“Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.” — George Orwell 1984 (a political novel written with the purpose of warning readers in the West of the dangers of totalitarian government.)
Is it true that Illusion is sometimes all that keeps us sane?
American poet and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson once said “sanity is very rare; almost every man and woman has a dash of madness every so often.”
Every so often is….how frequently exactly? I think things are shifting to more repeatedly because it’s every single day we’re bombarded with actions from those that make no sense and instead of moving forward we seem to be moving backwards. Right here…right now in our lives at present we’re witnessing a lot of history making madness.
People are just starting to wake up but in the process are we becoming more careful than need be? Or are we just afraid not to offend anyone. Because everything is coming to a head.
The Dixie Chicks have changed their name to Chicks because of the connotation of “Dixie” with slavery. Upon hearing this a friend of mine jokingly suggested the new name could be considered sexist. That maybe they should consider changing it to “theChickens?”
I fully understand the “black lives matter” movement because to me it’s absurd that slavery ever happened in the first place. That stands for other history making events such as the holocaust. The insanity of control and intention of cruelty over innocent lives.
The people at the very top, the people in power, are the very same people who could have put an end to these occurrences. So who are we to trust? Are we responsible for blindly following the orders given by lunatics in power if we consciously know they’re in the wrong for giving them, and we for following them? Shouldn’t we take some responsibility?
Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States held the nation together during its greatest trial, the Civil War. Lincoln believed his most sacred duty was the preservation of the union. It was his firm conviction that slavery must be abolished.
“I leave you hoping that the lamp of liberty will burn in your bosoms until there shall no longer be a doubt that all men are created free and equal.” Abraham Lincoln
Will we ever get it right?
Has rage replaced reason?As in…
“I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore” – from the movie *Network.
This speech feels more relevant today than its release in 1976 and seems to predict the world we live in today. A world filled with reality TV, tabloid journalism and the overwhelming direction that media in general is taking with its anything for ratings philosophy.
The Character Howard Beale played by the late great Peter Finch, gave the following speech in the film that still resonates today.
“I don’t have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It’s a depression. Everybody’s out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel’s worth. Banks are going bust. Shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter. Punks are running wild in the street and there’s nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there’s no end to it. We know the air is unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat, and we sit watching our TVs while some local newscaster tells us that today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes, as if that’s the way it’s supposed to be.
We know things are bad – worse than bad. They’re crazy. It’s like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don’t go out anymore. We sit in the house, and slowly the world we are living in is getting smaller, and all we say is: ‘Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials and I won’t say anything. Just leave us alone.’
Well, I’m not gonna leave you alone. I want you to get MAD! I don’t want you to protest. I don’t want you to riot – I don’t want you to write to your congressman, because I wouldn’t know what to tell you to write. I don’t know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crime in the street. All I know is that first you’ve got to get mad. (shouting) You’ve got to say: ‘I’m a human being, god-dammit!My life has value!’
“To think that we can finally get it all together is unrealistic. To seek for some lasting security is futile. To undo our very ancient and very stuck habitual patterns of mind requires that we begin to turn around some of our most basic assumptions. Believing in a solid, separate self, continuing to seek pleasure and avoid pain, thinking that someone “out there” is to blame for our pain—one has to get totally fed up with these ways of thinking. One has to give up hope that this way of thinking will bring us satisfaction. Suffering begins to dissolve when we can question the belief or the hope that there’s anywhere to hide.” – Pema Chodraon “Nowhere to Hide”
I’ll leave you with this more uplifting quote:
“Keep your Eyes on All that’s Good and Beautiful and Possible in the World. Because the Stories We Tell Create the People We Become.”– Jacqueline Lewis, Life Begins at the End of Your Comfort Zone: a Journal to Reignite, Renew, and Refuel Your Life.
*Network: The man behind the words of this powerful speech was the American playwright, screenwriter and novelist Sidney Aaron “Paddy” Chayefsky. He is the only person to have won three solo Academy Awards for Best Screenplay (the other three-time winners, Woody Allen, Francis Ford Coppola, Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder, have all shared their awards with co-writers). The trio of Academy Awards were for Marty (1955), The Hospital (1971) and Network (1976).
It could be fact loosely fabricated in fiction. We may never fully grasp where reality starts and the falsehoods end. And that is the intent. For obvious reasons.
It might make more sense when you realize the semi-autobiographical book was co-written by one of Hollywood’s funniest, most interesting, diverse and complicated characters. A person smarter and much more spiritual than you’d care to imagine, and one proficient painter to boot – JimCarrey who never fails to surprise and astonish with his accomplishments. Now a book: Memoirs and Misinformation.
Jim co-wrote the book with “Mergers and Acquisitions” author Dana Vachon. The actor previewed the book in a new interview with The New York Times ahead of its July publication, revealing that the writers spent the last eight years working on the project
The book is presented as a mad fever dream starring Jim Carrey, incorporating morsels of autobiography with adventures involving Nicolas Cage, Kelsey Grammer, Taylor Swift, Anthony Hopkins, Goldie Hawn, Sean Penn, and many more. The names are changed and he has apparently forewarned all actors as to whom they may be referred to as in his book… fully aware that a few of them may not be so pleased.
Hollywood through dusty rose colored lenses.
I was fortunate to be in Jim’s company on at least four occasions. An intimate dinner for five, a small Malibu wedding where he was best man & master of ceremony, and two parties. I found him to be quite affable, naturally funny, intelligent and surprisingly down to earth in a slightly guarded way. I felt comfortable in his presence; after all, he is a fellow Canadian. Even though I admire everything he does, I made sure not to invade his privacy as I was there as a guest. Friend of a mutual friend. I also got the distinct impression he was looking for a higher purpose. And a sense of I belonghere… how did I get here?
Through sheer talent and dedication he realized all of his dreams and then some. Very few of us ever achieve that in our lifetime. Now the search for meaning in Hollywood years after acting success must have been the aspiration for this book.
If you really like Jim Carrey, stick out the insanity for the pearls of comic fantasy and the nuggets of memoir gold.
“They say his empire was ruined by the same psychosis that found him, at the end, driving around Tucson with a loaded Uzi on his lap, ranting in word salad, high on methamphetamine.” This remark is made about a fictional celebrity guru named Natchez Gushue, but when you encounter it in Chapter 2 you may wonder if it also applies to the creators of this book.
Carrey and collaborator Vachon pull out all the stops as their protagonist Jim Carrey careens from midlife blues through love and career complications toward the apocalypse. (The actual apocalypse, in which the world ends.) “He was nearing fifty, his fans aging, too. His talent was such that Hollywood could not replace him in its usual way, the kind of body snatching that saw Emma Stone swapped in for Lindsay Lohan, Leonardo DiCaprio taking over for River Phoenix.” The question is, should he stage his comeback with “Disney’s Untitled Play-Doh Fun Factory Project” or with a star turn as Mao Zedong in a biopic by Charlie Kaufman?
Mixing the memoir with the misinformation, as the title suggests, is not the clearest or most powerful way Carrey might have presented the story of his life. Did his parents really tell everyone to feel free to beat him, “joking but not really”? Was an affair with Linda Ronstadt in 1982 “the only truly selfless love he’d ever known”? Is the scene where Carrey remembers telling Rodney Dangerfield a joke on the older comic’s deathbed (“Don’t worry Rodney, I’m gonna let everyone know you’re really gay. That kind of thing isn’t frowned on anymore”) real?
Moments of candor and alarming or moving revelations are a bit lost in the mad rush from Hungry Hungry Hippos in Digital 3D to the end of the world, when “Cher and Dolly Parton whizzed by overhead, both singing Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah.’ “
Makes one wonder if we ever really fully get anyone’s story?
“Memoirs and Misinformation” will be available for purchase on July 7. Knopf publishing. Price: ( Hardcover )$27.95
An audiobook version of the novel will feature the voice of Carrey’s “Dumb and Dumber” co-star Jeff Daniels. Online Publish Date: June 17, 2020
20 NEW BOOKS to read in July to keep your spirits up:
I know summer is finally here when the summer box of style arrives at my mailbox doorstep. Season by season, year after year it never fails to please. There’s always a fun accessory and perfect skincare product to suit everyone. All curated by Hollywood stylist Rachel Zoe to provide women with five luxury products every season to fit into our wardrobes and daily routine no matter what it is. All at a reasonable price.
From the Website:
Summer 2020 Box
“The summer season for me is all about family, friends, and making memories. It’s about enjoying the simple things in life and finding happiness in the everyday. This summer edit has been curated for you with the hope that each piece will bring you joy and, in some way, be part of your lasting memories. I can truly say that everything in this selection makes me happy, and that certainly means more to me now than ever before.” xo RZ
HENNY + LEV
RETAILS AT $159.00
This classic weekender silhouette is perfect for future getaways. Its roomy interior is big enough to stash all necessities, plus more. Canvas with vegan leather accents. Pockets and interior pouch included. Will come in handy.
Dream Floral Sarong
RETAILS AT $195.00
With fringe embellishment and infinite ways to wear it, this sarong will be a go-to all summer long. Two choices: 1) colorful Rose Quartz (shown) or dial it down with 2) blue shades of Meteorite. Nice to have choices.
Hydra-Repair Day Cream
RETAILS AT $49.00
The skin savior you won’t want to live without. Pairs well with a hydrating toner and SPF for those warm summer days.
Vegan and clean
Suitable for all skin types
Improves skins hydration while also acting as a makeup primer
Color & Light Palette
RETAILS AT $34.00
The instant pick-me-up we all need. For a sun-kissed glow, swipe the bronzer on the hollows of your cheeks and apply the highlighter to the high points of your face.
Shade: Tropic Equinox
Clean, Cruelty and Gluten-Free
Beaded Tassel Earrings
RETAILS AT $55.00
Spice up any summer look with these 3″ length statement earrings in brilliant white. Perfect for virtual happy hours with friends. Made in India of white iridescent glass beads and silk thread.
To get a beach body all you need is to have a body to take to the beach. Nobody said it had to be perfect.
…plain old apple cider, while still nicely refreshing, is so last century.
Vancouver’s Kitsilano neighborhood welcomes a new player to the vicinity with Vancouver’s first cider tap house and eatery…aptly named The Cider House. We’re lucky to have them.
I went to their soft opening last Friday with my friend Tamara and we were both pleasantly surprised to see their extended selection. In fact I wasn’t sure which cider to sample first so I decided to go with a flight of four different types from their extensive tasting menu. Blackberry Hibiscus, Rosé , Passion Fruit and Oak Aged. All made in house; all excellent. Tamara sipped on their local apricot cider.
The food menu looks good too, but I’ll have to go back. For their opening they ordered pizza from Virtuous Pie on Main St. Can’t complain.
The Cider House offers something fresh, good menu, casual charm, welcoming staff, friendly clientele and the location…
Let’s talk about the significance of the coffee table. A focal point in your living room which serves a purpose. It can either enhance or detract from the surrounding area.
How many people have coffee tables in their living rooms? Almost everyone we know. After all, you need something to set your cocktail glass or hot beverage down between sips. Because when was the last time you had an actual cup of coffee sitting on it? Right…didn’t think so. And if for nothing else, it’s a perfect place to showcase that gorgeous coffee table book. Or maybe a reason to buy a coffee table book.
Recently I wanted to change my living room coffee table from using a matching ottoman to my sofa (with cut glass to fit over top) for something different and smaller. That’s because I decided to use the ottoman for something else..what it was originally intended for – an area to put your feet up and get comfy. I also just had my carpet cleaned and the large ottoman covered up a lot of the carpet. So I went on a hunt and found something that I felt worked for the smaller area and opened up the space and did not cover up the carpet. A carpet I bought in Cairo and felt did not deserve to be hidden. This clear tempered glass is perfect for a see-through look.
After having searched countless places online, I walked into briers home décor in Vancouver and there it was…the perfect fit. It was that easy. Cherie, the owner, suggested I do a blog post on ways to open up smaller spaces. So this was her idea. I’ll move along to other furniture options at a later date.
For now, this set of clear nesting tables takes up little visual space, can be stacked together when you might need just a teeny more room and moves around your sofa with ease. I really like it.
The nice thing about coffee tables is that if you get tired of them it’s pretty easy to change them. Certainly a lot easier and much less expensive than buying a new mattress or sofa.
We’ll look at a few options below. But first…
A little history:
It began in 1652 when the first coffee house opened in London. It was so popular that more coffee houses soon opened all over Europe. The cost to enter was a penny and included a cup of coffee. Wow how times have changed since then! I just paid $5.50 for a coffee the other day. That’s why I don’t want to get into the everyday going out for coffee habit and prefer to make mine at home. I’m digressing…
These tables, called tea tables at first, were tall at 27″ high, compared to today’s coffee tables at 18″-19″ high.
There are no documents from the 17th and 18th century mentioning coffee tables although there are hundreds of references about coffee houses during the time period. It is speculated that the name tea table was changed to coffee table because coffee became more popular than tea.
Today, coffee tables (also called cocktail tables) still share the same location in the living room in front of the sofa. Yet, the shape, size, and functionality have changed vastly. A few options:
The ottoman as coffee table – a popular choice because it serves two purposes. You can put a simple tray or have a piece of glass cut to size over top, or put your feet up when you want to.
Who needs a coffee table when you can have an arm rest tray, instead? It requires no additional space in your living room, but offers all of the same benefits as an actual table.
Posh but petite, this sophisticated cocktail table from West Elm will fit just about anywhere in your living space. Buy one for setting down drinks instead of a clunky coffee table, or two or three if you need the extra surface area.
This 5-piece coffee table-slash-stool set may be the coolest. Not only does this multi-tasking table offer up plenty of surface space, it seamlessly holds four faux leather stools inside; for all the extra living room seating you’ll ever need.
Lastly; you can always use something you might already have around the house – something like this vintage chest:
Trying to replicate the appearance of an outdoor area like this at home can be challenging.
When I had the desire to create the look and feel of a real vineyard patio I looked to photos and my imagination. Like the ones here, but not exactly. As you will see.
The familiarity of having visited many wineries in British Columbia’s Okanagan wine region, Niagara-on-the-Lake in Ontario, Willamette Valley in Oregon, Napa, Sonoma, Lodi & Temecula Valley in California and Tuscany, Italy may have helped.
A little decadence mixed with naturalness and something to take you away and remind you of vacation. Remember vacation? How about stay-cation?That’s the idea I was going for. I want to enjoy the wine regions of my home. Specifically the outdoors. After all, I’m an outdoorsy person!
So sitting in the courtyard area with a glass of wine overlooking my vineyard mural under the ivy instead of actual grape vines felt very relaxing and the next best thing to being at the real deal.
Although over the years, we discovered the ivy started to slowly get out of hand, growing more and more unruly. What once appeared striking started to take over the whole area and brought some undesirable pests along the way. So recently I was bummed to have to remove it away from the beams completely. A dirty task.
It took a little while to get used to the bareness on top of the cross beams where the ivy once was, but on the bright side literally, there’s a lot more light to an area where there was no light for quite some time. So now I’m re-creating the space once more.
It will still have a vineyard feel but without the vines. Once it’s finished I’ll take a photo and share it. A new potential and a realization that sometimes doing something out of necessity gives you a chance to create something else. Learning to let go of the familiar in any given area takes courage but it can turn out to be a positive thing. Not necessarily better, just different.
Doing so makes me want to modify a few more areas around my home, inside and out.
Maybe modify is a metaphor for simplifying life in general. A tiny transformation to keeping it fresh.
The ultimate measure of a person is not where one stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where one stands in times of challenge and controversy – Martin Luther King, Jr.
Life is challenging. I’m still here. Just not feeling exceedingly motivated to write as regularly as before. It’s okay. Only temporary, like everything else.
I’m only beginning to get started after the relaxed pace that resulted from being in lockdown mode from a world wide pandemic that I’m sure needs no more mention. It’s on the news every night as has been for several months. The only thing that has trumped that (no pun intended) has been brutal police attacks, protests from black lives matter and the rioting that resulted and is still resulting from that. Rioting that really has nothing to do with the deserving protests. Black History Month isn’t just in February, It’s year round.
There has been very little to no good news of late. Right now for me no news is good news. I’m tired of all the negativity. I’m sure you are too.
Regarding my blog… since my blog endures on fabulous (ha, ha) outings, fashion, food, destinations, etc… and since I haven’t been going out to events, or shopping, or restaurants or anywhere exciting, except my own home, I figured it was a good time to take a break, a good excuse a least. But as I don’t really need to go anywhere to write, and I still have some stories to share over time… all that’s missing is being in the right frame of mind to recount them. Not to say I didn’t have other things to take care of and focus on. For instance, my priority was my beautiful 18 year old Sheltie Jia Jia who was in rapid decline and who has since passed away.
Regarding my Sheltie… a friend recently likened missing a companion to experiencing phantom pain – the amputation of a limb phenomenon. Instead of believing a lost limb is actually still there because its pain is felt, it’s feeling the pain of knowing all that remains is a phantom of what or who has been lost and an awareness that lingers everywhere and in anything that reminds us of them. It takes time.
And if that wasn’t enough, then came repairs to my home: First a roof repair due to raccoons trying to burrow into it again. Then came replacing two heavy wood beams holding up half a dozen cross-beams in my courtyard, a job made necessary by vines that had grown around those beams and that brought carpenter ants that ate them to fragmenting bits. And then came replacing my 9 year old fridge that was still under its 10 year warranty… except for the only part that needed fixing – thanks to a design flaw in the refrigerating system of this now discontinued LG model. I couldn’t believe how an otherwise perfectly good fridge failed and had to be discarded. Such a waste! The much older fridge which was here when my late husband and I bought this place twenty years ago (and was oldthen) is in the garage (because I didn’t want to throw it away) and it still works! Thank goodness because it was a life saver for a few months. The newer ones, I’ve come to realize, are built to last only so many years – presumably to keep the fridge companies in business. I’m happy with my new fridge which is needless to say, not another LG. Like the saying goes they don’t build things like they used to.
I did my research on all types of fridges as I did with all my home repairs. That’s how I spent the majority of my time during lockdown. Also because stores weren’t open and people didn’t feel comfortable coming into our homes out of fear of contacting a disease, we had to wait it out – for two months, which seemed like eternity then, but now does not. That’s when you realize how much we’ve come to take for granted.
It’s nice to finally see restaurants and stores starting to opening up. I’m sad to see many couldn’t make it and are out of business now. I’ve also discovered, along with many others, that I’m in no hurry to go shopping or eat out anymore. Only once did I go to a place very close to me to have dinner and a glass of wine. A kind of welcome back to business evening. My hairdresser was my first personal appointment when things opened up, though my dog Layla got groomed even before I did. Next is the dentist. These are a few things that were always at our fingertips… until they weren’t. How spoiled we’ve become.
The sheer audacity of ever having to wait in line to get groceries is disconcerting. Never in our lifetime have we experienced this sort of disruption to our society, but now we’ve all been given a little taste of what it’s like to be inconvenienced. Of course we don’t like it, and we’re not comfortable with it, probably because it makes us vulnerable.
But what if this became the new way of life? We would have to adjust and adapt. Maybe it’s a good thing we had the experience. Just enough to let us know how lucky we are when compared to what many other people must live with all the time.
There is always hope in the dark.
Rebecca Solnit in her book, Hope in the Dark: “Inside the word emergency is emerge; from an emergency new things come forth. The old certainties are crumbling fast, but danger and possibility are sisters.”
Let’s raise a glass to emerging from a situation beyond our control and coming out stronger while being more aware of all possibilities – good and bad.
Remember danger is real, but fear is a choice.
And let’s try to treat others with the respect they deserve.
Cake is for all Occasions. Cake is good for Grieving. Cake is good for Celebrating. And if you’re like Marie Antoinette, it also comes in handy for fending off revolutions.
I’ve been eating a lot of cake lately. Thanks to my friend Tammy and her sister Shelly who’ve started a home baking company featuring a slew of the most delightful varieties.
An amazing assortment of two-tiered & bundt-style whole cakes or by the slice (when available – 4 slice minimum). Slices are generous too. They started Twisted Sisters Baking Co. out of a love for baking and when self-isolating during this covid-19 period. See menu at bottom.
So if there’s one good thing I can say that comes out of this covid period it’s these twisted sisters with their top-quality cakes.
For breakfast this morning I had a piece of fluffy creamsicle cake made with fresh orange juice and a delicious zesty frosting. Perfect start to the day. I must admit it was not my first choice, however it surprisingly ended up becoming one of my favourites. That’s because I normally go for chocolate.
Another favourite is the perfectly pink vanilla sour cream almond cake with vanilla almond buttercream frosting. Shelly added lavender to the icing and it was incredible. In a perfect world I would eat it all day long. But the coconut cake was excellent too as was the old fashioned raspberry/lemon and carrot cake. Like I said…
If you live in Vancouver and you love cake (I don’t know anyone who doesn’t) then give them a try. You don’t need an excuse although birthdays, anniversaries and just plain I want cake are good ones to start with.
These remarkable photographs were taken by Stacy Jacob – of Jacob Fine Art Portraits, Palm Desert, Ca. I wanted to share them with you. Our canine and feline friends never looked so fine.
I met Stacy at Yappy Hour – a monthly fundraiser for Animal Samaritans in Palm Springs which takes place at the Riviera Hotel. She was supporting “Paws for a Cause” 2020 with a booth there and invited us to her studio for a sitting.
I was thrilled to see that the portrait she took of Jia Jia really captured his spirit. It means more to me now than ever. I have lots of photos as you well know, however this one that Stacy took is very special.
Capturing personality, expressions and relationships is my goal for your session. Bringing joy, surprise, even some “happy” tears to so many people is something I feel lucky to get to do. I get to be part of creating a memory for someone that they’ll enjoy for years to come and share with countless others. How cool is that!? – Stacy Jacob
Studio: 41945 Boardwalk suite d, Palm Desert, CA 92211, United States