Dear Fire Station 49 in San Francisco

I’m sending this as an email to You should write, too!


In response to the following article, I’m asking Fire Station 49 to reconsider the decision to remove their adorable Firefighter Cat, Edna.

San Francisco firefighters may be forced to surrender beloved station cat after anonymous complaint

IG: @fire_cat_edna

I mean, look at those pictures. How does separating this lovely kitty from the people who love her improve life in this firehouse? Your people have stressful jobs, having a small, non-judgemental, adorable piece of fluff to come back to can only improve their lives. Edna chose them for a reason. Cats know what they are doing.

You don’t have to take it from me. Here are a few reasons to allow Edna to stay:

1. Health benefits of having a cat:

Reduces stress and anxiety

Decreases risk of stroke

Therapeutic benefits

Boosts immunity

Lowers blood pressure

Decreases risk of heart disease and heart attacks

Lowers triglycerides and cholesterol levels

Increase sociability

Provide companionship

Aren’t these things you want for your firefighters?



2. Cats have a history of being in the workplace:

Whiskers in the Workplace

There is an entire IG account dedicated to Bookstore Cats:  @bookstorecats

Cats have a special history in firehouse and other first responder houses!

From stray to star – Flame, the Greenville firehouse cat, hits the big time

(IG: @flamethearsoncat)  Flame even made it onto My Cat From Hell on Animal Planet!

Stray Cat Wanders Into Fire House and Asks Everyone for “Help”

(IG: @station57cat)

Here is a list of FDNY Cats on Instagram:

FDNY Firehouse Cats Have Their Own Must-See Instagrams

If the FDNY can have cats, you can too!  Do you really want the FDNY to be a step ahead of you?

3. There are even children’s books written about Firehouse Cats!

The Fire Cat

Pete the Cat: Firefighter Pete

4. Perhaps most importantly, pets are family, not something to be gotten rid of due to one anonymous complaint. To separate your folks from their pet will cause them and her pain. They could be distracted, worrying about her. Do you want that.

The benefits far outweigh any downside, so please do the right thing.


Priorities/Tick Tock

Spend any amount of time trying to figure out how to find the time, how to make the time, bend time to your will, how to get what you want to get done in the time you have. Time, time, time, time, time… tick tock, tick tock (for those who remember when all clocks were not digital).  Read all the books and gurus on how to find the time, they will pretty much all the say the same thing:  you do have the time, it’s a matter of focus and prioritization.

You chose to watch tv, cook time intensive meals, spend time on social media or {insert however you’re spending your time here}. Do you really want to spend time in this cesspool? Facebook is giving your data away in outrageous ways. Someday there will be a breach and those New Year’s Eve pictures will be available for everyone to see, or worse used against you in some way. And do you really think retweeting articles or witty statements is going to change what is going on in the world? It’s not. If you care so passionately about a particular issue, get out there and organize, volunteer, find a job with an organization that will help make change and if that organization doesn’t exist, create one. If you don’t feel passionately about what you’re tweeting about, just stop and spend that time working on whatever it is that gives you a spark.

You chose to spend your time doing the things you say aren’t important over the things you think are important. You chose. You make the decision on how to spend your time, so pay attention to how you do. Write it down for a while and notice your patterns. Some things you will surely say you “must” do. Sure. I must go to work today. But in the long run, it’s my choice to stay at that job rather than figure out the work I really want to be doing and moving toward it. That seems daunting, so I’m starting by just committing to writing every day. Ok, I already wrote every day, but just bunk that no one sees, so I’m going to write every day and put it out there.

Oh, it won’t be easy.  Habits we want to change don’t go easily. They wrestle with our good intentions and sometimes they win. I just opened a site with an article about most searched for shows on Netflix by state. I must know!  Answer for my state is some show I’ve never heard of and whose title doesn’t inspire interest. But there is another show called The End of the F***ing World that intrigues several states. What is that about? I must find out, then add it to my list, then spend the rest of the week binging it!  Actually no I don’t. I chose not to do that. I chose to focus on what I’ve decided is important. You may make a different choice. If so I hope you enjoy The End of the F***ing World. But chose well, because we only have so much time. What do you want your life to be?

How Many Different Ways to Say Get Off Your Ass and Do Something?

5,498,349 or there abouts.  

I’m in a rut. I’ve been in a rut. I’m trying to dig my way out of a rut.  I was laid off from a job I despised about a year and a half ago and it was the greatest thing to happen in quite some time.  It was a job which met the definition of everything I didn’t want in a job:  poor management, no strategy, reacting to whatever client was screaming the loudest, politics and backstabbing (this always comes with poor management and no strategy because someone has to be to blame if things don’t go well). Oh, and I worked all the time. Nights and weekends were not my own. I had to feed the beast of crazy. All so someone else higher up would get a larger bonus. Insanity.  

I was happy to be gone. Happy to have a package and some time to ‘figure it all out’.  I knew I had no interest in going back to that sort of environment.  A whole new career, using the skills I had was what I want. Something completely different. So I spent some time pondering. I read books, listened to podcasts, talked to everyone I know.  Follow your passions, don’t follow your passions, utilize the skills you have in a different way, take this quiz/webinar/seminar for some sum of money and all will be made clear.  So many stories that I’ll save for another day. 

One thing they all said, every one, was it was better to start than sit around with analysis paralysis. Try something, experiment, get feedback and change course if necessary. Do not, absolutely not, sit behind your computer and research, but do nothing. 

I can’t say I did nothing, but I did pretty close to nothing. I looked for a job full time, and didn’t focus so much on figuring it out (again). Responsibilities loomed, there were mortgages to pay, food to buy, a gym membership to keep up (after all, exercise keeps you sane).  I looked in different industries and found a job. But it’s not what I really want to do. I still want to figure out what this magical other path for me is. But I let the job take up my time, and I don’t prioritize any of this work. From time to time I pick up yet another book, attend yet another webinar.  But it’s all the same. I have to do the hard work of figuring it out and making it happen. Face any fears and go.  I’ve heard it so many times.  So if I know what I need to start doing, why is it so hard to do?  Even if I know it’s hard to do, this is my life, so why can’t I get on with it? 

So you think it’s a good idea for a business person to be President…

You think a business person knows how to make money, will squeeze efficiencies out, get rid of waste and in doing so lower your taxes?  This is my theory on the thought process, anyway.   My response:  have you ever worked at a large company?   Waste is all around you.  Examples: 

·        Employees who literally do nothing

·        Poor planning resulting in expensive over runs

·        People whose entire job is making Powerpoint presentations full of the latest business jargon (which they spent the morning googling)

·        The lunches.  One can’t possibly expect anyone to meet between 12 – 1 without being provided an expensive, catered lunch!    Certainly everyone will pass out if they wait to eat their own lunch at 1pm. 

·        The swag.  Everyone has t-shirts, fleeces, blankets and towels with the corporate logo on them.  It’s advertising!  

·        The marketing materials.  Whole forests have been destroyed to hand out glossy brochures that no one actually reads at trade shows. 

·        The expense accounts.  So many steaks, so much scotch, so many tickets.

·        The travel.  Oh, hello expensive room service and other expensive services provided to people out of town. 

·        The conferences.  Where people who know less than you present on topics you’re not interested in, but everyone gets to travel and have expense accounts (see above) and get swag from other companies.   Quadruple threat!  

·        The retreats/offsites boondongle.  Oh yes, we must get away from the mundane and ‘think out of the box’ (no doubt someone spent a whole week on the PowerPoints to get ready – see above).   Sometimes on islands or other warm locations within close proximity to golf course(s). 

·        Senior management bonuses totally more than the GDP of some states, even if the company is going down the crapper.   We can’t expect Executives to live on less.  They are the ‘idea’ people.  Again, even if the company is about to declare bankruptcy and go out of business, the bonuses will still be paid.  

Through all of the above, has the price of something you buy ever gone down because a business person wrung efficiencies out?     I’m waiting..   I can’t think of an example.   You think the ‘efficiencies’ will help you… think again.  

My New Years Resolutions

Because they say if you write them down and share them, it’s more likely to happen.  Let’s see, shall we?   Not really in order because then I’d have to think about prioritizing and coming up with a prioritization system could blow half the year.  The first thing I did was change this whole site to look better just so I could start fresh for this post.  You see how I allow myself to get distracted??

  • Lose weight (required, I think)
  • Work out more (also required)
  • Read more!   (should be required, but somehow isn’t)
  • Keep dinning room table clear.  It’s not a storage location!
  • Write on this blog 2-3 times a week
  • Figure out life stuff
  • Spend more time on the things I want to do(less tv and internet, more books!) 
  • More Photography projects
  • Have more patience with inept co-worker, or perhaps should be:  find job without completely inept co-workers
  • Come up with metrics for the above so I know what to actually shoot for. 
  • Stop procrastinating with dumb stuff(again:  less tv and internet, more books!)

It’s a start! 

Having the Choice to Not Have it All

Now that I’m home, but the BEA buzz hasn’t yet worn off, I decided to see what CSPAN had filmed for us (tip to BEA lovers: CSPAN films some sessions at BEA. They are then broadcast on Book TV on the weekends or available at their website. Also, PBS has Book Now Live, which records bookish events, including some BEA and Bookcon. Sweet!). On CSPAN I find a panel entitled: Women and Leadership in Publishing:

This rings all my bells. Well, women and leadership in almost any field is an interest of mine so.. Let me get some popcorn. though I know what I’m going to hear: that it’s hard to balance everything, that men are asked or expected to balance everything, that some men don’t realize any of this and expect it all anyway and that we can’t have it all, we have to choose. Still, bring on the horror stories, because we like to understand each other’s experience.

20150531_131312 sm

The above is a shot of Bethlam Forsa and Madeline McIntosh after Bethlam described that she felt she had done something wrong by getting pregnant after taking on a new role and that she returned to work 2 weeks after giving birth (Mcintosh audibly said: “oh..” after). I immediately thought: that was her choice. No one could legally make her do that. And then she immediately went on to say it was her choice. She did what she thought was needed for her career. At this point, I turned it off. Just this and the earlier descriptions by Lisa Sharkey of previous jobs where men threw typewriters if angry and ‘sneaking out’ via the back stairs at 8pm was enough to sate my penchant for the horror stories.

But I kept thinking about it. Yes, Bethlam made a choice, and maybe she made that choice because it’s what she truly wanted, or maybe she felt she had to make the choice to return or her career would suffer. It is an unfortunate fact that the later is a reality in some workplaces and having recently watched quite a bit of Mad Men, I know that things have improved substantially, though there is a long way to go. But she’s fortunate because it was her choice, and no one should criticize her for it. She has a right to live her life on her terms. What makes me more sad if all the women who do not have that choice: lower income women, single moms, people without easily affordable child care. I originally started writing this as a whine about not being able to have it all, to have to make decisions, but in thinking about it more I realize it’s a luxury to have those choices. I’m sad that it’s a luxury, I wish that everyone could have those choices.
Maybe I’ll return to watch the rest of the panel. Perhaps these smart, successful women will have something to say that will make me feel better.

You’re Too Attractive to Have Worked Here For So Long

I admit it, my LinkedIn picture is pretty good. Taken at a friend’s birthday party, I was relaxed, happy and invested an unusual amount of time in getting my hair to behave. So I wasn’t overly surprised recently when out for cocktails with co-workers a male turned to me and said: you have a really good LinkedIn picture. You look look really great there. “As opposed to real life?”, I joked. He then leaned back, looked at me intently and said with a bit of surprise: you’re attractive, really attractive. Then turned back to speak to the other men at the table, leaving me to remember, yet again, exactly what it is that men value in women.
Later he will ask me if I’ve noticed I’m the only woman out with them. I’m the only woman in most meetings I attend at work, I reply. I work in a male dominated industry, something which is extremely apparent to me, but not at all to the men who are running it. Disrespect and disregard run rampant. I have been ignored, spoken over, placated and spoken to in the tone of one speaking to an idiot. Just last week, after being interrupted for what seemed the millionth time, I asked if they heard me when I was speaking. Now, this could be because I’m incompetent, but I don’t think so. And it may not be that they don’t care about what I think as much as they care much more about they think.

The cocktails would flow on and later this man, who I have never worked closely with, will exclaim that I am the best one at my role and why am I never on his projects? Now, it’s entirely possible I am the best one at my role, but how would he know? He’s never worked with me and he didn’t think that before determining I was attractive. I’m sure it won’t surprise many women to hear that the next discussion was about another woman who has had some, ahem, plastic surgery. The conversation around her? She’s totally unqualified for her job, but who cares, look at her! I found myself seeing Joan Halloway’s face and I don’t know why because she is an extremely qualified, attractive woman living in an even more misogynistic time.

We continue to speak on how crazy our office is, how management doesn’t know what it’s doing and how we’d all do it better, as people employed in offices do. Later, walking to our cars, one asks me how long I’ve been working there. When I tell him, he replies ‘you’re too attractive to have worked here for so long’. I’m too attractive to have worked here for so long. What does that mean? I think it means I could easily find a job elsewhere, that I don’t have to remain in this crazy place. But it also means I could easily find a job elsewhere because I’m attractive, not because I’m qualified. I wish I thought to respond that he was too handsome to work there, see what response it gathered. I’m sure just a perplexed look.

What is a woman to do but continue on being competent, not accepting this type of behavior, lean in, but straddle the line between being labeled a bitch and being a pushover. I’m not sure what conclusions to draw except to say you’ve come a long way, baby, but still a long way to go.

Joan and Peggy:
I’m still looking for a reason to use the phrase “whatever could be on your mind”.
var bc_params = {“api”:”hybrid”,”playerId”:”83327935001″,”playerKey”:”AQ~~,AAAAAAuyCbQ~,-gfAmfm8njJ8S-9E4q2UfzG931rvkxuP”};


Fast forward to 4:41. I wrote this post before seeing this. Don’t leave me, Jon Stewart, don’t leave me….

This video applies to my last two posts!
Someone as credible as you, while very attractive and articulate, at the core you are credible, you are like Walter Cronkite kind of credible.
Unbelievable. I don’t anything about this woman because I don’t watch FOX news, but she shouldn’t have her appearance mentioned in conjunction with her credibility in any way shape or form. This guy is blowing smoke up her ass on her credibility, but at least he knows to do that, unlike the guys I work with.

Promote This

I have been listening to Promote Yourself – New Rules for Career Success by Dan Scwhabel. Maybe I shouldn’t have, but I assumed this was about promoting oneself without seeming boastful or opportunistic. Instead, it seems to be a book advising Millennials on how to get promoted at work. Such exciting tips as:

    Learn the skills you need. Take advantage of training programs and conferences. Maybe your employer will pay.
    First impressions count. Be aware of body language.
    Be able to work with members of all generations. Older people are used to hierarchy, not the cool world we live in now where Millennials just move around as they wish (apparently).
    There are insensitive jerks in the workplace. People who actually enjoy pushing others down. Don’t be one of these people.
    Master soft skills to be the person others want to work with
    Be a good team member
    Be careful of ‘reply all’.
    Use Facebook and Twiiter, but be careful what you post. People are watching. I would tell you more about the social media chapter, but I had to fast forward because life it too short.

The sub-title of this book is New Rules for Career Success? These are the same rules. The same rules! Is there anything above that any survivior of junior high school doesn’t know? It makes me sad that this information had to be written down for Millennials, and are referred to as ‘new’. New to you. I continue to be amazed at business books that provide absolutely no new information. How do they keep getting published?

What Matters

Today I received a stellar review, and acknowledgement from the head of my division in front of a large group of people of my achievements at work. Later I received an email that the shy, stand-offish cat that I’ve spent time playing with in my volunteer work at the local shelter, the cat that just recently came out of her shell and come over to head butt me has been adopted. The later is the thing that matters most and that I’m most proud of.
I need a new job/a new jam. Good luck and have a wonderful life, Patches. I will miss your sweet face.


This post started out as a women in the workplace post: Lean In! The Confidence Code! (I’ve only read the Atlantic article, but I did download the book to my Nook – yes, I said Nook). But… recently news, Jill Abramson aside, suggests women’s issues are globally still lower on the hierarchy of needs. We are still on the physical safety rung. Some of us are fortunate to be upset at being called a bitch at work (let it be said: Bitch is a badge of honor at work. ‘Bitches’ get shit done. I’m not one bit sorry that men have issues with it).
This post started last week when I noticed that the topics on This Week with George Stephanopoulos were:

– Nigerian kidnapped girls (how dare they want an education)
– Sexual assaults on campus and the lack of response (not noted was the similar problems recently exposed on sexual assault in military. I would bet this issue is not new, just newly exposed.)
– Jill Abramson and being pushy. (I have no inside information on how she worked at the NY Times, but I know what it’s like to be called pushy and bitchy at work in situations where a man would not be called out)

Then came this shooting. Someone who is going to kill females because they don’t meet his needs. How dare they? I know he must have been trouble, perhaps mentally ill, and his family seems to have done what they could to address it, but.. it happened. And women feel unsafe every day in ways that most men do not understand. I highly recommend reading the #YesAllWomen twitter tag. Actually I don’t recommend it, I demand it. Immerse yourself in those stories. Women live like this every single day in the richest, most evolved culture on earth. And it’s worse other places. I’m not proud to tell you that though I put Jimmy Carter’s latest book, A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power on my reading list, but haven’t picked it up because I frankly couldn’t face quotes like (and I am not proud to tell you that):

UNICEF reports that more than 95 percent of all the women and girls in Egypt have been sexually mutilated. Well, this is a horrible affliction that is in more than 90 percent of Djibouti and all the women in Sudan, all the women in Somalia, all the women in Egypt and more than 50 percent in more than a dozen other countries.

I could’t face it, but we need to because it’s not acceptable.

I hope This Week covers this shooting appropriately, though it is rapidly changing from a serious news program to a variety show, appealing to the lowest common denominator. An earlier tweet from them says they will be covering NFL lawsuits. Sure, it’s not right that the NFL doesn’t help with medical bills after making so much money off of the players, but they chose to play football. Women don’t chose to be women and the certain don’t chose to be targeted because they are women.

This topic is so large, it’s difficult to know where to start. I’m tired of: what if it were your mother, sister, daughter? What if it were a fellow human being?

Watch more with Jimmy Carter: