Oprah’s Cecil B. de Mille Award Golden Globes Speech

When I was reading about the planned activism for the Golden Globes last night, I read that this was a movement, not a moment. From #MeToo to #TimesUp, things are definitely changing.

But I absolutely believe there are specific moments in this movement. Oprah Winfrey’s speech last night was one of them. It was part teaching moment, part rallying cry, celebration, gratitude and memories.

It was everything. It was so much that I don’t think any of us really know what it was. Yet.

It was the type of speech that needs to be read multiple times [here is the textwatched repeatedly, studied and looked back on.

In the future, when we look back on it, maybe we will understand the nuances based on what comes after. My blog has given me many gifts. One is the gift of perspective. I can look back and see myself growing and changing through my writing. This is why I keep blogging.

I can also see changes beyond me. Changes where I live, in this country and the world. Only time let’s us see things from a distance, along with keeping a written record of the present.

Part of the beauty of this speech is the way that Oprah speaks. It’s not just that Oprah is giving you a car. It’s how she says, “You get a car! You get a car!”

Merely reading the words doesn’t do the speech justice. The same words gather energy and intention based on her inflections.

These two passages below resonated the strongest with me. And I think with the audience as well. Seeing peoples’ reactions was just as powerful. Oprah truly moved the crowd. And a nation.

For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dared to speak their truth to the power of those men, but their time is up. Their time is up. Their time is up. …

I’ve interviewed and portrayed people who have withstood some of the ugliest things life can throw at you, but the one quality all of them seem to share is an ability to maintain hope for a brighter morning, even during our darkest nights. So I want all the girls watching here now to know that a new day is on the horizon.

After this speech, many have said that Oprah will run for President in 2020. People love the hype of speculation and jump to conclusions over anything she does. I hope that she would want some government experience first. At least a run for Senate.

And to be truly honest, I have been very disheartened by her lack of speaking out against Trump. The last that I heard her mention about him was right after the election, when she said that we should give him a chance. That was like a punch in the gut. I was shocked.

The #MeToo movement reminds me that we don’t really know the stars that we admire. They are just people who happen to be famous. It’s hard, because their art can inspire so much emotion. Nobody should be put on a pedestal.

I have admired Oprah for decades. She’s only human too. People we love and admire will eventually disappoint us. Nobody is perfect.

So I cannot speculate about what Oprah will do next. All is know for sure is that her speech last night was a moment to remember.

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Screenshot: YouTube

Summer Bliss: Maxwell in Concert

Friday night, I had the best time seeing Maxwell perform live at Foxwoods in Connecticut. Maxwell has been a favorite artist of mine for decades and I had never seen him before.

It had been a while since I had been to a concert at all. After Prince died, I resolved to attend more live shows. I will never regret seeing Prince in concert on the spur of the moment. There is nothing like a live performance.

I had to save and budget for this little trip. This week money will be very tight, because of course unexpected things always come up at the worst time. But I am so glad that I went.

A friend invited me to attend with a couple of her friends and I did not hesitate agreeing to go. We decided to stay overnight at a nearby hotel, Hilton Garden Inn Preston Casino Area, so we wouldn’t have to worry about driving back to Massachusetts the same night and just enjoy ourselves.

The Hilton Garden Inn is a nice hotel and in great location. On my drive down, I passed Mystic Pizza 2. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to go in and try their famous pizza. Ever since I saw the movie, one of my all-time favorites, I’ve always wanted to try it and visit the Mystic area.

Also, since I wrote my Craving Boston article about modern Native American food, I wanted to try the food at the Pequot Museum in Mashantucket, which is just minutes away from the hotel. So I already have a return trip in mind.

Back to Maxwell. Before the show, we had a quick dinner at Fuddruckers, because we were running late. The show was a real treat for all of us. I forgot just how much I love Maxwell’s music. He and his band were incredible. And Maxwell is sexy as hell! Go and see him if you can.

You can tell that Maxwell was truly grateful when he thanked us for supporting him for 20 years. He kept mentioning how old he is at 43 and how much he has learned along the way. He knows and respects his audience and we all felt it.

He spoke about the racial tension in this country after the shooting deaths of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile and the police officers in Dallas. The show was a momentary escape, but all that is going on right now was still not far from our minds. Before he sang Lifetime, Maxwell let us know that all our lives matter and yes, Black Lives Matter too.

By the way, I’m listening to his music as I write. If you have Amazon Prime, it appears that all his albums are available in the music library for free.

After the show, we stayed nearby in the casino area, had drinks, listened to music and danced. None of us are gamblers, but we still had a blast.

The next morning we had brunch at the hotel. It was good, reasonably priced and I’d recommend staying there and eating there too. Then we left.


It was a quick trip and I combined some additional freelance writing work with it as well. If you follow me on Instagram, you saw that I stopped in Tiverton, Rhode Island on the way back home. Tiverton is quintessential quaint New England. Such a beautiful area!  Milk_&_Honey_Tiverton_Rhode_Island

Milk & Honey is the cutest little store that I found. It has all sorts of local food products. I enjoyed the lemon Yacht Club soda. Delicious! Did you know that their brand is Rhode Island’s Official Soda? It is! I’m also looking forward to trying the Summertime Garden Honey that I bought. It’s from Sakonnet Seaside Bees at Hollygate Farm also in Tiverton. I could not find a website to link to for them unfortunately.Yacht_Club_Soda_Hollygate_Farm_Honey_Tiverton_Rhode_Island

Anyway, while I was there I took many more pictures and did an interview for my next Craving Boston article. Stay tuned!








Prince Gave Me Religion


When I heard that Prince died, I was in shock and in transit. Between home and work. When I got on the train, my hands were shaking as I texted my friend the unbelievable and sad news.  So many thoughts swirled in my head all at once. I thought he was alright. He was supposed to be recovering from the flu. Not dead.

Now I am even more grateful that I saw Prince perform live in 2004, when he was here in Boston. The chance to see him came out of the blue. In the middle of the workday, a friend and co-worker told me that she had just gotten tickets and asked if I wanted to go that night.

Did I want to go?! Of course I wanted to go! It was probably the best show of my life. He played for three hours non-stop. His band took a break and he kept going. Playing the guitar alone and talking to all of us in the audience. He gave that show his all. It was amazing.

When I heard that Prince died, I flashed back to college. It was around 1986 and I had tried in vain to win tickets to his concert. I used to be quite good at winning radio station contests and had hoped that my luck would continue. I didn’t have the money to buy tickets, so winning was the only way that I could possibly attend the concert. I didn’t win. I will never forget that moment of realization that I wasn’t going to the concert — sitting at a table in Usdan cafeteria practically in tears and inconsolable. Thinking I will never see Prince and my life is horrible.

When I heard that Prince died, I flashed back to high school and had to laugh. I remembered being at home with a new Prince poster on the wall in my room. He was dripping wet in the shower, wearing a black bikini and a very provocative look on his face. My father walked in to the room. Looked at the picture. Shook his head and walked out.

I was not raised in the church, so I did not learn most of the things that most church-going kids know. Like the Lord’s Prayer. Yup. Prince taught me the Lord’s Prayer. The only reason I can even pretend to recite it today is because I played Controversy so many times. I even feel guilty knowing it, because of how I learned it. While I was playing that song, Dirty Mind, D.M.S.R., Let’s Pretend We’re Married and so many other songs from his many albums that I had back then, my thoughts were anything but pious.


Since Prince died, I’ve read so many articles about him and how he was so much more than his music. Especially for those that knew him well. Prince truly cared about people and the world and wanted to make it a better place. He was a philanthropist in secret and now so many of his good works are coming to light. He was a fan of the Black Lives Matter movement and supported them without any public acknowledgement.

Prince quietly was a force behind #Yes We Code, an organization founded to help young people of color learn to code, so they have the skills to be part of the tech industry. The more I learn about Prince, the more I like and admire him.

Seeing all the fans in Minnesota talking about Prince as one of their own reminds us all of the regional nature of the United States. It says something about his character that he stayed in Minnesota. He didn’t forget where he came from and stayed centered no matter how famous he became.

There’s a great article on Yahoo! where entertainment industry insiders reflect on their encounters with Prince. Singer-songwriter Louise Goffin wrote about the time she got to dance with Prince at a party.

I was on the stairs near the ladies room, and out of nowhere I see Prince standing around, and shy as can be. All of a sudden Sex Machine by James Brown comes on and I look over at him and he looks at me and says “you know this?” I say “of course I know this, I wasn’t born yesterday!” And he looks up devilishly and says… “wanna dance?” and reaches out to grab my hand. I’m losing my mind, not believing what’s happening and he leads me down the stairs to the dance floor (disco lights, the whole bit), and we’re bumping into people who at first act annoyed and then turn around and see its him. I’m hearing some people I know say “look it’s Prince! and then a second later, saying oh my God, it’s Louise!” Its the truth. I danced with Prince to James Brown’s Sex Machine.


As a food blogger, one of my favorite stories is about food and from an article on Vulture from Prince’s former butler.

I have a lot of great memories but the one that made me laugh was there was one night where I got a call at about 3 am in the morning and he wanted breakfast for 14 people. I was the only butler on duty during that graveyard shift. He asked for 14 omelets and 14 orders of pancakes. I called everyone in the casino and had all the cooks running to make this order while I made the table. I had to serve the whole breakfast at now 4am in the morning by myself. I came up with the two carts full of food trying to plate it as fast as I can when Prince stood up from his chair and walked over to my cart. He grabbed a plate of pancakes and started helping me serve.

With all these new stories coming out, we are all being flooded with many feelings, memories and emotions. Based on what those closest to Prince have to say, he would want his death to inspire us to do better and “level-up” by pushing ourselves to the next level. Figuring out what is next for each of us and then actually doing it. Because he certainly always did.

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Flickr Photo Credits: Top photo by Derek Wolfgram. Middle photo by Jason Lei.

Dîner en Blanc: Boston

Diner en Blanc Boston1Despite the rain and the big football game, this past Thursday evening, more than 1,500 people showed up for Boston’s annual Dîner en Blanc. I remember hearing about it a few years ago and being absolutely enchanted by the idea and the stunning photos.

Diner en Blanc woman and umbreallaHowever, I’ve never actually been to the event. I like the idea more in theory than in practice. You must dress up completely in white. I don’t have a suitable outfit for the occasion and would need to buy one to attend. It hasn’t been a priority purchase to happen.

Also, you need to be very spontaneous. The location of the dinner is a secret. You find out at the last minute and then quickly make your way there carrying all that you’ll need for your meal.

Diner en Blanc couple in rainI like a bit more of a heads up. But that’s just me. Lots of people in Boston and all over the world have a great time at this event. Luckily I was given some great pictures to share with you. It does look like a good time.Diner en Blanc group of women

Dîner en Blanc was started more than 27 years ago in Paris by François Pasquier with just a small group of friends. The Boston event took place at City Hall Plaza.

“Originally, we had planned for the dinner to be set up on the wide steps of the Plaza, with the band and DJ completely outside,” said Bryer Davis, co-host of Dîner en Blanc – Boston. “But as the weather worsened throughout the day, we knew we had to make a late call. Thanks to the incredibly helpful team at City Hall and our tireless volunteers, we moved last minute under the cover of the City Hall courtyard. It turned out to be the perfect spot for Dîner en Blanc and was better than we ever imagined!” The White Heat Swing Orchestra got the party started and welcomed guests as they arrived.

Then everyone started decorating their tables and setting up their elegant picnics, while enjoying wine and champagne. It looks like guests were quite creative with their table settings and enjoyed some very good food.
Dinner started with the traditional waving of the white napkin. Each guest received an LED sparkler, and the party twinkled with tiny lights as guests headed to the dance floor, where they danced to the musical stylings of DJ Nixx.

If you didn’t get to attend this year, there’s always next year. Just get your white outfit ready!

Diner en Blan two masked women

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© Images by: Vita Images and Jennifer Heffner Photography

In Light of Venus in Retrograde ~ @CoherenceMovie

Sci-fi movies are a guilty pleasure. I love a good dinner party. And with the recent blue moon, Venus in retrograde, and Jupiter getting ready to move into my sign next week, I’m feeling like COHERENCE could be an interesting movie.

So after seeing the library promote it as a new movie title, I just put the DVD on hold.

On the night of an astronomical anomaly, eight friends at a dinner party experience a troubling chain of reality bending events. Part cerebral sci-fi and part relationship drama, COHERENCE is a tightly focused, intimately shot film that quickly ratchets up with tension and mystery.

Will I enjoy it or will it be another two hours of my life that I can’t get back? I’ll report back!

*Updated 8/13/2015* Happy to report that I loved this movie! I definitely recommend it. It’s not what you think it is and I’m not even sure it’s possible to really figure it out, but it’s fun trying and I survived another retrograde!