Posts Tagged ‘money’

Admittedly I’m late to the party, but once I found I could stream HBO Max, I dove into “Succession!” I’ve never anticipated watching a TV show this much – not even “The Morning Show.”

Succession seems like a modern day “Dynasty,” only taking place in New York instead of Texas. Ruled by Logan, a ruthless Rupert Murdoch type character, it’s about a top 1% media family with power/money issues instead of oil. Bob has no interest in watching, calling it a “melodrama” with disdain. I’m only half way through the first season, but I just had to Tweet a quote last night from Tom to long-lost cousin, Topsider-wearing Greg:

“I’ll show you how to be rich.”

This was after they both ate a sparrow whole at a fancy restaurant. I was pretty surprised when that Tweet started getting hundreds of hits, until I realized that last night was the season finale of the third season. I’m lucky if a few people read any single Tweet of mine.

Since social media has taken the place of a water cooler, Succession has been all over different platforms this morning. An online newspaper actually had a quiz with quotes, and you had to guess if a real Billionaire said them or a fictional Logan Roy family member. Someone on Twitter asked which character you would most identify with on the series. I’m wondering what its popularity is saying about us as a country.

If I’ve had too much breaking news for one day, I used to turn to TCM movies from the Depression era. The actors speak with an upper-crust accent, as if Piccadilly Circus met Times Square. The women are always glamorous and rich, or scheming to get rich. Everybody’s smoking, all the time. The black and white film only serves to accentuate their luxurious lifestyle, jumping in and out of big black limos in white satin gowns.

I can picture the Flapper at that time, her short platinum hair curled into Marcel waves.

In other words, 30s and 40s films were aspirational for the working man who was down on his luck. You could see a movie for a quarter and escape into a make-believe world of wealth and privilege. Goodness would usually win the day; Fred Astaire would marry the girl. So maybe watching Succession now, after almost two years of lockdowns, masks and finally a booster, is helping us feel better about ourselves.

Money isn’t buying the Roys love. In fact, I’m not sure if any of the characters know what love is; of the four Roy adult siblings only “Shiv” (short for Shavaun) is getting married. And even she’s not so sure it’s a good idea. Right now Shiv and Tom’s lawyers are looking over the pre-nup. We can all sit back and say,

“Look what money does, look at that dysfunction, at least our family isn’t that screwed up.”

In my family I was taught you don’t lend money to other family members, you give them a “gift.” If they pay you back that’s fine, but no worries if they don’t. You’re not holding a grudge that way. Great Grandma Ada felt the same way, because she knew firsthand about such things after her divorce. She would tell me how her sister Mary would drive out to NJ for a visit and put a hundred dollar bill or two in her pocket.

Children who grow up expecting a trust fund can become twisted. They expect the helicopter ride out of town, why should they be stuck in traffic? They never have to face any consequences for their actions. I remember an interview with Anderson Cooper, where he said growing up everyone thought he was a wealthy Vanderbilt – when in fact, his mother was terrible with money and they often lived hand to mouth – although, I’m sure that hand had a pretty nice diamond on it.

I’m grateful this weekend’s path of tornadoes passed us by this time. We spent two hours in our somewhat safe place Friday night texting with the Bride. Seeing the devastation in other states is heartbreaking. I remember the wads of pink insulation sprinkled through fences in Nashville, right before Covid hit, the power line poles split in two like pick-up sticks.

“Life is not knights on horseback. It’s a number on a piece of paper. It’s a fight for a knife in the mud.” (One of the Roys)

Our Horseshoe Holiday Tree

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Sad to say “So long” to summer, but happy news awaits! This morning the daughter of a Big Chill friend has gone into labor with their very first grandchild. They are the last of our little group to become grandparents, congratulations to Al and MJ. Your hearts will melt the first time you see her; we can’t wait to meet your new grandbaby girl!

Tomorrow Bob’s hospital will open its brand new ER wing, more than doubling its current space. Big kudos to my husband for managing to secure the approval and helping to design this brand new department at a time when many hospitals are closing. The ribbon cutting will have to wait until the old ER is rehabbed and they break through the outside walls to join together with the new.

So much to be grateful for in our little neck of the woods. Ninety degree weather in September, just kidding. It’s times like these I really miss New England weather. Bringing their own heat wave along with them, the Rocker’s Parlor Mob shows have been selling out. You can still catch up with their shows if you’re fast in Philly Sept 4 at the Theatre of the Living Arts, New York Sept 11 at the Gramercy and Cambridge, MA Sept 18 at TT the Bear’s! http://www.ticketmaster.com/The-Parlor-Mob-tickets/artist/1098748

In more musical news, it seems Taylor Swift has dropped out of fashion in the music city. This was strange to hear, but it’s A) because she’s not on Spotify; and 2) because she’s a POP singer and not country anymore. I don’t know, I love her anyway! Music is a very large umbrella, and a gal who wants to A) make some money in the industry and 2) grow and change, is alright with me. Haters gonna hate baby! ps to view the Youtube video of Taylor’s new song “Shake it Off”  you need to click through to my blog on the WordPress site.

Since the solar vortex is on, I thought I’d put on some new “perspectacles” and share another bit of “cool” news. I’ve talked about how the music industry is changing and people are totally bypassing record labels to produce their own albums etc – funding everything with some major help from their fans right? I thought it was fascinating that the biggest Kickstarter campaign so far in the history of crowd funding was to build a new and improved cooler. This inventor raised 12 Million dollars…12M. “Created by Ryan Grepper of Portland, Ore., the Coolest includes features like a blender, waterproof bluetooth speaker, USB charger, cutting board and bottle opener.” http://money.cnn.com/2014/08/27/smallbusiness/coolest-kickstarter-record/index.html

I’m just a little worried about what that says about our civilization. And now for some heat, the multi-talented Rocker at the keyboards in Asbury Park.   10410653_10152844488464316_8897750829827491983_n

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Here we go. A flip was switched somewhere and summer has arrived – triple H weather, hazy, hot and humid. Today and tomorrow are supposed to be scorchers, 90+ with crazy late afternoon thunderstorms. But July first also means the new interns and residents start at the hospital, and that means moving vans and cleaning crews.

When we moved South, we bought a hundred year old house in town. It was supposed to be our little nest egg, a small investment property, something to rent out to medical students, our own personal social experiment. But we bought at the height of the market, and the more we stripped away the years and “captured” space underground to make the basement rental beautiful, the more we realized this would be a non-profit adventure.

Our renovation to this grand little brick foursquare, three bedroom house proceeded with the vague thought that we may sometime in the future, when we can no longer drive, like to live in town and be able to walk everywhere. Presuming we could still walk!

My guilty TV pleasure is watching HGTV. I love International House Hunters, the Property Brothers, and Flea Market Flip.  But flipping tenants every three to four years is taking its toll. Most of the time I’ve lucked out, because word of mouth has meant that the house stayed in the general med school family. These students are rarely home, and when they are, they sleep. For a new landlord, this was a win win.

But as of today, the tenants are not med students, although one is a PhD student. They like to garden and take good care of the house. I feel bad for the new guy moving in today, on presumably one of the hottest days of the summer. And it was bittersweet saying goodbye to the emergency resident who packed up a van and left for Sloan Kettering. He got off a plane from Germany with two suitcases three years ago and is off to a fellowship in the Big Apple. That’s the best part of this whole thing, meeting new people.

We’ve even had two weddings that were linked to that brick house!

So maybe I could pitch a new show to HGTV called  “Investment in Medicine?”  About buying an investment property to rent to med students who only call you when they think the smoke alarm won’t go off and it turns out to be an abandoned beeper in the back of a closet. A Grey’s Anatomy meets House Hunters. I’ve got more stories, but I think I’ll keep them close to the hip.

I’ve turned over the key, and left a bottle of wine in the fridge. Here’s to you historic old house, we’ve had a good run. I hope your newest tenant loves you as much as I do. and I hope the AC holds out.

Bride and Groom near the brick house

Bride and Groom near the brick house


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