aging, bar life, lifestyle, marriage, Martha's Vineyard, reflection

a hazy summer

via L.A. Brown Photography/Martha’s Vineyard Magazine

How precious of me.

I thought I’d just spend my summer writing, while mulling over my journal at the beach, painting outdoors and hiking every trail with meditation walks on this lovely little island.  Sure, I’d fit in my social media duties and work, as well. It was going to be summer on the island, just like it used to be.

I knew it would get busy. I knew our little bar would get busy. I knew that the population of this island was going to grow by 100,000 tourists. I knew all of this.

But, wow.

At night, I take off my eye make-up with a slather of coconut oil and there is a moment of hazy blindness before I rinse if all off. (LivingLola beauty tip: Coconut Oil is like magic. You’re welcome.) This summer is that hazy blindness, except there is no rinsing off the cloudiness of the past eight weeks of crazy busy. It is all a blur.

I never expected to work this hard for a bar, of all things. But, I have to say, I have enjoyed the challenge.  It has been a good kind of getting-to-test-yourself kind of crazy. I think I may have even found my limit. So, I’ve got that now.

I look at what Larkin and I have built; the friendships that we are establishing, the life we are creating, the strides we are making.  Turning this little iconic 70-year-old bar into what we have coined, “the best little live dive on the rock”. LivingLolaFunFact: Many islanders refer to Martha’s Vineyard as “the rock”.

We are honored and humbled. Blessed with accolades, news articles, interviews and we even made the New York Times. Not bad for our first year. Larkin and I have a knack, a way of making things happen when we are both on the same page, in the zone. Our flow is amazing, almost a yellow brick road to success, as long as we are both headed in the same direction.

If either of us gets distracted or are not fully on board for a project, that is when we wobble, or worse, fall. I don’t mind falling. We are one bad ass team when it comes to getting back up. We’ve had our share of practice time in our 28 years together.

Now, we are in … Read the rest

inspiration, motherhood, parenting

twenty five

“Becoming a mother is life altering.” I hear that. I read that. I laugh at that.

Obviously, we are not talking breaking news here. Yes, becoming a mother alters you life. Forever.


“Alter” is nice, polite. A pleasant word for change; a slight, sweet modification, perhaps. The perfect dress that just needs to be slightly altered, a hem. Pin, tuck, sew. There…perfect. Altered.

In regards to pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood, “alter” is more of a tsunami in the Bermuda Triangle of physical body change, emotional mental upheaval and a soulful evolution that grounds your life’s existence on this planet.

Alter? That is precious, but it doesn’t even come close.

25 years ago today, my life was not altered. My life was shattered. Shattered into a million, brilliant beautiful pieces of light, that have since rained down over me, reflecting all that is good and true and funny and beautiful in this world.

A million, brilliant laughs with a million, brilliant happy tears.

A constant brilliant shower of an authenticity, a shining light that I had never known, yet recognized immediately. 

Strong, intelligent, beautiful, courageous, assured, nurturing, wise, creative and the funniest goddamned person I know.

Whatever she does, wherever she goes, she and I will always carry that moment inside us. When the million brilliant pieces of light shattered, rained down from the heavens, blew gracefully through the early morning warm summer Texas breeze and whispered, “mom”.

Happy Birthday, Jordan Adeline.

July 8, 2015

twenty five

Read the rest

bar life, empty nesters, marriage, Martha's Vineyard, poetry, The Ritz MV

dwell in this


Nothing brings Larkin and I closer, than working on accounting together. And, by closer, I mean closer to the “His and Hers” matching urns of our ashes, that may or may not be scattered in the same general vicinity, someday.

Working together, running a new business these past several months has been a dream come true except for the monthly dose of Quick Books nightmares. Nothing brings on a hot flash faster for me than an Excel Spreadsheet.

Him: How did you code that check? Me: Miscellaneous. (my favorite)  Him: You have to code it a specific expense.  Me: If I had wanted to be an accountant then, I would BE an accountant!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Yep. We are on our own now. No office support staff for L. No full-time housekeeper, helping me to make it all look effortless. It is just him and me, a mom and pop operation, sifting through bank statements, bills and receipts. Sitting at our computers and recounting the week’s sales and expenditures turns me into a 9 year old, trying to sit still in class.  

Me: Hey, look at this pic. Does this dress look blue or gold, to you?  Him: Get off Twitter! It’s blue. Focus!                                                                       

I want to write, paint, build, design, create, dance, sing, watch TCM or have a root canal and a mammogram at the same time. I do not want to work with numbers with my business partner in his work voice. There is a tone in his work voice that I do not care for. I prefer, husband voice.

It is hard to believe that we were once that suburban couple, raising kids in an affluent neighborhood. Our defined roles, so fortunately traditional. I was lucky to be a stay-at-home mom, carpooling to their private schools and volunteering on every committee to make sure that their childhoods were everything that a Disney Channel show promised. I cooked, baked and nurtured those little chickadees until they flew east for college, then migrated to the west for the beginning of the rest of their lives.

He ran the businesses, I ran the house. Our “work” paths never crossed.

The structure of our lives was so scheduled, planned and executed it almost seems impossible to me that we actually adhered to such a manicured time frame. I never overslept once. We lived well. We were happy. We acknowledged our success and fortuitous luck. … Read the rest

inspiration, Latina, television

diversity is golden

After a brief hiatus of, oh let’s see…seven months (!), I am happy to be back with a somewhat decent grasp of my time. Many of you know of our relocation to Martha’s Vineyard, where we have purchased an iconic dive bar/live music venue. Life just keeps getting more interesting. So, let’s get back to it.


A couple of years ago, my daughter was finishing up her Film and Television degree at Boston University. She shared with me a class discussion about our entering another “Golden Age” of television with HBO and Netflix productions gaining popularity. Having paid the BU tuition and knowing the full cost of said film degree, I took her word as well-educated gospel.

It was about that same time that our DVR started to fill up with episodes of “Homeland”, “The Newsroom”, “Parenthood” (highly underrated), “Downton Abbey”, etc. Terms like “binge watch” were spot on, as Larkin and I would look at each other, bleary eyed, after 4 hours of “House of Cards”… “One more?”, we’d beg each other in unison.

One of the golden elements of television now, is the fact that our favorite pastime is on our time. We decide when, how, where and even the device to watch our favorite shows. No planning your life around a TV schedule, just carefully navigating your Twitter feed for any spoilers.



For me, there is a much different “Golden Age” of television occurring with the parade of Hispanics and diversity marching across my screen in the CW’s “Jane the Virgin”. Holy Golden Brown Goodness!

Having a show like this on TV when I was a kid, would’ve been a game changer. (Not to mention a brown Barbie doll, but that’s another post.)

I remember a story Oprah Winfrey recounted from her childhood, when she saw Diana Ross and the Supremes on TV. She and her friends yelled from house to house, “Black people on TV! Black people on TV!”

I could so relate to this.

As a little girl in 1974, it was my starry-eyed dream to be on TV. But, there wasn’t anyone who looked like me on that big, console screen. On any of the four channels. I remember being thankful that I had a distant second cousin that mildly resembled Tony Orlando.

Where were all the brown skinned, doe-eyed girls like me?

Fast forward to the 80’s and my days of … Read the rest

inspiration, lifestyle, Uncategorized

10 life lessons from Katharine Hepburn

(edited from a previous post, August 2012)


The Tao of Hepburn~ 10 Life Lessons from Katharine Hepburn 

“If you always do what interests you, at least one person is pleased.” Finding your passion and making it your life’s work is a choice, your choice.

“Life is to be lived. If you have to support yourself, you had bloody well better find some way that is going to be interesting. And you don’t do that by sitting around.” Do not stand on the sidelines and wait for someone to put you in the game. You are the quarterback of your life.

“I never lose sight of the fact that just being is fun.” Every day, every minute, each mundane moment is a chance to create. You can conjure up boredom and complacency or you can make magic. It is all on you.

“Being a housewife and a mother is the biggest job in the world, but if it doesn’t interest you, don’t do it – I would have made a terrible mother.” If you choose the mission, then give it your all without demanding anything in return. Grow respect by mothering from a place of love, not expectation. Nurture, guide and teach by example, without criticism. If you choose to forgo motherhood, see the following….

“Never complain. Never explain.” Do not ever give someone the power to make you feel guilty for your choices. You are on your path, living your life. Stand tall by your convictions and let your actions define your character.

“We are taught you must blame your father, your sisters, your brothers, the school, the teachers – but never blame yourself. It’s never your fault. But it’s always your fault, because if you wanted to change you’re the one who has got to change.” Go ahead and pay the therapist your hard-earned money, get your parental angst off your chest. Now, get over it. Parents do the best they can with what they have. It is called the past for a reason. It has passed. Kick it into high gear and move forward. It didn’t kill you, it made you stronger.

“Without discipline, there’s no life at all.” Either you do it or you don’t. If you cannot apply discipline to your studies, your workout, your health, your screenplay, your marriage, your child rearing, your job, your finances, your blog, your novel, then, you will never achieve … Read the rest

aging, inspiration, motivation, poetry

at 48

“You can settle for reality, or you can go off, like a fool, and dream another dream.”

Heartburn (Nora Ephron)




I continue to choose “fool”

Always dreaming

I believe in now

Enjoying the adventure

I believe in next

Creating the new project

Never settle

Push the envelope

I am the little engine that CAN

“I know I can. Hell, yeah I can”


I stumble

I break

I get up


I laugh

I laugh even more

Then, again






See it



Make it happen





This is how I do


books, inspiration

“the opposite of loneliness”


“The Opposite of Loneliness” by Marina Keegan

“An affecting and hope-filled posthumous collection of essays and stories from the talented young Yale graduate whose title essay captured the world’s attention in 2012 and turned her into an icon for her generation.

Marina Keegan’s star was on the rise when she graduated magna cum laude from Yale in May 2012. She had a play that was to be produced at the New York International Fringe Festival and a job waiting for her at the New Yorker. Tragically, five days after graduation, Marina died in a car crash.

As her family, friends, and classmates, deep in grief, joined to create a memorial service for Marina, her unforgettable last essay for the Yale Daily News, “The Opposite of Loneliness,” went viral, receiving more than 1.4 million hits. She had struck a chord.” -Amazon Books

I was on Martha’s Vineyard, two years ago, when I first heard about Marina Keegan’s tragic accident on Cape Cod. There were several elements of this story that hit too close to home. The accident itself happened close by and flooded our local news. Additionally, she radiated all the hopes, dreams and spirit of my own daughter; only a year younger than Marina in 2012. They possessed that end of college sensation that anything and all is possible. “We are so young.”

I read “The Opposite of Loneliness”, a collection of her essays and stories, this past week. As graduation season approaches, this makes for a perfect gift for the young adult reader. (Sans vampires or nether world killing games.) The essays are funny, poignant, self-aware, refreshing and above all, well written. It does yank at your heart, as we will never hear from Ms. Keegan again.

I admire her parents and teachers, for pouring over her work and not changing or revising one single word. They allowed us to “see” their daughter. Their absolutely normal, spirited, fiery college aged daughter. They let her be…well, real. They could have easily sanitized a few sentences in her fiction, made her more prosaic. Given us the literary airbrushed version of Marina. Instead, they honored her talent and granted readers the chance to know their daughter.

To me, her pages echo a voice of both of a young woman wise beyond her years along with the spirit and idealism of a young child. Believing in the power of her words to inspire … Read the rest

friends, lifestyle, movies, travel

an open letter of thanks



Dear Mr. Osborne, Mr. Mankiewicz, TCM Staff, Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, TCM Party and many distinguished guests:

I cannot thank you enough for your gracious hospitality and entertainment this past weekend at the 5th annual Turner Classic Film Festival. As this was only my second year to attend, I am fully confident that I will be attending every year, as this is one hell of a party.

Hosts Robert Osborne and Ben Mankiewicz, you were gracious, patient and truly engaged with all the guests, those famous and those famous in our own minds. The entire TCM staff, from producers to greeters, were genuine and really looked happy to be working. If this was not the case, perhaps you should consider work in front of the camera, because you were all very believable. Everyone received equal celebrity status treatment.

The Roosevelt staff, under pressure from the onslaught of guests requesting changes of rooms due to construction and early arrivals remained graceful and collected. The hotel itself is an homage to a more graceful and elegant era. You provided the staff to back those images up and it did feel like “Old Hollywood” rekindled.

Film screening poolside at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel
Film screening poolside at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel

Many classic and current film stars showed up to support the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Turner Classic Film channel. Every one of them looked out to our applause with humility, mutual admiration and style. They made us laugh and they made us cry. They reminded us of why we traverse from all over the country to see these classic films on the big screen.

Alec Baldwin with Don Was intro "A Hard Day's Night" Illeana Douglas interviews Richard Dreyfuss
Alec Baldwin with Don Was intro “A Hard Day’s Night”
Illeana Douglas interviews Richard Dreyfuss
Ben & Jerry (see what I did there) Ben Mankiewicz interviews the legendary Jerry Lewis
Ben & Jerry (see what I did there)
Ben Mankiewicz interviews the legendary Jerry Lewis

 Finally, I offer my full gratitude to my #TCMParty pals. I am not yet a seasoned veteran of the festival, and still easing into the marathon of movies. But, this I know is true: there is just something special between this group of “friends” that see each other once a year and are pretty damned excited about it. Some of you, I finally met after years of tweeting back and forth. We are not strangers at all, just like-minded people with a passion for old movies, the strong link in our social media friendships.  It doesn’t matter where you come from, … Read the rest

friends, health, home, lifestyle

soulful spring cleanse


I’ve done nothing but clean, cull and move since January! I am so over it. So, I’m offering up a different kind of spring cleaning. You know how I love to be different.

The Windows=Attitude.

How do you see the world? Your world? This is all you; your attitude. Do you need an attitude cleanse? A cold, long winter can build up feelings of inner despair. All that hunkering down with comfort food because you “deserve it”, because your job is miserable, your relationship isn’t what you hoped, “True Detective” is over…whatever the reason. This I know is true: YOU are in control of your attitude. Guaranteed change only comes with change in you. Let’s Windex that attitude for the season and see what good energy reflects back your way.

What you send out through social media says a lot about your “window”, as well. (No, not that your hand on your hip makes your arm look thinner…we get it.) Are you sending out solutions or are you adding to the noise? Are you a hater or are you an inspiration to others? If someone were to pull up your “feed”, what are you serving up?

The Baseboards=Relationships

We all need a support group. Maybe not in a fluorescent lit room, in a circle of chairs, jones-ing for a cigarette, but a group of friends that support YOU, no matter what, without question, James Taylor/Carole King style: you just call out their name and they are there.

I wouldn’t have the gumption to write, live big or simply survive without my Scrabble girls. We started getting together for speed Scrabble, 10 years ago, but, then it became oh, so much more. We have gone through life and death together. We have prayed desperately together, we have traveled together. We have cried together. And, my God, have we laughed together. As we recently reminded each other, our friendship is based on absolute acceptance. We never have to apologize for ourselves when life gets in the way of our time together. True friendship should never be taken for granted, and the care and keeping of these special friends is vital.

I have a group on Twitter that shares a passion and love for classic film. I love when I have free evening, turn on Turner Classic, open my Twitter feed and instantly we are all together; offering trivia, critiques and laughter … Read the rest

lifestyle, motivation

“show me how big your brave is”

Don’t tell me this commercial hasn’t stopped you in your tracks. If perchance, you are fast forwarding through your commercials, grab a tissue and behold.

That’s some powerful sh*t, Microsoft, as I type on my MacBook. 

BRAVE. What a great word, not just for 2014 as a whole, but for every single day ahead that will create your 2014. What are you facing? Big decisions? Uncertainty? Are you consumed with doubt? Are you scared?

I usually have a pretty good January plan for mapping out my year, but this year’s calendar? Pfft. I couldn’t tell you where I’ll be at any give month, or what I’ll even be doing. I can’t begin to summon a picture of what life will look like over the next 12 months.

At some point, we will be moving. At some point, I may start a business. At some point, I’ll be on Martha’s Vineyard. There is so much up in the air. But, this is the chaos of unmade plans that create adventure and experience and maybe therapy, who knows?!

All I know for sure is that I will make it awesome. I will celebrate 25 years of marriage in February. I will be at the TCM Film Festival in April. I will cheer on my four successful kids, in four different states, tirelessly from wherever I may be.

And, I won’t hold back.

I’m going full-out brave. Let me know ‘how big your brave is’.


Huzzah, Sara Bareilles, for providing the perfect soundtrack to accompany the brave choices we all have to make.  C’mon! Blog Karaoke! Everybody, sing along. No one’s watching. And if they are, who cares. BE BRAVE!


You can be amazing
You can turn a phrase into a weapon or a drug
You can be the outcast
Or be the backlash of somebody’s lack of love
Or you can start speaking up
Nothing’s gonna hurt you the way that words do
When they settle ‘neath your skin
Kept on the inside and no sunlight
Sometimes a shadow wins
But I wonder what would happen if you

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see youRead the rest