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February 2014
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April 2014

Johnny Depp's Midlife Crisis

It's sad to watch people go through midlife crises publicly. I mean, getting a sportscar convertible and letting your bald head sunburn is bad enough.

But when you're famous, it isn't. When you're famous, you do things like get another tattoo, get engaged to your costar who is half your age, and ultimately, do strange things like wear a woman's engagement ring. I'm talking to you, Johnny Depp.

I guess I get it. He's engaged. He's never actually been married to the mother of his children, so why should the woman have all the bling? Johnny's sporting an engagement ring. And a 27-year old woman on his arm. Most guys would probably say he had it made.

Actually, most guys would have probably told him to buy the Ferrari and let it go. But is he starting a new trend here?


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But I suppose he has pretty hands. So why not? I wonder if Amber Heard paid for it, or he bought it himself. He calls it a "chick's ring" -- so romantic!


Shirley MacLaine is still curious...

I have to admit, I'm totally fascinated by Shirley MacLaine. Do you know why? Because she asks questions the rest of us are afraid to ask. She goes on National television and writes books and talks about her experiences with UFO's, her "past-life regression," etc. Now I believe in none of this stuff, but I totally love Shirley.

She's just who she is, and she makes no apologies to anyone for it. She's very open and goes on spiritual journeys by herself -- like the pilgrimage to Santiago where St. James is reportedly buried. It's an arduous journey and she did it at 60. When she could just be living her cushy life at home, buying great art and enjoying the view and the people she loves.

However, she requires more of herself, and I just admire her for that. Have you ever been asked the question, "What would you do if you couldn't fail?"

Seriously, I know what my answer is. But I won't say it out loud. It's too scary to speak aloud -- so listening to Shirley MacLaine always makes me admire her for who she is -- even if her path is completely different from mine. I wish I had her bravery!


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Memory Lane...

For those of you who have only read my contemporary novels, my first one was a historical. Believe it or not, I have a great love for all things in the past, and my first one is set in Searsville (now Woodside) and it's about the logging industry.

It's not a great book, but it really did showcase my love for all the things I grew up around. I went there and took photos today, and it's funny how going home it's just like you've never left. Isn't it beautiful?


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We had to go up there for soccer today, so we made the most of our day. This is the historical Woodside Store/Post Office/Dentist Office. It was much better this time when I wasn't being forced into it by my third grade teacher. : )


How Geniuses Work...

This is a great article. I love how ADD most artists are. Their day is simply not straight forward -- go to work, come home and eat. I also wonder how today's constant work mode affects those with right brains.

Relax, I'm not saying I'm a genius, but I do identify with these odd work schedules. Especially since I spent yesterday in the cold, hard rain watching soccer. (Not an activity that I would choose.)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2592725/Memorising-Bible-drinking-50-cups-coffee-day-From-Darwin-Dickens-historys-biggest-thinkers-spent-days.html

I think I most identify with Gustave Flaubert's schedule -- because he had a breakfast of chocolate, takes baths and spends time with his mother. I do the same and spend time with my kids. I just wonder how this type of quality time "musing" translates into today's world.


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Did anyone read ROOM?

I have to admit, I didn't read it because of the subject matter, but Emma Donoghue, the author has a new book out that sounds fantastic. But naturally, it's new and full-priced, so I want to know if I should fork over the cash for it.

It's called "Frog Music" and it's set in 1876 San Francisco -- which I think I will love. But I'm curious if anyone has anything to say about her before I take a risk. I'm so bummed by my recent choices in books, and I'm angry there's nothing on my Kindle, I currently want to finish. That's a waste.

Incidentally, it's what always forces me back to the classics. I was born in the wrong time.


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Seriously Gwyneth, shut up!

Let's face it, in Silicon Valley, I'm pretty much a work widow. Most of us who don't work outside the home, are work widows. But be honest, I have it pretty good. I have a nice routine, a job I love and the ability to get my four kids where they need to be, when they need to be there. That's a cushy life -- even by my account, and we all know I love to complain. I'm busy. But I'm not struggling to get to the train platform in the freezing cold to go to work. I'm not struggling to find daycare for my children.

For that, I'm grateful.
Gwyneth's house in Malibu:
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But Gwyneth, she doesn't get it. She's basically telling the working women of the world how much harder she has it being a movie star. Seriously, if you have time to eat sawdust and all that other specialty crap you prepare, you've got time to parent. You don't have it all that rough.

So a working mother wrote an open letter to Gwyneth. Honestly, I don't think I've ever seen Gwyneth in a movie. I haven't seen Iron Man, and not even "Shakespeare in Love" so I'm pretty clueless about what she does as an actress. But as a person, she just rubs me the wrong way. This didn't help.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/gwyneth-paltrow-this-working-mothers-open-letter-to-the-actress-who-claims-being-a-film-star-is-harder-than-working-a-95-is-amazing-9221301.html

Here's the open letter to Gwynnie.

"Dear Gwyneth,

I really enjoyed your recent comments to E! about how easy an office job is for parents, compared to the grueling circumstances of being on a movie set. ‘I think it’s different when you have an office job, because it’s routine and, you know, you can do all the stuff in the morning and then you come home in the evening,’ you said. ‘When you’re shooting a movie, they’re like, ‘We need you to go to Wisconsin for two weeks,’ and then you work 14 hours a day, and that part of it is very difficult. I think to have a regular job and be a mom is not as, of course there are challenges, but it’s not like being on set.”

"As a mother of a toddler, I couldn’t agree more!

‘Thank God I don’t make millions filming one movie per year’ is what I say to myself pretty much every morning as I wait on a windy Metro-North platform, about to begin my 45-minute commute into the city. Whenever things get rough, all I have to do is keep reminding myself of that fact. It is my mantra.

"And I know all my fellow working-mom friends feel the same. Am I right, ladies?

We’re always gabbing about how easy it is to balance work and home life. Whenever I meet with them at one of our weekly get-togethers — a breeze to schedule, because reliable baby sitters often roam my neighborhood in packs, holding up signs peddling their services — we have a competition to see who has it easier. Is it the female breadwinners who work around the clock to make sure their mortgages get paid, lying awake at night, wracked with anxiety over the idea of losing their jobs? Or is it the mothers who get mommy-tracked and denied promotions? What about the moms with ‘regular’ 9-to-5 jobs, who are penalized when their kids are sick and they don’t have backup child care?

"Those women are living the dream, I tell you!

"Which reminds me, child care. As you know, Gwynnie, having a staff can be a real drag. It’s so hard to find good help these days! That’s why it’s a good thing there’s all this nationally subsidized, high-quality day care lying around for the taking. It just makes things easier knowing you have such a strong support network and don’t have to pay someone anywhere from $30K to $65K annually to take care of your child full-time.

"You mentioned in your E! interview that when someone has an office job, ‘You know you can do all the stuff in the morning,’ and that hit the nail on the head. As someone with an office job, my mornings are obviously pretty leisurely. Sometimes I even have time to drink half of my coffee before it gets cold! After my 6 a.m. wake-up, I have a lot of time to loll around, hopping in the shower and then throwing makeup on my face, hoping that I’ll have enough time to put my tights on before my son starts crying in his crib. Then, when he does start crying, I have to make the decision: Do I get fully dressed, or do I go tend to him with my hair still dripping wet? Talk about being spoilt for choice!

"Then I have a few Bellinis and adjust my 401(k) contributions.

"After I get home from work, I’m full of energy and ready to cook dinner using one of the recipes you post on your lifestyle Web site, Goop: slow-cooked kale, pancetta and bread crumbs, anyone? After that, I’ll go to yoga, spend a few hours meditating and maybe do some online shopping, picking up a pair of $350 white leopard-printed short-shorts via Goop in preparation for the ‘spring break’ I’ll take with my husband and son.

"If there’s one thing I look good in after having a child, it’s short-shorts.”

"So, Gwyneth, you’ve figured out the secret of working parents everywhere: Livin’ la vida desk job is a breeze compared to the 14-hour days of a film set. Fourteen hours? Who in New York — especially those in the finance, law and tech professions — could possibly work 14 whole hours?

"Luckily, those 9-to-5 “ordinary job” hours grow on trees here.

"And if you lose one, all you have to do is find another.

"Yours,

Mackenzie Dawson"


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Priorities & Pedicures!

You know how they say you have to take care of yourself before you can take care of others?

Do they say that? Because they need to say that. I. Am. Beat.

Maybe I'm not one of those single supermoms, but after being on my own with my son home from college, two kids in soccer, and an emergency appendectomy this week? I'm SOOO not a Supermom -- and let's face it, I have no desire to be Supermom. I just want pretty feet.

My toes are homely. A girl needs pretty toes. It just makes everything else better. So today, before soccer. Before anything, I am SOO going to get a pedicure. And if I can find a designated drive? Maybe a margarita, too.

Is it any wonder this book just sits here waiting to be done?


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I didn't get any writing done. My head was just too filled with "stuff to do." I know other moms do all this stuff without thinking, but I am over it. Unfortunately, I'm not...because this week, it starts all over again...

What do you do to perk things up?


More Royal Abuse...

Trey and I watched "The King's Speech" tonight, and there's that scene where the future King George VI talks about abuse by his nanny. Then, I happen to see the "stuffed bilby" given to the current Prince George as a gift from Australia.

It's freaking scary! I don't know what a Bilby is, but apparently, it's some kind of creepy possum-type critter from Down Under. Here's the gift George received. Tell me this thing wouldn't give a royal kid nightmares...


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There are some nice things about having a "normal" family where babies get sweet gifts like baby swings, and cute clothing. Here, here to being a commoner!


"You've Got This" -- Life with MS for the Newly Diagnosed

Heathline has put together a video campaign to provide hope and health for those newly diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. I will not be submitting a video for obvious reasons -- duh -- I'm a writer and prefer the written medium. And trust me, you prefer this from me as well.

Anyhoo, if you have MS, know someone with MS, or just have no idea what it's like to live with it, please visit their site at http://www.healthline.com/health/multiple-sclerosis/youve-got-this

If you're interested in submitting your own video, please do so. $10 will be donated to the MS Society for every video entered. I don't qualify as newly diagnosed. 20 years and counting here...

The local MS walk is May 3rd, here in Los Gatos at Vasona Park if you're feeling active.

http://walkcan.nationalmssociety.org/site/TR/Walk/CANWalkEvents?fr_id=23514&pg=entry


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