Saturday, April 30, 2011

Best Friends

Oprah and her best friend, Gayle King, have known each other for 35 years.  They met while working at a television station in Baltimore and have talked to each other nearly every day since the fateful night Gayle stayed at Oprah's during a snowstorm.  Gayle has appeared on the Oprah show 139 times since its debut in 1986.  Oprah's show did a flashback of all the on and off air experiences they've shared together.  Many of them were quite hilarious.  Gayle has travelled the country in search of the best burger, sandwich, pizza and cake.  I can appreciate a woman who loves food.  Some of my friends and I love to talk about food, especially when it comes to dessert.  I'm one of those ladies who loves to lunch at different places, and I'm not ashamed to admit it.  Nordstrom's Cafe is one of my favorite places.  I used to be envious of Oprah and Gayle's friendship.  When my kids were younger I craved that kind of friendship as a stay at home mom.  Everything is centered around your kid's schedule when they are babies and toddlers.  I used to pray for a Gayle King in my life.  My prayers were answered, and I'm blessed to have several best friends.  Oprah's audience was comprised of best friends.  They all received a trip to Miraval Spa in Tuscon.  They are a lucky bunch, but I'm also lucky in that I have been to Miraval with one of my best friends.  We actually went after seeing Oprah and Gayle's trip years ago. 

Oprah says Gayle is her rock and the kind of friend she wishes everyone had.  A best friend to me is someone who tells you the truth, and listens and supports you in good times and bad.  It's sort of like a marriage, but without the paperwork.  As children and teenagers most people have best friends, but as you get older and start a family it can be difficult to maintain ties with friends.  I remember my grandmothers best friend Sue.  I met her a few times when I was still in my single digits. My grandmother used to talk about her a lot and I could sense they shared a close bond.

Gayle said she has never been jealous of Oprah's success and has always been happy with her own life.  She feels like she has always stood in Oprah's light and never in her shadow.  If that's not a true testament to friendship I don't know what is.

Grandma and Sue

Friday, April 29, 2011

Chris Rock

Chris Rock has been a guest on the Oprah show 26 times.  He joked that he's been on Oprah more than any other man other than Steadman.  I hope I'm not offending anyone, but I did think that was funny.  It is hard to take Chris Rock seriously and I can't say I'm a huge fan, but I thought he had a few inspiring things to share.  He is currently starring in the Broadway play, "The Mother____ With the Hat."  I'll let you fill in the blanks.  I was recently in New York and saw ads for the show which looked interesting, but probably not for my 12 yr old and her friend.  He said performing on Broadway taught him he's not done and that the level of acting and preparation is much different than film work.  Oprah said performing on Broadway is a dream of hers.  He encouraged her do it and said he has learned so much and grown as an actor from the experience. 

He is 46 and talked about how sometimes people get to a certain age and they think they've done it all.  He also talked about the fact he is blessed to be in a position to try new things.  His motto is try everything and if you don't like something it's because you didn't like it not because you dismissed it.  As a parent I'm always encouraging my kids to try new things whether it be food, sports, books, clothing, or classes.  I can get consumed by daily routines and obligations and forget to take my own advice.  As I get older I still enjoy trying and learning new things, but sometimes I wonder if I'm wasting my time or I beat myself up for not sticking with something.  I have taken all sorts of classes as an adult on cooking, photography, scrapbooking, writing, meditation, etc. I've also taken tennis lessons, golf lessons, and will soon try drum lessons.  I saw an interview with Bethenny Frankel on Nate's show and she made the comment, all roads lead to Rome.  We never know where our interests will take us no matter how odd they may seem.  A good example of that is this blog.  I thought it was a crazy idea at first, but I've enjoyed reflecting on Oprah's shows and how they've brought me inspiration.  Even if no one reads my posts other than my husband and I it has gotten me into the habit of writing which I hadn't done for many years.   What is something new you'd like to try?   "Being wealthy is not about having money, it's about having options."  --Chris Rock

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Go With The Flow

Sometimes I'll look at the description of what Oprah's show is going to be about and think to myself, I don't know how that's going to inspire me?  That was the case with this show about a 61 year old woman who gave birth to her grandchild through IVF (in vitro ferilization).  Her daughter Sara was having difficulty getting pregnant so she went through IVF.  Sara got pregnant with twin boys and wound up losing them after going into premature labor.  She went through the procedure again and miscarried a second time.  The experience caused Sara to have post traumatic stress disorder.  Her mother Kris was newly retired and doing some soul searching.  Kris and her friend were walking one day when her friend told her about a post menopausal woman who had a baby.  They joked about it at first and then she decided to go home and do some research on the subject.  Kris's daughter is a life coach and Kris had put together a vision board. She got the inspiration while studying her board one day.  She felt intuitively led to offer to carry her daughters baby even though she was already 10 years into menopause.  I wrote about vision boards in my April 1, 2010 post.  It is amazing what ideas and realities can transpire from putting one together.  It is as simple as cutting and pasting pictures and words (two things that I love to do) that you're drawn toward. 

Kris talked about how a random conversation ultimately led her to the idea of helping her daughter.  Oprah made the comment that "the voice of God comes in many forms."  Kris had been riding her bike and getting in shape before the idea came to her to carry her daughter's child.  She later realized God was preparing her.  Kris gave birth to her healthy grandson on February 9, 2011.  I used to think everything was a coincidence, but now I tend to see things in my life as a sign and recognize the synchronicity of them.  Oprah asked Kris if she would go through the experience again.  She said she has no intention of doing it again, but two years ago she also had no intention of going through childbirth again.  Kris said she is open and no doors are closed.  I thought to myself what a great way to live.  I can go through life resisting and giving excuses as to why I can't do something or I can be open to the flow of life and be inspired.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Hollywood Director, Tom Shadyac, talked about his new documentary "I AM".   The title gets it's name from the original utterance of God, I Am.   The three key concepts of the movie that he wanted to share are:

1) The entire human race is connected.
2) We are all hardwired to cooperate- not to compete.
3) If you don't do what your heart wants you to do it can destroy you.

Tom lived an extravagant lifestyle and was a multimillionaire yet he realized he wasn't happy despite all of his outwardly success-the accolades, fancy cars, beautiful homes, etc.  Based on societies standards he should be not just happy, but ecstatic.  He felt unsettled and started to do some soul searching.  It seems a lot of people have been doing this lately including myself.  In 2007 he had a bike accident and suffered from post-  concussion syndrome.  He was in severe pain and unable to work for awhile.  After facing near death he decided to research what's wrong with our world and what can we do.  The movie I AM explores this question.  Oprah began the show by saying its purpose was to get people to start having a conversation in their own families about what they value and not to try and change peoples belief systems. 

Tom went from a 17,000 square foot mansion to a mobile home.  It looked like a nice mobile home, but was meager compared to what he lived in before.  His purpose wasn't to say we should all give up our worldly possessions, but to ask what is true for you and is enough.  Tom says, these days he tries to just take what he needs and no more.  All of our paths are different.  I live in a 3,200 square foot home with a finished basement.   I sometimes think it would be nice to have a bigger closet, bathroom, garage, kitchen, bedroom, etc.  We can afford to move to a bigger home, but we don't really need it. Our house is plenty big enough for the four of us. I'd rather save up for a small home on the beach.  It is easy to get caught up in what society says we should want- a bigger home, nicer car etc., but you have to ask yourself if that is true for you.  I think Tom's experience is a good example of how money doesn't buy happiness, it has to come from within.  What money can do though is provide options.  Not everyone has the option to take time off of work, but we can all find some time to do a little soul searching even if it's in the shower or car. 

Tom also talked about societies obsession with celebrities.  Our culture celebrates people for doing absolutely nothing.  Reality television has taken this to a whole new level, Jersey Shore comes to mind.  Tom talked about how we need to start seeing people as equal.  A celebrity is no better than anyone else.  I had an AHA moment about this when I attended Oprah's After Oscar Party show in Los Angeles.  I realized I tend to put some celebrities on a pedestal, namely Oprah and John Travolta. I spent a lot of time searching faces in LA just to see if I'd get a glimpse of someone famous.  What a waste of time and energy.  It took getting sick, being cold, hungry and exhausted for me to realize this.  After the show I refused to stand in another line to take the bus back to the parking lot so we walked over to the Renaissance hotel which is connected to the Kodak theater.  My husband and I decided to sit for a minute and get a drink of water.  Carson Kressley walked into the hotel (granted he's not an A list celebrity), but I was not about to get up from my chair and ask for a picture unless Jesus himself walked through the door. It's nice to admire people for their talents. I'm not saying I still wouldn't have my picture taken with a celebrity if the opportunity presented itself, but I put it into perspective now.  "I AM" is playing in select theaters now, and I am going to see it if it's showing near me.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Saturday Night Live

Former Saturday Night Live Alumni Tina Fey, Chevy Chase, Jane Curtin, Dana Carvey, and Tracy Morgan talked about their experiences working on the show.  Lorne Michaels is the mastermind behind SNL which first aired in 1975.  There have been so many great characters on the show over the years.  Many of the comedians and actors who've appeared on the show have moved on to have successful careers in show business.  I didn't particulary gain any thought provoking insight from the show.  What it did remind me of is the importance of laughter, especially during tough times.  Tracy Morgan said one of his memories as a kid was of his Dad watching the show after he'd gotten back from Vietnam and it was one of the first times he saw him laugh after the war.  Laughter is one of those free gifts in life.  I went to a SNL party this past Fall and had a blast.  Everone was in character and our hosts encouraged us to do a little skit.  I was reminded of some of my favorite characters from the past like Pat, Hans and Franz and Father Guido Sarducci.  Linda Richman from Coffee Talk was a favorite of mine.  Feel free to laugh!

Our hosts the Coneheads

Linda Richman

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Shirely MacLaine

Where do you begin when Oprah's guest is Hollywood Legend, Shirley MacLaine?  Shirley touched on so many topics:  2012, her new book "I'm Over All That", UFO's, energy, meditation, reincarnation, her open marriage and famous costars and several other beliefs.  She has lived a very full life and has been criticized for her beliefs and outspoken nature.  I've always thought she was a little out there, but she is someone who is very intuitive.  Shirley said she has always felt very comfortable being alone and with herself.  She spends a lot of time meditating and getting in touch with the divine power within her.  Over the last two years I have learned how important it is to really take time to be still.  My favorite time of day is in the morning after everyone has left the house and before my day has started.  I write in my journal, and I try to listen to what my heart is telling me.  It sounds simple, but it can be a very hard thing to do when you have an active imagination and your mind is full of non-stop chatter. 

Shirley said her biggest life lesson has been to surrender to the very sophisticated Divinity.  I understand that to mean God.  Oprah mentioned that it has also been one of her greatest lessons in life.  "When you have done all that you can do surrender to God and let it become part of the flow.  Let it go." This reminds me of the phrase if it is meant to be it will happen.  Oprah asked if she ever felt hurt by the jokes about her and I was surprised at her response.  She said she never felt particularly criticized and the jokes never bothered her.  As a matter of fact, she even helped Jay Leno write some of the jokes about her.  I'm not quite sure what to think of Shirley.  One thing I do know is she's a very spiritual person and stands firmly for what she believes in and I admire her for that.