Here’s Looking At You!

Lauren Bacall
 

Lauren Bacall.

She died last week at the age of 89.

And with everything else that happened–the death of Robin Williams, the horrible riots in Missouri, I thought we would take a moment and look back on a few of the highlights from the life of this beautiful actress.

Lauren Bacall became synonymous with the likes of Katherine Hepburn and Audrey Hepburn. Although unlike Katherine Hepburn who brought trousers to the forefront, or Audrey Hepburn, who gave us the little black dress, Lauren Bacall’s allure had nothing to do with fashion, but the use of her face. An irony since she started her career as a teenage fashion model who graced the covers of both Harper’s Bazaar as well as Vogue magazine.

It was the cover of Harper’s Bazaar that got her noticed for her first motion picture, even though she had already taken acting classes with Kirk Douglas and performed on the Broadway stage.

The picture?

“To Have and Have Not.”

It is said that during the screen test she was nervous—so nervous that her head would quiver. So in order to quell the shaking, she created the effect that has now became known as “The Look.”

You know, “The Look.”

That infamous pout, framed by high cheekbones and a long reaching delicate nose, with gothic arched eyebrows that framed the hood of her eyelids and the downcast edge of her lashes.

A “Look” that became her trademark and caught the eye of her co-star, Humphrey Bogart.

It is incredible to think that she was only nineteen when she made her extraordinary debut in that movie, acting opposite Humphrey Bogart in such a way that she appeared to be ten years older — the same age as Bogart, or perhaps even older.

Lauren Bacall was smart and sexy with a certain iconic toughness that was a contradiction which helped to shape a career that would span over 50 years. Yet, she confessed, however sarcastic and cool she appeared, she shook with nerves on set and suffered from stage fright for the rest of her life.

Her films included:

To Have and Have Not
The Big Sleep
Key Largo
How to Marry a Millionaire
Blood Alley
Written on the Wind
Designing Woman
The Gift of Love
The Shootist
The Mirror Has Two Faces

And there were numerous Broadway stage and guest vocal appearances in her later years

Lauren Bacall is quoted as saying, “I think your whole life shows in your face and you should be proud of that.”

So perhaps, rather than her “Look”, maybe we should celebrate her willingness to age in public.

Here’s looking at you Lauren Bacall!


 

So what do you think? Do you like to watch old movies? What are your feelings about this famous actress? Have you seen any of her films? If so, which one is your favorite?
 

Cheers everyone! And as always, thank you so much for all your support and wonderful comments!
Karen

 
 

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Some Like It Hot

I can see that “Murphy” failed to keep you all entertained while I was gone. I tell you, that bird cannot be trusted. But then he’s Irish.

What was I thinking?

Well, how’s your summer been thus far? It seems that we are on the homestretch and I am seeing ads for Back to School supplies, so school is just around the corner or has it started already?

How has my summer been, you ask?

HOT!

As in Phoenix, Arizona hot!

phoenix_skyline
 
Yes, the hubby and I high-tailed it over to the Valley of the Sun to visit our son and daughter-in-law and other family members. And of course, the many friends that we had made from years spent living in the area.

Yep, I was a Phoenician. I cannot tell you how happy I am to use the word “was”. Don’t get me wrong. I really miss my kids, family and friends. Besides, Phoenix is a cool place to live, although I am not talking about the temperature.

Good grief, is it ever hot!

Oh, I already mentioned that, didn’t I?

Apparently, some like it hot. As in, most of the 4 million plus residents that live in the Phoenix metropolitan area.

Umm, can I just say that I don’t miss it? The heat! It is unbearable. How did I do it? How did I live there for almost twenty years?

Well, I cooked right up like a short order of fried eggs on a Phoenician sidewalk.
(Bad one, wasn’t it? Sorry about that.)

It sure wasn’t pretty, let me tell ya.

They say…you know, all the advertisements that tell you to come to this desert oasis…that it’s a dry heat.

Don’t believe a single word they say.

They’re all liars!

Okay, granted, in the beginning of summer, if the outside temperature reaches 105, because of the low humidity, it feels like maybe, 95. And with a light breeze, you might swear you feel a bit of coolness in the air. But that’s from sweat, or should I say perspiration drying on your skin.

So the cool air actually is like a mirage. It is a figment of your imagination.

See, it’s a lie.

Cause some like it hot.

And just wait until the monsoon season. Ha! It’s even worse. That’s when the temperature stays in the 110’s and the humidity rises. Big thunderclouds blow into the valley causing gale force winds, shutting the airport down, trees to tumble, torrential rains and floods.

You’ve heard of a Haboob, right?

sandstorm_phoenix_az-134657
(courtesy of Google Images)
 
Well, when it blew into town, I blew right out!

Yay me! I so do not like the heat.

I am now back in southern California, ready to get back to my normal routine.

Whatever that means.

Is there such a thing as normal?

Yes, some like it hot. Me? Not so much.

Beach anyone?
 

So what do you think? Take any vacations this summer? Take time for a little R & R? A day trip perhaps? How well do you do with the heat? How has the weather been in your neck of the woods? Polar Vortex anyone? After Phoenix, I’m ready for it!
 

Cheers everyone! And as always, thank you so much for all your support and wonderful comments!
Karen

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A Whale of a Tale

Every day we write. Day in and day out, week after week, month after month, we write.
For some of us our thoughts come easy. For others, maybe not so much.
 

Some of us write or hope to write for a living, whereas many of us write because we just love to write. We love the rush we get when our characters come to life. We love when they expose their inner flaws and personalities that will lead us through the labyrinth of a wonderful story.
 

And sometimes it’s quite a narrative. Not your everyday fish story. Yet, perhaps a whale of a tale. Or so we hope, since that’s what keeps us writing, right?
 

Well, here’s a cool story, a phenomena really, or should I say Whale of a Tale though it wasn’t an animated film by Disney, nor did it involve a Bible character by the name of Jonah, or an epic yarn in the hunt for Moby Dick.
 

Every year, roughly 24,000 Pacific gray whales migrate between Baja California to their Arctic home, an annual round trip journey of nearly 10,000 miles. For that reason, Dana Point, which lies on the most southern tip of Orange County along the California coastline, has their yearly Festival of the Whales in early March.
 

Most of the whales have already passed by, except for a few stragglers, the mothers and babies that hold up the rear. Gray whales are not the largest, fastest or deepest diving whales, but they have the ability to adapt to life at sea and take advantage of the many niches along the coast that other whale species cannot.
 

Normally, during this part of the year, the weather is cool, so there’s not many people along the shore. But because of the unseasonal warmth that the west coast has experienced, a large pod was spotted in a cove in Laguna Beach recently.
 

Grey whale migration
 

And this…
 

Laguna Beach Whales
 

And this…
 

whalebeach
 

As you can imagine, because this wasn’t Maui, this caused quite a lot of excitement and the perfect fish story.
 

Yes, a whale of a tale. Now if I can only write this into my narrative. Now that would be a story!
 
 
So what do you think? Have you ever been to Maui or whale watching? Have you ever snorkeled or had the opportunity to swim with big fish? What’s the biggest fish story you’ve ever heard?
 

And if you’re ever in the neighborhood, take advantage of the whale watching skills of Dana Warf. You will have the time of your life! :)
 

Here’s the song “Whale of a Tale” sung by Kirk Douglas from the Disney movie “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.” The link was provided by Patricia/Jansen Schmidt in the comment section below. Thanks Patricia!


 
Cheers everyone! Thank you so much for all your support and wonderful comments!
Karen

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The Long and Winding Road

Long and Winding Road

(Photo provided by Ireland of the Welcomes)
 

Ah, Ireland. Look how green you are. The clear blue sky brightens the spring-green grass after a recent rain. Makes me want to jump right into one of those puddles. How about you?

Yet, while I allow my eyes to peruse over the picture, I wonder where that long and winding road will take me. It may be clear and sunny now, however if you’re familiar with the Emerald Isle, you’re aware of the reason why it’s so green. It could very well rain by the time I reach my destination.

The good news is I see a measure of shelter in the background. It’s always a good thing to have an alternative option should something divert our plans. Yet, in order for me to get there, it looks like I will have to dodge the many potholes and bumps on the road along the way.

That sounds like too much of a hassle, doesn’t it?

I mean, who of us wants to walk through a bunch of puddles and pebbles?

I know. Maybe I should take a short cut. Yes, that’s it. If I leap over the stone wall and cut off some time, I’d alleviate a lot of aggravation that comes with a long walk on a bumpy, winding road. After all, it would get me to the same destination in quicker fashion, right?

Well yes. And no.

By taking the short cut, I might arrive at my destination faster than taking the long road. Sure, that might work. I could hop over the fence, run like the wind and get there in record time. I’ll admit there could be a few hills and valleys. Then again, I may just be ahead of the curve. It could be a whole lot easier. At least it looks that way.

But looks can be deceiving.

What if I missed something along the way? Indeed, from the appearance of things, the scenery may look the same. Yet, by taking the short route, I very well may rob myself of vital knowledge and experience that would help me during the course of my journey. And by doing so, I could miss an important step that would have a bearing on my progress as I strive to reach my ultimate goal, which is at the end of the long and winding road.

Do you see the dilemma?

Life is like that. There are so many peaks and valleys, bumps and potholes; our path may not always be straight. And the longer we live, the worse it can get. Unless we take a more positive approach, that would require we learn from past experience, which may or may not include any short cuts during our journey.

This is also true with writing. In my case, I have chosen not to leap over the fence and take the shorter route. And not unlike that road above, my path has included every bump, pebble and pothole you can imagine. There are times when all I want to do is give up and cry. I feel like I’m in a foreign country and do not yet fully understand the language of its people. I, like Ireland, am an island, yet the only green we have in common exists behind my two ears.

Yes, it’s a long and winding road.

Nevertheless, I am determined not to give up, not to cave in when I hit the proverbial stone wall. I am going to stay on that long, winding road, keep jumping into puddles, and make a splash no matter how big or small. Because it’s the end goal that matters, not the bumps in my way while still on the road.
 

So what do you think? What has been your experience while on the Long and Winding Road? Does it ever get better? Or do you still struggle? What has helped you to keep your enthusiasm during your personal path to publication? Have any sage advice you’d like to bestow upon a newbie novelist? I’m all eyes and ears!
 

Cheers everyone! Thank you so much for all your support and wonderful comments!
Karen

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Advice From the Ocean

Advice from the Ocean
(Picture by Shadow Text.net)

A couple of weeks ago, I found this on my Facebook feed. Personally, I think Murphy had something to do with it. I never know what that Pelican is up to.

When at first glance, I thought it was a nice play on words. After all, it involves the beach. And let’s face it, who of us doesn’t like to change our focus to a place we would normally go on vacation.

But, as I looked closer, I noticed this was more than just a mere clever attempt in making a statement. These were words of advice, a real life savor, an ocean full of guidance and counsel to give real meaning to our lives.

So, I began to meditate on what was said. I placed my blanket down on the beach, settled my belongings, dug my feet into the cool damp sand, then took a deep cleansing breath and peered out at the refreshing blue body of water.

Ah yes. I felt the stress roll off my entire body.

Yet, what did this all really mean?

For each one of us, it might mean something totally different. But since this is my post, I thought I’d jump in and take a stab at it. I hope you’ll share your viewpoint in the comment section below. :)

Be Shore of Yourself. Okay, I’ll be the first to admit that I struggle with this one a lot. I think it goes with the territory of being a writer. I try to appreciate my own strengths and abilities, but it’s hard to be confident on a daily basis when I think that what I just wrote is a piece of rubbish. I definitely have to work on this one.

Come out of Your Shell. This one’s a biggie too. And I’m not sure if this has anything to do with being an extrovert or introvert. I guess it could. But for me, it’s a matter of trust. If I’m the one that’s sticking my neck out, I want to make ‘shore’ that someone’s not going to bite my head off. So far, so good! But that doesn’t mean it won’t happen. I’ve been known to put my foot in my mouth. I know. Shocking!

Take Time to Coast. Well, since I’m sitting on the beach, breathing in the fresh salt-infused air, meditating, I’m putting this one into practice. But who of us doesn’t struggle with this? It’s not going to happen unless we schedule it in. We all have so much to do, in any given day. But there are times when we just need to coast. We need time to relax and recharge our minds and bodies or our ability to create will suffer. To be honest, it really affects every aspect of our life. So this is a must do. Somehow, SOMEHOW, we must find the time and give ourselves permission to coast. Even it it’s just for a little while. Yes, Relax and breathe! 

Avoid Pier Pressure. Let’s face it, we all like to be accepted and appreciated by our friends. But even as adults, we sometimes struggle with feelings of inadequacy—that we just don’t quite fit in—that we may not meet the standards or requirements that others may expect of us. As you can see, the pier is connected to the shore. And we can find ourselves in deep water if we don’t stop comparing ourselves to others and come to appreciate our own strengths and capabilities. We all ROCK in our own way, you know?

See Life’s Beauty.
Appreciate Life

The cool thing about this is, no matter where we live, there’s beauty. It can be in the smallest of things that will fill our hearts with joy and laughter. Yet, for us to truly gain appreciation, we must make the time to coast!

Don’t Get Tide Down. I think this is related how we spend our energy. As I sit here and watch the tide, I have to admit, it has a very strong pull. It can be high or it can be low. If we’re tide down too much, it can be a waste of our energy. And who of us has extra energy these days? So, balance seems to be the key. It’s what keeps a surfer on his board, right? If we keep balanced, we will not allow ourselves to be tided down with all the negativity and we’ll be able to perform at our best!

Make Waves! Yes, yes, yes! Don’t just stick your toe in it. Jump in and make a big splash and enjoy the ripple effect in everything that you do! I’m still working on this one. How about you?
 

So what do you think? Do you like to stand at the shore or jump in and make waves? Do you like to take a walk on the pier or would you rather stay in your shell? What kind of beauty has life thrown in your direction lately?
 
 
Cheers everyone! Thank you so much for all your support and wonderful comments!
Karen

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