Of COURSE my life’s movie will be an indie hit about childbirth.


When Zach Braff was writing the movie Garden State, the soundtrack was one of the first things he figured out. So I hope you have Spotify, because I accidentally had mine ready (NSFW Language!).

I am the culmination of everything that has happened to me, as I will be 10 years from now. So any movie about me isn’t just about me doing things, it’s the story of how I met your mother I got to be that person. That being said, so many experiences are universally relatable- people respond to flashbacks because they have their own version of those memories. Anyways, this movie is about childbirth.

Specifically, it’s about Future Me in the days leading up to the birth of my first kid. As I think about the fact that this is a major landmark in my life, I immediately think about the fact that all through college, I separated my history into two parts: before and after my brother was born (I was 9 or 10). I think back to when I shouted on a plane that I wanted a brother, when I first held him, and when I accidentally helped him take his first steps. For so long, there was no dividing line bigger than his arrival, and yet here’s another one coming up. I’m terrified that I’m gonna screw things up somehow, I’m excited for snuggles, and at that point, I probably even don’t realize just how sick of diapers I’m about to get.

10 years from now, I’m working a desk job in the city, and I volunteer at a radio station (I couldn’t give it up!). I didn’t meet my wife there, but she thinks it’s awesome that I have that- she listens and texts me whenever I play a song that she loves/hates. So in these couple of days, I try for life as normal, all the while anticipating. Since I was young, it was my main “life goal” to be a great husband and father…

Flash back to a long montage of when I was a little kid. It alternates between joyous and depressing. Childhood was great sometimes, and awful others. I don’t want to think about me as a little kid trying to cope with my crazy and dysfunctional biological family, but with that are great memories with my adoptive mom. As many different versions of me across the years explain, family is what you make it, not what you’re born into.

It’ll flash back to all of the romances in my life, up through my wife. This starts with Kindergarten, when I got “married” to the teachers daughter(!), includes all that high school awkwardness, and lots of complaining about my city’s dating scene.

One night, I’ll have trouble sleeping. From here we see the development of my narcolepsy (in high school), and all the tests I went through before we figured out what it was. Emphasis on my stubborn refusal to accept that there may actually be something medically wrong, and it’s something that better self-control won’t actually fix. The movie goes back in time when I realize this is just like when I was convinced that there was no way in hell that I needed glasses.

At work, I have a great idea for an equation to fix the predictive model I’ve been trying to make work, and I catch myself almost getting too involved in that and losing track of everything else (like my pregnant  wife!). Flash back to last-minute overhauls of projects in elementary school, endless tinkering through high school, and the sleepless nights spent in the radio station in college. Continue on to a huge fight with my wife because I got lost in my work again. Back to the Future/Present where I save and close.

…And so on and so forth. This movie will really hit all of the highlights, up and down. Decorating nurseries, getting my grandfather’s tools, making dinner and remembering little smartass me “making egg drop soup” by dropping eggs, the whole shebang. My first encounters with life, death, love, and sorrow: the point is, it’s the highlights of my life, as they tie into these nerve-wracking couple of days. 

Anyways, before people get too bored of reminiscing, “Echoes of Mine” from the above playlist starts playing (SERIOUSLY PLAY IT NOW), and I’m rushing into/through the hospital and I’m there with my wife because it’s about that damn time. Here there are lots of disjointed clips of Future-Present me, and lots of the highlights of what we’ve just sat through, at least one clip from every major part of my life. Then, I have the baby and the entire focus is on right now. Everything has led to this moment, and that’s what there is to focus on.

Life moves on, though, and the Every-Award-winning ending shows it. As I’m standing there with our new baby, the circle of life happens, and I instantly picture him growing up, in [some] of those same scenes that I was remembering me in. The future is coming, and Future Me is trying to picture what it’ll be like for the next in line.

Ahhh… My Day Off


Crazy… I actually don’t wake up to a sophisticated alarm embedded in the headboard of my bed.  Not because there isn’t one there, but because today is Sunday, my day off from work when I can finally play a round of golf.  I shouldn’t really call playing professional basketball ‘work’, though.  I play for the Mobile Frackers, a new NBA franchise that was started in 2018 by a group of oil barons.  Since all vehicles, planes, and boats became solar-powered (due to a breakthrough in research by Sonny Jacobson, a Bucknell grad), the need for oil is significantly lower than it was 10 years ago.  I guess the oil barons made a smart move by getting out of the oil industry and investing in hoops.

Anyways… I get out of bed and go downstairs to see my personal chef, Cheyenne Peppers, making me breakfast.  “I’ve made your favorite!” she exclaims.  “Chilaquiles?” I ask with a smile on my face.  “You’re the best!”  I hastily sit down at the kitchen counter, grab my fork, and dig in.  “These are terrible,” I tell her.  “You’re fired.”  Of course I’m only kidding; Cheyenne and I are great friends.  She is the girlfriend of my manager, Petey Manavich.  They both live with me in my condo in Mobile, AL, overlooking the Gulf of Mexico.

MOBILE FRACKERS

MOBILE FRACKERS

As I eat my delicious Mexican dish, I pull up my computer on the kitchen counter.  First I check my U, the app I developed several years ago that has revolutionized how people across the WORLD manage their lives.  U is not a social media platform.  (I would tell you more about it, but this is something I’m actually working on.)  Finishing my last bite, I yell out to Petey, “you ready to get your ass kicked today?”

Petey and I hop in my solar-powered Range Hover.  We joke about how funny it was when I had that piece of shit ’02 Acura RSX two-door.

2002-2004 Acura RSX photographed in College Pa...

I really hated driving this car 10 years ago.

Pulling up to the valet parking at Moose Country Club, I am greeted by Parker, one of our younger employees.  “Good morning Mr. Muscala,” he says.  “Please…call me Mic,” I tell him.  I got a lot of crap for changing the spelling of my name a couple years ago, but it has helped my rap career immensely.  Despite my appearance, I have garnered a decent amount of respect in the rap industry with my two albums “Six Foot Eleven” and “Mic Jawz: Great White”.

After shooting a disappointing 78, I tell my caddy Jeff Greens to schedule me for another tee time next Sunday.  My golf game has really improved, but only being able to play once a week makes it difficult.  As Petey drives us back to the condo, we put on some instrumentals and start freestyling.  I’ve been so lucky to have him as my manager — we’ve been friends ever since 2nd grade.

Cheyenne has dinner ready for us when we get back.  Steaks from the grill and corn on the cob, lathered with butter and salt.  Sunday is when I pay less attention to the healthiness of the foods I eat – it keeps me sane throughout the grueling week of workouts as I prepare for the upcoming season with the Frackers.  I check my U one more time before bed and set my alarm that is, in fact, embedded into my headboard.  730 AM it reads.  Time for another week to get better.  As a 31 year-old professional basketball player in the final year of his contract, I need a big year if I want to remain in the NBA and get another contract as a free agent when the year is over.

Then again, when I first signed with my agent over 10 years ago, he mentioned it wouldn’t be terrible if I went to Spain to play ball for the final couple years of my career.  Guess we’ll just have to find out.  ¡Buenas noches!

 

A day in my life (2023)


December 25, 2023.

3AM.

It is the early hours of Christmas morning. My alarm goes off – I know that I have to put the presents underneath the tree for the children. I turn to my husband and say in my cutest voice, “Honey, can you please do it? I will love you foreverrrrrr!” He grunts, gets out of bed, and starts bringing down the piles of presents. I turn over and quickly fall back asleep.

6AM.

“MOMMY, MOMMY!!,” my children scream as they burst into my bedroom, “WAKE UP IT’S CHRISTMAS!! SANTA WAS HERE!” My daughter is 6, and my son is 4.  I think to myself, “Wow, if only I still had that much energy. I can’t believe I am almost 32 years old.”

We are hosting my entire family at our new house in Charlotte, North Carolina. My husband was promoted a few years back, and we were finally able to buy our dream house. The one I had always imagined – red brick with black shutters. It has a large backyard for our two Labrador retrievers to run freely, and a giant swimming pool.

The pool is closed this time of year, of course. But even though it’s Christmas, there is no snow on the ground. I am starting to miss the snow. It always makes it feel a little more like Christmas when there is a blanket of white covering the yard.

The children run downstairs to find my parents already awake and sipping their coffee. Just like my mother had always done while I was growing up, I too have started the Christmas tradition of cooking a large Christmas breakfast for the family. My mom graciously helps me out. It is much easier to cook now then it was 10 years ago, considering my smart kitchen basically cooks the food for me. All we really need to do is press a couple of buttons indicating what we want, and in about 15 minutes, it is all ready.

Today, however, I was in the mood for some old-fashioned cooking. For the first time since my son was a baby I cooked from scratch! Aunt Jemima pancake mix, eggs, milk—mixed it all together and put it on the stove. My mom helped me flip the pancakes, since she has barely ever used her smart kitchen—the older generation is still stuck in their ways!!

Thank goodness for our housekeeper—we just got the new Nanny500! It is the first robot housekeeper on the market. Saves me so much hassle! I am just as lazy as I was back in college…

January 3, 2024.

8AM

Wow, I can’t believe it’s 2024! How time flies…back to work once again. I am the head exec of media relations for ESPNU. It is a sister network to ESPN dedicated to coverage of college athletics. Not only did I get a major pay raise when I switched to the company, but it is also headquartered in Charlotte (my dream town), which is one of the main reasons I took the job.

I pack my children their lunches, kiss my husband goodbye, and the three of us hop into my new Audi SUV. The great thing about this car is that it drives itself. I can’t believe that I actually used to have to pay attention when I was driving. Now I can catch up on work, sleep, or anything that I want really. Yep, the car handles the steering, gas, and brakes, with no input from the driver.

After a long day of work, I head on home to meet up with my personal trainer for a gym session over a new hologram interface system. It’s great! He can see me, and I can see him. It is exactly like being in the gym, except he can work with me from his house, and I can work out in the comfort of my own home. Life is so much easier now, I don’t know how it could ever get better than this!! Things really have changed since my college days.

jetsons

Dear Diary 4.23.23


Dear diary,

In a few minutes my family will be at my apartment to visit!  It’s been a few months since I last visited them, and I’m excited to see them for the next couple of days.  I already went shopping and checked off all of things on my to do list before they arrived: buy groceries, clean my apartment, and buy a new dress.  Here’s what my day looked like.

First I started with the groceries.  I had to wait in the car for over an hour, but at least I had the television on so I wasn’t bored.  The air conditioning is blasting since it is so hot outside.   I remember I kept looking at my watch, afraid I wouldn’t finish in time.  I love my new watch; it’s the apple one that is almost clear so it looks like you are not wearing anything on your wrist at all.  I slid my finger over the “slide to unlock” bar and play some music.

My car doesn’t have a radio since they are essentially obsolete.  Everything I could need, the news and my music is all in my watch, so I can take it anywhere.  It’s okay that I didn’t pay attention to the road, since my car is completely automatic.  When I enter my final location in the GPS it drives me to my destination without me having to use the steering wheel.

Once I arrived at the grocery store, I found a parking spot in front.  The minute I opened my car door, I was hit with a wave of heat.  It’s April, but its already 102 degrees.  I walked quickly into the grocery store, hoping to escape this extreme weather.  Once inside, I went over the mental list of grocery items in my head.  All of the food in sight organic, so I am able to find healthy options quickly.  I chose the food I know my family will enjoy, and then I went over to the pill section.

Although they are small, the meals as pills are a great way to get the nutrients I need.  Even better, I don’t have to prepare them and I don’t have to worry about calories.  The pills release different flavors that are close to the taste of real food.  I also don’t have to worry about preparing my meals or accidentally adding the wrong ingredient.  I have a great meal instantly that I know my parents will enjoy.  I purchased a few variations and paid in the front of the store.

After I got my meals in pill form, I drove to the clothing store to buy a new dress.  I didn’t have to worry about trying the clothing on, because there is an assimilated mirror that will show me what I will look like in the outfit without changing.  I picked out a few things, and saw how they look on me in the “mirror.”  It’s not exact, but it’s pretty similar to how I would look in the clothing if I had actually tried it on.  I chose the ones I liked best and paid automatically at the front desk.  There is no one there to ring me up, but one swipe with my credit card on the little machine is all it takes to purchase my dresses.

Since all my errands are done, I am now home.  I unpacked the pills and put on one of my new dresses.  I already cleaned my apartment and set up a guest room for when they arrive.

I just heard the doorbell!  I’ll write later.

Aim Higher


Hmmm, where will I be in 10 years?  Gosh, that’s a scary question.  As of this moment ten years is equivalent to half of my lifetime, and A LOT has changed since I was 12.  I guess my hope would be that I am either living in NYC or LA, with a family, and a career in fashion merchandising.  The following is a response to the question: Who are you now in comparison to who you were when you graduated college?

~~~

It’s 6:30am and I have just been jolted from my peaceful slumber by the loud siren that is my alarm clock.  Groggily I turn it off, although I would like to throw it across the room.  What ever happened to the days of “Mom, just five more minutes…”.  I guess that’s what happens when you grow up.  I am now (and have been for the last ten years) a real, live grown-up.  Yes, I was “technically” a grown-up in college, but not really.  Missing class isn’t like missing a day at work and now I have to juggle all of my own responsibilities on top of the responsibilities of my family.  Don’t get me wrong, it has been an incredibly empowering experience; however, I was shaking in my boots when I first took the reins that May of 2013.

Looking back on my life during that period I would have to say that my most significant accomplishment has been the creation of my own boutique retail business.  I have always been interested in fashion and attended a master’s program for design and strategic management just out of college before venturing into the professional world on my own.  While those two years of school were definitely challenging the experiences that I gained by interning at Valentino and Chanel were invaluable.  Armed  with this knowledge I was able to get a buying assistant position for a small line of boutiques located in New York, Los Angeles, Paris, and London.  For those first couple of years, I, like most young professionals just starting out, did not have the most glamorous job.  Yes, I helped pick out clothing that was to be sold in the store, but I also mastered the art of ordering coffee and scheduling appointments.  Hey, everyone’s got to start somewhere right?

Although, after a five at this company I was promoted to head buyer.  This was an enormous accomplishment.  I now had people running my errands (who would’ve thought!) and I was actually able to focus on the more interesting and creative sides of the business.  This is exactly what I had always wanted, to be able to pick out clothes for a living.  However, my ambitious appetite was not yet satiated.  I still longed to do more.  Coming from a long line of entrepreneurs I had always been told that I could do anything as long as I put my mind to it.  When I was a young girl I dreamed of owning my own line of boutiques, just like the one I was working for.  Yes, I was basically doing the same thing types of tasks at my current job but the company wasn’t mine.  It had not been built on my vision.  I found myself feeling stifled and as though there was something missing from my life.  This is when I decided to take my seven years of experience and start my own retail business.

Today, we currently have two locations, one in my home city of NYC and one in Boston.  While both stores are still young they appear to be flourishing and I am hopeful about the future.  Within the next five years we hope to be able to open at least two more locations, one in Los Angeles and one abroad (hopefully Paris!).  This whole experience has been such a journey for me.  I feel so lucky to be able to pursue my passion at this level.

However, my career is not the only thing that has changed since graduation.  Four years ago I married the love of my life.  We currently live in downtown Manhattan with our two dogs, but hopefully we will begin expanding our family very soon.  Both he and I have very busy work lives at the moment, which makes it difficult to contemplate the possibility of adding more responsibility/craziness to our lives.  I also hope to move out of the city and into the suburbs.  Being raised in a small town myself I have always envisioned raising a family in the country.  Don’t get me wrong I LOVE New York, but I don’t think that it is the best environment to raise children.

Well, there you have it, my life current life in a brief blurb.  A lot has changed since I accepted my diploma on May 19, 2013, but at heart I am still the same girl that refuses to take no for an answer.

Photo Credit:

Future City Life


drawing of futuristic city

April 23rd 2023

Today was an ordinary day for me. I woke up at 6 am after snoozing 5 alarms. Even though I am 30 years old, I am still not a morning person. My friends laugh at me for still using an old fashion alarm clock that runs on AA batteries. I like the simplicity of using an alarm clock even if it is outdated. Although I do use many of the new technological advances of this decade. When I roll out of bed, my feet are greeted by the feeling of the heated rug beneath them. Once of the best inventions in my opinion. My shower automatically turns on since I have the timer set at 6:10 am to the perfect temperature that I like it. After my shower, I go to my walk in closet and shuffle through my wardrobe using a digital screen on the wall. I finally settle on an outfit for work after a few minutes of shuffling. As I finish dolling myself up, my senses are filled with the smell of pancakes, eggs, and bacon coming from the downstairs. I walk downstairs to find my husband cooking breakfast and I think to myself thank god I married someone who can cook. The last time I tried to cook, I almost burned the kitchen down. I turn on the digital projection machine which basically is what people used to call a “television”, but now it is a digital screen on the wall above our stove. I browse through the channels while waiting for my breakfast to be finished. I flipped past all of the crap shows and eventually found a channel that had the Best of the 1999s program running. I started laughing to myself when I saw mp3 players, cds, and all of the outdated technology. DVDs and CDs are even outdated by six years now. All new music and movies get automatically downloaded to all of your devices after your pay for it.

After eating my delicious all organic breakfast, I drove to the train station so I am not late for work. I held up my train card and walked through an automatic security portal to make sure that I do not have anything dangerous in my possession. I take the high speed train because New York City passed a law a couple years ago that prohibited people to drive vehicles in the city.  The city was focusing on the problems of overpopulation and pollution that still plague the city. So many people flocked to the city over the past five years that the city need the room for new buildings. There are no more parking garages and the roads were constructed into small buildings. Now there are several high speed trains that run every five minutes from the suburbs into the city and make stops at every five blocks. People living in the city can only work or take a train to travel places. After New York City passed this law, people were either forced to sell their cars or have them stored outside of the city. Since I live on the outskirts of the city I only have the option to take the high speed train into the city. My husband luckily gets to drive his sporty car to work because he works outside of the city. Since these trains travel up to speeds of 200mph, I get to my stop in ten minutes. My work building is four blocks away, but thankfully it is a beautiful day out so I don’t mind walking. By eliminating cars in the city, people actually can smell the fresh air and hear themselves think. There is no more angry cab driver honking or the need to run across the street quickly before the light turns green. Crime rate has also decreased even though the population has majorly increased in NYC. Instead of dirty streets, there are small pathways for people to walk surrounded by green grass and water fountains. The city is so much cleaner and beautiful without cars and buses.

I arrive at my work, ESPN, where I work as a senior production manager in the NYC office. I just got the promotion a month ago so I still find myself working into the late hours of the night. I flash my employee badge as I walk through another automatic security portal. I ride the elevator up to the 78th floor of the building. Skyscrapers are even bigger now that I feel like I am on the level of clouds as I look out of my office. I am terrified of heights so I was scared as I moved from the 10th floor to the 78th floor when I got my promotion. Work was long and tiresome as I had so many meetings that I did not have time for lunch. By 6pm, I come to the realization that I will actually be able to get home at a decent time. I take the high speed train back to my town. I am thankful for the auto pilot button in my car because I can sleep and not worry about getting into an accident. The car automatically sets the route back to my house and I can sleep after a very exhausting day.