All posts tagged: Help

How The Walking Dead Kind of Saved My Life

It’s sort of a funny story now, the way it all went down, when I look back on it alive and sober. Because clearly I wasn’t going to be for much longer, and while that may sound melodramatic, I promise you, it wasn’t. By about September of 2011, my life had basically turned into a long string of drunken, unhappy, hazy days. I woke up, drank, wrote, slept, ate, drank, passed out, wrote some more, drank, drank, maybe saw a movie or went somewhere in between, drank, went to bed, and did it all over again the next day. Occasionally, I managed to show up for a freelance gig at an office for a week or two. With the exception of a morning “eye-opener” at home, I didn’t drink during my working hours, based solely on principle (and fear of getting caught). But the minute 5pm hit, I was dying for a drink, so I’d hit a bar ASAP before heading home to continue. Where was my husband through all this? He was there, dealing …

Was My Acupuncturist Helping or Hurting Me?

My feet hurt. They hurt so much and for so long, I finally sought help to make them feel better. A personal trainer showed me a series of stretches and strengtheners. A chiropractor specializing in Active Release Therapy pressed his thumbs so deep into my hamstrings, I saw stars. A massage therapist twisted my toes like a Taliban torturer. And still, my feet hurt. Every day. Then a friend told me he’d had great success with acupuncture for a chronically sore hip, so I made an appointment with his guy, Dr. M., a compact man with an impish grin that featured an occasionally missing tooth, depending on the day. A neurologist by training, Dr. M. completed his medical degree in China and had a bustling practice in New York. On my first visit, we talked about my feet and my sleeplessness (I hadn’t slept more than a couple of hours at a time for over two years). Dr. M. believes that diet is fundamentally related to inflammation, which, according to his theory, is the root …

The Scandalous Misadventures of a Highschool Candystriper

In general, I’d like to think I’m a pretty helpful person. I volunteer. I give money to BAM. I’m happy to help you move a few boxes. But due to my occasionally contrarian personality, when I hear the word help, I instantly recall a time when I was anything but. In fact, I think about the time when was a downright jerk. TueNight contributor and Reuters Money editor Lauren sent a request out on Twitter: “Calling all humanitarians! Tell us about your first volunteer gig using #firstjob hashtag”  Tossed back in time, I immediately conjured a red and white-striped 1940s looking smock, the overwhelming stench of salty soup, a long, white corridor of doors and the occasional moan. Yes, I was a candy striper. And while that sounds like a benevolent “helpful” job, my motivations for doing it are hazy and suspicious: My cousin was a candy striper? A girl at my new school did it and she was super popular? My mom made me? I wanted to give back? Ehhh… Lets be honest. At 14, I was more …

7 Big Returns on My Intern Investment

An entrepreneurial artist and burnt-out mommy trying to keep her businesses going — that was me in a nutshell. My daughter was just three months old when I hired a part-time nanny and decided to return to work in my studio. If I ran to work, didn’t bathe, talk to anyone, exercise or eat, I could get in four solid hours of work a day. After dedicating myself to this schedule for six months, I saw little progress. I ended up throwing my back out and was confined to a chair for two work days. Not to mention that I was now running late on projects for the first time ever and my commission list was on hold. I knew I needed help and something had to change. Four different people suggested getting an intern. I didn’t listen at first; I’d had interns before with mixed results — they can be more of a cost than a cure. Example: I once had an intern make $300 worth of color copies from a black and white document. Yeah. However, …

Day Job: Novelist, Former Network Exec Lindy DeKoven

Primetime Princess, Lindy DeKoven’s debut novel, centers on Alexa Ross, a female network executive trying to make it in a very male-dominated industry. If anyone would have the background to sink their teeth into this storyline, it would be DeKoven, who spent years as an executive at NBC Entertainment, Paramount/CBS and Walt Disney Television. At one point in her career, she was the only woman with the authority to green-light movies and miniseries. DeKoven has taken her experiences and twisted them into a Devil Wears Prada-esque story that is so enthralling you most likely won’t put the book down until you’re finished. On top of being an accomplished business woman and author, she has served as chair of the California Commission on the Status of Women. Previously, she served on the boards of Women in Film, the AFI Women’s Directing Workshop, and the Hollywood Radio & Television Society. What inspired you to write Primetime Princess? I wrote Primetime Princess because I had a story to tell. That subtext is about sexism in the workplace. I hope it’s …

A New Sci-fi Novel and a Classic Get Foreign Aid

Reading today’s bestsellers can lead you back to more great books. The brand-new title I have to share with you is perfect for this week’s  theme “Help,” even if at first glance you think it might not be your type of book. The Martian by Andy Weir is pure, geeky, unalloyed sci-fi. But this new novel is also chockfull of the kind of ingenuity that any woman who has ever resorted to making dinner for guests from the contents of her pantry can appreciate. Narrator astronaut Mark Watney is stranded on Mars and told he can’t be rescued for 1,412 days. Even after he details the supplies with which he’s left, both our hero and readers instantly know they’re not enough. Fortunately, Watney is both a mechanical engineer and a botanist (before you shout “How convenient!”, remember, NASA would have wanted to send someone with the relevant skills, right?), so when life gives him lemons, he makes lemonade. In the book, life gives him potatoes, and he makes — well, you’ll have to read to …

Movie Night: Four Films in Need of Aid and One Beyond Assistance

In which we explore the filmic concerns of a given theme, and find new and novel ways of putting together yet another Internet-based list of movies. The wrinkle here, is our fifth pick will actually serve to prove as the counter argument, the best representation of the direct opposite of our theme. 1. What Just Happened (2008) Director: Barry Levinson Essential Characters: Ben (Robert De Niro), an aging Hollywood producer whose career is on the wane; Kelly (Robin Wright), his estranged wife who may be having an affair with a screenwriter; Sean Penn (Sean Penn), an actor whose latest film leaves his character with multiple shot wounds on the bottom of a giant pile of coal. Gist: A maniacal Hollywood producer in desperate need of a hit tries to juggle the chaos involving his estranged wife and her new lover while attempting to get his most recent production off to Cannes on time with the proper edits. Help Needed: Ben needs many things quite desperately, but most of all he needs for his director Michael Wincott …

Margit’s Note: A Little Help Over Here….

Hey, can we get a little help? A life raft? A push? It’s not always easy to ask for assistance, and as women we pride ourselves on doing it all. We’re more willing to aid other people than we are to help ourselves. But this week we’re trying getting the help we need, give you a few helpful hints and even remember the times when we weren’t very helpful at all. Laura Loving explains the big “ROI” in hiring an intern. Amy Barr looks for aid from a not-so-helpful acupuncturist. Susan Linney tells us how she hit rock bottom — and finally asked for help. Piers Marchant gives us four films in need of help (and one beyond assistance). Rebecca Fernandez interviews novelist Lindy DeKoven, who talks about the critical need for women to help other women. Bethanne Patrick recommends two books on otherworldly help. And I shirk my duties as a 14-year-old would-be volunteer. And in the words of the great Mr. Cruise:    Enjoy and be charitable — to others and yourself. Love, …