WORKING TITLE – MUSINGS IN PARIS

Today is the 16th anniversary of my marriage to Steve Orlandella.  We booked a weekend at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas.  Everything about that weekend was fun.  But I am not prepared to write about that today.  He died from heart failure on August 31, 2016, after having been treated in the hospital for double pneumonia.  Very similar to an early case of the Covid-19 today.  I cannot tell you the effect that his unexpected death has had on me ever since.  I have been surprised at the way I have handled things.  Not good.  I constantly must tell myself positive things.  Sometimes it works.  Sometimes not.

So today, I am going to tread water and post memes that have helped me. Possibly some of you are suffering too. Maybe something I post will help you. Or, maybe not. I hope so. THIS IS NOT THE WAY I THOUGHT LIFE FOR ME WOULD BE ONCE I GOT TO PARIS. But, my plan is not working …… yet.

The même/post below is important to me. I suffer with several of them. But, it is not easy growing old and dealing with health issues in a place (foreign country) where I don’t speak the language. Yet, I am happy I wake up in Paris each morning. In France and in the USA, I had friendships that have ended – or not; I have lost (sorta) my legal and acting communities in Los Angeles where I had built a reputation for myself; I miss the certainty that I once had; I question my judgment; I have let go of who I once was; I often feel lost and unanchored; and I question my familiar traditions of the past. I tell myself daily that I am open to letting go and loving myself and accepting myself with all of my imperfections and changes. And, most times, it works. Yet, I grieve….. (read) ……

I don’t think it is too late for me to change, grow, and transform. I am definitely outside of my comfort zone.

And, now that we feel better (sigh), remember to laugh often. It is important. Here are two cartoons that I find funny (sorta).

As you can see, I don’t have answers – only a lot of questions. I continue to be hopeful that clarity will come. And, I will keep on keeping on. And, for the closer,…….

Remember, we are all digging up negative conditioning. At least , I am. So, look for the green light, take a deep breath, and GO for it. There will be bluebirds over the white cliffs of dover —- tomorrow, just you wait and see. What have you got to loose? Change will happen whether we like it or not. As Steve would say, “If you want to make God smile, tell him YOUR plans.”

Best, Jay

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ON VACATION IN PARIS, AUGUST 2021!

HELLO, AUGUST,2021!!   I thought you would never get here.  Frankly, I love September.  But August is full of surprises for me.   I “remember” 2 wedding anniversaries, 5 birthdays of important people in my FORMER life, and one VIP death.  So, I am up and then I am down.  Let’s share and walk down memory lane, shall we? A moment to reflect.

Two Important wedding anniversaries:

August 17, 1957:  I had my first big wedding on August 17, 1957.   It rained that day.  Plus, I was 3 months pregnant with my baby daughter.  And Darrell MacIntyre was considered a major “catch” everywhere but in my hometown.  I was very excited.  And it was a memorable event.   We went to the Cloister in Sea Island on our honeymoon.  I found Darrell very sexy.  The marriage wasn’t’ so hot.  Stay tuned. 

Then, on August 7, 2005, I married a man I loved very much – STEVE ORLANDELLA.  He was also considered a “catch”. We booked our wedding and honeymoon night at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was glamorous, fun, and wonderful.  I was a successful attorney in Los Angeles, AND I was very happy. I think he was, too.

Now, for the five birthdays that were special to me. NOTE, these are birthdays from long ago when I had special friends in my hometown of Gainesville, Georgia, when I was growing up, all except for Steve. I had best friends at that time. And, I was good about remembering their birthdays. August was filled with them.

First and foremost, August 11, 1950 was Steve’s birthday. He was born and died in August (1950-2016).

August 7, 1938: Alice Whitehead Paris. She was a best friend. We have lost touch over the years. But, she was special. She is the tall, gorgeous one with me and Angela at the beach.

August 13, 1935: Rosemary Wood Johnston Dodd. She was a special friend and wonderful artist and actress. I had her paintings for years. We have also lost touch.

August 14, 1937: Carole Lilly Jones. We were best friends and still are good friends. Our parents were friends. She is my one, special lifetime friend and will always be.

August 27, 1973. Christopher John Uhler, my stepson for 12 years. A real cutie.

AND, the worst part of all of these memories is the month of August 2016, that Steve spent in the hospital in Nice, France, while the doctors battled to save his life. We NEVER dreamed he would die. We were on holiday/delayed honeymoon in July 2016 in Sardinia. It was wonderful. We were so in love. And, happy to be in France near Formula One in Monaco. Not in our wildest dreams…….

And, gone but never forgotten, Steve died on August 31, 2016. A man with a big heart, his heart failed.

I was supposed to go first. Not Steve. But, health issues plagued him and still plague me. In the plague in Paris. SO, those memories play over and over in my mind EVERY August. So, I will leave you with a picture of Steve on a good day in Marseille in June 2016 – two months before.

Best, Jay

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Thanks for any help at all that you will give to me. Aging is dealing with health issues – major and minor. Glad to still be alive with a 5-year plan in place. I plan to continue writing – as long as I can.

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SOME THOUGHTS FOR AUGUST 2021

Those of you who know me or have followed me on Jayspeak know that I have lived a life of relative abundance. And “things” mattered, and I had a lot of “stuff”. I had saved everything in case I MIGHT NEED IT OR WANT IT SOMEDAY. I made sure that I provided for my children through thick or through thin as marriages would come and go. So, you can imagine my shock and surprise to discover that they did not want any of my stuff / things. In fact, they did not want me. So I sit on the sidelines and watch as they accumulate their own stuff / things that they want and think they need to be discarded later in life…or not, That is a long story that I don’t want to reveal in this blog, but I decided to change my ways.

I moved with my favorite husband – the love of my life – to Nice, France, on October 1, 2015.  And, together, we got rid of stuff when we moved.  Piece by piece. 

The anniversary of his untimely death is on August 31, 2016. Almost five years ago. I began writing this blog shortly thereafter. And, I have been getting rid of “stuff” ever since. And trying to keep it together. Whatever “it” is. I now live in Paris. I don’t have much ‘stuff’. I am just happy to still be alive. A lot of my friends are gone. One friend wrote:

“Last night, my theatre family and I lost one of those people. Ray Cavaleri, thank you for being the embodiment of what a mentor is and for inspiring me to understand that there is more to an artist than striving to be in the spotlight, but to prepare the soil to be engaged in the fruitful display of the shared stories of the human experience. Thank you, Ray, for being Steve’s good friend.

“O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills,For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding,For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning…”

I am 84. And a post on Facebook puts into words what I want to say. I am struggling with brain strokes.  Shock and strokes have caused physical damage to me. And, in my study of my brain, I keep getting knocked on my ass with the stark reminder that adventure, love, prosperity, prestige…anything I have aspired to at all…is just the currency I have used to buy the four things that really matter: dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphins.

What????? 

Yes.  Realizing that even that kiss that melted my heart… only melted it because those four fairy godmothers waved their magic wands and turned my brain into a princess. But if my brain hits me with a really shitty exchange rate, if suddenly winning that Academy Award doesn’t matter, or belonging to the Television Academy doesn’t matter, or getting a part on a television show doesn’t matter and it only buys me a day’s ration of serotonin, then how the hell am I supposed to stock up for anything to look forward to?

That I can stand on the highest mountain and feel nothing but a desire to walk without a cane, is all I need to kick me in the ass and ask the most important question, how’s my exchange rate? What can I do to get more joy out of everything I’m presented with, big or small? How does anyone do that? I guess there begins one’s lifelong quest for whatever the hell I need to do to bring true value to the external pleasures of the world in the time I have left on this earth. Anything that promises – not pleasure – but perspective. There’s a good case to be made that those are the things that flood my brain with happiness because I opened a door by myself or stepped on a stair without holding on is all the evidence I need that “how I experience” is so much more important than “what I experience.” Goodbye, Steve and Ray. This post is for the two of you. I will always miss you. I will live life with you in my heart as best I can. After all, I now live where I always dreamed of living! Paris!

I don’t know who Sean Carter is on Facebook, but I thank him for getting this brain to think.  It needs all the help it can get.  Just some fillers that make me feel good. 

“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.” 
― Louise Erdrich (recipient of 2021 Pulitzer Prize).

Best, Jay

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I regret that I am having difficulties and want to get through this problematic time, but I appreciate any help you will give to me. Thanks, Jay/Janet

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SPINNING, OR NOT……….THE SPIN

Everybody has a story.  And, as I get older (and wiser), I “see through” pretentiousness. At least, I THINK I do.  And that is all that matters.  To me. Haha.  I am beginning to see that when people choose to be pretentious, it is mean to people that are not worthy of the presentation or just “LEFT OUT”. 

Stories vary, according to the storyteller. And, I have heard some doozies. The “spin” is all over the place, and I want to say, “Wait a minute, didn’t you just say…….” I don’t. I just let them go on while I smell something fishy. It has nothing to do with truth. This week, a friend of mine died. You should read the memorial that was written. I could not believe what I was reading. Because I was there. I know a lot of the truth. But the spin was interesting. Most of what was left out. Was that mean to those who were omitted? Was it intentional? I don’t know.

I am finding that ex-pats (expatriates) in France – or anywhere – have reasons why they are ex-pats. You should hear some of the spins I hear. It always makes me wonder why I am an ex-pat. What is my spin? Oops. What is her spin? What is his spin? Oops. If someone is on Facebook, you can get an idea of spins by reading what is really going on by the memes and posts they choose to post. Otherwise, you are on your own with conversation topics and the presentation of a person’s lifestyle. Is what they are saying in keeping with their choice of apparel, how they look, where they live, what they are eating for lunch, and such. I do it – study spins – because I enjoy it. I like truth, and I like for a person to try to tell the truth or try to accurately tell the facts. Maybe there is no truth because facts fluctuate.

And then there are the political spins in ALL countries. But that is another whole “ball of wax”, as my grandmother would say……… I call it “propaganda”.

It is all exhausting. 

Yesterday, I went to my favorite restaurant for lunch. I sat in my favorite corner, against a velvet curtain and the wall. And, while I was there, I watched an old lady (I am probably older than she was). She was walking with a gorgeous cane. Her hands shook as she held the menu. Her hands had diamonds on her fingers with gold bracelets on her arms. Before she ordered off the menu, she asked (in French) the server to straighten three pictures on the wall. I did not understand the French request, but the server straightened three framed pictures. I saw the owner of the restaurant see the server straighten the pictures and ask a question. After the pictures were straight, the lady ordered lunch with Pellegrino water. She did not order the special of the day. I did. After a dessert off the menu, she was finished.

I left before she did, but I knew that – with all of my problems and my spin (which changes every time I speak), I am better off than she is. My hands do not shake when I hold a menu. My cane was furnished by a hospital in Nice. I have diamonds that I chose not to wear for security reasons. I don’t like bracelets. They bug me.

So, I have NO answers.   Just a lot of questions.  So, I will leave you with a poem that I got off Facebook that I like.  A LOT. Many thanks to the original poster – a friend of mine.

“My dear,

In the midst of hate, I found there was, within me, an invincible love.

In the midst of tears, I found there was, within me, an invincible smile.

In the midst of chaos, I found there was, within me, an invincible calm.

I realized, through it all, that…

In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.

And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.

Truly yours,

Albert Camus”

Best, JAY

PARIS UPDATE

just because I like it…..

JAYSPEAK

This has been a wonderful week of catchup for me with lots of ups and downs. No comment. And now I am asking you to sit in the dark with me in case we are either one having difficulty seeing the bright side. Something or other triggers that recurring doom-and-gloom and then I have to pick myself up, dust myself off, and start over. You would think a Jillian times would be enough, but noooooooo. Here it comes again…..

Actually, it was a good week. I had a successful trip to see my general practitioner. I had a good health report. My blood pressure is behaving (sorta). I found a coffee and pastry shop open (most close in July and August). I feel qualified to sit down with you.

I got some flower photos.

I read about the Cannes Film Festival and remembered my time there with Jamie in 2017…

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PARIS UPDATE

This has been a wonderful week of catchup for me with lots of ups and downs.  No comment. And now I am asking you to sit in the dark with me in case we are either one having difficulty seeing the bright side. Something or other triggers that recurring doom-and-gloom and then I have to pick myself up, dust myself off, and start over.  You would think a Jillian times would be enough, but noooooooo.  Here it comes again…..

Actually, it was a good week. I had a successful trip to see my general practitioner. I had a good health report. My blood pressure is behaving (sorta). I found a coffee and pastry shop open (most close in July and August). I feel qualified to sit down with you.

I got some flower photos.  

I read about the Cannes Film Festival and remembered my time there with Jamie in 2017, and found this fun to read (see below). 

“The legendary Hollywood director Steven Spielberg and his wife Kate Capshaw are cruising off the Mediterranean coast, but it’s not been confirmed that they will pay a visit to the Cannes Film Festival. The director, who’s 74, is the owner of the Seven Seas, one of the world’s most luxurious super yachts which he bought in 2010 for 200 million dollars. The couple enjoyed a discreet dinner at the Hotel du Cap in Antibes earlier this week and it wouldn’t be a surprise if they make an appearance on the red carpet.

There are two competition films today. “La Fracture” or “The Divide” from the French director Catherine Corsini, stars Pio Marmai and Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi as a couple on the verge of a break up who find themselves in a hospital emergency department as a huge demonstration is taking place in Paris. Meanwhile, Paul Verhoeven’s biographical drama “Benedetta” stars Virginie Efira as a novice 17th century nun who joins an Italian convent and starts a love affair with another woman. Charlotte Rampling and Lambert Wilson also feature. Both films are in French with English subtitles.

Lunch at my favorite restaurant in the neighborhood.

I ordered and got at LA POSTE my updated French checkbook with my new/old current address on the checks for the doctors who require a check or cash (requiring euros in the account.  Oops).

I walked more than before and am taking an honest look at the role I play in my own suffering. Oops. Worry less and believe more.

IT was “Fashion Week” in Paris.

“Fashion Week” is happening in Paris (PFW). That is a happening that I have heard of all my life and dreamed of wearing designs from the Paris people. Actually, I think the designers like Armani and others that I love are from Italy and work out of Fashion Week in Milan. But I don’t know a lot about any of them. I have read up on some of it and want to include some information here. When I was practicing law, I wore Armani suits – in navy and black and grey. I had several in my wardrobe. I still have most of them in my closet, but I seldom put them on anymore. This is what I have discovered. It is interesting (I think.)

There are four important fashion weeks, often referred to as the “Big 4”: New York, Paris, London and Milan. But Paris is home to the industry’s first-ever organized “fashion week”. Since its inception in 1973, the event has been an unmissable rendez-vous for all fashion lovers, both in France and worldwide. While the official title is “Semaine des Créateurs de Mode”, the Paris Fashion Week, or PFW, is the most commonly used expression.

The events at Paris Fashion Week are divided into 3 categories: Menswear, Haute Couture and Ready-to-wear.  And of note to attorneys like me, the word “Haute-Couture” is protected by intellectual property copyright.  
To be eligible, the houses need to fulfil the stringent criteria set in place by the Chamber of the Haute Couture. Those stringent criteria consist of many rules, of which one is the requirement to create a minimum of 35 looks per year and which must include both day and evening wear. Only a few houses get bestowed with this appellation and can be considered as producing “Haute-Couture” collections. 

Organized by the French Fashion Federation, the Fashion Week includes over 100 shows which feature top fashion houses such as Chanel, Christian Dior or Yves Saint Laurent, as well as lesser-known designers. The financial impact of the PFW on the French capital amounts to €400 million, excluding sales in stores.

Paris Fashion Week takes place twice yearly, with a Spring/Summer edition and an Autumn/Winter edition. The dates are determined by the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode.  The Haute-Couture collections are always presented before the ready-to-wear collections, which represents half of the shows.  For a long time, Paris Fashion Week’s shows have taken place mainly in the Carrousel du Louvre. During the Fashion Week itself, a hundred shows and events also take place at different venues throughout the city, such as the iconic Chanel by Karl Lagerfeld shows, which have been taking place in the Grand Palais for several years. 

How to get invites to Fashion Week shows:  Go to the website “modeaparis.com” and check the dates for the upcoming shows. The dates for this year are:  Men’s Fashion from Wednesday, June 21st to Sunday, June 25th, 2017;  Haute Couture from Sunday, July 2nd to Thursday, July 6th, 2017;  Ready to Wear from Tuesday, September 26th to Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017.  The shows are a fantastic opportunity to see some beautiful clothes and incredible designers!

So, I really can’t complain. Ok. Truth be known, I really like who I am becoming a lot. It is about time. Many thanks to the people who posted these photos and memes originally. All of these photos brighten my day. I hope they do the same for you. And a shout out to those friends and relatives who have my back. Happy Trails to YOU. Now, just some photos I like.

Thanks for letting me sit with you. Till next time…..

Best, Jay

Janet’s Story of “JESSE” in one sitting

This is a post that I really like. I spent a lot of time on it and want to reblog

JAYSPEAK

This is what is on my mind…. Get some coffee. This is a long one but one I want to write while I can. In 2020, I had three brain strokes. And I am struggling to get better. I did not anticipate brain damage. But then, I did not anticipate moving to Nice, France, retiring, France, Steve’s death, my resulting depression, a bad orthopedic surgeon, a repair-and-replace orthopedic surgeon, a move to Paris, a pandemic, the death of my rescue cat “Missy”, an MRI, out of pocket expenses with specialists, not being able to walk, the need for another knee replacement on my other knee, and another apartment move in Paris in the middle of a pandemic. Ugh. Is this what Daddy meant when he said, “Rough Seas Make Good Sailors”? That is only a portion of the list causing me stress and anxiety. I am 84. And there is…

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SOME RANDOM THOUGHTS AND NO MEMES FOR THE END OF JUNE 2021

WHAT IS ON MY MIND? Paris and Moi. Yes, Paris is opening up and it is fun with all of the activities, and I plan to do what I want to and can.  I have a lot of energy and desire and like the organizations of AAWE and WICE.  They have activities that look fun to me.  I am not interested at present in taking a course or going to a lecture.  That may change.  I am just happy that I am not as dizzy as before and can walk better now that I am taking it slowly. 

I plan to make new friends at coffee or lunch events and branch out. Not exciting but a plan, anyway. Each day, I plan to try something new. And, just emptying the garbage without a cane becomes a challenge. But, I do it anyway. Haha. And, I adore a delicious lunch with a glass of wine. I just got another shot in my left knee and the doctor (I like) told me to stay off it for two days and then go easy for 10 days, So, I am. And, I have new blood pressure meds that work even though an annoying side effect, so that is good.

Which makes me want to stress the importance of good health to you. Health is an inside job. I always took my health for granted. That is not a good idea. And I tried to teach my family the importance of food selection, and it was an uphill battle each day. As an actress, my body was my “Instrument”, and it was important to me in my career in film and television. Then, when I became an attorney, I pushed my body and pushed it. I did not gain weight. But good health is so much more than weight. It has to do with food selection. You must be willing to learn. And do what you know to be true. It is a lifestyle choice. I did that for years. Then, I stopped. Oops. So, even though I found good doctors to help me, I did not do what was suggested. I had a good team of doctors and ignored them. I asked questions and ignored the answers. I seldom got a second opinion. And I looked good on the outside and was letting things go on the inside. Now, when I see people on social media, I am shocked when I see their faces and eyes and bodies. They don’t look healthy.

Doctors are a problem in every city everywhere.  And they are a problem in Paris.  They are not all good, and they don’t all know what they are doing.  And many of them do not realize the importance of nutrition and its role in good health, so, I have tried to find doctors who will work with me – like a partner – since I arrived.  This is a big city.  Getting places is a challenge.  The metro or the bus or a taxi or Uber or…….   I sold my car when I left Nice.  And I don’t use the public transit system.  I could probably do buses, but I don’t.  I don’t know where those bus numbers go, or the areas and I am not interested right now in learning.  Maybe that will change.  Maybe. 

First, I tried to find good doctors in the 6e where I lived to 7 months, and now in the 16e, I am trying to find good doctors (that I like) in my current neighborhood for my various health challenges.   And each one is expensive.  And getting there is expensive.  It is hard walking places with a cane.  So, I have slowly begun to build my health team that I like (with trial and error) that is nearby.  It is in process.  I now have two doctors that I like – a knee doctor and a general practitioner.  Maybe a physical therapy man.  I am still deciding about him. I still need a dermatologist and a couple of others on standby.  I have a good pharmacist that I like.  She is helpful.   

So yesterday I had an appointment with my knee doctor.  I have found a female doctor that I like in the 16e who is willing to work with me as a partner with my health.  And I respect her.  So, I just got another shot in my left knee.  I got it yesterday.  And she told me to rest at home for two days and then go easy for 10 days.  That is what I am doing.  I am not interested in having a replacement on my left knee, if possible. And it is not so bad at present.  So, we’ll see.  She also wants me to do exercises that I don’t want to do – after 10 days.  So, I must try to work through my resistance. 

I don’t understand this resistance to getting stronger physically. I have never been one to just go to the gym. But I walked and walked and walked and jogged and jogged all my life. Why am I not trying to do that again? Why have I quit? Is it the Pandemic? I don’t know. I am giving that a lot of thought. Adapting to change. Willingness to change. Keep taking the next step. Day by day. Just thinking out loud…… A friend asked me last night why I moved to Paris? Well, it has always been Paris for me. I don’t know why. I certainly did not move here for the weather or to sightsee. But I am where I want to be. Now what? Trust Life to reveal the reason? Meanwhile, I shall continue to look for like-minded doctors and friends. It’s fun and interesting. My journey to Discovery.

I am not here to teach you anything. I am still working on my own health. DON’T WAIT TO START. I DID. And, I have a lot of things I want to do. But my life has changed. Less is more. I am asking a lot of questions. And I am looking up a lot of things. And, I have stopped pushing, pushing. Pushing. I am better (knock on wood.) I had a couple from LA who met me for lunch last week, and that went well. I can only have one glass of wine, and that matters with my dizziness and walking. No problem. So, slowly, I am building a new life that I enjoy.

Bottom line — I am glad I moved to Paris, and I love my apartment. It is fine for me. So, no problems other than a LOT of things that I am solving. And, I am delighted that I am living in the city of my dreams. It has always been Paris. That is not a late -in -life choice. I did not move here for the weather or sightseeing. Just living in Paris. Day to day in Paris. It does not matter whether you know you know what I mean. I am blessed.

Best, Jay

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JUST FOR FUN – NO COMMENT COMMENTARY

Today is June 20, 2021, Father’s Day, the longest day of the year, and the beginning of Cancer (my rising sign), so I am a happy camper. First of all, a SHOUT OUT to my two sons, Craig and Blake, for being good fathers in spite of their lack of training or a good example provided by their father and me. Too bad that parenting is so random. (sigh). But, so it is. But, I am happy to report that they are both building good bridges with their children. Good for BOTH of them.

And, Readers of Jayspeak know that sometimes I just post memes and photos for NO good reason and without comment. And, today I want to do that JUST BECAUSE I FEEL LIKE IT! And, I have some memes I like.

Happy Father’s Day to my Daddy. And my son Craig. And my son Blake.

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ARE YOU A SURVIVOR?

What is on my mind? I need to rant! Pardon me while I rant! I have had a lot of things happen since my last post, so I don’t know where to begin. And most of it, I don’t want to share with you. Just know that I don’t have any hidden agenda. I NEED ONE. This is my hidden agenda with this post! Selling my book “Janet Tallulah”? Why not? It’s my real reason for this rant. NOT. It is just a personal journal that needs a plot. Oops. I have/had been accused of having a “hidden agenda” all my life. I wrote that journal to let people know how I had helped myself on my personal journey. When I left town in 1968, I was a strong-woman-mess with lots of dreams. They were talking of giving me “shock treatments” to make me fly right. That is what they were doing to Daddy. (Long story.) A strong woman. Heaven help us from strong women. This is not new news. In acting class, it is called “subtext”. “Knocking little Janet Jewell off of her pedestal.”

What is really going on?  Was I born being a “showoff?” Did I have a hidden agenda at birth? It is one of the ABCs of good acting.  – The line may be “Shut the door”.  But it is the actor’s job to find out why the character needs to shut the door.  So, in life, I would make decisions and choices based on the subtext or What is Really Going on.”  It came naturally to me.  And, It was particularly useful when I was interviewing a potential client as an attorney.  And I would listen to the client’s story to find out what was really going on.  Most of the time, a client tried to justify what a good person he/she was. That is when I knew “he woulda if he coulda, but he couldn’t get away with it.

I considered it a skill.  And acting class honed it and make it better and better.  You may call It “intuition”.  It has lots of names.  But I do it and will continue to do it from now on. My intuition is my friend in Paris. Always at my side. Like my “guardian angel”.

I am taking all of the comments personally. That is what we southerners do. “Bless my heart.” And I remember why I left in the first place – TO GET THE HELL OUT OF TOWN! But so be it. Sorry.

Do you ever wonder why people don’t understand? Do you ever feel always misunderstood? Maybe I am dreaming to think people should understand why I see something a certain way, but they don’t. Well, I released all of that by calling my concerns “unresolved matters”. Most things will never be resolved. And, a lot of it just isn’t true. People don’t want to know the truth. They want to make up their own facts.

I hate being blamed for things that are not true. Goodness knows that I did a lot of things that were true. And, I deserve a lot of blame. But, that old saying comes to mine, “She Woulda if she coulda but she couldn’t.” Maybe they are not true because I couldn’t do it or I could not get away with it for some reason. So, the premise is correct. I was #1. I had lots of ego. I wanted it ALL. I lined my pockets with everything i could and I used people to help me get what i wanted. So? “I always thought of myself first”, said he who was thinking of himself first. Haha. DUH! YES, I am a survivor and I raised children who are survivors. DUH. ….and they are surviving the best way they can. You don’t have to agree.

And the consequences of that with family and friends is being accused of surviving.  Any way I could/can.  Not in the style I want but getting to the other side.  But, I never lied to do it.  It did not matter.  I was accused of it anyway.  WELLLLLLL.  She woulda if she coulda but she couldn’t.  Didn’t you see Glenn Close in “DAMAGES” A strong woman.

No one likes a strong woman. DUH. Where do you think they got “glass ceiling”. “Good girls don’t get ahead, gutsy girls do.”

NO, my friend. Janet Jewell may have been taken down off her pedestal but the money, GLAM, and fame will NOT die with her. Quite the contrary. It will continue as long as there is a strong woman alive to go after what she wants and Jesse Jewell is remembered for helping Southerners eat. Mary Tallulah Dickson is alive and well and kicking in the collective unconscious. And so is Lillie Westmoreland Dorough. If you don’t follow the blog, this will make no sense and maybe only to me and a few others, but hopefully you can identify with some of it. Thanks for letting me rant.

 

It is work to talk to people. It requires too many words. And, then people don’t get it. They think they do. Or they don’t listen or want to know all the facts. And jump to conclusions that are wrong and designed to hurt. And spout some platitude while doing the very thing they accused you of . or something else. I had a client who kept his wife in a room like a prisoner and was an “upstanding Christian”, praising the good deeds of others on LinkedIn.

I am not having a good day, and I may or may not take a leave of absence from my blog, but I need time to think and get a better handle on things. LIfe in France and in Paris as well as the Cote d’Azur is/was no piece of cake. Everything is a challenge and keeps you on your toes. But, we no longer have to wear a mask outdoors. Good. I can take deep breaths again. And, I am seeing Paris with new eyes. I like it.

The bottom line is that I have had an AHA moment in my life that is major.  I need some time to process things. Things will never be the same again.  I woke up from a deep sleep.  And there is no turning back.   Be careful what you say.  It will be heard through a malformed sieve. A rant is not in order. Thanks for listening.

Best, Jay

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