Long Beach Sand Sculpture

It keeps threatening to rain here on Long Island and then it doesn’t. So we are in a drought.

As it turns out it was a good thing because Long Beach has a Sand Sculpture exhibit that would have been washed away.

Sponsor sculpture

Sand sculpture is ephemeral, fragile. Like Greg Grady, sand sculptor

Long Beach Sand Sculpture

our planet which is under a state of siege on all fronts.

Most especially from the massive oil leak fouling the waters in the Gulf of Mexico.

These sculptures tell the story. Artists names were nowhere listed on website just sponsor names so here’s what I could gather in no particular order: Matthew Deibert of Atlantic City, NJ; Attilio “Steven” Topazio, Tiverton, Rhode Island; Meredith Corson, Treasure Island, Florida; Andy Gertler, Sea Cliff, Long Island, NY; Greg Grady, http://www.greggrady.com;Dan Doubleday, Treasure Island, Florida; Kirk Rademaker, Somewhere in the woods of Northern California.

Superstars.

What else is there to say?
BP pay up

Greg Grady, sand sculptor

Long Beach Sand Sculpture

Like our planet which is under a state of siege it seems.

Most especially from the massive oil leak fouling the waters in the Gulf of Mexico.

These sculptures tell the story. Artists names were nowhere listed on website just sponsor names so here’s what I could gather in no particular order: Matthew Deibert of Atlantic City, NJ; Attilio “Steven” Topazio, Tiverton, Rhode Island; Meredith Corson, Treasure Island, Florida; Andy Gertler, Sea Cliff, Long Island, NY; Greg Grady, http://www.greggrady.com;Dan Doubleday, Treasure Island, Florida; Kirk Rademaker, Somewhere in the woods of Northern California.

Superstars.

What else is there to say?
BP pay up

AllAboutLabs.org and my rescue dog

This is Clinton. From Arkansas. Go ahead and laugh.  At All About Labs they get it right. I asked for a sweet, gentle, loving dog and that is exactly what I got.  My sweet chocolate lab/pointer came thousands of miles in search of a new life and a good home and in a mere two weeks has transformed my life for the better. I love him, he loves me. He is easy to train a joy to have around and we are just getting started. If you want a GREAT DOG. Go to All About Labs.org. Gina will choose for you the dog of your dreams. And if you can’t manage having a dog, help them do the great work they do making sure those who are ready for a great companion get a lovely, healthy socialized dog.

Holy Shift! Kundalini to the rescue

Shift Happens!Sometimes in big piles.

John Lennon once said, “Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans.” (As it happens he is not the first but probably the most famous to say that and boy is it true)

About two years ago shifts happened all over my life. On the very same day (March 12, 2008) my handsome vibrant  husband Mark was diagnosed with a rare  very- difficult- to -treat cancer and my mother died.

No joke all on the same day.

And then about a month later, my beautiful german shepherd Lucy was diagnosed with a rare untreatable cancer and we had to put her down or she would just bleed to death.

It was like an earthquake in my life without all the destruction and debris, except for one thing, I practice Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan at Divine Yoga in Rockville Centre, NY. My teacher, Arlene Lucas brought me through this so that I could be in a place of grace and calm rather than upset, fear and worry.

Really what is the point? Who is it for? The person in distress does not need my upset do they?

What  Kundalini yoga gives me is a technology to clear out fear, anger pain, blame and upset. It helps me to be a wizard and warrior in my life no matter what is happening.

Forget positive thinking this yoga works on the a cellular level that actually has helped me to stay sane, stay loving, compassionate and peaceful without even trying. Sometimes I blow it but mostly I am free from the madness that this storm that came swirling into my life could possibly cause.  And believe you me a friend or two thought I was  a cold, unfeeling bitch ( a few still do) because I am not running around wringing my hands.

Who exactly does that help?  If I want to be there for my husband it’s up to me to hold the space of loving kindness for him. Coming from a place of “I am so worried” makes it all about me, no?

And by the way I do cry. After my yoga class I get into my car and sit there for a few minutes and cry just like Holly Hunter in Broadcast News. And then, poof, like magic I am free to be the best me I can be for my handsome generous husband who has always been there for me.

Shift does indeed happen. Just glad it’s not really an earthquake.

So how do you get some of that energy?

If you are in NY or coming for a visit come to Divine Yoga in Rockville Centre. We have had visitors from near and far including Seattle, Portland and Los Angeles.

And special note:  there is a Wednesday class called “Living with Cancer” with all proceeds going to the American Cancer Society.  If you live on Long Island or know someone there who is fighting cancer or you are a caregiver who needs some TLC,  go to this class. It is an hour of restoration and healing and yogi tea.

Check it out http://www.divineyogany. com

Sandra Bullock and me

Once upon a time, I had a job as director of special events at The Fashion Group International that I quit for family reasons.

Really, I did.

But before “family reasons” starting piling up, I had a pretty good ride at a very nice job.

There were many perks of the job.

1. Amazing swag.

2. Meet some very interesting people.

3. Go to fashion shows.

4.  I got my picture taken with Sandra Bullock.  Yup. In 6 years of working at my job, I never took advantage of the opportunity to get my photo taken with any other person and I had lots of chances. But here’s the thing. If you stand next to say, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Gwyneth Paltrow, Charlize Theron, or Sandra Bullock you better be either really confident or really want the photo because it’s hard to look gorgeous next to any of those women.

And in my case, I was totally unprepared for my photo op.   I had literally settled for and bought in a mad dash to Lord & Taylor on 38th and Fifth,  the dress I am wearing about an hour before the big event Fashion Group Night of Stars at Cipriani 42nd Street.

Lesson: Always be prepared and get your outfit together way in advance if celebrities are coming to dinner. There will be cameras on hand.

Nancy Mindes, Sandra Bullock, Diane Clehane

Sandra Bullock was the  Night of Stars humanitarian honoree for having given two million dollars to the Red Cross for Sri Lanka and Hurricane Katrina aid.  Along with Sandra Bullock were lots of other A-listers like Valentino and Meryl Streep.  (And we had Donald Trump there too. Really.)

Late in getting started and rushing to get ready, I had forgotten to bring any lingerie, read: no power push-up bra, no shapewear, and Boom! A photographer snaps us and I am in a photo with Sandra Bullock.

No matter.

Don’t look at me look at Sandra looking beautiful in that golden Valentino gown.

She’s the one in the middle.

Shift Happens 101: Advice. Wise men don’t need it. Fools won’t heed it.

Ever notice this? You work and work and work. You’ve written out your daily goals, action plans and yet somehow you feel like Sisyphus, that darn boulder keeps rolling back at you.  I don’t know about you but that happens when I let my out-sized ego self lead me around by the nose.

Way back in 2002 I participated in an experiment. I wrote a chapter in a book.

My ego took over and I went against the advice of my life coach at the time, Talane Miedaner, who said, “write your own book”. Well she was right and I didn’t. Still the little book contained some wisdom and good ideas for getting an abundance mindset.

My chapter is called “Maximal Deliciousness”. It’s good if a little syrupy in the wake of September 11th my message was true then and true now.

Live in a space of gratitude. And if you haven’t got it, get it.

The book was called, A Guide to Getting it: Achieving Abundance. Truth is I wasn’t as thrilled with it as I had hoped.

Talane was right. Write your own book. Sing your own song.

Others who have read it find that it has wisdom within.  One gal told me she followed the exercises in the book and they were very helpful her business started to blossom, her life started to shift just from taking a different tack. A guy from Michigan told me he found my chapter “inspiring” and “he got off his butt” to enjoy life more.

You can decide for 99cents on Amazon and it’s free shipping if you are a prime customer or SuperSaver shopper.

99c and it 's yours

Shift happens 101: Just ask.

Back to the books.

What a difference a day makes! One minute I’m thinking I will have pack up 5000+ rare books, move them to my house, then figure out to sell about 5000+ rare books, ephemera items like Playbills from the turn of the century and beyond, prints ad infinitum and for the rest of my natural life.

Just a few days ago I was doing my usual research online. Learning about pricing, history, background, what the book is about, looking for images that were the same as the book I had,  when I stumbled upon an auction house in Ithaca, NY that will help me get the job done!

What I  didn’t want to do was the wrong thing and I thought I had to research every book myself and try to sell them online. In the process of my research I found help. Help is what I wanted. Help is what I asked for and help is what I got.

After a lengthy phone interview  to make sure that I was not completely breaking every family generational edict of what not to do followed by a reference checkout,   I decided to get them to help me.

OMG!  Yay! Woo hoo!

What a relief! I feel as if I have been let out of jail. Time to let others love and care for my grandfather’s collection.

My role has now shifted from being the beast of burden trying to sell my grandfather’s books on my own, to becoming the person who gets to uncover the all- important provenance, family stories around this collection and  signatures .

The good news: the scoping out work has already been done by my mother and my grandfather.  Thank you!!

They left clues. Their notes have notes.

So expect an update from time to time.   Rare books are becoming extinct and dear and the market is on the upswing.

Interested?

Don’t worry I will clue you in about the where and the when.

This one is in my bookcase at home;  look how pretty it is. Small in the hand like a lovely little accessory.

The top of the pages are gilt-edged with real gold.

And inside are stories with titles like: The Altar Painting A love tragedy of an Italian Artist.

A thing of beauty to behold. And probably not read. The book is from 1896.

Who makes books like this today?

So pretty it's an accessory!

And so what’s my lesson? What’s the big shift that happened?

Ask. Just ask for what I need in my life.

Presto, I got it! With a little help from the internets.

The jeggings thing…

Unless you have been living in a cave you must have noticed fashion’s latest iteration on jeans + leggings.

Jeggings!  There are many price points and style possibilities. The democratization of fashion allows anyone to get anything they want at just about any price.  No matter whether you spend 14.99 at Marshall’s or $148.00 at a fancy boutique make sure they accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative

As former director of special events for The Fashion Group International in New York City and a woman old enough to know my limitations in choosing the latest styles I would like to offer up a few tips for those who have not yet taken the jean leggings plunge, especially for the grown up set who really do NOT want to look like their teenage daughter’s. ( Please say you don’t!)

1. Make sure you look at yourself in a 3-way mirror.  How tight is too tight? If you look like ten pounds of sausage in a five-pound casing go up a size. Believe me your public will appreciate it.

Check now to avoid sausage legs later.

2. Wear the lingerie you will most likely be wearing when you try them on.  They will fit better and you will get a better read on what is showing or not showing.

3. Try on several pairs and be truthful with yourself about how they look on you.  Don’t be in a rush to grab the first pair get the pair that flatters you, updates your style and  enhances your wardrobe possibilities.

4. If you can’t see how you really look (or don’t want to) shop with a friend who will tell you the truth and help you pick out the best pair of jean leggings. You will be happy later on.

5. If you have a bit of a tummy that pooches out look for a pair with a higher waistline. The stretch will do wonders for holding in that part of the anatomy and give you a smooth, sleek look. Leave the low- waisted hip huggers to the under 25 set.  I bought a dark-wash pair at Marshall’s by a company by the name of Suko for $14.99 and they are just the thing for my “woman of a certain age” waistline that no amount of pilates  and going to the gym is going to change. (and I am an exerciser and still slim but not like I was when I was younger, body shapes shift as we fill out and become more womanly. ) Go with it.

6. Unless you are going out to dance clubs or plan to perform live onstage in a band or want to attract customers of a certain type you might want to avoid sequin leggings.  If you have a daughter or son in high school or college you might want to pass on these. Though they would look great on your daughter no doubt. (Would dad let her out in these??)

For that rock star look

7. Once you have found your dream pair of jeans leggings go find some tops to pair with them, a pair of ballet flats and enjoy your svelte, sexy, updated look.

Shift Happens.

When my mother died at the age of 91 I was left with the task of liquidating a lot of books and ephemera that had been collected by my grandfather whom my mother always called Jack.  He was a lawyer who’s name appeared in Who’s Who and he loved books and items of ephemera along with Asian art, prints and many other items.

For two years I had no idea what to do with all this stuff. I had been given an edict not to trust dealers. And a good thing too. I had brought in two different book experts who took a look and declared that these books were not worth much at all.

One fellow took an interest in one book.  A first edition of a Virginia Woolf title with an intact dustjacket.

One book? Just one?

These were books that had come into my childhood home in my teen years.

They were objects I was afraid to touch, enclosed in Globe Werneke bookcases that lined the walls of our house in Levittown, NY.

And then, one day as I sat in my childhood home waiting for the oil burner man to fix the burner on the coldest day of the coldest winter in a decade, I sat with a tiny space heater that belonged to my mother, I opened one of the glass doors and took a look at the forbidden books.

Inside of each book  I opened, I found there was a note on a small scrap of paper from my mother telling me about the book.

Right there. I said “sh*t”.

Shift Happens. I knew I had to take this task on. I had to Free the books and find them good homes.