There Is Always a Way

One of the best habits I picked up was to write 600 words in a journal first thing every morning.  It frees my mind, gets the clutter organized, and puts everything in the proper places.  The key is to not put much thought into what you’re going to write about each morning.  Just pick up the pen and write whatever comes to mind, no editing allowed.

I can’t tell you how many problems I’ve solved, how many decisions in life I’ve made, by working things out while writing these pages.  There is more to it than that, but the thoughts that come out first thing in the morning are a great place to start.  Collectively, it is by far the longest piece I’ve ever written and also the most important.

Morning pages aren’t my idea, rather one I learned about when my wife picked up a copy of The Artist’s Way.  To be honest, I’ve never made it past the bit about writing these pages first thing every morning.  They had such an impact on my life that I felt I had already gotten my money’s worth.  I’m probably missing out, so if you pick it up please be smarter than me and read past the first chapter, will you?

Against the advice of the book, I write my morning pages on the laptop and not by hand.  Because I work on the laptop all day and I want to stay in the practice of transmitting thoughts to the screen through the keyboard.  I suppose if I were a writer who still does everything by pen and paper, it would make more sense to do it the other way.  Whatever works – the key is to do them daily.

This morning, I got off on a real tangent while working on the pages.  I began writing some thoughts about various things going on in life, and a couple of notes about a documentary I watched the other night.  The documentary is called One Day in Auschwitz and tells the story of an amazing woman named Kitty Hart-Moxon.  She was brought to Auschwitz as a seventeen year old girl and survived for years in Nazi concentration camps before being liberated in 1945.  I am an avid documentary watcher – history, science, human events, you name it – and this was one of the best.  If you have a spare 50 minutes, I highly recommend watching this one.

There were many things to take away from her story, but the one that stuck with me was the resiliency of the people who lived in that hell.  They knew survival was out of their hands – a hopeless situation if there ever was one – and yet some still did everything they could to increase their chances.  The Nazi’s selected people to die, seemingly at random.  There was nothing any of them could have done about that.  The ones with a strong will to live, however, did anything and everything they could to make it another day.  In Kitty’s case, that meant making sure she had shoes, didn’t lose her bowl, and made connections with other captives.  Instead of focusing on what was beyond her control, she concentrated on what little she could control.

It would be vulgar to compare situations, but as I listened to this amazing woman it dawned on me that whenever you are feeling hopeless about something, the best thing to do is take whatever actions are necessary to increase the chances of a positive outcome.  You may not make it, but at least you know you did everything you could to save yourself from disaster.

While training for a pilot’s license, for example, my CFI made a point to instruct very early on that when something goes wrong – engine failure for example – the worst thing you can do is nothing.  The engine failed, you can’t change that.  But what you can do is work the problem.  Go through the checklists, look for an open field or sparsely populated highway, no matter how dire the situation may be, do something.  You may not make it, but the ones who do survive because they did everything they could to put the odds in their favor right up to the very end.  Never give up.

Well, here I went on another tangent again.  I originally wanted to tell you about the thoughts I had on evolution, the Big Bang, and creationism.  For the record, I am a huge fan of science.  I am fascinated by the enormity and age of the universe, physics, and the miracle of life.  I see the logic behind the advances humanity has made in science and think society is better for it.  At the same time, I am a believer who applies that same logic to say there must be something more than just happenstance and time.

Ah, that will be for another day.  For now, relaying the wisdom of morning pages and the story of the amazing Ms. Hart-Moxon was the priority.  To quote my old, dearly-departed friend, ““I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”



Don’t Worry, That Banana Isn’t Loaded

I’ve been meaning to write about the first time I was interviewed for television.  This is probably a longer-than-usual read, but stick with it because you’ll get something out of it.  I promise.

Back in 2002, a gentleman named Manuel Andrade was murdered in the apartment complex where I lived.  He was a business owner, a husband, and a father.  I didn’t know him, but I found out later that he lived in the building right across the parking lot.  It happened on a Sunday, and I was spending my weekends in Boston back then.  So I didn’t find out about the murder until I got back home from work the next day.

As I was walking up to my apartment, I was approached by a young, well dressed lady who asked for a moment of my time.  She told me her name and said she was a news reporter.  Asked if I had heard what happened.  When I told her I did, she asked if I’d be willing to talk about it on camera.  When I agreed, the cameraman who had been sitting in the front seat of a car came out and started filming.

The thing that you should know about this particular apartment complex was that it was in a nice neighborhood in a small town in Massachusetts.  I joked with her that it was hard to get in the place even as a resident.  Which was true; the access doors to the building were solid, self-closers, and required a separate key from the ones to individual apartments.  On top of that, the apartments themselves were pretty close together.  If you knocked on my door, chances were pretty good a neighbor would answer their own thinking you’d knocked on theirs.  Thin walls, you know?  Don’t judge – I was young, dumb, and broke.

She asked me if I was afraid, knowing what had happened in the building across the street.  I said, “Not at all.  This is a very safe neighborhood.  It’s hard enough to get in the place if you live here and have a key, never mind someone randomly breaking in.  My guess is it was someone he knew.  I feel bad for the guy, but there’s nothing for anyone who lives here to worry about.”

She thanked me and told me I’d be on air during the evening newscast.  Damn right I tuned in – it was to be my television debut!

Ready for this? The only part of the interview they aired was when I said, “This is a very safe neighborhood.”

The rest, the part about how hard it was to get in the building, that it was probably someone he knew (turns out I was right about that), and there was nothing for the residents to worry about was cut out.  Right after airing my quote, they cut to another interview with two older residents who were panicking and extremely concerned.  Those were the folks who got the majority of air time.

Why? Because what I said didn’t fill their need.  Taken out of context, that isolated part of my quote about it being in a safe neighborhood screams, “See!  This even happens in safe neighborhoods.  It could happen to YOU!”  Had they played the entire interview, it’s not nearly as alarming and “newsworthy.”  So they just cut it out.

Talk about sensationalism.  Ever since, I’ve never watched or read the news without a fair amount of skepticism.  It showed me that you really cannot believe everything you’re told.  Even when you see it with your own eyes.  More important, it was proof that certain outlets will tailor a message in direct contrast to what someone actually said (aka – the facts) if it serves their purpose.

What’s my point in telling you this?  Hopefully that you’ll take what you see, hear, and read about in stride from now on.  (Yes, I am aware that applies to this post.  Awkward!)

We have so many more outlets than we did back then.  The internet is awesome, but it’s also a huge source of information.  And there is even less accountability for what is put out there than back in 2002.  Turns out things are not nearly as bad in the world as some will have you believe.  Alarmists have been pounding horrific things into our brains that really aren’t as widespread as they are made out to be.  It just seems that way because it’s everywhere, all the time.  The effect this practice has had on society is undeniable.  When’s the last time you saw kids playing out on the streets?

It makes me sad to think people aren’t relating anymore.  Everyone thinks something bad is about to happen to them at any second.  Lock your doors, don’t trust your neighbors, crime is everywhere!  Makes me wonder why we’re going in the wrong direction when we’re supposed to be evolving.  Then I think about what happened to me, and decide maybe there’s hope in spite of what I keep hearing.  Because the people I interact with in person aren’t so bad, after all.

In fact, turns out they’re pretty much just like me.


Want to be a millionaire?  Follow this blog!  It won’t help, but follow anyway. 

via Daily Prompt: Awkward

These Robots Are Gonna Kill Us All

Well, here we are.  Boston Dynamics created a robot which can run through a park on its own.  Run through a park.  Check out the video because it’s pretty awesome.  This also means we are way ahead of the Star Wars and Terminator worlds because their bipedal robots were slow as hell.

I know a certain, tin-foil-hat-wearing part of the population will find this horrifying and a certain sign of the end of the human race, but what Boston Dynamics has done is an exciting step forward.  And an inevitable one.

Some people felt the same way back when automobiles hit the scene during a time when most were still on horseback.  The general consensus back then, by the way, was that a human being couldn’t survive any crash in a vehicle traveling over 40 MPH.  (That’s 64 KPH for my out of town friends.)  So much for that.

PSA:  If you are on Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook and the like, and come across a post where an innocent person recounts an outlandish event in which a “bad guy” says something horrific to them, is put in his place, and then everyone in the room claps, it didn’t happen.

Here’s the general outline:

ME PERSON:  *Minding my own business*

RUDE PERSON:  For absolutely no discernible reason, inappropriately and outlandishly describes something Me Person is doing/saying/wearing in an attacking way and in a public setting

ME PERSON: Long-winded, sometimes witty comeback putting Rude Person in their place.



Bonus points awarded if the restaurant/store manager pays for their coffee or meal, somebody gives them $100, or someone starts randomly crying.

If you’ve got a little time to kill and want to be entertained, check out That Happened for some fine examples.  I’m sure the boss won’t mind.

Video games today rely far more on reflexes and less on logic than they used to.  This is not a bad thing, as fast hands mean a fast mind.  I watched a short video of someone playing some new game and was blown away by all the things happening on the screen at the same time.  We’ve come a long way from interactive fiction.

Remember when the internet used to be a good place to get an honest opinion about a product you were thinking about buying?  Ten years ago I was trying to decide which ridiculously giant television to buy, JVC or Mitsubishi.  I went online, found some honest reviews by people who owned one or the other, and made an educated decision from there. (Got the JVC, if it matters.  Which it shouldn’t.)

Today’s online reviews are all stacked.  Supposedly independent, third-party reviewers are company sponsored.  (That’s why they send popular reviewers products for free.)  Star ratings are unethically trashed by the competition using fake Google accounts.  And the first three pages of search results are advertisements put up by whatever company is trying to sell whatever you’re searching for.

If you want an honest review, you gotta dig deep.  Leave it to our ingenious, big corporate marketers to screw up a good thing.

Speaking of marketing, my favorite description of self promotion is “it’s like rolling jell-o up a hill using chopsticks.”

It’s Friday.  Please go outside.  Take a hike in the forest.  Get some fresh air.

Studies show that people who follow this website are 27% more likely to have a higher-than-average IQ.  Your call.

via Daily Prompt: Forest

In Case You Couldn’t Tell, I’m Starving

Had a really great day yesterday.  Found out one of my short stories is in the top ten (number 3, ahem) for a highly-competitive contest which shall, for the moment, remain nameless.  Anything finishing in the top ten is represented, so it’s a win no matter where the story ends up.  A good feeling, but the key to success is to enjoy the moment and immediately get busy again, so…


I’m still eagerly awaiting word from a few people on some old business.  I don’t much care about the payouts because these are shorts sent to some fledgling publishers that I admire.  It’s an honor to be involved in the early stages, so I’ll be proud to be represented in any of them.  Just wish they’d hurry the hell up.


Who the hell demands to speak to a manager at a fast food restaurant?

Lady: “I want three crispy wings.”

Employee:  “I’m sorry, we don’t have those.”

Lady: “Get me your manager!”

Ugh.  The kids behind the counter are working for next to nothing.  They don’t need that crap, too.  It’s hardly a career position so cut them a break, will you?  If you’re at a place where you can order an entire meal by number while sitting in your car, don’t expect Ruth’s Chris service.  I was embarrassed for her.


Speaking of Ruth’s Chris – it’s good but nothing special.  When guests insist on an expensive meal and suggest Ruth’s Chris, I accidentally drive us to Bern’s Steakhouse instead.  Or Morton’s if we’re out of town.

Before I forget: if you find yourself in Atlanta, head on over to Kevin Rathbun Steak and treat yourself to a nice New York Strip.  Start with a Crown Royal Manhattan (up, of course) if that’s your thing.  Tell them I sent you.  They won’t give a shit, but I like my name thrown around fancy places now and again.

While we’re on steaks, best prime rib place in the US?  Used to be Mitchell’s Steakhouse in Hyannis, Massachusetts.  I observed three days of mourning when that place shut down.  The new favorite is Lawry’s The Prime Rib in Las Vegas.  Mostly because of the atmosphere.  They’ll spin your Caesar’s salad in a bowl of ice and everyone wears the “brown gown”, a tradition founded back in 1938.  Except Dallas.  Because Texas, you know?


Why doesn’t the hyperlink tool in the WordPress editor check the “Open link in a new tab/window” box by default?  It’s not like I want people navigating away mid-article and it’s a pain to have to double-check each one.  People smarter than me, feel free to answer.


I think it’s horseshit that an orgasm lasts for 10 seconds while a goddamn cold sticks around for two weeks.


Been behind this blessed monitor and keyboard all day.  Time to call it…


Got a better steak joint?  Comments below or on Twitter @paulkardos.  Oh and feel free to give a follow.  It won’t hurt nobody if you do. 

#steak #finedining #food #hangry

Making Choices That Count

I had a reading assignment for my beta-reading group this morning.  An absolutely wonderful story about the family of a man suffering from mental decline.  It needed some technical work, but the story itself was just fantastic.  I expressed as such, and hope the author sees the story in print somewhere soon.  It was that good.

The main character, Keith, is a fifty-eight year old husband and father.  We live with him as he goes through the trials that come during the beginning stages of dementia.  How it disrupts not only his life, but the lives of the people around him.  We share the concerns of his wife and grown son, and how they struggle to help him come to terms with the reality of his disease.   It even touches on the dynamic between parent and child when the caretaker roles reverse as the years go by.  If you have an elderly parent who needs a little checking in on now and again, you would relate to this story.  I loved it.

It got me to thinking about my own family, and how we’ve had to help my mother over the last few years.  Two years ago she was diagnosed with a rare neurological disease called corticobasal degeneration (CBD).  If you’ve never heard of it, I wouldn’t be all that surprised.  Pray that you never find yourself in the position of dealing with it first-hand.  It’s a nightmare.

The quick and dirty:  CBD causes atrophy of the brain.  It begins with a sudden inability to do simple tasks with your hands that you’ve otherwise done you’re entire life.  Handwriting, fine motors skills, those sort of things.  As the disease progresses, other parts of the body begin to fail.  A left leg that won’t move, an arm unintentionally raised in the air (called alien hand syndrome), a loss of balance.  Over the course of about seven to eight years, the physical symptoms are so pronounced that the patient is confined to a wheel chair, or outright bedridden and unable to speak.  The most horrific part is that in many cases of CBD, there is no corresponding cognitive decline.  Meaning the person with the disease is very much aware of everything happening to them, but lack the ability to communicate.

It seems vulgar to use the word “fortunate” here, but that my mother also had dementia in addition to CBD was exactly that.  Imagine feeling thankful that your loved one was so mentally disturbed they had no idea what was happening to them.  It is a rather unpleasant consolation, but a consolation nonetheless.

Although we did not know she had CBD at the time, around two years ago it became pretty clear that something was drastically wrong.  We are all biased toward the people we love, but my mother was one of the good ones.  She had countless friends with whom she met for lunch or chatted with on the phone.  She spent her time enjoying the world through travel, adored the arts, and was the quintessential optimist.  She’d seen her hard times, but she taught me that you just clean up the spilled milk and carry on.  She lived a great life, and felt like she had many more years to come.

I remember being alarmed when the emails stopped coming.  She’d become interested in computers and the internet sometime in the late nineties.  When she discovered email, my inbox was suddenly flooded with corny jokes, silly meme’s, pictures of her and her friends about town, and the occasional “Is this true?” question, followed by those ridiculous articles often answered on Snopes.  Getting an email from her was a daily ritual.  But the frequency of her emails slowed, became somewhat less coherent, and then just stopped altogether.

Soon after, my biweekly phone calls went unanswered.  This was another habit of ours, to catch up on life over the phone.  An hour every couple of weeks just to keep our bond going.  You miss one or two and it’s no big deal.  But after a while it becomes alarming.  This was the same woman who only a year before would talk my ear off for an hour.  Now, nothing.  Something was wrong.

The thing about CBD is that it’s slow to progress.  What they say about boiling a frog to death is true.  Drop one in boiling water and it’ll jump right out.  Heat the water slowly, it’ll sit there until the end.  My mother wasn’t diagnosed until 2015, but in hindsight we can trace the symptoms back as far as late 2010.  The subtle decline was becoming more pronounced.  It seemed like everything was fine, Mom just being Mom, and then all this.  We didn’t know it, but the end stage was near.

I made a surprise visit to see what was going on.  She lived alone, after all, and although she had good neighbors and friends, people often have their own problems to contend with.  It’s just how things are.  When I arrived at the house, it was obvious things were not right.  The typically-immaculate house was in disarray.  The lights dimmed, the blinds to the gigantic sliding glass doors drawn.  Mail stacked knee deep on the floor.  The house that had once been full of laughter and friends felt like a crypt.

My mother also seemed like she had aged a decade.  She had always been a fashion nut.  Beautiful clothes, tons of jewelry, and shoes…of course the shoes.  Now, she wore sweatpants and a tee-shirt.  If that.  The lady who had exercised religiously for her entire life had to shuffle across the floor.  She complained of being dizzy.  The missing emails and lack of phone calls were explained away by her feeling over-stimulated.  She hung up on friends because she couldn’t bear to be on the phone for more than a few seconds.  She was no longer the person I had known my entire life.

Suffice to say, something had to be done.  In our family, we take care of our own.  I was the closest to her, and therefore tasked myself with her daily care.  It was a struggle, it was a financial burden, and it put my life on hold.  I’ll spare you the details, but imagine having to rely on someone for complete assistance with every simple thing you do for yourself every day – eating, bathing, dressing, paying bills…everything.  That is what I had tasked myself to do.  Because it was my mother and I owed her the dignity of staying home for as long as possible.  That’s how it is.

We had laughs, fights, and tears.  Such is the way when dealing with dementia.  But I gave her an extra year at home, and for that I will always be grateful.  It is a privilege to take care of someone who dedicated a good part of their life to your well-being.  It was the hardest year of both our lives – for her more than me – but I’d make that decision again if I had to.

Today, my mother lives in a memory care unit down the street.  We visit often, of course, but I think it’s more for us than anything else at this point.   Her physical and mental limitations were beyond my ability to care for any longer.  When you go at something like that alone, it becomes impossible to keep up with.  24/7 care is something that requires a team.  For her safety, I hadn’t a choice.  Like I said before, it’s a blessing that she’s completely unaware of her surroundings at this point.  When it mattered, we did it together.  I miss her dreadfully.

I hope you never have to go through what she went through.  Because it’s unfair, it’s cruel, and it makes no sense.  Where is the justification in doing that to a person whose life had been mostly dedicated to the concerns of others?  I can’t figure it out.  But if you do have the opportunity to make a difference to someone important in your life, consider making the proper choice.  It is a very rewarding experience.

As most of the hard things in life often are.


If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with CBD, there’s a wonderful support group available on line.  It’s a great resource for learning about how to deal with this awful disease, and a place to meet with others who have experience with CBD.  I highly recommend joining the CBGD Support Group on   


via Daily Prompt: Disrupt

Healthy Vape Juice To Hit The Market Soon

The debate over whether vaping is a better, safer alternative to cigarettes is certainly not a new one. Seems every time one side comes up with irrefutable proof which substantiates their position, the other fires back with data convincing enough to back up their own.  The controversy is widespread, the resolution complex.

Today, a Hillsborough County company, Health eVape, is making an even bigger stir in the vape community with their new line of vitamin-infused ejuices. It’s a new, innovative take on an old, less-than-successful idea. And it has both Big Tobacco and health advocacy groups across the country in a tizzy.

“We like to say that when you vape our juices,” says Bart Walters, CEO of the Florida-based company. “It’s like eating a bowl of Grape Nuts while taking a brisk jog in the mountains. It’s that good for you.”

So-called healthy vape juices are not a new concept. In fact, vitamin-infused vape juices date almost as far back as the advent of the vape itself. But claims of any benefits that come with using a vitamin vape juice were largely debunked through scientific research and widely publicized case studies. Walters said his company was well aware of the stumbling blocks encountered by their predecessors, and have managed to overcome them all.

“The problem with the original concept,” Waters explained, “is there were a bunch of these jackballs who didn’t do research on how the body interacts with supplemental vitamins first. Some are water soluble, others are fat soluble. Five second Google search’ll tell you that. But the one thing all vitamins have in common is that they aren’t lung soluble.”

Meaning the inhalation of vitamin juice vapor into the lungs produces a negligible effect at best. Vitamins just don’t interact with the body that way.

“Vitamins have to be ingested,” Walters said. “The stomach breaks them down and then the intestines take things over from there. That’s why you can’t just crumble up a Flintstone chewable into your juice, light up your vape, and call it a day. You’d be better off rubbing them all over your face.”

So what makes Health eVapes vitamin-infused vape juice different?

“It’s a trade secret, so I can’t get into too many details,” Walters cautioned. “But I can give you the general gist of why it works. Vape juice is a liquid. Apply heat and the juice vaporizes. Now here’s the key to remember, the mouth is the gateway to both the stomach and the lungs. The muscles in our throats know to send air to the lungs, and liquid and foods to the stomach. It’s purely a biological reflex. When our vape juice is vaporized, the heat breaks the liquid into two different components. We discovered a way to alter one of those components so it compels the body to automatically route the broken up components to the right places. Basically, it stimulates those same reflexes our muscles use naturally. The upshot is that vitamin vapor goes to the stomach, the rest goes to the lungs.”

While the concept seems conceivable, wouldn’t ingestion through vapor suggest one would need to inhale a large quantity of vitamin-infused juice to get any benefit?

“The key is high frequency and high concentrations,” Walters said. “We’re doing our part by putting hundreds of times the daily values into each bottle. In fact, ours is the first vape juice to require a nutritional label on the packaging.”

What about the price?

“Those higher concentrations add to the cost, but I’ll leave it to you to determine if your health is worth it. We don’t sell direct to the consumer, so while we’ll certainly make suggestions to our vendors about retail pricing, our policy is to leave that up to their own discretion.”

If you’re wondering about needing any aftermarket components like special coils or the ability to adjust the wattage of your vape, Walter says you needn’t be.

“The process takes place at a very low temperature. If your vape is hot enough to produce vapor, then the process is already underway. Because of that, our liquid works with almost every vape out there. Of course, like anything else, the better the tool the more satisfying the experience.”

If Health eVape’s claims are true, the advancement could make a huge impact on the market.

“The whole thing is ingenious, really,” Walters said proudly. “As more and more scientific data becomes available, people will realize vaping is not only safe alternative to smoking, but it’s also a healthier alternative to breathing plain air. Once that catches on, everyone will be vaping. Smokers, non-smokers, adults and children. It’s going to change the way we live, work and breath every day of our lives.”

Health eVapes vitamin-infused juice line is slated to hit the shelves later this year.


Plight of the Socialites

Ariana Packard, Julianne Kellogg, Pia Keurig.

You may not know the faces yet, but chances are pretty good you know the names. These twenty-something ladies are the next generation of socialites, bound for red carpets, magazine covers, and social media fame. They live lavish lifestyles that the rest of us only dream about, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t down to earth, as well.

“My parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents worked hard for what we have,” Ariana Packard tells me. “So I know the value of a dollar.”

She is a twenty-year-old woman-3096664_640student at Yale, majoring in Fashion Management with a minor in E-Marketing Analytics. Her friends call her Ari.

“I want to prove that I can represent the family based on my own merits. I chose Yale because to attend anything less would have been an insult to the Packard name. I need a good degree because it’s expected that after graduation I not work a regular job like most people. It’s a lot of pressure.”

Pia Keurig can relate. She also struggles with the day-to-day trials that befall the young and wealthy as they try to discover their place in life while assimilating into the world around them. We sip on iced lattes in the backyard of the family home here in Florida, and she tells me about the daily coming and goings of a manufacturing heiress. Reaching out for an invitation was a well-timed effort on my part, as the Keurigs only spend part of the winter in this beautiful, sprawling estate.

“I’m keeping busy managing social media,” she says. “It’s really hard work to come up with new ideas for posts and stuff. But I demand results with everything I do. Still, some days I just have to settle for a selfie. But in the end, it’s totally worth it.”

When not managing her social media accounts, Pia spends the day outside enjoying nature. “Work is stressful. Maybe I’m not getting enough likes, such-and-such didn’t retweet me, things like that. When I’m having that kind of day, I like to take one of my ponies out for a ride. It’s a great way to relax on an otherwise difficult Tuesday afternoon.”

girl-3033718_640Unlike the other ladies, Julianne Kellogg doesn’t bother with social media. She believes she has more important work to do. “I don’t have time to worry about all that social media jazz. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram. When you really think about it, it’s all pretty vapid. I’ve got better things to do with my time. So I hired a team that manages all of those accounts for me.”

I asked her what she does to occupy herself with instead. “Well, they [her social media teams] need direction, obviously. So I usually start the day with a conference call. They give reports on analytics, new initiatives, and go on and on about strategy or whatever. I like to manage from a high altitude, so I let them work autonomously as much as possible. It’s like I’m always telling them, ‘If the numbers are there I do not care.'”  The rest of her day, she tells me, is spent working on another start-up.

“You’re an entrepreneur,” I say, impressed that she’s following in the family’s footsteps.

“I’m designing footwear. Building a company from the ground up is really hard. I have to take care of the day-to-day operations you have with any business, watch expenses, plus be the lead designer. My father helped with the start-up costs, which has been instrumental in building a team around me. Hopefully we can turn a profit this go around.”

By day the ladies are clearly hard-workers, but at night they know how to let loose and have some fun. “We go to the clubs,” say Ari. “It’s fun. There’s a different hot spot for every night of the week. Sometimes I mix it up a little, just to keep things interesting. Like go to my Tuesday club on Friday, or my Sunday club on Wednesday. Sometimes I’ll even go to two different clubs in one night! I like to keep everyone guessing.”

Julianne decompresses at the clubs every night, too. But even recreation time can be troublesome. “I try to stay anonymous,” she says, “But it’s hard because all the girls are like, ‘Oooo, that purse’ or ‘Wow, those shoes!’ or ‘Lift your top again, Ari!’.  Things like that make it hard to be inconspicuous, you know? I’m like, ‘Hey I didn’t ask to be born rich‘, but they just don’t understand.”

woman-3046960_640For Pia, sometimes the problems start even before she leaves the house. “There are nights where I find myself standing in the closet, screaming ‘Just pick something already!’. I had them put a chair in there so I can sit down, get my feet massaged while I mull it all over. I know fashion, but there are just too many options and I get all bound up. Especially when I have to walk a red carpet. That’s really hard! On nights like that, I usually take a warm salt bath and just let my stylist pick something for me instead.”

From spending time with each one of them, it’s clear these ladies are always on the move. The world is theirs, potential unlimited. What the future holds remains to be seen.

“I can picture myself keeping up this kind of pace,” Ari says, “For at least another five, maybe six years. After that it’ll probably be time to wind down a little.  I guess I’ll see what happens and go from there.”

Should prove to be a fun ride. Stay tuned.