I’m a Little Bit Country…

I bet you’d never guess that a Jewish girl from Brooklyn loves country music but I have to admit, I have been a fan for more than 25 years and counting. It all started a long time ago when I was a junior publicist for “The Maury Povich Show.” Before the show became a “Who’s Your Daddy Fest,” Maury would feature entertainment guests and one of my favorite memories was the time our staff was flown to Nashville to produce a few shows while the CMA Awards were taking place.

I’ll never forget our talent booker Tricia Daniels attempting to hunt down Billy Ray Cyrus with a golf cart during the height of his “Achy, Breaky, Heart” fame. While she never did book Billy Ray, Tricia was able to land Clint Black and many more country stars on the show that week and I got to take Maury to his interviews on a few local Nashville TV stations.  I remember having an amazing group photo somewhere in my house and wish I could find it now because we all looked so young! Plus, so many of those hard working production team members went on to incredible careers and I am always blown away when I get to see them pop up on my Facebook feed.

A few years later, I landed a job at CBS and eventually got the chance to be the publicist for the CMA Awards. The team that I worked with at the CMA’s were nothing short of stupendous. Two of my favorite people in Nashville are Wendy Pearl and Scott Stem who led the public relations efforts on behalf the Country Music Association. Wendy and Scott are two of the nicest people I have ever met and no matter how stressful things got during the show, we always managed to laugh  the entire week and I couldn’t wait to come back year after year for more music, mayhem and excitement. 

One of the best moments ever was the year I brought my dad to Nashville and he helped out on the red carpet, handing water to Brad Paisley and many more country music stars. Dad even wrote a poem that he shared with Wendy and Scott called “The Jewish Cowboy.” Meanwhile, I invited legendary TV writer Jay Bobbin to spend the week with us in Nashville too and he got to experience what it was like to be a seat filler. Plus, thanks to Jack Sussman, one of my favorite television executives at CBS, Jay was able to get a one on one interview with the legendary Dolly Parton.

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I'm ready to see you all! #cmaawards50

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There’s one thing I can say about country music artists. They are some of the most talented and nicest people you will ever meet. During rehearsals, I was always mesmerized by their effortless performances and when the show was live, it was amazing to watch the intricate stage movements and changes that took place throughout the telecast. There really isn’t anything that compares to being in the audience at the CMA Awards and I highly recommend a visit to Nashville and the Grand Ole Opry house so you can experience it yourself.

Enough of my trip down memory lane. Time to get back to watching the CMA’s. Even though it’s on a different TV network and my dear friends Wendy and Scott have since moved on to even bigger and brighter careers, I’m sure they are somewhere in the audience or backstage tonight reminiscing, smiling and laughing. My two Nashville friends have both figured out the secret to a great career. Do what you love with people you admire and respect and success and happiness are sure to follow.

Tuesday Wisdom: Trust Your Gut

Recently, I spoke at a conference for entrepreneurs and salespeople and was grateful to meet several individuals who are hard working, kind and optimistic about their future. I got to hear some really great stories – like the NYC realtor who used to sell property in Jamaica and even sold a home to Usain Bolt. Or the firefighter who donates a portion of his closing costs from his job as an associate real estate broker to families of firefighters affected by 9/11. 

There were dozens of people I met and I loved hearing why they decided to become entrepreneurs. But there’s also a type of person I always try to avoid at all costs. And that led me to post this on my LinkedIn page…

Maybe it has something to do with the political climate that we’re currently in but I am so tired of watching people behave badly that I’m just going to call it when I see it. Carly Simon said it best, so this one is for all the misogynists out there who probably don’t even realize they are being jerks.

And for those nice people out there who are grounded, grateful and authentic this one for you…

When you think about how you want to be remembered in life, it’s not going to be about the millions of dollars you amassed during your career. It will always be about the lives you touched along the way. Sure Oprah is a gazillionaire, but people hardly ever talk about her money. They talk about her incredible impact on the lives of those less fortunate. You can never manufacture authenticity.

Videos and Tweets That’ll Make You Smile…

There’s nothing like falling into the rabbit hole of Twitter and Facebook and stumbling across priceless videos and tweets that’ll cause you to spit out your morning coffee. Here’s a sampling of what I uncovered while trolling my social feed over the last few days. You’re welcome…

Cutest baby and kitten on planet earth…

Ridiculously cute…

Posted by Beth Feldman on Monday, November 12, 2018

I happen to live vicariously through the Facebook page of Jenny Lawson who is also known as The Bloggess.  Jenny is a New York Times best selling author with kids, cats and dogs that add to the every daily hilarity taking place at her house. Check out one of her latest cat videos and you’ll see what I mean…

He can’t sit in my lap while I’m drawing so he’s pouting.

Posted by Jennifer Lawson on Saturday, November 10, 2018

Classic tweet by Betty F**king White…

Another priceless tweet for the Queen of Mean Ann Coulter…

Grab a tissue because this one is going to make you cry…

Teen's gift brings classmate to tears

A teenage boy was brought to tears when a classmate surprised him at his desk with a random act of kindness https://cbsn.ws/2rebZxA

Posted by CBS This Morning on Thursday, May 3, 2018

Role Mommy…the Refresh

So I shared why I started blogging in the first place and when I took a trip down memory lane and began watching videos that I have produced over the last decade, I took a hard look at my blog and decided it needed a makeover. No more pinks and blues for Role Mommy. We’re all about the writing and the funny so you’ll get to read my witty or ranty posts right here from your laptop, your iPad or your phone – whatever your fancy, I’ll be serving it up on Role Mommy 3.0 (if that’s even a thing).

I’m a busy mom like many of you and I know that what I really want to read about are things that will take my mind off things like MSNBC or Fox TV. I mean, sure, I do keep a running feed of cable news throughout the day and those loud breaking news updates always gives me a bad feeling in my stomach, but that’s the reason why I knew it was important that we all take our mind off things for a change and read stuff that’s just about life and not politics.

So here’s to a place where you can go to escape. Find out how you can lose weight and still eat good food. Travel to great places on a budget. Cut to the chase and see a great movie because I’ve seen it first and I can tell you if it’s Oscar-worthy or a total dud. And I’ll be sharing lots of great career advice from my in-the-know friends because whether you’re a new mom or an empty nester, the reason I started this blog was because as parents, we should never lose ourselves in the process. You still have big dreams. You are still important. I know I’m starting to sound like that great scene from “The Help” — you are wise, you are kind, you are important — but I digress. Dammit, what I’m trying to say is you deserve to do what you love even if you have to get one kid to soccer practice, another to their math tutor and a third to dance team rehearsal…all at the same time while doing a conference call from your car.

So make it a great week Role Mommy and make sure to make time to do the things you love. Even if it’s singing in your shower before you have to wake your kid up for school. No matter what goes on in your life or around the world, you deserve a little escape from the crazy. Sing, dance, eat, paint, read or drink some great wine. Whatever you pick, if it puts a smile on your face, then my job here is done for the day.

Back to Blogging…

A long time ago before I even became a mom, I began reading books about what it was like going through pregnancy, childbirth and eventually child rearing. Like everyone else I know from back then, I initially bought a book called What to Expect When You’re Expecting, and truthfully, it scared the sh*t out of me. Every time I had a cramp, I thought something was going wrong. I freaked out about every stage of my pregnancy and when my daughter finally did arrive, I was one of those jumpy parents who would hover over her bassinet to make sure she was still breathing.

One time, during my first few weeks of motherhood, I was so dazed and confused after breastfeeding at 2am, I carried my daughter back into her room and accidentally bumped her tiny little head on the door frame. I was convinced I had knocked her unconscious and so, my husband grabbed a washcloth, drenched it in water and wiped her face with it. In an instant, she turned beet red and woke up crying. Crisis averted.

When it came to child #2, I loosened up a lot. I bought a new book, The Girlfriends Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth, and finally, I knew I had found my tribe. Spare me the fear, I was all about the funny. After that delicious read, I jumped into The Three Martini Playdate by Christie Mellor and realized that I loved this sarcastic take on motherhood so much that I was going to start writing about my life too.

From there, I began writing with a friend and we decided we were going to publish a book. Sure we didn’t know anyone who could actually publish it, but we were determined. We spent a summer in my basement, writing and laughing and eventually, Peeing in Peace was born. While it took us about nine months to actually find a publisher who would take a chance on us (thank you Sourcebooks), we eventually did while launching Role Mommy along the way.

Role Mommy has become a place where I have shared embarrassing stories about my kids when they were little (footnote: by the time they were 12, I was forbidden to share anything funny about them on my blog). I posted reviews of TV shows, films and products and also featured guest content from other parenting writers from around the web. And I produced dozens of incredibly memorable events. These days, my little site that could is serving up a dose of stories and sarcasm again. I’m back to doing what I love most – making people laugh, think and maybe even shed some tears along the way. And I’m working on some fun events again too.

So welcome back to Role Mommy if you haven’t been here in a while. And if this is your first time visiting, then hope you like what you see. I’m writing again from the heart about work, life and everything in between. Even though I’m practically an empty nester and I no longer have funny tales to tell about my kids, it definitely feels great to be doing what I love again.

Go F**k Yourself Fridays…The Road Rage Edition

Today, I’ve decided to dedicate this post to all the people in this world who seem totally oblivious on the road. See if you can relate to these scenarios..

Go F**k yourself driver in the extra large SUV Lexus truck who can never seem to park inside the lines at our local shopping center. When I have to slide back into my car like a gecko because you decided to go over the lines with your luxury yacht on wheels, you totally deserve it when I accidentally hit your side view mirror with my door.

Another shout out goes to the pedestrian who about five seconds earlier got out of her Lexus SUV/Truck and then walked into oncoming traffic without even looking where she was going. Pay attention lady and while you’re at it, go fix your piss poor parking job. And oh, Go F**k yourself!

Don’t even get me started on the Saturday cyclists. Seriously, every time you ride outside the bike lane or have a conversation while riding tandem 3-4 across and block the road, I want to open my window and stick my arm out so I can knock you over. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m an avid indoor cycler. But when I’m riding outside, I do whatever I can to ride inside the lines because I don’t want to get hit by a car. You’re not going fast enough for me to pass you on the road so for the love of drivers everywhere, MOVE the F**k OVER!!!

After merging onto the highway, I’m always careful to stay out of the left lane because there’s always that one a**hole who decides to ride my tail until I finally move back to my safe place (aka the middle). Seriously, left lane tailgaters, Go F**k yourself every time you try to play chicken with the car in front of you. I really wish there was an app that took a photo of your license plate and reported it to a cop so they could instantly pull you over for being a jerk. Hmmm, maybe I need to get started on that.

Go F**k Yourself people who hold parking spots for friends or family. That means you Alec Baldwin, who got arrested last week because he punched someone who innocently grabbed an open spot on a busy city street like any sane individual would do. Alec meanwhile got pissed because he was holding the parking spot for someone else. Isn’t Alec Baldwin a multi-millionaire? Why is he holding spots on a Manhattan street when he can just park in a garage and leave everyone alone? While I love your Donald Trump impressions Alec, your bully behavior earns you Go F**k Yourself  honors this week.

Finally, to the indecisive woman who cut me off and didn’t signal because she realized she wanted to make a right turn and almost caused an accident, Go F**k Yourself! Just because you are lost or confused doesn’t mean you can just ignore the car next to you and make a right turn. If you almost cause a fender bender because you think you’re the only car on the road, please leave your car at home next time around and take an Uber.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone and drive safe!

Melancholy Mondays

This past weekend, I found out that our friends lost someone very close to them, their lifelong friend Tom. I was lucky enough to have met Tom when our family tagged along on their annual summer vacation to Block Island. For the last three decades, they reunite with their high school friends where they relax at the beach, gather around a bonfire, shoot off fireworks, shop at the farmer’s markets in town and enjoy amazing lobster and lots of drinks.

But there’s even more to this picturesque New England beach island than the quaint stores, the sunshine and the ghosts (don’t even get me started on that one) some of the most memorable times we had on Block Island were because of Tom – or shall I say Pirate Tom for those of us who were lucky enough to see him in action.

Each summer, Tom would visit with his friends on Block Island and during that weekend, would transform into his stage persona, Pirate Tom. Dozens of kids and parents would gather around Pirate Tom as he embarked on a trek across Mansion Beach that would eventually lead to finding a buried treasure. With his booming voice, kerchief on his head, scraggly beard and white flowy shirt, Tom embodied the spirit of someone who had just stepped out from another time period. The moment he began to speak, we all became part of the adventure as he made us laugh and we cheered him on as he fought off another swashbuckler who attempted to steal the treasure trove of beads that were buried somewhere along the beach.

It was so much fun to see Tom entertain those kids and the group seemed to grow year after year to a point where some kids didn’t even know Pirate Tom but knew they definitely wanted to be a part of the action. No matter your age, if you witnessed a Pirate Tom performance, you walked away with a priceless summer memory.

There are not many people in this world who can touch people’s lives at any age but Tom had that magical gift. He was a bartender, a voice over artist and actor who relished the opportunity to tell stories while making people laugh and brightening their lives.

And that, my dear readers is what life is truly about. It’s not about having a fancy title next to your name or driving an expensive car or having a spectacular home. Life is about the people who make your days fuller and richer with love, laughter and adventure. Tom was that person and while he is gone, his legend will absolutely live on for generations to come. In fact, I think we’re going to take a trip to Block Island this summer to retrace those magical steps along the beach. While we may not find that buried treasure again, what I’ve come to realize is that Pirate Tom was the treasure all along. 

Pirate Tom – Legends are never forgotten

Role Mommy Review: Weed the People

Over the years, I have been involved in a several different projects that centered around cancer. No matter the circumstances, it’s heartbreaking to see anyone face a cancer diagnosis. But when it’s your child, it’s absolutely devastating. I’ve met numerous families who have banded together to help find a cure for pediatric and breast cancer and am amazed at the immunotherapy treatment that has been funded due to donations, awareness and their tireless efforts to do whatever it takes to save a life.

Baby Sophie meets Mara Gordon, the founder of Aunt Zelda’s Oil who works with families to find cannabis oil treatment options for cancer

For cancer patients who are still fighting the disease or have been diagnosed at a late stage, the road is quite frightening – especially for families of young children. That’s why it was so enlightening for me to see the new documentary “Weed the People,” produced by Ricki Lake and directed by Abby Epstein which follows several families on their journey to find holistic treatments for their children that have led to their tumors shrinking or disappearing completely.

The film is definitely a tug at your heartstrings experience so make sure you have a few tissues handy when you watch as cameras follow the families in the midst of their fight against deadly cancer, their introduction to using a form of cannabis to treat their children and the incredible results that followed.

The sad part is that while cannabis oil is available in some states, there are others that make it illegal for families to have it shipped to them across state lines. The cost is also incredibly high and insurance unfortunately doesn’t cover it. So families are left to find unconventional ways to raise funds for the treatment while others sell their prized possessions or host fundraisers to support their medical expenses in the hope they can save their child’s life.

From an adorable blond haired blue eyed baby named Sophie whose tumors miraculously start shrinking after a combination of chemo and medicinal cannabis oil, to a boy named Chico who experiences an incredible turnaround, to AJ Kephart who even makes it to his high school graduation, “Weed the People,” presents a hopeful outlook for families who are determined to do whatever it takes to save their kids. While the outcomes are not all positive, what is encouraging is that there are doctors who are interested in learning more about the benefits of medicinal cannabis oil and how it could impact the patients they are treating.

I highly recommend “Weed the People” and really do hope that more pediatric oncologists incorporate medicinal cannabis into their treatment of young patients.  To find out more about the film and if it’s playing in your area, visit the Weed the People website.

Weed The People Trailer from Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein on Vimeo.

Go F*** Yourself Fridays…The Taker

Following an amazing response to this new column, I decided to do it again because honestly, there’s a lot of behavior over the years that I let go unchecked and frankly, now that I’m older, all bets are off. 

I got a ton of great comments that have led me to this week’s Go F*** Yourself offender of the week. I hereby present to you…

THE TAKER

If you have incredible connections that you have built up throughout your career, then beware, at some point in your life, you will fall victim to The Taker. When they meet you for the first time, The Taker will blow a whole lot of smoke up your butt – telling you how amazing you are and how impressed with what you have accomplished in your career.  They may even want to take you for coffee or lunch. If you take them up on their offer, be warned, they are going in for the take.

Typically, the taker will strike after their first or second meeting. They will innocently want to pick your brain and then follow up with questions about having you connect them to people you know who could help them advance their career or their goals. Don’t get me wrong – I have no problem sharing my contacts with people I trust and admire, but there’s something sinister about takers. They like to take, take, take but they never seem to give anything back in return.

I had my first brush with a taker when I had landed a big promotion at work. One day after appearing at an event, The Taker introduced themself, took me to lunch and the next thing I know, I started handing over my contacts like candy. The Taker had a field day with me. The problem was, a few years later after I had left my big job behind, The Taker didn’t get the message that you’re supposed to help people who have helped you succeed. When all you do is take and give nothing back in return, than you can take your flattery and stick it where the sun don’t shine.

Another personal favorite is The Taker who is climbing the corporate ladder and will do whatever it takes to get to the top. When you’re their boss, you might see their ambition as an asset to your department so you give them opportunities to continue to kick ass on the job and the next thing you know, they quit or get promoted and suddenly, they have passed you by on the corporate ladder. When you attempt to reach out years later, this overly ambitious taker never responds to any of your inquiries. After they continually fail to return your calls or emails, you find yourself secretly wishing this taker gets laid off. Yes, I know that’s evil, but some takers just need to be taken down.

Then there’s a variation of “The Taker” which I’d like to call “The Swooper.” In this scenario, you’ve worked really hard at your job – perhaps you wrote an amazing speech for someone or maybe you came up with an ingenious idea for a project you’ve been working on and the next thing you know, you’re blindsighted by The Swooper who has no shame whatsoever and takes credit for your work. That’s the most painful Taker of all – especially since you know that The Swooper wouldn’t know how to write their way out of a paper bag.

If you have found yourself on the receiving end of The Taker, be vigilant. They may not want to be your friend – they just want to get to know who you know. And if you have been or currently are a Taker, seriously, Go F*** Yourself.

10 Hilarious Halloween Babies & Kids Costumes

When I was a little kid, I used to love Halloween. Back in the 70’s and 80’s our costumes were pretty primitive. One of my earliest memories was of me and my brother wearing an Underdog and Polly Purebread costumes. Back then, we wore these horrible masks that made it hard to breathe. I’m sure they’d probably be banned today but way back when, our parents did a lot of things that were pretty questionable. For me, it really didn’t matter what costume I wore. I just cared about all the candy we were collecting that day in our neighborhood. If I could snatch about 20 Bazooka Joes and a few boxes of Dots, I was a happy camper.

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🎃🍬🍬

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Yup. That was pretty much me and my brother circa 1975.

When  my kids were little, I always had a blast dressing them up for Halloween and I have some great photos of them throughout the years of the store bought costumes I put them in each year. But these days, parents have seriously upped their Halloween costume game. From DIY costumes, to incredible makeup to facial hair on babies, there is something to be said about parents who put their all into making Halloween  as hilarious as ever whether their kids realize it or not.

This week, I’ve been scrolling Instagram and Twitter for a little Halloween inspiration and was blown away by some of the inventive and adorable babies and kids costumes that little ones are wearing this year. Here’s my top 10…hope it makes you smile as much as I did after seeing them!

10. Life is a Cabaret…

Can this baby be any cuter?

9. The Mouse Trap

This parent is seriously a genius. Baby as a mouse that gets wheeled around the neighborhood. Priceless.

8.  Crazy Rich Asians…

I just can’t. Beyond adorable and I haven’t even seen the movie yet.

7. Kid Pilot

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Graham Hodson the pilot …. 🚁

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Love that this parent used regular clothes but this little kid is still so ridiculously cute!

6.  Watch Out for Police Girl!

The hand on that hip is everything.

5. Fred Sanford…the baby edition

OMG. Loved Sanford & Son and this is costume is on point. 

4. UFC MMA Fighter Tot

Facial hair and a tattoo – and that expression…fantastic!

3.  Because You Can Never Get Enough of Sanford & Son…

Had to give this mom a second shout out because seriously, this video is beyond hysterical!!!! Genius!

2. The Headless Trick or Treater

Okay – this is beyond creepy, hysterical and genius all at the same time.
  1. Lady Liberty for the Win!
We all need a little bit of inspiration in our lives and this costume truly brings it home! Well done!