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March 03, 2009


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Mitch, I sensed it too, even in your earlier clips but I didn't want to say anything to dampen your enthusiasm. I see it in her body language and in the way she laughs at some of your comments. Let's just hope she can be mature about it and do what's good for business. I think if you approach this in terms of identifying your interests and figuring out how you can keep them front and center, you will be able to nip this in the bud, as they say. Good luck!

Hi, Mitch - a couple of observations, and then an idea.

First - I think any concerns you have about your friend Handel's (is that correct spelling?) ability to predict future success is offset by Anneka's common sense. Probably what happened was that Anneka's good sense rubbed off on him - you do say they had met and chatted a little prior to the interview. I'm thinking that, whatever he thought before, he was persuaded into the idea's validity as an idea after seeing that she thought it was a worth a shot.

As for the vibe you felt - I hope you will take this in the spirit intended, since I think we are friends (even though we haven't actually met in person). You have got some responsibility here. You seem to underestimate your attractiveness to women. Particularly those women who find intellectuals and entrepreneurs sexy. And you are both. Then you make it worse by wearing that great lavender shirt and now that terrific Left-Bank-Chic outfit. I mean, come on. Give the girl a break. I'm only seeing you via the computer, and you make my knees a little wobbly (there, I said it). I mean, what aftershave are you wearing, too? Take a long hard look at yourself here, Mitch. What are YOU doing to make Anneka see you in a more-than-professional light?

Finally - the discussion of the effect of funerals on your neighbors' cookouts gave me another great idea. I bet they are feeling the economic pinch, too. Since you are creating a "boutique" cemetery, you've got to have more of those "boutique" options that make you stand out even more. Why not ask your neighbors if they want to provide a post-funeral reception for the mourners? Everyone does that anyway; you may as well make some money for it. Ask your neighbors (the ones with the best BBQ skills) if they'd be interested. They could set up picnic tables in their backyards(you live in LA so there's lots of sunshine; you could buy a tent pavilion in case of rain - they only run about $100 bucks and it's another tax deduction). Charge a big enough fee that both you and your neighbors are compensated for materials and time, with a little profit thrown in. Then they will be invested in your success as a business, because it will be their success, too.

So - those are my thoughts for today. I hope, as I said, that you take all of them in the spirit of friendship and good will - that's how I meant them.

thanks to both of you for your really thoughtful comments! it's all become so complicated. i just have to keep the phrase "show me the money" always in my thoughts. should have done that years ago!

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I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman

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This Way Out

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Ringfinger was nervous
Pinky terrified
when they learned
that Hand might succumb
to the rule of Thumb.



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