“When things get tough, the tough get going.” (- Jesse Dickson Jewell (Daddy))  “With all this s_____ , there must be a pony here somewhere” (- Janet Tallulah Jewell (me)).  “Is the glass half full or half empty?” (- I don’t remember).  My family was big on metaphors/cliches/similes, especially Daddy and Mama Dorough (my grandmother).  There are many others that come to mind, but the one I like is the one about the pony.   “Cut the crap; Keep the Pony”.  It has a certain ring to it.  Reminds me of the following line from Coppola’s “The Godfather” – “Leave the gun, take the cannoli”.  Well, not really.  totally different!  Hey, just go with it!  

     The Backstory:  Steve, pure blooded Italian that he was, was always quoting lines from “The Godfather”.  He was particularly fond of that line.  So, when I looked up the backstory, this is what I found out.  About 50 minutes into The Godfather, the scene begins with Mafia henchman Clemenza leaving his house and his wife shouting: “Don’t forget the cannoli”.  Clemenza is played by the Bronx-born actor Richard S Castellano (“Richie”). Mafia henchmen Clemenza and Rocco get into a car with Paulie. They intend to kill him.  Clemenza says that they are going to look for “mattresses” (safe houses) and directs Mafia henchman Paulie to drive to “309 West 43rd Street”.  There follows a shot of the car driving in the countryside beyond New York. Clemenza asks to pull over to take “a leak”. Three shots are fired by Rocco into Paulie’s head. As Rocco gets out the car, Clemenza says: “Leave the gun – take the cannoli.” In later years, Coppola gave all credit to the actor: “Richie improvised the line,” he said.  Neither the shooting script n­­­or the novel mentions cannolis, but Coppola had his own childhood memories to draw this detail from: he remembered the specific white boxes that his father would bring home after work. That said, it was not Coppola who generated the line: Clemenza’s “Take the cannoli” line was an improvisation on the part of actor Richard Castellano, who portrayed him. 

        My improvisation with metaphors comes naturally to me as an actress, when I am not busy being something else (you-name-it! – writer, attorney, guest, friend, mother, expat, client, patient…… the labels go on and on).  I just make it up as I go along.  That’s when I remind myself, “KEEP THE PONY!”  Huh? What?   

        Well-l-l-l-l-l, as I continue downsizing, I am coming across many items and patterns and fears and activities and people ….. that I want to keep and others that I want to “let go of”.  And, at night, when I watch the news, I am finding it very hard to control my frustrations with the world these days.  So, I have decided to try to fill my life with ponies.  Just keep the Pony!  Let go of the rest. That is when decision comes into the picture.  And, the decisions I make depend upon my emotional temperature. And, when I take my emotional temperature, it is never the same. It fluctuates. But, often, a certain temperature keeps popping back up.  And, BAM, that is when I take action.  As Daddy would say, “Don’t talk about it! Take action!” “Do something, even if it is wrong!”  “Do it, anyway!”  And, on it goes.  See what I mean?  (sigh).  Actually, saying to myself “Keep the Pony” works for just about everything – friends, family, events, goals, and a general streamlining of life itself – Only keep the Pony. For example, Missy is a Pony.  My piano is a Pony.  They both are keepers.  Old magazines articles and pictures of me aren’t making the cut.  Hey!  It is working for me!

          Meanwhile, I have leased and paid my security deposit on a small furnished Studio in Paris, starting February 1, 2020, in the 6e  (Sixth Arrondissement).  It is only for a year, but that will give me time to become acclimated to the City and to find a place that feels right for me.  I LOVE the 6e, but it is expensive in that arrondissement.  So, I will probably have to move and then move and then move.  So, I must ONLY keep the Pony.  And, the Pony will be the only thing that matters.  The owner wants to move into the Studio, so she is waiting for a year to let me stay until I can look.  I am very happy and appreciative.  So, I need to “travel light”.  That is when I ask myself, “Is this item a Pony?”  And, that is the way I must work for the next two month.  I still have December 2019 and January 2020 in Nice to downsize and I am now down to those items that I (up to now) thought I could not live without.

         In the meantime, I got my 2020 Titre De Sejour (Identity card and “gold” to an expat).


and rode the new tram for the first time, yesterday.


And, I had a wonderful Thanksgiving with a friend at a delicious restaurant in Old Town Bistro d’Antoine.




I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Meanwhile, on to Christmas – my favorite season!!! Stay tuned…….




Published by jjaywmac

Jay W. MacIntosh (born Janet Tallulah Jewell) is a retired attorney, actress, and writer from the United States, living in Paris, France. She is a member of the California Bar and selected to the 2018, 2019, 2020 Southern California Super Lawyers list. She holds a Master’s Degree in Drama from the University of Georgia and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, and Zodiac Scholastic Society. As an actress, she is a member of The Actors Studio, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS), SAG-AFTRA, and ASCAP, performing in film and television in the United States and France. Her published works include Journal of Janet Tallulah, Volume 1, Journal of Janet Tallulah, Volume 2, The Origins of George Bernard Shaw’s Life Force Philosophy, Moments in Time, Capturing Beauty, JAYSPEAK on the Côte d’Azur, and Janet Tallulah.


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