O Captain! My Captain!

posted by Momo Fali on August 11, 2014

When I was a teenager my life was, quite frankly, a mess. I won’t go into details, because that isn’t what matters now. What I will say is that I was existing, but not living or experiencing much beauty. I felt unloved, I was in an abusive relationship, and had a lot on my plate. Depression is a terrible, debilitating beast and I found myself deep in its clutches.

I managed to climb out with the help of three things; a great teacher, extended family and, you may not believe this, but it’s true, Dead Poet’s Society.

The words of my English teacher, “…you write well” were still fresh in my mind when I saw that movie and I witnessed characters on the screen who were so much like me. They were young, struggling and in pain, but great writing and a teacher sparked something in them that they didn’t know existed.

My first English essay in college began with a quote from Dead Poet’s Society. I still remember handing in the paper, fresh from the dot-matrix printer, and feeling confident about my written words. I don’t know if I would have been able to write anything were it not for that film and the inspiration it gave me.

There is a scene in that movie where a character, Neil, commits suicide and I remember the sheer pain expressed by the actors who played his parents as they run into the room and find him lying dead. I remember thinking how much someone would have to be suffering to knowingly cause their loved ones that kind of devastation.

I am feeling such twisted emotions over the loss of Robin Williams. I am heartbroken that he was tortured by depression, I am saddened that we will no longer be entertained by his genius, and I am so grateful that he made a movie that touched me in such a tremendous way. Rest peacefully, my Captain.


O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
                         But O heart! heart! heart!
                            O the bleeding drops of red,
                               Where on the deck my Captain lies,
                                  Fallen cold and dead.
O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
                         Here Captain! dear father!
                            The arm beneath your head!
                               It is some dream that on the deck,
                                 You’ve fallen cold and dead.
My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still,
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will,
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
                         Exult O shores, and ring O bells!
                            But I with mournful tread,
                               Walk the deck my Captain lies,
                                  Fallen cold and dead. -Walt Whitman

Free Weight

posted by Momo Fali on July 31, 2014

At the BlogHer ’14 Closing Party last Saturday night, I was in the front row when Rev Run from Run-D.M.C. took the stage. Sure, I’m white with size 11 feet which make it impossible to dance without tripping over myself and it’s true that the front row should have probably been reserved for attendees and not employees, but I also know that life is short and opportunities to be sweat upon by one of the pioneers of rap don’t happen very often. If at all.

rev run

I also laid down on the floor in the middle of the Expo Hall with a dog from Pets Add Life. You know why? Because pets add life. I don’t have a picture of the dog because two days later I had to FEVERISHLY delete pictures and video from my phone to make room for pictures and video of Justin Timberlake. As my friend Melisa says, “I see where your priorities are.”

Justin 3

Objects are closer than they appear.


So close, yet so far.

Justin 2


In the last week, I sipped sangria under the setting sun and the Santa Cruz mountains, took a road-trip with my daughter, spent time with wonderful friends and inspirational writers, and took a beautiful walk with my son. I also drank a Sonic slush with Nerds in it. Hashtag, livin’ large.


I also had a pretty rough, emotional breakdown.

Yesterday my Zoloft was all, “I don’t THINK so” and I spent a good portion of the day crying and wishing I could crawl into bed and wake up to find all my problems solved. Luckily, I have children who kind of still need me to take them places, a puppy who is relentless about needing to pee, and work deadlines that kept me from lying in a horizontal position all day.

I also have a husband who, despite his own frustrations, called me and told me to meet him at the gym and a trainer who would not take no for an answer. Those two guys, and a whole lot of free-weights, pulled me from the depths. I showed up at the gym a swollen, red, splotch-faced mess, but I haven’t shed a tear since my first set of exercises last night.

There were times yesterday when I felt like I couldn’t put one foot in front of the other, but I did. Lunge-style. I can’t tell you how my mind and body are connected, but they most definitely are.

What I can tell you is that this living life to the fullest thing? It’s exhausting. I don’t know who would imagine that physically exhausting yourself MORE is the answer, but for me it is.

Now I know the next time I feel that down, all I need to do is get up. I’m not saying that it’s easy and I’m not saying this will work for you. But, me? I’ll take anything that lets me keep making memories. Me and my Adidas have things to do.

Writer’s Block Does Not Exist

posted by Momo Fali on July 15, 2014

I am coming on here to tell you what a friend told me today; writer’s block does not exist. Elan said on Twitter that “…if you can say a sentence, you can write one.” So I’m here with nothing planned but what flows from my fingertips. This post is probably going to turn out to be what we call verbal diarrhea.

I certainly have no shortage of sentences to say. I talk on the phone for work, I tweet a lot and the conversations I have with my kids, alone, are enough to fill the pages of a book each day. Someone recently told me that mosquitoes are attracted to the carbon dioxide we emit, which would scientifically connect my numerous bites to my rambling mouth. Pass the Benadryl.

Oh, and the stories I have in my head! I have books and screenplays rolling around; their characters quite fully developed. But they, along with most of my words, get lost because I don’t make the time to write them down. I schedule time to go to the gym, since my DVT diagnosis I’ve been forcing myself to walk almost every day, I find the hours needed to cook, clean, and do laundry, and it’s high-time I set aside time to write.

Of course, I choose to make this statement just nine days before BlogHer ’14, the largest social media conference for women in the world…oh, and I MANAGE THEIR SOCIAL MEDIA. And, are you ready for this? We’re very seriously considering moving from the house where we’ve lived for 17 years so we can enroll our son in a different school district. I can’t think of a more perfect time to commit to more writing! Can you?

So, you see? I thought I had writer’s block, but it wasn’t that at all. It’s time block. Elan was right. I have the words. I just can’t spare a minute to share them.

I’ll Give You a Hint – It’s Mine

posted by Momo Fali on July 2, 2014

Anyone want to guess whose puppy ran across the neighbor’s freshly tarred driveway?