#SiliconValleyProblems #Kids Edition

1. Amazon Prime takes too long. I want my Rainbow Loom now! #googleexpress
2. No wi-fi in the car = no Sofia the First. #what’saradio?
3. I get carsick playing Soul Surfer on my ipod while going over the Hill to the beach. #highway17woes
4. Cursive is the HomeEc of the 21st century. #Swyperules
5. If Santa’s Workshop is real, why isn’t it on Yelp? #negativereviewsgetcoal
6. MineCraft is collaborative interaction and therefore is more important than homework. #NotchIsGod
7. The Instacart driver took his sweet time and now my popsicles are all melted! #notip
8. I can’t find the show I want on Neflix OR Apple TV! Are we sure it exists? #DemandOnDemand
9. I keep tripping on the cord charging the Volt while playing basketball on the driveway. #electricfoul
10. Instabullies is not what my parents think it is. #ilovemydog
11. The new iPhone 6 Plus is too big for my wheely backpack. #stillgettingit
12. I can’t tweet the @sfgiants game because my service doesn’t work @attpark. #itsfreakingattyo
13. The FAA won’t let me fly my drone. #toohighnofly
14. Vacuum, what’s a vacuum? Roomba! #onelesschore
15. I’m never getting my driver’s license. Ever. Thanks a lot Google self-driving car. #stupidrobots
16. I forgot to clear my web history on the family computer. #whoops
17. My parents won’t let me take an Uber to school. #oldfashioned
18. My LinkedIn profile page doesn’t have a section for my grade school Accelerated Reader scores. #NoStanfordForMe
19. Dine Dash no longer delivers from my favorite burger joint. #Wherearemysweetpotatofries?
20. I got grounded for spending $324 on in-app purchases. #trickydevelopers
21. My UrbanSitter nanny only has 4 five-star reviews. #rookie
22. Mom tagged me in hundreds of pictures. My girlfriend just commented on a picture of me sitting on the potty when I was 3. #NoParentsOnFacebook
23. What is Microsoft, and why did it buy Minecraft? #theregoesmyfaction #majorgriefer
24. Mom just instituted a “no screens” hour from 6-7pm. What the hell am I supposed to do now? #whatisatoy?
25. The ice cream truck just tweeted out its location—too far for my razor electric scooter to go. #morebatterylifefordrumstick​

The Entreprenurial Spirit. Otherwise Known as Sh*t I Don’t Have Time For

Living in “The Valley” has its benefits. First and foremost, the weather. We have skiing about a 3.5 hour away (2.5 hours if you drive like my fellow blogger Ursula Ringham), the beach just over “The Hill,” and lovely wineries () all over the place. No mosquitoes! Fabulous restaurants. “THE City” just up the 280 (or the 101 if you are a masochist and want to sit in traffic).

Silicon Valley also has its downfalls. It’s astronomically expensive to live here in terms of housing costs, if you can even find housing at all. There are pockets of quality schools, but for the most part, public education sucks for the amount of money we pay in taxes. Traffic. Glassholes. Traffic.

For me, my #siliconvalleyproblems are all the side project “distractions.” Let me explain. There is a massive amount of creativity and entrepreneurship that happens all around me every day. My neighbor is developing a cool new shopping app. My daughters BFF’s mom has a new company.  My friends are writing screen plays and books! When did everyone get so freaking smart and inspired??

To fit in, I try and come up with new ideas too. But seriously, ain’t nobody got time for THAT! I have two kids, a job, Gweneth Paltrow recipes to try, work outs to do, Game of Thrones to watch, Facebook posts to comment on (but not on my phone, per my last blog post here!). It’s already exhausting!

Ask any of my friends. I come up with a new “amazing” (insert sarcasm here) idea almost every week. But I need someone to actually do the “doing.” Is that why the rich get richer? It’s one thing to have great ideas, but quite another to bring them to fruition. Successful rich people have ideas, but I imagine they also have numerous “staff” to take care the execution.

Perhaps if I had a small staff of “do-ers” maybe all my cool inventions and business ideas would allow me to now have a large staff? Who knows. For sh*ts and giggles, here are a few of my ideas and how they came to be. If you steal them, I will sue. I have a on staff. Just kidding, she’s my good friend, but she writes super threatening letters.

BabySure: After having two “false alarms” while nine months pregnant (i.e. thought my water broke, but I really just peed a little), my genius friend/attorney Brooke and I came up with the idea to create a pad type of thing that sticks in the underwear of a very preggo lady. If a “leak” happens, the pad would turn color if it was amniotic fluid and time to hit the hospital. Brilliant! But all the testing and endorsements and OMG, who has the time for that?

Myfirstafter.com: I am at that time in my life where divorces are happening amongst our inner circle of friends. Having been the confidant of several newly divorced ladies, I have discovered that one of biggest issues for each of them was that “first time” with someone else. We concocted an online community for people that are fresh out of a relationship. The site would match those who want to get “it” over with and move on. Right? Amazing! I went so far to partner with a few people and get a story-board video together. , done by the awesome . I giggle every time I see it. But, like everything else, I have no time. My partners kind of fizzled out as well. They all have kids, jobs and social lives as well. And then Netflix released an entire season of House of Cards, which totally takes priority.

Parent Pairings App: I own and work on a wine brand called . In an effort to help promote the product, I wanted to create an app that would pair all kinds of wines with different parenting situations. Turns out, it takes a lot of money and brainpower to create an app. It takes a lot less time to publish a book, so I did that instead. is clearly soon to be bestseller. It is currently available in all two of my neighborhood . Seriously, who has time to go sell it individually to each indie store? I already do that with wine for my full time job. Summer intern for credit? Anyone?

iVibe: Many years ago, back in the dark ages when I decided to get a Blackberry Storm instead of an iPhone, my good friend and I had an idea to revolutionize phone sex. So, you take an iPhone, or a Storm, although Courtney LOLed when she found out I had one. iVibe is an app that makes the phone vibrate hard and fast enough to, well, give a…well, you know. BUT, the kicker, the phone could be controlled by someone else, from anywhere else that had a signal. We didn’t totally think it through (there was talk of a “sleeve” to “protect” the phone, which is just weird). But someone else really did think about it and now there is this: the . It is an app that controls a vibrator that is connected to a phone via Bluetooth. So someone from afar can be controlling what goes on down there. Via a phone. That’s pretty cool and changes phone sex forever. Because now its not just phone sex, right? The funny thing is, a friend of mine invented it all on his own. Without even stealing our brilliant idea. Nice work Brian Dunham. Nice work.

The “Oh Shit” Cam: Scenario: Your former employee has totally f-ed you over. Stolen business plan and customer list. This former employee went out on their own to create a competing business. On YOUR time. While neglecting their job and screwing up your business so it makes customers easy to poach. Yeah, that guy. Imagine you get a lawyer to file suit and then send that guy a letter about it. Wouldn’t you pay money to see that guy’s face when he opens the letter? How much? That’s the “Oh Shit” camera. Attach it to a document and when the other person is reading it and hopefully reacting with an “Oh shit!” face, the camera takes a picture or video. The file is then sent immediately via 4G it to an email address or text. The camera then disintegrates. I love this idea, but nothing has ever come out of it, just a lot of lunchtime laughs.

STIK Your Pose: So this is something that is actually happening. My attorney friend and I have done it again, coming up with the greatest idea ever. It is inspired by our favorite workout class at in our ‘hood. We have a URL, a manufacturing plan and contacts, the start of a business plan and even a potential first customer! So I am not going to say too much more about it. Except that it has all the qualities of a potential new successful business. One, it solves a problem that I and others have. Two, I am passionate about it. Three, it fills a need in the marketplace as there is really nothing like it that is widely available. Of course, last but not least, there is a huge potential market for it. Stay tuned. But seriously, I don’t have any time to do this. I guess I will have to forgo Orange is the New Black this summer.

WHY I AM DELETING THE FACEBOOK APP FROM MY IPHONE

I am going to delete the Facebook app from my phone. WAIT! I am not deleting my Facebook account. Oh, the horrors. I am just getting rid of having access to it 24-7. Here’s why:

1. BEING PRESENT When I go somewhere, I want to be focusing on the people I am with, not what other people (that are not anywhere near me) are doing. A “Live in the Moment” thing. Many times, I have been at a restaurant or party with great friends and incredible conversation.  At some point, someone ultimately picks up their phone and checks Facebook (including me). I have a pretty good life, a great family, lots of friends and plenty of fun. Frankly when I am out and about, I want to be focusing on just that, vs. thinking about what other people are doing half a world away.  Facebook has become a crutch for even the smallest of pauses in what started out as great discussions.

2. BEING IDLE As a full-time working mom of two and a wanna-be wine writer (but really more of a wine drinker), I have very little down time. I am actually typing this blog post on my laptop at my daughter’s softball practice. When I’m at home or work, I constantly have something to focus my brain on.  In the rare moment that I don’t have something to do immediately in front of me, I find myself popping open Facebook on my phone to see what other people are focusing on. Stoplights, waiting in line for coffee, maybe or maybe not in the potty. There is always something to look at on Facebook. But being idle is to help the brain function and regenerate. I personally like it when my brain is functioning, n’est pas?  Remember the days when one would just sort of un-focus and stare out into space while getting gas or waiting for take-out at the Pho place? I want that to be me. Idle.

3. BEING PRIVATE I don’t know about you, but those sponsored posts are starting to get a little creepy. They are annoying of course, because they are the first things I see on my mobile newsfeed. However, they are freaking dead on. Those smart f*ckers at Facebook know that I am in the market to buy Moscow Mule Copper Cups even before I do.  Are they monitoring my ginger beer and Tito’s purchases?  Did they listen in on my conversation with a friend about how I can’t wait for this refreshing and delicious cocktail to be served at a party? I am scared and frightened.

4. BEING DIFFERENT I actually (really!) do a lot of work on Facebook, managing a couple different Social Media programs for my and . However, the Pages App takes care of that. I can post and interact just as easily. The Messenger App allows me to participate in group conversations and it comes up like a text on my phone. Bonus! Like iMessage, Facebook Messenger doesn’t use up any text data fees.  With these two functionalities available in other apps, removing the main Facebook app won’t put me behind at work or ruin my social life. If I absolutely must post a picture of the adorable thing my kid is doing RIGHT NOW, Instagram baby.  If I have something so important to say that the world must know IMMEDIATELY, I can always set up my Twitter account to post on my page for me.

I fear this exercise will be difficult for me. I am fully aware that I am addicted to what other people are doing. I am a total sucker when to comes to the stupid shit like buzzfeed’s top 21 types of mustaches. And the mushy video of total strangers kissing for the first time. And pretty much anything Jimmy Fallon. Wait, Jimmy Fallon is not stupid. But time suckage. Need to stop the time suckage.

While contemplating this decision, I almost convinced myself it was impossible. I was going to miss those cool “check-in” connections. ”Hey I’m at the Justin Timberlake Jay-Z concert too!” But I got to thinking, in reality, aren’t those interactions sort of awkward? Just because a “friend” happens to be at the same place at the same time, why is there an unspoken obligation to see each other? We didn’t come together. I probably have not seen that person in forever, maybe not since high school.  If I really wanted to be with that person, at that place and at that time, well, wouldn’t I be? Ultimately the “where are you??” posting on someone’s cool picture of JT and JZ busting it out fades away or results in a “sorry we didn’t connect at the show” type of message.  Awkward!

So that’s it. The app is gone. I pressed that little wiggly blue box. It’s over. And I think/hope I will be a better mom, wife, daughter, sister, co-worker and friend for it.

I still have the iPad app though. That does NOT count.

Google Alerts Can Cause Cancer

As the HMPIC (Head Marketing Person in Charge) of several wine brands and business entities (, ,, , , , and  to be exact), I have a Google News Alert set up for each of my charges.  If any of my “babies” are mentioned anywhere on the web in a news outlet, I get an email telling me where. It’s pretty intuitive and saves me a lot of time. Back in the dark ages of tech bubble number 1, my fellow public relations interns and assistant account managers used to scan all the actual print publications for coverage of our clients. It made for a long day looking for clips about executives, software and servers. Fortunately I escaped that world many moons ago and went into booze. Wine is so much more fun than a CD-ROM game called “”(one of my actual clients back in ’97) on so many levels. image

I digress. Back to Google Alerts. I get a lot of, hmmm, interesting notifications from time to time. The most common—articles about drinking wine and its correlation, or lack thereof, to cancer. I read them all—scared out of my mind or jumping up and down for my good decisions.

One article covers a study that young . But then upon Googling that, another article references a study that claims no— and then another that insists alcohol in general will raise your life expectancy.

WTF?  Do I freak out and overhaul my lifestyle or do I celebrate my choices? I need to know!  Google, help me!

Information is all around us—and it is becoming increasingly difficult to weave out good from bad, fact from fiction, important from the drivel, truth from bullsh*t—you get my drift. What comes out one day is often contradicted the next. The.  Can I sue Google?

Oh, and as an alcohol industry professional, my recommendation for a long and happy, healthy life: everything in moderation. Like what  says. Note the reference to my  in that link—my inspiration for today’s blog and received via Google News Alerts. Looking forward to coming full circle when this blog comes up in a Google Alerts.