Monday, October 31, 2016

Happiness GO

Having spent many hours trying to satisfy the completely different needs and wants of multiple people, and come close to losing my mind doing so, I begin to wonder--how much time to we really spend, on a regular basis, doing what we want? The song would tell us "You Can't Always Get What You Want," which may be true, but in any given day, or week, or year, what percentage of our time contains what we want to do, and what percentage is made up of all the have-to's, and others-want-to's, and it-just-happened-that way's?

For many of us, the answer begins with our work. Are we doing what we love, or simply what pays the bills? And within that, are we finding ways to personalize what we do--to make even the most mundane tasks our own? Are we finding friends or satisfaction, even in the surprising places?

Next comes our families. Do we spend more time trying to ensure our kids' and spouses' constant happiness than focusing on our own? Do we put what they'd like to do in a day way ahead of what we'd like to do? And, while working on their happiness, do we find pleasures of our own, either in friendships of our own, or in newfound enjoyment of long forgotten kid activities?

As I tried to make sure that everyone found happiness, I reminded myself that "happy every minute" is not a given, it is a gift. And sometimes, gifts take a bit of work and creativity to find--whether they are for ourselves, or for all the people in our lives we'd like to see happy...

Saturday, October 29, 2016


I wonder sometimes how I ever did the math I did in high school and if I did, why I don't remember it now.

I wonder sometimes why I've gotten certain opportunities and not others, accomplished some promotions and not others.

I wonder sometimes how actors memorize all those lines and scientists know all those formulas and kids remember all those wacky things they remember.

And then I suddenly figure out making a moving graphic I never could before.

And then I am trained on a new machine or in a new technology, and I actually feel that, with practice, I could master it.

And then I cook something, by recipe or by improvisation, that I actually enjoy eating and would happily eat again.

And I realize that we are all still teachable, if we are willing to learn. We can all still accomplish if we are willing to try. We are all still able to experience the new if we can loosen our grip on the old.

I wonder--is this what they mean by "teachable moment?"

Friday, October 28, 2016

Elevator Pitch

I step into the elevator, and the woman already there and I are going to the same floor, the ground floor. "You're at the end of your day, aren't you," she asks. I have never seen her before--I can barely keep up with my own schedule, how could she possibly know? It's that combination, she says, of looking exhausted and excited all at the same time. I figure it's probably also that look of wearing makeup that once looked like makeup, but is now mostly rubbed off or faded. And perhaps my slight inability to focus, after many hours of just trying to keep my eyes open.

What is particularly interesting, though, is that, in the course of her friendly (perhaps I'm not used to a stranger being so friendly?) conversation, she actually seems a little jealous. I look at her, and I see someone well-rested, well made up and dressed, and just beginning a potentially exciting day while I go home to collapse. She, it seems, looks at me and sees someone who, at the hour of 8am, is done with my work day, a day to myself stretched out in front of me.

We step out of the elevator, headed in different directions, with a "have a good day," whatever that means to each of us. It is early in the day for a little slice of perspective, but perspective is always a useful thing, so I'll take it. You can rarely really tell what you have until you can see it, even just for a moment, through someone else's eyes.

And that's my elevator pitch for today...

Thursday, October 27, 2016

168-Hour Day

When you leave for work on one day for a work day that starts the next, the groundwork is already laid for never quite knowing what day it is. You are done working when others are just starting. You are heading for sleep when others are just getting up. You are caught up in a world where Tuesday means Monday, and where Monday means your weekend ends Sunday night.

I walk in the world sometimes, with my day into night head and my inability to keep the days straight, and I begin to wonder--am I really going from day to day, or am I living a single 168-hour day each week? After all, what separates one day from the next...?

Dark and light? But if my "morning" is dark, and my "night" is light...?

Sleep? But if each sleep is just a nap, and the naps happen early and late and before meals and after...?

Food? If cereal is for breakfast and chicken is for dinner, but overnight snacks range from one to the other...?

Schedule? If a day is based on an order of events, but the events just blend one into the next...?

There is no 168-hour day. We make up our days however we can. We find the borders, we take the pauses, and we move from one day to the next. And when 168 hours have passed, we start a new week. Full of 24-hour stretches. And here and there, what seems like an endless day...

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Two Dollar Reward

At least once a week, I hope that my mailbox will contain the million dollars that someone sent me. It hasn't happened yet, so mostly, I have to enjoy the days when I find a five dollar rebate check rather than a box full of bills, or a magazine I actually chose to receive rather than a pile of unwanted circulars and credit card offers. 

I buy a two dollar coffee on the way to work, a daily expense I swore I'd never fall into. But it is just two dollars, and the chocolatey, caffeiney goodness of it makes me believe I will make it through my overnight shift. And the drink in my hand shouts that I have made it out the door, have done (I hope) the sleeping, and the homework helping and the cleanup required before my departure. It is, at least in the moment, my reward for doing what needs to be done.

We are not always rewarded for our actions. Most of the time, we unlock a mailbox full of bills, not a mailbox containing a million dollars. Most of the time, our children have to do their homework because they just do, and we have to work or make dinner simply because those things need to be done. But then there is a treat after a good grade is brought home, or a hug when our home efforts are particularly appreciated. And suddenly we realize that a little reward--the one that costs two dollars, or even the one that costs nothing at all--goes a long way. Our kids don't make good grades just to get that afterschool treat, but they enjoy and remember the treat just the same. We don't do what we do for our families for that hug, but the hug sure feels good.

I buy a two dollar coffee on my way to work, and in that moment, my two dollar reward is all I need to go that little bit extra.

Sometimes, it doesn't take the million dollars in the mailbox (though I won't stop hoping for that!). Often, the difference between life and living is found in a two dollar reward. So we might as well drink it in--and enjoy it.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

20 Years

In the cab, a promo for The View points out that the show is 20 years old, and I am reminded that it has been 20 years since, having been let go from One Life to Live, I was scouting the industry for places where a person like me might land. That seems like another lifetime, a lifetime when resumes were still snail-mailed, when I was pre-children and pre-so many things.

I never got anywhere with trying to work on The View. While it may have been another lifetime, it was not so different from this one when it came to finding work--then too, connections did what a resume never could, and soap folks were rarely thought capable of doing shows other than soaps.

Yet, in those 20 years, I have done what wouldn't have happened had I landed at The View back then--I have worked on sitcoms and in news. I have edited music videos and web shows and created and distributed an educational video. I have returned to places I left, and traveled to places I never thought to go. And, oh, yeah, I have spent some time, and a lot of energy, raising kids. In some ways, you could call those 20 years several lifetimes.

At the time, The View, and other places like it, felt like brick walls--places closed to me because of where I had come from, what I had done, and the people I didn't know. But, in an amount of time which, put up against 20 years, now seems short, I had found other places--places where I knew people or people were willing to take a chance on what I'd done and where I'd been. And now, twenty years later, The View is still standing, and guess what? So am I. We have both, I suppose, undergone lots of changes. Had I landed there in that moment all those years ago, I might still be there now--or I might not. We never really know where the one step we take, or the one step we don't--or can't--take, will deliver us. We simply work around the brick walls and the closed doors, until we find the places that let us in. And once in, we simply do what we can, until it's time to move on. 

And then somehow, while we're just doing what we're doing, 20 years go by...

Friday, October 21, 2016

It Never Gets Easier

It never gets easier to say "no" to family in favor of a gig.

It never gets easier to say "no" to a gig in favor of family.

It never gets easier to schedule life in the face of, well, life.

It never gets easier to accept rejection.

It never gets easier to trumpet success.

It never gets easier to choose celery over chocolate.

It never gets easier to choose working out over sleeping in.

It never gets easier to get dinner on the table at the end of a long day.

It never gets easier to agree on what the dinner on the table should be at the end of a long day.

It never gets easier to ensure that all items can be seen in a refrigerator that's not flat.

It never gets easier to eat all the leafy greens before they disappear to the back of the fridge to die.

It never gets easier to dig past the leftover cheesecake to find the fresh fruit.

It never gets easier to make the right choices, when the wrong ones are so available.

It never gets easier to accept the results of your choices, when little decisions can create such big consequences.

We may get smarter, and stronger, and braver, and wiser. But still, sometimes, it feels as though "it," whatever "it" is, never gets easier...

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

What Goes Around...

For most of the time I worked in soaps, I was part of a rotation. As a PA, as an AD, and as an Editor, I worked as part of a team, alternating where I'd be, and what hours I'd work, on any given day. I worked with people who arranged their lives months in advance to conform to the rotation, and were intent upon keeping it regular. As for me, I never much cared whether the rotation was altered. As long as I could manage a handful of personal events, I never minded doing multiple long days in a row. And if rearranging my schedule would allow me to work with a director I particularly liked or on an episode I wanted to be a part of, all the better.

Fast forward all these years, and I am still living the irregular life. I am part of a different kind of rotation, and my days and hours of work change from week to week (and sometimes from day to day). I wonder, is it that same ability to handle, even embrace, irregularity that has allowed me to survive what have been up and down years since my soap life? While I give up a planned life, does the irregular rotation of things keep me present and on my toes--almost like a scheduling version of crossword or sudoku?

For now, I know that just when I think I am following the rotation, it will change. But after so many years, I guess I'm used to it. I suppose, in an odd sort of way, what goes around just keeps going around...

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Just Because

I had a largely "because that's how it is" childhood. It's not that I didn't get to do what I wanted, or that I didn't ever speak up. But there were certain things that were non-negotiable--not up for discussion, just part of how life was going to be. Perhaps I was just a malleable, accepting kid. Or perhaps there really was something fundamentally different between my childhood and the one I am giving my children.

From the time my kids were toddlers, I have joked that "we teach them to speak up, and then, by golly, they do." There is little in our household that is not a topic for discussion. Often to the point of exhaustion, I must be prepared to hash out almost every decision. "Why are we doing that?" "Do we have to?" "Can it wait a few minutes?" Clearly, I have done my job teaching my kids to speak up. The question is, how well do I do my job when they do?

Often--perhaps more often than I'd like--I fall back on the "because that's the way it is" explanation, which I would like to be enough.  Sometimes, it is. And sometimes, those things that are done "because that's the way it is" turn out to be good things. Sometimes, they expose a kid (and a parent) to experiences we might not have chosen, and sometimes, they open new doors we couldn't even see.

When I allow for conversation, however, when I open the "just because" up to include "why," I sometimes discover that my argument, as well as my own understanding of why, become stronger. I may want "just because" to be enough, but reasons, logical or not, why I care can be the most compelling arguments of all.

I wish sometimes that I never had to explain, that "just because" would be enough. But I taught my kids to speak up, and by golly, they do. So, they question, and I explain. And they argue, and I learn. And along the way, "just because" becomes a little deeper for us all.

Why, you might wonder, do I let them do this? Because, just because, what we question today may end up being the very thing we learn to embrace tomorrow.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

I Will Never

I will never be a size 2, but I will never give up hope of someday wearing skinny boots.

I will never be one of those people who seems to be everywhere, when nobody can possibly have the time to be everywhere, but I will be there for as many people and adventures as I can.

I will never be young again, but I will keep trying to feel young, no matter how old I am.

I will never be a movie star, or a bestselling author, or a concert clarinetist, but that's okay, because I never really expected to be any of those things.

I will never be comfortable taking cabs too much or taking trains too late, but I will not stop moving.

I will never get used to overcrowded subways and overdark sidewalks and overcooked eggs, but I will manage them all if that's what I have to do.

I will never forget, even if I don't quite remember, where I've been and how I got to where I am.

Perhaps we should "never say never." On the other hand, perhaps a little acceptance of "never" is just what we need to get to "someday."

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Through College-Colored Glasses

When your kids live at home, you may see glimpses of yourself as a child of their age. But I am discovering that it is college that really brings the memories flooding back...

Through college-colored glasses, it really is possible to change the world.

Through college-colored glasses, each home meal is a big deal--because it is familiar, and not on a tray, and, well, part of home.

Through college-colored glasses, the people of home fill a very particular place in your heart, even if you now see them only for moments at a time.

Through college-colored glasses, the days are built of class schedules and good times to take a shower and dining hall hours.

Through college-colored glasses, there are countless hours, and countless new ways to fill them--and times when they just feel countless.

Through college-colored glasses, independence is both a blessing and a curse.

Through college-colored glasses, sometimes the world looks rosy, but sometimes it looks gray.

Through college-colored glasses, the future suddenly seems close--and yet, very far away.

Through college-colored glasses, you are 18 going on forever.

Wouldn't it be nice if we could all have just a little more time looking through college-colored glasses...?

Friday, October 14, 2016

Sync Lock

Among the challenges of video editing is ensuring that the video and audio stay in sync. Whether the two begin as separate pieces or together, they can easily become separated in the editing process, so that before you know it, your characters look as though they are part of a badly dubbed foreign film. You can be the fanciest, most talented editor in the world, but if your product is out of sync, no amount of fancy or talented will matter.

Thankfully, there are tools in most editing software to help you maintain sync. So, as long as you use these tools, you will likely be fine.

Sync in life, while perhaps not as potentially jarring as sync in video, is just as important. When our lives are out of sync with our own beliefs and expectations or out of sync with other people's lives, the result can be disorientation--as if we too are living in that badly dubbed foreign film. The beauty may be there, but we can't see it because we are too busy looking at oddly speaking mouths. The truth may be there in our words, but when those words are out of sync, they become hard to understand.

It is not always easy to feel in sync when your path doesn't run the same way as everyone else's--when your work time is others' sleep time, when your focus is in completely different areas than other people's. But just as editing software provides tools to "lock sync," we have tools at our fingertips to hold on to sync in our lives. We can listen--both to our own needs and to those of the people in our lives--and find the common ground between them. We can speak up--so that we can hear the sync breaks and correct them. And we can stay vigilant, so that a loss of sync doesn't get worse as our story goes on.

As any editor knows, keeping the elements in sync is a crucial part of telling a good story. When we take our life sync just as seriously, we too can maintain a good story--not to mention the clear head we need to live that story.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


So, I go to this concert where the composer is a genius, and the music is fantastic, and the singers have voices that come from I don't know where. And I walk out thinking "wow." But I can't help but follow "wow" with "I'm a hack." Because while the composer is stringing together intricate music and lyrics, and the singers are tuning their magnificent voices, I am buying groceries and working to make sure there is money in the bank, and imploring, cajoling, and yelling at children to get enough sleep. At the end of their days, they have a song or a video to show for their efforts. At the end of my day, I have still awake children, a still edgy bank account, and a body that just wants to fall into bed. 

The reality, I suppose, is that if "hack" is defined as I am using it here, a great many of us are hacks. I am, by no means, the only one out here just trying to make things work, with not a lot of time for genius and beauty. And yet, the world works because people like me are just out there doing what we do. Children make their way, stores sell what people need, mail gets delivered, clothes are cleaned, all because people like me do their part each day. Is it fantastic to hear good music or watch good theater or read a book that moves you? Of course. So, I am grateful for the artists and the geniuses who do what I can't do. But when I think about it, I am also grateful for the bank teller who takes my check and the doorman who welcomes me home and the corner fruit man who makes it easy to have a steady supply of bananas. Perhaps we are all hacks, but perhaps we add just a little bit of our own genius and art--in what we do every day, or in then moments when what we do makes a difference in someone's life.

I may always have that feeling, when I see or hear something great, that I could be doing more with my life. In the meantime, I will just keep getting my kids to bed, and getting dinner on the table, and making little differences in little ways, like the fruit seller and the bank teller, and the doorman. And maybe that's not being a hack--maybe that's just living life.

Monday, October 10, 2016


Every year, on December 31st, or the High Holidays, or on my birthday, or perhaps on all three, I look back on the last year and wonder what I might do differently or better in the coming year. My plans sound great--I will do more, I will give more, I will laugh more. I will explore new things, and hit new highs, and simply be the best "me" I can be. And then the ball drops, and the fast ends, and the candles are blown out, and life goes on, virtually the same as before, because it needs to be kept up with and maintained and held stable. My resolutions are no more resolute than cookie fortunes blown away. My intentions may be good ones, but without my attention, they are just promises made and broken, casualties of a life that doesn't pause just because you've had a moment to think.

But how, then, do we make change? How, then, do we know when resolutions are just resolutions, and when they are maps to guide us? How do we turn the thoughts of one day into the actions of many?

Having lived through many, many ball drops and Yom Kippur fasts and birthdays, I still don't have that answer. The changes in my life still feel as though they happen when then happen, simply because that's how they happen. Perhaps there are small decisions along the way that combine to make the big ones, but the big ones feel few and far between. So, instead of making periodic big resolutions, maybe what's really important is pausing, for just a moment, over the little choices that we make each day. There may come a time when the need for keeping up and maintenance slows down, and maybe then, there will be room for a bigger view. In the meantime, I will let my resolution occasions guide not just my big steps, but my little ones. Because the little steps end up taking us a long way. So we'd might as well resolve to be taking those steps in the right direction.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

My Life Is A Soap Opera

When there were more soaps out there, this phrase was printed on all sorts of things--I personally owned notepads, napkins, and an apron. Sure, it was an exaggeration, even for those of us who spent hours watching our favorite stories. Our lives could never be as complicated as those written for the daily screen. Yet, one's life being a soap opera is perhaps not just about what happens, but about the importance we give it. Some days, my life is a soap opera because I have allowed a small drama at home or at work to become huge in my mind. Some days, my life is a soap opera because I'm aiming for things so far out of reach that they might be worthy of television. Some days, my life is a soap opera because my kids suddenly seem to have aged in the time between school drop off and school pickup. And some days, I wish my life could be a soap opera because I wish there could be dinner without dirty dishes, fashion without laundry, and a perfect looking home without a sponge or mop.

Whether we are dealing with the mundane matters of everyday life, or with the somewhat fancier matters of special occasions, we can choose (well, at least some of the time) to give our lives soap opera status. Do we allow the small to become oversized? Do we allow the barely important to overtake our thoughts? Do we manufacture drama where there really doesn't need to be any? It can be fun to imagine an oversized life, but when the soap opera aspect fills us with enough angst for a Friday cliffhanger, "my life is a soap opera" has gone too far. It's a fine line--much like knowing the difference between your favorite characters and the actors who play them. So, I'll keep the drama--sometimes. But when the episode is over, I will attempt to let it go--at least until the next one.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Little If's In A Big World

If the smoothie is delayed by homework, and places to be, and not enough time, does it taste better when you get it?

If the cup of coffee happens not when you get up, or when you have breakfast, but when you are just starting to wilt, is it the richest cup of coffee you ever had?

If you read a book not during every commuting moment, and not because you are trying to finish it, but because it lets you escape into its world just when you need to, is it the best book you ever picked up?

If you spend a day without hearing "Mom!" or "I need" or "Could you...," does it make you happy to do anything for anyone when the voices return?

If you live without, manage alone, adapt to anything, do you appreciate what you get, when you get it, just a little more...?

Friday, October 7, 2016

That Day In The Office

I remember the first time my OLTL executive producer asked me to direct a whole day. I had spent months directing segments, sometimes just a few scenes, sometimes more, but I had always been just a small piece of someone else's directing day. Finally, I was being offered the opportunity to direct an entire day. My heart leaped as I stood in his office. And then it fell, as I realized that the day in question was Yom Kippur, perhaps the most important holiday on the Jewish calendar. I stood, frozen, my internal calendar flipping through all the years of work when my taking off on this holiday had been non-negotiable. And I guess the flipping happened pretty quickly, because before I even left his office, I heard myself say that I wouldn't be able to do it, because it was Yom Kippur, and that I, of course, hoped that he would give me another opportunity.

My "another opportunity" happened just once, perhaps because of what I said that day, or perhaps because that's just how it was meant to be. And then OLTL was over, and I moved on--to days that felt like that day, and to other days, with other choices, some that made my heart leap, and others that made it fall.

It is hard to know what will happen when we cling to what feels right for us. Will following our heart (if that's what it is) force us to close doors (or have them slam in our face) or open windows to completely new opportunities? Will standing up for ourselves make us strong people or stupid people? Will going with our core help us stand taller, or make us fall down?

I'll never really know what would have happened had I said "yes" that day. Perhaps "yes" would have launched more of a directing career. Or perhaps "yes" would have left me no farther on my path, and no happier with myself. I would like to believe that, at the very least, I walked out of that office with the dignity and strength of having stood up for myself, even if I didn't walk out with a juicy new career opportunity. And as I tell the story now, with 20/20 hindsight, I can safely say that I did the right thing. There will be opportunities. And there will be choices. And while our path may be dotted with opportunities, our destination will ultimately be the result of our choices. And I, for one, would like to end up in the right place.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Here And There

I've seen the city from many places, but sometimes I see a block I never saw before.

I've lived through what feels like many different times, but then a window opens for me to see a time past or a time to come.

I've sat for hours and I've walked for hours, and I've learned that walking takes me farther.

I've done because I had to and done because I wanted to, but I realize that some of the best things I've done I've done because they just happened.

I've known the answers and I've not known the answers, but I've liked best when I've asked the questions to get from "not know" to "know."

I've taught myself how not to care, and I've learned to let myself care, and I've discovered that a little caring goes a long way...

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

To Have And To Do

Full disclosure--my inspiration for this post is something I heard at Rosh Hashanah services. Yet, while the idea began there, it is one that hits close to home.

The idea presented at services was that what you have is really only valuable because of what you get out of what you do with it. If, for example, a large TV makes the watching of your favorite shows and sporting events more enjoyable for you, than it is worth having. If, however, the having is just about the having, all the items in the world pale in comparison to all the things you can do.

My first instinct, upon hearing the Rosh Hashanah talk, was to run home and empty out my closets (perhaps even more so than I wanted to after reading about the "Spark Joy" philosophy about tidying around you). After all, what better way to get from the "have" to the "do" than to cut down on the amount of "have" I had to wade through?

What I ended up doing was eating and laughing with my family, doing some of the best sleeping of my week, and continuing to ponder what I had experienced in the midst of my religious observance. What I have will be there for going through, and perhaps I will be able to do that in the company of my kids or for the benefit of those who will do more with some of my things than I do. For now, what I am doing is holding on to the thoughts of that talk and the feeling of the days that surrounded it. I won't have them forever--do we really have anything forever? But acting on those words and feelings--that, perhaps, is what will make what I've done last more than just a few days.

Monday, October 3, 2016

It's A Tuesday

Remember how you would always say that on soaps, all the good stuff happened on Mondays and Fridays, so you could essentially miss or fast forward through every other day's episode and still know exactly what was going on?

Despite the fact that soaps evolved to include exciting stuff on other days, the Friday cliffhanger thing remained a thing, and it was generally true that the middle of the week days were often full of characters just being characters, going about their daily lives (somewhat different daily lives than ours, but...). And fans and detractors alike would razz the genre about this fact.

The truth is, regular life isn't really all that different. While our major events may not all happen on Mondays and Fridays, and while we get to have weekends (were there weekends on soaps, and we just never realized they were weekends?), in among the days of big events and earthshattering changes, there are days that are simply about doing laundry, or baking a pie, or cleaning a room, or talking to your kids about nothing much in particular. Soap writers might have been called lazy for putting up a day like that, but the reality is (and for many soap viewers, the soap worlds and characters were/are some kind of reality), those days happen.

When I get to a day like that, I sometimes wonder what I am missing--why I am not doing more, or making the day exciting. But without those "Tuesdays" in life (or in soaps, for that matter), perhaps there's no energy for, and not nearly enough contrast with, the "Fridays" and "Mondays." Perhaps, it is just those "Tuesdays" that give us the power to create the "Fridays."

So on those "Tuesdays," whether they land on Wednesday or Monday or Saturday, we simply take care of the business of life. And store up the rest of our story for the next "Friday cliffhanger."

Saturday, October 1, 2016

End Of An Era?

The death this week of Agnes Nixon was followed by the death of long time soap actor Larkin Molloy, whom I had watched on multiple different soaps (including an online one) over the last 30-plus years. I never met him--I was simply an admirer of his work. Perhaps if his death hadn't followed so closely on the heels of Nixon's, perhaps if I didn't have quite so many soap-affiliated FB friends, I wouldn't have thought much of it. But it did, and I do, so it was one of those announcements that really made me wonder "is an era really over?"

It isn't, really, because there are still thriving soaps in LA and new shows being announced as soaps. It isn't, really, because hundreds of us are still working and creating, even if in different arenas and different locations. And yet, the era that lived in NY, that employed Mr. Molloy, and that joined so many of us here for so many years, is not just over, it is fading away around us. The midtown building where I worked on Guiding Light is no longer. The armory that once housed One Life to Live now looks a whole lot more corporate and is home to ESPN. Massive studio spaces house talk/service shows, not soaps, and welcome in audiences to spaces where a person was lucky just to be able to stand on the steps for autographs. There are moments when it is hard not to feel washed up when the genre that fed you in so many ways continues to evaporate around you.

And then you realize that you have somehow found other ways to feed your spirit and your family. And then you discover that change and death are happening every day, in every arena, and people survive it all over. And then you realize that what is gone left you with all those memories and all those stories and all those FB friends who let you know about the deaths, but also let you know about the births and the new projects and the hope that they have taken out of everything you shared.

Is it the end of an era? I can't say. I'm too busy keeping up with the era we're in now.