Tag: inspiration

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

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, health, motivation, reflection

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:


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, … Read the rest

lifestyle, movies

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.  




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 … Read the rest