A DAY BY THE SEA IN ANTIBES

On Saturday, June 16, 2018, two of my U.S. expat friends, Pamela Keilson (from San Francisco) and Margaret Keith (from Selma, Alabama), drove with me to a fun event by the Sea in Antibes, hosted by The American Club of the Riviera (ACR). Antibes is the home to Port Vauban, the largest yachting harbor in Europe, which can accommodate boats of more than 100 meters.Sea JUNE-2018-ACR-EVENT-PICASSO-MUSEUM-COVER-28

ACR was holding its June event, starting with a private guided walking tour of the famous Picasso Museum. Antibes was build upon the foundations of the ancient Greek town of Antipolis. In the 12th century, Monaco’s ruling family, the Grimaldi’s, constructed The Chateau Grimaldi, which faces the Mediterranean Sea above the rampart walls that were built to protect the city. In 1946, the Chateau was the home of the artist Pablo Picasso for six months. Today, the Chateau is The Picasso Museum, the first of many museums in the world dedicated to Picasso.  Picasso himself donated works to the Museum, and in 1990, his widow Jacqueline Picasso bequeathed works to the Museum. Between you and me, I am not a fan of walking tours, especially with my bad knee. Steps EVERYWHERE. But, I was interested in finding out about the Museum so I did my best. Picasso has always been one of my favorites.

We also toured the Antibes Cathedral – Notre Dame de la Plateas and walked by the Harbor, into the streets of Old Town.  The weather was gorgeous!!

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We ended up at the Restaurant Le Phenicia for a Lebanese Meze (Lunch) Delicious!  This is the Restaurant.

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This is the view!!  WOW!!

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Probably one of the best results of this day for me is that I have now made the decision to have a knee replacement.  I was miserable trying to keep up with the requirements of the day – walking.  I still had fun, but …  you know what I mean.  

Best, Jay

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A MEMORY IN MARSEILLE – JUNE 9, 2016

 

On June 8, 2016, Steve and I drove to Marseille to spend the night so that we would be in town early the next morning to meet his Auntie Gloria and cousin, Erica. They were passing through Marseille on a Carnival Cruise, and we all wanted to spend time together for a day. We had rented a Blacklane town-car for the occasion and made luncheon reservations in Aix-en-Provence at a lovely garden restaurant. The entire day was delightful! At the time, we did not write about that day or post a lot of photos.  And, neither one of us had started writing our blogs.  So, I am posting these memories today – better late that never. Posthumously, for Steve. He loved his “Auntie Gloria” very much and this was a special day for all of us.  Along with the photos is a movie I made, just for fun and to post on my channel on YouTube. Let’s say – The pictures speak for them selves.  A fun day for all of us.

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Best, Jay

 

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RAMBLING….

Oftentimes, I don’t know what to write when it comes time for my weekly Jayspeak post. Today is one of those days.  It has been a difficult two years for me since Steve died.  I have succeeded in putting on a brave face and taken steps to rebuild a life in a country that is foreign to me. I don’t wear the tragedy of Steve’s death like a “badge” like I have seen others do. But, I still find each day full of challenges, like trying to be nice when I meet new people so I won’t say something to alienate them (which I am good at doing because of my anger at all of it.)  Or, making myself do stretches when I get up, or getting out to take long walks when my knees hurt and my body aches.  I have allowed myself to set basic goals – just show up.  Forget being nice, being Miss Personality, or being fun-to-be-with.  Just show up.  Get dressed and walk out the door.  So, this one is from the heart. Bear with me while I ramble…. I am posting this photograph for no good reason. Just because I like it…

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Where was I?  Oh, yes…. I am depressed about the choices Donald Trump is making, while I am very proud of Justify for winning the Triple Crown (wow).  I am concerned about the status of U.S. Citizens (expats like me), not only in France but also in Europe.  It is a time when I am not proud to be an American.  What happened to common sense? When asked, I say I am from California. That sits better with people. Then, they want to know where in California. When I say Los Angeles, that always brings a smile with an enthusiastic response. San Francisco also works, but I am from Los Angeles and proud of it.  People like LA.  So do I. 

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After that, I do a lot of “active listening”.  I don’t try to talk a lot (believe it or not). I have nothing to say, really. Yet.  That will change with time.  Haha.  How do I frame all of the things that have happened to me or who I am. And, I don’t want to talk about Trump. Period. End of story.  AND, don’t give me a lecture about what I should talk about.  I still have to “frame” my presentation of myself. It is in process……  Get a load of the “lame” one, trying to act comfortable on a bunch of uncomfortable rocks at sundown…  Just saying….

unnamed-2That said, I am actually making progress in major ways. I speak some French. I have met a lot of people – interesting, dynamic people. I have more friends. I get invited places. I have joined the International Women’s Club of the Riviera.  I am still learning about this group and the opportunities that it opens for me. At the same time, I remain a member of The American Club of the Riviera, Democrats Abroad, and The Wisdom Cafe.  At some point, I will have a voice. Soon.  Not yet, but soon. I am still pondering getting the knee surgery. I have places I want to go and things I want to do, but difficulty having the energy to get there and back.  How do I get more energy?   

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Often I think my lack of energy is because of the low-grade grief that I have as my constant companion.  How do I process that?   Plus, I am afraid, walking home late at night down dark side streets to my front door. All of the streets to my apartment building are “side streets”.  Like walking home in NYC – on a much smaller level.  As a result, I avoid night events even though I have interest. I can always call Uber (excellent service in Nice) if I am willing to call Uber to take me a few blocks. Usually, I risk it and walk, hoping my “I am surrounded by the white light of the Christ, repelling all evil and negativity from my being” helps me get safely to the front door.

IMG-0919See, while the world is in chaos, I am mostly concerned with the chaos happening right here in my little one-bedroom apartment in Nice, France. Here I am, actress, attorney, college professor, mother, grandmother, writer, editor – trying to start over, redefine myself with all of the “wisdom” I now have. (sigh) Meanwhile, in another part of the forest, I got a “European” cat – Missy aka “Iris”. Now, I really don’t like it when I have to read about other people’s pets, but Missy has been just what the doctor ordered for silly me, sitting here trying to solve the world’s problems plus my own.

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Missy’s real name is “Iris”. But, we had a lady named Iris who ironed for Mother when I was little, so I renamed her “Missy”, a name I have loved for a long time for no real reason.  She is a “rescue”.  Who knows what she has been through. I would say “a lot” because she was very quiet and motionless at first. I was concerned she couldn’t hear because she did not acknowledge my presence when I spoke to her. Maybe she was “active listening”.  Haha.

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That has all changed. Missy has now become relaxed and is beginning to “play”.  She still doesn’t meow very loud or use her scratching post.   I sometimes wonder if she got the memo that she is a “chat”.  I took her to the Vet (which is another story into itself), and the only thing wrong with her is that she has ear mites from the Rescue Center.  Her Vet (Dr. Lagrot – excellent!) and I are treating that. This morning, she woke me up playing a piano piece “Kitten on the Keys”. So, as you can see, I am as crazy about the cat as I hope the cat is about me.  She is definitely helping me like this apartment and my “garden patio” (haha). 

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But, as Steve would say, “Enough about me, let’s talk about you, what do you think of me?”  (miss my guy….)  (Sighing) Well, that is more than you ever wanted to know, but at least I got to bitch and complain on paper for a minute or two. Now, where was I? 

Best, Jay

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JUST WONDERING……..

Often, from time to time, I read something that I save for no good reason.  Somehow, it speaks to me.  Not too long ago, I read this – probably on Facebook, and it spoke to me.  Today, I want to share it with you. I want to thank the author – Author Unknown – for writing it.  That took courage.  I don’t know her, but I feel like I do.  I hope that she doesn’t mind that I am sharing it.  She signed it and hash-tagged it – #triggerwarning #vulnerable.  
“I read a quote recently that said ‘The world has enough women who live a masked insecurity.  It needs more women who live a brave vulnerability.’  Ann Voskamp  
 
Vulnerability is our most accurate measurement of courage. I want to be a woman who shows up and claims her space in the world, unapologetically. I am also obsessed with becoming a woman comfortable in her skin. 
 
I am recovering from an eating disorder.  This is the first time I’ve claimed this fact or said it out loud to ANYONE, including myself.  I have said all types of things to skirt the subject or mask the insecurity.  I even tried to type that phrase in a million different ways that didn’t sound so…. well so vulnerable.  There have been times I would commit to doing it differently and KNOW all the ‘right’ ways of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but I would always revert back to my old ways, limiting my food and calorie intake to an extreme degree paired with a specific weight loss aid. Did it work?  Yes, kinda, sorta… NO! Temporarily, perhaps, but NO…  Ok, firm NO, this cycle was NOT serving my mind, body, or spirit and goes against all I believe in. 
 
About six months ago, through a lot of prayer and tears, I chose to end this cycle that was not serving me. It’s been really hard, humbling, and scary… but, it’s working.  No, I didn’t miraculously lose or maintain weight; I didn’t join a gym or run a marathon or start a NEW diet.  I just was.  I just allowed myself to be.  I focused on my family, my business, my faith, and spirituality.  In so many ways, I have felt more grounded and amazing than I have in my lifetime and, at the same time, freaking the heck out because, like any recovery process,  still fighting the urge to turn back.  It’s a strange space to be in when your head, heart, and soul are besties, but you haven’t fully embraced the amazing creation that is carrying them around every single day.  I think my body is one of the significant reasons I am sharing this because she deserves to know that she matters… that she is appreciated.  I also recognize I have children watching me, wanting to be LIKE me, and, as I have been seeking to increase my spirituality and faith, it became clear to me that I was not honoring my Creator by disrespecting the magnificence of the gift HE gave me.  This is my public apology to Him and the incredible gift he has trusted me with.
 
As you can imagine, six months in, I have learned a LOT of things about myself.  Some things I was excited to see and some not so much, but my heart is truly full of gratitude, and a grateful heart is a magnet for miracles.  Where am I now?  Well, I’ve stopped thinking I had to do it all… and that I had to do it all alone.  I have learned to lean on my God for ALL things including THIS.  I’ve learned it was ok… actually vital to my health and spirituality …to let go of this unhealthy crutch and change the way I see myself.  Oh… and the biggie …that I don’t have to be perfect to be seen or successful to be loved.  
I was NOT excited to share ALL of my truth.  Not here, not anywhere.  But have felt called to do it over and over and over again.  Soooooo…. I’m showing up with the prayer and promise that it will be ok.  It feels vital in the process of letting go of the old and embracing the new, and, as I have typed this, the fear is beginning to fall away… and with that, comes hope.  Perhaps this will resonate with some of you.  Perhaps this is my catalyst for my continued growth and change. 
 
‘And I said to my body softly, I want to be your friend. It took a long breath. And replied, I have been waiting my whole life for this.’  Nayyirah Waheed”
I love it!  My mind needs work.  My body needs work.  (sigh).
Best, Jay
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A HAPPENING…….

When I leave in the mornings to go for my walks, I never know if I will be inspired to shoot photographs or not.  Since I consider myself a “photographer” of sorts – with a fan base (haha), I have an obligation to get shots that I think are good.  AND, I am very critical of my work, trying not to use photos that I don’t like. Many times, I have so many good ones that I don’t know what to do with all of them. Other times, I have nothing that looks good.  I used to post a daily rose on Facebook, Instagram, and two sites on Foap – one with just flowers and one with other shots I like (the Sea, Gardens, Architecture, and such).  I was excited that people liked my flowers.  Now, I see my photo shoots as an assignment.  Hmmmm.  

That said, the other day, I started my walk, completely uninspired. In fact, my walk seemed like an assignment.  Dr. Castillo (my orthopaedic surgeon re the “health” of my knees that now have two series of Acid Hyaluronic injections and are better) said, “Every day, you MUST walk!”  Ugh.  It was one of those days when I say to myself, “Don’t think.  Just get dressed.  Get your keys and money.  Put on sunscreen.  Walk out the door. Put one foot in front of the other.”  (sigh)  I did not take my charger because I did not plan to use my phone that much.  

Well, let me tell you —- it started with the smell of the jasmine!  Then, I saw the Sea,  and I fell in love.  My excitement at the color of the water, the clouds in the sky, the boats in the Port, the crisp morning air – wow!  I am posting a lot of photographs today – even though some are better than others.  Needless to say, I was sorry I did not bring my charger. Thankfully, I did not get any calls or messages before I got back home.   Here we go….

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Then, I started rounding the bend….

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And the obligatory SELFIE of me with the Sea in the background.  Obviously, there is no one around to give me hair and make-up!!  And, I tried to smooth out some of the wrinkles. Should have left it alone.  Sorry about that!   

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Attempts at panoramas, gone wrong!!

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Here is another attempt at a panorama. My granddaughter Jamie tried to teach me how to do a good one, but I am still trying to get it right.  This one looks weird to me.

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Then, I left the Sea to enter the Market.  First came fruits and vegetables and cheeses and fish and meats.  I watched one of the venders make a fresh strawberry and banana crepe.  Note to Jay: get a fresh fruit crepe soon.  Yum.  By the way, I am making all of these individual images because I want you to see all the colors in the photos. 

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Artists, woodcarvers, soaps, and other assorted items were all mixed in there. I wanted to get the woodcarver, but didn’t get a good shot.  The soaps and stuff didn’t interest me. And, the artists got VERY upset if I tried to take photographs of their work. So…..

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The flower photos are uninspired as my enthusiasm began to wane. I was ready for a croissant and coffee, and I wanted to find the toilette. So it goes….  I will save the flower posts for another day.  Actually, I went to the Monastery Garden the other day.  I have yet to post the feast of roses I shot that day.  Next time!!

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Best, Jay

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JAYSPEAK SPEAKS –

As of May 23, 2018, Jayspeak has 104 posts, 29,997 views, 3,835 visitors, and 1,329 followers. Hopefully, this post will take the views over the 30,000 mark.  I am proud of that, especially since I started my blog as a fluke.  (See the Jayspeak post entitled “Flukes”).  At present, Jayspeak is “under construction”.  Not really, but many of the posts are missing their “visual aids”.  Explanation – stupid me, in February 2018, DELETED the pictures from the WordPress Library, thinking I no longer needed to store them because the posts were “published”. I could delete those pictures to make room for more.  WRONG!!!! BIG MISTAKE.  Deleting the pictures from the Library deleted them from the posts. So, one-by one, I am repairing all posts.  It is taking time but worth the effort. I have a lot of followers and appreciate my fans.  Thank you to all my readers. I will try to keep life interesting from this spot on the planet. Fingers crossed for my country.  Nothing goes as planned.  (See the Jayspeak post about “Making God Smile”.  

Best, Jay

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CANNES 2018!

This year, the American Club of the Riviera (ACR) arranged its luncheon in the very middle of the Croisette, right in the midst of all “the players” and atmosphere of the Cannes International Film Festival, on Saturday, May 12, 2018.  We were invited to have lunch with ACR members and guests at the Vegaluna Beach Restaurant on the Croisette Beach, opposite the Intercontinental Carlton Hotel.  Perfect date and place for the lunch! Everyone was in town – or so it seemed.  The energy was electric!!  Banners and people were everywhere.  Needless to say, I was excited!! 

I took the train from Nice, making reservations for the 10:27 train so that I could spend photography time before arriving at the 12 noon lunch. Easy to do since I live only a few blocks from the Nice Ville train station. 

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Very nice trains in France!

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When I arrived, I went to the Croisette!  Easy, peasy – headed straight for the Sea! Right away, I felt excitement everywhere.  Merchants at doors, people having coffee in garden-like settings, roses, gorgeous shop windows.

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People at box office windows getting tickets for a film, company banners hanging from hotels, Variety magazines for the passerby (I had one, but tossed it since it was heavy to carry), Hollywood Reporter go-carts,

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The gorgeous Carlton Hotel, always pleasing to the eye,

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I  crossed the street on my way to the Vegaluna Beach Restaurant to photograph the numerous yachts, parked at Sea. 

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You get the picture!!  Wow.  On to the restaurant. Jeanette, ACR president, greeted me at the door. Yes, this works! 

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My Menu choices were thus: 

Starter: Burratina & Violet Artichokes shaving. Truffle & Roquet OR Marinated black tiger prawns & rock shrimps in sesame oil with bean sprout salad.  Hmmmm

Main Course: Jumbo prawns with a curry and coconut milk sauce. Thai style rice OR Asian style sliced beef tenderloin with coriander and flavored rice.  Hmmmmm

Dessert:  Tiramisu with chestnuts & rum OR Fresh fruits with fresh mint salad.  This one was easy….

I had ordered in advance when I made my reservation – Artichokes, Jumbo prawns, and Fresh fruits.  Yum!

We gathered at noon for aperitifs and nibbles, “enhanced by palm trees, white sand and azure sea”.  I saw right away friends from past events.  Margaret and Jane, plus others.

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The luncheon followed.  I was at Table 4.  Great table.  Everyone was interesting, especially the woman next to me, Monique. I sat between Monique and her husband Nigel. He is a barrister from the U.K. They live between Antibes and London, spending quality time in Antibes and planning to move to France permanently next year.

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The luncheon was “augmented by insights from Film Industry professionals  (no comment!), as well as the famous film quiz (no comment!)” Being a Film Industry professional, I remain undiscovered, but it is my own fault. I do more listening than I do talking. Oh, well….  All in good time….

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All in all, it was a fun day. I am still missing Steve A LOT when I go to fun events. I am hoping to get over that in time.  But, for now, there is still an ache in my heart. Maybe that will never go away.  Stay tuned….

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Everyone was still table-hopping and gabbing when I left to catch my 4:12 p.m. train for Nice.  Next time…..

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On the way home, I vowed to get tickets and attend events next year.  Right now, I am still a voyeur, looking in from the outside. I want to be on the inside.  I will give that time and attention during the year.  That will take planning!

Best, Jay

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“TRA LA, IT’S MAY, IT’S MAY ….”

Tra la, it’s May, the lusty Month of May
That lovely month when everyone goes blissfully astray
Tra la, it’s here, that shocking time of year
When tons of wicked little thoughts merrily appear
It’s May, It’s May, that gorgeous holiday
When every maiden prays that her lad will be a cad
It’s mad, it’s gay, alive, a lust display
Those dreary vows that everyone takes, everyone breaks
Everyone makes divine mistakes
The Lusty Month of May
Whence this fragrance wafting through the air?
What sweet feelings does it’s scent transmute?
Whence this perfume floating everywhere?
Don’t you know, it’s that dear forbidden fruit
It’s May, the lusty month of May
That darling month when everyone throws self-control away
It’s time to do a wretched thing or two
And try to make each precious day one you’ll always rue
It’s May, it’s May, the month of “Yes, you may”
The time for every frivolous whim, proper or im-
It’s wild, it’s gay, depraved in every way
The birds and bees with all of their vast amorous past
Gaze at the human race aghast
The Lusty Month of May
Tra la, it’s May, the lusty Month of May
That lovely month when everyone goes blissfully astray
Tra la, it’s here, that shocking time of year
When tons of wicked little thoughts merrily appear
It’s May, it’s may, the month of great dismay
when all the world is brimming with fun, wholesome or un-
It’s mad, it’s gay, alive a lust display
Those dreary vows that everyone takes, everyone breaks
Everyone makes divine mistakes
The Lusty Month of May
          – Songwriters: Alan Jay Lerner / Frederick Loewe
I love May!!  It is a fun month. Tra la.  Here, “May Day” is France’s Labor Day – La Fête du Travail.   It is a public holiday to campaign for and celebrate workers rights. It is also an occasion to present lily-of-the-valley (Muguet) and/or dog rose flowers to loved ones – La Fête du Muguet.  I got one from my French teacher at my lesson on Monday.  Isn’t it pretty?

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This is a ‘dog rose flower”.  I am not sure that I am familiar with dog rose flowers.  This photograph looks like rose “dogwood” to me. Maybe that is what it is.  Except the bouquets I saw just looked like small roses. 

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This custom is particularly common in the area around Paris known as Île-de-France. So I am told, families with children in country areas get up early in the morning and go into the woods to pick the flowers.  Individuals, grocery stores, florists, flower markets, labor organizations – all sell bouquets of lily of the valley (muguet) on the street.  Apparently, there are special regulations that allow people and some organizations to sell these flowers on May 1 without paying tax or complying with retail regulations.  

IMG_2723IMG_2724Trade unions and other organizations organise parades and demonstrations to campaign for workers rights. People may also use these events to campaign for human rights in general, to demonstrate against racism or highlight current social issues.  Any of this sound familiar?  “France on extra high alert for May Day as protesters march against Le Pen”.  And, where was Le Pen?  “Le Pen used Nice — a French Riviera hub that boasts a diverse population — to forward her anti-immigration stance, saying it has ‘suffered from very strong pressure from migration that has partly changed the face’ of the city.”  Yep, home is the safest place for me to be on May Day 2018. I have courage and a sense of adventure, but that is not it.

unnamed-1My friend Kate, a woman of adventure and courage, told me that she had a lovely time at Rauba-Capeu on Tuesday.  When I asked her what that was, she explained that she attended a celebration for May Day made by the people of Nice on Rauba-Capeu where each person brings a fish for the pot, wears a homemade hat, and puts a wish under the skirt of Santa Cappellina, an effigy they put in the Sea.  Santa Cappellina (I think) is/was a saint in a virtual chapel that is a unit for families and youth where one enters to light a candle and to know the devotions and prayers of the day.  When I looked up “Rauba-Capeu”, I discovered that it is the name of the area where I walk in the mornings.  Who knew?  Apparently, a lot of people. Haha. I discovered that I walk at the foot of the Castle Hill, where the Promenade des Anglais becomes Quai des États-Unis along the old town, then Rauba-Capeu, which offers one of the finest vistas on the Mediterranean Sea and the beautiful blue and ochre nuances along Promenade des Anglais.  Witness my photos that I had taken that morning, during my walk. 

IMG_2679IMG_2678IMG_2683IMG_2701IMG_2689IMG_2704IMG-2687IMG-2703I like the idea of Santa Cappellina and going into a virtual chapel to light a candle and find out the devotions of the day.  My niece, Deb Prince Kroll posted something I and re-posting here because I like it.  “Imagine you walked onto a large open field at night when there was no moon. Standing there silently in the darkness were hundreds of people, each holding an unlit candle. Only you were carrying a candle that was burning, a single light alone. How quickly would the field be glowing once you used your candle to light others, and they used their candles to do the same, and all the people began sharing their light with those around them? How quickly? You may never know exactly, but you do know over time what the outcome will be: a field aglow in the darkness where people can see one another clearly. Your life matters. What you have started will carry on. You are a source of light. You help others in ways that will continue. You are a single candle, but you are stronger than the darkness.”  — Steven Charleston

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As always, the Marche des Fleurs took my breath away.  I bought a red geranium for my patio. Slowly but surely, I am decorating my outside room with color, bringing home a plant most days I walk. The plants are fresh, healthy, and affordable.  That works!

unnamedIMG_2735IMG_2722 Between you and me, life is Nice is interesting, even on the bad days.  Do I miss home in Los Angeles? Yes.  Do I miss my family and seeing my grandchildren grow up? Yes.  Do I miss theatre and restaurants and Mexican food and my friends, and ……  YES.  The answer is yes.  Many days, I have to pinch myself to remember that Steve is gone and I am in Nice, France.  I would love a good taco about now, with salsa and chips.  Hey, it’s Cinco de Maya!! And, I am in Nice, France!!  I am practicing law!!  My clients are U.S. expats in Nice or people, living in the U.S.  Whenever I need help, I associate an attorney in whatever state necessary to work with me.  As an active member of the California Bar, I am continuing to do what I love.  As my new best friend, Nietzsche, said, “All things are subject to interpretation. Whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth.”  ― Friedrich Nietzsche.  A demain……

Best, Jay

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“THE YACHT AND I”

 Reality checks are the pits. Every time I have one (that I recognize – haha), I feel that “pit” in bottom of my stomach. Yesterday, as I was working on this post, the “Thoughtful Mind Inspiring Quote for April 28th, 2018” (that I receive each day by email) was the following, “All things are subject to interpretation. Whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth.”  ― Friedrich Nietzsche.  (sigh)
With Nietzsche’s word’s in mind, I started this writing, asking myself – how do I interpret this week’s reality check?  Maybe you have a good idea. This is what happened.  This past Thursday was the fourth Thursday in April.  The Wisdom Cafe was having its monthly meeting.  Usually, we meet at a restaurant in Valbonne.  But, this month, Olga – a member – had invited the group to her yacht, anchored in the “Gare Maritime”, in Cannes’ Port.  YES!!  I accepted immediately.  I was given a choice – I could bring food or wine, attend  morning (10-12) or afternoon (2-4).   I chose wine and afternoon.  That would give me time to find the “Interparking Palais” and the “Gare Maritime” and still have time to get lost.  Haha.  I wanted to drive.  I don’t know that much about getting around in Cannes.  It’s time I learn, especially since I am going to an ACR (American Club of the Riviera) luncheon there on May 12, during the Film Festival. 
This was my plan. (As Steve would say, “You have a plan for everything.  OK, what’s the plan?” Drove him crazy, Mr. Spontaneous, himself!) I would take Uber to my parking place (on Mont Boron), get my car, drive to Cannes, find Interparking Palais, have a light lunch in time to meet people at the Gare Maritime entrance at 1:55 pm.  Walk to the yacht and hang out all afternoon. Yes! After that, I would drive myself back home – I knew how to get there (sort of).  Hmmm.  PLUS, I must be careful with wine, especially since Waze and I keep challenging each other, e.g. the right exit off a round-about and knowing when to “turn right” or “bear right”.  Ugh.  Waze does a lot of “recalculating”.  (sigh)
This is what happened.  Hang in there! I am just getting started.  Being as I don’t have any yachting gear (yet), this is what I took. Haha, not exactly “maritime”.  And, a bottle of Côtes du Rhône Les Pierrasques (red). 
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This is my “Watch-Cat”!  I gave her instructions of what to do if I had a problem.  But, I would call to keep her informed of my whereabouts.
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After taking Uber to Mont Boron, getting my car, driving to Cannes, getting lost several times, and finally finding Interparking Palais, I began the day’s “Shoot”.  I planned to take a lots of photographs, starting with the Maritime gear and Missy and the parking rates sign (Cy’s photo) and a picture of my parked car (haha).
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Once I found my way out of the convoluted garage with lack of sufficient signage (ugh), I saw a restaurant – Caffe Roma – across the street that looked acceptable with the necessary “toilette”.  I ordered my usual – Caesar Salad, and found the toilette, not necessarily in that order.  So far, so good.
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At 1:55 p.m., I was at the Entrance to Gare Maritime.  The group was gathering.  At some point, everyone started walking along the quay (sp?) to the end, to bear right on “Jetee Albert Edouard”.  I had to keep reminding myself to take photographs of the gorgeous yachts, one after another, because the group kept moving.  I needed to keep up.   No one was waiting for me to get my camera working.   
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At some point, my photography took a back seat to my survival instinct.  I saw “our” yacht.  What???   Where is the gangplank?  I must step over two feet of water to that narrow thing?  With my knee?  That’s when I really needed the photographs.  But, noooo.  Plus, I didn’t want my iPhone, falling into the Sea.  Terror replaced exultation and excitement.
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Once I saw what I had to do to get on the yacht, I gave the bottle of wine to Sally (my friend) to give to Cy and Sara (our Wisdom Cafe leaders), and silently turned around (not wanting to make an issue of it) and slithered away. I was devastated and  humiliated. I didn’t want anyone to see my “shock and awe”.  On my way back to my car, I composed myself enough to take these pictures.
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Somehow, I found my way back to Nice, trying “not to think” while Waze kept “recalculating”.  (Needless to say, I got lost, thinking).  Parked the car. Took the bus to Place Garibaldi.  Got to my favorite cafe – Cafe Campo – for a glass of rose. Then, walked home, still trying not to think.  I knew Cy and Sara needed an explanation, but I would “think about that tomorrow” (thank you, Scarlett).  I hugged and kissed Missy a lot that night.  Somehow, I ate supper before going to bed early.  What a day!  The good news was that I did it!  I found everything on time!  I had a good Caesar Salad! And, the car was, as always, reliable!  (I love my Mini.  Thank you, Slav and Andrea!) 
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The next day, I walked 3.9 miles to “interpret” what had happened. I did not like what I knew to be true – I can no longer do all that I think I can do. My spirit soars while my body has limits.  Maybe I should get a knee replacement.  Ugh. 
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Once I got back home from my walk, I emailed Cy and Sara:  “Sorry I missed the festivities, yesterday. I had looked forward to an afternoon on the yacht since the March announcement. So, needless to say, I was disappointed. I owe all of you (and also myself) a word of explanation.  First of all, I have knees that are problematic. Little to no cartilage. I walk four miles and most everywhere I go these days, but I have difficulty going up and down steps. I must hold on to something, even if it is to touch the wall.  Haha, I often choose my restaurants according to how many stairs to the “toilette”.  My right knee is worse that my left. Sometimes it buckles for no good reason. Not often, but without warning. I have a doctor (orthopaedic surgeon) who has given me shots in both knees in 2017 and 2018. Those have helped a lot.  AND, I would rather not have knee replacement(s)  if I don’t have to.  Regarding the yacht, I assumed there would be a gang plank of some sort.   I also assumed there would a rope of some sort to hold.  In this case, the gang plank was narrow and did not touch the dock – approximately 1 1/2 to 2 feet of space to step over.  There was a low rope.  I saw Olga’s helping hand but did not think she would be able to steady me if I had trouble with balance. Now, if I plunged into the water, I would have probably pulled Olga in with me. That might have been fun since I can swim, and Olga is probably an expert.  But there looked to be six feet or so down to the water. That would require strength climbing up and out. My arms are strong, but not sure how strong. I would have to swim to shore.  Best to call it a day.  I pouted all the way home and into the night, had about three glasses of wine, and tried to “get over it”.  Haha.  Today, I have resolved to find a good gym with machines to begin body building anew and walked 3.9 miles.  Sorry, but at least I had lunch in Cannes and got to see the yacht.  SO, there you have it. As Paul Harvey would say, “And, now you know the rest of the story.”
This is a picture of the morning group.  I am still wondering how all those women got on that yacht. What do they know that I don’t? Of course, they are all younger with good knees.  (sigh)
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Needless to say, my watch-cat held down the fort.  Glad to know that I can count on Missy to be there for me.  Check my six (as Steve would say.)  
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Best, Jay 
109

A MIXED BAG

Facetune_19-04-2018-10-50-31Today, I am trying to “let go”.  Don’t misunderstand, I do this every day!! It is my nature to hold on and try to control. Haha. If you don’t believe me, ask my kids.  And, when things don’t go the way I want, I try to “fix” it, and when I cannot, I get “upset”.  (There is no good word for what I get.)  That’s why I have been running and now walking most of my life.  When I am out on the pavement or track or dirt road or…. I let go. 

This week, I got upset about my name – Jay W. MacIntosh. For those who don’t know (which is most everyone), it is a “made-up” name. No, I am not Scotch. No, “Jay” is NOT “Mr.” MacIntosh. When Steve was alive, his name was Felice Steven Orlandella. We would get mail for Mrs. Felice Orlandella and Mr. Jay MacIntosh. Ugh. We would both get “upset”.  Why did I chose a male name? WELL, first of all, it is NOT a male name. Why does everyone assume gender? NO, I won’t put an “e” on Jay.  It is 100% numerology, given to me by a psychic/numerologist in 1972. Yes, I know, psychics are a bunch of poppycock unless you believe in them. And, I did in 1972. BIG MISTAKE. I should have stayed with “Janet Jewell”, my maiden name. But, I digress….

This week, I got a communication from the California State Bar, “Dear Mr. MacIntosh”. NO!  I corrected them. I got a communication from The Actors Studio, “Dear Mr. MacIntosh”.  NOOOOO!  It took a lot of work and heart for me to become a lawyer and pass the hardest bar exam in the whole world.  I am a woman, and I WANT CREDIT FOR IT.  It took a lot of work and talent for me to get accepted by Lee Strasberg in order to become a lifelong member of The Actors Studio. I am a woman, and I WANT CREDIT FOR IT.   This week, I also got this communication, “Dear Mr. MacIntosh, As you know, you are a VIP listee with Marquis Who’s Who. Based on your impressive background, you were recently selected to receive our Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. “

There it is. I will always be remembered as a man. My entire life is for naught. Ugh. OK, maybe that is a tad dramatic. But, it does concern me.  And, there is nothing I can do about it.  I must “let go” of wanting credit for things I do or have done.  Ugh.  I spend hours making videos of family and friends to post for someone’s birthday, and Facebook gets credit for it.  Ugh.  NO, I DID IT.  I want credit. Ugh. EGO is the good news and the bad news.  Beware it becoming a tragic flaw. 

Now – this week’s cartoon commentary on the state of affairs of things.  Hold on, here we go!!  I was proud of Mark, considering….

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BASEBALL works!   I miss my in-house expert.  (sigh)

IMG_2442Plus, this year’s Masters produced some surprises.   

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Patrick Reed needs a good PR guy.  OR, he can take a lesson from Trump.  

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And, the state of women is constantly on my mind, especially since I will be forever remembered as “Mr. MacIntosh”.  (sigh)

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What philosophy to adopt in these “golden years”?

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EGO, I told you so!  You heard it here first!!  Haha.  At least, nobody thinks he is a woman.

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AND, as I said, “80” is the new “60”.  Life begins at “40”. Or, something like that!!

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And, with the knowledge that things change, why don’t we pay attention?  There is NO WAY to let go of this one.  I am going to HOLD ON to this one as long as I am on this earth.

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And, now a word from our sponsor…  A memo to the French, from me.

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Best, Jay

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