’t want to focus too much on my thoughts on Mel Gibson because I don’t want to appear as though I’m justifying his behavior. It’s horrifying and inexcusable. I do however believe that Mr. Gibson has sadly reached a point of mental illness- likely not a surprise to those close to him.  I don’t think it’s easy being a public figure. I don’t think everyone having access to your entire life at any given moment, particularly in this time of massive social media is healthy for anyone.  I think it’s the perfect storm to cause someone to, well…crack.

It’s all a very sad story and for better AND worse one that the public has front row seats to.

 

 

Eat, Drink and be Married!

I have done all of the above this past few weeks! It’s been non stop planning and partying around here. Having 98% of our guests coming from out of town, we made our wedding a 3 day event- at the end of which everyone knew everyone. I realized that the main reason people cry at weddings is because they’re so overwhelmed with all the love in the air- and not just the bride and groom. It’s so amazing to bring your circle of friends and family together and it makes me happy to see old friends from high school sending messages to new friends I met in LA or here in Seattle that they now count as their own.

My fabulous new husband and I took a road trip from Seattle to Sacramento for the wedding of a good friend the week after our celebration. There’s something really soothing about a road trip with junk food , satellite radio and someone you love. My husband was a Marine who now has a pretty ..umm…interesting job in the security world. I could tell you more but I would have to kill you 🙂

We talked a lot about how lucky we are, something perhaps with our careers and experiences we’re both more aware of than most. We talked about a lot more ( approx 1400 miles worth of conversation) and ended up having a really great time down the coast. It made me think that perhaps every once in a while it’s a good idea to take a long drive with the people in your life and focus on your own luck…and love.

The fabulous ladies of GFB ..we couldn’t resist.

 

Senior Citizen Success Story

I’ve recently had the pleasure of speaking for a couple of local senior groups and this story just goes to show that you shouldn’t mess with “little old ladies.”