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.