all because of gray

Monarch dreams do come true for us commoners. I have just become an AMBASSADOR. And, no, it’s not from binge watching “The Crown.” Twice.

But it’s true – I am working alongside India Hicks. India is a designer with royal roots. If you’re a royal fanatic, you may remember her as one of Princess Diana’s bridesmaids in that fab ‘80s dress. She’s also the daughter of David Hicks, so if you’re design-obsessed like me, you can already envision her style sense.

India is authentic, hilarious, and smart. She has made her home out of the limelight, on a tiny island in the Bahamas, and with her significant other, raised 5 children without the fanfare of the life she grew up in while keeping her feet firmly rooted in the sand.

From here she has built a company that encourages women to stand on their own two feet and to build a business in their own time, on their own terms. She is entirely earnest and sincere in her mission to create a tribe of entrepreneurial women.

Now that I have assisted Larkin with getting The Ritz MV up and going these past two years, I have really been feeling like I needed something for me. The bar business is his thing, and it has been an *adventure working alongside him. (*see previous posts if you’re interested in my definition of “adventure”)

I knew that the right thing would come along for me, at the right time…my own adventure. 2017 was going to be different. For one, there wasn’t anything big on the books for me; like a wedding to plan, a home remodel or a big move across the country. I was committed to searching out what I needed to do for ME, in my 50th year.

For starters and much to the chagrin of a few Texas friends, I decided to let my hair go gray, after my daughter Jordan’s wedding in October. I just felt that for me, coloring this mane every two weeks was a ridiculous waste of time, energy, money, etc. So, I hit up Pinterest, watched DIY videos, pinned a few hundred pics and found one woman in particular that spoke to me. Her blog and Instagram feed are very inspiring. https://www.instagram.com/annikavonholdt/

I kept sharing the photos with Larkin, who was very supportive of my decision, by the way, although I think he secretly worried that my following and liking of all things Annika, I might be a borderline stalker. However, he did notice that she posted a lot of pictures from a beautiful beach on Harbour Island. I noticed that we shared a common follow: @IndiaHicksStyle.

That same week, as I was semi-stalking my gray-haired spirit animal, Netflix released “The Crown.” Larkin was working in Houston, so I had the luxury of binge watching the series, in front of a cozy fire here on the Vineyard. Now, when I watch a movie or TV series, I have the IMDb page pulled up on my phone and Wikipedia at the ready. I am one informed viewer. While watching episode 2, I looked up the name “Mountbatten” and the first thing that came up? India Hicks. And where does she live? Harbour Island.  And what did Larkin give me for Christmas? A trip to Harbour Island.

I love when the universe speaks to you, personally. Even better when she shouts.

So here I go, Ambassador for India Hicks Style, reporting for duty!

I would love to share the collection of lifestyle products with anyone who would like to see them. They are exceptionally crafted but very affordable. India understands that not everyone’s grandfather was the Viceroy to India, or is Prince Charles’ goddaughter, yet they still want and deserve beautiful, well-designed things. (Personally, I would love a crown.)

My blog and social media accounts will have the link to our collection, and you can shop from the comfort of your home, at any time. For my friends on Martha’s Vineyard, I do hope you will call, email, message me and come take a look because the products have FAR exceeded my expectations. I can happily bring the collection to you, and we can make a party of it, at your home—I’ll even bring wine! Pop-shops, trunk shows; let’s make it happen.

I will be having a launch party at the end of the month, celebrating this partnership of island style with India, christened with a little bubbly toast to this new adventure.

In the meantime, please take a look at my India Hicks website: https://www.indiahicks.com/rep/JacquelineStallings to check out this gorgeous collection.

Gray hair, new adventure—-this is on!

Ps: Thank you for the inspiration, Annika.

a hazy summer

BestoftheVineyard
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 the home stretch of tourist season. Labor Day is a week away and I can even feel a cool, pumpkin spiced breeze outside this morning, as I write. Before you know it, Summer 2015 will be in the books as our first full summer in business.

Remarkably, after all this time, we continue to learn more about each other. New strengths, weaknesses, likes, and dislikes. Talents that we had never expressed and abilities that we learned together and tested our character and values along the way. Hey, you CAN teach an old dog new tricks!

 When the going felt wobbly, we wobbled right over to the beach; even just to watch a sunset. Above all, we learned how to stop and look around. We get to live in one of the most beautiful places in the world. This is why we live here. There is so much to take in and we want to make sure we remind each other to do just that.

We work from home. Together. Every day.

It’s good for us to get out of the cottage/office and go somewhere else to unwind and reconnect.

At the beach, we’ve discovered that everything immediately seems positive, feels less overwhelming and is calming and rejuvenating, at the same time. We are able to check ourselves that indeed, we are still in the zone, together. I believe that this is key to a happy marriage. (Ahem, are my two brides-to-be reading this?)

I have been coming to MV since the 90’s, and this Gulf Coast girl had NEVER been in the Atlantic until this summer. I’ve discovered I love swimming in the ocean. Yes, I know that this is where “Jaws” was filmed. Floating, looking up at the vast blue sky puts all the stress and hard work into perspective.

Just another item in the something new and different column that I have learned about myself. It has made me think, what else am I going to learn to love? Learn to do? I am 9 months away from turning 50. It’s invigorating to think that there is still so much to learn, more to do, more to BE.

A Whole New Me to Be!  Kind of sounds like an undiscovered Dr. Seuss book.

So, what did you learn over your summer vacation?

Isaktashmooquote

Oh, and I learned to do graphic art, too.

10 life lessons from Katharine Hepburn

(edited from a previous post, August 2012)

hepburn2

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 the success that will create happiness and security which, in turn, will cause you to feel doubt, fear and depression and, yes, that is “no life at all.”

“If you want to change attitudes, start with a change in behavior.” Your attitude is your superpower. You choose good or evil. Positive behavior creates a magical life, negative behavior fills your days with chaos and drama. Again, it is your choice.

“If you need a helping hand, you can find one at the end of your arm.” Roll up your sleeves and get it done. Especially if you want it done right. Nothing worth anything is easy, remember…

“Life is hard, after all, it kills you.” As long as you draw breath, draw breadth. Leave this earth knowing you worked hard, you played hard, you loved hard and you lived hard. This is your one life. Don’t hold back.

Be like Katharine.

 

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, simply hashtag tcmparty and you’re in; our secret handshake, not so secret.

@AlanHait @CitizenScreen @IrishJayhawk66 @willmckinley @joelwilliams1 @MonsterResort @NitrateDiva @TCM_Party @cinebeth
@AlanHait @TheDarkPages @CitizenScreen @IrishJayhawk66 @willmckinley @joelwilliams @MonsterResort @NitrateDiva @TCM_Party @cinebeth

There is definitely a feeling of melancholy that April 2015 is now so far away. But, in the meantime, I’ve got TCM on the television as I write and Twitter at the ready. Robert, Ben and the gang all ready to just hang-out together online, until next year. The only thing missing is my own, personal Roosevelt staff. *sigh*

 Fondly,

                                       Jackie Stallings

this is "living lola"
this is “living lola”

soulful spring cleanse

via dawnontheville.wordpress.com

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 from all over the planet. Luckily, many of us will converge in Los Angeles next month for the TCM Film Festival; finally meeting some new faces and seeing others for our once a year blow-out.  Now, obviously this is more of a theoretical baseboard, but during moments of solitude or insomnia, I assure you, “they are real and they are spectacular”. I can always count on TCMParty.

Step out into the sunlight. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there to search out and develop strong, empowering friendships with like-minded people.

The Junk Drawer=Procrastination

What holds you back from making those little, everyday decisions? Turning the report in on time, getting bills paid, cleaning out the emails, starting that DIY Pinterest project, signing up for that yoga class, healthy eating, exercising, etc? Procrastination.

Not going to write much on this, let’s not waste one more moment on it.

Pull that drawer out and dump it. Today is a new day. It is so easy to accumulate that junk drawer of excuses; all those lame little reasons for not getting started. You’ve always wanted to (insert exciting endeavor) So, go do it, already!

images

Your Closet=Life Changes & Letting Go

What, who are you needing to let go of to make the big decisions. What is holding you back from the life change you know you want? It’s just like those jeans you can’t throw away, because you swear you’re going to fit into them again. Look, I believe you will fit into them again, I really do. But, regardless of being a size whatever again, those stonewash, pleated jeans aren’t going to look good on anybody! You’re going to want new jeans!  If it doesn’t make you feel beautiful, pitch it. You have to clear out to make room for the new and improved.

If you have people in your life that don’t make you feel beautiful, well, pitch them. Those “friends” that pay back-handed compliments, talk behind your back, gossip and silently resent your life, have to go. It doesn’t have to be a dramatic Bette Davis scene with yelling and screaming. Just let them gently go. You don’t have to take those drunk dials in the middle of the night. You deserve better than that guy that pops in, conveniently at 2:20am, after the bars have closed. You most certainly do not need anyone manipulating your time, your life, your well-being.

It is time to let go of anyone that you cannot trust. Love, business, friendships, partnerships; trust is key. Without it, you have nothing. Let go and make room for the trusting, loving, healthy relationships that you deserve. Holding on to toxic, untrustworthy people is like holding on to a closet full of stonewashed mom jeans. Not good for anybody.

i_ve_got_your_back____by_shutter_shooter-d4vvxv1

The Fridge=Health & Prosperity

A perfect example of false over abundance. Toss the expired and recycle. Make a silent promise to only fill this cold box with healthy, fresh food that fuel your mind, body and soul. How many times have you opened your fridge, stared at the full shelves and proclaimed that there is nothing to eat? Clean, cull and be a good steward of what is on hand. Then, you open the space for fresh opportunity. New, healthy, exciting prospects. And, make sure that you always have that bottle of champagne chilling. That is you offering, your intention to bring celebration into your life.

Like when you’re done cleaning the fridge. Cheers.

The Crystal/Fine Jewelry=Family/Spouse

Look in the mirror, people. We are not getting any younger! Neither are our parents and sibs. One of the best things of 2014 for me, is that my mom has learned how to text. This makes life so much easier and I will forever be in debt to Steve Jobs. In this day and age, there isn’t any reason we cannot stay in touch with our family. It doesn’t have to be every day or even every week, but those delicate, precious gems that we lived with for the first 18 years of our lives deserve a shout-out every now and then. No matter your complicated history, they are the only ones that know your full history. Let’s keep them happy and keep them from testifying against you, if the case should arise. Everybody wins.

My grown children. In the 27 years of polishing and shining them up for the world, they are now out of the “safe” and on their way. Their OWN way. Not MY way. I’ve got my own roads to travel, my passport to fill, new goals and aspirations. What they need from me is simply my support and love. Sure, a little advice here and there, but no agenda of my own. I want them healthy and happy. I have no demands or expectations, besides the obvious. Be kind, put good into the world, make responsible choices, don’t go to jail and give me grandchildren someday. Please.

Psychologists are still out on soul mates, but I have proof and I am blessed. This relationship needs more than the infamous once a year polish. Everyday, your partner should feel loved, cared for and cherished. Simply. It doesn’t have to be big, epic events everyday. Just the basics: “Please”, “Thank you” and “I love you”. Don’t let too much time pass by without showing gratitude and admiration.  Then, it becomes as cumbersome as the laundry. It’s all piled up, you have nothing to wear, you’re totally overwhelmed and it kind of starts to reek.

And, nobody wants a marriage that reeks. Ever.

 

Happy Spring, dear friends & family. I thank you for taking the time to read LivingLola. I’m appreciative when you “like”. I’m grateful when you “share”. I’m committed to spreading a little “Lola” in the world, one little post at a time. Namaste.

 

 

 

 

“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!

“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 you
I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I wanna see you be brave

Everybody’s been there,
Everybody’s been stared down by the enemy
Fallen for the fear
And done some disappearing,
Bow down to the mighty
Don’t run, just stop holding your tongue
Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live
Maybe one of these days you can let the light in
Show me how big your brave is

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

And since your history of silence
Won’t do you any good,
Did you think it would?
Let your words be anything but empty
Why don’t you tell them the truth?

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 you
I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
See you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you

BAREILLES, SARA / ANTONOFF, JACK

look for the magic

via Sugarboo Designs
via Sugarboo Designs

It has been awhile. But, we have that kind of relationship, no? Like old friends that go awhile without seeing each other, then just pick up right where we left off. I thought so.

I’m perfectly comfortable with checking in, every now and then.

So,

as Fall finally flirts with us in the South, cold now…hot this weekend, I am reminded once again of change. Just like the seasons, time and those God-forsaken-Yes-I-know-they-save-lives smoke detector batteries, we all must change. And, be prepared to change. Especially before that obnoxious beeping sound starts. In the middle of the night. Every freaking time.

It has been a big year for our family. Transition and change has come in a variety of emotional packages, big and small, heart wrenching and heart soaring. Whether tears of joy or fear or gratitude, this I know is true: there has been magic. An exhilarating force of unexplained energy; I had absolutely no control. Experiences and outcomes that I couldn’t even imagine.

That’s the best thing about uncontrollable change. The house sets down with a sudden thump, you open the creaky black and white door, then, boom. A Technicolor wonderland. Not at all what you expected, but, wow! Pretty damn cool.

Today, there is uncertainty, chaos and indecision. Honestly, I’m still waiting for the house to land with a sudden thump. But, seasoned from experience, I am confident. There will be magic. Adventure magic.

I am not afraid. I am freaking Dorothy Gale excited.

Don’t be afraid. Push back the door. Go. Just go.

Look for the magic.

 

oh, happy day

living lola mantra
living lola mantra via My Chickas

While I don’t remember posing for this picture, maybe it was that awesome champagne in my hand, I do love the sentiment.

Living Lola Life Lesson:

Always keep a good bottle of champagne in the fridge. Today just may be the day that calls for the bubbly. You never know what is coming around the corner.

Be prepared to celebrate.

via TCM

 

Classic Champagne Cocktail 

1 dash of angostura bitters

1 sugar cube

Cold, dry champagne

Twist of lemon peel

 Add the dash of bitters to the sugar cube in the bottom of a chilled champagne glass and slowly pour in the champagne. Garnish with the lemon peel.

Cheers,

lola

 

friday, a beginning

Mary Shelley via behappy.me
Mary Shelley via behappy.me

 

On this very rainy Spring day, I find myself offering “new beginning” messages and advice to some of the closest people in my life. And, God, by no means do I have the answers. I just happen to have an over-abundance of the one thing that always seems to be the most annoying thing to the people closest in my life: a positive, self-disciplined, roll up your sleeves and show some muscle, “We can do this” spirit.

Several friends and family going through divorce. Some starting ALL over. Devastating and heart-breaking, yes. But, I also see the liberating, shake up the Etch-a-Sketch side. The fresh start. The clean slate. (This is usually where annoyance kicks in.)

Our kids, all in their twenties, are all making big life changing choices right now, as well. Ah, but that is what your twenties are for, no? The growing and maturing out from under and away from your parents. Trying on new locales, lifestyles and different jobs to see what is a good fit.

“Good fit”…hmm?….well, let me start with that.

New you. If you are trying to actually get fit, then do it now. It will never be as easy as it is in your twenties. Just saying. Make it a habit now. Get crazy about it. Fall in love with being good to your body. You will always have to be active in some way, as long as there is good food and cocktails. So start the self-discipline this minute. You will thank me when you are 47. And, you can thank me by taking me out for a cocktail.

New cities. Did you leave home to go to college, swearing you’d be back in four years? Do you stay in your college town, because it is just that awesome? Do you live where you have always dreamt of living? What holds you back? Do it now.  Now, while you’re young, nimble and traveling light. Spouses, jobs, kids weigh a freaking ton. It is so much harder to chase your dreams with a conga line of baggage. Albeit, beautiful and loving and Louis Vuitton-esque. It is still baggage. Even with the LV’s plastered all over it, it is STILL heavy.

New jobs. This is what you wanted that awesome education for, right? Get the job you love! Take your passion, make it happen…Irene Cara that interview! (Didn’t get that reference? Hello! I said, I am F O R T Y-S E V E N.)

You have the entire internet to find any possible job anywhere in the whole wide world. WORLD! That is why it is called the WORLD WIDE WEB. Do you know how utterly amazing that is? There are jobs everywhere. There are “engines” that do the searching for you. GO!  Go get yours. All you have to do is click, swipe and press send on your computer, iPad, smart phone, tablet or (insert latest gadget here). Done, resume sent. Do it now.

Poor things, you won’t ever even know what it’s like to dirty your fingers with black newspaper ink, scrolling the “want ads” for any little job possibility, in your field, in your one town!  “Gee, that’s a great story, Grandma.”

New friends. Who lasted from High School? Which college friends held your hair back while you vomited and will be in your wedding? Choose well and they will last a lifetime. Now, is the time to cut loose the friends that are not adding to the flavor of your life. It is okay to have fond acquaintances from your youth, but they just may not fit into your recipe for life, at this time. Hell, some may have even past their expiration date.

If you hang with people who bring you down, scoff at your adventurous ideas for an exciting life, offer back hand compliments or just plainly suck the very marrow from your bones, then, gently and gracefully, (always gracefully) cut these people loose. You don’t have to be ugly about it. It is only natural. We all grow at different paces. Surely, you’ve outgrown those epic vampire love stories by now. I’m sure you’ve out grown a few life-sucking friends, as well. Do it now.

With all friends, love, marriage and the baby carriage timelines will change everything and will never be in sync, again. You cannot plan that part, you just have to adapt and keep your heart open. Single, married, kids or not, there is a season for it all. It is different for everyone. (Although, it could easily be my new age of 47, but, don’t all of the couples with multiple kids, in these current TV car commercials look like 20-year-old Jason Mraz-ish prototypes? Not everyone can pull off that hat, Kia car advertising department!)

You see kids, the gold nugget that I feel I have been repeating lately, over and over, to loved ones in distress, of all ages, is this:

It is not just on the New Year or birthdays or during the renewing forces of Spring. It comes with every single day. Every single sunrise; a new beginning. Isn’t that amazing? (“Don’t you think that’s amazing?!)

Even on a random, rainy Friday.

A new chance. A new hope to create and live and be the person that you strive to be. It doesn’t happen overnight. It happens with every little step you take in the right direction. YOUR direction. Every single day. But, starting now.

Action. Discipline. Habit. Routine.

Life-changing awesomeness awaits.

What are you going to do, now?

 

I
Annoying pep talks, anytime.

 

 

 

TCM Film Festival 2013

So, for my forty-schmismosh birthday last week, my wonderful husband treated me to my ultimate fantasy: The TCM Film Festival in Hollywood.

(Don’t even want to know what you were thinking.)

For those of you who follow me on Twitter or Instagram or are related to me or are my friends or were standing next to me in the grocery line yesterday, I apologize for showing this yet, again.

But, holy hell. THIS. HAPPENED.

photo (13)
The incomparable Robert Osborne

Don’t you just love the way he is cozied up to me? Like we’re old friends. Well, to me, he is. He will always be. I love Robert Osborne. He was as gracious and dapper as I thought he’d be. The perfect host. Lark just has to deal with it.

 I will be waiting with bated breath this fall, when tickets for next year’s film fest will go on sale. Larkin and I had the time of our lives and have vowed to go back every year.

with Larkin at the Vanity Fair party
With Larkin at the Vanity Fair party

Many of the movies I attended, I admit, I have seen numerous times. But, never on the big screen.

Some digitally remastered, some not. All amazing.

But, even more fascinating than re-watching them, as they were meant to be viewed, were the introductions.  Legendary filmmakers, actors, directors…discussing the details, the memories, the experience of taking part in creating these classics.

Tears filled my eyes, when we all gasped in surprise when Cher was introduced to kick off “Funny Girl”. (You may remember, she was one of my first mentors. See “About Lola”)

Cher introducing "Funny Girl"
Cher introducing “Funny Girl”

I heard Tippi Hedren and Norman Lloyd speak of working with Alfred Hitchcock. I was totally amazed by The Birds; a film I’ve seen many times. It sounded absolutely terrifying in the historical Grauman’s TCL Chinese Theatre. It felt like a totally different film.

I swooned over Cary Grant in Hitchcock’s Notorious. In my opinion, he is the most gorgeous, debonair male lead of all time. All these years, watching all of his movies, but finally…there he was….larger than life. I sigh, just typing this.

 Albert Maysels discussed his capturing the infamous “killing” on film while working on the Rolling Stones documentary, Gimme Shelter. The creators of Aiplane!, Jim Abrahams, David Zucker and star Robert Hayes had us all rolling in the aisles before the film even started. Laughing and reciting the lines of Airplane! with 1100 other fans is something I will never forget.

I cried along with Jane Fonda as she recalled the therapeutic making of her father’s last film, On Golden Pond; triumphantly winning Henry Fonda his first Best Actor Academy Award, at the end of his life.

Robert Osborne with Jane Fonda
Robert Osborne with Jane Fonda

So many touching stories behind the camera, enriching the 40 foot screen dramas that lit up my face for those four amazing days. It was nothing less than movie magic.

Since it was my first festival, I paced myself and actually ate meals. There are many passionate fans that survive on popcorn and protein bars and fill 12 hours a day with films. I took “Happy Hour” at the Roosevelt Hotel quite seriously. We all have our different means of survival. And, hey, it WAS my birthday weekend.

#TCMParty
#TCMParty

On a personal level, I finally met Twitter friends that follow TCM and share an affinity for classic films. Putting names to faces is nothing like putting names to avatars to Twitter handles to real names, then real faces. I kept smiling like a jack ass to people I was sure I knew. But, did I?

Sometimes there are 100 of us watching an old film together via Twitter, sometimes just a handful. With one hashtag, we connect in some sort of modern, technical, pen pal, friends from camp that you only see once a year, kind of way. We assemble from all over the country and beyond, sharing trivia, tidbits and stories. And, with no one shhh-ing us. It’s pretty damn cool.

I treasure my true, real-life, talk-on the phone, “help me bury the body” friends; they know everything about me and still love me. (And politely gloss over my TCM obsession.)

I have Twitter friends that share like-minded interests and know nothing about me except what I tell them in 140 characters or less. I love the daily banter, links, recipes and revelry that fill my time line.

My TCM Twitter friends and I share a true love of classic films that will live forever.

And, that is a love that will outlive us all.

Kind of like my love for my husband. And, Robert Osborne.

 For a true classic film education, I highly suggest the following blogs:

 Cinematically Insane

Once Upon a Screen

 Outspoken and Freckled

Joel’s Classic Film Passion

Comet Over Hollywood

 Paula’s Cinema Club

1 2 3 5