a beautiful mess

I love this video and am incredibly inspired by it. I’m so inspired by the Occupy movement and find Eisenstein’s ideas fascinating if a little Utopian. This isn’t a post about the Occupy movement though. It’s about how I resonated heavily with  the idea, especially growing up in a city, that it’s difficult in our modern age to cultivate a feeling of community.

If someone dies or we alienate them, we replace the provider of this gift (product or service) and therefore this person in our lives with money. We’re living in a society in which it’s becoming increasingly convenient to lose a sense of community. We work from home, we take classes online, we text, we text someone to ask them out on a (first!) date, we Facebook and we avoid having to physically present and we (or at least I) wonder why I can’t seem to feel grounded. Then in a disjointed attempt to regain this innately human desire to feel connected and belong to a community, I text during in the waiting room at my doctors appointments, answer missed calls with a text, email apologies, and Facebook a close friend when we haven’t spent time together lately. All to feel like I’m still connected only to feel so utterly disconnected.

Modern marvels are great. Technology has streamlined many processes. Even my doctor has me set up an account online so he can update me with all my prescriptions and diagnoses. Facebook is great if you’re posting a funny tidbit you remember from last week’s girl session to brighten up her day, but not the avenue for “catching up” if you have been MIA in your friend’s life for a couple months. Nor is it the way you announce big news to your close friends. Kim Kardashian is right about one thing: Your wife shouldn’t find out you’re in another country via Twitter. First dates should be extended over the phone, at the very least. Apologies should be made in person whenever possible. Texts are for when you’re running late or can’t talk. Skype and FaceTime are for when you have an ocean between you, not a replacement for genuine face time.

It’s easy to forget that all of these advancements were meant to be enhancements, not replacements. I’m certainly guilty of having done it. Eisenstein says,

 ‎”Love is the felt experience of connection to another being. An economist says essentially more for you is less for me. But the lover knows that more for you is more for me too. If you love somebody, then their happiness is your happiness. Their pain is your pain. That’s love… Love is the expansion of the self to include the other.”

And I think that’s what’s been missing from my life, but I’m going to change the way I live because I’m tired of feeling off-kilter. I want to create intimacy and connection, not feed into deterioration of it. So let’s use all the time we’re saving with modern technology to take it slow. Let’s replace hour long texting sessions with hour long phone conversations and bring back catch up sessions over three hour dinners. And really, who couldn’t use a little more love in their lives?

Thanks Lian for the inspiration.



I am having the most amazing workweek. Not only am I seeing Terry, one of my stewards in the valet department, organize members & other leaders in his department, but I’m seeing him grow as a real leader. I always knew he was a fighter but as he once told me, there’s a difference between strategy and tactic. Today, I’m seeing him understand the difference firsthand. We spoke on the phone and he told me his management pulled him aside to discuss and work on a departmental issue with him.

To make you understand how monumental this is, I have to provide some back story. In the past, I’ve always gotten the feeling that Terry felt like his manager Alex didn’t give Terry the respect he and other people in the department deserved. We used to have hour long debates/fights/discussions about how to fight this and sometimes, whether we should even try because there were times when he didn’t feel like management would ever change.


He still held some vestige of this as recently as last Thursday. Tim, my other shop steward, told Terry about how excited Tim was to find success in tackling issues in the bar department. Terry expressed he didn’t believe valet management would work with him on their issues. Last night, he find out otherwise. Management pulled him aside to try to settle issues with him before the department started doing delegations and taking a hard line with the company. They recognized Terry as a leader and for the first time, Alex spoke to Terry with the respect he deserved. It’s amazing to see Terry finally have a win after he fought and persevered in a department with coworkers that didn’t always support him.


At first when Terry said that he would take a step back from here on out, I was puzzled. “Why?,” I asked. He explained that he recognizes the company takes a personal issue with him and doesn’t want to lead the upcoming meeting because personal feelings on the company’s end may jeopardize a resolution. He thinks that this victory will motivate other leaders in his department to step up when they realize that they did this. Not the company, not Terry, not the union organizers. The valets made it happen because they were united and put pressure on the company. He realizes that people will still come to him because new leaders will look to him for help when a fight gets tough but that this win will allow him to empower and work through other leaders. This is his hope and has always been mine.


For me, this is where the real growth happened. Like I said earlier, Terry has always been a fighter. Even to a fault. But it takes real maturity as a leader to put your peoples’ issue above your own feelings. I’m not naive enough to believe that things will be a cakewalk for him and his department from here on out, but this is a huge milestone. After having been terminated, brought back and fighting with this company for a year and a half, Terry has finally come into his own. He understands what a union is, how much power he has, how much power they have when they’re united, how to fight, and that hard fights ARE won.


Dear Hyatt Corporation,

Let me start by saying that I have enjoyed the vast majority of my stays at Hyatt. I became a Hyatt member in February of 2010 and quickly became a Diamond member, spending the vast majority of 2010 (something like 9 months) at your properties.

So you can understand my deep disappointment to learn of the horrendous working conditions at your properties. Please spare me the PR spiel about how this is untrue as I have spoken to various employees within your company and am absolutely appalled to learn of the abuse doled out to them. I refuse to spend another one of my 100+ nights on the road at a Hyatt until you settle your contracts with your workers, create jobs with fair wages, benefits and safe working conditions. I am sorry to say I will be boycotting all Hyatts and will in turn encourage all my colleagues (who spent 75% of their jobs on the road), friends and family to do the same. I stand with workers.

Regretfully, H. Lee

Stand with Unite

Sleep With The Right People.

what HAVEN’T i been eating lately?


everything worth having is worth fighting for.

just breathe.

new segment!


I'll die for you, but I won't LIVE for you.