Wild Thing

After a few weeks of wanting to hibernate, my mind has been whirring at full speed with words. It’s still a distinctly abnormal world by everything that is so odd – and I see everyone getting snarled up, in how to respond to that.

I’ve felt other things coming into a groove. New-growing ideas. Stuff to take forward, moments to relish, plans to make, and plenty of music to celebrate and investigate.

One thing I have watched sporadically is the wild output of so many people that are involved in Paris Fashion Week. With today being the last day, I will offer my take on it. While the shows from the designers have plenty to offer, in particular for the red carpet or for those in the corporate world, I tend to look more outside of the shows, since these are more versatile everyday clothes or sportswear. And the Paris fashion pack are crowding to be photographed in their attire.

I enjoy watching from my computer- although a front seat would be far better, the catwalk shows and how fashion influencers must take the opportunity to debut their best in one final attempt to grace the magazine pages.

Parisians, renowned for their inimitable aesthetic and ability to achieve the epitome of “chic” with ease, the fashion pack are always the ones to watch.

But the younger set including models with the exception of Olivia Palermo keep showing up in their worse attire. The street style set championed the athleisure trend, which comes as no surprise throwing the old school rule book out the window.

I see those who continue donning underwear as outerwear. Yes, the trend is well and truly back, as distasteful as it is.

Double denim is notoriously the biggest fashion faux pas in all the land. I see no point in being redundant. It reminds me of when ladies would match their shoes including the fabric to the dress they were wearing. This is a bore.

No one seems to get enough of the sleeve, and while I think a bell or a pleat is fun, when a dolman starts skimming at the hip, it’s too big and overwhelming. Why do people think that more is better, when too much of something borders on absurdity?

I see a lot of mismatch of everything that rings, I just rolled out of bed, grabbed the first thing I saw and who cares?

Those are my impressions. How do you feel about what you’ve seen either inside or outside of the shows? Do share.

Moon phases and cycles

If you listen to the radio, watch the news, or get on Facebook, we are confronted with the same sad news: violence, crime, wars, disasters and many opinions.

Last week was a very intense week, which I attribute to the moon. In case, you don’t know, full moon names have been used by many cultures to describe the full moon throughout the year. Specifically, Native American tribes used moon phases and cycles to keep track of the seasons by giving a distinctive name to each recurring full moon. In January, amid the cold and deep snows of midwinter, the wolf packs howled hungrily outside Native American villages. Thus, the villagers began calling January’s full moon the Wolf Moon.

But the intensity hasn’t stopped. This will be a very powerful week and whether you choose to watch the inauguration or not; there will be a celestial opportunity to release old energy patterns and make way for the new, if you keep centered and remain positive.

Anger plays a major role in our current conflicts. It exasperates the problem. Contrary to belief, it’s not active, nor is it a solution. A solution would be by taking action and doing work for the benefit of everyone to re-shape our institutions.

Rather than joining the uproar that add to the upheaval, you can choose; either acceptance which is love or spend as much time as you can in nature and in silence and allow for the transition.

Ultimately it’s only through compassion that revive our humanitarian values. If we treat whomever we meet as a friend, as someone part of our human family, regardless of what they say or look like, this is true meaning of compassion and we aspire toward peace.

A Portal of Change

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It seems that the word, “power “ is the one to watch out for this week. We all have it, it’s not relegated to only the politicians. And we all possess the power to create. We create daily by the words we use, the thoughts we hold and the actions we take. If your triggers are being pulled, remember that things happen as a reflection of the desires of people.

When words thoughts and actions are not positive and uplifting unfavorable consequences occur. The best way to change an outcome that you are not pleased about is to pray. Sometimes the best you can do is pull back or walk away. Any healer knows this. fm

While we go through change this week, we have the opportunity to clean the slate with the power on 11/11 by virtue of two power numbers and again next Monday, November 14 when the full moon that peaks will be closer to Earth than any other since 1948.

The full moon won’t come this close again until 2034.

The scientific term “perigee moon” refers to when the moon is at its closest point to Earth in its orbit. When a perigee moon coincides with the full moon, the extra-large, brightly lit moon is known as a supermoon. NASA says this month’s supermoon will appear 30 percent brighter and 14 percent larger than a typical full moon.

NASA reports observers will be able to see a “moon illusion,” which makes the moon look exceptionally big when viewed through foreground objects like tall buildings.

This moon will reach the crest of its full phase at 8:52 a.m. Eastern time, and perigee will occur within about an hour to an hour and a half of that time, but it should look exceptionally big and bright throughout the night.

So what does the mean for us? If you are impacted by the full moon keep in mind that energy is building ….there’s an explosive outgoing aspect to a full moon. All of nature grows and is more vital. It can be a powerful time to release, cast out, unburden yourself, purge, etc. Celebrate your emergence by stepping out of an old skin, identity, behavior, attitude, relationship. A ritual helps you by marking this inner transformation in a formal way.

What if you miss this month’s supermoon? You’ll have one more chance next month when the last supermoon of 2016 will rise in the sky. However, it won’t be quite as close as November’s, which NASA says will be a “showstopper.”

Suit Yourself

039-lauren-bacall-theredlistThis week being fashion week in New York, I was  compelled to write about fashion. Not on the images I’ve seen but on those that I haven’t seen. I’ve always been fascinated by the power found in suits. It’s part physical, part cultural. A suit weights you with a particular set of motions, a decisive way of walking and holding your hips. Remember Alicia as the Good Wife? She walked with a stride that denoted complete authority. Suits also come with a weight of associations: of business and commerce, a day at the office, in a courtroom and from everyone from Marlene Dietrich to Jackie Kennedy.

In fact, I set out to include the history of the suit and the intrigue that comes with donning a garment we still may deem as ‘mannish’ or, in the babble of fashion magazines as ‘boyfriend style.’ But the relationship between fabric and the skin beneath – the more I thought about them, the more I realized just how interesting and complicated they are.

The last suit I owned was black, made by designer Yoanna Baraschi. I couldn’t get just any ordinary blazer and wanting one for an afternoon event, I needed a vintage looking ensemble, so I opted for a fitted peplum jacket with a pencil skirt. I wore it with a leopard high-heel in 2008 for a singing engagement (I was part of the quartet) at the Appleton Museum in Ocala, Florida. And I sang as part of a duo Cole Porters’ Night and Day.

At that time, I still made the mistake of purchasing clothes that did not (pardon the pun) suit my lifestyle. Now I would choose something that would give me longevity and since I don’t lunch at a country club nor present in court, a suit is not for me.

But I’ve always liked them; in fact when my niece was about to be married in the late 90’s and my mother asked me what should she wear, I suggested she buy a suit. She did but had misgivings because she was a practical shopper. When I saw her in it all I could say is: you look like a million bucks.

I’ve never liked the fuddy types where you wear a blouse underneath. I like the ones where a jacket in a v-neckline is cut to show off the waist, hugs a woman’s body and where a skirt gives you a peek of her calves with a kick back pleat. And if it’s off-set with a hat, fur or gloves, wow! Very Christian Dior.

As for today, I salute the suit, and what I love most about it is possibility: the strength and potential found in it. It’s the kind of garment that makes your posture change. A suit will make a statement and demand that you move, and stand differently, assertively, in the right place, keenly aware of how this small act of magic is conjured up in powerful clothing.

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Live each day as if…

Skies were clear and pristine blue, temperatures were in the 70s—not rare for December in the Los Angeles basin—and local birds sang as I labored at my computer. The trauma of Paris slipped out of my mind as I went on with my day. I thought about how fortunate I was to be here at this moment, and how much I might see as the result of my efforts.

Then on a diversion, I called a friend who shared the events that left me stunned and horrified. The aftermath of blood that was shed in Paris hasn’t dried and now again, more violence.

Redlands is where my niece lives with her 4 year old son, and where the attacks broke, and it took a while before I could soothe my saddened soul. Standing there watching the news, a mute witness to a mowed down life, I was filled simultaneously with deep sadness and bewilderment.

Sadness for the lives that these people would never live, sadness for their families and friends, and bewildered by the killers or possibly terrorists and also for the governments that either sponsor them and the governments that are too docile to keep ahead of them.

All over San Bernardino, the weary and the sorrowful are gathering hope from a world that worships and needs—more than ever—their support. I feel certain that based on American history, they will be united in strength as much as in grief.

Today, the Seine still flows under gilded bridges north to the English Channel, as it has for many years. The city’s great monuments to civilization—retain their dignity and poise. Perhaps they even stand taller and more noble in the aftermath of tragedy, as if to encourage its citizens to not be diminished by fear.

Being a vintage soul, I often wondered what it would have been to have lived through a war. I wonder no more.

In 1941, when the Germans occupied Paris, the writer Colette was holed up in her apartment overlooking the Palais Royal. In her essay, Paris From My Window, she wrote: “We did not know that the blows destined to fall one day upon a country so filled with beauty would reverberate through each and every one of us. We know it now. It is with this kind of love as it is with the other: We find out very little about it from the joyful times. We are certain of its presence and its power only when it brings us pain.”

In the meantime, I believe in spirit and resilience. And even more so, how tragedies can unite us; if we see the importance of values like freedom and humanism.

I have been reflecting on the past year, it’s restorative quality. Certainly for me, a sort of welcome, zen undertaking at a time when our world has been shaken to it’s core.

I give thanks for life and all that it brings and pray that shattered hearts heal and that the spirit that shapes humanity becomes indestructible.

We are programmed to fight, for our lives. I hope that those lives lost before death interrupted, had found that something to live for, and great enough to die for.

Returned to its latino origins

The first mayor of Santa Monica was Juan Jose Carrillo, father of Leo Carrillo, a prominent figure in early Southern California history. Many of us that grew up in the Los Angeles county school system will recognize his name as a conservationist.

Last night, history repeated itself and returned to its Latino origins, after a long dry spell.  Tony Vasquez inauguration as Santa Monica’s mayor took place at the Le Meridien Delfina Hotel in Santa Monica. I watched as he was sworn in by Congresswoman Lucille Roybal- Allard.

Roybal-Allard comes from a political family. Her father and mine knew each other. My father had great respect for Congressman Edward Roybal, known for his low-key style, and served the district where my father, known for his gregariousness, had his office for twenty years.

Vasquez, a longtime resident of Santa Monica also had a birthday this week, so there was a double celebration. We share a mutual friend, a wiz at putting on an event, Pete Moraga.

The event had about 250 attendees, many of them in politics and the media along with a Buddhist contingency including Jazz musician Herbie Hancock and his lovely wife Gigi, whom I got to practice a few words of German with.

Following the ceremony, there were mariachis that motivated one to get up and dance.

I have no doubt that Vasquez will offer innovative solutions to instill Santa Monica as a progressive city of culture, art, and economic stability for its citizens to thrive.