FOOD FOR THOUGHT IN “THE INTERESTING TIMES IN WHICH WE LIVE”

As the old Chinese curse has it: “May you live in interesting times,” and the twentieth century is probably the most “interesting” period mankind has ever known. Now and then, I see an article on Facebook that I save because something about it is “interesting’ to me.  After I save it, I may or may not go back and re-read it or use it in some way.  Phi Beta Kappa often posts articles that I save. The one I am focusing on today was posted on Facebook by Phi Beta Kappa and written for the Washington Post by  a man named Vivek Wadhwa.  It could just as well be written by me. Because I agree with Mr. Wadhwa.  We need both the humanities and engineering, especially today at a time when the heart and creativity seem to have taken a back seat to political ideologies, rantings, and ravings. We must encourage the pursuit of the humanities today. We cannot let them get buried beneath chaos and a heartless pursuit of power fuelled by narcissism.

Who is Vivek Wadhwa?  Vivek Wadhwa is Distinguished Fellow and professor at Carnegie Mellon University Engineering at Silicon Valley and a director of research at Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization at Duke. His past appointments include Stanford Law School, the University of California, Berkeley, Harvard Law School, and Emory University. This article is titled “Why Liberal Arts and the Humanities are as Important as Engineering.” Mr. Wadhwa writes, 

“Earlier in my academic career, I used to advise students to focus on science and engineering, believing that they were a prerequisite for success in business. I had largely agreed with Bill Gates’s assertions that America needed to spend its limited education budgets on these disciplines, because they produced the most jobs, rather than the liberal arts and humanities.

This was in a different era of technology and well before I learned what makes the technology industry tick.

In 2008, my research teams at Duke and Harvard surveyed 652 U.S.-born chief executives and heads of product engineering at 502 technology companies. We found that they tended to be highly educated, 92 percent holding bachelor’s degrees and 47 percent holding higher degrees. Hardly 37 percent held degrees in engineering or computer technology, and 2 percent did in mathematics. The rest had degrees in fields as diverse as business, accounting, health care, and arts and the humanities.

We learned that, although a degree made a big difference in the success of an entrepreneur, the field it was in and the school that it was from were not significant factors. YouTube chief executive Susan Wojcicki, for instance, majored in history and literature; Slack founder Stewart Butterfield in English; Airbnb founder Brian Chesky in the fine arts. And, in China, Alibaba chief executive Jack Ma has a bachelor’s in English.

Steve Jobs touted the importance of liberal arts and humanities at the unveiling of the iPad 2: “It’s in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough — it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the result that makes our heart sing, and nowhere is that more true than in these post-PC devices.” With this focus, he built the most valuable company in the world and set new standards for the technology industry.

Logitech chief executive Bracken Darrell, who majored in English, also emphasized this. I recently asked him how he turned his company around and caused its stock price to increase by an astonishing 450 percent over five years. He said that it was through relentlessly focusing on design in every product the company built; that engineering is important but what makes a technology product most successful is its design.

The key to good design is a combination of empathy and knowledge of the arts and humanities. Musicians and artists inherently have the greatest sense of creativity. You can teach artists how to use software and graphics tools; turning engineers into artists is hard.

And now, a technological shift is in progress that will change the rules of innovation. A broad range of technologies, such as computing, artificial intelligence, digital medicine, robotics and synthetic biology, are advancing exponentially and converging, making amazing things possible.

With the convergence of medicine, artificial intelligence and sensors, we can create digital doctors that monitor our health and help us prevent disease; with the advances in genomics and gene editing, we have the ability to create plants that are drought resistant and that feed the planet; with robots powered by artificial intelligence, we can build digital companions for the elderly. Nanomaterial advances are enabling a new generation of solar and storage technologies that will make energy affordable and available to all.

Creating solutions such as these requires a knowledge of fields such as biology, education, health sciences and human behavior. Tackling today’s biggest social and technological challenges requires the ability to think critically about their human context, which is something that humanities graduates happen to be best trained to do.

An engineering degree is very valuable, but the sense of empathy that comes from music, arts, literature and psychology provides a big advantage in design. A history major who has studied the Enlightenment or the rise and fall of the Roman Empire gains an insight into the human elements of technology and the importance of its usability. A psychologist is more likely to know how to motivate people and to understand what users want than is an engineer who has worked only in the technology trenches. A musician or artist is king in a world in which you can 3D-print anything that you can imagine.

When parents ask me now what careers their children should pursue and whether it is best to steer them into science, engineering and technology fields, I tell them that it is best to let them make their own choices. They shouldn’t, I tell them, do what our parents did, telling us what to study and causing us to treat education as a chore; instead, they should encourage their children to pursue their passions and to love learning.

To create the amazing future that technology is enabling, we need our musicians and artists working hand in hand with our engineers. It isn’t either one or the other; we need both the humanities and engineering.”

YES, the twentieth century is definitely “interesting”. I don’t know if it is the most “interesting” period mankind has ever known. I think there were probably other interesting times, but what do I know?  Just thinking out loud……

Best, Jay

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THE EUROPEAN UNION’S ‘COPYRIGHT DIRECTIVE’ – A COMMENTARY

This past week, on Thursday, July 5, the European Union Parliament (MEP) voted on an incredibly controversial bill, called “Copyright Directive”, and, if it had passed or if it passes in the future, the web as we know it will change considerably. The Directive was put forward for a full vote in June after it was approved by the EU’s legal Affairs Committee (JURI) The legislation seeks to change how copyright works on the Internet. Article 11 and Article 13 are the most contentious parts to it, even though that are a lot of parts to it. The wording to both is vague, but here goes a try by me to explain:

Article 11, as I understand it, requires stricter checks on links within articles so that if a website hyperlinks to another website in an article, it would require websites to pay for a license to do so.  So, in this blog, if I hyperlink a restaurant’s website to my article in my blog post on my WordPress.com website, I would have to pay for a license to do so. Or WordPress would be required to pay for a license, if its users use hyperlinks.  OUCH!!  That might be fine for large media companies, but for smaller ones, such a fee may be beyond their means. They just wouldn’t do it, so that would be the end to their/my ability to hyperlink possibly useful information. For those of you who are not familiar with the word “hyperlink”,  that is the word that describes when you can click on a word, and it automatically connects you to another website, like the Negresco Hotel.  Click on it to see what I mean. It should take to to the Negresco Hotel’s website. That is called a “hyperlink”. Not the greatest explanation, but hopefully you now know what a hyperlink is. 

AND, U.S. sites that operate in the EU would have to adhere to these rules.

Article 13 would make publishers responsible for all content that’s posted on their site, even in comments from users. So, if you were commenting on an article and posted a link to or picture of copyrighted material in your comment, the website would be liable. Thus, this Article would require all sites to monitor copyright on their sites themselves, including anything posted by users.  OUCH!

As you can see, this legislation, if passed, would change the future of the free and open INTERNET. It probably will change anyway; it is just a matter of when, especially with the US recently repealing its Net Neutrality laws. Say what???  What were the U.S. Net Neutrality laws? The net neutrality rules were approved by the FCC in 2015 amid an outpouring of online support. The intention was to keep the internet open and fair. Under the rules, internet service providers were required to treat all online content the same. They couldn’t deliberately speed up or slow down traffic from specific websites or apps, nor could they put their own content at an advantage over rivals. The repeal of Obama-era net neutrality protections officially took effect on Monday, June 11, 2018,  nearly six months after the Republican-led Federal Communications Commission voted to roll back the rules. In a press release Monday, the FCC said the repeal does away with “unnecessary, heavy-handed regulations” and replaces them with “common-sense regulations that will promote investment and broadband deployment.”

Problems Regarding the EU Copyright Directive:

1) Both Article 11 and Article 13 make demands on anyone operating a popular website to monitor copyrighted material and to pay fees when linking out to their articles;

2) Both articles are vague. Enforcing them would be difficult, if not impossible, transforming the Internet into a tool for surveillance and control of users (Big Brother!!);

3) The entire Directive covers people who talk to each other online. 

The good news is that this Directive was rejected (rejected by a margin of 318-278) on July 5, even though a slew of high-profile music stars had backed it – such as Paul McCartney, Annie Lennox, Placido Domingo and David Guetta – arguing that users illegally uploaded their music. MEP decided the changes needed more debate; and sent the proposals back to the drawing board, to the Commission. The two sides will undoubtedly step up their campaigns in the meantime. I read somewhere that the next vote will be sometime in September 2018.

Which begs the question: Why it this happening at all? Because the EU Commission wants more modern copyright law that takes account of the features and potential uses of digital technology and widens the degree of European cross-border access to protected works online.  It wants a broad reform of EU copyright laws. And, not that I know, but when a legislative drive like this begins to manifest, it is only a matter of time before things change. So, enjoy the last few weeks or months of internet freedom. The Internet, just when I am beginning to know how to use it- like most things, is changing with the times.  The rules will stifle internet freedom and creativity. However, copyrighted works online DO need to be protected. SO…….

Those of you who don’t spend a lot of time on the Internet, this won’t matter anyway. To those of us who are interested in International Copyright law and look up caselaw online, and google just about everything from “sore throats”, good cat food, Thai Food Restaurants, to knee replacements, and orthopedic surgeons, etc., brace yourself!  It is not “IF”; it is “WHEN” and “HOW MUCH.”

More than you ever wanted to know, 

JAY, Esq. 

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A BASEBALL MEMORY

In the midst of all the chaos going on in the world, especially in my United States, it is good to remember constants that bring us together. Like baseball.  Apple pie.  Hot dogs. Even though baseball is in “full swing” right now, I need to post this video. It makes me feel good when the news makes me feel bad. Next week is July 4th.  Like it or not, it is still a happy holiday. SOOO, I am posting this video, produced by STEVE ORLANDELLA with voiceover by (ME!!!) JAY W. MACINTOSH. It is just a moment of baseball, Fenway Park, and the Red Sox!!  Steve loved baseball and his Red Sox!  He did this video from his upstairs loft office when we were living in the townhouse on Bentley Avenue in Westwood. When he asked me to do the voiceover, I was honored, pleased that he admired my work. I learned a lot about baseball from Steve. I cherish the Emmys (for producing the Jackie Robinson special and the Dodger baseball games) that sit on my bookshelf.   

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And, since I now know how to post videos to Jayspeakblog (thanks to my niece, Debby Kroll), I present to you a Steve Orlandella short movie – “BASEBALL IS BACK”.   That guy knew and loved his baseball!! 

 

 

The Game

 

https://www.amazon.com/Game-Baseball-Companion-Steve-Orlandella/dp/1484808924/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1530256060&sr=8-6&keywords=steve+orlandella

Best, Jay

 

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A PHILOSOPHICAL MOMENT….

Often, I think of philosophical concepts that interest me, like “the sound of one hand clapping” or “creativity is intelligence having fun” or “obligation can be a prison” or the philosopher Lao Tzu’s question he asked over 2500 years ago that perfectly describes the spirit phase, “Can you step back from your own mind and thus understand all things? Giving birth and nourishing, having without possessing, acting with no expectations, leading and not trying to control?”

Most of the time, it is easier to post pictures of the Mediterranean Sea or of few roses or of an interesting moment about my life in France. I try to avoid writing about politics or religion or my frustrations with the political climate in the U.S.  Yes, I know, I know.  Some nights, I post commentaries on Facebook and delete them at 3 a.m. after the evening news and dinner wine have worn off.  Yes, maybe a comment here and there or a cartoon or two. But, I don’t like the inevitable resulting attacks and insults. 

Today is different. These thoughts have filled my mind for a long time – especially during the period during which I practiced law, “fighting for justice” for the worker or employee against bully-supervisors or corporate executives. Now, even more so, with the Trump administration taking drastic actions against policies and procedures I believed were the basic beliefs and founding blocks of the United States of America. It is too long and arduous a task to try to explain to you when and how I arrived at being interested in this subject. Just know that I am and have been for many years. 

The question is  this:  Does the end justify the means? My answer:  It is according to which side you are on.  Clients would say to me, “I want justice.”  Other attorneys would say, “We are fighting for justice!”  What is justice? Well, it is according to which side you are on.  From where I sit, not all “means” are permissible. But…. according to whom or to what?  The Civil Code? The Supreme Court? The Company Policies and Procedures?  The Bible?  God?  Allah?  The employee?  The Company Executives?  If the end justifies the means, it follows the means must be justified.  And, the means is justified – according to which side you are on. Ugh.

Most of my life, people have said the end does NOT justify the means. “Do unto others what you would have them do unto you.” Matthew 7:12.  What about the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki “to save lives”? What about the Civil War?  In the American Civil War of 1861-65, for example, both sides engaged in similar acts of violence. But one side was fighting to defend slavery and the other to end it. It appears that every ruling class in the world operates on the assumption that the end justifies the means – according to which side you are on. And, now, the United States is consumed with immigration arguments, as is Germany, Italy, and Spain. Plus, other countries. People in power risk the lives of millions of ordinary soldiers on both sides in order to control some market, some bit of land, or some slice of power. Is this the chief function of official morality? Is it immoral to kill in peacetime but a sacred duty to kill in war? Is it impermissible for strikers to use force to stop a scab crossing a picket line but obligatory for a police officer to use force to break up that same picket line?  And, the list goes on. 

Note to Readers: This is NOT a debate. Just a few observations and rhetorical questions. Please DO NOT try to tell me what to think.  It is too late for that….

Best, Jay

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PAMELA’S BIRTHDAY!

June 19th is my friend Pamela Keilson’s birthday.  To celebrate, Pamela, Margaret Keith, and I got luncheon reservations at La Chevre d’Or in Eze. The three of us took the 82 bus from Nice to Eze, excited about spending the day celebrating Pamela life at one of the most gorgeous spots on earth. Needless to say, we had fun, laughing a lot at everything. Things went wrong – my knee hurt; the bus was FULL of people; it was hot as hell; a complaining taxi-driver drove us up the hill; steps were EVERYWHERE; the food was salty; Pamela’s dog kept drinking water and peeing; I talked too loud; Pamela accidentally left her gift at the bus stop back to Nice; the bus was FULL of people; it was hot as hell; I bitched about my knee….  Things went right – I made it there and back; the taxi was free; people loved the dog; waiters brought lots of water; food was good; wine was delicious; people were patient, the view was great; we laughed a lot; people got up and gave us their seats….  A wonderful day!

 

Best, Jay

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A TIME TO REMEMBER

I was born in 1937. This is true. I remember as if it were yesterday.

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“Born in the 1930s and early 40s, we exist as a very special age group.

We are the smallest group of children born since the early 1900s.

We are the last generation, climbing out of the depression, who can remember the winds of war and the impact of a world at war which rattled the structure of our daily lives for years.

We are the last to remember ration books for everything from gas to sugar to shoes to stoves.

We saved tin foil and poured fat into tin cans.

We saw cars up on blocks because tires weren’t available.

We can remember milk being delivered to our house early in the morning and placed in the “milk box” on the porch.

We are the last to see the gold stars in the front windows of our grieving neighbors whose sons died in the War.

We saw the ‘boys’ home from the war, build their little houses.

We are the last generation who spent childhood without
television; instead, we imagined what we heard on the radio.

As we all like to brag, with no TV, we spent our childhood
“playing outside”.

There was no little league.

There was no city playground for kids.

The lack of television in our early years meant, for most of us, that we had little real understanding of what the world was like.

On Saturday afternoons, the movies, gave us newsreels sandwiched in between westerns and cartoons.

Telephones were one to a house, often shared (party Lines) and hung on the wall in the kitchen (no cares about privacy).

Computers were called calculators, they were hand cranked; typewriters were driven by pounding fingers, throwing the carriage, and changing the ribbon.

The ‘INTERNET’ and ‘GOOGLE’ were words that did not exist.

Newspapers and magazines were written for adults and the news was broadcast on our radio in the evening by Gabriel Heatter and later Paul Harvey.

As we grew up, the country was exploding with growth.

The G.I. Bill gave returning veterans the means to get an
education and spurred colleges to grow.

VA loans fanned a housing boom.

Pent up demand coupled with new installment
payment plans opened many factories for work.

New highways would bring jobs and mobility.

The veterans joined civic clubs and became active in politics.

The radio network expanded from 3 stations to thousands.

Our parents were suddenly free from the confines of the depression and the war, and they threw themselves into exploring opportunities they had never imagined.

We weren’t neglected, but we weren’t today’s all-consuming family focus.

They were glad we played by ourselves until the street lights came on.

They were busy discovering the post war world.

We entered a world of overflowing plenty and opportunity; a world where we were welcomed, enjoyed ourselves and felt secure in our future. Although depression poverty was deeply remembered.

Polio was still a crippler.

We came of age in the 50s and 60s.

The Korean War was a dark passage in the early 50s and by mid-decade school children were ducking under desks for Air-Raid training.

Russia built the “Iron Curtain” and China became Red China .

Eisenhower sent the first ‘Army Advisers’ to Vietnam.

Castro took over in Cuba and Khrushchev came to power.

We are the last generation to experience an interlude when there were no threats to our homeland. The war was over and the cold war, terrorism, “global warming”, and perpetual economic insecurity had yet to haunt life with unease.

Only our generation can remember both a time of great war, and a time when our world was secure and full of bright promise and plenty. lived through both.

We grew up at the best possible time, a time when the world was getting better. not worse.

We are “The Last”

More than 99 % of us are either retired or are deceased, and we feel privileged to have ‘lived in the best of times’!”

I don’t recognize the world today. It is not the America I remember and loved. 

Best, Jay

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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.

Restaurant Phenicia

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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