Watch my interview on KMVT-15 King’s Connections – Remarkable Young Women Series with Rusty King

I had the pleasure and honor of being Rusty King's guest #3 on the Remarkable Young Women Series of King's Connections, on channel KMVT-15 in Mountain View. I met Rusty at a Mountain View Chamber of Commerce event, and we immediately connected on the subject of being musicians. Rusty is an award-winning songwriter and drummer, in addition to hosting his own show on KMVT-15. Thanks to Rusty's thorough research, in this half-hour interview we talk about my entire life, from my childhood in Libertyville, Illinois, through the launch of Chinese Melodrama just a few months ago. Watching it is like taking the "heroine's journey" all over again. It reminds me how this past year of my life, 2010, has been such a rapid whirlwind in some respects, while at the same time being some of the most spacious time I've ever experienced. Rusty and I discuss education, success, parental expectations, music, creativity, failure, and the necessity of following your own heart. Enjoy!

Why I Love Conan O’Brien (& I Don’t Even Watch His Show)

I recently started following Conan O'Brien on Twitter. I figure it's the least I can do, since I never watched him when he was on at 12:35AM, and I watched a grand total one whole episode of the Tonight Show, AFTER the J-- L--- controversy. I have loved Conan since I read a transcript of his June 2000 commencement speech at Harvard. I remember getting the email of the transcript (this was before YouTube), sent by my Harvard classmate Ann, who was in London about to leave her job at an investment bank and enroll in culinary school in France. I remember printing it out, and highlighting certain passages of it, before posting it on the wall next to my desk, in my Ann Arbor, Michigan apartment. And that's when my love for Conan began. Not only was it unusual to have Conan's brand of humor in the context of a Harvard ceremony, but it was also unheard of (at that time) to hear a person stand behind a podium and talk about his failures. He went in chronological order, covering each stage of his hopeful steps toward being a working comedian on television. At one point, with nowhere else to turn and his fledgling cable show having been cancelled, he even got a temp job at Wilson's House of Leather. As a Harvard graduate. The highlighted passages on my faded print-out still ring like a soliloquy by my beloved Conan: Continue reading "Why I Love Conan O’Brien (& I Don’t Even Watch His Show)"

The Benefits of Failure and Imagination: JK Rowling’s Two Life Lessons for Harvard grads

In her June 2008 commencement speech at Harvard, JK Rowling reminds fledgling Harvard graduates that they may be driven as much by a fear of failure as a need to succeed. She describes her own failure, finding herself seven years after college graduation a divorced single parent living in poverty, as the "rock bottom which became a solid foundation upon which I rebuilt my life." In our quest to climb the next career ladder, to appear "put together" in all aspects of our lives, to create images of ourselves that measure up to our ideals, what parts of our humanity do we miss? A beautifully written talk.

J.K. Rowling Speaks at Harvard Commencement from Harvard Magazine on Vimeo.