Chapter XVII

because you never know someone from the very beginning


September 2009

Wednesday’s Thoughts…is it really Wednesday already???

  • I am a mere 1,500 miles and 38,000 feet away from home.  Almost there. Feeling like an American Airlines "we know why you fly" commercial.
  • This blog really should be titled "Dear Diary" since it's more of a daily (or really, weekly) stream of consciousness. However, branding is important. Chapter XVII it shall remain.
  • So, I am on this plane and it's flu season. I swear, when anyone in the vicinity sneezes I feel like I am under attack! Call me paranoid, but I tend to pick stuff up (it's my magnetic personality) and airplanes are toxic places! Pray I get out alive.
  • There is a group of octogenarians on the plane to my right.  Two couples.  Very cute.  They just opened a ziploc full of brownies.  They are giggling madly as they pass the ziploc around.  One of two things must be happening: (1) they are diabetics gone mad OR (2) those are not just brownies.,.those are HERBAL brownies!  I will see what happens when the food cart goes by…if they pounce, I can verify it's (2).
  • I wish I could write about work.  Not what a liquidation preference is, or the optimal structure for a series A board of directors (seriously, there is a ton already written about these topics on the web).  I mean REALLY…being a VC exposes you to some crazy things – ideas, people, situations.  There is real drama here, people!  Alas, these companies are private so I am bound to protect the innocent (and unfortunately, the GUILTY).  But there is an exposé here.  Let's just say it's really interesting to see what happens when money is involved and the chips are down. 
  • I will say it, I am TIRED.  This is not something people readily admit these days (people say "busy" not "tired").  But I am beat.  I get beat more easily.  I may turn this blog into an ENERGY site.  How to get more energy with myself as the protagonist.  I may experiment with all kinds of new foods, theories and sleeping patterns and report back.  OR, I will just do as my mother would tell me and eat more fruits and vegetables, get more rest, drink more water. 
  • Has anyone heard the song "Ghetto" by J Holiday?  Honestly, it has to be the worst song I have heard in a long long time.
  • Do you think women are better than men at most things?  Tell the truth. 
  • If you are married, have you and your partner ever discussed your Domestic Domains?  My husband and I recently did this.  Domestic Domains is meant to define areas of mutual responsibility where we each take the lead, and the other agrees to follow.  We did not get very far.  So far, we agreed that his domains are the car, the deck and the grill.  Mine are household budgeting (I heart spreadsheets), anything requiring organization.  Our conversation is not complete but let me just say, this is a very interesting dinner party topic (though, be prepared to see your couple friends fight it out).
  • Our daughter sees a picture of the police and says "5-0!".  We are proud city parents.
  • About to sign off and pick up the book I grabbed at LAX before boarding the plane, The Omnivore's Dilemma.  In typical desperate-for-food fashion, I went immediately from buying the book to Burger King to grab a burger for the plane.  Honestly, the food at the American Airlines terminal could not be more dismal.  And yes, I see the great hypocisy in buying a book about how we poison ourselves with over-processed food and running to a beacon of food sins, but there I was.  Does someone else smell opportunity here?  All I smelled at the time were DELICIOUS fries but now it's just so obvious I was trapped (TRAPPED!),  I say into buying this slop!  It was that or starve.  It was really self-defense. 

Octo update: they bought the Premium Nut Blend, two Gourmet Chocolate Chip cookies, the Boston Market sandwich AND the Pringles.  Well now you tell me that is not a sign of the munchies.  Naughty naughty old people.

Hump Day

I was never a big Bruce Springsteen fan, but I am loving him now that he is 60.  I might not like his music, but wow that man makes me feel YOUNG! 

FOLLOW UP: The short ribs are in the oven.  

Do most of the moms you know have short hair or long hair? 

The DOW at nearly 10,000 is getting way ahead of itself.  Sit tight folks. 

When you get into a cab, do you assume these days that it will be a cash transaction?  I still do, even in NYC (I feel bad using a card in a cab here since they screw the cabbies).  Isn't that crazy that in this age of technology 95% of cab transactions are done in cash?  Check out

Tonight my daughter was watching the symphony on Live From Lincoln Center (not dedicated watching…nearly 2 year old watching where she looked for a few seconds then moved on, then looked for a second and moved on).  But in the few seconds that she looked, she mimicked the conductor.  I think my dad was right when he said IT would come back somewhere (IT being the obsessive love of music he had).  

I am SO glad summer is over.  I adore this time of year.  September through early January are the best months of the year.  Here we go…

This may have been said before, but for anyone in the tech industry, my prediction on Twitter is that it will be a huge win for the founders and early investors and a big slow quiet loss for whichever company buys it.  I don't care how many people you have using it or how much free advertising it gets, all that ultimately matters is profit.  How much money you make.  Bottom line is the bottom line.  IMHO.

Ladies, especially moms.  Have you ever looked at  It's been around for a while but I am always amazed at how snarky and terrible women are to each other on that site.  Are we really that angry?  No male site like that exists.  Men help one another.  Women…not so much.  At least in GENERAL.  I think this is true in business as well and well, it's just awful.  Men go to weddings for heaven's sake and talk business – they think of it as FUN.  Women…oh no.  THAT would be TABOO.  I think that is a real bummer.  I think we should be more open to helping each other out.  Just sayin'

Man my house smells good.  Always have roasting/braising meat in the oven, or soup on the stove.

Saw a police car the other day that was a…wait for it…Cadillac Escalade.  Say WHAT??  New Yorkers, our tax dollars at work, my friends.  

Tomorrow as you are going about your day, do something randomly nice for someone.  Give up your subway seat, buy the person behind you a cup of coffee, buy your office a box of donuts (especially if you work in my office).  I am always amazed at how doing something nice makes my day. 

Moving to Maine to be a cook!

Just kidding.  I still have several things I want to accomplish in my current career before I pack up and pursue the Other Job.  But maybe someday. 

However, It is no surprise to any regular reader of this blog that I love to cook.  For now, a weekend of cooking will have to do.  This is a big week in my house for food.  We started marinating a pork roast in jerk spices and beer last night.  It will be grilled tomorrow night.  We will also have roasted kale.

Yesterday for lunch there was cauliflower garlic pasta which my daughter decided was her new favorite thing.  Today we made panko/Parmesan crusted turkey cutlets for, well, anytime.  They are really just good to have around.  We also made some broccoli.  Also good to have around.  There was a cut up whole chicken roasting in the oven this afternoon too.  We dried the skin really well, tossed on some salt, pepper and smoked paprika (to keep things interesting) and let 'er rip at 450 degrees for about 35 minutes. 

And because my mother is visiting later this week and we will be eating short ribs (braised in port and red wine and veal stock, oh my!)…so I am in the midst of my first veal stock (virgin veal stock!).  Apparently veal stock is a thing of wonder of awe, so why not.  It's in the oven right now, where it will stay until 4AM when I wake up to turn off the oven, remove the stock and go back to bed.  It better be good.  Though I will say, I already love it because my house smells amazing and because who ever thought of putting a stock in the oven!  Low maintenance and maybe, just MAYBE, really high mileage!  Again, it better be good. 

At some other point this week we will have chicken paillard with parmesan breadcrumbs, escarole, rosemary and capers. 

I say this not to brag (it may all be just awful) but to make you hungry. 

And with all that, I am pretty excited about eating this week.  But can you believe it, I forgot to figure out dinner for tonight.  Good thing I have a full fridge.

One last thing, if you happen to be a great baker, please send me some favorite and FOOLPROOF recipes to  I am the worst baker and it's an area of shame and misery for my family (seriously, I have been known to make hockey pucks out of sugar, eggs, milk and flour).  Help me out, would ya?

Do you like your job and other random thoughts:

it's been two weeks since my last post.  I do not know where the time went.

yes I do.  I spent two weeks in a conference room building a plan for one of my portfolio companies.

this will be a very random not well thought out post.  but I don't want two weeks to go by with, well, no memory of them.

I was reminded in the past two weeks never to get in between two siblings in a fight.

I like to give credit where credit is due.  I also like that my husband had ordered dinner for when I got home tonight after spending the day in Boston.  I was in the mood for Thai and that is what we got.

for some reason this September does not feel like the fresh start it normally does.  someone told me that as you approach the one year anniversary of a loved one's death (especially a parent's death) you can expect to feel "weird."  feeling weird.  check.

my daughter now has a mini stroller that if I would let her, she would take to bed.  I purchased the stroller at Target after nearly erupting into a feminist fit of rage in the "girl toy" aisle that was filled with pepto-pink wrapped…IRONING BOARD toys.  but she loves the stroller so we got it.  I am not sure if she loved the ironing board I would get that.  I have my chick-limits.

I am trying to draw something every day (for the record, I am not good at drawing.  for the record, I don't care).  I like creating something every day not just consuming.

I have seen a lot of evidence in the past few months of "you get what you need when you need it."  Do you believe that?

one of our two cats just tried to escape from our house.  she wandered out when the food delivery guy came to our door.  we did not notice.  she spent an hour in the hall.  we just got her back.  this was bad but was not as bad as when I accidentally closed her in the fridge a few years ago (to be clear, she climbed in when I was not looking and I closed the door w/out really looking.  she was in there no more than two minutes.  she was fine, she had food for god's sake.  and WHY would anyone have to look for a CAT in the fridge???).  in any event, cat found, crisis averted.

I talked to two friends tonight and I was reminded that I love talking to friends.  we talked about mean men, matzoh balls and how to get your child back to sleep.  we also asked each other how we are.  and we meant it.

are you happy with your job?  if you are, would you drop me a line?  if you are not, drop me a line too. send me an email at  I want to hear your story.  I am working on something (VERY preliminary; not well thought out; basically in survey mode).

A Few Things I Know

You know you are old when the hemlines at a conservative store like Ann Taylor Loft strike you as risqué.

You know you have good neighbors when they call you on a Tuesday night and say "We have some leftover ribs we would love to give you."  Ahh, yes please!

You know you are sentimental when you read about the world's oldest dog dying and you get a little misty.

You know your 18 month old is a GENIUS when she waits until you are about to leave the room after putting her down to sleep before she yells "Wuv YOU!" as loud as she can through a veil of tears.

You know your cats are fat when they have trouble hauling themselves in and out of the litter box.

You know you love your job when you are still working on a long range strategic plan for one of your companies and you barely notice that it's approaching midnight.

You know the BEST time of year in NYC is about to arrive when you leave the house and feel a slight need for a sweater.

You know you have good friends when, well, a lot of things.  I have good friends.

You know you have your financial priorities straight when you are not flipped out by daily market fluctuations.

You know you are not as cool as you used to think you were when everyone is talking about Inglourious Basterds and you think "who are these disgraceful men people keep referring to, and for god's sake, WHY can't they spell 'bastards' correctly!?!?"

I know you may be tired of this now, but I am on a roll, so am going to keep going…

You know you are sitting next to a total snob at a dinner party when said SNOB asks you in all seriousness "So, where do you SUMMER?"  Pardon?  Since when is "summer" a verb?  Excuse me, I almost tripped over my tennis whites.

You know you like your in-laws when they are coming home from a month of vacation and you are really excited to greet them at their house upon return and cook them dinner.

You know you have a great husband when he buys you flowers every once in a while for no reason and fixes things around the house and they actually work after he is done. 

You know you are a parent when the last movie you saw in the theater was (The Age of Your First Child in months + 3 Months) ago because movies went from being $30 for 2 to $130 for two.  Darn babysitting costs.

You know you are done with a blog post when, well, you say to yourself "OK, I may even be boring myself now – ENOUGH!."

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