There’s a dead ladybug on my ceiling. Dead. Caput. Finito.
When I awoke on Sunday morning to the sun streaming in from 5th street, I knew it was going to be an amazing day. I’d spent the weekend with friends, enjoying copious amounts of football, beer, and sunshine (on loop) and the day was feeling easy like Sunday morning. As I took in the sunshine and thought about that perfect cappuccino waiting for me at my favorite brunch spot, I noticed a small ladybug sitting on the light on my ceiling. This must be a good sign! Ladybugs are nothing if not lucky, and my new friend was sending me a sweet little message that luck was shining down on me this week. I’ve always considered myself quite lucky but this seemed particularly thoughtful. How many of us have received a hand-delivered message from luck herself?
When I came home later that night, I realized that L.B. (ladybug) was right where I left her. She seemed quite still though, and it became painfully obvious that what remained was a shadow of L.B.’s former self. She’d moved on to a better place. I tried not to let this cloud my belief that luck was on my side, but the death of a ladybug literally hanging over my head seemed like a bad omen.
Nothing catastrophic has happened to me to be sure, but in the past 72 hours I have misplaced money, literally been buried under work, caught in a downpour without an umbrella twice, and hit (lightly, but annoyingly) by a cab while crossing the street. All of those – aside from the cab – are small, and manageable of course, but I can’t help but feel like losing L.B is a sign.
I guess I’ll just have to plead for the return of my luck the only way I know how. With a short poem:
My perfect date night: I pick you up. In my Kia Sorrento. You get in. There’s candles in the car. You go, ‘…Is that dangerous?’ and I go, ‘Yes—but I like danger.’
We go to your favorite restaurant, and we have a fantastic meal. We come outside and we see my car’s on fire. You go, ‘Aziz, your car’s on fire. Aren’t you upset?’ I pull out a bag of marshmallows and I go, ‘No. I knew this was gonna happen.’
“Overall, I think it’s a good time to have a girl in the 21st century because things are changing, with more opportunities for women. But girls are still the underdog, which means they’ll work harder, and everybody loves an underdog. The next Steve Jobs will totally be a chick, because girls are No. 2—and No. 2 always wins in America. Apple was a No. 2 company for years, and Apple embodies a lot of what have been defined as feminine traits: an emphasis on intuitive design, intellect, a strong sense of creativity, and that striving to always make the greatest version of something. Traditionally, men are more like Microsoft, where they’ll just make a fake version of what that chick made, then beat the shit out of her and try to intimidate everybody into using their product.”—Louis C.K.: The Next Steve Jobs Will Be A Chick | Fast Company (via taylorlorenz)
“It occurs to me so violently that I say, at intervals, ‘Very well, if New York is going to be like this, I’m going to live somewhere else.’ And I do — that’s the funny part of it. But then one day there comes to me the sharp picture of New York at its best, on a shiny blue-and-white Autumn day with its buildings cut diagonally in halves of light and shadow, with its straight neat avenues colored with quick throngs, like confetti in a breeze… . So I go back. And it is always better than I thought it would be …”—
Dorothy Parker, “My Home Town” January 1928 (via taylorlorenz)
So true. It’s always better than I thought it would be…
What makes dog years such an accurate chronometer for life in advertising is the wear-and-tear the business takes on you. Particularly your spirit. Because 100% of everything you create in this business will be second-guessed and 95% of it will die.
Not just die, but killed; murdered actually, usually bludgeoned over its head by a client wielding a chart of some kind. What’s worse is that you’ll be asked to re-solve the same problem you just solved.
“No matter the ability — whether it’s intelligence, creativity, self-control, charm, or athleticism — studies show them to be profoundly malleable. When it comes to mastering any skill, your experience, effort, and persistence matter a lot. So if you were a bright kid, it’s time to toss out your (mistaken) belief about how ability works, embrace the fact that you can always improve, and reclaim the confidence to tackle any challenge that you lost so long ago.”—The Trouble With Bright Kids
The other night I went to see Rabbit Hole. It was beautiful and eloquent in all the ways a movie about grief should be. What is it that makes grief so heavy? So real and so visceral, and yet so hard to grab hold of? At times, the heavy hands of grief have taken over my heart, making it hard to breathe, but eventually the grip lessens. Eventually the struggle gets easier and the day-to-day is more manageable. The mark is always there though. The imprint of a love lost remains in a way that try as I might, I can never shake. I guess the beauty of Rabbit Hole is that I could feel the palpable presence of grief in the theatre. I could feel the burden as I uncomfortably crossed and uncrossed my legs and I could feel it as I studied the characters and tried to reason that so-and-so was handling it better than so-and-so. What does that even mean though, handling it? How does one handle the weight of grief? There is no checklist or timetable that tallies up your progress, and there certainly is no proper way to deal. I can honestly say that I’ve never known pain quite like grief before. My heart was nearly strangled by its power. Yes, its strength lessens and its grip gives way, but I still struggle to find understanding in its wake.
“Poets say science takes away from the beauty of the stars — mere globs of gas atoms. Nothing is “mere”. I too can see the stars on a desert night, and feel them. But do I see less or more? The vastness of the heavens stretches my imagination — stuck on this carousel my little eye can catch one-million-year-old light. A vast pattern — of which I am a part… What is the pattern or the meaning or the why? It does not do harm to the mystery to know a little more about it. For far more marvelous is the truth than any artists of the past imagined it. Why do the poets of the present not speak of it? What men are poets who can speak of Jupiter if he were a man, but if he is an immense spinning sphere of methane and ammonia must be silent?”—Richard Feynman (via crookedindifference)
“The excitement quickly fades as students brush up against the reality of what David E. Goldberg, an emeritus engineering professor, calls “the math-science death march.” Freshmen in college wade through a blizzard of calculus, physics and chemistry in lecture halls with hundreds of other students. And then many wash out.”— Why Science Majors Change Their Minds (It’s Just So Darn Hard)