When I was 17 …

Don’t worry, I’m not about to break into song. You have no idea what I’m talking about, doice-cream you? Frank Sinatra? “It Was A Very Good Year?”  I think it was specially written for him. Well the first line is, “When I was 17 …”

Never mind.

When I was 17 my parents sent me on one of those teen tours. For six weeks we traveled throughout Canada, the U.S. and down into Continue reading

Sometimes I’m a mystery even to myself …

How weird is this? Right in the middle of walking to meet a friend for coffee a book title popped into myShangri-La head. James Hilton’s Lost Horizon.

Out of nowhere. Why? That’s my question to you.


I first read Lost Horizon back in grade school. Don’t make me tell you how long ago that was. In those days, we were given a required reading list at the very beginning of the school year. And each time we finished a book we had to Continue reading

Day 233. Speaking Up

There’s been a major hullabaloo for months over Sheryl Sandberg. She’s the 44 year old Facebook COO (Chief Operating Officer), and their first female board likemember, who is championing the cause of women. Well, she’s championing and blaming. Sort of. But not really.

This week, her recently-published, first book, “Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead” tops BOTH the New York Times and Amazon bestseller lists. It’s being referred to as a manifesto for women.

Her accomplishments are so many, if I tried to list them all here, this post would take you a half hour to read. To give you just an inkling of her popularity I just tried, for twenty minutes, to link to Sheryl Sandberg on

Continue reading

Day 173. That’s Personal

I was part of a discussion on LinkedIn the other day.  Before I tell you about it, let me explain what LinkedIn is, for those who aren’t familiar with it.  Essentially it’s pryinga professional social networking website.

When you sign up, you create a ‘profile’, not unlike a Facebook timeline.  But without all the personal info and photographs.  And, like with Facebook, one of the objectives is to get as many ‘contacts’ (friends) as you can.  Because through each of your contacts, you have an opportunity to network with their contacts.

One of the features it offers is the ability to visit these profiles anonymously.  Or not, it’s up to you.  You have the choice.

So last Thursday, I think it was, I was there.  On LinkedIn.  One of my contacts posted about her annoyance with people who check out her profile without revealing their identity.  They use the ‘anonymous’ feature.  She berated LinkedIn for having it.  And said it should no longer be available.

Her point being, privacy has no place on social media.

Well, I disagree.  Pretty strongly, actually.  And added my two cents to the comments already there.  All the other Continue reading

Day 128. Are You?

Writing about perfume the other day has made me think of romance.  It’s not completely out of left field.  Fragrance, of all kinds, is an important part of romance.  veniceromanceYet there’s so much more.  And for everyone, it’s different.  Before we get into it, though, you’ve got to answer my question:

Are you romantic?

Which, by the way, is not just a question for my female readers.  I know a lot of men who are romantic.  Some, even more romantic than women.  So, are you?  And what’s your idea of romance?

Hang on for just one minute.  First let’s see what Wikipedia says:  “Romance or romantic usually refers to romance (love), love emphasizing emotion over libido.”  I agree with that.  Romance and sex are two very Continue reading

Day 45. This Day

When I woke up this morning I thought, well, it’s just another day.  Then my curiosity got the better of me; and I wondered if anything notable had ever happened on  September 20.  At any time in history.  Both good and bad.  Google to the rescue.

From Historyorb.com, where their info goes back to 368,  I learned that  on this day in 1519, Magellan began his first successful circumnavigation of the world.  Also, in 1664 Maryland passed it’s first anti-amalgamation law to stop the intermarriage of English women and black men.  Sadly, almost 350 years later, there are still many states where mixed marriage continues to be an unpopular idea; and now, of course, the real hullabaloo is over gay marriage.

In 1830, the 1st Negro Convention of Free Men agreed to boycott slave-produced goods.  In 1859 George Simpson patented the first electric range.  Do you think that’s when they coined the phrase, “Now you’re cooking?”  And on September 20, 1873 panic swept the NY Stock Exchange because of a railroad bond default/bank failure; and, in fact, New York banks were closed down for 10 days due to a bank scandal (guess we haven’t learned our lesson yet).

But what’s most interesting is that, in 1884 the Equal Rights Party nominated the first female candidates for President and VP.  So I guess Hilary Clinton isn’t such a groundbreaker, after all.

Babe Ruth tied Ned Williamson’s major league record of 27 home runs in 1919.  Ghandi began his hunger strike against the treatment of ‘untouchables’ in 1932;  and the first Cannes Film Festival was held in 1946. Continue reading

Day 1. Fifty Shades

Trust me when I tell you that I’ve not led a sheltered life.  Far from it.  But never, in my wildest imagination, would I have ever thought that we’d be discussing BDSM as openly and casually as we are.  And if you don’t know what I’m talking about you’ve got to be living under a rock.

Okay, for the three of you who have been in a cave for the past year or so, BDSM is a sexual practice that involves bondage, dominance and submission, to give you a few examples.  And the reason it’s on everyone’s lips is because of a trilogy of erotic novels (Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker, Fifty Shades Freed respectively) written by a former UK television executive, E.L. James.

According to Wikipedia, as of this month the series has sold 40 million copies worldwide, with book rights having been sold in 37 countries; and it’s set the record as the fastest-selling paperback of all time, surpassing the Harry Potter series.  It’s being read by young women.  Middle aged women.  White haired ladies.  Sophisticated women.  Wealthy women.  Executives.  Professionals.  Stay-at-home moms.  Grandmothers.  University students.  City dwellers.  Suburban housewives.

Husbands are buying the books for their wives.  It’s on book club reading lists.  It’s being discussed on Facebook and Twitter and in mainstream media like The New Continue reading