Month: April 2014

Book Review – 27 April 2014

**Editors note: the following post has nothing to do with my travels, Ireland, or pints of sweet, sweet Guinness. If that’s what you were looking for, you are out of luck this week.

I was recently researching different interview techniques when I came across an article put together by Openview Venture Partners about the greatest interview questions of all time. Dharmesh Shah, Hubspot’s co-founder, posed a question that jumped out at me: “What book do you think everyone on the team should read?”

Almost immediately I felt a brief surge of panic when I pictured myself sitting across the room from Dharmesh as he asked the question. Would I have a good answer on the spot? How could someone who claims to be well read not immediately come up with a creative and powerful answer? After a few tense moments I decided on Daniel Pink’s To Sell Is Human, which I do recommend to everyone. Little did I know I was also in the middle of reading a new book though that would quickly become my future go to answer. Carol Leifer’s, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Crying. This book is so good I just finished reading it for the second time. Leifer, a long time Fitz family comic favorite, is best known for her work writing on Seinfeld, for the Academy Awards, Modern Family and her years as a stand up comic. She does a great job blending her four decades of experience in show biz into great stories that also provide lessons for anyone trying to create/make it in a new challenging career. No matter if you are a struggling actor or a recent MBA her stories resonate. Heartfelt, inspiring and hilarious, this is the type of book I aspire to write some day, unfortunately minus the stories of hobnobbing with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Bill Cosby and Bryan Cranston (long live Walter White!)

I won’t spoil all her great bits (buy the book!) but here are my 9 favorite tips / tricks / quotes from Leifer’s latest work:

1) Passion is an early riser. It will be out of bed and ready to work while indifference is still trying to get its pants on.

2) Be likeable. Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David used to reference “the easy hang” when recruiting staff. Be good at what you do, but you’ve got to be easy to get along with. It doesn’t matter how talented you are if your personality is a drag.

3) Don’t steal soda from Aaron Spelling.

4) Tenacity will always make you a winner. Though the odds of ending up on a private jet with Jennifer Anniston…still very small.

5) Jay Leno’s “Rule of Ten.” When you’re nice to someone, they’ll go back and tell 10 people about their experience with you. Word gets around when you’re nice. It also gets around when you’re a rude douche: that intel goes, “Rule of Ten,” too.

6) You can’t have any new old friends.

7) Control what you can, and screw what you can’t.

8) Swim, or die. Good advice for sharks, and for anyone who has to be in the water with them.

9) The fish stinks from the head down.

 

Thank you Carol, I am now far more prepared if I find myself someday in an interview with Dharmesh Shah.

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Dispatches from IRE, 21 April 2014

Greetings friends,

Here are some recent shots and quick notes from the last few weeks. Some may have already been posted and seen on various social channels, but what would a successful blog be without catering to my “off the grid” family as well?

nice day in Galway last week

nice day in Galway last week

patio season has arrived

patio season has arrived

Spanish Arch. My favorite spot for a coffee break.

Spanish Arch. favorite spot for a coffee break.

With the weather improving drastically the last few weeks I am quickly starting to see why Galway is the preferred choice for so many when it comes to a favorite Irish city. The insatiable appetite for fun held by the locals is intoxicating to say the least.

a rare sight, Murphy's Bar closed on Good Friday.

a rare sight, Murphy’s Bar closed on Good Friday.

food fest

Entrance to the Latin Quarter

Last weekend was the Galway Food Festival, which brought thousands to the little town on the west coast for Easter. Sunshine and food tents all across the city provided endless entertainment. Again, I can’t stress how delicious and varied the local food scene is here. To reward those who survived Good Friday (yes it is true, all pubs in Ireland are closed on both Good Friday and Christmas Day), and to cap the holiday weekend there was apparently a huge Silent Disco party (yes, also true. see below pic for proof) thrown last night where they close off a few streets and hand out headphones for thousands to enjoy as a couple local DJ’s spin the hits. I missed the invite this time around, but count me in for next time!

photo courtesy the Roisin Dubh FB page

photo courtesy the Roisin Dubh FB page

Lucius @ The Workmans Club, Dublin.

Lucius @ The Workmans Club, Dublin.

One of the inevitable adjustments I was going to make in Galway was the lack of consistent touring bands coming through town like I had enjoyed for years living in Boston. But with this compromise brings the opportunity to get out and see all the different corners of Ireland, and the rest of Europe. The easiest of which is Dublin, just a two-hour bus ride to the east. So when I saw the Brooklyn, NY based Lucius was coming through, I decided to hop a bus and pop into Dublin for the night.

Lucius in Dublin last Saturday night.

Lucius in Dublin last Saturday night.

I was first exposed to the group last summer at Wilco’s Solid Sound Festival in The Berkshires of MA (also future home of my inaugural run as a Justice of the Peace, courtesy of the Misk Wedding). Ever since it’s been fun to follow them emerge as one of the next great up and coming acts out there. The vocal harmonies and stage presence of the two lead singers Jess and Holly are tough to beat. Check them out when they come to your town.

The Lucius Ladies.

The Lucius Ladies.

Wherever you find yourself in the world, I hope you are well. To all my Boston peeps, I hope you had a great Marathon Monday. Always will be one of my favorite days to be in the city. Forever #bostonstrong

MLK

 

Final taste: loved stumblin on this busker last week covering Bruce’s Atlantic City- Atlantic City, live in Galway City

Edwards Square, right in the heart of town

Greetings friends,

This week’s installment brings us an MTV Cribs inspired post, #mlkinire style. The following shots are of my apartment and surrounding neighborhood to give a better idea of my new digs in Galway City (apt shots were taken last week when I first moved in, I swear):

View of street leading up to my apartment. I live on top of a Dunnes Store, which little did I know is like a home goods / grocery super store combined. Extremely fortunate to have this right outside my front door.

Williams Street leading up to my apartment. I live on top of a Dunnes Store, which little did I know is like a home goods / grocery super store combined. Extremely fortunate to have this right outside my front door.

 

Door to my building on the lower right. I am surrounded by boutique female clothing stores. I can already feel my Irish fashion sense improving.

Door to my building on the lower right. I am surrounded by boutique female clothing stores. I can already feel my Irish fashion sense improving.

Around the corner from my place is Shop St, where all the action is.

Around the corner from my place is Shop St, where all the action is.

Roof top terrace leading up to my front door, down on the right.

Roof top terrace leading up to my front door, down on the right.

Construction site outside my building. Not much progress in the last 100 or so years I don’t think. God bless the endearing Irish.

Construction site outside my building. Not much progress in the last 100 or so years I don’t think. God bless the endearing Irish.

View of city outside my bedroom window.

View of city outside my bedroom window.

Front door of the new pad.

Front door of the new pad.

My bedroom.

My bedroom.

Bedroom #2 – first guest to claim the room can decorate to your heart’s desire.

Bedroom #2 – first guest to claim the room can decorate to your heart’s desire.

Surprisingly lucked out with a shower that accommodates an oversized American!

Surprisingly lucked out with a shower that accommodates an oversized American!

Living room – apartments in Ireland come furnished with basic couches, tables, etc. Makes it much easier moving in from across the world.

Living room – apartments come furnished with basic couches, tables, etc. Makes it much easier moving in from across the world.

Sadly no nap couches suitable for the 6ft+ population.

Sadly no nap couches suitable for the 6ft+ population.

Looking forward to SmartBear family dinners here. Will need to add cooking skills to my current job req's.

Looking forward to many SmartBear family dinners here. Will need to add cooking skills to my current job req’s.

Kitchen - Sha I need you to work your magic in here!

Kitchen – Sha I need you to work your magic in here!

One of the few pieces I brought over with me. Providing daily inspiration.

One of the few pieces I brought over with me. Providing daily inspiration.

Kane / Fitz family signs. One of my goals in my time in Ireland is to track down our family history / roots. Thought these pieces would be a good start. Any family reading this that can provide clues as to where I should start please leave a comment below.

Kane / Fitz family signs. One of my goals in my time in Ireland is to track down our family history / roots. Thought these pieces would be a good start. Any family reading this that can provide clues as to where I should start please leave a comment below.

Sunset from roof top looking out at the city.

Sunset from roof top looking out at the city.

Selfie time on Shop st earlier today. I love this town.

Selfie time on Shop st earlier today. I love this town.

Hopefully these pictures give a better idea of where I’ve recently run off to. Stay tuned for more shots as I continue to explore the city and surrounding areas of beautiful IRE.

Until next time.

MLK

Thank You Boston

With the recent tragic loss of two firefighters in the Back Bay and the Marathon approaching, the city of Boston has been on my mind a lot lately. A place I called home from 2003-2013. A place where I became who I am today.

Thank you Boston, for teaching me its not about getting knocked down, but how quickly you get back up. I will never forget where I was last April during the Marathon bombings. With friends outside Fenway Park taking in the tradition of Marathon Monday, my favorite day of the year to be in the city. 7 a.m. beers, Sox game, and then head down Boylston St to cheer on all the runners as they cross the finish line. Except there was no celebrating this time around. Shock, confusion, hysteria and so many other emotions ran through the city on April 15, 2013. But the strength, unity and perseverance shown by the entire city in the weeks that followed was something I am inspired by to this day. Being back at Fenway just days later alongside my brother Josh Waxman to hear Big Papi scream, “this is our fucking city!” was a moment forever to be etched in the memory of Red Sox Nation. I get goose bumps just thinking about it. No doubt the city will rally around each other once again and return stronger than ever after the tragedy on Beacon St. last week.

Thank you Boston, for teaching me it’s the people in your life, no matter the circumstances, that truly matter. Our group of friends throughout the years has become known as The Circle. Friendships that have turned into family. From Suffolk to Cactus Club, SmartBear to Portland, Maine, I know that no matter where life takes me, members of The Circle will be there at a moments notice for anything I would ever need. Advice, a laugh, a beer or a shot. Anything. It is truly the greatest group of people I have ever met. Yearly tryouts to gain admission into The Circle are held every summer on the 4th of July on Old Orchard Beach in Maine. Contact Ben Waxman for details.

Thank you Boston, for being the hub of countless amazing musical memories. Take one look at my Instagram feed and you quickly see I tend to enjoy a bit of the rock n roll. With Boston you have every artist or band worth a salt coming through on tour, as well as reachable distances to Newport, the Berkshires, Portland, Providence, NYC. The list goes on. Mitch Miskified and I even had a run with the music site DedMelsHQ to track our never-ending musical journey (we will ride again!). I can’t wait to someday steal Uncle Frank the Tank’s idea and frame all my concert tickets I’ve been collecting. Got some good ones in there!

Thank you Boston, for teaching a lifelong heartbroken Minnesota sports fan what its like to root for a championship caliber sports town. Seven titles in ten years as a resident. A streak that might never be surpassed. It felt like every season there was a different wave of support drawn throughout New England for whichever team was competing for a title. Yes I swallowed my pride year after year and will forever root for those lovable losing franchises in MN, but at least I got to witness KG get a ring in ’08. Anything is possible.

I may never leave Ireland. I may end up in sunny Manhattan Beach. Regardless of whether Boston is considered home again, I know with certainty that the friendships created and memories made in that pesky little town in the Northeast will be along for wherever I end up.

Thank You Boston. Don’t ever change.

MLK

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