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.

“the opposite of loneliness”

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“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 and impel to action:

“Let’s make something happen to this world.”

My original post, Living Marina, from May 2012.

inspiration for 2014

I know we have that kind of relationship. We don’t talk everyday. Yet, when we finally get together, it’s like time hasn’t passed. We don’t skip a beat. Just that kind of relationship.

I don’t want to be a buzz kill on NYE, but I am so ready for 2013 to be over. To end the longest year ever, I wanted to give you some straight up Living Lola inspiration.  Spunky anecdotes that really helped me through this tumultuous year.

These past few days have been filled with sending our kids back to their cities, cleaning out the fridge (so much damn food; Resolution #1: less waste) and willing the evergreen garland to last until the New Year or at least, heavy trash day.

The end of the holiday season always brings a little melancholy with that certain spark of hope. A clean start.  A new year.  Right after you throw out the gross food and dead evergreen remains.

Gratitude. Inspiration. Motivation. ‘Tis inevitable.

There is much to be thankful for, but there is also much work to be done. Larkin and I have big changes coming in 2014. I was just about to start making my lists, my resolutions, my game plan. Then, on the corner of Overwhelming and It Will Never Happen, I came across this:

This.

Elana Miller, MD
Elana Miller, MD

*Beep. Beep. Beep.*….Back it up.

Twitter is a funny thing. You read 140 words from people who are like-minded. People who share your interests. People who make you laugh with the scroll of a thumb. People you’d like to drink with at a cozy, neighborhood bar.

@ElanaMD has inspired me, made me laugh, offered advice.  And, “Holy Shit…” she has cancer. She could probably use a drink, too. Her blog post announcing her diagnosis will make you reevaluate your NY resolutions. Her humanity and candor will inspire you. I welled up reading her blog post, filled with emotion. She’s on my Twitter feed, for Godsakes!

Do we cry over Twitter/blogger relationships? (Do we really capitalize “blogger” or is WordPress spellcheck just fucking with me? (Resolution #2: less colorful language)

Well, I say “yes.” (To the first question, of course. Screw the capital ‘B’. Unless you’re Beyoncé, which obviously starts with a “Queen”, anyway.)

My Twitter feed is a personal, custom-made window to the world, as I choose to see it. Roger Ebert’s amazing tweets left a huge, gaping hole that I still miss. There are just some social media relationships that cannot be replaced.

I submit Dr. Elana Miller’s story for your 2014 Inspiration consideration.

LIVE your life and PRAY for hers. Pretty simple.

My story can wait. After all, we do have that kind of relationship.

 

Find amazing articles regarding mental wellness at www.zenpsychiatry.com. She really is brilliant. 

 

 

 

Turner Classic Tuesday

Today is Turner Classic Tuesday. Set your DVR’s and treat yourself to the greatest classic movies ever made.

And, no, Robert Osborne is not my boss, nor do I have any affiliation with Turner Classic Movies.  Just an affinity for the classics.

Here are some of Lola’s picks for this week. You can view the entire schedule at TCM.com.  

Enjoy!

 

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17 Tuesday

2:45PM LADY L (1965) A beautiful laundress rises through European society. Dir: Peter Ustinov Cast: Sophia Loren , Paul Newman , David Niven . C-109 mins, TV-PG, CC, Letterbox Format

Sophia Loren and Paul Newman…need I say more.

18 Wednesday

10:00 AM PRIDE OF THE YANKEES, THE (1942) Baseball legend Lou Gehrig faces a crippling disease at the height of his success. Dir: Sam Wood Cast: Gary Cooper , Teresa Wright , Babe Ruth BW-128 mins, TV-PG, CC,

Ranked #3 on the American Film Institute’s list of the 10 greatest films in the genre “Sports” in June 2008.                                                                                                                      

19 Thursday

3:15 PM WASP WOMAN, THE (1959) A cosmetics executive’s search for eternal beauty turn her into a monster. Dir: Roger Corman Cast: Susan Cabot , Fred Eisley , Barboura Morris . BW-61 mins, TV-PG

The Tagline: Horror Of The Winged Menace ! I love 50’s horror.

4:30 PM ILLUSTRATED MAN, THE (1969) A man’s tattoos tell frightening tales of the future. Dir: Jack Smight Cast: Rod Steiger , Claire Bloom , Robert Drivas . C-103 mins, TV-14, CC, Letterbox Format

Written by Ray Bradbury who agreed to the movie if Rod Steiger was cast. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, this film has the record for longest time applying make-up each day, at 20 hours. 

20 Friday

3:00 PM DIARY OF ANNE FRANK, THE (1959) A young girl comes of age while hiding from the Nazis. Dir: George Stevens Cast: Millie Perkins , Joseph Schildkraut , Shelley Winters . BW-180 mins, TV-PG, CC, Letterbox Format

Audrey Hepburn turned down the role because she felt it too painful because of her own war experiences. Also, at 30, she felt she was too old to play a teenager convincingly and do the film the justice it deserved.  Spoiler alert: well, yeah…you know.

21 Saturday

6:00 AM PETRIFIED FOREST, THE (1936) An escaped convict holds the customers at a remote desert cantina hostage. Dir: Archie L. Mayo Cast: Leslie Howard , Bette Davis , Genevieve Tobin . BW-82 mins, TV-G, CC,

Film also stars Humphrey Bogart, his first big break due to Leslie Howard insisting on Bogart getting the film role. Bogart honored him by naming his second child with Lauren Bacall, Leslie.

6:00 PM CAPE FEAR (1962) An ex-convict plots to destroy the district attorney who sent him to prison. Dir: J. Lee Thompson Cast: Gregory Peck , Robert Mitchum , Polly Bergen . BW-106 mins, TV-PG, CC, Letterbox Format

Peck and Mitchum are riveting in this creepy thriller. In the last fight scene, Peck actually punches Mitchum, but the scene continued. Mitchum said he went to his dressing room and collapsed, having never been hit so hard!  You can’t mess with Gregory Peck.

8:00 PM CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND (1977) A blue-collar worker’s encounter with a UFO leaves him a changed man. Dir: Steven Spielberg Cast: Richard Dreyfuss , Terry Garr , François Truffaut . C-135 mins, TV-MA, CC, Letterbox Format

R2D2, from Star Wars fame, has a “cameo”. The droid is visible, upside down, as Jillian first sees the mother-ship up close from her hiding place in the rocks.

12:45 AM LOGAN’S RUN (1976) A future police officer uncovers the deadly secret behind a society that worships youth. Dir: Michael Anderson Cast: Michael York , Jenny Agutter , Richard Jordan . C-119 mins, TV-MA, CC, Letterbox Format

Remember Ross’s inner dialogue on Friends? “She was the one that wanted to rent ‘Logan’s Run,’ the sexiest movie ever.” (Quick Trivia: Name that episode of Friends!)

22 Sunday

12:00 PM MR. DEEDS GOES TO TOWN (1936) When he inherits a fortune, a small-town poet has to deal with the corruption of city life. Dir: Frank Capra Cast: Gary Cooper , Jean Arthur , George Bancroft . BW-116 mins, TV-G, CC

A fabulous Capra feel good movie. Look for Bess Flowers as an extra in this movie. Nicknamed “Queen of the Hollywood Extras” Flowers appeared in over 700 movies, 21 were Oscar nominations for Best Picture, of which 5 won. This makes Bess a record holder for an actor appearing in the most Best Picture winning films. 

4:00 PM IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT (1967) 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

The movie’s line “They call me Mister Tibbs!” was voted as the #16 movie quote by the American Film Institute. Also, frequently cited as Sidney Poitier’s favorite of all the films he’s done. 

6:00 PM SUMMERTIME (1955) A schoolteacher is surprised to find love on a Venetian vacation. Dir: David Lean Cast: Katharine Hepburn , Rossano Brazzi , Isa Miranda . C-100 mins, TV-PG, CC,

One of my go to films if I’m sick in bed or on a rainy afternoon. Watch for the canal scene; when Hepburn falls into the canal, one of her eyes became infected. That infection stayed with her the rest of her life. Also, her wardrobe: Classic Hepburn Style! This movie is divine inspiration for Living Lola.