Category: books

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

books, motherhood, parenting

the end of teenager-dom





The Boy turned 20 this week. My baby is 20.

Just like when I turned 30. 40. Reflection is inevitable.

Larkin and I have had more than the lion’s share of teenager-dom. 17 years. 17 years straight of raising crazy, wonderful, lying, beautiful, self-centered, manipulative teenagers. As Jordan aptly replied, “Puh, teenagers…they’re the worst.” Right?!

I see them. My contemporaries. Celebrities and dignitaries my age. Damn, they look good. But, did they have to raise teenagers for 17 straight years?! I am making frown lines on my brow, as I type.

When you hold those babies in the hospital, gently brushing their faces with the scant wisp of your forefinger, you never imagine the teenage years. The time period in which you will become the un-coolest, dumbest, “you don’t understand” version of your parents. Simpletons, really, just trying to manage on the same planet with the mood-changing creatures you created. A creation you honestly question a few times as they change plans, yet again, miss curfew or simply roll their eyes for the umpteenth time.

Tick, tock. The bells toll.





Joshua is 20. He is filled with a wisdom and a deep soul that I have seen before. He is swimming the pools of his father’s waters. I am in awe. Cautiously optimistic, yet still in awe.

Jordan, graduated from Boston University. Moving to L.A. Headed to Hollywood with determination, wit and wisdom, far beyond her years. Strength and grace. She is simply amazing.

Nicole, an entrepreneurial success, just like her dad. A talented, creative photographer in Austin. Making her own magic happen.

Monica, our oldest. Determined, charging her path, claiming her career as a successful Houston lawyer. Never doubted it for a minute.

Together, the four of them, all in their 20’s. (At least for a few month’s anyway.) Each live in a different city, across 3 states. One goes down, the other three rally. They are lucky. We are lucky. And grateful.

Dear Children,

I raise my glass to the four of you. We made it. You grew up. You matured and/or are maturing. Each of you, your own pace. I won’t name names.

Thank God you are not the same kids you were from 1996-2013. May those goofy, clueless, lovable souls live on, deep within your hearts. Personally, I hold every one of those stay up all night and worry years, Read the rest

books, cocktails, lifestyle, Martha's Vineyard, movies

TCM Tuesday June 5th

It is a very blustery evening as I write. The wind is howling and there has been an unrelenting light rain all day. This is the weather forecast for the island for the next few days. I have plenty of food and provisions. And, I have plenty of DVR material to catch up on. I actually love this weather and I am looking forward to writing and catching up with the blog.

Here are my picks for this week, including one of my favorite films of all time, “Jezebel” with Bette Davis. It is the feature this week on TCM’s The Essentials. It’s going to be a good week.


Tuesday June 5th


2:00 AM


A black police detective from the North forces a bigoted Southern sheriff to accept his help with a murder investigation.

Dir: Norman Jewison Cast: Sidney Poitier, Rod Steiger, Warren Oates

C-110 mins, TV-14, CC, Letterbox Format

While many movies attempt to show an honest narrative of racism in our modern history, they fall short when trying to appease a PC status quo. This Oscar-winning screenplay is brilliant for showing that racial tensions could be more than one-sided. Released in 1967, many viewed this as a timely film. But, let’s be honest, it is still timely today. This movie still stands as a timeless classic. Steiger won the Best Actor Oscar; the film, Best Picture. The Oscars were actually postponed that year for several days, due to the assassination of Martin Luther King. Sidney Poitier has often said this is his favorite movie. “They call me Mr. Tibbs!” is 16th in AFI’s greatest movie lines.

Thursday June 7th

8:00 PM


After learning to play the guitar in prison, a young man becomes a rock ‘n roll sensation.

Dir: Richard Thorpe Cast:  Elvis Presley, Judy Tyler, Mickey Shaughnessy

BW-96 mins, TV-G, CC, Letterbox Format

Dance Alert! Elvis’ un-credited choreography for the song “Jailhouse Rock” is absolutely brilliant. He made it up on the spot, after the film’s choreographer realized that Elvis was not a professionally trained classical dancer. Gene Kelley was on set to watch Elvis film his most famous dance number. Sadly, Elvis refused to watch this movie because of the tragic death of Judy Tyler, just three days after filming was completed.

Friday June 8th

8:00 PM


A serial killer … Read the rest

books, home, lifestyle

The Art of the Gift- A Guide

The month of May always brings an onslaught of gift giving necessities with Mother’s Day, graduations and June brides. In our family, we even have several May birthdays compounded with Mother’s Day. I always refer to the second week in May, lovingly, of course, as “Hell Week”.

Here are some suggestions I have come across in my online search for mothers, grads, brides and birthdays.




Whether High School or College, I think The Every Girl’s Guide to Life by Maria Menounos is an exceptional gift. Her book is brimming with small the details that we have tried to instill in our daughters, but in that un-nagging, not bitchy, cool-big-sister sort of way.

She is not only a beautiful girl on the outside, but she lives her life from a unique, calm, beautiful center and her inner beauty is just as stunning.

Her advice, tips and ideas are brilliant and savvy for a young woman getting ready to conquer her world.




Since my first home is Texas, I will give a shout out to the King Ranch Saddle Shop for the perfect Texas Grad guy gift. They have an array of gorgeous, quality leather goods in a variety of price ranges. Their luggage is stunning, yet very practical. This would be an awesome gift for a Texas student going out a state. Classic and understated; proud to be a Texan.



If you are not a Texan, first of all, my apologies. Second, I will throw a little support to my island home, Martha’s Vineyard. Vineyard Vines has an amazing on-line catalog with great gift ideas that make shopping a breeze. They have a huge selection of collegiate  ties and tote bags, so your student can fashionably show support for their favorite school or alma mater.



Sure, couples make it so easy by registering for all of the things they think they are going to need. But, when there is that special couple and you want to give that special gift, one word: Tiffany’s.

When Larkin and I registered, we were that typical couple in ‘la la love land’ …clueless. Of course, I was 22 and did not really have a sense yet, as to what my home decor style was going to be. I just knew I wouldn’t be able to tack up posters on the wall anymore.

From … Read the rest

books, lifestyle

are you reading that book?

It’s Friday!  After a nice week of birthday celebration, it’s back to business.

Are you reading Fifty Shades of Grey? I am planning on starting it this weekend. In comparison, I’m late to the party, I know. But, everywhere I go, I hear women talking about this book. I feel like I HAVE to read it, now. It reminds me of the fifth grade when you had to keep up with Judy Blume books, just so you knew all of the important stuff, like, “the bases”.

Let me know your thoughts, opinions. I’d love to hear what some of my like minded women (& men!) are thinking about this read. It will be like our own little blog book club.

Since it’s Friday, here is a little laughter to get the weekend started. Enjoy!

Read the rest