being on

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I’m leaving Napa soon, heading to SF for an appearance on View From The Bay (KRON4) from 3-4pm, and then onto the BlogHer conference, where I’ll hopefully make it to the newbie event on the roof of the St. Francis Westin.

I feel a little nervous, actually. It’s always nerve-racking when I’m scheduled to do live events. It’s the build up, the expectations, wondering what I’ll be asked and if I’ll be in a good place mentally. Sometimes, I’ll admit, I’m so much in the groove of things, having answered the same questions repeatedly, that I fear I come off as disingenuous. When really, I feel very lucky. And then I get angry with myself–well, I have–about not stopping to really think about the question, just spitting out my pat answer. Getting irritated and forgetting what a serious blessing it is to do what I do, I want to bitchslap myself. No one has ever said anything to me, but there are times where I know things go well, and other times, when I don’t feel like myself but whom I believe other people think I should be. AND I HATE HER. I think it takes practice to get to a place where you can be ON but can still be the off-hours you, who doesn’t talk in sound bites.

I’m hoping that today on TV, and in the coming days at BlogHer, and Sunday on TV (KRON4 News Weekend for Sunday morning, 7/20 at 845am), and at my Moose book reading at Book Passage at the Ferry Building from 2-3pm on Sunday, I’m able to be the me I like and know, and not the always on, with something funny to add because people like and expect funny, ham that I tend to play. I also can’t help but notice that when I’m asked questions about my life, I end up sounding like a self-help guru and feel the only thing missing is some type of musak with the pangs of a glockenspiel chiming in behind me. Then I put myself down for sounding like such a preacher teacher, but really, all I’m doing is speaking about what I’ve learned and lived hoping it might make someone else feel like they don’t always have to be on. That’s it’s okay to have off days, and sometimes, it’s even preferred.



  1. I know exactly how you feel…I actually was just thinking this the other day when I was working, walking around and showing off our new building, and I realized I'd been talking for about 3 minutes and hadn't engaged my brain once. A sound bite, indeed. And do I sound disingenuous or knowledgable? I don't know.

    I, too, am in a business where I need to always be 'on'. And with my 3 darlings, I still need to be 'on' – though in a different way. I don't think it's good mothering to use up all of my positive energy and goodness at work to come home and be a bitch to my children – it teaches them the wrong things. Nor do I think it's good to come home and just unload all the woes of the world – so when I come home, I carefully step out of work mode, and slip into comfy mom mode – sometimes quiet, sometimes exhausted, but available, supportive, interested and nurturing.

    It's those weekends when the darlings are with their dad, and I'm not working, that the true me can emerge. Total silence – unless the house is filled with opera. Total laziness – unless there's something that has caught my fancy. Total sloth, pampering and relaxation.

    You'll be brilliant.

  2. I admire that you don't worry about being in front of people, just how well you do at being yourself.
    Just came back from SF. Did a totally crazy thing. Took a tour on a Segway. Felt the hilly terrain and was able to scoot down the narrow passageways and quirky areas of an old city. Great for picture taking.

  3. Do you have any free time this weekend? Not too far from the Ferry Building, there is a clothing store in my neighborhood that I think you'd like a lot.

    FROM SK: I'd love that! I'm not sure how much free time I'll have given the blogher conference, but I'd really like to meet you… since you said you'd be honest about what looks good, and what doesn't.

  4. Off days show that you, like every one else, isn't perfect which takes away a huge intimidation factor.

  5. SATC analogies are probably really annoying to you by now, but this reminds me of the time when Samantha is speaking at a breast cancer event, and she plans a nice, hallmark-card speech, but ends up just being herself. I think most people like that so much better. I think the concise, self-help way of phrasing and saying things can be totally sincere, and meant in the best, most honest way, but it can be hard to process, as the listener. It can be too wrapped up, like all those sayings and proverbs that you hear a million times but don't get anything out of until it happens to you.

  6. Don't be so tough on yourself! When I saw you speak, you were fantastic, and I don't think you're trying to be a self-help guru – you're just sharing what you've learned. And isn't that how a lot of us do learn? Through other people's experiences and teachings?

    Have fun in SF.

  7. I'll be there on Sunday for the reading! I also wrote a review of the book (which I loved, btw).

  8. I perused your whole Napa set on Flickr. You guys ate like pigs… Bravo! That's what I expect from this blog, images of how I wish I were living… :)

    FROM SK: I'm pregnant… with a FOOD BABY. It was well worth it. At one point, I dragged my bread across my plate and wiped away. Apparently, this is not good form. As you know, I cared very much what those around me thought.

  9. First of all, my fellow redhead blogger goddess guru, I admire what you do. Speaking from the vantage point of a 50 year old, I say, "it all is what it is" and "don't you worry 'bout a thang.

    Just enjoy it all. patti

  10. Stephanie,

    Just wanted to let you know that I visited the Christiansburg, Virginia Barnes & Noble.. (It's the only Barnes and Noble for the Blacksburg – Va Tech area) Anyway, I was happy to see that they had your Straight up and Dirty and Moose books in stock.. Only one of each, but they were there!! They had them in the Biography section.


  11. The entire flickr set is fantastic. If in my hands, those plates wouldn't make it past a few clicks before devoured . . . not to mention the wine. Don't know how you do it. Just gorgeous.

  12. your photography is awesome.
    i have a Q for sk and ALL: i am seeking a small camera that takes quality photos like the big daddy cameras (such as sk's). also, mini-camcorder… thoughts? opinions? thanks!

  13. Stephanie,
    I met you last night at the parties with Cecily and Sarah. I must say that, although I had no idea who you were, you definatly came off as genuine, anxious (in a way that made you seem normal),and overall a lovely human being. I will now be a Stephanie Klein devotee.

  14. What a pity not to have the possibility to see you on TV or on your tour!!! You have to organise something in Italy.
    In any case, you will be brilliant, as usual…

  15. I admire you sooo much! Your ability to keep it real; although I haven't been to a reading, I've watched many of your videos and interviews, and as far as I can see you come across as always "on."

    When I'm having off days, sometimes many in a row, I know I can basically withdraw from the world, and use whats left for my kids.(Most of the time) So I applaud your ability to move forward, and still come across as Stephanie!

    On a different note, your book wasn't in the front those first few weeks. (in the book stores) As of a few weeks ago, they are in their rightful place in front of the stores. My daughter and I decided they just hadn't gotten them in prior to that. She has started reading Moose as well. As painful as it is at times, reading about just how mean kids can be; I think it's a perfect book for my almost 15 yr old to read. Especially since it's a memoir. Seeing how far from the past you have come, puts some of those exepriences in perspective.

    As my daughter and I discussed, there are times when we'd say most kids have to deal with the cruelty of their peers. Mine was opposite yours; as a gangly 5'10", all arms and legs and stumbling awkwardness of growing too fast. Olive Oil was my nickname. (I hate Pop-Eye to this day) lol

    I know you will be completely wonderful in your interviews and at BlogHer. In my home, you now have two fans cheering you on.

    PS. I wished I'd planned for BlogHer now! Had I known you were going….Enjoy yourself! :-)

  16. Yecats – I purchased the Canon G9 a month ago after extensive research and reading of reviews. I wanted manual control without the bulkiness of an SLR, and the canon G9 delivers on both. I love it :)

  17. tls: thanks for the info. i tried to thank you directly, but that email that comes up under your name bounced back. so, anywho….thanks.

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