MNOXON CONSULTING, thoughts & wisdoms from the Smartest Woman In The World

A while back I said to my assistant, “when I am done with Hollywood I think I want to be a consultant.” She said — “Cool. Like, on writing stuff?”  I said “no, on EVERYTHING.”

I’m sure it’s not uncommon to think one knows better than other people. Especially if you’re a type-A do-bug like me. But the thing is, I DO KNOW BETTER. I am the smartest woman in the world. If people would only listen to me, things would just run more smoothly everywhere. Here are some thoughts for free.

  • If you’re thinking of opening a juicery or a poke shop — don’t. It’s too late. These are the “pet rocks” of food fads. They will soon pass. And you’ll have a shop that smells like rancid fish and/or old wheatgrass.
  • However, if you’re thinking about opening a YOGURTLAND — get on that shite. Unlike Pinkberry they are not over-expanding and still have room to grow. Plus their yogurt is freaking delicious.  (I tried to tell Pinkberry they overplayed their hand but Mr. Berry didn’t listen)
  • The reason there is so much “Wine Swag” lately — notice all the t-shirts celebrating getting hammered? — is women are drinking (and smoking) more than ever. Women buy things. Women buy even more things when they’re hammered, I bet. Hence, Wine Swag. If you find yourself buying a t-shirt that defends your right to be hungover, you might want to check out one of the many great “sober clubs” around your town. SEE? I’m right about this. This gorgeous wine bag manages to justify drinking too much AND make a body feel shitting for living. The lovely coral bottle keeps your wine cold for when a lady needs to DRINK WHILE DRIVING for carpool or to hell. 
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  • The reason women are drinking and smoking more than ever is because most women are STRESSED THE FUCK OUT. For most of us working is an economic necessity. We work to provide for ourselves and our families. It’s not because we “choose” to ignore our children or because we hate staying home and binging Netflix while crafting, we work because we HAVE TO. But, last I checked, the pressure to be a size 2-4, have bouncy hair and cute nails and be really fucking agreeable has only gotten more intense. The women I know want to excel at all of this, so they are at their LIMIT. They barely have time in the day for a breath, let alone “self care.” So what becomes “self care?” WINE MOTHERFUCKERS. Preferably drunk while wearing a Pusheen Onesie and not being touched or spoken to by any other human. So indulge as you need to, or decide to let some shit fall apart. But if see above advice if you go the wine route.
  • The question “how do you juggle work and family” is not just sexist, it’s classist too (see above). We juggle it all the best we can because, again, most of us HAVE TO. That said, AMBITION is not a dirty word. I am ambitious and greedy for life/adventure and I want to make a fuckload of good shit AND be a good-enough mom AND not constantly be asked how I “do it when I have kids.” Ask every hard-working, ambitious man who has children that and then maybe I’ll answer.
  •  I don’t think “who are you wearing” is a sexist question as long as it’s not the ONLY question and you talk about the work you do as well. You’re wearing art on your body. It’s notable.
  • If, like me,  you can’t have wine (I drank my life time allotment of booze in a few years so that’s that) — ice cream is a lovely substitute. There are lots of cute t-shirts with ice cream on them if you need your addiction swag.

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  • If you are afraid you’ll get fat from the ice cream or wine, try this trick — eat what you want. Listen to when you are actually hungry and what you’re hungry for. It’s hard at first. It takes practice. But you will eventually find that you DON’T WANT all the ice cream (fries/cakes/marshmallows/malteasers/hamburgers/sushi/lentils/etc) in the world. You get sick of feeling gross. You start to balance out. And your body settles at the lovely weight it wants to be. For the rest of your life you will likely swing within 10-5 lbs of this set-point. So keep those pants, all the pants — but put the ones not in use under your bed or in your trunk or wherever. I know this advice is actually true because SCIENCE.
  • Some things that people yell about being STEREOTYPES are slightly based in fact and science. Be careful with this one. But it’s sometimes true. Like — waaaaay back –women were the hunter/gathers and dudes killed things. So dudes have more of a biological thing for killing and women have more of a biological thing for gathering (shopping.) Women also used communication back in the cave days as a means of survival. “Gossip” is rooted in communication about people who were dangerous to the pack. Like this. “OOOK is a perv! Don’t let your small vagina-having one near that OOOK.” Or — “GRAAA has the spewing sick. She spewed on me a twice. Stay away from GRAAA.” So gossip can be for the passing of important information, but mostly these days it’s just mean and makes you feel bad.
  • Women actually CAN’T do “anything a man can do” exactly. But we can do what WOMEN can do and that’s more than enough.
  • Science and history get more interesting as you get older. Trust me on this one.
  • They have it at Target for less.
  • There is an app for that.
  • Because so many women are working now, work/productivity stuff is getting way cuter. Bullet Journaling is an example of this. It’s way easier to look at an impossible to-do list when it’s pretty. Also, now you have to add “buy bullet journal tape” on your to-do list. Which is what THE MAN is all about.
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  • There actually are corporate conspiracies to get you to buy more stuff. Let’s refer to this as THE MAN (see above.) This is how THE MAN works — phase 1: “Hey, you! Lonely! Ugly! Ugly and Lonely? Yeah, you. You may not have even felt ugly and lonely until this very moment but now that I mention it — wow don’t you feel shitty? It’s too bad your skin/hair/butt/life/partner/couch/child/career is like that. Nobody gets you. You are alone.” This is phase 2: “Hey, you. It’s meeeeee. Your pal. Feeling down? Awwww. You need a beer/facial/designer bag/sundae/affair/pusheen onesie… That would make you feel better… I bet it would. Good thing your pal here has THAT ON SALE RIGHT NOW!!
  • Male & Female Escort services for women are going to boom in the next 10-15 years. But they need to train escorts to give conversation that is at least as good as their head. A good slogan would be “We give great head & head“. Ha.
  • Don’t start the above business unless you want to tangle with the mob.
  • Women watch porn. More women should make porn.
  • Paying retail for clothes is almost always stupid. But you may have to bite it if you want a brand new fancy bag.
  • The High/Low fashion thing is FOR REAL. Get on that.
  • Not everyone on Instagram is not actually having a great life right now.
  • Getting what you always wanted is awesome but also really intense and scary and it takes a lot of work not to lose your fucking mind behind it, because it doesn’t actually fix all the broken things inside you that you thought it was going to fix. Also, nobody wants to hear about it and you can’t really blame them. If you watch The Crown (streaming now on Netflix) you already know that the solution to this quandary is to buy a castle for 1oo pounds from an old but oddly sexy Scotsman.
  • Talk therapy works but you have to find a good therapist and go way longer than it seems like you should have to. And affordable healthcare SHOULD mean that everyone can get therapy who needs it. Emotional wellness should not be the domain of the upper class.
  • No answer is usually the answer. If s/he/yo doesn’t respond to your text or call, that’s the answer. Don’t do the deep dive into the “why” of it unless you have the free time and want to end up feeling shitty and drink/eat/buy stuff you don’t really need. Like a sweatshirt that makes your head look like the top of an ice cream cone.

DUDES. That’s not even HALF of what I have opinions on. To be continued…

Love and peace,

BOE

 

ART AS ACTION

While I loved a lot of LALA Land, I cringed inwardly and a little outwardly at the part where Emma Stone sang about how hard it is to be an artist and how we courageously suffer for YOU, so you can learn and grow from all of our feels. Ugh. Courage, in my mind, is the 70-year-old man who threw himself on top of a woman to save her during the shooting at the Florida airport, not me being semi-honest from the comfy safety of my Hollywood Hills Mid-Century.

The stories we tell can be very, very useful. They can comfort and sooth, they can make a person feel less alone — the island of misfit toys has more inhabitants than we thought and we take solace in that. Joss created that on Buffy, a family of oddballs, who found each other and were stronger because of it. That’s what we have on Girlfriend’s Guide, an unlikely tribe brought together by circumstance who help each other weather the ups and downs of love, money, raising kids and more.

Stories can also motivate. Art can make us aware of worlds we’ve never seen before, open our hearts and minds to new ideas and cultures.

But as they say around my “sober club” — faith without works is dead. Having the empathy/belief/inspiration is the first part — taking action is the follow-up. My brother is an amazing writer and artist. His feelings got too big to hold inside and he made this.

http://fusion.net/story/379938/comic-trump-election-protest-civil-rights-movement-memphis/

I am so humbled by my brother and anyone who makes art out of heartbreak, as Dame Streep said at the Golden Globes.

But the next step is action. What action can we take today to make the world a fairer, safer place? Phone your congressmen/senator today and tell them that this Russia thing WILL NOT STAND. Or plan your trip to a march. Or write/paint/sing your art and share it with the world. Decide what “courage” means for you and take the next step.

Love, Peace & Prosperity for All

xo M

 

 

 

 

Dispatch from the Hollywood Elite

Today, upon awakening, I splashed my face with my elixir of Tibetan Baby Tears, meditated with my live-in shaman, worked out with Gunther — my half-man/half-tiger personal trainer — had my farm-to-table egg white frittata lovingly prepared by my chef — then joined my conference call with the rest of the H-Wood Elite. It was a rousing conversation. How, today, can we further our agenda of making people Lesbians and babykillers? How can we insure that the incompetent take jobs away from good, hardworking people? And rapists and terrorists, where are their visas?And there’s not enough porn in schools! HaHaHa it makes us laugh. 

That’s me, right? No wonder people are so angry.

What brings this on?  Well…

Recently, Lisa Edelstein, star of Girlfriend’s Guide, tweeted about the death of Alan Thicke and drew the wrath of many Trump supporters. As a fellow writer, I might have given Lisa a few clarity notes, but I did know what she meant — that in 2016 we’ve lost a disproportionate number of beloved celebrities before they could feel the potentially devastating effect of Mr. Trump’s policies once he’s in office.

It would be nice if we knew what Trump’s policies really  were, rather than that he’s mad at Vanity Fair and Bill Clinton and not so much with the DC swamp…  And because we don’t know — it’s scary. Lisa is a deeply caring and sensitive person who, like many of us, is feeling that fear. It’s hard to keep our heads, what with the bizzaro world we find ourselves in today. Up is down, a reality star is about to be our President and many people seem to prefer often repeated lies to cold, hard facts.

What happened in response to her tweet was pretty stunning.

Because Lisa also retweeted something about my movie, To The Bone,  I started to get fire from haters and get copied on responses to her. People were telling us both to die from anorexia, sending us pictures of dog shit, calling us cunts. Lisa got horrible antisemitic death threats. I can’t imagine what it was like to go through the hatestorm she dealt with, but just a small taste of it (hmm, do I detect le assaisonnement of dog poopy??) was perplexing and threatening.

It’s not the first time haters have come after me, but certainly this was the most vile batch of messages. Some may be from trolls, but some are clearly people who are furious and feel entitled to attack.

The really ugly stuff, I try to ignore. Or I attack the attackers with measured responses which don’t give them much fuel. Most kind of disappear when I stay respectful. It’s no fun to rage at somebody who is saying “I’m sorry, I’m trying to understand you”.

And I am trying to understand the justified anger of some whites in the middle class, who are feeling the heat from all sides and are especially angry about insurance premiums they can’t pay.

For context, I was raised in an upper middle class family.

My father worked for public TV and my mom was a teacher. We were better off than some, but after my parents split up, money was tight. I had jobs from the time I was a teenager. And I was completely on my own financially from the time I graduated. I worked hard. I was a waitress, an assistant, a temp… I racked up credit card debt. And in my spare time I hustled — trying to become a paid writer.

But my parents paid my tuition for college. As importantly, I knew I had a safety net. If the worst happened, I had family who would care for me. That alone puts me in the elite. Because more and more families don’t have that. There’s no reserve if something goes wrong.

And knowing you have a place to land in a time of crisis can make the difference between being willing to take a risk on a potentially lucrative creative career and not.

The thing is, you shouldn’t have to have a highly lucrative career to be able to afford a comfortable life and good insurance. The greed of companies owned by people like, say, Trump — represented by their dark money pumped into the government — has put a stranglehold on hard working people. This is factual. Just is. Not “libtard” spin.

I risked because, on some level,  I could afford to. The sad part is that shouldn’t be the realm of the elite.

From  — http://inequality.org/income-inequality/

Income Inequality

Download Chart PackIncome inequality refers to the extent to which income is distributed in an uneven manner among a population. In the United States, income inequality, or the gap between the rich and everyone else, has been growing markedly, by every major statistical measure, for some 30 years.

 

Source: A look at pay at the top, the bottom, and in between, Spotlight on Statistics, Page 2, U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015

Wages in the United States, after taking inflation into account, have been stagnating for more than three decades. Typical American workers and the nation’s lowest-wage workers have seen little or no growth in their real weekly wages.

Source: Economic Policy Institute analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics and Bureau of Economic Analysis data, January 2015

Productivity has increased at a relatively consistent rate since 1948. But the wages of American workers have not, since the 1970s, kept up with this rising productivity.

Worker hourly compensation has flat-lined since the mid-1970s, increasing just 15.5 percent from 1979 to 2013, while worker productivity has increased 132.8 percent over the same time period. 

 

 

 

 

 

UNSCIENTIFIC MAP

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The Unscientific Bay Area

This made me laugh today and get a little thinky too

USE YOUR WORDS

My mom used to say that. My child-educator hippy dippy mom. Whenever my brother and I started to beat at each other, or get so furious that throwing things seemed like the best option — that’s what we’d hear. “Use your words.” She was teaching us that finding words to express what’s going on inside could work magic. It could melt anger. It could create understanding where there had been only intolerance. And for me, as someone who’s battled anorexia and substance abuse, digging deep and using words to express long buried memories and emotions made (and makes) the difference between life and death. Quite literally.

Words are also my primary way to create connection with other people. Whether in conversation or on the page, finding common ground through honest, considered words is my “go-to” when it comes to intimacy.

And then words failed me.

I thought the ugliness and xenophobia of Donald Trump’s words would make him unelectable.

I thought the powerful words raised in protest would create understanding.

I though Hillary Clinton’s, Michelle Obama and Elizabeth Warren’s cutting, emotional and humane words would be convincing.

But they weren’t.

People were swayed by things I still can’t quite comprehend. Fake News. Fake facts. Excuses. Words used in the service of cruelty and lies.

It’s genuinely frightening if words have been your salvation. They are not allowed to fail. They are what I hold on to, they are what I use to make sense out of the chaos of living and dying and everything inbetween.

At times in the last three weeks I’ve wanted to just crawl into my cave and shut down. And my cave is awesome. It’s like my own hipster Xanadu, stocked full of nitro cold brew, lentil chips and equipped with free wireless wifi. It comes with a cosy bed, a big tv and a cat who is mostly not a dick. It is very, very tempting.

But the very thing that failed me, now keeps me going. The words of smart, caring people. Beautiful words. Healing words. Energizing words. Word of unity and purpose.

Words matter.

I know I keep saying that, you guys. Sorry. In my defense, if you read a blog about widgets, you’d probably get bored of reading “widgets matter” (They do but that’s another story.)

Cookies matter. This is also true.

But words. Back to words. They encourage me to rise above fear and join what Van Jones calls the LOVE ARMY.

I am a walking love bomb in the wake of this election because of all these good words. I look everyone in the eye. I ask them how they are. And I actually wait for the answer most of the time. I try to be helpful and considerate. I try to appreciate what others do for me. I almost said “thank you for your service” today to the bathroom attendant. I probably should have even though I felt a little crazy. Why? Because the smallest kindness has a ripple effect that we need in the world right now.

That’s my short term plan. Make love, not war. The long term plan, I think we’re all still working on. But I’m not backing down. I won’t let fascism sneak past me while I try to pretend it’s not happening. I’m not going to let my kids think that bigotry, greed and pettiness are a path to any kind of satisfying life.

Words matter. Did I mention that?

I’m going to share some of these awesome words here. If you want to share some, leave them in the comments and I’ll post them as soon as I can.

BLOGS & VIDEOS

Stronger Together

http://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2016/11/09/van-jones-emotional-election-results-sot.cnn

http://www.vanjones.net/the_messy_truth

BOOKS

“The Throwback Special”

“Dark Money” (if you want to understand how the far right sausage is made, oy)

MOVIE

13th

xo M

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE BIGGEST BAD

The truth is. I don’t exactly know yet. What to do.

I do have some thoughts…

Democracy allows for people we disagree with to win. So that part we suck up.

We comfort each other and practice respect for all people, unless they get violent. Then we fight.

We stand up for our friends.

We gather and think.

Writers write, we do our work. And that can be meaningful. But it’s not enough.

We consult. We make a plan of ACTION and we get to work.

But one thing we can’t do?

We can’t waste time believing we can bring out the better nature in Trump and his ilk. We can’t fool ourselves into thinking that there is a better nature there. Because there isn’t.

Over the last few years, I’ve had incredible good fortune in work and life. I’ve had the opportunity to hang out with and collaborate with some of the best people. Spectacular actors who also respect everyone they work with. Incredible writers and directors. Crews who care passionately about every aspect of filmmaking and at the same time, creating a loving and fun environment. And supportive and smart executives who make everything better.

But in work (and in dating) I’ve also encountered bonafide, real life… I want to write “monsters.” People who, when empowered, suck the life and sanity out of anybody willing to play their games.

Monster. I know that’s overly simplistic. I believe these folks have genetically enhanced bees in their brains. They don’t want to be bad, they were just born that way. And if I learned ONE THING about dealing with people who in all likelihood have some type of genuine clinical issue — reason does not apply.

Often these people are AMAZING. They are attractive. They are charming. If you meet one of these beasts at a party, you’ll probably find them brilliant, warm and incredibly engaging. They have the art of seduction down. Not only will you feel good about them, you’ll feel good about yourself. In their light, you feel elevated. Why yes, you ARE fabulous! Numbers are exchanged. You walk away thinking “I’m a little bit in love.”

And at first you will be in love. Because that person is in the “collecting and cultivating” stage. They want something from you. In dating, this person often thinks they want a relationship with you. They BELIEVE that, which is part of why they are so seductive. What you don’t know about them yet, is that they only want you until the moment you no longer fit the story ABOUT THEM that they’re always living and creating in their buzzy-bee brains. The minute you become an individual with needs that conflict with theirs, they either scheme ways to change you, or become disenchanted and angry. Never for a deep or meaningful moment do they consider that they are wrong or uncompromising. They may appear to — they say the right things, they seem to feel real life feelingy feelings. But with this type of human, nothing sticks. They live in a very small loop of grandiosity and victimhood.

And this type preys on people they sense are “weak” in some way. Some circumstance in life and/or trait of personality that makes their quarry want to be liked, helped or filled up. The person they set their sights on will consciously or unconsciously leave themselves unprotected. The front door may appear locked, but the “monster” senses an open window. They’re masterful at it.

Any of this sound familiar?

Sound a little “pussy grabbin”? Sound like somebody who lives for attention and praise, and who lashes out when people question them or they don’t get what they want?

Yep.

I’m lucky I’m too old for Trump. I’ve lived my life painfully attracted to this type of person. On every level. It’s taken me years and years to get past the base-level assumption that I am broken in some fundamental way that people will see if they get too close. So who better to chase then someone who will never actually get out of themselves enough to see me?  For me to be a real person? I knew this was an issue with men, and I’ve gotten smarter. I’ve had some wonderful guys in my life.

(Things still went south. But that’s another post. NOTE TO SELF: write about my fucked up cycle of presenting a false self to my object of desire — the person who meets all their needs — and how they feel betrayed when we discover I can’t sustain that and worse, I look at them and go “why don’t you meet all my needs!?)

Getting off track.

It’s only recently I really got down to the hard work of dealing with this type in my personal and professional life. And let me say it again: REASON DOES NOT APPLY.

If you can, the simplest thing is to GET AWAY FROM THEM. RUN. QUIT. CHANGE YOUR NUMBER. DELETE THAT ACCOUNT. (DON’T VOTE FOR THEM — *sob*) But we don’t always have that luxury.

What you can’t do is play by traditional rules of fairness. This is hard if you consider yourself a “nice” person who wants to be liked. Forget that shit. Liked is not on the table. But you can make yourself USEFUL to this person while always keeping all your inside doors and windows and vents locked. Do not show this person your tender belly. Do NOT share anything that could be used against you. Always assume they are lying. They lie. Because truth is constantly shifting for them. This is the kind of person who genuinely BELIEVES the lies they tell. They are fact-proof. A true monster is so crazy they make YOU feel crazy. The bees. It’s the Goddamn bees. Those crazy chemical bees.

Sound familiar? Yep.

Trump makes me crazy. I’ve worked hard not to let his language and lies under my skin. Not to get sucked into a echo chamber of past hurts and regrets.

But you don’t negotiate with a monster. You figure out a way to way to do a few things:

One — Make them hang themselves on their own petard. This is a long game. It requires a great deal of patience. It usually involves giving them exactly what they think they want. What they think they can do but actually don’t have the capacity for. This may be exactly what is happening to Trump. We’ll see. But when somebody is enabled by a lot of other people, this strategy may not actually work. And we certainly can’t wait or hope for it.

Two — Obstruct their ability to act. Throw up roadblocks. Flatter and distract. Give them busy work that appears meaningful. The smart play for the people around Trump was what appeared to be happening — they put him in front of an audience on the road. He WAS the puppet. How WE can do a similar thing is help aid every single legal challenge, every single meaningless distraction and side track. It’s not nice. But it’s effective. Play dirty.

Three — Show them again and again that they are weak and powerless over YOU. They hate that. It makes them furious. It may, in fact, be the thing that destroys them in the end. It’s what Hillary did to Trump in the debates. The last one in particular. She found ways to belittle him in the same way he routinely did to her. That’s why we’re taking to the streets right now. Not just to express our outrage and grief, but to get under his big baby carrot orange skin. Yes he has the nuclear codes, but here’s something comforting — he doesn’t want to die more than he wants to start trouble. Because in the end — it’s all about HIM. So go ahead, make him and his buddies lose it. Regularly and spectacularly. Because this guy in a tizzy makes mistakes. He tweets and says dumb things. He bites every hand. Right now Trump and his advisors can look at the unrest and say — “Crybabies!” “Whiners” and so on — but if we keep it up, we will be a thorn in their fucking side.`If we remind Trump every single day that he LOST THE POPULAR VOTE by pretty big number, he’ll feel it. He’s too much of a narcissist to look the other way.

Those are three ideas about how to deal with a monster. Go GILES on this shite. Get strategic. Because we’re in for quite a fight and this one takes strategy supreme.

Oh. And don’t date those guys (or girls or people). Just don’t. They can be fun friends but protect your naughty bits unless it’s just a romp. Even then — don’t be surprised if they suck in bed. You think Trump is a giving lover?

Nope.