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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Beautiful Book

Author David McCullough 






























One of my best friend's and I look for "inspiration".  After watching "Man On A Wire" we started calling ourselves "WOW" (Women On Wire).  We look for inspiration in films and books and then see how we can apply it in our own life.








No wonder David McCullough has received the Pulitzer Prize twice.  The "Greater Journey" is beautifully written and highly inspiring!!  I love to read about artists and his presentation lets me feel personally involved in the story.  His writing takes me to Paris and I am there.  In the Tuileries, walking the Seine, right along with the artists, writers, architects, doctors, and politicians he writes about. 



Madame X the portrait that caused a sensation
The illustrations are stunning!!!  They make me want to go to the Louvre again NOW!!!!
Marie Taglioni called the "most beautiful dancers in the world"
One of the writers covered in the book about Americans In Paris is Nathanial Willis.  He spoke of going to the theater to see Marie Taglioni.  Here  he thought, was the great contrast with the theater from America.  "We shall never have a high-toned drama in America, while, as at present, applause is won only by physical exertion and the nice touches of genius and nature pass undetected and unfelt."  That was a statement he made in 1833 that I think holds true to this day.





Thursday, March 29, 2012

Posting Pictures

The first photo is a going to work shot.   The second is a going to ballet class shot.  
If I wait until I get photos that are worth posting I would forget the few things I have learned about how to post pictures that I take with my tripod.  I wonder if it is easier to take photos with a camera that has a remote capability?  My idea is to take a few photos everyday in hopes to get better at it but amazing how many excuses get in the way.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Go For It

Many books are written on how to make changes in your life.  One way is to break your patterns.   Last night I made a change and enrolled in a new ballet studio.  It is not just a one night one time one change.  The mind still fights for sameness and comfort.

Today I had the day off.  Normally my alarm goes off at 6:30am.  Today I slept in until 9:30am.  I never turn on the television until 5pm or later.  I do not like noise in my apartment other than what goes on in my head.  I like to journal and have as much peace and quiet as possible during the day to gather my thoughts and really listen to what my mind is telling me and my body is feeling.

I broke my rule this morning watching Kathy Griffin DVD's My Life On The "D" List.  Since they are due at the library I turned them on at 10am.  It felt so odd.  Then I ate breakfast/lunch and read a new book by Roseanne Barr.  I love to laugh so the day was perfect.  Then I left for ballet class at the new studio.  The class was harder to get through today than yesterday.  But I have been taking ballet enough years now to know that it never gets easier.

I know I am the least experienced in the class and I feel like the lone ranger because everyone knows each other and have been a group of 12 for who knows how long.  I tell myself I am going to be super friendly when I go into new situations now..............but I don't.  I am naturally the introvert and hard for me to step out of that mode unless I really push myself.

 I hear Kobe is first in the gym at every game 3 hours before working on his game.  I watch him play BB and how he fights through all different situations and feels high when things are going well and extremely angry when they are not.  I see Kathy Griffin go through all kind of challenges she takes on in her life on the "D" list and how she works hard to excel at what she does.  Both Kobe and Kathy make what they do look easy yet they work harder than their peers.

I am going to have to work harder to be in the dance classes at this new studio.   I have my role models now I can go for it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Change Is Challenging

I'm not going to lie......change scares me even when it is something I love.  I have been putting off changing dance studios because I am comfortable at the one I attend.  But I am not growing.   I have been coming up with every excuse in the book to not leave my comfort zone.  And then along comes a few incidents that create the push needed.  Then it is always the choice to go for it... or not.

Tonight I made the leap into a new studio.  It is so much more advanced than I am ready for and I am now taking class right along side the Bodyvox Company dancers that travel all over the world performing and can you say "intimidating"?  But at the same time exhilarating.

Ballet class is challenging on every level. If you watch Dancing With The Stars you hear the athletes and participants express how learning to dance is harder then one can ever imagine.  The reward only comes through hard work.   Today I was nervous having to force myself to follow through with making the switch and I was grumbling when my co-worker wondered why I put myself through such discipline when I could just go home, watch DWTS and have a glass of wine? 

Who knows what makes us choose the things we do in life?  It just makes sense to go for change when you see the signs, feel the push, and then have fun!!!!!

Google image Bodyvox Studio

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Report On Jeans

Going to the Mall to try on jeans is not quite as bad as trying on bathing suits but close.  I did not want to waste time so I went straight for the Diane von Furstenberg and the Paige jeans.   They cost around $200.00 and I wanted white and I wanted them to be high quality and fit like a glove.  I have a pair of Gap jeans but they do not fit the way I want and the same with the Levi brand.  My favorite jeans so far are the Silence and Noise $58.00 jeggings from Urban Outfitters.  They are a light weight material just the way I like and they do fit like a glove.  The problem I forget when I wash them not to throw them in the drier and then the fit turns into a joke.  I wanted to replace them but they do not come in white,

In the dressing room with the 2 different pair of $200.00 jeans I thought the material was too thick for my liking but surly they would be cut to form and fit the body.  WRONG!!!  Okay, first of all they add 25 pounds from the hips down.   Each leg feels fat and heavy.  Who are these body types used for fitting?  They have to be using mannequins and not real humans because a real body would have to be honest and........oh wait.......no they cannot say a word......they are models and need a job and the last to tell DV or Paige their jeans are some kind of uncomfortable contraption no one could possibly wear and feel good about it.

The Nordstrom sales clerk was in shock....or pretended like she was......when I told her they did not fit.  I headed to Starbucks for a double shot and some half and half before I could proceed.  I was so disappointed no way was I going to go hunting for more jeans so decided to walk through F21 to see what the mannequins were wearing.  Oh, HELLO....a table full of White Jeans.  I had to try them on just to see how bad they would feel at $15.80 a pair.

The reason I bought them is the material is not thick and the fit is perfect for sitting all day at work in front of a computer on the telephone.   If you are frustrated looking for white jeans these are a fine choice  until something better comes along.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I Just Have To Say.....

One of my interests and even my main interest is to learn about myself.  Self knowledge helps me get through difficult times and there are many ways to learn about one self.  One of my favorites is to pay attention to who you are attracted to and who makes you crazy.  Men you are passionate about and why?  Men who you can't stand and how come?  Women who turn you off royally and ones that make you feel envy. 

One man that I most admire is Kobe Bryant.   I find myself giving up my own life of ballet class to stay home and watch him live his life playing basketball.  This is serious.  I began watching Kobe a few years ago when my all time favorite athlete Arvydas Sabonis moved back to Lithuania.

Tonight I gave up going to class and Kobe was spectacular.  The commentators are speaking about Kobe setting an example for his team.  He shows up 3 hours early in the gym before the game and starts working.  He shows tough love to the players on his team.  He has no time for foolishness.  His goal is to win and he is hungry for it.  

Kobe for me makes the game look like a dance.  His moves are with style and grace.  Even tonight one of his plays is going to make the #1 sports highlight.  Outstanding.  He puts all of his heart and soul in a game he has been playing for 33 years.   I admire his finesse, his commitment, his motivation, his work ethic, his ability to keep getting better.    Also  his ability to tune out  the noise of both praise and haters.  For everyone like me who thinks he is Mr. Wonderful there are many who cannot even stand the sound of his name.

Google photo image
What does my admiration for this man teach me about myself?   To take those traits and keep developing them myself?   Oh, and I just have to say..... it's about that smile. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

What Is Going On

Outside my apartment window tonight

It is almost time to run out the door to ballet class and all I want to do is drink some chocolate wine.  Pouring rain, gray, cold, dreary, I do not want to go out into that mess.  As much as I need exercise and need ballet class to keep me from going brain dead I let my mind keep telling me I want to just stay home tonight in front of the fireplace I don't have.   But I know I will feel better after class so away I go.........

Back home.  Bath and a chicken thigh, pork rinds, and plain Fage yogurt with chopped almonds, vanilla flavoring, and 2 tsp. sugar.   I am constantly trying to eat less and yet I feel like I gain weight anyway.  I cannot imagine how many million of pounds I would weigh if I ate what I liked. 

Ballet class felt good.  My overall muscles feel well tuned.  I am aware my mind gets a workout as well and my ego works hard to judge my every move as not good enough and my silhouette in the floor to ceiling mirrors is never thin enough to make the lines I want.  Oh the vanity keeps on coming.  At least it gives me the energy to keep challenging myself and go beyond the weather.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Let's Talk About....

Twiggy London on HSN.  Oh please help me.  STOP with the Marketing 101 celebration routine.  HSN has no fear of OVERKILL!!!   Guys.......take a break.  When you are celebrating anniversaries, birthdays, holiday's adnauseum it becomes so gimmicky even  a 3 year old that wants to hear the same story over and over could get sick of it.   

Now on to the ridiculous clothing.  Talk about trying too hard.  Why, why, why?  If I saw anyone actually walking down the street in one of Twiggy's outfits she is hawking I would burst out laughing.  Not kidding.  Of course the person would not know what I was laughing about but c'mon!!  Red swede scrunchy boots with the most hideous denim jackets and jeans and hot pink everything.  And all this mess is being sold with a straight face and callers are calling in gushing over Twiggy herself first and then her designs.

I guess it is too easy for me to pick apart a form of infomercial with the stars but it amazes me what the masses think is worth it.



Sunday, March 18, 2012

Let's Talk About Marc

Checking out an interview by Marc Jacobs I decided not to read it because I thought it was just another PR advertisement for the man.  Then I read a part of it that said Marc is honest about his life so I took a chance and read it.  Yes he started in the business as a young stud.  Did he get work because he was good looking?  Maybe.  In the article he is described as a big intellectual in tattoos and skirts.  Then Fashion Police had photos of him a few days ago in a pink chiffon dress.  His Spring Collection is in his words "Lightness, prettiness. gentleness."

Photo from Google images
I like the espadrilles but I cannot wear sleeveless or black so none of this prettiness would work for me.  Throwing a blazer or jacket over any of those looks would not work.  Oh wait....he is not designing for the Advanced Stylers.  Who IS designing for us or are we relegated to Resale stores or Goodwill to cobble something together that looks interesting?  I wonder even statistically how many of us care about style?  Seriously,  if I was diagnosed with a disease my fashion sense would go way to the back of my priority list.  I understand our U.S. population is moving in the direction of the older age categories but the designers seem to be stuck on styling the Kardashian girls and I mean the 2 teens not the 3 so called older ones.

Photo from Google images
Back to Mr. Jacobs. The recent article I was reading said he stopped taking drugs and cleaned up his habits when cortisone shots and steroids did not clear up his ulcerative colitis.  He did not want his colon removed so went to a nutritionist and put on a strict diet and exercise plan.  He expresses his delight in being in great shape now.  What interests me about this info during the interview he was smoking incessentantly while drinking copious amounts of coffee and coke.  What are the tools that you need to get through your day?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Not Crafty

Anytime you say, "I can't have anymore problems" you know something is going to happen.  I like to watch Jeff Lewis on Interior Therapy.  He is a trip.  I have watched him for over a year now and he is as he describes himself a perfectionist and brutally honest.  And for some reason that makes him so funny to me.  He is in charge of renovating extremely nice homes and yes it is a "reality" show but because of Jeff it not only makes me laugh it is educational as well. 

Tonight he is in charge of redoing a bathroom with new shower and tile plus redecorating the entire house.  Jeff is an interior designer and has a perfect eye for detail.  I would not want to work for him.  It reminds me of how much of a non-perfectionist I am.  I am the worst at being crafty and when I do attempt any type of "do it yourself" project it turns into a catastrophe.

These gold sparkle shoes were my last project.  I am not detail oriented so fail to read the instructions that say,  "make sure to do this sparkling out of doors" so yes I had gold sparkle all throughout my carpeting even with placing newspapers down.  

I have three more pair to sparkle.  But it turned cold and rainy outside so I have put it off.  I know they are going to look like "do- it- yourself" sparkle shoes when I am done and will end up in the trash. 


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Best Act


Before I was chronologically age 50 I told everyone I wanted to be done by then.  I am not sure at what age I began feeling sorry for "old people" and thought I could escape that fate if I died before that birthday.  My mother would tell me I was ridiculous and told me that after the age of fifty I would feel the best years of my life.  I was not close with my mother and I knew it was true for her but I could not relate.

Then along came fifty and I realized I felt great.  Better than I ever had.  Just like my Mom said and just like Jane Fonda says in the video I was emailed today.  It is on Ted.com and called "Climbing The Staircase".  I was not that interested in watching it because I have heard her feedback on various television shows but I did decide to watch her presentation.  I completely relate but I do not think I would have until I experienced it for myself.

She notes that each of us have our own individual journey and not to romanticize aging we each have our issues and concerns.  She gives an example of it being how we respond to situations that is the key.  The universal law is atrophy.  Everything in life is in a state of decay........except for one thing......the human spirit.

I think I am fortunate to have had a mother to set a good example for me how to respond to aging.  The third act of my life I can say is the best.  My first act was rather upsetting because I felt invisible and alone.   My second act was full of angst and emotional extremes I thought the drama would never end.  Now in my third act I no longer feel sorry for "old people".  My eyes have opened to see the beauty in the response to the situation with a positive attitude and have the spirit to make it a climb to the top instead of a descent to the bottom.

But I do not think we can know how we respond to situations until we meet them.  Do you think it is possible to prepare for aging?  Can you even imagine the third act being the best? 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Spending Your Sunday

How do you spend your free time?   Do you pay attention?  Do you try to accomplish something or just go with the flow?   Today I decided to stay home and take pictures with my new tripod and an old camera.  It has been awhile so it was like starting over pressing every button and getting frustrated to the point of just walking away but.......I did not give up.

I am afraid to look at the pics.  I am not sure who said it is very hard to take your own photos with a tripod but thankfully I kept remembering that person the more frustrated I became.  But when learning something new there is the uncomfortable part and I know the choice is to walk away or stick with it

Last night at a get together we were talking about those who take pictures and those who do not.  I am so much one that loves to live in the moment completely.  Whatever presents itself I absorb it and it has never occurred to me to want to take a picture of it.  My daughter on the other hand thinks about taking a picture constantly.  The second she sees birds or anything unusual she reaches automatically for her cell to take a picture.

Do you think this can be learned or is it just innate.  I am thinking I need to find out somehow before I invest in an SLR only to discover I do not like taking pics of myself and I dont like taking a camera with me wherever I go.  This week I talked myself out of taking my camera with me once because it was too cold and once because it was too nice.  Is that a clue?

Friday, March 9, 2012

Running Shoes Harmful To Your Health

Since I live in Nike land I was aware of the shoe when it first hit the scene.  My daughter played basketball and HAD TO have a pair or die.  I was in shock when I first saw them.  I told her they could not possibly be comfortable and they even looked dangerous to me.

Of course I come from the world of ballet where our soft shoe is merely a thin piece of leather that wraps the foot with a thin cardboard sole that you cannot even feel on your foot when your dancing.  Pointe shoes are very painful until getting used to but before you wear them you need to learn how to train the muscles throughout your whole body in order to support yourself in those shoes you are taught NOT to rely on the toe shoe to support you.  Unlike the message of the athletic shoes that are touted to support your foot and your whole body with no need to do anything other  than slip on your foot and fly.

Of course I bought many pairs for my daughter because each time the next generation came on the market all the girls HAD TO have the latest and greatest.  Just like when I was in high school and HAD TO have a plaid pleated skirt and white bucks.  My mother told me white shoes were not practical and would always look dirty but I was sold every kind of white powder bags etc. to keep them white when in fact once they were scuffed they never looked the same no matter how I tried to doctor them up.

Each time I went with my daughter to buy the one hundred dollar plus shoes in the 1980's I tried a pair on for myself.  I wondered if they were as nasty as they felt in my hand and as clumsy as I imagined them to be on my foot.  Well guess what?  It took 25 years of people in doctors offices to finally have a book come out called "Born To Run" that calls those athletic shoe manufacturers out.  The shoes as it turn out are as unhealthy as I thought and cause all kind of foot, knee and hip injuries. 

Google photo image
Just as I thought.  We are supposed to go barefoot as often as possible which I do.   And when you wear a shoe to go walking or exercise do not get one that you think is going to support your foot with all kinds of arch support and cushioning.  Get light weight ones with nothing to them and learn how to use your posture from your foot to your head to walk or run.

Does anyone else have personal experience with shoes or non-shoes?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Only One Thing In Life

What happens when you are born in Paris to a privileged family?  What happens when you get exposed personally to all beautiful artistic surroundings?  Then what happens when you personally are described by some as ugly?  Can you even imagine?

I just finished reading a most elegant book.  Diana Vreeland The Eye Has To Travel by Lisa Immordino Vreeland.  It is a gem.  The presentation alone is worthy of the subject but also the articles that make up the book is impressive in my opinion.  I had already read a biography about D.V. and still hung on every word in this magnificent book.

"At a young age she realized she had to focus on more than just her appearance. "

I sent a text to my daughter a quote from the book by Diana, "There is only one thing in life and that's the continued renewal of inspiration.".  My daughters reply, "I LOVE that!!!"

If you have a book to share or comment please do.

Friday, March 2, 2012

"More" Is Much Less

 No more magazine purchases for me.  The idea that those rags can blame the internet for their demise is ridiculous.   After reading the book, "Diana Vreeland The Eye Has To Travel" I realize  the problem must be the editors of these operations are just plain boring people.  I will explain...

Name your magazine they are all the same.  No, this is not just my opinion but anyone I speak to has noticed the low low low quality of the magazine publishing world.  What the hell happened?  For one thing they have about 6 personalities they keep recycling to put on the covers.  The interviews are merely PR style advertisements and every article in the magazine sounds like the same reporter wrote it no matter what the topic.

The mag I picked up today is titled "MORE".  Please, the title alone is on the level of a three year old asking for more, more more.  What the heck?  Then the subtitle is "For Women Of Style And Substance".  That statement is code for "the older woman".  That is not okay.  It screams for help from the inside out.  Then why did I choose it?  Because I wanted to make sure when I started ripping on these rags I knew what I was talking about.  How do you know something is garbage if you've never read them?
Unless you were doing a book report or a post about magazines why would you ever pick this cover up?  If you want to know what is going on with Julianne Moore get online.  If you want "best spring looks under $150.00 get online.

Now for the difference as I see it.  1967 Vogue had these subtitles.  "Fabulous Forecast Your Next Best Looks" and "The Beautiful People Their Hair and Makeup This Summer".    Yes one could Google those titles and come up with similar info except for one major point.  The article in Vogue would have been written by well paid journalists who took pride in their craft.  Today it must be interns that know how to cut and paste ho-hum articles from the net and we have.....well you know.

  It must be the editors have become ordinary business people who are well suited to run a business but are not within themselves interesting at all.  Think Anna Wintour.  She may not be meek and mild but with her head down and bangs in her eyes and dark glasses her demeanor does not exude someone who lights up a room.  She seems quite narrow instead of open and exciting.  Think again when we had Diana Vreeland as the editor of Bazaar and Vogue.  She wanted for her magazine a combination of culture, art, happenings and vibrant fashion.  All things that she was within herself.  D.V. had the talent to give people what they never knew they wanted.  HELLO!!  Yes, yes, yes, give me something glorious, glamorous, dreamy, intellectually challenging, a party that I will never be attending. 

Image from Diana Vreeland The Eye Has To Travel
Images from Diana Vreeland The Eye Has To Travel
The comparison is not even close.  "More" wants readers to send their opinions to help make "More" even "More" fabulous.   Everyone has their head and eyes in their I-phones at all times and only know the art of tweeting.   They do not SEE or FEEL their environment even if they do get sent to "the land of the gods" for a shoot they would not know how to BE THERE and encapture it.  If they get sent to a fabulous party with fascinating interesting people  to report on they will not be able to translate it because they will be too busy tweeting and not actually be at the party.  So I guess it is the internet to blame after all that is making every Dick and Jane a very dull person.  My opinion is keep thinking your "More" magazine is fabulous and more than that be fabulous yourself and hire personnel that are masters at their craft.