Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Heidi Klum, Eat Your Heart Out!

Yes, I modeled! I went into the clothing store on board ship and the next thing you know I was a model in a fashion and jewelry show. No, they did not have to beg because I got to wear over 10k in jewels, now reallllllllly. I wore a full length bronze gown with a fabulous 13k topaz ring, a pearl cabochon ring, a necklace of topaz, rubies and diamonds with a bracelet to match. As the song goes...heaven, I'm in heaven.

They took lots of photos so check February ezine for proof I really did this. The entertainment on board has been spectacular and I'm not usually a fan. We saw a virtuoso organist, a harpist, two fantastic Broadway style productions and have met absolutely incredible people from all over the world. There are two specialty restaurants on board, Prego, the Italian one we did two nights ago and tonight we are off to Silk Road, a Nobu brand and anyone who knows sushi knows Nobu.

We have been at sea five days and we're ready to disembark tomorrow in Nuku Hiva in the Marquesa Islands, stay tuned.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Chicago 10 Tahiti 80 Guess who's winning?

OK, I'm not there yet but we are heading towards the South Pacific. Oooooh that just feels good writing it. Stopped in Cabo San Lucas, now five days at sea en route to the Polynesian Islands, that sounds pretty damn good too. Not much to report and that's the good news, that means miss type A is now a type B heading to a C. We have been doing all that I wanted to do...nothing.

My speech was so well attended and now it's broadcast all day over the cruise TV so everyone has seen it and I've gotten some great feedback. Hoping that will spill over into friends inviting friends and having an even larger crowd tomorrow. It must be rumored as they have scheduled me for the nightclub not the movie theater, much bigger venue.

Everyone is delightful from the passengers to the crew. I was extremely flattered today when Senator and Former Presidential candidate George McGovern went out of his way to meet me after seeing me on TV. And yes, you can be sure I will have a picture before this cruise is over:-) Ate at the specialty restaurant tonight, Prego and it's one of THE best Italian restaurants I have ever been to. Listened to the jazz trio then to the piano bar then... early to bed, early to rise, makes this li'l speaker....happy.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Hot Dogs and Tahiti

That's a heck of a combo but it started with the monthly hot dog night this week, Kathy, Deb and I hit #2 on our list. Well, we kinda had a detour, it was my turn to pick and pick I did. My favorite place, The Wiener's Circle...alas alack, it was closed, shut down by health dept, not for bad stuff but never the less, not set to reopen that night. A real dilemma! We were already salivating for our next dog but geographically challenged by the time and circumstances so we quickly opted for the closest which turned about to be American Dogs or something like that. I had the NY dog, of course. We were not impressed with the dogs or fries which is probably why I can't remember the exact name.

Anyway, now I am on the Crystal Serenity, the world's best cruise line, not 5 stars but 6 stars, will be on this for almost two weeks with a friend and it's like a floating Ritz Carlton. This is my second invite and it is just THE best, once you've done Crystal, it's difficult to imagine anything else. We left Los Angeles on Wed, sailed today and will stop in Cabo San Lucas tomorrow.

To say I am exhaling is a complete understatement. I love cruising, do at least one a year and have been for decades. I started as a dancer on cruise ships, then a fitness instructor and for the past 20 odd years, a guest lecturer in their enrichment programs. I have been on more cruise lines that I can even attempt to mention. It is a wonderful way to travel and I find it so relaxing and rejuvenating. The only challenge is you go on as a passenger and come home as cargo but I've learned not to hit the buffets. Come cruise with me till Feb, I'll keep you posted, stay tuned.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Bark for Barack

No, that is not a new Presidential slogan, it's the T-shirt my son Jason gave to my dog, Brat at holiday time. Well today, I am barking..., bragging, boo hooing, beaming and just plain bowled over. I was glued to the TV from 8am till bedtime, trying to pack for my cruise to Tahiti tomorrow and more excited about America today than Tahiti tomorrow. OK, OK, I was born on July 4th, I am the queen of patriotism but today, ah today, today belonged to us all, every color, creed, age, just everyone. I have never felt more optimistic, inspired, proud to be an American than I did today. It wasn't just the pomp and circumstance which was breathtaking in it's own right. It was the man himself that just makes me smile and cry at the same time. I am hopeful, I do believe we can and I do believe in Barack. Heck, I might even bark:-) Stay tuned!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Where is the "white space"

The white space in my email inbox? The white space on my calendar? Where is it? I have that disease that puts you in another state to know the one, the overscheduling disease that puts you in the "state of overwhelm". I'm not complaining, I own it. I am rethinking it. Yes, I do speak on life balance and yes I do that as I write from my pleasure trip to Vegas, with two days home then a two week cruise to Tahiti, yes, I do have balance...I just don't have white space.

500 emails, now realllllllly! Do I just know too many people? Is my system wrong? Are their email consultants out there? Where are you? Help me find my "white space". My calendar, well that's another story, yes, lots of work but somewhere in my manic world is the compulsion to fill every hour with the plethora of friends I have collected all over the world. Oh, I'm free for two hours after I fly 6, before I get up and speak for 3, to squeeze in a meal with someone who wouldn't even know I was there if I didn't overtly tell them. Now what's wrong with that picture?

I need more "me" time, that's the bottom line. I need white space and I am determined to get it, it's a goal, it's a resolution, it's a promise to myself and gosh darn it (did I really write that?) it's a necessity. So as I look at the white space below me, I am inspired and so I leave you dear reader before I fill that as well. Stay tuned.

The Divine Miss M's

It's no secret to anyone who knows me that most people think I remind them of Bette Midler, whether looks, personality or general outrageousness, it's been that way as long as I can remember. On the plane to Vegas yesterday, three people stopped me to tell me I look like her, at the hotel, it never stops and so I have always used it as part of my opening shtick in my speeches. Well, the dream has come true!

In my ballsiest move EVER, I got the only photo of the evening...of me and Bette:-)

I am at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas as I write this and a guest of my dear friends from Westport, CT, Evi and Jay Allen. My best friends, Kathy and Tony flew in as well and my date was Dave Hanlon, former CEO of Caesar's, Trump, Rio, Resorts International and now an in demand casino consultant...Dave and I go waaaaaaaay back. Bette was honored last night as the 2009 Woman of the Year by the Nevada Ballet Theatre at the annual Black and White Ball. Yes, I "had" to buy a gown...and shoes...and jewelry...and I must admit it was very exciting to get that dressed up to attend a Ball, I don't go to many:-)

We had a long cocktail hour where they showed off the silent auction items and oh, the 7 week old King Charles Spaniel was beyond adorable and of course, so was the Cartier necklace, ahem. Restraint, yes, restraint!. Dinner and festivities in the main ballroom then Bette came after her show, accepted her award, gave her usual funny, diva type speech and I was so starstruck it's hard to believe. I knew this was it, my one opportunity and since when do I let opportunities go by?

It was all over, she was leaving the stage with her bodyguard or manager and the whole Ball committee. I gave Kathy my camera and said follow me. I walked up on stage like I belonged, past the gatekeeper, the committee was saying goodbye and dropping out one at a time till I caught her in a long dark hallway as she walked briskly ahead of me. I said "Bette", she turned and looked at me, I said, "could I have a picture with you?", she oh so sweetly, said "of course", turned, put her arm around me and I looked at her and said, "people say I look like you, do you think so", she said', "no, you're much prettier". Kathy took the photo on my new camera that never works, she was so nervous, we both knew it was my moment of a lifetime. It was so dark, she didn't think she got it as we fumbled to try again, her manager pulled her away. We did get it but dark so you know we'll be photo shopping the heck out of it.

It was one of my all time highlight moments. I have been a fan since she started in NY decades ago, I have been to every concert, even opening night in Vegas, I have every CD, I have always related to her persona, her flamboyance, her style, I used her song, The Wind Beneath My Wings as my acceptance speech when I was named Fitness Business Person of the Year in 1989 as I was known as the Bette Midler of Fitness.

I can't stop divine!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Bluebird, Hummingbird... SNOWBIRD!

So much has happened since I was last here but the biggie is that I am now a new homeowner in FL, right outside Naples in Bonita Springs. I now own what is called a coach house in a community that is oh so fabulous. BUT...I had the second panic attack of my life. I remember the first because I was in Paris, arrived at dusk, dashed out of my hotel to walk the Champs Elysees, got to the corner and panic set in...OMG, I'm a single gal, in a foreign country, I don't speak the language, I don't read maps, I ran back to my hotel room and cried and vowed not to leave the room for a week. As is my MO, I got up the next day with a vengeance and attacked the week and what a fabulous week it was. I am in Naples at the closing, it's getting dark out and now I have to drive a half hour (I haven't driven in 8 years) on a road that is not lit, in an area I don't know and realize I probably need distance glasses...panic starting to settle in. Then I get to my new development and get lost trying to find my condo till two great guys came to rescue the damsel in distress. Wait, there's more, now I am standing alone in my big empty home, having buyer's remorse and manifesting the biggest panic attack I can conjure up. I did a damn good job. Well, the next morning you know what I did, yes, voraciously. I went to Super Target and if you know me, that alone is worth documenting. Bought the staples, drove to Coconut Point, a great mall, then registered at my clubhouse, even went out to the bar, dinner and concert on the lawn, made new friends and started to exhale.

OK, so now...I'm a snowbird and loving it:-)