Posted by: Joelle Burnette | October 23, 2011

Just a taste of confidence

Rachel Maddow on "Real Time with Bill Maher"

It’s Sunday and I’m watching HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” in the morning because if I watch it late Friday night as intended, I generally fall asleep during the middle section while show guests discuss the news and issues from the week. It has nothing to do with the content, only general exhaustion.

For those who don’t (or refuse) to watch his wonderful, insightful and, at times, hysterical show, his format is to interview one person in the beginning before having a longer discussion with a panel of three or four people (writers, politicians, bloggers, news representatives, actors, etc.), then finishing up with a segment he calls, “New Rules.”

Unfortunately, after a long week, the droning of people talking on television will put me to sleep. Therefore, my favorite time to watch is in the morning during the weekend.

This week, Rachel Maddow was on the panel. I adore her. She is so very smart, strong and talented and doesn’t take crap from narcissistic politicians she interviews for her own show. She knows her shit and isn’t afraid to call you out on issues, and so on. She has wonderful wit and sarcasm.

Mark walked into the kitchen while Bill was interviewing his first guest. I started bitching about the Sunday paper. Not only did the paper give writer’s credit for one of my stories to another woman, instead of running another of my stories about an event happening in town this week, the paper opted to feature a condo that sold.

“I already know I’m a little fish in a big pond, but whenever they or I fuck up on something, how many thousands of people see it? It’s not like I work in a job where only my boss and a few people notice a fuckup. If there’s a mistake made, potentially, a quarter-million people see it,” I bitched to Mark. “That’s a little intimidating.”

“Yeah, I know,” responded my television-news-director husband. “When something goes wrong with a show, millions of people see my mistake.”

My husband has won two EMMYs, but everyone is human and we all fuck up sometimes.

Showing on the TV, Bill introduces this week’s panel and I noticed Rachel is on the show. Of course, I got all excited.

“Oh, I love it when she is on the show,” I told Mark.

“I know you do,” he responded.

“She’s my hero.” He knows that, too.

“I wish I had 50 percent of her confidence.” I think about that figure for a moment before adding, “or maybe like 10 percent.” Nope; too much. “Okay, maybe like five percent. Yeah. I’d be lucky to have at least five percent of her confidence.”

I think about what I’ve just said and how pathetic it sounds.

“Damn, I’m not even confident enough to consider wishing for her confidence. How fucked up is that?”

Marks laughs at my comment. He refers back to a video I told him to watch on YouTube about Rex Pickett who wrote the book, “Sideways,” that was turned into an award-winning film (I should be so lucky). The “Miles” character is Pickett and they perfectly cast Paul Giamatti to play him in the film. They sound alike.

“Damn. Are all writers as messed up as you are?” asked my husband. “It’s like when that guy (Miles in the movie) says, ‘I’m so insignificant, I can’t even kill myself.’”

After seeing Pickett’s video, I shared it on Facebook and wrote, “I am (nearly) the female version of this guy. Fu*@!ng success is right around the corner.” Why nearly? I’ve got to finish my fucking book and get it published.

Check out Pickett’s video:


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