Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Bring in Your Parents Day

Maryl likes this new LinkedIn program

Think of it as the reverse of Career Day at your school when parents would describe their careers to your class mates.  I would liked to have had Bring in Your Parents Day, which debuted last month, with my parents although I did bring them to my workplace once or twice. Even though I worked for a few major American corporations, I always had more nontraditional job titles that didn't automatically make clear what I actually did. Titles like General Manager-Media Centers, Director-Brand Web Experience, Cultural Arts Marketing Manager don't exactly conjure up images of someone being productive like a lawyer, teacher or firefighter. Know what the three most misunderstood job titles are today?

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Looking For A Good Read? Look No Further Than Canada.

Caryl lists 7 Best Books from 2013--all with a surprising connection

Five-time  Agatha award winner Louise Penny may be reading one of her mysteries.  Who knows?
Maybe Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. 

With Thanksgiving behind us and Christmas gaining on us, we need a moment to relax, unwind, catch our collective breath. And what better way to return to our calmer selves than settling in with a good book. But what to read? Lately, I’ve become addicted to author Louise Penny (pictured above). She’s a mystery writer who sets her stories in
the remote outreaches of Quebec.  Surprisingly, I have never read this genre before, and geography doesn't ordinarily influence my book choices (okay, occasionally India) but I’m smitten. Actually, another Canadian author is my book club's selection for December. Next Monday, we will be discussing Dear Life, the latest and reportedly last book by a “shy housewife” who began writing short stories in the 1960s at her kitchen table in Western Canada while her three daughters napped or were at school. This year, Alice Munro, now 82 and with 14  short-story collections behind her, won the Nobel Prize for literature. Another Canadian-born writer 54 years her junior, just snagged the Man-Booker prize for her second novel.

What’s the story with these Canadian women who have stealthily entered our
literary canon? I found the answer at Publishers Weekly where associate reviews editor (and coincidentally—ha!—my daughter) Annie Coreno considers her own conspiracy theory in (if I do say so) a brilliant post.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Foods to Eat When You Are Stressed

Ruth stresses, whether to crunch or to slurp? 

Are you the kind of stress eater that needs to chew to relieve stress? Do you reach for something to crunch when you munch? Or do you need the soothing melt in your mouth feeling? We are hot wired to satisfy our emotional needs through food. As we enter one of the most stressful times of year think about how to create healthy choices, and keep these suggestions in your cupboard.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Second Chances, Happy Endings and Free Stuff

Caryl adds: Plus everything you need to know about creative aging in 10 steps! 

Frieda is the leading lady (one might say diva dog) in Jon Kat'z  new book Second Chance Dog: A Love Story 
This is a dog story. It’s not my dog story. Mine is tragic. When my children were small, they campaigned for a dog. After much consideration and a written plea by my older daughter listing reasons why our family needed a dog and what kind of breed would meet her parents’ criteria—not too big, not too small, doesn’t shed etc.-- my husband and I gave in. Friday, a medium-size, non-shedding—(we forgot to mention no baying at the moon!) beagle with floppy ears, soulful eyes and a tail that stood up like a flag on the back of a bicycle, came to live with us. Fast forward a few years: my husband decides to take a job in Prague, and I am left with two children, a demanding job and an animal menagerie: a cat (Fritz), two birds (Feather and Sunshine), a hampster (Petey) and Friday, a dog that needed to be walked on the mean streets of New York late at night. I admit with shame, remorse and some embarrassment, I couldn’t handle it by myself. I couldn't leave my children alone to walk a dog no matter how persuasive were those soulful eyes. So Friday went to live with my in-laws in Cleveland where she enjoyed a fenced-in back yard, home-cooked meals and the adoration of empty-nesters.

But that’s not the dog story I am here to tell you.  The dog story I want to share is a happy one—and it’s about Frieda, the dog pictured above, and how she brought together two Second Lifers who learned about the resilience of love from a four-legged outcast who ran wild in the Adirondacks until she was rescued.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Second Lives as Expats in France, Part 3

Maryl meets Martine Whitelaw

Martine’s move to Provence is actually a return to her nation of origin. Like Maggie, some of her choices had to do with meeting a man. And like Nili she did some country hopping too. 

Martine started out in the family business, a large drugstore chain in Paris. When she decided to take a longer vacation in Mexico, she wasn’t planning to stay on until she met someone.  The couple moved to San Francisco and married.  But there's more to her first life. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Losing Mentors, Moving Closer to the Top

Maryl moves up a rung on the ladder of life.

Immie Fiorentino                                                               Arnie Lazarus
Both my husband and I lost mentors this past week. I use the term informally in that mine was someone I first learned of from a college textbook and then had the privilege to work with on a number of projects.  Immie was especially fun to have lunch with too. Allen’s adviser was a professor in his doctoral program and a leader in his field who my husband went into business with for a while.  Arnie was the star attraction at dinner parties. We hadn’t seen either of them recently but realizing a person you looked up to and learned from is gone can be unsettling.  It was comforting to know that at long as they were still there thriving we still had lots of time and opportunity to achieve our goals as well.  

Sunday, September 29, 2013

A Cruise to Bermuda and Empowerment

Marsha explains how a journey to an island can take you much further than you thought

A few months ago, my husband, Donald and I took a group of friends, family and clients on a luxury cruise to the beautiful island of Bermuda. Donald is a travel agent (Haygood Travel) and I am a career/ life coach and motivational speaker (StepWise Associates). We thought it would be a treat to combine our business expertise and have some fun on the Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Face Food

Ruth Applies Food Directly to Her Face!

Image via Real Moms, Real Views
A hormone rich diet is the natural solution to younger skin.  Forget the creams and miracle potions, you should put healthy food on the inside of your body, but also directly onto you skin.  Here are some facial ingredients that are probably in your refrigerator right now.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Forget Anti-aging Creams, Eat Your Way to Younger Skin

Ruth Advises Healthy Skin Needs Hormones That Are Consumed Not Applied.

During menopause, I noticed my skin changing, and I wanted to do something about it. I had my blood analyzed and discovered I was low on sex hormones. My estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone needed a boost and I gave it to them through bio-identical hormones. I looked 5 years younger! It was a noticeable difference. 

Even now, I look at a woman’s skin, and I think, low estrogen is causing her skin to wrinkle. Here's the foods you can eat that will increase your estrogen without taking the supplement:

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Second Lives as Expats in France, Part 2

Maryl meets Maggie Scholefield

Maggie at village water fountain

Maggie's tale of how she wound up in Collobrieres in Provence has little similarity to Nili's roundabout way there. That's what makes our second life journeys so interesting.  They are each so novel!

Maggie Scholefield grew up in England where she studied linguistics.  As a part of her course requirements, she studied abroad in Paris.  Maggie fell in love with the city and decided to stay on.  She was hired as a language instructor for corporate executives being transferred to their company’s office in France.  Soon after she fell in love again, married and had her daughter. But our lives don’t always stay picture perfect, do they?  Maggie divorced and she and her daughter moved back to England where she continued to be employed as a corporate trainer and manager.   Life was good but something was missing.  She cites two experiences that were the turning points in her life.  

Monday, September 2, 2013

Diana Nyad Sets A Record at 64

First Person to Swim from Cuba to Florida Without a Shark Cage

1978                                                                                      2013
Earlier today Diana Nyad successfully completed her fifth attempt to swim between Cuba and the U.S.  When I last wrote about Diana, she was preparing for her third try at this life long quest that began in 1978.  As she walked on to the beach at Key West with her swollen face and dehydrated body, she managed to get out a statement - a philosophy - for all to hear: 

"I've got three messages:"

One is, we should never, ever give up.

Two is, you're never too old to chase your dream.

Three is, it looks like a solitary sport, but it is a team.

As a second lifer, I feel her joy and triumph. And I believe in her personal philosophy and that you, this second life community, are my team.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Second Lives as Expats in France

Maryl meets three expats, see how they live

Maggie                                             Martine                           Nili               

The shopping, art, personal tours and CannesFilm Festival aside, one of the greatest pleasures I experienced my three weeks in France was making friends with three women….expats to be precise.  In the little village of Collobrieres, I met Maggie from London, Martine from San Francisco (originally from Paris though) and Nili from Iran but then Austria after the Shah was deposed.

These women all started their second lives in different ways but all arrived at fulfillment together in a small community in Provence.  Each story is unique but all took the courage to just get up and move.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Three Women Sculptors - True Artists with Some Engineering Expertise on the Side

Maryl marvels at the magnitude of their sculptures

Nathalie Decoster                                     Carol Friedmann                                    Carolyn Palmer 
So do these three women look like engineers to you?  I had the occasion to experience eye-opening work of two female sculptors on my recent trip to France and a similar encounter with another in our own neck of the woods. Nathalie Decoster who works in Paris sculpts figures in bronze - although she is beginning to work with other materials – that represent man confronting time and nature. Gloria Friedmann, originally from Germany who also works in France, is a sculptor, painter, photographer and videographer who interprets man against nature, culture and humanity. Carolyn Palmer is a New York portrait artist who creates life-size bronze busts and statues. As I walked around and admired their art pieces it occurred to me that these are also engineering feats and that artists need to know some sciences along with their arts. You may remember the media frenzy Lawrence Summers, then President of Harvard, set off when inferring that innate differences between the genders may be the reason so few women scientists make it to the top.  I'm not looking to open up that debate but maybe we're not measuring female aptitude in the right places.  Anyway, just take a look at these sculptures for yourselves and enjoy their magnitude and beauty. 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Should you Eliminate Dairy in your Diet?

Ruth dumps the dairy and get her calcium elsewhere.

In the second half of life, should you dump dairy? One of the sensitivities that can occur as you age is your sensitivity to dairy. I am lactose intolerant, it runs in my family, so this food allergy happened in my forties. You can become intolerant of dairy at any stage, so if you are experiencing gastro intestinal discomfort, you should look to eliminate the culprit. Do two weeks avoiding dairy products and see if your situation improves. I laugh when I think about my daughter’s response to milk. During Hurricane Sandy her refrigerator stopped working, and when she went to pour the soured milk down the drain, it was a solid mass of stench. She has since refused to drink milk because it reminds her of that smell. LOL! She adds hot water to her coffee instead of milk. It works for me too. But you can substitute almond milk, or soy milk if you prefer.

Here's how dairy can do more harm then good:

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Joni Mitchell: On Life, Loss and Missing Out on Woodstock

Caryl shares an exclusive playlist from Joni Mitchell's 70th birthday concert

The last time I saw Joni was in Toronto in June of 2013. The occasion that brought her back on stage was a birthday happening. For two nights, performers and musicians came to together in a concert celebrating the legendary singer’s 70th birthday next November. For the past decade, Joni Mitchell has not performed because of health reasons--she has Morgellons Syndrome, a parasitic infestation some doctors claim is delusional--and a voice that with age has been reduced in range.

Joni Mitchell's extraordinary career spans 50 years and mixes together the genres of folk, jazz, blues and a bit of rock and roll. The birthday tribute show that was part of Toronto's Luminato Festival, lasted almost three hours the night I saw it.  Combining familiar and obscure songs chosen by Mitchell herself,  the concert featured performers with reputations ranging from the little known: Liam Titcomb who sang the poignant If  to the famous, Rufus Wainwright who peformed the Yeats poem Slouching Towards Bethelehem acapello reinterpreting it like “a Scottish folksong”. 
Wainwright told the audience how he didn't grow up with Joni's music.  His mother, the folk singer Kate McGarrigal who died last year, was kind of competitive, he said, and banned the more successful Mitchell's music from the family's home.

Friday, July 19, 2013


Maryl revives summer days from her past, so welcome in this heat!

Then                                                                              Now
Caryl and I just spent a few days at my house at the Jersey shore mapping out some new ideas for Second Lives Club. I live a few towns north of Asbury Park, where years ago my high school friends and I would take the bus in for a day of sun and sand. That seaside community took a beating from Superstorm Sandy last October just like the rest of the surrounding beaches although Asbury Park’s past has been a bit of a roller coaster ride all along.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Does Meredith Vieira Finally "Have It All"?

Caryl congratulates Meredith on her new job at 60

You've come a long way, baby! MeredithVieira, longtime journalist and sometime game show host, is getting her own syndicated talk show in 2014. For Vieira, who turns 60 this December, the move marks another triumph in a stellar career that began in l975 as a news announcer on a Massachusetts radio station following her graduation from Tufts. In the last decade alone, she's been a co-host of "The View",  Katie Couric's replacement on "Today" (without letting the ratings slide, by the way) and moderator of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" Getting her own syndicated show is a little like winning the jackpot on the Millionaire. Vieira will have editorial control as well as financial control (think Oprah!), not to mention her name all over the product. (It's "The Meredith Vieira Show". ) In other words, she's doing this show on her terms.

Having total control is pretty much the holy grail of the 21st century. Plus, doing it your own way is usually a precursor to "having it all." And, like most working women and mothers and battle-tested feminists, Vieira knows full well how hard a road it has been to get here.  In a statement announcing her new gig in the "New York Times" last week, Vieira said she wanted the show to embody what she called the “three H’s”: heat, heart and humor. “And speaking of the heart, I want to thank my husband, Richard, and kids, Ben, Gabe and Lily, for strongly encouraging me to take this incredible opportunity,” she said, and added, “or else they really just want to get me out of the house.” 

Think back to 1980s whenVieira, pregnant with her first child at 36, hit another jackpot by reaching the pinnacle of tv journalism. Perhaps you've forgotten Vieira was a correspondent for the most prestigious and influential show on the air then and even now: "Sixty Minutes". What happened next is an ugly but not atypical story from that era.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Shopping in Provence, France

Maryl returns from France with a new dress, perfume, face cream and hairstyle

I mourn the days when shopping in France, in all of Europe for that matter, meant being able to afford high fashion for less or at least sans the VAT (value added tax).  Then came the Euro, a rapidly changing global economy, outlet stores, Loehmann’s and Century 21 here in the US and the bargains weren’t so great anymore.  But there’s still something to be said about wearing “an original” and being able to say “I got it in France”.  Here’s how I did it.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Paying Tribute: Nelson Mandela

Caryl recalls her recent trip to South Africa and the ex-president who inspired her 

President Obama and his family arrived in South Africa today but he won’t be seeing Nelson Mandela, who remains critically ill in a hospital in Pretoria. Mandela is one of Obama’s heroes as well as mine. I made it to South Africa last December, part of my Hillary Clinton-like tour of the continent—10  planes in 11 days. (It's a lot of ground to cover!) Madiba, as he is called by those who love him, was also in the hospital then with a lung infection. There was much speculation at the time as there is now that the end might be near for the 94-year-old statesman and revolutionary who helped end apartheid in South Africa.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Whole Foods Are Naturally Healthy And Low Calorie.

Ruth loses weight by subtracting the salt and adding some spice.

 Photoshopping this picture doesn't make the donut healthy!

When I wanted to lose 20 lbs, I tried some tricks on myself that turned out was just the right thing to do to lose weight. I switched to salads and since then have added greens to every meal I eat. I try to eat and get my enzymes kicking in each time I lift my fork. Fresh uncooked foods start your enzyme juices revving up and that kicks up your metabolism. Your body is hot wired to eat food off the tree, bush or from the ground. When you feed it what it recognizes, it knows how to process it. When you feed it something it doesn’t recognize, it often stores it as fat. For example, a donut is stored as fat because it isn’t recognizable as a whole food. Eat whole foods to maintain your health and keep your body weight in check.  And here's how to season your food to tantalize yet temper its consumption.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Upgrade your travel experience without flying first class

Maryl discovers local tour guides that can personalize your next trip.

Laurence Minard-Amalou, of Provence Exclusive
Leave the tour groups behind and your travel books at home and hire a personal tour guide for your next vacation or adventure. Slogging along with a pack of camera laden tourists and straining to listen to the leader with the silly hat or pinwheel isn’t ideal. You can try the guide book route if you’re good at reading and walking at the same time. If not, consider hiring a personal tour guide for your next trip to an unknown or foreign location.

Thursday, May 30, 2013


A Short Film and A Red Carpet Screening are Maryl's Ticket to the Cannes Film Festival

Susan, Exec. Director-Eurica and Maryl

When I was starting out in the film and video business, one of my first productions was selected for a women’s festival at the Mercer Arts Center in New York. I was excited but still a novice and just wanted to make videos. Years after one of my documentaries was entered as a possible Academy Award nominee. That’s what you dream about when you’re in this industry….an Oscar or a screening at Cannes. Sometimes you get there much later and not the way you thought.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Rainbow After the Rain

Hillary Clinton Suits Up 

It's been raining forever it seems. It rained last week, it rained Memorial Day weekend, and now it's raining again. But we can't let the weather dampen our spirits. This rainbow of Hillary Clinton's pantsuits has been circling the web all this week (originating from Reddit) leaving smiles in its wake. Do you have a favorite? I'm loving the gray one (second from the right) but maybe it's been gray so long outside, I've just acclimatized.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Five Post-minivan, Style-conscious Cars for the Mid-life woman

Maryl reveals her car picks based on performance, style, color and nostalgia

I’ve owned a yellow Mustang with a white roof (you have to own one at least once), two Alfa Romeo Spiders: baby blue and cream (loved those cars!), white Mercedes Benz C Class (nice but a bit boring), gold Turbo charged Gran Prix (unbelievable power and maneuverability), a silver Saab (most fuel efficient at that time), a burgundy Cutlass diesel (mistake) and my first car was an orange Datsun (economical until I totaled it). I currently drive a 2005 mint green Jaguar S Class, which I really enjoy. Of course I barely drive it since I mostly blog from home but I know I’ll need to turn it in soon for something new. That’s why I took my family off to the NY Auto Show last month. 

There’s an endless list of criteria on which to base a car buying decision. Mine are simple. I have to like the shape and lines of the model and I favor a more classic design with a unique feature or two. The color is important because the right combination can really make a car stand out from the rest. My husband will take whatever car is on the lot; I will wait a month for the right interior and exterior. 

 But the car has got to perform too. I’m not a speedster but I like getting away from pokey people and maybe peeling off at a green light once or twice. Of course the gas mileage should be reasonable, minimum safety requirements met and the sticker price has to be within my price range. Here’s the five cars I liked the best between $20K to $35K:

Sunday, May 19, 2013

SLLinky Sunday: Gatsby, Punk & Feminist Dress-Up

Caryl and Maryl troll the internet for the best Second Lives links

A shiba inu and Leo Di Capario put on the glitz

The Luxe Life: Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby opened the Cannes Film Festival this week with all its opulent excess: The parties, the clothes, the jewelry, the mansions!  You may remember  the l974  Gatsby when costume designer and Oscar winner Theoni Aldridge and  faux-WASP Ralph Lauren fought over who really designed the clothes. These days everyone from Prada to Tiffany to Brooks Brothers has tied-in with Gatsby--even  blogs like Menswear Dog (you gotta love this site) but if you’re yearning for a  little jazz era glamour for your own wardrobe, look no further than Moda Operandi.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Women and War and Freedom of the Press

Caryl remembers Marie Colvin and the fallen journalists who died reporting the news

Marie Colvin 1956--2012

She liked parties and pearls, sailing the open seas and drinking to dawn. She loved her friends--and she loved her work. It was said she wore a La Perla bra under her flak jacket. She was a complicated woman for complicated times. And, she was a rare breed: a war correspondent, rarer still because she was a woman. This week, 88 journalists from 25 countries who died last year while covering the news were honored at the Newsmuseum in Washington, D.C. Among them was Marie Colvin, who died at 56, in Syria in 2012. Over her 30-year-long career, she had covered conflicts in several countries, losing her eye in Sri Lanka’s civil war. Accepting the Courage in Journalism Award from the Internal Women’s Media Foundation in 2000, Colvin said: “What’s important is trying to bear witness. The pain of war is beyond telling.”

Friday, May 10, 2013

Porcelain Bones--and Remembrance of Mothers Past


In a potter's studio, Judith Ross finds a fragile reminder of loss and love

Last winter, I hung up the phone after a brief chat with my stepmother and burst into tears. “Why so sad?” I wondered.

Plagued by Parkinson’s Disease, she was about to turn 89. The sadness I felt after hearing her faint voice leak across the wires made sense. But since then, I’ve also realized that my grief went much, much deeper.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

What Kind of Eater Are You? Diet Solutions For Every Type

Photo:  Fashion Gal blog

Ruth explains when you need protein and when you need carbs. 

Ever wonder why birthdays translate into cake?  It turns out that carbohydrates stimulate serotonin, which makes you feel good. Think about it. Selected Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs),  a class of antidepressants, work naturally through the foods we eat.

Traditionally, we use food to elevate the mood. Hence, birthdays get celebrated with cake. When you are depressed, and you are looking for comfort food, do you reach for a cookie? Bowl of pasta maybe? Your body may be telling you that you need some mood enhancing foods. Are you an emotional eater? And if you are, which type are you? 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

SLlinky* Weekend: ART - Live it. Wear it. Laugh about it.

Maira Kalman’s Dream Palace:  Can you find the artist's self portrait

Maryl and Carly troll the internet for the best Second Life links* this week

Maira Kalman's Dream Palace:  

American illustrator and author Maira Kalman was interviewed by long time friend, neighbor and fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi.  He got her talking about her two homes, their decor, her upbringing and, as a lead up to next Sunday, what else but sweet thoughts of her mother. She drew her dream room above for New York Magazine.  See who and what she imagined would share  her perfect living room

The World's Most Poetic Wallpaper:  

"Sunlight in an Empty Room" 

Featured on one of our favorite blogs A Bloombury Life is this unique wallpaper that records the path of light as it falls across the wall in Emily Dickinson's Amherst bedroom.  That would be the bedroom where the woman who lived a solitary life composed nearly 1,800 poems. Lisa Boignes Giramonti named her blog after the compound and lifestyle of a group of writers and artists, including Virginia Woolf, Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant who chose to live as Bohemians away from Victorian conventions.  They created their own idiosyncratic style, which is on view (and some items for sale) in East Sussex, England.

Ellsworth Kelly Dress Redux:

Ellsworth & Francisco Costa

You wouldn't think of famed artist Ellsworth Kelly and Calvin Klein creative director Francisco Costa teaming up to design a dress.  Actually Kelly, who turns 90 later this month, instructed a friend to make a dress "connecting bands of color" from material leftover from a five panel painting 50 years ago. 

Original Kelly dress

 You can view the newly refreshed design  in a handful of museums where exhibitions of Kelly's works will open throughout the year. Or, for the moment, the dress is on display at the Calvin Klein--Madison Avenue store.  Of course, leave it to a seller on Etsy to interpret the design and custom make it for you.  Actually her version looks a little closer to the original dress Kelly commissioned.


Ha! World Laughter Day:

I'm not kidding.  Did you know that this Sunday is World Laughter Day?  The goal is to laugh our way to global brotherhood and peace.  Here's a joke to get you started:  

                      Why couldn't the art dealer pay her rent?
                              Answer:   Because she ran out of Monet.

                                                                       Ba Dum!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Mother Figure

Manuel Pardo's lifetime devotion to a single subject

Mother’s Day is still a Sunday away but a recent visit to Manuel Pardo’s joyful exhibit at a Chelsea gallery makes one think about the influence mothers have on their children. Manuel Pardo, who died last November at age 60, devoted most of his artistic career to honoring his roots, in particular his mother Gladys. In l962, at age 10, Pardo was airlifted with his sister from Havana to Miami during Operation Peter Pan, a collaboration between the U.S. government and the Catholic Church that heartbreakingly separated children from their parents. Pardo struggled in foster homes until reunited with his mother four years later. Recalling their reunion, he said: "God arrived, in the form of a woman with a very long braid." (His mother, had refused to cut her hair until she rejoined her family.) 

In Pardo's 30-plus year career, in hundreds of paintings and drawings, he consistently depicted his mother as “self-possessed, cat-eyed, stylish” in fancy clothes and lavish interiors--luxuries she could never afford in America.  On Thursday, May 2,  friends and patrons, art-lovers and gallery-goers will come together to celebrate Pardo's life--and his life's work--at an opening reception and unofficial memorial at the Highline LoftThe reoccurrence of the female figure allowed Pardo to revisit and refurbish the life he left behind as a child. Said one reviewer: “Like the soothing repetition of a chant or a prayer, his work tries to will an alternate reality into existence." 

Friday, April 26, 2013

SLLinky: Mothers & Daughters & Birthdays. Oh My!

Caryl and Maryl troll the net for the best Second Life Links this week.

Who says there aren't roles for older women? 

Gisele Casadesus won’t be 99 until June 14 but the French actress who's been working for more than seven decades  stars in the just-released French film Sous Le Figuier (Under the Fig Tree).  Her co-star is Ann Consigney  (The Diving Bell and The Butterfly) but she's a mere 50. The two women discussed life, death--and the movie—in the March/April issue of Femme Majuscule:  '"De regarder devant, vers le soleil! Les regrets ne servent a rien." ("To look ahead towards the sun, regrets do not help anything.") Of course, we only know what they're saying because one of our favorite bloggers translated it for us. Josephine Lalwin has been blogging from London and St. Tropez since 2009. Her aim is to “inspire women of all ages to have fun with fashion and to create a chic lifestyle”.  Check out the amazing photograph of Casadesus and Consigny at Chic At Any Age.

Zodiac Birthday Shoes

We really want these even if we can’t afford them. London designer Charlotte Olympia Dellal has come up with stylish flats decorated with each sign of the zodiac. You can buy them for yourself—or put them on your future birthday list. Each pair comes with a book about your astrological sign.

John Waters

Salty Sayings from John Waters

Movie director, writer and all-around raconteur John Waters turned 67 on April 22. The man who made Hairspray 25 years ago is always quotable--and frequently bleepable. Flavorwire put together 67 memorable remarks to honor his natal anniversary. Here’s one on the subject of style that’s rated PG: “I always say to kids, with fashion, that they shouldn’t be wearing designer clothing — they should copy it. Go to the thrift shop and buy the worst thing that the coolest kid in school would never wear. It’ll be the thing that’s the most ‘out.’ Buy it and turn it into something that’s funny and witty. Fashion is confidence. If you can get away with wearing it, it’s a new style.” 

Meet the Matriarch, Barbara Bush: 

From left to right:Barbara Bush,  daughter-in-law Laura Bush and granddaughters  Jenna Hager, and Barbara Bush

Caryl interviewed Barbara Bush when her husband ("41") was president  and the White House had just turned 200 in 1986 for a special issue of Life Magazine celebrating the Bicentennial. The former First Lady spoke her mind even then. This week she and family members joined "43" for the opening of his presidential library in Dallas, Texas. Hear what the matriarch had to say about the family dynasty. And, say hello to the fourth generation of Bush women-- Margaret Laura Hager (Mila) born April 13, 2013.

Happy Milestone Birthday: One Hundred Years Young!

The beautiful woman on the left is the birthday girl.  The beautiful woman on the right is her daughter and Second Lives Club member.  Her advice for throwing a centenarian's birthday party:  "You can't go wrong 
with a sing-along banjo player."

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

What is Dropbox? Does it really make file sharing easier?

Maryl stops downloading files and starts sharing them on the cloud

That’s not a picture of a moving box. I'm not relocating but I am packing up my photos, Word docs, spreadsheets, PDF’s, slides and videos and taking them on the road. That’s essentially what Dropbox does. It’s a free and simple service that saves all your larger, more conventional files on the cloud. And it saves you time in two important ways: 1) you don’t have to email attachments to anyone, including yourself, ever again and 2) you can work from any location, computer, tablet or smart phone. I can get you up and running in two easy steps! 

Friday, April 19, 2013

SLlinky* Friday: 8 Dangerous Travel Destinations for Women & One That Isn’t--plus Bradley Cooper, Ann Sinclair and Goya

* Caryl and Maryl troll the web for the best Second Life links this week:

Leaving On a Jet Plane: A week of unrelenting and upsetting headlines make us want to pack up and get away for a little R & R. Well, according to Business Insider, you won’t want to go to these 8 places if you are a woman and want to be safe. (Full disclosure: The article reads like a list of Caryl’s past vacation destinations.) But there’s one exotic locale where two of our favorite bloggers have done the advance work for your next trip--Morocco. Check out Shifting Gears where writer and friend Judith Ross traveled to visit her son, a Peace Corp. volunteer, in Tinghir. And don’t miss Slim Paley’s post on Ouarzazete from where she and a girlfriend departed for a luxurious desert camping trip. Both of these fearless travelers know how to shoot—pictures, that is.

Bradley Cooper with mother Gloria 

Home Again: Our adult children always know that they can return to the nest when they need us--but they also come back when we need them. Bradley Cooper, Oscar nominee and good son, has moved back in with his mother while the family continues to grieve the loss of Cooper’s dad.  Having his mom around is "not without complications," he says. "It's not like I live in a compound and she's in the guesthouse. No, she's in the next room." Read more at People.  

Arianna & Ann
Huff Post 60: Life for Ann Sinclair is getting better after 60. The recently-named head of Le Huffington Post, the French offshoot of Arianna Huffington’s internet empire, has finalized her divorce from Dominque Strauss-Kahn, disgraced director of IMF. Who knew Sinclair, 64, and her new boss, 62, have the same birthday? July 15. We learned this and more at The New Yorker.

Wanted: Smart Advertising for smart women. Do the people at Dove really think we are going to believe a forensic sketch artist can draw us to their beauty bar?  Well, they’ve got soap in their eyes, according to Salon.  For more on what the people behind the brand were thinking, fast forward to the videos at brandchannel.  Idea for the new advertising campaign: A + ; Execution: F. (And, that’s not for feminism.) 

Speaking of Feminism: You can 
buy social provocateur and author Susan Jacoby’s e-book The Last Men on Top for $2.99 starting April 23. Or, you can read  this excerpt (and learn a new word), "Sex in the Mad Men Era: Phallocrats and Fake Virgins",  at The Daily Beast.

Goya's “El Sueño de la Razon
Produce Monstruos” at Boston's MFA
Art Heals, we know that. Thank you to Mostafa Heddaya whose post on Hyperallergic  reminded us why museums are always “a place of respite” for our communities and gave us another reason to love Boston in this difficult week.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Pursuing Purpose, Passion and a Paycheck

Laura Lee Carter                                        Dana Buchman                                     Marci Alboher

Caryl recounts real stories of real women looking for the next thing

There’s a reason the word mid-life is often coupled with crisis. The years between 45 to 65 are often filled with loss—loss of a job, a marriage, a parent—but also a loss of identity. With children grown, careers stalled, relationships sometimes stagnating, as thinking women we know a fancy new sportscar or a Madmen-like affair would never be the answer. No, we are looking for something bigger, more profound, something truly life--maybe even world--changing. And, we wouldn’t mind some money too. The three women above have found purpose, passion and a paycheck in their second lives. Their stories provide inspiration, direction--and hope.

Friday, April 12, 2013

SLlinky*: Fashion Inspirations from Our Past and Present

Annette Funicello                                              Lily Pulitzer                                          Maggie Thatcher

*Maryl and Caryl troll the net for the best Second Life Links this week

Annette, Lily and Maggie:  One was a mouseketeer who traded in her ears for a bikini and capris in a string of 1960s cult beach movies but remained the modest girl next door and later a gracious spokesperson for Multiple Sclerosis. One was a designer and heiress who initially sold her brightly colored dresses along with orange juice at a Florida fruit stand proving that hard work is fashionable even for socialites. One was the first female major political leader in the West who put the power in power suit--no pants, just skirts and the right handbag-- and was thrilled when she was named to the international best-dressed list.  Annette Funicello, Lily Pulitzer, and Margaret Thatcher who all died this week left behind distinctive legacies of substance and style. Click on names for appreciations of the latter. 


Style Sleuthing in the Present:  We love writing about what to wear in  our second lives but we're not a fashion blog exclusively. There is however, a dedicated band of women bloggers who devote themselves to finding clothes that work for our lives.  Here's 8 of the best fashion bloggers over 40 from Independent Fashion Bloggers.

Start Up Fashion:  This bias cut, cotton blend slouchy tunic can be yours for a pledge of $65 on Kickstarter, a new way to keep your closet current and help give deserving talent a chance.  "Cool, sexy, urban clothes designed for pursuing your passions" is how designer Patrick Robinson (most recently of Armani and The Gap) describes this collection of over a dozen pieces for both men and women. 

Warby Parker  frames

Seeing is believing:  We admit it, we were skeptical of getting reasonably-priced (starting at $95) vintage frames and filling our complicated prescriptions over the internet until we watched this video at Business Insider.